Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Terumot - Chapter 7

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Terumot - Chapter 7


A priest who is ritually impure is forbidden to partake of terumah whether it is ritually pure or ritually impure,1 as [Leviticus 22:4] states: "Any person from the seed of Aaron who is afflicted with tzaraat2 or is a zav3 may not partake of consecrated food." Which consecrated food may be eaten by all the descendants of Aaron, both male and female? We must say: terumah.4

[Thus] any impure person who eats terumah that is ritually pure is liable for death at the hand of heaven. Therefore he is given lashes,5 as [ibid.:9] states: "And you shall protect My charge and not bear sin because of it [and die because of it]."

When an impure person partakes of terumah that is ritually impure, he does not receive lashes, although he transgresses a negative commandment,6 for [impure terumah] is not holy.7


כֹּהֵן טָמֵא אָסוּר לֶאֱכל תְּרוּמָה בֵּין טְמֵאָה בֵּין טְהוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ד) "אִישׁ אִישׁ מִזֶּרַע אַהֲרֹן וְהוּא צָרוּעַ אוֹ זָב בַּקֳדָשִׁים לֹא יֹאכַל". אֵי זֶהוּ קֹדֶשׁ שֶׁאוֹכְלִין אוֹתוֹ כָּל זֶרַע אַהֲרֹן זְכָרִים וּנְקֵבוֹת הֱוֵי אוֹמֵר זוֹ תְּרוּמָה. אֶלָּא שֶׁכָּל טָמֵא הָאוֹכֵל תְּרוּמָה טְהוֹרָה חַיָּב מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם. וּלְפִיכָךְ לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ט) "וְשָׁמְרוּ אֶת מִשְׁמַרְתִּי וְלֹא יִשְׂאוּ עָלָיו חֵטְא". וְטָמֵא שֶׁאָכַל תְּרוּמָה טְמֵאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בְּלָאו אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ קֹדֶשׁ:


Impure [priests who have immersed to purify themselves] may not partake of terumah until the sun sets and three stars appear afterwards8 [on the day the impure person immerses himself], as [implied by ibid.:7]: "And the sun will set and he will become pure"9 - until the sky will become pure of the light - "afterwards he may partake of the consecrated foods."


אֵין הַטְּמֵאִים אוֹכְלִין בִּתְרוּמָה עַד שֶׁיַּעֲרִיב שִׁמְשָׁן וְיֵצְאוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה כּוֹכָבִים אַחַר שְׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ז) "וּבָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְטָהֵר" עַד שֶׁיִּטְהַר הָרָקִיעַ מִן הָאוֹר (ויקרא כב ז) "וְאַחַר יֹאכַל מִן הַקָּדָשִׁים":


A priest who is ritually pure who ate terumah that is ritually impure is not liable for lashes, because [the prohibition is the result of] a positive commandment. For the verse states: "Afterwards he may partake of the consecrated foods."10 [Implied is that,] after he becomes purified, he may partake of food that is in a state of holiness. Food which is impure, by contrast, he should not eat, even though he becomes purified. A prohibition that stems from a positive commandment11 has the status of a positive commandment.12


כֹּהֵן טָהוֹר שֶׁאָכַל תְּרוּמָה טְמֵאָה אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא בַּעֲשֵׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב ז) "וְאַחַר יֹאכַל מִן הַקֳדָשִׁים" מִדָּבָר שֶׁהוּא בִּקְדֻשָּׁתוֹ הוּא שֶׁיֹּאכַל כְּשֶׁיִּטְהַר אֲבָל דָּבָר טָמֵא לֹא יֹאכַל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּטְהַר וְלָאו הַבָּא מִכְּלָל עֲשֵׂה עֲשֵׂה הוּא:


When [a priest] was partaking of terumah and he feels his limbs shudder to ejaculate.13 He should hold his member14 and swallow the terumah.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה אוֹכֵל בִּתְרוּמָה וְהִרְגִּישׁ שֶׁנִּזְדַּעְזְעוּ אֵיבָרָיו לְהוֹצִיא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אוֹחֵז בָּאַמָּה וּבוֹלֵעַ אֶת הַתְּרוּמָה:


We may immerse a deaf-mute or intellectually or emotionally unstable [priest] and feed him terumah after nightfall on that day.15 We guard them to make sure that they do not sleep after immersing themselves, because if they sleep, they are [considered] impure for perhaps they had a seminal emission16 unless a copper container is made for them.17


הַחֵרֵשׁ וְהַשּׁוֹטֶה מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתָן וּמַאֲכִילִין אוֹתָן תְּרוּמָה אַחַר שֶׁהֶעֱרִיב שִׁמְשָׁן. וּמְשַׁמְּרִין אוֹתָן שֶׁלֹּא יִישְׁנוּ אַחַר הַטְּבִילָה שֶׁאִם יִישְׁנוּ טְמֵאִים. אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עָשׂוּ לָהֶם כִּיס שֶׁל נְחשֶׁת שֶׁמָּא יִרְאוּ קֶרִי:


Camel-riders are forbidden to partake of terumah until they immerse themselves and [wait] until nightfall, because we presume that they are ritually impure. [The rationale is that] the physical stimulation18 produced by riding on the flesh of a camel produces a drop of semen.19


רוֹכְבֵי גְּמַלִּים אֲסוּרִין לֶאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה עַד שֶׁיִּטְבְּלוּ וְיַעֲרִיב שִׁמְשָׁן שֶׁהֵן בְּחֶזְקַת טֻמְאָה מִפְּנֵי הַחִמּוּם שֶׁהָרְכִיבָה עַל עוֹר הַגָּמָל מוֹצִיא טִפָּה שֶׁל שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע:


When a woman engages in intimacy, she may immerse herself and partake of terumah in the evening,20 provided she did not turn over during intimacy.21 If she turned over during intimacy she is forbidden to partake of terumah for a duration of three days. For it is impossible that she will not discharge [semen] and become impure,22 as will be explained in the appropriate place.23


הַמְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת מִטָּתָהּ אִם לֹא נִתְהַפְּכָה בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ טוֹבֶלֶת וְאוֹכֶלֶת בִּתְרוּמָה לָעֶרֶב. וְאִם נִתְהַפְּכָה בִּשְׁעַת הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לֶאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה כָּל שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תִּפְלֹט וְתִהְיֶה טְמֵאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:


Since the primary obligation of terumah [separated] in the Diaspora is Rabbinic in origin,24 it is forbidden only to a priest who becomes ritually impure because of a discharge from his body: i.e., men who had a seminal emission, zavim,25 zavot,26 niddot,27 and women who give birth.28 All of these individuals may partake [of terumah] after they immersed even if they did not [wait] until nightfall.29 Those who, by contrast, became impure because of contact with a source of ritual impurity - whether contact with a human corpse, a form of impurity which is impossible to purge in the present age30 or contact with [the corpse of] a crawling animal - need not immerse themselves [to partake of] terumah separated in the Diaspora.


תְּרוּמַת חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ הוֹאִיל וְעִקָּרָהּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן אֵינָהּ אֲסוּרָה בַּאֲכִילָה אֶלָּא לְכֹהֵן שֶׁטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה עָלָיו מִגּוּפוֹ. וְהֵן בַּעֲלֵי קְרָיִין וְזָבִין וְזָבוֹת וְנִדּוֹת וְיוֹלְדוֹת. וְכֻלָּן שֶׁטָּבְלוּ מֻתָּרִין לַאֲכִילָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הֶעֱרִיב שִׁמְשָׁן. אֲבָל טְמֵאֵי מַגַּע טֻמְאוֹת בֵּין שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמֵת שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָנוּ הַיּוֹם לִטַּהֵר מִמֶּנּוּ בֵּין שֶׁנָּגַע בְּשֶׁרֶץ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִטְבּל לִתְרוּמַת חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ:


For this reason, a male priest who is a minor who has not yet had a seminal emission or a female of the priestly family who has never experienced menstrual bleeding may partake of [terumah from the Diaspora] at all times without undergoing an inspection, for the presumption that they did not have a discharge that would render them ritually impure applies to them.31

A metzora32 is considered as one who had a discharge that renders him impure,33 provided he is declared impure by a priest whose lineage is established.34


לְפִיכָךְ כֹּהֵן קָטָן שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא רָאָה קֶרִי וּקְטַנָּה שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא רָאֲתָה דַּם נִדָּה אוֹכְלִין אוֹתָהּ תָּמִיד בְּלֹא בְּדִיקָה שֶׁחֶזְקָתָן שֶׁלֹּא יָצְאָה טֻמְאָה עֲדַיִן עֲלֵיהֶם. וְהַמְצֹרָע הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמִי שֶׁטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה עָלָיו מִגּוּפוֹ וְהוּא שֶׁיְּטַמֵּא אוֹתוֹ כֹּהֵן מְיֻחָס אֲבָל קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּטַמְּאֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן טָהוֹר הוּא:


A priest who is uncircumcised is forbidden to partake of terumah according to Scriptural Law.35 [This concept is derived as follows: Leviticus 22:10] speaks of a resident worker and a hired worker with regard to [partaking of] terumah and [Exodus 12:45] speaks of a resident worker and a hired worker with regard to [partaking of] the Paschal sacrifice. Just as with regard to the Paschal sacrifice, the resident worker and the hired worker spoken about refer to those who are uncircumcised and who are forbidden [to partake of] it,36 so too, with regard to terumah, we learn that a resident worker and a hired worker who are uncircumcised are forbidden [to partake of] it. 37 If such a person partakes [of terumah], he is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law.

A person who extends his foreskin38 is permitted to partake of terumah even though he appears uncircumcised.39 According to Rabbinic Law, however, he must be circumcised again until he appears circumcised.40


כֹּהֵן עָרֵל אָסוּר לֶאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה מִדִּין תּוֹרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא כב י) "תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר" בִּתְרוּמָה וְנֶאֱמַר תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר בְּפֶסַח. מָה תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר הָאָמוּר בְּפֶסַח עָרֵל אָסוּר בּוֹ אַף תּוֹשָׁב וְשָׂכִיר הָאָמוּר בִּתְרוּמָה עָרֵל אָסוּר בּוֹ. וְאִם אָכַל לוֹקֶה מִן הַתּוֹרָה. מָשׁוּךְ מֻתָּר לֶאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּעָרֵל וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁיָּמוּל פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה עַד שֶׁיֵּרָאֶה מָהוּל:


One who is born circumcised may partake of terumah.41 A tumtum42 may not partake of terumah for there is a doubt whether he is uncircumcised.43 An androgynus44 should be circumcised and then he may partake of terumah.45


הַנּוֹלָד מָהוּל אוֹכֵל בִּתְרוּמָה. וְהַטֻּמְטוּם אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא סְפֵק עָרֵל. וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס מָל וְאוֹכֵל:


Although an uncircumcised priest and all those who are impure are forbidden to partake of terumah, their wives and their servants may partake [of it].46


הֶעָרֵל וְכָל הַטְּמֵאִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן אֲסוּרִין לֶאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה נְשֵׁיהֶן וְעַבְדֵיהֶן אוֹכְלִין:


[The following laws apply to a priest] who has maimed testicles or a severed member. They and their servants may partake of terumah.47 Their wives may not partake of terumah.48 If [such a priest] was not intimate with his wife after suffering these wounds, [his wife] may partake of terumah.49 Similarly, if he married the descendent of converts, she may partake of terumah.50


פְּצוּעַ דַּכָּא וּכְרוּת שָׁפְכָה הֵם וְעַבְדֵיהֶן אוֹכְלִין. וּנְשֵׁיהֶן לֹא יֹאכְלוּ. וְאִם לֹא יָדַע אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ מִשֶּׁנַּעֲשָׂה פְּצוּעַ דַּכָּא וּכְרוּת שָׁפְכָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יֹאכְלוּ. וְכֵן אִם נָשָׂא בַּת גֵּרִים הֲרֵי זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת:


When a priest with maimed testicles consecrates the daughter of a priest, she may not partake of terumah.51 [When a priest is] a eunuch who was brought to this state through natural means,52 he, his wife, and his servants may partake of terumah. [When a priest is] a tumtum or an androgynus, their servants may partake of terumah,53 but not their wives.54


פָּצוּעַ דַּכָּא כֹּהֵן שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ בַּת כֹּהֵן אֵינָהּ אוֹכֶלֶת. סְרִיס חַמָּה הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וַעֲבָדָיו אוֹכְלִין. טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס עַבְדֵיהֶן אוֹכְלִין אֲבָל לֹא נְשׁוֹתֵיהֶן:


When a [priest who was] a deaf-mute, a mentally or emotionally unstable person, or a minor purchased servants, they may not partake of terumah.55 If, however, the local court or their guardian purchases servants for them or they acquire them by inheritance, [the servants] may partake of terumah.56


חֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן שֶׁקָּנוּ לָהֶן עֲבָדִים אֵינָן אוֹכְלִין. אֲבָל אִם קָנוּ לָהֶם בֵּית דִּין אוֹ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס אוֹ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לָהֶן בִּירֻשָּׁה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אוֹכְלִין:


When an androgynus [of the priestly family] engages in intimacy - whether through anal intercourse57 or vaginal intercourse - with a person who is disqualified from partaking of terumah, he is disqualified from partaking of terumah as a woman would be.58 His servants also may not partake of terumah.59

Similarly, if he engages in intimacy with another adrogynus with whom relations would disqualify a woman from partaking of terumah, he is disqualified. Neither he nor his servants may partake of terumah. [The latter law] applies when he engages in intimacy through vaginal intercourse.60 If, however, he is intimate through anal intercourse,61 [the above does not apply], because a male does not disqualify another male from priestly [privileges].62


אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס שֶׁנִּבְעַל לְפָסוּל מִן הַתְּרוּמָה בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ זִכְרוּתוֹ בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ נְקֵבוּתוֹ נִפְסַל מִלֶּאֱכל בִּתְרוּמָה כְּנָשִׁים. וְאֵין עֲבָדָיו אוֹכְלִין. וְכֵן אִם נִבְעַל לְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס אַחֵר שֶׁהוּא פּוֹסֵל בְּבִיאָתוֹ לְאִשָּׁה נִפְסַל וְאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל וְלֹא מַאֲכִיל עֲבָדָיו. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּבְעל אוֹתוֹ דֶּרֶךְ נְקֵבוּתוֹ. אֲבָל דֶּרֶךְ זִכְרוּתוֹ אֵין זָכָר פּוֹסֵל זָכָר מִן הַכְּהֻנָּה:


When a servant belongs to partners and one of them is a priest that does not entitle others to partake of terumah,63 this servant is forbidden to partake [of terumah]. Whenever [the ownership of a servant] entitles him to partake of terumah, it also entitles him to partake of the breast and the thigh [of the peace sacrifices].64


עֶבֶד שֶׁל שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן כֹּהֵן אֵינוֹ מַאֲכִיל הֲרֵי זֶה הָעֶבֶד אָסוּר לֶאֱכל. וְכָל הַמַּאֲכִיל בִּתְרוּמָה מַאֲכִיל בֶּחָזֶה וְשׁוֹק:


When a daughter of an Israelite marries a priest and brings servants [to his domain] - regardless of whether they are classified as nichsei milog or nichsei tzon barzel65 - they may partake [of terumah]. Similarly, when the servants of priests purchase servants or the servants of a priest's wife purchase servants, they may partake of terumah, as [intimated by Leviticus 22:11]: "[When a priest] will purchase a soul, the acquisition of his money, [he shall partake of it]." Implied is even an acquisition of an acquisition.66 An acquisition of [a priest] who is permitted to partake of terumah may entitle others to partake [of terumah]. An acquisition who does not partake of terumah may not entitle others to partake [of terumah].67


בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת לְכֹהֵן וְהִכְנִיסָהּ לוֹ בֵּין עַבְדֵי מְלוֹג בֵּין עַבְדֵי נִכְסֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יֹאכְלוּ. וְכֵן עַבְדֵי כֹּהֵן שֶׁקָּנוּ עֲבָדִים וְעַבְדֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁקָּנוּ עֲבָדִים יֹאכְלוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כב יא) "כִּי יִקְנֶה נֶפֶשׁ קִנְיַן כַּסְפּוֹ" אֲפִלּוּ קִנְיַן הַקִּנְיָן. וְקִנְיַן הָאוֹכֵל מַאֲכִיל (אֲחֵרִים) וְקִנְיָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל אֵינוֹ מַאֲכִיל:


When the daughter of a priest marries an Israelite and brings servants [to his domain] - regardless of whether they are classified as nichsei milog or nichsei tzon barzel - they may not partake [of terumah].68


בַּת כֹּהֵן שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְהִכְנִיסָה לוֹ בֵּין עַבְדֵי מְלוֹג בֵּין עַבְדֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יֹאכְלוּ:


[The following laws apply when] a widow marries a High Priest or a divorcee or a woman who underwent chalitzah - whether the daughter of a priest or an Israelite - marries an ordinary priest69 or [a priest] marries another one of the women with whom marriage is prohibited [by Scriptural Law].70 If she brings servants [to his domain] which are classified as nichsei milog or nichsei tzon barzel [to his domain], those classified as nichsei milog may not partake [of terumah],71 even though he is required to provide for their sustenance. Those classified as nichsei tzon barzel may partake of terumah, for they are the husband's property. If [a priest] married a shniyah,72 she may partake [of terumah],73 but her servants who are nichsei milog may not partake [of terumah].74


אַלְמָנָה לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל גְּרוּשָׁה וַחֲלוּצָה לְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט בֵּין כֹּהֶנֶת בֵּין יִשְׂרְאֵלִית וְכֵן שְׁאָר חַיָּבֵי לָאוִין וְהִכְנִיסָה לוֹ עַבְדֵי מְלוֹג וְעַבְדִּי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל. עַבְדֵי מְלוֹג לֹא יֹאכְלוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בִּמְזוֹנוֹתָם. וְעַבְדֵי צֹאן בַּרְזֶל יֹאכְלוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל בַּעַל. נָשָׂא שְׁנִיָּה הִיא אוֹכֶלֶת וְעַבְדֵי מְלוֹג שֶׁלָּהּ לֹא יֹאכְלוּ:


When the daughter of a priest who is a widow is consecrated by a High Priest or one who is divorced is consecrated by an ordinary priest, they may not partake of terumah,75 because they are designated for intimate relations that are forbidden according to Scriptural Law. Similarly, if they enter the chupah76 without being consecrated, they may not partake [of terumah]. For [entering into] the chupah disqualifies them.77

If such a woman is widowed or divorced after consecration [but before marriage], she returns to suitability and may partake of terumah. If, however, she had married, she may not partake of terumah, because she already became a chalalah.78


כֹּהֶנֶת אַלְמָנָה שֶׁנִּתְאָרְסָה לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל אוֹ גְּרוּשָׁה לְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט הוֹאִיל וְהֵן מְשַׁמְּרוֹת לְבִיאָה פְּסוּלָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יֹאכְלוּ. וְכֵן אִם נִכְנְסוּ לַחֻפָּה בְּלֹא אֵרוּסִין אֵינָן אוֹכְלוֹת שֶׁהַחֻפָּה פּוֹסַלְתָּן מִלֶּאֱכל. נִתְאַלְמְנוּ אוֹ נִתְגָּרְשׁוּ מִן הָאֵרוּסִין חָזְרוּ לְהֶכְשֵׁרָן וְאוֹכְלוֹת. מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין לֹא יֹאכְלוּ שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְחַלְּלוּ:


When the husband of the daughter of a priest who is himself a priest dies and she falls before yevamim, one of which is a challal,79 she may not partake of terumah because of her connection to the challal.80 [This applies] even if one of the acceptable [brothers] issued a mamar81 to her, for a maamar does not constitute a complete acquisition of a yevamah.82


כֹּהֶנֶת שֶׁמֵּת בַּעְלָהּ כֹּהֵן וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי יְבָמִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חָלָל לֹא תֹּאכַל מִפְּנֵי זִקַּת הֶחָלָל. וַאֲפִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָּהּ אֶחָד מִן הַכְּשֵׁרִים מַאֲמָר. שֶׁאֵין הַמַּאֲמָר קוֹנֶה בִּיבָמָה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר:


[Although a yavam who is] a priest gives a bill of divorce83 to his yevamah, [despite the fact that] she becomes forbidden to him, she still remains connected to him.84 Hence, she is entitled to partake of terumah. [She is not disqualified,] because she is designated for relations that are forbidden [only] by Rabbinic decree, since a bill of divorce disqualifies a yevamah only according to Rabbinic decree.

Similarly, the daughter of a priest who underwent the rite of chalitzah85 or is a shniyah86 who became consecrated to a priest may partake of terumah.87 [Also,] when an ordinary priest marries an ailonot,88 she may partake of terumah.89


כֹּהֵן שֶׁנָּתַן גֵּט לִיבִמְתּוֹ הַכֹּהֶנֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֶסְרָה עָלָיו וַעֲדַיִן זִקָּתוֹ עָלֶיהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת בִּתְרוּמָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מְשַׁמֶּרֶת לְבִיאָה פְּסוּלָה שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶן. שֶׁאֵין הַגֵּט פּוֹסֵל הַיְבָמָה אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן. וְכֵן כֹּהֶנֶת חֲלוּצָה אוֹ שְׁנִיָּה שֶׁנִּתְאָרְסָה לְכֹהֵן אוֹכֶלֶת. כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט שֶׁנָּשָׂא אַיְלוֹנִית הֲרֵי זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת בִּתְרוּמָה:

Test Yourself on This Chapter


Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 136) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 279) include this as one of 613 mitzvot of the Torah.


Tzara'at is a physical affliction resembling, but not identical with leprosy, that comes as a result of gossip and imparts ritual impurity.


This refers to a physical affliction resembling, but not identical with gonorrhea that imparts ritual impurity.


It does not refer to the breast and thigh of the peace offerings, for a woman of the priestly family who marries and is widowed or divorced may not partake of them (Yevamot 74b).


If his transgression is observed by witnesses and they issued a warning. Whenever lashes are given on the earthly plane, the transgressor receives atonement and is no longer held liable for death by God.


From the fact that Sanhedrin 83a,b emphasizes that an impure priest is not liable for death for partaking of impure terumah, the Rambam concludes that a transgression is involved.


Its impurity nullifies its holiness. See Chapter 6, Halachah 6 and notes, however.


The Kessef Mishneh states that this is approximately 20 minutes after sunset. This applies in Eretz Yisrael. In different latitudes, the duration of this time period varies.

This represents a stringency over other laws where ritual purity is required. In many such instances, as soon as one immerses himself, his purification is completed and no further wait is necessary. See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 7:11.


The simple meaning of the verse is that the person's purification process is not completed until the sun sets. The rules of Biblical exegesis, however, leave room for the meaning mentioned by the Rambam.


The Rabaz emphasizes that with regard to partaking of the sacrifices, in certain instances, an impure priest must also bring a sacrifice to mark his immersion from impurity.


I,e., as in the case at hand, there is no verse that says "Do not eat impure terumah," but from the positive commandment regarding pure terumah, we can conclude that partaking of the impure terumah is prohibited.


