Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The mitzvah of bringing our firstborn animal as a korban


The Torah's eighteenth mitzvah [per the count of the Sefer haChinuch] instructs us to bring our first-born (bechor) sheep, oxen and goats to a kohen. When we have a Beit haMikdash, the kohen brings part of each animal as a korban, and eats the rest.

By performing this mitzvah, in which we take the first fruit of our efforts and dedicate it to HaShem, we demonstrate that we recognize that everything we possess ultimately comes from HaShem. Further, we commemorate HaShem's destruction of the Egyptian first-born and redemption of the Jews from Egypt.

This mitzvah applies even when there is no Beit haMikdash, biblically within Israel and rabbinically outside of Israel. Therefore, Jewish ranchers tend to form partnerships with non-Jews; a first-born animal owned in partnership with a non-Jew is not subject to the laws of the firstborn animal.

Have a great day,

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