intended to increase the knowledge, interest, and anticipation of the reader, thereby hastening the realization of our hopes and prayers for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash.
Welcome Sweet Springtime! (part 2)
Sefer Hachinuch, (380), explains the ordinances of Pesach Sheini. "Any Israelite who was unable to observe Pesach Rishon (and bring the Korban Pesach) on the 14th of Nisan should observe Pesach Sheini on the 14th of Iyar (one month later); for example, if he was in a state of ritual impurity or on a distant journey. Those of blessed memory also taught us that not only impurity and distance exempted the Israelite from observing Pesach Rishon. Even if he unwittingly erred, or was accidentally pre- vented from doing so, or even if he deliber- ately neglected to bring the Korban Pesach on the 14th of Nisan, he must observe Pesach Sheini." The slaughter of this "back-up Korban Pesach", for those required to do so, was a Mitzvat Asei in its own right and overrode Shabbat. If a child attained maturity between Pesach Rishon and Pesach Sheini, he should preferably bypass the first Pesach and bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheini (as a halachic adult).
Similarly, if a non-Jew converted to Judaism after Pesach Rishon but before Pesach Sheini, he was bound to bring a Korban Pesach on the 14th of Iyar. A woman, who was unable to bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon, could, if she chose, bring her Korban on Pesach Sheini. Since there were comparatively few celebrants, the Korbanot Pesach Sheini were not slaughtered in three shifts, as were the "regular" Korbanot Pesach. While the Leviyim did sing Hallel when the Korban Pesach of Pesach Sheini was being slaughtered, it was not recited during the Pesach meal. A Chagiga Arba'a Asar - the festival sacrifice - was not brought on Pesach Sheini. Like Pesach Rishon, the Korban Pesach of Pesach Sheini was eaten "with matza and bitter herbs" even though the participants (and the ministering Kohanim) could possess Chameitz. "They shall not leave over from it until the morning nor shall they break a bone of it; like all the decrees of the Pesach Offering shall they make it" (Note Bamidbar 9:6-12).
TT reader Avi of Beit Shemesh challenged my comment last week (TT 614) that "the Shtei HaLechem (the two loaves offered on Shavu'ot) had another unique feature which differentiated them from all other Menachot; they were Chameitz" ("…they shall be baked leavened…" Vayikra 23:17). Avi correctly noted that 10 of the 40 Lachmei Toda (loaves of bread which accompanied the Korban Toda - the thanksgiving offering) were also Chameitz (Vayikra 7:11-13). The Mishna that discusses the Shtei HaLechem reads, "The Omer, the barley offering brought on the 16th of Nisan, permitted Chadash, the new produce, to be eaten throughout the land; the Shtei Halechem (brought fifty days later on Shavu'ot) rendered Chadash permissible in the Mikdash" (Menachot 68b). When the Omer, traditionally barley, was offered in the Beit HaMikdash, the grain from the new harvest - barley, wheat, spelt, oats and rye - was permitted to be eaten by K'lal Yisrael but still could not to be used for Menachot, meal offerings, in the Mikdash. However, once the Shtei HaLechem, traditionally wheat, were brought into the Mikdash and "waved", Chadash wheat (and new wine and olive oil) could be utilized in the Beit HaMikdash as well. Rambam explains, "On this day of Shavu'ot - Musafin - additional Festival Korbanot - are offered (aside from the two daily Temidin)… consisting of two young bullocks, one ram, seven male sheep as Olot and a male goat for a Chatat as noted… (Bamidbar 28:27). In addition to the Musafin, a Mincha Chadasha is offered - the Shtei HaLechem. And together with the Shtei HaLechem, (an additional) bullock, two rams and seven sheep… (Vayikra 23:18). Therefore aside from the two daily Temidin, three bullocks, three rams and fourteen sheep, twenty animals altogether are sacrificed as Olot, two goats for Chatot which are eaten (by the Kohanim) and the two Shavu'ot lambs" (which were Shalmei Tzibbur) and also eaten by the Kohanim (Hil. Temidin U'musafin 8:1).
The Korban Todah was a kind of Shelamim, peace offering, and therefore it fell into the category of Kodashim Kalim - sacrifices of a lower level of sanctity. Cattle, sheep or goats of either sex were all permissible to be used as sacrificial animals. The term Shelamim is derived from the word Shalom. The Korban Shelamim "brought peace to the world and peace to the Mizbei'ach, the Kohanim and the Ba'al HaKorban (the person who brought the offering), all received a share" (Sifra). The innards were burnt on the Mizbei'ach, the breast and the right hind thigh were given to the Kohanim and the remainder of the meat was eaten by the Ba'al HaKorban, his family and guests within the boundaries of Jerusalem in a state of purity. The blood application was similar to that of the Olah and the Asham, "two application which in reality are four" (Note Zevachim 5:4,5,6).
Shelamim, commonly brought to convey joy and thanksgiving, were usually offered as Nedavot, voluntary offerings. However, the Korban Toda, Thanksgiving Offering, was brought for the following reasons: if one was liberated from prison; recovered from a serious illness, returned from a sea voyage or when a person returned to 'civilization' after being lost in the wilderness (Berachot 54b, note Vayikra 7:11-17). Today we would say Birkat HaGomel. Nevertheless, a Korban Toda could also be offered as a Nedava. Unlike other Shelamim, which could be eaten on the day of sacrifice, the following night and the next day until sunset, Korban Toda could be eaten only on the day of sacrifice and the following night until midnight. The Korban Toda was accompanied by 40 loaves of four different kinds and each variety was prepared differently. Half of the flour was used to bake thirty unleavened loaves that included oil. The other half was used to bake ten larger leavened loaves without oil (Menachot 77b). These two Chameitz "meal offerings", the Shtei HaLechem and the Lachmei Toda leavened loaves (as well as the other Lachmei Toda that were not Chameitz), were not actually true Menachot since neither the Shtei HaLechem nor the Lachmei Toda were burnt on the Mizbei'ach. One Lechem Toda of each kind (four out of the 40 prepared) was given to the Kohanim to eat. The rest of the loaves were consumed together with the meat of the Shelamim by the Ba'al HaKorban, his family and guests in a state of purity within the walls of Jerusalem. And the Shtei HaLechem? The Rambam notes, "…the Kohein Gadol takes one of them (for himself) and the other is divided among the various Mishmarot (of Kohanim) serving in the Mikdash. Like other Kodshei Kodashim, the Shtei HaLechem could be eaten all day until midnight" by male Kohanim within the confines of the Azara (Hil. Temidin U'musafin 8:11). Only Menachot which were unleavened were burnt on the Mizbei'ach.
Catriel is in the process of writing a book: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrims Prospective; A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service