Daf Yomi

For the week ending 16 October 2004 / 1 Heshvan 5765

Temura 22 - 28

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

How the Kohanim Ate

After the kometz of the mincha meal offering had been placed on the altar, the remainder was consumed by the kohanim. In the sacred place, in the courtyard of the Tent of Assembly shall they eat it. (Vayikra 6:9)

The repetition of the command to eat these remainders after already mentioning such a directive in the first part of the passage led our Sages to the conclusion that there was a subtle message here about how they were to be eaten. Since sacred food such as sacrificial flesh and mincha remainders were supposed to be eaten in a dignified fashion, they could not be consumed while one was ravenously hungry, rather only after one had eaten enough so that the eating of these items would achieve satiety. If the remainders of the mincha were too meager in quantity to achieve this purpose, the repetition of shall they eat it directed them to eat along with this sacred food other foods of a non-sacred nature.

The problem with this, however, is that a non-sacred item may not be brought into the Sanctuary where the mincha remainders must be eaten. Even the bikkurim first fruits which were brought by Jews to the Beit Hamikdash could not have their ritual waving done within those sacred precincts. How then could the kohanim complete their meal of mincha remainders with non-sacred food?

Two approaches are offered by Tosefot. One is that they ate the non-sacred food outside the sacred area and then entered it to eat the sacred mincha remainders. Another approach (which Tosefot repeats in a number of other sections of the Talmud) is that the prohibition against bringing non-sacred items into the Sanctuary is limited to those things connected with some form of service, such as offering a sacrifice or performing the waving ritual with the bikkurim. When the item has no connection to any service there is nothing wrong with bringing it into this area. The proof of this, points out Tosefot, is that one may enter the sacred area wearing non-sacred clothes. (The sacred garments of the kohanim were required only while performing the service and not while they ate their sacred foods.)

  • Temura 23a

Something Which Cant Be Replaced

When a man uses the word tachat in transferring the sanctity of one animal to another, it can have two different meanings. Should the animal whose status he wishes to change be of sacrificial sanctity which cannot be redeemed we interpret his use of the term as an attempt to transfer the sanctity of that animal to another, and the result is that both are considered sacred. This is in accordance with the Torah law of temura which is the central subject of this mesechta.

If the animal whose status he wishes to change has not been sanctified for sacrificial purposes but is only sacred as Sanctuary property which can be redeemed, we interpret his use of the term tachat as an expression of his desire to redeem that animal by offering another as an exchange. This is so because the law of temura does not apply to such animals.

As an example of this term being used to indicate exchange, the Sage Abaye quotes a passage in which G-d promises His people that in the end of days I shall bring gold - tachat - in place of - brass.. (Yeshayahu 60:17). This was a prophecy that all the materials which the heathen nations took from Israel - brass, iron, wood and stone - will be replaced by them with more precious materials.

This same passage is quoted by Rabbi Yochanan (Mesechta Rosh Hashanah 23a) along with a comment that there is something for which there is no replacement. Woe to those heathen nations, he declared, for whom there is no atonement. While they are capable of replacing the materials they stole, as the Prophet points out, they can never replace the lives of Rabbi Akiva and his fellow martyrs. This is the meaning of the passage we quote in the Av Harachamim prayer we say before the Mussaf Service on Shabbat. And though I have acquitted them, for shedding My peoples blood I have not acquitted them. (Yoel 4:21)

  • Temura 27a

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