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Friday, 26 Av 5773 / August 2, 2013

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 15

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Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 15

Halacha 1

Any of the sacrifices - whether individual sacrifices or communal sacrifices1 - that were sacrificed for a different purpose than that for which they were originally designated are acceptable,2 but they did not satisfy the obligation incumbent on their owner with the exception of sin-offering and the Paschal sacrifice.3If they are offered for a different purpose, they are unacceptable. [This applies whether] one changes the purpose of the sacrifice at the time of slaughter, at the time he receives its blood, he brings it to altar, or when he casts it upon it, as we explained.4

What is meant by saying that [the owner] does not fulfill his obligation through such [a sacrifice]? For example, one slaughtered [an animal designated as] a burnt-offering as a peace-offering. It does not fulfill the obligation of the owner, neither for the burnt-offering for which he is obligated or for a sin-offering. Instead, he is obligated to bring another sacrifice. Similarly, if one slaughtered a burnt-offering brought by Reuven for the sake of Shimon, it does not fulfill the obligation either of Reuven or of Shimon.5

When does the above apply? When one changed the purpose of the sacrifice intentionally. If, however, one erred and had the impression that the [animal designated as] a burnt-offering was [designated as] a peace-offering and carried out all of its services for the sake of a peace-offering, the owner is considered to have fulfilled his obligation. Similarly, when one offered a sin-offering or a Paschal sacrifice for a different purpose in error, they are acceptable. For supplanting [a purpose] mistakenly is of no consequence.6

Similarly, if one performs melikah on a fowl [designated as] a burnt-offering or squeezed out its blood for a different purpose, it is acceptable,7 but does not fulfill the obligation of the owner. And a sin-offering of fowl [brought for a different purpose] is unacceptable.

Halacha 2

Similarly, all of the meal-offerings that were offered for a different intent than that originally conceived are acceptable, but the owners do not fulfill their obligation with the exception of a meal-offering of a sinner8 and a meal offering of a sotah.9If while performing one of the four services10 one had an intent for a different purpose, [the meal-offering] is unacceptable.11

What is implied? One separated a handful from a freewill meal-offering for the sake of a meal-offering of a sinner, from an offering intended to be prepared in a deep frying-pan for the sake of one to be prepared in a flat frying-pan, or from an offering intended to be prepared in a flat frying-pan for the sake of one to be prepared in a deep frying-pan.12 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

Halacha 3

It is forbidden to have an incorrect intent [when performing sacrificial service with] consecrated animals, as will be explained.13 Therefore if one slaughtered a sacrificial animal for a different purpose or took a handful from a meal-offering for a different purpose, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he is obligated to complete the remainder of the services for the proper purpose. Even if one slaughtered [the animal], received its blood, and brought it to the altar for an improper purpose, one is obligated to cast it on the altar for the proper purpose.14

Why are the laws governing a sin-offering and the Paschal sacrifice different from those governing all other sacrifices and the laws governing a meal-offering of a sinner and that of a sotah different from those governing all other meal-offerings? Because the Torah singled them out. With regard to a sin-offering, [Leviticus 4:33] states: "And he shall slaughter it as a sin-offering," i.e., that it must be slaughtered for the sake of a sin-offering. Similarly, all of its other services [must be performed] for the proper intent, as [implied by ibid.:28]: "for his sin," i.e., that its service must be performed for the sake of [atoning for] that sin. And [ibid.:26] states: "And he will atone for him," i.e., [the service must be performed] for the sake of its owner.15

And with regard to the Paschal sacrifice, [Deuteronomy 16:1] states: "And you shall offer a Paschal sacrifice to God, your Lord," implying that all of the acts must be performed for the sake of the Paschal sacrifice. [Exodus 12:27] states: "And you shall say, 'It is a Paschal sacrifice unto God,' implying that it must be slaughtered for the sake of the Paschal sacrifice. Thus if one altered the purpose for which it was sacrificed or [offered for] a different owner,16 it is not acceptable.

And with regard to the meal-offering of a sinner, [Leviticus 5:12] states: "It is a sin-offering."17 And with regard to the meal-offering of a sotah, [Numbers 5:15] states: "It is a meal-offering [resulting from] envy." [The implication is that] all of the actions associated with them must be performed for that purpose.

Halacha 4

When a sin-offering is offered for the sake of another sacrifice, e.g., it was offered for the sake of a burnt-offering, a guilt-offering, or a peace-offering, it is unacceptable, as we explained. If, however, it was slaughtered as an ordinary animal, it is acceptable, but the owner does not fulfill his obligation.

Halacha 5

According to the Oral Tradition,18 was derived that [an intent for] sacrificial purposes can disqualify sacrificial animals, but an intent for ordinary purposes does not.

Halacha 6

If one slaughtered [an animal designated as a sin-offering to atone] for another sin, e.g., it was brought [to atone] for partaking of fat and one slaughtered it [to atone] for partaking of blood, it is unacceptable.19

Halacha 7

If one slaughtered [an animal designated as a sin-offering to atone] for the sake of another person who was obligated to bring a sin-offering, even an adjustable guilt-offering,20 it is unacceptable.

Halacha 8

If, however, one slaughtered it for the sake of another person who was obligated to bring a burnt-offering ,21 it is acceptable, but the owner has not fulfilled his obligation.

[The concept mentioned previously22 derived from Leviticus 4:26:] "And he will atone for him," [i.e., "for him,"] and not for his colleague who is obligated to bring a sin-offering like he is.

Halacha 9

If one slaughtered [an animal designated as a sin-offering] for the sake of a deceased person, it is acceptable, but it does not satisfy the obligation of the owner, because there is no atonement for the dead [through sacrifices].23

If one slaughtered it for the sake of a person who is not obligated to bring a sacrifice at all, not a sin-offering, nor a burnt-offering, nor any other sacrifice, it is unacceptable. [The rationale is that] perhaps he is obligated [to bring a sacrifice],24 but does not know.25

Halacha 10

If one slaughtered [a sacrificial animal] with the desired intent, but at the time of slaughter had the intent to cast its blood on the altar for a different purpose, it is disqualified, for the intent one has for one service during the performance of another service [is significant].26 Thus the intent one had during the time of slaughter is considered as if it was in [the priest's] mind at the time he cast [the blood on the altar]. Therefore [the sacrifice] is disqualified.

Halacha 11

A Paschal sacrifice that was slaughtered for a different intent - whether for the sake of another sacrifice or whether as an ordinary animal27 - it is unacceptable, as it is written: "And you shall say, 'It is a Paschal sacrifice unto God,'28

When does the above apply? When it was slaughtered on its appropriate time, the day of the fourteenth of Nisan. Moreover, even if it was slaughtered in the morning of that day29 for a different intent, it is unacceptable.30 If, however, one slaughtered it with a different intent at a time not appropriate for its [sacrifice], it is acceptable.31

[If it was slaughtered] for the sake of others and not for its owner, it is considered as if it did not have an owner on the day [when it should be sacrificed] and it is unacceptable.

Halacha 12

When a Paschal sacrifice was slaughtered with the proper intent on the fourteenth of Nisan before noon, it is unacceptable, because this is not the time of the sacrifice. If it was older than one year32 and it was slaughtered at the appropriate time for the sake of a Paschal sacrifice and similarly, if one of the other sacrifices were slaughtered for the sake of a Paschal sacrifice, even if it was slaughtered after noon, they are acceptable, but the owners do not fulfill their obligation.

Halacha 13

When a thanksgiving-offering is slaughtered for the sake of a peace-offering, the owner's obligation is fulfilled. When a peace-offering is slaughtered for the sake of a thanksgiving-offering, the owner's obligation is not fulfilled. [The rationale is that] a thanksgiving-offering is called a peace-offering,33 but a peace-offering is not called a thanksgiving-offering.

Halacha 14

When a burnt-offering was slaughtered for the sake of another person who was not obligated to bring a sacrifice at all, the owner does not fulfill his obligation,34for it was not slaughtered for his sake. Although the person for whom it was sacrificed is not liable for any sacrifice in his own mind, it is impossible that he is not obligated [to seek] atonement from heaven, for there is no Jewish person who has never violated a positive commandment.35

Halacha 15

When a burnt-offering that was brought after the death [of the person who set it aside] was offered for the sake [of that person set aside and] not for the sake of its owner,36 the owner37 is considered to have fulfilled his obligation, for there is no conception of ownership after death.

Halacha 16

When the two sheep to be brought on Shavuot were slaughtered with the intent that they were rams,38 the community is not considered to have fulfilled its obligation.39 If [the priests] thought they were rams and slaughtered them with the intent that they were rams, they are considered to have fulfilled their obligation, for the intent was uprooted in error.40

Halacha 17

When a guilt-offering of a person [to be purified from] tzara'at41was slaughtered for the sake of another type of sacrifice or its blood was not placed on the thumb and large toe of the person seeking atonement,42 accompanying offerings43 are required.44For if it were offered without accompanying offerings, it will be as if one offered a freewill offering. And a guilt-offering is never brought as a freewill offering.

