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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 5, Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 6, Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 7

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Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 5

1

When a person consecrates his ancestral field, it is a mitzvah for him to redeem it, for the owner receives priority.1 If, however, he does not desire to, we do not compel him.

When does the above apply? In the era that the Jubilee is observed.2 For if the Jubilee arrives and he does not redeem it, it will be expropriated for the sake of the priests, as we explained.3 In the era when the Jubilee has been nullified4 and it is not expropriated for the sake of the priests, but instead will ultimately be redeemed, we compel5 the owner to make an initial bid6 and it is redeemed for its worth7 like other consecrated articles. If someone who is willing to add to [the bid] to redeem it, he may redeem it. If not, we tell him: "It has come to you," and he must give what he bid. He may not make an opening bid for less than four p'rutot so that the fifth that he will add will not be less than a p'rutah.8

א

המקדיש שדה אחוזתו מצוה עליו לפדותה הוא שהאדון קודם ואם לא רצה אין כופין אותו בד"א בזמן שמצות יובל נוהגת שאם יגיע יובל ולא יגאלנה תצא לכהנים כמו שבארנו אבל בזמן שבטלו היובלות שהרי אינה יוצאת לכהנים אלא סופה להפדות לעולם כופין את האדון לפתוח בה תחלה והיא נפדית בשוייה כשאר ההקדשות אם נמצא מי שמוסיף עליו וגואל אותה יגאל ואם לאו אומרין לו הגיעתך ויתן מה שאמר ואינו פותח בפחות מארבע פרוטות כדי שיהא החומש שמוסיף פרוטה:

2

If the owner desired to sell other fields that he owned or to borrow to redeem this field that he consecrated, he has permission to do so.9 This applies whether [he consecrated the field] during the time the Jubilee is observed or when it is not observed. He is given precedence over others. Similarly, if he desired to redeem half of it, he may. This contrasts with the laws that apply when one sells a field to an ordinary person.10 This is the greater stringency that applies with regard to ordinary property [and not] to the Temple treasury.

ב

רצה האדון למכור שדות אחרות משדותיו או ללוות כדי לפדות שדה זו שהקדיש הרשות בידו בין בזמן שהיובל נוהג בין בזמן שאין היובל נוהג והוא קודם לכל אדם וכן אם רצה לגאול חציה גואל מה שאין כן במוכר להדיוט זה חומר בהדיוט מבהקדש:

3

When a person consecrates his home,11 a non-kosher12 animal,13 or other property, they are evaluated for their worth, whether it be high or low.14 If the person who consecrated them, his wife, or his heirs15 redeem them, they must add a fifth. We compel the owner to make the first bid. The money is set aside for improvements to the Temple.

[The above] applies whether the house was from a walled city or from an unwalled habitation, [the owner] may redeem it at all times.16

ג

המקדיש את ביתו או את בהמה טמאה שלו או שאר מטלטליו הרי אלו נערכין בשוייהן בין טוב ובין רע ואם פדה אותן המקדיש או אשתו או יורשו מוסיף חומש וכופין את הבעלים לפתוח ראשון והדמים לבדק הבית בין שהיה הבית מבתי ערי חומה בין שהיה מבתי החצרים הרי זה נגאל לעולם:

4

[The following rules apply if] another person redeemed it from the Temple treasury. If the home was within a walled city and it remained in the possession of the redeemer for twelve months, it becomes his property forever.17 If the home was located in an unwalled habitation and the Jubilee arrived while it was in the possession of the redeemer, it returns to its owner in the Jubilee.18

ד

גאלו אחר מיד ההקדש אם היה בית ערי חומה וקם ביד הגואל שנים עשר חדש נחלט ואם היה בית החצרים והגיע היובל והוא ביד הגואל חוזר לבעליו ביובל:

5

When a person consecrates an unblemished19 kosher animal for the sake of improvements to the Temple,20 he has transgressed a positive commandment.21[Nevertheless,] the deed he performed is of consequence and sanctity is conveyed upon [the animal]. It is redeemed even though it is unblemished.22 The priest establishes its worth,23 and the money is given for improvements to the Temple. The person who redeems it, redeems it only for the sake of offering it on the altar for the type of sacrifice for which it is fitting.24 [This is required, because] any [consecrated entity] that is fit for the altar is never released from [the obligation to be sacrificed on] the altar.

ה

המקדיש בהמה טהורה תמימה לבדק הבית אף על פי שעבר על עשה מה שעשה עשוי וחלה קדושה עליה ונפדית כשהיא תמימה ומעריך אותה הכהן בדמיה והדמים יפלו לבדק הבית ואין הפודה אותה פודה אלא על מנת להקריבה למזבח למה שהיא ראויה שכל דבר הראוי למזבח אינו יוצא מידי מזבח לעולם:

6

What is the source that teaches that it is forbidden to consecrate unblemished animals for the improvement of the Temple? [Leviticus 22:23] states: "An ox or a sheep that has irregularly sized limbs or unsplit hoofs, it shall be [consecrated] as a donation." According to the Oral Tradition,25 we have learned that [the term] "donation" implies that it is consecrated for improvements to the Temple. Similarly, the situation indicates that it was consecrated only for its worth, for a blemished animal is not offered on the altar. [This is denoted by the term] "it," i.e., it26 is consecrated for improvements to the Temple, but an unblemished animal should not be consecrated as a donation for improvements to the Temple. A prohibition derived from a positive commandment has the status of a positive commandment.27

ו

ומנין שאסור להקדיש תמימין לבדק הבית שנאמר ושור ושה שרוע וקלוט נדבה תעשה אותו מפי השמועה למדו נדבה לבדק הבית וכן הדברים מראין שאינה אלא קדושת דמים שאין מקריבין בעל מום למזבח שנאמר אותו אותו אתה עושה נדבה לבדק הבית ואין אתה עושה תמימים נדבה לבדק הבית ולאו הבא מכלל עשה כעשה הוא:

7

[The following rules apply when a person] consecrates an animal without making any specifications or consecrates his property without making any specifications: We survey all the unblemished animals that are fit to be offered on the altar. The males should be sold for the purpose of burnt offerings28 and offered as burnt offerings. The females29 are sold for the purpose of peace offerings and offered as peace offerings.

The proceeds [of the sales] should be given for improvements to the Temple. For unless explicit specification is made, all consecrated articles are for the sake of the improvement of the Temple. Concerning this [Leviticus 27:9] states: "If it is an animal which can be offered as a sacrifice to God, all parts of it that you can give to God shall be holy." Implied is that every entity that is fit to be offered as a sacrifice on the altar should be offered [on the altar].

ז

המקדיש את בהמתו סתם או שהקדיש את נכסיו סתם רואין כל בהמה תמימה הראויה להקריב על גבי המזבח זכרים ימכרו לצרכי עולות ויקריבו אותן עולות והנקבות ימכרו לצרכי שלמים ויקריבו אותן שלמים והדמים יפלו לבדק הבית שסתם הקדשות לבדק הבית ועל זה נאמר ואם בהמה אשר יקריבו ממנה קרבן לה' כל אשר יתן ממנו לה' יהיה קדש כלומר כל הראוי לקרבן על גבי המזבח יקרב:

8

When a person consecrates his possessions without making any specifications and among them were wine, oil, fine flour, and doves that are fit to be offered on the altar, they should be sold for the purpose of [offerings that employ them] and they should be offered. The money should be used to purchase male animals that should be brought as burnt offerings.30

ח

הקדיש נכסיו סתם והיו בהן יינות ושמנים וסלתות ועופות הראויין ליקרב על גבי המזבח ימכרו לצרכי אותו המין ויקריבו אותן והדמים ילקח בהן זכרים ויקריבו עולות:

9

Why should the proceeds from these sales be used to bring burnt offerings and the proceeds from the sale of an unblemished animal be used for improvements to the Temple?31 [The rationale is that] when an animal is consecrated to the altar suffers a [disqualifying] blemish, there is a concept of it being redeemed, as will be explained.32 When, by contrast, fine flour, wine, oil, and doves become unfit [for the altar], there is no concept of redeeming them.33 [This is derived from Leviticus 27:11-12 which] states: "You shall have the animal stand [before the priest and the priest shall evaluate it]." [Implied is that] any entity that is stood [before a priest] and evaluated may be redeemed. If any entity is not to be stood [before a priest] and evaluated, it may not be redeemed.

ט

ומפני מה יקריבו דמי אלו עולות ודמי הבהמה התמימה יפלו לבדק הבית לפי שהבהמה הקדושה למזבח אם נפל בה מום יש לה פדיון כמו שיתבאר והסלת והיין והשמן והעופות שנפסלו אין להן פדיון שנאמר והעמיד את הבהמה וגו' כל שישנו בכלל העמדה והערכה יש להן פדיון וכל שאינו בכלל העמדה והערכה אין לה פדיון:

10

When a person consecrates his possessions without making any specifications and among them was incense which is given to the craftsmen for their wages until they return and purchase it, as we explained in [Hilchot] Shekalim,34 it should be given to the craftsmen for their wages as is done with the remainder of the incense. These guidelines are also followed when one of the spices used in the incense offering is found among his possessions.35

י

הקדיש נכסיו סתם והיתה בהן הקטרת שנותנין לאומנין בשכרן עד שיחזרו ויקחו אותה כמו שבארנו בשקלים הרי זו תנתן לאומנין בשכרן כמו שעושין במותר הקטורת וכן עושין אם יש בנכסיו אחד מסמני הקטרת:

11

When a person consecrates an unblemished animal [as a sacrifice to be offered on] the altar and it became blemished36 and was disqualified, it should be evaluated and redeemed. Concerning this, [Leviticus 27:11] states: "When any impure animal37 of which a sacrifice should not be brought as an offering to God, you shall have the animal stand [before the priest....]" He should bring another sacrifice equivalent to it with its money.

יא

המקדיש בהמה תמימה למזבח ונפל בה מום ונפסלה הרי זו נערכת ונפדית ועל זה נאמר ואם כל בהמה טמאה אשר לא יקריבו ממנה קרבן לה' והעמיד את הבהמה וגו' ויביא בדמיה קרבן אחר כמותה:

12

Whenever a person consecrates an animal in its lifetime - whether a kosher animal or a non-kosher one, whether it was consecrated for the sake of the Temple treasury,38 it was consecrated to be offered on the altar and it became blemished,39 or it is an unblemished animal which is fit to be offered as a sacrifice as will be explained,40 it must be stood [before the court] for evaluation, as implied by the phrase: "You shall have the animal stand [before the priest....]" Therefore, if the animal died before it is evaluated and redeemed, it should not be redeemed. Instead, it should be buried.41 If, however, a person consecrated a slaughtered animal or an animal carcass for the sake of improvements to the Temple, it should be redeemed like other movable property.

יב

כל המקדיש בהמה בחייה בין טהורה בין טמאה בין קדשי הבית בין קדשי מזבח שנפל בהן מום או תמימה הראויה ליקרב כמו שיתבאר הרי זו צריכה העמדה בבית דין שנאמר והעמיד את הבהמה לפיכך אם מתה הבהמה קודם שתערך ותפדה אין פודין אותה אחר שמתה אלא תקבר אבל אם הקדיש שחוטה או נבלה לבדק הבית הרי זו תפדה כשאר מטלטלין:

13

[In the above situation,] if one slaughtered [the animal, slitting] the two organs42 [necessary for the slaughter to be acceptable] or slit the majority of these organs43 but the animal is still making convulsive movements, it is considered as alive with regard to all matters.44 It may be evaluated and [the provisions implied by the phrases:] "You shall have.... stand and... shall evaluate" apply until it dies.45

יג

שחט בה שנים או רוב שנים ועדיין היא מפרכסת הרי היא כחיה לכל דבריה ונערכת והרי היא בכלל והעמיד והעריך עד שתמות:

14

When a person consecrates the worth of an unblemished animal,46 the body of the animal becomes consecrated.47 What is implied? When a person says: 'The worth of this animal is consecrated to the altar,' the animal itself should be sacrificed.

When one consecrates the worth of one of its limbs or organs, saying: 'The worth of the feet of this cow are consecrated to the altar,' there is an unresolved question: Does the sanctity spread throughout the animal or not?48 Therefore it should be sacrificed and not redeemed.

