מתני׳ הלוקח עובר חמורו של עובד כוכבים והמוכר לו אע"פ שאינו רשאי המשתתף לו והמקבל הימנו והנותן לו בקבלה פטור מן הבכורה שנאמר בישראל אבל לא באחרים:
MISHNA: With regard to one who purchases the fetus of a donkey that belongs to a gentile, and one who sells the fetus of his donkey to a gentile although he is not permitted to sell a large animal to a gentile, and one who enters into a partnership with a gentile in ownership of a donkey or its fetus, and one who receives a donkey from a gentile in order to care for it in exchange for partnership in its offspring, and one who gives his donkey to a gentile in receivership, in all of these cases the donkeys are exempt from the obligations of firstborn status, i.e., they do not have firstborn status and are not redeemed, 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, it does not have firstborn status.
גמ׳ כל הני למה לי
GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Why do I need all these examples in the mishna to demonstrate the principle that a firstborn donkey must belong exclusively to a Jew for the obligations of firstborn status to apply?
צריכי דאי תנא לוקח ה"א משום דקא מייתי לה לקדושה אבל מוכר דקא מפקע לה מקדושה אימא ליקנסיה קמ"ל
The Gemara explains: All of these examples are necessary. As, had the tanna taught that a donkey is exempt from the obligations of firstborn status only in the case where a Jew purchases a fetus from a gentile, I would say that this is because the Jew brings it to a state of sanctity in that it will not be worked on Shabbat. But in the case where a Jew sells the fetus of his donkey to a gentile, where he abrogates its state of sanctity, I would say that the Sages should penalize him [likneseih] for his actions by rendering the fetus subject to the obligations of firstborn status. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that it is exempt from these obligations.
והמשתתף לו למה לי לאפוקי מדרבי יהודה דאמר שותפות עובד כוכבים חייבת בבכורה קמשמע לן דפטורה מן הבכורה
And why do I need the mishna to state the case of one who enters into a partnership with a gentile? The case is necessary to exclude the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says: An animal owned in partnership with a gentile is obligated, i.e., subject to accounting its offspring a firstborn. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that it is exempt from its offspring being counted a firstborn.
והמקבל ל"ל משום דקא בעי למיתני והנותן לו בקבלה
And why do I need the mishna to state that the fetus does not have firstborn status in the case of one who receives a donkey from a gentile in exchange for partnership in its offspring? This halakha is already included in the previous one. The Gemara answers: It is because the tanna wants to teach in the parallel case of: And one who gives his donkey to a gentile in receivership, that its offspring does not have firstborn status.
והנותן לו בקבלה למה לי איצטריך סד"א הואיל ועיקר בהמה דישראל היא ליקנסיה דלמא אתי לאיחלופי בבהמה אחריתי קמשמע לן
And why do I need the case of one who gives his donkey to a gentile in receivership to be stated? It was necessary, because it might enter your mind to say that since the primary animal belongs to the Jew, the Sages should penalize him by treating the offspring as a firstborn and requiring it to be redeemed, lest this case be confused with another case of an animal that the Jew puts in the care of a gentile where the gentile does not own rights to the offspring, and the offspring is counted a firstborn. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that he is not penalized.
תנן התם ר' יהודה מתיר בשבורה בן בתירא מתיר בסוס
§ The Gemara cites a discussion where the mishna is used as a proof: We learned in a mishna elsewhere (Avoda Zara 14b) with regard to the prohibition against selling large livestock to a gentile due to concern that it will be worked on Shabbat: Rabbi Yehuda deems the sale of a damaged animal permitted because it is incapable of performing labor, and ben Beteira deems the sale of a horse for riding permitted, because riding a horse on Shabbat is not prohibited by Torah law.
איבעיא להו עובר מה לי א"ר יהודה טעמא דר' יהודה התם דשרי משום דשבורה עובר נמי שבור הוא או דלמא שבורה לאו היינו אורחיה אבל עובר כיון דהיינו אורחיה לאו שבור הוא
A dilemma was raised before the Sages: With regard to a fetus, what would Rabbi Yehuda say to me about selling it to a gentile? Is the reason that Rabbi Yehuda deems selling the animal permitted there because it is damaged and it cannot work, and a fetus is also damaged in the sense that it cannot work? Or, perhaps it is permitted to sell a damaged animal because that is not its natural state; it is defective and is therefore not included in the prohibition against selling large livestock. But with regard to a fetus, since that is its natural state, and it will become capable of working after growing up, perhaps it is not considered damaged, as it is not defective.
ת"ש והמוכר לו אף על פי שאינו רשאי ולא פליג ר' יהודה
The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a resolution to the dilemma from the mishna: And one who sells the fetus of his donkey to a gentile, his donkey is exempt from the obligations of firstborn status, although the owner is not permitted to do so. And Rabbi Yehuda does not disagree and claim that he may sell it. Apparently, Rabbi Yehuda agrees that it is prohibited to sell the fetus of one’s animal to a gentile.
וליטעמיך המשתתף לו והמקבל ממנו והנותן לו בקבלה דלא קתני הכי נמי דלא פליג
The Gemara rejects the resolution: And according to your reasoning, concerning the other cases in the mishna, namely, one who enters into a partnership with a gentile, and one who receives a donkey from a gentile in exchange for partnership in its offspring, and one who gives his donkey to a gentile in receivership, with regard to which the mishna does not teach that Rabbi Yehuda disagrees, so too does this indicate that he does not disagree with the ruling in the mishna in these cases? That is impossible, as Rabbi Yehuda holds that an animal subject to a partnership between a Jew and gentile is subject to accounting its offspring a firstborn, as is evident from a baraita that will soon be cited.
אלא פליג ולא קתני ה"נ פליג ולא קתני:
Rather, clearly Rabbi Yehuda does disagree, but the mishna does not teach his opinion. Here too, with regard to selling the fetus, he disagrees, but the mishna does not teach his opinion.
ת"ש ר' יהודה אומר המקבל בהמה מן העובד כוכבים וילדה מעלין אותו בשוויו ונותן חצי דמיו לכהן והנותן לו בקבלה אף על פי שאינו רשאי קונסים אותו עד עשרה בדמיו ונותן כל דמיו לכהן
The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a resolution from a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda says that in the case of one who receives an animal from a gentile in order to care for it and receives some of the offspring in exchange for his work, and it gave birth to a firstborn, they assess its value, and the Jew gives half of its value to the priest to redeem his portion, which is sanctified by the firstborn status. And in the case of one who gives the gentile an animal in receivership even though he is not permitted to do so, the Sages penalize him by requiring that he purchase the gentile’s portion of the animal for up to ten times its value, and he gives all of its value to the priest.