When the Mishnah and Beraisa ask why the Torah specifies Tamei and b'Derech
Rechokah, what else do they suggest that they Torah mention? They ask why
the verse lists Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah, but in contrast to what?
(a) RASHI, TOSFOS and most Rishonim understand that the question is why did
the Torah not write that someone who *intentionally* (b'Mezid) missed the
Korban Pesach Rishon is obligated to bring the Pesach Sheni. The answer is
that it only lists those who are Patur from Kares, due to "Ones" or
"Shogeg," and someone who is Mezid is Chayav Kares.
However, this point needs clarification. Would it not have been a greater
Chidush for the Torah to teach that even someone who is Chayav Kares for
missing the Pesach Rishon must still bring a Pesach Sheni? Apparently, the
answer is that the Torah lists Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah because it does
not want to discuss the case of someone who intentionally transgressed the
Mitzvah (see Yevamos 10a, "d'I [Avar] Lo Katani"). Someone who was Tamei or
b'Derech Rechokah has no Chiyuv at all to bring the Korban Pesach Rishon,
while a Mezid was obligated to bring the Korban.
This explanation is based on the Gemara (92b) which distinguishes between
one who missed the Pesach Rishon b'Mezid and the rest of the cases of the
Mishnah, saying that the phrase "v'Elu Chayavim" refers exclusively to Mezid
according to Rav Nachman, or to Mezid and Onan according to Rav Sheshes
(that is, those are the only ones who are Chayav Kares).
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:2) has a different approach
entirely. The question of the Mishnah and Beraisa according to the Rambam is
why are Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah singled out from *all the other types of
Shogeg and Ones* (missing the Korban Pesach inadvertently or due to
circumstances beyond one's control). The answer is that they are the only
ones who are Patur from Kares.
What does this mean? How could Shogeg and Ones be Chayav Kares, if they were
not Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah? We know that Kares is a punishment for
intentional transgression, not for unintentional transgression! The Rambam
explains that the term "Chayav Kares" refers to Pesach *Sheni*. That is, if
someone who was a Shogeg or Ones on Pesach Rishon (and was thus Patur from
Kares) and was obligated to bring the Korban Pesach Sheni *intentionally*
failed to bring the Pesach Sheni, he is Chayav Kares. But if he was Tamei or
b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon, then even if he intentionally failed to
bring the Pesach Sheni, he is not Chayav Kares. What is the logical basis
for this difference?
The Rambam (Hilchos Pesach 5:1) rules like Rebbi (in the Beraisa on this
Daf) who says that the day of Pesach Sheni is considered a Regel Bifnei
Atzmo, an independent festival (and is not merely compensation for Pesach
Rishon). That is why a person who was unable to bring the Korban Pesach on
Pesach Rishon (other than Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah) and was Mezid on
Pesach Sheni, is Chayav Kares.
On the other hand, the Rambam rules that if a person was Mezid on Pesach
Rishon but brought the Korban on Pesach Sheni, he is Patur from Kares (5:2).
If Pesach Sheni is a Regel Bifnei Atzmo, how can that rectify the Kares which he should receive for Pesach Rishon? It must be that the Rambam learns
that the Korban Pesach Sheni is *both* a Regel Bifnei Atzmo and it also
serves to rectify one's failure to bring the Korban on Pesach Rishon. It is
considered like Tashlumin (compensation) for Pesach Rishon in that it
removes the Chiyuv Kares from one who was Mezid on Pesach Rishon. On the
other hand, it will cause someone to be Chayav Kares if he was Shogeg on
Pesach Rishon and Mezid on Pesach Sheni.
Consequently, when it comes to Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah, the Rambam will
explain that the Torah singles them out in order to teach that in those two
cases, Pesach Sheni is *only* Tashlumin and *not* Regel Bifnei Atzmo. There
is no independent Chiyuv of Pesach Sheni for someone who was Tamei or
b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon. For people who missed Pesach Rishon for
all other reasons, Pesach Sheni is not only Tashlumin, but it is also a
Regel Bifnei Atzmo and one who misses it on purpose will be Chayav Kares.
Therefore, if someone misses Pesach Rishon because of an Ones, and then he
intentionally misses Pesach Sheni, not only does he miss he chance to
compensate for Pesach Rishon but he gets Kares for missing Pesach Sheni.
However, someone who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon and
then misses Pesach Sheni intentionally, only misses the compensation for
Pesach Rishon but he does not get Kares. (That is, even Rebbi is in
agreement with Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Chananya ben Akavyah that Pesach Sheni
is only a Tashlumin when it comes to one who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah
on Pesach Rishon.)
