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Third Perek, First Mishna

Expanded Translation

In what cases do we state all the rules in the last two perokim of birds that become mingled? Where the Kohain asked for instruction before bringing any korbonos. However, if the Kohain did not consult, but rather brought all the birds as korbonos, which of the korbonos would be kosher? When each woman gave an equal number of pairs, for instance this woman gave the Kohain one kain, and the other woman one kain, this woman gave two kinim, and the other two kinim, or this woman gave three kinim and the other three kinim, and the women's birds became mingled, if he brought them all as Olos at the upper part of the Mizbayach half are kosher and half are possul. If the Kohain brought all of them as Chato'os at the lower part of the Mizbayach half are kosher and half are possul.

Example of the Case of the Mishna

One or more pairs of birds (kinim stumos) belonging to Rochel mingled with an equal number of Leah's birds. For example, Rochel and Leah each have three kinim stumos -- a total of twelve birds. The Kohain mistakenly thought that the birds were all Chato'os or all Olos and offered them accordingly.


If all the birds were brought as Chato'os each woman fulfilled her obligation to bring Chato'os. That is, half of each woman's birds were brought properly. None of the Olos were brought. If all were brought as Olos the result is analogous.


If the original birds were all brought as Chato'os, each woman brings three additional birds as Olos. If the original birds were all brought as Olos, then the additional birds are brought as Chato'os.

Expanded Translation

If the Kohain brought half of them at the upper part as Olos and half at the lower part as Chato'os, of those brought as Olos at the upper part, half are kosher and half are possul. And of those brought as Chato'os at the lower part, half are kosher and half are possul.

Example of the Case of the Mishna

Rochel's kinim stumos became mixed with an equal number of Leah's kinim stumos as in the previous case. For example, Rochel and Leah each had three kinim stumos. The Kohain mistakenly brought half as Chato'os and half as Olos. (The correct disposition is given in the first Perek, third Mishna.)

Result in the Worst Case

We do not know whose birds were brought as Chato'os and whose as Olos. In the worst case, all six Chato'os came from Rochel's group and all six Olos from Leah's. If this happened, three of Rochel's birds count as Chato'os, and three of Leah's birds count as Olos. The other six birds were not valid korbonos. [Diagram 34]


It is possible that fewer than six birds were invalid. For example, of the six Chato'os the Kohain brought, two might have belonged to Rochel and four to Leah. The Olos would then have been four of Rochel's birds and two of Leah's. Rochel has satisfied her obligation to bring all three of her Chato'os and two of her Olos. She has one Olah left to bring. Leah, similarly, has one Chatos left to bring.

It will never be known, of course, whether the true outcome of the Kohain's actions was the worst case described in the result above, the example described in this comment, or some other outcome. Therefore all Chato'os and Olos that the women remain obligated to bring are sfaykos, they are required because of uncertainty.

When an Olah is brought for an uncertain obligation, the owner stipulates that the bird should be a voluntary korbon if, in fact, he is under no obligation. An Olah may always be brought voluntarily, as an Olas nedova.

A Chatos, however, may not be brought voluntarily. Therefore, the type of stipulation made for the Olos is not available when a Chatos is brought for a sofaik. Nevertheless, in some cases one may bring a bird, though not an animal, when the obligation to bring the Chatos is a sofaik, as discussed in the appendix.


Each woman must bring three Olos to replace the three Olos she might be missing. However, each brings only one Chatos, because of the limitation on bringing Chato'os when the obligation is in doubt. They may also bring their birds jointly. See the appendix.

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

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