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ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 5, Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 6, Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 7

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Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 5

1

Even the slightest amount1 of a leavening agent and sweet entity2 is forbidden [as an offering] for the altar, as [Leviticus 2:11] states: "For no leavening agent or honey shall be kindled... [as a fire-offering]."3 One is liable only if he set them afire together with a sacrifice or for the sake of a sacrifice.4

Whether one sets afire these entities themselves or a mixture of them, he is liable for lashes for each one individually. If he set afire both of them at the same time, he is liable for only one set of lashes, because both of them are mentioned in the same prohibition.5

א

שְׂאוֹר וּדְבַשׁ אֲסוּרִין לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאִסּוּרָן בְּכָל שֶׁהֵן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב-יא) "כִּי כָל שְׂאֹר וְכָל דְּבַשׁ לֹא תַקְטִירוּ" וְגוֹ'. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אִם הִקְטִירָן עִם הַקָּרְבָּן אוֹ לְשֵׁם קָרְבָּן. וְאֶחָד הַמַּקְטִיר עַצְמָן אוֹ הַמַּקְטִיר תַּעֲרוֹבוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן לוֹקֶה עַל כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. וְאִם הִקְטִיר שְׁנֵיהֶן כְּאֶחָד אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא אַחַת לְפִי שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם נֶאֶמְרוּ בְּלָאו אֶחָד:

2

If even the slightest amount of these substances fell into the incense offering, it is disqualified.6 If one set [the mixture] afire in the Sanctuary,7 he is worthy of lashes. Setting an entity afire is significant only if one sets afire an olive-sized portion.

ב

נָפַל מֵהֶם כָּל שֶׁהוּא בַּקְּטֹרֶת נִפְסְלָה. וְאִם הִקְטִיר מִמֶּנָּה בַּהֵיכָל לוֹקֶה. וְאֵין הַקְטָרָה פְּחוּתָה מִכְּזַיִת:

3

If one brought a leavening agent or a sweetener on the altar alone8 as kindling fuel, he is exempt, as [ibid:12] states: "They should not be brought to the altar as a pleasant fragrance." [Implied is that] they should not be brought as "a pleasant fragrance," i.e., as a sacrifice, but they may be brought as kindling fuel. Even if one set afire an entity that is not ordained to be set afire9 together with a leavening agent or with a sweetener, he is liable since it is part of a sacrifice.

ג

הֶעֱלָה שְׂאוֹר אוֹ דְּבַשׁ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן לַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְשֵׁם עֵצִים פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב-יב) "וְאֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יַעֲלוּ לְרֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ". לְרֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ אִי אַתָּה מַעֲלֶה אֲבָל אַתָּה מַעֲלֶה לְשֵׁם עֵצִים. אֲפִלּוּ הִקְטִיר דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְהַקְטָרָה בִּדְבַשׁ אוֹ בִּשְׂאוֹר הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מִן הַקָּרְבָּן לוֹקֶה:

4

What is implied? When one causes [the following entities] to be consumed [by fire on the altar]:10the meat of a sin-offering or a guilt-offering,11 the meat of sacrifices of a lesser order of sanctity,12 the remains of the meal offering,13 what is left-over from the omer14 or from a sin-offering from fowl,15 the showbread,16 the two loaves [offered on Shavuot],17 the log of oil brought by a leper18 - if one were to cause an olive-sized portion of any one of these entities to be consumed on the altar or on its ramp with a leavening agent or a sweetener,19 he is liable for lashes. Even though none of these entities are fit to be consumed by fire on the altar, since they are called sacrifices, one is liable for them, as [indicated by the initial clause of the verse cited above]: "You shall offer them as a first-fruit offering to God."20

ד

כֵּיצַד. הַמַּעֲלֶה מִבְּשַׂר חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם אוֹ מִבְּשַׂר קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים אוֹ מִשְּׁיָרֵי הַמְּנָחוֹת אוֹ מִמּוֹתַר הָעֹמֶר אוֹ מֵחַטַּאת הָעוֹף אוֹ מִלֶּחֶם הַפָּנִים וּשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם אוֹ מִלּוֹג שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל מְצֹרָע הַמַּעֲלֶה כְּזַיִת מֵאַחַת מֵאֵלּוּ בְּחָמֵץ אוֹ בִּדְבַשׁ בֵּין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ בֵּין לַכֶּבֶשׁ לוֹקֶה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין כָּל אֵלּוּ רְאוּיִין לְהַקְטָרָה הוֹאִיל וְהֵן קְרוּיִין קָרְבָּן חַיָּב עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב-יב) "קָרְבַּן רֵאשִׁית תַּקְרִיבוּ אֹתָם לַה'" וְגוֹ':

5

Similarly, it is forbidden21 to offer on the altar22 any entity from all those listed that is not fit to be consumed by fire, e.g., the meat of a sin-offering or a guilt-offering, the remains of the meal offering, or the like. According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that when there is an entity from which a portion is designated to be consumed by fire, it is forbidden to have the remainder [of that entity]23 consumed by fire.

ה

וְכֵן אָסוּר לְהַקְטִיר עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ דָּבָר מִכָּל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְהַקְטָרָה. כְּגוֹן בְּשַׂר חַטָּאוֹת וַאֲשָׁמוֹת וּשְׁיָרֵי מְנָחוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁכָּל דָּבָר שֶׁמִּקְצָתוֹ לָאִשִּׁים הֲרֵי שְׁאֵרִיתוֹ בְּבַל תַּקְטִירוּ:

6

A person who has the limbs of an impure24 animal consumed by fire on the altar is liable for lashes despite the fact that the prohibition against offering it is [merely] derived from a positive commandment.25 [This is derived as follows:] The Torah teaches us to partake of pure animals26 and to offer pure animals as sacrifices.27 One may conclude that an impure animal should not be eaten and should not be offered. Just as one is liable for lashes for partaking of an impure animal [although it is a prohibition] derived from a positive commandment as explained in the appropriate place,28 so too, he is liable for lashes for offering it.29 When, by contrast, one offers the limbs of a kosher wild beast,30 he violates a positive commandment, but he is not liable for lashes. What is the source that teaches that he violates a positive commandment? [Leviticus 1:2] states: "You shall offer your sacrifices from the domesticated animals: from cattle and flocks."31 From this, one can derive that one should not offer wild beasts as sacrifices. A prohibition derived from a positive commandment has the status of a positive commandment.32

ו

הַמַּקְטִיר אֵיבְרֵי בְּהֵמָה טְמֵאָה עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לוֹקֶה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִסּוּר הַקְרָבָתָהּ מִכְּלַל עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר מִן הַטְּהוֹרָה אֱכל וּמִן הַטְּהוֹרָה הַקְרֵב הָא טְמֵאָה לֹא תֹּאכַל וְלֹא תַּקְרִיב. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁלּוֹקֶה עַל אֲכִילַת הַטְּמֵאָה הַבָּא מִכְּלַל עֲשֵׂה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ כָּךְ לוֹקֶה עַל הַקְרָבָתָהּ. אֲבָל הַמַּקְרִיב אֵיבְרֵי חַיָּה טְהוֹרָה עוֹבֵר בַּעֲשֵׂה וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהוּא בַּעֲשֵׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א-ב) "מִן הַבְּהֵמָה מִן הַבָּקָר וּמִן הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת קָרְבַּנְכֶם" הָא מִן הַחַיָּה לֹא תַּקְרִיבוּ וְלָאו הַבָּא מִכְּלַל עֲשֵׂה עֲשֵׂה:

7

When one steals or obtains an object through robbery and offers it as a sacrifice, it is invalid33 and the Holy One, blessed be He, hates it, as [Isaiah 61:8] states: "[I am God Who...] hates a burnt offering [obtained] through robbery." Needless to say, it is not accepted. If the owner despairs of its return, the sacrifice is acceptable.34[This applies] even35 if it is a sin-offering and thus the priests partake of its meat.

For the sake of the enhancement of the altar's [honor], it was decreed that if it became public knowledge that a sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it does not bring about atonement even if the owner despaired of its return, so that it will not be said that the altar consumes stolen property.36 Similar laws apply with regard to a burnt offering.

ז

הַגּוֹנֵב אוֹ הַגּוֹזֵל וְהִקְרִיב הַקָּרְבָּן פָּסוּל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שׂוֹנְאוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה סא-ח) "שֹׂנֵא גָזֵל בְּעוֹלָה" וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְקַבֵּל. וְאִם נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים הַקָּרְבָּן כָּשֵׁר. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה חַטָּאת שֶׁהַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹכְלִין אֶת בְּשָׂרָהּ. וּמִפְּנֵי תַּקָּנַת מִזְבֵּחַ אָמְרוּ שֶׁהַחַטָּאת הַגְּזוּלָה אִם נוֹדְעָה לָרַבִּים אֵינָהּ מְכַפֶּרֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ מִזְבֵּחַ אוֹכֵל גְּזֵלוֹת וְכֵן הָעוֹלָה:

8

When a person steals an animal consecrated to be offered as a burnt- offering37 by a colleague and has it offered without any further explanation,38 the original owner receives atonement.39

ח

הַגּוֹנֵב עוֹלַת חֲבֵרוֹ וְהִקְרִיבָהּ סְתָם נִתְכַּפְּרוּ בָּהּ הַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים:

9

Meal offerings and wine libations may not be brought from tevel,40from chadash before the omer was offered,41 or from miduma.42 Needless to say,43 they may not be brought from orlah44or from mixed species in a vineyard,45 for that would be a mitzvah that comes as a result of a sin which God despises.46 If one brings such [an entity as a sacrifice], it is not sanctified to become fit to be offered as a sacrifice, but it is sanctified to be disqualified as are other consecrated entities that are disqualified.47

ט

אֵין מְבִיאִין מְנָחוֹת וּנְסָכִים לֹא מִן הַטֶּבֶל וְלֹא מִן הֶחָדָשׁ קֹדֶם לָעֹמֶר וְלֹא מִן הַמְדֻמָּע וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר מֵעָרְלָה וְכִלְאֵי הַכָּרֶם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה הַבָּאָה בַּעֲבֵרָה שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שׂוֹנְאָהּ. וְאִם הֵבִיא לֹא נִתְקַדְּשׁוּ לִהְיוֹתָן רְאוּיִין לְקָרְבָּן אֲבָל נִתְקַדְּשׁוּ לְהִפָּסֵל וְיִהְיוּ כְּקָדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּפְסְלוּ:

10

As an initial preference, none of the meal offerings should be brought from chadash before the two breads [are brought on Shavuot], for [Leviticus 23:17]48 refers to them as "the first fruits unto God."49 If, however, [such a meal offering] was brought, it is acceptable.50 Wine libations may be brought from wine that was set aside51 on a festival.52

י

כָּל הַמְּנָחוֹת אֵין מְבִיאִין אוֹתָן מִן הֶחָדָשׁ קֹדֶם שְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם לְכַתְּחִלָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בָּהֶן (ויקרא ב-יד) (ויקרא כג-יז) "בִּכּוּרִים לַה'". וְאִם הֵבִיא כָּשֵׁר. וּמְבִיאִים נְסָכִים מִן הַמֻּקְצֶה בְּיוֹם טוֹב:

11

It is a positive commandment to salt all the sacrifices before they are brought up to the altar,53 as [Leviticus 2:13] states: "On all of your sacrifices you shall offer salt."54 There are no entities that are offered on the altar without salt except the wine libations, the blood, and the wood. This matter was conveyed by the Oral Tradition, but there is no explicit verse to rely on.55

It is a mitzvah to salt the meat very thoroughly like one salts meat before roasting it, in which instance one turns over the limbs and salts it.56 If, however, one applies even the slightest amount of salt, even one grain, it is acceptable.

יא

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִמְלֹחַ כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּעֲלוּ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב-יג) "עַל כָּל קָרְבָּנְךָ תַּקְרִיב מֶלַח". וְאֵין לְךָ דָּבָר שֶׁקָּרֵב לַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּלֹא מֶלַח חוּץ מִיֵּין הַנְּסָכִים וְהַדָּם וְהָעֵצִים. וְדָבָר זֶה קַבָּלָה וְאֵין לוֹ מִקְרָא לִסְמֹךְ עָלָיו. וּמִצְוָה לִמְלֹחַ הַבָּשָׂר יָפֶה יָפֶה כְּמוֹלֵחַ בָּשָׂר לְצָלִי שֶׁמְּהַפֵּךְ אֶת הָאֵיבָר וּמוֹלֵחַ. וְאִם מָלַח כָּל שֶׁהוּא אֲפִלּוּ בְּגַרְגִּיר מֶלַח אֶחָד כָּשֵׁר:

12

If one offered a sacrifice without any salt at all, he is liable for lashes,57as [the above verse] states: "You shall not withhold salt, the covenant of your God."

Even though he receives lashes, the sacrifice is valid and is accepted [Above] with the exception of the meal offering. For salt is an absolute necessity when taking a fistful of the meal offering,58 as [the above verse] states: "You shall not withhold salt, the covenant of your God from your meal offering."

יב

הִקְרִיב בְּלֹא מֶלַח כְּלָל לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב-יג) "וְלֹא תַשְׁבִּית מֶלַח בְּרִית אֱלֹהֶיךָ". וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלּוֹקֶה הַקָּרְבָּן כָּשֵׁר וְהֻרְצָה. חוּץ מִן הַמִּנְחָה שֶׁהַמֶּלַח מְעַכֵּב בַּקְּמִיצָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וְלֹא תַשְׁבִּית מֶלַח בְּרִית אֱלֹהֶיךָ מֵעַל מִנְחָתֶךָ":

13

The salt which is used to salt all of the sacrifices should be communal property like the wood. A private individual should not bring salt or wood for his sacrifice from his home.59

There are three places where salt is stored for the sacrificial service:60 in the Chamber of Salt,61 on the ramp [ascending to the altar], and on the top of the altar itself. In the Chamber of Salt, the hides of the sacrificial animals would be salted. On the ramp, the limbs would be salted and on the top of the altar, the fistful of meal [taken from the meal offering], the frankincense [from the Showbread], the meal offerings which are burnt, and a fowl brought as a burnt offering are salted.

יג

הַמֶּלַח שֶׁמּוֹלְחִין בּוֹ כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת מִשֶּׁל צִבּוּר כְּמוֹ הָעֵצִים. וְאֵין הַיָּחִיד מֵבִיא מֶלַח אוֹ עֵצִים לְקָרְבָּנוֹ מִבֵּיתוֹ. וּבִשְׁלֹשָׁה מְקוֹמוֹת הָיוּ נוֹתְנִין הַמֶּלַח. בְּלִשְׁכַּת הַמֶּלַח. וְעַל גַּבֵּי הַכֶּבֶשׁ. וּבְרֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ. בְּלִשְׁכַּת הַמֶּלַח הָיוּ מוֹלְחִין עוֹרוֹת הַקָּדָשִׁים. וְעַל גַּבֵּי הַכֶּבֶשׁ מוֹלְחִין הָאֵיבָרִים. וּבְרֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ מוֹלְחִין הַקֹּמֶץ וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וּמְנָחוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת וְעוֹלַת הָעוֹף:

Footnotes
1.

For the prooftexts says "No...." Although setting an entity afire is significant only if one sets afire an olive-sized portion (as stated in Halachah 3), if one mixes a small amount of a leavening agent or a sweetener together with other substances the size of an olive, one is liable for setting the mixture on fire.

2.

Divash, the term used by the prooftext and the Rambam, means "honey." Here it is interpreted in a broader sense applying to date honey, bee-honey, and sweet sap from other fruits.

3.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 98) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 117) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

4.

If, however, he sets them afire for the sake of fuel, he is not liable as stated in Halachah 3.

5.

Although one is liable for lashes for each individually, since both transgression are mentioned in the same verse, one is liable for only one set of lashes. The Ra'avad differs and maintains that he is liable for two sets of lashes. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the standard printed text of Menachot 58b appears to follow the Ra'avad's understanding, but a more comprehensive understanding of the issue would favor the Rambam's view.

6.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Yoma 4:5) states that honey would greatly enhance the aroma of the incense offering. Nevertheless, it is forbidden by Divine decree.

7.

On the Inner Altar where the incense offering is brought. If he would offer the incense on the Outer Altar, he would not be liable for lashes, because that is not the place of its where it is burnt (Kessef Mishneh).

8.

I.e., not together with a sacrifice.

9.

As explained in the following halachah.

10.

All of the entities the Rambam mentions are sacrifices or portions of sacrifices that were intended to be eaten and not offered on the altar.

11.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 7:1; 9:1, which outlines the portions of the sacrifices that were eaten.

12.

Ibid. 10:1.

13.

Ibid. 12:9.

14.

Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 7:12.

15.

Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 7:7.

16.

Ibid. 12:3.

17.

Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 8:11.

18.

Hilchot Mechusrei Kapprah 4:2-3.

19.

From the exegesis of Leviticus 2:12, the Sifra and Menachot 57b derive that the altar's ramp is equivalent to the altar in this context.

20.

The verse speaks about the two loaves offered on Shavuot and from them, inference is drawn to other sacrificial entities.

21.

Although the Rambam considers this prohibition as Scriptural in origin, he does not consider it as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot, Moreover, the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh explain that although this prohibition is derived from the exegesis of the verse cited above, since it is not explicitly stated in a verse, lashes are not given for its violation.

22.

Here the prohibition applies only to the altar and not to the ramp.

23.

Which was designated to be eaten and not consumed.

24.

I.e., non-kosher. Conversely, in this context, "pure" means kosher.

25.

And generally, lashes are given only when a negative commandment is violated and not when a positive commandment is violated.

26.

As stated in Deuteronomy 14:6; see Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 2:1.

27.

In the verse stated at the conclusion of this halachah.

28.

Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 2:1-2. There the Rambam explains that "with regard to the camel, the pig, the rabbit, and the hare, [Leviticus 11:4] states: 'These you may not eat from those which chew the cud and have split hoofs.' From this, you see that they are forbidden by a negative commandment, even though they possess one sign of kashrut." And he concludes "Certainly, this applies to other non-kosher domesticated animals and wild beasts that do not have any signs of kashrut." Thus although other non-kosher animals are not specifically mentioned in the prohibition, since they are included in the converse of the positive commandment, we conclude that the negative commandment applies to them as well.

29.

The Ra'avad objects to this ruling, maintaining that just as one does not receive lashes for offering an animal with a blemish, so too, he does not receive lashes for offering an impure animal. His objection appears to be based on the principle that punishment is not given for transgressions that are derived by logical inference. Accordingly, since the obligation for lashes is explicit, even though it could be derived by logical inference, we should not make such a conclusion. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh explain the Rambam's perspective: these cannot be considered as prohibitions derived from logical inferences, because they are forbidden due to the positive commandment. Logic only expands the scope of the person's liability.

30.

All sacrifices are brought from behemot, domesticated animals, or fowl, not from chayot, wild beasts.

31.

The term tzon, translated here as "flocks," can be used in reference to both sheep and goats. This is the intent here.

32.

This is a general principle, applicable in many different contexts. See Chapter 3, Halachah 8, Hilchot Ishut 1:8, et al.

33.

The Radbaz quotes Bava Kama 66b which explains that this refers to an instance where a person steals an animal set aside as a sacrifice and offers it as that sacrifice. It reaches that conclusion for it is obvious that if the animal was not consecrated beforehand, its offering is not acceptable, for a person cannot consecrate an object that does not belong to him.

34.

When it comes to questions of monetary law, the owner's despair of the object's return is not enough to cause it to be acquired by the thief (Hilchot Geneivah 5:2-3; Hilchot Gezeilah VAveidah 2:1). Nevertheless, it is possible to say that according to Scriptural Law, the owner's despair is enough to effect the transfer of the property, further requirements are Rabbinic in origin and the Sages did not apply their decrees with regard to a sacrifice (Kessef Mishneh). Alternatively, with regard to questions of monetary law, a change of possession together with the owner's despair is sufficient to effect the transfer of the property (Hilchot Geneivah, loc. cit.). Similarly, in this instance, consecration of the animal is comparable to a change of possession (Lechem Mishneh, gloss to Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 18:14).

35.

The Rambam's words imply that certainly the concept would apply if a burnt-offering was involved, but even when a sin-offering is involved, the principle is applied, implying that a sin-offering is a more severe issue than a burnt offering. The Ra'avad differs and maintains that the word "even" should be omitted, implying that the two types of sacrifices are of equal standing.

(A similar concept applies with regard to the conclusion of the halachah: The Ma'aseh Rokeach suggests amending the text to read: "How much more so does this apply with regard to a burnt-offering?!" I.e., according to the Rambam, the sin offering is considered more severe, while the Ma'aseh Rokeach maintains that the burnt offering deserves more weight.)

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam uses "even" in reference to the first clause, even though the priests partake of such a sacrifice, it is unacceptable.

36.

The Radbaz asks: How can our Sages rule that the sacrifice is unacceptable and require that the person bring another offering? Since according to Scriptural Law, he has fulfilled his obligation, bringing the second sacrifice is in fact transgressing, for he is slaughtering an ordinary animal in the Temple Courtyard (see Hilchot Shechitah 2:1). The Radbaz answers that from this we see the power of the Sages: that if there is a significant reason - as in this instance - their decrees can nullify the validity of the first sacrifice. Hence, when the person brings the second sacrifice, he is bringing a sacrifice required of him, not an ordinary animal.

37.

But not a sin-offering, for a sin-offering must be brought explicitly for the sake of the person receiving atonement (Radbaz).

38.

I.e., he did not specify the reason for which it should be offered.

39.

I.e., it is as if he had the animal sacrificed himself.

40.

Produce from which the agricultural obligations of terumah and the tithes were not separated. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 10:19-21.

41.

This refers to produce from the five species of grain which is forbidden before the offering of the omer on the sixteenth of Nisan or the passage of that day. See ibid.:2-5.

42.

A mixture of terumah and ordinary produce which may be eaten only a priest. See ibid. 15:13; Hilchot Terumot 13:1-2. This is unacceptable, because the offerings must come from produce which is permitted to every Jew, not only a priest (Pesachim 48a).

43.

The substances mentioned in the first clause, though forbidden at present, will ultimately be permitted, while those in this clause will never be permitted. Moreover, it is forbidden not only to partake of them, but also to benefit from them.

44.

Produce that grows during the first three years of a tree's growth or replanting. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 10:9-10.

45.

When a species of grain or vegetable is sown together with a vineyard, both plants become forbidden (ibid.:6-8).

46.

This is a principle applicable in many other contexts as well. For example, Hilchot Lulav 8:1 speaks of being unable to fulfill that mitzvah with a stolen lulav.

47.

I.e., once it is consecrated, it may never be used for ordinary purposes again, but must be destroyed like consecrated property that was disqualified.

48.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 10:6), the Rambam uses the previous verse in that Biblical passage as a prooftext.

49.

Implied is that these breads should be the first offerings brought from the new flour. Although it is permitted to be used by an ordinary person beforehand, it should not be used for sacrifices before then.

50.

Since it is permitted to be used by a private person, after the fact, it is acceptable (op. cit.).

51.

I.e., was placed with one's merchandise and was not intended to be used for one's individual purposes. Such wine is forbidden to be used on festivals, but not on the Sabbath. See Hilchot Shivitat Yom Tov 1:17.

52.

Although the Rabbis forbade the use of such wine for private use, it is fundamentally permitted. Hence using it for a libation is not considering as bringing a forbidden substance as an offering. The Radbaz states that the Sages never extended their prohibition to encompass sacrifices.

53.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 62) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 119) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

54.

This commandment is mentioned many times in this text; among the references: Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 2:1; 6:4, 21-22; 7:1-2; Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 4:10; 6:3; Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 11:16.

55.

Although Menachot 21a explains that this concept can be derived from a verse, apparently, the Rambam does not accept the exegesis mentioned there.

56.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 6:12.

57.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 99) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 118) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

The question is raised: Why is he liable for lashes? Lashes are not given for a transgression that does not involve a deed (Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:2). In this instance, seemingly, the omission of salt does not involve a deed. In reply, it is explained that the offering of the sacrifice without salt is a deed and thus warrants lashes.

58.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 11:16 where this concept is discussed. Salt is not placed on the entire meal offering, only on that fistful which is offered on the altar.

59.

Although a private individual may donate wood for the altar (Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 6:9), he may not demand that this wood be used for his own sacrifice.

60.

See the gloss of Rav Yosef Corcus.

61.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:17 where the chamber is mentioned.

Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 6

1

Just as it is a mitzvah for all the sacrifices to be unblemished and of the highest quality,1 so too, the accompanying offerings2 must be unblemished and of the highest quality, as [Numbers 28:31 states]: "They3 shall be perfect for you, as should be their accompanying offerings." Implied is that the accompanying offerings should also be unblemished. He should not bring wine libations that have been affected by smoke,4 nor flour that is worm-infested.5 Nor should he mix the flour with oil that is foul-smelling or foul-tasting.6

א

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמִּצְוָה לִהְיוֹת כָּל קָרְבָּן תָּמִים וְנִבְחָר כָּךְ הַנְּסָכִין יִהְיוּ תְּמִימִים וְנִבְחָרִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כח-לא) "תְּמִימִם יִהְיוּ לָכֶם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם" שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַנְּסָכִים תְּמִימִים שֶׁלֹּא יָבִיא נְסָכִים לֹא מִיַּיִן מְעֵשָּׁן וְלֹא סלֶת שֶׁהִתְלִיעָה וְלֹא יִבְלל בְּשֶׁמֶן שֶׁרֵיחוֹ אוֹ טַעְמוֹ רַע:

2

Similarly, the wood for the arrangement [of the altar] should only be of the highest quality. They should not be worm-infested.7 Any tree that is worm-infested when it is fresh is unacceptable for the altar.8 If it became worm-infested after it dried out, one should scrape away the place that became worm-infested. Wood that comes from [a building that was] torn down is invalid. One should use only new wood.9

ב

וְכֵן עֲצֵי הַמַּעֲרָכָה לֹא יִהְיוּ אֶלָּא נִבְחָרִים וְלֹא יִהְיֶה בָּהֶם תּוֹלַעַת. וְכָל עֵץ שֶׁהִתְלִיעַ כְּשֶׁהוּא לַח פָּסוּל לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. הִתְלִיעַ יָבֵשׁ גּוֹרֵר אֶת הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁהִתְלִיעַ. וַעֲצֵי סְתִירָה פְּסוּלִין לְעוֹלָם לֹא יָבִיאוּ אֶלָּא חֲדָשִׁים:

3

There is an unresolved doubt when one consecrates invalid wine, flour, oil, or wood to the altar: Are they considered like a blemished animal in which instance, he would be liable for lashes10 or do they not resemble a blemished animal? Hence, he is not liable for lashes. He is, however, given stripes for rebellious conduct.11

ג

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ יַיִן פָּסוּל אוֹ סלֶת אוֹ שֶׁמֶן פָּסוּל אוֹ עֵצִים פְּסוּלִים לַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֲרֵי הַדָּבָר סָפֵק אִם דּוֹמִים לְבַעַל מוּם כִּבְהֵמָה וְלוֹקֶה אוֹ אֵינָן כְּבַעַל מוּם לְפִיכָךְ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה וּמַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

4

Fine flour, wine, oil, frankincense, fowl, wood, and sacred utensils that became invalid or impure should not be redeemed, as [can be inferred from Leviticus 27:11-12]: "He shall cause it to stand [before the priest]" and "have it evaluated." Whatever can be caused to stand [before a priest] can be evaluated. These cannot be caused to stand [before a priest]. Therefore they are never redeemed.12

ד

הַסּלֶת וְהַיַּיִן וְהַשֶּׁמֶן וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וְהָעוֹפוֹת וְהָעֵצִים וּכְלֵי שָׁרֵת שֶׁנִּפְסְלוּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֵין פּוֹדִין אוֹתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז-יא) "וְהֶעֱמִיד" (ויקרא כז-יב) "וְהֶעֱרִיךְ". כָּל שֶׁיֶּשְׁנוֹ בְּהַעֲמָדָה נֶעֱרָךְ וְאֵלּוּ אֵינָן בִּכְלַל הַעֲמָדָה. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין נִפְדִּין לְעוֹלָם:

5

When does the above apply? When they became13 invalidated or impure after they became sanctified in a sacred vessel, but before they have been sanctified in a sacred vessel, they may be redeemed if they become impure or invalid. Pure objects, by contrast, should not be redeemed even if they were not consecrated in a sacred utensil with the exception of the flour brought as a sin-offering. [Concerning which] it is said [Leviticus 5:6] "of his sin-offering" and [ibid.:13] "concerning his sin-offering," as will be explained.14 [From the juxtaposition of the verses, it is inferred that] one may bring a sin offering from the money of his sin-offering. Therefore before it was consecrated in a sacred utensil it is considered as consecrated for its monetary value and it can be redeemed even though it is ritually pure.

A separate arrangement of wood should be made for all of the accompanying offerings15 that became impure and they should be burnt on the altar.16

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁנִּפְסְלוּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשׁוּ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת. אֲבָל קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתְקַדְּשׁוּ בִּכְלִי אִם נִטְמְאוּ אוֹ נִפְסְלוּ פּוֹדִין אוֹתָן. אֲבָל טְהוֹרִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא קָדְשׁוּ בִּכְלִי אֵין פּוֹדִין אוֹתָן חוּץ מִמִּנְחַת חוֹטֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא ה-י) "מֵחַטָּאתוֹ" (ויקרא ה-יג) "עַל חַטָּאתוֹ" לוֹמַר שֶׁמֵּבִיא חַטָּאתוֹ מִדְּמֵי חַטָּאתוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְקַדֵּשׁ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת הֲרֵי הִיא כִּקְדֻשַּׁת דָּמִים וּפוֹדִין אוֹתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא טְהוֹרָה. וְכָל הַנְּסָכִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ עוֹשֶׂה לָהֶם מַעֲרָכָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן וְשׂוֹרְפָן בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ:

6

[The following laws apply with regard to] the water for the libation of Sukkot17 that became impure and then it was joined [to an acceptable mikveh],18 as will be explained with regard to [the Laws of] Purity.19If he purified it and then consecrated it, it may be used for a libation. If, however, it was consecrated and then became impure, since it was disqualified, it should remain disqualified.20

ו

מֵי הֶחָג שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ וְהִשִּׁיקָן וְטִהֲרָן [כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּטָהֳרוֹת]. אִם טִהֲרָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִקְדִּישָׁן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִתְנַסְּכִין. וְאִם הִקְדִּישָׁן וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִטְמְאוּ הוֹאִיל וְנִדְחוּ יִדָּחוּ:

7

When olives and grapes became impure, they should be crushed less than an egg-sized portion21 at a time.22 The liquids that emerge from them are acceptable for the accompanying offerings. For these liquids are considered as [distinct and] set aside in the foods and it is as if they are not from their body.23

ז

זֵיתִים וַעֲנָבִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ דּוֹרְכָן פָּחוֹת מִכַּבֵּיצָה. וְהַמַּשְׁקִין הַיּוֹצְאִין מֵהֶן כְּשֵׁרִים לִנְסָכִים. שֶׁהַמַּשְׁקֶה מֻפְקָד הוּא בָּאֹכֶל וּכְאִלּוּ אֵינוֹ מִגּוּפוֹ:

8

Our Sages established an additional safeguard with regard to consecrated objects: When seeds became impure, even if they are sown, [the produce] that grows from them is not acceptable for the accompanying offerings, for sowing produce is not effective [in restoring ritual purity] for consecrated entities.24

Similarly, with regard to wood and frankincense, even though they are inedible, they can become impure like foods with regard to the sacrifices.25 [In such an instance,] the wood and the frankincense become disqualified for the altar because of this impurity and they should not be offered.

ח

מַעֲלָה יְתֵרָה עָשׂוּ חֲכָמִים בְּקָדָשִׁים שֶׁזְּרָעִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֲפִלּוּ זְרָעָן הַיּוֹצֵא מֵהֶן פְּסוּלִין לִנְסָכִים שֶׁאֵין זְרִיעָה מוֹעֶלֶת בְּקָדָשִׁים. וְכֵן הָעֵצִים וְהַלְּבוֹנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן אֳכָלִין הֲרֵי הֵן מִתְטַמְּאִין כְּאֹכֶל לְעִנְיַן הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת וְיִפָּסְלוּ הָעֵצִים וְהַלְּבוֹנָה בְּטֻמְאָה זוֹ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאֵין מַקְרִיבִין אוֹתָן:

9

These are the types of wine that are invalid as [libations] for the altar: sweetened wine,26 smoked wine,27 wine cooked over fire or in the sun until its flavor was changed by the cooking. The types of wine [to be listed] should not be brought [as libations] as an initial preference, but if they were brought, they are acceptable. They include: wine was warmed in the sun,28 but its flavor did not change due to the cooking and similarly, raisin wine, wine from the vat that is less than 40 days old,29 wine from [grapes grown] on trellises, wine from a vineyard in an arid region or in a dungheap, wine from vines in which other produce was sown between them, or wine from a vineyard that was not tilled.30

ט

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַיֵּינוֹת הַפְּסוּלִין לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. הַמָּתוֹק וְהַמְעֵשָּׁן וְהַמְבֻשָּׁל בְּאֵשׁ אוֹ בַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּנָּה טַעְמוֹ בְּבִשּׁוּל. אֲבָל יַיִן שֶׁמְּחַמְּמִין אוֹתוֹ בַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְלֹא נָתְנָה בּוֹ טַעַם בִּשּׁוּל. וְכֵן יֵין צִמּוּקִין וְיַיִן מִגִּתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהָה אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם. וְיֵין הַדָּלִיּוֹת וְיֵין כֶּרֶם הַנָּטוּעַ בְּבֵית הַשְּׁלָחִין אוֹ בְּבֵית הַזְּבָלִים. אוֹ יֵין גְּפָנִים שֶׁנִּזְרַע זֶרַע בֵּינֵיהֶן. אוֹ יֵין כֶּרֶם שֶׁלֹּא נֶעֱבַד. כָּל אֵלּוּ הַיֵּינוֹת לֹא יָבִיא לְכַתְּחִלָּה וְאִם הֵבִיא כָּשֵׁר:

10

Wine that was left uncovered31 is not acceptable [as libations] for the altar. If one draped a vine over a fig tree, its wine is unacceptable for a libation, for its fragrance has changed and [Leviticus 23:37] states: "Sacrifice and libations," [equating the two]. Just as [the appearance of an animal offered as] a sacrifice may not have changed,32 the wine for libations may not have changed.

י

יַיִן שֶׁנִּתְגַּלָּה פָּסוּל לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. הִדְלָה גֶפֶן עַל גַּבֵּי תְּאֵנָה יֵינָהּ פָּסוּל לִנְסָכִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּנָּה רֵיחוֹ. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כג-לז) "זֶבַח וּנְסָכִים" מָה זֶבַח שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁתַּנָּה אַף נְסָכִים שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁתַּנּוּ:

11

When the majority of fine flour has become worm-ridden or the majority of the kernels of wheat have become worm-ridden33 and [flour] was made from them, it is unacceptable. If the majority of one kernel of wheat became worm-ridden, there is an unresolved doubt [with regard to its acceptability]. Whenever flour dust remains in the fine flour,34 it is unacceptable.

יא

סלֶת שֶׁהִתְלִיעָה רֻבָּהּ אוֹ הִתְלִיעוּ רֹב הַחִטִּים שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית מֵהֶן פְּסוּלָה. הִתְלִיעַ רֹב חִטָּה אַחַת הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק. וְכָל סלֶת שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר בָּהּ קֶמַח פְּסוּלָה:

12

How is the matter checked? The treasurer inserts his hand into the fine flour. If dust clings to it as he removes it,35 it is unacceptable until he sifts it again.

Fine flour from wheat that grew in an arid land, a dungheap, in an orchard, on land that was not left fallow and tilled should not be brought as an initial preference,36 if it was brought, it is acceptable.

יב

כֵּיצַד בּוֹדְקִים. מַכְנִיס הַגִּזְבָּר יָדוֹ לְתוֹךְ הַסּלֶת אִם עָלָה בָּהּ אָבָק פְּסוּלָה עַד שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר וִינַפֶּה אוֹתָהּ. אֲבָל סלֶת חִטִּים שֶׁנִּזְרְעוּ בְּבֵית הַשְּׁלָחִין אוֹ בְּבֵית הַזְּבָלִים אוֹ בְּבֵית הָאִילָן אוֹ בְּאֶרֶץ שֶׁלֹּא נָרָהּ וְלֹא עֲבָדָהּ לֹא יָבִיא לְכַתְּחִלָּה וְאִם הֵבִיא כְּשֵׁרָה:

13

When wheat kernels were collected from cattle feces and then sown in the ground, there is an unresolved doubt if their disgusting characteristic has departed because they were sown37 or they are still considered as disgusting. Therefore one should not bring meal offerings from [such flour] as an initial preference. If he brought, they are acceptable.

יג

חִטִּים שֶׁלְּקָטָן מִגְּלָלֵי הַבָּקָר וּזְרָעָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ סָפֵק אִם עָבְרָה מֵאוּסָן בַּזְּרִיעָה אוֹ עֲדַיִן הֵן מְאוּסִין. לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יָבִיא מֵהֶן מְנָחוֹת וְאִם הֵבִיא כָּשֵׁר:

14

These are the oils which are unacceptable: oil from olives soaked in water or of pickled38 or cooked olives, oil from olive dregs, or foul-smelling oil. All of these are unacceptable. In contrast, oil from olives that were planted in a dungheap, in an arid region, which had another crop sown between them, or oil that was produced from olives that have not ripened and are still immature39 should not be brought as an initial preference, but if it was brought, it is acceptable.

יד

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַשְּׁמָנִים הַפְּסוּלִין. שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל גַּרְגְּרִים שֶׁנִּשְׁרוּ בְּמַיִם אוֹ שֶׁל זֵיתִים כְּבוּשִׁין אוֹ שְׁלוּקִים אוֹ שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל שְׁמָרִים אוֹ שֶׁמֶן שֶׁרֵיחוֹ רַע כָּל אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִין. אֲבָל שֶׁמֶן זַיִת שֶׁנְּטָעוֹ בְּבֵית הַזְּבָלִים אוֹ בְּבֵית הַשְּׁלָחִין אוֹ שֶׁנִּזְרַע זֶרַע בֵּינֵיהֶן. אוֹ שֶׁמֶן שֶׁהוֹצִיאוֹ מִזֵּיתִים שֶׁלֹּא בָּשְׁלוּ אֶלָּא עֲדַיִן הֵם פַּגִּין כָּל אֵלּוּ לֹא יָבִיא. וְאִם הֵבִיא כָּשֵׁר:

15

All of the meal offerings and libations40 are acceptable whether from [produce grown in] Eretz [Yisrael] or from [produce grown in] the Diaspora. They are acceptable from fresh grain41 or grain from the previous years, provided it is of optimum quality. The only exceptions are the omer offering42 and the two loaves [brought on Shavuot]. They must be brought from fresh grain and from Eretz Yisrael.43

טו

כָּל הַמְּנָחוֹת וְהַנְּסָכִים כְּשֵׁרִים מֵהָאָרֶץ וּמִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מִן הֶחָדָשׁ וּמִן הַיָּשָׁן וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיָּבִיאוּ מִן הַמֻּבְחָר. חוּץ מִן הָעֹמֶר וּשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם שֶׁאֵינָן בָּאִין אֶלָּא מִן הֶחָדָשׁ וּמֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל:

Footnotes
1.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 1; Chapter 2, Halachah 8; Chapter 3, Halachah 11; Chapter 7, Halachah 11.

2.

As will be explained, every sacrifice must be accompanied by a meal offering that is mixed with oil and a wine libation.

3.

The offerings.

4.

See Halachah 9.

