Keritot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Four

 

Introduction

In this mishnah the rabbis try to figure out how a person could eat one piece of forbidden fat and by that one act become liable to four hatats and an asham. As we have seen before, this is the kind of question the rabbis like to ask. Think of this as a rabbinic riddle, almost like asking a Scrabble or Boggle player, how many words you can make from another word. Fun!

 

Mishnah Four

It is possible that by one act of eating a person could become liable to four hatats and one asham:

1)      If an unclean person eats forbidden fat, which was at the same time notar of an offering, and [it was on] Yom Kippur.   

2)      Rabbi Meir says: if it was on Shabbat and he carried it out, he is liable [to yet another hatat].   

a)      But they said to him: this is a different name.

 

Explanation

Section one: Let’s list the hatats and asham. First the hatats:

1) For eating holy food while in an impure state.

2) For eating forbidden fat.

3) For eating notar.

4) For eating on Yom Kippur.

The asham is for eating sacrificial meat in the first place. This is called “meilah” and it means illicit transgression of holy property.

Section two: Rabbi Meir adds a fifth hatat—if it was on Shabbat and he carried it from one domain to another. The other rabbis disagree because this hatat is for carrying and not for eating. All of the other hatats and the asham were for the eating itself.

 

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