For the week ending 26 February 2011 / 21 Adar I 5771

Zevachim 107 - 113

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Which sacrificial offerings outside Beit Hamikdash are punishable by karet
  • If such sacrifices are not offered on an altar
  • When such a sacrifice is a joint effort of two
  • If the animal sacrificed outside was already disqualified for sacrifice in Beit Hamikdash
  • When only a part of a sacrificial animal is offered
  • Meal offerings outside the Beit Hamikdash
  • Blood application and water libation outside Beit Hamikdash
  • Source for water libation on Succot
  • Slaughtering a sacrificial bird and offering it outside
  • The lost sin offering
  • The history of the Sanctuaries
  • The impact of the Great Deluge

A Tale of Two Altars

  • Zevachim 108b

The Torah prohibited offering sacrifices outside the Beit Hamikdash and one who does so is punished with karet– extirpation.

Must the platform upon which such a sacrifice is offered be built specifically for an altar or can it be any simple rock for one to be guilty of this serious sin?

Rabbi Yossi contends that it must be built as an altar and bases his opinion on what is written about Noach following the deluge:

"And Noach built an altar to G-d… and offered burned sacrifices on the altar." (Bereishet8:20)

This indicates that even outside the Sanctuary an offering is considered a sacrifice only if an altar was built for it.

Rabbi Shimon, on the other hand, contends that even a rock is enough and he bases himself on the offering made by Manoach, the father of Shimshon:

"And Manoach took the kid goat and the meal offering and offered it upon the rock." (Shoftim13:19)

His source is, however, rejected by Rabbi Yossi who argues that Manoach was acting in extra-halachic fashion, which was mandated for that occasion.

Our gemara does not elucidate as to who gave Manoach permission to act in this way. A look at the chapter dealing with Manoach's sacrifice reveals that the angel who appeared to him and his wife rejected his offer of a meal from a kid goat and instructed him instead to offer it as a sacrifice to G-d. (Ibid. 13:16)

What the Sages Say

"The flood waters of the great Deluge did not come to Eretz Yisrael."

  • Rabbi Yochanan - Zevachim 113b

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