1

It is a positive commandment to offer the burnt-offering1 according to its statutes as they are written in the Torah.2 How is the burnt-offering brought? One slaughters [the animal] and casts its blood in the manner described,3 skins it, cuts it into pieces and offers all the pieces on the pyre of the altar, as [Leviticus 1:9] states: "The priest shall offer the entire [sacrifice] on the pyre of the altar."

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לַעֲשׂוֹת הָעוֹלָה כְּמִשְׁפָּטָהּ הַכְּתוּבָה בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכֵיצַד מַעֲשֵׂה הָעוֹלָה. שׁוֹחֵט וְזוֹרֵק הַדָּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמַפְשִׁיט וּמְנַתֵּחַ וּמַקְטִיר כָּל הַנְּתָחִים עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א ט) "וְהִקְטִיר הַכֹּהֵן אֶת הַכּל הַמִּזְבֵּחָה":

2

The wool on the heads of the sheep, the hair of the beards of the goats, and the bones, sinews, horns, and hoofs of the [sacrificial animals]4 should be offered on the pyre of the altar5 if they are still connected [naturally6 to the animal's body]. If they have been separated, they should not be brought up [to the altar].7 [This is derived from Deuteronomy 12:27 which mentions]: "Your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood."8All parts of the sacrificial animal which flew off9 the altar should not be returned to it. Similarly, a coal which flew off the altar should not be returned to it.

ב

צֶמֶר שֶׁבְּרָאשֵׁי כְּבָשִׂים וְשֵׂעָר שֶׁבִּזְקַן הַתְּיָשִׁים וְהָעֲצָמוֹת וְהַגִּידִים וְהַקַּרְנַיִם וְהַטְּלָפַיִם בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן מְחֻבָּרִין מַקְטִירִין אֶת הַכּל. וְאִם פָּרְשׁוּ לֹא יַעֲלוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב כז) "עלֹתֶיךָ הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם". וְכֻלָּן שֶׁפָּקְעוּ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יַחְזִיר. וְכֵן גַּחֶלֶת שֶׁפָּקְעָה מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא יַחְזִיר:

3

[The following rules apply when] the limbs [of a sacrificial animal] flew off the altar. If they still have substance, even if they flew off after midnight,10 they should be returned to the altar,11 [for Leviticus 6:2] speaks of [the burnt-offering remaining] "on its fire, on the altar, the entire night." If they do not have substance, even if they flew off before midnight, they should not be returned.12 If the meat became charred and dried up upon them like wood13 and they flew off before midnight, they should be returned. After midnight, they should not be returned.14

ג

אֵיבָרִים שֶׁפָּקְעוּ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶן מַמָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ פָּקְעוּ אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָה יַחְזִיר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ו ב) "עַל מוֹקְדָה עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּל הַלַּיְלָה". וְאִם אֵין בָּהֶם מַמָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ פָּקְעוּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת לֹא יַחְזִיר. נִתְחָרֵךְ הַבָּשָׂר וְיָבַשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן כְּעֵץ וּפָקְעוּ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת יַחְזִיר אַחַר חֲצוֹת לֹא יַחְזִיר:

4

After one cuts up the limbs of the burnt-offering, all of the different portions should be brought to the altar's ramp15 and salted there.16 Afterwards, all of the limbs should be brought up to the top of the altar.17 The gid hanesheh18 should be removed at the top of the altar19 and tossed on the pile of ash in the midst of the altar. All of the limbs should be cast on the altar, as [implied by the prooftext cited above], "the flesh and the blood." Just as the blood is cast [on the altar],20 so too, all of the flesh must be cast [on the pyre].21 After they were tossed [on the altar, the priest] should come and arrange them on the pyre, as [Leviticus 1:12] states: "And the priest shall arrange them." If limbs [of sacrificial animals] were roasted and then brought up to the altar, they are not considered as a pleasing fragrance.

ד

כְּשֶׁמְּנַתֵּחַ אֵיבְרֵי הָעוֹלָה מוֹלִיכִין אֶת כָּל הַנְּתָחִים לַכֶּבֶשׁ וּמוֹלְחִין אוֹתָם שָׁם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַעֲלִין כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים לְרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וּמֵסִיר גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה בְּרֹאשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמַשְׁלִיכוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הַדֶּשֶׁן שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְזוֹרֵק כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים עַל הָאֵשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב כז) "הַבָּשָׂר וְהַדָּם". כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַדָּם בִּזְרִיקָה כָּךְ כָּל הַבָּשָׂר בִּזְרִיקָה. וְאַחַר שֶׁזּוֹרְקָן חוֹזֵר וְעוֹרֵךְ אוֹתָן עַל הָאֵשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יב) "וְעָרַךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָם". וְאֵיבָרִים שֶׁצְּלָאָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֶעֱלָן לַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם רֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ:

5

How is the burnt-offering cut up? One would not break the animal's leg. Instead, a hole was made in it.22 It was hung from [the hole]23 and skinned. If [the burnt-offering] was an ox, it should be skinned without being hung.24

The person25 continues skinning, until he gets to the breast, When he gets to the breast, he should cut off the head26 and give it to a priest. He then cuts off the feet27 and gives them to others. He then completes skinning the animal. He rips open the heart and takes out its blood. He then proceeds to the forelegs and cuts them off.28 He proceeds to the right hindleg and gives it to [the priest] who merited [to carry] the head. The two testicles should be taken with it.

Afterwards, he rips open the animal's [belly] until he reveals the intestines. He takes the fat29 and places it on the head, to cover the place of slaughter.30 He takes the inner organs and gives them to another [priest].

ה

כֵּיצַד מְנַתְּחִין אֶת הָעוֹלָה. לֹא הָיָה שׁוֹבֵר אֶת הָרֶגֶל אֶלָּא נוֹקְבוֹ וְתוֹלֶה בּוֹ וּמַפְשִׁיט. וְאִם הָיָה שׁוֹר מַפְשִׁיטוֹ בְּלִי תְּלִיָּה. וּמַפְשִׁיט עַד שֶׁהוּא מַגִּיעַ לֶחָזֶה. הִגִּיעַ לֶחָזֶה חוֹתֵךְ אֶת הָרֹאשׁ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לַכֹּהֵן. וְחוֹתֵךְ אֶת הַכְּרָעַיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר וּמַשְׁלִים אֶת הַהֶפְשֵׁט. וְקוֹרֵעַ אֶת הַלֵּב וּמוֹצִיא אֶת דָּמוֹ. וְחוֹתֵךְ אֶת הַיָּדָיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר. עָלָה לְרֶגֶל יְמִינִי חוֹתְכוֹ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְמִי שֶׁזָּכָה בָּרֹאשׁ וּשְׁתֵּי בֵּיצִים עִמָּהּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ קוֹרֵעַ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה עַד שֶׁיִּגָּלוּ (אֶת) הַמֵּעַיִם. וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הַפֶּדֶר וְנוֹתְנוֹ עַל הָרֹאשׁ מִלְּמַעְלָה עַל בֵּית הַשְּׁחִיטָה. וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הַקְּרָבַיִם וְנוֹתְנָן לְאַחֵר:

6

[The latter] goes and washes them with water, as [Leviticus 1:13] states: "The inner organs and the feet should be washed with water." [This excludes] wine, a mixture of wine and water, and other liquids. All types of water are, [however,] acceptable.31

To what extent should he wash them? The stomach should be washed in the Washing Chamber32 to whatever degree necessary. The intestines should be washed at least three times.33 They should be washed on the marble table located between the pillars.

ו

הוֹלֵךְ וּמְדִיחָן בַּמַּיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יג) "וְהַקֶּרֶב וְהַכְּרָעַיִם יִרְחַץ בַּמָּיִם". לֹא בְּיַיִן וְלֹא בְּמֶזֶג וְלֹא בִּשְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין. וְכָל הַמֵּימוֹת כְּשֵׁרִין. כַּמָּה מְדִיחָן. הַכָּרֵס מְדִיחִין אוֹתָהּ בְּבֵית [הַמְּדִיחִין] כָּל צָרְכָּהּ. הַקְּרָבַיִם אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מִשָּׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים. וּמְדִיחִין אוֹתָן עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹת שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ שֶׁבֵּין הָעַמּוּדִים:

7

He then takes the knife and separates the lung from the liver and [also] the lobe of the liver from the liver.34 He should not move the liver from its place. He hollows out the chest and gives it to another [priest]. He then proceeds upward to the right flank and cuts if off and descends to the backbone. He does not touch the backbone35 until he reaches the two soft ribs. He cuts it off and gives it to another [priest] while the liver is attached to it.

ז

נָטַל אֶת הַסַּכִּין וּמַפְרִישׁ אֶת הָרֵאָה מִן הַכָּבֵד וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד מִן הַכָּבֵד וְאֵינוֹ מֵזִיז הַכָּבֵד מִמְּקוֹמוֹ. וְנוֹקֵב אֶת הֶחָזֶה וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְאַחֵר. וְעוֹלֶה לַדֹּפֶן הַיְמָנִית וְחוֹתֵךְ וְיוֹרֵד עַד הַשִּׁדְרָה וְלֹא יִגַּע בַּשִּׁדְרָה. עַד שֶׁהוּא מַגִּיעַ לִשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַכָּבֵד תְּלוּיָה בָּהּ:

8

He then reaches the neck and leaves it with two ribs on either side. He cuts it off and gives it to another priest with the windpipe, the heart, and the lungs attached to it. He proceeds to the left flank and leaves two soft ribs above and two soft ribs below and, as he had left in the other one. Thus on the two sides, he leaves four ribs on either side. He then cuts it off and gives it to another person together with the backbone36 with the spleen attached to it.

ח

בָּא לוֹ לַגֵּרָה מַנִּיחַ בָּהּ שְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת מִכָּאן וּשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת מִכָּאן. חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַקָּנֶה וְהַלֵּב וְהַרֵאָה תְּלוּיִין בָּהּ. בָּא לוֹ לַדֹּפֶן הַשְּׂמָאלִית וּמַנִּיחַ בָּהּ שְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת מִלְּמַעְלָה וּשְׁתֵּי צְלָעוֹת רַכּוֹת מִלְּמַטָּה וְכָךְ הָיָה מַנִּיחַ בַּחֲבֶרְתָּהּ. נִמְצָא מַנִּיחַ בִּשְׁתֵּי הַדְּפָנוֹת אַרְבַּע צְלָעוֹת בְּזוֹ וְאַרְבַּע צְלָעוֹת בְּזוֹ. חוֹתְכָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר וְהַשִּׁדְרָה עִמָּהּ וְהַטְּחוֹל תָּלוּי בָּהּ:

9

He then comes to the tail and severs it and gives it to another [priest] together with the fat-tail, the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with it.37 He should take the left foot and give it to another [priest]. This order should be followed when skinning and cutting up a burnt-offering of an animal. These are the portions referred to by the Torah [in Leviticus 1:6]: "You shall cut it into its portions."38

ט

בָּא לוֹ לָעֹקֶץ חוֹתְכוֹ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לְאַחֵר. וְהָאַלְיָה וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד וּשְׁתֵּי כְּלָיוֹת עִמָּהּ. נוֹטֵל אֶת הָרֶגֶל הַשְּׂמָאלִית וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְאַחֵר. וּכְסֵדֶר זֶה מַפְשִׁיטִין וּמְנַתְּחִין עוֹלַת בְּהֵמָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנְּתָחִין הָאֲמוּרִין בַּתּוֹרָה (ויקרא א ו) "וְנִתַּח אֹתָהּ לִנְתָחֶיהָ":

10

How many priests bring the limbs to the ramp? If the burnt-offering is from sheep, six priests should carry it.

י

בְּכַמָּה מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָאֵיבָרִים לַכֶּבֶשׁ. אִם מִן הַצֹּאן הִיא הָעוֹלָה מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתָהּ שִׁשָּׁה:

11

The first [priest] carries the head and the [right] foot.39 [He carries] the head in his right hand40 with its nose facing his forearm and its horns between his fingers. The place where [the animal] was slaughtered is held upward with the fat upon it. The right foot is in his left hand41 with the side from which the skin was removed42 facing outward.

יא

הָרִאשׁוֹן בָּרֹאשׁ וּבָרֶגֶל. הָרֹאשׁ בִּימִינוֹ וְחָטְמוֹ כְּלַפֵּי זְרוֹעוֹ. וְקַרְנָיו בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו. וּבֵית שְׁחִיטָה לְמַעְלָה וְהַפֶּדֶר עָלֶיהָ וְהָרֶגֶל שֶׁל יָמִין בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָהּ לַחוּץ:

12

The second [priest carries] the two forelegs, the right one in his right hand and the left one in his left hand.43 The side from which the skin was removed should face outward.

יב

הַשֵּׁנִי בִּשְׁתֵּי הַיָּדָיִם שֶׁל יָמִין בִּימִינוֹ וְשֶׁל שְׂמֹאל בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

13

The third [priest carries] the tail and the hindleg, the tail in his right hand with the fat-tail that hangs between his fingers. Together with it should be the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys. The left hindleg should be in his left hand with the side from which the skin was removed facing outward.

יג

הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בָּעֹקֶץ וּבָרֶגֶל. הָעֹקֶץ בִּימִינוֹ וְהָאַלְיָה מְדֵלְדֶּלֶת בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וְאֶצְבַּע הַכָּבֵד וּשְׁתֵּי הַכְּלָיוֹת עִמּוֹ וְהָרֶגֶל שֶׁל שְׂמֹאלוֹ בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

14

The fourth [priest carries] the breast and the neck, the breast in his right hand and the neck in his left hand with the ribs between his fingers.

יד

הָרְבִיעִי בֶּחָזֶה וּבַגֵּרָה. הֶחָזֶה בִּימִינוֹ וְהַגֵּרָה בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וְצַלְעוֹתֶיהָ בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו:

15

The fifth [priest carries] the two flanks, the right flank in his right hand and the left flank in his left hand. The side from which the skin was removed should face outward.

טו

הַחֲמִישִׁי בִּשְׁתֵּי דְּפָנוֹת שֶׁל יָמִין בִּימִינוֹ וְשֶׁל שְׂמֹאל בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבֵית עוֹרָן לַחוּץ:

16

The sixth [priest carries] the intestines in a bowl.44 The feet should be placed above them.45 [This applies] if the burnt-offering was a sheep or a goat. If, however, it was a ram, two priests should bring the intestines.46

Similarly, [if it was a sheep,] the flour of the accompanying offering should be brought by one priest and the wine by another. If it was a ram, the flour should be brought by two priests47 and the wine, by two priests.

טז

הַשִּׁשִּׁי בַּקְּרָבַיִם נְתוּנִין בְּבָזָךְ וּכְרָעַיִם עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן מִלְּמַעְלָה. אִם הָיְתָה הָעוֹלָה כֶּבֶשׂ אוֹ עֵז. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה אַיִל מוֹלִיכִין הַקְּרָבַיִם שְׁנַיִם. וְכֵן הַסּלֶת שֶׁל נְסָכֶיהָ בְּיַד אֶחָד וְהַיַּיִן בְּיַד אַחֵר. וְאִם הָיָה אַיִל הַסּלֶת בִּשְׁנַיִם וְהַיַּיִן בִּשְׁנַיִם:

17

Thus eight [priests] bring [a burnt offering of] a sheep or a goat to the altar.48 That of a ram is brought by eleven and that of an ox is brought by twenty-four.

יז

נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁהַכֶּבֶשׁ אוֹ הָעֵז מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ שְׁמוֹנָה לַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְהָאַיִל מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ אַחַד עָשָׂר:

18

There are 24 [priests] who bring [a burnt offering of] an ox to the altar. The first brings the head. The second and the third bring the right foot.49The fourth and the fifth bring the tail. The sixth and the seventh bring the left foot. The eighth brings the breast. The neck is brought by three [priests], the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. The two forelegs are brought by two priests, the two flanks, by two, and the intestines, the flour, and the wine in sets of three.50 Thus there are 24.

יח

הַשּׁוֹר מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים. הָרִאשׁוֹן מוֹלִיךְ אֶת הָרֹאשׁ. וְהַשֵּׁנִי וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי מוֹלִיכִין הָרֶגֶל שֶׁל יָמִין. וְהָרְבִיעִי וְהַחֲמִישִׁי מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָעֹקֶץ. וְהַשִּׁשִּׁי וְהַשְּׁבִיעִי מוֹלִיכִין אֶת הָרֶגֶל שֶׁל שְׂמֹאל. וְהַשְּׁמִינִי מוֹלִיךְ אֶת הֶחָזֶה. וְהַגֵּרָה מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה. תְּשִׁיעִי וַעֲשִׂירִי וְאַחַד עָשָׂר. וּמוֹלִיכִין שְׁתֵּי הַיָּדָיִם בִּשְׁנַיִם. וּשְׁתֵּי הַדְּפָנוֹת בִּשְׁנַיִם. וְהַקְּרָבַיִם וְהַסּלֶת וְהַיַּיִן בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה שְׁלֹשָׁה הֲרֵי אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים:

19

Why was a large limb of an ox not divided into portions? Because it is written: "You shall cut it into its portions." [Implied is that] its portions should not be cut into portions.

When are the above [number of priests] required [to bring the limbs to the altar]?51 For a communal burnt-offering. If it was desired that the portions of an individual burnt-offering be brought to the altar with less than this [number of priests] or more, it is possible.

יט

וְלָמָּה לֹא יְחַלְּקוּ הָאֵיבָר הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁל שׁוֹר לַחֲלָקִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א ו) "וְנִתַּח אֹתָהּ לִנְתָחֶיהָ" וְלֹא נְתָחֶיהָ לִנְתָחִים. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעוֹלוֹת הַצִּבּוּר. אֲבָל עוֹלוֹת הַיָּחִיד אִם רָצוּ לְהוֹלִיךְ נְתָחֶיהָ בְּפָחוֹת מֵאֵלּוּ אוֹ בְּיוֹתֵר מוֹלִיכִין:

20

How was the burnt-offering of a fowl brought? [The priest] would ascend upon the ramp52 He would turn [right] to the surrounding ledge and approach the southeast corner.53 There he would sever the head [of the fowl] at the nape of its neck, severing [the head]54 entirely. If he does not sever it entirely, [the sacrifice] is invalid. He then squeezes out the blood of the head and the blood of the body on the wall of the altar above the [scarlet] band in the middle of the altar.

If he squeezed out the blood of the head, but did not squeeze out the blood of the body, [the sacrifice] is invalid. If he squeezed out the blood of the body, but did not squeeze out the blood of the head, [the sacrifice] is valid.55

כ

עוֹלַת הָעוֹף כֵּיצַד הָיְתָה נַעֲשֵׂית. עוֹלֶה לַכֶּבֶשׁ וּפָנָה לַסּוֹבֵב וּבָא לוֹ לְקֶרֶן דְּרוֹמִית מִזְרָחִית וְהָיָה מוֹלֵק שָׁם אֶת רֹאשָׁהּ מִמּוּל עָרְפָּהּ וּמַבְדִּיל. וְאִם לֹא הִבְדִּיל פְּסוּלָה. וּמְמַצֶּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ וְדַם הַגּוּף עַל קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַחוּט שֶׁבְּאֶמְצַע הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְאִם מִצָּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ וְלֹא מִצָּה דַּם הַגּוּף פְּסוּלָה. מִצָּה דַּם הַגּוּף וְלֹא מִצָּה דַּם הָרֹאשׁ כְּשֵׁרָה:

21

He should take the head and bring the opening where it was severed close to the altar, dips it into salt,56 and cast it on the pyre. He then focuses his attention on the body. He removes the crop,57 the skin that is upon it with its feathers,58and the intestines that are removed with it59 and casts them on the ash pile.60

כא

וְנוֹטֵל אֶת הָרֹאשׁ וּמַקִּיף בֵּית מְלִיקָתוֹ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְסוֹפְגוֹ בְּמֶלַח וְזוֹרְקוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. וּבָא לוֹ לַגּוּף וְהֵסִיר אֶת הַמֻּרְאָה וְהָעוֹר שֶׁעָלֶיהָ בְּיָדוֹ עִם הַנּוֹצָה וְאֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם הַיּוֹצְאִין עִמָּהּ וּמַשְׁלִיכָן לְבֵית הַדֶּשֶׁן:

22

[Leviticus 1:17 states:] "He shall split it with its wings" - [this is performed] by hand,61 not with a knife. He need not separate [one part of the body from the other], as [that verse] states: "He [need] not separate it." If he separates it, it is valid. He then spreads salt upon it and casts it upon the altar.

If he did not remove the craw, the feathers, or the intestines or spread salt upon it, it is valid. As long as the change that one makes comes after squeezing out the blood, [the sacrifice] is acceptable.62

כב

(ויקרא א יז) "וְשִׁסַּע אֹתוֹ בִכְנָפָיו". בְּיָדוֹ בְּלֹא סַכִּין. וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַבְדִּיל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא א יז) "לֹא יַבְדִּיל" וְאִם הִבְדִּיל כָּשֵׁר. וְסוֹפְגוֹ בְּמֶלַח וְזוֹרְקוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאִשִּׁים. לֹא הֵסִיר אֶת הַמֻּרְאָה וְלֹא אֶת הַנּוֹצָה וְלֹא אֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם וְלֹא סְפָגָהּ בְּמֶלַח כָּל שֶׁשִּׁנָּה בָּהּ מֵאַחַר תַּמְצִית הַדָּם כְּשֵׁרָה:

23

How is melikah performed? [The priest] cuts and descends with his nail at the nape of the neck.63 If he desires to move his nail back and forth,64 he may. If he wishes to chop and descend with his nail,65 he may. If the organs necessary for ritual slaughter slip from their place,66 he need not be concerned.

He must cut through the spine, i.e., the neckbone, without cutting through the majority of the meat surrounding it, for if he would cut through the majority of the meat, [the sacrificial animal] would be considered as dead67 before he reached the organs necessary for ritual slaughter. With regard to a burnt offering, as he descends he must cut both the organs68 necessary for ritual slaughter.

When one performs melikah with a knife or does so from the side, it is not considered as melika. Instead, it is like strangling or decapitating the fowl. The entire [width of] the nape of the neck is acceptable for melikah.

כג

כֵּיצַד מוֹלְקִין. קוֹצֵץ וְיוֹרֵד בַּצִּפֹּרֶן מִמּוּל עֹרֶף. אִם רָצָה לְהוֹלִיךְ וּלְהָבִיא מוֹלִיךְ וּמֵבִיא. וְאִם רָצָה לִהְיוֹת דּוֹרֵס וְיוֹרֵד בַּצִּפֹּרֶן דּוֹרֵס. וְאִם נֶעֶקְרוּ הַסִּימָנִים אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ. וְחוֹתֵךְ שִׁדְרָה וּמִפְרֶקֶת בְּלֹא רֹב בָּשָׂר. שֶׁאִם חָתַךְ רֹב בָּשָׂר הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַסִּימָנִין. וְצָרִיךְ לַחְתֹּךְ שְׁנֵי הַסִּימָנִים בָּעוֹלָה כְּשֶׁהוּא יוֹרֵד. וְהַמּוֹלֵק בְּסַכִּין אוֹ מִן הַצְּדָדִין אֵינָהּ מְלִיקָה אֶלָּא כְּמִי שֶׁחָנַק אוֹ נָחַר. וְכָל הָעֹרֶף כָּשֵׁר לִמְלִיקָה: