The twenty four priestly gifts
, are a description in the Gemara
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Rabbi Judah the Prince The Gemara (also transliterated Gemora or, less commonly, Gemorra; from Aramaic גמרא gamar; literally, "[to] study" or "learning by...
tradition of offerings given to the Jewish priests. The adjective "kohanic" means "of a kohen", relating to a Jewish priest.
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....
were compensated for their service in the Temple - and to the nation - through twenty four "priestly gifts". The majority of these gifts were food items. Of these twenty four gifts, ten gifts were given to the priests in the Temple
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...
, the "Holy House" (beyth ha-miqdash
), four were to be consumed by the priests in Jerusalem
, and ten are to be given to the priests even outside the land of Israel.
According to Tosefta
The Tosefta is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the period of the Mishnah.-Overview:...
Hallah, the ten gifts given in (or to be consumed in) the Temple area were portions of:
- 1. an animal brought as a sin offering
- 2. guilt offering
A guilt offering , also referred to as a trespass offering , is a type of Biblical sacrifice, specifically a sacrifice made as a compensation payment...
- 3. sacrifices of the communal peace offering
A sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible A sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible A sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible (Hebrew zevakh is the slaughter of an animal to God followed by a feast or a meal. This is distinguished from the korban sacrifice, and oblation (Hebrew minchah)....
- 4. a bird brought in as a sin offering
- 5. the suspensive guilt offering
- 6. the olive oil offering of a mesora.
- 7. the two loaves of bread brought on First Fruits
The festival of is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan ....
- 8. the showbread
Showbread , in the King James Version: shewbread, in a biblical or Jewish context, refers to the cakes or loaves of bread which were always present on a specially dedicated table, in the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God...
- 9. the left over portion of the meal offering
- 10. the left over portion of grain from the offering of the first sheaf
The wave offering was an offering made by the Jewish priests in token of a solemn special presentation to God...
, the omer
Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot...
Gifts given (or to be consumed) within the walls of Jerusalem were:
- 11. firstborn of any domestic kosher animal
- 12. First Fruits
First Fruits are a religious offering of the first agricultural produce of the harvest. In classical Greek, Roman, Hebrew and Christian religions, the first fruits were offered to the temple or church. First Fruits were often a primary source of income to maintain the religious leaders and the...
- 13. the inner organs of certain offerings, that which is removed from the Nazirite offering
- 14. the skins of certain offerings
Gifts which could be given (or consumed) outside Jerusalem were:
- 15. heave offering
Terumah is a Hebrew word, originally meaning lifted apart, but meaning donation in modern Hebrew. It can refer to:*Heave offerings - a type of sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible...
of a portion of the harvest
- 16. heave offering of the tithe - a tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...
of the Levite's tithe
- 17. a portion of dough
Challah also khale ,, berches , barkis , bergis , chałka , vánočka , zopf and kitke , is a special braided bread eaten on...
- 18. the first shearing of the sheep
- 19. Shoulder, cheeks and maw
The gift of the shoulder, cheeks and maw of an animal sacrifice to the priesthood in Ancient Israel was commanded in the Hebrew Bible.After the destruction of the Second Temple at the Siege of Jerusalem animal sacrifices ceased. However in rabbinical interpretation a continuing application of the...
of all non-sanctified, ritually slaughtered domestic animals
- 20. money given in exchange for redemption of a first born son
The Pidyon HaBen, or Redemption of the first born son, is a mitzvah in Judaism whereby a Jewish firstborn son is redeemed by use of silver coins from his birth-state of sanctity....
(Hebrew: pidyon haben פדיון הבן; redemption of the son) - in rabbinical practice five silver shekel
Shekel , is any of several ancient units of weight or of currency. The first usage is from Mesopotamia around 3000 BC. Initially, it may have referred to a weight of barley...
s for the redemption of a firstborn Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...
- 21. money (or a sheep or goat) redeemed in place of a firstborn donkey
- 22. things declared herem
Herem or cherem , as used in the Hebrew Bible, means ‘devote’ or ‘destroy’. It is also referred to as the ban. The term has been explained in different ways by scholars...
, the horim property or possession dedicated to the Temple without specifying to which use it is to be given
- 23. inherited fields that were dedicated to the Temple and not reclaimed in the Jubilee
The Jubilee year is the year at the end of seven cycles of Sabbatical years , and according to Biblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the territory of the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year The Jubilee...
- 24. that recovered which was stolen from a resident alien who has died, leaving no heirs.
Females, who did not serve in the Tabernacle or the Temple, were permitted to consume and/or derive benefit from some of the Twenty-Four Priestly Gifts. But if a Kohen's daughter married a man from outside the Kohanic line, she was no longer permitted to benefit from the priestly gifts. Conversely, the daughter of a non-priest who married a priest took on the same rights as an unmarried daughter of a priest.