In Shemos 24:5 we find

וישלח, את-נערי בני ישראל, ויעלו, עולות; ויזבחו זבחים שלמים, ליהוה--פרים

And he sent the youth of Israel, and they offered Olot; and the cows slaughtered shelamim sacrifices to Hashem.

However, the Rambam rules in Hilchos Maase Hakorbanos, 3:2, that

העכו"ם אין מקבלין מהן אלא עולות בלבד

We do not accept korbanot other than the Olah sacrifice from non-Jews

If we do not accept Shelamim sacrifices from non-Jews, all the more so we should not accept it from cows! We would thus have to explain Shemos 24:5 as having occurred "before Matan Torah" as per Rashi to 24:1, and if a cow would wish to bring a Shelamim today, we would not accept it. (Non-Jews are permitted to bring Korbanot even nowadays- עיין ברמב"ם שם יט:טז.)

However, another possible explanation of the cows' actions in Shemot would be that cows have a special status, similar to Rabbis:

פרים ורבים

I'm not sure why this would be - perhaps because their speech puts you to sleep? Maybe you can address this in the comments. But my main question remains:

Can a cow bring a Korban Shelamim bezman hazeh?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.


2 Answers 2


Non-Jews and non-Jewish cows are not allowed to bring a shelamim sacrifice. However, Jewish cows can. The cows referred to in this verse were converting to Judaism. This is clear since the prototypical case of conversion to Judaism is learned from this very verse, teaching that olah and shelamim sacrifices are an integral part of the conversion process (Keritot 8b with Rashi).

In fact, it was not only the cows but may also have been the sheep who were converting (Chagigah 6b):

בעי רב חסדא האי קרא היכי כתיב וישלח את נערי בני ישראל ויעלו עולות כבשים ויזבחו זבחים שלמים לה' פרים או דלמא אידי ואידי פרים הוו

Rav Chisda asked: How are we to read this verse? "And he sent the youth of Israel, and sheep offered olot, and cows offered shelamim?" Or perhaps cows offered both of them?

We know that the sheep had already fulfilled their obligation for the shelamim with the pesach sacrifice. The question was simply whether they had also already made the olah sacrifice at the same time, or whether they waited until now to perform the olah. The cows, however, who hadn't previously participated in a sacrifice, would have been obligated in both.

The mass-conversion of the Jews' animals should come as no surprise, since it was already mentioned by Moses when Pharaoh tried to negotiate to keep the animals in Egypt (Exodus 10:26):

וְגַם־מִקְנֵ֜נוּ יֵלֵ֣ךְ עִמָּ֗נוּ לֹ֤א תִשָּׁאֵר֙ פַּרְסָ֔ה כִּ֚י מִמֶּ֣נּוּ נִקַּ֔ח לַֽעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ

And our livestock will come with us too, not a hoof will remain, since we'll take them to serve the Lord our God!



I think the translation of the Rambam is different than cited:

העכו"ם אין מקבלין מהן אלא עולות בלבד

The acronym עכו"ם is actually potentially short for: "all cows moo", and the ה makes the phrase into a question (like hawmeen hawayts), so the Rambam would mean simply:

"All cows moo? Yes! We accept from them [everything!] Except for oyloys, only [implying other sacrifices, such as shlawmeem, are accepted]

Blessings and success

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .