רַב הַמְנוּנָא אוֹרִי בְּחַרְתָּא דְאַרְגֵּז בִּשְׁנֵי דְּרַב חִסְדָּא.
Rav Hamnuna issued halakhic rulings in the town of Ḥarta De’argez during the years of Rav Ḥisda’s life, even though Rav Ḥisda was his teacher.
רָבִינָא סָר סַכִּינָא בְּבָבֶל. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב אָשֵׁי: מַאי טַעְמָא עֲבַד מָר הָכִי?
The Gemara relates that Ravina once examined a slaughterer’s knife in Babylonia to check if it was fit for slaughtering, during the lifetime of his teacher, Rav Ashi, who also lived in Babylonia. Rav Ashi said to him: What is the reason that the Master acted in this manner? Isn’t it prohibited for a disciple to issue rulings while his teacher is still alive?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ: וְהָא רַב הַמְנוּנָא אוֹרִי בְּחַרְתָּא דְאַרְגֵּז בִּשְׁנֵי דְּרַב חִסְדָּא! אֲמַר לֵיהּ: ״לָאו אוֹרִי״ אִתְּמַר.
Ravina said to him: Didn’t Rav Hamnuna issue halakhic rulings in Ḥarta De’argez during the years of Rav Ḥisda’s life, as they were not in the same town, even though they were both located in Babylonia? Since I do not live in the same town as you, it stands to reason that I would be permitted to issue rulings as well. Rav Ashi said to Ravina: It was actually stated that Rav Hamnuna did not issue halakhic rulings during Rav Ḥisda’s lifetime, and that is the correct tradition.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ: אִתְּמַר ״אוֹרִי״, וְאִתְּמַר ״לָא אוֹרִי״, בִּשְׁנֵי דְּרַב הוּנָא רַבֵּיהּ הוּא דְּלָא אוֹרִי, וְאוֹרִי בִּשְׁנֵי דְּרַב חִסְדָּא, דְּתַלְמִיד חָבֵר דִּילֵיהּ הֲוָה. וַאֲנָא נָמֵי תַּלְמִיד חָבֵר דְּמָר אֲנָא.
Ravina said to Rav Ashi: In fact, it was stated that Rav Hamnuna issued rulings, and it was also stated that he did not issue rulings, and both traditions are correct. During the years of the life of Rav Huna, Rav Hamnuna’s principal teacher, Rav Hamnuna did not issue rulings at all, but he did issue rulings during the years of Rav Ḥisda’s life, for Rav Hamnuna was Rav Ḥisda’s disciple-colleague. And since I, too, am the Master’s disciple and colleague, I should also be permitted to examine a slaughterer’s knife when I am not in the same town.
אָמַר רָבָא: צוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן חָזֵי לְנַפְשֵׁיהּ. רָבִינָא אִיקְּלַע לְמָחוֹזָא, אַיְיתִי אוּשְׁפִּיזְכָנֵיהּ סַכִּינָא וְקָא מַחְוֵי לֵיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ: זִיל אַמְטְיֵיהּ לְרָבָא.
Rava said: A Torah scholar may examine a knife for himself and use it for slaughtering, without having to show it to the local Sage. The Gemara relates that Ravina happened to come to Meḥoza, the home town of Rava. His host brought out a knife for slaughtering and showed it to him. He said to him: Go, bring it to Rava, the town Sage, for examination.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ: לָא סָבַר מָר הָא דְּאָמַר רָבָא צוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן חָזֵי לְנַפְשֵׁיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ: אֲנָא מִיזְבָּן זָבֵינָא.
The host said to him: Doesn’t the Master hold in accordance with that which Rava said: A Torah scholar may examine a slaughtering knife for himself? In this case I am using the knife to slaughter on your behalf. Ravina said to him: Since I am only buying the meat from you, it is not considered as though I am slaughtering for myself. Rava’s principle does not apply to such a case.
(סִימָן: זִילָא לְהַנְיָא, מַחְלִיף, אִיקָא, וְיַעֲקֹב).
The Gemara cites a mnemonic for the names of the Sages mentioned in the following discussion: Zila Lehanya: Rabbi Elazar from Hagronya; Maḥlif: Rav Abba bar Taḥalifa; Ika: Rav Aḥa bar Ika; and Ya’akov: Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov.
רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מֵהַגְרוֹנְיָא וְרַב אַבָּא בַּר תַּחְלִיפָא אִיקְּלַעוּ לְבֵי רַב אַחָא בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַב אִיקָא, בְּאַתְרֵיהּ דְּרַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב. בָּעֵי רַב אַחָא בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַב אִיקָא לְמִיעְבַּד לְהוּ עִיגְלָא תִּילְתָּא, אַיְיתִי סַכִּינָא וְקָא מַחְוֵי לְהוּ.
The Gemara now relates that Rabbi Elazar from Hagronya and Rav Abba bar Taḥalifa happened to come to the house of Rav Aḥa, son of Rav Ika, in the place of jurisdiction of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov. Rav Aḥa, son of Rav Ika, wanted to prepare for them a third-born calf, whose meat was considered a delicacy. He brought out a slaughtering knife and showed it to them.
אֲמַר לְהוּ רַב אַחָא בַּר תַּחְלִיפָא: לָא לֵיחוּשׁ לֵיהּ לְסָבָא? אֲמַר לְהוּ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מֵהַגְרוֹנְיָא: הָכִי אָמַר רָבָא, צוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן חָזֵי לְנַפְשֵׁיהּ. חֲזִי, וְאִיעֲנִישׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מֵהַגְרוֹנְיָא.
Rav Aḥa bar Taḥalifa said to them: Should we not be concerned with the respect of the Elder, Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov, and present the knife to him for inspection, as this is his town? Rabbi Elazar from Hagronya said to them: That is unnecessary, since Rava said as follows: A Torah scholar may examine a knife for himself. Rabbi Elazar from Hagronya then inspected the knife, but he was later punished at the hand of Heaven for disregarding the honor of the senior rabbi.
וְהָאָמַר רָבָא: צוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן חָזֵי לְנַפְשֵׁיהּ! שָׁאנֵי הָתָם דְּאַתְחִילוּ בִּכְבוֹדוֹ.
The Gemara expresses surprise: What was Rabbi Elazar from Hagronya’s mistake? Didn’t Rava say: A Torah scholar may examine a slaughtering knife for himself? The Gemara answers: It was different there, as they had already begun to discuss the issue of the honor of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov. Had the name of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov never arisen, they would have been permitted to examine the knife themselves. Once his name had been mentioned, however, they should have approached him with the knife. Their failure to do so is considered a display of disrespect.
וְאִי בָּעֵית אֵימָא: שָׁאנֵי רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב דְּמוּפְלָג.
And if you wish, say instead: Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov is different, as he was illustrious in age and wisdom, and thus deserved more honor than a regular Sage.
אָמַר רָבָא: וּלְאַפְרוֹשֵׁי מֵאִיסּוּרָא — אֲפִילּוּ בְּפָנָיו שַׁפִּיר דָּמֵי. רָבִינָא הֲוָה יָתֵיב קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב אָשֵׁי, חַזְיֵיהּ לְהָהוּא גַּבְרָא דְּקָא אָסַר לֵיהּ לְחַמְרֵיהּ בְּצִינְתָא בְּשַׁבְּתָא. רְמָא בֵּיהּ קָלָא, וְלָא אַשְׁגַּח בֵּיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ: לֶיהֱוֵי הַאי גַּבְרָא בְּשַׁמְתָּא.
Rava said: Even though it is ordinarily prohibited for a disciple to issue a halakhic ruling in his teacher’s place, if he does so in order to separate another person from a prohibition he is committing, even in his teacher’s presence it seems well, i.e., it is permitted. The Gemara relates that Ravina was once sitting before Rav Ashi when he saw a certain man tying his donkey to a palm tree on Shabbat, in violation of the decree of the Sages against utilizing trees on Shabbat. He raised his voice to him in protest, but the man paid him no attention. Ravina then said to Rav Ashi: Let this man be in excommunication for transgressing the words of the Sages and ignoring a scholar’s rebuke.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ: כִּי הַאי גַּוְונָא, מִי מִתְחֲזֵא כְּאַפְקֵרוּתָא? אֲמַר לֵיהּ: ״אֵין חׇכְמָה וְאֵין תְּבוּנָה וְאֵין עֵצָה לְנֶגֶד ה׳״, כׇּל מָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ חִילּוּל הַשֵּׁם — אֵין חוֹלְקִין כָּבוֹד לָרַב.
Afterward, Ravina said to Rav Ashi: Behavior such as this, the way I acted in your presence just now, does it appear like irreverent behavior? Rav Ashi said to him: With regard to this it is stated: “There is no wisdom or understanding or council against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30). The Sages expounded this verse as follows: Wherever a desecration of God’s name is involved, no respect is paid even to a teacher, i.e., in such a situation one should disregard the respect due to his teacher’s wisdom and understanding and object to the inappropriate behavior.
אָמַר רָבָא: בְּפָנָיו — אָסוּר, וְחַיָּיב מִיתָה. שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו — אָסוּר, וְאֵין חַיָּיב מִיתָה.
Rava said: With regard to one who issues a halakhic ruling in his teacher’s location without the intention of preventing someone from violating a prohibition, the following distinction applies: In the teacher’s actual presence, the disciple is prohibited to issue such a ruling, and if he does so, he is liable to receive the death penalty at the hand of Heaven. However, when he is not in his actual presence, the disciple is still prohibited to issue the ruling, but he is not liable to receive the death penalty.
וְשֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו לָא? וְהָא תַּנְיָא: רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר: לֹא מֵתוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן עַד שֶׁהוֹרוּ הֲלָכָה בִּפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה רַבָּן. מַאי דְּרוּשׁ: ״וְנָתְנוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אֵשׁ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ״, אָמְרוּ: אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָאֵשׁ יוֹרֶדֶת מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם, מִצְוָה לְהָבִיא מִן הַהֶדְיוֹט.
The Gemara asks: Is the disciple not liable to receive the death penalty if he issues his ruling not in the teacher’s presence? But wasn’t it taught otherwise in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer says: The sons of Aaron died only because they issued a halakhic ruling before Moses, their teacher? What did they expound in support of their conclusion that they must bring fire inside as opposed to waiting for fire to come down from the heavens? It is stated in the Torah: “And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire” (Leviticus 1:7), which led them to say: Although fire descends from Heaven, it is nonetheless a mitzva to bring ordinary fire. Although they derived this from the verses, they were punished for ruling in the presence of their teacher.
וְתַלְמִיד אֶחָד הָיָה לוֹ לְרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר, שֶׁהוֹרָה הֲלָכָה בְּפָנָיו. אָמַר רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר לְאִימָּא שָׁלוֹם אִשְׁתּוֹ: תָּמֵיהַּ אֲנִי אִם יוֹצִיא זֶה שְׁנָתוֹ. וְלֹא הוֹצִיא שְׁנָתוֹ.
It was further related that Rabbi Eliezer had a certain disciple who issued a halakhic ruling in his presence. Rabbi Eliezer said to his wife, Imma Shalom: I will be surprised if this one completes his year, i.e., if he lives until the end of the year. And so it was, he did not complete his year.
אָמְרָה לוֹ: נָבִיא אַתָּה? אָמַר לָהּ: לֹא נָבִיא אָנֹכִי וְלֹא בֶּן נָבִיא אָנֹכִי, אֶלָּא כָּךְ מְקּוּבְּלַנִי: כׇּל הַמּוֹרֶה הֲלָכָה בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ חַיָּיב מִיתָה.
His wife said to him: Are you a prophet? He said to her: I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I have received the following tradition: Anyone who issues a halakhic ruling in his teacher’s presence is liable to receive the death penalty.
וְאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָה אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: אוֹתוֹ תַּלְמִיד יְהוּדָה בֶּן גּוּרְיָא שְׁמוֹ, וְהָיָה רָחוֹק מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ פַּרְסָאוֹת?!
And Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That disciple was named Yehuda ben Gurya, and he was three parasangs away from Rabbi Eliezer. Apparently, one is liable for the death penalty even if he did not issue his ruling in his teacher’s presence.
בְּפָנָיו הֲוָה. וְהָא רָחוֹק מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ פַּרְסָאוֹת קָאָמַר! וְלִיטַעְמָיךְ: שְׁמוֹ וְשֵׁם אָבִיו לָמָּה? אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאמַר מָשָׁל הָיָה.
The Gemara answers: In fact, the incident took place in the actual presence of the teacher, which is why the disciple was punished. The distance mentioned refers to the distance between the student’s usual place and the teacher. The Gemara expresses surprise: But didn’t Rabba bar bar Ḥana say that he was three parasangs away from his teacher? That implies that this was his distance from his teacher at the time of the ruling. The Gemara answers: And, according to your reasoning, that the details of the story must relate to the time of the ruling, why mention his name and his father’s name? Rather, the details were given so that you should not say it was a parable. That is also the reason why he provided the details concerning the student’s usual place. This does not contradict the fact that Yehuda ben Gurya issued his ruling in the actual presence of his teacher.
אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: כׇּל הַמּוֹרֶה הֲלָכָה בִּפְנֵי רַבּוֹ, רָאוּי לְהַכִּישׁוֹ נָחָשׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיַּעַן אֱלִיהוּא בֶן בַּרַכְאֵל הַבּוּזִי וַיֹּאמַר צָעִיר אֲנִי לְיָמִים וְגוֹ׳ עַל כֵּן זָחַלְתִּי״. וּכְתִיב: ״עִם חֲמַת זוֹחֲלֵי עָפָר״.
The Gemara continues to discuss the same topic. Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Whoever issues a halakhic ruling in his teacher’s presence is deserving of being bitten by a snake, as it is stated: “And Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and you are very old; therefore I held back [zaḥalti] and I was afraid, and did not declare my opinion to you” (Job 32:6), and it is written: “With the venom of the crawling things of [zoḥalei] the dust” (Deuteronomy 32:24), which refers to snakes. Elihu’s statement is understood as follows: I must apologize for speaking in my teacher’s presence, for one who does so is liable to be punished with the bite of a snake.
זְעֵירִי אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא: נִקְרָא חוֹטֵא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״בְּלִבִּי צָפַנְתִּי אִמְרָתֶךָ לְמַעַן לֹא אֶחֱטָא לָךְ״.
Ze’eiri said that Rabbi Ḥanina said: Whoever issues a halakhic ruling in his teacher’s presence is called a sinner, as it is stated: “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalms 119:11). In what case would speaking one’s word entail a sin? In a case where one rules on a matter of halakha in the presence of his teacher.
רַב הַמְנוּנָא רָמֵי: כְּתִיב ״בְּלִבִּי צָפַנְתִּי אִמְרָתֶךָ״, וּכְתִיב ״בִּשַּׂרְתִּי צֶדֶק בְּקָהָל רַב״! לָא קַשְׁיָא: כָּאן — בִּזְמַן שֶׁעִירָא הַיָּאִירִי קַיָּים, כָּאן — בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵין עִירָא הַיָּאִירִי קַיָּים.
Rav Hamnuna raised a contradiction between the verse previously mentioned and another verse: It is written: “Your word have I hidden in my heart,” implying that David did not want to reveal the words of Torah, whereas in a second verse it is written: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation” (Psalms 40:10). He answered: This is not difficult. Here, in the verse in which David remained silent, it is referring to the period when Ira HaYa’iri, David’s teacher, was alive; there, in the verse where he publicized his words, it is referring to the period when Ira HaYa’iri was no longer alive.
אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר זַבְדָּא: כׇּל הַנּוֹתֵן מַתְּנוֹתָיו לְכֹהֵן אֶחָד, מֵבִיא רָעָב לְעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״עִירָא הַיָּאִירִי הָיָה כֹהֵן לְדָוִד״. לְדָוִד הוּא דַּהֲוָה כֹּהֵן, לְכוּלֵּי עָלְמָא לָא?! אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיָה מְשַׁגֵּר לוֹ מַתְּנוֹתָיו, וּכְתִיב בָּתְרֵיהּ: ״וַיְהִי רָעָב בִּימֵי דָוִד״.
Having mentioned Ira HaYa’iri, the Gemara now cites a related teaching. Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said: Whoever gives all his priestly gifts to one priest has acted improperly and brings famine into the world as punishment. As it is stated: “And also Ira HaYa’iri was a priest for David” (II Samuel 20:26), which invites the question: Was he a priest for David alone, and not for anyone else? Rather, it means that David would send all his priestly gifts to him alone, i.e., he was the only priest to enjoy David’s gifts. And it is written afterward: “And there was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year” (II Samuel 21:1).
רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר: מוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ מִגְּדוּלָּתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן אֶל אַנְשֵׁי הַצָּבָא וְגוֹ׳״. אַף עַל גַּב דַּאֲמַר לְהוּ: לַאֲחִי אַבָּא צִוָּה, וְאוֹתִי לֹא צִוָּה — אֲפִילּוּ הָכִי, אִיעֲנַשׁ.
Rabbi Eliezer says: Anyone who rules in his teacher’s presence is lowered from his position of greatness, as it is stated: “And Elazar the priest said to the men of war who went to battle: This is the statute of the Torah which the Lord commanded Moses” (Numbers 31:21). Although Elazar said to the soldiers: God commanded this statute to my father’s brother, while to me He did not command it, even so he was punished for speaking in this manner in the presence of his teacher, Moses.
דִּכְתִיב: ״וְלִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן יַעֲמֹד״, וְלָא אַשְׁכְּחַן דְּאִיצְטְרִיךְ לֵיהּ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ.
What was his punishment? As it is written that God had told Moses with regard to Joshua: “And he shall stand before Elazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation” (Numbers 27:21). Elazar was originally awarded a place of great honor. But we do not find in the Bible that Joshua ever had need of him. It is never stated that Joshua made use of the Urim through Elazar, which shows that Elazar never achieved the greatness promised him.
אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי: כׇּל דְּמוֹתֵיב מִלָּה קַמֵּיהּ רַבֵּיהּ — אָזֵיל לִשְׁאוֹל בְּלֹא וָלָד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיַּעַן יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן מְשָׁרֵת מֹשֶׁה מִבְּחוּרָיו וַיֹּאמַר אֲדוֹנִי מֹשֶׁה כְּלָאֵם״.
With regard to this same issue, Rabbi Levi said: Whoever answers a word in the presence of his teacher will go down to the netherworld childless, as it is stated: “And Joshua bin Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth, answered and said: My lord Moses, shut them in” (Numbers 11:28). Since he spoke to his teacher out of turn, he was punished by remaining childless.