The Weekly Daf

For the week ending 6 November 2010 / 28 Heshvan 5771

Horiyos 11-14/Zevachim 2-8

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Sinai, and Mountain Moving at 100

"Sinai" was the title of tribute given to Rabbi Yosef because he had an encyclopedic command of all the Talmudic sources exactly as they were imparted to our ancestors at Mount Sinai. His colleague, the Sage Rabbah, lacked this breadth of knowledge but his sharp analytic ability earned him a reputation as one who could uproot mountains and grind them together with his logic.

When the Torah scholars in Babylon needed to appoint a rosh yeshiva they consulted the sages in Eretz Yisrael as to whether it was preferable to choose a "Sinai" or a "mountain mover." The response was in favor of Rabbi Yosef, the "Sinai," because he was like the man who has a storehouse of wheat while the sharp "mountain mover" was comparable to a man with only money. "Everyone is dependent on the man with the wheat," advised these sages, because without this staple not even the wealthy can survive and without the staple of Torah knowledge there is no material for the sharpest of minds to analyze and expand upon.

  • Horiyos 14a

With this Siyum of Masechta Horiyos we complete the entire Seder of Nezikin, a total of 682 daf, about a quarter of the entire Shass. With this, our 100th issue of "Weekly Daf," we have passed the 700 daf milestone. In these past two years we have attempted to combine the features of "Sinai" and "mountain moving," by offering our readers glimpses of both the vast storehouse of information on every daf on the Talmud and the mountain moving logic which makes the study of Talmud so fascinating. With thanks to Heaven for enabling us to complete Seder Nezikin we prayerfully embark upon Seder Kodeshim which begins with Masechta Zevachim.

Sacrifices and Rewards

An animal designated for one type of korban (sacrifice) which was slaughtered with the intention of offering it as another type of korban is still considered a kosher korban and the ensuing sacrificial procedures may be followed except that the person in whose behalf this korban is being offered is not considered as having fulfilled his obligation and must therefore provide another animal.

The first opinion in the Mishnah mentions only the chattas (sin offering) and the pesach (paschal lamb offered in Erev Pesach) as exceptions to this rule in that they become totally disqualified for sacrifice in the aforementioned case of deviation. A conflicting opinion is presented that any korban slaughtered with the intention of offering it as a korban of a lesser status disqualifies it as a korban.

The author of this opinion is identified as Shimon the brother of Azariah. This is an unusual form of identification because sages are customarily referred to by the name of their father. The reason given is that Azariah supported his brother Shimon from his business earnings and shared in the reward for his Torah study. No one can buy a share of the reward for Torah already studied, conclude our Sages, but he can make such an investment by creating in advance a partnership such as Shimon and Azariah made and which many scholars and supporters have made throughout the generations - even to our own day.

  • Zevachim 2a

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