Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Zevachim 26: Blood on the Altar, Forbidden Blood/Piggul Items

The rabbis begin our daf with their discussion about the status of an animal that has been slaughtered and then had its legs removed.  The answer to this question has to do with the contact; the other factors that influence how the blood might be collected, etc.

We learn that the more significant offerings are slaughtered at the northernmost point of the Temple.  Less important offerings are offered anywhere in the Temple courtyard.  The rabbis consider whether or not an offering is affected by movement during the service.  For example, if one's head and upper body move into the northern part of the Temple courtyard.  Further, Shmuel and his father argue about whether or not an offering is permitted if it has two legs in the proper area and two legs in a different area.

A new Mishna teaches us about blood and its placement on the altar.  Each offering's blood must be distributed in a particular manner in a particular place.  If a priest places the blood in the wrong place, or in the wrong manner, the offering is disqualified.  The owner is not liable to be punished with karet, however. 

The Gemara begins a conversation about whether the entire altar offers atonement or whether atonement requires that dealing with blood follows the exact directions given.  What should we do if we err?  Should the blood be collected a second time?  Is there the opportunity to sprinkle blood more than once?  And what about intent?  Is the wrong intent enough to disqualify an offering?  The rabbis engage in long conversations about the specific places that blood might fall: beyond the curtain, under the curtain.  

The recreation of these Temple rites is considered with rigour and precision.  But the rabbis cannot know exactly how these rituals were enacted, and yet they describe the actions in vivid detail.  

Our daf ends with a new Mishna.  We learn that one who slaughters the offering with the intent to 
-sprinkle its blood outside the Temple 
-sprinkle its blood outside the Temple
-burn its sacrificial portions outside the Temple
-partake of its meat outside the Temple
-partake of an olive-bulk of its meat outside the Temple
or partake of an olive-bulk of the skin of the tail outside of the Temple, the offering is disqualified.  That person is not punished with karet.

However, if a person intended to 
-sprinkle its blood the next day, or part of its blood the next day, 
-burn its sacrificial portions the next day, or part of its sacrificial portions the next day, 
-eat its meat the next day or an olive-bulk of its meat or the skin of its tail the next day, 
the offering is piggul, forbidden because of the prohibition on eating detestable or unfit food.  That person is liable to receive karet for burning or eating it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment