כל המנחה אשר תקריבו לה' לא תעשה חמץ אסר להביא המנחה חמץ ואחר כך אמר לא תקטירו ממנו לאסור שלא יחמיץ הקומץ ויקטירנו ויכנס בכלל "לא תקטירו ממנו אשה" כל הקטרה לשון קטרת הסמים שהפטמין אומרים יפה היה הדבש לקטרת אלא שאסרתו התורה (תורת כהנים פרשה יב ד) ואמר "ממנו" לאסור מקצתו כלומר חצי קומץ וכן על עירובו לוקה מריבוי הכתוב שאמר כי כל שאור וכל דבש כמו שמפורש במנחות (נח) ובפסחים (מג) וטעם הכתוב שיזכיר מנחה היא (פסוק ו טו) ויכתוב הוא וכן בכל מקום מפרשת הנה אנכי שולח מלאך (שמות כג כ) וכן האשה ההוא (במדבר ה לא דברים יז ה) בעבור שהנקבה בכלל הזכר בכח וטעם השאור והדבש יתכן שהוא כדברי הרב במורה הנבוכים (ג מו) אמר שמצא בספריהם שהמנהג היה לעובדי ע"ז להקריב כל מנחתם חמץ ולערב הדבש בכל קרבניהם ולכן אסרם לגבוה וכזה אמרו רבותינו (ספרי שופטים קמו) במצבה שהיתה נבחרת בימי האבות ואחר כך שנאה השם מפני שעשאוה חוק לע"ז כמו שאמר אשר שנא ה' אלהיך (דברים טז כב) ובטעם המלח אמר גם כן בעבור שהם ימאסו אותו ולא יקריבוהו כלל ויתכן מפני שאינו דרך כבוד להיות לחם השם תפל מבלי מלח כטעם הקריבהו נא לפחתך (מלאכי א ח) ולפיכך מעטו העצים והדם שאין טעונים מלח (מנחות כ) או שיש בכל אלה סוד נעלם ממנו ואמר הכתוב בשאור ודבש לשון רבים כי עם אהרן ובניו ידבר וחזר ואמר וכל קרבן מנחתך במלח תמלח כי יחזור אל מביא המנחה שאמר בו בתחלת הפרשה (ויקרא ב׳:ז׳) "ואם מנחת מרחשת קרבנך" והטעם כי המליחה כשרה בזר כמו יציקה ובלילה וטעם על כל קרבנך על כל קרבנותיך שכל הקרבנות טעונין מלח כמו המנחה: NO MEAL-OFFERING, WHICH YE SHALL BRING UNTO THE ETERNAL, SHALL BE MADE WITH LEAVEN. Here He prohibited the bringing of a meal-offering in leaven form. After that He said, Ye shall not ‘thaktiru’ (cause to ascend in fumes) either any leaven or honey, in order to prohibit the leavening of the handful and burning it upon the altar, this being included in the expression ye shall not cause to ascend in fumes … All terms of haktarah are expressions of burning aromatics, for druggists say199Torath Kohanim, Vayikra 12:4. that honey would have been appropriate for the incense,200This explains why the Torah uses here the term thaktiru. For since honey is mentioned in the verse, and honey would have improved the scent of the incense, Scripture uses a term which is applicable to the burning of aromatics. but the Torah prohibited it.201In the words of the Talmud Yerushalmi (Yoma IV, 5): “Bar Kappara taught: Druggists in Jerusalem used to say: had the smallest amount of honey been put into the incense no one could have stood its scent.” Scripture states any of it in order to prohibit [leaven or honey] even as a part of it, that is to say, even in one half of the handful. Similarly, one is liable to the punishment of stripes for mixing [leaven or honey with the handful in such a way that it is not recognized], because Scripture included it in saying, for ye shall not cause to ascend in fumes ‘any’ leaven or ‘any’ honey, as is explained in Tractate Menachoth202Menachoth 58a. and in Tractate Pesachim.203Pesachim 43b.
The reason why Scripture mentions here minchah hi204Verse 6. — Actually the word is written hu [hei-vav-alef, which is the masculine third person pronoun], but it is read hi [hei-yod-alef, which is the equivalent feminine pronoun]. Ramban intends to explain why it is written in the masculine when the word minchah is in the feminine, and hence Scripture should have written minchah hi. [in the feminine] while it is written hu [in the masculine], and similarly in all places,205Further, Verse 15, etc. [will be understood]206So expressly stated in Abusaula’s commentary on the mystic passages in Ramban. — See Vol. I, Preface p. xii, Note 21. from the section, Behold, I send a messenger before thee.207Exodus 23:20. — Reference is to Verse 21 there, for My Name is in him (Abusaula). The implication is that here too one gender is included in the other, namely, the feminine hi in the masculine hu, as explained in the text. So also ‘ha’ishah hahi’ (that woman)208Deuteronomy 17:5. [is written hahu in the masculine, while it is read hahi in the feminine], because the feminine is potentially included in the masculine.
It is possible that the reason why we are forbidden to bring leaven and honey [upon the altar] is as the Rabbi [Moshe ben Maimon] states in the Moreh Nebuchim,209Guide of the Perplexed, III, 46. where he says that he found it written in their books that the custom among the idolaters was to offer all their meal-offerings only in leavened form, and to season all their sacrifices with honey; therefore He forbade bringing them on His altar. Our Rabbis have similarly said with reference to monuments [of one stone raised in order to sacrifice on it], that this was a favored mode of worship in the days of the patriarchs,210See Genesis 28:18. and afterwards G-d hated it211Deuteronomy 16:22. because [the Canaanites] had made it an ordinance of an idolatrous character, as He said, which the Eternal thy G-d hatheth.211Deuteronomy 16:22.
Concerning the reason why we were commanded to offer salt with every offering,212Verse 13. [Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon] also said209Guide of the Perplexed, III, 46. that it is because the idolaters rejected it and did not offer it at all to their idols; [therefore He commanded us to have salt in every offering]. It is possible that [we are commanded to offer salt because] it is not respectful that the food which is offered up to G-d should have no flavoring, being without salt,213Job 6:6: Can that which hath no savor be eaten without salt? similar to that which is written, Present it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee?214Malachi 1:8. — “The Torah thus teaches us a rule of conduct — that Royal Majesty of heaven is similar to that on earth” (Bachya, in my edition Vol. II, p. 406). That is why the Sages excluded wood and blood215Menachoth 21a. from the requirement of being offered with salt [since they are not edible]. Or it may be that there is in all these matters some secret hidden from us.
In the case of leaven and honey Scripture speaks in the plural [for ‘ye’ shall not cause to ascend in fumes, either any leaven or honey] because it speaks to Aaron and his sons. After that it says, And every meal-offering of ‘thine’ shalt ‘thou’ season with salt,212Verse 13. because it refers to him who brings the meal-offering, concerning whom it said at the beginning of the section, And if thy offering be a meal-offering of the stewing-pan;216Verse 7. and the reason [why it refers to salting by the person who brings the offering, is because] it is valid if done by a non-priest,217In view of the fact that the salting was done on top of the altar, which no non-priest was allowed to approach, Ramban must mean that if it happened that the non-priest salted it before the offering was taken up to the altar, it need not be salted again. See my Hebrew commentary p. 18. just as pouring the oil and mingling it with the flour are [as explained above in Verse 2]. Upon all thine ‘offering’ thou shalt offer salt218Verse 13. The word korbancha (thine offering) is in the singular. Since this might be interpreted to refer only to the meal-offering mentioned in this verse, Ramban proceeds to explain that it means here “offerings” in the plural, for all offerings etc. means “upon all thine offerings” [in the plural], for all offerings have to be offered with salt, just as the meal-offering.