Question:

Hi Rabbi,

Can you pleae explain the difference between a korban chatas and a korban asham? They’re both brought for aveiros, so what are the general criteria for an aveira that requires a chatas vs the criteria that requires an asham?
I’m just asking for simple clarification.

Thank you so much!

Answer:

A korban chatas is the korban brought when a person mistakenly commits one of the 33 sins that carries a punishment of kares, i.e. chillul shabbos, or eating chelev (fat), arayos. (All 36 kares except for Milah Pesach and Blasphemy). A korbn asham is brought either when one is not sure if he committed the sin or not. For example there were two items in front of him chelev and something else, and he ate one but he doesn’t know which one he ate. It is also brought for specific sins that don’t carry the kares punishment, such as swearing falsely that one didn’t steal, benefiting from hekdesh, etc. It is also brought as an atonement for certain situations such as when a person was a mitzora of a nazir.

Sources:

Rambam Shgagos 1-1, Mishnayos Zevachim 5-5.

Tags: Korbanos

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