1) BRINGING MALE OR FEMALE ANIMALS FOR "KORBENOS YACHID" OFFERINGS
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that Korbenos Yachid may be brought from both male and female animals. The Gemara questions this statement from the fact that an Olas Yachid (an individual's Korban Olah) may be brought only from male animals. The Gemara answers that an Olas ha'Of (a bird brought as a Korban Olah) may be either male or female.
The Gemara continues to question the Mishnah from the case of another Korban Yachid. A Chatas Yachid may be brought only from a female animal and not from a male animal. The Gemara responds that a Nasi may bring a male animal as his Chatas Yachid.
Why does the Gemara not answer simply that a Chatas ha'Of -- a bird brought as a Chatas -- may be either male or female, just as it answers with regard to Olah?
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#6) says that the Gemara indeed could have given this answer, but it chose to give another answer.
(b) The Shitah Mekubetzes answers further that when a person is obligated to bring a Korban Olah (not for a sin, but for Mechusar Kaparah, such as a Zav, Zavah, Yoledes, and Metzora), he or she may bring either an animal or a bird offering. When a person is obligated to bring a Chatas for an inadvertent transgression of a sin for which one is Chayav Kares when done intentionally, he must bring a sheep or a goat and cannot fulfill his obligation with a bird. Therefore, the Gemara does not answer that a Chatas Yachid may be brought from a male or female bird.
(c) The YAD ELIYAHU cited by the OLAS SHLOMO answers that only with regard to an Olas ha'Of may the bird be either male or female. With regard to a Chatas ha'Of, only a female bird is acceptable.
2) BRINGING "NESACHIM" AT NIGHT
The Gemara derives from the verse "u'Minchasam v'Niskeihem" (see Insights to Menachos 44:3
for a discussion of the exact source of this verse) that one may bring the Nesachim of a Korban at night. The Gemara questions this from a Beraisa that lists Nesachim among the things that are brought during the day.
The Gemara answers that "one refers to being Mekadesh [the Nesachim], and one refers to offering [the Nesachim]." What is the intention of the Gemara's answer?
(a) RASHI (DH l'Kadesh) explains that "u'Minchasam v'Niskeihem" does not teach that the Nesachim actually may be brought at night. Rather, it teaches that the Nesachim can become Kadosh (by being placed into a Kli Shares) at night. The Beraisa is correct when it says that the Nesachim are brought during the day; even though the Nesachim can be sanctified at night, they may be brought only during the day.
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES has difficulty with Rashi's explanation. If the Nesachim can be made Kadosh at night, then they will become Pasul due to the Halachah of Linah (being left overnight). How can the Nesachim be made Kadosh at night and be brought the following day?
The Shitah Mekubetzes quotes his Rebbi as answering that this is exactly what the verse of "u'Minchasam v'Niskeihem" is teaching. Although Nesachim sanctified at night should become Pasul the next day due to Linah, the verse teaches that they do not become Pasul and that one may be Mekadesh his Nesachim at night in a Kli Shares.
(b) The Shitah Mekubetzes offers an alternative explanation. The Nesachim indeed may be made Kadosh at night. Why, then, do they not become Pasul due to Linah? He answers that they do become Pasul because of Linah! The Gemara is teaching merely that if one places Nesachim in a Kli Shares at night, the Nesachim become Kadosh and, consequently, the next day they become Pasul because of Linah.
The YAD BINYAMIN has difficulty with this explanation. The verse of "u'Minchasam v'Niskeihem" is discussing how to offer the Nesachim. It is not logical to derive from that verse specific ways to invalidate the Nesachim! It is more logical to say that the verse is teaching, as Rashi explains, another way to offer the Nesachim, and not a way to make them Pasul. He concludes, however, that it is possible that once the verse is extra, it may be used to derive anything pertinent to that topic, even a way to make the Nesachim become Pasul. (Y. MONTROSE)
3) RECITING VERSES OF THE TORAH BY HEART
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches in the name of a number of Amora'im that just as one is forbidden to record in writing words of Torah she'Ba'al Peh, one is forbidden to recite by heart words of Torah she'Bichtav.
What is the basis for the common practice to recite Keri'as Shema and other verses by heart when praying? (See also Insights to Yoma 68:3 and Sotah 40:3.)
(a) The RITVA in Yoma (70a) explains, based on the Yerushalmi, that the prohibition against reading verses of the Torah by heart applies only to verses which must be read publicly ("Chovas Keri'as Tzibur"). The prohibition does not apply to verses read for the sake of reviewing the Torah, or for the sake of giving praise to Hash-m.
(b) The TOSFOS YESHANIM in Yoma (70a) says that there is no prohibition against read verses of the Torah by heart; rather, it is a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar (the most preferable way to perform the Mitzvah) to read the verses from the Sefer Torah.
The Tosfos Yeshanim's reasoning is also expressed by the KOL BO (cited by the BEIS YOSEF OC 49) in his first answer. Although he maintains that there is a prohibition against reciting Torah verses by heart (unlike the Tosfos Yeshanim), he maintains that since it is not possible for every person to have a Sefer Torah in front of him while he prays, one is permitted to recite verses by heart (based on the verse, "Es La'asos la'Shem, Heferu Torasecha" -- "It is a time to act for Hash-m; they have annulled Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:126), which is interpreted to mean, "It is a time to act for Hash-m; [therefore, for the sake of Hash-m's Torah,] they shall annul Your Torah").
(c) The TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH in Berachos (9b) explain as follows. The Torah requires an individual to read certain verses, but it does not require him to read them from a Sefer Torah. For example, the Torah requires one to recite the Shema twice each day, but it permits him to recite the verses of Shema by heart. The Torah does not expect every person to read the Shema twice each day from a Sefer Torah. The same applies to the verses of Birkas Kohanim which the Kohanim recite each day when they bless the people. Similarly, the Gemara in Ta'anis (27b) says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, one who recites the Parshah of Korbanos in the Torah is considered as though he has offered the Korbanos. One certainly is not required to recite the Parshah of Korbanos every day from a Sefer Torah.
Since the Torah permits one to recite these verses by heart, he may recite them by heart even when he does not perform a specific Mitzvah when he reads them.
These three answers of the Rishonim appear to be based on three different reasons for the prohibition against reciting verses of the Torah by heart.
The first reason is that when one reads verses by heart, he might make a mistake. This reason is consistent with the explanation of the Ritva (a), who says that one must read from a Sefer Torah only when there is an obligation to read the verses in public (see also Tosfos here, DH Devarim). In order for the Tzibur to fulfill the obligation, the reader must not make a mistake. In contrast, when one reads verses for the sake of giving praise to Hash-m the consequences of making a mistake are not as severe, because he is not attempting to fulfill any obligation.
(See also the TUR (OC 49) who quotes his uncle, HA'RAV REBBI CHAIM, who says that one may recite verses by heart when he is fluent in those verses, because there is no concern that he will err. This is also the approach of RABEINU TAM cited by the MORDECHAI in Gitin (#407). This reasoning also seems to be the basis of the answer of the SHILTEI GIBORIM in Megilah (14a of the pages of the Rif), who rules that it is permissible for the congregation as a whole to recite verses by heart. When the entire congregation recites verses by heart, it is unlikely that everyone will make the same mistake.)
The second reason given for the obligation to read verses from the Sefer Torah and not by heart is cited by the BEIS YOSEF (OC 49) and by the RITVA in Gitin (60b) in the name of the RAMBAN. The written word -- which one sees when he reads the verses from the Sefer Torah -- contains various elements and meanings which one does not see when he recites the verses by heart. The advantage of reading the verses with those deeper meanings, however, is only a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar; one certainly fulfills his obligation if he does not have in mind those deeper meanings. This is consistent with the answer of the Tosfos Yeshanim (b).
The third reason is offered by the KOL BO. If one recites verses by heart in front of an open Sefer Torah, the people present might think that those verses are not part of the Torah. Therefore, one must always read from the Sefer Torah. This reason is consistent with the answer of the Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah (c). If verses are normally recited by heart in the course of a Mitzvah, then everyone knows that they are in the Torah and that they are recited by heart only out of necessity. No one will think that they are not written in the Torah. (M. KORNFELD)
4) THE NEED FOR A VERSE TO TEACH THAT "NEDARIM" AND "NEDAVOS" MAY BE OFFERED ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
QUESTION: Rav Dimi derives various teachings from the verse, "Eleh Ta'asu la'Shem b'Mo'adeichem Levad mi'Nidreichem v'Nidvoseichem..." -- "These [Korbanos] you shall offer to do for Hash-m on your festivals, aside from your vows and your freewill offerings..." (Bamidbar 29:39). The entire verse seems extra, and thus the Gemara understands that it is coming to teach other Halachos. Rav Dimi explains that the words, "mi'Nidreichem v'Nidvoseichem" -- "your vows and your freewill offerings," teach that one is permitted to offer Nedarim and Nedavos on Chol ha'Moed.
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (#11) asks that this teaching also seems unnecessary. The Gemara in Beitzah (19b) states that one is allowed to bring a Korban Todah on Chol ha'Moed. The Gemara there asks that this is obvious; since the Torah permits one to cut wood on Chol ha'Moed, certainly it permits one to bring a Korban on Chol ha'Moed. The Gemara there answers that the statement about the Korban Todah was said with regard to an entirely different Halachah (the Halachah of Bal Te'acher). It seems that the Gemara's conclusion is that it is obvious that one may bring such Korbanos on Chol ha'Moed (a Korban Todah is a form of Nedavah). Why does Rav Dimi say that this Halachah is derived from the verse?
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES cites some who answer that Rav Dimi understands that the intent of this verse is to encourage the bringing of Korbanos on Chol ha'Moed. The Torah is teaching that since there is a Mitzvah of Simchah on Yom Tov, one should bring his Korbanos at that time, because the eating of the meat of the Korbanos enhances one's Simchah. Indeed, the Poskim write that nowadays, too, there is a Mitzvah to eat meat and drink wine on Chol ha'Moed. (See MISHNAH BERURAH OC 529:15 and BI'UR HALACHAH DH Keitzad Mesamchan.)
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Chagigah 1:10), however, writes simply that one is permitted to bring Korbanos on Chol ha'Moed, but not that one specifically should bring them at that time. He seems to understand that Rav Dimi's teaching is that there is a special leniency to bring the Korbanos on Chol ha'Moed. Why, according to this explanation, is it not obvious that Korbanos may be brought on Chol ha'Moed?
The YAD BINYAMIN quotes the HAR HA'MORIYAH (on the Rambam) who understands the words of the Shitah Mekubetzes differently. He understands that when the Shitah Mekubetzes says that there is a Mitzvah to eat meat on Chol ha'Moed, he means that there is a leniency on Chol ha'Moed to slaughter more Korbanos even if one already has as much meat as he needs for Chol ha'Moed. This is because there is a Mitzvah to eat a lot of meat on Chol ha'Moed. The Gemara in Beitzah (19b) poses no difficulty, because the Gemara there means that it is obvious that one is allowed to bring Korbanos when he does not have any meat to eat, just as he is allowed to cut wood for Chol ha'Moed.
However, the Rambam's words still seem difficult to understand. The Rambam (Hilchos Yom Tov 7:1) maintains that the prohibition against doing Melachah on Chol ha'Moed is mid'Rabanan (unlike other Rishonim who maintain that Melachah on Chol ha'Moed is prohibited mid'Oraisa; see TUR and SHULCHAN ARUCH OC 530). If the Isur of Melachah on Chol ha'Moed is only mid'Rabanan, then why does the Torah need to give a leniency and teach that one may bring Korbanos on Chol ha'Moed? There is no Torah prohibition against such an action in the first place! (The SEFAS EMES and the AVNEI MILU'IM in Chagigah (18a) write that this is a strong argument against the view of the Rambam. See MAGID MISHNEH (Hilchos Yom Tov 7:1) for possible answers to similar questions on the Rambam's view.) (Y. MONTROSE)