INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that a Temuras Bechor and its offspring are like a normal Bechor; they are eaten by the owners after they have received a Mum.
The Mishnah implies that they are treated entirely like a normal Bechor, and they must be given to a Kohen who eats the animal only after it has received a Mum. Do these animals indeed have the same status as a normal Bechor?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Temurah 3:2) maintains that a Temuras Bechor and its offspring indeed have the same status as a normal Bechor.
Although the MINCHAS BARUCH (102:4) writes that he is unsure of the Rambam's source, the YAD BINYAMIN says that it is clear that his source is the Mishnah here.
(b) TOSFOS in Zevachim (75b, DH Bechor) argues and maintains that these animals are not like an ordinary Bechor. A Temuras Bechor is eaten by the original owner who is a Yisrael. Tosfos understands that when the Mishnah here states that the animal is eaten by the owner, it means the original owner, and not the Kohen who becomes the owner of a blemished Bechor. These animals are similar to a normal Bechor only in that the owner (in this case, the Yisrael) may eat it only when it has a Mum.
Although the wording of the Mishnah supports the view of the Rambam, the MIKDASH DAVID (14:1) questions the Rambam's logic. While it is true that making a Temurah normally gives the second animal the same Kedushah as the original Korban, this is not the case when one makes a Temurah with a Bechor. With regard to a Bechor, the Torah says that only the "Peter Rechem" -- the first to emerge from the mother's womb (Shemos 13:12) -- is given to the Kohen, excluding a Temuras Bechor and its offspring. Tosfos' opinion is understandable; he says that the Kedushah is transferred, but none of the monetary rights of the Kohen are transferred. This is why the original owner (the Yisrael) must wait for the animal to get a Mum. Since there is no prohibition against a Yisrael eating a Bechor, and the animal is not itself a firstborn, it is logical that it should be eaten by the owner. How, though, are we to understand the opinion of the Rambam? What requires the Yisrael to give the animal to the Kohen, if it is not actually a Bechor?
The Mikdash David answers that his initial assumption was incorrect. When a Bechor is born, this does not automatically give the Kohen the monetary rights to that animal. Rather, when a firstborn animal is born, a Korban Bechor is born. The Torah requires that this Korban Bechor be given in some way to the Kohanim, whether by being offered as a Korban or by being given to a Kohen after it contracts a Mum. The requirement that the animal go to the Kohen is not because the Kohen has any monetary rights to a firstborn animal, but because the animal is a Korban.
Accordingly, even a Temuras Bechor should be given to the Kohen. Since it has the Kedushah of a Korban Bechor, it is supposed to be given to a Kohen in some manner. (See the Mikdash David's discussion of the view of the Rambam at length.) (Y. MONTROSE)
QUESTION: The Beraisa quotes Rebbi Yosi who says in the name of Rebbi Yishmael that Ma'aser Sheni is not eaten in Yerushalayim today (when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing), as derived from a comparison of Ma'aser Sheni to Bechor.
The Gemara questions the ruling of Rebbi Yishmael. If Rebbi Yishmael maintains that Kedushah Rishonah (the original Kedushah of Eretz Yisrael) is still in effect, then Ma'aser Sheni should be permitted to be eaten in Yerushalayim today. If, on the other hand, Kedushah Rishonah is no longer in effect, then not only should there be a question about eating Ma'aser Sheni today, but eating the meat of a Bechor today also should be in question!
In what way is eating Ma'aser Sheni in Yerushalayim connected to whether or not Kedushah Rishonah remains in effect? Even if Yerushalayim retains its original sanctity, there are no Mechitzos (walls sanctified by the prophets) around the area of the Beis ha'Mikdash, and such Mechitzos are a necessary condition for eating Ma'aser Sheni!
ANSWER: RASHI in Zevachim (67a) explains that the requirement for Mechitzos applies only with regard to offering Korbanos. The Gemara here is discussing whether Mechitzos are necessary with regard to eating Korbanos.
OPINIONS: The Mishnah at the beginning of the fourth Perek discusses a case of an animal that was designated to be a Chatas, became lost, and then was found with a Mum. If the owner attained atonement already by bringing a different Korban Chatas, then the animal is put to death.
What exactly is the case of the Mishnah? Does the Mishnah refer only to a case in which the animal was found after the owner already brought a different animal as a Chatas in its place, or does the Mishnah refer even to a case in which the owner first found his lost Chatas, and then he brought another animal in its place?
(a) RASHI (DH Im Kipru ha'Ba'alim) explains that the case is where the owner finds his Chatas, now blemished, before he brings the new animal as a Korban. Rashi (DH Tamus) addresses the fact that this explanation seems to conflict with the Gemara later (22b) in which the Rabanan say that the only lost Chatas that must be left to die is a Chatas found after a different animal has been brought in its place. Rashi explains that the Rabanan there are discussing an animal that is not found to have a Mum. The Rabanan would agree that in the case of the Mishnah here, the Halachah (that it is put to death) applies even when the original Chatas is found before another animal is offered in its place, because this Chatas has two disadvantages: first, it was lost, and, second, it now has a Mum. This is the reason why the Mishnah here stresses that the animal has a Mum.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Velad Chatas) argues with the basis of Rashi's logic. Rashi explains that because this animal has two disadvantages (it was lost, and it is a Ba'al Mum), it must be left to die. Tosfos argues that when an animal has more disqualifying factors that render it unfit for the Mizbe'ach, this is greater cause to leave it to graze, and not to put it to death. Tosfos therefore understands that the Mishnah is merely stating the Halachah that a lost Chatas is put to death if the animal is found after the owner already brought a different animal in its place.
Tosfos, however, asks an obvious question on his explanation. Why does the Mishnah state that the animal that was found has a Mum? The Halachah that a lost Chatas is put to death when it is found after the owner attained atonement applies whether or not the animal has a Mum!
Tosfos answers this question based on his earlier statement that the more disqualifying features an animal has, the more reason there is not to put it to death. Since it is a lost Chatas that has a Mum, one might have thought that it is treated more leniently and is merely put out to pasture, and not put to death. The Mishnah therefore states that even a recovered Ba'al Mum is put to death.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Pesulei ha'Mukdashin 4:8) seems to rule like Tosfos. The Rambam writes that "any Chatas that was lost and [then] found before the atonement, even though it was found with a Mum... is not killed, but rather put out to pasture." Although the ruling of the Rambam is clearly like that of Tosfos and not like that of Rashi, it seems that the Rambam's reasoning differs from the reasoning of Tosfos. The Rambam says, "even though it was found with a Mum...," which implies that having a Mum (in addition to being a lost Chatas that was found) is greater reason to put the animal to death, unlike Tosfos. Tosfos would say that "because it was found with a Mum..." it is left to graze (when found before the owner's atonement).
What is the Rambam's reasoning?
The KESEF MISHNEH and the LECHEM MISHNEH comment that the words "even though" were inserted into the text of the Rambam in error and should be omitted.
The HAR HA'MORIYAH explains that even with the words "even though," the Rambam still may be following the logic of Tosfos. When the Rambam states "even though," he does not mean to say that even though there are more problems with the Korban, it is not killed. Rather, the Rambam means that one should not think that this Korban is like other Korbanos that are "pushed off" ("Nidcheh," see end of 22a) from becoming a Chatas and therefore are killed. The Rambam is saying that "even though" the case is similar to that of Nidcheh, the animal in this case is not put to death. (Y. MONTROSE)