1) COINS DESIGNATED FOR "KODSHIM KALIM" THAT BECAME MIXED WITH COINS DESIGNATED FOR "KODSHEI KODASHIM"
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a Nazir set aside money for the purchase of his Korbanos (Chatas, Olah, and Shelamim) without designating any part of the money for the purchase of a specific type of Korban, he does not transgress the Isur of Me'ilah if he uses the money for personal benefit. This is because all of the money could have been used to purchase his Korban Shelamim, which is Kodshim Kalim, and Me'ilah does not apply to Kodshim Kalim until after Zerikas ha'Dam.
However, in practice, most of the coins were not going to be used to buy Shelamim but to buy the other Korbanos, which are Kodshei Kodashim. Why, then, do we not apply the rule that we follow the majority in a case of a doubt? Even though Me'ilah does not apply to some of the coins, Me'ilah does apply to most of them! Accordingly, we should follow the Rov (majority), and each individual coin should be prohibited with the Isur of Me'ilah. (See also Insights to Me'ilah 21b.)
(a) The MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Me'ilah 7:6) quotes RABEINU YAKOV ALFANDARI who asserts that the principle of Batel b'Rov does not apply to coins (forms of currency). This is because the concept of Bitul states that the items in the minority are considered less important that the items in the majority. When, however, the minority items possess a special significance of their own, they do not become Batel to the majority. Rabeinu Alfandari quotes proof for this assertion from TOSFOS later (21b, DH Perutah). The Mishnah there states that Me'ilah apples to a coin of Hekdesh that falls into a wallet of ordinary Chulin coins (according to Rebbi Akiva, one transgresses Me'ilah when he uses the first coin from the wallet; according to the Chachamim, one transgresses Me'ilah when he uses all of the coins in the wallet). Tosfos asks that the coin of Hekdesh should become Batel b'Rov, and he answers that an "important" object does not become Batel (even mid'Oraisa).
(b) The Mishneh l'Melech disagrees with Rabeinu Alfandari's assertion and states that there is no Isur that cannot become Batel b'Rov, mid'Oraisa. Only mid'Rabanan are certain types of objects not Batel b'Rov, but mid'Oraisa the concept of Bitul b'Rov applies to every Isur.
The Mishneh l'Melech instead answers that the reason why the coins that will be used for the purchase of a Korban Shelamim are not Batel is that the concept of Bitul cannot give a new status to the minority. That is, Bitul cannot cause the minority of coins (which will be used to buy Kodshim Kalim) to attain the status of the majority of coins (which will be used to buy Kodshei Kodashim). While the majority does prohibit using the minority for a purpose for which the majority is prohibited, this does not turn the minority coins into coins of Kodshei Kodashim such that one would be Chayav Me'ilah for using them. (See Insights to Zevachim 78:3.)
The Mishneh l'Melech adds that although there is an opinion that maintains that "Heter Mitztaref l'Isur," this applies only to a mixture of liquids, "Lach b'Lach," wherein the taste of the Isur spreads throughout the mixture. ("Heter Mitztaref l'Isur" means that when there is less than a Shi'ur of prohibited food in the mixture, and there is not a majority of permitted food, the permitted food joins the Isur to make a Shi'ur of Isur, such that one will even receive Malkus for eating the mixture. See Pesachim 43b and Rashi there.) In contrast, in a mixture of dry objects, "Yavash b'Yavash" (such as in the case here of a mixture of coins), Heter does not join with Isur. Accordingly, as long as one did not use more value of coins than the total value of the Shelamim that the Nazir must bring, one is not Chayav for Me'ilah because it is not certain that he derived benefit from coins of Chatas and Olah. (D. BLOOM)
2) ONE WHO SANCTIFIES THE "DISHUN"
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when one sanctifies the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ("ha'Makdish Dishun ba'Techilah"), the ashes becomes Kadosh and the Isur of Me'ilah applies to them.
How can one be Makdish the ashes from the Mizbe'ach? The ashes do not belong to him such that he may sanctify them! Moreover, the ashes are already Kadosh and it is forbidden to benefit from them!
(a) RASHI (DH ha'Makdish) explains that the Mishnah is discussing ashes from the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, the inner Mizbe'ach. The Mishnah is saying that since the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi are placed together with the ashes of the outer Mizbe'ach (the ashes of the Terumas ha'Deshen), they become prohibited because some of the ashes of the outer Mizbe'ach are mixed with them.
This explanation has a number of difficulties.
1. If the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi are prohibited because of the ashes from the outer Mizbe'ach that are mixed with them, then why does the Gemara need to derive this prohibition from a verse? It is obvious and no verse is needed!
2. The expression "ha'Makdish" is inappropriate, since the prohibition is due to the fact that the ashes were placed together with the ashes of the outer Mizbe'ach. No act of Hekdesh was performed! (YA'AVETZ)
3. The Mishnah implies that this is a definite prohibition. According to Rashi's explanation, using some of the ashes in the mixture seems to be only a doubtful transgression of Me'ilah.
Perhaps Rashi does not mean that the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi are prohibited only because of the ashes of the Terumas ha'Deshen that are mixed with them. Rather, Rashi means that since the verse teaches that both sets of ashes are to be placed together even though their ashes will become mingled, it is evident that if one of the sets of ashes is Kadosh (the Terumas ha'Deshen), the other (Deshen Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi) is Kadosh as well. We learn from the verse, therefore, that the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi are Asur b'Hana'ah in their own right and not just because of what is mixed into them. Accordingly, the Mishnah refers to this situation as "ha'Makdish Deshen," because when a person places the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi in the pile of the Terumas ha'Deshen, he makes them Kadosh. This answers all of the questions on Rashi's explanation.
Indeed, the words of the Gemara are more precise according to Rashi's explanation. TOSFOS (end of 11b) asks that while it is clear from its question that the Gemara understands that the Mishnah equates the place of the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi with the place of the ashes of the outer Mizbe'ach, where is there any hint to this in the Mishnah? According to Rashi, the Gemara's understanding of the Mishnah is clear. The law of the Mishnah in the case of one who is "Makdish Dishun ba'Techilah" is the source that equates the placement of both sets of ashes, since the Kedushah of the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi is derived only from the fact that they are put in the same place as the Terumas ha'Deshen! (M. KORNFELD)
(b) TOSFOS (DH ha'Makdish, and in Yoma 59b, DH v'Harei) explains that the Mishnah is referring to ordinary, non-sacred ashes from a person's own oven. The Mishnah is teaching that even though these ashes have no practical use for Hekdesh, when one is Makdish them the Hekdesh is valid and the Isur of Me'ilah applies to the ashes. This also appears to be the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Me'ilah 5:1).
According to this explanation, the Mishnah is teaching that the Isur of Me'ilah applies even to an object that is not used for a Korban or for Bedek ha'Bayis, and which must be sold for a profit for Hekdesh (see Mishnah on 13a, and Tosfos in Yoma ibid.).
(c) TOSFOS suggests another explanation. The Mishnah is discussing ashes from the Mizbe'ach which were already taken outside of the confines of the Beis ha'Mikdash, to the place where the ashes are discarded (Shefech ha'Deshen). (See CHOK NASAN, and Tosfos to Yoma 59b.) These ashes lose their Kedushah. The Mishnah is teaching that the ashes lose their Kedushah once they are placed in the Shefech ha'Deshen, and therefore they must be made Kadosh again in order for the Isur of Me'ilah to apply to them.
(d) RABEINU GERSHOM (DH ha'Makdish) explains that the Mishnah is discussing a case in which one accepted upon himself to donate to Hekdesh the value of the ashes that will be included in the Terumas ha'Deshen, and someone else then used, for his personal benefit, some of the ashes of the Terumas ha'Deshen after they were taken out of the Azarah. The one who used the ashes has transgressed the Isur of Me'ilah, because the total amount of ashes (and their value) included in the Terumas ha'Deshen can no longer be determined. Since he has used some of the ashes and made it impossible to assess how much money the donor must give to Hekdesh, he has caused Hekdesh a loss, which constitutes Me'ilah. (According to this explanation, once the ashes are assessed, one is permitted to use them for personal use.) (See TIFERES YISRAEL who discusses at length the various opinions of "ha'Makdish Dishun ba'Techilah.")