Gittin 38aגיטין ל״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Save "Gittin 38a"
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
38aל״ח א

ולא הם קונים מכם ולא הם קונים זה מזה יכול לא יקנו זה את זה יכול לא יקנו זה את זה האמרת לא הם קונים זה מזה ה"ק ולא הם קונים זה מזה לגופו

but the gentiles cannot acquire one of you, as they do not have the ability to acquire a Jew as a slave, and they cannot acquire each other as slaves. The Gemara begins to introduce a question: One might have thought that they shall not be able to acquire each other. The Gemara immediately clarifies its question: Can it be that one might have thought that they shall not be able to acquire each other; but didn’t you already say that they cannot acquire each other? Rather, this is what he said: Gentiles cannot acquire each other with regard to the slave himself.

יכול לא יקנו זה את זה למעשה ידיו אמרת ק"ו עובד כוכבים ישראל קונה עובד כוכבים עובד כוכבים לא כ"ש

The Gemara now restates the question: One might have thought that they shall not be able to acquire each other as slaves even for the rights to his labor. The Gemara answers: You can say an a fortiori inference: If a gentile can acquire a Jew for the rights to his labor, as stated explicitly in the Torah (Leviticus 25:47), all the more so is it not clear that a gentile can acquire a gentile?

ואימא הני מילי בכספא אבל בחזקה לא אמר רב פפא עמון ומואב טהרו בסיחון

The Gemara challenges: But I could say that this halakha, that a gentile can acquire a gentile as a slave for the rights to his labor, applies only to acquisition via money. However, via an act of possession, by taking him captive, he does not acquire him. Rav Pappa says in response: The land of Ammon and Moab became purified through the conquest of Sihon. After the conquest of Sihon, the land that had belonged to Ammon and Moab was considered the property of Sihon, and it was permitted for the Jewish people to conquer it although they had not been permitted to conquer the land of Ammon and Moab. In the same manner, a gentile can acquire a slave by taking possession of him as a captive.

אשכחן עובד כוכבים עובד כוכבים עובד כוכבים ישראל מנלן דכתיב (במדבר כא, א) וישב ממנו שבי

The Gemara asks: We found a source for a gentile acquiring a gentile through conquest, which is an act of taking possession; from where do we derive that a gentile can also acquire a Jew through the act of possession such as conquest? The Gemara answers: As it is written: “And the Canaanites, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took of them captive” (Numbers 21:1). This indicates that even a Jew is acquired by a gentile through the act of possession, in this case, conquest in war.

אמר רב שמן בר אבא א"ר יוחנן עבד שברח מבית האסורים יצא לחירות ולא עוד אלא שכופין את רבו וכותב לו גט שיחרור

§ Rav Shemen bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A slave who escaped from prison is emancipated. He is no longer subjugated to his owner, as it is assumed that his owner has despaired of retrieving him. And moreover, his master is forced to write him a bill of manumission so that he can marry a Jewish woman.

תנן רשב"ג אומר בין כך ובין כך ישתעבד ואמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר יוחנן כל מקום ששנה רשב"ג במשנתנו הלכה כמותו חוץ מערב וצידן וראיה אחרונה

We learned in the mishna that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says with regard to a slave who was redeemed from captivity: Both in this case and in that case he will be a slave. And Rabba bar bar Ḥana says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Every place where Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel taught a ruling in our mishna, the halakha is in accordance with his opinion, except for the following three cases: The responsibility of the guarantor, and the incident that occurred in the city of Tzaidan, and the dispute with regard to evidence in the final disagreement. Therefore, according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel in the mishna here, as it is not one of those three cases. This contradicts the ruling of Rabbi Yoḥanan cited above concerning a slave who escapes prison.

בשלמא לאביי מוקי לה להאי לפני יאוש והאי לאחר יאוש

The Gemara clarifies: Granted, according to the opinion of Abaye, he establishes the mishna as referring to a slave who is redeemed before the owner’s despair. For this reason, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel rules that the redeemed slave is not emancipated, and the halakha is in accordance with his ruling. And this statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan, that a slave who escapes from prison goes free, applies after the owner’s despair. Therefore, there is no contradiction between the two statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan.

אלא לרבא דאמר לאחר יאוש קשיא דרבי יוחנן אדרבי יוחנן

However, according to the opinion of Rava, who said that the mishna here is referring to a slave who is redeemed after the despair of the owner, there is a difficulty. The difficulty is due to the contradiction between the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan in which he rules against the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, as he holds that a slave who escapes prison is emancipated, and the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan in which he rules that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel.

