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In parashat Metzorah it says that after a woman's flow has ended, part of the purification process is bringing two doves as a sacrifice.

Weren't sacrifices only allowed to be done at the Tabernacle or Temple in Jerusalem? Does that mean women had to travel every month to Jerusalem? Or was there some sort of alternative not mentioned in this parasha?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

As Clint already mentioned, the obligation to bring doves applies to a Zava - one who bleeds between the expected times of her period (to oversimplify). So most women never had this obligation.

Another missing piece is that the woman does not have to bring the doves immediately - she can accumulate the obligations and bring them all together.

As long as she has not brought them she is a Mechusar Kapara - missing atonement - and she may not eat Korbanot, as the Rambam codifies in הלכות מחוסרי כפרה פרק א. Not bringing your birds has no other ramification.

The only place you can eat Korbanot is the same place you can bring your doves - or pigeons.

Practically speaking, this meant that when they went to Jerusalem for the 3 festivals, she would bring her birds so that she could then partake of the festive sacrifices.

By the way, the others in this category of מחוסרי כפרה are: a Zav, a mother after childbirth, a Metzora and a convert.

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I once asked this question. The part about the korban offering only refers to more unusual zaavaah flow rather than the typical niddah flow. I, like you have done now, once understood the last paragraph about the korban to pertain to both of the previous two paragraphs about niddah and zaavah rather than just the penultimate zaavah paragraph.

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