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Menachos, 105


QUESTION: The Mishnah (104b) records an argument between the Chachamim and Rebbi regarding a person who forgot exactly how many Esronim he pledged to bring as a Korban Minchah. The Chachamim say that he should bring sixty Esronim. RASHI (DH Yavi Shishim) explains that when the person brings the sixty Esronim, he must stipulate that the amount in those sixty Esronim that he pledged should fulfill his Neder, and if there is anything extra, it should be a voluntarily Minchah offering. Rebbi argues and says that the person must bring sixty different Menachos. The first should contain one Isaron, the second two Esronim, the third three, and so on. Rashi (DH Rebbi Omer) explains that Rebbi holds that a person who says that he is going to bring a set amount of Esronim in his Minchah must bring that amount in one vessel, and not more and not less. Since the amounts are measured by Esronim, with the maximum amount being sixty, he must bring every possible amount as a Minchah in order to ensure that he fulfills his pledge.

We know that in arguments between the Chachamim and a single Tana, the Chachamim's opinion is usually followed as the Halachah, unless the Gemara says otherwise. Accordingly, we may ask why the RAMBAM rules like Rebbi and not like the Chachamim. The Rambam (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 17:8) rules that one who forgot "how many Esronos he pledged and in how many vessels" should bring sixty different Menachos, as Rebbi maintains. Why does the Rambam rule like Rebbi?

Moreover, as the KESEF MISHNEH asks, the Rambam himself in PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS says that the Halachah does *not* follow the view of Rebbi! How are we to understand the ruling of the Rambam?


(a) The RADVAZ says that the Rambam indeed rules like Rebbi. The Rambam retracted what he wrote in Perush ha'Mishnayos because of the Gemara's discussion (104b) of the earlier statement in the Mishnah. The Mishnah states that "if one specified [a certain amount of flour to bring as a Minchah], and he does not know how much he specified, he brings a Minchah of sixty Esronim." In the Gemara, Chizkiyah states that this statement does not follow the view of Rebbi, since Rebbi would say in such a case that the person must bring sixty separate Menachos in order to make sure that his pledge is fulfilled. Rebbi Yochanan says that even Rebbi agrees with this part of the Mishnah. The case in this part of the Mishnah is referring to a person who said that he knew he specified an amount of Esronim (which he forgot), and that he knew that he did not say that he would bring them in a vessel. Rebbi agrees that as long as the person did not specify that he would place the Minchah in a vessel, he may bring one Minchah of sixty Esronim.

The Radvaz explains that the Rambam understands that we see from the fact that Rebbi Yochanan made a point to say that Rebbi might agree with this part of the Mishnah, that Rebbi Yochanan held that the Halachah follows the view of Rebbi. In addition, the Gemara later (106a) discusses the basis for the argument between Rebbi and the Chachamim. Rav Chisda there explains that the basis of the argument is whether or not one is allowed to bring Chulin into the Azarah. Rebbi holds that it is forbidden, and therefore he holds that one may not bring the rest of the Minchah, which the person did not pledge to bring, into the Azarah (Rav Chisda learns that the rest of the Minchah remains Chulin; see Rashi to 106a, DH Raban Savri). Since the Rambam rules (in Hilchos Shechitah 2:3) that one may not bring Chulin into the Azarah, it makes sense that he should also rule like Rebbi.

(b) The LECHEM MISHNEH (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 17:8) argues that the Rambam does *not* rule like Rebbi, as he states in Perush ha'Mishnayos. The argument between Rebbi and the Chachamim applies only when the person is uncertain how many Esronim he dedicated, while he is certain that he dedicated them in one vessel. The Rambam's case of a person who forgot "how many Esronos he pledged and in how many vessels" is entirely different; in that case, the person has a doubt not only regarding the amount of Esronim he pledged, but also about the amount of vessels he pledged to bring them in! The Lechem Mishneh suggests that, in such a case, even the Chachamim agree that one should bring sixty different Menachos, as Rebbi states in the previous case. The Lechem Mishneh proves this by saying that the Rambam did not have to specify that the person forgot "how many vessels" if he was ruling like Rebbi, since Rebbi does not require this doubt in order for one to have to bring sixty Menachos. A similar explanation is given by the BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH and the TZON KODASHIM (see, however, SEFAS EMES on the Mishnah who has difficulty with both explanations). (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case of a doubt about the identity of a Korban. The Korban might be an Asham Metzora, and it might be a Shelamim. The Gemara quotes Rebbi Shimon who says that the owner should bring the Korban accompanied by a Log of oil and stipulate that if the animal is an Asham, then it will serve as his Asham Metzora with the Log of oil. If it is not an Asham, then he is offering it as a Korban Shelamim. Since the animal might be either Korban, one must treat it with the stringencies of both types of Korbanos. Consequently, the animal must be slaughtered in the north, its blood must be placed on the fingers of the Metzora, and it may be eaten for only one day and night, in accordance with the stringencies of an Asham Metzora. In addition, it must be brought with Nesachim, and Tenufah must be done with it, as for any Korban Shelamim.

Rebbi Shimon mentions one more thing in his list of stringencies. He says that the animal requires Semichah. Why does Rebbi Shimon mention Semichah as a stringency of a Korban Shelamim? Semichah is required for *both* a Shelamim and an Asham Metzora!


(a) TOSFOS (DH u'Semichah) answers that Rebbi Shimon holds like the opinion in Zevachim (33a) that says that the Semichah done for an Asham Metzora is only mid'Rabanan. The normal manner of Semichah is done by leaning on the animal with both hands, putting all of one's weight on the animal. The Gemara in Chagigah (16b) says that if one is not supposed to do Semichah and does so, he transgresses the prohibition of doing work with Kodshim. Tosfos therefore says that the Semichah done to this animal must be done by placing the hand over the animal, but not by leaning on it (see Insight to Menachos 93:1).

However, performing Semichah in this manner is also problematic, because if the animal is actually a Shelamim, it needs a proper Semichah! Tosfos answers that since this person needs to remove his status of a Metzora, we are lenient and permit him to bring the Korban without a proper Semichah.

(b) Tosfos continues and says that it is possible that Rebbi Shimon agrees that the Semichah of an Asham Metzora is mid'Oraisa. Why, then, does Rebbi Shimon mention Semichah in his list of stringencies, each of which relate to only one of the two possible Korbanos? Tosfos answers that this indeed is not a characteristic of the stringencies in Rebbi Shimon's list. Rebbi Shimon is not listing stringencies that apply only to one or the other type of Korban. We find that he also mentions that the person must bring Nesachim with his Korban as well. Although other Ashamos do not require Nesachim, an Asham Metzora does require Nesachim. A Korban Shelamim also requires Nesachim. Why, then, does Rebbi Shimon mention Nesachim? He is merely listing everything that must be done with the Korban, and not just the stringencies of each type of Korban.

However, Tosfos concludes that since an Asham Metzora is the only type of Asham which requires Nesachim, it makes sense that Rebbi Shimon should mention it. In contrast, Semichah is required for all Ashamos and all individual Shelamim. Tosfos seems to prefer the first answer to this question (see also Tosfos in Zevachim 76a, DH u'Semichah).

(c) Tosfos earlier in Zevachim (33a, DH Semichas Asham) has a third way of learning the Gemara here. Tosfos says that Rebbi Shimon follows the opinion that an Asham Metzora does not require Semichah mid'Oraisa. Rebbi Shimon is telling us "that it requires Semichah according to the Torah because of the doubt that the Korban might be a Shelamim."

This is still problematic. One may not perform a real Semichah to a Safek Asham Metzora, because he might be doing prohibited Avodah with the Korban. How can Tosfos say that the Torah requires him to perform Semichah on such an animal when there is a possibility that there is a prohibition of doing Avodah with Kodshim?

1. The TZON KODSHIM indeed omits the word "d'Oraisa" ("according to the Torah") from the statement of Tosfos. It seems that he learns the answer of Tosfos there to be the same as the Tosfos in our Sugya, who says that the Semichah is done without leaning one's weight on the animal.

2. RAV YITZCHAK ISAAC CHAVER and the MELO HA'RO'IM argue that the word "d'Oraisa" certainly belongs in the text of Tosfos. Tosfos is saying that we know that there is a rule that "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra" -- we conduct ourselves stringently with regard to a doubt about a Torah law. There is an argument among the Rishonim whether or not the obligation to be stringent in such a case is a Torah rule or is mid'Rabanan. They understand that Tosfos here holds that "Safek d'Oraisa l'Chumra" is a Torah principle. Tosfos, therefore, is stating that even though the animal might be an Asham Metzora and does not need Semichah according to the Torah, since it is a Safek d'Oraisa, *according to the Torah* we must rule stringently because of the doubt that it might be a Shelamim and requires Semichah.

3. The KEHILOS YAKOV (Zevachim 45:6) suggests a different understanding for the words of Tosfos. It is possible that Tosfos means that just as there is a rule that "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh" (a Mitzvas Aseh overrides a Mitzvas Lo Sa'aseh), there is also a rule that a "Safek Aseh Docheh Safek Lo Sa'aseh" -- a Mitzvah that is in doubt overrides a Lo Sa'aseh that is in doubt. Thus, when there is a doubt whether the animal is a Shelamim and thus requires Semichah, or whether the animal is an Asham Metzora and does not require Semichah, the Safek Mitzvah of Semichah overrides the Safek Lo Sa'aseh of doing prohibited work with Kodshim. However, the Kehilos Yakov concludes that this is a very novel idea, and he therefore is uncertain if this is the intention of Tosfos. (Y. Montrose)

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