It is not clear how the Rambam will learn the Gemara earlier (92b) which
says clearly that only one type of person who misses Pesach Rishon -- one
who was Mezid -- will be Chayav Kares, in contrast to all types of Shogeg
and Ones. According to the Rambam, even a Shogeg and Ones on Pesach Rishon
will be Chayav Kares if they miss Pesach Sheni intentionally, and this is
the Halachah to which the Mishnah is referring!
The CHAFETZ CHAIM (Zevach Todah) answers that the Rambam learns that the
Gemara at that point thought that Pesach Sheni *is not* a Regel Bifnei
Atzmo. Consequently, the Gemara does not entertain the option (which the
Rambam rules) that a Shogeg and Ones on Pesach Rishon will be Chayav if they
miss Pesach Sheni intentionally. However, once the Gemara introduces the
Shitah of Rebbi (93a), then the Gemara will alter its understanding of the
Mishnah and learn like the Rambam! (The LECHEM MISHNAH gives a similar
The Chafetz Chaim explains that will answer as well the question of the
RA'AVAD on the Rambam (Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:2), who asks why the Rambam
rules like Rebbi, even though Rebbi's opinion is a minority opinion against
the opinions of Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Chananya ben Akavyah in the Beraisa.
Since our Mishnah works out much simpler according to Rebbi, we assume that
it agrees with the opinion of Rebbi, and when a Mishnah and Beraisa
conflict, we rule like the Mishnah.
The Rambam's approach explains beautifully a number of other Gemaras:
1. The Gemara later (94a) says that if a person was near to Yerushalayim but
was detained from bringing his Korban Pesach because he was stuck in
traffic, then he is Chayav Kares. Why is he Chayav Kares? He was an Ones!
(Rashi there gives a somewhat forced answer.)
According to the Rambam, the Gemara is not saying that he is Chayav for not
bringing the Korban Pesach now, on Pesach Rishon. He is certainly Patur
because he was an Ones. Rather, the Gemara means that he is Chayav Kares if,
a month later, he intentionally misses the Pesach *Sheni*. (LECHEM MISHNAH
Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:9 -- This answers the RA'AVAD's objection to the
Rambam pertaining to that Halachah.)
2. The Mishnah (93b) records the opinion of Rebbi Eliezer, who holds that a
person standing right outside of the Azarah is considered b'Derech Rechokah.
How can it be that just because he is outside the Azarah, he is not Mechuyav
to bring the Korban Pesach?
According to the Rambam (see PERUCH HA'MISHNAH), Rebbi Eliezer does not mean
that one who is standing outside of the Azarah is not required to bring the
Korban. Certainly one who is that close to the Azarah is Chayav to bring the
Korban Pesach and he is not called b'Derech Rechokah with regard to his
Chiyuv to bring the Korban Pesach Rishon. Rather, if one did not bring a
Korban Pesach for *another reason* (for example, he was an Arel), and he was
*also* outside of the Azarah, then if he intentionally fails to bring the
Korban on Pesach Sheni he is not Chayav Kares, because he is considered to
have been b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon since he was outside of the
Azarah. When will he be Chayav Kares for not bringing the Pesach Sheni? He
will be Chayav when he was inside the Azarah on Pesach Rishon and was unable
to (or chose not to) bring the Korban Pesach.
TOSFOS (DH v'Ein) asks that the Gemara (94b) states that even according to
Rebbi Eliezer, if that person is outside of the Azarah because he is an Arel
or a Tamei, he is obligated to circumcise himself or be Metaher himself in
order to bring the Korban Pesach, and if he does not circumcise or be
Metaher himself he will be Chayav Kares. But how will it help to circumcise
or be Metaher himself if anyway he will is Patur from bringing the Korban
Pesach, since he is standing outside of the Azarah?
According to the Rambam's understanding of Rebbi Eliezer's opinion, there is
no actual Petur of b'Derech Rechokah to exempt one from bringing the Korban
Pesach Rishon. One who is standing outside of the Azarah certainly must go
in to bring his Korban. Rather, if he is unable to bring the Korban for
another reason *and* he is standing outside of the Azarah, then if he does
not bring the Korban on Pesach *Sheni*, he is not Chayav Kares. Therefore,
an Arel must certainly circumcise himself, and then he will be obligated to
come into the Azarah and bring the Korban Pesach, and if he does not bring
it he will be Chayav Kares. (If he does not circumcise himself, though, and
he remains outside of the Azarah, then on Pesach *Sheni* he will not be
Chayav Kares if he intentionally misses the Korban.)