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Bechoros 18

BECHOROS 19-20 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.



(a) We just cited Rebbi Eliezer, who requires the two towns between which the murdered man was found to bring two Eglah Arufos. The Tana Kama of the Beraisa rules – that they do not bring a calf at all.

(b) We refute the suggestion that they are arguing over whether we say ‘Efshar Letzamtzem bi’Yedei Adam’ (Rebbi Eliezer) or not (the Tana Kama) – because then the Tana Kama ought to have required them to bring one calf between them and to stipulate that it should cover the obligation of whichever town is the nearest.

(c) Clearly then, the Chachamim disagree with Rebbi Eliezer in that they hold – “K’rovah”, ‘ve’Lo K’rovos’.

(d) Rav Chiya bar Avin Amar Rav Amram finally resolves the She’eilah from another Beraisa, where the Chachamim of Rebbi Eliezer rule that the two towns bring one Eglah between them and stipulate that it will cover the obligation of whichever town is the nearest. Based on what we just learned, they cannot hold ‘Efshar Letzamtzem’, irrespective of whether they Darshen ‘K’rovah va’Afilu Kerovos’ or ‘K’rovah ve’Lo Kerovos’ - they can only hold ‘I Efshar Letzamtzem’, even bi’Yedei Adam.

(a) According to Rebbi Tarfon in our Mishnah, the Kohen may pick the strongest of the twins as the Bechor – because in his opinion, that is the one that will have been born first.

(b) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba queries Rebbi Yochanan, whom he quoted as saying that, according to Rebbi Akiva, the Kohen takes the weaker of the two, from our Mishnah, where he says ‘Meshamnin Beinehen’, which he initially interprets to mean – that the owner and the Kohen split the difference between the two animals (because the Kohen has a share in both animals).

(c) Whilst Rebbi Chiya bar Aba was still ‘eating dates in Bavel’ - Rebbi Yochanan had explained the meaning of ‘Meshamnin Beinehen’ (to straighten out the apparent contradiction with the Seifa).

(d) We learned in the Seifa of our Mishnah ‘Meis Echad Meihen ... Rebbi Akiva Omer, ha’Motzi me’Chavero, Alav ha’Re’ayah’. According to Rebbi Chiya bar Aba’s interpretation of ‘Meshamnin Beinehen’, Rebbi Akiva ought to have said the same there.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan therefore interprets ‘Meshamnin Beinehen’ to mean – that they place the healthier animal in the middle, as it were, and tell the Kohen that if he can prove that it was born first, he can have it (‘ha’Motzi me’Chavero ... ‘, like Rebbi Akiva learns in the Seifa).

(b) In that case – Rebbi Akiva does not hold that the Kohen owns a share in both animals, as Rebbi Chiya bar Aba understood.

(a) According to the Tana Kama in our Mishnah, the second animal grazes in the meadow until it obtains a blemish (as we explained) and it is Chayav Matanos. We take for granted that the Tana Kama is Rebbi Meir – because it is learned S’tam (without a name), and we have a principle ‘S’tam Mishnah, Rebbi Meir’.

(b) Rava explains that Rebbi Meir’s reason is – because the Kohen can claim ‘mi’Mah Nafshach’, either give me the Matanos (as if it is a Pashut), or the animal (as if it is a Bechor).

(c) Rebbi Yossi nevertheless exempts him from the Matanos, he says – because, based on the fact that the Kohen has a claim on one of the animals, the Chachamim consider it as if he would have received the second one, and, after it obtained a blemish, he sold it back to the owner for the first one (‘Chalipav be’Yad Kohen’), in which case, the second one will be Patur from Matanos, as we learned in the first Perek.

(a) Everyone agrees, says Rebbi Elazar – even Rebbi Yossi, that a Safek Bechor, such as in the Seifa (where the animal gave birth to a male and a female) is Chayav Matanos – because since the S’vara of ‘Asu she’Eino Zocheh ke’Zocheh’ is based on the theory that the Kohen receives the first animal in exchange for the second one (‘Chalipav be’Yad Kohen’) as we explained, and in this case, no such exchange is even theoretically conceivable, there is no reason to exempt it.

(b) This is not obvious at all, because we might have presented Rebbi Yossi’ s reason – as a decree that if one obligates the owner to give the Kohen Matanos, he will consider the animal Chulin, and go on to shear it or to work with it which applies even in the current case).

(c) Even though in the next Mishnah, Rebbi Yossi specifically says to Rebbi Meir ‘Kol she’Chalipav be’Yad Kohen, Patur’ – perhaps he is only using that as an argument to convince Rebbi Meir to change his mind and concede that, at least there, the animal will be Patur from Matanos ...

(d) ... to which Rebbi Meir replies – that he remains unmoved.




(a) Everyone agrees, says Rav Papa, that Safek Ma’aser is Patur from Matanos. The case of Safek Ma’aser is – where one of the counted animals jumped back into the pen containing the animals that had been declared Ma’ aser, in which case they all graze in the meadow until they obtain a blemish, when they may be redeemed and eaten by the owner.

(b) ‘Everyone’ refers to Rebbi Meir, who concedes here that he is Patur – since (seeing as Ma’aser Beheimah is not given to the Kohen) the Kohen’s argument of ‘mi’Mah Nafshach’ does not apply to Ma’aser.

