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Pesachim 78


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 opinion:

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 valid.

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 approach.)


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 it.

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.

(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.

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?

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 Korban.

"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 stipulates.

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