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ḲINNIM ("Birds' Nests").

Name of a treatise of the Mishnah in the series Ḳodashim. The Pentateuchal law ordains the sacrifice of two turtle-doves or of two young pigeons for a person that has been cured of an issue (Lev. xv. 14-15, 28-29). A similar sacrifice is prescribed for poor lepers when they have become clean again (Lev. xiv. 22, 30), for poor women after childbirth (Lev. xii. 8), and for such of the poor as have trespassed in regard to Lev. v. 1 et seq. Of the two turtle-doves or pigeons of which this sacrifice consists, the one is for a sin-offering, the other for a burnt offering. The Law furthermore provides (Lev. i. 14) that one who has vowed an offering of fowls may bring turtle-doves or young pigeons. This is the so-called "free-will offering." The treatise Ḳinnim discusses these regulations in detail. In this connection are instanced a number of cases, some of them being hypothetical and carefully elaborated, of confusing pigeons brought by different persons for different sacrifices.

In the Mishnah of the Babylonian Talmud this treatise is the ninth in the series Ḳodashim, but in most editions of the Mishnah it is the eleventh and last. It is divided into three chapters, containing fifteen paragraphs in all.

  • Ch. i.: The blood of a sin-offering of fowls is sprinkled below the line which divides the altar, that of a burnt offering of fowls, above; the freewill dove-offerings can be brought only as burnt offerings; difference between the vowed offering ("neder") which, if it dies or is stolen, must be replaced, and the free-will offering ("nedabah"), which can not be replaced (§ 1). Concerning the confusing of a sin-offering with a burnt offering, and vice versa, and concerning the confusing of different pairs of sacrificial birds (§§ 2-4).
  • Ch. ii.: Cases in which one of a pair of fowls for sacrifice flies away before it has been decided which was to be the sin-offering and which the burnt offering (§§ 1-3); cases in which one escapes after the decision has been made (§ 4). An offering may consist either of turtle-doves or of young pigeons, but not of one turtle-dove and one young pigeon. Cases in which heirs must supply the offering (§ 5).
  • Ch. iii.: Further details concerning the confusion of different sacrifices; a more precise treatment of matter discussed in ch. i. (§§ 1-5). R. Joshua explains the proverb, "The ram has one voice during its life, and seven after its death," by pointing out that his horns, skin, thigh-bones, and intestines are used in the making of musical instruments (§ 5). The chapter, and the treatise, ends with a saying ofR. Simeon ben 'Aḳashya, that "the folly of the ignorant increases with age, while the intellect of scholars becomes clearer and firmer." This haggadic conclusion is a confirmation of the view that the treatise Ḳinnim terminated the series Ḳodashim.
Bibliography:
  • Z. Frankel, Hodegetica in Mischnam, p. 262, Leipsic, 1859.
J. J. Z. L.
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