ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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
(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.
2. ... and their animals that exempted the latter's Bechor Beheimah.
(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
(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.
(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?
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
(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
(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
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
(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.
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.
(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
(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.
(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
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.
(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
(b) Resh Lakish ...
1. ... countered Rebbi Yochanan's query from Bechoros - by establishing this
Beraisa by Bechorei Beheimah that were born in Egypt.
(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.
2. ... turn his answer into proof against Rebbi Yochanan - from the
inference that from that day on, they were not brought anymore.
(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
(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
(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.