Get the best of content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 3

Show content in:

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 3


When a person pledges the airech of someone less than 20 years old and he does not stand before [a court for] appraisal until he exceeds that age, the donor is required to give only the airech of one less than 20.1 For the airech is defined only at the time that it is pledged and not at the time one stands before the court.2


הַמַּעֲרִיךְ אֶת הַפָּחוּת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים וְלֹא עָמַד בְּדִין עַד שֶׁהָיָה יֶתֶר עַל עֶשְׂרִים אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן אֶלָּא עֵרֶךְ פָּחוּת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים. שֶׁאֵין הָעֵרֶךְ אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן הָעֵרֶךְ לֹא בִּזְמַן הַהַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין:


All of the arechim that are explicitly mentioned in the Torah are to be given when the one who makes the pledge is wealthy.3 If, however, he was poor and he does not have the means, he is [required to] give everything that he possesses - even if it is only a sela4 - and he discharges his obligation, as [Leviticus 27:8] states: "If he is too poor [to pay] the airech... the priest should evaluate him5 according to his capacity."


כָּל הָעֲרָכִין הַקְּצוּבִין בַּתּוֹרָה הֵן שֶׁנּוֹתֵן הַמַּעֲרִיךְ אִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עָנִי וְאֵין יָדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת נוֹתֵן כָּל הַנִּמְצָא בְּיָדוֹ אֲפִלּוּ סֶלַע אֶחָד וְנִפְטָר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז ח) "וְאִם מָךְ הוּא מֵעֶרְכֶּךָ" (ויקרא כז ח) "עַל פִּי אֲשֶׁר תַּשִּׂיג יַד הַנֹּדֵר":


Which source teaches that if he possesses only one sela, it is sufficient to give that sela? [Leviticus, ibid.,] states: "All of your arechim will be in holy shekalim."6 This teaches that there is no airech less than a sela, not more than 50.7


וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהוּא נוֹתֵן אֲפִלּוּ סֶלַע אֶחָד אִם אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא סֶלַע אֶחָד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כה) "וְכָל עֶרְכְּךָ יִהְיֶה בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ" הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁאֵין בַּעֲרָכִין פָּחוֹת מִסֶּלַע וְלֹא יוֹתֵר עַל חֲמִשִּׁים:


If the person does not possess even a sela, we do not take less than a sela from him. Instead, the entire amount is considered as a debt incumbent upon him. If he acquires property and becomes wealthy,8 he must pay a full airech as prescribed by the Torah.


הֲרֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִמְצָא בְּיָדוֹ אֲפִלּוּ סֶלַע אֵין לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ פָּחוֹת מִסֶּלַע. אֶלָּא יִשָּׁאֵר הַכּל עָלָיו חוֹב וְאִם מָצְאָה יָדוֹ וְהֶעֱשִׁיר יִתֵּן עֵרֶךְ שָׁלֵם הַקָּצוּב בַּתּוֹרָה:


When a rich person [pledged an airech] and then became poor, or when a poor person pledged an airech and became wealthy [before he was evaluated], he must give a full airech.9 If, however, he pledged an airech when he was poor, became wealthy, and then became poor again [before he was evaluated], he may give the airech required of a poor man.


עָשִׁיר שֶׁהֶעֱרִיךְ וְהֶעֱנִי. אוֹ שֶׁהֶעֱרִיךְ כְּשֶׁהוּא עָנִי וְהֶעֱשִׁיר. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָשִׁיר. אֲבָל אִם הֶעֱרִיךְ כְּשֶׁהוּא עָנִי וְהֶעֱשִׁיר וְחָזַר וְהֶעֱנִי נוֹתֵן עֵרֶךְ עָנִי:


When a rich man says: "I pledge my airech" or "I pledge the airech of so-and-so," and a poor person heard and says: "I pledge whatever he said," the poor person is obligated to pay the airech required of a wealthy man, i.e., a full airech.10

If, however, a poor person pledges the airech of a wealthy man, saying: "I pledge his airech," he is liable only for a poor man's airech, i.e., what he is capable of paying.


עָשִׁיר שֶׁאָמַר עֶרְכִּי עָלַי אוֹ עֵרֶךְ פְּלוֹנִי וְשָׁמַע הֶעָנִי וְאָמַר מַה שֶּׁאָמַר זֶה עָלַי. הֲרֵי הֶעָנִי חַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָשִׁיר שֶׁהוּא עֵרֶךְ שָׁלֵם. אֲבָל עָנִי שֶׁהֶעֱרִיךְ אֶת הֶעָשִׁיר וְאָמַר עֵרֶךְ זֶה עָלַי אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא כְּעֵרֶךְ עָנִי שֶׁהוּא כְּפִי אֲשֶׁר תַּשִּׂיג יָדוֹ:


What is the difference between a person who is liable for a poor man's airech and one who is liable for the airech of a wealthy man which is the entire sum [mentioned in the Torah]? Once everything that he owns is expropriated from a poor man, even if it is only one sela, and then he becomes wealthy, he is not liable to pay the greater sum.11 If, however, he would have been liable for the airech of a wealthy man, the entire airech would remain a debt for which he is liable until he becomes wealthy and pays it [in total].


מַה בֵּין הַחַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָנִי לְהַחַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָשִׁיר שֶׁהוּא הָעֵרֶךְ הַקָּצוּב כֻּלּוֹ. שֶׁהַחַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָנִי שֶׁלָּקְחוּ מִמֶּנּוּ כָּל מַה שֶּׁיָּדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת אֲפִלּוּ סֶלַע אֶחָד וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֶעֱשִׁיר אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וְאִם הָיָה חַיָּב בְּעֵרֶךְ עָשִׁיר יִשָּׁאֵר שְׁאָר הָעֵרֶךְ חוֹב עָלָיו עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשִׁיר וְיַשְׁלִים הָעֵרֶךְ שֶׁעָלָיו:


When a person explicitly mentions the sum of the airech, saying: "I pledge my airech of 50 selaim" or "I pledge the airech of so-and-so, 30 selaim," his financial capacity is not evaluated.12 Instead, we expropriate everything that he possesses and the remainder remains a debt for which he is liable until he becomes wealthy and pays.


הַמְפָרֵשׁ אֶת הָעֵרֶךְ וְאָמַר עֶרְכִּי עָלַי חֲמִשִּׁים סְלָעִים. אוֹ עֵרֶךְ פְּלוֹנִי עָלַי שְׁלֹשִׁים סְלָעִים. אֵינוֹ נִדּוֹן בְּהֶשֵּׂג יָד. אֶלָּא לוֹקְחִין כָּל הַנִּמְצָא בְּיָדוֹ וְהַשְּׁאָר עָלָיו חוֹב עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשִׁיר וְיִתֵּן:


Similarly, if one says: "I pledge my worth" or "I pledge the worth of so-and-so," we do not evaluate his possessions.13 [The rationale is that] a pledge of worth is like an explicit vow.14 It is like someone who said: "I pledge a maneh15 to the Temple treasury." He is obligated to give an entire maneh.


וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר דָּמַי עָלַי אוֹ דְּמֵי פְּלוֹנִי עָלַי אֵינוֹ נִדּוֹן בְּהֶשֵּׂג יָד. שֶׁחַיָּבֵי דָּמִים הֲרֵי פֵּרְשׁוּ נִדְרָן וַהֲרֵי הֵן כְּמִי שֶׁאָמַר מָנֶה עָלַי הֶקְדֵּשׁ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִתֵּן מָנֶה גָּמוּר:


When a person says: "I pledge an airech" without explaining his words, he is not considered as having pledged three shekalim.16 Instead, he is judged according to his financial capacity, as is the law with regard to other arechim.


הָאוֹמֵר הֲרֵי עָלַי עֵרֶךְ סְתָם וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ אֵינוֹ כִּמְפָרֵשׁ שְׁלֹשֶׁת שְׁקָלִים אֶלָּא נִדּוֹן בְּהֶשֵּׂג יָד כִּשְׁאָר הַמַּעֲרִיכִין:


[The following laws apply when a person] states: "I pledge my airech" and then repeats: "I pledge my airech."17 If he possesses [only] ten selaim and gives nine for the second airech and one for the first, he fulfills the obligations of both of them.18 For arechim are not like debts.19 Although everything he possesses is on lien to the first [airech],20 once the Temple Sanctuary has collected its due, it has been collected.21

If, however, he gave nine [selaim] for the first [airech] and one for the second, he fulfilled his responsibility for the second airech, but not for the first. [The rationale is that] everything that he possesses is on lien to the first airech and when he gave nine, he retained a sela. Thus he did not give everything in his possession.22 Therefore the remainder of the first airech should remain [a debt incumbent] upon him until he becomes wealthy and pays it.


הָאוֹמֵר עֶרְכִּי עָלַי וְחָזַר וְאָמַר עֶרְכִּי עָלַי וְהָיוּ בְּיָדוֹ עֶשֶׂר סְלָעִים וְנָתַן תֵּשַׁע לַשְּׁנִיָּה וְסֶלַע לָרִאשׁוֹנָה יָצָא יְדֵי שְׁתֵּיהֶן. שֶׁהָעֲרָכִין לָאו כְּחוֹבוֹת הֵן. שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל מַה שֶּׁבְּיָדוֹ מְשֻׁעְבָּד לָרִאשׁוֹנָה. הֶקְדֵּשׁ מְאֻחָר שֶׁגָּבָה גָּבָה. אֲבָל אִם נָתַן תֵּשַׁע לָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְאַחַת לַשְּׁנִיָּה יְדֵי שְׁנִיָּה יָצָא. שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּשֶׁנָּתַן הַסֶּלַע לֹא נִשְׁאַר בְּיָדוֹ כְּלוּם וַהֲרֵי אֵין יָדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת. יְדֵי רִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא יָצָא. שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל מַה שֶּׁהָיָה בְּיָדוֹ מְשֻׁעְבָּד לָרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּשֶׁנָּתַן הַתֵּשַׁע נִשְׁאַר לוֹ סֶלַע וַהֲרֵי לֹא נָתַן כָּל מַה שֶּׁיָּדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת. לְפִיכָךְ יִשָּׁאֵר עָלָיו שְׁאָר עֵרֶךְ רִאשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשִׁיר וְיַשְׁלִים:


When a person says: "I pledge two of my arechim,"23 and he possesses only less than that sum, there is an unresolved question. Is [the money he possesses] on lien to them both? Hence he should give half of what he possesses for one airech and the other half, for the other and in this way fulfill his obligation.24 Or is he required to give one full airech - or everything that he possesses25 - for one airech and the other airech should remain a debt [incumbent] upon him which he will pay - either as a wealthy man or as a poor man - according to his financial capacity.26


הָאוֹמֵר שְׁנֵי עֲרָכַי עָלַי וְלֹא הָיָה בְּיָדוֹ אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִכְּדֵי שְׁנֵי עֲרָכִין. הֲרֵי הַדָּבָר סָפֵק אִם נִתְפַּס לִשְׁנֵיהֶן וְנוֹתֵן חֲצִי מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לְעֵרֶךְ אֶחָד וַחֲצִי לָעֵרֶךְ הַשֵּׁנִי וְיִפָּטֵר אוֹ יִתֵּן עֵרֶךְ אֶחָד מֵהֶן שָׁלֵם אוֹ כָּל הַנִּמְצָא בְּיָדוֹ בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן וְיִשָּׁאֵר הָעֵרֶךְ הָאַחֵר עָלָיו חוֹב עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן אוֹתוֹ בַּעֲנִיּוּת אוֹ בַּעֲשִׁירוּת כְּפִי הֶשֵּׂג יָדוֹ:


When a person sets aside his airech or his worth and [the funds] are stolen or lost, he is liable to replace them even if he did not accept responsibility for them until they reach the Temple treasurer,27 as [implied by Leviticus 27:23]: "You will give your airech on that day, sanctified unto God."28 Even though he set them aside, they are nevertheless considered as ordinary property29 until they reach the Temple treasurer.30


הַמַּפְרִישׁ עֶרְכּוֹ אוֹ דָּמָיו וְנִגְנְבוּ אוֹ אָבְדוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר עָלַי חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לְיַד הַגִּזְבָּר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כג) "וְנָתַן אֶת הָעֶרְכְּךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא קֹדֶשׁ לַה'" הֲרֵי הֵן חֻלִּין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִפְרִישָׁן עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לִידֵי הַגִּזְבָּר:


[The Temple treasurers are entitled to] seize collateral for airechim or pledges of worth. They take what they vowed [from the donors] against their will.31 They are not required to return the collateral by day or by night.32 They sell all the landed property and movable property in their possession including their clothing, household articles, servants, and livestock, taking their payment from everything.

They may not, however, sell the clothing of the [donor's] wife, that of his sons, clothing that he had dyed for them,33 nor new sandals that he purchased for them.34 Similarly, when a person consecrates all of his property, he has not consecrated these [articles].


