The handful of flour taken from the offering is burned on the Altar. If one wants to eat it instead, beyond permitted time, the offering remains valid. Actually, we learned it before on page 12, and it is mentioned here only to introduce the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, who declares it invalid.
What is the reason of Rabbi Eliezer? Burning on the Altar and eating is described by the same term “achilah,” or consumption, as in the phrase “if some of the meat of the peace-offering will be consumed at all,” literally, “consumed, will be consumed.” Thus we see that the two are equated, and if one intends to eat what should be burned on the Altar or to burn what should be eaten by men, and plans to do it at the wrong time, the offering becomes rejected.
What do the Sages say to this? They agree that consumption by the Altar is called eating, but only to make the thought of the kohen effective, whether he said “I will burn it on the Altar” or “I will make the Altar eat it” - but not to equate it with human consumption.
Art: Reynier Fransz Hals - Boy eating Porridge
Eruvin 64 – Nice law
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