Bekhorot 48aבכורות מ״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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48aמ״ח א

מתני׳ מי שלא בכרה אשתו וילדה שני זכרים נותן ה' סלעים לכהן מת אחד מהן בתוך שלשים יום האב פטור

MISHNA: With regard to one whose wife had not previously given birth and then gave birth to two males, i.e., twin males, and it is unknown which is the firstborn, he gives five sela coins to the priest after thirty days have passed. If one of them dies within thirty days of birth, before the obligation to redeem the firstborn takes effect, the father is exempt from the payment due to uncertainty, as perhaps it was the firstborn who died.

מת האב והבנים קיימים ר"מ אומר אם נתנו עד שלא חלקו נתנו ואם לאו פטורין ר' יהודה אומר נתחייבו נכסים זכר ונקבה אין כאן לכהן כלום:

In a case where the father died and the sons are alive, Rabbi Meir says: If they gave the five sela coins to the priest before they divided their father’s property between them, they gave it, and it remains in the possession of the priest. But if not, they are exempt from giving the redemption money to the priest. Rabbi Yehuda says: The obligation to redeem the firstborn already took effect on the property of the father; therefore, in either case the sons, his heirs, are required to pay the priest. If the wife gave birth to a male and a female and it is not known which was born first, the priest has nothing here, as it is possible that the female was born first.

גמ׳ דמית האב אימת אילימא דמית לאחר ל' יום בהא אמר ר"מ כי חלקו פטורין והא אשתעבדן להו לנכסי

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that in a case where the father died and the sons are alive, Rabbi Meir says: If they gave the five sela coins to the priest before they divided their father’s property, they gave it; but if not, they are exempt from giving the redemption money. The Gemara asks: When did the father die? If we say that he died after the thirty days following the birth of his sons, does Rabbi Meir say in this case that if they divided their father’s property they are exempt from giving the redemption money to the priest? But the property is already on lien for the mitzva of redemption.

אלא דמית בתוך ל' יום מ"ש כי חלקו דאזיל לגבי האי ומדחי ליה דאזיל לגבי האי ומדחי ליה כי לא חלקו נמי ליזיל לגבי האי ולידחייה וליזיל לגבי האי ולידחייה

Rather, it is referring to a case where the father died within thirty days of the birth of his sons, and the obligation of redemption applies to the firstborn himself, whose identity is unknown, but not to the father’s property. If so, what is different about a case where they already divided the property between them, that Rabbi Meir deems them exempt? The reason must be that the priest will go to this son, and the son will reject him by demanding that the priest prove he is the firstborn; and likewise he will go to that other son, and he too will reject him in the same manner. The Gemara challenges this explanation: The same should apply even in a case where they did not divide the property: Let the priest go to this son and he will reject him, and let him go to that son and he too will reject him.

א"ר ירמיה זאת אומרת שני יוסף בן שמעון שהיו בעיר אחת ולקחו שדה בשותפות בעל חוב גובה אותה מהם דאמר ליה אי בדידך מסיקנא מנתא דידך קא שקילנא ואי בחברך מסיקנא מנתא דחברך קא שקילנא

Rabbi Yirmeya says: That is to say, i.e., it can be inferred from here, that in a case involving two people named Yosef ben Shimon who were residents of one city, and they acquired a field in partnership, a creditor of one of them can collect payment of his debt from either of them, despite the fact that he does not know which of them owes him the money. The reason is that he can say to each of them: If I have a claim against you, I am taking the one hundred dinars that is your share in the joint field, and if I have a claim against the other Yosef ben Shimon, I am taking the one hundred dinars that is his share in the field. This is similar to the case in the mishna, as the brothers who have yet to divide their father’s property are considered partners, and therefore the priest can claim his debt from that property.

אמר רבא מכדי נכסי דבר איניש אינון ערבין ביה מי איכא מידי דלדידיה לא מצי תבע ליה ולערב מצי תבע ליה והתנן המלוה את חבירו על ידי ערב לא יפרע מן הערב וקי"ל דלא יתבע מן הערב תחלה

Rava said in response: Now consider the principle that a person’s property is a guarantee for him, i.e., it serves as a guarantee for the loan if the debtor does not repay it. Is there any case where one cannot claim repayment from the debtor himself, and yet he can claim from a guarantor? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Bava Batra 173a): In the case of one who lends money to another with the assurance of a guarantor, he cannot claim payment of the debt from the guarantor? And we maintain in this regard that he cannot claim payment of the debt from the guarantor at the outset, before first claiming the debt from the debtor. How, then, may the priest not claim the redemption money from either brother, and yet he can take it from their property?

אלא אמר רבא לעולם שמת לאחר ל' יום ואי דאיכא נכסי טובא ה"נ דשקיל והכא במאי עסקינן כגון דליכא אלא חמש סלעים

Rather, Rava says: Actually, the mishna is referring to a case where the father died after thirty days following the birth of his sons and the property is already on lien for the mitzva of redemption. And if this is a case where there is a lot of property, so too, the halakha is that the priest takes the five sela coins from that property, even after the sons have divided it, as they are obligated to pay their father’s debt from their inheritance. And what are we dealing with here? With a case where there is only the five sela coins received from their father. That was the entire estate.

ודכולי עלמא אית להו דרב אסי דאמר רב אסי האחין שחלקו מחצה יורשין ומחצה לקוחות ודכולי עלמא מלוה הכתובה בתורה

Rava continues: And everyone accepts the opinion of Rav Asi, as Rav Asi says: In the case of brothers who divided property they received as an inheritance, with regard to half of it they are considered heirs and with regard to the other half they are considered purchasers from each other. And furthermore, everyone agrees that a loan written in the Torah, i.e., a financial obligation by Torah law, such as the redemption of the firstborn,