R. Hama son of R. Hanina further said: What means the text: Ye shall walk after the Lord your God?4 Is it, then, possible for a human being to walk after the Shechinah; for has it not been said: For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire?5 But [the meaning is] to walk after the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He. As He clothes the naked, for it is written: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them,6 so do thou also clothe the naked. The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick, for it is written: And the Lord appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre,7 so do thou also visit the sick. The Holy One, blessed be He, comforted mourners, for it is written: And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son,8 so do thou also comfort mourners. The Holy one, blessed be He, buried the dead, for it is written: And He buried him in the valley,9 so do thou also bury the dead.
'Coats of skin' — Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]; one said that it means a material that grows from the skin, and the other a material from which the [human] skin derives pleasure.10
R. Simlai expounded: Torah begins with an act of benevolence11 and ends with an act of benevolence. It begins with an act of benevolence, for it is written: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them;12 and it ends with an act of benevolence, for it is written: 'And He buried him in the valley'.
R. Simlai expounded: Why did Moses our teacher yearn to enter the land of Israel? Did he want to eat of its fruits or satisfy himself from its bounty? But thus spake Moses, 'Many precepts were commanded to Israel which can only be fulfilled in the land of Israel. I wish to enter the land so that they may all be fulfilled by me'. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Is it only to receive the reward [for obeying the commandments] that thou seekest? I ascribe it to thee as if thou didst perform them'; as it is said: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.13 'Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great' — it is possible [to think that his portion will be] with the [great of] later generations and not former generations; therefore there is a text to declare, 'And he shall divide with the strong', i.e., with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who were strong in Torah and the commandments. 'Because he poured out his soul unto death' — because he surrendered himself to die, as it is said: And if not, blot me, I pray thee etc.14 'And was numbered with the transgressors' — because he was numbered with them who were condemned to die in the wilderness. 'Yet he bare the sins of many' — because he secured atonement for the making of the Golden Calf. 'And made intercession for the transgressors' — because he begged for mercy on behalf of the sinners in Israel that they should turn in penitence; and the word pegi'ah ['intercession'] means nothing else than prayer, as it is said: Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me.15
MISHNAH. [THE HUSBAND] BRINGS HER MEAL-OFFERING16 IN A BASKET OF PALM-TWIGS AND PLACES IT UPON HER HANDS IN ORDER TO WEARY HER. WITH ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS, THE BEGINNING AND END OF THEIR [SACRIFICE] ARE IN MINISTERING VESSELS; BUT WITH THIS, ITS BEGINNING IS IN A BASKET OF PALM-TWIGS AND ITS END IN A MINISTERING VESSEL. ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS REQUIRE OIL AND FRANKINCENSE, BUT THIS REQUIRES NEITHER OIL NOR FRANKINCENSE. ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS CONSIST OF WHEAT, BUT THIS CONSISTS OF BARLEY. THE MEAL-OFFERING OF THE 'OMER,17 ALTHOUGH CONSISTING OF BARLEY, WAS IN THE FORM OF GROATS; BUT THIS WAS IN THE FORM OF COARSE FLOUR. RABBAN GAMALIEL SAYS: AS HER ACTIONS WERE THE ACTIONS OF AN ANIMAL, SO HER OFFERING [CONSISTED OF] ANIMAL'S FODDER.
GEMARA. It has been taught: Abba Hanin says in the name of R. Eliezer: What is the purpose [of placing the basket upon her hands]? In order to weary her so that she may retract.18 If the Torah has such consideration19 for them who transgress His will, how much more so for them who perform His will. But whence is it [known that the object of this regulation is] to show consideration; perhaps it is to avoid [the Divine Name on] the scroll being obliterated? — He is of the opinion
Sotah 14bthat she is first given the water to drink and then the offering is sacrificed,1 so that if it be [suggested that the reason is] because of the scroll, [the writing] has already been obliterated.
WITH ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS etc. The following is quoted in contradiction: How is the procedure of meal-offerings? A man brings a meal-offering from his house2 in silver or golden baskets, places it in a ministering vessel, hallows it in a ministering vessel, adds to it its oil and frankincense, and carries it to a priest who carries it to the altar and brings it near unto the south-west corner opposite the point of the altar's horn, and that suffices. He then moves the frankincense to one side [of the vessel], takes a handful [of the flour] from a place where its oil is abundant, sets it in a ministering vessel, hallows it in a ministering vessel, gathers its frankincense and places it on the top thereof, and sets it upon the altar and fumigates it in a ministering vessel. He next salts [the handful of flour] and sets it upon the fire. When the handful has been offered, the remainder may be eaten, and the priests are allowed to mix it with wine, oil and honey, and are only forbidden to make it leaven.3 Now here it is taught that [meal-offerings are brought only] in silver or golden baskets!4 — R. Papa said: The correct version [of the Mishnah] is: in vessels which are proper to be used as ministering vessels. It therefore follows that a basket of palm-twigs is not proper to be used as a vessel. This would not agree with the view of R. Jose son of R. Judah; for it has been taught: As regards a ministering vessel of wood, Rabbi disqualifies it but R. Jose son of R. Judah allows it! — If you wish you may say that it is in accord even with the view of R. Jose son of R. Judah, because he is referring to [wooden vessels which are] valuable, but does he say that with regard to [wooden vessels which are] inferior!5 Does R. Jose son of R. Judah not hold with the text: Present it now unto thy governor?6
'Places it in a ministering vessel and hallows it in a ministering vessel'. Is the conclusion to be drawn from this that the ministering vessels only hallow when such is the intention!7 — The correct version is: places it in a ministering vessel in order to hallow it in a ministering vessel. 'Adds to it its oil and frankincense'; as it is said: He shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon.8 'And carries it to a priest'; for it is written: And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons etc.9 'Who carries it to the altar'; for it is written: And he shall bring it unto the altar.10 Brings it near unto the south-west corner opposite the point of the altar's horn, and that suffices'. Whence is this? — For it is written: And this is the law of the meal-offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar;11 and it has been taught: 'Before the Lord' — it is possible [to think that this means] on the west [side of the altar],12 therefore the text declares, 'Before the altar'.13 If [Scripture only had] 'before the altar', it is possible [to think that this means] on the south side, therefore the text declares, 'Before the Lord'. So what was the procedure? He sets it on the south-west corner opposite the point of the altar's horn, and that suffices. R. Eleazar says: It is possible [to think that the meaning is] he sets it on the west of the horn or the south of the horn; but you can answer: Wherever you find two texts, one self-confirmatory and confirming the words of the other, whereas the second is self-confirmatory but annuls the words of the other, we abandon the latter and accept the former. Thus when you emphasize 'before the Lord' on the west [side of the altar],14 you annul 'before the altar' on the south side;15 but when you emphasize 'before the altar' on the south side,14 you confirm 'before the Lord' on the west side.14 What, then, is the procedure? He brings it on the south of the horn. But how do you confirm it?16 — R. Ashi said: This Tanna holds that the whole of the altar stood in the north.17
What means 'and that suffices'?18 — R. Ashi said: It was necessary [to mention this], because otherwise it may have occurred to me to say that the bringing of the meal-offering itself [to the altar without the ministering vessel] is required. Consequently we are informed [that the contrary is the correct procedure]. But say that it is really so [and the ministering vessel is not necessary]! — The text states: And it shall be presented unto the priest, and he shall bring it unto the altar19 — as the presentation to the priest is in a [ministering] vessel, so also the bringing to the altar must be in a [ministering] vessel.
'He then moves the frankincense to one side [of the vessel]', so that none of it may be included in the handful taken of the meal-offering; as we have learnt: If, when he took a handful, there came into his hand a pebble or particle of salt or grain of frankincense, it is disqualified.20 'Takes a handful [of flour] from a place where its oil is abundant' — whence is this? For it is written: Of the fine flour thereof and of the oil thereof;21 of the bruised corn thereof and of the oil thereof.22 'Sets it in a ministering vessel and hallows it in a ministering vessel' — for what purpose, since he has already hallowed it once? — It is analogous to the case of blood: although the knife23 hallows it in the animal's neck, [the priest] again hallows it in a ministering vessel;24 so here, too, there is no difference. 'Gathers its frankincense and places it on the top thereof; for it is written: And all the frankincense which is upon the meal-offering.25 'And sets it upon the altar
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