רב ששת אמר לומר שאינו עובר עליו Rav Sheshet says: The mitzva of redeeming a firstborn donkey takes effect immediately after it is born, as is stated in the first baraita. The second baraita, which states that it applies only after thirty days, means to say that until that time, one does not transgress a prohibition if he has not yet performed the redemption. After thirty days, though, one transgresses a prohibition if he still has not redeemed his firstborn donkey.
מתיב רמי בר חמא מצותו כל שלשים יום מכאן ואילך או פודהו או עורפו מאי לאו מצוה לשהותו כל שלשים יום לא מצוה לפדותו כל שלשים יום Rami bar Ḥama raises an objection to Rav Sheshet from a baraita: The mitzva of a firstborn donkey applies throughout the period of thirty days from its birth; from that point forward he must either redeem it immediately or break its neck. What, does it not mean that there is a mitzva to wait to redeem it until all thirty days have passed? The Gemara answers: No, it means that there is a mitzva to redeem it throughout the period of thirty days, and after that point one has transgressed a prohibition.
אי הכי מכאן ואילך או פודהו או עובר עליו מיבעי ליה אלא אמר רבא לא קשיא הא רבי אליעזר דמקשי הא רבנן דלא מקשי: The Gemara asks: If so, it should have stated: From that point forward, either he redeems it or he transgresses a prohibition, rather than stating: From that point forward he must either redeem it or break its neck. Rather, Rava says: The contradiction between the two baraitot is not difficult, as this baraita, which states that the redemption is performed after thirty days, is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, who compares the redemption of a firstborn donkey to the redemption of a woman’s firstborn son, where it is stated: “From a month old shall you redeem them” (Numbers 18:16). That baraita, which states that one must perform the mitzva immediately, is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who do not compare the two mitzvot of redemption.
מתני׳ לא רצה לפדותו עורפו מאחוריו וקוברו מצות הפדייה קודמת למצות עריפה שנאמר (שמות יג, יג) אם לא תפדה וערפתו MISHNA: If one did not wish to redeem the firstborn donkey, he breaks its neck from behind and buries it. The mitzva of redeeming the firstborn donkey takes precedence over the mitzva of breaking the neck, as it is stated: “If you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck” (Exodus 13:13).
מצות יעידה קודמת למצות הפדייה שנאמר (שמות כא, ח) אשר לא יעדה והפדה The mishna proceeds to enumerate other mitzvot in which one option takes precedence over another. The mitzva of designating a Hebrew maidservant to be betrothed to her master takes precedence over the mitzva of redeeming the maidservant from her master with money, as it is stated: “If she does not please her master, who has not betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed” (Exodus 21:8).
מצות הייבום קודמת למצות חליצה בראשונה שהיו מתכוונין לשם מצוה ועכשיו שאין מתכוונין לשם מצוה אמרו מצות חליצה קודמת למצות יבום The mitzva of levirate marriage takes precedence over the mitzva of ḥalitza, which dissolves the levirate bond, as it is stated: “And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife” (Deuteronomy 25:7). The mishna adds: This was the case initially, when people would intend that their performance of levirate marriage be for the sake of the mitzva. But now that they do not intend that their performance of levirate marriage be for the sake of the mitzva, but rather for reasons such as the beauty of the yevama or for financial gain, the Sages said that the mitzva of ḥalitza takes precedence over the mitzva of levirate marriage.
מצות הגאולה באדון הוא קודם לכל אדם שנאמר (ויקרא כז, כז) ואם לא יגאל ונמכר בערכך: With regard to a non-kosher animal that was consecrated to the Temple, the mitzva of redemption by the owner who consecrated it takes precedence over redemption by any other person, as it is stated: “And if it is of a non-kosher animal…and if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold according to your valuation” (Leviticus 27:27).
הדרן עלך הלוקח עובר חמורו
מתני׳ הלוקח עובר פרתו של עובד כוכבים והמוכר לו אע"פ שאינו רשאי והמשתתף לו והמקבל ממנו והנותן לו בקבלה פטור מן הבכורה שנאמר בישראל אבל לא באחרים MISHNA: With regard to one who purchases the fetus of a cow that belongs to a gentile; one who sells the fetus of his cow to a gentile, even though one is not permitted to sell a large animal to a gentile; one who enters into a partnership with a gentile with regard to a cow or its fetus; one who receives a cow from a gentile to tend to it in exchange for partnership in its offspring; and one who gives his cow to a gentile in receivership, so that the gentile owns a share of the cow’s offspring; in all of these cases, one is exempt from the obligation of redeeming the firstborn offspring, as it is stated: “I sanctified to Me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and animal” (Numbers 3:13), indicating that the mitzva is incumbent upon the Jewish people, but not upon others. If the firstborn belongs even partially to a gentile, the sanctity of firstborn does not apply to it.
הכהנים והלוים חייבים שלא נפטרו מבכור בהמה טהורה אלא מפדיון הבן ומפטר חמור: The mishna continues: The priests and the Levites are obligated in the mitzva, i.e., their animals have firstborn sanctity, as they were not exempted from the mitzva of the male firstborn of a kosher animal; rather, they were exempted only from redemption of the firstborn son and from the redemption of the firstborn donkey.
גמ׳ מאי איריא דתני עובר חמורו ברישא והדר תני עובר פרתו ליתני ברישא עובר פרתו דקדושת הגוף הוא והדר ליתני עובר חמורו דקדושת דמים הוא GEMARA: The first chapter of this tractate began with the halakhot pertaining to a firstborn donkey. The Gemara asks: Why does the tanna specifically teach the halakhot of the fetus of his donkey first, and only then teach the halakhot of the fetus of his cow? Let him first teach the halakhot of the fetus of his cow, as it is a case of inherent sanctity, i.e., the animal cannot be redeemed and is sacrificed upon the altar, and let him then teach the halakhot of the fetus of his donkey, as it is a case of sanctity that inheres in its value.
אמרי במערבא איבעית אימא איידי דחביבא ליה כדרבי חנינא ואי בעית אימא איידי דזוטרן מיליה דבהמה טמאה פסיק ושדי לה They said in the West, Eretz Yisrael: If you wish, say that the halakhot of a firstborn donkey were taught first since they are dear to the tanna, in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ḥanina (5b) that donkeys helped the Jews when they departed from Egypt, as the Jews loaded their gold and silver on donkeys. And if you wish, say that these halakhot were taught first since the matters pertaining to a non-kosher animal are relatively few, and therefore the tanna completes its treatment and sets it aside.
אמר ר' יצחק בר נחמני אמר ריש לקיש משום ר' אושעיא ישראל שנתן מעות לעובד כוכבים בבהמתו בדיניהם אע"פ שלא משך קנה וחייבת בבכורה ועובד כוכבים שנתן מעות לישראל בבהמתו בדיניהם אע"פ שלא משך קנה ופטור מן הבכורה § With regard to the mishna’s discussion of sales involving Jews and gentiles, Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Naḥmani says that Reish Lakish said in the name of Rabbi Oshaya: In the case of a Jew who gave money to a gentile to buy the gentile’s animal from him according to their laws, as explained further on, even though the Jew did not pull the animal in the manner of a formal acquisition, as required by halakha, he has legally acquired it, and the Jewish owner is obligated to give the animal’s firstborn offspring to a priest. And in the case of a gentile who gave money to a Jew to buy the Jew’s animal from him according to their laws, even though the gentile did not pull the animal he has acquired it, and the Jew is therefore exempt from giving the animal’s firstborn offspring to a priest.
אמר מר ישראל שנתן מעות לעובד כוכבים בדיניהם אף על פי שלא משך קנה וחייבת בבכורה The Master said: In the case of a Jew who gave money to a gentile to buy the gentile’s animal from him according to their laws, even though he did not pull the animal he has legally acquired it, and the Jew is obligated to give the animal’s firstborn offspring to a priest.
מאי בדיניהם אי נימא בדיניהם דגופיה דאתי בקל וחומר אם גופיה קני ליה ישראל בכסף דכתיב (ויקרא כה, מו) לרשת אחוזה The Gemara asks: What is meant by: According to their laws? If we say that it is referring to the laws relating to the purchase of a gentile’s person as a slave, i.e., the halakhot of purchasing gentiles themselves rather than the methods by which gentiles can acquire property, this must be based on the assumption that the halakha with regard to the purchase of a gentile’s animal is derived by the following a fortiori inference: If a gentile’s person is acquired by a Jew as a Canaanite slave through payment of money, as it is written: “And you may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for an ancestral possession” (Leviticus 25:46), the same halakha should apply to acquiring a gentile’s property.
הקישו הכתוב לאחוזה מה אחוזה נקנית בכסף ובשטר ובחזקה אף עבד כנעני נקנה בכסף ממונו לא כל שכן הוא The Gemara elaborates: The verse thereby compares a gentile slave to an ancestral possession, i.e., land: Just as an ancestral possession is acquired by the transfer of money, or with a bill of sale, or through taking possession, so too, a Canaanite slave is acquired by the transfer of money. If this is the halakha with regard to a gentile’s person, is it not all the more so reasonable that a gentile’s property is acquired through the transfer of money?
אם כן אפי' בשטר ובחזקה נמי ועוד ישראל מישראל יוכיחו דגופיה קני ליה בכסף ממונו במשיכה The Gemara rejects this conclusion: If so, then according to halakha it should be possible to acquire a gentile’s property even with a bill of sale or by taking possession, which is not so. The Gemara adds: And furthermore, the halakha pertaining to a Jew purchasing goods from a Jew proves that the entire premise of the a fortiori inference is false, as he acquires a Jew’s person with money alone, but he acquires his property only by pulling. It is therefore evident that the ability to acquire one’s person with money does not indicate that his property can be purchased in the same manner.
אלא אמר אביי בדיניהם שפסקה להם תורה (ויקרא כה, יד) או קנה מיד עמיתך מיד עמיתך הוא דבמשיכה הא מיד עובד כוכבים בכסף Rather, Abaye says that the term: Their laws, is referring to their laws that the Torah prescribed for their methods of purchase, by stating: “Or buy of your counterpart’s hand” (Leviticus 25:14), which teaches that it is only from the hand of your counterpart, i.e., a Jew, that property is acquired by the formal act of acquisition of pulling. This indicates that acquiring property from the hand of a gentile is accomplished through payment of money.
ואימא מיד עובד כוכבים כלל כלל לא אמרי לא ס"ד ק"ו הוא אם גופו קונה ממונו לא כ"ש The Gemara raises an objection: But one can say that it should be inferred from the verse that one cannot purchase anything at all from the hand of a gentile. The Sages said in response: That cannot enter your mind, as there is an a fortiori inference which indicates otherwise: If a Jew can purchase a gentile’s person as a slave, is it not all the more so reasonable that he can purchase a gentile’s property?
ואימא מיד עובד כוכבים עד דאיכא תרתי אמרי ולאו ק"ו הוא גופו באחת ממונו בשתים ואימא או בהא או בהא דומיא דעמיתך The Gemara raises another objection: But one can say that the verse teaches that whereas a Jew’s property is acquired through pulling, property purchased from the hand of a gentile is not acquired until two formal acts of acquisition have been performed, both pulling and payment of money. The Sages said in response: Isn’t it indicated otherwise by an a fortiori inference: If his person is acquired through only one act of acquisition, could it be that his property must be acquired through two acts? The Gemara further suggests: But one can say that it is derived from the verse that one can acquire property from a gentile either through this method of pulling or through that method of money. The Gemara explains: The halakha derived from the phrase “of your counterpart” must be similar to an acquisition from your counterpart:
מה עמיתך בחדא אף עובד כוכבים נמי בחדא Just as from the hand of your counterpart it is with one act, with pulling, so too, from the hand of a gentile, it is also with one act, with money.
אמר מר ועובד כוכבים שנתן מעות לישראל בבהמתו בדיניהן אע"פ שלא משך קנה ופטור מן הבכורה מאי בדיניהן אילימא בדיניהן דגופיה משום דאתי בק"ו אם גופו ישראל קני ליה בכסף דכתיב (ויקרא כה, נא) מכסף מקנתו ממונו לא כ"ש The Gemara discusses the statement of Rabbi Oshaya. The Master said: And a gentile who gave money to a Jew to buy the Jew’s animal from him according to their laws, even though the gentile did not pull the animal he has acquired it, and the Jew is therefore exempt from giving the animal’s firstborn offspring to a priest. The Gemara clarifies: What is the meaning of according to their laws? If we say that it means: According to their laws of the person of the Jew himself, i.e., the manner in which he purchases the person of a Jew with money, and it is reasonable to say so, as it may be derived through an a fortiori inference: If a gentile acquires the body of a Jew with money, as it is written in that regard: “From the money of his purchase” (Leviticus 25:51), then with regard to the property of a Jew, is it not all the more so reasonable that the gentile can acquire it with money?
ישראל מישראל יוכיחו דגופו קני בכסף ממונו במשיכה אלא אמר אביי בדיניהם שפסקה להם תורה (ויקרא כה, יד) וכי תמכרו ממכר לעמיתך לעמיתך במשיכה הא לעובד כוכבים בכסף This can be rejected, as the acquisition of a Jew from a Jew will prove that the inference is not valid, as the person of a Hebrew slave one acquires with money, while the property of a Jew can be acquired only by pulling. Rather, Abaye said: That which it states, that a gentile purchases an animal with money according to their laws, means: With the acts of acquisition that the Torah prescribed to gentiles, the manner in which they acquire items from Jews, i.e., with money, as it is stated: “And if you sell a sale item to your counterpart” (Leviticus 25:14), from which it may be inferred: To your counterpart, i.e., a Jew, property is acquired by pulling, but property from the hand of a gentile is acquired with money.
ואימא לעובד כוכבים כלל כלל לא אמרי לאו ק"ו הוא אם גופו קנה ממונו לא כ"ש The Gemara suggests: But say that the inference should be: To a gentile, not at all, i.e., neither with money nor with pulling can a gentile acquire an item from a Jew. The Sages said in response: But isn’t it an a fortiori inference to the contrary: If a gentile can purchase a Jew’s person as a slave, then is it not all the more so reasonable that he can purchase the Jew’s property?
אימא לעובד כוכבים עד דאיכא תרתי לאו ק"ו הוא גופו באחד ממונו בשתים The Gemara suggests: Say and infer as follows: To your counterpart you sell with pulling, but to a gentile you do not sell until two formal acts of acquisition have been performed: Pulling and money. The Sages said in response: But isn’t it an a fortiori inference to the contrary: If the person of a Jew is acquired with one act of acquisition, is it reasonable that his property is acquired with two acts?
ואימא או בהא או בהא דומיא דעמיתך The Gemara further suggests: But say that a gentile acquires property from a Jew either with this act of pulling or with that act of paying money. The Gemara explains: The acquisition of the gentile must be similar to the acquisition of your counterpart, from which it is derived: