2,986. Why an Unblemished Animal May Not Be Consecrated for Temple Upkeep

Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 5:6

We learn that one may not consecrate unblemished kosher animals for Temple upkeep from Leviticus 22:23: "An ox or sheep that has a limb too long or too short, you shall make it as a donation." According to our oral tradition, "donation" means that it’s consecrated for Temple upkeep. From context, such an animal is only consecrated for its financial value because a blemished animal is unfit to offer on the altar. "It" means that it is consecrated for Temple upkeep, but an unblemished animal is not consecrated for Temple upkeep. A prohibition inferred from a positive commandment is considered a positive commandment.

Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 5:7

Let’s say that someone consecrates an animal or other property without specifying the details. We assess all the unblemished animals that are fit for offering on the altar. The males are sold for burnt offerings and offered as such; the females are sold for for peace offerings and offered as such. The proceeds from their sales are used for Temple upkeep. This is because, unless otherwise specified, everything consecrated goes towards Temple upkeep, as per Leviticus 27:9: "If it’s an animal that is offered as a sacrifice to Hashem, all that anyone gives of such to Hashem shall be holy.” We see from this that everything consecrated that can be offered on the altar should be.