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Chatas and Olah

Birds may be brought only as Chato'os or Olos. A Chatos is eaten by Kohanim. An Olah is completely burned.

An Olah of a bird can be brought as a voluntary offering--a nedova. There are also occasions when a person is required to bring an Olah of a bird. A required korbon is called a chov.

A Chatos of a bird can be brought only when it is a chov, not as a nedova.

Most of Maseches Kinim is expressed in terms of the obligations of a yoledes, a woman who has borne a child. A yoledes must bring a Chatos and an Olah. (Vayikra Perek 13, Pessukim 5-8.) Her Chatos is always a bird. Her Olah is a bird only if she cannot afford a lamb.

There are several differences in the way a Chatos and Olah are brought. One is that the blood of Olos is applied to the upper half of the Mizbayach wall, while the blood of a Chatos goes on the lower half. (This is the opposite of the applications of a Chatos and Olah of an animal.) If an Olah is brought as a Chatos should be, or vice versa, the korbon is invalid.

Torim and Bnai Yonah

A korbon of a bird can be brought from two species, torim and bnai yonah, commonly translated as pigeons and doves. A yoledes or anyone else who is obligated to bring a Chatos and an Olah of birds must bring either two torim or two bnai yonah, but not one tor and one ben yonah. A pair of birds is called a kain (plural, kinim).

Kain Stuma, Chova

A person can dedicate (makdish) a kain for her Chatos and Olah without specifying which bird should be the Chatos and which bird the Olah. The kain is called a kain stuma or a chova. If the Chatos and Olah are specified, the pair is a kain meforeshes.

Kinim stumos may be grouped. For example, someone who has three obligations can dedicate (makdish) six birds together as a group. Any half of this group is brought as Chato'os and the other half as Olos.

It is forbidden to bring a bird specified to be a Chatos as an Olah or a specified Olah as a Chatos. Similarly, once one bird of a kain stuma has been brought as a Chatos, the remaining bird cannot be brought as a Chatos. If one has been brought as an Olah, the second may not be an Olah.

In a larger group of stumos, such as the six birds that were designated as a group, it is forbidden to bring more than half as Chato'os or more than half as Olos.

Text © 1997
Rabbi Menachem Moshe Oppen and Project Genesis, Inc.

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