By Rabbi Menachem Moshe Oppen | Series: | Level:

Expanded Translation

When the number of pairs brought by each woman is not equal, for example this woman has one pair, another has two pair, another has three pair, another has ten pair, and another has one hundred pair, if he brought the birds of two of these women at the upper part of the Mizbayach as Olos half are kosher and half are possul. If he brought all the birds of two women at the lower part of the Mizbayach as Chato’os half are kosher and half are possul. If he brought half at the upper part and half at the lower part, the same number of birds as are in the larger of the two women’s groups is kosher. (Some of those birds that are kosher will have originated in the larger group and some in the smaller group.)

This is the rule, any situation in which the two women’s groups are the same size, so it is possible to divide the kinim evenly, and no one woman’s birds will be forced to be partly at the upper part of the Mizbayach and partly at the lower part, half of the birds are kosher and half are possul. Any situation in which the women’s groups are of unequal size so the kinim cannot be divided evenly, and one woman must have brought some birds at the upper part and some at the lower part, the same number of birds as are in the larger group is kosher.


The Mishna mentions groups of 1, 2, 3, 10, and 100 kinim, each belonging to a different woman. the Rav explains that the Mishna is referring to various cases of two women. Each of the women has 1, 2, 3, 10, or 100 kinim (but both do not have the same number). The two women’s groups become mingled.

According to the Tiferes Yisroel, the case of the Mishna is of five women who have 1, 2, 3, 10, and 100 kinim respectively. All 116 kinim become mingled in a single group.

The cases presented below follow the explanation of the Rav.

Example of One Case of the Mishna

Two women have different numbers of kinim stumos that become mingled with each other. For example, Rochel has three kinim and Leah has five kinim. The Kohain mistakenly brought all 16 birds as Chato’os (or all as Olos).


If all the birds were brought as Chato’os each woman fulfilled her obligation to bring her Chato’os. That is, half of each woman’s birds were brought properly. None of the Olos was brought.


Rochel brings three additional birds as Olos, and Leah brings five additional birds as Olos. (If the original birds were all brought as Olos, then the additional birds are Chato’os.)

Example of Another Case of the Mishna

Rochel had three kinim and Leah had five, as in the previous case. The Kohain mistakenly brought half of the sixteen birds as eight Chato’os and half as eight Olos.

Result in the Worst Two Cases

If the Kohain brought all six of Rochel’s birds as Chato’os, then the other two Chato’os that he brought were Leah’s. The eight Olos were Leah’s remaining eight birds. Thus Rochel’s obligation to bring three Chato’os is satisfied, but she has not brought any Olos. Leah has brought two Chato’os and eight Olos. (Three of Leah’s eight Olos should have been brought as Chato’os.) Rochel’s obligation to bring three Olos has not been fulfilled. Leah has yet to bring three of the Chato’os of her obligation.

In an analogous outcome, all of Rochel’s six birds were brought as Olos, and the other two Olos were Leah’s. The eight Chato’os were Leah’s remaining eight birds.

In both these worst cases, five valid Chato’os and five valid Olos were brought. Obligations to bring three Chato’os and three Olos remain unfulfilled.


In the language of the Mishna, hamerubeh kosher, the same number of birds as are in the larger group is kosher. In this example, the larger group was Leah’s ten birds, and that number of birds, five Chato’os and five Olos, is kosher. The remaining six birds might be possul. However, although the number of birds that are kosher equals the size of Leah’s group, the specific birds that are kosher are not necessarily all Leah’s. The comment, below, discusses how to replace the korbonos that are possul.


Eight of the sixteen birds were brought as Olos. (In the worst case all eight were Leah’s.) This forces at least two of Leah’s ten birds to be Chato’os, which means they are kosher.


The total deficit of the two women of three Chato’os and three Olos is the worst case maximum. Depending on whose birds the Kohain actually brought as Chato’os and Olos the two women might have lost fewer than three of each korbon — possibly not any. Thus, the obligations are all sfaykos.

Therefore, the two women each individually, or both jointly, buy three more birds for Olos. If the Olos are brought jointly the agreement is that they will belong to the women according to each woman’s remaining obligation. The women each individually or both jointly buy only one replacement Chatos, because of the limitation on Chato’os bought for a sofaik, as discussed in the previous Mishna and the appendix.

Alternative Approach to the Reason

In the best case, the Kohain would bring five of Leah’s birds as Chato’os and five as Olos. Then none of the sixteen birds is brought improperly.

But if the Kohain brings six of Leah’s ten birds (and two of Rochel’s) as Olos , one is possul. If he brings seven as Olos, two are possul. If all eight birds he brought as Olos were Leah’s, three are possul. There is no outcome in which four or more of Leah’s birds can be possul because the Kohain brought only eight Olos altogether.

If eight of Leah’s birds were brought as Olos, two were Chato’os, and both were kosher. All six of Rochel’s birds would have to have been brought as Chato’os, and three of them are kosher. [Diagram 35]

Text © 1997 Rabbi Menachem Moshe Oppen and Project Genesis, Inc.

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