, the seventh tractate in the order Kodoshim
, takes its name from the biblical karet
(excision) punishment, traditionally understood to refer to premature death. The opening mishnaic teaching lists the thirty-six sins – idolatry, desecration of the Sabbath, incest, adultery, etc. – that, if committed intentionally, incur karet
but, if committed unintentionally or if doubtfully committed, require the transgressor to bring a hattat
(sin offering) or asham
(guilt offering), respectively, to the Temple. In six chapters, the treatise deals with the conditions under which these sacrifices must be offered, the unusual hattat
brought by women after childbirth, the exact types of forbidden blood whose consumption requires a person to bring a hattat
, and the ingredients of the Temple incense, among other topics. The present volume was owned by H.A. Wagenaar (d. 1888), a Jewish scholar and teacher in Amsterdam (later, rector of the local Ashkenazic seminary), who amassed an important collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts that were sold at auction in 1904.
Kereitot, like Nedarim, Nazir, Temurah, Me‘ilah, and part of Tamid, is one of the “special tractates” written in a peculiar dialect of Aramaic that seem not to have benefited from final editorial polishing.
Isaac Osnapurg [Osnabrück] (f. [1r])
H[yman] A[braham] Wagenaar (f. [1r])
A.M. Habermann, Ha-madpis daniyyel bombirgi u-reshimat sifrei beit defuso (Safed: The Museum of Printing Art, 1978), 64 (no. 126).
Vinograd, Venice 126