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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
What is the difference between this case and that of R. Ammi? — In that case it might be argued that the scribe mistakenly adopted the view of R. Jeremiah,1 but here, since he stakes the whole of his fee and yet comes and tells, we presume that he is telling the truth.
MISHNAH. R. JOHANAN B. GUDGADA TESTIFIED2 THAT A DEAF-MUTE GIRL WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN IN MARRIAGE BY HER FATHER CAN BE PUT AWAY WITH A GET,3 AND THAT
A MINOR [ORPHAN] DAUGHTER OF A LAY ISRAELITE MARRIED TO A PRIEST CAN EAT OF THE TERUMAH,4 AND THAT IF SHE DIES HER HUSBAND INHERITS HER, AND THAT IF A BEAM WHICH HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY APPROPRIATED IS BUILT INTO A PALACE5 RESTITUTION FOR IT MAY BE MADE IN MONEY,6 SO AS NOT TO PUT OBSTACLES IN THE WAY OF PENITENTS, AND THAT A SIN-OFFERING WHICH HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY OBTAINED, SO LONG AS THIS IS NOT [KNOWN] TO MANY,7 MAKES EXPIATION, TO PREVENT LOSS TO THE ALTAR.8
GEMARA. Raba said: From the testimony of R. Johanan b. Gudgada we learn that if a man said to the witnesses [to the Get],9 See this Get which I am about to give to her [my wife], and then he said to his wife, Take this bond, the divorce is valid. For did not R. Johanan b. Gudgada affirm that the consent of the wife is not necessary? So here we do not require her knowledge.10 Surely this is obvious? [It required to he stated] because you might have thought that his saying to her 'take this bond' rendered the Get void. [Raba therefore] teaches us that if he had meant to annul it he would have said so to the witnesses, and the reason why he spoke so to the wife was because he was ashamed [to call it a Get].
THAT A MINOR [ORPHAN] DAUGHTER OF A LAY ISRAELITE. A deaf-mute woman, however, [according to this] cannot eat.11 What is the reason? — As a precaution against a deaf-mute priest giving a deaf-mute woman [terumah] to eat.12 And suppose she does? She would only be like a child eating forbidden meat?13 — It is a precaution against the possibility of a deaf-mute priest giving terumah to a wife in possession of her faculties. But allow him at least to give her terumah which is such only by the rule of the Rabbis?14 — This is a precaution against the risk of her eating terumah which is such according to the Torah.
AND THAT IF A BEAM WRONGFULLY APPROPRIATED HAS BEEN BUILT INTO A PALACE. The Rabbis taught: If a man wrongfully takes a beam and builds it into a palace, Beth Shammai say that he must demolish the whole palace and restore the beam to its owner. Beth Hillel, however, say that the latter can claim only the money value of the beam, so as not to place obstacles in the way of penitents.15
THAT A SIN OFFERING WHICH HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY OBTAINED. 'Ulla said: According to the rule of the Torah, whether the [fact is generally] known or not, [the offering] does not make expiation, the reason being that Renunciation16 does not of itself confer ownership [on the robber].17 Why then was it laid down that if [the fact is] not known the offering is expiatory? — So that the priests should not be grieved.18 Said the Rabbis to 'Ulla: But our Mishnah says TO PREVENT LOSS TO THE ALTAR? — He replied to them: When the priests are grieved the altar is not attended to. Rab Judah, however, said: According to the rule of the Torah, whether the fact [of its having been wrongfully acquired] is known or not known, the offering is expiatory, the reason being that Renunciation does of itself confer ownership [on the robber].
Why then was it laid down that if [the fact is] known it is not expiatory?1 In order that people should not say that the altar is fed from [the proceeds of] robbery. If we accept 'Ulla's view we quite understand why the Mishnah says 'SIN-OFFERING'.2 But if Rab Judah's view is right, why does it say 'SIN-OFFERING'? The same would apply to a burnt-offering also?3 — A stronger instance is taken: not only is this the case with a burnt-offering which is entirely [consumed on the altar], but even in the case of a sin-offering where only the fat and blood are put on the altar and the rest is eaten by the priests, even there they applied the rule, in order that people should not say that the altar is fed from robbery.
We learnt: THAT A SIN-OFFERING WHICH HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY OBTAINED, SO LONG AS THIS IS NOT KNOWN TO MANY, MAKES EXPIATION SO AS NOT TO CAUSE LOSS TO THE ALTAR. This raises no difficulty if we accept the view of 'Ulla, but on the view of Rab Judah we ought to have the opposite?4 — This in fact is what he means: if [the fact is] not known it is expiatory, but if it is known it is not expiatory, to prevent loss to the altar.5
Raba raised an objection [from the following]: 'If a man stole [a beast] and sanctified it and then slaughtered and sold it, he makes twofold restitution but not four and fivefold.6 And with reference to this it was taught: If [after dedication] he should kill the animal outside the precincts, his penalty is kareth.'7 Now if you say that Renunciation does not of itself confer ownership [on the robber], how does kareth come in?8 — R. Shezbi replied: It means, the kareth decreed by the Rabbis. They laughed at him: Is there such a thing, [they said,] as kareth decreed by the Rabbis? — Said Raba to them: When a great man has said something, do not laugh at him; he means, kareth which comes to him through their regulation; for it was the Rabbis who declared it to be in his possession9 so that he might be liable for it. Raba further said: What I should like to know is this: When the Rabbis declared him to be the owner, did they mean this to apply from the time of stealing or from the time of sanctifying? What practical difference does it make? [It makes a difference] in respect of the fleece and the young;10 what is the law? — Raba then [answered his own question] saying: It is reasonable to suppose that it is from the time that he sanctified them, so that a sinner should not profit from his offence.
MISHNAH. THERE WAS NO SICARICON11 IN JUDEA FOR THOSE KILLED IN WAR.12 AS FROM [THE TERMINATION OF] THE SLAUGHTER OF THE WAR13 THERE HAS BEEN SICARICON THERE. HOW DOES THIS RULE APPLY? IF A MAN BUYS A FIELD FROM THE SICARICON AND THEN BUYS IT AGAIN FROM THE ORIGINAL OWNER, HIS PURCHASE IS VOID,14 BUT IF HE BUYS IT FIRST FROM THE ORIGINAL OWNER AND THEN FROM THE SICARICON IT IS VALID. IF A MAN BUYS [A PIECE OF A MARRIED WOMAN'S PROPERTY]15 FROM THE HUSBAND AND THEN BUYS IT AGAIN FROM THE WIFE, THE PURCHASE IS VOID,16 BUT IF HE BUYS IT FIRST FROM THE WIFE AND THEN FROM THE HUSBAND IT IS VALID. THIS WAS [THE RULING] OF THE FIRST MISHNAH.17 THE SUCCEEDING BETH DIN,18 HOWEVER, LAID DOWN THAT IF A MAN BUYS PROPERTY FROM THE SICARICON HE HAD TO GIVE THE ORIGINAL OWNER A QUARTER [OF THE VALUE].19 TH19 S,20 HOWEVER, IS ONLY THE CASE WHEN THE ORIGINAL OWNER IS NOT IN A POSITION TO BUY IT HIMSELF, BUT IF HE IS HE HAS THE RIGHT OF PRE-EMPTION. RABBI ASSEMBLED A BETH DIN AND THEY DECIDED BY VOTE THAT IF THE PROPERTY HAD BEEN IN THE HANDS OF THE SICARICON TWELVE MONTHS, WHOSOEVER FIRST PURCHASED IT ACQUIRED THE TITLE, BUT HE HAD TO GIVE A QUARTER [OF THE PRICE] TO THE ORIGINAL OWNER.
GEMARA. If there was no sicaricon for those killed in the war is it possible that there should have been after the termination of the war? — Rab Judah said: It means that the rule of sicaricon was not applied.21 For R. Assi has stated: They [the Roman Government] issued three successive decrees. The first was that whoever did not kill [a Jew on finding him] should himself be put to death. The second was that whoever killed [a Jew] should pay four zuz.22 The last was that whoever killed a Jew should himself be put to death.23 Hence in the first two [periods], [the Jew], being in danger of his life, would determine to transfer his property24 [to the sicaricon] but in the last [period] he would say to himself, Let him take it today; tomorrow I will sue him for it.25
R. Johanan said: What is illustrative of the verse, Happy is the man that feareth alway, but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief?26 The destruction of Jerusalem came through a Kamza and a Bar Kamza;27 the destruction of Tur Malka28 came through a cock and a hen; the destruction of Bethar came through the shaft of a leather. The destruction of Jerusalem came through a Kamza and a Bar Kamza in this way. A certain man had a friend Kamza and an enemy Bar Kamza. He once made a party and said to his servant, Go and bring Kamza. The man went and brought Bar Kamza. When the man [who gave the party] found him there he said, See, you tell tales about me; what are you doing here? Get out. Said the other: Since I am here, let me stay, and I will pay you for whatever I eat and drink.
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