by Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
The Torah tells us in Vayika, Perek Chof Gimmel, posuk chof zayin that the tenth day of Tishrei is Yom Kippur and one has to practice the five “inuyim.” One of the inuyim is not eating.
The Gemara in Pesachim, daf yud gimmel, amud bais and in Beitza, daf yud tes, amud bais says that one should not bring Kodoshim that is Korbanos that will become posul. Posul refers to whether there will be sufficient time to eat the korban before Pesach and since it included chametz, which can’t be eaten on Pesach, it will result in the korban being burned. In such a case one should not bring the korban.
As a result of the above Gemara one did not bring a Korban Toda on Erev Pesach. In addition, even today when we unfortunately do not have a Bais Hamikdosh, we omit Mizmor Lesodah from davening on Erev Pesach to remind us that we were not able to bring a Korban Toda on Erev Pesach.
Every korban that was brought was eaten during the day it was given and then again that night. The Korban Toda was usually eaten over the period of two days. What would the halacha be concerning a Korban Toda brought on Erev Yom Kippur? Since the Kohanim are not able to eat on Yom Kippur, the time of consuming the Korban is shortened considerably. Should the Korban Toda be brought on Erev Yom Kippur? Despite the reasoning mentioned above about the Korban Toda on Erev Pesach, we don’t find a halacha about not saying Mizmor Lesoda on Erev Yom Kippur. It would stand to reason that one is able to bring a Korban Toda on Erev Yom Kippur. The question begs to be answered, what would be the difference between Erev Pesach and Erev Yom Kippur?
The Mogen Avraham in Orach Chaim, siman nun alef says that we do say Mizmor Lesoda on Erev Yom Kippur and that there is a difference between Erev Pesach and Erev Yom Kippur but does not explain himself.
One answer we can give is that it is not a problem that one is minimizing the time for eating the korban on Erev Yom Kippur since one can feed the korban to children who are not required to fast. On Pesach one may not feed the children the chametz since it would be considered feeding a child something that is forbidden. Some Achronim want to argue and say that based on Tosfos in Yuma, daf chof tes, amud bais that says that something that was able to be eaten by anybody and now is only able to be eaten by Kohanim would constitute a minimizing of the time to eat the korban. If so, then if the children were the only ones able to eat the korban it would stand to reason that it is minimizing the zman of the korban. There is a differentiation to the limit being that only Kohanim may eat it or that it is limited to children being able to eat the korban The fact is that there are a lot of children in Klal Yisroel so they therefore may eat it; whereas the Kohanim are only a small percentage of Klal Yisroel and that would constitute minimizing the eating of korbanos. Therefore, on Erev Yom Kippur one may bring a Korban Toda since there will be children to eat it. Even in today’s day and age, when we do not have the Bais Hamikdosh, we say Mizmor Lesoda on Erev Yom Kippur. However, on Erev Pesach, when children can’t eat the korban because of the chametz, we don’t say Mizmor Lesoda.
Another difference between Erev Yom Kippur and Erev Pesach is that there is a mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur and some even say one should eat double the regular amount thereby making it easier for the person to fast. As a result of the extra eating we are not concerned that the Toda will not be eaten in time and therefore be required to be burned.
A third answer is that on Erev Pesach we can only eat chametz until the fourth hour, whereas on Erev Yom Kippur one may eat until nightfall. There is therefore more time to eat and less of a concern of not finishing the Toda on time.
We see the importance of eating properly and in the proper time.