ג׳ באייר ה׳תשע״א (May 7, 2011)

Menahot 59a-b – Is Shew bread considered a meal-offering?

As we learned in the introduction to Masechet Menahot, there are a variety of different types of meal-offerings. TheMishnah on today’s daf (=page) teaches some of the basic rules of menahot:

 

Some meal-offerings require oil and frankincense, some require oil but not frankincense, some frankincense but not oil, and some neither oil nor frankincense.

 

1.  These require oil and frankincense:

the meal-offering of fine flour,

that prepared on a griddle,

that prepared in a pan,

the cakes and the wafers,

the meal-offering of the priests,

the meal-offering of the anointed ,

the meal-offering of a non-Jew,

the meal-offering of women,

the meal-offering of the omer.

2. The meal-offering offered with libations that come with an olah (burnt-offering) or a shelamim (a peace-offering)requires oil but not frankincense.

3. The Shewbread (lehem ha-panim) requires frankincense but not oil.

4. The two loaves,the sinner’s meal-offeringand the meal-offering of jealousy(of a ) require neither oil nor frankincense.

 

The first minhah that we find listed is “the meal-offering of fine flour.” Among the reasons offered for placing this minhahfirst is that it is the meal-offering where we find the requirement of both oil and frankincense clearly mentioned (seeVayikra 2:1), and therefore serves as the source for the other examples in the list. Rashi adds that someone who volunteers to bring a minhah without specifying which type will be required to bring a standard meal-offering of fine flour.

 

In his Tosafot Yom Tov, Rav Yom Tov Lippman Heller points out that it is strange to find that the Mishnah brings up the case of lehem ha-panim in the list together with all of the different meal-offerings, for although it does have frankincense included in its composition, it is not really a korban minhah. In response, the Rashash explains at length how we must conclude that in fact the lehem ha-panim must be viewed as belonging to the general category of meal-offerings.