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Zevachim, 27

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


QUESTION: The Mishnah (26a) lists several cases in which the Zerikas ha'Dam of a Korban was not done properly. It states that in all of these cases, the Korban is Pasul, but one is not punished with Kares for eating the meat of the Korban. Shmuel (26b) explains that when the Mishnah says that the Korban is Pasul, it means only that its meat may not be eaten. The Korban, however, *does* atone for its owner. Shmuel derives this from the verse, "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). This verse teaches that once the blood reaches the Mizbe'ach or any part of the Mizbe'ach, it atones. However, it *only* atones; it does not permit the flesh of the Korban to be eaten.

Reish Lakish (27a) agrees with Shmuel that the Zerikah in the cases of the Mishnah is effective b'Di'eved and atones, even though the meat cannot be eaten. He argues, though, that when the Mishnah says that the Korban is Pasul, it means that the Korban is entirely Pasul and it does not even atone for the owner. The Mishnah, Reish Lakish explains, is discussing a case in which the Kohen performed the Zerikah "b'Amirah" -- "with a statement." RASHI (DH Kan) explains that this means that the Kohen performed the Zerikah with specific intent ("Amirah") to eat the meat of the Korban "Chutz l'Zmano." The Mishnah is teaching that because these types of Zerikah are considered valid Zerikos b'Di'eved, having a thought of Pigul during Zerikah can invalidate the Korban. However, one who eats the meat of the Korban is not punished with Kares, because having a thought of Pigul during a Zerikah that cannot make the meat permitted to eat does not create an Isur of Pigul which is punishable with Kares.

The Gemara asks that if it is true that a Korban cannot become Pigul during a Zerikah which does not permit the meat to be eaten, then the same should apply if, during the Shechitah, the Kohen thinks to perform the Zerikah at the wrong place on the Mizbe'ach "Chutz l'Zmano." It should be as if the Kohen thought during the Shechitah that he would not perform Zerikah at all (and such a thought is not an invalidating thought)! The Gemara answers that Reish Lakish holds like Rebbi Yehudah (35b), who maintains that such a thought *is* an invalidating thought; if a person has in mind during Shechitah to leave over some of the blood of the Zerikah until the next day ("Machsheves Hinu'ach," a thought of "leaving over"), then the Korban is Pasul according to Rebbi Yehudah.

The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#3), TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER (on the Mishnah), and others have difficulty with Rashi's explanation of Reish Lakish. According to Rashi, Reish Lakish is saying that the reason the Korban is Pasul is because of a thought to eat the Korban "Chutz l'Zmano," while doing the Zerikah in the wrong place. However, in such a case, why is the Korban invalid at all? If the Torah teaches that a thought during a misplaced Zerikah cannot create Pigul, then a thought during a misplaced Zerikah should be disregarded altogether, and the Korban should be valid!

Indeed, the Gemara itself mentions Rebbi Yehudah's case of "Machsheves Hinu'ach" because without his opinion there is no reason the Korban should become Pasul due to a thought of doing Zerikah in the wrong place "Chutz l'Zmano," since such a Zerikah does not enable the meat to be eaten. However, in the case where the Machshavah was a normal Machshavah of Pigul, and the reason it does not create Pigul is because the Avodah was not a proper Avodah (since the Zerikah was in the wrong place), the case cannot be compared to a case of "Machsheves Hinu'ach," and we should say that the Korban is valid, just like a case of a thought of Pigul that the Kohen has in mind at a time when he is not performing any Avodah. Why, then, is the Korban Pasul?


(a) The ACHI'EZER (2:30) answers that while Reish Lakish understands that Shechitah (and Kabalah) performed with a thought of doing Zerikah in the wrong place is Pasul (in accordance with the view of Rebbi Yehudah), this is not the reason why Reish Lakish understands that doing Zerikah in the wrong place with a normal though of Pigul ("Chutz l'Zmano") is Pasul. Reish Lakish understands that there is a fundamental difference between these two cases. In the first case, when one performs Shechitah with a thought to perform Zerikah in the wrong place "Chutz l'Zmano," the Korban is not considered Pigul because the thought was not a normal thought of Pigul (since he had in mind to do an improper Zerikah outside of the proper time). We learn from the verse that having a thought to perform a Zerikah that does not allow the Korban to be eaten (such as Zerikah in the wrong place) is equivalent to having a thought to *not* perform Zerikah (leaving the Korban with no reason for it to be Pasul). This is why the Gemara asks that the Korban should not be Pasul at all with such a thought. The Gemara answers that it must be that the Korban is Pasul because of the thought of leaving over the blood, according to Rebbi Yehudah, and not because of the thought of doing Zerikah in the wrong place.

In the second case, when one performs the Zerikah in the wrong place with a thought to eat the Korban "Chutz l'Zmano," the Korban does not become Pigul because the Avodah during which the person had a thought of Pigul was not a properly-performed Avodah. We learn from the verse (mentioned earlier in the Gemara) -- which excludes such a case from the laws of Pigul -- only that it does not have the same stringency as a normal case of Pigul. We cannot deduce from the verse that the Korban should be valid. (See also KEHILOS YAKOV #21, CHAZON ISH Kodashim 7:5, and OR SAME'ACH, Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 2:12.)

(b) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES cites RABEINU PERETZ who explains the Gemara differently than Rashi. He explains that Reish Lakish is discussing a case in which the Kohen thought, during Zerikah, to pour the blood leftover after Zerikah ("Shirayim") in the wrong place at the wrong time ("Chutz l'Zmano"). Just as we find that a thought, during Shechitah, to do Zerikah in the wrong place and at the wrong time is considered a "Machsheves Hinu'ach," so, too, a thought *during* the performance of Zerikah in the wrong place to perform another action "Chutz l'Zmano" is comparable to a "Machsheves Hinu'ach" of that action. Therefore, the case that Rabeinu Peretz discusses is comparable to a case of a thought during Shechitah to leave the Shirayim alone (and not pour them). Reish Lakish maintains that the Korban in such a case is invalid mid'Rabanan. Even though the Shirayim is not a necessary procedure of the Korban, the Rabanan invalidated the Korban in such a case because such a thought can be confused with a thought during the Shechitah (or Kabalah) not to perform Zerikah at all. (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the Halachah in the case of a privately-donated Ketores ("Ketores Zarah") which was placed upon the Mizbe'ach. Such a Ketores is an invalid offering, since the Torah sanctions bringing Ketores only from public, communal funds. The Beraisa says that if such Ketores was placed upon the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, it must be removed. The Ketores is not allowed to remain on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, since the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon is Mekadesh only things that are supposed to be placed on it. If, on the other hand, the Ketores was placed upon the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, then it is allowed to remain there, since the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is Mekadesh whatever is placed on it. Accordingly, the Gemara seems to be saying that the Ketores stays on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi and is not removed. The SHITAH MEKUBETZES quotes RABEINU SHMUEL ME'IVRA who has difficulty with this Gemara. The Torah states with regard to the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, "Minchah v'Nesech Lo Sischu Alav" -- "a Minchah and a Nesech you should not put upon it" (Shemos 30:9). This teaches us that the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is *not* Mekadesh even regular Korbanos! How, then, can the Gemara say that the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is empowered to be Mekadesh Korbanos which are Pasul in the first place?


(a) RABEINU SHMUEL ME'IVRA answers that the verse is discussing the proper conduct that must be followed, l'Chatchilah, for the Mizbe'ach. That is, the verse is teaching what items l'Chatchilah should be brought, and should not be brought, upon the Mizbe'ach. The verse does not address what should be done if, b'Di'eved, something improper is brought upon the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara teaches that in such a case, the Korban becomes Kadosh and must be left on the Mizbe'ach. Accordingly, the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi indeed is Mekadesh anything that is offered upon it, even that which are unfit to be brought as a Korban.

What exactly is the Torah prohibiting, according to this explanation? Is the Torah prohibiting *placing* an improper Korban on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, or is the Torah prohibiting *burning* it on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi?

If the Torah prohibits burning these things on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, then why, b'Di'eved, should they be permitted to remain there and be burned? We cannot say that once they are placed there, the prohibition no longer applies and they may be burned, because *everything* that is placed on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi becomes Kadosh and may be burned, and thus the prohibition effectively would be cancelled! It must be that the Torah is prohibiting *placing* the Korbanos onto the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. Once the prohibition has been transgressed and they have been placed there, though, they may be left there and burned.

There is a similar prohibition in Vayikra (2:11-12) that prohibits bringing improper things on the Mizbe'ach *ha'Chitzon* (such as bread and fruits). However, the verse there implies that it is prohibited to *burn* them on the Mizbe'ach, because the verse concludes, "They shall not provide on the Mizbe'ach a pleasing offering." According to Rabeinu Shmuel me'Ivra, we must say that there is a difference between the prohibition of offering Korbanos on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, which prohibits placing them on the Mizbe'ach, and the prohibition of offering improper things on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, which prohibits *burning* them as well. (See CHAZON ISH on the RAMBAM, Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 3:18.)

The MIKDASH DAVID (5:2) indeed suggests that the prohibition involves bringing things onto the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, not burning them there. The MINCHAS AVRAHAM brings support for this explanation from the words of RABEINU GERSHOM in Menachos (57b). The Gemara there discusses "one who brings up" ("ha'Ma'aleh"), onto the ramp of the Mizbe'ach, Korbanos which do not belong on the Mizbe'ach, thereby transgressing the prohibition. Rabeinu Gershom comments that this refers to one who brings them onto the ramp *without* burning them.

(b) RAV SHACH zt'l in AVI EZRI (Telisa'a, Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 3:5) explains that Rabeinu Shmuel me'Ivra is *not* saying that the verse is teaching what the law is l'Chatchilah, while the Gemara is teaching what the law is b'Di'eved. Rather, when Rabeinu Shmuel me'Ivra says that the verse is "l'Chatchilah," it means that the verse prohibits placing a Korban on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi with specific intent to attain atonement, or to serve another purpose of a Korban (such as to fulfill one's Neder). The word "b'Di'eved" is being used to refer to placing something on the Mizbe'ach with no intent or purpose in mind, but rather merely to burn it there (like firewood). This act is not prohibited by the Torah.

(According to this explanation, the prohibition of placing things on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon and the prohibition of placing things on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi refer to the same action.)

(c) Rabeinu Shmuel me'Ivra gives another answer to his question. When the Gemara says that "if they were brought up, then they should not be taken down," it does not mean that the Korban remains on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. Rather, it means that after it is removed from the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, if it is then placed on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, then it should not be removed, because it became Kadosh by being placed, originally, on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. The Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon itself cannot be Mekadesh this Korban, since it can only be Mekadesh something that was already made Kadosh in a Kli Shares. The Gemara is teaching that this step -- making something Kadosh in a Kli Shares -- can also be accomplished by placing the item on the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, which is considered to be like a Kli Shares. In practice, this is relevant only for something which is not otherwise made Kadosh in a Kli Shares, such as the Kometz of a Korban Minchah. (See YAD BINYAMIN who quotes a lengthy discussion between RAV MICHAL YEHUDAH LEFKOWITZ and RAV ISSER ZALMAN MELTZER regarding the explanation of this answer of Rabeinu Shmuel me'Ivra). (Y. Montrose)

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