Temple Incense, Part 2


Other sages opine, Maimonides among them , that the source of the Mor is not the commonly held Myrhh plant, but the Musk Deer! The scent is extracted from glans near the Musk Deer's rump. The Musk Deer, (Moschus moschiferus, in Latin),  which is noted for its two prominent fangs, is native to India. Nachmanides contends that the Musk Deer is not the source of the Mor. He favors the Myrrh as the source.


The true identity of Ketzia (קציה) remains shrouded in uncertainty. Maimonides, in his commentary on Mishnah Kritot 1:1, simple wrote, "unknown!" Contemporary researchers by and large identify the Ketzia with Cassia cinnamon, a tree which grows in parts of eastern Asia.

Shibolet Nerd

Maimonides and other sages identify Shibolet Nerd (שבולת נרד), often referred to as Spikenard, with the plant known as Sinbal alnardin, known in Latin as Nardostachys grandiflora.

Shibolet Nerd 2

Rashi, the 11th century sage, is of the opinion that Shibolet Nerd is none other than the common Lavender plant, known in Latin as Lavandula Lamiaceae.

Maimonides and many other commentators all agree that Karkum (כרכום) is none other than Saffron, (Crocus sativas, in Latin).


Kosht (Costus) is identified with Kida, which is mentioned in Torah as pertaining to the anointing oil. Kosht (קושט) is grown in India. It is called Costus speciosus in Latin.