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Pesachim 96

PESACHIM 96 - dedicated by Uri Wolfson in honor of his Chavrusa, Rav Mordechai Rabin of Har Nof.


QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses the differences between Pesach Mitzrayim (the Pesach which the Jews celebrated as they left Mitzrayim) and Pesach Doros (the Pesach festival of all subsequent generations). The Mishnah says that one of the differences is that Pesach Mitzrayim was observed for one night, and Pesach Doros for all seven days and nights.

The Gemara explains that both for Pesach Mitzrayim and Pesach Doros, the obligation to eat the Korban Pesach applies only one night. However, what the Mishnah means is that the Isur of Chametz during Pesach Mitzrayim applied during the first night *and day*, while the Isur of Chametz of Pesach Doros applies all seven days.

If Chametz was Asur for both the night and the day during Pesach Mitzrayim, why does the Torah say that the dough which the Jewish people took with them was baked into Matzos because "they were rushed out of Mitzrayim and did not have time to make it into bread (Shemos 12:39)?" Even if they were not rushed out, they could not have made bread because Chametz was Asur for them during that day! Why does the Torah imply that they would they have made it into bread had they not been rushed out?


(a) The RAMBAN (Shemos 12:39) explains that they certainly would not have baked Chametz, even had they not been rushed. The point of the verse in the Torah is not to teach that had they not been rushed, they would have baked bread. Rather, it is teaching that had they not been rushed, they would have baked Matzah *at home in Mitzrayim*, and not while traveling. The Torah is telling us that they baked the dough as they traveled because they were rushed out (and that is why it was still dough and not a finished product of Matzah). The Torah is emphasizing that they baked it on the road and not in Mitzrayim.

In a similar vein, the DA'AS ZEKENIM explains that when the Torah says that the Jewish people were rushed out of Mitzrayim, it is not explaining why their dough was made into Matzah and not Chametz. It was Asur to have Chametz, as our Gemara implies. Rather, the verse is explaining why the *only item* of food that they brought with them was dough and nothing else - - "[because they were rushed out] they did not have time to prepare other provisions for themselves."

(b) The RAN (25b of the Rif) says that although there was an Isur to *eat* Chametz during Pesach Mitzrayim, there was no Isur to *own* Chametz (Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei). They were baking bread to eat on the following day (since the prohibition of Chametz applied for only one day that year), and it was permitted for them to be in possession of it during the day of Pesach. (See TZELACH, Pesachim 116b, who challenges the Ran's explanation.)

(c) The HAFLA'AH (Panim Yafos, Bereishis 8:22, Bamidbar 33:3) writes that before Matan Torah, the definition of 'day' for Jews and non-Jews was alike -- the night followed the day, instead of the night coming first (as it does in all present-day matters of Halachah). Based on this idea, it may be explained that when the Gemara says that it was forbidden to have Chametz for one full day, that meant the day of the *fourteenth* of Nisan (when the Korban Pesach was slaughtered) and the night following that day. But on the day on which they actually left Mitzrayim (the fifteenth) there was no Isur of Chametz at all! (Heard from Rav Kalman Weinreb in the name of Rav Dovid Kronglass, zt'l.)

According to this explanation, the Mishnah -- which says that during Pesach Mitzrayim the Isur of Chametz applied for one night -- does not contradict the explanation of the Gemara which says that it means a whole day (day and night). When the Mishnah says "one night" it means the time of the Isur of Chametz which is common with Pesach Doros -- is only one night -- the first night. The Mishnah does not discuss the day before that night, since that is not common with Pesach Doros, because it was the day before Pesach.

The TZELACH (Pesachim 116b) in fact suggests a similar explanation to the above, positing that when referring to Pesach Mitzrayim, "one day" refers to a day *followed by* the night. However, he gives a different reason for defining a 'day' in this manner. The verse (Shemos 13:4) which our Gemara brings as the source for the Isur of Chametz during Pesach Mitzrayim is written in a discussion of the Avodas Korban ha'Pesach (Shemos 13:5, Rashi there). When it comes to Kodshim, the night follows the day (Chulin 83a). Hence, the Isur of Chametz which is written in proximity to a discussion of the Korban Pesach is referring to a "Kodshim-day," which begins with the daytime *followed by* the night.


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