THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
ZEVACHIM 97-98 - Dedicated to the leaders and participants in the Dafyomi
shiurim at the Young Israel of New Rochelle, by Andy & Nancy Neff
1) COOKING IN A POT USED FOR KORBANOS
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah records an argument between Rebbi Tarfon and the
Chachamim with regard to performing Merikah u'Shetifah during the Regel.
Rebbi Tarfon maintains that when one cooks a Korban in a pot at the
beginning of the Regel, he may continue using the pot throughout the entire
Regel without performing Merikah u'Shetifah. Only after the Regel passes
must he perform Merikah u'Shetifah. The Chachamim argue and maintain that
one may use the pot without Merikah u'Shetifah only until "Zeman Achilah,"
until the time during which the Korban may be eaten.
2) A "DAVAR KAL" COOKED WITH A "DAVAR CHAMUR"
The Gemara explains that the logic of Rebbi Tarfon is that on each day of
the Regel, when a different Korban is cooked in the pot, the Beli'ah (the
taste absorbed in the walls of the pot) from the previous Korban is purged
from the walls of the pot and the Beli'ah from the new Korban takes its
place ("Na'aseh Gi'ul la'Chaveiro"). Since the Beli'ah in the pot is never
Nosar but always the Beli'ah of a new Korban, Merikah u'Shetifah are not
RASHI explains that Rebbi Tarfon is referring to the cooking of a Korban
Shelamim in the pot after all of the other Korbanos have been cooked in the
pot during the day. A Korban Shelamim may be eaten for two days, and thus
the Beli'ah left in the pot at the end of the day (after the Korban Shelamim
has been cooked) is always a Beli'ah which has another full day before it
The Chachamim who disagree with Rebbi Tarfon apparently do not accept this
argument and do not consider this a valid way to exempt the pot from the
requirement of Merikah u'Shetifah.
There are a number of points in this Gemara which require further
First, why do the Chachamim not accept Rebbi Tarfon's argument? It certainly
is true that as long as there is no Beli'ah of Nosar in the pot, there is no
requirement to perform Merikah u'Shetifah for metal cookware, or to perform
Shevirah for earthenware. Even the Chachamim agree with this, as is evident
from the Gemara earlier (beginning of 96a) which suggests that earthenware
pots should be placed in a furnace to remove the Beli'ah, in order to
circumvent the requirement of Shevirah. Rashi there (DH Ela) explains that
Shevirah is not required unless the Korban which was cooked in the pot left
behind a Beli'ah (see TOSFOS there). The same should apply to Merikah
u'Shetifah. Why, then, do the Chachamim disagree with Rebbi Tarfon in the
Mishnah? (RA'AVAD in Toras Kohanim, Parshas Tzav 7:2)
Second, the converse may also be asked. Although Rashi (on 96a) explains
that the Halachah is that Bishul does not require Shevirah unless there was
a Beli'ah, nevertheless the Gemara (95b) does entertain the possibility that
Bishul will require Shevirah even when there is no Beli'ah. The Gemara
attempts to resolve this question with various proofs from the Mishnah, but
it refutes all of the proofs. Presumably, the same question applies to
Merikah u'Shetifah when there is no Beli'ah, since we do not distinguish
between Shevirah and Merikah u'Shetifah. Why, then, does the Gemara not
prove from the Mishnah here that Bishul without Beli'ah does not require
Shevirah, or Merikah u'Shetifah? Rebbi Tarfon states that one may cook in a
pot throughout the Regel as long as one cooks a Shelamim in the pot at the
end of the day to remove the previous Beli'ah. If Bishul alone, with no
Beli'ah, would require Merikah u'Shetifah, then even Rebbi Tarfon should
require Merikah u'Shetifah in such a case! (MIKDASH DAVID, Kodshim 31:3)
Third, the Mikdash David asks further how can Rebbi Tarfon rule that one may
cook without Merikah u'Shetifah throughout the Regel, when the Regel lasts
for seven (or eight) days? One of those days must be a Shabbos, and on
Shabbos it is prohibited to offer a Korban Shelamim, and it is prohibited to
cook in a pot! Consequently, the Korbanos of Erev Shabbos will become Nosar
when Shabbos ends! Why should Rebbi Tarfon not require Merikah u'Shetifah
after the Shabbos of the Regel?
Fourth, why is Rebbi Tarfon's ruling limited to the Regel? On any ordinary
day of the year it should be permitted to delay the Merikah u'Shetifah by
cooking Shelamim in the pot after it was used for other Korbanos! Why does
Rebbi Tarfon's ruling apply only to the Regel? (RA'AVAD, Toras Kohanim,
Fifth, why is it necessary to cook a Korban Shelamim in the pot to remove
the Isur? Why can one not cook *Chulin* in the pot to remove the Isur? Once
Chulin has been cooked in the pot, it cannot become Nosar and it will not be
necessary to cook anything else in the pot the next day to prevent it from
Sixth, how is it permitted to cook Shelamim that was slaughtered today
inside of a pot in which Shelamim from yesterday, or a Korban Chatas from
today, was cooked? We learned (75b) that there is a principle of "Ein
Mevi'in Kodshim l'Veis ha'Pesul" -- we may not cause an item of Kodshim to
become Pasul before its allotted time, nor may we limit its consumption in
another way, such as by restricting the population that may eat it. If one
cooks the Korban Shelamim of today inside of a pot which contains a Beli'ah
of a Korban Shelamim from yesterday, then the taste of yesterday's Shelamim
that enters today's Shelamim will cause it to become forbidden to be eaten
after one day, instead of after two days. The Shelamim that is cooked now in
the pot absorbs the taste of the Korban that must be eaten by tonight.
Furthermore, if it is cooked in a pot in which a Chatas was cooked, then the
number of people who may eat the Shelamim becomes limited to male Kohanim!
(TOSFOS 96a, DH v'Im, and RITVA to Avodah Zarah 76a)
(a) According to the way RASHI and TOSFOS explain the Gemara, we may answer
these questions as follows.
1. With regard to the first question, why the Chachamim prohibit using the
pot until the end of the Regel, the RA'AVAD in Toras Kohanim (ibid.)
suggests that perhaps the Chachamim did not want to permit cooking a
Shelamim in the pot to remove the taste of the Chatas, either because they
were concerned that the Shelamim would not fill the pot as much as the
Chatas and some of the taste of the Chatas would remain, or because they
were concerned that people might begin to be negligent with the practice of
TOSFOS (96a, DH v'Im) appears to take a different approach. Tosfos asks that
if a Chatas was cooked in the pot, it should not be permitted to cook a
Shelamim in the pot, since doing so reduces the number of people who may eat
the Shelamim (as we asked in the sixth question). Tosfos answers that it is
true that, normally, a Beli'ah of Isur in a pot prohibits the food that is
subsequently cooked in the pot, even if the food of Heter that is cooked in
the pot is the same type of food as the food of Isur that is absorbed in the
pot. (This is known as "Nosen Ta'am Bar Nasan Ta'am d'Isura," the taste
absorbed in the pot becomes re-absorbed by another item; since the taste is
Asur, it is able to prohibit the item that absorbs it). However, Tosfos
writes, if the Heter and the Isur are the same type of food, then the
prohibition is only mid'Rabanan, since, mid'Oraisa, Min b'Mino is Batel
b'Rov. Perhaps Rebbi Tarfon permits cooking the Shelamim in a pot in which
Chatas was cooked during the Regel, because he holds that the Rabanan were
lenient due to the great demand for pots during the Regel.
According to Tosfos, it is evident that Rebbi Tarfon is permitting an Isur
d'Rabanan due to external considerations. Perhaps the Chachamim who disagree
with Rebbi Tarfon do not permit cooking Shelamim in a pot used for a Chatas
for the very reason that Tosfos suggests -- they do not agree that the
Rabanan were lenient merely because of the demand for pots during the Regel.
2. We asked why the Gemara does not prove from Rebbi Tarfon that Bishul does
not require Merikah u'Shetifah when it leaves no Beli'ah in the pot. The
answer is that perhaps the Gemara indeed could have proved this from Rebbi
Tarfon's ruling. However, the Halachic opinion is that of the Chachamim. The
Gemara was in doubt whether or not the Chachamim prohibit leaving the pot
throughout the Regel without Merikah u'Shetifah because of the reasons we
mentioned above in the answer to the first question, or whether they
prohibited it because Bishul requires Merikah u'Shetifah even when there is
no Beli'ah. (M. Kornfeld).
3. To answer the question of the Mikdash David regarding the Shabbos that
occurs during the Regel, we may answer that there is a case in which a pot
may be left without Merikah u'Shetifah until the end of the Regel without
facing the problem of Shabbos. That case is when the last day of the Regel
is Shabbos, when there is no Shabbos in the middle of the Regel. When,
however, Shabbos occurs during the middle of the Regel, even Rebbi Tarfon
will require Merikah u'Shetifah during the Regel, right after Shabbos.
4. Why does Rebbi Tarfon permit this method only during the Regel, and not
during the rest of the year? According to Tosfos (cited above in the answer
to the first question), it is clear that during the rest of the year there
is an Isur d'Rabanan to cook Shelamim in a pot in which Chatas was cooked,
because the Shelamim absorbs the Beli'ah of the Chatas, which thereby limits
the consumption of the Korban to Kohanim.
However, other Rishonim do not accept the answer of Tosfos (as we will
discuss below in the answer to the sixth question). The Ra'avad answers
that, indeed, during the rest of the year Rebbi Tarfon would permit using
the pot in such a manner. However, the Kohen will not be able to find a
Shelamim every day to cook inside of his Chatas pot. Only during the Regel,
when there are many more Shelamim than usual, will he certainly be able to
find a Shelamim to cook in his Chatas pot. This might be the intention of
Rashi (DH Na'aseh) as well.
5. Although it is permitted to bring Chulin into the Azarah to be eaten (see
Tosfos to Menachos 80b, DH v'Chi), it is not permitted to cook Chulin in a
pot of Hekdesh. This is because of the Isur of Me'ilah, using a sanctified
pot for a non-sanctified purpose.
