QUESTION: The Mishnah states that a Chatas may be eaten only by male Kohanim. RASHI (DH l'Zichrei Kehunah) explains that the verse says, "ha'Kohen ha'Mechatei Osah [Yochelenah]" -- "the Kohen who applies its blood [shall eat it]" (Vayikra 6:19), which excludes women from eating the meat of a Korban Chatas. How does it exclude women? The Torah apparently means that only Kohanim who may perform the Avodah of the Korban may eat the meat of the Korban. Since women may not perform the Avodah of the Korban, they may not eat the Korban.

Rashi adds that when the Torah discusses the Korban Chatas and Korban Asham in Parshas Korach, it says, "Kol Zachar Yochal Oso" -- "Any male may eat it" (Bamidbar 18:10).

Rashi's words are difficult to understand. Why does Rashi make an inference from the verse of "ha'Kohen ha'Mechatei Osah," and cite verses from Parshas Korach, when the Torah clearly states in the Parshah of Korban Chatas (Vayikra 6:22), "Kol Zachar ba'Kohanim Yochal Oso" -- "Any male among the Kohanim should eat it"?


(a) The TZON KODASHIM answers that Rashi is applying the principle that in the laws of Kodshim, when the Torah states a Halachah only once and does not clearly state that if the Halachah is not fulfilled the Avodah of the Korban is invalid, the Torah means that the Halachah is only a Mitzvah l'Chatchilah. (See TOSFOS to 4b, DH Eima, who mentions this principle.) Rashi knows that there is an explicit verse in the Parshah of Korban Chatas (Vayikra 6:22) that teaches that the meat of a Korban Chatas is to be eaten by male Kohanim. Perhaps, though, that verse teaches only the Mitzvah l'Chatchilah; if a female Kohenes eats the meat of a Korban Chatas, perhaps b'Di'eved the act of eating is valid. To prove that a female Kohenes' act of eating is invalid even b'Di'eved, Rashi cites the verse of "ha'Kohen ha'Mechatei," which excludes women. Rashi mentions the verse in Bamidbar only as an additional source. Since that verse refers to many types of Korbanos (Chatas, Asham, and Minchah) in the same sentence, it is not sufficient to teach that a male Kohen must eat the meat of the Korban even b'Di'eved.

The OLAS SHLOMO has difficulty with the answer of the Tzon Kodashim. The eating of Korbanos is not a part of the Avodah which is Me'akev the Korban from being valid. Although it is true that with regard to Kodshim, the Torah states a law twice to teach that it is Me'akev, the eating of the meat of a Korban is not Me'akev, as it is not part of the Avodah. The Korban is valid whether or not it is eaten.

(b) The Olas Shlomo answers that Rashi mentions both verses because of the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah in Shabbos (136b). Rebbi Yehudah derives from a verse that one may perform a Bris Milah on an Androginus (a person with both male and female reproductive organs) on Shabbos. Rebbi Yehudah clearly maintains that an Androginus has the status of a male. Accordingly, if the Torah would have said only the verse of "Kol Zachar," one would have thought that an Androginus may eat Kodshim, since he is considered a male. Rashi therefore points out that the Torah adds, "ha'Kohen ha'Mechatei Osah," which teaches that only a person who may perform the Avodah is permitted to eat Kodshim. Since an Androginus may not perform Avodah, he may not eat Kodshim.

(c) The CHOK NASAN explains that Rashi quotes the verse of "Kol Zachar" in Bamidbar (18:10) instead of the verse in Vayikra (6:22) because the verse in Bamidbar states that not only a Chatas, but also an Asham and Minchah, must be eaten exclusively by male Kohanim. (Y. MONTROSE)



QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses the Halachos of the Korban Olah. The Gemara notes that when the Mishnah discusses the Korban Olah, it mentions that an Olah is Kodesh Kodashim. Why does the Mishnah mention this here, but not when it discusses the Korban Chatas, which is also Kodesh Kodashim?

The Gemara answers that since the Torah does not explicitly say that an Olah is Kodesh Kodashim, the Mishnah deems it necessary to say that it is Kodesh Kodashim.

TOSFOS (DH ha'Olah) notes a similar difference between the Mishnah here and the Mishnayos that discuss other Korbanos. The Mishnah here omits mention of what must be done with the leftover blood after Zerikah. The previous Mishnah, which discusses the Korban Chatas, states clearly that the leftover blood is spilled on the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach, and its spilling does not affect the Kashrus of the Korban. Why is this Halachah not mentioned in the Mishnah here, which discusses the Korban Olah? It does not seem logical that the blood of the Korban Olah should have a different Halachic status than the blood of the Korban Chatas, as the Gemara earlier (37a) says that all leftover blood of Korbanos must be spilled on the Yesod.


(a) TOSFOS quotes RABEINU MOSHE of Fontasia who answers that although this Halachah applies to the leftover blood of an Olah as well, the Mishnah does not mention it because it is not always applicable. Since the Zerikah of the blood of an Olah is done with a Kli, there often is no blood leftover after the Zerikah. This is in contrast to a Chatas, for which the Zerikah is done with the finger of the Kohen, and there always is blood leftover to spill on the Yesod. This is why the Mishnah mentions this Halachah only with regard to a Chatas and not with regard to an Olah.

Tosfos, however, rejects this answer based on his understanding of various Gemaros, which teach that there is a special Mitzvah for the Kohen to spill the leftover blood of every Korban on the Yesod, even that of an Olah. Since there is such a Mitzvah, it is assumed that the Kohen always ensures that the Korban Olah has blood leftover after the Zerikah.

(b) Tosfos quotes RABEINU YAKOV of Orleans who explains that the first Mishnah in the Perek discusses the types of Korban Chatas which need Zerikah on the inner Mizbe'ach. The leftover blood of those Korbanos is spilled on the western side of the Yesod. The previous Mishnah discusses a regular Chatas which is offered on the outer Mizbe'ach, and it mentions that the leftover blood is spilled on the southern side of the Yesod. Once the Tana has established the general principle of the leftover blood -- that the leftover blood of Korbanos offered on the inner Mizbe'ach must be spilled on the western side of the Yesod, and the leftover blood of Korbanos offered on the outer Mizbe'ach must be spilled on the southern part of the Yesod, the Tana saw no need to mention again what to do with the leftover blood of Korbanos. It is obvious that the leftover blood of any Korban offered on the outer Mizbe'ach is to be spilled on the southern side of the Yesod.

(c) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES quotes the RAM who concludes that the Tana indeed could have mentioned this Halachah here, but is a case of "Tana v'Shiyer" ("he taught and left over"); the Tana does not teach all of a subject at once, and sometimes leave over information to be taught somewhere else. In this case, the information was taught later in the Mishnah in Tamid (30b), where the Tana clearly states that leftover blood is spilled on the southern part of the Yesod. (Y. MONTROSE)