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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bechoros 3



(a) The Beraisa we just cited supports Resh Lakish who holds, in the first Lashon, that we penalize someone who sells his large animal to a non-Jew, by forcing him to pay up to tenfold, to buy it back from the non-Jew, if need be. We ask on that - whether 'ten times' is Davka, or La'av Davka (i.e. perhaps not so much or perhaps even more).

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi obligates someone who sells his Eved to a Nochri to pay - up to a hundredfold in order to buy him back.

(c) We try to prove from the ruling of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - that Resh Lakish must mean Davka, because otherwise, why did they not both give the same Shi'ur (either tenfold or a hundred-fold).

(d) We refute this proof however - inasmuch as despite Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi's stringent ruling, Resh Lakish may well be La'av Davka (i.e. even less than tenfold), and the reason that the Chachamim were so strict by an Eved is because every day that the owner leaves the Eved with the Nochri, he deprives him of many Mitzvos, which he cannot perform whilst he is there. See also Shitah Mekubetzes.

(a) In the second Lashon, Resh Lakish obligates the owner to pay as much as a hundred-fold for the large animal if necessary. The Beraisa, obligates the Nosen be'Kabalah to pay only as much as tenfold - because it was not a complete sale, as we explained earlier.

(b) Assuming that Resh Lakish is Davka, we nevertheless reconcile him with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who obligates the master of the Eved to pay only tenfold (according to this Lashon) - on the grounds that the latter already loses the Eved, who goes free the moment he is redeemed.

(c) The problem with the discrepancy between the two amounts is - that if this is the reason for the leniency, then it would suffice to go down from a hundred-fold to ninety-nine-fold (but why only ten?).

(d) So we amend the distinction between Eved and Beheimah Gasah - ascribing the leniency by Eved to the fact that it is unusual to sell an Eved, and we have a principle that when something is uncommon, the Rabbanan dikd not decree (or were more lenient in their decree, as is the case here).

(a) We just discussed the Beraisa where the Rabbanan and Rebbi Yehudah argue over whether one needs to give a firstborn animal in whom a Nochri has a share to the Kohen or not. Rebbi Yochanan - declares that they both learn it from the same source (the Pasuk in Bo Pasuk "Kol B'chor ... bi'Venei Yisrael").

(b) The Rabbanan interpret the Pasuk "Kol B'chor ... bi'Venei Yisrael" that an animal that is not owned entirely owned by a Yisrael is Patur. The word 'B'chor' alone they would interpret to mean - that he owns only part of the animal.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah holds - that"B'chor" alone would mean that he owns the entire animal; "Kol" therefore comes to teach us that he is Chayav even if he owns only 'Kol-de'Hu' of it.

(d) According to the second Lashon, "B'chor" implies the majority of the animal. The Rabbanan therefore learn - that "Kol" comes to include the remaining minority (so that the Yisrael must own the entire animal), whereas according to Rebbi Yehudah - it comes to detract, making do with the fact that he owns even just a little of it.

(a) According to Rav Huna (in the Rabbanan), the Nochri must own - as little as one ear of the B'chor to exempt it from the Bechorah.

(b) Rav Nachman asked Rav Huna why the Kohen cannot tell the Nochri to take his ear and go - meaning that if the ear was missing, the owner would still be Chayav to give it to him, so why should he be Patur just because a Nochri happens to own it.

(c) Rav Chisda therefore requires him to own a part of the animal that renders it a Neveilah - such as the Veshet.

(d) Rava disagrees. He says - that it will suffice if he just owns the hind leg above the knee, without which the animal would be a Tereifah.

(a) Even though Rava agrees with Rav Chisda, Rav Chisda does not agree with Rava - because in his opinion, a Tereifah can live, in which case it will not suffice for the Nochri to own just the hind-leg.

(b) The Rabbanan repeated the Sugya to Rav Papa, adding that Rav Chisda and Rava do not in fact, argue with Rav Huna, by which they meant - that Rav Huna is speaking in a case where the Nochri owns the mother, whereas Rav Chisda and Rava are speaking - there where he owns part of the actual B'chor.

(c) Rav Papa objected to that in that - what difference does it make? Just as "Kol B'chor" (the source for precluding a Nochri from owning part of the B'chor) restricts the P'tur to where the Nochri owns a substantial part of the animal, so too "Kol Mikn'cha Tizachar" (the Pasuk for precluding a Nochri from owning the mother) does the same.

(a) Mar bar Rav Ashi queried all of the above opinions from the Din of Nefalim (miscarriages). We learn from the Pasuk "Peter Sheger Beheimah" - that even though the Nefel cannot live, it is nevertheless subject to the Din of Bechorah.

(b) Even though the Nefel, in spite of its inability to live, is subject to Bechorah, an animal in which a Nochri owns a part, is nevertheless Patur, since (unlike a Nefel, which all becomes Kadosh), the part that is still owned by the Nochri, remains Chulin (exempting the whole animal from Kedushas Bechor).




(a) When Rebbi Asi told Rebbi Elazar that Rebbi Yochanan had said 'Afilu Mum Kal', he meant - that even though one is Chayav to give a Bechor with the slightest blemish to the Kohen, the Kohen cannot bring it on the Mizbe'ach.

(b) The Mishnah in the following Perek rules that a sheep that gives birth to a goat or vice-versa, is Patur from the Bechorah. To which Rebbi Yochanan adds - that if it resembles its mother in just a few points, it is Chayav.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan's first ruling supports the opinion of Rav Huna (and clashes with the opinions of Rav Chisda and Rava).

(d) Rebbi Yochanan's third statement is - that if a sheep gave birth to a goat or vice-versa) it has a Din of a fixed blemish, which one is permitted to Shecht, without bringing it as a Korban.

(a) This is not a repetition of the Mishnah in 'al Eilu Mumin' which reckons among the blemishes one where the animal's mouth resembles that of a Chazir - because Rebbi Yochanan is speaking about a sheep which resembles another Tahor animal (which we could not learn from there).

(b) The Kashya remains however, from another Mishnah there, which lists as a blemish 'one eye too big' or one eye too small'. The Beraisa interprets ...

1. ... 'too big' to mean - as large as those of a calf.
2. ... 'too small' to mean - as small as those of a goose.
(c) The Kashya on Rebbi Yochanan is - from the former, since (bearing in mind that a calf, like a lamb, is fit to go on the Mizbe'ach) we now have a Mishnah which teaches us Rebbi Yochanan's ruling.

(d) And we answer that the Mishnah is coming to teach us (not that every unusual feature on a Bechor is a blemish, but) - that two different size eyes is included in 'Saru'a' (where any twin limbs are of a different size.

(a) The Tana there says - that all these blemishes are considered Mumin (and invalidate a Kohen from serving on the Mizbe'ach), irrespective of whether they are permanent or just temporary.

(b) And we learn from the Pasuk (in connection with blemishes) "Ish Ish mi'Zera Aharon" - that even two big eyes or two small eyes will invalidate a Kohen from serving on the Mizbe'ach, because they render him different than the other B'nei Aharon.

(c) This is not however considered a blemish regarding an animal.

(d) We are trying to prove from there - that the reason that one big or one small eye is Pasul must be because it is included in the Din of Saru'a (because if it was a matter of Shinuy, then two big eyes or two eyes should also be Pasul).

(a) We reject this proof however, on the grounds that two large or two small eyes is not a Shinuy - but the result of the animal's particular strength or weakness (which is not a blemish at all).

(b) Even though, as we conclude, the reason that a large or a small eye is considered a blemish even by an animal may well now be because it is a Shinuy, Rebbi Yochanan's statement is not superfluous (like we asked initially) - because it might also be because it is considered 'Saru'a'.

(a) With regard to a certain Giyores, whose brothers used to deposit their animals by her to fatten, Rava ruled - that nobody contends with the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, who declares Shutfus Nochri Chayav bi'Vechorah.

(b) Rav Mari bar Rachel sold the ears of his firstborn animals to a Nochri - before they were born (because afterwards, they already belonged to the Kohen), and it would too late.

(a) Even though Rav Mari anyway forbade the work and the wool of the firstborn animals that were born (le'Chumra), he nevertheless did that - to prevent anyone who might inadvertently work with them from transgressing.

(b) All Rav Mari's animals died - because he deprived the Bechoros of their Kedushas Bechor.

(c) Initially, we reconcile this with Rav Yehudah, who specifically permits making a blemish on one's firstborn animals prior to their birth - by pointing out that there, one only removes the Kedushas Mizbe'ach (leaving the basic Kedushah of the animals intact), whereas Rav Mari removed their basic Kedushah as well.

(a) In the second answer, the reason that Rav Mari's animals all died was because he inadvertently caused a Takalah (somebody else to stumble). He was was Makneh his animals to the Nochri - by means of a Kinyan Kesef (which is the only Kinyan through which a Nochri can acquire min ha'Torah).

(b) Someone else, who observed the transaction, and who did not realize that he had employed a Kinyan Kesef, was Makneh his Bechoros to a Nochri with mere words.

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