More Discussions for this daf
1. Eggs that were "Safna Me'ara" 2. A Tereifah's eggs 3. Sheratzim in fruit
4. Isur of Shechting a mother cow and its Vlad on the same day. 5. Rebbi Yehoshua's positions 6. Eggs


Can you please clarify the idea of Safna Mar'ah? The Soncino translates as Parthenogenesis, but is that really so? Is the Gemarah really saying a chicken can get impregnated by the dust?

Is there any later explanations in the Rishonim or Achronim?

David Kramer

The Kollel replies:


Parthenogenesis refers to an egg that develops into a child without being impregnated by a male's sperm. I don't believe that's what the Gemara is referring to here. Safna Me'ara *does* mean that the chicken's egg was not impregnated, but that egg will never develop into a chicken.

In our Sugya, RASHI DH Bidsafna explains that Safna Me'ara means thata hen is "warmed from the ground and gives birth [Yoledes]." However, he does not mean that she gives birth to a *chicken*. She gives birth to an *egg*, as is clear from the usage of the term "Yoledes" in Beitzah 7a (bottom of the Daf), with respect to Safna Me'ara.

Be well,