Deuteronomy Chapter 15

19Every firstborn male that is born of your cattle or of your flock you shall sanctify to the Lord, your God. You shall neither work with the firstborn of your ox, nor shear the firstborn of your flock.   יטכָּל־הַבְּכ֡וֹר אֲשֶׁר֩ יִוָּלֵ֨ד בִּבְקָֽרְךָ֤ וּבְצֹֽאנְךָ֙ הַזָּכָ֔ר תַּקְדִּ֖ישׁ לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ לֹ֤א תַֽעֲבֹד֙ בִּבְכֹ֣ר שׁוֹרֶ֔ךָ וְלֹ֥א תָגֹ֖ז בְּכ֥וֹר צֹאנֶֽךָ:
Every firstborn male… you shall sanctify [to the Lord]: But elsewhere (Lev. 27:26) it says, “[But the firstborn which will be a firstborn for the Lord of the livestock,] no man shall sanctify it.” How is this [reconciled]? [The verse in Leviticus means that] one may not sanctify [the firstborn] to be another sacrifice [but only as a firstborn sacrifice]. And our verse here teaches us that it is a duty to proclaim [over the firstborn animal], “You are hereby sanctified as a firstborn.” Another explanation: It is impossible to say “sanctify [this firstborn animal],” because [Scripture] already says, “no man must shall sanctify it” (Lev. 27:26). And yet it is impossible to say that we shall not sanctify it, for [here] it already says, “you shall sanctify.” So how [can these two verses be reconciled]? [The answer is that we are dealing with an indirect sanctification, namely:] One may sanctify the value of the privilege [i.e., the owner of the firstborn animal has the privilege of choosing to which kohen he will give it. This privilege has a market value, namely how much an Israelite will pay so that the owner of the firstborn will give it to his grandson who is a kohen . The verse, therefore, means:] one may dedicate the value of this privilege according to its benefit and give it to the Temple [treasury]. — [Ar . 29a]   כל הבכור וגו' תקדיש: ובמקום אחר הוא אומר לא יקדיש, שנאמר (ויקרא כז, כו) אך בכור אשר יבכר לה' וגו', הא כיצד, אינו מקדישו לקרבן אחר, וכאן למד שמצוה לומר הרי אתה קדוש לבכורה. דבר אחר אי אפשר לומר תקדיש שכבר נאמר לא יקדיש, ואי אפשר לומר לא יקדיש שהרי כבר נאמר תקדיש, הא כיצד, מקדישו אתה הקדש עלוי, ונותן להקדש כפי טובת הנאה שבו:
You shall neither work with the firstborn of your ox, nor shear [the firstborn of your flock]: The Rabbis derived that also the the converse [i.e., shearing your ox and working the flock] is prohibited. Scripture is merely speaking [here] of the usual manner [in which these animals are used]. — [Bech. 25a]   לא תעבוד בבכור שורך ולא תגוז וגו': אף החלוף למדו רבותינו שאסור, אלא שדבר הכתוב בהווה:
20You shall eat it before the Lord, your God, year by year, in the place the Lord chooses-you and your household.   כלִפְנֵי֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֤יךָ תֹֽאכְלֶ֨נּוּ֙ שָׁנָ֣ה בְשָׁנָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה אַתָּ֖ה וּבֵיתֶֽךָ:
You shall eat it before the Lord, your God: [Scripture] is addressing the kohen , for we have already found [a statement to the effect] that it [the firstborn] is part of the dues given to kohanim , whether the animal is unblemished or whether it is blemished. For it is stated, “and their flesh [i.e., of the firstborn animals] shall be yours [i.e., the kohen 's]” (Num. 18:18). - [Bech. 28a] [In both cases, the kohen is entitled to eat the entire animal. The difference between the blemished and the unblemished animals is that the blemished animal is slaughtered outside the Temple, and its flesh may be eaten anywhere by anyone invited by the kohen . The unblemished animal, however, must be slaughtered in the Temple courtyard, its blood dashed on the altar, and its fat burned on the altar. The flesh must be eaten by the kohen and his household within the time allotted for eating it.]   לפני ה' אלהיך תאכלנו: לכהן הוא אומר, שכבר מצינו שהוא ממתנות כהונה אחד תם ואחד בעל מום, שנאמר (במדבר יח, יח) ובשרם יהיה לך וגו':
[You shall eat it before the Lord…] year by year: From here we derive the law that one should not delay it [i.e., from sacrificing it] beyond its first year (Bech. 28a). [If so, however,] one might think that it becomes unfit [as a sacrifice] when the first year has elapsed. [Therefore, the Torah tells us that] it [the firstborn animal] has already been compared to ma’aser [sheini], as it is said,“And you shall eat before the Lord, your God… the tithes of your grain, your wine, and your oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep” (Deut. 14:23). Just as ma’aser sheini does not become unfit [when it is left over] from one year to the next, neither does the firstborn animal become unfit. However, [this verse means] that the proper way to fulfill this commandment [of the firstborn animal] is during its first year.   שנה בשנה: מכאן שאין משהין אותו יותר על שנתו. יכול יהא פסול משעברה שנתו, כבר הוקש למעשר, שנאמר (לעיל יד כג) ואכלת לפני ה' אלהיך מעשר דגנך תירושך ויצהרך ובכורות בקרך וצאנך, מה מעשר שני אינו נפסל משנה לחברתה, אף בכור אינו נפסל, אלא שמצוה תוך שנתו:
year by year: If one slaughtered it at the end of its first year [on the last day], he may eat it on that day and one day of the next year. This teaches [us] that it [a firstborn animal] may be eaten for two days and one [intervening] night. — [Bech. 27b]   שנה בשנה: אם שחטו בסוף שנתו אוכלו אותו היום ויום אחד משנה אחרת. למד שנאכל לשני ימים ולילה אחד:
21And if there be any blemish in it, whether it be lame, or blind, or any ill blemish, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord, your God.   כאוְכִי־יִֽהְיֶ֨ה ב֜וֹ מ֗וּם פִּסֵּ֨חַ֙ א֣וֹ עִוֵּ֔ר כֹּ֖ל מ֣וּם רָ֑ע לֹ֣א תִזְבָּחֶ֔נּוּ לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
[And if there be any] blemish [in it]: [This is] a כְּלָל, a general statement [not limiting itself to anything in particular].   מום: כלל:
lame, or blind: [This is] a פְּרָט, particular things, [limiting the matter to these things].   פסח או עור: פרט:
any ill blemish: [Once again the verse] reverts to כְּלָל, a general statement. [Now we have learned that when a verse expresses a כְּלָל, then a פְּרָט, and then a כְּלָל again, just as in this case, we apply the characteristics of the פְּרָט to the whole matter.] Just as the blemishes detailed [lame or blind] are externally visible blemishes that do not heal, so too, any externally visible blemish that does not heal [renders a firstborn animal unfit for sacrifice and may be eaten as ordinary flesh]. — [Bech. 37a]   כל מום רע: חזר וכלל. מה הפרט מפורש מום הגלוי ואינו חוזר, אף כל מום שבגלוי ואינו חוזר:
22You shall eat it within your cities, the unclean and the clean together, as the deer, and as the gazelle.   כבבִּשְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ תֹּֽאכְלֶ֑נּוּ הַטָּמֵ֤א וְהַטָּהוֹר֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו כַּצְּבִ֖י וְכָֽאַיָּֽל:
23However, you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground, as water.   כגרַ֥ק אֶת־דָּמ֖וֹ לֹ֣א תֹאכֵ֑ל עַל־הָאָ֥רֶץ תִּשְׁפְּכֶ֖נּוּ כַּמָּֽיִם:
However, you shall not eat its blood: [Although eating the blood of any animal is prohibited, this prohibition is mentioned here] so that you should not say: “Since this [blemished firstborn animal] is entirely permitted [to be eaten now after its blemish, even though] it started out from a forbidden status, since it was sanctified, [and now it is permitted] for it is slaughtered outside [the Temple] without having to be redeemed, and [it may be] eaten. I might [therefore] think that its blood is permitted as well!” Therefore, Scripture states,“However, you shall not eat its blood.”   רק את דמו לא תאכל: שלא תאמר הואיל וכולו היתר הבא מכלל איסור הוא, שהרי קדוש ונשחט בחוץ בלא פדיון ונאכל, יכול יהא אף הדם מותר, תלמוד לומר רק את דמו לא תאכל: