Rambam, Hilchot Isurei Mizbe'ach, 7:3
1 א
רמב"ם הלכות איסורי המזבח פרק ז הלכה ג
כל העצים החדשים כשרים למערכה ולא היו מביאין משל זית ולא משל גפן משום ישוב ארץ ישראל
All new wood is fit for the arranged pile [of wood on the altar in the Temple] and they would not bring from olive trees or grapevines because of settlement of the land of Israel.
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What type of wood is suitable to place on the altar?

2. Before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., the Jewish people living in the Land of Israel were fed in good part from grain, wine, and oil produced in Israel (canfeinesharim.org/coreteaching4). Why might Bnei Yisroel refrain from using the wood from olive trees or grapevines on the altar?

3. The world has a limited supply of forests and farmland. Based on this text, for what should we use our natural resources? For what should we not use our natural resources?

4 ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)