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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 13

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Maaseh Hakorbanot - Chapter 13

1

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

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לַעֲשׂוֹת כּל מִנְחָה כְּמִצְוָתָהּ הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה:

2

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

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

ב

וְכֵיצַד עֲשִׂיַּת חֲבִיתֵי כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל. מֵבִיא עִשָּׂרוֹן שָׁלֵם וּמַקְדִּישׁוֹ וְחוֹצֵהוּ בַּחֲצִי עִשָּׂרוֹן שֶׁבַּמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא קְרֵבָה חֶצְיָן אֵינָהּ מִתְקַדֶּשֶׁת לְחֶצְיָן. וּמֵבִיא עִמָּהּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת לוֹגִין שֶׁמֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ו יד) "בַּשֶּׁמֶן תֵּעָשֶׂה" לְהוֹסִיף לָהּ שֶׁמֶן כְּנִסְכֵּי הַכֶּבֶשׂ. וּבוֹלֵל הַסּלֶת בְּשֶׁמֶן וְחוֹלְטָהּ בְּרוֹתְחִין. וְלָשׁ מִכָּל חֲצִי עִשָּׂרוֹן שֵׁשׁ חַלּוֹת. נִמְצְאוּ שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה חַלּוֹת:

3

[These loaves] were prepared one by one.

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

ג

וְאַחַת אַחַת הָיוּ נַעֲשׂוֹת. וְכֵיצַד עוֹשֶׂה. מְחַלֵּק הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין בִּרְבִיעִית שֶׁבַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. רְבִיעִית לְכָל חַלָּה. וְאוֹפָהּ הַחַלָּה מְעַט וְאַחַר כָּךְ קוֹלֶה אוֹתָהּ עַל הַמַּחֲבַת בִּשְׁאָר רְבִיעִית הַשֶּׁמֶן שֶׁלָּהּ. וְאֵינוֹ מְבַשְּׁלָהּ הַרְבֵּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ו יד) "תֻּפִינֵי" בֵּין בָּשֵׁל וְנָא:

4

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

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

ד

וְאַחַר כָּךְ חוֹלֵק כָּל חַלָּה וְחַלָּה לִשְׁנַיִם בְּאֹמֶד. כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּקְרִיב הַחֵצִי בַּבֹּקֶר וְהַחֵצִי בָּעֶרֶב וְלוֹקֵחַ הַחֲצָיִים וְכוֹפֵל כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן לִשְׁנַיִם וּפוֹתֵת עַד שֶׁתִּמָּצֵא כָּל פְּתִיתָה כְּפוּלָה לִשְׁנַיִם. וּמַקְרִיב הַחֲצָיִין עִם חֲצִי קֹמֶץ לְבוֹנָה בַּבֹּקֶר וְהַחֵצִי הַנִּשְׁאָר עִם חֲצִי קֹמֶץ לְבוֹנָה בָּעֶרֶב. וְאִם הָיְתָה מִנְחַת חִנּוּךְ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֶה אֶלָּא מַקְרִיבָהּ כֻּלָּהּ כְּאַחַת עִם קֹמֶץ לְבוֹנָה וּשְׁתֵּיהֶן כָּלִיל לָאִשִּׁים:

5

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

ה

מִנְחַת הַסּלֶת כֵּיצַד הָיְתָה נַעֲשֵׂית. מֵבִיא עִשָּׂרוֹן סלֶת אוֹ כַּמָּה עֶשְׂרוֹנוֹת אוֹ כְּפִי נִדְרוֹ וְשֶׁמֶן הָרָאוּי לָהּ וּמוֹדֵד בְּעִשָּׂרוֹן שֶׁל מִקְדָּשׁ. וְנוֹתֵן שֶׁמֶן בִּכְלִי. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹתֵן עָלָיו אֶת הַסּלֶת. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹתֵן שֶׁמֶן אַחֵר עַל הַסּלֶת וּבוֹלֵל הַסּלֶת בּוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹתְנָהּ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת וְצָק לְתוֹכָהּ שֶׁמֶן. וְשֶׁמֶן שֶׁנָּתַן תְּחִלָּה עִם הַשֶּׁמֶן הַבָּלוּל עִם שֶׁמֶן שֶׁיָּצַק הַכּל לוֹג לְעִשָּׂרוֹן וְנוֹתֵן עָלֶיהָ לְבוֹנָתָהּ:

6

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

ו

מִנְחַת הַמַּחֲבַת וְהַמַּרְחֶשֶׁת כֵּיצַד. נוֹתֵן הַשֶּׁמֶן בִּכְלִי וְנוֹתֵן עָלָיו הַסּלֶת. וְנוֹתֵן עַל הַסּלֶת שֶׁמֶן אַחֵר וּבוֹלֵל הַסּלֶת וְאַחַר כָּךְ לָשָׁהּ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין וְאוֹפֶה אוֹתָהּ בְּמַחֲבַת אוֹ בַּמַּרְחֶשֶׁת כְּמוֹ שֶׁנָּדַר. וּפוֹתֵת אוֹתָהּ פִּתִּים וְנוֹתְנָהּ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת וְיוֹצֵק עָלֶיהָ שְׁאָר הַשֶּׁמֶן וְנוֹתֵן לְבוֹנָתָהּ:

7

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

ז

מַה בֵּין מַחֲבַת לְמַרְחֶשֶׁת. מַרְחֶשֶׁת יֵשׁ לָהּ שָׂפָה וְהַבָּצֵק שֶׁאוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ עָלֶיהָ רַךְ שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ לָהּ שָׂפָה וְאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא. וּמַחֲבַת אֵין לָהּ שָׂפָה וְהַבָּצֵק שֶׁאוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ בָּהּ קָשֶׁה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵצֵא מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן:

8

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

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

ח

מִנְחַת מַאֲפֵה תַּנּוּר כֵּיצַד. אִם חַלּוֹת הִיא בּוֹלֵל הַסּלֶת בְּשֶׁמֶן וְלָשׁ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין וְאוֹפֶה וּפוֹתֵת וְנוֹתֵן בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת וְנוֹתֵן עָלֶיהָ לְבוֹנָתָהּ וְאֵין בָּהּ יְצִיקַת שֶׁמֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב ד) "חַלּוֹת מַצֹּת בְּלוּלֹת בַּשֶּׁמֶן". וְאִם רְקִיקִין הִיא לָשׁ אֶת הַסּלֶת בְּפוֹשְׁרִין וּמוֹשֵׁחַ אֶת הָרְקִיקִין בְּשֶׁמֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב ד) "וּרְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת מְשֻׁחִים בַּשָּׁמֶן". וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאַחַר אֲפִיָּה מוֹשֵׁחַ אוֹתָם:

9

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

ט

וְכֵיצַד מוֹשְׁחָן. מֵבִיא לוֹג שֶׁמֶן לְכָל עִשָּׂרוֹן וּמוֹשְׁחָן וְחוֹזֵר וּמוֹשְׁחָן עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה כָּל הַשֶּׁמֶן שָׁבַּלֹּג:

10

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

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

י

כָּל אַרְבַּע מְנָחוֹת אֵלּוּ הָאֲפוּיוֹת. כְּשֶׁאוֹפִין אוֹתָן אוֹפִין כָּל עִשָּׂרוֹן עֶשֶׂר חַלּוֹת. וְאִם רִבָּה בְּחַלּוֹת אוֹ חִסֵּר כְּשֵׁרָה. וְכֵיצַד פּוֹתְתִין אוֹתָן. כּוֹפֵל הַחַלָּה לִשְׁנַיִם וְהַשְּׁנַיִם לְאַרְבָּעָה וּמַבְדִּיל. וְאִם הָיְתָה הַמִּנְחָה שֶׁל זִכְרֵי כְּהֻנָּה אֵינוֹ מַבְדִּיל וּפוֹתֵת. וְכֻלָּן פְּתִיתִין כְּזֵיתִים. וְאִם הִגְדִּיל הַפְּתִיתִין אוֹ הִקְטִין אוֹתָן כְּשֵׁרִים:

11

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

יא

לֹא בָּלַל לֹא פָּתַת לֹא הִגִּישׁ לֹא מָשַׁח אֶת הָרְקִיקִין כְּשֵׁרָה. לֹא נֶאֶמְרוּ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֶלָּא לְמִצְוָה שֶׁכָּךְ הִיא מִצְוָתָהּ:

12

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

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

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

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

יב

סֵדֶר הֲבָאַת הַמִּנְחָה כֵּיצַד. מֵבִיא אָדָם סלֶת מִתּוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ בִּקְלָתוֹת שֶׁל כֶּסֶף אוֹ שֶׁל זָהָב אוֹ שֶׁל שְׁאָר מִינֵי מַתָּכוֹת כְּלִי שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי לִכְלֵי שָׁרֵת. וְאִם הָיְתָה מִנְחַת הַסּלֶת נוֹתְנָהּ לִכְלִי שָׁרֵת וּמְקַדְּשָׁהּ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת. וְאִם הָיְתָה מִן הַמְּנָחוֹת הַנֶּאֱפוֹת אוֹפֶה אוֹתָהּ שָׁם בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וּפוֹתֵת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְנוֹתֵן הַפְּתִיתִין לִכְלִי שָׁרֵת וְנוֹתֵן עָלֶיהָ שַׁמְנָהּ וּלְבוֹנָתָהּ וּמוֹלִיכָהּ אֵצֶל כֹּהֵן. וְהַכֹּהֵן מוֹלִיכָהּ אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמַגִּישָׁהּ בְּקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מַעֲרָבִית כְּנֶגֶד חֻדָּהּ שֶׁל קֶרֶן וְדַיּוֹ. וּמְסַלֵּק אֶת כָּל לְבוֹנָתָהּ לְצַד אֶחָד וְקוֹמֵץ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁנִּתְרַבָּה שַׁמְנָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ב ב) "מִסָּלְתָּהּ וּמִשַּׁמְנָהּ". וְנוֹתֵן הַקֹּמֶץ לִכְלִי שָׁרֵת וּמְקַדְּשׁוֹ בִּכְלִי שָׁרֵת. וְקֹמֶץ שֶׁחִלְּקוֹ בִּשְׁנֵי כֵּלִים אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. וְחוֹזֵר וּמְקַדֵּשׁ וּמְלַקֵּט אֶת כָּל לְבוֹנָתָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ עַל הַקֹּמֶץ שֶׁבַּכְּלִי וּמַעֲלֵהוּ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמוֹלְחוֹ. וְנוֹתְנוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים מִכְּלִי שָׁרֵת. וְאִם מִנְחַת כֹּהֲנִים הִיא אֵינוֹ קוֹמֵץ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן מֶלַח עַל כֻּלָּהּ וּמַשְׁלִיךְ הַכּל עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים:

13

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

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

יג

כֵּיצַד קוֹמְצִין מְנָחוֹת הַנִּקְמָצוֹת. כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁקּוֹמֵץ כָּל הָאָדָם פּוֹשֵׁט אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו עַל פַּס יָדוֹ וְקוֹמֵץ. קָמַץ בְּרָאשֵׁי אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו אוֹ מִן הַצְּדָדִין לֹא יַקְטִיר וְאִם הִקְטִיר הֻרְצָה. וְאִם הוֹסִיף בַּקֹּמֶץ כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִרְחִיק אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וְקָמַץ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּסוּל:

14

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

יד

אֵין קֹמֶץ פָּחוֹת מִכִּשְׁנֵי זֵיתִים. וּמִקְצָת הַקֹּמֶץ מְעַכֵּב אֶת כֻּלּוֹ. וְהַקֹּמֶץ וְהַלְּבוֹנָה מְעַכְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה. הַסּלֶת וְהַשֶּׁמֶן מְעַכְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה וּמִקְצָת הַשֶּׁמֶן מְעַכֵּב אֶת כֻּלּוֹ. אֵין פָּחוֹת מִלּוֹג לְעִשָּׂרוֹן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

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Footnotes
1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

See Halachah 4.

5.

See Chapter 2, Halachot 4, 7.

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

I.e., in the late afternoon.

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

27.

As required by Leviticus 2:6.

28.

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

29.

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

30.

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

31.

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

32.

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

33.

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

34.

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

35.

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

36.

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

37.

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

38.

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

39.

For making them any smaller would make them appear insignificant.

40.

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

41.

As required by Chapter 12, Halachah 6.

42.

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

43.

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

44.

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

45.

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

46.

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

47.

As described in Halachah 5.

48.

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

49.

See Halachot 6-10.

50.

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

51.

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

52.

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

53.

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

54.

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

55.

As required by Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 5:23.

56.

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

57.

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

58.

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

59.

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

60.

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

61.

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

62.

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

63.

And thus the handful was overflowing.

64.

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

65.

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

66.

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

67.

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

68.

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

69.

Halachah 5; Chapter 12, Halachah 7.

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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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