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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 8

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Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 8

1

When a sin-offering of a dove becomes intermingled with a burnt-offerings of doves or a burnt-offering of a dove becomes intermingled with sin-offerings of doves,1 even one in a myriad, they should all be consigned to death.2

When does the above apply? When their identity had been explicitly determined when they were purchased by the owner, [saying]: "This is a sin-offering. This is a burnt-offering." Different rules apply, however, if one brought doves to fulfill his obligation, some [for] a sin-offering and some for a burnt-offering, without stating explicitly [what each was, instead, they were brought] without specification and then a [dove designated as] a sin-offering or as a burnt-offering became mixed with these undesignated [doves] brought to fulfill his obligation.

א

חַטַאת הָעוֹף שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בְּעוֹלַת הָעוֹף. אוֹ עוֹלַת הָעוֹף שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בְּחַטַּאת הָעוֹף. אֲפִלּוּ אַחַת בְּרִבּוֹא כֻּלָּן יָמוּתוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיוּ מְפֹרָשׁוֹת בִּשְׁעַת לְקִיחַת הַבְּעָלִים זוֹ חַטָּאת וְזוֹ עוֹלָה. אֲבָל אִם הֵבִיא עוֹפוֹת לְחוֹבָתוֹ מֵהֶן חַטָּאת וּמֵהֶן עוֹלָה וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ אֶלָּא כֻּלָּן סְתוּמוֹת וְנִתְעָרְבָה חַטָּאת אוֹ עוֹלָה בְּחוֹבָה זוֹ הַסְּתוּמָה יֵשׁ לָהֶן דִּינִים אֲחֵרִים:

2

What are the appropriate laws? If [a dove designated as] a sin-offering becomes intermingled with this unspecified [group of doves] brought to fulfill one's obligation, only the number of doves to be brought as sin-offerings in the unspecified [group] are acceptable.3 The number of burnt-offerings in the unspecified [group] and the sin-offering that became intermingled with them are disqualified, for a sin-offering has become intermingled with burnt-offerings.4

ב

וְכֵיצַד דִּינֵיהֶן. אִם נִתְעָרְבָה חַטָּאת בְּחוֹבָה זוֹ הַסְּתוּמָה אֵין כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא מִנְיַן חַטָּאוֹת שֶׁבְּחוֹבָה בִּלְבַד. אֲבָל מִנְיַן הָעוֹלוֹת שֶׁבְּחוֹבָה עִם הַחַטָּאת שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בָּהֶן פְּסוּלִין שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְעָרְבָה חַטָּאת בְעוֹלוֹת:

3

Therefore if the unspecified [group] is [at least] twice as large as the number of sin-offerings [that became intermingled with them], half of the unspecified group is acceptable,5 and half are disqualified. It appears to me that [the priest offering the sacrifices] should offer all of them on the lower portion of the altar according to the rites appropriate for a sin-offering.6

ג

לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיְתָה הַחוֹבָה שְׁתַּיִם בְּחַטָּאת. חֲצִי הַחוֹבָה כָּשֵׁר וְחֶצְיָהּ פָּסוּל. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה כֻּלָּן לְמַטָּן כְּמַעֲשֵׂה חַטָּאת:

4

Similarly, if a burnt-offering7 becomes intermingled with this unspecified [group of doves], only the number of doves to be brought as burnt-offerings in the unspecified [group] are acceptable. The number of sin-offerings in the unspecified [group] and the burnt-offering that became intermingled with them are disqualified, for a burnt-offering has become intermingled with sin-offerings.8

Whether there are more doves in the unspecified group than the number of burnt-offerings that became intermingled with them, there were more burnt-offerings than doves in the unspecified group, or they were of equal amounts, only the amount of burnt-offerings in the unspecified group are acceptable. Therefore if the unspecified group was twice as large as the number of doves that became intermingled with them, half of the unspecified group is acceptable, and half are disqualified. It appears to me that [the priest offering the sacrifices] should offer all of them on the upper portion of the altar according to the rites appropriate for a burnt-offering.

