Chapter 19, Mishnas 4, 5 and 6
A quote from Rav Adin Steinsaltz on why and how we study Talmud. Mishna 4 is about the dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua in a case where two babies were born on consecutive days and got mixed up. If a 9th day baby was unwittingly circumcised on Shabbos, is the circumcisor liable to bring a sin offering? What if it’s a 7th day baby? Rav Huna, Rav Yehuda and Rabbi Hiyya disagree on what exactly Rabbis Eliezer and Yehoshua disagreed upon, and thus produce three different outcomes to the same case. Mishna 5 teaches why a circumcision is delayed for calendar reasons by one, two, three or four days, and no more. But for a sick child we delay as much as necessary. Mishna 6 teaches that a Jewish boy must be circumcised and LOOK circumcised, or the task is not finished. And we learn the beautiful and sacred blessings recited at the circumcision ceremony of a baby, a convert and non-Jewish slave in Biblical times. Short discussion of Jewish participation in slavery over the centuries since Biblical times.