[17a - 42 lines; 17b - 21 lines]

*********************GIRSA SECTION*********************

We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.

[1] Gemara 17a [line 14]:

"ha'Kol bi'Chsav" הכל בכתב

Rashi writes that these words should be omitted (see Insights #2)


1)[line 15]ראשית הגזREISHIS HA'GEZ

(a)Every time a flock of sheep is shorn, it is a Mitzvas Aseh to give the first shearings to a Kohen, as stated in Devarim (18:4), "v'Reishis Gez Tzoncha Titen Lo." Although the Mishnah (Chulin 135a) states that this Mitzvah applies both in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz la'Aretz, the Halachah follows the ruling of Rebbi Ila'i (ibid. 136b, Berachos 22a) who rules that the Mitzvah applies only in Eretz Yisrael (Rambam Hilchos Bikurim ch. 10).

(b)The owner is obligated to give the first shearings to the Kohen only when a minimum amount of fleece is shorn from a minimum number of sheep. The minimum number of sheep is two according to Beis Shamai and five according to Beis Hillel. The Halachah follows Beis Hillel (Chulin 135a). The minimum amount of fleece that must be shorn from each of the five sheep is the amount of fleece that weighs a "Maneh u'Feras" (a Maneh and a half) according to Rebbi Dosa ben Harkinas (ibid.). (A Maneh is one hundred silver Dinerin, each one of which occupies the volume of 96 grains of barley — Kidushin 12a.) As such, the total minimum amount of fleece that must be shorn according to Rebbi Dosa is 750 silver Dinerin. According to the Rabanan, the weight of twelve Sela'im must be shorn from each sheep, for a total of 60 Sela'im (i.e. 240 Dinerin), according to Shmuel, who holds the Halachic opinion — Chulin 137b. Rav maintains that according to the Rabanan the wool of all five animals must weigh 150 Dinerin.

(c)After all of one's sheep are shorn, one must give to the Kohen one-sixtieth of all of the shearings, whether it is a lot or a little (as long as the minimum required amount is fulfilled, as mentioned above). When one gives the wool to the Kohanim, he must not give less than the weight of five Shekalim (ten Dinerin) of wool to each Kohen, which is the amount that suffices to make a belt (Chulin 138a).

2)[line 17]תיישTAYISH- male goat

3)[line 17]חוששין לזרע האבCHOSHESHIN L'ZERA HA'AV

There is a Machlokes whether, for Halachic matters, we take into account with the seed of the father of an animal or not. There are numerous implications to this question, such as with regard to the law of Oso v'Es Beno. If we reckon with the seed of the father, the Mitzvah of "Oso v'Es Beno" applies to a father and its child, as well as to a mother and its child, and it is forbidden to slaughter them both on the same day. If we do not reckon with the seed of the father, the father and child may be slaughtered on the same day.

4)[line 18]אותו ואת בנוOSO V'ES BENO

It is forbidden to slaughter a cow, female sheep or female goat and her offspring on the same day, as it states in Vayikra 22:28, "v'Shor O Seh, Oso v'Es Beno Lo Sishchatu b'Yom Echad." The person who slaughters the second animal in front of two witnesses, after having received a proper warning, is punished with Malkus (lashes).

5)[line 22]נדמהNIDMEH- an animal that has the appearance of a different species

6)[line 23]חזרה שייות למקומןCHAZRAH SEYUS LI'MEKOMAN- the characteristics of a sheep have returned to where they belong

7)[line 26]מיוחד ובא מששת ימי בראשיתMEYUCHAD U'VA MI'SHESHES YEMEI BEREISHIS- it has retained its original, unique status (among other species) from the day the world was created

8)[line 28]היכא דנחת לדריHEICHA D'NACHAS L'DAREI- where the change has gone down to another generation (Rashi). (This translation is in accordance with the first interpretation of the argument between Rebbi Meir and the Rabanan, suggested in the Gemara above.) Alt: where the characteristics have returned to a later generation (Rabeinu Gershom). (This translation follows the second interpretation in the Gemara above.)

9)[line 31]מה פשתן שלא נשתנהMAH PISHTAN SHE'LO NISHTANAH- flax never takes on the characteristics of another species (perhaps because Nidmeh occurs naturally only in the reproduction of animal species, not plant species)

10)[line 36]הדלה הגפן על גבי תאנהHIDLAH HA'GEFEN AL GABEI TE'ENAH- if he suspended a vine over a fig tree

11)[line 37]היגאHEIGE- a prickly shrub or tree

12)[line 41]אי אפשר לצמצםIY EFSHAR L'TZAMTZEM- it is impossible that they both came out at exactly the same point in time; consequently, one is a Bechor but we do not know which one

13)[line 42]משמנין ביניהןMESHAMNIN BENEIHEM- the Kohen takes the inferior of the two animals and the they split the difference in value (i.e. the fat, or Shuman) between the two animals. (This is the Gemara's original interpretation. The Gemara later explains it to mean that the difference in value (i.e. the fat, or Shuman) between the two animals is left in its place, that is, it remains the property of the Yisrael.)

14)[line 42]ירעה עד שיסתאבYIR'EH AD SHE'YISTA'EV- it shall graze until it develops a Mum (and then it may be eaten by its owner in accordance with the laws that apply to the eating of a Bechor)


15)[line 1]והשני ירעה... וחייב במתנותVEHA'SHENI YIR'EH... V'CHAYAV B'MATANOS- this is a new point. Rebbi Meir (the author of the anonymous Mishnayos) is speaking.

16a)[line 5]אפשר לצמצם בידי שמיםEFSHAR L'TZAMTZEM B'YEDEI SHAMAYIM- it is possible for natural (i.e. not intentionally planned) events to occur simultaneously

b)[line 6]בידי אדםB'YEDEI ADAM- actions performed by humans with intent

17)[line 7]חוט של סיקרא חוגרו באמצעCHUT SHEL SIKRA CHOGRO B'EMTZA- a red line girds it at its middle

18a)[line 8]דמים העליוניםDAMIM HA'ELYONIM- the blood of the Chatas Behemah and Olas ha'Of, which is put on the Mizbe'ach above the red line

b)[line 9]דמים התחתוניםDAMIM HA'TACHTONIM- the blood of all the other Korbanos, which is put below the red line

19)[line 11]מרווח בה פורתאMARVACH BAH PURTA- they widened it (the line) a bit

20)[line 13]חלקו לשניםCHILKO L'SHENAYIM- if he split an oven made of pottery in two; a clay oven becomes Tahor only if it is broken to the extent that it does not retain a majority of its original size

21)[line 14]"הכל בכתב מיד ה' עלי השכיל [כל מלאכות התבנית]""HA'KOL BI'CHSAV MI'YAD HASH-M, ALAI HISKIL [KOL MAL'ACHOS HA'TAVNIS]" - "All of this is in writing by the hand of HaSh-m, Who gave me understanding to know, all the works of these plans" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 28:19) (DAVID HA'MELECH PASSES THE PLANS OF THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH TO SHLOMO)

(a)King David transmits to his son, Shlomo (who is destined to build the Beis ha'Mikdash), in writing, the details of its architecture. He stresses that every detail (the shape and size of every vessel, and the length, breadth, and height of every section of the house itself) was handed to him through Ru'ach ha'Kodesh (via the prophets Gad and Nasan), and that therefore nothing can be changed. Others explain that it was Shmuel ha'Navi, who worked together with David on the project, expounded these details from the Torah with Divine assistance.

(b)David goes on to allay any fears that Shlomo (who was not yet Bar Mitzvah) might harbor of not succeeding in the monumental task of building the Beis ha'Mikdash. David tells his son that he, too, will receive Divine assistance. David promised him that if he will be strong and adhere to the Mitzvos faithfully, then he and his children will sit on the throne of Yisrael forever.

(c)Finally, David informed his son that he was handing over to him even the lists of groups of Kohanim and Leviyim, and in which order they would operate in the Beis ha'Mikdash. All that was left for Shlomo to do was to go ahead and build, because the experts, the wise men, and indeed all of the people were ready to assist him.

22)[line 16]יש בו גומותYESH BO GUMOS- it has holes (and corresponding projections) where it was cracked, making it impossible to measure which is the larger of the two pieces

23)[line 16]מכווןMECHUVAN- exactly in the middle

24)[line 17]עגלותEGLOS (EGLAH ARUFAH)

(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Eretz Yisrael) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1). The procedure is as follows:

(b)Five elders (according to the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, which is the Halachah) of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it.

(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked (see Background to Bava Metzia 30:12:b) to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe. This calf is the "Eglah Arufah" and becomes Asur b'Hana'ah.

(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).