1) TEARING THE "ME'IL" IN ORDER TO PERFORM A MITZVAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah earlier (93b) states that the cleaning of a garment onto which Dam Chatas spilled must be done in the Beis ha'Mikdash ("b'Makom Kadosh"). The Mishnah here (94b) teaches that if a garment absorbed Dam Chatas and was taken out of the Beis ha'Mikdash, it must be brought back into the Beis ha'Mikdash in order to wash out the Dam Chatas. If the garment becomes Tamei while outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash, then it must be torn so that it loses its Tum'ah by becoming unfit for use.
The Gemara asks, what is done in a case in which the Me'il of the Kohen Gadol absorbs Dam Chatas, is taken out of the Beis ha'Mikdash, and becomes Tamei? One is not permitted to tear the Me'il, as the Torah says, "Lo Yikare'a" -- "it shall not be torn" (Shemos 28:32). The Gemara answers that one holds the Me'il just outside of the Azarah, and he inserts a small portion (less than three by three Etzba'os) of the Me'il into the Azarah and washes that small portion there, and then he repeats the process with the rest of the Me'il, inserting and cleaning only a small portion of the Me'il at a time.
From the fact that the Gemara mentions only the Me'il in its question, it appears that the prohibition against tearing applies only to the Me'il and not to the other Bigdei Kehunah. This, however, contradicts the Gemara in Yoma (72a), which says that the prohibition of "Lo Yikare'a" applies not only to the Me'il but to all of the Bigdei Kehunah. Why does the Gemara here specifically ask only about the Me'il, implying that the question regarding the prohibition of tearing applies only to the Me'il?
(a) The MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 9:3, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 8:20) and the MINCHAS CHINUCH (101:1) cite the SEFER KORBAN CHAGIGAH (of the MAHARASH ALGAZI) who infers from the RAMBAM (in Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash) that the prohibition against tearing Bigdei Kehunah other than the Me'il applies only to tearing the garment in a destructive manner (b'Derech Hashchasah). The Me'il, in contrast, may not be torn even in a constructive manner. Since one would be tearing the Me'il in this case in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of washing out the Dam Chatas, it is considered tearing for a constructive purpose. This type of tearing is permitted for the other Bigdei Kehunah, but not for the Me'il. Therefore, the Gemara's question concerns only the Me'il.
The Mishneh l'Melech (in Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash) concludes, however, that the logic of this distinction is flawed. Although he does not explain why the logic is flawed, apparently he is bothered by the fact that the Sefer Korban Chagigah seems to derive two completely different prohibitions from a single verse. If the verse says "Lo Yikare'a," and that Isur applies to all Bigdei Kehunah, then why should one differentiate between the Me'il and the other Bigdei Kehunah?
The Minchas Chinuch defends the approach of the Sefer Korban Chagigah. He says that perhaps the Gemara here maintains that the verse applies only to the Me'il. The Isur of "Lo Yikare'a" prohibits tearing only the Me'il. That is why the Rambam rules that only the Me'il may not be torn for a constructive purpose. Nevertheless, the Rambam rules that tearing any of the Bigdei Kehunah in a destructive manner is prohibited because of a different verse. The verse says, "Lo Sa'asun Ken la'Hashem Elokeichem" (Devarim 12:4), which prohibits destroying any object of Kedushah (see Insights to Makos 22:1).
(The Minchas Chinuch writes that according to this approach, the Gemara here argues with the Gemara in Yoma, and the Rambam is ruling in accordance with the Gemara here.)
(b) However, the Minchas Chinuch argues that in the case of the Gemara here, when the garment is torn in order to bring it into the Azarah to wash it, it cannot be considered to have been torn for a constructive purpose. It is true that the Mitzvah can be fulfilled only by tearing the garment. Nevertheless, the tearing is performed for the purpose of destroying the garment, so that it becomes unfit for use and is no longer Tamei! The immediate act of tearing is a destructive act, and thus it should be prohibited for all of the Bigdei Kehunah.
The Minchas Chinuch adds that even if it is true that the Rambam means that it is prohibited to tear the Me'il even in a constructive manner (in contrast to the other Bigdei Kehunah), the Rambam (in Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash) notes such a prohibition only with regard to the mouth (collar) of the Me'il. Accordingly, one should be permitted to tear the Me'il in a different place in order to make it Tahor, if such tearing is considered done for a constructive purpose (and tearing for a constructive purpose is permitted).
Finally, other Rishonim clearly disagree with the Rambam. The RITVA in Yoma (72a) writes that tearing any of the Bigdei Kehunah is prohibited.
The Minchas Chinuch therefore suggests that it is likely that the Gemara mentions only the Me'il simply because that is the garment for which the Torah explicitly expresses the prohibition against tearing. (This is also the conclusion of the Mishneh l'Melech in Hilchos Kil'ayim 9:11, the RADVAZ in Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 8:20, and the KEREN ORAH here.)
2) BREAKING AN EARTHENWARE VESSEL IN WHICH "KODSHIM" WERE COOKED
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (93b) teaches that when the blood of a Korban Chatas becomes absorbed in a garment, it must be washed out. This applies only to the blood of a Chatas and not to the blood of other Korbanos. The Mishnah here (95b) teaches that when any Korban is cooked in a metal pot, the pot requires Merikah u'Shetifah before it may be used again. This Halachah is not limited to a Korban Chatas, even though it is written in the Torah immediately after the laws of washing Dam Chatas. Apparently, this requirement is inferred from the words in the verse "Kodesh Kodashim Hi" (Vayikra 6:22), which imply that the requirement of Merikah u'Shetifah applies to all Kodshei Kodashim according to Rebbi Shimon, and even to Kodshim Kalim according to the Tana Kama.
What is the Halachah with regard to the third Halachah mentioned in the Mishnah, the Halachah of Sheviras Kli Cheres? When a Korban is cooked in an earthenware vessel (Kli Cheres), the vessel must be shattered. The Mishnah mentions only that Merikah u'Shetifah apply to all Kodshei Kodashim or Kodshim Kalim. Does this imply that breaking a Kli Cheres applies only to the Korban Chatas, or does it apply to other Kodshim as well?
(a) RASHI (93b, DH Zeh Chomer) explains that when the Mishnah says, "This is what is more stringent about a Chatas than other Kodshei Kodashim," it refers only to Kibus, washing out Dam Chatas from a garment. According to Rashi, the Mishnah implies that this stringency does not apply to Sheviras Kli Cheres; rather, the Halachah of Sheviras Kli Cheres applies to other Korbanos as well. Rashi on the verse in Vayikra (6:21) writes clearly that a Kli Cheres that absorbs Kodshim must be broken because the taste of the Korban that was absorbed becomes Nosar, and Rashi adds that this applies to all Kodshim. Therefore, when the Mishnah writes that Merikah u'Shetifah apply to other Kodshim, it also means that Sheviras Kli Cheres applies to other Kodshim.
Why does the Mishnah not mention explicitly that Sheviras Kli Cheres also applies to other Kodshim? Similarly, the Beraisa later (96b) says that Merikah u'Shetifah are more stringent than cleaning Dam Chatas that was absorbed, since Merikah u'Shetifah apply to all Kodshim, while the cleaning of a garment applies only to the blood of a Korban Chatas. Why does the Beraisa not mention the Halachah of Sheviras Kli Cheres?
The answer perhaps lies in what Rashi teaches here (DH Balu'a). Rashi writes that if the taste of a Korban becomes absorbed in a Kli Cheres even without being cooked (Bishul) in the vessel (but rather by Iruy, pouring boiling water over the vessel), it is obvious that the Kli must be broken, since the absorbed taste of the Korban will never be able to be removed from the walls of the Kli, and when the taste becomes Nosar it will prohibit anything subsequently cooked in the Kli. That is why a Kli Cheres that absorbed the taste of a Korban must be broken. According to Rashi's words, it is clear why the Gemara does not need to discuss Sheviras Kli Cheres. The Kli Cheres must be broken when any Korban becomes absorbed in it, in order to prevent the Isur of Nosar from entering food that is subsequently cooked in the Kli. (Even Rebbi Shimon in the Mishnah here would agree that if Kodshim Kalim are cooked in a Kli Cheres, then the Kli must be broken.)
If this is true, however, then the obligation of Merikah u'Shetifah also should apply to all Kodshim due to the same logic? After all, Merikah u'Shetifah are necessary in order remove the Isur of Nosar that became absorbed in a metal Kli so that it not enter food that is subsequently cooked in the Kli. Apparently, Rashi addresses this question in the Mishnah. Rashi explains that Merikah u'Shetifah involve more than simply cleaning and purging the Isur from the Kli. Rashi's source is the Gemara later (96b) which teaches that there are three ways in which Merikah u'Shetifah involve more than simply purging the Isur from the Kli. Abaye says that boiling water must be poured over the entire Kli and not merely over the part of the Kli which was heated and absorbed the Isur. Purging, in contrast, requires that boiling hot water be poured only on the part of the Kli which was heated and absorbed the Isur. Rava explains that Merikah u'Shetifah must be done with water, and not with wine or diluted wine. Rabah bar Ula explains that Merikah u'Shetifah include an extra rinse in cold water, besides the boiling water which purges the Isur. These added requirements of Merikah u'Shetifah apply only to Kodshei Kodashim according to Rebbi Shimon, or to all Kodshim according to the Tana Kama (based on their respective ways of understanding the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv). However, none of these three differences between Merikah u'Shetifah and purging apply to a Kli Cheres. No cold water is used for a Kli Cheres, and not even hot water is used for a Kli Cheres, since a Kli Cheres is simply broken, since it is impossible to remove the absorbed Isur from the Kli in any manner. Moreover, even if only part of the Kli absorbed the Isur, that part of the Kli must be removed in order to prevent the Isur from entering foods that are cooked in the Kli, and the removal of part of the Kli accomplishes Sheviras Kli Cheres, since it effectively destroys the Kli and renders it unusable.
However, a question remains on Rashi's explanation. Sheviras Kli Cheres seems to entail more than simply breaking the Kli so that the Isur will not be cooked into another food. The Mishnah earlier (94b) teaches that the Kli must be broken in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Why does the Mishnah not say that Sheviras Kli Cheres applies to all Kodshim in order to teach that the Shevirah must be done "b'Makom Kadosh," in the Beis ha'Mikdash?
The answer seems to be that changing the place in which the Kli is broken does not change the way in which the Kli is broken. Since the Kli is broken in the same manner regardless of where the breaking takes place, the Mishnah does not discuss whether Sheviras Kli Cheres applies to Kodshei Kodashim or Kodshim Kalim. The Shevirah certainly applies to both. The Mishnah discusses only whether Shevirah is done with Kodshim Kalim.
Another question on Rashi's explanation is that if the Kli Cheres must be broken in either case in order to prevent the Isur of Nosar from entering other foods, then why does the Torah need to teach the law of Sheviras Kli Cheres altogether? It is obvious that a Kli Cheres must be broken! (The Torah should discuss only where the Shevirah must be done.)
The answer to this question is expressed in the words of Rashi in Pesachim (30b, DH d'Midyasi), who writes that this is the verse in the Torah which provides the source that a Beli'ah cannot be removed from a Kli Cheres, and the Kli Cheres must be broken. (In Rashi here, DH Balu'a, the correct Girsa is "ha'Torah" and not "veha'Torah," since this is the actual verse that is the source that Beli'ah cannot be removed from a Kli Cheres.)
(b) However, Rashi later on the Amud (DH Mateches) seems to say otherwise. The Gemara later says that the ovens in which the Korbanos were cooked were made out of metal, since if they were made out of Cheres they would have to be broken even though the Korbanos were not cooked directly on the Cheres and no part of the Korban was absorbed into the Cheres. Rashi explains that the Gemara assumes that the oven would have to be broken since a spit that holds a Korban Chatas was lowered into it and the Korban Chatas was cooked there. Why does Rashi mention "Korban Chatas"? Rashi implies that the Halachah that a Kli Cheres must be broken if a Korban is cooked in it applies only to a Korban Chatas! How can this be reconciled with the words of Rashi on the Mishnah (93b), that the requirement of Sheviras Kli Cheres is not a stringency of a Korban Chatas?
The answer to this question may be as follows. Rashi writes that this Halachah applies to a Korban Chatas only according to the suggestion of the Gemara there that a Kli Cheres must be broken if a Korban was cooked in it, even if it did not absorb any taste of the Korban. Rashi suggests that, according to this stage of the Gemara, perhaps this Halachah applies only to a Korban Chatas, since the stringency has nothing to do with the Nosar that is absorbed in the Kli, and, therefore, it is more logical to compare it to the Halachah of Dam Chatas than to compare it to the Halachah of Merikah u'Shetifah, which involve removing a Beli'ah from a Kli. However, Rashi later (96a, DH Ela) writes that the Gemara's conclusion is that it is necessary to break a Kli only when it absorbed the taste of a Korban. If the Halachah of Shevirah applies only when taste is absorbed, then it is obvious that this applies to all Korbanos, as Rashi writes (DH Balu'a).
Accordingly, when Rashi writes that the Halachah of Shevirah applies only to a Chatas, he is explaining only the Gemara's initial assumption. This is not the Gemara's view in its conclusion.
However, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 8:14) writes clearly that the Halachah of Sheviras Kli Cheres applies only to a Korban Chatas that was absorbed in the Kli. Furthermore, he writes that if another Korban was absorbed in a Kli Cheres, then Merikah u'Shetifah are required.
This is perplexing. What is absorbed in a Kli Cheres cannot be removed at all. What will be accomplished by performing Merikah u'Shetifah to a Kli Cheres?
The RADVAZ explains (8:18) that the Rambam learns that Merikah u'Shetifah are done not in order to remove what is absorbed in the Kli, but rather in order to remove the fatty substances attached to the surface of the Kli. Accordingly, the Merikah u'Shetifah which the Rambam requires might be for the sake of permitting food that is held in the pot without being cooked (or heated) in the pot. (The Radvaz writes that what is absorbed in the pot is Nosen Ta'am li'Fegam and therefore it is permitted in the Beis ha'Mikdash, l'Chatchilah, in any case.)
Moreover, the Rambam might mean that when the taste of a Korban is absorbed in a pot, the pot must be broken immediately after the food is eaten, as the Rambam writes elsewhere (8:14). A Kli Cheres which had another Korban cooked in it may not be used for other Korbanos; however, it is not necessary to break it immediately. It is necessary only to perform Merikah u'Shetifah and to remove the fats from the external surfaces immediately after its use.