Menahot, Chapter Thirteen, Mishnah Two

 

Mishnah Two

1)      [If he said] “A minhah” or “a kind of minhah,” he may bring one [of any kind].

2)      [If he said]  “Menahot” or “A kind from menahot,” he must bring two [of any one kind].

3)      [If he said,] “I specified [a certain kind], but I do not know what kind I specified,” he must bring the five kinds.

4)      [If he said,] “I specified a minhah of [a certain number of] tenths but I do not know what number I specified,” he must bring sixty tenths.

a)      But Rabbi says, he must bring menahot [of every number] of tenths from one to sixty. 

 

Explanation

Section one: Again, this is a general introduction to the rest of the mishnah. If he pledges to bring a minhah or “kind of from the various types of menahot” he must bring one minhah.

Section two: If he uses the plural, he must bring two, because the minimum of a plurality is two.

Section three: There are five different kinds of menahot mentioned in Leviticus 2:

1) A minhah of choice flour.

2 + 3) A minhah baked in the oven. There are two kinds of such minhahs: loaves, and wafers.

4) A minhah cooked on a griddle.

5) A minhah cooked in a pan.

If he remembers that he specified that he wished to bring a certain type of minhah, but he doesn’t remember what type he specified, he must bring one of each type, lest that is the type that he pledged.

Section six: Here he remembers what type of minhah he specified, but he does not remember how many tenths he pledged to put in the minhah. As we have seen, a minhah can have anywhere from 1-60 tenths of flour.

According to the first opinion, he must bring one minhah of sixty tenths, because that is the maximum amount of tenths that a minhah can consist of. Rabbi works the math out differently. The problem with bringing one minhah of sixty tenths is that the one who made the pledge might have said a minhah with a lower amount, in which case the minhah with sixty tenths would not fulfill his pledge. What he must do is bring a minhah for every number from one to sixty. This way he can be covered for every possibility. I won’t do that math here, but suffice it to say that this forgotten pledge is going to cost him a bundle!

 

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