Confusability and Preoccupation

Daf 392 (Pesachim 69a-69b)

R’Akiva and R’Eliezer vigorously dispute the conditions under which slaughter is permissible on the Sabbath, At one point R’Eliezer lashes out: “Akiva! You have answered me irreverently in a matter of slaughter– through slaughter shall be his death!”

R’Akiva explains that his answer had been an attempt to remind R’Eliezer that he himself had taught Akiva the law Eliezer was now apparently refuting. “He held that it was not proper for him to openly correct his teacher.”

The gemara continues, seeking to understand why R’Eliezer holds that sprinkling the Pesach offering on Shabbes is a problem. Rav Yehudah rules in favor of R’Akiva.

Mishnah. Here are rules for additional offerings on Pesach. These are not offered on Shabbes or on weekdays when the initial offering is “abundant.”

Gemara. The gemara asks why this mishnah is inserted here.

Daf 393 (Pesachim 70a-70b)

The gemara seeks to determine the manner of preparing the additional offering and the interval within which one may eat it.

Yehuda ben Dortai is so certain that the additional offering must be made even on the Sabbath (a position contrary to practice at the Temple) that he places himself at a great distance from Jerusalem to exempt himself from the obligation to join the pilgrimmage to the Temple on a year when Pesach coincided with the Sabbath. When this incident is discussed, Rav Ashi dismisses it, “need we arise and explain the reasons of separatists?”

Daf 394 (Pesachim 71a-71b)

What preparation is required for a meal of “rejoicing”? Must the meat have been slaughtered during the “rejoicing”? Can one rejoice without a meal? Rav Pappa says, “clean garments and drinking aged wine” suffices.

Mishnah. The prohibition of slaughtering an animal on Shabbes is waived for the Pesach offering, but if the offering is performed in a way that results in an invalid offering, it is a desecration of the Sabbath. This mishnah describes a dispute as to the consequences of this unique desecration.

Daf 395 (Pesachim 72a-72b)

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine a general principle from the specific case of the mishnah: what is the liability for inadvertently performing a mitzvah incorrectly or addressed to the wrong subject? According to Rav Nachman, “Confusability is valid grounds for exemption even where he is not preoccupied.” According to some, R’Yochanan argues that an attempt to perform a mitzvah that does not result in a valid mitzvah is not exempt; but others say R’Yochanan held the opposite opinion.

Daf 396 (Pesachim 73a-73b)

The rabbis pass decrees based on the concern that “people might not distinguish between before and after atonement.” The gemara then presents regulations requiring that there be a change in the appearance in a failed offering before it is burnt.

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