1) AN "AREL" WHO CANNOT CIRCUMCISE HIMSELF
QUESTION: Rabah and Rav Chisda argue about a case in which one slaughtered the Korban Pesach with intention that it should atone for non-owners of the Korban who are Arelim (uncircumcised men). Rabah says that the Korban is valid, since a Machshavah that the Korban should atone for a non-owner who is not a Bar Kaparah -- who is ineligible to attain atonement from the Korban, such as an Arel -- does not invalidate the Korban. Rav Chisda argues that an Arel is a Bar Kaparah, because he could circumcise himself and become fit to attain atonement from the Korban. Only a person who is absolutely unfit to attain atonement from the Korban, such as a non-Jew, is excluded from the category of a Bar Kaparah.
RASHI (60a, DH l'Arelim, and 61b, DH Bnei Chaburah) writes that when the Mishnah says that "if one slaughters the Korban for an Arel, it is Pasul," it refers to an Arel who is uncircumcised because his brothers died from Milah. Such a person is exempt from Milah because of the danger that Milah poses to his life.
Rashi is consistent with the way he defines "Arel" in other places in the Gemara (see, for example, Yevamos 70a, and Insights there). Whenever the Gemara discusses an Arel who is unable to eat from the Korban Pesach, Rashi explains that the Arel is one whose brothers died from Milah, as opposed to an Arel who chose to transgress and remain uncircumcised. Rashi defines "Arel" in this way because if the reason why the Arel did not have a Milah was due to his own choice, then he may not eat from the Korban Pesach for a different reason: He is a Mumar, one who rejects the Mitzvos, and a Mumar may not eat from the Korban Pesach (as the verse says, "Ben Nechar Lo Yochal Bo," Shemos 12:43).
Rashi's explanation, however, is difficult in the context of the Gemara here. The Gemara says that an Arel is a Bar Kaparah because "if he wants, he could circumcise himself." According to Rashi's explanation, he cannot choose to circumcise himself, because Milah poses a danger to his life (as his brothers died from Milah)! Consequently, he should not be considered a Bar Kaparah. (See MAHARSHAM in TECHELES MORDECHAI, end of Lech Lecha, and see his son-in-law's note in HAGAHOS MAHARSHAM by Rav Moshe Feldman.)
(a) It is true that this Arel is not allowed to circumcise himself because of the danger that Milah poses to his life. However, if he does circumcise himself (or someone else cuts off his Orlah), he may eat from the Korban. He is considered to be a Bar Kaparah since it is in his power to circumcise himself, even though he will transgress the prohibition of "v'Nishmartem Me'od l'Nafshoseichem" (Devarim 4:15) if he does so. (TECHELES MORDECHAI; see YASHRESH YAKOV to Yevamos 70b, and Insights to Yevamos 70:1.)
(b) Rashi earlier explains that the Arel who cannot eat from the Korban is one whose brothers died from Milah, because that is the only possible explanation there. In the case of who one slaughtered the Korban with intention to feed it to an Arel who chose not to circumcise himself, Rashi maintains that the Korban is valid. Since it is in the hands of the Arel to repent and circumcise himself before the time at which the Korban must be eaten, he is able to make himself fit to eat the Korban. For this reason, an Arel by choice is not considered unfit to eat the Korban (she'Lo l'Ochlav).
The case of the Gemara here is different. In this case, one slaughtered the Korban with intention to perform the Zerikah for Arelim who are not owners of the Korban (she'Lo l'Ba'alav). When one slaughters the Korban Pesach for a person who is not the owner, but who is entirely unfit to eat the Korban Pesach, this is not considered she'Lo l'Ba'alav and the Korban remains valid. The question of the Gemara is whether an Arel is also considered unfit to eat the Pesach since he is "Mechusar Ma'aseh" -- he lacks an action which must be done to him in order to make him fit to eat the Korban, or whether he is considered fit to eat the Korban since he may circumcise himself at will. This law certainly applies to a person who is an Arel by choice. Rashi understands that the Gemara here refers to such a person. Moreover, if one slaughters the Pesach for an Arel whose brothers died from Milah, the Korban certainly will be invalid (that is, even Rabah agrees that it is invalid), because such an Arel is not a Bar Kaparah since it is not in his ability to circumcise himself.
The Gemara discusses the case of one who slaughters the Korban for an Arel by choice, and not for any Mumar who rejects the Mitzvos, because everyone agrees that a Mumar is able to attain Kaparah, since his ineligibility is due to his frame of mind which he can easily alter, and he is not "Mechusar Ma'aseh." (M. KORNFELD)