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) A REGULAR "KORBAN CHATAS" IN A CASE OF "HE'ELEM MIKDASH"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (14b) records a three-way Machlokes regarding the
obligation to bring a Korban Oleh v'Yored for accidentally entering the Beis
ha'Mikdash in a state of Tum'ah. Rebbi Eliezer states that the person is
Chayav only when he forgot what made him Tamei. Rebbi Akiva states that the
person is Chayav when he forgot that he was Tamei, but not when he forgot
that he was entering the Beis ha'Mikdash. Rebbi Yishmael maintains that he
is Chayav for entering the Beis ha'Mikdash while Tamei whether he forgot
that he was Tamei or he forgot that he was in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
The Gemara here quotes Rava who asked Rav Nachman that according to the
opinions that maintain that one is Chayav a Korban Oleh v'Yored only when he
entered the Beis ha'Mikdash while forgetting that he was Tamei, but not if
he forgot that the place he was entering was the Beis ha'Mikdash, what is
the Halachah when he forgot both details? Does the fact that he forgot that
this was the Beis ha'Mikdash disqualify him from bringing a Korban for also
forgetting that he was Tamei?
What exactly is Rava's question? Does Rava mean that one who forgets both
details should be completely exempt from any Korban, or does he mean that
such a person should be exempt only from the Korban Oleh v'Yored, but he
should be Chayav to bring a normal Korban Chatas?
(a) RABEINU TAM (cited by Tosfos) explains that Rava is referring only to
the obligation to bring a Korban Oleh v'Yored. Certainly, though, such a
person will be obligated to bring a normal Korban Chatas. This is consistent
with the rule that a Korban Chatas is brought for the unintentional
transgression of any Isur which, when transgressed intentionally, is
punishable with Kares.
However, this seems difficult to understand. The first Mishnah in Shevuos
(2a) states that when a person entered the Beis ha'Mikdash unaware of his
original state of Tum'ah ("Ein Bah Yedi'ah ba'Techilah"), or of the fact
that he was entering the Beis ha'Mikdash, the Se'ir ha'Chitzon atones for
him. This implies that the person does *not* bring a regular Chatas, because
the Se'ir ha'Chitzon atones only for sins for which a person has no
obligation to bring a Korban (7b).
The RITVA answers that Rabeinu Tam says that in the case of "Ein Bah Yedi'ah
ba'Techilah," there is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that this person brings no Korban
(and thus the Se'ir ha'Chitzon atones for him). This is logical, he
explains, because it would not be proper for a person who had no knowledge
beforehand that he was Tamei to be required to bring a normal Chatas, while
a person who did have previous knowledge that he was Tamei is required to
bring only a Korban Oleh v'Yored.
(b) TOSFOS disagrees with Rabeinu Tam for a number of reasons. First, the
wording of the Gemara is that perhaps forgetting both details makes one
"Patur" from bringing a Korban. "Patur" usually means that the person is
totally exempt from any obligation. Second, the Gemara later (24b) searches
for a sin involving Tum'ah where a normal Korban Chatas is brought. The
Gemara comes up with the case of a Nasi who eats Kodshim while he is Tamei.
According to Rabeinu Tam, why does the Gemara there not give the simple case
in which a person forgot that he was Tamei and he forgot that he was
entering the Beis ha'Mikdash (according to Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Akiva)?
Tosfos therefore asserts that Rava was asking whether such a person brings a
Korban Oleh v'Yored, or brings no Korban at all.
Why, though, do we not apply the rule that a Korban Chatas is brought for
the unintentional transgression of any Isur which, when transgressed
intentionally, is punishable with Kares? Tosfos explains that this rule does
not apply here, because one of the methods of expounding Torah law is that
if a certain law was in a certain category and then that law was found to be
an exception, it no longer has any connection to tat category ("Davar
she'Yahah b'Chlal v'Yatza li'Don b'Davar he'Chadash").
The KEHILOS YAKOV (13:2) explains why Rabeinu Tam does not agree with
Tosfos' explanation that this is a "Davar she'Yahah b'Chlal v'Yatza li'Don
b'Davar he'Chadash." Rabeinu Tam maintains that there are to different
transgressions with regard to Tum'as Mikdash: entering the Mikdash while
forgetting that one is Tamei, and entering the Mikdash while Tamei, while
forgetting that one is in the Mikdash. While Rabeinu Tam agrees that the sin
of entering the Mikdash while forgetting that one is Tamei has left the
general rule (that one is obligated to bring a Korban Chatas for a sin
punishable with Kares) and is a "Davar... v'Yatza li'Don b'Davar he'Chadash"
(i.e. one brings a Korban Oleh v'Yored instead of a normal Korban Chatas),
that sin is not the same as forgetting about the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since the
sin of entering the Mikdash while forgetting that it is the Mikdash never
left the general rule, according to Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Akiva, it
remains in the general rule and one is obligated to bring a Korban Chatas.
REBBI AKIVA EIGER (on the Mishnayos, and in Teshuvos, end of #8) suggests
another approach to understanding the view of Rabeinu Tam. He asks that
Rebbi Yishmael's opinion -- that one brings a Korban Oleh v'Yored for either
type of forgetting, even for forgetting that he is entering the Mikdash --
seems to contradict a rule in the Gemara earlier. The Gemara states that one
who does an act of Aveirah while "Mis'asek" is not considered guilty, except
in cases of forbidden relations and forbidden food items (from which a
person derives pleasure through the act). An example of "Mis'asek," Tosfos
says, is one who uproots a vegetable from the ground thinking that it was
already detached from the ground. Why, then, should a person who is Tamei,
who thinks that he is entering an ordinary house (not realizing that it is
the Beis ha'Mikdash), be required to bring a Korban? His act should be an
act of "Mis'asek," and he should be exempt!
Rebbi Akiva Eiger answers that the exemption of "Mis'asek" applies only to
exempt the person from the obligation to bring a normal Korban Chatas. It
does not exempt him from the obligation to bring a Korban Oleh v'Yored in a
case where such an obligation exists.
Based on this, we can explain Rabeinu Tam's opinion that Rava's question was
that, according to Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Akiva, perhaps one who forgets
that he is Tamei and forgets that he is entering the Beis ha'Mikdash is
exempt even from a normal Korban Chatas. Such a person who forgets that he
is entering the Mikdash is considered "Mis'asek!" (This also explains why
Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Akiva in the Mishnah state that "one is not
obligated [to bring a Korban] if he forgets [the holiness of] the Mikdash,"
instead of saying that one is not obligated "if he forgets [the holiness of]
a piece of meat that is Kadosh." If he eats a piece of meat that is Kadosh
while he is Tamei, not realizing that the meat is Kadosh, he *would* have to
bring a Chatas, because the exemption of "Mis'asek" does not apply to sins
from which a person derives pleasure.) (Y. Montrose)
2) ENTERING THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH WHILE "SAFEK TAMEI"
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the possible variations of a case in which
one person walks on two paths, one of which is definitely Tamei, and then he
enters the Beis ha'Mikdash. One case involves a person who walked on one of
the paths, was Metaher himself, then walked on the other path, and then
entered the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Tana Kama maintains that he is obligated to
bring a Korban, while Rebbi Shimon says that he is exempt.
Rebbi Yochanan explains the Machlokes. We know that in order to be obligated
to bring a Korban for entering the Mikdash while Tamei, a person must first
have known that he was Tamei and then forgot. How, though, do we view
knowledge of a Safek Tum'ah? The Tana Kama maintains that when the person
already walked on the first path, and then walked on the second, even the
knowledge that he is Safek Tamei is considered a "Yedi'ah" such that the
person originally "knew" that he was "Tamei" and should not go into the
This explanation of the opinion of the Tana Kama seems to contradict the
Gemara earlier. The Gemara (14b) says that if a person knew that touching a
Sheretz causes a person to become Tamei but was uncertain about the *size*
of a Sheretz that makes a person Tamei, that is *not* called "knowing" that
he was Tamei (when he touched an amount that made him Tamei). Why should the
case of our Gemara be calling "knowing" that he was Tamei, when it is only a
Safek Tum'ah, while in the case earlier where the person knew that he
touched a Sheretz which is Metamei, but did not know how much is Metamei, he
is not considered as "knowing" that he was Tamei?
ANSWER: TOSFOS answers that there is a fundamental difference between the
two cases. In the case of our Gemara, the person knew that had he walked on
both paths consecutively and then entered the Mikdash, he would have
definitely been in the Mikdash while Tamei. In the case earlier, the person
never knew that he had been Tamei, since he did not know that such a small
amount of Sheretz could make him Tamei. Since he never had any firm
knowledge that he definitely should not go into the Mikdash, he never really
The MAHARSHA asks a question on this Tosfos. The Gemara later challenges
Rebbi Yochanan's explanation from a different case. A person ate a piece of
meat and found out later that the meat might have been Chelev (but also
might have been kosher). He then ate another piece of meat and discovered
that the second piece of meat, too, was questionable. Rebbi Yochanan says
that Rebbi taught that in such a case, if the person eventually finds out
that both pieces were Chelev, he is obligated to bring only one Korban
Chatas. He is not required to bring two Korbanos for his two sins, explains
Rebbi Yochanan, because he did not know for certain, in between eating the
first piece and second piece, that he had eaten Chelev. In order to be
Chayav to bring two Korbanos Chatas, the person needs to know that he was
Chayav one Korban before he can become Chayav to bring another. This
Halachah is known as "Yedi'os Mechalkos" ("knowing separates" the obligation
to bring Korbanos).
The Gemara asks how can Rebbi Yochanan state in the case of Safek Tum'ah
that doubtful knowledge of his Tum'ah is considered "knowing," when, in this
case, he dismisses the doubtful knowledge that the meat was Chelev (that is,
the person's knowledge after he ate the first piece) and requires only one
According to the answer of Tosfos, in the case of Chelev the person had
absolutely no idea that he was possibly eating Chelev, which is exactly like
the case of the person who did not know how much Sheretz was Metamei. How,
then, can the Gemara ask from such a case on a case where the person would
know, at one point, that he was certainly Tamei?
The MITZPEH EISAN answers that the case of Chelev cannot be referring to a
person who ate only one piece of meat at a time. The Gemara in Kerisus (18a)
discusses whether there must be two pieces of meat present, one Chelev and
one kosher, in order for a person who ate one of them (and only later finds
out that he ate Chelev) to be obligated to bring a Korban. Even though,
according to Rebbi, both pieces of meat do not need to be present when the
person eats one of them, it is necessary for there to have been two pieces
of meat there originally in order that there be a definite presence ("Ikva
Isura") of forbidden food there.
This answers the question of the Maharsha on Tosfos. In the case of the
Chelev, there was definitely Chelev present. The person who ate the meat,
therefore, was eating something where there definitely was a presence of
Isur. This is similar to the case of Tum'ah, where the person knew that
after walking on the second path, he would definitely be Tamei in the
Mikdash at one point. (Y. Montrose)