כ״א בטבת ה׳תשע״ד (December 24, 2013)

Yoma 46a-b: Burning up the leftovers

Rabbi Meir is quoted by Rabbi Elazar in the name of bar Kappara as ruling that the innards of sacrifices that had not been burned up should be arranged on the altar and burned, even on Shabbat. The Gemara asks why this teaching needs to be presented, as Rabbi Meir’s position on this matter is already known from his statement teaching that the sacrifices are arranged on the altar four times every day, and one of them was for such left-over parts of the korban. Similarly, Rabbi Meir rules that on Yom Kippur there are five times when the sacrifices are arranged on the altar, including one for burning the left-over parts of the sacrifices that had not been burned up prior to the beginning of Yom Kippur. Clearly Rabbi Meir permits burning these innards on Yom Kippur, which has the same level of prohibition as Shabbat.

Various suggestions are made to find a hiddush – some new teaching – in the statement quoted in the name of Rabbi Meir. Rav Aha bar Ya’akov suggests that we may have thought that the only time sacrifices were burned on Yom Kippur was when it occurred on the first day of the week (Sunday), thus only Shabbat sacrifices – due to their high level of holiness – could be burned on Yom Kippur. Rabbi Elazar teaches us that according to Rabbi Meir, all sacrifices that were not burned up the day before can be arranged for burning on the altar on Shabbat.

Rava objects to this answer, arguing that Rabbi Meir clearly said that sacrifices are arranged on the altar four times “every day.” “Every day” certainly includes Shabbat. The Gemara concludes by saying kashya – we do not have an answer to this question.

Rava introduces his question with an interesting comment. He says man hai d’lo hayyesh le-kimheh? -literally “who is this that does not care about his flour?” – a statement that merits some attention:

  • The Arukh explains that it means “who wastes his flour?” i.e. who is it that wastes the energy he gains from eating by not thoroughly using it for the study of Torah?
  • Rabbenu Elyakim suggests that it means “who is it that does not pay attention to his food and is not concerned whether he is eating wheat bread or barley bread?” i.e. he does not pay proper attention to what he says
  • The Ge’onim have a variant reading in this Gemara. Rather than lekimhei – “his flour,” they read likame – “in front of him,” meaning he does not notice even an obvious difficulty, i.e. the obvious question that Rava then presents.
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