Friday, March 26, 2010

First-born males

I just received this excellent question from my father:
Why is it מכת בכורות but תענית בכורים?
I'm sure there's an excellent answer as well but I can't think of one off the top of my head.


Binny said...

It seems like the Gemara is not so medakdek about these things. For example the Gemara's nusach of Birchas HaIlanos is "Ilanos tovos" instaed of tovim (as the Kolbo and Sma"k changed it to)even though the Mishna treats ilan as zachar in Avos. Rav Chaim Kanievsky in Derech Sicha cites the Ibn ezra's comment that "kol shem zachrehu v'nakvehu" regarding that issue (a view shared by the Chizkuni as well. One might apply it to your question as well. Alternatively one may suggest it is a way of singling out males for this taanis (unlike the Mechaber who says even women fast). Interesting question.

Anonymous said...

אנו אומרים בכורי מצרים
ולא בכורות מצרים
מכאן שצורת בכורים היא נכונה
גם בלשון המקרא

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I found you courtesy of Lion of Zion. Regarding bechorim/ot see this article by Philologos.

ELIE said...

נכנסתי לקישור (לינק) וקיבלתי
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אולי תגיד לנו מה כתוב שם? תודה

Yitzchak said...

ELIE, try this link.

Yitzchak said...

Besides, I have heard it referred to as תענית בכורות, possibly as a hint to the reason for the fast - namely, that the בכורי ישראל were saved from מכת בכורות.

Abba said...

possibly the makah killed all first born, including females; but the minhag , as far as i know is only male bechorim fast (or attend siyum) on erve pesach