Zevachim 116aזבחים קט״ז א
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116aקט״ז א

זכרים ונקבות תמימין ובעלי מומין (דאמר מר תמות וזכרות בבהמה ואין תמות וזכרות בעופות

That which was taught in the baraita: All animals were fit to be sacrificed: Males and females, unblemished and blemished animals, pertains to that which the Master said as a principle concerning the halakhot of sacrifices: The requirements that an offering must have unblemished status and that a burnt offering must have male status apply to animal offerings, but the requirements of unblemished status and male status do not apply to birds.

ואיתקש בהמה לעוף

And in the verses that recount Noah’s sacrifices upon exiting the ark, a domesticated animal is juxtaposed with a bird, in the verse: “Of every pure animal, and of every pure fowl” (Genesis 8:20), which teaches that kosher animals had a status identical to that of birds, and could be sacrificed whether male or female, unblemished or blemished.

תמימין ובעלי מומין) לאפוקי מחוסר אבר דלא א"ר אלעזר מנין למחוסר אבר שנאסר לבני נח ת"ל (בראשית ו, יט) ומכל החי מכל בשר אמרה תורה הבא בהמה שחיין ראשי איברין שלה

The Gemara adds: That which was taught in the baraita: Unblemished and blemished animals, serves to exclude animals that are lacking a limb, which were not fit for sacrifice. As Rabbi Elazar says: From where is it derived that an animal that is lacking a limb is forbidden to the descendants of Noah, i.e., gentiles, to be used as a sacrifice? The verse states with regard to Noah: “And of every living being of all flesh, two of every sort shall you bring into the ark” (Genesis 6:19). With regard to the phrase: “And of every living being,” which is superfluous, the Torah stated: Bring an animal whose limbs are all living, not one lacking a limb, as that animal is disqualified from sacrifice.

ודילמא למעוטי טריפה ההוא מלחיות זרע נפקא

The Gemara challenges: But perhaps this phrase: “And of every living being,” serves to exclude an animal with a wound that will cause it to die within twelve months [tereifa] from being fit as a sacrifice. The Gemara explains: The disqualification of a tereifa is derived from the phrase: “To keep seed alive” (Genesis 7:3), as a tereifa cannot propagate.

הניחא למ"ד טריפה אינה יולדת אלא למ"ד טריפה יולדת מאי איכא למימר האמר קרא אתך בדומין לך

The Gemara challenges: This works out well according to the one who says that a tereifa cannot give birth. In this case the disqualification of the tereifa is derived from the verse: “To keep seed alive,” while the disqualification of the animal lacking a limb is derived from the verse: “And of every living being.” But according to the one who says that a tereifa can give birth, what can be said? According to this opinion, a tereifa cannot be excluded by the phrase: “To keep seed alive.” The Gemara explains: Doesn’t the verse state with regard to the animals that were brought by Noah into the ark: “You shall bring into the ark, to keep them alive with you” (Genesis 6:19)? The term “with you” indicates that the verse is stated with regard to animals that are similar to you, not a tereifa.

ודילמא נח גופיה טריפה הוה תמים כתיב ביה ודילמא תמים בדרכיו צדיק כתיב ביה

The Gemara asks: But perhaps Noah himself was a tereifa. If so, one cannot exclude a tereifa from the comparison of animals to Noah. The Gemara answers: It is written about Noah that he was “complete” (Genesis 6:9), which indicates that he was physically whole and unblemished. The Gemara challenges: But perhaps the verse means that his ways were complete, and it is not referring to Noah’s physical attributes. The Gemara explains: It is already written about him that he was “righteous” (Genesis 6:9), which means that his actions were perfect. Consequently, when the verse says that he was also complete, it must be referring to his body.

ודילמא תמים בדרכיו צדיק במעשיו אי סלקא דעתך דנח גופיה טריפה הוה מי קאמר ליה לנח דכוותך עייל שלמים לא תעייל

The Gemara challenges: But perhaps the verse means that Noah was complete in his manner, and he was righteous in his good deeds. Accordingly, the verse would not exclude the possibility that Noah himself was a tereifa. The Gemara responds: If it enters your mind to say that Noah himself was a tereifa, would the Merciful One have said to him: Bring in tereifot like you to the ark, but do not bring in whole and perfect animals? It is not reasonable to say that there would be a preference for him to bring tereifot. Rather, Noah was certainly not a tereifa, and the fact that a tereifa is disqualified for sacrifice is derived from “with you.”

ומאחר דנפקא לן מאתך לחיות זרע למה לי מהו דתימא אתך לצותא בעלמא אפי' זקן אפילו סריס קמשמע לן:

The Gemara asks: And once we derive the disqualification of a tereifa from the term “with you,” why do I need the phrase “to keep seed alive”? The Gemara answers: If one could derive only from “with you,” you would say that Noah brought the animals to the ark only for the purpose of companionship, and therefore even an animal that is old or even one who is castrated can come into the ark, provided that it is not a tereifa. Therefore, the Merciful One writes: “To keep seed alive,” which teaches us that only animals that can bear offspring were allowed to be brought into the ark.

טהורין אבל לא טמאין: ומי הוו טמאין וטהורין בההיא שעתא א"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן מאותן שלא נעבדה בהן עבירה

§ The baraita also teaches that before the Tabernacle was constructed, sacrifices were brought from animals and birds that were kosher, but not from non-kosher species. This is based on the verse that describes what Noah sacrificed when he exited the ark: “And he took of every pure animal and of every pure fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar” (Genesis 8:20). The Gemara asks: And were there pure and impure species at that time, during the period of Noah? The distinction between pure, i.e., kosher species, and impure, i.e., non-kosher species, was introduced only after the Torah was given (see Leviticus, chapter 11). Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: The pure animals that Noah took were from those that had not been used in the performance of sin.

מנא הוו ידעי כדרב חסדא דאמר רב חסדא העבירן לפני התיבה כל שהתיבה קולטתן בידוע שהוא טהור אין התיבה קולטתן בידוע שהן טמאין

The Gemara asks: From where did Noah and his sons know which animals had been used in the performance of a sin, in order to prevent them from entering the ark? The Gemara answers that it is in accordance with the statement of Rav Ḥisda. As Rav Ḥisda says: Noah caused all of the animals to pass before the ark. All animals that the ark accepted, i.e., drew in, was known to be pure; if the ark did not accept them, it was known that they were impure.

רבי אבהו אמר אמר קרא (בראשית ז, טז) והבאים זכר ונקבה הבאין מאיליהן

Rabbi Abbahu says there is a different explanation as to how Noah knew which animals were pure or impure. The verse states: “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh” (Genesis 7:16), which means: Those that went in on their own. Consequently, Noah did not need to distinguish between pure and impure animals, as only the pure ones approached.

אמר מר והכל קרבו עולות עולות אין שלמים לא והא כתיב (שמות כד, ה) ויזבחו זבחים שלמים לה' פרים אלא אימא הכל קרבו עולות [ושלמים

§ In describing the sacrificial service before the Tabernacle was constructed, the Master said: And all offerings brought before the construction of the Tabernacle were sacrificed as burnt offerings. The Gemara infers: Burnt offerings, yes, were sacrificed, but peace offerings were not sacrificed. The Gemara challenges: But with regard to the offerings that were sacrificed at Mount Sinai at the time of the giving of the Torah, it is written: “And they offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord” (Exodus 24:5). This event occurred prior to the construction of the Tabernacle. Rather, say that the baraita means: All offerings sacrificed were either burnt offerings or peace offerings.

והתניא אבל שלמים לא כי אם עולות] עולות אין שלמים לא כמ"ד לא קרבו שלמים בני נח דאיתמר ר"א ור' יוסי בר חנינא חד אמר קרבו [שלמים בני נח] וחד אמר לא קרבו

The Gemara challenges: And isn’t it taught in another baraita: But peace offerings were not sacrificed before the construction of the Tabernacle; rather, only burnt offerings were sacrificed? Clearly, burnt offerings, yes, were sacrificed, but peace offerings were not sacrificed. The Gemara answers that this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the one who says that peace offerings were not sacrificed by the descendants of Noah. As it was stated that there is a dispute between Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina with regard to this: One says that the descendants of Noah sacrificed peace offerings, and one says that they did not sacrifice peace offerings.

מ"ט דמ"ד קרבו שלמים בני נח דכתיב (בראשית ד, ד) והבל הביא גם הוא מבכורות צאנו ומחלביהן איזהו דבר שחלבו קרב לגבי מזבח ואין כולו קרב לגבי מזבח הוי אומר זה שלמים

The Gemara explains the two opinions: What is the reasoning of the one who says that the descendants of Noah sacrificed peace offerings? As it is written: “And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat thereof” (Genesis 4:4). Abel, like all gentiles, is categorized as a descendant of Noah. The verse emphasizes that the fat was sacrificed. The Gemara analyzes: What is an item, i.e., an offering, the fat of which is sacrificed upon the altar, but that is not sacrificed in its entirety upon the altar? You must say: This is the peace offering, the meat of which is consumed.

