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Leviticus Chapter 22
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Priestly Purity
22:1 God spoke to Moses, saying:
22:2 Speak to Aaron and his sons, and [tell them] to be careful regarding the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to Me, so that they not desecrate My holy name. I am God.
22:3 Tell them that if any man among their descendants is in an unclean state when he presents the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to God, he shall be cut off [spiritually] from before Me. I am God.
22:4 Any descendant of Aaron who has a leprous mark or a male discharge may not eat any sacred offerings until he has purified himself. [The same is true] of one who touches anyone defiled by the dead, who has had a seminal emission,
22:5 or who has touched any unclean small animal or any person who can defile him.
22:6 A person who touches [any of the above] shall be unclean until evening, and he shall not eat any sacred offering unless he has immersed in a mikvah.
22:7 He then becomes ritually clean at sunset, and he can eat the sacred offerings which are his portion.
22:8 [The priest] shall not eat any creature that has died on its own, and which [is forbidden only because it] has a fatal lesion, since this will defile him. I am God.
22:9 [The priests] shall thus keep My charge and not profane [the sacred offering], which is a sin that can cause them to die. I am God [and] I am making them holy.
22:10 No non-priest may eat the sacred offering. Even if a person resides with a priest or is hired by him, that person may not eat the sacred offering.
22:11 [However,] if a priest buys a slave for money as his own property, then [the slave] may eat [the sacred offering]. Similarly, [a slave] born in his house may eat his food.
22:12 When a priest's daughter marries a non-priest, she may no longer eat the sacred elevated gift.
22:13 But if the priest's daughter has no children, and is widowed or divorced, she may return to her father's house [with the same status] as when she was a girl, and she may eat her father's food.

No non-priest may eat [the elevated gift].

22:14 If a person inadvertently eats such a sacred offering, he must add one-fifth to it, and give it to the priest along with [an appropriate substitute] for the sacred offering.
22:15 [Non-priests] thus shall not profane the sacred offerings which the Israelites give as elevated gifts in God's [name].
22:16 If they eat the sacred offerings, they will bear the guilt of sin, since I am God [and] it is I who make [these offerings] holy.

Blemished Animals
22:17 God spoke to Moses, telling him to
22:18 speak to Aaron, to his sons and to all the Israelites, saying to them:

[This is the law] if any person, whether of the family of Israel or of the proselytes who join them, offers any [animal] that can be presented to God as a burnt offering to fulfill a general or a specific pledge.

22:19 To gain acceptance, it must be an unblemished male [taken] from the cattle, sheep or goats.
22:20 Do not present any blemished animal, since it will not be accepted for you.
22:21 [Similarly], when a person presents a peace offering of cattle or sheep to fulfill a general or specific pledge, it must be unblemished in order to be acceptable. It shall not have any blemish on it.
22:22 Thus, you may not offer to God any animal that is blind, broken-limbed, or gashed, or that has warts, mange or ringworm. You may not place [such an animal] on the altar as a fire offering to God.
22:23 [However, if] an ox or sheep has an extra or missing limb, it can be offered as a gift [to the sanctuary]. But [none of the above] shall be acceptable as a pledge [for the altar].
22:24 [Similarly,] you may not offer to God [any animal that has its testicles] crushed, whether by hand or with an instrument, pulled loose, or severed. This is something that you must never do, no matter where you live.
22:25 You may not offer any such animal, even if it is [presented by] a gentile. [Animals] that are maimed and blemished shall not be acceptable for you.

Acceptable Animals
22:26 God spoke to Moses, saying:
22:27 When a bull, sheep or goat is born, it must remain with its mother for seven days. Then, after the eighth day, it shall be acceptable as sacrifice for a fire offering to God.
22:28 Whether it is a bull, a sheep or a goat, do not slaughter [a female animal] and its child on the same day.
22:29 When you sacrifice a thanksgiving offering to God, you must do so in an acceptable manner.
22:30 It must be eaten on the same day, with nothing left over until the [next] morning. I am God.
22:31 Be careful regarding My commandments and keep them; I am God.
22:32 Do not desecrate My holy name. I must be sanctified among the Israelites.

I am God [and] I am making you holy

22:33 and bringing you out to Egypt to be your God. I am God.



Commentary:

be careful
  (Ibn Ezra; Septuagint). Or, 'Withdraw' (Targum; Rashi).

their
  Literally, 'your.'

leprous mark
  Leviticus 13:1-44.

male discharge
  Leviticus 15:1-15.

defiled by the dead
  (Rashi). Literally, 'unclean to a soul.'

seminal emission.
  Leviticus 15:16-18.

small animal
  Sheretz. Leviticus, 11:29, 30.

any of the above
  (Rashi).

immersed...
  See Exodus 29:4.

any creature...
  This is speaking of a dead kosher bird, as in Leviticus 17:15 (Chullin 100b; Rashi).

keep My charge
  By not eating sacred offerings while unclean. This is also speaking of terumah, the priestly agricultural offering (Rashi).

sacred offering
  The Torah here is specifically speaking of terumah, the priestly agricultural offering (Sifra; Yevamoth 70b; Rashi). See Leviticus 22:12.

if a person...
  Even a Hebrew slave, and even if his ear has been pierced as in Exodus 21:6 (Yevamoth 70a; Rashi).

slave
  A gentile slave.

elevated gift
  Terumah in Hebrew, the priestly agricultural offering.

substitute
  (Sifra; Rashi).

Non-priests
  (Rashi).

general or specific pledge
  Neder or nedavah (Kinnim 1:1).

To gain acceptance
  (Saadia).

an unblemished...
  See Leviticus 1:3,10.

blind
  Even in one eye (Saadia).

broken-limbed
  Even if the tail is fractured (Sifra). Some say that the word shabhur here specifically denotes a broken fore-foot (Ibn Ezra).

gashed
  (Ralbag). Charutz in Hebrew. This includes a perforated or split eyelid, nose or lip (Sifra; Bekhoroth 38a, 39a). Some say that it specifically denotes a split eyelid (Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Ibn Janach; Arukh, from Bekhoroth 38a,b, Gittin 56a). It also includes a gash anyplace where there is a bone (Bekhoroth 41a; Yad, Biyath HaMikdash 7:11). Others say that it denotes a broken or crippled hind leg (Ibn Ezra). According to still others, it denotes a severed limb (Targum; Saadia; Chizzkuni), particularly a severed tongue (Septuagint; cf. Exodus 11:7).

warts
  Yabheleth in Hebrew; murmekionta in Greek (Septuagint); verrue in French (Rashi); verruga in Spanish (Radak, Sherashim; cf. Sifra; Saadia; Yad, Biyath HaMikdash 7:10). According to others, a yabheleth is the same as a te-bhalul in Leviticus 21:20, denoting white in the iris of the eye (Targum Yonathan; Ibn Ezra).

mange
  Garav in Hebrew, same as in Leviticus 21:20. It is the animal equivalent of eczema.

ringworm
  Yalefeth in Hebrew, as in Leviticus 21:20.

extra
  (Targum; Ralbag). Saru'a in Hebrew, as in Leviticus 21:18. Or, 'an overgrown limb' (Bekhoroth 40a; Rashi), 'a limp' (Saadia), or, 'ears cut off' (Septuagint).

missing limb
  (Targum). Or, 'an atrophied limb' (Ibn Ezra; Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim), 'unsplit hooves' (Bekhoroth 40a; Rashi; Ralbag), 'an abnormally long stride' (Saadia), or, 'a lost tail' (Septuagint).

gift to the sanctuary
  (Sifra; Temurah 7b; Rashi; Ramban).

for the altar
  (cf. Ramban).

crushed, whether by hand
  (Rashi; Radak, Sherashim, from Ezekiel 23:3) Ma'ukh in Hebrew. Or, 'pulled loose' (Ibn Janach), or, 'ruptured' (Septuagint).

with an instrument
  (cf. Rashi; Radak, Sherashim).

pulled loose
  (Rashi). Nathuk in Hebrew. Or, 'gelded' (Septuagint).

you must never do
  This is a commandment forbidding any castration (Shabbath 110b; Rashi; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 361; Yad, Issurey Biyah 16:10).

no matter where you live
  (Saadia; Yad, loc. cit.). Literally, 'in your land.' This is true even when there is no sacrifice (cf. Sforno).

after the eighth day
  See Exodus 22:29.

a sheep or a goat
  The Hebrew seh denotes both; see Exodus 12:3,5.

a female animal
  (Rashi).

on the same day
  This is true of all animals, even those not slaughtered as sacrifices (Chullin 78a; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 101; Yad, Shechitah 12:1,2).

It must be eaten on the same day...
  See Leviticus 7:15.

Do not desecrate
  This is a specific commandment not to do anything to give God or His Torah a bad name (Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 63).

I must be sanctified
  This is the commandment of kiddush ha-Shem, to enhance the reputation of God and His Torah (Sefer HaMitzvoth, Positive 9).





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