Menahot, Chapter Twelve, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

In this mishnah and in the following one, a person vows to bring a minhah offering, but then does not bring exactly what he vowed to bring. Our mishnah deals with the consequences of acting in such a way.

 

Mishnah Two

1)      If one said, “I take upon myself [to bring a minhah prepared] on a griddle”, and he brought one prepared in a pan, or “a minhah prepared in a pan”, and he brought one prepared on a griddle, what he has brought he has brought, but he has not fulfilled his obligation.

a)      [But if he said, “I take upon myself] to bring this [flour] as a minhah prepared on a griddle”, and he brought it prepared in a pan; or as “a minhah prepared in a pan”, and he brought it prepared on a griddle, it is invalid.   

2)      If one said, “I take upon myself to bring two tenths in one vessel”, and he brought them in two vessels, or [he said] “in two vessels,” and he brought them in one vessel, what he has brought he has brought, but he has not fulfilled his obligation.

a)      But [if he said, “I take upon myself to bring] these [two tenths] in one vessel”, and he brought them in two vessels, or “in two vessels”, and he brought them in one vessel, they are invalid.   

3)      If he said, “I take upon myself to bring two tenths in one vessel” and he brought them in two vessels, and when they said to him, “You vowed to bring them in one vessel”, if he brought them in one vessel, they are valid, but if he still offered them in two vessels, they are invalid.

4)      If he said “I take upon myself to bring two tenths in two vessels”, and he brought them in one vessel, and when they said to him, “You vowed to bring them in two vessels”, if he offered them in two vessels they are valid; but if he still kept them in one vessel, they are considered as two menahot which have been mixed.

 

Explanation

Section one: A minhah can be prepared either on a pan or on a griddle. Both are valid. Therefore, if a person makes a vow to bring one type of minhah and he brings the other, his minhah is valid and can be offered. It is considered a voluntary offering, and not one in fulfillment of the vow. Since, he has not fulfilled his vow because he vowed to bring a specific type of minhah, he also must bring another minhah in its stead.

However, if he has some flour and he vows to use it to make a certain type of minhah, either in a pan or on a griddle, and then he changes it to the other type, the minhah is not valid at all and cannot be offered, because it was supposed to be prepared in the manner he stated.

Section two:  Similarly in this case, where he vowed to bring two tenths in either one or two vessels and then he brought in the opposite number of vessels, the minhah is valid but he has not fulfilled his vow because he performed the mitzvah differently from the way he said he would.

Again, if he specifies that these specific two tenths of flour will be brought in either one or two vessels, and then he brings them in the wrong number of vessels, they are invalid and cannot be offered.

Section three:  In these cases, the priests tell him that he is offering the minhah in the wrong number of vessels. If he changes the minhah back to the correct number of vessels, it is valid and he has fulfilled his obligation. However, if he nevertheless offers the minhah in the wrong number of vessels, it is invalid. In this case, it cannot be considered a voluntary offering, since he didn’t respond, “I will then bring this as a voluntary offering.” Rather, it is clear that he thinks he is bringing the minhah in fulfillment of his vow, in which case it is invalid because he vowed differently.

Section four: Here he vows to bring two tenths in two vessels, and instead brings them in one vessel. If, after having been told that he should have brought them in two vessels, he puts them in two vessels, they are still valid.

However, if he keeps them in one vessel, they are treated as two menahot which have been mixed up. This was a situation dealt with in 3:3. If one can take a handful out of each minhah and put it on the altar, then they are valid, but if not they are invalid. The same would be true in section two. If he had said “I take upon myself to bring two tenths in two vessels” and he brought them in one vessel, if they can still be somewhat separated, they would be valid.

 

 

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