Sunday, March 04, 2012

Beating baby rams, continued

Summary: Presenting the Chasam Sofer on that Yerushalmi about beating baby rams for the red-skinned ram hides for the Mishkan.

Post: Once again, consider the following pasuk in Terumah:

5. ram skins dyed red, tachash skins, and acacia wood;ה. וְעֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וְעֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּים:
and consider the Yerushalmi, in Shabbat 51a, which reads as follows:

מה צביעה היתה במשכן שהיו משרבטין בבהמה בעורות אלים מאדמים.  א"ר יוסה הדא אמר העושה חבורה ונצרר בה דם חייב.

"What dyeing was there in the Mishkan? That the struck with rods [mesharbetin] animals, in the red ram skins.

Rabbi Yosa said: This informs us that one who makes a wound, and blood collects there, is liable."

The Chasam Sofer cites the pasuk and Yerushalmi, and then writes:

"To explain, they smote the rams while alive with a pole and rod until the hide reddened and was dyed from the blood.

And the Korban HaEdah asks: But there was techeiles, argaman, and tolaas shani. And his answer there is not so good. Is it not so that all the labors of plowing, reaping, and cooking, all are learned from the samemanim. And so why did we not learn dyeing from them?

And behold, in Noda Beyehuda {Mahadura} Kamma, at the end of siman 1, he wants to say that the dyeing black of tefillin is permitted from an impure creature, and we do not need מותר בפיך, since it is merely appearance. And one needs to say that although we say that the only thing permitted for melechet shamayim {here, meaning the Mishkan} was the hide of a kosher animal, from that which is מותר בפיך, appearance is not considered melechet shamayim. And if so, it is not called in terms of the realm of Shabbat a melacha. And perforce, we learn dyeing from the rams, for dyeing such as this certainly is a large act.

However, according to this, one would only be liable on Shabbat if one dyed in like manner to this large act, of the red-dyed rams. And we do not establish so {lehalacha}. And if so, we also don't establish like this of the Noda Beyhuda."

I just thought I'd present this as another facet of this sugya. It is interesting that according to ideas extrapolated from the Korban HaEdah, the threshold level of action required to be liable for dyeing is high. In contrast, according to the interpretation of the Pnei Moshe, the point of the gemara was to set the threshold level of action pretty low.

See also my discussion here.

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