THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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SHEKALIM 11 - has been generously dedicated by Lee and Marsha Weinblatt of
1) PAYING WORKERS WITH LEFTOVER KETORES
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah describes what is done with the leftover Ketores from
the previous year. Since the Ketores must be bought from the present year's
collection of Shekalim, the leftover Ketores cannot be offered on the
Mizbe'ach this year. Rather, a certain procedure was performed in order to
remove the Kedushah from the old Ketores and then to buy back that Ketores
with money from the new year's Terumas ha'Lishkah.
2) BUYING THIS YEAR'S PRODUCTS FROM LAST YEAR'S "LISHKAH"
The Mishnah describes the 4 steps of this procedure:
(i) They would put aside money for the wages of the artisans who performed
services for the Beis ha'Mikdash; that is, money was taken from the Terumas
ha'Lishkah and designated for the artisans.
(The Mishnah says that they would "separate *from it* (Mimenah) the wages of
the artisans and be Mechalel it on the money of the artisans." TOSFOS in
Shavuos (10b) takes out the term "from it," for that implies that they
designated the wages from the Ketores itself, which is not correct; they
designated the wages from the money of the Terumas ha'Lishkah. According to
our Girsa which says "from it," it means that they separated the *from the
Lishkah* the money/wages of the artisans.)
(ii) Second, they would take the leftover Ketores and transfer its Kedushah
("Mechalel") onto the money.
(iii) Third, they would then give the Ketores, which no longer has Kedushah,
to the artisans in place of giving them their money (which now has
(iv) Fourth, they would buy back the Ketores from the artisans with money
from the new year's Terumas ha'Lishkah.
It seems that there are superfluous steps in this procedure. Instead of
separating money as wages for the artisans and then transferring the
Kedushah of the old Ketores onto that money and giving the Ketores, instead,
to the artisans, they should just separate the old Ketores itself as payment
for the artisans. Then, they should "buy" the artisans' Ketores back with
the money from the new Terumas ha'Lishkah. (If we are worried about how the
Kedushah of the Ketores will be removed without being transferred to
something before being given to the artisans, then that same problem should
apply to the *money* that is paid to the artisans in the Mishnah's case!)
In summary, two steps should be left out:
(1) Why is the first step (i) needed -- setting aside money for the workers
in order to Mechalel the Kedushah of the Ketores onto it?
(2) Why is the third step (iii) needed -- giving the actual Ketores to the
workers before buying it back from them? They should just take money from
the new Terumas ha'Lishkah and be Mechalel its Kedushah onto the Ketores
*without* actually giving the Ketores to the workers.
(1) WHY WE MAY NOT PAY THE WORKERS WITH THE KETORES
(a) RASHI (Me'ilah 14b, end of DH Mafrishin Mimenah) explains that the
Mishnah is discussing a case where the leftover Ketores is not worth as much
as we owe the artisans for their wages. Since money must be separated in
order to pay at least *some* of the wages, they would separate money for
*all* of the wages in order not to have to pay half of their wages with
Ketores and half with money. Therefore, the first step is necessary.
(2) WHY THE KETORES MUST BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF THE ARTISANS
(b) RASHI (Shavuos 10b, DH u'Mechalelin) explains that if the Ketores was
paid directly to the artisans as their wages, it would be disgraceful for
the Ketores, since it is a disgrace to use it as a form of payment.
Therefore, they would first pay the artisans with money, being Mezakeh the
money to them so that their wages are paid off already with the money, and
then they would be Mechalel the Ketores on that money, which already belongs
to the artisans entirely. In that way, the sanctified Ketores is not being
used as wages in return for services.
(c) TOSFOS (Shavuos 10b, DH Mafrishin) says that according to Ben Azai --
who maintains that Hekdesh cannot be used as payment for services rendered,
as expressed in the next Mishnah in Shekalim (12a) -- it is clear why the
money must first be given as their wages, and not the Ketores. He holds that
the Kedushah cannot be Mechulal on *work* that was done, and used as wages.
Kedushah can be transferred only onto *tangible* assets.
