3,015. The Advantage Goes to the Temple
Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 7:11
Consecrated property is not redeemed based on an estimate. Rather, the animals’ values are carefully calculated, as has already been discussed (halacha 7:8). If one redeemed consecrated property based on an estimate, the advantage is given to the Temple. For example, let’s say that the sanctity of cow A is transferred to cow B, or the sanctity of garment X is transferred to garment Y. In such a case, the consecrated property is redeemed and the Temple is given the advantage. If the second item is worth more than the first, the Temple treasurers take it and that’s that, but if it’s not worth as much as the first, the person must pay the difference as has been discussed, plus he must add a fifth. However, if the person said that he was transferring the sanctity of garment X to garment Y, which is worth ten sela, or that he was transferring the sanctity of cow A to cow B, which is worth ten sela, then he must add a fifth by paying two and a half sela. [As we have discussed, it’s a fifth of the total, which is a quarter of the principal, so the fifth of ten sela would be 2.5 sela. (It comes to 12.5 sela total.)] This is because the person redeemed the consecrated property at a set value. One need not add a fifth when redeeming the second animal, as has already been discussed (halacha 7:4).
Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 7:12
Regarding one who redeems property from the Temple, if he took possession of the item when it was worth 100 zuz but he didn’t pay for it until the price went up to 200 zuz, he must pay the 200. This derived from “he will pay the money and it will be his” (a paraphrase of Leviticus 27:19, 23), i.e., it becomes his when he pays the money. If the one redeeming property took possession of it when it was worth 200 zuz but he didn’t pay until it went down to 100 zuz, he must pay the 200 so that the legal rights of a regular person shouldn’t be stronger than those of the Temple (because the buyer in a secular transaction would have to pay 200 zuz in such circumstances). The one redeeming the property acquired it by taking possession of it, and that’s when he became responsible to pay its value.