As we learned in the Mishna (daf 2), the laws of me’ila forbidding benefit from a consecrated object apply only while the animal remains in a state of holiness. Once it becomes permitted for personal use, those laws no longer apply. The Gemara on today’s daf discusses the synopsis of this law as presented by Rabbi Yehoshua in the Mishna.
Rabbi Yehoshua laid down the general rule: Whatever has at some time been permitted to the priests does not come under the law of sacrilege, and whatever has at no time been permitted to the priests does come under the law of sacrilege. Which is that had a period of fitness for the priests? That which remained overnight or became defiled or was taken out of the Temple courtyard. Which is that did not have a period of fitness for the priests? That which was slaughtered beyond its proper time or outside its proper place, or the blood of which was received by the unfit and they sprinkled it.
The idea that the status of the sacrificial animal regarding the laws of me’ila is dependent on whether it has, at some time, “been permitted to the priests” is the subject of a question raised by bar Kappara to his nephew, bar Pedat. Bar Kappara asked whether the reference is to:
- the slaughter of the animal,
- sprinkling the blood, or
- actually being permitted to eat the meat of the animal.
After the animal is slaughtered, the sacrificial animal becomes permitted to the kohanim inasmuch as the Temple service belongs to them, alone, at this point. The animal will only be apportioned to the kohanim for them to eat after the service of sprinkling the blood. The last two possibilities are based on the question whether receiving the blood is sufficient to consider the meat already in the possession of the priests, or if it is necessary to wait until the service of sprinkling the blood has been completed.