Halacha 18

When the sheep that is brought together with the omer offering45 was slaughtered for a different intent, one should not bring two esronim for its accompanying offering.46 Instead, he should bring one isaron, as is brought for other freewill offerings. [The rationale is that] it did not satisfy the obligation.47

Similarly, when [a lamb intended as] a continuous offering was slaughtered for a different intent, the two logs of wood48 should not be brought up with it, as is done for the other continuous offerings. [The rationale is that] it does not fulfill the obligation of the continuous offering, but instead, is like other freewill offerings.

Halacha 19

When the sheep offered on Shavout49 where slaughtered for a different intent or they were slaughtered before their appropriate time or after their appropriate time, the blood should be cast upon the altar and the meat eaten50 even though the obligation of the community was not fulfilled. If it was the Sabbath, the blood should not be cast [on the altar].51 If it was cast [upon the altar], it is considered acceptable insomuch as the eimorim should be offered in the evening.

Halacha 20

Similarly when the peace-offerings of a nazirite were offered for a different intent, even though the owner does not fulfill his obligation, they are eaten for a day and a night52 and do not require bread.53 Similarly, when the guilt-offering of a nazirite or the guilt-offering of one [to be purified from] tzara'at54 were offered for a different intent, they are eaten, even though the owner does not fulfill his obligation.

FOOTNOTES
1.

The mention of communal sacrifices represents a change of mind for the Rambam. In his original version of his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 1:1, which is preserved in the standard printing of that text), he writes that a communal sacrifice slaughtered for a different intent fulfills the community's obligation. Rav Ovadiah of Bartenura also follows this view. In his later years, however, the Rambam emended his text to agree with this ruling (see Rav Kapach's text). Note also Rabbi Akiva Eiger's gloss who questions the initial version of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah.

2.

Hence, even if one slaughtered an animal designated as a burnt-offering for the sake of a sin-offering, one should continue performing all the subsequent tasks for the sake of a burnt-offering [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (op. cit.)]. See Halachah 3.

3.

See Halachah 3 which explains why these offerings are singled out in contrast to all others.

4.

Chapter 13, Halachah 4.

5.

See Halachah 3 which explains the derivation of this concept. The Mishneh LiMelech questions the Rambam's equation of sacrifices offered for a different purpose than they were originally designated and those offered for the sake of a different person. There is, he explains, a fundamental difference between them. If one slaughters an animal for the sake of another person, the owner is still considered to have fulfilled his obligation. It is only when the blood is cast on the altar for the sake of another person that he is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation. Nevertheless, the Rambam's statements can be interpreted as referring to an instance when one slaughtered the animal with the intent to cast its blood on the altar for the sake of another person.

6.

This also represents a change of mind for the Rambam. In his original version of his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 1:1), which is preserved in the standard printing of that text), he writes that if an intent is supplanted in error, it is considered to be supplanted. In his later years, however, the Rambam emended his text to agree with this ruling (see Rav Kapach's text).

7.

This applies even if its blood was presented on the lower portion of the altar as is the blood of a sin-offering.

8.

I.e., the mal-offering brought by a transgressor obligated to bring an adjustable guilt-offering who is very poor. See Hilchot Shegagot, ch. 10.

9.

A woman suspected of adultery. This meal-offering is comparable to that of a sinner.

10.

Mentioned in Chapter 13, Halachah 6.

11.

See Halachah 3 which explains why these offerings are singled out in contrast to all others.

12.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot, ch. 13, for a description of the differences between these offerings.

13.

Chapter 18, Halachah 1.

14.

The rationale is that since the sacrifice is acceptable, its functions must be performed for the proper intent.

15.

Zevachim 7a interprets the phrase cited as implying: for him and not for his colleague. See Halachah 8.

16.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 1:1), the Rambam states that the first verse teaches that the offering must be brought as a Paschal sacrifice and the second, that it must be brought for the sake of its owner. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Pesachim 5:2), the Rambam quotes the Jerusalem Talmud which mentions only the second verse and states that a Paschal sacrifice that is not offered for the proper purpose is unacceptable. See also Halachah 11.

17.

Our text reflects an amended version. The standard printed text of the Mishneh Torah contains a different prooftext.

18.

Zevachim 46b derives this principle through Biblical exegesis.

19.

I.e., even though it was slaughtered as a sin-offering, since it was not slaughtered for the sake of the sin for which the animal was originally designated, it is unacceptable.

20.

Since this is a different type of sacrifice, one might think that the situation is comparable to that stated in the following halachah, slaughtering a sin-offering for the sake of a person obligated to bring a burnt-offering. Nevertheless, since both offerings atone for sins punishable by karet, they are considered as comparable. Hence the sacrifice is disqualified (Rashi, Zevachim 9b).

21.

To atone for the failure to observe a positive commandment.

22.

I.e., the law stated in Halachah 7. From this concept, it is also possible to derive the law stated in this halachah, for the implication is that when one offers a sin-offering for the sake of another person who is obligated to bring a sin-offering, it is disqualified, but not when one offers it for the sake of another person who is not so obligated (Zevachim 7a).

23.

Hence the deceased person is not considered as obligated to bring a sacrifice. Therefore, this is not considered as an instance where one offered a sacrifice for the sake of another person obligated to bring a sacrifice.

24.

A burnt-offering to atone for the failure to observe a positive commandment.

25.

Hence he is considered to be obligated to bring a sacrifice.

Zevachim 71-7b explains that there is a difference between such a situation and a person who knows he is obligated to bring a burnt-offering (in which instance, the sin-offering is not disqualified, as stated in the previous halachah). When the person knows he must bring a burnt-offering, his atonement is associated with that offering only. When, however, he does not know that he must bring a burnt-offering, he will not seek atonement. Hence, the sin-offering he brings will bring him a certain measure of atonement for the positive commandments he did not perform. For as stated in Halachah 14, everyone has certain positive commandments that he has failed to fulfill.

26.

The Mishneh LiMelech restricts the scope of the Rambam's statements, maintaining that if at the time of slaughter or the performance of one of the other three services mentioned in Halachah 2, one has a disqualifying intent concerning receiving the blood or bringing it to the altar, the sacrifice is still acceptable.

27.

The commentaries question the Rambam's ruling, because even a sin-offering is acceptable when slaughtered as an ordinary animal. The Kessef Mishneh states that the phrase "unto God" in the prooftext excludes slaughtering the animal for ordinary purposes. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Pesachim 5:2), the Rambam cites the Jerusalem Talmud which states that the phrase "And you shall say, 'It is a Paschal sacrifice' excludes all other intents.

28.

See Halachot 1 and 3.

29.

The Paschal sacrifice may not be sacrificed until the afternoon of the fourteenth of Nisan. Nevertheless, since it is offered on that day, the morning is considered "the time of its sacrifice" with regard to the disqualification of an offering.

30.

There is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in Zevachim 1:3. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam maintaining that the more lenient opinion should be accepted. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam accepted the more stringent view because it is debated in the Talmud.

31.

For if it was slaughtered at such a time, it is considered as a peace-offering and a peace-offering that was slaughtered with a different intent is acceptable.

In the clause which follows, the sacrifice is unacceptable, because there is no one to partake of it and a Paschal sacrifice is brought only to be eaten (Hilchot Korban Pesach, ch. 2).

32.

At this age, it is no longer fit to be offered as a Paschal sacrifice.

33.

See Leviticus 7:15 which speaks of "the thanksgiving-peace sacrifice."

34.

For it is considered to have atoned for the person for whose sake it was sacrificed, as the Rambam proceeds to explain.

35.

And atonement for these unknown faults will be secured by this sacrifice.

36.

The heir.

37.

For it is considered to have atoned for the person for whose sake it was sacrificed, as the Rambam proceeds to explain.

38.

As stated in Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 8:1, together with the two loaves brought on Shavuot are offered several burnt offerings, among them two rams, and two sheep as communal peace-offerings.

39.

And two other sheep must be brought.

40.

As stated in Halachah 1.

41.

A skin malady similar to, but not identical with leprosy that renders one ritually impure.

42.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 4:2.

43.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot, ch. 2.

44.

Even though the person has not fulfilled his obligation and must bring another sacrifice, he is required to bring the accompanying offerings, for the reason mentioned by the Rambam.

45.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 7:3.

46.

As would be required were it offered for the specified intent (Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 2:5).

47.

In contrast to the guilt-offering mentioned in the previous halachah, it is customary to bring burnt-offerings as freewill offerings. Hence, the accompanying offerings should be brought accordingly.

48.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 2:2-3.

49.

As stated in Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 8:1, together with the two loaves brought on Shavuot are offered several burnt offerings, among them two rams, and two sheep as communal peace-offerings.

50.

The commentaries note that it is forbidden to offer the eimorim on the festival and question whether the intent is that the meat may be eaten on the festival or whether it is necessary to wait until the evening.

51.

For only obligatory sacrifices are offered on the Sabbath.

52.

Like the peace-offerings of a nazirite, rather than for a two days and a night like other peace offerings.

53.

Bread must be brought with the peace-offerings of a nazirite (Hilchot Nizirut 8:1).

54.

A skin malady similar to, but not identical with leprosy that renders one ritually impure.

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