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Zevachim, 59

ZEVACHIM 59 - dedicated in honor of the Bar-Mitzvah of Moshe Tavin, by his parents. May he continue to "go from strength to strength" and grow in Torah and the fear of Hashem, and bring true Nachas to his family.


OPINIONS: Rav ruled that any Korban slaughtered while the Mizbe'ach is missing part of its mass (see Chulin 18a for a discussion regarding the amount, and material, of the Mizbe'ach to which this refers) is Pasul. However, Rav also ruled that if the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is completely uprooted from its place, one may still offer the Ketores upon the place where the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi stood. The two statements of Rav seem to contradict each other. The Gemara answers that there is a difference between the blood of a Korban which cannot be sprinkled where it is supposed to be sprinkled, and the Ketores. Rav agrees that blood which cannot be sprinkled disqualifies the Korban.

What, though, is the Halachah regarding the burning of the limbs of the Korban -- "Haktaras Eimurin?" Is the Haktaras Eimurin considered to be like the Zerikas ha'Dam, which cannot be done when the Mizbe'ach has a defect, or is it like the Ketores, which does not need the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi in order to be burned?

(a) TOSFOS (61a, DH Mai) explicitly states that Haktaras Eimurin is like the Ketores with regard to this Halachah. This seems to be the conclusion of the Gemara's answer to reconcile the contradictory statements of Rav. The Gemara answers that Rav agrees that blood which cannot be sprinkled disqualifies the Korban. This implies that this is a Halachah that applies only to Zerikas ha'Dam and not to Haktaras Eimurin, which is unrelated to the Zerikas ha'Dam.

The SEFAS EMES, KEREN ORAH, and ZEVACH TODAH have difficulty with the logic of Tosfos. We know that the Zerikas ha'Dam of a Korban permits the meat to be eaten. A person's consumption of the meat of the Korban is comparable to the Mizbe'ach's consumption of the limbs of the Korban (see 28b). Accordingly, it is not logical that there should be such a significant difference between the Zerikas ha'Dam and the Haktaras Eimurin, such that the Zerikah may not be performed if the Mizbe'ach is slightly chipped, while the limbs may be burned even if the entire Mizbe'ach is missing. Furthermore, we know that on certain occasions, the Ketores is offered even without being brought upon the Mizbe'ach, such as the Ketores on Yom Kipur which is burned in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. It is understandable, therefore, that the Ketores does not need a Mizbe'ach. Where, though, do we find that the Haktaras Eimurin can be performed without a Mizbe'ach such that we should compare it to the Ketores?

(b) The SEFAS EMES points out that the RAMBAM (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 3:2) seems to maintain that the Eimurin are like the blood, and they cannot be offered when the Mizbe'ach is lacking. The Rambam says only that the Ketores may be offered without a Mizbe'ach, making no mention of any other Avodah that is valid without the presence of the Mizbe'ach.

The Zevach Todah proves that RASHI (59a, DH Mizbe'ach she'Ne'ekar) also holds that the Eimurin are like the blood. When discussing the statement that Ketores can be offered on the area where the Mizbe'ach stood, Rashi comments that this refers to the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. He explains that, at this point, the Gemara assumes that the same Halachah applies to the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, and thus the Gemara asks that Rav's statements are contradictory. According to Rashi's explanation, the question of the Gemara does not involve a contradiction between the Halachah concerning the Ketores and the Halachah concerning the other things that are offered, but rather it involves a contradiction between that the laws of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi and the laws of the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon. Hence, when the Gemara concludes that there is a difference between the two, this means that all of the things that involve the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon must be done with the Mizbe'ach fully intact. This includes Haktaras Eimurin, which is done on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon. Why, then, does the Gemara say that Rav agrees with regard to the blood, implying that this is a Halachah that applies specifically to the blood? The Zevach Todah explains that the Gemara says that just as Rebbi Yehudah agrees with regard to the blood, so, too, Rav agrees with regard to the blood. Since the Gemara is equating the view of Rav with the view of Rebbi Yehudah, and Rebbi Yehudah made his statement clearly with regard to blood, the Gemara says that Rav also agrees with regard to blood (when, in truth, he maintains that everything offered on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon cannot be offered if the Mizbe'ach is lacking). (See CHAZON ISH 17:2, who disagrees with this interpretation of Rashi.) (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses an argument between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Yosi regarding the height of the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon (the Mizbe'ach ha'Nechoshes). The verse says "v'Shalosh Amos Komaso" -- "and three Amos is its height" (Shemos 27:1). Rebbi Yehudah says that the verse is to be understood as it is written. Rebbi Yosi says that a Gezeirah Shavah from the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi ("Ravu'a, Ravu'a") teaches that just as the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi's height is twice its width, the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon's height is twice its width, resulting in a height of ten Amos. (In the Gemara later (60a), Rebbi Yosi addresses the obvious question according to his opinion: what does the verse mean when it says that the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon is "three Amos" high? He explains that this is referring to the height from the edge of the Sovev to the top of the Mizbe'ach.)

Rebbi Yehudah questions Rebbi Yosi's opinion. Is it possible for the Kohen to perform the Avodah on such a tall Mizbe'ach while everyone watches him? The Mishkan itself was only ten Amos high! Rebbi Yosi answers that there is a Hekesh in the verse (Bamidbar 4:26) which discusses the Mishkan and mentions the Mizbe'ach as well. The Hekesh teaches that just as the Mishkan is ten Amos high, so, too, the Mizbe'ach is ten Amos high.

TOSFOS (DH Mah) asks that Rebbi Yosi originally states that the source that the Mizbe'ach must be ten Amos high is the Gezeirah Shavah of "Ravu'a." Now, though, Rebbi Yosi is giving a different source -- the Hekesh in the verse regarding the Mishkan and the Mizbe'ach! If he learns the Hekesh, why does he also need a Gezeirah Shavah?


(a) RASHI (DH Af Mizbe'ach) is not bothered by this question, because he learns that the Hekesh that Rebbi Yosi mentions is not discussing the height of the Mizbe'ach, but rather the height of the curtains surrounding the Mizbe'ach, which were also ten Amos. This answers Rebbi Yehudah's question -- the Kohen was not seen because of the curtains surrounding the Mizbe'ach. This is also the second explanation cited by the SHITAH MEKUBETZES. The SEFAS EMES understands that Tosfos learns that both the Gezeirah Shavah and the Hekesh are referring to the height of the Mizbe'ach, and thus Tosfos is bothered by the question.

However, the PANIM ME'IROS says that Tosfos also might understand the Gemara as Rashi does, but is still bothered by his question. Rebbi Yosi goes on to discuss two other verses -- "its curtains are fifteen Amos to the shoulder" (Shemos 38:14), and "its height is five Amos" (Shemos 27:18). Tosfos (DH v'Omer) explains that the Gemara understands that the former verse is referring to the width of the curtains, while the latter is referring to their height (unlike Rashi on 60a, DH Amah El ha'Kasef). This means that the only clear reference in the verse regarding the height of the curtains is that they are five Amos high. The Panim Me'iros explains that if Rebbi Yosi had only the Hekesh to teach that the curtains surrounding the Mizbe'ach must be ten Amos high, then we would have assumed that the Mizbe'ach was only five Amos high. Once we know that the curtains are ten Amos high, we understand that the verse is saying that the curtains are "five Amos" *taller* than the Mizbe'ach. The Gezeirah Shavah of "Ravu'a" teaches us not to learn the verse about the curtains that way, but rather that the Mizbe'ach itself is ten Amos high. This means that the curtains must be fifteen Amos high. Similarly, if Rebbi Yosi had only the Gezeirah Shavah, we would have known that the Mizbe'ach is ten Amos high, but we would have thought that the verse that says that the curtains are five Amos high means that the curtains need to be only five Amos high around the Mizbe'ach and not higher. The Hekesh tells us that the curtains must be at least ten Amos high, just like the curtains of the Mishkan. How, though, can one verse say that the curtains are five Amos high, and the Hekesh teach that they are ten Amos high? It must be that the curtains are *fifteen* Amos high, five Amos taller than the Mizbe'ach. (A similar explanation is given by the TZON KODASHIM.)

The Sefas Emes says that he does not agree with these opinions, because Tosfos appears to learn that both verses are referring to the height of the Mizbe'ach and not to the height of the curtains.

(b) The first answer in the SHITAH MEKUBETZES is that the Gezeirah Shavah gives Rebbi Yosi the license to learn the Hekesh. Since the verse says explicitly that the Mizbe'ach is "three Amos" high, Rebbi Yosi would not have derived a different measurement from a Derashah unless he had both a Gezeirah Shavah and a Hekesh from which to learn that measurement. (Y. Montrose)

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