1) THE EXTENT TO WHICH A "KLI SHARES" IS "MEKADESH" AN ITEM THAT IS DISQUALIFIED FROM BEING OFFERED ON THE MIZBE'ACH
OPINIONS: The Gemara records a discussion between Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish about whether the Klei Shares are Mekadesh items that are disqualified from being offered on the Mizbe'ach. Rebbi Yochanan quotes the Mishnah (86a) which states that the Klei Shares are Mekadesh whatever is fit to be placed in them, which includes things that are Pasul. Reish Lakish responds that his question is whether these Pasul items that were placed in the Klei Shares may be offered l'Chatchilah. Rebbi Yochanan answers that this is already taught by the Mishnah earlier (84a), which states that one of the things that is not brought down from the Mizbe'ach once it is placed there is a Korban, the blood of which was received and sprinkled by Pesulim (people who are not qualified to perform the Avodah, such as a Zar or a Kohen who is Pasul). The Gemara refutes Rebbi Yochanan's proof by saying that the case of the Mishnah there is not that the blood was both accepted and sprinkled by Pesulim, but rather the Mishnah is referring to two separate cases; either the blood was accepted by Pesulim, or it was sprinkled by Pesulim.
How does Rebbi Yochanan understand the first and second questions of Reish Lakish, and how do Rebbi Yochanan's responses answer those questions?
(a) RASHI (DH Mahu through DH Iy Nami) explains that Rebbi Yochanan understands that Reish Lakish wants to know whether a Korban that is Pasul, such as a Minchah that is Tamei, must be redeemed in order to remove its Kedushah, because it entered a Kli Shares. This question is based on the Mishnah in Menachos (100b) that says that a Minchah that is Tamei may be redeemed, but not if it became Tamei after it entered a Kli Shares. Rebbi Yochanan answers that the Mishnah says that a Kli Shares always gives Kedushah to that which is normally fit to be offered in a Kli Shares, which includes disqualified Korbanos. Reish Lakish then explains that his question was whether or not the offering may be brought, l'Chatchilah, upon the Mizbe'ach once it (if the offering is a Minchah) or its blood (if the offering is an animal) was placed in a Kli Shares. Rebbi Yochanan answered that the offering may be brought upon the Mizbe'ach, although his proof is refuted by the Gemara, as mentioned above.
TOSFOS (DH Klei Shares) is perplexed by Rashi's explanation. Among other questions, Tosfos asks that according to Rashi, Rebbi Yochanan cites the Mishnah to prove that the limbs are not brought l'Chatchilah only when a person who is Pasul for Avodah performed the Kabalah and Zerikah. This implies that if the Pasul only accepted the blood, then the limbs may be brought l'Chatchilah. There are many other cases in the Mishnah in which a Kohen performs both the Kabalah and Zerikah of a disqualified Korban. In those cases as well, the Halachah is that they are not removed from the Mizbe'ach once they have been placed there. This implies that they should not be brought upon the Mizbe'ach, l'Chatchilah, even though a Kohen accepted and sprinkled the blood from a Kli Shares! How, then, can Rebbi Yochanan deduce that a Kli Shares is Mekadesh when a Pasul only accepts the blood, and ignore the rest of the cases in the Mishnah in which the Kli Shares does not allow one to bring the Korban to the Mizbe'ach, l'Chatchilah, even when a Kohen performs all of the Avodah? (To understand Tosfos' second question on Rashi, see the difference of opinion between the TZON KODASHIM and the SHALOM RAV.)
Tosfos writes that the only way to resolve these difficulties is to say that none of these cases involve a Kli Shares. However, for numerous reasons, Tosfos still is not satisfied with Rashi's explanation. One reason is that if Rebbi Yochanan originally understood that Reish Lakish was asking about redeeming the Korban, and Reish Lakish tells him that he was referring to an entirely different topic, then Reish Lakish should say simply that he is asking about "offering the Korban" ("l'Karev"). Why does Reish Lakish add that he is asking about "l'Chatchilah l'Karev"? This implies that Rebbi Yochanan already understood that Reish Lakish was talking about offering the items on the Mizbe'ach (and not that he was asking about redeeming the items placed in the Kli Shares), but Rebbi Yochanan simply did not understand that Reish Lakish was asking about a case of l'Chatchilah.
