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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 16, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 17, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 18

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Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 16

1

When a person vows to bring a large animal, but instead brings a small one, he does not fulfill his obligation.1 [If he vows to bring] a small one and brings a large one, he fulfills his obligation.2

What is implied? He said: "I promise [to bring] a lamb3 as a burnt-offering" or "...as a peace-offering," and he brings a ram,4 or he vowed a calf5 and brought an ox,6 or a kid7 and brought a goat,8 he fulfills his obligation.

א

הנודר גדול והביא קטן לא יצא קטן והביא גדול יצא כיצד אמר הרי עלי עולה או שלמים כבש והביא איל או שנדר עגל והביא שור גדי והביא שעיר יצא:

2

If he vows to bring a burnt-offering9 either from lambs or from rams and brings a pilgas,10 there is an unresolved doubt whether or not he fulfilled his obligation.11 Similarly, if one vowed to bring a burnt-offering12of fowl from either turtle-doves or ordinary doves13 and brought a fowl that began to sprout yellow feathers14 of both species, there is an unresolved doubt [whether or not he fulfilled his obligation].15

If one vowed to bring a black[-colored animal] and brought one that was white, [vowed to bring] a white one and brought a black one, [vowed] a male and brought a female or vowed a female and brought a male, he did not fulfill his obligation.16

ב

נדר עולה מן הכבשים או מן האילים והביא פלגס הרי זה ספק אם יצא ידי נדרו או לא יצא וכן הנודר עולת עוף מן התורים או מן בני היונה והביא תחילת הציהוב שבזה ושבזה הרי זה ספק נדר שחור והביא לבן לבן והביא שחור זכר והביא נקבה נקבה והביא זכר לא יצא:

3

When one takes a vow without specifying [the type of animal he is bringing], he should bring from the developed animals in the species he vowed to bring. If in his place [of residence], people commonly identify one of [the type of sacrifices] with a specific species [of animals], he should bring [the type of animal brought by] the people of that locale.17

What is implied? If a person vowed to bring a burnt-offering from cattle," he should bring an ox.18 Should he say: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering," if the practice of the people of that locale is to use the term "burnt-offering" without any description to refer even to a fowl offered as a burnt-offering, he may bring even one fowl, a turtle dove or an ordinary dove. If their practice is to use that term only when referring to a burnt-offering of cattle, he should bring an ox. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ג

הנודר סתם מביא מן הגדולים שבמין שנדר ואם אותו המקום רגילין לקרות בסתם לאחד מן המינין מביא כאנשי המקום כיצד נדר עולה מן הבקר יביא שור אמר הרי עלי עולה אם דרך אנשי המקום לקרות עולה סתם אפילו לעולת העוף מביא פרידה אחת תור או בן יונה ואם דרכן שאין קורין עולה סתם אלא לעולת בקר יביא שור וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

4

A person who vowed to bring an ox, a ram, a lamb, a calf, or the like should not bring the frailest specimen of that species, because their value is minimal.19 Nor is he obligated to bring the nicest, stockiest specimen of which there is no better.20Instead, he should bring an average animal.21 If he brought a frail animal, he fulfilled his vow.22

ד

מי שנדר שור או איל או כבש או עגל וכיוצא בהם לא יביא כחוש ביותר שבאותו המין מפני שדמיו מועטין ואינו חייב להביא היפה השמן ביותר שאין שם למעלה ממנו אלא יביא הבינוני ואם הביא הכחוש יצא ידי נדרו:

5

When a person says: "I promise to bring an ox worth a maneh,"23he should bring an ox worth a maneh in that place aside from its accompanying offerings.24 If he brought two [oxen] for a maneh, he did not fulfill his obligation.

ה

האומר הרי עלי שור שוה מנה יביא שור ששוה מנה באותו מקום חוץ מנסכיו הביא שנים במנה לא יצא:

6

[The following rules apply when] a person says: "This ox is a burnt-offering" and it becomes blemished. If he desires to bring two for the price he receives for it.25If he brings even one ram26 for the price it receives, he fulfills his vow.

If he says: "These two oxen are burnt-offerings," and they become blemished, should he desire, he may bring one with the money he receives for their sale.27 "This ram is a burnt-offering" and it becomes blemished, if he desires he may bring a lamb with the money he receives for its sale. Similarly, if he vows a lamb and it becomes disqualified, he may bring a ram with the money he receives for its sale.

ו

האומר שור זה עולה ונפל בו מום אם רצה יביא בדמיו שנים ואפילו הביא בדמיו איל אחד יצא אמר שני שוורים אלו עולה ונפל בהם מום אם רצה יביא בדמיהם אחד איל זה עולה ונפל בו מום אם רצה יביא בדמיו כבש וכן אם נדר כבש ונפסל אם רצה יביא בדמיו איל:

7

If he says: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering" and he set aside an ox and it was stolen, he may fulfill his obligation with a sheep.28 If he says: "I promise to bring this ox or its value as a burnt-offering," [his commitment] is established as binding.29 If [the ox] is disqualified, he may bring only an ox with the money he receives for its sale.

ז

אמר הרי עלי עולה והפריש שור ונגנב פוטר עצמו בשה אמר שור זה ודמיו עלי עולה הוקבע ואם נפסל לא יביא בדמיו אלא שור:

8

If he says: "One of my sheep is consecrated and one of my oxen is consecrated," but he had two, the larger one is consecrated.30 If he has three, the larger one is consecrated, but concern should also be shown for the middle one.31

What should be done? He should wait until the middle one becomes blemished so that the holiness will fall on the larger one alone.32 If he says: "An ox from my oxen is consecrated," the larger one is consecrated and concern need not be shown for the middle one.33

ח

האומר אחד מכבשי הקדש ואחד משוורי הקדש והיו לו שנים הגדול שבהן הקדש היו שלשה הגדול שבהן הקדש וחוששין לבינוני כיצד יעשה ימתין לבינוני עד שיפול בו מום ותחול הקדושה על הגדול לבדו ואם אמר שור שבשוורי הקדש הגדול שבהם הקדש ואין חוששין לבינוני:

9

If he designated one of [three animals as a sacrifice] and forgot [which one he designated] or his father told him "One of these animals was consecrated,"34 he should designate the largest one as consecrated35 and, afterwards, he fulfills his obligation [with its sacrifice]. Similarly, if one vowed to bring a burnt-offering from cattle and designated [an animal as a sacrifice to fulfill] his vow and [later] forgot whether he had designated an ox or a calf, he should bring an ox.36 Similarly, if he designated a sheep and forgot what he designated,37 he should bring a ram. If he designated a goat and forgot what he designated,38 he should bring a grown goat. If he forgot the species from which he designated the burnt-offering, he should bring an ox, a ram, and a grown goat.39 If he was in doubt that perhaps he designated the burnt-offering from fowl, he should also add a turtle-dove and an ordinary dove.40

ט

פירש אחד מהן ושכח או שאמר לו אביו אחד מהן הקדש הרי זה מקדיש גדול שבהן ואחר כך יצא ידי חובתו וכן הנודר עולה מן הבקר וקבע נדרו ושכח מה קבע אם שור אם עגל הרי זה יביא שור וכן אם קבע בכבשים ושכח מה קבע יביא איל קבע בעזים ושכח יביא שעיר שכח באיזה מין מן הבהמה קבע עולתו יביא שור ואיל ושעיר ואם נסתפק לו שמא קבע עולתו בעוף יוסיף תור ובן יונה:

10

When a person vowed to bring a thanksgiving-offering or a peace offering, specifying that it would be brought from cattle, but forgot what he designated to bring, he should bring an ox and a cow.41 Similarly, if he is unsure with regard to sheep, he should bring a ram and a ewe. If he is unsure with regard to goats, he must bring a he-goat and a she-goat.

If he forgot the species from which he designated the sacrifice, he should bring an ox, a cow, a ram, a ewe, a he-goat, and a she-goat.42 If he said: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering of fowl," he should bring a turtle-dove or an ordinary dove.43 If he designated one particular species in his vow and forgot which one, he should bring both a turtle-dove and an ordinary dove.

י

נדר תודה או שלמים וקבע נדרו בבקר ושכח במי קבעו יביא פר ופרה וכן אם נסתפק לו בכבשים יביא איל ורחל נסתפק לו בעזים יביא שעיר ושעירה שכח באי זה מין קבע נדרו מביא פר ופרה איל ורחל שעיר ושעירה האומר הרי עלי עולת עוף מביא תור או בן יונה פירש ושכח באי זה מין קבע נדרו מביא תור ובן יונה:

11

When one says: "I promise to bring [an offering] for the altar," he should bring a handful of frankincense,44 for there is nothing that is offered entirely on the altar in its immediate state except for frankincense.45

If he specified his vow, but forgot what he specified to bring, he should bring every type of entity that is offered on the altar in its entirety.46 Therefore he should bring a burnt-offering of an animal, a burnt-offering of fowl, a meal-offering of flour, frankincense, and wine alone.47

יא

האומר הרי עלי למזבח יביא קומץ לבונה שאין לך דבר שקרב כולו למזבח כמות שהוא אלא לבונה פירש נדרו ושכח מה פירש יביא מכל דבר שקרב כולו למזבח לפיכך מביא עולת בהמה ועולת העוף ומנחת נסכים ולבונה ויין בפני עצמו:

12

When a person says: "I promise to bring [an offering] worth a sela48to the altar," he should bring a sheep,49 for there is nothing offered on the altar worth [exactly] a sela except a sheep. If he specified [a particular entity], but forgot what he specified, he should bring a sela's worth of everything that is offered on the altar.50

יב

אמר הרי עלי בסלע למזבח יביא כבש שאין לך דבר שקרב בסלע למזבח אלא כבש פירש ושכח מה שפירש יביא בסלע מכל דבר ודבר שקרב למזבח:

13

When a person says: "I promise to bring frankincense," he should not bring less than a handful.51 If one says: "I promise to bring wood," he should not bring less than two52 logs as thick as a leveling rod that are a cubit long.53 "I promise to bring a piece of wood," he should bring one log a cubit long. If he desires to bring the worth of the logs, he may.54

יג

האומר הרי עלי לבונה לא יפחות מקומץ הרי עלי עצים לא יפחות משני גזרים עביין כמחוקות וארכן אמה הרי עלי עץ מביא גזר אחד ארכו אמה ואם רצה להביא דמי העצים יביא:

14

What should a person who vowed or pledged to bring oil do? He should take a handful of it,55 put salt on it,56 and toss it on the fire. The remainder is eaten by the priests like the remainder of the meal offerings.57

What is done with wine that is brought independently? It is salted58 and then poured entirely59 down the shittin60 like the other libations.61 Frankincense which is brought independently should be salted and then offered on the pyre in its entirety.

יד

מי שנדר או התנדב שמן כיצד עושין בו קומץ ממנו קומץ ונותן עליו מלח וזורקו על גבי האשים והשאר נאכל לכהנים כשירי מנחות וכיצד עושין ביין הבא בפני עצמו נותן עליו מלח ומנסכו כולו על גבי השיתין ככל הנסכים והלבונה הבאה בפני עצמה נותן עליה מלח וכולה לאשים:

15

When a person vowed [to bring a sacrifice], he should not bring it from money [for which] the second tithe [was redeemed].62 [The rationale is that] he became obligated63 to bring this sacrifice and anyone who is obligated to bring a sacrifice may bring it only from ordinary property.64

טו

מי שנדר נדר לא יביאנו ממעות מעשר שני שהרי נתחייב בקרבן זה וכל המחוייב בקרבן לא יביא קרבנו אלא מן החולין:

16

If a person states: "I promise to bring a thanksgiving-offering from ordinary funds and its bread from the [second] tithe," he should bring its bread only from ordinary funds. [The rationale is that] he vowed to bring a thanksgiving-offering and that offering comes only when accompanied by bread which is from ordinary property.65

טז

אמר הרי עלי תודה מן החולין ולחמה מן המעשר לא יביא לחמה אלא מן החולין שהרי נדר בקרבן תודה והתודה אינה באה אלא עם הלחם מן החולין:

17

If he explicitly said: "I promise to bring a thanksgiving offering from money from the second tithes and its bread from ordinary property," he may bring [the sacrifice] as he vowed.66 If he brought it all from ordinary property, he fulfilled his obligation.67 Similarly, if he explicitly said: "I promise to bring a thanksgiving-offering and its bread from the second tithe," he may bring it [as vowed].68 He should not bring the bread from wheat that is the second tithe, but from [flour purchased with] money [for which] the second tithe was redeemed like the animal which was [purchased with] such money.

Even though he explicitly stated that he would bring the bread from [the money of] the second] tithe, he should not bring its libations from the money of the second tithe, for at all times, libations must be brought solely from ordinary funds, as explained.69 [The rationale is] that concerning [the libations],70 [Numbers 15:4] states: "The one who offers them shall offer his sacrifice." Implied is that the sacrifice must be his without having any dimension that belongs to the Most High.

יז

פירש ואמר הרי עלי להביא תודה ממעות מעשר שני ולחמה מן החולין יש לו להביא כמו שנדר ואם הביא הכל מן החולין יצא וכן אם פירש ואמר הרי עלי תודה היא ולחמה מן המעשר יביא ולא יביא לחמה מחיטי מעשר שני אלא ממעות מעשר שני כמו הבהמה שהיא ממעות מעשר שני ואף על פי שפירש שיביא לחמה מן המעשר לא יביא נסכיה ממעות מעשר שני שאין הנסכים באין לעולם אלא מן החולין כמו שביארנו לפי שנאמר בהן והקריב המקריב קרבנו עד שיהיו משלו ולא יהיה בהן צד לגבוה כלל:

Footnotes
1.

For he has not fulfilled his vow.

2.

For it is as if the promise to bring the smaller animal included the possibility of bringing the larger one.

3.

An animal in the first year of its life (Chapter 1, Halachah 14).

4.

One that is more than one year and one month old (ibid.).

5.

An animal in the first year of its life (Chapter 1, Halachah 14).

6.

An animal in the second year of its life (ibid.).

7.

An animal in the first year of its life (Chapter 1, Halachah 14).

8.

An animal in the second year of its life (ibid.).

9.

The laws to follow also apply with regard to a peace-offering. They do not apply with regard to a guilt-offering or a sin-offering, for those sacrifices may not be brought voluntarily.

10.

A sheep that is between the age of one year and one year and one month. Thus it is no longer a lamb, but it is not yet considered as a ram (ibid.).

11.

There is an unresolved doubt regarding the status of a pilgas. Hence, the person cannot be considered as having fulfilled his obligation. Nevertheless, since its status is unresolved, we are not definitely certain that he did not fulfill his obligation.

The Kessef Mishneh questions why is he not considered to have fulfilled his obligation if he vowed to bring a lamb. As stated in the previous halachah, if one vows to bring a small animal and instead, brings a large animal, he is considered to have fulfilled his obligation. Thus in the case at hand, if a pilgas is considered a lamb, he will have fulfilled his obligation and if it is considered as a ram, he would have fulfilled his obligation, based on the principle stated in Halachah 1. The Kessef Mishneh answers that the animal's status is considered one of doubt, an intermediate state between the two. Hence it is not considered as acceptable as either type.

12.

This law applies only with regard to burnt-offerings, for peace-offerings may not be brought from fowl.

13.

Turtle doves may only be brought as sacrifices when they are small and under-developed. Ordinary doves, by contrast, may be brought as sacrifices only when they have developed and reached a mature state (Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:2).

14.

An intermediate stage in which the fowl is unacceptable, because it is too mature for a turtle-dove and not mature enough for an ordinary dove (ibid.).

15.

Since there is an unresolved doubt concerning a fowl that reached this state of development, a person who brings one such dove would certainly not fulfill his obligation. In this instance, however, since he brought one for each species, one might think that it is considered as if he fulfilled his vow. For if this is considered as a stage of development, he will have fulfilled the vow for he brought an acceptable ordinary dove. And if it is not considered acceptable, he would have fulfilled the vow for he brought an acceptable turtle dove. Nevertheless, since a priest is not permitted to offer such a fowl as an initial preference, he is not considered to have fulfilled his vow.

16.

For he did not bring the animal that he vowed to bring as a sacrifice.

17.

This follows a general principle stated by the Rambam, that with regard to the interpretation of the wording used in vows, everything is determined by local custom.

18.

I.e., and not a calf.

19.

As Malachi 1:14 asks rhetorically: "You bring the stolen and the lame and the sick and offer it as a sacrifice. Shall I accept it from you." See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 7:1.

20.

Although ibid.:11 states: "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," this is a desirable ethical standard, but not a halachic imperative.

21.

Menachot 13:8 mentions prices to be paid for animals offered as sacrifices. In the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, he explains that the prices mentioned were the average prices for animals at that time.

22.

As long as the animal is unblemished.

23.

100 silver pieces.

24.

The wine, meal, and oil brought together with the offering, as stated in Chapter 2.

25.

In this instance, since the ox was consecrated as a burnt-offering and was no longer fit to be offered as such, the proceeds of its sale must be used for that purpose. It does not matter, however, which animal(s) is purchased for that purpose.

In the previous halachah, it was not acceptable for him to bring two oxen that have a combined worth of 100, for he made an explicit vow to bring one ox worth 100 and until he does so, he does not fulfill his obligation. In this halachah, once the consecrated animal is disqualified, there are no qualifications regarding which animals may be brought as burnt-offerings. See Menachot 108a.

26.

I.e., the sacrifice he brings need not even be of the same species as the animal he originally designated for sacrifice.

27.

The new point this clause is teaching is that even if two animals were originally consecrated, one may be brought with the proceeds of their sale.

28.

For when taking the vow, he did not specify what animal he would bring. This applies provided people of this locale also refer to a sheep as a burnt-offering (see Halachah 3). Moreover, if he had pledged to bring that particular ox as a burnt-offering, he is not obligated to bring any sacrifice at all (Radbaz).

29.

Even if the animal is disqualified, he is obligated to bring another one like it as a sacrifice.

30.

For we assume that anyone who consecrates his property does so generously (Menachot 108b).

31.

For it is also possible that this was his intent, since consecrating the middle one is still acting generously, because there is a smaller one.

32.

The Kessef Mishneh interprets the Rambam's words as implying that once the second one becomes blemished, the holiness automatically falls on the third. This runs contrary to Rashi's approach (Menachot, loc. cit.) which requires the person to make a stipulation conditionally transferring the holiness that might have fallen on the middle ox.

33.

For by saying "An ox," we assume he meant the choicest one (Menachot, loc. cit.). The commentaries note that the Rambam's ruling in Hilchot Meilah 7:7 appears to run contrary to this explanation.

34.

And then his father died without informing him which one was consecrated (Rashi, Menachot, loc. cit.).

35.

For we assume that he intended to offer the most choice one as a sacrifice. The Radbaz explains that this case is different from the one in the previous halachah where concern is also given to the middle one, because since he already designated the animal, we assume that he chose the best one.

36.

For even if he originally designated a small animal as a sacrifice, we follow the principle stated in Halachah 1 that a person who vows to bring a small animal, but instead brings a large one fulfills his obligation [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 13:6); see also Ra'avad].

37.

Whether a ram or a lamb.

38.

Whether a grown goat or a kid.

39.

I.e., he must allow for the possibility that he designated any of the three types of animals that could be offered as burnt-offerings and he must offer a large animal from each species for the reason mentioned above.

40.

He must bring both, because they are considered as two separate species and not as developed and underdeveloped specimens of the same species.

41.

As stated above with regard to burnt-offerings, he is obligated to bring a developed specimen. Unlike a burnt-offering, these sacrifices may be brought from females as well as males. Hence, although bringing a large animal fulfills his obligation even if he originally vowed to bring a small one, he is still required to bring both a male or a female, for he is unsure of the gender of the animal he originally designated.

42.

Peace-offerings may not be brought from fowl, so there is no need to bring doves.

43.

Bringing either will enable him to fulfill his vow.

44.

As stated in Halachah 13, when one brings frankincense, he must bring at least a handful.

45.

Since he said: "For the altar," we assume he meant something that is only for the altar. As mentioned below, there are other entities which are also offered on the altar, but unlike frankincense, they are not offered on the altar in their entirety. (The hide of an animal offered as a burnt-offering and the feathers of a fowl offered as a burnt-offering are withheld. With regard to the wine, it is not consumed by the altar's pyre, but poured upon it. And with regard to an offering of flour, since there are types of meal-offerings which are given to the priests to eat, we assume that his intent was not to bring such an offering.)

46.

Since the primary elements of the burnt-offering are burnt on the altar and the wine is poured over the altar, it is possible that this was his intent.

47.

I.e., aside from the wine brought as part of the accompanying offering of flour (Kessef Mishneh).

48.

A large silver coin used in the Talmudic era.

49.

As a burnt-offering. The Radbaz states that this word should be included in the statement of the person's promise.

50.

In addition to the burnt-offering, this could include wine, frankincense, and flour.

51.

Menachot 106b derives this concept from a comparison to the flour offered from a meal offering, just as there a handful is offered, so too, a handful of frankincense should be offered.

52.

The Hebrew term is written in the plural. Hence at least two logs are required.

53.

See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 7:3.

54.

He would place the money in a container designated for that purpose and the priests would take the money and purchase the wood (Tosefta, Shekalim 3:3).

55.

Kin'at Eliyahu questions how one takes a handful of oil.

56.

As required of all the sacrifices (Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 5:11).

57.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 9.

58.

Although Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach, loc. cit., states that salt is not required for wine that is offered on the altar, that refers to wine offered as a libation accompanying other sacrifices. When, however, wine is offered alone, salt is required (Kessef Mishneh).

59.

None is given to the priests to partake of.

60.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:11 which states: "There were two cavities in the southwest corner [of the Altar], resembling two thin nostrils.... The blood [which was poured onto the Altar] would run off through them and... [ultimately,] go out to the Kidron River."

61.

It is not poured over the fire, because it would - at least partially - quench the fire and that is forbidden (Kessef Mishneh).

62.

As mentioned in Hilchot Ma'asaer Sheni, ch. 4, when a person lives far from Jerusalem and cannot easily take produce from the second tithe to the holy city, he should redeem it for money. That money must be used to purchase food which must be eaten in Jerusalem according to the strictures that apply to the second tithe.

63.

Because of his vow.

64.

And the second tithe is considered as holy, "consecrated unto God."

This is a general principle. The rationale is that since the person is obligated to bring the offering, it must be brought from resources that belong to him entirely (see the conclusion of Halachah 17).

65.

I.e., the bread is considered as an integral part of that offering and not an additional element. Thus when he vows to bring a thanks-giving offering, that vow also requires him to bring bread. Hence the bread must come from ordinary property (Radbaz).

66.

As stated below, if he specifies, he is allowed to bring a thanksgiving-offering using the money from the second tithes, for he will partake of the meat of that sacrifice in Jerusalem. What is unique here is the fact that the sacrifice will be from the second tithes and the bread from ordinary funds. Even so, the sacrifice is acceptable.

67.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 7:5; based on Menachot 81b), the Rambam writes that it is indeed more desirable for him to bring the sacrifice from ordinary funds.

68.

In this instance as well, in his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam states that it is desirable for him to bring everything from ordinary property.

69.

Chapter 3, Halachah 13.

70.

This refers not only to the wine libations, but to all vows for sacrifices.

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 17

1

When a person vows to bring a meal-offering baked in an oven, he should not bring one baked in a kopach,1 one baked on rafters,2or one baked in Arab pits.3

א

הנודר מנחה מאפה תנור לא יביא מאפה כופח ולא מאפה רעפים ולא מאפה יורות הערביים:

2

When one says: "I promise to bring a meal offering [baked] on a flat frying-pan," and he brings one [baked] in a deep frying-pan4 or he promised to bring one [baked] in a deep frying-pan and brought one [baked] on a flat frying-pan, [the sacrifice] he brought is acceptable, but he did not fulfill his obligation.5

If he said: "I will bring these6 [baked] in a deep frying-pan and brings them [baked] on a flat frying-pan or promised to bring it [baked] on a flat frying-pan and brought it [baked] in a deep frying-pan," [the sacrifice] is unacceptable.7 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

Similarly, if a person says: "I promise to bring two esronim in one vessel and he brings them in two vessels" or "...in two vessels" and he brings them in one vessel, [the sacrifice] he brought is acceptable, but he did not fulfill his obligation. [The rationale8is that Deuteronomy 23:24] states: "As you vowed to G‑d."9

ב

האומר הרי עלי במחבת והביא במרחשת במרחשת והביא במחבת מה שהביא הביא וידי חובתו לא יצא ואם אמר זו להביא במרחשת והביאה במחבת או במחבת והביאה במרחשת הרי זו פסולה וכן כל כיוצא בזה וכן האומר הרי עלי שני עשרונות להביאן בכלי אחד והביאן בשני כלים בשני כלים והביאן בכלי אחד מה שהביא הביא וידי חובתו לא יצא שנאמר כאשר נדרת לה':

3

If he said: "I will bring these cakes in one vessel" and he brought them in two or [promised] to bring them in two and brought them in one, they are unacceptable.10If he did not specify what he would bring when he took the vow, but [merely] said: "I promise to bring two esronim and when he designated [the meal for the offering], he set [the flour] aside in two vessels and afterwards, brought it in one vessel, it is acceptable. For the verse states "as you vowed" and not "as you set aside."

When he said: "I promise to bring two esronim in one vessel," but he brought them in two, if despite being told that he vowed to bring them in one vessel, he offered them in two, they are not acceptable.11 If he brought them in one vessel, they are acceptable.12

ג

אמר אלו להביא בכלי אחד והביא בשני כלים או להביא בשני כלים והביא בכלי אחד הרי אלו פסולין לא קבען בשעת הנדר אלא אמר הרי עלי שני עשרונות ובשעת הפרשה קבען והפרישן בשני כלים וחזר והביאן בכלי אחד הרי אלו כשרים שנאמר כאשר נדרת ולא כאשר הפרשת אמר הרי עלי שני עשרונות להביא בכלי אחד והביאן בשני כלים אמרו לו בכלי אחד נדרת הקריבם בשני כלים הרי אלו פסולין הקריבם בכלי אחד הרי אלו כשרים:

4

When he said: "I promise to bring two esronim in two vessels," but he brought them in one, if after being told that he vowed to bring them in two vessel, he offered them in two, they are acceptable. If he brought them in one vessel, they are like two meal-offerings that became mixed together.13

ד

אמר הרי עלי שני עשרונות להביא בשני כלים והביא בכלי אחד אמרו לו בשני כלים נדרת הקריבן בשני כלים הרי אלו כשרים הקריבן בכלי אחד הרי אלו כשתי מנחות שנתערבו:

5

If one says: "I promise to bring a meal-offering," he should bring one of the five types of meal-offerings that can be either vowed or pledged.14 If he says: "I promise to bring meal-offerings," he should bring two15 of the five types of meal-offerings.16 If he says: "I promise to bring a type of meal-offerings," he should bring two17 meal-offerings of one type.18 If he says: "I promise to bring types of meal-offerings," he should bring two meal-offerings [coming] from two types.19 Similarly if he says: "...types of a meal-offering," he should bring two types of meal-offerings.20 If he specified that he would bring one type [of meal-offering] and forgot [which type he specified], he should bring all five types.21

ה

האומר הרי עלי מנחה יביא אחת מחמשת מיני מנחות הבאות בנדר ונדבה אמר הרי עלי מנחות יביא שני (מיני) מנחות מחמשתן אמר הרי עלי מין מנחות יביא שני מנחות ממין אחד הרי עלי מיני מנחות יביא שתי מנחות משני מינים וכן אם אמר מיני מנחה יביא שני מינין קבע נדרו במין מהן ושכחו מביא חמשתן:

6

A private individual22 should not bring more than sixty esronim [of flour] in one vessel as a meal offering. If he vowed more than sixty, he should bring sixty in one vessel and the remainder in a second vessel.23

[The rationale is that] no more than sixty [esronim of flour] can be mixed together [with oil as one].24 It is not an absolute requirement for [the flour and the oil] to be mixed together as we explained.25 Nevertheless, our Sages said:26 "Whenever a [meal-offering] is fit to be mixed [with oil], it is not an absolute requirement for it to be mixed. Whenever it is not fit to be mixed [with oil],27 mixing it is an absolute requirement."28

ו

אין היחיד מביא מנחה בכלי אחד יותר מששים עשרון ואם נדר יותר מששים מביא ששים בכלי אחד והשאר בכלי שני שאין יכולין להבלל כאחד אלא ששים אבל יתר על ששים אין נבללין אע"פ שאין הבלילה מעכבת כמו שביארנו אמרו חכמים כל הראוי לבילה אין הבילה מעכבת בו וכל שאינו ראוי לבילה הבילה מעכבת בו:

7

If one says: "I promise to bring 121 esronim [as a meal offering]." He should bring 120 [esronim] in two vessels - 60 in each vessel - and one isaron in a third vessel.29

If he said: "I promise to bring an isaron," he should bring one isaron. "I promise to bring isaronim," he should bring two. If he specified [the number of esronim] he vowed and then forgot how many he specified, he should bring 60 esronim in one vessel.30 If he forgot how many esronim he specified and which type [of meal-offering] he specified, he should bring 60 esronim of each of the five types [of meal-offerings].

ז

אמר הרי עלי מאה ועשרים ואחד עשרון מביא מאה ועשרים בשני כלים ששים בכל כלי ומביא עשרון אחד בכלי השלישי אמר הרי עלי עשרון יביא עשרון אחד הרי עלי עשרונות יביא שנים פירש נדרו ושכח כמה עשרון פירש יביא ששים עשרון בכלי אחד שכח כמה עשרון פירש ובאי זה מין קבעו הרי זה מביא ששים עשרון מכל מין ומין מחמשתן:

8

If he specified his vow and forgot both how many esronim he vowed and the number of vessels in which he vowed to bring them, he should bring [the full range of] one to sixty esronim in sixty different vessels.31

What is implied? He should bring one isaron in the first vessel, two esronim in the second vessel, three in the third, until he brings 60 esronim in the last vessel. If he also forgot what type [of meal-offering] he designated, he should also brings [60 offerings] according to this pattern in 60 vessels of each type. Thus he will be bringing 1830 esronim from each type.

ח

קבע נדרו ושכח כמה עשרונות נדר ובכמה כלים נדר הרי זה מביא מאחד ועד ששים בששים כלים כיצד מביא עשרון אחד בכלי ראשון ושני עשרונים בכלי שני ושלשה עשרונים בשלישי עד שיהיו עד ששים עשרון בכלי האחרון ואם שכח אף באי זה מין קבע מביא על סדר זה ששים כלים מכל מין ונמצא מביא מכל מין אלף ושמנה מאות ושלשים עשרון:

9

When a person says: "I promise to bring a meal-offering of barley,"32"...a meal-offering of a half an isaron,"33 or "...a meal-offering without oil or frankincense,"34 he is exempt, because he did not vow an entity that is sacrificed.

If he said: "I promise to bring a meal-offering35 of barley," "...of lentils,"36 "...a meal-offering without oil or frankincense," or "...a meal-offering of a half an isaron," we ask him [what his intent was]. If he says: "I only took the vow because I thought it was permissible to offer such [sacrifices]. Had I known that one could only offer a complete isaron of fine [wheat] flour together with oil and frankincense, I would not have taken a vow," he is exempt. If, [however,] he said: "Had I known [that such offerings were unacceptable], I would have taken a vow to bring [an offering] like those that are offered," he is obligated to bring an offering like those that are offered.

ט

האומר הרי עלי מנחת שעורים או מנחת חצי עשרון או מנחת בלא שמן ולבונה הרי זה פטור שלא התנדב דבר שכמוהו מקריבין אמר הרי עלי מנחה מן השעורים או מן העדשים או מנחה בלא שמן ולבונה או מנחה חצי עשרון שואלין אותו אם אמר לא נדרתי אלא על דעת שמותר להקריב כזה ואילו ידעתי שאין מקריבין אלא עשרון שלם סלת בשמן ולבונה לא הייתי נודר הרי זה פטור ואם אמר אילו הייתי יודע הייתי נודר כדרך שמקריבין הרי זה חייב להקריב כדרך שמקריבין:

10

If he vowed to bring an isaron and a half37 and he said: "Had I known [that such offerings were unacceptable], I would have taken a vow to bring [an offering] like those that are offered," he must bring two [esronim].38 If he said: "I promise to bring coarse flour"39 or "I promise to bring a half an isaron" without mentioning the term "meal-offering," he is exempt.40 It as if he never took a vow at all.

Similarly, if one said: "I promise to bring a thanksgiving-offering without bread,"41or "...a sacrifice without its accompanying offerings,"42 he is exempt. If he said:43 "Were I to have known that such offerings are not sacrificed, I would have taken a vow to bring [an offering] like those that are offered," he is obligated to bring [an offering] like those that are offered.

י

נדר עשרון ומחצה ואמר אילו הייתי יודע הייתי נודר כדרך המתנדבין הרי זה מביא שנים אמר הרי עלי קמח או הרי עלי חצי עשרון ולא הזכיר שם מנחה הרי זה פטור כמי שלא נדר מעולם וכן האומר הרי עלי תודה בלא לחם וזבח בלא נסכים הרי זה פטור ואם אמר אילו הייתי יודע שאין מקריבין כך הייתי נודר כדרך הנודרין הרי זה חייב להקריב כדרך המקריבין:

11

When a person says: "I promise to bring the bread of a thanksgiving-offering," He must bring a thanksgiving offering and its bread. [The rationale is that] it is known that the bread is never offered without the thanksgiving-offering and he mentioned merely the conclusion of the sacrifice.44 If he said: 'I promise to bring the bread to fulfill the obligation for so-and-so's thanksgiving offering," he should bring the bread for a thanksgiving offering together with the offering of his friend.

יא

האומר הרי עלי לחמי תודה יביא תודה ולחמה שהדבר ידוע שאין מקריבין לחם בלא תודה וסוף הקרבן הזכיר אמר הרי עלי לחם לפטור תודתו של פלוני יביא לחם תודה עם תודת חבירו:

12

A person may vow or pledge to bring wine independently.45 One should not vow to bring a log of wine or two lugim,46 for there are no libations that are [only] a log or two lugim.47 Nor should one vow five lugim, for five lugim are not fit for the libations of one animal or for those of two animals.48 One may, however, vow three, four, six, or more lugim,49 because they are fit for the wine libations for sacrificial animals.

יב

מתנדב או נודר אדם יין בפני עצמו ואין מתנדבין לוג יין ולא שני לוגין שאין בנסכים לא לוג ולא שנים ואין מתנדבין חמשה שאין חמשת לוגין ראויין לא לנסכי בהמה אחת ולא לנסכי שתי בהמות אבל מתנדבין שלשה וארבעה וששה ומששה ומעלה מפני שהן ראויין לנסכי בהמות:

13

What is implied? If a person vows seven [lugim], they are considered as the libations for a sheep and for a ram.50 If he vowed eight, they are the libations for two rams; nine are the libations for an ox51 and a sheep or those of three sheep. If he vowed ten, they are the libations for an ox and a ram or two sheep and a ram. Similarly, all numbers [can be seen as such combinations].

יג

כיצד נדר שבעה הרי הן כנסכי כבש ואיל נדר שמונה הרי אלו כנסכי שני אילים תשעה כנסכי שור וכבש או כנסכי שלשה כבשים נדר עשרה הרי אלו כנסכי שור ואיל או שני כבשים ואיל וכן עד לעולם:

14

If he vowed to bring five lugim, we tell him: "Make it a complete six."52 [The rationale is that] he already established it as fit for a sacrifice.53If, by contrast, he vowed one log or two, he is exempt, for this amount or their components are not fit to be used as a libation.54

Less than a log of oil should not be vowed or pledged, for there is no meal-offering smaller than an isaron and it requires a log of oil.55

יד

נדר חמשה לוגין אומרין לו השלם ששה שהרי קבען לקרבן אבל אם נדר לוג או שנים פטור שהרי אינן ראויין כלל לא הן ולא מקצתן ואין מתנדבין ולא נודרין פחות מלוג שמן שאין לך מנחה פחותה מעשרון והיא צריכה לוג אחד שמן:

15

When a person says: "I promise to bring wine," he should not bring less than three lugim.56 "I promise to bring oil," he should not bring less than a log.57 If he specified a given amount in his vow and forgot how many lugim of wine or oil he specified, he should bring 140 lugim. For there is no day on which there are more communal offerings sacrificed than on the first day of Sukkot that falls on the Sabbath. On that day, the accompanying offerings included 140 lugim of oil and an equal amount of wine as will be explained in Hilchot Temidim UMusafim.58

טו

האומר הרי עלי יין לא יפחות משלשה לוגין הרי עלי שמן לא יפחות מלוג פירש נדרו ושכח כמה לוג נדר מן היין או מן השמן יביא ארבעים ומאה לוג שאין לך יום שמקריבין בו הצבור קרבנות מרובות יותר מיום טוב הראשון של חג שחל להיות בשבת והיו הנסכים בו מאה וארבעים לוג שמן וכמותם יין כמו שיתבאר בהלכות תמידין ומוספין:

Footnotes
1.

A range with an opening for one pot [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 5:9)].

2.

I.e., one of the common ways to bake in the Talmudic period was to heat rafters and stones until they were glowing hot and place dough upon them. Afterwards, the stones and rafters were covered and thus the dough would bake (ibid.).

3.

A pit covered with mud into which wood was placed and kindled. The dough was placed within and it was covered so that it would bake like an oven (ibid.). These are not acceptable, because the person took a vow that he would bring a meal offering cooked in an oven and these devices do not fit that description.

4.

See Chapter 13, Halachah 6, with regard to the difference between the two.

5.

Because he did not bring the sacrifice he vowed to bring.

6.

Pointing to cakes that he prepared to bake.

7.

For he specified that the cakes be prepared in one way and they were not.

8.

For all the above.

9.

Implying that the vow must be fulfilled in all its particulars.

10.

If he can take a handful from each one separately, they are acceptable as indicated by the conclusion of Halachah 4.

11.

Because he did not fulfill his vow. It is, however, necessary to ask him and have him respond as the Rambam states. Otherwise, we assume that he is not bringing this offering in fulfillment of his vow, but rather as a separate sacrifice. In that instance, although he would not have fulfilled his vow, the sacrifice would be acceptable.

12.

Since he offered them as he vowed, the fact that he originally brought them in two vessels is not significant.

13.

In that instance, as stated in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 11:29, the law is that if one can take handfuls of each individually, they are acceptable. If not, they are not.

14.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 4, for a description of these meal-offerings.

15.

Since he used the plural, at least two offerings are required.

16.

The Kessef Mishneh suggests that the word "types" is a printing error, because even if he brought two of the same type of meal-offering, he fulfilled his obligation. The Radbaz, however, initially explains that the Rambam's wording could be interpreted as being precise. Since the person said two meal-offerings, we can assume that he meant of two different types. Otherwise, he would have just vowed to bring one large meal-offering. Nevertheless, ultimately, the Radbaz rejects this interpretation and states that the Rambam's intent is "even of two types," i.e., he may bring two offerings either of one type or of two types.

17.

Here also, since he spoke of "meal-offerings," using the plural, he is required to bring two.

18.

For he said "a type," limiting him to only one type.

19.

Since he used the plural for both offerings and types, he should bring two offerings and they should be of two different types.

20.

One offering from each type, as in the previous clause. Hebrew grammar occasionally allows for a singular term to be used in a plural sense. The Kessef Mishneh notes that this matter is debated by Menachot 105a and a ruling is not reached. Hence he questions how the Rambam can require him to bring a second offering: If it is not required, he will be bringing ordinary flour into the Temple Courtyard (which is forbidden). Hence he maintains that the person must make a stipulation when bringing this offering: "If I am obligated to bring it, this is to fulfill my vow. And if I am not obligated, it is a freewill offering."

21.

For in this way, he will certainly fulfill his vow.

22.

I.e., in contrast to the community at large. For there is no concept of a voluntary communal meal-offering and all the required communal meal-offerings have specific measures.

23.

As indicated by the following halachah, it appears to be preferable that he bring sixty in one vessel and the remainder in the other, rather than dividing the sum evenly between the two.

24.

Even though oil is always mixed with the flour at a ratio of one log to every isaron (Chapter 12, Halachah 7), nevertheless, if there is a very large quantity of flour, it will be difficult to get a proper mixture.

25.

Chapter 13, Halachah 11.

26.

Menachot 18b; 103b.

27.

Because there is too large a quantity of flour.

28.

As long as the meal and the oil could be mixed together, the fact that they were not mixed together is not significant, because there is nothing inherently lacking in the mixture. If, however, they could not be mixed together, there is an inherent difficulty with the mixture, therefore it is disqualified. Note the parallels to the declaration made with regard to the firsts fruits mentioned in Bava Batra 82a.

29.

I.e., he does not divide them into three equal portions.

30.

For an individual meal-offering is never more than 60 esronim and if he had promised a lesser amount, bringing more will not disqualify his offering (Radbaz).

31.

This is necessary, because as stated in Halachah 3, if a person vowed to bring two esronim in two vessels and he brought them in one, the offering is unacceptable. By bringing the full range of vessels from one to sixty, the person will certainly have included the entire number he vowed to bring. Any extra are considered as voluntary offerings.

The Radbaz notes that there is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in Menachot 13:2 and the opinion the Rambam quotes here is that of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi. The Sages, however, differ and maintain that it is sufficient to bring one meal offering of 60 esronim. The Radbaz questions why the Rambam chooses to follow Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's view, for it is a minority opinion. Moreover, he notes that in the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, he explicitly states that the halachah does not follow this view. The Radbaz explains that since the Talmud (Menachot 106a) tries to justify other teachings according to Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's view, we can assume that it is accepted as halachah.

32.

Which is unacceptable, because as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 2, all the meal-offerings are brought from wheat except the meal-offering of a sotah and the omer offering. Those are obligatory offerings and cannot be vowed by a person.

33.

Which is also unacceptable, because a meal-offering may not be less than an isaron (Chapter 12, Halachah 5).

34.

Such an offering is also unacceptable, for oil and frankincense are absolute requirements (Chapter 12, Halachah 7).

35.

The difference between this and the previous clause depends on the precise Hebrew term used. If he said minchat ("meal-offering of"), as in the first clause he is not obligated at all, for the grammatical structure of the term is that of an adjective and the emphasis is on the words that follow. If, however, he used the term minchah ("meal-offering"), we assume that the fundamental intent of his vow was to bring a meal-offering. Since the specifics he mentioned were unacceptable, we ask him to clarify his intent. The Ra'avad does not accept this distinction, but the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh explain the Rambam's position.

36.

Which is also unacceptable. Although Menachot103a debates whether a person could possibly err and think that a meal-offering from lentils is acceptable, from the resolution of that passage, it appears that such an error is plausible.

37.

Based on the conclusion of the clause and the explanations in the previous halachah, the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh maintain that this law applies only when the person said: "a meal-offering (minchah) of an isaron and a half."

38.

For he obviously desired to bring more than one isaron.

39.

As stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 2, all of the meal-offerings are brought from solet, "fine flour," and not kemach, "coarse flour." This he is vowing to bring an entity that is never offered.

40.

The Ra'avad differs concerning this point and states that in this instance as well, he should be asked to clarify his intent, as mentioned in the previous halachah.

41.

See Chapter 9, Halachah 5, which includes the bread as an integral part of the thanksgiving-offering.

42.

See Chapter 2 which explains that every sacrifice is offered together with wine, meal, and oil.

43.

I.e., as in the previous halachah, he is asked about his intent (Kessef Mishneh).

44.

We assume that this was intent when making the vow. The Radbaz explains that it is not even necessary to ask him to clarify his intent, since he mentioned the thanksgiving-offering when making his vow, we take for granted that this was what he meant to say.

45.

See Chapter 14, Halachah 1; Chapter 16, Halachah 14.

46.

See Halachah 14.

47.

As mentioned in Chapter 2, Halachah 4, the wine libations are 3, 4, or 6 log, depending on the animal offered.

48.

For no two offerings will reach a total of five. See also Halachah 14.

49.

For any number over six will be able to be broken up into multiples of 3,4, or 5, as stated in the following halachah [see the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 12:4)].

50.

The libations for a sheep are three lugim and those for a ram are four. We assume that the person that the person desired to bring them both.

51.

Six lugim.

52.

Which are the libations for an ox.

53.

Since libations of three and four lugim are brought, we assume that he did not want to make an empty statement. Hence, we ask him to increase the amount so that he will also be able to bring a valid offering. We do not reduce the amount, because there is an unresolved discussion in Menachot 104a if that is acceptable.

54.

Based on the ruling in Halachah 9 with regard to a meal-offering of a half an isaron, the Radbaz states that if one says: "a wine libation of one log," he should be asked to clarify his intent.

55.

See Chapter 12, Halachot 5 and 7.

56.

See Halachah 12.

57.

See the previous halachah.

58.

See Chapter 10, Halachot 3, 14, for the details of the number and types of animals sacrificed on that day. The wine and oil brought as accompanying offerings for these sacrifices totaled 140 lugim. We assume that a person would not vow or pledge a larger amount. The Radbaz clarifies that this ruling applies to a very wealthy person who can be assumed to have made a generous vow. A person of ordinary means, by contrast, should be required to pay the largest amount he could conceive of having pledged (see Hilchot Arachin 2:8-10).

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 18

1

There is a positive commandment to offer all of the sacrifices - whether sacrifices of animals or fowl or meal-offerings - in [God's] chosen house,1 as [Deuteronomy 12:14] states: "There you will perform everything that I command you." Similarly, it is a positive commandment for a person to take the effort to bring animal sacrifices2 that he is obligated to bring3 [and transport them] from the Diaspora to [God's] chosen house,4 as [ibid.:26] states: "[Only] your sacraments that you possess and your vows shall you bear... [to the place that God will choose]." According to the Oral Tradition, we have learned that [the verse] is speaking only about sacrificial animals from the Diaspora which he takes the effort to deal with until he brings them to [God's] chosen house.

א

כל הקרבנות כולן בין קרבנות בהמה ועוף בין קרבנות מנחות מצות עשה להקריבן בבית הבחירה שנאמר ושם תעשה כל אשר אנכי מצוך וכן מצות עשה להיות כל אדם מטפל ומביא קרבנות בהמה שנתחייב להקריבן מחוצה לארץ לבית הבחירה שנאמר קדשיך אשר יהיו לך ונדריך תשא וגו' מפי השמועה למדו שאינו מדבר אלא בקדשי חוצה לארץ שהוא מטפל בהם עד שיביאם לבית הבחירה:

2

One who offers a sacrifice outside the Temple Courtyard negates a positive commandment5 and violates a negative commandment,6 as [ibid. :13] states: "Take heed lest you offer your burnt-offerings in any place that you see." If he offered a sacrifice [in such a place] willfully, he is liable for karet,7 as [Leviticus 17:8-9]: "[Any man]...who will offer a burnt-offering or a sacrifice, but did not bring it to the Tent of Meeting... he will be cut off from his people." [If he transgressed] unknowingly, he must bring a fixed8 sin-offering.

ב

המקריב קרבן חוץ לעזרה ביטל מצות עשה ועבר על לא תעשה שנאמר השמר לך פן תעלה עולותיך בכ"מ אשר תראה ואם הקריב במזיד חייב כרת שנאמר אשר יעלה עולה או זבח ואל פתח אהל מועד לא הביאו ונכרת מעמיו בשוגג מביא חטאת קבועה:

3

Similarly, one who slaughters sacrificial animals outside [the Temple Courtyard], even though he does not offer them as a sacrifice, [is liable].9 If he acted willfully, he is liable for karet, as [ibid:3-4]: "[Any man]...who will slaughter an ox, a sheep, or a goat... it will be considered as [the shedding of] blood for that person. He has shed blood... He will be cut off." [If he transgressed] unknowingly, he must bring a fixed sin-offering.

ג

וכן השוחט קדשים חוץ לעזרה אע"פ שלא העלם אם היה מזיד חייב כרת שנאמר אשר ישחט שור או כשב או עז וגו' דם יחשב לאיש ההוא דם שפך ונכרת ואם שחט בשוגג מביא חטאת קבועה:

4

Which source serves as a warning not to sacrifice outside [the Temple Courtyard]? [It is derived through] an association of verses. [Deuteronomy 12:14] states: "There will you offer your burnt-offerings" and it continues: "There you will perform everything that I command you." [We can conclude:] Just as [the Torah] warns explicitly against offering a sacrifice outside the Temple and one incurs punishment for this, as it is written: "Take heed lest you offer your burnt-offerings...," so too, it has warned with regard to the "performance" that is involved in slaughtering for which it is explicitly stated that one receives punishment. For the Torah does not prescribe punishment unless it has issued a warning.

ד

והיכן הזהיר על השחיטה בחוץ בהקש נאמר שם תעלה עולותיך ונאמר ושם תעשה כל אשר אנכי מצוך מה העלייה בחוץ שענש עליה הזהיר עליה בפירוש שנאמר השמר לך פן תעלה עולותיך אף עשייה שבכלל השחיטה שענש עליה בפירוש הרי הוא מוזהר עליה שלא ענש הכתוב אא"כ הזהיר:

5

A person who slaughters sacrificial animals outside [the Temple Courtyard] and offers them [in such a place] is liable twice: once for slaughtering and once for offering.10

If he slaughtered [a sacrificial animal] in the Temple Courtyard and offered it outside, he is liable for offering it. If he slaughtered [such an animal] outside, but offered it inside, he is liable for slaughtering it.

ה

השוחט קדשים והעלם בחוץ חייב שתים אחת על השחיטה ואחת על העלייה שחט בפנים והעלה בחוץ חייב על העלייה וכן אם שחט בחוץ והעלה בפנים חייב על השחיטה:

6

He is not liable unless he slaughtered sacrificial animals that are fit to be offered on the altar. If, however, he slaughtered an animal that was forbidden [to be offered on] the altar11 or one of the sin-offerings that was consigned to death12 outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is exempt.13 [The rationale is that Leviticus 17:414] mentions "before the Sanctuary of God." Whenever [an animal] is not fit to be come to the Sanctuary of God, one is not liable [for its slaughter].

ו

אינו חייב אלא על שחיטת קדשים הראויין ליקרב לגבי מזבח אבל השוחט בחוץ אחד מאיסורי מזבח או מחטאות המתות הרי זה פטור שנאמר לפני משכן ה' וכל שאינו ראוי לבוא אל משכן ה' אין חייבין עליו:

7

If one slaughters an animal that is unacceptable because of a time factor involving its body15 or the status of its owners16 outside the Temple Courtyard], he is exempt.17 [The rationale is that] in its present state, it is not fit to be brought into the Temple Courtyard.18

ז

שחט בחוץ מחוסר זמן בגופו או בבעלים הואיל ואינו ראוי עתה לבוא בפנים פטור:

8

What is meant by a disqualifying time factor involving its body? An animal in the seven days following its birth,19 turtle-doves which have not reached the stage of development at which time [they are fit to be sacrificed],20 and an animal and its offspring; for if one slaughters one on a particular day, the other is not fit to be slaughtered until the morrow.21

ח

אי זהו מחוסר זמן בגופו בהמה בתוך שבעת ימי הלידה ותורין שלא הגיע זמנן ואותו ואת בנו שנשחט אחד מהם היום שאין השני ראוי עד למחר:

9

What is meant by a disqualifying time factor involving the status of its owners? A sacrifice whose owners have not reached the appropriate stage of time to offer it.

What is implied? If a zav,22 a zavah,23 and a woman who gave birth24 slaughtered [the animal designated for] their sin-offerings outside [the Temple Courtyard] during the days of their counting,25 they are exempt. Similarly, if a person afflicted with tzara'at26 slaughtered his sin-offering and[/or] his guilt-offering outside [the Temple Courtyard] during the days of his counting,27 he is exempt, for the owners of these sacrifices are not yet fit for their atonement. Nevertheless, if these individuals slaughtered their burnt-offerings28outside [the Temple Courtyard] during the days of their counting, they are liable. [The rationale is that] a burnt-offering is a present29 and it is the sin-offering and the guilt-offering which are the fundamental [factors leading to] atonement.

Similarly, when a nazirite slaughters his sin-offering outside [the Temple Courtyard] during the days of his nazirite vow, he is exempt.30 If he offered his burnt-offering or his peace-offering outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable. For the sin-offering is what prevents him [from completing his nazirite vow] and it is the fundamental dimension [of the conclusion of] his nazirite vow.

ט

ואי זהו מחוסר זמן בבעלים קרבן שעדיין לא הגיע זמן בעליו להקריבו כיצד הזב והזבה והיולדת ששחטו חטאתם בחוץ [בתוך] ימי ספירה פטורין וכן מצורע ששחט חטאתו ואשמו בחוץ בתוך ימי הספירה פטור שעדיין לא נראו בעלי הקרבנות האלו לכפרה אבל אם שחטו עולותיהן בחוץ בתוך ימי הספירה חייבין שהעולה דורון היא והחטאת והאשם היא עיקר הכפרה וכן נזיר ששחט חטאתו בחוץ בתוך ימי נזירותו פטור הקריב עולתו או שלמיו בחוץ חייב שהחטאת היא המעכבתו והיא עיקר הנזירות:

10

When a person offers a conditional guilt-offering31 or sin-offering of fowl that is brought because of a doubt32 outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is exempt. [The rationale is that] it was not definitely established that a prohibition [was violated].33 When a guilt-offering for one afflicted by tzara'at was slaughtered outside [the Temple Courtyard], but not for the desired intent, [the one who slaughters it] is liable. [The rationale is that] since [when such a sacrifice is] not [slaughtered] for the desired intent in [the Temple Courtyard], it is deemed appropriate and acceptable, as will be explained.34

Whenever one is exempt for slaughtering a sacrificial [animal] outside the [Temple Courtyard], one is also exempt for offering it there.

י

אשם תלוי וחטאת העוף הבאה על הספק שהקריבן בחוץ פטור שהרי לא נקבע האיסור אשם מצורע ששחטו בחוץ שלא לשמו חייב הואיל ושלא לשמו ראוי בפנים וכשר כמו שיתבאר וכל קרבן שהוא פטור על שחיטתו בחוץ כך הוא פטור על העלאתו:

11

[The following rules apply if] one slaughters the two goats offered on Yom Kippur35 outside [the Temple Courtyard]. Before [the High Priest] recites the confessional over them,36 he is liable for both of them,37 since [they are both] fit to come before God for the confessional. After [the High Prist] recited the confessional, one is exempt for slaughtering [the goat] that is sent [to Azazel], because it is no longer fit to come before God [as a sacrifice].

יא

שני שעירי יום הכפורים ששחטם בחוץ אם עד שלא התודה עליהם חייב כרת על שניהן הואיל וראויין לבוא לפני השם לוידוי ואם אחר שהתודה פטור על המשתלח שהרי אינו ראוי לבוא לפני השם:

12

When one slaughters [animals designated as] peace-offerings outside [the Temple Courtyard] before the gates of the Temple building are opened, he is exempt, for a [necessary] deed is lacking. [Only] afterwards are they fit to be offered before God, as we explained.38

One who slaughters a Paschal sacrifice outside [the Temple Courtyard] - even during the other days of the year, whether for the sake of the Paschal sacrifice or for another purpose39 - is liable. [The rationale is that] during the remainder of the year, a Paschal sacrifice [that is offered] is considered as a peace-offering.40

יב

השוחט שלמים בחוץ קודם שיפתחו דלתות ההיכל פטור שהרי הן מחוסרים מעשה ואחר כך יהיו ראויין ליקרב לפני השם כמו שביארנו והשוחט את הפסח בחוץ אפילו בשאר ימות השנה בין לשמו בין שלא לשמו חייב שהפסח בשאר ימות השנה שלמים הוא:

13

When the fetus [being carried by] an ordinary animal was consecrated [as a sacrifice for] the altar, it is forbidden to slaughter [the mother] outside [the Temple Courtyard].41 If he slaughtered it, he is not liable for lashes, because it42 is not fit to come before God [as a sacrifice].

יג

בהמת חולין שעוברה קדשי מזבח אסור לשוחטה בחוץ ואם שחטה אינו לוקה מפני שאינה ראויה לבוא לפני השם:

14

When one stole [an animal] and consecrated it and afterwards, slaughtered it outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable.43 From which time was it considered in his property with regard to his being liable for karet for it? From the time he consecrated it.

[The above applies] provided he slaughtered it after [the owner] despaired of its return. [If he slaughtered it] before then, by contrast, the consecration is not effective.44

יד

גנב והקדיש ואח"כ שחט בחוץ חייב ומאימתי העמידוה ברשותו כדי לחייבו עליה כרת משעה שהקדישה והוא ששחטה אחר יאוש אבל לפני יאוש אינה קדושה:

15

If the entire body of the animal was outside [the Temple Courtyard] and its neck was inside and one slaughtered it, he is liable,45 as [Leviticus 17:3] states: "[Any man]...who will slaughter an ox, a sheep, or a goat in the camp or who will slaughter outside the camp... [and he has not brought it as an offering]." This applies whether the one who slaughters is standing in the Temple [Courtyard] and the animal's neck was inside, but the remainder of its body was outside or its body was inside and its neck was outside. He is liable unless the animal was entirely within the Temple [Courtyard], as [implied by ibid.:9]: "And he will not bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting."46 If, however, one slaughters on the roof the Temple Building, even though it is not fit for sacrifice at all,47 he is exempt.48

טו

היתה הבהמה כולה בחוץ וצוארה בפנים ושחט חייב שנאמר אשר ישחט שור או כבש או עז במחנה או אשר ישחט מחוץ למחנה אחד השוחט במקדש וצוארה בפנים ושאר גוף הבהמה בחוץ או שהיה גופה בפנים וצוארה בחוץ חייב עד שתהיה הבהמה כולה במקדש שנאמר ואל פתח אהל מועד לא יביאנו אבל השוחט בגגו של היכל אף על פי שאינו ראוי לזביחה כלל הרי זה פטור:

16

Two people who held a knife and slaughtered [a sacrificial animal] outside [the Temple Courtyard] are exempt,49 for [the prooftexts] say "who will slaughter" "or who will slaughter"50 [implying] one and not two.51

When one slaughters a sacrificial animal outside [the Temple Courtyard] even though he had no intention of sacrificing this animal to God,52 he is liable.53 This is [implied by the prooftext]: "It will be considered as [the shedding of] blood for that person. He has shed blood."54 [One can infer that] even if [the person slaughtering] thinks of the blood [from the sacrificial animal] as blood that was shed55 and not as a sacrifice, he is liable.

טז

שנים שאחזו בסכין ושחטו בחוץ פטורין שנאמר אשר ישחט או אשר ישחט אחד ולא שנים ואחד ששחט בחוץ אע"פ שלא נתכוון לשחוט קדשים אלו לה' הרי זה חייב שנאמר דם יחשב לאיש ההוא דם שפך אע"פ שזה הדם במחשבתו כדם הנשפך לא כקרבן הרי זה חייב:

17

A person who slaughters [a sacrificial animal] outside [the Temple Courtyard] at night is liable, since slaughtering an animal56 is acceptable at night. Similarly, if, at night, one offered as a sacrifice [an animal] he slaughtered at night outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is liable for offering it as a sacrifice.57

If, however, one slaughtered [a sacrificial animal] inside [the Temple Courtyard] at night and offered it as a sacrifice outside,58 he is exempt. [The rationale is that] he offered merely an unacceptable article,59 for there is no conception of acceptable slaughter in the Temple at night.60 Similarly, if one received [the blood of a sacrificial animal] with an ordinary vessel61 inside [the Temple Courtyard], but poured it [on an altar] outside, he is exempt.62

יז

השוחט בחוץ בלילה חייב הואיל והשחיטה בלילה כשירה בחוץ וכן אם העלה בלילה מזה ששחט בחוץ בלילה חייב על העלאה אבל אם שחט בפנים בלילה והעלה בחוץ פטור לפי שלא העלה אלא דבר פסול שאין לך שחיטה כשירה בלילה במקדש וכן אם קבל בכלי חול בפנים וזרק בחוץ פטור:

18

Similarly, when a person performs melikah on a fowl outside [the Temple Courtyard], he is exempt.63 If he offered it [as a sacrifice there], he is exempt. If he performs melikah on a fowl inside [the Temple Courtyard], but offered it outside, he is liable for offering it.64

If one slaughtered [a fowl] in [the Temple Courtyard]65 and offered it outside, he is exempt, for he offered something that is not fit to be offered. If he slaughtered the fowl outside [the Temple Courtyard] and offered it outside, he is liable twice,66 because slaughtering a fowl outside [the Temple Courtyard] is acceptable. It is comparable to performing melikah inside.

יח

וכן המולק את העוף בחוץ פטור ואם העלהו פטור מלק בפנים והעלה בחוץ חייב על העלאה שחט בפנים והעלהו בחוץ פטור שלא העלה אלא דבר שאינו ראוי ליקרב שחט את העוף בחוץ והעלהו בחוץ חייב שתים שהשחיטה בחוץ כשירה והרי היא כמליקה בפנים:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 84) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 440) include this commandment as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot.

2.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that this excludes sacrifices from fowl, but this understanding is not accepted by all authorities.

3.

Temurah 21a states that the firstborn offering is not included in this commandment.

4.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 85) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 453) include this commandment as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot. The Ramban differs and maintains that this should not be considered as an independent mitzvah.

5.

The one stated in the previous halachah.

6.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 90) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 186) include this prohibition as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot. There are several historical dimensions to this prohibition. First of all, in the era between the destruction of the Sanctuary of Shiloh and the construction of the Temple, it was permitted to offer sacrifices on bemot (literally, "high-places"), i.e., individual altars. See the notes to Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 1:3 which explain the transition between these periods. It is also relevant with regard to the sanctuary constructed by Chonio, the son of Shimon the just described in the notes to Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 9:14.

7.

Literally, the soul's being cut off. This involves premature death in this world (before the age of 50, Mo'ed Kattan 28a) and the soul not meriting a portion in the world to come (Hilchot Teshuvah 8:1).

8.

This term is used to distinguish this sacrifice from the adjustable guilt offering. See Hilchot Shegagot 1:4.

9.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 89) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 439) include this prohibition as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot.

10.

This applies even if he performed both transgressions without realizing the prohibitions involved in the interim, for they are two separate transgressions that are not dependent on each other (Radbaz).

11.

I.e., the animals mentioned in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach.

12.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 4:1 for a definition of this term.

13.

It is, however, forbidden to do so.

14.

The source for this prohibition, as stated in Halachah 3.

15.

See the following halachah.

16.

See Halachah 9.

17.

It is, however, forbidden to do so.

18.

The prohibition involves slaughtering sacrificial animals and since these animals are not fit to be sacrificed or their owners are not fit to sacrifice them, they are not considered sacrificial animals in the full sense.

19.

See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:8 which states that it is a positive commandment to offer sacrificial animals after eight days of life, but not before.

20.

See ibid.:2 which states that "Turtledoves are acceptable when [their feathers all] are of a golden hue." Before this stage, they are not acceptable (ibid.:9).

21.

See Hilchot Shechitah 12:1-2 which states that it is forbidden to sacrifice an animal and its offspring on the same day. No matter which is slaughtered first, one must wait until the following day to sacrifice the other.

22.

A person with a physical affliction somewhat similar to gonorrhea that renders one ritually impure and obligates him to bring a set of sacrifices (see Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:1, 3-4; 2:1).

23.

A woman who bleeds for three consecutive days after the seven days associated with her menstrual period. This renders her ritually impure and obligates her to bring a set of sacrifices (see ibid. 1:1, 3-4,6)

24.

Who is ritually impure after giving birth and must bring a set of sacrifices (see ibid. 1:1, 3, 5).

25.

As explained in the above sources, a zav and a zavah must wait seven "spotless days" after their condition ceases before bringing their sacrifices. A woman must wait 40 days after giving birth to a male and 80 days after giving birth to a female before bringing her sacrifices.

26.

A skin affliction similar to, but not identical with leprosy that is a spiritual manifestation of the impurity resulting from improper speech (the conclusion of Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at). Such a person must bring a set of sacrifices when emerging from ritual impurity (see Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:1, 3-4).

27.

Such a person must also wait seven days after his condition ceases before bringing his sacrifices.

28.

The sacrifices of all of these individuals include a burnt-offering and a sin-offering and the sacrifice of a person emerging from tzara'at also includes a guilt-offring.

29.

To appease God and restore His favor.

30.

See Hilchot Nizirut, ch. 8, for the details regarding the sacrifices a nazirite must bring upon completion of his nazirite vow. He may not bring these sacrifices beforehand.

31.

See Hilchot Shegagot, Chapter 8, for a description of the situations which warrant bringing these sacrifices.

32.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:7 which describes the situations under which such sacrifices should be brought.

33.

With regard to these sacrifices, it is possible that it will be discovered that the person definitely did sin. In such an instance, the sacrifice is not offered. If the sacrificial animal has not been slaughtered, it is left to pasture until it contracts a blemish. If it was slaughtered, its blood is poured down the drainage channel. Since there is a possibility of this taking place, the animal is not deemed a sacrificial animal in the full sense and one is not liable for slaughtering it or offering it.

The Ra'avad accepts the Rambam's ruling with regard to a sin-offering of fowl brought because of a doubt since only its blood is offered on the altar, but not its body. Hence, there is room to free one from the obligations involved with a sacrificial animal. Nevertheless, he argues, a conditional guilt-offering is offered on the altar. Hence one should be liable for slaughtering and offering it outside the Temple. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh question the Ra'avad's objection, noting that the Rambam's ruling has its basis in Keritot 18a.

34.

As stated in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 15:1, with the exception of a sin-offering or a Paschal sacrifice, whenever a sacrificial animal was slaughtered for the sake of an offering other the one for which it was intended, it is acceptable, but it does not fulfill the obligation of the owner (see also ibid.:20). Since the sacrifice would be acceptable if it was offered in the Temple, the person is liable for slaughtering it outside.

35.

The goat sent to Azazel and its pair whose blood is taken into the Holy of Holies. See Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 1:1.

36.

More precisely, the confessional is recited only over the one sent to Azazel (ibid. 4:2).

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that the matter is dependent not only the confessional, but on the lottery in which the goats are designated for their respective purposes. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh explain that the Rambam's ruling is based on Zevachim 113a. Although there are other interpretations of that passage, the Rambam has a foundation for his decision.

37.

Or for either of them, were he to slaughter only one.

38.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 5, which states that the gates to the Temple building must be open for the slaughter of peace offerings to be acceptable.

39.

The Kessef Mishneh emphasizes that this applies only during the remainder of the year. The rationale is that as explained below, during the remainder of the year, an animal designated as a Paschal sacrifice is considered as a peace-offering and a peace-offering is not disqualified if it is not offered for the desired intent. On the day preceding Pesach, when the Paschal sacrifice is offered, it is unacceptable if it is not offered for the desired intent. Hence on that date, were someone to slaughter an animal designated for this purpose for the sake of another sacrifice outside the Temple Courtyard, he would not be liable.

40.

See Hilchot Korban Pesach 4:7. Since it is considered as a peace-offering, just as one is liable for slaughtering an animal designated as a peace-offering outside the Temple Courtyard, so too, he is liable for slaughtering such an animal.

41.

Since the fetus it is carrying will later be offered as a sacrifice, it is forbidden to cause that sacrifice to be disqualified.

42.

Neither the mother nor the fetus.

43.

Even though the animal did not belong to him and hence, he had no right to consecrate it, our Sages considered it as his own so that he would be liable for karet. See Gittin 55b. The Kessef Mishneh raises questions on the Rambam's ruling based on that passage, but Rav Yosef Corcus resolves the Rambam's decision.

44.

For then it is still considered as belonging to the owner. Hence, the thief's consecration is not effective. See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 5:7 which speaks of the disqualification of a thief's offering. From Hilchot Geneivah 2:6, it appears that the thief must have also consecrated the animal after the owner's despair and not before. Otherwise, the consecration would not be effective.

45.

Karet or lashes for slaughtering the animal outside the Temple Courtyard.

46.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that Zevachim 107b uses this prooftext to teach the following concept: that one who slaughters on the roof of the Temple Building is exempt. Hence he suggests that a printing error crept into the Mishneh Torah and that the text should be amended to fit the Talmud's teaching. This conception is not, however, shared by all authorities.

47.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 4.

48.

For he did not slaughter the animal outside the Temple Courtyard.

49.

Note the contrast to Chapter 19, Halachah 12, with regard to offering an animal as a sacrifice.

50.

The verses use a singular form.

51.

The commentaries note that although the Rambam's ruling has a source in Zevachim 108a and in the Sifri, his process of exegesis is different than that used in those sources.

52.

But instead was slaughtering it for mundane purposes.

53.

In this as well, there is a contrast to offering an animal as a sacrifice, as stated in Chapter 19, Halachah 1.

54.

Here also, the Rambam's method of exegesis is different from that of his apparent source, Zevachim 108b. Significantly, in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 13:3), he cites the method of exegesis used by the Talmud.

55.

Literally, "poured out."

56.

I.e., an ordinary animal, not one designated as a sacrifice.

57.

The Ra'avad maintains that the person is exempt in such a situation. The Radbaz justifies the Rambam's ruling, explaining that there is a fundamental difference between slaughtering an animal inside the Temple Courtyard and slaughtering it outside. When it is slaughtered inside the Temple Courtyard at night, it is disqualified as a sacrifice, because of it having been slaughtered at night and hence, it is not acceptable wherever it was offered. If, by contrast, it was slaughtered outside the Temple Courtyard, it becomes placed in the category of animals slaughtered in such a place. Hence the time when it is offered is not significant. The Kessef Mishneh also justifies the Rambam's approach.

58.

Even during the following day (Kessef Mishneh).

59.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:6.

60.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 1.

61.

This disqualifies the sacrifice, for as stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 1, the blood of a sacrificial animal must be received in a sacred vessel.

62.

For the animal was no longer acceptable as a sacrifice.

63.

For the prooftext defining the prohibition (Leviticus 17:3) mentions slaughter, but not melikah (Zevachim 107a).

64.

This is equivalent to slaughtering an animal inside the Temple Courtyard and offering it outside.

65.

Thus disqualifying it, for in the Temple Courtyard, a fowl should be killed through melikah not ritual slaughter.

66.

Both for slaughtering and for offering.

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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 the 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.
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