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BECHOROS 2 - Dedicated by Dr. Daniel (Douglas) Rabin, of Clifton, New
Jersey, with gratitude to Rabbi Kornfeld.
We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach, the Tzon
Kodshim and the parenthetical marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section
is devoted to any *OTHER* changes that we feel ought to be made in the
Gemara and Rashi)
 Gemara 2a [line 26]:
The colon does not belong here
 Rashi 2a DH v'Nosen Chatzi Damav l'Chohen:
DH "v'Nosen Lo b'Kabalah" is a continuation of this Dibur ha'Maschil.
The next DH is veha'Nosen Lo b'Kabalah (CHESHEK SHLOMO)
 Ibid [at the end of the DH]:
The words "l'Akum *b'Matanah*"
should be "l'Akum *b'Kabalah*" (M. Kornfeld)
 Gemara 2b [line 14]:
The colon does not belong here
 Rashi 2b DH v'Lo Ketani:
The words "d'Ka Salka Da'atach d'Lo Palig ... Petimas Behemah"
belong at the beginning of the page, at the end of DH "Mai Lav a'Ubar"
1) [line 1] HA'LOKE'ACH - INTRODUCTION TO BECHOROS
(a) The Torah requires that every Yisrael sanctify the firstborn male of his
children, Kosher animals, and donkeys, as it is written, "Kadesh Li Chol
Bechor, Peter Kol Rechem bi'Vnei Yisrael, ba'Adam uva'Behemah; Li Hu." -
"Sanctify to Me every firstborn that initiates the womb among the children
of Yisrael, among both man and beast; it is Mine." (Shemos 13:2)
(b) HaSh-m wanted to give us merit by having us perform a Mitzvah with the
first produce of our efforts so that we should realize that everything is
His. A person comes to this understanding when, after all his toil, he takes
these first products, which are as dear to him as the apple of his eye, and
he gives them to HaSh-m. Another reason for this Mitzvah is to remember the
great miracle that HaSh-m did for us by killing the firstborn of Egypt.
(SEFER HA'CHINUCH #18)
There are three categories of Bechor: (a) Bechor Adam, (b) Bechor Behemah
Tehorah, and (c) Bechor Behemah Teme'ah:
[I] BECHOR ADAM (PIDYON HA'BEN)
(a) The Mitzvah of Pidyon ha'Ben applies to a Yisrael and not to a Kohen or
a Levi. The first male born to a *mother* (who is the daughter of a Yisrael)
must be redeemed by his father (as stated in Shemos 13:13, "v'Chol Bechor
Adam b'Vanecha Tifdeh.")
(b) The Bechor must be redeemed when he is one month old by giving five
silver Shekalim of Kodesh (each of which weighs either 19.2 or 17 grams --
see Midos v'Shi'urei Torah, C. P. Benish, Benei Brak, 5760, pp. 487-488) to
a Kohen as stated in Bamidbar (18:16). This applies only if the son was the
first issue (i.e. he was not preceded by a Nefel -- stillborn) and was
delivered through the womb (i.e. he was not delivered by Caesarian section).
(SEFER HA'CHINUCH #392)
The Pesukim that refer to Bechor Adam are: Shemos 13:2; 13:13; 13:15; 22:28;
34:19-20, Bamidbar 3:12-13; 8:17; 18:15.
[II] BECHOR BEHEMAH TEHORAH
(a) The Kedushah of Bechor rests on every firstborn male of an ox, goat or
sheep when it comes out of its mother's womb. Nevertheless, there is a
Mitzvah for a person to sanctify it himself (Erchin 29a, based on Devarim
15:19). He must then give it to a Kohen; it may not be redeemed.
(b) If the animal has no Mum (blemish), the Kohen must bring it as a Korban
during its first year. After its blood and Emurim (see Background to Yevamos
7:8 and 100:9) are offered on the Mizbe'ach, its meat is eaten in
Yerushalayim during the following two days and the intervening night. If the
animal has or develops a Mum, it must be slaughtered and eaten during its
first year. If it developed a Mum after the first year, it must be
slaughtered and eaten within thirty days. The Kohen can give it away or sell
it, even to a non-Kohen. However, it may not be sold in a meat market or
weighed in the usual manner. It may not be redeemed with money.
