Questions tagged [bechor-firstborn]

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28
votes
3answers
1k views

Must a jew-by-choice who is a firstborn observe the fast of the firstborn

I'm interested in the question of whether a ger who is firstborn (of both parents, say, to keep things simple) must follow the rules for Ta'anit B'khorot. There are some remarks on the wikipedia page, ...
16
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4answers
4k views

Oops, I just missed the siyum for Fast of the Firstborn

I am a firstborn. Suppose I wake up late on Erev Pesach and walk into shul right after they finish the siyum. Can I still partake in the post-siyum meal, or am I too late? More precisely, what are ...
13
votes
4answers
628 views

What happened to the bechorim (first-borns)?

In the begining of sefer bamidbar, the males between 20 and 60 are counted and it says that there are over 600,000 of them. Theoretically each, or most, of these people should have had a first-born ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Are males with older sisters “firstborn” for the purposes of the Fast of the Firstborn?

Assuming you follow the tradition that only first-born males are obligated to fast the day before Passover, do the males who have an older sister count as first-born or not? Wikipedia doesn't seem to ...
12
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3answers
468 views

Will firstborn sons or Kohanim serve in the Third Temple?

In Ezekiel 48, where he prophesied about a future temple, he talks about Kohanim and Levites serving. "Kohanim of the sons of Zadok..." or "Now for the Levites, opposite the border of the Kohanim..." ...
10
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1answer
917 views

Taanis Bechoros for a first born from a C-section

Does someone who was a first born, but was born from a C-section have to fast on Ta'anis Bechoros? The only source I know which addresses this is the Kaf HaChaim on Shulchan Aruch (470:3), who says ...
10
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1answer
475 views

First-born animals today

From what I understand, the laws of "bechor behemah tehorah" (kosher first-born animal) are still in effect today, both in Israel and outside. To avoid problems with this, we sell a share of the ...
9
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1answer
181 views

Does the Levi who washes the hands of the Kohanim have to be over bar mitzvah?

The Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people. If a Levi is not available a first born (to the mother) can wash (according to the Askenazi custom) instead, Orach Chaim ...
8
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3answers
256 views

Why did Yaakov buy the Bechora from Esav?

This question came up recently, and the immediate answer that I got from people around me is that Yaakov was securing the brachos which are due to the bechor. However, the problem with this answer is ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Success of the Younger Brother

While the Torah appears to exemplify the status of a Bechor (first born) - there appears to be a pattern throughout the Tanach of the younger brother carrying on the legacy and success of their ...
7
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2answers
472 views

Why isn't Ta'anit Bechorot pushed back to Thursday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?

When the first Seder falls on Motzei Shabbas, Ta'anit Bechorot is pushed back to Thursday. Why does it stay on Friday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?
7
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2answers
763 views

What is considered to be “firstborn”?

This is probably a bit pedantic and beside-the-point, but here goes: in Exodus 12 (I am reading the Jewish Publication Society translation), we have: 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in ...
7
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3answers
504 views

Why does a siyum exempt one from taanit bechorot?

The custom in many communities I have been to is for there to be a siyum on a mesechta on the day of taanit bechorot. All first borns who would otherwise have to fast attend the siyum and are thus ...
7
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2answers
168 views

What would have happened if Esav hadn't sold the bechora?

If Esav hadn't sold the bechora to Yaakov what, if anything, would have been different? In other words, what consequence was there to the sale? What did it change, how did it make anything different?
7
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1answer
288 views

Source for bechorot losing/reclaiming priesthood

At a parshat hashavua shiur that I regularly attend, the rabbi has stated on multiple occasions that the bechorot (firstborn sons of Israel) were supposed to serve the purpose that the Leviim and ...
6
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2answers
279 views

Double portion for firstborn

I need to designate beneficiaries for a life insurance plan. I've designated my wife as the primary beneficiary and my children as contingent beneficiaries. My son is a firstborn and he has two ...
6
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1answer
140 views

Why Abel didn't ask Cain to bring his sacrifice?

The Torah declares that before Matan Torah, the firstborns were responsible for bringing sacrifices and Cohanim replaced them after the Golden Calf incident (Num 3,40): :וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם ...
5
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4answers
183 views

Does a b'chor need to fast if he didn't partake in food from the siyum?

If a b'chor attended (or made) a siyum on taanis bechoros but did not partake of any food does he need to fast?
5
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3answers
171 views

Commentaries not noting clear issues in the Torah

Stemming from this question about the seeming discrepancy between the number of people and the number of first-borns as counted in the beginning of Numbers: I noticed this problem in my first reading ...
5
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1answer
154 views

Petting an unredeemed firstborn donkey (“Peter Chamor”)

The Talmud (Bekhoroth 9b) cites the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda that it is forbidden to derive benefit from a firstborn donkey before it is redeemed. This view is codified by the Rambam (Firstborns 12:4) ...
4
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2answers
308 views

Can one lechatchila choose to behead a firstborn donkey?

A firstborn donkey must be redeemed by giving a lamb or goat kid to a kohen. If the owner of the donkey doesn't redeem it, the donkey must be decapitated with an ax and buried. Rashi says that this ...
4
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1answer
71 views

Is the mitzvah to honor the bechor d'oraisa or d'raban?

I see in the answer to this question that the mitzvah to honor one's mother and father includes an obligation to honor one's oldest brother. This idea is originally referenced in Ketubot 103a. Is this ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

What is “birthright” really?

I am having a hard time in understanding these biblical verses: And the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel—for he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's couch, his ...
3
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2answers
149 views

Does a minyan use fast-day liturgy for the fast of the firstborn if some will override the fast?

This answer refers to the practice of over-riding the fast of the first-born, which is my experience too. My question is: should the shaliach tzibbur ever do the fast-day liturgy? If the community ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

Would an abortion invalidate the first living son as a Bechor?

If someone had an abortion prior to giving birth to her first living child, a son, is that son not a Bechor which would require a redemption? My assumption is that he's not since the Bechor is ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Was Zerach really the first born?

וַיְהִי בְלִדְתָּהּ וַיִּתֶּן יָד וַתִּקַּח הַמְיַלֶּדֶת וַתִּקְשֹׁר עַל יָדוֹ שָׁנִי לֵאמֹר זֶה יָצָא רִאשֹׁנָה And it came about when she gave birth, that he (the infant) stretched out his hand. ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Is there a custom that the person who makes the siyum on the fast of the first-born should be a bechor?

I have notcied that at my shul, whoever gives the siyum on the fast of the first-born each year before Pesach is always a first-born himself. Is this a generally practiced custom? I cannot imagine a ...
3
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1answer
50 views

“bechor hashifcha” and “bechor hashvi” — why the change? (Shemos 11:5, 12:29)

During leining today, I noticed that the Torah changes its wording, when describing the breadth of Makkas Bechoros -- when Pharaoh is warned, in Shemot 11:5, we have: וּמֵת כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ ...
3
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0answers
43 views

Bechor for special occasions

The Mishnah in Sheviis 7:4 seems to imply that it was fairly standard for people to buy a bechor (baal mum, obviously) from a Kohen to serve at special occasions, like Yom Tov or a wedding. Is that ...
3
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0answers
51 views

What's the significance of putting a firstborn animal's hair in the window?

Bechorot 3:4 (≈Eduyot 5:6) discusses the case in which the hair of a wounded firstborn animal fell off, then a person put the hair in the window, and then slaughtered the firstborn (or in another ...
3
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0answers
34 views

Levi's role before Golden Calf

On the one hand it appears the tribe of Levi was granted their role as those who serve in the Mishkan/Beis Hamikdash from Bamibdar (3:12) וַאֲנִ֞י הִנֵּ֧ה לָקַ֣חְתִּי אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֗ם מִתּוֹךְ֙ ...
2
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3answers
175 views

Did Ishmael receive “שְׁנַיִם, בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יִמָּצֵא, לוֹ” like a firstborn does?

Did Ishmael ben Avraham receive a double-portion in accordance to the rights of the firstborn? Or did he forfeit them because he was estranged from the family? I know that the law of the double ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Can a father dissown his oldest son and make his younger son the bachor?

It is well known Esav sold his 'birthright' to Yaakov. Can a father decide arbitrarily which son he wants to favor as his bachor? If so -under what conditions?
2
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1answer
68 views

Is there a mitzvah to honor the bechor?

I have heard that the mitzvah to honor ones parents includes a commandment to honor one's oldest brother. Is this really the case?
2
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1answer
98 views

Firstborn is sick on erev Pesach

What is the halacha regarding the fast if a firstborn is sick on erev Pesach and can't attend a siyum?
2
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1answer
92 views

If someone already has children and then has a child with someone who has never had children before, is that child a firstborn?

If someone had their first kid with a person who had children from a previous marriage, is that child a firstborn?
2
votes
1answer
73 views

The fast or the rejoicing of the first born erev pesach?

I seem to recall seeing somewhere that the fast of bechoros should indeed be a day of Taanug and not fasting. Since the true girsa in Masheches Sofrim should read מתענגין instead of מתענין. Does ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Is there any (relatively) simple way to calculate when/how often the Daf Yomi cycle will finish a tractate on Erev Pesach?

Shulchan Aruch O.C. 470:1 codifies that firstborns fast on Erev Pesach. In my experience, the widespread practice is for firstborns to attend a siyum of the completion of a tractate of Talmud, usually ...
2
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2answers
89 views

Why did Yacov suddenly ask for the first-born rights?

I was amazed when suddenly Yacov Avinu asked his brother for the right of being first born son when Eisav asked for food to eat. Why did he choose that moment?
1
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2answers
268 views

Fasting for a child bechor before Passover

I've heard that some men fast on erev Pesach for their firstborn son until that son old enough to fast for himself. Is that halakha? Where does this come from?
1
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1answer
85 views

What physical/health factors disqualify an otherwise qualified bechor from pidyon haben?

If a first-born son meets the qualifications for pidyon ha'ben (first born of his mother, born naturally, parents are both Yisroel), what physical health issues would "disqualify" the bechor ...
1
vote
1answer
384 views

Do women need to do the first-born fast for a minor son?

Rema in Shulchan Aruch, 470:2 says that a father should fast for his first born (or attend a siyum) on Erev Pesach, if the son is too young to fast, himself. He also states, that if the father, ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Bechor that also the only son

Does a bechor needs to have younger siblings? Is he still be a bechor if he happen to be the only son in the family?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

How to sell a Pregnant Kosher Bechor Animal to a Non Jew to avoid a Bechor

what is the correct way for it to be sold? do you need a shtar, (assuming the animal cannot be picked up). or is kinyan kessef enough? like if the non Jew pays you $2.00 cash are you fully covered?
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Why would one who redeems someone else's firstborn donkey be able to keep it, if he's effectively forcing the owner into a sale?

Bechoros 11a rules that one may redeem someone else's firstborn donkey on their behalf. The Gemara asks: If someone were to do this, who gets to keep the donkey? Now, there's a dispute between R' ...
1
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0answers
21 views

Were firstborn children born to a mother who miscarried killed during Makat Bechorot? [duplicate]

The last of the ten plagues was Makat Bechorot, where all firstborn Egyptians were killed overnight. We know from Pidyon Haben that a firstborn son, born after a mother had miscarried (after more ...
1
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0answers
32 views

If a woman had an aborted pregnancy, is the next son born considered, halachically, a bechor? [duplicate]

Does the halachic definition of "bechor" specifically apply to a full birth or a fetus? Thus, if a woman aborted her first pregnancy, and the 2nd pregnancy produces a male birth, is that boy ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Why was Zerach called the Bechor? [duplicate]

In Bereshis 38:28 Zerach puts his hand outside the womb first and the midwife ties a string on it saying "this one came out first". However in Bechoros 8:1 (46a, et passim) it indicates that only ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Who got the matnas kahunah before the Egel?

In the beginning the Avodah (service) of Karbonos was with the bechor (first-born -- see the mishnah in the last perek of Zevachim. The avodah was done by the bechorim until the Mishkan was built) ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Why Ishmael never claimed the right of firstborn?

Note: the question should have read "did he ever claim" but I assumed he didn't as I didn't hear of it. (I'm aware of the Midrash that says that his descendants claimed before Alexander the Great the ...