Shabbat Parashat Ki Tisa| 5766
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - The Mitzva to Eat Korban Pesach in Satiation - Part I - Based on Sha’arei Shaul, siman 34
The Rambam (Korban Pesach 8:3) writes: “The choice manner to fulfill the mitzva is to eat the meat of the korban Pesach an eating of satiation (sova). Therefore, if he brought shalmei chagigah on the 14th, he should eat them first, and then he should eat the meat of the Pesach, in order to be satiated from it. And if he ate only a k’zayit of it, he fulfilled his mitzva.” What is the rationale of this halacha of eating of satiation, taken from a tosefta (cited in Pesachim 70a)?
Tosafot (ad loc.) cites a Yerushalmi that says that the Pesach should be eaten afterward because if one ate it when he was hungry, he might break its bones in the process, which is forbidden. In other words, it is a gezeira mid’rabannan.However, the Rambam, who talks in terms of mitzva min hamuvchar implies that the reason for eating the Pesach, al hasova is fundamental.
The Kesef Mishneh (ad loc.) derives the matter of al hasova from the Mechilta (in regard to Pesach Sheni), which says on the pasuk that the Pesach is eaten “al matzot u’merorim,” that one eats the matza and maror first and only afterwards the Pesach. The reason for that order is that the Pesach should be eaten in satiation. If so, the matter of al hasova is a gezeirat hakatuv, specifically in the realm of korban Pesach. In fact, there is a halacha of eating other korbanot, al hasova (Rambam, Avodat Hakorbanot 10:11). However, there is a difference. In general, the halacha applies only to the way the kohanim eat the korban. Regarding the korban Pesach, it applies to even Yisraelim who eat it. The related concept of l’mushcha (for greatness or distinction) was mentioned, in fact, only in the context of the kohanim’s eating, where, in general, there is a mitzva to eat the korban. In contrast, those on whose behalf the korbanot were brought may eat them, but eating is not a mitzva (based on Chidushei Hagriz).
However, it is not simple to claim that l’mushcha applies only to kohanim, as Rashi (Pesachim 86a) and the Rashbam (ibid. 119b) say that l’mushcha applies to korban Pesach, which is for non-kohanim as well, as it does to other korbanot. These Rishonim can agree to the Rambam’s linkage between l’mushcha and the mitzva to eat the korban. The difference between them is that, according to the Rambam, we only find a mitzva to eat the korban for the kohanim, whereas Rashi and the Rashbam assume that it applies to the owners as well. However, it is difficult, according to Rashi, why one eats the chagiga first so that the Pesach will be al hasova. After all, according to them, everyone must eat the chagiga, al hasova, as well?
The Mordechai tried to explain why the Yerushalmi needed a g’zeira d’rabbanan to explain eating Pesach, al hasova, if there is a din d’orayta. He suggests that the g’zeira explains why the Pesach is after the chagiga if it too has a din of l’mushcha. However, it is difficult: why should l’mushcha for the chagiga be pushed off to solve a problem mid’rabbanan related to the Pesach? After all, the chagiga of the 14th is optional, and one can fulfill al hasova for the Pesach by eating matza and maror before it.
We can ask several questions on the Kesef Mishneh’s contention that the Rambam’s halacha of eating the Pesach after the chagiga comes from the pasuk of “al matzot u’merorim yochluhu.” Firstly, why does the Rambam suggest eating the chagiga first instead of eating the matza and maror first, as the Torah mentions? Secondly, the Torah was talking in the context of Pesach Sheni, whereas the Rambam mentions it only regarding the first Pesach. Additionally, how do we know that by eating the Pesach after matza and maror, one will be satiated by the time he eats the Pesach, as the k’zayit of each that one needs to eat is hardly filling (see Berachot 20b)? Finally, if one assumes that the Pesach, matza, and maror are to be eaten together as Hillel practiced, this pasuk is not at all an indication of eating the Pesach after he is satiated.
Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend