The Babylonian Talmud

Shekalim

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 1

MISHNAH 1. ON THE FIRST OF ADAR1 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE2 CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF THE SHEKELS3 AND CONCERNING THE DIVERSE KINDS.4 ON THE FIFTEENTH5 THEREOF THE SCROLL [OF ESTHER] IS READ IN WALLED CITIES, AND THE ROADS AND THE BROADWAYS6 AND THE RITUAL, WATER BATHS7 ARE REPAIRED, AND ALL PUBLIC DUTIES8 ARE PERFORMED, AND THE GRAVES ARE MARKED,9 AND [MESSENGERS] GO FORTH ALSO CONCERNING THE DIVERSE KINDS.10

MISHNAH 2. R. JUDAH SAID: AFORETIME THEY USED TO PLUCK UP [THE DIVERSE KINDS], AND CAST THEM BEFORE THE OWNERS.11 [BUT] WHEN TRANSGRESSORS12 INCREASED IN NUMBER, THEY USED TO PLUCK THEM UP AND CAST THEM ON THE ROADS.13 [FINALLY],14 THEY ORDAINED THAT THE WHOLE FIELD SHOULD BE DECLARED OWNERLESS PROPERTY.

MISHNAH 3. ON THE FIFTEENTH THEREOF TABLES [OF MONEY CHANGERS]15 WERE SET UP IN THE PROVINCES.16 ON THE TWENTY-FIFTH THEY WERE SET UP IN THE TEMPLE. WHEN [THE TABLES] WERE SET UP IN THE TEMPLE, THEY BEGAN TO DISTRAIN.17 WHOM DID THEY DISTRAIN? LEVITES AND ISRAELITES,18 PROSELYTES AND FREED SLAVES,19 BUT NOT WOMEN OR SLAVES OR MINORS.20 A MINOR ON WHOSE BEHALF HIS FATHER HAD BEGUN TO PAY THE SHEKEL, MAY NOT DISCONTINUE IT AGAIN. BUT NO DISTRAINT WAS LEVIED ON THE PRIESTS, IN ORDER TO PROMOTE PEACEFULNESS.21

MISHNAH 4. R. JUDAH SAID: BEN BUKRI TESTIFIED AT JABNEH THAT A PRIEST WHO PAID THE SHEKEL DID NOT COMMIT A SIN.22 BUT RABBAN JOHANAN THE SON OF ZACCAI SAID TO HIM: NOT SO, BUT A PRIEST WHO DID NOT PAY THE SHEKEL WAS GUILTY OF A SIN. ONLY THE PRIESTS EXPOUNDED THIS VERSE [THUS] FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT: AND EVERY MEAL-OFFERING OF THE PRIEST SHALL BE WHOLLY BURNT, IT SHALL NOT BE EATEN:23 IF THEREFORE THE ‘OMER24 AND THE TWO LOAVES25 AND THE SHEWBREAD26 ARE [BROUGHT] FROM OUR [CONTRIBUTIONS], HOW CAN THEY BE EATEN?27

MISHNAH 5. ALTHOUGH IT WAS SAID THAT NO DISTRAINT IS LEVIED ON WOMEN OR SLAVES OR MINORS, [YET] IF THESE PAID THE SHEKEL IT IS ACCEPTED OF THEM. IF A HEATHEN OR A CUTHEAN28 PAID THE SHEKEL IT IS NOT ACCEPTED OF THEM. LIKEWISE BIRD-OFFERINGS OF MEN WHO HAD AN ISSUE,29 AND BIRD-OFFERINGS OF WOMEN WHO HAD AN ISSUE,29 AND BIRD-OFFERINGS OF WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH,29 AND SIN-OFFERINGS AND GUILT-OFFERINGS ARE NOT ACCEPTED OF THEM. BUT VOW-OFFERINGS30 AND FREEWILL-OFFERINGS31 ARE ACCEPTED OF THEM. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: ALL OFFERINGS WHICH CAN BE MADE AS A VOW-OFFERING OR A FREEWILL-OFFERING32 ARE ACCEPTED OF THEM, BUT OFFERINGS THAT CANNOT BE MADE AS A VOW-OFFERING OR A FREEWILL-OFFERING33 ARE NOT ACCEPTED OF THEM. AND THUS IT IS EXPLICITLY STATED IN [THE BOOK OF] EZRA, WHERE IT IS SAID: YE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH US TO BUILD A HOUSE UNTO OUR GOD.34

MISHNAH 6. THE FOLLOWING ARE LIABLE [TO PAY] A SURCHARGE;35 LEVITES AND ISRAELITES AND PROSELYTES AND FREED SLAVES;36 BUT NOT PRIESTS OR WOMEN OR SLAVES OR MINORS.37 IF A MAN PAID THE SHEKEL ON BEHALF OF A PRIEST, OR ON BEHALF OF A WOMAN, OR ON BEHALF OF A SLAVE, OR ON BEHALF OF A MINOR, HE IS EXEMPT.38 IF A MAN PAID THE SHEKEL39 ON HIS OWN BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF HIS FELLOW HE IS LIABle TO PAY BUT ONE SURCHARGE, R. MEIR SAYS: TWO SURCHARGES. IF ONE GAVE A SELA’ AND RECEIVED A SHEKEL,40 HE IS LIABLE TO PAY TWO SURCHARGES.

MISHNAH 7. IF A MAN PAID THE SHEKEL41 ON BEHALF OF A POOR MAN OR ON BEHAlf OF HIS NEIGHBOUR OR ON BEHALF OF HIS FELLOW-TOWNSMAN, HE IS EXEMPT [FROM A SURCHARGE]. BUT IF HE DID IT AS A LOAN TO THEM HE IS LIABLE. BROTHERS, WHO ARE PARTNERS,42 ARE EXEMPT FROM THE TITHE OF CATTLE43 WHEN THEY ARE LIABLE TO A SURCHARGE.44 BUT WHEN THEY ARE LIABLE TO THE TITHE OF CATTLE45 THEY ARE EXEMPT FROM THE SURCHARGE.46 AND HOW MUCH IS THE SURCHARGE? A SILVER MA'AH.47 THUS R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY: HALF A MA'AH.


(1) The twelfth month of the year.
(2) Throughout the Land of Israel and the Diaspora.
(3) The annual contribution towards the upkeep of the Temple and its services which was obligatory on every adult male Israelite. It was derived from the Mosaic Institution described in Ex. XXX, 11-16 (cf. Introduction). The contribution had to be paid before the first of Nisan, the beginning of the religious year, and all public offerings brought during the new year had to come out of the new annual contributions.
(4) Of seeds, prohibited in Lev. XIX, 19; Deut. XXII, 9. Warning was given for the removal from fields and vineyards of a portion of plants which were of a kind different from the main growth, so as to reduce these foreign plants to a quantity which did not fall under the prohibition; cf. Kil. II, 1. Warning was given on the first of Adar before the plants had had time to grow up and render the whole field forfeit.
(5) The purim of Shushan. V. Esther IX, 18-19 and cf. Meg. I, 1ff.
(6) That had been damaged by the winter rains, for the benefit of the pilgrims who went up to Jerusalem for the Passover; or, according to Maimonides, for the benefit of fugitives to the Cities of Refuge; cf. Deut. XIX, 2ff and Mak. II, 5, Sonc. ed. p. 59.
(7) For the immersion of the ritually unclean. The rains might have carried soil into the pools, and thus reduced their water to less than the prescribed quantity of forty se'ahs; cf. Mik. I, 7; ‘Ed. I, 3, Sonc. ed. p. 2, n. 7.
(8) That had not been fully performed during the rainy season. A list of these duties is given in the Palestinian Gemara and in the commentaries.
(9) Afresh with lime (cf. M.Sh. V, 1), after the old marks had become obliterated by the rains. These marks served to warn priests and Nazirites against approaching them and becoming defiled; cf. Num. XIX, 16; VI, 6; also Ezek. XXXIX, 15.
(10) To inspect the fields and do what is described in the following section.
(11) In order to shame them.
(12) Who fed their cattle on the uprooted plants.
(13) This prevented the obnoxious plants being used by the owners for cattle food.
(14) When even this failed to deter transgressors, since the uprooting saved them the labour of weeding their fields.
(15) For changing foreign coins of Jews from the Diaspora.
(16) Outside Jerusalem. According to others, outside the Temple (cf. infra and II, 1), and including also Jerusalem.
(17) The goods of those who had not yet paid their shekel.
(18) I.e., Jews who were not priests or Levites.
(19) These four classes were bound by law to pay the shekel.
(20) With these the payment of the shekel was a voluntary act.
(21) Lit., ‘because of the ways of peace’. Because the priests contested their obligation to pay the shekel, as stated in the next section. The Palestinian Gemara seems to have read: ‘Because of the respect due to them’.
(22) I.e., he may pay it, but he was not bound to pay it.
(23) Lev. VI, 16.
(24) The ‘Sheaf of Waving’, Lev. XXIII, 9ff; cf. Men. X, 1ff.
(25) Ibid. 17; cf. Men. XI, 1ff.
(26) Ex. XXV, 30; Lev. XXIV, 5ff. These three offerings were bought out of the Shekel fund (cf. infra IV, 1), but were consumed by the priests.
(27) But in reality Lev. VI, 16 applied only to private meal-offerings, and not to public offerings such as the ‘Omer, the Two Loaves and the Shewbread.
(28) A person from Cutha, i.e., a Samaritan. It is an opprobrious designation derived from II Kings XVII, 24.
(29) Lit., ‘nests’, i.e. pairs of turtle-doves or young pigeons, of which one was a sin-offering and the other a burnt-offering; cf. Lev. XV, 14f, 25f; XII, 8.
(30) An undertaking with an expression which binds the person (הרי עלי infra VI, 6) to bring an offering.
(31) An undertaking with an expression which dedicates a particular animal as an offering (הרי זו). In this case if the animal died or was lost the undertaking is considered as discharged; cf. Kin. I, 1.
(32) To the altar, such as burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, fine flour, wine, frankincense, and wood.
(33) To the altar, but only to the Repair of the Temple.
(34) Ezra IV, 3.
(35) To compensate the Temple for any loss that might be incurred in changing the Shekel (half a sela’) into sela's; v. next section.
(36) Who are bound by law to pay the Shekel.
(37) Who are not bound to pay it; cf. supra p. 2; nn. 9 and 10.
(38) Even if the payment of the Shekel was not a gift to them, but a loan which they promised to repay; cf. the next section.
(39) In one coin, viz., a sela’.
(40) As change.
(41) As a gift.
(42) In the inheritance of their father. Cf. Hul. I, 7; Bek. IX, 3.
(43) Of young born during their partnership. This tithe is a personal charge, and cattle held in partnership was exempt from it; cf. Bek. ibid.
(44) I.e., when they had become partners again after they had already shared out the inheritance.
(45) Viz., before they had shared out the inheritance, when the cattle is still considered as the property of their father.
(46) If their Shekels were paid out of the inheritance. Their Shekels are then considered as a gift from their father, and a gift Shekel is exempt from the surcharge.
(47) 1/24th of a sela’, or 1/12th of the Shekel.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 2

MISHNAH 1. SHEKELS MAY BE CHANGED1 INTO DARICS2 IN ORDER TO [LIGHTEN] THE LOAD OF THE JOURNEY.3 JUST AS THERE WERE CHESTS4 IN THE TEMPLE SO WERE THERE CHESTS IN THE PROVINCE.5 IF THE PEOPLE OF A TOWN HAD SENT THEIR SHEKELS AND THEY WERE STOLEN OR LOST, THEN IF THE APPROPRIATION6 HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE7 [THE MESSENGERS] SWEAR THE OATH [OF ACQUITTAL]8 TO THE TREASURERS; BUT IF [THE APPROPRIATION HAD] NOT [YET BEEN MADE] THEY SWEAR TO THE TOWNSPEOPLE, AND THE TOWNSPEOPle MUST PAY [FRESH] SHEKELS IN THE PLACE OF THE [LOST] SHEKELS. [IF THE LOST SHEKELS] WERE FOUND, OR IF THE THIEVES RESTORED THEM, THEN BOTH [THE FIRST SHEKELS AND THEIR SUBSTITUTES] ARE [ACCOUNTED SACRED] SHEKELS,9 BUT THEY CANNOT BE CREDITED [TO THE ACCOUNT] OF THE COMING YEAR.10

MISHNAH 2. IF A MAN GAVE HIS SHEKEL TO HIS FELLOW TO PAY IT ON HIS BEHALF, BUT [HIS FELLOW] PAID IT11 ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF, THEN IF THE APPROPRIATION HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE12 [HIS FELLOW] IS GUILTY OF SACRILEGE.13 IF A MAN PAID HIS SHEKEL OUT OF MONEY BELONGING TO THE SANCTUARY, THEN IF THE APPROPRIATION HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE AND AN ANIMAL [BOUGHT OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION] HAD ALREADY BEEN OFFERED, HE IS GUILTY OF SACRILEGE.14 [IF HE DID IT WITH MONEY WHICH WAS] THE VALUE OF SECOND TITHES15 OR THE VALUE OF SEVENTH YEAR PRODUCE,16 HE MUST CONSUME [FOOD TO] THE VALUE THEREOF.17

MISHNAH 3. IF A MAN SAVED COINS AND SAID: LO, THESE ARE FOR MY SHEKEL, BETH SHAMMAI SAY: THE SURPLUS [OF THE COINS GOES TO THE CHESTS OF] FREEWILL-OFFERINGS.18 BUT BETH HILLEL SAY: THE SURPLUS THEREOF IS COMMON PROPERTY.19 [IF HE SAID: FROM THESE COINS] I SHALL OFFER MY SHEKEL, [BOTH SCHOOLS] AGREE THAT THE SURPLUS THEREOF IS COMMON PROPERTY. [IF HE SAID]: THESE [COINS] ARE FOR A SIN-OFFERING, [BOTH] AGREE20 THAT THE SURPLUS [GOES TO THE CHESTS OF] FREEWILL-OFFERINGS. [IF HE SAID]: FROM THESE I SHALL OFFER A SIN-OFFERING, [BOTH SCHOOLS] AGREE THAT THE SURPLUS IS COMMON PROPERTY.

MISHNAH 4. R. SIMEON SAID: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHEKELS AND A SIN-OFFERING?21 SHEKELS HAVE A FIXED VALUE, BUT A SIN-OFFERING HAS NO FIXED VALUE.22 R. JUDAH SAYS: SHEKELS ALSO HAVE NO FIXED VALUE. FOR WHEN THE ISRAELITES CAME UP OUT OF THE CAPTIVITY23 THEY USED TO PAY THE SHEKEL IN DARICS,24 THEN THEY PAID THE SHEKEL IN SELA'S25 THEN AGAIN THEY PAID IT IN TIB'IN,26 AND FINALLY THEY SOUGHT TO PAY IT IN DENARS.27 BUT R. SIMEON SAID: NEVERTHELESS THE VALUE THEREOF REMAINED THE SAME FOR EVERYBODY, WHEREAS [IN THE CASE OF] A SIN-OFFERING ONE MAN MAY BRING IT OF THE VAlue OF ONE SELA’, ANOTHER MAY BRING IT OF THE VALUE OF TWO SELA'S, AND AGAIN ANOTHER OF THREE SELA'S.

MISHNAH 5. THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] SHEKELS IS COMMON PROPERTY, BUT THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR THE] TENTH OF THE EPHAH,28 AND THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] BIRD-OFFERINGS OF MEN WHO HAD AN ISSUE, FOR BIRD-OFFERINGS OF WOMEN WHO HAD AN ISSUE, FOR BIRD-OFFERINGS OF WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH,29 THEIR SURPLUS [GOES TO THE CHESTS OF] FREEWILL-OFFERINGS. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: OF ALL [MONIES SET ASIDE] FOR A SIN-OFFERING OR FOR A GUILT-OFFERING, THE SURPLUS [GOES TO THE CHESTS OF] FREEWILL-OFFERINGS. THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] A BURNT-OFFERING [MUST BE USED] FOR A BURNT-OFFERING; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] A MEAL-OFFERING [MUST BE USED] FOR A MEAL-OFFERING; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] A PEACE-OFFERING [MUST BE USED] FOR A PEACE-OFFERING; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY SET ASIDE FOR] A PASSOVER-OFFERING [MUST BE USED] FOR A PASSOVER-OFFERING; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR] THE OFFERINGS OF NAZIRITES30 [MUST BE USED] FOR THE OFFERINGS OF OTHER NAZIRITES; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR] THE OFFERINGS OF A [PARTICULAR] NAZIRITE [MUST GO] TO THE [CHESTS OF] FREEWILL-OFFERINGS; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR] THE POOR [MUST BE USED] FOR [OTHER] POOR; THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR] A [PARTICULAR] POOR PERSON31 [MUST BE GIVEN] TO THAT [POOR PERSON];32 THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR THE RANSOM OF] CAPTIVES [MUST BE USED] FOR [THE RANSOM OF OTHER] CAPTIVES; THE SURPlus OF [MONEY RAISED FOR THE RANSOM OF] A [PARTICULAR] CAPTIVE [MUST BE GIVEN] TO THAT CAPTIVE; THE SURPLUS OF [THE MONEY RAISED FOR THE BURIAL OF] THE DEAD [MUST BE USED] FOR [THE BURIAL OF OTHER] DEAD; THE SURPLUS OF [THE MONEY RAISED FOR THE BURIAL OF] A [PARTICULAR] DEAD PERSON [MUST BE GIVEN] TO HIS HEIRS. R. MEIR SAYS: THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR THE BURIAL OF] A [PARTICULAR] DEAD PERSON MUST BE LAID ASIDE UNTIL ELIJAH COMES.33 R. NATHAN SAYS: THE SURPLUS OF [MONEY RAISED FOR THE BURIAL OF] A [PARTICULAR] DEAD PERSON [MUST BE USED] FOR BUILDING A MONUMENT FOR HIM OVER HIS GRAVE.


(1) Lit., ‘may be combined’ (for purposes of exchange).
(2) A Persian gold coin; cf. Ezra II, 69; VIII, 27.
(3) Of the coins on the way up to the Temple
(4) Heb. ‘Shoferoth’ (שופרור), horns of blowing. The chests were shaped like the Shofar, narrow at the top where the opening was, and widening lower down. This shape was chosen to prevent the theft of the contents.
(5) Cf. p. 2 n. 6.
(6) Lit., ‘heave-offering’ (תרומה). This term is usually applied to the offering ‘heaved’ from produce and given to the priest. Here it designates the portion of the shekels taken up periodically in the store-chamber for the current needs of the Temple, as described below, III, 1ff.
(7) By making the appropriation all the shekels which are due to come to the Temple become the property of the Temple, the appropriation being made also in respect of those shekel payments which had not yet reached the Temple at the time of appropriation. V. B.M. 58a, Sonc. ed. p. 344.
(8) The oath which acquits unpaid guardians of responsibility for the loss of goods entrusted to them; cf. B.M. 33b.
(9) Both are the property of the Temple.
(10) They have to pay the shekel afresh in the next year.
(11) By error.
(12) By the appropriation the Temple had already secured possession of the shekel from the first man; cf. p. 5, n. 7.
(13) In accordance with Lev. V, 15ff; since he used Temple property to discharge a debt. The authorities are divided as to whether in this case also, as in the following case, an animal has first to be offered out of the appropriation before he becomes guilty of sacrilege.
(14) But otherwise he does not incur guilt, since he has not used Temple money for any common purpose, but only transferred it from one hallowed denomination to another.
(15) The First Tithe of produce was given to the Levites, Num. XVIII, 21. The Second Tithe had to be consumed itself, or its value in money, in Jerusalem. Cf. Deut. XIV, 24ff; ‘Ed. I, 9ff, Sonc. ed. p. 4, n. 16.
(16) Which is liable to the law of ‘Removal’ (ביעור), and must be consumed before the Passover; cf. M.Sh. V, 6.
(17) He must take money equal to the value of the shekel and declare that this money shall be in place of the Second Tithes money or of the Seventh Year produce money that had been given away as a shekel, and then he must use up this money in accordance with the rules laid down for the consumption of Second Tithes (M. Sh. II, 1-4), or of Seventh Year produce (Sheb. VIII, 1-5; IX, 8).
(18) Cf. infra VI, 6. All the coins saved have become hallowed.
(19) It may be expended by the owner at his will.
(20) For the reason stated by R. Simeon in the next section.
(21) That in the case of a shekel Beth Hillel always hold the surplus of the coins to be common property, but in the case of a sin-offering they agree with Beth Shammai, that in the condition stated in the last section, the surplus falls to the chest of freewill-offerings?
(22) Hence all the coins might have been used up for a sin-offering, therefore they are all hallowed.
(23) In the days of Cyrus.
(24) Viz., half a daric.
(25) Half a sela’.
(26) טבעין plural of טבע, minted shekel.
(27) Half of the tib'in. Some texts add: ‘But they were not accepted of them’.
(28) Lev. V, 11-13.
(29) Cf. supra p. 3, n. 7.
(30) Num. VI, 10ff, 14ff.
(31) For a definite need.
(32) For his other needs.
(33) Who will solve the problem of what to do with it; cf. B.M., Sonc. ed. p. 6, n. 2.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 3

MISHNAH 1. AT THREE PERIODS OF THE YEAR WAS THE APPROPRIATION MADE [FROM THE SHEKELS] IN THE CHAMBER:1 HALF A MONTH2 BEFORE THE PASSOVER, HALF A MONTH BEFORE PENTECOST, AND HALF A MONTH BEFORE THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. THESE ARE ALSO THE SEASONS3 FOR THE TITHE OF CATTLE;4 THUS R. AKIBA. BEN ‘AZZAI SAYS: ON THE TWENTY-NINTH OF ADAR,5 AND ON THE FIRST OF SIVAN,6 AND ON THE TWENTY-NINTH OF AB.7 R. ELEAZAR AND R. SIMEON SAY: ON THE FIRST OF NISAN,5 ON THE FIRST OF SIVAN,6 AND ON THE TWENTY-NINTH OF ELUL. WHEREFORE DID THEY SAY, ON THE TWENTY-NINTH OF ELUL AND NOT ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI?8 BECAUSE THE FIRST OF TISHRI IS A FESTIVAL,9 AND IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO TITHE ON A FESTIVAL, THEREFORE THEY ADVANCE IT TO THE TWENTY-NINTH OF ELUL.

MISHNAH 2. THE APPROPRIATION IN THE CHAMBER WAS MADE WITH THREE BASKETS EACH OF [THE CAPACITY OF] THREE SE'AHS,10 AND ON THEM WAS INSCRIBED [RESPECTIVELY]11 ALEPH, BETH, GIMEL. R. ISHMAEL SAYS: ON THEM WAS INSCRIBED IN GREEK, ALPHA, BETA, GAMLA.12 HE WHO MADE THE APPROPRIATION DID NOT ENTER THE CHAMBER WEARING EITHER A BORDERED13 CLOAK OR SHOES OR SANDALS OR TEFILLIN OR AN AMULET, LEST IF HE BECAME POOR PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THAT HE BECAME POOR BECAUSE OF AN INIQUITY COMMITTED IN THE CHAMBER, OR IF HE BECAME RICH PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THAT HE BECAME RICH FROM THE APPROPRIATION IN THE CHAMBER. FOR IT IS A MAN'S DUTY TO BE FREE OF BLAME14 BEFORE MEN AS BEFORE GOD, AS IT IS SAID: AND BE GUILTLESS TOWARDS THE LORD AND TOWARDS ISRAEL,15 AND AGAIN IT SAYS: SO SHALL THOU FIND FAVOUR AND GOOD UNDERSTANDING IN THE SIGHT OF GOD AND MAN.16

MISHNAH 3. [MEMBERS] OF RABBAN GAMALIEL'S HOUSEHOLD USED TO ENTER [THE CHAMBER] WITH THEIR SHEKEL BETWEEN THEIR FINGERS, AND THROW IT IN FRONT OF HIM WHO MADE THE APPROPRIATION, WHILE HE WHO MADE THE APPROPRIATION PURPOSELY PRESSED IT INTO THE BASKET.17 HE WHO MADE THE APPROPRIATION DID NOT MAKE IT UNLESS HE FIRST SAID TO THEM:18 SHALL I MAKE THE APPROPRIATION? AND THEY SAID TO HIM THREE TIMES:19 MAKE THE APPROPRIATION! MAKE THE APPROPRIATION! MAKE THE APPROPRIATION!

MISHNAH 4. WHEN HE MADE THE FIRST APPROPRIATION20 HE COVERED [WHAT WAS LEFT] WITH LEATHER SPREADS,21 AND WHEN HE MADE THE SECOND APPROPRIATION22 HE AGAIN COVERED [WHAT WAS LEFT] WITH LEATHER SPREADS,21 BUT AFTER THE THIRD APPROPRIATION HE DID NOT COVER [WHAT WAS LEFT]. [HE COVERED AFTER THE FIRST TWO APPROPRIATIONS] LEST HE SHOULD FORGET AND MAKE A [FRESH] APPROPRIATION FROM SHEKELS FROM WHICH AN APPROPRIATION HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE. THE FIRST APPROPRIATION HE MADE ON BEHALF OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL, AND THE SECOND ON BEHALF OF THE CITIES NEAR THEREUNTO, AND THE THIRD ON BEHALF OF BABYLON AND ON BEHALF OF MEDIA AND ON BEHALF OF [OTHER] DISTANT COUNTRIES.


(1) In the Temple which serves as the Treasury.
(2) Lit., breaking (into two) I.e., half the period of the preparation for the festival during which the laws of the festival are being expounded.
(3) Lit., ‘threshing floors’ (גרנות), a term borrowed from the tithe of produce which becomes due when the produce reaches the threshing-floor.
(4) Lev. XXVII, 32; cf. Bek. IX, 5-6. These dates were chosen to enable cattle dealers to sell their young animals after the tithing for the requirement of sacrifices on the three great Festivals of Pilgrimage.
(5) A more definite date than the one given by R. Akiba.
(6) The supply of young animals was smaller before Pentecost, and the longer period of half a month given by R. Akiba might cause a scarcity of animals for sacrifices on Pentecost.
(7) And not on or about the first of Tishri. Ben ‘Azzai holds that animals born during the month of Elul had to be tithed by themselves, and could not be mixed up with those born before Elul; cf. Bek. IX, 5.
(8) Like the dates which they gave for Nisan and Sivan.
(9) The Festival of the New Year.
(10) Three se'ahs equal the Biblical ephah; cf. ‘Ed., Sonc. ed. p. 2, nn. 3, 7.
(11) To ensure that the contents of each basket would be expended in the order in which they had been taken up.
(12) The J. Mishnah reads Gamma.
(13) With a border folded up at the lower end of the cloak. Aruch explains it as a cloak with sleeves. The articles of apparel enumerated may serve as a receptacle for hiding a theft from the shekels.
(14) I.e., to give no cause for suspicion.
(15) Num. XXXII, 22.
(16) Prov. III, 4.
(17) To make sure that their shekels would be used for the purchase of the offerings enumerated infra IV, 1, and not be left in the residue, ibid. 4.
(18) To those who stood outside the chamber; v. Maim. Yad. Shekalim, II, 5.
(19) Cf. Men. X, 3.
(20) The one taken before the Passover.
(21) GR. **. On which were laid the shekels that arrived later.
(22) The one taken before Pentecost.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 4

MISHNAH 1. WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE APPROPRIATION? THEY BROUGHT THEREWITH THE DAILY BURNT-OFFERINGS1 AND THE ADDITIONAL2 BURNT-OFFERINGS AND THEIR DRINK-OFFERINGS, THE ‘OMER AND THE TWO LOAVES AND THE SHEWBREAD3 AND ALL THE OTHER PUBlic OFFERINGS.4 THOSE WHO WATCHED THE AFTERGROWTHS5 IN THE SEVENTH YEAR6 RECEIVED THEIR WAGES OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM THE CHAMBER. R. JOSE SAYS: [IF A MAN WISHED] HE COULD VOLUNTEER TO WATCH WITHOUT PAYMENT. BUT THEY SAID TO HIM: THOU, TOO, DOST ADMIT THAT THEY7 CAN ONLY BE OFFERED OUT OF PUBlic FUNDS.8

MISHNAH 2. THE [RED] COW9 AND THE SCAPEGOAT10 AND THE STRIP OF SCARLET11 CAME OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION OF THE CHAMBER. THE VIADUCT FOR THE [RED] COW12 AND THE VIADUCT FOR THE SCAPEGOAT13 AND THE STRIP OF SCARLET WHICH WAS BETWEEN ITS HORNS,14 AND [THE MAINTENANCE OF] THE POOL OF WATER,15 AND THE WALL OF THE CITY16 AND THE TOWERS THEREOF AND ALL THE NEEDS OF THE CITY17 CAME OUT OF THE REMAINDER18 IN THE CHAMBER. ABBA SAUL SAYS: THE VIADUCT FOR THE [RED] COW THE HIGH PRIESTS MADE OUT OF THEIR OWN [MEANS].

MISHNAH 3. WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE SURPLUS OF THE REMAINDER IN THE CHAMBER?19 THEREWITH WERE BOUGHT WINES, OILS AND FINE FLOURS,20 AND THE PROFIT BELONGED TO THE SANCTUARY; THUS R. ISHMAEL. R. AKIBA SAYS: ONE MAY NOT DEAL WITH THE PROPERTY OF THE SANCTUARY,21 NOR WITH THE PROPERTY OF THE POOR.22

MISHNAH 4. WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE SURPLUS OF THE APPROPRIATION?23 [THEREOF WERE MADE] BEATEN PLATES OF GOLD FOR COVERING24 THE INTERIOR OF THE HOLY OF HOLIES. R. ISHMAEL SAYS: THE SURPLUS [FROM THE SALE] OF THE PRODUCE25 WAS USED FOR THE ALTAR'S ‘DESSERT’,26 AND THE SURPLUS OF THE APPROPRIATION WAS USED FOR THE VESSELS OF MINISTRATION. R. AKIBA SAYS: THE SURPLUS OF THE APPROPRIATION WAS USED FOR THE ALTAR'S ‘DESSERT’, AND THE SURPLUS OF THE DRINK-OFFERINGS27 WAS USED FOR THE VESSELS OF MINISTRATION. R. HANANIAH THE CHIEF OF THE PRIESTS28 SAYS: THE SURPLUS OF THE DRINK-OFFERINGS WAS USED FOR THE ALTAR'S ‘DESSERT’, AND THE SURPLUS OF THE APPROPRIATION WAS USED FOR THE VESSELS OF MINISTRATION. NEITHER OF THESE [TWO SAGES] ALLOWED [A PROFIT FROM THE SALE OF THE PRODUCE.29

MISHNAH 5. WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE SURPLUS OF THE FRANKINCENSE?30 THEY SET APART THEREFROM31 THE WAGES OF THE CRAFTSMEN,32 AND WHEN THEY HAD EXCHANGED IT33 FOR THE WAGES OF THE CRAFTSMEN, THEY GAVE IT TO THE CRAFTSMEN AS THEIR WAGES, AND THEN THEY BOUGHT IT BACK AGAIN OUT OF A NEW APPROPRIATION.34 IF THE NEW ONE35 HAD ARRIVED IN TIME THEY BOUGHT IT BACK AGAIN WITH THE NEW APPROPRIATION, BUT IF NOT, THEY BOUGHT IT BACK AGAIN WITH THE OLD ONE.

MISHNAH 6. IF A MAN DEDICATED HIS POSSESSIONS TO THE SANCTUARY, AND THERE WAS AMONG THEM AUGHT THAT WAS FIT FOR PUBLIC OFFERINGS,36 IT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE CRAFTSMEN AS THEIR WAGES; THUS R. AKIBA. BUT BEN ‘AZZAI SAID TO HIM: THIS IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED RULE.37 NAY, RATHER, THEY SET APART THEREFROM38 THE WAGES OF THE CRAFTSMEN, AND WHEN THEY HAD EXCHANGED IT FOR THE MONEY DUE TO THE CRAFTSMEN THEY GAVE IT TO THE CRAFTSMEN AS THEIR WAGES, AND THEN THEY BOUGHT IT BACK AGAIN OUT OF A NEW APPROPRIATION.

MISHNAH 7. IF A MAN DEDICATED HIS POSSESSIONS TO THE SANCTUARY AND THERE WERE AMONG THEM CATTLE FIT FOR THE ALTAR, MALES OR FEMALES, R. ELIEZER SAYS: MALES SHOULD BE SOLD39 FOR THE USE OF BURNT-OFFERINGS AND FEMALES40 SHOULD BE SOLD FOR THE USE OF PEACE-OFFERINGS, AND THE PRICE THEREOF TOGETHER WITH THE REST OF THE POSSESSIONS SHOULD GO TO THE REPAIR OF THE TEMPLE.41 R. JOSHUA SAYS: THE MALES SHOULD THEMSELVES BE OFFERED UP AS BURNT-OFFERINGS42 AND THE FEMAles SHOULD BE SOLD FOR THE USE OF PEACE-OFFERINGS, [AND FOR THE PRICE THEREOF BURNT-OFFERINGS SHOULD BE OFFERED],43 AND THE OTHER POSSESSIONS SHOULD GO TO THE REPAIR OF THE TEMPLE. R. AKIBA SAYS: I PREFER THE OPINION OF R. ELIEZER ABOVE THE OPINION OF R. JOSHUA, FOR R. ELIEZER APPLIED A UNIFORM RULE,44 BUT R. JOSHUA DIFFERENTIATED.45 R. PAPIAS SAID: I HAVE HEARD A TRADITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE OPINIONS OF BOTH [SAGES]: THAT IF A MAN DEDICATED TO THE SANCTUARY IN DEFINITE TERMS46 IT IS ACCORDING TO THE OPINION OF R. ELIEZER,47 BUT IF HE DEDICATED TO THE SANCTUARY IN INDEFINITE TERMS48 IT IS ACCORDING TO THE OPINION OF R. JOSHUA.49

MISHNAH 8. IF A MAN DEDICATED HIS POSSESSIONS TO THE SANCTUARY AND THERE WERE AMONG THEM THINGS FIT FOR THE ALTAR [SUCH AS] WINES, OILS,50 AND BIRDS,51 R. ELIEZER SAYS: THEY SHOULD BE SOLD FOR THE USE OF [OFFERINGS BELONGING TO] EACH PARTICULAR KIND, AND FOR THE PRICE THEREOF BURNT-OFFERINGS52 SHOULD BE OFFERED, WHILE THE OTHER POSSESSIONS SHOULD GO TO THE REPAIR OF THE TEMPLE.

MISHNAH 9. ONCE IN THIRTY DAYS PRICES WERE FIXED [ON BEHALF OF] THE CHAMBER.53 IF A MAN HAD UNDERTAKEN TO SUPPLY FINE FLOURS AT FOUR [SE'AHS FOR A SELA’] AND THEY NOW STOOD AT THREE [SE'AHS FOR A SELA’] HE MUST [STILL] SUPPLY AT FOUR [SE'AHS]. [IF HE HAD UNDERTAKEN TO SUPPLY] AT THREE [SE'AHS FOR A SELA’] AND THEY NOW STOOD AT FOUR, HE MUST [ALSO] SUPPLY AT FOUR, FOR THE SANCTUARY HAS THE UPPER HAND.54 IF THE FINE FLOUR BECAME WORM-EATEN THE LOSS IS HIS; IF THE WINE BECAME SOUR THE LOSS IS HIS. FOR HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO HIS MONEY55 EXCEPT AFTER THE ALTAR HAS ACCEPTED THE OFFERING.56


(1) Cf. Num. XXVIII, 1-8.
(2) The special offering for the Sabbath, the New Moon and the Festivals, enumerated in Num. XXVIII, 9-XXIX, 39.
(3) Cf. supra p. 3 nn. 2-4.
(4) E.g., frankincense and the drink-offerings ordained, infra VII, 6.
(5) Growing without human labor; cf. Lev. XXV, 5, 11.
(6) All produce of the Seventh Year was ownerless property and free to man and beast, Lev. ibid. 6-7. As the ‘Omer and the Two Loaves had to be offered out of the new produce of the year, therefore in the Seventh Year guardians were set over a special field to guard its aftergrowths for the use of the ‘Omer and the Two Loaves for that year, so that they might not he eaten by man or beast.
(7) The ‘Omer and the Two Loaves.
(8) But if the watcher is unpaid the aftergrowths become automatically his own private property and could not be offered up; v. B.M., Sonc. ed. pp. 671ff and notes.
(9) Num. XIX, 1ff.
(10) Lev. XVI, 10, 21F.
(11) Which was thrown into the burning Red Cow, including also the accompanying cedar wood and hyssop, Num. XIX, 6. According to others, the strip of scarlet tied on the neck of the goat of the sin-offering in order to distinguish it from the scapegoat, Lev. XVI, 9; v. p. 13, n. 3.
(12) Across the valley which separated the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives, over which the Red Cow was led by the priest. The viaduct was erected in order to protect the priest against defilement from the possible unsuspected presence of a grave in the valley; cf. Parah III, 6.
(13) A private exit leading out of Jerusalem for the man who carried away the scapegoat, to prevent his being mobbed; cf. Yoma 66a.
(14) Cf. Yoma 41b.
(15) In the Temple Court.
(16) Of Jerusalem.
(17) The maintenance of the water supply, the streets and markets, etc.
(18) What is left over from the shekels after the three appropriations had been made; v. supra III, 2, 4.
(19) After the needs enumerated in the foregoing section (viaducts etc.) had been satisfied.
(20) To be re-sold to those requiring them for their offerings.
(21)
(a) Such trafficking is unseemly for the Temple v. Keth. 106b. [(b) Because trafficking may involve loss as well as gain, T.J. a.l.].
(22) ‘Because a poor man might come unexpectedly and there would be nothing to give him’. Keth. ibid.; cf. however preceding note (b).
(23) After the needs enumerated in section 1 and the beginning of section 2 had been met.
(24) Cf. Num. XVII, 3; I Kings VI, 20ff.
(25) In accordance with his opinion in the last section.
(26) Lit., ‘summer-fruit’, eaten as dessert, a figurative name for the burnt-offerings which were offered after all the prescribed public and private offerings had been offered, to prevent the altar standing idle, v. Shebu., Sonc. ed. p. 50, n. 3.
(27) Sold by the officers of the Temple in accordance with infra V, 4.
(28) Segan, v. Sanh., Sonc. ed. p. 97, n. 1.
(29) Against R. Ishmael, and in agreement with R. Akiba supra section 3.
(30) In conformity with an ancient tradition, the incense was prepared for the whole year in advance in a quantity of 365 minas, corresponding to the number of days in the solar year, with an extra three minas for the Day of Atonement, of which one mina was offered daily, one half in the morning and one half in the afternoon (cf. Ex. XXX, 7-8; Ker. 6a). But as the calendar year in force was the lunar year which consists usually of 354 days (excepting the leap year which has 384 days), there was at the end of most years a surplus of eleven minas. This surplus could not he carried over for use in the next year, since all public offerings made from the first of Nisan onwards had to come out of the appropriation of the new shekels (cf. p. 12, n. 4). Hence arose the problem how to enable the surplus from the old year to be used for the new year.
(31) From the shekels in the chamber. So Maimonides and Bertinore. [Aliter: From the surplus of the frankincense (Barneth a.l.). Cf. next section, n. 5.]
(32) Who compounded the incense, made the Shewbread, and guarded the aftergrowths in the Seventh Year; cf. supra section 1, and infra V], 1.
(33) The surplus of the incense, thereby divesting it of its hallowed character and rendering it ‘common’. This roundabout method was adopted, instead of selling it straightway, out of reverence for its hallowed character.
(34) And it could be used for the new year.
(35) The contribution of the new shekel.
(36) Frankincense, wine, oil, or flour.
(37) As laid down in the last section.
(38) [מהן evidently refers to the dedicated objects fit for public offerings; cf. previous section, n. 6.]
(39) But they should not themselves be offered, as, according to the view of R. Eliezer, an ordinary dedication to the Temple belonged to the general Temple fund (‘The Repair of the Temple’).
(40) Females could not he used for burnt-offerings, but were good for peace-offerings; cf. Lev. I, 3, 10; III, 1, 6.
(41) Cf. II Kings XII, 6ff. This was equivalent to the general Temple fund.
(42) He holds that such was the intention of the dedication.
(43) But not as peace-offerings the flesh of which is eaten by the owner, it being assumed that his intention was to dedicate them exclusively to the altar.
(44) For cattle and other possessions.
(45) Between cattle and other possessions.
(46) Making special mention of the cattle among his possessions.
(47) That cattle should be treated in the same way as his other possessions.
(48) Without mentioning the cattle.
(49) That each is treated in the manner for which it is fit.
(50) For meal-offerings and drink-offerings; cf. Num. XXVIII, 5, 7, etc.
(51) Pigeons and turtle-doves.
(52) This is deduced from the wording of Lev. XXII, 18: Of all their vows and freewill-offerings . . . for a burnt-offering, v. T.J. a.l.
(53) The treasury chamber where the shekels were deposited; III, 1.
(54) Cf. Kid. 29a.
(55) Even if he had received it in advance.
(56) As a valid one.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 5

MISHNAH 1. THESE WERE THE OFFICERS1 IN THE TEMPLE: JOHANAN THE SON OF PHINEAS WAS OVER THE SEALS, AHIJAH OVER THE DRINK-OFFERINGS,2 MATTITHIAH THE SON OF SAMUEL3 OVER THE LOTS,4 PETHAHIAH OVER THE BIRD-OFFERINGS
(THIS SAME PETHAHIAH WAS MORDECAI. WHEREFORE WAS HIS NAME CALLED PETHAHIAH? BECAUSE HE ‘OPENED’5 MATTERS AND EXPOUNDED THEM, AND HE UNDERSTOOD THE SEVENTY TONGUES);6 THE SON OF AHIJAH WAS OVER THE SICKNESS OF THE BOWELS,7 NEHUNIAH WAS DIGGER OF DITCHES,8 GEBINI WAS THE CRIER,9 THE SON OF GEBER WAS OVER THE LOCKING OF THE GATES,10 THE SON OF BEBAI WAS OVER THE STRIPS,11 THE SON OF ARZA OVER THE CYMBAL,12 HYGROS THE SON OF LEVI OVER THE SINGING,13 THE HOUSE OF GARMU OVER THE MAKING OF THE SHEWBREAD,14 THE HOUSE OF ABTINAS OVER THE PREPARING OF THE FRANKINCENSE,14 ELEAZAR OVER THE VEIL,15 AND PHINEAS OVER THE VESTMENTS.16

MISHNAH 2. THE TREASURERS WERE NOT LESS THAN THREE AND THE SUPERINTENDENTS NOT LESS THAN SEVEN, NOR MAY AUTHORITY BE EXERCISED IN MATTERS OF MONEY BY LESS THAN TWO [OFFICERS], EXCEPT [IN THE CASE] OF AHIJAH17 WHO WAS OVER THE SICKNESS OF THE BOWELS AND ELEAZAR17 WHO WAS OVER THE VEIL, FOR THESE HAD BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE MAJORITY OF18 THE PUBLIC.

MISHNAH 3. THERE WERE FOUR SEALS IN THE TEMPLE, AND ON THEM WAS INSCRIBED [RESPECTIVELY] ‘CALF’, ‘RAM’,19 ‘KID’, ‘SINNER’.20 BEN ‘AZZAI SAYS: THERE WERE FIVE AND ON THEM WAS INSCRIBED IN ARAMAIC [RESPECTIVELY] ‘CALF’, ‘RAM’, ‘KID’, ‘POOR21 SINNER’, AND ‘RICH22 SINNER’. [THE SEAL INSCRIBED] ‘CALF’, SERVED FOR THE DRINK-OFFERINGS23 OF KINE, BOTH GREAT AND SMALL, MALE AND FEMALE; [THE ONE INSCRIBED] ‘KID’ SERVED FOR THE DRINK-OFFERINGS OF FLOCKS, BOTH GREAT AND SMALL, MALE AND FEMALE, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THOSE OF RAMS; [THE ONE INSCRIBED] ‘RAM’ SERVED FOR THE DRINK-OFFERINGS OF RAMS ALONE; [THE ONE INSCRIBED] ‘SINNER’ SERVED FOR THE DRINK-OFFERINGS OF THE THREE ANIMALS [OFFERED] BY LEPERS.24

MISHNAH 4. IF A MAN REQUIRED DRINK-OFFERINGS HE WOULD GO TO JOHANAN WHO WAS THE OFFICER OVER THE SEALS, AND GIVE HIM MONEY AND RECEIVE FROM HIM A SEAL. THEN HE WOULD GO TO AHIJAH WHO WAS THE OFFICER OVER THE DRINK-OFFERINGS, AND GIVE HIM THE SEAL, AND RECEIVE FROM HIM DRINK-OFFERINGS. AND IN THE EVENING THESE TWO [OFFICERS] WOULD COME TOGETHER, AND AHIJAH WOULD BRING OUT THE SEALS AND RECEIVE MONEY FOR THEIR VALUE. AND IF THERE WAS MORE [THAN THEIR VALUE] THE SURPLUS BELONGED TO THE SANCTUARY,25 BUT IF THERE WAS LESS [THAN THEIR VALUE] JOHANAN WOULD PAY [THE LOSS] OUT OF HIS OWN MEANS; FOR THE SANCTUARY HAS THE UPPER HAND.

MISHNAH 5. IF A MAN LOST HIS SEAL HIS CASE WAS DEFERRED UNTIL THE EVENING.26 IF THEN THEY FOUND [MONEY OVER] TO THE VALUE OF HIS LOST SEAL THEY GAVE [IT] TO HIM, PUT IF NOT HE HAD NOTHING. MOREOVER, ON THE SEALS WAS INSCRIBED THE NAME OF THE DAY [IN ORDER TO GUARD] AGAINST IMPOSTORS.27

MISHNAH 6. THERE WERE TWO CHAMBERS IN THE TEMPLE, ONE THE CHAMBER OF SECRET GIFTS AND THE OTHER THE CHAMBER OF THE VESSELS. THE CHAMBER OF SECRET GIFTS — SIN-FEARING PERSONS28 USED TO PUT THEIR GIFTS THEREIN IN SECRET, AND THE POOR WHO WERE DESCENDED OF THE VIRTUOUS WERE SUPPORTED THEREFROM IN SECRET. THE CHAMBER OF THE VESSELS — WHOEVER OFFERED A VESSEL AS A GIFT USED TO THROW IT THEREIN, AND ONCE IN THIRTY DAYS THE TREASURERS OPENED IT; AND ANY VESSEL THEY FOUND THEREIN THAT WAS OF USE FOR THE REPAIR OF THE TEMPLE THEY LEFT THERE; BUT THE OTHERS WERE SOLD AND THEIR PRICE WENT TO THE CHAMBER OF THE REPAIR29 OF THE TEMPLE.


(1) According to an explanation in the Palestinian Gemara, the functionaries here enumerated were all contemporaries in a particular generation. Another, less likely, explanation given there is that these persons were the worthiest of all the occupants of the offices during the whole existence of the Second Temple. [According to Hoffmann (Die Erste Mishnah p. 17) the officers enumerated here date from the time of Agrippa. This is disputed by Graetz MGWJ, XXXIV, 195ff and Buchler, Die Priester, p. 134ff.]
(2) Cf. infra 4.
(3) A saying of his in connection with the Temple service is recorded in Yoma 28a.
(4) By which the various labours connected with the service of the altar were distributed among the priests; v. Yoma II, 2ff.
(5) l.e. pathah (פתח). This is an allusion to the various difficult problems in connection with bird-offerings discussed in the Tractate Kinnim; cf. also Aboth. III, 19.
(6) The number of languages into which human speech was traditionally divided, corresponding to the seventy nations enumerated in Gen. X; cf. ibid. 5, 20, 31. Of Mordecai's skill in strange languages, cf. Meg. 13b. The whole bracketed passage is probably an interpolation. The Mordecai mentioned here is identified by the commentators with Mordecai Bilshan (בלשן from לשון, language) of Ezra II, 2. According to Rashi (Men. 64b, cf. Tosaf. ibid.) and Ibn Ezra (on Ezra loc. cit) this was the Mordecai of the Book of Esther.
(7) To cure it. The Palestinian Gemara adds that the priests were specially subject to this sickness, because they went about barefooted, ate much meat, and drank much water.
(8) To supply water to pilgrims to the Temple. Cf. B.K. Sonc. ed. p. 287.
(9) Who summoned the priests to their labours every morning; cf. Tam. III, 8; Yoma 20b.
(10) To lock them in the evening and open them again in the morning.
(11) Strips of cloth of which wicks were made for the lamps and torches of the Temple. So the Palestinian Gemara. The Babylonian Gemara (Yoma 23a) explains it as the straps with which Levites were scourged when found sleeping while on night duty as watchmen. But in Mid. I, 2 the sleeping watchman is beaten with a stick.
(12) That accompanied the singing of the Levites, Tam. VII, 3.
(13) Of the Levites, Tam. VII, 4; cf. Yoma 38a. [Whether Ben Arza was a priest or a Levite, v. Buchler op. cit. pp. 126f and 142f.]
(14) V. Yoma 38a.
(15) Over its manufacture, etc.; cf. infra VIII, 5.
(16) Of the priests.
(17) Who also handled money for the purchase of medicines and of materials for the Veil.
(18) Some texts omit ‘the majority of’.
(19) Lit., ‘male’, the Aramaic name of the ram.
(20) I.e., leper. Leprosy was considered a punishment for certain serious transgressions; cf. ‘Ar. 16a.
(21) Lev. XIV, 21ff.
(22) I.e., a leper who is not poor. He has to offer the sacrifices prescribed, Lev. ibid. 10.
(23) Including meal-offerings. These had to accompany every burnt-offering and peace-offering, but differed in their quantities according as the sacrifice was of kine, or of flocks, or a ram; cf. Num. XV, 3-10.
(24) As prescribed in Lev. XIV, 10, 21 respectively.
(25) Johanan could not claim it as his own.
(26) When the two officers met together to settle the daily account.
(27) Who might use for themselves seals lost by the officers or by the buyer, or who might buy seals when produce was cheap and use them in a time when produce became dear.
(28) Pious persons who sought to avoid publicity for their deeds of charity.
(29) Cf. supra p. 15, n. 8.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 6

MISHNAH 1. THERE WERE IN THE TEMPLE THIRTEEN CHESTS,1 THIRTEEN TABLES AND THIRTEEN PROSTRATIONS. [MEMBERS] OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF RABBAN GAMALIEL AND OF R. HANANIAH THE CHIEF OF THE PRIESTS, USED TO PROSTRATE THEMSELVES FOURTEEN [TIMES]. AND WHERE WAS THE ADDITIONAL [PROSTRATION]? IN FRONT OF THE STORE OF WOOD2 , FOR THUS THEY HAD A TRADITION FROM THEIR FOREFATHERS THAT THE ARK WAS HIDDEN THERE.3

MISHNAH 2. ONCE IT HAPPENED THAT A CERTAIN PRIEST WHO WAS BUSY4 [THERE] NOTICED THAT THE PAVEMENT WAS DIFFERENT [THERE] FROM THE OTHERS. HE WENT AND TOLD [IT] TO HIS FELLOW, BUT BEFORE HE HAD TIME TO FINISH HIS WORDS HIS SOUL DEPARTED. THEN IT BECAME KNOWN OF A SURETY THAT THE ARK WAS HIDDEN THERE.

MISHNAH 3. BUT WHERE DID THEY MAKE THE PROSTRATIONS? FOUR [TIMES] IN THE NORTH, FOUR [TIMES] IN THE SOUTH, THREE [TIMES] IN THE EAST, AND TWICE IN THE WEST, IN FRONT OF THE THIRTEEN GATES. THE SOUTHERN GATES CLOSE TO THE WEST5 [SIDE WERE]: THE UPPER GATE,6 THE GATE OF THE FUEL,7 THE GATE OF THE FIRSTBORN [ANIMALS],8 AND THE WATER GATE. WHEREFORE WAS ITS NAME CALLED THE WATER GATE? BECAUSE THROUGH IT WAS BROUGHT IN THE FLASK OF WATER FOR THE LIBATION ON THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.9 R. ELIEZER THE SON OF JACOB SAYS: THROUGH IT THE WATERS TRICKLED FORTH10 AND IN THE HEREAFTER THEY WILL ISSUE OUT FROM UNDER THE THRESHOLD OF THE HOUSE.10 OVER AGAINST THEM11 IN THE NORTH CLOSE TO THE WEST WERE:12 THE GATE OF JECHONIAH, THE GATE OF THE OFFERINGS13 THE GATE OF THE WOMEN,14 AND THE GATE OF SONG.15 AND WHEREFORE WAS ITS NAME CALLED THE GATE OF JECHONIAH? BECAUSE THROUGH IT JECHONIAH WENT FORTH INTO HIS CAPTIVITY.16 IN THE EAST WAS THE GATE OF NICANOR,17 AND IT HAD TWO WICKETS,18 ONE TO THE RIGHT AND ONE TO THE LEFT. THERE WERE ALSO TWO GATES IN THE WEST WHICH [HOWEVER] HAD NO NAME.19

MISHNAH 4. THERE WERE THIRTEEN TABLES IN THE TEMPLE, EIGHT OF MARBLE IN THE PLACE OF SLAUGHTERING ON WHICH THE ENTRAILS WERE RINSED, AND TWO TO THE WEST OF THE ASCENT20 [TO THE ALTAR], ONE OF MARBLE AND ONE OF SILVER; ON THAT OF MARBLE WERE PLACED THE LIMBS21 [OF THE OFFERINGS], AND ON THAT OF SILVER THE VESSELS OF MINISTRATION. THERE WERE TWO TABLES IN THE PORCH22 WITHIN THE ENTRANCE OF THE HOUSE,23 ONE OF MARBLE AND THE OTHER OF GOLD; ON THAT OF MARBLE24 THE SHEWBREAD WAS PLACED WHEN IT WAS BROUGHT IN,25 AND ON THAT OF GOLD [THE SHEWBREAD WAS PLACED] WHEN IT WAS TAKEN OUT,26 BECAUSE THINGS SACRED MAY BE RAISED [IN HONOUR] BUT NOT LOWERED.27 AND WITHIN THERE WAS ONE [TABLE] OF GOLD ON WHICH THE SHEWBREAD LAY CONTINUALLY.28

MISHNAH 5. THERE WERE THIRTEEN CHESTS29 IN THE TEMPLE AND ON THEM WAS INSCRIBED [RESPECTIVELY] ‘NEW SHEKELS’,30 ‘OLD SHEKELS’,30 ‘BIRD-OFFERINGS’, ‘YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS’, ‘WOOD’, ‘FRANKINCENSE’, ‘GOLD FOR THE MERCY-SEAT’;31 AND ON SIX [WAS INSCRIBED] ‘FOR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS’.’NEW SHEKELS’ — THOSE FOR EACH YEAR; ‘OLD SHEKELS’ — WHOSOEVER HAS NOT PAID HIS SHEKEL IN THE PAST YEAR MAY PAY IT IN THE COMING YEAR; ‘BIRD-OFFERINGS’ — THESE ARE TURTLE-DOVES; ‘YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS’ — THESE ARE YOUNG PIGEONS. BOTH [THESE TWO CHESTS] ARE FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS; THUS R. JUDAH. BUT THE SAGES SAY: [OF THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘BIRD-OFFERINGS’ ONE [HALF] IS FOR SIN-OFFERINGS AND THE OTHER [HALF] FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS,32 BUT [OF THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS’ ALL GOES TO BURNT-OFFERINGS.33

MISHNAH 6. IF A MAN SAYS: ‘LO,34 UPON ME [BE THE DUTY OF OFFERING] WOOD’, HE MAY NOT OFFER LESS THAN TWO LOGS; [IF HE SAYS: ‘LO, UPON ME BE THE DUTY OF OFFERING] FRANKINCENSE’, HE MAY NOT OFFER LESS THAN A HANDFUL [THEREOF]; [IF HE SAYS: ‘LO, UPON ME BE THE DUTY OF OFFERING] GOLD’, HE MAY NOT OFFER LESS THAN A GOLD DENAR.

‘ON SIX [WAS INSCRIBED] "FOR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS"’ — WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE FREEWILL-OFFERINGS? THEY BOUGHT WITH THEM BURNT-OFFERINGS, THE FLESH [OF WHICH] WAS FOR THE DIVINE AND THE HIDES FOR THE PRIESTS. THE FOllowing IS THE EXPOSITION WHICH WAS EXPOUNDED BY JEHOIDA THE HIGH PRIEST: IT IS A GUILT-OFFERING; HE IS CERTAINLY GUILTY BEFORE THE LORD35 — THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: WITH WHAT IS [LEFT OVER OF MONEY] OFFERED FOR A SIN-OFFERING OR A GUILT-OFFERING BURNT-OFFERINGS SHOULD BE BOUGHT, [OF WHICH] THE FLESH GOES TO THE DIVINE AND THE HIDES TO THE PRIESTS. THUS THE TWO STATEMENTS OF SCRIPTURE ARE FULFILLED: HE IS CERTAINLY GUILTY UNTO THE LORD36 AND IT IS A GUILT-OFFERING UNTO THE PRIESTS.37 AND SO IT SAYS AGAIN:38 THE MONEY39 FOR THE GUILT OFFERINGS AND THE MONEY FOR THE SIN-OFFERINGS WAS NOT BROUGHT INTO THE HOUSE40 OF THE LORD; IT WAS THE PRIESTS’.41


(1) Cf. supra p. 5, n. 4.
(2) V. Mid. II, 5.
(3) According to one tradition, by King Josiah before the destruction of the First Temple, v. Yoma 53b.
(4) He was engaged in picking the sound wood from the mouldy wood, as mouldy wood was unfit for the altar, Mid. ibid. Cf. also Yoma 54a.
(5) I.e., in the direction from west to east; cf. Mid. II, 6.
(6) [The western-most gate, so called on account of its elevated position, as the Temple court was situated on an incline rising from east to west. V. Hollis F. J., The Archeology of Herod's Temple p. 297.]
(7) Through it the wood for the altar was brought in.
(8) Through it the firstlings were led in preparatory to sacrifice.
(9) Cf. Suk. IV, 9.
(10) Cf. Ezek. XLVII, 2. 1.
(11) I.e., exactly opposite them.
(12) V. p. 22, n. 5.
(13) Through it the Most Holy sacrifices were brought in.
(14) Women entered here to attend to their offerings.
(15) Through it were brought in the musical instruments.
(16) Cf. II Kings XXIV, 12ff.
(17) Named after a man who fetched its doors from Egypt; cf. Yoma 38a.
(18) [These probably gave access to the chambers situated on the north and south respectively of the Gate of Nicanor; cf. Mid. I, 4, v. Hollis op. cit. p. 302.]
(19) [V. Tosaf. Yom Tob a.l. and Hollis pp. 139-53 where the question why these two gates were not named is discussed.]
(20) The inclined plane by which the priests went up to the altar (cf. Ex. XX, 26). V. Mid. III, 3.
(21) To keep them fresh.
(22) Ulam, the hall leading to the interior of the Temple.
(23) The Temple proper.
(24) To keep them fresh.
(25) Waiting to be laid on the table of gold, cf. Ex. XXV, 30; Lev. XXIV, 6.
(26) On the Sabbath, to make room for the new Shewbread (Lev. ibid. 8; Men. XI, 8), and before it was distributed among the priests.
(27) Hence having rested for a week on a table of gold, the Shewbread could not now be laid again on any but another table of gold; cf. Men. VI, 7.
(28) Ex. XXV, 30.
(29) Which served as receptacles of money for the purposes denoted by the various inscriptions on them.
(30) These are couched in Aramaic.
(31) לכפרת, viz., for the Holy of Holies (Maimonides), as there was no Mercy-seat in the Second Temple. Others suggest the reading לכפורות, for basins; cf. Ezra I, 10; I Chron. XXVIII, 17.
(32) Therefore a man who was obliged to offer bird-offerings (which had to consist of a pair, one a sin-offering and the other a burnt-offering; cf. supra p. 3, n. 7) could throw money into this chest, and thereby discharge his obligation, since the offerings bought with the money of this chest would be in accordance with his requirements.
(33) Therefore only freewill-offerings could be thrown into this chest, but not obligatory offerings.
(34) Cf. Men. XIII, 3.
(35) Lev. V, 19. The phrase ‘It is a guilt-offering’ implies that it is like any other guilt-offering of which the priests had a share, in accordance with Lev. VII, 6; on the other hand, the following phrase ‘He is certainly guilty unto the Lord’ implies that the whole is offered unto the Lord and is consumed by the altar, without leaving a share to the priests, thus contradicting the previous phrase. This contradiction is overcome by assigning the surplus of money offered for a sin-offering or a guilt-offering to the purchase of burnt-offerings, of which part goes to the altar, the flesh, and part to the priests, the hides.
(36) Viz., the flesh of the offering brought from the surplus of the money intended for a guilt-offering.
(37) The priests take the hides.
(38) II Kings XII, 17.
(39) Viz., the surplus of money originally intended for a guilt-offering or for a sin-offering.
(40) This is interpreted as meaning ‘for the Repair of the House of the Lord’, cf. the preceding verses of the chapter.
(41) This is interpreted to mean: It should be devoted to a sacrifice, of which the priests enjoy a share — the hides.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 7

MISHNAH 1. IF MONEY WAS FOUND BETWEEN THE [CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘SHEKELS’1 AND THE [CHESTS INSCRIBED] ‘FOR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS, AND IT WAS NEARER2 TO [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘SHEKELS’, IT GOES TO THE SHEKELS; [IF NEARER TO THE CHESTS INSCRIBED] ‘FOR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS’, IT GOES TO FREEWILL-OFFERINGS; IF MIDWAY, IT GOES TO FREEWILL-OFFERINGS.3 [IF MONEY WAS FOUND] BETWEEN [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘WOOD’ AND [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘FRANKINCENSE’ AND IT WAS NEARER TO [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘WOOD’, IT GOES TO THE WOOD; [IF NEARER TO THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘FRANKINCENSE’, IT GOES TO FRANKINCENSE; IF MIDWAY, IT GOES TO FRANKINCENSE.4 [IF IT WAS FOUND] BETWEEN [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘BIRD-OFFERINGS’ AND [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS’ AND IT WAS NEARER TO [THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘BIRD-OFFERINGS’ IT GOES TO BIRD-OFFERINGS; [IF NEARER TO THE CHEST INSCRIBED] ‘YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS’, IT GOES TO YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS; IF MIDWAY, IT GOES TO YOUNG PIGEONS FOR BURNT-OFFERINGS.5 [IF IT WAS FOUND] BETWEEN COMMON [MONEY] AND [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY]6 AND IT WAS NEARER TO THE COMMON [MONEY], IT IS CONSIDERED COMMON [MONEY]; IF NEARER TO THE [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY], IT IS CONSIDERED [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY]; IF MIDWAY, IT IS CONSIDERED [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY]. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: SUCH MONEY IS ASSIGNED TO THAT WHICH IS NEARER TO IT, EVEN IF IT IS THEREBY MADE LESS IMPORTANT; BUT IF MIDWAY, IT IS ASSIGNED TO THAT WHICH IS THE MORE IMPORTANT.7

MISHNAH 2. IF MONEY WAS FOUND8 IN FRONT OF CATTLE DEALERS AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR IT IS DEEMED TO BE [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY];9 [IF IT WAS FOUND] IN THE TEMPLE MOUNT IT IS DEEMED TO BE COMMON MONEY;10 [RUT IF IT WAS FOUND] IN JERUSALEM11 DURING THE SEASON OF FFSTIVALS12 IT IS DEEMED TO BE [SECOND] TITHES [MONEY]. BUT ALL THE REST OF THE YEAR IT IS DEEMED TO BE COMMON [MONEY].13

MISHNAH 3. IF FLESH WAS FOUND IN THE TEMPLE COURT [AND IT WAS CUT UP IN] LIMBS,14 [IT MUST BE TREATED AS BELONGING TO] BURNT-OFFERINGS; [BUT IF CUT UP IN ORDINARY] PIECES [IT MUST BE TREATED AS BELONGING TO] SIN-OFFERINGS.15 [IF FLESH WAS FOUND] IN JERUSALEM16 [IT MUST BE TREATED AS BELONGING TO] PEACE-OFFERINGS.17 IN EITHER CASE18 IT MUST BE LEFT TO BECOME DISFIGURED19 AND MUST THEN BE TAKEN AWAY TO THE PLACE OF BURNING. IF FOUND WITHIN THE BORDERS20 [AND IT WAS CUT UP IN] LIMBS, [IT MUST BE TREATED AS] CARRION;21 [BUT IF CUT UP IN ORDINARY] PIECES, IT IS FIT FOR [FOOD].22 BUT [IF FOUND] DURING THE SEASON OF FESTIVALS, WHEN FLESH IS ABUNDANT,23 IT IS FIT FOR [FOOD] EVEN WHEN CUT UP IN LIMBS.

MISHNAH 4. IF CATTLE WAS FOUND IN JERUSALEM AS FAR AS MIGDAL EDER,24 AND WITHIN A LIKE DISTANCE ON ANY SIDE [OF JERUSALEM], MALES [MUST BE CONSIDERED AS BEING] BURNT-OFFERINGS, BUT FEMAles MUST BE CONSIDERED AS] PEACE-OFFERINGS.25 R. JUDAH SAYS: IF THEY WERE FIT FOR THE PASSOVER-OFFERING,26 [THEY MUST BE CONSIDERED AS] PASSOVER-OFFERINGS [WHEN FOUND] WITHIN THIRTY DAYS BEFORE THE FEAST [OF PASSOVER].27

MISHNAH 5. AFORETIME THEY USED TO DISTRAIN28 ANY ONE WHO HAD FOUND SUCH A [STRAY] ANIMAL, UNLESS HE ALSO OFFERED THE DRINK-OFFERINGS THEREOF. THEN MEN WOULD LEAVE THE ANIMAL AND RUN AWAY; SO THE COURT ORDAINED THAT THE DRINK-OFFERINGS THEREOF SHOULD BE OFFERED OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS.

MISHNAH 6. R. SIMEON SAID: SEVEN THINGS THE COURT ORDAINED AND THAT WAS ONE OF THEM. [THE OTHERS WERE THE FOLLOWING:] IF A HEATHEN SENT A BURNT-OFFERING FROM THE LANDS BEYOND THE SEA AND WITH IT HE SENT THE DRINK-OFFERINGS29 THEREOF, THEY ARE OFFERED OUT OF HIS OWN MEANS; BUT IF [HE DID] NOT [SEND THE DRINK-OFFERINGS THEREOF], THEY SHOULD BE OFFERED OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS.30 THUS [ALSO IN THE CASE OF] A PROSELYTE31 WHO HAD DIED AND LEFT SACRIFICES [TO BE OFFERED], THEN IF HE HAD ALSO LEFT THE DRINK-OFFERINGS THEREOF THEY ARE OFFERED OUT OF HIS OWN; BUT IF NOT, THEY SHOULD BE OFFERED OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS.30 IT WAS ALSO A CONDITION LAID DOWN BY THE COURT IN THE CASE OF A HIGH PRIEST WHO HAD DIED32 THAT HIS MEAL-OFFERINGS33 SHOULD BE OFFERED OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS.30 R. JUDAH SAYS: [IT WAS OFFERED OUT] OF THE PROPERTY OF HIS HEIRS, AND HAD TO BE OFFERED OF THE WHOLE34 [TENTH].

MISHNAH 7. [THEY FURTHER ORDAINED] CONCERNING THE SALT AND THE WOOD35 THAT THE PRIESTS SHOULD MAKE USE THEREOF;36 AND CONCERNING THE [RED] COW37 THAT THE USE OF ITS ASHES SHOULD NOT INVOLVE THE GUILT OF SACRILEGE;38 AND CONCERNING BIRD-OFFERINGS39 WHICH HAD BECOME UNFIT [FOR SACRIFICE], THAT [OTHERS] SHOULD BE OFFERED [IN THEIR STEAD] OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS. R. JOSE SAYS: [THE DEALER] WHO SUPPLIED THE BIRD-OFFERINGS WAS BOUND TO SUPPLY [AT HIS COST ALSO THOSE WHICH HAD TO BE OFFERED IN THE STEAD OF] THOSE WHICH HAD BECOME UNFIT.40


(1) Cf. supra VI, 5 (p. 24).
(2) The presumption is that the money fell out of the chest nearest to it. This is deduced from Deut. XXI, 3; v. B.B. 23a.
(3) According to the rule laid down below, when the probabilities are evenly balanced, the money should be assigned to the holier of the two, which in this case is the chest of freewill-offerings, since its contents were spent entirely on burnt-offerings for the altar (supra VI, 6), whereas the contents of the chest of shekels were spent also on such less holy objects as the needs of the city of Jerusalem (supra IV, 2).
(4) Because frankincense, which was an offering for the altar, was holier than the wood which merely served as fuel for the altar.
(5) Which is the holier of the two, since one of the pair of bird-offerings was a sin-offering (cf. supra p. 3, n. 7), the flesh of which was eaten by the priests (Lev. VI, 19), whereas the burnt-offerings were all consumed by the fire of the altar.
(6) Cf. supra p. 6, n. 5.
(7) I.e., that which is holier.
(8) In Jerusalem.
(9) The presumption is that the money was lost by people who came to buy cattle for peace-offerings with their own second tithes money, or with the second tithes money left to them by their pilgrim friends when they returned home after the Festival. Here again the rule is followed that in case of doubt the money is to be assigned to the more hallowed object of the two.
(10) Even during the Festival season. Though most of the money at the time is of second tithe, we assume that the money was lost before the Festival when common money is in ordinary circulation, v. n. 8.
(11) Not in front of the cattle dealers.
(12) When the city is full of pilgrims bringing second tithes money.
(13) Because the streets of Jerusalem (as distinct from the Temple Mount, cf. n. 5) were swept daily, so that any second tithe money brought by the pilgrims would have been swept away. v. B.M. 26a.]
(14) As prescribed for burnt-offerings in Tam. IV, 2 f.
(15) Which were so cut up and divided among the priests.
(16) Outside the Temple Court.
(17) For these were the most frequent of the Lesser Holy offerings (קדשים קלים) which could be eaten in the Holy City outside the Temple Court; cf. Zeb. V, 7.
(18) Whether found in the Temple Court or in the city. It cannot be eaten because it may have suffered some defilement.
(19) It must be left untouched until the third day when such sacrificial flesh becomes ‘Remnant’ (נותר), and must be burnt, Lev. VII. 17. Cf. also Pes. VII, 9). It cannot, however, be burnt immediately when found, since it may never have suffered any defilement, and it is forbidden to burn sacrificial flesh which is still fit to be eaten.
(20) Of the Land of Israel, i.e., outside Jerusalem. It is of course assumed that the majority of the inhabitants are Jews.
(21) For so it was customary to dismember animals unfit for food and leave them to the dogs to tear at them; cf. Deut. XIV, 21.
(22) One would not take the cutting up an animal in small pieces for dogs.
(23) And is cut up in limbs for the Festival.
(24) Cf. Gen. XXXV, 21; Micah IV, 8. It is situated south of Jerusalem on the Hebron road.
(25) The finder must offer them as such; cf. supra p. 15, n. 7. Most cattle in Jerusalem and the vicinity were intended for sacrifices.
(26) A male of the sheep or of the goats and one year old; cf. Ex. XII, 5.
(27) For during that period such animals were mostly intended for the Passover offering.
(28) His goods to pay for the necessary drink-offerings and meal-offerings; cf. supra p. 19, n. 4.
(29) Viz. money to pay for them. The drink-offering itself which came from abroad could not be used, because it was considered unclean.
(30) Out of the Shekel appropriation cf. p. 12, n. 4.
(31) But in the case of an Israelite his heirs must pay for the drink-offerings.
(32) And a successor had not yet been appointed.
(33) The daily meal-offering, morning and evening, prescribed in Lev. VI, 12-16.
(34) Whether it happened to be the morning or the evening meal-offering, the tenth of an epha was not to be divided as prescribed in Lev. ibid. 13.
(35) That belong to the Sanctuary.
(36) In connection with their consumption of the flesh of sacrifices.
(37) Cf. Num. XIX, 1ff.
(38) Cf. Lev. V, 14-16.
(39) Bought by the Temple out of the money placed in the chest for bird-offerings by those on whom such an offering was an obligation; cf. supra p. 24, n. 9.
(40) Just as the dealer had to make good other similar losses; cf. supra IV, 9.

Mishna - Mas. Shekalim Chapter 8

MISHNAH 1. ANY SPITTLE FOUND IN JERUSALEM1 IS CLEAN2 EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS [FOUND] IN THE UPPER MARKET;3 THUS R. MEIR. R. JOSE SAYS: AT OTHER TIMES OF THE YEAR4 [SPITTLE FOUND] IN THE MIDDLE5 [OF THE ROAD] IS UNCLEAN, WHILE [SPITTLE FOUND] AT THE SIDES6 [OF THE ROAD] IS CLEAN; BUT IN THE SEASON OF FESTIVALS7 [SPITTLE FOUND] IN THE MIDDLE [OF THE ROAD] IS CLEAN,8 WHILE [THAT WHICH IS FOUND] AT THE SIDES [OF THE ROAD] IS UNCLEAN; FOR SINCE [PERSONS WHO HAVE AN ISSUE] ARE FEW IN NUMBER, THEY BETAKE THEMSELVES [IN THE SEASON OF FESTIVALS] TO THE SIDES OF THE ROAD.9

MISHNAH 2. ALL VESSELS FOUND IN JERUSALEM10 IN THE WAY OF GOING DOWN TO THE PLACE OF IMMERSION11 ARE UNCLEAN, [BUT THOSE FOUND] IN THE WAY OF GOING UP [FROM THE PLACE OF IMMERSION] ARE CLEAN; FOR THEY ARE NOT IN THE SAME CONDITION WHEN ON THE WAY GOING DOWN12 [TO THE PLACE OF IMMERSION] AS ON THE WAY GOING UP13 [THEREFROM]; THUS R. MEIR. R. JOSE SAYS: THEY ARE ALL CLEAN,14 EXCEPT THE BASKET AND THE SHOVEL AND THE BONE CRUSHER15 WHICH ARE SPECIALLY CONNECTED WITH [WORK IN] BURIAL-PLACES.

MISHNAH 3. IF A [SLAUGHTERING] KNIFE WAS FOUND ON THE FOURTEENTH16 [OF NISAN] IT MAY BE USED FORTHWITH FOR SLAUGHTERING.17 [IF IT WAS FOUND] ON THE THIRTEENTH [OF NISAN] IT MUST BE IMMERSED AGAIN18 [BEFORE USE]. BUT A CHOPPER,19 WHETHER [FOUND] ON THE FOURTEENTH OR ON THE THIRTEENTH, MUST BE IMMERSED AGAIN [BEFORE USE]. IF THE FOURTEENTH FELL ON A SABBATH IT20 MAY BE USED FOR SLAUGHTERING FORTH WITH;21 [IF FOUND] ON THE FIFTEENTH22 IT MAY ALSO BE USED FOR SLAUGHTERING FORTHWITH. IF [THE CHOPPER] WAS FOUND TIED TO A [SLAUGHTERING] KNIFE IT MAY BE TREATED AS THE KNIFE.23

MISHNAH 4. IF THE VEIL24 WAS DEFILED BY A DERIVED UNCLEANNESS,25 IT IS IMMERSED WITHIN26 [THE PRECINCTS OF THE TEMPLE] AND BROUGHT IN AGAIN FORTHWITH; BUT IF IT WAS DEFILED BY A PRINCIPAL UNCLEANNESS,25 IT MUST BE IMMERSED OUTSIDE AND SPREAD OUT IN THE HEL.27 IF IT WAS NEW IT WAS SPREAD OUT ON THE ROOF OF THE COLONNADE,28 SO THAT THE PEOPLE MIGHT BEHOLD ITS FAIR WORKMANSHIP.

MISHNAH 5. RABBAN SIMEON THE SON OF GAMALIEL SAYS IN THE NAME OF R. SIMEON THE SON OF THE CHIEF [OF THE PRIESTS]:29 THE VEIL WAS A HAND BREADTH IN THICKNESS AND WAS WOVEN ON SEVENTY-FOUR CORDS, EACH CORD MADE UP OF TWENTY-TWO THREADS. IT WAS FORTY CUBITS LONG AND TWENTY CUBITS BROAD, AND WAS MADE UP OF EIGHTY-TWO TIMES TEN THOUSAND.30 TWO VEILS WERE MADE EVERY YEAR, AND THREE HUNDRED PRIESTS WERE NEEDED TO IMMERSE IT.31

MISHNAH 6. IF FLESH OF THE MOST HOLY OFFERINGS WAS DEFILED, WHETHER BY A PRINCIPAL UNCLEANNESS32 OR BY A DERIVED UNCLEANNESS,32 WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE [THE PRECINCTS OF THE TEMPLE]. BETH SHAMMAI SAY: IT MUST ALL BE BURNT WITHIN,33 EXCEPT WHEN DEFILED OUTSIDE BY A PRINCIPAL UNCLEANNESS. BUT BETH HILLEL SAY: IT MUST ALL BE BURNT OUTSIDE, EXCEPT THAT WHICH WAS DEFILED BY A DERIVED UNCLEANNESS WITHIN.

MISHNAH 7. R. ELIEZER SAYS: [FLESH]34 WHICH WAS DEFILED BY AN UNCLEANNESS, WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE [THE TEMPLE PRECINCTS], MUST BE BURNT WITHIN. R. AKIBA SAYS: WHERE IT WAS DEFIED THERE [ALSO] MUST IT BE BURNT.35

MISHNAH 8. THE LIMBS OF THE DAILY36 BURNT-OFFERING WERE PLACED ON THE HALF OF THE ASCENT37 [TO THE ALTAR] DOWNWARDS ON THE WEST38 SIDE, THOSE OF THE ADDITIONAL.39 BURNT-OFFERING WERE PLACED ON THE HALF OF THE ASCENT DOWNWARDS ON THE EAST SIDE,40 WHILE THOSE OF THE NEW MOON41 OFFERINGS WERE PLACED UNDER THE RIM42 OF THE ALTAR DOWNWARDS.

[THE LAWS OF] THE SHEKELS AND OF THE FIRST-FRUIT43 HAVE FORCE ONLY DURING THE TIME OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE TEMPLE, BUT [THE LAWS OF] THE TITHE OF CORN44 AND OF THE TITHE OF CATTLE45 AND OF THE FIRSTBORN46 ARE IN FORCE BOTH DURING THE TIME OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE TEMPLE AND WHEN THERE IS NO TEMPLE IN EXISTENCE. IF A MAN DEDICATED TO THE SANCTUARY SHEKELS AND FIRST-FRUIT WHEN THERE WAS NO TEMPle IN EXISTENCE, THEY BECOME HOLY. R. SIMEON SAYS: IF HE SAID: ‘THE FIRST-FRUIT BE HOLY,’47 THEY ARE NOT HOLY.48


(1) Where people were usually scrupulous in matters of purity. But outside Jerusalem, where people were not so scrupulous, all spittle found anywhere was declared by a preventive enactment of the Rabbis to be suspect of defilement: cf. Toh. IV, 5.
(2) It need not be suspected of being the spittle of a person who had an issue (cf. Lev. XV, 8), since persons with an issue formed an insignificant minority of the population of Jerusalem.
(3) This was frequented by heathen launderers and also by Jewish persons with an issue.
(4) When persons with a defilement were numerous.
(5) This was crowded by pedestrians.
(6) These were frequented by persons who were scrupulous about their purity and who shunned contact with the crowds in the middle of the road.
(7) When all who had a defilement sought to recover their purity, in order to be able to worship in the Temple.
(8) The crowd walking in the middle of the road may then be presumed to consist of people who had become free of defilement.
(9) So as not to cause a defilement to worshippers and pilgrims walking in the middle of the road.
(10) Outside Jerusalem all articles found anywhere were declared by a preventive enactment of the Rabbis to be suspect of defilement; cf. Toh. IV, 5; and supra n. 1.
(11) To be immersed for the purpose of purification; cf. Lev. XI, 32; XV, 17.
(12) When found on the way down they may be presumed to have been unclean vessels lost before immersion.
(13) When found on the way up they may be presumed to have been lost after immersion. So according to Maimonides. According to Rashi (Pes. 19b) the passage should be rendered as follows: ‘For their way of going down (to the place of immersion) is not the same as their way of going up (therefrom),’ i.e. things going down to immersion and things going up from immersion went by different routes.
(14) No suspicion need be entertained as to the purity of articles found in Jerusalem.
(15) (מריצה), from the root (רצץ), an instrument for reducing the size of bones in order to get them into the basket for removal to the grave. So Maimonides. Others, after the T.J., a.l., explain it as some sort of conveyance or hand cart, from the root (רוץ
(16) The day of slaughtering of the Passover-offering; Ex. XII, 6.
(17) It may be presumed to have been purified for the slaughtering of the Passover-offering.
(18) Even though it may be presumed to have been immersed before by its previous owner. According to Maimonides it refers to the second sprinkling with the Ashes of Purification as prescribed in Num. XIX, 18-19, assuming that the previous owner had it sprinkled only once.
(19) GR. **, a large knife which can be used for slaughtering but is primarily designed for breaking bones, consequently it could not have been intended for use with the Passover-offering, of which no bones must be broken; cf Ex. XII, 46; Num. IX, 12. The probability, therefore, is that it had not been purified.
(20) The chopper.
(21) For as it is not permitted to purify vessels on the Sabbath, even a chopper may be presumed to have been purified before the fourteenth of Nisan.
(22) The Festival day, on which purification was not permitted, so it must be presumed to have been purified before the Festival.
(23) It may be used for slaughtering straightway, even if found on the fourteenth and not on a Sabbath.
(24) Of the Temple, Ex. XXVI, 13ff.
(25) Such as an unclean liquid; cf. ‘Ed., Sonc. ed. p. 9 nn. 3, 4.
(26) In the ‘Sea of Solomon’; cf. I Kings VII, 23ff.
(27) Or ‘The Rampart’, in the space between the Temple Court and the ‘Soreg’, or latticed fortifications; cf. Mid. II, 3. Some texts add: ‘Because it needs (to wait for) the setting of the sun’, before it can recover its purity; cf. Lev. XI, 3.
(28) On the Temple Mount. From the Hel it could not be seen so well.
(29) V. supra p. 14, n. 3.
(30) Threads, or according to others, denars in value. Another reading is (ריבות) ‘damsels’, instead of (ריבוא) ‘ten thousand’; i.e., it was woven by eighty-two young damsels.
(31) When new and before being hung up; cf. Hag. III, 2. The comment of T.J. a.l. on these figures is: ‘An exaggeration!’ So Maimonides.
(32) V. p. 34, n. 5.
(33) Within the Temple Court in the place of Ashes (בית הדשן), where the ashes of the altar were deposited; cf. Zeb. V, 2.
(34) Of Most Holy offerings. No other defiled flesh was permitted to be burnt within the Temple Court.
(35) Irrespective of the character if the source of defilement.
(36) Cf. Num. XXVIII, 1-8. The limbs of the daily burnt-offering were not taken up to the altar direct but were first deposited on the ascent by one party of priests, selected by lot, and then another lot was cast for a second party to take them up from the ascent to the top of the altar; v. Yoma 25a and 26a.
(37) Cf. supra p. 23, n. 13.
(38) Some texts read ‘on the east’.
(39) For the Sabbath and Festivals; cf. Num. ibid. 9-10, 16ff.
(40) Some texts read ‘on the west’.
(41) Num. ibid. 11-15.
(42) Cf. Ex. XXVII, 5. [The reference is not to the rim itself but to a line on the ascent in direct level with the rim, Var. lec. On the rim of the altar above. The ‘rim’ in this case does not denote the one running about the middle of the altar, but the space on the top of the altar on its four sides for the treading of the priests’ feet, v. Mid. III, 1.]
(43) Ex. XXIII, 19; Deut. XXVI, 1ff.
(44) Comprising First (Levite's) Tithes, Second Tithes (supra p. 6, n. 5).
(45) Cf. supra p. 9, n. 4.
(46) Cf. Num. XVIII, 15-18, etc.
(47) I.e., he dedicated them to the Sanctuary (Maimonides).
(48) [Because they are not his property to be dedicated to the Sanctuary. v. Tosaf. Yom Tob. Aliter: ‘If he declares his fruit holy as first-fruit, they are not holy’. The reference is to present days when there is no Temple in existence, and when the words, ‘thou shalt bring them to the house of the Lord’ (Ex. XXIII, 19) do not apply, Bertinoro.]

 

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