ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
BECHOROS 2 - Dedicated by Dr. Daniel (Douglas) Rabin, of Clifton, New
Jersey, with gratitude to Rabbi Kornfeld.
Please note that unless otherwise indicated, we follow the explanation of
Rashi. Consequently, our notes and comments do not necessarily have any
bearing on the practical Halachah.
(a) The Tana begins the Masechta with the Dinim of a Peter Chamor rather
than with the first-born of a Kasher animal - because its Dinim are few, so
he decided to finish with it quickly in the first Perek, and spend the rest
of the Masechta with the Dinim of a Kasher animal.
If someone buys a fetus of a first-born donkey from a non-Jew, he is Patur
from giving it to the Cohen. The Tana finds it necessary to add the case of
someone who ...
(b) Whilst discussing the buying and selling of a first-born Ubar (unborn
bfetus) of a donkey before it is born, the Mishnah mentions that selling it
is actually forbidden' - due a Rabbinical decree forbidding the sale of all
larger animals, because he work with it on Shabbos (and the Rabbanan decreed
selling because of renting, which would be an Isur d'Oraysa [as we learned
(c) The Tana includes someone who owns the donkey in partnership with the
Nochri and someone who is Mekabel from a Nochri or the Nochri from him,
which means - that the Nochri owns the donkey and the Yisrael undertakes to
look after it in exchange for a fifty per-cent share in each baby that is
born (or vice-versa).
(d) The reason for all these Dinim is based on the Pasuk - "Hikdashti Li Kol
Bechor be'Yisrael" (exempting any Bechor in which a Nochri has a share [in
either it or the mother]).
1. ... sells to a non-Jew - because we might have thought that we punish him
for removing the Kedushas Bechor from the animal, and force him to redeem it
and give it to the Cohen.
2. ... purchases a donkey in partnership with a non-Jew - to preclude the
opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, who holds that one is in fact, Chayav.
3. ... is Mekabel a donkey from a Nochri (not for itself, but because of ...
4. ... Nosen be'Kabalah, which comes to teach us - that although the mother
still belongs to the Yisrael, we do not fine him and obligate him to
retrieve the Bechor and give it to the Cohen, in case he becomes confused
and fails to give the Bechor to the Cohen even when the Nochri does not have
a portion in the animal.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah in the Mishnah in Avodah-Zarah, permits the sale of an
animal with broken legs. We ask whether he will also permit selling him a
fetus (which cannot work either), which Rebbi Yehudah might agree is
nevertheless forbidden - because unlike an animal with broken legs, there is
nothing irregular about a fetus (in which case, there is nothing to remind
the owner not to sell [or rent] an animal that is already born to a Nochri).
(b) We attempt to resolve the She'eilah, from our Mishnah, which mentions
the prohibition of selling a Nochri the unborn fetus of a donkey - without
adding that Rebbi Yehudah disagrees.
(c) We reject this proof however, based on the continuation of the Mishnah
'ha'Mishtatef Lo ... ' - where Rebbi Yehudah (in a Beraisa) disagrees with
the Tana of our Mishnah, yet the Mishnah omits his opinion. Perhaps he also
disagrees regarding the sale of a fetus, but the Tana omits it.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah, in a Beraisa, rules that someone who is Mekabel an animal
from a Nochri, which subsequently gives birth to a Bechor - must have its
value assessed, of which he pays half to a Kohen.
(b) He also rules that, if he is Nosen le'Kabalah, we fine him, forcing him
to pay up to ten times the value of the animal to buy it back, and he is
obligated to give all of its value to the Cohen. The problem with...
1. ... the word 'Damav', if as we suggest, this refers to the mother is -
that seeing as 'Beheimah' (the word that pertains to the mother) is
feminine, the Tana ought then to have said 'Damehah'.
(c) We finally establish the case - where he gave the Nochri a pregnant
animal to fatten, and where we anyway fine him on the mother. So Rebbi
Yehudah will agree here that we fine him on the Ubar too (even though one
would do so by a regular Ubar).
2. ... 'Nosen Kol Damav le'Kohen', even if we amend 'Damav' to Damehah' is -
that the Kohen has no rights over the mother, so why should the owner have
to give him its value.
(a) In another Beraisa, Rebbi Yehudah permits selling to a Nochri an animal
with broken legs - because it is incurable (and will therefore never be able
to work on Shabbos).
(b) Rav Ashi resolves our She'eilah with an Ubar from there - by
extrapolating that if it could be cured, it would be Asur, in which case an
Ubar (which stands to be born one day) will be Asur, too.
(c) Another Lashon suggests that our Mishnah, which forbids selling an Ubar
to a Nochri, cannot go like Rebbi Yehudah. But we refute that suggestion -
by differentiating between an animal with a broken leg (which is irregular)
and an Ubar, which is not (and where Rebbi Yehudah will therefore concede
that it is Asur, as we explained).
(a) After asking from the same Beraisos and concluding 'Hai Nami ke'Yachol
Lehisrap'os Dami' (like we concluded in the first Lashon), we ask what the
Din will be if someone sells his animal to a Nochri for its Ubar. The
She'eilah is - whether we penalized him and force him to buy back the animal
from the Nochri, or not.
(b) The She'eilah is pertinent both according to Rebbi Yehudah and according
to the Rabbanan. On the one hand, there is even more reason to be ...
1. ... lenient in this case than in that of an animal with broken legs,
according to Rebbi Yehudah, (even though it is not irregular) - because it
is not a total sale (since he retained ownership of the animal).
2. ... strict here than by an animal with a broken leg, according to the
Rabbanan (even though it is not a total sale) - because it is not irregular,
and one will therefore come to permit the sale of an ordinary animal.
(a) We query the She'eilah according to the Rabbanan from a Beraisa, where
they asked Rebbi Yehudah why he permitted selling an animal with broken
legs, seeing as it was still fit to give birth. This suggests - that their
reason is because the animal can have children, and if so, in the current
case, it should definitely be Asur.
(b) The gist of the Rabbanan's query is - that seeing as the Nochri will
retain the animal that is fit to give birth, people who see it there after a
year or two will think that one is permitted to sell an animal to a Nochri,
even if it is not to Shecht.
(c) Which Rebbi Yehudah countered with - 'Let the animal first give birth!',
by which he meant that an animal with broken legs will not accept a female,
in which case the Nochri will not keep the animal for long, and there is
nothing to worry about.
(d) We refute that proof however - in that perhaps their personal reason is
because one might confuse the sale of an animal with a broken leg with that
of a healthy one (which gives rise to the She'eilah), and they only
mentioned the concept of 'fit to give birth' to counter Rebbi Yehudah's
argument, that the animal is incurable.
(a) We try to resolve the She'eilah from our Mishnah 've'ha'Nosen Lo
be'Kabalah' - by virtue of the Tana's failure to add that it is Asur to do
(b) And we refute this proof from the following ruling 've'ha'Mishtatef
Lo' - which the Tana also omits, even though Shmuel has taught us that it is
prohibited to enter into a partnership with a Nochri.
(c) Shmuel learns this from the Pasuk "Lo Yishama al Picha" - which teaches
us the prohibition of even causing a Nochri to swear by his god (by entering
into a Shutfus with him).
(d) And the Tana omitted the Isur Lechatchilah both by Mishtatef and by
Nosen Lo be'Kabalah' (assuming that it is Asur) - because it considered it
sufficient to mention it with regard to Mechirah ...
(e) ... which, when all's said and done, constitutes the Main Isur.
(a) We cite the Beraisa that we quoted earlier, where Rebbi Yehudah
obligates someone who gave an animal be'Kabalah to a Nochri, to redeem it
from the Nochri 'ad Asarah be'Damav' and to pay its full value to the
Kohen'. The Chachamim - exempt any animal in which a Nochri has a share,
from the Din of Bechorah.
(b) On the assumption that the Tana is referring to the animal that he sold,
we try to prove from here - that regarding the Din of Nosen be'Kabalah, the
K'nas of redemption extends to the animal itself ...
(c) ... even according to the Chachamim - who only argue with Rebbi Yehudah
with regard to the Din of Bechorah, but who agree with him as regards the
(d) We switch the proof however, by confining the Beraisa's ruling to the
Ubar specifically (and not to the mother) - which we prove from the fact
that the Tana says 'be'Damav' and not 'be'Damehah' (as we learned above,
though this time we make no effort to change the text).