THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) "BIRUTZEI MIDOS"
OPINIONS: The Gemara analyzes the statements of Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Meir
in the Beraisa (87b), who both say that seven liquid measures were used in
the Beis ha'Mikdash. They also agree about the sizes of all seven measures.
T he only apparent difference in their statements is that Rebbi Yehudah
lists the measurements from the smallest size up to the largest (Revi'is
Log, Chatzi Log, etc.), while Rebbi Meir lists the sizes from the largest
size down to the smallest (Hin, Chatzi Hin, etc.).
Rebbi Yochanan explains that the difference between them is whether or not
"Birutzei Midos" are also Kadosh. Rebbi Yehudah, who lists the measures from
smallest to largest, maintains that Birutzei Midos are Kadosh. He maintains
that Hashem showed Moshe that we should use a Revi'is, and that sometimes we
will need a Chatzi Log which can contain the contents of two Revi'is ha'Log,
and so on. The significance of starting from the smallest measure is that
the larger measures must be able to contain everything which is in the
smaller vessels, including the Birutzei Midos. This position obviously holds
that the Birutzei Midos are Kadosh, since we are concerned that they should
fit into the vessel.
Rebbi Meir, who lists the vessels from largest to smallest, apparently
maintains that the Birutzei Midos are not Kadosh, since the Birutzei Midos
of the larger vessel usually do not fit into the two smaller vessels. Rebbi
Meir's list indicates that the Torah was not concerned about the Birutzei
Midos, and that he holds that they are not Kadosh.
What exactly are "Birutzei Midos"?
(a) RASHI (DH Birutzei ha'Midos) explains that Birutzei Midos refers to the
part of the contents of a vessel that spill down the sides of the vessel.
This opinion is also that of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 2:9)
and the ARUCH.
(b) RASHI (Kesav Yad, DH Birutzei ha'Midos) appears to understand that
Birutzei Midos refers to the part of the contents that are higher than the
lip of the vessel. We find that Rashi makes a similar statement in Zevachim
(88a, DH Birutzei). This is also the explanation of the BARTENURA here
(9:5). (According to the first opinion (a), this is considered part of the
Korban itself and not Birutzei ha'Midos.)
(c) RABEINU GERSHOM also explains that the Birutzei Midos refers to the
contents in the vessel that reach past the top of the vessel, but he
understands that it refers to the "foam" that is on top of the contents of
the vessel. (According to the first opinion (a), this is considered part of
the Korban itself and not Birutzei ha'Midos.)
According to the last two opinions, why are the piled contents of the vessel
not considered Kadosh? The Gemara earlier (87b) discusses the piled-up
contents of a vessel that contains half an Isaron of the Chavitei Kohen
Gadol. The Gemara there clearly holds that it is Kadosh. Why, then, is our
Gemara in doubt about this?
The EIZEHU MEKOMAN answers that when the Gemara earlier says that when the
half-Isaron is piled-up beyond the top of the vessel, it is definitely
Kadosh, it is referring to when that half-Isaron of flour is the only flour
in the vessel. The Gemara here is referring to when there is more than the
required amount piled-up on top of the vessel (see YAD BINYAMIN, who infers
this from the words of TOSFOS, DH Birutzei Midos, unlike the CHAZON ISH,
Menachos 27:1). The Gemara's question is whether or not this amount is
This approach answers a different question on this opinion. The TIFERES
YISRAEL (9:35) asks that if Birutzei Midos refers to the piled-up contents
of the vessel, then why does the Gemara first call these piled-up contents
the "Gadish" (87b), and then call it "Birutzei ha'Midos"? Based on the
answer of the Eizehu Mekoman, we may explain that Birutzei Midos refers to
an *extra* amount of piled-up contents, while "Gadish" refers to any amount
of piled-up contents. (Y. Montrose)
2) REKINDLING THE MENORAH AT NIGHT
OPINIONS: Rebbi Aba says that if a flame of the Menorah becomes
extinguished, the leftover the oil and the wick are considered like ashes.
The Kohen cleans it out and puts in new oil (in the original amount) and
rekindles the wick. RASHI (DH Keitzad) explains that all of the contents of
the candle are discarded, and new oil and a new wick are added, and then the
flame is rekindled.
When, though, must this process be done? Is Rebbi Aba referring to a flame
that becomes extinguished only during the day, only during the night, or at
(a) The RAMBAN in Shabbos (22b) says that Rebbi Aba is referring only to a
case in which a flame of the Menorah becomes extinguished during the day.
Only when the candle is found extinguished during the day, its oil and its
wick are changed and it is rekindled towards night.
(b) The RASHBA (Teshuvos 1: 309) says that there is no obligation to
rekindle the Menorah when one of its flames becomes extinguished, whether it
became extinguished during the day or during the night. The Gemara is
discussing the Ner Ma'aravi, the westernmost flame. We are obligated to
ensure that the Ner Ma'aravi is always lit, even during the night.
(c) Rashi (DH Ner she'Kavsah) and RABEINU GERSHOM explain that the Gemara is
discussing a case in which any one of the flames of the Menorah went out in
the middle of the night or before daylight. They seem to understand that an
extinguished flame on the Menorah must be attended to and rekindled
immediately. (See, however, the YA'AVETZ, who has difficulty understanding
how it is possible to find a flame that went out at night, when it is
forbidden to enter the Heichal at night for any purpose other than Hatavah,
Hadlakah, or Haktarah.) However, from the fact that they mention that the
case refers to a flame that becomes extinguished during the night, it seems
that they hold that when the flame becomes extinguished during the day, the
flame does not need to be rekindled in the same manner as it was lit
originally (that is, perhaps the oil does not need to be changed, or perhaps
it does not have to be rekindled at all).
(d) The MINCHAS CHINUCH (98:12) infers from the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos
Temidin u'Musafin 3:12) that he holds that our Gemara means that whenever
any flame is discovered to have become extinguished, whether it was during
the day or during the night, it would always be changed and rekindled.
However, he says that most Rishonim argue on this opinion.
Why does the Rambam rule that the flames must always be rekindled?
1. The Minchas Chinuch (98:15) understands that part of this argument
depends on how to interpret the verse, "l'Ha'alos Ner Tamid" -- "to kindle
the lamp continually" (Shemos 27:20). The Rambam understands that the verse
refers to all of the flames of the Menorah, and not just to the Ner Ma'aravi
(as the other Rishonim explain). He also understands that the word "Tamid"
means literally "always," while the other Rishonim maintain that being lit
every night until the morning is also considered "Tamid."
2. The Rashba quotes the CHACHAM who gives a slightly different explanation
for the view of the Rambam. He understands that the Rambam maintains that
the requirement to rekindle an extinguished flame applies to the Ner
Ma'aravi only during the day, and to all of the other candles during the
night. He explains that this is the meaning of the Gemara (89a) which
discusses the verse, "me'Erev Ad Boker" -- "from evening until morning"
(Shemos 27:21). The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which says that we must "place
in it the proper amount [of oil] so that it should be lit from evening until
morning." The Beraisa continues with another explanation and says that
"there is no Avodah which is valid from evening until morning besides this."
What does this Beraisa mean? It cannot be referring to when the Menorah is
lit, because the verse clearly states that this is supposed to be done
*towards* night. In addition, if the Mitzvah is done in the evening, the
second statement of the Beraisa is not accurate, because the Mishnah in
Megilah (20a) says that "any Mitzvah that is supposed to be done at night
may be done the entire night," and thus the lighting of the Menorah is not
unique in this regard. The Chacham cited by the Rashba therefore understands
that the Rambam infers from the Gemara that although the Mitzvah of lighting
the Menorah is performed towards evening, the Menorah must remain lit the
entire night. This is unlike any other Mitzvah, since this Mitzvah must be
done during the day and be maintained the entire night.
The Rashba responds to the Chacham's approach by saying that although he
understands why one would learn this way, he prefers not to learn this way
because we never find that the term "Hatavah" refers to changing all of the
wicks of the Menorah at night. The Rashba rules that if one finds that a
flame became extinguished, one does not need to exchange the wicks. Rather,
one merely needs to rekindle the existing wick. This is why the Rashba
understands that our Gemara is referring only to the Ner Ma'aravi; he holds
that the Ner Ma'aravi is supposed to be aflame at all times (see also TOSFOS
86b, DH Mimenah, in contrast to TOSFOS in Chagigah 26b, DH Menorah).
In addition, the Rashba writes that the proofs of the Chacham from the
Gemara later (89a) are not valid. When the Gemara says that the only Avodah
that is valid from evening until morning is the Avodah of lighting the
Menorah, it means merely that there is no other Avodah done during the day
that can be done continuously from the day until the next morning. It does
not mean that one must rekindle any flame that goes out during the night.
(See EVEN HA'EZEL, Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 3:12, and YAD BINYAMIN to 86b
at length.) (Y. Montrose)