1) THE "TEME'IM" WHO STAND AT THE EASTERN GATE
OPINIONS: The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Tamid (33a) which states that at a certain point during the morning service in the Beis ha'Mikdash, the Rosh ha'Ma'amad stands all of the people who are Tamei near the eastern gate. Rav Yosef explains that this is done in order to embarrass the Teme'im. Rava says that it is done in order to protect them from suspicion.
Who are these Teme'im? What might they be suspected of according to Rava, and why would we want to embarrass them according to Rav Yosef?
In addition, to exactly which gate does the Mishnah refer when it says "the eastern gate"?
(a) RASHI explains that the Mishnah refers to the eastern gate at the entrance to Har ha'Bayis. The "Teme'im" are the Kohanim who were supposed to perform the Avodah but became Tamei. According to Rava, they are required to stand at the entrance to Har ha'Bayis for their own benefit -- whoever sees them standing outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash will not suspect that they went out to work somewhere else. According to Rav Yosef, they are required to stand there in order to suffer embarrassment for not being careful to avoid becoming Tamei.
In what way did these Kohanim become Tamei? They could not have become Tamei with Tum'as Zav, because that form of Tum'ah results from a pathological condition beyond their control and does not warrant embarrassing them. Rather, they must have become Tamei with Tum'as Mes or Tum'as Keri. However, a person with those types of Tum'ah is allowed to enter the Machaneh Leviyah inside Har ha'Bayis. Why are these Kohanim kept outside the gate of Har ha'Bayis?
Rashi (DH Rosh ha'Ma'amad) explains that these Kohanim must stand at the gate of Har ha'Bayis because it is "every person's entrance to Har ha'Bayis." If they stand at a gate of the Azarah, fewer people will see them, because the Azarah has many gates through which people enter. In contrast, almost everyone who comes to Har ha'Bayis enters through one gate.
(The Mishnah in Midos (1:3) says that people enter Har ha'Bayis not through the eastern gate, but through the western and southern gates. According to the TOSFOS YOM TOV (Midos 2:1), they enter primarily through the southern gate. Apparently, Rashi understands that the Mishnah cited by the Gemara here refers to the easternmost of the southern gates, which was the main entrance to Har ha'Bayis.)
(b) TOSFOS (DH Hayah) explains that the Mishnah in Tamid refers to the gate that leads from Har ha'Bayis to the Ezras Nashim, inside of Har ha'Bayis. The "Teme'im" are Kohanim who are Tamei with Tum'as Keri. The Rabanan enacted a Gezeirah that a Ba'al Keri is not allowed to walk into the Ezras Nashim (Kelim 1:8). Therefore, the Kohanim who are Tamei must stand outside the gate of the Ezras Nashim to show that they are Ba'alei Keri and are not permitted to go farther.
(c) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos, Tamid 5:6) explains that the gate mentioned in the Mishnah is Sha'ar Nikanor, which is situated between the Ezras Nashim and the Ezras Yisrael. The RASHASH and BRISKER RAV (Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah 3) point out that the Sifri (to Bamidbar 5:16) says this explicitly.
According to the Rambam, who were the Teme'im who were forced to stand there? The Rambam explains that they were Mechusrei Kaparah (those who had immersed in a Mikvah but still had to bring a Korban in order to complete their Taharah process), such as Metzora'im, who were brought there in preparation for bringing their Korbanos without delay in the morning.
The MAHARSHA here points out that the Rambam's explanation seems to conflict with the Gemara. According to Rava, the Teme'im stood there in order to avoid suspicion. According to Rav Yosef, they stood there in order to endure embarrassment. Why does the Rambam give an entirely different reason that is not mentioned in the Gemara?
