Volume 52 Number 42
                    Produced: Thu Jul  6  5:49:30 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Korban Minchah outside the Beis HaMikdash
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Sacrificing a Korban Minchah outside the Temple
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Sephardic womens' custom of preparing Korban Minch
         [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 07:15:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Korban Minchah outside the Beis HaMikdash

In MJ 52:36, Rav E.M. Teitz wrote:

> The statement was made that it would be possible (were it not for
> problems of tum'ah) to bring a korban mincha outside the Beis
> Hamikdash, referring to a supposed responsum of Ezra, Nechemiah or
> their immediate successors to that effect.  I know nothing about such
> a responsum, but the Mishna in Z'vachim (109a) states unequivocally
> that a mincha cannot be brought outside the Beis Hamikdash, and
> subjects the one who does so to the same penalty as one who brings an
> animal sacrifice.

B'mechilas kvodo, but a later mishnah in that same chapter (110a), also
cited as halachah by the Rambam (Maaseh HaKorbanos 19:5), states that if
the minchah is offered (defined as "brought up to the top of an altar" -
Rambam ibid. 18:1) without the kometz (handful of flour) having been
separated first, then one doesn't incur this penalty.

[It is true that the mishnah uses the term "patur" ("exempt"), which
generally means that the action is forbidden but not punishable; but I
don't know whether that's the case here. It's also possible that it's
completely permissible by Torah law, but is prohibited Rabbinically; in
that case, perhaps indeed that prohibition hadn't yet been enacted when
the responsum was written (assuming, for argument's sake, that it's
genuine and that it was indeed written by the Beis Din HaGadol in

Kol tuv,


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 06 00:17:00 -0400
Subject: Sacrificing a Korban Minchah outside the Temple

From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
ET> The statement was made that it would be possible (were it not for
ET> problems of tum'ah) to bring a korban mincha outside the Beis Hamikdash
ET> but the Mishna in Z'vachim (109a) states unequivocally that a mincha
ET> cannot be brought outside the Beis Hamikdash, and subjects the one
ET> who does so to the same penalty as one who brings an animal sacrifice.

I think you mean the the Mishnah in Z'vachim 109b. (The first Mishnah
does not mention anything about a Mincha - just Kodshim) That's the
Mishnah in Zevachim Chapter 13, Mishnah 4. Open and shut case, right? Or
maybe it's the Gemorah to the first Mishnah that makes that open and

But I have to tell you that, when I went into this further, I saw that
there actually may be something to it - to what I said.

Let me first preface this by saying that the message I thought was
delivered and thought could be characterized as a responsa, may really
have been delivered - that the people at Yov in Egypt could offer
Minchas if they felt like it (although actually in fact the message said
a little bit less than that) and it may have come from a good source, or
been based on a good source, because otherwise why separate the issues
of a Olah from a Minchah? There has to be some kind of a Halachic basis
for that. Someone who is just going to disregard what they are told is
correct will not make that distinction. And there is every reason for
the Governor of Yehuda a generation after Nehemiah to know - and ask or
be told - what the Halachah is. Everyone sems to have known - the people
at Yov were not getting any replies after numerous letters to different

But the question is now what does the Mishnah and the Gemorah tell you?

I said there was reason to suppose that it might be the case that it
would be possible (except maybe for problems of tum'ah - I QUALIFIED it
because I wondered how they could tell the people at Yov in Egypt to
offer Minchas if they felt like it, if Tumah was an issue) to bring a
korban mincha outside the Beis Hamikdash. And looking into the Mishnahs
and Gemorah actually it turns out that yes it is so, sort of, and even
Tumah is not a problem!  (And I'll explain.)

The previous Mishnah in Zevachim - which is not quoted in the Gemorah *

* This was news to me - that a Gemorah does not contain the entire
Mishnayos - a regular set of Shas, even one that includes the Mishnahs
for all the Mesechtas where there is no Gemorah, will have this missing.
I had thought in all such cases where there is no gemorah to any of the
words or phrases in a Mishnah, the Mishnah is simply run together with
the previous or following Mishnayos in printed Gemorahs. Now I wonder
if there are other examples of missing Mishnas in a set of Shas.

The previous Mishnah in Zevachim...makes it clear that the prohibition
applies only when you perform the separation of a handful * and burn it.

* Cf Vayikra 2:2. Related Parshiot continue to 2:17. Other details are
at Vayikra 6:7-17 and further Halachos are elsewhere.)

And if you read the Mishnah you quoted carefully, or even the Gemorah on
Daf 109a, you'll see it too.

That's because the Mishnah - or that Gemorah - never once refers to a
standard Korban Minchah. It is referring to the part of the Korban
Minchah that is separated in the Azareh. And the Levonah (included with
most Korban Minchahs but I think never brought as a Korban by itself)
And the Kotores (brought on Yom Kippur by the Kohen Gadol.) And a Korban
Minchah that is brought by a Kohen (there are two kinds)

The same list is in the Mishnah Zevachim Perek 4 Mishnah 3 (at the
bottom of Daf 42b)

If you read Mishnah 6 carefully you will see that it is not the Minchah
itself which has the prohibition, but the portion of the Minchah that
was offered on the altar. This is not the case with an Olah where if any
part of the animal was burned, it violated it, but you could just things
wrong with a Minchah and it is no Korban.

Now I didn't know this all before. It is just that there is something to

Artscroll notes that this is actually pointed out by Rashi (very early
in the Gemorah - SEE LINES 7 and 8 in DAF 109A) who also notes that if
the person who offered it was a Kohen, then this does not apply, and he
would be Chayiv Kares. In his case, burning it all without any
separation would violate it. But Artscroll does not tell you how Rashi
knows this and I think mentions nothing of this Mishnah. (And Soncino,
by the way, does not even translate the Mishnah at the top of 109a
right. The sentence is not parsed correctly)

Now Mishnah 5 doesn't actually say it is permitted, but rather that he
is Patur - there is no penalty, but it actually is prohibited. The word
Patur is used, I was once told, when something actually is prohibited,
but there's no penalty. (We find that word also, for instance, in the
first Mishnah in Shabbos.)

The following Mishnah 6, which is quoted in the Gemorah, seems to
somewhat contradict Mishnah 5 in that adds Levonah too. But the
explanation is that Levonah can be considered a separate Korban
(Menachos Mishnah 2:1 Daf 13a - Rabbi Yose's explanation.) Why doesn't
Zevachim 13:5 mention Levonah? A way of resolving that is normally
Levonah was included with Kemitza or fistful and if it is not the
Levonah (frankincense) is no Korban .

Now the reason that is true is because in order to violate the
prohibition of offering a sacrifice, it has to meet all the
specifications of a sacrifice that would be valid at the Beis
HaMikdosh. If it doesn't meet it, it is no korban. The general rule is
that whatever would be accepted on the Mizbeach (altar) - or at least
not removed - is not a Korban.

Now in order to be a valid Minchah, the handful must be separated. But
that separation can only be done in the proper place which is mostly
just the Azareh! (Menochos Perek 1, Mishnah 3.) If he separated outside
its proper place it is Posul and he is not Chayiv Kareis. It so says.

And Mishnah 4 tells you that even if he did it in its proper place - if
he did it in some wrong way, and it gives you some illustrations - it is
also Posul.

These Mishnahs take up the bottom of Menachos Daf 11b and most of 12a.

That rule - that whatever is Posul you are not Chayiv, is mentioned in
Zevachim - 42b the bottom, although it talks of Piggul - but the rule
for Piggul, Nosar and Tumah is all the same and its based on the fact
that it is not a Korban.

These laws are so unfamiliar that it even confused a Tanna - see
Zevachim Perek 13 Mishnah 1, Zevachim 106a - so that he wanted to apply
a rule very similiar to a minchah even to an Olah, so that it would be
hard to violate the prohibition on Bamahs - and the only thing for which
anyone would be Chayiv would be slaughtering inside and sacrificing it
outside, but they proved to him that if he was right then even for that
he wouldn't be Chayiv. (and it goes without saying then where is left
the prohibition on Bamehs)

The crucial issue is not just when or if something became Posul but when
is a Korban sanctified. An Olah can be sanctified outside - be being
setting aside - and in fact in the case of a B'choir it happens
automatically when it is born (but if became Posul because of a physical
defect it can then be slaughtered anywhere and eaten, so

I am not sure when exactly something becoming Posul makes it OK to
slaughter and eat and when not because some ways of becoming Posul maybe
don't do that. I think the rule is if it became Posul before arriving in
the Azareh it is permitted unless that action that made it Posul is one
of the things done inside the Azareh. There is also the issue of
diverting from Kodesh.

But a Minchah only becomes a Minchah when the handful is taken off.  And
that can only happen in the Temple court or in the first 11 steps
further in. Till then it never was kodesh in the first place.

After all, till then, it is not something distinct with distinct
boundareies, unlike an animal or fruit.

Or otherwise any person who burned a piece of Challah would be coming
close to violating an Issur D'Oreisah! If intention is the criteria, it
would be too easy for some people to have the wrong intention and Chazal
never would have instituted this burning of what is only Rabbinical

Levonah can (probably) only be sanctified around the time and at the
place of the sanctification of the Minchah.

The bottom line is that it is only on an Olah that you really have a
prohibition on Bamehs (because in that case something can be designated
a Korban outside the Beiz HaMikdash) do something to designate it.)

But on the other hand, you wouldn't be doing anything good, just maybe
not prohibited.

The only question is maybe if the person bringing the Korban Minchah
outside is a Kohen. Maybe not even then because there are so many ways
to render it posul or never sanctified. And also Zevachim 13:5 does not
say anything about something being different if this is the korban of a
Kohen. The example it does mention is if the handful was taken out and
then it was put back in (this would mean taken out in the Azarah)

It occurs to me that even if the Korban Minchah of a Kohen does not
require Kemitzah and it doesn't seem clear to me, because maybe the only
difference is'that both parts are burnt, but it still requires Kemitza,
but even if it doesn't, he still has to do something to designate it and
maybe that will fail.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 06 15:33:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Sephardic womens' custom of preparing Korban Minch

-> From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
->    The statement was made that it would be possible (were it not for
-> problems of tum'ah) to bring a korban mincha outside the Beis
-> Hamikdash, referring to a supposed responsum of Ezra, Nechemiah or
-> their immediate successors to that effect.

-> I know nothing of such a responsa.

You are correct. It is not actually a responsa. I thought it was, or had
to be, because it obviously was in written form. And who else would say

But it's actually nothing more than a torn piece of papyrus, and it
didn't come from the court, at least not directly, but from the Governor
of Yahuda and the Governor of Samaria (although peesumabbakly affected
by known Halacha) and it is not written by them but by a person who
spoke to them and it doesn't really specifically say that Korban Minchah
can be done and they had written to Cohen Gadol - and others - before
but nobody sent back even one letter.

They kept on trying apparently till they heard something.

But still there is some kind of distinction - there is a also a later
letter where the people at Elephantine (called Yov or Yev - Yud Beis) at
the time apparently promise not to offer an Olah.

Anyway, this is what is on the papyrus, which might be the same thing
known as Cowley 32 and would therefore be in Britain:

I don't know what the word here memorandum actually is.

Memorandum. What Bagohi and Delaiah said to me.

Memorandum. Saying, "You may say in Egypt before Arsames about the
Altar-House of the God of Heaven which in Elephantine the fortress built
was formerly before Cambyses (and) which Vidranga, that wicked (man)
demolished in year 14 of King Darius: to (re)build it on its site as it
was formerly and the meal-offering and the incense they shall offer upon
that altar just as formerly was done."

This was translated by Bezalel Porten. Delaiah was a son of Sanballet.
Bagohi was apparently some successor of Nehemiah. Could be this should
be written Bagavaihu. Arsame was the Persian ruler of Egypt, in whose
temporary absence the Temple at Yov had been destroyed at the
instigation of Egyptian priests.

That someone seems to have told them a Minchah is OK - or at least is
better - further is indicated by this:

Your servants

Jedaniah son of Gema[riah] by name, 1 Mauzi son of Nathan by name, [1]
Shemaiah son of Haggai by name, 1, Hosea son of Jathom by name, 1 Hosea
son of Nattun by name, 1: all (told) 5 persons, Syenians who are
herdi[tary property-hold]ers in Elephantine the fortressthus say:

If our lord [ ] and our Temple of YHW the God be (re)built in
Elephantine the fortress as it former[ly] was [bu]iltand sheep, ox, and
goat as burnt-offering are [n]ot made there but (only) incense (and)
meal-offering [they offer there]and should our lord mak[e] a statement
[about this, then] we shall give to the house of our lord si[lver and] a
thousa[nd] ardabs of barley.

Translations by Bezalel Porten.


End of Volume 52 Issue 42