One can dedicate not just whole grains, but even half grains. One can say “let half of each grain be the tithe.” So this is how we understand what happened in the case of the person who made double the amount tithe. He didn’t make 2/10 of the produce tithe—rather he made ½ of each grain of 2/10 of the produce tithe. The remainder of the produce is tithed, but the tithe itself is ruined because we can’t tell which half of each piece of grain is tithe.
Abaye now cites the example of cattle tithes. The cattle tithe is performed by letting animals out of a pen, counting them, and every tenth becoming the tithe. If two come out at the same time and the owner calls both “tenth” then one is the tithe and one is not but we do not know which is which. But animals cannot be partially tithed. Yet nevertheless, although one cannot call both the tenth and the eleventh animal tithe consecutively, when one calls them both tenth at the same time, the statement takes effect.
Cattle tithe is different because an animal can be considered tithe even if one makes a mistake in counting. Just as in the mishnah cited here, animals that are not the tenth can be considered tithe, so too in Rava’s example of the tenth and eleventh coming out of the pen together, both can be considered tithes. But kiddushin cannot be done accidentally, and therefore, if the kiddushin cannot be done one after the other, they also cannot be done simultaneously.
Forty loaves of bread are supposed to be offered with the thanksgiving offering. If one tries to offer eighty loaves with them, Hizkiyah says that all eighty are sanctified. It looks like Hizkiyah is saying that although they can’t be sanctified consecutively, they can be sanctified simultaneously. R. Yohanan would invoke Rabbah’s principle.
Hizkiyah and R. Yohanan were not arguing about Rabbah’s principle. They were arguing about how we interpret the person’s words when they were stated unclearly. If he clearly states that he only intends for forty to be sanctified, then they are sanctified, although we would not know which are sacred and which are not. If it sounds like he is trying to make all eighty sacred, then the statement definitely does not work because whatever cannot be done consecutively cannot be done simultaneously. The only issue is whether when he simply states that all 80 are being sacrificed we assume that he was taking responsibility that if some loaves were ruined, others would be sacred in its place, or whether he intended to actually dedicate eighty loaves.
Rava explained that since one cannot marry a woman and then her sister, if one marries two sisters at the same time, neither are married. This follows Rabbah’s principle. But Rava could have invoked a different principle, one that he uses elsewhere. Kiddushin which create a situation in which the couple may not have sex do not count as kiddushin. This is the situation here. If the man was married to both sisters, he could not have sex with either because each is his wife’s sister.
The Talmud explains that Rava was explaining it according to the verse used by Rami b. Hama to explain the mishnah (see end of daf Nun). Rava said that the verse Rami b. Hama used cannot explain the mishnah because it refers to a man who marries a woman and then her sister, whereas the mishnah refers to a man who marries both at the same time.
Today’s sugya begins a discussion of whether kiddushin that cannot be followed by intercourse count as kiddushin. This is a situation in which a man betroths a woman but cannot have sex with her because she is prohibited to him. Is she betrothed such that she would need a get?
This is the core dispute. Rava backs up his opinion with a verse, whereas Abaye does not.
The mishnah is used as a difficulty against Rava. A man cannot betroth both a woman and her sister, daughter or mother. But if he says to a woman and her mother/sister/daughter, “One of the two of you is betrothed to me” by deduction it would seem that they all could be doubtfully betrothed even though sex with any of them would be prohibited. This seems to be a refutation of Rava.
Rava responds that the end of the mishnah could be read as supporting him. A man says to a bunch of women, “Behold you are all betrothed to me.” The sisters are not betrothed, but the non-sisters are.
So what exactly did he say? If he said “all of you” then this would be like a case of a person who says to another person and a donkey (or any animal), “You and the donkey should acquire this.” Since the donkey cannot acquire, the other person does not either. So too here, since the sisters do not acquire the betrothal money, neither would the non-sisters.
Rather, he must have said, “one of you [is betrothed to me].” The sisters are not betrothed because this is “kiddushin that cannot be followed by intercourse” since he could not have sex with either one of them.
This discussion continues tomorrow.