1) THE THIRD SHABBOS MEAL WHEN EREV PESACH OCCURS ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: The Gemara says that when Erev Pesach, the fourteenth of Nisan, occurs on Shabbos, one should burn all of his Chametz, even Terumah, before Shabbos, and leave over just two meals' worth of food for the Shabbos meals. RASHI explains that the two meals' worth of food will be used for the meal on Shabbos night and the meal on Shabbos morning. There is no need to save Chametz for the afternoon meal, because Chametz is forbidden in the afternoon on Erev Pesach.
Rashi's words imply that one may eat only two meals on this Shabbos, and not three. Why, though, should he not eat three meals? After all, there is a Mitzvah to eat three meals on Shabbos (Shabbos 117b), and thus one should be required to arrange to eat the third meal earlier in the day, before Chametz becomes prohibited. The Gemara should say that one should leave over three meals' worth of Chametz to eat on Shabbos and not just two meals' worth, so that he will have three meals on Shabbos.
(a) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH here and TOSFOS in Shabbos (118a) explain that perhaps one indeed must arrange to have two meals in the morning so that he will have a total of three meals on Shabbos. When the Gemara says that one should leave over only two meals' worth of Chametz, it means that one should leave over the amount of food that he eats in two meals, since a person does not consume any more food than usual when he makes an "extra" morning meal. Rather, he simply divides the morning meal into two. He eats the first half, recites Birkas ha'Mazon, pauses, and then he eats the second half. The Gemara, therefore, is justified when it says that one should leave over the amount of food necessary for two meals, even though he will make three meals from that food.
(b) TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ disagrees. He contends that it is improper to divide one meal into two by reciting Birkas ha'Mazon in the middle, because by doing so one recites extra blessings unnecessarily. Therefore, if a person wants to fulfill the Mitzvah to eat three meals on Shabbos, he may not do as Tosfos suggests, but rather he must wake up early on Shabbos morning, pray, and eat the Shabbos morning meal much earlier than usual. He should eat a full meal at that time, and then, much later in the morning, he should eat another full meal, which will be his third Shabbos meal.
According to Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz, why does the Gemara not say that one should leave over enough food for three meals? It must be that one is not allowed to eat the third Shabbos meal before the afternoon. If he eats an extra meal in the morning, it does not count as the third Shabbos meal and he does not fulfill the Mitzvah to eat three meals on Shabbos.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 291:2) rules that one does not fulfill the Mitzvah to eat the third Shabbos meal when he eats it before the afternoon (before six and a half Halachic hours into the day). The MISHNAH BERURAH (291:7) cites the MAGEN AVRAHAM and others who rule that if one begins the third meal before the afternoon and it continues into the afternoon, one fulfills his obligation.
Similarly, in Hilchos Pesach, the SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 444:1) rules that when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos, one cannot eat Chametz at the third Shabbos meal.
2) THE SIGN THAT THE TIME TO REFRAIN FROM CHAMETZ HAS ARRIVED
QUESTION: In the Mishnah (11b), Rebbi Yehudah says that two Pasul loaves of Lachmei Todah, the bread that was brought with every Korban Todah, were placed on the roof of the portico of the Azarah on Erev Pesach. One loaf would be removed as a sign for the people that the time of the prohibition to eat Chametz had arrived, and, later, the other loaf would be removed as a sign that the time to destroy Chametz had arrived.
The Gemara asks how these Chalos became Pasul. Rebbi Chanina says that they became Pasul through "Linah" -- they were left overnight without being eaten. Since so many Korbenos Todah were brought on the thirteenth of Nisan, there were not enough people to eat all of the loaves brought with the Korbanos, and thus every year there were some loaves left over which became Pasul b'Linah.
Rebbi Yanai argues and says that the loaves were not really Pasul. The Mishnah refers to them as Pasul merely because they could not be eaten for another reason. The blood of the Korban to which these loaves belonged was spilled before the Korban was offered, and therefore the loaves could no longer be eaten because their Korban could not be offered.
Why does Rebbi Yanai argue with Rebbi Chanina's reasoning? What does he find unacceptable about Rebbi Chanina's explanation that the loaves were Pasul because they were left over, and what advantage is there to his explanation?
(a) RASHI (DH Kesheros Hayu) explains that Rebbi Yanai's intention is to teach that it is not necessary for the loaves to be Pasul with the Pesul of Linah in order to be permitted to be placed on the roof of the portico. According to Rebbi Chanina, it is forbidden to shame the Lachmei Todah, which are Kodshim and must be treated with respect, by placing them on the roof of the portico -- unless they are already Pasul in a significant way, such as with the Pesul of Linah, having been left over a full night after the time they were supposed to be eaten, and now they must be burned. Rebbi Yanai adds that even if the loaves were not left overnight and do not need to be burned, they still may be placed on the roof of the portico.
(b) The MAHARAM CHALAVAH suggests that Rebbi Yanai rejects Rebbi Chanina's reasoning because he maintains that after the Lachmei Todah were left over a full night after the time they were supposed to be eaten, they must be burned. Since there is a Mitzvah to burn them, they must be burned immediately in the morning. They may not be left until the afternoon to be used as a sign that the time of the prohibition of Chametz has arrived. Therefore, Rebbi Yanai explains that it must be that they became Pasul today, on the fourteenth of Nisan, and the Pesul is that they cannot be brought upon the Mizbe'ach since the blood of their Korban Todah was spilled.
(c) TOSFOS (DH Ela) and other Rishonim explain that according to the conclusion of the Gemara, even Rebbi Yanai refers to Lachmei Todah that became Pasul because of Linah. Since a Korban Todah may not be brought on the fourteenth of Nisan, the Korban Todah of these Lachmei Todah must have been slaughtered, and its blood spilled, on the thirteenth. According to Tosfos, Rebbi Yanai agrees that the Lachmei Todah mentioned in the Mishnah are from a Korban that was brought the day before, and the loaves of that Korban were left overnight until today.
Why, then, does Rebbi Yanai argue with Rebbi Chanina? Why does he say that they are invalid because the blood of their Korban has been spilled? Tosfos answers that Rebbi Yanai argues that it is not logical to assume that there were leftover loaves every year, because the Lachmei Todah may be eaten even by non-Kohanim. There certainly were enough people available to eat all of the Lachmei Todah from the Korbanos offered on the thirteenth of Nisan. In addition, as the MAHARAM CHALAVAH points out, the Kohanim were Zerizim and would make sure that the people who brought the Korbenos Todah would eat their Lachmei Todah or find someone else to eat them.
Therefore, Rebbi Yanai says that it must be that the loaves became Pasul because the blood of the Korban was spilled when the Kohanim brought the Korban the day before.
This approach finds support in the Yerushalmi. The Yerushalmi says that since every person who was obligated to bring a Korban Todah was required to bring it on the thirteenth of Nisan when he went up to Yerushalayim for the festival, there would be a very large number of Korbanos for the Kohanim to offer on that day, and they would have to work extremely fast in order to offer all of them. While they were hurrying to offer the Korbanos, it was common for some of the blood to spill, and thus every year there would be some Korbanos that could not be offered because their blood had spilled. It was not common, though, for there to be Lachmei Todah that were left uneaten.