TEMURAH 22 (Tisha b'Av) - Dedicated by Rabbi Dr. Eli Turkel of Ra'anana, Israel, in memory of his father, Reb Yisrael Shimon ben Shlomo ha'Levi Turkel. Isi Turkel, as he was known, loved Torah and worked to support it literally with his last ounce of strength. He passed away on 10 Av 5740.

QUESTION: The Mishnah (end of 21b) discusses a case in which an animal that was designated as a Korban Chatas became lost, and by the time the animal was found it had become too old to be offered as a Chatas. If the owner received atonement for his sin by bringing another animal (see Insights to Temurah 21:3), the first animal is put to death. If the owner did not yet bring a Korban to atone for his sin, he waits until the first animal receives a Mum, sells the animal, and then uses the proceeds to buy another animal for his Korban.
RASHI (DH v'Im Ad she'Lo Kipru) explains that in the case in which the owner has not yet brought another animal as his Chatas, the reason why he is delaying is "because he does not want to get atonement through [bringing] another animal." Rashi apparently means that the owner does not want to spend more money to buy another animal, and therefore he is waiting until his Korban receives a Mum, enabling him to sell it and obtain the funds to purchase another animal.
The TIFERES YISRAEL questions Rashi's words. The Torah prohibits one from delaying the bringing of his Korban past a certain time ("Bal Te'acher"; see Rava's opinion quoted by the Gemara earlier (18b), according to which one may not delay the bringing of a Korban past the first Regel that he encounters after becoming obligated to bring the Korban). Why, then, does Rashi say that in the case of the Mishnah, the owner of the Korban may wait indefinitely for his animal to receive a Mum?
(a) The TIFERES YISRAEL suggests that neither the Mishnah nor Rashi is implying that the owner may wait indefinitely. Rather, the Mishnah is saying merely that the owner may put the animal out to pasture in the hope that it will receive a Mum before the deadline for Bal Te'acher arrives. Once the deadline arrives, he must bring a Korban, whether or not the original animal received a Mum.
The MELECHES CHOSHEV points out that this approach also answers a question on the words of Rashi in Yevamos (99b, DH u'Bechoro). The Mishnah there says that a Bechor that is in the possession of a person whose status as a Kohen is in doubt should be put out to pasture until it receives a Mum, at which time the person may slaughter and eat the animal. Rashi there says that this Halachah applies even during a time when there is a Beis ha'Mikdash, and the Bechor was brought by the Yisrael as a Korban. The TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER in Yevamos (11:5) quotes the KORBAN HA'EDAH who asks that since this animal is supposed to be brought as a Korban, why do we let the owner wait for it to get a Mum, thereby transgressing Bal Te'acher? The Meleches Choshev answers that it must be, as the Tiferes Yisrael here says, that the Mishnah in Bechoros means that the animal may be kept until it receives a Mum only until the deadline for Bal Te'acher arrives.
(b) The Meleches Choshev quotes another approach that is given to answer the question in Yevamos, which also answers the question here. The TIFERES YERUSHALAYIM explains that in the case in Yevamos, the Bechor may be kept beyond the ordinary deadline for Bal Te'acher. Since the Isur of Bal Te'acher is being transgressed passively, it is permitted in a case in which there is a monetary loss.
The Meleches Choshev rejects this answer, because there is no source or proof whatsoever for permitting a passive transgression of a Torah prohibition merely to prevent a monetary loss.
However, the Meleches Choshev points out that this answer might be applicable in the case of the Mishnah here. If the purpose of putting the animal out to pasture to get a Mum is in order for the owner to obtain the money to buy a valid Korban, then waiting past the deadline is not considered a prohibition of Bal Te'acher, because the very purpose of waiting is for the sake of bringing a Korban. In contrast, in the case in Yevamos, the person is not waiting for the sake of bringing a Korban, but, on the contrary, he wants to avoid bringing a Korban.
Nevertheless, the Meleches Choshev is not willing to accept this answer without a proof for it from the Gemara. (Y. MONTROSE)


QUESTION: The Mishnah (21b-22a) teaches that a Chatas that was lost and then found is either put out to pasture or put to death, depending on whether it was found before or after the owner attained atonement with another Korban.
The Gemara asks, what exactly is the definition of "lost" in the context of the Mishnah's case? Rebbi Yochanan says that even if the animal was hidden behind a door, this is considered "lost," and the animal may no longer be offered as a Korban.
The Gemara is in doubt about the logic of Rebbi Yochanan, and it questions whether Rebbi Yochanan also would consider a case of "Avra'i" as a case of being lost. RASHI (DH Aval Avra'i) explains the Gemara's question as follows. When Rebbi Yochanan says that an animal that was hidden behind a door is considered "lost," does he mean that the animal must be in a place where it is concealed from all people? If this is what Rebbi Yochanan means, then in a case in which the animal wandered off into a field and became mixed up with other animals, it would not be considered "lost," because people can still see the animal. Perhaps, however, Rebbi Yochanan means that the animal is considered lost even though the owner could find it by simply looking behind the door. If this is what Rebbi Yochanan means, then certainly in a case in which the animal wandered off and its location is entirely unknown to the owner, it is considered "lost." The Gemara leaves this question unanswered.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 4:13) writes, "If the animal was hidden behind the door or hidden by the stairs, it is considered lost, since a person does not see it when he is going to atone. If it was in the field or the swamp, there is a doubt about whether it is considered lost, since perhaps one sees it during atonement, and therefore it should be left to die out of doubt."
The Rambam adds the case of "hidden by the stairs" as another case of an animal definitely being lost. What is the source of the Rambam's addition?
(a) The KESEF MISHNEH says that the case of "hidden by the stairs" is the Rambam's understanding of the Gemara's case of "Avra'i," in contrast to the understanding of Rashi who learns that "Avra'i" means merely that the animal went outside. Since the Gemara leaves the case of "Avra'i" unresolved, the Rambam rules that the animal should die (because in a case of doubt, the animal must die). When the Rambam then mentions a case of an animal that was lost in the field or swamp, he is writing the case of "Avra'i" as understood by Rashi.
The LECHEM MISHNEH, CHAZON NACHUM, and others are perplexed by the words of the Kesef Mishneh. The Rambam himself gives a case of a doubtful Chatas that must die in his very next comment. If the Rambam understands that "Avra'i" means "hidden by the stairs," then he should have mentioned this case with the other cases of a doubtfully-lost Chatas, and not with the case of the animal that was hiding behind the door (which is not a Safek, but is considered to be certainly lost)! Moreover, how can the Kesef Mishneh write that the Rambam maintains that two entirely different types of cases -- hiding behind stairs and being lost in a field or swamp -- are both included in the Gemara's case of "Avra'i"? (See the TEMURAS TODAH for a possible explanation of the words of the Kesef Mishneh.)
(b) The Lechem Mishneh therefore states that the case of "hidden behind the stairs" according to the Rambam is merely another application of "behind the door," which the Gemara says is definitely considered lost. According to the Lechem Mishneh, there is no argument between Rashi and the Rambam regarding the meaning of "Avra'i." This also seems to be the approach of the MAHARI KURKUS. (Y. MONTROSE)