(c) Whether or not it has a Mum, it is forbidden to work with a Bechor or to
shear it. Any fleece that is removed from a Bechor, even if it came off on
its own, is Asur b'Hana'ah. If, upon Shechitah, the animal is found to be a
Tereifah, it is Asur b'Hana'ah and must be buried.
(d) Now that there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, a Kohen must care for a Bechor
until it develops a Mum. Alternatively, he can sell it, even if it has no
Mum, to a non-Kohen, who may eat it after it develops a Mum. It may not be
bought, however, in order to be sold for a profit (Sefer ha'Chinuch #393,
The Pesukim that refer to Bechor Behemah Tehorah
are: Shemos 13:2; 34:19, Vayikra 27:26, Bamidbar 3:13; 8:17; 18:15-18,
Devarim 12:6; 12:17; 14:23; 15:19.
(III) BECHOR BEHEMAH TEME'AH (PETER CHAMOR)
(a) There is a Mitzvah to redeem each firstborn male donkey, as the verse
states, "v'Hayah Ki Yevi'acha HaSh-m El Eretz ha'Kena'ani...v'Chol *Peter
Chamor* Tifdeh v'Seh, v'Im Lo Sifdeh va'Arafto" - "And it shall come to pass
that when HaSh-m brings you to the land of the Kena'ani... And every
*firstborn donkey* must be redeemed with a sheep [that is given to a Kohen].
If it is not redeemed, you must decapitate it" (Shemos 13:11-13).
(b) After the donkey is redeemed with a sheep, the sheep must be given to a
Kohen. Both the donkey and the sheep are Chulin and may be used in any
manner that a person desires. If the donkey is not redeemed, there is an
argument among the Tanaim whether it is Asur be'Hana'ah or not. After Arifah
was performed, it is Asur be'Hana'ah.
(c) The donkey may also be redeemed with any other object of value. However,
if it is redeemed with anything but a sheep, the object that is used must
have the same value as the donkey. If it is redeemed with a sheep, there is
no minimum value for the sheep. (Sefer ha'Chinuch #22, #23)
The Pesukim that refer to Bechor Behemah Teme'ah
are: Shemos 13:2; 13:13; 13:15; 34:19-20, Bamidbar 3:13; 8:17; 18:15.
2) [line 3] AF AL PI SHE'EINO RASHAI - even though he is not allowed to sell
it to a non-Jew (MECHIRAS BEHEMAH GASAH L'OVED KOCHAVIM)
(a) The Chachamim decreed not to sell a beast of burden to a Nochri. The
reason for this prohibition is that if one could sell his animal to a
Nochri, he may be tempted to lend or rent his animal to the Nochri, who
would then work with a Jew's animal on Shabbos. This is prohibited, as the
verse states, "Lo Sa'aseh Chol Melachah...u'Vehemtecha." - "Do not do any
work [on Shabbos]...[nor] your animals" (Shemos 20:10).
(b) Another reason given for this decree is that the Jew might start the
sale a few minutes before the start of Shabbos and call to the loaded animal
on Shabbos to show the Nochri how well it works. By doing so he would
transgress the prohibition of Mechamer on Shabbos (Avodah Zarah 15a).
(c) The Chachamim did not apply this prohibition in the case of selling an
old, male horse to a Nochri. Such a sale is not beneficial to the Nochri,
and it is very uncommon, and the Chachamim did not enact decrees for unusual
3) [line 3] VEHA'MEKABEL HEIMENU - and one who receives a donkey from him (a
non-Jew) to raise, on the condition that they divide the offspring; this
arrangement is referred to as "Kablanus."
4) [line 7] D'KA MAISI LA LI'KEDUSHAH - that he brings it into a state of
5) [line 20] LAV HAINU URCHEI - this is not the normal way for an animal to
6) [line 27] MA'ALIN OSO B'SHAVYO - they calculate its value
7) [line 29] KONSIM OSO... - they penalize him and require that he must buy
it back at any price (as explained on 3a)
*8*) [line 4] D'YAHIV LEI BEHEMAH MA'ABARTA LI'FETUMAH - he gave the non-Jew
a pregnant animal to fatten on the condition that the non-Jew would take
half of the increase in value of the animal and receive half of the
offspring; unlike the usual arrangement of Kablanus where the laborer
divides only the offspring with the owner and the owner keeps the rest
9) [line 31] D'PASKAH MINEI - he has severed (detached) the animal from his
10) [line 45] D'LO MEKABELES ZACHAR - it does not mate