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Yevamos, 73


QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Mishnah in Bikurim that contrasts the laws of Terumah and Bikurim with the laws of Ma'aser Sheni, showing the ways in which Terumah and Bikurim are more stringent than Ma'aser, and the ways in which Ma'aser is more stringent than Terumah and Bikurim. Among the Chumros of Terumah and Bikurim are that one is Chayav Misah for advertently eating Terumah and Bikurim, one must pay a Chomesh (a fifth) for inadvertently eating them, and they are prohibited to a Zar (a non-Kohen).

Since the Mishnah states that a Zar is Chayav Misah for eating Terumah and Bikurim, and that he must pay a Chomesh for eating them inadvertently, it is obvious that Terumah and Bikurim are prohibited to a Zar! Why, then, does the Mishnah mention, as an additional Chumra, that Terumah and Bikurim are prohibited to a Zar? (TOSFOS, TOSFOS YESHANIM)

In addition, the Gemara in Yoma (73b) asks why the Mishnah there says that it is prohibited to eat and drink on Yom Kipur. The Mishnah states that eating and drinking are punishable with Kares, and thus it is inappropriate to say that eating and drinking are just "prohibited." Why, then, does the Mishnah in Bikurim say that Terumah and Bikurim are prohibited for a Zar to eat, when a Zar is not just prohibited from eating them but is even punished with Misah? (ME'IRI)


(a) RASHI in Bava Metzia (53a, DH va'Asurim) answers that the Mishnah says the words "Asurim l'Zarim" only because it wants to conclude "Mah sh'Ein Ken b'Ma'aser," contrasting the laws of Terumah and Bikurim with Ma'aser. By adding the words "Asurim l'Zarim," the Mishnah is teaching that Ma'aser is different not only in that a Zar is not punished for eating it, but it is even permitted l'Chatchilah for a Zar to eat it. "Asurim l'Zarim" teaches us by inference that Ma'aser is permitted to Zarim.

TOSFOS (here and in Bava Metzia) rejects this explanation, because we find the first half of this Mishnah, listing the Chumros of Terumah and Bikurim, again in a Mishnah in Chalah (1:9) regarding the Chumros of Chalah and Bikurim. There, however, the Mishnah does not end by contrasting the laws of Chalah and Bikurim with the laws of Ma'aser, even though it begins by saying that Chalah and Bikurim are "Asurim l'Zarim!" According to Rashi's explanation, there is no point in saying "Asurim l'Zarim" there!

The RITVA here defends Rashi's explanation and says that occasionally a Mishnah uses the same wording that it used elsewhere, even though it is not fully appropriate in the present context. (See, for instance, Makos 2:8 "k'Yotzei Bo, Rotze'ach...," which is based on the wording of the Mishnah in Shevi'is 10:8.) Accordingly, the Mishnah in Chalah is borrowing the wording of the Mishnah in Bikurim, even though the words "Asurim l'Zarim" are unnecessary in Chalah, since the Mishnah there does not contrast the laws of Bikurim and Terumah with those of Ma'aser.

(b) RASHI in Yevamos seems to suggest another answer. When the Mishnah says that one is punishable with Misah for eating Terumah and Bikurim, it is not referring to a Zar who eats those items, but rather to a Kohen who is Tamei who eats them. This also seems to be the approach of the Yerushalmi in Bikurim (2:1) according to Rav. (See MAHARSHA; see also RASHASH (and also ARUCH LA'NER) who suggests another reason why Rashi says that the Mishnah is discussing a Kohen who is Tamei, and not a Zar.)

Why, though, does the Mishnah says that Terumah and Bikurim are "Asurim l'Zarim" if it says already that one must pay a Chomesh for eating them? A Kohen does not pay Chomesh for inadvertently eating Terumah or Bikurim while *Tamei*! This question apparently does not bother Rashi. Perhaps Rashi learned like the Me'iri, that the fact that one is obligated to pay a Chomesh for eating Terumah does not necessarily show that he is prohibited from eating it. One might have thought that it is permitted to eat it, but one has to pay a Chomesh for doing so, and therefore the Mishnah must add that it is prohibited to eat Terumah and Bikurim. (See, however, RASHI in Gitin 21b, DH Lo Efshar.)

(c) The ARUCH (Erech Te'an) answers that "Asurim l'Zarim" teaches that Terumah and Bikurim remain prohibited to a Zar even after Pidyon; that is, it is not possible to redeem Terumah or Bikurim, while it is possible to redeem Ma'aser.

TOSFOS, however, rejects this answer, because Rav Ashi (74a) says that the Mishnah *omitted* the Chumra that Terumah and Bikurim have no Pidyon, and it was one of several Chumros that the Mishnah intentionally left out ("Tana v'Shayar").

It could be that the Aruch understood that the other Amora'im in our Sugya are arguing with Rav Ashi. They hold that "Ein Lahem Pidyon" was not omitted from the Mishnah, but was included in the Mishnah in the words "Asurim l'Zarim." He only meant to answer the wording of the Mishnah according to those Amora'im, in his first answer.

(d) The ARUCH cites another answer from the Yerushalmi (Bikurim 2:1, according to the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan there). The Yerushalmi suggests that "Asurim l'Zarim" refers to the Isur to eat Chatzi Shi'ur (less than the minimum amount that is necessary for receiving punishment), which is not punishable with Misah, nor does it require a payment of Chomesh.

However, if Chatzi Shi'ur is Asur in all Isurim (Yoma 73b), why does the Mishnah have to point out this Halachah specifically with regard to Terumah and Bikurim?

The TOSFOS YESHANIM and other Rishonim answer that eating Terumah and eating Bikurim are Isurim that are not "Shaveh ba'Kol," since they do not apply to all Jews equally (i.e. they do not apply to Kohanim). We might have thought that the Torah (or Rabanan, see Yoma 73b) did not prohibit Chatzi Shi'ur of such Isurim. Therefore, the Mishnah teaches us that even Chatzi Shi'ur of Terumah and Bikurim is Asur.

(e) The ME'IRI (in the name of "Yesh Mefarshim") says that "Asurim l'Zarim" means that Terumah and Bikurim are Asur b'Hana'ah -- it is prohibited to derive benefit from them, in addition to being prohibited to eat them. Although we find that it is permitted to derive benefit from Terumah, it is only permitted when the Terumah item will not be consumed in the process. It is prohibited to derive benefit from Terumah in a manner that does not preserve the Terumah itself. (See TOSFOS 66b, DH Lo.)

If one does derive benefit by destroying the Terumah, he is not punished with Misah or Chomesh, but he does transgress an Isur. This is what the Mishnah is teaching when it says that Terumah and Bikurim are "Asurim l'Zarim." (See MITZPEH EISAN for another answer.)


QUESTION: The Gemara compares Terumah to Kodesh, and attempts to prove that Kodesh is more Chamur. To show that Kodesh is more Chamur, the Gemara says that one is punished with Kares (early death and childlessness) for eating Kodesh while one is Tamei. The Gemara then counters that perhaps Terumah is more Chamur, because one who eats Terumah while Tamei is punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim (death at the hands of heaven).

In what way does the punishment of Misah b'Yedei Shamayim make Terumah more Chamur than Kodesh? The punishment of Kares includes the death of one's children, but Misah affects only the transgressor himself. In addition, when being punished with Kares, a person dies between the ages of 50 and 60, but when punished with Misah, although a person passes away before his destined time, he can even be older than 60! (See Background to the Daf.) How, then, can Misah b'Yedei Shamayim be more severe than Kares, when Kares itself *includes* Misah?


(a) TOSFOS (DH she'Ken) answers that the Gemara, when it mentions Misah, is not referring to the punishment for eating Terumah while one is Tamei. Rather, it is referring to the punishment for a *Zar*, a non-Kohen who eats Terumah. The punishment for a Zar who eats Terumah is Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, while a Zar who eats Kodshim is punished only with lashes (see also Rambam, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 11:8), and not with Misah or Kares. In this way, Terumah is more Chamur than Kodshim.

However, Rashi (DH Pigul, DH Machpaz) explains that the Gemara is referring to a *Tamei* who eats Terumah and Kodshim, and not to a *Zar*.

(b) TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ (in Pesachim 32b) quotes RABEINU SHMUEL of Evreux, who cites a Yerushalmi that states that Misah is more severe than Kares in one respect. When one is punished with Misah, all of his possessions are also destroyed. When one is punished with Kares, though, his possessions are spared. This is also the opinion of RABEINU YONAH in Sha'arei Teshuvah (section 3, level 6): when it comes to Misah, the punishment includes the eventual destruction of a person's animals and possessions, as it says, "Alah Maves b'Chaloneinu" (Yirmiyahu 9:20).

Perhaps this phenomenon may be understood as follows. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 48b) teaches that "when the court kills a person (who is deserving of the death penalty), his belongings pass on to his legal heirs. However, when the king kills someone for disobeying his word, the king takes the person's property as well." Kares is a punishment meted out by the "heavenly court," often because the earthly courts are not able to deal with the matter (for example, because the sinner was not given Hasra'ah). As part of the framework of Torah punishments, it is in the same category as Misas Beis Din.

In contrast, Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, is punishment "at the hands of heaven" - - that is, it is a direct punishment from Hashem for offending His majesty in some manner, comparable to those killed for offending the king. It is prescribed only to those who defile His chosen portion or sanctuary. (Examples of this are a Zar who eats Terumah, Bikurim or Chalah, a Kohen Tamei who eats Terumah, one who eats Tevel from which Terumah was not separated, one who misuses Hekdesh according to Rebbi, improper behavior in the Mikdash such as a Zar who performs the Avodah or a Kohen who enters the Kodesh ha'Kodashim for no reason, as listed by the RAMBAN in Hilchos Sanhedrin 19:2. Interestingly, even the instances of Misah b'Yedei Shamayim "d'Rabanan" that Rabeinu Yonah (ibid.) lists fit neatly into this category.)

When Misah is administered, the person is, in a sense, being killed for offending the King. Just as when one offends a king of flesh and blood, the person's heirs lose the family fortune, so, too, Hashem, the King, confiscates the guilty party's property and takes back what was always His. (M. Kornfeld; see also Insights to Pesachim 32:2.)

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