חַיָּבֵי עֲרָכִין וְדָמִים מְמַשְׁכְּנִין אוֹתָן וְלוֹקְחִין מֵהֶן בַּעַל כָּרְחָן מַה שֶּׁנָּדְרוּ וְאֵינָן חַיָּבִין לְהַחְזִיר לָהֶם הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן בַּיּוֹם אוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה. וּמוֹכְרִין כָּל הַנִּמְצָא לָהֶם מִן הַקַּרְקַע וּמִן הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין מִכְּסוּת וּכְלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַבַּיִת וַעֲבָדִים וּבְהֵמָה וְנִפְרָעִין מִן הַכּל. וְאֵין מוֹכְרִין לֹא כְּסוּת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא כְּסוּת בָּנָיו וְלֹא בְּגָדִים שֶׁצְּבָעָן לִשְׁמָן וְלֹא סַנְדָּלִים חֳדָשִׁים שֶׁלְּקָחָן לִשְׁמָן. וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ כָּל נְכָסָיו לֹא הִקְדִּישׁ אֶת אֵלּוּ:


[When a person] pledges arechim, the worth of an entity, or he consecrates a maneh to the Temple treasury and does not possess [the immediate resources to meet his pledge, we expropriate] all the movable property he owns, leaving him only:35 his head and arm tefillin, his sandals, a chair to sit on, and a bed and a mattress appropriate36 for him to sleep on. If he is poor, we give him a bed and a straw mat to sleep on. And we give him food for 30 days and clothing for twelve months for himself alone.37 We do not [make these provisions] for his wife and children although he is obligated to provide for their livelihood and their clothing,38 We leave him only garments that are fitting for his [social standing].39


וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ מִכָּל נְכָסָיו לָזֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו עֲרָכִין אוֹ דָּמִים אוֹ שֶׁהִקְדִּישׁ מָנֶה לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וְאֵין לוֹ. נוֹתְנִין לוֹ תְּפִלִּין שֶׁל רֹאשׁ וְשֶׁל יָד וְסַנְדָּלָיו וְכִסֵּא לֵישֵׁב עָלָיו וּמִטָּה וּמַצָּע הָרְאוּיִין לוֹ לִישֹׁן עֲלֵיהֶם. וְאִם הָיָה עָנִי נוֹתְנִין לוֹ מִטָּה וּמַפָּץ לִישֹׁן עָלָיו. וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ מְזוֹן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וּכְסוּת שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ לוֹ לְבַדּוֹ אֲבָל לֹא לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹתֵיהֶם וּבִכְסוּתָם. וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לוֹ אֶלָּא כְּסוּת הָרְאוּיָה לוֹ:


If he possesses silk garments and golden garments, we remove them from him and give him garments that are appropriate for a person of his social standing40 for the weekdays, but not for Sabbaths and festivals.41


הָיוּ עָלָיו כְּלֵי מֶשִׁי וּבְגָדִים מֻזְהָבִין מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתָן מֵעָלָיו וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ כְּסוּת הָרְאוּיָה לְאִישׁ כְּמוֹתוֹ לְחל אֲבָל לֹא לְשַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים:


If he was a craftsman, we leave him two of every type of the tools of his trade.42

What is implied? If he was a carpenter, we leave him two planes and two saws. If he had many tools of one type and a few of another type, we do not sell many of those of which he possesses a lot and purchase some of those of which he possesses a little. Instead, we leave him two tools of those which he possesses a lot and all those he possesses of those which he possesses a little.


וְאִם הָיָה אֻמָּן נוֹתְנִין לוֹ שְׁנֵי כְּלֵי אֻמְּנוּת מִכָּל מִין וּמִין. כֵּיצַד. אִם הָיָה חָרָשׁ נוֹתְנִין לוֹ שְׁנֵי מַעְצָדִים וּשְׁתֵּי מְגֵרוֹת. הָיוּ לוֹ כֵּלִים מְרֻבִּין מִמִּין אֶחָד וּמוּעָטִין מִמִּין שֵׁנִי אֵין מוֹכְרִין מִן הַמְרֻבֶּה וְלוֹקְחִין לוֹ מִן הַמּוּעָט. אֶלָּא נוֹתְנִין לוֹ שְׁנֵי כֵּלִים מִן הַמְרֻבִּין וְכָל שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מִן הַמּוֹעָט:


If he was a donkey driver or a farmer, we don't leave him his livestock even though he can only earn his livelihood with it. If he was a sailor, we do not leave him his boat.43 Instead, everything must be sold.


הָיָה חַמָּר אוֹ אִכָּר אֵין נוֹתְנִין לוֹ בְּהֶמְתּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מְזוֹנוֹת אֶלָּא מִמֶּנָּה. הָיָה סַפָּן אֵין נוֹתְנִין לוֹ סְפִינָתוֹ אֶלָּא יִמְכֹּר הַכּל:


If there were livestock, servants, and pearls among his possessions and merchants said: "If clothing worth 30 [zuz] is purchased for this servant, his value will increase by 100"; "If we wait to sell this cow to a meat market, its price will increase by ten [zuz]; or "If this pearl is taken to this-and-this place, it will be worth much money, but here it will only be worth a small amount," we do not heed them. Instead, what is done? We sell everything in its place and at its time as it is, as [the above prooftext [implied by Leviticus 27:23]: "You will give your airech on that day, sanctified unto God." [This teaches that] every entity [that is] consecrated [to the Temple treasury] is not embellished, nor do we wait to take it to the market, nor do we bring it from place to place. Instead, consecrated articles are sold only in their place and at the time [they were consecrated].44


הָיוּ בַּנְּכָסִים בְּהֵמָה וַעֲבָדִים וּמַרְגָּלִיּוֹת וְאָמְרוּ הַתַּגָּרִים אִם יִלָּקַח לְעֶבֶד זֶה כְּסוּת בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים מַשְׁבֵּחַ הוּא מֵאָה. וּפָרָה זֹאת אִם יַמְתִּינוּ בָּהּ לָאִטְלִס מַשְׁבַּחַת עֲשָׂרָה. וּמַרְגָּלִית זוֹ אִם מַעֲלִין אוֹתָהּ לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי תִּשְׁוֶה מָמוֹן רַב וְכָאן אֵינָהּ שָׁוָה אֶלָּא מְעַט. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָהֶן. אֶלָּא כֵּיצַד עוֹשִׂין. מוֹכְרִין הַכּל בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וּבִשְׁעָתוֹ כְּמַה שֶּׁהוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כג) "וְנָתַן אֶת הָעֶרְכְּךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא קֹדֶשׁ לַה'" לְרַבּוֹת כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁל הֶקְדֵּשׁ שֶׁאֵין מְפַרְכְּסִין אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין מַמְתִּינִין בּוֹ לַשּׁוּק וְלֹא מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. אֵין לַהֶקְדֵּשׁ אֶלָּא מְקוֹמוֹ וּשְׁעָתוֹ:


When does the above apply? With regard to movable property and servants.45 For landed property, by contrast, we announce the sale for 60 consecutive days, morning and evening46 and [only] afterwards, are they sold.47


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין וַעֲבָדִים. אֲבָל הַקַּרְקָעוֹת מַכְרִיזִין עֲלֵיהֶם שִׁשִּׁים יוֹם רְצוּפִים בַּבֹּקֶר וּבָעֶרֶב וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹכְרִין אוֹתָם:

Test Yourself on This Chapter


Which is a lesser amount, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 3.


Arachin 18a derives this from the exegesis of Leviticus 27:17.


I.e., he has the means to pay the pledge that he made.


The laws that apply if he cannot pay even a sela are discussed in Halachah 4.


Thus the evaluation mentioned by the verse is twofold: a) the age of the person whose airech is pledged is considered and on that basis, we determine the sum the one who made the pledge must pay;

b) if the one who made the pledge is poor, we evaluate his capacity to pay (Radbaz).

Once the poor person pays the lesser amount, he is not obligated to pay any more even if later he becomes wealthy (Halachah 7).


Implied is that an airech must be at least a shekel. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Arachin 2:1), the Rambam states that if he paid less than a shekel, it is as if he did not pay anything at all.


For this is the highest airech mentioned in the Torah.


I.e., acquires the amount he pledged.


He is not given the option of paying a lesser amount. Instead, the full airech remains a debt incumbent upon him.


For he was not pledging an airech, but instead, taking vow to pay the amount the wealthy person had pledged. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that the poor man is judged according to his own financial capacity. The Ra'avad supports his view from Arachin 17a where there appears to be a difference of opinion among the Sages. Although the Rambam interprets that passage differently (see his Commentary to the Mishnah, Arachin 2:1), the Kessef Mishneh notes that the Ra'avad's view seems more appropriate to the text's simple meaning.


We find a parallel concept with regard to sacrifices. There are certain offerings that are dependent on a person's financial status. If he is wealthy, he must bring one type of sacrifice and if he is poor another. If a poor person brings the sacrifice required of him, he is not liable to bring a second sacrifice if he becomes wealthy (Arachin 17b; Radbaz).


I.e., even if he is poor, we do not evaluate his financial status as we ordinarily do if he pledged an airech. The rationale is that he mentioned a specific amount and hence, he is obligated for that amount (Radbaz).


I.e., and establish his liability only according to the possessions he owns.


The Ra'avad differs and offers a different explanation. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh favor the Rambam's view.


100 zuz.


The smallest airech there is. I.e., he is liable to pay three shekalim if he possesses that sum (Chapter 1, Halachah 20). If, however, he does not possess that sum, we do not say that he has taken an explicit vow. Instead, his worth is evaluated, as above.


And thus he is obligated to pay two arechim. This halachah is speaking about an instance where the donor is poor and does not have the money to pay either - let alone both - of his pledges.


I.e., the priest began evaluating the second airech first. The donor could not give the entire amount for the second airech, since he was already liable for the first.


In Hilchot Malveh ViLoveh 20:1, the Rambam writes that if a creditor whose lien begins later expropriates property from a debtor first, the court expropriates it from him and gives it to the creditor with the prior lien. This, however, applies only with regard to landed property and not to movable property (ibid.:2).


And thus he should have paid all ten selaim for that airech, if he did not do so and paid a lesser amount, he fulfills his obligation.


The Rambam's ruling follows the logic of Rav Sherira Gaon, as quoted by Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi (Ketubot 94a), although the wording of Arachin 7b, 8a, does not imply such a conclusion.

The difference between the two situations is that the two debts are owed to two different people. Hence giving one is taking from the other. Thus the chronological sequence when the liens were established is important. Arechim, however, are always given to the Temple treasury. Thus they are both being given to the same place. Hence there is no point in having the money expropriated.


For when giving the first airech, he should not consider the second airech at all.


In which case he is obligated to pay both of them, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 19.


According to this view, even if he becomes wealthy afterwards, he is not obligated to give anything more.


If he does not have enough for even one complete airech.


The Radbaz rules that, because of the doubt, all we obligate the person is to fulfill the first (more lenient) view. Nevertheless, if the Temple treasurer seizes the entire amount as payment for the first airech, the donor remains liable for the second.


Our translation is based on authoritative manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard published text has a somewhat different version.


The verse implies that the obligation is incumbent upon you until the funds are actually given. This is in contrast to some other financial commitments vowed to the Temple treasury, as stated in Hilchot Nedarim 1:2; Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 14:4-6.


I.e., they are not consecrated and the prohibition against misusing property dedicating to the Temple treasury does not apply to them.


For the implication of the prooftext is that on the day you give the airech, it becomes consecrated.


In contrast to an ordinary lender who must wait for collateral to be given to him. The donor must be evaluated by the court, however, before his property may be taken.


I.e., in contrast to collateral taken from an ordinary lender which must be returned. See Deuteronomy 24:13.


Even if they have not worn it already.


For these articles are considered as owned by the person's wife or children and their property may not be expropriated to pay for the donor's debt. Compare to Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 1:5.


I.e., he is left the basic necessities for his spiritual and material sustenance. If he consecrates all of his property, he is not left even these articles (Chapter 6, Halachah 3).


Implied is that if he possesses an expensive mattress, we sell it and buy him an ordinary one.


If he does not possess the above, we leave him financial resources to purchase them (see Arachin 6:3 and commentaries).


These obligations are discussed in Hilchot Ishut 12, 2; 13:6.


Note the following halachah.


I.e., if he possesses clothing that is appropriate for someone of a higher social standing, that clothing is sold, the funds are used to purchase clothing appropriate for his social standing, and the remainder is given to the Temple treasury. Compare to Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 1:7.


I.e., weekday garments are less expensive than those worn on Sabbaths and festivals.


So that he will be able to continue to earn his livelihood.


For these are considered as property, not as tools.


The rationale is that although expected, these profits are not certain and a loss may occur (Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Arachin 6:5).


We fear that the movable property can be lost or stolen or damaged in another way and that the servants may flee. See Hilchot Malveh V'Loveh 12:11.


See Chapter 4, Halachah 27, for details regarding these announcements.


For announcing the sale of the property will attract buyers and increase the price and land cannot be stolen or lost.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah