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Pesachim 54


QUESTION: The Beraisa lists ten things that were created during Bein ha'Shemashos of the first Erev Shabbos of Creation. Rebbi Nechemyah, in the name of his father, adds that fire and the mule were also created at that time. How does he know that the mule was created at Bein ha'Shemashos of Erev Shabbos of Creation? RASHI (DH v'ha'Pered) explains that since there is "nothing new under the sun" -- "Ein Kol Chadash Tachas ha'Shamesh" (Koheles 1:9) -- it is not possible that the mule, a new entity, was created only through cross-breeding after the six days of Creation. It must have been created at the time of the Creation of the world.

What about all of the other objects in the world that came about through cross-breeding, or Kil'ayim, such as the various sorts of fruits and vegetables produced by grafting? Such items were not created during Creation, and came into existence at a later date!


(a) YISA BERACHAH suggests that the mule is an entirely new species. It is more novel than other forms of Kil'ayim, for all other forms of Kil'ayim at least resemble in some way the things that they came from, whereas a mule does not resemble a horse nor a donkey. It must have been created at Creation.

(b) Perhaps Rashi's principle of "Ein Kol Chadash Tachas ha'Shamesh" applies only to living creatures, and not to fruits or vegetables. Since this is the only living creature that can be born from interspecies relations, it must have been created during Creation. In a similar vein, perhaps Rashi is only referring to items which are of essential use to man. Of such items, it is only the mule that is a novel creation. (M. Kornfeld)

(c) The SEFAS EMES suggests a different understanding of Rebbi Nechemyah's statement, other than what Rashi says. The Gemara later says that according to Rebbi Yosi, fire and the mule were not actually created at Bein ha'Shemashos of Erev Shabbos of Creation. Rather, at that time Hashem "thought about" creating them, but they were only created after Shabbos, when "Hashem endowed man with Da'as similar to His, as it were, enabling man to have the insight to create fire and to cross-breed species to create a mule." (These two acts -- creating fire and creating a cross-bred species -- involve original creativity. This is the meaning of "Da'as" similar to Hashem's -- the ability to create.)

When Rebbi Nechemyah says that fire and the mule were created at Bein ha'Shemashos, it does not mean that the actual items were created, but rather that Hashem decided to give man the *ability* to add to the world by taking what exists and manipulating it. It therefore refers to *all* forms of Kil'ayim, and not specifically to mules.


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