Women and servants are exempt from the obligation to appear before God on festivals. All men are obligated to appear with the exception of a deaf person, a mute, one who is emotionally or intellectually incapable of controlling himself, a minor, a blind person, one who is limp, one who is impure, one who is uncircumcised, and similarly, one who is old, sick, very dainty and spoiled to the extent they cannot ascend by foot. All of these eleven persons are exempt. All other men are obligated to appear before God.

To explain these categories in greater detail: A deaf person is exempt even if he can speak. Even if he is deaf in only one ear, he is exempt from appearing. Similarly, one who is blind in one eye or limp in one leg, is exempt. A mute even though he hears is exempt. A tumtum and an androgynus are exempt, because there is a doubt whether they are female. A person who is half-servant and half-free is exempt, because of the side of him that is a servant.

What is the source that all the above are exempt from appearing before God? Exodus 23:17 states: "All of your males shall appear"; this excludes women. And any positive commandment for which women are not obligated, servants are not obligated. Moreover, Deuteronomy 31:11 "When all Israel come to appear"; this excludes servants.

The phrase "When all Israel come to appear" implies that just as they come to appear before God, so too, they come to see the glory of His holiness and the house where His presence rests. Thus it excludes a blind person who cannot see; he is exempt even if only one eye is blinded, because his sight is not perfect.

That passage continues: "So that they will hear." This excludes one whose hearing is not perfect. And it states: "So that they will learn." This excludes one who does not speak, because everyone who is obligated to learn is also obligated to teach.

Exodus 34:24 states: "When you ascend to appear before the presence of God." The command is directed to one who can ascend by foot and thus excludes one who is limp, old, sick, or very dainty. And we have already explained in Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash that a person who is impure is not fit to enter the Temple. And one who is uncircumcised is loathsome like one who is impure.


נָּשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים פְּטוּרִין מִן הָרְאִיָּה. וְכָל הָאֲנָשִׁים חַיָּבִים בִּרְאִיָּה חוּץ מֵחֵרֵשׁ וְאִלֵּם וְשׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן וְסוּמָא וְחִגֵּר וְטָמֵא וְעָרֵל. וְכֵן הַזָּקֵן וְהַחוֹלֶה וְהָרַךְ וְהֶעָנֹג מְאֹד שֶׁאֵינָם יְכוֹלִים לַעֲלוֹת עַל רַגְלֵיהֶן כָּל אֵלּוּ הָאַחַד עָשָׂר פְּטוּרִין. וּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאֲנָשִׁים חַיָּבִין בִּרְאִיָּה. הַחֵרֵשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְדַבֵּר אֲפִלּוּ חֵרֵשׁ בְּאָזְנוֹ אַחַת פָּטוּר מִן הָרְאִיָּה. וְכֵן הַסּוּמָא בְּעֵינוֹ אַחַת. אוֹ חִגֵּר בְּרַגְלוֹ אַחַת פָּטוּר. הָאִלֵּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹמֵעַ פָּטוּר. טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס פְּטוּרִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן סְפֵק אִשָּׁה. מִי שֶׁחֶצְיוֹ עֶבֶד וְחֶצְיוֹ בֶּן חוֹרִין פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי צַד עַבְדוּת שֶׁבּוֹ. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין מִן הָרְאִיָּה. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (שמות כג יז) (שמות לד כג) (דברים טז טז) "יֵרָאֶה כָּל זְכוּרְךָ" לְהוֹצִיא אֶת הַנָּשִׁים. וּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁאֵין הַנָּשִׁים חַיָּבוֹת בָּהּ אֵין הָעֲבָדִים חַיָּבִים בָּהּ. וְעוֹד הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בְּבוֹא כָל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהוֹצִיא הָעֲבָדִים. וְנֶאֱמַר (דברים לא יא) "בְּבוֹא כָל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵרָאוֹת". כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהֵן בָּאִין לְהֵרָאוֹת לִפְנֵי ה' כָּךְ הֵם בָּאִים לִרְאוֹת הֲדַר קָדְשׁוֹ וּבֵית שְׁכִינָתוֹ. לְהוֹצִיא סוּמָא שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה. אֲפִלּוּ נִסְמֵית עֵינוֹ אַחַת שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין רְאִיָּתוֹ שְׁלֵמָה. וְשָׁם נֶאֱמַר (דברים לא יב) "לְמַעַן יִשְׁמְעוּ". לְהוֹצִיא מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ שְׁמִיעָה גְּמוּרָה. (דברים לא יב) "וּלְמַעַן יִלְמְדוּ". לְהוֹצִיא מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר. שֶׁכָּל הַמְצֻוֶּה לִלְמֹד מְצֻוֶּה לְלַמֵּד. וְנֶאֱמַר (שמות לד כד) "בַּעֲלֹתְךָ לֵרָאוֹת אֶת פְּנֵי ה'" מִי שֶׁיָּכוֹל לַעֲלוֹת בְּרַגְלָיו לְהוֹצִיא חִגֵּר וְחוֹלֶה וְזָקֵן וְעָנֹג. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁאֵין הַטָּמֵא רָאוּי לְבִיאָה וְכֵן הֶעָרֵל מָאוּס כְּטָמֵא:


A scraper, i.e., one whose task is to gather the excrement of dogs and the like to use for the processing of hides or for medicinal purposes, one who quarries copper in its mine, and a leatherworker, even though they are loathsome because of their profession, should purify their bodies and their garments and ascend to Jerusalem together with the Jewish people as a whole to appear before God.


הַמְקַמֵּץ וְהוּא שֶׁמְּלַאכְתוֹ לְקַבֵּץ צוֹאַת כְּלָבִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לְעַבֵּד הָעוֹרוֹת אוֹ לִרְפוּאָה. וְכֵן הַמְצָרֵף נְחשֶׁת בְּמַחְצָב שֶׁלּוֹ וְהָעַבְּדָנִין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מְאוּסִין מִפְּנֵי מְלַאכְתָּן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְטַהֲרִין גּוּפָן וּמַלְבּוּשָׁן וְעוֹלִין בִּכְלַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵרָאוֹת:


Whenever a child can hold his father's hand and ascend from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount, his father is obligated to have him ascend and appear before God to train him in the observance of the mitzvot, as implied by the phrase: "All your males shall appear."

If the minor was lame, blind, or deaf, even in one of his organs, his father is not obligated to train him, even if his infirmity could be healed. The rationale is that if he was in this state when he was past majority, he would be exempt, as we explained.


כָּל קָטָן שֶׁיָּכוֹל לֶאֱחֹז בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁל אָבִיו וְלַעֲלוֹת מִיְּרוּשָׁלַיִם לְהַר הַבַּיִת אָבִיו חַיָּב לְהַעֲלוֹתוֹ וּלְהֵרָאוֹת בּוֹ כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג יז) (שמות לד כג) (דברים טז טז) "יֵרָאֶה כָּל זְכוּרְךָ". וְאִם הָיָה הַקָּטָן חִגֵּר אוֹ סוּמָא אוֹ חֵרֵשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בְּאַחַת אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְחַנְּכוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי לִרְפוּאָה שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה גָּדוֹל וְהוּא כָּךְ הָיָה פָּטוּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


Everyone who is obligated to appear before God is obligated to bring a festive offering. Everyone who is exempt from appearing is exempt from bringing a festive offering. They are all obligated in the celebratory peace-sacrifices with the exception of a deafmute, a mentally or emotionally incapable individual, a minor, an uncircumcised person, and one who is impure.

A deafmute, a mentally or emotionally incapable individual, and a minor are exempt, because they are not fit to be given any responsibility and they are exempt from all the mitzvot stated in the Torah. An uncircumcised person and one who is impure are exempt, because they may not partake of sacred foods and are not fit to enter the Temple, as explained in Hilchot Biat HaMikdash and Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot.


כָּל הַחַיָּב בִּרְאִיָּה חַיָּב בַּחֲגִיגָה וְכָל הַפָּטוּר מִן הָרְאִיָּה פָּטוּר מִן הַחֲגִיגָה. וְכֻלָּן חַיָּבִין בְּשִׂמְחָה. חוּץ מֵחֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן וְעָרֵל וְטָמֵא. חֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן בְּנֵי חִיּוּב הֲרֵי הֵן פְּטוּרִין מִכָּל מִצְוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה. וְעָרֵל וְטָמֵא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן אוֹכְלִים בְּקָדָשִׁים וְאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְבִיאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּבְהִלְכוֹת מַעֲשֵׂה הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת:


If one was limp or blind on the first day of a festival and was healed on the second day, he is exempt from appearing before God and bringing the festive offering, because all of the remaining days of the festival are compensation for the first day, as we explained. Similarly, if he became impure on the night of the first day of a festival, he is exempt, even though he purifies himself on the following day. If, however, he became impure on the first day of the festival, he is obligated to bring his festive offering and the burnt-offering brought when appearing before God during the remaining days of the festival when he regains ritual purity.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה חִגֵּר אוֹ סוּמָא בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן וְנִתְרַפֵּא בַּשֵּׁנִי. פָּטוּר מִן הָרְאִיָּה וּמִן הַחֲגִיגָה. שֶׁבְּיוֹם חוֹבָתוֹ הָיָה פָּטוּר. שֶׁכָּל יְמוֹת הֶחָג תַּשְׁלוּמֵי רִאשׁוֹן הֵן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכֵן אִם נִטְמָא בְּלֵילֵי יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁטִּהֵר לְמָחָר פָּטוּר. אֲבָל אִם נִטְמָא בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהָבִיא חֲגִיגָתוֹ וּרְאִיָּתוֹ בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי הָרֶגֶל כְּשֶׁיִּטְהַר:

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.


One who enters the Temple Courtyard during the days of a festival is not obligated to bring a burnt-offering whenever he enters, for the charge, "You shall not appear in My presence empty-handed," applies only on the fundamental celebration of the festival, the first day or the day which compensates for the first day. If he brings such a sacrifice at any time, we accept it, and offer it as a burnt-offering brought when appearing before God, for there is no limit to these offerings.


מִי שֶׁבָּא לַעֲזָרָה בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי הֶחָג אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהָבִיא עוֹלָה בְּיָדוֹ בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס. שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג טו) "וְלֹא יֵרָאוּ פָנַי רֵיקָם" אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא בְּעִקַּר הָרֶגֶל בִּלְבַד שֶׁהוּא יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן אוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמֵי רִאשׁוֹן. וְאִם הֵבִיא בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיָּבִיא מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ וּמַקְרִיבִין אוֹתָהּ לְשֵׁם עוֹלַת רְאִיָּה. שֶׁהָרְאִיָּה אֵין לָהּ שִׁעוּר:


When a person set aside ten animals for his festive offering, sacrificed some of them on the first day, and made an interruption, he should not offer the others, for he left them over. If he did not make an interruption, but instead, the day was pressing and he was not able to offer them all that day, he should offer the remainder on the following day.


הִפְרִישׁ עֶשֶׂר בְּהֵמוֹת לַחֲגִיגָתוֹ וְהִקְרִיב מֵהֶן מִקְצָתָן בָּרִאשׁוֹן וּפָסַק. שׁוּב אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וּמַקְרִיב הַשְּׁאָר שֶׁהֲרֵי שִׁיֵּר אוֹתָם. וְאִם לֹא פָּסַק אֶלָּא דְּחָקוֹ הַיּוֹם וְלֹא יָכוֹל לְהַקְרִיב הַיּוֹם מַקְרִיב הַשְּׁאָר לְמָחָר:


The burnt-offering brought when appearing before God may be brought only from ordinary funds like other sacrifices for which a person is obligated. The festive peace-offerings, by contrast, may be brought from funds from the second tithe that are intermingled with ordinary funds. He may purchase an animal with the intermingled funds and offer it as a festive peace-offering, provided that the minimum measure which one must eat first could be purchased with the ordinary funds. The rationale is that the festive peace-offerings are an obligation and any obligation must be satisfied with ordinary funds.


עוֹלַת רְאִיָּה אֵינָהּ בָּאָה אֶלָּא מִן הַחֻלִּין כִּשְׁאָר הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁאָדָם חַיָּב בָּהֶן. אֲבָל שַׁלְמֵי חֲגִיגָה בָּאוֹת מִמְּעוֹת מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי הַמְעֹרָבוֹת עִם מְעוֹת חֻלִּין. לוֹקֵחַ מִן הַתַּעֲרֹבֶת בְּהֵמָה וּמַקְרִיבָהּ שַׁלְמֵי חֲגִיגָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שִׁעוּר אֲכִילָה רִאשׁוֹנָה מִן הַחֻלִּין. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשַּׁלְמֵי חֲגִיגָה חוֹבָה וְכָל שֶׁהוּא חוֹבָה אֵינוֹ בָּא אֶלָּא מִן הַחֻלִּין:


A person may fulfill his obligation for festive peace-offering with animals designated as tithe-offerings. He should not, however, bring such an offering on the holiday. This is a decree, lest he tithe on the holiday.


וְיוֹצֵא אָדָם יְדֵי חוֹבַת שַׁלְמֵי חֲגִיגָה בְּמַעֲשַׂר בְּהֵמָה. וְאֵין מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ בְּיוֹם טוֹב גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יְעַשֵּׂר בְּיוֹם טוֹב:


An Israelite fulfills his obligation for celebratory peace-offerings with vowed and pledged offerings and with tithe-offerings. Priests may also do so with their portions from the sin-offerings and the guilt-offerings, a firstborn offering, and the breast and fore-leg from a peace-offering. For this mitzvah involves rejoicing by eating sacrificial meat in God's presence and he has done that. Priests cannot fulfill their obligation by partaking of sin-offerings of fowl or of meal-offerings. For they are not meat that brings joy.

We already explained in the laws of the Paschal sacrifice, that the festive offering brought on the fourteenth of Nisan is a matter of choice. Therefore he does not fulfill his obligation for the festive offering with it. He does, however, fulfill his obligation for the celebratory peace-offering.


יוֹצְאִין יִשְׂרָאֵל יְדֵי חוֹבַת שַׁלְמֵי שִׂמְחָה בִּנְדָרִים וּנְדָבוֹת וּבְמַעֲשַׂר בְּהֵמָה. וְהַכֹּהֲנִים בְּחַטָּאת וּבְאָשָׁם וּבִבְכוֹר וּבְחָזֶה וְשׁוֹק. שֶׁמִּצְוָה זוֹ הִיא לִשְׂמֹחַ בַּאֲכִילַת בָּשָׂר לִפְנֵי ה' וַהֲרֵי אָכְלוּ. אֲבָל אֵין יוֹצְאִין יְדֵי חוֹבָתָן לֹא בְּעוֹפוֹת וְלֹא בִּמְנָחוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן בָּשָׂר הַמְשַׂמֵּחַ. כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בִּפְסָחִים שֶׁחֲגִיגַת אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר רְשׁוּת. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין אָדָם יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבַת חֲגִיגָה אֶלָּא יוֹצֵא בָּהּ חוֹבַת שִׂמְחָה:


When a person who had peace-offerings which he vowed or pledged to bring, slaughtered them on the day before a festival, even though he partakes of them on the festival, he does not fulfill his obligation for the festive offering, because it may only be brought from ordinary animals. He may, however, fulfill his obligation for celebratory peace-offerings with them.


מִי שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ שַׁלְמֵי נֵדֶר אוֹ נְדָבָה וּשְׁחָטָן מֵעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֲכָלָן בְּיוֹם טוֹב אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבַת חֲגִיגָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ בָּאָה אֶלָּא מִן הַחֻלִּין אֲבָל יָצָא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבַת שִׂמְחָה:


Even though he slaughtered them before the festival, since he partakes of them on the festival, he may fulfill his obligation with them, for he does not need to slaughter the celebratory peace-offerings at the time of celebration.


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׁחָטָן קֹדֶם הָרֶגֶל. הוֹאִיל וְאוֹכֵל מֵהֶן בָּרֶגֶל יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִשְׁחֹט שַׁלְמֵי שִׂמְחָה בִּשְׁעַת שִׂמְחָה:


A person should not bring a thanksgiving offering on the day of the fourteenth of Nisan, because of the leaven it includes, for we do not cause sacred foods to be disqualified. If one brought such an offering, he may fulfill his obligation for celebratory peace-offerings through it, as explained.


לֹא יָבִיא אָדָם תּוֹדָה בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר מִפְּנֵי הֶחָמֵץ שֶׁבָּהּ שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין קָדָשִׁים לְבֵית הַפְּסוּל. וְאִם הֵבִיא יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבַת שִׂמְחָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


If one says: "I vow to bring a thanksgiving-offering through which I can fulfill my obligation to bring a festive offering," he is obligated to bring a thanksgiving offering, but he does not fulfill his obligation for the festive offering. For a festive offering must be brought from ordinary funds.

When a person sacrifices festive and celebratory peace-offerings, he should not eat while secluded, together with his children and his wife and think he is performing a perfect mitzvah. Instead, he is obligated to bring joy to the poor and unfortunate. Thus Deuteronomy 16:14 mentions: "the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow." One should grant them food and drink according to his wealth. If one partook of his sacrifices and did not bring joy to these together with him, to him are applied the words of censure, Hoshea 9:4: "Their sacrifices will be like the bread of those aggrieved for them, of which all who partake of it become impure. Instead, let their bread be for themselves."

The mitzvah to give the Levite takes precedence over all the others, because he is not granted a portion and an ancestral heritage, nor is he given portions of the sacrificial meat. Therefore one must invite Levites to one's table and have them celebrate or give them presents of meat together with the tithes that are given to them, so that all their needs are met. Whoever forsakes a Levite, refrains from bringing him joy, and delays giving him the tithes during the festivals violates a negative commandment, as Deuteronomy 12:19 states: "Beware lest you abandon the Levite."


הָאוֹמֵר הֲרֵי עָלַי תּוֹדָה שֶׁאֵצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבָתִי לְשֵׁם חֲגִיגָה. חַיָּב לְהָבִיא תּוֹדָה וְאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חֲגִיגָה שֶׁאֵין חֲגִיגָה בָּאָה אֶלָּא מִן הַחֻלִּין. כְּשֶׁיִּזְבַּח אָדָם שַׁלְמֵי חֲגִיגָה וְשַׁלְמֵי שִׂמְחָה לֹא יִהְיֶה אוֹכֵל הוּא וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ בִּלְבַד וִידַמֶּה שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מִצְוָה גְּמוּרָה. אֶלָּא חַיָּב לְשַׂמֵּחַ הָעֲנִיִּים וְהָאֻמְלָלִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז יד) "וְהַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר וְהַיָּתוֹם וְהָאַלְמָנָה". מַאֲכִיל הַכּל וּמַשְׁקָן כְּפִי עָשְׁרוֹ. וּמִי שֶׁאָכַל זְבָחָיו וְלֹא שִׂמֵּחַ אֵלּוּ עִמּוֹ עָלָיו נֶאֱמַר (הושע ט ד) "זִבְחֵיהֶם כְּלֶחֶם אוֹנִים לָהֶם כָּל אֹכְלָיו יִטַּמָּאוּ כִּי לַחְמָם לְנַפְשָׁם". וּמִצְוָה בְּלֵוִי יוֹתֵר מִן הַכּל לְפִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ לֹא חֵלֶק וְלֹא נַחֲלָה וְאֵין לוֹ מַתָּנוֹת בַּבָּשָׂר לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְזַמֵּן לְוִיִּים עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹ וּלְשַׁמְּחָם אוֹ יִתֵּן לָהֶם מַתְּנוֹת בָּשָׂר עִם מַעֲשֵׂר שֶׁלָּהֶם כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמְצְאוּ בּוֹ צָרְכֵיהֶם. וְכָל הָעוֹזֵב אֶת הַלֵּוִי מִלְּשַׂמְּחוֹ וְשׁוֹהֶה מִמֶּנּוּ מַעַשְׂרוֹתָיו בָּרְגָלִים עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יב יט) "הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תַּעֲזֹב אֶת הַלֵּוִי":