י״ח באלול ה׳תשע״ג (August 24, 2013)

Pesaḥim 65a-b: The Lazy Group

A number of comments that appear in the Gemara make clear the love and desire that the Jewish people were supposed to show in their participation in the Passover sacrifice. As noted on yesterday’s daf, there were three separate groups that were led into the Temple courtyard for the sacrifice. This was not only done because of overcrowding; the Mishna (64a) teaches that this was a requirement, which was learned from the pasuk obligating kol kehal adat Yisrael (Shmot 12:6), the society of the community of the Israelite people, to bring the sacrifice. The repetition of kehal, adat and Yisrael teaches the need to have three separate groups.

Nevertheless, a tosefta brought on our daf which teaches that people bringing their korbanot who ended up in the third group were referred to as participating in the “lazy group.” To the Gemara’s objection that someone has to be in the last group, the argument goes that they still should have hurried in order to be included in one of the first two groups. The Jerusalem Talmud learns a lesson from this story, pointing out that if people who fully intended to perform a mitzva and actually carried out their plan are still called “lazy,” how much more deserving of criticism are people who are truly lazy and do not fulfill mitzvot at all.

Another example of the commitment demanded by to participate in this mitzva can be seen in the final comment in this perek. The Mishna taught that as each group finished the service in the Temple courtyard, the people left, carrying their sacrifices, in order to make room for the next group. The baraita teaches that each person would wrap the korban in the skin and carry it over his back. Rav Ilish comments that they did it in the manner of Arab merchants (tayya’ut). Rav Ya’akov Emden, in his commentary on the Gemara, explains Rav Ilish’s teaching as emphasizing that although most self-respecting people do not carry freshly slaughtered animals around on their backs, with regard to the korban Pesah , the people were encouraged to ignore their own personal honor to demonstrate their love for the mitzva.

Previous
Next