(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

Previous daf

Zevachim, 64

ZEVACHIM 64-65 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for the Torah and for those who study it.


OPINIONS: The Gemara earlier (63b) quotes a Beraisa which discusses the exact locations where various Avodos for the Chatas ha'Of must be performed. With regard to the Haza'as ha'Dam, the Beraisa first states that it may be performed anywhere on the Mizbe'ach, and then it states that it must be done below the Chut ha'Sikra. The Gemara reconciles these two conflicting statements by explaining that the first statement of the Beraisa is referring to the Mitzuy (pressing the blood from the body of the bird onto the Mizbe'ach after the Haza'ah), which may be performed anywhere on the Mizbe'ach. The second statement is referring to the Haza'ah. The Beraisa is teaching that even if the Mitzuy was not done, the Chatas ha'Of is still valid as long as the *Haza'ah* was done below the Chut ha'Sikra.

Does the Gemara mean to say that *all* of the Dam must be sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra in order for the Korban to be valid, or does it mean that even if some of it was sprinkled above the Chut ha'Sikra, the Korban is valid as long as some of the Dam was sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra?

(a) According to RASHI (DH Mai ka'Amar), the Gemara is not saying that the Beraisa means that the Korban remains valid as long as *some* of the Dam was sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra. If the Korban was valid in such a case, then the Gemara could have answered the contradiction in the Beraisa by saying simply that the Beraisa is teaching that when some of the Dam is sprinkled above the Chut ha'Sikra (the Beraisa's first statement), the Korban is still valid as long as some of the Dam is sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra (the Beraisa's second statement).

Rather, the Gemara inferred from the wording of the Beraisa that this was not the intention of the Beraisa. The Beraisa states, "Hizah Damah" -- "he sprinkled *the blood*," which implies *all* of the blood. If the Beraisa had meant only some of the blood, it would have sad, "Hizah *mi'Damah*" -- "he sprinkled *from* the blood." The Beraisa, therefore is referring to Haza'ah of *all* of the blood above the Chut ha'Sikra, and not just some of the blood, and thus the first statement contradicts the second statement. It must be, as the Gemara explains, that the first statement refers to Mitzuy, while the second statement refers to Haza'ah, and the Beraisa is saying that the Haza'ah must be done entirely below the Chut ha'Sikra. (This is how the LECHEM MISHNEH, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 7:9, understands Rashi, as well as the YAD BINYAMIN on Rashi DH u'Vilvad, in contrast to the understanding of the KEREN ORAH.)

(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 7:9) maintains that if the sprinkling is done anywhere on the Mizbe'ach, the Korban is valid, as long as some of the blood is sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra. The LECHEM MISHNEH, who accepts Rashi's explanation above, finds the Rambam's conclusion difficult, because the Gemara excludes the possibility that the Haza'as ha'Dam of a Chatas ha'Of can be done even partially above the Chut ha'Sikra. The Lechem Mishneh suggests that the Rambam must have had a different Girsa in the Gemara.

The MAHARI KURKAS explains that the Rambam might be arguing with Rashi's interpretation of the Gemara. Rashi says that if the Beraisa maintains that the Korban is valid when some of the blood is sprinkled above the Chut ha'Sikra, the Beraisa would have read, "Hizah mi'Damah," and not "Hizah Damah," as mentioned above. However, this is not necessarily true. Since the Beraisa immediately qualifies its first statement and says that some blood must be sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra, then we can infer that the first statement is referring to only *some* of the blood. What, then, does the Gemara find problematic with the two statements of the Beraisa? The Beraisa is simply saying that if some of the blood was sprinkled above the Chut ha'Sikra, the Korban remains valid as long as some blood is sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra!

The Mahari Kurkas suggests that the Gemara's difficulty with the Beraisa is that the qualifying statement -- that some blood must be sprinkled below the Chut ha'Sikra -- is said only *after* the Beraisa tells us that the lack of Mitzuy does not disqualify the Korban. If the Beraisa is giving a qualifying statement about Haza'ah, then it should make this statement immediately, before discussing the new subject of Mitzuy! What, then, is the Beraisa teaching? The Gemara answers that the Beraisa is teaching a different Halachah, but it remains true that performing part of the Haza'as ha'Dam on the upper part of the Mizbe'ach will not disqualify the Korban. (See Mahari Kurkas for other possible explanations).

The CHOK NASAN says that the question on the Rambam is not really a question at all. The Rambam might agree with Rashi's explanation for why we do not interpret the Beraisa to be teaching that it is permitted to sprinkle the blood above and then below the Chut ha'Sikra, since it does not say "Hizah *mi'Damah*." However, this does not mean that it is prohibited to sprinkle the blood above the Chut ha'Sikra. Rather, the Gemara's inference from the wording of the Beraisa merely teaches that the Beraisa was not discussing the subject of Haza'ah above the Chut ha'Sikra at all. The Rambam understands (unlike Rashi) that the Beraisa does not actually maintain that if one sprinkles some of the blood above the Chut ha'Sikra that the Korban becomes Pasul. Accordingly, he understands that the intent of the Gemara, after explaining the meaning of the Beraisa, does not contradict the Halachah that one who sprinkles some blood above the Chut ha'Sikra may sprinkle blood below the Chut ha'Sikra, making the Korban valid. (See MIRKEVES HA'MISHNEH and EVEN HA'AZEL for additional answers). (Y. Montrose)


OPINIONS: The Gemara describes the process of Melikah, the slaughtering of the bird-offering by hand. The Beraisa concludes that this was the most difficult Avodah to perform in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Gemara asks that we find other Avodos which are even more difficult, such as the Avodos of Kemitzah and Chafinah (see Yoma 47b and 49b)! The Gemara answers that the Beraisa is not saying that the Melikah was the most difficult Avodah, but rather that it was *among* the most difficult Avodos in the Mikdash (see RASHI, DH Avodah Kashah).

The Gemara does not explain exactly what was so difficult about Melikah that made it deserving of the title of the most difficult Avodah, or one of the most difficult Avodos, in the Mikdash. Why was it so difficult?

(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#14) explains why the Melikah was so difficult to perform. The Gemara says that the neck of the bird must be stretched out, with the other fingers, on the back of the thumb, and then the Kohen must perform the actual Melikah with the *same* thumb on which the neck was stretched out! This is because Melikah is an Avodah, and, like all other Avodos, it must be done with the right hand. Even holding the bird steady must be done solely with the right hand, as well as the Melikah itself. This indeed is extremely difficult. The MIKDASH DAVID (2:28) also takes this approach.

(b) However, not all Rishonim agree with the Shitah Mekubetzes. The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos), the BARTENURA, and others maintain that the Kohen was permitted to hold the bird in his left hand while doing the Melikah with the thumb of the right hand. According to these Rishonim, what made the Melikah so difficult? TOSFOS in Yoma (49b, DH v'Ha Ika) explains that the words, "Avodah Kasheh she'b'Mikdash," do not mean that the act was so difficult that it required a great degree of skill. Rather, these words mean that it was *painful* for the Kohen to perform these Avodos. Explaining how this applies to Melikah, Tosfos says that the Kohen experienced considerable pain when his thumbnail would cut through the Mafrekes of the bird. (See SHALOM RAV, quoting the SHE'EILOS U'TESHUVOS MEIR NESIVIM (ch. 12), who adds that according to this explanation, Melikah indeed is the most "difficult" (i.e. painful) of the Avodos to perform.) (Y. Montrose)

Next daf


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