YOMA 41 (11 Sivan) - Dedicated to commemorate the Yahrzeit of Chaim Yoseph ben Ephraim Henach ha'Levi z'l.
1) THE "LASHON SHEL ZEHORIS"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches that after the two Se'irim were selected, a "Lashon Shel Zehoris" (a strip of crimson wool) was tied to the head of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, the goat designated by the lots to be sent out to the wilderness. The Gemara quotes Rav Yosef who says that another Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied to the neck of the Sa'ir la'Shem, the goat designated by the lots to be offered as a Korban Chatas.
How many Leshonos of Zehoris were there?
(a) Even though the Mishnah says that one Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied to the head of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach and the Gemara says that another was tied to the neck of the Sa'ir la'Shem, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim 4:1) makes no mention of the second Lashon Shel Zehoris. Apparently, he understands the words in the Mishnah differently from the Gemara's conclusion. When the Mishnah says that "ul'Nishchat k'Neged Beis Shechitaso," it does not refer to where on the body of the second goat a Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied (as the Gemara concludes), but it describes where (and how) that goat must stand.
Why does the Rambam not accept the Gemara's conclusion?
The SI'ACH YITZCHAK and PRI CHADASH (in Mayim Chaim on the Rambam) suggest that the Rambam is bothered by the question of TOSFOS (DH Shalosh). Tosfos asks why Rebbi Yitzchak and Rav Dimi, who enumerate the number of Leshonos Shel Zehoris, count only one that was used on Yom Kippur -- the one tied to the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, and not the one tied to the Sa'ir la'Shem. The Rambam understands that Rebbi Yitzchak and Rav Dimi argue with the conclusion of Rav Yosef in the Gemara earlier, and they maintain that no Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied to the Sa'ir la'Shem.
(b) The straightforward reading of the Gemara clearly implies that a second Lashon was tied to the Sa'ir la'Shem. The Mishnah later (67a) discusses the Lashon Shel Zehoris that was tied to the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach. The Mishnah says that immediately before the Kohen pushed the Sa'ir off the mountain, he tore the Lashon Shel Zehoris into two pieces and tied one between the horns of the Sa'ir and the other to a nearby rock. The Lashon on the rock would turn white when Hash-m forgave the sins of the Jewish people.
The Mishnah later (68b) states that a Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied to the door of the Heichal. It, too, would turn white when the Sa'ir was pushed down the mountain. Is this a third Lashon Shel Zehoris?
The Gemara (67a) cites a Beraisa which clarifies the latter practice. Originally, a Lashon Shel Zehoris was tied to the outer door of the Ulam. This Lashon would turn white as a sign that Hash-m forgave the sins of the Jewish people. In the event that it did not turn white (an unfavorable sign for the Jewish people), the people would become ashamed and depressed. Therefore, the Chachamim instituted that the Lashon be tied to the inside of the door of the Ulam so that it would not be visible to the people. Nevertheless, the people still peeked through and were able to see whether it turned white or not. The Chachamim then instituted that part of the Lashon be tied to a rock near the place where the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach was pushed off the cliff, and part of it be tied between the horns of the Sa'ir. TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER explains (apparently based on the Gemara's description) that the Lashon that was tied to the door of the Heichal was the other half of the one that was tied to the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach. Later it was instituted that this Lashon be tied to a rock near the cliff.
(The TIFERES YISRAEL here suggests that perhaps the Lashon that was tied to the neck of the Sa'ir la'Shem was removed after the Sa'ir was slaughtered, and it was then tied to the door of the Ulam. Later, the Chachamim instituted that this Lashon not be used at all after the Sa'ir has been slaughtered. Instead, the Lashon on the neck of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach was tied to a rock, and that was the Lashon that would turn white.)
(c) The Mishnah in Shekalim (4:1) discusses how the money of the Terumas ha'Lishkah was spent and how the money of the Sheyarei ha'Lishkah was spent. The Mishnah (according to the Girsa of our text) says that "the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach and the Lashon Shel Zehoris come from the Terumas ha'Lishkah," and "the Lashon she'Bein Karnav comes from the Sheyarei ha'Lishkah."
What is the "Lashon Shel Zehoris" that the first part of the Mishnah there mentions? There seems to be no Lashon to which it can refer other than the Lashon she'Bein Karnav, the Lashon that was tied between the horns of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach. However, the second part of the Mishnah there clearly contradicts this when it says that the Lashon she'Bein Karnav is purchased with money of the Sheyarei ha'Lishkah.
Even more difficult is the Girsa of some Rishonim in the first part of the Mishnah there. Their Girsa reads "Lashon Shel Zehoris sheb'Rosh Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach," the "Lashon Shel Zehoris on the head of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach." How can both the Reisha and the Seifa refer to the same Lashon (that of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach) and say that it was purchased with money from two different Lishkos?
The TOSFOS YESHANIM (67a) explains that two Leshonos were tied to the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach. One Lashon, as the Mishnah here mentions, was tied to its head when it was selected. A second Lashon was brought, before Yom Kippur (so that it would not be carried on Yom Kippur), to the place where the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach would be brought. That second Lashon was the one which was tied between the Sa'ir's horns just before it was pushed down the mountain. The first Lashon was removed as the Sa'ir was taken out of the Azarah (so that the animal would not be carrying it on Yom Kippur). Accordingly, there were three, and not two, Leshonos Shel Zehoris.
(The BARTENURA in Shekalim does not have the text, "sheb'Rosh Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach," in the Reisha of the Mishnah there. He explains that the Lashon Shel Zehoris mentioned in the Reisha of the Mishnah refers to the Lashon that was used during the burning of the Parah Adumah. The RAMBAM's text does not have the words "Lashon Shel Zehoris" at all in the Reisha of that Mishnah.)