366. Nothing to Be Happy About: The prohibition against putting oil on a sotah’s offering

…he shall not pour oil on it… (Numbers 5:15)

A korban mincha (flour offering) normally had oil on it, but the one brought by a woman as part of the sotah process did not. This is because the addition of oil makes it more distinctive and a sacrifice brought about by jealousy between husband and wife, while necessary, should not be made prestigious.

This mitzvah only applies in Temple time. It is discussed in the Talmud in tractate Menachos on pages 59a-60b; it is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the third chapter of Hilchos Sotah. This mitzvah is #104 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos.