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Zevachim, 79

ZEVACHIM 79 (29 Av) - "Mechabdo b'Chayav, Mechabdo b'Moso" (see Kidushin 31b). This Daf has been dedicated by the Trebitsch family l'Iluy Nishmas Eliezer Shmuel Binyomin ben Mayer Trebitsch, in honor of his Yahrzeit. T'N'TZ'B'H.


QUESTION: The Gemara states that Hillel is the Tana who maintains that "Ein Mitzvos Mevatlos Zo Es Zo" -- Mitzvos do not cancel each other. The Gemara proves this from the fact that on Pesach night, Hillel would eat the Matzah, Maror, and Korban Pesach together. We see that he was not concerned that the taste of the Maror would negate the taste of the Matzah, invalidating the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Matzah. It must be that he maintains that Mitzvos do not cancel each other.

TOSFOS in Pesachim (115a, DH Ela Amar) asks that this particular practice of Hillel does not seem to be conclusive proof that Hillel maintains that Mitzvos do not cancel each other. It is possible that Hillel indeed maintains that Mitzvos normally *do* cancel each other. The Mitzvos of Pesach night are different, because the Torah explicitly instructs that on Pesach night one should take all of these items and eat them together -- "Al Matzos u'Merorim Yochluhu" (Bamidbar 9:11). In general, though, Hillel may indeed maintain that Mitzvos do cancel each other. How, then, does the Gemara bring proof from this conduct of Hillel on Pesach night that he maintains that Mitzvos do not cancel each other? (See a similar question in the CHIDUSHEI HA'RASHBA, RABEINU DAVID, and RAN in Pesachim, and the footnotes on the Rashba explaining why this is *not* the same question as that asked by Tosfos.)


(a) TOSFOS in Pesachim (ibid.) answers that Hillel's position is evident from the fact that he ate these items together at the Pesach Seder *every year*. If Hillel was of the opinion that, in general, Mitzvos are Mevatel each other, then the aforementioned verse is teaching that one is *permitted* (but not obligated) to eat the Maror with the Matzah and Korban Pesach, and that on Pesach night these Mitzvos do not cancel each other. From the fact that Hillel conducted himself like this every year shows that he not only maintained that it was permitted to eat the Maror, Matzah, and Korban Pesach together, but that this is the preferred way of performing the Mitzvos. Since he learns that the verse of "Al Matzos" is teaching the preferable way to perform the Mitzvos, it must be that he maintains that, in general, Mitzvos do *not* cancel each other, and the verse is adding that on Pesach night, one l'Chatchilah should perform the Mitzvos in this manner.

(b) The SEFAS EMES here gives a different answer. It is clear that the Maror and Korban Pesach should be eaten together. There is a different verse, however, with regard to Matzah, which states, "b'Erev Tochlu Matzos (Shemos 12:18), implying that the Matzah should be eaten by itself. Hillel ate only the Matzah of the Mitzvah on Pesach night (as stated explicitly by the CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN in Pesachim there.). Accordingly, if he maintained that the Mitzvos are Mevatel each other, then he would have eaten the Matzah separately, in order to fulfill the verse with regard to Matzah. Since he ate the Matzah together with the other items, it is apparent that he maintained that Mitzvos are not Mevatel each other.

(c) The Sefas Emes suggests another explanation. We know that the word "Al" usually means "on top of," but that it can also mean "next to" (see Bamidbar 2:20, for example). One who maintains that Mitzvos are normally Mevatel each other would still be able to rule like Hillel, but he would come to a different conclusion. He would say that the verse of "Al Matzos u'Merorim Yochluhu" means that one should eat all of these things "next to" each other, meaning in close proximity in time, within the time of "Kedei Achilas Peras" of each other, but not simultaneously, since eating them all at once would cause them to be Mevatel each other. From Hillel's practice of eating them all together, we see that he maintains that Mitzvos normally are not Mevatel each other. (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Mishnah earlier (78a) records an argument between the Rabanan and Rebbi Eliezer regarding blood of a valid Korban which became mixed up with blood of an invalid Korban or with the blood of the animal which is not valid for Zerikah ("Dam ha'Tamtzis"). The Rabanan maintain that all of the blood should be spilled down the Amah. Rebbi Eliezer maintains that the blood may still be used for Zerikah.

The Gemara discusses the reasoning behind each view. Rav Zevid explains that the Rabanan maintain that there is a Gezeirah that even when the amount of non-Zerikah blood does not nullify the blood which is supposed to be used for Zerikah, the blood may not be used. This is because if it could be used, then the Kohanim might become accustomed to using blood that was mixed in such a manner, and they might use it for Zerikah even when the non-Zerikah blood nullifies the valid Zerikah blood. Rebbi Eliezer maintains that no Gezeirah was ever enacted, since the Chachamim did not want to cause Korbanos to become Pasul because of their decrees. Rav Papa says that everyone agrees that the Chachamim would make such a decree, even if it would cause a Korban to become Pasul. Rebbi Eliezer agrees that a mixture of Pasul blood and valid blood is indeed Pasul. However, he maintains that it was uncommon for the Zerikah blood to be mixed up with the Dam ha'Tamtzis, and, therefore, he maintains that there was no such decree.

TOSFOS (DH b'Mai) asks that the Gemara seems to be looking unnecessarily for reasons for the views of these Tana'im. We find in the Mishnah (on this Daf) that Rebbi Eliezer holds of "Ro'in" -- we consider the unfit blood as if it were water and say that the Zerikah blood is valid if it would have maintained an appearance of blood in this amount of water. The Rabanan do not hold of this concept. Since the next part of the Mishnah explicitly states this reasoning for their views, why does the Gemara need to look for other reasons for the argument in our Mishnah? Why do we not say that their argument is whether or not we say "Ro'in?"


(a) TOSFOS answers that Rebbi Eliezer says his reasoning of "Ro'in" only with regard to the law in the next part of the Mishnah. If "Ro'in" would have been his reasoning in our Mishnah, then he would have mentioned it here as well. It must be that the Rabanan in our Mishnah also hold of "Ro'in" and they still argue with Rebbi Eliezer for a different reason.

(b) Alternatively, Tosfos answers that everyone agrees that something which is never supposed to be brought upon the Mizbe'ach at all is *not* something that may not be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach when it becomes mixed up with blood that is valid for Zerikah, as long as the Zerikah blood maintains its identity through "Ro'in." This is because there is no prohibition against sprinkling water on the Mizbe'ach with intention and knowledge that it is water (see Tosfos on 77b, DH b'Dam). Similarly, there is no prohibition against sprinkling a mixture containing Dam ha'Tamtzis if one does not intend that the sprinkling of that blood is being done for the atonement of the Korban. The only time the Rabanan do not apply "Ro'in" is when the blood is something which is supposed to be brought upon the Mizbe'ach, but it is going to be placed on an improper location on the Mizbe'ach. This is why the Gemara inquires into the reasoning behind the argument of the Rabanan and Rebbi Eliezer.

The SHITAH MEKUBETZES explains this answer of Tosfos further. He says that "Ro'in" is not a valid reason to allow blood which already is designated to be sprinkled on a certain place on the Mizbe'ach to change into blood which is now sprinkled somewhere else on the Mizbe'ach. However, if the blood was Pasul or was Dam ha'Tamtzis, then there is nothing wrong with allowing this blood to be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach.

The Shitah Mekubetzes addresses an apparent difficulty in this logic. The next Mishnah begins by saying that everyone agrees that Zerikah blood which is mixed with the blood of Ba'alei Mumim (animals with blemishes) must be spilled down the Amah. If this blood is not supposed to be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach, then why should its mixture prevent the Kosher blood from being sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach? The Shitah Mekubetzes answers that the blood of animals with blemishes is disgusting, and therefore it is unable to be placed on the Mizbe'ach according to everyone. (See BARTENURA and TIFERES YISRAEL for a different reason.)

Alternatively, the Shitah Mekubetzes explains that it is not because we cannot sprinkle valid blood in a place where it is not supposed to go. Rather, the reason is that since the blood has a place that it is supposed to be sprinkled, it is considered important blood which is not negated through the logic of "Ro'in" which considers it to be water. However, blood such as that of a Pasul animal and Dam ha'Tamtzis which has no usage whatsoever may be considered Batel through "Ro'in." (Y. Montrose)

QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that the rule of "Bitul b'Rov" does not apply in every case of a minority of Isur that became mixed with a majority of Heter. In a case in which the appearance, "Chazusa," of the Isur is noticeable in the mixture, the Isur does not become Batel in Rov of Heter. RASHI (DH v'Heicha) explains that this law of "Chazusa" applies only when the taste of the mixture is not relevant, such as in the case of a foreign liquid that fell into the waters of a Mikvah. In the case of a Mikvah, if the appearance of the water has changed due to the foreign liquid that fell into it, the Mikvah is disqualified even though the majority of liquid in the Mikvah is water. In contrast, in cases of Isurim, even if the Isur gives color to the Heter, since the taste of the Heter is the majority, we still follow Rov and permit the mixture.

What is Rashi's logic for differentiating between these cases? If the appearance of the mixture affects the application of Bitul b'Rov when the taste is not relevant, why should it not also affect the application of Bitul b'Rov when the taste is relevant? If the appearance makes it as if the prohibited minority is present and cannot be annulled, then what difference does it make whether the taste is that of Isur or Heter? (SEFAS EMES)

ANSWER: Rashi maintains that the law of "Chazusa" applies only when the taste of the mixture is not relevant, because he understands the concept of "Ta'am k'Ikar" in the manner explained by the RA'AVAD (as cited by the Rashba in Chulin 98b). The Ra'avad explains that the principle of "Ta'am k'Ikar" -- when the taste of an item enters a second item, it is considered as if the item itself has entered the second item -- is based on a verse in Iyov (12:11): "v'Chech Ochel Yit'am Lo" -- "and the palate tastes food for itself." From this verse we learn that the importance of food is its taste. Accordingly, if the taste of the Isur is recognizable, then the prohibited food item is not Batel, because its importance is still present.

Since the important element of food is its taste and not its appearance, even if the appearance of the Isur is still present in the mixture but its taste is not recognizable, it is Batel. In contrast, with regard to a Mikvah -- where taste is irrelevant, since the Mikvah is not a food nor drink but rather a means of purification -- the appearance alone of an ineligible liquid will disqualify the Mikvah, even if there is a Rov of valid water.

The SEFAS EMES asserts that Rashi's statement, that the law of Chazusa does not apply to matters involving taste, applies only to the status of the mixture mid'Oraisa. That is, mid'Oraisa the Isur is Batel as long as there is a Rov of Heter. However, mid'Rabanan, the mixture is still Asur.

A source for this Isur d'Rabanan is mentioned by the REMA (YD 102:1). The Rema states that if one uses an egg of Isur to give a white color to a food, the prohibited egg is not Batel and the food is Asur. The Sefas Emes understands that the Rema rules that the food is prohibited because of the Chazusa, appearance, of the egg.

The MINCHAS YAKOV (to TORAS CHATAS #74) understands that there is an argument between Rashi and the Rema. According to Rashi, the appearance does not prohibit the food at all, even mid'Rabanan. According to the Rema, the food is Asur mid'Rabanan.

However, there seems to be a basic difference between the case of the Rema and the case of our Gemara. In the case of the Rema, the egg was put into the food in order to whiten it and make it more appetizing to the taste. This is similar to an actual taste of an Isur that becomes mixed with a permitted food. In such a case, mid'Oraisa the Isur is Batel, even though it gives appearance, because the (the taste) is the most important element of the food and the taste of the egg is Batel b'Rov. However, according to the Rema, since the appearance in this case is also an important element of the prohibited food item, it prohibits the mixture at least mid'Rabanan.

This case is different from the case that Rashi is discussing. Rashi is discussing a case of a colored food that accidentally fell into a pot and change the color of the entire mixture. We know that even the taste of a prohibited food item only prohibits a mixture ("Ta'am k'Ikar") when it gives a good taste to the mixture, and not when it gives a bad taste. Similarly, here Rashi maintains that the appearance that the prohibited food item gives to the mixture does not prohibit the mixture because the specific appearance that it gives does not enhance the food at all. If the taste of the Isur does not prohibit the mixture unless it enhances the taste of the mixture, then certainly the appearance of the Isur will not prohibit the mixture if it does not make the food look more appealing. (M. Dicker)

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