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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 18

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Pesulei Hamukdashim - Chapter 18

1

Anyone who has an incorrect intent [while performing] sacrificial service violates a negative commandment,1 for [Leviticus 7:18] states: "He may not intent this."

א

כָּל הַמְחַשֵּׁב מַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁאֵינהּ נָכוֹנָה בְּקָדָשִׁים. הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא ז יח) "לֹא יֵחָשֵׁב":

2

According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that included in this prohibition is not to cause sacrificial offerings to be disqualified through thought, for this is comparable to causing a blemish in sacrificial animals. Nevertheless, [a transgressor] is not punished by lashes,2 for thought is not considered as deed.3

ב

מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁבִּכְלַל דִּין זֶה שֶׁלֹּא יַפְסִיד הַקָּדָשִׁים בְּמַחְשָׁבָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְמַטִּיל מוּם בְּקָדָשִׁים. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה שֶׁאֵין הַמַּחְשָׁבָה מַעֲשֶׂה:

3

Whenever a sacrifice is defined as unacceptable - whether it was disqualified because of an intent, an action, or something which caused it to be disqualified - anyone who partakes of an olive-sized portion of it intentionally is liable for lashes, as [a result of the prohibition, Deuteronomy 14:3]: "Do not partake of anything abhorrent."4

ג

כָּל קָרְבָּן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שֶׁהוּא פָּסוּל בֵּין שֶׁנִּפְסַל בְּמַחְשָׁבָה בֵּין בְּמַעֲשֶׂה בֵּין שֶׁאֵרַע בּוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁפְּסָלוֹ. כָּל הָאוֹכֵל מִמֶּנּוּ כְּזַיִת בְּמֵזִיד לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד ג) "לֹא תֹאכַל כָּל תּוֹעֵבָה":

4

According to the Oral Tradition, we learned5 that the verse was warning solely against [partaking of] sacrificial animals that were disqualified.6

ד

מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁאֵין הַכָּתוּב מַזְהִיר אֶלָּא עַל פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין:

5

Similarly, when sacrificial animals which were [intentionally] blemished, a person who eats an olive-sized portion of them is liable for lashes, for they are included in the category of "anything abhorrent." [It is forbidden to partake of them] until they contract another blemish, [at which time,]7 they may be eaten because of the blemish, as we explained.8 Whenever there is a unresolved doubt whether [a sacrificial animal] has been disqualified, lashes are not given.

ה

וְכֵן קָדָשִׁים שֶׁהֻטַּל בָּהֶם מוּם. הָאוֹכֵל מֵהֶם כְּזַיִת לוֹקֶה. הֲרֵי הֵם בִּכְלַל (דברים יד ג) "כָּל תּוֹעֵבָה" עַד שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד לָהֶם מוּם אַחֵר וְיֵאָכְלוּ בְּמוּמָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכָל שֶׁפִּסּוּלוֹ מִסָּפֵק אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו:

6

Whenever a sacrifice has been deemed piggul because of a disqualifying intent concerning time, as we explained,9 anyone who partakes of an olive-sized portion of it intentionally is liable for karet,10 as [implied by Leviticus 7:18]: "The soul which partakes of it will bear its sin."11 If one partakes of [the meat of such a sacrifice] inadvertently, he should bring a fixed sin-offering.12

ו

כָּל קָרְבָּן שֶׁנִּתְפַּגֵּל בְּמַחְשֶׁבֶת הַזְּמַן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ כָּל הָאוֹכֵל מִמֶּנּוּ כְּזַיִת בְּמֵזִיד חַיָּב כָּרֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז יח) "וְהַנֶּפֶשׁ הָאֹכֶלֶת מִמֶּנּוּ עֲוֹנָהּ תִּשָּׂא". וְאִם אָכַל מִמֶּנּוּ בִּשְׁגָגָה מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה:

7

One is not liable for karet unless one partakes of entities that were permitted for consumption, either by a person or by the altar.13 If, however, one eats of the entity that permits [the sacrifice to be eaten] itself, one is not liable for karet. Instead, he is liable for lashes like one who partakes of disqualified sacrificial animals for which the transgression of karet is not involved.

What is implied? When a meal-offering becomes piggul, one who partakes of an olive-sized portion of the remaining [meal]14 intentionally, he is liable for karet. If, however, he partakes of the handful [that is separated to be offered on the altar] or from the frankincense, he is not liable for karet, for these are the substances that enable [the meal to be eaten] by men. Similarly, when a sacrifice is deemed piggul, one who partakes of an olive-sized portion of its meat or of the fats and organs offered on the altar or from the meat of a burnt-offering is liable for karet. If, however, he partakes of an olive-sized portion of the blood, he is not liable for karet, because [the casting of] the blood permits the fats and the organs to be offered on the altar and [the offering of] the fats and the organs permit the meat [to be eaten by] a person. [Similarly,] the blood of a burnt-offering permits its meat [to be offered] on the altar. [The presentation of] the blood of a sin-offering of fowl permits its meat to be eaten by the priests. [The presentation of] the blood of a burnt-offering of fowl permits its meat to be offered on the altar.

[The presentation of] the blood of a sin-offering that is burnt permits its fats and the organs to be offered on the altar. Therefore one is liable for [partaking of] the fats and the organs as piggul. [Offering] the handful [of meal] and the frankincense permit a meal-offering to [be eaten by] the priests. [Offering] the two sheep15 on Shavuot permit the two loaves to [be eaten by] the priests. [Offering] the two bowls of frankincense permit the showbread to [be eaten by] the priests. Sacrificial entities that do not have entities that permit them [to be consumed either by the altar or by man], e.g., the meat of the sin-offerings that are burnt or the meal-offerings that are burnt, are never deemed as piggul.

ז

אֵין חַיָּבִין כָּרֵת אֶלָּא עַל אֲכִילַת דְּבָרִים שֶׁהֻתְּרוּ בֵּין לְאָדָם בֵּין לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֲבָל אִם אָכַל מִן הַמַּתִּיר עַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת אֶלָּא לוֹקֶה כְּאוֹכֵל פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם פִּגּוּל. כֵּיצַד. מִנְחָה שֶׁנִּתְפַּגְּלָה. הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִשְּׁיָרֶיהָ בְּמֵזִיד חַיָּב כָּרֵת. אֲבָל אִם אָכַל מִן הַקֹּמֶץ שֶׁלָּהּ אוֹ מִן הַלְּבוֹנָה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת. לְפִי שֶׁהֵן הֵן הַמַּתִּירִים אֶת הַשְּׁיָרִים לְאָדָם. וְכֵן זֶבַח שֶׁנִּתְפַּגֵּל. הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִבְּשָׂרוֹ אוֹ מֵאֵימוּרָיו אוֹ מִבְּשַׂר הָעוֹלָה חַיָּב כָּרֵת. אֲבָל אִם אָכַל כְּזַיִת מִן הַדָּם אֵינוֹ חַיָּב עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל. שֶׁהַדָּם מַתִּיר אֶת הָאֵימוּרִין לִקָּרֵב לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְהָאֵימוּרִין מַתִּירִין אֶת הַבָּשָׂר לָאָדָם. וְדַם הָעוֹלָה מַתִּיר בְּשָׂרָהּ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְדַם חַטַּאת הָעוֹף מַתִּיר בְּשָׂרָהּ לַכֹּהֲנִים. וְדַם עוֹלַת הָעוֹף מַתִּיר בְּשָׂרָהּ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְדַם חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת מַתִּיר אֵימוּרֵיהֶם לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. לְפִיכָךְ חַיָּבִין עַל אֵימוּרֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל. הַקֹּמֶץ וְהַלְּבוֹנָה מַתִּירִין הַשְּׁיָרִים לַכֹּהֲנִים. שְׁנֵי כִּבְשֵׂי עֲצֶרֶת מַתִּירִין שְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם לַכֹּהֲנִים. וְכֵן שְׁנֵי בְּזִיכֵי לְבוֹנָה מַתִּירִין לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים לַכֹּהֲנִים. אֲבָל דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם מַתִּירִין כְּגוֹן בְּשַׂר חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת וּמְנָחוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת אֵינָן מִתְפַּגְּלִין לְעוֹלָם:

8

These are the entities that are never deemed as piggul:16 the handful [of meal] and the frankincense; the incense-offering; the blood [of any sacrifice]; wine - whether wine that comes as part of the accompanying offerings17 or wine that is offered independently;18 and the meal-offerings that are burnt in their entirety; for there is not a handful that permits them, e.g., the meal-offering of a priest or the meal-offering of the accompanying offerings; the meat of the sin-offerings that are burnt; and the log of oil brought by a nazirite.

If one would ask [with regard to the latter instance]: Does not the blood of the guilt-offering [brought by the nazirite] permit the oil to be eaten? [In resolution, it can be said that] one is not dependent on the other, for a person may bring his guilt-offering one day and the log of oil after several days, as will be explained in the appropriate place.19

ח

וְאֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל לְעוֹלָם. הַקֹּמֶץ. וְהַלְּבוֹנָה. וְהַקְּטֹרֶת. וְהַדָּם. וְהַיַּיִן. בֵּין יַיִן הַבָּא עִם הַנְּסָכִים בֵּין יַיִן הַבָּא בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. וּמְנָחוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת כֻּלָּן שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לָהֶם קֹמֶץ לְהַתִּירָן. כְּגוֹן מִנְחַת כֹּהֲנִים וּמִנְחַת נְסָכִים וּבְשַׂר חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת. וְלוֹג שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל מְצֹרָע. וְאִם תֹּאמַר וַהֲלֹא דַּם הָאָשָׁם מַתִּירוֹ. אֵינוֹ תָּלוּי בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אָדָם מֵבִיא אֲשָׁמוֹ הַיּוֹם וְלוֹג אַחַר כַּמָּה יָמִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

9

It is forbidden to leave sacrificial meat beyond the time in which it may be eaten,20 as [Leviticus 22:30] states with regard to the thanksgiving-offering: "Do not leave it over until the morning." This same applies to all other sacrifices.21

One who leaves over sacrificial meat is not liable for lashes, for Scripture enables [the transgression] to be corrected22 by [the fulfillment of] a positive commandment,23 as [Exodus 12:10] states: "That which remains from it until the morning should be burnt with fire."

ט

אָסוּר לְהוֹתִיר מִבְּשַׂר הַקָּדָשִׁים לְאַחַר זְמַן אֲכִילָתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּקָרְבַּן תּוֹדָה (ויקרא כב ל) "לֹא תוֹתִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר" וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַקָּדָשִׁים כֻּלָּם. וְהַמּוֹתִיר אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְּקוֹ הַכָּתוּב לַעֲשֵׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב י) "וְהַנֹּתָר מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר בְּאֵשׁ תִּשְׂרֹפוּ":

10

One who partakes of an olive-sized portion of the meat of sacrifices that were left beyond their required time intentionally is liable for karet.24 If he did so unintentionally, he must bring a fixed sin-offering, as [Leviticus 19:8]: "He who partakes of it shall bear his sin, for he has desecrated what is holy unto God; [that soul] shall be cut off."

From when is a person held liable for partaking of notar [this left-over meat]? If it is from sacrifices of the most sacred order, he is liable from dawn.25 If it is from sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity,26 he is liable from sunset on the second day which is the beginning of the third day.

Where does the Torah warn against piggul and notar? With regard to [the sacrifices of] the dedication [of the Sanctuary], [Exodus 29:34] states: "[They shall not be eaten, for they are holy."27 This warns against [partaking of] any [sacrificial food] disqualified [in the Sanctuary], [stating] that there is a negative commandment against partaking of it.

י

הָאוֹכֵל כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר קָדָשִׁים שֶׁנּוֹתַר. בְּמֵזִיד חַיָּב כָּרֵת בְּשׁוֹגֵג מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט ח) "וְאֹכְלָיו עֲוֹנוֹ יִשָּׂא כִּי אֶת קֹדֶשׁ ה' חִלֵּל וְנִכְרְתָה". וּמֵאֵימָתַי יִתְחַיֵּב כָּרֵת עַל אֲכִילַת הַנּוֹתָר. אִם קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים הֵם חַיָּב עֲלֵיהֶן מֵאַחַר שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר. וְאִם קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים הֵם חַיָּב עֲלֵיהֶן מִשְּׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה שֶׁל יוֹם שֵׁנִי שֶׁהוּא תְּחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה שֶׁל יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי. וְהֵיכָן הִזְהִיר הַכָּתוּב עַל הַפִּגּוּל וְעַל הַנּוֹתָר. בַּמִּלּוּאִים. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר שָׁם (שמות כט לג) "לֹא יֹאכַל כִּי קֹדֶשׁ הֵם" לְהַזְהִיר עַל כָּל שֶׁפְּסוּלוֹ בְּקֹדֶשׁ שֶׁהוּא בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה עַל אֲכִילָתוֹ:

11

Piggul and notar can be combined to reach the minimum measure of an olive-sized portion28 [for which one is held liable]. All sacrificial foods that became piggul or notar can be combined [for this purpose].

יא

וְהַפִּגּוּל וְהַנּוֹתָר מִצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה לִכְזַיִת. וְכָל הַפִּגּוּלִים וְהַנּוֹתָרִין מִצְטָרְפִין:

12

It is forbidden to cause sacrificial foods to contract impurity or to create a circumstance that makes them impure,29 for he disqualifies them.30 One who makes sacrificial foods impure is not liable for lashes, but a person who is pure who partakes of an olive-sized portion of sacred foods that have become impure is liable for lashes,31 as [Leviticus 7:19] states: "Meat that will touch anything impure should not be eaten."

The same also applies with regard to other sacrifices. [For example,] if one partakes of an olive-sized portion of the frankincense of a meal-offering that became impure after it was sanctified in a utensil is liable for lashes. [This refers] both to sacrificial food that became impure before atonement was attained32 or afterwards, whether it became impure because of contact with a primary source of impurity33 or a derivative of impurity34 of Scriptural origin. If, however, sacrificial foods contracted impurity that is Rabbinic in origin, one is not liable for lashes for partaking of them; he does, however, receives stripes for rebellious conduct.35

[Even one who partakes of sacrificial food that contracts impurity of Scriptural origin] is liable for lashes only when he partakes of it after its blood is cast [on the altar]. If, by contrast, he partakes of it before the casting of its blood, he is not liable for lashes because he partook of impure sacrificial food.36 He does, however, receive stripes for rebellious conduct.

יב

אָסוּר לְטַמֵּא אֶת הַקָּדָשִׁים אוֹ לְסַבֵּב לָהֶם טֻמְאָה שֶׁהֲרֵי פּוֹסְלָן. וְהַמְטַמֵּא אֶת הַקָּדָשִׁים אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. אֲבָל אָדָם טָהוֹר שֶׁאָכַל כְּזַיִת מִקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ לוֹקֶה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז יט) "וְהַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע בְּכָל טָמֵא לֹא יֵאָכֵל". וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁאִם אָכַל כְּזַיִת מִלְּבוֹנַת הַמִּנְחָה שֶׁנִּטְמְאָה אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה בִּכְלִי לוֹקֶה. אֶחָד קָדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ לִפְנֵי כַּפָּרָה אוֹ לְאַחַר כַּפָּרָה. בֵּין שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ בְּאַב הַטֻּמְאָה אוֹ בִּוְלַד הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה. אֲבָל אִם נִטְמְאוּ בְּטֻמְאוֹת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה עַל אֲכִילָתָן. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא הָאוֹכֵל אַחַר זְרִיקַת דָּמִים. אֲבָל אִם אָכַל קֹדֶם זְרִיקָה אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם אוֹכֵל קֹדֶשׁ טָמֵא. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

13

Any person who contracted a form of impurity that would make him liable for karet for entering the Temple37 who ate an olive-sized portion of sacrificial food - whether the food is pure or impure38 - intentionally is liable for karet,39 as [Leviticus 7:20] states: "A soul that will partake... of the slaughter of the peace-offerings that are for God while his impurity is upon him and [that soul] shall be cut off." If he partakes of it inadvertently, he must bring an adjustable guilt-offering.40

What is the source that teaches that the verse is speaking about a situation where the person's body is ritually impure?41 [Leviticus 7:21] states: "When a soul will touch any impurity, whether impurity of a human, an impure animal, or an impure creature and he partook of the meat of the slaughter of the peace-offerings that are for God while his impurity is upon him and [that soul] shall be cut off."42 The same applies to all other sacrifices of the altar.

Where did [the Torah] warn concerning this prohibition? With regard to a woman who gave birth, [Leviticus 12:4] states: "She shall not touch anything that is sanctified."43

יג

כָּל אָדָם שֶׁנִּטְמָא טֻמְאָה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלֶיהָ כָּרֵת עַל בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְאָכַל כְּזַיִת מִן הַקָּדָשִׁים בֵּין בְּקֹדֶשׁ טָהוֹר בֵּין בְּקֹדֶשׁ טָמֵא. בְּמֵזִיד הֲרֵי זֶה נִתְחַיֵּב כָּרֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז כ) "וְהַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכַל מִזֶּבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים אֲשֶׁר לַה' וְטֻמְאָתוֹ עָלָיו וְנִכְרְתָה". וְאִם אָכַל בִּשְׁגָגָה מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן עוֹלֶה וְיוֹרֵד. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּטֻמְאַת הַגּוּף שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז כא) "וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי תִגַּע בְּכָל טָמֵא בְּטֻמְאַת אָדָם אוֹ בִּבְהֵמָה טְמֵאָה אוֹ בְּכָל שֶׁקֶץ טָמֵא וְאָכַל מִבְּשַׂר זֶבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים אֲשֶׁר לַה' וְנִכְרְתָה". וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר קָדְשֵׁי מִזְבֵּחַ. וְהֵיכָן הִזְהִיר עַל עָוֹן זֶה בְּיוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא יב ד) "בְּכָל קֹדֶשׁ לֹא תִגָּע":

14

According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that [the verse] is a warning to a person who is impure, that he or she should not partake of sacrificial food before he immerses himself [in a mikveh]. If one partakes of sacrificial food after immersion, before sunset of that day and before bringing the sacrifice that brings atonement,44 he or she is liable for lashes, but not for karet, for [Leviticus 7:20] states "while his impurity is upon him." [Implied is that] the full measure of impurity must be upon him.45

יד

מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזּוֹ אַזְהָרָה לְטָמֵא שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל קֹדֶשׁ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטְבּל. וְהָאוֹכֵל קֹדֶשׁ אַחַר שֶׁטָּבַל קֹדֶם שֶׁיֶּעֱרַב שִׁמְשׁוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּבִיא כַּפָּרָתוֹ לוֹקֶה. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז כ) "וְטֻמְאָתוֹ עָלָיו" עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה כָּל טֻמְאָתוֹ עָלָיו:

15

If a person was impure because of impurity resulting from a Rabbinic ordinance, he is not liable for lashes [if he partakes of sacrificial food].46 Needless to say, he is not liable for karet. He does, however, receive stripes for rebellious conduct.

טו

הָיָה טָמֵא בְּטֻמְאוֹת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

16

One is not liable for karet for partaking of sacrificial food that is made permitted by a particular act unless one partakes of it after that act is performed. If, however, he partakes of the meat [of a sacrifice] before its blood is cast on the altar, he is not liable for lashes for partaking of sacrificial meat while impure.47

This is the general principle: Whenever sacrificial food is permitted because [of the performance of] a particular act, one is not liable for the violation of any of the prohibitions against partaking of piggul, notar, or impure sacrificial food unless the act which permits partaking of the food was performed according to law. Whenever there is not a given act that makes sacrificial food permitted, once it is sanctified in a consecrated vessel, one is liable for partaking of it if it becomes impure. Even if [sacrificial] meat becomes impure before the person partaking of it becomes impure, if the act [that would have] permitted the meat to be eaten was performed and the person partook of the sacrificial food, he is liable for karet.48 Similarly, if a person who is impure partakes of the meat of the sin-offerings that are burnt, after their blood is cast [on the altar],49 he is liable for karet.

טז

אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת עַל קֹדֶשׁ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מַתִּירִין עַד שֶׁיֹּאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ אַחַר שֶׁקָּרְבוּ מַתִּירָיו. אֲבָל אִם אָכַל אֶת הַבָּשָׂר קֹדֶם זְרִיקַת הַדָּם אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם טָמֵא שֶׁאָכַל אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מַתִּירִין אֵין חַיָּבִין עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל אוֹ מִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר אוֹ מִשּׁוּם טָמֵא עַד שֶׁיֻּקְרְבוּ מַתִּירָיו כְּהִלְכָתָן. וְכָל שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מַתִּירִין כֵּיוָן שֶׁקָּדַשׁ בִּכְלִי חַיָּבִין עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם טֻמְאָה. אֲפִלּוּ נִטְמָא הַבָּשָׂר קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטָּמֵא הָאוֹכֵל הוֹאִיל וְקָרְבוּ הַמַּתִּירִין וְאַחַר כָּךְ אָכַל חַיָּב כָּרֵת. וְכֵן אִם אָכַל מִבְּשַׂר חַטָּאוֹת הַנִּשְׂרָפוֹת וְהוּא טָמֵא אַחַר שֶׁנִּזְרַק דָּמָם הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב כָּרֵת:

17

It was already explained for you,50 that even entities for which one is not liable for piggul, one may be liable for notar or because the object contracted ritual impurity?

What is implied? There is no liability for piggul for sacrificial entities that do not have an activity that permits them [to be eaten], but one may be held liable [for partaking of them if they] became notar or impure in such circumstances.

Similarly, even though there cannot be liability for piggul for the very entities that cause the sacrificial meat to be permitted, as we explained,51 one can be liable [for partaking of such entities if the sacrificial meat] became notar or impure with the exception of the blood. For one is liable for only one transgression for partaking of it.52

יז

כְּבָר נִתְבָּאֵר לְךָ שֶׁאַף דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר וְטָמֵא. כֵּיצַד. דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם מַתִּירִין אֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל וְחַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶם מִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר וְטָמֵא. וְכֵן הַמַּתִּירִין עַצְמָן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶם מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר וְטָמֵא. חוּץ מִן הַדָּם שֶׁאֵין חַיָּבִין עָלָיו לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם דָּבָר אֶחָד בִּלְבַד:

18

When a person who is impure partakes of the fats and organs to be offered on the altar, he is liable for karet.

יח

טָמֵא שֶׁאָכַל אֵימוּרִין חַיָּב כָּרֵת:

19

[If an impure person] partook53 of Paschal sacrifice that was not roasted breads of the thanksgiving-offering of which the breads [to be given to the priest] were not taken, he is liable for karet because of the impurity of [his] body even though they are not fit for their [purpose at this stage].54

It is impossible for a person to be liable for the transgressions of piggul and notar with regard to consumption of the same sacrifice.55 [The rationale is that] piggul is a sacrifice that was disqualified because of an unacceptable thought concerning time. It does not fulfill the obligations of a sacrifice and is not acceptable at all. Notar, by contrast, refers to the remnants of a sacrifice that was offered as required which remained after the time [prescribed] for its consumption.

יט

אָכַל פֶּסַח שֶׁלֹּא נִצְלָה. וְלַחְמֵי תּוֹדָה שֶׁלֹּא הוּרְמָה חַלָּתָן. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב כָּרֵת מִשּׁוּם טֻמְאַת הַגּוּף. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְמַה שֶּׁהֵן. אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּתְחַיֵּב אָדָם עַל אֲכִילָה אַחַת מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל וּמִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר. שֶׁהַפִּגּוּל הוּא הַקָּרְבָּן שֶׁנִּפְסַל בְּמַחְשֶׁבֶת הַזְּמַן וְאֵינוֹ עוֹלֶה לְשֵׁם קָרְבָּן וְלֹא נִרְצָה כְּלָל. וְהַנּוֹתָר הוּא הַנִּשְׁאָר מִקָּרְבָּן שֶׁקָּרֵב כְּמִצְוָתוֹ לְאַחַר זְמַן אֲכִילָתוֹ:

20

When one combined [different types of sacrificial food that were] piggul, notar, and impure and partook of them,56 he is liable. Even though there was more of one type of prohibited substance than another, it does not nullify it, because [these] prohibited substances do not nullify each other.57

כ

הַפִּגּוּל וְהַנּוֹתָר וְהַטָּמֵא שֶׁבְּלָלָן זֶה בָּזֶה וַאֲכָלָן חַיָּב. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרִבָּה מִין עַל חֲבֵרוֹ אֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ שֶׁאֵין הָאִסּוּרִין מְבַטְּלִין זֶה אֶת זֶה:

21

When [sacrificial meat] that was piggul, notar, or impure was brought up to the altar, once the fire takes hold of the majority of it, their prohibitions take flight.

The fat and the organs can be combined with the meat, both with regard to a burnt offering or to other sacrifices with regard to the prohibitions of piggul, notar, or [sacrificial meat] that has become impure.

כא

וּפִגּוּל אוֹ נוֹתָר אוֹ טָמֵא שֶׁהֶעֱלָן לְרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִשֶּׁמָּשְׁלָה הָאוּר בְּרֻבָּן פָּקַע אִסּוּרָן מֵהֶן. וְהָאֵמוּרִין מִצְטָרְפִין עִם הַבָּשָׂר לִכְזַיִת בֵּין בְּעוֹלָה בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר קָדָשִׁים לְחַיֵּב עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל אוֹ נוֹתָר אוֹ טָמֵא:

22

When a sacrifice becomes piggul or notar after the time for its consumption passes and a person partakes of it, from its skin, from the sauce or spices [in which it is cooked], the allal,58 the murah,59 from the giddim,60 the horns, and the hoofs, the nails, the beak [of a fowl], its feathers,61 or its eggs, he is not liable for karet.62 Similarly, if an impure person partakes of these substances from an acceptable sacrifice, he is not liable for karet. He is, however, given stripes for rebellious conduct.

כב

זֶבַח שֶׁנִּתְפַּגֵּל. אוֹ שֶׁנּוֹתַר לְאַחַר זְמַנּוֹ וְאָכַל מִמֶּנּוּ. מִן הָעוֹר. אוֹ מִן הַמָּרָק. אוֹ מִן הַתַּבְלִין. אוֹ מִן הָאָלָל. אוֹ מִן הַמֻּרְאָה. מִן הַגִּידִים וּמִן הַקַּרְנַיִם וּמִן הַטְּלָפַיִם. מִן הַצִּפָּרְנַיִם מִן הַחַרְטֹם וּמִן הַנּוֹצָה וּמִבֵּיצֵי הָעוֹף. אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת. וְכֵן טְמֵא הַגּוּף שֶׁאָכַל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ מִקָּרְבָּן כָּשֵׁר אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

23

If one partook of a fetus or a placenta, he is liable for [violating the prohibitions of] piggul, notar, or [sacrificial meat] that has become impure like one who partake of any other [portion of] the meat of a sacrifice.63

כג

אָכַל מִן הַשָּׁלִיל. אוֹ מִן הַשִּׁלְיָא. חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל וְנוֹתָר וְטָמֵא כְּאוֹכֵל מִשְּׁאָר בְּשַׂר הַזֶּבַח:

24

[The prohibitions of] piggul, notar, or [sacrificial meat] that has become impure do not apply with regard to sacrifices brought by gentiles.64 Nor do they apply to sacrificial blood, as explained.65 Similarly, one is not liable for karet66 for [the prohibitions of] piggul, notar, or partaking of [sacrificial entities] while impure67 for partaking of frankincense, the incense offering, or the wood [of the altar].68

כד

קָדְשֵׁי עַכּוּ''ם אֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶם מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל וְנוֹתָר וְטָמֵא. וְכֵן דַּם הַקָּדָשִׁים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכֵן הַלְּבוֹנָה וְהַקְּטֹרֶת וְהָעֵצִים אֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן כָּרֵת לֹא מִשּׁוּם פִּגּוּל וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם נוֹתָר וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם טֻמְאַת הַגּוּף:

Footnotes
1.

The wording used by the Rambam is often employed when referring to one of the 613 mitzvot. Nevertheless, neither in the listing at the beginning of these halachot, nor in Sefer HaMitzvot, does he count this charge in that reckoning. The Ramban (in his Hosafot to Sefer HaMitzvot, negative commandment 4) does give this charge that distinction. Megilat Esther explains that this charge is part of the directive to offer sacrifices in the proper manner and hence need not be considered as a separate mitzvah. See also Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 144) where the issue is discussed.

2.

As is one who causes a blemish to sacrificial animals (Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 1:7).

3.

And lashes are given only when one violates a transgression while performing a deed (Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:2).

4.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 140) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 469) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

5.

See the Sifri to the verse cited.

6.

The Rambam is emphasizing this point lest one think that the charge also refers to other prohibited substances. This stress is necessary, for otherwise the prohibition could be considered a prohibition of a general nature (lav shebiklalut). Lashes are not given for violating a prohibition of this nature (Hilchot Sanhedrin, loc. cit.).

7.

After they have been redeemed. As the Rambam LeAm elaborates, in addition to contracting a blemish, an animal dedicated as a sacrifice must be redeemed before the prohibition against partaking of its meat is lifted. (This constitutes a difference between the laws pertaining to such an animal and a firstborn animal.) Even after the Scriptural prohibition is lifted, there is a Rabbinic prohibition to partake of its meat until it contracts another blemish on its own accord. (This prohibition was instituted as a penalty lest one intentionally inflict such a blemish. See Bechorot 34b.)

8.

The Rambam's wording has aroused the attention of the commentaries, for this law is stated in Hilchot Bechorot 2:7, where the entire law stated here is mentioned. As such, it would have been more correct for the Rambam to have stated "as will be explained." Some have suggested that the intent here is to the concept that a sacrificial animal that has contracted a blemish may be eaten after being redeemed, as stated in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 1:10.

9.

In various halachot from Chapter 13, Halachah 1, onward.

10.

Literally, that the soul is 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).

11.

Since this phrase is also used with regard to notar (sacrificial meat left beyond its limit) in Leviticus 19:8 and the punishment of karet is explicitly stated with regard to that prohibition in that verse, the Sifra makes an equation with regard to the punishment for the two transgressions.

12.

This term is used to differentiate between this offering and an adjustable guilt-offering in which instance, the sacrifice the person required to bring is dependent on the person's means. See Hilchot Shegagot 1:3-4.

13.

Entities eaten by a person or consumed by the altar's pyre.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 4:3), the Rambam explains this concept as follows: The prohibition of piggul is derived from Leviticus 7:18 which pertains to the peace-offerings. Our Sages explain that the peace-offerings are unique in that they involve both consumption by the altar and consumption by man and that there is an act that permits such consumption (the offering of the blood permits the fats and organs to be offered and offering them permits the meat to be eaten). Hence this is established as a general rule with regard to all sacrifices.

14.

I.e., the portion to be eaten by man.

15.

The sheep themselves, however, can also become piggul, as stated in Chapter 17, Halachah 16.

16.

For there is no other act performed that enables these to be offered.

17.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot, ch. 2.

18.

Ibid. 17:12.

19.

See Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 4:2.

It must be noted that the latter point is the subject of a difference of opinion in the Mishnah. Rabbi Shimon maintains that the log cannot become piggul, while Rabbi Meir maintains that it can for the reasons stated here. Although the standard published text of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah states that the halachah follows Rabbi Shimon's view (as the Rambam rules here), Rav Kappach notes that all the manuscript copies of the Commentary to the Mishnah state that the halachah does not follow Rabbi Shimon.

20.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 120) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 142) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

21.

Nevertheless, Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandments 117-119) does count the prohibitions against leaving over the meat of the Paschal sacrifice, the chagigah offering, and the second Paschal sacrifice as separate commandments.

22.

The Kessef Mishneh questions why the Rambam mentions this point. True, it is mentioned by Pesachim 84a, but that passage follows the opinion that lashes can be given for the violation of a prohibition even if a deed is not involved. The Rambam (Hilchot Sanhedrin 18:2) maintains that lashes are not given unless the transgression involves a deed. Hence, seemingly, he does not have to add the explanation given here.

23.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 91) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 143) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

24.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 131) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 215) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

25.

The first shining of the light on the eastern horizon, between 72 and 120 minutes before sunrise according to the various authorities.

26.

With the exception of the thanksgiving-offering and the nazirite's ram for which one is liable from dawn of the day following their sacrifice.

27.

The commentaries note that the Rambam's citation of the verse is not entirely exact. See also Sefer HaMitzvot, loc. cit.

28.

From the wording of the Mishnah (Meilah 4:3), one might think that these two prohibitions are not combined. Nevertheless, the Talmud (Meilah 17b) states that the Mishnah is speaking about the impurity of one's hands, but that with regard to the prohibition against partaking of the food, they may be combined.

29.

Although the Rambam's wording implies that a Scriptural prohibition is involved, he does not include it as one of the 613 mitzvot. See a parallel in Hilchot Terumah 12:1.

30.

The Or Sameach comments that the Rambam's wording implies that if the sacrificial foods were disqualified for other reasons, it is permitted to cause them to contract impurity. See Chapter 19, Halachot 5-6.

31.

Partaking of sacrificial foods that have become impure is considered by Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 130) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 145) as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

32.

The attainment of atonement refers to the casting of the blood on the altar.

Although the sacrifice became impure before the blood was cast on the altar, after the fact, it is acceptable, because the forehead plate of the High Priest causes such sacrifices to be considered acceptable (Menachot 25b). And since, after the fact, it is acceptable, one is liable for partaking of it if it became piggul.

33.

In the original, an av tumah, literally, "a father of impurity," an object deemed inherently impure by Scripture decree which has the potential to make other objects impure. See the Rambam's introduction to the Order of Taharot in his Commentary to the Mishnah and also, Hilchot Tumat Meit 5:7 for more details regarding this and the term mentioned in the following note.

34.

In the original, a v'lad tumah, literally, "the offspring of impurity," an object that contracts ritual impurity through contract with a primary source of impurity, which in certain instances can impart impurity to other substances.

35.

The punishment given anyone who violates a Rabbinic ordinance.

36.

Because such a sacrifice is disqualified and, as an initial preference, its blood should not be offered on the altar. The Mishneh LiMelech states that he is, however, liable for lashes for partaking of sacrificial food before its blood was cast on the altar, as stated in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 11:1,4.

37.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 3:13-14. As mentioned in the Kessef Mishneh, there are certain states of ritual impurity for which one is not liable for karet for entering the Temple. This prohibition, however, focuses only on those concerning which this penalty can be incurred, because of an association between the words mikdash, "sanctuary," and kodesh, "sacrificial food."

38.

There is a difference of opinion concerning this matter in the Mishnah (Zevachim 13:2) because there are two prohibitions involved: the prohibition against partaking of impure sacrificial meat and the prohibition against a person who is impure partaking of sacrificial meat. Rabbi Yossi maintains that since the meat is impure and unfit to be eaten, we are not concerned whether the person is impure or not. The Sages, by contrast, maintain that since the impure person is forbidden to partake of pure sacrificial food, the prohibition also applies when partakes of impure sacrificial food. The Rambam accepts the Sages' opinion. See also Halachah 16.

39.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 129) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 167) consider this prohibition as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

40.

An obligation for which the offering changes dependent on the person's financial capacity (see Leviticus, ch. 5; Hilchot Shegagot 10:1).

41.

For one could interpret the above verse as referring to sacrificial food that contracted ritual impurity.

42.

This verse clearly indicates that the passage is speaking about a person who has contracted ritual impurity.

43.

The interpretation of the verse is explained in the following halachah.

44.