Why, though, is it better to give money in return for the work than to give
Ketores? After all, the money from the Terumas ha'Lishkah is also Kadosh,
and it should not be able to be transferred onto their work! (The Gemara in
Me'ilah (14a) asserts that the rule that one cannot be Mechalel Hekdesh on
work applies to money with Kedushas Bedek ha'Bayis as well.) Perhaps the
difference is that when it comes to the money of the Terumas ha'Lishkah,
with which the artisans are paid, the Beis Din stipulates that the money may
be paid in exchange even for services ("Lev Beis Din Masneh Alehen"), as
TOSFOS in Me'ilah (14a, DH Bonin) says. Beis Din does not make this
stipulation regarding any other Hekdesh (such as the Ketores).
The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) also understands that this is the reason
why this particular procedure is used, asserting that the Mishnah is in
accordance with the opinion of Ben Azai; according to Rebbi Akiva, the
Rambam explains, the step of first giving money to the artisans' could be
left out. However, Tosfos in Shavuos adds that even according to Rebbi
Akiva, perhaps this step is necessary because Rebbi Akiva would agree that
we are not Mechalel Hekdesh of the *Tzibur* (such as the Ketores) onto work,
but only Hekdesh of an individual.
(d) TOSFOS (Shavuos, loc. cit.) adds that perhaps the artisans whom we want
to pay are those who prepared the Ketores for the *new year*, while the
leftover Ketores with which we want to pay them is from the previous year.
Therefore, they *cannot* be paid with the leftover Ketores, because their
work for this year must be remunerated with money from this year's Terumas
ha'Lishkah. There is no choice but to pay with money, and then to exchange
the Ketores onto the money and give them the Ketores.
(a) To answer the question why the Ketores had to be given to the artisans,
and it does not suffice for the Mikdash to hold on to the Ketores and be
Mechalel the Kedushah of the money from the new year's Lishkah onto the
Ketores, TOSFOS (Me'ilah 14b, DH Mosar) explains that if the Ketores is not
actually given to the workers, then we might forget and use the leftover
Ketores for this year's Avodah *before* buying it with money from the new
(b) TOSFOS there adds that it is less of a disgrace and more proper to
transfer the Kedushah of the Ketores onto the money by *exchanging* it for
the wages of the workers, than to openly *redeem* the Ketores and remove its
Kedushah. We do not want to make it look like we are trying to remove its
Kedushah. By giving it to the workers as their wages, it appears as if the
removal of its Kedushah is only an indirect result of our actions.
OPINIONS: The Mishnah says, "If the '*new*' comes on time (Im Ba Chadash
b'Zemano), then we buy the Ketores with the money of the new Lishkah, and if
not, then we buy the Ketores with the money of the old Lishkah."
What does the Mishnah mean?
(a) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that if the new year starts
and no new money has arrived, then b'Di'eved, products bought from the
previous year's money may be used. The Mishnah is teaching that b'Di'eved,
it is permitted to use money from last year's Lishkah for products being
used in this year's Avodah (as the Rambam rules in Hilchos Shekalim 4:11).
(The BARTENURA and others explain the Mishnah like this as well.)
(b) RABEINU SHLOMO SIRILIYO explains that the word in the Mishnah is not
"Chadash" (the new money) but "Chodesh" (month). It means that if Rosh
Chodesh Nisan was declared in its time (that is, the thirtieth day of Adar
was declared to be the first day of Nisan), then the Ketores for the new
year must be purchased from the new year's Terumas ha'Lishkah. However, if
the month did not come in its time, but Adar was thirty days long and Rosh
Chodesh Nisan was the day after the thirtieth of Adar, then the Mishnah says
that since Rosh Chodesh Nisan is not in its proper time, the products for
that day (the Korbanos for Rosh Chodesh) do not need to be purchased from
the new Terumas ha'Lishkah but may be bought even from last year's Terumas
(Perhaps Rabeinu Shlomo Siriliyo is not referring to the the products of the
day *after* the thirtieth of Adar, but rather he means that if the witnesses
came to testify about the sighting of the new moon on the thirtieth of Adar
after the morning Korbanos were already offered (and they were already
bought from last year's Lishkah; alternatively, if the witnesses came after
Minchah and we will not accept their testimony today, see Re'ah Beitzah 6a),
then we do not have be careful to bring the rest of the day's Korbanos from
the new Lishkah, even though the day is declared as Rosh Chodesh Nisan.
(TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER, on the Mishnah, cites an explanation similar to
this from the TUREI EVEN.)