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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 13, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 14, Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 15

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Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 13

1

It is a positive commandment to prepare all of the meal-offerings1 according to the commandments prescribed by the Torah.

א

מצות עשה לעשות כל מנחה כמצותה האמורה בתורה:

2

How was the chavitin offering of the High Priest prepared? He would bring an entire isaron and sanctify it2 and then divide it in half3 with the half isaron measure in the Temple. [This was necessary,] because even though it was offered in half [portions],4 it was not sanctified in half portions. Three lugim of oil are brought with it, as [Leviticus 6:13] states: "You shall prepare it with oil," i.e., [an amount of] oil equivalent to the accompanying offering for a lamb5 should be added to it.6 The flour should be mixed with the oil and then scalded7 with boiling [liquid].

Each half isaron should be kneaded into six loaves. Thus there are a total of twelve loaves.8

ב

וכיצד עשיית חביתי כהן גדול מביא עשרון שלם ומקדישו וחוצהו בחצי עשרון שבמקדש שאף על פי שהיא קריבה חציין אינה מתקדשת לחציין ומביא עמה שלשת לוגין שמן שנאמר בשמן תעשה להוסיף לה שמן כנסכי הכבש ובולל הסולת בשמן וחולטה ברותחין ולש מכל חצי עשרון שש חלות נמצאו שתים עשרה חלות:

3

[These loaves] were prepared one by one.

How were they prepared? The three lugim of oil would be divided [into twelve] using the measure of a revi'it [of a log] that existed in the Temple,9a revi'it for each loaf. The loaf would be baked some and then fried on the flat frying-pan with the remainder of its oil.10 It should not be cooked very much,11 for [Leviticus 6:14] uses the term tufinei which implies something between cooked and lightly cooked.12

ג

ואחת אחת היו נעשות וכיצד עושה מחלק השלשה לוגין ברביעית שבמקדש רביעית לכל חלה ואופה החלה מעט ואח"כ קולה אותה על המחבת בשאר רביעית השמן שלה ואינו מבשלה הרבה שנאמר תופיני בין בשל ונא:

4

Afterwards, each loaf should be divided into two13 by approximation,14so that half can be offered in the morning and half in the evening.15 He should take the halves and fold each one of them in half and then divide [the loaves at] the folds so that each flat cake will be folded in half. He then offers the halves with half of a handful of frankincense in the morning and the remaining half with half a handful of frankincense in the evening.16

If it is an initiation offering,17 it is not divided in half. Instead, it is offered entirely as a single entity together with the handful of frankincense. Both of them are consumed entirely by the altar's pyre.18

ד

ואחר כך חולק כל חלה וחלה לשנים באומד כדי שיקריב החצי בבקר והחצי בערב ולוקח החציים וכופל כל אחד מהן לשנים ופותת עד שתמצא כל פתיתה כפולה לשנים ומקריב החציין עם חצי קומץ לבונה בבוקר והחצי הנשאר עם חצי קומץ לבונה בערב ואם היתה מנחת חינוך אינו חוצה אלא מקריבה כולה כאחת עם קומץ לבונה ושתיהן כליל לאשים:

5

How is a meal-offering of fine flour prepared? One brings an isaron19 - or several isaronot or [many,] according to his vow20 - of fine flour and the oil appropriate for it.21 The flour should be measured in the isaron measure22 of the Temple. Oil should be placed in23 a container24 and the flour poured upon it and then other oil should be poured over the flour and the flour mixed in it. Afterwards, it is placed in a sacred vessel and oil is poured into it. The total of the oil placed first, that mixed with the flour, and that poured upon it is a log for a isaron. Frankincense is placed upon it.25

ה

מנחת הסולת כיצד היתה נעשית מביא עשרון סולת או כמה עשרונות או כפי נדרו ושמן הראוי לה ומודד בעשרון של מקדש ונותן שמן בכלי ואחר כך נותן עליו את הסולת ואח"כ נותן שמן אחר על הסולת ובולל הסולת בו ואחר כך נותנה בכלי שרת וצק לתוכה שמן ושמן שנתן תחלה עם השמן הבלול עם שמן שיצק הכל לוג לעשרון ונותן עליה לבונתה:

6

How are a meal-offering [cooked in] a flat frying-pan and one [cooked in] a deep frying pan prepared? Oil should be placed in a container and the flour poured upon it and then other oil should be poured over the flour and the flour mixed in it. Afterwards, it should be kneaded with warm water26 and baked in a flat frying-pan or a deep frying-pan as he vowed. It is broken into pieces27 and placed in a sacred vessel and the remainder of the oil is poured upon it. [Then] its frankincense is placed [upon it].

ו

מנחת המחבת והמחרשת כיצד נותן השמן בכלי ונותן עליו הסלת ונותן על הסלת שמן אחר ובולל הסלת ואח"כ לשה בפושרין ואופה אותה במחבת או במרחשת כמו שנדר ופותת אותה פתים ונותנה בכלי שרת ויוצק עליה שאר השמן ונותן לבונתה:

7

What is the difference between a flat frying-pan and a deep frying pan? A deep frying-pan has an edge28 and the dough cooked in it is soft,29 because since it has an edge, [the dough] does not drip off. The flat frying-pan does not have an edge. The dough cooked in it is firm so that it will not drip off to either side.

ז

מה בין מחבת למרחשת מרחשת יש לה שפה והבצק שאופין אותו עליה רך שהרי יש לה שפה ואינו יוצא ומחבת אין לה שפה והבצק שאופין אותו בה קשה כדי שלא יצא מכאן ומכאן:

8

How is a meal-offering baked in an oven prepared? If it is of loaves, one should mix the flour with oil,30 knead it with warm water, and bake it. [Afterwards,] it is broken into pieces, placed in a sacred utensil, and its frankincense is placed upon it. Oil is not poured over it, as [indicated by Leviticus 2:4]: "loaves of matzah mixed with oil."31

If it is of wafers, one should need the flour with warm water and smear the wafers with oil, as [ibid.] states "wafers of matzah smeared with oil." It appears to me that they should be smeared after they are baked.32

ח

מנחת מאפה תנור כיצד אם חלות היא בולל הסלת בשמן ולש בפושרין ואופה ופותת ונותן בכלי שרת ונותן עליה לבונתה ואין בה יציקת שמן שנאמר חלות מצות בלולות בשמן ואם רקיקין היא לש את הסלת בפושרין ומושח את הרקיקין בשמן שנאמר ורקיקי מצות משוחים בשמן ויראה לי שאחר אפייה מושח אותם:

9

How are they smeared? One brings a log of oil for every isaron and smears them and then smears them again until all of the oil in the log is finished.

ט

וכיצד מושחן מביא לוג שמן לכל עשרון ומושחן וחוזר ומושחן עד שיכלה כל השמן שבלוג:

10

All of these four types of baked33 meal-offerings, when they are baked, they are baked when dividing [each] isaron into ten loaves.34 If, however, one added or subtracted loaves, it is acceptable.35

How are they36 broken into pieces? Each loaf should be folded into two and then the double fold into four37 and then [the folds] should be separated. If the meal-offering was brought by males of the priestly family,38 they should not be separated and broken off. All of the pieces should be the size of an olive.39 If, however, one made them larger or smaller, [the offering] is acceptable.

