With the beginning of the fourth perek, we begin learning about an Asham Talui in more detail. As we learnt earlier (1:2) this korban is brought by one that had a doubt whether he violate a prohibition that would be punishable with karet if violated be’meizid(deliberately) or require a korban chatat if violated be’shogeg(inadvertently).
The Gemara (25a) explains that the Torah was concerned for people’s welfare and therefore obligated one to bring this korban to protect them from any potential yisurim (affliction) that may be due to them if they indeed violated the prohibition. The Sefer HaChinnuch(128) explains, one should be careful and act cautiously in order to avoid sinning. The careless actions of person to the extent that they are unsure whether they transgressed, require a korban for atonement.
The first example brought is regarding one that has a doubt whether they had cheilev (forbidden fats) or regular shuman. The Bartenura explains that this case is where there was both cheilev and shuman before him and he ate one of them. The issur was definitely there, however he is not sure if he ate it. If however there was only one item and it is not clear if it is cheilev or shuman he would be exempt.
The second case brought in the Mishnah is where one ate cheilev however he is not sure if he ate the volume of a kezayit; the minimum amount required to obligate one to bring a korban. The Bartenura however comments that at the time when he at it, he thought it was shuman. Only after he discovered it was cheilev and he is unsure regarding the volume.
The Bartenura’s comment appears to relate to another question. What is the rule regarding a case where one consciously eats something he knows has doubt whether it is cheilev. Rashi here (17b) rules that in such a case one would be exempt since he acted deliberately (be’meized). Presumably, since if he ate cheilev deliberately he would not be able to bring a korban, the same is true for the asham talui.
The Tosfot (17a) agrees with Rashi, however explains that the reason why he is exempt is because he would not “shav me’yidayoto”. In other words, one is only obligated bring a korban if he would not have engaged in the issur had he known it was assur. The Chatam Sofer notes that in general eino shav me’yediyato is regarding cases where one acted be’shogeg but regularly transgresses that prohibition anyway. His shogeg act is therefore defined as meizid.The intention here, where he is already acting be’meizid, is different. He explains that regarding the Asham Talui the Torah explains that (YaYikra 5:18): “he shall bring an unblemished ram… to the Kohen… for the inadvertence that he committed unintentionally and he did not know, and it shall be forgiven”. At the time he would be obligated to bring the asham taliu there has to be something new he has learnt now that would have prevented him from acting. For example, he thought it was shuman and learnt it was safek cheilev. In this case however no new detail is learnt.
The Aruch La’Ner comments that Tosfot did not explain like Rashi that the person’s actions are defined as meizid. The reason is because this would mean that if he later learnt it was indeed cheilev then he would be exempt from brining a chatat. Instead, the Tosfot can maintain that he is not shav me’yidiyato with regarding to the safek cheilev, but is if it were really chelev.
1 The Chatam Sofer and Aruch La’Ner were taken from the Yalkut Biurim, 17a, Metivta.
Receive our publication with an in depth article and revision questions.
Listen to the new Mishnah Shiurim by Yisrael Bankier