QUESTION: The Gemara derives the laws of Mumim of people and the laws of Mumim of animals from each other. The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that asks for the source that the Mum of Yaveles applies to people, even though it is written only with regard to animals, and for the source that the Mumim of Dak and Tavlul apply to animals, even though they are written only with regard to people. The Beraisa answers that a Gezeirah Shavah ("Garav" and "Yalefes," written with regard to both) teaches that the Mum of one applies to the other.
The Gemara points out that it would not have sufficed for the Torah to mention only one Mum ("Garav") with regard to people, because even though the Gezeirah Shavah from the Mumim of animals would have taught most of the Mumim that apply to people, there would have been no source for the Mumim of Giben and Charum, since they have no counterpart in animals.
The Gemara then asks why the Torah needs to mention any of the Mumim of man; they should all be derived from the fact that Mumim disqualify a Bechor and other Korbanos.
What is the Gemara's question? Without the list of Mumim of people, we would have no way of knowing that Giben and Charum are considered Mumim, as the Gemara itself says previously. (BRISKER RAV)
ANSWER: Perhaps one may suggest that had the verse mentioned no Mumim of people, it would have been obvious that Giben and Charum are Mumim, since they share the same characteristics as the Mumim mentioned with regard to Behemah. This is why the Gemara suggests that it was not necessary for the Torah to list the Mumim of people in the first place.
However, after the verse lists even one Mum of people (such as Garav), the fact that the Torah gives a separate list of Mumim for people should be cause to suspect that there are actually two distinct categories of Mumim: those that apply to a person, and those that apply to an animal. Consequently, it is possible that a Mum that is unique to one category cannot be derived from the other category. That is why the Gemara, in the beginning of the Sugya, says that Giben and Charum must be mentioned explicitly in order to know that they are Mumim that disqualify people. (M. KORNFELD)


QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the difference between blemishes that disqualify a Kohen because of Mar'is ha'Ayin and those that disqualify a Kohen because of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon" is that a Kohen who performs the Avodah with blemishes of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon" transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 6:6) rules, "If a Kohen with a Mum unique to people (i.e. a Mum that makes him Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon) performed the Avodah, he receives Malkus, but the Avodah is not rendered invalid." The Gemara here clearly states that the Kohen transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh, for which a person does not receive Malkus. Why does the Rambam write that the Kohen receives Malkus?
ANSWER: The TOSFOS YOM TOV (Bechoros 7:3) and CHOK NASAN suggest that the Rambam had a different text of the Gemara. The Rambam's text of the Gemara did not conclude with the words, "Ika Beinaihu Aseh" -- "the difference between them is an Aseh," but rather with the words, "Ika Beinaihu Lo Sa'aseh" -- "the difference between them is a Lo Sa'aseh." (See EVEN HA'AZEL, Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 6:1-2, who offers a lengthy explanation of the words of the Rambam.)
Indeed, the Gemara itself implies that Malkus are given to one who performs the Avodah with a blemish of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon," when the Gemara earlier does not suggest that Malkus is a difference between a full Mum and a Mum of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon." (See also MISHNEH L'MELECH and MINCHAS CHINUCH 275:2.)
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah (43a) lists the Mumim that disqualify a Kohen from performing the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Among those Mumim is a Kohen who is bald. The Gemara (43b) quotes Rebbi Yochanan who says that "Karchanin" (bald Kohanim), "Nanasin" (midgets), and "Zavleganin" (those whose eyes constantly tear; see Background) are unfit to perform the Avodah because these defects are "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon" -- most people do not have these defects, and thus this Kohen looks different. The Gemara earlier says that a Kohen with a defect of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon" who performs the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash does not invalidate the Avodah, b'Di'eved, while a Kohen with a full-fledged Mum who performs the Avodah invalidates the Avodah.
The Gemara cites another Beraisa that states that Karchanin, Nanasin, and Zavleganin are fit for Avodah, but the Chachamim disqualified them because of Mar'is ha'Ayin. The Gemara says that the source that Kohanim with these defects are valid mid'Oraisa is the verse, "ha'Kohanim" (Vayikra 1:8), which teaches that Karchanin are fit.
RASHI (beginning of 43b, DH Mishum Mar'is ha'Ayin) explains that a blemish of Mar'is ha'Ayin (such as a Kohen whose teeth all fell out; see Insights to Bechoros 39:3) disqualifies a Kohen because such a person is repulsive to behold. A Kohen with a Mum of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon" who performs the Avodah transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh (see previous Insight), while a Kohen with a Mum of Mar'is ha'Ayin who performs the Avodah does not transgress a Mitzvas Aseh.
The RAMBAN, on the verse that commands one not to make himself bald between his eyes as a sign of mourning (Devarim 14:1), writes that it is reasonable to assume that this Mitzvah teaches that if the Kohen was shaved to the extent that he appears bald, he is unfit for the Avodah, and if he performs the Avodah he renders it invalid.
The Gemara here seems to contradict the Ramban's statement. In the Gemara here, all opinions agree that, b'Di'eved, a bald Kohen who performs the Avodah does not render the Avodah invalid. Moreover, the amount of shaving of the head necessary to transgress the prohibition against making oneself bald as a sign of mourning is, according to the Rambam (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 12:15), an amount of hair the size of a barley seed, or, according to the ROSH (Makos 3:2-3), two hairs. Shaving this small amount of hair certainly is not considered a Mum on a Kohen; the Mishnah (43a) says that if the Kohen has a line of hair that reaches from one ear to the other, he is not considered bald! (See MINCHAS CHINUCH #467, in KOMETZ MINCHAH, who concludes that the Ramban's statement is difficult to understand and requires further elucidation.)
The Ramban's statement is also difficult in light of the Gemara in Zevachim (17a). The Mishnah there (15b) states that if a Kohen became Tamei and immersed in the Mikvah, but -- before the arrival of nightfall -- he performed the Avodah of Kabalas ha'Dam, receiving the blood of a Korban, the Korban is invalid even b'Di'eved. The Gemara there (17a) suggests that this is derived from the verse, "The Kohanim shall be holy... and not desecrate..." (Vayikra 21:6). If a Kohen who was Tamei and immersed performs the Avodah before nightfall, he desecrates the Avodah. The Gemara rejects this interpretation and suggests instead that the verse refers to a Kohen who shaved his head bald and then performed the Avodah. Since he is bald, he desecrates the Avodah. (RASHI there (DH v'Neima) writes that this is consistent with the context of the verse, because the previous verse (Vayikra 21:5) states that the Kohanim should not make themselves bald, and the very next verse (21:6) says that the Kohanim shall not desecrate the Name of Hash-m.) The Gemara answers that it cannot be that a bald Kohen desecrates the Avodah, because only something that disqualifies a Kohen from eating Terumah causes him to desecrate the Avodah. Any Kohen who is permitted to eat Terumah does not desecrate the Avodah. Rashi (DH Tevul) explains that one cannot apply the verse to a Kohen who shaved himself bald because a bald Kohen is not disqualified from eating Terumah, and thus he does not desecrate the Avodah.
Why does the Ramban say that a bald Kohen renders the Avodah invalid, when the Gemara here and in Zevachim says that a bald Kohen does not render the Avodah invalid? (See SHAI LA'MORA here who concludes that the Ramban's statement is very difficult to understand, and who also asks why the Minchas Chinuch does not mention the Gemara in Zevachim when he questions the Ramban's statement.)
ANSWER: Perhaps when the Ramban says that a Kohen who shaved himself bald desecrates the Avodah, he refers only to a Kohen who shaved himself in order to imitate the ways of idolaters. Only such a Kohen desecrates the Avodah, but not a Kohen who became bald naturally. (Perhaps this is the intention of the Ramban when he refers to a bald Kohen as "Mukrach" and not as "Kere'ach.") A Kohen who shaves his head in order to imitate the idolatrous priests desecrates the Avodah, because he is similar to a Kohen who actually worshipped Avodah Zarah, whose Avodah is invalid (see Mishnah, Menachos 109a, and RAMBAM, Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 9:13). This Kohen bears a sign on his body that he associates himself with Avodah Zarah, and thus his Avodah is repulsive. Accordingly, the Gemara here does not contradict the Ramban, because the Gemara is discussing naturally-bald Kohanim.
Even though the Gemara in Zevachim (17a) is discussing a Kohen who shaves his hair and not one who became bald naturally, nevertheless it might be discussing only one who did so without intention to imitate the idolaters. (See also commentary of RAV CHAIM DOV CHAVEL on the Ramban, and TUV YERUSHALAYIM on the Ramban who cites the PARDES YOSEF to Vayikra 21:5.) (D. BLOOM)
QUESTION: The Mishnah (43a) and the Gemara specifically discuss Mumim that are "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon," as Rebbi Yochanan says (end of 43a; see also 45b, and RASHI there, DH Behadei Mumim). Why does the Mishnah list the Mum of Giben? Giben is listed in the Torah, implying that it is an absolute Mum which renders the Avodah invalid, and it is not merely a Mum because of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon!" (SHITAH MEKUBETZES #12)
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES answers that the Mishnayos that discuss Giben and Mero'ach Ashech (44b) specify, "This is the Giben (or Mero'ach Ashech) that is mentioned in the Torah." The Gemara infers from these words that no other Mum listed in the Mishnah here disqualifies the Avodah.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 6:6) rules that only the Mumim that animals have in common with man render the Avodah invalid. All Mumim which are unique to man do not render the Avodah invalid. The Rambam lists Giben together with the other Mumim that are unique to man, implying that it does not render the Avodah invalid. The BRISKER RAV explains that the Rambam may have deduced this from the fact that the Mishnah lists the Mum of Giben even though it is an absolute Mum and not merely a Mum because of "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon."