YEVAMOS 72 (17 Iyar 5782) - Today's daf is dedicated to the memory of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather,
Yaacov ben Avraham Safra
who cherished learning Torah above all. His respect for daas Torah was legendary, as was his diligence in not speaking lashon hara. He served as an example to all of us. May his neshama have an aliyah!
1) MAY AN "AREL" TOUCH TERUMAH?
QUESTION: The Gemara inquires whether an Arel is permitted to perform Haza'ah of the Mei Chatas on another person. The Gemara suggests that he is permitted to perform Haza'ah based on a Kal v'Chomer: Since a Tevul Yom -- who is not permitted to touch Terumah (or Kodshim, TOSFOS) -- is permitted to perform Haza'ah, certainly an Arel -- who may touch Terumah (and Kodshim) -- should be permitted to perform Haza'ah.
The Gemara cites a Beraisa which states that an Arel may not perform Haza'ah. The Gemara explains that the Beraisa expresses the opinion of Rebbi Akiva. Rava explains (in the Gemara's conclusion, according to Rashi, DH Lo) that Rebbi Akiva prohibits an Arel from performing Haza'ah because of the strictness of the laws of the Parah Adumah (see Chart, and Insights to Yevamos 75:1).
The MAHARSHA asks that according to the Gemara's conclusion that an Arel is not permitted to perform Haza'ah, he should also not be permitted to touch Terumah or Kodshim. The Gemara's initial Kal v'Chomer should apply and teach that since a Tevul Yom may perform Haza'ah but may not touch Terumah or Kodshim, an Arel -- who may not perform Haza'ah -- certainly should not be permitted to touch Terumah or Kodshim.
(a) The fact that the Torah prohibits an Arel from eating Terumah or Kodshim (Vayikra 22:4; see 70a) implies that the Torah permits him to touch it. If an Arel would be prohibited from touching Terumah, no verse would be necessary to teach that he may not eat Terumah. (MAHARSHA)
The YASHRESH YAKOV challenges this answer. Perhaps when the Torah prohibits an Arel from eating Terumah its intention is to teach that an Arel is punished with Malkus for eating Terumah but not for touching Terumah (since the prohibition against touching Terumah is derived from a Kal v'Chomer, and "Ein Onshin Min ha'Din"). Accordingly, the fact that the verse mentions only that an Arel may not eat Terumah provides no proof that he is permitted to touch Terumah.
(b) The YASHRESH YAKOV answers instead that the verse itself explicitly prohibits an Arel only from eating Terumah and does not prohibit him from touching Terumah. This is not derived from an inference in the verse, but it is the very intention of the verse.
(c) Perhaps the Kal v'Chomer does not apply for the following reason. As Rashi explains, an Arel may not perform Haza'ah with the Mei Chatas because of the strictness of the laws of Parah Adumah. Why, though, should the strictness of the laws preclude an Arel from performing part of the service? The reason is that an Arel is "Ma'us" -- he is considered loathsome because of his state of Arelus, and thus it is improper for him to take part in the service of the Parah Adumah. The Gemara suggests a similar logic when it exempts an Arel from the Mitzvah to appear in the Beis ha'Mikdash during the festival "because he is loathsome."
Accordingly, the limitation of an Arel applies only in situations in which the Arel's participation would be loathsome. An Arel's loathsome nature prevents him from active involvement in the Avodah of the Parah Adumah and in helping another person become Tahor (with Haza'ah). Similarly, it is improper for one who is considered "Ma'us" to enter the Azarah, a holy place. In contrast, contact with a sanctified object such as Terumah cannot be prohibited merely because the person is "Ma'us." Therefore, the Kal v'Chomer does not apply.