As stated in Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah, ch. 1, to be permitted to partake of sacrificial food or to enter the Temple, a zav (a male who has secretions similar to those produced by gonorrhea), a zavah (a woman who experiences vaginal bleeding outside her menstrual cycle), a woman who gives birth or miscarries, and a person afflicted by the skin condition of tzara'at must do the following after they are fit to emerge from their ritual impurity: a) immerse in the mikveh, b) wait until nightfall after immersion, and c) bring the appropriate sacrifice.

45.

Since the person has already immersed in the mikveh, a certain dimension of his or her ritual impurity has been removed. Hence, although he or she is liable for lashes for this transgression, there is no liability for karet.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that even in such a situation, one is liable for karet. As mentioned in the notes to Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 3:9, the Kessef Mishneh cites Talmudic passages which could be used as support for both positions.

46.

For according to Scriptural Law, he is not liable. Compare to Halachah 12.

47.

In this instance as well, according to the Mishneh LiMelech, the person would be liable for lashes for partaking of sacrificial food before its blood was cast on the altar, as stated in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 11:1,4.

48.

See Halachah 13 and notes.

49.

For afterwards, they are ready to be burnt.

50.

I.e., this conclusion can be reached by comparing Halachah 7 with the previous halachah. An equation is made between sacrificial meat that is notar and that which contracted ritual impurity.

51.

In Halachah 7.

52.

I.e., the prohibition against partaking of blood, which appears uniformly, both to the blood of sacrificial animals and to that of ordinary animals. Since it is already prohibited, none of the other prohibitions apply to it. See Zevachim 4:5.

53.

This is the version accepted by the R. Shabsi Frankel edition of the Mishneh Torah. The Kessef Mishneh offers a different version of the text.

54.

I.e., although these activities are necessary for these sacrifices to be acceptable, a person can still be held liable for partaking of the sacrifice in a state of ritual impurity.

55.

This is a general rule. There are several particular aspects to it, as explained in Keritot 14a.

56.

This is speaking about a situation where there is an olive-sized portion of all the prohibited substances. Nevertheless, one might think that the presence of one might nullify the other. The person receives a set of lashes for each prohibition he violates.

57.

Instead, as stated in Halachah 11, they are combined together.

The commentaries have noted that this ruling appears to contradict the Rambam's own ruling in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 16:18, that orlah nullifies the presence of terumah. See also the Beit Yosef, Yoreh De'ah 98.

It can be explained that in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot, the Rambam is speaking about an instance where there is sufficient amount of kosher food to nullify the prohibited substance according to Scriptural Law (for only a majority is required). Hence, for the additional amount required by Rabbinic Law, a forbidden substance is also sufficient. In this instance, however, the substances are not nullified according to Scriptural Law. Hence, one forbidden substance cannot nullify another.

58.

In Chapter 14, Halachah 7, the Rambam defines this as: "the meat that slipped by the knife at the time the animal was skinned and remains cleaving to the hide."

59.

The thin membrane that clings to the hide and separates between it and the meat; it is not fit to be eaten (ibid.).

60.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Zevachim 3:4), the Rambam explains that this is a general term referring to blood vessels, nerves, and sinews.

61.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Taharot 1:2), the Rambam explains that this term refers to the growth that remains after the large feathers are removed.

62.

For these entities are not considered as fit to be eaten.

63.

Based on a comparison to Chapter 14, Halachah 7, the Ra'avad explains this should be understood as meaning that if one intended to eat the meat of a sacrifice after the time when it was supposed to be eaten, the entire sacrifice, even the fetus and the placenta, become piggul. If, however, one's intent is to partake of the fetus or the placenta, the sacrifice does not become piggul.

64.

As stated in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 3:2, burnt-offerings brought by a gentile may be offered on the altar. According to the Rambam, even though such sacrifices are acceptable, these prohibitions do not apply.

The commentaries note that the Rambam's ruling appears to reflect the understanding of Rabbi Shimon in Zevachim 4:3 and, most authorities - including the Rambam in his Commentary to the Mishnah - follow the view of Rabbi Yossi who differs. It can, however, be explained that Rabbi Shimon's opinion concerns only "one who offers them outside the Temple." The preceding clause of the mishnah concerning piggul and the like is accepted by all opinions (Kessef Mishneh).

In truth, the Rambam's opinion concerning this issue is somewhat problematic. His acceptance of Rabbi Yossi's view in his ruling in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 19:16. Nevertheless, his ruling in Hilchot Me'ilah 5:15, like the one here, appears to follow Rabbi Shimon's view.

65.

Halachah 17 above.

66.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, explaining that it reflects the understanding of Rabbi Shimon in the above mishnah. Rav Kapach notes that in the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, his original writing was rubbed out and his final statement is: "The halachah does not follow Rabbi Shimon." The Kessef Mishneh offers a resolution to the difficulty explaining that the Rambam is postulating that the transgressor is liable for lashes and not for karet. The exemption for karet is accepted by all opinions. Rabbi Shimon exempts the transgressor from lashes as well, but the initial opinion of the mishnah - which is accepted by the Rambam - holds him liable on that account.

67.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam equates a person partaking of them while he is impure with one partaking of them while they are impure. The Kessef Mishneh debates the Rambam's intent here.

68.

Although wood does not usually contract impurity, sacrificial wood may [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.)].

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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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