Beitzah 5bביצה ה׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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5bה׳ ב

ובקש להפקירו לעניים אמרו לו תלמידיו רבי כבר נמנו עליך חבריך והתירוהו מאן חבריך רבן יוחנן בן זכאי

and he sought to render the fruit ownerless in favor of the poor, for whom it would be worth the effort to bring the fruit to Jerusalem. His students said to him: Rabbi, there is no need to do so, as your colleagues have already voted for you and permitted it. The members of the Sanhedrin have already taken a vote and permitted the redemption of the fruit of a fourth-year grapevine even near Jerusalem. The reason is that after the destruction of the Temple there is no need to adorn the markets of Jerusalem. The Gemara explains: Who are: Your colleagues? This is referring to Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai.

טעמא דנמנו הא לא נמנו לא

The Gemara infers from the baraita: The reason is that they explicitly voted to annul the decree, which indicates that if they had not voted, the ordinance would not have lapsed on its own, despite the fact that its justification was no longer applicable. Similarly, the prohibition of a laid egg is not nullified, as it was never explicitly permitted.

מאי ואומר ה"ק מכדי כתיב (שמות יט, טו) היו נכונים לשלשת ימים אל תגשו אל אשה (דברים ה, ל) לך אמור להם שובו לכם לאהליכם למה לי שמע מינה כל דבר שבמנין צריך מנין אחר להתירו

The Gemara to seeks to clarify why Rav Yosef cited two verses as proof. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for: And it says? Why does Rav Yosef find it necessary to quote a second verse? The Gemara explains that this is what he is saying. Now since it is written: “Be ready for the third day, do not come near a woman” (Exodus 19:15), why do I need the verse “Go, say to them: Return to your tents” (Deuteronomy 5:26)? After three days the prohibition would lapse in any case. Conclude from this that any matter established by a vote requires another vote to permit it.

וכי תימא למצות עונה הוא דאתא ת"ש (שמות יט, יג) במשוך היובל המה יעלו בהר

And if you say an alternative explanation, that the instruction to “return to your tents” was not given to permit the men to return home to their wives, but rather it came as a special command to fulfill the mitzva of conjugal rights, i.e., the obligation of a man to engage in periodic marital relations with his wife, then it was to refute this possibility that Rav Yosef continued: Come and hear a different proof from another verse: “When the ram’s horn sounds long, they may come up to the mount” (Exodus 19:13).

מכדי כתיב (שמות לד, ג) גם הצאן והבקר אל ירעו אל מול ההר ההוא במשוך היובל למה לי שמע מינה דבר שבמנין צריך מנין אחר להתירו

Now since it is written: “Neither shall the flocks nor the herds feed before that mount” (Exodus 34:3), this indicates that the prohibition applies only when the Divine Presence is revealed on the mountain, and it is permitted immediately afterward. If so, why do I need the verse “When the ram’s horn sounds long”? Why is a special signal required? Conclude from this that any matter established by a vote requires another vote to permit it.

וכי תימא הני מילי בדאורייתא אבל בדרבנן לא ת"ש כרם רבעי והא כרם רבעי דרבנן וקאמרי ליה כבר נמנו עליך חבריך והתירוהו

And if you say: That statement, that a specific vote is necessary, applies only to matters prohibited by Torah law, but in the case of a matter prohibited by rabbinic law, no, this halakha does not apply, come and hear the baraita concerning a fourth-year grapevine. The halakha that the fruit of a fourth-year grapevine must be brought to Jerusalem and may not be redeemed is by rabbinic law, and they nevertheless said to Rabbi Eliezer: Your colleagues have already voted for you and permitted it. This indicates that without a vote, the prohibition would not be abrogated.

וכי תימא ביצה נמי אמנו עלה רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ושריוה כי אמנו אעדות אביצה לא אמנו

And if you say: In the case of the prohibition of an egg also, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai took a vote on it and permitted it; the Gemara answers: When they took a vote, it was with regard to testimony to determine the start of the month; they did not take a vote to annul the prohibition of an egg.

א"ל אביי אטו ביצה במנין מי הואי ביצה בעדות תליא מלתא אתסר עדות אתסר ביצה אשתרי עדות אשתרי ביצה

Abaye said to Rav Yosef: Is that to say that an egg was prohibited by a vote? Did the court take a special vote to render prohibited an egg laid on Rosh HaShana? Isn’t the halakha of an egg dependent on the matter of testimony? When testimony in the late afternoon was prohibited, the eating of an egg laid on Rosh HaShana was thereby prohibited as well, and when this testimony was permitted, the eating of an egg was automatically permitted. Rav Yosef’s observation is therefore incorrect.

רב אדא ורב שלמן תרוייהו מבי כלוחית אמרי אף מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואילך ביצה אסורה מ"ט מהרה יבנה בית המקדש ויאמרו אשתקד מי לא אכלנו ביצה ביום טוב שני השתא נמי ניכול ולא ידעי דאשתקד שתי קדושות הן והשתא קדושה אחת היא

Rav Adda and Rav Shalman, who both came from Bei Keloḥit, said: Even from the time of the ordinance of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai and onward, an egg remains prohibited. What is the reason? May the Temple speedily be built, and the ordinance that testimony is accepted only until minḥa time will be restored, and people will say: Last year, didn’t we eat an egg laid on the first day of Rosh HaShana on the following day, the second Festival day of Rosh HaShana? Now, too, we will eat it, like last year. And they will not know the significant difference in halakha between the two cases, as last year the two days of Rosh HaShana were two sanctities, and now they are one long sanctity.

אי הכי עדות נמי לא נקבל מ"ט מהרה יבנה בית המקדש ויאמרו אשתקד מי לא קבלנו עדות החדש כל היום כולו השתא נמי נקבל

The Gemara challenges this: If so, that this is the concern, we also should not accept testimony nowadays. What is the reason? May the Temple speedily be built, and the people will say: Last year, didn’t we accept testimony to determine the start of the month all day? Now, too, we will accept the testimony of witnesses even after minḥa time.

הכי השתא התם עדות מסורה לב"ד ביצה לכל מסורה

The Gemara rejects this challenge: How can these cases be compared? There, with regard to witnesses, testimony is entrusted to the court, and the court is capable of distinguishing between the reasons for decrees. An egg, however, is entrusted to all, and as not all people will consult a Sage about the status of their eggs, there is a legitimate concern about error.

רבא אמר אף מתקנת רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואילך ביצה אסורה מי לא מודה רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שאם באו עדים מן המנחה ולמעלה שנוהגין אותו היום קדש ולמחר קדש

Rava said: Even from the time of the ordinance of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai and onward, an egg remains prohibited. Rava explained his reasoning: Doesn’t Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai concede that if witnesses came from minḥa time and onward, even after the destruction of the Temple, then one observes that day as a holy day and also the following day as a holy day? The only difference is that during the time of the Temple any testimony delivered on the first day was not taken into account at all, which meant the second day was considered the first of the new year, whereas during the time of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai the new year was counted from the first day.

ואמר רבא הלכתא כותיה דרב בהני תלת בין לקולא בין לחומרא

As far as the sanctity of the Festival is concerned, however, the second day was also treated as sacred, which proves that when two days were observed in Eretz Yisrael, they were considered a single sanctity rather than two. And Rava said in summary: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav in these three cases, whether the ruling is lenient, or whether the ruling is stringent.