Some sacrifices have varying requirements based on what you can afford. For example, Vayikra 5:6, 5:7 and 5:11 have three different levels of sacrifices to bring for a guilt-offering depending on what you can afford.

How was it determined what one could afford? If someone couldn't afford a sheep because they were behind on their Mercedes donkey-payment, would that qualify? Or would it have to be something more along the lines of if he would have to skip a meal? Is there an objective standard?

1 Answer 1


Probably the same standards used in Arachim (see 6th Perek) and codified by the Rambam in הלכות ערכים וחרמים פרק ג

In a nutshell, we pay up his debts (as they have an earlier lien) and then we provide him with food for 30 days. He gets basic living conditions (roof, bed, Tefilin and weekday clothes) and a basic set of tools for his trade. We then sell his other belongings.

That's his "net worth" at the moment.

  • What are the three levels then?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 3:18
  • 1
    @DoubleAA: Based on his "net worth" we have: 1 - can he afford a lamb. 2 - can he afford 2 birds. 3 - he can only afford flour. Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 7:24
  • Please check that my edit matches your intent.
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 9:08
  • What is it talking about in Arachim that you're saying "the same standards". Standards of what?
    – larry909
    Commented Apr 19 at 9:24

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