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Pesachim 72: To Err Is Human (But Sometimes, There’s No Good Excuse)

The Gemara raises one model of a case, following on the positions of the mishnah,that then is applied to several different halakhic cases. Our case study of this? A case of 2 babies who need brit milah on Shabbat and the day after Shabbat, respectively. Or Friday and Shabbat, in turn. What happens when the wrong baby is circumcised on Shabbat? The outcome is different in those two scenarios, in terms of whether the mohel would be obligated in a korban chatat (and whether the baby is considered circumcised). Along with several other mistaken application of the act he means to do (one being a mistaken sexual encounter, where the intent and the error can result in needing to bring a chatat). Is this boundary-pushing or practical in its acknowledging where people can err? Also: R. Meir’s opinion on a non-consecrated animal used for a Korban Pesach – in contrast to a blemished animal, which should be obviously unacceptable for sacrifice, that which is not consecrated is not demonstrably problematic.


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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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