MENACHOS 101-103 - Dedicated by Andy and Nancy Neff in memory of Lucy Rabin, Leah Miriam bat Yisroel. Beloved mother of Nancy Neff, Valerie, Doug and Andy Rabin, and wife of Sidney Rabin, Lucy Rabin passed away on 14 Sivan 5767.
1) REDEEMING AN UNBLEMISHED ANIMAL
QUESTION: Shmuel (100b) rules that even Tahor offerings of Menachos and Nesachim may be redeemed and rendered Chulin as long as they have not yet been placed into a Kli Shares. (That is, they merely were designated as offerings, but they did not yet become Kadosh.) Rav Papa says that Shmuel would have retracted his ruling had he been aware of the Beraisa that states that when a person declares an unblemished animal Kadosh for Bedek ha'Bayis (as opposed for Kedushas ha'Guf), he may not redeem the animal to make it Chulin. The animal, after it is redeemed, must be offered as a Korban on the Mizbe'ach (see Rashi DH Ela la'Mizbe'ach, who states that the animal is sold to one who needs to bring a Korban), and the money of the redemption must be given to Bedek ha'Bayis.
The Gemara rejects Rav Papa's challenge to Shmuel. Shmuel indeed knew the Beraisa, but he maintained that the reason why the unblemished animal cannot become Chulin is that unblemished animals that are valid as Korbanos are rare, for even a cataract in the eye renders an animal unfit. TOSFOS (Zevachim 59b) explains that this means that this Halachah is a penalty mid'Rabanan, since one is not allowed, in the first place, to designate an unblemished animal merely for Bedek ha'Bayis. The person who does so is penalized such that when he redeems the animal he must offer the animal as a Korban and give the money to Bedek ha'Bayis.
The Gemara later, however, cites Rebbi Elazar who says that no Minchah offering that is Tahor may be redeemed, with the exception of a Minchas Chotei. Rebbi Elazar derives this Halachah from a verse. It is clear that Rebbi Elazar understands that the Torah itself prohibits redeeming a Minchah (other than a Minchas Chotei) that is fit to be brought on the Mizbe'ach. Why should redeeming a Minchah be prohibited mid'Oraisa, while redeeming an animal that is unblemished is prohibited only mid'Rabanan?
ANSWER: The EVEN HA'AZEL (Hilchos Isurei Mizbe'ach 6:4), SHA'AR HA'MELECH (Hilchos Erchin 5:7), and TAHARAS HA'KODESH answer that only Shmuel -- who maintains that even Tahor Menachos and Nesachim may be redeemed -- understands that the Beraisa's Halachah is mid'Rabanan, because of the scarcity of animals that are fit to be offered as Korbanos. The other Amora'im, including Rebbi Elazar, maintain that the Beraisa's Halachah -- that anything fit to be offered on the Mizbe'ach cannot be redeemed and become Chulin -- is mid'Oraisa.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Erchin 5:7) seems to rule like the other Amora'im, who say that this Halachah is mid'Oraisa, because he cites a verse (Vayikra 27:9) as the source that an animal fit to be a Korban cannot become Chulin. (D. BLOOM)
2) WHEN DOES THE "EGLAH ARUFAH" BECOME "TAMEI"?
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the opinion of Rebbi Shimon, as recorded in the Tosefta in Uktzin, who says that any object from which one is forbidden to derive benefit does not become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin. One of the objects mentioned is the Eglah Arufah. RASHI (DH v'Eglah) comments that this refers to an Eglah Arufah that was slaughtered after it was taken down to the untilled soil of Nachal Eisan. The act of taking the Eglah down to Nachal Eisan causes it to become Asur b'Hana'ah (see Zevachim 70b). TOSFOS (DH Eglah) explains that the Tosefta clearly does not refer to a calf which has been beheaded (as is required in the procedure of the Eglah Arufah) and not slaughtered, because this would cause the calf to become a Neveilah which certainly is Tamei. This also seems to be the intention of Rashi who explains that the Tosefta refers to the Eglah before it is beheaded.
The words of Tosfos seem to conflict with the Gemara in Zevachim (70b). The Gemara there says that even after the Eglah Arufah is beheaded it remains Tahor, because the Torah refers to it as an "atonement" (Devarim 21:8); just as a Korban -- which atones for a person's sins -- is Tahor, so, too, the Eglah Arufah is Tahor. Tosfos himself cites the Gemara in Zevachim as a second interpretation of the Tosefta. Tosfos explains that the Tosefta refers to an Eglah after it is beheaded, and, nevertheless, it does not become Tamei as a Neveilah because the Gemara in Zevachim says that the beheading of an Eglah Arufah makes it Tahor, like the Shechitah of Kodshim. Why does Tosfos ignore the Gemara in Zevachim in his first interpretation of the Tosefta?
ANSWER: The OR GADOL (to Mishnayos Chulin 5:3) cites the TOSFOS in Yoma (64b, DH Dechiyaso) who writes as follows. Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon disagree about whether a "Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah" -- a Shechitah that was performed properly but that does not permit the animal to be eaten -- has the title of "Shechitah" (for various Halachic purposes other than for eating). Tosfos points out that if the beheading of an Eglah Arufah makes it Tahor, it is because the beheading is considered the "Shechitah" of the Eglah. Therefore, it is no better than Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah. Rebbi Shimon, who maintains that a Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah is not considered a proper Shechitah and does not prevent the animal from becoming Tamei as a Neveilah, maintains that the beheading of an Eglah Arufah does not prevent it from becoming Tamei as a Neveilah.
The reason why Rashi and Tosfos (in his first explanation) refrain from explaining that the Eglah Arufah does not have Tum'as Neveilah if it is beheaded is that they are explaining Rebbi Shimon's opinion. Rebbi Shimon maintains that when an Eglah Arufah is beheaded, it does become Tamei because of Neveilah, because, according to Rebbi Shimon, Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah is not considered a proper Shechitah. The Gemara in Zevachim, however, refers to the opinions that disagree with Rebbi Shimon and maintain that Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah is considered a proper Shechitah and does prevent an animal from becoming a Neveilah. According to those opinions, the beheading of an Eglah Arufah prevents the Eglah from become Tamei as a Neveilah.
Tosfos, in his second explanation, apparently has a different understanding of the Gemara in Zevachim (70b) that teaches that the beheading of an Eglah Arufah prevents it from becoming Tamei as a Neveilah. Tosfos understands that the beheading prevents the animal from becoming Tamei not because the beheading is equivalent to the Shechitah of Kodshim, but because of a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that even though the beheading is not a valid Shechitah, the laws of Tum'ah of Neveilah do not apply. Accordingly, even though Rebbi Shimon maintains that the laws of Tum'as Neveilah do apply to Shechitah she'Einah Re'uyah, he maintains that they do not apply to an Eglah that was beheaded, because of the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that teaches that despite the fact that there was no Shechitah, Tum'as Neveilah does not apply.