1) "BA'AL HA'PIKAH"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah mentions "Ba'al ha'Pikim" (or "Ba'al ha'Pikah") as one of the Mumim that disqualify a Kohen. The Mishnah then mentions the Mum of a Kohen who has a "Pikah" extending from his thumb. In the Gemara, Rebbi Yochanan refers to "Ba'al ha'Pikin" who appear to have "large cushions."
Are all of these references to "Pikah" the same or are they different? What exactly do these three references to "Pikah" mean?
(a) According to RASHI, the "Ba'al ha'Pikim" (or "Ba'al ha'Pikah") in the beginning of the Mishnah and the "Pikah" that extends from the thumb mentioned later in the Mishnah refer to the same Mum. The Mishnah first mentions the Mum by name, and then the Mishnah describes it.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 8:13, and Perush ha'Mishnayos) explains that the Ba'al ha'Pikah of the Mishnah is not related to the Pikah that extends from the thumb mentioned later in the Mishnah. Rather, it refers to one whose ankle bone protrudes. (See, however, KESEF MISHNEH, for an alternative reading of the Rambam.)
(c) The Rishonim give several explanations for the meaning of "Ba'al ha'Pikin" mentioned by Rebbi Yochanan in the Gemara.
1. RASHI explains that "Ba'al ha'Pikin" in the Gemara refers to a person with a protruding ankle bone. (According to the VILNA GA'ON (printed at the end of Mishnayos Bechoros), the text of Rashi's Gemara reads, "Ba'al ha'Kifin," and not "Ba'al ha'Pikin," and thus this Mum is unrelated to the Pikah in the Mishnah.)
2. The RA'AVAD (Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 8:13) suggests that the "Ba'al ha'Pikin" of the Gemara is a person with very large buttocks.
3. According to the ARUCH (cited by Tosfos, DH Ba'al) and the RAMBAM (ibid.), the Ba'al ha'Pikin of the Gemara is a person whose feet have large cushions of flesh protruding from them (at the heel and sole, according to the Aruch, or in the middle, according to the Rambam), so that the front and back of the foot cannot rest on the ground at the same moment.
2) A KOHEN WITH A "NEGA"
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that a Kohen with a Nega Tahor is disqualified from performing the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash (because he is "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon"). RASHI (DH u'Va'alei Nega'im Tehorim) explains that the Mishnah does not mention a Kohen who has a Nega Tamei, because a person with such a Nega is not permitted even to enter the Azarah.
Rashi's words are difficult to understand. Why does Rashi discuss entering the Azarah? Since the Mishnah is discussing whether a Kohen may serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash, Rashi should mention that the service of a person with a Nega Tamei is disqualified since he is Tamei. (BRISKER RAV)
Moreover, if a Kohen with a Nega Tamei is disqualified from performing the Avodah because he is Tamei, the Mishnah still should mention that such a blemish makes him Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon, in order to teach that he is to receive two sets of Malkus for serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash (one for serving while Tamei, and one for serving with a Mum of Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon). (MINCHAS CHINUCH 275:1)
ANSWER: The second question answers the first. While the Mishnah could have taught that a Kohen with a Nega Tamei is disqualified from performing the Avodah in order to teach that he receives two sets of Malkus, the Mishnah chose not to mention Nega Tamei in order to prevent misunderstanding. Had the Mishnah mentioned Nega Tamei, one would have inferred that a Kohen with a Nega Tamei is prohibited only from serving, but not from entering the Azarah, when in truth he is also prohibited from entering the Azarah. (-Based on SHEYAREI HA'MINCHAH on the Minchas Chinuch)
3) A "SHOTEH" KOHEN
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that a Kohen who is a Cheresh (deaf; see TESHUVOS NODA B'YEHUDAH EH 1:53 who questions whether this refers to a Kohen who is both deaf and dumb, or even to one who is only deaf), Shoteh (simpleton), or Shikor (drunkard) is unfit to perform the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
The Gemara asks that the disqualifying factor of being drunk should have been listed in the preceding Mishnayos, because those Mishnayos discuss Kohanim with the type of Mum that desecrate the Avodah. Performing the Avodah while drunk desecrates the Avodah, as derived from the verse, "Do not drink wine or strong drink... when you go into the Ohel Mo'ed, lest you die..." (Vayikra 10:9-10). Why does the Mishnah mention a drunk Kohen here, among the disqualifying features that do not cause the Avodah to become desecrated? RASHI (DH Behadei) explains that the Mishnah is discussing Mumim that are "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon," which are not absolute Mumim and do not disqualify the Avodah b'Di'eved (43b). The Gemara answers that the Mishnah is referring to a Kohen who consumed intoxicating beverages other than wine and beer, such as one who ate a potent fig or honey.
Since the Mishnah is discussing Mumim that do not invalidate the Avodah b'Di'eved, why does the Mishnah mention the disqualifying feature of "Shoteh"? A Shoteh is invalid even for performing Shechitah, which is not considered part of the Avodah and may be performed by a Kohen with a Mum (see Mishnah, Zevachim 31b). A Shoteh may not perform Shechitah because he is unable to have the necessary intention, and his act is considered merely an act of "Mis'asek b'Kodshim" (see Rashi to Chulin 13a, DH Minayin). The Gemara in Chulin (13a) asks whether we may assume that a minor possesses the intellectual capacity of intent when his actions and intentions are clear. The Gemara leaves this question unanswered. According to the Gemara there, a Shoteh certainly does not possess sufficient intellectual capacity to have intent, because a Shoteh's level of intellectual ability is considered to be lower than that of a minor. (See TOSFOS to Chulin 12b, DH Man, who says that even when an adult supervises the Shechitah of a Shoteh, his Shechitah is invalid.) (See REBBI AKIVA EIGER.)
Since the Avodah performed by a Shoteh is invalid, why does the Mishnah here mention Shoteh among Mumim that do not invalidate the Avodah?
(a) The ACHIEZER (2:4:4, DH uv'Yerushalmi) writes that the simple answer is that the Mishnah is discussing other parts of the Avodah, apart from Shechitah. (In fact, Shechitah is not considered an Avodah, as is evident from the fact that all of the other Ba'alei Mumim may perform the Shechitah, as mentioned above.) The Achiezer asserts that for all of the other parts of the Avodah, an act of "Mis'asek" is valid b'Di'eved. Therefore, any Avodah (other than Shechitah) performed by a Shoteh is valid b'Di'eved.
The Achiezer writes that according to this assertion, it is clear why the Gemara in Chulin (24b) finds it necessary to cite a verse (Vayikra 21:17) to prove that only an adult may perform the Avodah, but not a minor. Why is a verse needed to teach that a minor may not perform the Avodah? The Gemara earlier in Chulin (13a) teaches that an act of Mis'asek is invalid when done with Kodshim, and the act of a minor, who has no intent, is considered an act of Mis'asek! According to the Achiezer, the Gemara in Chulin (24b) is clear. It needs a verse to teach that a minor may not perform Avodah because an act of Mis'asek indeed is valid in all parts of the Avodah other than Shechitah. Without the verse, one would have assumed that a minor may perform any part of the Avodah other than Shechitah.
(b) The CHAZON ISH (Zevachim 20(2):10) disagrees with the Achiezer and cites several proofs that an act of Mis'asek indeed is invalid in all parts of the Avodah, and not only in Shechitah. (See RAMBAN in Milchamos to Rosh Hashanah, page 7a of the pages of the Rif, cited by the Chazon Ish #11.)
The Chazon Ish explains that perhaps when the Mishnah here mentions a Shoteh, it refers only to a "partial" Shoteh, and not to a full-fledged Shoteh. The Gemara in Chagigah (3b; see Insights to Chagigah 4:1
) cites a Beraisa that says that there are three signs that show that a person is a Shoteh: he goes out alone at night, he sleeps in a graveyard, and he tears his clothing indiscriminately. Rav Huna there says that one is a Shoteh only if he performs all three strange actions. The Mishnah here is not referring to such a Shoteh, who indeed would invalidate the Avodah. Rather, the Mishnah here is referring to a Shoteh who does only one of the strange actions mentioned there. Such a Kohen does not invalidate the Avodah, but he nevertheless is disqualified from performing the Avodah because he is "Eino Shaveh b'Zar'o Shel Aharon," since he does not have the appearance of a normal person. He is not permitted l'Chatchilah to perform the Avodah, but if he performs the Avodah he does not desecrate it b'Di'eved. (D. BLOOM