1) REMOVING THE ABSORBED "ISUR" FROM EARTHENWARE VESSELS
QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that there is a way to permit earthenware vessels (Klei Cheres) which absorbed forbidden food items. The Isur absorbed in the walls of the vessel is removed by heating the entire vessel, such as in a furnace. The Gemara asks that if an Isur absorbed in the walls of Kli Cheres can be removed by heating the entire vessel, then why does Rav rule that during Pesach there is no way to permit the use of earthenware vessels that absorbed Chametz? One should simply heat the vessels until their insides became as hot as the furnace. The Gemara answers that Rav does not permit this method for kashering vessels during Pesach because of the concern that the owner will fail to heat the inside of the vessel sufficiently, since he is fearful that such heat might cause his vessels to break.
The Gemara continues and asks that if an Isur absorbed in the walls of Kli Cheres can be removed by heating the entire vessel, then why were the earthenware vessels that were used in the Beis ha'Mikdash broken? They should have been heated in a furnace to remove the Beli'ah that was absorbed in them.
RASHI explains that the Gemara is not bothered by the verse which tells the Jewish people in the Midbar to shatter earthenware vessels that were used to cook Korbanos, since, while they traveled in the Midbar, the Jewish people had no furnaces, and therefore they had no choice but to break them. In the Beis ha'Mikdash, however, when they were settled and had furnaces, why did they not heat the vessels in the furnaces in order to remove the Isur?
The Gemara answers that in the Beis ha'Mikdash they also did not have the option to heat the vessels in furnaces, since furnaces are not allowed to be built in Yerushalayim because of the smoke they produce. (The vessels could not be taken out of Yerushalayim and heated there, because a vessel with a Beli'ah of Kodshim may not be removed from Yerushalayim, and the Beli'ah must be removed while the vessel is in the Beis ha'Mikdash (or in Yerushalayim).)
There are a number of difficulties with this Gemara.
(a) Why does the Gemara suggest that the Klei Cheres in the Beis ha'Mikdash should become permitted by being heated in furnaces to remove their Beli'ah? The Gemara says that a person is not trusted to heat his vessels enough to remove the absorbed Isur, since he is fearful that such heat might cause his vessels to break. The same should apply in the Beis ha'Mikdash; heating the vessels should not be permitted, less one heat them insufficiently out of fear that they might break from heat. (ROSH to Pesachim 2:7)
(b) To remove the absorbed Isur, there should be no need to place the Kli Cheres into a furnace. The Gemara makes it clear that as long as the inside is heated such that it becomes as hot as the furnace, the Isur will be removed. The Gemara in Pesachim (30b) states explicitly that when a Kli Cheres is filled with burning coals, the Isur is removed because the coals make the Kli as hot as a furnace. How, then, does the Gemara answer its question about the Kelim in the Beis ha'Mikdash? While it is true that the Kli cannot be put in a furnace since there are no furnaces in Yerushalayim, the Isur still can be removed by filling the Kli with coals! (SHA'AR HA'MELECH, Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah 8:25)
(a) There are a number of approaches to the first question.
1. The ROSH in the name of "AVI HA'EZRI" proves from here that the Gemara does not prohibit placing a Kli Cheres into a furnace; it prohibits only filling a Kli Cheres with coals or heating it in another way that might heat one part of the vessel without heating the other. In such cases, there is a concern that the person will take measures to prevent the inside from overheating so that it not break. However, if he places the Kli Cheres into a furnace, the furnace will obviously heat the entire Kli Cheres to a sufficient degree, and there is no concern that the person will attempt to keep his Kli Cheres cool. This is why the Gemara asks that the Kelim in the Beis ha'Mikdash should be permitted by placing them in a furnace (and it does not suggest any other form of heating them), which is permitted l'Chatchilah to remove the Beli'ah from Kli Cheres.
This might also be the intention of TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (34a, DH she'Eino).
2. However, not all Rishonim agree with this approach. The Rosh cites the RA'AVAN who writes that an Isur may not be removed from a Kli Cheres even by placing the Kli into a furnace, since the person might try to prevent the Kli from breaking. The RAN in Pesachim (30b) similarly writes that placing a Kli Cheres into a furnace is not an option for removing an Isur, except in the Beis ha'Mikdash. According to these Rishonim, why does the Gemara suggest that removing the Isur in such a manner should be permitted in the Beis ha'Mikdash, if it is not permitted elsewhere because of the concern that the person will attempt to protect his vessel from breaking?
The PRI CHADASH (OC 451) answers that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, there is no concern that the person will not heat the Kli sufficiently, either because "Kohanim Zerizim Hem" -- Kohanim are very careful to carry out the Mitzvos properly, or because the Kohanim are not the owners of the Kelim and they have nothing to lose if the Kelim break, and therefore they will not try to protect the Kelim from breaking.
The TESHUVAH ME'AHAVAH (1:77) suggests that the reason why there is no concern that the person will not heat the Kli properly in the Beis ha'Mikdash is that "Ein Shevus ba'Mikdash" -- Gezeiros d'Rabanan normally do not apply in the Beis ha'Mikdash in general. Hence, the Gemara asks that in the Beis ha'Mikdash one should place the Kli Cheres in a furnace l'Chatchilah.
(b) The answer to the second question depends on the two opinions mentioned above.
1. According to the Rosh, the Gemara does not suggest that a Kli Cheres should be permitted in the Mikdash by being filled with coals, because of the concern that one will not heat the inside of the vessel sufficiently out of fear that it might break. As the Rosh explains, the Gemara asks only that the Kli should be permitted by being placed into a furnace, since in a furnace there is no concern that the person will not heat the Kli to the proper degree.
This approach does not answer the question entirely, however. One may still ask, why does the Torah require that one break a Kli Cheres that absorbed Isur in the Mishkan (in the Midbar)? Although it is true that in the Mishkan no furnaces were available (as Rashi explains), nevertheless they certainly could have filled the Kli with coals. One cannot answer that the Torah was concerned that the person might not heat the Kli properly, because it is clear from the Gemara that this concern is only mid'Rabanan; mid'Oraisa, there is no such preventative measure. Why, then, does the Torah require that the Kli Cheres be broken? (TESHUVAH ME'AHAVAH)
However, as the SHA'AR HA'MELECH points out, this question is answered by the words of TOSFOS (end of DH Ela). Tosfos disagrees with Rashi and says that the reason why the Torah does not say that in the Midbar a Kli Cheres should be placed in a furnace to remove the Isur absorbed in it, is not that there were no furnaces available. Rather, the Torah is teaching that it is not necessary to place the Kli in a furnace, but it suffices merely to break the Kli. One might have thought that it does not suffice to break the Kli since the taste of the Isur remains in the broken pieces of the Kli. The Torah therefore teaches that breaking the Kli suffices, and there is no need to remove the Isur from the pieces of the Kli. It certainly suffices, therefore, to place coals in the Kli, which serves to remove the absorbed Isur. (See MA'ASEH CHOSHEV in his notes to the Sha'ar ha'Melech, who discusses this answer of Tosfos at length.)
2. According to the other Rishonim, however, the question remains. Even if there are no furnaces in Yerushalayim, the earthenware vessels should be permitted by being filled with coals. Since Kohanim are Zerizim, there is no concern that they will not heat the vessels sufficiently.
The SHA'AR HA'MELECH answers that apparently there is a much greater concern that a Kli Cheres will not heat sufficiently when it is filled with coals than when the Kli Cheres is placed in a furnace, as is evident from the view of the Rosh. Therefore, even the Ra'avan and others who maintain that in the Beis ha'Mikdash there is no concern that the Kli Cheres will not be heated properly in the furnace (since Kohanim are Zerizim, or because they are not the owners of the Kli), there remains a concern that the vessel will not be heated sufficiently when filled with coals, since it is much more difficult to heat the vessel in such a manner without causing it to break.
