1) BUYING A KORBAN WITH "KINUS CHOMSHIN"
QUESTION: Rav Menashya bar Gada asks, "b'Kinus Chomshin Mahu?" The Gemara explains his intention as follows: The Mishnah (26b) teaches that if one derives personal benefit from money that was designated for the purchase of a Korban Asham, he is obligated to bring an Asham Me'ilos to atone for his act of Me'ilah. In addition, he is obligated to pay to Hekdesh the value of the money (Keren) that he expropriated and an additional fifth (Chomesh) of the principal. If one committed acts of Me'ilah repeatedly, he is obligated to bring multiple Korbanos and pay multiple fifths (Chomshin).
Rav Menashya bar Gada asks whether this person achieves atonement by paying all of the Chomshin, fifths, that he owes to Hekdesh for his acts of Me'ilah. The Gemara explains that he is in doubt about whether a person may bring a Korban for atonement with "Shevach Hekdesh," with the increase in value of an object of Hekdesh. In this case, the Shevach Hekdesh is the Chomshin that he owes, which is the increase that accrued to Hekdesh as a result of his Me'ilah.
This question, however, is difficult to understand. The only time a person can be Chayav to pay multiple fifths is when he was Mo'el several times. If he was Mo'el several times, then he is Chayav to pay the principal (and to bring an Asham Me'ilos) for each Me'ilah that he commits. How, then, can he fulfill the obligation of reimbursing the principal through Kinus Chomshin, paying for it with all of the fifths that he owes? (SHITAH MEKUBETZES #3)
(a) RASHI (DH b'Kinus) explains that the case of the Gemara is when he designated two Sela'im for a Korban Asham, and he was Mo'el with them, and then he was Mo'el with them again, and again. Since the Me'ilah was committed with the money of just one Korban, he is Chayav to bring only one Asham for all of his acts of Me'ilah.
Although Rashi's explanation answers the question of the Shitah Mekubetzes, it is difficult to understand for a different reason. Once the person was Mo'el the first time, the money becomes Chulin and it is not possible to commit Me'ilah with it again! (RAV YAKOV EMDEN, ARUCH LA'NER)
The Acharonim explain that Rashi means that the person was Mo'el with money designated for an Asham and then he paid to Hekdesh the principal that he owed, and then he was Mo'el again, and he paid the principal again. He continued to be Mo'el four times in this manner. In such a case, since he has already paid the principal amounts owed for the first Me'ilos, when he was Mo'el a final time the only outstanding payments he owes are the principal for that Me'ilah and four sets of Chomshin. These Chomshin equal the value of the principal. (Each Chomesh is calculated based on an "external fifth," so that the Chomesh owed for committing Me'ilah with two Sela'im is one-half of a Sela.)
Rav Menashya asks, therefore, whether one may buy his Asham (that he is obligated to bring as compensation for using the money that was designated for an Asham, with which he was Mo'el at the last of his Me'ilos) with the fifths that were designated for the previous Me'ilos and for his last Me'ilah. (Of course, in addition to these fifths, the person must set aside an additional principal amount on behalf of the last Me'ilah. This Keren will be used for a Nidvas Tzibur, according to the laws of Mosar Asham, since he already bought his Asham with other money -- that is, with the Chomshin.) Rav Menashya's question is now understood. (ARUCH LA'NER)
(Actually, Rav Menashya could have asked his question with regard to even one Me'ilah or two Me'ilos. May one buy his Asham by supplementing its cost with the Chomshin in place of buying it with the Keren money? Rav Menashya's question, however, involves a greater Chidush: perhaps one fulfills his obligation to bring an Asham even when all of the Asham is bought with the money of the Chomshin.)
(b) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#3) quotes TOSFOS KESAV YAD who asks that according to Rashi's explanation, the one who was Mo'el does not add the Chomshin to the value of the Asham itself (because the Chomshin were used to buy the Asham, while the Keren was used for a Korban Nedavah). However, it is clear from the Sugya that the Mo'el must combine the Chomesh with the principal and buy a larger Asham! (The Mishneh l'Melech in Hilchos Me'ilos asks the same question; see Aruch la'Ner on the Gemara here.)
Therefore, Tosfos (in the Shitah Mekubetzes) explains that the subject of Rav Menashya's question is a case in which one was Mo'el with half of the money set aside for an Asham (for example, two Sela'im were set aside, and he was Mo'el with one; as is clear from the Sugya, an Asham should not be bought for less than two Sela'im). In order to compensate for the principal, he is obligated to buy an Asham worth two Sela'im (that is, a Sela more than the principal with which he was Mo'el). May he combine the Chomesh with the principal in order to buy the Asham? That is Rav Menashya's question.
The ARUCH LA'NER points out that according to this explanation, the term "b'Kinus Chomshin," is not entirely appropriate, because the person is not buying the Asham with the Chomshin alone but rather with the Chomshin in combination with the principal. The Gemara should have used the phrase, "b'Tziruf Chomshin" and not "b'Kinus Chomshin."
(c) The Shitah Mekubetzes offers another explanation in the name of the TOSFOS HA'ROSH. A person was Mo'el multiple times with two Sela'im until the sum of the Chomshin equaled two Sela'im. (For example, he designated two Sela'im for his Asham and was Mo'el with them, and he paid the principal to Hekdesh and was Mo'el again with the two Sela'im -- four times (as described above (a) according to Rashi.) May he buy his Asham Me'ilos with the money of the Chomshin and fulfill his obligation with this Korban and with repayment of the principal (instead of buying an Asham Me'ilos apart from the principal and Chomshin payment)?
This explanation also seems incomplete. The Mishnah clearly states that a person is obligated to pay the principal, the Chomesh, and the Asham Me'ilos individually! The Rosh answers that this is true only when the value of the Chomshin is not equal to the value of the Asham Me'ilos (and thus one would fulfill his obligation by buying an Asham Me'ilos for two Sela'im plus the Chomshin). Here, however, the Chomshin are equal in value to the Asham Me'ilos. In such a case, a person fulfills his obligation to pay the Chomshin by buying an Asham Me'ilos worth exactly the value of the Chomshin. (The Rosh brings examples of other situations where similar rulings are applied.)
2) THE NECESSITY TO TEACH BOTH "DACHUY ME'IKARA" AND "DICHUY B'DAMIM"
QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan states that if one of the partners of a jointly-owned animal designates his half of the animal as a Korban and then he purchases the other half from his partner and designates that half as a Korban as well, the animal has the Kedushah of a Korban but is unfit to be offered as a Korban. Rebbi Yochanan reasons that when the partner sanctified the first half of the animal, he did not have the ability to sanctify the second half, and thus the animal was considered "pushed away" ("Dachuy") from being brought as a Korban.
The Gemara infers three things from this statement of Rebbi Yochanan: First, it infers that even live animals can be permanently disqualified from being brought as Korbanos.
Second (according to the Girsa of Rashi, and the Girsa in Zevachim 12a and elsewhere), a Korban that is initially unfit to be offered but then becomes fit to be offered remains disqualified even though the invalidating element is rectified ("Dachuy me'Ikara Havah Dachuy").
Third, Rebbi Yochanan's statement teaches that there is a concept of "Dichuy b'Damim." RASHI here and in Zevachim (12b, DH Yesh Dichuy) explains that this means that even when an animal is sanctified with only Kedushas Damim (its value, but not its actual body, is sanctified), such as when one partner sanctified his half of the animal for its value, it still can affect the animal and cause it to be disqualified from later becoming sanctified with a more significant Kedushah (Kedushas ha'Guf). (See other explanations for "Dichuy b'Damim" cited by Rashi there, and in TOSFOS to Zevachim 12a, DH u'Shema Minah in the name of RABEINU CHAIM, and in RABEINU CHANANEL; see also Insights to Zevachim 12:1 and 2.)
TOSFOS (Zevachim 12a), the RAMBAN (Kidushin 7a), and others ask variations of a basic question on this explanation. Why does the Gemara infer that Rebbi Yochanan holds of both concepts, "Dachuy me'Ikara" and "Dichuy b'Damim"? Once we know that an animal that was "Dachuy me'Ikara" remains disqualified, we know already the concept of "Dichuy b'Damim," since an animal that is unfit to be offered as a Korban can have only the Kedushah of Kedushas Damim! Why does the Gemara need to list "Dachuy me'Ikara" and "Dichuy b'Damim" as two separate things learned from Rebbi Yochanan's statement?
(a) TOSFOS in Zevachim (according to the text of the SHITAH MEKUBETZES there) answers that there are cases in which the initial Kedushah of the animal or other item is a Kedushas ha'Guf, and therefore it is necessary to infer the two concepts ("Dachuy me'Ikara" and "Dichuy b'Damim") independently. An example of such a case is when a Kohen receives the blood (Kabalas ha'Dam) of a Korban in a vessel containing water. The blood -- which is Kadosh with Kedushas ha'Guf -- that falls into the water loses its status of blood, because the first drop (and every subsequent drop) of blood that enters the water is considered "Dachuy" -- pushed away -- from being blood and it becomes water. Even though enough blood eventually falls into the vessel to make the mixture look like blood, the concept of "Dachuy me'Ikara" applies and thus the mixture remains disqualified for Zerikah. In that case, "Dichuy b'Damim" would not apply, because the blood is Kadosh with Kedushas ha'Guf and not with Kedushas Damim. (Tosfos notes that there still would be an obligation to perform the Mitzvah of "Kisuy ha'Dam," covering the blood of birds and undomesticated animals, for blood that fell into water and gave the water the appearance of blood, because there is no concept of Dichuy for Mitzvos.)
(b) The RITVA in Kidushin (7b) answers that although "Dichuy b'Damim" includes cases of "Dachuy me'Ikara," the concept of "Dachuy me'Ikara" can apply to something that involves no degree of Kedushah and where "Dichuy b'Damim" (which applies to cases of Kedushas Damim) would not apply. An example of such a case is mentioned in the Gemara in Kidushin (47b): If a person appoints a Shali'ach to bring his fruits of Bikurim to Yerushalayim and the Shali'ach dies on the way, the owner does not read the Parshas Bikurim, even if he personally brings the fruits to Yerushalayim. The Ritva explains that this is because a Shali'ach who brings fruits of Bikurim does not read the Parshas Bikurim. Hence, once the Shali'ach took the fruits, the fruits are "Dachuy" -- pushed away -- from ever having the Parshas Bikurim read for them. Another example is a case in which a Nochri plants a tree in order to worship it as an Asheirah. Even if he later nullifies that tree from being an Avodah Zarah, a Jew may not use a branch from that tree for the Mitzvah of Lulav (Avodah Zarah 47a). (Even though the Gemara there is in doubt about this Halachah, its doubt is based only on the fact that Dichuy might not affect Mitzvos. The Gemara takes it for granted, however, that Dichuy does apply even to a non-Kadosh object.)
(c) The RASHBA, SHITAH KADMONIS in the name of the RA'AVAD (Kidushin 7b), and others explain that there are cases of "Dichuy b'Damim" in which "Dachuy me'Ikara" does not apply. For example, if a person was obligated to bring a Korban Chatas, and he designated money for that purpose, and then he became an idol worshipper, his Chatas is no longer accepted (see Zevachim 12b and Chulin 5a). Even if he repents, the money that he designated may no longer be used to purchase the Korban, since it was "pushed away" from being accepted.
This explanation seems problematic. How can these Rishonim say that money that was designated to be used for a Korban is not considered "Dachuy me'Ikara" if the money could have been used, originally, to purchase a Korban? The money itself cannot be offered upon the Mizbe'ach, and thus it should be considered "Dachuy me'Ikara," since it was never fit to be offered!
Apparently, these Rishonim maintain that as long as there is no invalidating factor (Pesul) causing the money to be invalid for the purchase of a Korban, the money is considered "fit" for a Korban and not Dachuy. Money, or an animal, is considered Dachuy only when it has an invalidating factor that makes it unfit to be offered. The fact that money itself cannot be offered on the Mizbe'ach but must be used to purchase an animal is not considered an invalidating factor.
3) THE PRICE OF AN "ASHAM NAZIR"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that although other Ashamos (such as Asham Me'ilos, Asham Shifchah Charufah, Asham Gezeilos, and Asham Taluy) must have a minimum value of at least two Sela'im, an Asham Nazir (brought by a Nazir Tamei when he becomes Tahor) has no minimum value.
RASHI earlier (22b, DH Asham Shifchah Charufah), based on the Gemara earlier (10b), writes that an Asham Nazir must be worth at least one Sela. Why does Rashi say that an Asham Nazir has a minimum value when the Gemara here says that it has no minimum value?
ANSWER: The words of the Gemara and Rashi earlier do not mean that an Asham Nazir must have a minimum value of a Sela. Rather, a Sela is the expected amount that one would spend for an Asham Nazir. (That is, it is normal to pay one Sela for it, since it is a one-year-old lamb and not a two-year-old ram like other Ashamos.) If, however, one finds an animal for less than a Sela, he may buy it and use it to fulfill his obligation to bring an Asham.
This is evident from the Gemara earlier (10b) that says that a Ken (a nest of two birds) costs one-fourth of a Dinar, even though the Torah establishes no minimum value for a Ken. The Gemara is merely pointing out that one-fourth of a Dinar is the normal cost of a Ken.