367. Not So Fast!: The prohibition against putting frankincense on a sotah’s offering
…and he shall not put frankincense on it… (Numbers 5:15)
Just as the sotah’s offering didn’t have oil on it, as a flour offering normally would, it also did not have frankincense placed on it. The reason is similar: the scent of frankincense elevates the offering and an offering brought because of marital strife does not deserve to be so distinguished.
This mitzvah only applies in Temple time. It is discussed in the Talmud in tractate Menachos on pages 59a-60b and is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the third chapter of Hilchos Sotah. This mitzvah is #105 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos.