PESACHIM 67 (14 Shevat 5781) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Gitti Kornfeld (Gittel bas Yisrael Shimon ha'Levy) on her first Yahrzeit, by her children.

OPINIONS: A Metzora may not walk into any of the three "Machanos." He may not go into the Azarah (the "Machaneh Shechinah"), to Har ha'Bayis (the "Machaneh Leviyah"), or into a walled city ("Machaneh Yisrael"). Rav Chisda asserts that if a Metzora walks into an area which is forbidden to him, he does not receive Malkus. Even though the Torah prohibits a Metzora from entering those places when it says, "Lo Yitam'u Es Machaneihem" -- "Do not defile your camps" (Bamidbar 5:3), the Metzora is not punished with Malkus because the Torah "made it into a Mitzvas Aseh" by commanding "Badad Yeshev..." -- "He must stay outside the Machaneh" (Vayikra 13:46).
Even though the Torah commands the Metzora, with a Mitzvas Aseh, to leave the three Machanos, there is still a Lo Ta'aseh against entering those areas. Why does he not receive Malkus for the Lo Ta'aseh?
(a) RASHI (DH Nitko) explains that the Gemara means that the Lo Ta'aseh is a "Lav ha'Nitak la'Aseh," a prohibition that can be rectified by the performance of a Mitzvas Aseh (and thus one is not punished with Malkus for transgressing the prohibition). Although the Metzora transgressed a Lo Ta'aseh, he does not receive Malkus because it can be rectified by the fulfillment of a Mitzvas Aseh.
(b) TOSFOS (DH ha'Kasuv) does not accept Rashi's explanation that the Metzora's prohibition is a "Lav ha'Nitak la'Aseh," because the Aseh does not appear in the Torah immediately following the Lav, which is one of the conditions that must be met in order for a Lav to be considered a "Lav ha'Nitak la'Aseh."
Tosfos explains instead that the Lav in the Torah of "Lo Yitam'u" includes all of the different types of people who are Tamei -- a Metzora, a Zav, and a Tamei Mes. When the Torah states specifically with regard to a Metzora that he must go out of the Machaneh, the Torah removes him from the category of the Lav of "Lo Yitam'u" and prohibits him instead with an Aseh. That is, the Aseh in the Torah qualifies and limits the Lav, by teaching that it does not apply to a Metzora.
The SEFAS EMES points out that there are at least two practical differences between the explanation of Rashi and that of Tosfos:
1. Rashi says that the Metzora does not receive Malkus for entering the Machaneh because he can fulfill the Mitzvas Aseh and leave the Machaneh. The Gemara in Makos (16a) teaches that when a person transgresses a "Lav ha'Nitak la'Aseh" and then does something that makes it impossible for him to fulfill the Aseh, he receives Malkus for transgressing the Lav. Accordingly, if the Metzora undergoes the purification process and becomes Tahor while he is in the Machaneh, he no longer is able to fulfill the Aseh to leave the Machaneh. According to Rashi, he will receive Malkus. According to Tosfos, he can never receive Malkus, because the Lav does not apply to him.
2. Tosfos asserts that when the Gemara says that a Metzora does not receive Malkus for entering the Machaneh, it refers only to when the Metzora comes into the Machaneh Yisrael (a walled city). Only in that situation does the Torah remove him from the Lav of "Lo Yitam'u." If, however, he enters the Beis ha'Mikdash (Machaneh Shechinah) or Har ha'Bayis (Machaneh Leviyah), he will receive Malkus. Tosfos reasons that if the Lav of "Lo Yitam'u" prohibits a Mechusar Kipurim, a person with a low level of Tum'ah who merely needs to bring a Korban to rectify his status, from entering the Azarah, then certainly a Metzora -- whose Tum'ah is very severe -- is prohibited from entering the Azarah.
According to Rashi, however, the Lav does apply to the Metzora, but he does not receive Malkus because he has a way to rectify the Lav. Therefore, according to Rashi, it is obvious that the Metzora will not receive Malkus regardless of which Machaneh he enters, even if he enters the Beis ha'Mikdash itself. The Torah gives the Metzora an opportunity to correct the Lav, which it does not give to a person who is Tamei with any other type of Tum'ah.


QUESTION: The Gemara cites a statement of Rebbi Yochanan in which he teaches two Halachos. He says that the tunnels underneath the Beis ha'Mikdash are not sanctified, and he says that one who is Tamei because of Keri must stay out of the Machaneh Leviyah (Har ha'Bayis), as well as the Machaneh Shechinah (the Azarah).
RASHI is bothered by the association of these two Halachos. One Halachah does not seem to be related to the other. Why does Rebbi Yochanan teach these two Halachos together? Rashi explains that Rebbi Yochanan's own teacher taught him both Halachos at the same time, and that is why he repeated them together.
Are these two Halachos indeed entirely unrelated? If they are unrelated, then why did Rebbi Yochanan's teacher teach them together?
ANSWER: The Gemara in Tamid (27b) explains that the Halachos in the statement of Rebbi Yochanan are related. The Mishnah in Tamid (26a) teaches that if a Kohen became a Ba'al Keri while sleeping in the Machaneh Leviyah, he would depart from there through underground escape tunnels that were prepared for him in case such a situation should arise. These passageways passed under the Birah (either the Beis ha'Mikdash or Har ha'Bayis -- Yoma 2a) and ended near a Mikvah where the Kohen would immerse and purify himself.
Why was a tunnel constructed for the Kohen who became Tamei? He should have been permitted to walk out of Har ha'Bayis in the normal manner (MEFARESH, Tamid 26a). Moreover, the Halachah requires that one who became Tamei in the Machaneh Leviyah must exit in the quickest way possible. The underground tunnel, however, was tortuous and not straight, and it considerably lengthened the time that it took for the Kohen to exit the area. Why was the Kohen permitted to exit via the tunnel (RA'AVAD, Tamid 26a)?
The Gemara explains that the tunnel was used because the Kohen is not supposed to walk through Har ha'Bayis because of Rebbi Yochanan's second statement, that a Ba'al Keri must stay out of the Machaneh Leviyah. The tunnels beneath that area in Har ha'Bayis were not sanctified, as Rebbi Yochanan says in his first statement. Therefore, the Kohen was able to exit through those tunnels without going through a sanctified area. The two Halachos of Rebbi Yochanan are closely related, as is evident from the Mishnah in Tamid.
Why, then, does Rashi imply that the two Halachos are not related, and that Rebbi Yochanan stated them together merely because he heard them from his teacher together?
More problematic is that Rashi explains that even though the tunnels were underneath the Azarah, they did not have the sanctity of the Azarah (Kedushas Machaneh Shechinah). The Gemara later (86a), however, contradicts this. The Gemara later explains that Rebbi Yochanan does not refer to tunnels that led to the Azarah, for those tunnels indeed were Kadosh. Rather, he refers only to tunnels that led to Har ha'Bayis. He is teaching that those tunnels do not have the sanctity of Har ha'Bayis, and therefore a Ba'al Keri may walk there. Why, then, does Rashi say that the tunnels do not have Kedushas ha'Azarah?
It must be that Rashi is following the initial assumption (Havah Amina) of the Gemara (86a) which thought that Rebbi Yochanan refers to the tunnels underneath the Azarah and not underneath Har ha'Bayis, and that his intention is to teach that they do not have Kedushas ha'Azarah. According to that initial assumption, his statement is not related to the Mishnah in Tamid, because the Mishnah there refers to tunnels that led to Har ha'Bayis. That is why Rashi says that the two Halachos are unrelated; he is explaining Rebbi Yochanan's statement according to the initial assumption of the Gemara later (86a). (M. KORNFELD)