ולרבי מאיר למאי איצטריך The Gemara asks: And as Rav stated his halakha in accordance with Rabbi Meir, who says that one who valuates a child less than a month old must pay his assessment, for what reason was it necessary for Rav to state his ruling? Isn’t this obvious?
מהו דתימא טעמא דרבי מאיר התם דגזר פחות מבן חודש אטו בן חודש אבל הכא דליכא למיגזר אימא לא קמ"ל טעמא דרבי מאיר דאין אדם מוציא דבריו לבטלה לא שנא הכא ול"ש הכא The Gemara answers: It was necessary for him to state this halakha, lest you say that the reason that Rabbi Meir obligates him to pay the assessment there, in the case of the child, is that he decrees one must pay if the child is less than a month old, due to concern that otherwise people might mistakenly refrain from paying the valuation of a child who is a month old. But here, in the case of one who valuates a utensil, where there is no cause for such an error and therefore no need to decree, one might say that Rabbi Meir would not obligate him to pay. Therefore, Rav teaches us that since the reason of Rabbi Meir is that a person does not make his statement of consecration for naught, there is no difference between here, the case of a child, and there, with regard to a utensil. Rather, the halakha is the same in both cases.
כמאן אזלא הא דאמר רבה בר יוסף אמר רב ואמרי לה אמר רב ייבא בר יוסי אמר רב המקדיש בהמת חבירו נותן דמיה כמאן כרבי מאיר The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rabba bar Yosef says that Rav says, and some say that Rav Yeiva bar Yosei says that Rav says: One who consecrates the animal of another must give its assessment. In accordance with whom? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, that one does not issue a statement of consecration for naught. Since he knows that he cannot consecrate that which is not his, he meant to obligate himself in the animal’s assessment.
הא אמרה רב חדא זימנא דאמר רב גידל אמר רב האומר ערך כלי עלי נותן דמיו מהו דתימא התם הוא דיודע שאין ערך לכלי וגמר ואמר לשם דמים The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rav already say it once? As Rav Giddel says that Rav says: One who says: It is incumbent upon me to donate the valuation of a utensil, must give its assessment. The Gemara answers: Rav found it necessary to issue both statements, lest you say that this halakha applies only there, with regard to a utensil, as a person knows that a utensil has no valuation, i.e., that the term: Valuation, is not relevant to a utensil, and therefore it must be that he decided to donate money and says this expression as a reference to its monetary value, using the term: Valuation, imprecisely.
אבל בהמה דבת מיקדש היא איכא למימר דהכי קאמר אי אמינא לה למרה מזבין לה ניהלי תיקדוש לה מהשתא ואקרבה אבל דמי לא קאמר קמ"ל But in the case where one obligated himself in the valuation of another’s animal, which is subject to consecration, albeit not by him, there is room to say that this is what he is saying to himself: Were I to say to the owner that I want to buy it, he would sell it to me. Therefore, let it be consecrated from now, and I will sacrifice it once I purchase it from him. His intent is to consecrate the animal itself in order to sacrifice it. But since he did not say to himself that he would give its assessment, his statement is meaningless, as one cannot consecrate property that does not belong to him. Therefore, Rav teaches us that this is not the case. Rather, his statement should be interpreted in such a manner that he is obligated to give the assessment of the animal to the Temple treasury.
אמר רב אשי והוא דאמר עלי אבל אמר הרי זו לא: Rav Ashi says: And Rav’s ruling applies only in a case where one says: It is incumbent upon me to donate to the Temple treasury. But if he says: This animal is consecrated, he is not obligated to pay its assessment. This formulation clearly indicates that he intended to consecrate this animal, which he cannot do, as it does not yet belong to him.
מתני׳ עובד כוכבים רבי מאיר אומר נערך אבל לא מעריך רבי יהודה אומר מעריך אבל לא נערך וזה וזה מודים שנודרין ונידרין: MISHNA: With regard to a gentile, Rabbi Meir says: He is valuated in a case where a Jew says: It is incumbent upon me to donate the fixed value of this gentile. But a gentile does not take a vow of valuation to donate his fixed value or the value of others. Rabbi Yehuda says: He takes a vow of valuation, but is not valuated. And both this tanna, Rabbi Meir, and that tanna, Rabbi Yehuda, agree that gentiles vow to donate the assessment of another and are the object of vows, whereby one donates the assessment of a gentile.
גמ׳ ת"ר בני ישראל מעריכין ואין העובדי כוכבים מעריכין GEMARA: The Sages taught the following in a baraita that deals with the reasoning for the rulings of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda. It is written in the beginning of the passage in the Torah delineating valuations: “Speak to the children of Israel” (Leviticus 27:2). This teaches that “the children of Israel” can take a vow of valuation, but gentiles cannot take a vow of valuation.
יכול לא יהו נערכין תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כז, ב) איש דברי ר' מאיר One might have thought that this means that gentiles cannot be the object of a valuation either. Therefore, the verse states the inclusive expression: “When a man shall clearly utter a vow of persons to the Lord, according to your valuation” (Leviticus 27:2), to teach that in this regard, every “man,” even a gentile, is included in halakhot of valuations. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir.
אמר רבי מאיר וכי מאחר שמקרא אחד מרבה ומקרא אחד ממעט מפני מה אני אומר נערך ולא מעריך Rabbi Meir says in explanation of his opinion: Since one verse, “a man,” includes gentiles, and another verse, “the children of Israel,” excludes gentiles, for what reason do I say that a gentile can be the object of a valuation but cannot take a vow of valuation, rather than the reverse?
מפני שריבה הכתוב בנערכין יותר מבמעריכין שהרי חרש שוטה וקטן נערך אבל לא מעריכין It is due to the fact that the verse included more people in the category of those who are the object of a valuation than in the category of those who take a vow of valuation. As the mishna teaches (2a): A deaf-mute, an imbecile, and a minor are the object of a vow and are valuated, but they can neither vow to donate the assessment of a person nor take a vow of valuation.
רבי יהודה אומר בני ישראל נערכין ואין העובדי כוכבים נערכין יכול לא יהו מעריכין תלמוד לומר איש Rabbi Yehuda says that the verses should be interpreted in the reverse manner: “The children of Israel,” can be the object of a valuation but gentiles cannot be the object of a valuation. One might have thought that gentiles cannot take a vow of valuation either. Therefore, the verse states the inclusive expression: “A man” (Leviticus 27:2), to teach that in this regard, every “man,” even a gentile, is included in the halakha of valuations.
אמר רבי יהודה וכי מאחר שמקרא אחד מרבה ומקרא אחד ממעט מפני מה אני אומר עובד כוכבים מעריך ולא נערך מפני שריבה הכתוב במעריכין יותר מבנערכין שהרי טומטום ואנדרוגינוס מעריכין אבל לא נערכין Rabbi Yehuda says: Since one verse, “a man,” includes gentiles, and another verse, “the children of Israel,” excludes gentiles, for what reason do I say that a gentile can take a vow of a valuation but cannot be the object of a valuation? It is due to the fact that the verse included more people in the category of those who take a vow of valuation than in the category of those who are the object of a valuation. As the mishna teaches (2a): A tumtum and a hermaphrodite vow, are the object of a vow, and take vows of valuation, but they are not valuated.
אמר רבא הלכתיה דרבי מאיר מסתברא טעמיה לא מסתברא טעמא דרבי יהודה מסתברא הלכתיה לא מסתברא Rava says: Rabbi Meir’s halakha is reasonable, but his explanation is not reasonable. Conversely, Rabbi Yehuda’s explanation is reasonable, but his halakha is not reasonable.
הלכתיה דרבי מאיר מסתברא דכתיב (עזרא ד, ג) לא לכם ולנו לבנות (את) בית אלהינו טעמיה לא מסתברא דקא מייתי ליה מחרש שוטה וקטן שאני חרש שוטה וקטן דלאו בני דעה נינהו Rava elaborates: Rabbi Meir’s halakha that gentiles cannot take a valuation vow is reasonable, as it is written that the Jews who returned to Eretz Yisrael from Babylonia rejected the Samaritans’ request to assist them in the construction of the Second Temple, saying: “You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God” (Ezra 4:3). This supports Rabbi Meir’s contention that gentiles may not take vows of valuation, which are used for Temple maintenance. But his explanation is not reasonable, as he adduces proof for his halakha from the fact that a deaf-mute, an imbecile, and a minor cannot take a vow of valuation. This proof is unconvincing, since a deaf-mute, an imbecile, and a minor are different, as unlike gentiles, they lack the presumed mental competence to make a commitment.
טעמא דרבי יהודה מסתברא דקא מייתי ליה מטומטום ואנדרוגינוס דאף על גב דבני דעה נינהו מעטינהו רחמנא הלכתיה לא מסתברא דכתיב לא לכם ולנו לבנות (את) בית אלהינו By contrast, Rabbi Yehuda’s explanation is reasonable, in that he adduces proof for his halakha from the case of a tumtum and a hermaphrodite, as even though they possess the presumed mental competence to make a commitment, nevertheless the Merciful One excludes them from being valuated. Since they are comparable to gentiles, they can serve as a precedent. But his halakha that gentiles can take a valuation vow is not reasonable, as it is written: “You have nothing to do with us to build a house to our God,” which indicates that they may not contribute anything to Temple maintenance.
ורבי יהודה האי לא לכם ולנו מאי עביד ליה אמר רב חסדא אמר אבימי וערכו נגנז The Gemara asks: And Rabbi Yehuda, who holds that gentiles can take valuation vows and that the funds go to Temple maintenance, what does he do with this verse: “You have nothing to do with us”? Rav Ḥisda said that Avimi said: He derives from it that if a gentile takes a vow of valuation and he brings the money to the Temple, his valuation money is not utilized but rather is interred.
אלא מעתה לא ימעלו בו דתנן חמש חטאות המתות ומעות ההולכות לים המלח לא נהנין ולא מועלין The Gemara asks: If that is so, that the valuation is not utilized for the Temple, one who uses it should not be considered to have violated the prohibition of misuse. One who unwittingly derived benefit from the valuation should not be obligated to bring a guilt offering for misuse of consecrated property, as the Temple treasury does not derive benefit from it. As we learned in a baraita: With regard to the five sin offerings that may not be sacrificed and are left to die, and similarly, with regard to consecrated money that is taken and cast into the Dead Sea, as it is not fit for any purpose, one may not derive benefit from them ab initio. But after the fact, if one derived benefit from them he is not liable for misuse, as the Temple treasury has no use for them.
אלמה תניא גבי קדשי עובדי כוכבים במה דברים אמורים בקדשי מזבח אבל בקדשי בדק הבית מועלין בהן Why then is it taught in a baraita with regard to the consecrations of gentiles: In what case is this statement, that consecrations of gentiles are not subject to the halakhot of misuse, said? It is specifically with regard to consecrations for the altar. But with regard to consecrations for Temple maintenance, one who derives benefit from them is liable for misuse of consecrated property. Why is this the halakha, given the fact that the consecrations of a gentile are interred?
אלא אמר רבא משום רפיון ידים הוא דכתיב (עזרא ד, ד) ויהי עם הארץ מרפין ידי עם יהודה ומבהלים אותם לבנות: Rather, Rava said that actually Rabbi Yehuda maintains that the valuation of a gentile is given to Temple maintenance and is not interred. And as for that which the Jews said to the gentiles in the time of the Second Temple: “You have nothing to do with us,” that refusal was not for halakhic reasons. Rather, it was due to the gentiles’ attempt to foster weakening of the hands of those rebuilding the Temple. As it is written: “Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and harried them while they were building” (Ezra 4:4).