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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 2, Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 3, Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 4

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Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 2

1

The High Priest enters the Holy of Holies each year only on Yom Kippur.1 An ordinary priest may enter the Sanctuary for service every day.2

א

אֵין כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל נִכְנָס לְקֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים אֶלָּא מִיּוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט נִכְנָס לַקֹּדֶשׁ לַעֲבוֹדָה בְּכָל יוֹם:

2

The priests were all3 warned not to enter the Sanctuary or the Holy of Holies when they are not in the midst of the service,4 as [Leviticus 16:2] states: "He shall not come to the Holy Chamber at all time" - this refers to the Holy of Holies. "...Within the curtain" - this warns [the priests against unwarranted entry] into the entire Temple.5

ב

וְהֻזְהֲרוּ כָּל הַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ לַקֹּדֶשׁ אוֹ לְקֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת עֲבוֹדָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז ב) "וְאַל יָבֹא בְכָל עֵת אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ" זֶה קֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים (ויקרא טז ב) "מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת" לְהַזְהִיר עַל כָּל הַבַּיִת:

3

A priest - whether an ordinary priest or a High Priest - who enters the Holy of Holies on any of the other days of the year, or a High Priest who enters there on Yom Kippur outside the time of service, he is liable for death at the hand of heaven, as [ibid.] states: "And he shall not die."

How many times does he enter on Yom Kippur? Four, as will be explained in the appropriate place.6 If he enters a fifth time, he is liable for death at the hand of heaven.

ג

כֹּהֵן שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְקֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים בִּשְׁאָר יְמוֹת הַשָּׁנָה בֵּין כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט בֵּין כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל אוֹ כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁנִּכְנַס לוֹ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת הָעֲבוֹדָה חַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז ב) "וְלֹא יָמוּת". וְכַמָּה פְּעָמִים הוּא נִכְנָס לְשָׁם בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים אַרְבַּע כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ. וְאִם נִכְנָס חֲמִישִׁית חַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם:

4

One - whether an ordinary priest of a High priest - who enters the Sacred Chamber outside the Holy of Holies not for the sake of service, nor prostrating oneself7 is liable for lashes, but is not liable for death. [This is derived from the above verse which states:] "Before the covering [that is upon the Ark] so that he will not die." [Implied is that] for [unauthorized entry into] the Holy of Holies, he is liable for death, but [entering] the remainder of the Sanctuary is merely the violation of a negative commandment and is punishable by lashes.

ד

וְהַנִּכְנָס לַקֹּדֶשׁ חוּץ לְקֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲבוֹדָה אוֹ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲווֹת בֵּין הֶדְיוֹט בֵּין גָּדוֹל לוֹקֶה. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב מִיתָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז ב) "אֶל פְּנֵי הַכַּפֹּרֶת" (ויקרא טז ב) "וְלֹא יָמוּת". עַל קֹדֶשׁ הַקָּדָשִׁים בְּמִיתָה וְעַל שְׁאָר הַבַּיִת בְּלָאו וְלוֹקֶה:

5

A priest - whether an ordinary priest of a High priest - who departs from the Temple is liable for death8 [at the hand of heaven] only in the midst of his service,9 as [ibid 10:7] states: "From the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, you shall not depart, lest you die." Implied is that you should not abandon the service and leave hastily and in panic because of this decree.10 Similarly, the charge [issued to] the High Priest [ibid. 21:12]: "He shall not depart from the Temple," applies only in the midst of his service, i.e., that he should not abandon his service and depart.

ה

כֹּהֵן שֶׁיָּצָא מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּשְׁעַת הָעֲבוֹדָה בִּלְבַד חַיָּב מִיתָה בֵּין כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל בֵּין כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא י ז) "וּמִפֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֹא תֵצְאוּ פֶּן תָּמֻתוּ". כְּלוֹמַר לֹא תָּנִיחוּ עֲבוֹדָה וְתֵצְאוּ מְבֹהָלִים וּדְחוּפִים מִפְּנֵי גְּזֵרָה זוֹ. וְכֵן זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל (ויקרא כא יב) "וּמִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא יֵצֵא" אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת הָעֲבוֹדָה בִּלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יָנִיחַ עֲבוֹדָתוֹ וְיֵצֵא:

6

If so, why was this warning repeated for the High Priest? [Because there is a difference between the laws that apply to him and those which apply to an ordinary priest]. When an ordinary priest was in the midst of his service in the Temple and he heard that a person for whom he is obligated to mourn has died, he should not perform sacrificial service, even though he does not leave the Temple,11 because he is in an acute state of mourning.12 if he performed service while in an acute state of mourning, he profanes his service, whether he is offering an individual sacrifice or a communal offering. A High Priest, by contrast, performs sacrificial service while he is in a state of acute mourning, as [implied by ibid.]: "From the Temple, he should not depart and not profane." Implied is that he should remain [in the Temple] and perform the service with which he was involved and it does not become profaned.

ו

אִם כֵּן מִפְּנֵי מָה נִשְׁנֵית אַזְהָרָה זוֹ בְּכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל. שֶׁכֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט שֶׁהָיָה בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ בַּעֲבוֹדָתוֹ וְשָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהִתְאַבֵּל עָלָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ אֵינוֹ עוֹבֵד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא אוֹנֵן וְאִם עָבַד וְהוּא אוֹנֵן שֶׁל תּוֹרָה חִלֵּל עֲבוֹדָתוֹ בֵּין בְּקָרְבַּן יָחִיד בֵּין בְּקָרְבַּן צִבּוּר. אֲבָל כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל עוֹבֵד כְּשֶׁהוּא אוֹנֵן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא יב) "וּמִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא יֵצֵא וְלֹא יְחַלֵּל" כְּלוֹמַר יֵשֵׁב וְיַעֲבֹד עֲבוֹדָה שֶׁהָיָה עוֹסֵק בָּהּ וְאֵינָהּ מִתְחַלֶּלֶת:

7

What is the source that teaches that the service of one in an acute state of mourning is invalid? [It is derived from] an inference from a less severe situation to a more severe one.13 A priest disqualified because of a physical deformity may partake of sacrificial foods.14 Nevertheless, if he performs service, he profanes it.15 How much more so should one who is in acute mourning and thus forbidden to partake of sacrificial foods16 - as [Deuteronomy 26:14] states: "I did not eat from it in a state of acute morning" - profane his service [if he performs it].

ז

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁעֲבוֹדַת הָאוֹנֵן פְּסוּלָה. מִקַּל וָחֹמֶר. אִם בַּעַל מוּם שֶׁאוֹכֵל בְּקָדָשִׁים אִם עָבַד חִלֵּל. אוֹנֵן שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בְּקָדָשִׁים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו יד) "לֹא אָכַלְתִּי בְאֹנִי מִמֶּנּוּ" דִּין הוּא שֶׁיְּחַלֵּל:

8

Although a High Priest may perform service while he is in a state of acute mourning, he is forbidden to partake of sacrificial food, as [Leviticus 10:19] states: "If I had partaken of the sin-offering today, would it have found favor in God's eyes."17Similarly, he does not participate in the division of the sacrificial foods so that he could partake of the food in the evening.

When a person in an acute state of mourning performs sacrificial service, he is not liable for lashes. He is permitted to touch sacrificial foods even though he did not immerse himself [in a mikveh], for this safeguard was enforced only with regard to eating. With regard to touching [objects], he is considered as pure, as will be explained in the appropriate place.18

ח

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל עוֹבֵד אוֹנֵן אָסוּר לֶאֱכל בְּקָדָשִׁים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא י יט) "וְאָכַלְתִּי חַטָּאת הַיּוֹם הַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי ה'". וְכֵן אֵינוֹ חוֹלֵק לֶאֱכל בָּעֶרֶב. אוֹנֵן שֶׁעָבַד אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. וּמֻתָּר לִגַּע בְּקָדָשִׁים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא טָבַל שֶׁלֹּא עָשׂוּ מַעֲלָה אֶלָּא בַּאֲכִילָה אֲבָל בִּנְגִיעָה הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

9

What is meant by a person in an acute state of mourning? One who lost one of the relatives19 for whom he is required to mourn. On the day of the person's death, he is considered in acute mourning according to Scriptural Law. And at night, he is in acute mourning according to Rabbinic Law.

ט

אֵי זֶהוּ אוֹנֵן זֶה שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת מִן הַקְּרוֹבִים שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהִתְאַבֵּל עֲלֵיהֶן בְּיוֹם הַמִּיתָה בִּלְבַד הוּא הַנִּקְרָא אוֹנֵן דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְלַיְלָה הוּא אוֹנֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

10

When [it was necessary] to wait several days and [only] afterwards, a corpse was buried, for all those days after the day of the deceased's passing, [his relative] is considered in an acute state of mourning according to Rabbinic Law. This also [applies] with regard to the day of burial, but not the following night.

Therefore if [a close relative of a priest] dies and he buries him after the day of his death, throughout the day of the burial, he may not offer or partake of sacrifices according to Rabbinic Law. He should then immerse himself and partake of sacrifices at night. The day on which a person hears a report that a relative of his died within 30 days20 and the day on which he gathers his bones21 is considered as the day of one's burial, but [the restrictions] do not apply at night. On the day of [a close relative's] death, by contrast, just as it is forbidden to partake of sacrificial foods during the day according to Scriptural Law, so too, it is forbidden for him to partake of them that night according to Rabbinic Law. [The only] exception is the Paschal sacrifice which he may eat at night, as will be explained in the appropriate place.22

י

וּמֵת שֶׁשָּׁהָה יָמִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִקְבַּר כָּל אוֹתָם הַיָּמִים שֶׁאַחַר יוֹם הַמִּיתָה הוּא אוֹנֵן מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְכֵן יוֹם הַקְּבוּרָה וְאֵינוֹ תּוֹפֵשׂ לֵילוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ מִי שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת (וּקְבָרוֹ) לְאַחַר יוֹם הַמִּיתָה כָּל יוֹם הַקְּבוּרָה אֵינוֹ מַקְרִיב וְאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל בְּקָדָשִׁים מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. וְטוֹבֵל וְאוֹכֵל לָעֶרֶב. וְיוֹם שְׁמוּעָה קְרוֹבָה וְיוֹם לִקּוּט עֲצָמוֹת הֲרֵי הוּא כְּיוֹם קְבוּרָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ תּוֹפֵשׂ לֵילוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. לְפִיכָךְ טוֹבֵל וְאוֹכֵל בְּקָדָשִׁים לָעֶרֶב. אֲבָל יוֹם הַמִּיתָה כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לֶאֱכל בּוֹ קָדָשִׁים מִן הַתּוֹרָה כָּךְ אָסוּר לֶאֱכל בְּלֵילוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. חוּץ מִן הַפֶּסַח בִּלְבַד שֶׁהוּא אוֹכֵל לָעֶרֶב כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

11

Throughout the seven days of mourning, a mourner should not send sacrifices [to be offered in the Temple].23 [Indeed, he should not send] even wine, wood, or frankincense. Similarly, a person afflicted with tzara'at24 should not send his sacrifices [to be offered in the Temple]. For as long as he is not fit to enter the camp [of the Levites],25 he is not fit for his sacrifices to be offered. There is an unresolved question whether a person under a ban of ostracism26 may send his sacrifices [to be offered] or not.27 Hence, if they were offered on his behalf, [his obligation] is satisfied.

יא

הָאָבֵל אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּחַ קָרְבְּנוֹתָיו כָּל שִׁבְעָה. אֲפִלּוּ יַיִן אוֹ עֵצִים אוֹ לְבוֹנָה. וְכֵן מְצֹרָע אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּחַ קָרְבְּנוֹתָיו כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְבִיאָה אֶל הַמַּחֲנֶה אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְהַקְרָבָה. אֲבָל הַמְנֻדֶּה יֵשׁ בּוֹ סָפֵק אִם מְשַׁלֵּחַ אִם אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּחַ לְפִיכָךְ אִם הִקְרִיבוּ עָלָיו נִרְצָה:

12

A person who is impure because of contact with a dead lizard or the like and an uncircumcised person may send their sacrifices28 and they are offered with the exception of the Paschal sacrifice. That sacrifice may not be offered for a person who is impure because of contact with a dead lizard.29 Nor may a Paschal sacrifice be offered for an uncircumcised person, as will be explained.30 No sacrifices at all are offered for a person who is impure because of contact with a corpse until he becomes ritually pure.31

יב

טְמֵא שֶׁרֶץ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְהֶעָרֵל מְשַׁלְּחִין אֶת קָרְבְּנוֹתֵיהֶם וּמַקְרִיבִין עֲלֵיהֶן חוּץ מִפֶּסַח שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אוֹתוֹ עַל טְמֵא שֶׁרֶץ וְאֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין עַל הֶעָרֵל פֶּסַח כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. אֲבָל טְמֵא מֵת אֵין מַקְרִיבִין עָלָיו קָרְבָּן כְּלָל עַד שֶׁיִּטָּהֵר:

Footnotes
1.

As explained in Halachah 3.

2.

I.e., to offer incense, kindle the menorah, or to bow.

3.

According to its simple meaning, the prooftext cited below refers only to Aaron. Nevertheless, through the Biblical exegesis, the Sifra interprets it as referring to all priests (Kessef Mishneh).

4.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 68) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 184) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. In Sefer HaMitzvot, the Rambam explains that this mitzvah is an expression of honor and reverence toward the Temple.

5.

The Kessef Mishneh questions the Rambam's interpretation of the verse, for seemingly, "within the curtain" refers to the Holy of Holies. On the surface, the opposite would be more appropriate: "The Holy Chamber" could be interpreted as referring to the entire Temple and "within the curtain" to the Holy of Holies. He explains the verse as follows: Were the verse to have mentioned "the Holy Chamber" alone, we would have thought that it refers only to the Holy of Holies and not to the Temple at large. Since, however, the verse adds "within the curtain," we understand that it refers to the Holy of Holies" and "the Holy Chamber" refers to the entire Sanctuary.

There is, however, a difference in the punishments for which one is liable for the violation of the two aspects of this commandment, as the Rambam states in Halachah 4.

6.

Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim, ch. 4.

7.

With regard to the priests' prostrating themselves, see Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 5:11. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the priests were not allowed to enter the Sanctuary to prostrate themselves at all times. Instead, they would enter only at a specific time, when the service of the morning was completed.

8.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 165) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 151) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

9.

If, however, he is not involved in the Temple service, he is not required to remain in the Temple.

10.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, maintaining that the prooftext the Rambam cites was directed to Aaron's sons and applied only at the time of the death of Nadav and Avihu at the dedication of the Sanctuary. In other instances, there is no prohibition for an ordinary priest to leave the Temple. The prohibition applies to the High Priest alone. The Kessef Mishneh refers to the Sifra which - as interpreted by the Ramban - serves as support for the Rambam's ruling.

11.

The Ra'avad amplifies his difference of opinion with the Rambam, maintaining that the ordinary priest should certainly leave the Temple to participate in the funeral of a close relative. Indeed, he is forced to become impure to take part in the burial. Indeed, since he cannot complete the service, what value is there in him remaining?

The Kessef Mishneh justifies the Rambam's ruling, explaining that were he to depart from the Temple, it would be demeaning to the service that he had performed. The implication would be that it was not of serious importance to him. Also, there is a practical dimension; if he would depart, there might not be anyone to see that the service is in fact completed.

12.

See Halachah 9 for a definition of this term. See also Hilchot Evel 4:6, 9, for particulars with regard to the state of aninut, acute mourning.

13.

The Rambam's statements are taken from Zevachim 17b. The Talmud there offers another derivation. Significantly, in his Sefer HaMitzvot, loc. cit., the Rambam uses that derivation and not the one mentioned here.

14.

See Chapter 6, Halachah 12.

15.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 10:17.

16.

See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 3:7.

17.

Aaron asked this rhetorical question to Moses after serving in the Sanctuary, but not partaking of the offerings, on the day his sons died.

18.

As explained in Hilchot Shaar Avot HaTuma'ah 12:15, since a person who was in a state of acute mourning was forbidden to partake of holy objects, it is possible that he diverted his attention from his hands and touched a source of impurity unknowingly. Nevertheless, this is only a safeguard and applies only with regard to partaking of food and not to touching it.

[It must be emphasized that there is a difference in the versions of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 12:1). Some versions of the text follow the ruling here, but others state that it is forbidden for a person to touch sacred food.]

19.

A person's mother, father, son, daughter, brother, and sister. One must mourn for his or her spouse according to Rabbinic Law (Hilchot Evel 2:1).

20.

I.e., the person died beforehand and the priest heard the report within 30 days of his death. In that instance, he is required to observe a full week of shivah mourning (Hilchot Evel 7:1).

21.

I.e., unearths his grave for the sake of reburying him in another place.

22.

Hilchot Korban Pesach 6:9. There it is explained that our Sages did not wish to enforce their decree in a situation that would lead to the violation of a transgression punishable by karet.

23.

See Mo'ed Kattan 16b which states that this is derived from the term shelamim ("peace-offerings"). That name implies that these offerings may only be brought when a person is at peace with himself.

24.

A physical ailment similar to leprosy which causes one to become ritually impure.

25.

I.e., the Temple Mount; see Chapter 3, Halachah 2, which explains these concepts.

26.

See Hilchot Talmud Torah, ch. 7, for a definition of this term.

27.

Mo'ed Kattan 15b explains this question as follows: During the 40 years between the sin of the spies and the entry of the Jews into Eretz Yisrael, they were considered as if they were under a ban of ostracism from God. Nevertheless, their sacrifices were offered. Hence one might conclude that even though a person is under a ban of ostracism, his sacrifices may be offered. That conclusion is not accepted unquestionably, however, because it is possible to make a distinction between one who is ostracized by God (as the Jews were in the desert) and one ostracized by man. It is possible that the latter situation is more severe.

28.

They may not, however, enter the Temple themselves to take part in the offering.

The Kessef Mishneh raises a question for it is necessary to perform semichah (leaning on the sacrificial animal with all one's strength; see Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot, ch. 3) on sacrifices. Since these individuals may not enter the Temple Courtyard, because of their impurity, they cannot perform semichah. Hence, seemingly, the sacrifices should not be offered. The Kessef Mishneh states that perhaps the Rambam is speaking only of certain sacrifices where semichah is not required.

29.

Unless he has already immersed himself. See Hilchot Korban Pesach 6:1.

30.

For as explained in Hilchot Korban Pesach 2:3, 5-6, the Paschal sacrifice should be sacrificed only on behalf of individuals who are fit to partake of it and a person who is ritually impure and an uncircumcised person are forbidden to do so.

31.

I.e., he must have the ashes of the red heifer sprinkled upon him, and he must immerse in the mikveh.

Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 3

1

It is a positive commandment to send all impure persons away from the Temple,1 as [Numbers 5:2] states: "And they shall send away from the camp all those with tzara'at and zav2 [afflictions] and all those who are impure because of contact with a corpse.

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לְשַׁלֵּחַ כָּל הַטְּמֵאִים מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה ב) "וִישַׁלְּחוּ מִן הַמַּחֲנֶה כָּל צָרוּעַ וְכָל זָב וְכל טָמֵא לָנָפֶשׁ":

2

"The camp" cited refers to "the camp of the Divine presence," i.e., from the entrance to the Courtyard of the Israelites onward.3 Should one infer that a person with tzaraat or zav ailments and one impure due to contact with a corpse are all three sent to the same place? With regard to one inflicted with tzara'at, [Leviticus 13:46] states: "He shall abide alone outside the camp where he dwells." [The camp from which he is sent] refers to the camp of the Israelites which parallels the area from the entrance to Jerusalem and beyond.4 [From this we conclude,]5 just like a person who is afflicted with tzara'at, because his impurity is more severe, is sent away in a more severe manner than others,6 so too, any individuals whose state of impurity is more severe than others should be sent out in a more sever manner.7

Therefore a person afflicted with tzara'at is sent outside of all three camps, i.e., outside of Jerusalem. [His impurity is considered more severe,] because he causes [a house] to be considered impure when he enters it.8 This does not apply with regard to a zav.

ב

זֶה הַמַּחֲנֶה הָאָמוּר כָּאן הוּא מַחֲנֵה שְׁכִינָה שֶׁהוּא מִפֶּתַח עֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלִפְנִים. שׁוֹמֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁהַמְצֹרָע וְהַזָּב וּטְמֵא מֵת שְׁלָשְׁתָּן בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד. תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בִּמְצֹרָע (ויקרא יג מו) "בָּדָד יֵשֵׁב מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה מוֹשָׁבוֹ" זֶה מַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהוּא מִפֶּתַח יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וּלְפָנִים. מָה מְצֹרָע שֶׁטֻּמְאָתוֹ חֲמוּרָה חָמוּר שִׁלּוּחוֹ מִשִּׁלּוּחַ חֲבֵרוֹ. אַף כָּל שֶׁטֻּמְאָתוֹ חֲמוּרָה חָמוּר שִׁלּוּחוֹ מִשִּׁלּוּחַ חֲבֵרוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ מְשַׁלְּחִין אֶת הַמְצֹרָע חוּץ לִשְׁלֹשָׁה מַחֲנוֹת שֶׁהוּא חוּץ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְטַמֵּא בְּבִיאָה. מַה שֶּׁאֵין הַזָּב מְטַמֵּא:

3

Men with a zav condition,9 women with a zavah condition,10 niddot,11 and women who gave birth12 are sent outside two camps, i.e., outside the Temple Mount.13 [The rationale for this severity is that] they cause an entity upon which they are seated or upon which they are lying to become ritually impure,14 even if it is under a stone.15 [This does not apply] with regard to impurity [contracted] from a corpse.16

ג

וּמְשַׁלְּחִין זָבִין וְזָבוֹת נִדּוֹת וְיוֹלְדוֹת חוּץ לִשְׁתֵּי מַחֲנוֹת שֶׁהוּא חוּץ לְהַר הַבַּיִת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מְטַמְּאִין הַמִּשְׁכָּב וְהַמּוֹשָׁב אֲפִלּוּ מִתַּחַת הָאֶבֶן מַה שֶּׁאֵין הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא:

4

A person who is impure because of contact with a human corpse - and even a corpse itself - is permitted to enter the Temple Mount. [This is derived from Exodus 13:19]: "And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him."17 "With him" [implies] into the camp of the Levites.18

ד

טְמֵא מֵת אֲפִלּוּ הַמֵּת עַצְמוֹ מֻתָּר לְהִכָּנֵס לְהַר הַבַּיִת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יג יט) "וַיִּקַּח משֶׁה אֶת עַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף עִמּוֹ" עִמּוֹ בְּמַחֲנֵה הַלְּוִיָּה:

5

From the chayl,19 gentiles, those who contracted impurity from a human corpse, and those who had relations with a niddah20 are sent away.21 A person who immersed that day may enter there, for he has already immersed.22

ה

הַחֵיל מְשַׁלְּחִין מִמֶּנּוּ עַכּוּ''ם וּטְמֵאֵי מֵת וּבוֹעֲלֵי נִדּוֹת. אֲבָל טְבוּל יוֹם נִכְנַס לְשָׁם שֶׁכְּבָר טָבַל:

6

From the Women's Courtyard,23 one who immersed himself that day is sent away,24 but not one who has not completed the purification process.25 For [the day on which] a person who has not completed the purification process [immersed himself] has already passed.26 The prohibition against a person who has immersed himself entering [this portion of] the camp of the Levites is Rabbinic in origin.27

ו

עֶזְרַת הַנָּשִׁים מְשַׁלְּחִין מִמֶּנּוּ טְבוּל יוֹם אֲבָל לֹא מְחֻסַּר כִּפּוּרִים. שֶׁמְּחֻסַּר כִּפּוּרִים הֶעֱרִיב שִׁמְשׁוֹ. וְאָסוּר טְבוּל יוֹם בְּמַחֲנֵה לְוִיָּה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

7

From the Courtyard of the Israelites28 and onward even one who has not completed his process of purification should not enter, because his process of purification is not yet consummated. [This is evident from Leviticus 12:8 which, with regard to a woman who seeks purification after childbirth,]29 states: "And the priest will bring atonement for her and she will become pure." One can infer that until then, she was not pure.30

ז

מֵעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפָנִים אֲפִלּוּ מְחֻסַּר כִּפּוּרִים לֹא יִכָּנֵס לְשָׁם שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא טָהַר טָהֳרָה גְּמוּרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ח) "וְכִפֶּר עָלֶיהָ הַכֹּהֵן וְטָהֵרָה" מִכְּלַל שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא גָּמְרָה טָהֳרָתָהּ:

8

An impure person who [must be] sent away from the Temple Mount, violates a negative commandment31 if he enters there, as [can be inferred from Deuteronomy 23:11 which] states: "And he shall go outside the camp" - this refers to the camp of the Shechinah - "and he shall not enter the midst of the camp" - this refers to the camp of the Levites.32 Similarly, a person afflicted by tzara'at who enters Jerusalem is liable for lashes.33 If, however, he enters any of the other walled cities34 [in Eretz Yisrael], although he is not allowed to,35 as [implied by the verse]: "He shall abide alone, he is not liable for lashes."

ח

הַטָּמֵא הַמְשֻׁלָּח מֵהַר הַבַּיִת אִם נִכְנַס עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כג יא) "וְיָצָא מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה" זֶה מַחֲנֵה שְׁכִינָה (דברים כג יא) "וְלֹא יָבֹא אֶל תּוֹךְ הַמַּחֲנֶה" זֶה מַחֲנֵה לְוִיָּה. וְכֵן מְצֹרָע שֶׁנִּכְנַס לִירוּשָׁלַיִם לוֹקֶה. אֲבָל אִם נִכְנַס לִשְׁאָר הֶעָרִים הַמֻּקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מו) "בָּדָד יֵשֵׁב" אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:

9

If one afflicted with tzara'at entered the Temple Mount, he is liable for 80 lashes.36 If, however, one who is impure because of contact with a human corpse or one who immersed himself that day entered the Women's Courtyard,37 or one who has not completed his process of purification entered the Israelites' Courtyard,38 he is not given lashes.39 He is, however, given stripes for rebellious conduct.40

ט

נִכְנַס הַמְצֹרָע לְהַר הַבַּיִת לוֹקֶה שְׁמוֹנִים. אֲבָל טְמֵא מֵת אוֹ טְבוּל יוֹם שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְעֶזְרַת נָשִׁים אוֹ מְחֻסַּר כִּפּוּרִים שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

10

Just as there is a positive commandment to send impure persons out from the Temple, so too, if they enter, they violate a negative commandment,41 as [Numbers 5:3] states: "They shall not make your camp impure." This refers to the camp of the Shechinah.42

י

וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁשִּׁלּוּחַ טְמֵאִים מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בַּעֲשֵׂה כָּךְ אִם נִכְנְסוּ עוֹבְרִים בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה ג) "וְלֹא יְטַמְּאוּ אֶת מַחֲנֵיהֶם" זֶה מַחֲנֵה שְׁכִינָה:

11

What source teaches that one does not violate the prohibition unless he enters [the Temple], but that he is exempt43 if he touches the Temple Courtyard from the outside? [Leviticus 12:4] states with regard to a woman who gives birth: "She shall not enter the Sanctuary."44

יא

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹבֵר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִכְנַס אֲבָל אִם נָגַע בַּעֲזָרָה מֵאֲחוֹרֶיהָ פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּיוֹלֶדֶת (ויקרא יב ד) "וְאֶל הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא תָבֹא":

12

When an impure person willfully enters the Temple, he is punishable by karet,45 as [Leviticus 17:16] states: "If he will not clean [his garments] or wash his flesh, he will bear his iniquity."46 [If he enters] unknowingly, he is liable for an adjustable guilt offering,47 as [ibid. 5:2] states: "Or a soul that will touch any impure entity." One is liable for karet or a sacrifice only when one enters from the Israelites' Courtyard or onward or into an addition to the Courtyard that was sanctified in a consummate manner, as we explained.48

יב

טָמֵא שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ בְּמֵזִיד עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יז טז) "וְאִם לֹא יְכַבֵּס וּבְשָׂרוֹ לֹא יִרְחָץ וְנָשָׂא עֲוֹנוֹ". בְּשׁוֹגֵג מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן עוֹלֶה וְיוֹרֵד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה ב) "אוֹ נֶפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תִּגַּע בְּכָל דָּבָר טָמֵא". וְאֵין חַיָּבִין כָּרֵת אוֹ קָרְבָּן אֶלָּא מֵעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפָנִים אוֹ עַל תּוֹסֶפֶת הָעֲזָרָה שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה קְדֻשָּׁה גְּמוּרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

13

What are the types of impurity for which one is liable [for entering] the Temple [while impure]?

a) Anyone who became impure through contact with a human corpse in a manner which would require a nazirite to shave [his head] because of them; these are explained in [Hilchot] Nizirut;49

b) one who touched a person or a utensil that became impure through those types of impurity for which a nazirite must shave [his head]; for such a person is considered as a second level of impurity to a primary object of impurity that touched a corpse;50

c) one who became impure through contact with another primary source of impurity as mandated by Scriptural Law,51 as will be explained in their appropriate places.52

יג

וְאֵי זֶהוּ הַטָּמֵא שֶׁחַיָּב כָּרֵת עַל הַמִּקְדָּשׁ כָּל שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּטֻמְאָה מִן הַמֵּת שֶׁהַנָּזִיר מְגַלֵּחַ עָלֶיהָ שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְפָּרֵשׁ בִּנְזִירוּת. אוֹ שֶׁיִּגַּע בָּאָדָם אוֹ בְּכֵלִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ בְּאוֹתָן הַטֻּמְאוֹת שֶׁהַנָּזִיר מְגַלֵּחַ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא שֵׁנִי לָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמֵת. אוֹ שֶׁנִּטְמָא בִּשְׁאָר אֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת שֶׁל תּוֹרָה שֶׁיִּתְפָּרְשׁוּ בִּמְקוֹמָן:

14

The general principle is: Anyone who is required to immerse himself in water53 according to Scriptural Law is liable for karet for entering the Temple [while impure] even after he immersed himself until nightfall [that day].54 If, however, one became impure due to impurity stemming from a human corpse that does not require a nazirite to shave [his head], he is exempt for entering the Temple, even though his impurity lasts for seven days.55

יד

כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר כָּל הַטָּעוּן בִּיאַת מַיִם מִן הַתּוֹרָה חַיָּב כָּרֵת עַל בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וַאֲפִלּוּ אַחַר שֶׁטָּבַל עַד שֶׁיַּעֲרִיב שִׁמְשׁוֹ. אֲבָל הַמִּתְטַמֵּא בְּטֻמְאוֹת מִן הַמֵּת שֶׁאֵין הַנָּזִיר מְגַלֵּחַ עֲלֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר עַל בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ:

15

Similarly, if one touches utensils that touched a human corpse or touches a person who is touching utensils that touch a corpse, even though he is considered as impure to the first degree with regard to terumah56 and with regard to imparting impurity to sacrificial foods, he is exempt for entering the Temple. For these matters are laws received through the Oral Tradition.57 Although he is exempt, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.58

טו

וְכֵן הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּכֵלִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בְּאָדָם שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמֵת אוֹ שֶׁנָּגַע בְּאָדָם שֶׁנָּגַע בְּכֵלִים הַנּוֹגְעִים בְּמֵת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא רִאשׁוֹן לְעִנְיַן תְּרוּמָה וּלְטַמֵּא בְּשַׂר קָדָשִׁים הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר עַל בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. שֶׁדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ הֲלָכָה מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

16

A person who brings a dead teeming animal59 or the like60 into the Temple or when he brings an impure person into the Temple, he is liable for karet, because he made God's sanctuary impure. If, however, he threw impure utensils into the Temple - even if they were utensils that touched a corpse61 - he is exempt from karet, but liable for lashes, as [implied by the prooftext cited above]: "If he will not clean [his garments]...."62 According to the Oral Tradition, [for entering the Temple without] washing his body, he is liable for karet. [For entering without] cleaning his garments, he receives 40 lashes.

טז

הַמַּכְנִיס שֶׁרֶץ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ אוֹ שֶׁהִכְנִיס אָדָם טָמֵא לַמִּקְדָּשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב כָּרֵת שֶׁהֲרֵי טִמֵּא מִקְדַּשׁ ה'. אֲבָל הַזּוֹרֵק כֵּלִים טְמֵאִים לַמִּקְדָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ כֵּלִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בְּמֵת פָּטוּר מִן הַכָּרֵת. אֲבָל חַיָּב מַלְקוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יז טז) "וְאִם לֹא יְכַבֵּס" וְגוֹ' מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ עַל רְחִיצַת גּוּפוֹ עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת וְעַל כִּבּוּס בְּגָדָיו לוֹקֶה אַרְבָּעִים:

17

It appears to me63 that he is liable for lashes only for his clothes that are a source of ritual impurity, i.e., clothes that were touched by a person who became impure through contact with a corpse that themselves become a source for ritual impurity, as will be explained.64 If, by contrast, one brings a garment which is of first degree impurity65 into the Temple, he is not liable for lashes.66 He does, however, receive stripes for rebellious conduct.

יז

יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא עַל בְּגָדִים שֶׁהֵן אַב טֻמְאָה. כְּגוֹן בְּגָדִים שֶׁנָּגַע בָּהֶן זֶה הַטָּמֵא לְמֵת שֶׁהֵן אַב הַטֻּמְאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. אֲבָל בֶּגֶד שֶׁהוּא רִאשׁוֹן אִם הִכְנִיסוֹ לַמִּקְדָּשׁ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה עָלָיו אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

18

Similarly, when an impure person inserts his hand [alone] into the Temple,67 he is given stripes for rebellious conduct. Similarly, anyone who purposely enters the Temple before immersing himself68 while he is impure because of contact with objects that are sources of ritual impurity by virtue of Rabbinic decree, because he ate impure foods, or because he drank impure beverages is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

יח

וְכֵן טָמֵא שֶׁהִכְנִיס יָדוֹ לַמִּקְדָּשׁ מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְכֵן כָּל טָמֵא בְּאָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם אוֹ שֶׁאָכַל אֳכָלִין טְמֵאִים וְשָׁתָה מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין וְנִכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ בְּמֵזִיד קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטְבּל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

19

When an impure person enters the Temple through the rooftops, he is exempt.69 [This is derived from the prooftext cited above:] "He shall not enter the Temple." [Implied is that] the Torah held him liable [only when he entered in] the way one usually enters.70 Although he is exempt for karet, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

[This exemption applies] even if he enters in a compartment flying in the air,71 whether he entered the Temple in this compartment through the roofs or through the entrances.

יט

טָמֵא שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ דֶּרֶךְ גַּגּוֹת פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ד) "וְאֶל הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא תָבֹא" דֶּרֶךְ בִּיאָה חִיְּבָה תּוֹרָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר מִכָּרֵת מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת [וַאֲפִלּוּ נִכְנַס בְּמִגְדָּל הַפּוֹרֵחַ בַּאֲוִיר] בֵּין שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ [בְּמִגְדָּל] דֶּרֶךְ גַּגּוֹת. בֵּין שֶׁנִּכְנַס בּוֹ דֶּרֶךְ פְּתָחִים:

20

In all places where one is liable for karet72 for a willful transgression or a sacrifice for an unknowing transgression, should an impure object be found there on the Sabbath, it should be removed.73 In other places,74 it should be covered with a utensil until after the Sabbath.75 When it is removed, it should be removed only with flat wooden utensil which do not contract ritual impurity,76 so that there should not be an increase in ritual impurity.77

כ

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁחַיָּבִים עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ קָרְבָּן. אִם נִמְצֵאת שָׁם טֻמְאָה בְּשַׁבָּת מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָהּ. וּשְׁאָר הַמְּקוֹמוֹת כּוֹפִין עָלָיו כְּלִי עַד אַחַר שַׁבָּת. וּכְשֶׁהֵן מוֹצִיאִין אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָהּ אֶלָּא בִּפְשׁוּטֵי כְּלֵי עֵץ שֶׁאֵין מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה שֶׁלֹּא לְרַבּוֹת אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה:

21

Both an impure person who entered the Temple when it was pure78 and a pure person who entered the Temple when there was impurity within it - e.g., a corpse was lying under a shelter in the Temple and he entered under that shelter - are liable for karet. [In the latter situation,] his entrance and his impurity occur at one time.

If one enters the Temple and becomes impure there after he enters, even if he purposely made himself impure,79 he should hurry, and depart in the shortest way possible.80

כא

אֶחָד טָמֵא שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ טָהוֹר. אוֹ טָהוֹר שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ טֻמְאָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מֵת תַּחַת אֹהֶל בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וְנִכְנַס הוּא תַּחַת הָאֹהֶל. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב כָּרֵת שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּיאָתוֹ וְטֻמְאָה בָּאִין כְּאַחַת. נִכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְנִטְמָא שָׁם אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנַס אֲפִלּוּ טִמֵּא עַצְמוֹ שָׁם בְּמֵזִיד יְמַהֵר וְיִבָּהֵל וְיֵצֵא בְּדֶרֶךְ קְצָרָה:

22

It is forbidden for him to tarry, to bow, or to depart via a longer way. If he tarried or departed via a longer way even though he did not tarry, or he turned his face to the Sanctuary and bowed even if he did not tarry, he is liable for karet. If he acted unknowingly, he must bring a sacrifice.81

כב

וְאָסוּר לוֹ לִשְׁהוֹת אוֹ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲווֹת אוֹ לָצֵאת בְּדֶרֶךְ אֲרֻכָּה. וְאִם שָׁהָה אוֹ שֶׁיָּצָא בַּאֲרֻכָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהָה אוֹ שֶׁהֶחְזִיר פָּנָיו לַהֵיכָל וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהָה חַיָּב כָּרֵת. וְאִם הָיָה שׁוֹגֵג מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן:

23

If he did not turn his face [toward the Sanctuary], but bowed as he was departing toward the outside area, he is not liable unless he tarrys.

How long a delay [creates a liability]? Enough time to read the verse:82 "And they bowed with their faces to the ground on the floor, prostrating themselves and giving thanks to God who is good and whose kindness is everlasting." This is the measure of the delay [for which one is liable].

כג

לֹא הֶחֱזִיר פָּנָיו אֶלָּא הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה דֶּרֶךְ יְצִיאָתוֹ כְּלַפֵּי חוּץ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שָׁהָה כְּשִׁעוּר. וְכַמָּה שִׁעוּר שְׁהִיָּתוֹ כְּדֵי לִקְרוֹת (דברי הימים ב ז ג) "וְיִכְרְעוּ אַפָּיִם אַרְצָה עַל הָרִצְפָּה וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ וְהוֹדוֹת לַה' כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ". וְזֶהוּ שִׁעוּר הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה:

24

What is meant by [departing] via longer way? Any way for which it is possible to depart from the Temple via a shorter way.

If one departed via a shorter way, even if he did not run, but instead walked [slowly], positioning his heel by his toes,83 although it takes the entire day, he is exempt. If he took a longer path, even though he ran and pressed himself with all of his power and thus the amount of time it took for him to leave in this manner was less than it would take other men via the shorter way, he is liable, because he departed via the longer path.

If he departed via the shorter path, but walked some, then stood, tarried some, [and continued this pattern] until all of his delays together amount to the time it takes to bow, he is not liable for lashes if he acted willfully, nor is he liable for a sacrifice if he acted unknowingly, because there is an unresolved question concerning the matter.84 He is, however, given stripes for rebellious conduct.85

כד

וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא דֶּרֶךְ אֲרֻכָּה. כָּל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לָצֵאת מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בְּדֶרֶךְ קְצָרָה מִמֶּנָּה. יָצָא בִּקְצָרָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא רָץ אֶלָּא הָלַךְ עָקֵב בְּצַד גּוּדָל אֲפִלּוּ כָּל הַיּוֹם פָּטוּר. יָצָא בַּאֲרֻכָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָץ וְדָחַק עַצְמוֹ בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ וְנִמְצָא שִׁעוּר זְמַן שֶׁהָלַךְ בּוֹ הָאֲרֻכָּה פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁעוּר הַזְּמַן שֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ כָּל אָדָם בִּקְצָרָה הוֹאִיל וְיָצָא בַּאֲרֻכָּה חַיָּב. יָצָא בִּקְצָרָה וְהָלַךְ מְעַט וְעָמַד וְשָׁהָה מְעַט עַד שֶׁנִּצְטָרֵף מִכָּל הַשְּׁהִיּוֹת כְּדֵי הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה בְּמֵזִיד אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה בְּשׁוֹגֵג אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַדָּבָר סָפֵק. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 31) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 362) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

2.

A physical affliction somewhat similar to gonorrhea that renders one ritually impure.

3.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 7:11 which states:

The [encampment of the Jewish people] in the desert [was divided into] three areas:

the camp of Israel... the camp of the Levites about which [Numbers 1:50] states: "They shall camp around the Sanctuary;", and the camp of the Shechinah [which included the area] beginning at the entrance to the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting inwards.

Correspondingly, for [future] generations: [The area] from the entrance to Jerusalem to the Temple Mount is comparable to the camp of Israel. [The area] from the entrance to the Temple Mount until the entrance to the Temple Courtyard, the gate of Nicanor, is comparable to the camp of the Levites. And [the area] from the entrance to the Temple Courtyard inward, is comparable to the camp of the Shechinah.

See also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Keilim 1:8).

4.

The verse implies that he must abide in a place where others do not dwell.

5.

The Sifra understands this to be an example of the principle of Biblical exegesis: A subject (a person impure because of tzara'at) was included in a general category (impure people) and then was singled out to teach us a new law (that he must dwell separate from all others). This does not only teach us about this instance, but about the entire category (that there are distinctions in the extent people with impurity must distance themselves).

6.

For in no other instance is an impure person required to depart from the camp of the Israelites. See also Halachah 8.

7.

Thus as the Rambam proceeds to explain in the following halachot, there are differences in the extent people with various types of impurities are forced to distance themselves.

8.

Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 10:12.

9.

A physical affliction somewhat similar to gonorrhea that renders one ritually impure.

10.

I.e., they experience vaginal bleeding at times other than their ordinary monthly cycle. This causes them to be considered ritually impure.

11.

Women who are impure because of menstrual bleeding.

12.

This - or a miscarriage - renders a woman as ritually impure.

13.

Since there is an added dimension to the severity of their impurity, they must distance themselves in a more sever manner.

14.

See Hilchot Metamei Mishkav UMoshav 1:1.

15.

See ibid. 6:5, 7:1, which explains that even if there is a stone - which itself never contracts ritual impurity - intervening between the person's body and the entity, the entity becomes impure.

16.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 5:14.

17.

Joseph had asked the Jewish people to bring his body from Egypt to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. Moses brought his body with him from Egypt, transporting it on the entire journey through the desert.

18.

For that is where Moses had his personal dwelling.

19.

The rampart surrounding the walls of the courtyard (see Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:3).

20.

For through that act, the man also becomes ritually impure.

21.

This is a Rabbinic restriction. According to Scriptural Law, these places are not on a different rung of holiness than the other portions of the Temple Mount. This and the restrictions mentioned in the next two halachot are also found in Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 7:16-18.

22.

When a person must immerse himself to ascend from ritual impurity, according to Scriptural Law, he does not achieve that status until nightfall. Nevertheless, since he has already immersed, our Sages relaxed this and several other of the prohibitions that they had placed upon such individuals.

23.

A square courtyard outside the Temple Courtyard, as described in Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:7-9.

24.

For he is still impure, as stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 4.

25.

This term refers to a zav,, a zavah, a woman who gave birth or miscarried, or a convert, who even after immersing themselves in the mikveh, must bring a sacrifice before their purification process is complete. See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:1.

26.

The Sifri brings proof that one who has not yet completed the purification process is in a different category than a person who has immersed himself from the fact that the former is permitted to partake of terumah, while the latter is not.

27.

Zevachim 32b relates that this restriction was imposed by Yehoshefat, King of Judah.

28.

The first eleven cubits of the Temple Courtyard (see Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:11). This area begins "the camp of the Shechinah" into which all of those who are impure may not enter according to Scriptural Law.

29.

And from this example, we extrapolate with regard to others in that category.

30.

Even though she had already immersed herself. Hence, she and others in the same category may not enter an area which is reserved for those who are ritually pure. This is a Scriptural restriction.

31.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 78) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 565) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. Its violation is punishable by lashes.

32.

Which, as mentioned above, parallels the camp of the Levites.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Rambam's interpretation of the verse reverses the order found in Pesachim 68a and the Sifri. He suggests that perhaps the Rambam had a different version of that text.

33.

Significantly, in Hilchot Sanhedrin 19:4 where the Rambam lists those who are punished by lashes, he does not mention this instance.

34.

See Hilchot Megilah 1:4 and Hilchot Shemitah VeYovel 12:15 which explain that this term applies only to a city surrounded by a wall at the time when Joshua conquered the land. Even if the wall of such a city is destroyed, the city is still placed in that category. Moreover, if a city was not walled at the time of Joshua's conquest, even if it was walled afterwards, it is not placed in this category.

35.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 7:13; Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 10:7. Based on Tosafot (Berachot 5b), Rabbi Akiva Eiger states that these restrictions apply only during the era when the Jubilee year was observed.

36.

I.e., he violated two negative commandments: he entered Jerusalem and he entered the Temple Mount. Therefore he is liable for two sets of lashes. Significantly, in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Keilim 1:8, based on the Tosefta to Keilim), the Rambam states these concepts slightly differently.

The Kessef Mishneh adds that if the person afflicted with tzara'at enters the Temple Courtyard, he is liable for an addition set of lashes.

37.

As mentioned in Halachot 5-6, this constitutes the violation of a Rabbinical commandment. The Kessef Mishneh adds that if the person enters the Temple Courtyard, he is liable for 120 lashes.

38.

And thus violates a positive commandment, as indicated by Halachah 1.

39.

For he does not violate a Scriptural prohibition.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that since the person is impure, his entry into the Temple Courtyard violates a Scriptural prohibition and is punishable by karet. The Kessef Mishneh cites a passage from Zevachim 17b which appears to support the Ra'avad's objection. To resolve the Rambam's ruling, the Kessef Mishneh, however, quotes Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 18:14, where the Rambam distinguishes between an impure person who has immersed and one who has not done so as of yet. He also quotes other opinions in support of the distinction the Rambam makes.

40.

A punishment instituted by the Rabbis for the violation of their decrees or positive commandments.

41.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 77) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 363) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

42.

I.e., the area encompassed by the Temple Courtyard.

43.

I.e., the act is forbidden, but one is not liable for lashes or a sin-offering for its violation.

44.

Implying that entry into the Temple area is what is forbidden.

45.

Literally, the soul's being cut off. This involves premature death in this world (before the age of 50, Mo'ed Kattan 28a) and the soul not meriting a portion in the world to come (Hilchot Teshuvah 8:1).

46.

Har HaMoriah explains that the Rambam quotes this verse rather than Numbers 19:13-20 which is more explicit, because the latter passage speaks only about one who became impure due to contact with a human corpse and the prohibition applies even when one became impure for other reasons.

47.

See Hilchot Shegagot 1:3 and ch. 10, which explains that there are certain transgressions for which the atonement offering required varies according to the transgressor's financial capacity.

48.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 6:10-14 which describes the manner in which additions are made to the Temple Courtyard.

49.

See Hilchot Nizirut 7:1-6 which describes this subject in detail. As stated in Hilchot Tumat Meit 3:3: "All ritual impurity resulting from a corpse for which a nazirite is not required to shave does not stem from Scriptural Law." Implied is that since a nazirite is forbidden to cut his hair according to Scriptural Law, when he contracts ritual impurity stemming from a human corpse that is only Rabbinic in origin, he should not cut his hair, because then the Rabbinic safeguard would lead to the violation of Scriptural Law. Note also the commentary to Hilchot Nizirut which explains that the Rambam is referring to ritual impurity that is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, but could be considered of Scriptural origin, because it was derived through the laws of Biblical exegesis.

50.

A person or an object that touches a human corpse becomes a source of impurity that can cause other people or objects to become ritually impure (see Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 5:4-5).

The Ra'avad states however that a nazirite is not obligated to shave his head if he touched a utensil or a person that became impure due to contact with a corpse. Hence, he concludes, one should not be liable for entering the Temple after having contracted impurity in this manner. The Kessef Mishneh maintains that the simple meaning of the passage in Nazir 54a appears to support the Ra'avad's understanding. Nevertheless, he cites a passage from the Jerusalem Talmud (Nazir 7:4) which could be interpreted as supporting the Rambam's ruling.

51.

There are entities that are considered sources of impurity according to Rabbinic Law. They do not make a person impure to the extent that he is liable for entering the Temple.

52.

See Sefer Taharah.

53.

I.e., in a mikveh.

54.

For as stated in Halachah 6, one who has immersed himself to emerge from ritual impurity is still impure until nightfall of that day. The Ra'avad differs and maintains that such a person is not liable for karet. The Radbaz cites the Rambam's ruling in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 18:14 which would seem to support the Ra'avad's ruling. It states that a person who was ritually impure, then immersed himself, and then partook of sacrificial foods before nightfall is liable for lashes, but is not liable for karet. Nevertheless, the Radbaz explains that a distinction can be made between these two situations.

55.

Although he is required to observe the strictures of someone who is ritually impure, he is not liable for entering the Temple.

56.

In Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 5:4, the Rambam describes the impurity caused by such situations.

57.

In ibid.:5, the Rambam continues: "Even though according to the Oral Tradition [one is rendered impure for such matters], this is not Scriptural Law. For it is not explicitly stated in the Torah that one who becomes impure through contact with a human corpse becomes a source of impurity and one who touches him becomes impure to the first degree." In this instance, however, the Rambam is probably following his renown approach that any concept that is not explicitly stated in the Torah is considered as "from the Oral Tradition" even though it was also conveyed to Moses at Sinai.

58.

For the Rabbis instituted decrees to insure that the prohibitions established by the Oral Tradition were observed.

59.

This is speaking about a situation where he brought the dead teeming animal into the Temple without touching it, since, as stated in Hilchot Shaar Avot HaTuma'ah 4:1, a dead teeming animal imparts ritual impurity only when one touches it and not when one carries it. For if the person had touched it, he would become impure and be liable for karet entering the Temple in that state.

60.

I.e., another source of impurity that imparts impurity through touch, but not when carried.

61.

And thus serve as a source of impurity.

62.

The verse concludes: "He will bear his iniquity." "Clean[ing] his garments" refers to immersing them to remove their impurity.

63.

This expression implies that there is no Talmudic source for this ruling, but instead, it was derived by deduction.

64.

Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 5:2. There the Rambam states that if a person touching the corpse touches any other utensil at the same time, that utensil is considered as if it touched the corpse itself.

65.

I.e., the person touched the garments after he let go of the corpse.

66.

Since the object brought into the Temple is not a source for ritual impurity, the person is not liable for karet. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that even bringing an object that is not a source for ritual impurity into the Temple causes one to be liable for lashes. The Kessef Mishneh supports the Rambam's view, explaining that there is a logical basis for his conclusion. Since the Torah was lenient with regard to utensils (and garments), absolving one from karet even when the utensil was a source of impurity, we can conclude that leniency would also be shown with regard to lashes.

67.

I.e., he stands outside the Temple Courtyard and inserts only his hand. He is not given lashes, because his entire body has not entered the Temple Courtyard. Even the Rambam would agree that he is forbidden by Rabbinic decree to insert his hand. The Ra'avad is more stringent and rules that inserting part of one's body is equivalent to entering entirely. The Kessef Mishneh supports the Rambam's ruling.

68.

The Rambam's words imply that once he immersed himself, he is not liable for stripes for rebellious conduct for entering the Temple even if night has not yet fallen. Since his impurity is only Rabbinic in origin and he has immersed himself, he is not given punishment. See Hilchot Shaar Avot HaTuma'ah 9:1.

69.

Such entry is, nevertheless, forbidden (Kessef Mishneh).

70.

I.e., on foot through the gate. The Mishneh LiMelech emphasizes that if he remains in the Temple for the amount of time for which he is liable (see Halachah 22), he is liable for karet even if he entered through the rooftops.

71.

For this also is not the usual way of entry.

72.

I.e., in the Temple Courtyard.

73.

An object for which one has no purpose is muktzeh and there is a Rabbinic prohibition against transporting it on the Sabbath. Nevertheless, Rabbinic prohibitions of this nature are not applied in the Temple (Rashi, Eruvin 104b).

74.

I.e., in the chambers that are considered as being separate entities from the Temple Courtyard.

75.

So that it will not be touched.

76.

See Hilchot Keilim 1:10. See also Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 3:6.

77.

I.e., if a priest would carry it out in his garment, he would be causing his garment to become impure. Hence, it was desirable to use a flat wooden utensil even if it takes time to find such a utensil (Eruvin, loc. cit.).

78.

As stated in Halachah 12.

79.

There is an unresolved question concerning whether such a person is liable in Sh'vuot 17a. Hence, the Rambam rules leniently (Kessef Mishneh).

80.

If he departs in this manner, he is not liable for karet.

81.

An adjustable guilt offering.

82.

The Rambam is citing Sh'vuot 16b which quotes the description of the people's bowing in II Chronicles 7:3.

83.

I.e., taking very short steps. As long as he does not stop for the amount of time mentioned in the previous halachah, he is not liable.

84.

