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Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 6

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Issurei Mizbeiach - Chapter 6

1

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

א

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

2

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

ב

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

3

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

ג

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

4

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

ד

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

5

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

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

ה

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

6

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

ו

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

7

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

ז

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

8

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

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

ח

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

9

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

ט

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

10

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

י

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

11

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

יא

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

12

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

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

יב

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

13

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

יג

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

14

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

יד

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

15

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

טו

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

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Footnotes
1.

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

2.

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

3.

The offerings.

4.

See Halachah 9.

5.

See Halachah 11.

6.

See Halachah 14.

7.

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

8.

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

9.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 3.

10.

As in Chapter 1, Halachah 2.

11.

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

12.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 10:6.

18.

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

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

Even though it is acceptable with regard to terumah.

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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

28.

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

29.

Grape juice that has not fermented.

30.

All of these types of wine have an inferior flavor.

31.

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

32.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 5.

33.

Even slightly worm-ridden.

34.

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

35.

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

36.

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

37.

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

38.

In vinegar or in brine.

39.

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

40.

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

41.

Grown in the present year.

42.

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

43.

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

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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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