ט״ז באלול ה׳תשע״ג (August 22, 2013)

Pesaḥim 63a-b: Outside the Wall

Our Gemara quotes a Mishna that appears in Massekhet Menahot (7:3), which discusses the thanksgiving sacrifice – the korban toda. That korban is made up of an animal sacrifice brought together with 40 hallot matzot – non-hametz loaves. The Mishna teaches that if the sacrifice is slaughtered inside the azarathe Temple courtyard, as is proper – but the hallot were outside the wall at that time, then the hallot do not become holy; since at the time of the shehita they were in a place where they could not be eaten, they therefore cannot become part of the korban.

A question was raised with regard to this mishna: What is the meaning of the phrase outside the wall? Rabbi Yohanan said: It means outside the wall of Beit Pagei, the outermost wall around Jerusalem, but if the bread was merely outside the wall of the Temple courtyard, it has been sanctified, as we do not require that the bread, described as “with” the offering, be next to it in order to be sanctified. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish disagreed and said: Even if the bread was merely outside the wall of the Temple courtyard, it has not been sanctified. Apparently, he holds that we require that the bread described as “with” the offering be next to it in order to be sanctified. Since Rabbi Yohanan and Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish have already disputed this issue, they presumably did not repeat this same dispute in other contexts.

Where is Beit Pagei?

There are many opinions, but it appears that Beit Pagei represented the “third wall” that surrounded the “new city” of Jerusalem. Some say that Beit Pagei is from the Latin root meaning “to eat.” According to this opinion, it was so named because within that wall was still considered Jerusalem with regard to the mitzva of eating korbanot that had to be consumed within the city walls. There also was a small village just outside of Jerusalem that was called Beit Pagei – perhaps because of the figs (pagim) that grew there. According to some opinions that is the Beit Pagei referred to by Rabbi Yohanan.

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