QUESTION: The Mishnah (66b) discusses an argument between Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua regarding an Olas ha'Of which was offered with the Avodos of a Chatas ha'Of, and with intention that it be a Chatas ha'Of. Rebbi Eliezer says that the bird is subject to the laws of Me'ilah, while Rebbi Yehoshua says that it is not subject to the laws of Me'ilah. The Gemara explains that Rebbi Yehoshua's reasoning is that the bird changes into a Chatas ha'Of through being offered as such, even though it was designated to be an Olas ha'Of. Since a Chatas ha'Of may be eaten by Kohanim, Rebbi Yehoshua applies the rule that anything which may be eaten by Kohanim is not subject to the prohibition of Me'ilah.

This is difficult to understand. The Mishnah in Chulin (41b) states that a Chatas cannot be offered voluntarily. Rather, it can be offered only when one is obligated to bring a Chatas due to a sin that he committed. How, then, can the person's Olas ha'Of turn into a Korban that he is unable to offer voluntarily? The Mishnah does not specify that this argument applies only in a case in which the person happens to be obligated to bring a Chatas ha'Of and has not yet done so. How can his Olas ha'Of turn into a Chatas ha'Of if he did not commit a sin?


(a) The commentaries deal with a similar question. The law states that a person cannot consecrate an animal as a Korban if it does not belong to him (for example, an animal that he stole, or an animal that is Asur b'Hana'ah). However, there are situations in which an animal that does not belong to the person who declared it consecrated does acquire a certain degree of Kedushah of a Korban. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Mizbe'ach 5:7) writes that if one offers a stolen Korban, the Korban is Pasul. The KEHILOS YAKOV (Nedarim 32:10) infers from the Rambam's words that the animal has the Kedushah of a Korban but is Pasul (and not that it never became a Korban in the first place). How, though, can it become a Korban, if the person who consecrated it did not own it?

The CHAZON ISH (Nega'im 11:5) addresses this question in the case of an animal that is Asur b'Hana'ah. He writes that it is true that the Kedushah of such an offering cannot be achieved through a mere verbal declaration (as other, ordinary animals become consecrated). However, when the Avodah is performed with this animal, the Avodah itself gives the animal the Kedushah of a Korban.

SEFER EIZEHU MEKOMAN suggests a similar approach to answer the question on the Mishnah here. It is possible that the rule that a Chatas cannot be offered voluntarily means that it cannot achieve the Kedushah of a Korban Chatas through being consecrated if the owner has no obligation to bring a Chatas. However, once the Avodah of a Chatas is performed with the bird with the intention that it be a Chatas ha'Of, it acquires the Kedushah of a Chatas ha'Of through the Avodah.

(b) Another answer to this question may be inferred from the words of the MEFARESH in Nedarim (6a, DH Devarav Kayamim). The Gemara in Nedarim quotes a Tosefta which states that if one who is obligated to bring a Chatas points to an animal and says, "Harei Zo Chatas" -- "this animal is a Chatas," the animal is not considered consecrated as a Chatas. Only by saying, "This is my Chatas," does the animal acquire the Kedushah of a Chatas. The Mefaresh there comments that if the person would not be obligated to bring a Chatas, then his verbal designation of the animal would not be effective, because he did not say, "This animal is upon me (Alai) as a Chatas." This implies that if he did use this phraseology, then the Korban would have Kedushas Chatas. This, however, seems to contradict the aforementioned Mishnah in Chulin (41b) which explicitly states that the problem is not the lack of the word "Alai," but rather that a Chatas cannot be brought voluntarily.

The SHA'AR HA'MELECH (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 14:8) answers this question in the name of the MAHARI IRGAS. He explains that when the Mishnah in Chulin says that a Chatas cannot be offered voluntarily, it means that the Korban will be Pasul if it is brought. Nevertheless, it will have the Kedushah of a Korban Chatas if one designates it as such, even though it may not be offered as a Korban.

Based on this interpretation, one may suggest that the Mishnah in Chulin (41b) only limits dedicating the Chatas in order to actually bring the Korban; such a Korban will be Pasul. It does not say that the animal does not attain Kedushah when the owner (who is not obligated to bring a Chatas) designates it as a Chatas (whether through words or through Avodah). (See also TESHUVOS RAMA MI'PANO #26, KEHILOS YAKOV to Nedarim #7, MIKDASH DAVID 28:2.) (Y. MONTROSE)



OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes the Mishnah in Kinim (3:6) which discusses a woman who, before giving birth, said that she will bring two birds as a Korban if she gives birth to a boy. When she gives birth to a boy, she is obligated to bring two Olos ha'Of for her vow, in addition to the standard Chatas ha'Of and Olas ha'Of that every woman brings after birth. However, when she brought the birds to the Kohen to offer as Korbanos, the Kohen mistakenly thought that each pair of birds was comprised of a Chatas and Olah (and not one pair comprised of a Chatas and Olah, and the other pair comprised of two Olos), and he offered them accordingly. The Mishnah says that if all of the birds were Torim, or all were Bnei Yonah, then the woman must bring only one replacement Korban for an Olas ha'Of, from that species. The problem arises when the birds were mixed; some were Torim and some were Bnei Yonah. The Mishnah in Kinim (2:5) states that a bird brought as a replacement must be of the same species as the bird that it is replacing. Since there is a doubt about which kind of bird was the one which became Pasul (i.e., which was brought as a Chatas instead of as an Olah), the woman must bring both a Tor and a Ben Yonah as replacement Olos.

The Mishnah then discusses two more cases. One is a case of "Pirshah Nidrah," meaning literally that the woman "verbally expressed her Neder." The second case is "Kav'ah Nidrah," meaning that the woman "established her Neder." Both of these cases result in the need to bring many more replacement Korbanos. What are these cases, and why do they result in the need to bring many more Korbanos?

(a) RASHI (DH Pirshah Nidrah) explains that "Pirshah Nidrah" means that the woman donating the Korbanos ha'Of specified in her Neder the species that she would bring to fulfill her Neder. She subsequently forgot which species she had intended to bring, and then she brought all of her Korbanos to the Kohen (who was also negligent and offered two Chata'os and two Olos from the four birds, instead of one Chatas and three Olos). The Mishnah states that she now must bring three Olos ha'Of: If all four birds that she brought were of one species (such as Torim), then she must replace the one Tor of the second pair, which was offered as a Chatas and not as an Olah. In addition, since it is possible that she specified that her Neder offering would be Bnei Yonah, she must bring two Bnei Yonah as Olos to fulfill her vow. Thus, she must bring a total of three additional birds.

If the birds that she brought were mixed (two Torim and two Bnei Yonah), and the Kohen does not know which set he offered first, then she must bring four replacement birds -- two Torim and two Bnei Yonah. If the two Bnei Yonah were offered last, then she must bring one replacement Ben Yonah to be offered as an Olah (to replace the Ben Yonah that was offered as a Chatas). She must also bring two Torim, since perhaps her Neder was to bring two Torim as Olos, and not two Bnei Yonah. She must also bring an additional Ben Yonah, since perhaps the two Torim were offered last, and while she is replacing the Tor that was offered as a Chatas with one of the two additional Torim that she is bringing, perhaps her Neder was to bring two Bnei Yonah as Olos, and thus she must bring an additional Ben Yonah (so that she is bringing a total of two Bnei Yonah and two Torim, to cover all of the doubts).

Rashi (DH Kav'ah Nidrah) explains that "Kav'ah Nidrah" means that she established in her Neder that her voluntary offering would be brought together, at the same time, with the offering that she was obligated to bring as a result of giving birth. In this case as well, she specified, but forgot, which type of bird she would bring as her Neder. In this case, merely bringing replacement birds is not enough. Since she said that her Neder would be brought with her obligatory Korban Olah, replacing just one at a later date is not a valid replacement. Therefore, she must bring five birds to be offered as Olos: four birds which cover the possible voluntary offerings of two Torim and two Bnei Yonah, and one which represents her obligatory Olas ha'Of. Even though she already fulfilled her obligation of her Olas ha'Of, she established for herself an obligation to bring her voluntary offerings together with her obligatory Olah (or with a representative obligatory Olah). This is why she must bring an additional, fifth Olas ha'Of.

If the birds that she brought were of different species, then she must bring two birds in place of her obligatory Olas ha'Of. Since this is a replacement for her obligatory bird, if she is unsure which type of bird was brought originally, then she must bring one of each type to replace it, totaling six birds.

(b) The RA'AVAD, RAZAH, and BARTENURA (Kinim 3:6) explain the cases differently (with slight variations). They explain that "Pirshah Nidrah" does not mean that the woman said, at the time of her Neder, what types of bird she would bring to fulfill her Neder. She vowed only that she would bring two Olos ha'Of (but she did not specify what type of bird) if she would give birth to a boy. When she brought her birds to the Kohen, she explained ("Pirshah") that "these two birds are for my obligatory Korban, and these two are for my voluntary offering." The Kohen mistakenly offered both sets of birds as obligatory offerings for births, offering one as a Chatas and one as an Olah from each pair.

According to the Bartenura, the three birds brought in the case of "Pirshah Nidrah" are not three Olos, but two Olos and one Chatas. Only the obligatory Olas ha'Of is valid when the Kohen offers two (from the two pairs) as an Olas ha'Of and two as a Chatas ha'Of. Therefore, the woman must bring replacements for the two birds of her Neder, which are Olos ha'Of, and one bird to replace her obligatory Chatas ha'Of.

If the birds that she brought were from different species (two Torim and two Bnei Yonah), then she must bring four replacement birds. This is because it is possible that the Torim that she intended to be offered as Olos (for her Neder) were offered as her obligatory offering (with one as an Olah and one as a Chatas), while the Ben Yonah that she brought as a Chatas was offered as an Olah. Only her obligatory Olah is valid. However, it is also possible that her obligatory Olah was done like a Chatas. Since she specified that only the Torim are her Neder and the Bnei Yonah are her obligatory Korbanos, and all of them might have been Pasul, she must bring all of her Korbanos again.

"Kav'ah Nidrah" means that she specified what type of birds she would bring for her Neder when she made the Neder. She then forgot which type she had pledged to bring. This adds to her replacement requirements two more Bnei Yonah (to fulfill her Neder), besides her requirement to replace the two Torim which might be Pasul and the Chatas which might be Pasul (as described in the case of "Pirshah Nidrah"). If she brought two different types of birds, then she must bring four Olos and two Chata'os to account for the various possibilities. (See TOSFOS YOM TOV.) (Y. MONTROSE)