The Wrong Intention

Zevachim (3:6) | Yisrael Bankier | 6 years ago

Much of our learning this week discussed the incorrect intentions when performing one of the four avodot1 that would invalidate a korban. In particular we focused on two issues, intending to eat or offer the korban outside the designated time rendering the korban pigul, and intending to eat or offer the korban outside the required location.

The Mishnah (3:6) asserts that incorrect intentions when performing the korban are only problematic in these two cases and if the korban was chatat or korban pesach and the person intended it to be used for a different korban1. In that Mishnah however R’ Yehuda argues that if someone slaughtered a korban with the intention to leave its blood or sacrificial parts beyond the allotted time or take them outside the designated location then it would also invalidate the korban. Why does R’ Yehuda specifically add these two cases?

The Bartenura explains that R’ Yehuda adds these cases because if the intentions were fulfilled the korban would be pasul. Based on this the mefarshim try to understand why R’ Yehuda does not also argue regarding the other cases listed in the Mishnah since for some of them, if the intention was actualise the korban would be pasul.

One case is if one intended to place the blood of the korban on the mizbeach but on the wrong place. The Bartenura answers that R’ Yehuda understands that as long as the intention was to place the blood on the mizbeach and not outside, it is not a problem. The Tosfot R’ Akive Eiger explains that this is because even if the blood was ultimately placed on the wrong location, the owners still fulfilled their obligation, despite the fact that the korban cannot be consumed. 2

The Tosfot (Zevachim 36a) ask that why, according to R’ Yehuda, if one intends to leave the eimorim till the next day is the korban pasul? If one did so, and the blood had been offered correctly, kapara is achieved!

They differentiate between the cases where the eimorim were left beyond the designated time or if someone who was tameh offered the eimorim. Having intention that a tameh person will offer the eimorim is another case where R’ Yehuda agrees that the korban is not tameh. If the eimorim are left over, even though atonement is achieved the rest of the meat of the korban cannot be eaten. If a person who is tameh offered the eimorim the meat of the korban can be eaten.

Based on this the Tosfot R’ Akiva Eiger asks a question. How is the case of intending to leave the eimorim till the next day different from intending to place the blood on the wrong part of the mizbaech? In both cases if the intentions are actualised, atonement is achieved and the meat is prohibited.

He answers citing another Tosfot (Menachot 18a). Indeed there is no difference between the two cases. Accordingly R’ Yehuda should really permit the korban if one intended to leave the eimorim too long. Yet there is another case that R’ Yehuda refers to – intending to leave the blood beyond the required time. If one left the blood and not the eimorim beyond the allotted time it would be invalid. Consequently, the reason he invalidates the case regarding the eimorim is a gezeira (decree) in case one were to permit the case involving blood.


1 See last week’s issue.

2 He continues that the same holds true for when one intends to place the blood on the wrong mizbeach (nechoshet or zahav).

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