There are a total of 50 blemishes that disqualify both a man1 and an animal.2 They have already been listed.3


כָּל הַמּוּמִין הַפּוֹסְלִין בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה חֲמִשִּׁים וּכְבָר נִמְנוּ:


There are other blemishes that are unique to animals and are not appropriate to be found in humans at all.4 There are 23 of these; they are: a) the animal's eyeball's are round like humans; b) one eye is large like a calf's and the other is small like a duck's;5 if, however, one ear is large and one ear is small, even if it is small as a bean, it is acceptable; c) if there is an eruption in the white of the eye that has a hair growing from it;6 d) if the cartilage between its two nostrils was perforated in a place which can be seen;7 e) its mouth resembles that of a swine; i.e., its upper jaw overlapped its lower jaw, even though it is not pointed like a spit.


וְיֵשׁ מוּמִין אֲחֵרִים מְיֻחָדִין בַּבְּהֵמָה וְאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִהְיוֹת בְּאָדָם. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים הֵם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. אִם הָיָה גַּלְגַּל עֵינָהּ עָגל כְּשֶׁל אָדָם. עֵינָהּ אַחַת גְּדוֹלָה כְּשֶׁל עֵגֶל וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה קְטַנָּה כְּשֶׁל אַוָּז. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה אֹזֶן גְּדוֹלָה וְאֹזֶן קְטַנָּה אֲפִלּוּ קְטַנָּה עַד כְּפוֹל כָּשֵׁר. אִם יֵשׁ בְּלֹבֶן עֵינָהּ יַבֶּלֶת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שֵׂעָר. אִם נִקַּב הָעוֹר שֶׁבֵּין שְׁנֵי חֳטָמֶיהָ בַּמָּקוֹם הַנִּרְאֶה. פִּיהָ דּוֹמֶה לְשֶׁל חֲזִיר פָּרוּס אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחֻדָּד כְּשִׁפּוּד:


f) If its outer tonsils8 were perforated; g) their substance was reduced, even though a portion of them remained; h) they shriveled; i) its inner tonsils were removed;9 [this is considered a blemish],10 because when it opens its mouths and shriek, it will be seen that they are missing.


חִטֶּיהָ הַחִיצוֹנוֹת שֶׁנִּקְּבוּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּפְגְּמוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר מִקְצָתָן אוֹ שֶׁנִּגְמְמוּ אִם נֶעֶקְרוּ חִטֶּיהָ הַפְּנִימִיּוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּעֵת שֶׁפּוֹתַחַת פִּיהָ וְצוֹוַחַת הֵן נִרְאִין חֲסֵרִין:


j) If its horns and their inner fibrous tissue was removed and nothing of it remained;11 a female animal that has horns is acceptable;12 k) if the substance of the skin which covers the male organ of an animal was blemished; l) if the substance of the female organ of an animal was blemished;13 m) if the substance of the tail is blemished from its bone; [if its substance is blemished] from its joint, it is not [a blemish];14 n) if the tip of the tail was split into two with two separate bones; o) if there was a finger's breadth of flesh between every joint on the tail; p) if the tail was [overly] short.

To what extent? For a kid, one vertebra is a blemish, but two are not. For a lamb, a length of two vertebrae is a blemish, but three is acceptable. q) if the tail of a kid was soft and hanging loosely like that of a pig; r) if one of the tail bones was broken.15 If, however, one of the ribs are broken, it is acceptable, because [the blemish] is not visible.


אִם נִטְּלוּ קַרְנֶיהָ וְזִכְרוּתָן עִמָּהֶן וְלֹא נִשְׁאַר מֵהֶן כְּלוּם. אֲבָל נְקֵבָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ קַרְנַיִם כְּשֵׁרָה. אִם נִפְגַּם הָעוֹר שֶׁחוֹפֶה אֶת גִּיד הַבְּהֵמָה. אִם נִפְגְּמָה הָעֶרְוָה שֶׁל נְקֵבָה. אִם נִפְגַּם הַזָּנָב מִן הָעֶצֶם אֲבָל לֹא מִן הַפֶּרֶק. אִם הָיְתָה רֹאשׁ הַזָּנָב מְפֻצָּל לִשְׁנַיִם בִּשְׁנֵי עֲצָמִים. אִם הָיָה בֵּין חֻלְיָא לְחֻלְיָא מְלֹא אֶצְבַּע בָּשָׂר. אִם הָיָה הַזָּנָב קָצָר. וְעַד כַּמָּה. בִּגְדִי חֻלְיָא אַחַת מוּם שְׁתַּיִם כָּשֵׁר. וּבְטָלֶה אֹרֶךְ שְׁתֵּי חֻלְיוֹת מוּם. הָיְתָה שָׁלֹשׁ כָּשֵׁר. זְנַב הַגְּדִי שֶׁהָיָה רַךְ וּמְדֻלְדָּל דּוֹמֶה לְשֶׁל חֲזִיר. אִם נִשְׁבַּר עֶצֶם מִן הַזָּנָב. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁבַּר עֶצֶם מִצַּלְעוֹתָיו כָּשֵׁר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בְּגָלוּי:


A five-legged animal; t) a three-legged animal;16 u) the hooves of one of its hindlegs or forelegs was round like that of a donkey even if has split hooves; v) if the hooves of one of its hindlegs or forelegs was not split like that of a donkey. This is the meaning of the term kalut mentioned in the Torah;17 w) if its hoofs and the fibrous substance inside has shriveled, even though there remains some of that fibrous substance next to the flesh,


בַּעֲלַת חָמֵשׁ רַגְלַיִם אוֹ אֵין לָהּ אֶלָּא שָׁלֹשׁ רַגְלַיִם. אִם הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵרַגְלָיו וְיָדָיו פַּרְסָתָהּ עֲגֻלָּה כְּשֶׁל חֲמוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא סְדוּקָה וּפְרוּסָה. אִם הָיְתָה יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ קְלוּטָה כְּשֶׁל חֲמוֹר וְזֶהוּ (ויקרא כב-כג) "קָלוּט" הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה. אִם נִגְמְמוּ טְלָפֶיהָ וְזִכְרוּתָן עִמָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר מִזִּכְרוּתָן מְעַט קָרוֹב לַבָּשָׂר:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


All of the 73 blemishes18 listed disqualify an animal from being offered as a sacrifice. If an animal that is consecrated contracts one of these blemishes, it should be redeemed and it becomes like an ordinary animal with the exception of an animal that is old, sick, or foul-smelling.19 Although such animals are unfit for sacrifice, they may not be redeemed.20 Instead, they should be maintained until they contract another permanent blemish.21 Then it should be redeemed. Similarly, a consecrated animal that contracts a temporary blemish should neither be redeemed,22 nor sacrificed.23


כָּל מוּם מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה וְשִׁבְעִים מוּם הַמְּנוּיִין בַּבְּהֵמָה פּוֹסְלִין אוֹתָהּ מִן הַקָּרְבָּן. וְאִם נָפַל אֶחָד מֵהֶם בִּתְמִימָה שֶׁהִיא קֹדֶשׁ תִּפָּדֶה וְתֵצֵא לְחֻלִּין. חוּץ מִזָּקֵן וְחוֹלֶה וּמְזֹהָם שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ כָּשֵׁר לְקָרְבָּן אֵינוֹ נִפְדֶּה. אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה קַיָּם וְרוֹעֶה עַד שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד בּוֹ מוּם אַחֵר קָבוּעַ מִשְּׁאָר הַמּוּמִין וְיִפָּדֶה. וְכֵן בֶּהֱמַת קָדָשִׁים שֶׁנּוֹלַד בָּהּ מוּם עוֹבֵר אֵינָהּ קְרֵבָה וְלֹא נִפְדֵּית:


There are four temporary blemishes [that disqualify] both a man and an animal:24 a) a moist skin eruption;25 b) a boil that does not resemble those of Egypt;26 c) water that descends in the eyes that is not a permanent condition;27 d) a degeneration of nerves in the eye that is not permanent.28


אַרְבָּעָה מוּמִין עוֹבְרִים יֵשׁ בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. גָּרָב לַח. חֲזָזִית שֶׁאֵינָהּ מִצְרִית. מַיִם שֶׁיּוֹרְדִין בָּעַיִן וְאֵינָן קְבוּעִין. סַנְוִירִין שֶׁאֵינָן קְבוּעִין:


The are four other ailments that if found in an animal [prevent] it from being sacrificed. [The rationale is that such an animal] is not from the "choice," and Scripture [Deuteronomy 12:11] states [that sacrifices must come] "from the chosen of your vows."29

They are: a) an animal with an eruption in the white of its eye, but it does not have hair growing from it;30 b) the substance of the horns of an animal was reduced, but their inner fibrous tissue remained;31 c) the substance of its inner tonsils were reduced; or d) its inner tonsils shriveled.32

If a consecrated animal had one of these blemishes, it is neither sacrificed not redeemed.33 Instead, it should be allowed to pasture until it contracts a [disqualifying] blemish.34 If it was sacrificed, it appears to me that it is acceptable.35


יֵשׁ שָׁם אַרְבָּעָה חֳלָיִים אֲחֵרִים אִם נִמְצָא אֶחָד מֵהֶם בִּבְהֵמָה אֵין מַקְרִיבִין אוֹתָהּ. לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ מִן הַמֻּבְחָר וְהַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר (דברים יב-יא) "מִבְחַר נְדָרֶיךָ". וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁבְּלֹבֶן עֵינוֹ יַבֶּלֶת שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ שֵׂעָר. אִם נִגְמְמוּ קַרְנָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר מִזִּכְרוּתָן מְעַט סָמוּךְ לַבָּשָׂר. אִם נִפְגְּמוּ חִטָּיו הַפְּנִימִיּוֹת. אִם הָיָה אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ בְּקָדָשִׁים לֹא קְרֵבִין וְלֹא נִפְדִּין. אֶלָּא יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם. וְאִם הִקְרִיבָן יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהֻרְצוּ:


Similarly, when a transgression was performed with a consecrated animal36 or it killed a person, but [was observed] only by one witness or by the owner,37 it is neither sacrificed not redeemed until it contracts a permanent blemish.


וְכֵן בֶּהֱמַת קָדָשִׁים שֶׁנֶּעֶבְדָה בָּהּ עֲבֵרָה אוֹ שֶׁהֵמִיתָה אֶת הָאָדָם בְּעֵד אֶחָד אוֹ עַל פִּי הַבְּעָלִים לֹא קְרֵבָה וְלֹא נִפְדֵּית עַד שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד לָהּ מוּם קָבוּעַ:


When an animal contracts one of the conditions that render it treifah38 and cause it to be forbidden to be eaten, it is forbidden [to be sacrificed on] the altar.39 For behold it is written [Malachi 1:8]: "Present it please to your governor. Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?"40 Although it is not fit to be sacrificed, it is not redeemed.41 [The rationale is that] we do not redeem sacrificial animals to feed [their meat] to the dogs. Instead, it should pasture until it dies and then be buried.42


בְּהֵמָה שֶׁנּוֹלַד בָּהּ אַחַת מִן הַטְּרֵפִיּוֹת הָאוֹסְרוֹת אוֹתָהּ בַּאֲכִילָה אֲסוּרָה לְגַבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (מלאכי א-ח) "הַקְרִיבֵהוּ נָא לְפֶחָתֶךָ הֲיִרְצְךָ אוֹ הֲיִשָּׂא פָנֶיךָ". וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לְקָרְבָּן אֵין פּוֹדִין אוֹתָהּ שֶׁאֵין פּוֹדִין אֶת הַקָּדָשִׁים לְהַאֲכִילָן לַכְּלָבִים. אֶלָּא יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיָּמוּתוּ וְיִקָּבְרוּ:


If it was slaughtered and discovered to be tereifah, it should be taken out to the place of burning.43 [This law also applies] if it is discovered that one of its internal organs is lacking even if this does not cause it to be deemed a tereifah, for example, it has [only] one kidney or its spleen has been removed.44 Such [an animal] is forbidden [to be offered] on the altar and must be burnt. [The rationale is] not because it is blemished, because an internal flaw is not considered as a disqualifying blemish.45 Instead, the rationale is that an animal that is lacking [an organ] should never be offered [as a sacrifice], as [Numbers 28:31] states: "They shall be perfect for you." [An animal] with an extra [organ] is considered as if it was lacking one.46 Therefore if three kidneys or two spleens are found in [an animal], it is unacceptable.


נִשְׁחֲטָה וְנִמְצֵאת טְרֵפָה הֲרֵי זוֹ תֵּצֵא לְבֵית הַשְּׂרֵפָה. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא אֶחָד מֵאֵיבָרֶיהָ הַפְּנִימִיִּין חָסֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ טְרֵפָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת בְּכֻלְיָא אַחַת אוֹ שֶׁנִּטַּל הַטְּחוֹל הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְתִשָּׂרֵף. לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא בַּעֲלַת מוּם שֶׁאֵין חִסָּרוֹן שֶׁבִּפְנִים מוּם אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין מַקְרִיבִין חָסֵר כְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כח-יט) (במדבר כח-לא) (במדבר כט-ח) "תְּמִימִם יִהְיוּ לָכֶם". וְכָל הַיָּתֵר כְּחָסֵר לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִמְצָא שָׁם שָׁלֹשׁ כֻּלְיוֹת אוֹ שְׁנֵי טְחוֹלִים פְּסוּלָה:


What is meant by a permanent degeneration of nerves in the eye?47 An animal which [was observed] for eighty days and it did not see. We inspect it three times: on the twenty-seventh day from the time when its difficulty was sensed, on the fifty-fourth day, and on the eightieth day. If its sight [returned and then was lost again],48 we count from the time it stopped seeing.


אֵי זוֹ הִיא סַנְוִירִין קְבוּעִים כָּל שֶׁשָּׁהָה שְׁמוֹנִים יוֹם וְלֹא רָאָה. וּבוֹדְקִין אוֹתוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בְּיוֹם שִׁבְעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים מֵעֵת שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁוּ בּוֹ וּבְיוֹם אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים וּבְיוֹם שְׁמוֹנִים. אִם רָאָה מוֹנִים לוֹ שְׁמוֹנִים מֵעֵת שֶׁפָּסְקָה הָרְאִיָּה:


How is it known that the water [in its eyes] are permanent?49 When it ate fresh grass from Rosh Chodesh Adar until the first half of Nisan50 and then51 ate dried grass during Elul and the first half of Tishrei52 and was not healed.53 This indicates that the water is permanent.


וּבַמֶּה יִוָּדַע שֶׁהַמַּיִם קְבוּעִין. כְּשֶׁאָכְלָה עֲשָׂבִים לַחִים מֵרֹאשׁ אֲדָר עַד חֲצִי נִיסָן וְאָכְלָה אַחֲרֵי כֵן עֲשָׂבִים יְבֵשִׁים אֱלוּל וַחֲצִי תִּשְׁרֵי וְלֹא נִתְרַפְּאָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מַיִם קְבוּעִים:


How much of the fresh grass must be eaten in the season for fresh grass and the dried grass in the season for dried grass? At least54 an amount the size of a fig before its first meal in these three months.55 They must be eaten each day after drinking and it must be free [to roam] in the field while eating. It should not be alone, but with another animal for company. If all of this was done for it and it still was not healed, the water is definitely permanent. If one of these factors was lacking, there is a doubt concerning the matter56 and [the animal] should be neither offered,57 nor redeemed.58


וְכַמָּה תֹּאכַל מֵעֲשָׂבִים אֵלּוּ הַלַּחִים בַּזְּמַן הַלַּח וְהַיְבֵשִׁים בַּזְּמַן הַיָּבֵשׁ. כִּגְרוֹגֶרֶת אוֹ יוֹתֵר קֹדֶם סְעֻדָּה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁל כָּל יָמִים בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים אֵלּוּ. וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁתֹּאכַל אוֹתָן בְּכָל יוֹם אַחַר שְׁתִיָּה. וְתִהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת בַּשָּׂדֶה בְּעֵת אֲכִילָה. וְלֹא תִּהְיֶה לְבַדָּהּ אֶלָּא הִיא וּבְהֵמָה אַחֶרֶת לְצַוֵּות עִמָּהּ. אִם נַעֲשָׂה לָהּ כָּל אֵלּוּ וְלֹא נִתְרַפֵּאת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ קְבוּעִין וַדַּאי. וְאִם חָסֵר אֶחָד מִכָּל אֵלּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק וְאֵינָהּ קְרֵבָה וְלֹא נִפְדֵּית:


What is implied? It ate fresh grass as prescribed throughout Adar and during the first half of Nisan. Then it ate dried grass as prescribed during the second half of Nisan and the month of Iyar thus it ate the grasses for three months in the proper order.59 Or it ate a fig-sized amount of grass after eating or before drinking, or it was tied, alone, or located in a garden near a city. If it was not healed after all these treatments, there is an unresolved doubt whether [the blemish is considered] as permanent or temporary. Hence, if one blemished it in another manner, he is not liable for lashes.60 If it partook [of the grasses] in the prescribed manner during the prescribed times for eating and it was not healed, it is considered as permanently blemished.


כֵּיצַד. אָכְלָה הַלַּח כְּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ בַּאֲדָר כֻּלּוֹ וַחֲצִי נִיסָן וְאָכְלָה אַחֲרָיו הַיָּבֵשׁ כְּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ בַּחֲצִי נִיסָן וְאִיָּר שֶׁנִּמְצָא שֶׁאָכְלָה בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים עַל הַסֵּדֶר. אוֹ שֶׁאָכְלָה כִּגְרוֹגֶרֶת אַחַר אֲכִילָה אוֹ קֹדֶם שְׁתִיָּה אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה קְשׁוּרָה אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה לְבַדָּהּ אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה בַּגִּנָּה הַסְּמוּכָה לָעִיר וְלֹא נִתְרַפֵּאת מִכָּל אֵלּוּ סָפֵק קְבוּעִין אוֹ עוֹבְרִים. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הֵטִיל בָּהּ מוּם אַחֵר אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. אֲכָלָהּ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָהּ בִּזְמַנֵּי הָאֲכִילָה וְלֹא נִתְרַפְּאָה הֲרֵי הִיא בַּעֲלַת מוּם קָבוּעַ:


There is an unresolved doubt whether it is considered as permanently blemished from the time it contracted the condition or from the time they despaired of its recovery. Therefore if someone redeems it before they despaired of its recovery and then derived benefit from the object used to redeem the animal61 after they despaired of its recovery,62 there is an unresolved doubt whether he derived unauthorized benefit from consecrated animals. Therefore63 he does not bring a sacrifice to atone for this transgression, as will be explained in the appropriate place.64


יֵשׁ בַּדָּבָר סָפֵק אִם לְמַפְרֵעַ הִיא בַּעֲלַת מוּם קָבוּעַ מֵעֵת שֶׁבָּאוּ לָהּ הַמּוּמִים אוֹ מֵעֵת שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ מֵרְפוּאָתָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ הַפּוֹדֶה אוֹתָהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ מֵרְפוּאָתָהּ וְנֶהֱנֶה בְּאוֹתוֹ הַפִּדְיוֹן אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ מֵרְפוּאָתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק מוֹעֵל וְאֵינוֹ מֵבִיא קָרְבַּן מְעִילָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ: