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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 87 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

87 - HOLINESS OF A SUBSTITUTED OFFERINGS


Leviticus 27:10.33 -- 10 “He shall not substitute it or exchange it, good for bad or bad for good; and if he at all exchanges animal for animal, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy. … 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”

Maimonides says: “It seems to me that in the words, “And if he at all exchanges animal for animal, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy.” (Leviticus 27:10) – even as in the words, “If he who dedicated it wants to redeem his house, then he shall add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it”(Leviticus 27:15) – the Torah has thoroughly penetrated into the mind of man and into his partially evil inclination; for it is man’s nature to seek the increase of his possessions and to spare his money, so that even where he has made a vow or dedicated (an object to the temple) he may change his mind, regret his vow, and become disposed to redeem it for less than its worth; hence the Torah ordains (here) that if one redeem (the house) for himself he is to add a fifth of its value. Similarly, having dedicated a beast and sanctified its body as an offering, he may come to regret his action, and being unable to redeem it will be tempted to substitute for it one of inferior value.”

“(On the other hand) if (the Torah) were to grant him permission to substitute a beast of superior quality for one which was inferior, he would still be tempted to substitute a beast of inferior quality for one which was superior, claiming that (the former) was superior; it is for this reason that Scripture withholds the right of substitution and exacts a penalty when it is practiced, in the words, “Then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy.” All these provisions (were established for the purpose of enabling a man) to overcome his (evil) inclination and to amend his principles.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Korbanoth, Hilchoth Temurah IV, 13

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