The BNEI CHAYI, cited by the SHA'AR HA'MELECH and YAD DAVID, suggests a different approach. Perhaps filling the Kli with coals will not serve as a substitute for breaking the Kli because of a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that teaches that even if what was absorbed is removed from the Kli, the Kli still must be broken. (This was the subject of the Gemara's question on 95b.) Therefore, even after the Beli'ah is removed by way of the coals, the Kli must be broken. Why, then, does the Gemara suggest that the Kli should be returned to the furnace instead of being broken? Even if the furnace removes the Beli'ah, the Kli still must be broken! The answer to this question is found in Tosfos here, who explains that returning a Kli to the furnace not only removes the Beli'ah, but it essentially re-makes the Kli in its entirety so that it is no longer the same Kli that it used to be, but rather it is considered a new Kli ("Panim Chadashos"). This takes the place of Shevirah. However, it is clear from the Rosh (Pesachim 2:7) that filling a Kli with coals does not transform the Kli into a new Kli. Therefore, filling a Kli with coals is not a proper substitute for Shevirah. This is why the Gemara does not ask that the Kelim of Kodshim should be filled with coals. (See Sha'ar ha'Melech and Yad David, who discuss this answer at length.)
2) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "MERIKAH" AND "SHETIFAH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa (97a) which records a Machlokes Tana'im regarding whether Merikah is done with hot water and Shetifah with cold water, or whether both are done with cold water. The Mishnah teaches that both Merikah and Shetifah are done with cold water (this is the opinion of Rebbi in the Beraisa on 97a). The Mishnah adds that Merikah is like "Merikas ha'Kos" -- it is done in a way similar to the way that Merikah is performed with a cup, and Shetifah is like "Shetifas ha'Kos."
What is the difference between Merikah and Shetifah? It cannot merely be that Merikah is done with hot water, since Rebbi says that Merikah is done with cold water.
The Mishnah apparently addresses this issue when it says that Merikah is like the Merikah of a cup, and Shetifah is like the Shetifah of a cup. However, it does not explain what the Merikah or Shetifah of a cup is, or what cup it is discussing.
(a) RASHI explains that the cup to which the Mishnah refers is a "Kos Shel Berachah," the cup one holds as he recites Birkas ha'Mazon, Kidush, and other blessings. "Merikah" in this context refers to the act of Hadachah, washing the inside of the Kos Shel Berachah. Shetifah refers to washing the outside of the Kos Shel Berachah, as the Gemara in Berachos (51a) requires.
In the Beraisa (97a), Rebbi derives from the fact that the Torah uses two different words, "u'Morak v'Shutaf" (Vayikra 6:21), that Merikah is like the Merikah of a cup and Shetifah is like the Shetifah of a cup. However, the Rabanan in the Beraisa derive from the two different words that Merikah is done with hot water and Shetifah is done with cold water. It appears that the difference between Merikah and Shetifah is the subject of the Machlokes between Rebbi and the Rabanan. The Rabanan say that the difference between the two is that Merikah is done with hot water while Shetifah is done with cold water. Rebbi says that the difference between the two is that one is performed on the inside of the vessel and the other is performed on the outside of the vessel. (See TOSFOS YOM TOV, CHOK NASAN, and KEREN ORAH.)
(b) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) writes that the difference between Merikah and Shetifah is that Merikah is a vigorous washing which is intended to scrape off any remaining fats from the surface of the vessel. Shetifah refers to a brisk washing and light rubbing. (See RADVAZ, Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 8:12, who expounds on the words of the Rambam in Perush ha'Mishnayos.) According to the Rambam, this seems to be the opinion of both Rebbi and the Rabanan, except that the Rabanan require hot water for Merikah, the vigorous rubbing, while Rebbi maintains that cold water suffices.
According to this explanation, what does the Mishnah mean when it says that Merikah is like the Merikah of a cup, and Shetifah is like the Shetifah of a cup? When are such actions performed on a cup? The Rambam (in Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that the Mishnah means that it is not necessary to rub the vessel so vigorously that all external traces of the item that was absorbed are entirely removed. Rather, it suffices to clean the vessel like one normally cleans a cup. The Rambam apparently understands that the "Kos" mentioned in the Mishnah is any cup used for drinking which is washed after use. The Rambam learns that when the Gemara says that this Halachah is derived from the change of terminology in the Torah, which calls one washing "Merikah" and the other washing "Shetifah," the Gemara means that had the verse said "u'Morak u'Morak," one would have thought that it means that one must rub the vessel so vigorously that no trace of the Isur is left. Now that it says "u'Morak v'Shutaf," the Torah teaches that one may wash it as one normally washes a cup.
(c) The RAN in Pesachim (30b, DH Madichan) and Avodah Zarah (76a, DH Tanu Rabanan) cites the RA'AVAD who explains that when the Mishnah says that Merikah and Shetifah are like the washing done with a cup, it refers to a cup that became Asur. This refers to a cup that held a cold, forbidden liquid. The Beraisa in Avodah Zarah (75b) teaches that when one purchases such cups from a Nochri, one must wash them ("Madichan") before immersing them in a Mikvah. Merikah and Shetifah refer to this kind of washing, a washing done to remove the Isur. When the Beraisa says "Madichan," it means not only that one is supposed to vigorously rub them, but that afterwards one should pour water over them. The former action is what the Mishnah refers to as Merikah, and the latter is what the Mishnah refers to as Shetifah.
The Ra'avad writes that the difference between the two actions is that Merikah is a more vigorous scrubbing, and Shetifah is simply washing off the cup (similar to the difference according to the Rambam).
It seems that even according to the Ra'avad, Rebbi and the Rabanan agree with the statement of the Mishnah that Merikah and Shetifah of Kelim used for Korbanos are performed in the same manner as the Merikah and Shetifah of a cup. Their argument is about whether the Merikah is done in a manner similar to the Merikah of a cup that was used for cold liquids of Isur (for which the Merikah is done with cold water), or whether it is similar to the Merikah of a cup that was used for hot liquids of Isur (for which the Merikah is done with hot water). According to this explanation, after hot water is poured over a cup in order to remove the Isur that was absorbed in it, the cup is rinsed with cold water to complete the cleansing process.
TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (76a, DH mi'Kan) mentions that this indeed was the common practice. After Hag'alah, boiling the Isur out of a Kli that was used with hot water, the practice was to dip the Kli in cold water immediately afterwards.
Tosfos here and in Avodah Zarah questions this opinion from the Gemara here which states that a Kli in which Terumah was cooked does not require Merikah u'Shetifah, but it does require Hag'alah. The Gemara asks, what is the difference between Merikah u'Shetifah and Hag'alah, if Merikah is done with hot water? The Gemara answers that the difference is the extra Shetifah in cold water which is performed with Merikah u'Shetifah, but not with Hag'alah. The Gemara implies that Hag'alah does not have a Shetifah associated with it.
Tosfos in Avodah Zarah answers that those opinions which require washing a Kli in cold water after Hag'alah learn the Gemara differently. They learn that the Gemara is saying that Terumah requires Hag'alah with only a single washing afterwards. Merikah u'Shetifah, in contrast, involve a Hag'alah with two washings in cold water afterwards -- one washing is done with the Merikah as part of the normal Hag'alah process, and an additional Shetifah is done afterwards because the vessel is Kodesh. The ROSH in Avodah Zarah adds that this explanation is more consistent with the words of the Gemara than the simple understanding of the Gemara (that Chulin does not require Shetifah at all), since the Gemara writes that what distinguishes Kodshim from Chulin is "the extra Shetifah," and not merely "the Shetifah."