THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ZEVACHIM 80 (30 Av) - This daf has been dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther
Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer, upon her Yahrzeit and Yom
Kevurah, by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel. Esther
Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of
herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.
1) THE FUNCTION OF "BITUL B'ROV"
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Mishnah in Parah (9:1) that discusses a case
in which a drop of regular water falls into a bowl of Mei Chatas, the
consecrated water, containing the ashes of the Parah Adumah, used for the
purification process of one who is Tamei with Tum'as Mes. Although there
clearly is a majority of Mei Chatas, can this water still be used in the
purification process of one who is Tamei? Rebbi Eliezer rules that if two
sprinkles from this water are administered, then it may be used to make a
person Tahor. The Chachamim argue and rule that this water may no longer be
used. The Gemara discusses both opinions at length.
Why does the Mishnah in Parah not take into account the fundamental
principle of Bitul b'Rov (as discussed earlier, on 78b)? This is a case of
Min b'Mino (water fell into water), to which Bitul b'Rov applies, and the
drop of ordinary water should be nullified by the majority of Mei Chatas!
Even Rebbi Eliezer, who rules leniently in this case, seems to be ignoring
the logic of Bitul b'Rov!
(a) TOSFOS (79b, DH Tenan Hasam) answers that the law in the Mishnah in
Parah (either the ruling of Rebbi Eliezer or the ruling of the Chachamim) is
certainly mid'Rabanan. The Rabanan instituted a stringency with regard to
Mei Chatas, because of the severity of the laws of Tum'ah and Mei Chatas.
Mid'Oraisa, however, the ordinary water indeed would be Batel b'Rov.
(b) The RIVA, quoted by the CHOK NASAN, argues that the rule of Bitul b'Rov
does not apply in this case. Bitul b'Rov does not mean that the minority in
the mixture acquires the status of the majority. Rather, it means that the
minority does not interfere with the status of the majority; we ignore the
minority. Accordingly, even if we would apply Bitul b'Rov, the regular water
which would be sprinkled from this mixture would not have the status of Mei
Chatas and would not purify the person that was sprinkled. This makes the
entire mixture Pasul.
The logic used by the Riva is attributed to the ONEG YOM TOV (OC 4). He uses
this principle when he asserts that Tzitzis that were spun without specific
intention to use them for the Mitzvah of Tzitzis cannot be added to a
majority of strings that were spun with the correct intention by applying
the principle of Bitul b'Rov. Since they do not attain the status of the
majority, they do not add to the correct amount of valid Tzitzis required.
The YAD BINYAMIN adds that a similar line of reasoning is advanced by the
RAN in Nedarim (59a), who states that a permitted substance which is the
minority of a mixture retains its status even though the majority of the
mixture is a forbidden substance. It seem that the Ran maintains that
something which is a minority retains its status even though it is Batel
However, the CHAMUDAS DANIEL points out that this principle is challenged by
many other Rishonim. As we mentioned, Tosfos explicitly holds that Bitul
*would* work in this case, which clearly shows that he maintains that the
regular water in the mixture indeed would become Mei Chatas because of
Bitul. This is also apparent from Tosfos in Bava Metzia (6b, DH Kafatz), who
questions the Gemara's statement that if an animal that was separated as
Ma'aser Behemah jumps back into the area where the animals that were not yet
counted are gathered, all of the animals are exempt from Ma'aser Behemah.
Tosfos asks why this should be -- why should we not apply Bitul b'Rov and
consider all of the animals in the mixture as obligated to have Ma'aser
separated from them? From the question of Tosfos there we see that he holds
that the animal that was Ma'aser Behemah loses its status once it becomes
Batel in a majority of animals from which Ma'aser was not separated. The
SHITAH MEKUBETZES (Hashmatos to 78b), in his third explanation, also expresses clearly that a
minority of Isur turns into Heter (see also SHALOM RAV to 78b in the name of
the DARCHEI YOSHER). The Chamudas Daniel therefore concludes, unlike the
Oneg Yom Tov quoted above, that a majority of Tzitzis that were made with
intention for the Mitzvah of Tzitzis turn the minority which were not made
with the proper intention into valid strings, enabling the person to fulfill
the Mitzvah of Tzitzis with them (see also KOVETZ HE'OROS, Yevamos #59, who
discusses this argument). (Y. Montrose)
2) HOW MANY SPRINKLES ARE PERFORMED WHEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF KORBANOS BECOME
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (80a) discusses three cases of Korbanos whose bloods
becomes mixed together: a mixture of two Korbanos that each require only one
Zerikah, a mixture of two Korbanos that each require four Zerikos, and a
mixture of a Korban that requires one Zerikah with a Korban that requires
four Zerikos. The Mishnah states that, in the first case, "they should be
given with one sprinkling." The Gemara asks that assuming that we hold that
each drop of blood is not considered a mixture of both Korbanos, how do we
know that the blood from both Korbanos reached the Mizbe'ach? Perhaps all
the blood that was placed on the Mizbe'ach was from only one Korban! (See
TOSFOS, DH Kegon, who understands the question differently.) The Gemara
answers that the Mishnah is referring to a case in which "one [sprinkle of
blood] became mixed with one [sprinkle of blood]." What does the Gemara mean
by this answer?
(a) RASHI (DH Achas b'Achas) says that the Gemara is answering that the
Kohen places all of the blood that became mixed onto the Mizbe'ach, thus
ensuring that some blood from each Korban is placed on the Mizbe'ach. The
Gemara's initial assumption was that the Mishnah means that only a single
Matanah is performed, because no matter how much blood is in the mixture, we
consider each drop as a mixture of the blood of both Korbanos. However,
according to the opinion that we view each drop of blood as being from only
one animal and not as a mixture of blood from both animals, the Mishnah must
mean that enough blood for one Matanah from each animal became mixed
together, and by placing the entire mixture on the Mizbe'ach, the Kohen
certainly is performing Zerikah for both animals. Rashi apparently learns
that the Mishnah's statement of "they should be given with one sprinkling"
means, as the Gemara initially assumed, that one Matanah should be given.
The Gemara's answer is that this wording can also mean that one must give an amount of one Matanah *from each
Korban*, and not the total amount of only one Matanah.
(b) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (Hashmatos #8) has difficulty with Rashi's
explanation. In the third case of the Mishnah, in which a Korban that
requires one Zerikah becomes mixed with a Korban that requires four, the
Gemara seems to retract the explanation used in the previous two cases.
Rashi (81a, DH v'Chi Teima) explains that the Gemara means that we cannot
say that Rebbi Eliezer's opinion in the Mishnah ("Yinasnu b'Matan Arba")
means that *five* sprinkles should be given. The Shitah Mekubetzes asks how
can the Gemara even entertain such a possibility? According to the Gemara's
original understanding, we might have understood this to mean that either
*four* sprinkles must be performed, or *eight*, but not five! There is no
way that the wording of the Mishnah could possibly mean five sprinkles.
The Shitah Mekubetzes therefore gives a different explanation (in the name
of "Mori"). He explains that the Mishnah, when it says, "Yinasnu b'Matanah
Achas," means that the total *amount* of blood that the Zerikos of both
Korbanos required before they were mixed together should be given in as many
Matanos as the Mishnah says. For example, "Yinasnu b'Matanah Achas" means
that the amount of two sprinkles, one from each Korban, should be sprinkled
on the Mizbe'ach at one time. Therefore, when the Gemara says that we cannot
learn that Rebbi Eliezer means five sprinkles, it does not mean that "Matan
Arba" somehow means five sprinkles. Rather, it means that the amount of
blood required for the Zerikos of both Korbanos, indicated by the word
"Yinasnu," should be given in four sprinkles.
The Shitah Mekubetzes also differs with Rashi regarding how much blood the
Gemara is discussing. According to his explanation, when the Gemara says
that the case of the Mishnah is one in which "one became mixed with one," it
does not necessarily mean that the amount of one sprinkle is mixed with the
amount of only one other sprinkle. It means that the amount of the Zerikah
is comprised of the amount of blood which was supposed to be given for both
Korbanos. (Y. Montrose)