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 5

Show content in:

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 5

1

We have already explained1 that the slaughter of consecrated animals is acceptable even when performed by non-priests.2 From the receiving of the blood and onward, the mitzvah is that of the priests.3 The blood of all the sacrifices must be received in a sacred utensil4 held by a priest's hand.5 Nevertheless, the place where they are slaughtered and their blood is received is not the same in all instances.

א

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁשְּׁחִיטַת הַקָּדָשִׁים כְּשֵׁרָה בְּזָרִים וּמִקַּבָּלַת הַדָּם וְאֵילָךְ מִצְוַת כְּהֻנָּה וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים קִבּוּל דָּמָן בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת בְּיַד כֹּהֵן. אֲבָל מְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָתָן וּמְקוֹם קִבּוּל דָּמָן אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה בְּכֻלָּן:

2

What is implied? Sacrifices of the most sacred order may be slaughtered and their blood may be received6 in the any portion of [the area designated as] north of the altar whose boundaries we defined in the beginning of this book.7 Sacrifices of lesser sanctity may be slaughtered and their blood received in every place in the Temple Courtyard.

ב

כֵּיצַד. קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מְקַבְּלִין אֶת דָּמָן אֶלָּא בִּצְפוֹן הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ גְּבוּלוֹתָיו בִּתְחִלַּת סֵפֶר זֶה. וְקָדָשִׁים קַלִּים שְׁחִיטָתָן וְקִבּוּל דָּמָן בְּכָל מָקוֹם מִן הָעֲזָרָה:

3

What is the source that teaches the sacrifices of the most holy order may be slaughtered only in the northern portion of the Temple Courtyard. With regard to a burnt-offering, [Leviticus 1:11] states: "And it shall be slaughtered on the northern flank of the altar." And with regard to the sin-offering, [ibid. 6:18] states: "In the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered, you shall slaughter the sin-offering." And just as a sin-offering is called a sacrifice of the most sacred order,8 so too, the burnt-offering is called, a sacrifice of the most sacred order.9 With regard to the guilt-offering, [ibid. 7:2] states: "In the place where the burnt-offering is slaughtered, you shall slaughter the guilt-offering." And an association was established between communal peace-offerings10 and sin-offerings, as [ibid. 23:19] states: "You shall offer one he-goat as a sin-offering and two sheep a year old as a peace-offering." Therefore, they are considered sacrifices of the most sacred order like a sin-offering and are slaughtered in the place where it is slaughtered.11 In the place where [these sacrificial animals] are slaughtered, their blood should be received.

ג

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים אֶלָּא בַּצָּפוֹן. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בְּעוֹלָה (ויקרא א יא) "וְשָׁחַט אֹתוֹ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ צָפֹנָה" וּבְחַטָּאת הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ו יח) "בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּשָּׁחֵט הָעלָה תִּשָּׁחֵט הַחַטָּאת". וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהַחַטָּאת נִקְרֵאת קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים כָּךְ הָעוֹלָה נִקְרֵאת קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים. וּבְאָשָׁם הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ז ב) "בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁחֲטוּ אֶת הָעלָה יִשְׁחֲטוּ אֶת הָאָשָׁם". וְשַׁלְמֵי צִבּוּר הֻקְּשׁוּ לְחַטָּאת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג יט) "וַעֲשִׂיתֶם שְׂעִיר עִזִּים אֶחָד לְחַטָּאת וּשְׁנֵי כְבָשִׂים בְּנֵי שָׁנָה לְזֶבַח שְׁלָמִים" לְפִיכָךְ הֵן קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים כְּחַטָּאת וְנִשְׁחָטִין בִּמְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָתָהּ. וּמְקוֹם שְׁחִיטָה הוּא מְקוֹם הַקַּבָּלָה:

4

What is the source that teaches that sacrifices of lesser sanctity may be slaughtered in any place in the Temple Courtyard, even behind the Temple building?12With regard to the peace-offerings, [Leviticus] 3:2] states: "And you shall slaughter it at the opening to the Tent of Meeting," this indicates that all directions are acceptable,13 for a particular direction was not specified. The same applies to other sacrifices of lesser sanctity. If they were slaughtered in the Temple building itself, they are acceptable.14 If, however, they slaughtered them on the roof of the Temple building,15 they are not acceptable, for the roofs are not fit for ritual slaughter at all. It must be performed on the earth of the Temple Courtyard.

ד

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁשּׁוֹחֲטִים קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים בְּכָל הָעֲזָרָה אֲפִלּוּ אֲחוֹרֵי הַהֵיכָל. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בִּשְׁלָמִים (ויקרא ג ב) "וּשְׁחָטוֹ פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד" לְהַכְשִׁיר כָּל הָרוּחוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא יִחֵד לָהֶם רוּחַ. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַקָּדָשִׁים קַלִּים. וְאִם שְׁחָטָם בַּהֵיכָל כְּשֵׁרִים. אֲבָל אִם שְׁחָטָן בְּגַגּוֹ שֶׁל הֵיכָל פְּסוּלִין שֶׁאֵין הַגַּגּוֹת רְאוּיוֹת לִשְׁחִיטָה כְּלָל אֶלָּא בְּקַרְקַע הָעֲזָרָה:

5

Peace offerings16 that were slaughtered before the gates to the Temple building were opened are unacceptable,17 as [indicated by the prooftext,] "at the opening to the Tent of Meeting," i.e., when it is open. Even if the doors were closed, [but not locked,] they are considered as locked. However, the curtain that is over [the entrance]18 does not disqualify [the offering].

ה

שְׁלָמִים שֶׁשְּׁחָטָן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּפָּתְחוּ דַּלְתוֹת הַהֵיכָל פְּסוּלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ג ב) "פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד" בִּזְמַן שֶׁפָּתוּחַ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ דַּלְתוֹתָיו מֻגָּפוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה כְּנָעוּל. אֲבָל הַפָּרֹכֶת שֶׁעָלָיו אֵינָהּ פּוֹסֶלֶת:

6

The manner in which the blood of a burnt-offering, a guilt-offering, and a peace offering, whether communal or individual, is cast on the altar is the same for all three types of sacrifices at all times.

What does [the priest] do? The priest takes the blood which is in a receptacle and casts it from the receptacle19 twice, [once] on each of two of the corners of the altar on a diagonal, on the bottom half of the altar.20 [The corners were] the northeast and the southwest.21 When casting the blood on the corners, he should have the intent that the blood will surround the corners like a gamma.22 In this way, the blood from these two castings will be found on the four walls of the altar.23 For with regard to the burnt-offering and the peace-offering, [the Torah] uses24 the term "surrounding."25 This also applies to the guilt offering.26 The remainder of the blood is poured on the foundation on the southern side of the altar.

ו

הָעוֹלָה וְהָאָשָׁם וְהַשְּׁלָמִים בֵּין שֶׁל יָחִיד בֵּין שֶׁל צִבּוּר זְרִיקַת דַּם שְׁלָשְׁתָּן עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שָׁוָה לְעוֹלָה. וְכֵיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. כְּשֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ הַכֹּהֵן הַדָּם בַּמִּזְרָק וְזוֹרֵק מִמֶּנּוּ בַּמִּזְרָק שְׁתֵּי זְרִיקוֹת עַל שְׁתֵּי זָוִיּוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בַּאֲלַכְסוֹן מֵחֲצִי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּלְמַטָּה עַל קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית וְעַל קֶרֶן מַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית. וּמִתְכַּוֵּן כְּשֶׁיִּזָּרֵק הַדָּם עַל הַקֶּרֶן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַדָּם מַקִּיף עַל הַזָּוִיּוֹת כְּמִין גַּ''ם. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא הַדָּם שֶׁל שְׁתֵּי מַתָּנוֹת עַל אַרְבָּעָה כָּתְלֵי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּעוֹלָה וּבִשְׁלָמִים (ויקרא ז ב) (ויקרא ט יח) "סָבִיב" וְהוּא הַדִּין לְאָשָׁם. וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם נִשְׁפָּכִין עַל הַיְסוֹד הַדְּרוֹמִי:

7

The sin offerings from which [the priests] partake require four presentations [of blood], [one] on each of the four corners of the outer altar, on its upper half,27 for concerning it, [Leviticus 4:25] states: "On the corners of the altar.28

What should [the priest] do? When the priest takes the blood in the receptacle, he carries it to the altar. He dips the index finger of his right hand29 into the blood. He then places his thumb [on one side of the altar] and his middle finger [on the other side] and applies30 [the blood] on the point of the corner of the altar, descending until he finishes [bestowing] all the blood on his finger. He does this on each corner. If he placed the blood near the corner, within a cubit on either side, he achieves atonement [for the owner of the sacrifice].31

ז

הַחַטָּאוֹת הַנֶּאֱכָלוֹת דָּמָן טָעוּן אַרְבַּע מַתָּנוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַחִיצוֹן מֵחֲצִי מִזְבֵּחַ וּלְמַעְלָה לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא ד כה) (ויקרא ד לד) "עַל קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ". וְכֵיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. כְּשֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ הַכֹּהֵן הַדָּם בַּמִּזְרָק מוֹלִיכוֹ אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְטוֹבֵל אֶצְבָּעוֹ הַיְמָנִית הַסְּמוּכָה לַגּוּדָל בְּדָם. וְסוֹמֵךְ בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה מִכָּאן וּבַגּוּדָל מִכָּאן וּמְחַטֵּא וְיוֹרֵד כְּנֶגֶד חֻדָּהּ שֶׁל קֶרֶן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה כָּל הַדָּם שֶׁבְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ. וְכֵן הוּא עוֹשֶׂה בְּכָל קֶרֶן וְקֶרֶן. וְאִם נָתַן סָמוּךְ לַקֶּרֶן כְּאַמָּה אַחַת מִכָּאן אוֹ מִכָּאן כִּפֵּר:

8

He must dip his finger [in the blood] before applying it to each corner. When he finishes applying it to the corner, he should clean his finger on the [outer] edge of the container.32 He then dips it in a second time, for the blood on his finger is unacceptable to place on another corner.

ח

וְצָרִיךְ לִטְבּל אֶצְבָּעוֹ עַל כָּל קֶרֶן וְקֶרֶן. וּכְשֶׁגּוֹמֵר הַנְּתִינָה עַל הַקֶּרֶן מְקַנֵּחַ אֶצְבָּעוֹ בִּשְׂפַת הַמִּזְרָק. וְאַחַר כָּךְ טוֹבֵל פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה. שֶׁשְּׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שֶׁבְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ פְּסוּלִין לִתֵּן מֵהֶן עַל קֶרֶן אַחֶרֶת:

9

None of the other sacrifices require the application of the blood on the altar with one's finger aside from the sin-offering,33 for with regard to it [Leviticus 4:6] states: "And he shall dip his finger into the blood." There must be enough blood so that he can dip his finger into it. He should not collect the blood with his finger.

ט

אֵין בְּכָל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת קָרְבָּן שֶׁטָּעוּן הַזָּיַת דָּם בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ אֶלָּא חַטָּאת בִּלְבַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא ט ט) "וְטָבַל אֶצְבָּעוֹ בַּדָּם". וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁם דָּם כְּדֵי טְבִילָה לֹא שֶׁיִּסָּפֵג אֶצְבָּעוֹ מִדָּם:

10

From [which] corner should he begin? He should ascend on the ramp and turn to his right, walking on the surrounding ledge. He should apply the blood to the southeast corner first and then to the second corner that is close to it, the northeast corner.34 Afterwards, he should proceed to the third corner, [the one] next to it, the northwest corner, and afterwards, to the fourth corner next to it, which is the southwest. On the base of the altar at the corner which he completed the applications of the blood, he pours out the remaining blood,35 as [Leviticus 4:17] states: "And all of the [remaining] blood he should pour on the base of the altar of the burnt-offerings."36 This refers to the base on the southern side [of the altar].

י

וּמִנַּיִן הוּא מַתְחִיל. עוֹלֶה בַּכֶּבֶשׁ וּפוֹנֶה לִימִינוֹ וּמְהַלֵּךְ עַל הַסּוֹבֵב וְנוֹתֵן בְּקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית תְּחִלָּה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בַּקֶּרֶן הַשְּׁנִיָּה הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּקֶרֶן שְׁלִישִׁית הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא צְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּקֶרֶן רְבִיעִית הַסְּמוּכָה לָהּ שֶׁהִיא מַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית. וְעַל יְסוֹד אוֹתָהּ הַקֶּרֶן שֶׁהִשְׁלִים בָּהּ הַמַּתָּנוֹת הוּא שׁוֹפֵךְ שְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יח) "וְאֵת כָּל הַדָּם יִשְׁפֹּךְ אֶל יְסוֹד מִזְבַּח" (הָעלָה) זֶה יְסוֹד דְּרוֹמִי:

11

The blood of all of the sin-offerings that are burnt37 is taken in the Temple building, and it is sprinkled there as described in the Torah.38 The remainder of the blood should be poured on the western base of the outer altar, [the one] that he encounters first when he leaves the Temple building.

