1) [line 1] MITZVAH HA'BA'AH B'AVEIRAH
(a) If one's fulfillment of a Mitzvah is possible only through the transgression of an Aveirah, the Mitzvah is invalid. One who steals a Lulav in order to take the Arba Minim on Sukos, for example, cannot fulfill his Mitzvah with that Lulav at any point. Although the Lulav need not belong to him during the last six days of the festival, it is not possible for him to fulfill a Mitzvah with an item acquired through an Aveirah.
2) [line 2] "... VE'HEVEISEM GAZUL V'ES HA'PISE'ACH V'ES HA'CHOLEH ... " (A Lack of Respect for Hash-m)
(a) Through the Navi Mal'achi, Hash-m expressed his dissatisfaction with the way in which Klal Yisrael were serving him. Although the relationship between Klal Yisrael and Hash-m is one of sons to their Father when we fulfill His will, and one of servants to their Master when we do not, they acted as though they were neither sons nor servants. To make matters worse, they demonstrated an utter lack of understanding that their service was inadequate.
(b) "... and you brought a stolen animal, a lame one, and a sick one; when you offer Me such a gift, shall I accept it from your hand, asks Hash-m?" (Mal'achi 1:13). Would these same people dare to offer such a feeble presentation to a king of flesh and blood? And if they did, would he accept them? To further exacerbate their sin, they offered lame excuses that were wholly inadequate to explain their behavior, as many fine, healthy animals populated their own flocks. This situation caused a desecration of Hashem's name, as well as distressing Hash-m Himself, as it were.
3) [line 3] LEIS LEI TAKANTA (BA'AL MUM KAVU'A)
(a) If an animal has a Mum (physical blemish), it may not be offered as a Korban. Such blemishes include blindness, lameness, cataracts, crushed or missing testicles, and certain warts and other growths (Vayikra 22:22-25).
(b) If the animal had such Mumin before its owner sanctified it, the animal does not receive the Kedushah of a Korban. If it developed the Mumin afterward, it must be sold, in which case the Kedushah transfers to the money. The money should then be used to purchase a replacement Korban.
(c) Only an animal with a Mum Kavu'a (permanent blemish) may never be offered upon the Mizbe'ach. If the Mum is Over (temporary), such as boils, then the animal is fit as a Korban once the Mum passes. The animals described in the above verse had permanent blemishes, and were therefore never fit to be offered.
4) [line 5] YE'USH
(a) A thief acquires the item he steals as soon as he performs a Ma'aseh Kinyan upon it. A Ma'aseh Kinyan is an action that Halachically serves to transfer an object into one's possession. This acquisition accomplishes two things. First, the thief is now responsible for the item. If something should happen to it - even if it was beyond his control (an Ones) -- he must make recompense to the owner. Additionally, this is the first stage in what may potentially become a full ownership of the item. If the necessary conditions are met, then the thief need not return the actual stolen item to its original owner, even if it still unharmed and in his possession. Rather, he need only reimburse that individual for his loss.
(b) What is necessary for a thief to take full possession of a stolen item? If a thief effects a Shinuy -- a transformation of the stolen object -- then it becomes his. That a thief acquires what he stole following a Shinuy is derived from the wording of the verse that obligates him to return the object. The Torah states, "... v'Heishiv Es ha'Gezeilah Asher Gazal ..." -- "... and he shall return the item which he stole ..." (Vayikra 5:23). Only when the object is "Asher Gazal" -- "that which he stole" -- is there a requirement for the thief to return it as is.
(c) This holds true for a SHINUY MA'ASEH. A Shinuy Ma'aseh is an action that physically transforms or begins to transform an object. This change can be minor, such as affixing the object in place with clay. An action is not a Shinuy Ma'aseh, however, unless it is irreversible. This is termed a Shinuy Ma'aseh that is Eino Chozer li'Veriyaso.
(d) There are other ways for a thief to fully acquire the stolen object. Some Amora'im are of the opinion that all that is necessary is that the original owner be me'Ya'esh. YE'USH is a state in which one gives up all hope, in this case of retrieving his object. At this point he verbally acknowledges his loss with an expression akin to "Vai Li l'Chisaron Kis!" - "Woe that I have lost this item!".
(e) Other opinions maintain that Ye'ush alone is not enough for the thief to acquire the stolen goods. In addition, the object must undergo a Shinuy, even if that Shinuy is less significant than a Shinuy Ma'aseh. There are two possible such Shinuyim:
1. SHINUY HA'SHEM - A Shinuy ha'Shem is a change in the classification of an item, so that it now goes by a different title or description. An example of this is a wooden board stolen and then placed atop a Sukah. It is no longer a plank; now it is Sechach.
2. SHINUY RESHUS - A Shinuy Reshus is a change in who currently holds the item. Only the original thief must return the object. If he sells it or gives it away, then that second party acquires full ownership of the object and need not give it up to the previous owner. Rather, the thief must pay for what he stole. (Bava Kama 66)
5a) [line 12] BEIS HA'MECHES - a customhouse (located at a border)
b) [line 13] MOCHSIM - tax collectors
6) [line 16] SONEI GEZEL BA'OLAH - who despises a stolen Korban [even though all in the world belongs to Him]
*7*) [line 22] YOTZEI NAMI B'GAZUL - he may fulfill his Mitzvah with a stolen Lulav as well. Rebbi Yitzchak maintains that despite appearances to the contrary, our Mishnah discusses only the first day of Sukos.
8) [line 27] STAM GEZEILAH YI'USH BE'ALIM HU - one may assume immediate Ye'ush following armed robbery
9) [line 28] AVANKEREI - (O.F. merciers) peddlers
10) [line 28] KI ZAVNISU ASA - when you purchase Hadasim (myrtle branches) [to peddle for use as one of the Arba Minim]
11) [line 28] LO SIGZEZU ATUN - do not cut them yourselves
12) [last line] GAZLANEI AR'ATA NINHU - are land thieves (who might have stolen the land from a Jew; see Insights)
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