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Zevachim, 116

ZEVACHIM 116-117 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah by her family.


OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses how we know that a Nochri is not allowed to bring a Korban that is missing a limb (Mechusar Ever). The Gemara cites the verse, "umi'Kol ha'Chai" -- "And from all living things" (Bereishis 6:19), in which Hashem commands Noach that the animals that he will offer, in the future, as Korbanos to Hashem must be fully alive -- that is, all of the limbs must be intact. The Gemara then discusses how we know that this verse does not exclude a Tereifah (instead of Mechusar Ever). The Gemara concludes that we learn from the word, "Itach" -- "with you," in the same verse that the animals that Noach was to take with him into the Teivah, and that he would eventually offer as Korbanos, had to be like Noach, meaning that they could not be a Tereifah. The Gemara then asks how we know that Noach himself was not a Tereifah.

TOSFOS (DH Dilma) finds the Gemara's question difficult to understand. How can we even entertain the possibility that Noach was a Tereifah? The Torah explicitly relates that he lived an additional three hundred years after the Mabul! A Tereifah, by definition, has a mortal defect which will cause it to die within twelve months!

(a) TOSFOS answers that the Gemara is suggesting that it is possible that Noach indeed was very ill for all of those years after the Mabul. Tosfos explains that the question of the Gemara, therefore, is according to the opinion cited in the Gemara that a Tereifah can live for more than twelve months.

(b) Tosfos quotes RABEINU TAM who says that there is a difference between a man who is a Tereifah and an animal that is a Tereifah. A person's fate is, to some degree, subject to his unique Mazal. Rabeinu Tam apparently means that a person's Mazal can keep him alive for longer than twelve months even if he is a Tereifah.

Many Rishonim seem to disagree with Rabeinu Tam's assertion. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Gerushin 13:16) discusses a case in which a man fell into the sea, and a net was thrown in after him. The net came up with only a limb of the man, and it was a limb without which one cannot live. The Rambam rules that even though the rest of the body was not retrieved, and we did not clearly see the man die, his wife may remarry, because we assume that the man died. The MAGID MISHNEH quotes the RAMBAN and RASHBA who say that man's wife may remarry only after twelve months pass after the limb was retrieved. The loss of the limb made the man a Tereifah, and a Tereifah cannot live more than twelve months. His wife, therefore, must wait twelve months in order to be certain that her husband has died, and only then may she remarry.

The KESEF MISHNEH asks that the Magid Mishneh's ruling is not correct, because a *person* who is a Tereifah *can* live more than twelve months. The Kesef Mishneh's source is apparently the opinion of Rabeinu Tam (which is also mentioned in Tosfos in Chulin 42b, DH v'Ha). (This answers the question of the MAGIHAH D'AMSTERDAM, who questions the source of the Kesef Mishneh's rejection of the Magid Mishneh.)

The BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH here says that Rabeinu Tam does not mean to say that a person who is a Tereifah can always live longer than twelve months because of his Mazal. Tosfos in Chulin quotes Rabeinu Tam, who says that a person lives longer because of his Mazal, in a limited context. Rabeinu Tam is discussing one particular case of a Tereifah regarding the area of the skull, and he says that an animal with this condition can be a Tereifah, while a person in the same condition is *not* considered a Tereifah, because of his Mazal. The Birkas ha'Zevach says that this is the explanation of Rabeinu Tam in our Gemara as well. When our Gemara suggests that Noach was a Tereifah even though he lived for another three hundred years, the Gemara is suggesting that he had the type of condition that renders an animal a Tereifah but not a person. Accordingly, the Gemara asks, we cannot learn from the verse of "Itach" that a Nochri is not allowed to offer as a Korban an animal that is a Tereifah. Since Noach could have had the type of condition that would have killed an animal (but not a person, due to his Mazal), we do not know that Noach was commanded not to bring an animal that is a Tereifah.

The Birkas ha'Zevach continues (in his second comment on Tosfos) and says that based on this understanding of the words Rabeinu Tam, the Kesef Mishneh's question on the Magid Mishneh is answered. The Rashba and Ramban are talking about a type of Tereifah that is a Tereifah both in an animal *and* in a person. Rabeinu Tam differentiates only between certain types of Tereifos, as specified in Tosfos in Chulin. Even according to Rabeinu Tam, people die from most types of Tereifos, even though they have a Mazal. (The Birkas ha'Zevach even suggests that it was a mistaken student who wrote this comment, as the Kesef Mishneh would never think that a person who is a full-fledged Tereifah would live twelve months due to his Mazal.)

