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Shabbat, 6 Av 5773 / July 13, 2013

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 1, Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 2, Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 3

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Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 1

Halacha 1

All of the sacrifices of living animals comes from five species alone: a) cattle, b) sheep, c) goats, d) turtle doves, and e) small doves.1

Halacha 2

All of the sacrifices - whether those brought by the community or by individuals - are of four types: a) burnt-offerings, b) sin-offerings, c) guilt-offerings, and d) peace-offerings.

Halacha 3

There are also three other types of individual sacrifices: a) the Paschal sacrifice, b) the sacrifice of the firstborn,2 and d) the tithe3 sacrifice.4

Halacha 4

All of the communal offerings are burnt-offerings or sin-offerings. There are no communal peace-offerings except the two sheep offered with the bread that is waved on Shavuot.5 They are called "the sacrifices of communal peace offerings." The community never offers a guilt offering, nor a fowl.

Halacha 5

The communal offerings are the two temidim6 offered every day,7 the additional offerings of the Sabbaths,8 Rashei Chodashim, and the festivals,9 and the sin-offering of a goat brought on Yom Kippur.10 Similarly, if [the High] Court11 inadvertently gave an erroneous ruling with regard to the worship of false deities, every tribe is required to bring a bull and a goat. The bull is brought as a burnt-offering and the goat as a sin-offering. These goats are called "the goats of false deities." If they inadvertently gave an erroneous ruling with regard to other mitzvot, they bring a bull as a sin-offering. It is called "the bull associated with the overlooking of a matter by the community."12

Halacha 6

The sacrifices [brought by] individuals include: a) the firstborn offerings,13

b) the tithe offerings,14

c) the Paschal offerings,15

d) the chagigah offerings, i.e., the peace offerings [brought in association with the pilgrimage festivals],

e) the pilgrimage offering which is a burnt-offering,16

f) the sacrifice brought by a convert, that involves a burnt-offering from a domesticated animal, two small doves or two turtle doves; both of them are burnt-offerings, or two domesticated animals, one as a burnt-offering and one as a peace-offering,17

g) one who vows18 or pledges19 a burnt-offering or a peace offering,20

h) peace-offerings that are accompanied by bread; they are called thanksgiving offerings,21

i) the sacrifices of a nazirite,22 which are a burnt-offering, a sin-offering, and a peace-offering,23

j) the sacrifices of a metzora,24 which are a sin-offering, and a guilt-offering, and a burnt-offering,25

k) the sacrifices of a zav26 a zavah,27 and a women after childbirth; they are a sin-offering and a burnt-offering,28

l) the sacrifice brought by a person who inadvertently violated a negative commandment punishable by karet;29 it is a sin-offering,30

m) if a person was unsure of whether he transgressed or not, that transgressor brings a guilt-offering; it is called a conditional guilt-offering,31

n) there are certain sins32 for which one brings a guilt-offering [to atone for their transgression]; this is called a definite guilt-offering,33

o) similarly, the ram brought as a burnt-offering and the bull the High Priest brings from his own resources as a sin-offering on Yom Kippur,34 are individual offerings; the bull is called "the bull of Yom Kippur."

All of these sacrifices are explicitly mentioned in the Torah and the laws governing each of them are explained in the appropriate places.

Halacha 7

[The person bringing] any of the individual offerings is responsible for them and for their accompanying offerings35 with the exception of an animal pledged as sacrifice.36 [The community at large] is not responsible for sacrifices or their accompanying offerings.37 If a sacrifice was offered, they are responsible for its additional offerings.38 When an individual's sacrifice was required to be offered at a fixed time,39 it is like a communal offering and the person is not responsible for it.40

Halacha 8

All of the animals brought as burnt-offerings must only be male.41 It may be brought from sheep, goats, or cattle, whether large or small.42 They may also be brought from turtle doves and small doves, whether male or female.43

Halacha 9

A sin-offering may be brought these five species, from both males and females, from small ones and large ones.

Halacha 10

A guilt-offering may be brought only from male sheep. There are guilt-offerings that come from large members of this species44 and others which come from small members of this species.45

Halacha 11

Peace offerings may be brought from sheep, goats, or cattle, from males and females, whether large or small. A fowl may not be brought as a peace offering.

[When describing an animal as] small, [the intent] is one between the eighth day46 and a full year, from day to day. If the year was declared a leap year, [the extra month is included]. "Large" implies until three full years from day to day for cattle, for flocks,47 until two full years from day to day. From this age onward, [the animal] is considered as "old" and it should not be brought as an offering.

Halacha 12

Although all of the sacrifices are acceptable if they are brought from the eighth day onward, as an initial preference, we do not bring [an animal] as a sacrifice until it is 30 days old or older48 with the exception of a firstborn offering,49 a Paschal offering, and a tithe offering.50 If one desires to offer these sacrifices from the eighth day onward, he may.

Halacha 13

Hours are counted with regard to consecrated animals,51 i.e., if their [lives] were an hour longer52 or an hour was subtracted from their [lives],53 they are unacceptable.

What is implied? When it is required that a sacrifice be less than a year old, if an hour was added to its year, it is invalidated. Even if it was merely a year old when it was slaughtered and additional time was added before its blood was sprinkled [on the altar], it is invalidated. It must be less than a year until the time the blood is sprinkled [on the altar]. Similar [laws] apply with regard to all the sacrifices.

Halacha 14

Whenever the Torah uses the expressions, "a male sheep," "a female sheep," "sheep," the intent is [an animal] in its first year [of life]. "A ram" or "rams"54 implies males in their second year [of life]. When is an animal called a ram? When 31 days of its second year of life pass. On the thirtieth day, however, it is not acceptable, neither as a sheep, nor as a ram. [At this stage,] it is called a pilgas.55

Whenever the expression "a calf" is used, the intent is [an animal] in its first year [of life]. The term "bull" implies that the animal is in its second year of life. The term "a goat kid" implies that it is in its first year, "a goat," that it is in its second year. Throughout the second year, it is called a goat.56

Halacha 15

All of the communal offerings are male. All57 of the communal sin offerings58 come from goats or from cattle, none are brought from sheep. All of the communal burnt offerings are from sheep or cattle; there are no burnt-offerings brought from goats.

