PESACHIM 20 (3 Av) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Aharon Dovid ben Elimelech Shmuel Kornfeld (Muncasz/Israel/New York), who passed away on 3 Av 5761, by his daughter Diane Koenigsberg and her husband Dr. Andy Koenigsberg. May his love for Torah and for Eretz Yisrael continue in all of his descendants.
1) KODSHIM DO NOT NEED "HECHSHER" AND THE PRINCIPLE OF "CHIBAS HA'KODESH MACHSHIR"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara teaches the principle of "Chibas ha'Kodesh Machshir" -- items that are Kodesh do not need Hechsher in order to become Tamei.
This principle raises several questions.
(a) The Gemara earlier (16a) teaches that the Rabanan made a provision that in the Beis ha'Mikdash, liquids cannot be Machshir an item to be able to become Tamei. What difference does it make if liquids can or cannot be Machshir? For Kodshim in the Beis ha'Mikdash, Hechsher is not necessary, because "Chibas ha'Kodesh" is Machshir them! The provision of the Rabanan cannot refer to Chulin, because it is prohibited to bring Chulin into the Azarah. For what would Hechsher have been necessary in the Beis ha'Mikdash? (TOSFOS DH Ela)
(b) Another effect of "Chibas ha'Kodesh" is that even inedible objects in the Beis ha'Mikdash, such as Etzim and Levonah (wood and incense), are able to become Tamei mid'Oraisa. This too poses a problem.
The Gemara earlier teaches that "Mashkei Beis Mitbechaya Dachan," liquids in the Beis Mitbechaya are Tahor. According to Rav, in the Beis ha'Mikdash the Rabanan suspended their decree that liquids can become Tamei, and thus liquids cannot become Tamei in the Beis ha'Mikdash at all, neither mid'Oraisa nor mid'Rabanan. However, wood, which is inedible, normally cannot become Tamei, and yet "Chibas ha'Kodesh" enables it to become Tamei mid'Oraisa in the Beis ha'Mikdash! Accordingly, liquids, which are edible, certainly should be able to become Tamei mid'Oraisa in the Beis ha'Mikdash through "Chibas ha'Kodesh"! (This is a question only according to Tosfos, who maintains that "Chibas ha'Kodesh" is Machshir wood to become Tamei mid'Oraisa
. According to Rashi, wood can never become Tamei mid'Oraisa, and "Chibas ha'Kodesh" works only mid'Rabanan, as we mentioned earlier; see Insights to Pesachim 19:1
.) Why does "Chibas ha'Kodesh" not enable liquids to become Tamei in the Beis ha'Mikdash?
(a) TOSFOS answers the first question as follows. There are certain things in the Beis ha'Mikdash which "Chibas ha'Kodesh" cannot be Machshir, but which liquids can be Machshir. One such item is Bikurim, which, like Terumah, does not have a status of Hekdesh, and thus it needs Hechsher. Another such item is condiments of Chulin that one intends to eat with Kodshim, which one is permitted to bring into the Azarah (Menachos 21b; see also Tosfos there, DH Chulin). These spices of Chulin need Hechsher in order to become Tamei, since they are not Hekdesh.
(b) TOSFOS in Chulin (36b, DH Etzim) answers the second question. It must be that even "Chibas ha'Kodesh" works only for objects, even if inedible, which have properties similar to the properties of solid foods (for example, they are thick and crunchy, like wood). "Chibas ha'Kodesh" does not apply to liquids, and therefore it is not possible for liquids to become Tamei mid'Oraisa in the Beis ha'Mikdash as a result of "Chibas ha'Kodesh."