THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) FORFEITING THE MITZVAH OF MILAH
OPINIONS: The Torah commands every Jewish male to be circumcised, with a
penalty of Kares for failure to fulfill this Mitzvas Aseh.
2) A NON-KOHEN PERFORMING THE "AVODAH"
If a person was not given a Milah when he was a baby and when he matures he
is still uncircumcised, does he transgress the Mitzvah every day that
passes that he is not circumcised until he becomes circumcised?
(a) The Gemara teaches that Milah is the type of Mitzvah that, if performed
after its prescribed time, is not forfeited -- as opposed to Mitzvos such
as Sukah, Lulav, and Shofar, which are forfeited if they are not performed
at their prescribed time. It is clear from here that if a Jewish man does
not become circumcised until he is older, he is not considered to have
forfeited the Mitzvah each day that passed that he did not circumcise
himself. Rather, since he finally fulfilled the Mitzvah of Milah, he never
forfeited the Mitzvah. This also seems to be the intention of Tosfos (131a,
DH v'Shavin). Only if he dies uncircumcised is he considered to have
forfeited the Mitzvah and is Chayav Kares.
ANSWER: The RA'AVAD apparently understood that the Rambam meant to say that
a person transgresses the Mitzvas Aseh every day *mi'Safek*, out of doubt,
because of the possibility that he *might* die without a Milah. He only
transgresses the Mitzvas Aseh every day when he has intention *never* to
fulfill the Mitzvah of Milah at all. If so, if a person has intention to
have a Milah at any time later in his life, he does not transgress the
Mitzvas Aseh as each day passes, as our Gemara says.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Milah 1:3) writes that a person who does not
circumcise himself transgresses the Mitzvas Aseh *every day* that passes.
However, he is Chayav Kares only if he dies without a Milah.
The fact that he is Chayav Kares only if he dies without a Milah is
consistent with our Gemara, since he only forfeits the Mitzvah when he dies
without Milah. But how can the Rambam write that he transgresses a Mitzvas
Aseh *every day* that he delays his Milah?
QUESTION: After stating that the Torah is more lenient with regard to the
Korban of a Mechusar Kaparah than with other Korbanos, the Gemara asks that
"if so, a non-Kohen (Zar) and a Kohen in mourning (Onen) should also be
able" to perform the Avodah of offering the Korban of a Mechusar Kaparah,
and it should not be limited to a Kohen.
How can the Gemara suggest that a non-Kohen could perform the Avodah for a
Mechusar Kaparah? The Torah explicitly writes that such Korbanos must be
offered by a *Kohen* (Vayikra 12:6; 14:25; 15:15,30)
(a) TOSFOS (DH Ela), and the RASHBA (in his first answer), says that the
Gemara does not really mean to suggest that a non-Kohen should be able to
perform the Avodah. It really is only asking that a Kohen who is in
mourning should qualify. The word "Zar" was thrown in for accent.
(b) The RASHBA also suggests that the Gemara is asking *why* the Torah
required a Kohen for this Korban, if the Korban of Mechusrei Kaparah is
more lenient than other Korbanos.
(c) The RASHBA and the RITVA give another answer. The Gemara thought that
when the Torah says that a Kohen must offer the Korban, that was only if
there is a Kohen available to do the Avodah. But if *no Kohen is
available*, then a non-Kohen should be able to perform the Avodah.
(d) The RITVA adds that perhaps the Gemara only means to suggest that a
non-Kohen should be permitted to *eat* the meat of the Korban.
(e) The RITVA answers further that when the Gemara uses the word "Zar"
(non-Kohen), it refers not to someone who is not a Kohen at all. Rather, it
refers to a Kohen who is not wearing the necessary *attire* of Bigdei
Kehunah, who is equivalent to a "non-Kohen" (see Zevachim 17b, Sanhedrin
(f) The MITZPEH EISAN points out that although Shechitah of Kodshim may be
performed by a Zar, Melikah (slaughter of a bird) may not. The Gemara
(Zevachim 65a) derives this from a verse which appears in the Parsha of
Olas Nedavah. If so, perhaps the Gemara is suggesting that a Zar should be
permitted to perform *Melikah* on the Korban of a Mechusar Kaparah, when it
is a bird!
3) CUTTING OFF A LEPROUS "NEGA" WHILE PERFORMING MILAH
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses performing Milah when there is a Nega of
Tzara'as on the Orlah, which will be cut off when the Orlah is cut off. The
Gemara discusses whether it is permitted to cut off the Nega in order to
cut off the Orlah, since it is normally forbidden to cut off a Nega which
The Mishnah (Nega'im 6:6) states that the tops of small limbs that slope
down to a point, like the tips of the fingers and the top of the Orlah, are
*not* Metamei in a leprous Nega. If so, why does the Gemara discuss cutting
off a Nega from the top of the Orlah, if a Nega in such a place is not
Tamei, and it is only forbidden to cut off a Nega which is Tamei in order
to make oneself Tahor? (YA'AVETZ, LECHEM SHAMAYIM)
(a) The MELECHES SHLOMO (Nega'im 7:5) cites an answer from RABEINU
SULEIMAN. When the Mishnah discusses a Nega (Baheres) on the Orlah, it does
not mean that there was a Nega on the Orlah itself. Rather, it means that
the person's *entire body* was afflicted with the white Nega and the Orlah
was *healthy*. The Mishnah in Nega'im (8:1) tells us that a healthy spot
is Metamei a person when the rest of his body is white, because that spot
is considered a Michyah (recession), which is a sign of Tum'ah. The Mishnah
clearly adds that even if the healthy skin is on the top of a small limb it
is Metamei, in the case of a person who is otherwise covered with a Nega.
(b) The MELECHES SHLOMO and TIFERES YISRAEL (Nega'im 6:6, from his father)
give another answer. Perhaps the Nega is not on the top of the Orlah, but
rather the Pisyon (spread) of the Nega spread to the top of the Orlah. If
the Nega (from an adjacent part of the body) *spread* to the top of the
Orlah, it can be Metamei, and thus when one cuts off the Orlah he is
cutting of a Siman of Tum'ah (as the BARTENURA rules in Nega'im 8:5).
(c) The MELECHES SHLOMO and TIFERES YISRAEL (ibid., in the name of his son)
also suggest that our case is referring to when the baby has a Nega the
size of a Gris on the *flat* side of the Orlah, and not at the tip. In such
a case it will be Metamei (as is clear from Rashi in Vayikra 13:14 -- it is
only Tahor if it cannot be seen in one glance by a Kohen).
(d) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nega'im 10:1) writes that although a person will
only be punished with Malkus for cutting off a Nega if his act serves to
make himself Tahor (that is, he cuts of a Siman Tum'ah), nevertheless
cutting off *any* Nega, even though he does not thereby become Tahor (for
example, he cut off only a small part of a large Nega), is also forbidden
by the Torah. If so, our Gemara may be talking about the *prohibition*, and
not about the Chiyuv of Malkus. Mid'Oraisa there may be a prohibition
against cutting off a Nega even at the tops of small limbs, even though
cutting off those forms of Nega does not change his status from Tamei to
Tahor. (For instance, if there is a full size Nega on the side of his limb
adjacent to the Orlah, and this Nega also extends to and covers the Orlah.
By cutting off the Orlah he does not make himself Tahor, but it is
Similarly, Rashi in our Sugya (DH Nega'im Tehorin) writes in the name of
the Sifri that even Nega'im which are Tahor are forbidden to be cut off.