1) ITEMS DESIGNATED FOR ONE FORM OF HEKDESH BEING USED FOR ANOTHER FORM OF HEKDESH
QUESTION: The Mishnah (15a) describes the special "Lishkas ha'Kelim" ("chamber of vessels") into which vessels that were donated to the Beis ha'Mikdash were placed. Once every thirty days, the treasurers would open the Lishkas ha'Kelim and survey the vessels. Any vessels in the Lishkah that were needed for service in the Beis ha'Mikdash were left there to be used later, and the rest of the vessels, for which there was no need in the Beis ha'Mikdash, were taken out and sold, and the money was used for Bedek ha'Bayis.
The Gemara asks that this Mishnah contradicts the teaching of a Beraisa. The Beraisa says that items that were sanctified for Bedek ha'Bayis (Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis) may be used instead for the Mizbe'ach (which has a higher degree of sanctity than Bedek ha'Bayis). However, items that were sanctified for the Mizbe'ach (Kodshei Mizbe'ach) may not be used for Bedek ha'Bayis.
The Gemara answers that the Mishnah here does not mean that the vessels, or the money received for them, are given to Bedek ha'Bayis, but rather they are given to the Lishkas Bedek ha'Bayis.
What exactly is the Gemara's contradiction, and what is the Gemara's answer to that contradiction?
(a) RABEINU MESHULAM explains that when the Beraisa says that one may "spend" ("Motzi") Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis for the use of the Mizbe'ach, this implies that one first must redeem the Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis and only then may he use the money for the Mizbe'ach. The actual object, however, may not be used for Kodshei Mizbe'ach.
The Gemara then questions this teaching from the Mishnah, which implies that a sanctified vessel may be used itself (without first being redeemed) when it is needed for any purpose of Bedek ha'Bayis, even though the vessels in the Lishkas ha'Kelim were presumably dedicated to be used for the Mizbe'ach. This implies that an item that was dedicated for the use of Bedek ha'Bayis certainly may be used for the Mizbe'ach without redemption. This contradicts the Beraisa. (The Gemara did not have the last few words that appear in our text of the Mishnah, "u'Demeihen Noflin l'Bedek ha'Bayis," which imply that the Kelim in the Lishkah were dedicated towards Bedek ha'Bayis and not to the Mizbe'ach.)
The Gemara answers that the Lishkas ha'Kelim contained vessels that were dedicated to be used for Bedek ha'Bayis, and not for the Mizbe'ach. Indeed, the vessels in that Lishkah may not be used for the Mizbe'ach unless they are first redeemed, since they were dedicated for Bedek ha'Bayis, as the Beraisa states. (The Gemara adds the words "u'Demeihen Noflin l'Bedek ha'Bayis" to the Mishnah, to make it clear that the Mishnah is saying that the items in the Lishkah were dedicated for Bedek ha'Bayis.)
(b) The RAMBAM (see RADVAZ, Hilchos Erchin 2:13) and the TALMID SHEL RABEINU SHMUEL BAR SHNEUR explain that when the Mishnah states, "The value falls to Bedek ha'Bayis," it implies that one may use objects designated for Bedek ha'Bayis only for purposes of Bedek ha'Bayis. If Bedek ha'Bayis has no use for a certain object, then that object may not be used for the Mizbe'ach, and the value of that object (when it is sold) also may not be used for the Mizbe'ach. This contradicts the Beraisa that says that Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis may be used for Kodshei Mizbe'ach.
The Gemara answers that when the Mishnah says that the value of the vessels goes to Bedek ha'Bayis, it does not mean that the money is used for the maintenance of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Rather, it means that the money goes to the Lishkas Bedek ha'Bayis; it goes back to the Lishkah in monetary form, as coins. Once it is back in the Lishkah, it may be used like any other money of Bedek ha'Bayis, either for actual Bedek ha'Bayis or for the Mizbe'ach.
(The text of the Gemara of RABEINU SHLOMO SIRILIYO includes in the answer that the money goes "l'Tzorech Lishkas Bedek ha'Bayis." He explains that the Gemara's answer is that the Mishnah refers to a situation in which the Bedek ha'Bayis needs funds. The money, however, may be used for the Mizbe'ach if the Mizbe'ach needs it.)
(c) The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Erchin 2:13, Hilchos Shekalim 4:10) rules that it is forbidden to use one type of Kodesh for another. It is even forbidden to use one type of Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis for another type of Bedek ha'Bayis, and certainly it is forbidden to use it for the needs of the Mizbe'ach. Accordingly, the Beraisa which says that one may use Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis for the Mizbe'ach is difficult in its own right.
The Ra'avad implies that the Gemara is not asking that the Mishnah contradicts the Beraisa. Rather, the Gemara is strengthening the teaching expressed by the Beraisa. The Gemara demonstrates that the Mishnah also implies that one type of Hekdesh may be used for another type. Even though the vessels in the Lishkas ha'Kelim presumably were dedicated for Kodshei Mizbe'ach (as Rabeinu Meshulam explains in the Gemara's initial assumption), one still is permitted to take items from there and use them for Bedek ha'Bayis.
The Gemara then explains that this teaching applies only to the "Lishkas Bedek ha'Bayis," which refers to the Lishkas ha'Kelim mentioned in the Mishnah. This Lishkas ha'Kelim was different from most other Lishkos of Bedek ha'Bayis. Although most of the money or objects in it were used for Bedek ha'Bayis, the treasury instituted a clear stipulation that any object donated to this Lishkah may be used for whatever type of Hekdesh might need it -- Bedek ha'Bayis or the Mizbe'ach. The items in the other Lishkos of Bedek ha'Bayis, however, may be used only for the purpose of Bedek ha'Bayis and not for any other purpose, even for another type of Bedek ha'Bayis. (According to the Ra'avad, the Gemara's answer, "l'Lishkas Bedek ha'Bayis," does not explain the Mishnah, but it explains the Beraisa that says that one may use an object from Bedek ha'Bayis for the Mizbe'ach.)
The VILNA GA'ON suggests a similar approach (as explained by the TIKLIN CHADTIN). The Gemara inquires how one can be permitted to use vessels which were placed into the Lishkas ha'Kelim, and thus sanctified for Bedek ha'Bayis, for other purposes. He explains that the answer of the Gemara is not that the Lishkas ha'Kelim is different (as the Ra'avad says), but that one is permitted to take the value of an object sanctified for one type of Bedek ha'Bayis and use it for another type of Bedek ha'Bayis, with one condition: when the item that was sanctified for Bedek ha'Bayis is sold, the money must be placed into a Lishkah of Bedek ha'Bayis, at which point it loses whatever specific designation it previously had. It may now be used for any type of Bedek ha'Bayis.