משמיה דר' עקיבא בר יוסף כוותיה אמר רב אשי ומאי קושיא דלמא להא מילתא בר מזליה הוא
in the name of the well-known tanna Rabbi Akiva bar Yosef in accordance with his statement. It certainly cannot be maintained that the first Sage is similar in his nature to the illustrious Rabbi Akiva, so he must have arrived at his statement through prophecy. Rav Ashi said: And what is the difficulty with explaining this? Perhaps they were born under the same constellation, and with regard to this issue the first Sage has the same understanding as Rabbi Akiva.
אלא אמר רב אשי תדע דאמר גברא רבה מילתא ומתאמרא הלכה למשה מסיני כוותיה ודלמא כסומא בארובה ולאו טעם יהיב
Rather, Rav Ashi said: Know that this is so, as a great man makes a statement and the same statement is then cited as a halakha transmitted to Moses from Sinai in accordance with his statement. The Sage makes a statement that corresponds to words pronounced in Heaven, which, without prophecy, is beyond human capability. The Gemara states: But perhaps he arrived at this idea by chance, without the assistance of prophecy, like a blind man who makes his way through a skylight. A blind man cannot deliberately find a skylight; therefore, his finding it occurs by chance. The Gemara answers: But does the Sage not offer a reason for his statement? The fact that he demonstrates an understanding of the issue indicates that he does not arrive at his idea by chance, but rather by prophecy.
א"ר יוחנן מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה נבואה מן הנביאים וניתנה לשוטים ולתינוקות לשוטים מאי היא כי הא דמר בר רב אשי דהוה קאי ברסתקא דמחוזא שמעיה לההוא שוטה דקאמר ריש מתיבתא דמליך במתא מחסיא טביומי חתים אמר מאן חתים טביומי ברבנן אנא שמע מינה לדידי קיימא לי שעתא קם אתא אדאתא אימנו רבנן לאותביה לרב אחא מדפתי ברישא
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: From the day that the Temple was destroyed, prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to imbeciles and children. The Gemara explains: In what way was prophecy given to imbeciles? It was like this incident involving Mar bar Rav Ashi, who was standing in the street [beristeka] of Meḥoza when he heard a certain imbecile say: The head of the yeshiva who will be appointed in Mata Meḥasya signs his name Tavyumei. Mar bar Rav Ashi said to himself: Who among the Sages signs his name Tavyumei? Nobody but me. Conclude from the statement by the imbecile that my hour has arrived, and I will reap success in this matter. He arose and went to Mata Meḥasya. By the time he arrived, the Sages had already decided to appoint Rav Aḥa of Difti as the head of the yeshiva.
כיון דשמעי דאתא שדור זוגא דרבנן לגביה לאימלוכי ביה עכביה הדר שדור זוגא דרבנן אחרינא עכביה גביה עד דמלו בי עשרה כיון דמלו בי עשרה פתח הוא ותנא ודרש לפי שאין פותחין בכלה פחות מעשרה
As soon as the Sages heard that Mar bar Rav Ashi had arrived, they determined not to proceed with their appointment without the approval of an important figure such as him. They sent a pair of Sages to him to consult with him, and he detained them. They again sent a pair of Sages to him, and he detained them as well. This continued until they completed a quorum of ten Sages. Once they reached ten men, Mar bar Rav Ashi opened his lecture, taught, and expounded. He did not speak earlier because one should not open a lecture during kalla, the gatherings for Torah study during the months of Elul and Adar, when less than ten men are present. He was then appointed as head of the yeshiva.
קרי רב אחא אנפשיה כל המריעין לו לא במהרה מטיבין לו וכל המטיבין לו לא במהרה מריעין לו
Understanding that he had been passed over for the position, Rav Aḥa of Difti read about himself the rabbinic aphorism: Anyone who is treated poorly will not soon be treated well; and anyone who is treated well will not soon be treated poorly. Rav Aḥa understood that he had lost the chance to be appointed, whereas Mar bar Rav Ashi had the good fortune to be appointed, and would remain in his position.
תנוקת מאי היא כי הא דבת רב חסדא הוה יתבה בכנפיה דאבוה הוו יתבי קמיה רבא ורמי בר חמא אמר לה מאן מינייהו בעית אמרה ליה תרוייהו אמר רבא ואנא בתרא
And in what way was prophecy given to children? It was like this incident involving the daughter of Rav Ḥisda, who when she was a child was sitting on her father’s lap while he sat and learned. Rava and Rami bar Ḥama were sitting before him. Rav Ḥisda jokingly said to his daughter: Which of them would you want as a husband? She said: I want both of them. Rava said: And I will be last. And this is what happened; first she married Rami bar Ḥama, and when he died she married Rava.
א"ר אבדימי דמן חיפה קודם שיאכל אדם וישתה יש לו שתי לבבות לאחר שאוכל ושותה אין לו אלא לב אחד שנאמר (איוב יא, יב) איש נבוב ילבב וכתיב (שמות כז, ח) נבוב לוחות ומתרגמינן חליל לוחין
Having already cited one statement of Rabbi Avdimi from Haifa, the Gemara cites another statement in his name: Rabbi Avdimi from Haifa says: Before a person eats and drinks he has two hearts, meaning his heart is unsettled because he is distracted by hunger. But after he eats and drinks he has only one heart, as it is stated: “A hollow [nevuv] man is two-hearted” (Job 11:12). How is it indicated that “nevuv” means hungry? As it is written concerning the altar: “Nevuv luḥot” (Exodus 27:8), which we translate into Aramaic as: Hollow with planks, meaning that a hollow person, i.e., one who has not yet eaten, is two-hearted.
אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע הרגיל ביין אפילו לבו אטום כבתולה יין מפקחו שנאמר (זכריה ט, יז) ותירוש ינובב בתולות:
The Gemara continues to discuss the meaning of nevuv, Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, says: With regard to one who is accustomed to wine, although his heart, i.e., his mind, is closed like a virgin, wine opens it, as it is stated: “And new wine opens [yenovev] the virgins” (Zechariah 9:17). The word yenovev is used here in the sense of clearing out a space: Even if one’s heart and mind are closed, wine will open them to understanding.
אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע פשיטא חלק בכור וחלק פשוט יהבינן ליה אחד מצרא יבם מאי
§ The Gemara resumes its discussion of the division of property. Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, says: It is obvious that if a person inherits a portion of his father’s estate because he is the firstborn, and he also inherits a portion of that estate as an ordinary son, like the rest of his brothers, he is given his two portions along one boundary, so that they are adjacent to one another and form a single property. The Gemara asks: What is the halakha with regard to a yavam, a man whose brother died without children, who is obligated by Torah law to marry his deceased brother’s widow or grant her ḥalitza? If he marries his brother’s widow, the halakha dictates that he receive his brother’s portion of their father’s estate in addition to his own. Does he too receive the two portions along one boundary?
אמר אביי היא היא מאי טעמא בכור קרייה רחמנא רבא אמר אמר קרא (דברים כה, ו) והיה הבכור הוייתו כבכור ואין חלוקתו כבכור
Abaye said: This case is equal to that case. What is the reason for this? The Merciful One calls the yavam “firstborn” (see Yevamot 24a) and therefore he is treated like a firstborn in all regards. He receives the two portions of his father’s estate as a single parcel of land. But Rava said: The verse states: “And it shall be, the firstborn” (Deuteronomy 25:6). With regard to his being, i.e., his inheritance itself, he is like a firstborn; but as for the distribution of the estate, he is not like a firstborn, and the brothers are not obligated to give him two adjacent portions.
ההוא דזבן ארעא אמצרא דבי נשיה כי קא פלגו אמר להו פליגו לי אמצראי אמר רבה כגון זה כופין על מדת סדום
It is reported that a certain person bought land along the boundary of his father’s property. After some time the father died. When they came to divide the estate, this person said to his brothers: Give me my portion of the estate along my boundary. Rabba said: In a case such as this, the court compels people to refrain from conduct characteristic of Sodom. The court forces a person to waive his legal rights in order to prevent him from acting in a manner characteristic of the wicked city of Sodom. Since it makes no difference to the brothers which portion they receive since the parcels of land must be of equal value, whereas it matters to this brother that the area he receives should be adjacent to the land he already bought, the court forces the others to give this brother his portion along his boundary.
מתקיף לה רב יוסף אמרי ליה אחי מעלינן ליה עלויא כי נכסי דבי בר מריון והלכתא כרב יוסף
Rav Yosef objects to this, saying this is not a case involving conduct characteristic of Sodom, since the brothers can explain their refusal to grant the request. The brothers can say to him: We assess this field that you want for yourself as particularly valuable, like the property of the house of bar Maryon. The brothers can claim that the portion he wants is more desirable than the others, and for that reason they do not want to give it to him. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yosef, and the brothers can refuse the request.
תרי ארעתא אתרי נגרי אמר רבה כגון זה כופין על מדת סדום מתקיף לה רב יוסף זמנין דהאי מדויל והאי לא מדויל והלכתא כרב יוסף
If a father leaves his two sons two parcels of land next to two water channels [nigrei], and one brother requests the field that is next to a field that he already owns, Rabba says: In a case such as this, the court compels people to refrain from conduct characteristic of Sodom and allows that brother to receive the field adjoining his own. Rav Yosef objects to this, saying that if the other brother protests and wants that parcel of land, it is not a case involving conduct characteristic of Sodom because he may have a valid reason for objecting: Sometimes this water channel continues running well, while this second one does not continue running well; therefore, the second brother wants to receive land that adjoins a water channel on both sides. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yosef.
תרתי אחד נגרא א"ר יוסף כגון זה כופין על מדת סדום מתקיף לה אביי מצי אמר בעינא דאפיש אריסי והלכתא כרב יוסף אפושי לאו מילתא היא
If a father leaves his two sons two parcels of land next to one channel and one of the brothers already owns a field next to one of those parcels of land, Rav Yosef said: In a case such as this, the court compels people to refrain from conduct characteristic of Sodom and allows that brother to receive the field adjoining his own. Abaye objects to this, saying that this is not a case involving conduct characteristic of Sodom because the other brother can say to him: I want the number of sharecroppers to increase. If my field is in the middle and you have fields on either side, you will need more sharecroppers to work them and my field will enjoy greater security. And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yosef because the increase of sharecroppers is considered as nothing, and this is therefore not a valid reason for objecting.