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BECHOROS 20 (2 Iyar) - Dedicated by Mrs. Libi Feinberg l'Iluy Nishmas her mother, Rachel Leah bas Reb Yaakov Ha'Levi, for the day of her first Yahrzeit.


1. The Gemara suggests various ways to explain the argument between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva in the Mishnah (19b).
2. Ze'iri: A sign that an animal previously gave birth is the presence of a certain type of blood in its birth area for at least thirty days.
3. Another possible factor underlying the argument between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva is the concept, "Part of a day is like a day."
4. Rebbi Yehoshua: The presence of milk is a sign that an animal gave birth. Rebbi Akiva: Milk is not a sign that it gave birth.
5. A woman went overseas with her husband when her husband's mother was pregnant at the time she departed. Her husband then died. There is a disagreement about whether she may remarry right away, or whether she must wait to find out if her mother-in-law gave birth to a boy.


1. One approach is that although Rebbi Yishmael agrees that certain blood in the birth area could be a sign of a previous birth, he maintains that it is a sign only if the animal does not give birth for the following year. Rebbi Akiva maintains that the animal could give birth within a year and the blood still would be a sign that it already gave birth before.
2. This statement of Ze'iri is also suggested as the basis of the argument between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva. The Gemara alternatively suggests that everybody agrees with Ze'iri's statement.
3. Even if everyone agrees with Ze'iri (see #2), perhaps a full thirty days are required, or perhaps as long as there was some blood during part of the thirtieth day, this suffices.
4. Rebbi Akiva considers the first known offspring of an animal that was nursing to be a doubtful firstborn.
5. Everyone agrees that if her mother-in-law was not pregnant when they left and her husband has no known brothers, she may remarry. If her mother-in-law was pregnant, the Tana Kama says that she must be concerned for the possibility that her mother-in-law had a boy before her husband died. Rebbi Yehoshua says that she does not have to be concerned for this possibility.

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