289. Deeper Still: The prohibition against slaughtering a blemished animal as a sacrifice

… these you shall not offer… (Leviticus 22:22)

As we discussed in the previous mitzvah, the Talmud in Temurah (6b) analyzed Leviticus 22:22 and derived three distinct prohibitions regarding blemished animals. From the words “these you shall not offer” it derives a prohibition against slaughtering a blemished animal for use as a sacrifice. (We already know that one may not consecrate such a thing but here we are informed that the act of slaughtering it constitutes a separate violation.)

The reason for this mitzvah is as we have said: it reflects the esteem in which we are meant to hold our interactions with God.

This prohibition only applies when the Temple service is in effect. It is discussed in the Talmud in tractate Temurah on pages 6b-7a and is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the first chapter of Hilchos Issurei Mizbe’ach. This mitzvah is #92 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos.