QUESTION: The Gemara discusses whether an Arel is permitted to eat Ma'aser
Sheni. It attempts to bring proof from a Beraisa which lists the unique
Halachos of Terumah, Ma'aser, and Parah. It does not list the Halachah that
an Arel is prohibited from eating Terumah as a Halachah that is unique to
Terumah and which does not apply to Ma'aser (which an Arel is permitted to
eat) or to Parah (for which an Arel is permitted to do Haza'ah), so it must
be that an Arel is also prohibited from eating Ma'aser, and thus this
Halachah is not unique to Terumah.
The Gemara refutes this proof and says that the Beraisa is following the
view of Rebbi Akiva. This means, as Rashi explains, that according to Rebbi
Akiva, an Arel is prohibited from doing Haza'ah of the Mei Chatas of the
Parah, and thus the Arel's Isur to eat Terumah is not unique to Terumah,
since he is also Asur to do Haza'ah as well. (He might indeed be permitted
to eat Ma'aser, though; see, though, ARUCH LA'NER.)
The Gemara then asks (according to our Girsa and according to Rashi's
understanding) who is the Tana that argues with Rebbi Akiva and says that an
Arel is *permitted* to do Haza'ah. The Gemara answers by citing a Tana who
says that a person who is Mechusar Kipurim may burn the Parah Adumah. Just
like he permits a *Mechusar Kipurim* to burn the Parah Adumah, he also
permits an *Arel* to take part in the Avodah of the Parah Adumah (Rashi, DH
This Gemara is difficult to understand in light of what the Gemara said
earlier. Earlier (72b), the Gemara cited a Machlokes between Rav Yosef and
Rava regarding the view of Rebbi Akiva. According to Rav Yosef, Rebbi Akiva
says that an Arel is compared to a Tamei, and thus he may not even touch
Terumah. That is why he may not do the Haza'ah of the Mei Chatas. Rava
refutes this by pointing out that we never find in any Mishnah that an Arel
cannot touch Terumah, and if Rebbi Akiva had said that, we would have found
it in a Mishnah. It must be that the reason that the Tana of the Beraisa
there does not allow an Arel to do Haza'ah is because of the Chumra of Parah
(as Rashi there explains).
Here, the Gemara now says that Rebbi Akiva prohibits an Arel from doing
Haza'ah because an Arel is like a Tamei. That, however, is only *Rav
Yosef's* opinion of what Rebbi Akiva held, which the Gemara earlier
rejected! Is the Gemara now returning to the logic of Rav Yosef?
Furthermore, why does the Gemara here not use the logic of Rava, who said
that an Arel may not do Haza'ah because of the Chumra of Parah? Had the
Gemara used that reasoning, it could have said that the Beraisa here follows
even the view of the Rabanan who argue with Rebbi Akiva!
ANSWER: There are two ways to understand the Gemara, depending on how we
understand the Gemara earlier (72b).
When Rava, in that Sugya, rejects Rav Yosef's view and suggests that an Arel
cannot do Haza'ah because of the Chumra of Parah, is he saying that even
according to the Rabanan the Arel cannot do Haza'ah? Or is he only saying
that according to Rebbi Akiva an Arel cannot do Haza'ah, but the Rabanan
permit an Arel to do Haza'ah? (TOSFOS there, DH Hasam, asks a similar
question regarding the exemption of an Arel from Re'iyah ba'Azarah.)
(Bear in mind that even if, according to Rava, the Rabanan agree that an
Arel cannot do Haza'ah because of the Chumra of Parah, that is only
according to the *second* Beraisa (on that Amud), that says that an Arel is
prohibited to do Haza'ah. The first Beraisa (on 72b), which argues and
permits an Arel to do Haza'ah, is apparently following another version of
the opinion of the Rabanan.)
(a) The first way to understand our Gemara is to learn that our Gemara is
following the opinion of Rav Yosef who holds that Rebbi Akiva compares an
Arel to a Tamei. Why, though, did the Gemara not suggest that the reason an
Arel cannot do Haza'ah is because of the Chumra of Parah, like Rava holds?
Perhaps the Gemara wants to avoid the becoming involved in the Machlokes
between Rav Yosef and Rava. It therefore goes out of its way to explain the
Beraisa even according to Rav Yosef, who is of the opinion that it is *only*
Rebbi Akiva who prohibits an Arel from doing Haza'ah. The Gemara is saying
that even according to Rav Yosef, the Beraisa can be understood (by saying
that it is following the opinion of Rebbi Akiva). According to Rava, the
Beraisa can be explained even according to the Rabanan.
This appears to be the way TOSFOS (DH Hachi Garis) understands the Gemara.
However, as Tosfos and the Rishonim point out, according to this
understanding the continuation of the Gemara is very unclear. The Gemara
asks who it is that argues with Rebbi Akiva and says that an Arel *may* do
Haza'ah. What is the Gemara's question? We already learned (70a) that the
Tana Rebbi Eliezer is the one who argues with Rebbi Akiva and does not
accept the view that an Arel is compared to a Tamei!
Another difficulty with this explanation is that the Gemara answers its
question by citing a Tana in a Beraisa that says that a Mechusar Kipurim may
do Haza'ah. The Gemara assumes that the same applies to an Arel. Why? What
is the connection between a Mechusar Kipurim and an Arel? They have nothing
to do with each other! An Arel is like a person who is an Av ha'Tum'ah, and
not just like a Mechusar Kipurim (who is only marginally Tamei).
Also, why does the Gemara discuss this question here? It should have
discussed it earlier (on 72b), where the Gemara first mentioned that Rebbi
Akiva compares an Arel to a Tamei and says that an Arel may not do Haza'ah!
(b) Therefore, it is possible that Rashi had another approach to the Sugya.
When Rava (72b) said that an Arel may not do Haza'ah because of the Chumra
of Parah (and not because an Arel is compared to a Tamei), he was not saying
that everyone -- both Rebbi Akiva and the Rabanan -- agree with that ruling.
Rather, Rava was saying that only *Rebbi Akiva* prohibits an Arel from doing
Haza'ah for this reason. Rava agreed with Rav Yosef that Rebbi Akiva is more
stringent than the Rabanan with regard to an Arel. Rava, though, had heard
Rav Yosef say that (according to Rebbi Akiva) an Arel is so similar to a
Tamei that he is not permitted to touch Terumah (Rashi 72b, DH Ish Ish).
Rava disagreed, saying that Rebbi Akiva does not go so far as to say that an
Arel is like a Tamei. Rather, Rebbi Akiva is stringent with an Arel, like
with a Tamei, in certain cases, such as Parah Adumah, because of our overall
stringency with regard to the Parah Adumah. Therefore, Rebbi Akiva does not
permit an Arel to do Haza'ah. It is because of the Chumra of Parah, and not
because of the Tum'ah of the Arel.
According to this understanding, our Gemara -- that says that the Beraisa
which prohibits an Arel to do Haza'ah is the view of Rebbi Akiva who
compares an Arel with a Tamei -- is consistent with the conclusion of Rava
(on 72b) that Rebbi Akiva does *not* make an Arel completely like a Tamei
and yet he still prohibits an Arel from doing Haza'ah. (This is why Rashi
here does not write that Rebbi Akiva prohibits an Arel from touching Ma'aser
Sheni -- because our Gemara is not citing Rav Yosef's opinion that Rebbi
Akiva prohibits an Arel from touching Kodshim; Rebbi Akiva only prohibits
Haza'ah of the Parah Adumah (according to Rava)! See also ARUCH LA'NER.)
This approach also explains the continuation of the Gemara. The Gemara asks
who is the Tana who argues with Rebbi Akiva. The Gemara does not want to say
that it is Rebbi Eliezer because the reason we say that Rebbi Akiva is
stringent with regard to an Arel is because of the Chumra of Parah. Rebbi
Eliezer only argues with Rebbi Akiva about comparing an Arel to a Tamei, but
perhaps Rebbi Eliezer agrees that the Chumra of Parah prohibits the Arel
from doing Haza'ah!
We now can also answer the question of the Rishonim as to why the Gemara
associates an Arel with a Mechusar Kipurim when they are completely
unrelated. If the reason an Arel is prohibited from doing Haza'ah is because
of the Chumra of Parah, then that same reason applies to be stringent (at
least mid'Rabanan) with a Mechusar Kipurim as well, because he also retains
a certain degree of Tum'ah with regard to Kodshim. Now that we see that
there is a Tana who is lenient l'Chatchilah with the Chumra of Parah
regarding a Mechusar Kipurim, we may assume that that Tana is also lenient
with an Arel and does not hold that the Chumra of Parah prevents him from
The reason why the Gemara did not discuss earlier (on 72b) the identity of
this Tana is because earlier, when Rava learned that the reason for the
Beraisa that prohibits the Arel from doing Haza'ah is because of the Chumra
of Parah, the Gemara thought that according to both the Rabanan *and* Rebbi
Akiva, the Chumra of Parah could prohibit it. The Machlokes between the
Beraisos there is whether the Chumra of Parah indeed prohibits the Arel from
doing Haza'ah or not, according to both Rebbi Akiva and the Rabanan. The
Machlokes between the Beraisos, therefore, is unrelated to the Machlokes
between the Rabanan and Rebbi Akiva.
From this Sugya, however, we see that even Rava wants to establish the
Beraisa that is Machmir with an Arel to be *only* according to Rebbi Akiva.
The Gemara is now asking why should Rava limit it to the opinion of Rebbi
Akiva. He must have wanted to make the earlier Beraisa, that permits an Arel
to do Haza'ah, to be following the opinion of the Rabanan, the majority
opinion, while the later one, which prohibits an Arel from doing Haza'ah,
will be the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, a minority opinion. Rava must have found
another Tana who permits an Arel to do Haza'ah, and since Rava agreed with
that Tana, he preferred to set up the Beraisa which permits an Arel to do
Haza'ah to be like the majority opinion (that of the Rabanan). The Gemara
therefore asks who is this Tana who is lenient with regard to Parah, with
whom Rava seems to agree?
The Gemara answers that we find a Tana in a Beraisa who permits a Mechusar
Kipurim to do the Avodah of the Parah, and that is how we rule. Since Rava
also ruled like that Tana, that is why he preferred to set up the Beraisa
that permits an Arel to do Haza'ah to be the view of the Rabanan, the
majority opinion, and the Beraisa that prohibits an Arel to do Haza'ah is
reflecting only the view of Rebbi Akiva. (M. Kornfeld)