QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if a Kohen performs Melikah with his left hand or at night, the meat of the bird will not make the person who eats it Tamei (with Tum'as Neveilah) when it enters his Beis ha'Beli'ah (throat), even though the Korban is Pasul. The Mishnah later states a rule that whenever there is a situation of "Pesulo b'Kodesh" (see the following Insight for definitions of "Pesulo b'Kodesh"), the bird is not Metamei in the Beis ha'Beli'ah. What is the logic behind this rule? RASHI (DH v'Einan) explains that since the Melikah is effective in that if the bird was placed on the Mizbe'ach it is left there ("Im Alu Lo Yerdu"), it follows that the bird is not considered a Neveilah either. This apparently follows the opinion of Rebbi Shimon, who mentions this rule in the Mishnah later (84a).

TOSFOS (DH Malak bi'Semol) has difficulty with this approach, according to RABEINU TAM's text of the Gemara. According to Rabeinu Tam's text (on 24b), there is a general Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Shimon about whether Melikah may be done at night. The Tana Kama says that the Melikah is Pasul, and Rebbi Shimon says that it is valid. If Rebbi Shimon says that such a Melikah is valid, then why is Rashi's reasoning (as mentioned above) necessary to explain why the bird is not Metamei b'Veis ha'Beli'ah? It is an entirely valid Korban!


(a) TOSFOS answers that it must be that the Tana of the Mishnah agrees with the logic of Rebbi Shimon, but he does not agree with Rebbi Shimon's opinion in the case of Melikah performed at night.

(b) Alternatively, Tosfos answers that the Tana of the Mishnah could be Rebbi Yehudah. Rebbi Yehudah (84a) argues that only animals are not left on the Mizbe'ach when they are Pesulo b'Kodesh. Birds, in contrast, may be left on the Mizbe'ach. The verses from which Rebbi Yehudah derives that disqualified Korbanos may not be left on the Mizbe'ach discuss animals, not birds. Even though one of the verses must be referring to birds (because, otherwise, no Pasul bird-offering would ever be taken off the Mizbe'ach), that verse applies only when the Pesul was not b'Kodesh (see Tosfos to 84b, end of DH u'Motzi, who is not satisfied with this answer). The Mishnah here concurs with the view of Rebbi Yehudah.

Many Mefarshim use this answer of Tosfos to reconcile an apparent contradiction in the words of the RAMBAM. The Rambam (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 3:6) rules that when an animal was slaughtered at night and subsequently placed on the Mizbe'ach, it must be removed. This apparently follows the view of Rebbi Yehudah in the Mishnah later, who does not agree that Pesulo b'Kodesh allows something to remain on the Mizbe'ach. However, the Rambam elsewhere (ibid. 7:1) rules like the Mishnah here, that when Melikah is done to a bird at night, the bird is not Metamei b'Veis ha'Beli'ah, even though this ruling follows the logic that Pesulo b'Kodesh enables something to be left on the Mizbe'ach!

The TOSFOS YOM TOV, BIRKAS HA'ZEVACH, CHOK NASAN and others explain that the Rambam agrees with the second answer of Tosfos, according to which there is a difference between animals and birds, and both Mishnayos follow the view of Rebbi Yehudah. Accordingly, the Rambam is able to rule like both Mishnayos.

The SEFAS EMES, KEREN ORAH (in his first explanation), and others explain that the two rulings of the Rambam depend on a different point. Rebbi Yehudah agrees that Korbanos that are Pesulo b'Kodesh should stay on the Mizbe'ach. The only reason why he says that they must be removed is that he has three verses that tell him that they may not stay on the Mizbe'ach (see 84a). However, these verses tell him only that the Korban must be removed from the Mizbe'ach, but not that the Korban is Metamei b'Veis ha'Beli'ah. The Rambam, therefore, understands that Rebbi Yehudah agrees with the Mishnah here as well, and he does not need to differentiate between Korbanos of animals and birds. (See also LECHEM MISHNEH, Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 7:1, and EVEN HA'AZEL there.) (Y. MONTROSE)



OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches the principle that whenever a Korban is "Pesulo b'Kodesh," the meat of the Korban is not Metamei in the Beis ha'Beli'ah. Whenever the Korban is not "Pesulo b'Kodesh," the Korban is Metamei in the Beis ha'Beli'ah. What is the meaning of "Pesulo b'Kodesh"?

(a) RASHI (DH she'Pesulah b'Kodesh) explains that when the animal arrived in the Azarah fit to be a Korban, and afterwards it became Pasul, it is considered "Pesulo b'Kodesh" and its meat is not Metamei in the Beis ha'Beli'ah.

TOSFOS (DH Amar Rav) disagrees with Rashi. (See SEFER EIZEHU MEKOMAN, who explains why Tosfos quotes the words of Rashi later and not the words of Rashi on the Mishnah here.) The Mishnah later (84a) lists Rove'a and Nirva (animals which had relations with people) as examples of animals which are not "Pesulo b'Kodesh." According to Rashi, if the relations occurred after the animal entered the Azarah, this also could be an example of "Pesulo b'Kodesh"! The Mishnah, however, implies that these animals are never "Pesulo b'Kodesh."

The YAD BINYAMIN answers that Rashi's explanation is the same as that of the RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos). The Rambam explains that "Pesulo b'Kodesh" refers to when the Kohen who performs the Avodah has an invalidating thought or performs the Avodah in the wrong way. This renders the Korban Pasul, since the proper degree of Kedushah that one must have when offering the Korban has been violated. If the animal itself is lacking something before the Kohen performs the Avodah, this is not called "Pesulo b'Kodesh." The Yad Binyamin points out that the BARTENURA defines "Pesulo b'Kodesh" using both definitions, that of Rashi and that of the Rambam. He concludes that Rashi's intention is not to differentiate between an animal which arrived at the Azarah in a state fit to be a Korban and one that arrived in an unfit state (as Tosfos understands), but rather to differentiate between an animal which became unfit when it came to the Azarah and was not treated as befits a Korban.

(b) Tosfos argues that "Pesulo b'Kodesh" means that the animal became Pasul after it was slaughtered and its blood was consecrated in a vessel ("Niskadesh b'Kli"). This explanation finds support in the Mishnah later (84a), which states that a blemished animal is not called "Pesulo b'Kodesh." The Gemara earlier (25b-26a) says that an animal can become disqualified because of a blemish only until the Kabalas ha'Dam is performed. If no blemished animal has the status of "Pesulo b'Kodesh," then the determining factor between "Pesulo b'Kodesh" and not "Pesulo b'Kodesh" is the animal's state at the moment of Kabalas ha'Dam, unlike Rashi who says that the cutoff point is when the animal enters the Azarah.

The Yad Binyamin says that if the above explanation is used to understand Rashi, then the Mishnah later is no proof for Tosfos at all. Rashi does not say that "Pesulo b'Kodesh" is related to a specific time frame, but rather that it depends on what caused the Korban to become Pasul. The reason why a Ba'al Mum is not considered "Pesulo b'Kodesh" is that it was Pasul inherently, without any invalidating thought or misdeed in the Avodah on the Kohen's part.

(c) Tosfos suggests a third definition for "Pesulo b'Kodesh." Any Korban which potentially could be a valid Korban in a different area of Kodshim, but is deemed Pasul when brought in the form of a particular Korban, is called "Pesulo b'Kodesh." Tosfos points out that the Gemara in many places (including here) discusses where these types of Avodos, which are invalid for one Korban, are valid for another. This is also the opinion of the SHITAH MEKUBETZES, Tosfos earlier (61a, DH Kodem), and Tosfos in Me'ilah (3a, DH Chada). (Y. MONTROSE)