The ordinary person described here is acquiring something from the Temple. He pulls it to himself, but has not yet given the money. Then the price goes up. He must pay the higher value. This would not be true if he were acquiring something from another person. In that case, once he pulled the item to himself, it would be his.
This is the same case except the object falls in value. Now the Talmud rules that he must pay the higher value, which is the same as would be if he purchased it from another ordinary individual. This is to make sure that the law would not be stronger for an ordinary person (protecting the ordinary seller) than it is for the Temple (when it sells).
The first section here is the same as above, but uses the example of redeeming holy property instead of buying it.
But the second section is different. If he redeems it for a maneh and the value goes up to 200, he need not pay the extra 100. The Talmud is perplexed by this—why should the rights of an ordinary person, who would be able to claim the full 200, be greater than the Temple?
The answer is that an ordinary person (the seller) who demands the higher value would be subject to the curse of “He Who exacted payment from the generation of the flood (and the generation of the dispersion will punish one who does not keep his word.” In other words, if I offer to sell you something for 100, and you give me 100 and before you take possession the price goes up. I can demand the higher value. But I will be cursed by God if I do so. Thus an ordinary’s persons rights are not really greater than that of the Temple.
This mishnah deals with the distinction between commandments obligatory for men and those obligatory for women. The mishnah can be divided into two subjects: 1) mutual obligations between parents and children; 2) general commandments both negative and positive. It is not entirely clear why this mishnah is in this chapter. Inside my commentary, I have not delved into the ramifications of these rules in our day, when many women wish to be more involved in Jewish ritual life.
This refers to obligations that the father has in raising his son. They include circumcising him, redeeming him from a priest if the son is a first-born, teaching him Torah, teaching him a profession and finding him a wife. The father and not the mother is responsible to fulfill these commandments.
When it comes to obligations that a child has to his/her parent both men and women are obligated, and they are obligated equally to both their mother and father. This includes fear and respect. According to the rabbis respect means providing financially for the parent in his/her old age.
Only men are obligated in positive time-bound commandments. This includes the reading of the Shema, blowing the shofar, sitting in the Sukkah and several other commandments. Note that the mishnah does not state that women are forbidden from fulfilling these commandments—it says only that they are not obligated to do so.
Positive commandments which are not time-bound are obligatory upon both men and women. This would include mitzvoth such as mezuzah, charity and returning lost objects.
Nearly all negative commandments are equally obligatory upon men and women. The mishnah notes a few exceptions. The prohibitions of rounding the corners of the head and marring the beard (Leviticus 19:27) are obligatory only upon men. Since most women don’t have beards the beard prohibition would not apply to them—the prohibition of rounding the corners of the head is an accompanying prohibition appearing in the same verse and hence women are exempt from it as well. In addition, women do not act as priests and therefore the prohibition of a priest from coming into contact with a dead body applies only to male priests and not to daughters of priests.
Today’s section explains the meaning of “obligations of the son on father” which according to our reading of the Mishnah (there are other ones) are incumbent upon the father but not the mother.
Daughters are obligated to honor their parents just as sons are. Therefore, when the mishnah says that “all obligations of the son upon the father” are incumbent on the man and not the woman, it cannot be referring to mitzvoth that children must perform for their parents.
Any mitzvah that a parent must do for a child, the father is liable, not the mother.
This baraita lists the obligations that a father must perform for his son (and not daughter). The Talmud will explain these as we go along.
The Talmud explains the obligation to circumcise, which is primarily incumbent upon the father.
To the Talmud, this verse lays out the basic obligation for a father to circumcise his son.
If the father is negligent in his duty, then the court must circumcise him. If the court does not do so, then he has an obligation to get himself circumcised. Would really not be easy to become an adult and then find out your Dad and the court did not circumcise you.
God commanded Abraham to circumcise Yitzchak. He did not command Sarah.
The idea that circumcision was a commandment not just for Abraham, but for all subsequent generations is derived from the use of the word “command.” We should note that Leviticus does state that newborn males must be circumcised on the eighth day. It is unclear why that source is not used here.
This sugya discusses redeeming the first born son.
All firstborn sons must be redeemed. It is primarily the father’s responsibility but if the father does not do so, the son must redeem himself.
Daughters need not be redeemed. Since others do not need to redeem them, they do not need to redeem others, nor do daughters need to redeem themselves. They are simply excluded from the obligations of redemption, just as they are excluded from the obligations of circumcision.
According to the rabbis, if there is not enough money to redeem both him and his son, his primary responsibility is to redeem himself. This is like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first on an airplane. But R. Judah says that the mitzvah to redeem lies primarily on the father. So first he must redeem his son, and only then, when he has the money, he must redeem himself.
R. Yirmiyah limits the dispute in the baraita. If the father really has only five selas, then he redeems himself and not his son. There is only a dispute if the father has five selas that are free and five selas that have a lien over them, meaning he used them to secure a loan or he sold them. According to R. Judah, the “lien” of the Kohen on the five selas owed for the redemption of the father is like a debt written in a document, and therefore it can be collected even from property encumbered with a lien. So the priests would seize five selas worth of land and with this the father would be redeemed. The father can then use the free five selas to redeem himself. But the other rabbis hold that the debt of the five selas cannot be taken from encumbered property. Therefore, he really only has five selas with which he is to redeem himself.