6. We mentioned earlier the answer of Tosfos to our sixth question. Tosfos
maintains that the prohibition of "Nosen Ta'am bar Nosen Ta'am d'Isura" is
only mid'Rabanan when the Isur and Heter are the same type of food, and the
Rabanan permitted this Isur during the Regel.
The Ra'avad in Toras Kohanim explains that the taste that is left in the pot
is not enough to leave a taste in the Shelamim, and therefore it does not
cause it to become prohibited. The Ra'avad might mean that the Kohanim were
careful to put a large amount of Shelamim in a pot in which a small amount
of Chatas was cooked. The RITVA in Avodah Zarah (76a) cites the RAMBAN who
gives a similar explanation., He writes that the Kohanim would first perform
Hag'alah with the pot, thereby removing most of the absorbed Isur so that
only a minute amount would remain, and that minute amount would not be able
to prohibit the Shelamim. However, if Shelamim is *not* cooked in the pot
afterwards, the minute amount of Chatas that remains absorbed in the pot
becomes Nosar, and once it becomes Nosar and is prohibited, even a minute
amount can prohibit what is cooked subsequently in the pot (this is because
one is not allowed to be Mevatel something that has already become
prohibited -- "Ein Mevatlin Isur l'Chatchilah").
This is the way we may answer these questions according to the way Rashi,
Tosfos, and most Rishonim understand our Sugya.
(b) However, the RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos and in Hilchos Ma'aseh
ha'Korbanos 8:14) has an entirely different approach to this Sugya. The
Rambam understands that the Gemara's final interpretation of Rebbi Tarfon's
ruling is not that the Beli'ah is removed by cooking a new Shelamim in the
pot after using it for other Korbanos. Rather, he learns that according to
the Gemara's conclusion, Rebbi Tarfon *does not permit* leaving the pot
until the end of the Regel to perform Merikah u'Shetifah. Rebbi Tarfon in
the Mishnah means that during the Regel, one is permitted to leave the pot
*until the end of that day* of the Regel. Before the day ends, though, the
Merikah u'Shetifah must be performed. The Chachamim who argue with Rebbi
Tarfon maintain that one must perform Merikah u'Shetifah *immediately after*
cooking with that pot, and one may not wait until the end of the day if he
has finished cooking with the pot for now. They base this on the verse that
the Gemara cites.
It is evident that the Rambam had a different Girsa than the one in our
texts. In the Gemara's final explanation of Rebbi Tarfon, the Rambam's Girsa
reads, "Na'aseh Gi'ul" without the word "la'Chaveiro." The Rambam
understands this to mean that every day one must perform Merikah u'Shetifah,
and when Rebbi Tarfon says that one may use the pot "throughout all of the
Regel," he means that one may use the pot throughout every day of the Regel,
performing Merikah u'Shetifah only at the end of the day.
This answers all of the questions that we asked.
1. We asked why the Chachamim disagree with Rebbi Tarfon. From the Rambam's
words it seems that the requirement to perform Merikah u'Shetifah
immediately after cooking is mid'Rabanan, based on an Asmachta. Mid'Oraisa,
though, as long as the Kohanim can eat the Korban, it is permitted to
perform Merikah u'Shetifah, meaning that Merikah u'Shetifah may be performed
until the end of the day. Rebbi Tarfon maintains that due to the involvement
with the festivities of the Regel, the Rabanan were lenient and permitted
the Kohanim to wait until the end of the day.
2. Since Rebbi Tarfon's ruling has nothing to do with removing the Beli'ah
to circumvent Merikah u'Shetifah, our Mishnah cannot be introduced in the
discussion whether Bishul without Beli'ah requires Merikah u'Shetifah.
3. A Shabbos that occurs during the Regel will be the same as any other day
of the Regel, according to both Rebbi Tarfon and the Chachamim. According to
Rebbi Tarfon, one may perform the Merikah u'Shetifah until daybreak
following Shabbos. According to the Chachamim, the Merikah u'Shetifah will
be performed immediately after Bishul (after Shabbos), as usual.
4. The reason why Rebbi Tarfon's ruling applies only during the Regel is
because he agrees with the Chachamim that during the rest of the year, when
the Kohanim are not as busy, Merikah u'Shetifah must be performed
immediately after cooking with the pot. (This is similar to the point that
5. According to the Rambam, Rebbi Tarfon is not permitting the usage of the
pot by removing the Beli'ah by cooking a new Korban in it (perhaps because
of the sixth question that we asked).
6. According to the Rambam, Rebbi Tarfon is not permitting cooking a
Shelamim in a Chatas pot, and thus no Isur becomes absorbed in the Shelamim.
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that when one cooks Kodshim and Chulin, or
Kodshei Kodashim and Kodshim Kalim, together, if the more stringent item
("Davar Chamur") gives taste ("Nosen Ta'am") to the less stringent item
("Davar Kal"), then the Davar Kal must be eaten in accordance with all of
the stringent laws of the Davar Chamur.
The Mishnah continues and says, "And they do not require Merikah u'Shetifah
and they do not disqualify through contact." The Gemara points out that this
is self-contradictory; if the Davar Chamur is Nosen Ta'am, then the pot
should require Merikah u'Shetifah and it should be Posel whatever it
touches. The Gemara answers that there are words missing from the Mishnah.
The Mishnah means that when the Davar Chamur is Nosen Ta'am, then indeed the
pot requires Merikah u'Shetifah and the mixture is Posel through contact.
When the Mishnah then says that it does not require Merikah u'Shetifah and
is not Posel through contact, it is referring to a case in which the Davar
Chamur is not Nosen Ta'am.
Why, though, does the Mishnah itself omit all of these words and present the
Halachah in such a misleading manner?
In addition, why does the Mishnah mention only one Halachah with regard to a
case in which the Davar Chamur is Nosen Ta'am, and two different Halachos
with regard to a case in which it is not Nosen Ta'am? The Mishnah should
mention all three Halachos for either case!
ANSWER: Perhaps we may explain the Mishnah by addressing a different
question. What is the difference between saying that the more lenient food
must be eaten like the more Chamur, and saying that it is Posel through
contact? The words "Posel b'Maga" seem to mean simply that the more lenient
food acquires the stringent status of the more Chamur food, and thus it is
the same as saying that the more lenient food must be eaten with the
stringencies of the more Chamur food!
RASHI (in the Mishnah, DH v'Ein Poslin) explains that "Posel b'Maga" does
not mean that the Davar Kal becomes like the Davar Chamur. Rather, it means
that whatever the Davar Kal touches becomes Pasul. However, this explanation
presents a number of difficulties. First, why does the Mishnah say that the
Davar Kal makes what it touches become Pasul? The Mishnah should still say
that the Davar Kal makes what it touches to be like the Davar Chamur! Why
does it say that it is "Posel" what it touches?
Rashi (in the Gemara, DH v'Ein Poslin) answers this by saying that this part
of the Mishnah is discussing Kodshei Kodashim that were *Pasul* that touched
Kodshim Kalim. However, the difficulty remains, because if the Korban was
Pasul, then it makes no difference whether it was Kodshei Kodashim or
Kodshim Kalim! In addition, in the end of the Mishnah, the Mishnah says that
if the Davar Chamur is not Nosen Ta'am to the Davar Kal, then the Davar Kal
is not Posel what it touches. Why does the Mishnah say that the Davar Kal
does not Posel what it touches? It should say that the Davar Kal *itself*
does not become Pasul! Rashi in the Gemara answers this by saying that since
the Reisha of the Mishnah says that the Davar Kal is Posel what it touches,
the Seifa of the Mishnah uses a similar wording and says that the Davar Kal
is not Posel what it touches. The Mishnah means, though, that the Davar Kal
itself does not become Pasul.
Perhaps we may suggest another interpretation of the Mishnah that will
answer this question differently.
The Gemara in Beitzah (7b) teaches that there are occasions in which the
Mishnah uses the letter "Shin" ("because" or "when") with the meaning of the
letter "Vav" ("and"). The Acharonim point out that there are a number of
occasions in the Mishnah in which we find the opposite transposition -- the
Mishnah uses a "Vav" which is meant to be interpreted as a "Shin." According
to this, we may suggest that when the Mishnah says "v'Einan Poslin b'Maga,"
it might mean "*she'Einan* Poslin b'Maga" -- *when* they are not Poslin
b'Maga. The Mishnah is saying that if the Davar Chamur is Nosen Ta'am, then
the Davar Kal is eaten like the Chamur. The Mishnah then concludes, "And
they do not require Merikah u'Shetifah *and* they do not disqualify through
contact," which should be read, "And they do not require Merikah u'Shetifah,
*when* they do not disqualify through contact" -- because the Davar Chamur
does not Posel the Davar Kal through contact, the pot does not require
The Mishnah is saying that when the Davar Chamur is Nosen Ta'am, the Davar
Kal has all of the laws of the Davar Chamur, including the requirement of
Merikah u'Shetifah. However, when the Davar Chamur is not Nosen Ta'am, we
might have thought that although the Davar Kal does not have to be eaten by
the time that the Davar Chamur must be eaten, nevertheless it still requires
Merikah u'Shetifah at the time that the Davar Chamur becomes prohibited.
This is because Merikah u'Shetifah might not be directly connected to a
Beli'ah, but perhaps even a Beli'ah which cannot be tasted requires Merikah
u'Shetifah, since the requirement of Merikah u'Shetifah is not due to the
Isur that the Beli'ah creates but is due to the fact that the Korban is
present. The Mishnah then says that when the Davar Chamur is not Nosen Ta'am
("she'Einan Poslin b'Maga" -- when they do not disqualify through contact),
and, therefore the Davar Kal does not become prohibited at the time limit of
the Davar Chamur, there is no obligation of Merikah u'Shetifah at all for
the Davar Kal, because it is only the Isur of Nosar that creates the
obligation of Merikah u'Shetifah. This is what the Mishnah means when it
says they the Davar Kal does not require Merikah u'Shetifah *because* the
Davar Chamur does not make the Davar Kal become Nosar through contact, when
there is no Nosen Ta'am.
According to this, the Mishnah may be read without adding any words. The
Mishnah indeed notes in the Seifa that the latter part of its statement is
referring to a case in which there is no Nosan Ta'am, and therefore the
Davar Kal does not acquire the status of the Davar Chamur.
We must read the "Vav" of the word "v'Einan" as a "Shin" (or perhaps as a
"Kaf" and "Shin" -- "k'she'Einan") instead.
3) BREAKING THE BONE OF THE KORBAN PESACH IN ORDER TO EAT THE MARROW
QUESTION: The Torah tells us that one may not break a bone of the Korban
Pesach. A Beraisa teaches that this applies not only to a bone that contains
no marrow, but also to a bone that contains marrow. (Perhaps the Beraisa
derives this from the letter "Vav" of the word "v'Etzem" in the verse.)
The Gemara asks that there is a Mitzvas Aseh to eat all of the meat of the
Korban Pesach, and the marrow inside of the bone is considered to be part of
the meat, since it is edible. Why, then, do we not say that the Mitzvas Aseh
to eat the marrow overrides the Lo Sa'aseh of breaking the bone (which is
necessary to do in order to get the marrow), in accordance with the
principle of "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh?" (If the Mitzvas Aseh here does not
override the Lo Sa'aseh here, then we should learn from here that a Mitzvas
Aseh never overrides a Lo Sa'aseh!)
The Gemara answers that it must be that a Mitzvas Aseh does not override a
Lo Sa'aseh in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The principle of "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh"
applies only to a normal Lo Sa'aseh that is observed outside of the Beis
Why does the Gemara assume that the rule of "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh" should
apply to the marrow of the bone of the Korban Pesach? The Gemara in Shabbos
(133b) teaches that the rule of "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh" applies only when
one transgresses the Lo Sa'aseh at the same time that he fulfills the
Mitzvas Aseh. It does not apply when he transgresses the Lo Sa'aseh before
he fulfills the Mitzvas Aseh. In the case of eating the marrow of the
Korban, one must break the bone (and transgress the Lo Sa'aseh) *before*
obtaining the marrow, and thus the Mitzvas Aseh should not override the Lo
Sa'aseh in such a case! (TOSFOS, end of DH v'Echad)
(a) Although TOSFOS, as printed in our texts, does not provide an answer,
the PISKEI TOSFOS (#69), which normally summarizes the words of Tosfos,
provides an answer to this question in the name of Tosfos. He explains that
if it is impossible to fulfill the Mitzvas Aseh without transgressing the Lo
Sa'aseh, then it overrides the Lo Sa'aseh even when the Lo Sa'aseh must be
transgressed before fulfilling the Aseh.
The logic of this answer is difficult to understand. We know that one of the
conditions of the principle of "Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh" is that the Aseh is
Docheh the Lo Sa'aseh only when it is impossible to fulfill the Aseh in any
manner other than by violating the Lo Sa'aseh (see Yevamos 20b).
Accordingly, the second condition -- that an Aseh does not override a Lo
Sa'aseh when it is necessary to violate the Lo Sa'aseh first -- must be
referring to a situation in which it is impossible to fulfill the Aseh
without violating the Lo Sa'aseh, and nevertheless it is prohibited to
violate the Lo Sa'aseh before fulfilling the Aseh. How, then, can the Piskei
Tosfos suggest otherwise?
The Acharonim explain the intention of the Piskei Tosfos as follows.
Normally, the situation in which an Aseh overrides a Lo Sa'aseh is a
specific, limited occasion of the fulfillment of the Aseh. For example,
there is a Mitzvas Aseh to place Tzitzis on a four cornered garment. This
Mitzvah can be fulfilled with garments other than linen without violating
any Lo Sa'aseh. However, when a four cornered garment is made of linen,
placing wool Tzitzis on the garment will violate the Lo Sa'aseh of
Sha'atnez. In such a case, we say that the Aseh is Docheh the Lo Sa'aseh,
since it is impossible to fulfill the Aseh for this particular garment
without violating the Lo Sa'aseh. Nevertheless, we only permit violating the
Lo Sa'aseh at the time that one fulfills the Aseh of Tzitzis, since the
Mitzvah of Tzitzis itself does apply in other occasions when it is not
necessary to wear Sha'atnez and violate a Lo Sa'aseh.
However, the case of our Gemara is different. It is impossible to fulfill
the Mitzvah of eating all of the meat of the Korban Pesach, including the
marrow, without breaking a bone, since there always remains some marrow
inside of the bone. The Piskei Tosfos proposes that in such a situation it
should be permitted to violate the Lo Sa'aseh even before fulfilling the
The Acharonim suggest two different ways to understand the logic for such a
distinction (see KEHILOS YAKOV, Beitzah #6).
The simple understanding is that not only a Mitzvas Aseh overrides a Lo
Sa'aseh, but even preparatory acts for the fulfillment of a Mitzvas Aseh
override a Lo Sa'aseh. However, the only time a preparatory act is given the
power of an Aseh to override a Lo Sa'aseh is when the Torah reveals this to
us by giving a Mitzvas Aseh which can be fulfilled only through the prior
violation of a Lo Sa'aseh. (See CHOK NASAN, CHEMDAS DANIEL.)
However, most Acharonim (see REBBI AKIVA EIGER, TUREI EVEN in Chagigah 2b)
have a different understanding of the Piskei Tosfos. The Piskei Tosfos does
not mean that one may violate the Lo Sa'aseh first if it is impossible to
fulfill the Aseh without *violating* the Lo Sa'aseh. Rather, he means that
one may violate the Lo Sa'aseh first if it is impossible to fulfill the Aseh
without *performing this action* (whether it is permitted or prohibited).
Any action that is inherently necessary in order to fulfill the Aseh is not
considered merely a preparatory act, but it becomes a part of the Mitzvas
Aseh itself. It is part of the act that the Torah mandates as a Mitzvas
Aseh. Since it is not possible to eat the marrow without breaking the bone,
the act of breaking the bone is part of the Mitzvas Aseh of eating the
Korban Pesach. As such, it can override the Lo Sa'aseh against breaking the
bone, since the Aseh (of breaking the bone to get the marrow) is being done
at the same time as the Lo Sa'aseh against breaking the bone.
(b) We may suggest another approach to answer the question of Tosfos and to
explain why the Aseh of eating the Korban is being fulfilled at the same
time that the bone is being broken. Perhaps the Mitzvah of eating the Korban
is not the act of swallowing the food, but rather it is the entire process
of chewing and consuming the Korban. If a person chews on the bone and chews
right through to the marrow and eats the marrow in such a manner, then at
the moment that he starts to chew on the bone, he is in the process of
chewing the marrow in the bone as well, since the bone and the marrow are
chewed together. Accordingly, the Mitzvah of eating the Korban is indeed
being fulfilled at the time that the bone is being broken. Even though the
Mitzvah is not completed until later, when the person swallows the marrow,
nevertheless the entire process of a Mitzvah overrides a Lo Sa'aseh.
We find this concept elsewhere. The NIMUKEI YOSEF in Bava Metzia (33a)
points out that the Gemara in Shabbos (132b) says that the Mitzvah of Bris
Milah overrides the Lo Sa'aseh of removing Tzara'as from one's body when
there is a Nega of Tzara'as on the Orlah. The Nimukei Yosef asks that the
Milah is not completed until the Peri'ah is done, and thus the Lo Sa'aseh is
being violated before the completion of the Mitzvah of Milah! The Nimukei
Yosef proves from here that every part of the fulfillment of a Mitzvas Aseh
is able to override the Lo Sa'aseh.
Similarly, in the case of our Gemara, the Gemara is asking that the entire
process of chewing and swallowing should be Docheh the Lo Sa'aseh. (Even
before the person's teeth touch the marrow, he is chewing the marrow that is
being pressed beneath the bone between his teeth.)
However, this explanation needs further clarification. Why should the
chewing be part of the Mitzvah? We find that the Gemara in Chulin (103b)
teaches that one transgresses an Isur when he eats a prohibited food either
when the food enters his throat or when he swallows it, but not before that
time. Presumably, the same should apply to a *Mitzvah* of eating, such as
eating Matzah or the Korban Pesach; the Mitzvah should be fulfilled only at
the time that the food enters his throat or when he swallows it!
The answer to this depends on an analysis of the Mitzvah of eating Kodshim,
which is derived from the verse, "v'Achlu Osam" (Shemos 29:33). What exactly
comprises the Mitzvah to eat a Korban? Is it analogous to the Mitzvah to eat
Matzah, or is it a different type of Mitzvah of eating altogether?
This topic is discussed by many Acharonim at length.
1. The MINCHAS CHINUCH (Mitzvah 102:2, and the beginning of Mitzvah 134)
assumes that the Mitzvah of eating a Korban is identical to the Mitzvah of
eating Matzah. Based on this, he asks why the Gemara (Zevachim 109a) tells
us that a Katan, a minor, is permitted to eat a Korban. How can we allow a
minor to eat a Korban if he is not included in the Mitzvah? His eating is
preventing us from fulfilling a Mitzvah with the meat that he eats! Why
should we allow him to prevent the Mitzvah from being fulfilled?
The Minchas Chinuch answers that the Mitzvah to eat Kodshim is similar to
the Mitzvah to eat Matzah; one needs to eat only a k'Zayis. If there is
enough meat to provide a k'Zayis to every Kohen, then the remaining meat may
be fed to Ketanim.
Based on this understanding of the Mitzvah to eat Kodshim, the Minchas
Chinuch writes that one might not fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Kodshim when
he eats it in an unusual manner ("she'Lo k'Derech Achilah"), or if he wraps
a piece of lettuce around it so that it does not touch his throat, or if he
eats less than a k'Zayis, just as we find with regard to the Mitzvah of
eating Matzah, where all of these forms of eating might not constitute
fulfillment of the Mitzvah (the Acharonim debate each of these methods of
eating with regard to the Mitzvah of Matzah).
According to the Minchas Chinuch, it is clear that the Mitzvah will *not* be
fulfilled at the time of the biting, but only when the marrow enters the
person's mouth and he swallows it. The Minchas Chinuch finds support for
this view in the TOSFOS YESHANIM in Yoma (39a). The Gemara there teaches
that after the times of Shimon ha'Tzadik, when a Kohen would receive his
portion of the Lechem ha'Panim, it would be only a small amount (the size of
a bean), and the modest Kohanim ("Tzenu'im") would withdraw their hands and
not take a piece, while the gluttonous Kohanim would grab whatever there
was. The Tosfos Yeshanim comments that the Tzenu'im refused to take the
Lechem ha'Panim because it was less than a k'Zayis; it was not enough to
properly fulfill the Mitzvah to eat the Lechem ha'Panim, since there was
less than a k'Zayis and it did not satiate them. This shows that the Mitzvah
is to eat a k'Zayis of Kodshim. The Minchas Chinuch suggests that if there
is not enough bread for each Kohen to have a full k'Zayis, since the bread
must be divided among all of the Kohanim, there is no Mitzvah for any Kohen
to eat the Lechem ha'Panim. It is only when there is enough to give a
k'Zayis to each Kohen that there is a Mitzvah to eat it.
2. Many Acharonim, however, find this view difficult. First, the SHA'AGAS
ARYEH (#96) poses a question on this view from our Sugya. The Gemara says
that the Mitzvas Aseh of eating the Korban Pesach should override the Lo
Sa'aseh of breaking a bone. If the Mitzvah is to eat only a k'Zayis of a
Korban, then why should the Mitzvah of eating the Korban Pesach enable us to
break the bones of the Korban? Even if there remains marrow inside the
bones, there is no Mitzvas Aseh to eat it, since each person has already
eaten a k'Zayis. Since one can eat the other meat and fulfill the Mitzvah,
there is no reason to allow the Aseh to be Docheh the Lo Sa'aseh! (There
will still be a Lo Sa'aseh not to leave over the marrow in the bones, but a
Lo Sa'aseh is certainly not Docheh another Lo Sa'aseh.)
The Minchas Chinuch suggests that out Gemara means that it is prohibited to
break the bones even when there is not a k'Zayis of meat for each person.
However, the Gemara does not provide proof that it is indeed prohibited to
break the bones in such a case. The Beraisa teaches only that it is
prohibited to break bones with marrow when there is no Mitzvah to do so.
Perhaps when there is a Mitzvah to do so, the Mitzvas Aseh will be Docheh
the Lo Sa'aseh against breaking the bones, as a Mitzvas Aseh is always
Docheh a Lo Sa'aseh!
Second, the Minchas Chinuch himself questions his approach from the Gemara
in Yoma (cited above). The Gemara says that during the times of Shimon
ha'Tzadik, many blessings were witnessed in the Avodos of the Beis
ha'Mikdash. One of those blessings was that each Kohen received a full
k'Zayis from the Lechem ha'Panim, and some of the Kohanim found the single
k'Zayis so filling that they even left over some of it. How, though, is that
a blessing, if leaving over some of the k'Zayis means that they were not
fulfilling the Mitzvah properly?
Third, the RASHASH in Menachos (100a) points out that Tosfos there seems to
imply that the Mitzvah to eat Kodshim is nothing more than a Mitzvah to
prevent it from becoming Nosar; there is no Mitzvah per se to eat a k'Zayis
of Kodshim. Tosfos is discussing the Gemara which teaches that when Motza'i
Yom Kipur occurs on Shabbos, and it was not possible to cook the meat of the
Chatas of Musaf of Yom Kipur, certain Kohanim would eat it raw. Others would
make fun of those Kohanim and call them, "Bavliyim," because of their
unusual manner of eating. Why should they be called gluttons if they are
performing a Mitzvah by preventing the Chatas from becoming Nosar? Tosfos
answers that their friends called them gluttons because they became
accustomed to eating Korbanos raw even in years when Motza'i Yom Kipur did
not occur on Shabbos.
Why, the Rashash asks, does Tosfos not say that they are fulfilling the
Mitzvah of eating a k'Zayis of Kodshim, and not just preventing the Korban
from becoming Nosar? Although the Rashash suggests that perhaps they did not
fulfill the Mitzvah of eating since they ate in an unusual manner ("she'Lo
k'Derech Achilah"), he points out that this contradicts the conclusion of
Tosfos, where he says that the gluttons would eat the Korban raw during the
years when Motza'i Yom Kipur was not on Shabbos. Tosfos implies that the
Kohanim who ate in such a manner were poor-mannered, but not that they were
violating a Mitzvas Aseh of Achilas Kodshim by eating in such a manner.
Fourth, the BEIS HA'LEVI (1:2:7) points out that the Rambam counts as two
separate Mitzvos the Mitzvah of bringing a Korban Pesach and the Mitzvah of
eating a Korban Pesach. However, for other Korbanos, he does not count a
separate Mitzvah to eat each Korban. Rather, he counts only a general
Mitzvah of eating Kodshim. This implies that there is a difference between
the Achilah of Korban Pesach and the Achilah of Kodshim. For a Korban Pesach
there is a Mitzvas Aseh to eat a k'Zayis. For other Kodshim, there is no
specific Mitzvah on each Kohen to eat a k'Zayis of the Korban.
Therefore, the Beis ha'Levi and CHASAM SOFER (OC 140) conclude that the
Mitzvas Aseh of eating Kodshim is simply a "Lav ha'Ba Michlal Aseh," a
negative prohibition that is expressed as a Mitzvas Aseh, which is enforcing
the Mitzvas Lo Sa'aseh of "Lo Sosiru Mimenu Ad Boker" (Shemos 12:10), of
leaving over the meat after its time limit, which also prohibits giving the
meat to a person who is not fit to eat it, such as giving Kodshei Kodashim
to a Zar, or Kodshei Kalim to an animal. Hence, there is no fulfillment of a
Mitzvas Aseh by eating a k'Zayis. The Mitzvah is merely to see to it that
nothing is left over. This is more lenient than the way the Minchas Chinuch
understands the Mitzvah, because according to this understand it will not be
necessary to eat a k'Zayis. The Mitzvah can be fulfilled by eating less than
a k'Zayis if that is the size of the portion that one receives. In addition,
he does not have to eat it himself; if he gives it to another person to eat
it and he sees to it that it is eaten, then the Mitzvah has also been
fulfilled. Therefore, eating it in an unusual manner or swallowing it while
wrapped in lettuce will also fulfill the Mitzvah. If the person's portion is
more than a k'Zayis and he does not eat the entire amount nor does he give
it to someone else to eat, he violates the Mitzvah. In this sense, the
understanding of the Beis ha'Levi is more stringent than the understanding
of the Minchas Chinuch.
This will answer all of the questions that we posed. Our Gemara means that
there is a Mitzvah to finish the entire Korban so that none of it becomes
Nosar. Therefore, even if there remains a k'Zayis for every person, there
still is a Mitzvah to finish all of the meat of the Korban, even the marrow.
This is also the understanding of the BRISKER RAV here, who writes that when
Rashi says that the "Mitzvas Aseh is the Mitzvah of 'v'Achlu Osam,'" he
means that in addition to the Mitzvas Aseh for each person to eat a k'Zayis
of the Korban Pesach, there is also a general Mitzvah for the Korban Pesach
to be completely consumed so that none of it becomes Nosar.
This also explains the Gemara in Yoma that says that the Kohanim would eat
from a k'Zayis of Lechem ha'Panim in the years of Shimon ha'Tzadik and they
would be so full from it that they would leave some over. Even though they
left some over, they still fulfilled the Mitzvah as long as they saw to it
that what remained would be eaten eventually.
This answers the question of the Rashash from Tosfos in Menachos (100a).
Indeed, the Mitzvas Aseh of eating Kodshim is only to prevent it from being
This also answers the question of the Beis ha'Levi. The Mitzvah of Korban
Pesach indeed is different than the Mitzvas Achilah of other Korbanos,
because, for other Korbanos, the Mitzvah is merely to see to it that it does
not become Nosar. This is not a Mitzvah that applies to each person, but
rather it is a detail in the offering of the Korban, which is included in
the Mitzvah of sacrificing the Korban. It is only in the case of a Korban
Pesach that there is a Mitzvah for each person to eat a k'Zayis.
The Tosfos Yeshanim cited by the Minchas Chinuch does not necessarily
support the Minchas Chinuch's view. The Tosfos Yeshanim does not write that
there is no Mitzvah to eat less than a k'Zayis, but rather that eating less
is not a complete Mitzvah. He means that it is a Mitzvah to eat Kodshim in a
manner becoming of royalty, as we find earlier in Zevachim (91a). One who
eats the Korban in an unbecoming manner does not fulfill the Mitzvah in its
entirety. This is evident from the conclusion of the Tosfos Yeshanim, where
he writes clearly that one *does* fulfill a Mitzvah by eating less than a
k'Zayis, but eating a k'Zayis is certainly better. He explains that this is
why we find in Pesachim (3b) that on the occasions when there was not enough
Lechem ha'Panim to distribute a k'Zayis to every Kohen, each Kohen took less
than a k'Zayis of the Lechem ha'Panim, in the times when it had a blessing
and was filling. (See also TIFERES YISRAEL in Bo'az, Menachos 11:3. The
Tiferes Yisrael rejects this explanation based on his understanding of
Tosfos in Zevachim 75b, DH Bechor. However, Tosfos there seems to have a
different intention than the Tiferes Yisrael's understanding.)
According to the way these Acharonim understand the Mitzvah to eat Kodshim,
it may be that the entire process of chewing the Korban is considered a
fulfillment of the Mitzvas Aseh of preventing it from becoming Nosar.
Therefore, the person indeed is fulfilling the Mitzvas Aseh at the same time
that the Lo Sa'aseh of breaking a bone is being violated. (M. Kornfeld)