1) A MITZVAH PERFORMED WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVES
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa (39b) which discusses the Mitzvah of Yibum and the Mitzvah of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah, the part of the Minchah offering not burned on the Mizbe'ach. The Beraisa states that these two Mitzvos involve some action which must be done in one way and not in another way. The Gemara explains that if the author of the Beraisa is Aba Shaul, the Beraisa's intention is to teach that an act of Yibum done in one manner is a Mitzvah, while an act of Yibum done in another manner is forbidden: when it is done with pure intentions for the sake of the fulfillment of the Mitzvah ("l'Shem Mitzvah"), it is a Mitzvah, but when it is done for impure motives ("she'Lo l'Shem Mitzvah"), it is forbidden.
The Gemara attempts to explain, in a similar manner, the statement of the Beraisa about the Mitzvah of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah. The Gemara says that before the flour of the Minchah offering is sanctified, one is permitted to eat it. Once it has been sanctified, one is prohibited from eating it. When the Kometz of the Minchah is offered on the Mizbe'ach, the remaining flour of the Minchah becomes permitted to be eaten. One might have thought that the remaining Minchah may be eaten in the same manner in which it may be eaten before it was sanctified. Therefore, the Torah teaches "l'Mitzvah" -- it must be eaten in the proper way and it may not be eaten in a different way.
The Beraisa does not specify in what "other way" one might eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah. What way of eating does the verse intend to exclude? The Gemara suggests that the verse excludes eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah with "Achilah Gasah," but it rejects that answer because "Achilah Gasah" never constitutes an act of eating such that the verse should need to exclude it specifically with regard to the Sheyarei ha'Minchah. The Gemara concludes that the verse excludes eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah in a state of "Chalut" (when boiling water was poured over it).
RASHI and TOSFOS ask why the Gemara does not answer simply that the verse teaches that the Sheyarei ha'Minchah may not be eaten "she'Lo l'Shem Mitzvah" (such as eating it to satisfy one's hunger, or to enjoy the taste), as the Gemara explains the manner in which Yibum may not be done. They answer that the Gemara does not give this answer because the Sheyarei ha'Minchah may be eaten with any intention; one does not need to eat it specifically "l'Shem Mitzvah." Only Yibum requires proper intention, because if one has intention to do the act for his own pleasure, he risks transgressing the severe Isur of "Eshes Ach." In contrast, one who eats the Minchah does nothing wrong when he eats it with intent to enjoy it and not "l'Shem Mitzvah."
This answer is difficult to understand.
(a) Why do Rashi and Tosfos assume that one may eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah for his own personal benefit? Eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah with such intent should be forbidden because the Minchah is Hekdesh, sanctified. Although the Torah permits eating a sanctified item in this case, it should permit only eating it "l'Shem Mitzvah," lest one transgress the Isur against benefiting from Hekdesh.
(b) The Acharonim (see KEREN ORAH) ask that the answer of Rashi and Tosfos is inconsistent with the opinion that "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah" -- a person fulfills a Mitzvah only when he specifically intends to fulfill it (Pesachim 114b, Rosh Hashanah 28b). According to that opinion, why do Rashi and Tosfos assume that when one has intention to enjoy the food that he eats, he fulfills the Mitzvah of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah?
(a) There is a basic difference between the Mitzvah of Yibum and the Mitzvah of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah. This difference may be understood based on an analysis of the dispute between Aba Shaul and the Chachamim. Aba Shaul states that when a man performs Yibum with impure intentions, he is considered "Poge'a b'Ervah." The Chachamim disagree and maintain that no Ervah is involved in the act. The RAMBAM (in TESHUVOS PE'ER HA'DOR #146, cited by MAHARAM ALSHAKER #79; see also PERUSH HA'MISHNAYOS to Bechoros, end of chapter 1) explains that the Chachamim maintain that the Isur of "Eshes Ach" was removed at the moment the brother died and his wife fell to Yibum. Consequently, the Yavam cannot be "Poge'a b'Ervah" regardless of his intentions when he performs Yibum, because the Isur of "Eshes Ach" was removed completely and nothing remains of it. Aba Shaul, on the other hand, maintains that the Isur of "Eshes Ach" remains in force even after the brother died and his wife fell to Yibum. The Isur remains upon the woman until the act of Yibum is performed, at which time it is pushed aside (see Insights to Yevamos 7:1). (That is, Aba Shaul maintains that the Isur is "Dechuyah" and not "Hutrah.")
Accordingly, Aba Shaul cannot say that the Sheyarei ha'Minchah must be eaten "l'Shem Mitzvah," because in the case of the Sheyarei ha'Minchah the Isur of Hekdesh certainly was removed at the moment the Kometz was offered on the Mizbe'ach. Since the Isur of Hekdesh was already removed and nothing remains of it, there is no need to eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah "l'Shem Mitzvah." (That is, the Isur of Hekdesh is "Hutrah" and not "Dechuyah.")
Moreover, the purpose of offering the Korban Minchah is not to eat it, but to burn the Minchah on the Mizbe'ach. A secondary part of that Mitzvah of offering the Minchah is that one eats the Sheyarei ha'Minchah. Accordingly, it is not logical to suggest that the Mitzvah of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah is so important that the Torah allows it to override the Isur of eating Hekdesh. Rather, the Minchah is eaten because it became permitted at the moment the Kometz was offered on the Mizbe'ach; it did not become permitted in order to be eaten. The act of Yibum, in contrast, overrides the Isur of "Eshes Ach."
(b) To answer the second question, the Acharonim suggest that the eating of the Sheyarei ha'Minchah does not require proper intent because the Mitzvah is not an obligation on the person which requires him to eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah, but it is an obligation on the Sheyarei ha'Minchah which requires that the Minchah be eaten. Even if the person does not have proper intent to fulfill the Mitzvah, the Mitzvah is fulfilled as long as the Sheyarei ha'Minchah is eaten.
The CHAZON ISH, however, suggests a simpler answer. He explains that the words of Rashi and Tosfos are unrelated to the principle of "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah." In the cases of Yibum and Achilas Minchah, one has in mind both to fulfill the Mitzvah and to derive personal pleasure. When Rashi writes that the Gemara does not explain that the verse teaches that the Sheyarei ha'Minchah must be eaten "l'Shem Mitzvah" because the Sheyarei ha'Minchah may be eaten with any intention, he means that one may eat it both with intention to fulfill the Mitzvah and with intention to derive personal pleasure; intention to derive personal pleasure does not detract from the intention to fulfill the Mitzvah. Intention to fulfill the Mitzvah, however, certainly is necessary.
According to the Chazon Ish, why does the Gemara not explain that the case of eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah with improper intent is when one has intent only for pleasure and not for the Mitzvah?
The answer is that according to the opinion that "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah," one who performs an act of a Mitzvah without intent to fulfill the Mitzvah certainly does not fulfill the Mitzvah; the verse of "l'Mitzvah" is not necessary to teach that one must eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah with intent to fulfill the Mitzvah. Accordingly, the Gemara must give a different explanation for what the verse of "l'Mitzvah" teaches.
This approach may answer the original question as well. When Rashi and Tosfos write that one fulfills the Mitzvah even though he does not intend to eat the Sheyarei ha'Minchah "l'Shem Mitzvah," perhaps their statement is only according to the opinion that Mitzvos do not need Kavanah. It is not logical to assume that the Torah would explicitly prohibit eating the Sheyarei ha'Minchah without intent to fulfill the Mitzvah since every Mitzvah may be performed without intent "l'Shem Mitzvah".
According to the opinion that "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah," however, there is another reason why the verse is not needed to teach that one does not fulfill the Mitzvah without Kavanah: one never fulfills the Mitzvah without Kavanah (as the Gemara says with regard to Achilah Gasah).