QUESTION: The Gemara derives from the verse, "El Yesod Mizbach ha'Olah" -- "to the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach of the Olah" (Vayikra 4:7), that one must place the leftover blood on the Yesod of the outer Mizbe'ach, and not on the inner Mizbe'ach. The Gemara asks that perhaps the verse means merely that one may put the blood on the outer Mizbe'ach if he wants, but he also may put the blood on the inner Mizbe'ach. The Gemara answers that the verse continues with the words, "Asher Pesach Ohel Mo'ed" -- "which is at the opening to the Ohel Mo'ed." These words seem extra; there is no need for the verse to identify the location of the outer Mizbe'ach as being near the opening of the Ohel Mo'ed. It must be that these extra words teach that one may put the leftover blood only on the outer Mizbe'ach, and not on the inner Mizbe'ach.

TOSFOS (DH Asher) asks that this verse seems redundant. There is a principle of "Ein Ma'avirin Al ha'Mitzvos" -- "we may not pass over Mitzvos" (see Megilah 6b). This principle should dictate that the Kohen should spill out the leftover blood at the nearest place to where he is standing when he finishes the Zerikas ha'Dam. The nearest place is the western part of the Yesod. Why, then, is the verse of "Asher Pesach Ohel Moed" necessary?


(a) TOSFOS answers that "Ein Ma'avirin Al ha'Mitzvos" applies only when there are two Mitzvos to perform. The rule of "Ein Ma'avirin" dictates which Mitzvah one should do first. In contrast, when there is only one Mitzvah to do, the rule of "Ein Ma'avirin" does not dictate that the Mitzvah should be done in the closest place possible. Therefore, the verse is necessary.

Tosfos in Megilah (6b, DH Mistaver) rejects this answer based on the Gemara there. The Gemara there records a dispute among the Tana'im with regard to when the Megilah is read during a leap year. Is the Megilah read during the first Adar or the second Adar? Rebbi Eliezer maintains that the Megilah should be read in the first Adar. The Gemara explains that his reason is "Ein Ma'avirin Al ha'Mitzvos." In that case, there is only one Mitzvah, and yet the Gemara still applies the rule of "Ein Ma'avirin"!

(b) Tosfos in Megilah answers in the name of RABEINU YEHUDAH that without a verse, one would have thought that although the leftover blood should be poured on the Yesod l'Chatchilah, if it was poured somewhere else it is still valid b'Di'eved. The verse "Asher Pesach" teaches that the spilling of the blood anywhere other than the Yesod would not be considered a fulfillment of the Mitzvah of spilling the blood.

(c) In his second answer, Rabeinu Yehudah suggests that if not the verse, "Ein Ma'avirin" would dictate only that the blood should be spilled on the western side of the Mizbe'ach, but not necessarily on the Yesod. The verse comes to teach that it must be spilled specifically on the Yesod of the western side of the Mizbe'ach.

The OLAS SHLOMO in Menachos (64b) answers the question of Tosfos in Megilah on the explanation of Tosfos here. He writes that when there are two possible times to do a Mitzvah, and one is unsure which is the proper time and which is not the proper time at all, "Ein Ma'avirin" does not apply. However, if the two possible times are both appropriate for the Mitzvah, and the doubt is only which time is the better time to do the Mitzvah, then "Ein Ma'avirin" applies. The Olas Shlomo asserts that the position of Rebbi Eliezer in Megilah is that even if one would read the Megilah in the second Adar, he still would fulfill the Mitzvah, since both are appropriate times to read the Megilah. However, due to "Ein Ma'avirin," the Megilah should be read during the first Adar. In the case of the leftover blood, without the verse there would be no indication whatsoever as to where the Torah wants the blood to be spilled. In such a case "Ein Ma'avirin" does not apply. (Y. MONTROSE)



OPINIONS: The Gemara's discussion revolves around the verse "El Yesod Mizbach ha'Olah" -- "to the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach of the Olah" (Vayikra 4:7). The Gemara earlier quotes a dispute between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva with regard to what Halachah is derived from this verse. The Rishonim give differing interpretations of the Gemara, which is the subject of TOSFOS (DH Ten Lah Yesod) here. The following is a summary of the different explanations of the Gemara recorded in Tosfos.

(a) RASHI explains Rebbi Yishmael's understanding of the verse in the following manner. The verse may be teaching one of two things. The first possibility is that all Korbanos brought on the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah must have their leftover blood spilled opposite the Yesod. This lesson is specifically taught with regard to the Korban Olah ("Mizbach ha'Olah"), because the Torah does not explicitly mention what should be done with the leftover blood of the Korban Olah in any other verse. This is the intent of the extra phrase, "El Yesod Mizbach ha'Olah."

The second possibility is that the Torah is teaching that the two (which are four) Zerikos of the Korban Olah on the Mizbe'ach should be opposite the Yesod (see RASHI to 51a, DH O Eino, whose words differ from the words Tosfos quotes in Rashi's name

Rebbi Yishmael concludes that the second possibility is incorrect, since that Halachah could be derived from a Kal va'Chomer without the verse: If the leftover blood of other Korbanos, such as a Chatas, must be spilled on the Yesod, then certainly the regular Matanos of an Olah must be opposite the Yesod. (See the Gemara on 52a which discusses the difference of opinion between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva.)

Tosfos raises many questions on Rashi's explanation. One question is that the Gemara earlier (37a) quotes a Beraisa which derives from the verse, "v'Dam Zevachecha Yishafech" -- "and the blood of your offerings you shall pour" (Devarim 12:27), that the leftover blood of Korbanos must be spilled opposite the Yesod. If there already is a verse that teaches this requirement, why is a second verse needed to teach the same thing?

(b) Tosfos quotes RABEINU CHAIM who gives a similar explanation to that of Rashi, with one major difference. Rabeinu Chaim explains that the first possibility -- that the verse is teaching that the leftover blood of a Korban must be spilled opposite the Yesod -- is applies only to a Korban Olah, and not to any other Korban.

(c) Tosfos proposes a third way of understanding of the Gemara. Rebbi Yishmael initially suggests that the verse is teaching that all Zerikos of Korbanos should be opposite the Yesod, with the exception of those of a Korban Chatas for which the verse says, "Al Karnos" -- "on the corners" (Vayikra 4:30), of the Mizbe'ach. Rebbi Yishmael then suggests that perhaps the verse is teaching that the Yesod is the appropriate area of Zerikah only for the Korban Olah, and not for other Korbanos. Rebbi Yishmael rejects this explanation because he learns a Kal va'Chomer from the spilling of Shirayim which applies to all other Korbanos. If the spilling of Shirayim of all other Korbanos must be on the Yesod, then certainly their Zerikos also should be opposite the Yesod. (Y. MONTROSE)