1) "KARES" FOR FAILURE TO BRING THE KORBAN PESACH ON PESACH RISHON
QUESTION: The Mishnah and the Beraisa teach that anyone who did not bring the Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon, the fourteenth of Nisan, must bring the Korban on Pesach Sheni, the fourteenth of Iyar, regardless of why he did not bring the Pesach Rishon. The Mishnah and Beraisa ask that if anyone who missed the Pesach Rishon must bring the Pesach Sheni, then why does the Torah specify that the Pesach Sheni is brought by one who missed Pesach Rishon "because he was Tamei or because he was far away from Yerushalayim (b'Derech Rechokah)"? They answer that those two are the only ones who are exempt from Kares if they miss the Pesach Rishon, while all the others are Chayav Kares.
When the Mishnah and Beraisa ask why the Torah specifies Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah, what else do they propose that the Torah mention?
(a) RASHI, TOSFOS and most Rishonim understand that the question is why does the Torah not write that someone who intentionally (b'Mezid) missed the Korban Pesach Rishon is obligated to bring the Pesach Sheni. The answer is that it lists only those who are exempt from Kares due to "Shogeg" or "Ones" (one who misses the Korban Pesach inadvertently or due to circumstances beyond his control). Someone who intentionally misses the Korban Pesach is Chayav Kares.
However, this point needs clarification. Would it not have been a greater Chidush for the Torah to teach that even someone who missed the Korban Pesach Rishon intentionally and is Chayav Kares must still bring the Korban Pesach Sheni? Apparently, the answer is that the Torah lists Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah because it does not want to discuss the case of someone who intentionally transgressed the Mitzvah (see Yevamos 10a, "d'Iy [Avar] Lo Katani"). Someone who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah had no obligation at all to bring the Korban Pesach Rishon, in contrast to one who was obligated but who intentionally neglected to fulfill the Mitzvah.
This explanation is based on the Gemara (92b) which distinguishes between one who missed the Pesach Rishon intentionally and the rest of the cases of the Mishnah. The phrase "v'Elu Chayavim" refers exclusively to one who was Mezid, according to Rav Nachman, or to Mezid and Onan, according to Rav Sheshes (that is, those are the only ones who are Chayav Kares).
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:2) has an entirely different approach. According to the Rambam, the question of the Mishnah and Beraisa is why are Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah singled out from all the other types of Shogeg and Ones. The answer is that they are the only ones who are exempt from Kares.
This implies that in other cases of Shogeg and Ones, one is Chayav Kares. How, though, could one who was Shogeg or Ones be Chayav Kares just because he was not Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah? Kares is a punishment for intentional transgression. It is never administered to one who sinned unintentionally.
The Rambam explains that the term "Chayav Kares" refers to Pesach Sheni. That is, if someone who was a Shogeg or Ones on Pesach Rishon (and thus was exempt from Kares) intentionally failed to bring the Korban on Pesach Sheni, he is Chayav Kares. If, however, he was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon, then even if he intentionally failed to bring the Korban on Pesach Sheni, he is not Chayav Kares. What is the logical basis for this difference?
The Rambam (Hilchos Pesach 5:1) rules like Rebbi (in the Beraisa here) who says that the day of Pesach Sheni is considered a "Regel Bifnei Atzmo," an independent festival (and is not merely compensation for Pesach Rishon). Therefore, a person who was unable to bring the Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon (other than Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah) and was Mezid on Pesach Sheni is Chayav Kares.
On the other hand, the Rambam rules that if a person was Mezid on Pesach Rishon but brought the Korban on Pesach Sheni, he is exempt from Kares (ibid. 5:2). If Pesach Sheni is a Regel Bifnei Atzmo, then how can one rectify the Kares (through bringing the Korban of Pesach Sheni) which he should receive for Pesach Rishon? Apparently, the Rambam maintains that the Korban Pesach Sheni is both a Regel Bifnei Atzmo and an opportunity to rectify one's failure to bring the Korban on Pesach Rishon. It is considered like Tashlumin (compensation) for Pesach Rishon in that it removes the Chiyuv Kares from one who was Mezid on Pesach Rishon. On the other hand, it will cause someone to be Chayav Kares if he was Shogeg on Pesach Rishon and Mezid on Pesach Sheni.
Consequently, the Rambam understands that the Torah singles out Tamei and b'Derech Rechokah to teach that, in those two cases, Pesach Sheni is only Tashlumin and not Regel Bifnei Atzmo. There is no independent obligation of Pesach Sheni for someone who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon. For one who missed Pesach Rishon for any other reason, Pesach Sheni is both Tashlumin and a Regel Bifnei Atzmo. Therefore, one who misses Pesach Sheni intentionally will be Chayav Kares. However, one who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon and then misses Pesach Sheni intentionally will not be Chayav Kares. (That is, even Rebbi agrees with Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Chananya ben Akavyah that Pesach Sheni is only Tashlumin for one who was Tamei or b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon.)
How, though, does the Rambam understand the Gemara earlier (92b) which says that only one type of person who misses Pesach Rishon -- one who was Mezid -- will be Chayav Kares, in contrast to all types of Shogeg and Ones? According to the Rambam, even a Shogeg and Ones on Pesach Rishon will be Chayav Kares if they miss Pesach Sheni intentionally. (According to the Rambam, this is the Halachah to which the Mishnah refers.)
The CHAFETZ CHAIM (in ZEVACH TODAH) answers that the Rambam understands that the Gemara at that point assumes that Pesach Sheni is not a Regel Bifnei Atzmo. Consequently, the Gemara does not entertain the option that a Shogeg and Ones on Pesach Rishon will be Chayav if they miss Pesach Sheni intentionally. However, once the Gemara introduces the opinion of Rebbi (93a), its understanding of the Mishnah changes, and it now reads the Mishnah as the Rambam reads it. (The LECHEM MISHNEH gives a similar explanation.)
The Chafetz Chaim explains that this also answers the question of the RA'AVAD on the Rambam (Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:2). The Ra'avad asks why the Rambam rules like Rebbi, even though Rebbi's opinion is a minority opinion against the opinions of Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Chananya ben Akavyah in the Beraisa. Since the Mishnah is understood much more simply according to Rebbi, it can be assumed that it agrees with the opinion of Rebbi. Furthermore, a Mishnah is considered more authoritative than a Beraisa whenever there is a conflict.
The Rambam's approach provides an enlightening explanation of several other Gemaras:
1. The Gemara later (94a) says that if a person was near Yerushalayim but was not able to bring his Korban Pesach because he was stuck in traffic, he is Chayav Kares. Why is he Chayav Kares if he was an Ones? (Rashi there gives a somewhat forced answer.)
According to the Rambam, the Gemara does not mean that he is Chayav because he did not bring the Korban on Pesach Rishon. Rather, the Gemara means that if he intentionally misses the Pesach Sheni, then he will be Chayav Kares. (LECHEM MISHNEH, Hilchos Korban Pesach 5:9. This answers the RA'AVAD's objection to the Rambam there.)
2. The Mishnah (93b) records the opinion of Rebbi Eliezer, who suggests that even a person who stands right outside of the Azarah can be considered b'Derech Rechokah. Under what circumstances can such a person be exempt from the Korban Pesach?
According to the Rambam (see PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS), Rebbi Eliezer does not mean that one who stands outside of the Azarah is considered b'Derech Rechokah and is exempt from the Korban Pesach Rishon. Rather, he refers to one who was outside of the Azarah and was not able to bring a Korban Pesach because of an Ones (for example, he was an Arel). If he also fails to bring the Korban on Pesach Sheni (even b'Mezid) he is not Chayav Kares, because he is considered to have been b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon since he was outside of the Azarah. According to Rebbi Eliezer, he will be Chayav Kares only when he was inside the Azarah on Pesach Rishon and did not bring the Korban Pesach.
TOSFOS (DH v'Ein) points out that the Gemara (94b) states that even according to Rebbi Eliezer the person outside of the Azarah who is an Arel or a Tamei is obligated to circumcise himself or make himself Tahor in order to bring the Korban Pesach. If he does not, then he will be Chayav Kares. Tosfos asks, if one who stands outside of the Azarah is exempt from the Korban Pesach, why is he required to circumcise himself or make himself Tahor?
According to the Rambam's understanding of Rebbi Eliezer's opinion, one who stands outside of the Azarah is not exempt from the Korban Pesach Rishon. An Arel certainly must circumcise himself in order to enter the Azarah and bring the Korban Pesach. However, if he does not circumcise himself, then on Pesach Sheni he will not be Chayav Kares if he intentionally misses the Korban because he was outside of the Azarah and considered b'Derech Rechokah on Pesach Rishon.