1

When a person takes a mother together with its young and slaughters it, the meat is permitted to be eaten.1 He is, however, liable for lashes for slaughtering the mother,2 as [Deuteronomy 22:6] states: "Do not take the mother together with its offspring." Similarly, if it died before he sent it away, he is liable for lashes.3 If he sent it away after he took it, he is not liable.4

א

הַלוֹקֵחַ אֵם עַל הַבָּנִים וּשִׁחָטָהּ. הַבָּשָׂר מֻתָּר בַּאֲכִילָה וְלוֹקֶה עַל שְׁחִיטַת הָאֵם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ו) "לֹא תִקַּח הָאֵם עַל הַבָּנִים". וְכֵן אִם מֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּשַׁלְּחֶנָּה לוֹקֶה. וְאִם שִׁלְּחָהּ אַחַר שֶׁלְּקָחָהּ פָּטוּר:

2

Similarly, [with regard to] all negative commandments that can be corrected by a positive commandment,5 one is obligated to fulfill the positive commandment. If he does not fulfill it, he is liable for lashes.6

ב

וְכֵן כָּל מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנִּתְּקָה לַעֲשֵׂה חַיָּב לְקַיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהּ. וְאִם לֹא קִיְּמוֹ לוֹקֶה:

3

If another person comes and seizes the mother bird from his hands and sends it away or it took flight from his possession without his knowledge, he is liable for lashes. [This is implied by ibid.:7]: "You shall certainly send away [the mother]," i.e., he must send away [the mother bird] himself. [If not,] he did not fulfill the related positive commandment.7

ג

בָּא אֶחָד וְחָטַף הָאֵם מִיָּדוֹ וְשִׁלְּחָהּ אוֹ שֶׁבָּרְחָה מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ז) "שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח" עַד שֶׁיְּשַׁלֵּחַ מֵעַצְמוֹ וַהֲרֵי לֹא קִיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהּ:

4

If he took a mother bird together with its young, cut off its wings so that it cannot fly and sent it away,8 he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.9 [He must] keep [the mother bird] in his possession until her wings grow back and then send her away. If [the mother] died before this or fled and was lost, he is liable for lashes, for he did not fulfill the related positive commandment.

ד

נָטַל אֵם עַל הַבָּנִים וְקִצֵּץ אֲגַפֶּיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תָּעוּף וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וּמַשְׁהֶה אוֹתָהּ אֶצְלוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּגְדְּלוּ כְּנָפֶיהָ וּמְשַׁלְּחָהּ. וְאִם מֵתָה קֹדֶם לָזֶה אוֹ בָּרְחָה וְאָבְדָה לוֹקֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא קִיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהּ:

5

How must one send away the mother? He holds her by her wings and has her fly away. If he sent her away and she returned, he sent her away and she returned10 - even if this happens - four or five times, he is obligated to send her away, as [implied by the repetition of the verb in the] phrase: "You shall certainly send away."11

ה

וְכֵיצַד מְשַׁלֵּחַ הָאֵם. אוֹחֵז בִּכְנָפֶיהָ וּמַפְרִיחָהּ. שִׁלְּחָהּ וְחָזְרָה וְשִׁלְּחָהּ וְחָזְרָה אֲפִלּוּ אַרְבַּע וְחָמֵשׁ פְּעָמִים חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ז) "שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח":

6

Although a person says "I will take the mother bird and send away the young,"12 he is obligated to send away the mother bird, as the verse states: "You shall certainly send away the mother."

ו

הָאוֹמֵר הֲרֵינִי נוֹטֵל אֶת הָאֵם וּמְשַׁלֵּחַ אֶת הַבָּנִים חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ אֶת הָאֵם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ז) "שַׁלֵּחַ תְּשַׁלַּח אֶת הָאֵם":

7

If he [sent away the mother,]13 took the offspring and [then] returned them to the nest and the mother came back to them, he is not obligated to send [her] away.14

It is permitted to send away the mother and then snare her again. The Torah forbade snaring only when she cannot fly away because of her offspring over which she is hovering so that they not be taken,15 as [ibid.:6] states: "And the mother is resting on the chicks." If, however, he removed her from his grasp and then snared her again, it is permitted.

ז

לָקַח אֶת הַבָּנִים וְהֶחֱזִירָן לַקֵּן וְאַחַר כָּךְ חָזְרָה הָאֵם עֲלֵיהֶן פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ. שִׁלֵּחַ אֶת הָאֵם וְחָזַר וְצָד אוֹתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. לֹא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא לָצוּד אוֹתָהּ וְהִיא אֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לִפְרֹחַ בִּשְׁבִיל הַבָּנִים שֶׁהִיא מְרַחֶפֶת עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁלֹּא יִלָּקְחוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ו) "וְהָאֵם רֹבֶצֶת עַל הָאֶפְרֹחִים". אֲבָל אִם הוֹצִיאָהּ מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ וְחָזַר וְצָד אוֹתָהּ מֻתָּר:

8

[The mitzvah to] send away the mother bird applies only with regard to a kosher species of fowl16 that are not at hand, e.g., doves that rested in a dovecote or on a loft,17 wild fowl that nested in an orchard. [This is derived from the phrase (ibid.)]: "When you will chance upon." When, however, [fowl is] at hand, e.g., ducks, chicken, and doves that nested in a building, one is not liable to send away the mother.

