Daf Yomi

1 August 2003 / 3 Av 5763

Zevachim 50-55

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Mystery of the Remaining Blood

What happened with the blood of the olah sacrifice that remained in the sacred vessel after some of its contents had been sprayed upon two corners of the altar as required?

There is no explicit mention in the Torah that the remaining blood should be poured on the base of the altar as is the case of all the chatat sin offerings (Vayikra 4:7-34). As should be familiar to all who say the mishnayot of our current Perek "Eizehu Mekoman" as part of their morning prayers, there is also no mention in the mishna regarding the olah about what is done with the remaining blood, as there is in the preceding mishnayot where we are taught exactly where the blood remaining after application is poured.

One might assume from both of these observations that there is no need to pour the remaining blood of the olah on the base of the altar. This assumption is rejected by our gemara, however, based on the phrase "he shall pour its blood on the base of the altar," which appears in regard to the kings sin offering (Vayikra 4:25), which teaches pouring the remaining blood of the olah and all other sacrifices on the base of the altar. Although we now have a subtle Torah source, the mystery remains as to why the mishna does not mention it.

Tosefot (Zevachim 53b) offers two solutions. One is that only in the case of the chatat, whose blood was applied to the top corners of the altar by the finger of the kohen, was there enough blood remaining in the vessel to necessitate pouring this remnant on the altar base. The blood of the olah, in contrast, was sprayed from this vessel on the altar, so that nothing remained to be poured on the altar base.

Tosefot rejects this explanation, because our gemara clearly indicates that in regard to all sacrifices, remaining blood was poured on the altar base. The preferred solution to this mystery is based on a careful analysis of the preceding mishnayot. After the first mishna (47a) states that the blood remaining from sacrifices whose blood is applied in the heichal sanctuary must be poured on the western base of the altar, the next mishna (52b) teaches that in regard to the chatat whose blood is applied only on the altar in the Beit Hamikdash amikdash courtyard the pouring of the remaining blood is tobe done on the southern base of the altar. Once the H

courtyard, the pouring of the remaining blood is to be done on the southern base of the altar. Once the mishna has established the southern base as the place for pouring remaining blood it is expected that we will extend this requirement to all other sacrifices whose blood application was made only to this altar base.

Zevachim 51a

The Fateful Discovery

Davids great adversary was Doeg, and many passages in his Tehillim describe the pain he suffered from him. There is no indication in the verses, either there or in any other place of Tanach, as to what was the catalyst for the fierce jealousy of Doeg that motivated him to so aggravate David. In our gemara, however, we learn that David hinted at the source when he said "For the envy concerning Your house has consumed me" (Tehillim 69:10). This is interpreted by the Sage Rava as a reference to the envy felt by Doeg towards David when he succeeded in deducing from passages in Devarim (17:8, 33:12) and Yehoshua (18:12) the exact location where the Beit Hamikdash was to be built.

Maharsha notes that this interpretation fits in perfectly with the passage preceding the above-mentioned source of Doegs envy. In it David bemoans the fact that "I was a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner for my mothers sons" (Tehillim 69:9). This is a reference to the incident described in Mesechta Yevamot (76b) of Doeg attempting to disqualify David because he was descended from the Moabite convert, Ruth. Because of his envy of David for discovering the Beit Hamikdash site, Doeg wished to extend the Torah ban on male Moabite converts on fully entering the Congregation of Israel to female Moabites as well to make David a stranger to his brothers because of his great-grandmother until it was conclusively established that Doeg was wrong.

Davids discovery, which he made in cooperation with the Prophet Shmuel (Shmuel I 19:18), was the result of a strenuous effort which he described as the struggle he made after vowing that "I will not come into the shelter of my home nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes nor slumber to my eyelids until I discover the place for my G-d" (Tehillim 132:1-5).

Zevachim 54b


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