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Pesachim 20


QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that there is a principle of "Chibas ha'Kodesh Machshir" -- items that are Kodesh do not need Hechsher at all in order to become Tamei.

We learned earlier (16a) that the Rabanan made a provision that liquids in the Beis ha'Mikdash cannot be Machshir an item to be able to become Tamei. What difference does it make if liquids can or cannot be Machshir? For Kodshim in the Beis ha'Mikdash Hechsher is not necessary anyway, it is prohibited to bring Chulin into the Azarah. For what, then, would Hechsher have been necessary in the Beis ha'Mikdash? (TOSFOS DH Ela)

ANSWER: TOSFOS answers that there are certain things in the Mikdash that Chibas ha'Kodesh would not be Machshir and that liquids would have been able to be Machshir. One such item is Bikurim which, like Terumah, does not have a status of Hekdesh, and thus it needs Hechsher. In addition, it is permissible to bring spices of Chulin into the Azarah if one wants to eat his Kodshim with it (Menachos 21b). These spices of Chulin need Hechsher in order to become Tamei, since they are not Hekdesh. Bringing such Chulin into the Azarah is not forbidden, because one is not performing any Avodah with them (Tosfos, Menachos 21b).

QUESTION: Another effect of Chibas ha'Kodesh is that even inedible objects in the Beis ha'Mikdash, such as Etzim u'Levonah (wood and incense), are able to become Tamei mid'Oraisa. This too raises a problem, with regard to the rule that "Mashkei Beis Mitbechaya Dachan."

The Gemara says that according to Rav, in the Mikdash the Rabanan suspended their decree that liquids can become Tamei. That is, mid'Oraisa liquids can never become Tamei even in the Mikdash. Why is that so? Wood is inedible and cannot become Tamei normally, yet Chibas ha'Kodesh enables it to become Tamei mid'Oraisa in the Mikdash! If so, liquids should certainly be Tamei mid'Oraisa in the Mikdash through Chibas ha'Kodesh! (This is a question only according to Tosfos who holds that Chibas ha'Kodesh is Machshir wood to become Tamei *mid'Oraisa*. According to Rashi, wood is never Mekabel Tum'ah mid'Oraisa, and Chibas ha'Kodesh works only mid'Rabanan, as we mentioned earlier, Insights to 19:1.)

TOSFOS in Chulin (36b, DH Etzim) answers that it must be that even Chibas ha'Kodesh only works for objects, although inedible, with have properties *similar* to those of solid foods (i.e. they are thick and crunchy, like wood). It does not apply to liquids, and therefore it is not possible for liquids to become Tamei mid'Oraisa.


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