Daf Yomi

For the week ending 12 November 2011 / 14 Heshvan 5772

Bechorot 2 - 8

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • When the obligation to redeem the firstborn of a donkey does not apply
  • Selling animals to a non-Jew or maintaining a partnership with him
  • What is considered a blemish which disqualifies a firstborn animal from serving as a sacrifice
  • The exemption of kohanim and Levites
  • Was there redemption of firstborn in the Wilderness?
  • The challenges of Kuntrukus to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai
  • Why only firstborn donkeys must be redeemed
  • The status of an animal which does not resemble the species of its mother
  • Interpreting the word "ess"
  • Whether offspring of a treifah can serve as a sacrifice
  • When one fish swallows another

The Swallowed Fish

If a non-kosher fish is swallowed by a kosher one it is forbidden for consumption.

This ruling of the mishna is challenged by Tosefot on the basis of a mishna in Mesechta Ohalot. There it is stated that if a fish has consumed flesh of a human corpse and has held it in its body for a short period that flesh can no longer be a source of tumah (ritual impurity). This indicates that the brief digestion of a swallowed object transforms its status. Why then does this same transformation not remove the status of non-kosher from the swallowed fish?

The answer submitted by Tosefot is that there is a difference between forbidden food and tumah so that the non-kosher status of the swallowed fish is not affected by brief digestion as in the case of tumah.

Based on this distinction Tosefot rejects the effort of some commentaries to conclude from the mishna in Ohalot that if a kernel of wheat is found on Pesach in the stomach of a chicken it is not considered forbidden chametz because it has been digested. Once we accept the distinction made by Tosefot between forbidden food and tumah, this conclusion is not applicable.

  • Bechorot 7b

What the Sages Say

"The word ess in the command to fear G-d teaches us to also show respect for Torah Sages."

  • Rabbi Akiva - Bechorot 6b

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