1) BLOOD THAT SPILLS ON A GARMENT THAT IS "TAMEI"
QUESTION: Rami bar Chama asks what the Halachah is in a case in which the blood of a Chatas spills on a garment that is Tamei. Does the Torah require the garment to be cleaned? From his question, it is evident that Rami bar Chama maintains that the only reason why the garment might require cleaning is that the blood becomes Tamei at the same moment that it reaches the garment. If the blood would have been Pasul for any reason before it reached the garment, then the garment would not require cleaning (unlike Rebbi Akiva's opinion on 92b).
The CHELKAS YOAV (in Kava d'Kushyasa #65) writes that he does not understand the Gemara's question. The Gemara later (98b) quotes Rava who asks about a case in which the blood of an Olah (which does not requires cleaning) falls onto a garment, and then the blood of a Chatas falls onto the same place where the Olah-blood fell. Does the garment need to be cleaned because the Chatas-blood touched it, or does the garment not need to be cleaned because the Chatas-blood did not become absorbed in it (because the garment is already saturated with the blood of the Olah)? Rava answers that the garment does not need to be cleaned. Rava clearly maintains that cleaning is necessary only when the blood of a Chatas becomes absorbed into a garment.
The Chelkas Yoav says that according to Rava's view, Rami bar Chama's question is based on an incorrect premise. Rami bar Chama asks that because the blood becomes Pasul at the same moment that it touches the Tamei garment, perhaps the garment does not need to be cleaned. This implies that if the garment was not Tamei, the blood would require it to be cleaned at the moment that it touches the garment (and not when it becomes absorbed into the garment). According to Rava, blood that falls on a Tamei garment never requires the garment to be cleaned, because the blood becomes Tamei at the moment that it touches the garment, long before it becomes absorbed into the garment. Accordingly, there should be no difference between the case of blood that fell on a Tamei garment, and blood that was Pasul before it fell on a Tahor garment. Why does the Gemara not address this logic at all?
(a) The CHOK NASAN answers in the name of the MIRKEVES HA'MISHNEH that Rami bar Chama and Rava clearly disagree about what necessitates cleaning a garment onto which blood of a Chatas spilled. Rami bar Chama maintains that as soon as the blood touches the garment, the obligation to clean the garment takes effect. Rava maintains that the obligation to clean the garment does not take effect until the blood becomes absorbed into the garment.
This answer explains the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 8:9). The Rambam rules, unlike the conclusion of the Gemara, that the garment does not require cleaning. The KESEF MISHNEH is perplexed about why the Rambam rules contrary to the conclusion of the Gemara. The MAHARI KURKUS concludes that either there is a mistake in the text of the Rambam, or the Rambam himself had a different (and mistaken) text of the Gemara. However, based on the Mirkeves ha'Mishneh's assertion that Rami bar Chama and Rava disagree about what obligates the garment to be cleaned, the Rambam is ruling like Rava's opinion later (98b) that only blood absorbed into a garment requires cleaning, as opposed to the opinion of Rami bar Chama. (See also the Chok Nasan's difficulties with the answer given by the CHAZON NACHUM.) This answer is also given by the MITZPEH EISAN.
The CHAZON ISH (Zevachim 20:4) has great difficulty with this explanation. The Gemara never mentions any challenge to the logic of Rami bar Chama's question, neither in the beginning nor in the end of its discussion. Why would the Gemara pursue an entire discussion without bringing up a relevant objection to this logic?
(b) The CHAZON ISH answers that Rava's position later is not relevant to the discussion of the Gemara here. Rava maintains that the moment at which blood reaches a clean garment, it is considered absorbed into the garment. This is because when blood falls onto a garment, it always makes the garment dirty, and this is called "being absorbed." Rava's case in the Gemara later deals with the blood of an Olah which acts as a barrier, preventing the garment from absorbing any of the blood of the Chatas in even the slightest manner. When one washes off such a stain, he washes off only the blood of the Olah from the garment; the blood of the Chatas is not washed from the garment, because it never became absorbed in the garment. This is why Rava concludes that there is no Mitzvah to wash the garment in such a case. (See also YAD BINYAMIN, who gives this explanation.) Accordingly, Rava would agree with Rami bar Chama.
However, this answer leaves the ruling of the Rambam problematic. Why does the Rambam rule contrary to the conclusion of the Gemara, if no one disagrees with Rami bar Chama?
Based on the Chazon Ish's approach, the KEHILOS YAKOV (Pesachim #11, Zevachim #38) answers a different question on the ruling of the Rambam. The AMUDEI OR (#70) asks that the Rambam (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 1:6) rules that blood of Kodshim cannot become Tamei at all. This ruling seems to contradict the Rambam's ruling here (in Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos) that a Tamei garment onto which blood of a Chatas falls does not need to be cleaned. The reason for this, as the Gemara here explains, is that Tamei blood does not cause a garment to require cleaning. If the Rambam rules that blood of Kodshim never becomes Tamei, then the blood certainly should require that the garment be cleaned!
The Kehilos Yakov explains that the Rambam understands that the blood which falls on the Tamei garment is not considered Tamei as a result of touching the Tamei garment. Rather, the Rambam follows the explanation of Rava, who says that only when blood is considered absorbed in a garment is it considered Tamei as a result of the Tamei garment. This is because of the rule that something which is attached to a Tamei item is considered Tamei like it as long as it remains attached (see Kelim 18:7-8, 19:5), as the Rambam himself writes (Hilchos Tum'as Ochlin 2:20). Based on the logic of the Chazon Ish that when blood rests on a clean garment it is considered absorbed into the garment, the blood acquires the status of the garment and thus is considered Tamei. This is why the Rambam rules that the blood does not necessitate that the Tamei garment be cleaned. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) WIPING OFF THE LEFTOVER BLOOD OF THE "PARAH ADUMAH" FROM THE FINGER
QUESTION: The Gemara says that one may not perform the sprinkling of the blood of a Parah Adumah with the leftover blood (from the preceding Haza'ah) on one's fingers. Rather, one must obtain new blood from the container for each Haza'ah. Abaye quotes a Beraisa which teaches (according to the Gemara's conclusion) that when the Kohen completes all of the Haza'os, he must wipe the blood which remains on his hand onto the body of the Parah. RASHI (DH Mekane'ach) explains that this is because all of the blood of the Parah Adumah must be burned, and thus the leftover blood is wiped on the body of the Parah which will be burned. However, this is not the way that the Kohen is to wipe the leftover blood from his finger between each Haza'ah. RASHI (DH ba'Meh) explains that if he would wipe his finger on the Parah between the Haza'os, then hairs from the Parah would become stuck to his fingers and cause a separation between his finger and the blood that needs to be sprinkled. Abaye says, therefore, that the Kohen must wipe his finger on the edge of the Mizrak, the container that holds the blood.
This Gemara poses a difficulty on the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Parah Adumah 3:2). The Rambam relates that the leftover blood on the Kohen's finger cannot be used for the next Haza'ah "and, therefore, after every Haza'ah he wipes his finger on the body of the Parah." Why does the Rambam ignore the Gemara which clearly rejects this practice and says that the Kohen must wipe his finger on the edge of the Mizrak?
(a) The KESEF MISHNEH explains that the words of the Rambam here may be understood based on his ruling elsewhere. The Rambam (Hilchos Parah Adumah 4:4) rules like the Sifri that says that the Mitzvah is to receive the blood of the Parah Adumah using one's hand, and there is no Mitzvah to use a Kli (see also SHITAH MEKUBETZES to Menachos 7b, #15, who presents various texts in the Gemara there which support the Rambam's opinion). Indeed, the Rambam rules that if the blood is receive in a Kli, the Parah Adumah becomes Pasul. The Sifri clearly argues with the Gemara here which maintains that the blood of the Parah Adumah is received in a Mizrak. Since the Rambam maintains that a Mizrak is not used, the Rambam rules that one should wipe his finger on the Parah itself (since there is nothing else to wipe it on). (See also LECHEM MISHNEH, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 5:8.)
However, the MA'ASEH ROKE'ACH (Hilchos Parah Adumah 3:2) quotes the ETZ CHAYIM who asks a basic question that refutes the Kesef Mishneh's answer. Even if one must receive the blood in his hand and not in a Mizrak, why can the Kohen not simply bring a Mizrak on which to wipe his finger?
(b) The MA'ASEH ROKE'ACH explains that another Sifri states in the name of Rav Nachman that one should wipe his hands on the body of the Parah. Even though the Sifri mentions the wiping of the "hands," which the Gemara here agrees is done after all of the Haza'os have been performed, the Sifri refers to all of the blood, even the blood which is leftover on the finger between each Haza'ah. He says that this is also how HA'RAV GEDALYAH understands the Sifri. The Rambam here apparently follows the explanation of the Sifri (as mentioned above in the name of the Kesef Mishneh), which seems to say that not only the hand, but the finger as well, should be wiped on the Parah after each Haza'ah.
How, though, does the Rambam understand the Gemara here, which says that the finger should be wiped on the Mizrak? Apparently, the Rambam understands that the Gemara is giving only one possible suggestion for how to clean off the blood, but there are other ways, such as by wiping it on the Parah itself.
(c) The RA'AVAD agrees with the Rambam that one may use his hand to receive the blood of the Parah Adumah. However, he argues that there is no source that says that the Parah Adumah is Pasul if one uses a Kli to receive the blood. He quotes the Gemara here as proof that the use of a Kli to receive the blood does not disqualify the Parah Adumah. Since the Gemara says that the finger is wiped on the Mizrak, it must be that the Mizrak is present because it was used to receive the blood.
The Ra'avad continues and says that not only is the use of the Mizrak permitted for receiving the blood, but the Mizrak serves another important function. As mentioned above, all of the blood of the Parah is supposed to be burned. Fulfillment of this requirement would be very difficult if the blood is received by hand, since some of the blood inevitably spills on the ground. Accordingly, even if the Mizrak is not necessarily used to receive the blood for the Zerikah, it is used to collect all of the blood to be burned later with the Parah Adumah. (Y. MONTROSE)