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BECHOROS 51 (4 Sivan) - Dedicated in memory of the family members of Mr. David Kornfeld (Rabbi Kornfeld's father) who perished at the hands of the Nazi murderers in the Holocaust, Hashem Yikom Damam: His mother (Mirel bas Yakov Mordechai), his brothers (Shraga Feivel, Aryeh Leib and Yisachar Dov, sons of Mordechai), his grandfather (Reb Yakov Mordechai ben Reb David Shpira) and his aunt (Charne bas Yakov Mordechai Shpira, wife of Reb Moshe Aryeh Cohen z'l).


1. The Mishnah lists items that cannot be used to redeem a firstborn son.
2. A father may not redeem his son by writing a document saying that he owes the Kohen five Sela'im. If he does, the son is not redeemed until he actually pays the Kohen.
3. A Kohen may return to the father the money he receives for the redemption.
4. Rebbi: The only item which one cannot use for redeeming a firstborn is a document.

5. It is wrong for a father to pressure the Kohen into giving back the five Sela'im.
6. A firstborn inherits a double portion of his father's estate, but not of his mother's estate.


1. They are: servants, documents, land, and Hekdesh items.
2. While some disagree (51b), the Tana Kama understands that this is a decree of the Rabanan. The reason is that we do not want people to think that one may use documents for redemption.
3. If a person sets aside five Sela'im to give to the Kohen but does not actually give it to the Kohen before it becomes lost, the son is not redeemed.
4. The Tana Kama (see #1) and Rebbi disagree about what invalid form of redemption is being excluded.
5. Rebbi Chanina told such a father that this may cause his son's redemption to be invalid (see two explanations in Rashi).
6. He does not take a double portion in an increase in the value of the estate that occurred after his father's death, nor does he take a double portion of possessions that were supposed to come into his father's possession (but had not yet come) at the time of his father's death.

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