Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 1, v. 3: "Im oloh korbono" - If an oloh offering is his sacrifice - Why, of all the types of offerings, is "oloh" discussed first?

2) Ch. 1, v. 3: "Tomim yakri'venu yakriv oso lirtzono" - Complete he should offer it he should offer it to his satisfaction - Who is the antecedent of "lirtzonO?"

3) Ch. 1, v. 9: "V'kirbo uchro'ov yirchatz" - And its innards and its legs you shall wash - We do not find this command by chatos, oshom, or shlomim. Why?

4) Ch. 1, v. 16: "V'heisir es muroso b'notzosoh" - And he shall remove its crop with its intestines - Rashi (M.R. 3:4) explains why the bird's intestines are removed and not offered, while an animal's intestines are emptied of their waste, and the intestines are offered. Says Rabbi Tanchum ben Chaniloy, "This is because an animal eats food provided by its owner, food that is not gotten through theft. Birds, however, eat from fields that have owners. They thus are sustained through theft. Let this not be an offering."

This leaves us with an obvious question. All of the bird should be totally excluded from being an offering, since all of its body is sustained from theft.

5) Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'im lo sagia yodo dei seh echod l'chatos v'echod l'oloh" - And if he cannot afford a sheep one for a chatos and one for an oloh - Why do we introduce an additional totally different type of sacrifice, an oloh, for the poor man (see Ibn Ezra)?



"Oloh" is the most elevated offering, as its flesh is completely consumed on the altar. Rabbeinu Bachyei offers that M.R. 7:3 says that the "oloh" offering brings atonement for sins in the realm of thought. Since every sin begins with the thought process, the Torah likewise mentions the type of sacrifice that brings atonement for improper thoughts.


The obvious answer is the one who offers the animal. However, M.R. 3:5 relates that someone once brought an ox as an offering to the Beis Hamikdosh. On the way the ox became very stubborn and refused to go any further. A poor man noticed the goings on and gave the ox an herb called "truksima" to eat. It ate it and this caused the ox to sneeze and cough. It expelled a needle that was in its throat. Had it lodged in the trachea it would not have come out with just coughing and sneezing. Had it remained inside, it surely would have imbedded itself in the ox's trachea, rendering it a "treifoh," unfit for not only as a sacrifice, but even for plain consumption. As soon as it expelled the needle it readily went to the Beis Hamikdosh. We see from this that animals are sensitive to the point that they are reluctant to be brought as an offering if they are unfit.

This is the intention of these words of our verse. Bring a complete animal, not one with a blemish. "Yakriv oso lirtzono," to make sure that it has no blemish, see if you can bring it close to the Beis Hamikdosh with its approval. (Drush Shmuel)


This is because these organs of the animal are consumed by the owners. They obviously will not eat them without first cleansing them. Our verse is discussing an oloh sacrifice, which is totally consumed on the altar. The Torah therefore tells us to wash these parts of the animal so that clean respectable offerings are burned. (Rabbi Yoseif Bchor Shor)


There are stages in the digestion of a bird. First the food is in the crop and stomach, basically intact. It then goes through stages of digestion, going through the liver, the arteries, and finally ending up in the organs. The Rambam hilchos g'zeiloh 1:1,2 says that if an item is stolen and is still intact, even if the owners have given up hope of recovering it, and the thief dies and passes on his possessions to his heirs, the stolen item is not included. We do not say they own it and only have to make monetary reparations. Since it is intact, it itself must be returned. If however, it has undergone a change, and we thus have both "yiush v'shinuy r'shus," giving up hope and then a change of domain from the deceased to his heirs, they may keep it, and only have to pay its value to the victim of theft. We derive this from the words "asher gozal" (Vayikra 5:23).

Applying these rules here, when the food "stolen" by the bird is intact, in its digestive system, it is still intact. Therefore these organs are not accepted. The rest of the body, although it receives its sustenance from the "stolen" food, it receives it in a totally changed form, and is therefore acceptable as a sacrifice. (Abarbanel)

I don't fully comprehend this. Why not empty the digestive system of its cache and offer it sans food?


A poor man suffers from his financial situation in privacy and can usually handle this. Now that he is bringing his sin-offering to the Beis Hamikdosh, and is in the public eye where everyone present becomes aware of his financial status, he subconsciously has a complaint against Hashem's choosing to make him poor. It is for this negative thought that he must bring an oloh offering, as olos are brought to atone for the sin of improper thoughts. (Koznitzer Magid)

I believe the Ibn Ezra in a few short words offers this explanation and then discards it.



See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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