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MENACHOS 87 (7 Teves) - Dedicated by Dr. Josh Daniel of Efrat, Israel, in
memory of his brother, Yitzchok Yisroel [ben Refael Noach Yosef] Daniel, on
1) USING WHITE WINE FOR "NESACHIM"
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses the argument in the Mishnah between Rebbi and
the Chachamim regarding whether or not one may use old wine for Nesachim.
Rebbi maintains that such wine may not be used for Nesachim. Rava explains
that Rebbi's source is the verse that says, "Do not look upon wine when it
is red" (Mishlei 23:31), which teaches that only red wine is considered to
be wine, as RASHI explains. During the first year after its production, wine
is extremely red. After the first year, its color begins to fade (although
it remains red). Rebbi learns from this verse that, l'Chatchilah, one should
not use wine that has aged for more than one year.
What is the Halachah regarding the use of white wine for Nesachim?
The Gemara in Bava Basra (97b) quotes a Beraisa that says that "Yayin Borek"
should not be used for Nesachim, but if it is used it is valid. The Gemara
there relates that Rava was asked about white wine, and he answered by
quoting the verse, "Do not look upon wine when it is red." (According to
most opinions, the question there was whether or not white wine may be used
for Nesachim. The RAN in Pesachim (22b of the pages of the Rif) and others,
however, explain that the question was not necessarily regarding Nesachim.)
It seems from Rava's response that he is arguing with the Beraisa, which
states that white wine may be used b'Di'eved. What is the Halachah?
(a) The RASHBAM in Bava Basra (DH Chamar Chivaryan) writes that Rava indeed
argues with the Beraisa and maintains that that white wine is Pasul, even
b'Di'eved. Rava was not aware of the Beraisa, and he therefore ruled
differently. It seems that, according to the Rashbam, we should rely on the
rule that an Amora may not argue with a Tana, and the Halachah should follow
the Beraisa that says that white wine is valid b'Di'eved for Nesachim.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Chamar Chivaryan) quotes the RI who explains that "Yayin
Borek" is white wine that has a reddish tinge, and therefore it is valid
b'Di'eved. Rava, in contrast, was discussing "Chivaryan," which is white
wine with no resemblance at all to the color red. This wine, Rava ruled, is
not included in the category of wine mentioned in the verse in Mishlei, and
therefore it is Pasul for Nesachim.
(c) The RAMBAN says that the Halachah follows the view of Rava who says that
white wine is Pasul for Nesachim. He understands that if this type of wine
is not included in the verse, then it cannot be considered to be valid
b'Di'eved. If, on the other hand, it is included in the verse, then it is
How does the Ramban reconcile this logic with the Beraisa that says that
"Yayin Borek" is valid b'Di'eved? The Ramban has a different text of the
Beraisa that reads, "Yayin *Bodek*," referring to strong wine, and not white
wine. (See SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 272:4, who quotes the opinion of the Ramban
regarding the use of white wine for Kidush, and says that according to the
Ramban white wine may not be used even b'Di'eved for Kidush. However, the
Shulchan Aruch says that others rule differently, and the custom is to
follow their opinion.)
However, the Gemara here seems to contradict the position of the Ramban. In
our Gemara, Rava explains the logic of Rebbi by citing the verse from
Mishlei, "Do not look upon wine when it is red." The Gemara explicitly
states that Rebbi holds that *old* wine is valid b'Di'eved, even though it
does not fit the criteria of the verse. According to the Ramban's logic,
something does not fit the criteria of the verse should not be valid at all!
The YAD BINYAMIN answers for the Ramban and says that old red wine, although
not as red as it was during its first year, is still red. It therefore fits
the description of the verse and is called "wine" according to Rebbi.
However, since it is not the best type of wine, one should try to bring wine
which is at the peak of its redness (meaning within its first year) for
(d) The RAMBAM makes no mention of the Halachah of white wine at all,
neither in Hilchos Kidush (Hilchos Shabbos 29) nor in Hilchos Nesachim
(Hilchos Isurei Mizbe'ach 6). The BEIS YOSEF (OC 272) suggests that the
Rambam holds that white wine is valid, and that the Rambam has an entirely
different approach to understanding the Gemara in Bava Basra. According to
the Rambam, when Rava answers the inquiry about white wine with the verse
from Mishlei, he meant to say that white wine is *valid* for Nesachim. Rava
interprets the verse to be saying, "Do not look at wine becoming red." This
implies that wine is considered wine even *before* it becomes red. (Y.
2) THE MANNER OF BRINGING THE "CHAVITEI KOHEN GADOL"
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses the Mishnah's statement that the half-Isaron
measurement cup was used to measure the flour of the Chavitei Kohen Gadol.
The Chavitei Kohen Gadol was comprised of one Isaron of flour that was
divided in two equal parts. Half of it was brought in the morning, and half
was brought in the afternoon. Exactly how was the Chavitei Kohen Gadol
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 13:4) writes that after the
Isaron was divided into two parts, each half was used to bake six Chalos.
After all twelve Chalos were baked, each Chalah was cut in half, with twelve
halves offered in the morning and twelve at night. This also seems to be the
opinion of RASHI (DH Chavitei).
(b) The RA'AVAD argues and says that there is no source to say that the
Chavitei Kohen Gadol was brought in this manner, nor is there any source in
the Gemara that says that the Chalos themselves were cut in half. Rather,
each of the two portions of flour was baked into six Chalos, and the six
whole Chalos from one portion of flour were brought in the morning, and the
six whole Chalos from the other portion of flour were brought in the
afternoon. This seems to be the opinion of RASHI (Kesav Yad, DH ba'Meh
m'Chalkah) as well.
What is the source for the Rambam's ruling?
1. The MAHARI KURKAS explains as follows. In our Gemara, Rami bar Chama
asked Rav Chisda a question: "Regarding the Chavitei Kohen Gadol, how does
one divide the *Chalos* -- with his hand or with a vessel?" It is obvious
that according to this text, the Gemara is asking how one divides the
already baked Chalos, and not the Isaron of flour before the baking. This
text is a source for the ruling of the Rambam, and it is likely that this
was his text in the Gemara. (The EIZEHU MEKOMAN points out that it is
possible to learn the Gemara differently than the Rambam by merely reading
the word "l'Chalos" with a "Sheva" beneath the "Lamed." This would make the
question be, "How does one divide [the flour] *for the purpose of* [making]
However, many texts of the Gemara do not include the word "Chalos" in the
question. According to those texts, the question merely was, "How should one
divide them, with one's hand or with a vessel?" Can this text still be a
source for the Rambam's ruling?
2. The KESEF MISHNEH and the RADVAZ (in one of his explanations) says that
the Gemara here is still a valid source for the Rambam. The Gemara continues
and says that the reason the Chavitei Kohen Gadol must have been divided by
hand is that it would be a "Siman Kelalah" (a bad omen) to weigh the amounts
with a vessel. Why would this be a bad omen? RASHI (DH Kivan) explains that
among the curses of the Tochechah, the verse states, "v'Heshivu Lachmechem
b'Mishkal" -- "And they will bring back your bread by weight" (Vayikra
26:26). The Kesef Mishneh explains that this is the source for the Rambam's
understanding of how the Chavitei Kohen Gadol were brought. The only thing
in the verse that is a "Siman Kelalah" is weighing *bread*. The Gemara
cannot be referring to measuring flour, since there is no source that
weighing flour is a bad omen. It must be that the Chalos were cut in half,
and the Gemara is discussing whether they could be measured by a vessel or
only by hand.
The CHESHEK SHLOMO uses this proof for the Rambam's explanation to answer
another question. The Gemara asks this question only with regard to the
Chavitei Kohen Gadol. Why does the Gemara not ask this question with regard
to all Menachos in general? According to the above approach, the question is
only applicable to the Chavitei Kohen Gadol, since this is the only Minchah
which has *Chalos* which are split in half. The Gemara was unsure whether or
not this constitutes a "Siman Kelalah" or not. It does not ask whether or
not the other Menachos are split by hand or by vessel, since there is no
reason to say that either one should be unfit. (Y. Montrose)