Sunday, 5 August 2018

Zevachim 114: Voluntary/Obligatory Sacrifices Outside of the Temple Courtyard

The Gemara looks back to our last Mishna and examines on of its points: what was the status of the sacrifices brought to the Temple when the Israelites first entered the land?  

We learned that people were not liable if they brought sacrifices at the wrong time - turtledoves that were too young; pigeons that were already too grown.  But Rabbi Shimon argues that a sacrifice brought at the wrong time should receive malkot, lashes.

Rabbi Shimon boosts his argument by explaining that the Torah forbids bringing sacrifices in the same way  that they were brought in the desert once the people reach Israel.  The people could only bring volunarty and not communal offerings once entering the land.   Voluntary sacrifices could be brought in the Tabernacle erected in Gilgal.  Once the people arrived at Shiloh and Jerusalem, the the obligatory sacrifices could be brought again as they were in the desert.

Thus it was argued that we learn mechusar zeman, the principle that a sacrifice whose time had not yet arrived cannot be brought outside of the Tabernacle.  It was also forbidden to bring sacrifices outside of the Temple if they could be brought to the Altar at a later date. The Gemara suggests that we have to put our best effort into our offerings.

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