ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafPesachim 17
PESACHIM 17 - Dedicated by Reb Mordechai Rabin (London/Yerushalayim)
(a) According to Shmuel, it was not a Revi'i ba'Kodesh that Chagai asked the
Kohanim, but a Chamishi: A Sheretz touched a pocket, the pocket touched
bread, the bread, a stew, the stew, wine and the wine, oil or any other
Kodshim food. This can also be inferred from the word "*bi*'Chenafo", which
implies that the bread touched the pocket (after it had been touched by the
Sheretz), rather than the Sheretz itself.
(b) When Chagai then asked them "Im Yiga *Temei Nefesh* be'Chol Eileh,
ha'Yitamei, Vaya'anu ... Yitamei" - they did not err (since in that case,
the oil or the food was a Revi'i). And we can assume, says Shmuel, that,
since they did not err in the second Sha'aleh, they did not err in the first
(c) According tio Rav, it is not surprising that they erred in the first
Sha'aleh, but not in the second - since they were experts in the Din of
Tum'as Mes - knowing that a Shelishi makes a Revi'i by Tum'as Mes, (in which
the Kohanim needed to be expert), but not in that of Tum'as Sheretz - even
though it was a question of exactly the same Halachah, because Tum'as
Sheretz is not so closely connected with the laws of Kehunah.
(d) According to Ravina, Rav explains the Temei Nefesh mentioned by Chagai
to mean, not quite what it says, but that the above things touched an actual
corpse, in which case, the oil or the food was a *Shelishi* le'Tum'ah (not a
*Revi'i*), which was never subject to doubt. This they answered correctly
(though it is not clear why he needed to ask them such a simple question).
(a) According to Shmuel, what the Navi was saying was not 'These people are
Tamei', but 'Are these people (who are conversant with the laws of Tum'ah)
(b) And when he continued "ve'Chen Kol Ma'aseh Yedeihem" - he was referring
to the future; he foresaw that they would sin during the era of the second
(a) According to Levi, all liquid of Kodshim - even water and oil of the
Mizbei'ach, are Tahor. In that case, how does he explain the Pasuk in
Chagai, which clearly considers them Tamei? Unless he holds like Shmuel, in
whose opinion Rebbi Yosef ben Yo'ezer is confined to *transmitting Tum'ah*
to others, but who agrees that they can *become Tamei*. According to Levi,
the Kohanim did not err: first they answered that the oil and the food
remain Tahor, because the wine, which became Tamei before them, could not
transmit Tum'ah (like Rebbi Yosef ben Yo'ezer). In the second Sha'aleh,
Chagai asked them what if a Tamei Mes touched each one separately, to which
they replied that they would all be Tamei. Both answers were correct.
(b) Shmuel says that the Kohanim did not err, because Chagai was speaking
about a Chamishi. The wine could not be Metamei the oil, only because it was
a Revi'i, but had it been a Sheni or a Shelishi, it would indeed have done
so. Now if he were to hold like Levi, that, according to Rebbi Yosef ben
Yo'ezer, even Mashkeh Bei *Mid*bechaya is Tahor, then the wine would not
have been able to render the wine Tamei, whatever level of Tum'ah is was.
Consequently, we are forced to say that Shmuel holds like Rav (who
establishes Rebbi Yosef ben Yo'ezer by Mashkeh Beis *Mit*bechaya i.e. blood,
but *not* by Mashkeh Bei *Mid*bechaya, which can even transmit Tum'ah, as
(a) The Beraisa which says 'Blood, wine, oil and water which became Tamei
inside the Azarah, do not render other things Tamei' - is a support for
Levi, who holds 'Mashkeh Bei *Mid*bachaya Dachan'.
(b) The blood etc. can certainly receive Tum'ah. Otherwise, how would we
understand the prophecy of Chagai (as we proved above)?
(c) If they became Tamei *before* they were brought into the Azarah - they
will certainly continue to transmit Tum'ah, like they did before, because,
how would this power be removed from them?
(d) When Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that Mashkeh Bei Midbachaya is only
Tahor in its place, he cannot have meant that the moment it leaves the
Azarah, it is no longer Tahor - because then he would be arguing with the
Reisha of the Beraisa that we just quoted. What he must therefore have
meant, is that it would only become Tahor if it became Tamei inside the
Azarah, but not if it became Tamei outside - like the Seifa of the Beraisa.
