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Yevamos, 33

YEVAMOS 33 & 34 - sponsored by Hagaon Rav Yosef Pearlman of London, a living demonstration of love for and adoration of the Torah.


QUESTION: The Gemara (32b) discusses three cases which are the subject of a dispute between Rebbi Chiya and Bar Kapara. The first case is that of a non-Kohen who performed an Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash on Shabbos ("Zar she'Shimesh b'Shabbos"). Rebbi Chiya maintains that he is Chayav for doing two Isurim -- for desecrating Shabbos, and for doing Avodah as a non-Kohen. Bar Kapara maintains that he is Chayav for only one Isur -- for doing Avodah as a non-Kohen.

The Gemara here explores the exact details of the case and the point of the Machlokes between Rebbi Chiya and Bar Kapara. What Avodah did the Zar perform? It cannot be, asks the Gemara, that he is Chayav for two Isurim for performing the Shechitah of a Korban on Shabbos, because a Zar is permitted to do Shechitah!

RASHI (33b, DH Shechitah b'Zar) comments that since a Zar can perform Shechitah, "there is no Isur of Zarus (i.e. doing an Avodah as a non-Kohen)," implying that a Zar who slaughters a public Korban on Shabbos will only be Chayav for one Isur (Chilul Shabbos).

Why does Rashi say that by performing Shechitah on Shabbos, the Zar transgresses the Isur of Chilul Shabbos? If a Zar is permitted to perform the Shechitah of a Korban, then there should be no Isur of Chilul Shabbos either when he does the Shechitah of a public Korban on Shabbos! (SHA'AR HA'MELECH Bi'as Mikdash 6:10)

In fact, the Mishnah in Pesachim (64a) states, "The same way it (the Korban Pesach) is offered during the week, it is offered on Shabbos." During the week, the Mishnah clearly says that the owner of the Pesach, a Zar, slaughters it. If so, it can be learned from the Mishnah that on Shabbos as well, the Korban Pesach may be slaughtered by a Zar! (RASHASH)

ANSWER: Although the Shechitah of a Zar is certainly valid, the Torah requires that, l'Chatchilah, a Kohen perform the Shechitah of any Korban Tzibur (a public Korban, such as the Korban Tamid), as the RITVA (Yoma 25a DH u'Shtei Defanos) and ME'IRI write (Yoma 25a, 31b). Since the Korban is being brought on behalf of the Tzibur, it is appropriate that the Kohen -- who is the appointed Shali'ach of the community -- perform the Shechitah of the Korban for them. Since the Zar may not perform the Shechitah l'Chatchilah, if he does do it on Shabbos, he transgresses the Isur of doing Shechitah on Shabbos. The Torah only permits doing Shechitah on Shabbos when it is done in a manner that is fully sanctioned, i.e. l'Chatchilah. (As Rebbi Chiya said, "The Torah only permitted Avodah on Shabbos for [those who are told to do the Avodah,] the Kohanim, not for Zarim.")

The Shechitah of the Korban Pesach is different, and it may be done by a Zar even on Shabbos. This is because the Korban Pesach is privately owned, and whenever a Korban is privately owned, there is a Mitzvah l'Chatchilah for the owner himself to slaughter the Korban (see Rashi, Pesachim 7b DH Pesach; see, however, Rashi Pesachim 64a DH Shachat Yisrael). Therefore, it is permitted for a Zar to slaughter the Korban Pesach on Shabbos.

This answer is based upon the premise that the Torah does not permit doing an act of Melachah on Shabbos in a situation where the act is prohibited l'Chatchilah. The OR SAMEI'ACH (in CHIDUSHEI RABEINU MEIR SIMCHAH) adduces proof to this principle from the Gemara's explanation (33a) of the second case about which Rebbi Chiya and Bar Kapara argue. They argue whether a Ba'al Mum (a Kohen with a blemish) who performs an Avodah while he is Tamei is Chayav for two Isurim (Ba'al Mum doing Avodah, Tamei doing the Avodah), or for only one Isur (Ba'al Mum doing Avodah). The Gemara says that the case under question is where the two Isurim took effect at the same moment. The Gemara explains that such a case exists when a Kohen became a Ba'al Mum by cutting off his finger with a knife that was Tamei. At the same moment that he became a Ba'al Mum, he became Tamei as well.

The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bi'as Mikdash 8:11) counts a missing finger as one of the blemishes which invalidate a Kohen from doing an Avodah *l'Chatchilah*, but b'Di'eved his Avodah is valid. Why, then, should he be Chayav (according to Rebbi Chiya) for the Isur of Tamei doing Avodah? From here we see that even though his Avodah is valid b'Di'eved, the Torah does not give him the permit to bring a Korban Tzibur b'Tum'ah since l'Chatchilah he should not be offering sacrifices altogether. (See also the Gemara earlier, Daf 20b, regarding Tefisas Yibum b'Di'eved with Chayavei Lavin)

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