THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) BLOOD THAT SPILLS ON A GARMENT THAT IS "TAMEI"
QUESTION: Rami bar Chama asks what the Halachah is in a case in which the
blood of a Chatas spills on a garment that is Tamei. Does the Torah require
the garment to be cleaned? From his question, we see that Rami bar Chama
maintains that the only reason why the garment might require cleaning is
because the blood becomes Tamei at the same moment that it reaches the
garment. If the blood would have been Pasul for any reason before it reached
the garment, then it would not require cleaning (unlike Rebbi Akiva's
opinion on 92b).
The CHELKAS YOAV (in Kava d'Kushyasa #65) writes that he does not understand
the Gemara's question. The Gemara later (98b) quotes Rava who asks about a
case in which the blood of an Olah (which does not requires cleaning) falls
onto a garment, and then the blood of a Chatas falls onto the same place
where the Olah-blood fell. Does the garment need to be cleaned because the
Chatas-blood *touched* it, or does the garment *not* need to be cleaned
because the Chatas-blood did not become *absorbed* in it (because the
garment is already saturated with the blood of the Chatas)? Rava answers
that the garment does not need to be cleaned. Rava clearly maintains that
cleaning is necessary only when the blood of a Chatas becomes *absorbed*
into a garment.
The Chelkas Yoav says that according to Rava's view, Rami bar Chama's
question is based on an incorrect premise. Rami bar Chama asks that because
the blood becomes Pasul at the same moment that it touches Tamei garment,
perhaps the garment does not need to be cleaned. This implies that if the
garment was not Tamei, then the blood would require it to be cleaned at the
moment that it *touches* the garment (and not when it becomes absorbed into
the garment). According to Rava, blood that falls on a Tamei garment never
requires the garment to be cleaned, because the blood becomes Tamei at the
moment that it touches the garment, long before it becomes absorbed into the
garment. Accordingly, there should be no difference between the case of
blood that falls on a Tamei garment, and blood that was Pasul before it fell
on a Tahor garment. Why does the Gemara not address this logic at all?
(a) The CHOK NASAN answers in the name of the MIRKEVES HA'MISHNEH that there
is obviously an argument between Rami bar Chama and Rava regarding what
necessitates cleaning a garment onto which blood of a Chatas spilled. Rami
bar Chama maintains that as soon as the blood *touches* the garment, the
obligation to clean the garment takes effect, while Rava maintains that it
does not take effect until the blood becomes *absorbed* into the garment.
With this answer, we can understand the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh
ha'Korbanos 8:9) as well. The Rambam rules, unlike the conclusion of our
Gemara, that the garment does *not* require cleaning. The KESEF MISHNEH is
perplexed why the Rambam rules contrary to the conclusion of the Gemara. The
MAHARI KURKAS concludes that either there is a mistake in our text of the
Rambam, or the Rambam himself had a different (and mistaken) text of the
Gemara. However, based on the Mirkeves ha'Mishneh's assertion that Rami bar
Chama and Rava are arguing about what obligates the garment to be cleaned,
we can suggest that the Rambam is ruling like Rava's opinion later (98b)
that only blood which is absorbed into a garment requires cleaning, as
opposed to the opinion of Rami bar Chama. (See also the Chok Nasan's
difficulties with the answer given by the CHAZON NACHUM.) This answer is
also given by the MITZPEH EISAN.
The CHAZON ISH (Zevachim 20:4) has great difficulty with this explanation.
Our Gemara never mentions any challenge to the logic of Rami bar Chama's
question, neither in the beginning nor in the end of the Gemara's
discussion. Why would the Gemara pursue an entire discussion without
bringing up a relevant objection to this logic?
(b) The CHAZON ISH answers that Rava's position later is not relevant to the
discussion of the Gemara here. Rava maintains that at the moment that blood
reaches a clean garment, it is considered absorbed into the garment as well.
This is because whenever blood falls on a garment, it will always make the
garment dirty, which is already called "being absorbed." Rava's case in the
Gemara later deals with the blood of an Olah which acts as a barrier,
preventing the garment from absorbing any of the blood of the Chatas in even
the slightest manner. When one washes off such a stain, he is washing off
the blood of the Olah from the garment, and the blood of the Chatas would
not even be considered as having been washed from the garment. This is why
Rava concludes that there is no Mitzvah to wash such a garment. (See also
YAD BINYAMIN who gives this explanation.) Accordingly, Rava would agree with
Rami bar Chama.
However, this answer leaves us with a question on the Rambam. Why does the
Rambam rule contrary to the conclusion of our Gemara, if there is no other
opinion that disputes Rami bar Chama?
Based on the Chazon Ish's approach, the KEHILOS YAKOV (Pesachim #11,
Zevachim #38) answers a different question on this ruling of the Rambam. The
AMUDEI OR (#70) asks that the Rambam (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 1:6)
rules that blood of Kodshim cannot become Tamei *at all.* This seems to
contradict the Rambam that we are discussing (in Hilchos Ma'aseh
ha'Korbanos), who says that the blood of a Chatas that falls onto a Tamei
garment does not require cleaning. The reason for this, as our Gemara
explains, is because Tamei blood does not cause a garment to need cleaning!
If the Rambam rules that blood of Kodshim never becomes Tamei, then the
blood surely should make the garment require cleaning!
The Kehilos Yakov explains that the Rambam understands that the blood which
falls on the Tamei garment is not considered to be Tamei as a result of
touching a Tamei garment. Rather, the Rambam follows the explanation of
Rava, who says that only when blood is considered absorbed in a garment is
it considered Tamei as a result of the Tamei garment. This is because of the
rule that something which is attached to a Tamei item is considered Tamei
like it, as long as it is attached (see Kelim 18:7-8, 19:5), as the Rambam
himself writes (Hilchos Tum'as Ochlin 2:20). Using a logic similar to that
of the Chazon Ish that blood resting on a clean garment is always considered
absorbed as well, we can understand that the blood acquires the status of
the garment, giving the blood the status of Tamei blood. This is why the
Rambam rules that the blood does not make the Tamei garment require
cleaning. (Y. Montrose)
2) WIPING OFF THE LEFTOVER BLOOD OF THE "PARAH ADUMAH" FROM THE FINGER
QUESTION: The Gemara says that one may not perform the sprinkling of the
blood of a Parah Adumah with the leftover blood (from the preceding Haza'ah)
from one's fingers. Rather, one must obtain blood new blood from the
container for each Haza'ah. Abaye quotes a Beraisa which (according to the
Gemara's conclusion) says that when the Kohen completes all of the Haza'os,
he must wipe the blood left on his hand onto the body of the Parah. RASHI
(DH Mekane'ach) explains that this is because all of the blood of the Parah
Adumah must be burned, and thus it is wiped on the body of the Parah which
will be burned. However, this is not the way that the Kohen is to wipe the
leftover blood from his finger between each Haza'ah. RASHI (DH ba'Meh)
explains that if he would wipe his finger on the Parah between the Haza'os,
then hairs from the Parah would get stuck to his fingers (causing a
separation between his finger and the blood that needs to be sprinkled).
Abaye says, therefore, that the Kohen must wipe his finger on the edge of
the Mizrak, the container holding the blood.
This Gemara poses a difficult question on the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos
Parah Adumah 3:2). The Rambam relates that the leftover blood on one's
finger cannot be used for the next Haza'ah, "and, therefore, after every
Haza'ah he wipes his finger *on the body of the Parah*." Why does the Rambam
ignore the Gemara which clearly rejects this practice and says that the
finger must be wiped on the edge of the Mizrak?
(a) The KESEF MISHNEH explains that we can understand the words of the
Rambam based on his ruling elsewhere. The Rambam (ibid. 4:4) rules like the
Sifri that says that the Mitzvah is to receive the blood of the Parah Adumah
using one's hand, and there is no Mitzvah to use a Kli (see also SHITAH
MEKUBETZES in Menachos 7b, #15, who presents various texts in the Gemara
there which support the Rambam's opinion). Indeed, the Rambam rules that if
the blood is receive in a Kli, the Parah Adumah becomes Pasul. The Sifri
clearly argues with our Gemara, which maintains that the blood of the Parah
Adumah is received in a Mizrak. Since the Rambam maintains that a Mizrak is
not used, the Rambam rules that one should wipe one's finger on the Parah
itself (since there is nothing else to wipe it on). (See also LECHEM MISHNEH
in Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 5:8.)
However, the MA'ASEH ROKE'ACH (Hilchos Parah Adumah 3:2) quotes the ETZ
CHAYIM who asks a basic question that refutes the Kesef Mishneh's answer.
Even if one must receive the blood in his hand and not in a Mizrak, why can
the Kohen not simply bring a Mizrak to solve the problem of where he should
wipe his finger?
(b) The MA'ASEH ROKE'ACH explains that there is another Sifri which states
in the name of Rav Nachman that one should wipe his hands on the body of the
Parah. Even though the Sifri mentions the wiping of the "hands," which our
Gemara agrees is done after all of the Haza'os have been performed, the
Sifri there is referring to all of the blood, even the blood which is
leftover on the finger between each Haza'ah. He says that this is also how
HA'RAV GEDALYAH understands this Sifri. The Rambam here apparently follows
the explanation of the Sifri (as we mentioned above in the name of the Kesef
Mishneh), which seems to be saying that not only the hand, but the finger as
well, should be wiped on the Parah after each Haza'ah.
How, though, does the Rambam understand our Gemara, which says that the
finger should be wiped on the Mizrak? Apparently, the Rambam understands
that the Gemara is giving only one possible answer of how to clean off the
blood, but there are other ways, such as by wiping it on the Parah itself.
(c) The RA'AVAD agrees with the Rambam that one *may* use his hand to
receive the blood of the Parah Adumah. However, he argues that there is no
source to say that the Parah Adumah is Pasul if one uses a Kli to receive
the blood. He quotes our Gemara as proof that this cannot disqualify the
Parah Adumah. Since the Gemara says that the finger is wiped on the Mizrak,
it must be that the Mizrak was there because it was used to receive the blood.
The Ra'avad continues and says that not only is it permitted to use the
Mizrak to receive the blood, but the Mizrak serves another important
function. As we mentioned above, all of the blood of the Parah was supposed
to be burned. This would be very difficult if the blood was received by
hand, as some of the blood inevitably would spill on the floor. The Mizrak
was not necessarily used to collect the blood for the Zerikah, but rather to
collect all of the blood to be burned later with the Parah Adumah. (Y.