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VaYikra

  
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 1:14
 1:15
 1:16
1:14 Second Reading
If one's burnt offering is a bird, he must bring a turtle dove or a young common dove.
Ve'im min-ha'of olah korbano l'Adonay vehikriv min-hatorim o min-beney hayonah et-korbano.
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.
Vehikrivo hakohen el-hamizbe'ach umalak et-rosho vehiktir hamizbechah venimtsah damo al kir hamizbe'ach.
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.
Vehesir et-mur'ato benotsatah vehishlich otah etsel hamizbe'ach kedmah el-mekom hadashen.



Commentary:

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).





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