Selection of Mishnayos Relating to Korban Pesach (5780)

Color Code: Case: Black; Ruling: Green or Red; Name of Tanna: Gold; Reason: Blue; Condition: Purple; Proof: Grey ; Rule: Fuscia

Korban Pesach

This source sheet is the first part of in a Series of source sheets focusing on different aspects of the Holiday of Pesach as seen through the Mishnah. This sheet will focus on the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach. Specifically, we will focus our discussions on the following topics:

  • The timing of the Korban Pesach ceremony
  • Eligibility to Participate in the Korban Pesach
  • The details of the Korban Pesach ceremony and how it was consumed
  • The unique nature of the Chabura (the prearranged group specifically identified to partake in the particular Korban Pesach)

The following mishnayos include an introductory Mishnah from Mesechtas Zevachim and a selection from Mesechtas Pesachim. We will not cover every Mishna related to these topics, but the sampling below will provide sufficient background for these topics. The interested reader is encouraged to further explore these topics and others such as the interplay between Shabbos and the Korban Pesach or the effect of communal impurity and the Korban Pesach.

Mishnah Zevachim 5:8

The fifth chapter of Mesechtas Zevachim provides a comprehensive summary of animal Korbanos and their basic laws. The last three Mishnayos of the chapter describe the Korban Shelamim and four subsets of Korbanos that fall under its rubric, including the Korban Pesach.

The Korban Pesach is unique in that the rules regarding when it can be eaten, who can eat it and how it must be eaten are unique as well. They are succinctly listed in our Mishna. First, even though it has to be slaughtered during the day, it may only be eaten during a very limited window of time, between nightfall and midnight following its slaughter. Second, participation in the Korban requires forethought and planning and not randomness and carelessness. Therefore, only those people who join the group prior to the Korban being slaughtered may participate. Finally, it may only be roasted and cannot be cooked or eaten raw, you cannot break a bone and it must be eaten alongside Matzoh and Marror.

This Mishna will set the stage for our subsequent explorations in Mesechtas Pesachim as all the selected Mishnayos will deal with these unique aspects of the Korban Pesach.

הַבְּכוֹר וְהַמַּעֲשֵׂר וְהַפֶּסַח,

  1. קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים,
  2. שְׁחִיטָתָן בְּכָל מָקוֹם בָּעֲזָרָה,
  3. .וְדָמָן טָעוּן מַתָּנָה אַחַת, וּבִלְבָד שֶׁיִּתֵּן כְּנֶגֶד הַיְסוֹד

שִׁנָּה בַאֲכִילָתָן,
הַבְּכוֹר נֶאֱכָל לַכֹּהֲנִים, וְהַמַּעֲשֵׂר לְכָל אָדָם,

וְנֶאֱכָלִין בְּכָל הָעִיר,

לְכָל אָדָם,

בְּכָל מַאֲכָל,

לִשְׁנֵי יָמִים וְלַיְלָה אֶחָד.

אֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל אֶלָּא בַלַּיְלָה,

וְאֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל אֶלָּא עַד חֲצוֹת,

וְאֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל אֶלָּא לִמְנוּיָו,

וְאֵינוֹ נֶאֱכָל אֶלָּא צָלִי:

(8) The first-born animal, tithe and the pesah are sacrifices of lesser sanctity. They are slaughtered in any part of the Temple court, and their blood requires one sprinkling, provided that he applies it against the base [of the altar]. They differ in the [rules governing] their eating: The first-born animal is eaten by priests [only], the tithe is eaten by anyone and they can be eaten in any part of the city, prepared in any manner, during two days and one night. The pesah can be eaten only at night, only until midnight, and it can be eaten only by those registered for it, and it can be eaten only when roasted.

Mishnah Pesachim 5:1

Our Mishna (and the last part of Mishna 5:3) discusses when, on the 14th of Nissan, is the appropriate time to bring the Korban Pesach. The Beis HaMikdash had a daily routine (See Mesechtas Tamid for its description) which included both communal and personal sacrifices. Nevertheless, the volume on Erev Pesach increased dramatically, requiring changes to the daily schedule.

Each day, two sheep were sacrificed, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These are called the Korban Tamid and they act as bookends in the Beis HaMikdash's service. No Korban may be brought prior to the morning Tamid and no Korban may be brought subsequent to the afternoon Tamid. Although the afternoon Tamid can be brought starting as early as 12:30 pm, typically it was delayed until later in the day (2:30 pm) so that anyone needing to bring a personal Korban had ample time throughout the day to bring their sacrifice.

The Korban Pesach was the only exception. It was brought after the afternoon Tamid. To accommodate both the vast number of general Korbonos being brought and the numerous Korbanei Pesach needing to be slaughtered ahead of Yom Tov, the normal schedule was modified and the afternoon Tamid was moved earlier by an hour (1:30 pm). When Erev Pesach fell on a Friday, they would move it up two hours (12:30 pm) to ensure ample time to even cook the Korban ahead of Shabbos.


נִשְׁחָט בִּשְׁמֹנֶה וּמֶחֱצָה וְקָרֵב בְּתֵשַׁע וּמֶחֱצָה.
בְּעַרְבֵי פְסָחִים

נִשְׁחָט בְּשֶׁבַע וּמֶחֱצָה וְקָרֵב בִּשְׁמֹנֶה וּמֶחֱצָה,

בֵּין בְּחֹל בֵּין בְּשַׁבָּת.
חָל עֶרֶב פֶּסַח לִהְיוֹת בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת,

נִשְׁחָט בְּשֵׁשׁ וּמֶחֱצָה וְקָרֵב בְּשֶׁבַע וּמֶחֱצָה,
וְהַפֶּסַח אַחֲרָיו:

(1) The [afternoon] tamid is slaughtered at eight and a half hours and is offered at nine and a half hours. On the eve of Pesah it is slaughtered at seven and a half hours and offered at eight and a half hours, whether it is a weekday or Shabbat. If the eve of Pesah fell on the eve of Shabbat it is slaughtered at six and a half hours and offered at seven and a half hours, and the pesah offering after it.

Mishnah Pesachim 5:3

Our Mishnah has two parts. Taking the second part first, it is a continuation of Mishnah 5:1 and further discusses the proper time to bring the Korban Pesach. As noted the Korban Pesach and the Tamid needed to be brought in the afternoon ("בין הערבים") and the Tamid was supposed to be brought first. Our Mishnah teaches that a Korban Pesach brought before Noon is Pasul. If brought before the Tamid, however, it was Kosher, so long as you wait to sprinkle the blood until after the Tamid's blood was sprinkled on the Mizbeach.

The first part of the Mishnah focuses on who may properly be included in a Chaburah for a Korban Pesach. As noted above, one of the unique aspects of the Korban Pesach is that it can only be eaten by those who were included in the Chaburah.

Because the Mitzvah was to eat a Kazayis of the Korban (within the appropriate time-span of 2-9 minutes), in the first instance, only those who can eat a Kazayis should be included in the Korban Pesach. Someone who cannot eat at least a Kazayis (such as an older of sickly person) or cannot otherwise eat from the Korban Pesach (i.e., they did not have a Bris Milah or are Tamei) should not be included in the Chaburah. The person actually bringing the Korban, therefore, should ideally intend not to include them and only include properly eligible persons.

If, however, the person bringing the Korban had in mind both eligible and illegible people than the Korban is Kosher but it is not preferable.

The basic concepts of our Mishnah are repeated in Mishnah 6:6. In that context, the Mishnah is considering whether when Shechting the Korban Pesach on Shabbos you violated the prohibition on killing a living creature on Shabbos. Of course, if properly performing the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach you are exempt from the restrictions of Shabbos. The Mishnah discusses those situations where a person did not follow proper protocols or were careless.


שֶׁלֹּא לְאוֹכְלָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לִמְנוּיָיו, לַעֲרֵלִים וְלִטְמֵאִים, פָּסוּל.

לְאוֹכְלָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לְאוֹכְלָיו, לִמְנוּיָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לִמְנוּיָיו, לְמוּלִים וְלַעֲרֵלִים, לִטְמֵאִים וְלִטְהוֹרִים, כָּשֵׁר.
שְׁחָטוֹ קֹדֶם חֲצוֹת, פָּסוּל, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב) בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם.
שְׁחָטוֹ קֹדֶם לַתָּמִיד, כָּשֵׁר, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהֵא אֶחָד מְמָרֵס בְּדָמוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּזָּרֵק דַּם הַתָּמִיד.

וְאִם נִזְרַק, כָּשֵׁר:

(3) If he slaughtered it for those who cannot eat it or for those who are not registered for it, for uncircumcised persons or for unclean persons, it is unfit. [If he slaughtered it] for those who can eat it and for those who cannot eat it, for those who are registered for it and for those who are not registered for it, for circumcised and for uncircumcised persons, for unclean and for clean persons, it is fit. If he slaughtered it before midday, it is disqualified, because it is said, “[and all of the assembled congregation of Israelites shall slaughter it] at twilight” (Exodus 12:6). If he slaughtered it before the [evening] tamid, it is fit, providing that a person stirs its blood until [that of] the tamid is sprinkled. [Nevertheless] if it was sprinkled [before the tamid], it is fit.


שֶׁלֹּא לְאוֹכְלָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לִמְנוּיָיו, לַעֲרֵלִין וְלִטְמֵאִין, חַיָּב.

לְאוֹכְלָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לְאוֹכְלָיו, לִמְנוּיָיו וְשֶׁלֹּא לִמְנוּיָיו, לְמוּלִין וְלַעֲרֵלִין, לִטְהוֹרִים וְלִטְמֵאִים, פָּטוּר.

שְׁחָטוֹ וְנִמְצָא בַעַל מוּם, חַיָּב.

שְׁחָטוֹ וְנִמְצָא טְרֵפָה בַסֵּתֶר, פָּטוּר.

שְׁחָטוֹ וְנוֹדַע שֶׁמָּשְׁכוּ הַבְּעָלִים אֶת יָדָם, אוֹ שֶׁמֵּתוּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ, פָּטוּר, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשָּׁחַט בִּרְשׁוּת:

(6) If he slaughtered it for those who are not its eaters, or for those who were not registered for it, for uncircumcised or for unclean [persons], he is liable. [If he slaughtered it] for its eaters and for those who are not its eaters, for those who are registered for it and for those who are not registered for it, for circumcised and for uncircumcised, for unclean and for clean [persons], he is exempt. If he slaughtered it, and it was found to possess a blemish, he is liable. If he slaughtered it and it was found to be an internal terefah, he is exempt. If he slaughtered it, and [then] it became known that its owners had withdrawn their hands from it, or that they had died, or that they had become unclean, he is not culpable, because he slaughtered it with permission.

Introduction to Mishnayos 5-7

The next three Mishnayos describe in detail the pomp and circumstance surrounding the bringing of the Korban Pesach in the Beis HaMikdash. ​As described, the Pesach festival brought out the multitudes of people and to accommodate all the people, the operations of the Beis HaMikdash were modified to streamline the processing of all the Korbanei Pesach.

To prevent overcrowding in the Azarah, the Kohanim would divide the people into groups. From the Torah's use of the terms " קהל, עדת, ישראל" the Chachomim learned that there should be three groupings of Korbonos with each group consisting of no less than thirty people/Chaburos. As the Mishna later suggests, it was rare that the final, third group would fill up the Azarah.

Like with all Public Korbonos (Korbanei Tzibbur) the Kohanim would punctuate the service with blasts from silver trumpets. While the trumpets were typically used during the wine-libation ceremony, for the Korban Pesach (which did not include wine) they would blow them during the slaughtering process.

Once slaughtered by its owner, like all Korbonos, the blood was collected by a Kohein in a silver or gold beaker and brought close to Mizbeach where it was then sprinkled/splashed against its side. These beakers were rounded on bottom to prevent placing them on the ground where the blood could congeal. The Kohanim would stand in assembly line form and would each other the full beaker until it reached the Mizbeach where the final Kohein would pour it on the base of the Mizbeach. He would then return the empty beaker to the Kohein in the next row--keeping the flow of blood circulating through the Azarah.

Finally, the Mishna tells us that throughout this process the Leviim would be singing Hallel in a continuous loop.

הַפֶּסַח נִשְׁחָט בְּשָׁלֹשׁ כִּתּוֹת,

שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְשָׁחֲטוּ אֹתוֹ כֹּל קְהַל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, (שמות יב)

  1. וְעֵדָה
  2. וְיִשְׂרָאֵל
  3. קָהָל

נִכְנְסָה כַת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, נִתְמַלֵּאת הָעֲזָרָה, נָעֲלוּ דַלְתוֹת הָעֲזָרָה.

תָּקְעוּ, הֵרִיעוּ וְתָקָעוּ.

הַכֹּהֲנִים עוֹמְדִים שׁוּרוֹת שׁוּרוֹת, וּבִידֵיהֶם בָּזִיכֵי כֶסֶף וּבָזִיכֵי זָהָב.

שׁוּרָה שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ כֶּסֶף כֶּסֶף, וְשׁוּרָה שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ זָהָב זָהָב.

לֹא הָיוּ מְעֹרָבִין.

