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Daily Mitzvah (Rambam)

Day 187: Positive Commandment 70

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Positive Commandment 70 (Digest)
The "Doubtful" Guilt Offering

"If a person sins and commits one of the commandments of G‑d which may not be committed, but he does not know, he is guilty, and he shall bear his transgression. He shall bring an unblemished ram from the flock, with the value for a guilt offering, to the kohen. The kohen shall then make atonement for his unintentional sin which he committed and did not know."Leviticus 5:17-18.

One who is uncertain whether he committed a sin whose transgression would require him to bring a Sin Offering – e.g., two pieces of fat were before him, one permitted and one forbidden; he consumed one of them and the other was then lost (so that it was impossible to identify whether it was of the forbidden or permitted variety) – he must then bring an Asham Taluy (a "Doubtful Guilt Offering").

(If afterwards it was conclusively ascertained that he ate of the forbidden fats, he must bring a standard Sin Offering [even if he has already brought his Asham].)

Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting. From where you came -- from a putrid drop; where you are going -- to a place of dust, maggots and worms; and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting -- before the supreme king of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
  –Ethics of the Fathers 3:1
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