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24 votes
Accepted

Discrepancy between Sefer HaMitzvos and Sefer Hachinuch

This discrepancy was noticed by the Mishneh LaMelech in his Parshas Derachim Derech Mitzvosecha 4:487, and the Minchas Chinuch § 487, among others. As mentioned, the Chinuch leaves out the mitzvah ...
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17 votes
Accepted

How did the Kohanim eat in the Azara?

Tosafot to Yoma 25a discuss whether the kohanim sat down to eat korbanot in the 'azarah. They suggest three approaches: They would eat standing up in the 'azarah, due to the prohibition on sitting ...
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15 votes

Animal sacrifice in Judaism -- was it copied from other religions?

Rav Hirsch writes in his commentary to the Bible, on Gen. 4:4, the first time that animal sacrifice is mentioned: First, idolatry did not yet exist. It follows, then, that the offering are not a ...
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11 votes

Burnt offering of a gentile

The Korban does need to be brought on an altar (Rambam Maaseh Korbanot 19:1). This altar though does not have the requirements of horns, a ramp, a base, and square corners which regular altars (...
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11 votes

Heter Bamos - When?

Mishnah Zevachim 14:4-8 describe the times that bamot were permitted and forbidden: Before the mishkan was set up - bamot permitted Once the mishkan was set up in the desert - bamot forbidden While ...
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10 votes

How many people are needed to eat a korban pesach in one night?

Enlightened by the approaches taken in other answers and encouraged by the large number of views, I suggest this analysis as an answer to my own question. There is agreement on the web that dressed ...
  • 7,597
10 votes
Accepted

How to determine who offered the second Korban Tamid of the day?

The gemara on Yoma 26a explains that there was just one lottery that covered both services: א"ר יוחנן אין מפייסין על תמיד של בין הערבים אלא כהן שזכה בו בשחרית זוכה בו ערבית Rabbi Yoḥanan said: ...
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9 votes

Animal sacrifice in Judaism -- was it copied from other religions?

From a skeptical standpoint it would probably be easiest to presume that the ancient Israelites merely adopted and or adapted the methods of worship common at the time their religion emerged but I see ...
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9 votes

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it's close: the Rama's Toras Ha'Olah, which does go through just about every mitzvah/halakha in Seder Kodshim and explains the reasoning for their ...
9 votes

Was the Paschal Offering roasted with or without the sciatic nerve and chelev?

This is a Korban, so the Chelev was burned on the Mizbeach. Regarding the Gid haNasheh, there is a famous disagreement between the Rambam and the Raavad (Korban Pesach 10:11): כשאדם אוכל את הפסח ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Was Baal worshiped via child sacrifice?

The prophet Jeremiah (19:5) clearly identifies the baal as one of the gods to which the Caananites offered their children: וּבָנוּ אֶת בָּמוֹת הַבַּעַל לִשְׂרֹף אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם בָּאֵשׁ עֹלוֹת ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What is "piggul"? A question on the Bartenura

The עיקר תוי"ט already asks your question ibid ח: וְדִבְרֵי תֵּימַהּ הֵן, דִּבְהֶדְיָא שָׁנִינוּ בְּמִשְׁנָה ג' פֶּרֶק ב' דִּזְבָחִים חוּץ לִמְקוֹמוֹ פָּסוּל וְאֵין בּוֹ כָּרֵת‏ So it seems ...
8 votes
Accepted

Why can't we say "This meat is for Pesach"?

It's from the Talmud (Pesachim 53b) with the reason given as "for it looks like he is consecrating his animal and consuming an offering outside [of the Temple]". The Shulchan Arukh codifies it as well ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Becoming a nazir nowadays

Rambam Nazir 2:20 נזירות נוהגת בפני הבית, ושלא בפני הבית; לפיכך מי שנדר בנזיר בזמן הזה--הרי זה נזיר לעולם, שאין לנו בית כדי שיביא קרבנותיו במלאות ימי נזרו.‏ ... one who vowed to be a Nazir nowadays --...
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7 votes
Accepted

How do we know that a potential korban is not אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב?

This is a classic ruba d'leisa kaman. In the overall population, a very, very small number of animals are prohibited. Knowing nothing else, presented with an animal before us, we assume it is ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What method was used to kill an animal being sacrificed by a priest?

This is the method of shechitah (ritual slaughtering used today. We are commanded that the method of slaughtering used for animals (for regular eating) must be the same method as used for the altar. ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Why is it our responsibility to bring a Chatas for the Moon's sin?

Why both ideas? We can address your final question - why did Rashi cite both of these explanations - on a simple, structural level by looking at the Talmud passage Rashi got them from. In Shevu'ot 9a, ...
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7 votes
Accepted

When did the daily sacrifices cease being offered in temple?

The Mishnah in Taanit 4:6 reports that the Jews had five calamities on the 17th of Tammuz, the second was that the tamid offering was not brought anymore, and the Temple was eventually destroyed on ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is is possible to use Chayos as Korbanos

Rambam Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 1:1: כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁל מִינֵי נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בָּאִין מֵחֲמִשָּׁה מִינִין בִּלְבַד. מִן הַבָּקָר וּמִן הַכְּבָשִׂים וּמִן הָעִזִּים וּמִן ...
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7 votes

Is there a korbon needed for conversion?

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Forbidden Relationships 13:4-5 וכן לדורות, כשירצה הגוי להיכנס לברית, ולהסתופף תחת כנפי השכינה, ויקבל עליו עול תורה--צריך מילה, וטבילה, והרצאת קרבן; ואם נקבה היא, ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Why do the “Shtei HaLechem” not play a prominent part in the davenning for Shavuos?

This question is discussed in Chevel Nachalato 8:13, where a number of contemporary Rabbis' approaches are presented. R. Avigdor Nebenzahl writes that he knows of no good answer to the question, but ...
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6 votes

Rambam on Sacrifices

The Rambam writes as much in Moreh Nevochim 3:32. It is slightly expanded upon in 3:46. As an aside, it should be considered with the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Me'ila, which many understand to be ...
6 votes

How many people are needed to eat a korban pesach in one night?

I am trying to figure out mathematically how many people were at a typical Pesach seder in the times of the Temple. Not mathematically, but Josephus (Wars book 6 chapter 9 section 3) says: that ...
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6 votes

Did Hevel slaughter his sacrifice?

Radak says that Hevel left his Korban tied up, and was awaiting for a fire to come down from heaven to devour it. כמדומה לי שלא שחט הקרבן אלא הניחו חי קשור באותו מקום הקבוע לו כדי שירד עליו אש מן ...
6 votes

Is there a bracha on burning nossar?

In Sefer Abudarham, in Shaar Hashlishi which addresses Birkat Hamitsvot, a Teshuva of Rabbi Yosef Ben Pelat. The issue is to find a criterion for blessing on a mitsva. In the Teshuva RYBP wrote ...
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6 votes

Will we be obligated to bring many chatats when the temple is rebuilt?

As Scimonster mentioned the Gemara in Shabbos appears to address this. "קרא והטה וכתב על פנקסו אני ישמעאל בן אלישע קריתי והטיתי נר בשבת לכשיבנה בהמ"ק אביא חטאת שמנה" (Shabbat 12b) Rabbi Yishmael ...
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6 votes

How Could Adam Harishon Have "Stolen" from Anyone?

Beautiful question! In fact, Rav Schwab asks it in his sefer in Chumash! As Yisroel Reisman writes, "Rav Schwab (in Mayan Beis Hashoeva page # 242) explains, when we say not to bring a Korban that is ...
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6 votes
Accepted

How should I understand Rabbeinu Bachya on Numbers 25:13?

There are certain cases in which it is appropriate to kill someone, and certain cased in which killing is inappropriate. Typically appropriate killing would be legal executions. For discussion of when ...
  • 34.9k
6 votes

How did the Cohanim walk around the Mizbeach?

You are probably referring to the "Sovev" - ledge half way up the Mizbeach, which was six Amos above the floor. The Tiferes Yisroel (צורת המזבח אות יד) writes that there was probably a Ma'akoh - ...
6 votes

How Melchizedek/Shem was a Cohen if he wasn't firstborn?

Bamidar Rabbah 4: וַיַּעַשׂ ה' אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתּוֹ כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם, בִּגְדֵי שֶׁבַח הָיוּ, וְהָיוּ הַבְּכוֹרוֹת מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶם...מֵת נֹחַ וּמְסָרָן לְשֵׁם, וְכִי ...
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