1) EATING "MATNOS KEHUNAH" ON EREV YOM KIPPUR
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that says that the modest Kohanim would not take a portion of the Lechem ha'Panim. Abaye conducted himself like this Beraisa, except on Erev Yom Kippur, when he would take a portion of the Matnos Kehunah in order to affirm his status as a Kohen. What was special about Erev Yom Kippur?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH l'Bar) explains that since Erev Yom Kippur is considered a festive day (83a) on which many Matanos were brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash, large numbers of Kohanim would gather around to receive the Matanos. Therefore, if a Kohen did not partake of the Matanos on that day, his status as a Kohen would be questioned.
2) WHY ABAYE DID NOT PERFORM "NESI'AS KAPAYIM"
OPINIONS: The Gemara asks why Abaye needed to eat Matnos Kehunah on Erev Yom Kippur in order to affirm his status as a Kohen. Why did he not simply perform Birkas Kohanim throughout the year, which would affirm his status as a Kohen? The Gemara answers that he was "prevented" from performing Birkas Kohanim. In what way was he prevented?
(a) RASHI (DH Ansei) explains that Abaye's obligation to his students kept him occupied at the time that Birkas Kohanim was recited. (See MAGEN AVRAHAM OC 128:16, who points out that there is no obligation for a single Kohen to recite Birkas Kohanim, although he certainly may do so. Accordingly, perhaps Abaye was the only Kohen there, and thus he was not obligated to take time from his students to perform Birkas Kohanim.)
(b) The RIF explains that chronic stomach problems prevented him from performing Birkas Kohanim.
3) "MAKIREI KEHUNAH"
Rav Yosef says that Kohanim who are "Makirei Kehunah" (the Kohanim who have friends and relatives who usually give them their Matnos Kehunah; see Background to the Daf
) may help poor Talmidei Chachamim by granting to the Talmidei Chachamim a share of the Matnos Kehunah that they receive, even before they receive them.
How are Makirei Kehunah able to transfer ownership of the Matanos to Talmidei Chachamim even before they acquire ownership themselves?
(a) RASHI (Gitin 30a, DH b'Makirei) explains that since a Yisrael always gives his Matnos Kehunah to one particular Kohen, all other Kohanim despair of receiving those Matanos, and thus the Matanos become the property of the Kohen who usually receives them. The Acharonim explain that Rashi means that Matnos Kehunah are the common property of all Kohanim; when all of the Kohanim, except the Makirei Kehunah, relinquish their claim of ownership to the Matanos, the Matanos remain in the hands of the Makirei Kehunah. (See REBBI AKIVA EIGER to Bava Metzia 21b.)
(b) TOSFOS (Bava Basra 123b, DH Hacha) explains that when a Yisrael is accustomed to giving his Matnos Kehunah to one particular Kohen, it is considered as though the Yisrael has promised to give all of the Matanos to that particular Kohen. Although promises are not binding in monetary law when not accompanied by a formal act of acquisition, the Gemara in Bava Metzia (49a) teaches that when one promises to give his friend a "Matanah Mu'etes" (a small gift), he is expected to keep his word and may not retract from the agreement. Even if the Matnos Kehunah constitutes a large amount of produce, it is not worth more than "a slight amount" to the Yisrael who has separated them, since he still must give them to a Kohen and may not keep them.
4) MARKING MEAT OWNED IN PART BY A KOHEN
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (132a) states that when a Yisrael is a partner with a Kohen or a Nochri in the ownership of an animal, he is not required to separate Matnos Kehunah from the animal, but he must make a sign on the animal to show that it is partially owned by a Kohen or Nochri (so that people will know why he is not separating Matnos Kehunah). The Gemara (end of 133a) asks that a Beraisa states that one must make a special sign only when one's partner is a Kohen, but not when one's partner is a Nochri.
