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Pesachim 98


QUESTION: The Mishnah says that when different types of Korbanos got mixed together, such as a Korban Pesach, an Asham, and an Olah, one must wait until they all get blemishes. Then, he must redeem each animal and transfer its Kedushah onto money, and then he uses that money to buy three new animals. Since he does not know which animal was which Korban, he must add to the value of each one so that he buys three animals that are all worth the same as the most expensive of the former Korbanos that got mixed together.

The wording of the Mishnah is, "They must graze until they get a blemish, and then they must *be sold*, and the value of the most expensive one is used [to buy each of the three Korbanos]." Why must he *sell* the old Korbanos and then use the money to buy new ones? Let him simply transfer the Kedushah of each of the three old animals onto three new *animals* (each of which is worth the same as the most expensive of the old animals)! He should say, "Wherever the Korban Pesach is, its Kedushah shall be transferred to this new animal," and "Wherever the Korban Olah is, its Kedushah shall be transferred to this other new animal," and so on. Why does he have to transfer their Kedushah to money first? (See RASHASH, 98b, on RASHI DH v'Neima)


(a) Perhaps he does *not* in fact have to use money, and the Mishnah is only given a practical suggestion. If he wants, though, he may transfer the Kedushah from the old animals directly to the new animals, without using money. We find later (98b), when the Gemara discusses the case of a Korban Pesach that got mixed up with a Bechor, that Rava says that the animals are left to graze until they become blemished, and then a fat animal is brought and the person says, "Wherever the Korban Pesach is, its Kedushah shall be transferred *to this animal*" (that animal is then brought as the Korban Pesach, and the remaining two animals are both eaten as if they were Bechoros which became blemished). That Gemara implies that one may transfer the Kedushah directly from the old animal to the new animal. This is the way the Rambam (Hilchos Korban Pesach 4:8) indeed rules regarding that Halachah.

According to the Rambam, that might also be what the Mishnah means. The Mishnah says to sell the animals only as a matter of convenience, since in the Mishnah's case *three* animals are being redeemed. In order to redeem the animals, one must first wait for all three animal to become blemished (since otherwise he cannot redeem any specific Korban, since he is not sure which Korban got blemished). On the other hand, he does not want to wait any extra time before redeeming the blemished animal, lest something happen to it in between. Therefore, it will not be convenient to sell each animal be sold as soon as it becomes blemished, so that one can easily store the sanctified money until all three animals have been sold, and then buy three Korbanos together with the money. In the Gemara's case of a Korban Pesach and a Bechor, there is only *one* animal that needs to have its Kedushah transferred, so the Gemara does not suggest transferring it to money first.

Alternatively, Harav Moshe Shapiro suggested that even the wording of the Mishnah may not mean that the animals must be *sold* for cash before buying new animals. Rather, when one redeems the blemished animals *onto other animals* directly, he is "selling" the blemished animals for new animals. This is why the Mishnah calls it "selling" the blemished animals. Although the new animals should then only be Kadosh with Kedushas Damim (like Bedek ha'Bayis, as opposed to a Korban), because of the rule that "when the value of an animal becomes Kadosh, its Kedushah "spreads" and becomes Kedushas ha'Guf (i.e. a Korban). Therefore, the second animals will indeed be usable as Korbanos, themselves.

(b) However, RASHI (98b, DH v'Neima) says that even in the case of the Korban Pesach and the Bechor, the Gemara means that one must transfer the Kedushah of the blemished animal *onto money*, and only then use that money to buy a new, fat animal. According to Rashi, then, the Mishnah means that one must redeem the animals with money, and not with other animals. Why can one not transfer the Kedushah from the old animal itself directly onto the new animal?

Perhaps according to Rashi, one cannot transfer Kedushah from a cheap animal onto a more expensive one. That is, we know that some of the animals that are mixed up are worth less and some are worth more. The new animals, though, must be equal in value to the most expensive of all the old animals, as explained earlier. Consequently, if one would transfer the Kedushah directly from the old animal to the new one, one would be taking an animal worth, for example, 70, and transferring its Kedushah to an animal worth 100. By doing so one has only sanctified part (70%) of the new animal, but not the entire animal. Perhaps Rashi holds that doing so is like sanctifying only half of an animal, and one should transfer an animal's Kedushah in such a way since it will not take effect on the new animal's entirety.

By using money, though, one can add more money to the piles after redeeming each of the original animals, so that one has 100 in each pile. He can then sanctify the entire pile, and then use the money to buy a new animal. (Hagaon Rav Moshe Shapiro, however, pointed out to me that because "Ein Ona'ah l'Hekdesh," Bava Metzia 56b, one should be able to redeem an item of Hekdesh with *any* value with another item of Chulin of *any* value. Nevertheless, our proposition may be defended by showing that the Gemara only uses the rule of "Ein Ona'ah l'Hekdesh" with regard to shortchanging Hekdesh, not in a case like ours, where the buyer from Hekdesh is shortchanged. Perhaps Hekdesh of limited value cannot be caused to become Hekdesh of *more* value through redemption - M. Kornfeld)

Alternatively, Rashi may hold that Hekdesh cannot be transferred from one object to a like object; there must be a stage in between where the Kedushah is passed to a different object (in our case money), and then back to the like object (the second animal). We find such an assumption with regard to Ma'aser Sheni, where the Chachamim (Ma'aser Sheni 2:6) rule that one cannot redeem silver Ma'aser Sheni money with other silver coins. Rashi (Bava Metzia 56a) explains that the logic for their ruling is that transferring Kedushah from silver coins to other silver coins "is not a proper form of Chilul." The same may then be suggested with regard to animals, perhaps transferring Kedushah from one animal directly on to another is not the way of Chilul (except when making a forbidden Temurah, which is of course a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv).
(M. Kornfeld)


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