1) "TENUFAH" IN THE EAST OR THE WEST
OPINIONS: The Mishnah lists Korbanos that require "Tenufah" ("waving") but not "Hagashah" ("bringing close" to the Mizbe'ach). The Mishnah says that Tenufah is done in the east, while Hagashah is done in the west.
Does the Mishnah mean that Tenufah must be done in the east, and if done elsewhere it is invalid, or that the east is merely the preferred area for Tenufah, but it is valid if done elsewhere, or that if Tenufah is done in the east it is valid, but it is preferable to do Tenufah elsewhere?
(a) RASHI (DH b'Mizrach) explains that the Mishnah means that Tenufah may even be done on the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach. It certainly may be done on the western side of the Mizbe'ach, since the western side of the Mizbe'ach is closer to the Heichal.
(b) The words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 9:6) imply that Tenufah must be done on the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach. He writes, "And everything that requires Tenufah would be waved on the eastern side." The KEREN ORAH understands that the Rambam maintains that if one would go from the eastern side to the western side to do Tenufah, he would transgress the law of "Ein Ma'avirin Al ha'Mitzvos" -- "we may not pass over Mitzvos" and pass up an opportunity to perform a Mitzvah at the earliest possible moment. (See following Insight.)
2) "TENUFAH" OF AN "ASHAM METZORA" ON THE WEST SIDE
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that derives from the words, "Lifnei Hash-m" (Vayikra 14:12), that the Tenufah of the Asham Metzora is done on the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara asks that the same words in the verse of Hagashah (Vayikra 6:7) refer to the western side of the Mizbe'ach. The Gemara answers that the verse of Hagashah is written with regard to a Minchah, which is called a Chatas. Since a Chatas requires the Yesod, and there is no Yesod on the southeastern side of the Mizbe'ach, "Lifnei Hash-m" cannot mean the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach. In contrast, the words "Lifnei Hash-m" written with regard to the Asham Metzora (which does not require the Yesod) may be understood according to their straightforward meaning, the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach.
RASHI (DH Lifnei) explains that when the Beraisa says that the Asham Metzora is waved "in front of Hash-m" on the eastern side, it means that even the eastern side is considered "in front of Hash-m." Rashi implies that the western side of the Mizbe'ach certainly is an appropriate place to perform Tenufah. Indeed, Rashi on the Mishnah (DH b'Mizrach) explicitly writes that since the western side is closer to the Heichal, it clearly is considered "Lifnei Hash-m."
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 9:6) writes that for any Korban that requires Tenufah, the Tenufah be done in the east (see previous Insight). Why does the Rambam maintain that Tenufah must be performed in the east, if the western side is considered more "Lifnei Hash-m" than the east?
(a) The KEREN ORAH understands that once the Kohen enters the eastern side of the Azarah, he immediately becomes obligated to do the Tenufah. Accordingly, he must do the Mitzvah right away, before he walks to the western side. However, the Rambam would agree that the Kohen technically may perform the Tenufah in the west.
(b) The TAHARAS HA'KODESH (cited by YOSEF DA'AS) answers that the Rambam agrees that the western side is considered more "in front of Hash-m" than the eastern side. However, the Rambam rules that Tenufah should not be done there because it is so much "in front of Hash-m" that the Yisrael who does Tenufah with the Kohen may not go there.
The Mishnah in Kelim (1:8-9) describes the levels of holiness in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Mishnah states that the Ezras Kohanim ("courtyard of the Kohanim") in the Beis ha'Mikdash possesses a higher degree of holiness than the Ezras Yisrael ("courtyard of the Yisraelim"). Yisraelim are not allowed to enter the Ezras Kohanim (unless it is necessary for them to perform certain steps of offering a Korban there).
The Mishnah there (1:9) says that the area between the Ulam and the Mizbe'ach is even holier than the Ezras Kohanim. Therefore, a Kohen with a blemish may not enter that area.
As the Gemara later describes, the owner of a Korban performs Tenufah together with the Kohan. The owner, however, is allowed to come only as far as the Ezras Kohanim on the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach, and may not approach the western side of the Mizbe'ach, because that area is included in the forbidden area of "between the Ulam and the Mizbe'ach."
The Taharas ha'Kodesh explains that, according to the Rambam, this is why the Mishnah says, "Tenufah is done in the eastern side," and not, "Tenufah is permissible in the east." The Mishnah is teaching that Tenufah is done only in the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach, because the Yisrael-owner of the Korban is not permitted to go to the western side of the Mizbe'ach, and therefore he cannot perform Tenufah there together with the Kohen. (D. BLOOM, Y. MONTROSE)
3) HOW DOES THE KOHEN HOLD THE OFFERING DURING "TENUFAH"?
OPINIONS: The Beraisa asks how Tenufah is done. The Beraisa answers, "The Kohen places his hands under the hands of the owner (of the Korban), and they wave (the Korban)." Is this literally how Tenufah is done, with the Korban on top of the hands of the owner, and the hands of the Kohen beneath the owner's hands?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Kohen) says that this description is not literal, because if the owner's hands would be between the Kohen's hands and the vessel, then they would be a Chatzitzah (intervening object) between the Kohen's hands and the vessel. Rather, the Yisrael holds the sides of the vessel, while the Kohen places his hands underneath it. Indeed, the Mishnah in Bikurim (3:6) states that the Yisrael who offers the Bikurim lowers the vessel from his back and grasps the edges of the vessel, and the Kohen then places his hands underneath the vessel, and together they wave it.
(b) Tosfos quotes RASHI (94a; Tosfos' text of Rashi does not appear in our text) who explains that the Beraisa's description is literal, and there is no problem of Chatzitzah. Since Tenufah is primarily the obligation of the owner, there is no concern that the Kohen is not touching the vessel or the Korban during the Tenufah.
Tosfos asks that, as the Gemara itself implies, the verse requires the participation of both the Kohen and the owner. Why does Rashi say that the Tenufah is primarily the obligation of the owner? Tosfos does not answer this question on Rashi, but he does point out that the Yerushalmi in Sotah seems to support the view of Rashi. The Yerushalmi there, in its discussion of the Tenufah of the Minchas Sotah, states that the Kohen places his hands underneath the Sotah's hands and they wave the Minchah. The Yerushalmi asks that it is unseemly for the Kohen to touch the hands of the Sotah. The Yerushalmi answers that a cloth is placed between his hands and her hands. The Yerushalmi asks that a cloth should constitute a Chatzitzah, and it answers instead that an elderly Kohen performs the Tenufah with the Sotah (without a cloth). Alternatively, a young Kohen may perform the Tenufah with the Sotah, and it is not improper since the Yetzer ha'Ra is not present at that moment. The Yerushalmi clearly supports the view of Rashi, who says that the Kohen indeed places his hands underneath the hands of the owner of the Korban.
Tosfos concludes, however, that the Yerushalmi is not necessarily a proof for the opinion of Rashi. Perhaps the Tenufah is performed as Tosfos describes it, with the owner's hands at that sides of the vessel and the Kohen's hands at the bottom of the vessel, and yet the Yerushalmi still is concerned that the hands of the Kohen and the woman may touch during the Tenufah motions even though they are on different parts of the vessel.
The RITVA in Sukah (47b) agrees with Tosfos. He explains that although the text implies that Tenufah is primarily the obligation of the owner, this does not mean that the laws of Chatzitzah do not apply. Rather, the owner is considered the main participant in the act of Tenufah because it is he who directs the waving, while the Kohen merely assists him in doing so. Nevertheless, there may be no Chatzitzah between the Kohen's hands and the vessel. (Y. MONTROSE)
4) APPONTING AN AGENT TO PERFORM "TENUFAH"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites a Beraisa that derives from the verse, "Bnei Yisrael," that only Yisraelim perform Tenufah with their offerings, but Nochrim do not perform Tenufah with their offerings, and that only men perform Tenufah, but not women.
Rebbi Yosi points out that since the Torah distinguishes between a male Yisrael and a Nochri or woman with regard to the act of Semichah (leaning with one's hands on the Korban before the Shechitah; RASHI (DH Matzinu) explains that only male Jews perform Semichah, not Nochrim or women), one might have thought that there is also a difference between them with regard to Tenufah. This is not true, Rebbi Yosi explains, because Semichah and Tenufah are not comparable. While Semichah must be done solely by the owners of the Korban, Tenufah is done by the Kohanim as well. Rashi (DH d'Mah) explains that since the Gemara (93b) states that only the hands of the owners may perform Semichah and not the hands of their agents, it follows that one who cannot do Semichah has no way to perform Semichah on his Korban (even through an agent). Since Tenufah, in contrast, Rashi explains (DH ha'Tenufah), is done by Kohanim, Nochrim or women can appoint a Kohen to be their agent to perform Tenufah with their Korbanos (Rashi DH ha'Tenufah).
The second statement of Rashi seems difficult for two reasons.
The Gemara (see Kidushin 23b) teaches a principle that if a person cannot do something himself, he cannot appoint an agent to do it for him. If Nochrim and women cannot do Tenufah themselves, then how can they appoint an agent to do it for them?
Moreover, another principle (see Bava Metzia 71b) states that there is no "Shelichus" ("agency") for a Nochri. How, then, can a Nochri appoint a Kohen to be his Shali'ach to perform Tenufah? (SEFAS EMES.)
ANSWER: The RASHASH answers these questions based on the Gemara in Bava Metzia (8a). In the Gemara there, Rava says that one who lifts up a lost object with intent to acquire it on behalf of his friend does not acquire the object for his friend. However, if two people lift up an object together, they both acquire it, because of the principle of "Migu d'Zachi l'Nafshei, Zachi Nami l'Chavrei" -- "since he could have acquired the item for himself, he is able to acquire it for his friend." Since each person acquires part of the cloak for himself, he also acquires to his friend the other part of the cloak.
Rava proves this principle from the law that if one tells a Shali'ach to go and steal for him, the person who sends the Shali'ach is not liable for stealing. Since the rule is that "Ein Shali'ach l'Devar Aveirah" -- a Shali'ach cannot be sent to do an Aveirah on behalf of the sender, the Shali'ach is considered to be acting on his own behalf. However, if two people steal together in partnership at the same time, they are both guilty of stealing because of the principle of "Migu d'Zachi l'Nafshei, Zachi Nami l'Chavrei." Since the thief acquires part of the stolen item for himself, he also acquires it for his partner.
The RASHASH suggests that the same principle applies to the case of the Gemara here. The Kohen who performs the Tenufah does a Mitzvah not only on behalf of the Nochri or the woman, but he also has a Mitzvah himself to perform Tenufah with Korbanos. Since he merits the Mitzvah of performing Tenufah, he also is able to transfer this merit of the Mitzvah of Tenufah to the Nochri or woman who asked him to do it.
This answer clearly explains how the Nochri is able to appoint an agent to do Tenufah. The Rashash suggests that it also answers the first question, if Nochrim and women cannot do Tenufah themselves, then how can they appoint an agent to do it for them? The answer is that although the Nochri and woman cannot do Tenufah themselves, since the Kohen does the Mitzvah of Tenufah for himself, he can do it for them as well.
The Rashash adds another answer for why a woman can appoint an agent to do Tenufah when she cannot do it herself. The Gemara in Sotah (19a) teaches that a Sotah performs Tenufah with her Minchas Sotah. The Gemara in Kidushin (23b) teaches that one who is connected with a Mitzvah in some situations may appoint a Shali'ach to perform that Mitzvah in general. Accordingly, it is possible that since a woman has a Mitzvah to do Tenufah herself in one situation (in the case of a Sotah), she may appoint an agent to do Tenufah in all situations. (D. BLOOM)