Continuing the discussion of what conditions establish an animal as a ba’al mum – an animal with a blemish that cannot be sacrificed – the Mishna on today’s daf teaches that there are some firstborn animals that will not be brought as sacrifices, but cannot be slaughtered as ordinary blemished animals, either. These animals have blemishes, but they are not sufficient to free them entirely of the sanctity of being firstborn animals. Included in the Mishna’s list are animals found to be either a tumtum or an anderoginos. Each of these conditions refers to a situation where the animal’s sexual identification is questionable. An anderoginos appears to have both male and female sexual organs, while a tumtum does not appear to have any external sexual organs that would identify it as either male or female.
According to the Gemara in Massekhet Yevamot (daf 83) there is some question about how to approach animals with these conditions. Rabbi Yosei suggests that an anderoginos is a beryah bifnei atzmah – a unique creature who cannot be treated either as male or as female. The rishonim have different approaches to the definition of beryah bifnei atzmah. Tosafot understand the concept as a permanent situation of safek, of doubt, suggesting that since we cannot expect to ever ascertain whether the individual is male or female we refer to such a person as a unique creature. The Ramban, on the other hand, accepts the simple meaning of the expression, and rules that an anderoginos is truly viewed by the halakha as a creature that is neither male nor female.
Medicine recognizes two types of anderoginos. A true anderoginos has both male and female sexual glands, while a Pseudohermaphrodite has the appearance of both male and female sexual organs, although the individual actually has only one set of sexual glands.