יא

כָּל הַחַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת דָּמָם נִכְנָס לְפָנִים לַהֵיכָל וּמַזִּין מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁם כַּאֲשֶׁר מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה. וּשְׁיָרֵי הַדָּם שׁוֹפְכָן עַל יְסוֹד הַמַּעֲרָבִי שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ הַחִיצוֹן שֶׁהוּא פּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ תְּחִלָּה בְּצֵאתוֹ מִן הַהֵיכָל:

12

How is their blood sprinkled and how many sprinklings are made? The blood of both the bull39 and the goat40 offered on Yom Kippur require eight sprinklings between the staves [of the ark] and eight sprinklings on the curtain [before the Holy of Holies]. He then mixes together the blood of the bull and that of the goat and sprinkle four times, one on each of the four corners of the golden altar in the Temple building and seven sprinklings on the center of this altar, as will be explained in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim.41 [Even] if he did not carefully direct the sprinklings42 performed in the innermost [chamber], they are acceptable.

יב

וְהֵיכָן מַזִּין מִדָּמָן. וְכַמָּה מַזֶּה מֵהֶם. פַּר וְשָׂעִיר שֶׁל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים דַּם כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן טָעוּן שְׁמוֹנֶה הַזָּיוֹת עַל בֵּין הַבַּדִּים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה עַל הַפָּרֹכֶת. וּמְעָרֵב דַּם הַפָּר וְהַשָּׂעִיר וּמַזֶּה מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם אַרְבַּע הַזָּאוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב שֶׁבַּהֵיכָל. וְשֶׁבַע הַזָּיוֹת עַל אֶמְצָעוֹ שֶׁל מִזְבֵּחַ זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת עֲבוֹדַת יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְאִם לֹא כִּוֵּן בַּהַזָּיוֹת שֶׁבִּפְנִים כְּשֵׁרוֹת:

13

The blood of the bulls that are burnt43 and the goats that are burnt44 should both be cast [in the following manner]. They should be sprinkled seven times on the curtain that separates between the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies and four times on the four corners of the golden altar.45

יג

פָּרִים הַנִּשְׂרָפִין וּשְׂעִירִים הַנִּשְׂרָפִין זוֹרֵק דָּם מִכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶם שֶׁבַע הַזָּיוֹת עַל הַפָּרֹכֶת הַמַּבְדֶּלֶת בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּבֵין קֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים. וְאַרְבַּע הַזָּיוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע קַרְנוֹת מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב:

14

With regard to the blood placed on the golden altar: When he enters [the Sanctuary],46 he stands between the altar and the Menorah47 with the altar in front of him. He should [sprinkle the blood] on the outer side of the horns of the altar. He should begin with the northeast corner and [proceed] to the northwest and then to the southwest and then to the southeast.

יד

וְכָל הַדָּמִים הַנִּתָּנִין עַל מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב כְּשֶׁהוּא נִכְנָס עוֹמֵד בֵּין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לַמְּנוֹרָה וְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו. וְנוֹתֵן עַל קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִבַּחוּץ. מַתְחִיל מִקֶּרֶן מִזְרָחִית צְפוֹנִית לִצְפוֹנִית מַעֲרָבִית לְמַעֲרָבִית דְּרוֹמִית לִדְרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית:

15

With regard to the bull brought by the anointed priest48 for the violation of any of the mitzvot, the anointed priest himself receives its blood and sprinkles it in the Sanctuary.49 If an ordinary priest received this blood and sprinkled it, it is acceptable.

