ט״ז בטבת ה׳תשע״א (December 23, 2010)

Zevahim 43a-b – Limits to inappropriate thoughts in the sacrificial service

We have learned that inappropriate thoughts – specifically thoughts relating to eating the korban in the wrong place or at the wrong time – can potentially ruin the sacrifice and make it invalid. Furthermore, thoughts related to the wrong time will cause the korban to become pigul – abhorrent – and someone who eats of that sacrifice will be liable to receive the punishment of karet – a Heavenly death sentence (see above, dafor page, 27). The new Mishnah on today’s daf lists a number of things connected with sacrifices that cannot become pigul even if the person bringing the korban planned to eat them after the appropriate time.

 

The Gemara explains that we learn that these things do not become pigul from the source for the law of pigul – the korban shelamim or peace-offering (see Vayikra 7:18). In the case of the korban shelamim, where the sacrifice is divided between the altar, the kohanim and the owner, the things that potentially can become pigul are those that were dependant on something to permit them. The innards that were burned on the altar could not be sacrificed until the blood from the sacrifice was sprinkled; the meat of the sacrifice could not be eaten by the owner until the innards were burned on the altar. Only things that are similar to those – that some other action will permit them to be brought on the altar or eaten by a person – can become pigul. Parts of the korban that play a role in permitting other things to be sacrificed or eaten, or things whose preparation permits the thing itself, are not similar to the case of the korban shelamim and cannot become pigul.

 

Thus, the kometz – the fistful of flour, oil and incense – that permits the korban minhah to be eaten (see Vayikra 2:1-2) – or the minhah of the kohanim that is burned entirely on the altar and has no kometz which permits it, rather it serves to permit itself on the altar (see Vayikra 6:16), cannot become pigul, and if someone ate them they would not be liable to receive the punishment of karet.