1) "L'MIKRA HIKDIMAH HA'KASUV"
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses the Beraisa's statement that even a Chatas ha'Of is offered before an Olas Behemah. The Gemara quotes three statements of Rebbi Eliezer, in which he relates that there are three specific cases in which a Chatas is brought before an Olah, and in each of those cases, a Yoledes brings the Olah before the Chatas. RASHI (DH v'Kan) explains that Rebbi Eliezer learns that a Yoledes brings her Olah before her Chatas from the verse, "Echad l'Olah v'Echad l'Chatas" -- "one for an Olah and one for a Chatas" (Vayikra 12:8). From the statement of Rebbi Eliezer it is evident that there is a case in which an Olah is brought before a Chatas. Rava refutes this proof, saying that Rebbi Eliezer's statement does not prove that an Olah may be brought before a Chatas. When the verse says that the Yoledes brings one Korban as an Olah and one as a Chatas, that order is only "l'Mikra Hikdimah ha'Kasuv" -- "for reading, the verse gave it precedence." What do Rava's words mean?
(a) RASHI (DH l'Mikra) explains that the Torah mentions the Korban Olah before the Korban Chatas in the Parshah of Yoledes only because it wants the Korban Olah to be read first. However, with regard to offering the Korbanos, the Chatas must be offered first.
TOSFOS (DH l'Mikra) says that Rashi's explanation is perplexing. Rava's explanation is not needed to teach that the Torah wants the Korban Olah to be read before the Korban Chatas; the Torah already clearly writes it in that order! Rather, the Torah, which is written with the most extreme precision of words, is apparently saying that the offering of the Olah of a Yoledes precedes the offering of the Chatas. If this would not be the case, then the Torah would mention Chatas first. Moreover, it is not logical to say that Rebbi Eliezer is pointing out (three different times) merely that the verse of Yoledes says Olah before Chatas, unlike other verses, and he is not relating anything of Halachic significance.
RAV SHACH zt'l (AVI EZRI, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 14:5) offers an explanation for the intention of Rashi. He suggests that Rashi understands that Rebbi Eliezer is teaching something relevant in practice with regard to a Yoledes. When a Yoledes designates the Korbanos that she will bring, she is supposed to designate and bring her Chatas before the Olah, as anyone who brings both a Chatas and an Olah must do. The Torah is teaching that the obligation for a Yoledes to bring an Olah is independent of her obligation to bring a Chatas. This has practical relevance in a case in which the woman dies after she was Makdish her Olah, but before she was Makdish her Chatas. If the designation of the Olah is valid only when done after the Chatas has been designated, then the heirs of the woman's estate are not obligated to bring the Korban Olah, since she was not Makdish the Chatas upon which the Olah is contingent. If the Torah would have written the Korban Chatas first, then we would have treated the Olah as dependent upon the Chatas, such that it could be designated only if the Chatas was designated already. When Rashi says that the Torah writes the Chatas first, Rashi means that, according to Rebbi Eliezer, the Torah establishes the obligation to bring the Olah of a Yoledes independent of the obligation of the Chatas. (In his conclusion, however, Rav Shach admits that there is difficulty with this explanation.)
(b) TOSFOS quotes RABEINU CHAIM who gives a different explanation. Rabeinu Chaim says that Rava is answering that, indeed, the Korban Olah of a Yoledes differs from the Korban Olah of other Chatas-Olah combinations. As the Mishnah teaches, in most cases, when one has two Korbanos -- a Chatas and an Olah -- that he must be Makdish, he should be Makdish the Chatas first. By placing Olah first in the verse regarding a Yoledes, the Torah teaches that the Yoledes should be Makdish the Olah before the Chatas. The Mishnah is discussing most cases, not that of a Yoledes. However, the rule of the Mishnah and Beraisa that a Chatas (even a Chatas ha'Of) always precedes an Olah still applies.
The Acharonim ask many questions on Rabeinu Chaim's explanation. Tosfos himself concludes that this explanation is not consistent with the Gemara in Erchin (21a). The CHESHEK SHLOMO asks that in the verses that discuss the Korbanos of the Mo'adim (in Parshas Pinchas), the Korban Olah is always mentioned before the Korban Chatas. According to Rabeinu Chaim's understanding of Rebbi Eliezer's logic, this would indicate that for all of the Korbanos of the Mo'adim, the Olah should be designated before the Chatas. If this is true, however, then how can the Mishnah say as a rule that a Chatas should always be designated before an Olah? This rule has so many exceptions that it cannot be considered a rule! (Perhaps one could answer the question of the Cheshek Shlomo by saying that Rebbi Eliezer says that the Chatas should be designated first only when the Torah writes Olah before Chatas in the same verse, as opposed to when the Torah writes Olah and then, a few verses later, writes Chatas.)
(c) The Cheshek Shlomo gives his own explanation for Rava's answer. He explains that "l'Mikra" means that if one is unable to bring the Korbanos, and in lieu of bringing the Korbanos he must read the Parshah of each Korban he is obligated to bring (see Menachos 110a), then he should read the Parshah of the Olah before that of the Chatas. He explains that this approach is particularly logical with regard to the Parshiyos of the Korbanos of the Mo'adim. The offering of each Korban is usually described in one word, such as "v'Hikravtem Olah" (Bamidbar 28:27), which includes both the Zerikah and the burning of the Eimurim. The law is that the Zerikah of a Chatas is performed before the Zerikah of an Olah, while the Haktaras ha'Eimurim of an Olah is performed before the Haktarah of a Chatas. Therefore, the fact that the Olah is mentioned before the Chatas does not indicate that it should be offered first. The Cheshek Shlomo explains that the reason why one should read the Olah first is that the Mitzvah of the Korban Olah is greater.
He quotes the DA'AS KEDOSHIM who explains this further. The Gemara in Pesachim (59b) teaches that part of the atonement provided by a Chatas is attained when the Kohanim partake of its meat. However, the Kohanim's consumption cannot be fulfilled by one's reading of the Parshah; only the part of the Korban that is given "to Hash-m" is considered, by Hash-m, as having been fulfilled by one's words and thoughts. Consequently, the atonement of the Korban Chatas is slightly lacking when the Parshah of the Chatas is read, as opposed to when it is actually brought. A Korban Olah, in contrast, is burned completely and is thus totally for Hash-m, and, therefore, it is considered just as effective when the Parshah of the Olah is read as when the Korban is actually offered. Hence, the reading of the Olah takes precedence over the reading of the Chatas. This is Rava's understanding of Rebbi Eliezer's teaching. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) YESTERDAY'S "SHELAMIM" AND TODAY'S "CHATAS"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah discusses which Korbanos take precedence over other Korbanos with regard to the consumption of their meat. One case discussed is when the meat of a Korban Shelamim offered the previous day (the meat of a Shelamim is eaten for two days and for the night between them) is available at the same time as the meat of a Chatas that was slaughtered on that day. Which meat should be eaten first? Rebbi Meir says that the previous day's Shelamim should be eaten first, while the Rabanan say that the Chatas takes precedence, because it is Kodshei Kodashim.
The Rabanan's reasoning is clear. What, though, is the reasoning of Rebbi Meir for giving precedence to the meat of the Shelamim?
(a) The correct text of RASHI (DH Shelamim, see CHOK NASAN for the Girsa found in the Kisvei Yad of Rashi) says that the Shelamim should be eaten first because it is degrading to leave over the meat of the Shelamim, which will start to change shape and spoil as it gets older. The meat of the Chatas, which is freshly slaughtered, will remain fresh for longer and, therefore, is not degraded by leaving it over in order to eat other meat first.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Shelamim) argues that this novel explanation is not necessary. There is a much more basic way to understand the reasoning of Rebbi Meir. The Shelamim of yesterday may be eaten only until nightfall of today. The Chatas -- which was freshly slaughtered today -- may be eaten for the entire day and the entire night that follows. (Although the Rabanan enacted that it may not be eaten past midnight, it still may be eaten for longer than the Shelamim.) Therefore, it is logical that one should eat the Korban with the earlier expiration time first, which is the Shelamim.
The YA'AVETZ, who has the Girsa of Rashi as it appears in our text, writes that he does not know why Tosfos understands that Rashi means that the meat will become misshaped and spoiled. The Girsa of Rashi in our text reads that the Mishnah is not discussing cases of taking precedence in eating, but rather it is continuing its discussion of which Korbanos should be offered first. The Mishnah is teaching that when two of the same Korbanos are brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash, everyone agrees that the one that arrived first is offered first. The question arises when one brings a Shelamim to the Beis ha'Mikdash on one day, and he was not able to offer it on that day. The next day, a different person brings a Chatas to the Beis ha'Mikdash, and now they are both waiting to have their Korbanos offered. Which Korban is offered first? Rebbi Meir says that the Shelamim is offered first, since it physically arrived in the Beis ha'Mikdash before the Chatas. The Rabanan argue that Kodshei Kodashim always take precedence, even when the Kodshim Kalim arrived earlier. (However, as mentioned above, the Chok Nasan says that the correct text of Rashi is the Girsa that Tosfos had, and thus Tosfos' understanding of Rashi is consistent with his text of Rashi's words.)
The KEREN ORAH points out that the wording of the Mishnah certainly is more compatible with the explanation of Rashi according to Tosfos' Girsa than with his explanation according to the Girsa of our text. The Mishnah states that the rules of precedence that apply with regard to the offering of Korbanos also apply with regard to the eating of the meat of Korbanos. This wording strongly implies that the cases that follow deal with the new subject of eating Korbanos, and not with offering them.
However, the Keren Orah rejoins, the Gemara later (91a) implies that the explanation of the Mishnah indeed is like our text of Rashi. The Gemara discusses the Mishnah's first statement that a Korban which is Tadir (more frequent) is offered before one that is not Tadir. The Gemara attempts to prove this principle from the case presently under discussion, a case involving a Shelamim from yesterday and a Chatas from today. It seems that the Machlokes Tana'im with regard to which one comes first applies only when the Shelamim was brought yesterday. The Gemara says that this implies that if they were both from the same day, the Chatas would be first. According to our text of Rashi, this proof makes sense. The Gemara understands that if the Shelamim were also brought today and slaughtered first, before the Chatas, then the Chatas still would be attended to first while another Kohen stirs the blood of the Shelamim so that it not congeal while waiting its turn to be offered. Rashi (DH Ha) explains that since a Chatas is more Kadosh than a Shelamim, it is logical that it be offered first. If the Shelamim is mistakenly offered first, the Mishnah implies that the Chatas should be given precedence and the Shelamim postponed. If this is true for a Korban which is more Kadosh, then it also should be true when a less frequent Korban (Eino Tadir) is slaughtered before a more frequent Korban (Tadir).
However, according to Tosfos, who says that the Gemara is discussing the precedence of eating the meat of the Korbanos, what does the Gemara mean when it says that the Mishnah implies that if both the Shelamim and Chatas were from the same day, then the Chatas should be first? According to Tosfos, the reason why one should eat the Chatas first is that it has an earlier time of expiration! This case seems to have no bearing on which Korban should be slaughtered first. The same difficulty applies to the explanation of Rashi according to the Girsa of Tosfos; it seems to have no bearing on which Korban should be offered first. (The Keren Orah discusses this at length, and gives a possible refutation to his proof.) (Y. MONTROSE)