1) OFFERING LIMBS FROM A MIXTURE THAT CONTAINS A BLEMISHED ANIMAL
QUESTIONS: Rav and Rebbi Yochanan argue about whether a live animal that was designated to be a Korban and became disqualified remains disqualified permanently, or whether it becomes valid again if the disqualifying factor is eliminated.
Rav proves that live animals do not become permanently disqualified ("Ba'alei Chayim Einan Nidachin") from the case of an animal with a transitory blemish ("Ba'al Mum Over"). Even though the animal is disqualified from being offered while it has a blemish, it will become valid later when the blemish goes away. Rebbi Yochanan argues that the Torah specifically excludes the case of a "Ba'al Mum Over" from the category of permanently-disqualified Korbanos when it says "Mum Bam" (Vayikra 22:25). All other cases of disqualified animals indeed become disqualified permanently. The case of a "Ba'al Mum Over" is the only case in which an animal which was Nidcheh may be offered as a Korban at a later time. Rav replies that the verse "Mum Bam" teaches something else, and, therefore, any live animal which was Nidcheh does not remain Nidcheh permanently but only until it becomes fit again to be offered as a Korban.
Rav maintains that the verse "Mum Bam" teaches that when a blemished animal becomes mixed with unblemished animals, the entire mixture ("Ta'aroves") may be offered on the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara supports Rav's view from the Mishnah in Zevachim which teaches that a Ta'aroves may be offered on the Mizbe'ach. The Mishnah quotes Rebbi Eliezer who states that when the limbs of a blemished animal become mixed with the limbs of unblemished animals, if the first set of limbs was already offered on the Mizbe'ach the rest may be offered. For example, if one of the heads was already offered the rest of the heads may also be offered, because perhaps the first head that was offered was from the blemished animal, and the rest are from the unblemished animals. The Chachamim argue and maintain that the heads that were not yet offered must be sent to the Beis ha'Sereifah to be burned and may not be offered on the Mizbe'ach.
There are several difficulties with the Gemara.
(a) The reason why Rebbi Eliezer permits all of the heads of the animals to be offered, including the head of the blemished animal, is not because of Rav's rule that the Torah permits a Ta'aroves to be offered on the Mizbe'ach, but rather because one of the heads was already offered (and thus there is a possibility that the rest are from unblemished animals). If Rebbi Eliezer permits all of the heads to be offered because of Rav's rule that a Ta'aroves may be offered on the Mizbe'ach, then why does he permit them only if one of the heads was offered already?
(b) Even if Rebbi Eliezer's opinion in some way supports the ruling of Rav, how does Rav explain the verse of "Mum Bam" according to the Chachamim? The Chachamim do not agree that the other heads of the mixture may be offered when the head of a blemished animal was mixed with them.
(a) The Rishonim (TOSFOS HA'ROSH, TOSFOS YESHANIM) explain that Rebbi Eliezer's requirement that one of the heads was already brought in order to permit the rest is only mid'Rabanan. Mid'Oraisa, a blemished animal in a Ta'aroves may be offered, as Rav says. The Rabanan prohibited it unless there exists the additional possibility that the blemished animal was already offered (in which case each head is a Safek d'Rabanan and is permitted).
It is clear from the Gemara that, mid'Oraisa, a mixture that contains limbs of a blemished animal may be offered on the Mizbe'ach. Had the Torah prohibited offering a mixture that contains limbs of a blemished animal, offering any of the heads in the mixture -- even after one of the heads was already offered -- would have been prohibited, because there would have been a Safek d'Oraisa whether the head that was already offered came from a blemished animal or an unblemished animal.
(b) RASHI (DH Ha) answers the second question when he says that Rav's ruling indeed conforms only with Rebbi Eliezer's opinion.
