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Introduction to Korbanot (Sacrifices)

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The different types:

Name Type Who eats the meat?
Olah עולה

(Burnt offering)

Kodshei Kodshim Totally burnt
Chatat חטאת

(Sin offering)

Kodshei Kodshim Male kohanim
Asham אשם

(Guilt offering)

Kodshei Kodshim Male kohanim
Mincha מנחה Kodshei Kodshim Male kohanim
Public shelamim שלמי ציבור–

(Peace offering) 2 lambs on Shavuot

Kodshei Kodshim Male kohanim
Personal shelamim שלמי יחיד

(Peace offering)

Kodshei Kalim The owners; breast and right thigh to kohen
Pesach פסח Kodshei Kalim The owners – in groups
Todah תודה

(Thanksgiving offering)

Kodshei Kalim The owners; breast and right thigh to kohen
Bechor בכור


Kodshei Kalim Kohanim
Maaser מעשר


Kodshei Kalim Owners




Primary “steps” of the korban

Name Description Who may perform it?
שחיטה  Slaughter Slaughtering the animal Anyone
קבלה Reception Receiving the blood in a sanctified vessel Kohen
הולכה Procession Proceeding with the blood to the altar Kohen
זריקה Sprinkling Sprinkling the blood Kohen


Kohanim who may not perform the avoda (Divine service):

  • Blemished
  • Onen (someone who would be required to sit shiva for a relative, during the period between death and burial)
  • Tamei
  • Uncircumcised
  • Did not sanctify his hands and feet
  • Is not wearing the priestly garments
  • Intoxicated

Invalidation by intent:

  • חוץ לזמנו: (intent during one of the main “steps” to eat/burn it at the wrong time) Considered piggul and is punished with karet
  • חוץ למקומו: (intent during one of the main “steps” to eat it at the wrong place) Considered piggul but does not incur karet
  • שלא לשמו (not for that purpose) Pesach and chatat that are not brought for their specific purpose (animal was designated for one type of sacrifice and then was slaughtered for a different type) are completely invalid; other korbanot (according to most opinions) are valid and offered as sacrifices, but their owners have not fulfilled their obligation
  • שלא לשם בעלים (not on behalf of the owners) Same laws as שלא לשמו

Some unique mitzvot connected to the Korban Pesach:

  • One needs to be registered for the sacrifice ahead of time, and must remain within that group
  • The meat is roasted in one piece – and must be roasted – not cooked, partially roasted
  • Intent during the slaughter שלא לאוכליו (that someone in the group is not able to eat) or שלא למינויו (to be eaten by those not registered for this animal) invalidates the korban
  • It is a mitzva to eat an olive-bulk of meat
  • Must be eaten when satiated על השובע – so other peace holiday offerings were brought to provide more meat if necessary
  • It is only eaten at night (not during the day like other sacrifices)– and only until midnight
  • It may not be offered if any of the registrants has chametz in his/her possession

Michelle Cohen Farber

Rabbanit Michelle Cohen Farber is the founder and program director of Hadran: Advancing Talmud Study for Women and Daf Yomi for Women, the first woman's online shiur on the daf yomi. Michelle spearheaded the first international Siyum HaShas for Women, which took place in January. Michelle studied Talmud at Bar Ilan and in Midreshet Lindenbaum's scholar's program. She has taught Gemara and Halacha in Pelech Jerusalem, Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan HaSharon. Michelle and her husband, Seth, founded and lead Kehillat Netivot in Ra'anana where they live with their five children.
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