יד

המקדיש בהמה תמימה לדמיה הרי זו נתקדש גופה כיצד האומר דמי בהמה זו הקדש למזבח היא עצמה תקרב הקדיש אחד מאיבריה לדמיו ואמר דמי רגלה של פרה זו הקדש למזבח הרי זו ספק אם פשטה קדושה בכולה או לא פשטה ולפיכך תקרב ולא תפדה:

15

What should be done?49 We sell it in its entirety to a person who will offer it as a sacrifice.50 The proceeds of the sale are not consecrated with the exception of those of that particular limb.51 If the limb or organ [consecrated] was of vital importance [to the animal], the sanctity [is considered to] spread throughout the entire animal.52

טו

וכיצד עושין מוכרין אותה כולה למי שיקרב אותה ודמיה חולין חוץ מדמי אותו אבר ואם היה אבר שהנשמה תלויה בו פשטה קדושה בכולה:

16

[Different rules apply if] the animal [consecrated] was blemished and unfit to be offered as a sacrifice. When one consecrates one of its limbs or organs - whether it is one of vital importance or not - only that limb becomes consecrated.53

What is implied? A person said: 'The worth of the foot of this cow...' or 'The worth of its heart is consecrated to the altar,' he and the Temple treasury own it in partnership.54

טז

היתה בהמה בעלת מום שאינה ראויה ליקרב והקדיש אבר מאבריה לדמיו בין שהנשמה תלויה בו בין שהנשמה אין תלויה בו לא נתקדש אלא דמי אותו אבר בלבד כיצד כגון שאמר דמי רגל פרה זו או דמי לבה הקדש למזבח הוא והקדש שותפין בה:

17

Similarly, if a person says: 'The head of this servant...' or 'The heart of this donkey is consecrated to the altar,' [he is liable only for the worth of the limb or organ mentioned].55 Similarly, if he says: 'My head is consecrated to the altar,' he is liable only for the worth of his head.56 We see how much that limb or organ is worth and he must bring a sacrifice for that amount.

יז

וכן האומר ראש עבד זה או לב חמור זה הקדש למזבח או שאמר ראשי הקדש למזבח אינו חייב אלא בדמי ראשו ורואין כמה ישוה אותו אבר אילו היה נמכר ויביא בדמיו קרבן:

18

When does the above apply? With regard to animals consecrated to the altar. If, however, a person says: 'The head of this donkey...' or 'Its liver is consecrated,' or 'The head of this servant' or 'His liver is consecrated,'57 since his life is dependent on that organ, he is liable for its entire worth. For whenever an entity is consecrated for improvements to the Temple, the consecration involves the entity's worth.58

יח

בד"א בקדשי מזבח אבל בקדשי בדק הבית האומר דמי ראש חמור זה או כבדו הקדש או דמי ראש עבד זה או כבדו הקדש הואיל והוא דבר שהנשמה תלויה בו הרי זה חייב בדמי כולו שכל הקדש בדק הבית קדושת דמים הוא:

19

When a person says: 'I pledge my airech to the altar,' he must bring sacrifices of the value of his airech.59 If he is not financially capable of giving his entire airech,60 there is an unresolved question: Is his evaluation appraised according to his financial capacity for he made his pledge using the term airech or do we not appraise his financial capacity since he made his vow to the altar?61

Similarly, when a person consecrates his ancestral field to the altar, it should be redeemed and the proceeds should be used to purchase burnt offerings for the altar. There is an unresolved question: Should it be redeemed according to the fixed airech established for it62 or should it be redeemed according to its value, since he made his vow to the altar?63 In all these and similar instances, we rule stringently.64

יט

האומר ערכי עלי למזבח מביא בערכו קרבן ואם אין ידו משגת לערך שלם הרי זה דבר ספק אם נידון בהשג יד הואיל והוציאו בלשון ערך או אינו נידון בהשג יד הואיל ולמזבח נדר וכך המקדיש שדה אחוזתו למזבח הרי זה נפדית והדמים יביאו בהן עולות למזבח ויש בדבר ספק אם פודין אותה בערך הקצוב בה או פודין אותה בשויין הואיל ולמזבח הקדיש ודנין בכל אלו וכיוצא בהן להחמיר:

Footnotes
1.

Arachin 27a derives this concept from the exegesis of Leviticus 27:27.

2.

See Hilchot Shemitah ViYoval 10:3, 8-10 which explains that the Jubilee years is observed only when the entire Jewish people live in the Holy Land. Hence when the tribes of Reuven and Gad were exiled - decades before the destruction of the First Temple - the observance of the Jubilee no longer had the status of Scriptural Law.

3.

Chapter 4, Halachot 19-20. Since either the person who redeems it or the priests will pay for it, the Temple treasury will ultimately receive its due. Hence, there is no need to compel the owner to redeem it.

4.

As evident from Chapter 8, Halachah 8, this refers to a time when the Temple is standing, but the Jubilee year is no longer observed.

5.

Were the person not to be compelled, it is possible that the Temple treasury would not receive its due (Radbaz).

The Ra'avad differs and states that the person is not compelled to redeem his field, but the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify the Rambam's understanding.

6.

The owner is compelled to make the initial bid, because he is required to add a fifth and thus the Temple treasury will be profiting more than if another person would offer the same price. Also, we assume that since it was his property, he is attached to it and will pay more to repossess it (Arachin 27a).

7.

I.e., for the price people are willing to pay, not for the standard value decreed by the Torah. Since the laws pertaining to arechim are taught as a single unit in the Torah and all the particulars do not apply, this fundamental factor is also not applied.

8.

For anything less than a p'rutah is not financially significant.

9.

Since a field that he consecrated will never return to him if he does not redeem it, he is given a greater opportunity to do so (Arachin 30a).

10.

In which instance, these restrictions do apply. See Hilchot Shemitah ViYoval 11:17-18; 12:2.

11.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 116) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 354) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

12.

The laws involving kosher animals are found in Halachot 5-7.

13.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 115) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 353) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

14.

This - and not a standard value - is what the person must pay. The Torah established a standard value only for humans and fields.

15.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 5, and notes.

16.

I.e., as long as another person has not redeemed it first. As stated in Hilchot Shemitah V'Yoval, ch. 12, there is a difference in the relevant laws with regard to the sale of such dwellings to private individuals. A home in a walled city must be redeemed from a private purchaser within a year. Otherwise, it becomes his property forever. These restrictions do not apply with regard to a home in an unwalled habitation.

17.

I.e., it does not return to the original owner in the Jubilee. It is as if the purchaser acquired the field from the owner.

18.

As would be the law had he purchased it from him directly.

19.

I.e., were the animal to have a blemish that disqualifies it from being offered as a sacrifice, these laws would not apply.

20.

As obvious from Halachah 7, this applies when he explicitly states that he is consecrating it for this purpose.

21.

As stated in the following halachah.

22.

In contrast to an animal consecrated as a sacrifice which is redeemed only when it is blemished. See Halachah 11.

23.

See Halachah 12. The commentaries have noted that in Chapter 8, Halachah 2, the Rambam mentions that a priest is required to participate in the evaluation of humans and fields, but not in that of movable property. He makes no mention of the evaluation of animals. There is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in Sanhedrin 15a.

24.

I.e., depending on the type and gender of the animal it is fitting for some sacrifices and not others.

25.

See temurah 7b.

26.

A blemished animal like those mentioned in the verse.

27.

I.e., although the prohibition is of Scriptural origin, since the Torah did explicitly forbid it by saying: "Do not consecrate an unblemished animal for this purpose," it is not considered as the transgression of a negative commandment. Temurah 7b states that a negative commandment is also involved. Nevertheless, based on our Sages' statements in the Sifra, the Rambam considers that passage as merely an asmachta, the derivation of support for a concept by the Rabbis and not a Scriptural prohibition.

28.

Although they could also be used for other types of sacrifices, it is preferable to offer them as burnt offerings.

29.

Which may not be brought as burnt offerings.

30.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam on this issue, offering a different interpretation of the Rambam's source, Shekalim 4:7-8. The Radbaz explains the rationale behind the Rambam's ruling. Since animals can be redeemed, we assume that he consecrated them with the intent that they be redeemed and the money given for improvements to the Temple building. Since these other items cannot be redeemed, by contrast, we assume that from the outset, his intent was that they be consecrated for the sake of the altar alone. These concepts also apply with regard to Halachah 9.

31.

As stated in Halachah 7.

32.

See Halachah 11.

33.

The Ra'avad notes that fine flour, wine, and oil may be redeemed if they became impure before being placed in a consecrated vessel. The Kessef Mishneh explains that since they cannot be redeemed once they have been placed in a consecrated vessel, that is most significant. For until they have been placed in a consecrated vessel, they have not been sanctified in a complete sense. See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 6:4-5.

34.

As explained in Hilchot Shekalim 4:12, in every year that is not a leap year, there is a certain amount of incense left over. For 365 portions were prepared for daily offerings and there are either 353, 354, or 355 days in such a year. Thus there were extra portions left over. The holiness associated with these portions of incense was then transferred to money and that money used to purchase burnt offerings. Afterwards, the portions of incense would be given to the craftsmen who prepare the incense as their wages. They would then sell this incense back to the Temple treasury, so that it would be purchased back with the funds designated for communal sacrifices for the new year.

This halachah is speaking about an instance where one of those craftsmen consecrated the incense in his possession to the Temple treasury. It should be given to other craftsmen as their wages and then purchased back as above.

35.

I.e., it should be given to the craftsmen as part of their wages and then purchased with the money designated for the purchase of communal sacrifices.

36.

I.e., a blemish that will not become healed (Radbaz).

37.

Bechorot 37b explains that the intent is not an animal from an impure species, but rather an animal from a kosher species that became disqualified because of a blemish, for there is a second verse (27:27) that speaks about evaluating non-kosher animals. See also Hilchot Issurei Mizbeach 1:10.

38.

As explained in Halachah 5.

39.

After its consecration. The laws applying to the consecration of a blemished animal are the same as those applying to other movable property. See the gloss of the Ra'avad.

40.

Some commentaries suggest emending the wording of the text and having it read 'as was explained,' i.e., referring to Halachah 5. The Merkevet HaMishneh suggests that the text should be left as is and that the reference is to Chapter 6, Halachah 8, which refers to consecrating to the Temple treasury an animal that was already designated as a sacrifice.

41.

For the holiness that rested upon a consecrated animal cannot be transferred to money after its death. (See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Temurah 7:3). Instead, it must be buried so that no one will make use of it.

42.

The windpipe and the esophagus. These are referred to as 'the signs' of ritual slaughter. See Hilchot Shechitah 1:9.

43.

For that is sufficient for the slaughter to be acceptable (ibid.).

44.

Note a similar ruling in Hilchot Shaar Avot HaTumah 2:1.

45.

The commentaries note that according to the Rambam, this applies even if the animal is incapable of standing unsupported. There are, however, other authorities who differ; see Shitah Mekubetzet (Bava Kama 76a).

46.

I.e., the person desired that the animal be sold and the proceeds used to purchase an animal to be sacrificed.

47.

Since the animal is fit to be sacrificed, it is dedicated to the altar and should be sacrificed itself (Temura 19b).

48.

Based on Temurah 11b, the Or Sameach explains that were a person to consecrate the limb itself, there is no question that the sanctity would spread throughout the entire animal. The question is since the person did not consecrate the limb itself, merely its worth, do we make two extensions: from the worth of the limb to the limb itself and from the limb to the entire body. There are, however, those who note that in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 15:2, the Rambam does not accept the principle that the sanctity spreads from a limb or organ throughout the entire animal unless the limb or organ is of vital importance.

49.

For we cannot require the donor to sacrifice the entire animal (for perhaps it did not become consecrated), nor may allow him to regard it as his personal property (for perhaps it did).

50.

As the commentaries to Temurah 11b explain, there is a difficulty when one limb of an animal was consecrated and another person purchases it to offer it as a sacrifice, for it is as if the person offering the sacrifice is offering an animal lacking a limb. For that limb was not consecrated by him, but by the original donor. They explain that this is referring to an instance where the purchaser pledged to purchase a burnt offering of a certain value and the animal is worth that amount, even without the limb in question. See Hilchot Maaseh HaKorbanot 15:2.

51.

We follow the principle that when there is a question concerning ownership, one who desires to expropriate property (in this instance, the Temple treasury) from a colleague (the donor), must prove the validity of his claim. Since that is not possible (because the question is unresolved), the donor may retain the proceeds from the portion of the animal that was not consecrated.

52.

Since the animal could not live without that limb, consecrating it is equivalent to consecrating the entire animal.

53.

Since the animal is unfit to be sacrificed, we do not say that the sanctity spread throughout the entire animal.

54.

The animal should be sold and the proceeds from the sale of that limb or organ used to purchase a burnt offering.

55.

Since neither a donkey or a servant is fit to offer on the altar, the principles mentioned in the previous halachah apply.

56.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, stating that a person's severed head is of no monetary value whatsoever, for it is forbidden to benefit from any portion of a corpse. And seemingly, if we would evaluate his head separately, it would be considered as equivalent to his entire worth, for of what worth is a person without a head? Hence, the Temple treasury should be the sole owner without leaving any portion for the person himself. Therefore the Ra'avad suggests that the intent of saying that they are partners is that the consecrated entity's value is divided in half.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Talmud clearly mentions evaluation in that passage and therefore, does not accept the Ra'avad's view. How is a head evaluated? The Kessef Mishneh explains that we consider the tasks the servant or the person performs. To the extent he is involved with those that require intellectual activity, his head is worth more. If, by contrast, his activity is primarily physical, his head is worth less.

The Radbaz maintains that if a limb or organ is of vital importance to the animal or person, the value is divided in half as the Ra'avad states. The Rambam speaks of evaluating the worth of the organ only when it is not of vital importance.

57.

I.e., for improvements to the Temple, for as stated in Halachah 7, whenever a person consecrates an entity without explicitly stated the purpose for which it was consecrated, we assume that it was consecrated for improvements for the Temple.

58.

Since the animal or person would not be worth anything without this organ, there is no difference between the worth of that organ and the worth of the entire entity.

The difference between this instance and those mentioned in the previous halachot is that the previous halachot involve limbs or organs explicitly consecrated to be offered on the altar. Thus that is all that may be done with them. Even when an article itself may not be sacrificed on the altar and hence, we understand that the person is referring to the value of the article, since he is singling out that limb or organ, we consider his intent to be that its individual value be offered on the altar.

In those instances, the holiness is focused on the physical substance of the limb or organ. Its value is only a substitute for that physical substance. Hence, we look it at as a particular and not part of the person or animal as a whole. In the instances referred to by this halachah, from the outset, we are concerned with value. Hence, we consider the value of the limb or organ in a more encompassing manner.

59.

I.e., the fixed amount required by Torah law, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 3.

60.

In which instance, were we speaking about a person who pledged his airech, he would be required to pay according to his financial capacity, as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 2.

61.

And there are no other instances where a pledge to the altar can be fulfilled by giving less that the article's worth (Arachin 5a).

62.

A shekel and a pundiyon for each year until the Jubilee, as stated in Chapter 4, Halachot 2, 5.

63.

And there are no other instances where a pledge to the altar can be fulfilled by giving less that the article's worth (Arachin 5a).

64.

And the Temple treasury is always given the benefit of the doubt. If the airech is more, the donor must pay the airech. If the worth is more, he must pay the worth.

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 6

1

Whether a person says: 'This1 is consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple,' 'This is a dedication offering2 for the sake of improvements to the Temple,' or 'This is a dedication offering for the sake of Heaven,' or he [makes] similar [statements] with regard to his property as a whole,3 saying that it is all consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple, as a dedication offering for the sake of improvements to the Temple, or as a dedication offering for the sake of Heaven, [the property] should be given for improvements to the Temple. If, however, he said [that the property should be given] as a dedication offering without making any specifications, it should be given to the priests,4 for unspecified dedication offerings are given to the priests,5 as [Numbers 18:14] states: 'All of the dedication offerings from the Jewish people will be yours.

א

אחד האומר הרי זה הקדש לבדק הבית או חרם לבדק הבית או חרם לשמים וכן בכל נכסיו אם אמר כל נכסיו הקדש או חרם לבדק הבית או חרם לשמים הרי אלו יפלו לבדק הבית אבל אם אמר חרם סתם הרי אלו לכהנים שסתם חרמים לכהנים שנאמר כל חרם בישראל לך יהיה:

2

A person may make a dedication offering from his cattle, his sheep, his Canaanite servants6 and maid-servants, and his ancestral fields.7 He should not, however, designate all of his cattle, all of his servants, all of his fields, nor all of any type of movable property that he owns as a dedication offering, as [implied by Leviticus 27:28]: 'From everything that he owns.'8 If he gives all he owns from a particular type of property as a dedication offering, even if he gives everything he owns as a dedication offering, his gift is binding. [This applies] whether he designates the dedication offering for the priests or for the improvement of the Temple.

ב

מחרים אדם מן בקרו ומצאנו ומעבדיו ומשפחותיו הכנענים ומשדה אחוזתו אבל לא יחרים כל בהמתו ולא כל עבדיו ולא כל שדותיו ולא כל מין שיש לו משאר המטלטלין שנאמר מכל אשר לו ואם החרים את הכל אפילו החרים כל נכסיו הרי אלו מוחרמין בין שהחרים לכהנים בין שהחרים לבדק הבית:

3

When a person gives all of his property as a dedication offering or consecrates it, we take everything that he owns, even the tefillin on his head. Needless to say, [this includes] his tools and his clothes,9 for he consecrated or gave as a dedication offering all of his possessions.

ג

וכל מי שהחרים או הקדיש כל נכסיו לוקחין כל מה שיש לו ואפילו תפילין שבראשו ואין צריך לומר כלי אומנתו ובגדיו שהכל הקדש או חרם:

4

What is the difference between dedication offerings designated for priests and those dedicated to Heaven? Dedication offerings to Heaven become consecrated property and must be redeemed for their worth.10 The payment is given for the sake of improvements to the Temple and then the possessions become ordinary property. Dedication offerings designated for the priests, by contrast, can never be redeemed.11 Instead, they are given to the priests like terumah. Concerning dedication offerings designated for the priests, [Leviticus 27:28] states: 'It shall neither be sold,12 nor redeemed,'13 i.e., it shall neither be sold to another person,14 nor redeemed by the owner.

ד

מה בין חרמי כהנים לחרמי שמים שחרמי שמים הקדש ונפדין בשוייהן ויפלו הדמים לבדק הבית ויצאו הנכסים לחולין וחרמי כהנים אין להן פדיון לעולם אלא נתנין לכהנים כתרומה ועל חרם כהנים הוא אומר לא ימכר ולא יגאל לא ימכר לאחר ולא יגאל לבעלים:

5

Whether a person designates land or movable property as a dedication offering, it is given to a priest15 in the watch16 serving at the time that the dedication offering was designated.

As long as a dedication offering for the priests is in the homes of the owner, it is like consecrated property in all regards,17 as [Leviticus 27:28] states: 'All dedication offerings are consecrated as holy unto God.' Once it is given to the priests, it is considered as ordinary property, as [Numbers 18:14] states: 'All of the dedication offerings from the Jewish people will be yours.'

ה

ואחד המחרים קרקע או מטלטלין הרי אלו ניתנין לכהן שבאותו משמר בשעה שהחרים חרמי כהנים כל זמן שהן בבית הבעלים הרי הן הקדש לכל דבריהם שנאמר כל חרם קדש קדשים הוא לה' נתנו לכהן הרי הן כחולין לכל דבריהם שנאמר כל חרם בישראל לך יהיה:

6

If a priest has a field that was a dedication offering [or an ancestral field]18that he acquired after the Jubilee19 and he designates it as a dedication offering, it is considered as a dedication offering and should be given to his brethren, the priests, as [implied by Leviticus 27:21], 'It will become the priest's, [like his] ancestral property.' This teaches that a field [designated] as a dedication offering that [a priest acquires] is like an ancestral field owned by an Israelite.20 If he designates it as a dedication offering, it becomes sanctified immediately.

ו

כהן שהיתה לו שדה חרם שזכה בה אחר היובל והחרימה הרי זו מוחרמת ויוצאה לאחיו הכהנים שנאמר לכהן תהיה אחוזתו מלמד ששדה חרמו לו כשדה אחוזה לישראל שאם החרימה היא מוחרמת מיד:

7

When a priest sells a field that he [had acquired after it was designated as] a dedication offering and then the purchaser consecrates it - even if the purchaser was the original owner who designated it as a dedication offering21 - it is like [the consecration of] acquired property22 and it returns to the priest who sold it in the Jubilee year.23

Land or movable property that belongs to the priests or the Levites,24 by contrast, may not be designated as a dedication offering.25 [The rationale is that] with regard to the fields [granted to them, Leviticus 25:34] states: 'For it is an eternal inheritance for them,'26 and an association is established between movable property and land with regard to dedication offerings, as [Leviticus 27:28] states: 'from anything he owns... and from his ancestral field."

ז

מכר הכהן שדה חרמי והקדישה לוקח אפילו היה הלוקח הבעלים הראשונים שהחרימוה הרי זה כשדה מקנה וחוזרת לכהן שמכרה ביובל אבל קרקע או מטלטלין של כהנים ולוים אינם מחרימין אותן שהרי אומר בשדה כי אחוזת עולם הוא לכם ומטלטלין הוקשו לקרקעות בחרמין שנאמר מכל אשר לו ומשדה אחוזתו:

8

When a person consecrates [animals that] had been consecrated [to be offered] on the altar for the sake of improvements to the Temple, the [second] consecration is of consequence.27 The animal should be evaluated and redeemed and its worth given for the sake of improvements to the Temple. [Afterwards,] it should be offered for the purpose for which it was originally consecrated.28

When, however, a person consecrates [animals that] had been consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple [with the intent that they be offered] on the altar, saying: 'This is a burnt offering,' or '...a peace offering,' or he designates them as a dedication offering to the priests, his act is of no consequence.29 For [animals that] had been consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple cannot be consecrated [to be offered] on the altar or designated as dedication offerings, because a person cannot consecrate an entity that does not belong to him.30

ח

המקדיש קדשי מזבח לבדק הבית הרי ההקדש חל עליהן ותערך הבהמה ותפדה ויפלו דמיה לבדק הבית והבהמה תקרב למה שהיתה בתחלה אבל המקדיש קדשי בדק הבית למזבח ואמר הרי זה עולה או שלמים או החרימם לכהנים לא עשה כלום ואין הקדש מזבח ולא החרם חל על קדשי בדק הבית שאין אדם מקדיש דבר שאינו שלו:

9

When a person says: 'This ox will be consecrated31 after 30 days' and slaughters it within the 30 days, it is permitted to benefit from it.32 If he consecrated it to the altar, it is consecrated to the altar.33

If, by contrast, he says: "This animal is consecrated immediately after 30 days,"34 and he slaughters it within those 30 days, it is forbidden to benefit from it.35 If he consecrated it to the altar within the 30 days, the consecration does not take effect.36

ט

האומר שור זה הקדש לאחר שלשים יום ושחטו בתוך שלשים יום הרי זה מותר בהנאה הקדישו למזבח הרי זה הקדש למזבח אבל אם אמר הרי זה הקדש מעכשיו לאחר שלשים יום ושחטו בתוך שלשים יום הרי זה אסור בהנאה ואם הקדישו בתוך השלשים למזבח אינו מוקדש:

10

When a person consecrates [an animal designated as] a burnt offering for the sake of improvements to the Temple, only [its evaluation by] the Temple treasurers holds back [its slaughter].37 According to Rabbinic decree, however, it should not be slaughtered until it is redeemed.38 Therefore,39 if he transgressed and slaughtered it [before it was redeemed], it is acceptable.40

י

המקדיש עולה לבדק הבית אין בה אלא עיכוב גזברין בלבד ומדברי סופרים שלא תשחט עד שתפדה לפיכך אם עבר ושחטה הרי זה כשרה:

11

A person may designate as a dedication offerings - whether set aside for the priests or for improvements to the Temple - [animals consecrated as] sacrifices of the highest degree of sanctity41 or sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity.42 If he was liable to replace these sacrifices,43 he must pay their value44 whether to the priests or for the sake of improvements to the Temple. After they are redeemed, he should then offer the sacrifices for their original purposes.

יא

מחרים אדם בין קדשי קדשים בין קדשים קלים בין חרמי כהנים בין חרמי בדק הבית ואם היו קדשים שהוא חייב באחריותן נותן את דמיהן בין לכהנים בין לבדק הבית ויקרבו אותן הקדשים אחר שיפדו למה שהן:

12

What is the redemption process [when a person] vowed [to bring a particular animal as a sacrifice]45 and then designated it as a dedication offering?46 We evaluate how much a person would be willing to give for the right of sacrificing this animal as a burnt offering even though he is not liable to do so.47 Whoever gives this amount48 may offer this animal [for the sacrifice] for which it was originally pledged.

יב

היו נדבה והחרימן כיצד פודין אותן אומדים כמה אדם רוצה ליתן בבהמה זו להעלותה עולה שאינו חייב בה וכל הנותן אותו שיעור יקריב בהמה זו נדבה כמו שהיתה:

13

When an Israelite designates a firstborn animal - whether unblemished or blemished49 - as a dedication offering for the sake of heaven, the designation takes effect.50 Needless to say, if the priest designates it as a dedication offering for the sake of heaven after it enters his domain, [the designation takes effect].51

יג

ישראל שהחרים את בכור בהמה לשמים בין שהיה תמים בין שהיה בעל מום הרי זה מוחרם ואין צריך לומר שהחרימו הכהן לשמים אחר שבא לידו:

14

How is it to be redeemed? We evaluate how much a person would be willing to give for the right for this firstborn to be his so that he will have the right to give it to whichever priest he desires, to his relative or his friend. Whoever gives this amount52 may take the firstborn and give it to whichever priest he desires. The money is given for the sake of improvements to the Temple.

יד

וכיצד פודין אותן אומדין כמה אדם רוצה ליתן בבכור זה כדי שיהיה לו ותהיה הרשות בידו ליתנו לכל כהן שירצה לקרובו או לרעו וכל הנותן אותו שיעור יקח הבכור ויתננו לכל כהן שירצה ויפלו הדמים לבדק הבית:

15

When a person designates an animal selected as a tithe offering53 as a dedication offering, it is as if he designated an animal pledged to be sacrificed as a peace offering.54 [The rationale is that] he is not liable to replace it.55

טו

המחרים את המעשר הרי זו כמחרים שלמי נדבה לפי שאינו חייב באחריותו:

16

When a person consecrates his [half-]shekel56 for the sake of improvements to the Temple, the consecration is binding.57 If one consecrates bikkurim58 for the sake of improvements to the Temple, the consecration does not take effect.59 If, however, the priest [to whom the bikkurim are given] consecrates them after they enter his domain, the consecration is binding.60

טז

המקדיש שקלו לבדק הבית הרי זו קדש הקדיש בכורים לבדק הבית אינן קדש אבל אם הקדישן הכהן אחר שבאו לידו הרי אלו קדש:

17

When a person designates half of his servant or half of his maid-servant as a dedication offering, he and the priests are joint owners.61 If, however, he consecrates half his servant and designates half his servant as a dedication offering to Heaven, he is consecrated entirely, as we explained.62 Whenever one consecrates his Canaanite servant or maid-servant or consecrates all of his property and he owns servants, their physical person becomes consecrated Therefore it is forbidden to benefit from them63 until they are redeemed.64

יז

המחרים חצי עבדו ושפחתו הוא והכהנים שותפין בו אבל אם הקדיש או החרים לשמים חצי עבדו כולו קדש כמו שבארנו וכל המקדיש עבדו ושפחתו הכנענים או המקדיש כל נכסיו והיו בהן עבדים הרי גופן קדש לפיכך אסורים ליהנות בהן עד שיפדו:

18

The Temple treasurers may not take the worth [of the servants] from other people and free them.65 Instead, they sell them to others66 and those others free them if they desire.

יח

ואין הגזברין רשאין ליקח דמיהן מאחרים ולהוציא אותן לחירות אלא מוכרין אותן לאחרים ואחרים מוציאין אותן לחרות אם רצו:

19

When one consecrates his servant's hands,67 anything he earns beyond what is required for his sustenance is consecrated.68

How should this servant sustain himself? He should borrow the money [required for his sustenance], work, and repay the debt. [This is allowed] provided he always works for less than a p'rutah and pays it. For if he earned an entire p'rutah, it would be acquired by the Temple treasury as soon as he earned it.69

יט

המקדיש ידי עבדו כל היתר על פרנסתו קדש וכיצד הוא מתפרנס עבד זה לווה ואוכל ועושה ופורע והוא שיעשה פחות פחות משוה פרוטה ויפרע שאם עשה בפרוטה ראשון ראשון קנה הקדש:

20

When a person consecrates himself, he consecrated only his worth.70 He is obligated to give [that amount to the Temple treasury]. He may earn money and [use it for] his sustenance, for his physical person did not become consecrated as that of a servant does.71

כ

המקדיש את עצמו לא הקדיש אלא דמיו והרי הוא חייב בדמי עצמו ומותר לו לעשות ולאכול שהרי לא נתקדש גופו כעבד:

21

A person cannot consecrate an entity that does not belong to him.72

What is implied? If he designates his son, his daughter, his Hebrew servant, or Hebrew maid-servant, or a field he acquired as a dedication offering, they do not become dedication offerings. For a person cannot consecrate an entity when its physical person or substance is not his.73

כא

אין אדם מקדיש דבר שאינו שלו כיצד כגון שהחרים בנו ובתו ועבדו ושפחתו העברים או שדה מקנתו הרי אלו אינן מוחרמין שאין אדם מקדיש דבר שאין גופו שלו:

22

A person may not consecrate an entity that is not in his domain.

What is implied? A person entrusted an article to a colleague and the latter denied possession of it, the owners cannot consecrate it.74 If, however, [the watchman] did not deny possession of it, it is considered in its owner's domain, no matter where it is located.75

כב

אין אדם מקדיש דבר שאינו ברשותו כיצד היה לו פקדון ביד אחר וכפר בו זה שהוא אצלו אין הבעלים יכולין להקדישו אבל אם לא כפר בו הרי הוא ברשות בעליו בכל מקום שהוא:

23

When does the above apply? With regard to movable property. [Different rules apply] to landed property that was stolen and [the thief] denied [having taken it].76 If [the original owner] could have the land expropriated through legal process,77 he has the right to consecrate it even though he has not yet expropriated it. For the land itself is always considered in the domain of its [legitimate] owners.78

כג

במה דברים אמורים במטלטלין אבל קרקע שגזלה אחר וכפר בה אם יכול להוציאה בדיינין הרי זה יכול להקדישה ואע"פ שעדיין לא הוציאה שהקרקע עצמה הרי היא ברשות בעליה:

24

When a person steals from his colleague and the [original] owner does not despair [of recovery],79 neither of them can consecrate it. [The robber cannot,] because the article does not belong to him and [the owner cannot,] because it is not in his possession. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

כד

הגוזל את חבירו ולא נתייאשו הבעלים שניהם אינן יכולין להקדיש זה לפי שאינו שלו וזה לפי שאינו ברשותו וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

25

[The following laws apply when] a person was selling squash, eggs, or the like and a [prospective] purchaser comes, takes one, and then departs. If the price of each particular article is fixed, it is as if a price was established,80 and the seller cannot consecrate this squash, for it is not in his domain.81 If the price is not fixed and he consecrated it, it is consecrated, because it is still in his domain,82 for [the prospective purchaser] did not take it with the intent to steal it.

כה

מי שהיה מוכר דלועין או ביצים וכיוצא בהן ובא לוקח ונטל אחת והלך לו אם היו דמי כל אחת ואחד קצובין הרי זה כמי שפסק ואין המוכר יכול להקדיש דלעת זו שהרי אינה ברשותו ואם אין הדמים קצובין והקדישה מקודשת שעדיין ברשותו היא שזה שלקחה לא לקחה דרך גזלה וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

26

A person cannot consecrate an article that has not yet come into existence.83

What is implied? [If a person says:] "What my net will bring up from the sea is consecrated" or "The fruit my field will produce is designated as a dedication offering," his words are of no consequence.

כו

אין אדם מקדיש דבר שלא בא לעולם כיצד מה שתעלה מצודתי מן הים קדש מה שתוציא שדה זו מן הפירות חרם לא אמר כלום:

27

When a person tells a colleague: "When I repurchase this field which I sold you,84 it is consecrated," [although] he repurchases it, it is not consecrated. [The rationale is] that it was not in his possession when he consecrated it. 85

כז

האומר לחבירו שדה זו שמכרתי לך לכשאקחנה ממך מקודשת ולקחה אינה מקודשת לפי שכשהקדישה לא באה ברשותו:

28

Similarly, when a person consecrates the work to be produced by his wife's hands, she may work and partake [of her earnings]. The remainder is not consecrated.86 If he tells her: "May your hands be consecrated to their Maker," since they are under lien to him,87 [the profits of] all of the work that she produces are consecrated. To what can this be compared? To one who says: "This tree is consecrated," in which instance all the fruit it produces is consecrated.88 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

כח

וכן המקדיש מעשה ידי אשתו הרי זו עושה ואוכלת והמותר חולין אמר לה יקדשו ידיך לעושיהן הואיל והן משועבדין לו הרי כל מעשה ידיה קדש הא למה זה דומה לאומר אילן זה קדש שכל פירות שיעשה להבא קדש וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

29

When a person tells a colleague: "The field that I will sell you89 will be consecrated when I buy it back from you," the consecration takes effect when he buys it back.90 [The rationale is that] it is in his possession [originally] and he has the possibility of consecrating it.91

[If one tells a colleague:] "The field that I entrusted to you as security92 will be consecrated when I redeem it from you," the field becomes consecrated when he redeems it. [The rationale is that] he has the potential to redeem it.93 [The consecration is effective] even if it was given as a security for a fixed time,94 because he has the potential to redeem it after that time.

כט

האומר לחבירו שדה זו שאני מוכר לך לכשאקחנה ממך תתקדש הרי זו מקודשת כשיקחנה שהרי עתה (בא) בידו להקדישה שדה זו שמשכנתי לך לכשאפדנה ממך תהי קדש משיפדה אותה תתקדש שהרי בידו לפדותה ואפילו היתה ממושכנת לזמן קצוב שהרי בידו לפדותה אחר הזמן:

30

[Although a person] rents out a house to a colleague, if he retracts and consecrates it, the consecration is effective and the rental arrangement is terminated.95 If the tenant dwells there, he violates the prohibition against misappropriating sacred property.96

ל

המשכיר בית לחבירו וחזר והקדישו הרי זה קדש ופקעה השכירות ואם דר בו השוכר מעל:

31

It appears to me97 that even though a person cannot consecrate an entity that has not come into being, if he says: "I pledge to consecrate it," he is obligated to consecrate it when it will come into being to [fulfill] his vow. If he does not consecrate it, he transgresses [the prohibitions]: "Do not delay in paying it" and "He shall not desecrate his word" and [fails to fulfill the positive commandment:] "He shall act in accordance with all that he uttered with his mouth" as is true with regard to all other vows.98

לא

יראה לי שאע"פ שאין אדם מקדיש דבר שלא בא לעולם אם אמר הרי עלי להקדישו הרי זה חייב להקדישו כשיבא לעולם משום נדרו ואם לא הקדיש הרי זה עובר משום בל תאחר ולא יחל דברו ומשום ככל היוצא מפיו יעשה כשאר הנדרים:

32

What is implied? [When a person] says: "I pledge to consecrate everything that my net will bring up from the sea," "I pledge to give the fruit produced by this field to the poor," "I pledge to designate as a dedication offering - or give for the sake of captives - all of my earnings of this year," or makes any statement of this like, he is obligated to give and/or perform what he pledged when the article comes into his possession. For these and all similar statements are vows, not acts of consecration.99

לב

כיצד האומר הרי עלי להקדיש כל שתעלה מצודתי מן הים הרי עלי ליתן לעניים פירות שתוציא שדה זו הרי עלי להחרים או ליתן לשבוים כל שאשתכר בשנה זו וכל כיוצא במאמרים אלו הרי זה חייב ליתן ולעשות בהן מה שאמר כשיבואו לידו וזה וכיוצא בו בכלל נדרים הוא לא בכלל הקדשות:

33

Support for this can be drawn from the statements of Jacob our Patriarch [Genesis 28:22]:100 "And everything that You will give me, I will tithe." And [later, ibid. 31:13]101 states: "Where you took a vow."102 And103 when a person says: "I will not depart from this world until I become a nazirite," he is obligated to observe a nazirite vow104 although he did not actually take such a vow. Since he said that he would take a nazirite vow, he is obligated to observe those restrictions. This law parallels that. It is appropriate to rule in this manner.

לג

ראיה לדבר זה מה שאמר יעקב אבינו וכל אשר תתן לי עשר אעשרנו לך ונאמר אשר נדרת לי שם נדר והרי האומר לא אפטר מן העולם עד שאהיה נזיר חייב לנהוג בנזירות ואף על פי שעדיין לא נדר בנזיר הואיל ואמר שידור בנזיר חייב להנזר וזה כיוצא בו וכזה ראוי לדון:

34

A consecration that is made in error is not binding.105

What is implied? If one says: "When a black ox will go out of the building first, it will be consecrated," should a white ox go out [first], it is not consecrated.106 [If he says:] "When a gold dinar comes into my hand first, it is consecrated," should a silver [dinar] come up, it is not consecrated. [If he says:] "When a barrel of wine comes into my hand first, it is consecrated," should a barrel of oil come up, it is not consecrated. [This applies] whether wine is more expensive than oil107 in that place or oil is more expensive than wine.108

If he attempts to extend the consecration to a second entity, saying: "[The status of] this is the same as [that of] the other," the second is consecrated.109 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

לד

הקדש טעות אינו הקדש כיצד האומר שור שחור שיצא מבית ראשון הרי הוא הקדש ויצא לבן אינו הקדש דינר זהב שיעלה בידי ראשון הרי הוא הקדש ועלה של כסף אינו הקדש חבית של יין שתעלה בידי ראשונה הקדש ועלה של שמן בין שהיין יקר מן השמן באותו מקום או השמן יקר מן היין אינו הקדש התפיס בה אחרת ואמר זו כזו הרי השניה הקדש וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

Footnotes
1.

Any specific entity.

2.

This term is being used for the Hebrew term cherem. Cherem implies the removal of an entity from one framework of reference and its inclusion in another. Similarly, in this instance, the property is being taken from the realm of private, personal possessions and being sanctified (see the gloss of HaKtav VeHaKabalah to Leviticus 27:29). It must, however, be emphasized that the term cherem has negative connotations, meaning 'a ban' and the root has the connotation 'absolute destruction.' In that context, in his Living Torah, Rav Aryeh Kaplan interprets the term is meaning 'declare taboo,' i.e., banned from ordinary mortal use and hence, designated for the Temple treasury or the priests.

3.

As stated in Halachah 2, a person should not dedicate all of his possessions. Nevertheless, if he chooses to do so, his statements are of consequence.

4.

The differences between the two types of dedication offerings mentioned are described in Halachah 4. To which priests the property is given is described in Halachah 5.

5.

The Kessef Mishneh questions the Rambam's ruling, noting that the matter is the subject of a difference of opinion among the Sages (Arachin 28b) and it appears that the conclusion of the Talmud is that if no specification is made, dedication offerings should be given for improvements to the Temple. Indeed, Rashi (Beitzah 36b) and others rule in this manner. The Or Sameach suggests that the Rambam's source is Ezekiel 44:29 which states: 'All the dedication offerings from the Jewish people shall be yours.'

6.

But not his Hebrew servants. See Halachah 21 and notes.

7.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 145) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 357) include the laws governing dedication offerings among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

8.

I.e., the dedication offering must be 'from what he owns,' i.e., implying that he is giving a portion of what he owns, but not all that he owns. The rationale for this ruling is explained in Chapter 8, Halachah 13.

9.

I.e., in contrast to a person who pledges an airech who is allowed to retain ownership of his basic necessities, as stated in Chapter 3, Halachot 14-17.

10.

I.e., until they are redeemed - by the owner or by another person - they are the property of the Temple treasury and it is forbidden to benefit from them or use them for mundane purposes.

11.

I.e., the owner loses all rights to them. They become the property of the priests, able to be used for whatever purposes the priest who receives the property desires, as explained in the following halachah.

12.

I.e., before it is given to the priest. Once it is given to the priest, he may sell it if he so desires.

13.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandments 110-111) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvot 358-359) include both the prohibitions against selling and redeeming property designated as a dedication offering among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

14.

The Rambam's apparent source is the Sifra, but the version of the standard text of the Sifra speaks of a prohibition against selling the property to the Temple treasurer. There are those who maintain that the Rambam followed a version of the Sifra with a different reading. Significantly, however, in his Sefer HaMitzvot (loc. cit.), the Rambam defines the prohibition as forbidding the sale to the Temple treasurer.

15.

The implication appears to be that, like terumah, the donor has the right to give the dedication offering to the priest of his choice from the watch. It is not divided among all the priests of the watch. See Arachin 28a.

16.

As stated in the notes to Chapter 4, Halachah 24, there were 24 priestly watches. Each one would serve in the Temple for a week at a time according to a rotating cycle.

17.

They may not be used by the former owner for his own purposes and the prohibition of meilah, misappropriating consecrated property, applies.

18.

Our translation follows the commentary of the Kiryat Sefer. The version of the standard published text (which reflects that of authentic manuscripts and early printings) would be literally translated as 'When a priest possesses a field that was designated as a dedication offering which he acquired after the Jubilee.' We prefer the version of the Kiryat Sefer, because there is no connection between the Jubilee year and a priest's acquisition of dedication offerings.

19.

See Chapter 4, Halachot 19, 24.

20.

I.e., just like an ancestral field belonging to an Israelite is given to the priests, so too, a field owned by a priest that is designated as a dedication offering is given to the priests.

21.

Since he was the original owner, one might think that the laws that apply when one consecrates an ancestral field would apply. This is not the case, because once he designated it as a dedication offering, it became the property of the priest.

22.

Which, as stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 26, returns to its original owner. In that instance, as in this halachah, the person who consecrated it did not have everlasting ownership of it. Hence, he cannot consecrate the field forever.

23.

For once it is given to him, the priest is considered its owner for all time.

24.

This ruling was a matter of question for the Rambam. There is a difference of opinion concerning this point among the Sages. The standard published test of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Arachin 8:5) indicates that he favored the view that maintains that this only applies to priests. Rav Kapach maintains that this is an error and his ruling there is - as stated here - that it applies to both priests and Levites.

25.

I.e., if they make such a dedication, it is of no consequence.

26.

I.e., their landed property is theirs forever. It cannot be given as a dedication offering, because a dedication offering is given to a priest as his private property. Hence there would be no advantage in his making such an offering (Rashi, (Arachin 28a).

Thus there is obviously a difference between land or movable property that belongs to a priest and property that he acquired because it was designated as a dedication offering, as stated in Halachah 6. The rationale is that property that a priest owns as an ancestral heritage is essentially his. On the other hand, property that he acquired because it was designated as a dedication offering is not essentially his. Hence, it can be given to other priests as a dedication offering.

27.

The rationale is that consecrating an animal for the sake of improvements to the Temple is like taking a vow to pay its value to the Temple treasury. Hence, such a vow can be taken even if the animal is already consecrated.

28.

For the second consecration and the redemption do not effect its original status.

29.

Tosafot (Temurah 32a) explains the difference between the two instances as follows: The owner of an animal consecrated as a sacrifice still shares a connection to it. For if it is blemished, he must redeem it and replace it. In contrast, once an animal is consecrated to the Temple treasury, it leaves the owner's domain entirely.

30.

And once an animal has been consecrated to the Temple treasury, it is not the owner's unless he redeems it.

31.

For the sake of improvements to the Temple. Whether he states this explicitly or not, it is consecrated for that purpose as stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 7, unless he explicitly states that he is consecrating it for another purpose.

32.

Because the consecration did not take effect yet. The Or Sameach notes that the Rambam's apparent source, the Tosefta (Temurah 3:1), states that it is permitted to partake of the animal that was slaughtered and questions why the Rambam does not rule accordingly. He explains that the Rambam considers the person who consecrated the animal equivalent to an apostate for by slaughtering the animal, he prevents his vow from being fulfilled. As stated in Hilchot Shechitah 4:14, there are certain conditions necessary for slaughter performed by such a person to be successful.

33.

Since the original consecration has not yet taken effect, he may still consecrate it for another purpose.

34.

I.e., if the animal does not die within 30 dies, retroactively, the consecration will take effect from the time of his statements.

35.

Since the consecration of the animal will ultimately take effect, it may not be used for mundane purposes unless it is evaluated by the court. That evaluation may not be performed when the animal is dead (Lechem Mishneh).

36.

Since retroactively, the animal will become consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple, the consecration as a sacrifice is not of consequence, as stated in Halachah 8.

37.

I.e., this evaluation is necessary to establish the extent of his obligation, but nothing more. We do not require him to wait until he actually redeems the animal. The Radbaz explains that there are commentaries that if the animal was not redeemed the Temple treasurers are required to be present at the offering of the animal, because the owner of a sacrifice must be present when it is offered. The Rambam does not, however, require the treasurers' presence.

38.

For the Sages decreed that the animal be considered as if its body has become consecrated.

39.

I.e., because the requirement to wait until its redemption is Rabbinic in origin.

40.

Rashi (Temurah 32a,b) states that in such an instance, the person is not required to pay anything for the dedication offering, because the animal was never evaluated.

41.

Burnt offerings, sin offerings, or guilt offerings.

42.

All other sacrifices.

43.

I.e., he pledged to bring an offering of a particular type. Afterwards, he designated an animal to be offered to fulfill his pledge. If the animal is lost or stolen, he is required to supply another animal.

44.

Since he is obligated to replace his sacrifices, he is required to redeem the consecrated animal.

45.

E.g., he said: "I will bring this animal as a burnt offering." In this instance, if the animal dies or is stolen, he is not required to replace it with another animal.

46.

I.e., one might think that since the animal itself is already designated as a sacrifice and the person is not required to replace it if stolen, it is no longer his, and he does not have the right to consecrate it at all.

47.

I.e., since the person could in fact bring the sacrifice, we evaluate how much that right is worth to a person.

48.

Since the person who consecrated the animal is not obligated to replace it, we do not require him to redeem it and offer it. Instead, anyone who desires to pay the estimated amount has the right to do so.

49.

An unblemished firstborn animal is offered as a sacrifice and a priest is given the right to partake of it, while a blemished one must be given to a priest to use as his private property.

50.

And the animal must be redeemed as stated in the previous halachah.

51.

This is speaking about a firstborn animal with a blemish. It becomes the priest's private property, as stated in Hilchot Bechorot 1:3. Hence, there is no question that he has the right to do as he pleases with it.

52.

I.e., we do not require the person who consecrated the animal to redeem it.

53.

See Leviticus 27:32; Hilchot Bechorot, ch. 6, for a description of this offering.

54.

In which instance, we follow the principles stated in Halachah 12. A price to be paid to offer the sacrifice is established. Anyone willing to pay that price may redeem the animal.

55.

I.e., if the animal selected to be sacrificed as a tithe offering dies or is stolen, he is not required to offer another animal in its place.

56.

The Rambam is referring to the half-shekel every male is required to give to purchase his share of the communal offerings. See Hilchot Shekalim, chs. 1-3.

57.

This is parallel to the law mentioned in Halachah 11, that a person may consecrate animals designated as sacrifices.

58.

The first fruits that were brought to the Temple and then given to the priests. See Exodus, ch. 23; Deuteronomy, ch. 26, Hilchot Bikkurim, chs. 1-4.

59.

For the bikkurim are not his, but rather the property of the priest.

60.

The bikkurim become the priest's private property (ibid. 4:14). Hence he may do with them whatever he desires.

61.

I.e., for the portion given to the priest becomes his private property.

62.

As stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 18, when a person consecrates a limb or an organ on which an animal's life depends, the entire animal becomes consecrated. Here, too, the servant cannot live with only half his body.

63.

Nevertheless the prohibition against meilah, misappropriating sacred property, do not apply. See Hilchot Meilah 5:10.

64.

I.e., they are sold to others and the proceeds of the sale are used for the sake of improvements to the Temple.

65.

For freeing them might create the impression that they were treating consecrated property with disdain and not seeking its full worth.

66.

In which instance, they will receive the market value of the servant.

67.

What the owner is attempting to do is to consecrate the servant's earnings. That, however, is not possible, for a person is unable to consecrate an entity that has not come into existence already (see Halachah 26). Therefore, he consecrates the servant's hands, for they do exist, and thus any earnings they produce become consecrated (Radbaz). Note the parallel in Halachah 28.

68.

A servant's master is not liable to provide for his sustenance (Hilchot Avadim 9:7). Hence that money must be taken from the servant's earnings. Nevertheless, since his earnings are consecrated, the process the Rambam continues to explain should be followed.

69.

Tosafot, Gittin 12b, explains that even a sum less than a p'rutah can be consecrated. (See Hilchot Meilah 7:8.) Nevertheless, the owner had the intent that this amount not be consecrated so that the servant would be able to sustain himself.

70.

The price that would be paid if he was sold as a servant in the marketplace.

71.

A servant is considered as property and consecrating him makes him the property of the Temple treasury. Hence it is entitled to all of his earnings. This does not apply with regard to a free man.

72.

Bava Kama 69b derives this from the exegesis of Leviticus 27:14: "When a person will consecrate his house." Just as his house is his own, so too, everything he consecrates must be his own.

73.

All of the four types of people mentioned above are considered as independent personalities. Although a father and owner possess certain rights with regard to the earnings of these individuals, he does not own their physical persons. This applies even to his children who are beneath the age of majority (Arachin 28a). Similarly, a field that one acquires is never totally his, for he must return it to its original owners in the Jubilee.

74.

For there is no way that they could regain possession of it immediately. Nor may the watchman consecrate it, because it does not belong to him.

75.

I.e., although it is in the physical possession of the watchman, it is still considered as belonging to - and able to be secured by - the owner. See Halachah 25 and notes.

76.

And instead, claimed to be the legitimate owner.

77.

Proving his ownership through the testimony of witnesses or through a valid deed of title.

78.

This is a principle applicable in many aspects of Jewish business law. Land can never be stolen and is always considered as being in the possession of the person who has title to it. See Bava Metzia 7a.

79.

Even if the owner despairs of the recovery of the article, it is not desirable for the thief to consecrate it. See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeach 5:7.

80.

Since a standard price for each article was established and the articles were left for sale, we assume that as soon as the person took the article, he committed himself to the purchase and hence, the sale is completed.

81.

For it is as if it was already sold.

82.

Since the price has to be established, until it is established, the sale is not complete. And until the sale is complete, the article is considered as belonging to the seller. Hence, the prospective purchaser is considered as the watchman of an entrusted article and the law stated in the final clause of Halachah 22 applies. Indeed, Bava Batra 88a mentions this instance and from it, the law stated in Halachah 22 is derived.

83.

Kiryat Sefer explains the rationale for this ruling: Since the object has not come into existence as of yet, it is not in his domain. And, as stated in Halachah 22, a person cannot consecrate an article that is not in his domain.

84.

Needless to say, this applies when the person never owned the field he seeks to consecrate. By mentioning this instance, the Rambam (and his source, Ketubot 58b) emphasize that even though the person originally and ultimately owned the field, since he did not own it at the time he consecrated it, the consecration is not effective.

85.

The Siftei Cohen, Yoreh De'ah 258:15 emphasizes that his statement is not even considered a vow, because the wording used does not have the implication of a vow. See Halachah 31 which speaks of this issue. Note, however, the Rambam's statements in Hilchot Mechirah 22:15.

86.

I.e., the consecration is not effective, because the fruits of the woman's labor did not exist at the time her husband sought to consecrate them.

87.

As stated in Hilchot Ishut 12:3, all of the proceeds of the work a woman performs belong to her husband.

88.

For although the fruit did not exist at the time of the original consecration, the tree did. And once the tree is consecrated all the fruit it produces is consecrated. Similarly, the woman's hands exist at the time the consecration was made, and as a result, all the products of her work are consecrated.

Rabbenu Nissim does not accept the Rambam's ruling. He explains that although our Sages ordained that the profits from a woman's labor should be given to her husband, those profits are given in exchange for his support of her. If she desires, she has the right to withdraw from the arrangement, decline his support, and keep her earnings. Since she has this right, her hands are not on lien to her husband, and he cannot consecrate them. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 81:1) follows the Rambam's view, while the Rama quotes that of Rabbenu Nissim.

89.

I.e., at the time he makes this statement it is in his possession.

90.

Even though he does not make a second statement, it becomes consecrated if and when he repurchases it.

91.

Thus the fact that he sells it to another person in the interim does not detract from the consecration.

92.

For a loan.

93.

Even though the field was not in his possession at the time he made his statement, since he had the right to redeem it, it is considered as if it were.

94.

And during that time, he did not have the right to redeem it.

95.

Although the house is the tenant's for the duration of the rental period, since ultimately it belongs to the owner, his consecration takes precedence over the rental agreement. For as stated in Chapter 7, Halachah 14, consecration takes precedence over other obligations.

Although as implied by the previous halachah, the owner could not consecrate a field given as security while it was in the possession of the lender, he has a greater right to the land in this instance. In the previous case, the field will not return to him unless he pays the loan, while in this instance, the home will return to him at the end of the rental period without payment. Hence he is considered to have greater rights over it and is given the right to consecrate it (Radbaz).

96.

He may, however, avoid the prohibition by paying his rent to the Temple treasury (Arachin 21a).

97.

This phrase indicates a law that the Rambam derived through the process of deduction without an explicit prior Rabbinic source.

98.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 1; Hilchot Nedarim 1:4-5, Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 14:13.

99.

I.e., were the person to have the intent to consecrate the article with this statement, the consecration would not be effective, because the article does not yet exist. He is not, however, consecrating the article, merely pledging to do so in the future. See also Hilchot Mechirah 22:15. On his notes to that source, the Ra'avad differs and maintains that for the statement to be considered a pledge, it must be worded in that matter. See Shulchan Aruch and Rama (Choshen Mishpat 212:7).

100.

After his vision of the ladder extending to heaven. He was speaking of "what You will give me," i.e., possessions that he would acquire in the future.

101.

When Jacob tells his wives of the message the angel gave him to return to Eretz Yisrael.

102.

I.e., the pledge he made is considered as a vow.

103.

The Radbaz explains that the second proof is necessary, because one might say that Jacob's reference to his vow refers to his statement: "And the Lord will be my God."

104.

See Hilchot Nazir 1:4 which states that he must observe the nazirite restrictions immediately, because he does not know how long he will live and he is required to fulfill his pledge before he dies.

The Ra'avad accepts the support from Jacob's statement, but not that from the nazirite's pledge, bringing two objections:

a) at present, it is within his potential to carry out the nazirite vow. Hence, the comparison to an entity that has not yet come into existence is not appropriate.

b) Since the person does not know when he will die, it is as if he has committed himself to observe the vow immediately. The Radbaz brings support for the Rambam's position.

105.

Just like a vow made in error is not binding (Hilchot Nedarim 8:3).

106.

I.e., we assume that his mention of a black ox was deliberate and intended to be a stipulation, not merely a statement of his supposition of what would happen.

107.

In which case, we might say that he would accept the change, because he will be saving money.

108.

In which case, we might say that he would accept the change, because he will be bringing a more attractive offering.

109.

This ruling has amazed the commentaries, because if the first entity does not become consecrated, how can the second? Seemingly, its consecration is dependent on that of the first.

The Radbaz seeks to explain that the second consecration is dependent not on the status of the initial article, but the intent of the donor who sought to consecrate it. He admits, however, that the interpretation is forced. The Kessef Mishneh explains that this clause is referring to a different concept entirely. If he had an article that was consecrated and extended its holiness to another article unintentionally, that article is consecrated.

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 7

1

Consecrated articles1 may not be redeemed with land, nor with servants, for an equation was created between servants and land,2 nor with promissory notes for their physical substance is not of financial worth.3 [This is derived from the expression:]4 "And he shall give the silver." [This includes] silver and other movable property that is worth silver,5 even bran.6

א

ההקדשות אין פודין אותן לא בקרקע ולא בעבדים שהרי הוקשו לקרקעות ולא בשטרות (מפני) שאין גופן ממון שנאמר ונתן את הכסף אחד הכסף ואחד שאר המטלטלין ששוין כסף ואפילו סובין:

2

Whenever a person redeems his consecrated property, he must add an additional fifth. The person who consecrated the property himself, his wife, or his heirs must all add a fifth, as we explained.7 This fifth must also only be movable property. The fifth itself becomes like the consecrated property and the same laws apply to them both.

ב

כל הפודה קדשיו מוסיף חומש ואחד המקדיש עצמו או אשתו או היורש מוסיפים חומש כמו שבארנו ואף החומש לא יהיה אלא מן המטלטלין והחומש שמוסיף הרי הוא כהקדש עצמו ודין אחד להם:

3

When a person redeems his consecrated articles, [failure to pay] the additional fifth does not hold back [the redemption]. Once the person paid the principal, the consecrated article is considered as an ordinary article and it is permitted to benefit from it [according to Scriptural Law]. According to Rabbinic Law, it is forbidden to benefit from it until one pays the additional fifth, lest one be negligent and fail to pay it. Nevertheless, on the Sabbath, [our Sages] gave one permission to partake [of a consecrated article that was redeemed] although the fifth was not paid for the sake of the enjoyment of the Sabbath.8 [Another reason for leniency is that] it is being demanded by the Temple treasurers.9

ג

הפודה קדשיו אין החומש מעכב אלא מאחר שנתן את הקרן יצא הקדש לחולין ומותר ליהנות בו ומדברי סופרים שאסור לו ליהנות עד שיתן החומש שמא יפשע ולא יתן אבל בשבת מפני עונג שבת התירו לו לאכול ואע"פ שעדיין לא נתן את החומש והרי הגזברין תובעין אותו:

4

[The following laws apply with regard to animals] consecrated for the sake of [sacrifice on] the altar which were [disqualified by] a blemish:10 If the person who consecrated it redeems it, he must add an additional fifth11 as is the rule with regard to other consecrated articles.12 The person who consecrated it for his own purposes is the one obligated to add a fifth, not the one who derives atonement through the [sacrifice after] it was redeemed.13

[One is] obligate to add a fifth [when redeeming the article that was] consecrated originally, but one [need] not add a fifth [when redeeming an article] whose consecration was a derivative,14 as [implied by Leviticus 27:15]: "If the one who consecrated [it] will redeem his home, he must add a fifth." [The verse mentions] "one who consecrated," and not one who extends that holiness.

ד

קדשי מזבח שנפל בהם מום ונפדו אם פדה המקדיש עצמו מוסיף חומש כשאר ההקדשות והמקדיש שפדה לעצמו הוא שמוסיף חומש לא המתכפר בה שפדאה והקדש ראשון הוא שחייב בתוספת חומש אבל הקדש שני אינו מוסיף עליו חומש שנאמר ואם המקדיש יגאל את ביתו ויסף חמישית המקדיש ולא המתפיס:

5

Accordingly, if one transferred the holiness of a [consecrated] animal - whether one consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple15 or one consecrated for [sacrifice on] the altar that became blemished16 - to another animal or exchanged an animal consecrated for [sacrifice on] the altar,17 When he redeems the second animal to which he transferred the holiness or which he exchanged for the sacrificial animal, he is not required to add a fifth.

ה

לפיכך אם חלל בהמה על בהמה שניה בין בקדשי בדק הבית בין בקדשי מזבח שנפל בהם מום או שהמיר בקדשי מזבח כשהוא פודה את השניה שחלל עליה או את התמורה לעצמו אינו מוסיף חומש:

6

There is an unresolved doubt [in the following situation]: A person set aside a guilt offering for the sake of his atonement and it became blemished. He added a fifth to its value and transferred its holiness to another animal and received atonement by [sacrificing] another guilt offering.18 As explained in the appropriate place,19 [the animal to which the holiness was transferred] is left to pasture [until it becomes blemished and then its holiness transferred to a third animal which is sacrificed as a burnt offering.20 The question is:] Are we required to add a fifth [when redeeming that animal], because it is a burnt offering, it involves another body21 and is consecrated for a different purpose? Or are we not so required because its [holiness] stems from the initial consecration for which a fifth was already added.22

ו

המפריש אשם להתכפר בו ונפל בו מום והוסיף עליו חומש וחללו על בהמה אחרת ונתכפר באשם אחר ונתקה הבהמה שחלל עליה לרעיה כמו שיתבאר במקומו הרי הוא ספק אם מוסיף עליה חומש הואיל והוא קרבן עולה והרי הוא גוף אחד וקדושה אחרת או אינו מוסיף עליה חומש מפני שהיא באה מכח הקדש ראשון שכבר הוסיף עליו חומש:

7

The concept of exchanging an animal23 does not apply with regard to animals consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple. For the Torah dealt with the concept of exchanging holiness only with regard to [animals] consecrated for [sacrifice on] the altar.24

What is implied? If a person had an ordinary animal and an animal consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple before him. If he said: "Let this one be substituted for this one" or "Let this one be exchanged for this one," his statements are of no consequence.25 If, however, he says: "This one is in place of this one" or "The holiness of this one is transferred to this one,"26 his statements are binding. The first animal returns to ordinary status and [its holiness] becomes attached to the second.

ז

קדשי בדק הבית אין עושין תמורה שלא דנה תורה בתמורה אלא בקדשי מזבח כיצד היו לפניו בהמת חולין ובהמת קדשי בדק הבית ואמר זו חלופת זו או זו תמורת זו לא אמר כלום אבל אם אמר הרי זו תחת זו הרי זו מחוללת על זו דבריו קיימין ויצאתה הבהמה הראשונה לחולין ונתפסה השניה:

8

The initial and preferred manner is that both [animals] consecrated for the sake of the improvement of the Temple and entities consecrated for the sake of the altar that became blemished should be redeemed only for their worth. If one transgressed and redeemed them for less than their worth, even if one redeemed consecrated property worth 100 dinarim with an article worth a p'rutah,27 the article is redeemed.28 It is considered as ordinary property and one is permitted to benefit from it. According to Rabbinic Law, it is necessary to evaluate its worth29 and the person redeeming it is obligated to make up the monetary difference.

ח

אחד קדשי בדק הבית ואחד קדשי מזבח שנפל בהן מום אין פודין אותן לכתחלה אלא בשוייהן ואם עבר וחללן על פחות משווייהן אפילו הקדש שוה מאה דינר שחללו על שוה פרוטה הרי זו פדוי ויצא לחולין ומותר ליהנות בו ומדברי סופרים שהוא צריך חקירת דמים וחייב להשלים את דמיו:

9

What is implied? A person had an animal consecrated [to be offered on] the altar and it became blemished. If it is worth ten [zuz] and there is an ordinary animal worth five and he says: "The holiness of this one is transferred to this," it is redeemed and its status becomes that of an ordinary animal. He must, however, pay the additional five [to the Temple treasury]. In the same way, [if a similar transfer was made] when the first animal was consecrated to the Temple treasury, its status becomes that of an ordinary animal. It may be shorn and put to work30 and the second animal assumes its [consecrated status] according to Scriptural Law. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, it is necessary to evaluate its worth to see whether the one to which its holiness was transferred was of equivalent value. If not, he must make up the monetary difference.

ט

כיצד היתה לו בהמת קדשי מזבח שנפל בה מום והרי היא שוה עשרה ובהמת חולין ששוה חמשה ואמר הרי זו מחוללת על זו הרי זו נפדית ויצאת לחולין אבל צריך להשלים החמשה וכן אם היתה הבהמה הראשונה קדשי בדק הבית הרי זו יצאת לחולין להגזז ולהעבד ותכנס השניה תחתיה דין תורה אבל מדבריהם צריך חקירת דמים אם היתה זו שחלל עליה שוה או ישלים דמיה:

10

If three people evaluated [the two animals involved] and said they were of equivalent value, the evaluation is not nullified even if 100 come afterwards and say that the animal that was consecrated was more valuable. Since the evaluation [of the animal's] worth is a Rabbinic requirement, our Sages were not strict with regard to it. If, however, two people made the original evaluation and then three people came and say that even the slightest advantage was taken of the Temple treasury,31 [the animal] is reevaluated.

י

שמו אותה שלשה ואמרו שזו בדמיה אפילו באו אחר כן מאה ואמרו של קדש היתה יפה אינו חוזר הואיל וחקירת הדמים מדבריהם לא החמירו בה אבל אם שמו אותה שנים ובאו שלשה ואמרו שהונה ההקדש בכל שהוא חוזר:

11

We do not redeem consecrated articles with a rough estimation instead, their worth is carefully evaluated, as we explained.32 If one redeemed a consecrated article [after making merely a rough estimation], the Temple treasury is given the upper hand.

What is implied? One says: "May the holiness of this cow that is consecrated33 be transferred to this cow" or "May the holiness of this garment that is consecrated be transferred to this garment," the consecrated article is redeemed and the Temple treasury is given the upper hand. If the second article is worth more than the first, the Temple treasurers take it and remain silent. If it is not worth the value of the first, [the redeemer] must pay the difference as we explained34 and he must add a fifth.

If, however, he said: May the holiness of this garment that is consecrated be transferred to this garment that is worth ten selaim" or "May the holiness of this cow that is consecrated be transferred to this cow that is worth ten selaim," he is required to add a fifth and must give two and a half selaim.35 [The rationale is that] he redeemed it at a fixed price. It is not necessary to add a fifth when redeeming the second animal, as we explained.36

יא

אין פודין את ההקדש אכסרה אלא בחקירת דמים כמו שבארנו ואם פדה יד הקדש על העליונה כיצד פרה זו תחת פרה זו של הקדש טלית זו תחת טלית זו של הקדש הקדשו פדוי ויד הקדש על העליונה אם היתה השניה יפה מן הראשונה ביותר לוקחין אותה הגזברין ושותקין ואם אינה יפה משלם את הדמים כמו שבארנו ומוסיף חומש אבל אם אמר טלית זו בעשר סלעים תחת טלית של הקדש ופרה זו בעשר סלעים תחת פרה זו של הקדש אפילו היתה של הקדש שוה חמש ושלו עשר הרי זו מוסיף חומש ונותן שתי סלעים ומחצה שהרי בדמים קצובים פדה ושניה אינה טעונה חומש כמו שבארנו:

12

[The following rules apply when a person] redeems an article from the Temple treasury. If he drew the article into his possession37 when it was worth a maneh,38 but did not pay the money until it appreciated to 200, he must pay 200. [This is indicated by the expression:]39 "And he will pay the money and it will become his." It becomes his when he pays the money.40

If he drew it into his possession when it was worth 200, but did not pay the money until it depreciated to a maneh, he must pay 200. For the legal power of the Temple treasury should not be less than that of an ordinary person.41 He acquired it through drawing it into his possession and became liable for its value then.

יב

הפודה מיד ההקדש משך במנה ולא הספיק ליתן הדמים עד שעמד במאתים נותן מאתים שנאמר ונתן את הכסף וקם לו בנתינת הכסף הוא שלו משכו במאתים ולא הספיק ליתן את הדמים עד שעמד במנה נותן מאתים לא יהא כח הדיוט חמור מכח הקדש והרי קנה במשיכה ונתחייב בדמים:

13

If he redeemed it at 200 and paid the money42 and did not draw into his possession until it depreciated to a maneh, he is considered to have acquired it when he paid the money.43 He should draw his article into his possession and the Temple treasury acquires the 200.

If he redeemed it at a maneh and paid the money, but did not draw it into his possession until it appreciated to 200, the redemption is allowed to stand. He is only required to pay the maneh that he paid already. In this instance, we do not say: The legal power of the Temple treasury should not be less than that of an ordinary person.44 [The rationale is that] even an ordinary person would not be able to retract unless he receives the admonition mi shepara, as will be explained in the appropriate place.45 And it is not proper to administer the admonition mi shepara to the Temple treasury.

יג

פדה במאתים ונתן הדמים ולא הספיק למשכו עד שעמד במנה כבר קנה בנתינת הכסף ומושך את שלו וזכה הקדש במאתים פדהו במנה ונתן הדמים ולא הספיק למשכו עד שעמד במאתים מה שפדה פדוי ואינו נותן אלא המנה שכבר נתן ואין אומרין כאן לא יהא כח הדיוט חמור מכח הקדש שאפילו הדיוט אינו יכול לחזור בו עד שיקבל מי שפרע כמו שיתבאר במקומו ואין הקדש ראוי לקבל מי שפרע:

14

When a person consecrates all of his possessions and he is liable to [pay the money due his] wife [by virtue of her] ketubah or promissory notes [owed to] creditors, the woman may not collect [the money due her by virtue of her] ketubah from the Temple treasury, nor may a creditor collect the debt due him. The rationale is that consecration absolves prior liens.46 [Nevertheless,] when the Temple treasury sells his property and the field loses its consecrated status, the creditor and his wife may collect it from the redeemer, for the lien remains on this landed property.47

יד

המקדיש כל נכסיו והיתה עליו כתובת אשה או שטרי בעלי חובות אין האשה יכולה לגבות כתובתה מן ההקדש ולא בעל חוב את חובו שההקדש מפקיע השעבוד שקדם אבל כשימכור ההקדש הקרקע שלו ותצא השדה לחולין יש לבעל חוב ולאשה לגבות מן הפודה שהרי שעבודה עומד על קרקע זו:

15

To what can this be compared? To two purchasers. [One bought the property from a woman's husband and the other from the first purchaser. The woman] wrote to the first [purchaser] "I have no claim against you."48 [After] he sells it to the second person, she may expropriate the money due her from him.49

טו

הא למה זה דומה לשני לקוחות שכתבה לראשון דין ודברים אין לי עמך ומכר לשני שהיא טורפת מן השני:

16

How is this land redeemed?50 We administer an oath to the woman or the creditor first as is the process whenever one seeks to expropriate property that is on lien.51 Afterwards, we publicly announce its sale for 60 days in the morning and in the evening, as we explained.52 We say:53 How much a person will desire to give for this field in order to pay the woman [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah or the creditor his debt? A purchaser redeems it and acquires it even for a dinar,54 so that it is not said that consecrated property was released without being redeemed. Then the redeemer comes and gives the woman [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah or the creditor his debt. [This applies] even if the debt was 100 [zuz] and the field worth only 90, [for] the person who redeems it does so for this sake.

If, however, the debt was twice the value of the field, e.g., the field was worth 100 and it was on lien to a debt or a woman's ketubah for 200, we do not redeem it with the intent of paying the debt or [the money due the woman by virtue of] her ketubah. Instead, it is redeemed unconditionally,55 for if such a stipulation was required to be made, it would not be redeemed at all.

טז

וכיצד פודין קרקע זה משביעין את האשה או בעל חוב תחלה כדרך כל הבא ליפרע מנכסים משועבדים ואח"כ מכריזין עליהם ששים יום בבקר ובערב כמו שבארנו ואומדין כמה אדם רוצה ליתן בשדה על מנת ליתן לאשה כתובתה ולבעל חוב את חובו ואחר שפודין אותה ולוקח אותה הלוקח אפילו בדינר כדי שלא יאמרו הקדש יוצא בלא פדיון חוזר הפודה ומגבה לאשה כתובתה או לבעל חוב את חובו אפילו היה החוב מאה והשדה שוה תשעים על מנת כך פודה אותה הרוצה לפדותה אבל אם היה החוב שנים בדמי השדה כגון שהיתה שוה מאה ויש עליו חוב וכתובת אשה מאתים אין פודין אותה על מנת ליתן החוב או הכתובה אלא פודין אותה סתם שאם התנו ליתן אינה נפדית כלל:

17

When a person consecrates all of his property, divorces his wife, and [leaves her to] collect [the money due her by virtue of] her ketubah from the one who redeems [his landed property] from the Temple treasury, she cannot collect [the debt] until he takes a vow,56 forbidding her to benefit from him. [This is a safeguard instituted,] lest an attempt be made to deceive the Temple treasury.57 We do not say that were he to desire [to nullify the consecration of his property], he should say: "I consecrated it in error," and ask a sage [to nullify] his consecration [in which instance, his property] would return to him.58

יז

המקדיש כל נכסיו ואחר כך גירש את אשתו וגבתה כתובתה מן הפודה מן ההקדש אינו גובה עד שידירנה הנאה שמא קנוניא עשו על ההקדש ואין אומרין אילו רצה היה אומר בטעות הקדשתי וישאל על הקדשו לחכם ויחזור לו:

18

Similarly, after59 consecrating his property, a person's word is not accepted if he says: "I owe a maneh to so-and-so" or "This utensil belongs to so-and-so."60 [In this instance, we fear that] he is attempting to deceive the Temple treasury.61 Even if the creditor has a promissory note, he cannot use it to expropriate [the property from the Temple treasury].62 Instead, he must collect his due like the other creditors due, as explained.63

יח

וכן אין נאמן לומר אחר שהקדיש מנה לפלוני חוב עלי או כלי זה של פלוני הוא שמא יעשו קנוניא על ההקדש ואפילו היה שטר ביד בעל חוב אינו גובה על פי זה אלא כדרך שגובין כל בעלי חובות כמו שבארנו:

19

When does the above apply? With regard to a healthy person. If, by contrast a mortally ill person consecrates all of his property and at the time he consecrates it says: "I owe a maneh to so-and-so," his word is accepted. [The rationale is that] a person will not try to deceive the Temple treasury at the time of his death and sin for the sake of others, for he is going to die.64 Therefore if he says: "Give [the creditor his debt]," [the creditor] may collect it without having to take an oath.

If he did not say: "Give [the creditor...]," we do not give him this money unless he has a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified. [In that instance,] he may collect [his debt] from the Temple treasury, because of the statements [the debtor made] on his deathbed.65 If he said to give [the money to the creditor] after he consecrated [his property],66 we do not heed his statements. Instead, this person is considered like other creditors. If the authenticity of his promissory note is verified, he must take an oath.67 He may then expropriate [the property] from the one who redeems it, but not from the Temple treasury.68

יט

בד"א בבריא אבל חולה שהקדיש כל נכסיו ואמר בשעה שהקדיש מנה לפלוני בידי נאמן שאין אדם עושה ערמה על ההקדש בשעת מיתתו וחוטא לאחרים שהרי הוא הולך למות לפיכך אם אמר תנו אותה לו נוטל בלא שבועה ואם לא אמר תנו אין נותנין אלא אם כן היה בידו שטר מקויים הרי זה נוטל מן ההקדש מפני הצואה ואם אחר שהקדיש אמר תנו אין שומעין לו אלא הרי הוא כשאר בעלי חובות אם נתקיים שטרו נשבע וגובה מן הפודה ולא מן ההקדש:

20

We do not take heed of a rumor that says that a certain person declared all of his property ownerless, consecrated it, or made it a dedication offering unless there is clear proof69 [of its validity].

