(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Zevachim 2

ZEVACHIM 2-4 - Dedicated to the leaders and participants in the Dafyomi shiurim at the Young Israel of New Rochelle, by Andy & Nancy Neff


OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches that if a Kohen who is offering a particular Korban has in mind that he is offering a different Korban, the Korban is valid and may be burned on the Mizbe'ach. However, if the Korban was brought in fulfillment of a pledge, the pledge is not considered to have been fulfilled. The one who pledged it must bring another Korban to replace it.
(a) TOSFOS (end of DH Kol) raises the question whether or not a mere improper *thought* suffices to invalidate a Korban; perhaps the Korban remains valid as long as the improper thought was not verbalized. Tosfos refers to what he wrote in Bava Metzia (43b, DH ha'Choshev), where he posits that verbalization *is* required in order to invalidate the Korban. Merely thinking a thought of Pigul would not void the Korban.

This is also the position of other Rishonim. RASHI (Zevachim 41b, DH Kegon) states, "All thoughts regarding Kodshim must be expressed orally." (See also Rashi in Menachos 2b, DH Aval, where he uses a similar expression.) The SEMAG (end of Lo Sa'aseh #337) writes in the same vein, "u'Machsheves ha'Kodshim Hi Dibur" -- "the [invalidating] thought with regard to Kodshim means speech."

(b) However, the MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 13:1), based on the words of the RAMBAM there, proposes that a mere improper thought regarding the particular Korban is sufficient to abrogate its validity. This is also the position of the SEFER HA'CHINUCH (Mitzvah #144), and the ME'IRI (Pesachim 63a, DH Kol Ma).

The position of Tosfos seems difficult to understand in light of the general rules of Kavanah. The Halachah follows the opinion that "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah" -- a person fulfills a Mitzvah only when he has Kavanah to fulfill it (Pesachim 114b, Rosh Hashanah 28b). However, when one performs a Mitzvah, he merely has to intend mentally that he is performing the Mitzvah, and he does not have to verbalize this intent. Likewise, when a person commits a sin, the mere awareness of transgressing the sinful act renders the act as willful, even though he did not verbalize his sinful intention. Why, then, in the case of a Korban, is the improper thought insufficient grounds to disqualify the Korban? Why is verbalization required?

Haga'on Rav Abba Berman, Shlit'a, in SHI'UREI IYUN HA'TALMUD (#3), cites two reasons mentioned in the Rishonim for the unique requirement of verbalization in the case of Kodshim. First, verbalization is required because of the principle, "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim" -- intentions in a person's heart (that he has not expressed verbally) are not binding (SEFER HA'ESHKOL, Hilchos Shechitas Chulin #13, and SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS OR ZARU'A #754). Second, verbalization is required because of a special derivation from various verses (see Rashi, Menachos ibid., and to Devarim 17:1).

The Iyun ha'Talmud notes that these two reasons given by the Rishonim might reflect a fundamental difference of opinion in the basic understanding of the principle of "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim." One way of understanding this principle is based on the literal translation, "Words in the heart are not words." Since thoughts in the heart are "not words" and do not quality as speech, they are powerless to affect any action done by a person.

Another way of understanding this principle limits it to situations in which the "words in the heart" *contradict* the words that the person expresses verbally, or they contradict an action that the person does. According to this view, "words in the heart" essentially *are* "words" as long as they do not interfere with explicitly expressed words, or actions.

The Rishonim who apply the rule of "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim" in the case of invalidating thoughts for a Korban evidently agree with the first way of understanding: "words in the heart" can never affect any action done by a person. Therefore, an improper thought during the service of the Korban is ineffectual in compromising its validity. Only when the improper thought is *verbalized* do we attach any importance to this thought.

The other Rishonim, though, who see no practical problem with "Devarim sheb'Lev" in this case, seem to agree with the second way of understanding this principle: "words in the heart" essentially are "words" as long as they do not contradict a person's action. Hence, an improper thought during the service of a Korban *would* compromise its validity, as the relevant thoughts of Pigul or she'Lo Lishmah do *not* contradict the fabric of the actual service. (Rashi, therefore, points out specific verses which indicate a special rule that in this instance "Dibur b'Peh" is required to disqualify the Korban.) (C. Mendelson)

OPINIONS: The Mishnah quotes a Tana named "Shimon Achi Azaryah," Shimon the brother of Azaryah. Why, of all Tana'im, is this Tana singled out and identified in association with his brother? RASHI explains that Azaryah was a businessman who supported his scholarly brother Shimon and enabled him to pursue his Torah studies. For this great deed, Azaryah merited that Shimon became known as "Achi Azaryah," the brother of Azaryah, and he earned for himself a place of honor in the Mishnah, his name indelibly etched in the history of the Jewish people. His name serves as a paradigm example of the noble virtue of supporting Torah study.

The MAHARSHA in Sotah (21a) comments that Azaryah received a double reward for his great deed. He was rewarded in this world by receiving honorable mention in the halls of Torah. He was also rewarded in Olam ha'Ba by sharing with Shimon, his brother, the reward for Shimon's Torah study.

Was Shimon's reward in Olam ha'Ba in any way diminished by his sharing it with Azaryah? There are two basic approaches to this subject.

(a) RASHI (DH Shimon Achi Azaryah) mentions that "they stipulated among themselves that Azaryah would receive a *part* of the reward of the study of Shimon." See also Rashi in Sotah (ibid.), where he states that Azaryah worked in business so that "he would *divide* the reward of Shimon's learning." These statements suggest that Rashi's position is that Shimon's reward is in fact diminished by sharing it with Azaryah.

The REMA (YD 246:1) states that any person may make a similar stipulation with his friend, to the effect that he will study Torah and his friend will support him, "and he will *divide* the reward with him." The SHACH there explains that the Rema means to say that the reward for the Torah study and the profits of the businessman are to be divided equally. The Shach's observation is supported by the latter part of the Rema's statement, where he says that "if one already studied Torah, he cannot *sell* his share in exchange for the money that will be given in consideration." This seems to imply that before having studied the Torah, the mutual stipulation takes the form of a sale, whereby the scholar is *selling* a share of his future reward. (The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN explains the difference between a case in which the stipulation is made prior to the Torah study and a case in which it was made only afterwards, as follows: The reward for Torah study is priceless and can be given only to a person who has rightfully earned it by actually studying the Torah. However, when the scholar arranges for a sponsor to support his future learning, the scholar's new learning is actually a joint endeavor of the sponsor and the scholar. As the patron of the Mitzvah who enables this Mitzvah to be performed, the sponsor is an equal partner in the Mitzvah and is justly entitled to reward.)

The BEIS YOSEF, in his SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS AVKAS ROCHEL (#2), expresses this point in a similar manner. He rules that one who -- because of his poverty -- would have to leave his Torah studies and work the entire day may give half the reward of his Torah study to someone who will give him half of what he earns. "This," he says, "is equivalent to studying Torah half the day, and working the other half." It is evident from his words that his position is that the scholar's reward is indeed diminished by such a transaction.

The Rema's source is RABEINU YERUCHAM (end of Nesiv 2:5), who bases his view on the Gemara in Sotah (ibid.). Some authorities point out that the Beis Yosef omits this law in the Shulchan Aruch, and they contend that this omission is indicative of the Beis Yosef's disagreement with Rabeinu Yerucham's ruling (SHE'ELAS CHEMDAS TZVI 3:33, and 4:40). However, other authorities point out that the Beis Yosef ruled, in She'elos u'Teshuvos Avkas Rochel, that one who is impoverished may enter a formal agreement to divide the reward for his future Torah study in exchange for financial support. This is clearly consistent with Rabeinu Yerucham's words. An additional support that this in fact was the Beis Yosef's opinion is that he cites Rabeinu Yerucham in his commentary to the Tur (BEIS YOSEF to YD 246). Moreover, the Beis Yosef also cites Rabeinu Yerucham in his work BEDEK HA'BAYIS (which, according to many, was composed by the Beis Yosef after he compiled the Shulchan Aruch; TZITZ ELIEZER 15:35:2).

This also seems to be the opinion of the RAV CHAIM OF VOLOZHEN (see KESER ROSH #64; HILCHOS HA'GRA U'MINHAGAV #216, citing manuscript of Rav Yosef Zundel of Salant; see also Tzitz Eliezer 15:35 and end of 15:3).

The OR HA'CHAIM, in CHEFETZ HASHEM (Berachos 8a, DH Al Ken), writes that the scholar who is assisted in his Torah studies by the support of a sponsor must share his reward in Olam ha'Ba with the sponsor. In his work RISHON L'TZIYON (notes to YD 246:21), he notes the arrangement of Shimon and Azaryah as an example of two people mutually sharing the fruits of their labors; the businessman dividing his profits with the scholar, and the scholar dividing his reward with the businessman. (However, see his commentary to Shemos 30:13, where he apparently contradicts himself.) (See also PELE YO'ETZ (Erech Chizuk); the NETZIV in MESHIV DAVAR 3:14, DH Achar; MESHECH CHOCHMAH to Bereishis 49:15; and IGROS MOSHE YD 4:37:16.)

(b) Others, however, assert that the scholar's reward is in no way diminished by sharing it with his benefactor.

The HAFLA'AH (Hakdamah, #43) maintains that no price tag can be attached to Torah study, because, as the verse states, "Far beyond pearls is her worth" (Mishlei 31:10). The reward for Torah study cannot be purchased even by negotiating the "currency" of Olam ha'Ba, which is likened to pearls. Rather, both the scholar and his supporter will receive a full measure of reward. He draws an analogy to lighting one candle from another, whereby we observe that the candle being lit does not diminish the flame of the candle which is already burning. Likewise, the supporter of Torah does not diminish the "light" of the reward of the scholar. "This is the meaning of the verse, 'Rejoice, Zevulun, in your going out, and Yissachar, in your tents' (Devarim 33:18). Yissachar and Zevulun both rejoice in full measure, as neither one's reward impairs the share of the other one."

See also OR HA'CHAIM (Shemos 30:13), who writes that any reward enjoyed by the supporter of Torah does not detract from the reward of the scholar. (As we pointed out above, this apparently contradicts his words in Chefetz Hashem and Rishon l'Tziyon.)

The MAHARAM ALSHAKER (#101) quotes RAV HAI GA'ON regarding a person who gave another person a gold coin, stipulating that the recipient was to study Torah and that he, the donor, would acquire the reward for the study. Rav Hai Ga'on derogated this provision as "Divrei Hevel," words of nonsense. He asks, "How does it enter his mind that he can acquire the reward for the good deed that his friend did? Just as a person is not punished for the misdeeds of his friend, in the same vein a person cannot receive merit for his friend's good deeds! Does he think that the reward for a mitzvah is something [tangible] that one can carry and go out with?" He concludes, however, that one who supports those who are involved in the performance of Mitzvos, enabling them to perform these Mitzvos, will be rewarded for this. If he helps those who study Torah so that their hearts be unburdened and available for study, he will be rewarded in an especially great way for this. "The reward is for his own action," he writes, but not for the action of the person he supports. After quoting the lengthy response of Rav Hai Ga'on, the Maharam Alshaker appends a concluding note and says, "All of his (Rav Hai Ga'on's) words are Divrei Kabalah; nothing can be added to them or detracted from them."

As Rav Hai Ga'on maintains that a person's reward for a good deed is nontransferable, it follows that his position would be that the scholar's reward would in no way be impaired by the reward received by the benefactor. Any reward received by the benefactor is independently earned "for his own action" and it is separate and apart from the scholar's reward.

The SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS IMREI BINAH (end of 1:13) points out that it seems that Rabeinu Yerucham and the Rema are arguing with Rav Hai Ga'on. However, see his full discussion for an approach to reconciling their positions. See also RAV CHAIM ALAFANDRI in AISH DAS (Parshas Vayeilech). (See also CHIDA in ROSH DAVID (Kedoshim) for a lengthy discussion of the position of MAHARASH PRIMO.) (C. Mendelson)


QUESTION: The Gemara proves that a Korban slaughtered without specific intent ("Setama") is fully valid. Even a Korban Chatas or Korban Pesach -- which is invalidated if it is slaughtered with intent that it be a different Korban or for a different owner -- is not invalidated if it is slaughtered with no specific intent. The Gemara proves this from the Mishnah later (56b) which states that there are six specific forms of intent that a person must have when he brings a Korban. Rebbi Yosi there comments that even if a person did not have in mind any of these intents, the Korban remains valid, because Beis Din instituted ("Tenai Beis Din") that a person *not* specify any of these intents, lest he mistakenly specify the wrong intent (which would invalidate the Korban). Since Beis Din instituted that one have no specific intent when offering the Korban, and since Rebbi Yosi considers it acceptable for one to have no intent, it is evident that "Setama" is considered as having proper intent.

The wording of Rebbi Yosi, "even if he did not have these intents in mind...," implies that the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved when one does not have in mind any Kavanos; l'Chatchilah, though, it seems that one *should* have in mind these Kavanos. However, Rebbi Yosi continues and says that there is a Tenai Beis Din that l'Chatchilah a person should *not* have in mind any of these Kavanos! Why, then, does Rebbi Yosi not phrase his statement by saying that *l'Chatchilah* a person should not have these Kavanos in mind? (SEFAS EMES)


(a) The SEFAS EMES answers that the rabbinic institution, the Tenai Beis Din, was only that a person should not have in mind *two* of the six intentions -- "l'Shem Zevach" and "l'Shem Zove'ach." For these two intents, the possibility exists that the person will have in mind the wrong intent and invalidate the Korban, since he might have in mind a different type of Korban, or a different owner. In contrast, the other intents have no alternative possibilities that could invalidate the Korban. For example, there is no concern that a person will "accidentally" have intent to bring the Korban for Avodah Zarah and not for Hashem. Therefore, the Rabanan did not institute that one should not have those other Kavanos in mind when he brings a Korban.

Accordingly, when Rebbi Yosi says that the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved when the Kohen does not have specific intent, he is referring to the other four Kavanos. When Rebbi Yosi says that the Rabanan instituted that one should not have in mind these intents l'Chatchilah, he is referring to the two Kavanos of "l'Shem Zevach" and "l'Shem Zove'ach." (This might be the intention of RASHI, DH she'Lo, who explains that Rebbi Yosi says that the Korban is valid b'Di'eved when the Kohen "did not have in mind *even one* of these intents," meaning that he did not have *any* intent in mind, referring to any one of the four that he needs to have in mind l'Chatchilah.)

The YOSEF DA'AS points out that not all agree with this approach. The NODA B'YEHUDAH (YD 1:93) writes that it is not necessary to specify verbally that one is doing a Mitzvah "l'Shem Hashem" before performing a Mitzvah, because of the Takanah of the Mishnah not to have these intents in mind. He apparently understands that the Tenai Beis Din applied to all of the Kavanos, and it is not necessary to have even the intent of "l'Shem Hashem" in mind.

(b) The RASHASH proposes another answer to this question. TOSFOS (DH Kayamei) and the SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#5) point out that even if the Tenai Beis Din states that it is not necessary to verbally express the specific intent, nevertheless it might be necessary to have the specific intent *in mind*. Based on this distinction, the Rashash suggests that Rebbi Yosi may mean that l'Chatchilah a person should have in mind all of the specific intents of the Korban. The Takanas Beis Din was only that it is not necessary to verbally express them; he still must have them in mind, though. This is why Rebbi Yosi teaches that if one did not even have these intents in mind, the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved.

Why, though, should a person have in mind the specific Kavanos of the Korban? If he has in mind the *wrong* intent, he might invalidate the Korban, and thus the Rabanan should have instituted that he should not even *think* the Kavanos in his mind! The answer is that wrong Kavanos -- which invalidate a Korban -- can invalidate the Korban only when they are expressed verbally, but not when they are thought in one's mind (see Tosfos to 2a, DH Kol and Insights there). If the Kavanos are not effective when they are not verbally expressed, then why l'Chatchilah should one have the proper Kavanos in mind? Perhaps the purpose of having them in mind is to remember the Torah's original requirement before the Tenai Beis Din was applied.

The Rashash, however, seems to take a different approach. He implies that a wrong Kavanah can invalidate a Korban only when it is spoken, but a correct Kavanah is effective even when it is thought in one's mind. (It is not clear why there should be such a distinction. Perhaps it is based on a similar concept expressed by the Gemara in Kidushin 39b, "Machshavah Ra'ah....")

(c) Perhaps Rebbi Yosi means to say that the Korban was valid b'Di'eved without any Kavanah *before* the Tenai Beis Din was instituted. After the Tenai Beis Din was instituted, l'Chatchilah a person should not have specific Kavanah.

(d) The RAMBAM in PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS (end of the fourth Perek) proposes a novel interpretation of the Mishnah there. He explains that according to the Tana Kama, both the Kohen *and* the owner of the Korban must have these six specific intents. When Rebbi Yosi says that there is a Tenai Beis Din not to have any intent in mind, he means that Beis Din instituted that the *owner* should not have any of these Kavanos in mind, lest he invalidate the Korban. (The Kohen, however, will certainly have the correct intentions.) This is what the Mishnah means when it concludes that only the wrong Kavanah of the Kohen can invalidate the Korban, but not the wrong Kavanah of the owner.

There are a number of difficulties with the Rambam's explanation. First, how could the Rabanan institute that the wrong Kavanah of the owner will not invalidate the Korban? If the Korban is invalid mid'Oraisa, then how can the Rabanan institute that the Korban is valid and should be offered?

Second, how can the Gemara prove from Rebbi Yosi's statement that having no specific intent, "Setama," is valid? According to the Rambam, Rebbi Yosi says only that the owner's Kavanah is not taken into account. The Kohen, however, must have the proper Kavanah, and perhaps "Setama" is not sufficient!

The answer seems to be that according to the Rambam, the Rabanan instituted that the intentions of Beis Din should override the intentions of the owner. This is based on the principle that when a person does a Mitzvah, he does it "Al Da'ata d'Rabanan" (see Insights to Sukah 3:2). The Rabanan said that *they* intend for the Korban to be brought for whatever purpose for which it was designated, and not for whatever intentions the owner specifies. This is why the Korban is not Pasul despite the wrong intentions of owner.

This also explains how we see from Rebbi Yosi's statement that "Setama" is valid. The Rabanan do not have in mind any specific intent for the Korban; rather, they say that every Korban should be brought for whatever purpose for which it was designated. This is no better than a Kavanah of "Setama," unspecified intent. If the Korban is valid in such a case, then it must be that "Setama" is considered proper intent.

We may apply the teaching of the Rambam to answer our original question. When Rebbi Yosi says that l'Chatchilah a person must have in mind the proper Kavanah, he was referring to the Kohen who brings the Korban; even if the Kohen does not have in mind the specific intents of the Korban, the Korban is still valid b'Di'eved. Rebbi Yosi proves this from the Tenai Beis Din, which applies to the *owner* and teaches that the owner's Kavanah is not taken into account. This shows that the Kavanah of the Rabanan can take the place of the owner even though the Kavanah of the Rabanan is "Setama," unspecified.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,