QUESTION: Rava bar Rav Ada says in the name of Rav Yitzchak that an animal that is Muktzah (designated to be offered for Avodah Zarah) is forbidden to be offered as a Korban only when the animal has been worshipped.
This statement is difficult to understand. The prohibition against offering a Muktzah animal and the prohibition against offering a Ne'evad animal (an animal that was worshipped as Avodah Zarah) are two separate prohibitions. What does Rav Yitzchak mean when he says that Muktzah is forbidden only when it is Ne'evad?
(a) RASHI (DH Ad she'Ye'avdu) explains that Rav Yitzchak means exactly as he says. An animal does not become forbidden as Muktzah unless it is has been Ne'evad as well. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Mizbe'ach 4:4) seems to rule like this opinion when he writes that the animal must be worshipped or shorn as Avodah Zarah in order for it to become prohibited from being offered as a Korban; merely being designated to be offered for Avodah Zarah does not prohibit it as a Korban. He explains that this is because there is no concept of "Hekdesh" -- verbal sanctification of an object -- for Avodah Zarah; the object must be actually used for Avodah Zarah in order for it to be prohibited. The KESEF MISHNEH points out that the Tosefta in Avodah Zarah (ch. 6) also supports this opinion.
(b) Alternatively, Rashi explains that Rav Yitzchak means that the animal is forbidden only "until the animal is worshipped." That is, it is forbidden as Muktzah only until it is worshipped. Once it has been worshipped, there is no longer a prohibition of Muktzah, but rather a prohibition of Ne'evad. This is the opinion of the RA'AVAD.
What is the reasoning for this statement? Why should the animal no longer be considered a Muktzah just because it has become a Ne'evad? It should be prohibited both as a Muktzah and as a Ne'evad! The TEMURAS TODAH proposes that according to the Ra'avad, this statement is based on the verse (regarding the Korban Tamid) cited earlier in the Gemara, "Tishmeru l'Hakriv Li b'Mo'ado" -- "You shall guard, in order to offer it to Me at its set time" (Bamidbar 28:2), from which Rebbi Yoshiyah derives that "you shall guard [Korbanos] for Me, and not for any other master." The Temuras Todah explains that the implication of the verse is that a Muktzah is an animal that is being guarded to be offered to a false deity. If, instead of being guarded to be offered to a false deity, it is worshipped as a deity itself, it no longer is considered a Muktzah, since it no longer fits the description of the verse as being guarded for a false god.
The Temuras Todah adds that this explanation helps us understand the next Gemara, in which Ula explained that "Ad she'Ye'avdu" -- "until it is worshipped" -- means until it is given over to the priests of Avodah Zarah. Beha said in the name of Rebbi Yochanan that it means until they feed the animal grains of Avodah Zarah. Rebbi Aba asked Beha whether he argues with Ula, and Beha answered that he merely is clarifying Ula's words; Ula meant until it is given over to the priests and fed and fattened, indicating that it will no longer be sacrificed for Avodah Zarah (see Rashi, DH Ad she'Ya'achiluhu). Rebbi Aba declared, "Beha knows how to answer his learning, and had he not gone to Eretz Yisrael, he would not have known. Eretz Yisrael caused him [to know]." Rav Yitzchak told Rebbi Aba, "Beha is from both here (Bavel) and here (Eretz Yisrael), as Rav Chananya taught before Rebbi Yochanan that Muktzah is forbidden only until an action is done."
Why was it necessary for Rebbi Aba to seemingly embarrass Beha by saying that he was able to give a good answer only because he went to Eretz Yisrael? Also, what did Rav Yitzchak add by saying that Beha was "from both here and here"?
The Temuras Todah explains that according to his understanding of the Ra'avad, Rebbi Aba's comment was not an embarrassing or disparaging remark at all. Rebbi Aba was saying that Beha clearly gleaned his understanding of the concept of "Ad she'Ye'avdu" from the teaching of Rebbi Yochanan, who lived in Eretz Yisrael. Rav Yitzchak corrected Rebbi Aba by saying that it is clear that Beha's understanding was rooted in numerous sources. He learned not only from Rebbi Yochanan, but also from Rebbi Yoshiyah (who expounded "you shall guard [Korbanos] for Me, and not for any other master") and from Rav Chananya. Once Beha heard Rebbi Yoshiyah's teaching, he realized that one must do an act in order to remove the animal from its status of Muktzah and render it a Ne'evad. This understanding was reinforced by the teaching of Rav Chananya. Rav Yitzchak was explaining that Beha realized correctly from all of these sources that this must have been Ula's intention.
[This answer is also consistent with the text in the Gemara here, "mi'Kan umi'Kan Havah, d'Tani Rav Chananya...." This text clearly connects Rav Chananya's statement with that of Rav Yitzchak. It should be noted, however, that both the SHITAH MEKUBETZES and the HAGAHOS HA'GRA say that the word should read "Tani," and not "d'Tani," and Rav Chananya's statement is not part of the previous discussion.) (Y. MONTROSE)


QUESTION: Rava maintains that an animal given as payment to either a Jewish or Nochri Zonah is considered an Esnan, and a Kohen who has relations with such a person is punished with Malkus for transgressing the Torah prohibition of Zonah. Rava derives that a Nochri Zonah is forbidden to a Kohen with a Lav from the Isur of a Jewish Zonah, and he derives that the Esnan of a Jewish Zonah is forbidden from the law of the Esnan of a Nochri Zonah.
The MELECHES CHOSHEV quotes RAV YEHUDAH LEIB of Simna who asks that this Gemara seems to contradict a principle set forth by the RAN in Nedarim (4a-b). The principle of "Ein Onshin Min ha'Din" states that a punishment cannot be derived through an exegetical process (it must be written in the Torah explicitly, or learned from a Hekesh). The Ran states that this principle also applies to deriving a punishment through a "Meh Matzinu," the method of deriving a Halachah by comparing two categories and applying the Halachos of one to the other. (See Insights to Nedarim 7:1 and Makos 5:2.) Rava's teaching, however, seems to contradict the Ran's assertion. Rava uses a Meh Matzinu to teach that a Kohen receives Malkus for having relations with a Nochri Zonah. According to the Ran, how can Rava use a Meh Matzinu to teach a punishment?
ANSWER: The MELECHES CHOSHEV introduces his answer by quoting TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (36b, DH Mishum). Tosfos there explains that according to Abaye, a Kohen's prohibition against having relations with a Nochri Zonah is based on the verse, "... but rather only a virgin from his nation shall he marry" (Vayikra 21:14). This verse teaches that a Kohen may marry only a Jewish virgin, excluding a Nochri woman who converts. This obviously excludes a Nochri woman before she converts as well. The Torah does not express this law with a negative command ("do not marry..."), but rather it uses a positive wording, teaching whom a Kohen may marry and implying that all others are forbidden to him. The resulting prohibition is not an ordinary Lav, but rather a "Lav ha'Ba Michlal Aseh," a negative prohibition expressed as a Mitzvas Aseh. Violation of such a Lav is not punishable with Malkus.
The Meleches Choshev continues and quotes the MAGID MISHNEH (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 2:1) who writes that although there is a rule of "Ein Onshin Min ha'Din," that rule states only that we may not derive a new prohibition (and punishment) which seems more severe than the prohibition that already exists. However, when the prohibition is already known taught by the Torah, we indeed may derive its punishment through "Onshin Min ha'Din."
The Meleches Choshev applies these two sources to the question on the Ran from the Gemara here and answers as follows. The opinion of the Ran, that we do not derive even punishments of Malkus through a Meh Matzinu, does not apply in this case. Rava agrees with the Derashah that Tosfos attributes to Abaye, and he agrees that the Isur of a Zonah to a Kohen is a Lav ha'Ba Michlal Aseh. Rava merely adds an additional step: once this act is clearly forbidden according to Torah law, we may apply a Meh Matzinu to derive the punishment of Malkus for the transgression of the Isur. (Y. MONTROSE)