Foreleg, cheeks and maw
|Halakhic texts relating to this article|
|Babylonian Talmud:||Bekhorot 27a|
|Part of a series of articles on|
|Priesthood in Judaism|
|Kohen · Recognition of priestly descent
The gift of the foreleg, cheeks and maw (Hebrew: זְּרועַ לְּחָיַיִם וְקֵּיבָה) of a kosher-slaughtered animal to a kohen is a positive commandment in the Hebrew Bible. In Mishnah interpretation a continuing application of the commandment is identified both in the Land of Israel and among Jewish diaspora (Hullin, 10). Rabbi Yosef Karo in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 61:1, rules that after the slaughter of animal by a shochet (kosher slaughterer), he is obligated to separate the cuts of the foreleg, cheek and maw give them to a kohen freely, without the kohen paying or performing any service.
- 1 Hebrew Bible
- 2 Rabbinic interpretation
- 3 Time and place
- 4 In Yemenite Jewry
- 5 Mitzvah detail and exemptions
- 6 Kosher status
- 7 Segulot
- 8 Divine consequence
- 9 The "Marking" requirement
- 10 The Mitzvah in modern practice
- 11 Modern dollar value of the gifts
- 12 Table of Halachic opinions
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The source of the gift to the priest (Hebrew: kohen) is found in Deuteronomy:
And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
In rabbinical interpretation this is a positive commandment requiring the shochet (ritual slaughterer) to give the aforementioned parts of a kosher-slaughtered animal to a kohen. excluding sacrificial animals such as Korban Olah or the Pascal lamb. This giving is required to be free of both monetary and servicial compensation (B.Bechoroth 27a).
Contrary to common misconception these gifts are entirely mundane ("chullin") and are not associated with all or part of the sacrificial offerings brought on the central altar in the Jerusalem temple (Mishna Chullin Ch. 10:1).
The early Rabbinical authorities felt the need to specify the specific animal parts to be given due to confusion in understanding which animal parts the Torah verse refers to (for example which foreleg), and who is required to give them. The earliest extant Midrash on the above quoted text is found in the Sifri to Deuteronomy 18:3 which relays the following detail:
- Foreleg: The right foreleg in its entirety (with the skin attached)
- Cheeks: The lower jaw with attached cheek flesh, tongue included
- Abomasum: The abomasum in its entirety
Time and place
The Mishnah states that the application of this Mitzvah is not dependent on whether the Temple in Jerusalem stands. Likewise, it is non dependent on whether the animal is slaughtered in or outside the Land of Israel, as the gift are to be given nonetheless (Mishnah Hullin 10:1).
Talmudic and Gaonic view
The Talmudic view coincides with that of the Mishnah requiring the giving even outside the Land of Israel. The basis of this view is due to the Mitzvah not being an obligation of the land but an obligation of the body. The Talmud delves further than the Mishnah in terms of citing instances of penalties being levied against both individual transgressors and entire communities for failure to give these gifts (Talmud Hullin p. 132b).
View of the Rishonim
Among the opinions expressed by the Rishonim (see below for a partial table of their respective opinions) most fall back to either the opinion of Maimonides, Nachmanides and Meir of Rothenburg or Rashi's responsum.
Maimonides, Nachmanides and Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg
Maimonides, both in his commentary to the Mishna (Chullin Ch. 9 and 10) and in his Mishna Torah compilation was of the opinion that the giving of the gifts was completely mandatory outside Israel. Nachmanides opined that any leniency applied to giving of the gifts outside the land would lead to forgetting entirely about the practice. He therefore stated that regardless of whether the obligation is direct from the Torah (min haTorah) or Rabbinical (midirabanan) the gifts are to be given outside the land.
Dealing with the issue of gift giving outside the land of Israel Meir of Rothenburg was by far the most lengthy and detailed of all opining rabbis. By analyzing the issue at supreme depth, and implicitly differing from Rashi's opinion (see next paragraph), Meir reasoned that reliance on Rabbi Elai in the Mishnah for leniency or/and invoking a hekesh between reishith haGez and the gifts is invalid. (See next paragraph, and table below for paraphrase and source information).
Shlomo Yitzhaki, "Rashi"'s responsum
Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, "Ra-Sh-I", in a responsum to Rabbi Yehuda the son of Rabbi Machir - in an attempt to explain the practice of the common folk withholding of the gift - cites reliance on a lone talmudic interpretation of the opinion of the Tanna Rabbi Elai;
Rabbi Elai invokes a comparison (hekesh) between the Mitzvah of Reishis HaGeiz (giving the first cut of wool from sheep shearing) and Terumah. Rashi then goes a step further by grouping the giving the Foreleg Cheeks and Abomasum with the Mitzvha of Reishis HaGeiz. Being that Terumah is nonapplicable outside of Israel (according to the opinion of Rabbi Elai) likewish is the giving of Reishes HaGeiz and the giving of the foreleg cheeks and abomasum.;
... Who would object (to giving the gifts)? those that give (the gifts, will) come on them (a) blessing of good. But they've (the masses of the diaspora) accustomed themselves (i.e. נהגו) to Rabbi Elai who said regarding the gifts ... that they are not done only in the land (Israel). As we've learnt the gifts are not done only in the land. As we compare "give" and "give" from Terumah. And(/but) the giver -reaps complete benefit as; (following italics are quoted from Talmud, Taanit, p. 26) anywhere where we say (the term) "they've accustomed themselves (i.e. נהגו)" it is not needed to state that we do not mention (being lenient) at conventions instruct such (action) publicly, but even instruction (to be lenient) we abstain from as it is taught (in talmud)..he who quotes Halacha -we promote at conventions. He who sais a minhag -we do not promote (at conventions) -but we instruct (such action). And he who sais "they've accustomed themselves (i.e. נהגו)" -we do not instruct (such action), and if already acted on we don't instruct to backtrack..— Rashi Responsum, "Sefer Hapardes LeRashi" p. 98a
Rashi goes on to state that in many communities where Jews dwell there is a complete lack of Kohanim -thereby making the giving of the gifts technically impossible. Rashi concludes with praise of those who are scrupulous in making the effort and give the Gifts nonetheless.
Rashi's Talmudic expression
It has recently been established that the opinion cited in the Rashi commentary to Talmud Bavli (tractate Shabbos p. 10b) has been a later addition entered by persons other than Rashi himself. It has been suggested that Rashi's pupils keyed in the text based on the above noted responsum. Some scholars denounce the insertion as leaving out Rashi's advocacy for giving the gifts as recorded in his responsum.
The halachic opinion of Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna
The Gra's shorthand style commentary to Shulchan Aruch made it difficult -even for the advanced scholar- to decipher the authors opinion in terms of whether or not they are to be given outside of Israel. In 2006, Rabbi Shloma Leventhal of Jerusalem published his notes to the Gra's commentary, shedding much needed light on the Gra's Halachic stand.
Upon examining Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna's cryptic text Rabbi Leventhal concluded with clarity that Rabbi Eliyahu sided with the opinion of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg and differentiating between the gifts and Reshit HaGez. Hence making it not only a proper Jewish custom to give the gifts -but halachically mandatory. It is also recorded by the Gra's pupils that he actively engaged in giving the gifts.
In Yemenite Jewry
Based on the responsa of the leading Yemenite Rabbi, Rabbi Yachya Tzalach it is apparent that the common practice of giving the gifts was adhered to by common Yemenite Jewry, up and well into the nineteenth century.
Know that the ancient custom was embedded here to separate the Gifts as per the opinion of the Rambam Master of our region, and not good was done by he who minimized this Mitzvah from the congregation of Hashem, since this custom has been with us from eternity.— Yachya Tzelach
Mitzvah detail and exemptions
Slaughtering for personal consumption
As per the commandment, a slaughtering by an individual or a group both require the giving of the gifts.
Based on Talmudic sources, the giving of the gifts by any functioning kosher meat slaughter operation is required in all instances; including partnership (Jew and non Jew owned) or if owned by a Kohen.
Rabbinic exemptions and loopholes
In the diaspora, due to the value of the actual gifts, leniency was sought in order to alleviate the high consumer end-cost of Kosher beef.
- The first recorded -and today still most popular- leniency produced involves a non-Jewish ownership or partnership of the animal at the time of slaughter as well as the Shochet commuting to the property of the non Jew. Thus, at the slaughter time the animal is exempt. Next, the Jew decides on those portions he would like to purchase. this retroactive acquisition is termed Breira in Rabbinic terms. In this specific loophole the claim stated is ain Breira i.e. the acquisition is not applied retroactively hence rendering the animal non-Jew owned at slaughter time.
- Claimants for leniency tout The Tur's concluding statement: "Rashi ruled that actual giving is not done in today's age and so wrote the Maharam of Rothenburg and this is what is acted on ".
- Claimants also point out the closing statement of the Shulchan Aruch which concludes that in action giving is not done outside the land.
- The lineage of a Kohen being called into question since the issue is monetary the rule of "on he who seeks to withdraw lies the burden of proof"
With leniency being common practice from time to time the basis of inaction of the Mitzvah are called into question with the following counterclaims:
- The Mishna -when discussing partnering with a non Jew- uses the single person form ("המשתתף" as opposed to "המשתתפים") thereby alluding that the practice is not all that common. Also alluding that mass partnering with a non Jew with the intent of skirting the mitzvah is entirely not up for Mishnaic debate in terms of the clarity of liability. The Prisha (Commentarian to Tur Shulchan Aruch) argues that partnering with a non-Jew with the intent to excuse the obligation of giving the gifts is "ערמה" ("trickery") which causes the Kohen to lose out on his rightful due.
- Counter claimants further argue that the "Ain Breirah" explanation is inapplicable since in this instance one of two scenarios will play out for certain; either the animal will be deemed as glatt kosher or not. Being that most animals (70-90%) are indeed found to be Glatt Kosher the acquisition of the animal is likely (more than 50%). Thus, to state "Breirah" is more fitting for this scenario. Henceforth, the animal becomes retroactively Jew-owned at the time of slaughter.
- In the instance where the cattle is Jew-owned and a Non-Jew commits to purchase those animals found not to be Glatt Kosher, an exemption would be invalid, a detail easily and often overlooked with a permanent mindset of gift exemption in place.
- Partnering with a Non-Jew may require instances where the partner -in case the animal will not be found as Kosher, demands the slaughterer make certain statements just prior to the Shechita so the animal could be sold to adherents of other religions. causing the question of a "hefsek" in between the blessing the slaughterer is to make and the Shechita being performed, thereby making both Non-Jew partnering and ownership undesirable.
- Proponents of giving the gifts point out that the Tur quoted only Rashi's Talmudic opinion  while leaving Rashi's response out. Wherein Rashi directs Rabbinical figures not to instruct or reveal leniency to query posers, on the contrary Rashi heaped praise on practicing givers, while pointing out that lack of locating Kohanim to whom to give and the non-sanctic nature of the gifts are amongst the causes for inaction in the Diaspora.
- As for Rabbi Meir of Rothenburgs stance proponents ascertain that the Tur was mistaken as to the Maharam's opinion. As the writing of three of the Rabbi Meir's prized pupils (i.e. the Mordechai, Rabbeinu Asher and the Tashbe"tz) document their mentor's opinion as being staunchly in favor of Diasporic gift giving. additionally, based on the Maharam's response on its own right it is clear that the author's opinion was contrary to that stated by the Tur and entirely in accordance with his pupils documentation.
- Counter-claimants further argue that one of Rabbi Yosef Karo's (author of Shulchan Aruch) cardinal rules is that -contrary to the common "bottom-line" reasoning, the ruling which is stated first is the primary opinion whereas that which follows is not the Halachic first choice. Additionally Rabbi Karo was known to have adapted the majority of the big three (the Rambam Rif and Rosh), whereas in this instance the former two are advocates of Diasporic giving while the latter is undecided.
- A specific Kohen's lineage is immaterial since the Mitzvah is on the giver (and not for the Kohen to withdraw), hence the burden of locating a "lineage verifiable" Kohen rests on the giver. Notwithstanding that modern Kohanim carry a forceful claim to Kehuna titled "Chazakah" which is deemed sufficient qualification for receipt of the Foreleg Cheeks and Abomasum.
In terms of "Kosher" (in this instance adopting the literal meaning as "in line" with the general and particular laws of the Torah) the Talmud and Rabbinic sages discuss various viewpoints as to whether the meat from an animal whose gifts have not been given may be eaten in part or if at all. The popular Rabbinic concern is that of "Gezel" (theft).
One underlying concern laid down by Rabbinic sources is a differentiation between the meat of the actual gifts and the meat from the rest of the animal;
The actual cheek meat, tongue, and foreleg ("Marrow Bones")
Concerning the eating of the actual gifts, Rabbinic authorities adopted a stringent view by stating that they may not be eaten by anyone but a Kohen unless the Kohen permits otherwise.
Although a Kohen is authorized to permit the consumption of the gifts by a non-Kohen, Rabbinical responses indicate that the gifts must first be placed in the hands of a Kohen before he is allowed to permit them to be eaten by a non-Kohen
Meat other than the actual gifts
Concerning the "Kashrut" of the remainder of the meat (if the gifts have not been given), there is a difference of opinion between leading rabbinic sources. The common halachic stance is that this meat may be consumed, but nonetheless it is proper not to partake in this meat unless the giving of the gifts has been done.
The Yechezkel saga
Proponents of not eating meat from an animal of whom's gifts were not given cite the Talmudic comparison of such meat to "Piggul" based on the following Talmudic narrative;
Yechezkel, upon being commanded by the almighty to consume bread baked by using human excrement as coal pleaded for leniency by exclaming that he was always scrupulous in watching what he ate in terms of Kashruth and purity and that never had "Piggul" (i.e. repulsive) meat entered his mouth (and therefore should not be instructed to bake his bread in such a repulsive fashion). The Talmud, in examining the contextual meaning of "Piggul" quotes the view of Rabbi Nathan who maintains that Yechezkiel's claim was that he never consumed meat from an animal of whom's gifts were not given to a Kohen. The almighty then accepted Yechezkiel's plea as legitimate and instead instructed him to fire up his oven using animal dung.
Of the various "segulot" of doing this mitzvah is noted meriting Ruach HaKodesh. Likewise, divine intervention in assisting the Jewish nation with physical strength over their enemies is listed as well
With the intent on relaying the divine consequence of neglecting the gift giving in the Diaspora, the Talmud tells the following story;
"Rabbi, Rabbi! The Zoroastrians have come to power in Babylonia!" Rabbi Yochanan gasped and fell from his chair – just the thought of his fellow Jews in the Diaspora submitting to the strange decrees of the worshippers of Ahura Mazda left him in total shock. "Be at ease, dear leader," his students comforted him, "they can be bought off with money." Rabbi Yochanan, getting back onto his chair listened as his pupils briefed him on the particular decree the Zoroastrians put forth. "They refuse to let us Kosher-slaughter our animals." The Rabbi heard them out, and – in his famously curt manner – stated the spiritual cause of this seemingly ridiculous law: "It's because of the gifts."
The "Marking" requirement
The Mishna stipulates that in the event the animal is owned by a non-Jew at Shechita time the buyer (if Jewish) is required to "mark", without detailing what type of mark or for what purpose this mark is to serve.
The Rambam in explaining the Mishna detailes that the actual gifts are to be marked to differentiate them from the other sections of meat so that they be given to the Kohen, this is in line with the Rambam's ruling in Mishna Torah that a non-Kohen is Halachically forbidden from consuming the actual gifts.
Rashi, by contrast, explains the marking requirement as an eye-catching technique visible to all viewers of the meat advertising that the slaughtered animal was non-Jew owned at Shechita time. The intention, explains Rashi, is to preempt the viewer from assuming that the non-Kohen owner of the animal is violating the requirement of giving the gifts.
The Mitzvah in modern practice
Per the investigation conducted by Rabbi Yaakov Epstien in 2005 many Jewish owned slaughterhouses enter a binding agreement with a group of pre-screened Kohanim, with whom monetary compensation is offered in place of the original gifts (albeit an agreement frowned upon by early Rabbinic authorities who insisted the actual gifts are to be given and not monetary compensation).
In the diaspora
By and large in the Diaspora today most Jews -even Ultra-Orthodox, are unaware of the Mitzvah entirely. Plausible explanation has been given by the famous Jerusalem Rabbi and Maimonides commentator Rabbi Yosef Corcous as follows;
- Rabbinically, a Kohen is to refrain from requesting the gifts since they are to be given by will. Hence without a call for claimage it is assumed that the Kohanim implicitly forgive the gifts.
- an Israelite married to a Kohen's daughter is exempt, as is a Levi, causing neighbors of the non-giver's to assume that the gifts are not required to be given entirely.
The response often cited by today's Rabbis when confronted by queries into the modern day inaction of this Mitzvah is simply that the animal is owned by a non-Jew at the time of slaughter - whereas advocates of the gifts cite this ownership status as irrelevant since the intent is for the kosher-consumer. A modern effort of reviving the gifts in a practical manner has been somewhat successful in recent years with senior members of the Orthodox Union indicating positive action will be implemented.
The pious viewpoint
From a somewhat pious prospective and disregarding the common practice of reliance on questioned Rabbinic loopholes, it has been the practice of select "Chassidim" to take the stricter approach in giving the gifts and to refrain from eating the meat of an animal from which the gifts were not given.
Modern dollar value of the gifts
The quantity of Glatt-Kosher cattle slaughtered daily in the US is approximated at 750. The figure multiplied by the dollar amount of the gifts carried by an adult cow is presented as follows:
- 0.5 pounds of cheek meat @ $14.99 lb.
- 1.5 pounds of fresh tongue @ $9.99 lb.
- 10 pounds of marrow bones (and beef– stew quality cuts) in the foreleg @ $5.99 lb.
- Abomasum -N/A
The dollar equivalent equals approximately $82.47 per Cow. multiplied by the number of days in a calendar year equals $22,576,162.50 annually as the dollar value of the Mitzvah in the United States.
Table of Halachic opinions
|Rabbinic Authority||Opinion on Diasporic gift giving|
|The Sifri||On the verse "if an Ox or if a Sheep" the Sifri exegesizes that the Gifts are required to be given outside of Israel as well|
|The Raavad||"The practice of being lenient does not go well (in my opinion)..one should not act on this unrully (lit. evil) custom of not giving the gifts. Behold, when dealing with gift giving Rabbis are authorized to levy penalties".|
|The Rambam||"If the Shochet did not give the Kohanic Gifts..he is liable for Excommunication,... it is not permissible to purchase from him these Gifts in order that we not strengthen his action of Gezel (theft),... the consumption of the actual Gifts are -in any case- considered Gezel and I do not see a possibility of being lenient on the consumption of the gifts".
The Rambam, in his Mishna Torah compilation also states that it is the practice to give the Foreleg Cheeks and Abomasum in the Diaspora.
|The Ramban||"The Rabbis equalled the gift giving with that of Challah which is customary in all places, the reason being that all have challah but not all possess fields they were therefore concerned that the masses may come to forget entirely about the mitzvah of challah. So too with gift giving; ..The Rabbis where concerned that the Mitzvah of giving the gifts will be forgotten (in exile)..therefore it is customary to give the gifts in the diaspora, ..hence it is proper to give the Gifts"|
|Rabbi Meir of Rothernburg||Every one should separate the gifts and be wary of Rabbi Chisda's curse who said "the Kohen who refuses to separate the gifts should be excommunicated from the almighty, the G-d of Israel" and even more so an Israelite (a non-Kohen who refuses to give the gifts). And all of the congregation of Israel shall do it (the gift giving)|
|The Mordechai||The Mordechai's view was that the gifts are to be given in the Diaspora, he argued against the logic of comparing ("Hekesh") the Gifts to the first-shearing of the Sheep ("Reishis Hagez").|
|Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi||It is permitted to give the Gifts (on Yom Tov)..and it is permitted to walk them over to the Kohen..even if it was available to give before Yom Tov.|
- Venice 1565, modern edition published __________
- the shochet - Yoreh Deah 61:28
- Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 61:1
- Talmud Chullin p. 132b
- "Chovas HaKarka" versus "Chovas HaGuf"; see Rashi to Chullin 115b
- Aguda to Chullin Ch. 152 ___edition/date?
- Hilchos Bikkurim and Matnos Kehuna Ch. 9
- Chidushei Haramban - Insights of Ramban, Hebrew acronym for Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachaman, Nachmanides, to Hullin 136b
- Rabbi Elai does not explicitly state this comparison -not in the Mishna nor the Tosefta- but the Talmudic reference that this is indeed the opinion of the Tanna is quoted by Rav Yossi of Naharbil in Talmud Chullin 136a
- for the full text of Rashi's responsum see "Sefer Hapardes LeRashi" p. 98a [or click here for the text (in Hebrew) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=8962&st=&pgnum=122]
- statement of Rabbi Yossi of Naharbil, Chullin 136
- lit. בפירקא -the time a convention is called to discuss the laws of an upcoming Yom Tov
- i.e. a statement of leniency was already mistakingly put out
- Based on the following reasons; Rashi records in his responsum that instruction to be lenient is not to be advertised, whereas insertion of the text found in Shabbos 10a instructs leniency to all students of the Talmud. The text, beginning from the words ואף על גב, until the words ולא משנינן מנהגא are not found in six original manuscripts of Rashi's commentary: Parma 1324/2087. Vatican no. 138, British Library or. 5975, Paris library no. 324, Beit hamedrash l'rabanim of NY rab. 718 and 84
- "Salmat Eliyahu" to Shulcan Aruch Yoreh Deah Ch. 61, Jerusalem 2006
- [see here for a firsthand account: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=33900&st=&pgnum=30]
- Zevach Todah to Yoreh Deah Ch. 61
- Zevach Todah to Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah, end of Ch. 61
- excluding a Kohen, who is not required to give the gifts to another Kohen (if for personal use) -Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Chap. 61
- Chullin 132b (quoted story concerning Rabbi Tavla), Prisha (quoted below), Rabbeinu Yerucham 20:3 see (in Hebrew): http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20269&st=&pgnum=359
- as the verse states "from the nation" thereby excluding non-Jews
- Raaviah to Chulin ch. 1126. Others opine that Breira is not the cause for leniency but only the fact that a non-Jew functions as a middleman (יד גוי באמצע)
- Tur, Yoreh Deah Chap. 61
- Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Chap. 61
- Prisha to Ch. 61 of Tur Yoreh Deah
- Ra"n to Chullin Ch. 9, see also Tosafot ("Shehamatonot") to Chullin 136: for a similar view
- see Yam Shel Shlomo (Maharsha"l), "Sikum Dinei Breirah" par. 2 and "Sefer Yehoshua" (Y.H. Babad) Ch. 481 for a more explicit analysis
- Pri Megadim to Yoreh Deah Ch. 61 based on Pri Chodosh see also Shulchan Gavoah to Yoreh Deah 61:58 who explains this scenario at depth
- see "Pe'as HaShulchan" (Rabbi Yisroel of Shklov) 3:19
- Talmud Bavli; Shabbos p. 10. of note is recent research showing that this Rashi text commonly found in today's editions of Talmud is in fact non-existent in six original Rashi manuscripts: parma 1324/2087. Vatican no. 138, British library or. 5975, Paris library no. 324, beit hamedrash lerabanim of NY rab. 718 and 841
- "Even HaShoham" (E. Getz) responsum 29 for this analysis of Rashi's quoted opinion
- To Chullin Ch. 736
- Rabbeinu Asher to p. 136 of Chullin
- "Tashbetz Kattan" Ch. 387
- see chart below for paraphrasing and source of Mahara"m's responsu
- see Bais Yitzchok (Munkatch) to Yoreh Deah Chap. 61 "Tikkun HaBayis" 1, Responsum of Mahari"t Vol. 1 Responsum 85
- Kneset HaGedolah to Yoreh Deah chap 61 (in relation to the gift giving in Israel), "Even HaShoham" Responsum 29 (due to the non-sanctic nature of the gifts)
- see Onkelos to Beraishis 20:9
- Gr"a to Rambam Hilchos Bikkurim Chap. 9 quoted in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 6:31. Another concern is that of the meat being deemed "Tevel" -Bavli tractate Megilla P. 28a (Rabbi Yochanan's opinion as quoted by Rabbi Yitzchok)
- Rambam commentary to Mishna Chullin Ch. 10
- Rambam Hilchos Bikkurim chap. 9, Sefer Mitzvot Gadol aseh 142, Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 61:31
- Responsa of Rabbi Yosef Corcous to Rambam Hilchos Bikkurim chap. 9:14. "Machne Ephrayim" Hilchos Zchiya Umatana Chap. 9. "Emek Halacha" Yoreh Deah chap. 18
- as per the ruling of the Talmud in Megilla 28b. "Haamek Sheala" Ch. 151:1
- "Pleisi" to Yoreh Deah 61:1
- Chullin 37b
- Kaf hachaim to yoreh deah 61:54
- panim yafoth to devarim chap. 18
- story wording based on the interpretation of Rashi, the Maharsha and Aruch to the word "חבר"
- Mishna Chullin Chap. 9
- Responsa of Rabbi Yosef Gorcous to Rambam hilchos Bikkurim Ch. 9
- for the complete article (in Hebrew) see: http://www.toraland.org.il/machon-hatora/web/newspaper/katava6.asp?id=24508
- According to the standard view, however, a Levi owning a meat operation is liable to give; See Raavi"a to chullin responsum #1125
- In understanding the logic behind this exegesis see Malbim to Sifri on Devarim 18:3. The "Chasdei Dovid" (Rabbi Dovid Pardu) to the above Sifri explains that the exegesis could likewise be understood from the words "If an Ox", with that said it is interesting to note that the numerical value of "אם שור" (with its five letters) is the same as "אפילו חוץ לארץ"
- The responsum is quoted in "Kaftor V'Ferach" and the responsa of Rabbi Yosef Corcous to Rambam Hilcos Bikkurim Chap. 9
- Rambam to Mishna Chullin 10:4
- Hilchos Bikkurim U'Matnos Kehuna 9:1
- Chiddushei HaRamban to Chullin p. 136b
- Responsa of the Maharam, Responsum 7 (p. 11 of Vol. 2, Mossad Horav Kook). Interesting to point out that this responsum was printed for the first time only in 1960 from a rare manuscpript penned by Rabbi Avrohom (Brother of Rabbi Meir) belonging to the Bais Hamedrash Ho'Ashkenazim of London, Manuscript #1886 page 5 number 14
- Chullin Ch. 736
- Shulchan Aruch HaRav 506:15
- Contemporary activity to revive the giving of kohanic gifts - kehuna.org
- Maimonides Sefer HaMitzvot (Hebrew Fulltext)
- Ceremonial video of Rabbi Ratzabi (of Bnei Brak) giving the Gifts וידיאו נתינת המתנות בשמחה