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Zevachim, 26

ZEVACHIM 26-30 - Dedicated to the leaders and participants in the Dafyomi shiurim at the Young Israel of New Rochelle, by Andy & Nancy Neff


OPINIONS: Rebbi Eliezer discusses a case in which a Kohen performs Kabalas ha'Dam for an animal which is standing mostly inside the Azarah, with its hind legs standing outside of the Azarah. If the Kohen had cut off the circulation of the blood of the part of the animal that was outside of the Azarah before Kabalas ha'Dam, the Korban would be valid. If, on the other hand, the Kohen cuts off the circulation *after* the Kabalah, the Korban is Pasul, because the blood in the legs that are outside of the Azarah is considered to be part of the blood that the Kohen receives during the Kabalah (since all of the blood is connected), and thus the Korban is Pasul. The Gemara says that we learn from here that blood that is absorbed in the limbs of an animal is Halachically considered blood. The Gemara responds that this is inconclusive, since it is possible that some fat of the animal which was outside the Azarah entered the bloodstream, and this is what invalidates the Kabalah. The fat is considered like meat of the Korban, which is definitely Pasul if it leaves the Azarah.

The Gemara seems to be making a distinction between blood and meat. If we say that the blood absorbed in the animal's limbs outside the Azarah does not invalidate the Korban when it is received during the Kabalah, since it is not considered blood, then this implies that the absorbed blood is also not considered to be meat. Does this distinction apply in all cases?

(a) As our Gemara implies, it seems that Dam is not considered meat. This is supported further by the alternate text of RASHI (DH Shema Mina), according to which the Gemara explicitly says that the blood here "is not meat" that can be called Pasul if it leaves the Azarah.

This is also the opinion of TOSFOS in Pesachim (22a, DH v'Harei). Tosfos deduces from the Gemara there that blood is not considered part of the animal. He challenges this from the Gemara in Shabbos (77a) which says that Beis Hillel maintains that a Revi'is of blood of a Neveilah is Tamei because it can harden and turn into a k'Zayis. This implies that it is Tamei because it can also be considered like a k'Zayis of meat, the amount of Neveilah necessary to be considered Tamei. The RI answers that the Gemara is not saying that blood is Tamei because it is like the meat of a Neveilah which is Tamei. Rather, there is a specific verse which tells us that the blood of a Neveilah is Tamei. Logic tells us that if the Torah did not specify the amount of blood which creates this Tum'ah, we should compare it to meat. Therefore, this certainly is no proof that in general blood can be considered meat.

(b) The RIVASH (#373) quotes RABEINU YITZCHAK HA'LEVI who points out that the Gemara in Kesuvos (60a) prohibits eating human flesh. He asks that if blood is considered meat, then how can the Gemara say that human blood is permitted? Even if the Torah does not intend to include human blood in the prohibition of drinking animal blood, it should at least fall into the category of human flesh! He answers that there is a verse which tells us that blood is not included in the prohibition of eating human flesh. It is clear that he understands that blood is normally considered meat. According to this opinion, how can we understand the Gemara here in Zevachim? The Gemara says that we see that blood which is absorbed in the limbs of the animal is considered blood. Even if it is not blood, though, according to this opinion it could still invalidate the Korban because it is called meat!

To understand this opinion, we must first analyze the Halachah of "Yotzei" (Korbanos, or parts thereof, that are taken out of their designated areas and become Pasul). The Gemara later (82b) derives the Pesul of Yotzei from the verse, "u'Vasar ba'Sadeh Tereifah Lo Socheilu" -- "Do not eat meat that is torn (Tereifah) in the fields" (Shemos 22:30), which refers to outside of the area of the Azarah. The KEHILOS YAKOV (#20) explains that the Pesul of Yotzei applies to anything that must be eaten in a designated area, or offered upon the Mizbe'ach in a designated area. If the item is not limited to being eaten or offered in a designated area, then there is no prohibition of taking it outside. The blood of a Korban is never supposed to be eaten; all of the blood is supposed to be received by the Kohen during Kabalas ha'Dam. Accordingly, even if blood normally is included in the category of meat, blood from the limbs cannot invalidate the Kabalah like meat in the case of our Gemara, because there is no Pesul for this type of meat -- inedible blood -- to be taken out of the Azarah. Our Gemara, therefore, discusses only the second possibility -- that perhaps the blood absorbed in the limbs is Halachically considered to be blood that is fit to be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach. If blood absorbed in the limbs of the animal is not fit to be used for Zerikah, then there is no Pesul of Yotzei, since the blood is never brought to the Mizbe'ach. Even though it may be placed on the Mizbe'ach, it is certainly not obligated to be placed there and has no obligation of Zerikah. Rebbi Eliezer's statement is understandable only if maintains that this blood can be used for Zerikah. This is why the Gemara deduces that, according to Rebbi Eliezer, the blood in the animal's legs must be blood that is fit for Zerikah in order to invalidate the Korban if it was received during the Kabalah (because the blood was outside the Azarah). (Y. Montrose)


OPINIONS: The Mishnah (26a) discusses cases of a Kohen performing Zerikah in the wrong place: the Kohen sprinkles the blood on the ramp of the Mizbe'ach or on a place that is not opposite the Yesod (the foundation) of the Mizbe'ach (such as the south-east corner), or he sprinkles the blood above the Chut ha'Sikra when the Zerikah of this particular Korban must be done below the Chut ha'Sikra (or vice versa), or he sprinkles the blood in the inner area when it was supposed to be done in the Azarah (or vice versa). The Mishnah states that the Korban is Pasul, but those who eat it are not punished with Kares. In the Gemara (26b), Shmuel explains that when the Mishnah says that these Korbanos are Pasul, it merely means that one cannot eat the meat. The owner, however, has achieved atonement through the Korban despite the misplaced Zerikah. Is Shmuel referring to all of the cases in the Mishnah, or to only some of them?

(a) TOSFOS (DH Amar Shmuel) says that Shmuel is not referring to a case of a Kohen who does Zerikah on the ramp of the Mizbe'ach. Even though we find in the Gemara later (87a) that the ramp is considered like the Mizbe'ach regarding the consecration of parts of Korbanos brought there for burning, we do not find that it is considered like the Mizbe'ach regarding Zerikah. This is apparent from the Gemara later (64b) which derives from the verse (regarding Chatas ha'Of), "Kir ha'Mizbe'ach" -- "the wall of the Mizbe'ach" (Vayikra 5:9), that the Zerikah cannot be done on the wall of the ramp. Tosfos also says this with regard to the Korbanos which were supposed to have Zerikah done in the Azarah and were done instead in the inner area of the Mikdash, or the opposite case. This is apparent from the Gemara (36a) which implies that according to everyone such a place is not acceptable for Zerikah. However, Tosfos then doubts these exceptions, and he suggests that perhaps they should be considered like the Mizbe'ach.

The SEFAS EMES has difficulty understanding Tosfos' suggestion that the fact that the ramp is like the Mizbe'ach regarding the limbs of Korbanos makes it like the Mizbe'ach also with regard to Zerikah. The reason why the ramp is like the Mizbe'ach for limbs of Korbanos is because the limbs are brought to the Mizbe'ach via the ramp. Hence, it is understandable that the Mizbe'ach should already start at the ramp. In contrast, the Zerikah has absolutely nothing at all to do with the ramp!

The Sefas Emes answers that we do find that the Zerikah is, in some way, related to the ramp. The Mishnah (53a) says that the Kohen goes up the ramp when offering a Korban Chatas. RASHI (DH Ula) explains that for a Chatas the Kohen must go onto the ramp, because he must do the Zerikah at the corners of the Mizbe'ach. This would be a reason why the ramp would be included in Shmuel's list as a place which is related to Zerikah and therefore causes atonement when the Zerikah is performed there.

(b) The BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH points out that the RAMBAM does not make this distinction. The Rambam (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 2:10) does not seem to exclude any of the cases of our Mishnah from Shmuel's statement. He lists these cases together, and then states that they are all Pasul and, nevertheless, the owners have achieved atonement.

There is an argument regarding what the Rambam considers to be included in "the inner area" of the Mikdash. The MIKDASH DAVID understands that according to the Rambam, any Zerikah which is supposed to be done in the inner areas of the Beis ha'Mikdash, even those supposed to be done on the Paroches and the Kodesh Kodashim, atone for the owner if done on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon.

However, the ZEVACH TODAH, RABEINU CHAIM HA'LEVI (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 2:16), and the CHAZON ISH (Kodshim 7:2) argue that the only mistake the Gemara is discussing is a mix-up between the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon and the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. This is apparent from the source of Shmuel's ruling, the verse of "va'Ani Nesativ Lachem Al ha'Mizbe'ach l'Chaper" -- "and I gave it to you to be [placed] on the Mizbe'ach to atone [for your lives]" (Vayikra 17:11). Shmuel learns from this verse that once the blood reaches the Mizbe'ach, it atones for the owner. This means that blood which is designated for a Mizbe'ach can serve its purpose of attaining atonement on any Mizbe'ach. Blood which was never designated for a Mizbe'ach is not included in this verse. (Y. Montrose)

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