(b) Tosfos quotes RABEINU TAM who gives an entirely different explanation for the Gemara. Rebbi Yochanan thought that Reish Lakish was asking about a person who brought a disqualified Korban onto the Mizbe'ach in a Kli Shares. He understood that the Korban could not have become Kadosh as a result of being in the airspace above the Mizbe'ach, because the bottom of the Kli Shares effectively separated the Korban from that Kedushah. However, he thought that Reish Lakish was inquiring about whether a Kli Shares is unlike other vessels. Since a Kli Shares itself is Kadosh, perhaps it should not be considered a separation between the airspace of the Mizbe'ach and its contents, and therefore its contents should be able to stay on the Mizbe'ach. Rebbi Yochanan answered, based on the Mishnah, that the Kedushah of the Kli Shares itself can make the disqualified Korban become Kadosh. Reish Lakish responded that his doubt was actually based on this Mishnah. When the Mishnah says that a Kli Shares is Mekadesh anything which is appropriate for it, is it saying that because the Kli Shares is above the Mizbe'ach it therefore does not have to go down, or is it saying that even if the Kli Shares is not on the Mizbe'ach, it is Mekadesh its contents and they can now be brought on the Mizbe'ach? Rebbi Yochanan answered Reish Lakish from the Mishnah earlier (84a), which discusses a case of a Pasul "who accepted the blood and sprinkled the blood" (in the past tense), implying that it was done b'Di'eved. (Rabeinu Tam maintains that the fact that the Gemara here says, "and Pesulin sprinkled it," does not mean that the word "Pesulin" is relevant to the discussion. This is in contrast to the explanation of Rashi, who says that this is the entire point of Rebbi Yochanan.) According to Rabeinu Tam, Rebbi Yochanan answered that the blood should definitely not be sprinkled on the Mizbe'ach l'Chatchilah, as implied by the Mishnah.
Tosfos points out that the same problem he has with Rashi's explanation -- that Rebbi Yochanan seems to ignore the other cases in the Mishnah -- applies as well to Rabeinu Tam's explanation. Even according to Rabeinu Tam, the other cases, for some reason, must not be discussing a Kli Shares. However, aside from the objections mentioned above, Rabeinu Tam's explanation has another important advantage. In Menachos (7a), Reish Lakish asks the same question to Rebbi Yochanan. Rebbi Yochanan replies that the Klei Shares are not Mekadesh what is placed into them. According to Rabeinu Tam, this indeed was the answer that Rebbi Yochanan gave to Reish Lakish in the Gemara here as well, unlike Rashi's explanation, according to which we are left with two different answers from Rebbi Yochanan. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) THE AIRSPACE ABOVE THE MIZBE'ACH
QUESTION: The Gemara inquires about whether an item that enters the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is considered as though it has rested on the Mizbe'ach. This question is relevant for an item which, when placed on the Mizbe'ach, should not be removed (84a). What is the Halachah when that item reaches the airspace of the Mizbe'ach (but has not yet come to rest on the Mizbe'ach)? Must it be left on the Mizbe'ach? The Gemara discusses this question at length.
Rav Ashi (88a) says that if one was carrying, at the top of the Mizbe'ach, an item fit to be a Korban, it certainly is considered as though it has been placed on the Mizbe'ach already. Since the person himself is standing on and is supported by the Mizbe'ach, the Korban is considered to be on the Mizbe'ach as well, even if the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is not like the Mizbe'ach. The question remains in a case in which a Kohen extends a Korban over the airspace of the Mizbe'ach with a pole, without standing on the Mizbe'ach himself. In such a case, does the airspace of the Mizbe'ach make the Korban as though it is already on the Mizbe'ach itself? The Gemara does not resolve this question.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 3:12) rules that the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is like the Mizbe'ach. He does not mention that this applies only in specific cases. The words of the Rambam clearly imply that he rules in all cases that the airspace is akin to the Mizbe'ach. What is the source for the Rambam's ruling?
