Pesachim 6:1-2

Pesachim 6:1

The following procedures of the Passover offering supersede Shabbos: slaughtering, sprinkling the blood, cleaning the intestines, and burning the fat. Roasting it and rinsing the intestines do not supersede Shabbos. Carrying the offering through a public domain, bringing it from outside the Shabbos boundary and cutting a wart off of it do not supersede Shabbos, though Rabbi Eliezer says they do.

Pesachim 6:2

Rabbi Eliezer opined that it’s obvious: if slaughtering – a major category of prohibited labor – supersedes Shabbos, these latter acts, which are only prohibited as safeguards, should certainly supersede Shabbos! Rabbi Yehoshua replied that the proof against this argument comes from yom tov, on which slaughtering for food is permitted but these other actions are prohibited. Rabbi Eliezer rebutted that the cases were not comparable: food preparation on yom tov is optional and the Passover sacrifice is obligatory (therefore the laws might be completely different)! Rabbi Akiva said that proof against Rabbi Eliezer could be brought from sprinkling the water with the ashes of the red heifer: that’s a mitzvah but prohibited on Shabbos as a safeguard, so it should be comparable to the Passover offering, which is also a mitzvah. Rabbi Eliezer returned to his original argument: if slaughtering, a major category of labor, supersedes Shabbos, certainly sprinkling this water - prohibited as a mere safeguard - should supersede Shabbos! Rabbi Akiva argued the other way: if sprinkling this water, a mere safeguard, doesn’t supersede Shabbos, slaughtering certainly shouldn’t either! Rabbi Eliezer replied that Rabbi Akiva’s argument would violate the Torah’s mandate that the Passover sacrifice be offered at the designated time, whether that be a weekday or Shabbos (see Numbers 9:3). Rabbi Akiva responded that the acts under discussion – transporting the animal, etc. – do not have a designated time as slaughtering does and could be performed before Shabbos. Rabbi Akiva’s general principle was that anything that could be done before Shabbos was done before Shabbos, but slaughtering the animal – which could not be done in advance – supersedes Shabbos.
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