THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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BECHOROS 27 - dedicated by Hagaon Rav Mordechai Rabin of London, now living
1) EATING TERUMAH OF CHUTZ LA'ARETZ
OPINIONS: Shmuel rules that when Terumah of Chutz la'Aretz (Terumah
separated from fruit grown outside of Eretz Yisrael) becomes mixed with
other fruit, it is Batel b'Rov.
2) HOW TO ANNUL TERUMAH OF CHUTZ LA'ARETZ
Does Shmuel mean that a non-Kohen may eat the mixture?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Terumas) explains that this Bitul allows a Kohen who is
Tamei to eat the mixture containing Terumah of Chutz la'Aretz. A
non-Kohen, however, is still prohibited from eating the mixture. This is
also the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Terumos 13:11).
(b) RASHI (DH Beteilah) explains that this Bitul allows both a non-Kohen
and a Kohen who is Tamei to eat the mixture. The RAMBAN agrees with Rashi
and adds that if Shmuel's intention was to permit only a Kohen who is
Tamei to eat the mixture, then he would have said so. The word "Batel"
implies that it is Batel for *all* purposes.
OPINIONS: The Gemara relates that when Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua would
have wine of Terumah of Chutz la'Aretz, he would be Mevatel the Terumah
wine in wine of Chulin and drink it. What exactly did he do to be Mevatel
the Terumah wine?
3) PAYING SOMEONE TO GIVE "MATNOS KEHUNAH" TO A YISRAEL'S GRANDSON
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Terumos 13:11) rules that it is permissible to be
Mevatel Terumah of Chutz la'Aretz in this manner in order to allow a Kohen
who is Tamei to consume it. He rules that when one has Terumah wine of
Chutz la'Aretz, he may mix one Log of the Terumah wine with two Lugin of
Chulin wine, making a mixture with three Lugin of wine. He then may add
another Log of Terumah wine into the mixture, bringing the total to four
Lugin. He may then drink one Lug. He continues in this manner by adding
one Log of Terumah and drinking one Log before adding the next Log of
(b) The RA'AVAD disagrees and maintains that the Rambam's method of Bitul
is prohibited. He argues that since -- after adding the second Log of
Terumah -- one is left with two parts Chulin mixed with two parts Terumah,
there is no Rov of Chulin wine to be Mevatel the Terumah wine! Rather, the
way to be Mevatel Terumah of Chutz la'Aretz is to one Log of Terumah into
two Lugin of Chulin. The Terumah then becomes Batel b'Rov, and one may
take out one Log from the mixture and drink it. He may then add one Log of
Terumah wine to the remaining two Lugin in the mixture, and again take out
one and drink it.
The KESEF MISHNEH explains that the argument between the Rambam and
Ra'avad depends on the Girsa of the text of the Gemara.
According to the Girsa in our texts of the Gemara, one may mix one Log of
Terumah with two Lugin of Chulin, and then remove one Log of wine and
drink it. One may then add a new Log of Terumah wine, since we assume that
the remaining two Lugin are Chulin, and thus there will be a Rov to be
Mevatel the new Log of Terumah. This implies that if *two* Lugin of
Terumah wine are added to the mixture *before* removing any wine from the
mixture, the mixture will be prohibited, since there will no longer be a
Rov of Chulin. This is the way the Ra'avad learns the Gemara.
The Rambam's text of the Gemara, however, omits the step of removing a Log
of wine from the mixture before pouring in the second Log of Terumah (see
SHITAH MEKUBETZES #4). Accordingly, the Rambam rules that one may add a
second Log of Terumah wine, after he adds the first Log (making it Batel
b'Rov), and thereby be Mevatel the second Log of Terumah wine in three
With regard to the Ra'avad's question that the mixture does not contain a
majority of Chulin, the Kesef Mishneh explains that the Rambam maintains
that since each of the two Lugin of Terumah wine were poured in
separately, we apply the principle of "Kama Kama Batel" -- at the moment
that the first Log of Terumah wine is poured into the two Lugin of Chulin
wine, the Terumah wine becomes Batel. When the second Log of Terumah wine
is poured into the mixture, it does not join with the first, because the
first was already Batel.
QUESTION: The Gemara earlier (26b) cites a Beraisa that says that one may
not give any of the Torah's obligatory gifts to Kohanim, Leviyim, or poor
people who assist the owner of the gifts in the barn, threshing hall, or
slaughterhouse. If the Kohanim, Leviyim, or poor people who assist the
Yisrael do accept the gifts from him, then they are considered to be
stealing from the others who are entitled to receive the gifts (see TAZ YD
The Gemara here says that for all of the various types of Matnos Kehunah
and Matnos Aniyim, the owner has the right of "Tovas Hana'ah," the right
to distribute the Matanos to any Kohen, Levi, or poor person of his
choice. RASHI (beginning of 27a, DH Tovas Hana'ah) explains that it is
forbidden for a Kohen to give a Sela to a Yisrael in order that the
Yisrael give his Terumah to another Kohen, who is a relative of the first
Kohen. This is forbidden because it is similar to a Kohen assisting in the
threshing hall in order to receive the Matanos. However, the Gemara says
that a *Yisrael* is allowed to give a Sela to another Yisrael in order
that he give his Terumah to the first Yisrael's grandson who is a Kohen
(that is, the Yisrael's daughter married a Kohen).
