Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Zevachim, chapters 1-2

Perek Aleph: כל הזבחים שנזבחו שלא לשמן

An off’ring must be sacrificed
For that off’ring. You must be precise.
You can’t bring a cow
And think about how
It’s a Pesach lamb. That won’t suffice.

Stan, you happen to be walking by
In a market, and hear someone cry
“It’s a Get for Joanne
And for her husband Stan.”
Though the name’s right, it doesn’t apply.

An oven for food that you bake
Is infested! Inside there’s a snake!
If the oven is split
Can you salvage the bit
In the non-snake part? Redo the cake.

Israel sins often, we owe
Sacrifices each moment. Oh no!
Fear not – we are spared
By a Torah that cared
That we not give up all our cash flow.

Time for minchah! Then you realize
You forgot to do Musaf. Devise
A solution. Well, first
You do mincha. Reverse
Them you don’t. Musaf always applies.

If you set aside your Korban beast
Then go crazy ere you see the priest.
Sanity then comes back
Do we cut you some slack
And let you bring that set-aside feast?

Said Tarfon: By my sons I swear
There is something these two acts don’t share:
Sprinkling and collecting
I’m not recollecting.
Akiva got it. Tarfon fell off his chair.

It’s the priest who puts blood on his fingers
(Can’t be done by Levitical singers)
The priest does it himself
He can’t count on an elf
Or a monkey. (Or ape-priest dead ringer.)

A priest was once sprinkling blood
When his finger came off with a thud.
Is such mulilation
A clear desecration?
Oh yes! And this Kohen’s a dud.

Perek Bet: כל הבחים שקבלו דמן

Sacrificial blood can’t be received
By a non-priest. He can’t be relieved
By one impure, or sitting,
Without clothes – unfitting
Are these. So is one who’s bereaved.

“The clothes make the man,” that’s the vest
And the breastplate, and all of the rest
Of the priestly attire
All needed to fire
A sacrifice. Don’t underdress!

On festivals, Rav always stunk
Of alcohol. He got quite drunk
And so he refrained
From all preaching, til drained
Of the wine, and til out of that funk.

There are those who say blindness impinges
On whether a man must wear fringes
Tzitzit must be seen
But a blind man has been
Seen by others, on whom this one hinges.

Huna bar Natan professed
He was once with the Persian king, dressed
In his vestments. He felt
As the king fixed his belt.
“Kingdom of priests,” the Persian king blessed.

Can a priest wear a band-aid or gauze
On his finger? This question gives pause.
Some say we suppose
He can’t wear extra clothes.
Others say: There are no band-aid laws!

In the morning, one priest would clear ash
All the other priests woke to the clash
Of the wheels that went clink
As he lowered the sink
To the well, where it made a big splash.

A priest who’s a lefty was screwed
Temple work with left hand was eschewed.
No matter how deft-
Ly you sprinkle with left
It is sinister blood, we conclude.

If you’ve wounded the ear of a cow
(Do not worry, it’s dead – can’t say ow.)
Ere its blood is collected
The act is affected,
For mixing of blood’s not allowed.

When you slaughter a sheep, you can’t say
“I will eat his meat some other day.”
Or “I’ll eat this outside”
If you do so, we chide
You: That’s Pigul, go throw it away.

If you vow sacrifices, then wait
To bring them til some later date.
Your wife will not die
As she would if you cry,
“I can’t pay you!” Then you’ll lose your mate.