All of the sin-offerings brought by individuals are female. They may be eaten by the priests and they do not come from cattle except three: a) the sin-offering of a nasi59 which is a goat60 and is eaten, b) the sin-offering of the anointed priest which is a bull,61 which is burnt;62 it is call "the bull that comes because of [the violation of] any mitzvah;" c) the bull brought by the High Priest on Yom Kippur;63 it is a sin-offering that is burnt.

Halacha 16

All of the communal sin-offerings are eaten with the exception of the goat offered on Yom Kippur whose partner is sent [to Azazel],64 the goats brought [because of the violation65 of the prohibition against] idol worship,66 and the bull [brought because of the violation] a law forgotten [by the High Court].67 "The bull that comes because of [the violation of] any mitzvah"68 and the bull [brought because of] a law forgotten [by the High Court] are called "the bulls that are burnt." The goats brought [because of the violation of the prohibition against] idol worship are called "the goats that are burnt."

Thus there are five sin-offerings that are burnt: two are individual offerings69 and three are communal offerings.70

Halacha 17

All of these offerings are called zevachim.71 All of the burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, guilt-offerings, and the two sheep brought as peace-offerings on Shavuos are called "sacrifices of the highest order of sanctity."72 Peace offerings brought by an individual, the firstborn offerings, the tithe offerings, and the Paschal offerings, are called "sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity."73

Halacha 18

The limbs and organs that are burnt on the altar from the sin-offerings that are eaten, from the guilt-offerings, and from the peace-offerings74 are called eimorim.75 These are the eimorim of an ox or a goat: the fat that is on the inner organs,76 included with that is the fat that is on the maw,77 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, together with the fat that is on the flanks, the lobe of the liver, and a small portion of the liver should also be taken with its lobe.78If the sacrifice is from sheep, he should add to these the fat tail79 in its entirety80together with the vertebrae from the spine until the place of the kidneys, as [Levitcus 3:9] states: "he shall remove it opposite the kidneys." All of the eimorim are burnt on the outer altar.81

Halacha 19

If a [sacrificial] animal was pregnant, even though the fetus had been carried for a full term, and even if it was discovered to be alive [after the mother was slaughtered],82 its fat should not be offered together with the fat of its mother. Instead, only the fat of the mother is offered. The fetus is considered as one of its limbs.83

FOOTNOTES
1.

See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:2 with regard to the differences between these species. In this chapter, the Rambam outlines the different types of animal sacrifices and which animals are offered for each one.

2.

The sacrifice of the firstborn of one's cattle or flocks.

3.

I.e., the tithing of one's cattle or flocks.

4.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah, in the introduction to the order of Kodshim, the Rambam speaks of "peace-offerings and [offerings] that resemble peace-offerings." He later explains that the term "[offerings] that resemble peace-offerings" refers to the three types of sacrifices mentioned here, because they resemble peace-offerings." He elaborates on that theme in his commentary to Zevachim 5:5, explaining that the procedure in which these three sacrifices are offered resembles that of the peace-offerings with only minor differences. For that reason and because they are offerings which a person is required to bring only on specific and infrequent occasions, he does not consider them as a separate category of sacrifices.

5.

I.e., the two loaves offered that day. The Rambam is borrowing the wording of Leviticus 23:17.

6.

Literally "continuous offerings."

7.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 1:1-3.

8.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 4:9.

9.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim, chs. 7-10.

10.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 10:2.

11.

The Sanhedrin of 71 judges who would hold their sessions in the Chamber of Hewn Stone.

12.

Both of these sacrifices are described in Hilchot Shegagot 12:1.

13.

See Hilchot Bechorot, ch. 1.

14.

See Hilchot Bechorot, ch. 6.

15.

See Hilchot Korban Pesach, ch. 1.

16.

Both of these sacrifices are described in Hilchot Chagigah, ch. 1.

17.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah, ch. 1.

18.

A person vows to bring either a burnt-offering or a peace-offering.

19.

A person pledges to bring a particular animal as a burnt-offering or a peace-offering.

20.

See Chapter 14 of these halachot (Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot) which describes these sacrifices.

21.

See Chapter 9, Halachah 5, and onward which describe this sacrifice.

22.

One who took a vow not to drink wine.

23.

See Hilchot Nizirut, ch. 8.

24.

A person afflicted with tzara'at a skin ailment, similar, but not identical, to leprosy.

25.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kaparah, ch. 4.

26.

A male who has emissions from his sexual organ similar to those resulting from a gonorrheal infection.

27.

A woman who experiences vaginal bleeding outside her menstrual cycle.

28.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kaparah 1:3.

29.

Premature death at the hand of heaven and the soul being cut off in the World to Come.

30.

See Hilchot Shegagot, ch. 1.

31.

See Chapter 9 which describes both these types of sacrifices.

32.

When he engaged in relations with a maid-servant who was married, robbed, made mundane use of consecrated property. Similarly, a nazirite who became impure and a person afflicted with tzara'at must bring this offering.

33.

See Chapter 9 which describes both these types of sacrifices.

34.

See Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim, ch. 4, which describes the offering of these sacrifices.

35.

I.e., if the animal he designated as a sacrifice dies or the meal or wine offering designated for the sacrifices was spoiled, he must bring another one in its place.

36.

As will be explained in ch. 14, in that instance, the person is not vowing to bring a sacrifice, he is designated a particular animal as a sacrifice. Hence if that animal is lost, he is not obligated to replace it.

37.

We are speaking about sacrifices that are required to be brought at a specific time. If for some reason, the community was unable to bring them at that time, they are not required to bring them afterwards. As Berachot 26a states: "If the time passes, the sacrifice is nullified."

38.

For these additional offerings may be brought even at a later date, as will be explained in Chapter 2, Halachah 12.

39.

Like the Paschal or festive offerings.

40.

In this instance as well, since the time passed, the sacrifice cannot be brought. In truth, the matter is not at all dependent on whether an individual's sacrifice or a communal offering is involved. The determining factor is whether there is a specific time associated with the sacrifice or not (Radbaz).

41.

Leviticus 22:18-19 speaks of bringing the three species mentioned as burnt offerings and specifies that they must be male.

42.

Provided they are eight days old, as explained in Halachah 11.

43.

The Torah does not make any specification with regard to fowl.

44.

Those brought for the sins mentioned in note 32.

45.

The guilt offering brought by a nazirite.

46.

Before eight days, it is forbidden to bring an animal as a sacrifice, as stated in Hilchot Isssurei Mizbeiach 3:4.

47.

Both sheep and goats.

48.

If it was brought earlier, it is acceptable after the fact (Radbaz).

49.

Since Exodus 22:29 explicitly states that a firstborn animal may be offered on its eighth day of life, our Sages did not desire to place any restrictions on the offering. It may be offered on the eighth day even as an initial preference.

50.

The tithe offering and the Paschal sacrifice are, like the firstborn offering, sacrifices of lesser sanctity and the laws governing the pouring of their blood on the altar are the same. Hence, our Sages considered them the same in this instance as well [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Parah 1:4)].

The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh note that the mishnah cited also states that the same laws apply to offerings that were vowed or pledged and question why the Rambam does not mention them in this halachah. The Radbaz notes that the Rambam does not mention pledges and vows in his Commentary to the Mishnah and maintains that he possessed a different version of the mishnah.

51.

Generally, years are counted from day to day and not from hour to hour. For example, with regard to a child becoming Bar Mitzvah at age 13, if he was born at 3 PM on the sixteenth of Elul, he reaches Bar Mitzvah at nightfall on the sixteenth of Elul. He need not wait until 3 in the afternoon. With regard to sacrifices, however, Zevachim 18b uses Biblical exegesis to teach that we count from the hour of an animal's birth.

52.

As the Rambam describes in the following clause.

53.

This refers to an animal like a ram that is not acceptable for sacrifice until it is a year and 30 days old. It is not acceptable until the hour of its birth passes on the thirty-first day.

54.

The term, ayil, Hebrew for ram, is identified with strength. Implied is that the animal must reach a stage of maturity that endows it with strength and power.

55.

This is a Greek term. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Parah 1:3), the Rambam explains that the term carries an allusion to the Hebrew phrase peleg gas, implying that it has passed its limits exceedingly. Similarly, this animal is in an intermediate state, having left one category, but not entered another.

56.

Perhaps the Rambam's intent is that there is no concept of a pilgas with regard to goats.

57.

Our translation is based on early printing and authoritative manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed text has a slightly different version.

58.

Brought on Rosh Chodesh or the festivals and those mentioned in the following halachot.

59.

I.e., a king as stated in Hilchot Shegagot 15:6.

60.

I.e., as opposed to ordinary sin-offerings which can be either a goat or a sheep, the prince's offering must be a goat and it must be male in contrast to those offerings which are female.

61.

I.e. the High Priest, but only one who was anointed. If he assumed his office through wearing the garments of the High Priest (as did the High Priests of the Second Temple), he is not required to bring this sacrifice (Hilchot Shegagot, loc. cit.).

62.

I.e., and not eaten.

63.

See Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 1:1; 4:1.

64.

See Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 1:1; 4:1.

65.

By people at large due to a erroneous ruling by the High Court.

66.

See Hilchot Shegagot 12:1.

67.

By people at large due to a erroneous ruling by the High Court.

68.

I.e. the High Priest, but only one who was anointed. If he assumed his office through wearing the garments of the High Priest (as did the High Priests of the Second Temple), he is not required to bring this sacrifice (Hilchot Shegagot, loc. cit.).

69.

The two bulls brought by the High Priest mentioned in the previous halachah.

70.

The bulls and the goats brought because of transgressions performed due to a erroneous ruling by the High Court and the goat offered as a sin offered on Yom Kippur [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 12:5)]. Significantly, in his Commentary to Parah 8:3, the Rambam does not mention the goat offered on Yom Kippur among the goats that are burnt.

71.

The Radbaz notes that this appellation is found in Zevachim 47a. He questions the reason for the Rambam's inclusion of this point and explains that it can resolve a question that might arise if a person made a particular pledge.

72.

See Chapter 5, Halachot 2-3.

73.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 4.

74.

The Rambam does not mention the burnt offering, because then the entire animal is burnt.

75.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Introduction to the Order of Kodshim), the Rambam explains that this term is derived from the term emar, "spoke," i.e., these are the organs spoken about, i.e., specified by God to be burnt.

76.

The Biblical term kerev (Leviticus 3:3, et al) refers to the inner digestive organs. That verse speaks of "the fat that covers the inner organs" and "all the fat on the inner organs." The first term refers to a large membrane that covers all of these organs like a sack. The second term refers to the fat on the organs themselves.

77.

I.e., one of the animals four stomachs. Since the verse uses the term kol, "all," our Sages understood that additional fat was to be brought.

78.

These are also mentioned explicitly in Leviticus 3:10, et al.

79.

The tails of goat and cattle do not collect fat. Hence the term alyah, "fat tail" is not appropriate with regard to them and their tails are not offered (Radbaz).

80.

Leviticus 3:9 speaks of haalyah temimah. In this context, temimah means "entire."

81.

The inner altar is used only for incense and the blood sprinkled on it on Yom Kippur. See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 2:11.

82.

In which instance, its fat is forbidden to be eaten, as stated in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 7:3.

83.

We do not consider it as if two animals were offered as this sacrifice and the eimorim from each must be offered on the altar. Instead, only the mother is considered as the sacrifice and the fetus is considered as an appendage to it. If the sacrifice is a sin offering, it is given to the priests to partake of. If it is a peace offering, it is given to the owner. Females are not sacrificed as guilt offerings.

Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 2

Halacha 1

The wine and the fine flour that are brought together with an offering are called accompanying offerings.1 The fine flour alone is called the accompanying meal-offering. The accompanying meal-offering need not be waved, brought [to the corner of the altar], nor [offered with] frankincense.2 It requires salt3 and it is burnt on the outer altar in its entirety.4

The wine is poured over the altar. It is not poured over the fire. Instead, the priest should lift up his hands5 and pour it on [the altar's] base6 and from there, it descends to the shittin.7

Halacha 2

Accompanying offerings are required only for an animal brought as a burnt-offering or as a peace-offering. Whether it was a communal sacrifice, an individual sacrifice, a sheep brought by a woman who gave birth, or the ram brought by the High Priest,8 since it was a burnt-offering, it requires the accompanying offerings. Accompanying offerings are not brought for [sacrifices of] fowl,9guilt-offerings, sin-offerings, with the exception of the sin-offering and guilt-offering of a person who had been afflicted with tzara'at, for those accompanying offerings are explicitly mentioned in the Torah.10

Halacha 3

What is the source that teaches that accompanying offerings should not be brought together with sin-offerings and guilt-offerings? [When speaking about the accompanying offerings, Numbers 15:3] states: "to utter a vow or pledge," [implying that these offerings are necessary only for sacrifices] brought because of a vow or pledge. [This] excludes a sin-offering, guilt-offering, firstborn offering, tithe offering, and Paschal sacrifice. Since [these offerings] are not brought because of a vow or a pledge, they do not require accompanying offerings.

Which is the source that teaches to include the festive peace-offerings and the pilgrimage burnt-offerings?11 [The above verse] states: "Or on your festivals."

Halacha 4

What is the measure of the accompanying offerings? The accompanying offering for a male or female sheep is an isaron12 of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin13 of oil and a quarter of a hin of wine as a wine libation. These are also [the accompanying offerings] for a goat whether small14or large15 and whether male or female and for a ewe, even if she is large. The accompanying offerings of a ram, however, are two esronim mixed with a third of a hin of oil and a third of a hin of wine as a libation. The accompanying offerings of a cow or a calf, whether male or female, are three esronim mixed with a half of a hin of oil and a half of a hin of wine as a libation.

Halacha 5

These measures are applicable for the accompanying offerings for burnt-offerings and peace-offerings for each animal offered,16 as [implied by ibid.:12]: "According to the number that you offer, so shall you do for [each] one according to their number." We may not increase these measures, nor may we decrease them. [Indeed,] if one increases or decreases [the measure by] even the slightest amount, one disqualifies [the accompanying offering]. The only exception is the sheep offered as a burnt offering on the day of the waving of the omer.17 The accompanying offering for it is two esronim mixed with a third of a hin of oil.18 Although the measure of flour was doubled,19 the measure of wine was not and [only] a quarter of a hin is brought as a libation.

Halacha 6

A person who had been afflicted with tzara'at must bring three esronim of flour [as accompanying offerings] for the three sheep which he brings as a sin-offering, a guilt-offering, and a burnt-offering.20 According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that they come because of the sacrifices he brings,21 an isaron for each sheep mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil. A revi'it of wine should be brought with each of the esronim as is the rule for the accompanying offering for all sheep. When one brings a pilgas,22 he should bring with it the accompanying offerings for a ram, [nevertheless,] it is not considered as if he brought [the appropriate] sacrifice.23

Halacha 7

A hin comprises twelve log. We have already stated the measure of a log together with other measures in Hilchot Eruvin.24An isaron is an omer which is the measure [of dough from which] challah must be separated. We have already explained this measure with regard to [the mitzvah of] challah.25

Halacha 8

When the accompanying offerings or the meal offerings are measured, whether for an individual offering or a communal offering, they should not be measured in a measure of three esronim for a bull or two esronim for a ram. Instead, everything should be measured with the measure of one isaron that existed in the Temple.26 Similarly, the oil for the accompanying offerings should be measured with the appropriate measure in the Temple.27 The oil for a meal offering brought by an individual is measured in the measure of a log that existed in the Temple;28 the number of lugim [of oil] is determined by the number of esronim [of flour].29

Halacha 9

The overflow of the measures of flour are considered to be ordinary flour,30because the outer side of the isaron measure is not consecrated.31 The overflow of the wine and oil, by contrast, is consecrated, because it flows down the back of the utensil and both the inside and the outside of the liquid measures were anointed.

Why were the overflows consecrated even though the person measuring only intended to sanctify what was within the utensil?32 So that it would not be said that [substances] are used for ordinary purposes after having been in a sacred utensil.33

Halacha 10

What would they do with the overflows? If there was another sacrifice, they would sacrifice them with it. [In that instance,] if they remained overnight,34 they became disqualified accordingly.35 If not, they were [redeemed36 and the proceeds] used to provide "desert for the altar."37

Halacha 11

What is implied? Burnt offerings are purchased [with the proceeds of] their [sale]. The meat is offered to God and the hides are given to the priests.

Halacha 12

The flour mixed with oil38 of the accompanying offerings are not indispensable requirements preventing [the offering of] the wine libation, nor is the wine libation an indispensable requirement preventing their offering, nor are the accompanying offerings an indispensable requirement preventing the offering of the sacrifices.39 Instead, a person may bring his sacrifice one day and his accompanying offerings after ten days. [This applies to] both individual offerings and communal sacrifices, provided the accompanying offerings were not consecrated in a sacred utensil. If, however, they were consecrated in a sacred utensil, they are disqualified if they remain overnight.

Halacha 13

The accompanying offerings may only be brought from ordinary produce. They may not be brought from terumah, the second tithes, or the first fruits.40Even for the thanksgiving offering whose bread may be brought from the [second] tithe, its accompanying offerings should only be brought from ordinary produce.41

Halacha 14

All of the measures of the accompanying offerings mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel,42 the listing of the sacrifices, and the order of service written there are all inauguration offerings and will not be practiced in generations to follow.43 Instead, the prophet commanded and outlined how the inauguration offerings will be brought at the time of the dedication of the altar at the time of the coming of the King Mashiach when the Third Temple will be built.44

Halacha 15

Just as the princes45 offered sacrifices at the dedication of the altar [of the Sanctuary in the desert], bringing offerings that were not brought in coming generations, and they brought them on the Sabbath, so too, a prince will bring a dedication offering on the Sabbath in the Ultimate Future, as stated explicitly there.46 Similarly, the sacrifices which the people who returned [to Zion] from the [Babylonian] captivity in the days of Ezra,47 were inaugural offerings and will not be practiced in generations to come. The practices to be followed in generations to come are the words of the Torah that we have explained as they were copied from Moses our teacher.48We may not add to them49 or subtract from them.50

FOOTNOTES
1.

The term nesachim is used continually throughout the Torah, e.g., Numbers, ch. 15. Literally, it means "libations." We have not used that term, because it is not appropriate with regard to the meal offerings. In his introduction to the tractate of Menachot, the Rambam states that the Torah uses the term in a general sense without attention to its particular meaning.

Since every sacrifice is accompanied by such offerings, before delineating the details of the sacrifices, the Rambam describes these accompanying offerings.

2.

As stated in Chapter 12, Halachot 6-7, all of the meal offerings brought independently must be brought to the corner of the altar and frankincense must be offered with them. Some also must be waved.

3.

For Leviticus 2:13 states that salt must be brought on all sacrifices.

4.

In contrast, there are other meal offerings which are fit to be eaten.

5.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that Sukkah 48b gives that instruction with regard to the water libation brought on Sukkot. Nevertheless, that text questions why this instruction is mentioned here with regard to the wine libation, for seemingly, there would be no reason to do so.

6.

The Ra'avad notes that Sukkah 48a,b speaks of two cups on the southwest corner of the altar, i.e., on the upper level around which the priests would walk. The wine and water libations would be poured into these cups and they would extend to the shittin. The Radbaz notes that the Rambam himself (Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 6:5; see also Chapter 7, Halachah 11) speaks of bringing the wine to the top of the altar. Hence, he maintains that the Rambam agrees with the Ra'avad concerning this issue. The Kessef Mishneh differs and maintains that these cups were only used during Sukkot. Otherwise, the wine was poured on the altar's base and from there, it flowed into the shittin.

7.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:11 which explains that these were two cavities in the southwest corner of the altar.

8.

These two offerings are singled out because they are individual burnt-offerings that are not dependent on an individual's pledge or vow. Menachot 91b cites an explicit verse that teaches that accompanying offerings are required for these sacrifices.

9.

Even those brought as burnt offerings.

10.

Menachot 91a derives the need for such accompanying offerings from a juxtaposing Leviticus 14:10 and Numbers 15:5. In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam explains that accompanying offerings are brought for these sacrifices, because they do not come because of a sin.

11.

Which are obligations and not dependent on a person's volition.

12.

An isaron is equivalent to the size of 43.2 eggs. In modern measure, the size of an egg is 57.6 cc according to Shiurei Torah, and 99.5 cc according to Chazon Ish.

13.

As stated in Halachah 7, a hin is equivalent to twelve log. Each log comprises four revi'iot. In modern measure, a revi'it is 86 cc according to Shiurei Torah and approximately 150 cc according to Chazon Ish. Thus a hin is 48 times this amount.

14.

In its first year of life, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 11.

15.

In its second year of life (ibid.).

16.

I.e., even if a person pledged to bring several sacrifices of a given type, he must bring the required accompanying offerings for each animal.

17.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 7:3 where this sacrifice is mentioned.

18.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that only a quarter of a hin of oil should be used. The Radbaz notes that Menachot 89b appears to support the Ra'avad's position. Although he explains that the Rambam's position could be justified, he admits that it is somewhat difficult. The Kessef Mishneh also suggests that a printing error crept into the text of the Mishneh Torah.

19.

Usually, only one isaron of flour was brought for a burnt-offering of a sheep, as stated in the previous halachah.

20.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:3. Bringing accompanying offerings for these sacrifices is an exception to the general rule, as stated in Halachah 2. The obligation to bring these three esronim is explicitly stated in Leviticus 14:10. The Oral Tradition (Menachot91a) teaches that each one is designated for a different sacrifice.

21.

This version is found in some of the authoritative manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah and is also suggested by the Or Sameach. The standard published text follows a slightly different version.

22.

A ram that is between one year and one year and a month old (Chapter 1, Halachah 14).

23.

I.e., regardless of whether he pledged a ram or a male sheep, he is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation by bringing a pilgas, for it is too old for the latter type sacrifice and not old enough for the former.

24.

Hilchot Eruvin 1:13.

25.

Hilchot Bikkurim 6:15.

26.

See Hilchot Klei HaMikdash 1:16 which describes the various measures that existed in the Temple.

27.

As stated (ibid.:17), there were measures of a half a hin, a third of a hin, and a quarter of a hin in the Temple.

28.

I.e., a person should not measure out the flour in a private measure he has outside the Temple. Instead, the measurement should be made with the Temple's measure (Radbaz).

29.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 7 and Chapter 13, Halachah 5.

30.

I.e., they are not consecrated.

31.

Flour, wine, and oil that come in contact with sacred utensils become consecrated. Nevertheless, only the inside of the dry measures were consecrated. The outside remained unconsecrated. Hence, the fact that the flour came in contact with it does not change its status. See Hilchot Klei HaMikdash 1:19.

32.

As stated in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:20, an object placed in a sacred utensil does not become consecrated unless the person placing it there did so intentionally. Hence, even though the overflows came in contact with a sacred utensil, seemingly, there was no intent for them to become consecrated.

33.

I.e., a safeguard instituted by our Sages lest a mistaken impression be created.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that even though this rationale is advanced by Menachot 90a in support of a minority opinion, it would still be accepted by the majority.

34.

I.e., there was another offering and it was thought they would be offered with it, but for some reason they were not and remained overnight.

35.

For once they were placed in sacred utensil, remaining overnight would disqualify them, as stated in Halachah 12.

36.

It is permitted to redeem them, because when consecrating them, there was the intent that they would be redeemed in such an eventuality (Radbaz).

37.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 4:4), where he explains that the term kayitz refers to the time of the fig and grape harvest. These fruits are served as desert, after a person has eaten his major meal. Similarly, these offerings do not represent the fundamental "food" of the altar, but instead, are offered only when the altar is free.

38.

The flour and the oil are, however, absolute requirements. One cannot be offered without the other (Radbaz).

39.

I.e., the person is required to bring both of these elements of the accompanying offering. Nevertheless, the offering of one is not dependent on the other as the Rambam continues to explain.

40.

All of these have a certain dimension of holiness and are not considered as ordinary property. It is forbidden to use them for any purpose other than partaking of them in the ordinary manner. Hence they may not be used for these offerings.

41.

The bread from the thanksgiving offering may be eaten by an ordinary person. Hence, it is permitted for it to be brought from the second tithes. The accompanying offerings, as states above, are offered on the altar entirely. Hence, they may not be brought from the second tithes (Radbaz).

42.

These differ greatly for the measures usually employed.

43.

The Radbaz explains that since we are speaking about a directive for a specific time and not an ongoing practice, as a prophet, Ezekiel had the right to speak of offerings not prescribed by the Torah. This does not constitute a violation of the prohibition to add to the Torah's commandments. See Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, ch. 9.

44.

All authorities agree that Ezekiel's prophecy referred to special sacrifices and was not to be followed continuously. Rashi (Menachot 45b) interprets it as referring to the Second Temple, while the Rambam understands it as applying to the era of Mashiach.

45.

The leaders of the tribes as related in Numbers, ch. 7.

46.

Ezekiel 46:4.

47.

See Ezra 8:35.

48.

I.e., from the Torah scrolls which he wrote.

49.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 313) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 454) count the prohibition against adding to the Torah as one of its 613 mitzvot.

50.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 314) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 455) count the prohibition against adding to the Torah as one of its 613 mitzvot.

The above is not merely a point of law, but a fundamental issue of Jewish faith. As the Rambam states in the ninth of his Thirteen Principles of Faith (Commentary to the Mishnah, Sanhedrin, ch. 10) declaring:

The ninth principle is that the Torah of Moses will never be nullified.... There can be no additions to it, nor any deletions from it - neither in its text nor in its explanation. And thus we are commanded: "Do not add to it and do not detract it from it."

(Our translation is taken from the original manuscript versions of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah. The standard published text varies slightly.)

Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 3

Halacha 1

When two people desired to bring a peace-offering or a burnt-offering in partnership,1 they may whether it was pledged or vowed.2 Even a fowl3 may be brought in partnership.

Halacha 2

Men, women, and, servants may bring all of these types of sacrifices.4 From gentiles, by contrast, we accept only burnt offerings, as [derived from Leviticus 22:28]: "From the hand of an alien, you shall not offer the food of your God [from all of these]."5 Even a burnt offering of fowl may be accepted from a gentile,6 even if he worships false deities.7

We do not, however, accept peace-offerings,8 meal-offerings, sin-offerings, or guilt-offerings9 from a gentile. Similarly, burnt-offerings that do not come as vows or pledges are not accepted from gentiles, e.g., a burnt-offering from a women who gave birth or the like or other burnt-offerings that do not come as vows or pledges.

Halacha 3

When a gentile brings peace-offerings, they should be sacrificed as burnt-offerings, for [the intention of] a gentile's heart is [for the sake] of heaven.10 If he gives them to a Jew with the intent that a Jew receive atonement,11 the Jew may partake of them like the peace-offerings of the Jewish people. Similarly, if he gives them to a priest, the priest may partake of them.

Halacha 4

When a Jew is an apostate who worships false deities or who desecrates the Sabbath in public,12 we do not accept any sacrifices from him at all. Even a burnt-offering that is accepted from a gentile is not accepted from this apostate. [This is derived from Leviticus 1:2 which] states: "A man from you who will sacrifice." According to the Oral Tradition,13 we learned: "From you," i.e., not all of you, excluding an apostate.

If, however, one was a heretic with regard to other transgressions, any sacrifice [he brings] is accepted so that he will repent. If, however, he was a heretic with regard to a transgression and it is public knowledge that he commits it and he has become accustomed to doing so, a sacrifice [that he brings atoning for] that transgression - whether committed to anger [God]14 or out of desire15 -is not accepted.16 What is implied? If a person was accustomed to eat fat - whether committed to anger [God] or out of desire - and then he inadvertently partook of fat and brought a sin-offering [for this transgression], it is not accepted.

Halacha 5

Gentiles do not bring accompanying offerings17 for the burnt-offerings they bring, as [can be inferred from Numbers 15:13]: "Every native among you shall do this."18 The accompanying offerings for their sacrifices are, however, brought from communal funds,19 as [ibid.:12] states: "So shall you do for each one according to their number."20 [These burnt offerings] do not require semichah,21 for semichah is performed only by a Jew, and by a male and not a female.22

Halacha 6

All of the offerings from domesticated animals that an individual brings23- whether those in which he is obligated or those promised through a vow - [require] semichah while they are alive with the exception of the firstborn offering, the tithe offering, and the Paschal sacrifice. [This is derived from Leviticus 3:2]: "And he shall lean his hand on the head of his offering." According to the Oral Tradition,24 we learned that this refers to all the sacrifices with the exception of the firstborn offering, the tithe offering, and the Paschal sacrifice.

Halacha 7

[A sacrifice of] a fowl does not require semichah.25

We already explained in Hilchot Shekalim26 that the law is that all the money concerning which it was decided that it should be given to the chest for freewill offerings27 should be used to purchase burnt-offerings. The person to which this money belonged does not perform semichah on that animal, nor does he bring the accompanying offerings.28 Instead, the accompanying offerings are brought from communal funds.29 Even if he was a priest, the service [of offering the sacrifice] and its hide belong to the men of the watch.30

Halacha 8

All people may perform semichah with the exception of a deafmute, a mentally and/or emotionally unstable individual, a minor,31 a servant, a woman,32 a blind man, and a gentile.33 An agent does not perform semichah, for semichah is performed only by the owners, as [implied by the prooftext]: "And he shall lean his hand." "His hand" and not the hand of his wife, his servant, or his agent.

Halacha 9

When five individuals bring a sacrifice [in partnership], they all perform semichah, one after the other. They should not perform semichah at the same time. 34

When a person died and left a sacrifice of a burnt offering or a peace offering, his heir should have it offered, perform semichah on it, and bring its accompanying offerings.35

Halacha 10

Semichah is not performed with regard to communal offerings except with regard to two sacrifices: the goat sent to Azazel36 and the bull brought because of a law being forgotten.37 Three members of the Sanhedrin perform semichah on it. This is a law conveyed by Moses our teacher that semichah is not performed on communal offerings other than these two.38

Halacha 11

Semichah is performed only in the Temple Courtyard.39 If one performed semichah outside the Temple Courtyard, he should perform it again inside. If the one bringing the sacrifice was standing outside [the Temple Courtyard] and he extended his hands into [the Courtyard] and performed semichah, his semichah is valid,40 provided he performed semichah with all his strength.41

Only a person who is ritually pure may perform semichah. If a person who is ritually impure performed semichah, the semichah [is acceptable].42

Halacha 12

The animal should be slaughtered in the place where semichah is performed.43 The animal must be slaughtered directly after semichah. If one slaughtered it in a different place or waited [before slaughtering it], the slaughter is acceptable.

Semichah is an incremental aspect of the mitzvah. Accordingly, if one did not perform semichah, the sacrifice [still] brings atonement; [the semichah] is not an indispensable requirement. Nevertheless, it is considered as if the sacrifice did not bring atonement.44

Halacha 13

The person performing semichah must do so with all his power, [placing] both hands45 on the head of the animal, as [Leviticus 1:4] states: "on the head of the burnt-offering." [Implied is his hands must be placed on the head] and not on the [animal's] neck or the side of its face,46 and that should not be any intervening substance between his hands and the animal.

Halacha 14

How is semichah performed? If the sacrifice was one of the offerings of the most sacred order, he should have the animal stand in the northern portion of the Temple Courtyard,47 facing the west. The person performing semichah stands to the east with his face to the west. He should place both his hands between its two horns and recite [the appropriate] confession, for a sin-offering, the sin which warrants a sin-offering and for a guilt-offering, the sin which warrants a guilt offering. For a burnt offering, he confesses the sin of [negating the observance of] a positive commandment or of a negative commandment that can be corrected by the observance of] a positive commandment.

Halacha 15

How does he confess? He says: "I sinned, I transgressed, I committed iniquity, and I did this-and-this,48 and I have repented before You and this is my atonement.49

If he is bringing a peace-offering, he should perform semichah with all of his strength anywhere he desires within the Temple Courtyard,50 where [the animal] will be slaughtered. It appears to me that one does not confess on a peace-offering.51 Instead, he says words of praise.52

FOOTNOTES
1.

See Halachah 9.

2.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 6, with regard to the distinction between these types of offerings.

3.

I.e., an entity of seemingly little value. One might think that bringing such an offering in partnership is not becoming to the altar. Even so, if one's intent is desirable, the offering is accepted (Radbaz, based on Menachot 110a).

4.

In this chapter, the Rambam outlines the types of individuals who may bring a sacrifice and the rite of semichah because that is an obligation on the person bringing the sacrifice.

5.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Avodah Zarah 2:1) notes that the prooftext states that it is forbidden to accept an offering from a gentile from a blemished animal. One can infer that if the animal is unblemished, the offering may be accepted.

The verse uses the term lechem, "food." That term is understood as referring only to a burnt-offering, as Numbers 28:2 states: "My food for my fires."And the burnt-offering is the only type of offering, consumed entirely by the fire of the altar (Radbaz).

6.

Although the prooftext speaks only of animals, our Sages understood that the leniency applies to fowl as well (Radbaz).

7.

As mentioned in Halachah 4, burnt offerings are not accepted from a Jew who worships false deities. Nevertheless, such restrictions are not placed upon gentiles.

8.

To offer them as peace-offerings. They are, however, brought as burnt-offerings, as stated in the following halachah.

9.

For the concept of atonement applies only with regard to the Jews' relationship with God.

10.

Rashi (Menachot 73b) interprets this as meaning that the gentile desires that his sacrifices be offered entirely to God and not have mortals partake of them.

11.

The Radbaz notes that peace-offerings are not intended to bring atonement and explains that this is referring to an instance where a Jew vowed to bring a peace offering and the gentile offered to bring it for him. One might think that since the gentile is bringing them they would be offered as burnt-offerings. Hence it is necessary to explain that they are peace offerings.

12.

See the conclusion of Hilchot Shabbat where the Rambam explains that the public desecration of the Sabbath is equivalent to idol worship, because they are both cornerstones of the Jewish faith. "Public" refers to a matter known about by ten people.

The Radbaz adds that we do not accept the sacrifices of a Jew who has abandoned Judaism and accepted a faith like Islam which does not involve idol worship. Such a person is included in the category (Hilchot Teshuvah 3:9) of an apostate with regard to the entire Torah.

13.

Chulin 5a-b.

14.

I.e., he had two cuts of meat before him of equal quality, one kosher and one non-kosher and he ate the non-kosher one solely for the intent of angering God (Gittin 47a).

15.

Similarly, in Hilchot Edut 10:3, a distinction is not made with regard to the motivations for the transgression. There are other instances - see Hilchot Teshuvah, loc. cit., Hilchot Matanot Aniyim 8;14, Hilchot Gezeilah ViAveidah 11:2, and Hilchot Rotzeach 4:10 - where the Rambam does make such a distinction.

16.

Since he frequently violates this transgression, we assume that he is not sincere in his desire for atonement for it, because a request for atonement must be accompanied by sincere regret. Sacrifices brought for other transgressions are, however, accepted from him. See Hilchot Shegagot 3:7.

17.

A meal offering and a wine libation.

18.

This verse concludes the passage commanding the offering of the accompanying offers, implying that it is only a native - i.e., a member of the Jewish people - who is required to bring them.

19.

I.e., the Temple treasury.

20.

Implying that the sacrifices themselves require that the accompanying offerings be brought.

21.

Leaning on the animal with all one's strength, as the Rambam proceeds to explain in the concluding halachot of the chapter.

22.

The prooftext for the obligation to perform semichah speaks of "the children of Israel," and uses the male form. Menachot 93b understands this to exclude gentiles and Chagigah 16b understands it as excluding women. See also Halachah 8.

23.

This also includes offerings brought in partnership. The exclusion is only of communal offerings. See Halachah 10.

24.

Sifra to the verse; Menachot 92b.

25.

The Sifra derives this concept from the exegesis of Leviticus 1:4: "And he will lean his hand on the head of the burnt-offering." "The" implies that there are some burnt-offerings to which this does not apply.

26.

Hilchot Shekalim 2:3; 3:14.

27.

Money that was found between the chest of the freewill offerings and the chest of the shekalim that was closer to the chest of the freewill offerings.

28.

Since the money was placed in the chest for the freewill offering, it is no longer considered as his personal property, but as the property of the community. Hence, he is not the owner of the sacrifices and may not perform semichah on them. For that same reason, the community brings the accompanying offerings.

29.

A meal offering and a wine libation.

30.

The priests designated to serve in the Temple that week. Even though the person whose money was used is a priest and he has the right to offer sacrifices that he brings (Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 4:7), in this instance, he cannot demand the right to offer the sacrifice.

31.

These three individuals are not considered as responsible for their actions and are free of the responsibility for all mitzvot.

32.

See Halachah 5.

33.

Gentiles are not obligated in any of the mitzvot. Hence the obligation of semichah does not apply to them.

34.

The Radbaz states that this concept is derived from the fact that the prooftext uses the term "his hand" in the singular.

35.

For he is acting in the place of the original owner.

36.

During the Yom Kippur services. The High Priest performs semichah on it.

37.

In both these instances, there is an explicit verse (Leviticus 16:21; 4:15) requiring semichah for the sacrifice.

38.

I.e., were it not for that tradition, we might have derived the need for semichah for communal offerings from these two instances using Biblical exegesis [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 9:7)].

39.

Zevachim 32b explains that just as the slaughter of the animal must be performed "before God," in the Temple Courtyard, so too, semichah must be performed "before God," in that same place.

40.

This is indeed what is done when the atonement process of the people bringing the sacrifice has not been completed and they are not allowed to enter the Temple Courtyard until the sacrifice is offered.

41.

As required by Halachah 13.

42.

After the fact.

43.

Menachot 93b derives this concept from the subsequent law: that slaughter must be performed directly after semichah. It thus follows that one must slaughter the animal in the same place where semichah was performed, for otherwise, this is not considered as directly afterwards.

44.

Tosafot Yesheinim, Yoma 5a, explains that the intent is that although the person is not obligated to bring another sacrifice, in G-d's eyes, his atonement is lacking.

45.

This is derived from Leviticus 16:21 which states such a requirement with regard to the goat sent to Azazel.

46.

Its cheeks (Rashi, Menachot 93b).

47.

The sacrifices of the most sacred order must be slaughtered in this portion of the Temple Courtyard, as stated in Chapter 5, Halachot 2-3. See also Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:16.

48.

See Hilchot Teshuvah 2:5 which states that a person seeking to repent must mention the particular sins that he violated.

49.

This is necessary, for without teshuvah, a sacrifice will not bring the person atonement (Hilchot Shegagot 3:10).

50.

For as stated in Chapter 5, Halachot 2-3, sacrifices of lesser sanctity (of which the peace offering is one) may be slaughtered anywhere in the Temple Courtyard.

51.

For a peace-offering is not offered to atone for a sin.

52.

As an example, the Or Sameach cites Psalm 100. The popular translation of II Chronicles 30:22 speaks of the people reciting confessions on their peace-offerings. Rashi and Metzudot, however, render the verb as meaning "offer thanks."

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