Sunday, 10 June 2018

Zevachim 57: Offerings of Lesser Sanctity; the Vineyard

At the end of yesterday’s daf, we learned a new Mishna:  The firstborn offering, the animal tithe offering and the Paschal offering are all considered to be offerings of lesser sanctity. This indicates that:
·     They can be slaughtered anywhere in the Temple courtyard
·     The blood requires one placement
·     The priest must place the blood so that it goes on the base of the altar

The halacha is different for each of these offerings:
·     The firstborn offering is eaten by the priests
·     The animal tithe offering is eaten by any ritually pure Jewish person
·     The animal tithe offering can be eaten anywhere in Jerusalem, prepared in   any way, until the end of two days and one night
·     The Pascal offering is eaten only at night, only until midnight of the day it was slaughtered, and only by those who registered in advance to partake of that offering
·     The Pascal offering must be roasted; it cannot be prepared in any other manner

Of course, the Gemara looks for prooftexts to explain why we know that these halachot apply.   Comparisons between one thing that is known and another that is not known are repeatedly used as prooftext.  Sometimes the arguments are convincing; at other times it is difficult to see a connection between the two elements at all.  

Today's daf reminds us that the yeshiva in Yavne established after the destruction of the second Temple was known as the Kerem b'Yavne, the grapevine of Yavne. This was because of the seating of its students and not because of an actual vineyard growing there.

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