ד

וְכֵן אִם נִתְעָרְבָה עוֹלָה בְּחוֹבָה זוֹ הַסְּתוּמָה. אֵין כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא מִנְיַן עוֹלוֹת שֶׁבְּחוֹבָה. אֲבָל מִנְיַן הַחַטָּאוֹת שֶׁבְּחוֹבָה עִם הָעוֹלָה שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בָּהֶן פְּסוּלִין. שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְעָרְבָה עוֹלָה בְּחַטָּאת. בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה הַחוֹבָה הַסְּתוּמָה מְרֻבָּה עַל הָעוֹלוֹת שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בָּהּ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ הָעוֹלוֹת מְרֻבִּין עַל הַחוֹבָה הַסְּתוּמָה. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן שָׁווֹת. אֵין כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא מִנְיַן עוֹלוֹת שֶׁבְּחוֹבָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיְתָה הַחוֹבָה שְׁתַּיִם בָּעוֹלוֹת חֲצִי הַחוֹבָה כָּשֵׁר וְחֶצְיָהּ פָּסוּל. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה כֻּלָּן לְמַעְלָה כְּמַעֲשֵׂה עוֹלָה:

5

When one unspecified group becomes intermingled with another unspecified group - whether they were all for one purpose, e.g., doves brought by zavim together with doves brought by zavim, or for two purposes, doves brought by zavim together with doves brought by women after childbirth, whether they were both brought by the same person, or they were brought by two separate people, if they were both similar, half are acceptable and half are disqualified.9 [This applies] whether [the priest] offered all of them on the upper portion of the altar or all on the lower portion of the altar, or half were offered on the upper portion of the altar and half on the lower portion, half are always acceptable and half are always disqualified, because half [of the mixture] are burnt-offerings and half are sin-offerings and a sin-offering is offered on the lower portion of the altar and a burnt-offering is offered on the upper portion.

[To explain:] If he offered them all on the upper portion, half are acceptable and they are burnt-offerings.10 If he offered them all on the lower portion, half are acceptable and they are sin-offerings.11 If half were offered on the lower portion of the altar and half on the upper portion, half of the half offered on the upper portion are acceptable [and the other half are disqualified,] because of the mixture.12 [The acceptable ones] are burnt-offerings. And half of the half of those offered on the lower portion are acceptable and they are sin-offerings.

ה

חוֹבָה סְתוּמָה וְחוֹבָה אַחֶרֶת סְתוּמָה שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבוּ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן מִשֵּׁם אֶחָד. כְּגוֹן קִנֵּי זָבִים עִם קִנֵּי זָבִים. אוֹ מִשְּׁנֵי שֵׁמוֹת כְּגוֹן קִנֵּי זָבִים עִם קִנֵּי יוֹלְדוֹת. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶם לְאָדָם אֶחָד. בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ לִשְׁנַיִם. אִם הָיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן שָׁווֹת מֶחֱצָה כָּשֵׁר וּמֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל. בֵּין שֶׁעָשָׂה הַכּל לְמַעְלָה אוֹ הַכּל לְמַטָּה אוֹ עָשָׂה חֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה לְעוֹלָם מֶחֱצָה כָּשֵׁר וּמֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַכּל חֶצְיָן עוֹלָה וְחֶצְיָן חַטָּאת. וְהַחַטָּאת לְמַטָּה וְהָעוֹלָה לְמַעְלָה. אִם עָשָׂה הַכּל לְמַעְלָה חֶצְיָן כְּשֵׁרוֹת וְהֵן עוֹלוֹת. וְאִם עָשָׂה כֻּלָּן לְמַטָּה חֶצְיָן כְּשֵׁרוֹת וְהֵן חַטָּאוֹת. עָשָׂה חֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה חֲצִי הַחֵצִי שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לְמַעְלָה כָּשֵׁר מִפְּנֵי הַתַּעֲרֹבֶת וְהוּא עוֹלוֹת וַחֲצִי הַחֵצִי שֶׁל מַטָּה כָּשֵׁר וְהוּא חַטָּאוֹת:

6

[The following rules apply if] two unspecified groups became intermingled with each other and one was larger than the other, e.g., one had four doves and one had six. If he offered them all on the upper portion of the altar, or all on the lower portion, half are acceptable and half are disqualified for the reason we explained.13 [Different laws apply] if he offered half on the lower portion of the altar and half on the upper portion. If he did this after he asked,14 the lesser amount are acceptable.15 If he did this on his own initiative, the greater amount are acceptable.16

ו

הָיוּ שְׁתֵּי הַחוֹבוֹת הַסְּתוּמוֹת שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבוּ זוֹ גְּדוֹלָה מִזּוֹ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה אַחַת אַרְבַּע עוֹפוֹת וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה שֵׁשׁ. אִם עָשָׂה הַכּל לְמַעְלָה אוֹ עָשָׂה הַכּל לְמַטָּה מֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל וּמֶחֱצָה כָּשֵׁר וּמִטַּעַם שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. עָשָׂה חֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה. אִם אַחַר שֶׁשָּׁאַל עָשָׂה כֵן הַמֻּעָט כָּשֵׁר. וְאִם מִדַּעְתּוֹ עָשָׂה הַמְרֻבֶּה כָּשֵׁר:

7

This is the general principle: Whenever, on his initiative, the priest offered half on the upper portion of the altar and half on the lower portion, and it is impossible that [the doves of] one [owner] will not have been offered on both halves of the altar, the greater amount is acceptable.17 Since it is known that a portion of [this person's]18 sacrifices will be [offered] on the upper portion of the altar and a portion on the lower half, all of his sacrifices are acceptable.

ז

זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל שֶׁעָשָׂה הַכֹּהֵן מִדַּעְתּוֹ חֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה. וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה מִשֶּׁל אֶחָד לְמַעְלָה וּלְמַטָּה. הֲרֵי זֶה הַמְרֻבֶּה כָּשֵׁר הוֹאִיל וְדָבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁמִּקְצָת קָרְבְּנוֹתָיו לְמַעְלָה וּמִקְצָתָם לְמַטָּה יִהְיוּ כָּל קָרְבְּנוֹתָיו כְּשֵׁרִים:

8

When two individuals purchase pairs of doves together or give the money for them to the priest [to purchase them], the priest may offer whichever he desires as sin-offerings and whichever he desires as burnt-offerings.19 For [the identity of the sacrifices] in the pair is determined only when purchased by the owners or when offered by the priest, as we explained.20

ח

שְׁנַיִם שֶׁלָּקְחוּ קִנֵּיהֶן בְּעֵרוּב אוֹ שֶׁנָּתְנוּ דְּמֵי קִנֵּיהֶן לַכֹּהֵן לְאֵיזֶה שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הַכֹּהֵן יַקְרִיב חַטָּאת וּלְאֵיזֶה שֶׁיִּרְצֶה יַקְרִיב עוֹלָה. שֶׁאֵין הַקִּינִין מִתְפָּרְשִׁין אֶלָּא בִּלְקִיחַת הַבְּעָלִים אוֹ בַּעֲשִׂיַּת הַכֹּהֵן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

9

If there were [groups of doves], some [groups of] sin-offerings and others, burnt-offerings, before a priest and he offered21 both [groups] on the upper portion of the altar or both on the lower portion, half are acceptable and half are not.22 If he offered half on the upper portion and half on the lower portion without knowing whether it was the sin-offerings or the burnt-offerings that he offered on the lower portion, they are all unacceptable. For we surmise that it was the burnt-offering that were offered on the lower portion and the sin-offerings on the upper portion.

