On yesterday’s daf (=page) we learned about some of the differences between sin-offerings brought on the inner altar (mizbe’ah ha- penimi) as opposed to the outer altar (mizbe’ah ha-hitzon). The inner altar stood in the Mishkan(Tabernacle) or Mikdash (Temple), while the outer altar stood in the courtyard outside.
The Gemara on today’s daf brings a disagreement between Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Yehudah regarding the significance of the words be-ohel mo’ed – “within the Tent of Appointment” (see Vayikra 4:18). Rabbi Yehudah understands that it serves to teach the requirement to place the blood of the sacrifice on all four of the corners of the altar in the Tabernacle. Rabbi Shimon learns that law from another source and suggests that the words be-ohel mo’ed come to teach that if the Tabernacle or the Temple have a breach in the roof that the altar is no longer considered to be “within” the tent and that the blood cannot be sprinkled.
The Hazon Ish points out that, in fact, the blood does not necessarily have to be sprinkled within the Tabernacle, since an earlier Gemara (on daf 26b) taught that if blood from a sacrifice that was supposed to be brought on the inner altar was mistakenly sprinkled on the outer altar, ex-post facto it is sufficient and the sacrifice is valid. This is the case even though the outer altar stood in the courtyard where there is no ceiling at all. The Hazon Ish explains that the sacrificial service does not require that the blood be sprinkled indoors, rather that it be performed on the altar. A breach in the roof of the Mishkan or the Mikdash impacts on the legitimacy of the inner altar itself, so that it is effectively no longer considered to be a mizbe’ah. As such, the blood cannot be sprinkled on it to complete the sacrificial service.