(a) Rebbi Shimon agrees that Mashkeh Beis Mitbachaya is Tahor if it became
Tamei when it was lying in a pool on the ground, but not inside a
(b) Rebbi Shimon is strict with regard to Mashkeh Beis Mitbechaya that is
inside a receptacle - because he follows his own opinion earlier in the
Sugya, that liquid is subject to Tum'ah min ha'Torah - even as regards
transmitting Tum'ah to others.
(c) He is lenient when it is lying in a pool on the ground - because then
min ha'Torah, it has a Din of a Mikveh, and is not subject to Tum'ah at all
(min ha'Torah, only mi'de'Rabbanan).
(d) This distinction (of Rebbi Shimon) is confined to water, but not to
blood (which, technically speaking, is also included in Mashkeh Beis
Mitbechaya), which is not eligible for a Mikveh.
To Tovel people, a Mikveh must contain forty Sa'ah (as we learn from "es
Besaro"), whereas for Toveling vessels, a 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'
teaches us that a Revi'is (sufficient to Tovel needles) will suffice.
(a) Rebbi Eliezer says that there is no Tum'as Mashkin at all, because of
the testimony of Rebbi Yosef ben Yo'ezer. Now if 'Mashkeh Beis Mitbechaya
Dachan' is Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai, as Rav Papa suggests - then how could
we learn from Rebbi Yosef ben Yo'ezer that there is no Tum'as Mashkin at
all, since we cannot learn anything from a Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai?
The well-known ruling that gives the Shiur of Tum'as Mashkin as a *Revi'is*
(ha'Lug) - refers to transmitting Tum'ah; whereas our Sugya, which holds
that even *less* than a Revi'is of liquid is subject to Tum'ah refers to
receiving Tum'ah (see Gilyon ha'Shas).
(b) And if, as Rav Papa suggests, 'Mashkeh Beis Mitbechaya Dachan' is
Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai', how can Rebbi Shimon make a distinction between
liquid that became Tamei in a receptacle and liquid that became Tamei in a
pool (a distinction that only makes sense if 'Mashkeh Beis Mitbechaya
Dachan' is mi'de'Rabbanan)?
(a) Rebbi Yehudah's statement 'la'Kol Tamei' (with regard to Safek Mashkeh
being Metamei others) means - that liquid is Metamei everything, even
vessels. So we see from here that, according to Rebbi Yehudah, liquid can
transmit Tum'ah even to vessels - mi'd'Oraysa.
(b) The Tana Kama of the Mishnah in Kelim says that any receptacle that
becomes Tamei via its back, does not render its inside Tamei - because its
Tum'ah is only mi'de'Rabbanan, and the Chachamim decreed that its inside
should remain Tahor in this case, to serve as a reminder that this Tum'ah is
not d'Oraysa, and that one should not burn Terumah and Kodshim that touched
(c) Rebbi Yehudah comments there - that *that* applies when the cup became
Tamei through contact with liquid (which is only Metamei mi'de'Rabbanan),
but not when it became Tamei through a Sheretz, which renders it Tamei
mi'd'Oraysa. So we see from there that, in Rebbi Yehudah's opinion, liquid
only transmits Tum'ah mi'de'Rabbanan.
(a) Ravina attempts to reply that Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah (who holds
that liquids are Metamei vessels min ha'Torah) is referring to liquid that
became Tamei through a Sheretz; whereas Rebbi Yehudah in Kelim (who holds
that it is Metamei only mi'de'Rabbanan), is referring to liquid that became
Tamei because someone touched it.
(b) If Ravina's answer were correct, then why did Rebbi Yehudah himself (in
the Mishnah in Kelim) differentiate between a vessel that became Tamei
through liquid and one that became Tamei through a Sheretz? Why did he not
differentiate between liquid that became Tamei through hands and liquid that
became Tamei through a Sheretz (from which we are forced to deduce that
according to Rebbi Yehudah, *all* liquid transmits mi'de'Rabbanan, but not
(c) Rebbi Yehudah may have retracted only from the fact that liquid is
Metamei vessels - but concedes that it is Metamei food (like Rebbi Yossi and
Rebbi Shimon); or he may have retracted completely - to hold like Rebbi
Meir, that Tum'as Mashkin is entirely mi'de'Rabbanan.