י״ב באדר ה׳תשע״ב (March 6, 2012)

Temurah 20a-b – Bringing a burnt offering

As we learned on yesterday’s daf (=page) in the event that someone sanctifies an animal to be brought as a specific sacrifice, if it cannot be brought for that sacrifice (e.g., a female animal is sanctified to be brought as an asham – a guilt-offering – a sacrifice that can only be brought from male animals) the animal must be sold after it develops a permanent blemish, and a replacement must be purchased with the proceeds. Rabbi Shimon disagrees, arguing that it can be sold immediately without any blemish, since the animal receives no inherent sanctity (kedushat ha-guf) since it could not be used for that sacrifice.
Although Rabbi Shimon disagrees in that specific case, he agrees that if a female animal is sanctified as an olah – a burnt offering, which is only brought from male animals – it develops kedushat ha-guf, since we find a case where the sanctity of an olah rests on a female animal, in the case of an olat ha-of – a burnt offering brought from a fowl. In fact, according to Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah if someone simply accepts upon himself to bring an olah without specifying what type, he can bring one of the birds that is brought as a burnt-offering – a tor or a ben-yonah.  According to the Torah(Sefer Vayikra 1:14),  the two types of birds that can be brought as sacrifices are torim and benei yonah – turtledoves and pigeons. The torthat is referred to is identified as Streptopelia turtur, while the yonah is identified as Columba livia domestica.  These birds are consistently referred to differently, the former are called torim, while the latter are called benei yonah.  This is understood by to mean that a tor is only qualified to be brought as a sacrifice when it is an adult bird, while the yonah can only be brought when it is young, before is reaches adulthood. According to the Mishnah in Massekhet Hullin (1:5), these two periods are mutually exclusive, and what would be an appropriate sacrifice in a pigeon would be inappropriate in a dove, and vice versa. The cut-off point between the two is just four or five days after hatching, when the bird’s body becomes covered with plumage – gold in the case of torim and yellow in the case of benei yonah.

 

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