כ״ב באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״א (March 28, 2011)

Menahot 19a-b – Establishing rules about the meal-offering

As we learned on yesterday’s daf (=page) many of the activities associated with bringing the korban minhah – a meal-offering – are required ab initio, but after the fact the offering would be valid even if these activities are not performed correctly.

 

What is the source of this ruling?

 

Rav teaches that when the Torah states a rule regarding the meal-offering and then repeats it, that indicates that that rule is essential and cannot be dispensed with. Shmu’el argues that the only two things that are essential in the meal-offering are the flour and the oil. All other elements are supposed to be done, but the offering will remain valid even if it is not done properly.

 

The Gemara clarifies that even Shmu’el agrees that when statements are repeated by the Torah that is an indication that those are true requirements. The point of argument is what should be considered a repetition. Shmuel’s argument is that when the Torah repeats a certain idea when relating a story that occurred, that is not considered a repetition. The basis for this argument is that a mitzvah that is carried out in the Torah may contain elements that are time-specific – they may have been appropriate for that specific moment in time, but are not to be transferred to other times.

 

The basic argument between Rav and Shmu’el in this case focuses on the fact that some of the laws of minhah are taught in Parashat Vayikra (see Vayikra Chapter 2) and then repeated in Parashat Tzav (See Chapter 6). Regarding these laws there is no disagreement – all are required. The disagreement revolves around those laws that were stated inParashat Tzav and are repeated in the story of the sanctification of the Tabernacle in Parashat Shemini (seeChapter 9). While Rav views those as significant repetitions, Shmu’el does not. Thus, Shmu’el’s ruling is that only the laws of flour and oil – as well as other similar laws that are stated and repeated as obligatory for all generations – are required even after the fact.