THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ZEVACHIM 59 - dedicated in honor of the Bar-Mitzvah of Moshe Tavin, by his
parents. May he continue to "go from strength to strength" and grow in Torah
and the fear of Hashem, and bring true Nachas to his family.
1) COMPARING THE BURNING OF THE "KETORES" TO THE BURNING OF THE "EIMURIN"
OPINIONS: Rav ruled that any Korban slaughtered while the Mizbe'ach is
missing part of its mass (see Chulin 18a for a discussion regarding the
amount, and material, of the Mizbe'ach to which this refers) is Pasul.
However, Rav also ruled that if the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is completely
uprooted from its place, one may still offer the Ketores upon the place
where the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi stood. The two statements of Rav seem to
contradict each other. The Gemara answers that there is a difference between
the blood of a Korban which cannot be sprinkled where it is supposed to be
sprinkled, and the Ketores. Rav agrees that blood which cannot be sprinkled
disqualifies the Korban.
What, though, is the Halachah regarding the burning of the limbs of the
Korban -- "Haktaras Eimurin?" Is the Haktaras Eimurin considered to be like
the Zerikas ha'Dam, which cannot be done when the Mizbe'ach has a defect, or
is it like the Ketores, which does not need the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi in order
to be burned?
(a) TOSFOS (61a, DH Mai) explicitly states that Haktaras Eimurin is like the
Ketores with regard to this Halachah. This seems to be the conclusion of the
Gemara's answer to reconcile the contradictory statements of Rav. The Gemara
answers that Rav agrees that blood which cannot be sprinkled disqualifies
the Korban. This implies that this is a Halachah that applies only to
Zerikas ha'Dam and not to Haktaras Eimurin, which is unrelated to the
The SEFAS EMES, KEREN ORAH, and ZEVACH TODAH have difficulty with the logic
of Tosfos. We know that the Zerikas ha'Dam of a Korban permits the meat to
be eaten. A person's consumption of the meat of the Korban is comparable to
the Mizbe'ach's consumption of the limbs of the Korban (see 28b).
Accordingly, it is not logical that there should be such a significant
difference between the Zerikas ha'Dam and the Haktaras Eimurin, such that
the Zerikah may not be performed if the Mizbe'ach is slightly chipped, while
the limbs may be burned even if the entire Mizbe'ach is missing.
Furthermore, we know that on certain occasions, the Ketores is offered even
without being brought upon the Mizbe'ach, such as the Ketores on Yom Kipur
which is burned in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. It is understandable, therefore,
that the Ketores does not need a Mizbe'ach. Where, though, do we find that
the Haktaras Eimurin can be performed without a Mizbe'ach such that we
should compare it to the Ketores?
(b) The SEFAS EMES points out that the RAMBAM (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin
3:2) seems to maintain that the Eimurin are like the blood, and they cannot
be offered when the Mizbe'ach is lacking. The Rambam says only that the
Ketores may be offered without a Mizbe'ach, making no mention of any other
Avodah that is valid without the presence of the Mizbe'ach.
The Zevach Todah proves that RASHI (59a, DH Mizbe'ach she'Ne'ekar) also
holds that the Eimurin are like the blood. When discussing the statement
that Ketores can be offered on the area where the Mizbe'ach stood, Rashi
comments that this refers to the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. He explains that, at
this point, the Gemara assumes that the same Halachah applies to the
Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon, and thus the Gemara asks that Rav's statements are
contradictory. According to Rashi's explanation, the question of the Gemara
does not involve a contradiction between the Halachah concerning the Ketores
and the Halachah concerning the other things that are offered, but rather it
involves a contradiction between that the laws of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi
and the laws of the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon. Hence, when the Gemara concludes
that there is a difference between the two, this means that all of the
things that involve the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon must be done with the Mizbe'ach
fully intact. This includes Haktaras Eimurin, which is done on the Mizbe'ach
ha'Chitzon. Why, then, does the Gemara say that Rav agrees with regard to
the blood, implying that this is a Halachah that applies specifically to the
blood? The Zevach Todah explains that the Gemara says that just as Rebbi
Yehudah agrees with regard to the blood, so, too, Rav agrees with regard to
the blood. Since the Gemara is equating the view of Rav with the view of
Rebbi Yehudah, and Rebbi Yehudah made his statement clearly with regard to
blood, the Gemara says that Rav also agrees with regard to blood (when, in
truth, he maintains that everything offered on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon
cannot be offered if the Mizbe'ach is lacking). (See CHAZON ISH 17:2, who
disagrees with this interpretation of Rashi.) (Y. Montrose)
2) THE HEIGHT OF THE "MIZBE'ACH HA'CHITZON" IN THE MISHKAN
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses an argument between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi
Yosi regarding the height of the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon (the Mizbe'ach
ha'Nechoshes). The verse says "v'Shalosh Amos Komaso" -- "and three Amos is
its height" (Shemos 27:1). Rebbi Yehudah says that the verse is to be
understood as it is written. Rebbi Yosi says that a Gezeirah Shavah from the
Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi ("Ravu'a, Ravu'a") teaches that just as the Mizbe'ach
ha'Penimi's height is twice its width, the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon's height is
twice its width, resulting in a height of ten Amos. (In the Gemara later
(60a), Rebbi Yosi addresses the obvious question according to his opinion:
what does the verse mean when it says that the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon is
"three Amos" high? He explains that this is referring to the height from the
edge of the Sovev to the top of the Mizbe'ach.)
Rebbi Yehudah questions Rebbi Yosi's opinion. Is it possible for the Kohen
to perform the Avodah on such a tall Mizbe'ach while everyone watches him?
The Mishkan itself was only ten Amos high! Rebbi Yosi answers that there is
a Hekesh in the verse (Bamidbar 4:26) which discusses the Mishkan and
mentions the Mizbe'ach as well. The Hekesh teaches that just as the Mishkan
is ten Amos high, so, too, the Mizbe'ach is ten Amos high.
TOSFOS (DH Mah) asks that Rebbi Yosi originally states that the source that
the Mizbe'ach must be ten Amos high is the Gezeirah Shavah of "Ravu'a." Now,
though, Rebbi Yosi is giving a different source -- the Hekesh in the verse
regarding the Mishkan and the Mizbe'ach! If he learns the Hekesh, why does
he also need a Gezeirah Shavah?
(a) RASHI (DH Af Mizbe'ach) is not bothered by this question, because he
learns that the Hekesh that Rebbi Yosi mentions is not discussing the height
of the Mizbe'ach, but rather the height of the curtains surrounding the
Mizbe'ach, which were also ten Amos. This answers Rebbi Yehudah's
question -- the Kohen was not seen because of the curtains surrounding the
Mizbe'ach. This is also the second explanation cited by the SHITAH
MEKUBETZES. The SEFAS EMES understands that Tosfos learns that both the
Gezeirah Shavah and the Hekesh are referring to the height of the Mizbe'ach,
and thus Tosfos is bothered by the question.
However, the PANIM ME'IROS says that Tosfos also might understand the Gemara
as Rashi does, but is still bothered by his question. Rebbi Yosi goes on to
discuss two other verses -- "its curtains are fifteen Amos to the shoulder"
(Shemos 38:14), and "its height is five Amos" (Shemos 27:18). Tosfos (DH
v'Omer) explains that the Gemara understands that the former verse is
referring to the width of the curtains, while the latter is referring to
their height (unlike Rashi on 60a, DH Amah El ha'Kasef). This means that the
only clear reference in the verse regarding the height of the curtains is
that they are five Amos high. The Panim Me'iros explains that if Rebbi Yosi
had only the Hekesh to teach that the curtains surrounding the Mizbe'ach
must be ten Amos high, then we would have assumed that the Mizbe'ach was
only five Amos high. Once we know that the curtains are ten Amos high, we
understand that the verse is saying that the curtains are "five Amos"
*taller* than the Mizbe'ach. The Gezeirah Shavah of "Ravu'a" teaches us not
to learn the verse about the curtains that way, but rather that the
Mizbe'ach itself is ten Amos high. This means that the curtains must be
fifteen Amos high. Similarly, if Rebbi Yosi had only the Gezeirah Shavah, we
would have known that the Mizbe'ach is ten Amos high, but we would have
thought that the verse that says that the curtains are five Amos high means
that the curtains need to be only five Amos high around the Mizbe'ach and
not higher. The Hekesh tells us that the curtains must be at least ten Amos
high, just like the curtains of the Mishkan. How, though, can one verse say
that the curtains are five Amos high, and the Hekesh teach that they are ten
Amos high? It must be that the curtains are *fifteen* Amos high, five Amos
taller than the Mizbe'ach. (A similar explanation is given by the TZON
The Sefas Emes says that he does not agree with these opinions, because
Tosfos appears to learn that both verses are referring to the height of the
Mizbe'ach and not to the height of the curtains.
(b) The first answer in the SHITAH MEKUBETZES is that the Gezeirah Shavah
gives Rebbi Yosi the license to learn the Hekesh. Since the verse says
explicitly that the Mizbe'ach is "three Amos" high, Rebbi Yosi would not
have derived a different measurement from a Derashah unless he had both a
Gezeirah Shavah and a Hekesh from which to learn that measurement. (Y.