The answer to the Maharsha's question can be found in the Rambam in Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin (6:5), who elaborates on what he writes in Perush ha'Mishnayos. He writes that "they are positioned there because of suspicion (Chashad), so that everyone should know that they did not yet bring their Korbanos." The Rambam seems to understand the words of Rava, "Mipnei ha'Chashad," to mean that we suspect these Mechusrei Kaparah of eating Kodshim before they bring their Korbanos. The Rabanan required that they stand at the eastern gate before they bring their Korban, so that everyone will know that they are Tamei and will prevent the Mechusrei Kaparah from eating Kodshim until they have become Tahor. Alternatively, he means that they must stand there in order to avoid suspicion; when they stand there, everyone sees that the Mechusrei Kaparah are aware that they must bring a Korban before they eat Kodshim. (See also TOSFOS YOM TOV to Tamid 5:6, who offers another interpretation of the Rambam's words.)
How, though, does the Rambam understand Rav Yosef's reason, "in order to embarrass them"? Why should we want to embarrass the Metzora? It cannot be because he spoke Lashon ha'Ra, for which he was punished with Tzara'as, because after the Tzara'as passes we may assume that he repented from his sin. Moreover, the Rambam does not limit this practice to Metzora'im; it applies to all Mechusrei Kaparah who must bring a Korban, including a Zav, whom there is no reason to embarrass (since his condition is beyond his control).
Perhaps the Rambam understands that "in order to embarrass them" means that they must stand outside of Har ha'Bayis so that if they decide to leave without bringing their Korbanos, they will be embarrassed. Their shame will motivate them to stay and bring their Korbanos as soon as possible.
However, according to this approach, how does the Rambam understand the two cases which the Gemara gives as practical differences between Rav Yosef's reason and Rava's reason? The Gemara says that the difference between the reasons of Rav Yosef and Rava will be in a case of a "Mefunak" and in a case of one who braids ropes. According to the Rambam, what difference does it make if the person is a "Mefunak" or if he is a rope-maker?
The answer to this question can be derived from the words of the LECHEM MISHNEH (ibid.). The Lechem Mishneh points out that since the Rambam writes that the Teme'im are positioned at the eastern gate due to Chashad (as Rava says), he should rule that it is not necessary for a Mefunak or a rope-maker to be positioned at the eastern gate, because, as Rashi explains, such people are not subject to Chashad. However, the Rambam mentions no exceptions to the rule that Teme'im are positioned at the eastern gate. Why does the Rambam not write that this rule does not apply to certain types of Teme'im?
The Lechem Mishneh answers that the Rambam understands the Gemara differently than Rashi. The reason of Chashad applies to a Mefunak and a rope-maker just as it applies to other Teme'im. However, Rav Yosef's reason for standing the Teme'im at the eastern gate -- "in order to embarrass them" -- does not apply to these people. This is because a Mefunak is so self-centered that he pays no attention to what others say or think about him. Similarly, rope-making is such a lowly occupation that a rope-maker learns to ignore what others say or think about him. Since the Rambam rules that the Teme'im are positioned near the eastern gate due to Chashad and not in order to embarrass them, there is no reason for him to distinguish between a Mefunak or a rope-maker and any other Tamei person.
This explanation answers the question of the Maharsha as well. According to the Rambam, "Chashad" means that we suspect that the Tamei might eat Kodshim before he brings his Korban, as mentioned above. This Chashad certainly applies to a Mefunak or rope-maker just as it applies to any other Tamei person. However, if the Teme'im are positioned at the eastern gate in order to embarrass them as Rav Yosef suggests, then there is no point in positioning a Mefunak or rope-maker there, because embarrassment will not prevent him from leaving his place before he brings his Korban. (M. KORNFELD)
2) BURNING A KORBAN WHEN ITS BLOOD WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE MIKDASH
QUESTION: The Gemara asks that even though we learn from the Chatas of Aharon that a Korban must be burned when its meat is taken out of its designated area, what is the source for the law that a Korban must be burned when its blood is taken out of its designated area?
RASHI (v'Chen Yatza) writes that although there is no source that the Korban must be burned when its blood is brought out of its place, there is a source that the blood is Pasul when it is brought out. It is learned from the Chatas of Aharon. The case of the Chatas of Aharon teaches that just as the flesh of the Korban which leaves its designated area is Pasul, so, too, the blood that leaves its designated area is Pasul.
If we know that the blood becomes Pasul when it leaves its designated area, why do we need a source to teach that the Korban must be burned? If blood is compared to meat that was taken out of the Azarah, then just as the blood becomes Pasul (as the meat does), so, too, the Korban should be burned (just as it is burned when its meat is taken out of the Azarah). Why does the Gemara seek another source for the requirement to burn a Korban whose blood was taken out of its designated area? (RASHASH; see MENACHEM MESHIV NEFESH.)
ANSWER: When the meat of the Korban is taken out of its area and the Korban becomes Pasul as a result, it is the meat itself that must be burned. When the blood is taken out of its area, although it also becomes Pasul because it went out of its designated area, no source teaches that the Korban must be burned. When the blood went out, there is no reason to burn the flesh of the Korban, since it was the blood, and not the flesh, that left its area.
Rashi explains that we know from the verse that discusses meat that if the blood leaves its proper place, it is disqualified from Zerikah (and the Korban itself is disqualified since Zerikah cannot be performed), but we do not know from there that the flesh of the Korban is burned when the blood becomes Pasul.
Perhaps the Rashash does not accept this reasoning due to an inference from the Halachah of "Nichnas Damo," the case in which the blood was brought into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim (in contrast to being brought out of the Azarah). We learn from the Chatas of Aharon that the entire Korban is burned even when the blood alone is brought into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. (Bringing the meat into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim does not disqualify the Korban.) Consequently, that should serve as the source that the entire Korban is burned when the blood is brought out of the Azarah.
The two cases, however, are not comparable. In the case of Nichnas Damo, when the blood enters the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, it ruins the entire Korban, because it is "a Korban whose blood has gone into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim." It is not merely a problem in the blood that prevents the Zerikah from being done; it is a problem with the entire Korban. In contrast, when the blood is taken out of the Azarah, the problem is only in the blood, and not in the Korban. The Korban is merely missing its blood, but it is not Pasul. (M. KORNFELD; see also CHAZON YECHEZKEL.)
3) THE "HORA'AS SHA'AH" FOR AHARON TO BURN THE KORBAN CHATAS OF ROSH CHODESH
QUESTION: The Gemara says that the reason why Aharon burned the Chatas of Rosh Chodesh immediately and did not wait for "Ibur Tzurah" was not because that is the Halachah, but because he had a direct order to do so as a "Hora'as Sha'ah," a ruling based on the needs and circumstances of that moment.
A Hora'as Sha'ah is normally issued by a prophet who receives the directive from Hash-m. In this case, who was the prophet who gave Aharon the command to burn the Chatas immediately? It could not have been Moshe Rabeinu, because he did not even know that the Korban had been burned. If Hash-m spoke directly to Aharon and commanded him to burn the Chatas immediately, then when Aharon was questioned by Moshe Rabeinu about his actions, he should have answered that Hash-m told him to burn it. Furthermore, it is unlikely that Hash-m would have given Aharon a command without informing Moshe Rabeinu about it.
(a) RASHI (83a, DH Amar Lahen) says that Hash-m told Moshe Rabeinu earlier that, in general, if a Korban that Aharon brings becomes Tamei or if the blood is brought into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, it must be burned immediately. Since that command was said only with regard to the Korbanos of Aharon, it was considered a Hora'as Sha'ah.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Rebbi Yochanan) explains that "Hora'as Sha'ah" here does not mean that a prophet received the directive from Hash-m. Rather, it means that Aharon, as a Halachic authority, issued a Halachic ruling for himself on logical grounds. He reasoned that since the Korban became Tamei with a Pesul ha'Guf (an inherent disqualifying factor), it should be burned right away and not be left to become Nosar (Ibur Tzurah). The Halachah that Hash-m commanded for all future generations, however, is that the Korban is left until it becomes Nosar (Ibur Tzurah), according to Tana d'Vei Rabah bar Avuha.