טו

פַּר כֹּהֵן מָשִׁיחַ הַבָּא עַל כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת כֹּהֵן הַמָּשִׁיחַ עַצְמוֹ מְקַבֵּל דָּמוֹ וּמַזֶּה מִמֶּנּוּ מִבִּפְנִים וְאִם קִבֵּל וְהִזָּה כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט כָּשֵׁר:

16

The goats [offered in atonement for] idol worship are called the goats which are burnt. The Torah does not explicitly state how their blood was sprinkled [on the altar]. Nevertheless, since they are communal sin offerings, the laws applying to them should be the same in their particulars as those applying to the bull brought because of a forgotten law, for it is also a communal sin-offering. [This applies to] the sprinkling of the blood, burning [the sacrifices], and the impurity they impart to the one who has them burnt.

טז

שְׂעִירֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְהֵן שְׂעִירִין הַנִּשְׂרָפִין לֹא נִתְפָּרֵשׁ בָּהֶן בַּתּוֹרָה כֵּיצַד נוֹתֵן דָּמָן וּלְהֵיכָן הוּא נוֹתֵן. אֶלָּא לְפִי שֶׁהֵן חַטַּאת הַקָּהָל דִּינָן כְּדִין פַּר הֶעְלֵם שֶׁהוּא חַטַּאת הַקָּהָל לְכָל הָאָמוּר בּוֹ לְמַתַּן דָּמִים וְלִשְׂרֵפָה וּלְטַמֵּא אֶת הַשּׂוֹרֵף:

17

The blood of each [of the following], the firstborn offering, the tithe offering, and the Paschal sacrifice is required to be presented to the altar through one pouring at its base, in any direction one desires on the three corners of the altar that have a base. For, as we explained,50 the southeastern corner did not have a base.

What is the source that teaches that all that is required is one present? For with regard to the first born sacrifice, [Numbers 18:17] states: "You shall cast its blood on the altar." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that this also applies to the tithe offering and the Paschal sacrifice. Their blood is presented once like that of the firstborn offering.

יז

הַבְּכוֹר וְהַמַּעֲשֵׂר וְהַפֶּסַח דַּם כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן טָעוּן מַתָּנָה אַחַת בִּשְׁפִיכָה כְּנֶגֶד הַיְסוֹד בְּאֵי זוֹ רוּחַ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה מִשְּׁלֹשׁ זָוִיּוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. שֶׁהֲרֵי קֶרֶן מִזְרָחִית דְּרוֹמִית לֹא הָיָה לָהּ יְסוֹד כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵינָן טְעוּנִין אֶלָּא מַתָּנָה אַחַת שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בִּבְכוֹר (במדבר יח יז) "וְאֶת דָּמָם תִּזְרֹק עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁהוּא הַדִּין בְּמַעֲשֵׂר וּבְפֶסַח שֶׁנּוֹתֵן דָּמָן מַתָּנָה אַחַת כִּבְכוֹר:

18

The eimorim51 of all the sacrifices are the first [elements of the sacrifice] offered on the pyre of the altar after the blood is cast [on the altar].52 All of the sacrificial [animals] are skinned and then the eimorim are removed. They are not skinned until the blood is cast. [This applies] with the exception of the sin-offerings, for they are not skinned at all,53 as [Leviticus 16:27] states: "You shall burn with fire their hide and their flesh." Thus, [the order of sacrifice is] first the blood is cast [on the altar].54 Then the sacrificial [animals] are skinned and then their [bellies] are ripped open, the eimorim are removed and offered [on the pyre of the altar].

יח

כָּל הַזְּבָחִים מַקְטִירִין אֵימוּרֵיהֶן עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אַחַר שֶׁזּוֹרְקִין הַדָּם תְּחִלָּה. וְכָל הַזְּבָחִים מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹצִיאִין אֶת אֵימוּרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיִּזָּרֵק הַדָּם. חוּץ מֵחֲטָאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת שֶׁאֵין מַפְשִׁיטִין אוֹתָם כְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז כז) "אֶת עוֹרָם וְאֶת בְּשָׂרָם". נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר זוֹרֵק תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַפְשִׁיט וְקוֹרֵעַ וּמוֹצִיא הָאֵימוּרִין וּמַקְטִיר:

19

All of the hides of the sacrifices of the most sacred order - whether communal offerings or individual offerings - are given to the priests, as [Leviticus 7:8] states: "The hide of the burnt-offering55 he offered [shall belong to that priest]." The hides of sacrifices of lesser sanctity, by contrast, are given to the owners. Whenever the flesh of a burnt-offering did not merit to be offered on the altar,56 the priests do not acquire its hide, as [implied by the above verse which] states: "the burnt-offering of a man." [We can infer that it refers only to] a burnt-offering that was acceptable for a man.

יט

כָּל עוֹרוֹת קָדְשֵׁי הַקָּדָשִׁים לַכֹּהֲנִים בֵּין בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת צִבּוּר בֵּין בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת יָחִיד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז ח) "עוֹר הָעלָה אֲשֶׁר הִקְרִיב". אֲבָל עוֹרוֹת קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים לַבְּעָלִים. וְכָל עוֹלָה שֶׁלֹּא זָכָה הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בִּבְשָׂרָהּ לֹא זָכוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּעוֹרָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז ח) "עלַת אִישׁ" עוֹלָה שֶׁעָלְתָה לְאִישׁ:

20

In all instances that a disqualifying factor was caused in one of the sacrifices of the most sacred order before they were skinned, their hides are not granted to the priests.57 [If they are disqualified] after they are skinned, their hides are granted to the priests. All of the hides should be divided among the members of the priestly watch from Friday to Friday.58

כ

כָּל קָדְשֵׁי הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵרַע בָּהֶן פִּסּוּל קֹדֶם הֶפְשֵׁטָן אֵין עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים. לְאַחַר הֶפְשֵׁטָן עוֹרָן לַכֹּהֲנִים. וְכָל הָעוֹרוֹת מְחַלְּקִין אוֹתָן אַנְשֵׁי מִשְׁמָר בֵּינֵיהֶן מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת לְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת:

21

When a person consecrates a burnt-offering to the Temple treasury59 or one consecrates his property [to the Temple treasury] and among [his possessions] were male animals concerning which the law is that they should be sacrificed as burnt-offerings,60 the hides are not given to the priests, for [the prooftext] states: "the burnt-offering of a man." This excludes the burnt-offering of the Temple treasury. Instead, the hides should be sold and the money given to the Temple treasury.

The hide of a burnt-offering brought by] a man or a woman, a gentile61 or a servant, is given to the priests. The term "man" was used only to exclude the Temple treasury.

כא

הַמַּתְפִּיס עוֹלָתוֹ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת. וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ נְכָסָיו וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן זְכָרִים שֶׁדִּינָן שֶׁיִּקָּרְבוּ עוֹלוֹת אֵין עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר עלַת אִישׁ פְּרָט לְעוֹלַת הֶקְדֵּשׁ. אֶלָּא יִמָּכְרוּ הָעוֹרוֹת וְיִפְּלוּ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת. אֶחָד (ויקרא ז ח) "עוֹלַת אִישׁ" אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ עֶבֶד עוֹרוֹתֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא נֶאֱמַר אִישׁ אֶלָּא לְהוֹצִיא הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 9:6.

In this chapter, the Rambam explains the place where sacrifices are offered and the manner in which the blood and fats from the sacrifices is presented to God.

2.

Indeed, a non-priest may slaughter a sacrificial animal as an initial preference (Radbaz).

3.

Leviticus 1:5 states: "The sons of Aaron will offer it." Implied is that all the acts involved in offering the animal should be performed by the priests (Zevachim 32a).

4.

Zevachim 97b notes that Exodus 24:5-6 speaks of the blood of peace-offerings being received in sacred vessels. Now if this is a requirement for peace-offerings which are sacrifices of lesser sanctity, it certainly holds true for sacrifices of the most sacred order.

5.

I.e., the receptacle may not be resting on the ground (Radbaz).

6.

Since, as implied by Chapter 4, Halachah 8, one must receive the blood immediately after slaughter, this is seemingly obvious. It could be explained that the Rambam is implying that even after the fact, receiving the blood elsewhere disqualifies the sacrifice. Moreover, even if he received only part of the blood outside the northern portion of the Temple Courtyard, the sacrifice is disqualified (Radbaz).

7.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:16 states:

[The area] from the northern wall of the Temple Courtyard until the wall of the Altar, was sixty and a half [cubits] wide. The length of this area, from the wall of the Entrance Hall until the eastern wall of the Courtyard, was 76 [cubits].

The rectangle [described above] is called "the northern portion." The sacrifices of the most sacred order were slaughtered there.

The 60 and a half cubit width can be broken down as follows:

the space between the pillars and the northern wall, 8 cubits,

the area of the pillars 12.5 cubits,

the area of the tables, 8 cubits,

the area of the rings, 24 cubits,

the space between the rings and the Altar, 8 cubits. It was also called beit hamitbachayim, the butchering area, because here the large majority of sacrifices were slaughtered and prepared to be offered on the altar.

8.

In the verse cited.

9.

In the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 5:1), he explains that although there is no specific verse referring to a burnt-offering as a sacrifice of the most sacred order, since an equivalence is established between it and a sin-offering and a guilt-offering, we can assume that it is included in that category.

10.

This refers to the sheep offered on Shavuot. Different laws apply to individual peace-offerings, as stated below.

11.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that based on Numbers 10:10, Zevachim 55a establishes an association between communal peace-offerings and burnt-offerings and asks why the Rambam prefers the association with the sin-offerings. Seemingly, deriving the concept from the burnt-offering would be more direct. In resolution, he explains that since the Torah states that the sin-offering should be slaughtered in the same place as the burnt-offering, it is as if it is explicitly stated that the sin-offering should be slaughtered in the north. Hence, the derivation is not indirect.

12.

Zevachim 54b explains that there was a small opening at the rear of the Holy of Holies. Since the area behind the Temple building could see the Holy of Holies, it was considered as if it saw "the entrance to the Tent of Meeting."

13.

In addition to the verse cited, Zevachim 55a states that there is another verse (Leviticus 3:8) which mentions the slaughtering a sacrifice "before the Tent of Meeting." It explains that both verses are necessary, for from the verse cited by the Rambam, one would not know that it is permissible to slaughter an animal in the side portions of the Temple Courtyard. Indeed, the Kessef Mishneh suggests that a printing error crept into the Mishneh Torah and the Rambam indeed desired to cite Leviticus 3:8.

14.

For if seeing the entrance to the Temple Building makes a sacrifice acceptable, certainly, being inside the Temple building itself does (Zevachim 63a).

15.

Needless to say, this applies with regard to the roofs of the chambers in the Temple Courtyard (Radbaz). For the roofs of the structures in the Temple complex were not consecrated (Pesachim 85b).

16.

Tosafot, Yoma 29a, maintains that this also applies to any other sacrificial animals that must be slaughtered. This view is not, however, accepted by all authorities (see the commentaries to Zevachim 61a).

17.

This law also applies if the gates to the Temple were closed during the day, but that generally did not take place (Radbaz).

18.

See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 7:17.

19.

I.e., unlike the sin-offering mentioned in Halachah 9, he need not sprinkle it with his hand.

20.

Beneath the scarlet band that was tied around the middle of the Altar. See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:9. If he cast the blood above that band, the sacrifice is disqualified.

21.

The priest would cast the blood on the northeast corner and then the southwest in that order (Tamid 4:1), so that when walking, he would be circling the altar to the right (Yoma 15b). These corners were chosen because there was no base on the altar's northwest corner (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:10).

22.

A Greek letter whose shape resembles an upside-down "L."

23.

Hence our Sages (Zevachim 53b, et al) uses the expression: "Two presentations of blood that constitute four."

25.

And in the manner described above, the blood will be cast on all four sides of the altar.

26.

Leviticus 7:2 which describes the guilt offering also uses the term "surrounding." Nevertheless, its wording is slightly different.

27.

If the blood is placed below the midway point of the altar, the sacrifice is disqualified.

28.

Implying that it must be placed on all four corners.

29.

For all service is performed with the right hand. See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 5:18.

30.

The verb used by the Rambam (and his source, Zevachim 53a) refers to the wording employed by Leviticus 6:19, which means "performs the service of the sin-offering."

31.

I.e., after the fact, the sacrifice is acceptable.

32.

So that it does not become mixed with the blood remaining in the container (Zevachim 93b).

33.

See Halachah 6.

34.

For he is circling to the right, as required (Zevachim 62b).

35.

If he fails to do this, the sacrifice is not disqualified (see Chapter 19, Halachah 4).

36.

The Kessef Mishneh suggests amending the prooftext to Leviticus 30:34 for that verse refers to the sin-offerings brought on the outer altar, while the verse cited by the Rambam refers to the sin-offerings whose blood is sprinkled within the Temple itself.

37.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 16, for a definition of this term.

38.

See the following halachah for an actual description.

39.

The sin-offering of the High Priest and his priestly brethren.

40.

The goat whose pair was sent to Azazel.

41.

Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 4:2.

42.

The sprinklings had to be directed, one upward and seven downward, as will be explained in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim. If the High Priest was not careful about directing the sprinklings in this manner, they are still acceptable.

This is the interpretation offered by Rav Yosef Corcus and also suggested as an alternative by the Kessef Mishneh. The Kessef Mishneh, however, also offers another interpretation: that the Hebrew should be translated as "he did not have the intent," i.e., he performed the act without the intent of it being a mitzvah. This can be connected to a question of a much larger scope: Must a person who performs a mitzvah have the intention of doing so or not? From Rosh Hashanah 32b, it would appear that such intention is necessary. However, other Talmudic sources imply that there is no need for such intention. Whenever a person performs the deed of a mitzvah, he fulfills his obligation, regardless of his intention.

On the surface, the Rambam's own decisions regarding this question appear paradoxical. Hilchot Chametz UMatzah 6:3 states: "A person who eats matzah without the intention [of fulfilling the mitzvah]... fulfills his obligation." By contrast, Hilchot Shofar2:4 states that a person who hears the sounding of the shofar from one who blows it casually, without the intent of performing a mitzvah, does not fulfill his obligation. There is extensive debate about this issue among the commentaries. The general consensus is that one must have the intent of performing a mitzvah. The situation involving matzah is unique for various reasons, each authority explaining the rationale for the exception in his own way. See the discussion of the rulings cited for more details.

43.

These include a bull brought by a High Priest as a sin-offering and the bull brought as atonement for a law forgotten by the High Court (Chapter 1, Halachot 15-16).

44.

As atonement for the prohibition against idol worship (ibid.).

45.

This is stated explicitly with regard to the sin-offering brought by the High Priest in Leviticus 4:6-7 and the bull brought because of the error of the High Court (ibid.:17). The sprinkling of the blood of the goats is derived from the laws regarding these offerings as stated in Halachah 16.

46.

With regard to the sprinkling of the blood on Yom Kippur, this refers to the entry of the High Priest from the Holy of Holies. With regard to the other sacrifices, it refers to the entry into the Sanctuary from the Entrance Hall. The commentaries see a difficulty between the Rambam's words here and his statements in Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 4:2.

47.

The Menorah was on the southern side of the Sanctuary (to the left of the priest as he faces the Holy of Holies).

48.

The High Priest.

49.

As related by Leviticus 4:6, he sprinkles the blood toward the curtain separating the Sanctuary from the Holy of Holies.

50.

Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 2:10.

51.

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

52.

This order is explicitly stated in the Torah's description of the manner in which several sacrifices are offered, e.g., Numbers 18:17: "Their blood shall the cast upon the altar and their fats they shall offer on the altar's pyre."

53.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 2.

54.

For otherwise there would be an interruption between receiving the blood and casting it upon the altar (Rashi, Zevachim103b). This, however, is not an absolute requirement. If the animal is skinned first, the sacrifice is not disqualified (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:9).

55.

And from the burnt-offering, we derive that this law applies to other sacrifices of the most sacred order (Zevachim 103a).

56.

I.e., the sacrifice was disqualified before its blood was cast on the altar in which instance, it was never required that its flesh would be offered on the altar.

57.

Instead, they are burnt together with the meat of the sacrifice (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:9).

58.

The Tosefta, Zevachim, ch. 11, states that originally, the hides were divided daily among the members of the clan who served in the Temple that day. Nevertheless, under these circumstances, strong-armed priests would seize the hides from others. Hence, they organized a larger division where seizing the hides in that manner would not be possible.

59.

It is offered on the altar, but it is not considered as his personal sacrifice.

60.

Rambam LeAm notes that there is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in the Mishnah (Shekalim 4:7), one opinion states - as the Rambam states here - that the male animals should be offered as burnt-offerings. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that the males should be sold to others to be offered as burnt-offerings. Significantly, when referring to this law in Hilchot Arachin and in his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam follows Rabbi Eliezer's position.

61.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that the standard published texts for Zevachim 103a speak about a convert rather than a gentile. He favors the Rambam's version of the text, because seemingly there is no reason to separate between a convert and another Jew in this regard.

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