Chatzi Matir

Menachot (2:1) | Yisrael Bankier | 6 years ago

While some of the laws that apply to zevachim (animal korbabnot) also apply to menachot (korbanot from flour) their application however can be different. Last week we discussed the issue of li’shma and this week we focused on pigul. Much like with zevachim, if one performs one of the four avodot with the intention to consume or offer part of the korban that should be consumed or offered (respectively) beyond the required time, the korban is rendered pigul. Consuming the shirayim (the left over part that is not offered and can be consumed) is punishable with karet.

One area where menachot differs from zevachim is that whereby be in zevachim it is casting the blood alone that permits the meat to be consumed, for menachot both the kometz (three fingers full of the mincha) and levona (frankincense) must be offered for the shirayim to be eaten. The presence of two “matirs” raised a number of debates. One case is in the beginning of the second perek. The Mishnah begins by stating the R’ Yosi agrees with the Chachamim that if one performs kemitza with the intention of eating the shirayim or offering the kemitz outside the required time then the korban is pigul. If however he performed kemitza with the intention to offer the levona too late then R’ Yossi argues it is different and while the korban would be invalid, it would not be pigul. In other words, it appears that the Chachamim maintain that intentions regarding one matir when performing the other can render a korban pigul.

A later Mishnah (2:5) however presents a difficulty. There is debate regarding if one had machshevet pigul for the kometz but not the levona whether the korban is pigul. While R’ Meir maintains that it is, the Chachamim disagree. They maintain that mechshevet pigul is required for both – the entire matir. Machshevet pigul for one, i.e. chatzi matir, would not render the korban pigul. This appears to contradict their position in this Mishnah. Furthermore the Rambam rules according to the Chachamim in both mishnayot. How can we resolve these two rulings?

The Tosfot Yom Tov raises this question and first answers citing Rashi who differentiates between the two Mishnayot. The earlier Mishnah where the Chachamim had an issue with chatzi matir was referring to where the kometz or levona was being offered (haktara). The same avoda was being applied to both matirs. In this Mishnah however there would be no problem with chatzi matir since we are dealing with machshava at the time of kemitza and kemitza only applies to the kometz and not the levona.

The Tosfot Yom Tov however explains that this answer is not satisfactory for the Bartenura. He writes that the beginning of the Mishnah that teaches where R’ Yossi agrees is needed since one might think that if “one intends in the burning of the kometz it is a chatzi matir and R’ Yossi would argue” that the korban is not pigul. This implies that our Mishnah is referring to a case where the machshava is at the time of haktara as well.1 He concludes that when it comes to a chatzi matir there are no grounds to differentiate between avodot.

The Tosfot Yom Tov therefore explains differently. One can maintain that a machshevet pigul for chatzi matir does not render the korban pigul. Yet at the same time it can still render that chatzi matir itself pigul.2

A question left remaining is that in this Mishnah the Chachamim maintain that the machava regarding one matir (levona) when performing the other (kemitza) is significant. The later Mishnah (2:5) however teaches that the Chachamim maintain that if one has intended to consume one of the kivsei atzeret (lambs brought on Shavuot) while slaughtering the other, they are both kasher. Both these kevasim act together as a matir for the loaves that are brought with them. The rational is that the machava regarding one matir when performing the other is not significant. This appears to contradict our Mishnah. The Tosfot Yom Tov answers that our case is different since both the kometz and levona are placed together in one kli sharet (utensil used for service). Consequently they are like one for that law and the machshava of one can affect the other.


1 The Tosfot R’ Akiva Eiger however argues that the Bartenura means that at the time of kemitza he intends to burn the kometz outside the allotted time. There is therefore no issue.

2 The Tosfot Yom Tov notes that this is only with regards to kemitza. For haktara, the Rambam rules that ein haktara mefagelet haktara.

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