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
ZEVACHIM 2-4 - Dedicated to the leaders and participants in the Dafyomi
shiurim at the Young Israel of New Rochelle, by Andy & Nancy Neff
1) THE POWER OF "MACHSHAVAH," THE POWER OF "DIBUR"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah teaches that if a Kohen who is offering a particular
Korban has in mind that he is offering a different Korban, the Korban is
valid and may be burned on the Mizbe'ach. However, if the Korban was brought
in fulfillment of a pledge, the pledge is not considered to have been
fulfilled. The one who pledged it must bring another Korban to replace it.
2) SHIMON, THE BROTHER OF AZARYAH
(a) TOSFOS (end of DH Kol) raises the question whether or not a mere
improper *thought* suffices to invalidate a Korban; perhaps the Korban
remains valid as long as the improper thought was not verbalized. Tosfos
refers to what he wrote in Bava Metzia (43b, DH ha'Choshev), where he posits
that verbalization *is* required in order to invalidate the Korban. Merely
thinking a thought of Pigul would not void the Korban.
This is also the position of other Rishonim. RASHI (Zevachim 41b, DH Kegon)
states, "All thoughts regarding Kodshim must be expressed orally." (See also
Rashi in Menachos 2b, DH Aval, where he uses a similar expression.) The
SEMAG (end of Lo Sa'aseh #337) writes in the same vein, "u'Machsheves
ha'Kodshim Hi Dibur" -- "the [invalidating] thought with regard to Kodshim
(b) However, the MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 13:1), based
on the words of the RAMBAM there, proposes that a mere improper thought
regarding the particular Korban is sufficient to abrogate its validity. This
is also the position of the SEFER HA'CHINUCH (Mitzvah #144), and the ME'IRI
(Pesachim 63a, DH Kol Ma).
The position of Tosfos seems difficult to understand in light of the general
rules of Kavanah. The Halachah follows the opinion that "Mitzvos Tzerichos
Kavanah" -- a person fulfills a Mitzvah only when he has Kavanah to fulfill
it (Pesachim 114b, Rosh Hashanah 28b). However, when one performs a Mitzvah,
he merely has to intend mentally that he is performing the Mitzvah, and he
does not have to verbalize this intent. Likewise, when a person commits a
sin, the mere awareness of transgressing the sinful act renders the act as
willful, even though he did not verbalize his sinful intention. Why, then,
in the case of a Korban, is the improper thought insufficient grounds to
disqualify the Korban? Why is verbalization required?
Haga'on Rav Abba Berman, Shlit'a, in SHI'UREI IYUN HA'TALMUD (#3), cites two
reasons mentioned in the Rishonim for the unique requirement of
verbalization in the case of Kodshim. First, verbalization is required
because of the principle, "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim" -- intentions in
a person's heart (that he has not expressed verbally) are not binding (SEFER
HA'ESHKOL, Hilchos Shechitas Chulin #13, and SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS OR ZARU'A
#754). Second, verbalization is required because of a special derivation
from various verses (see Rashi, Menachos ibid., and to Devarim 17:1).
The Iyun ha'Talmud notes that these two reasons given by the Rishonim might
reflect a fundamental difference of opinion in the basic understanding of
the principle of "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim." One way of understanding
this principle is based on the literal translation, "Words in the heart are
not words." Since thoughts in the heart are "not words" and do not quality
as speech, they are powerless to affect any action done by a person.
Another way of understanding this principle limits it to situations in which
the "words in the heart" *contradict* the words that the person expresses
verbally, or they contradict an action that the person does. According to
this view, "words in the heart" essentially *are* "words" as long as they do
not interfere with explicitly expressed words, or actions.
The Rishonim who apply the rule of "Devarim sheb'Lev Einam Devarim" in the
case of invalidating thoughts for a Korban evidently agree with the first
way of understanding: "words in the heart" can never affect any action done
by a person. Therefore, an improper thought during the service of the Korban
is ineffectual in compromising its validity. Only when the improper thought
is *verbalized* do we attach any importance to this thought.
The other Rishonim, though, who see no practical problem with "Devarim
sheb'Lev" in this case, seem to agree with the second way of understanding
this principle: "words in the heart" essentially are "words" as long as they
do not contradict a person's action. Hence, an improper thought during the
service of a Korban *would* compromise its validity, as the relevant
thoughts of Pigul or she'Lo Lishmah do *not* contradict the fabric of the
actual service. (Rashi, therefore, points out specific verses which indicate
a special rule that in this instance "Dibur b'Peh" is required to disqualify
the Korban.) (C. Mendelson)
OPINIONS: The Mishnah quotes a Tana named "Shimon Achi Azaryah," Shimon the
brother of Azaryah. Why, of all Tana'im, is this Tana singled out and
identified in association with his brother?
RASHI explains that Azaryah was a businessman who supported his scholarly
brother Shimon and enabled him to pursue his Torah studies. For this great
deed, Azaryah merited that Shimon became known as "Achi Azaryah," the
brother of Azaryah, and he earned for himself a place of honor in the
Mishnah, his name indelibly etched in the history of the Jewish people. His
name serves as a paradigm example of the noble virtue of supporting Torah
The MAHARSHA in Sotah (21a) comments that Azaryah received a double reward
for his great deed. He was rewarded in this world by receiving honorable
mention in the halls of Torah. He was also rewarded in Olam ha'Ba by sharing
with Shimon, his brother, the reward for Shimon's Torah study.
Was Shimon's reward in Olam ha'Ba in any way diminished by his sharing it
with Azaryah? There are two basic approaches to this subject.
(a) RASHI (DH Shimon Achi Azaryah) mentions that "they stipulated among
themselves that Azaryah would receive a *part* of the reward of the study of
Shimon." See also Rashi in Sotah (ibid.), where he states that Azaryah
worked in business so that "he would *divide* the reward of Shimon's
learning." These statements suggest that Rashi's position is that Shimon's
reward is in fact diminished by sharing it with Azaryah.
The REMA (YD 246:1) states that any person may make a similar stipulation
with his friend, to the effect that he will study Torah and his friend will
support him, "and he will *divide* the reward with him." The SHACH there
explains that the Rema means to say that the reward for the Torah study and
the profits of the businessman are to be divided equally. The Shach's
observation is supported by the latter part of the Rema's statement, where
he says that "if one already studied Torah, he cannot *sell* his share in
exchange for the money that will be given in consideration." This seems to
imply that before having studied the Torah, the mutual stipulation takes the
form of a sale, whereby the scholar is *selling* a share of his future
reward. (The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN explains the difference between a case in
which the stipulation is made prior to the Torah study and a case in which
it was made only afterwards, as follows: The reward for Torah study is
priceless and can be given only to a person who has rightfully earned it by
actually studying the Torah. However, when the scholar arranges for a
sponsor to support his future learning, the scholar's new learning is
actually a joint endeavor of the sponsor and the scholar. As the patron of
the Mitzvah who enables this Mitzvah to be performed, the sponsor is an
equal partner in the Mitzvah and is justly entitled to reward.)
The BEIS YOSEF, in his SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS AVKAS ROCHEL (#2), expresses this
point in a similar manner. He rules that one who -- because of his
poverty -- would have to leave his Torah studies and work the entire day may
give half the reward of his Torah study to someone who will give him half of
what he earns. "This," he says, "is equivalent to studying Torah half the
day, and working the other half." It is evident from his words that his
position is that the scholar's reward is indeed diminished by such a
The Rema's source is RABEINU YERUCHAM (end of Nesiv 2:5), who bases his view
on the Gemara in Sotah (ibid.). Some authorities point out that the Beis
Yosef omits this law in the Shulchan Aruch, and they contend that this
omission is indicative of the Beis Yosef's disagreement with Rabeinu
Yerucham's ruling (SHE'ELAS CHEMDAS TZVI 3:33, and 4:40). However, other
authorities point out that the Beis Yosef ruled, in She'elos u'Teshuvos
Avkas Rochel, that one who is impoverished may enter a formal agreement to
divide the reward for his future Torah study in exchange for financial
support. This is clearly consistent with Rabeinu Yerucham's words. An
additional support that this in fact was the Beis Yosef's opinion is that he
cites Rabeinu Yerucham in his commentary to the Tur (BEIS YOSEF to YD 246).
Moreover, the Beis Yosef also cites Rabeinu Yerucham in his work BEDEK
HA'BAYIS (which, according to many, was composed by the Beis Yosef after he
compiled the Shulchan Aruch; TZITZ ELIEZER 15:35:2).
This also seems to be the opinion of the RAV CHAIM OF VOLOZHEN (see KESER
ROSH #64; HILCHOS HA'GRA U'MINHAGAV #216, citing manuscript of Rav Yosef
Zundel of Salant; see also Tzitz Eliezer 15:35 and end of 15:3).
The OR HA'CHAIM, in CHEFETZ HASHEM (Berachos 8a, DH Al Ken), writes that the
scholar who is assisted in his Torah studies by the support of a sponsor
must share his reward in Olam ha'Ba with the sponsor. In his work RISHON
L'TZIYON (notes to YD 246:21), he notes the arrangement of Shimon and
Azaryah as an example of two people mutually sharing the fruits of their
labors; the businessman dividing his profits with the scholar, and the
scholar dividing his reward with the businessman. (However, see his
commentary to Shemos 30:13, where he apparently contradicts himself.) (See
also PELE YO'ETZ (Erech Chizuk); the NETZIV in MESHIV DAVAR 3:14, DH Achar;
MESHECH CHOCHMAH to Bereishis 49:15; and IGROS MOSHE YD 4:37:16.)
(b) Others, however, assert that the scholar's reward is in no way
diminished by sharing it with his benefactor.
The HAFLA'AH (Hakdamah, #43) maintains that no price tag can be attached to
Torah study, because, as the verse states, "Far beyond pearls is her worth"
(Mishlei 31:10). The reward for Torah study cannot be purchased even by
negotiating the "currency" of Olam ha'Ba, which is likened to pearls.
Rather, both the scholar and his supporter will receive a full measure of
reward. He draws an analogy to lighting one candle from another, whereby we
observe that the candle being lit does not diminish the flame of the candle
which is already burning. Likewise, the supporter of Torah does not diminish
the "light" of the reward of the scholar. "This is the meaning of the verse,
'Rejoice, Zevulun, in your going out, and Yissachar, in your tents' (Devarim
33:18). Yissachar and Zevulun both rejoice in full measure, as neither one's
reward impairs the share of the other one."
See also OR HA'CHAIM (Shemos 30:13), who writes that any reward enjoyed by
the supporter of Torah does not detract from the reward of the scholar. (As
we pointed out above, this apparently contradicts his words in Chefetz
Hashem and Rishon l'Tziyon.)
The MAHARAM ALSHAKER (#101) quotes RAV HAI GA'ON regarding a person who gave
another person a gold coin, stipulating that the recipient was to study
Torah and that he, the donor, would acquire the reward for the study. Rav
Hai Ga'on derogated this provision as "Divrei Hevel," words of nonsense. He
asks, "How does it enter his mind that he can acquire the reward for the
good deed that his friend did? Just as a person is not punished for the
misdeeds of his friend, in the same vein a person cannot receive merit for
his friend's good deeds! Does he think that the reward for a mitzvah is
something [tangible] that one can carry and go out with?" He concludes,
however, that one who supports those who are involved in the performance of
Mitzvos, enabling them to perform these Mitzvos, will be rewarded for this.
If he helps those who study Torah so that their hearts be unburdened and
available for study, he will be rewarded in an especially great way for
this. "The reward is for his own action," he writes, but not for the action
of the person he supports. After quoting the lengthy response of Rav Hai
Ga'on, the Maharam Alshaker appends a concluding note and says, "All of his
(Rav Hai Ga'on's) words are Divrei Kabalah; nothing can be added to them or
detracted from them."
As Rav Hai Ga'on maintains that a person's reward for a good deed is
nontransferable, it follows that his position would be that the scholar's
reward would in no way be impaired by the reward received by the benefactor.
Any reward received by the benefactor is independently earned "for his own
action" and it is separate and apart from the scholar's reward.
The SHE'ELOS U'TESHUVOS IMREI BINAH (end of 1:13) points out that it seems
that Rabeinu Yerucham and the Rema are arguing with Rav Hai Ga'on. However,
see his full discussion for an approach to reconciling their positions. See
also RAV CHAIM ALAFANDRI in AISH DAS (Parshas Vayeilech). (See also CHIDA in
ROSH DAVID (Kedoshim) for a lengthy discussion of the position of MAHARASH
PRIMO.) (C. Mendelson)
3) UNSPECIFIED INTENT WHEN OFFERING A "KORBAN"
QUESTION: The Gemara proves that a Korban slaughtered without specific
intent ("Setama") is fully valid. Even a Korban Chatas or Korban Pesach --
which is invalidated if it is slaughtered with intent that it be a different
Korban or for a different owner -- is not invalidated if it is slaughtered
with no specific intent. The Gemara proves this from the Mishnah later (56b)
which states that there are six specific forms of intent that a person must
have when he brings a Korban. Rebbi Yosi there comments that even if a
person did not have in mind any of these intents, the Korban remains valid,
because Beis Din instituted ("Tenai Beis Din") that a person *not* specify
any of these intents, lest he mistakenly specify the wrong intent (which
would invalidate the Korban). Since Beis Din instituted that one have no
specific intent when offering the Korban, and since Rebbi Yosi considers it
acceptable for one to have no intent, it is evident that "Setama" is
considered as having proper intent.
The wording of Rebbi Yosi, "even if he did not have these intents in
mind...," implies that the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved when one does not
have in mind any Kavanos; l'Chatchilah, though, it seems that one *should*
have in mind these Kavanos. However, Rebbi Yosi continues and says that
there is a Tenai Beis Din that l'Chatchilah a person should *not* have in
mind any of these Kavanos! Why, then, does Rebbi Yosi not phrase his
statement by saying that *l'Chatchilah* a person should not have these
Kavanos in mind? (SEFAS EMES)
(a) The SEFAS EMES answers that the rabbinic institution, the Tenai Beis
Din, was only that a person should not have in mind *two* of the six
intentions -- "l'Shem Zevach" and "l'Shem Zove'ach." For these two intents,
the possibility exists that the person will have in mind the wrong intent
and invalidate the Korban, since he might have in mind a different type of
Korban, or a different owner. In contrast, the other intents have no
alternative possibilities that could invalidate the Korban. For example,
there is no concern that a person will "accidentally" have intent to bring
the Korban for Avodah Zarah and not for Hashem. Therefore, the Rabanan did
not institute that one should not have those other Kavanos in mind when he
brings a Korban.
Accordingly, when Rebbi Yosi says that the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved
when the Kohen does not have specific intent, he is referring to the other
four Kavanos. When Rebbi Yosi says that the Rabanan instituted that one
should not have in mind these intents l'Chatchilah, he is referring to the
two Kavanos of "l'Shem Zevach" and "l'Shem Zove'ach." (This might be the
intention of RASHI, DH she'Lo, who explains that Rebbi Yosi says that the
Korban is valid b'Di'eved when the Kohen "did not have in mind *even one* of
these intents," meaning that he did not have *any* intent in mind, referring
to any one of the four that he needs to have in mind l'Chatchilah.)
The YOSEF DA'AS points out that not all agree with this approach. The NODA
B'YEHUDAH (YD 1:93) writes that it is not necessary to specify verbally that
one is doing a Mitzvah "l'Shem Hashem" before performing a Mitzvah, because
of the Takanah of the Mishnah not to have these intents in mind. He
apparently understands that the Tenai Beis Din applied to all of the
Kavanos, and it is not necessary to have even the intent of "l'Shem Hashem"
(b) The RASHASH proposes another answer to this question. TOSFOS (DH
Kayamei) and the SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#5) point out that even if the Tenai
Beis Din states that it is not necessary to verbally express the specific
intent, nevertheless it might be necessary to have the specific intent *in
mind*. Based on this distinction, the Rashash suggests that Rebbi Yosi may
mean that l'Chatchilah a person should have in mind all of the specific
intents of the Korban. The Takanas Beis Din was only that it is not
necessary to verbally express them; he still must have them in mind, though.
This is why Rebbi Yosi teaches that if one did not even have these intents
in mind, the Korban is valid only b'Di'eved.
Why, though, should a person have in mind the specific Kavanos of the
Korban? If he has in mind the *wrong* intent, he might invalidate the
Korban, and thus the Rabanan should have instituted that he should not even
*think* the Kavanos in his mind! The answer is that wrong Kavanos -- which
invalidate a Korban -- can invalidate the Korban only when they are
expressed verbally, but not when they are thought in one's mind (see Tosfos
to 2a, DH Kol and Insights there). If the Kavanos are not effective when
they are not verbally expressed, then why l'Chatchilah should one have the
proper Kavanos in mind? Perhaps the purpose of having them in mind is to
remember the Torah's original requirement before the Tenai Beis Din was
The Rashash, however, seems to take a different approach. He implies that a
wrong Kavanah can invalidate a Korban only when it is spoken, but a correct
Kavanah is effective even when it is thought in one's mind. (It is not clear
why there should be such a distinction. Perhaps it is based on a similar
concept expressed by the Gemara in Kidushin 39b, "Machshavah Ra'ah....")
(c) Perhaps Rebbi Yosi means to say that the Korban was valid b'Di'eved
without any Kavanah *before* the Tenai Beis Din was instituted. After the
Tenai Beis Din was instituted, l'Chatchilah a person should not have
(d) The RAMBAM in PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS (end of the fourth Perek) proposes a
novel interpretation of the Mishnah there. He explains that according to the
Tana Kama, both the Kohen *and* the owner of the Korban must have these six
specific intents. When Rebbi Yosi says that there is a Tenai Beis Din not to
have any intent in mind, he means that Beis Din instituted that the *owner*
should not have any of these Kavanos in mind, lest he invalidate the Korban.
(The Kohen, however, will certainly have the correct intentions.) This is
what the Mishnah means when it concludes that only the wrong Kavanah of the
Kohen can invalidate the Korban, but not the wrong Kavanah of the owner.
There are a number of difficulties with the Rambam's explanation. First, how
could the Rabanan institute that the wrong Kavanah of the owner will not
invalidate the Korban? If the Korban is invalid mid'Oraisa, then how can the
Rabanan institute that the Korban is valid and should be offered?
Second, how can the Gemara prove from Rebbi Yosi's statement that having no
specific intent, "Setama," is valid? According to the Rambam, Rebbi Yosi
says only that the owner's Kavanah is not taken into account. The Kohen,
however, must have the proper Kavanah, and perhaps "Setama" is not
The answer seems to be that according to the Rambam, the Rabanan instituted
that the intentions of Beis Din should override the intentions of the owner.
This is based on the principle that when a person does a Mitzvah, he does it
"Al Da'ata d'Rabanan" (see Insights to Sukah 3:2). The Rabanan said that
*they* intend for the Korban to be brought for whatever purpose for which it
was designated, and not for whatever intentions the owner specifies. This is
why the Korban is not Pasul despite the wrong intentions of owner.
This also explains how we see from Rebbi Yosi's statement that "Setama" is
valid. The Rabanan do not have in mind any specific intent for the Korban;
rather, they say that every Korban should be brought for whatever purpose
for which it was designated. This is no better than a Kavanah of "Setama,"
unspecified intent. If the Korban is valid in such a case, then it must be
that "Setama" is considered proper intent.
We may apply the teaching of the Rambam to answer our original question.
When Rebbi Yosi says that l'Chatchilah a person must have in mind the proper
Kavanah, he was referring to the Kohen who brings the Korban; even if the
Kohen does not have in mind the specific intents of the Korban, the Korban
is still valid b'Di'eved. Rebbi Yosi proves this from the Tenai Beis Din,
which applies to the *owner* and teaches that the owner's Kavanah is not
taken into account. This shows that the Kavanah of the Rabanan can take the
place of the owner even though the Kavanah of the Rabanan is "Setama,"