For the week ending 18 February 2012 / 24 Shevat 5772

Temurah 2 - 8

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • The prohibition against exchanging an animal consecrated for sacrifice
  • The role of the heir in regard to such exchange
  • The sacrifice of a non-Jew
  • Which violations are punished with lashes
  • False oaths, needless ones and proper ones
  • If an action forbidden by the Torah has any impact
  • The challenges to the views of the Sages Abaye and Rava on this issue
  • What may be done about donating a blemished animal to the Sanctuary
  • Usury forbidden by Torah law and Rabbinic law
  • The temurah exchange made by a kohen
  • The son of a kohen who got mixed up with that of a slave woman at birth

The Hidden "No"

"Leimor" is one of the most commonly used terms in the Torah. The standard translation of this term (which appears at the beginning of the chapter (Vayikra 22:17) dealing with the requirement for an animal offered as a sacrifice to be unblemished) is simply, "saying".

Our gemara, however, sees it as having an additional meaning in the context of this chapter. The Torah's directive that a blemished animal is not acceptable as a vow-offering but may be used as a donation is understood as meaning that such an animal can be given to the Sanctuary for the general use of bedek habayit but not for sacrificing on the altar. The inference is that only because it is blemished can it be demoted to the lower status of bedek habayit, but if it is unblemished it cannot be relegated to this status but must be consecrated for sacrificial purposes.

We thus find that there is a positive command to consecrate an unblemished animal only for sacrifice. How do we know that one who does donate such an animal for bedek habayit is guilty of violating a prohibition? The answer given is that the word "leimor" at the beginning of this chapter can be split into two words "loomur" which means a "no" has been said in regard to such action.

  • Temurah 8b

What the Sages Say

"The mishnah which states that all – men and women – can exchange an animal designated for sacrifice does not mean to say that it is permissible to do so, but rather that the other animal also becomes sacred and the perpetrator is punished with lashes."

  • Rabbi Yehuda - Temurah 2a

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