TalmuDigest

For the week ending 17 March 2012 / 22 Adar I 5772

Temurah 29 - 34

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Animal designated for worship or offered as sacrifice to an idol
  • Animal used to compensate a harlot
  • Animal exchanged for a dog
  • The offspring of a treifah animal or one which has otherwise been disqualified as a sacrifice
  • The bird hatched from egg of a treifah mother
  • The differences between two categories of gifts to the Sanctuary
  • The ban on changing the status of a consecrated animal
  • Redemption of a consecrated animal
  • Which forbidden matters must be burned and which buried

The Unwanted Dog

The Torah's ban on offering as a sacrifice an animal that was acquired in exchange for a dog is so strict that it even applies to a situation in which the exchange was for only a portion of the dog. The Mishnah describes a case in which two partners divide up their property, one receiving ten sheep and the other nine sheep and a dog. Since the single dog is worth more than each of the sheep in its group, this means that this extra value is being exchanged for all ten sheep in the other group. The result is that the nine sheep in the dog's group are eligible for sacrifice while the ten sheep in the other group are disqualified.

Why is an animal exchanged for a dog unfit for sacrifice?

One of the reasons given is that hunters and guards train vicious dogs which are a menace to the public and seek to achieve atonement for their wrongdoing by offering an animal exchanged for the dog as a sacrifice.

Another reason given is that such dogs are considered an abomination and it is a disgrace to sacrifice an animal received in exchange for a dog. (See Ramban commentary on Devarim 23:19)

  • Temurah 30a

What the Sages Say

"The Torah's statement about a man dedicating his house to the Sanctuary teaches us that one can only consecrate something which he owns."

  • Gemara - Temura 29b

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