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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 6

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Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 6

1

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

א

אֶחָד הָאוֹמֵר הֲרֵי זֶה הֶקְדֵּשׁ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת אוֹ חֵרֶם לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת אוֹ חֵרֶם לַשָּׁמַיִם. וְכֵן בְּכָל נְכָסָיו אִם אָמַר כָּל נְכָסָיו הֶקְדֵּשׁ אוֹ חֵרֶם לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת אוֹ חֵרֶם לַשָּׁמָיִם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יִפְּלוּ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר חֵרֶם סְתָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לַכֹּהֲנִים. שֶׁסְּתָם חֲרָמִים לַכֹּהֲנִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יח יד) "כָּל חֵרֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְךָ יִהְיֶה":

2

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

ב

מַחְרִים אָדָם מִן בְּקָרוֹ וּמִצֹּאנוֹ וּמֵעֲבָדָיו וּמִשִּׁפְחוֹתָיו הַכְּנַעֲנִים וּמִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ. אֲבָל לֹא יַחֲרִים כָּל בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְלֹא כָּל עֲבָדָיו וְלֹא כָּל שְׂדוֹתָיו וְלֹא כָּל מִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מִשְּׁאָר הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כח) "מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ". וְאִם הֶחֱרִים אֶת הַכּל אֲפִלּוּ הֶחֱרִים כָּל נְכָסָיו הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻחְרָמִין בֵּין שֶׁהֶחְרִים לַכֹּהֲנִים בֵּין שֶׁהֶחֱרִים לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת:

3

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

ג

וְכָל מִי שֶׁהֶחֱרִים אוֹ הִקְדִּישׁ כָּל נְכָסָיו לוֹקְחִין כָּל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ וַאֲפִילוּ תְּפִלִּין שֶׁבְּרֹאשׁוֹ. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר כְּלֵי אֻמְּנוּתוֹ וּבְגָדָיו שֶׁהַכּל הֶקְדֵּשׁ אוֹ חֵרֶם:

4

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

ד

מַה בֵּין חֶרְמֵי כֹּהֲנִים לְחֶרְמֵי שָׁמַיִם. שֶׁחֶרְמֵי שָׁמַיִם הֶקְדֵּשׁ וְנִפְדִּין בְּשָׁוְיֵיהֶן וְיִפְּלוּ הַדָּמִים לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וְיֵצְאוּ הַנְּכָסִים לְחֻלִּין. וְחֶרְמֵי כֹּהֲנִים אֵין לָהֶן פִּדְיוֹן לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא נִתָּנִין לַכֹּהֲנִים כִּתְרוּמָה. וְעַל חֵרֶם כֹּהֲנִים הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כז כח) "לֹא יִמָּכֵר וְלֹא יִגָּאֵל". לֹא יִמָּכֵר לְאַחֵר וְלֹא יִגָּאֵל לַבְּעָלִים:

5

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

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

ה

וְאֶחָד הַמַּחֲרִים קַרְקַע אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נִתָּנִין לַכֹּהֵן שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ מִשְׁמָר. בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהֶחֱרִים חֶרְמֵי כֹּהֲנִים כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהֵן בְּבֵית הַבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי הֵן הֶקְדֵּשׁ לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כח) "כָּל חֵרֶם קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הוּא לַה'". נְתָנוֹ לַכֹּהֵן הֲרֵי הֵן כְּחֻלִּין לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יח יד) "כָּל חֵרֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְךָ יִהְיֶה":

6

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

ו

כֹּהֵן שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ שְׂדֵה חֵרֶם שֶׁזָּכָה בָּהּ אַחַר הַיּוֹבֵל וְהֶחֱרִימָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻחְרֶמֶת וְיוֹצְאָה לְאֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כא) "לַכֹּהֵן תִּהְיֶה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ" מְלַמֵּד שֶׁשְּׂדֵה חֶרְמוֹ לוֹ כִּשְׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁאִם הֶחֱרִימָהּ הִיא מֻחְרֶמֶת מִיָּד:

7

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

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

ז

מָכַר הַכֹּהֵן שְׂדֵה חֶרְמוֹ וְהִקְדִּישָׁהּ לוֹקֵחַ אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ הַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁהֶחֱרִימוּהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּשְׂדֵה מִקְנָה וְחוֹזֶרֶת לַכֹּהֵן שֶׁמְּכָרָהּ בַּיּוֹבֵל. אֲבָל קַרְקַע אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁל כֹּהֲנִים וּלְוִיִּם אֵינָם מַחְרִימִין אוֹתָן שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר בְּשָׂדֶה (ויקרא כה לד) "כִּי אֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם הוּא לָכֶם"???. וּמִטַּלְטְלִין הֻקְּשׁוּ לְקַרְקָעוֹת בַּחֲרָמִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (גמרא ערכין כח א) "מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וּמִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ":

8

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

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

ח

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ קָדְשֵׁי מִזְבֵּחַ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת הֲרֵי הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ חָל עֲלֵיהֶן וְתֵעָרֵךְ הַבְּהֵמָה וְתִפָּדֶה וְיִפְּלוּ דָּמֶיהָ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וְהַבְּהֵמָה תִּקָּרֵב לְמַה שֶּׁהָיְתָה בַּתְּחִלָּה. אֲבָל הַמַּקְדִּישׁ קָדְשֵׁי בֶּדֶק הַבַּיִת לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאָמַר הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹלָה אוֹ שְׁלָמִים אוֹ הֶחֱרִימָם לַכֹּהֲנִים לֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם וְאֵין הֶקְדֵּשׁ מִזְבֵּחַ וְלֹא הַחֵרֶם חָל עַל קָדְשֵׁי בֶּדֶק הַבַּיִת שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ:

9

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

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

ט

הָאוֹמֵר שׁוֹר זֶה הֶקְדֵּשׁ לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וּשְׁחָטוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בַּהֲנָאָה. הִקְדִּישׁוֹ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֲרֵי זֶה הֶקְדֵּשׁ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר הֲרֵי זֶה הֶקְדֵּשׁ מֵעַכְשָׁו לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וּשְׁחָטוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. וְאִם הִקְדִּישׁוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַשְּׁלֹשִׁים לַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֵינוֹ מֻקְדָּשׁ:

10

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

י

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ עוֹלָה לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת אֵין בָּהּ אֶלָּא עִכּוּב גִּזְבָּרִין בִּלְבַד. וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁלֹּא תִּשָּׁחֵט עַד שֶׁתִּפָּדֶה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם עָבַר וּשְׁחָטָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה:

11

A person may designate [animals consecrated as] sacrifices of the highest degree of sanctity41 or as sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity42 as dedication offerings - both as those set aside for the priests or for improvements to the Temple. If he was liable to replace these sacrifices,43 he must pay their value44 whether to the priests or for the sake of improvements to the Temple. After they are redeemed, he should then offer the sacrifices for their original purposes.

יא

מַחֲרִים אָדָם בֵּין קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים בֵּין קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים בֵּין חֶרְמֵי כֹּהֲנִים בֵּין חֶרְמֵי בֶּדֶק הַבַּיִת. וְאִם הָיוּ קָדָשִׁים שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן נוֹתֵן אֶת דְּמֵיהֶן בֵּין לַכֹּהֲנִים בֵּין לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וְיִקָּרְבוּ אוֹתָן הַקָּדָשִׁים אַחַר שֶׁיִּפָּדוּ לְמַה שֶּׁהֵן:

12

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

יב

הָיוּ נְדָבָה וְהֶחֱרִימָן כֵּיצַד פּוֹדִין אוֹתָן. אוֹמְדִים כַּמָּה אָדָם רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן בִּבְהֵמָה זוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ עוֹלָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב בָּהּ. וְכָל הַנּוֹתֵן אוֹתוֹ שִׁעוּר יַקְרִיב בְּהֵמָה זוֹ נְדָבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה:

13

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

יג

יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֶחְרִים אֶת בְּכוֹר בְּהֵמָה לַשָּׁמַיִם בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה תָמִים בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה בַּעַל מוּם הֲרֵי זֶה מֻחְרָם. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁהֶחְרִימוֹ הַכֹּהֵן לַשָּׁמַיִם אַחַר שֶׁבָּא לְיָדוֹ:

14

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

יד

וְכֵיצַד פּוֹדִין אוֹתָן. אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה אָדָם רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן בִּבְכוֹר זֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ וְתִהְיֶה הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ לִתְּנוֹ לְכָל כֹּהֵן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה לִקְרוֹבוֹ אוֹ לְרֵעוֹ. וְכָל הַנּוֹתֵן אוֹתוֹ שִׁעוּר יִקַּח הַבְּכוֹר וְיִתְּנֶנּוּ לְכָל כֹּהֵן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה וְיִפְּלוּ הַדָּמִים לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת:

15

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

טו

הַמַּחֲרִים אֶת הַמַּעֲשֵׂר הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַחֲרִים שַׁלְמֵי נְדָבָה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתוֹ:

16

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

טז

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ שִׁקְלוֹ לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת הֲרֵי זֶה קֹדֶשׁ. הִקְדִּישׁ בִּכּוּרִים לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת אֵינָן קֹדֶשׁ. אֲבָל אִם הִקְדִּישָׁן הַכֹּהֵן אַחַר שֶׁבָּאוּ לְיָדוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ קֹדֶשׁ:

17

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

יז

הַמַּחֲרִים חֲצִי עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הוּא וְהַכֹּהֲנִים שֻׁתָּפִין בּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הִקְדִּישׁ אוֹ הֶחֱרִים לַשָּׁמַיִם חֲצִי עַבְדּוֹ כֻּלּוֹ קֹדֶשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכָל הַמַּקְדִּישׁ עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִים אוֹ הַמַּקְדִּישׁ כָּל נְכָסָיו וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן עֲבָדִים הֲרֵי גּוּפָן קֹדֶשׁ לְפִיכָךְ אֲסוּרִים לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶן עַד שֶׁיִּפָּדוּ:

18

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

יח

וְאֵין הַגִּזְבָּרִין רַשָּׁאִין לִקַּח דְּמֵיהֶן מֵאֲחֵרִים וּלְהוֹצִיא אוֹתָן לְחֵרוּת אֶלָּא מוֹכְרִין אוֹתָן לַאֲחֵרִים וַאֲחֵרִים מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן לְחֵרוּת אִם רָצוּ:

19

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

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

יט

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ יְדֵי עַבְדּוֹ כָּל הַיֶּתֶר עַל פַּרְנָסָתוֹ קֹדֶשׁ. וְכֵיצַד הוּא מִתְפַּרְנֵס עֶבֶד זֶה. לוֹוֶה וְאוֹכֵל וְעוֹשֶׂה וּפוֹרֵעַ. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה פָּחוֹת פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה וְיִפְרַע. שֶׁאִם עָשָׂה בִּפְרוּטָה רִאשׁוֹן רִאשׁוֹן קָנָה הֶקְדֵּשׁ:

20

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

כ

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ אֶת עַצְמוֹ לֹא הִקְדִּישׁ אֶלָּא דָּמָיו וַהֲרֵי הוּא חַיָּב בִּדְמֵי עַצְמוֹ. וּמֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת וְלֶאֱכל שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִתְקַדֵּשׁ גּוּפוֹ כְּעֶבֶד:

21

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

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

כא

אֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהֶחְרִים בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ וְעַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הָעִבְרִים אוֹ שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אֵינָן מֻחְרָמִין. שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין גּוּפוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ:

22

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

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

כב

אֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה לוֹ פִּקָּדוֹן בְּיַד אַחֵר וְכָפַר בּוֹ זֶה שֶׁהוּא אֶצְלוֹ אֵין הַבְּעָלִים יְכוֹלִין לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ. אֲבָל אִם לֹא כָּפַר בּוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלָיו בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא:

23

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

כג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין. אֲבָל קַרְקַע שֶׁגְּזָלָהּ אַחֵר וְכָפַר בָּהּ אִם יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאָהּ בְּדַיָּנִין הֲרֵי זֶה יָכוֹל לְהַקְדִּישָׁהּ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הוֹצִיאָהּ שֶׁהַקַּרְקַע עַצְמָהּ הֲרֵי הִיא בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ:

24

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

כד

הַגּוֹזֵל אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים שְׁנֵיהֶם אֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לְהַקְדִּישׁ. זֶה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁלּוֹ וְזֶה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

25

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

כה

מִי שֶׁהָיָה מוֹכֵר דְּלוּעִין אוֹ בֵּיצִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וּבָא לוֹקֵחַ וְנָטַל אַחַת וְהָלַךְ לוֹ. אִם הָיוּ דְּמֵי כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת קְצוּבִין הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁפָּסַק. וְאֵין הַמּוֹכֵר יָכוֹל לְהַקְדִּישׁ דְּלַעַת זוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. וְאִם אֵין הַדָּמִים קְצוּבִין וְהִקְדִּישָׁהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת שֶׁעֲדַיִן בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ הִיא שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁלְּקָחָהּ לֹא לְקָחָהּ דֶּרֶךְ גְּזֵלָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

26

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

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

כו

אֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא בָּא לָעוֹלָם. כֵּיצַד. מַה שֶּׁתַּעֲלֶה מְצוּדָתִי מִן הַיָּם קֹדֶשׁ. מַה שֶּׁתּוֹצִיא שָׂדֶה זוֹ מִן הַפֵּרוֹת חֵרֶם. לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם:

27

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

כז

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שָׂדֶה זוֹ שֶׁמָּכַרְתִּי לְךָ לִכְשֶׁאֶקָּחֶנָּה מִמְּךָ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת וּלְקָחָהּ אֵינָהּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת. לְפִי שֶׁכְּשֶׁהִקְדִּישָׁהּ לֹא בָּאָה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ:

28

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

כח

וְכֵן הַמַּקְדִּישׁ מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ עוֹשָׂה וְאוֹכֶלֶת וְהַמּוֹתָר חֻלִּין. אָמַר לָהּ יִקְדְּשׁוּ יָדַיִךְ לְעוֹשֵׂיהֶן הוֹאִיל וְהֵן מְשֻׁעְבָּדִין לוֹ הֲרֵי כָּל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ קֹדֶשׁ. הָא לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְאוֹמֵר אִילָן זֶה קֹדֶשׁ שֶׁכָּל פֵּרוֹת שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה לְהַבָּא קֹדֶשׁ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

29

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

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

כט

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שָׂדֶה זוֹ שֶׁאֲנִי מוֹכֵר לְךָ לִכְשֶׁאֶקָּחֶנָּה מִמְּךָ תִּתְקַדֵּשׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת כְּשֶׁיִּקָּחֶנָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי עַתָּה (בָּא) בְּיָדוֹ לְהַקְדִּישָׁהּ. שָׂדֶה זוֹ שֶׁמִּשְׁכַּנְתִּי לְךָ לִכְשֶׁאֶפְדֶּנָּה מִמְּךָ תְּהִי קֹדֶשׁ. מִשֶּׁיִּפְדֶּה אוֹתָהּ תִּתְקַדֵּשׁ שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּיָדוֹ לִפְדּוֹתָהּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה מְמֻשְׁכֶּנֶת לִזְמַן קָצוּב שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּיָדוֹ לִפְדּוֹתָהּ אַחַר הַזְּמַן:

30

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

ל

הַמַּשְׂכִּיר בַּיִת לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְחָזַר וְהִקְדִּישׁוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה קֹדֶשׁ וּפָקְעָה הַשְּׂכִירוּת. וְאִם דָּר בּוֹ הַשּׂוֹכֵר מָעַל:

31

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

לא

יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מַקְדִּישׁ דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא בָּא לָעוֹלָם אִם אָמַר הֲרֵי עָלַי לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא לָעוֹלָם מִשּׁוּם נִדְרוֹ. וְאִם לֹא הִקְדִּישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר מִשּׁוּם (דברים כג כב) "בַּל תְּאַחֵר" וְ(במדבר ל ג) "לֹא יַחֵל דְּבָרוֹ" וּמִשּׁוּם (במדבר ל ג) "כְּכָל הַיֹּצֵא מִפִּיו יַעֲשֶׂה" כִּשְׁאָר הַנְּדָרִים:

32

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

לב

כֵּיצַד. הָאוֹמֵר הֲרֵי עָלַי לְהַקְדִּישׁ כָּל שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה מְצוּדָתִי מִן הַיָּם. הֲרֵי עָלַי לִתֵּן לַעֲנִיִּים פֵּרוֹת שֶׁתּוֹצִיא שָׂדֶה זוֹ. הֲרֵי עָלַי לְהַחֲרִים אוֹ לִתֵּן לִשְׁבוּיִם כָּל שֶׁאֶשְׂתַּכֵּר בְּשָׁנָה זוֹ. וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּמַאֲמָרִים אֵלּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לִתֵּן וְלַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶן מַה שֶּׁאָמַר כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ לְיָדוֹ. וְזֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ בִּכְלַל נְדָרִים הוּא לֹא בִּכְלַל הֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת:

33

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

לג

רְאָיָה לְדָבָר זֶה מַה שֶּׁאָמַר יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ (בראשית כח כב) "וְכל אֲשֶׁר תִּתֶּן לִי עַשֵּׂר אֲעַשְּׂרֶנּוּ לָךְ" וְנֶאֱמַר (בראשית לא יג) "אֲשֶׁר נָדַרְתָּ לִּי שָׁם נֶדֶר". וַהֲרֵי הָאוֹמֵר לֹא אֶפָּטֵר מִן הָעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁאֶהֱיֶה נָזִיר חַיָּב לִנְהֹג בִּנְזִירוּת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נָדַר בְּנָזִיר. הוֹאִיל וְאָמַר שֶׁיִּדֹּר בְּנָזִיר חַיָּב לְהִנָּזֵר. וְזֶה כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְכָזֶה רָאוּי לָדוּן:

34

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

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

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

לד

הֶקְדֵּשׁ טָעוּת אֵינוֹ הֶקְדֵּשׁ. כֵּיצַד. הָאוֹמֵר שׁוֹר שָׁחוֹר שֶׁיֵּצֵא מִבַּיִת רִאשׁוֹן הֲרֵי הוּא הֶקְדֵּשׁ וְיָצָא לָבָן אֵינוֹ הֶקְדֵּשׁ. דִּינָר זָהָב שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה בְּיָדִי רִאשׁוֹן הֲרֵי הוּא הֶקְדֵּשׁ וְעָלָה שֶׁל כֶּסֶף אֵינוֹ הֶקְדֵּשׁ. חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה בְּיָדִי רִאשׁוֹנָה הֶקְדֵּשׁ וְעָלָה שֶׁל שֶׁמֶן בֵּין שֶׁהַיַּיִן יָקָר מִן הַשֶּׁמֶן בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם אוֹ הַשֶּׁמֶן יָקָר מִן הַיַּיִן אֵינוֹ הֶקְדֵּשׁ. הִתְפִּיס בָּהּ אַחֶרֶת וְאָמַר זוֹ כָּזוֹ הֲרֵי הַשְּׁנִיָּה הֶקְדֵּשׁ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

Any specific entity.

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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

19.

See Chapter 4, Halachot 19, 24.

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

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

27.

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

28.

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

29.

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

30.

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

31.

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

32.

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

33.

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

34.

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

35.

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

36.

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

37.

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

38.

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

39.

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

40.

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

41.

Burnt offerings, sin offerings, or guilt offerings.

42.

All other sacrifices.

43.

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

44.

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

45.

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

46.

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

47.

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

48.

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

49.

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

50.

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

51.

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

52.

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

53.

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

54.

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

55.

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

56.

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

57.

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

58.

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

59.

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

60.

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

61.

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

62.

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

63.

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

64.

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

65.

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

66.

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

67.

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

68.

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

69.

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

70.

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

71.

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

72.

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

73.

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

74.

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

75.

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

76.

And instead, claimed to be the legitimate owner.

77.

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

78.

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

79.

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

80.

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

81.

For it is as if it was already sold.

82.

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

83.

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

84.

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

85.

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

86.

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

87.

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

88.

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

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

89.

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

90.

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

91.

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

92.

For a loan.

93.

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

94.

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

95.

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

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

96.

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

97.

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

98.

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

99.

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

100.

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

101.

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

102.

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

103.

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

104.

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

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

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

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

105.

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

106.

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

107.

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

108.

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

109.

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

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

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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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah