Avodah Zarah 23aעבודה זרה כ״ג א
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23aכ״ג א

רבינא אמר לא קשיא הא לכתחלה הא דיעבד

§ The Gemara cites another resolution of the apparent contradiction between the mishna, which rules that gentiles are suspected of bestiality, and the baraita, which permits an animal purchased from gentiles to be sacrificed as an offering. Ravina said that it is not difficult; this mishna issues its ruling with regard to the halakha ab initio, while that baraita is referring to the halakha after the fact.

ומנא תימרא דשאני בין לכתחלה בין לדיעבד דתנן לא תתייחד אשה עמהם מפני שחשודין על העריות ורמינהו האשה שנחבשה בידי עובדי כוכבים ע"י ממון מותרת לבעלה ע"י נפשות אסורה לבעלה

The Gemara asks: And from where do you say that there is a difference in this case between ab initio and after the fact? As we learned in the mishna: A woman may not seclude herself with them because they are suspected of engaging in forbidden sexual intercourse. And one can raise a contradiction from another mishna (Ketubot 26b): With regard to a woman who was imprisoned by gentiles, if she was imprisoned due to monetary matters she is permitted to her husband even if he is a priest, as there is no concern that she was raped. If she was imprisoned due to a capital offense she is forbidden to her husband if he is a priest, as the captors would not restrain themselves from raping her. The first clause of the mishna in Ketubot rules that a woman who was imprisoned in seclusion with gentiles is not assumed to have engaged in intercourse with them. This apparently contradicts the statement of the mishna here, which rules that a woman may not seclude herself with gentiles.

אלא לאו ש"מ שאני לן בין לכתחלה לדיעבד ממאי דלמא לעולם אימא לך אפילו דיעבד נמי לא והכא היינו טעמא דמתיירא משום הפסד ממונו

The Gemara continues: Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from here that there is a difference for us between ab initio, as in the mishna here, and after the fact, as in the mishna in Ketubot? The Gemara rejects this conclusion: From where can this be proven? Perhaps I could actually say to you: Generally, even after the fact, one may not assume that a woman who was secluded with a gentile did not engage in intercourse with him, and here, in the mishna in Ketubot, this is the reason that she is permitted to her husband even after having been imprisoned: Since her husband might not agree to pay if his wife was raped, the gentile is fearful of raping her due to the potential loss of his money.

תדע דקתני סיפא ע"י נפשות אסורה לבעלה ותו לא מידי

The Gemara adds: Know that this is the explanation, as the latter clause of that mishna teaches: If she was imprisoned due to a capital offense she is forbidden to her husband. Clearly, the difference is that in this case there is no incentive for the gentiles to leave her unharmed. The Gemara concludes: And nothing more needs discussion, as this is certainly the correct interpretation of that mishna.

רבי פדת אמר לא קשיא הא רבי אליעזר הא רבנן דתנן גבי פרת חטאת ר' אליעזר אומר אינה נקחת מן העובדי כוכבים וחכמים מתירין מאי לאו בהא קמיפלגי דר"א סבר חיישינן לרביעה ורבנן סברי לא חיישינן לרביעה

Rabbi Pedat said: The contradiction between the mishna, which rules that gentiles are suspected of bestiality, and the baraita, which permits an animal purchased from gentiles to be sacrificed as an offering, is not difficult; this mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, while that baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis. As we learned in a mishna (Para 2:1) with regard to the red heifer of purification: Rabbi Eliezer says that it may not be purchased from gentiles, and the Rabbis permit it to be purchased from gentiles. Rabbi Pedat explains: What, is it not correct to say that Rabbi Eliezer and the Rabbis disagree with regard to this issue, that Rabbi Eliezer holds that we are concerned that a person might have engaged in bestiality with the animal, and the Rabbis hold that we are not concerned that a person engaged in bestiality with the animal?

ממאי דלמא דכ"ע לא חיישינן לרביעה והכא היינו טעמא דרבי אליעזר כדרב יהודה אמר רב דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב הניח עליהן עודה של שקין פסלה ובעגלה עד שתמשוך בה

The Gemara rejects this conclusion: From where do you know that this is the case? Perhaps everyone agrees that we are not concerned that a person might have engaged in bestiality with the animal, and here, this is the reasoning of Rabbi Eliezer: He holds in accordance with a statement that Rabbi Yehuda says that Rav says. As Rabbi Yehuda says that Rav says: If one placed a bundle of sacks upon a red heifer, he has rendered it unfit for purification, as a red heifer is fit only if it has not borne any burden, in accordance with the verse: “Upon which never came a yoke” (Numbers 19:2); and in the case of the heifer whose neck is broken, it is not rendered unfit until you pull a load with it, as the verse states: “And which has not drawn in the yoke” (Deuteronomy 21:3).

מר סבר חיישינן ומר סבר לא חיישינן לא ס"ד משום ניחא פורתא לא מפסיד טובא

The Gemara elaborates: One Sage, Rabbi Eliezer, holds: A red heifer purchased from a gentile cannot be used for purification because we are concerned that it might have been used for labor, and one Sage, the Rabbis, holds: We are not concerned that the gentile used it for labor. Accordingly, the disagreement in that mishna does not relate to a concern with regard to bestiality. The Gemara responds: No; it cannot enter your mind that Rabbi Eliezer prohibits purchasing a red heifer from a gentile due to the concern that he might have placed sacks upon it, as due to the slight convenience of placing a bundle of sacks upon the heifer, the gentile will not forfeit the potential to earn a great deal of money which he can obtain by selling the heifer.

ה"נ לימא משום הנאה פורתא לא מפסיד טובא התם יצרו תוקפו

The Gemara counters: So too, let us say: Due to the slight pleasure of engaging in bestiality with an animal, a gentile will not forfeit a great deal of money which he can otherwise obtain by selling the heifer. The Gemara responds: There, with regard to bestiality, his inclination overcomes him, and he is apt to engage in bestiality with the heifer despite the fact that he knows it is to his disadvantage to do so.

ודלמא דכולי עלמא לא חיישינן לרביעה והכא היינו טעמא דר"א כדתני שילא דתני שילא מ"ט דר' אליעזר (במדבר יט, ב) דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו אליך בני ישראל יקחו ואין העובדי כוכבים יקחו

The Gemara suggests: And perhaps everyone agrees that we are not concerned that a person might have engaged in bestiality with the animal, and here, this is the reason of Rabbi Eliezer, in accordance with that which Sheila taught, as Sheila taught in a baraita: What is the reason of Rabbi Eliezer? The verse states: “Speak unto the children of Israel that they take to you a red heifer” (Numbers 19:2). This teaches that the children of Israel take the red heifer, but gentiles do not take the red heifer.

לא סלקא דעתך דקתני סיפא וכן היה רבי אליעזר פוסל בכל הקרבנות כולן ואי סלקא דעתך כדתני שילא בשלמא פרה כתיב בה קיחה אלא כולהו קרבנות קיחה כתיב בהו ודלמא עד כאן לא פליגי רבנן עליה דרבי אליעזר

The Gemara answers: It should not enter your mind to say so, as the latter clause of that same baraita teaches: And similarly, Rabbi Eliezer would disqualify an animal purchased from a gentile in the case of all offerings. The Gemara elaborates: And if it should enter your mind that Rabbi Eliezer’s reason is in accordance with that which Sheila taught, granted, in the case of the red heifer a term of taking is written, but is a term of taking written with regard to all other offerings? Since a term of taking does not appear in the context of other offerings, this cannot be Rabbi Eliezer’s reasoning. The Gemara suggests: And perhaps the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Eliezer