ט

הָיוּ לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן חַטָּאוֹת וְעוֹלוֹת. עָשָׂה שְׁתֵּיהֶן לְמַעְלָה אוֹ שְׁתֵּיהֶן לְמַטָּה מֶחֱצָה כָּשֵׁר וּמֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל. עָשָׂה חֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה וְלֹא יָדַע אִם הַחַטָּאוֹת הֵם שֶׁעָשָׂה לְמַטָּה אוֹ הָעוֹלוֹת. הֲרֵי הַכּל פָּסוּל. שֶׁאֲנִי אוֹמֵר הָעוֹלוֹת הֵם שֶׁעָשָׂה לְמַטָּה וְהַחַטָּאוֹת לְמַעְלָה:

10

If there were three groups of doves before him:23 one sin-offerings, one burnt-offerings, and one undefined, half burnt-offerings and half sin-offerings, without the purpose [for any given dove] being defined, if he offered all of them on the upper portion or on the lower portion, half are acceptable and half are not.24

י

הָיוּ לְפָנָיו שְׁלֹשָׁה צִבּוּרֵי עוֹפוֹת אֶחָד חַטָּאוֹת וְאֶחָד עוֹלוֹת וְהָאֶחָד סָתוּם חֶצְיוֹ עוֹלוֹת וְחֶצְיוֹ חַטָּאוֹת וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ. אִם עָשָׂה כֻּלָּן לְמַעְלָה אוֹ לְמַטָּה. מֶחֱצָה כָּשֵׁר וּמֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל:

11

If he offered half on the upper portion and half on the lower portion,25 only the group that was undefined that was offered half on the upper portion and half on the lower portion is acceptable.26 It is divided between the owners27 and [the portion allotted to] each one is considered as valid for them, for the priest does not know which groups were specified [as being sin-offerings] and which one was left undefined. The two specified groups are not acceptable, because it is not known which one was offered on the upper portion of the altar and which one, on the lower portion and it is possible that the burnt-offerings were offered on the lower portion and the sin-offerings on the upper portion.

יא

עָשָׂה חֶצְיָן לְמַעְלָה וְחֶצְיָן לְמַטָּה. אֵין הַכָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא הַסָּתוּם בִּלְבַד שֶׁעָשָׂה חֶצְיוֹ לְמַעְלָה וְחֶצְיוֹ לְמַטָּה. וְהוּא מִתְחַלֵּק בֵּין הַבְּעָלִים וְעוֹלֶה לִשְׁנֵיהֶן. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכֹּהֵן אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לְאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן פֵּרֵשׁ וּלְאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן הָיָה הַסָּתוּם. וּשְׁנֵי הַצִּבּוּרִין הַמְפֹרָשִׁין פְּסוּלִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא יָדַע אֵי זֶה עָשָׂה לְמַעְלָה וְאֵי זֶה עָשָׂה לְמַטָּה וְשֶׁמָּא הָעוֹלָה נַעֲשֵׂית לְמַטָּה וְהַחַטָּאת לְמַעְלָה:

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Footnotes
1.

As mentioned in the previous chapter and notes, a zav, a zavah, and a woman who gave birth are required to bring two doves as offerings, one as a sin-offering and one as a burnt-offering. The designation of the doves for these offerings is made either by the owner at the time of purchase or - and this is the most common instance - by the priest when he offers them. If the person bringing the doves did not designate them, the doves are referred to as a chovah, which we have translated as "the unspecified group."

2.

A dove designated as a sin-offering may not be offered as a burnt-offering, nor may one designated as a burnt-offering be offered as a sin-offering, as explained in Chapter 7, Halachot 5-8. Since the identity of the dove is not known, some of the offerings will be unacceptable. Hence none are offered and instead, they are consigned to die.

3.

The rationale is that half of the doves in the unspecified group are sin-offerings. Hence even if another dove that was designated as a sin-offering becomes intermingled with a group of four unspecified doves, there are definitely two doves that can be selected to be offered as sin-offerings (either two are from the unspecified group or one is from the unspecified group and one is the sin-offering that became intermingled).

A third sin-offering may not be brought because it is possible that the third dove is from the unspecified group and it should be designated as a burnt-offering.

4.

Either the dove designated as the sin-offering is among the three. Or the three are from the unspecified group and two are burnt-offerings and one is a sin-offering.

5.

For example, if five sin-offerings become intermingled with an unspecified group of ten, there are five acceptable sin-offerings in the intermingled group of fifteen.

6.

The expression "It appears to me" indicates a conclusion the Rambam reached through the process of deduction without any clearcut prior Rabbinic source. It appears that the Rambam is saying that all of the doves, even those which are disqualified, should be offered on the lower half of the altar. The Ra'avad takes issue with the Rambam, asking how is it possible for him to suggest that unacceptable doves should be offered as sacrifices. (If, he states, the Rambam's intent was that all of the sin-offerings should be offered on the bottom half of the altar, that is obvious and does not need the introduction "It appears to me.")

The Kessef Mishneh states that with the expression "It appears to me," the Rambam is introducing a new idea. The previous halachah is speaking about an instance where the priest offered only half the doves in the unspecified group on the lower half of the altar. If, however, he offers more than half of the doves (half of the unspecified group and the number of doves designated as sin-offerings that became intermingled with them) on the lower half of the altar, not only is half the unspecified group acceptable, the sin-offerings that became mixed with the unspecified group are also acceptable. The priest is allowed to offer the majority of the unspecified group on the lower half of the altar because the other doves were never specified as burnt-offerings. Although they would have to be offered as burnt-offerings (and hence, are disqualified), since they were never specified as such, they may be offered on the lower half of the altar. Rav Yosef Corcus adds that according to the Rambam, the intent is the sacrifices are acceptable. It is just that the owners can fulfill their obligation only for half of them.

7.

In addition to burnt-offerings from the pairs mentioned above, this could also refer to doves donated for freewill offerings which are all burnt offerings [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Kinnim 1:3)].

8.

I.e., the same principles applied in Halachot 2-3 with regard to a sin-offering are applied here with regard to a burnt-offering.

9.

Here the problem is that perhaps unknowingly, the priest will be offering all the doves from one unspecified group as sin-offerings and all of the other, as burnt-offerings, instead of offering them, half and half, as required.

10.

The other half are unacceptable, because they were sin-offerings and they were offered as burnt-offerings.

11.

The other half are unacceptable, because they were burnt-offerings and they were offered as sin-offerings.

12.

As explained in note 8.

13.

In the previous halachah.

14.

I.e., he consulted with the women and asked them what he should do [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Kinim 1:4)]. Others interpret this as meaning that he consulted the court.

15.

For example, Leah brought six doves and Rachel, four. If the priest offered five on the upper portion of the altar and five on the lower portion, it is possible that three are from Leah's group and she intended for them to be sin-offerings not burnt-offerings. Hence only two of the doves offered on the upper portion are acceptable. The same applies with regard to those offered on the lower portion (see the gloss of Rav Yosef Corcus).

16.

For the reason explained in the next halachah.

17.

Because the distinction of the sacrifices as burnt-offerings and sin-offerings was left to the priest to determine.

18.

I.e., the person who brought the larger group.

19.

They are all acceptable, because when offering them, he is determining which is a sin-offering and which, a burnt-offering.

20.

Chapter 5, Halachah 11.

21.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Kinnim 3:2), the Rambam states that this is speaking about an instance where the groups were not intermingled. The identity of the groups was left for the priest to determine. After doing so, he forgot how he had determined the identity of the groups and offered them in the manner described. Afterwards, he remembered they were of different types and inquired what was the outcome of his deeds. If, however, the groups became intermingled at the outset, they should all be consigned to death, as stated in Halachah 1 (see Kessef Mishneh).

22.

I.e., the groups contained an equal number of sin-offerings and burnt-offerings. Thus if they are all offered as one type, half will be unacceptable.

23.

This too is speaking about an instance where the groups are not intermingled, but rather three groups were brought to a priest to define their status and to offer them. Afterwards, he forgot and offered them without being conscious of their different status [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (op. cit.:3)].

24.

This is a combination of the previous halachah and Halachot 2 and 4.

25.

This refers to a situation similar to that described in note 23, except that here, he offered one group on the upper portion of the altar, one group one the lower portion, and one group, half and half.

26.

For it was offered as required, half on the upper portion of the altar and half, on the lower portion.

27.

Each of the people who brought sacrifices are credited with an equal share of the sacrifices offered. Thus each one is considered to have brought half their sacrifices and must bring the other half.

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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.
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