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Steinsaltz

Rav Ashi said: Even if you say that sides are permitted in general, there is no proof from here, since anything that is near the animal’s back is considered as its back. Therefore, placing the hands on the head of the animal is the same as placing them on the animal itself, as opposed to its sides.

MISHNA: Beit Shammai say: One may bring peace-offerings on a Festival because both the owners and the priests partake of them, but one may not place his hands on them, on the peace-offerings before sacrificing them. However, one may not bring burnt-offerings at all because they are not eaten, and labor is permitted on Festivals only for the sake of preparing food for humans. And Beit Hillel say: One may bring peace-offerings and also burnt-offerings, and one places his hands on both of them.

If the festival of Shavuot occurs on the eve of Shabbat, Beit Shammai say: The day of slaughter is after Shabbat, on Sunday. This is the day on which the animals brought in honor of the pilgrim Festival are slaughtered, since they maintain that the Festival burnt-offering is not sacrificed on the Festival day itself but on the following day, and all burnt-offerings vowed by individuals are postponed to the following day. And Beit Hillel say: The day of slaughter is not after Shabbat. Since the slaughter may be performed on the Festival day itself, it is unnecessary to postpone it. But they concede that if Shavuot occurs on Shabbat, the day of slaughter is after Shabbat.

The mishna relates that when the day of slaughter was on a Sunday, the High Priest would not dress in his festive garments but would wear his regular clothing. And all were permitted to eulogize and fast on this day. This was done in order not to uphold and reinforce the opinion of the Sadducees, who would say: Shavuot must always occur after Shabbat. As the day of slaughter was on Sunday, it was necessary to demonstrate that we do not accept the view of the Sadducees, and that the day is not a Festival.

GEMARA: Rabbi Elazar said that Rabbi Oshaya said: From where is it derived that the Shavuot offerings can be redressed, i.e., that the obligatory Festival offerings can be sacrificed all seven days following the Festival? As it is stated: “Three times a year all your males shall appear…on the festival of Passover, and on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot (Deuteronomy 16:16). The verse compares the festival of Shavuot to the festival of Passover by analogy: Just as one can redress the failure to bring the offering on the festival of Passover on all seven days of the Festival, so too, on the festival of Shavuot, one can redress the failure to bring the offering for all seven, i.e., Shavuot and the six days following it.

The Gemara raises a difficulty: But perhaps you should say instead that the verse compares Shavuot to the festival of Sukkot by analogy: Just as the Festival day of Sukkot can be redressed for all eight days, as the Eighth Day of Assembly is part of the Festival, so too can the festival of Shavuot be redressed for all eight days. The Gemara answers: The Eighth Day of Assembly is an independent pilgrimage Festival and is not considered part of Sukkot.

The Gemara continues to ask: You can say that when they said that The Eighth Day of Assembly is an independent pilgrimage Festival, this applies only to the issue of peh, zayin, reish, kuf, shin, beit, an acronym for the six halakhot that differentiate The Eighth Day of Assembly from the festival of Sukkot. But with regard to the redress of the Festival offerings, it is considered a day of redress for the first Festival day, as we learned in a mishna (9a): One who did not celebrate by sacrificing the Festival offerings on the first day of the Sukkot Festival can celebrate by sacrificing them throughout the pilgrimage Festival of Sukkot and on the last day of that Festival. If so, the question remains: Why do we not compare Shavuot to Sukkot and allow its offerings to be completed on all eight days?

The Gemara answers by implementing the following principle: If you grasped many, you did not grasp anything; if you grasped few, you grasped something. In other words, when one must choose between a smaller number and a larger one, there is more certainty in choosing the smaller one. Even if that choice turns out to be erroneous, it is preferable to the larger one, as it is included in it. In this case, seven is included in eight. Therefore, it is preferable to compare Shavuot to the seven days of Passover than to the eight days of Sukkot.

The Gemara asks: But if we do not compare Shavuot to Sukkot, for the sake of what halakha did the Merciful One write the festival of Sukkot in this context? The laws of all the Festivals were already listed, so the Torah must have mentioned their names again in order to compare them for a particular reason. The Gemara answers: The festival of Sukkot was mentioned in order to compare it by analogy to the festival of Passover, in the following manner: Just as the festival of Passover requires lodging overnight in Jerusalem after the conclusion of the Festival, as one may not depart that night, so too the festival of Sukkot requires lodging in Jerusalem after Sukkot has ended.

The Gemara asks: And there, with regard to Passover itself, from where do we derive that it requires lodging?

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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