Animal tithe

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Animal tithe
Halakhic texts relating to this article
Torah: Leviticus 27:32-33
Mishnah: Bekhorot, Chapter 9
Babylonian Talmud: Bekhorot, Chapter 9
Mishneh Torah: Sefer Korbanot, Bechorot, Perek 6

The Animal tithe (Hebrew: מַעְשַׂר בְּהֵמָה‎, "Ma'sar Behemah")[1] is a commandment in the Torah requiring the sanctifying a tithe of kosher grazing animals (cattle, sheep, and goats) to God, to be sacrificed as a Korban at the Temple in Jerusalem.

The tithe of animals was not redeemable; and if one animal was exchanged for another both became sanctified. The method of levying the tithe of animals is indicated: they were counted singly; and every tenth one that passed under the rod became the tithe animal (Leviticus 27:32-33).[2]

The Rabbis inferred from Deuteronomy 14:22 that each tithe was to be taken of every year's produce separately, whether of crops, of cattle, or of anything else subject to tithing (Sifre, Deut. 105; Terumot i. 5;[3] Rosh Hashanah 8a,[4] 12b[5]). Also they fixed a particular day to mark the beginning of the year for tithing. The new year's day for the tithing of animals (Rosh Hashanah L'Ma'sar Behemah) is the first of Elul according to Rabbi Meir, or the first of Tishrei according to Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Simeon (Rosh Hashanah i. 1).[2]

The Sages ordained that animals should not be tithed in the present era when the Temple is not standing.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJ. M. Sel.; W. B. M. Sel. (1901–1906). "TITHE". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ משנה תרומות א ה (in Hebrew)
  4. ^ ראש השנה ח א (in Hebrew/Aramaic)
  5. ^ ראש השנה יב ב (in Hebrew/Aramaic)
  6. ^ Maimonides. "Mishneh Torah, Sefer Korbanot: Bechorot, Perek 6, Halacha 2". Retrieved July 14, 2013.