Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day
Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 19, Temidin uMusafim - Chapter 1, Temidin uMusafim - Chapter 2
Maaseh Hakorbonos - Chapter 19
A person who offers a sacrifice outside [the Temple Courtyard] is not liable unless he brings [the sacrificial animal] to the top of the altar that he constructed outside [the Temple]. If, however, he offered it on a stone or a rock, he is exempt, for the term sacrifice applies only when [an animal is offered] on an altar, even if it is outside [the Temple], as [indicated by Genesis 8:2]: "And Noah built an altar." He is not liable unless he offers the sacrifice to God, as [Leviticus 17:9]: "...to offer it to God," i.e., unless his intent is for God.
One is liable only for offering an entity that is fit for the fire and for the altar, for example, a burnt offering, as [ibid.:8] states: "who will offer a burnt-offering or a sacrifice." [One may infer:] Just as a burnt-offering is fit to be offered on the fires, so too, everything that is fit to be offered on the fire is what one is liable for offering outside [the Temple Courtyard].
On this basis, [our Sages] said that individuals [who perform the following services] outside [the Temple Courtyard] are liable: One who throws the blood, offers on the pyre the limbs of a burnt-offering, the parts of an animal offered on the altar,a handful [of meal], or frankincense, or incense, the meal-offering of a priest,or the meal-offering within the accompanying offerings or one who pours a libation of three lugim of wine or of water. [This is derived from ibid.:9:] "He did not bring it [to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting] to offer it." [Implied is that] any [sacrifice] that would be accepted within [the Temple Courtyard] causes one to be liable for [offering] it outside.
If, however, one throws the remainder of the blood [of a sacrificial animal] - even the remainder of the blood [from a sin-offering whose blood was offered] inside [the Sanctuary], he is exempt. [The rationale is that] throwing the blood on the altar is the remaining aspect of the mitzvah and is not an absolute necessity.
Similarly, one who pours a libation of less than three lugim of wine or water outside [the Temple Courtyard] is exempt, whether during Sukkot or throughout the year. Since the required measure is lacking, they are not fit to be accepted within [the Temple]. Similarly, one who offers from the meat of a sin-offering, that of a guilt-offering, or that of a peace-offering whether of an individual or of the community or from the remainder of the meal-offerings, the two breads [offered on Shavuot], or the showbread outside [the Temple Courtyard] is exempt. [The rationale is that] all of these are fit to be eaten, not for the fires [of the altar].
One who offers an entire animal outside [the Temple Courtyard] is liable, because of the portions offered on the altar. Even though they have not been separated, the meat of the sacrifice is not considered as an intervening substance and it is as if he offered those portions on the pyre alone. In contrast, if one offers a meal-offering from which a handful [of meal] has not been separated, he is exempt. [Even though he would have been liable for the handful], the handful is not a distinct and discrete entity. If he separated [the handful] and then it was mixed back into it and he then offered the entire [measure] outside the Temple Courtyard, he is liable.
One who pours oil [over a meal-offering], mixes the meal and oil, breaks up the wafers, salts them, waives them, approaches an altar with them, arranges a table for showbread, cleans the lamps of a candelabra, separates a handful [of meal], or receives the blood [of a sacrificial animal] outside [the Temple Courtyard] is exempt. [The rationale is that] all of these are not activities that complete the offering [of the sacrifice] and [the prooftext] says: "Who will offer a burnt-offering or a sacrifice." [One may infer:] Just as offering [these sacrifices] is the final stage of the service [involved with them], so too, one is liable only for activities that are the final stage of sacrificial service.
When one burns a red heifer outside the place where it is required to be burnt or if one offers, outside [the Temple Courtyard], the goat that is sent [to Azazel] after the confession was recited over it, he is exempt. [The rationale is that the prooftext] says: "He did not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting." [One may infer:] One is not liable for any sacrifice which is not fit to be brought to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
In contrast, one is liable for offering [outside the Temple Courtyard] sacrificial animals that were disqualified if they were disqualified in the Temple. What is implied? [Sacrificial meat or blood] that remained overnight [without being offered], they were taken out [of the Temple Courtyard], they became impure, or they were disqualified because of the intent of the person sacrificing them all are required to be burnt as will be explained in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukkdashim. If a person transgressed and offered [such entities] as sacrifices outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable. [This is derived from the prooftext]: "...to offer it to God." One is liable for any [entity] that is are fit to be offered to God and these are fit to be offered to God.
Whenever there is a substance for which one is liable for offering it outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable for offering an olive-sized portion of it outside.[This applies] whether he offered [a portion of the entity] inside [the Temple Courtyard] first, left over an olive-sized portion and then offered it outside or left the entire entity inside and took an olive-sized portion and offered it outside. If, however, [the size of] the sacrificial entity was decreased in the slightest way inside the Temple Courtyard and then the remainder was offered outside, he is exempt.
What is implied? If a portion of the handful [of meal offered on the altar], the frankincense, the portions of a sacrifice offered on the altar, a burnt-offering, a meal offering that is burnt, and the wine libations was decreased within [the Temple Courtyard] and the remainder was offered outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is exempt. [This is derived from the prooftext which states:] "to offer it." [Implied is that] he is liable for a complete entity, but he is not liable if it is lacking. If one remove [the sacrificial entity] from the Temple Courtyard while it was complete, its [size] was decreased outside [the Temple Courtyard] and then he offered it [there], there is an unresolved question [whether he is liable]. Therefore [a transgressor] is not given lashes.
If, [outside the Temple Courtyard,] one offered a limb that did not have an olive-sized portion of meat on it, but the bone itself caused it to reach the olive-sized measure, he is liable, because the meat is connected to the bone. If salt caused [the sacrificial entity] to reach the olive-sized measure, there is an unresolved question [whether he is liable]. Therefore [a transgressor] is not given lashes. A burnt-offering and the portions of the innards of a burnt-offering that are offered on the altar can be combined to complete an olive-sized portion [to cause one to be liable].
If one offered [a portion of a sacrifice outside the Temple Courtyard] and then offered another portion of it, he is liable for every individual limb. If he sprinkled its blood [outside the Temple Courtyard] and then offered its limbs, he is liable twice. For the Torah made a distinction between [offering blood and offering limbs as indicated by the two prooftexts] "Who will offer a burnt-offering" and "to offer it."
If one offered a limb that was lacking [in substance], he is exempt, as [one can infer from the prooftext] "to offer it." [This indicates] that one is liable [only] for a complete [limb].
When two people slaughter [a sacrificial animal outside the Temple Courtyard], they are exempt. If two people hold a limb [from a sacrificial animal] and offer it outside the Temple Courtyard], they are liable. [The rationale is that the prooftext states] "Every man who will offer a burnt-offering." Implied is that even two people who offer [a sacrifice] are liable.
If a person makes several of the required sprinklings [of blood] outside [their appropriate place], he is liable. A person who receives the blood of a sin-offering in one cup and applies it to an altar outside [the Temple Courtyard] and then applies it to the altar inside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable for the portion applied outside [the Temple Courtyard]. [The rationale is that] the entire amount was fit to be offered inside.
If he applied it to [the altar] inside and then applied it outside, he is exempt, for [the blood he used] was merely remnants. If, however, he received the blood in two cups, he is liable whether he applied both of them outside [the Temple Courtyard], [the first] outside and the other inside, or [the first] inside and the other outside.
When one offered a handful [of meal] or the frankincense from the meal offering outside [the Temple Courtyard] or offered one inside and the other outside, he is liable. Similarly, with regard to the two bowls of frankincense from the showbread, if one offered [the first] outside the [Temple Courtyard] or [the first] inside and the second outside, he is liable.
If a person slaughtered consecrated animals in the present era and offered them outside the Temple Courtyard, he is liable, because [the sacrifices] are fit to be offered inside. For it is permitted to offer sacrifices even though the Temple is not built, because [when the Temple was] consecrated originally, it was consecrated for the immediate time and for all future time.
[A Jew] who slaughters sacrificial animals belonging to a gentile outside [the Temple Courtyard] is liable. Similarly, one who offers them outside [the Temple Courtyard is liable].
Gentiles are permitted to offer burnt offerings to God in all places, provided they sacrifice them on a raised structure that they build. It is forbidden to help them [offer these sacrifices] or act as agents for them, for we are forbidden to sacrifice outside [the Temple Courtyard]. It is permitted to instruct them and teach them how to sacrifice to the Almighty, blessed be He.
Blessed be the Merciful One who offers assistance.
Temidin uMusafim - Chapter 1
It is a positive commandment to offer two lambs as burnt-offerings every day. They are called the continuous offering. One [should be brought] in the morning and one in the afternoon as [Numbers 28:3] states: "Two each day, a continuous offering."
When is the time at which they should be slaughtered? The morning one should be slaughtered before sunrise, when the entire eastern horizon becomes illuminated. Once there was a pressing situation for the community in [the era of] the Second Temple and they offered the daily morning sacrifice at four hours after daybreak.
[The lamb for] the continuous offering of the afternoon should be slaughtered when the shadows have been extended and it is obvious to all that they have been extended. This is from six and a half hours of the day until the day's end. Every day, they would not slaughter it until eight and a half hours of the day and they would offer it at nine and a half hours.
Why would they delay [its slaughter] for two hours after the beginning of the time? Because of the sacrifices of individuals and those of the community. For it is forbidden to offer any sacrifice before the continuous offering of the morning and no sacrifice is offered after the continuous sacrifice of the afternoon with the exception of the Paschal sacrifice. [That leniency was granted, because] it is impossible for all of Israel to offer their Paschal sacrifices in two hours.
The Paschal sacrifice is slaughtered only after the continuous offering of the afternoon. Similarly, those individuals requiring atonement may offer their atonement offerings after the continuous offering of the afternoon on the fourteenth [of Nisan] so that they will be ritually pure and [and able] to partake of their Paschal offerings in the evening.
When the day before Pesach falls during the week or on the Sabbath, the Afternoon Sacrifice would be slaughtered after seven and a half hours and offered after eight and a half hours so that [the people] would have time to slaughter their Paschal sacrifices. If the day before Pesach falls on Friday, [the Afternoon Sacrifice] would be slaughtered at six and a half hours, the beginning of the time allotted for it and offered at seven and a half hours, so that they would have ample time to roast [their sacrifices] before the commencement of the Sabath.
Even though [no sacrificial animals] are slaughtered after the continuous offering of the afternoon, any entity that is fit to be offered on the altar's pyre is offered the entire day. And the limbs of the burnt-offerings and the eimorimmay be offered until midnight, as we explained in [Hilchot] Ma'aseh HaKorbanot.
The limbs and the eimorim - whether from the continuous offerings or from other sacrifices - that were not consumed [by the fire] may be turned over throughout the entire night until the morning, as [Leviticus 6:2] states: "The entire night until the morning."
[The offering of] the limbs of the continuous offering on the altar's pyre [at night] supersedes [the prohibitions of] ritual impurity, but does not supersede the Sabbath [prohibitions]. Instead, all of the limbs of the continuous offerings offered on Friday are offered on the altar's pyre on Friday alone. For the initial [offering] of the continuous offering supersede the Sabbath [prohibitions], but its concluding aspectsdo not. The fats of [the communal sacrifices offered on] the Sabbath are offered on a festival at night if the festival falls on Saturday night. [These fats] may not, however, be offered on the night of Yom Kippur [if it falls on Saturday night]. [These concepts are derived from Numbers 28:10 which] states: "The burnt-offering of a Sabbath on its Sabbath." [This excludes the offering of] a burnt-offering of a Sabbath on another Sabbath. Nor may the burnt-offering of a weekday be offered on a festival.
When the fourteenth [of Nisan] falls on Sabbath, the fats of the Paschal sacrifice may be offered on the night of the festival, for they are considered as the fats of the Sabbath.
There never should be less than six lambs that have been inspected in the Chamber of the Lambs. They should be prepared four days before their sacrifice. Even though they would be inspected beforehand, they would not slaughter the continuous offering until they inspect it again before its slaughter by the light of the torches. It was given water to drink from a golden cup so that it would be easier to skin.
The continuous offering of the afternoon is offered in the same manner as the continuous offering of the morning. Everything follows the regimen for the offering of the burnt offering, as written in [Hilchot] Ma'aseh HaKorbanot. The lamb was not bound before its slaughter so as not to copy the practice of the heretics. Instead, they would hold its forefeet and its hindfeet by hand. It would be held in the following manner: Its head would be to the south and its face to the west.
The continuous offering of the morning would be slaughtered in the northwest corner of the butchering area on the second ring and that of the afternoon would be slaughtered in the northeast corner on the second ring. [In this way,] they would be opposite the sun. The Received Tradition states that [these sacrificial animals] should be slaughtered opposite the sun.
If they erred and inadvertently - or even intentionally - failed to offer the continuous offering of the morning, that of the afternoon should be offered.
When does the above apply? After the altar has been dedicated. If, however, it is a new altar on which no sacrifices have been offered, the continuous offering of the afternoon should not be offered on it first. For the altar for burnt-offerings should be dedicated solely by [sacrificing] the continuous offering of the morning.
Temidin uMusafim - Chapter 2
It is a positive commandment for there to be fire continuously burning on the altar, as [Leviticus 6:6] states: "A continuous fire shall burn on the altar."Although a fire descended from heaven, it is a mitzvah to bring from ordinary fire, as [ibid. 1:7] states: "And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall place fire on the altar."
In the morning, the wood was arranged. They would prepare a large array of fire at the top of the altar, as [ibid. 6:5] states: "And the priest shall burn on it wood each morning." Similarly, it is a mitzvah to bring two logs of wood [to the altar] together with the continuous offering of the morning, besides the wood of the arrangement. [This is also intimated by the same verse.]
Similarly, two logs of wood were added together with the continuous offering of the afternoon, as [implied by ibid. 1:7]: "And they shall arrange wood on the fire." According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that the verse is speaking about the continuous offering of the afternoon.
The two logs brought in the afternoon are brought up [to the altar] by two priests, each one holding one log in his hand. This is derived from the fact that the term "and they shall arrange" used by the above prooftext is plural. Those of the morning, by contrast, are brought by one priest.
Three arrays of fire would be prepared on the top of the altar each day:The first was the large arrangement upon which were offered the continuous offering and the other sacrifices. The second was a small [arrangement] to its side from which fire was taken in a fire-pan to offer the incense offering each day. The third was not associated with any other purpose except to fulfill the mitzvah of burning fire, as [ibid. 6:6] states: "A continuous fire shall burn."
According to the Oral Tradition, it was derived that [ibid.:2] which states: "On the pyre, on the altar" - refers to the large arrangement. "The fire of the altar shall burn upon it" [ibid.] - refers to the second arrangement for the incense offering. And "The fire of the altar shall burn upon it" [ibid.:5] - refers to the third arrangement for the maintenance of the fire. The limbs and the fats that were not consumed during the evening are placed on the side of the large arrangement.
One who extinguished the fire of the altar is liable for lashes, as [ibid.:6] states: "It shall not be extinguished." Even one coal - even if it was removed from the altar - if one extinguishes it, he is liable for lashes. If, however, one extinguishes the fire of a fire-pan or the fire designated to kindle the Menorah that was kindled on the altar, even if he extinguishes it on the top of the altar, he is exempt. [The rationale is that] this fire has been allocated for another mitzvah and it is no longer called "the fire of the altar."
When one arrays the wood of the large arrangement, he should arrange it on the eastern portion of the altar. It should be made [in a manner that makes it apparent] that he began to arrange it from the east. There should be open space between the logs and the ends of the inner logs should touch the ashes that are in the center of the altar. It is called the ash-heap.
After the large arrangement is arrayed, logs of high-quality fig woodare selected and a second arrangement is made for [the fire for] the incense offering near the southwest corner, four cubits to the north of the corner. It would contain five se'ah of coals. On the Sabbath, it would contain about eight se'ah of coals, because on every Sabbath, the two bowls of frankincense from the showbread would be offered on it.
The third arrangement for the sake of the maintenance of the fire can be made on any place on the altar.
The fire should be kindled on [the altar]. One should not kindle the fire on the ground and bring it up to the altar. Instead, it should be kindled on the altar itself, as [implied by] the verse: "The fire of the altar shall burn." This teaches that the kindling should be on the altar itself.
It is a positive commandment to remove the ashes from the altar each day, as [Leviticus 6:3] states: "And he shall remove the ashes." This is one of the services performed by the priests.
The priestly garments [worn] when removing the ashes should be less valuable than those [worn] when performing the other aspects of Temple service, as [ibid.] continues: "He shall remove his garments and put on other garments and remove the ashes." The term "other" does not imply ordinary garments, but rather [priestly garments] that are less valuable than the first. [The rationale is that]it is not proper conduct to serve a cup [of wine] to one's master in the same clothes as one cooked food for him.
When should the ashes be removed from the altar each day? At dawn.On the festivals, it should be carried out from the beginning of the middle third of the night. And on Yom Kippur, from midnight.
How are [the ashes] removed? [The priest] who merited to remove the ashes would immerse [in the mikveh] and put on the clothes for the removal of the ashes. He would sanctify his hands and feet [from the basin]. They would tell him: "Be careful lest you touch a sacred utensil before sanctify your hands and feet."
Afterwards, he would take a fire-pan - it was silver and would be placed in the corner between the ramp and the altar - to the west of the ramp. He would take the fire-pan and ascend to the top of the altar and scattered the coals this way and that. [With the fire-pan,] he would lift up some of the coals which were consumed by the heart of the fire and descend to the ground. He would turn his face to the north and walk on the ground at the east of the altar approximately ten cubits to the north.He would gather the coals that he lifted up [from the altar, placing them] on the floor [of the Temple Courtyard] three handbreadths away from the ramp, in the place where they would place the innards of a fowl [brought as an offering], the ashes of the inner altar and the Menorah
Picking up these coals with the fire-pan and bringing them to the floor near the altar is a commandment that must be performed each day.
After the person who [initially] removed ashes from the altar descended, his priestly brethren would run and sanctify their hands and feet quickly. They would take rakes and spits and ascend to the top of the altar. They would place all of the limbs of the burnt-offerings and the eimorim of the sacrifices that were not consumed [by the pyre] throughout the night on the side of the altar. If the sides of the altar could not contain [all the limbs], they would be arranged on the rampopposite [the altar's] surrounding ledge.
Afterwards, they would use the rakes to rake the ashes from all the corners of the altar and make a pile on the ash-heap. This pile [of ashes] would be cleared away with a pasachiter. This is a large container that contains a letech.It is taken down [to the floor of the Temple Courtyard]. On the festivals, they would not bring it down, but instead would leave a high pile in the center of the altar, because this beautifies the altar.
Any one of the priests who desired would collect the ashes that were brought down [from the altar] and take them outside the city to the ash depository. Taking the ashes outside [the Temple Mount] did not require a lottery. Instead, whoever desired [was allowed to do so]. None of the priests were ever lethargic about removing the ashes.
Although removing [the ashes] outside [the Temple Mount] is not considered as service, it should not be performed by priests with disqualifying physical blemishes.
When it is removed outside the city, it is deposited in a place where the wind will not blow it powerfully and nor [rivers] would not flow into it. It should not be scattered there, as [Leviticus 6:3] states: "And you shall deposit it." [Implied is] that it should be placed down gently. It is forbidden to benefit from it.
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They hung it from two poles, each with two men at each end; thus it required eight men to carry the cluster of grapes. One man carried a fig, and one a pomegranate
–Rashi on Numbers 13:23, describing how the Spies brought back the fruit of the Land of Canaan