Tuesday, July 18, 2006


A few days ago we asked this question on the Beis Halevi. We have received a response from Kollel Iyun Hadaf. Here it is.

Question first:

The Beis Halevi explains the Tosfos Yeshonim that there is a
distinction between pesach and other korbonos. Pesach, there is an
obligation on the individual and he is required to eat a kezayis. By
the other korbonos, the mitzva is that the korban should be eaten,
and if accumulatively the korban was eaten, even though there was no
kohen who had a kezayis, that is sufficient.

According to the Beis Halevi, we do not understand why the righteous
ones held back from eating when it was only the size of a bean, as
long as everyone ate the entire lechem hapanim, the mitzva would be fulfilled?

The Answer:


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

The Kollel replies:

It seems that Beis ha'Levi 1:2:7 understands Tosfos Yeshanim 39a DH
SHE'MAGIO as follows. Since the Lechem ha'Panim would anyway be eaten
completely by the greedy Kohanim, it follows that the basic Mitzvah
of eating Kodashim would always be fulfilled, as B.H. writes that
there is no Mitzvah at all on any particular person to eat Kodashim
but rather merely that the Kodashim should be eaten, no matter by
whom. This way, by the modest Kohanim, B.H. writes that someone who
possesses Kodashim is entitled to give it to someone else to eat and
the Mitzvah is thereby fulfilled through this. Therefore, even though
the greedy Kohanim ate less than a Kezayis of the Lechem ha'Panim,
the Mitzvah was still fulfilled adequately this way by the modest Kohanim.

However, if the modest Kohanim would be satisfied by eating the
Lechem ha'Panim, they therefore felt it was preferable to do the
Mitzvah themselves rather than leave it to others. This is what
Tosfos Yeshanim means when he writes "Ki Dimu" to fulfil the Mitzvah
of eating, which can be translated "They wanted to do something
similar to the Mitzvah", i.e. even though the basic Mitzvah would be
performed without their participation, nevertheless if they could do
a complete Mitzvah of eating, i.e. by being satisfied, which is the
best kind of eating, then it was better to take part rather than
leave everything to others. On the other hand when there was only a
bean-size and they were not satisfied, T.Y. writes there was no
Mitzvah "Le-Gamri" i.e. no Mitzvah at all, because the modest Kohanim
were not satisfied and therefore did not perform a complete Mitzvah
of eating and consequently the Mitzvah could be done just as well by
the greedy.

(See also RITVA who writes something similar to the above - if there
was a blessing in the eating of the modest, they would not refrain
from this because this did involve an element of a Mitzvah. See also

D. Bloom


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