Chagigah 16b:3-7חגיגה ט״ז ב:ג׳-ז׳
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16bט״ז ב

הראשונים היו נשיאים ושניים להם אב ב"ד:

The first members of each pair served as Nasi, and their counterparts served as deputy Nasi.

גמ׳ ת"ר שלשה מזוגות הראשונים שאמרו שלא לסמוך ושנים מזוגות האחרונים שאמרו לסמוך (הראשונים) היו נשיאים ושניים להם אבות ב"ד דברי רבי מאיר וחכמים אומרים יהודה בן טבאי אב ב"ד ושמעון בן שטח נשיא

GEMARA: The Sages taught: Three of the first pairs who say not to place hands and two of the last pairs who say to place hands served as Nasi, and their counterparts served as deputy Nasi; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say the opposite: Yehuda ben Tabbai was deputy Nasi and Shimon ben Shataḥ was the Nasi.

מאן תנא להא דתנו רבנן אמר רבי יהודה בן טבאי אראה בנחמה אם לא הרגתי עד זומם להוציא מלבן של צדוקין שהיו אומרים אין עדים זוממין נהרגין עד שיהרג הנידון

The Gemara asks: Who is the tanna who taught that which the Sages taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda ben Tabbai said: I swear that I will not see the consolation of Israel if I did not kill a conspiring witness. This means that Rabbi Yehuda ben Tabbai sentenced a conspiring witness to death, in order to counter the views of the Sadducees, who would say: Conspiring witnesses are not executed unless the sentenced one has been executed. Their views opposed the traditional view, which maintains that conspiring witnesses are executed only if the one sentenced by their testimony has not yet been executed.

אמר לו שמעון בן שטח אראה בנחמה אם לא שפכת דם נקי שהרי אמרו חכמים אין עדים זוממין נהרגין עד שיזומו שניהם ואין לוקין עד שיזומו שניהם ואין משלמין ממון עד שיזומו שניהם

Shimon ben Shataḥ said to him: I swear that I will not see the consolation of Israel if you did not shed innocent blood, as the Sages said: Conspiring witnesses are not executed unless they are both found to be conspirators; if only one is found to be a conspirator, he is not executed. And they are not flogged if they are liable to such a penalty, unless they are both found to be conspirators. And if they testified falsely that someone owed money, they do not pay money unless they are both found to be conspirators.

מיד קבל עליו יהודה בן טבאי שאינו מורה הלכה אלא בפני שמעון בן שטח

Hearing this, Yehuda ben Tabbai immediately accepted upon himself not to rule on any matter of law unless he was in the presence of Shimon ben Shataḥ, as he realized he could not rely on his own judgment.

כל ימיו של יהודה בן טבאי היה משתטח על קברו של אותו הרוג והיה קולו נשמע כסבורין העם לומר שקולו של הרוג הוא אמר להם קולי הוא תדעו שלמחר הוא מת ואין קולו נשמע

The baraita further relates: All of Yehuda ben Tabbai’s days, he would prostrate himself on the grave of that executed individual, to request forgiveness, and his voice was heard weeping. The people thought that it was the voice of that executed person, rising from his grave. Yehuda ben Tabbai said to them: It is my voice, and you shall know that it is so, for tomorrow, i.e., sometime in the future, he will die, and his voice will no longer be heard. Yehuda ben Tabbai was referring to himself, but he did not want to mention something negative about himself in direct terms.

אמר ליה רב אחא בריה דרבא לרב אשי ודלמא פיוסי פייסיה או בדינא תבעי'

Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, said to Rav Ashi: This provides no conclusive proof that the voice was not that of the executed man, as perhaps ben Tabbai appeased the executed individual in the World-to-Come. Or, alternatively, the latter may have prosecuted him by the law of Heaven, and that is why his voice can no longer be heard.

מני הא אי אמרת בשלמא רבי מאיר דאמר שמעון בן שטח אב ב"ד ר"י בן טבאי נשיא היינו דקא מורי הלכה בפני שמעון בן שטח אלא אי אמרת רבנן דאמרי יהודה בן טבאי אב ב"ד שמעון בן שטח נשיא אב ב"ד בפני נשיא מי מורה הלכה

The Gemara returns to its original question: Whose opinion does this baraita follow? Granted, if you say it is in accordance with that of Rabbi Meir, who said that Shimon ben Shataḥ was deputy Nasi while Rabbi Yehuda ben Tabbai was Nasi, that explains why he had previously issued a halakhic ruling in the presence of Shimon ben Shataḥ to execute the conspiring witness, and only after that unfortunate incident did he undertake to issue rulings only in the presence of his colleague. But if you say that the baraita is in accordance with the Sages, who said: Yehuda ben Tabbai was deputy Nasi and Shimon ben Shataḥ the Nasi, why did he need to make such a commitment? May the deputy Nasi issue a halakhic ruling in the presence of the Nasi?

לא מאי קבל עליו דקאמר לאצטרופי דאפי' אצטרופי נמי לא מצטריפנא:

The Gemara refutes this: No; what did he mean by accepting upon himself not to rule on his own? He spoke with regard to joining the ruling of others: Even with regard to joining the ruling of others, I will also not join until I have first heard the view of Shimon ben Shataḥ.

יצא מנחם ונכנס שמאי כו': להיכן יצא אביי אמר יצא לתרבות רעה רבא אמר יצא לעבודת המלך תניא נמי הכי יצא מנחם לעבודת המלך ויצאו עמו שמונים זוגות תלמידים לבושין סיריקון

§ It is taught in the mishna: Menaḥem departed and Shammai entered. The Gemara asks: To where did Menaḥem depart? Abaye said: He departed and went astray. Therefore, the mishna did not wish to delve into the details of his case. Rava said: He departed for the king’s service. He received a post from the king and had to leave the court. This is also taught in a baraita: Menaḥem departed for the king’s service, and eighty pairs of students dressed in silk robes left with him to work for the king, and that they no longer studied Torah.

אמר רב שמן בר אבא א"ר יוחנן לעולם אל תהא שבות קלה בעיניך שהרי סמיכה אינה אלא משום שבות ונחלקו בה גדולי הדור

§ Rav Shemen bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: A rabbinic decree [shevut] should never be taken lightly in your eyes, since placing hands on the head of an offering on a Festival is prohibited only as a rabbinic decree because it is considered making use of an animal, which is not considered a prohibited labor but merely resembles one, and yet the greatest scholars of each generation disputed it.

פשיטא שבות מצוה אצטריכא ליה

The Gemara is puzzled by this statement: This is obvious. Since it is an accepted rabbinic decree, why should people take it lightly? The Gemara answers: It was necessary for him to state it because it is a rabbinic decree related to a mitzva. In other words, although this rabbinic decree of placing the hands on an animal is not performed for one’s own sake but for the purpose of a mitzva, it was nevertheless a serious matter in the eyes of the Sages.

הא נמי פשיטא לאפוקי ממאן דאמר בסמיכה גופה פליגי קא משמע לן בשבות הוא דפליגי

The Gemara remains puzzled: This too is obvious. In that case as well, the act is prohibited by the Sages. The Gemara responds: Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement comes to exclude the opinion of the one who said that they disagree with regard to the actual obligation of placing hands, i.e., whether or not obligatory peace-offerings require placing the hands. He therefore teaches us that it is a rabbinic decree that is the subject of their dispute, not the requirement itself.

אמר רמי בר חמא שמע מינה סמיכה בכל כחו בעינן דאי ס"ד לא בעינן בכל כחו מאי קא עביד ליסמוך

Rami bar Ḥama said: You can learn from here, from this dispute, that the mitzva of placing hands requires not only placing one’s hands on the animal’s head, but we also require that one places his hands with all his strength. For if it enters your mind that we do not require all his strength, what prohibition does one violate by placing his hands? Let him place them on a Festival as well, as this does not resemble a prohibited action at all.

מיתיבי (ויקרא א, ב) דבר אל בני ישראל וסמך בני ישראל סומכין ואין בנות ישראל סומכות רבי יוסי ור' (ישמעאל) [שמעון] אומרים בנות ישראל סומכות רשות

The Gemara raises an objection to this from a baraita: “Speak to the children of [benei] Israel” (Leviticus 1:2). The word benei literally means: Sons of. And it states nearby: “And he shall place his hand on the head of the burnt-offering” (Leviticus 1:4), from which we learn that the sons of Israel place their hands, but the daughters of Israel do not place them. Rabbi Yosei and Rabbi Yishmael say: It is optional for the daughters of Israel to place their hands. They may place their hands if they so choose, although they are not obligated to do so.

אמר רבי יוסי סח לי אבא אלעזר פעם אחת היה לנו עגל של זבחי שלמים והביאנוהו לעזרת נשים וסמכו עליו נשים לא מפני שסמיכה בנשים אלא כדי לעשות נחת רוח לנשים ואי ס"ד סמיכה בכל כחו בעינן משום נחת רוח דנשים עבדינן עבודה בקדשים אלא לאו ש"מ לא בעינן בכל כחו

Rabbi Yosei said: The Sage Abba Elazar related to me the following incident: On one occasion, we had a calf for a peace-offering, and we brought it to the Women’s Courtyard, and women placed their hands on it. We did this not because there is an obligation of placing hands in the case of women, but in order to please the women, by allowing them to sacrifice an offering, in all of its particulars, as men do. Now, if it enters your mind that we require placing hands with all one’s strength, would we perform work with consecrated offerings in order to please the women? Placing one’s hands forcefully on an animal is considered performing work with it, and if one does it without being obligated to do so, he has thereby performed work with an offering. Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from this that we do not require placing hands with all one’s strength?

לעולם אימא לך בעינן בכל כחו דאמר להו אקפו ידייכו אי הכי לא מפני שסמיכה בנשים תיפוק ליה דאינה לסמיכה כלל

The Gemara rejects this: Actually, I could say to you that we do require placing hands with all one’s strength, but here they allowed women to place their hands by saying to them: Ease your hands and do not press forcefully, so that their hand placing should not constitute work. The Gemara retorts: If so, then the reason formulated as: Not because there is an obligation to place hands in the case of women, is irrelevant to this law. Let him derive the permission for women to do so from the reason that it is not considered placing hands at all. If placing hands must be performed with all one’s strength, this action the women are performing does not constitute placing hands.

א"ר אמי חדא ועוד קאמר חדא דליתא לסמיכה כלל ועוד כדי לעשות נחת רוח לנשים

Rabbi Ami said: He stated one reason and another. One reason is that it is not considered placing hands at all, as it is not performed with all of one’s strength; and another reason is that they allowed it in order to please the women.

אמר רב פפא שמע מינה צדדין אסורין דאי ס"ד צדדין מותרין לסמוך לצדדין אלא לאו שמע מינה צדדין אסורין

Rav Pappa said: Learn from this that anything upon which one may not place objects or upon which one may not sit on Shabbat, its sides are likewise prohibited, for if it enters your mind to say that the sides are permitted, they could have told the women to place their hands on the sides, i.e., on the head of the animal rather than on its back, as the head of the animal is considered as if it were one of its sides. Rather, must one not conclude from this that the sides are prohibited?