In parashat Acharei Mot, there is a commandment given starting from chapter 17 verse 3, where it is forbidden to kill an ox, lamb, or goat either within or outside of the camp. It can only be done for a sacrifice at the Tabernacle. This commandment seems like it's only relevant to those Jews of that time. Is this the case?

I was told that this might be relevant to us if we receive manna in the future. The reasoning was that since Bnei Israel got everything they needed from manna, they were prohibited from slaughtering these animals. Are there any writings that support this theory? Is the miracle of manna expected to return?

2 Answers 2


Although Rashi (Chulin 16) cites this verse as support for the view that non-sacrifical meat was prohibited to Jews at that time, that view is not accepted as halacha: in fact we hold that they could and did eat non-sacrifical meat at that time. Thus, I have no reason to think that will change if we ever have manna again.

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    Some commentaries on Acharei Mos, on covering the blood of chaya veof, refer to this. Note that the slav were not allowable as a korban yet they had it. The implication seems to be that the restriction was only those animals that could be brought as korban shelamim. Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 11:13

While I have not seen a reference to man returning, the halachos of meat would still not apply even if the man did return. Note also that the man only fell when Bnei Yisrael were camped around the mishkan in the desert. When Mashiach comes, we will be living in all of Eretz Yisrael and not in the immediate vicinity of the Bais Hamikdash.

Rav Hirsch on verse 3 cites Chulin 16b and 17a showing a machlokes between Rav Yishmael and Rabbi Akivah. He says that in the desert the Jews could only eat meat that was brought as a korbon shelamim. It was only after the entry into Eretz Yisrael and the permitting order in Devarim 12:20-21 that they were allowed to eat non-sacrificial meat.

Rabbi Akivah says that it means that only sacrificial meat required shechita and in the desert the status of neveila was removed by simple nechira. After entering the land Shechita was required.

Rambam says that the halacha follows Rabbi Yishmael.

In either case, it appears that even if the man would fall again, the desert halacha would no longer apply. Given that we would still not be living in the immediate vicinity of the Mishkan, Rav Yishmael's view would be unable to apply as we could not bring every animal to the Bais Hamikdash for a korbon shelamim. Thus it would be impossible for the rule to apply if the man fell again. Rabbi Akiva's view would also imply that the rule of the desert would no longer apply as shechitah would still be required for both kodshim and chulin.

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