For the week ending 12 February 2011 / 7 Adar I 5771

Zevachim 93 - 99

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Sacrificial blood which spills on to kohen's garment
  • Which sort of garments must be washed from spilled blood
  • Garments and vessels which left the precincts of the Sanctuary
  • The cleansing of vessels in which sacrificial meat has been cooked
  • Bread baked with milk and an oven rendered non-kosher
  • The ban on large furnaces in Yerushalayim
  • Using a vessel in which meat has been cooked for dairy cooking
  • When vessels used for cooking sacrificial meat must be cleaned
  • The need for a knife in slaughtering a sacrifice
  • Which kohanim do not share in the division of sacrificial meat
  • Which are forbidden to eat sacrificial meat

Need for a Knife

  • Zevachim 97b

The source for the rule that the slaughtering of a sacrifice must be done with a knife is this passage in the Torah regarding the instrument that the Patriarch Avraham prepared for the intended slaughter of his son Yitzchak:

"Avraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son." (Bereishet 22:10)

But how does this reference to a human sacrifice serve as a source for an animal sacrifice such as an olah in the Beit Hamikdash?

The answer lies in this subsequent passage, which describes the slaughter of the ram that was the Heavenly replacement for Yitzchak:

"…Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as an olah sacrifice instead of his son." (ibid. 22:12)

Tosefot points out that even in regard to the slaughter of a non-sacrificial animal we learn from the first of the above-mentioned passages that the instrument – not necessarily a knife – must be something that is detached. This is deduced from the term "took the knife" which indicates that it had only to be taken and not removed from its source. For a sacrifice, however, the slaughtering must be done with a knife, since the term "knife" was used in regard to the intended slaughter of Yitzchak rather than referring to it as something that could cut.

What the Sages Say

"Large furnaces were banned in Yerushalayim (because of the smoke pollution they cause)."

  • Rabbi Zeira - Zevachim 96a

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