Offering the Seir Ha'Mishtaleach

Zevachim (14:1) | Yisrael Bankier | 6 days ago

Over the past week we have been learning about the prohibition of slaughtering or offering a korban outside the Beit HaMikdash – a prohibition that is punishable with karet. The Mishnah (14:1) discusses korbanot whose avodah is outside the Beit Hamikdash; they are neither slaughtered nor offered inside. The Mishnah lists the parat chatat, the red heifer, and the seir ha'mishtaleach, the goat that is sent out and cast of a cliff on Yom Kippur. We will focus on the later.

The Mishnah explains that if one offers the seir ha'mishtaleach outside the beit ha'mikdash then they have not violated this prohibition. The Mishnah explains that since when mentioning the prohibition, the Torah writes "he did not bring [the offering] to the entrance of the ohel mo'ed", we understand that the prohibition only applies to those offerings that are fit to be brought there.

The Tosfot Yom Tov comments that the exemption for the se'ir ha'mishtaleach is only if the animal was offered outside after the kohen gadol performed the required vidui (confession) on the korban. Prior to that, the animal would be required to be brought inside for the vidui, i.e. it would qualify as "fit to being brought inside". This implies that one would be liable to karet if they offered the se'ir ha'mishtaleach outside, prior to vidui.

The Rashash however rejects that conclusion. He cites the Beraitah (113b) that asks, is it possible that the prohibition applies to seir ha'mishtaleach considering that is fit to be brought to the azarah for the lottery and vidui? The Beraita answers that since the pasuk uses the term "la'Hashem", the prohibition applies to those korbanot that are specifically for Hashem, thereby excluding the seir ha'mishtaleach. The Gemara continues by asking that our Mishnah cited a different pasuk. The Gemara concludes that the Beraita's pasuk is required for prior to the kohen's confession. This is because the Mishnah's pasuk would not exclude the se'ir ha'mishtaleach at that point, since it is still fit to brought to the ohel mo'ed. The pasuk in our Mishnah is necessary for after vidui, which satisfactorily excludes the se'ir ha'mishtaleach since it is not longer fit to be brought inside.

The Tosfot cites Yoma (62b) that teaches that if one offered the two goats, prior to the lottery, they would indeed have transgressed the prohibition. Rav Chisda explains that prior to the lottery each one is fit to be the goat offered as korban inside the azarah. The Tosfot explains that the Beraita that excludes the se'ir ha'mishtaleach must be referring to after the lottery was performed yet prior to vidui. The Rashash notes that according to the beraitah, the prohibition would not apply to the se'ir ha'mishtaleach even prior to vidui.

The Tosfot R' Akiva Eiger, explains the Tosfot Yom Tov to mean that the pasuk mentioned in our Mishnah would not exclude the se'ir ha'mishtaleach prior to vidui (as explained by the Gemara). Nevertheless, it would be excluded prior to vidui by the derivation found in the Beraitah cited above. R' Akiva Eiger directs us to the Tosfot Yom Tov (13:3, s.v. she'hashochet) that cites that very pasuk for this purpose

The Rashash however notes that Rambam (Maaseh Korbanot 18:11) rules that one would be liable to the punishment of karet if they offered the se'ir ha'mishtaleach outside the Beit Ha'Mikdash, prior to vidui. The Raavad disagrees, citing the above Beraita that he would be exempt at the point also.

The Kesef Mishnah suggest that perhaps the Rambam had a different reading of our Beraita that includes the seir ha'mishtaleach, which according to the Gemara's conclusions, would be prior to confusion. The Lechem Mishnah finds this explanation difficult considering that Rav Chisda's rationale in Yoma of including the seir prior to the lottery is that either one could be offered as the se'ir la'hashem, and not that the se'ir ha'mishtaleach still requires vidui.

The Markevet HaMishnah defends the Rambam by suggesting that there is a debate between the Beraita in Yoma and our Beraita. Our Gemara maintains that vidui is essential and without it the se'ir hamishtaleach is invalid. Consequently, prior to vidui, one would transgress the prohibition. The Beraita in Yoma however maintain that without vidui the korban is still valid. Consequently, immediately after the lottery, the seir ha'mishtaleach is no longer considered "fit for being brought to the ohel moed" for the purposes of offering the korban*, and if one offered the seir ha'mishtalach* outside, they would be exempt.

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