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Bechoros 24



(a) We just cited the Rabbanan, who argue with Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah. They rule that if someone purchases a feeding animal, the next baby to which it gives birth – is a Safek Bechor (because we suspect that the baby is that of another animal to which it has taken a fancy).

(b) In the Seifa, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel discusses a case where the owner enters his herd in the evening and finds ten or fifteen animals that have all given birth, and in the morning, he finds all the animals that have given birth for the first time feeding female babies, and all the others feeding males, we might have thought – that all the males are Safek Bechoros.

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel actually rules – that none of the animals are Bechoros, the females because they are not males, the males, because they are not firstborn.

(a) We ask a She’eilah on Raban Shimon ben Gamliel’s opinion. He may hold that no animal cares for a baby other than its own. Alternatively, he holds – that an animal does not care for a baby other than its own as long as it has not given birth (but once it has, it does).

(b) Seeing as either way, the animal is Patur from the Bechorah, the ramifications of the She’eilah are – whether in the event that the owner Shechts an animal that has given birth on the same day as the baby that it is feeding (even though he is not sure that it is its baby), he is Chayav because of ‘Oso ve’es B’no’ (according to the first side of the She’eilah), or not (according to the second side).

(c) We try to prove from the Reisha of our Mishnah ’ha’Loke’ach Beheimah Meinekes min ha’Akum, Eino Choshesh Shema B’no shel Acheres Hayah‘ – that an animal never cares for a baby that is not its own.

(d) We refute ...

1. ... this proof however – by interpreting ‘Hayah’ (as opposed to ‘Hu’) to mean ‘unless it had a baby of its own’.
2. ... the proof from the Seifa, where Raban Shimon ben Gamliel again states ‘Ein Chosheshin ... ‘, even though they all gave birth – because it is obvious that, as long as its own baby is there, it will not care for one that is not its own, and our She’eilah refers specifically to a case where its own baby is not there.
(a) From the Lashon of the Beraisa ‘ha’Davar be’Chezkaso ... ve’Chein ... ‘ followed by the Seifa, we attempt to prove – that the Reisha like the Seifa, must be speaking where the baby is definitely that of the animal from which it is feeding (even though, unlike the Seifa, we do not know for sure that the latter gave birth).

(b) But we refute this proof too – by establishing ‘Ha ke’de’Iysa, ve’Ha ke’ de’Iysa’ (the Seifa speaks when we know that the animal gave birth, and the Seifa speaks when we don’t).

(c) The Tana nevertheless says ‘ve’Chein’ – because the animal in the Reisha, like the animal in the Seifa, is Patur from the Bechorah.

(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan rules that if a Chazir is feeding from a ewe – the latter is Patur from the Bechorah, but it is forbidden to eat.

(b) The Chazir - cannot be a Bechor, because it is a Nidmeh.

(c) The problem with ...

1. ... this dual ruling is – that the first half follows the opinion of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah, whereas the second half seems to follow that of the Rabbanan of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the first Perek.
2. ... the Lashon ‘ad Yavo ve’Yoreh Tzedek’ is - that if he does indeed follow the opinion of the Rabbanan here as well, it is not a Halachic ruling that is needed (as implied by ‘ve’Yoreh Tzedek’) but merely a revelation (whether the baby belongs to this animal or not).
3. ... the suggestion that Rebbi Yochanan is not sure whether to rule like Rebbi Shimon ben Gamliel or the Rabbanan is – why the animal is then Patur from the Bechorah (since according to the Rabbanan, it is Chayav).
(d) Anyway it is impossible to say that, since the same Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan stated that wherever Raban Shimon ben Gamliel’s name occurs in a Mishnah – the Halachah is like him except for the three cases ‘Areiv, Tzidon and Re’ayah Acharonah’.
(a) We therefore establish Rebbi Yochanan like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel and his Safek is – whether, according to Raban Gamliel, an animal that has given birth doesn’t care for the baby of another animal either, or whether it does.

(b) We query his insertion of a Chazir in the case however – suggesting that he ought to have rather referred to a lamb (with regard to’ Oso ve’es B’no’, as we explained earlier).

(c) We answer that he prefers to refer to a Chazir – because, in the case of a lamb, if the answer to the She’eilah would be positive, we would still have to ask what the Din will be by a Chazir, since it is possible that, even if the animal cares for an animal of its own kind, it might well not care for an animal of a different species (unless it is its own child).




(a) Achai b’Rivi asked what the Din will be if one sees a Chazir feeding from a ewe. We reject the suggestion that his She’eilah is whether we rule like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel or the Rabbanan regarding Bechor – because then he should have referred to a lamb (since that is the subject of their Machlokes).

(b) In fact, we interpret the She’eilah in one of two ways. When we say that it goes even according to ...

1. ... the Rabbanan regarding the Bechorah, we mean – that the She’eilah is whether the Rabbanan will extend their ruling (that an animal cares for a another animal’s baby) to a different species of animal or not.
2. ... Raban Shimon ben Gamliel regarding Achilah, we mean - that the She’ eilah is whether, assuming that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel concedes that an animal that gave birth does care for another animal’s baby, this will also extend to a different species of animal.
(c) The outcome of the She’eilah is ‘Teiku’ (Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos ve’ Ibayos’).
(a) Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam says in our Mishnah that someone who comes to Shecht a Bechor – should part it on both sides of the location of the Shechitah with a chopping knife (this will be explained in the Sugya), to clear it for the Shechitah, and if in the process, he tears out hair with his hands (see Tosfos DH ‘ve’Haynu’), so be it.

(b) We would have thought that it is forbidden – in case one comes to tear out some of the wool (Tolesh) and the Torah forbids the shearing of a Bechor (‘Gozez’).

(c) The Tana requires this procedure – in order to prevent the Shechitah from becoming Pasul through Chaladah (the knife being covered during the Shechitah).

(a) Consequently, to avoid conveying the impression that one is shearing the animal – he must leave the matted hair where it is after it has been torn out.

(b) The Tana permits the same preparation regarding the hair of a blemished Bechor, in order to enable the inspection to be carried out properly.

(a) Rav rules like Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam. They asked Rav Huna whether he same preparation is also permitted on Yom-Tov. Assuming that Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam’s reason in allowing it is because ‘Tolesh’ is not considered ‘Gozez’ – it will nevertheless be forbidden on Yom-Tov, because it is ‘Oker Davar mi’Gidulo’ (detaching something from its source), which is forbidden on Yom-Tov.

(b) For it to be permitted on Yom-Tov, too, the reason for permitting it by Bechor will have to be – because it is ‘Davar she’Eino Miskaven’, so if he inadvertently tears out some hair, so be it (see Tosfos Dh ‘ve’Haynu Ta’ama ’); and as for Tolesh, Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam will then hold ‘Tolesh Haynu Gozez’.

(c) Rav Huna responded that he would only resolve their She’eilah provided they first ask Rav Chananel a specific question, and he gave them a specific reply. Subsequently ...

1. ... they asked Rav Chananel – whether the Halachah is like Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam.
2. ... Rav Chananel replied – that Rav specifically ruled like him.
(d) Rav Huna then ruled - that it is permitted on Yom-Tov, too.
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