ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bechoros 24
(a) We just cited the Rabbanan, who argue with Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in
our Mishnah. They rule that if someone purchases a feeding animal, the next
baby to which it gives birth – is a Safek Bechor (because we suspect that
the baby is that of another animal to which it has taken a fancy).
(b) In the Seifa, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel discusses a case where the owner
enters his herd in the evening and finds ten or fifteen animals that have
all given birth, and in the morning, he finds all the animals that have
given birth for the first time feeding female babies, and all the others
feeding males, we might have thought – that all the males are Safek
(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel actually rules – that none of the animals are
Bechoros, the females because they are not males, the males, because they
are not firstborn.
(a) We ask a She’eilah on Raban Shimon ben Gamliel’s opinion. He may hold
that no animal cares for a baby other than its own. Alternatively, he
holds – that an animal does not care for a baby other than its own as long
as it has not given birth (but once it has, it does).
(b) Seeing as either way, the animal is Patur from the Bechorah, the
ramifications of the She’eilah are – whether in the event that the owner
Shechts an animal that has given birth on the same day as the baby that it
is feeding (even though he is not sure that it is its baby), he is Chayav
because of ‘Oso ve’es B’no’ (according to the first side of the She’eilah),
or not (according to the second side).
(c) We try to prove from the Reisha of our Mishnah ’ha’Loke’ach Beheimah
Meinekes min ha’Akum, Eino Choshesh Shema B’no shel Acheres Hayah‘ – that an
animal never cares for a baby that is not its own.
(d) We refute ...
1. ... this proof however – by interpreting ‘Hayah’ (as opposed to ‘Hu’) to
mean ‘unless it had a baby of its own’.
2. ... the proof from the Seifa, where Raban Shimon ben Gamliel again states
‘Ein Chosheshin ... ‘, even though they all gave birth – because it is
obvious that, as long as its own baby is there, it will not care for one
that is not its own, and our She’eilah refers specifically to a case where
its own baby is not there.
(a) From the Lashon of the Beraisa ‘ha’Davar be’Chezkaso ... ve’Chein ...
‘ followed by the Seifa, we attempt to prove – that the Reisha like the
Seifa, must be speaking where the baby is definitely that of the animal from
which it is feeding (even though, unlike the Seifa, we do not know for sure
that the latter gave birth).
(b) But we refute this proof too – by establishing ‘Ha ke’de’Iysa, ve’Ha ke’
de’Iysa’ (the Seifa speaks when we know that the animal gave birth, and the
Seifa speaks when we don’t).
(c) The Tana nevertheless says ‘ve’Chein’ – because the animal in the
Reisha, like the animal in the Seifa, is Patur from the Bechorah.
(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan rules that if a Chazir is
feeding from a ewe – the latter is Patur from the Bechorah, but it is
forbidden to eat.
(b) The Chazir - cannot be a Bechor, because it is a Nidmeh.
(c) The problem with ...
1. ... this dual ruling is – that the first half follows the opinion of
Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah, whereas the second half seems to
follow that of the Rabbanan of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the first Perek.
(d) Anyway it is impossible to say that, since the same Rabah bar bar Chanah
Amar Rebbi Yochanan stated that wherever Raban Shimon ben Gamliel’s name
occurs in a Mishnah – the Halachah is like him except for the three cases
‘Areiv, Tzidon and Re’ayah Acharonah’.
2. ... the Lashon ‘ad Yavo ve’Yoreh Tzedek’ is - that if he does indeed
follow the opinion of the Rabbanan here as well, it is not a Halachic ruling
that is needed (as implied by ‘ve’Yoreh Tzedek’) but merely a revelation
(whether the baby belongs to this animal or not).
3. ... the suggestion that Rebbi Yochanan is not sure whether to rule like
Rebbi Shimon ben Gamliel or the Rabbanan is – why the animal is then Patur
from the Bechorah (since according to the Rabbanan, it is Chayav).
(a) We therefore establish Rebbi Yochanan like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel and
his Safek is – whether, according to Raban Gamliel, an animal that has given
birth doesn’t care for the baby of another animal either, or whether it
(b) We query his insertion of a Chazir in the case however – suggesting that
he ought to have rather referred to a lamb (with regard to’ Oso ve’es B’no’,
as we explained earlier).
(c) We answer that he prefers to refer to a Chazir – because, in the case of
a lamb, if the answer to the She’eilah would be positive, we would still
have to ask what the Din will be by a Chazir, since it is possible that,
even if the animal cares for an animal of its own kind, it might well not
care for an animal of a different species (unless it is its own child).
(a) Achai b’Rivi asked what the Din will be if one sees a Chazir feeding
from a ewe. We reject the suggestion that his She’eilah is whether we rule
like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel or the Rabbanan regarding Bechor – because
then he should have referred to a lamb (since that is the subject of their
(b) In fact, we interpret the She’eilah in one of two ways. When we say that
it goes even according to ...
1. ... the Rabbanan regarding the Bechorah, we mean – that the She’eilah is
whether the Rabbanan will extend their ruling (that an animal cares for a
another animal’s baby) to a different species of animal or not.
(c) The outcome of the She’eilah is ‘Teiku’ (Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos ve’
2. ... Raban Shimon ben Gamliel regarding Achilah, we mean - that the She’
eilah is whether, assuming that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel concedes that an
animal that gave birth does care for another animal’s baby, this will also
extend to a different species of animal.
(a) Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam says in our Mishnah that someone who comes
to Shecht a Bechor – should part it on both sides of the location of the
Shechitah with a chopping knife (this will be explained in the Sugya), to
clear it for the Shechitah, and if in the process, he tears out hair with
his hands (see Tosfos DH ‘ve’Haynu’), so be it.
(b) We would have thought that it is forbidden – in case one comes to tear
out some of the wool (Tolesh) and the Torah forbids the shearing of a Bechor
(c) The Tana requires this procedure – in order to prevent the Shechitah
from becoming Pasul through Chaladah (the knife being covered during the
(a) Consequently, to avoid conveying the impression that one is shearing the
animal – he must leave the matted hair where it is after it has been torn
(b) The Tana permits the same preparation regarding the hair of a blemished
Bechor, in order to enable the inspection to be carried out properly.
(a) Rav rules like Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam. They asked Rav Huna whether
he same preparation is also permitted on Yom-Tov. Assuming that Rebbi Yossi
ben ha’Meshulam’s reason in allowing it is because ‘Tolesh’ is not
considered ‘Gozez’ – it will nevertheless be forbidden on Yom-Tov, because
it is ‘Oker Davar mi’Gidulo’ (detaching something from its source), which is
forbidden on Yom-Tov.
(b) For it to be permitted on Yom-Tov, too, the reason for permitting it by
Bechor will have to be – because it is ‘Davar she’Eino Miskaven’, so if he
inadvertently tears out some hair, so be it (see Tosfos Dh ‘ve’Haynu Ta’ama
’); and as for Tolesh, Rebbi Yossi ben ha’Meshulam will then hold ‘Tolesh
(c) Rav Huna responded that he would only resolve their She’eilah provided
they first ask Rav Chananel a specific question, and he gave them a specific
reply. Subsequently ...
1. ... they asked Rav Chananel – whether the Halachah is like Rebbi Yossi
(d) Rav Huna then ruled - that it is permitted on Yom-Tov, too.
2. ... Rav Chananel replied – that Rav specifically ruled like him.