More Discussions for this daf
1. The Zar - Shechitah and Lottery 2. Miracles In The Second Beis Hamikdash

chazan michael plaskow asked:

The zar could perform shechita which was so sought after, that it required a lottery. Obviously, the zar was not a participant in the lottery. So were the cohanim happy that this was given away? How was the zar chosen if there was a lottery? How often was a zar chosen? I am teaching daf yomi so I do need a full answer. Many thanks and kol tuv

chazan michael plaskow, netanya

The Kollel replies:

A Zar, in other words, a non-Kohen, is Kosher for Shechitah as you write. Zarim were not included in the lottery, perhaps because it involved other Avodos, for which a Zar is inadmissible. One may still ask however why a separate lottery was not arranged for the Shechitah which could have also included Zarim. I have heard in the name of Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt'l that the Kohanim were Machmir to do Shechitah themselves even though it is Kosher with a Zar. He brought a proof from Berachos 31b that the Kohanim were unaware of the fact that Shechitah is Kosher by a Zar. (See also Rashash there.) He brought a further proof from Rashi in Yevamos 33b that says that a Zar who did Avodah on Shabbos on a Korban Tzibur is Chayav a Chatas. This seems to indicate that a Zar is Pasul to Shecht on Shabbos. If so, we may surmise that Kohanim are to be preferred for Shechitah.

I am not sure what you refer to when you say, "how was this given away?". Perhaps you mean to ask how was the Memunah on the Payis appointed. This depends on who the Memunah was. The Rambam (Klei ha'Mikdash 4:16) and Rashi (15b) learn that the Memunah was the Segan. The Sefer Gachalei Esh (13b) says that the Segan was appointed by the Beis Din ha'Gadol. Tosfos and Tosfos Yeshanim hold that the Memunah was not the Segan, rather another appointee. See Shekalim (5:1) that there were a number of Memunim, one of whom was in charge of the Payis (lottery). It is unclear how he was appointed, but it is reasonable to assume that this would have been done by the Beis Din of the Kohanim who oversaw the business of the running of the Beis ha'Mikdash.

The job of the Memunah did not involve an Avodah so there is no reason why he should not continue the job indefinitely. (Actually, Kohanim do not become Pasul due to age (Chulin 24a).)

If I have misunderstood your question please let me know and I will try again.

Dov Freedman

michael plaskow responded:

Dear Rabbi Dov Freedman,

Thank you for your reply which I found most interesting. Is it written anywhere that a zar did in fact do the shechita at all? Or is the whole matter purely theoretical? When I used the expression "How was this given away?" I was referring to how was it possible for the Kohanim in a lottery to give away this avodah of shechita to a zar? Or, did they NOT in fact do so. So to summarize: There was a lottery for Kohanim to see who would do the shechita but if we know from the proof you mentioned (Berachos 31b) that the Kohanim were unaware of the fact that Shechitah is kosher by a zar - then was there ever a case recorded anywhere in the gemara of a zar performing shechita? I cannot imagine hundreds of Kohanim in lotteries wanting eagerly to perform shechita and SUDDENLY deciding to give it away - to a Zar. Or was this whole matter theoretical?

Michael Plaskow

The Kollel replied:

We find refernces to Zarim doing Shechitah in Pesachim 64a in the Mishnah "Shachat Yisrael". See also Pesachim 7a Rashi DH Pesach that there is a Mitzvah for the owner to Shecht. This is also apparent in the Mishnah in Keilim (2:8) and Elyah Raba there. Furthermore, the Zohar in Parshas Naso says it is forbidden for a Kohen to Shecht. The Rambam (Pesulei ha'Mukdashim 1:1) says a Zar may Shecht le'Chatchilah.

However, the Ritva in Yoma 25a says that even though Shechitah is Kosher by a Zar, nevertheless it is a Mitzvah for a Kohen to do it. We can say that the Ritva is talking about Korbanos Tzibur, whereas the other sources deal with Korbanos Yachid.

Dov Freedman