סקר
עם סיום מס' שבת





 

Steinsaltz

You must say that this is the lamb of the morning daily offering, concerning which the Torah commands that a new woodpile be prepared every day and that the altar must be lit anew each morning. Therefore, although the verse is ostensibly speaking of a bull, it also alludes to the lamb of the daily offering and to the fact that it should be brought by six priests.

§ Rabbi Asi said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: A non-priest who set up the arrangement of wood on the altar is liable to receive the death penalty by God’s hand for having performed an act that is restricted to priests, and the woodpile that he placed is invalid. What should he do to repair the woodpile? He should dismantle it and then rearrange it. The Gemara is surprised at this: What good would this do for the woodpile? How would it help for the non-priest himself to rearrange the wood? It would be just as invalid as it was the first time. Rather, one must say that the non-priest should dismantle it, as there is nothing wrong with a non-priest dismantling the woodpile, and a priest then rearranges it.

Rabbi Zeira strongly objects to Rabbi Yoḥanan’s teaching: And do you have any service that is valid if performed at night and yet is invalid if performed by a non-priest? A bona fide Temple service must be performed during the day. That the wood on the altar may be arranged while it is still nighttime shows that it is not a bona fide service, and therefore it should be permitted for non-priests to perform it.

The Gemara expresses wonder at Rabbi Zeira’s equation of the two issues: And is there really no such thing as a service that may be performed at night but which is prohibited for a non-priest to perform? Isn’t there the burning of the limbs and the fats of offerings on the altar, which continues throughout the night, and yet it was taught earlier in this chapter that a non-priest who participates in that service incurs the death penalty? The Gemara rejects this objection: The burning of sacrificial limbs and fats, though it may be done at night, is not considered a nighttime service but the end of the daytime service, as it is merely the culmination of the sacrificial service that began during the day.

The Gemara asks further: But isn’t there the removal of the ashes from the altar, which may be performed at night, and yet may not be done by a non-priest? The Gemara rejects this too: The removal of ashes is also not considered a nighttime service but the start of the daytime service. And the proof for this is that Rabbi Asi said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: If a priest has sanctified his hands at night by washing them for the removal of the ashes, the next day, i.e., after daybreak, he need not sanctify his hands again, as he already sanctified them at the start of the service. Rabbi Zeira’s equation between services performed at night and services that may be performed by non-priests therefore remains intact. If so, the objection that he raised to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan remains difficult.

Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement must be revised, and one must posit that when it was stated, this is how it was stated. Rabbi Asi said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: A non-priest who arranges the two logs on the altar is liable to receive the death penalty by God’s hand, since it is a daytime service. Rava strongly objects to this: But if that is so, if arranging the two logs is a bona fide daytime service and is prohibited to non-priests on pain of death, it should require a lottery; and yet in practice this service is not assigned by a lottery. The Gemara comments that it must have escaped Rava’s mind that which is taught explicitly in a baraita: The priest who was privileged to perform the removal of the ashes was also privileged with setting up the arrangement of wood on the altar and with placing the two logs.

Another difficulty is raised with regard to Rava’s statement: Is that to say that a daytime service requires a lottery and, conversely, a nighttime service does not require a lottery? Isn’t there the burning of the limbs and the fats on the altar, which is done at night and yet is assigned through a lottery? The Gemara responds: That is not difficult, since the burning of the limbs and the fats is the end of the daytime service, as explained above. The Gemara asks: But isn’t there the removal of the ashes from the altar, which is a nighttime service and yet requires a lottery? The Gemara answers: Indeed, a lottery should not have been required for that service, but one was instituted due to the incident that occurred, when the priests came to danger, as related in the mishna.

The Gemara asks further: Is that to say that any service that is a daytime service and for which a non-priest would be liable to receive the death penalty requires a lottery, and conversely, a daytime service for which a non-priest would not be liable to receive the death penalty does not require a lottery? But isn’t there the slaughtering of the daily offering, which may be performed by a non-priest and yet requires a lottery? The Gemara rejects this point: Slaughtering is different, because it is the beginning of the service of the daily offering and is therefore considered important enough to warrant a lottery.

The Gemara asks with regard to the revised version of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement: Mar Zutra, and some say Rav Ashi, said: But didn’t we learn that it is not so that arranging the logs must be done during the day, as it was taught in a mishna: The appointed priest said to them: Go out and see if the time for slaughtering has arrived. The mishna does not teach that the appointee said: Go and see if the time for arranging the two logs has arrived. This shows that the logs need not be placed after daybreak but may be arranged while it is still night.

The Gemara rejects this argument: The reason the mishna mentions slaughtering is that it prefers to teach this statement with regard to that which has no rectification if it is done at night, such as slaughtering the offering, which is rendered irreparably invalid if done before daybreak. It does not want to teach something that has rectification if done at night, such as arranging the two logs, which can always be removed and replaced properly. However, the proper time for arranging the logs is indeed daytime.

And some say a different version of Rabbi Zeira’s objection: Rabbi Zeira strongly objects to Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement that a non-priest who arranged the woodpile incurs the death penalty: And do you have any service that is not complete on its own but is followed by a different service, such as the arrangement of the two logs, and yet is invalid and is punishable by death if performed by a non-priest? It was taught earlier in the chapter that a non-priest incurs the death penalty only for performing a service that is complete, i.e., a service that is not followed by other services that complete the task being performed.

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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