Whenever any of the persons who are disqualified from performing Temple service take the handful of meal from a meal-offering,1 the offering is disqualified.2 Similarly, if one of these individuals collected the frankincense,3 the offering is unacceptable, even if he did not take the handful of meal.


[In all the following situations, a meal-offering] is disqualified:4

a) the handful [of meal] was taken by an acceptable [priest] and given to one who is not acceptable;

b) [the priest] took the handful with his right hand and then transferred it to his left hand and then placed it in a utensil;

c) he took the handful [of meal] from a sacred utensil and placed it in an ordinary utensil.


If [while] taking a handful of meal, he lifted up a pebble, a grain of salt, or a particle of frankincense, it is disqualified.5


If he took the handful when he was outside [the Temple Courtyard] and then entered [the Courtyard], he should take a handful inside the Courtyard6 and it is acceptable.


If the handful became scattered on the floor [of the Temple Courtyard], he should collect it again.7


[In all the following instances,] a meal-offering [is unacceptable]:

it was not placed in a sacred utensil,

the handful of meal was not placed in a sacred utensil,

it was brought to the altar8 while not in a sacred utensil,9

or it was mixed with oil outside the Temple Courtyard; [it is acceptable] only if it was mixed with oil in the Courtyard.10


All of the meal-offerings are acceptable even if oil was poured over them by someone who was unacceptable for Temple service, e.g., a non-priest or the like, or such a person mixed [the oil with the meal], broke [wafers] into pieces,11 or put salt upon them. If [such a person] approached the altar with them or waved them,12 a priest should approach the altar with them and/or wave them again. If a priest did not approach the altar with them and/or wave them again, they are [nevertheless] acceptable. [This is derived from Leviticus 2:2:] "And he shall bring it to the sons of Aaron and [one] shall take a handful..." From taking the handful and onward, the mitzvah must be performed by a priest.13 Pouring and mixing [the oil] may be performed by a non-priest.


When even the slightest amount of oil from another meal-offering or oil that was not consecrated falls into a meal-offering, it is disqualified. If [the full measure14 of] its oil is lacking, it is disqualified. If, [by contrast, the full measure15 of] its frankincense is lacking, it is acceptable provided there are at least two particles of frankincense upon it. If there is only one particle, it is disqualified, as it is written:16 "on all its frankincense."17


If he added to its [measure of] oil and frankincense, [including] up to two lugim for every isaron and [up to] two handfuls of frankincense for every meal offering,18 it is acceptable. If one uses two lugim or two handfuls or more, it is disqualified.


If one placed oil on the meal offering of a sinner19 or on the handful of meal taken from it, it is disqualified.20 If one placed frankincense on it, it should be gathered up.21 If [the frankincense] is ground, [the offering] is unacceptable because of the doubt, because it is impossible to gather [the frankincense].


If one placed oil on the remnants [of such a meal-offering] after the handful was removed, he is not liable for lashes,22 nor does he disqualify the offering,23 for the handful is acceptable.


If he placed even the smallest amount of oil24 on an olive-sized portion25 of the meal-offering,26 he disqualifies it because of the doubt involved. If, however, he placed oil on less than an olive-sized portion, he does not disqualify it. One does not disqualify [a meal-offering] with frankincense27 unless he places an olive-sized portion28 [on the offering].


Even if he placed frankincense on the smallest portion of the meal-offering, he disqualifies it until he gathers it.


If one mixed water with the meal and then took a handful, it is acceptable. [The Torah's requirement29 that the offering be] "dry" [refers only] to oil.


A meal-offering from which a handful was taken twice - or many times - is acceptable, provided an olive-sized portion is offered on the altar's pyre at once. For no less than an olive-sized portion may be offered on the altar.


If one offered the handful [of meal30 on the altar] without salt, it is unacceptable,31 for the salt is an absolute requirement for a meal-offering, as we explained.32 When a meal-offering was lacking33 before the handful was taken, he should bring [more meal] from home and complete the measure. For taking the handful is what defines [the meal as] an offering,34 not placing it into a sacred vessel.


When a person donates a handful35 of frankincense independently, it is unacceptable if it is lacking at all. Similarly, if the two bowls of frankincense that accompany the [show]bread36 are lacking even the slightest amount, they are unacceptable. They must contain two handfuls from the beginning until the end.


[The following rules apply when a] person set aside two handfuls [of frankincense] for one offering37 and one was lost. If this occurred before the handful [of meal] was taken, [the association between them and this offering] was not [yet] established.38 If it occurred afterwards, [the association] has been established and [the offering] is unacceptable, because he increased its frankincense.

Similar [laws apply if one] sets aside four handfuls for the two bowls of the [show]bread39 and two were lost. If this occurred before the bowls were removed [from the showbread],40 [the association between them] was not established and they are acceptable. If it occurred after the bowls were removed, [the association] was established and they are disqualified, because of the extra amount.


When the handful taken from a meal offering became impure and then it was offered on the altar's pyre,41 the High Priest's forehead plate causes it to be considered acceptable, as [Exodus 28:38] states: "And Aaron shall bear [the iniquity....]"42

If the handful was taken outside the Temple Courtyard and then brought in and offered on the altar's pyre, the forehead plate does not cause it to be considered acceptable. For the forehead plate causes [sacrifices tainted by] impurity to be considered acceptable, but not those which are taken outside the Temple Courtyard.


If one took the handful from a meal-offering and then the entire remainder [of the offering] became impure,43 was burnt, was taken out of the Temple Courtyard,44 or was lost, the handful should not be offered on the altar's pyre. [After the fact,] if it was offered, it is accepted [Above].45 If a small amount of the remnants [of the offering] remained acceptable, the handful should be offered. [Nevertheless,] the remnant that remains is forbidden to be eaten.46


If there was a divider in the lower portion of a vessel containing an isaron [of flour] for a meal-offering, even though [the flour] is mixed together above, one should not take a handful.47 If one did, it is unacceptable.


If, [by contrast,] the container was separated by a divider above, but [the contents] were mixed together below, one may take a handful from it.48


If one divided the isaron in a single container and thus the portions were not touching each other, but there was no divider between them, there is an unresolved doubt whether the container causes [the two portions to be considered as] combined or not. Therefore, [at the outset,] one should not take the handful [in such an instance].49 If one did take the handful, it should not be offered on the altar's pyre. If it was offered, it is accepted [Above], but the remainder [of the offering] should not be eaten.50


If one took a handful [of flour from a meal-offering] and placed the handful on the top of the [Golden] Table [elevated to] the height of the arrangement of the showbread,51 the Table causes it to be sanctified in that it can be disqualified,52 but it does not sanctify it so that it can be offered. For [the handful of flour] should not be sacrificed until it was sanctified in a sacred vessel fit for the handful [of flour].


If he attached the handful to the wall of the vessel and took it or overturned the vessel above his hand and took the handful while the opening of the vessel was turned downward, it should not be offered on the altar's pyre.53 If it was offered, it is accepted [Above].


[The following rules apply when] an isaron was divided and one of its portions were lost, another portion was set aside in its stead, the lost portion was found and the three are all placed in one container, but are not touching each other. If the portion that was lost becomes impure, it is combined with the first portion and they are disqualified.54 The portion that was set aside [as a replacement] is not combined with them55 and it should be supplemented [to produce a full isaron].

If the portion set aside [as a replacement] becomes impure, it and the first portion are combined and disqualified.56 The portion that was [lost and] discovered is not combined with them.57 If the initial portion becomes impure, both the portion that was lost and the portion set aside because of it are combined with it.58


Similar concepts apply with regard to taking the handful. If one took the handful from the portion that was [lost and then] discovered, the remainder of it and the first portion59 may be eaten and the portion that was set aside [afterwards] may not be eaten.60 If one took the handful from the portion that was set aside [afterwards] the remainder of it and the first portion may be eaten and the portion that was [lost and then] discovered may not be eaten. If one took the handful from the first portion, neither [of the other] two may be eaten.61 [The rationale is that] they are both extra portions.62 For together they are an entire isaron and thus resemble an entire isaron from which a handful was not taken and which is hence, forbidden.

[One might ask:] How can the handful [that was taken] be offered, since there is an isaron and a half [in the vessel]? Because taking the handful is dependent on the intent of the priest and when he takes the handful, he has his mind on an isaron alone and the portions [of the isaron] are not touching each other.63


When a handful [taken from] a meal-offering became mixed with a handful [taken from] another meal-offering, they should both be offered on the altar's pyre together and they are acceptable. Similarly, it is acceptable if a handful [taken from a meal-offering] became mixed with a meal-offering of a priest,64 the meal-offering from an accompanying offering,65 or the chavitin offering of the High Priest.66 They should be offered on the altar's pyre together. [The rationale is that all of these substances] are offered on [the altar's] fire in their entirety.


[The following rules apply when] two meal-offerings from which a handful had not been separated become mixed together. If [the priest] can remove a handful from each one separately, they are acceptable. If not, they are disqualified.


When a handful [taken from a meal-offering] becomes mixed together with a meal-offering from which a handful had not been taken, it should not be offered on the altar's pyre.67 If one did offer the entire mixture, the owner of [the offering] from which the handful was taken is considered to have fulfilled his obligation and the owner of the one from which the handful was not taken is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation.


If the handful [taken from a meal-offering] becomes mixed together with the remaining portions of the offering or the remaining portions become mixed together with the remaining portions of another meal-offering,68 it69 should not be offered.70 If it was offered, the owner is considered to have fulfilled his obligation.