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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 8

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Arachim Vacharamim - Chapter 8

1

On the fifthteenth of Adar, the court1 diverts their attention [from other concerns] and examines and investigates matters involving the needs of the community and consecrated property. They check the matter and research the [cases involved], so that consecrated property and dedication offerings will be redeemed and arachim and pledges of worth are collected from all those who are liable for them so that the entire nation will be prepared to give the gift of shekalim to maintain the House of our God.2

א

בַּחֲמִשָׁה עָשָׂר בַּאֲדָר בֵּית דִּין נִפְנִין לְחַפֵּשׂ וְלִבְדֹּק עַל צָרְכֵי צִבּוּר וְעַל עִנְיְנֵי הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת. וּבוֹדְקִין עֲלֵיהֶן וְדוֹרְשִׁין וְחוֹקְרִין וּפוֹדִים אֶת הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת וְאֶת הַחֲרָמִין וְגוֹבִין אֶת הָעֲרָכִין וְאֶת הַדָּמִים מִכָּל הַחַיָּב בָּהֶן כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כָּל הָעָם עָתִיד לִתֵּן תְּרוּמַת הַשְּׁקָלִים לְחַזֵּק אֶת בֵּית אֱלֹהֵינוּ:

2

Consecrated articles are redeemed only on the basis of [evaluation by] three experts. Similarly, when movable property is being taken as security when one is liable for arachim,3 it should be evaluated by three people.4 And when an animal or the like is designated as an airech, it should be evaluated by three people.

When, however, land is designated as an airech or if arachin for humans must be collected from landed property, it is evaluated only by ten people5 and one of them must be a priest. For the passage [that speaks about redemption] mentions a priest.6 Similarly, if a person says: "I pledge my worth," "...the worth of so-and-so," "...the worth of my hand," or "...the worth of my foot," when an evaluation of his worth, that of his hand, or that of his foot is made, it is made by ten people and one of them is a priest.7

ב

אֵין פּוֹדִין אֶת הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת אֶלָּא בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה בְּקִיאִין. וְכֵן כְּשֶׁגּוֹבִין מִטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁמְּמַשְׁכְּנִין מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲרָכִין שָׁמִין אוֹתָן בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. וּכְשֶׁמַּעֲרִיכִין בְּהֵמָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מִשְּׁאָר מִטַּלְטְלִין שָׁמִין אוֹתָהּ בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. אֲבָל כְּשֶׁמַּעֲרִיכִין אֶת הַקַּרְקָעוֹת אוֹ אִם הֻזְקְקוּ לִגְבּוֹת עֶרְכֵי אָדָם מִן הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁלּוֹ אֵין מַעֲרִיכִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא בַּעֲשָׂרָה וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן כֹּהֵן שֶׁהֲרֵי (ויקרא כז ח) "כֹּהֵן" כָּתוּב בַּפָּרָשָׁה. וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר דָּמַי עָלַי אוֹ דְּמֵי פְּלוֹנִי עָלַי אוֹ דְּמֵי יָדִי אוֹ רַגְלִי עָלַי כְּשֶׁשָּׁמִין אוֹתוֹ כַּמָּה הוּא שָׁוֶה אוֹ כַּמָּה דְּמֵי יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ שָׁמִין בַּעֲשָׂרָה וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן כֹּהֵן:

3

When consecrated property - whether landed property or movable property - is redeemed from the Temple treasury, an announcement is made before all those who might seek to redeem it.8 [The following rule applies if] one says: "I will [redeem] them for ten selaim," another says: "...for twenty," a third "...for thirty," a fourth "...for forty," and a fifth "...for fifty," and then the one who pledged fifty alone retracts. We expropriate ten [selaim] from the property [of the latter]9 and give the consecrated article to the one [who pledged to] give forty. Thus the Temple treasury receives fifty: Ten from one and forty from the other.

If the one who pledged forty also retracts, we expropriate ten [selaim] from his property and give the consecrated article to the one who pledged thirty. [If he and the others also retract,] we follow the same process until [the option is given to] the first. If the first who pledged ten also retracts, we announce the redemption of the consecrated article a second time and sell it. If it is redeemed for less than ten, we collect the difference from the person who [originally] pledged ten.

ג

כְּשֶׁפּוֹדִין הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת מִיַּד הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ קַרְקָעוֹת אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין מַכְרִיזִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּפְנֵי כָּל הַבָּאִין לִפְדּוֹת. אָמַר אֶחָד הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלִּי בְּעֶשֶׂר סְלָעִים וְאָמַר אֶחָד בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאָמַר אֶחָד בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְאָמַר אֶחָד בְּאַרְבָּעִים וְאָמַר אֶחָד בַּחֲמִשִּׁים. חָזַר בּוֹ שֶׁל חֲמִשִּׁים לְבַדּוֹ מְמַשְׁכְּנִין מִנְּכָסָיו עֶשֶׂר וְנוֹתְנִין אוֹתָן הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת לָזֶה שֶׁנָּתַן אַרְבָּעִים וְנִמְצָא הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ נוֹטֵל חֲמִשִּׁים עֶשֶׂר מִזֶּה וְאַרְבָּעִים מִזֶּה. חָזַר בּוֹ אַחֲרֵי כֵּן שֶׁל אַרְבָּעִים מְמַשְׁכְּנִין מִנְּכָסָיו עֶשֶׂר וְנוֹתְנִין אֶת הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ לְבַעַל הַשְּׁלֹשִׁים וְכֵן עַד הָרִאשׁוֹן. חָזַר בּוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁנָּתַן עֶשֶׂר מַכְרִיזִין עַל הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וּמוֹכְרִין אוֹתוֹ. אִם נִפְדָּה בְּפָחוֹת מֵעֶשֶׂר נִפְרָעִין מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל הָעֶשֶׂר אֶת הַמּוֹתָר:

4

When does the above apply? When they retracted one after the other. If, however, they all retracted at the same time, we divide the sum among them.

What is implied? The first one says: "I will [redeem] it for ten selaim," the second: "...for twenty," and a third "...for 24," and the second and third retract at the same time, we enable the first to redeem it for ten and we expropriate seven from the property of both the second and the third.10 Thus the Temple treasury collects 24. Similarly, if all three of them retract and the consecrated article is [ultimately] sold for three, we expropriate seven selaim from the property of all of them. These principles are followed in all instances.

ד

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁחָזְרוּ זֶה אַחַר זֶה. אֲבָל חָזְרוּ כֻּלָּן כְּאֶחָד מְשַׁלְּשִׁין בֵּינֵיהֶם בְּשָׁוֶה. כֵּיצַד. אָמַר הָרִאשׁוֹן הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלִּי בְּעֶשֶׂר וְאָמַר הַשֵּׁנִי בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאָמַר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים וְחָזַר בּוֹ הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְהַשֵּׁנִי כְּאֶחָד נוֹתְנִין אוֹתוֹ לָרִאשׁוֹן בְּעֶשֶׂר. וּמְמַשְׁכְּנִים מִנִּכְסֵי הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשֶׁבַע וּמִנִּכְסֵי שְׁלִישִׁי בְּשֶׁבַע וְנִמְצָא הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ גּוֹבֶה אַרְבַּע וְעֶשְׂרִים. וְכֵן אִם חָזְרוּ שְׁלָשְׁתָּן כְּאַחַת וְנִמְכַּר הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ בְּשָׁלֹשׁ מְמַשְׁכְּנִין מִנִּכְסֵי כָּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁלָשְׁתָּן שֶׁבַע סְלָעִים. וְכֵן עַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ לְעוֹלָם:

5

The [original] owners [of the consecrated article] are [given the opportunity to redeem the consecrated article] before all others, because they [are required to] add a fifth.11 They are not, however, required to add a fifth to the sum that they bid above other [potential] redeemers, only to what they initially pledged.

What is implied? The owners said: "We will [redeem] it for 20 [selaim]," and another person says: "I will redeem it for 20," the owners are given the option, because they add a fifth and pay 25." If another person comes and says: "I will redeem it for 21," and the [original] owners remain silent and do not add anything, we sell it to them for 25.12

If the owners increased [the bid of] 21, adding even a p'rutah,13 they are required to pay 26 [selaim] and a p'rutah: the 21 and a p'rutah which they pledged on their own initiative and the five which are the fifth from their original bid.

Similarly, if the second person said: "I will redeem it for 22," a third said, "...for 23," a fourth said, "...for 24," a fifth said, "...for 25," and [the original owner] added even a p'rutah to the sum of 25, they are compelled to give 30 and a p'rutah: the 25 and a p'rutah which they pledged on their own initiative and the five which are the fifth that they are obligated. For the owner is not required to add a fifth to the additions of the others. Instead, they must add the fifth from their original pledge to the final sum that they pledged.

ה

הַבְּעָלִים קוֹדְמִין לְכָל אָדָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מוֹסִיפִין חֹמֶשׁ. וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין חֹמֶשׁ עַל עִלּוּיָן שֶׁל שְׁאָר הַפּוֹדִים אֶלָּא עַל מַה שֶּׁנָּתְנוּ הֵם תְּחִלָּה. כֵּיצַד. אָמְרוּ הַבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי זֶה שֶׁלָּנוּ בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּבָא אַחֵר וְאָמַר הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלִּי בְּעֶשְׂרִים הַבְּעָלִים קוֹדְמִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מוֹסִיפִין חֹמֶשׁ וְנוֹתְנִין חָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים. בָּא אֶחָד וְאָמַר הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלִּי בְּאַחַת וְעֶשְׂרִים אִם שָׁתְקוּ הַבְּעָלִים וְלֹא הוֹסִיפוּ כְּלוּם מוֹכְרִין אוֹתָהּ לָהֶם בְּחָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים. וְאִם הוֹסִיפוּ הַבְּעָלִים עַל עֶשְׂרִים וְאַחַת אֲפִלּוּ פְּרוּטָה אַחַת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נוֹתְנִין שֵׁשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים וּפְרוּטָה אַחַת. אַחַת וְעֶשְׂרִים וּפְרוּטָה שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מֵעַצְמָן וְחָמֵשׁ שֶׁהֵן חַיָּבִין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם חֹמֶשׁ הַמַּתָּן שֶׁנָּתְנוּ תְּחִלָּה. וְכֵן אִם בָּא הַשֵּׁנִי וְאָמַר הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלִּי בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁתַּיִם. וּבָא שְׁלִישִׁי וְאָמַר בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְשָׁלֹשׁ. וּבָא רְבִיעִי וְאָמַר בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע. וּבָא הַחֲמִישִׁי וְאָמַר בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְחָמֵשׁ. וְהוֹסִיפוּ הֵן עַל הָעֶשְׂרִים וְחָמֵשׁ אֲפִלּוּ פְּרוּטָה אַחַת כּוֹפִין אוֹתָן לִתֵּן שְׁלֹשִׁים וּפְרוּטָה. חָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים וּפְרוּטָה שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מֵעַצְמָן. וְחָמֵשׁ מֵחֹמֶשׁ שֶׁהֵן חַיָּבִין בּוֹ. לְפִי שֶׁאֵין הַבְּעָלִים מוֹסִיפִין חֹמֶשׁ עַל עִלּוּיוֹ שֶׁל זֶה אֶלָּא חֹמֶשׁ מַה שֶּׁנָּתְנוּ תְּחִלָּה מוֹסִיפִין עַל מַה שֶּׁנָּתַן הָאַחֲרוֹן אִם רָצוּ:

6

When does the above apply? When the consecrated property was not evaluated by three experts. If, however, three experts evaluated the consecrated property and said that it was worth what the last [bidder] pledged and the original owners then increased his bid by even a p'rutah, the additional fifth they must give [is calculated based on] the latter bid.14 They must, therefore, give 31 [selaim], a dinar,15 and a p'rutah.

ו

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁלֹּא שָׁמוּ הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ שְׁלֹשָׁה מֻמְחִין. אֲבָל אִם שָׁמוּ אוֹתוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה מֻמְחִין וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁהוּא שָׁוֶה מַה שֶּׁנָּתַן הָאַחֲרוֹן וְהוֹסִיפוּ הַבְּעָלִים עַל עִלּוּיוֹ אֲפִלּוּ פְּרוּטָה אַחַת הֲרֵי הֵן מוֹסִיפִין חֹמֶשׁ עַל עִלּוּיוֹ שֶׁל אַחֲרוֹן וְנוֹתְנִין אַחַת וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְדִינָר וּפְרוּטָה:

7

[The following rules apply when] the consecrated property was not evaluated, the owner pledged 20, someone else came and pledged 25, and the owner remained silent and did not add anything. The owner is still given priority, for he is also required to pay 25 because of the additional fifth. If another person came and pledged 26,16 he is given priority. If the owner desires to add even a p'rutah he must give 31 [selaim] and a p'rutah as we explained.17 This pattern is followed in all instances.

