Bekhorot 12bבכורות י״ב ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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12bי״ב ב

לר' שמעון נמי צבי ואיל כתיב בהו

according to Rabbi Shimon as well, perhaps one cannot redeem a firstborn donkey with disqualified consecrated animals, as it is written with regard to them that they are to be treated: “Like the gazelle and like the hart” (Deuteronomy 12:15). Since a gazelle and a hart cannot be used for redemption, so too, disqualified consecrated animals cannot be used for redemption.

איבעיא להו מהו לפדות בבהמת שביעית

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to redeeming a firstborn donkey with an animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year, which caused the sanctity of the produce to be transferred to the animal?

ודאי לא תיבעי לך לאכילה אמר רחמנא ולא לסחורה כי תיבעי לך ספק

The Gemara clarifies the question: With regard to redeeming a donkey that has definite firstborn status with an animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year, you should not raise the dilemma, as one certainly may not redeem it in this manner, since the owner acquires his firstborn donkey in exchange for the animal that he gives to the priest, and this is prohibited with regard to such an animal. This is because the Merciful One states with regard to the Sabbatical Year: “The rest of the land shall be for you for consumption” (Leviticus 25:6), indicating that the produce may be used for consumption but not for commerce. Rather, when should you raise the dilemma? Raise it in the case of a donkey with uncertain firstborn status.

ואליבא דרבי שמעון לא תיבעי לך דלית ליה ספק כי תיבעי לך אליבא דרבי יהודה

The Gemara clarifies further: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Shimon you should not raise the dilemma, as he does not hold that redemption is necessary in the case of a donkey with uncertain firstborn status. When should you raise the dilemma? Raise it according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who holds that in such a case the owner of the donkey must designate a lamb for its redemption in order to abrogate its forbidden status, but he is not required to give it to a priest.

מאי כיון דמפריש טלה והוא לעצמו לאכלה קרינא ביה או דילמא כיון דכמה דלא מפקע איסוריה לא מישתרי כסחורה דמי

What is the halakha? Perhaps since he designates a lamb and it is his, we call this act of redemption “for consumption,” and it is not considered commerce if he does not give it to the priest in exchange for his donkey. Or perhaps, since as long as the lamb does not abrogate the forbidden status of the firstborn donkey it is not permitted to derive benefit from the donkey, when the owner designates the lamb as the replacement of the donkey it is tantamount to engaging in commerce with it.

ת"ש דא"ר חסדא בהמת שביעית אין פודין בה את הודאי אבל פודין בה את הספק

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a resolution from that which Rav Ḥisda says: One may not redeem a donkey with definite firstborn status with an animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year, but one may redeem a donkey with uncertain firstborn status with it.

ואמר רב חסדא בהמת שביעית פטורה מן הבכורה וחייבת במתנות

And Rav Ḥisda says an additional ruling: An animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year is exempt from its offspring being counted a firstborn, but is obligated to have gifts of the priesthood taken from it. These are the gifts to which members of the priesthood are entitled when a non-sacred animal is slaughtered,

פטורה מן הבכורה לאכלה אמר רחמנא ולא לשריפה וחייבת במתנות דלאכלה קרינא בה

The Gemara explains: It is exempt from its offspring being counted a firstborn because the Merciful One states with regard to produce of the Sabbatical Year that it should be used “for consumption,” but not for burning, and portions of a kosher firstborn animal are burned on the altar. And it is obligated to have gifts of the priesthood taken from it, because we call this case “for consumption,” as the priest eats them.

מיתיבי האוכל מעיסת שביעית עד שלא הורמה חלתה חייב מיתה

The Gemara raises an objection from a mishna (Shevi’it 9:9): One who eats from dough of produce of the Sabbatical Year before its ḥalla, i.e., the portion of the dough given to the priests, has been separated, is liable to receive the punishment of death at the hand of Heaven, just like one who consumes any dough before ḥalla is separated.

ואמאי כיון דאילו מטמיא בת שריפה היא לאכלה אמר רחמנא ולא לשריפה

But according to the opinion of Rav Ḥisda, why is dough of produce of the Sabbatical Year subject to the obligation of separating ḥalla? It should not be subject to this mitzva, since if the dough becomes ritually impure after being separated as ḥalla, it is subject to burning, and the Merciful One states: “For consumption,” but not for burning. This is similar to Rav Ḥisda’s claim that a firstborn animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year is not subject to the obligations of firstborn status.

שאני הכא דכתיב לדורותיכם

The Gemara answers: Here, with regard to ḥalla, it is different, as it is written: “Of the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord a portion for a gift throughout your generations” (Numbers 15:21), which indicates that all dough, including that of produce of the Sabbatical Year, is subject to the mitzva of ḥalla.

תנ"ה מנין לאוכל מעיסת שביעית עד שלא הורמה חלתה שחייב מיתה שנאמר לדורותיכם

This is also taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who consumes dough of produce of the Sabbatical Year before its ḥalla was separated is liable to receive the punishment of death at the hand of Heaven? It is derived from a verse, as it is stated: “Throughout your generations,” which indicates the inclusion of Sabbatical Years as well. By contrast, this formulation is not used with regard to a firstborn animal. Therefore, since portions of a kosher firstborn animal are burned on the altar, an animal that was purchased with produce of the Sabbatical Year is exempt from its offspring being counted a firstborn.

ולגמר מינה התם עיקר לאכילה הכא עיקר לשריפה:

The Gemara challenges: And let Rav Ḥisda derive from the halakha of ḥalla that such an animal is subject to its offspring being counted a firstborn, and that the interpretation of: “For consumption” but not for burning, is not applied. The Gemara explains: There, with regard to ḥalla, the primary purpose of the dough is for consumption, and it is burned only if it becomes impure. Here, with regard to a firstborn animal, the primary purpose of the portions that are consumed on the altar is for burning.

נתנו לכהן כו': תנינא להא דת"ר ישראל שהיה לו פטר חמור בתוך ביתו ואמר לו הכהן תנהו לי ואני אפדהו הרי זה לא יתנו לו אא"כ פדאו בפניו

§ The mishna teaches: If the owner gave the firstborn donkey itself to a priest, the priest may keep it only after he designates a lamb in its stead for redemption. This language indicates that there is concern lest the priest will be negligent in redeeming it. The Gemara comments: We learn in the mishna that which the Sages taught explicitly in a baraita: In the case of an Israelite who had a firstborn donkey in his house and the priest said to him: Give it to me and I will redeem it, he may not give the donkey to the priest unless the priest redeems it in his presence.

א"ר נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה זאת אומרת נחשדו הכהנים על פטרי חמורים פשיטא מהו דתימא ה"מ היכא דמחזק לן דמיקרי אבל בסתמא לא קמ"ל דמורה בה היתירא:

Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says: That is to say that priests are suspect with regard to using firstborn donkeys without redemption. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it obvious? That is exactly what the baraita states. The Gemara explains: Rav Naḥman’s statement is necessary lest you say that this statement of the baraita applies only in a case where we have a presumption that it occasionally happens that this priest uses a firstborn donkey without redeeming it first, but in the case of an ordinary priest, there is no concern for this. Therefore, Rav Naḥman teaches us that this concern is relevant to every priest, as a priest is suspected of granting himself permission to use the firstborn donkey without first redeeming it with a lamb, as in any case the lamb will remain his.

מתני׳ המפריש פדיון פטר חמור ומת רבי אליעזר אומר חייבין באחריותו כחמש סלעים של בן וחכ"א אין חייבין באחריותו כפדיון מעשר שני

MISHNA: In the case of one who designates a lamb for the redemption of a firstborn donkey and the lamb dies, Rabbi Eliezer says: The owner bears financial responsibility and must give the priest another lamb in its place. This is like the case of the five sela for redemption of a firstborn son, where if the money is lost before one gives it to the priest, he must give the priest another five sela. And the Rabbis say: The owner does not bear financial responsibility. This is like the case of money designated for redemption of second-tithe produce, where once the owner designates the money for redemption, the produce is desanctified.

העיד רבי יהושע ורבי צדוק על פדיון פטר חמור שמת שאין כאן לכהן כלום מת פטר חמור ר"א אומר יקבר ומותר בהנאתו של טלה וחכ"א א"צ להקבר וטלה לכהן:

Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Tzadok testified about a lamb designated for redemption of a firstborn donkey that died, that the priest has nothing here, i.e., in such a case, as the firstborn donkey has already been redeemed, and the owner no longer bears financial responsibility for the dead lamb, in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis. If after the lamb was designated, the firstborn donkey died, Rabbi Eliezer says: The donkey must be buried, and the owner is permitted to derive benefit from the lamb. And the Rabbis say: It does not need to be buried, and the lamb is given to the priest.

גמ׳ אמר רב יוסף מ"ט דר' אליעזר דכתיב (במדבר יח, טו) אך פדה תפדה וגו' מה בכור אדם חייב באחריותו אף בכור בהמה טמאה חייב באחריותו

GEMARA: Rav Yosef says: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, who holds that the owner bears financial responsibility for the lamb if it is designated and dies before the priest receives it? As it is written: “Yet you shall redeem the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of non-kosher animals you shall redeem” (Numbers 18:15). It is derived from the comparison between the two cases that just as with regard to redeeming a woman’s firstborn son, the father bears financial responsibility to compensate for the five sela in the event of their loss, so too, with regard to redeeming a firstborn non-kosher animal, the owner bears financial responsibility to compensate the priest in the event of their loss.

