THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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The Mishnayos record several Halachos that apply to children who
have become physically capable of having relations. The Mishnah of the
nine-year-old boy states that if he has relations with an animal, it may
not be brought as a Korban on the Mizbe'ach. If two men witnessed the act,
the animal is stoned by Beis Din. These Halachos are not mentioned in the
Mishnah of the three-year-old girl.
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 55b) learns that these Halachos apply to girls as
well. It is included in the phrase of the Mishnah that states that if she
had forbidden relations with any of the Arayos listed in the Torah
(including animals), they are killed. Why is the law of bestiality not
stated explicitly in the Mishnah of the three-year-old girl as in the
Mishnah of the nine-year-old boy?
- TOSFOS (Sanhedrin 55b DH v'Chayavin) explains that there is another
difference between the Mishnayos that reveals the answer to this Question.
The phrase that states that if a man had relations with a three-year-old
girl who was married to someone else, he is guilty (and killed), is
unnecessary, since this, also, is one of the Arayos listed in the Torah.
We must conclude then, that had the Mishnah only stated the latter phrase,
we would not have expected animals to be included in the law stated in the
Mishnah, since it deals with relations between humans. The seeming
repetition leaves room for Chazal to include animals in the latter phrase.
This is why it was not necessary to list explicitly that an animal that
had relations with a three-year-old girl is killed. In the boy's Mishnah,
however, there is no parallel to the phrase regarding adultery. Therefore
it was necessary to specify the laws of animals explicitly, since they
would not have been included in the other Arayos.
- ELIYAHU RABA (the Vilna Ga'on on the Mishnah) points out that the
Gemara in Sanhedrin gives two reasons for killing the animal. Either it is
killed because it caused the death of a person (Takalah), or to prevent
the embarrassment created each time one is reminded of the sin by seeing
the animal (Kalon). These reasons apply if the act was intentional or
unintentional (Mezid or Shogeg). If the act was forced (Ones), the animal
will not be killed, since there is no Takalah and no Kalon. (A forced act
is not punishable with death, and if the person did nothing wrong, there is
The Gemara in Yevamos 33b states that a girl who is seduced is considered
"forced". Since she is easily overtaken by physical sensations, she has no
full control of her decision. A boy, however, does not have the same
physical sensations. (Ein Kishui Ela l'Da'as - he has to arouse himself to
feel titilating sensations). When a boy sins with an animal, it may be
considered Mezid or Shogeg. There is at least Kalon. A girl is considered
forced, and there is no Takala or Kalon; the animal is not killed.
The Vilna Ga'on adds a stipulation that it might depend upon the girl's
actions during the sin. The Gemara in Sanhedrin may refer to a girl who
had no physical sensations before the act, and there is Kalon. Therefore
the animal is killed.
- RA'AVAD differentiates between killing the animal and ruling that it
may not be brought as a Korban. For example, if only one person witnessed
the act, the animal is not killed. However, it is unfit for the Mizbe'ach,
since a foul act was committed with it. (It becomes Ma'us or
If the animal receives pleasure from the sin, it is considered Ma'us. A
boy younger than nine years old who is not Mazri'a will not give the animal
pleasure. Only a boy older than nine will cause the animal to be killed
and make it unfit for the Mizbe'ach. If the girl has relations with the
animal, it will get the same pleasure whether she is older than three or
not. If so, we find another case where the animal is not killed, but it is
unfit for the Mizbe'ach, i.e. when the girl is less than three. Therefore
the Mishnah does not list the Pesul Mizbe'ach, since the age of three does
not change the law! Once this Halachah was left out, the law of killing
the animal was also left out. The Gemara in Sanhedrin was left with the
task of deriving the Halachah of killing the animal.
- THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AGES OF MALE AND FEMALE PUBERTY
OPINIONS:The Gemara asks, why it is that a girl reaches Halachic maturity
sooner than a boy. The Gemara explains that "Binah Yeseirah Nitnah
- The TOSFOS ha'ROSH explains this to mean that women are given Binah
(understanding) earlier than men -- i.e., their mental capacity develops at
a younger age.
- The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos ad loc.) explains that women
physically, and not just mentally, age faster than men (they have a shorter
lifespan), and thus they also reach maturity sooner.
- The ROSH (Teshuvos, #16) explains that all of the Halachic indications
of maturity are Halachos l'Moshe mi'Sinai (and thus there is no obvious,
rational reason to explain why women reach maturity earlier than men).