Friday, July 11, 2008

Terifah on the Mizbe'ach

The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Sotah 48a) asks: Who are the “strikers?” Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel: They would cut a calf between its eyes in order that blood should fall into its eyes (and it would become easier to slaughter). He stopped this, because it looked like they were making a blemish on the animal (which would render it invalid to be brought as a sacrifice).

The braisa taught: They would hit it with sticks, just as is done with sacrifices brought before idols. He asked them: Until when are you going to bring animals that are not killed via slaughtering (neveilah) as sacrifices on the altar?

The Gemora asks: How could he say this? They slaughtered the animals! The Gemora answers: Rather, he said that they were bringing animals that are too sick to be kosher, as he suspected that they were causing a puncture in the covering of the brain (rendering the animal unkosher as a “tereifah” even if it would be slaughtered properly). He therefore instituted that they should have rings on the ground (of the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash that would hold the animal in place during slaughtering).

The Maharsham in Daas Torah asks: Since they knew where the animal was hit, why couldn’t they check to see if the animal was a tereifah or not?

The Minchas Keneos answers: It is forbidden to slaughter an animal which is a tereifah in the Beis HaMikdash because the Rabbis placed a tumah on a kodoshim animal which is a tereifah (and therefore it would help finding out afterwards that it was indeed a tereifah).

Furthermore, he states that we are concerned that when they hit the korban with a stick, it is regarded as if they were destroying kodoshim with their hands (if it becomes a tereifah), and therefore they instituted that it shouldn’t be hit at all.

Dayan Weiss, in Minchas Yitzchak answers that since this procedure was constantly done, it was impossible to institute that the animal should always be checked afterwards to see if it became a tereifah. There is a grave concern that sometimes, they will forget.

The Avnei Neizer writes that in the Beis HaMikdash, they never examined the animal to see if it was a tereifah, for anytime an uncertainty arose in the Beis HaMikdash regarding the kashrus of a korban, they would not offer it as a korban. This is based upon the passuk: Hakrivehu na l’phechasecha.

According to this answer, we could explain why the Gemora states that the concern was that a tereifah will be brought on the mizbe’ach. Shouldn’t we be concerned that they will be eating from an animal which is a tereifah? The answer could be that for that, they could have checked, but for what is going to be brought on the mizbe’ach, they were not allowed to check, and that was the primary concern.


Anonymous said...

Just a Joke for the Start of GITTIN.To be Mikayem Milsa DIBDICHUSAH.
Why is Gittin before Kiddushin in the Seder Hashas? Hashaem Always gives The Refuah before the Makkah!!! (;(of course the real Answer is it follows the Posuk which says first she goes out).