Bava Kamma 117aבבא קמא קי״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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117aקי״ז א

אי דינא אי קנסא א"ל אי דינא גמרינן מיניה אי קנסא לא גמרינן מיניה

if it is the halakha or if it is a fine? Rav Huna bar Ḥiyya said to him: If it is the halakha, we learn from it and apply this ruling to other cases, but if it is a fine, we do not learn from it, as it is possible that Rav Naḥman had a specific reason to impose a fine in this case.

ומנא תימרא דמקנסא לא גמרינן דתניא בראשונה היו אומרים המטמא והמנסך חזרו לומר אף המדמע

The Gemara asks: And from where do you say that we do not learn from the imposition of a fine in one case and apply the ruling in other cases? The Gemara answers that the source is as it is taught in a baraita: Initially, the Sages would say that one who renders another’s food ritually impure, thereby rendering it unfit for him to consume, and one who pours another’s wine as a libation for idol worship, thereby rendering it an item from which deriving benefit is prohibited, are liable to pay the owner for the financial loss they caused despite the fact that the fact that damage is not evident. Subsequently, they added to this list, to say that even one who intermingles teruma, the portion of the produce designated for the priest, with another’s non-sacred produce, thereby rendering the non-sacred food forbidden to non-priests, is liable to compensate the owner for the loss of value of the produce, as fewer people will be willing to buy it from him.

חזרו אין לא חזרו לא מאי טעמא לאו משום דקנסא הוא וקנסא לא גמרינן מיניה

The Gemara comments: It may be inferred from the baraita that it is only because the Sages subsequently added to the list that yes, one who intermingles teruma with another’s non-sacred produce must compensate him. But if they had not subsequently added to the list, he would not be liable. What is the reason that we do not learn that he is liable from the cases of one who renders another’s food impure or pours wine as a libation for idol worship, as this is also a case in which one causes damage that is not evident? Is it not due to the fact that his payment is a fine, and with regard to a fine, we do not learn from one case that it may be imposed in other circumstances?

לא מעיקרא סברי להפסד מרובה חששו להפסד מועט לא חששו ולבסוף סברי להפסד מועט נמי חששו

The Gemara answers: No, this is not the reason. Rather, initially the Sages maintained that they were concerned with regard to a large financial loss, e.g., the cases of one who renders another’s food impure or pours his wine as a libation for idol worship, but with regard to a small financial loss, e.g., one who intermingles teruma with another’s non-sacred produce, they were not concerned. And ultimately the Sages maintained that they were concerned with regard to a small loss as well and imposed liability.

איני והא תני אבוה דרבי אבין בראשונה היו אומרים המטמא והמדמע חזרו לומר אף המנסך חזרו אין לא חזרו לא

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But didn’t the father of Rabbi Avin teach the baraita as follows: Initially they would say that one who renders another’s produce impure and one who intermingles teruma with another’s non-sacred produce are both liable to pay for the financial loss that they caused, despite the fact that the damage is not evident. Subsequently, they added to this list, to say that even one who pours another’s wine as a libation for idol worship is also liable to pay a fine for the loss that he caused. It may be inferred that it is only because the Sages subsequently added to the list, that yes, one who pours the libation is liable. But if they had not subsequently added to the list, he would not be liable.

מאי טעמא לאו משום דלא גמרינן מקנסא

The Gemara comments: Since one who offers libations for idol worship causes a large financial loss, the rationale offered previously cannot apply to this version of the baraita. Accordingly, what is the reason that the liability for pouring another’s wine as a libation could not be extrapolated from the fine imposed for rendering another’s food impure or intermingling it with teruma? Is it not due to the fact that we do not learn from the imposition of a fine in one case that a fine may be imposed in other cases?

לא מעיקרא סברי כרבי אבין ולבסוף סברי כרבי ירמיה

The Gemara answers: No, this is not the reason. Rather, the reason is that initially the Sages held in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Avin, and ultimately they held in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yirmeya.

