SALT - Sunday, 13 Tammuz 5780 - July 5, 2020

  • Rav David Silverberg
            The Torah in Parashat Pinchas presents the obligations of the temidin u-musafin – the standard public sacrifices offered in the Beit Ha-mikdash.  The tamid sacrifice was offered twice each day of the year, every morning and afternoon, and an additional musaf sacrifice was offered on special days – Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, and holidays.  The daily tamid consisted of just one sheep in the morning and another in the afternoon (28:3-4), whereas the musafin were far more elaborate, consisting of a series of different animals.  The notable exception is Shabbat, whose musaf sacrifice consisted of just two sheep, in addition to the sheep of the tamid sacrifice.
            This unique feature of the Shabbat musaf offering – its simplicity, and resemblance to the tamid – may possibly affect its nature.  Rav Avraham Noach Garboz, in his Minchat Avraham (Menachot 49a), observes that the Rambam appears to allude to a distinctive nature of the Shabbat musaf sacrifice.  In the introduction to his Hilkhot Temidin U-musafin, where the Rambam lists the various mitzvot discussed in this section, the Rambam mentions each musaf sacrifice, stating simply that the Torah requires offering these sacrifices.  The exception is the mitzva of the musaf sacrifice on Shabbat, in reference to which the Rambam writes that the mitzva requires “le-hosif shenei kevasim…be-Shabbat” – “to add two sheep…on Shabbat.”  This might suggest that on Shabbat, the mitzva is to add two sheep onto the sheep of the tamid sacrifice.  Whereas on Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov, the mitzva is to offer a series of sacrifices besides the tamid, on Shabbat, the mitzva is to add onto the tamid.
            Rav Garboz proceeds to suggest two possibilities as to the practical ramifications of this distinction.  First, he suggests, we might conclude that there is no significance to the sequence of the sacrifices on Shabbat.  Normally, the daily tamid is offered before any other sacrifice.  However, since the musaf sacrifice is simply the addition of two sheep to the tamid, perhaps the first sheep offered in the morning will count as the tamid offering, even if it was offered with the intention of being the musaf.  Since the musaf obligation on Shabbat is defined as simply adding two sheep, the sheep for the tamid and musaf sacrifices are all one and the same.  Hence, the first sheep will always count as the tamid, regardless of the intent.  Secondly, Rav Garboz adds, even if one does not accept the first possibility, it could be suggested that the musaf offering on Shabbat is contingent upon the offering of the tamid.  Since the requirement on Shabbat is to add onto the tamid, by definition, this obligation takes effect only once a sheep has been offered as the tamid sacrifice.  If no tamid is offered, then there is no requirement to offer a musaf, since the musaf is defined as an addition to the tamid.
            On this basis, Rav Garboz suggests explaining why the Rambam (Hilkhot Temidin U-musafin 7:1) mentions the requirement to offer the tamid before the musaf in the context of Rosh Chodesh, but not in reference to Shabbat, the time when this halakha is most frequently applicable.  On Shabbat, according to either of the two theories advanced above, this halakha is entirely irrelevant.  According to the first possibility, the first sheep is always going to count as the tamid, regardless of intent, so there is never any possibility of offering the musaf before the tamid.  And according to the second theory, the musaf sacrifice on Shabbat, by definition, cannot be offered until after the offering of the tamid.  Since the musaf sacrifice on Shabbat is defined as an addition to the tamid, there is no requirement to offer it until after the tamid.  Therefore, regardless of the general halakha requiring offering the tamid before the musaf, there would be no purpose in offering the musaf on Shabbat first.  For this reason, perhaps, the Rambam made no mention of this rule in the context of the Shabbat musaf offering, and he introduced it in reference to the next most frequent musaf – the musaf of Rosh Chodesh.