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Shabbos 25


The Mishnah (20b) states that one may not light the Shabbos candles with "oil that is burned." The Gemara (23b) explains that this refers to oil that is Terumah which became Tamei, which one is obligated to burn. It is called "burned oil" because there is a Mitzvah to burn it. The Gemara explains that one may not use it for the Shabbos candles because "since one is obligated to burn it, we are afraid that he may tilt the lamp (to speed up the burning process)."

RASHI (23b DH she'Mitzvah Alav) explains that the reason why one must destroy Terumah that became Tamei is in order to prevent one from accidentally eating it (which is a severe Isur d'Oraisa).

RASHI here (25a DH Mitzvah li'Srof), however, gives *two* reasons why one must burn Terumah Temei'ah -- "because it is similar to Kodshim that became Tamei (which must be burned), and furthermore, in order to prevent [eating it by] accident." Why does Rashi give two reasons here, and only one reason on 23b (see BEIS HA'LEVI)?


(a) Earlier, the focus of the Gemara was to explain why using such oil on Shabbos is prohibited, and the reason the Gemara gave was because we fear that one might tilt the lamp to speed up the burning process. There is no fear that one will tilt the lamp simply to perform a Mitzvah of burning the oil; only if there is a *strong reason* for somebody to want to get rid of the oil do we worry that he may tilt the lamp. That strong reason why somebody would want to get rid of the oil is that he not accidentally transgress a very the prohibition of eating the Terumah Temei'ah. That is why Rashi there emphasizes that the reason for burning the oil is to avoid accidental transgression.

Here, however, the Gemara is discussing the general source for burning Terumah Temei'ah. Therefore, Rashi gives both reasons. (M. Kornfeld)

(b) As we explained in (a), the Gemara on 23b was discussing why using such oil on Shabbos is prohibited -- because we fear that one might tilt the lamp in order to get rid of the oil that could cause him to transgress a severe prohibition. The Gemara was not concerned with *how* one will want to get rid of the oil, but just that one *wants* to get rid of it. Therefore, Rashi gave the reason why one will want to get rid of it.

Here, though, the Gemara is discussing the specific Mitzvah to *burn* the Terumah Temei'ah (that is, *how* to get rid of it). What is the source for specifically *burning* Terumah Temei'ah (as opposed to any other form of disposal)? Because it is similar to Kodshim that became Tamei. Therefore, Rashi mentions both reasons, one to explain why Terumah Temei'ah must be disposed of, and one to explain why it is specifically burned. (RAV YAKOV D. HOMNICK in SEFER NACHALAS YAKOV)

QUESTION: The Gemara says that one of the features of Terumah that makes it more severe than Kodshim is that eating Terumah while one is Tamei is punishable with Misah b'Ydei Shamayim, while eating Kodshim while one is Tamei is only punishable with Kares (early death and childlessness). How can Misah b'Ydei Shamayim be more severe than Kares, when Kares itself *includes* Misah? (That is, Kares not only causes a person to die before his time, as does Misah, but it *also* causes him to die younger according to some, and childless according to others.)

ANSWER: The Gemara, when it mentions Misah, is not talking about the punishment for eating Terumah while one is Tamei. Rather, as RASHI explains, it is talking about the punishment for a *non-Kohen* who eats Terumah. The punishment for a non-Kohen who eats Terumah is Misah b'Ydei Shamayim, while a non-Kohen who eats *Kodshim* is punished only with lashes (Rambam, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 11:8), and not Misah nor Kares. In this way Terumah is more severe the Kodshim. (M. Kornfeld)


QUESTION: The Gemara presents four different views among the Tana'im as to the definition of "wealth." Different Tana'im define it as:
  1. a person who has "Nachas Ru'ach" from his wealth (i.e., he is happy with what he has - Rashi) (Rebbi Meir)
  2. a person with 100 vineyards and 100 fields and 100 slaves to work them (Rebbi Tarfon)
  3. a person who has a wife who does good deeds. (Rebbi Akiva)
  4. a person with a bathroom near his table. (Rebbi Yosi)
What is the point of their argument?


(a) According to RASHI the point in question is how much money a person should make it his goal to attain. (Apparently, the Tanaim are advising a person to retire and work no further after he has attained the prescribed amount.)

(b) MAHARSHA explains that the first Tana (1) means to emphasize that money is worthless if one does not make use of it himself (= Nachas Ru'ach).

The other three Tana'im are explaining that it is futile to strive for wealth. If one's purpose is to become rich and famous (2), no matter how much he has he will feel a need to attain more wealth. If it is to provide for his wife and family, he would be better off marrying a woman who does not have great needs, and who does not make large demands on him (3). If he intends to save money so that he will be able to afford medical treatments when he becomes sick and frail, he would be better off just going to the bathroom immediately after meals, i.e., accustoming himself to a daily regimen of healthy practices (4).

(c) The words "poor" and "rich" sometimes refer to wealth and poverty in terms of Torah and Yiras Hashem (cf. Rashi end of 33a). Rebbi Meir (1) says that a person is considered a true Ben-Torah and a G-d-fearing person if he is happy with whatever amount of wealth Hashem granted him. One who displays content with his lot demonstrates complete trust in Hashem. Rebbi Tarfon (2) explains that wealth is breadth of Torah knowledge. Grain produce (100 fields) is a common metaphor in Chazal for Halachic statements, while products of the vine (100 vineyards) are metaphors for Agaddic statements (Vayikra Raba 1:2; Sifri on "Dagan v'Tirosh"). The "100 servants working them" are the large body of students who attend the Rav and analyze his every statement. Rebbi Akiva (3) explains that the yardstick for Torah perfection is if a person is well-versed in Halachah and practices what he preaches. "A wife" refers to the Torah that a person has learned (as in Mishlei 30, Bava Metzia 84b Rashi DH Haysah); the persons actions must be appropriate to his Torah-knowledge. Finally, Rebbi Yosi (4) explains that wealth is measured by being able to weed out flawed outlooks (Hashkafos) from one's mind, so that a person's material wealth (his "table," as in Berachos 5b) will not adversely affect him.

In short, the Tanaim are describing 4 different aspects of Torah wealth: Wealth in emotion (1), in speech (2), in deed (3) and in thought (4). (M. KORNFELD)
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