The Gemara then says that it is not permitted for a Yisrael to give a Sela
to another Yisrael in order for that Yisrael to give his Matnos Kehunah or
his Bechor to the Yisrael's grandson who is a Kohen. It is permitted to do
so only for Terumah, because Terumah is Kadosh with Kedushas ha'Guf, and
since Kedushas ha'Guf cannot be redeemed, the Kohen grandson will not make
a mistake and think that when his grandfather the Yisrael gave the other
Yisrael a Sela, he redeemed the Terumah from its Kedushah with that Sela.
However, if the Kohen grandson receives Matnos Kehunah or a Bechor in such
a manner, then he might think that these Matanos were redeemed from their
Kedushah with the Sela that his grandfather gave, because they are Kadosh
only with Kedushas Damim (which can be redeemed). The Kohen might then use
them for a purpose of Chulin for which they may not be used.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Terumos 12:20) rules in accordance with this Gemara,
but he writes a perplexing statement. The Rambam writes, "A Yisrael is
permitted to say to a fellow Yisrael, 'Take this Sela and give your
Terumah, Bechor, or other Matanos to such and such Kohen, who is the son
of my daughter, or the son of my sister.'"
Why does the Rambam write that this practice is permitted even with regard
to Bechor and other Matnos Kehunah? The Gemara here clearly says that this
practice is not permitted with regard to Bechor and other Matnos Kehunah,
but it is permitted only with regard to Terumah! (See YOSEF DA'AS.)
(a) The BEIS YOSEF (YD 331) writes that the Rambam evidently disagrees
with Rashi's explanation of the mistake that the grandson Kohen might make
with the Bechor and Matnos Kehunah. The Beis Yosef suggests that it is
possible that the Rambam understands that the Tana who distinguishes
between Terumah and other Matnos Kehunah holds like Beis Shamai, who says
(in the Mishnah later, 32b) that when a Kohen invites a Yisrael to be his
guest and to eat a Bechor that possesses a Mum, the Yisrael is not
permitted to eat it. The Rambam maintains that according to Beis Shamai,
the Yisrael is also not permitted to eat other Matnos Kehunah with the
Kohen. However, it is only before the Bechor is redeemed that Beis Shamai
prohibits the Yisrael from eating with the Kohen. The grandson Kohen might
mistakenly think that the Bechor was redeemed with the Sela that his
grandfather gave to the other Yisrael, and he will invite a Yisrael to
dine with him. This is the meaning of the Gemara when it says that the
grandson Kohen might come to use the Bechor and Matnos Kehunah in a manner
of Chulin (that is, he might invite a Yisrael to eat with him).
However, the Halachah does not follow the view of Beis Shamai, but rather
the view of Beis Hillel who permits a Kohen to invite a Yisrael to eat a
Bechor with him. Accordingly, the Halachah does not follow the Tana here
who says that a Yisrael may not give a Sela to another Yisrael in order
that he give his Bechor and Matnos Kehunah to his grandson. Rather, it is
permitted for a Yisrael to give a Sela to another Yisrael so that he gives
his Bechor and Matnos Kehunah to his grandson, as the Rambam rules.
(b) The RASHASH answers that the Rambam's words are based on the Mishnah
in Erchin (end of 28b). The Mishnah there says that when one dedicates a
Bechor as "Cherem" to Bedek ha'Bayis, the way its value is calculated (in
order to redeem it from Cherem) is estimated according to how much a
person would pay to have this Bechor given to a Kohen who is his grandson
or his nephew. The Mishnah there clearly implies that this practice is
permitted. The Rambam understands that this Mishnah argues with the
Beraisa in the Gemara here, and therefore he rules like the Mishnah. (D.
4) DETERMINING THE AGE OF AN ANIMAL
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes Rav Acha bar Yakov who derives from the words
"Keves Ben Shenaso" (Vayikra 12:6) that we determine the age of an animal
(with regard to bringing it as a Korban) based on the day of the year on
which it was born, and not by Rosh Hashanah.
Why is it necessary to derive this rule from a verse? It seems to be
obvious. Logically, if the age of an animal would be determined based on
Rosh Hashanah, then it would be impossible to bring a one-year old Korban
(such as a Korban Tamid) on Rosh Hashanah itself. If the animal was born
at any time within a year, and up to eight days, before Rosh Hashanah,
then it would no longer be considered to be in its first year on Rosh
Hashanah, but rather it would already be in its second year. If it was
born on Rosh Hashanah, or less than eight days before Rosh Hashanah, then
it is not valid for a Korban because it is not yet eight days old (it is
"Mechusar Zeman")! (HA'RAV SHMUEL BEN HA'RAV ELCHANAN, quoted by TOSFOS to
Erchin 18b, DH Shenaso)
(a) TOSFOS in Erchin answers that the verse teaches that we are to take
into account even the *time of day* at which the animal was born when we
calculate the age of an animal (that is, we measure its age "me'Es l'Es").
(b) REBBI AKIVA EIGER (in Erchin) suggests that the verse is necessary for
the following reason. Rebbi Elazar (in Rosh Hashanah 10a)) maintains that
only after one month passes do we add a year to a person's or animal's
age, while Rebbi Meir asserts that after one *day* of a year has passed we
add a year to a person's or animal's age. The question of Tosfos is valid
only according to the opinion of Rebbi Meir, who maintains that an
eight-day-old animal is considered to be one-year-old on Rosh Hashanah.
According to Rebbi Elazar, animals born less than thirty days before Rosh
Hashanah certainly may be brought on Rosh Hashanah, since they are not yet
considered to be one-year old (since thirty days have not passed).
According to Rebbi Elazar's opinion, the verse of "Ben Shenaso" is needed
to teach us that animals that were born *more* than thirty days before
Rosh Hashanah are still considered to be "in their first year" even after