מעיקרא סברי כרבי אבין דאמר רבי אבין זרק חץ מתחילת ארבע ולבסוף ארבע וקרע שיראין בהליכתו פטור שהרי עקירה צורך הנחה היא ומתחייב בנפשו

The Gemara elaborates: Initially they held in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Avin, as Rabbi Avin says: If one stood in the public domain on Shabbat and shot an arrow from the beginning of an area measuring four cubits to the end of an area measuring four cubits, and the arrow tore another’s silks [shira’in] in the course of its travel through the air, the one who threw it is exempt from paying for the cloth. The reason for this is that lifting an item is a necessity for placing it elsewhere, and therefore the entire process, from when one shoots the arrow until it comes to a rest, is considered to be a single act. The one performing it is liable to receive the death penalty for violating Shabbat. One who performs a single act for which he is liable to receive the death penalty and is also liable to pay money receives only the death penalty. Similarly, one who pours another’s wine as a libation for idol worship incurs the death penalty, and is therefore exempt from paying for the wine.

ולבסוף סברי כר' ירמיה דא"ר ירמיה משעת הגבהה קנייה איחייב ליה ממון מתחייב בנפשו לא הוי עד שעת ניסוך

And ultimately they held that the liabilities are not incurred simultaneously, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yirmeya, as Rabbi Yirmeya says: From the time of the lifting, the thief acquires the wine and is therefore immediately liable to pay money to the owner. But he is not liable to receive the death penalty until the time that he pours the libation. Once the Sages concluded that the liabilities are not incurred simultaneously, they ruled that one who pours another’s wine as a libation for idol worship is liable to reimburse him.

רב הונא בר יהודה איקלע לבי אביוני אתא לקמיה דרבא א"ל כלום מעשה בא לידך א"ל ישראל שאנסוהו עובדי כוכבים והראה ממון חבירו בא לידי וחייבתיו

§ The Gemara returns to the matter of one who showed another’s field to thugs. Rav Huna bar Yehuda happened to come to the town of Bei Abiyonei and came before Rava, who said to him: Did any legal incident come to you for judgment recently? Rav Huna bar Yehuda said to him: There was a case of a Jew whom gentiles coerced and, as a result he showed them property belonging to another, which the gentiles later seized. He came to me for judgment, and I deemed him liable to compensate the owner for the loss.

א"ל אהדר עובדא למריה דתני ישראל שאנסוהו עובדי כוכבים והראה ממון חבירו פטור ואם נטל ונתן ביד חייב

Rava said to Rav Huna bar Yehuda: Reverse your decision in this case and return the money to its owner, i.e., the thug, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of a Jew whom gentiles coerced and, as a result he showed them property belonging to another that the gentiles later seized, he is exempt from reimbursing the owner of the property. But if he actively took the property and gave it to the gentiles by his own hand, he is liable to compensate the owner.

אמר רבה אם הראה מעצמו כנשא ונתן ביד דמי

The Gemara adds that Rabba says: If he showed the gentiles the property of his own volition, it is as though he actively took the property and gave it to the gentiles by his own hand, and he is liable to compensate the owner.

ההוא גברא דאנסוהו עובדי כוכבים ואחוי אחמרא דרב מרי בריה דרב פנחס בריה דרב חסדא א"ל דרי ואמטי בהדן דרא ואמטי בהדייהו אתא לקמיה דרב אשי פטריניה

The Gemara recounts another incident: There was a certain man that gentiles had coerced and so he showed them the wine of Rav Mari, son of Rav Pineḥas, son of Rav Ḥisda, and the gentiles said to him: Carry the wine and bring it with us. Complying with the gentiles, he carried and brought it with them. The case came before Rav Ashi, and he exempted the man from compensating Rav Mari for the wine.

א"ל רבנן לרב אשי והתניא אם נשא ונתן ביד חייב א"ל הני מילי היכא דלא אוקמיה עילויה מעיקרא אבל היכא דאוקמיה עילויה מעיקרא מיקלי קלייה

The Rabbis said to Rav Ashi: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: If he took the property and manually transferred it to the gentiles, he is liable to compensate the owner? Rav Ashi said to them: That statement applies only in a case where the Jew did not bring the gentiles to the property at the outset; but if he brought the gentiles to the property at the outset, it is as though he already burned it, as the gentiles then had access to the property. Since the damage inflicted by the Jew was committed by merely showing the wine to the gentiles, he is exempt from payment even though he later actively carried the wine with his hands.

איתיביה רבי אבהו לרב אשי אמר לו אנס הושיט לי פקיע עמיר זה או אשכול ענבים זה והושיט לו חייב הכא במאי עסקינן כגון דקאי בתרי עברי נהרא

Rabbi Abbahu raised an objection to the opinion of Rav Ashi from a baraita: In a case where a ruffian said to a Jew: Pass me this bundle of grain, or this cluster of grapes, and the Jew passed it to him, the Jew is liable to pay the owner of the grain or the grapes. Since the ruffian was already present, it is evident from this baraita that one who hands over another’s property to a third party is liable despite the fact that the latter already had access to it. Rav Ashi answered: With what are we dealing here? We are dealing with a case where the Jew and the ruffian were standing on two different sides of a river, so that the ruffian did not have access to the item when the Jew passed it to him.

דיקא נמי דקתני הושיט ולא תני תן ש"מ:

The Gemara points out that the language of the baraita is also precise according to this explanation, as it teaches its ruling using the term: Pass, which indicates that the ruffian could not have reached the item himself, and it did not teach using the term: Give, which would indicate that the ruffian was standing next to the other individual. The Gemara concludes: Learn from the language of the baraita that Rav Ashi’s interpretation is correct.

ההוא שותא דהוו מנצו עלה בי תרי האי אמר דידי הוא והאי אמר דידי הוא אזל חד מנייהו ומסרה לפרהגנא דמלכא אמר אביי יכול לומר אנא כי מסרי דידי מסרי א"ל רבא וכל כמיניה אלא אמר רבא משמתינן ליה עד דמייתי ליה וקאי בדינא

The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain fishing net over which two people were quarreling. This one said: It is mine, and that one said: It is mine. One of them went and gave it to an officer [lefarhagna] of the king. Abaye said: He is exempt from payment because he can say to the court: When I gave it to the official, I gave what is mine. Rava said to Abaye: And is it in his power to do so when the ownership of the net is the subject of dispute? Rather, Rava said: We excommunicate him until he brings the net back and stands in court for adjudication.

ההוא גברא דהוה בעי אחוויי אתיבנא דחבריה אתא לקמיה דרב א"ל לא תחוי ולא תחוי א"ל מחוינא ומחוינא יתיב רב כהנא קמיה דרב שמטיה לקועיה מיניה

The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain man who desired to show another individual’s straw to the gentile authorities, who would seize it. He came before Rav, who said to him: Do not show it and do not show it, i.e., you are absolutely prohibited from showing it. The man said to him: I will show it and I will show it, i.e., I will certainly show it. Rav Kahana was sitting before Rav, and, hearing the man’s disrespectful response, he dislodged the man’s neck from him, i.e., he broke his neck and killed him.

קרי רב עילויה (ישעיהו נא, כ) בניך עולפו שכבו בראש כל חוצות כתוא מכמר מה תוא זה כיון שנפל במכמר אין מרחמין עליו אף ממון של ישראל כיון שנפל ביד עובדי כוכבים אין מרחמין עליו

Seeing Rav Kahana’s action, Rav read the following verse about him: “Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as an antelope in a net” (Isaiah 51:20). Just as with regard to this antelope, once it falls into the net, the hunter does not have mercy upon it, so too with regard to the money of a Jew, once it falls into the hand of gentiles, they do not have mercy upon him, i.e., the Jew. Since gentiles who seek a Jew’s money will kill him in order to seize the property, Rav Kahana acted appropriately when he broke the miscreant’s neck, as he protected the Jew’s property and, by extension, the Jew himself.

א"ל רב כהנא עד האידנא הוו פרסאי דלא קפדי אשפיכות דמים והשתא איכא יוונאי דקפדו אשפיכות דמים ואמרי מרדין מרדין קום סק לארעא דישראל וקביל עלך דלא תקשי לרבי יוחנן שבע שנין

Rav then said to Rav Kahana: Kahana, until now there were Persian rulers who were not particular about bloodshed. But now there are Greeks who are particular about bloodshed, and they will say: Murder [meradin], murder, and they will press charges against you. Therefore, get up and ascend to Eretz Yisrael to study there under Rabbi Yoḥanan, and accept upon yourself that you will not raise any difficulties to the statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan for seven years.

אזיל אשכחיה לריש לקיש דיתיב וקא מסיים מתיבתא דיומא לרבנן אמר להו ריש לקיש היכא אמרו ליה אמאי אמר להו האי קושיא והאי קושיא והאי פירוקא והאי פירוקא אמרו ליה לריש לקיש אזל ריש לקיש א"ל לרבי יוחנן ארי עלה מבבל לעיין מר במתיבתא דלמחר

Rav Kahana went to Eretz Yisrael and found Reish Lakish, who was sitting and reviewing Rabbi Yoḥanan’s daily lecture in the academy for the Rabbis, i.e., the students in the academy. When he finished, Rav Kahana said to the students: Where is Reish Lakish? They said to him: Why do you wish to see him? Rav Kahana said to them: I have this difficulty and that difficulty with his review of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s lecture, and this resolution and that resolution to the questions he raised. They told this to Reish Lakish. Reish Lakish then went and said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: A lion has ascended from Babylonia, and the Master ought to examine the discourse he will deliver in the academy tomorrow, as Rav Kahana may raise difficult questions about the material.

למחר אותבוה בדרא קמא קמיה דר' יוחנן אמר שמעתתא ולא אקשי שמעתתא ולא אקשי אנחתיה אחורי שבע דרי עד דאותביה בדרא בתרא א"ל רבי יוחנן לר"ש בן לקיש ארי שאמרת נעשה שועל

The next day, they seated Rav Kahana in the first row, in front of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated a halakha and Rav Kahana did not raise a difficulty, in accordance with Rav’s instruction. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated another halakha and again, Rav Kahana did not raise a difficulty. As a result, they placed Rav Kahana further back by one row. This occurred until he had been moved back seven rows, until he was seated in the last row. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish: The lion you mentioned has become a fox, i.e., he is not knowledgeable.

אמר יהא רעוא דהני שבע דרי להוו חילוף שבע שנין דאמר לי רב קם אכרעיה א"ל נהדר מר ברישא אמר שמעתתא ואקשי אוקמיה בדרא קמא אמר שמעתתא ואקשי

Rav Kahana said to himself: May it be God’s will that these seven rows I have been moved should replace the seven years that Rav told me to wait before raising difficulties to the statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan. He stood up on his feet and said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: Let the Master go back to the beginning of the discourse and repeat what he said. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated a halakha and Rav Kahana raised a difficulty. Therefore, they placed him in the first row, and again, Rav Yoḥanan stated a halakha, and he raised a difficulty.

ר' יוחנן הוה יתיב אשבע בסתרקי שלפי ליה חדא בסתרקא מתותיה אמר שמעתתא ואקשי ליה עד דשלפי ליה כולהו בסתרקי מתותיה עד דיתיב על ארעא רבי יוחנן גברא סבא הוה ומסרחי גביניה אמר להו דלו לי עיני ואחזייה דלו ליה במכחלתא דכספא

Rabbi Yoḥanan was sitting upon seven cushions [bistarkei] so that he could be seen by all the students, and since he could not answer Rav Kahana’s questions, he removed one cushion from under himself to demonstrate that he was lowering himself out of respect for Rav Kahana. He then stated another halakha and Rav Kahana raised another difficulty. This happened repeatedly until Rabbi Yoḥanan removed all the cushions from underneath himself until he was sitting on the ground. Rabbi Yoḥanan was an old man and his eyebrows drooped over his eyes. He said to his students: Uncover my eyes for me and I will see Rav Kahana, so they uncovered his eyes for him with a silver eye brush.

חזא דפרטיה שפוותיה סבר אחוך קמחייך ביה חלש דעתיה ונח נפשיה למחר אמר להו רבי יוחנן לרבנן חזיתו לבבלאה היכי עביד אמרו ליה דרכיה הכי על לגבי מערתא חזא דהוה

Once his eyes were uncovered, Rabbi Yoḥanan saw that Rav Kahana’s lips were split and thought that Rav Kahana was smirking at him. As a result, Rabbi Yoḥanan was offended, and Rav Kahana died as punishment for the fact that he offended Rabbi Yoḥanan. The next day, Rabbi Yoḥanan said to the Rabbis, his students: Did you see how that Babylonian, Rav Kahana, behaved in such a disrespectful manner? They said to him: His usual manner of appearance is such, and he was not mocking you. Hearing this, Rabbi Yoḥanan went up to Rav Kahana’s burial cave and saw that it was