אבר דמחבר אבל קומץ דמיפרת אימא לא קמ"ל
to a limb of an offering, which is all connected together so that it forms a single unit, and one can say that if fire took hold of part of it, all of it is considered the food of the altar, and therefore it is returned to the altar if it came down; but with regard to a handful, which consists of separate pieces, perhaps only the part that the fire took hold of is returned to the altar, but as for the rest you might say that it does not ascend again. Therefore, Ulla teaches us that the same halakha applies to the handful as to a limb, i.e., if it descended from the altar after fire already took hold of any part of it, it ascends once again in its entirety to the altar.
אמר רב אחאי הלכך האי קומץ פיגול דפלגיה מחית אארעא ופלגיה אסקיה המערכה ומשלה בו האור מסיקנא ליה לכוליה לכתחלה:
Rav Aḥai says: Since the handful is considered one unit, therefore, in the case of this handful of piggul, half of which lies on the ground and half of which was brought up to the wood arrangement on the altar and the fire took hold of it, one brings all of it up to the altar ab initio.
אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי יוחנן הפיגול והנותר והטמא שהעלן לגבי מזבח פקע איסור מהן אמר רב חסדא מרי דיכי מזבח מקוה טהרה אמר רבי זירא שמשלה בהן האור
Rabbi Yitzḥak says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: With regard to piggul, notar, i.e., offerings that remain after the time allotted for their consumption, and ritually impure flesh, where one brought them up to the altar, their prohibition has left them. Rav Ḥisda said in astonishment: Teacher of this halakha, is the altar a bath of ritual purification that can render an impure item pure? Rabbi Zeira says: This is referring to a case where the fire took hold of them, and therefore the item belongs to the altar and the prohibition lapses.
מתיב ר' יצחק בר ביסנא אחרים אומרים (ויקרא ז, כ) וטומאתו עליו מי שטומאה פורחת ממנו יצא בשר שאין טומאה פורחת ממנו ואם איתא הרי טומאה פורחת ממנו על ידי האור
Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Bisna raises an objection from a baraita. Others say: The verse states: “But the soul that eats of the meat of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain to the Lord, having his impurity upon him, that soul shall be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 7:20). Although this can also be read as: Having its impurity upon it, referring to the meat of the peace offerings, the verse in fact is referring to one whose impurity can depart from him, i.e., a person who is currently impure, but can attain a state of ritual purity by immersing in a ritual bath. This serves to exclude the impure flesh of offerings, as its impurity cannot depart from it, since ritually impure flesh cannot be purified. And if it is so that Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement is correct, the impurity of flesh can in fact depart from it by means of the fire of the altar.
אמר רבא על ידי מקוה קאמרינן מידי מקוה כתיב אלא אמר רב פפא בבשר שלמים עסקינן דלא חזי להקרבה
Rava says: When the baraita speaks of an item whose impurity cannot depart from it, we say it is referring to purification by means of a ritual bath, not through any other means. The Gemara raises a difficulty: Is the term ritual bath written in the baraita? It speaks only in general terms about impurity that can or cannot depart from an item. Rather, Rav Pappa says: In that verse we are dealing with the meat of peace offerings, which are not fit for sacrificing, as the meat of a peace offering is eaten rather than being burned on the altar. Therefore, bringing it up to the altar does not remove its impurity from it.
רבינא אמר וטומאתו עליו מי שטומאה פורחת ממנו כשהוא שלם יצא בשר דבר שאין טומאה פורחת כשהוא שלם אלא כשהוא חסר:
Ravina says there is a different answer: Even if the impurity of flesh leaves it when it is brought up to the altar, this verse cannot be referring to the impure meat of peace offerings, as the phrase “having his impurity upon him” is referring to one whose impurity departs from him when he is whole; the term “upon him” indicates that he is in a state of wholeness. This serves to exclude sacrificial flesh, which is an item whose impurity does not depart from it when it is whole, but only when it is deficient, i.e., when fire takes hold of it on the altar.
גופא וטומאתו עליו בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר
§ The Gemara proceeds to analyze the matter itself. In the baraita the Rabbis attempt to prove that the verse: “But the soul that eats of the meat of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain to the Lord, having his impurity upon him, that soul shall be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 7:20), is referring to a ritually impure person, and not to impure flesh. The baraita states: “Having his impurity upon him”; the verse speaks of impurity of the body of the person, not the impurity of the flesh of the offering.
אתה אומר בטומאת הגוף או אינו אלא בטומאת בשר נאמר כאן טומאתו ונאמר להלן טומאתו (עליו) [בו] מה להלן בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר אף כאן בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר
The question may be raised: Do you say that it is dealing with impurity of the body? Or is it speaking only of impurity of the flesh, as is suggested by the fact that the term for “meat” [basar] is masculine, matching the masculine pronominal suffix attached to the word “impurity,” whereas the word for “soul” [nefesh] is feminine? The answer is that here it is stated: “Having his impurity upon him,” and there it is stated: “Whoever touches the dead, the body of any man that has died, and does not purify himself, he has defiled the Tabernacle of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel, because the water of sprinkling was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be impure, his impurity is yet upon him” (Numbers 19:13). Just as there, the verse is speaking of impurity of the body, so too here, the verse is speaking of impurity of the body.
ר' יוסי אומר הואיל ונאמרו קדשים בלשון רבים ונאמרה טומאה בלשון יחיד בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר רבי אומר ואכל בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר אחרים אמרו וטומאתו עליו מי שטומאה פורחת ממנו יצא בשר שאין טומאה פורחת ממנו
Rabbi Yosei says there is a different proof: Since in this verse (Leviticus 7:20) the sacrificial animals are mentioned in the plural form, i.e., “peace offerings,” but the impurity is mentioned in the singular: “Upon him,” evidently the verse is speaking of impurity of the body, and not impurity of the peace offerings. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says there is yet another proof: Since the next verse states: “And when anyone shall touch any impure item…and eat of the meat of the sacrifice of peace offerings” (Leviticus 7:21), this indicates that the verse is speaking of impurity of the body, as will be explained. Others say that the phrase “having his impurity upon him” proves that the reference here is to one whose impurity can depart from him, i.e., a person. This serves to exclude the impure flesh of offerings, as its impurity cannot depart from it. This concludes the baraita.
אמר מר רבי אומר ואכל בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר מאי משמע אמר רבא כל קרא דלא מפרש ליה רב יצחק בר אבודימי וכל מתניתא דלא מפרשא לה רב זעירי לא מיפרשא
The Gemara analyzes the baraita. The Master said: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says that the term “and eat” indicates that the verse is speaking of impurity of the body. The Gemara asks: From where is this inferred? How is the meaning of this verse derived from this term, which appears in a different verse? In this connection the Gemara notes that Rava said: Any verse that was not explained by Rav Yitzḥak bar Avudimi, and any baraita that was not explained by Rav Ze’eiri, was not explained, as these Sages are the most accomplished interpreters of verses and baraitot, respectively.
הכי אמר ר' יצחק בר אבודימי הואיל ופתח הכתוב בלשון נקבה וסיים בלשון נקבה ולשון זכר באמצע בטומאת הגוף הכתוב מדבר
Rava cites the relevant explanation of the verse referred to by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: This is what Rav Yitzḥak bar Avudimi says: The next verse states: “And when anyone shall touch any impure item, whether it is the impurity of man, or an impure animal, or any impure detestable thing, and eat of the meat of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain to the Lord, that soul shall be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 7:21). The beginning of that verse: “And when anyone shall touch,” and the end of that verse: “That soul shall be cut off,” are in the feminine form, whereas the middle of the verse: “And eat of the meat,” is in the masculine form, and yet it is clear that the verse is speaking of impurity of the body. The same may be said about the previous verse: Since the verse begins in the feminine form and ends in the feminine form, and the masculine form is used in the middle, the verse must be speaking of impurity of the body, despite the change from the feminine to the masculine.
מתניתא דתניא אם נאמרו קלות למה נאמרו חמורות ואם נאמר חמורות למה נאמר קלות אם נאמר קלות ולא חמורות הייתי אומר על הקלות בלאו ועל החמורות במיתה לכך נאמר חמורות ואם נאמר חמורות ולא נאמרו קלות הייתי אומר על החמורות יהא חייב ועל הקלות יהא פטור לכך נאמר קלות
The Gemara cites the baraita, alluded to by Rava, through which the interpretative prowess of Rav Ze’eiri is demonstrated. This baraita also discusses the topic of eating consecrated food while in a state of ritual impurity. As it is taught in a baraita: If the lenient are stated, why are the stringent stated; and if the stringent are stated, why are the lenient stated? If the lenient were stated and not the stringent, I would say: For the lenient, one is liable to receive lashes for violating a prohibition, and for the stringent, one is liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven. Therefore, the stringent are stated. And if the stringent were stated and the lenient were not stated, I would say: Only for the stringent should one be liable to receive a punishment; but for the lenient, one should be entirely exempt. Therefore, the lenient are stated. This concludes the baraita, the meaning of which is opaque.
מאי קלות ומאי חמורות אילימא קלות מעשר חמורות תרומה הייתי אומר במיתה השתא נמי הא במיתה
The Gemara asks: What are the lenient, and what are the stringent? It is known that the baraita is discussing the broad topic of eating consecrated food in a state of impurity, but its precise meaning requires elucidation. If we say that the lenient is referring to the consumption of second tithe while one is impure, and the stringent is referring to the partaking of teruma, the portion of the produce designated for the priest, in a state of impurity, how can the baraita say that had the Torah stated only the prohibition against eating second tithe I would incorrectly have said that one who partakes of teruma is liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven? Now too, this is the halakha; one who partakes of teruma when he is in a state of impurity is indeed liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven.
[ותו] ואי לא נאמר הייתי אומר במיתה דיו לבא מן הדין להיות כנדון
And furthermore, is it correct to say: And if the Torah had not stated the stringent case of teruma but only the lenient case of second tithe, and I would learn the halakha in the stringent case from the halakha in the lenient case by way of an a fortiori inference, I would then say that the punishment in the stringent case is that of death at the hand of Heaven? This is impossible, as there is a principle with regard to a fortiori inferences that it is sufficient for the conclusion that emerges from an a fortiori inference to be like its source. In other words, a halakha derived by means of an a fortiori inference can be no more stringent than the source from which it is derived. In this instance, if an impure person who eats second tithe is flogged for violating a prohibition, then the punishment for partaking of teruma in a state of impurity, were it not stated in the Torah, could be no more severe than that.
אלא קלות טומאת שרץ חמורות טומאת מת
Rather, when the baraita refers to the lenient it is referring to the impurity of the carcass of a creeping animal, while the stringent is referring to the impurity imparted by a corpse, as the Torah discusses both these cases in the context of eating consecrated foods in a state of ritual impurity: “And whoever touches anything that is impure by the dead, or a man whose semen goes from him, or whoever touches any creeping animal” (Leviticus 22:4–5).
ובמאי אי בתרומה אידי ואידי הוא במיתה ותו לכך נאמרו חמורות דבלאו הא במיתה היא (ואי לא נאמר הייתי אומר במיתה דיו לבא מן הדין להיות כנדון)
The Gemara asks: But if so, to what food is this referring? If it is referring to the partaking of teruma, both this one who was rendered impure by the dead and that one who was rendered impure by a creeping animal are liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven. No matter how he became impure, if he partakes of teruma in a state of ritual impurity he is liable to be punished with death. And furthermore, how can the baraita state: Therefore, the stringent are stated, i.e., to teach that one is liable only to be flogged for violating a prohibition, and not to be punished with death. After all, one who partakes of teruma when impure is in fact liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven. Consequently, the reference to stringent and lenient cannot be referring to the partaking of teruma.
ואי באכילת מעשר
And if the baraita is referring to the eating of second tithe, this too is difficult.