Bava Metzia 90bבבא מציעא צ׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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90bצ׳ ב

דגנבין ארמאי ומגנחין יתהון מהו שלח להו הערמה אתעביד בהו אערימו עלייהו ויזדבנון

which gentiles steal and castrate. Since it is prohibited for Jews to castrate animals, they would sometimes arrange for a gentile to pretend to steal the animal and subsequently return it after castrating it, as it is easier to handle a castrated animal. What is the halakha with regard to a case of this kind? Shmuel’s father sent to him: They used artifice; therefore, you should use artifice with them and make them sell it as a punishment. This shows that it is prohibited to instruct a gentile to perform a prohibition on one’s behalf.

אמר רב פפא בני מערבא סברי לה כר' חידקא דאמר בני נח מצווין על הסירוס וקא עברי משום (ויקרא יט, יד) ולפני עור לא תתן מכשול

Rav Pappa said: This provides no conclusive proof, as the inhabitants of the West, i.e., Eretz Yisrael, who are the ones who raised this question, hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥideka, who says: The descendants of Noah are commanded with regard to castration. They too are prohibited from performing this practice. And consequently, those Jews who cause them to do it transgress the prohibition of: “Nor put a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14).

סבר רבא למימר ימכרו לשחיטה א"ל אביי דיין שקנסת עליהם מכירה

Rava thought to say that it is not enough that the owners may not use these animals castrated for them by gentiles, but they must even sell the animals for slaughter, but not for plowing, so that they would derive no benefit at all from the increase in the value of their property that resulted from a transgression. A castrated animal is worth more if it is sold for plowing, but not if it is sold for slaughter. Abaye said to him: It is enough for them that you penalized them by requiring them to sell the animals.

פשיטא בנו גדול כי אחר דמי בנו קטן מאי רב אחי אסר ורב אשי שרי מרימר ומר זוטרא ואמרי לה הנהו תרי חסידי מחלפי אהדדי

With regard to the same issue, the Gemara comments: It is obvious that if one sold the castrated animal to his adult son, the son is considered like another person, i.e., there is no need to sell to a complete stranger. If the buyer was his minor son, what is the halakha? Rav Aḥai prohibited this, and Rav Ashi permitted it. Mareimar and Mar Zutra, and some say it was a certain pair of unknown pious men, would exchange such oxen with each other.

בעי רמי בר חמא הושיב לה קוץ בפיה מהו הושיב לה חסימה מעלייתא היא אלא ישב לה קוץ בפיה מהו

§ Rami bar Ḥama raises a dilemma: If one placed a thorn in the mouth of a threshing animal, what is the halakha? The Gemara is puzzled by this question: If he placed the thorn in its mouth, this is certainly considered proper muzzling. Rather, the dilemma should be formulated as follows: If a thorn settled in its mouth and one did not remove it, what is the halakha?

הרביץ לה ארי מבחוץ מהו הרביץ לה חסימה מעלייתא היא אלא רבץ לה ארי מבחוץ מהו העמיד בנה מבחוץ מהו היתה צמאה למים מהו פרס לה קטבליא על גבי דישה מהו

The Gemara poses a similar question: If one made a lion crouch over it from outside, to frighten the animal and stop it from eating, what is the halakha? The Gemara responds as it did before: If he made the lion crouch over it, this is considered proper muzzling. Rather, if a lion was crouching over it and he did not get rid of it, what is the halakha? Similarly, if he placed its young on the outside, so that the animal looks toward its young and does not eat, what is the halakha? Or, if it was thirsty for water, what is the halakha? If he spread a leather blanket [katavliya] for it over the produce it was threshing, so that the animal cannot see the food, what is the halakha?

פשוט מהא חדא דתניא רשאי בעל פרה להרעיב פרתו כדי שתאכל מן הדישה הרבה ורשאי בעל הבית להתיר פקיע עמיר לפני הבהמה כדי שלא תאכל מן הדישה הרבה

The Gemara comments: Resolve at least one of the abovementioned dilemmas, as it is taught in a baraita: The owner of a cow who lent his animal to thresh the field of another is permitted to starve his cow so that it will eat plenty of the crop it is threshing, and a homeowner is permitted to untie a bundle of straw before an animal so that it will not eat plenty of the produce it is threshing. This is similar to spreading a blanket over the produce.

שאני התם דקא אכלה איבעית אימא רשאי בעה"ב להתיר פקיע עמיר לפני בהמה מעיקרא כדי שלא תאכל הרבה מן הדישה

The Gemara refutes this comparison: No proof can be brought from here, because there it is different, as it at least gets to eat the produce. If you wish, say instead that the baraita should be explained as follows: A homeowner is permitted to untie a bundle of straw before an animal at the outset, before the threshing begins, so that it will fill itself with straw beforehand and will not eat plenty of the crop it is threshing.

בעא מיניה רבי יונתן מרבי סימאי חסמה מבחוץ מהו שור בדישו אמר רחמנא והא לאו בדישו הוא או דלמא לא תדוש בחסימה אמר רחמנא

§ Rabbi Yonatan raised a dilemma before Rabbi Simai: If one muzzled the animal from the outside, i.e., before it began to thresh, what is the halakha? The Gemara clarifies the sides of the dilemma: One can argue that the Merciful One states: “An ox in its threshing” (Deuteronomy 25:4), and this animal is not in its threshing, as it was muzzled before it was taken to thresh. Or perhaps the Merciful One states that one may not have the animal thresh while it is muzzled.

א"ל מבית אביך אתה למד (ויקרא י, ט) יין ושכר אל תשת אתה ובניך אתך בבואכם בבואכם הוא דאסור הא מישתא ומיעל שרי

Rabbi Simai said to him: You can learn from your father’s house, i.e., you can derive this halakha from the case of priests, being a priest yourself. As the Torah states: “Drink no wine nor strong drink, you nor your sons with you, when you come into the Tent of Meeting” (Leviticus 10:9). Doesn’t a straightforward reading of this verse lead to the conclusion that it is only when you come into the Sanctuary that it is prohibited, whereas to drink wine and then enter is permitted?

(ויקרא י, י) ולהבדיל בין הקדש ובין החול אמר רחמנא אלא מה התם בשעת ביאה לא תהא שכרות הכא נמי בשעת דישה לא תהא חסימה

This interpretation is not tenable, as with regard to the same matter the Merciful One states: “That you may make a difference between the sacred and the non-sacred” (Leviticus 10:10), which indicates that the priest must be capable of making these distinctions when he enters the Temple. Rather, just as there, with regard to the prohibition against drinking wine in the Sanctuary, the Torah means that at the time of entry there must be no drunkenness, whether the wine was drunk inside or outside the Sanctuary, here too it means that at the time of threshing there must be no muzzling.

תנו רבנן החוסם את הפרה והמזווג בכלאים פטור ואינו לוקה אלא דש ומנהיג בלבד

§ The Sages taught: With regard to one who muzzles a cow that someone else is using for threshing, and similarly, one who plows with animals of diverse kinds together, e.g., with an ox and a donkey on the same plow, he is exempt, as only one who threshes a muzzled animal and one who leads diverse kinds of animals together are flogged.

איתמר חסמה בקול והנהיגה בקול ר' יוחנן אמר חייב ריש לקיש אמר פטור רבי יוחנן אמר חייב עקימת פיו הויא מעשה ריש לקיש אמר פטור קלא לא הוי מעשה

§ It was stated that the amora’im disagreed about the following case: If one muzzled an animal with his voice, by berating it whenever it tried to eat, and similarly, if he led diverse kinds of animals together by means of his voice, without performing any action, what is the halakha? Rabbi Yoḥanan says he is liable; Reish Lakish says he is exempt. The Gemara explains the reasoning behind their opinions: Rabbi Yoḥanan says he is liable, as he maintains that the twisting of one’s mouth to speak is considered an action, albeit a slight one, whereas Reish Lakish says he is exempt, because a mere voice is not considered an action.

איתיביה רבי יוחנן לריש לקיש

Rabbi Yoḥanan raised an objection to the opinion of Reish Lakish: