Bechukotai – Shishi

Put into Cheirem

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

If someone pledges a field that is not hereditary property, but that he purchased, the value is calculated based on the time until the next Jubilee. Anyone can redeem it for that price, and the field goes back to its original owner in the Jubilee.

A first-born animal automatically belongs to G-d, so it is not otherwise consecrated. If a person pledges a non-kosher animal, which cannot be used for sacrifices, he must redeem it for its value plus 20 percent. If the owner doesn’t redeem it, the kohanim will have to sell it for its appraised value.

If a person pledges anything that has been designated “cheirem,” it cannot be redeemed or sold. “Cheirem” means that it has been forbidden for personal use. Things that are cheirem are usually funds for the upkeep of the Temple and things that are limited to the use of kohanim. These things may not be sold or redeemed because their use is limited to those specific purposes.

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