5.

See Halachah 11.

6.

See Halachah 14.

7.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:8 which explains that there was a special chamber set aside in the Women's Courtyard where the priests would check the wood to make sure it was not worm-infested.

8.

Because then, it is impossible to scrape away the worm-infested portion in a desirable manner.

9.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 3.

10.

As in Chapter 1, Halachah 2.

11.

See Hilchot Sanhedrin 16:3, 18:5, and notes for a definition of this punishment and the situations where it is applied. See also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:7).

12.

As explained in Hilchot Arachin 5:9, blemished animals are the subject of the above verse. They can be "caused to stand before a priest." All of the above are inanimate objects that cannot be "caused to stand before a priest."

13.

The fine flour, wine, and oil. Wood, fowl, and sacred utensils may never be redeemed.

14.

Hilchot Shegagot 10:12. The verses and the latter source refer to an adjustable guilt offering. If a person was poor and therefore set aside a meal offering as required of one of his financial status and then became wealthy, he may sell the meal offering and use it to be an animal as is required of him in his new financial position.

15.

The flour, wine, and oil that accompany a sacrifice.

16.

The Radbaz states that this refers to offerings that became impure while on the top of the altar. If they became impure beforehand, they should not be brought there to be burnt.

17.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 10:6.

18.

This is speaking about a situation in which the water that was taken for a libation before the Sabbath of the Sukkot and became impure on that Sabbath. We are forced to say this, for if we were speaking of an ordinary weekday, there would be no difficulty in going down to the Gichon Stream and getting new water. On the Sabbath, this is forbidden and the only alternative is restore the ritual purity of the water (Rashi, Meiri, Pesachim 34b).

19.

Hilchot Tuma'at Ochalin 2:21 which explains that when a receptacle containing water has an ordinary sized opening and is submerged in a mikveh, the water can regain its status of ritual purity.

20.

Even though the water regained its purity, it is no longer acceptable as an offering. This is a Rabbinic stringency (Pesachim, loc. cit.; see Halachah 8). Instead, water for the libation should be taken from the basin (see Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 10:10).

21.

57 cc according to Shiurei Torah, 100 cc according to Chazon Ish.

22.

The rationale is that as stated in Hilchot Tuma'at Ochalin 4:1, impure food will not cause other foods or liquids to contract ritual impurity unless the impure food is the size of an egg sized portion.

23.

I.e., were the liquids to be of the body of the fruit, they would be considered impure like the fruit itself. It is, however, considered as if they are distinct entities (ibid. 1:2) and they do not have the possibility of becoming impure until they emerge from the fruit. Hence, if there is less than an egg-sized portion, the liquids will not become impure.

24.

Even though it is acceptable with regard to terumah.

25.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 4:5) the Rambam writes that the only unfashioned wood which ever contracts ritual impurity is wood used for the altar.

26.

Wine sweetened due to exposure to the sun; alternatively, wine to which a sweetener was added (see Hilchot Shabbat 29:14).

27.

Wine stored in a utensil with a foul odor [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:6)].

28.

This improves the flavor of the wine. See Rav Kappach's translation of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (ibid.).

29.

Grape juice that has not fermented.

30.

All of these types of wine have an inferior flavor.

31.

As explained in Hilchot Rotzeach UShemirat Nefesh 11:6-8:10, when wine was left uncovered, it is forbidden because it is possible that a snake might have deposited venom in it. Hence, it is forbidden for the altar.

32.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 5.

33.

Even slightly worm-ridden.

34.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Avot 5:14), the Rambam defines solet, translated as "fine flour," as the flour of substance that remains in the process of refinement and kemach, translated as "flour dust," as the dust that is cast off.

35.

Our translation is taken from the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:2).

36.

All of these types of flour are of inferior quality (ibid.).

37.

And the grain growing from them is an entirely new entity. Were they not to have been sown, flour made from them would not be acceptable.

38.

In vinegar or in brine.

39.

As explained above, fruit grown under these conditions is of inferior quality.

40.

Both individual and communal offerings [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:1)].

41.

Grown in the present year.

42.

The offering of barley brought on the second day of Pesach.

43.

These concepts are evident from Leviticus 23:10 and, 16-17. See also Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 7:5-6; 8:2.

Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 7

1

Not every entity that is not unacceptable may be brought [as a sacrifice] as an initial preference.1

What is implied? If one is obligated to bring a burnt offering, one should not bring a weak and unattractive sheep and [justify oneself saying]: "It does not have a blemish." Concerning this, can be applied [the words of censure, Malachi 1:14]: "Cursed be the deceiver... [who sacrifices a blemished animal to God]." Instead, anyone who brings a sacrifice should bring from the highest quality.2

א

לא כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ פָּסוּל מֵבִיא אוֹתוֹ לְכַתְּחִלָּה. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה חַיָּב עוֹלָה לֹא יָבִיא שֶׂה כָּחוּשׁ וְכָעוּר וְיֹאמַר הֲרֵי אֵין בּוֹ מוּם. וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר (מלאכי א-יד) "וְאָרוּר נוֹכֵל" וְגוֹ'. אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁיָּבִיא לְקָרְבָּן יָבִיא מִן הַמֻּבְחָר:

2

This is the practice that was observed in the era of the Temple: They would bring rams from Moab, broad-backed sheep3 from Chebron, calves from Sharon, young doves from Har HaMelech, wine from Korchayin and Chalutin, flour from Michmash and Yochanah and oil from Tekoa.4

ב

וְכָךְ הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין בִּזְמַן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. מְבִיאִין אֵילִים מִמּוֹאָב. וּמְבִיאִין כְּבָשִׂים שֶׁגַּבֵּיהֶן רְחָבִים מֵחֶבְרוֹן. וּמְבִיאִין עֲגָלִים מִן הַשָּׁרוֹן. וְגוֹזָלוֹת מֵהַר הַמֶּלֶךְ. וּמְבִיאִין יַיִן מִקַּרְחִיִּין וְהַלּוֹטִיִּין. וְסלֶת מִמִּכְמָשׁ וְיוֹחָנָה. וּמְבִיאִין שֶׁמֶן מִתְּקוֹעַ:

3

All virgin wood5 is acceptable for the altar. They would not bring wood from olive trees or grape vines [in consideration of] the settlement of Eretz [Yisrael].6 They would frequently use boughs of fig trees that grow in forests of unsettled areas,7 those of nut trees, and those of fast-burning8 trees. The logs that Moses made [for the altar in the Sanctuary] were a cubit long and a cubit wide.9 Their thickness was like that of the leveling rod for an overflowing se'ah. In future generations,10 [logs] of the same measurements were used.

ג

כָּל הָעֵצִים הַחֲדָשִׁים כְּשֵׁרִים לַמַּעֲרָכָה. וְלֹא הָיוּ מְבִיאִין מִשֶּׁל זַיִת וְלֹא מִשֶּׁל גֶּפֶן מִשּׁוּם יִשּׁוּב אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וּבְאֵלּוּ הָיוּ רְגִילִין בְּמֻרְבִּיּוֹת שֶׁל תְּאֵנָה שֶׁל חֲדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָן בַּיִּשּׁוּב. וּבְשֶׁל אֱגוֹז וּבְשֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁמֶן. וְהַגְּזָרִין שֶׁעָשָׂה משֶׁה אַמָּה אָרְכָּן וְאַמָּה רָחְבָּן וְעָבְיָן כְּמַחַק גָּדִישׁ שֶׁל סְאָה וּכְמוֹתָן עוֹשִׂין לְדוֹרוֹת:

4

What would they do when sowing wheat for meal offerings and accompanying offerings?11 They would leave half a field fallow in the first year12 and sow the other half.13 In the second year, he should leave the portion he sowed in the first year fallow and he should sow the second half seventy days before Peach.14 If the field had not been tilled, he should plow it twice and then sow it. He should choose the kernels of wheat carefully15 and then he should strike them16 and tread on them17 until their shells are removed.

ד

וְכֵיצַד הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין בִּזְרִיעַת חִטֵּי הַמְּנָחוֹת וְהַנְּסָכִים. נָר חֲצִי הַשָּׂדֶה בְּשָׁנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וְזָרַע חֶצְיָהּ. וּבְשָׁנָה שְׁנִיָּה נָר הַחֵצִי שֶׁזָּרַע בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וְזָרַע הַחֵצִי הָאַחֵר קֹדֶם לַפֶּסַח שִׁבְעִים יוֹם. וְאִם לֹא הָיְתָה הַשָּׂדֶה עֲבוּדָּה חוֹרֵשׁ וְשׁוֹנֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ זוֹרֵעַ. וּבוֹרֵר הַחִטִּים יָפֶה יָפֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁף אֶת הַחִטִּים וּבוֹעֵט בָּהֶן הַרְבֵּה עַד שֶׁיִּתְקַלְּפוּ:

5

All of the wheat used for the meal offerings must receive 300 blows and be tread on 500 times. He should give [the kernels] one blow and then tread on them twice; give them two blows and tread on them three times. Thus they will have received three blows and will have been tread on five times. He should then repeat the pattern until he completes all 300 blows and 500 treadings so that much of the shells will have been removed. As a stringency, extending and drawing back his arm is considered as one blow. After this process, he should grind and sift the flour very thoroughly.

ה

כָּל הַחִטִּים שֶׁל מְנָחוֹת טְעוּנוֹת שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שִׁיפָה וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת בְּעִיטָה. שָׁף אַחַת וּבוֹעֵט שְׁתַּיִם. שָׁף שְׁתַּיִם וּבוֹעֵט שָׁלֹשׁ. נִמְצְאוּ שָׁלֹשׁ שִׁיפוֹת וַחֲמֵשׁ בְּעִיטוֹת. וְחוֹזֵר חֲלִילָה עַד שֶׁיִּגְמֹר שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת שִׁיפָה וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת בְּעִיטָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְקַלְּפוּ הַרְבֵּה. וְחוֹשֵׁב הַהוֹבָאָה וְהַהוֹלָכָה בְּשִׁיפָה אַחַת לְהַחְמִיר וְאַחַר כָּךְ טוֹחֵן וּמְרַקֵּד יָפֶה יָפֶה:

6

Wine [should be made by] bringing grapes from vines growing at foot level from vineyards that were tilled twice a year.18 He should crush the grapes and collect [their juice] in small jugs. They should not be stored individually or in pairs, but instead in groups of three.19 The jug should not be filled to its rim in order that its fragrance will be perceived.20 He should not bring [libations] from the wine near the rim, because of the specks resembling flour21 that rise to the surface of the wine, nor from the bottom, because of the dregs. Instead, he should take from the middle third and from its middle portion.

ו

הַיַּיִן. מֵבִיא עֲנָבִים מִן הָרַגְלִיּוֹת מִן הַכְּרָמִים הָעֲבוּדִּים פַּעֲמַיִם בְּשָׁנָה. וְדוֹרֵךְ וְכוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ בְּחָבִיּוֹת קְטַנּוֹת. וְאֵין מַנִּיחִין אוֹתָן אַחַת אַחַת וְלֹא שְׁתַּיִם שְׁתַּיִם אֶלָּא שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁלֹשׁ. וְאֵינוֹ מְמַלֵּא אֶת הֶחָבִית עַד פִּיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֵיחוֹ נוֹדֵף. וְאֵינוֹ מֵבִיא לֹא מִפִּי הֶחָבִית מִפְּנֵי הַקְּמָחִין הָעוֹלֶה עַל פְּנֵי הַיַּיִן. וְלֹא מִשּׁוּלֶיהָ מִפְּנֵי הַשְּׁמָרִים. אֶלָּא מִשְּׁלִישָׁהּ וּמֵאֶמְצָעָהּ שֶׁל אֶמְצָעִית:

7

A treasurer would sit [and watch] as the wine flowed from a hole on the side of a jug [of wine]. If he sees dregs flow out, he stops [the flow of wine] and does not complete the purchase.

At what point [in the aging process of wine] should it be brought? From 40 days after the grapes were tread upon22 until after two years and even slightly longer than that. If one brings wine that is even older, it is acceptable, provided its flavor has not spoiled.23

ז

הָיָה הַגִּזְבָּר יוֹשֵׁב וְהַיַּיִן יוֹצֵא מִן הַנֶּקֶב שֶׁבְּצַד הֶחָבִית כֵּיוָן שֶׁיִּרְאֶה שִׁנּוּי הַשְּׁמָרִים מַתְחִיל לָצֵאת פּוֹסֵק וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֵחַ. וּמֵאֵימָתַי מֵבִיא. מֵאַחַר אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם לִדְרִיכָתוֹ עַד שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים אוֹ יֶתֶר מְעַט. וְאִם הֵבִיא יַיִן יָשָׁן מִכַּמָּה שָׁנִים הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִפָּסֵד טַעֲמוֹ:

8

There are nine categories of oil, depending on the process in which they were prepared. What is implied? When one picks olives at the top of an olive tree, selects them one by one,24 crushes them and puts them into a basket, the oil that flows from them is considered in the first category. If, afterwards, he loads a beam upon them [to press them],25 the oil which flows from them is of the second category. If he loads [a beam upon them] a second time,26 the oil which flows from them is of the third category.

When he picked olives in a mixture,27 brought them to the roof, selected them one by one, crushed them, and placed them into a basket, the oil which flows from them is of the fourth category. If, afterwards, he loads a beam upon them [to press them], the oil which flows from them is of the fifth category. If he loads [a beam upon them] a second time, the oil which flows from them is of the sixth category.

When he picks olives28 and loads them in the vat until they begin to decompose, he then takes them up [to the roof], dries them, and places them in a basket.29 The oil which flows from them is of the seventh category. If, afterwards, he loads a beam upon them [to press them], the oil which flows from them is of the eighth category. If he loads [a beam upon them] a second time, the oil which flows from them is of the ninth category.

ח

תִּשְׁעָה מִינִין בְּשֶׁמֶן מִפְּנֵי שִׁנּוּי מַעֲשָׂיו. כֵּיצַד. זַיִת שֶׁגִּרְגְּרוֹ בְּרֹאשׁ הַזַּיִת וּבֵרְרוֹ אַחַת אַחַת וּכְתָשׁוֹ וּנְתָנוֹ לְסַל הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ הוּא הָרִאשׁוֹן. חָזַר אַחַר כָּךְ וּטְעָנוֹ בְּקוֹרָה הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ הוּא הַשֵּׁנִי. וְאִם חָזַר אַחַר שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ וּטְחָנוֹ וּטְעָנוֹ שְׁנִיָּה הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ הוּא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי. זֵיתִים שֶׁמְּסָקָן כֻּלָּן בְּעִרְבּוּבְיָא וְהֶעֱלָן לַגַּג וְחָזַר וּבֵרֵר גַּרְגֵּר גַּרְגֵּר וּכְתָשָׁן וּנְתָנָן לְסַל הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ הוּא הָרְבִיעִי. וְאִם טְעָנוֹ בְּקוֹרָה אַחַר כָּךְ הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא הוּא הַחֲמִישִׁי. וְחָזַר וְטָחַן וְטָעַן פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא הוּא הַשִּׁשִּׁי. זֵיתִים שֶׁמְּסָקָן וּטְעָנָן בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת עַד שֶׁיִּלְקוּ וְהֶעֱלָן וּנִגְּבָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ כָּתַשׁ וְנָתַן לְסַל הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא הוּא הַשְּׁבִיעִי. חָזַר וְטָעַן בַּקּוֹרָה הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא הוּא הַשְּׁמִינִי. חָזַר וְטָחַן וְטָעַן פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁיֵּצֵא הוּא הַתְּשִׁיעִי:

9

Even though they are all acceptable [to be brought] with the meal offerings,30 there is nothing that surpasses the first category.31 Afterwards, the second and the fourth are of equal quality.32 After them, the third, fifth, and seventh are of equal quality.33 After them, the sixth and the eighth are of equal quality.34 There is nothing inferior to the ninth.35

ט

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכֻּלָּן כְּשֵׁרִין לִמְנָחוֹת. הָרִאשׁוֹן אֵין לְמַעְלָה מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאַחֲרָיו הַשֵּׁנִי וְהָרְבִיעִי וּשְׁנֵיהֶן שָׁוִין. וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְהַחֲמִישִׁי וְהַשְּׁבִיעִי וּשְׁלָשְׁתָּן שָׁוִין. וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וְהַשְּׁמִינִי וּשְׁנֵיהֶם שָׁוִין. וְהַתְּשִׁיעִי אֵין לְמַטָּה מִמֶּנּוּ:

10

Only the first, fourth, and seventh categories are acceptable for the Menorah, for [Exodus 27:20] states: "crushed for the light," i.e., for the Menorah,36 only that which flows after [the olives] are crushed alone37 are acceptable. They are all acceptable for meal offerings.38

י

אֵין כָּשֵׁר לַמְּנוֹרָה אֶלָּא רִאשׁוֹן וּרְבִיעִי וּשְׁבִיעִי בִּלְבַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כז-כ) (ויקרא כז-כ) "כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר", אֵין כָּשֵׁר לַמְּנוֹרָה אֶלָּא הַיּוֹצֵא מִן הַכָּתוּשׁ בִּלְבַד. אֲבָל לַמְּנָחוֹת כֻּלָּן כְּשֵׁרִין:

11

Since all of these categories of oil are acceptable, why were they listed as separate categories? So that one would know the superior category that nothing surpasses, those which are equal, and those which are inferior. In this way, one who desires to gain merit for himself, subjugate his evil inclination, and amplify his generosity should bring his sacrifice from the most desirable and superior type of the item he is bringing.39 For it is written in the Torah [Genesis 4:4]: "And Evel brought from his chosen flocks and from the superior ones and God turned to Evel and his offering."

The same applies to everything given for the sake of the Almighty who is good. It should be of the most attractive and highest quality. If one builds a house of prayer, it should be more attractive than his own dwelling. If he feeds a hungry person, he should feed him from the best and most tasty foods of his table. If he clothes one who is naked, he should clothe him with his attractive garments. If he consecrates something, he should consecrate the best of his possession. And so [Leviticus 3:16] states: "All of the superior quality should be given to God."40

יא

וּמֵאַחַר שֶׁכֻּלָּן כְּשֵׁרִין לַמְּנָחוֹת לָמָּה נִמְנוּ. כְּדֵי לֵידַע יָפֶה שֶׁאֵין לְמַעְלָה מִמֶּנּוּ וְהַשָּׁוֶה וְהַפָּחוֹת שֶׁהָרוֹצֶה לִזְכּוֹת עַצְמוֹ יָכֹף יִצְרוֹ הָרַע וְיַרְחִיב יָדוֹ וְיָבִיא קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן הַיָּפֶה הַמְּשֻׁבָּח בְּיוֹתֵר שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין שֶׁיָּבִיא מִמֶּנּוּ. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בַּתּוֹרָה (בראשית ד-ד) "וְהֶבֶל הֵבִיא גַם הוּא מִבְּכֹרוֹת צֹאנוֹ וּמֵחֶלְבֵהֶן וַיִּשַׁע ה' אֶל הֶבֶל וְאֶל מִנְחָתוֹ". וְהוּא הַדִּין בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא לְשֵׁם הָאֵל הַטּוֹב שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מִן הַנָּאֶה וְהַטּוֹב. אִם בָּנָה בֵּית תְּפִלָּה יִהְיֶה נָאֶה מִבֵּית יְשִׁיבָתוֹ. הֶאֱכִיל רָעֵב יַאֲכִיל מִן הַטּוֹב וְהַמָּתוֹק שֶׁבְּשֻׁלְחָנוֹ. כִּסָּה עָרֹם יְכַסֶּה מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּכְסוּתוֹ. הִקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר יַקְדִּישׁ מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּנְכָסָיו וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ג-טז) "כָּל חֵלֶב לַה'" וְגוֹ':

Footnotes
1.

This chapter focuses on one fundamental concept: that ideally the entities used for the sacrifices should be of the highest quality.

2.

As evident from Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 16:4, here, the Rambam is focusing on the optimum manner of fulfilling the mitzvah, not on the letter of the law.

3.

Because of their fat (Rav Yosef Corchus).

4.

All of the names mentioned here are regions or cities in Eretz Yisrael. Each respective was renown for the quality of the particular item associated with it.

5.

I.e., wood that has not been used for any other purpose first.

6.

Oil and wine are considered basic necessities and hence, the trees and vines from which they derive should not be cut down for use as fuel for the altar. The Radbaz explains that olive trees and grape vines also frequently have knots and produce smoke that is undesirable.

7.

Which do not produce edible fruit [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid)]. This atoned for the Sin of the Tree of Knowledge which was a fig tree [Rashi (Yoma 58a)].

8.

Our translation is based on Rashi's Commentary to Tamid 29b. Literally, the words would be translated as "oily trees."

9.

For this was the size of the pyre.

10.

Even though the size of the altar as a whole was increased.

11.

I.e., the practice to be described delineates the optimum manner of preparing flour for the meal offerings. Flour which was prepared in another manner may also be acceptable.

12.

Leaving the field fallow improved the quality of the grain it produces.

13.

Plowing it each time [see the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:2)].

14.

Although this falls on 5 Shvat which is in the midst of winter. "the sun already has the power to shine upon it" (Rashi, Menachot 85a) and improve its growth.

15.

To remove any other seeds and to select the highest quality wheat (Radbaz).

16.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 6:5) the Rambam interprets this as striking the wheat powerfully with one's hand so that the dust will be removed from them.

17.

Crushing them with his feet to crack the shells (ibid.).

18.

This is also the optimum manner to prepare wine. Wine prepared in other means is also acceptable.

19.

The Radbaz explains that the more barrels are stored together, the less each one is exposed to air. Hence, there is less deterioration in the flavor of the wine.

20.

If the jug is filled to the brim, the vapors from the wine will have no chance to rise. See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 8:6).

21.

In that source, the Rambam explains that in the wines that he is familiar with, this phenomenon takes place only in the superior wines. He supposes that in Eretz Yisrael, this phenomenon would occur only with the inferior wines.

22.

Until then, the fermentation process will not be complete. The Radbaz writes that although the Rambam's wording does not imply this, from the beginning of the fortieth day onward, the wine is acceptable.

23.

Once its flavor has begun to spoil, however, it is unacceptable. See Chapter 6, Halachah 10.

24.

Apparently, the Rambam is speaking about a situation when the majority of the crop are not ready to be picked and the ones he selects are those of the highest quality.

25.

I.e., one of the techniques of pressing olives was to put them under pressure from a heavy beam. This would squeeze out more oil from them,.

26.

Readjusting the beam will apply greater pressure and squeeze out more oil.

27.

Without separated the good from the bad. This is speaking about the stage when most of the olives are ready for picking. Thus the ones he picks are not necessarily the most choice.

28.

These are olives which grew late and never ripened sufficiently.

29.

Although they were crushed and thus dregs will be produced, they were not, however, pressed with a beam, which would produce more dregs.

30.

Menachot 86b states that the Torah allowed the inferior types of oil to be used, so that the price of superior oil would not rise and thus be prohibitively expensive for the people at large.

31.

For the olives are superior and they are not pressed, so that few dregs will be included.

32.

The second category uses superior olives, but they are pressed, so that they will have dregs. The fourth uses inferior olives, but they are not pressed, so there will be no dregs.

33.

Even though the olives of the third category will have been pressed twice, because they are of a superior quality, they are equal to those of a lower quality that were pressed less. Similarly, those of the seventh category, though pressed only once are of inferior quality to those of the fifth category.

34.

Even though those of the sixth category have been pressed twice, they are of a higher quality than those of the eighth.

35.

For they are both of a lower category and have been pressed twice.

36.

"The light."

37.

I.e., excluding oil produced by pressing.

38.

Even though the Rambam mentioned this point in the previous halachah, he mentions it again here to emphasize that this concept is also derived from the exegesis of the verse. It is necessary that the oil flow from crushing only "for the light," and not for the meal offerings.

39.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 16:3-4.

40.

See also Hilchot Terumah 5:1 which states that the finest grain should be separated as terumah.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah