Menahot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Two

 

Mishnah Two

1)      If he did not pour in [the oil], or if he did not mix it, or if he did not break up [the minhah] into pieces, or if he did not salt it, or wave it, or if he did not draw it near, or if he broke it up into large pieces, or if he did not anoint it [with oil], it is valid.

2)      If the handful of one minhah was mixed with the handful of another, or with a priest’s minhah, or with the minhah of the anointed [high] priest, or with the minhah offered with the libations, it is valid.  

a)      Rabbi Judah says: if [it was mixed] with the minhah of the anointed [high] priest or with the minhah offered with libations, it is invalid, for since the consistency of the one is thick and the consistency of the other is thin, each absorbs from the other. 

 

Explanation

Section one: This section deals with a case where the priest preparing the minhah did not prepare it in the precisely correct way. With regard to each case I will first explain the correct way to prepare the minhah and then note what he did wrong.

He brings a tenth [of an ephah] of flour and a log (a measure) of oil. He puts a little bit of the oil into a vessel and then he puts the flour on top of it and then he pours the rest of the oil on top and mixes it together. If he didn’t pour the oil on afterwards, but rather poured it all into the vessel before he put the flour in, the minhah is still valid. Similarly, if he didn’t mix it up, it is still valid.

After having been mixed up, certain minhahs are kneaded in water and then baked in either a shallow or a deep pan. He would then make ten loaves. After the loaves have been baked, he breaks the loaves up into pieces, each about the size of an olive. If he doesn’t break the loaves up or he breaks them up into large pieces, the minhah is still valid.

Before a minhah is burned on the altar, the priest salts it. If he doesn’t salt the minhah and only salts the handful, it is still valid (this is how some commentators understand the mishnah, because if the handful is not salted, it is invalid).

Some minhah offerings, such as the minhah of jealousy, are waved before they are burned. If they are not waved, they are still valid.

The minhah is brought to the altar before it is eaten. If it is not brought there, it is still valid (we will learn more about this in 5:5-6).

Certain minhahs, specifically those made into wafers, are not mixed with oil before they are cooked, but rather afterwards. If he doesn’t anoint these minhah “wafers” they are still valid.

Section two: This section deals with various minhah offerings whose handfuls are mixed up with one another. According to the first opinion, it doesn’t matter which handful is mixed up with which handful, they all remain valid and they can all be put on the altar. Rabbi Judah says that if the handful from a regular Israelite minhah gets mixed up with the handful from either the minhah of the high priest or the minhah of libations then the mixture cannot be offered because the consistency of these minhahs is different. The minhah of the high priest and the minhah of libations have three logs of oil per tenth of an ephah of flour, whereas the regular Israelite minhah has only one log per tenth of flour. If they are mixed together the Israelite minhah will absorb from the other minhahs and its mixture will become thinner, and the mixture of the high priest’s minhah or minhah of libations will become thicker. In other words, they will become of uniform viscosity, and neither of them will stay as they are required to be.

 

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