Korban Pesach - taking on the 10th of Nissan

The mishna says in פסחים,
(צ״ו ע״א)

מה בין פסח מצרים לפסח דורות פסח מצרים מקחו מבעשור וטעון הזאה באגודת אזוב ועל המשקוף ועל שתי המזוזות ונאכל בחפזון בלילה אחד...

What is the difference between the Korban Pesach in Mitzraim and the normal Korban Pesach? The Pesach in Mitzraim was taken on the 10th of Nissan and needed to have its blood sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop on the lintel and the two doorposts and was eaten hastily on one night. [The normal Pesach does not have these halachos.]

The gemara explains that even although the normal Pesach does not need to be made hekdesh from the 10th, it does need to be checked for mumim from the 10th.

The gemara says that the korban tamid also has to be checked for mumim 4 days before it is shechted:

בן בג בג אומר מנין לתמיד שטעון ביקור ד' ימים קודם שחיטה שנא' (במדבר כח) תשמרו להקריב לי במועדו ולהלן הוא אומר והיה לכם למשמרת עד ארבעה עשר מה להלן טעון ביקור ד' ימים קודם שחיטה אף כאן טעון ביקור ד' ימים קודם שחיטה
“Ben Bag-bag says – how do you know that the korban tamid needs to be checked for
mumim for 4 days before shechita – because it says regarding the korban tamid תשמרו להקריב לי במועדו – similarly concerning the korban pesach it says - והיה לכם למשמרת עד ארבעה עשר, we make a gezeira shava between tishmeru and mishmeres – just as the korban pesach has to be checked for 4 days before it is brought, so too the korban tamid has to be checked for 4 days before it is brought.”

Tosafos in Succah explains that this halacha is me’akev bedi’eved – if the tamid (or Pesach) was not checked beforehand it is passul:

The gemara in Succah (42a) says:

רבי יוסי אומר השוחט את התמיד שאינו מבוקר כהלכתו בשבת חייב חטאת וצריך תמיד אחר

“Rebbi Yossi says – if someone shechts a tamid that is not properly inspected on Shabbos he is chayav to bring a chatas (because he has been mechalel shabbos by shechting a possul korban) and he has to bring another tamid.

Tosafos explains (d”h she’aino mevukar)

ואפילו נמצא תם משום דטעון ביקור ד׳ ימים קודם שחיטה דבפרק מי שהיה טמא (דף צו.) יליף לה מפסח בגזרה שוה
“Even if the korban is found to be a tam (and has no mumim) when it is shechted it is still possul because it needs to be checked for 4 days before shechitah.

There is a gemara in Pesachim (47b) however that implies that if the tamid was not checked for mumim it is kosher. The gemara talks about a case where someone shechted a muktzeh animal for the tamid:

הביא שה מאפר ושחטו תמיד ביו"ט מהו ... יכול לא יביא מן המוקצה אמרת מה טבל מיוחד שאיסור גופו גרם לו אף כל שאיסור גופו גרם לו יצא מוקצה שאין איסור גופו גרם לו אלא איסור דבר אחר גרם לו

If he brought an animal from the meadow and he shechted it as a tamid on Yom Tov – what is the halacha? (The animal is muktzeh as it was not intended for use on Yom Tov. The gemara’s question is, does the fact that it is muktzeh make it passul.) The gemara brings a beraisoh that says that a muktzeh animal is kosher as a korban because the issur does not come from the animal but rather is an external problem.”

How can the gemara say that you can bring an animal from the meadow and use it for the tamid, it was not checked for mumim 4 days prior to being shechted?

The Meiri says in Pesachim:

זה שאמרו דפסח מצרים היה מקחו בעשר אנו רגילים לפרש שלא להקדים ולא לאחר ומ״מ במכילתא שנינו ״אין לי אלא עשירי שהוא כשר ללקיחה בארבעה עשר מנין אמרת קל וחומר מה עשירי שאינו כשר לשחיטה כשר ללקיחה י״ד שהוא כשר לשחיטה אינו דין שכשר ללקיחה
" ומתוך כך פירשו גדולי קדמונינו מקחו בעשר שלא להקדים אבל לאחר רשאין עד י״ד ... ומ״מ קשה לפרש שהרי בסוגיא זו למדו מזה על התמידין שטעונין ביקור קודם שחיטה ארבעה ימים ואפשר שטעון שיבקרו בעדר שנותן עינו בו אבל אינו צריך ליקח עד יום י״ד

Normally we understand that in Mitzraim they had to take the korban pesach on the 10th of Nissan. However the mechilta says – ‘How do you know that they could take the korban pesach on the 14th, it is a kal ve’chomer – if you can take the pesach on the 10th when you can not shecht it, all the more so you can take it on the 14th when you can shecht it.’ You see from the Meiri that when the passuk says the korban pesach should be taken on the 10th in Mitzraim it means that they could not take it earlier but they could take it later.

The Meiri asks on this; we know that the reason that they took the korban early is in order to inspect it as the gemara learns the obligation to inspect the tamid from the korban pesach. So how can you say that they were able to take the korban pesach earlier – they would not be able to inspect it?

The Meiri answers that they could inspect it while it was still in the flock on the 10th but they would not be makdish it until the 14th.

You see from the Meiri that you can fulfil the obligation of inspecting the animal for mumim before it is hekdesh. So we can answer that the animal that was brought from the meadow was checked for mumim before it was hukdash to be the tamid.

The Mikroei Kodesh (Pesach 1, 7) asks that this is still difficult to understand, if he inspected it and intended it to be the tamid then why is it muktzeh?

The Mikroei Kodesh brings an answer from the Toras Chesed using the following 2 halachos:

1. Rashi says in pesachim that for a normal korban Pesach, you do not need to take it on the 10th, but you do need to inspect it. Therefore you can inspect a few animals on the 10th and then on the 14th you can take whichever one you prefer:

אם לא הפרישו מבעשור יבקר שנים ושלשה טלאים מבעשור ובשעת שחיטה יקח אחד מהן

If he did not separate it on the 10th, he should inspect two or three sheep from the 10th and then take one when the time comes to shecht the Pesach.

2. Beis Hillel say in Beitza (10a) that in order to prepare doves for shechting on Yom Tov, you have to be specific. You have to say this dove and this dove I will take tomorrow. If he simply says I will take from here (this dovecote) tomorrow they are still muktzeh.

Therefore we can say that in the gemara in Pesachim (47b) a few of the animals were inspected for mumim 4 days before one of them was shechted. This is enough to fulfil the obligation of inspecting the animals but it is not enough to remove the issur of muktzeh.


  1. Interesting, but the Mechilta's kal v'chomer is very, VERY shver...


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