Vayikra (Leviticus): Emor > Ch 22

Laws for the Kohanim, the sons of Aaron - continued

  • Aaron and his sons shall separate themselves from the holy [sacrifices] of the children of Israel, which they sanctify to Me, so as not to desecrate My Holy Name. I am the Lord. Throughout their generations, any man among Aaron's offspring who, while his defilement is still upon him, comes near to the holy sacrifices that the children of Israel consecrate to the Lord that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am the Lord.
  • Any man whatsoever among Aaron's offspring if he has tzara'ath or has had a discharge, he shall not eat of the holy sacrifices, until he cleanses himself. And one who touches anyone who has become unclean [by contact with a dead] person, or a man from whom semen issued, or a man who touches any creeping creature through which he becomes unclean or a person through whom he becomes unclean, whatever his uncleanness the person who touches it shall remain unclean until evening, and he shall not eat from the holy things unless he has immersed his flesh in water. When the sun sets, he becomes clean, and afterwards, he may eat of the holy things, for it is his food.
  • He shall not eat a carcass or anything that was torn, thereby becoming unclean through it. I am the Lord. They shall keep My charge and not bear a sin by [eating] it [while unclean] and thereby die through it since they will have desecrated it. I am the Lord Who sanctifies them.
  • No non kohen may eat holy things; a kohen's resident and his hireling may not eat holy things. And if a kohen acquires a person, an acquisition through his money, he may eat of it, and those born in his house they may eat of his food. And if a kohen's daughter is married to a non kohen, she may [no longer] eat of the separated holy things. But if the kohen's daughter becomes widowed or divorced, and she has no offspring she may return to her father's household as in her youth [and] eat of her father's food, but no non kohen may eat of it. And if a man unintentionally eats what is holy, he shall add a fifth of it to it and give the kohen the holy thing.
  • And they shall not desecrate the holy things of the children of Israel, those that they have set aside for the Lord, thereby bringing upon themselves to bear iniquity and guilt, when they eat their holy things, for I am the Lord Who sanctifies them.

Laws for all children of Israel – only unblemished animals are allowed for sacrifice

  • Any man whatsoever from the house of Israel or from the strangers among Israel who offers up his sacrifice for any of their vows or for any of their donations that they may offer up to the Lord as a burnt offering to be favorable for you, [it shall be] an unblemished, male, from cattle, from sheep, or from goats.
  • Any [animal] that has a blemish, you shall not offer up, for it will not be favorable for you.
  • And if a man offers up a peace offering to the Lord for declaring a vow or as a donation from cattle or from the flock to be accepted, it shall be unblemished. It shall not have any defect in it.
  • [An animal that has] blindness, or [a] broken [bone], or [a] split [eyelid or lip], or [one that has] warts, or dry lesions or weeping sores you shall not offer up [any of] these to the Lord, nor shall you place [any] of these as a fire offering upon the altar to the Lord.
  • As for an ox or sheep that has mismatching limbs or uncloven hooves you may make it into a donation, but as a vow, it will not be accepted.
  • [Any animal whose testicles were] squashed, crushed, pulled out, or severed, you shall not offer up to the Lord, and in your land, you shall not do [it].
  • And from the hand of a gentile you shall not offer up as food for your G-d any of these [blemished animals], for their injury is upon them, there is a defect on them; they will not be accepted for you.

Laws for all children of Israel – timing of sacrifice

  • When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain under its mother for seven days, and from the eighth day onwards, it shall be accepted as a sacrifice for a fire offering to the Lord.
  • An ox or sheep you shall not slaughter it and its offspring in one day.
  • And when you slaughter a thanksgiving offering to the Lord, you shall slaughter it so that it should be acceptable for you.
  • It shall be eaten on that day; do not leave it over until morning. I am the Lord.
  • You shall keep My commandments and perform them. I am the Lord. You shall not desecrate My Holy Name. I shall be sanctified amidst the children of Israel. I am the Lord Who sanctifies you, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, to be a G-d to you. I am the Lord.

Rashi Commentary

  • and afterwards, he may eat of the holy things This is expounded on in [Tractate] Yev. (74b) as referring to terumah, that [the purified kohen] may eat it after sunset [of the day of his cleansing].
  • he may eat of the holy things [meaning, some of the holy things,] but not all holy things [thus, our verse refers specifically to terumah, but not sacrificial flesh, which the kohen who was stricken with tzara’ath or had a discharge may not eat until he brings his sacrifices on the morrow]. — [see preceding Rashi]
  • and if a kohen acquires a person [This refers to] a Canaanite slave, whose body is acquired [by his master and may therefore eat from his master’s terumah].
  • and those born in his house These are the children of the [non-Jewish] maidservants [who are the property of the master]. We learn also from this verse here that a kohen’s wife may eat terumah, since she too, is considered “an acquisition through his money” [for the Jewish marriage is technically attained through the acquisition of a woman by a man by giving her money or an object worth money, such as a ring] (see Keth. 57b). However, we learn other [cases, namely, about a kohen’s wife who had been acquired through other means, e.g., by contract or cohabitation,] from another verse in Scripture “Anyone who is clean in your household [may eat it]” (Num. 18:11) [the above being expounded] in [Sifrei 18:29; see Levush Haorah also Gur Aryeh.]