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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 82 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

82 - BREAKING THE NECK OF THE FIRSTLING OF AN ASS


Exodus 13:13 -- “And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck.”
Exodus 34:20 -- “And if you will not redeem him, then you shall break his neck.”

The detailed rules of this commandment are explained in Tractate Bechoroth.

The Rabad (R. Abraham Ben David of Posquiers), the critic of Maimonides, strongly objects to the position taken up by the author in considering the breaking of the neck as a distinct commandment. In the Rabad’s opinion the breaking of the neck of the firstling of an ass which has been left unredeemed is only a punitive measure aimed at the owner because of his failure to benefit the priest by redeeming the firstling of the ass with a lamb as prescribed.

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