Introduction to Hilchot Shegagot

Included in this text are five positive commandments. They include the following:

1) that a person who transgressed inadvertently bring a fixed sin-offering;
2) that a person who does not know whether or not he transgressed [inadvertently] should bring a guilt-offering until he finds out [that he transgressed] and he brings a sin-offering; this is called a provisional guilt-offering;
3) that a transgressor should offer a guilt-offering for certain sins; this is called a definitive guilt-offering;
4) that a transgressor should offer a sacrifice for certain transgressions; if he is rich, he should bring an animal; if poor, a fowl or a tenth of an ephah [as a meal-offering]; this is called an adjustable [guilt-]offering;
5) that the Sanhedrin should offer a sacrifice if they erred and issued an incorrect ruling regarding one of the severe transgressions.

These mitzvot are explained in the ensuing chapters.

הלכות שגגות

יש בכללן חמש מצוות עשה, וזה הוא פרטן:
(א) שיקריב היחיד קרבן חטאת קבועה על שגגתו.
(ב) שיקריב אשם מי שלא נודע לו אם חטא אם לא חטא, עד שיִוָדע לו ויביא חטאתו; וזהו הנקרא "אשם תלוי".
(ג) שיקריב החוטא אשם על עבירות ידועות, וזהו הנקרא "אשם ודאי".
(ד) שיקריב החוטא קרבן על עבירות ידועות, אם היה עשיר בהמה, ואם היה עני עוף או עשירית האיפה; וזהו
הנקרא "קרבן עולה ויורד".
(ה) שיקריבו הסנהדרין קרבן אם טעו והורו שלא כהלכה באחת מן החמורות.
וביאור מצוות אלו בפרקים אלו:


Whenever a person inadvertently violates one of the negative commandments that involve a deed and for which one is liable for karet, he is obligated to bring a sin-offering. It is a positive commandment for him to offer a sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.


כָּל הָעוֹבֵר בִּשְׁגָגָה עַל אַחַת מִמִּצְוֹת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלֶיהָ כָּרֵת. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַקְרִיב קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת. וּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁיַּקְרִיב חַטָּאתוֹ עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ:


All transgressions for which one is liable for karet for their willful violation, one is liable to bring a sin-offering for their inadvertent violation except for three transgressions: blasphemy, negating circumcision, and negating the Paschal sacrifice. Negating circumcision and the Paschal sacrifice does not require such an offering, because they are positive commandments and a sin-offering is brought only for the inadvertent violation of a negative commandment, as Leviticus 4:27 states that the offering should be brought for violating: "one of the commandments of God that forbids an act to be performed." And blasphemy does not involve a deed. Thus a sacrifice is not necessary, because Numbers 15:29 speaks about this sacrifice being brought by "one who acts inadvertently," excluding a blasphemer who does not perform an action.

Accordingly, one who accepts a false deity as a god, even though he is liable for karet if he acts willfully and is liable for execution by stoning, is exempt from a sacrifice if he accepted the deity inadvertently, because he did not perform a deed and Leviticus 4:27 states: "Acting in violation of one."


וְכָל עֲבֵרָה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנָהּ כָּרֵת חַיָּבִין עַל שִׁגְגָתָהּ חַטָּאת חוּץ מִשָּׁלֹשׁ עֲבֵרוֹת. מְגַדֵּף. וּמְבַטֵּל מִילָה. וְקָרְבַּן פֶּסַח. הַפֶּסַח וְהַמִּילָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְחַטָּאת אֵין מְבִיאִין אֶלָּא עַל שִׁגְגַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יג) "אַחַת מִכָּל מִצְוֹת ה' אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵעָשֶׂינָה". וְהַמְגַדֵּף מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה וְנֶאֱמַר (במדבר טו כט) "לָעוֹשֶׂה בִּשְׁגָגָה" יָצָא מְגַדֵּף שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה. לְפִיכָךְ הַמְקַבֵּל עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה בֵּאלוֹהַּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב כָּרֵת אִם הָיָה מֵזִיד נִסְקָל וְאִם קִבֵּל בִּשְׁגָגָה פָּטוּר מִן הַקָּרְבָּן לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא עָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה וְנֶאֱמַר (ויקרא ד כז) "בַּעֲשֹׂתָהּ אַחַת":


With regard to all the transgressions punishable by karet in the Torah except for the three which were mentioned, if a private individual violated one of these prohibitions inadvertently, he must bring a fixed sin-offering with the exception of an impure person who partook of sacrificial meat and an impure person who entered the Temple. These two do not bring a fixed sin-offering, but rather an adjustable guilt-offering, as will be explained.


כָּל כְּרֵתוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה חוּץ מִשָּׁלֹשׁ כְּרֵתוֹת שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אִם עָבַר הַיָּחִיד עַל אַחַת מֵהֶן בִּשְׁגָגָה מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה חוּץ מִטָּמֵא שֶׁאָכַל קֹדֶשׁ וְטָמֵא שֶׁנִּכְנַס לַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם אֵין מְבִיאִין חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה אֶלָּא קָרְבָּן עוֹלֶה וְיוֹרֵד כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:


Only an animal is brought as a fixed sin-offering. In contrast, an adjustable guilt-offering is a sacrifice whose object is not fixed. If one is rich, he must bring an animal as a sin-offering. If he is poor, he brings a fowl or a tenth of an ephah as a meal-offering, as will be explained. Thus all the sins for which a private person brings a fixed sin-offering are 43. They include:

a) one who is intimate with his mother,

b) one who is intimate with his wife's mother,

c) one who is intimate with his maternal grandmother,

d) one who is intimate with his paternal grandmother,

e) one who is intimate with his daughter,

f) one who is intimate with his daughter's daughter,

g) one who is intimate with his son's daughter,

h) one who is intimate with his wife's daughter,

i) one who is intimate with the daughter of his wife's daughter,

j) one who is intimate with the daughter of his wife's son,

k) one who is intimate with his sister,

l) one who is intimate with his sister who is the daughter of his father's wife,

m) one who is intimate with his father's sister,

n) m) one who is intimate with his mother's sister,

o) one who is intimate with his wife's sister,

p) one who is intimate with his father's wife,

q) one who is intimate with the wife of his father's brother,

r) one who is intimate with his son's wife,

s) one who is intimate with his brother's wife,

t) one who is intimate with another man's wife,

u) one who is intimate with a woman in the niddah state,

v) one who is intimate with a male,

w) one who is intimate with his father,

x) one who is intimate with his father's brother,

y) one who is intimate with an animal,

z) a woman who has an animal engage in relations with her. Thus all the prohibitions involving forbidden relations punishable by karet are 26.

Among other sins, there are seventeen. They are:

a) one who serves a false deity by performing a deed,

b) one who gives his descendants to Molech,

c) one who divines through an ov,

d) one who performs a deed while divining with a yidoni,

e) one who desecrates the Sabbath,

f) one who performs forbidden labor on Yom Kippur,

g) one who eats or drinks on Yom Kippur,

h) one who eats chametz on Pesach,

i) one who partakes of fat,

j) one who partakes of blood,

k) one who partakes of sacrificial meat after the time for eating it passes,

l) one who partakes of sacrificial meat that was disqualified, because of an undesirable intent concerning time,

m) one who slaughters a sacrificial animal outside the Temple Courtyard,

n) one who offers a sacrifice outside the Temple Courtyard,

o) one who prepares anointing oil like that used in the Temple,

p) one who prepares incense like that used in the Temple, and

q) one who anoints himself with the anointing oil of the Temple. These are the 43 transgressions for which one brings a fixed sin-offering for their inadvertent violation.

What is the sacrifice that a person who inadvertently violates one of these transgressions should bring? If he inadvertently violated the prohibition against worshiping a false deity, he must bring a female goat in the first year of its life. This is the sacrifice mentioned in the portion Shelach Lecha. This applies whether the transgressor is an ordinary person, a king, a High Priest, or the priest anointed to lead the people in war. Every one is equal with regard to the inadvertent transgression of the worship of false divinities.

If, however, one inadvertently violated one of the other 42 transgressions mentioned above, different rules apply. If the transgressor was an ordinary person, he should bring a she-goat or a ewe. This is the sin offering of one of the common people mentioned in the portion Vayikra. If the king inadvertently violated one of these trangressions, he should bring a male goat as a sin-offering. If the transgressor is an anointed priest, he should bring a bull, the offspring of an ox as a sin-offering. It is burnt, as described there.


חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה הִיא הַבָּאָה מִן הַבְּהֵמָה בִּלְבַד וְקָרְבָּן עוֹלֶה וְיוֹרֵד הוּא קָרְבָּן שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָבוּעַ אֶלָּא אִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר מֵבִיא חַטַּאת בְּהֵמָה וְאִם הָיָה עָנִי מֵבִיא עוֹף אוֹ עֲשִׂירִית הָאֵיפָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁכָּל הָעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁהַיָּחִיד מֵבִיא עַל שִׁגְגָתָן חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה אַרְבָּעִים וְשָׁלֹשׁ. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן:

א) הַבָּא עַל אִמּוֹ.

ב) הַבָּא עַל אֵם אִשְׁתּוֹ.

ג) הַבָּא עַל אֵם אִמָּהּ.

ד) הַבָּא עַל אֵם אָבִיהָ.

ה) הַבָּא עַל בִּתּוֹ.

ו) הַבָּא עַל בַּת בִּתּוֹ.

ז) הַבָּא עַל בַּת בְּנוֹ.

ח) הַבָּא עַל בַּת אִשְׁתּוֹ.

ט) הַבָּא עַל בַּת בִּתָּהּ.

י) הַבָּא עַל בַּת בְּנָהּ.

יא) הַבָּא עַל אֲחוֹתוֹ.

יב) הַבָּא עַל אֲחוֹתוֹ שֶׁהִיא בַּת אֵשֶׁת אָבִיו.

יג) הַבָּא עַל אֲחוֹת אָבִיו.

יד) הַבָּא עַל אֲחוֹת אִמּוֹ.

טו) הַבָּא עַל אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ.

טז) הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת אָבִיו.

יז) הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת אֲחִי אָבִיו.

יח) הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת בְּנוֹ.

יט) הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו.

כ) הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ.

כא) הַבָּא עַל הַנִּדָּה.

כב) הַשּׁוֹכֵב עִם זָכָר.

כג) הַבָּא עַל אָבִיו.

כד) הַבָּא עַל אֲחִי אָבִיו.

כה) הַשּׁוֹכֵב עִם בְּהֵמָה.

כו) הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁמְּבִיאָהּ עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה.

נִמְצְאוּ כָּל כְּרֵתוֹת שֶׁבַּעֲרָיוֹת עֶשְׂרִים וְשָׁלֹשׁ (נ"א ששה ועשרים).

וּבִשְׁאָר הָעֲבֵרוֹת שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן:

א) הָעוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה בְּמַעֲשֶׂה.

ב) הַנּוֹתֵן מִזַּרְעוֹ לַמּלֶךְ.

ג) בַּעַל אוֹב.

ד) בַּעַל יִדְּעוֹנִי בְּמַעֲשֶׂה.

ה) הַמְחַלֵּל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת.

ו) הָעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים.

ז) הָאוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים.

ח) הָאוֹכֵל נוֹתָר.

ט) הָאוֹכֵל חָמֵץ בְּפֶסַח.

י) הָאוֹכֵל חֵלֶב.

יא) הָאוֹכֵל דָּם.

יב) הָאוֹכֵל פִּגּוּל.

יג) הַשּׁוֹחֵט קָדָשִׁים חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה.

יד) הַמַּעֲלֶה קָרְבָּן חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה.

טו) הַמְפַטֵּם אֶת שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה.

טז) הַמְפַטֵּם אֶת הַקְּטֹרֶת.

יז) הַסָּךְ בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה.

הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אַרְבָּעִים וְשָׁלֹשׁ עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁמְּבִיאִין עַל שִׁגְגָתָן חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה. וּמַה הוּא הַקָּרְבָּן שֶׁמֵּבִיא הַשּׁוֹגֵג בְּאַחַת מֵאֵלּוּ. אִם שָׁגַג בַּעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מֵבִיא עֵז בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ לְחַטָּאת וְהִיא הָאֲמוּרָה בְּפָרָשַׁת שְׁלַח לְךָ בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הַחוֹטֵא הֶדְיוֹט אוֹ מֶלֶךְ אוֹ כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל אוֹ מְשׁוּחַ מִלְחָמָה הַכּל שָׁוִין בְּשִׁגְגַת עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. אֲבָל אִם שָׁגַג בְּאַחַת מִשְּׁאָר אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁתַּיִם אִם הָיָה הֶדְיוֹט מֵבִיא שְׂעִירַת עִזִּים אוֹ נְקֵבָה מִן הַכְּבָשִׂים וְזוֹ הִיא חַטָּאת שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵעַם הָאָרֶץ הָאֲמוּרָה בְּפָרָשַׁת וַיִּקְרָא. וְאִם הַמֶּלֶךְ הוּא שֶׁשָּׁגַג בְּאַחַת מֵהֶן מֵבִיא שְׂעִירַת (נ"א שעיר) עִזִּים לְחַטָּאת. וְאִם כֹּהֵן מָשׁוּחַ הוּא מֵבִיא פַּר בֶּן בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת וְהוּא נִשְׂרָף כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְפָּרֵשׁ שָׁם:

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.


The same laws apply whether one person inadvertently violates one of these transgressions or many do, as implied by Numbers 15:29: "There will be one law for those who transgress inadvertently."

What is implied? If the people of a city inadvertently transgressed and thought the day was an ordinary day, but it was Yom Kippur. As a result, they all ate and performed work, each one of the transgressors should bring two sin-offerings, ewes or she-goats. Similarly, if they all inadvertently transgressed and offered incense to a false deity, each one of the transgressors must bring a goat in its first year of life as a sin-offering.


אֶחָד יָחִיד שֶׁשָּׁגַג בְּאַחַת מֵאֵלּוּ אוֹ מְרֻבִּין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כט) "תּוֹרָה אַחַת תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם לָעשֶֹׁה בִּשְׁגָגָה". כֵּיצַד. אַנְשֵׁי מְדִינָה שֶׁשָּׁגְגוּ וְדִמּוּ שֶׁהַיּוֹם חֹל וַהֲרֵי הוּא יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וְכֻלָּן אָכְלוּ וְעָשׂוּ מְלָאכָה. כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן מֵבִיא שְׁתֵּי חַטָּאוֹת כְּבָשׂוֹת אוֹ שְׂעִירוֹת. וְכֵן אִם שָׁגְגוּ כֻּלָּן וְהִקְטִירוּ לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִן הָעוֹבְדִים מֵבִיא עֵז בַּת שְׁנָתָהּ לְחַטָּאת: