Pesachim 8:2:

הָאוֹמֵר לְעַבְדּוֹ, צֵא וּשְׁחֹט עָלַי אֶת הַפֶּסַח, שָׁחַט גְּדִי, יֹאכַל. שָׁחַט טָלֶה, יֹאכַל. שָׁחַט גְּדִי וְטָלֶה, יֹאכַל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן. ‏

שָׁכַח מָה אָמַר לוֹ רַבּוֹ, כֵּיצַד יַעֲשֶׂה, יִשְׁחַט טָלֶה וּגְדִי וְיֹאמַר, אִם גְּדִי אָמַר לִי רַבִּי, גְּדִי שֶׁלּוֹ וְטָלֶה שֶׁלִּי. וְאִם טָלֶה אָמַר לִי רַבִּי, הַטָּלֶה שֶׁלּוֹ וּגְדִי שֶׁלִּי. שָׁכַח רַבּוֹ מָה אָמַר לוֹ, שְׁנֵיהֶם יֵצְאוּ לְבֵית הַשְּׂרֵפָה, וּפְטוּרִין מִלַּעֲשׂוֹת פֶּסַח שֵׁנִי: ‏

If someone says to his servant "Shecht (slaughter) a korban Pesach (Paschal sacrifice) for me": if he shechts a goat, the master should eat it, if he shechts a sheep, the master should eat it. If he shechts both, the master should eat the first one.

If he forgets what the master said, he should shecht a sheep and a goat and say "If my master told me to shecht a goat, the goat is his and the sheep is mine. If my master told me to shecht a sheep, the sheep is his and the goat is mine." If the master also forgets what he said, both animals get burned, and neither of them have to do Pesach Sheini.

It seems that forgetting which animal one was sent to bring is common enough to be worth mentioning and ruling on.

Pesachim 8:6 lists several people who are probably going to be able to eat the Pesach that night, but who have a high probability of being disqualified. It rules that:

הָאוֹנֵן, וְהַמְפַקֵּחַ אֶת הַגַּל, וְכֵן מִי שֶׁהִבְטִיחוּהוּ לְהוֹצִיאוֹ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִים, וְהַחוֹלֶה וְהַזָּקֵן שֶׁהֵן יְכוֹלִין לֶאֱכֹל כַּזַּיִת, שׁוֹחֲטִין עֲלֵיהֶן. עַל כֻּלָּן אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן, שֶׁמָּא יָבִיאוּ אֶת הַפֶּסַח לִידֵי פְסוּל. ‏

An onein (who's close relatve died that day), a search and rescue worker, someone who was promised to be let out of jail, or a sick or old person who can eat a kezayis, we can shecht a korban Pesach for them. In all of these cases, we don't shecht a korban Pesach for them alone, so that they don't disqualify it.

My question: Why not recommend that the servant in Mishnah Pesachim 8,2 do the same thing as in 8,6? That is, he should find at least two other people willing to cooperate, and register one on the goat and one on the sheep unconditionally. That way, even if the master forgets what he said, not one of the korbanos would be disqualified and burned.

  • Arguably, you can ask that we should always do this, just in case.
    – DonielF
    Apr 3, 2019 at 13:42
  • @DonielF R' Yehuda does argue that. These mishnayos are apparently going according to R' Yosi.
    – Heshy
    Apr 3, 2019 at 13:48
  • At least one of the animals belongs to his master.
    – Lo ani
    Apr 3, 2019 at 14:02
  • @Loani I don't think so. If his master owned one of the animals, the servant would know which it was and there would be no problem.
    – Heshy
    Apr 3, 2019 at 14:22
  • But he bought one of the animals for his master
    – Lo ani
    Apr 3, 2019 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


The Rambam Hilchos Korban Pesach 3,2:

באומר לעבדו צא ושחוט עלי וקבע לו ושכח העבד מה אמר לו רבו. והוא שיתן לו רועה של רבו גדי וטלה ויאמר לו שחוט שניהן כדי שתשחוט כמו שאמר לו רבך והרי אחד מהן שלך על מנת שלא יהיה לרבך בו כלום. אם עשה הרועה כך אחר כך יהיה אפשר לעבד להתנות כמו שביארנו
When someone tells his slave to slaughter a Pesach offering and the Canaanite slave forgets which one, If the Shepard of lambs and kid-goats gives him one of each and declares:
"Slaughter both of them on condition that if that one was what your master wanted that lamb/kid-goat should be his and the other should be a present for yourself on condition that your master does not own it."
If the Shepherd who owns the flock made such a stipulation to the slave that one should keep for his master and one should be for himself, then when the master declares which one was his, the slave can eat the other one.

We see from here that: Since the slave does not own his masters lamb/kid-goat, he cannot give permission to others to join the group of the lamb/kid of his master as his master didn't include him in the group. The slave can only own a lamb/kid-goat when given as a present from the Shepherd after the master tells him what he wants, then the other animal is his to use for his own Korban Pesach.

If the master did register the slave on his animal the slave cannot take another animal to re-register himself or others. Rambam Korban Pesach 2,9:שָׁחַט עַל יְדֵי בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים וְעַל יְדֵי עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִים וְהָלְכוּ וְשָׁחֲטוּ הֵן לְעַצְמָן יוֹצְאִין בְּשֶׁל רַבָּן: i.e a slave once enumerated on the masters lamb cannot register himself on any others on a lamb even that belongs to him.

So the slave cannot register people on two lambs at the same time rather only on his lamb (when not included by the master) or only on his masters lamb (when included See Pesachim 8,4).

  • Here's the piece I don't understand: what was plan A? We can assume the servant was anyway going to fulfill his obligation to bring a Pesach. Apparently he wasn't going to do that on his own, or they wouldn't need the elaborate plan with the shepherd, because it would have already been arranged in advance. If he was originally going to share a Pesach with his master, then he can unilaterally register others on their shared Pesach (see 8:4). Then he can drop himself off of that Pesach and get the second one.
    – Heshy
    Apr 4, 2019 at 20:02
  • @heshy Rambam Korban Pesach 2,9:שָׁחַט עַל יְדֵי בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים וְעַל יְדֵי עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִים וְהָלְכוּ וְשָׁחֲטוּ הֵן לְעַצְמָן יוֹצְאִין בְּשֶׁל רַבָּן: i.e his slave once enumerated on the masters lamb cannot enumerate himself on any other lamb even that belongs to him. So no he cannot enumerate people on two lambs at the same time. Either he is not registered on his masters lamb and he needs a present from the shephard or he's registered on his masters lamb and cannot enumerate himself on his lamb that was given to him anymore.
    – user15464
    Apr 4, 2019 at 22:28
  • I didn't say he should enumerate people on two lambs at the same time. Assuming at the beginning he was registered on his master's lamb, he can take the following steps: 1. register somebody else on his master's lamb which is also his own lamb 2. leave the master's lamb 3. get his own lamb 4. register somebody else with him.
    – Heshy
    Apr 4, 2019 at 22:42
  • @heshy you did not read Rambam Korban Pesach 2,9: properly he cannot leave his masters lamb
    – user15464
    Apr 4, 2019 at 22:51
  • Then how does this case work at all?
    – Heshy
    Apr 4, 2019 at 22:59

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