1) WHY A "BAS KOHEN" WOULD BE PUNISHED MORE SEVERELY FOR DESECRATION OF SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the verse, "The daughter of a man who is a Kohen who defiles herself through adultery, her father she desecrates, with fire she must be burned" (Vayikra 21:9). The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which teaches that one might have thought that the word "Seichel" -- "defiles" -- includes even sins such as Shabbos desecration ("*Chilul* Shabbos"). The Torah therefore adds the word "Liznos" which clearly denotes promiscuity. The Gemara asks, why would one have thought that a Bas Kohen is punished with Sereifah for desecrating Shabbos? Any other person who desecrates Shabbos is punished with Sekilah, the harshest of all punishments. Why should a Bas Kohen be entitled to a lighter punishment? The Gemara answers that it must be that the Tana of this Beraisa is Rebbi Shimon, who maintains that Sereifah is a harsher form of punishment than Sekilah. However, even according to Rebbi Shimon, why should a Bas Kohen receive a harsher punishment for Shabbos desecration than a Yisrael? The Gemara answers that since Kohanim have extra Mitzvos (which gives them a higher degree of sanctity), one might have thought that they should receive a harsher punishment for sinning. This is why the Torah writes "Liznos," according to Rebbi Shimon.
The Acharonim are bothered by the Gemara's explanation of the Beraisa. Why does the Gemara not explain that the reason why one would have thought that a Bas Kohen receives a harsher punishment is that when she sins, she deprecates the sanctity of her father, the Kohen, causing others to treat her father with less respect (see 52a). Why does the Gemara explain instead that one would have thought she receives a harsher punishment because she has more Mitzvos?
(a) The ARUCH LA'NER answers that a Bas Kohen belittles the status of her father only through promiscuity, and *not* through any other type of sin (such as Shabbos desecration). This is implied by the Gemara later (51a) which states that once the Bas Kohen has certain illicit relations she no longer may eat Terumah. The Gemara there does not say that any other sin disqualifies her from eating Terumah. Further proof is from the fact that a male Kohen who is promiscuous (such as with an Eshes Ish) is not punished with Sereifah. If a Bas Kohen is given a harsher punishment because she has more Mitzvos, then a male Kohen also should be given a harsher punishment. It must be that the verse is addressing a specific blemish in a family which comes about only through the promiscuity of the Kohen's daughter.
The TORAS CHAIM proposes this answer but rejects it. The Gemara later (52a) teaches that according to the opinion that the status of the father of such a Bas Kohen is downgraded, *any* Rasha is deemed a blemish to his father, such that even if his father is a Tzadik one is permitted to call the Rasha, "Reshi'a bar Reshi'a" -- "evildoer the son of an evildoer." This implies that any sinner causes his father to be dishonored.
(b) The Toras Chaim explains that when the Gemara later says that the verse, "her father she desecrates," is a directive to dishonor the father of the Bas Kohen, it is expressing only the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael. The simple explanation of the verse, in contrast to Rebbi Yishmael's explanation, is that the Bas Kohen no longer shares the sanctity of the Kehunah of her father since she has defiled her special status. This is why the Gemara later (51a) states that once the Bas Kohen has certain illicit relations she may not eat Terumah. The discussion of the Gemara here follows the second explanation of the verse, and not Rebbi Yishmael's explanation. The Gemara explains that one might have thought that a Bas Kohen receives a stricter punishment for desecrating Shabbos since she has more Mitzvos, and hence more Kedushah. It could not have said that she receives a harsher punishment because she removes herself from the sanctity of the Kehunah, since this reasoning applies only when she commits an act of promiscuity, but not an act of Chilul Shabbos. The word "Liznos" teaches that the verse applies only to a Bas Kohen who commits an act of promiscuity, and not an act of Chilul Shabbos.
According to both the Aruch la'Ner and the Toras Chaim, why is the word "Liznos" necessary if the end of the verse, "her father she desecrates," clearly refers to promiscuity? Perhaps they understand that these words give only an *example* of a sin of a Bas Kohen (and the verse chose to give promiscuity as an example), but in truth she is punished with Sereifah for other transgressions as well, such as Chilul Shabbos. The word "Liznos" therefore is needed to limit the application of the verse to a Bas Kohen who commits a sin of promiscuity. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) THE MEANING OF "HILCHESA L'MESHICHA"
QUESTION: Rav Nachman quotes Rav's ruling with regard to Misas Beis Din (the death penalty administered by Beis Din). Rav Yosef asked that Rav's ruling seems to be a "Hilchesa l'Meshicha" -- "it is a Halachah for [the times of] Mashi'ach!" That is, Rav's ruling has no relevance today, since Beis Din does not have the power to administer capital punishment. Abaye rejoined that according to Rav Yosef's reasoning, one should not learn the laws of Korbanos (because there is no longer a Beis ha'Mikdash in which to offer the Korbanos)! Rather, it must be that one should delve into the laws of Korbanos in order to receive reward for learning them, even though they are not practiced today. Similarly, one should delve into the laws of Misas Beis Din and receive reward for doing so.
What was Rav Yosef's difficulty with the statement of Rav Nachman in the name of Rav? The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM does not accept the suggestion that Rav Yosef meant that present Halachic decisions cannot have an effect on the Halachah in the times of Mashi'ach. He proves this from the first statement of TOSFOS (DH Hilchesa l'Meshicha). Tosfos asks that the ruling of Rebbi Yosi in Kidushin (72b), that in the future all people who are merely suspected of being Mamzerim will be rendered Tahor, seems to be a Halachah which is irrelevant nowadays. Tosfos answers that Rebbi Yosi's statement in Kidushin is a Halachah that is necessary nowadays as well. Rebbi Yosi means that nowadays, a person may marry someone whose lineage is unknown, and there is no concern that the spouse will be pronounced a Mamzer when Mashi'ach comes. However, if Rebbi Yosi's ruling would not be binding and relevant during when Mashi'ach comes, then his ruling would provide no security for one who wants to marry someone of unknown lineage nowadays. What, then, was Rav Yosef's intention when he asked, "Hilchesa l'Meshicha"?
(a) The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM explains that although a Halachic ruling made today *will* be binding during the times of Mashi'ach, if the question is relevant *only* in the times of Mashi'ach, then it should be answered at that time, and not now.
However, the Chidushim u'Vi'urim finds this answer problematic as well. Abaye's question on Rav Yosef is that according to Rav Yosef, people should not learn the laws of Kodshim because they are relevant only later. Rav Yosef never said that people should not learn laws that are relevant only during the times of Mashi'ach; he said only that one should not decide a case in which there is an *argument* if the case is relevant only during the times of Mashi'ach. Certainly, Rav Yosef would agree that one should learn how to perform the Avodah of the Beis ha'Mikdash. He merely should not issue Halachic decisions in cases of dispute or doubt.
1. The Chidushim u'Vi'urim answers that Abaye's question is not intended as a true refutation of Rav Yosef. Rather, Abaye is merely stating his position that there is no reason *not* to decide these arguments now, since even questions involving matters which *never* will be relevant (such as questions involving the laws of a Ben Sorer u'Moreh; see 71a) should be decided because of the concept of "Derosh v'Kabel Sachar" -- "delve into it and receive reward."
2. The Chidushim u'Vi'urim suggests further that Abaye's question on Rav Yosef is that according to Rav Yosef, the study of the laws of Kodshim should be relegated to a basic outline of the Avodah and should not constitute a detailed curriculum with many arguments. (Y. MONTROSE)