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Apples And Oranges
‘Two Menachos Were Mixed But The Handfuls Were Not Taken’
(Menachos 23a)



Our mishnah discusses two different minchah offerings that were inadvertently mixed before a kemitzah was taken from each. The mishnah states that if they were not thoroughly mixed, leaving an amount sufficient to take a kemitzah from each, one should do so and each offering will be valid. If there isn’t enough, though, to take a kemitzah from each, neither will be valid.

It’s Flour

Rashi (sv “im yachol likmotz…” on 22a) writes that the source for this ruling is Toras Kohanim, where our Sages derive from Vayikra 2:2 – “he shall take from there a handful from its flour” – that we must take the kemitzah from “its flour,” not the flour of another offering.

The Sefas Emes (ad loc.) explains that the offerings are invalid based on the mishnah (6a) that rules that if one took too much or too little for a kemitzah, the offering is invalid.

Prayer As Compensation

Today, when we are no longer able to bring offerings on the altar, our tefillos play the role of offerings (as Hoshea 14:3 states: “let our lips compensate for the bulls”). This equivalence brings us to a dispute in the Shulchan Aruch between the Mechaber and Rema regarding someone in synagogue who is not keeping pace with the congregation (or arrived late). The dispute revolves around whether two different tefillos may merge.

A Mixture Of Tefillos

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 109:3) rules if someone is in the midst of his own Shemoneh Esreh at the point of Kedushah while the congregation is about to recite the Kedushah of U’va LeTzion, he should not interrupt his tefillah and recite Kedushah together with them because the two Kedushos are dissimilar.

The Mechaber also writes that if someone is davening Shachris and up to Kedushah while the congregation is about to recite Kedushah of Mussaf, he should remain silent and concentrate since listening is like saying (“shome’a k’oneh”).

The Rema, though, says he should say Kedushah with the congregation since both are a Kedushah of Shemoneh Esreh and their sanctity is the same. In contrast, the Mechaber, evidently, maintains that Musaf and Shacharis are not comparable.

The Mishneh Berurah (sk 16) explains that the Kedushah of Shemoneh Esreh differs from the Kedushah of U’va LeTzion because the latter is not an actual recitation of Kedushah but rather a description of the angels reciting their Kedushah.


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Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at