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Rosh Hashanah 5

ROSH HASHANAH 2-10 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


QUESTIONS: The Gemara derives from the verse, "v'Hayah Bicha Chet" (lit. "It shall be a sin in you"), that when a person transgresses the Isur of Bal T'acher and delays bringing a Korban, it is only the person who has sinned - - the animal itself does not become Pasul as a result of being delayed, and it is still brought as a Korban. The Gemara asks that this verse is not necessary to teach us that, because we already know from a different verse that a Korban which is delayed does not become Pasul. The Gemara cites a verse which compares Bechor to Ma'aser. This comparison teaches that Bechor is similar to Ma'aser in that a Bechor which was not sacrificed within a year does not become Pasul and may still be brought as a Korban, just like Ma'aser does not become Pasul and may be eaten two or three years after it was separated.

RASHI explains why we would have thought that a Bechor becomes Pasul after a year. He says that if a year has gone by, then it is likely that three Regalim have also passed, because one year usually includes three Regalim (and thus the Isur of Bal T'acher was transgressed). In his previous comments (DH sh'Evrah Shenaso), Rashi explains that the Mitzvah is to eat the Bechor within one year of its birth (as the Mishnah says in Bechoros 26b). There are a number of questions that may be asked on Rashi. (a) First, Rashi seems to be saying that the Bechor should become Pasul after a year passes because a year usually includes three Regalim. However, it is clear that there are times when a year does *not* include three Regalim, as the Gemara explains later (6b; for example, a leap year). Accordingly, what does the Gemara mean when it asks that we already have a verse teaching us that an animal is not Pasul if Bal T'acher was transgressed? Perhaps the verse of Bechor teaches that the Korban is valid even though it was not brought within a year in a case where three Regalim did not yet pass, and the verse of "v'Hayah Bicha Chet" teaches that the Korban is valid even when three Regalim also passed! (TUREI EVEN)

(b) Why does Rashi introduce the Mitzvah to eat a Bechor within a year of its birth? It has nothing to do with the Sugya. Rashi should have explained that the Gemara is only discussing whether or not the passage of three Regalim will invalidate a Korban. It is not discussing the Mitzvah of eating a Bechor within its first year, which is a new concept that is specific to Bechoros! (CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM)

(c) The Gemara says later (6b) that the Isur of Bal T'acher also applies if a year passes, even if three Regalim do not occur in that time (see Rashi there, DH Echad Malei). Why does Rashi here have to say that within a year, it is likely that three Regalim pass? If a year passes, then even without three Regalim there is an Isur of Bal T'acher! (PNEI YEHOSHUA)


(a) The CHESHEK SHLOMO explains that the Isur of eating a Bechor after its year has passed is learned from the verse which requires a person to eat it within the year. That Isur, therefore, is an Isur of *Achilah*. Since one cannot eat an animal without first slaughtering it, then one must bring the Bechor as a Korban within the year and eat it. It is clear that this Halachah is not related to its status as a Korban, since the Bechor must be eaten within the year even if it gets a Mum. In the case of a Bechor, since the only Isur involved with a year passing is an Isur Achilah, there is no need for a verse to teach us that if the Bechor was left for more than a year it is still a valid Korban. Nothing wrong was done with the Korban itself that would make us think that it is Pasul! The Korban Bechor should still be valid even if a year has passed. The only reason the Gemara thought that the Bechor would become Pasul is because of a different Isur -- the Isur of Bal T'acher, which is not an Isur of Achilah but rather related to the laws of bringing the Korban.

This answers the first question. The verse that says that a Bechor is like Ma'aser must be teaching something about Bal T'acher, that when three Regalim pass the animal is still valid. Otherwise, the verse would not be needed, because there is no reason to assume that a Bechor is Pasul after the passage of a year.

(b) Why does Rashi mention the requirement to eat a Bechor within a year of its birth? Rashi is just explaining why the Beraisa uses the wording "within its year" ("Toch Shenaso") if the point is to teach that the Bechor is valid after the passage of *three Regalim* and not to teach that it is valid after the passage of one year. Rashi says that since the Torah requires that a Bechor be eaten within a year, even though the Halachah that we are learning from the verse has nothing to do with the Halachah of eating the Bechor within a year, nevertheless the Beraisa uses the wording of "within a year" to refer to three Regalim because that is the phrase commonly used with reference to the Halachos of a Bechor. The real intention of the Beraisa, though, is to teach that a Bechor is not Pasul when *three Regalim* have passed within its year.

(c) The third question is answered by the words of Rashi later (6b, DH Man Tana). Rashi there says that all of the Tana'im until that point in the Gemara maintain that the Isur of Bal T'acher occurs only when three Regalim pass, but not when one year passes without three Regalim. It is another, as yet unmentioned, Tana who teaches that even the passage of a year without three Regalim constitutes Bal T'acher.

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