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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bechoros 4



(a) Our Mishnah exempts Kohanim and Leviyim from the Bechorah, from a Kal-va'Chomer. If, as we initially think, the Tana is referring to Pidyon Peter Chamor - then what the Tana means is - that if, in the desert, the Leviyim exempted the Yisrael's donkeys from having to be given to the Kohen, then they will now certainly exempt their own.

(b) According to the Pasuk in Bamidbar, it was ...

1. ... the Leviyim themselves who exempted Yisrael's Bechor Adam (in the desert) ...
2. ... and their animals that exempted the latter's Bechor Beheimah.
(c) Abaye therefore amends the Mishnah to read that on the one hand, the Kohanim and Leviyim are exempt from Pidyon ha'Ben, whilst on the other, their donkeys are exempt from a 'Kal-va'Chomer' - which teaches us that if the Leviyim's lambs exempted the donkeys of the Yisre'elim in the desert, they will certainly exempt their own.
(a) Rava asks two Kashyos on Abaye. One, that 'Patru' in the Mishnah implies that it is the Leviyim themselves who do the exempting, and not their lambs. The other - then why do they not also exempt their own Tahor animals from the Bechorah (like they did in the desert)?

(b) The latter Kashya is based on a Mishnah later in the Perek - which restricts the P'tur of the Kohanim and Leviyim's firstborn to Pidyon ha'Ben and Pidyon Peter Chamor, but includes their firstborn Beheimos Tehoros in the obligation.

(c) So Rava finally establishes the Mishnah - (not by Pidyon Peter Chamor at all, but) - by Bechor Adam.

(d) And from the Hekesh "Ach Padoh Sifdeh es Bechor ha'Adam ve'es Bechor Beheimah ha'Temei'ah Tifdeh", we learn - that just as the Kohanim and the Leviyim are not subject to Pidyon ha'Ben, neither are their donkeys.

(a) Rav Safra asks Abaye a number of Kashyos. He queries ...
1. ... Abaye's own opinion that the 'Ka-va'Chomer also pertains to the Leviyim's own donkeys - inasmuch as the Leviyim's donkeys in the desert, whose owners did not own a lamb ought not to have been redeemed.

2. ... both Abaye and Rava, who learn the 'Kal va'Chomer' on Bechor Adam - that the firstborn Leviyim that were less than a month old ought not to have been redeemed in the desert.

3. ... Rav Ada bar Ahavah, who exempts the Bechor of a Levi'ah from the Bechorah - why that is, seeing that the B'nos Levi were not counted in the desert.

(b) We know that Abaye agrees with Rava with regard to Darshening the 'Kal-va'Chomer' on Bechor Adam - from a 'Kal-va'Chomer' from Bechor Beheimah, and because otherwise, from where will he know that the Bechor Adam of a Levi is Patur?

(c) We answer the third Kashya with a statement of Mar b'rei de'Rav Yosef Amar Rava, who said that the Torah connects the Din of Bechor with 'Peter Rechem' (giving a bas Levi the same status as a Levi in this regard).

(a) Rava also asked on Aharon and the Kohanim. The Beraisa explains that the Torah places a dot on "Aharon" in the Parshah of the census of the Leviyim in Bamidbar - to teach us that he was not counted together with the other Leviyim.

(b) What we achieve with ...

1. ... the Pasuk "ha'Leviyim", comparing all the Leviyim is - to answer Rav Safra's first two Kashyos (since it incorporates both scenarios in the Din of Bechor).
2. ... Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi's statement, that the Kohanim are referred to as Leviyim in twenty-four places, is - to include Aharon and his sons' donkeys in the redemption of the Leviyim's.



(a) And we learn that ...
1. ... the P'tur of a Bechor Adam Kohen and Levi extends to nowadays as well - from the Pasuk "Ve'hayu Li ha'Leviyim" ("Ve'hayu", 'be'Havayasan Yehu').
2. ... the donkeys belonging to Yisre'elim were redeemed by the *lambs* of the Leviyim - from "Kesef" (the five Shekalim of Bechor Adam), which was used in the desert just as it is used nowadays, so by the same token, they redeemed the donkeys in the desert with a lamb just like we do nowadays.
(b) The Pircha that we ask on the previous Limud (of Rav Chisda) of Pidyon with a lamb from Pidyon with money is - that Pidyon with money is also applicable to Hekdesh and Ma'aser Sheini, whereas Pidyon with a lamb is not found anywhere else.

(c) So we learn it from the Hekesh that we quoted earlier "Ach Padoh Sifdeh es Bechor ha'Adam ve'es Bechor ha'Beheimah ha'Temei'ah Tifdeh" - comparing Pidyon Peter Chamor to Pidyon ha'Ben, inasmuch as the latter, like the former applied in the desert just as applies nowadays.

(a) According to Rebbi Chanina, one lamb of a ben Levi exempted many donkeys of a Yisrael. Abaye proves this from the difference between the leftovers of Bechor Adam - which were counted and who subsequently needed to redeem themselves, and those of Bechor Peter Chamor, which the Torah does not mention ...

(b) ... because since one lamb exempted any amount of donkeys, there would have been no leftovers.

(c) We refute the suggestion that this was perhaps because there were so firstborn donkeys that there were no leftovers - by citing the Pasuk in "u'Mikneh Rav Hayu li'Venei Gad ve'li'Venei Reuven".

(d) And the Pasuk "ve'es Beheimas ha'Leviyim Tachas Behemtam" counters the suggestion that ...

1. ... in spite of this, the Leviyim had far more ordinary lambs than that - in that the singular form of "Behemas ha'Leviyim" as against the plural form of "Behemtam" indicates otherwise.
2. ... "Beheimah" means many animals (like we commonly find) - because if Yisrael did not have far more animals than the Leviyim, then the Torah should either have written the singular by both or the plural.
(e) Despite the Mishnah that later rules 'u'Podin Bo Pe'amim Harbeh', as Rava comments, we need Rebbi Chanina's statement - to teach us that the Tana's ruling is based on the principle that one lamb can redeem many donkeys.
(a) Based on the Pasuk "Kadesh Li Kol Bechor", Rebbi Yochanan maintained that the Din Bechor applied to the firstborn that were born in the desert - Resh Lakish held - that it did not, and he quoted the Pasuk in Bo "Ve'hayah ki Yeci'acha ... Ve'ha'avarta Kol Peter Rechem".

(b) Rebbi Yochanan queried Resh Lakish from a Beraisa, which states that until the Mishkan was constructed, Bamos were permitted - and the Avodah was performed by the Bechoros.

(c) According to Resh Lakish, however - the Beraisa is talking about the Bechoros that were born in Egypt.

(a) Resh Lakish proves his point - by pointing out that the Bechoros who were born in the desert, who were at most, only one year old, would hardly have been able to perform the Avodah.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan certainly agreed with that. Only he thought that if the firstborn born in the desert did not have the Din of Bechoros, neither did those who were born in Egypt.

(c) Resh Lakish counters - that those born in the desert did not have a Din Bechor, whereas those who were born in Egypt, did.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan also queried Resh Lakish from another Beraisa, which lists the various Korbanos that Yisrael brought on the day that the Mishkan was erected. besides Nedarim and Nedavos, the Tana lists - Chata'os, Ashamos *Bechoros* andMa'asros.

(b) Resh Lakish ...

1. ... countered Rebbi Yochanan's query from Bechoros - by establishing this Beraisa by Bechorei Beheimah that were born in Egypt.
2. ... turn his answer into proof against Rebbi Yochanan - from the inference that from that day on, they were not brought anymore.
(c) In the second Lashon, it is Resh Lakish who queries Rebbi Yochanan from the Lashon 'Oso ha'Yom' ... as we just explained, which Rebbi Yochanan answered - by amending the Lashon to 'from that day and onwards, they brought all those Korbanos.

(d) And the Chidush then lies in the inference - me'Oso ha'Yom va'Eilach, Me'ikara Lo', because it is forbidden to bring obligatory offerings on a Bamah.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan asks on Resh Lakish from another Beraisa, which lists three places where Yisrael publicly sanctified the firstborn - Egypt, the desert and Eretz Yisrael.

(b) The Tana quotes "Kadesh Li Kol Bechor" (Bo) in connection with Egypt, "Ki Li Kol Bechor bi'Venei Yisrael" in connection with the desert - and "Ve'hayah Ki Yevi'acha ... Ve'ha'avarta Kol Peter Rechem" in connection with the sanctification of the Bechoros in Eretz Yisrael.

(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak explains 'bi'Sheloshah Mekomos Kidshu Bechoros' according to Resh Lakish to mean - that in three places they were warned about Kidush Bechoros, though they did not take place there.

(d) Bearing in mind that he himself explained earlier that they did sanctify the Bechoros in Egypt, when Resh Lakish says 'Lo Kidshu' - he means that some of them Lo Kidshu (with reference to the desert), but in the other cases, Kidshu.

(a) We prove from the Pasuk "Pekod Kol Bechor Zachar ... " - that in the desert too, they sanctified the Bechoros.

(b) So we amend the Machlokes. Rebbi Yochanan now holds that they sanctified the firstborn in the desert and did not stop doing so, whereas according to Resh Lakish - they initially began sanctifying them but stopped once the Mishkan was built.

(c) Resh Lakish learns his opinion from "Ve'hayah Ki Yevi'acha ... Ve'ha'avarta Kol Peter Rechem", as we explained. Rebbi Elazar explains that Rebbi Yochanan disagrees - on the basis of a dream, in which he was shown the D'rashah of "Va'hayu Li ha'Leviyim" (as we explained earlier).

(d) And he interprets the Pasuk like the Beraisa of de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael, who extrapolated from the Pasuk "Ve'hayah Ki Yevi'acha ... Ve'ha'avarta Kol Peter Rechem" - that one should perform this Mitzvah, because on its merit, we will enter Eretz Yisrael.

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