וְלֹא הָיוּ לַבָּזִיכִין שׁוּלַיִם, שֶׁמָּא יַנִּיחוּם וְיִקְרַשׁ הַדָּם:

(5) The pesah is slaughtered in three divisions, as it is said, “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter it” (Exodus 12:6): “assembly,” “congregation,” and “Israel.” The first division entered, the Temple court was filled, and they closed the doors of the Temple court. They sounded a teki'ah, a teru'ah, and a teki'ah. The priests stood in rows, and in their hands were basins of silver and basins of gold, a row which was entirely of silver was of silver, and a row which was entirely of gold was of gold, they were not mixed. And the basins did not have flat bottoms, lest they put them down and the blood becomes congealed.

שָׁחַט יִשְׂרָאֵל וְקִבֵּל הַכֹּהֵן,

נוֹתְנוֹ לַחֲבֵרוֹ וַחֲבֵרוֹ לַחֲבֵרוֹ, וּמְקַבֵּל אֶת הַמָּלֵא וּמַחֲזִיר אֶת הָרֵיקָן.

כֹּהֵן הַקָּרוֹב אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ זוֹרְקוֹ זְרִיקָה אַחַת כְּנֶגֶד הַיְסוֹד:

(6) The Israelite killed [the lamb]; And the priest caught [the blood]. He would hand it to his colleague and his colleague [would hand it] to his colleague. And he would receive the full [basin] and give back the empty one. The priest nearest the altar would sprinkle it once over against the base [or the altar].

יָצְתָה כַת רִאשׁוֹנָה וְנִכְנְסָה כַת שְׁנִיָּה.

יָצְתָה שְׁנִיָּה, נִכְנְסָה שְׁלִישִׁית.

כְּמַעֲשֵׂה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה כָּךְ מַעֲשֵׂה הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית.
קָרְאוּ אֶת הַהַלֵּל.

אִם גָּמְרוּ שָׁנוּ, וְאִם שָׁנוּ שִׁלְּשׁוּ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא שִׁלְּשׁוּ מִימֵיהֶם.

רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, מִימֵיהֶם שֶׁל כַּת שְׁלִישִׁית לֹא הִגִּיעַ לְאָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע יי, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעַמָּהּ מֻעָטִין:

(7) The first division [then] went out and the second entered; the second went out and the third entered. As did the first, so did the second and the third. They recited the Hallel. If they finished it, they repeated, and if they repeated [and were not finished yet], they recited it a third time, though they never did recite it a third time. Rabbi Judah says: the third division never reached, “I love Lord for he hears” (Psalms, because the people for it were few.

Introduction to Pesachim 6:3

In addition to the Korban Pesach, itself, there was the general obligation to bring the Korbonos associated with the Mitzvah of being Olah Regel. These included, the Olas Riyah, Shalmei Chagigah and Shalmei Simcha.

However, with regard to the Korban Pesach, there was an additional need to bring a Chagigah. On the one hand, you cannot leave over any of the Korban Pesach until the morning. On the other hand, one is supposed to eat the Korban Pesach when almost satiated (i.e., not when you are famished). Therefore, it was customary to eat other meat ahead of the Korban Pesach and only eat the Pesach later on when almost full. This was accomplished by bringing a Korban Chagigah.

Our Mishnah teaches under which circumstances it is appropriate to bring this Korban Chagigah.

אֵימָתַי מֵבִיא חֲגִיגָה עִמּוֹ, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא בָא



וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהוּא בָא




אֵין מְבִיאִין עִמּוֹ חֲגִיגָה:

(3) When does he bring a hagigah with it [the pesah sacrifice]? When it comes during the week, in purity, and in small [amounts]. But when it comes on Shabbat, in large [amounts], and in impurity, one does not bring the hagigah with it.

Introduction to Pesachim 7:1

The Torah specifically says that the Korban Pesach must be roasted and not cooked or eaten raw. Our Mishnah describes how they roasted the Korban Pesach, whole on the spit. The Mishnah describes a Machlokes whether the insides of the animal were stuffed into the animal or left outside.

Whether the Gid HaNasheh was removed prior to roasting the Korban is the subject of debate amongst the Rishonim. For more details see

כֵּיצַד צוֹלִין אֶת הַפֶּסַח,

מְבִיאִין שַׁפּוּד שֶׁל רִמּוֹן,

תּוֹחֲבוֹ מִתּוֹךְ פִּיו עַד בֵּית נְקוּבָתוֹ,

וְנוֹתֵן אֶת כְּרָעָיו וְאֶת בְּנֵי מֵעָיו לְתוֹכוֹ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי.

רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, כְּמִין בִּשּׁוּל הוּא זֶה,

אֶלָּא תוֹלִין חוּצָה לוֹ:

(1) How is the pesah roasted?They bring a spit of pomegranate wood and thrust it into its mouth [right down] as far as its buttocks, and place its legs and its entrails inside it, the words of Rabbi Yose the Galilean. Rabbi Akiva says: this is like boiling, rather they are hung outside it.

Introduction to Pesachim 8:3

Our Mishnah discusses the time frame for joining a Chaburah and the maximum number able to participate in a single Korban Pesach.

The Mishnah, begins, however, with an interesting aside about a father who challenges his children to race up to Yerushalyim. Only the first to make it, he says, will participate in the father's Chaburah. The Mishnah teaches that once the first son makes it up to Yerushalyim, by his being included, he necessarily drags along the rest of his siblings.

הָאוֹמֵר לְבָנָיו,

הֲרֵינִי שׁוֹחֵט אֶת הַפֶּסַח עַל מִי שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה מִכֶּם רִאשׁוֹן לִירוּשָׁלַיִם,

כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִכְנִיס הָרִאשׁוֹן רֹאשׁוֹ וְרֻבּוֹ,

זָכָה בְחֶלְקוֹ וּמְזַכֶּה אֶת אֶחָיו עִמּוֹ.
לְעוֹלָם נִמְנִין עָלָיו עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בוֹ כַזַּיִת לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד.
נִמְנִין וּמוֹשְׁכִין אֶת יְדֵיהֶן מִמֶּנּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּשָּׁחֵט.

רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, עַד שֶׁיִּזְרֹק עָלָיו אֶת הַדָּם:

(3) If a man says to his children, “Behold, I am going to slaughter the pesah on behalf of whichever of you goes up first to Jerusalem,” as soon as the first has put his head and the greater part of his body [into Jerusalem] he has acquired his portion, and he acquires it on behalf of his brothers with him. One may always register for it as long as there is as much as an olive’s worth for each one [registered]. They may register and withdraw their hands from it until it has been slaughtered; Rabbi Shimon says: until the blood is sprinkled.

Introduction to Pesachim 7:13

As noted above, in order to partake in a particular Korban Pesach, a person needed to be designated a member of the Chaburah. Moreover, once the designation period was closed (at the time of slaughtering the animal) a person was tied to his Chaburah and no further people could be added.

Furthermore, a single Korban Pesach may be split up into multiple Chaburos (i.e., a Chaburah can split in half with each new Chaburah taking half the animal). However, a person was still prohibited from switching Chaburos (even though he was designated for this animal) nor could the meat of one Chaburah be fed to a member of the other Chaburah. The Chachomim were so strict regarding the separation of Chaburos that they took steps to ensure that there was not even a suspicion that a person was partaking in two Chaburos. Further, if a Kazayis of meat from one Chaburah "traveled" outside the Chabura it would be have the same Din as Kodshim having left Yerushalyim and would be Pasul.

Given the multitudes of people in Yerushalyim during the Chag, it was often the case that two Chaburos would be occupying the same space. Our Mishna discusses the practical realities of two Chaburos eating side by side and how they can avoid tripping over this prohibition. The person potentially most affected was the waiter--for while part of one Chaburah, he was still required to assist the members of the other Chaburah. The Chachomim required that the members of the Chaburah face each other while eating the Korban Pesach and if the waiter was required to assist another Chaburah, he was directed to shut his mount and stop chewing until he returned (this so that people would not suspect him of partaking in two Chaburos).

Nonetheless, the Chaburos were allowed to utilize common facilities (e.g., hot water urn) and a dispensation to turn aside was made for a Bride who may have felt uncomfortable and self-conscious with everyone in the Chaburah staring at her while she ate the Korban.

שְׁתֵּי חֲבוּרוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹכְלוֹת בְּבַיִת אֶחָד,

אֵלּוּ הוֹפְכִין אֶת פְּנֵיהֶם הֵילָךְ וְאוֹכְלִין,

וְאֵלּוּ הוֹפְכִין אֶת פְּנֵיהֶם הֵילָךְ וְאוֹכְלִין,
וְהַמֵּחַם בָּאֶמְצַע.
וּכְשֶׁהַשַּׁמָּשׁ עוֹמֵד לִמְזֹג,

קוֹפֵץ אֶת פִּיו וּמַחֲזִיר אֶת פָּנָיו עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ אֵצֶל חֲבוּרָתוֹ וְאוֹכֵל.

הוֹפֶכֶת פָּנֶיהָ וְאוֹכֶלֶת:

(13) Two companies which are eating in one room, these turn their faces in one direction and eat and they turn their faces in another direction and eat, and the boiler is in the middle. When the servant rises to mix [the wine], he must shut his mouth and turn his face away [from the other company] until he reaches his own company and [there] he eats. But a bride may turn her face away and eat.