Hullin, Chapter Two, Mishnah Ten

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah is, in a sense, the mirror image of mishnah eight. Whereas yesterday we learned about one who slaughtered an animal for it to be an idolatrous sacrifice, in today’s mishnah we learn about one who slaughters an animal for it to be a Jewish sacrifice, but does so outside of the Temple. While his intentions may have been good, this is still a no-no. The question is: is the slaughtering valid?

 

Mishnah Ten

1)      If one slaughtered [an unconsecrated animal outside the Temple court] for it to be an olah or a shelamim or an asham for a doubtful sin or as a Pesah or a todah, the slaughtering is invalid.

a)      But Rabbi Shimon declares it valid.  

2)      If two persons held one knife and slaughtered [an unconsecrated animal outside the Temple court], one declaring it to be one of the above and the other intending it for a legitimate purpose, the slaughtering is invalid.

3)      If one slaughtered [an unconsecrated animal outside the Temple court] for it to be a hatat or an asham or a first-born or the tithe [of cattle] or a substitute offering, the slaughtering is valid.   

4)      This is the general rule: if one slaughtered an animal declaring it to be a sacrifice which can be brought either as a voluntary or a freewill-offering it is invalid, but if he declares it to be a sacrifice which cannot be brought either as a votive or a freewill-offering it is valid.

 

Explanation

Section one: An olah (whole-burnt offering), a shelamim (wellbeing offering) and a todah (thanksgiving offering) can be offered as voluntary offerings. Therefore, if one slaughters an animal with the intent of it being an olah or a shelamim but does so outside of the Temple, it looks as if he is now sanctifying the animal to be a sacrifice and slaughtering it outside of the Temple. Note that the animal is not actually invalid, because he did not sanctify it before he slaughtered it, and for an animal to be a sacrifice it must first be sanctified. However, the rabbis prohibited it lest it look like he is slaughtering and eating sanctified meat outside of the Temple.

Our mishnah thinks that an asham (guilt-offering) brought for a doubtful sin (meaning one is not even sure if one sinned) can also be brought voluntarily. Therefore, it too is invalid if slaughtered for this purpose outside of the Temple.

With regard to the pesah, since it can be set aside at any time during the year, someone might think that by slaughtering it now outside of the Temple, he is sanctifying it. Therefore, it is invalid.  

Rabbi Shimon holds that the slaughtering is valid because that is not the way that one offers a sacrifice. One doesn’t voluntarily offer a sacrifice in order to slaughter it outside of the Temple. Since his sanctifying the animal is obviously invalid, everyone will understand that he has not performed a sacrifice. Therefore, the slaughtering is invalid. For case in which Rabbi Shimon uses similar reasoning see Menahot 12:3.

Section two: As we learned in mishnah eight, when two people jointly slaughter an animal and only one of them has an intention that would render the slaughtering invalid, the one person’s intention invalidates the animal. So too here, the fact that one of them intends for the animal to be a sacrifice renders it invalid.

Section three: The sacrifices in this section can not be voluntarily donated to the Temple. They are only brought by those who incur an obligation to bring them. Since everyone knows that the person sacrificing them was not obligated to bring such a sacrifice, they will know that he is not really sacrificing an animal outside of the Temple. Therefore, the meat is valid.

We will learn more about what exactly a “substitute sacrifice” is in tractate Temurah. 

Section four: This section provides the general rule that is the basis for my explanation above.

 

 

 

 

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