ו׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״א (March 12, 2011)

Menahot 3a-b – Thinking inappropriate thoughts about a meal-offering — II

As we learned in the Mishnah on yesterday’s daf (=page) when the kometz – the fistful of flour was taken from the meal-offering she-lo lishmah – with improper intentions – the meal-offering remains a valid sacrifice, although it is not credited to the owner of the offering and he will have to bring a replacement for it.

 

According to the Gemara, it appears that Rabbi Shimon disagrees with this ruling and rules that such a meal-offering would be credited to the owner. He explains that a meal-offering is qualitatively different than an ordinary animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifices all have the same act of slaughter, the same collection of blood, etc. In a meal-offering, however, the preparation of the sacrifice makes it evident whether the sacrifice has oil or does not and whether it is to be fried in a pan or cooked in a pot so the kohen‘s intentions are less important, and the minhah will remain perfectly valid. Yet from another baraita it seems that Rabbi Shimon accepts the ruling of the Mishnah!

 

Several explanations are offered in the Gemara to the apparent contradiction in Rabbi Shimon’s rulings.

 

Rava‘s explanation is brought on today’s daf, and he argues that we must distinguish between a kohen who takes the kometz from the minhah with the stated intention that it be brought as a different type of minhah. In such a case, Rabbi Shimon rules that it remains completely valid and is credited to the owner. If, however, the stated purpose of the minhah was for an animal sacrifice, then it would not be credited to the owner.

 

The commentary attributed to the Rashba explains this last case as a situation where the kohen says that he is taking the kometz from the meal-offering with the intention of effecting the atonement of someone who is obligated to bring a – a sin-offering – or for the purpose of receiving the expiation of a korban olah – a burnt-offering – or a korban shelamim – a peace-offering – that the person is obligated to bring. Since no meal-offering serves these purposes, Rabbi Shimon agrees that it will not be credited to the owner.