See Sh'vuot 17a. Hence we rule leniently.

85.

See Hilchot Sanhedrin 16:3, 18:5, and notes for a definition of this punishment and the situations where it is applied.

Biat Hamikdash - Chapter 4

1

When an impure person serves in the Temple,1 he desecrates his service and is liable for death at the hand of heaven for [performing] this service even if he did not tarry there,2 as [indicated by Leviticus 22:2]: "so that they draw back for the sanctified objects of the children of Israel and not desecrate My holy name." This is a warning for a person who serves while ritually impure.3

Further on,4 [ibid.:9] states: "They will die because of it, because they desecrated it." Just as in the latter instance, desecration makes one liable for death at the hands of heaven, so too, with regard to [offering sacrifices while impure, desecration] makes one liable for death at the hand of heaven. Lashes are given for [the violation of] all negative commandments punishable by death at the hand of heaven.5

א

טָמֵא שֶׁעָבַד בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ חִלֵּל עֲבוֹדָתוֹ וְחַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם עַל עֲבוֹדָתוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהָה שָׁם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ב) "וְיִנָּזְרוּ מִקָּדְשֵׁי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא יְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי" הֲרֵי זוֹ אַזְהָרָה לְעוֹבֵד בְּטֻמְאָה. וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כב ט) "וּמֵתוּ בוֹ כִּי יְחַלְּלֻהוּ". מָה חִלּוּל הָאָמוּר [שָׁם] חַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם אַף כָּאן מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם. וְכָל לָאו שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלָיו מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם לוֹקִין עָלָיו:

2

Although one who serves in a state of impurity is liable only for lashes in court, his priestly brethren6 would not bring him to the court. Instead, they would take him outside7 [the Temple]8 and split open his brain. They would not be rebuked for this.9

ב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִם עָבַד בְּטֻמְאָה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּבֵית דִּין אֶלָּא מַלְקוֹת אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא הָיוּ מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין אֶלָּא מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לַחוּץ וּפוֹצְעִין אֶת מֹחוֹ וְאֵין מְמַחִין עֲלֵיהֶן בְּכָךְ:

3

How is it possible for a priest to perform service without tarrying so that he will be liable only for death at the hand of heaven and not karet? For example, he contracted impurity in the Temple Courtyard10 and departed in the shortest way possible,11 but as he was leaving, he used a cylinder in his hand to turn over a limb [from a sacrifice] on the fire of the altar and thus hasten its consumption by the flames.12 [The rationale is that] any contribution to the Temple service13 is considered as equivalent to that service.

ג

וְהֵיאַךְ אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲבֹד וְלֹא יִשְׁהֶה עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְחַיֵּב כָּרֵת אֶלָּא מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם בִּלְבַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּטְמָא בָּעֲזָרָה וְיָצָא בִּקְצָרָה וּבִיצִיאָתוֹ הָיָה צִנּוֹר בְּיָדוֹ וְהָפַךְ בּוֹ אֵיבָר עַל הָאֵשׁ בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ וְקֵרֵב שְׂרֵפָתוֹ שֶׁכָּל קֵרוּב עֲבוֹדָה הֲרֵי הוּא כַּעֲבוֹדָה:

4

Similarly, if one who was impure immersed in the mikveh and then performed service before nightfall of that day,14 his service is invalid and he is liable for death at the hand of heaven, as [ibid 21:6] states: "They shall not desecrate the name of their God."15 According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that this is a warning to a person who [was impure, but] immersed himself that day who performs service [in the Temple], for he is still impure. [This is derived from ibid. 22:7]: "And the sun sets and he will become pure." Implied is that until then, he was not pure.16 A person whose atonement process was not completed17 who performs service [in the Temple] is exempt [from punishment]18 even though his service is invalid and it desecrates [the sacrifice].

ד

וְכֵן טָמֵא שֶׁטָּבַל וְעָבַד קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּעֲרִיב שִׁמְשׁוֹ עֲבוֹדָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה וְחַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא ו) "וְלֹא יְחַלְּלוּ שֵׁם אֱלֹהֵיהֶם". מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזּוֹ אַזְהָרָה לִטְבוּל יוֹם שֶׁעָבַד שֶׁעֲדַיִן טָמֵא הוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ז) "וּבָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְטָהֵר" מִכְּלַל שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא טָהֵר. אֲבָל מְחֻסַּר כִּפּוּרִים שֶׁעָבַד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲבוֹדָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה וְחִלֵּל הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר:

5

What is the source that teaches that such service is impure? [With regard to a woman impure due to childbirth, Leviticus 12:8] states: "And the priest shall atone for her and she shall become pure." Implied is that until now, she was not pure. The same applies to all others whose atonement process is not complete.19

ה

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁעֲבוֹדָתוֹ פְּסוּלָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ח) "וְכִפֶּר עָלֶיהָ הַכֹּהֵן וְטָהֵרָה". מִכְּלַל שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִגְמְרָה טָהֳרָתָהּ. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל מְחֻסְּרֵי כִּפּוּרִים:

6

[The following laws apply if] a priest performed service and afterwards, it became known that he was impure. If the source of impurity was known,20 all of the sacrifices that he offered are invalid, for his work is defiled. If, however, he became impure due to the impurity [likened to] the depths,21 the forehead plate brings about appeasement and all the sacrifices he offered are accepted.22 Even if he became aware of the fact that he was impure before the blood was sprinkled on the altar and then he sprinkled the blood, it brings about appeasement. For the forehead plate brings about appeasement for the impurity [likened to] the depths even though he [transgresses] intentionally.23 We have already explained the impurity [likened to] the depths in Hilchot Nizirut.

ו

כֹּהֵן שֶׁעָבַד וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹדַע שֶׁהָיָה טָמֵא. אִם הִיא טֻמְאָה יְדוּעָה כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁהִקְרִיב פְּסוּלִין שֶׁהֲרֵי עֲבוֹדָתוֹ חֻלִּין. וְאִם הִיא טֻמְאַת הַתְּהוֹם הַצִּיץ מְרַצֶּה. וְכָל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁהִקְרִיב נִרְצוּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ נוֹדַע לוֹ שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּזְרֹק הַדָּם וְזָרַק הֻרְצָה. שֶׁהַצִּיץ מְרַצֶּה עַל טֻמְאַת הַתְּהוֹם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מֵזִיד. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ טֻמְאַת הַתְּהוֹם בִּנְזִירוּת:

7

Similarly, the forehead plate brings atonement if the objects being sacrificed are impure,24 as [Exodus 28:38] states: "And it shall be on the forehead of Aaron and Aaron will bear the sins of the sacred objects." It does not, however, bring about appeasement if the portions of the sacrifices that are eaten are impure or if the one [offering the sacrifice] is impure when he became impure because of a known source of impurity unless the impurity was superseded by a communal obligation,25 in which instance the forehead plate generates appeasement for it.

ז

וְכֵן הַצִּיץ מְרַצֶּה עַל טֻמְאַת דְּבָרִים הַקְּרֵבִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כח לח) "וְהָיָה עַל מֵצַח אַהֲרֹן וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת עֲוֹן הַקֳדָשִׁים". אֲבָל אֵינוֹ מְרַצֶּה עַל טֻמְאַת הַנֶּאֱכָלִין. וְלֹא עַל טֻמְאַת הָאָדָם שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּטֻמְאָה יְדוּעָה. אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה הַטֻּמְאָה הַדְּחוּיָה בַּצִּבּוּר שֶׁהַצִּיץ מְרַצֶּה עָלֶיהָ:

8

The forehead plate does not bring about appeasement unless it is on the High Priest's forehead,26 as [the above verse] continues: "It will be on his forehead at all times, for appeasement before God."

ח

וְאֵין הַצִּיץ מְרַצֶּה אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא עַל מִצְחוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כח לח) "וְהָיָה עַל מִצְחוֹ תָּמִיד לְרָצוֹן לָהֶם לִפְנֵי ה'":

9

[The offering of] any sacrifice that does not have a set time does not supersede [the observance of] the Sabbath27 or [the laws of] ritual impurity. [The rationale is that] if it is not sacrificed today, it will be sacrificed tomorrow or afterwards. [The offering of] any sacrifice that does have a set time, whether it be a communal offering or an individual offering,28 supersedes [the observance of] the Sabbath and [the laws of] ritual impurity. It does not supersede all types of ritual impurity, however, only those stemming from contact with a human corpse.29

ט

כָּל קָרְבָּן שֶׁאֵין קָבוּעַ לוֹ זְמַן אֵינוֹ דּוֹחֶה לֹא אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְלֹא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. שֶׁאִם לֹא יַקְרִיב הַיּוֹם יִקָּרֵב לְמָחָר וּלְמָחֳרַת מָחָר. וְכָל קָרְבָּן שֶׁקָּבוּעַ לוֹ זְמַן בֵּין קָרְבַּן צִבּוּר בֵּין קָרְבַּן יָחִיד דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְדוֹחֶה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. וְלֹא כָּל הַטֻּמְאוֹת הוּא דּוֹחֶה אֶלָּא טֻמְאַת הַמֵּת לְבַדָּהּ:

10

All30 of the communal sacrifices have a fixed time when they must be offered.31 Hence [offering them] supersedes [the observance of] the Sabbath and [the laws of] ritual impurity stemming from contact with a human corpse.

י

כָּל קָרְבְּנוֹת הַצִּבּוּר קָבוּעַ זְמַנָּם. לְפִיכָךְ כֻּלָּן דּוֹחִין אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְאֶת טֻמְאַת הַמֵּת:

11

All of the sacrifices that were brought in a state of ritual impurity are not eaten.32 Instead, the elements of the sacrifice that are fit to be consumed by fire are offered on the fire [of the altar].33 The remaining portions that would [ordinarily] be eaten34 are burnt in the same manner35 as are other sacrifices that became impure.36

יא

וְכָל קָרְבָּן מֵהֶן שֶׁקָּרֵב בְּטֻמְאָה אֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל. אֶלָּא מַקְטִירִין מִמֶּנּוּ דְּבָרִים הָרְאוּיִין לְהַקְטָרָה וְהַשְּׁאָר הָרָאוּי לַאֲכִילָה נִשְׂרָף כִּשְׁאָר קָדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ:

12

What is meant by saying it supersedes [the laws of] ritual impurity? If the time when that sacrifice is to be offered arrives and the majority37 of the people offering it were impure due to contact with a human corpse,38 or the people at large were pure, but the priests offering it were impure39 due to contact with a human corpse, or both of these were pure, but the Temple utensils were impure due to contact with a human corpse, [the sacrifice] should be offered in a state of impurity. Both the impure and the pure should be involved in its offering together40 and enter the Temple Courtyard.41

Those who are impure because of other reasons, zavim, zavot, women in their menstrual state, those after childbirth, those who came in contact with the corpse of a teeming animal or large animal, or the like should not be involved [in the sacrifice] and should not enter the Temple Courtyard even though sacrifices are being offered in a state of impurity. If they transgressed and took part [in the sacrifice] or entered the Temple Courtyard, they are liable for karet for entering [the Courtyard]42 or death [at the hand of Heaven]43 for [carrying out] the service.44 For only the impurity stemming from contact with a human corpse was superseded [by the obligation to offer these sacrifices].

יב

כֵּיצַד דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. הִגִּיעַ זְמַנּוֹ שֶׁל אוֹתוֹ קָרְבָּן וְהָיוּ רֹב הַקָּהָל שֶׁמַּקְרִיבִין אוֹתוֹ טְמֵאִין לְמֵת. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ הַקָּהָל טְהוֹרִים וְהָיוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים הַמַּקְרִיבִין טְמֵאִים לְמֵת. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ אֵלּוּ וְאֵלּוּ טְהוֹרִין וְהָיוּ כְּלֵי הַשָּׁרֵת טְמֵאִים לְמֵת. הֲרֵי זֶה יֵעָשֶׂה בְּטֻמְאָה וְיִתְעַסְּקוּ בּוֹ הַטְּמֵאִים וְהַטְּהוֹרִים כְּאֶחָד וְיִכָּנְסוּ כֻּלָּן לָעֲזָרָה. אֲבָל הַטְּמֵאִים בְּטֻמְאָה אַחֶרֶת כְּגוֹן זָבִין וְזָבוֹת וְנִדּוֹת [וְיוֹלְדוֹת] וּטְמֵאֵי שֶׁרֶץ וּנְבֵלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. לֹא יִתְעַסְּקוּ וְלֹא יִכָּנְסוּ לָעֲזָרָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה בְּטֻמְאָה. וְאִם עָבְרוּ וְעָשׂוּ אוֹ נִכְנְסוּ לָעֲזָרָה חַיָּבִין כָּרֵת עַל הַבִּיאָה וּמִיתָה עַל הָעֲבוֹדָה. שֶׁלֹּא נִדְחֵית אֶלָּא טֻמְאַת הַמֵּת בִּלְבַד:

13

When a Paschal sacrifice45 is offered in a state of impurity and those who were impure due to contact with a human corpse pressed on and entered the Sanctuary, they are exempt even though they were only permitted to enter the Temple Courtyard.46 Since the charge [Numbers 5:3]: "Send them beyond the camp" does not apply to them, they are exempt.47

יג

וּפֶסַח שֶׁבָּא בְּטֻמְאָה וְדָחֲקוּ טְמֵאֵי מֵת וְנִכְנְסוּ לַהֵיכָל פְּטוּרִין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הֻתְּרוּ אֶלָּא לָעֲזָרָה. הוֹאִיל וְאֵין אֲנִי קוֹרֵא בָּהֶם (במדבר ה ג) "אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה תְּשַׁלְּחוּם" הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין:

14

If a portion of the priests of the clan scheduled to serve in the Temple that day48 were impure and a portion were pure, even if the majority were impure due to contact with a human corpse, only those who are pure should offer the sacrifices.49 If all the priests of that clan were impure, the priests of another clan should be brought [to serve].50 If all the priests of that watch were impure due to contact with a human corpse, we look for [those of] another watch. If most of the priests who entered Jerusalem at a given time were impure, [the appropriate sacrifice] should be offered in a state of impurity.

יד

הָיוּ מִקְצָת בֵּית אָב טְמֵאִים וּמִקְצָתָם טְהוֹרִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרֻבָּן טְמֵאֵי מֵת לֹא יַקְרִיבוּ אֶלָּא הַטְּהוֹרִים. הָיָה כָּל בֵּית הָאָב טְמֵאֵי מֵת יָבִיאוּ בֵּית אָב אַחֵר. הָיְתָה כָּל הַמִּשְׁמָרָה טְמֵאֵי מֵת מַחֲזִירִין עַל מִשְׁמָרָה אַחֶרֶת. אִם הָיוּ רֹב הַכֹּהֲנִים הַנִּכְנָסִין שָׁם בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם בַּזְּמַן הַקָּבוּעַ טְמֵאִין יַעֲשׂוּ בְּטֻמְאָה:

15

Why do we search for a priest who is pure from another clan?51 Because [the prohibition against serving while] impure was not released entirely [in order to offer] the communal [sacrifices]. Instead, the prohibition is still standing, it is merely superseded temporarily, because of the pressing situation.52 We do not override any prohibitions that may be superseded except in a situation where there is no alternative. For this reason, the forehead plate is required to bring about appeasement.53

טו

וּמִפְּנֵי מָה מַחֲזִירִין עַל הַטָּהוֹר מִבֵּית אָב אַחֵר. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה לֹא הֻתְּרָה בַּצִּבּוּר אֶלָּא בְּאִסּוּרָהּ עוֹמֶדֶת וּדְחוּיָה הִיא עַתָּה מִפְּנֵי הַדְּחָק. וְאֵין דּוֹחִין כָּל דָּבָר הַנִּדְחֶה אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה צְרִיכָה צִיץ לְרַצּוֹת עָלֶיהָ:

16

What is the source that teaches that [the prohibitions against] ritual impurity are superseded [to bring] communal [offerings]? [Numbers 9:6] speaks of: "Men who were impure because a [deceased] human soul."54 According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught: Particular individuals are deferred to Pesach Sheni if they were impure. If, however, the community at large is impure due to contact with a human corpse, it is not deferred.55 Instead, [the prohibition against] ritual impurity is superseded and the Paschal sacrifice should be offered in a state of impurity. The same applies to every sacrifice that has a fixed time like the Paschal sacrifice:56 [the obligation to offer it] supersedes [the prohibition against] ritual impurity.

טז

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁטֻּמְאַת מֵת דְּחוּיָה בַּצִּבּוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ט ו) "וַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם". כָּךְ לָמְדוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה שֶׁאֲנָשִׁים יְחִידִים הֵם שֶׁיִּדָּחוּ לְפֶסַח שֵׁנִי אִם הָיוּ טְמֵאִים. אֲבָל צִבּוּר שֶׁהָיוּ טְמֵאֵי מֵת אֵינָן נִדְחִין אֶלָּא הַטֻּמְאָה תִּדָּחֶה וְיַעֲשׂוּ פֶּסַח בְּטֻמְאָה. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל קָרְבָּן שֶׁקָּבוּעַ לוֹ זְמַן כְּפֶסַח שֶׁהוּא דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה:

17

This concept is explicitly stated in Scripture [II Chronicles 30:17-18]: "For a multitude of the congregation had not sanctified themselves and the Levites presided over the slaughter of the Paschal sacrifice for all who were not pure....57 For many of the people, may from Ephraim, Menasheh, Issachar, and Zevulon had not purified themselves."

What then is meant by the statement (ibid.): "They partook of the Paschal sacrifice not in accordance with what was written"?58 Because they made that year a leap year because of ritual impurity, as [ibid.:2-3] states: "And the king, his officers, and all the congregation in Jerusalem had conferred [and decided] to offer the Pesach... in the second month,59 because they were not able to offer it at its time because there were not enough priests who had sanctified themselves."60 As we explained already in Hilchot Kiddush HaChodeh,61 as an initial preference, we do not declare a leap year because of ritual impurity.62

יז

וַהֲרֵי הַדָּבָר מְפֹרָשׁ בַּכְּתוּבִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שָׁם (דברי הימים ב ל יז) "כִּי רַבַּת בַּקָּהָל אֲשֶׁר לֹא הִתְקַדָּשׁוּ וְהַלְוִיִּם עַל שְׁחִיטַת הַפְּסָחִים לְכל לֹא טָהוֹר" [לְהַקְדִּישׁ לַה'] (דברי הימים ב ל יח) "כִּי מַרְבִּית הָעָם רַבַּת מֵאֶפְרַיִם וּמְנַשֶּׁה יִשָּׂשכָר וּזְבֻלוּן לֹא הִטֶּהָרוּ". וּמַהוּ זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב ל יח) "כִּי אָכְלוּ אֶת הַפֶּסַח בְּלֹא כַכָּתוּב" מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעִבְּרוּ אוֹתָהּ הַשָּׁנָה מִפְּנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב ל ב) "וַיִּוָּעַץ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְשָׂרָיו וְכָל הַקָּהָל בִּירוּשָׁלָםִ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַפֶּסַח בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי" (דברי הימים ב ל ג) "כִּי לֹא יָכְלוּ לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ בָּעֵת הַהִיא כִּי הַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא הִתְקַדְּשׁוּ לְמַדַּי". וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּקִדּוּשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ שֶׁאֵין מְעַבְּרִין אֶת הַשָּׁנָה לְכַתְּחִלָּה מִפְּנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה:

18

There was another [difficulty] that year. King Chizkiya made the year a leap year on the thirtieth day of Adar which was fit to be Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Instead, he made it the thirtieth of Adar. The Sages did not agree with him, for a leap year should not be declared on this day, as we explained in [Hilchot] Kiddush HaChodesh.63

Because of these two matters which were not done as prescribed by Jewish Law, it was said: "They partook of the Paschal sacrifice not in accordance with what was written."[ Chizkiya] entreated for mercy for himself and for the Sages who concurred with his actions,64 as [ibid.:18] states: "For Yichezkiyahu prayed for them, saying: 'May God Who is good atone for those....' [ibid.:20] states: 'God heeded Yichezkiyahu and healed the people.'[ Implied is that] their sacrifice was accepted.

יח

וְעוֹד אַחֶרֶת הָיְתָה שָׁם בְּאוֹתָהּ הַשָּׁנָה. שֶׁעִבֵּר חִזְקִיָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת הַשָּׁנָה בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשִׁים שֶׁל אֲדָר שֶׁרָאוּי לִהְיוֹת רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן וְעָשָׂה אוֹתוֹ הַחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר שֵׁנִי וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֵין מְעַבְּרִין בְּיוֹם זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּקִדּוּשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ. וּמִפְּנֵי דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁעָשָׂה שֶׁלֹּא כַּהֲלָכָה נֶאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב ל יח) "כִּי אָכְלוּ אֶת הַפֶּסַח בְּלֹא כַכָּתוּב". וּבִקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עַל עַצְמוֹ וְעַל הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עַל מַעֲשָׂיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב ל יח) "כִּי הִתְפַּלֵּל יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ עֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר ה' הַטּוֹב יְכַפֵּר בְּעַד" וְנֶאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב ל כ) "וַיִּשְׁמַע ה' אֶל יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיִּרְפָּא אֶת הָעָם" שֶׁנִּרְצָה קָרְבָּנָם:

Footnotes
1.

The Radbaz states that the words "in the Temple" are not an exclusion. Instead, in the era when offerings were brought on private altars, this law also applied to a priest bringing an offering on such an altar.

2.

As stated in the conclusion of the last chapter, one is liable for karet for tarrying in the Temple Courtyard even if he does not perform service. Halachah 3 describes how it is possible to perform service without tarrying in the Temple Courtyard.

3.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 75) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 278) include this charge as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

4.

In reference to terumah.

5.

See Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:1. If he receives lashes from an earthly court, he is absolved of the punishment from above.

6.

In Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:6, the Rambam quotes the wording of Sanhedrin 81b: "The young priests would take him out...."

7.

The Radbaz relates that if the priests did not interrupt him in the middle of his service and seize him, but instead, allowed him to complete his service and leave the Temple on his own initiative, they are not allowed to administer this punishment to him. All they can do is bring him to the court.

8.

I.e., beyond the Women's Courtyard and the surrounding rampart, because a corpse is not allowed in these areas according to Rabbinic Law. Alternatively, because it is only a Rabbinic stricture, it was not imposed in such an instance.

9.

The Radbaz elaborates in explaining why this punishment can be given. He explains that although there is no legal license for it, there are instances (see Hilchot Sanhedrin 24:4), where he states that at times punishments are given with no legal basis. By serving in the Temple, the priests offer their tacit acquiescence to such action being taken.

10.

For if he contracted impurity outside the Temple Courtyard, he is liable for karet as soon as he enters, as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 12.

11.

In which instance, he is not liable for karet, as explained at the conclusion of the previous chapter.

12.

See Chapter 9, Halachah 4, for more particulars concerning this act.

13.

And offering the limbs on the fire of the altar is part of the Temple service.

14.

As explained in the notes to the previous chapter, until nightfall he is still considered as impure.

The Ra'avad questions the Rambam's ruling, noting that according to the Rambam, a person who entered the Temple on the day he immersed is liable for karet for the entry alone. Thus why is it necessary to speak of a second obligation for karet. He explains that it could be speaking about a person who was standing outside the Temple Courtyard and moved limbs on the Altar using a long pole. The Kessef Mishneh resolves the difficulty by distinguishing between karet and death at the hand of heaven, for karet is a more severe punishment.

15.

See Sanhedrin 83b for an explanation for how this prohibition is derived from this prooftext. Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 76) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 265) include this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

16.

The Rambam adds this explanation to differentiate between a person who immersed in the mikveh, but must wait until sunset and one who has not completed his atonement process. The latter individuals are considered as pure, even though they may not enter the Temple.

17.

I.e., a zav, zavah, or the like who must bring a sacrifice before becoming ritually pure.

18.

The Kessef Mishneh questions this ruling, noting that in Hilchot Sanhedrin 19:2, the Rambam mentions one who serves despite the fact that his atonement process is not completed as among those who are liable for death at the hand of heaven and whose offence is punishable by lashes. This is also evident from Chapter 9, Halachah 11. The Ra'avad also quotes Talmudic sources that indicate that such a person is liable. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the questions raised by the Ra'avad can be resolved, but the apparent contradiction in the Rambam's own rulings remains difficult.

19.

I.e., a zav, zavah, and one afflicted with tzara'at.

20.

To even one person.

21.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Pesachim 7:7), the Rambam explains that this term is used to refer to "a corpse that is hidden and not known about at all, to the extent that it is in the very depths." See also the gloss of Rav Ovadiah of Bartenura (Parah 3:2) which explains the term as follows: Just like mortal wisdom cannot fathom the extent of the depths, so, too, the existence of this corpse is not known to any mortal.

Hilchot Nizirut 6:18 describes this impurity as stemming from contact with a human corpse, about which "no one, not even one at the end of the world, knows about."

22.

The Mishnah (Pesachim 80b) states this concept with regard to the Paschal sacrifice (see Hilchot Korban Pesach 4:2). The Rambam extrapolates that the law applies to all sacrifices.

23.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Rambam's words imply that as an initial preference, such a priest should not sprinkle the blood. Only after the fact, it is acceptable. In Hilchot Korban Pesach 6:11, however, the Rambam rules that a person who becomes impure due to impurity [likened to] the depths may offer a sacrifice as an initial preference. The Kessef Mishneh explains that a distinction can be made between the two instances, because the Paschal sacrifice is an immediate obligation, while other sacrifices may be offered by other people at other times. Moreover, failure to offer the Paschal sacrifice is more severe, as indicated by the fact that it is punishable by karet.

24.

I.e., the blood and the other portions of the sacrifices offered on the altar. See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 1:34.

25.

I.e., communal sacrifices that are offered at a fixed time should be offered even if there is impurity involved, as explained in the following halachot.

26.

There is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in Yoma 7b and the Rambam accepts the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah. The commentaries have noted that this could be understood as a contradiction to his ruling in Halachah 15. Nevertheless, there are other approaches to that passage which allow the two rulings to coexist.

27.

I.e., offering a sacrifice involves the violation of certain Sabbath prohibitions. As the Rambam proceeds to state, sacrifices that must be brought at a set time may nevertheless be offered, but not those which do not have a set time.

28.

I.e., the chavitin offering of the High Priest, the bull he brings on Yom Kippur, or the Paschal sacrifices.

29.

For the fundamental concept was derived from the Biblical story (Numbers, ch. 9) concerning the people who approached Moses to offer the Paschal sacrifice and they were impure because of contact with a human corpse.

30.

I.e., all of the communal sacrifices that are brought from the money collected for the communal sacrifices. There are certain atonement offerings, the bull offered when the people at large err with regard to a Scriptural prohibition, and the goat offered when they err with regard to the prohibition against idolatry. These, unlike the other communal sacrifices, are not offered at a specific time.

31.

And if they are not offered at this time, they may not be offered afterwards (Kessef Mishneh).

32.

With the exception of the Paschal offering, as explained in Hilchot Korban Pesach 7:8. For the Pesach sacrifice was ordained primarily for the purpose of the people partaking of it (Pesachim 7:5).

33.

For the primary purpose of these sacrifices is for them to be offered on the altar.

34.

Pesachim 76a mentions five communal sacrifices that are ordinarily eaten: the omer offering of barley, the two breads offered on Shavuot, the showbread, the communal peace offerings, and the goat offered on Rosh Chodesh.

35.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger asks why a communal sacrifice would not be eaten if it was offered by an impure priest who did not touch it and did not cause it to become impure. He notes, however, that the Rambam's wording implies that such a sacrifice should not be eaten.

36.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim, ch. 19.

37.

Half is not sufficient (Pesachim 79a).

38.

This applies only with regard to the Paschal sacrifice, for it must be eaten by the people at large. With regard to the other communal sacrifices, it does not make any difference whether or not the people at large are impure.

39.

As indicated by Halachah 14, this refers to the priests who were present in Jerusalem at the time the sacrifices had to be offered. If there were a majority of priests who were ritually pure, but they were not present in Jerusalem at the time when the sacrifice was to be offered, they are not counted in the reckoning.

40.

I.e., with regard to the Paschal sacrifice, a person who is pure should not say: "Since I am pure, I should not share my sacrifice with those who are impure." Instead, the sacrifices should be offered and eaten together (see Radbaz; Kessef Mishneh).

41.

I.e., if their entry would in some way contribute to the sacrifice being offered properly (Radbaz).

42.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 12.

43.

As stated in Halachah 1 of this chapter.

44.

They are, however, exempt from punishment if they partake of the Paschal sacrifice in this state of impurity if the majority of the people are ritually impure because of contact with a human corpse (Pesachim 95b).

45.

Although this law also applies with regard to other communal sacrifices, the Paschal sacrifice is mentioned, because it is the only instance when there would be a large throng of people in the Temple Courtyard.

46.

Needless to say, they are forbidden to do so (Radbaz), for the activities involved in the offering of the Paschal sacrifice are carried out only in the Temple Courtyard and not in the Sanctuary itself.

47.

There is a question concerning this issue in Pesachim 95b. Hence, an earthly court may not punish them with lashes. The question of whether they would be liable for death at the hand of Heaven is also not resolved on this plane. Since the judgments of the heavenly court are dependent on the judgments of the earthly courts, it is possible to say that the judgment is held in abeyance there as well.

48.

See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 4:11 for a definition of this term.

49.

As long as it is possible to offer the sacrifices in a state of purity, we do not offer them while impure.

50.

For the reason stated in the following halachah.

51.

And even from another watch (Kessef Mishneh).

52.

The Rambam is explaining a difference of opinion between the Sages in Yoma 6b. One Sage maintains that the prohibition against ritual impurity is hutra, released entirely, with regard to communal sacrifices. The other opinion is that the prohibition is dichuya, i.e., as the Rambam explains, the prohibition continues to exist and must be respected to the fullest degree possible. Similar concepts also apply with regard to the Sabbath prohibitions being overridden by questions of life and death. See the Kessef Mishneh to Hilchot Shabbat 2:1.

53.

As stated in Halachah 7.

54.

The passage relates that after Moses communicated the command to offer the Paschal sacrifice, several individuals who were impure because of contact with a corpse came to him and asked for an opportunity to offer the Paschal sacrifice. Moses relayed their question to God Who answered that they - and all other individuals who are impure at the time the Paschal sacrifice must be offered may bring such a sacrifice a month later on Pesach Sheni. Implicit in that command is, as the Rambam proceeds to explain, that the license to offer a sacrifice on Pesach Sheni was granted only to individuals. If the majority of the Jewish people become impure, they must offer the Paschal sacrifice on the first Pesach in a state of impurity.

55.

See Hilchot Korban Pesach 7:12.

56.

Pesachim 77a explains the derivation of this concept as follows: With regard to the Pesach sacrifice, Numbers 9:2 states that it should be offered "at its appointed time," which our Sages interpret as meaning ...at its appointed time,' even on the Sabbath, even in a state of ritual impurity." Now since Numbers 29:39 uses the term "in their appointed time" in reference to other communal sacrifices, we understand that the same concepts apply to them as well.

57.

King Chizkiya assumed the throne after the rule of Achaz, an idolatrous sinner. After years when the people had been led astray, Chizkiya inspired them to repent. He invited all the people to offer the Paschal sacrifice. Unfortunately, a sufficient number of priests had not purified themselves and also, the people were somewhat slow in responding. To enable the Paschal sacrifice to be offered by as many people as possible, he had a leap year declared, so as to give them an extra month.

58.

I.e., one should not infer that the error was that they partook of the sacrifice while ritually impure (Kessef Mishneh).

59.

I.e., they delayed its offering by a month, by declaring a leap year.

60.

Despite the addition of this month, the majority of the people who came to Jerusalem were ritually impure. Hence, the prohibitions against impurity had to be overridden (see Rav Yosef Corcus).

61.

Chapter 4, Halachah 6.

62.

For the preference is to offer the sacrifices in a state of ritual impurity.

63.

Chapter 4, Halachah 14. Instead, the leap year should be declared earlier, indeed, preferably months before.

64.

I.e., the minority who did, for the majority did not, as stated above (Kessef Mishneh).

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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