Category: животные

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Bechorot 57 – Who is Obligated in Animal Tithe

When a father dies and brother become heirs to his estate – but until the time that they divide it – they are obligated to give the tithe, because the estate is the real owner. Once they divide it, if they continue to operate it together as partners, they are not obligated to tithe, since no partners are obligated. Incidentally, the law of the “kolbon”, a small coin given in addition to the half-shekel to the Temple, is just the opposite.

Earlier we said that there are multiple cases when one does not have to give animal tithe. In fact, it is the presence of them that allowed the Sages to suspend the separation of tithes altogether, in the time when there is no Temple. Thus, all animals are obligated in tithes, except for a hybrid, a sick animal (terefah), one born by Caesarean section, and an orphan. What is considered an orphan for tithes? Any animal whose mother died or was slaughtered, and then it (the child) came out of the mother's womb. Rabbi Yehoshua says that if the mother's hide is intact, its offspring is not an orphan, because wrapping it in its mother's hide helps.

Art: George Cochran Lambdin - The Little White Heifer

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Bechorot 32 – The Sages are Alive After Death

The limitations on selling the meat of a firstborn animal apply to selling the meat of the animal tithe as well. There is, however, a problem with this rule: animal tithe scannot be sold at all! Rav Sheshet pondered the problem in the evening but resolved it the next morning: it is talking about tithes left to the orphans by their father!

Rav Idi, the assistant of Rav Sheshet, repeated this explanation without mentioning the author, and Rav Sheshet was upset. But why? If they repeat a true teaching, it should be enough! However, in the Song of Songs we have the verse, “The utterance of your palate is like a choice wine; it goes to my Beloved with sincerity, stirring the lips of those who sleep (in the grave).” When someone quotes a teaching in a sage's name, his lips stir in the grave. Of the three souls, the lower one stays in the grave and assumes the form of the body.

The orphans were given this special dispensation to protect their financial interests. However, all others have a loophole: they give the meat as a present, and ascribe the charge to the hoofs or horns.

Art: Walter Langley - The Orphan

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Avodah Zarah 35 – Real Reason for Prohibiting Cheese of Idol Worshippers

If one betroths a woman using the waste of an ox that is stoned - for example, because it was sodomized – the betrothal is valid, but if he uses the waste of calves sacrificed for idolatry, the betrothal is invalid. Why? Regarding calves sacrificed for idolatry, the fatter it is the better, and the owner is pleased with the waste expanding its size. With an ox that was stoned, the owner does not care if it is fat or not, and the waste is not part of it.

This law has direct connection to the cheese prohibition: rennet, being a separate milky substance in the stomach of a ruminant, should not make the cheese prohibited. When Rabbi Yehoshua avoided saying the reason why the cheese of idolaters is prohibited, he did so because a year had not yet passed since the decree was promulgated, and he did not want people to argue about its reasons. That is why he hinted to a kiss that seals the lips. The two most prominent reasons are the snake venom in the milk and using the actual meat part of an animal (maw). Tosafot say that now the snakes are not prevalent and the cheese is permitted, but Rashi and others disagree.

Art: Edwin Lord Weeks - The Snake Charmers Bombay

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Sanhedrin 58 – Noahide Marital Laws

The Noahide marital laws are derived from “...therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife...,” - but not to the wife of his fellow, not to an animal, etc.

A Noahite is permitted to marry his daughter. If you ask, why did Adam not marry his daughter? - so that Cain could marry his sister, based on “The world will be built through kindness” in Psalms. A Noahite is also permitted to marry his sister. Didn't we just say that “The world will be built through kindness” allowed Cain to marry his sister, but otherwise it would be prohibited?! True, but once it was permitted to Cain, it remained permitted.

Art: Edward John Gregory- Mabel, Daughter of Charles Galloway

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