ח׳ בטבת ה׳תשע״א (December 15, 2010)

Zevahim 35a-b – When we think about a sacrifice, what parts of the animal are included?

We have already learned that when someone sacrifices a korban and has the wrong intention – he plans to eat it after the time allotted to the sacrifice or in a place where the sacrifice cannot be eaten – the korban is invalid; the sacrifice will have to be redone and the meat cannot be eaten (see above, dafor page, 27). The Mishnah on today’s daf teaches that this law only applies in a situation where the inappropriate thought refers to something that is ordinarily eaten. If the inappropriate thought was about a part of the animal that is not normally eaten, e.g. bones, hooves, sinews, horns, etc., then the sacrifice would not be affected.

 

In the continuation of the Mishnah we learn that if the sacrifice was a female and the inappropriate thought related to its unborn fetus or to the placenta itself, the korban is unaffected. Similarly, if the thought was to eat the unborn eggs of the sacrificial bird or drink the milk of the animal that was to be brought as a korban, it would not affect the sacrifice.

 

In his Keren Orah, Rabbi Yitzhak mi-Karlin explains that there are three different halakhot taught in the Mishnah with regard to wrong intent:

  1. There are cases where the person thinks about eating something that cannot ordinarily be eaten, like bones, hooves, sinews, etc. Since it cannot be eaten the laws that relate to how one thinks about eating his sacrifice do not apply.
  2. In some cases, like the fetus and placenta, the thing that the person is thinking about actually is edible, and the inappropriate thought about eating it at the wrong time or in the wrong place should impact on it. Nevertheless it is viewed as being a separate entity and not an intrinsic part of the animal, so the laws do not apply to it.

The cases of eggs and milk produced by the animal are not considered part of the sacrifice at all, so the inappropriate thoughts regarding these things have no meaning whatsoever.