Me’ila 24 - Kohen Who Did Not Consult
All of the cases of mixed-up bird sacrifices that we learned above were in a situation where a Kohen comes to the Sages and asks them what to do in each doubtful situation. However, if the Kohen did not consult anybody but simply took all birds from all women and brought all of them as burned offerings, above the red line in the middle of the Altar, exactly half of them are valid - because indeed half of all birds were burned offerings. If he brought all birds as sin-offerings, below the line, again half of them are valid. Finally, if he brought some of them as burned offerings above and some as sin-offerings below, half in the first group and half in the second group are valid.
If during her pregnancy a woman promised an additional pair of birds as a voluntary offering, they are burned offerings, and the Kohen who brings the resulting four birds, must make three of them burned offerings, and one - a sin-offering. If the Kohen did not do so, but rather made two of them burned offerings and two - sin-offerings, she has to bring an additional burned offering.
If she tries to designate the offerings, in order to correct for errors, and the Kohen keeps making mistakes, she may bring up to seven extra bird pairs. Better she be silent, and this agrees with a popular saying that a live ram has just one voice, but when dead, it has seven uses: shofar, flutes, drums, harps, etc. And in the same vein, simple men, when growing old, have their minds more and more confused, but Sages who study all their lives, the older they grow, the more their mind matures.
Art: Govert Teunisz. Flinck - Rembrandt as Shepherd with Staff and Flute