כסתם יחידאה לא אמר did not say to apply his principle, that the halakha is always in accordance with an unattributed mishna, in a case where the mishna expresses the opinion of an individual Sage. According to this interpretation Rabbi Yoḥanan does not rule in accordance with the mishna, due to the fact that it represents the opinion of an individual Sage, Rabbi Dosa. Rather, he follows the majority opinion. Yet now that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the pious ones and Rabbi Dosa said the same thing, it cannot be claimed that they are one and the same Sage. Consequently, the ruling of the mishna is evidently accepted by at least two Sages, and therefore the difficulty from the mishna cannot be resolved by assigning it to a single Sage.
אמרי נהרדעי לא כתבינן אורכתא אמטלטלי אמר רב אשי לאמימר מאי טעמא אמר ליה משום דרבי יוחנן § The Sages of Neharde’a say: One cannot write a document of authorization [orakhta] to assign another to collect a debt or a deposit of movable property on his behalf. Rav Ashi said to Ameimar: What is the reason for this halakha? Ameimar said to him: It is due to a principle stated by Rabbi Yoḥanan.
דא"ר יוחנן גזל ולא נתייאשו הבעלים שניהם אינן יכולין להקדיש זה לפי שאינו שלו וזה לפי שאינו ברשותו As Rabbi Yoḥanan says: If one stole an item and the owners have not yet despaired of recovering it, neither of them is able to consecrate it: This one, the thief, cannot consecrate the item because it does not belong to him, and that one, the owner, cannot consecrate it because it is not in his possession. The granting of authority to collect a debt involves the transfer of ownership of the item or money from the owner to the collector; otherwise the debtor could refuse to convey it to the collector. In the case of movable property, as it is being held by another, it is not in the possession of the owner; just as the owner cannot consecrate this item he cannot transfer ownership of it.
איכא דאמרי אמרי נהרדעי לא כתבינן אורכתא אמטלטלי דכפריה טעמא דכפריה דמיחזי כשיקרא אבל לא כפריה כתבינן There are those who state a different version of this halakha. The Sages of Neharde’a say: One cannot write a document of authorization for the collection of movable property that the bailee or debtor has denied owing. The Gemara infers: According to this version, the only reason the document cannot be written is that the bailee or debtor has denied owing the item, as a document written under these circumstances has the appearance of falsehood, since the purported owner is transferring ownership of an item over which his own ownership is in doubt. But it can be inferred that if the bailee or debtor did not deny owing the item, one can write a document of authorization.
ואמרי נהרדעי אורכתא דלא כתיב ביה זיל דון וזכי ואפיק לנפשך לית ביה מששא מ"ט משום דא"ל האיך לאו בעל דברים דידי את And the Sages of Neharde’a state another halakha with regard to this kind of document: A document of authorization in which it is not written: Go and take legal action against so-and-so and take possession of the owed property and collect it from him for yourself, has no substance, i.e., it is not a valid document. What is the reason for this? It is because the other party, the bailee or debtor, can say to the collector who presents a document without this clause: I am not legally answerable to you; I am willing to deal only with the person to whom the item is owed. To avoid this situation, the authorization document must transfer actual ownership of the item to the collector, who is now claiming it for himself.
אמר אביי ואי כתיב ביה למחצה לשליש ולרביע מיגו דמשתעי דינא אפלגא משתעי דינא אכולה Abaye said: And if it is written in the document that the owner transferred ownership of only half of the item to the collector, or a third or a quarter of it, this is sufficient. The reason is that since the bailee or debtor must relate to the judgment, i.e., engage in litigation with the collector, over the half or third or quarter of the item that has been transferred to the collector, he must relate to the judgment concerning all of it.
אמר אמימר אי תפס לא מפקינן מיניה רב אשי אמר כיון דכתביה ליה כל דמתעני מן דינא קבילית עלי שליח שויה Ameimar said: If the collector who is empowered by the authorization seized the item he collected and kept it for himself, the court does not take it away from him, as the owner transferred ownership of the item to him in the document of authorization, as explained above. Rav Ashi disagreed with Ameimar and said: Since the owner wrote to the collector: I accept upon myself anything that develops as a result of this legal process, he has in effect rendered the collector an agent to act on his behalf, and therefore the agent cannot seize the item for himself.
ואיכא דאמר שותפא שויה למאי נפקא מינה למיתפס פלגא והלכתא שליח שויה: And there is another opinion that states: The owner renders the collector a partner in the collected item, transferring ownership of half of it to him while maintaining ownership over the other half. The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference between this opinion and that of Rav Ashi? The Gemara answers: The difference is whether the collector has the power to seize half of the collected item for himself. If he is merely an agent of the owner, he cannot seize anything; if he is a partner he can seize up to half. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is that the owner renders the collector his agent, and therefore this agent may not seize any portion of the collected item for himself.
מתני׳ גנב ע"פ שנים וטבח ומכר על פיהם או על פי שנים אחרים משלם תשלומי ארבעה וחמשה MISHNA: The mishna lists a series of cases in which a thief is required to pay the fourfold or fivefold penalty. If one stole an animal, as established based on the testimony of two witnesses, and he subsequently slaughtered the animal or sold it, also based on the testimony of the same witnesses, or based on the testimony of two other witnesses, he pays the fourfold or fivefold payment.
גנב ומכר בשבת גנב ומכר לע"ז גנב וטבח ביום הכפורים If one stole an animal and sold it on Shabbat, or if he stole it and sold it for idol worship, or if he stole it and slaughtered it on Yom Kippur, he pays the fourfold or fivefold payment. Although his sale or slaughter in these circumstances involved a sin, he is not liable to receive the death penalty for the sale and must consequently pay the fourfold or fivefold payment.
גנב משל אביו וטבח ומכר ואח"כ מת אביו גנב וטבח ואחר כך הקדיש משלם תשלומי ארבעה וחמשה If one stole an animal of his father’s and then slaughtered it or sold it, and afterward his father died and he inherited his father’s estate either on his own or in partnership with his brothers, or if he stole an animal and slaughtered it and afterward he consecrated it, he pays the fourfold or fivefold payment.
גנב וטבח לרפואה או לכלבים השוחט ונמצאת טריפה השוחט חולין בעזרה משלם תשלומי ארבעה וחמשה In the case of one who stole an animal and slaughtered it, not for the purpose of eating its meat, but to use it for medicinal purposes or to feed the meat to dogs, and likewise a thief who slaughters the animal to eat its meat but it was found to be an animal with a condition that will cause it to die within twelve months [tereifa], or a thief who slaughters a non-sacred animal in the Temple courtyard, he pays the fourfold or fivefold payment.
רבי שמעון פוטר בשני אלו: Rabbi Shimon exempts the thief from the fourfold or fivefold payment in these last two cases, as he maintains that the legal status of an act of slaughter that is not fit for accomplishing its full ritual purpose is not considered an act of slaughter.
גמ׳ לימא מתניתין דלא כרבי עקיבא דאי GEMARA: The mishna teaches that if two witnesses testify about the theft of an animal and two others testify about its slaughter or sale, the thief pays the fourfold or fivefold payment. The Gemara suggests: Let us say that the mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, in his exposition of the verse: “Based on the testimony of two witnesses or on the testimony of three witnesses shall a matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15).
ר' עקיבא האמר דבר ולא חצי דבר The Gemara elaborates: As, if it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, the thief would be exempt from the fourfold or fivefold payment, as doesn’t Rabbi Akiva say that this verse teaches that witnesses’ testimony must refer to an entire matter, and not part of a matter? In the case discussed by the mishna the second set of witnesses testifies only that this man slaughtered or sold an ox or sheep, not that he stole it, and therefore their testimony alone would not render the thief liable to pay anything.
דתניא אמר רבי יוסי כשהלך אבא חלפתא אצל ר' יוחנן בן נורי ללמוד תורה ואמרי לה רבי יוחנן בן נורי אצל אבא As it is taught in the Tosefta (Bava Batra 2:4) that Rabbi Yosei said: When father Ḥalafta went to study Torah with Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri, and some say that he said: When Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri went to study Torah with father