כ

מי שיצא עליו קול שהפקיר את נכסיו או הקדישן או החרימן אין חוששין לו עד שתהיה שם ראיה ברורה:

Footnotes
1.

Articles which a person consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple.

2.

This applies not only in this context, but also in many other areas of Jewish business law. See Hilchot Sh'vuot 7:4; Hilchot Geneivah 2:2, et al.

3.

A promissory note itself is not worth money. It is valuable because of the debt that it records.

4.

There is no such verse in the Tanach. The Rambam is referring to wording used by our Sages in Kiddushin 5a. They are also referring to a verse, but have shortened and edited Leviticus 27:19.

5.

This principle also applies in many aspects of Jewish business law. Objects that are worth silver may be used for the same purposes as silver (Hilchot Nizkei Mammon 8:10).

6.

I.e., an object of minimal value.

7.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 5; Chapter 5, Halachah 3, and notes. As explained there, we are speaking of a fifth of the new total, a fourth of the original amount.

8.

Our Sages did not desire that his failure to pay the fifth prevent him from partaking of the entity, for this would reduce his Sabbath pleasure.

9.

Since the treasurers demand payment of the fifth the person is not likely to forget. Nevertheless, this rationale itself is not sufficient reason for leniency. Hence, during the week, when the mitzvah of delighting in the Sabbath does not apply, the treasurers' reminder is not sufficient reason to permit use of the entity (see Bava Metzia 54a).

10.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 11, which speaks of the redemption of such animals.

11.

This is reflected by Leviticus 27:13.

12.

See Halachah 2.

13.

I.e., if a person was obligated to bring a sacrifice and a colleague set aside an animal from his own resources for him to offer, that person required to bring the sacrifice is not required to pay an additional fifth if he redeems the animal.

14.

I.e., it was consecrated in the process of redeeming another article, as the Rambam proceeds to explain in the following halachah. See Halachah 11 for details regarding the redemption of an article by transferring its holiness to a second article.

15.

In which instance, it must be redeemed whether blemished or unblemished. See Chapter 5, Halachot 5 and 12; see also Hilchot Temurah 1:12.

16.

Since it is blemished, it is necessary to redeem it, as stated in Chapter 5, Halachot 11-12.

17.

The Rambam is speaking about a practice, temurah, that involves transferring the holiness of an animal consecrated as a sacrifice to another animal. Leviticus 27:10 states that it is forbidden to make such an exchange, but if one does so both the animal originally consecrated and the one exchanged for it remain consecrated (ibid.:33; see Hilchot Temurah 1:1).

18.

Because the animal to which the holiness was transferred was lost or unable to be used for a sacrifice for other reasons.

19.

Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 4:14-15.

20.

For he is no longer obligated to bring a guilt offering, but must offer the worth of the animal as a sacrifice.

21.

I.e., it is not the same animal that was originally consecrated. Our translation represents a slight variation from the standard published text of the Mishneh Torah that was made based on authentic manuscripts and early printings.

22.

Hence although the person is not obligated to pay the additional fifth, if the Temple treasurer seizes it, he cannot be required to relinquish it.

23.

The Rambam is speaking about a practice, temurah, that involves transferring the holiness of an animal consecrated as a sacrifice to another animal. Leviticus 27:10 states that it is forbidden to make such an exchange, but if one does so both the animal originally consecrated and the one exchanged for it remain consecrated (ibid.:33; see Hilchot Temurah 1:1).

24.

Temurah 13a relates that the concept of temurah, exchange, applies only with regard to sacrifices and an animal consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple is not considered a sacrifice.

25.

For these expressions imply temurah, exchange.

26.

I.e., using statements that indicate that he desires to redeem the animal and not exchange it.

27.

A coin of minimal worth.

28.

With regard to transactions between men, the laws of ona'ah (unfair gain) apply and a transaction can be nullified if it is sold for more or less than a sixth of its value (Hilchot Mechirah 12:4). These principles do not apply, however, with regard to consecrated property.

29.

I.e., to carefully evaluate its worth. See Halachah 11.

30.

While it is consecrated, both of these activities are forbidden according to Rabbinic Law (Hilchot Meilah 1:12).

31.

With regard to transactions between private individuals, by contrast, as long as the difference between the article's value and the price for which it is sold is less than a sixth, the transaction is allowed to stand (Hilchot Mechirah 12:3).

32.

See Halachah 8.

33.

We are speaking about a cow consecrated for the sake of improvements to the Temple. If it were consecrated for sacrifice on the altar, even after its holiness were transferred to another animal, it would remain consecrated itself (Radbaz).

34.

See Halachah 8.

35.

As mentioned above, the fifth is one fifth of the new total including the fifth and the amount for which the article is redeemed. Since he stated the value of the article he was giving as ten selaim, the value of the fifth is calculated accordingly even though he is paying more than would actually have been required.

36.

Halachah 4.

37.

Performing meshichah, an act that would complete the kinyan (formal act of acquisition) of the article.

38.

100 zuz.

39.

As mentioned in the notes to Halachah 1, the Rambam is not referring to an explicit verse in the Torah, but rather our Sages' restatement of the relevant verses in Kiddushin 28b.

40.

And not when it enters his possession. Hence, he must pay the value at the time he redeems it.

41.

See Hilchot Mechirah 9:2. As mentioned above, when an ordinary person completes meshichah, the transaction is completed and he must pay its price then. When it lost value, it was already in his possession.

42.

One might ask: Why must he actually pay the money? Seemingly the very fact that he pledged to redeem it from the Temple treasury at 200 should be sufficient to make him liable in accordance with the principle (Kiddushin 28b, et al): "A person's statements to the Temple treasury are equivalent to an ordinary person drawing the article into his possession." The Radbaz explains that in this instance, that principle is not applied, because it is possible to say that the pledge was made in error. He did not expect that the article would depreciate in value. Hence, unless he paid the money, he is not liable for the higher sum.

43.

And the depreciation is considered to have taken place in his possession as above.

44.

Since the transaction is not completed until the purchaser draws it into his possession, with regard to ordinary transactions, the purchaser would have the right to nullify the transaction. Nevertheless, were he to do so, he is liable to have the admonition mi shepara administered to him by the court (Hilchot Mechirah 7:1). As the Rambam continues to explain, it is not appropriate to have this admonition administered to the Temple treasurers.

45.

With regard to this admonition, ibid.:2 states: "He is cursed in court and told: 'May He who exacted retribution from the generation of the Flood, the generation of the Dispersion, the inhabitants of Sodom and Amorah, and the Egyptians who drowned in the sea, exact retribution from a person who does not keep his word.'

46.

I.e., were the person to sell all his possessions to a private person, his wife and his creditors would be able to collect their due from the landed property in his domain. Since the property becomes the possession of the Temple treasury, those obligations temporarily need not be met.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that the liens are in effect even when the property is in the possession of the Temple treasury. Our Sages' statement (Ketubot 59b) that consecration absolves prior liens applies only with regard to the consecration of articles that themselves will be used for the Temple or its sacrifices, not articles to be sold and the proceeds used.

One of the practical differences between the Rambam's position and that of the Ra'avad is whether a person will be liable for me'ilah, misappropriating consecrating property, for benefiting from this property. In Hilchot Malveh ViLoveh 18:7, the Rambam states similar ideas as in this halachah. In his gloss to that halachah, the Maggid Mishneh takes issue with the Rambam. Although, here, in his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro defends the Rambam's position in his Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 117:7), it appears that he accepts the other view. The Tur and the Rama explicitly state that the Ra'avad's position should be followed.

47.

I.e., the property is redeemed with the awareness that it is under lien and that lien will ultimately be collected. Its price is calculated accordingly, as stated in Halachah 16.

48.

She had the right to collect the money due her by virtue of her ketubah from this property, but she agreed not to press her claim against this individual.

49.

For the field remains on lien to her. The promise she gave the first purchaser is not binding with regard to the second.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam on this point as well, maintaining that the woman does not have the right to expropriate the property from the second purchaser. For by purchasing the field, he purchased every right that the first purchaser had. Moreover, if forced to pay the woman, he could seek reimbursement from the first purchaser or nullify the sale. In his gloss to Hilchot Malveh ViLoveh 19:8, the Maggid Mishneh supports the Ra'avad's view. The Kessef Mishneh, however, defends the Rambam's position.

50.

Since it is on lien, obviously, no one will desire to pay its actual worth.

51.

As stated in Hilchot Ishut 16:10,20 and Hilchot Malveh ViLoveh 22:10, we do not expropriate the field for the wife or the creditor until he or she takes an oath while holding a sacred object that the debt was not collected, waived, or sold to another person.

52.

Chapter 3, Halachah 20; Chapter 4, Halachah 27.

53.

Our translation is based on manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed text follows a slightly different version.

54.

Although the initial preference is that consecrated property be redeemed for its full value (Halachah 8), that is not feasible in the present instance. Instead, the person is allowed to pay any sum he desires, for his profit may be small after paying the debt. Indeed, as the Rambam continues, he may even suffer a loss.

55.

And the lien on the field is ignored.

56.

This vow must be taken conditional to the consent of people at large. In this way, it can never be nullified. Note a parallel in Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 6:9.

57.

I.e., he would remarry her and retake possession of a portion of his property in this way. See Hilchot Ishut 17:9-10. Arachin 23a emphasizes that we are speaking about a healthy man. If a person on his death bed divorces his wife so that she will not have to undergo yibbum, he is not required to take such an oath, for we do not suspect that a person on his death bed will try to deceive the Temple treasury. See Halachah 19.

58.

For a consecration made in error can be nullified, as stated in Chapter 6, Halachah 34.

59.

If, however, he made such statements before consecrating his property, his word is accepted (Radbaz).

See the Siftei Cohen (Choshen Mishpat 255:5) who elaborates on the concept that even if he makes this statement directly after consecrating his property, it is not accepted. As support, he cites Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 15:1 where the Rambam writes that after a person consecrates an animal, even if he seeks to retract his consecration immediately, he cannot. The Radbaz (see his gloss to the following halachah) supports this view. The Kessef Mishneh, however, maintains that a healthy person can also retract his statement directly after making it.

60.

I.e., the person claims to be holding it as an entrusted article.

61.

And prevent a certain portion of his property from having to be redeemed.

62.

For as stated in Halachah 14, consecration lifts liens on property.

63.

See Halachah 16.

64.

At such a time, when he will not derive any worldly benefit from sinning and is conscious of the retribution he will receive in the world to come, he will certainly not seek to deceive the Temple treasury.

65.

I.e., his acknowledgement of the debt. If, however, the creditor does not have a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified, he cannot collect the debt, even though the debtor acknowledged it on his deathbed. The rationale is that (as stated in Hilchot To'ain ViNitan 6:7), a person is wont to state that he owes money even if he in fact does not so that his sons do not think of themselves as rich. His estate is not bound by these statements unless, as stated above, he explicitly instructed that the debt be paid or the creditor has a promissory note that has been verified. Even though in this instance, the money will be going to the Temple treasury and not to his sons, a similar rationale can still be applied. We say that he is admitting the debt so that people will not think of him as a person who hoarded money throughout his life (Sefer Meirat Einayim 255:12).

66.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's decision, stating that the word of a person on his deathbed is accepted even he makes his statements after consecrating the article. For at the time he consecrates an article, the statements of a healthy person are also accepted.

In view of this objection, the Radbaz explains that there are three different time frameworks:

a) before the consecration is made - in which instance the statements of both a healthy man and one on his deathbed are accepted;

b) immediately after (toch k'dei dibbur) the consecration is made - in which instance the statements of a healthy man are not accepted and those of one on his deathbed are;

c) some time after the consecration is made - in which instance neither the statements of a healthy man nor those of one on his deathbed are accepted.

The Kessef Mishneh follows the same basic thrust in interpreting the Rambam, but differs regarding one point, maintaining that a healthy person can also retract his statement directly after making it. The difference between a healthy person and one on his deathbed is that when a person is on his deathbed, his word is accepted as long as he is still speaking of the deposition of his property even though it is not directly after he consecrated it.

67.

That he has not received payment for the debt.

68.

As stated, in Halachot 14, 16. The Ra'avad adds that if we are speaking about an entrusted article which the dying man acknowledged having received for safekeeping, it is returned to its owner without being redeemed. The Radbaz states that the Rambam would not necessarily differ on this point.

69.

Through the testimony of witnesses or a contract that has been verified.

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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 the 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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