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Leviticus Chapter 1
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Burnt Offerings of Cattle
1:1 God called to Moses, speaking to him from the Communion Tent. He said:
1:2 Speak to the Israelites, and tell them the following:

When one of you brings a mammal as an offering to God, the sacrifice must be taken from the cattle, sheep or goats.

1:3 If the sacrifice is a burnt offering taken from the cattle, it must be an unblemished male. One must bring it of his own free will to the entrance of the Communion Tent, before God.
1:4 He shall press his hands on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall then be accepted as an atonement for him.
1:5 He shall have the young bull slaughtered before God. Aaron's sons, the priests, shall then bring forth the blood, dashing it on all sides of the altar that is in front of the Communion Tent's entrance.
1:6 He shall have the burnt offering skinned and cut into pieces.
1:7 Aaron's sons shall place fire on the altar, and arrange wood on the fire.
1:8 Aaron's sons shall then arrange the cut pieces, the head, and the fatty intestinal membrane on top of the wood that is on the altar fire.
1:9 The inner organs and legs, however, must [first] be scrubbed with water.

The priest shall thus burn the entire [animal] on the altar as a completely burnt fire offering to God, an appeasing fragrance.


Burnt Offerings of Smaller Animals
1:10 If one's burnt offering is a smaller animal, it shall be taken from the sheep or goats; and one must [likewise] present an unblemished male.
1:11 He shall have it slaughtered on the north side of the altar before God, and the priests who are Aaron's descendants shall dash its blood on all sides of the altar.
1:12 [The animal] shall be cut into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, along with the head and intestinal membrane, on top of the wood on the altar fire.
1:13 The internal organs and feet shall [first] be washed with water, and the priest shall then offer everything, burning it on the altar. It is a completely burnt fire offering, an appeasing fragrance to God.

Burnt Offerings of Birds
1:14 If one's burnt offering is a bird, he must bring a turtle dove or a young common dove.
1:15 The priest shall bring it to the altar and nip off its head. [After] draining [the bird's] blood on the altar's wall, he shall burn [the head] on the altar.
1:16 He shall remove [the bird's] crop along with its [adjacent] feathers and cast them into the place of the fatty ashes, directly to the east of the altar.
1:17 He shall split the bird apart by its wings without tearing it completely in half. The priest shall then burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a fire offering that is an appeasing fragrance to God.



Commentary:

God called...
  Because Moses had been unable to enter the sanctuary (Exodus 40:35).

speaking to him...
  The narrative continues on Leviticus 8:1

sheep or goats
  The Hebrew word, tzon, used here is generic, including all smaller ungulates such as sheep and goats.

burnt offering
  Olah in Hebrew. This was an offering that was completely burned, and was the first sacrifice mentioned by name in the Bible. See Genesis 8:20. Also see Genesis 4:4.

unblemished
  See Leviticus 22:18-25.

slaughtered
  By slitting its throat in the prescribed manner.

before God
  In the enclosure of the Tabernacle, later in the Temple grounds.

dashing
  Or 'splashing' (cf. Malbim).

on all sides
  The blood was dashed on the two opposite corners so that the blood would reach all sides of the altar (Rashi). The blood was splashed on the north-east and south-west corners of the altar (Tamid 30b; Rashi, Zevachim 53b; Yad, Maaseh HaKarbanoth 5:6).

fatty intestinal membrane
  (Ramban). Padar in Hebrew. This is the membrane dividing the intestines from the stomachs. Others translate padar or peder as fat in general (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint). According to others, padar denotes the chest organs, the lungs, the windpipe, and everything attached to them (Saadia); according to some, even including the heart and liver (Ibn Janach; see Tamud 4:3; Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:7).

Thepadar is placed over the animal's neck to cover the cut where the animal was slaughtered (Yoma26a; Rashi).

inner organs
  Intestines (Lekach Tov; cf. Moreh Nevukhim 3:46).

first
  Before any part was burned (Ramban).

scrubbed...
  Or 'washed' (see Tamid 4:2; Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:4 Chizzkuni).

priest
  Cohen in Hebrew. A descendant of Aaron.

appeasing fragrance
  See note on Genesis 8:21. Some have, 'a hint of a desire to be pleasing [to God]' (Hirsch, HaKethav VeHaKabbalah on Genesis 8:21). Or, 'a fragrance that brings down [spiritual energy]' (Bahir 109; Recanti, Tetzaveh 15a; Bachya on Genesis 8:21; Avodath HaKodesh 1:6). The Hebrew word nicho'ach here may also be related to the root nachah denoting rest and serenity, so that it may be translated, 'a fragrance inducing serenity,' or 'inducing a meditative state.' The most simple meaning, however, of re'ach nicho'ach here is, 'an acceptable sacrifice' (Targum on Ezekiel 20:41).

north...
  Opposite the altar's ramp, which was to the south.

turtle dove
  Tor in Hebrew (from which the word tur-tle here is derived). This is identified as Streptopelia turtur (cf. Saadia), a smaller variety of dove. It is a beautiful bird with bright stripes on its neck. When the bird matures, the feathers on its neck become an irridescent red (Rashi on Chullin 22b), and only then can the bird be offered as a sacrifice (Chullin 22b; Yad, Issurey HaMizbeach 3:2). Some note that this is a wild variety of bird (Ralbag). See Genesis 15:9.

young
  These can only be sacrificed before the feathers begin to glisten (Ibid).

common dove
  The domesticated dove, Columba domestica (see Chullin 62a).

nip off
  Malak in Hebrew; see Leviticus 5:8. The priest would allow the fingernail on his thumb to grow long. Holding the bird in his hand, he would drive this fingernail through the back of the bird's neck, severing the spine, along with both the gullet and the windpipe. He would have to be careful, however, not to cut through the majority of the flesh of the neck (Zevachim 65b; Chullin 21a; Rashi; Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:23). According to others, however, only the gullet or the windpipe had to be severed (Ibn Janach). There is another opinion that after the spine was severed with the priest's fingernail, the bird's throat would be slit with a knife (Saadia Gaon, quoted in Mebhaser HaBavil, p. 87; Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid).

After...
  (see Rashi; Sifra; Zevachim 64b; Ramban).

altar's wall
  On the upper half of the south-east corner ( Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:20).

the head
  After the bird was slaughtered, the head would be cut off and burned separately (Ramban; Ramban on Zevachim 6:5; Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:21; Radak, Sherashim). According to others, however, the head was left attached to the bird's body when it was burned on the altar (Rashi, Zevachim 64b, s.v. U'Mavdil; Chullin 21b, s.v. Af; Chizzkuni). The verse would then be translated, 'He shall burn [the entire bird] on the altar, (line 16) [but first] he shall ...' (Rashi).

crop
  (Rashi; Saadia; Ibn Janach). Murah in Hebrew. Or, 'entrails' (Ramban; Hirsch).

adjacent feathers
  (Ramban; Ibn Ezra, Radak, Sherashim; Rambam, Bertenoro, on Zevachim 6:5). Notzah in Hebrew. Or, 'intestines' (Rashi), 'food in crop' (Targum), or 'gizzard' (Saadia; Ibn Janach; cf. Zevachim 65a).

fatty ashes
  Deshen in Hebrew. This was the place where the altar's ashes were placed each morning, see Leviticus 6:3 (Rashi).

by its wings
  (Targum). Or, 'above its wings' (Saadia; Ramban). Or, 'he shall split it apart with its feathers' (without plucking it; Yereyim HaShalem 319; cf. Rashi).

without tearing it...
  Or, 'without tearing off [its wings]' (Targum Yonathan). This means that it is not necessary to separate it ( Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 6:22).





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