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Shekalim 20


The Mishnah says that if one finds an animal within a certain distance outside of Yerushalayim, one must be stringent and assume that it was designated to be a Korban. If it is a male animal, it is brought as an Olah, and if it is a female animal, it is brought as a Shelamim.

The Gemara questions why we assume that a lost male animal is an Olah. However, the text of the Gemara is unclear, and the VILNA GA'ON makes extensive changes in the Girsa. The key to understanding the Sugya is to learn the complementary Sugya in Kidushin (55a) which discusses this Mishnah and deals with much of the same issues as our Sugya. The Vilna Gaon's changes are based on the Gemara in Kidushin, and after analyzing his approach, it becomes apparent that we can understand our Sugya the way the Vilna Ga'on understands it, but without the changes in the Girsa that he makes. (Talmidim of the Gaon, such as the "Bnei Moshe," write in numerous places that the Gaon taught them Sugyos in the Yerushalmi with the original Girsa, but explained them in such a way that the explanation matched his suggested Girsa changes. This may be an important rule for understanding how the Gaon made such numerous and extensive emendations in the Masoretic text of the Mishnah and Yerushalmi -M. Kornfeld.)

The flow of the Gemara here should be broken down into five steps:

[Step 1] After the Mishnah states that a male animal is assumed to be an Olah, the Gemara is immediately bothered by a question. Why do we assume that a male animal is an Olah? A male animal can also be a Shelamim, and perhaps this animal was sanctified to be brought as a Shelamim and not as an Olah! The Gemara, therefore, assumes that the Mishnah does not mean that the animal is brought as an Olah; rather, the Mishnah means that the animal is brought as *both* an Olah and a Shelamim.

However, how can one animal be used for two Korbanos? It must be that the person transfers the Kedushah of the animal onto two new animals, one to be brought as an Olah and the other to be brought as a Shelamim. He stipulates, "If the original animal is an Olah, then I hereby am Mechalel it onto the first new animal; if it is a Shelamim, then I hereby am Mechalel it onto the second new animal, and whichever one of the two animals animal is left without being sanctified, will be brought as a Nedavah."

This is what Rav Hoshiyah means when he says, "la'Vo b'Demeihen Shanu." He is saying that one does not bring the animal itself that was found, but rather one brings other animals equal in value to the original one, bringing one as an Olah and the other as a Shelamim.

(Of course, the finder is not *obligated* to do this, for it involves donating a second animal on his own. If he wants, he may leave the animal to graze until it becomes blemished and then redeem it. However, if he wants to avoid any doubt and bring the correct Korban with this animal, this is the procedure that he should do.)

[Step 2] The Gemara questions this procedure. We never find that one may be Mechalel a perfect, unblemished animal onto another animal. Why, then, in this case does the Mishnah suggest that one can be Mechalel this unblemished animal and bring two animals in its place according to its value?

The Gemara in Kidushin explains that indeed, there is no act of Chilul (removal of Kedushah) being done here. Rather, the original animal is losing its Kedushah through *Me'ilah* (misuse of Kodshim, such as using it to purchase another animal). Me'ilah, like Chilul, removes Kedushah from an object, and it works even for an unblemished animal. (Although it was said that the Kedushah of Kodshei Mizbe'ach, such as Korbanos, cannot be removed, that is only when one does not intend to remove the Kedushah. If one intends to remove the Kedushah, then the Kedushah can be effectively removed.) Therefore, if one has intention to remove the Kedushah from the animal, it is like he is performing Me'ilah which removes its Kedushah. This, however, is only according to the opinion of Rebbi Meir in Kidushin (54b) who says that Me'ilah committed *intentionally* (b'Mezid) is able to remove the Kedushah of an object. Rebbi Yehudah argues and says that the Kedushah only leaves the object if Me'ilah was committed unintentionally (b'Shogeg).

The problem now, however, is why is this person being told to commit Me'ilah ("Tzei u'Me'ol b'Kodshim") in order to remove the animal's Kedushah? Me'ilah is forbidden! The answer is that the Mishnah is referring to a case when he did it already (b'Di'eved), and not that we tell him to do it (Tosfos, Kidushin 55a). Alternatively, the Mishnah means that since he is doing it in order to bring a Korban, which is something positive and desirable, it is permitted.

However, Rebbi Yochanan rejects these two answers and says that this case is no different than a normal case of Me'ilah, which is forbidden. The Mishnah implies that it is *permitted* (l'Chatchilah) to make the animal into an Olah, and therefore Rav Hoshiyah must be incorrect.

[Step 3] The Gemara therefore returns to the beginning of the discussion and says that the reason one brings the animal as an Olah (even though a male animal can also be brought as a Shelamim) is because *most* male animals are brought as Olos, because an Olah can only be brought from a male animal.

The Gemara was unaware of the implied question which Rav Hoshiyah was answering, and thus it is now bothered by that question -- how can this animal be brought as an Olah, if male animals can also be brought as Shelamim, and it is not logical to say that "most male animals are brought as Olos."

Rather, it must be that the Kedushah of the animal is transferred to two other animals, and one is brought as an Olah and one as a Shelamim, exactly as Rav Hoshiyah had suggested. (The Gemara did not know *why* Rebbi Hoshiyah was saying that one transfers the Kedushah from the original animal and brings two new animals, one as an Olah and one as a Shelamim. It was not aware of the question that he was addressing, until this point when it runs into that question itself.)

Consequently, the Gemara is bothered by the same question that was asked on Rav Hoshiyah -- how is one permitted to remove the Kedushah from an unblemished animal, and to transfer it onto another animal? The Gemara asks, "Keitzad Hu Oseh, Motzi'in l'Chulin v'Chozer v'Oseh Osan Olos?" "What should he do -- redeem the animal and bring with its value Olos [and Shelamim]?" One is not permitted to redeem an unblemished animal!

[Step 4] The Gemara answers ("Amar Rebbi Ze'eira") that it is not always true that one may not redeem an unblemished animal. We find that a "Tenai Beis Din" is able to make a Chatas into an Olah (11b), and so, too, it can make a (Safek) Shelamim into an Olah.

[Step 5] Then, Rebbi Yosi asks one final question and says that "this is Mezid" and how can one intentionally remove the Kedushah from an animal?

What is he asking? We just said that it is a Tenai Beis Din, and thus there is no transgression being committed when he removes the Kedushah!

It must be that Rebbi Yosi is referring back to Rav Hoshiyah's statement and is asking a question on that original statement. Rav Hoshiyah stated that one may commit Me'ilah and remove the Kedushah from an animal. Rebbi Yochanan asked that it should not be permitted to do such a thing l'Chatchilah. Rebbi Yosi is asking another question on Rav Hoshiyah. Me'ilah removes the Kedushah from an object only when it is done b'Shogeg (according to Rebbi Yehudah). True, Rebbi Meir holds that Me'ilah removes the Kedushah even when it is done b'Mezid, but the Halachah follows Rebbi Yehudah. How, then, can Rav Hoshiyah explain the Mishnah according to the non-Halachic opinion of Rebbi Meir, asks Rebbi Yosi.

The Gemara comes to the same conclusion as it concluded earlier. It is a Tenai Beis Din that allows the animal to be brought as an Olah even if it was originally set aside as a Shelamim.


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