א"ל אביי אי מה בכור אדם מותר בהנאה אף בכור בהמה טמאה מותר וכי תימא ה"נ והתנן מת פטר חמור רבי אליעזר אומר יקבר מאי יקבר לאו דאסור בהנאה

Abaye said to him: If they are compared, then just as deriving benefit from a woman’s firstborn son is permitted if he has not yet been redeemed, so too, deriving benefit from the firstborn of a non-kosher animal should be permitted prior to redemption, including shearing and working it. And if you would say that indeed Rabbi Eliezer does permit deriving benefit from a firstborn donkey, that is difficult: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that if after the lamb was designated the firstborn donkey died, Rabbi Eliezer says: It must be buried? Now, what is the reason that it must be buried? Is it not because deriving benefit from it is prohibited?

לא יקבר כבכור אדם אלא אדם בכור הוא דבעי קבורה פשוט לא בעי קבורה

Rav Yosef responded: No, it must be buried like a woman’s firstborn son. There is a mitzva to bury a woman’s firstborn son if he dies, and due to the comparison of the verse, the same applies to a firstborn donkey. The Gemara asks: But according to this answer, does a person who died require burial only if he is a firstborn son, while an ordinary person who is not a firstborn does not require burial? That is certainly not correct. Therefore, no such distinction should exist with regard to a donkey either.

ועוד תניא מודה ר' אליעזר בישראל שיש לו ספק פטר חמור בתוך ביתו שמפריש טלה עליו והוא שלו

And furthermore, Rabbi Eliezer clearly holds that deriving benefit from a firstborn donkey prior to redemption is forbidden, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer concedes with regard to an Israelite who has a donkey in his house whose status as a firstborn is uncertain, that he designates a lamb for it and the lamb is his. Designating a lamb in this case is necessary only to remove the prohibition against deriving benefit from the donkey.

אלא אמר רבא אמר קרא אך פדה תפדה לפדייה הקשיתיו ולא לדבר אחר

Rather, Rava says that although the verse compares the status of a firstborn donkey to that of a woman’s firstborn son, this is only with regard to bearing financial responsibility for the lamb, but not with regard to deriving benefit from the donkey. This is because the verse states: “Yet you shall redeem [pado tifde] the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of non-kosher animals you shall redeem.” The double verb “pado tifde” indicates that I have compared it with regard to redemption, but not with regard to another matter.

תנן התם הערכין בשעתן ופדיון הבן אחר שלשים יום פדיון פטר חמור לאלתר

§ We learned in a baraita elsewhere: Valuations are determined based on the time of the vow. Therefore, if one vowed to consecrate the valuation of an infant who is less than one month old, he is not obligated to give any money even after the infant is one month old, as an infant less than one month old has no valuation. And with regard to redeeming a woman’s firstborn son, one must give the required sum to the priest after the infant is thirty days old, as it is stated: “And their redemption money, from a month old shall you redeem them” (Numbers 18:16). With regard to redeeming a firstborn donkey, it must be performed immediately.

ופדיון פטר חמור לאלתר ורמינהי אין בערכין ובפדיון הבן ובנזירות ובפטר חמור פחות משלשים

The Gemara asks: And must redeeming a firstborn donkey be performed immediately? But one can raise a contradiction from another baraita: The halakhot of valuations, and of redemption of a woman’s firstborn son, and of nazirite vows, and of a firstborn donkey, do not apply to less than thirty days. In other words, the halakhot of valuations, of the redemption of a woman’s firstborn son, and of a firstborn donkey do not apply to a person or animal that is less than thirty days old, and a term of naziriteship is a minimum of thirty days.

ומוסיפין עד עולם

But one may add to this amount forever. Meaning, the halakhot of valuations apply to a person of any age beyond thirty days, the redemption of a woman’s firstborn son and of a firstborn donkey apply even if the firstborn in question is already several years old, and one can vow to be a nazirite for any length of time beyond thirty days. This baraita indicates that a firstborn donkey is not redeemed immediately, but only after thirty days.

אר"נ לומר שאם פדאו פדוי מכלל דבנו אם פדאו אינו פדוי והאיתמר הפודה את בנו בתוך ל' יום רב אמר בנו פדוי

Rav Naḥman says: When the first baraita states that a firstborn donkey must be redeemed immediately, it means to say that if one redeemed it immediately, it is redeemed, although it should be redeemed only after thirty days ab initio. The Gemara asks: By inference, in the case of a woman’s firstborn son, where the first baraita states that he is redeemed after thirty days, if one redeemed him prior to that time, is he not redeemed? But wasn’t it stated: In the case of one who redeems his son within thirty days of birth, Rav says: His son is redeemed?

לאו איתמר עלה אמר רבא דכ"ע מעכשיו אין בנו פדוי

The Gemara responds: Wasn’t it stated with regard to that matter that Rava says: Everyone agrees that if one says within thirty days of his son’s birth that he is redeeming him from now, his son is not redeemed. Such a redemption would be effective only if he gave the money on condition that the redemption will take effect after his son turns thirty days old.