TOSFOS and other Rishonim explain that Rav's ruling also conforms with the view of the Chachamim. The Chachamim agree that a mixture that contains a blemished animal may be offered mid'Oraisa. The Chachamim maintain, like Rebbi Eliezer, that there is an Isur d'Rabanan to offer such a Ta'aroves on the Mizbe'ach. However, they argue with Rebbi Eliezer and maintain that the Isur d'Rabanan applies even when one of the heads was already offered.
Tosfos proves that the Chachamim agree that such a Ta'aroves is permitted mid'Oraisa, as Rav says, from the fact that the Chachamim do not require the head that was already placed on the Mizbe'ach to be removed from there. If the Torah forbids offering limbs from a mixture that contains a blemished animal, then one would be required to remove it from the Mizbe'ach.
2) "BITUL B'ROV" WITH "BA'ALEI MUM" AND "TEMIMIM"
QUESTION: Rav derives from the verse, "Mum Bam" (Vayikra 22:25), that animals from a mixture of blemished and unblemished animals may be offered on the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara supports Rav's ruling from the opinion of Rebbi Eliezer, who maintains that when the limbs of a blemished animal become mixed with the limbs of unblemished animals, the mixture may be offered on the Mizbe'ach, mid'Oraisa.
Rebbi Eliezer's teaching apparently involves a case in which a single blemished animal becomes mixed with a number of unblemished animals. This is evident from the fact that he permits all of the heads in the mixture to be offered if "one head" was already offered, since that head might have been from the blemished animal (and the remaining heads are all from unblemished animals). According to Rebbi Eliezer, why is the verse of "Mum Bam" necessary to permit offering the limbs of such a mixture? They should be permitted to be offered because of the principle of "Bitul b'Rov" -- the limbs of the blemished animal are nullified in the majority of unblemished animals.
(a) The RITVA answers that the verse indeed is needed only when the mixture contains an equal number of blemished animals as unblemished animals (or the mixture contains more blemished animals), in which case the principle of "Bitul b'Rov" does not apply. Rebbi Eliezer discusses a case in which the limbs of one blemished animal became mixed with the limbs of one unblemished animal.
(b) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH and TOSFOS YESHANIM explain that the principle of "Bitul b'Rov" does not apply in this case, even when the mixture contains a majority of unblemished animals. The Rabanan decreed that a mixture that contains a "Davar she'b'Minyan" (an item that is significant due to the fact that it is sold by count) does not become nullified in a majority, and the mixture is prohibited mid'Rabanan. Since the Torah itself ("Mum Bam") does not prohibit a mixture of limbs even when it contains equal amounts of blemished and unblemished animals, the Rabanan also did not apply their enactment of "Davar she'b'Minyan" in such a case when "Bitul b'Rov" annuls the forbidden item.
(c) The TOSFOS RID in Bava Basra (31b) teaches that if one prohibited item becomes mixed with two permitted items, one person may not eat all three pieces, because if he does he will certainly consume a prohibited item. According to this opinion, the need for the verse of "Mum Bam" to permit the mixture upon the Mizbe'ach is clear. Even though the majority of unblemished animals nullifies the blemished animal through "Bitul b'Rov," "Bitul b'Rov" does not permit all of the limbs of the mixture to be offered on the Mizbe'ach. The verse of "Mum Bam" permits all of the limbs on the Mizbe'ach to be offered, even though one certainly will offer the blemished animal as well. (M. Kornfeld)
(d) The TOSFOS YESHANIM suggests another answer. Perhaps "Bitul b'Rov" does not apply at all to a blemished animal. In the laws of Korbanos, there is a principle that "Ein ha'Olin Mevatlin Zeh Es Zeh" -- Korbanos cannot annul each other (Zevachim 81b). Therefore, the verse "Mum Bam" is necessary.
However, the Tosfos Yeshanim concludes that it is unlikely that this principle applies in the case of a blemished animal. This principle applies only to valid Korbanos ("Olin"). A blemished animal is not a valid Korban and is not "Oleh Al ha'Mizbe'ach" (even though it is sanctified), and thus "Bitul b'Rov" should apply to it.