The Gemara first suggests that the Beraisa is discussing a case in which the Kohen or Nochri is sitting in the place where the Jew is selling the meat. The Gemara rejects that answer, because in such a case there should be no difference between a Kohen and a Nochri; for neither one should it be necessary to mark the meat. The Gemara concludes that the Beraisa is discussing a case in which the Kohen and Nochri are sitting on the cashbox. People do not realize that the Kohen is a partner in the ownership of the animal; they think that he is there to guard the money. Therefore, one must make a sign on the meat. In contrast, when one's Nochri partner is sitting on the cashbox, people realize that he must be a partner in the meat, because a Jew would not trust any other to Nochri to guard his money. Alternatively, the Gemara answers that a Nochri tells people about the partnership, and therefore word gets around, even without a sign, that the meat is owned in part by a Nochri.
What is the Halachah with regard to marking meat that is partially owned by a Kohen or by a Nochri?
(a) RASHI (DH Iy Ba'is Eima) explains that when the Gemara says that a Nochri spreads the word that he owns part of the animal, it refers to a case in which the Nochri is sitting in the store when the meat is being sold. Acting as the proprietor's "helper," the Nochri loudly suggests changes in the price of the meat. The Kohen, in contrast, in the same position acts much more modestly and does not appear to be an owner of the store or of the meat, and thus it is not known that he owns the meat and a sign is necessary.
This also seems to be the opinion of the RASHBA, RAN, and others. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 61:25) writes that while the meat owned by a Kohen partner always needs a sign, that of a Nochri partner who sits in the store does not need a sign.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bikurim 9:10) argues that when a Kohen is in the store helping the proprietor run the business, no sign is required on the meat. One never needs a sign with a Nochri partner, since he talks a lot about his business and word spreads that he is a partner with the Jew.
The Rambam's statement about the Nochri is easy to understand, since this is the straightforward way to read the Gemara. However, the Rambam's statement about a Kohen is difficult to understand, because the Gemara never says that the partner of a Kohen does not have to make a sign. What is the Rambam's source for this statement?
1. The KESEF MISHNEH answers that the Rambam understands that according to the Gemara's second answer, the Beraisa is discussing a Kohen or Nochri partner who was never in the store. Since the Kohen was never in the store, it is necessary to put a sign on the meat. In contrast, a Nochri always talks and spreads the word that he is a partner, even when he is never in the store.
Why does the Mishnah say that meat partially owned by a Nochri requires a sign? The Kesef Mishneh answers that the Rambam maintains that when the Mishnah says, "... and those who are partners with them need a sign," it refers only to Kohanim, not to Nochrim. The Mishnah is discussing a case in which the Kohen is not in the store. When he is in the store and sitting on the cashbox, the Mishnah agrees that his Yisrael partner does not need to make a sign on the meat.
2. The PRI CHADASH (YD 61:25) writes that the Rambam understands that the Mishnah maintains that a Nochri partner, like a Kohen, does not exempt a Jew from making a sign on the meat when the Nochri is never in the store. When a Nochri partner comes in and out of the store, or he helps deal with the customers, no sign is needed in accordance with the second answer of the Gemara, because the Nochri will always tell people about the partnership when he is involved in some way with the store. According to the second explanation, a Kohen exempts his partner from a sign only when he sits near or on the cashbox. (See the Pri Chadash there, who explains how this Gemara is to be reconciled with the Gemara earlier (132b) that says that an animal owned partially by a Kohen is not exempt at all from Matnos Kehunah.) (Y. MONTROSE)
5) HIDES OF "KODSHIM"
QUESTION: The Beraisa lists all of the different types of Matnos Kehunah, dividing them into three groups: ten that are given to the Kohanim to be eaten in the Mikdash (the Azarah), four that are distributed to the Kohanim to be used in Yerushalayim, and ten that are given to Kohanim in all other places. The Beraisa mentions the hides of Kodshim as one of the Matnos Kehunah distributed in Yerushalayim.
The hides of Kodshim are removed from the animals in the Azarah. Why, then, are they not included in the list of Matnos Kehunah that are distributed in the Mikdash? (TOSFOS DH v'Oros)
(a) RASHI in Bava Kama (110b, DH v'Oros) explains that the Beraisa includes in the category of Matnos Kehunah that were distributed in the Mikdash only those Matanos that would become Pasul if removed from the Mikdash. Hides do not become Pasul when removed from the Mikdash.
(b) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers that even though the hides were skinned in the Mikdash, the hides normally were distributed in Yerushalayim.