Communal and Individual Korbanot

Temurah (2:1) | Yisrael Bankier | 3 years ago

The second perek of Temurah begins by comparing private and communal korbanot (korban tzibbur and korban yachid). One difference raised in the Mishnah is that the offering of a korban tzibbur overrides Shabbat and tumah, which is not the case for a korban yachid. In other words, a korban tzibur can be offered on Shabbat and may also be offered even if the kohanim and/or community are tameh. R' Meir however argues that we find private korbanot that also override Shabbat and tumah. R' Meir lists chavitei kohen gadol (the daily mincha offering brought by the kohen gadol) and the par yom kippurim (the bull brought by the kohen gadol on yom kippur) as two such cases. We shall analyse this debate.

The above introduction makes an assumption, that itself is debatable, i.e. that there is a debate in our Mishnah. The Bartenura writes that the halacha goes according to the opinion of R' Meir. The necessity of this ruling presumes that there is indeed a debate in our Mishnah.

The Tosfot Yom Tov however cites the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah who explains that, "the explanation that R' Meir brings is true and undisputed". The Tosfot Yom Tov concludes that the first opinion in the Mishnah agrees that the chavitei kohen gadol and par yom kippurim also override Shabbat and tumah. Consequently, with respect to practical halacha there is no argument.

The Tosfot Chadashim however defends the Bartenura arguing that whether tumah override Pesach Sheni would still divide the Tana Kama and R' Meir. The Tosfot Chadashim directs us to Gemara Yoma (50a) where R' Meir argues that Pesach Sheni would override tumah since, if not offered, there would be no opportunity to bring it again.

Why would the Tana Kama agree with the minchat chavitin and par yom kippurim but disagree with Pesach Sheni?

The Tifferet Yisrael explains that the Tana Kama still considers the former as if they are public offerings. Despite the fact that an individual funds them, it is an obligation on the community that they be brought. With Pesach Sheni however everyone would agree that it is considered an individual's offering.

The Tosfot R' Peretz (Yoma 50a) explains that the Tana Kama considers the par yom ha'kippurim as a communal offering since it atones not only for the kohen gadol but also from the kohanim. Similarly the Tana Kama considers the minchat chavitin a communal offering since, as we have learnt, if the kohen gadol dies and there is a delay before appointing the next kohen gadol, the minchat chavitin is still offered and funded by the community.

The Tosfot Chadashim continues that the Rambam does not rule like R' Meir since the Mishnah in Pesachim rules that Pesach Sheni only overrides Shabbat and not tumah. The Tifferet Yisrael explains that the reason Pesach Sheni does not override tumah is because those that bring this korban are (generally) people that were tameh and could not offer their korban on Pesach. Consequently if an individual who is tameh cannot bring the korban pesach, they cannot offer this korban on pesach sheni if they are tameh.


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