תנו רבנן מלח שעל גבי האבר מועלין בו שע"ג הכבש ושבראשו של מזבח אין מועלין בו ואמר רב מתנה מאי קראה (יחזקאל מג, כד) והקרבתם לפני ה' והשליכו הכהנים עליהם מלח והעלו אותם עולה לה': The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 6:4): With regard to salt that is on the limb of an offering, one who derives benefit from it is liable for misuse of consecrated property, but in the case of salt that is on the ramp or that is on top of the altar, one who derives benefit from it is not liable for misuse of consecrated property. And Rav Mattana said: What is the verse from which it is derived that the salt found upon a sacrificial limb is subject to the halakhot of misuse of consecrated property? The verse states: “And you shall sacrifice them before the Lord, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering to the Lord” (Ezekiel 43:24). In this verse, the limbs, together with the salt, are termed a burnt offering, and therefore the salt on the limb is also subject to the halakhot of misuse of consecrated property.
תנן התם על המלח ועל העצים שיהו הכהנים נאותין בהן אמר שמואל לא שנו אלא לקרבנם אבל לאכילה לא With regard to the halakha that salt is not subject to the halakhot of misuse of consecrated property, we learned in a mishna elsewhere (Shekalim 7:7): The court instituted an ordinance about the salt and about the wood in the Temple to the effect that the priests may derive benefit from them. Shmuel says: They taught only that the priests may derive benefit from the salt for use on their offerings, but not for eating it.
קא ס"ד מאי לקרבנם למלוח קרבנם לאכול אכילת קדשים השתא למלוח עורות קדשים יהבינן לאכילת קדשים לא יהבינן The Gemara comments: It enters our mind to say: What did Shmuel mean by the expression: For use on their offerings? He meant that the priests were permitted to salt their personal offerings. And when Shmuel states that for the purpose of eating it is not permitted for the priests to derive benefit from the salt, he is referring to adding salt when eating the meat of sacrificial animals, e.g., the portions of the sin offering and guilt offering that are given to the priests. The Gemara challenges this explanation: Now, if we give the priests salt in order to salt the hides of sacrificial animals that are given to the priests to keep, so that they can process them, is it reasonable to rule that we do not give them salt in order to add it when they eat the meat of sacrificial animals?
דתניא נמצאת אתה אומר בשלשה מקומות המלח נתונה בלשכת המלח ועל גבי הכבש ובראשו של מזבח בלשכת המלח ששם מולחין עורות קדשים על גבי הכבש ששם מולחים את האברים בראשו של מזבח ששם מולחין הקומץ והלבונה והקטורת ומנחת כהנים ומנחת כהן משיח ומנחת נסכים ועולת העוף The Gemara explains its challenge: As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 6:2): You are found to be saying that the salt is placed in three locations in the Temple: In the Chamber of the Salt, and on the ramp, and on top of the altar. It is placed in the Chamber of the Salt, since the priests salted there the hides of sacrificial animals that are given to them. It is placed on the ramp, since the priests salted there the sacrificial limbs. It is placed on top of the altar, since the priests salted there the handful of the meal offering, the frankincense, the incense, the meal offering of priests, the meal offering of the anointed priest, the meal offering that accompanies the libations, and the bird burnt offering. Evidently, it was permitted for the priests to add salt to their portions of sacrificial meat.
אלא מאי לקרבנם לאכילת קרבנם ומאי לאכילה אכילה דחולין The Gemara suggests a different explanation of Shmuel’s statement: Rather, what did Shmuel mean by the expression: For use on their offerings? He meant that it is permitted for the priests to add salt when they eat the meat of their offerings, e.g., the portions of the guilt offerings and sin offerings that are given to the priests, as well as when they eat the remainder of the meal offering. And what is meant when Shmuel states that for the purpose of eating it is not permitted for the priests to derive benefit from the salt? He is referring to using the salt for the purpose of eating non-sacred food.
חולין פשיטא מאי בעו התם אע"ג דאמר מר יאכלו שיאכלו עמה חולין ותרומה כדי שתהא נאכלת על השובע אפילו הכי מלח דקדשים לא יהבינן להו The Gemara objects: Isn’t it obvious that the salt is not to be eaten with non-sacred food? What would non-sacred food be doing there in the Temple courtyard? The Gemara answers: Even though the Master says in the baraita that the verse stated with regard to the meal offering: “And that which is left of it Aaron and his sons shall eat” (Leviticus 6:9), teaching that the priests shall eat non-sacred food and teruma along with the remainder of the meal offering so that the remainder of the meal offering will be eaten in a manner that the priest will be satiated when he finishes eating it, demonstrating that non-sacred food may be brought to the Temple courtyard, even so we do not give them consecrated salt.
אמר ליה רבינא לרב אשי ה"נ מסתברא דאי סלקא דעתך מאי לקרבנם למלוח טעמא דאתני בית דין הא לא אתני בית דין לא השתא לישראל יהבינן לכהנים לא יהבינן Ravina said to Rav Ashi: So too, it is reasonable to explain that Shmuel’s explanation of the mishna in Shekalim is that the ordinance of the court permitted the priests to eat the salt with sacrificial foods. As, if it enters your mind to say: What did Shmuel mean by the expression: For use on their offerings? He meant that the priests were permitted to salt their personal offerings; then one must extrapolate from the mishna that the reason this is permitted is that the court stipulated that it should be, but had the court not stipulated this, it would not be permitted. That cannot be, as now that we give salt to Israelites to salt their offerings, will we not give salt to priests for the same purpose?
דתניא יכול האומר הרי עלי מנחה יביא מלח מתוך ביתו כדרך שמביא לבונה מתוך ביתו ודין הוא נאמר הביא מנחה והביא מלח ונאמר הביא מנחה והביא לבונה מה לבונה מתוך ביתו אף מלח מתוך ביתו As it is taught in a baraita that we provide salt for the offerings of Israelites: One might have thought that one who says: It is incumbent upon me to bring a meal offering, must bring salt from his home, i.e., his own salt, to salt the handful that is burned on the altar, just as he brings frankincense from his home for his meal offering. And this would seem to be a logical inference: It is stated in the Torah that one shall bring a meal offering, and it is stated that one shall bring salt, as it is written: “And every meal offering of yours you shall season with salt” (Leviticus 2:13); and it is stated that one shall bring a meal offering, and it is stated that one shall bring frankincense. Therefore, just as one brings frankincense from his home, as it is written: “And put frankincense on it. And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests” (Leviticus 2:1–2), so too, one must bring salt from his home.
או כלך לדרך זו נאמר הביא מנחה והביא מלח ונאמר הביא מנחה והביא עצים מה עצים משל ציבור אף מלח משל ציבור Or perhaps, go this way: It is stated in the Torah that one shall bring a meal offering and that one shall bring salt, and it is stated that one shall bring a meal offering and that one shall bring wood, as the meal offering cannot be burned on the altar without the wood. Therefore, just as the wood comes from communal supplies, so too, the salt shall come from communal supplies.
נראה למי דומה דנין דבר הנוהג בכל הזבחים מדבר הנוהג בכל הזבחים ואל תוכיח לבונה שאינה נוהגת בכל הזבחים The baraita continues: Let us see to which salt is more similar, i.e., which comparison seems more reasonable: We derive the halakha of salt, which is a matter that applies to all offerings, from the halakha of wood, which is also a matter that applies to all offerings. And do not let the halakha of frankincense prove otherwise, as it does not apply to all offerings, only to the meal offerings.
או כלך לדרך זו דנין דבר הבא עמה בכלי אחד מדבר הבא עמה בכלי אחד ואל יוכיחו עצים שאינן באין עמה בכלי אחד Or perhaps, go this way: We derive the halakha of salt, which is a matter that accompanies the meal offering in one vessel, from the halakha of frankincense, which is also a matter that accompanies the meal offering in one vessel. And do not let the halakha of wood prove otherwise, as it does not accompany the meal offering in one vessel.
ת"ל (במדבר יח, יט) ברית מלח עולם הוא ולהלן הוא אומר (ויקרא כד, ח) מאת בני ישראל ברית עולם מה להלן משל ציבור אף כאן משל ציבור The baraita continues: The verse states: “It is an everlasting covenant of salt” (Numbers 18:19), and there, with regard to the shewbread, it states: “It is from the children of Israel, an everlasting covenant” (Leviticus 24:8); Therefore, just as the phrase written there: “From the children of Israel, an everlasting covenant,” means that it is brought from communal supplies, as the shewbread is a communal offering, so too here, the verse that speaks of the everlasting covenant of salt means that the salt is brought from communal supplies. Evidently, salt is provided for offerings of Israelites, and should likewise be provided for the offerings of priests. Accordingly, there would have been no need for the court to permit the priests to salt their offerings, and it must be that the ordinance of the court permitted the priests to use salt when eating sacrificial foods.
אמר ליה רב מרדכי לרב אשי הכי קאמר רב שישא בריה דרב אידי לא נצרכא אלא לבן בוכרי Rav Mordekhai said to Rav Ashi: This is what Rav Sheisha, son of Rav Idi, says: The initial understanding of Shmuel’s interpretation of the mishna is correct, i.e., that the ordinance of the court permitted the priests to salt their offerings; and the ruling of the mishna is necessary only according to the opinion of ben Bukhri, who holds that priests are not obligated to contribute a yearly half-shekel to purchase the communal supplies.
דתנן אמר רבי יהודה העיד בן בוכרי ביבנה כל כהן ששוקל אינו חוטא אמר לו רבן יוחנן בן זכאי לא כי אלא כל כהן שאינו שוקל חוטא אלא שהכהנים דורשין מקרא זה לעצמן As we learned in a mishna (Shekalim 1:4): Rabbi Yehuda said that ben Bukhri testified in Yavne: Any priest who contributes his shekel is not considered a sinner, despite the fact that he is not obligated to do so. Rabbi Yehuda added that Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to ben Bukhri: That is not the case; rather, any priest who does not contribute his shekel is considered a sinner, as they are obligated in this mitzva like all other Jews. But the priests who do not contribute the shekel interpret this following verse to their own advantage in order to excuse themselves from the mitzva.
(ויקרא ו, טז) וכל מנחת כהן כליל תהיה לא תאכל הואיל ועומר ושתי הלחם ולחם הפנים שלנו היא היאך נאכלין The verse states: “And every meal offering of the priest shall be wholly made to smoke; it shall not be eaten” (Leviticus 6:16). Those priests claim as follows: Since the omer offering and the two loaves, i.e., the public offering of two loaves from the new wheat, brought on the festival of Shavuot, and the shewbread placed on the Table in the Sanctuary each Shabbat, which are all meal offerings, are ours, then if we contribute shekels we will have partial ownership of these communal offerings, as they are purchased with the shekels. How, then, can they be eaten? They would then be regarded as priests’ meal offerings, which must be wholly burned.
ולבן בוכרי כיון דלכתחילה לא מיחייב לאיתויי כי מייתי נמי חוטא הוא דקא מעייל חולין לעזרה דמייתי ומסר להון לציבור The Gemara clarifies: But according to the opinion of ben Bukhri, why is a priest who contributes a half-shekel not considered a sinner? Since he is not obligated to bring it ab initio, when he brings the half-shekel he is also a sinner, since he is causing the bringing of a non-sacred item into the Temple courtyard. He is not contributing the half-shekel as part of the communal offering, as he is exempt from this obligation. Therefore, his donation is the donation of an individual, and a communal offering cannot be brought on behalf of an individual. His donation should disqualify all offerings brought from the communal funds. The Gemara answers: The priest brings and transfers the half-shekel to the community, so it is considered part of the communal funds.
סלקא דעתך אמינא The Gemara states the relevance of the opinion of ben Bukhri to the statement of Shmuel: According to the opinion of ben Bukhri it might enter your mind to say that