Menahot, Chapter Two, Mishnah One

 

Introduction

In this mishnah, Rabbi Yose and the sages disagree concerning a case where a priest offered a minhah and had a disqualifying intention with regard to the accompanying frankincense.

 

Mishnah One

1)      If he took out the handful [intending] to eat the remainder or to burn the handful the next day, in this case Rabbi Yose agrees that the offering is piggul and he is obligated for karet.

2)      [If he intended] to burn its frankincense the next day:

a)      Rabbi Yose says: it is invalid but he is not liable for karet.

b)      But the sages say: it is piggul and he is liable for karet.

3)      They said to him: how does this differ from an animal-offering?

a)      He said to them: with the animal-offering the blood, the flesh and the sacrificial portions are all one; but the frankincense is not part of the minhah.

 

Explanation

Section one: This is the same case that was mentioned in mishnah three of the previous chapter. Since he had a disqualifying intention with regard to either eating the remainder of the minhah or burning the handful that he removes in order to burn on the altar, everyone agrees that the offering is piggul (forbidden) and the penalty for eating it is karet (extirpation). This section is mentioned here to note that in this case Rabbi Yose agrees, but he will disagree below about a similar case.

Section two: The debate concerns a case where the priest’s disqualifying intention was in connection with burning the frankincense that accompanies the minhah. Rabbi Yose holds that the minhah is merely invalid—it is not piggul and therefore one who eats it is not liable for karet. The sages disagree and hold that this minhah is piggul and one who eats it is liable for karet, just as he would be if the disqualifying intention was with regard to eating the remainder or burning the fistful (section one).

Section three: In this section the rabbis argue out their position. As we have seen, the fistful of the minhah is parallel to the blood of an animal offering and the frankincense is parallel to the innards of the animal that are burned on the altar (the emurim). If one sacrifices the animal with the intention of burning the innards on the following day, the sacrifice is piggul and one who eats it is liable for karet. So too, one who sacrifices the minhah with the intention of burning the innards on the following day, the minhah is piggul and one who eats it is liable for karet.

Rabbi Yose responds by pointing out the difference between the parts of the animal sacrifice and the components of the minhah. The three parts of the animal, the flesh, the blood and the innards, are all from the same source.  When it comes to the minhah, the fistful and the remains are from the same source, but the frankincense is not. Therefore, with regard to disqualifying intentions, the minhah is treated differently from the frankincense.

 

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