(a) The MAHARI KURKUS answers that the Rambam rules in other, similar situations that the airspace of a place is considered like the place itself, and therefore he rules that the same applies for the Mizbe'ach. The Rambam earlier (1:20) rules that if an animal was suspended in the airspace of the Azarah and the Kohen performed the Kabalas ha'Dam in the air, it is considered as though the Kabalah was performed in the Azarah, "because the airspace of the place is like the place." This is based on the Gemara earlier in Zevachim (26a). The Rambam understands that the Gemara sometimes expresses a doubt about something in one place, while in another place it has no doubt. The Rambam understood from the Gemara there that airspace is generally considered like the place itself. (See the second explanation of the Mahari Kurkus, and the MISHNEH L'MELECH in Hilchos Shegagos 11:4, who cites many places in which the Rambam rules that airspace of the Azarah is like the Azarah.)
The logic of the Mahari Kurkus is also expressed by TOSFOS earlier (25b, DH Zos). The Gemara there says that water in the airspace of a vessel is considered to be in the vessel before it actually enters the confines of the vessel's walls. Tosfos there asks, why does the Gemara here not cite that ruling in order to answer that the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is like the Mizbe'ach itself? Tosfos leaves this question unanswered.
The KEHILOS YAKOV (#18) has difficulty with Tosfos' question. The Gemara there is discussing an entirely different case from the Gemara here. The Gemara earlier is discussing water that is falling into a vessel. It is understandable that water that will inevitably find itself inside the vessel is considered to be already in the vessel. In contrast, the Gemara here is discussing a Kohen who holds a Korban at the end of a pole over the airspace of the Mizbe'ach. There is no certainty that the Korban will fall or be placed onto the Mizbe'ach. Accordingly, the case of the Gemara earlier provides no answer for the Gemara's question here of whether something in the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is considered resting on the Mizbe'ach.
Although the Kehilos Yakov has difficulty with the comparison of the airspace of the Mizbe'ach to the airspace of a vessel, he understands that there may be a proof for the question of the Gemara here from a different case -- a case of the airspace of the Azarah, which is considered like the Azarah. The Kehilos Yakov explains that whether a proof could be brought from the airspace of the Azarah to the airspace of the Mizbe'ach would depend on the underlying reason for why the airspace of the Mizbe'ach would be considered like the Mizbe'ach. One possibility is that the airspace is considered Kadosh because it is considered to be resting on top of the Mizbe'ach. Since it is considered resting on top of the Mizbe'ach, that area has Kedushah like the Mizbe'ach. Another possibility is that the airspace itself is considered Kadosh, even though it is not considered to be resting on top of the Mizbe'ach itself.
If the question is whether or not the airspace has the same Kedushah as the Mizbe'ach, and we find that the airspace of the Azarah has the same Kedushah as the Azarah, we could say that the airspace of the Mizbe'ach has the same Kedushah as well. If the reason why the airspace should be considered like the Mizbe'ach is that the airspace is considered resting on the Mizbe'ach, then a proof may be brought from the airspace of the Azarah, which also is considered to be resting on the Azarah itself and thus has the same Kedushah. However, if the reason why the airspace of the Mizbe'ach is like the Mizbe'ach is different from the reason for why the airspace of the Azarah is like the Azarah, then no proof can be brought from the Azarah to the Mizbe'ach.
The Kehilos Yakov later says that this question is the subject of a dispute with regard to the airspace of the Azarah itself. (See the aforementioned Mishneh l'Melech, who also discusses at length whether the status of the airspace of the Azarah has any bearing on the status of the airspace of the Mizbe'ach.)
(b) The KESEF MISHNEH (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 3:12) answers that the Rambam actually has no specific source for his ruling. Rather, the Rambam is also in doubt about the Halachah, just as the Gemara concludes with a doubt. However, since there is a doubt about whether the airspace is considered like the Mizbe'ach, when an item actually enters the airspace of the Mizbe'ach one may not remove it from the Mizbe'ach, because perhaps the Halachah is that the airspace is like the Mizbe'ach. The Rambam is not ruling that the airspace is definitely like the Mizbe'ach. Rather, he is ruling that, in practice, one may not remove an item once it has entered the airspace of the Mizbe'ach due to the doubt about the status of the airspace. (Y. MONTROSE)