י

כל ארבע מנחות אלו האפויות כשאופין אותן אופין כל עשרון עשר חלות ואם רבה בחלות או חסר כשירה וכיצד פותתין אותן כופל החלה לשנים והשנים לארבעה ומבדיל ואם היתה המנחה של זכרי כהונה אינו מבדיל ופותת וכולן פתיתין כזיתים ואם הגדיל הפתיתין או הקטין אותן כשרים:

11

If one did not mix [the oil into the meal],40 fold [the loaves], bring [the meal-offering to the corner of the altar],41 or smear the wafers [with oil],42 [the offerings] are acceptable.43 All of these matters were mentioned only as a mitzvah,44 for it is a mitzvah [to bring the meal-offerings] in this manner.

יא

לא בלל לא פתת לא הגיש לא משח את הרקיקין כשירה לא נאמרו כל הדברים האלו אלא למצוה שכך היא מצותה:

12

What is the order in which the meal-offering is brought? A person should bring flour from his home in a container of silver, gold, or another type of metal, a container that is fit [to be sanctified] as a sacred vessel.45

If it is a meal-offering of flour, he should place it in a sacred utensil and consecrate it46 in the sacred utensil.47 If it is one of the meal-offerings that are baked48 it should be baked there in the Temple and broken into pieces as we explained.49 The pieces should be placed into a sacred utensil and its oil and frankincense placed upon it. It should then be brought to a priest50 who brings it to the altar. He approaches the southwest corner of the altar with it. That is sufficient.51

He then moves all of its frankincense to one side52 and gathers a handful from the place where the majority of its oil has collected, as [Leviticus 2:2] states: "[He shall take a full handful] from its flour and from its oil." He places the handful in a sacred vessel and consecrates it in the sacred vessel.53 If a handful [from a meal-offering] was divided into two vessels, it is not consecrated. [Instead,] he should go back and consecrate it [in a single vessel].54

He should gather all of its frankincense and place it on the handful of flour in the vessel and take it up to the altar. He should salt it55 and place it on the pyre with a sacred utensil.56 If the meal-offering is brought by [male] priests, he does not take a handful. Instead, he salts the entire offering and tosses everything on the pyre.

יב

סדר הבאת המנחה כיצד מביא אדם סולת מתוך ביתו בקלתות של כסף או של זהב או של שאר מיני מתכות כלי שהוא ראוי לכלי שרת ואם היתה מנחת הסלת נותנה לכלי שרת ומקדשה בכלי שרת ואם היתה מן המנחות הנאפות אופה אותה שם במקדש ופותת כמו שביארנו ונותן הפתיתין לכלי שרת ונותן עליה שמנה ולבונתה ומוליכה אצל כהן והכהן מוליכה אצל המזבח ומגישה בקרן דרומית מערבית כנגד חודה של קרן ודיו ומסלק את כל לבונתה לצד אחד וקומץ ממקום שנתרבה שמנה שנאמר מסלתה ומשמנה ונותן הקומץ לכלי שרת ומקדשו בכלי שרת וקומץ שחלקו בשני כלים אינו קדוש וחוזר ומקדש ומלקט את כל לבונתה ונותנה על הקומץ שבכלי ומעלהו על המזבח ומולחו ונותנו על גבי האשים מכלי שרת ואם מנחת כהנים היא אינו קומץ אלא נותן מלח על כלה ומשליך הכל על גבי האשים:

13

How is a handful [of flour]57 taken from those meal-offerings from which it is taken? As any person would take a handful. He extends his fingers58 over the palm of his hand and closes them.59

If he gathered the flour only with his fingertips60 or from the side [of the container],61 he should not offer it on the altar's pyre. If he does so, nevertheless, it is accepted.62 If he added to the handful, i.e., he spread out his fingers and closed them,63 it is unacceptable.

יג

כיצד קומצין מנחות הנקמצות כדרך שקומץ כל האדם פושט אצבעותיו על פס ידו וקומץ קמץ בראשי אצבעותיו או מן הצדדין לא יקטיר ואם הקטיר הורצה ואם הוסיף בקומץ כגון שהרחיק אצבעותיו וקמץ הרי זה פסול:

14

A handful should not be less than two olive-sized portions.64 [Bringing every] portion of the handful is an absolute requirement in [bringing] the entire handful.65 [Bringing both] the handful [of flour] and the frankincense are absolute requirements for [bringing] either of them.66 [Bringing both] the flour and the oil are absolute requirements for [bringing] either of them.67 [Bringing] even a portion of the oil is an absolute requirement in [bringing] the entire quantity.68 Less than a log [of oil] should not [be brought] for every isaron of flour, as we explained.69

יד

אין קומץ פחות מכשני זיתים ומקצת הקומץ מעכב את כולו והקומץ והלבונה מעכבין זה את זה הסלת והשמן מעכבין זה את זה ומקצת השמן מעכב את כולו אין פחות מלוג לעשרון כמו שביארנו:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 67) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 116) include bringing the meal-offerings as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

2.

By placing it in the isaron measure found in the Temple Courtyard (see Chapter 2, Halachah 8). Once it was sanctified, it could not be taken out of the Temple Courtyard. Hence all the stages of its preparation had to be completed within the Temple Courtyard (Radbaz). Indeed, one of the chambers in the Temple Courtyard was the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:17).

3.

Because half was sacrificed in the morning and half in the afternoon.

4.

See Halachah 4.

5.

See Chapter 2, Halachot 4, 7.

6.

Menachot 51a explains that since the chavitin is cooked on a flat frying pan, it is obvious that oil should be added to it like the other meal offerings cooked on such a frying pan (see Halachah 7). Hence by saying that the chavitin is prepared in oil, the verse implies that additional oil is added. The need for three lugin is then derived from a textual association of the terms used.

7.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Challah 1:6) the Rambam defines the term cholait, the verb translated as "scalded" here as: "pouring boiling water over the flour."

8.

Menachot 15a derives this point from a comparison to the showbread which also comprised twelve loaves.

9.

I.e., when the quantity of three lugim is divided in twelve (an equal portion for each loaf), we arrive at the figure of a revi'it (a fourth of a log). There was a measure of this size in the Temple. Hence the oil would be poured into this measure for each loaf to provide it with the desired amount of oil.

10.

Thus there were three phases in the cooking process of these loaves. First, the flour was scalded as mentioned in the previous halachah. Then the loaf was made and then baked. Afterwards [see also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 9:3)], the oil was boiled and the loaf fried in it. See also Chapter 9, Halachah 19, which describes all these different stages of the cooking process. The same term, murbechet, is use to describe both that offering and the chavitin offering.

11.

I.e., he should only bake it slightly (Kessef Mishneh). This interpretation is also borne out by Chapter 9, Halachah 19.

12.

Afterwards, it is fried to complete the cooking process (Kessef Mishneh).

13.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that the cakes should not be divided. Thus instead of offering twelve half-cakes as the Rambam maintains, he maintains that six full cakes should be offered in the morning and six in the afternoon.

14.

I.e., although half should be offered in the morning and half in the afternoon, an exact division is not required. The division is made by hand and not with a utensil. The Kessef Mishneh supports the Rambam's position, noting that the concept of dividing the cakes by hand and not with a utensil is stated in Menachot 87b.

15.

I.e., in the late afternoon.

16.

Further details concerning the bringing of this offering are mentioned in Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 3:18-22.

17.

Both an ordinary priest and a High Priest bring a meal-offering prepared in the same way to mark their initiation into office (Chapter 12, Halachah 4).

18.

For the meal-offering of a priest is never eaten (Chapter 12, Halachah 9).

19.

But no less than an isaron (ibid.:5).

20.

One may bring as many isaronot as he desires, even 1000 (or more).

21.

A log of oil for every isaron of flour, as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 7.

22.

Even if the offering contained many isaronot, it is measured out, isaron by isaron (Kessef Mishneh).

23.

As stated in Menachot 6:3, oil is added to all of the meal-offerings offered other than those which are baked in the oven three times: it is placed in the container before the flour, it is mixed into the flour and then it is poured over the mixture of flour and oil. This sequence is not explicitly stated with regard to the offering of fine flour. In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam explains the process through which it is derived that the above concepts apply to this meal-offering as well.

24.

I.e., a trough where the oil and flour are mixed. Both the Radbaz and Kessef Mishneh state that, from the Rambam's wording, it appears that this trough was not a sacred utensil. They question that conclusion, for once the flour had been put in a sacred utensil, it does not appear appropriate to place it in an ordinary utensil again. Indeed, they explain that perhaps the second utensil was also sacred.

25.

A handful of frankincense for every offering regardless of its size (Chapter 12, Halachah 7).

26.

Care was taken so that they do not leaven (Kessef Mishneh).

27.

As required by Leviticus 2:6.

28.

Menachot 63b notes that Leviticus 7:9 states of such an offering being cooked "in a deep frying-pan," while the others are describes as being cooked "on a flat frying-pan." Implied is that the deep frying-pan had an edge large enough to contain liquids.

29.

And thin like the dough of pancakes [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 5:8)].

30.

Oil is not, however, placed in the container before the flour is (Menachot 6:3).

31.

I.e., only "mixed with oil." No other oil is used in preparing them.

32.

The Radbaz supports this supposition, explaining that if the wafers were smeared before they were baked, they would not absorb the oil.

33.

I.e., those fried in a deep frying pan and a flat frying-pan or the two types baked in an oven. Excluded is only the flour offering which is presented without being baked or cooked.

34.

Menachot 76a derives this from a comparison to the thanksgiving offering. See Chapter 9, Halachot 17-18.

35.

For even a thanksgiving offering is acceptable if its loaves are less than the required number (ibid.:22).

36.

These four types of meal-offerings. Again, a flour offering is excluded.

37.

Menachot, loc. cit., explains the rationale, stating that Leviticus 2:6 mentions "breaking them (i.e., into two) into pieces" (i.e., that the two are divided again).

38.

For their meal-offerings are consumed entirely by the altar's pyre. Meal-offerings brought by females of the priestly family are broken into pieces.

39.

For making them any smaller would make them appear insignificant.

40.

Note, however, Chapter 17, Halachah 6, which states that the offering must not be so large that it could not be mixed with its oil.

41.

As required by Chapter 12, Halachah 6.

42.

Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 7:8 rules that if the required amount of oil is not added to a meal offering, it is not acceptable. Nevertheless, after the fact, the oil does not have to be applied to the offering in the manner detailed above.

43.

Menachot 3:2, the source for this halachah, mentions the above concepts and adds that the offerings are acceptable if salt and oil were not placed upon them. In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam explains that the intent is not that the offering is acceptable without salt and oil, but that they need not be added to the offering by a priest.

44.

I.e., as the optimum manner to perform the mitzvah.

45.

As stated in Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 1:18, a sacred utensil may not be made of wood, bone, stone, or glass, only of metal.

46.

Placing it in the sacred vessel with the intent to consecrate it brings about its consecration. See Chapter 2, Halachah 9, Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:20.

47.

As described in Halachah 5.

48.

Or fried, i.e., any of the other types of meal offerings.

49.

See Halachot 6-10.

50.

I.e., up until this point, the services could have been performed by a non-priest. From this stage onward, they must be performed by a priest. See Chapter 12, Halachah 23.

51.

I.e., he touches the altar's corner with the utensil. He does not have to have the flour itself touch the corner (Kessef Mishneh).

52.

So that it will not be mixed with the flour taken in the handful (Sotah 14b).

53.

Although the handful of flour was consecrated together with the other flour, it should be consecrated again now that it has become a separate entity. Sotah, loc. cit., draws a comparison to the blood from a sacrificial animal which is consecrated together with the entire animal at the time of its slaughter and is consecrated again when collected in a sacred utensil.

54.

Although placing the handful of flour in two utensils is unacceptable, it does not disqualify it.

55.

As required by Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 5:23.

56.

I.e., he should empty the flour from the sacred vessel over the pyre.

57.

We have mentioned flour, because taking a full handful - but only a handful, not more and not less - of flour can be easily pictured. In truth, however, an exact handful must also be taken from those meal offerings that were already baked and that is much harder to picture.

58.

On the basis of Menachot 11a and Yoma 47b, many commentaries maintain that the handful is taken only with the priest's three middle fingers. The pinky and the thumb are not included. Therefore it is considered as one of the difficult services in the Temple. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 1:2; see also Yoma 1:5), however, the Rambam rejects this understanding and maintains that all of the priest's fingers should be used in taking the handful.

59.

The Ra'avad (in his gloss to the Sifra) states that he should cup his hand and then insert his fingers into the flour until his palm is covered. He then closes his fingers over his palm.

60.

I.e., closing his fingers over themselves and not over the palm of his hand and thus collected only a small amount of flour (Rav Yosef Corcus).

61.

Instead of from the middle (Radbaz). There are also other interpretations to these concepts.

62.

Menachot 11a and Yoma 47b question whether these two ways to take a handful are acceptable and does not reach a conclusion. Therefore the Rambam rules that as an initial preference, one should not take a handful in this manner, but if one does so, it is acceptable after the fact.

63.

And thus the handful was overflowing.

64.

In modern measure, approximately 28 cc according to Shiurei Torah.

65.

For Leviticus 2:2 states that "a full handful" must be offered. Thus if one cannot bring a portion of the handful, it is disqualified and should not be brought at all (Menachot 27a).

66.

I.e., the offering should not be brought unless both are included.

67.

Both are necessary because Leviticus 2:2 mentions the "full handful of flour" and "all of its frankincense." This emphasis is repeated in Leviticus 6:8, indicating that it is an absolute requirement.

68.

I.e., if one does not bring the entire amount, one should not bring the offering at all.

69.

Halachah 5; Chapter 12, Halachah 7.

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 14

1

A person may vow or pledge1 to bring a burnt-offering, a peace-offering, or any of the five types of meal-offerings2 that may be brought as vows or as pledges.3 And he may vow or pledge [to bring] a meal offering from one of the three types of meal-offerings that serve as the accompanying offerings, as we explained.4 One may pledge or vow wine as an independent offering,5 frankincense as an independent offering,6 oil as an independent offering,7 or wood for the arrangement [of wood on the altar], for that is like a sacrifice,8 as [Nechemiah 13:31] states: "for the sacrifice of wood."

א

מתנדב אדם ונודר עולה ושלמים וכל מין שירצה מחמשה מיני מנחות הבאין בנדר ונדבה ומתנדב או נודר מנחה ממנחת נסכים לבדה מאי זה מין משלשה מיני מנחות נסכים כמו שביארנו ומתנדב או נודר יין בפני עצמו או לבונה בפני עצמו או שמן בפני עצמו או עצים למערכה מפני שהן כקרבן שנאמר ולקרבן העצים:

2

Two people may pledge or vow one sacrifice, a burnt-offering or a peace-offering, even one turtle-dove and large ordinary dove in partnership. A meal-offering, by contrast, may not be brought in partnership. These matters were conveyed by the Oral Tradition.

ב

שנים מתנדבין או נודרין קרבן אחד עולה או שלמים אפילו פרידה אחת של תורים או בני יונה מביאין אותה בשותפות אבל המנחה אינה באה בשותפות ודברים אלו הן דברי קבלה:

3

When a person set aside a meal-offering for [the merit of] his two sons and died,9 they may both bring it.10

ג

הניח מנחה לשני בניו ומת הרי אלו מביאין אותה:

4

What is meant by a vow and what is meant by a pledge? When one says: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering," "I promise to bring a peace-offering," "I promise to bring a meal-offering," or "I promise to bring the value of this animal11 as a burnt-offering" or "...as a peace-offering," this is considered a vow.12 If, however, he said: "This animal..." or "The value of this animal is [designated as] a burnt-offering,"13 or "...a peace-offering," or "This isaron [of flour] as a meal-offering," this is a pledge.14

ד

אי זה הוא נדר ואי זו היא נדבה האומר הרי עלי עולה או הרי עלי שלמים או הרי עלי מנחה או הרי דמי בהמה זו עלי עולה או שלמים זהו הנדר אבל האומר הרי בהמה זו או דמי בהמה זו עולה או שלמים או הרי העשרון הזה מנחה הרי זו נדבה:

5

What is the difference between vows and pledges? If a person took a vow and separated a sacrifice and then it was lost or stolen, he is obligated to replace it15 until he offers the sacrifice he vowed.16 If a person made a pledge and said: "This [animal] is a sacrifice," he is not obligated to replace it if it died or was stolen.17

ה

מה בין נדרים לנדבות שהנודר אם הפריש קרבנו ואבד או נגנב חייב באחריותו עד שיקריב כמו שנדר והמתנדב ואומר זו אם מת או נגנב אינו חייב באחריותו:

6

When one says: "I promise to bring the value of this ox as a burnt-offering" or "I promise to bring the value of this house as a sacrifice," if the ox dies and the house falls, he is obligated to pay.18 If one says: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering on the condition that I am not obligated to replace it," he is not obligated to replace it.19

ו

האומר דמי שור זה עלי עולה ודמי בית זה עלי קרבן ומת השור ונפל הבית חייב לשלם אמר הרי עלי עולה על מנת שלא אתחייב באחריותה אינו חייב באחריותה:

7

We already explained20 that one who constructs a temple to offer sacrifices within outside the Temple is not considered as [having built] a temple to a false divinity. If one says: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering to sacrifice in the Temple [in Jerusalem]," and he brings it in [such] a temple, does not fulfill his vow.21 If he vowed to offer it in such a temple and he offers it in the Temple [in Jerusalem], he fulfills his vow.22 If he offers in such a temple, he fulfills his vow. He is like someone who vowed to bring a burnt-offering on the condition that he is not obligated to replace it.23 He is liable for karet for offering [the sacrifice] outside [the Temple Courtyard].

Similarly, if one takes a vow saying that he is a nazirite on the condition that he shave24 in such a temple, he fulfills his obligation if he shaves there. He is considered as one who vowed to abstain from wine and he did so abstain. This is not considered as a nazirite vow.

ז

כבר ביארנו שהעושה בית חוץ למקדש להקריב בו קרבנות אינו כבית ע"ז והאומר הרי עלי עולה שאקריבנה במקדש והקריבה בבית זה לא יצא שאקריבנה בבית זה והקריבה במקדש יצא ואם הקריבה באותו הבית יצא הרי הוא כמי שנדר עולה על מנת שלא יתחייב באחריותה וענוש כרת על העליתה בחוץ וכן אם אמר הריני נזיר על מנת שאגלח בבית זה אם גלח שם יצא הרי הוא כמי שנדר לצער עצמו והרי ציער עצמו ואינה נזירות:

8

A sin-offering and a guilt-offering may be brought only for a sin.25 They may not be brought because of a pledge or a vow. [Hence,] if one26 says: "I promise to bring a sin-offering" or "...a guilt-offering," his statements are of no consequence. [Similarly,] if he said: "This animal is [designated as] a sin-offering" or "...a guilt-offering," his statements are of no consequence.

If he was obligated to bring a sin-offering or a guilt-offering and he said: "This [animal] is for my sin-offering" or "...for my guilt-offering" or "This money is for my sin-offering" or "...my guilt-offering," his statements are binding.

ח

חטאת ואשם אינן באין אלא על חטא ואינן באין בנדר ונדבה האומר הרי עלי חטאת או אשם או שאמר הרי זו חטאת או אשם לא אמר כלום היה מחוייב חטאת או אשם ואמר הרי זו לחטאתי או לאשמי או הרי המעות האלו לחטאתי או לאשמי דבריו קיימים:

9

When a person says: "I promise to bring the sacrifices of this person afflicted by tzara'at" or "...this women who gave birth," if the afflicted person or the women are poor, the one who took the vow should bring the sacrifices of a poor person.27 If they were wealthy, the person who took the vow must bring the sacrifice of a wealthy person even though he is poor.

ט

האומר קרבן מצורע זה או יולדת זו עלי אם היה אותו מצורע או היולדת עניים מביא הנודר קרבן עני ואם היו עשירים מביא הנודר קרבן עשיר אע"פ שהנודר עני:

10

[The following laws apply when] one says: "I promise to bring the sin-offering, burnt-offering, guilt-offering, and peace-offering of so-and-so." If that person agrees, he may allow him to bring those sacrifices for him and he receives atonement thereby. If he agreed at the time [the sacrificial animals] were set aside, but reneged and did not agree at the time they were offered,28 with regard to a burnt-offering and a peace-offering, they should be sacrificed and he receives atonement through them even if he does not consent at this time, because he agreed at the time [the sacrificial animals] were set aside. With regard to a sin-offering and a guilt-offering,29 by contrast, he does not receive atonement unless he consented from the beginning until the end.

י

האומר חטאתו ועולתו ואשמו ושלמיו של פלוני עלי אם רצה אותו פלוני הרי זה מניחו להקריבן על ידו ומתכפר לו רצה בשעת הפרשה ולא רצה בשעת הקרבה אלא חזר בו בעולה ובשלמים מקריבין ומתכפר לו בהן אף על פי שאינו רוצה עתה שהרי רצה בשעת הפרשה אבל בחטאת ובאשם לא נתכפר לו עד שירצה מתחלה ועד סוף:

11

One who says: "I promise to bring vows like the vows of the wicked who take upon themselves nazirite vows, sacrifices, and oaths," he is obligated in all [of his statements].30 If he says: "...as the vows of the upright," he is not obligated in anything.31 If he says: "as the pledges of the upright," his vow is binding32with regard to nazirite vows and sacrifices.33 All terms used to refer to sacrifices are considered as sacrifices.34

יא

האומר הרי עלי כנדרי רשעים שמנדריהן נזיר וקרבן ושבועה חייב בכולן כנדרי כשרין לא נתחייב כלום הרי עלי כנדבות כשרין הרי זה נדר בנזיר ובקרבן וכל כינויי קרבן כקרבן:

12

Neither one who takes a vow or one who makes a pledge is liable unless his statements match his intent.35

What is implied? If one had the intent of saying: "I promise to bring a burnt-offering," but he said "...a peace-offering" or he had the intent of saying: "I promise to bring a peace-offering," but he said "...a burnt-offering," his words are of no substance. If, [however,] he intended to take a vow to bring a burnt-offering and said: "a sacrifice," or he intended to say devotion offerings36 and he said: "consecrated property," his statements are binding, for a burnt-offering is a sacrifice, and something designated as devotion offerings is consecrated. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

With regard to vows and pledges, it is not necessary for him to make any verbal statements. He is obligated even if he made a firm resolve in his heart without saying anything. What is implied? If one made a resolve in his heart that an animal should be designated as a burnt-offering or that he should bring a burnt-offering, he is obligated. [This is derived from Exodus 35:5]: "All those generous of heart shall bring it." Generosity in the heart [alone is sufficient to] establish an obligation to bring. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations involving vows and pledges for the consecration [of sacrifices].

יב

אין הנודר ולא המתנדב חייב עד שיהא פיו ולבו שוין כיצד המתכוון לומר הרי עלי עולה ואמר שלמים או שנתכוון לומר הרי זו עולה ואמר שלמים לא אמר כלום נתכוון לנדור בעולה ואמר קרבן לנדור בחרם ואמר הקדש דבריו קיימים שהעולה קרבן והחרם הקדש וכן כל כיוצא בזה בנדרים ונדבות אינו צריך להוציא בשפתיו כלום אלא אם גמר בלבו ולא הוציא בשפתיו כלום חייב כיצד גמר בלבו שזו עולה או שיביא עולה הרי זה חייב להביא שנאמר כל נדיב לב יביאה בנדיבות לב יתחייב להביא וכן כל כיוצא בזה מנדרי קדשים ונדבותן:

13

With regard to vows and pledges and other commitments that a person makes that obligated him, endowment obligations, pledges for worth,37 tithes.38 and the presents to the poor,39 it is a positive commandment of Scriptural origin to bring everything on the festival of immediate proximity,40 as [Deuteronomy 12:5-6] states: "And you shall come there and you shall bring your burnt-offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes,... your vows, your pledges..."], as if to say: When you come [to Jerusalem] to celebrate a festival bring there everything that you are obligated and satisfy every obligation upon you.

If the festival arrived and he did not bring [the gifts in which he is obligated], he has negated the observance of a positive commandment. If three festivals pass without him bringing the sacrifices he vowed or pledged to bring or without giving the endowment obligations, devotion offerings, and pledges for worth, he violates a negative commandment,41 as [ibid. 23:22] states: "Do not delay in paying it." He does not violate the negative commandment until all of the three pilgrimage festivals of the year pass. Lashes are not given for the violation of this negative commandment, because it does not involve a deed.42

יג

אחד נדרים ונדבות עם שאר הדברים שאדם חייב בהן מערכין ודמים ומעשרות ומתנות עניים מצות עשה מן התורה שיביא הכל ברגל שפגע בו תחלה שנאמר ובאת שמה והבאתם שמה וגו' כלומר בעת שתבא לחוג תביא כל מה שאתה חייב בו ותתן כל חוב שעליך לשם הגיע הרגל ולא הביא הרי זה ביטל מצות עשה עברו עליו שלשה רגלים ולא הביא קרבנותיו שנדר או התנדב או שלא נתן הערכים והחרמים והדמים הרי זה עבר בלא תעשה שנאמר לא תאחר לשלמו אינו עובר בלא תעשה עד שיעברו עליו רגלי השנה כולה ואין לוקין על לאו זה לפי שאין בו מעשה:

14

If one consecrated an animal [to be offered] on the altar and [after] two festivals passed [without it being offered], it became blemished and it was redeemed for another animal, the person does not violate the negative commandment until three festivals pass without the second [animal being sacrificed].43

Both a man and a woman44 are liable for transgression [the prohibition against] delaying [the offering of a sacrifice]. An heir, however, does not violate this prohibition.45

יד

הקדיש בהמה למזבח ועברו עליו שני רגלים ונפל בה מום ופדאה על גב בהמה אחרת אינו עובר בלא תעשה עד שיעברו על האחרת שלשה רגלים ואחד האיש ואחד האשה עובר בבל תאחר אבל היורש אינו עובר בבל תאחר:

15

Despite the fact that three festivals passed, no [animal consecrated as] a sacrifice is disqualified. Instead, [such animals should be] sacrificed and they are acceptable. Each and every day that passes after the three pilgrimage festivals involves a violation of [the above] prohibition. The [Jewish] court is commanded to apply physical coercion to the person46 immediately until he offers his sacrifices on the first festival that presents itself.47

טו

כל הקרבנות שעברו עליהן שלשה רגלים לא נפסלו אלא מקריבן וכשרים ובכל יום ויום אחר השלשה רגלים הוא עובר בלא תאחר ובית דין מצווין לעשותו מיד עד שיקריב קרבנותיו ברגל שפגע בו תחלה:

16

Even though [Leviticus 1:3] states that [a burnt-offering must be sacrificed] "willfully," he may be compelled until he says: "I desire."48 Whether he vowed [to bring a sacrifice] and did not set it aside or set aside, but did not offer it, he may be compelled until he sacrifices it.

טז

אע"פ שנאמר לרצונו כופין אותו עד שיאמר רוצה אני בין שנדר ולא הפריש בין שהפריש ולא הקריב כופין אותו עד שיקריב:

17

[The court] seizes collateral from all of those obligated to bring burnt-offerings or peace-offerings [to compel them to offer them]. Even though [the sacrifice] will not bring him atonement unless he desires to offer it, as [implied by] the term "willfully," he is compelled until he says: "I desire."49 Collateral is not seized from those obligated to bring sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, by contrast. [The rationale is that] since [the failure to bring these sacrifices] prevents [the people] from receiving atonement,50 we are not concerned that they will be sinful and delay [bringing] their sacrifices. [The only] exception is the sin-offering brought by a nazirite. Since [the failure to bring] it does not prevent him from drinking wine,51 he is compelled [to bring the offering], lest he delay it.

יז

כל חייבי עולות ושלמים ממשכנין אותם אף על פי שאין מתכפר לו עד שירצה שנאמר לרצונו כופין אותו עד שיאמר רוצה אני אבל חייבי חטאות ואשמות אין ממשכנין אותן הואיל והם מעוכבי כפרה אין חוששין להם שמא יפשעו וישהו קרבנותיהן חוץ מחטאת נזיר הואיל ואינה מעכבתו מלשתות יין שמא יאחר אותה לפיכך ממשכנין אותו עליה:

Footnotes
1.

See Halachah 4 for the distinction between the two terms.

2.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 4.

3.

With regard to sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, see Halachah 8.

4.

See Chapter 2, Halachah 1, 4.

5.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 14; Chapter 17, Halachah 12.

6.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 13.

7.

See Chapter 16, Halachah 14.

8.

See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 6:9-10.

9.

Before bringing it.

10.

This is not considered as bringing an offering in partnership.

11.

Even though he mentions a specific animal, since his promise focuses on the animal's value and not the animal itself, it is considered as a vow and not a pledge. Moreover, he made a promise incumbent on himself - that he bring the value of the animal as a sacrifice - and did not designate the animal's worth itself. See also Halachah 6.

12.

The obligation is on him; he has made a commitment to bring the sacrifice.

13.

I.e., pledging that the animal would be sold and the money received be designated for the purchase of a sacrifice.

14.

I.e., the animal or its worth is designated as a sacrifice.

15.

For the obligation is incumbent on him and it was not fulfilled.

16.

Moreover, the sacrifice must be offered in an acceptable manner. If it was disqualified, he is still obligated to fulfill his vow.

17.

Because he personally is under no further responsibility. He fulfilled his obligation by designating the animal.

18.

As stated in Halachah 4, this is considered a vow. The rationale is that he said: elai, "I promise to bring." That expression indicated his willingness to accept responsibility.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Arachin 5:5), the Rambam states that he is obligated to pay only the value of the dead ox, not its value when it was alive.

19.

Since he made an explicit stipulation freeing himself of responsibility, he is not considered as liable.

20.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 9:14 and the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 13:10) which refers to the temple constructed in Alexandria by Chonio, the son of Shimon the Just.

21.

The Mishnah (Menachot 13:10) states merely "a burnt offering," omitting the words "to sacrifice in the Temple." The commentaries question why the Rambam felt it necessary to add them.

22.

Since he promised to bring a burnt-offering, it is necessary that it be brought to Jerusalem. The fact that he added that he would bring it elsewhere is not significant.

23.

I.e., according to the Rambam, the animal set aside is considered as designated as a burnt-offering and the person is liable for offering a sacrifice outside the Temple. Nevertheless, he is considered to have fulfilled his vow for the reason stated by the Rambam.

24.

As is done at the conclusion of one's nazirite vow.

25.

Thus when Leviticus 5:1 introduces the obligation to bring a sin-offering, it states: "If a person will sin...."

26.

I.e., one who is not obligated to bring such a sacrifice.

27.

The types of sacrifices these individuals are obligated to bring vary dependent on the person's financial standing, as explained in Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:3. Accordingly, one might think that regardless of the financial status of the person who pledged to bring the sacrifice, the type of sacrifice to be brought is determined by the financial status of the person who is obligated to offer it. Nevertheless, as stated in Arachin 13a (and quoted by the Rambam in Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 5:11), this is not the case. If a wealthy person vows to bring the sacrifices of a poor person afflicted by tzara'at, he must bring the sacrifices of a wealthy man. Hence, we are forced to say that here the Rambam is speaking of a poor person who took such a vow.

28.

Rashi (Arachin 21a) interprets the passage as referring to an instance where the person obligated to bring the sacrifice did not know it was being offered on his behalf. If he did know, however, he must consent. The Rambam differs and maintains that since he gave his consent originally and the atonement associated with these sacrifices is achieved immediately, it is not necessary that he consent at the time the sacrifice was offered (Rav Yosef Corcus; see Halachah 17).

29.

Since the atonement associated with these sacrifices is more encompassing, it requires not only his initial consent, but also continuous willful activity (ibid.).

30.

The Rambam is referring to the wording of the Mishnah (Nedarim 1:1). The intent of the Mishnah is that the wicked make vows hastily and moreover, obligate themselves for vows which constitute a commitment incumbent on their person that they will not necessarily be able to fulfill. As the Rambam writes in Hilchot Nedarim 13:25 and in his commentary to the above mishnah, it is preferable not to take vows, for it is possible one will not be able to fulfill them. See also ibid. 1:25.

31.

For the upright do not take vows for the reason stated in the previous note (ibid.:26).

32.

For the upright do make pledges, for a pledge involves the sanctification of an article at hand and if the upright wish to take such action, there is nothing preventing them from fulfilling their vow. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam explains that the upright would bring their sacrificial animals to the Temple Mount and only then, pledge to bring them. In this way, there would be no question of them keeping their word.

33.

The Rambam does not mention oaths, because the upright try to avoid taking oaths entirely.

34.

See Hilchot Nizirut 1:16 which states:

There are places where people are inarticulate and mispronounce words, calling subjects by different names. [In those places,] we follow the meaning of the local term.

What is meant by the statement that all the terms used for the word korban, "sacrifice," are equivalent to the term korban? When one says: "[This produce] is considered for me like a konam," "...a konach," or "...a konaz," they are all terms referring to a korban.

35.

This is a general principle applying with regard to oaths (Hilchot Sh'vuot 2:10-12) and vows (Hilchot Nedarim 2:2).

In the continuation of the halachah, the Rambam describes a situation in which one is liable for a sacrifice he intended to give even though he does not say anything. That, however, is not a contradiction to the statements here, because here, the person's statements contradict his intent.

36.

Which is consecrated to the Temple treasury.

37.

Both of these terms refer to commitments to make donations to the Temple treasury. See Hilchot Arachin, ch. 1, for a more complete description.

38.

I.e. the tithes (including the second tithe and the tithe for the poor) separated from one's crops (see Hilchot Ma'aser and Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni). Also, implied are the tithe offerings. See Hilchot Bechorot, ch. 4.

39.

Leket, pe'ah, ollelot, etc., as described in Hilchot Matanot Aniyim.

40.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 83) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 438) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

41.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 155) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 574) count this prohibition among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

42.

As stated in Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:2, lashes are only given for the violation of a prohibition that involves a deed.

43.

For the calculation begins anew with the consecration of the second animal.

44.

Rosh HaShanah 6b explains that since a woman is not obligated to bring a burnt-offering (olat re'i'ah) for the pilgrimage festival, one might think that the entire concept of a pilgrimage festival - and hence, this commandment - does not apply to her. This supposition is, however, negated, for she is obligated in bringing the peace-offering of rejoicing (shalmei simchah) that are sacrificed on festivals.

45.

The prohibition is not to delay paying one's vow. Since the heir did not make the vow himself, he does not violate this prohibition if he does not carry out the vow at the appropriate time. He is, however, to bring the sacrifice. See Rosh HaShanah 6b.

46.

As Ketubot 86a-b explains, the court is obligated to compel every individual to observe every positive commandment incumbent upon him, even if it requires beating him to the point of death.

47.

The Rambam's wording appears to imply that if the court sees the person acting indolently with regard to the sacrifice, it is obligated to subject him to compulsion even if the first festival has not passed. This point is not, however, accepted by all authorities (Rav Yosef Corcus).

48.

In Hilchot Gerushin 2:20, the Rambam explains why acting under compulsion in such circumstances can be considered willful activity. [For there also, a bill of divorce must be written with the husband's consent and yet he can be compelled to consent.]

The concept of being compelled against one's will applies only when speaking about a person who is being compelled and forced to do something that the Torah does not obligate him to do - e.g., a person who was beaten until he consented to a sale, or to give a present. If, however, a person's evil inclination presses him to negate [the observance of] a mitzvah or to commit a transgression, and he was beaten until he performed the action he was obligated to perform, or he dissociated himself from the forbidden action, he is not considered to have been forced against his will. On the contrary, it is he himself who is forcing [his own conduct to become debased].

With regard to this person who [outwardly] refuses to divorce [his wife] - he wants to be part of the Jewish people, and he wants to perform all the mitzvot and eschew all the transgressions; it is only his evil inclination that presses him [to act otherwise]. Therefore, when he is beaten, until his [evil] inclination has been weakened, and he consents [to the divorce], he is considered to have performed the divorce willfully.

The Rambam's statements have implications far beyond their immediate halachic context. The Rambam is saying that the fundamental desire of every Jew is to affirm his Jewishness and observe the Torah and its mitzvot. Even when a person's conscious mind does not necessarily consent to this inner motivation, it is at work, molding his character without his knowledge. And at times, either because of undesirable circumstances - being compelled against his will as above - or because of desirable ones - an expression of Divine favor - this inner drive will surface.

49.

As stated in Hilchot Arachin 3:14:

They take... [from the persons obligated] against their will. They are not required to return the collateral by day or by night. They sell all the landed property and movable property in [those person's] possession including their clothing, household articles, servants, and livestock, taking their payment from everything.

50.

Burnt-offerings also feature in bringing atonement for the failure to fulfill positive commandments. Nevertheless, in that instance the atonement is achieved through the person's repentance and the offering is considered merely as a present. In contrast, a sin-offering is required to bring about the atonement itself.

51.

See Hilchot Nazirut 8:10.

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 15

1

When a person says: "The offspring of this [animal]1 is [consecrated] as a burnt-offering2 and it is [consecrated] as a peace-offering,"3 his words are binding. [Should he say:] "It is [consecrated] as a peace-offering and its offspring as a burnt-offering," if that was his intent, his words are binding.4

If, after he made a resolve in his heart and expressed verbally that [the offspring] should be a peace-offering, he retracted and said: "Its offspring is a burnt-offering," even though he retracted immediately,5 the offspring are [designated] as peace-offerings. For one cannot retract [pledges of] consecration even when one does so immediately.6

א

האומר ולדה של זו עולה והיא שלמים דבריו קיימים היא שלמים וולדה עולה אם לכך נתכוון דבריו קיימים ואם אחר שגמר בלבו והוציא בשפתיו שתהיה שלמים חזר בו ואמר וולדה עולה אע"פ שחזר בו בתוך כדי דבור הרי ולדה שלמים שאין חזרה בהקדש ואפילו בתוך כדי דבור:

2

When one says: "The right forefoot of this animal is a burnt-offering," or "The leg of this animal is a burnt offering," it should be sold to those obligated to bring burnt-offerings.7 The proceeds of the sale are considered as ordinary funds with the exception of the worth of that limb.8 [The above applies] provided the person obligated to bring a burnt-offering who purchased [the animal] vowed [to bring] a burnt-offering for a specific price.9

If one says: "The heart [of this animal]..." or "The head of this [animal] is a burnt-offering," the entire animal is a burnt-offering, for he consecrated an organ upon which [the animal's] life depends. If one consecrated a limb from a fowl, there is an unresolved doubt whether or not the entire fowl becomes consecrated.10

ב

האומר ידה של זו עולה או רגלה של זו עולה תמכר לחייבי עולות ודמיה חולין חוץ מדמי אותו אבר והוא שיהיה זה המחוייב עולה שקנה אותה נדר עולה בדמים קצובים האומר לבה או ראשה של זו עולה הואיל ודבר שהנשמה תלויה בו הוא כולה עולה הקדיש אבר אחד מן העוף הרי זה ספק אם נתקדש כולו או לא נתקדש:

3

When one says: "Half of this animal is a burnt-offering and half is a peace-offering," it is consecrated, but it should not be offered.11 Instead, it should be allowed to pasture until it contracts a disqualifying physical blemish and then be sold. Half of the proceeds should be used to bring a burnt offering and half, a peace-offering.12

If he was obligated to bring a sin-offering13 and he said: "Half of this animal is a sin-offering and half is a burnt-offering," or "...a peace-offering," or he said: "Half of this animal is a burnt-offering..." or "...a peace-offering and half is a sin-offering," [the animal] should be left to die, as will be explained with regard to the sin-offerings that are left to die.14

ג

האומר בהמה זו חצייה עולה וחצייה שלמים קדשה ואינה קריבה אלא תרעה עד שיפול בה מום ותמכר ויביא בחצי דמיה עולה ובחצי דמיה שלמים היה מחוייב חטאת ואמר חצייה חטאת וחצייה עולה או שלמים או שאמר חצייה עולה או שלמים וחצייה חטאת הרי היא תמות כמו שיתבאר בחטאות המתות:

4

When one of the partners who owned half an animal consecrated his portion and then purchased the other half and consecrated it, it is consecrated and offered on the altar. Even though originally, when he consecrated half of it, it was unacceptable,15 the fact that it was originally unacceptable does not cause it to be unacceptable forever.16 Even though originally only its worth was consecrated,17 since it is a live animal, [we follow the principle:]18 "Living animals are never permanently disqualified." Since it is [ultimately] fit to be sacrificed, it should be sacrificed. [Moreover,] if one sought to transfer its holiness to another animal,19 the transfer is binding.

ד

בהמת השותפין שהקדיש אחד מהן חצייה שלו וחזר ולקח חצייה האחר והקדישו הרי זה קדשה וקריבה אף על פי שמתחילתה דחויה היתה כשהקדיש חציה אין הדחוי מעיקרו דחוי ואע"פ שהוא קדושת דמים הואיל והיא בעלי חיים אין בעלי חיים נדחים והרי נראית כולה להקרבה לפיכך תקרב ועושה תמורה:

5

[Whether] one says: "The worth of this animal is a burnt-offering,"20 or "This animal is a burnt-offering," if it is fit to be sacrificed as a burnt-offering,21its body itself is consecrated and it should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering.22 If it is not fit [to be sacrificed], it should be sold23 and a burnt-offering brought with the proceeds of the sale.

ה

האומר דמי בהמה זו עולה או הרי זו לעולה אם היתה ראויה ליקרב עולה נתקדשה קדושת הגוף והיא עצמה תקרב עולה ואם אינה ראויה תמכר ויביא בדמיה עולה:

6

If a person said with regard to an impure animal24 or another similar animal that is forbidden [to be offered] as a sacrifice that can never be consecrated: "Behold this is consecrated as a burnt-offering,"25 his words are of no consequence.26 As we explained in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach,27if he says: "These are [consecrated] for the sake of a burnt-offering," they should be sold and a burnt-offering brought with the proceeds of the sale.28

ו

אמר על בהמה טמאה וכיוצא בה מאסורי קרבן שאין קדושה חלה עליהן הרי אלו עולה לא אמר כלום כמו שביארנו בהלכות איסורי מזבח אמר הרי אלו לעולה ימכרו ויביא בדמיהן עולה:

7

If a person said:29 "The worth of this cow30 is [consecrated] for the sake of a burnt-offering for an entire 30 day period. After 30 days, [it is consecrated for the sake of a peace-offering," or he said: "The worth of this cow is [consecrated] for the sake of a peace-offering31 for an entire 30 day period. After 30 days, [it is consecrated] for the sake of a burnt-offering," his words are binding.32 [Thus] if he [comes to] offer [a sacrifice from] the proceeds of its sale within 30 days, he should bring the type of sacrifice that he vowed. If he offers it after 30 days, he should bring the type of sacrifice that he vowed.

ז

האומר דמי פרה זו לעולה כל שלשים יום ולאחר שלשים יום לשלמים או שאמר דמיה לשלמים כל שלשים יום ולאחר שלשים יום לעולה דבריו קיימים ואם הקריב דמיה בתוך שלשים יום מביא בהן כמו שנדר ואם הקריבו לאחר שלשים יום מביא כמו שנדר:

8

If a person possessed a pregnant animal33 and said: "Should it give birth to a male, it is a burnt-offering. Should it give birth to a female, it is a peace-offering," if the animal gives birth to a male, it should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering. If it gives birth to a female, it should be sacrificed as a peace-offering. If it gives birth to a male and a female, the male should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering and the female, as a peace-offering.

If it gives birth to two males, one should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering34 and the other sold for the sake of a burnt-offering,35 but the proceeds of the sale are ordinary money.36If it gives birth to two females, one should be sacrificed as a peace-offering and the other sold for the sake of a peace-offering, but the proceeds of the sale are ordinary money. If it gave birth to a tumtum37 or an androgynus,38 they are not consecrated and they are like ordinary animals,39 as we explained.40 When a person consecrates a fetus, whose mother has a disqualifying blemish or the like,41 while it is in its mother's womb, it is consecrated.

ח

היתה לו בהמה מעוברת ואמר אם תלד זכר הרי הוא עולה ואם היא נקבה זבחי שלמים ילדה זכר יקרב עולה ילדה נקבה תקרב זבחי שלמים ילדה זכר ונקבה הזכר יקרב עולה והנקבה זבחי שלמים ילדה שני זכרים אחד יקרב עולה והשני ימכר לצרכי עולה ודמיו חולין וכן אם ילדה שתי נקבות אחת תקרב שלמים ושניה תמכר לצרכי שלמים ודמיה חולין ילדה טומטום ואנדרוגינוס אינן קדשים והרי הן חולין כמו שביארנו והמקדיש עובר במעי בעלת מום וכיוצא בה הרי זה קדוש:

Footnotes
1.

This is speaking about an animal that is not consecrated. If an animal that is consecrated becomes pregnant, its status is automatically transferred to its offspring [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Temurah 5:1)].

2.

In which instance, the offspring should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering.

3.

In the discussion to follow, it is important to note that burnt-offerings are only male. Peace-offerings can be both male and female. Sin-offerings may also be female (Chapter 1, Halachot 8-11). Nevertheless, as stated in Hilchot Temurah 4:2, the offspring of a sin-offering is not sacrificed, but instead, set aside to die. Hence the Rambam speaks only of the offspring of peace-offerings.

4.

The difference between the first clause and the second clause is that the first clause speaks about the offspring first. Consecrating the offspring certainly does not determine the mother's status. In the second clause, by contrast, the person consecrated the mother first. Now consecrating the mother determines the status of the offspring, for the offspring is considered as "the thigh of its mother." Hence ordinarily if an animal is consecrated as a peace-offering, its offspring also has that status and should be offered as such a sacrifice (Hilchot Temurah 4:1). Nevertheless, in this instance, if the person originally had the intent of consecrating the offspring as a burnt-offering, the offspring is given that status, because it was never meant to be a peace-offering. The person could only make one statement at a time and the fact that he chose to speak about the mother first does not affect the offspring's status.

5.

The phrase translated as "immediately," toch kedai dibbur, has a very specific halachic meaning: "Within the time it takes to say Shalom Elecha, Rebbi" ("Greetings my master"; Hilchot Sh'vuot 2:17).

6.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Temurah 5:3), the Rambam explains that generally if one seeks to retract his statements immediately, the retraction is effective. There are, however, several instances marriage and divorce, the acceptance of a false divinity, blasphemy, the consecration of sacrifices, and the transfer of holiness from one animal to another where retraction is not possible.

Nevertheless, the Rambam's perspective is not accepted by all authorities. Siftei Cohen (Choshen Mishpat 255:5) takes issue with him and argues that one may retract the consecration of an animal. Other sages, however, support the Rambam's position.

7.

So that it will be sacrificed for that purpose and hence, the portion of the animal consecrated as a burnt-offering will have been offered as such.

8.

For that limb was consecrated.

9.

There is a difficulty because the person bringing the burnt-offering will be bringing a sacrifice that does not belong to him entirely. The Jerusalem Talmud (Temurah 1:5) resolves this difficulty, explaining that we are speaking of an instance where the person vowed to spend a specific amount to bring a burnt-offering. Since the animal is worth that amount, he has fulfilled his vow.

10.

This concept is debated without resolution by our Sages in Temurah 11b. The argument centers on the fact that the concept that one can consecrate a limb from an animal as a sacrifice was derived from the exegesis of a verse (Leviticus 27:9). Now that verse is referring to an animal sacrifice and hence, our Sages question whether the concept applies to all sacrifices or only those involving animals.

11.

Because there is no way that one animal can be offered for two purposes.

12.

For in this way, his vow will be kept to the fullest extent of his capacity.

13.

Here he must be obligated, because as stated above, a sin-offering may not be brought on one's own initiative.

14.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 4:1 regarding what is done with the animal. There the Rambam speaks about an animal separated as a sin-offering that was lost and discovered after its owner had brought another sin-offering in its stead. Since this animal was consecrated for a specific purpose and cannot be sacrificed for that purpose, it cannot be used for any other purpose and is hence caused to die. Similarly, in the instance at hand, since the animal cannot be sacrificed for the purpose for which it was consecrated, it is caused to die.

15.

For half an animal cannot be sacrificed.

16.

This is a concept that applies in many different contexts of the laws concerning the consecration of animals. See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:24.

17.

Since only its worth was consecrated (for originally, it could not be sacrificed), there is more reason to think that it would not become acceptable afterwards.

18.

Zevachim 59a. This is also a concept that applies in many different contexts of the laws concerning the consecration of animals. See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 3:23; Hilchot Shegagot 3:8, et al.

19.

Violating the prohibition of temurah.

20.

And thus from his statements, there is room to say that it could be sold and the proceeds used to purchase an offering rather than it having to be sacrificed itself.

21.

It is male and unblemished.

22.

For any animal that is consecrated and fit to be offered as a sacrifice should be offered (Radbaz).

23.

The Kessef Mishneh elaborates, proving that here also, the Rambam's intent is that it should be left to pasture until it becomes blemished and then sold.

24.

I.e., an animal from a non-kosher species.

25.

Or any other type of sacrifice.

26.

The animal is not consecrated at all. Not only is it considered as ordinary property, the person who took the vow is under no obligation and need not sell the animal and purchase a sacrifice with the proceeds.

We have punctuated the Rambam's words in this manner so that there is a direct correlation between the law stated in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:10 and the one stated here. Others maintain that the source refers to the first clause. In Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach (see below), the Rambam speaks of consecrating an animal "for the altar." If he states: "This animal is a sacrifice," no holiness is attached to it at all (see the gloss of the Ra'avad there). Similarly, in this instance, since he wished to designate the animals as a sacrifice, his words are of no consequence at all.

27.

The commentaries explain that this reference is to Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:10 where the Rambam states:

One who consecrates an animal which is a tumtum, androgynus, tereifah... to the altar is like one who consecrated stones or wood.... The holiness does not take effect with regard to its physical substance. It is considered as ordinary property in all contexts. It should be sold and the proceeds of the sale used to purchase any sacrifice one desires. It is not considered like a blemished animal, for a sacrifice may be brought from the species of a blemished animal.

Similarly, in the case at hand, since a sacrifice cannot be brought from such animals, they should be sold and the proceeds used to purchase the appropriate sacrifice.

28.

For we assume that he made his promise in a manner that it would be of consequence (Radbaz).

29.

The Rambam is referring to a difference of opinion among our Sages, Nedarim 29a, whether or not the consecration of the value (but not the physical substance) of an object for a limited time expires if nothing is done within that time. As will be stated, his ruling is that it does expire.

30.

The Rambam is speaking of a situation where the cow's worth was consecrated, because all authorities agree that if the physical substance of the cow was consecrated, it would have to be redeemed for the first consecration to be nullified (ibid.).

31.

This point is added, because it possesses an added dimension of severity beyond the first instance. For a cow may not be offered as a burnt-offering, but it may be offered as a peace-offering. Thus it is fit to be sacrificed for the sake of the offering.

32.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling and maintains that the animal must be redeemed for the initial consecration to be nullified. The issue is debated by the subsequent commentaries.

33.

In his gloss to Hilchot Nedarim 12:10, the Lechem Mishneh states that this applies only when the animal is pregnant and thus the fetus exists. If, however, the animal is not pregnant, the person's words are not binding.

34.

The Radbaz states that the animal of higher quality should be offered as the sacrifice.

35.

For the person's initial vow encompassed both of them.

36.

Since he is only obligated to bring one sacrifice, he is allowed to sell the second animal and use the proceeds for whatever purpose he desires.

37.

An animal whose gender cannot be determined, because it is masked by a piece of flesh.

38.

An animal that has both male and female organs.

39.

I.e., they are not consecrated at all and they may be used for ordinary purposes. Since the person specified that he was consecrating the offspring as a sacrifice and these animals are unfit for sacrifice, his words are of no consequence whatsoever.

40.

Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:10 (cited above). See the second interpretation given in the notes to Halachah 6.

41.

I.e., animals that are of a type able to be sacrificed, but disqualified for a particular reason. See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach, op. cit.

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