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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Bechorot - Perek 2, Bechorot - Perek 3, Bechorot - Perek 4

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Bechorot - Perek 2

1

If any of the permanent blemishes which disqualify consecrated animals and require them to be redeemed is contracted by a firstborn animal, it may be slaughtered for this reason in any place. We have already explained those blemishes in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach. Those that are appropriate to apply to a male animal number 67.

א

כָּל הַמּוּמִים הַקְּבוּעִים הַפּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַקֳדָשִׁים וְנִפְדִּים עֲלֵיהֶן. אִם נָפַל אֶחָד מֵהֶן בִּבְכוֹר הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁחָט עָלָיו בְּכָל מָקוֹם. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ אוֹתָן הַמּוּמִין בְּהִלְכוֹת אִסּוּרֵי מִזְבֵּחַ שֶׁהָרָאוּי מֵהֶן לִהְיוֹת בְּזָכָר שִׁשִּׁים וְשִׁבְעָה:

2

All of the conditions mentioned there which cause a sacrifice to be considered as less than desirable and hence, due to them, a consecrated animal is not offered, but also is not redeemed cause a firstborn not to be slaughtered due to them, nor offered. Instead, the animal remains until it contracts a permanent blemish. Similarly, if a firstborn contracts a temporary blemish, it should not be slaughtered in any place, nor should it be offered. Instead, it should pasture until it contracts a permanent blemish and is slaughtered because of it.

ב

וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁמָּנִינוּ שָׁם שֶׁאֵין הַקָּרְבָּן מִן הַמֻּבְחָר וְאֵין הַקָּדָשִׁים קְרֵבִין בָּהֶן וְלֹא נִפְדִּין עֲלֵיהֶן כָּךְ אֵין הַבְּכוֹר נִשְׁחָט עֲלֵיהֶן וְלֹא קָרֵב אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה עוֹמֵד עַד שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד לוֹ מוּם קָבוּעַ. וְכֵן אִם נוֹלָד בִּבְכוֹר מוּם עוֹבֵר הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ נִשְׁחָט בְּכָל מָקוֹם וְלֹא קָרֵב אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה רוֹעֶה עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם קָבוּעַ וְיִשָּׁחֵט עָלָיו:

3

Similarly, if a transgression was performed with it or it killed a human according to the testimony of only one witness or the owner, it was set aside to be worshiped as a false deity or it was worshiped, it should be left to pasture until it contracts a disqualifying blemish, as explained in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach.

ג

וְכֵן אִם נֶעֶבְדָה בּוֹ עֲבֵרָה. אוֹ שֶׁהָרַג בְּעֵד אֶחָד. אוֹ עַל פִּי הַבְּעָלִים. אוֹ שֶׁהֻקְצָה אוֹ נֶעֱבָד. יִרְעֶה עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת אִסּוּרֵי מִזְבֵּחַ:

4

Neither an animal born through Cesarean section, nor one born afterwards are considered as firstborn animals. The first is not, because it is not the first issue of the womb. And the second is not, because the first preceded it. Even if a female was born through Cesarean section and a male later emerged from the womb, it is not a firstborn.

ד

יוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן וְהַבָּא אַחֲרָיו שְׁנֵיהֶן אֵינָן בְּכוֹר. הָרִאשׁוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ פֶּטֶר רֶחֶם וְהָאַחֲרוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקְּדָמוֹ אַחֵר. אֲפִלּוּ יָצְאָה נְקֵבָה דֶּרֶךְ דֹּפֶן וְזָכָר דֶּרֶךְ רֶחֶם אֵינוֹ בְּכוֹר:

5

When a firstborn animal is an androgynus, it does not have any sacred quality associated with it. It is like a female, concerning which the priest has no claim at all. One may perform labor with it and shear it like other ordinary animals.

When an animal is born as a tumtum, it is considered as a firstborn of doubtful status. It may be eaten by its owner after it contracts a blemish. This applies whether it urinates from a place that appears to indicate that it is male or it urinates from a place that appears to indicate that it is female.

ה

בְּכוֹר שֶׁהוּא אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס אֵין בּוֹ קְדֻשָּׁה כְּלָל. וַהֲרֵי הוּא כִּנְקֵבָה שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ לַכֹּהֵן כְּלוּם. וְעוֹבְדִים בּוֹ וְגוֹזְזִים אוֹתוֹ כִּשְׁאָר הַחֻלִּין. נוֹלַד טֻמְטוּם הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק בְּכוֹר וְיֵאָכֵל בְּמוּמוֹ לִבְעָלָיו. בֵּין שֶׁהֵטִיל מַיִם מִמְּקוֹם זִכְרוּת בֵּין שֶׁהֵטִיל מִמְּקוֹם נַקְבוּת:

6

When a sheep gives birth to an offspring that appears like a goat or a goat gives birth to an offspring that appears like a lamb, it is exempt from the mitzvah of a firstborn, as indicated by Numbers 18:17 which speaks of "the firstborn of an ox." Implied is that it must be an ox and the firstborn must be an ox.

If it has some of the distinguishing characteristics of its mother, it is considered as a firstborn and it is considered as having a permanent blemish, for there is no blemish greater than a deviation from the norms of creation, as explained in Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach.

Even if a cow gives birth to an offspring that resembles a donkey, but it has some of the signs of a cow, it is a firstborn that must be given to a priest. The rationale is that, with regard to the species of donkeys, there is a concept of a firstborn. If, however, it gave birth to an offspring resembling a horse or a camel, even if it has some of the signs of a cow, it is merely a firstborn of doubtful status. Therefore it may be eaten by its owners. If, however, a priest takes possession of it, it is not expropriated from his possession.

ו

רָחֵל שֶׁיָּלְדָה כְּמִין עֵז. אוֹ עֵז שֶׁיָּלְדָה כְּמִין רָחֵל פָּטוּר מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יח יז) "אַךְ בְּכוֹר שׁוֹר" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הוּא שׁוֹר וּבְכוֹרוֹ שׁוֹר. וְאִם הָיָה בּוֹ מִקְצָת סִימָנֵי אִמּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה בְּכוֹר וְהוּא בַּעַל מוּם קָבוּעַ שֶׁאֵין לְךָ מוּם גָּדוֹל מִשִּׁנּוּי בְּרִיָּתוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ פָּרָה שֶׁיָּלְדָה כְּמִין חֲמוֹר וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ מִקְצָת סִימָנֵי פָּרָה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּכוֹר לַכֹּהֵן הוֹאִיל וּמִין הַחֲמוֹר יֵשׁ בּוֹ דִּין בְּכוֹר. אֲבָל אִם יָלְדָה מִין סוּס אוֹ גָּמָל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מִקְצָת סִימָנֵי פָּרָה הֲרֵי הוּא סְפֵק בְּכוֹר לְפִיכָךְ יֵאָכֵל לַבְּעָלִים. וְאִם תְּפָסוֹ כֹּהֵן אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:

7

When a person imparts a blemish to a firstborn animal, since he performed a transgression, he is penalized. License is not granted to slaughter the firstborn because of this blemish until it contracts another blemish on its own accord. If, however, this transgressor dies, his son may slaughter the animal because of the blemish inflicted by his father, for his son was not penalized after him.

ז

הַמַּטִּיל מוּם בִּבְכוֹר הוֹאִיל וְעָשָׂה עֲבֵרָה קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ נִשְׁחָט עַל מוּם זֶה עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם אַחֵר מֵאֵלָיו. וְאִם מֵת זֶה הַחוֹטֵא מֻתָּר לִבְנוֹ לְשָׁחֳטוֹ עַל מוּם שֶׁעָשָׂה אָבִיו שֶׁלֹּא קָנְסוּ בְּנוֹ אַחֲרָיו:

8

If one indirectly caused a firstborn to contract a physical blemish, e.g., one placed a fig on its ear, leaving it there until a dog came and took it and cut off its ear, he caused it to pass through jagged iron and pieces of glass so that its forefoot would be cut off and it was cut off, or he told a gentile to blemish it, the animal should not be slaughtered because of this blemish.

This is the general principle: Whenever a blemish was brought about with a person's knowledge, it is forbidden for him to slaughter it because of this blemish. If it was brought about without his knowledge, it is permitted for him to slaughter it because of this blemish.

ח

הִרְגִּיל לַבְּכוֹר שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּתַן דְּבֵלָה עַל אָזְנוֹ עַד שֶׁבָּא כֶּלֶב וּנְטָלָהּ וְחָתַךְ אָזְנוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁהָלַךְ בֵּין בַּרְזֶל וַעֲשָׁשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל זְכוּכִית כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּקָּטַע יָדוֹ וְנִקְטְעָה. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לְנָכְרִי לְהַטִּיל בּוֹ מוּם. הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל מוּם שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לְדַעְתּוֹ אָסוּר לוֹ לִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו וְאִם נַעֲשָׂה שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹחֵט עָלָיו:

9

If one said: "If this firstborn animal would contract a blemish, I would slaughter it" and a gentile heard and caused it to become blemished, he may slaughter it, because it was not brought about with his knowledge.

ט

אָמַר אִלּוּ נָפַל בִּבְכוֹר זֶה מוּם הָיִיתִי שׁוֹחֲטוֹ וְשָׁמַע הַנָּכְרִי וְעָשָׂה בּוֹ מוּם הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹחֵט עָלָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נַעֲשָׂה בְּדַעְתּוֹ:

10

If we saw a person perform a deed that would indirectly cause a firstborn to contract a blemish, it contracted a blemish, but we do not know whether he intended that this blemish be caused, he should not slaughter the firstborn, because of it.

What is implied? He placed barley in a narrow place where the walls were studded with thorns, when the firstborn ate the barley, its lip became split. Even if the owner was a Torah sage, he should not slaughter the firstborn because of it. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

י

רְאִינוּהוּ שֶׁעָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה הַמַּרְגִּיל לְהַטִּיל בּוֹ מוּם וְנָפַל בּוֹ מוּם וְאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִין אִם נִתְכַּוֵּן לְמוּם זֶה אוֹ לֹא נִתְכַּוֵּן. הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ שְׂעוֹרִים בְּמָקוֹם דָּחוּק מְסֹרָג בְּקוֹצִים וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאָכַל נֶחְלַק שְׂפָתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה חָבֵר הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

If a firstborn animal was pursuing a person and he kicked it to divert it, or even if he kicked it because it pursued once before, should he have caused a blemish when he kicked it, he may slaughter the firstborn because of it.

יא

הָיָה בְּכוֹר רוֹדֵף אֶת הָאָדָם וּבָעֲטוֹ כְּדֵי לְטָרְדוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ בָּעַט בּוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרְדָפוֹ מִקֹּדֶם וְנַעֲשָׂה בּוֹ מוּם בִּבְעִיטָה זוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׁחַט עָלָיו:

12

When children caused a firstborn to become blemished through sport and similarly, if a gentile caused a blemish intentionally, the firstborn may be slaughtered because of it. If they did so in order to cause it to be permitted, it may not be slaughtered because of it.

יב

קְטַנִּים שֶׁהִטִּילוּ מוּם בִּבְכוֹר דֶּרֶךְ שְׂחוֹק וְכֵן הַנָּכְרִי שֶׁעָשָׂה לְדַעְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו. וְאִם עָשׂוּ כְּדֵי לְהַתִּירוֹ לֹא יִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו:

13

When the blood of a firstborn ceased flowing freely, its blood may be let, provided one does not intentionally cause a blemish. If a blemish was caused through the bloodletting, the animal may be slaughtered because of it.

יג

בְּכוֹר שֶׁאֲחָזוֹ דָּם יַקִּיז. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ מוּם. וְאִם נַעֲשָׂה בּוֹ מוּם בְּהַקָּזָה זוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁחַט עָלָיו:

14

It is permitted to cause a firstborn animal to become blemished before it emerges into the world and the firstborn may be slaughtered as a consequence.

When does this apply? When the Temple is not standing. Then leniency is granted, because ultimately the animal will be eaten after it becomes blemished. When, however, the Temple is standing, this is forbidden.

יד

מֻתָּר לְהַטִּיל מוּם בִּבְכוֹר קֹדֶם שֶׁיֵּצֵא לַאֲוִיר הָעוֹלָם וְיִשְׁחַט עָלָיו. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין שָׁם בַּיִת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסּוֹפוֹ לְהֵאָכֵל בְּמוּמוֹ. אֲבָל בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּם אָסוּר:

15

When one witness testifies in the name of another witness that a blemish was not brought about knowingly, his word is accepted. Even a woman's word is accepted if she says: "This blemish was caused on its own accord in my presence," and the animal may be slaughtered.

טו

עֵד שֶׁהֵעִיד מִפִּי עֵד אַחַר שֶׁמּוּם זֶה נָפַל שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעַת נֶאֱמָן. אֲפִלּוּ אִשָּׁה נֶאֱמֶנֶת לוֹמַר בְּפָנַי נָפַל מוּם זֶה מֵאֵלָיו וְיִשְׁחַט עָלָיו:

16

A shepherd's word is accepted when he states that any blemish that could have been caused by human activity came about on its own accord. The animal may be slaughtered because of such blemishes.

When does the above apply? When the shepherd was an Israelite and the firstborn animal is in the possession of a priest. If, however, the shepherd was a priest and the firstborn was still in the possession of its Israelite owner, the shepherd's word is not accepted and we suspect that perhaps he caused it to become blemished so that it would be given to him.

