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Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 3

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Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 3


Blemishes1 do not disqualify a fowl [as a sacrifice]. This applies both with regard to a male and to a female in the instance of a fowl, for the expression [Leviticus 22:18] "a perfect male" was stated only with regard to an animal.2

When does the above apply? With regard to small blemishes. Nevertheless, if the wing of a fowl became dried out, its eye was lost,3 or its foot was cut off, it is forbidden to [be offered on] the altar, for an animal that is lacking a limb is never offered.4 Similarly, if it incurred one of the factors that cause it to be deemed tereifah and forbidden to be eaten, it is disqualified as a sacrifice.5


אֵין הַמּוּמִין פּוֹסְלִין בָּעוֹף וְכֵן אֶחָד הַזָּכָר וְאֶחָד הַנְּקֵבָה בָּעוֹף שֶׁלֹּא נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא כב-יט) "תָמִים זָכָר" אֶלָּא בִּבְהֵמָה בִּלְבַד. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמוּמִין קְטַנִּים. אֲבָל עוֹף שֶׁיָּבַשׁ גַּפּוֹ אוֹ נִסְמֵית עֵינוֹ אוֹ נִקְטְעָה רַגְלוֹ אָסוּר לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁאֵין מַקְרִיבִין חָסֵר כְּלָל. וְכֵן אִם נוֹלַד בּוֹ אַחַת מִן הַטְּרֵפוֹת שֶׁאוֹסְרִין אוֹתָהּ בַּאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי זֶה נִפְסָל לְקָרְבָּן:


Small6 turtle-doves and large ordinary doves are unacceptable as [can be inferred from Leviticus 1:14]: "from the turtle doves and the children of the doves."7 When it begins to sprout yellow feathers,8 it is unacceptable for both species.9

Until when are young ordinary doves acceptable? As long as when one pulls out [a feather from] the wing, the place from which it was pulled out will fill with blood. Turtledoves are acceptable when [their feathers all] are of a golden hue.


תּוֹרִים קְטַנִּים פְּסוּלִין וּבְנֵי יוֹנָה גְּדוֹלִים פְּסוּלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א-יד) "מִן הַתֹּרִים אוֹ מִן בְּנֵי הַיּוֹנָה". תְּחִלַּת הַצִּהוּב בָּזֶה וּבָזֶה פָּסוּל. וְעַד מָתַי יִהְיוּ בְּנֵי יוֹנָה כְּשֵׁרִים כָּל זְמַן שֶׁעוֹקֵר כָּנָף וּמִתְמַלֵּא מְקוֹם עִקָּרוֹ דָּם. וְהַתּוֹרִים כְּשֵׁרִים מִשֶּׁיִּזְהֲבוּ:


Although there are no blemishes greater than that of a tumtum10 or an androgynus,11 they are not acceptable for the altar for another reason. Since there is an unresolved doubt whether they are males or females, they are considered of another type, and with regard to the sacrifices, it is said: "a perfect male" and "a perfect female." [Implied is that] they must be definitely male or definitely female. Therefore even a fowl12 which is a tumtum or an androgynus is unacceptable for the altar.13


הַטֻּמְטוּם וְהָאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לְךָ מוּם גָּדוֹל מֵהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן פְּסוּלִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִדֶּרֶךְ אַחֶרֶת לְפִי שֶׁהֵן סָפֵק זָכָר סָפֵק נְקֵבָה הֲרֵי הֵן כְּמִין אַחֵר. וּבַקָּרְבָּנוֹת נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא א-ג) (ויקרא א-י) (ויקרא ד-כג) "זָכָר תָּמִים" וּ(ויקרא ד-לב) "נְקֵבָה תְּמִימָה" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה זָכָר וַדַּאי אוֹ נְקֵבָה וַדָּאִית. לְפִיכָךְ אַף הָעוֹף שֶׁהוּא טֻמְטוּם אוֹ אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס פָּסוּל לַמִּזְבֵּחַ:


Similarly, a hybrid animal, one born through Caesarian section, and one that is lacking in age are unacceptable even if they are unblemished. [These are all excluded through the exegesis of Leviticus 22:27]: "An ox, a lamb, and a goat..." - [this implies] each of the species must be separate; an animal should not be a hybrid between a lamb and a goat. "When it gives birth..." - this excludes one born through Caesarian section.14 "It will be seven days..." - This excludes one that it is lacking in age.15 "Together with its mother" - This excludes an "orphan," i.e., an animal born after its mother was slaughtered.16


וְכֵן הַכִּלְאַיִם וְיוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן וּמְחֻסַּר זְמַן פְּסוּלִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם מוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב-כז) "שׁוֹר אוֹ כֶשֶׂב אוֹ עֵז" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כָּל מִין וּמִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ לֹא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מְעֹרָב מִכֶּבֶשׂ וְעֵז. (ויקרא כב-כז) "כִּי יִוָּלֵד" פְּרָט לְיוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן. (ויקרא כב-כז) "וְהָיָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים" פְּרָט לִמְחֻסַּר זְמַן. (ויקרא כב-כז) "תַּחַת אִמּוֹ" פְּרָט לְיָתוֹם שֶׁנּוֹלַד אַחַר שֶׁנִּשְׁחֲטָה אִמּוֹ:


An animal which looks like a different species is unacceptable [as a sacrifice] for the altar even though it is not a hybrid. What is implied? A ewe gave birth to an animal that resembled a goat or a she-goat gave birth to an animal that resembled a lamb. Even though it has some of the signs of its own species, it is unacceptable like an animal that has a permanent blemish. For there is no blemish greater than a change [in appearance].


הַנִּדְמֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ כִּלְאַיִם הֲרֵי הוּא פָּסוּל לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. כֵּיצַד. רָחֵל שֶׁיָּלְדָה כְּמִין עֵז וְעֵז שֶׁיָּלְדָה כְּמִין כֶּבֶשׂ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מִקְצָת סִימָנִין הוֹאִיל וְהוּא דּוֹמֶה לְמִין אַחֵר פָּסוּל כְּבַעַל מוּם קָבוּעַ שֶׁאֵין לְךָ מוּם קָבוּעַ גָּדוֹל מִן הַשִּׁנּוּי:


Similarly, an animal that had relations with a person,17 which was sodomized,18 which was set aside for pagan worship,19 or which was worshipped,20 even though it is permitted to be eaten,21 is unacceptable as a sacrifice for the altar. [This is derived as follows: When describing animals unfit for sacrifices, Leviticus 22:25] states: "For their perversion is in them." [Implied is that] any [animal] characterized by perversion is forbidden. With regard to forbidden [sexual behavior, Genesis 6:12] states: "For all flesh has perverted [its path]."22 With regard to pagan worship, [Exodus 32:7] states: "For your nation has perverted itself." Similarly, an animal or fowl which killed a person are considered equivalent to one that had relations with a person or which was sodomized and they are unacceptable for the altar.23


וְכֵן הָרוֹבֵעַ וְהַנִּרְבָּע וְהַמֻּקְצֶה לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְהַנֶּעֱבָד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מֻתָּרִין בַּאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי הֵן פְּסוּלִין לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב-כה) "כִּי מָשְׁחָתָם בָּהֶם" כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ הַשְׁחָתָה פָּסוּל. וּבַעֲבֵרָה הוּא אוֹמֵר (בראשית ו-יב) "כִּי הִשְׁחִית כָּל בָּשָׂר". וּבַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה כְּתִיב (שמות לב-ז) (דברים ט-יב) "כִּי שִׁחֵת עַמְּךָ". וְכֵן בְּהֵמָה וְעוֹף שֶׁהָרְגוּ אֶת הָאָדָם הֲרֵי הֵן כְּרוֹבֵעַ אוֹ נִרְבָּע וּפְסוּלִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ:


It appears to me that even though all of these types of animals are unfit to be brought as a sacrifice, if one transgressed and offered them as a sacrifice, he is not worthy of lashes according to Scriptural Law, because the prohibition [against using these animals as sacrifices] is not explicitly stated in the Torah. An animal given as a present to a harlot or exchanged for a dog are forbidden [as sacrifices] for the altar. One who offers a sacrifice from either of them or from both together is liable for one set of lashes, 24 as [Deuteronomy 23:19] states: "Do not bring a present to a harlot or the exchange of a dog [to the house of God]." Why is one liable for only one set of lashes for them both? Because they are both mentioned in one prohibition.


וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין כָּל הַפְּסוּלִין הָאֵלּוּ רְאוּיִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְקָרְבָּן אִם עָבַר וְהִקְרִיבָן אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִן הַתּוֹרָה לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְפָּרְשָׁה אַזְהָרָתָן. (דברים כג-יט) "אֲבָל אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר" כֶּלֶב אֲסוּרִין לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְהַמַּקְרִיב אֶחָד מֵהֶן אוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶן כְּאֶחָד לוֹקֶה אַחַת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג-יט) "לֹא תָבִיא אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב". וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לוֹקֶה אַחַת עַל שְׁנֵיהֶן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרוּ בְּלָאו אֶחָד:


It is a positive commandment25 to offer all of the sacrifices26 from the eighth day [of their lives] and onward, as [Leviticus 22:27] states: "It will be together with its mother for seven days and on the eighth day and onward, it will be desirable." Throughout these seven days, it is called lacking in age.27

Although an animal that is lacking in age is unacceptable as a sacrifice, if one transgressed and offered one, he is not liable for lashes,28 because the negative commandment comes as a result of a positive commandment. The sacrifice, [however,] is not acceptable.29


מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְהַקְרִיב כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת מִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב-כז) "וְהָיָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תַּחַת אִמּוֹ וּמִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה יֵרָצֶה". וְכָל שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים נִקְרָא מְחֻסַּר זְמַן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמְּחֻסַּר זְמַן פָּסוּל אִם עָבַר וְהִקְרִיבוֹ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא לָאו הַבָּא מִכְּלַל עֲשֵׂה וְלֹא נִרְצָה הַקָּרְבָּן:


Turtle-doves that have not reached the stage of development when they are fit for sacrifice30 and young doves that matured beyond the appropriate stage31 are all considered as blemished [animals].32 One who offers them is not liable for lashes,33 even though the sacrifice is invalid and is not acceptable.


תּוֹרִים שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ זְמַנָּן שֶׁהֵן כִּמְחֻסַּר זְמַן בִּבְהֵמָה וּבְנֵי יוֹנָה שֶׁעָבַר זְמַנָּן הַכּל כְּבַעַל מוּם וְהַמַּקְרִיבָן אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַקָּרְבָּן פָּסוּל וְלֹא נִרְצָה:


One who consecrates an animal which is a tumtum, androgynus, tereifah, a hybrid, or born through Caesarian section to the altar is like one who consecrated stones or wood,34 for the holiness does not take effect with regard to its physical substance. It is considered as ordinary property in all contexts. It should be sold35 and the proceeds of the sale used to purchase any sacrifice one desires.36 It is not considered like a blemished animal,37 for a sacrifice may be brought from the species of a blemished animal.38

When, by contrast, one consecrates an animal that had relations with a person, which was sodomized, which was set aside for pagan worship, which was worshipped, which was given to a harlot, or which was exchanged for a dog,39 it is considered as if he consecrated an animal with a temporary blemish. They should be left to pasture until they contract a permanent blemish for which they could be redeemed. Similarly, one who consecrates an animal that is lacking in age is considered as one who consecrates an animal with a temporary blemish.40 Nevertheless, he is not liable for lashes, as we explained.41


הַמַּקְדִּישׁ טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס וּטְרֵפָה וְכִלְאַיִם וְיוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן לַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַקְדִּישׁ עֵצִים וַאֲבָנִים. לְפִי שֶׁאֵין קְדֻשָּׁה חָלָה עַל גּוּפָן וַהֲרֵי הֵן חֻלִּין לְכָל דָּבָר. וְיִמָּכְרוּ וְיָבִיא בִּדְמֵיהֶם כָּל קָרְבָּן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. וְאֵינָן כְּבַעַל מוּם שֶׁבַּעַל מוּם יֵשׁ בְּמִינוֹ קָרְבָּן. אֲבָל הַמַּקְדִּישׁ רוֹבֵעַ וְנִרְבָּע וּמֻקְצֶה וְנֶעֱבָד וְאֶתְנָן וּמְחִיר הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַקְדִּישׁ בַּעַל מוּם עוֹבֵר. וְיִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם קָבוּעַ וְיִפָּדוּ עָלָיו. וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ מְחֻסַּר זְמַן הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַקְדִּישׁ בַּעַל מוּם עוֹבֵר וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


Thus there are fourteen types of animals that are forbidden [as sacrifices] for the altar: a blemished animal, one that is not choice,42 one that is lacking an internal organ,43 a tereifah, a hybrid, one born from Caesarian section, one that had relations with a person, one that was sodomized, one that killed a person, one that was worshipped, one set aside for pagan worship, one given to a harlot as her fee, one exchanged for a dog, one which is lacking in age.


נִמְצְאוּ כָּל הָאִסּוּרִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֲרֵי הֵן י''ד וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. בַּעַל מוּם. וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ מִן הַמֻּבְחָר. וּמְחֻסַּר אֵיבָר מִבִּפְנִים. וּטְרֵפָה. וְכִלְאַיִם. וְיוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן. וְרוֹבֵעַ. וְנִרְבָּע. וְשֶׁהֵמִית הָאָדָם. הַנֶּעֱבָד. הַמֻּקְצֶה. הָאֶתְנָן. הַמְּחִיר. מְחֻסַּר זְמַן:


All of the animals which are forbidden [as sacrifices] for the altar are forbidden regardless of the proportion in which they are intermingled. Even if one of them becomes mixed together with ten thousand,44 they are all disqualified and unacceptable for the altar.45

In all instances, the offspring [of these unacceptable animals] are acceptable [as sacrifices] for the altar, with the exception of the offspring of an animal that was sodomized, worshipped, set aside for worship, or which killed a person. The offspring of these animals are forbidden for the altar as they are.46


כָּל הָאֲסוּרִין לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אוֹסְרִין בְּכָל שֶׁהֵן אֲפִלּוּ נִתְעָרֵב אֶחָד בְּרִבּוֹא נִפְסַד הַכּל וְנִפְסַל לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְכֻלָּן וַלְדוֹתֵיהֶן מֻתָּרִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ חוּץ מִוְּלַד נִרְבַּעַת וְנֶעֱבֶדֶת וּמֻקְצֵית וְשֶׁהֵמִיתָה אֶת הָאָדָם שֶׁוְּלָדָן אֲסוּרִין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ כְּמוֹתָן:


When does the above47 apply? When the transgression was performed with it or it killed the person while it was pregnant, in which instance, the offspring was together with it when it became disqualified and was considered as one of its limbs.48 If, however, it became pregnant after the transgression was performed with it or it killed the person, its offspring is acceptable for the altar.49 Even if an animal was sodomized while it was consecrated and then it became pregnant, [the offspring is acceptable]. Needless to say, the offspring is acceptable if [the mother] was sodomized while it was of ordinary status and then it was consecrated and became pregnant. Similarly, a chick born from an egg from a tereifah is acceptable [as a sacrifice] for the altar.50


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁנֶּעֶבְדָה בָּהּ עֲבֵרָה אוֹ שֶׁהֵמִיתָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה מְעֵבֶּרֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי הַוָּלָד מָצוּי עִמָּהּ בְּעֵת שֶׁנִּפְסְלָה וְהָיָה כְּאֵיבָר מֵאֵיבָרֶיהָ. אֲבָל אִם נִתְעַבְּרָה אַחַר שֶׁנֶּעֶבְדָה בָּהּ עֲבֵרָה אוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהֵמִיתָה הֲרֵי וְלָדָהּ כָּשֵׁר לַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲפִלּוּ נִרְבְּעָה כְּשֶׁהִיא מֻקְדֶּשֶׁת וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִתְעַבְּרָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם נִרְבְּעָה וְהִיא חֻלִּין וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִקְדִּישָׁהּ וְנִתְעַבְּרָה שֶׁוְּלָדָהּ מֻתָּר. וְכֵן אֶפְרוֹחַ בֵּיצַת טְרֵפָה מֻתָּר לַמִּזְבֵּחַ:


When a person bows down to standing grain, its kernels are permitted to be used for meal offerings, for their [form] has changed. They resemble the offspring of animals forbidden [as sacrifices] for the altar.51 Similarly, an animal that was fattened with vetch from a false deity is permitted [as a sacrifice] for the altar, for the [form of the vetch] has changed.52


הַמִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לַקָּמָה חִטֶּיהָ מֻתָּרִין לִמְנָחוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי נִשְׁתַּנּוּ וְנִדְמוּ לִוְלָדוֹת שֶׁל אִסּוּר מִזְבֵּחַ שֶׁהֵן מֻתָּרִין. וְכֵן בְּהֵמָה שֶׁפִּטְּמָהּ בְּכַרְשִׁינֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מֻתֶּרֶת לַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁהֲרֵי נִשְׁתַּנּוּ:


[Animals for] any of the sacrifices may be purchased from gentiles.53 We do not suspect that [the animal] had relations with a person, had been sodomized, set aside for pagan worship, or worshipped unless it is known that it was disqualified. [Support for this concept can be brought from I Samuel 15:16:] "From the Amalekites, they were brought, for the people had mercy on the prime quality sheep and cattle, to sacrifice [them] to God your Lord."54


לוֹקְחִין כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהֶם לֹא מִשּׁוּם רוֹבֵעַ וְנִרְבָּע וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם מֻקְצֶה וְנֶעֱבָד. עַד שֶׁיִּוָּדַע בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁזֶּה נִפְסָל. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (שמואל א טו-טו) "מֵעֲמָלֵקִי הֱבִיאוּם אֲשֶׁר חָמַל הָעָם עַל מֵיטַב הַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר לְמַעַן זְבֹחַ לַה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ":

Test Yourself on This Chapter


I.e., those outlined in the previous chapter.


I.e., with regard to an animal, there are sacrifices which require a male and others which require a female. Such distinctions are not made with regard to sacrifices brought from fowl. All sacrifices are acceptable whether one brings a male or a female. See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 1:8.


The commentaries explain that the fact that the fowl lost its sight is not enough to disqualify it. It must be as if the eye has been removed.


See Chapter 2, Halachah 11.


See ibid.:10.


I.e., young, underdeveloped birds. They are considered as "lacking in age" (Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 18:8).


We have translated the verse literally so that the source for the concept derived is clear. None of the other animals prescribed for sacrifices are described as b'nai, "the children of." By using that term, the Torah sought to imply that the birds must be young and underdeveloped.


An intermediate stage of development.


It is unacceptable for turtle-doves, because such a fowl is still considered in its preliminary stages of development. It is not mature yet. Yet it is unacceptable for ordinary doves, because such a fowl has developed beyond its initial stages.


An animal whose sexual organs were covered by a mass of flesh and thus its gender cannot be determined.


An animal with both a male and female sexual organ.


Which could be offered if it possessed a blemish.


Even though it makes no difference if a fowl is male or female, it must be definitely a male or definitely a female.


For Caesarian section is not considered as "birth."


See Halachah 8.


I.e., the mother was pregnant. It was slaughtered and the fetus was removed alive from its womb and then consecrated as a sacrifice. The Radbaz explains that since this animal is also born through Caesarian section, it is not mentioned as a separate category in the first clause of this halachah and in Halachah 11.


Either a male or a female. See Chapter 4, Halachah 3.


In Chapter 4, Halachah 2, and in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 8:1), the Rambam explains that this is referring to a situation where the forbidden sexual act was observed by only one witness, by the owners, or the animal was consecrated before being brought to court, or the forbidden sexual act was performed by a gentile. If, however, the forbidden sexual act was performed by a Jew and observed by two witnesses, once the matter was ruled upon by the court, the animal must be executed and is certainly unacceptable as a sacrifice. See also Chapter 4, Halachah 3,5 for more details regarding the disqualification of such an animal.


Even if it had not been used for such worship as of yet. See Chapter 4, Halachah 4, which explains when such an animal is disqualified. As the Radbaz explains in his gloss to that halachah, this is speaking about both an animal which is itself going to be worshipped, and also an animal that will be used for the service of a pagan deity.


See Chapter 4, Halachah 6.


This refers even to an animal that was worshipped or set aside for pagan worship, as stated in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 8:1.


The commentaries to that verse explain that its intent is that even animals were mating with partners from different species. It is, however, unlikely that this is the Rambam's intent in citing that prooftext. Most probably, the intent is that only animals that shared relations with humans are forbidden.


See Chapter 4, Halachah 3, for more particulars concerning this category.


Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 100) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 571) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. Although the prohibition involves two subjects, not one, it is still considered as only one prohibition. See the Introduction to Sefer HaMitzvot, General Principle 9, for more details on why the two prohibitions are considered as one mitzvah.


Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 60) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 293) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.


Rabbi Akiva Eiger postulates that this mitzvah applies only with regard to animals. Young doves, by contrast, may be offered even before their eighth day of life. This conclusion can be derived from the Rambam's wording in the following halachah and in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 18:8. See also Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 3:10 which allows a chick to be slaughtered for food even on the day of its birth.


See ibid. 1:11-12 for more particulars. There the Rambam states that it is preferable to offer a sacrifice after it is at least one month old.


The Rambam adds this explanation, because in contrast to the disqualifying factors mentioned in Halachah 7, this factor is mentioned explicitly in the Torah (Radbaz).


As can be inferred from the prooftext cited.


See Halachah 2 which explains when these doves are fit to be offered.


That same halachah explains when these doves become unacceptable.


See also Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 18:7-9 which mentions other time factors that render an animal unfit to be sacrificed.


There is no specific prohibition forbidding such offerings. Instead, the manner in which the positive commandment is stated in the Torah makes it clear that a younger fowl is prohibited, as stated in the previous halachah.


Since these types of animals are not acceptable as sacrifices as explained in the previous halachot, the consecration is not effective.


Immediately; there is no need that one wait until the animal is blemished.


The Ra'avad emphasizes that the person's words are not entirely of no consequence. Instead, the animal must be sold and the proceeds used to purchase a sacrifice. This, he explains, applies only when the person states: "This animal is consecrated to the altar." If he states: "This animal is a sacrifice," his words are of no consequence and no holiness is attached to it at all.


I.e., if an animal with a blemish is consecrated, the animal itself becomes holy. Also, the one who consecrates it is liable for lashes (Radbaz).

See also Hilchot Temurah 1:14, 3:5, when one desires to transfer the holiness of a consecrated animal to a blemished animal, the transfer is effective and the blemished animal is considered as consecrated. This does not apply with regard to these animals.


Were it to be unblemished. Therefore even when it is blemished, the holiness of an animal can be transferred to it.


Which are all unacceptable, as explained in the previous halachot.


For ultimately, it will come of age, and then be acceptable for sacrifice.


In Halachah 8. There the Rambam states that one who offers such a fowl is not liable. From that, we can infer that one who consecrates it is also exempt.


As explained in Chapter 2, Halachah 8.


As explained ibid.:11.


And the forbidden animal cannot be identified. Note the parallels in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 6:2.


Zevachim 73a,b states that the rationale is that animals are important and therefore are never nullified in a mixture. The Sages then ask: Let us have the herd in which the animal is mixed moved and then we will follow the principle: Whenever one is separated, we consider it to have separated from the majority (which in this instance is permitted). They reply that this is not done because of a Rabbinical decree, lest an animal be removed from the mixture while it is at rest.


Temurah 30b states that it is disrespectful to offer an animal that has been associated with such a transgression as a sacrifice. From the following halachah, it appears that the rationale is that it is considered to have actually taken part in the transgression.


The disqualification of the offspring in those four instances.


In keeping with the principle (Hilchot Nizkei Mammon 11:12; Temurah, loc. cit.): "A fetus is considered like the thigh of its mother."


For in that instance, the animal was brought into being by two factors, one of which is associated with a source forbidden as a sacrifice (the mother) and another (the father) which was not (ibid.).


For a chick is an entirely new entity that was not directly associated with the forbidden animal (ibid. 31a).


As mentioned in the previous halachot. I.e., just as the offspring is the product of the forbidden animal, the flour is the product of the grain. See Avodah Zarah 46b-47a.


In this instance, it is not even remotely connected to the forbidden entity. See Temurah, loc. cit.


Similarly, an animal brought by a gentile to sacrifice as a burnt offering is acceptable (see Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 3:2).


King Saul gave this explanation to the prophet Samuel after failing to destroy the herds of the Amalekites. Although that excuse was rejected, it was rejected only because God had explicitly stated that the Amalekites' herds must be destroyed. Had there not been such a command, presumably they - and by extension, animals belonging to any other gentile nation - would have been acceptable.

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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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