ח

שִׁלּוּחַ הָאֵם אֵינוֹ נוֹהֵג אֶלָּא בְּעוֹף טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְזֻמָּן כְּגוֹן יוֹנֵי שׁוֹבָךְ וַעֲלִיָּה וְעוֹפוֹת שֶׁקִּנְּנוּ בַּפַּרְדֵּס שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ו) "כִּי יִקָּרֵא". אֲבָל הַמְזֻמָּן כְּגוֹן אֲוָזִין וְתַרְנְגוֹלִין וְיוֹנִים שֶׁקִּנְּנוּ בַּבַּיִת אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ:

9

If the chicks could fly and thus they no longer needed their mother or [the mother was sitting on] unfertilized eggs,18 he is not obligated to send away [the mother]. If the chicks were trefot, it is comparable to unfertilized eggs and he is not liable to send away [the mother].19

ט

הָיוּ הָאֶפְרוֹחִין מַפְרִיחִין שֶׁאֵינָן צְרִיכִין לְאִמָּן אוֹ בֵּיצִים מוּזָרוֹת אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ. הָיוּ אֶפְרוֹחִין טְרֵפוֹת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּבֵיצִים מוּזָרוֹת וּפָטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ:

10

When a male fowl is resting on a nest, one is not obligated to send him away [before taking the young].20 When a non-kosher bird is resting on the nest of the eggs of a kosher fowl or a kosher fowl is resting on the eggs of a non-kosher fowl, one is not obligated to send away [the fowl that is resting].21

י

זָכָר שֶׁמְּצָאוֹ רוֹבֵץ עַל הַקֵּן פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ. עוֹף טָמֵא רוֹבֵץ עַל בֵּיצֵי עוֹף טָהוֹר אוֹ עוֹף טָהוֹר רוֹבֵץ עַל בֵּיצֵי עוֹף טָמֵא פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ:

11

When a [kosher fowl] was resting on kosher eggs of a different species, one should send [the bird] away. If, however, one fails to do so, one is not liable.22If the mother is trefe, he is obligated to send her away.23

יא

הָיְתָה רוֹבֶצֶת עַל בֵּיצִים שֶׁאֵינָן מִינָהּ וְהֵן טְהוֹרִין הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּחַ. וְאִם לֹא שִׁלֵּחַ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. הָיְתָה הָאֵם טְרֵפָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלְּחָהּ:

12

When one slits a portion of the gullet24 [of the mother]25 before he took her, he is liable to send her away. If he did not send her away, he is not liable for lashes.26

יב

שָׁחַט מִקְצָת סִימָנִין בְּתוֹךְ הַקֵּן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּקָּחֶנָּה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ וְאִם לֹא שִׁלֵּחַ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:

13

[The following laws apply if the mother bird] was hovering [over the nest]: If her wings were touching the nest, one is obligated to send her away.27 If not, he is not obligated. If there was a cloth or feathers intervening between her wings and the nest, he must send her away. If he did not send her away, he is not liable for lashes.28

יג

הָיְתָה מְעוֹפֶפֶת. אִם כְּנָפֶיהָ נוֹגְעוֹת בַּקֵּן חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ. וְאִם לָאו פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ. הָיְתָה מַטְלִית אוֹ כְּנָפַיִם חוֹצְצוֹת בֵּין כְּנָפֶיהָ וּבֵין הַקֵּן הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּחַ. וְאִם לֹא שִׁלֵּחַ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:

14

If there were two rows of eggs and [the mother bird's] wings were touching [only] the top row, [the mother bird] was sitting on unfertilized eggs, but there were good eggs below them, one female was sitting on another female, a male was sitting on the nest and the female was sitting on the male - [in all these situations,] one should not take [the mother bird with the offspring]. If he takes [her], he should send her away. But if he does not send her away, he is not liable for lashes.29

יד

הָיוּ שְׁנֵי סִדְרֵי בֵּיצִים וּכְנָפֶיהָ נוֹגְעוֹת בַּסֵּדֶר הָעֶלְיוֹן. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה רוֹבֶצֶת עַל בֵּיצִים מוּזָרוֹת וְתַחְתֵּיהֶן בֵּיצִים יָפוֹת. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה אֵם עַל גַּבֵּי אֵם. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַזָּכָר עַל הַקֵּן וְהָאֵם עַל הַזָּכָר. הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִקַּח. וְאִם לָקַח יְשַׁלֵּחַ וְאִם לֹא שִׁלֵּחַ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:

15

If [the mother bird] was sitting among the young or the eggs and was not touching them,30 one is not liable to send her away.31 Similarly, if she was at the side of the nest and her wings were touching the nest from the side, he is not obligated to send her away.

טו

הָיְתָה יוֹשֶׁבֶת בֵּין הָאֶפְרוֹחִים אוֹ בֵּין הַבֵּיצִים וְאֵינָהּ נוֹגַעַת בָּהֶן פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה בְּצַד הַקֵּן וּכְנָפֶיהָ נוֹגְעוֹת בַּקֵּן מִצִּדּוֹ פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ:

16

When [the mother bird was perched] on two branches of a tree and the nest was positioned between them, we make an evaluation. In all instances where the mother would fall on the nest if the branches were removed, one is obligated to send her away.32

טז

הָיְתָה עַל שְׁנֵי בַּדֵּי אִילָן וְהַקֵּן בֵּינֵיהֶן רוֹאִין כָּל שֶׁאִלּוּ יִנָּטְלוּ הַבַּדִּין תִּפּל עַל הַקֵּן חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ:

17

When the mother is resting on one chick or on one egg, one is obligated to send her away.33 When a person finds a nest floating on the water or positioned on the back of an animal, he is obligated to send the mother away. [The verse] mentions "chicks or eggs"34 and "on any tree or on the ground" [not as exclusions], but because the Torah speaks about the commonplace situations.35

יז

הָיְתָה רוֹבֶצֶת עַל אֶפְרוֹחַ אֶחָד אוֹ עַל בֵּיצָה אַחַת חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ. הַמּוֹצֵא קֵן עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ. לֹא נֶאֱמַר (דברים כב ו) "אֶפְרוֹחִים אוֹ בֵּיצִים" וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר (דברים כב ו) "בְּכָל עֵץ אוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ" אֶלָּא שֶׁדִּבֵּר הַכָּתוּב בְּהוֹוֶה:

18

It is forbidden to acquire the eggs as long as the mother is resting upon them. Therefore even if a mother bird was resting on eggs or chicks in one's loft or dovecote, they are not considered as "at hand" and his courtyard does not acquire them for him.36 Just as he cannot acquire them on behalf of others [until he sends away the mother], so, too, his courtyard cannot acquire them on his behalf.37 Therefore, he must send [her] away.38

יח

אָסוּר לִזְכּוֹת בַּבֵּיצִים כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהָאֵם רוֹבֶצֶת עֲלֵיהֶן. לְפִיכָךְ אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה רוֹבֶצֶת עַל הַבֵּיצִים אוֹ עַל הָאֶפְרוֹחִים בַּעֲלִיָּתוֹ וּשׁוֹבָכוֹ אֵינָן מְזֻמָּנִין. וְלֹא קָנָה לוֹ חֲצֵרוֹ. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִזְכּוֹת בָּהֶן לַאֲחֵרִים כָּךְ לֹא תִּזְכֶּה לוֹ חֲצֵרוֹ בָּהֶן. וּלְפִיכָךְ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ:

19

It is forbidden to take a mother bird together with her offspring, even to purify a person with tzara'at.39 If he took [the mother], he is obligated to send her away. If he did not, he is liable for lashes.40 [The rationale is that] a positive commandment41 does not supersede the observance of a negative commandment [that is reinforced] by a positive commandment.42 And a positive commandment does not supersede another positive commandment.43

יט

אָסוּר לִטּל אֵם עַל הַבָּנִים וַאֲפִלּוּ לְטַהֵר בָּהֶן אֶת הַמְצֹרָע שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה. וְאִם לָקַח חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּחַ. וְאִם לֹא שִׁלֵּחַ לוֹקֶה. שֶׁאֵין עֲשֵׂה דּוֹחֶה לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה וַעֲשֵׂה. (וַעֲשֵׂה) וְלֹא עֲשֵׂה דּוֹחֶה עֲשֵׂה:

20

[The following rule applies when] a person consecrates a wild fowl to the Temple treasury, it flies away from his hand, but he recognizes it and finds it resting on chicks or on eggs. He should take the entire [nest]44 and bring it to the Temple treasurer. [The rationale is that the mitzvah of] sending away the mother bird does not apply with regard to consecrated [fowl], as [implied by Deuteronomy 22:7]: "And you may take the offspring for yourself." These may not [be taken] for yourself.45

כ

הַמַּקְדִּישׁ עוֹף לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וּפָרַח מִיָּדוֹ וַהֲרֵי הוּא מַכִּירוֹ וּמְצָאוֹ רוֹבֵץ עַל הָאֶפְרוֹחִים אוֹ עַל הַבֵּיצִים לוֹקֵחַ הַכּל וּמְבִיאָן לִידֵי גִּזְבָּר. שֶׁאֵין שִׁלּוּחַ הָאֵם נוֹהֵג בְּמֻקְדָּשִׁין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ז) "וְאֶת הַבָּנִים תִּקַּח לָךְ" וְאֵלּוּ אֵינָן שֶׁלְּךָ:

21

When a fowl killed a human being, one is not obligated to send it away. [The rationale is that] one is commanded to bring it to court so that it will be judged.46

כא

עוֹף שֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּחַ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְצֻוֶּה לַהֲבִיאוֹ לְבֵית דִּין לָדוּן אוֹתוֹ: