Niddah 41 - Caesarean of an Animal

Earlier we saw that Rabbi Shimon gives to children born by caesarean all the laws of ritual purity of the regular birth. However, as explained Rabbi Yochanan, Rabbi Shimon gives this law only to people. An animal born by caesarean is not considered normal birth, and such animal cannot be consecrated as sacrifice. Why not? Rabbi Shimon compared this to a firstborn animal: just as a firstborn "opens the womb," so too a sacrificial animal should be born by "opening the womb." And why does Rabbi Shimon compare the two laws at all? - Because in the description of both the term "birth" was used.

But Rabbi Shimon should rather compare the birth of animals to that of humans, because there also the term "birth" is used! The result would be that an animal born by caesarean will qualify as a sacrifice. No! Rabbi Shimon compares the sacrifices to first-born animals, because they are similar in that the term "mother" is used for both, and the laws of wrong thoughts, wrong time, and impurity apply. And still, he should compare to humans, since the words "male," "consecrated," and "gift" was used for both, and because their laws apply to regular, not consecrated beings. Comparison to animals wins by count of five-to-four.

Art: Juliette Peyrol Bonheur - A sheep and lambs resting in a moorland landscape