Get the best of Chabad.org content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!
ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 4

Show content in:

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 4

1

All of the sacrifices may be offered only during the day,1 as [can be inferred from Leviticus 7:38]: "On the day when He commanded the children of Israel to offer their sacrifices." [Implied is] during the day and not at night. Therefore sacrifices are slaughtered only during the day and their blood is sprinkled [on the altar] on the day of the slaughter, as [can be inferred from ibid.:16]: "On the day he offers his sacrifice." Implied is that on the day the sacrifice is slaughtered, it should be offered.2 When the sun sets [on that day], the blood is disqualified.3

א

כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת אֵין מַקְרִיבִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז לח) "בְּיוֹם צַוֹּתוֹ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַקְרִיב אֶת קָרְבְּנֵיהֶם" בַּיּוֹם וְלֹא בַּלַּיְלָה. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין זְבָחִים אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם וְאֵין זוֹרְקִין דָּמִים אֶלָּא בְּיוֹם הַשְּׁחִיטָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז טז) "בְּיוֹם הַקְרִיבוֹ אֶת זִבְחוֹ" בְּיוֹם הַזְּבִיחָה תִּהְיֶה הַהַקְרָבָה. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁשָּׁקְעָה הַחַמָּה נִפְסַל הַדָּם:

2

As long as the elements that cause a sacrifice to be permitted were offered4during the day, [the other elements of] the sacrifice may be offered on the altar throughout the night.

What is implied? When the blood of sacrifices was sprinkled during the day, their eimorim5 may be offered on the fire of the altar at night until dawn.6Similarly, the limbs of the burnt-offerings may be offered on the fire of the altar until dawn.7 In order to distance [a person] from inadvertent transgression,8 our Sages declared that the eimorim and the limbs of the burnt-offerings should only be offered on the fire of the altar until midnight.

ב

כָּל שֶׁקָּרְבוּ מַתִּירָיו בַּיּוֹם מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּל הַלַּיְלָה. כֵּיצַד. זְבָחִים שֶׁנִּזְרַק דָּמָם בַּיּוֹם מַקְטִירִין אֵימוּרֵיהֶן בַּלַּיְלָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר. וְכֵן אֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלוֹת מַקְטִירִין אוֹתָן בַּלַּיְלָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר. וּכְדֵי לְהַרְחִיק מִן הַפְּשִׁיעָה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֵין מַקְטִירִין הָאֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלָה אֶלָּא עַד חֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָה:

3

Even though the eimorim and the limbs [of the sacrifices] may be offered on the fire of the altar at night, they may not be willingly delayed. Instead, an attempt should be made to offer everything during the day, for it is desirable that a mitzvah be performed at its designated time. [The importance of this can be seen from the fact that] the offering of the eimorim and the limbs [of the sacrifices] on the fire of the altar supersedes the Sabbath prohibitions on that day. We do not delay this until Saturday night.9

ג

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהַקְטִיר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים בַּלַּיְלָה אֵין מְאַחֲרִין אוֹתָן לְדַעַת. אֶלָּא מִשְׁתַּדְּלִין לְהַקְטִיר הַכּל בַּיּוֹם. חֲבִיבָה מִצְוָה בִּשְׁעָתָהּ שֶׁהֲרֵי הֶקְטֵר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּשֵׁרִים בַּלַּיְלָה דּוֹחִין אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת בִּזְמַנָּן וְאֵין מְאַחֲרִין אוֹתָן לְמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת:

4

Any element of a sacrifice that may be offered only during the day, e.g., the handful [of flour from the meal-offering], the frankincense [from the meal-offering], the incense offering, and the meal-offerings that are burnt [on the altar],10 may be offered [on the altar] at sunset.11 They then continue to be consumed [by the altar's fire] the entire night like the limbs of the burnt offerings.

ד

כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָרֵב אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם כְּגוֹן הַקֹּמֶץ וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וְהַקְּטֹרֶת וּמְנָחוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת מֻתָּר לְהַקְרִיבָן עִם מְבוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. וְהֵם מִתְאַכְּלִין וְהוֹלְכִין כָּל הַלַּיְלָה כְּאֵיבְרֵי עוֹלָה:

5

The libations that are offered with sacrifices12 are only offered during the day,13 as [Numbers 29:39] states: "And for their libations and for their peace-offerings." An association is established between the peace-offerings and the libations. Just as the peace-offerings [are offered only] during the day, so too, the libations must be offered during the day. Nevertheless, the libations that are offered independently may be sanctified at night and offered at night.14 Therefore if it happens that a person obtains libations that are brought independently, he should15 sanctify them at night and offer them at night.16 Dawn disqualifies [these libations], as it disqualifies the limbs of the burnt-offering.17

ה

הַנְּסָכִים הַבָּאִים עִם הַזֶּבַח אֵין קְרֵבִין אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כט לט) "וּלְנִסְכֵּיכֶם וּלְשַׁלְמֵיכֶם". מַקִּישׁ נְסָכִים לִשְׁלָמִים מַה שְּׁלָמִים בַּיּוֹם אַף נְסָכִים בַּיּוֹם. אֲבָל הַנְּסָכִים הַבָּאִים בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן מִתְקַדְּשִׁין בַּלַּיְלָה וּקְרֵבִין בַּלַּיְלָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִזְדַּמְּנוּ לוֹ נְסָכִים הַבָּאִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן מַקְדִּישָׁן וּמַקְרִיבָן בַּלַּיְלָה וַעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר פּוֹסֶלֶת בָּהֶן כְּאֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלוֹת:

6

The entire day is acceptable for semichah, slaughter, severing a fowl's head,18 offering objects on the altar's fire, bringing [meal] offerings to the altar,19 sprinkling [blood on the altar], waving [sacrificial offerings],20 taking a handful of the meal offering,21 and bringing the Musaf offering.22 The entire night is acceptable to offer the eimorim and the limbs on the altar's fire.23

This is the general principle: When the mitzvah is to perform a particular act during the day, it is acceptable throughout the day. If the mitzvah is to perform the act at night, it is acceptable throughout the night. Nevertheless, the eager hasten to perform the mitzvot.24

ו

כָּל הַיּוֹם כָּשֵׁר לִסְמִיכָה וְלִשְׁחִיטָה וְלִמְלִיקָה לְהֶקְטֵר לְהַגָּשָׁה וּלְהַזָּיָה וְלִתְנוּפָה וְלִקְמִיצָה וּלְקָרְבַּן הַמּוּסָפִין. וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה כָּשֵׁר לְהַקְטִיר אֵימוּרִין וְאֵיבָרִים. זֶה הַכְּלָל דָּבָר שֶׁמִּצְוָתוֹ בַּיּוֹם כָּשֵׁר כָּל הַיּוֹם. וְדָבָר שֶׁמִּצְוָתוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה כָּשֵׁר כָּל הַלַּיְלָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן זְרִיזִין מַקְדִּימִין לְמִצְוֹת:

7

As an initial preference, all of the sacrificial animals may be slaughtered only with a knife that is a sacred utensil. Nevertheless, if one slaughtered it with any article [fit] to slaughter an ordinary animal - even the edge of a bulrush25 - it is acceptable.26

ז

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אוֹתָן לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא בְּסַכִּין מִכְּלֵי שָׁרֵת. וְאִם שָׁחַט בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁשּׁוֹחֲטִין בּוֹ הַחֻלִּין אֲפִלּוּ בִּקְרוּמִית שֶׁל קָנֶה כְּשֵׁרִין:

8

Whenever one received less than the amount of blood need to sprinkle it on the altar27 from any of the sacrifices, the blood does not become consecrated. [As an initial preference,] one should have the intent of receiving all the [animal's] blood.

What should be done? One should hold the windpipe and the gullet28 in his hand, and together with the jugular vein, place them inside a basin29 and slit both of them - or their majority30 - so that all of the blood will be received in the basin. [After the slaughter,] the knife should be lifted up, so that the blood does not flow down along it, but rather from the neck. He should wipe off the blood that is on the knife on the [outer] edge of the basin.31

ח

וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים שֶׁקִּבֵּל מִדָּמָם פָּחוֹת מִכְּדֵי הַזָּיָה לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ הַדָּם. וְצָרִיךְ לְהִתְכַּוֵּן לְקַבֵּל כָּל הַדָּם. כֵּיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. אוֹחֵז הַסִּימָנִים בְּיָדוֹ וּמוֹצִיאָן עִם הַוְּרִידִין לְתוֹךְ הַמִּזְרָק. וְשׁוֹחֵט שְׁנַיִם אוֹ רֹב שְׁנַיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְקַבֵּל הַדָּם כֻּלּוֹ בִּכְלִי. וּמַגְבִּיהַּ הַסַּכִּין לְמַעְלָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵרֵד הַדָּם מֵעָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא מִן הַצַּוָּאר. וְדָם שֶׁבַּסַּכִּין מְקַנְּחוֹ בִּשְׂפַת הַמִּזְרָק:

9

The space above the basin is considered as if it is inside the basin.32 If one was receiving the blood [of a sacrificial animal] and the bottom of the basin opened before the blood reached the open space of the bottomless basin, the blood is not consecrated. [The rationale is that when the blood enters] space in which it will ultimately not come to rest, it is not considered as if it came to rest.33

ט

אֲוִיר הַכְּלִי הֲרֵי הוּא כִּכְלִי. הָיָה מְקַבֵּל הַדָּם וְנִפְחֲתוּ שׁוּלֵי הַמִּזְרָק קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַדָּם לַאֲוִיר הַמִּזְרָק הַנִּפְחָת לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ הַדָּם. שֶׁהָאֲוִיר שֶׁאֵין סוֹפוֹ לָנוּחַ אֵינוֹ כְּמֻנָּח:

10

With regard to all of the sacrifices, the person performing the service34must have the intent of offering the proper type of sacrifice for the sake of the person bringing it at the time of slaughter, at the time the blood is received, at the time it is brought to the altar, and at the time that it is dashed on the altar,35 as [indicated by Leviticus 7:15]: "And the meat of his thanksgiving, peace-offering." [Implied is that] the slaughter together with the [three other] services must be for the sake of his peace-offering.36 Similar concepts apply with regard to other sacrifices.

If one slaughtered [an animal] and performed [these] other services without any intent, without thinking at all,37 this is acceptable for a burnt-offering and a peace-offering and the owner is considered to have fulfilled his obligation.38

י

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים צָרִיךְ הָעוֹבֵד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לְשֵׁם הַזֶּבַח וּלְשֵׁם בְּעָלָיו בִּשְׁעַת זְבִיחָה וּבִשְׁעַת קַבָּלַת הַדָּם וּבִשְׁעַת הוֹלָכַת הַדָּם וּבִשְׁעַת זְרִיקָתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז טו) "וּבְשַׂר זֶבַח תּוֹדַת שְׁלָמָיו" שֶׁתִּהְיֶה זְבִיחָה עִם שְׁאָר אַרְבַּע הָעֲבוֹדוֹת לְשֵׁם שְׁלָמָיו. וְכֵן שְׁאָר הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת. וְאִם שָׁחַט וְעָבַד שְׁאָר עֲבוֹדוֹת סְתָם וְלֹא חָשַׁב כְּלָל בְּעוֹלָה וּבִשְׁלָמִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּשֵׁרִים וְעָלוּ לַבְּעָלִים:

11

At the time of the slaughter of [an animal designated as] a burnt-offering,39[the person offering it] must have six things in mind, [that the animal be slaughtered]: for the sake of the [desired] sacrifice,40 for the sake of the person bringing it,41 that it be sacrificed unto God, blessed be He, that it be consumed by fire,42 that its consumption by fire be for the sake of generating a [pleasing] fragrance,43 and that the fragrance be pleasing before God. If he slaughtered [the animal] without any intent, it is acceptable, as explained.44

One who slaughters [an animal as] a sin-offering or a guilt-offering should have the intent that [the sacrifice atone] for the sin which he committed.45

יא

וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת שְׁחִיטַת הָעוֹלָה לְשֵׁם שִׁשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. לְשֵׁם הַזֶּבַח. וּלְשֵׁם הַזּוֹבֵחַ. וְשֶׁהַזֶּבַח לְהַשֵּׁם בָּרוּךְ הוּא. וְשֶׁיַּקְטִירוֹ לָאִשִּׁים. וְשֶׁהַקְטָרָתוֹ לְרֵיחַ בִּלְבַד. וְשֶׁרֵיחַ זֶה נַחַת רוּחַ לִפְנֵי הַשֵּׁם. וְאִם שָׁחַט סְתָם כָּשֵׁר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְהַשּׁוֹחֵט חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם צָרִיךְ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ לְשֵׁם אוֹתוֹ הַחֵטְא שֶׁבָּא עָלָיו:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

In this chapter, the Rambam lists the time limits associated with bringing the sacrifices and describes the intent with which the sacrifices must be offered.

2.

I.e., its blood should be sprinkled on the altar.

3.

As is the entire sacrifice (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 1:37).

4.

I.e., the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the altar (Radbaz).

5.

The fats and inner organs of the animal that are offered on the altar.

6.

The appearance of the first glimmerings of the light of the sun on the horizon more than an hour before sunrise.

7.

As Leviticus 6:2 speaks of "the burnt-offering... on the altar, the entire night until the morning."

8.

I.e., "lest time become pressing and they would not be offered until the following day" [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Berachot 1:3)]. Rashi (at the beginning of his commentary to Berachot) and other authorities differ and maintain that such a safeguard was not instituted.

9.

When there would be no prohibition involved in offering them.

10.

For example, the meal-offerings brought by the priests. See Chapter 12.

11.

Provided certain conditions are met, these may be offered on the altar even after the afternoon daily sacrifice has been offered. See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 1:6 and notes.

12.

As accompanying offerings. See Chapter 2, Halachah 1.

13.

They need not be offered on the day the sacrifice is offered, but they must be offered during the day.

14.

Since they were not associated with a particular sacrifice, there are no limits as to when they may be offered.

15.

Our translation follows the gloss of the Radbaz who maintains that it is preferable for him to offer them at night, for the libations should be consecrated and offered at the earliest possible opportunity. Hence, if it is possible for him to do so by day, he should do so by day. If that option becomes available at night, he should not wait for the next day.

16.

This is acceptable even as an initial preference.

17.

I.e., one might think that since they were sanctified at night, they would not be disqualified until the end of the next day. Hence, it is necessary to state that this is not so.

18.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 6.

19.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 6.

20.

See, for example, Chapter 9, Halachah 7.

21.

See Chapter 13, Halachot 12-13.

22.

The word "day" is mentioned in either the verse commanding the ritual acts mentioned or in a verse associated with them. Our Sages inferred that these ritual acts could only be performed during the day (see Megilah 20b).

23.

I.e., according to Scriptural Law. See Halachot 2-3 above.

24.

I.e., one should endeavor to perform them at the earliest possible opportunity.

25.

See Hilchot Shechitah 1:14 and notes.

26.

The Radbaz explains that the rationale is that slaughter is not considered part of the sacrificial service, as evidenced by the fact that it may be performed by a non-priest.

27.

The laws governing the sprinkling of the blood are described in the following chapter.

28.

The Rambam refers to these with the term siman, "signs," for they are the organs which, when slit in the desired manner, indicate that ritual slaughter is acceptable.

29.

The Rambam is quoting Zevachim 25a-b. As indicated by the conclusion of the halachah, it appears that the intent is not that the animal's neck should be held inside the sacred basin - for then, it would be difficult to perform the slaughter - but rather, above it (see Radbaz).

30.

In Hilchot Shechitah 1:9, the Rambam states: "Superior slaughter involves cutting both [the windpipe and the gullet], whether for an animal or a fowl, and a slaughterer should have this intent. [After the fact,] if one cut the majority of one of them for a fowl and the majority of both of them for an animal or a beast, the slaughter is acceptable."

31.

So that the blood will not flow into the basin (Radbaz, Kessef Mishneh).

32.

Our division of the halachot is based on the authentic manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah. The standard published text has a slightly different version.

33.

The question is whether the blood is considered as if it came to rest in the basin and then spilled out (in which instance, it would be acceptable to be gathered from the floor) or whether it spilled directly on the floor and was hence, disqualified (Rashi, Zevachim 25b). The Rambam is stating that since the blood is not going to come to rest in the bottomless basin, it is not considered as if it was spilled out and is therefore not consecrated.

Note the Radbaz who maintains that even if the utensil has a hole in it, if the blood is able to be collected, it is acceptable.

34.

His intent is significant and not the intent of the person who donated the sacrifice [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 4:6); Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 14:1].

35.

Although there are many activities connected with a sacrifice being offered, these four activities are considered the ones that are significant with regard to whether or not the sacrifice is disqualified.

36.

The process of Biblical exegesis through which these concepts are derived is explained in Zevachim 4a-b.

37.

If, however, they were sacrificed with a different intent, the sacrifice is acceptable, but the person is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation (Zevachim 2a).

38.

From the Rambam's words, it appears that this is not true with regard to a sin-offering or a guilt-offering or the Paschal sacrifice. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh note that from Zevachim 46b, it would appear that even those sacrifices are acceptable as long as one does not have a wrong intent. It is only when one has a wrong intent that they are disqualified. The Radbaz maintains that even though those sacrifices are not disqualified, the person bringing them is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation. The Kessef Mishneh does not accept this explanation and leaves his question of the Rambam's ruling unresolved.

39.

The commentaries discuss whether these concepts apply with regard to the peace offerings as well. From the Rambam's words, it would appear that the general intent applies to the peace-offerings, some of the particulars the Rambam mentions obviously do not.

40.

I.e., he must know the type of offering for which he is slaughtering an animal (Rashi, Zevachim 46b).

41.

I.e., and not for someone else (ibid.).

42.

Rather than roasted for human consumption (ibid.).

43.

That they be burnt on the altar and not elsewhere and then brought to the altar (ibid.).

44.

In the previous halachah.

45.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 15:6.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah