Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kilayim in bigdei kehunah

The Rambam says in Hilchos Kilayim (10:32):
כהנים שלבשו בגדי כהונה שלא בשעת עבודה אפילו במקדש לוקין מפני האבנט שהוא כלאים ולא הותרו בו אלא בשעת עבודה שהיא מצות עשה כציצית
“If cohanim wear bigdei kehunah while they are not performing the avodah even if they are not in the beis hamikdash then they receive malkos because the avnet contains kilayim and it was only permitted for the cohanim to wear this garment while performing the avodah.”

The Ravad argues with the Rambam and says:
טעה בזה שהרי אמרו (ביומא בפרק בא לו) כהן גדול במקדש אפילו שלא בשעת עבודה מותר כו'
“The Rambam has made a mistake in this halachah because the gemara says (Yuma 69a) that a cohen gadol is allowed to wear the bigdei kehunah in the beis hamikdash even when he is not performing the avodah.”

The Binyan Halacha explains the opinion of the Rambam as follows:

Gid hanashe in a korban olah
There is a machlokess in Chullin (90a – b) between Rebbi and the Rabbanan whether or not the gid hanashe is burnt as part of a korban olah. According to Rebbi the gid hanashe is brought on the mizbeach, according to the Rabbanan it is not:

ורבי ... כי איצטריך קרא לגיד הנשה במחובר. ורבנן (יחזקאל מה, טו) "ממשקה ישראל" מן המותר לישראל. ורבי מידי דהוה אחלב ודם. ורבנן מצותן בכך שאני

“According to Rebbi the passuk comes to include that you should burn the gid hanashe as part of the thigh of the olah.

The Rabbanan say that the passuk could not possible come to teach you this because we know that you can only bring on the mizbeach something that is kosher to eat (מִמַּשְׁקֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל). Seeing as the gid hanashe is not kosher it is not possible that the passuk would tell you that it should be burnt on the mizbeach.

Rebbi says this is not an objection because chelev and dam are brought on the mizbeach and they are not kosher, so you see that the passuk does make exceptions to the rule of מִמַּשְׁקֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל.

The Rabbanan say that this is no proof because the main mitzvah of korbanos involves using the chelev and dam, these are an essential part of the mitzvah. Therefore you cannot prove from their use on the mizbeach that the Torah would allow other parts of the animal that are not kosher to be brought on the mizbeach.”

What is the machlokess between Rebbi and the Rabannan? Why does Rebbi say that the fact that chelev and dam are brought on the mizbeach is a precedent to allow the gid hanashe to be brought on the mizbeach and why do the Rabannan disagree?

Mitzvaso bekach
The Binyan Halacha explains that there are two possible ways that the Torah can allow you to do a ‘lo saaseh’ when you perform a mitzvas aseh.

·         The first way is where we recognise that doing this act which is normally forbidden is indeed a ‘lo saaseh’. However we say that the ‘lo saaseh’ is pushed away (either hutrah or dechuyah) before the mitzvas aseh. Because of the importance of the mitzvas aseh, the Torah allows you to do an act that comprises a ‘lo saaseh’.

·         The second way is where we do not recognise the act that is performed as a mitzvas lo saaseh at all. If a lo saaseh is part of a mitzvah where it is mitzvaso bekach – this is the way that you always do the mitzvah – then the Torah does not identify this act as an issur. There is no “issur” that is pushed away before the mitzvas aseh – rather we understand that what you are doing is simply part of a maaseh ha’mitzvah.

The Binyan Halacha explains that the Rabannan who argue with Rebbi hold like the second explanation. Therefore according to the Rabannan, it is not possible to learn from the fact that the Torah allows chelev and dam to be brought as part of a korban that the Torah would also allow other non-kosher items to be brought as korbanos.

It is mitzvaso bekach for korbanos to include chelev and dam. Therefore there is no issur of chelev and dam which is pushed away by the mitzvah of korbanos. Rather we understand that because this is an act of performing a mitzvah where the issur is mitzvaso bekach, that this is purely a maaseh hamitzvah and does not relate to the general issur of chelev and dam at all.

This is not the case with gid hanashe. If we were to say that it is permissible to bring gid hanashe on the mizbeach this would be because the mitzvah of bringing the korban pushes away the issur of bringing non-kosher food on the mizbeach. Seeing as there is no precedent for this from chelev and dam (where we say there is no issur altogether) the Rabannan say it is not possible that this is mutar.

According to Rebbi however, even where there is a lo saaseh that is always part of a mitzvas aseh (mitzvaso bekach), we understand that there really is an issur – however it is permissible to do the issur as it is pushed away by the more important mitzvas aseh (it is either hutrah or dechuyah).

Bigdei kehunah
Since bigdei kehunah contain kilayim, it is mitzvaso bekach of bigdei kehunah to be worn with kilayim. Our understanding of how the issur of kilayim is permitted in this case will depend on the machlokess between Rebbi and the Rabannan

·         According to the Rabannan we would understand that there is no consideration of kilayim at all in relation to bigdei kehunah, just as there is no consideration of the issur of chelev and dam at all when bringing korbanos.

·         However, according to Rebbi, we would understand that we do identify that an issur of kilayim is present when wearing bigdei kehunah however it is pushed away by the mitzvah of wearing bigdei kehunah.

The Rambam in Maaseh Korbanos (6:4) says:
כשמנתח איברי העולה מוליכין את כל הנתחים לכבש ומולחין אותם שם ואחר כך מעלין כל האיברים לראש המזבח ומסיר גיד הנשה
“When he cuts up the limbs of the olah – he takes all the parts to the ramp leading up to the mizbeach and he salts them there and after they take up all the limbs to the top of the mizbeach he removes the gid hanashe.”

The Rambam paskes like the Rabannan – that the gid hanashe is not brought as part of an olah. That means that he paskens that if you have a lo saaseh which is part of a mitzvas aseh and it is mitzvaso bekach – that we do not consider that there is a  lo saaseh present at all.

Therefore regarding the issur of kilayim in shaatnez – we would not say that the issur of kilayim has been pushed away – rather we would say that at the time that wearing the bigdei kehunah is a mitzvah (while the kohen is doing the avodah) that there is no kilayim present at all. However as soon as the kohen stops doing the avodah they would have to take off the begadim. Since at the time of the avodah the issur was not pushed away (instead it was simply not present) as soon as the avodah finishes the issur of kilayim is present again and the cohen may not continue to wear the begadim.

That is why the Rambam says that once the cohanim finish the avodah they must remove the begadim.
The gemara in Yuma (69a) which the Raavad quotes as saying that cohanim may wear their begadim in the beis hamikdash is going according to Rebbi.

The Rambam will explain that since Rebbi holds that even where an issur which is mitzvaso bekach is allowed we say that there is an issur but it is pushed away by the mitzvah – in that case there is a precedent set in the kohanim wearing bigdei kehunah beshaas avodah that the issur of kilayim is pushed away by the mitzvah of wearing bigdei kehunah. Therefore even shelo beshaas avodah where there is no chiyuv for the kohanim to wear the bigdei kehunah but there is still a mitzvah of wearing bigdei kehunah – we will say that the mitzvah of wearing bigdei kehunah is matir the issur of kilayim.

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