Shekalim, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Seven

 

Introduction

This mishnah continues the topic begun in yesterday’s mishnah—sacrificial “holy of holies” meat which became unclean either within or outside the Temple.

 

Mishnah Seven

1)      Rabbi Eliezer says: [Sacrificial meat] which was defiled by a principal uncleanness, whether inside or outside [the Temple precincts], must be burned outside [the Temple]. [Sacrificial meat] which was defiled with a derived uncleanness whether inside or outside the Temple, is burned inside the Temple.

2)      Rabbi Akiva says: where it was defiled there it is burned.

 

Explanation

Section one:   According to Rabbi Eliezer, the operative distinction is only the level of uncleanness of the sacrifice.  If it has a high level of uncleanness it must be burned outside the Temple.  This is in order to distance seriously unclean things from the Temple.  However, if its uncleanness is of a lower level then it may be burned within the Temple, even if it became unclean outside of the Temple.

Section two: According to Rabbi Akiva the operative distinction is where the meat became unclean.  In order to expedite burning the unclean sacrifice, it should be burned wherever the the impurity was incurred.      

 

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