Hence, its violation is not punishable by lashes.


Which would render him ritually impure.


For he does not become ritually impure until the semen actually emerges and in this way, he could swallow the terumah first (Niddah 40a).


These individuals are not responsible for their conduct. Nevertheless, their priesthood is intact. Hence, we immerse them to purify them and then enable them to partake of terumah.


I.e., because of the doubt, we considered them impure.


Which would allow a seminal emission to be detected. Were the container to be made of cloth, the semen could be absorbed (Radbaz).


The literal meaning of the Hebrew is "warmth."


See the gloss of the Radbaz who states that the Rambam's wording implies that this ruling applies only when one rides bareback [see Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 23:6)]. He also explains why it applies only to camel-riders and not those who ride on other animals.


I.e., intimate relations cause both the man and the woman to become impure. To emerge from that impurity, they must each immerse in the mikvah and wait until nightfall (see Leviticus 15:18).


Intimate relations can cause a woman to become impure for two reasons:

a) as stated above, the very act of intimacy brings about ritual impurity;

b) she comes in contact with semen and touching semen makes one ritually impure (Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTumah 5:9).

As long as the semen is in the woman's vagina, it is not considered to have touched her, because it is touching her body internally, not externally. If, however, it flows outside her vagina and touches her externally, she does become impure. According to the Rambam, if the woman does not turn over in intimate relations, the semen will remain in her vagina and not flow outside. Hence, after immersing herself and waiting until nightfall, she may partake of terumah. If, however, she turned over in the midst of intimacy, the semen will flow out. Moreover, it is possible that it will not flow out immediately, but will do so over the course of the coming days. Now, semen is considered to remain viable until the third day after intimacy. Hence for three days, the woman must consider the possibility that the semen flowed out from her body and made her impure. Hence, she cannot immerse herself in the mikvah to regain ritual purity until three days have passed.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that even if the woman did not turn over during intimacy, as soon as she arises from bed, it is possible that semen will flow out from her vagina and touch her body. He quotes Niddah 41b in support of his explanation. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh suggest that the Rambam had a different text of that Talmudic passage and they validate his ruling.


Because of it touching her body.


Ibid.:11. There the Rambam states that the intent is not that semen remains viable for three full days, but that it can remain viable until the third day after relations.


As stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 1, according to Scriptural Law, the requirement to separate terumah applies only in Eretz Yisrael. The early Sages ordained that it should be observed in certain neighboring countries.


This refers to a physical affliction resembling, but not identical with gonorrhea that imparts ritual impurity.


Women who become impure because they experienced menstrual bleeding at times other than her ordinary cycle.


Women who become impure because they experienced ordinary menstrual bleeding.


Who becomes impure as explained in Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah, ch. 10. Since the obligation to separate terumah in these lands is only Rabbinic in origin, the Sages were lenient regarding the restrictions incumbent on those who partake of terumah.


In contrast to terumah prescribed by Scriptural Law when such a wait is necessary, as stated in Halachah 2. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam concerning this point and refers to Bechorot 27a in support of his position. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh offer different explanations of that passage that support the Rambam's interpretation.


For to purge the impurity resulting from contact with a human corpse, it is necessary to have the ashes from a Red Heifer sprinkled upon one's body and those ashes are not available in the present age.


Once a male or a female attains majority, by contrast, we assume that they have become impure and they must immerse themselves before partaking of terumah (Radbaz).


A metzora is somebody who has been afflicted with tzara'at. Tzara'at is a physical affliction resembling, but not identical with leprosy, that comes as a result of gossip and imparts ritual impurity.


For his impurity is also a result of a physical condition (ibid.).


For a person afflicted by tzara'at does not become ritually impure until a priest declares him so (Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 9:2). With regard to the establishment of a priest's lineage, see the notes to Chapter 6, Halachah 2.

The Radbaz adds that the reason the impurity of tzara'at is not observed in the present age is that we have no priests whose lineage is established to declare people ritually impure. The physical conditions for the impurity may exist in the present age.


The Radbaz writes that this prohibition applies even if he is uncircumcised with the Torah's permission, e.g., his brothers died because of circumcision, in which instance, caution is shown before circumcising him.


See Hilchot Korban Pesach 9:7.


Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 135) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 282) include this as one of 613 mitzvot of the Torah. There is, however, a slight difficulty with this classification. The Rambam maintains that any commandment that is derived through one of the Thirteen Principles of Biblical Exegesis does not have the status of a Scriptural command, nor is such a prohibition punishable by lashes (Sefer HaMitzvot, General Principle 2) and as the Rambam states here, there is no direct commandment prohibiting an uncircumcised person from partaking of terumah. Instead, it is derived by our Sages (Yevamot 70a) through an association of verses (gezeirah shaveh). Hence, seemingly, it should not be placed in that category. The Rambam notes this difficulty when discussing this mitzvah in Sefer HaMitzvot and states that since our Sages mentioned that this mitzvah was of Scriptural origin, he considered it as having that status.


I.e., one was originally circumcised, but underwent an operation so that it would appear that he was not circumcised. In the Hellenist and Roman periods, there were Jews who underwent such operations so that they would resemble non-Jews.


For according to Scriptural Law, his original circumcision was effective and he can never revert to being uncircumcised.


The Radbaz writes that the intent is not that he is forbidden to partake of terumah until he is circumcised again. Instead, the intent is that he is advised to undergo the operation and not to partake of terumah until he does so. The Sefer HaMitzvot and the Sefer HaChinuch (loc. cit.), however, say that such an individual is prohibited by the Rabbis from partaking of terumah.


Although it is necessary to draw a drop of blood from such a person's organ (Hilchot Milah 1:11), it cannot be said that such a person is uncircumcised. Hence, he is permitted to partake of terumah (Radbaz).


A child whose genital area is covered by a mass of flesh and thus his gender cannot be determined.


Since his gender is undetermined, we do not know whether or not he must be circumcised.


A person with both male and female sexual organs.


Although there are many unresolved questions about such a person's status vis-à-vis gender, there is no difficulty in him partaking of terumah for both males and females of the priestly family are permitted to partake of it.


They are prohibited from partaking of terumah due to outside factors. Their membership in the priestly family is, however, intact. Hence, their wives and servants may partake of terumah (Radbaz).


Although their wounds prevent such priests from serving at the Altar, they are still members of the priestly family. Hence, they and their servants may partake of terumah.


As stated in Deuteronomy 23:2 and Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah, ch. 16, a person with such wounds is forbidden to marry a natural born Jewess. Hence, if a priest is intimate with his wife after suffering such wounds, she becomes a zonah and a chalalah and hence, is forbidden to partake of terumah.


Since they were not intimate, she has not become a chalalah and may partake of terumah. The Kessef Mishneh states that this refers to an instance where the couple were married and then he suffered this wound. If, however, a priest suffers such a wound and then consecrates a woman, she may not partake of terumah. See the notes to the following halachah.


Ordinarily, a priest cannot marry a convert or the descendant of a convert. In this instance, however, because of his injury, the full measure of the holiness of the priesthood does not rest upon him and he may marry such a woman (Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 16:1). Once he marries such a woman, she is entitled to partake of terumah, because she is the wife of a priest.


Since this woman is prepared to engage in intimate relations that are forbidden to her, our Sages prohibited her from partaking of terumah even though she had not actually engaged in such relations. Moreover, she is no longer permitted to partake of terumah by virtue of her being a member of the priestly family, because she was consecrated, as stated in Chapter 8, Halachah 1.


See Hilchot Ishut 2:14 for a more precise definition of the term used by the Rambam. As stated in Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 16:9, such a person is permitted to marry a native-born Jewess. Hence, there is no difficulty with the wife of a priest with such a condition partaking of terumah.


For in this context, there is no difference between them and the servants of an ordinary priest.


For there is an unresolved doubt if their marriages are acceptable. Needless to say, if a tumtum undergoes an operation and it is determined that he is a male, his wife may partake of terumah even if he consecrated her before the operation.


These individuals are considered as not being responsible for their actions and their acquisitions are not valid. Hence, the servants they purchase by themselves are not their property according to Scriptural Law and may not partake of terumah.


Because the acquisitions are binding and they have become the property of a priest.


The literal translation of the Rambam's words would be "as a male would be the object of intimacy."


For such relations would cause a woman to be considered as a chalalah. Since there is an unresolved question regarding the gender of an androgynus, we are stringent and consider the possibility that he is a female. And a female is disqualified from terumah if she engages in intimacy that would render her a chalalah regardless of whether it is vaginal or anal intercourse (Radbaz).


For their right to partake of terumah is dependent on that of their owner.


For such relations would render a woman a chalahah and, because of the unresolved question regarding the status of the androgynus, we apply that stringency to him as well.


The literal translation of the Rambam's words would be "as a male would be the object of intimacy."


A male priest does not become a chalal because he entered into a forbidden sexual relationship.

The Ra'avad and the Kessef Mishneh question the Rambam's ruling, noting that, seemingly, the person should be disqualified from partaking of terumah based on the same rationale as the first clause of the halachah: i.e., that the androgynus also has a feminine dimension and that feminine dimension will be disqualified through anal intercourse. Hence, they ask: Why does the Rambam only view this relationship as intimacy between males and hence, not able to disqualify the androgynus? Why not see it as a relation between a male and a female? Among the explanations given is that since both of the androgynies are engaging in relations as males, it is not appropriate to deem one a male and one a female.


The Jerusalem Talmud (the conclusion of tractate Terumot) states that for a servant to partake of terumah, he must belong to priests entirely. If an Israelite has even a one-hundredth share in the ownership of the servant, he may not partake of terumah.


Which may be eaten by all the members of the priest's household.


When a woman marries, her husband receives the right to benefit from her property. As explained in Hilchot Ishut, ch. 16, there are two arrangements under which a husband is allowed to benefit from his wife's property:

nichsei milog - in this instance, in the event of divorce or the husband's death, the property reverts to the ownership of the woman according to its value at that time, regardless of the profit or loss she suffers;

nichsei tzon barzel - in this instance, the property is evaluated at the time of marriage; in the event of divorce or the husband's death, the woman receives that amount, regardless of the worth of the property at that time.

Servants can be classified in either of these categories. In both instances, they have the right to partake of terumah. With regard to servants who are nichsei tzon barzel, they are the husband's (the priest's) acquisitions, for it is as if he acquired them when he accepted financial responsibility for their worth. With regard to those who are nichsei milog, they are "the acquisition of his acquisition," i.e., property belonging to his wife whom he has acquired. See Halachah 20.


I.e., servants acquired by servants who were acquired by the priest. The inference is derived based on the fact that the verse contains two derivatives of the word koneh - "acquire."


When the wife of a priest is not entitled to partake of terumah (see Halachot 20-22), her servants may also not partake of terumah.


The servants who are nichsei tzon barzel certainly may not partake of terumah for they are now the property of an Israelite. Even the servants who are nichsei milog may not partake of terumah, for at this time, their owner - the Israelite's wife - is disqualified from partaking of terumah.


These three types of relationships are forbidden, the first two by Scriptural Law, the latter by Rabbinic Law. Thus the woman will become a chalalah and hence, forbidden to partake of terumah. Since she is forbidden to partake of terumah, her servants are likewise forbidden.


I.e., a woman who is forbidden to him because of one of the prohibitions that apply to all Jews, even non-priests. Nevertheless, if he engages in relations with that woman, she becomes a zonah and thus prohibited against partaking of terumah. In this instance as well, since she is forbidden to partake of terumah, her servants are likewise forbidden.


For they are the woman's property, it is just that they are "on loan" to her husband, as it were.


A relatively distant female relative with whom our Sages prohibited marriage as a safeguard against the Scriptural prohibitions of incest. See Hilchot Ishut 1:6.


For according to Scriptural Law, she is the priest's wife and relations with him do not disqualify her, neither as a zonah or a chalalah.


Seemingly, since such a woman has the right to partake of terumah, her servants should also be so entitled. The Radbaz explains that since her marriage is not sanctioned by Rabbinic Law, her husband is under no obligation to sustain her. Hence, her servants do not receive the right to partake of terumah. Those servants that are nichsei tzon barzel are permitted to partake of terumah according to all authorities, for they are her husband's acquisitions as explained above.


I.e., were it not for the reason stated by the Rambam, they would be permitted to partake of terumah by virtue of their membership in the Priestly family.


Entering the chupah means entering a private place with her husband. This is the act that constitutes the beginning of the second phase of the marriage relationship, nissuin.


Even though a woman enters the chupah without consecration, that act causes her to be considered as designated for intimate relations that are forbidden.


Through intimate relations with her husband.


I.e., her husband, the priest, had several brothers, one of whom was born from a relationship forbidden to the priesthood, and thus had the status of a challal.


Since she could be married by the challal, she is disqualified even though she is a member of the priestly family.


A maamar is a Rabbinic institution in which a yevam declares his intention to marry his brother's childless widow by consecrating her through giving her money (Hilchot Yibbum 2:1).


If another brother would perform yibbum with the widow, he would become her husband despite the maamar given by his brother. Thus the connection to the yevam who is a challal is still intact.


I.e., instead of performing chalitzah which would absolve the connection between him and his yevamah, he gave her a bill of divorce. According to Scriptural Law, the bill of divorce is not effective at all. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, it disqualifies the woman from carrying out yibbum with any of the brothers (Hilchot Yibbum VeChalitzah 5:1).


For according to Scriptural Law, their connection is still intact.


And thus became forbidden to a priest by Rabbinic decree.


A relatively distant female relative with whom our Sages prohibited marriage as a safeguard against the Scriptural prohibitions of incest. See Hilchot Ishut 1:6.


Because she is a member of the priestly family. In contrast to the women mentioned in Halachah 21, these women are designated for relations that are forbidden only by Rabbinic decree. Hence, they are not disqualified.

Were the yevamah to be the daughter of an Israelite, she would not be permitted to partake of terumah despite the fact that she is bound to a priest through the obligation of yibbum (Radbaz).


A women whose female sexual characteristics are underdeveloped.


Although the priest may divorce her because she cannot have children, until he does so, he may be intimate with her. Hence, she is entitled to partake of terumah.

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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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