1) A KOHEN GADOL WHO SINS TOGETHER WITH THE TZIBUR
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if the Kohen Gadol mistakenly rules on his own that an Isur Kares is permitted and then he acts upon his ruling, and Beis Din also mistakenly rules that a different Isur Kares is permitted and the Tzibur acts upon Beis Din's ruling, the Kohen Gadol still must bring his own Korban, and he does not attain Kaparah with the Korban that the Tzibur brings. If, however, he rules that a certain Isur Kares is permitted, and Beis Din rules that the same Isur Kares is permitted, the Kohen Gadol does not need to bring his own Korban; his Kaparah is included in the Korban that the Tzibur brings. The Mishnah continues, "because Beis Din is not Chayav until they rule to annul part [of the Isur] and to uphold part [of the Isur]."
The Mishnah seems to be giving a reason for why the Kohen Gadol attains Kaparah through the Korban of the Tzibur. RASHI (DH Niskaper) and the BARTENURA explain that the Mishnah means that since there are many similarities between the Korban of the Kohen Gadol and the Korban of the Tzibur, the Kohen Gadol -- in this situation -- may attain Kaparah through the Tzibur's Korban. One of the similarities is that neither the Kohen nor the Beis Din is obligated to bring a Korban "until they rule to annul part [of the Isur] and to uphold part [of the Isur]."
This explanation seems difficult. The Gemara asks what the source is for the law that the Kohen Gadol attains Kaparah with the Tzibur in such a case. It answers by citing a Beraisa which concludes that the source is the verse, "Al Chataso Asher Chata" -- the Kohen Gadol must bring his special Korban "for the sin which he transgressed" (Vayikra 4:3), which teaches that he brings his special Korban only if he sinned alone, and not if he sinned together with everyone else. According to Rashi's explanation of the Mishnah, why does the Gemara ask for a source for this law? The Mishnah itself gives a reason for it! Moreover, why does the Beraisa not give the reason that the Mishnah gives? (TOSFOS YOM TOV)
(a) The TOSFOS YOM TOV explains the Mishnah differently from Rashi and the Bartenura. He explains that the two statements in the Mishnah are unrelated. When the Mishnah says, "she'Ein Beis Din Chayavin...," this does not mean, "because Beis Din is not obligated...," but rather it means, "And Beis Din is not obligated...." The Mishnah is teaching a different law here, and it is not giving a reason for its previous statement.
The Tosfos Yom Tov points out that the Hebrew prefix "she'Ein" can also mean "and," such as in the Mishnah in Beitzah (2a) which says, "she'Efer Kirah," which the Gemara there explains to mean "v'Efer Kirah."
(b) Alternatively, the Tosfos Yom Tov suggests that since the Mishnah states that the Kohen Gadol is not obligated to bring his own Korban if he sinned with the Tzibur, it adds additional cases in which there is no obligation to bring a Korban. For example, Beis Din is not obligated to bring a Par He'elem Davar unless its mistaken ruling annuls part of a transgression and upholds part of it.
(c) RAV TZVI HIRSCH KALISCHER answers the Tosfos Yom Tov's question on Rashi and the Bartenura. He explains that the verse quoted by the Beraisa is the actual source for the Halachah that the Kohen Gadol who sins with the Tzibur does not bring his own Korban. Once the Torah teaches this Halachah, however, we are left with a doubt about how the Kohen Gadol is supposed to attain Kaparah for his sin! He cannot bring his own Korban, and we would not assume that he attains Kaparah with the Korban of the Tzibur since he has his own unique laws. Therefore, the logic of the Mishnah is necessary to teach that the Kohen Gadol indeed attains Kaparah with the Tzibur. Since certain details of his laws are similar to the laws of the Tzibur's Korban, it makes sense that he should be able to atone with them and not be unable to achieve atonement at all. The Gemara asks for the source for the law that he does not bring his own Korban, and it answers with the verse. The Mishnah is teaching how the Kohen Gadol does attain Kaparah in such a case. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) THE PROHIBITIONS OF "CHELEV" AND "DAM"
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if the Kohen Gadol mistakenly rules on his own that an Isur Kares is permitted and then he acts upon his ruling, and Beis Din also mistakenly rules that a different Isur Kares is permitted and the Tzibur acts upon Beis Din's ruling, the Kohen Gadol still must bring his own Korban, and he does not attain Kaparah with the Korban that the Tzibur brings. If, however, he rules that a certain Isur Kares is permitted, and Beis Din rules that the same Isur Kares is permitted, the Kohen Gadol does not need to bring his own Korban; his Kaparah is included in the Korban that the Tzibur brings.
The Gemara explains that when the Kohen Gadol mistakenly permits and performs a different Isur than the Tzibur, he must atone for it separately. How different must the Isur be? If he mistakenly permits Chelev and the Beis Din permits an aspect of Avodah Zarah, then certainly his transgression is considered different than that of the Tzibur. These two Isurim are written in two separate verses, and their transgression by an individual mandates the bringing of different sacrifices.
What, though, is the Halachah in a case in which both the Kohen Gadol and the Beis Din err with regard to different types of Chelev? Different types of Chelev have the same Korban and have the same name, "Chelev." However, the different types of Chelev are written in different verses. Assuming that these transgressions could be considered one type, and the Kohen Gadol could attain Kaparah together with the Tzibur's Korban, what is the Halachah in a case in which the Kohen Gadol sinned by permitting Chelev, while the Beis Din sinned by permitting the consumption of the blood of an animal? Are they considered the same type of transgression because their Korban (brought by an individual who sins) is the same, or are they considered different transgressions because Chelev and Dam are completely unrelated Isurim? The Gemara does not answer this question. What, then, should the Kohen Gadol do in such a situation?
ANSWER: The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shegagos 15:5) rules that in such a case, the Kohen Gadol brings his own Korban for atonement.
What is the Rambam's source for his ruling?
1. The KESEF MISHNEH notes that he is unsure how the Rambam knows the answer to this question. He suggests that the Rambam means that because of the Gemara's uncertainty, the Kohen Gadol should bring a Korban on condition. He should stipulate that "if I am supposed to bring a Par Kohen Gadol, then this is my atonement. If the Halachah is that I should gain Kaparah with the Tzibur, then this Korban is merely a Korban Nedavah" (a voluntary offering, and not a Kaparah).
The MISHNEH L'MELECH, BE'ER SHEVA, and others are perplexed by the explanation of the Kesef Mishneh. Although bringing a Korban on condition is possible for some Korbanos, there is a rule that a Korban Chatas cannot be offered with a stipulation that it serve as a different type of Korban other than a Chatas! How can the Kesef Mishneh suggest this answer to explain the Rambam's ruling?
2. The LECHEM MISHNEH explains that the Rambam reaches his conclusion based on the Gemara earlier (3a). The Gemara there discusses a case in which Beis Din permitted an aspect of eating Chelev, and some of the people followed their ruling and sinned. Beis Din then realized its mistake, but then they again mistakenly permitted an aspect of Chelev, and the rest of the people followed their ruling and sinned. Do the two segments of the population combine to form a majority of the Jewish nation, such that they are obligated to bring a Par He'elem Davar? Perhaps since there were two "Yedi'os" (realizations of wrongdoing) they cannot combine, and the Tzibur is not obligated to bring a Par He'elem Davar. The Gemara there continues and says that "Im Timtza Lomar" ("if you will find [reason] to say") that these two transgressions of Chelev combine, then what is the Halachah in a case in which the two transgressions involve two different types of Chelev that are written in two different verses? The Gemara continues asking questions of this nature without giving any definitive answer. The Gemara then asks that if the first group transgressed with the sin of Chelev, and then the second group transgressed with the sin of Dam, do they combine? (The Gemara gives the same possibilities as the Gemara here gives.) The Gemara then says, "Im Timtza Lomar..." ("if you will find [reason] to say [that they do combine because they have the same sacrifice, what will be the Halachah in a different case...])?"
The Lechem Mishneh says that the fact that the Gemara uses the term "Im Timtza Lomar" is the reason why the Rambam rules that the Kohen Gadol brings his own Korban in such a case. The Rambam follows a rule that whenever the Gemara asks several questions in succession, introducing each new question with the words "Im Timtza Lomar" with regard to the preceding question, the Halachah follows the side of the question that is expressed by the "Im Timtza Lomar." Accordingly, since the Gemara there says "Im Timtza Lomar" that Chelev and blood are similar, it must be that this is the Halachic conclusion.
The problem with this explanation is obvious. The Rambam rules the exact opposite of the "Im Timtza Lomar"! The Rambam rules that the Kohen Gadol does bring his own Korban in such a case, while according to the "Im Timtza Lomar" he would not bring his own Korban! (KEREN ORAH)
3. The BE'ER SHEVA states that the Gemara earlier says that when the Kohen Gadol and the Tzibur mistakenly sin with two different types of Chelev, the Kohen Gadol might be included in their Korban since both sins are called "Chelev." This implies that if the two Isurim do not share a common name (such as Chelev and Dam), then they would not be deemed similar. This is the source for the Rambam's ruling that in such a case the Kohen Gadol must bring his own Korban.
It is difficult to understand the Be'er Sheva's intent. The Gemara normally proposes the strongest argument for each question. The strongest argument that the Kohen Gadol's atonement is included in the Tzibur's Korban when they sinned with two different types of Chelev is that both of the transgressions are called "Chelev." If that implies that any transgressions with two different names are not considered similar, then why does the Gemara continue asking its questions?
4. The MIRKEVES HA'MISHNEH explains that when the Gemara here asks its question, it assumes that the Halachah follows the view of Rav (or Rava) in Zevachim (7a) who rules that a Chatas that was designated to atone for the sin of eating Chelev but was mistakenly offered by the Kohen with intent that it atone for the sin of eating blood is still a valid Korban. The Rambam (in Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 15:6), however, does not rule in accordance with that view of Rav! The Rambam learns from the Gemara there (9b) that the transgressions of Chelev and Dam are not comparable, and therefore he rules that here, too, the two transgressions are not comparable. This is why the Rambam writes that the Kohen Gadol must bring his own Korban for atonement. (Y. MONTROSE)