מ"ט דמ"ד לא קרבו דכתיב (שיר השירים ד, טז) עורי צפון ובואי תימן תתנער אומה שמעשיה בצפון ותבוא אומה שמעשיה בצפון ובדרום

What is the reasoning of the one who says that they did not sacrifice peace offerings? As it is written: “Awake [uri], O north; and come, south…Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his precious fruits” (Song of Songs 4:16). The Gemara interprets this homiletically: The nation, i.e., the nations of the world, who are the descendants of Noah, whose acts, i.e., sacrifices, are only in the north, i.e., they sacrifice only burnt offerings, which are slaughtered and their blood collected in the north of the Temple courtyard, shall be removed [titna’er], and in its place shall come the Jewish nation, whose acts, i.e., sacrifices, are in the north and in the south, as they sacrifice burnt offerings, whose rites are performed in the north, and peace offerings, whose rites may also be performed in the south, as the entire courtyard is fit for their rites.

ומר נמי הכתיב ומחלביהן משמניהן [דידהו]

The Gemara asks: And also according to the Master who holds that the descendants of Noah did not sacrifice peace offerings, isn’t it written: “And of the fat thereof,” from which it may be derived that Abel sacrificed a peace offering? The Gemara answers: “The fat thereof,” does not mean that Abel sacrificed only the fats of his offerings; rather, it means that he sacrificed the fattest of them, i.e., the fattest and choicest of his animals.

ומר נמי הכתיב עורי צפון [ההוא] בקיבוץ גליות הוא דכתיב

The Gemara asks: And also according to the Master who holds that the descendants of Noah did sacrifice peace offerings, isn’t it written: “Awake, O north,” from which it may be derived that the nations of the world do not sacrifice peace offerings? The Gemara answers: In his opinion, that verse is written with regard to the ingathering of the exiles, i.e., the Jewish exiles will come from the north and the south.

והא כתיב (שמות י, כה) ויאמר משה גם אתה תתן בידינו זבחים ועולות ועשינו לה' אלהינו זבחים לאכילה ועולות להקרבה

With regard to the opinion that the descendants of Noah did not sacrifice peace offerings, the Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “And Moses said: You must also give into our hand sacrifices [zevaḥim] and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God” (Exodus 10:25)? This indicates that sacrifices [zevaḥim], i.e., peace offerings, were sacrificed before the Torah was given. The Gemara answers: In this context, zevaḥim is referring to animals to be used for consumption, as the word zevaḥ can also be translated as an animal for slaughter, and “burnt offerings” is referring to animals to be used for sacrifice.

והא כתיב (שמות יח, ב) ויקח יתרו [חותן משה] עולה וזבחים ההוא לאחר מתן תורה הוא דכתיב

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written before the giving of the Torah: “And Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices [zevaḥim] for God” (Exodus 18:12)? Since the word zevaḥim there is referring to sacrifices, as the verse clearly states that Yitro took them for God, evidently peace offerings were sacrificed before the giving of the Torah. The Gemara answers: That verse was written with regard to the period after the giving of the Torah, when the Jewish people were permitted to sacrifice peace offerings.

הניחא למ"ד [יתרו] אחר מתן תורה היה אלא למ"ד [יתרו] קודם מתן תורה היה מאי איכא למימר דאיתמר בני ר' חייא ור' יהושע בן לוי חד אמר יתרו קודם מתן תורה היה וחד אמר יתרו אחר מתן תורה היה למ"ד יתרו קודם מתן תורה היה קסבר שלמים הקריבו בני נח

The Gemara notes: This works out well according to the one who says that the episode with Yitro was after the giving of the Torah. But according to the one who says that the episode with Yitro was before the giving of the Torah, what can be said? As it was stated: The sons of Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi engage in a dispute concerning this issue. One says that the episode with Yitro was before the giving of the Torah, and one says that the episode with Yitro was after the giving of the Torah. The Gemara answers: The one who says that the episode with Yitro was before the giving of the Torah maintains that the descendants of Noah did sacrifice peace offerings.

כתנאי (שמות יח, א) וישמע יתרו כהן מדין מה שמועה שמע ובא ונתגייר ר' יהושע אומר מלחמת עמלק שמע שהרי כתיב בצדו (שמות יז, יג) ויחלש יהושע את עמלק ואת עמו לפי חרב

§ The Gemara notes that the disagreement between amora’im with regard to when Yitro came to Mount Sinai is like a dispute between tanna’im: The Torah states with regard to Yitro, before he came to Mount Sinai: “Now Yitro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel His people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt” (Exodus 18:1). What tiding did he hear that he came and converted? Rabbi Yehoshua says: He heard about the war with Amalek, as it is written adjacent to the verses that state that Yitro came: “And Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword” (Exodus 17:13).

ר"א המודעי אומר מתן תורה שמע [ובא] שכשניתנה תורה לישראל היה קולו הולך מסוף העולם ועד סופו וכל [מלכי] עובדי כוכבים אחזתן רעדה בהיכליהן ואמרו שירה שנאמר (תהלים כט, ט) ובהיכלו כולו אומר כבוד

Rabbi Elazar HaModa’i says: He heard about the giving of the Torah and came. As when the Torah was given to the Jewish people, the voice of the Holy One, Blessed be He, went from one end of the world to the other end, and all of the kings of the nations of the world were overcome with trembling in their palaces and recited a song of praise, as it is stated: “The voice of the Lord makes the hinds to calve…and in his palace all say: Glory” (Psalms 29:9), i.e., each king in his own palace recited songs of praise to God.

נתקבצו כולם אצל בלעם הרשע ואמרו לו מה קול ההמון אשר שמענו שמא מבול בא לעולם (אמר להם) (תהלים כט, י) ה' למבול ישב [אמר להם] וישב ה' מלך לעולם כבר נשבע הקב"ה שאינו מביא מבול לעולם

At that time, all of the kings gathered around Balaam the wicked, who was the greatest gentile prophet, and said to him: What is the tumultuous sound, i.e., the loud noise, that we have heard? Perhaps a flood is coming to destroy the world, as it is stated: “The Lord sat enthroned at the flood” (Psalms 29:10)? Balaam said to them: “The Lord sits as King forever” (Psalms 29:10), which means that the Holy One, Blessed be He, already took an oath after the flood never to bring a flood to the world, as it is stated: “And the waters shall no more become a flood” (Genesis 9:15).

אמרו לו מבול של מים אינו מביא אבל מבול של אש מביא שנא' (ישעיהו סו, טז) כי (הנה) באש ה' נשפט אמר להן כבר נשבע שאינו משחית כל בשר

The kings said to him: He will not bring a flood of water, as he vowed, but perhaps He will bring a flood of fire, as in the future the Lord will punish the nations with fire, as it is stated: “For by fire will the Lord contend, and by His sword with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many” (Isaiah 66:16). Balaam said to them: He already took an oath that He will not destroy all flesh in any manner, as it is stated: “To destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:15). Therefore, there will not be a flood of fire.

ומה קול ההמון הזה ששמענו אמר להם חמדה טובה יש לו בבית גנזיו שהיתה גנוזה אצלו תתקע"ד דורות קודם שנברא העולם וביקש ליתנה לבניו שנאמר (תהלים כט, יא) ה' עוז לעמו יתן [מיד] פתחו כולם ואמרו (תהלים כט, יא) ה' יברך את עמו בשלום

They asked: And if so, what is this tumultuous sound that we have heard? Balaam said to them: He has a good and precious item in His treasury, that was hidden away with Him for 974 generations before the world was created, and He seeks to give it to his children, as it is stated: “The Lord will give strength to His people” (Psalms 29:11). “Strength” is a reference to the Torah, which is the strength of the Jewish people. Immediately, they all began to say: “The Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalms 29:11).

ר"א אומר קריעת ים סוף שמע ובא שנא' (יהושע ה, א) ויהי כשמוע כל מלכי האמורי ואף רחב הזונה אמרה לשלוחי יהושע (יהושע ב, י) כי שמענו את אשר הוביש ה' את מי ים סוף

The Gemara offers another explanation of what Yitro heard: Rabbi Eliezer says: He heard about the splitting of the Red Sea and came, as it is stated in a similar context with regard to the splitting of the Jordan in the days of Joshua: “And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, that were by the sea, heard how that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until they were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them anymore, because of the children of Israel” (Joshua 5:1). And even Rahab the prostitute said to Joshua’s messengers: “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you” (Joshua 2:10).

מאי שנא התם דאמר (ליה) (יהושע ה, א) ולא היה בם עוד רוח ומ"ש הכא דקאמר (יהושע ב, יא) ולא קמה עוד רוח באיש

The Gemara asks: What is different there, i.e., with regard to the splitting of the Jordan, where the verse states: “Neither was there spirit in them anymore,” and what is different here, i.e., in the statement of Rahab, where the verse states: “Neither did there remain [kama] any more spirit in any man” (Joshua 2:11)?