Yoma, Chapter Two, Mishnah Seven



The final mishnah of this chapter teaches that sacrificial bulls, who were far larger than the rams and young sheep mentioned in the previous mishayot, and whose sacrifice required more flour and wine, were offered by twenty-four priests, instead of the nine for a sheep and eleven for a ram.


Mishnah Seven

1)      A bull was offered by twenty-four:

a)      The head and [right] hind-leg: the head by one and the [right] hind-leg by two.

b)      The tail and [left] hind-leg:  the tail by two and the [left] hind-leg by two.

c)      The breast and neck:  the breast by one and the neck by three.

d)      The two fore-legs by two,

e)      The two flanks by two.

f)        The innards, the fine flour, and the wine by three each.

2)      To what does this refer? To communal offerings.

a)      But individual offerings, if a single priest wants to offer [all], he may do so.

3)      But as to the flaying and dismembering [of both communal and individual sacrifices] the same regulations apply.



Section one:  This section delineates how the twenty-four priests divided up the offering of the bull.

Section two:  This section refers to all of the above mishnayot in which priests divide the task of offering various parts of a young sheep, a ram or a bull.  The mishnah now teaches that this division refers to public offerings, such as the tamid or the musaf (the additional offering).  However, if any of these animals are brought by individuals a single priest may perform all of the tasks himself.  Assumedly, although the mishnah does not state this, the individual who brings the sacrifice is the same one who is allowed to decide which or how many priests offer it.

Section three:  When it comes to the flaying and cutting up (dismembering) of both communal and individual sacrifices, the same rules apply. This refers to the fact that both of these tasks may be performed by non-priests and do not require any priestly count.