Changing from Kedusha to Kedusha

Temurah (7:4) | Yisrael Bankier | 7 years ago

The last perek begins by comparing those things that have been sanctified as an offering and those things that have been consecrated for the treasury of the Beit HaMikdash. To use the words of the Mishnah: kodshei mizbeach and kodshei bedek ha’bayit. The Mishnah (7:3) teaches that they both share the rule that one cannot change either of these from one kedusha to another. We need to understand this statement.

The Bartenura explains that regarding kodshei mizbeach, this means that one cannot, for example, change a shelamim to an olah or an olah to a shelamim. Likewise for kodshei bedek habayit, one cannot change that which is consecrated for the treasury of the heichal to the mizbeach.

The Tosfot Yom Tov notes that this is indeed how the Rambam (Temura 4:11) rules. The Raavad however comments that he is at a loss to where the Rambam learns that one differentiates between levels of kedusha regarding kodeshei bedek habayit. Regarding kodshei mizbeach the korbanot are each unique regarding whether they are consumed, the timeframe in which they must be consumed, how they are offered, whether they achieve atonement, etc. However what distinction is there between kodshei bedek habayit?

The Raavad notes that the Rambam appears to accept changing kodshei bedek habayit in some cases. But why not all? The Kesef Mishnah understands that this is because the Rambam only prohibited changing from bedek ha’heichal to bedek ha’mizbeach but does not mention the reverse case. The Kesef Mishnah understands therefore that the Rambam accepts that there are ground to differentiate between kodshei mizbeach and kodshei bedek habayit but not to the same extent. To summarise, any change in kedusha for kodshei mizbeach is prohibited. Within kodeshei bedek ha’bayit the Rambam understands that only a decrease is prohibited, while the Ravaad question the grounds for any differentiation.

The Griz however asks that when it comes to the prohibition of changing sanctity we have never found a difference between increasing and decreasing. The being the case, if the prohibition also applies when changing from one kedushat bedek habayit to another, then there should likewise be no reason to differentiate. This is the question of the Raavad in a nutshell.

The Griz therefore explains that the Rambam agrees that there is a difference between kodshei mizbeach and kodshei bedek habayit. The kedusha of a korban olah and a korban shelamim are fundamentally different. They are different categories of kedusha and not simply grades of the same kedusha. Consequently any change is prohibited. Kodshei bedek habayit however share one type of kedusha. (Until this point the Rambam and Raavad both agree.) The Rambam however understands that the prohibition applies even within one type of kedusha, but only if one attempts to decrease it level.


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