טז

כָּל הַמּוּמִין הָרְאוּיִין לָבוֹא בִּידֵי אָדָם נֶאֱמָן הָרוֹעֶה עֲלֵיהֶן לוֹמַר מֵאֲלֵיהֶן נָפְלוּ וְלֹא נַעֲשׂוּ בְּכַוָּנָה וְיִשְׁחַט עֲלֵיהֶן. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הָרוֹעֶה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַבְּכוֹר בְּיַד הַכֹּהֵן. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הָרוֹעֶה כֹּהֵן וְהַבְּכוֹר עֲדַיִן הוּא בְּיַד בְּעָלָיו הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי. הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן וְחוֹשְׁדִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁמָּא הוּא הִטִּיל בּוֹ מוּם כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְּנֶנּוּ לוֹ:

17

The word of a priest who testifies on behalf of another priest that a firstborn became blemished on its own accord is accepted. We do not suspect that they are acting in collusion with each other.

The rationale is that all of the priests are suspect to cause a blemish to a firstborn so that they can partake of it outside the Temple Courtyard. Therefore their own word is not accepted with regard to their own concerns. A colleague may, however, testify on his behalf, because a person will not transgress on behalf of another. Even a priest's children and the members of his household may testify with regard to a firstborn on his behalf. His wife may not, however, because she is considered as his own person.

יז

כֹּהֵן שֶׁהֵעִיד לְכֹהֵן אַחֵר שֶׁמּוּם זֶה מֵאֵלָיו נָפַל נֶאֱמָן וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהֶן שֶׁמָּא הֵם גּוֹמְלִים זֶה אֶת זֶה. שֶׁכָּל הַכֹּהֲנִים חֲשׁוּדִין לְהַטִּיל מוּם בִּבְכוֹר כְּדֵי לְאָכְלוֹ בַּחוּץ וּלְפִיכָךְ אֵין נֶאֱמָנִין עַל יְדֵי עַצְמָן. אֲבָל חֲבֵרוֹ מֵעִיד לוֹ, שֶׁאֵין אָדָם חוֹטֵא לְאַחֵר. אֲפִלּוּ בָּנָיו וּבְנֵי בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁל כֹּהֵן מְעִידִין לוֹ עַל הַבְּכוֹר אֲבָל לֹא אִשְׁתּוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא כְּגוּפוֹ:

18

Leniency is, however, shown in the following instance. A firstborn animal was in the possession of a priest and it became blemished. One witness testified that the blemish came as a matter of course, but we do not know whether the blemish is of the type that enables a firstborn to be slaughtered or not. If the priest who is in possession of the firstborn states that he showed this blemish to an expert and he permitted the firstborn to be slaughtered because of it, his word is accepted. We do not suspect that he did not show the animal to the expert and that the firstborn is considered as unblemished. For the priests were not suspected of slaughtering consecrated animals outside the Temple Courtyard, because this is a sin punishable by karet, as we explained.

יח

בְּכוֹר שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד כֹּהֵן וְנָפַל בּוֹ מוּם וְהֵעִיד עָלָיו עֵד אֶחָד שֶׁזֶּה הַמּוּם מֵאֵלָיו נָפַל וְאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִים אִם מוּם זֶה שׁוֹחֲטִין עָלָיו אֶת הַבְּכוֹר אוֹ אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין עָלָיו וּבָא הַכֹּהֵן שֶׁהוּא בְּיָדוֹ וְאָמַר הֶרְאֵיתִי מוּם זֶה לְמֻמְחֶה וְהִתִּירוֹ לִשְׁחִיטָה הֲרֵי זֶה נֶאֱמָן. וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא לֹא הֶרְאָהוּ וְשֶׁמָּא בְּכוֹר תָּם הוּא שֶׁלֹּא נֶחְשְׁדוּ לִשְׁחֹט קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא עֲוֹן כָּרֵת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

19

Similarly, a priest's word is accepted if he states concerning a blemished firstborn animal: "An Israelite gave me this firstborn animal after it was blemished. It did not become blemished in my domain." As a result, we do not suspect that he caused the blemish. The rationale is that the matter will inevitably become revealed and the priest will be scared to lie, lest the Israelite owner be asked and state: "It was unblemished at the time it was given to him."

יט

וְכֵן נֶאֱמָן הַכֹּהֵן לוֹמַר עַל בְּכוֹר מוּם בְּכוֹר זֶה נְתָנוֹ לִי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמוּמוֹ וְלֹא נָפַל בִּרְשׁוּתִי כְּדֵי לָחוּשׁ לוֹ שֶׁמָּא הוּא הִטִּילוֹ. שֶׁהַדָּבָר עָשׂוּי לְהִגָּלוֹת וְהוּא מִתְיָרֵא שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁאֲלוּ בְּעָלָיו וְיֹאמַר תָּמִים הָיָה בְּעֵת שֶׁנְּתָנוּהוּ לוֹ:

Bechorot - Perek 3

1

A firstborn animal may not be slaughtered because of its blemish unless a ruling to that effect was delivered by an expert who was authorized to do so by the nasi and told by him: "Give license for slaughter of firstborn animals because of their blemishes." Even if a blemish was large and obvious to everyone, license to slaughter it should not be granted by anyone other than an expert who was granted authority.

Such an expert may inspect all firstborn animals except his own.

א

אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין אֶת הַבְּכוֹר אֶלָּא עַל פִּי מֻמְחֶה שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ הַנָּשִׂיא שֶׁבְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל רְשׁוּת וְאָמַר לוֹ הַתֵּר בְּכוֹרוֹת בְּמוּמָן. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה מוּם גָּדוֹל וְגָלוּי לַכּל לֹא יַתִּירוֹ אֶלָּא מֻמְחֶה שֶׁנָּטַל רְשׁוּת. וְכָל הַבְּכוֹרוֹת אָדָם רוֹאֶה חוּץ מִבְּכוֹרֵי עַצְמוֹ:

2

If there is no expert in a locale and the blemish was one of the blemishes that are obvious and distinct, e.g., the animal's eye was blinded, its forefoot was cut off, or its hindfoot was broken, it may be slaughtered with license of three members of the synagogue. Similarly, if a firstborn animal was taken to the Diaspora and contracted a distinct blemish, license for its slaughter can be granted by three members of the synagogue.

ב

אִם אֵין שָׁם מֻמְחֶה וְהָיָה הַמּוּם מִן הַמּוּמִין הַגְּלוּיִין הַמֻּבְהָקִין. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּסְמֵית עֵינוֹ. אוֹ נִקְטְעָה יָדוֹ. אוֹ נִשְׁבְּרָה רַגְלוֹ. הֲרֵי זֶה יִשָּׁחֵט עַל פִּי שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי הַכְּנֶסֶת. וְכֵן בְּכוֹר שֶׁיָּצָא לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ וְנָפַל בּוֹ מוּם מֻבְהָק. הֲרֵי זֶה יֻתַּר עַל פִּי שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי הַכְּנֶסֶת:

3

An expert should not inspect a firstborn animal in Eretz Yisrael unless he is accompanied by a priest, lest the expert tell the owner: "It is a blemish and it is permitted to slaughter the animal because of it," and he slaughter it for himself without giving it to the priest. For although he is not suspect to slaughter sanctified animalsoutside the Temple Courtyard, he is suspect to steal the presents given to the priests.

Therefore if the owner was a wise man who is known to be careful in his observance, an animal may be inspected for him without a priest. If the blemish was something obvious to all, e.g., the firstborn's foreleg or hindleg was cut off, since he brought to a sage expert for inspection, we assume that he is careful in his observance. Hence the experts inspects the animal for him even though he is not accompanied by a priest.

ג

אֵין רוֹאִין אֶת הַבְּכוֹר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כֹּהֵן עִמּוֹ. שֶׁמָּא יֹאמַר לוֹ הַמֻּמְחֶה מוּם הוּא וּמֻתָּר לִשְׁחֹט עָלָיו וְיֵלֵךְ וְיִשְׁחָטֶנּוּ לְעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא יִתְּנֶנּוּ לַכֹּהֵן. שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּד לֶאֱכל קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ. חָשׁוּד הוּא לִגְזל מַתְּנוֹת כְּהֻנָּה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה חָכָם וְיָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא מְדַקְדֵּק עַל עַצְמוֹ רוֹאִין לוֹ. הָיָה הַמּוּם גָּלוּי לַכּל כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּקְטְעָה יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ. הוֹאִיל וֶהֱבִיאוֹ לְחָכָם הַמֻּמְחֶה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת מְדַקְדֵּק עַל עַצְמוֹ לְפִיכָךְ רוֹאִין לוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין עִמּוֹ כֹּהֵן:

4

When a person slaughters a firstborn animal and afterwards shows its blemish to an expert - even if the blemish is overtly recognizable and will not be affected by ritual slaughter, e.g., its foreleg or hindleg were cut off - since it was not slaughtered with license granted by an expert - it is forbidden to benefit from it and it should be buried like a firstborn animal that died.

ד

הַשּׁוֹחֵט אֶת הַבְּכוֹר וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֶרְאָה אֶת מוּמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מוּם גָּלוּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִשְׁתַּנֶּה בִּשְׁחִיטָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁנֶּחְתְּכָה יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ הוֹאִיל וְנִשְׁחַט שֶׁלֹּא עַל פִּי מֻמְחֶה הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר וְיִקָּבֵר כִּבְכוֹר שֶׁמֵּת:

5

When a firstborn had only one testicle, but two sacs, it was sat on its rear, and its genital area kneaded without finding the second testicle, an expert granted permission for its slaughter and it was slaughtered, it is permitted to be eaten even though the second testicle was found clinging to the flanks. Since its genital area was kneaded, the original ruling is not rescinded. If, however, its genital area was not kneaded, even though permission to slaughter it was granted by an expert, it must be buried.

ה

בְּכוֹר שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ בֵּיצָה אַחַת וּשְׁנֵי כִּיסִים. וּבְדָקוֹ הַמֻּמְחֶה וְהוֹשִׁיבוּהוּ עַל הַרְגּוֹזוֹ וּמִעֲכוּ וְלֹא יָצָאת בֵּיצָה שְׁנִיָּה וְהִתִּירוֹ הַמֻּמְחֶה וְנִשְׁחַט וְנִמְצָא הַשְּׁנִיָּה דְּבוּקָה בַּכְּסָלִים הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר הוֹאִיל וּמִעֲכוּ. אֲבָל אִם לֹא נִמְעַךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁחַט עַל פִּי מֻמְחֶה הֲרֵי זֶה יִקָּבֵר:

6

When a person who is not an expert inspects a firstborn and has it slaughtered, it should be buried and he must make restitution from his personal resources.

How much should he pay? A fourth of the worth of a small animal and half the worth of a large animal. Why does he not pay its entire worth? Because the owner of the animal was penalized so that he not delay offering the firstborn and so that he not raise a small animal in Eretz Yisrael.

ו

מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֻמְחֶה וְרָאָה אֶת הַבְּכוֹר וְנִשְׁחַט עַל פִּיו. הֲרֵי זֶה יִקָּבֵר וִישַׁלֵּם מִבֵּיתוֹ. וְכַמָּה מְשַׁלֵּם. רְבִיעַ לְדַקָּה וּמֶחֱצָה לְגַסָּה. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא יְשַׁלֵּם כָּל דָּמָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקָּנְסוּ אֶת בַּעַל הַבְּהֵמָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַשְׁהֶנָּה וְלֹא יְגַדֵּל בְּהֵמָה דַּקָּה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל:

7

When a person receives a wage for inspecting a firstborn animal for a blemish, the animal may not be slaughtered on the basis of his rulings unless he was a great expert and the sages knew that there were none like him and they allotted a fee to him for the visit and inspection whether a blemish was found or not.He should not take a fee for any given animal more than once and should continue to inspect it as long as it is brought to him, so that no suspicions will be aroused.

ז

הַנּוֹטֵל שְׂכָרוֹ לִהְיוֹת רוֹאֶה בְּכוֹרוֹת אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין עַל פִּיו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה מֻמְחֶה גָּדוֹל וְיָדְעוּ בּוֹ חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֵין כְּמוֹתוֹ וּפָסְקוּ לוֹ שָׂכָר עַל הָרְאִיָּה וְהַבִּקּוּר בֵּין שֶּׁנִּמְצָא בּוֹ מוּם בֵּין שֶּׁנִּמְצָא תָּמִים. וְלֹא יִטּל שָׂכָר עַל בְּהֵמָה זוֹ חוּץ מִפַּעַם אַחַת וְרוֹאֶה אוֹתָהּ לְעוֹלָם כָּל זְמַן שֶׁמְּבִיאִין אוֹתָהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי חֲשָׁד:

8

When a person is suspect to sell firstborn animals as ordinary animals, one may not purchase even the meat of deer from him, because it resembles the meat of a calf. One may not purchase from him hides that have not been processed, even the hides of a female animal, lest he cut off the place of the male organ and say: "This is the hide of a female animal."

One may not purchase wool from him, even wool that has been whitened. Needless to say, this refers to wool that is still soiled. We may, however, purchase from him spun wool, rolls of wool and processed hides. The rationale is that one will not process the hide from an unblemished firstborn animal, because he fears to leave it in his domain, lest the judges hear and penalize him according to his wickedness.

ח

הֶחָשׁוּד עַל הַבְּכוֹרוֹת לְמָכְרָן לְשֵׁם חֻלִּין אֵין לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׂר צְבָאִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא דּוֹמֶה לִבְשַׂר עֵגֶל. וְאֵין לוֹקְחִים מִמֶּנּוּ עוֹרוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן עֲבוּדִים אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל נְקֵבָה שֶׁמָּא יַחְתֹּךְ זִכְרוּתוֹ וְיֹאמַר עוֹר נְקֵבָה הוּא. וְאֵין לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ צֶמֶר אֲפִלּוּ מְלֻבָּן וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר צוֹאִי. אֲבָל לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ טָוּוּי וּלְבָדִין וְעוֹרוֹת עֲבוּדִים. שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְעַבֵּד עוֹר בְּכוֹר תָּמִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְפַחֵד לַשְׁהוֹתוֹ אֶצְלוֹ שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁמְעוּ הַדַּיָּנִים וְיִקְנְסוּהוּ כְּפִי רִשְׁעוֹ:

9

When one slaughtered a firstborn and sold its meat and afterwards, it became known that he did not show it to an expert, what was eaten was eaten. The owner should, however, return the money paid by the purchasers. What was not eaten should be burned and the money returned. This law also applies when one feeds meat from an animal that is treifah, as will be explained in Hilchot Mikach UMemcar.

ט

הַשּׁוֹחֵט אֶת הַבְּכוֹר וּמְכָרוֹ וְנוֹדַע שֶׁלֹּא הֶרְאָהוּ לְמֻמְחֶה. מַה שֶּׁאָכְלוּ אָכְלוּ וְיַחְזִיר לָהֶם אֶת הַדָּמִים. וּמַה שֶּׁלֹּא נֶאֱכַל יִקָּבֵר וְיַחְזִיר אֶת הַדָּמִים. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּמַאֲכִיל אֶת הַטְּרֵפָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת מִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר:

10

The following rules apply when it is discovered that a firstborn was treifah. If it was unblemished and it was discovered to be treifah after it was skinned, the hide should be burnt, as explained in Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim, and the meat should be buried. If it was slaughtered because of a blemish, the meat should be buried and the priests should be allowed to benefit from its hide, provided it was slaughtered on the basis of the ruling of an expert.

י

בְּכוֹר שֶׁנִּמְצָא טְרֵפָה אִם תָּמִים הוּא וְנִמְצָא טְרֵפָה אַחַר שֶׁהֻפְשַׁט הָעוֹר יִשָּׂרֵף כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין וְהַבָּשָׂר יִקָּבֵר. וְאִם בְּמוּמוֹ נִשְׁחַט הַבָּשָׂר יִקָּבֵר וְיֵהָנוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּעוֹרוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁנִּשְׁחַט עַל פִּי מֻמְחֶה:

11

When the meat of a firstborn animal, whether unblemished or blemished, has been eaten according to law, just as it is permitted to benefit from its hide, so too, is it permitted to benefit from its shearings. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to benefit from any wool which is cut off from it while it is alive - and even from wool that it shed, and even to wool that was shed after the animal contracted a blemish. Even after it was slaughtered, and, needless to say, after it died, the wool remains forbidden. For the same wool that was shed from the animal during its lifetime remains forbidden even after these events take place. These same laws apply with regard to the tithes of animals.

We have already explained in Hilchot Me'ilah that this decree was instituted only with regard to the firstborn and tithe sacrifices, because they do not come to secure atonement. Hence with regard to these sacrifices, there is room to suspect that the owner will leave them in his domain to take all the wool that sheds from them. This is undesirable, because as we have already explained, it is a mitzvah to eat the firstborn in the first year of its life, whether it is unblemished or blemished.

יא

הַבְּכוֹר שֶׁנֶּאֱכַל בְּשָׂרוֹ כַּהֲלָכָה בֵּין תָּמִים בֵּין בַּעַל מוּם. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמֻּתָּר לֵהָנוֹת בְּעוֹרוֹ כָּךְ נֶהֱנִין בְּגִזּוֹתָיו. אֲבָל כָּל צֶמֶר שֶׁנִּגְזַז מִמֶּנּוּ כְּשֶׁהוּא חַי אֲפִלּוּ נָשַׁר הֲרֵי הוּא אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָשַׁר מִמֶּנּוּ אַחַר שֶׁנָּפַל בּוֹ מוּם. וַאֲפִלּוּ אַחַר שְׁחִיטָתוֹ וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אַחַר מִיתָתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹתוֹ הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁנָּשַׁר מִמֶּנּוּ מֵחַיִּים בְּאִסּוּרוֹ עוֹמֵד. וְכֵן בְּמַעֲשַׂר בְּהֵמָה. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת מְעִילָה שֶׁלֹּא גָּזְרוּ גְּזֵרָה זוֹ אֶלָּא עַל הַבְּכוֹר וְעַל הַמַּעֲשֵׂר בִּלְבַד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן בָּאִין לְכַפָּרָה שֶׁמָּא יַשְׁהֵם אֶצְלוֹ כְּדֵי לִקַּח כָּל הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁיִּנְשֹׁר מֵהֶם. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁמִּצְוָה לְאָכְלוֹ תּוֹךְ שְׁנָתוֹ בֵּין תָּמִים בֵּין בַּעַל מוּם:

12

The following rules apply when a firstborn has loose-hanging wooland it was slaughtered because of its blemish. It is permitted to benefit from the loose-hanging wool that resembles the animal's other wool. It is, however, forbidden to benefit from the loose-hanging wool that does not resemble the animal's other wool, i.e., its roots are turned in the opposite direction and face its tips, for this is considered as if it were shed while the animal was alive.

יב

בְּכוֹר שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ צֶמֶר מְדֻבְלָל וּשְׁחָטוֹ. אֶת שֶׁהוּא נִרְאֶה עִמּוֹ מִן הַגִּזָּה מֻתָּר בַּהֲנָאָה. וְאֶת שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה עִמּוֹ וְהוּא הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁעִקָּרוֹ הָפוּךְ כְּלַפֵּי רֹאשׁוֹ אָסוּר. שֶׁזֶּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנָּשַׁר מֵחַיִּים:

13

When the shearings of the wool from a firstborn animal, even one that was blemished, become intermingled with the shearings of ordinary animals - even one with several thousand - they are all forbidden. The rationale is that the shearings are a significant entity and even the slightest amount causes the entire mixture to be considered as consecrated.

When one weaves a full length of a sit of wool from a firstborn animal in a garment, it should be destroyed by burning. If wool from consecrated animals was used, even the slightest amount causes the entire garment to be consecrated.

יג

גִּזַּת בְּכוֹר אֲפִלּוּ בַּעַל מוּם שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבָה בְּגִזֵּי חֻלִּין אֲפִלּוּ אַחַת בְּכַמָּה אֲלָפִים הַכּל אֲסוּרִים. הֲרֵי הוּא דָּבָר חָשׁוּב וּמְקַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. הָאוֹרֵג מְלֹא הַסִּיט מִצֶּמֶר הַבְּכוֹר בְּבֶגֶד יִדָּלֵק. מִצֶּמֶר הַמֻּקְדָּשִׁין מְקַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא:

Bechorot - Perek 4

1

There is an obligation to apply the laws of a firstborn to an animal owned by partners. The terms "your cattle and your sheep" was used only to exclude an animal owned in partnership with a gentile. For if a gentile was a partner in the ownership of a cow or of the fetus it is carrying - even if the gentile owns only a thousandth share of the mother or the offspring, it is exempt from the requirements pertaining to the firstborn.

If the gentile owned one specific limb of one of them, e.g., a forefoot or a hindfoot, any limb which if cut off that limb would render the animal as blemished, exempts it. If the limb owned by the gentile could be cut off without disqualifying the animal as a firstborn, it is obligated in the laws of the firstborn.

א

בֶהֱמַת הַשֻּׁתָּפִין חַיֶּבֶת בִּבְכוֹרָה. לֹא נֶאֱמַר (דברים יב יז) (דברים יד כג) "בְּקָרְךָ וְצֹאנֶךָ" אֶלָּא לְמַעֵט שֻׁתָּפוּת הַנָּכְרִי שֶׁאִם הָיָה שֻׁתָּף בַּפָּרָה אוֹ בָּעֵבָּר אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה לַנָּכְרִי אֶחָד מֵאֶלֶף בָּאֵם אוֹ בַּוָּלָד הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. הָיָה לוֹ בְּאֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם אֵיבָר אֶחָד כְּגוֹן יָד אוֹ רֶגֶל. רוֹאִין כָּל שֶׁאִלּוּ יֵחָתֵךְ וְהָיָה בַּעַל מוּם הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְאִם אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיֵּחָתֵךְ אֵיבַר הַנָּכְרִי וְלֹא יִפָּסֵל. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בִּבְכוֹרָה:

2

When a person purchases a fetus being carried by a cow owned by a gentile or he sells a fetus being carried by his cow to a gentile, even though he is not permitted to do so, the fetus is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn. He is not penalized because of this matter.

ב

הַלּוֹקֵחַ עֻבַּר פָּרָתוֹ שֶׁל נָכְרִי. אוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר עֵבַּר פָּרָתוֹ לְנָכְרִי. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. וְאֵין קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ עַל דָּבָר זֶה:

3

When a person receives an animal from a gentile to care for it and the offspring would be shared or a gentile receives an animal from a Jew under such an arrangement, the offspring are exempt from the requirements of firstborn animals.This is implied by Exodus 13:2: "All the first issue of the womb among the children of Israel," i.e., everything must belong to a Jew.

ג

הַמְקַבֵּל בְּהֵמָה מִן הַנָּכְרִי לִהְיוֹת מְטַפֵּל בָּהּ וְהַוְּלָדוֹת בֵּינֵיהֶם. אוֹ נָכְרִי שֶׁקִּבֵּל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל כָּזֶה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִים מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יג ב) "פֶּטֶר כָּל רֶחֶם בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַכּל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל:

4

The following laws apply when a Jew receives sheep from a gentile at a fixed price and agreed that the profit will be split between them, but if the worth of the animal is reduced, the loss is born by the Jew alone. Even though the sheep are in the domain of the Jew and are his property, since if the gentile will not find any other resources to collect his debt for the lost sheep from him, he will take these sheep and their offspring, it is considered as if he has a lien on them and their offspring. Thus the gentile is considered as having a share of them and they and their offspring are exempt from the requirements of the firstborn. The offspring of their offspring, however, are liable for they belong to the Jew and the gentile has no authority over them.

ד

הַמְקַבֵּל צֹאן מִן הַנָּכְרִי בְּמָמוֹן קָצוּב וּפָסַק עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַשָּׂכָר בֵּינֵיהֶם וְאִם פִּחֲתוּ פִּחֲתוּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבִּרְשׁוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם וַהֲרֵי הֵם כְּקִנְיָנוֹ הוֹאִיל וְאִם לֹא יִמְצָא הַנָּכְרִי אֶצְלוֹ מָמוֹן אַחֵר לִגְבּוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ יִגְבֶּה מִן הַבְּהֵמוֹת הָאֵלּוּ וּמִוַּלְדוֹתֵיהֶן נַעֲשָׂה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַחֲרָיוּת עֲלֵיהֶן וְעַל וַלְדוֹתֵיהֶן וַהֲרֵי יַד הַנָּכְרִי בְּאֶמְצַע וּפְטוּרִין מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה הֵם וּוַלְדוֹתֵיהֶן. אֲבָל וַלְדֵי וְלָדוֹת חַיָּבִין שֶׁהֲרֵי שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם וְאֵין לַנָּכְרִי רְשׁוּת עֲלֵיהֶן:

5

When a Jews pays money to a gentile and thus acquires an animal from a gentile according to their law, even though he did not perform meshichah,he acquires the animal and the requirements of the firstborn apply to its offspring. Similarly, if a gentile acquired an animal from a Jew according to their laws and paid money, he acquires it even though he did not perform meshichah and its offspring are exempt from the requirements of the firstborn.

ה

יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנָּתַן מָעוֹת לְנָכְרִי וְקָנָה לוֹ בָּהֶן בְּהֵמָה מִנָּכְרִי בְּדִינֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא מָשַׁךְ קָנָה וְחַיֶּבֶת בִּבְכוֹרָה. וְכֵן אִם קָנָה הַנָּכְרִי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵיהֶם וְנָתַן מָעוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא מָשַׁךְ קָנָה וּפְטוּרָה מִבְּכוֹרָה:

6

When a gentile converts and it is not known whether his cow gave birth before he converted or afterwards, it is considered a firstborn because of the doubt.

ו

גֵּר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִתְגַּיֵּר יָלְדָה פָּרָתוֹ אוֹ אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר הֲרֵי זֶה בְּכוֹר מִסָּפֵק:

7

When a person purchases an animal from a gentile and does not know whether it gave birth already or not, if it gives birth in his possession, the offspring is considered a firstborn because of the doubt. It should be eaten by its masters after it becomes blemished, but is not given to a priest. The rationale is that when a person desires to expropriate property from a colleague, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

ז

הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּהֵמָה מִן הַנָּכְרִי וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם בִּכְּרָה אוֹ לֹא בִּכְּרָה וְיָלְדָה אֶצְלוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק בְּכוֹר וְיֵאָכֵל בְּמוּמוֹ לַבְּעָלִים וְאֵינוֹ לַכֹּהֵן שֶׁהַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה:

8

When a person purchases an animal that is giving suck from a gentile, he need not suspect that it is giving suck to the offspring of another animal. Instead, we operate under the assumption that it has already given birth. Even if the animal to which it is giving suck is like another species, even if it is like a pig, it is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn.

Similarly, the offspring of an animal that is providing milk is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn. The rationale is that we rely on the assumption that most animals do not provide milk unless they have given birth previously.

ח

לָקַח בְּהֵמָה מֵינִיקָה מִן הַנָּכְרִי אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא בְּנָהּ שֶׁל אַחֶרֶת הִיא מֵינִיקָה אֶלָּא הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁיָּלְדָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה זֶה שֶׁמֵּינִיקָה כְּמוֹ מִין אַחֵר וַאֲפִלּוּ כְּמִין חֲזִיר הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּטוּרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. וְכֵן בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהִיא חוֹלֶבֶת פְּטוּרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה שֶׁרֹב הַבְּהֵמוֹת אֵינָן חוֹלְבוֹת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן כְּבָר יָלְדוּ:

9

When a person purchases an animal from a fellow Jew, we operate under the assumption that it already gave birth unless the seller states that it did not give birth yet. The rationale is that we assume a Jew will not remain silent and cause a fellow Jew to partake of a consecrated animal outside the Temple Courtyard. Hence we conclude that it certainly gave birth previously. Therefore the owner sold the mother without any qualification.

ט

הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּהֵמָה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁבִּכְּרָה עַד שֶׁיּוֹדִיעוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא יָלְדָה. שֶׁאֵין הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל שׁוֹתֵק וְגוֹרֵם לוֹ לֶאֱכל קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ וַדַּאי שֶׁבִּכְּרָה וּלְפִיכָךְ מְכָרָהּ סְתָם:

10

The following laws apply when a small animal miscarries and discharges a fetus whose form has not become very distinct and evident to all. It is called a tinuf. If the shepherds say: "It was a fetus, but its form has become marred," the future offspring of this animal is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn. It must, however, be shown to a shepherd who is knowledgeable.

Therefore if one purchases an animal from a gentile, even if it was small and gave birth within its first year of life, the offspring is considered as a firstborn of doubtful status, because it is possible that it discharged a tinuf while owned by the gentile.

Similarly, when a large animal discharges a placenta, it is a sign that it carried a fetus, for a placenta is never formed without a fetus and the offspring is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn. It is permitted to throw that fetus to the dogs for the following reasons. Only a male is sanctified as a firstborn. We assume that offspring are half male and half female. We have already explained that a male that does not have some of the distinguishing signs of its mother is not consecrated as a firstborn. Thus the lesser portion of animals' first offspring is consecrated as a firstborn. Hence since the probability is less than half, it is not considered. When, by contrast, a consecrated animal discharges a placenta, it must be buried. For the female offspring are bound by the same laws as the male.

י

בְּהֵמָה דַּקָּה שֶׁהִפִּילָה עֻבָּר שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְבָּאֵר צוּרָתוֹ הַרְבֵּה וְנִכֶּרֶת לַכּל וְזֶהוּ הַנִּקְרָא טִנּוּף. אִם אָמְרוּ הָרוֹעִים עֻבָּר הוּא אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּפְסְדָה צוּרָתוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּטוּרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה וְצָרִיךְ לְהַרְאוֹתוֹ לְרוֹעֶה חָכָם. לְפִיכָךְ הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּהֵמָה מִן הַנָּכְרִי אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה וְיָלְדָה אֶצְלוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שְׁנָתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק בְּכוֹר שֶׁמָּא טִנּוּף הִפִּילָה בִּרְשׁוּת הַנָּכְרִי. וְכֵן בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה שֶׁהִפִּילָה שִׁלְיָא הֲרֵי זוֹ סִימָן וָלָד שֶׁאֵין שִׁלְיָא בְּלֹא וָלָד וְנִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. וּמֻתָּר לְהַשְׁלִיךְ אוֹתָהּ הַשִּׁלְיָא לַכְּלָבִים שֶׁאֵין מִתְקַדֵּשׁ בִּבְכוֹרָה אֶלָּא זָכָר וְחֶזְקַת הַנּוֹלָדִים מֶחֱצָה זְכָרִים וּמֶחֱצָה נְקֵבוֹת. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהַזָּכָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מִקְצָת סִימָנֵי אִמּוֹ אֵינוֹ מִתְקַדֵּשׁ בִּבְכוֹרָה וְנִמְצָא מִעוּט הַנּוֹלָדִים הֵן הַמִּתְקַדְּשִׁין בִּבְכוֹרָה וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְמִעוּט. אֲבָל בֶּהֱמַת קָדָשִׁים שֶׁהִפִּילָה שִׁלְיָא תִּקָּבֵר [שֶׁהַנְּקֵבוֹת בָּהּ כִּזְכָרִים]:

11

When a large animal discharges a flow of blood, the future offspring of this animal is exempt from the requirements of the firstborn, for we assume that there was an offspring in it, but there was much more blood and it lost its form and its existence was nullified. We must bury the flow of blood like a stillborn firstborn animal, even though this flow of blood has no consecrated quality. Why is it buried? In order to publicize the matter that the offspring of this animal was exempted from the requirements of the firstborn.

יא

בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה שֶׁהִפִּילָה חֲרָרַת דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ נִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה שֶׁחֶזְקָתָהּ שֶׁהַוָּלָד בְּתוֹכָהּ וְרָבָה עָלָיו הַדָּם וְהִפְסִידוֹ וּבִטְּלוֹ. וְקוֹבְרִין חֲרָרָה זוֹ כְּמוֹ נֵפֶל מְבַכֶּרֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין חֲרָרָה זוֹ קְדוֹשָׁה. וְלָמָּה קוֹבְרִין אוֹתָהּ כְּדֵי לְפַרְסֵם הַדָּבָר שֶׁנִּפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה:

12

We already explained with regard to the concept of a woman in the niddah state that the form of a human fetus is completed on the fortieth day after conception. Thus when a woman miscarries after less than 40 days, she is not considered to have miscarried a fetus. Our Sages did not, however, conclusively determine the amount of days in which the form of an animal fetus is completed. They did, however, say that an animal which discharges a tinuf does not become pregnant, nor does it carry another fetus until after 30 days.

יב

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן נִדָּה שֶׁהַוָּלָד בָּאָדָם נִגְמָר לְאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְהַמַּפֶּלֶת לְפָחוֹת מֵאַרְבָּעִים אֵינוֹ וָלָד. אֲבָל וְלַד בְּהֵמָה לֹא עָמְדוּ חֲכָמִים עַל מִנְיַן הַיָּמִים שֶׁיִּגָּמֵר בּוֹ. אֲבָל אָמְרוּ שֶׁהַמַּפֶּלֶת טִנּוּף אֵינָהּ מִתְעַבֶּרֶת אַחֲרָיו וְלֹא מְקַבֶּלֶת וָלָד אַחֵר לְפָחוֹת מִשְּׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:

13

When an animal left pregnant and returned empty, her next offspring is considered as a firstborn because of the doubt involved. Perhaps what she discharged was not an entity that exempts her offspring from the requirements of the firstborn. A fetus that was miscarried is not considered to have "opened its mother's womb" unless its head was the size of top of the needle of the woof.

יג

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁיָּצְאָה מְלֵאָה וּבָאָה רֵיקָנִית הַבָּא אַחַר כֵּן בְּכוֹר מִסָּפֵק שֶׁמָּא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ פּוֹטֵר בִּבְכוֹרָה הִפִּילָה. וְאֵין לְנִפְלֵי בְּהֵמָה פְּטִירַת רֶחֶם עַד שֶׁיַּעֲגִילוּ רֹאשׁ כְּפִיקָה שֶׁל עֵרֶב:

14

When an animal that is having difficulty giving birth to its firstborn, the offspring may be cut up limb by limb and the limbs extracted and thrown to the dogs immediately. The offspring that follows is a firstborn.

If the greater portion of a fetus emerges at one time, it must be buried and the future offspring of the mother is exempted from the requirements of the firstborn.

If one cut off a limb, extracted it, put it aside, cut off another limb, until the greater portion of the fetus is completed, all of the limbs are required to be buried and the future offspring of the mother is exempted from the requirements of the firstborn. [The rationale is that] since the greater part of the animal was taken out - whether whole or cut in pieces - and it is present before us, it becomes consecrated retroactively.

יד

מַבְכֶּרֶת הַמַּקְשָׁה לֵילֵד מְחַתֵּךְ אֵיבָר וּמַשְׁלִיךְ לַכְּלָבִים וְהַבָּא אַחֲרָיו בְּכוֹר. יָצָא רֻבּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה יִקָּבֵר וְנִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. וְאִם חָתַךְ אֵיבָר וְהִנִּיחוֹ אֵיבָר וְהִנִּיחוֹ עַד שֶׁהִשְׁלִים רֻבּוֹ הֲרֵי כָּל הָאֵיבָרִים צְרִיכִין קְבוּרָה. וְנִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּצָא רֻבּוֹ בֵּין שָׁלֵם בֵּין מְחֻתָּךְ וַהֲרֵי הוּא לְפָנֵינוּ נִתְקַדֵּשׁ לְמַפְרֵעַ:

15

When a third of the fetus emerged and it was sold to a gentile and then a second third emerged, it is consecrated retroactively and the future offspring of the mother is exempted from the requirements of the firstborn.

If a third of the offspring was removed by Caesarian section and, afterwards, two thirds emerged through the womb, it is not consecrated. The rationale is that the first larger portion did not emerge from the womb and the consecration would have been brought about retroactively.

טו

יָצָא שְׁלִישׁ וּמְכָרוֹ לְנָכְרִי וְחָזַר וְיָצָא שְׁלִישׁ אַחֵר. נִתְקַדֵּשׁ לְמַפְרֵעַ וְנִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה. יָצָא שְׁלִישׁ דֶּרֶךְ דֹּפֶן וּשְׁנֵי שְׁלִישִׁים דֶּרֶךְ רֶחֶם אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ שְׁהָרֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן לֹא יָצָא דֶּרֶךְ רֶחֶם וּלְמַפְרֵעַ הוּא מִתְקַדֵּשׁ:

16

The following laws apply when the lesser portion of one limb emerges from the womb together with the greater portion of the animal. Since the portion that emerges constitutes the greater portion of the fetus, the future offspring of the mother is exempted from the requirements of the firstborn and the portion that emerged should be buried..

If only half of the fetus emerges from the womb together with the greater portion of one limb, there is an unresolved doubt whether the future offspring of the mother is exempted from the requirements of the firstborn or not. Therefore the next offspring is a firstborn of doubtful status.

טז

יָצָא מִעוּט אֵיבָר גָּדוֹל וַהֲרֵי זֶה הַיּוֹצֵא רֻבּוֹ שֶׁל עֻבָּר נִפְטַר מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה וְיִקָּבֵר הַיּוֹצֵא. יָצָא חֲצִי הָעֻבָּר וְהוּא רֻבּוֹ שֶׁל אֵיבָר הַיּוֹצֵא הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם נִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה אוֹ לֹא נִפְטְרָה לְפִיכָךְ הַבָּא אַחֲרָיו סְפֵק בְּכוֹר:

17

When a firstborn was wrapped in a fiber and removed from the womb without touching the womb or it was wrapped with a placenta of another animal or it was wounded up together with its sister and emerged, since it did not touch the womb, it is considered as a firstborn of doubtful status.

יז

בְּכוֹר שֶׁכְּרָכוֹ בְּסִיב וְהוֹצִיאוֹ וְלֹא נָגַע בָּרֶחֶם אוֹ שֶׁכְּרָכוֹ בְּשִׁלְיַת בְּהֵמָה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ שֶׁנִּכְרְכָה עָלָיו אֲחוֹתוֹ וְיָצָא הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נָגַע בָּרֶחֶם מִכָּל מָקוֹם הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק בְּכוֹר:

18

If one cleaved the wombs of two animals together and a fetus emerged from one and entered the other, there is an unresolved doubt: Is the future offspring of the animal to whose womb the firstborn entered exempted from the requirements of the firstborn, for its womb was "opened?" Or is it not exempted until it "opens its womb" when giving birth to its own offspring?

יח

הִדְבִּיק שְׁנֵי רְחָמִים זֶה לָזֶה וְיָצָא מִזֶּה וְנִכְנַס לָזֶה הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם נִפְטְרָה מִן הַבְּכוֹרָה הַבְּהֵמָה שֶׁנִּכְנַס בָּהּ הַבְּכוֹר שֶׁהֲרֵי פֶּטֶר רֶחֶם אוֹ לֹא נִפְטְרָה עַד שֶׁיִּפְטֹר רַחְמָהּ וְלָדָהּ:

19

If the walls of the mother's womb opened and the firstborn emerged without touching the walls of the womb, there is an unresolved doubt: Is it consecrated because it touches the walls of the mother's womb? Or is it consecrated because it was in the space of the mother's womb?

יט

נִפְתְּחוּ כָּתְלֵי בֵּית הָרֶחֶם וְיָצָא הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם נְגִיעַת רֶחֶם מְקַדֶּשֶׁת אוֹ אֲוִירוֹ:

20

If the walls of the the mother's womb were uprooted from their place and were suspended around the offspring's neck, there is an unresolved doubt: Do they cause the offspring to be consecrated only when they are in their place? Or do they cause it to be consecrated even if they are not in their place.

כ

נֶעֶקְרוּ כָּתְלֵי בֵּית הָרֶחֶם [וְנִתְלוּ] בְּצַוָּארוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם בִּמְקוֹמוֹ מְקַדֵּשׁ אוֹ מְקַדֵּשׁ אַף חוּץ לִמְקוֹמוֹ:

21

If the flesh supporting the walls of the womb decomposes, the offspring is not consecrated. If the walls of the womb are partially stripped off, but the portion that remained is greater than the portion that was stripped off and the offspring emerged through the open area or the portion that was stripped off is greater than the portion that remained and the offspring emerged through the portion that remained, the offspring is a firstborn of doubtful status.

כא

נִגְמְמוּ כָּתְלֵי בֵּית הָרֶחֶם אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. נִפְרַץ מִקְצָתוֹ וְעוֹמֵד מְרֻבֶּה עַל הַפָּרוּץ וְיָצָא דֶּרֶךְ הַפָּרוּץ. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַפָּרוּץ מְרֻבֶּה עַל הָעוֹמֵד וְיָצָא דֶּרֶךְ הָעוֹמֵד הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק בְּכוֹר:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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