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Zevachim, 115

ZEVACHIM 115 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Baltimore, Maryland, formerly of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a Metzora who is "Mechusar Zeman" slaughters his Korban Asham (see RASHI, DH Rav Chilkiyah, and see previous Insight) outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash, he is not Chayav for transgressing the prohibition of Shechutei Chutz. Rav Chilkiyah bar Tovi (114b) says that the exemption of a Mechusar Zeman from the prohibition of Shechutei Chutz applies only when he offers his Korban with proper intention (Lishmah). If, however, he offers his Korban outside the Beis ha'Mikdash with intention that it should be a different Korban (she'Lo Lishmah), then he does transgress the prohibition. Rav Huna challenges Rav Chilkiyah's statement, and he asserts that a Mechusar Zeman who slaughters a Korban with improper intention outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash is *not* Chayav. Rav Huna argues that we do not find Korbanos that are Pasul when offered Lishmah, but are valid when offered she'Lo Lishmah. The Gemara here (115a) discusses the argument but comes to no clear conclusion.

The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 18:10) rules that when one slaughters the Asham of a Metzora outside the Beis ha'Mikdash with intent that it is a different Korban, he is Chayav, since the Korban would be valid if offered inside the Beis ha'Mikdash. Does the Rambam learn that this is the conclusion of our Gemara?

(a) The KESEF MISHNEH writes that the Rambam's ruling comes directly from the statement of Rav Chilkiyah.

The KEREN ORAH is uncertain that this is the Rambam's source. First, the Rambam omits the most important fact in the case of our Gemara -- that the Metzora's Korban is brought when the Metzora cannot bring his Asham since he is a Mechusar Zeman. Second, there is no indication at all in the words of the Rambam that a Korban brought by a Metzora when he is Mechusar Zeman is valid. The Rambam elsewhere (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 15:20) rules that an ordinary Asham Metzora that is offered she'Lo Lishmah does not fulfill the owner's obligation, but it is a valid Korban and may be eaten. It is possible that the Rambam would hold that if we add the factor of Mechusar Zeman to the case, then the Korban Asham of the Metzora indeed would be Pasul, making it not subject to the Isur of Shechutei Chutz. This question is also asked by the SEFAS EMES in Temurah (19b).

(b) The OR SAME'ACH (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 18:10) concludes that the Rambam's ruling is clearly *not* following the view of Rav Chilkiyah. Among other proofs, he cites the omission of Mechusar Zeman (as the Keren Orah and Sefas Emes also point out). He says that the Rambam purposely left out any mention of Mechusar Zeman, because he held that the Halachah might follow the view of Rav Huna, who rules that a Korban cannot be more valid when it is slaughtered she'Lo Lishmah than when it is slaughtered Lishmah.

The CHAZON ISH (Likutim 5) writes additional proofs that the Rambam does not rule like Rav Chilkiyah. One of these proofs is that in the preceding Halachah (18:9), the Rambam rules that a Chatas or Asham of a Metzora that is slaughtered outside the Beis ha'Mikdash is not subject to the Isur of Shechutei Chutz, and the Rambam makes no mention of Rav Chilkiyah's qualifying statement that this is true only when the Korban is slaughtered Lishmah. If the Rambam rules like Rav Chilkiyah, then he certainly should have mentioned this condition. The Chazon Ish concludes that the Kesef Mishneh is "Tzarich Iyun." (Y. Montrose)


OPINIONS: The Gemara relates that Rav Chisda was once reading the verse, "va'Yishlach Es Na'arei Benei Yisrael" -- "and he sent young men of the people of Yisrael" (Shemos 24:5). Rav Huna interrupted him and told him that Rav Asi had said, "And [then] they stopped." RASHI (DH Amar Lei) says that Rav Asi was referring to the fact that the Bechorim, the firstborn sons, stopped doing the Avodah of the Korbanos, and the responsibility of the Avodah was transferred to the Kohanim. Rashi presents another explanation (DH Hachi Amar) that says that Rav Asi said, "And stop," meaning that the verse should be read with a pause before the next words, "va'Ya'alu Olos" -- "and they offered Olos." If one were to read the verse continuously, without pausing, then the verse would sound like it was saying that the Bechorim were the ones who offered the Korbanos, when it was actually the Kohanim who brought the Korbanos. According to this explanation, Rav Asi told Rav Chisda that to read the sentence correctly, he should stop at the word "Yisrael," pause, and then continue with the words "va'Ya'alu Olos," which would then imply that the Kohanim (and not the Bechorim) offered the Korbanos.

When did this incident take place, before or after Matan Torah?

(a) RASHI (DH Olah she'Hikrivu) says that these Korbanos were brought before Matan Torah. Rashi on the verse (Shemos 24:4, DH va'Yashkem ba'Boker) says, more specifically, that this occurred on the fifth of Sivan. This seems odd, however. The Torah never explicitly mentions any transfer of responsibility from the Bechorim to the Kohanim before Matan Torah. According to Rashi's understanding of the Gemara (especially according to this first explanation, in DH Amar Lei), this Parshah implies that the transfer occurred even before Matan Torah.

(b) The RAMBAN (Shemos 24:3) writes that these Korbanos were brought only after Matan Torah.

The wording of the Gemara seems to be more consistent with the explanation of Rashi. The Gemara later quotes a Beraisa that cites two opinions regarding the meaning of the verse "v'Gam ha'Kohanim ha'Nigashim El Hashem Yiskadashu" -- "and also the Kohanim who approach Hashem shall separate themselves" (Shemos 19:22). This verse is discussing the preparation for Matan Torah. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah maintains that this refers to the separation of the Bechorim. Rebbi maintains that it refers to the separation of Nadav and Avihu. According to Rashi, we can understand the verse according to Rebbi; Rebbi is referring to the fact that Nadav and Avihu already served in the capacity of Kohanim and brought Korbanos before Matan Torah, and therefore they should prepare themselves further for Matan Torah. This is why the verse addresses them as "Kohanim." However, according to the Ramban, who says that the incident of bringing Korbanos did not take place yet, we do not find that any Kohanim ever performed an Avodah such that this verse should call them "Kohanim!" According to the Ramban, how can Rebbi say that the verse is referring to Nadav and Avihu as Kohanim? (See also CHAZON ISH, Bava Kama 41:11.)

The HA'EMEK DAVAR has additional difficulty with the Ramban's opinion. The Gemara in Shabbos (88a) says that the Mizbe'ach that was used for these Korbanos was built on the fifth of Sivan, before Matan Torah, as Rashi says. This implies that the Korbanos were brought then as well.

The YAD BINYAMIN concludes that according to the Ramban there is an argument about whether or not these Korbanos were brought before or after Matan Torah. According to the Rambam, only Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah holds like the opinion stated by the Ramban, that this Mizbe'ach was built after Matan Torah. The Ramban himself mentions (in Shemos 24:1) that there is an argument in the Mechilta about when this took place. The Ramban maintains that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah's opinion is the correct one, and therefore he uses it in his commentary on Chumash. (Y. Montrose)

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