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In certain cases, the Torah prescribes the bringing of a pair of birds as an offering, one as a chatat and the other as an olah. See Lev 12:8, Lev 14:22, Lev 15:14, Lev 15:29, and Num 6:10.

The mishna in Kinnim 1:3–4 (2–3 in some editions) describes what happens when birds from multiple offerings get mixed up together. Mishna 1:3 includes (translation from Sefaria):

חַטָּאת שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בְחוֹבָה, אֵין כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא כְמִנְיַן חַטָּאוֹת שֶׁבַּחוֹבָה. וְכֵן עוֹלָה שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בְחוֹבָה, אֵין כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא כְמִנְיַן עוֹלוֹת שֶׁבַּחוֹבָה

A sin-offering that became mixed with a [pair of] obligatory [birds], only the number of sin-offerings [contained] in the obligatory [pair] are permitted [to be sacrificed]. Similarly, an burnt-offering that became mixed with with obligatory a [pair of] obligatory [birds], only the number of burnt-offerings [contained] in the obligatory [pair] are permitted [to be sacrificed].

Mishna 1:4 includes (translation from Sefaria):

חובה שנתערבה זו בזו, אחת לזו ואחת לזו, שתיים לזו ושתיים לזו, שלוש לזו ושלוש לזו--מחצה כשר, ומחצה פסול. אחת לזו, ושתיים לזו, שלוש לזו, ועשר לזו, ומאה לזו--הממועט כשר

If obligatory [bird offerings] became mixed with each other, one [pair] from this one [woman] and one [pair] from this one [woman], two [pairs] from this one [woman] and two [pairs] from this one [woman], three [pairs] from this one [woman] and three [pairs] from this one [woman]; half are permitted [to be sacrificed] and half are invalid. [However if] this one [woman] had one [pair], and this one [woman] had two [pairs], [or] three for this one, [or] ten for this one [or] one hundred for this one, [only] the smaller number [of birds] are permitted [to be sacrificed].

We see that after a mix-up and after the allowed offerings from the mix-up are brought, a person is in one (or more) of the following situations, and they don't know which one applies to them: (1) they owe an olah without a chatat, (2) they owe a chatat without an olah, (3) they owe a pair (chatat and olah), (4) they owe nothing. Additionally, if they needed to bring multiple offerings, they do not know for which offering they may have already (partially) fulfilled their obligation.

One common way to bring an offering that may not be required is to offer it with a stipulation: if it's required, then great, but if not, then it should be considered as a voluntary offering.[citation needed] However, voluntary bird offerings cannot be brought as a chatat (see Kinnim 1:2).

What is the remedy for someone in this situation (or is there not one)? How (and with what stipulations) do they bring their missing offerings? If it depends on the number of pairs of birds, the number of people whose offerings were involved in the mix-up, or something else, please indicate as much in your answer.

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    All the masechet treat the problem of mixing – kouty Apr 5 at 4:31
  • Hatat haof comes for a safek, additionally for ledot, there is an exception that one chatat can be good for several ledot – kouty Apr 25 at 5:18
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The rule is that one who is doubtfully obligated in a chatat ha’of (as opposed to a chatat beheimah) may in fact bring one. It is treated in the same way as a regular chatat ha’of except that it may not be eaten. (See Rambam Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashin 7:10.)

A further rule is that one only brings one chatat ha’of in a case of doubt, even if one is possibly obligated in multiple offerings. (See Rambam Hilchot Mechusarei Kapparah 1:10.)

While I have not seen these rules applied explicitly to the cases you bring from Kinnim, I don’t see any reason that they should not apply here.

  • Your citation discusses someone who doesn't know whether they were ever obligated to bring a korban, but that's not the case in the OP. Do you know that the law is the same? Additionally, I'm interested in the entire procedure, including the how many offers of each kind and any stipulations. – magicker72 Apr 5 at 19:26

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