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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bechoros 5

BECHOROS 5 (28 Sivan) - dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev [ben Rav Avrohom Tzvi] Gustman, Zecher Tzadik Li'Vrachah, author of "Kuntresei Shi'urim", renowned Dayan of pre and post-WWII Vilna, and Rosh Yeshiva of "Yeshivas Netzach Yisrael-Ramailes" of Vilna/Brooklyn/Yerushalayim), on the day of his Yahrzeit. Sponsored by a number of students who merited to study under him: Harav Eliezer Stern and Harav Zalman Stern of Brooklyn NY; Yechiel Wachtel and Michoel Starr of Yerushalayim.


(a) What is Rav Mordechai's version of Rebbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish's Machlokes?

(b) Rav Ashi asked him whether he also switched the exchange of questions and answers between Rebbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish.
Why did this bother Rav Ashi? Why did he mention particularly Rebbi Elazar's final comment (concerning Rebbi Yochanan's dream)?

(c) What was Rav Mordechai's reply? How did he interpret Rebbi Yochanan's 'Lo Kidshu'?

(d) In that case, they are not even arguing ('Mar Amar Chada, u'Mar Amar Chada, ve'Lo P'ligi'). What important principle do we learn from here?

(a) What did Kuntrukes the governor ask Raban Yochanan ben Zakai (or Raban Gamliel) concerning the census of the Leviyim? What discrepancy did he discover between the detailed count of Gershon, Kehas and Merori on the one hand, and the total figure, on the other?

(b) What did the latter reply?

(c) What reason did Abaye give to explain this?

(a) What three options did Kuntrukus suggest, to explain why Moshe did not account for more than half the silver that Yisrael had donated for the Mishkan?

(b) The half-Shekalim, he claimed, amounted to three hundred and one thousand, seven hundred and seventy-five Shekalim.
If 1Kikar = 60 Manah and 1 Manah = 100 Dinrim = 25 Shekalim/Sela'im, how many Kikar are there in 300,000 Shekalim?

(c) Raban Yochanan ben Zakai (or Raban Gamliel) replied that Moshe was a most reliable treasurer.
What was Kuntrukus' mistake in accusing Moshe of 'stealing' more than fifty percent of the silver that was donated for the Mishkan?

(d) As for the remaining 1775 Shekalim, the Torah has already informed us that it was used to make hooks for the pillars ... . So why did Kuntrukus mention them in the first place?

(a) Kuntrukus' query was based on the Pasuk in Pikudey "Va'yehi Me'as Kikar ha'Kesef Latzekes".
According to Rav Acha'i, what more simple answer could Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai have given Kuntrukus?

(b) Then why didn't he?

(c) What do we try to prove from the fact that the Pasuk presents the leftovers ...

  1. ... here as 1775 Shekel? What should it otherwise have written?
  2. ... over seventy Kikar of copper as 2400 Shekel? What should it otherwise have written
(d) How do we refute ...
  1. ... the first proof?
  2. ... the second proof?
(a) What in simple terms, does the Pasuk in Yechezkel mean when it writes " ... Esrim Shekalim, Chamishah ve'Esrim Shekalim, Asarah va'Chamishah Shekel ha'Manah Yih'yeh Lachem"?

(b) What does this prove?

(c) What else do we learn from the extra forty Shekel?

(d) Why do we refer to the fraction as a sixth, when really forty is a fifth of two hundred?

Answers to questions



(a) Rebbi Chanina asked Rebbi Eliezer why the Mitzvah of Peter Chamor applies specifically to donkeys, and not to horses and camels.
What reason did he add to the fact that it is a 'Gezeiras ha'Kasuv?

(b) How many donkeys did each and every Jew own upon leaving Egypt?

(c) What are Chamorim Lubim? What purpose did they serve?

(d) When he also asked him what "Refidim" (in Beshalach) means, he replied that it was no more than a place name, and that is what he answered when he asked him about "Shitim" (in Balak).
How did Rebbi Yehoshua (in a Beraisa) explain ...

  1. ... "Refidim"?
  2. ... "Shitim"?
(e) Rebbi Eliezer interprets the word "Va'tikrenah" (in "Va'tikrenah la'Am le'Zivchei Eloheihen" [Balak] as naked.
How does Rebbi Yehoshua interpret it?
(a) What does our Mishnah say about a cow that gave birth to a kind of donkey, or a donkey that gave birth to a kind of horse?

(b) How does the Tana learn this from the Torah's repetition of "Peter Chamor"?

(c) In which area of Halachah does the Tana draw a distinction between the same two animals?

(d) Why is that?

(a) What does the Mishnah later, learn from the Pasuk in Korach ...
  1. ... "(Ach) Bechor Shor"?
  2. ... "Bechor Kesev"?
  3. ... "Bechor Eiz"?
(b) "Ach"?

(c) How do we reconcile this Mishnah with our Mishnah, which learns the same thing from the Torah's repetition of Peter Chamor?

(d) What is the basis of the Machlokes between our Tana and Rebbi Yossi Hagelili?

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah learns from the Pasuk "Bechor Shor O Bechor Kesev O Bechor Eiz" like Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina.
What does Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learn from this Pasuk (which concludes "ve'es Damam Tizrok ... ve'es Chelbam Taktir")?

(b) Why could we not learn the other two from ...

  1. ... "Bechor Shor"?
  2. ... "Bechor Kesev"?
  3. ... "Bechor Eiz"?
(c) And why can we not learn ...
  1. ... Par from Kesev and Eiz?
  2. ... Kesev from Par and Eiz?
  3. ... Eiz from Par and Kesev?
(d) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili precludes the firstborn of horses and camels from the Din of Bechor from "Peter Chamor".
Then what does he learn from the Torah's repetition of "Peter Chamor"?
(a) Rav Acha'i asks that on the contrary, if the Torah had only written "Peter Chamor" once, we would view it as a 'Davar she'Hayah bi'Ch'lal ve'Yatza min ha'K'lal Lelamed'. What does he mean by that?

(b) And what if it did?

(c) What would we then learn from the second "Peter Chamor"?

(d) On what grounds do we refute Rav Acha'i's query? If the Torah had not wanted to preclude other Tamei animals from the Din of Bechorah completely - which word would it have omitted from the second "u'Peter Chamor Tifdeh ve'Seh"?

Answers to questions

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