(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, 80

ZEVACHIM 80 (30 Av) - This daf has been dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer, upon her Yahrzeit and Yom Kevurah, by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel. Esther Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.


QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Mishnah in Parah (9:1) that discusses a case in which a drop of regular water falls into a bowl of Mei Chatas, the consecrated water, containing the ashes of the Parah Adumah, used for the purification process of one who is Tamei with Tum'as Mes. Although there clearly is a majority of Mei Chatas, can this water still be used in the purification process of one who is Tamei? Rebbi Eliezer rules that if two sprinkles from this water are administered, then it may be used to make a person Tahor. The Chachamim argue and rule that this water may no longer be used. The Gemara discusses both opinions at length. Why does the Mishnah in Parah not take into account the fundamental principle of Bitul b'Rov (as discussed earlier, on 78b)? This is a case of Min b'Mino (water fell into water), to which Bitul b'Rov applies, and the drop of ordinary water should be nullified by the majority of Mei Chatas! Even Rebbi Eliezer, who rules leniently in this case, seems to be ignoring the logic of Bitul b'Rov!


(a) TOSFOS (79b, DH Tenan Hasam) answers that the law in the Mishnah in Parah (either the ruling of Rebbi Eliezer or the ruling of the Chachamim) is certainly mid'Rabanan. The Rabanan instituted a stringency with regard to Mei Chatas, because of the severity of the laws of Tum'ah and Mei Chatas. Mid'Oraisa, however, the ordinary water indeed would be Batel b'Rov.

(b) The RIVA, quoted by the CHOK NASAN, argues that the rule of Bitul b'Rov does not apply in this case. Bitul b'Rov does not mean that the minority in the mixture acquires the status of the majority. Rather, it means that the minority does not interfere with the status of the majority; we ignore the minority. Accordingly, even if we would apply Bitul b'Rov, the regular water which would be sprinkled from this mixture would not have the status of Mei Chatas and would not purify the person that was sprinkled. This makes the entire mixture Pasul.

The logic used by the Riva is attributed to the ONEG YOM TOV (OC 4). He uses this principle when he asserts that Tzitzis that were spun without specific intention to use them for the Mitzvah of Tzitzis cannot be added to a majority of strings that were spun with the correct intention by applying the principle of Bitul b'Rov. Since they do not attain the status of the majority, they do not add to the correct amount of valid Tzitzis required. The YAD BINYAMIN adds that a similar line of reasoning is advanced by the RAN in Nedarim (59a), who states that a permitted substance which is the minority of a mixture retains its status even though the majority of the mixture is a forbidden substance. It seem that the Ran maintains that something which is a minority retains its status even though it is Batel b'Rov.

However, the CHAMUDAS DANIEL points out that this principle is challenged by many other Rishonim. As we mentioned, Tosfos explicitly holds that Bitul *would* work in this case, which clearly shows that he maintains that the regular water in the mixture indeed would become Mei Chatas because of Bitul. This is also apparent from Tosfos in Bava Metzia (6b, DH Kafatz), who questions the Gemara's statement that if an animal that was separated as Ma'aser Behemah jumps back into the area where the animals that were not yet counted are gathered, all of the animals are exempt from Ma'aser Behemah. Tosfos asks why this should be -- why should we not apply Bitul b'Rov and consider all of the animals in the mixture as obligated to have Ma'aser separated from them? From the question of Tosfos there we see that he holds that the animal that was Ma'aser Behemah loses its status once it becomes Batel in a majority of animals from which Ma'aser was not separated. The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (Hashmatos to 78b), in his third explanation, also expresses clearly that a minority of Isur turns into Heter (see also SHALOM RAV to 78b in the name of the DARCHEI YOSHER). The Chamudas Daniel therefore concludes, unlike the Oneg Yom Tov quoted above, that a majority of Tzitzis that were made with intention for the Mitzvah of Tzitzis turn the minority which were not made with the proper intention into valid strings, enabling the person to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis with them (see also KOVETZ HE'OROS, Yevamos #59, who discusses this argument). (Y. Montrose)


OPINIONS: The Mishnah (80a) discusses three cases of Korbanos whose bloods becomes mixed together: a mixture of two Korbanos that each require only one Zerikah, a mixture of two Korbanos that each require four Zerikos, and a mixture of a Korban that requires one Zerikah with a Korban that requires four Zerikos. The Mishnah states that, in the first case, "they should be given with one sprinkling." The Gemara asks that assuming that we hold that each drop of blood is not considered a mixture of both Korbanos, how do we know that the blood from both Korbanos reached the Mizbe'ach? Perhaps all the blood that was placed on the Mizbe'ach was from only one Korban! (See TOSFOS, DH Kegon, who understands the question differently.) The Gemara answers that the Mishnah is referring to a case in which "one [sprinkle of blood] became mixed with one [sprinkle of blood]." What does the Gemara mean by this answer?
(a) RASHI (DH Achas b'Achas) says that the Gemara is answering that the Kohen places all of the blood that became mixed onto the Mizbe'ach, thus ensuring that some blood from each Korban is placed on the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara's initial assumption was that the Mishnah means that only a single Matanah is performed, because no matter how much blood is in the mixture, we consider each drop as a mixture of the blood of both Korbanos. However, according to the opinion that we view each drop of blood as being from only one animal and not as a mixture of blood from both animals, the Mishnah must mean that enough blood for one Matanah from each animal became mixed together, and by placing the entire mixture on the Mizbe'ach, the Kohen certainly is performing Zerikah for both animals. Rashi apparently learns that the Mishnah's statement of "they should be given with one sprinkling" means, as the Gemara initially assumed, that one Matanah should be given. The Gemara's answer is that this wording can also mean that one must give an amount of one Matanah *from each Korban*, and not the total amount of only one Matanah.

(b) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (Hashmatos #8) has difficulty with Rashi's explanation. In the third case of the Mishnah, in which a Korban that requires one Zerikah becomes mixed with a Korban that requires four, the Gemara seems to retract the explanation used in the previous two cases. Rashi (81a, DH v'Chi Teima) explains that the Gemara means that we cannot say that Rebbi Eliezer's opinion in the Mishnah ("Yinasnu b'Matan Arba") means that *five* sprinkles should be given. The Shitah Mekubetzes asks how can the Gemara even entertain such a possibility? According to the Gemara's original understanding, we might have understood this to mean that either *four* sprinkles must be performed, or *eight*, but not five! There is no way that the wording of the Mishnah could possibly mean five sprinkles.

The Shitah Mekubetzes therefore gives a different explanation (in the name of "Mori"). He explains that the Mishnah, when it says, "Yinasnu b'Matanah Achas," means that the total *amount* of blood that the Zerikos of both Korbanos required before they were mixed together should be given in as many Matanos as the Mishnah says. For example, "Yinasnu b'Matanah Achas" means that the amount of two sprinkles, one from each Korban, should be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach at one time. Therefore, when the Gemara says that we cannot learn that Rebbi Eliezer means five sprinkles, it does not mean that "Matan Arba" somehow means five sprinkles. Rather, it means that the amount of blood required for the Zerikos of both Korbanos, indicated by the word "Yinasnu," should be given in four sprinkles.

The Shitah Mekubetzes also differs with Rashi regarding how much blood the Gemara is discussing. According to his explanation, when the Gemara says that the case of the Mishnah is one in which "one became mixed with one," it does not necessarily mean that the amount of one sprinkle is mixed with the amount of only one other sprinkle. It means that the amount of the Zerikah is comprised of the amount of blood which was supposed to be given for both Korbanos. (Y. Montrose)

Next daf


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