BECHOROS 19 (1 Iyar) - Dedicated by Ari Friedman and family of Lawrence, N.Y., l'Iluy Nishmas Ari's father, Reb Yakov Yosef ben Rav Nosson Neta Z'L Friedman in honor of his Yahrzeit. Jack Friedman exemplified true Ahavas Yisrael and Ahavas Chesed; may he be a Melitz Yosher for his children and grandchildren and for all of Klal Israel.

[19a - 24 lines; 19b - 39 lines]

1)[line 2] YOTZEI DOFEN- a child or animal born by a Caesarian birth is called a Yotzei Dofen (lit. it went out through the wall [of the abdomen]). Certain Halachos are associated with the Yotzei Dofen (see Background to Yevamos 84:1).

2)[line 7] MESAFKEH LEI BECHOR L'DAVAR ECHAD IY HAVEI BECHOR- he is in doubt whether an animal which is the first to be born in just one way (i.e., either it is a first birth, first male or first normal delivery) is called a firstborn by the Torah or not

3)[line 11]" ""KADESH LI KOL BECHOR"- "Sanctify to Me every firstborn that initiates the womb among the children of Yisrael, among both man and beast; it is Mine" (Shemos 13:2); see Chart

4)[line 22] " "TALMUD LOMAR "PETER RECHEM"- the verse says "Peter Rechem" to teach us that the Bechor must be born normally, not by Caesarian section. (The word "Bechor" is nevertheless a Klal ha'Tzarich li'Frat (and not a Klal that is followed by a Prat) because "Bechor" could be defined either as the first to be born in any manner or as the first to be born in a normal birth; the Prat of "Peter Rechem" teaches us which definition to use.)


5)[line 14] EZ BAS SHENASAH- a goat in the first year of its life

6)[line 20]TINUF- a discharge composed of dissolved particles of blood

7)[line 20]SHILYA- commonly translated as the placenta; a more accurate description is the fetal membranes in which the fetus forms, which are attached to the placenta (RASHI to Berachos 4a; TOSFOS to Nidah 18a DH Shilya and elsewhere in the Rishonim)

8)[line 20]SHEFIR- skin of a dead embryo filled with unformed or disintegrated parts of the embryo

9a)[line 20] BEHEMAH DAKAH- small domesticated farm animals (such as sheep and goats)

b)[line 20] BEHEMAH GASAH- large domesticated farm animals (such as cattle)

10)[line 28] CHAYISH L'MI'UTA - he is concerned for the minority

Rebbi Meir is of the opinion that we do not follow the majority if there is a Safek (a doubt), but rather we consider the matter to be still in doubt. (According to one opinion in TOSFOS, Rebbi Meir only considers it a Safek mid'Rabanan, for according to the Torah we can rely on a Rov - Tosfos to Chulin 12a DH Pesach, and to 86b DH Semoch. Tosfos here in Bechoros 19b DH b'Ruba implies that Rebbi Meir's law is mid'Oraisa, but it pertains only to a Ruba d'Leisa Kaman - see entry #11b.)

11a)[line 29] RUBA D'ISA KAMAN

A Ruba d'Isei Kaman is a majority that is present and countable, such as a majority of the judges of a court. The Torah instructs us to follow such a majority, as it states "Acharei Rabim le'Hatos" (Shemos 23:2).

b)[line 29] RUBA D'LEISA KAMAN

A Ruba de'Leisa Kaman is a majority that is not present and countable, but rather a predictable consequence of natural events (statistics) - for instance, the majority of animals give birth within a year of their birth. (See Background to Chulin 11:2.)


(a)If a married man dies childless and has brothers who survive him, his widow (or widows) may not remarry until one of the deceased husband's brothers performs Yibum (levirate marriage) or Chalitzah (levirate release) with the widow (or one of the widows), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that if there are a number of brothers, there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum or Chalitzah (Yevamos 24a). If the conditions for the Mitzvah of Yibum do not exist, marital relations between a man and his brother's wife are prohibited and make them liable to the punishment of Kares.

(b)Yibum is a type of marriage. Unlike ordinary Kidushin, though, it can be accomplished only through Bi'ah and not through Kesef or Shtar (see Background to Kidushin 2:1:II:b). Nevertheless, the Rabanan instituted that one should precede Yibum with an act similar to Kidushei Kesef or Shtar, which is known as Ma'amar (see Background to Nedarim 74:4). The Bi'ah must be performed with the intention of fulfilling the Mitzvah.

(c)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three (but see Insights to Yevamos 101:2) and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.

(d)A minor does not have the power to perform either Yibum or Chalitzah, according to Rebbi Meir.

13)[line 36]SARIS- an impotent man

14)[line 36]AILONIS- a woman who is incapable of conception

15)[line 37] POG'IN B'ERVAH- they come in contact with a forbidden relation (because when there is no Mitzvah of Yibum, the wife of the deceased remains forbidden to his brother)