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The third category of bechor and the only non-kosher animal to achieve this status is the petter chamor, the firstborn offspring of a donkey, provided it is a male. Because the donkey is a non-kosher animal, it is not eligible to be offered up as a korban. Rather, it must be redeemed by exchanging it with a sheep or goat of any gender belonging to the owner of the donkey. Following such redemption, the donkey no longer has the status of a bechor and may be used by its owner for any purpose as if it never was a bechor. The sheep or goat for which it was exchanged and given to the kohen also possesses no sanctity and the kohen may use it for any purpose unrelated to the Temple. Alternatively, if the owner of the donkey possesses no sheep or goat with which to redeem the donkey, he may redeem it with anything of value equal to the value of the donkey.
According to certain commentators, the donkey is singled out for the status of a bechor because it was a vehicle for the transport of material possessions. In fact, we are told that when the people of Israel left Egypt, they had no time to harness wagons but loaded all their possessions on donkeys. If we wish to avoid turning ourselves into a vehicle that merely transports wealth from person to person and from generation to generation, and if we wish to leave this world with some spiritual heritage of our own, we must demonstrate our recognition of the source of our wealth by giving up some of our possessions to the service of God.
Raphael Grunfeld’s book “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Judaica bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.
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Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.
Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.
Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.
Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?
Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.
The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.
My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious
I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.
Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.
“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”
Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $
Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively
Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.
Israeli physician Dr. Yuval Rabinovich reviews possible reasons ‘why we have never met aliens.’
Widening “Highway 1″ has unearthed the church, oil lamps, a mosaic floor and mother-of-pearl shells.
Bennett preached unity, but Herzog scolded him for crossing the “red line” in the elections.
Iran tried to buy UN-banned products in the Czech Republic but was caught and stopped, Reuters reports exclusively.
Special needs artists showed their talent at Jewish Children’s Museum on Mother’s Day in New York.
The test was planned, but the Defense Ministry is mum on details.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/bechorot-the-price-of-freedom/2011/11/17/
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