Monday, May 24, 2010

Halocho #574 - Can a donkey be holy?

The Torah says that a firstborn male donkey has Kedusha (some holiness) and may not be used until it is redeemed; by giving a Cohen a sheep or goat in its stead.

The result is a donkey for the owner and a sheep (or goat) for the Cohen, both without any Kedusha.

The sheep or goat can be male or female, of any age and any physical condition as long as it's alive.

If one does not want to redeem the firstborn donkey, the Torah instructs one to chop off its head and bury it. It is preferable to redeem it rather than killing it.

A firstborn male donkey belonging to a Cohen or Levite does not need to be redeemed. (As opposed to a firstborn Kosher animal that has Kedusha even if belonging to a Cohen or Levite.)

One should not sell (part of) first-time pregnant donkeys to a non-Jew, as one would be exempting oneself from the Mitzva of redeeming it.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 178

- Danny
Monday, 11 Sivan 5770

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