Monday, August 14, 2006

sheni l'tumah - d'oraysa or derabbanan?

This post was instigated by my brother-in-law, who noted it makes a good yediya to post on my blog, so here it is. There is a din by ma’aser sheni that “mechitzos koltos”, once ma’aser enters the walls of Yerushalayim, it must be eaten there. Of course, if you remove kedushas ma’aser sheni, then the food could theoretically be eaten anywhere, but the halacha is that you cannot be podeh ma’aser sheni in Yerushalayim. The only exception is if the food becomes tamei, in which case, based on a dersaha, pediya is allowed even in the city. The Yerushalmi has what I thought is a fantastic chiddush in the name of Bar Pada (daf 18) – if food becomes tamei only as a “vald hatumah”, i.e. tamei from a rishon so it is only a sheni l’tumah, since it is tamei we allow pediya, but since min haTorah this food is still tahor, we still apply the law of mechitzos koltos and the redeemed food must be eaten in the city. Seems pretty clear from this din that a sheni l’tumah is only a din derabbanan --I am tempted to add exclamation points here, because I certainly was baffled when I learned this. My BIL was kind enough to point out my ignorance of the Rambam, who indeed paskens exactly like this gemara (hil ma’aser sheni perek 2) and writes that a "vlad hatumah" is only m'divreihem (derabbanan). As he remarked, doesn't picking up interesting yediyos like this make learning Yerushalmi worth it? (The truth is no, yediyos like this just leave me perplexed, and I don't have enough time to devote to delving into them). Not being quick enough on my feet when talking this over 5 minutes before seudah shlishis (we were both at another relative's bar mitzvah), I had to wait until this morning to e-mail my BIL back to explain upon further reflection why taking this Rambam k'pshuto is next to impossible! The Mishna in Sota (5:2) proves from pesukim that a sheni l’tumah causes a shlishi l’tumah – if food falls into a kli cheres oven which has a sheretz dangeling in it, the sheretz is matamei the oven (rishon), the ovens airspace is matamei the food (sheni), which in turn the Torah says is ‘yitma”, causes other things to become tamei. All this is on a d’oraysa level, as the Rambam writes in hil Avos haTumah ch 11. So how can you say a "vlad hatumah" is only derabbanan?! This difficulty is raised by the Mareh HaPanim right on the daf, who changes the girsa in the Rambam to fit the rule in avos hatumah. But, as my BIL pointed out originally, the meforshei haRambam take the words and girsa k’peshutan, so what in the world do they do with the Mishna in Sota?

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    "vlad hatumah" appeared in another mesechta in zeraim. My recollection from the mefarshim in that sugya was that this does not refer to a rishon l'temua d'oraisa but refers to the din d'rabanan that stam yadaim are metame mashkim lehios rishon. These mashkim can in turn be metame Ochel, d'rabanan. (one reasons given for washing hands before the tevila of carpas in saltwater on the seder) I can't remember where in Zeraim this first appeared. I will try to find it if I have time.

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  2. Bill Selliger12:30 PM

    Vlados hatuma for certain categories of items (e.g. truma) are d'oraysa, and for others (chulin) are d'rabanon.

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  3. The mareh hapanim offers a pshat like that here (a vlad created from a tumah derabbanan like yadayim), but to stick that in the rambam you have to touch up the girsa and it is not pashut pshat in the gemara. I would be interested if there are other places that stam 'vlad hatumah' in the yerushalmi means this - would indeed be an importanr yediya to know!

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  4. >>>Vlados hatuma for certain categories of items (e.g. truma) are d'oraysa, and for others (chulin) are d'rabanon.

    What is this based on? - the Mishna in Sota is talking about chulin?

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  5. Anonymous2:06 PM

    So far I had just a few seconds to do research. On the Rambam - See Derech Emunah by R' Chaim Kanievski on Rambam Hilchos Ma'aser Sheni Perek 2 Halacha 11. Os 86 - Vlad ha tuma - "here refers to a velad ha tumah that is metama others only miderabanan..." my rough translation.

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  6. See the last Rashi on Brachos 52a. Does this shed any light on it? I don't know.

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  7. Everyone is saying the same thing essentially as the Mareh HaPanim - but you have to admit that the Rambam left out a pretty big detail in leaving it to the reader to infer that 'vlad hatumah' means a sheni l'tumah created only by tumah m'derabbanan.

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  8. Dunno. If anything the Mishna in Sota works out very well with the Y-mi:

    משנה מסכת סוטה פרק ה
    בּוֹ בַיּוֹם דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, (ויקרא יא) וְכָל כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר יִפֹּל מֵהֶם אֶל תּוֹכוֹ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹכוֹ יִטְמָא, אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר טָמֵא אֶלָא יִטְמָא, לְטַמֵּא אֲחֵרִים, לִמֵּד עַל כִּכָּר שֵׁנִי שֶׁמְּטַמֵּא אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁי. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, מִי יְגַלֶּה עָפָר מֵעֵינֶיךָ, רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי, שֶׁהָיִיתָ אוֹמֵר, עָתִיד דּוֹר אַחֵר לְטַהֵר כִּכָּר שְׁלִישִׁי, שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מִקְרָא מִן הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא, וַהֲלֹא עֲקִיבָא תַלְמִידְךָ מֵבִיא לוֹ מִקְרָא מִן הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹכוֹ יִטְמָא

    It seems pretty clear that until R' Akiva came along everyone assumed that Shlishi l'tumah was d'Rabbonon! Now, that would seem to indicate that at least Sheni is d'Orysa, but I don't think so. If we look at the Mishnah carefully, pshat is actually azoi:

    All Vlados are d'Rabbonon. R' Yochanan ben Zakkai said, certainly so, but there is a difference between the vlad of Sheni and the vlad of Shlishi: Sheni has a "mikrah" - i.e., a smach, a.k.a. asmachta - but Shelishi is even worse, it has no smach, and surely a later Beis Din will want to cancel it (assumedly because without the Beis HaMikdash it is not so necessary to be meticulous in tumah and tahara). Along comes R' Akiva and rejects that - he says, ein hachi nami, they are both d'Rabbonon - but they both have a smach in the Torah. Hence, if you want to do away with one, you will have to do away with the other!

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  9. These are derashos gemuros, not asmachtos, as the Rambam himself paskens in avos hatumah. Sorry, this does not hold water.

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  10. Which Rambam?

    Also: see Gilayon Ephraim to Yerushalmi Sotah 22a who says that Shlishi b'Kodesh is a Ma'alah made by the Torah! V'duk heiteiv.

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  11. Avos haTumah 10:2 'minayim l'ochel sheni she'hu pasul b'chulin - she'ne'emar v'kol kli cheres...'
    Not to mention all the sugyos of R' Chanina Sgan haKohain imply that these are dinim d'oraysa, just to give one example, see 14a the debate of ochel being metamei ochel (which has got to be rishon-->sheni) is on a d'oraysa level, not a chumra derabbanan.

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