אִם לָאו אִי אַתָּה יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיא מַה שֶּׁהֶחְזַרְתִּי אָמַר הֵטִיחַ עָלַי בֶּן עוּזִּיאֵל הֵטִיחַ עָלַי בֶּן עוּזִּיאֵל but if not, as the property is mine and I have the right to do with it whatever I want, you cannot repossess what I returned to the man’s children either. Shammai then said: Ben Uzziel reprimanded me; ben Uzziel reprimanded me, and I have no response.
מֵעִיקָּרָא מַאי סָבַר מִשּׁוּם מַעֲשֶׂה דְּבֵית חוֹרוֹן The Gemara asks: What did Shammai hold initially, causing him to protest Yonatan ben Uzziel’s behavior? The Gemara answers: He protested due to the incident that happened in the city of Beit Ḥoron.
דִּתְנַן מַעֲשֶׂה בְּבֵית חוֹרוֹן בְּאֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה אָבִיו מוּדָּר הֵימֶנּוּ הֲנָאָה וְהָיָה מַשִּׂיא בְּנוֹ וְאָמַר לַחֲבֵירוֹ הֲרֵי חָצֵר וּסְעוּדָה נְתוּנִין לְךָ בְּמַתָּנָה וְאֵינָן לְפָנֶיךָ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבֹא אַבָּא וְיֹאכַל עִמָּנוּ בַּסְּעוּדָה As we learned in a mishna (Nedarim 48a): An incident occurred involving someone in the city of Beit Ḥoron whose father had vowed not to derive benefit from him, and the son was marrying off his own son and wanted his father to be able to participate in the wedding meal. And he therefore said to another: The courtyard where the wedding will take place and the wedding meal are hereby given to you as a gift, but they are given to you only so that my father will come and eat with us at the meal. The son wanted to circumvent the prohibition imposed by the vow and enable his father to participate in the meal, so he transferred ownership to someone else for that purpose.
אָמַר לוֹ אִם שֶׁלִּי הֵן הֲרֵי הֵן מוּקְדָּשִׁין לַשָּׁמַיִם אָמַר לוֹ לֹא נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת שֶׁלִּי שֶׁתַּקְדִּישֵׁם לַשָּׁמַיִם אָמַר לוֹ לֹא נָתַתָּ לִי אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ אֶלָּא שֶׁתְּהֵא אַתָּה וְאָבִיךְ אוֹכְלִין וְשׁוֹתִין וּמְרַצִּין זֶה לָזֶה וִיהֵא עָוֹן תָּלוּי בְּרֹאשׁוֹ The recipient said to him: If they are mine, they are all hereby consecrated to Heaven, i.e., the Temple, and are forbidden to everyone. The son said to him in anger: I did not give you my property so that you should consecrate them to Heaven. The recipient said to him: You gave me your property only so that you and your father would eat and drink and thereby appease each other, and the sin of transgressing the vow would be hung on his, i.e., my, head, as I enabled the transgression.
אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים כׇּל מַתָּנָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ שֶׁאִם הִקְדִּישָׁהּ מוּקְדֶּשֶׁת אֵינָהּ מַתָּנָה: The mishna continues: In reference to this incident, the Sages said: Any gift that is not so absolute that if the recipient were to consecrate it, the gift would be consecrated, is not a gift. In other words, in order for it to be a gift the recipient must have the ability to consecrate it. Similarly, Shammai had initially reasoned that the gift to Yonatan ben Uzziel was not a valid gift, as its sole purpose was so that the property should not fall into the possession of the man’s children. Once he discovered that Yonatan ben Uzziel consecrated part of the gift, he realized that it was, in fact, a valid gift, with which the recipient could do whatever he pleased.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שְׁמוֹנִים תַּלְמִידִים הָיוּ לוֹ לְהִלֵּל הַזָּקֵן שְׁלֹשִׁים מֵהֶן רְאוּיִם שֶׁתִּשְׁרֶה עֲלֵיהֶן שְׁכִינָה כְּמֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ שְׁלֹשִׁים מֵהֶן רְאוּיִם שֶׁתַּעֲמוֹד לָהֶן חַמָּה כִּיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן עֶשְׂרִים בֵּינוֹנִיִּים גָּדוֹל שֶׁבְּכוּלָּן יוֹנָתָן בֶּן עוּזִּיאֵל קָטָן שֶׁבְּכוּלָּן רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי § Apropos Yonatan ben Uzziel, the Gemara cites that the Sages taught: Hillel the Elder had eighty students. Thirty of them were sufficiently worthy that the Divine Presence should rest upon them as it did upon Moses our teacher, thirty of them were sufficiently worthy that the sun should stand still for them as it did for Joshua bin Nun, and twenty were on an intermediate level between the other two. The greatest of all the students was Yonatan ben Uzziel, and the least of them was Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai.
אָמְרוּ עָלָיו עַל רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחַ מִקְרָא וּמִשְׁנָה תַּלְמוּד הֲלָכוֹת וְאַגָּדוֹת דִּקְדּוּקֵי תוֹרָה וְדִקְִדּוּקֵי סוֹפְרִים וְקַלִּין וַחֲמוּרִין וּגְזֵרוֹת שָׁווֹת וּתְקוּפוֹת וְגִמַטְרִיָּאוֹת וּמִשְׁלוֹת כּוֹבְסִים וּמִשְׁלוֹת שׁוּעָלִים שִׂיחַת שֵׁדִים וְשִׂיחַת דְּקָלִים וְשִׂיחַת מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת וְדָבָר גָּדוֹל וְדָבָר קָטָן The Sages said about Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai that he did not neglect Bible and Mishna; Talmud; halakhot and aggadot; minutiae of the Torah and minutiae of the scribes; and the hermeneutical principles of the Torah with regard to a fortiori inferences; and verbal analogies; and the calculation of the calendric seasons; and numerical values of Hebrew letters [gimatriyot]; and parables of launderers, which are folktales that can be used to explain the Torah, and parables of foxes. In addition, he did not neglect esoteric matters, including the conversation of demons, and the conversation of palm trees, and the conversation of ministering angels, and more generally, a great matter and a small matter.
דָּבָר גָּדוֹל מַעֲשֵׂה מֶרְכָּבָה וְדָבָר קָטָן הֲוָיוֹת דְּאַבָּיֵי וְרָבָא לְקַיֵּים מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר לְהַנְחִיל אוֹהֲבַי יֵשׁ וְאֹצְרֹתֵיהֶם אֲמַלֵּא The Gemara elaborates: A great matter is referring to the secrets of the Design of the Divine Chariot (see Ezekiel, chapter 1), the conduct of the transcendent universe, and a small matter is, for example, halakhot that were ultimately formulated in the framework of the discussions of Abaye and Rava. He did not neglect any of these disciplines, so as to fulfill that which is stated: “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance and that I may fill their treasuries” (Proverbs 8:21), as Rabban Yoḥanan was filled with the disciplines of Torah and wisdom.
וְכִי מֵאַחַר דְּקָטָן שֶׁבְּכוּלָּם כֵּן גָּדוֹל שֶׁבְּכוּלָּם עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה אָמְרוּ עָלָיו עַל יוֹנָתָן בֶּן עוּזִּיאֵל בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה כׇּל עוֹף שֶׁפּוֹרֵחַ עָלָיו נִשְׂרָף: The Gemara adds: And if the least of them was so prolific, the greatest of them was all the more so prolific. The Gemara relates that the Sages said of Yonatan ben Uzziel, the greatest of Hillel’s students, that when he would sit and engage in Torah study, the sanctity that he generated was so intense that any bird that would fly over him would be incinerated.
מַתְנִי׳ הָאוֹמֵר זֶה בְּנִי נֶאֱמָן זֶה אָחִי אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן וְיִטּוֹל עִמּוֹ בְּחֶלְקוֹ MISHNA: One who says: This is my son, is deemed credible. One who says: This is my brother, is not deemed credible with regard to his other brothers’ obligation to share the inheritance with the subject of his statement. When one claims that this man is his brother, this claim is accepted with regard to the speaker’s own portion, and the man in question takes a share of their father’s inheritance with him, i.e., from his portion.
מֵת יַחְזְרוּ נְכָסִים לִמְקוֹמָן If the man in question dies, the property he received from the father’s inheritance shall return to its place, i.e., to the possession of the brother who testified on his behalf, from whose portion he received a share.
נָפְלוּ לוֹ נְכָסִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר יִירְשׁוּ אֶחָיו עִמּוֹ: If property came into the man in question’s possession from somewhere else, other than from the father, and the man in question died, all of the brothers of the one who testified shall inherit with the one who testified, as according to his claim they too are the heirs of the deceased.
גְּמָ׳ זֶה בְּנִי נֶאֱמָן לְמַאי הִלְכְתָא אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל לְיוֹרְשׁוֹ וְלִפְטוֹר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ מִן הַיִּבּוּם gemara The mishna teaches that one who says: This is my son, is deemed credible. With regard to what halakha is this stated? Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: It is stated with regard to inheriting from him, i.e., the son inherits from the speaker, and with regard to rendering his wife exempt from levirate marriage. Because he claims that the person in question is his son, his wife is not required to enter into levirate marriage after his death, as he has a child.