Zevachim 14bזבחים י״ד ב
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14bי״ד ב

שיכור ובעל מום בקבלה בהולכה בזריקה פסול וכן יושב וכן שמאל תיובתא

a drunk priest, or a blemished priest performs the rites of collection, conveying or sprinkling the blood, the offering is disqualified. And likewise, it is disqualified if a priest performs any of these rites while sitting. And this is likewise the halakha if a priest performs any of these rites with his left hand. The Gemara concludes: This is a conclusive refutation of Rav Ḥisda’s ruling; if a non-priest conveys the blood, it is disqualified.

והא רב חסדא קרא קאמר

The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rav Ḥisda state a verse as proof that the offering is not disqualified? The verse states that the priests sprinkled the blood after receiving it from non-priests.

דעביד מעשה אצטבא

The Gemara answers: The verse described a case where the non-priests served as a bench [itztaba]. The priests would give the blood to the non-priests to hold it for them and would then take it and sprinkle the blood. The non-priests would not convey the blood to the altar.

רבה ורב יוסף דאמרי תרוייהו הולכה בזר מחלוקת ר' שמעון ורבנן רבי שמעון דאמר עבודה שאפשר לבטלה לאו עבודה היא כשרה בזר לרבנן פסולה

Rabba and Rav Yosef both say that the case of a non-priest conveying the blood is subject to a dispute between Rabbi Shimon and the Rabbis. According to Rabbi Shimon, who says that a dispensable rite is not classified as a true rite and therefore does not disqualify the offering if performed with prohibited intent, the offering is fit even if the conveying of the blood is performed by a non-priest. According to the Rabbis, who hold that a dispensable rite is classified as a true rite, the conveying of the blood is not valid if performed by a non-priest.

א"ל אביי והא שחיטה דעבודה שא"א לבטלה וכשרה בזר א"ל שחיטה לאו עבודה היא

Abaye said to him: But what about slaughter, which is an indispensable rite, and yet the offering is fit even if it is performed by a non-priest? He said to Abaye: Slaughter, though indispensable, is not classified as a sacrificial rite at all. Therefore it need not be performed by a priest.

ולא והאמר ר' זירא אמר רב שחיטת פרה בזר פסולה ואמר רב עלה אלעזר וחוקה כתיב בה

The Gemara asks: And is it not? But doesn’t Rabbi Zeira say that Rav says: If the slaughter of a red heifer is performed by a non-priest, it is not valid? And Rav said about this halakha: It is derived from the phrases: “Elazar the priest” (Numbers 19:3), and: “Statute” (Numbers 19:2), which are written with regard to the red heifer. The mention of Elazar indicates that slaughter must be performed by a priest, and the term “statute” indicates that one may not deviate from any of the details of the service as delineated in the verses. If one does, the heifer is disqualified.

שאני פרה דקדשי בדק הבית היא

The Gemara answers: The red heifer is different, as it is not an offering; it has the sanctity of items consecrated for Temple maintenance. The halakhot that govern its service therefore differ from those of offerings proper.

ולאו כל דכן הוא קדשי בדק הבית הויא עבודה קדשי מזבח לאו עבודה היא

The Gemara asks: But does this not prove the point all the more? If slaughtering an animal consecrated for Temple maintenance is tantamount to a sacrificial rite, can slaughtering offerings, which are sacrificed on the altar, not be considered a sacrificial rite?

אמר רב שישא בריה דרב אידי מידי דהוה אמראות נגעים דלאו עבודה היא ובעיא כהונה

Rav Sheisha, son of Rav Idi, said: The slaughter of a red heifer is considered just as it is in the case of shades of leprous marks, which are deemed ritually pure or impure by a priest. Although this is not a sacrificial rite, it still requires a member of the priesthood to perform it. Therefore, the requirement that the red heifer be slaughtered by a priest does not prove that it is classified as a sacrificial rite.

והרי הולכת אברים לכבש דעבודה שאפשר לבטלה היא ופסולה בזר דכתי' (ויקרא א, יג) והקרי' הכהן את הכל [והקטיר] המזבחה ואמר מר זו הולכת אברים לכבש

The Gemara further challenges the premise of Rabba and Rav Yosef that a dispensable rite can be performed by a non-priest: But what about conveying the limbs of the offering to the ramp, which is a dispensable rite, as the offering can be slaughtered next to the ramp? And nevertheless, if it is performed by a non-priest, the offering is disqualified, as it is written: “And the priest shall sacrifice the whole, and make it smoke upon the altar” (Leviticus 1:13); and the Master says: This is referring to conveying the limbs to the ramp.

היכא דגלי גלי והיכא דלא גלי לא גלי

The Gemara answers: In a case where the verse explicitly revealed that a rite must be performed by a priest, it revealed it; but in a case where the Torah did not reveal it, it did not reveal it. With regard to conveying the blood, the Torah does not state explicitly that a priest is required.

ולאו כל דכן הוא ומה הולכת אברים לכבש דלא מעכבא כפרה בעיא כהונה הולכת דם דמעכבא כפרה [לא כ"ש] (מיבעיא)

The Gemara challenges: But is it not all the more so obvious? Just as conveying the limbs to the ramp requires that the conveyor be a member of the priesthood, even though it does not prevent atonement if not performed at all, since atonement was already effected by sprinkling the blood, all the more so is it not clear that concerning conveying the blood and sprinkling it on the altar, where the failure to convey it and sprinkle it on the altar prevents atonement, it must be that the conveyor be a member of the priesthood? This difficulty remains unresolved.

איתמר [נמי] אמר עולא א"ר אלעזר הולכה בזר פסולה אפילו לרבי שמעון

It was also stated that Ulla says that Rabbi Elazar says: In a case where conveying the blood is performed by a non-priest, the offering is disqualified, even according to Rabbi Shimon.

איבעיא להו הולכה שלא ברגל שמה הולכה או לא שמה הולכה

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Is conveying the blood not by foot but rather by passing it by hand to another priest considered conveying, or is it not considered conveying? Can the rite be performed in this manner?

ת"ש וכן יושב וכן שמאל פסול הא עומד דומיא דיושב כשר

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear evidence from the baraita: And likewise, if the priest collected, conveyed, or sprinkled the blood while sitting, and likewise, if he performed any of these rites with his left hand, the offering is disqualified. Since only sitting is listed, one consequently infers that if the priest conveyed the blood while standing but in a manner similar to sitting, i.e., by outstretching his hand without walking, the offering is fit. Evidently, conveying the blood does not require walking.

דלמא יושב דקשייף מישף עומד דומיא דיושב דנייד פורתא

The Gemara rejects this inference: Perhaps when the baraita states: Sitting, it is referring to one who conveys the blood by moving toward the altar while sitting on the ground in such a manner that he rubs himself against the floor of the courtyard as he pulls himself forward. If so, the parallel case of standing in a manner similar to sitting is a case where the priest moves forward a bit. Perhaps if he does not move at all and merely outstretches his hand, the rite is not valid.

ת"ש שחט ישראל וקבל הכהן נתנו לחבירו וחברו לחבירו

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from a mishna (Pesaḥim 64a): An Israelite would slaughter the Paschal offering, and a priest would collect the blood. The priests would be lined up from the place where the lamb was slaughtered until the altar. The priest who collected the blood would immediately hand it to another priest standing next to him, and the other priest would pass it to another, and so forth, until it would reach the altar. Evidently, the blood can be passed from hand to hand; it need not be conveyed by foot.

התם נמי דניידי פורתא ומאי קמ"ל (משלי יד, כח) ברוב עם הדרת מלך

The Gemara answers: There, too, the priests would move a bit with their feet while passing the blood forward. The Gemara asks: But what is the mishna teaching us in this description, if not that the blood need not be conveyed by foot? The Gemara answers: It teaches that: “In the multitude of people is the king’s glory” (Proverbs 14:28). It honors God when the Temple service is performed by a multitude of priests.

ת"ש קבל הכשר ונתן לפסול יחזיר לכשר

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear another resolution from a mishna (32a): If a priest who is fit for Temple service collected the blood in a vessel and gave it to an unfit individual standing next to the altar, that individual should return it to the fit priest, so that he may perform a complete act of conveying the blood to the altar. Evidently, the blood must be conveyed to the altar by foot. If conveying by hand were valid, another priest could simply take the blood from the unfit person and complete the conveying of the blood to the altar.

אימא יחזור הכשר ויקבלה

The Gemara rejects this inference: Say that the wording of the mishna should be emended; instead of stating that the unfit person should return the vessel to the fit priest, it should state that the fit priest, even another priest, should then receive it from the unfit person. If so, the mishna proves nothing about conveying by hand.

איתמר אמר עולא א"ר יוחנן הולכה שלא ברגל לא שמה הולכה

It was stated: Ulla says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Conveying the blood not by foot is not considered conveying.