(c) This is not so obvious – since Rebbi Meir’s reason may well be so that the institution of Matanos should not be forgotten (in which case it will apply to Safek Ma’aser as well).

(a) We query this suggestion however, from Rebbi Yossi in the Seifa, who cites his reason to Rebbi Meir as ‘Kol she’Chalipav be’Yad Kohen’ – implying that they are arguing by a case where the Kohen can claim ‘mi’Mah Nafshach’ (and not by Safek Ma’aser).

(b) And we counter that, even though Rebbi Meir himself might hold Chayav even by Safek Ma’aser, the Tana nevertheless presents their Machlokes in a case of ‘Chalipin’ – to teach us that even in such a case (where the Kohen has a Ta’anah ‘mi’Mah Nafshach’), Rebbi Yossi holds Patur (because of ‘Asu es she’Eino Zocheh ke’Zocheh’).

(a) Rebbi Tarfon rules in the Seifa that if one of the twins dies, the owner and the Kohen divide the second one. According to his ruling in the Reisha ‘ha’Kohen Borer Lo es ha’Yafeh’ he ought to have ruled here – that if the stronger one died, then the weaker one belongs to the owner, and if the weaker one died, the stronger one ought to go to the Kohen.

(b) Rebbi Ami explains – that in fact, Rebbi Tarfon retracted from his ruling in the Reisha.

(c) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan compares the ruling of ...

1. ... Rebbi Tarfon to a case where two people deposited two sheep with a shepherd one of which died, where the Halachah is - that the shepherd places the remaining sheep between them and withdraws.
2. ... Rebbi Akiva to a case where Reuven deposits a sheep with Shimon and when a sheep from Shimon’s flock subsequently died, he claimed that it was the one that Reuven deposited with him – where the Din is that we believe him, due to the principle ‘ha’Motzi me’Chavero, Alav ha’Re’ayah’.
(d) The significance of this dual statement is – that this is how Rebbi Yochanan establishes Rebbi Tarfon and Rebbi Akiva respectively. The problem then is that since they are speaking in two different cases, what is their Machlokes?
(a) Rava (or Rav Papa) explains what Rebbi Yochanan means. In fact, both Rebbi Tarfon and Rebbi Akiva will agree with both rulings in the two above cases (seeing as neither ruling is really arguable) ...

(b) ... and the basis of their Machlokes is whether, in a case where the shepherd happens to be a Kohen, and the sheep are on the owner’s property, the owner will automatically be Makneh part of his Chatzer to the shepherd, to enable him to acquire the Bechoros as soon as they are born (Rebbi Tarfon) or not (Rebbi Akiva).

(c) Rebbi ...

1. ... Tarfon maintains that the owner is Makneh a portion of the Chatzer to the shepherd – in order to perform a Mitzvah with his money (by allowing the Kohen to rear his Bechoros on his [the owner’s] property).
2. ... Akiva holds that he is not – because he anticipates that sometimes (such as in the case of a Safek Bechor), the fact that the Kohen possesses a share in the Chatzer will cause him a loss.
(a) Our Mishnah rules that in a case where Reuven’s two sheep give birth ...
1. ... to two firstborn males - he must give both of them to a Kohen.
2. ... one, to a male and the other, to a female - he must give him the male only.
(b) The Tana Kama rules that, if they gave birth to two males and a female, then the Kohen takes one of the males and the owner keeps the other. According to Rebbi ...
1. ... Tarfon, this means – that he takes the stronger one.
2. ... Akiva, it means – that he takes the weaker one (‘Meshamnin Beinehen ’).
(c) The animal retained by the owner must graze ... (‘Yir’eh’). The Tana Kama rules that it is Chayav Matanos. According to Rebbi Yossi – it is Patur (as we explained in the previous Mishnah).

(d) Should one of the animals die, Rebbi Tarfon rules ‘Yachloku’. Rebbi Akiva says ‘ ‘ha’Motzi me’Chavero, Alav ha’Re’ayah’.

(a) In a case where the two animals gave birth to two females and a male, or to two females and two males, the Kohen receives nothing – because it is possible that each animal gave birth to the female (first).

(b) The final case, in which Rebbi Tarfon and Rebbi Akiva, and Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yossi, repeat their disputes is – where one of the two males to which the two animals gave birth is not a firstborn.

(c) If the two babies were a male and a female, the Kohen receives nothing – because it is possible that the firstborn was the female.

(d) The Tana presents the Machlokes between Rebbi Tarfon and Rebbi Akiva three times, because had he only inserted it in ...

1. ... the Reisha (where both Safek Bechoros are born from the same mother), we would have thought that in the case of the Metzi’asa (where they are born from two mothers) – Rebbi Akiva would concede that the stronger one must be the Bechor, because its strength stems from its having been alone in its mother’s womb, whereas the second male is weak, because it shared its mother ’s womb with its sister.
2. ... the Metzi’asa, he nevertheless saw fit to present it in the Seifa (where one of the babies is not a firstborn) – because we would otherwise have thought that in such a case, Rebbi Akiva will concede that we assume the firstborn to be the stronger baby.
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