א׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״א (March 7, 2011)

Zevahim 117a-b – Sacrifices in the Land of Israel – II

We have already learned the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who ruled that upon entering the Land of Israel and erecting the Tabernacle temporarily in Gilgal, the people could not bring obligatory sacrifices until the Tabernacle was established in Shiloh in a more permanent manner (see above, daf, or page 114). This position was disputed by other Sages, as we learn on today’s daf.

 

The  rule that all sacrifices that were brought in the desert were brought on the altar in Gilgal as well, and in both places individual sacrifices were limited to a korban olah (a burnt-offering) or a korban shelamim (a peace-offering). Rabbi Yehudah rules that all sacrifices that were brought in the desert were brought on the altar in Gilgal – including all public sacrifices as well as private sacrifices. The difference between the two periods was that upon arriving in Israel, even when the mishkan was operating in Gilgal, people were allowed to build bamot – private altars. The sacrifices brought on these private altars, however, were limited only to a korban olah or a korban shelamimRabbi Me’ir believes that any private sacrifice that was a neder or a nedavah – voluntary sacrifices – could be brought on a private altar, e.g. the sacrifices brought by someone who voluntarily accepted nezirut upon himself.

 

There is one case where all agree that a public, obligatory sacrifice was brought on the altar in Gilgal. According to the story in Sefer Yehoshua (Chapter 5), the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River just prior to Passover and they brought the korban Pesach in Gilgal almost immediately upon their arrival. The uniqueness of the korban Pesach lies in the fact that although it is obligatory on every individual, it is viewed as a communal sacrifice, since everyone is required to bring it at the same time and it is eaten in groups rather than by individuals.