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Temura 32a-b: Similarities Between Consecrations

As we have learned on yesterday’s daf the final perek of Massekhet Temura focuses on the differences between two types of consecration – an animal set aside to be sacrificed on the altar (kedushat mizbe’aḥ) and an object that is consecrated for use by the Temple treasury (kedushat bedek ha-bayit). The Mishna on today’s daf discusses certain areas of law in which there are no differences between them.

One example is that neither dedications for the altar nor dedications for the repairs of the Temple may be changed from one holiness to another. Therefore, to offer a burnt offering in place of a peace offering, or vice versa would be forbidden. Similarly, if one dedicated something for the repair of the Temple, one must not change this for a dedication for the altar or vice versa. The Rambam rules that even switching a kedushat bedek ha-bayit contribution from being dedicated to repairing the sanctuary to fixing the altar would be forbidden.

Another example presented by the Mishna is when the consecrated animals die. In both cases the animal carcass must be buried and cannot be redeemed. Rabbi Shimon disagrees with this ruling, arguing that in the case of kedushat bedek ha-bayit the animal can be redeemed even after it has died.

The Gemara explains that the basic problem with redeeming sanctified animals after they have died is that they cannot be redeemed and given as food to the dogs. Even according to the opinion that we may give redeemed blemished dedications to the dogs as food, this only applies when they become treifa, since they can be set before us and appraised (see 27:11-12), but not when they are dead. The difference of opinion between of the Mishna and Rabbi Shimon is based on the fact that Rabbi Shimon believes that the requirement for the animal to be set before us and appraised only applies to animals that were to be brought on the altar, and not to animals that were consecrated for use by the Temple treasury.

This essay is based upon the insights and chidushim of Rabbi Steinsaltz, as published in the English version of the Koren Talmud Bavli with Commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, and edited and adapted by Rabbi Shalom Berger.

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