The עולה, burnt-offering, atones for sinful thoughts, and for neglecting the performance of the positive commandments. The חטאת, sin-offering, atones for the commission of unintentional sins provided the sins are so severe that the transgressor would be liable to the penalty of keret, extirpation, had he committed them intentionally. God would prefer that we transgress no sins at all and hence render needless the entire institution of atonement sacrifices.
Rashi’s Commentary for: Vayiqra (Leviticus) 4:2 of all the commandments of the Lord Our Rabbis explained: A sin- offering is brought only for such a transgression whose prohibition is expressed [in the Torah] as a negative commandment, and whose willful violation incurs the penalty of keret - excision (premature death by the hands of Heaven). The unintentional violation of such prohibitions incurs a sin-offering [upon the individual]
a) one who is intimate with his mother,
b) one who is intimate with his wife's mother,
c) one who is intimate with his maternal grandmother,
d) one who is intimate with his paternal grandmother,
e) one who is intimate with his daughter,
f) one who is intimate with his daughter's daughter,
g) one who is intimate with his son's daughter,
h) one who is intimate with his wife's daughter,
i) one who is intimate with the daughter of his wife's daughter,
j) one who is intimate with the daughter of his wife's son,
k) one who is intimate with his sister,
l) one who is intimate with his sister who is the daughter of his father's wife,
m) one who is intimate with his father's sister,
n) m) one who is intimate with his mother's sister,
o) one who is intimate with his wife's sister,
p) one who is intimate with his father's wife,
q) one who is intimate with the wife of his father's brother,
r) one who is intimate with his son's wife,
s) one who is intimate with his brother's wife,
t) one who is intimate with another man's wife,
u) one who is intimate with a woman in the niddah state,
w) one who is intimate with his father,
x) one who is intimate with his father's brother,
y) one who is intimate with an animal,
z) a woman who has an animal engage in relations with her.
Thus all the prohibitions involving forbidden relations punishable by karet are 26.
Among other sins, there are seventeen. They are:
a) one who serves a false deity by performing a deed,
b) one who gives his descendants to Molech,
c) one who divines through an ov,
d) one who performs a deed while divining with a yidoni,
i) one who partakes of fat,
Rabbeinu Bechaye explains the difference between a Sin Offering and an Olah offering. The sin offering (korban chatas) comes from [unintentional} violation of prohibited actions. A korban olah, on the other hand, atones for improper thoughts. Improper thoughts, Rabbeinu Bechaye explains, is something that a person can never totally escape from. Unfortunately, they are very prevalent and they are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. It is for this reason that the Olah offerings are to burn the entire night. Night time is the time when people especially need atonement from improper thoughts. About this it is written:
Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:2 Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt-offering: It is the burnt-offering that stays on the flame, on the altar, all night until the morning, and the fire of the Altar should be kept aflame on it.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:7-10 "'If he cannot afford a lamb, he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to HaShem as a penalty for his sin--one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. He is to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not severing it completely, And is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:1-16
On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons
and the elders of
Notice that the order is always:
2. Burnt offering
Vayikra (Leviticus) - 10:2 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of HaShem appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of HaShem and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before HaShem, contrary to his command.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:16-20
When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was
angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's remaining sons, and asked, "Why
didn't you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was
given to you to take away the guilt of the community
by making atonement
for them before HaShem. Since its blood
was not taken into the
Vayikra (Leviticus) 14:19-20 "Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering And offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for him, and he will be clean.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:2-24
HaShem said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron
not to come whenever he chooses into the
Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:9-14 Bring the Levites to the front of the Tent of Meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community. You are to bring the Levites before HaShem, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them. Aaron is to present the Levites before HaShem as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of HaShem. "After the Levites lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, use the one for a sin offering to HaShem and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites. Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to HaShem. In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
Shemot (Exodus) 29:10-18 "Bring the bull to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it in HaShem's presence at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Take some of the bull's blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. Then take all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. But burn the bull's flesh and its hide and its offal outside the camp. It is a sin offering. "Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides. Cut the ram into pieces and wash the inner parts and the legs, putting them with the head and the other pieces. Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to HaShem, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to HaShem by fire.
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Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-14
Some time later
God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then
God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac,
whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice
him there as a burnt offering on one
of the mountains I will tell you about." Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.
He took with him two
of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut
enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for
the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He
said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We
will worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham
took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it
on his son Isaac,
and he himself carried the fire
and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his
father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my
son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac
said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the
lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place
God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there
and arranged the wood on it. He
bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the
wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the
knife to slay his son. But the angel of HaShem called out to
him from heaven,
"Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand
on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from
me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up
and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took
the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering
instead of his son. So Abraham called that place HaShem Will Provide. And to this day it is said,
18:8-12 Moses told his father-in-law about everything HaShem had
done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for
Shemot (Exodus) 29:38-42 "This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning--a pleasing aroma, an offering made to HaShem by fire. "For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before HaShem. There I will meet you and speak to you;
Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:2-3 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When any of you brings an offering to HaShem, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock. "'If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to HaShem. He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:9-13 "Give Aaron and his sons this command: 'These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
Notice the order:
Vayikra (Leviticus) 12:6-8 "'When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before HaShem to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. "'These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"
Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:10-12 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before HaShem so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to HaShem a lamb a year old without defect,
Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:2-8 "Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: 'See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me.' Say to them: 'This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to HaShem: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. Prepare one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, Together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives. This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made to HaShem by fire. The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to HaShem at the sanctuary. Prepare the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you prepare in the morning. This is an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to HaShem.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:12-16 If you hear it said about one of the towns HaShem your God is giving you to live in That wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), Then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, You must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to HaShem your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt.
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This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
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 The ArtScroll Tanach Series, Tehillim, A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources. Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Translation by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman. See Psalm 40:7.
 Torath Kohanim 4:196; Shab. 69a
 Mishneh Torah, Sefer HoKorbanot, Hochot Shegagot, by Maimonides.