והקריב ממנו אחד מכל קרבן חלה אחת שלמה נמצא נוטל תרומה ארבע חלות ואני תמה כשהוציא הכתוב מלאו השאור קרבן ראשית תקריבו (ויקרא ב׳:י״ב) למה לא אמר גם כן וקרבן תודה וזו אינה שאלה כי הכתוב אמר ואל המזבח לא יעלו לריח ניחוח ולחם התודה אין ממנו למזבח כלום שאינו אלא טעון תנופה ואע"פ שאמרו (מנחות נז) בלחם הפנים שעובר עליו בחמוצו מפני שהלבונה שעליו שהיא ללחם לאזכרה אשה לה' אבל לחם התודה אין ממנו למזבח כלום ואולי לא הוצרך הכתוב לשיור ההוא אלא בעבור הדבש שלא נתפרש בבכורים שיבאו מן הדבש וכלל השאור עמו ואמר בשניהם קרבן ראשית תקריבו אותם אבל בשאור המפורש במקומו אין צורך לפרוט אותו כי לא יתנה הכתוב במחלליה מות יומת (שמות לא יד) חוץ מעבודת הקרבנות ובערות אשת אחיך (ויקרא י״ח:ט״ז) חוץ מן היבמה: AND OF IT HE SHALL PRESENT ONE OUT OF EACH OFFERING — one whole cake [for a heave-offering unto the Eternal]. Thus he takes as a heave-offering four cakes [and gives them to the priest].
But I wonder! When Scripture excluded [first-fruits] from the prohibition against burning leaven [on the altar],97Above, 2:11. by stating, as an offering of first-fruits ye may bring them98Ibid., 12. [which means that “the two loaves” of the Festival of Shevuoth were to be brought of leavened dough, as clearly mentioned further on in Scripture],99Further, 23:17. why did it not say that [the ten leavened cakes of] the thanks-offering [are also an exception]? But this is not really a question. For Scripture states, and unto the altar they [i.e., leaven and honey] shall not come up for a sweet savor,98Ibid., 12. and of the [forty] breads of the thanks-offering, none came up on the altar at all, for they require only waving.100The Tur refutes this argument by pointing to the fact that nothing of “the two loaves” of the Festival of Shevuoth came up on the altar either; yet Scripture found it necessary to call attention to their being an exception to the prohibition against burning leaven on the altar, because of the offerings that came with the two loaves (see ibid., Verse 18), and such is the case also with the thanks-offering. So the question recurs: Why did Scripture not call attention to the exception of the breads of the thanks-offering? The Tur answers that Scripture called attention only to an obligatory offering, such being the case of “the two loaves” on the Festival of Shevuoth, but not to a thanks-offering, which is a freewill offering. See further my Hebrew commentary pp. 33-34. Even though in the case of the showbread101Twelve loaves were put on the golden table in the Sanctuary every Sabbath, with two spoons of frankincense beside them. On the following Sabbath the frankincense was burnt on the altar and the loaves were divided among the priests. None of the bread was offered on the altar. He did say that one commits a transgression if one brought it in a leaven state102“ ‘Kol’ (any) meal-offering, which ye shall bring unto the Eternal, shall not be made with leaven (above, 2:11), the word kol includes the showbread, that it too must not be leavened” (Menachoth 57 a). [although there too none of the loaves are burnt on the altar], that is because of the frankincense that was on it which was to the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the Eternal.103Further, 24:7. But of the bread of the thanks-offering, nothing at all came up on the altar [hence the Torah permitted the ten loaves to be leavened]. Perhaps Scripture only had to mention that exception [as an offering of first-fruits ye may bring them]98Ibid., 12. because of the honey,104And not because of the leaven, as we have understood it till now. since it was not clearly stated concerning the first-fruits [which were brought of “the seven kinds”]105I.e., the seven kinds of products for which the Land of Israel was famed: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive-oil, and [date] honey. See my translation of “The Commandments,” Vol. I, pp. 133-134. that they may be brought from honey [and it therefore had to be explicitly stated in that verse], and thus He also included leaven with it, saying of both of them, as an offering of first-fruits ye may bring them.98Ibid., 12. With reference to leaven, however, since it is clearly explained in its correct place [that the “two loaves” of the Festival of Shevuoth constitute an exception to the usual negative commandment], there was no need any more to mention it as an exception [when mentioning the general negative commandment], just as Scripture has not specified the exception to the rule about the Sabbath, when stating every one that profaneth it shall be put to death,106Exodus 31:14. [by saying] “except for the Service of the offerings” [which may be done on the Sabbath], or in the case of thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife,107Further, 18:16. [by saying] “except for a brother’s childless wife” [whom he is to marry].108Deuteronomy 25:5. See “The Commandments,” Vol. I, p. 217, that the duty of marrying the wife of a deceased brother who left no offspring comes before the duty of chalitzah. For various reasons the practice now established is to grant the widow chalitzah, and she is then free to marry.