THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE OPINION OF REBBI YEHOSHUA CONCERNING A KORBAN WHOSE MEAT BECAME TAMEI
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua that "Im Ein
Basar, Ein Dam." The meat of Kodshim becomes permitted only once the
Zerikah of the blood has been performed. If the meat has become lost,
destroyed, or Tamei, then the Zerikah may not be performed because it will
not be permitting anything. Similarly, if the Sheyarei ha'Minchah, or the
part of a flour offering which is eaten, has become Tamei or lost, then the
Kemitzah (offering part of the flour upon the Mizbe'ach) may not be done.
The Gemara, though, brings three conflicting versions of Rebbi Yehoshua's
First, the Gemara (77b) quotes a Mishnah from Menachos which states that if
the Sheyarei ha'Minchah became Tamei or lost, the Kemitzah cannot be done
and thus the Korban Minchah is *Pasul*.
Next, the Gemara quotes a Beraisa which states that if the meat of a Korban
became Tamei, one may not do Zerikah, but if one did do it, then *b'Di'eved
the Zerikah helps* and the Korban is valid.
Finally, our Mishnah (76b) says that if the meat of a Korban Tzibur becomes
Tamei, *l'Chatchilah* one may do the Zerikah of the blood, and the Gemara
asserts that our Mishnah is expressing the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua.
These three statements of Rebbi Yehoshua seem to contradict each other. The
first says that even b'Di'eved, when the meat is Tamei, the Korban is Pasul.
The second one says that b'Di'eved, it is Kosher, but not l'Chatchilah. The
third statement, our Mishnah, says that even l'Chatchilah it is Kosher!
The Gemara answers that the second case -- the Beraisa, which permits the
Korban b'Di'eved -- is referring to the Korban of a Yachid, a single
individual. Our Mishnah, which permits the Korban l'Chatchilah, is referring
to the Korban of a Tzibur. For a Tzibur, it is Mutar l'Chatchilah, because,
as RASHI explains, Tum'ah is "*Hutrah* b'Tzibur" -- we ignore the Tum'ah of
the meat altogether and it is as if the meat is Tahor. For an individual,
though, for whom Tum'ah is not Hutrah, one may not perform the Zerikah
l'Chatchilah. Only if he was Zorek already, then b'Di'eved the Korban is
How does the Gemara answer the Mishnah from Menachos? The Mishnah there
states that the Korban Minchah is *Pasul* if the Sheyarei ha'Minchah became
Tamei or lost. The Mishnah implies that it is Pasul even b'Di'eved, and the
Gemara never answers that question! (MAHARSHA)
(a) The MAHARSHA says that the Gemara was not bothered much by that
question, so it did not concern itself with answering it. RASHI himself
seems to allude to this explanation. Rashi says (end of 77b, DH v'Od) that
when the Mishnah in Menachos says that if the Sheyarei ha'Minchah becomes
Tamei then the Korban Minchah becomes Pasul, it does not necessarily mean to
say that it is Pasul *b'Di'eved*. It could mean that it is Pasul only
l'Chatchilah. That is, Rashi is saying that the question was not so strong,
and that is why the Gemara did not bother to answer it.
(b) The Gemara (78b) says that according to Rebbi Yehoshua, there is a
difference between whether the meat or Sheyarei ha'Minchah became *Tamei* or
became *lost or destroyed*. If the meat is lost or destroyed, then the
Korban is Pasul even b'Di'eved. If, however, the meat became Tamei but is
still present, then the Korban is not Pasul even b'Di'eved, but only
l'Chatchilah. B'Di'eved it is Kosher. This might be why the question from
the Mishnah in Menachos did not bother the Gemara. The Mishnah there
mentions that the Sheyarei ha'Minchah became *lost*, as well as Tamei.
Perhaps it says that the Korban Minchah is "Pasul" because of the case when
it became lost, but in the case when it became Tamei the Korban is only
Pasul l'Chatchilah (TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER on Mishnayos, RASHASH).
(c) REBBI AKIVA EIGER (Mishnayos) and the RASHASH give another answer based
on Tosfos. Tosfos explains the Gemara's answer -- that one case refers to a
Yachid and one refers to a Tzibur -- differently than Rashi. The reason
Rebbi Yehoshua allows bringing, l'Chatchilah, a Korban Tzibur that is Tamei
is because mid'Oraisa the Tzitz is Meratzeh for the Tamei meat (for
"Achilos"), and therefore the meat is considered completely Tahor, and the
Zerikah of the blood may be done for it. The only reason why a Korban
*Yachid* cannot be brought l'Chatchilah when the meat is Tamei is because of
a Gezeirah d'Rabanan, in which the Rabanan decreed that one should not rely
on the Ritzuy of the Tzitz when the fats or flesh (Olin or Ochlin) of a
Korban becomes Tamei. For a Tzibur, though, they did not make this Gezeirah,
because Tum'ah is Dechuyah in a Tzibur.
If so, according to Tosfos, perhaps the Mishnah in Menachos was not a
concern to our Gemara, because it only says that "*k'Midas* Rebbi
Yehoshua..." the Korban is Pasul, and not that Rebbi Yehoshua *himself*
rules that the Korban is Pasul. The Mishnah there is talking about a Korban
of a Yachid and it says that it is Pasul even b'Di'eved, because if there is
no meat then the Zerikah may not be done, like Rebbi Yehoshua. Rebbi
Yehoshua himself permits the Zerikah, b'Di'eved, in such a case because he
holds that according to the Torah law, the Tzitz is, in fact, Meratzeh for
Ochlin and Olin (TOSFOS 78b, DH Ki Modeh). The Tana of the Mishnah in
Menachos holds that even when the meat became Tamei, the Zerikah may not be
done and the Korban is Pasul even b'Di'eved, because *with regard to the
Tzitz being Meratzeh* he holds like Rebbi Yosi, who says that the Tzitz is
*not* Meratzeh for foods, and not like Rebbi Yehoshua. Thus, the Tana of
that Mishnah is saying, "According to my opinion, that the Tzitz is *not*
Meratzeh for foods, if I were to hold like Rebbi Yehoshua who holds "Im Ein
Basar, Ein Dam" (if there is no meat, then the Zerikah may not be done),
then when the meat and fats became Tamei the Korban would be Pasul
b'Di'eved." (See Tosfos, 77b DH Ela Peshita, who alludes to such an
2) THE MEAT OF A KORBAN PESACH THAT BECAME TAMEI
OPINIONS: The Mishnah tells us that the Korban Pesach may be offered only if
its meat may be eaten. If the meat became Tamei, then the Korban may not be
offered, because the whole purpose of bringing the Korban Pesach is to eat
We know that when it comes to any other type of Korban, the Korban may be
brought even when only one k'Zayis of the meat *or* fat is still Tahor. How
much of the meat of the Korban Pesach must remain Tahor in order to allow
the Korban to be brought?
(a) RASHI (62a, DH v'Iba'is Eima) says that at least one k'Zayis of meat
must remain Tahor in order for the Korban to be brought.
We see that Rashi argues with the opinion of the Tosefta. Why did Rashi
reject the Tosefta's opinion, and what is the basis of the argument?
(b) The TOSEFTA in Pesachim (6:2) says that enough meat must remain so that
there is a k'Zayis for each participant in the Korban.
Perhaps the opinions of Rashi and the Tosefta depend upon the argument
between the Tana'im in our Sugya. The Gemara (78b) suggests that according
to Rebbi Nasan, the entire Jewish people could bring one Korban Pesach and
it would still be considered fit to eat, even though each person will
receive far less than a k'Zayis. It is considered fit for each person to eat
because all of the others could, potentially, withdraw themselves from the
Korban, leaving their portions of the meat to those who remain the owners of
the Korban. According to that reasoning, whenever there remains a k'Zayis of
Tahor meat of the Korban Pesach, everyone could withdraw except for one
person, leaving him the k'Zayis to eat, thus making the Korban Pesach fit to
be eaten. This is the source for Rashi's opinion. The Tosefta does not hold
of the Gemara's reasoning, that since the others could withdraw it is
considered now fit to eat, and therefore it requires that there be a k'Zayis
for each and every participant, for otherwise not everyone involved in the
Pesach will be able to eat from it.
RAV YECHEZKEL ABRAMSKY (in CHAZON YECHEZKEL on Pesachim) presents a
beautiful support for the Tosefta from the wording of our Mishnah. The
Mishnah states that if the meat becomes Tamei and the Chelev does not, then
the Korban Pesach is Pasul, because it cannot be eaten. However, if the
Chelev becomes Tamei and the meat does not, it is not Pasul because it may
still be eaten. There is an interesting variation in the syntax of the
Mishnah in the second case. In the first case, the Mishnah says, "If *meat*
becomes Tamei and *Chelev* remains," the Korban is Pasul. When the Mishnah
talks about the Chelev becoming Tamei, it adds a letter "Heh" (twice) and
says, "If *the* Chelev becomes Tamei and *the* meat remains," it is a valid
"Basar" ("meat"), without the "Heh" preceding it, means any amount of meat.
Likewise, "Chelev" without a "Heh" means any amount of Chelev. On the other
hand, "ha'Basar" ("the meat"), means *all* of the meat, and "ha'Chelev"
means *all* of the Chelev.
This difference in syntax indicates that the first case of the Mishnah
refers to a situation where so many people were included in the Korban
Pesach that when all the meat is divided equally, there is exactly a k'Zayis
of meat for each person, and no more. In such a case, if *any amount*, even
a tiny amount, of the meat becomes Tamei, then the Korban Pesach becomes
Pasul because each person now receives *less* than a k'Zayis!
The second case of the Mishnah, though, is saying that even if *all* of the
Chelev becomes Tamei, as long as *all* of the meat remains Tahor so that
there is still a k'Zayis for each person, then the Korban Pesach remains
Kosher, because there is still a k'Zayis for everyone, like the Tosefta