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Steinsaltz

first, in the passage discussing burnt offerings (see Leviticus 1:3).

Similarly, one who says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a burnt offering from the flock, must bring a lamb as his burnt offering, since the verse opens with it first in the passage discussing burnt offerings of the flock, as it is stated: “And if his offering is of the flock, whether of the lambs, or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer it a male without blemish” (Leviticus 1:10).

Similarly, one who says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a burnt offering from a type of bird, must bring doves as his burnt offering, since the verse opens with it first in the passage discussing burnt offerings of birds, as it is stated: “And if his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of doves or of pigeons” (Leviticus 1:14).

If so, why did we learn in a mishna (107a): One who says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a burnt offering, must bring a lamb, which is the least expensive land animal sacrificed as an offering. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: He may bring either a dove or pigeon as a bird burnt offering. And Rabbi Yehuda does not disagree.

The Gemara provides a new interpretation: Rather, what does Rabbi Yehuda mean when he says that the fine-flour meal offering is the most notable of the meal offerings? He means that it has no modifier. Only a fine-flour offering is referred to simply as a meal offering, with no other qualification.

The Gemara challenges: But isn’t it taught in the baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says that one must bring a fine-flour meal offering since the verse opens with it first? The Gemara answers: This is what the baraita is saying: Which meal offering is the most notable of the meal offerings, as it has no modifier? It is this, i.e., the fine-flour meal offering, with which the verse opens first. The reason that Rabbi Yehuda holds that one must bring a fine-flour meal offering is not because the verse opens with it, but because it has no modifier.

The Gemara challenges: If so, the explanation of the baraita is unnecessary; isn’t it obvious that Rabbi Yehuda is referring to the fine-flour meal offering, as he says so explicitly? The Gemara answers: The baraita explains that the reference to the meal offering with which the passage opens merely serves as a mnemonic, so one should not forget which type of meal offering Rabbi Yehuda is referring to.

§ The mishna teaches that if one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a meal offering, or: It is incumbent upon me to bring a type of meal offering, he must bring one meal offering. This is because he stated his intent in the singular. But if he says in the plural: It is incumbent upon me to bring meal offerings, or: Meal offerings of a certain type, he must bring two meal offerings. Rav Pappa raises a dilemma: If one said: It is incumbent upon me to bring types of a meal offering, using a combination of singular and plural forms, what is the halakha?

The Gemara explains the dilemma: Perhaps it should be reasoned that since he said: Types, in the plural, apparently he was saying that he intends to bring two meal offerings. And if so, what is the reason he used the singular word: Meal offering? He used it because the entire category of meal offerings is also referred to as: Meal offering, in the singular, as it is written in the verse: “And this is the law of the meal offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, in front of the altar” (Leviticus 6:7).

Or perhaps it should be reasoned that since he said: Meal offering, in the singular, apparently he was saying that he intends to bring only one meal offering. And if so, what did he mean by using the plural phrase: Types of a meal offering? This is what he was saying: Of the various types of a meal offering, it is incumbent upon me to bring one.

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof that his intent is to bring two meal offerings, from that which is stated in the mishna: If one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a meal offering, or: It is incumbent upon me to bring a type of meal offering, he must bring one. This indicates that if he said: Types of a meal offering, he must bring two.

The Gemara rejects this proof. Say the latter clause: If one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring meal offerings, or: It is incumbent upon me to bring meal offerings of a certain type, he must bring two. This indicates that if he says: Types of a meal offering, he must bring only one. Rather, no inference is to be learned from this mishna, as the potential inferences are contradictory.

The Gemara suggests another resolution to Rav Pappa’s dilemma: Come and hear that which is taught in a baraita: If one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring meal offerings of a certain type, he must bring two meal offerings of one type. This indicates that if one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring of the various types of a meal offering, he is required to bring only one.

The Gemara rejects this inference: Perhaps the correct inference from the baraita is that this indicates that if one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring types of a meal offering, he must bring two meal offerings, of two different types.

The Gemara challenges the rejection. But this is not taught in the baraita, as the full baraita reads as follows: If one says: It is incumbent upon me to bring meal offerings of a certain type, he must bring two meal offerings of one type. If he says: It is incumbent upon me to bring types of meal offerings, he must bring two meal offerings, of two different types. This indicates that if he says: It is incumbent upon me to bring types of a meal offering, he brings only one.

The Gemara rejects this proof: Perhaps the baraita is not in accordance with all opinions; rather, in accordance with whose opinion is this baraita? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who said with regard to one who vows to bring a meal offering baked in an oven that if he wants to bring half of the meal offering as loaves and half of it as wafers, he may bring it in that manner. And accordingly, what is the meaning of the phrase: Types of a meal offering? It means a meal offering that has two types of baked dough. Therefore, bringing one such meal offering is sufficient.

But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, who say that if one wishes to bring half of the meal offering as loaves and half of it as wafers, he may not bring it in this manner, as they hold that all of the baked items in a meal offering must be of the same type, he consequently must bring two meal offerings of two different types.

§ The mishna teaches that if one says: I specified a meal offering but I do not know what meal offering I specified, he must bring all five types of meal offerings. The Gemara asks: Who is the tanna who taught this halakha?

Rabbi Yirmeya said: This halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. As, if it were in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, since he said that if one wants to bring half of his baked meal offering as loaves and half of it as wafers he may bring it in that manner, why does one have to bring only five meal offerings to cover all possible vows that he may have made? He should be required to bring several meal offerings baked in an oven to cover all the possible combinations of loaves and wafers.

Therefore, even if the tanna of the mishna holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who said that all meal offerings are brought as ten items, as opposed to the opinion of Rabbi Meir that all meal offerings are brought as twelve items, there is cause for uncertainty, which renders fourteen different meal offerings necessary. In addition to the shallow-pan meal offering, the deep-pan meal offering, and the fine-flour meal offering, there are another eleven combinations of baked meal offering that he may have intended. He may have intended to bring ten loaves, or ten wafers, or one loaf and nine wafers, two loaves and eight wafers, three loaves and seven wafers, and so forth.

Abaye rejected Rabbi Yirmeya’s explanation and said: You may even say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. We have heard that Rabbi Shimon said: One who is uncertain whether he is obligated to bring a certain offering may bring the offering and stipulate that if he is obligated to bring an offering, this is his offering, and if he is not obligated, it is a voluntary offering. Therefore, in the case of the mishna, one can bring the five types of meal offerings, with his baked meal offering including ten loaves and ten wafers, and stipulate that whichever items were included in his vow serve as fulfillment of his obligation, and all the others are voluntary offerings.

As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Nazir 6:1): How should one whose status as a leper is uncertain bring his guilt offering and log of oil on the eighth day of his purification? Rabbi Shimon says: On the following day, after his seven days of purification, he brings his guilt offering and his log of oil

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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