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Tractate Pesachim:
Chapter 5



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Regulations concerning the sacrifice of the paschal lamb.

MISHNA: The continual (daily) offering 1 was slaughtered half an hour 2 after the eighth hour, and sacrificed half an hour after the ninth hour; but on the day before Passover, whether that day happened to be a week-day or a Sabbath, it was slaughtered half an hour after the seventh hour, and sacrificed half an hour after the eighth hour. When the day before the Passover happened to be a Friday, it was slaughtered half an hour after the sixth hour, sacrificed half an hour after the seventh hour, and the Passover sacrifice celebrated (immediately) afterwards.

GEMARA: Whence do we know all this? Said Rabha: Because it is written [Numbers xxviii. 4], "toward evening," we know that this religious duty must be discharged when the sun commences to move towards the west (evening). Then again, on all ordinary days, in respect to vow and voluntary offerings, as it is written [Lev. vi. 5]: "And he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace-offering." And the master said that this signifies that all the other offerings must be sacrificed before the daily offering. Hence this latter was slaughtered half an hour after the eighth hour (two and one half hours after noon); but on the day before Passover, when the paschal lamb had to be slaughtered after the daily offering, the latter was slaughtered an hour sooner. If the eve of Passover, however. fell on Friday, when the paschal lamb must be roasted before the Sabbath set in, the literal text of the passage in the Scriptures is abided by, and the daily offering is slaughtered as soon as the sun commences setting towards the west, i.e., half an hour after noon.

The rabbis taught: "In the same manner as the daily offering was proceeded with on a week-day, it was also treated on Sabbath." Such is the decision of R. Ishmael. R. Aqiba, however, said: "In the same manner as it is proceeded with on the eve of Passover, so should it be treated on Sabbath."

What does R. Aqiba mean by this statement? Said Rabba bar Ula: The Mishna teaches us as follows: The usual manner of treating the daily offering on week-days is carried out also on Sabbath, notwithstanding the fact that no vow or voluntary offerings are sacrificed on the Sabbath. Such is the decree of R. Ishmael; but R. Aqiba said: "Nay, on Sabbath the daily offering should be treated the same as on the day before Passover; i.e., it should be sacrificed an hour sooner, and for the very reason that there are no vow or voluntary offerings to be sacrificed on that day." The statement in the Mishna, that "on the day before Passover, whether that day happened to be a week-day or a Sabbath, it was slaughtered half an hour after the seventh hour," refers to the paschal lamb, and this is in accordance with the opinions of both R. Ishmael and R. Aqiba. Wherein do they differ? R. Ishmael holds that the time should not be changed on the Sabbath, lest this be done also on the week-days, and thus sufficient time will not be allowed for the vow and voluntary offerings, while R. Aqiba maintains that this precautionary measure is not necessary. If the precautionary measure is not necessary, why should the sacrifice be brought on Sabbath half an hour after the seventh hour? why not a half hour after the sixth hour? R. Aqiba holds, that first the additional Sabbath-sacrifice must be brought in the sixth hour, then the frankincense is burned at the seventh hour, and finally the daily sacrifice half an hour after the seventh hour.

The rabbis taught: Whence do we know that nothing must be offered prior to the daily morning sacrifice? Because it is written [Lev. vi. 5]: "And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall lay in order upon it the burnt-offering," which signifies that the (daily) burnt-offering shall be the first to be sacrificed. Is this then conclusive evidence? Said Rabha: "Yea, because it says explicitly the burnt-offering, and that means that the daily morning sacrifice should be the first."

Whence do we know that nothing must be sacrificed after the daily evening sacrifice? Because it is written [ibid.]: "And he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace-offerings." How does this signify that nothing shall be sacrificed after the evening sacrifice? Said Rabha: "Because it says the peace offerings, 1 and that means that the peace-offerings shall be the last.

The rabbis taught: "The daily (evening) offering precedes the Passover-sacrifice, and the Passover-sacrifice precedes the burning of the incense, and the incense precedes the lighting of the candles." Why should the Passover-sacrifice follow the daily offering? Because an act concerning which it is written [Deut. xvi. 6]: "There shalt thou slay the Passover (lamb) at evening, at the going down of the sun," and [Exod. xii. 6]: "They shall kill it toward evening," must be accomplished later than an act concerning which it is only written [Numb. xxviii. 4]: "Thou shalt prepare it toward evening."

The rabbis taught: "There is nothing which may be offered up before the daily (morning) sacrifice except incense, which is burnt before the daily sacrifice." (Why is that so?) Because it is written concerning incense [Exod. xxx. 7]: "Every morning when he dresseth the lamps shall he burn it," while concerning the daily sacrifice it is only written plainly "in the morning." After the daily evening sacrifice nothing may be offered up except the paschal lamb, and the incense and the lighting of the candles may be accomplished. Also if there happen to be a man who had not yet had the atonement made for him by the priest before taking the legal bath, the offering necessary for the atonement may be sacrificed even after the daily (evening) sacrifice; then the man may go and bathe himself and partake of the paschal lamb.

R. Saphra propounded a contradictory question to Rabha: "It is written [Exod. xxxiv. 25]: 'Neither shall be left unto the morning the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover '; hence the supposition is that, while it must not be left unto the morning, it may be left over the entire night and should be burned at the approach of morning, which is already the festival day, although the sacrifice was offered before the festival; but we find it written further [Numb. xxviii. 10]: 'This is the burnt-offering of Sabbath on every Sabbath,' and does this not signify that only the burnt-offering of the Sabbath may be burned on that day?" Rabha answered: "This question was already propounded to R. Abbahu by R. Abba bar Hyya, and R. Abbahu replied: "The passage quoted [Numb. xxviii. 10] refers to an eve of Passover which fell on a Sabbath, and a sacrifice which was offered up on the Sabbath may be burned on a festival." Rejoined R. Saphra: "Because a Sabbath-sacrifice may be burnt on a festival, does that carry with it, that the passage must be construed to refer to a Sabbath which happened to be an eve of Passover?" Rabha replied: "Let the passage be. It is difficult enough to understand at all events, and it will eventually prove to be in accordance with the explanation rendered."

MISHNA: If the Passover-sacrifice had not been slaughtered for the purpose of sacrificing it as a Passover-sacrifice, 1 or its blood had not been received for that purpose, or the blood had not been brought to the altar and sprinkled for that purpose, or if one act had been accomplished with it in order to make it a Passover-sacrifice and another not for that purpose, or if the reverse had taken place-it is not valid. How is it to be understood that "one act had been accomplished with it as a Passover-sacrifice and another not for that purpose"? This signifies, that one act had been accomplished with it in order to make it a Passover-sacrifice, and subsequently another act had been accomplished with it ill order to make it a peace-offering; and by "if the reverse had taken place" is meant, if at first an act had been accomplished with it in order to make it a peace-offering and another act had subsequently been accomplished with it for the purpose of making it a Passover-offering.

GEMARA: R. Papa propounded a question: "Does the Mishna mean to state that the sacrifice is not valid if the dual intention was carried out even in one act only (i.e., if f.i. when slaughtering the lamb the original intention was to have it serve as a paschal sacrifice and subsequently the intention was changed and it was slaughtered for a peace-offering), and thus it is in accordance with the opinion of R. Jose, who maintains that a later intention annuls a previous one; or, does the Mishna mean to state that it is not valid only if the dual intention was divided between two acts (i.e., if f.i. the lamb was slaughtered with the intention of making it a paschal sacrifice and its blood was sprinkled for the purpose of making it a peace-offering), and thus it can be even in accordance with R. Meir, who holds that the original intention holds good and cannot be made void by a subsequent intention? Now the question is, does R. Meir hold that an original intention holds good only for one act where the intention had subsequently been changed, and maintains that, even if two acts were accomplished with two different intentions, the one accomplished with the original intention supersedes the one committed with the subsequent intention; or does he admit that where two acts are accomplished with different intentions the later annuls the former?"

Now let us see! There can be no question that the Mishna does not consider the case of where an act had been accomplished originally with the intention of having it serve for a peace-offering and then the intention was changed so as to bring the Passover-sacrifice; for in that event, according to both R. Jose and R. Meir, the sacrifice could not be valid as a Passover-sacrifice (it must be borne in mind that R. Jose does not state that a later intention supersedes a former, but that it merely annuls it, and R. Meir holds that the former intention supersedes the later). Thus the question again presents itself whether, if the act had been accomplished first so as to serve as a Passover-offering and was subsequently intended to serve as a peace-offering, does the Mishna refer to a single act embodying both intentions, or is a case referred to where two acts were committed each with a separate intention?

Come and hear: If the blood of the paschal lamb had been sprinkled with the intention to have the lamb serve for those that were to partake thereof and also for those that were not to partake thereof, the sacrifice is valid. Let us see! How was the case? Was the dual intention embodied in two acts, i.e., while the lamb was slaughtered for those who were to partake thereof, the intention was to sprinkle the blood even for those who were not to partake thereof, and sprinkling only is mentioned because that act alone, even if accomplished for another purpose, would not invalidate the sacrifice; if, however, the dual intention was embodied in one act only, say that of slaughtering, i.e., the lamb was slaughtered both for those who were to partake thereof and for others who were not, would that render the sacrifice invalid? This is not so? We know that such a proceeding would not render it invalid? Hence we must say that, as the later (succeeding) Mishna treats only of one act embodying a dual intention, such is also the case with our Mishna above.

This is not conclusive evidence! One (Mishna) may treat of one case and the other of another case. The succeeding Mishna may deal with one act, while our Mishna may deal either with one or with two acts!

The schoolmen propounded a question: "What is the law concerning a sacrifice which had been offered up at any time during the year (not on the eve of Passover) with the dual intention 'of having it serve both as the paschal sacrifice and as a peace-offering? Shall we assume, that the latter intention supersedes the former and the sacrifice is valid or not?" When R. Dimi came from Palestine he said: I desired to decide this question before R. Jeremiah in the following manner: "Let us see! As a paschal lamb which was offered up for its proper purpose is thereby made valid for its proper season, and if not offered up for its proper purpose it is made valid when not in its proper season, then, if offered up for its proper purpose, although offered for its proper season, the intention to have it serve not for its proper purpose supersedes the original intention, and the sacrifice is not valid, and consequently the intention to offer it up not for its proper purpose, although it is valid not for its proper season, does not supersede the original intention to have it serve for its proper purpose, and the paschal lamb is not valid." R. Jeremiah, however, answered: "Nay; how canst thou compare the paschal lamb to other sacrifices? (Is it not a fact that, if any ordinary sacrifice is offered up not for its originally intended purpose, the sacrifice itself is nevertheless valid, and the man who brings it must only offer up another to carry out his original purpose, while a paschal lamb, if brought for any other but its actual purpose, becomes absolutely useless and cannot be sacrificed at all.) If the paschal lamb was brought for its proper purpose in its proper time (as is the case in the first instance), a subsequent intention to have it serve another purpose would have rendered it absolutely useless; in the next instance, however, when a sacrifice for a certain purpose was brought at any time of the year, a subsequent intention would not render it useless: then if the sacrifice had been brought with the original intention of having it serve as a peace-offering and subsequently the intention was added to have it serve also as a paschal offering, the sacrifice would nevertheless not become useless; and even if the original intention was to have the sacrifice serve as a paschal offering, from the fact that it was not the proper season it cannot render the sacrifice invalid. Thus the subsequent intention entirely supersedes the original."

Which is, however, the final law? Said Rabha: "A sacrifice which had been offered up at any other time of the year (not on the eve of Passover) with the dual intention of having it serve both as a paschal sacrifice and as a peace-offering is valid. Why so? For, let us see how it would be if the paschal lamb were brought at any time other than on the eve of Passover? It would certainly be invalid. If, however, the intention to bring as a Passover-sacrifice were changed to that of bringing it as a peace-offering, it would be valid; thus we must assume that the subsequent intention superseded the original. Therefore if the original intention was to offer it up as a paschal sacrifice. and the intention was added to have it serve as a peace-offering, we must say that in this case the subsequent intention supersedes the original intention, and the sacrifice is valid."

Rejoined R. Ada bar Ahabha: "Perhaps the difference exists, whether the man who brought the sacrifice stated explicitly the purpose for which he brought it, or whether he was silent; for let us see! If he offered up the sacrifice both to serve for those who should partake thereof as well as for those who should not, it is valid; but if he offered it up expressly for those who should not, it is not valid. Why should this be so? Had he offered it up without stating any intention it would certainly be valid, because it would be considered as serving for those who should partake thereof, and consequently we see that there a difference is caused by silence, or the expression of an intention."

Rabha replied: "What comparison is there between the two? If a man brought the paschal lamb without comment, it is until the time of its slaughter considered the Passover-sacrifice. If the man slaughtered it in silence, its condition remains unchanged; but can it be said that those who were to partake thereof were the same at the time of the slaughter as they were previously; for is it not the law that, until the time of slaughtering the lamb, those that were to partake thereof might change their mind and others take their place?"

The schoolmen propounded a question: "What is the law concerning a paschal lamb which had been offered up for its actual purpose at any time during the year but on the eve of Passover, but with a change in the name of the person for whom it was originally intended? Shall we assume that this would be equal to a change in the purpose of the sacrifice only and it would remain valid; or that, having been brought as a paschal offering not in its proper time, it is useless?" Said Rabha: "A sacrifice which had changed owners must be considered as being ownerless during the time when it should be offered up and is thus rendered invalid."

MISHNA: If the paschal lamb were slaughtered for those who will not partake thereof, or for any that do not belong to the persons numbered to eat it, or for the uncircumcised, or for the unclean, it will not be valid; but if it were slaughtered for those who may partake thereof and (at the same time) for those that will not, or for those that are numbered to eat it and also for those that are not, or for the circumcised and also for the uncircumcised, or for the unclean and the clean, it will be valid. If the paschal lamb be slaughtered before noon, it is not valid, because it is written [Exod. xii. 6]: "Toward the evening." If it were slaughtered before the continual (evening) offering is brought, it is valid, provided someone had been stirring the blood until that of the continual daily offering was sprinkled; but if the blood (of the paschal lamb) had already been sprinkled (before that of the daily offering) it is nevertheless valid.

GEMARA. The rabbis taught: "What is meant by 'those who will not partake thereof'? A sick or an aged person. What is meant by 'those that were numbered to eat it and those that were not'? A family for whom the lamb had been slaughtered and another for whom it had not."

Whence do we adduce this? From the following teaching of the rabbis: It is written [Exod. xii. 4]: "According to the number of the souls," whence we infer that the paschal lamb must not be slaughtered except for those who were numbered to eat it. Shall we assume, that one who slaughtered the lamb for those who were not numbered to eat it only fulfilled a religious duty negligently, but the sacrifice is nevertheless valid? To that end the passage reiterates [ibid., ibid.]: "Shall ye make a count," which signifies, that otherwise it would be invalid. Rabbi said: Instead of "make a count" read "slaughter it," because the term "make a count" is expressed with "Thachoso" and the Syriac term for "slaughter" is "chos," and thus the passage appears as if one said to the other: "Slaughter it for me." Thus we have found the sources whence arises the prohibition to slaughter the lamb for those not numbered to eat it; but whence do we adduce that the lamb must not be slaughtered for those who will not partake thereof? In the same passage it is written: "Every man according to what he eateth, shall ye make a count for the lamb"; hence those that partake thereof are accounted the same as those who are numbered to eat it.

If a man slaughtered the lamb for the circumcised only, but intended that the atonement which is made through sprinkling the blood should serve also for the uncircumcised, R. Hisda. holds that the sacrifice is not valid, because an intention to serve the uncircumcised invalidates the sprinkling, while Rabba holds that such is not the case.

Said R. Ashi: R. Hisda and Rabba differ concerning the following passage [Lev. i. 4]: "And it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him." Wherever it is written "for him," it refers to that person only and not also to his companion, and Rabba holds that such is the case only if his companion be in all respects his equal and among those for whom atonement is made; but the uncircumcised, not being in that class, cannot prove an impediment, for he was never thought of. R. Hisda, however, said: "The uncircumcised can be included in that class for whom atonement is made, because should he submit to circumcision he becomes in every respect the man's equal, and the passage which says 'for him' would necessarily exclude him. Thus the supposition that he can be circumcised renders him equal to being so."

Does then R. Hisda hold that the supposition that a thing can be accomplished renders it equal to having been accomplished? Have we not learned that he does not admit of that theory? Let us say, then, that he does not hold to the theory of that supposition only in the case of a lenient ordinance, but in the case of one that is rigorous he assents to the same.

R. Huna the son of R. Jehoshua objected: "We have learned: If the paschal lamb, which was over the age of one year and was slaughtered at the proper time and for its proper purpose, and also if a man had slaughtered other animals for the purpose of serving as the paschal offering, at the proper time, R. Eliezer said, the sacrifices are absolutely useless, but R.: Jehoshua declares, that the sacrifices are nevertheless valid sacrifices. Now, then, R. Eliezer holds the sacrifices to be useless if they were brought as paschal offerings at the proper time, but if they had not been brought at the proper time he would also admit that they were valid; why does he not hold to the (theory of) supposition that the sacrifice had been brought at the proper time, and consequently hold it to be useless at all times?" Said R. Papa: "In the case of the Passover-sacrifice it is different; for it is written [Exod. xii. 27]: 'It is the sacrifice of the Passover unto the Lord,' and this signifies, that it should ever remain thus, i.e., it cannot be sacrificed for other purposes, nor can other things be sacrificed in its stead."

Thus, as the Passover-sacrifice if brought in its proper time for other purposes is rendered utterly useless, so other sacrifices if brought in its stead at the proper time are also rendered useless; but, as the Passover-sacrifice if brought for other purposes not in its proper time remains a sacrifice nevertheless, so should other sacrifices if brought in its stead not at the proper time also be permitted to remain valid.

R. Simlai came to R. Johanan and said to him, "Let Master teach me the contents of the book of ancestry," and R. Johanan asked him: "Whence art thou?" He replied: "From Lydda," "And where dost thou reside?" asked R. Johanan. "In Neherdai," was the reply. R. Johanan then remarked: "The contents of the book of ancestry must not be taught to inhabitants of Lydda or Neherdai, and so much the more thou, who art born in Lydda and residest in Neherdai, shouldst certainly not be taught." R. Simlai, however, was persistent, and persuaded R. Johanan to grant his request, whereupon R. Simlai remarked: "Thou canst teach me the contents of that book in three months." So R. Johanan picked up a clod of soil and threw it at R. Simlai, saying: "If Brurah, the wife of R. Meir, who was also the daughter of R. Hanina ben Tharadion, and who could learn three hundred Halakhas from three hundred great men in one day, could still not master the contents of the book of ancestry in three years, wouldst thou then learn it in three months?"

As R. Johanan was about to leave, R. Simlai said to him: "Rabbi, tell me the meaning of the clause in the Mishna stating, 'if a man slaughtered the Passover-sacrifice for its actual purpose or not for its actual purpose, for those who will partake of it or for those who will not partake of it.' What is the difference, and why is the one sacrifice valid and the other not?" and R. Johanan replied: "Taking into consideration that thou art a young scholar, I will answer thee: If the Passover-sacrifice was offered for its actual purpose or for another purpose the validity of the sacrifice itself is questioned, whereas if it were slaughtered for those who will partake thereof or these that will not, it does not concern the sacrifice itself. In the first case no distinction can be made as to which part is intended for the one purpose and which for the other, while in the latter instance one may divide the sacrifice and say, 'This part shall serve for those who will partake thereof while the other shall serve for the sick and aged, or the other part will not be given to the sick and aged,' and thus the subsequent intention will be ignored, while in the first instance such would be impossible. The first instance can apply either to an individual or to a congregation, while the latter instance can only apply to a family but not to an individual. Again, the first instance can apply to all the four acts necessary to make it a sacrifice, namely, to the slaughtering, receiving its blood, bringing it to the altar, and sprinkling the blood; but the latter instance cannot apply to all four acts, because we have already learned that in the sprinkling of the blood the partakers of the sacrifice are not considered." (Commenting upon the answer of R. Johanan) R. Ashi said: 'The first two reasons cited by R. Johanan are virtually one and the same thing; for why is 'the validity of the sacrifice itself questioned,' because 'no distinction can be made'?"

Rami bar Judah in the name of Rabh said: "Ever since the book of ancestry was concealed, the power of our sages was on the wane and their eyes were stricken with blindness."

Said Mar Zutra: "The section of Chronicles between the passage concerning, Azel and his six sons in the eighth chapter and the same passage in the ninth chapter (see Chronicles viii. 38 and ibid. ix. 44) required so much space in the book of ancestry that the material whereon it was written had to be transported by four hundred camels." 1

We have learned in a Boraitha: Anonymous teachers say: "If, when slaughtering the Passover-sacrifice, the intention originally was that it serve for the uncircumcised and subsequently for the circumcised, it is valid. If the reverse was the case, it is not valid."

MISHNA: If a man offer the Passover-sacrifice while still having leaven in his possession, he thereby transgresses a negative commandment. R. Jehudah says: "The same rule applies to the continual daily offering (of that evening)." R. Simeon says: "If the paschal sacrifice was slaughtered for its proper purpose on the eve of Passover with leaven, the mentioned transgression was committed; but if offered for any other purpose no guilt was incurred. As for other sacrifices, whether they were brought for their proper purposes or not (under their proper denominations or not), no guilt is incurred. If offered as a Passover-sacrifice on that festival, no guilt is incurred; but if offered under any other denomination (not for its proper use) guilt is incurred. As for other sacrifices (offered under the same circumstances during the Passover), a transgression is committed whether they were offered under their proper denominations or not, excepting in the case of the sin-offering, slaughtered not for its actual purpose (because concerning the sin-offering it is expressly written, 'a sin-offering is it'; hence if not brought for its actual purpose it cannot be considered a sacrifice at all)."

GEMARA: Said R. Simeon ben Lakish: "No guilt is incurred unless the man slaughtering the lamb, or the one sprinkling the blood, or the one of those who are to partake thereof, have leaven in his possession, and that only if he have it with him in the Temple." R. Johanan, however, said: "Even if he did not have it with him in the Temple." Their point of variance is based upon the word "with" (Hebrew על "al"). R. Simeon ben Lakish holds that with signifies "near by," while R. Johanan maintains that "with" may also mean, if the man have it in his possession wherever it may be. (The "with" under discussion is that to be found in the passage [Exod. xxxiv. 25]: "Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.")

They have already disputed concerning the word "with" elsewhere? Why should their discussion be repeated? For this reason: If they disputed only concerning leaven on the Passover, R. Johanan might say, that leaven being a prohibited thing on that festival, it matters not where it is found, but concerning the cakes of the thanksgiving-offerings, which only become sanctified upon being brought into the Temple, R. Johanan might admit that the thanksgiving-offering would become invalid unless the cakes were brought with it into the Temple; hence it was necessary that R. Johanan should express his opinion to the effect that even in that case "with" signified, if they were in possession of the man bringing the thanksgiving-offering.

If the instance of the cakes only were mentioned, it might be assumed that Resh Lakish only holds that the cakes must be brought with the thanksgiving-offering into the Temple, because they only become sanctified in the Temple, while in the case of the leaven, which is a prohibited article on the Passover, be might also admit that, no matter where it was situated, if it was only in possession of the man it would render the sacrifice invalid; hence his opinion in this case had to be cited.

R. Oshiya propounded a question to R. Ami: "If the man slaughtering the lamb had not leaven in his possession, but one of the congregation which was to partake thereof had, what is, the law?" Said R. Ami: "What question is this? Does the passage then read, 'Thou shalt not sacrifice it with thy leaven'; it states explicitly, 'with leaven'?" Rejoined R. Oshiya: "According to thy opinion, then, even if any person had leaven in his possession, even if he were not connected with the sacrifice, is the man sacrificing culpable?" and R. Ami replied: "The passage reads: 'Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall be left unto the morning the sacrifice of the feast of Passover,' and it signifies that one who can be culpable for leaving that sacrifice until morning is culpable for slaughtering with leaven." Said R. Papa: "Thus if the priest who burns the fat of that sacrifice have leaven in his possession, he is culpable, because the priest is subject to the negative commandment not to leave the fat until morning."

We have learned a Boraitha in support of R. Papa: "If a man slaughter the paschal lamb with leaven, he thereby transgresses a negative commandment provided he himself, or the one who sprinkles the blood, or one of the congregation which is to partake of the lamb have leaven in possession. If any other person, however, have leaven in his possession, it matters not. Thus only the slaughterer, the sprinkler, and the one who burns the fat of the sacrifice are guilty if having leaven in their possession, but not one who on the 14th day (of Nissan) pinches off the head of the fowl, brought as a sacrifice, by the back of its neck." 1

"R. Jehudah says: This rule applies to the continual daily offering," etc. What is the reason for R. Jehudah's statement? Because it is written [Exod. xxiii. 18]: "Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread," and "my" signifies the sacrifice designated especially for the Lord; and which is that? The continual offering (of the evening).

"R. Simeon says," etc. What reason has R. Simeon for his statement? From the fact that in the same passage "my" is mentioned twice, one refers to the paschal offering and the other to the other sacrifices. Why, then, did the passage not generalize the sacrifices and use the plural? In order to convey that at the time guilt was incurred on account of the paschal offering through leaven, no guilt was incurred on account of other sacrifices through the same means; but when no guilt was incurred on account of the mentioned sacrifice, it was incurred on account of the others.

"If offered as a Passover sacrifice on that festival," etc. Thus guilt was incurred if the sacrifice was offered expressly for other than the Passover purpose, but if offered in silence no guilt was incurred? Why should this be so? Do we not know that if that sacrifice were brought at any other time of the year in silence it would be considered a peace-offering, and a peace-offering brought on the Passover with leaven would certainly make one culpable? Thus, we infer from R. Simeon's teaching to the effect that he is not culpable; that if a paschal lamb is brought without comment, it remains just what it is, and if it is intended for a peace-offering, it must be distinctly stated.

Said R. Hyya bar Garuda: "It was decided by the entire assembly that the Mishna should be explained thus: The case treated of is where the congregation were all rendered unclean through a corpse, in which case the Passover was postponed for one month and was called the Second Passover; then if the paschal offering was brought in silence, it was certainly brought as a Passover-sacrifice."

MISHNA: The Passover-sacrifice was slaughtered for three successive divisions of men, because it is written [Exod. xii. 6]: "The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter it (thus three divisions were necessary, according to the expressions) "assembly," "congregation," and "Israel." The first division entered until the court of the Temple was filled, when the doors of the court were closed, and the cornet (horn) sounded Tekiah (one blast), Teruah (a succession of quick blasts), and Tekiah (another blast). The priests then placed themselves in double rows (file), each priest holding either a bowl of silver or a bowl of gold in his hand, but one row of priests had to hold all silver bowls and the other all gold--they were not allowed to be mixed. These bowls had no stands underneath, so that the priests might not put them down and allow the blood to become coagulated.

The Israelite slaughtered and the priest received the blood and gave it to another priest, who in turn passed it to another, and each receiving a full bowl, at the same time returning an empty one; the priest nearest the altar squirted out the blood in one (continuous) stream at the base of the altar. (This done) the first division went out and the second entered; when that went out, the third entered; in the same manner as the first, so did also the second and third divisions proceed.

The Hallel (prayer of praise) was read (by each division): if they had finished (before completing their duties), they commenced it over again, and might even say it for the third time, although it never happened that there was occasion to say it thrice. R. Jehudah says: "It never happened that the third division read as far as the chapter commencing, 'It is lovely to me, that the Lord heareth my voice' (Psalms cxvi.), 1 because they were few in number."

The same things that were done on week-days were also done on the Sabbath, excepting that the priests would on that day wash the court, contrary to the wishes of the sages. R.. Jehudah says: "A cup was filled with the mixed blood (of all the sacrifices) and was squirted out in one (continuous) stream on the altar"; but the sages would not admit that such was the case.

In what manner was the paschal sacrifice suspended and its skin removed? Iron hooks were affixed to the walls and pillars, on which the sacrifice was suspended and its skin removed.

Those who could not find a place to do it, in that manner used thin, smooth sticks of wood provided there for that purpose, on which they suspended the paschal sacrifice (and resting the sticks) between the shoulders of two persons, to remove the skin. R. Eliezer says: "If the 14th (of Nissan) occurred on a Sabbath, one person would place his left hand on the right shoulder of another, the latter would place his right hand on the left shoulder of the former, and thus suspending the sacrifice on the arms would remove the skin with their right hands."

When the sacrifice had been opened, the pieces which were to be sacrificed on the altar were removed, placed on a large dish, and offered up with incense on the altar. When the first division had gone out (on the Sabbath), they would remain on the mount of the Temple; the second would remain in the open space between the ramparts of the Temple, and the third division remained in its place. As soon as it became dark, they all went out to roast their sacrifices.

GEMARA: R. Itz'hak said: "The paschal sacrifice was not slaughtered unless there were three divisions of thirty men each; why so? Because it is written: 'The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel--thus 'assembly' means ten men, 'congregation' ten men, and 'Israel' also ten men." It was doubtful, however, whether the thirty men had to be together, or whether only ten men at a time had to be present. So it was ordered that thirty men should enter, and as soon as ten were ready they went out, and ten others took their place; the next ten then left, and another ten entered; finally, the last thirty men went out together--thus each division numbered fifty men, or all three divisions one hundred and fifty men.

"The first division entered," etc. It was taught: Abayi said, "that as soon as the first division entered the doors closed of themselves," while Rabha states, "that the doors were closed (by men), according to the teaching of the Mishna." What is the difference? According to Abayi, who states that the Mishna teaches that the doors closed of themselves, a miracle could be depended upon to gauge the number who were permitted to enter, while Rabha maintains that no miracle was depended upon, but that men appointed for that purpose would see when the court was filled and would then close the doors.

The rabbis taught: It never happened that a man was crushed to death by the vast throng except once during the time of Hillel, when an old man was killed in the crowd. On that account that Passover was called the "crushed Passover."

The rabbis taught: "Agrippa the king once wanted to know how many male Israelites there were. So he told the high-priest to keep account of the paschal lambs. The high-priest then ordered, that one kidney of each paschal lamb be preserved, and it was found that six hundred thousand pairs of kidneys were preserved; and this was twice the number of the Israelites who went out of Egypt. Naturally, this was exclusive of all Israelites who were unclean and could not offer the sacrifice, and all those who lived at a great distance from Jerusalem and were not in duty bound to be present., There was not a single paschal lamb that did not represent at least more than ten persons. That Passover was ever afterwards known as the 'large Passover.'"

How could the kidneys be preserved? Was it not imperative that they should be offered up on the altar? The kidneys were merely deposited by one priest until another came along and substituted something else in their place.

"The priests then placed themselves in double rows," etc. Why was this done? Shall we assume that, if this were not done, a priest might empty the blood contained in a golden bowl into a silver bowl, and thus degrade the sanctity of the blood of the sacrifice; then might not a priest also empty the contents of a bowl worth two hundred (dinars) into one worth only a hundred, and thus bring about the same condition? Hence we must say, that it was not on that account, but merely for the sake of better appearance.

"These bowls had no stands underneath," etc. The rabbis taught: There were no bowls on the Temple that had any stands except those used to contain the incense which was placed near the showbreads, for had those bowls no stands it was feared that they might fall over on the sides of the showbreads and crush them.

"The Israelite slaughtered." This is related by the Mishna in order to demonstrate that an ordinary Israelite may slaughter.

"The priest removed the blood," etc. This is related in order to inform us that all subsequent acts necessary for the sacrifice were performed by the priests.

"Gave it to another priest," etc. The Mishna teaches us thereby that [Proverbs xiv. 28]: "In the multitude of people is the King's glory."

"Receiving a full bowl, at the same time returning an empty one." This bears out the statement of R. Simeon ben Lakish to the effect that a religious duty must not be passed by; i.e., it must first be accomplished and then transferred to another; but not the reverse.

"The priest nearest the altar," etc. Who is the Tana who holds that the blood of the Passover-sacrifice must be squirted at the base of the altar? Said R. Hisda: "That is R. Jose the Galilean, as we have learned in the following Boraitha: R. Jose the Galilean said: It is written [Numbers xviii. 17]: 'Their blood shalt thou sprinkle upon the altar, and their fat shalt thou burn as a fire-offering,' and as it does not say 'its blood' or 'its fat,' but in the plural, 'their blood' and 'their fat,' it signifies that the blood of the firstlings and of the first tithes and of the Passover-sacrifice must be sprinkled, and the pieces which must be offered should be offered up on the altar."

Whence do we know, however, that the blood must be squirted at the base of the altar? Said R. Elazar: "By means of a comparison by analogy with the case of a burnt-offering, concerning which it is written [Levit. i. 11]: "And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood upon the altar round about." Thus as in the passage quoted above [Numb. xviii. 7] "sprinkling" is also mentioned, the inference is that in both cases the sprinkling must be done at the base of the altar. Whence do we know that the blood of a burnt-offering must be sprinkled at the base of the altar? From the passage [ibid. iv. 18]: "And all the blood shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering."

"The first division went out," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha that the third division was called the "tardy division." Why should this be so? One division had to be the last? Everyone had to strive to be first, as we have learned in a Boraitha: "R. Jose said: The world cannot exist without an apothecary and without a tanner, yet well is to him who follows the profession of an apothecary and woe is to him who follows the calling of a tanner. The world cannot exist without males and females; yet well is to him who hath sons and woe is to him who hath daughters."

"The priests, etc., would wash the courts, contrary to the wishes of the sages." Who were the sages who were opposed to this? Said R. Hisda: "That was only R. Eliezer, for the other sages all held that a rabbinical prohibition was never effective in the Temple." (See Tract Sabbath, page 187.)

"R. Jehudah says, 'A cup was filled,'" etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jehudah said: "A cup was filled with the mixed blood lest the blood of one of the bowls held by the priests be spilled in transit, and thus the sacrifice whence the blood came became invalid." R. Jehudah was asked, however: "Supposing the mixed blood was taken from that which was spilled on the ground and not from that which had been received in the bowls, would this not be unlawful?" and he replied: "I refer only to such as had been received in the bowls."

How could this distinction be made in the midst of such a vast multitude? The priests were very dexterous. If so, why was there fear that the blood of one of the bowls might be spilled? just because they were so dexterous, there is all the more reason to assume that in the handling of the bowls some of the blood might be spilt.

Was it not certain, however, that in that mixed blood there was the last (life) blood of the sacrifice (which must not be offered up on the altar)? R. Jehudah holds to his individual theory, that one kind of blood does not interfere with another, and if the proper blood was sprinkled it was sufficient.

"The pieces, etc., were placed on a large dish and offered up." Did the same person offer it up on the altar? Read in the Mishna: He would place it on a large dish until a priest would come and offer it up.

We have learned in a Boraitha: As soon as a man had finished preparing his sacrifice, he would wrap up in the skin and carry it off. Said R. Elish: This is after the manner of the Ishmaelitish meat-dealers.


Footnotes

106:1 See Numbers xxviii. 3.

106:2 All hours mentioned in Mishnaoth and Gemara are counted according to Palestinian time, The first hour in the morning is counted from our time, six o'clock.

108:1 The Hebrew term for peace-offerings is "Hashlomim," and "Hashlom" also signifies "to complete," whence Rabha adduces that the peace-offerings complete the sacrifices for the day and nothing further must be sacrificed.

109:1 The manner of procedure necessary to make a Passover-offering efficacious will be more fully explained in Tract Zeba'him (Sacrifices).

116:1 According to the Aruch the passage commencing with Azel and ending with Azel in the one chapter required so much space, while the version rendered above is according to Rashi.

118:1 See Levit. v. 8.

120:1 The Hallel prayer consists of the recital of six chapters of Psalms, from cxiii. to cxviii. incl.

 


Sources: Sacred Texts

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