THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE NATURE OF "MELIKAH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that we might have thought that a Kohen may not
eat the meat of a Chatas ha'Of, since the bird is killed with Melikah and
not with Shechitah, and there is no other situation in which an animal
killed with Melikah may be eaten. We learn that the Chatas ha'Of is not
considered like any other bird or animal that is killed without Shechitah
(which is Asur because of Neveilah) from the verse, "l'Chol Chatasam"
(Bamidbar 18:9), which teaches that the Kohanim may eat the meat of all
forms of Chatas, including a Chatas ha'Of.
There are two ways to understand the allowance to eat a Chatas ha'Of that
was killed with Melikah. One way to understand it is that the Torah permits
Neveilah in this situation; the Kohanim are permitted to eat a bird that was
killed with Melikah, even though it is considered to be a piece of Neveilah.
The second way to understand it is that the Torah is teaching that although
Melikah outside the Beis ha'Mikdash makes a bird a Neveilah, Melikah in the
Beis ha'Mikdash makes the bird entirely Kosher.
(a) The ASVUN D'ORAISA (#1) presents many proofs that a bird killed with
Melikah, even in the Beis ha'Mikdash, has the status of a Neveilah, and the
Torah teaches that the Kohanim are permitted to eat such Neveilah. Among his
proofs is the Gemara in Yevamos (32b) that discusses the Machlokes between
Rebbi Chiya and Bar Kapara regarding whether or not a Zar who eats a bird
that was killed in the Beis ha'Mikdash with Melikah transgresses the Isur of
Neveilah. Rebbi Chiya maintains that the Zar does transgress the Isur of
Neveilah, because Neveilah is forbidden to everyone, and when the Torah
permits it inside the Beis ha'Mikdash, it permits it only for Kohanim. This
implies that the prohibition of Neveilah remains after Melikah is done. Bar
Kapara does not argue with this point. He argues that the Zar does not
transgress the Isur of Neveilah, since the meat of the Chatas ha'Of is
already prohibited to him because it is Kodesh Kodashim, and the principle
of "Ein Isur Chal Al Isur" teaches that once an object is prohibited with
one Isur, it cannot become prohibited again with another Isur.
Another proof is from the Gemara in Menachos earlier (45a). The Gemara there
quotes the verse, "And all Neveilah and all Tereifah from the birds and from
the animals, the Kohanim should not eat" (Yechezkel 44:31). Why does the
verse specifically refer to Kohanim, when the Isur of Neveilah applies to
everyone? Ravina explains that we might have thought that because the
Kohanim are permitted to eat birds that were killed with Melikah, they are
also permitted to eat other forms of Neveilah. Therefore, Yechezkel needed
to warn the Kohanim that other forms of Neveilah are not permitted. This
implies that the bird, after Melikah becomes Neveilah, but it is a permitted
form of Neveilah, because if the Melikah turns the bird into an entirely
Kosher piece of meat, then there is no situation in which the Kohanim are
permitted to eat Neveilah, and we would not have thought that they should be
permitted to eat other forms of Neveilah!
This is also the view of the MINCHAS CHINUCH (185:10).
The Asvun d'Oraisa himself admits that the proofs he presents are not
irrefutable. Regarding the first proof, one can argue that the bird is
considered Neveilah only to Zarim, but not to Kohanim. This is because the
Kohanim were given the special Avodah of Melikah which permits the bird and
takes it out of the category of Neveilah.
The Gemara in Menachos (45a) is inconclusive, as we see that the Gemara
there states that Rebbi Yochanan did not know the explanation of the verse
in Yechezkel, implying that he did not agree with the Gemara's
interpretation of the verse, and that he might also argue with everything
stated by Ravina. However, the Asvun d'Oraisa concludes that the Gemara's
conclusion implies that the prohibition of Neveilah still stands.
(b) Others maintain that Melikah is like Shechitah and it removes the status
of Neveilah from the bird. This is the opinion of the KOVETZ HE'OROS (38:2).
Although the KEHILOS YAKOV (in Chulin #10-11) follows the approach of the
Asvun d'Oraisa, he agrees that Melikah in the Beis ha'Mikdash makes the bird
entirely permitted according to the opinion in Chulin (27b) that "Ein
Shechitah l'Of Min ha'Torah" (there is no necessity to slaughter a bird
properly in order to eat it, according to Torah law), and a bird becomes a
Neveilah only if it dies on its own or as a result of being hit without
cutting or uprooting its Simanim at all (see RASHI in Chulin 27b, DH Ein
Shechitah; see also ACHI'EZER #7). (Y. Montrose)
2) A NOCHRI'S PLEDGE TO BRING A KORBAN
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that a Nochri may offer a Korban that he
pledged to bring as a Neder or a Nedavah. Does this mean that he becomes
obligated to bring the Korban that he pledged to bring, or that he merely
needs to have the Korban brought on his behalf?
TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (5b, DH Minayin l'Mechusar Ever #2) says that if a
Nochri pledges a Korban that is lacking a limb, and the Nochrim themselves
do not permit such an animal to be offered on their altars (and, obviously,
it may not be brought in the Beis ha'Mikdash), we tell the Nochri to bring a
different, valid animal.
REBBI AKIVA EIGER in GILYON HA'SHAS is perplexed by the words of Tosfos. Why
is a Nochri obligated to fulfill his Neder? We do not find that a Nochri is
commanded to keep any of the laws of Nedarim. What obligates the Nochri,
according to Tosfos, to fulfill his Neder and bring a valid animal?
(a) The AVNEI MILU'IM (1:2) answers that it is true that there is no
prohibition or commandment that obligates a Nochri to fulfill his word and
bring the Korban. However, there is a principle of "Amiraso l'Gavo'ah
k'Mesiraso l'Hedyot" -- the act of proclaiming something as Hekdesh
accomplishes the same thing as physically handing something over to a
private citizen, and it is fully binding. It is this principle that
obligates the Nochri to bring another Korban.
(b) The MITZPEH EISAN (5b) answers that we learn from Yakov Avinu that a Ben
Noach must fulfill his Nedarim. The Midrash states that Yakov Avinu was
punished for being late in fulfilling his Neder to bring Korbanos. This is
part of the reason why he had to endure the suffering of Dina with Shechem
and his near-war with Esav. We cannot say that this punishment came about
due to failure to observe a law in the Torah, which he followed in general
even though it was not yet given, because he would not have deserved such
profound tribulations for something that he was not absolutely obligated to
observe. It must be that the fulfillment of a Neder is an obligation even
for Nochrim. This approach is also proposed by the MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos
Melachim 10:7). The Mishneh l'Melech adds the examples of Avraham and
Yitzchak, who made Avimelech make an oath with them. This shows that Nochrim
are also obligated to fulfill their word.
However, according to this opinion, what is the reason a Nochri is obligated
to keep his oath? After all, it is not one of the seven Mitzvos of Benei
Noach. The MESHECH CHOCHMAH (Shemos 20:7) explains that although we do not
find that Nochrim are commanded to keep their oaths, it is an obvious,
logical law, a "Mitzvah Sichlis." Even though the violation of an oath does
not warrant a punishment (since the Torah mentions no punishment),
nevertheless, since, it is a Mitzvah Sichlis a Nochri is punished by
Shamayim for violating his oath. This reasoning is also alluded to by the
(c) The SEFAS EMES says that, indeed, there is no source to say that Nochrim
are obligated to keep their oaths. Accordingly, Rebbi Akiva Eiger's question
on Tosfos remains.
(d) The EIZEHU MEKOMAN quotes the TORAS ZERA'IM on Pe'ah (page 22) who says
that the verse quoted in the Gemara here teaches a special Halachah that
Nochrim must observe their Nedarim that they make with regard to Hekdesh,
even though they otherwise have no obligation to fulfill their other oaths.