Arakhin 17bערכין י״ז ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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17bי״ז ב

חדא אמצורע עני ומדירו עני וחדא למעוטי מצורע עשיר ומדירו עני

The Gemara explains: The mishna states two different principles with regard to one who vows to provide the offering of a leper on behalf of another. One principle applies to a destitute leper for whom another destitute person takes a vow to provide his offering. In that case, he provides the offering of the destitute. And the one other principle, i.e., the statement that the halakha is different in the case of offerings, serves to exclude the case of a wealthy leper for whom a destitute person takes a vow to provide his offering. In that situation, although the one who took the vow is destitute, he must provide the offering of a wealthy person.

סלקא דעתך אמינא הואיל ואיתרבו איתרבו קמ"ל

The Gemara explains why this last ruling is necessary. It might enter your mind to say: Since the destitute were included in the verse: “And his means do not suffice,” with regard to the leniency which allows them to bring the offering of the destitute when taking vows to provide for destitute lepers, they should likewise be included in this leniency when providing for all lepers, even wealthy ones. Consequently, the tanna teaches us that this leniency does not apply when the lepers are wealthy.

לפי שמצינו בערכין עני שהעריך את העשיר נותן ערך עני יכול אף זה כן ת"ל אם דל הוא

Similarly, it is taught in a baraita: Since we find with regard to valuations that a destitute person who valuated a wealthy person gives the valuation in accordance with the means of a destitute person, one might have thought that in this case, where one takes a vow to provide the offering of a wealthy leper, the halakha is also so. Consequently, the verse states: “And if he is poor,” from which it is derived that the offering of the destitute leper is brought only when the leper himself is destitute.

ולרבי דאמר אומר אני אף בערכין כן אלמא אמר בתר חיובא דגברא אזלינן והא לא צריכא קרא למעוטי הוא למעוטי מאי

The Gemara objects: But according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, this is difficult. As he says in the mishna: I say even with regard to valuations it is so, i.e., that if a wealthy person said: It is incumbent upon me to donate my valuation, and a destitute person heard him and said: It is incumbent upon me to donate that which he said, then the destitute person gives the valuation of a wealthy person. Evidently, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: We follow the obligation of the original person valuated, even with regard to valuations. And if so, then the reasoning stated in the aforementioned baraita does not apply, and therefore a verse is not necessary to exclude a destitute person who takes a vow to provide a wealthy leper’s offering from having the leniency of bringing the offering of a destitute leper. Consequently, when the verse specifies: “And if he is poor,” this serves to exclude what?

למעוטי מצורע עני ומדירו עשיר סד"א הואיל ואמר רבי בתר חיובא דגברא אזלינן קמ"ל:

The Gemara explains: The verse serves to exclude the case of a destitute leper for whom a wealthy person takes a vow. In that case, it might enter your mind to say that since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: We follow the obligation of the original person specified as the subject of the vow, therefore the wealthy person brings only the offering of the destitute leper. Consequently, the exclusion from the verse: “And if he is poor,” teaches us that in this case he brings the offering of a wealthy individual, not that of the destitute leper.

מתני׳ היה עני והעשיר עשיר והעני נותן ערך עשיר ר' יהודה אומר עני והעשיר וחזר והעני נותן ערך עשיר

MISHNA: If when one took a vow of valuation he was destitute and he became wealthy, or if he was wealthy and became destitute, he gives the valuation in accordance with the means of a wealthy person. Rabbi Yehuda says: This is the halakha not only in a case where one was wealthy either at the time he took the vow or at the time of payment; even if when one took a vow of valuation he was destitute and he became wealthy and again became destitute, he gives the valuation in accordance with the means of a wealthy person.

אבל בקרבנות אינו כן אפי' מת אביו והניח לו ריבוא או ספינתו בים ובאה לו ברבואות אין להקדש בה כלום:

But with regard to the offerings of a leper that is not so, as the offerings that one brings are determined by his status at the time he brings them. Even if it is common knowledge that his father died and left him an inheritance of ten thousand dinars, or that his ship is at sea and merchandise valued at ten thousand dinars is coming into his possession, the Temple treasury has no share in it. His payment is determined solely by his present situation.

גמ׳ עני והעשיר (ויקרא כז, ח) אשר תשיג יד הנודר עשיר והעני על פי אשר תשיג

GEMARA: The mishna teaches: If he was destitute when he took the oath and he became wealthy, he gives the valuation appropriate for a wealthy individual. The Gemara explains that this is derived from the verse: “According to the means of him who vowed shall the priest valuate him” (Leviticus 27:8), and in this case he had the means of a wealthy individual when he was ready to give the donation. The mishna further teaches that one who was wealthy and became destitute also gives the valuation as though he was wealthy. The Gemara explains that this is derived from the beginning of the same verse: “According to [al pi] the means of him who vowed shall the priest valuate him.” The phrase al pi serves to emphasize the moment when the person uttered the vow with his mouth [peh], and at that moment he was wealthy.

ר' יהודה אומר אפי' עני והעשיר וחזר והעני נותן ערך עשיר מ"ט דר' יהודה אמר קרא (ויקרא כז, ח) ואם מך הוא מערכך עד שיהא במכותו מתחלתו ועד סופו

§ The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yehuda says: Even if one made a valuation when he was destitute and he became wealthy and again became destitute, he gives the valuation according to the means of a wealthy person. The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Yehuda? The verse states: “But if he is too poor for your valuation” (Leviticus 27:8). The word order serves to emphasize “he,” which indicates that he is considered poor only if he remains in his state of poverty from his beginning until his end of involvement with the vow.

אלא מעתה (ויקרא יד, כא) ואם דל הוא הכי נמי עד שיהא בדלותו מתחלתו ועד סופו

The Gemara objects: If that is so, then when the verse similarly states with regard to a destitute leper: “And if he is poor” (Leviticus 14:21), so too, Rabbi Yehuda should maintain that he is considered poor only if he is in his state of poverty from his beginning until his end of bringing the leper’s offering, but if he was wealthy in between he should be obligated to bring the offering of a wealthy individual, even if he is now poor.

וכי תימא הכי נמי והתנן מצורע שהביא קרבנותיו עני והעשיר עשיר והעני הכל הולך אחר חטאת דברי ר' שמעון

And if you would say that indeed, this is the halakha, but didn’t we learn in a mishna (Nega’im 14:11): With regard to a leper who brought his offerings when he was destitute, and subsequently became wealthy, or he brought his offerings when he was wealthy and then became destitute, everything follows the sin offering that the leper brings. If he was wealthy when he brought the sin offering he brings the burnt offering of a wealthy individual; if he was destitute when he brought the sin offering he brings the burnt offering of a destitute individual. This is the statement of Rabbi Shimon.

רבי יהודה אומר הכל הולך אחר אשם ותניא ר' אליעזר בן יעקב אומר הכל הולך אחר צפרים

Rabbi Yehuda says: Everything, i.e., the sin offering and the burnt offering, follows his status at the time the leper’s guilt offering is brought. And it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: Everything follows the offering of the birds, which are brought by the leper seven days earlier as part of his purification process. Clearly, everyone agrees that one brings the offerings of the destitute even if he is not destitute from the beginning until the end of the process.

הא אתמר עלה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ושלשתן מקרא אחד דרשו (ויקרא יד, לב) אשר לא תשיג ידו בטהרתו רבי שמעון סבר דבר המכפר מאי ניהו חטאת

The Gemara explains: It was stated with regard to this dispute that Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: And all three of these tanna’im derived their opinions from one verse, which deals with the destitute leper: “This is the law of him in whom is the mark of leprosy, whose means do not suffice for that which pertains to his purification” (Leviticus 14:32). Rabbi Shimon holds: The individual’s status depends on an item that atones, and what is it? The sin offering.

ור' יהודה סבר דבר המכשיר ומאי ניהו אשם ר' אליעזר בן יעקב סבר הגורם לו טהרה ומאי ניהו ציפרים

And Rabbi Yehuda holds: His status depends on an item that renders him fit to enter the Temple and eat consecrated food, and what is it? The guilt offering. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov holds: His status depends on that which causes him ritual purity, and what is it? The sacrificial birds, as the rite of the birds partially purifies him and enables him to bring the rest of his offerings and to complete his purification process. If so, in the particular case of a leper bringing his own offerings, it is a Torah edict that one does not need to be destitute throughout the entire process, which is why, with regard to one who takes a vow to bring the offerings of a leper, Rabbi Yehuda does not derive from the verse: “And if he is poor,” that he is considered poor only if he is in a state of poverty from the beginning, i.e., when he takes the vow, until the end, i.e., when he fulfills it.

ואלא הוא למה לי לרבי כדאית ליה ולרבנן כדאית להו

But in that case why do I need the exclusion in the verse: “And if he is poor”? The Gemara answers: According to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, it is necessary in accordance with his opinion stated earlier, that it serves to exclude a wealthy individual who vows to provide the offering of a destitute leper, i.e., he must bring the offering of a wealthy individual. And according to the Rabbis, it is necessary in accordance with their opinion, that it serves to exclude a destitute individual who vows to provide the offering of the wealthy leper, and he must bring the offering of a wealthy individual.

אלא מעתה (ויקרא ה, א) והוא עד עד שיהא כשר מתחלתו ועד סופו

The Gemara objects: If that is so, that Rabbi Yehuda maintains that the phrase: “And if he is poor,” teaches that one is classified as destitute only if he is destitute from beginning to end, he should similarly derive from a verse that deals with testimony: “And he is a witness, whether he has seen or known, if he does not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity” (Leviticus 5:1), that this applies only if the witness is fit to testify from his beginning, when he obtained the information about which he is testifying, until his end, when he testifies.

וכי תימא הכי נמי והא תניא היה יודע לו בעדות עד שלא נעשה חתנו ונעשה חתנו פקח ונתחרש פתוח ונסתמא שפוי ונשתטה הרי זה פסול אבל היה יודע לו עדות עד שלא נעשה חתנו ונעשה חתנו

And if you would say that indeed, that is the halakha with regard to the qualification of a witness, but isn’t it taught in a baraita: If someone knew testimony about another before he, the one who knew the testimony, became the other’s son-in-law, and then he became his son-in-law; or when he was able to hear, and then he became a deaf-mute; or when he could see, and he subsequently became blind; or while he was halakhically competent, and he then became an imbecile; in all these cases, he is disqualified from testifying. But if someone knew testimony about another before he became his son-in-law, and he then became his son-in-law,