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Updated: Update: 2020.04.09

Example 1: Before the era of cars, trains or planes, Shi•mᵊsh•on walked or rode a donkey. Thus, at times, he may have been away from home for weeks at a time. Suppose Shō•phᵊt•im 14.9 had recorded a neighbor later mentioning to his parents that a colony of bees had formed a hive in the skeleton of a lion near the path that they regularly took. They didn't have telephones back then. Knowing that their son had acculturated in many ways, weeks could have passed during which they would have been uncertain whether the dᵊvâsh they had eaten was from that carcass. The •shâm (sacrifice) would, in that case, have afforded his parents protective ki•pur; relieving them of worries of â•shâm that they might have violated Tōr•âh. (Since there is no such reference in the Text that the parents were later informed, however, they must be presumed to have remained simply unaware of the violation and, therefore, unlike Shi•mᵊsh•on, his parents had committed no violation of Tōr•âh. The case in the Text did not require an •shâm.)

Example 2: A family gets together for a bâ•sâr dinner. Several relatives bring dishes of food. Two of the visiting relatives bring potato salad in very similar bowls. One of them (relative A), unfamiliar with the hostess' kitchen set-up, decides to stir in a bit more chopped onion into her potato salad. She picks up a knife sitting on the counter, chops some onion and stirs it into her potato salad. Guests help themselves, buffet style, to the dinner. Several days later, talking on the phone, Relative A thanked the hostess for the half-onion she used, mentioning that she had used the knife that had been sitting on the counter. "Oh," the hostess blurted taken aback, "that was a khâ•lâv knife I was about to put in the dishwasher!" The family members all ate potato salad, but didn't know from which of the two bowls their portion was taken.

Analysis: It's clear that, although it was an inadvertent mistake, relative A violated Tōr•âh by being careless in using a khâ•lâv knife to chop the onion into potato salad to be eaten with a bâ•sâr meal. But in this example, our focus is on each of the family members who ate potato salad: did they eat tâ•reiph potato salad, or not? They do not know from which bowl they ate potato salad and only one bowl was tâ•reiph. This is uncertain guilt, for which the •shâm was prescribed. See also qârᵊbân more

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