דכתיב (ויקרא טז, כב) במדבר ומאן דאמר אסורין דכתיב (ויקרא טז, כב) גזירה
established his opinion based on a verse, as it is written: “And the goat shall bear upon it all their iniquities to a land which is cut off; and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:22). The concluding phrase, “in the wilderness,” is unnecessary, and indicates that the goat shall be available for anyone to use, similar to a wilderness. And the one who said they are prohibited based his opinion on the same verse, as it is written, “cut off” [gezeira], which indicates a prohibition.
ומאן דאמר אסורין האי מדבר מאי עביד ליה מיבעי ליה לכדתניא (ויקרא טז, י) המדברה (ויקרא טז, י) המדברה (ויקרא טז, כב) במדבר לרבות נוב וגבעון שילה ובית עולמים
The Gemara asks: And the one who said they are prohibited, what does he do with this term wilderness, i.e., what does he derive from it? The Gemara answers: He needs it for that which was taught in a baraita: There are three expressions used to describe the location of the procedure with the scapegoat: “Into the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:10), “into the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:21), and “in the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:22), to include Nov and Givon and Shiloh, when the Tabernacle was located there, and the eternal Temple. The mitzva of the scapegoat applied during the time periods when communal offerings were sacrificed in any of these locations.
ואידך האי גזירה מאי עביד ליה מיבעי ליה לכדתניא גזירה אין גזירה אלא חתוכה דבר אחר אין גזירה אלא דבר המתגזר ויורד
The Gemara asks: And the other, what does he do with this word gezeira? The Gemara answers: He needs it for that which was taught in a baraita with regard to the word gezeira: Gezeira means nothing other than cut. That is, he must send the goat away to a place cut up by rocks standing upright and sticking out. Alternatively, gezeira is referring to nothing other than something that breaks apart and falls, a reference to the goat, which is torn limb from limb.
דבר אחר גזירה שמא תאמר מעשה תהו הוא ת"ל אני ה' אני ה' גזרתיו ואין לך רשות להרהר בהן
Alternatively, the word gezeira is written lest you say the procedure of the scapegoat is a meaningless act, since what sanctity and atonement is achieved in sending the goat to Azazel and pushing it from the cliff? Therefore, the verse states: “I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:5), i.e., I, the Lord, decreed it [gezartiv], and you have no right to question it.
אמר רבא מסתברא כמאן דאמר מותרין לא אמרה תורה שלח לתקלה
Having clarified the reasoning of each opinion, the Gemara concludes its discussion of whether the limbs of the goat are permitted for benefit. Rava said: It is reasonable to rule in accordance with the one that said the limbs of the goat are permitted, since the Torah did not say: “And send the goat” to cause mishap. Once the man pushes the goat off the cliff, he is no longer responsible for it. Therefore, if it were prohibited to derive benefit from the goat’s remains, the mitzva itself could lead to a mishap if someone were to find the goat’s remains and make use of them.
תנו רבנן עזאזל שיהא עז וקשה יכול בישוב ת"ל במדבר ומנין שבצוק ת"ל גזירה תניא אידך עזאזל קשה שבהרים וכן הוא אומר (יחזקאל יז, יג) ואת אילי הארץ לקח
§ The Sages taught: The word Azazel indicates that the cliff the goat is pushed from should be rough and hard. I might have thought that it may be located in a settled area. Therefore, the verse states: “In the wilderness.” And from where does one derive that the goat is pushed from a cliff? The verse states “gezeira,” indicating an area that is sharp, like a cliff. It was taught in another baraita: Azazel is a reference to the hardest mountain, and so it says: “And the mighty [eilei] of the land he took away” (Ezekiel 17:13). Azazel is interpreted as azaz-el, with the term el connoting something rough and hard.
תנא דבי ר' ישמעאל עזאזל שמכפר על מעשה עוזא ועזאל
The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Azazel is so called because it atones for the actions of Uzza and Azael. These are the names of “sons of God” who sinned with “daughters of men” (Genesis 6:2) and thereby caused the world to sin during the generation of the Flood.
ת"ר (ויקרא יח, ד) את משפטי תעשו דברים שאלמלא (לא) נכתבו דין הוא שיכתבו ואלו הן עבודת כוכבים וגלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים וגזל וברכת השם
The Gemara cites another baraita related to the scapegoat. The Sages taught with regard to the verse: “You shall do My ordinances, and you shall keep My statutes to follow them, I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 18:4), that the phrase: My ordinances, is a reference to matters that, even had they not been written, it would have been logical that they be written. They are the prohibitions against idol worship, prohibited sexual relations, bloodshed, theft, and blessing God, a euphemism for cursing the Name of God.
את חוקותי תשמרו דברים שהשטן משיב עליהן ואלו הן אכילת חזיר ולבישת שעטנז וחליצת יבמה וטהרת מצורע ושעיר המשתלח ושמא תאמר מעשה תוהו הם ת"ל (ויקרא יח, ל) אני ה' אני ה' חקקתיו ואין לך רשות להרהר בהן
The phrase: And you shall keep my statutes, is a reference to matters that Satan and the nations of the world challenge because the reason for these mitzvot are not known. They are: The prohibitions against eating pork; wearing garments that are made from diverse kinds of material, i.e., wool and linen; performing the ḥalitza ceremony with a yevama, a widow who must participate in a levirate marriage or ḥalitza; the purification ceremony of the leper; and the scapegoat. And lest you say these have no reason and are meaningless acts, therefore the verse states: “I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:4), to indicate: I am the Lord, I decreed these statutes and you have no right to doubt them.
אימתי מטמא בגדים ת"ר המשלח מטמא בגדים ואין השולח את המשלח מטמא בגדים
§ It was taught in the mishna that the tanna’im disagreed about from what point the garments of the man who leads the scapegoat are rendered impure. The Sages taught in a baraita: The garments of the one who dispatches the goat are rendered impure, but the garments of the one who dispatches the dispatcher, e.g., those who accompany him, are not rendered impure.
יכול משיצא חוץ לחומת עזרה ת"ל המשלח אי המשלח יכול עד שיגיע לצוק תלמוד לומר והמשלח הא כיצד משיצא חוץ לחומת ירושלים דברי ר' יהודה
One might have thought that as soon as he leaves the wall of the Temple courtyard he becomes ritually impure. Therefore, the verse states: “He that dispatched” (Leviticus 16:26), to teach that he does not contract impurity until his journey has begun. On the other hand, if the verse had simply stated: He that dispatched, one might have thought he does not become impure until he reaches the cliff. Therefore, the verse states: “And he that dispatched,” with the inclusive term “and.” How is this to be understood? His garments are rendered impure only when he emerged outside the wall of Jerusalem. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.
רבי יוסי אומר עזאזל וכבס עד שהגיע לצוק ר' שמעון אומר (ויקרא טז, כו) והמשלח את השעיר לעזאזל יכבס בגדיו זורקו בבת ראש ומטמא בגדים
Rabbi Yosei says that the verse states: “And he that dispatched the goat to Azazel shall wash” (Leviticus 16:26), which indicates that his garments are not rendered impure until he has reached Azazel, i.e., the cliff. Rabbi Shimon says: His garments are rendered impure only when he pushes the goat from the cliff, as it says: “And he that dispatched the goat to Azazel shall wash his clothes” (Leviticus 16:26), to indicate that he throws it headlong and only then, once he has fulfilled the mitzva, his garments are rendered impure.
מתני׳ בא לו אצל פר ושעיר הנשרפין קרען והוציא את אימוריהן נתנן במגיס והקטירן על גבי המזבח
MISHNA: After the High Priest passed the goat to the man tasked with dispatching the goat, he came next to the bull and the goat that were to be burned. He tore their flesh but was not required to cut it into pieces, and removed the portions of the offering consumed on the altar and placed them in a large bowl [magis] and burned them on the altar.
קלען במקלעות והוציאן לבית השריפה ומאימתי מטמאין בגדים משיצאו חוץ לחומת העזרה ר' שמעון אומר משיצית האור ברובן
He interwove and bound the bull and the goat together into braids as one mass. They were placed in that way upon two poles and carried by four people who took them out to the place designated for burning, outside of Jerusalem. And at what point do the bull and goat render the garments of those who carried them impure, as it is written: “And he who burns them shall wash his garments” (Leviticus 16:28)? They render the garments impure from the moment that they emerged outside the wall of the Temple courtyard. Rabbi Shimon says: They render the garments impure from the moment that the fire has ignited in most of the bull and the goat.
גמ׳ והקטירן סלקא דעתך אלא אימא להקטירן על גבי מזבח
GEMARA: It was taught in the mishna that the High Priest removed the portions of the offering consumed on the altar and burned them on the altar. The Gemara expresses surprise: Would it enter your mind to say he burned them? He would not burn them right away, since he had to perform other services first. Rather, say that he placed them in a large bowl in order to burn them on the altar later.
קלען במקלעות אמר רבי יוחנן כמין קליעה תנא לא היה מנתחן ניתוח בשר עולה אלא עור על גבי בשר מנא הני מילי דתניא רבי אומר נאמר כאן עור ובשר ופרש ונאמר להלן (ויקרא טז, כז) עור ובשר ופרש
It was taught in the mishna that the High Priest interwove and bound the bull and the goat together into braids as one mass before taking them to be burned. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: He made them like a braid, whose parts are interwoven. It was taught: He would not dissect the bull and goat in the manner of the dissection of the flesh of a burnt-offering, where the animal is skinned and then cut into parts. Rather, he would leave the skin on top of the flesh and would cut the animal into pieces without skinning it. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? As it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: It is stated here with regard to the bull and goat, skin and flesh and dung (Leviticus 16:27), and it is stated below, with regard to the bull sin-offerings that are burned, skin and flesh and dung (Leviticus 4:11).