For the week ending 25 December 2010 / 17 Tevet 5771

Zevachim 45 - 50

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • The extent of pigul manifestation
  • How sacrifices of non-Jews in the Beit Hamikdash differs from those of Jews
  • Six thoughts attending sacrifice and why they do not apply
  • Where and how are details of certain sacrifices performed
  • Receiving the blood of slaughtered sacrifice in a vessel or hand
  • The source for slaughtering in northern part of Sanctuary
  • The comparison between the olah and chattat sacrifices
  • Why service in the north is not required for certain sacrifices
  • The methodology of using the 13 rules of Torah interpretation

How Important is Relevance?

  • Zevachim 45a

"Why do you offer us a halachic ruling on a matter which will only be relevant when Mashiach arrives?"

This was the challenge made to the Sage Rabba bar Avuha when he quoted the Sage Rav as declaring the halacha in regard to sacrifices which would only be relevant in the time of the Beit Hamikdash.

The response to this challenge by the Sage Abaye was that although none of the material studied regarding sacrifices is relevant today, we nevertheless study this material in order to be rewarded for the study of it as part of Torah.

This brought about a clarification of the challenge. Of course subjects mentioned in the Torah must be studied even if they will not be relevant until Mashiach comes and the Beit Hamikdash will be rebuilt. The objection was only to using the term “halacha” — which applies only to matters which are relevant and regarding which we must be aware of our responsibility.

(The same dialogue is also found in Mesechta Sanhedrin 51b.)

What the Sages Say

"Study the Torah, even the laws which are not relevant today, and you will be rewarded."

  • The Sage Abaye - Zevachim 45a

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