OPINIONS: Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah teaches that if Nochrim besiege the Azarah with arrows and other artillery, making it impossible for the Kohanim to enter the Azarah in order to eat Kodshim, the Kohanim may enter the Heichal (as the text appears in Menachos 8b, and as emended by the Shitah Mekubetzes here) and eat Kodshei Kodashim there. He derives this from the verse, "ba'Kodesh ha'Kodashim Tochlenu" -- "in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim you shall eat it" (Bamidbar 18:10).

Does this verse permit the Kohanim to eat Kodshim only in the Heichal, or even in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim?

(a) The RAMBAN (to Bamidbar 18:10, quoting the Sifri) writes that Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseirah's teaching applies to the Kodesh ha'Kodashim as well. He chose to mention the Heichal, but he also could have said that if the Heichal was surrounded, then the Kohanim could enter the Kodesh ha'Kodashim and eat their Kodshei Kodashim there. This also seems to be the straightforward meaning of the verse, which uses the term, "Kodesh ha'Kodashim," instead of "Ohel Mo'ed."

The SHA'AR MORDECHAI cites proof for the Ramban's view from the Gemara earlier (56a) which says that the area of the Azarah was 187 Amos by 135 Amos, which includes the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. Rav Nachman there says in the name of his father that throughout all of this area, the Kohanim may eat Kodshei Kodashim, thus including the Kodesh ha'Kodashim in the area in which the Kohanim may eat their Kodshim.

The MINCHAS CHINUCH (Mitzvah 184:6) says that this ruling is relevant to another question. The Minchas Chinuch inquires what the Halachah would be in a case in which one enters the Heichal in order to eat the meat of a Korban at a time when Nochrim are not besieging the Azarah. Would he receive Malkus, just as a Kohen who enters the Heichal for no reason receives Malkus, or does the prohibition to enter the Heichal for no reason not apply since the Torah explicitly permits entering the Heichal in order to eat Kodshim there at a time when Nochrim are besieging the Azarah? The Minchas Chinuch suggests that once the Torah permitted entering the Heichal during a siege, it is not included in the prohibition at all. He comments that if this logic is extended to the opinion of the Ramban, then one who walks into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim to eat Kodshei Kodashim should not be punished by Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, since it is not included in the prohibition against walking into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim for no reason.

(b) The IBN EZRA (to Bamidbar 18:10) asserts that the words "Kodesh ha'Kodashim" in the verse refer to the Heichal, and not to the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. Why, then, does the verse say "Kodesh ha'Kodashim"? He answers that when compared with the Chatzer of the Mishkan, the Heichal is considered Kodesh ha'Kodashim.

The RE'EM also argues with the Ramban. He asserts that only the Heichal can be considered a place fit for eating Kodshim, because the Heichal is a place into which the Kohanim are permitted to enter when there is a need. In contrast, no ordinary Kohen (Kohen Hedyot, as opposed to the Kohen Gadol) is ever permitted to enter the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. Moreover, entering the Kodesh ha'Kodashim entails a more severe Lav, one punishable with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, and thus a positive commandment to eat Kodshim should not override such a severe Isur. (See also KIRYAS SEFER, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 11:3.)

(This also seems to be the opinion of RASHI (DH ba'Kodesh ha'Kodashim), who says that the words "ba'Kodesh ha'Kodashim" refer to the Heichal. However, it could be that Rashi intends merely to point out that the verse is saying that Kodshim may be eaten in another place other than the Azarah, since the Azarah is already mentioned in a different verse (Vayikra 6:9). He might not be excluding the Kodesh ha'Kodashim from the intention of the verse.) (Y. MONTROSE)



QUESTION: The Mishnah says that the procedure of offering a Chatas ha'Of is performed at the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara derives this from the verse written with regard to a Korban Minchah (brought by a destitute person for his Oleh v'Yored), "He shall not place oil upon it, and he shall not place frankincense upon it, because it is a Chatas" (Vayikra 5:11). The Gemara derives from here that a Minchah is called a Chatas, and a Chatas is called a Minchah, teaching that their laws are comparable in certain respects. The Gemara says, according to the Girsa in our texts, that just as a Chatas must be slaughtered in the northern half of the Azarah, so must a Minchah be prepared in the north. Similarly, just as a Minchah is offered on the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach, so is a Chatas offered on the southwest corner.

RASHI (DH Mah) writes that the text of the first comparison, between a Chatas and a Minchah, is an error. Neither a Chatas ha'Of nor a Minchah are performed in the north. The Minchah to which the Gemara here refers cannot be the specific offering of a Minchas Chotei, which is an exception and is offered in the north, because the Mishnah which says that a Minchah may be offered anywhere in the Azarah does not list this as an exception. Moreover, how can it be that the Minchah -- which is offered instead of a Chatas ha'Of -- must be offered in the north of the Azarah if the Chatas ha'Of itself never needs to be prepared in the north of the Azarah?

What, then, does the Gemara mean when it compares a Chatas to a Minchah?


(a) RASHI writes that the text of the Gemara must be emended to read, "Just as a Chatas is Pasul if it is offered with the intention that it is a different type of Korban, a Minchah (a Minchas Chotei) is Pasul if it is offered with the intention that it is a different type [of Minchah]." This teaching is mentioned in Menachos (4a, see Rashi there).

TOSFOS (DH Mah Chatas) has difficulty with Rashi's explanation. One of Tosfos' questions is based on the conclusion of the Gemara in Menachos (4a). The Gemara there says that the law that a Minchas Chotei is Pasul when offered with the wrong intention is derived from the word "Hi" in the phrase, "Ki Chatas Hi" (which teaches that a Chatas is Pasul when offered with the wrong intention), and the same word is stated with regard to a Minchas Chotei. The fact that the Gemara there does not give the explanation that the Gemara here gives according to Rashi's correction in the Girsa indicates that the Girsa that Rashi suggests is not the text of the Gemara.

(b) Tosfos (DH Mah Chatas) quotes RABEINU CHAIM who explains that the Gemara should read, "Just as a Chatas ha'Of must be offered next to the Yesod, as the verse says, 'And the remainder of the blood shall be pressed out towards the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach' (Vayikra 5:9), so, too, a Minchah requires Hagashah opposite the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach." He learns that this teaching is implied by a different Gemara in Menachos (61a). According to Rabeinu Chaim, this teaching applies to all types of Minchah offerings and not just to a Minchas Chotei. Tosfos asks, what is the source that this applies to all types of Minchah offerings, if the verse is stated only with regard to a Minchas Chotei? Rabeinu Chaim answers that the words "Lifnei Hash-m" are stated with regard to both a Minchas Chotei and other Menachos. This teaches that all Menachos, by definition, have similar characteristics (and not that there is a Gezeirah Shavah which requires a Mesorah, and which teaches a new law).

(c) Tosfos quotes RABEINU TAM who gives a different explanation. According to Rabeinu Tam, the correct text should read, "Just as a Chatas must be done with the right hand, so, too, a Minchah must be done [with the right hand]." According to this explanation, the Gemara here disagrees with the opinion of Rebbi Shimon (25a), who says that the burning (Haktarah) of the Kometz must be done with the right hand if the Kohen is using his hand (as opposed to when the Haktarah is done with a vessel, in which case it may be done with the left hand). Alternatively, Rabeinu Tam says that Rebbi Shimon's position does not necessarily conflict with this statement. It could be that this is the source for Rebbi Shimon's teaching that the burning of the Kometz must be done with the right hand (in case one chooses to do the burning by hand and not with a vessel).

The TZON KODASHIM has difficulty with Rabeinu Tam's approach. The Gemara earlier (25a) concludes that Rebbi Shimon uses a Gezeirah Shavah of "Yad" to teach that a Minchas Chotei must be offered with the right hand. As mentioned above, the verse cited by the Gemara specifically deals with a Minchas Chotei, and, according to Rabeinu Tam, it is the source that a Minchas Chotei must be done with the right hand. Why, then, does Rebbi Shimon need the Gezeirah Shavah of "Yad"?

The MITZPEH EISAN answers this question based on the Gemara in Menachos (72a-73a). The Gemara there discusses the opinion of Rebbi Shimon that a Minchas Chotei of a Kohen differs from that of a Yisrael. Unlike the Minchas Chotei of a Yisrael, the Kometz and the leftovers of a Minchas Chotei of a Kohen are burned. Therefore, Rebbi Shimon requires two separate teachings, both the Gezeirah Shavah of "Yad" and the comparison to Chatas to teach that both the Minchas Chotei of a Yisrael and a Kohen must be done with the right hand. (Y. MONTROSE)