(Firstborns), the fourth tractate in the order Kodoshim
, outlines, in nine chapters, the laws pertaining to firstborn males, both human and animal. The Torah requires that firstborn baby boys be redeemed from a priest, while the firstborns of donkeys must either be redeemed or killed and the firstborns of kosher animals must be brought as sacrifices in the Temple. The treatise catalogs the various blemishes that render an animal unfit as a sacrifice and thus exempt a firstborn from being offered in the Temple. Similarly, it discusses those handicaps that disqualify a priest from service in the Temple, as well as the topics of firstborn inheritance and ma‘aser behemah
(the tithe of cattle).
A.M. Habermann, Ha-madpis daniyyel bombirgi u-reshimat sifrei beit defuso (Safed: The Museum of Printing Art, 1978), 36 (no. 57).
Vinograd, Venice 55