However, the PANIM ME'IROS explains that the Kesef Mishneh was asking a different question on the Magid Mishneh. Once we see that Rabeinu Tam says that it is possible that one type of Tereifah can be fatal for an animal but not for a person (because the person has a Mazal), we are left with a doubt about other states of Tereifah; perhaps there are other states of Tereifah that are also not fatal for a person. Therefore, the Kesef Mishneh asks that it is not reasonable to make a general rule that the loss of a limb causes a person to die within twelve months, according to the opinion of Rabeinu Tam. (Y. Montrose)


OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes Rebbi Elazar ban Shamua who says that just as the Mizbe'ach cannot be made out of anything that was used by an ordinary person, the wood used upon the Mizbe'ach as fuel cannot have been used by an ordinary person. The Gemara implies that items used for holy purposes may not come from items that were used for ordinary purposes. Accordingly, it would seem that Tashmishei Kedushah, such as the cover of a Sefer Torah, cannot be made from items that were used for ordinary purposes. Is this the Halachah?

(a) The REMA (OC 147:1) quotes the opinion of the AGUDAH and others who say that the cover of a Sefer Torah cannot be made out of old things which were used by an ordinary person. The Agudah (Menachos, ch. 3) quotes our Gemara as the source for this Halachah. (See YAD BINYAMIN who is perplexed by the fact that none of the commentators mentions that Rashi (DH d'Maska) and others seem to explain that our Gemara is saying only that one may not make the holy Mizbe'ach out of an actual *Mizbe'ach* that was used for an ordinary, and not that one may not turn an ordinary utensil into a Mizbe'ach.) The MAGEN AVRAHAM quotes an additional source for this Halachah. The Tosefta in Megilah (2:10) says that "vessels that were made originally for the use of an ordinary person should not be used for a holy purpose. Stones and beams which were hewn and cut for a person should not be placed in the Har ha'Bayis."

(b) However, the Magen Avraham notes that people are lenient and do make Tashmishei Kedushah out of old things. How can this be permitted? The Magen Avraham answers that, first, it is possible that these Halachos apply only to the Beis ha'Mikdash and things used for it, but not for regular Tashmishei Kedushah. Second, these sources prohibit only using these things without changing their shape and identity. There is no source in the Gemara or Tosefta to prohibit using old things for Tashmishei Kedushah when one changes them and makes them into a different entity.

The Magen Avraham proves that changing something into Tashmishei Kedushah is permitted. We know that Moshe Rabeinu made the Kiyor out of mirrors which the women of Benei Yisrael used to help beautify themselves (see Shemos 38:8). We see from there that it was permitted because the mirrors were changed into an entirely new entity, a Kiyor.

This logic is also proposed by the CHAVOS YA'IR (#161). However, he argues that this is *not* the logic that permitted the mirrors to be used for the Kiyor. Rather, he explains that this logic was the reason for why Moshe Rabeinu accepted the jewelry captured from the women of Midyan (see Bamidbar 31:50), including even the Kumaz (see RASHI there, DH Kumaz), and made them into Klei Shares. Since they were changed into new entities, it did not matter that they had been previously used for jewelry. However, the mirrors that were made into the Kiyor were not changed significantly from their previous form. This is why Moshe Rabeinu did not want to accept them until Hashem told him explicitly that they were permitted (see Rashi to Shemos 31:50).

However, the CHASAM SOFER (OC 147:1) points out that both of these explanations conflict with the understanding of the RAMBAN (Shemos 31:50). The Ramban explicitly states that the reason why the Kumaz was accepted was because it was Batel b'Rov, since it was mixed with all of the other metals from which the Klei Shares were made. Moshe Rabeinu did not want to accept the mirrors for the Kiyor, since they were to be the sole item from which the Kiyor would be formed. Moreover, Rashi and the Ramban say explicitly that the reason why Moshe did not want to accept the mirrors was because they were used for an activity that involved the Yetzer ha'Ra.

This explanation seems to contradict the understanding of the Magen Avraham regarding the mirrors. However, the fact that the Rishonim do not explain that Moshe Rabeinu did not want to use these items because they had been used for an ordinary person indicates that they agree that, in general, these things may be used for Tashmishei Kedushah.

HALACHAH: The MISHNEH BERURAH (OC 147:13) quotes the ruling of the Magen Avraham and Chavos Ya'ir, that people change ordinary items into items that are used for Tashmishei Kedushah. He says that even though there are those who are stringent, the custom is to be lenient. (See also Mishnah Berurah OC 147:14). (Y. Montrose)
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