ז

הֲרֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִשּׁוֹם הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ. וְנָתְנוּ הַבְּעָלִים תְּחִלָּה עֶשְׂרִים וּבָא אַחֵר וְנָתַן חָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים וְשָׁתְקוּ הַבְּעָלִים וְלֹא הוֹסִיפוּ כְּלוּם. הַבְּעָלִים קוֹדְמִין שֶׁאַף הֵן חַיָּבִין לִתֵּן חָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים מִפְּנֵי הַחֹמֶשׁ. בָּא אַחֵר וְנָתַן שֵׁשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים הוּא קוֹדֵם. וְאִם רָצוּ הַבְּעָלִים וְהוֹסִיפוּ אֲפִלּוּ פְּרוּטָה נוֹתְנִין אַחַת וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וּפְרוּטָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ לְעוֹלָם:

8

In the present era, we do not consecrate property, nor make evaluation offerings or dedication offerings,18 for there is no Temple to make improvements upon. [The following laws apply] if one did consecrate property or make an evaluation offering or a dedication offering:19 If it was an animal, he should lock it in [a closed room] until it dies naturally. If it was produce, a garment, or a utensil, it should be set aside until it rots. If it was coins or metal utensils, they should be taken to the Dead Sea or the Mediterranean Sea20 to be destroyed.

ח

אֵין מַקְדִּישִׁין וְלֹא מַעֲרִיכִין וְלֹא מַחְרִימִין בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מִקְדָּשׁ בַּחֲטָאֵינוּ כְּדֵי לְחַזֵּק אֶת בִּדְקוֹ. וְאִם הִקְדִּישׁ אוֹ הֶעֱרִיךְ אוֹ הֶחֱרִים אִם הָיְתָה בְּהֵמָה נוֹעֵל דֶּלֶת בְּפָנֶיהָ עַד שֶׁתָּמוּת מֵאֵלֶיהָ. וְאִם הָיוּ פֵּרוֹת אוֹ כְּסוּת אוֹ כֵּלִים מַנִּיחִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁיֵּרָקְבוּ. וְאִם הָיוּ מָעוֹת אוֹ כְּלֵי מַתָּכוֹת יַשְׁלִיכֵן לְיָם הַמֶּלַח אוֹ לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל כְּדֵי לְאַבְּדָן:

9

If a person consecrated a servant who accepted the mitzvot21 [incumbent on servants] or designates him as a dedication offering, he should redeem him and bring the money to the Dead Sea as is the law with regard to other pledges of the worth of an article or arachim in the present age.22 If the servant was a gentile,23 he may not be cast into a pit, nor may he be raised up from one.24

ט

הִקְדִּישׁ אוֹ הֶחֱרִים עֶבֶד שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְמִצְוֹת פּוֹדֵהוּ וְיֵלְכוּ דָּמָיו לְיָם הַמֶּלַח כִּשְׁאָר דָּמִים וַעֲרָכִין שֶׁל זְמַן הַזֶּה. וְאִם הָיָה עֶבֶד עַכּוּ''ם לֹא מַעֲלִין וְלֹא מוֹרִידִין:

10

It is permissible to redeem consecrated property for a p'rutah in the present age even as an initial and preferable option.25 Our Sages, however, ruled that it be redeemed for four zuzim or close to that sum to publicize the matter. In the era of the Temple, as an initial preference, it should be redeemed for its worth, as we explained.26

י

מֻתָּר לִפְדּוֹת הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה לְכַתְּחִלָּה וַאֲפִילוּ בִּפְרוּטָה וּמַשְׁלִיךְ אוֹתָהּ לְיָם הַמֶּלַח. וַחֲכָמִים דָנוּ שֶׁיִּפְדֶּה בְּאַרְבָּעָה זוּזִים אוֹ קָרוֹב לָזֶה כְּדֵי לְפַרְסֵם הַדָּבָר. אֲבָל בִּזְמַן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא יִפְדֶּה לְכַתְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא בְּשָׁוְיוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

11

In the present age, if a person made a dedication offering of movable property without specifying his intent, it should be given to the priests27 in that locale. If, however, he designated a field in Eretz Yisrael as a dedication offering without specifying his intent or designated it as a dedication offering to the priests, it is not a dedication offering.28 For [the laws of] a dedication offering of a field apply in the era that the Jubilee year is observed.29

If one designated landed property as a dedication offering for the priests in the Diaspora even in the present era, it is considered like movable property in Eretz Yisrael30 and should be given to the priests.

יא

מִי שֶׁהֶחְרִים בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה מִטַּלְטְלִין סְתָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נוֹתְנָן לַכֹּהֲנִים הַנִּמְצָאִין בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם. אֲבָל אִם הֶחֱרִים שָׂדֶה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל סְתָם אוֹ שֶׁהֶחֱרִימָהּ לַכֹּהֲנִים אֵינָהּ חֵרֶם. שֶׁאֵין שְׂדֵה חֲרָמִים נוֹהֵג אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַיּוֹבֵל נוֹהֵג. הֶחֱרִים לַכֹּהֲנִים קַרְקַע בְּחוּץ לָאָרֶץ וַאֲפִלּוּ בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה הֲרֵי הִיא כְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בָּאָרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְתִנָּתֵן לַכֹּהֲנִים:

12

It is a mitzvah to consecrate property and designate dedication and evaluation offerings31 and it is appropriate for a person to observe these practices to subjugate his natural inclination32 so that he will not be parsimonious and to fulfill the charge of the prophets [Proverbs 3:9]: "Honor God with your wealth." Nevertheless, if a person never consecrated property nor designated a dedication or evaluation offering, it is of no consequence.33 For the Torah has given testimony, saying [Deuteronomy 23:23]: "If you will refrain from [uttering] a vow, you will not have sinned."

יב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת וְהַחֲרָמִין וְהָעֲרָכִין מִצְוֹת וְרָאוּי לוֹ לְאָדָם לְהַנְהִיג עַצְמוֹ בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ כְּדֵי לָכֹף יִצְרוֹ וְלֹא יִהְיֶה כִּילַי וִיקַיֵּם מַה שֶּׁצִּוּוּ נְבִיאִים (משלי ג ט) "כַּבֵּד אֶת הֵ' מֵהוֹנֶךָ". אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אִם לֹא הִקְדִּישׁ וְלֹא הֶעֱרִיךְ וְלֹא הֶחֱרִים מֵעוֹלָם אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם. הֲרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הֵעִידָה וְאָמְרָה (דברים כג כג) "וְכִי תֶחְדַּל לִנְדֹּר לֹא יִהְיֶה בְךָ חֵטְא":

13

A person should never consecrate all of his property or designate it as a dedication offering. A person who does so violates the Torah's guidance, for [Leviticus 27:28] speaks [of a person designating a dedication offering] "from all that is his." [Implied is that he should not give] "all that is his," as our Sages explained.34 This is not piety, but foolishness, for he will lose all his money and become dependent on others.35 We should not show mercy to such a person. In a similar vein, our Sages said:36 "A man of foolish piety is among those who destroy the world." Instead, a person who distributes his money for mitzvot should not distribute more than a fifth,37 and he should conduct himself as our Prophets advised [cf. Psalms 112:5]: "He arranges his affairs with judgment," both with regard to matters involving Torah and worldly concerns.38 Even with regard to the sacrifices for which a person is liable, the Torah showed compassion for [a person's] resources and dictated that the type of sacrifice be offered according to a person's financial capacity.39 How much more so should this approach be followed with regard to matters which a person is obligated only because of his vows. He should take such vows only in a manner appropriate for him, as [implied by Deuteronomy 16:17]: "Each man according to his generosity, according to the blessings of God, your Lord, which He has granted you."40

יג

לְעוֹלָם לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אָדָם וְלֹא יַחֲרִים כָּל נְכָסָיו. וְהָעוֹשֶׂה כֵּן עוֹבֵר עַל דַּעַת הַכָּתוּב שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כז כח) "מִכָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ" וְלֹא כָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאֲרוּ חֲכָמִים. וְאֵין זוֹ חֲסִידוּת אֶלָּא שְׁטוּת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא מְאַבֵּד כָּל מָמוֹנוֹ וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לַבְּרִיּוֹת. וְאֵין מְרַחֲמִין עָלָיו. וּבָזֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים חָסִיד שׁוֹטֶה מִכְּלַל מְבַלֵּי עוֹלָם. אֶלָּא כָּל הַמְפַזֵּר מָמוֹנוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת אַל יְפַזֵּר יוֹתֵר מֵחֹמֶשׁ. וְיִהְיֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁצִּוּוּ נְבִיאִים (תהילים קיב ה) "מְכַלְכֵּל דְּבָרָיו בְּמִשְׁפָּט" בֵּין בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה בֵּין בְּדִבְרֵי עוֹלָם. אֲפִלּוּ בְּקָרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁאָדָם חַיָּב בָּהֶן הֲרֵי חָסָה תּוֹרָה עַל הַמָּמוֹן וְאָמְרָה שֶׁיָּבִיא כְּפִי מִסַּת יָדוֹ. קַל וָחֹמֶר לִדְבָרִים שֶׁלֹּא נִתְחַיֵּב בָּהֶן אֶלָּא מֵחֲמַת נִדְרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִנְדֹּר אֶלָּא כָּרָאוּי לוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז יז) "אִישׁ כְּמַתְּנַת יָדוֹ כְּבִרְכַּת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָךְ":

Blessed be God who grants assistance.

This concludes the sixth book with the help of the Omnipotent.

There are 43 chapters in this book.

In Hilchot Sh'vuot, there are 12 chapters.

In Hilchot Nedarim, there are 13 chapters.

In Hilchot Nizirut, there are 10 chapters.

In Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, there are 8 chapters.

בריך רחמנא דסייען. נגמר ספר שישי, בעזרת שדיי. ומניין פרקים של ספר זה, שלושה וארבעים: הלכות שבועות, שנים עשר פרקים; הלכות נדרים, שלושה עשר פרקים; הלכות נזירות, עשרה פרקים; הלכות ערכים וחרמים, שמונה פרקים.

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

I.e., the Sanhedrin, Israel's highest court.

2.

There is a certain lack of clarity in the Rambam's words. For the donation of the half-shekel that was announced and collected in the month of Adar was for the sake of the communal offerings (Hilchot Shekalim 4:10).

3.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 14.

4.

A second opinion is always valuable lest one person err and a third is necessary, lest the two differ. None of the three is required to be a priest (Radbaz).

5.

Megilah 23b derives this from the fact that Leviticus, ch. 27, mentions the word "priest" ten times when speaking of all of these types of evaluations.

6.

It is not, however, necessary that all ten be priests (Megilah, loc. cit.).

7.

In such an instance, the person - or his limb's - worth is evaluated like a servant being sold in the marketplace. Based on Leviticus 25:46, an equation is established between landed property and servants. Hence, the same evaluation process is used (Megilah, loc. cit.).

8.

Note the contrast to Chapter 3, Halachot 19-20.

9.

I.e., although he merely pledged the fifty, we follow the principle (Kiddushin 28b, et al): "A pledge to the Temple treasury is like transferring the article to an ordinary person." Nevertheless, he is only required to pay ten, since the Temple treasury can collect the forty from the other person.

10.

I.e., since they retracted at the same time, the loss suffered by the Temple treasury is divided equally between them. The Ra'avad and Rashi (Arachin 27b) offer a different interpretation of how the sum is divided between the two. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh, however, justify the Rambam's view.

11.

And thus if the original owner and another person pledge the same amount, the Temple treasury will receive more if the original owner is allowed to redeem it.

12.

They are given the opportunity to redeem it, because the Temple treasury will benefit more from their redemption than that of the other person.

13.

A copper coin of minimal value.

The Ra'avad and Rashi (Arachin 27b) maintain that even if the original owners do not raise the bid, they are liable for 26 selaim for they are liable for the sela added by the other bidder. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify the Rambam's approach.

14.

Since this is the article's worth, it is appropriate that the fifth be calculated accordingly.

15.

I.e., a fourth of 25 selaim is six selaim and a dinar. This is the additional fifth that the original owner is required to pay.

16.

More precisely, anything above 25, so that his increase benefits the Temple treasury.

17.

In Halachah 5.

18.

This refers to dedication offerings for the sake of the Temple. With regard to dedication offerings to the priests, see Halachah 11.

19.

Since the property was consecrated, it is forbidden to benefit from it. Hence, it must be disposed of in a manner in which no one will benefit. The Ra'avad emphasizes that the advice given by the Rambam applies in an instance when one does not desire to redeem the consecrated property. If one desires to redeem it, it is preferable to do so, following the guidelines set down in Halachah 10. The Kessef Mishneh states that the Rambam would not differ with this concept. See also the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 258:1) who suggests that if a person consecrates an article in the present age, he should ask a sage to repeal his vow.

20.

I.e., a place where the money will be lost to human hands forever.

21.

I.e., a gentile servant who is circumcised and immersed in the mikveh and then required to observe all the mitzvot incumbent upon women. See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 13:11.

22.

In this way, the holiness associated with the servant will be transferred to the article and the article left in a place where no one will benefit from it.

23.

As the Rambam states in Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 14:9, after being purchased by a Jew, a gentile servant is given a year in which to decide whether he wishes to observe the mitzvot. The Rambam is speaking about the laws that apply in the midst of that year.

24.

The Rambam makes similar statements with regard to idol-worshiping gentiles in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 10:1; Hilchot Rotzeach 4:11. The Radbaz interprets the Rambam's intent in citing these concepts here as implying that the owner should not redeem the servant. Since he remains consecrated, it is forbidden to benefit from his labor.

25.

In the present era, since nothing can be done with the money, our Sages allowed the consecrated property to be redeemed in this manner. Note the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 258:1) who rules that consecrated property cannot be redeemed in the present age. The Siftei Cohen 258:3, however, cites the Rambam's view.

26.

Chapter 7, Halachah 8.

27.

See Chapter 6, Halachah 1.

28.

The Ra'avad cites a view that maintains that even though the field is not given to the priests, it becomes consecrated and can no longer be used by the person for his individual concerns.

29.

See Hilchot Shemitah ViYovel 10:9.

30.

See the Tur (Choshen Mishpat 95) and commentaries which debate whether this principle applies in all matters or only in this limited context.

31.

As listed at the beginning of this set of halachot.

32.

See The Guide to the Perplexed, Vol. III, ch. 39, which states that the purpose for these mitzvot is to cultivate the trait of generosity. Also by consecrating his property, one uses his wealth for a holy purpose rather than his own indulgence.

33.

Compare to the conclusion of Hilchot Nedarim.

34.

Arachin 28a.

35.

The Rambam is very critical of those who can support themselves on their own, but instead, make wrong choices in the name of piety and thus, require others to support them. See for example, Hilchot Matanot Aniyim 10:18 which states:

Even a dignified sage who becomes poor should work in a profession, even a degrading profession, rather than seek public assistance. It is better to skin the hides of dead animals rather than tell people: "I am a sage, support me."

36.

Sotah 20a.

37.

Ketubot 50a derives this concept from Jacob's vow to tithe (Genesis 28:22). There the verb which conveys the promise to tithe is repeated, allowing for the concept of giving two tithes. See also Hilchot Matanot Aniyim 7:5.

Yayin Malchut notes that in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Pe'ah 1:1), the Rambam writes that as an act of piety, a person may give more than a fifth. Nevertheless, there is not necessarily a contradiction between the two. In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam is speaking about giving to a needy who asks for alms. In response to that acute need, one may give more that a fifth. Here the Rambam is speaking about giving to charity when there is no acute need. Hence the limit should be adhered to.

In Iggeret HaTeshuvah, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi states that one may give more than a fifth of his resources to charity to atone for his sins, for just as one is not concerned with the amount one gives when it comes to healing a physical wound or blemish, so too, one should not be worried about cost when healing a spiritual blemish.

38.

See Hilchot De'ot 5:10.

39.

I.e., there are different obligations for certain sacrifices, e.g., the adjustable guilt offering (Leviticus 5:6-11), depending on one's means.

40.

This verse specifically applies to the festive sacrifices a person brings for the pilgrimage festivals (see Hilchot Chagigah 1:2), but in an expanded sense, it applies to all offerings to the Temple.

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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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