1) THE STATUS OF "MENACHOS" TOUCHED BY A "TEVUL YOM"
QUESTION: The Gemara (10b) explains the reason why the surplus Ketores may be redeemed and given to the workers in the Beis ha'Mikdash as their wages. Since the Ketores was sanctified only with Kedushas Damim (its monetary value, but not its actual substance, is sanctified), its sanctity may be redeemed onto money. This is in contrast to Korbanos, which are sanctified with Kedushas ha'Guf (the object itself is sanctified, and not just its value).
The Gemara here asks that if the Ketores possesses only Kedushas Damim, then why does it become invalid if a Tevul Yom touches it? The Beraisa explicitly states that if a Tevul Yom touches the mortar in which the Ketores has been placed for grinding, the Ketores becomes invalid.
The Gemara continues and says that one cannot suggest that any item that possesses Kedushas Damim becomes invalid if touched by a Tevul Yom, because the Mishnah in Me'ilah (9a) states that the placing of Menachos (flour offerings) into a Kli Shares makes them susceptible to disqualification if they are touched later by a Tevul Yom. This implies that merely possessing Kedushas Damim is not enough to enable the Menachos to be disqualified if touched by a Tevul Yom. They require the additional condition of placement into a Kli Shares.
The Gemara here seems to contradict the ruling of the RAMBAM. The Rambam (Hilchos She'ar Avos ha'Tum'ah 11:13) rules that Menachos that have not been sanctified by being placed inside a Kli Shares have neither the status of Kodesh nor the status of Chulin. Rather, they have a status equivalent to that of Terumah.
If, as the Rambam writes, Menachos have the same degree of sanctity as Terumah before they have been placed into a Kli Shares, then they should become invalid when a Tevul Yom touches them, just as Terumah becomes invalid when a Tevul Yom touches it. The Gemara here, however, implies that Menachos that have not been placed into a Kli Shares do not become invalid when touched by a Tevul Yom!
(a) The MISHNAH ACHARONAH in Taharos (end of ch. 2) explains that Menachos are susceptible to two types of disqualification when touched by a Tevul Yom. Once the Menachos have been placed into a Kli Shares, they will have the status of a disqualified Korban if a Tevul Yom touches them. A disqualified Korban must be burned in the Beis ha'Deshen. (The verse states, "He shall remove the ashes to outside the camp" (Vayikra 6:4). RASHI in Zevachim (47b, DH Nisrafim) explains that the Beis ha'Deshen is the place where these ashes are taken.)
Before the Menachos have been placed into a Kli Shares, a Tevul Yom who touches them gives them the status of Terumah Teme'ah. Terumah Teme'ah may be burned by the Kohen in his own home, and he is permitted to derive benefit from the fire.
(b) The OR SAME'ACH (Hilchos She'ar Avos ha'Tum'ah 11:13) offers a novel explanation to reconcile the ruling of the Rambam with the words of the Gemara. According to the normal laws of Tum'ah and Taharah, Ketores should not be able to become Tum'ah because it is not a food or liquid. The only reason why Ketores can become Tamei is the unique law of "Chibas ha'Kodesh." (The Gemara in Pesachim (35a) derives from a verse items of Kodesh can become Tamei even though they are inedible. The Gemara there (20a, and Chulin 33a) explains that this is because of "Chibas ha'Kodesh," "the endearment of Kodesh." Due to the fact that Kodesh is particularly precious, it is more sensitive to Tum'ah than Chulin or Terumah.)
However, as long as the Ketores has not been sanctified with Kedushas ha'Guf, it is not subject to "Chibas ha'Kodesh," and therefore it cannot become Tamei. The Gemara proves this from the fact that as long as the Menachos are not in the Kli Shares, they do not possess Kedushas ha'Guf even though they do have the status of Terumah. (The Or Same'ach apparently agrees with the distinction of the Mishnah Acharonah that the Menachos become invalid as Terumah, even though they do not become invalid as Kodesh.)
Since the Ketores does not possess Kedushas ha'Guf and it is not a food item, it does not become disqualified at all if touched by a Tevul Yom, unless it was already placed in a mortar. Menachos, in contrast, are edible, and thus they become like Terumah according to the Rambam, even before they are placed in a Kli Shares. (D. BLOOM)
2) THE REDEMPTION OF THE "PARAH ADUMAH"
QUESTION: Rebbi Shimon maintains that a Parah Adumah contracts Tum'ah like food, since there was a time when it was considered food. Reish Lakish explains that according to Rebbi Shimon, the Parah Adumah could be redeemed and eaten even if it had already been placed on the pyre.
The RASHBA quotes TOSFOS who explains that according to Rebbi Shimon, even when the Parah no longer can be considered food, it still contracts Tum'ah like food because it was once like food. This means that even once it has been slaughtered and its blood sprinkled opposite the Ohel Mo'ed (or Beis ha'Mikdash), it still contracts Tum'ah like food even though it cannot be redeemed from its state of Kedushah. However, before its blood has been sprinkled, it may be redeemed, even though it has been slaughtered.
The Rashba questions this explanation. The Gemara in Kerisus (24b) says that Rebbi Shimon maintains that anything designated to be sprinkled is considered as though it has already been sprinkled. Accordingly, the Parah Adumah should not be redeemable after it has been slaughtered, even if its blood has not yet been sprinkled, because its blood has been designated for imminent sprinkling.
(a) The RASHBA answers in the name of the RAMBAN that the Parah Adumah indeed is fit for redemption. The Beraisa quoted by the Gemara earlier states that if one finds a nicer Parah Adumah, he should redeem the one he already consecrated and use the nicer one. The Ramban understands that it is even a Mitzvah to do so. Since one always looks for a nicer Parah Adumah, the blood of the present Parah Adumah cannot be considered as though it has already been sprinkled.
(b) TOSFOS in Bava Kama (77a, DH Parah) answers that Rebbi Shimon considers blood designated to be sprinkled as though it has been sprinkled only once the Kabalas ha'Dam has been performed. However, between the Shechitah and Kabalas ha'Dam, the blood is not considered as though it has been sprinkled.
(c) The RASHBA himself gives a different answer in the name of Tosfos. He explains that Rebbi Shimon is not stating his own position, but he is addressing the Rabanan. Rebbi Shimon maintains that it is obvious that the Parah Adumah may be redeemed even after the Shechitah, because it is Kodshei Bedek ha'Bayis and is not included in the law that a consecrated animal must be stood up and evaluated in order to be redeemed. He argues that the Rabanan, who maintain that a consecrated animal must be stood up and evaluated in order to be redeemed, still should agree that the Parah Adumah may contract Tum'ah like food since it technically could have been eaten when it was dying, after it was slaughtered. (Y. MONTROSE)