POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bechoros 17
1) WHICH GENERATIONS ARE EXEMPT?
(a) Question (Mishnah - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): Even until 10
generations are exempt.
(b) (We are thinking that he refers to the Reisha, without
1. This is not difficult for Rav Yehudah - because the
first Tana exempts Vladei Vlados, even though they
were not born to the mothers, R. Shimon had to
specify 10 generations (had he said only "Vladei
Vladei Vlados," we would have thought that these are
exempt, but the next generation is liable);
(c) Answer: R. Shimon refers to the Seifa, when there was
designation. (The first Tana exempts Vladei Vlados, Rav
Huna explains like Rav Yehudah did above.)
2. But according to Rav Huna, the first Tana forbids
only Vlados, R. Shimon could have said just "Vladei
Vlados," we would understand that just like these
are exempt because the Nochri might sieze them (even
though they were not born to his animals), the same
applies to all generations!
(d) Version #1 - Question (against Rav Yehudah - Reisha of
Mishnah): If Shimon received Tzon Barzel from a Nochri,
Hen Vlados (the very offspring of the mothers) are exempt
from Bechorah, Vladei Vladoseihen are liable.
(e) (This is like Rashi's text, according to Bach. Rosh
(cited by Shitah Mekubetzes #2) says that it is a Beraisa
- we did not ask from the Reisha of our Mishnah (which
lacks the word "Hen") because it exempts "Vlados" without
specifying how many generations are exempt.)
(f) Answer: It means, Hen u'Vlados [are exempt]. (It is no
Chidush to exempt the mothers, surely "Hen" refers to the
Vlados, "u'Vlados" refers to Vladei Vlados.)
(g) Version #2 - Question (against Rav Huna - Reisha (or
Beraisa)): If Shimon received Tzon Barzel from a Nochri,
Hen u'Vladoseihen are exempt, Vladei Vladoseihen are
liable. ("Hen" refers to the Vlados, "u'Vlados" refers to
(h) Answer: It means, Hen Vlados (the very offspring) are
exempt, Vladei Vlados are liable.
(a) (Whenever we mention an animal being born to a certain
species, we refer to the mother's species, unless we
specify the father.)
3) "EFSHAR L'TZAMTZEM"
(b) (Mishnah): If a sheep gave birth to a goat...
(c) (R. Oshaya of Neharda'a - Beraisa - R. Meir): A [female]
sheep born to a goat, or a goat born to a sheep is liable
(this will be explained);
(d) Chachamim exempt.
(e) Question (R. Hoshaya): What does R. Meir say is liable?
1. Suggestion: He obligates Kedushas Bechor.
2. Rejection: Surely, R. Meir agrees with the
(f) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): The case is, a sheep gave birth to
a goat, the father was a goat; they argue whether or not
we are concerned for the seed of the father;
i. "Ach Bechor Shor" - a calf has Kedushas Bechor
only if it and its mother are cattle (and
similarly for sheep and goats).
3. Suggestion: He obligates Reishis ha'Gez.
4. Rejection: Surely, R. Meir agrees with the
i. (Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Reishis
ha'Gez does not apply to sheep whose wool is
too hard to make garments [that give warmth] -
"umi'Gez Kevasai Yischamam."
1. R. Meir is concerned, Chachamim are not.
(g) Rejection: If so, they should argue in general about this
(not only in this case), like Chananyah and Chachamim!
(h) Answer #2: Really, they argue about Bechorah;
1. Answer #2A: The case is, a lamb was born to a sheep
born to a goat - R. Meir says, since it resembles
its mother, it is not Nidmeh, Bechorah applies to
(i) (R. Yochanan): R. Meir agrees that Se'ir Rosh Chodesh
(the Chatas of Musaf) must be born to a goat.
2. Chachamim say, since the grandchild is unlike the
mother's mother, it is considered Nidmeh, it is
exempt from Bechorah.
3. Answer #2B: The case is, a sheep was born to a goat
born to a sheep - R. Meir says, since it resembles
its grandmother, it returns to its original status,
is not considered Nidmeh, Bechorah applies to it;
4. Chachamim do not say that it returns to its original
status, it is Nidmeh, it is exempt.
5. Answer #2C (Rav Ashi): The case is, it resembles its
mother in some ways; Chachamim hold like R. Shimon,
who exempts from Bechorah unless its head and
majority resemble its mother.
(j) Question: What is the reason?
(k) Answer: It says "Echad" - it must be unique, i.e. pure
lineage (all goats) from the six days of creation.
(l) Question: We learn this from a different verse!
1. (Beraisa): "Shor O Kesev" - this excludes Kil'ayim;
"O Ez" excludes Nidmeh.
(m) Answer: We need both verses:
1. Had it said only "O Ez," we would disqualify only a
Nidmeh that does not resemble its mother, we would
not require pure lineage from creation;
(n) (Rav Acha bar Yakov): All agree that one is not lashed
for wearing Kil'ayim if the wool was from a sheep born to
2. If it only said "Echad," we would have thought that
Nidmeh is Pasul only for obligatory Korbanos, but
not for Nedavos.
1. It says "Lo Silbash Sha'atnez [Tzemer u'Pishtim]" -
just like flax is unchanged, the wool must be
(o) (Rav Papa): All agree that such wool (from a sheep born
to a goat) is Pasul for Techeiles (Rambam - it is Pasul
for Tzitzis, for a garment made of a different material).
1. It says "Lo Silbash Sha'atnez...Gedilim Ta'aseh
Lecha" - just like flax is unchanged, also the wool.
(p) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): All agree that Tzara'as does
not apply to a garment of such wool:
1. It says "b'Veged Tzemer O b'Veged Pishtim" - just
like flax is unchanged, also the wool.
(q) (Rav Ashi): If one draped a vine over a fig tree, wine
from its grapes is Pasul for Nesachim:
1. It says "Zevach u'Nesachim" - just like the Zevach
must be unchanged, also the Nesachim.
(r) Question (Ravina): If so, you should also say that if one
draped flax over a bush, the flax is considered to be
1. This opposes the three previous teachings, they all
assume that flax never changes!
(s) Answer (Rav Ashi): Draping a vine over a fig tree changes
the smell of the wine (R. Gershom - and this disqualifies
Nesachim), draping flax over a bush does not change its
smell (R. Gershom - there is no significance to the
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yosi ha'Galili): If Reuven's sheep (a
Mevakeres) gave birth to twins, and their heads left the
womb at the same time, both are [Kadosh and are] given to
Kohanim - "ha'Zecharim la'Sh-m."
(b) Chachamim say, Iy Efshar l'Tzamtzem (two things cannot
occur simultaneously; Tosfos - we will never know that
they are exactly the same);
1. Therefore, he keeps one of them, he gives the other
to a Kohen.
(c) R. Tarfon says, the Kohen takes the nicer one;
(d) R. Akiva says, Meshamnim Beineihem (this will be
(e) Reuven's animal grazes until it gets a Mum (and he eats
it). (Rashash - R. Tarfon says that the nicer one is a
definite Bechor, the inferior is definitely Chulin, so
this clause is unlike R. Tarfon. Others say that both are
Safek Bechoros, R. Tarfon agrees with this clause.)
(f) Matanos (Zero'a, Lechayim and Kevah) must be given (to a
(g) R. Yosi exempts.
(h) R. Tarfon says, if one of the twins dies, they share the
other one (R. Tarfon retracted from what he said above);
(i) R. Akiva says, ha'Motzi mi'Chavero Alav ha'Re'ayah (to
take money from a Muchzak, one must bring proof; the
Kohen must prove that the live animal is the Bechor).
(j) If a male and female were born at the same time, the
Kohen does not receive anything.
(k) (Gemara - d'Vei R. Yanai): R. Yosi ha'Galili holds (in
our Mishnah) that Efshar l'Tzamtzem bi'Yedei Shamayim
(events can naturally occur simultaneously, distances can
be exactly equal, even though Hash-m has no need for
this), all the more so bi'Yedei Adam (people sometimes
want and intend to make two things be equal).
(l) Question: Chachamim say (in our Mishnah) Iy Efshar
l'Tzamtzem bi'Yedei Shamayim - what do they say about
(m) Answer #1 (Mishnah): The Chut ha'Sikra (a red strip)
girds the Mizbe'ach in the middle, to distinguish between
[the place for] upper and lower blood.
1. If Iy Efshar l'Tzamtzem, perhaps the Chut is
slightly above (or below) the middle, blood thrown
just below (or above) is really on the top (or
bottom) half of the Mizbe'ach, the Zerikah is Pasul!
(n) Rejection: Perhaps the Chut was so thick that the middle
was surely contained within it.
(o) Answer #2: The Torah gave precise measures for the
Mizbe'ach and Kelim (Aron, Menorah and Shulchan) - we
must say that people can be exact!
(p) Version #1 (Our text, Shitah Mekubetzes): Rejection:
Normally, Iy Efshar l'Tzamtzem; there, Ru'ach ha'Kodesh
helped people to make the Kelim exactly right - "ha'Kol
bi'Chsav mi'Yad Hash-m Alai Hiskil."
(q) Version #2 (Rashi): Rejection: The Torah commanded to
make the Kelim, knowing that people cannot be exact.
(r) Answer #3 (Rav Katina - Mishnah): (If an oven broke and
one of the fragments comprises the majority, it is
Tamei.) If an oven was cut into two equal parts, they are
Tamei, for it is impossible to make them exactly equal
(we cannot discern which is the majority, so we are
(s) Rejection (Rav Kahana): Klei Cheres are different - they
do not cleave evenly when cut, rather, there are craters,
so one cannot cut them precisely in half.