Talmud Tips

For the week ending 5 May 2018 / 20 Iyyar 5778

Zevachim 9 - 15

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
Become a Supporter Library Library

When Frequent is First

This teaches that if the Pesach sacrifice was delayed and the time for offering the afternoon daily sacrifice arrived, then the daily sacrifice is offered first and only afterwards is the Pesach sacrifice offered.

The Sage Ben Bateira is of the opinion that the entire day of the 14th of Nissan is an acceptable time to bring the Pesach sacrifice, and the afternoon of that day is not the only time for it to be brought. This is how Rabbi Oshiya explains the ruling of Ben Bateira in the misnna, which statesthat a korban Pesach offered on the morning of the 14th for the sake of a different type of sacrifice is not kosher, despite the general rule that only if this wrongdoing is done “in the correct time” is the sacrifice not kosher. Rabbi Eliezer disputes this ruling, and states in the mishna that if the korban Pesach is brought for a different type of korban on that morning, it is kosher (although it will not count as his Pesach sacrifice) since only that afternoon and not that morning is an acceptable time to bring a Pesach sacrifice.

The position of Ben Bateira is challenged from a number of verses, and the gemara successfully explains the meanings of these verses according to the opinion of Ben Bateira. The answer that the gemara asserts in one particular case is that the verse teaches that, although the Pesach sacrifice could be brought in the morning, if it was delayed until the time for offering the afternoon daily sacrifice, then the daily sacrifice is offered first, and only afterwards is the Pesach sacrifice offered.

The gemara points out that this particular order of the sacrifices is consistent with what Rabbi Yochachan states regarding when to pray Mussaf in the event that it was not said in the morning. He rules that the delayed Mussaf prayer is said only after the afternoon Mincha prayer is recited. The underlying theme for these rulings is that the mitzvah that is done more frequently (“tadir”) should precede the mitzvah that is done less frequently (“eino tadir”). In both of the above cases, the more frequent mitzvah is fulfilled first when two mitzvot come at the same time: the daily sacrifice precedes the Pesach one, and the daily Mincha prayer comes before Mussaf. This concept also explains why a tallit, which is daily, is put on in the morning before tefillin, which is not worn on Shabbat or Festivals. This concept of “tadir” is also a consideration in deciding whether or not lighting Chanukah lights after Shabbat should precede making Havdala (once it is dark and a verbal indication that Shabbat has ended is made). Although one might apply the above reasoning to say that Havdala, which is said at the end of each Shabbat and Festival day, should come first since it is “more frequent,” there is perhaps an equally compelling reason to light the Chanukah candles first, such as hurrying to publicize the Chanukah miracle (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 681:2, and Mishna Berura and Bi’ur Halacha there for further halachic discussion of this subject).

  • Zevachim 11b-12a

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at [email protected] and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Talmud Tips

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.