אמר לך רבא טעמא מאי משום דחזקיה בורח שאני השתא לקטלא מסר נפשיה אפולי אפיל נפשיה לגייסות

The Gemara answers: Rava could have said to you: What is the reason that a slave who was redeemed is not emancipated? It is because of the concern expressed by Ḥizkiyya, that perhaps slaves would allow themselves to be captured by foreign troops in the hope that they would be redeemed and consequently emancipated. However, the case of one who escapes from prison is different, as the concern raised by Ḥizkiyya is not applicable. If now it is apparent that he is willing to give himself over to death to escape captivity, as he would be put to death for attempting to escape prison, is there a concern that he will throw himself willingly into captivity by allowing himself to be captured by foreign troops?

אמתיה דמר שמואל אשתבאי פרקוה לשום אמהתא ושדרוה ליה שלחו ליה אנן כרשב"ג סבירא לן את אי נמי כרבנן סבירא לך אנן לשום אמהתא פרקינן לה ניהלה

The Gemara relates: The maidservant of Master Shmuel was taken captive. Some people redeemed her to be a maidservant and sent her to him. They sent him the following message: We hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and therefore we hold that in any case she remains your maidservant. Even if you hold in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis in the mishna, then you should know that we redeemed her to be a maidservant, and even the Rabbis would agree that she remains your maidservant.

ואינהו סבור לפני יאוש הוה ולא היא לאחר יאוש הוה ושמואל לא מיבעי' דאשתעבודי לא משתעבד בה אלא גיטא דחירותא נמי לא אצרכה

The Gemara adds: And they thought that this was before his despair, but that is not so. It was after his despair, and when Shmuel received the maidservant, it is not necessary to say that he did not enslave her. But also, he did not require her to receive a bill of manumission, as he held that she was a free woman in every respect.

שמואל לטעמיה דאמר שמואל המפקיר עבדו יצא לחירות ואינו צריך גט שיחרור שנאמר (שמות יב, מד) וכל עבד איש מקנת כסף עבד איש ולא עבד אשה אלא עבד שיש לו רשות לרבו עליו קרוי עבד שאין לו רשות לרבו עליו אין קרוי עבד

The Gemara comments: In this matter, Shmuel conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as Shmuel says: With regard to one who renounces ownership of his slave, the slave is emancipated, and he does not even require a bill of manumission. Shmuel cited a proof from that which is stated: “But every slave man that is bought for money” (Exodus 12:44). Does this apply only to a slave who is a man, and not to a woman slave? Rather, it means: The slave of a man, i.e., a slave whose master has authority and control over him, is called a slave, since he is the slave of a particular man. However, with regard to a slave whose master does not have authority over him, such as one who has been declared ownerless, he is not called a slave but a freeman. Therefore, once Shmuel despaired of retrieving his maidservant, she was no longer under his control and did not require a bill of manumission.

אמתיה דרבי אבא בר זוטרא אישתבאי פרקה ההוא תרמודאה לשום איתתא שלחו ליה לדידיה אי יאות עבדת שדר לה גיטא דחירותא

The Gemara relates: The maidservant of Rabbi Abba bar Zutra was taken captive. A certain gentile tarmoda’a redeemed her to be his wife. The Sages sent a message to Rabbi Abba bar Zutra: If you wish to act correctly, send her a bill of manumission.

היכי דמי אי דמצו פרקי לה למה לי גיטא דחירותא אי דלא מצו פרקי לה כי שדר לה גיטא דחירותא מאי הוי

The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances? If this is a situation where the Jews are able to redeem her, why do I need a bill of manumission? They should redeem her to be a maidservant. If this is a situation where they are unable to redeem her, when he sends her a bill of manumission, what of it? What effect will it have, as she is currently under the control of this gentile?

לעולם דמצו פרקי לה וכיון דמשדר לה גיטא דחירותא חבורי מחברי אהדדי ופרקי לה ואב"א לעולם דלא מצו פרקי לה וכיון דמשדר לה גיטא דחירותא מיתזלא באפיה ומפריק לה

The Gemara answers: Actually, it is referring to a situation where they are able to redeem her but are not doing so. And since he sends her a bill of manumission, the residents of the city will join together and redeem her, as she is now a full-fledged Jew, whereas they would not have redeemed her to be a maidservant. And if you wish, say instead: Actually, it is referring to a case where they are unable to redeem her, as the ransom was too expensive. And once he sends her a bill of manumission, she will be disrespected in the eyes of the gentile who redeemed her to marry her, as he will find out that she is a maidservant of a Jew, and he will allow her to be redeemed.

והאמר מר חביבה להן בהמתן של ישראל יותר מנשותיהן הני מילי בצינעא אבל בפרהסיא זילא בהו מילתא

The Gemara challenges this statement: Would it be easier to redeem the maidservant once the gentile discovered that she is the maidservant of a Jew? But didn’t the Master say: The animals of Jews are more beloved to gentiles than their own wives? Apparently, the gentiles held the Jews in high regard, and the fact that she was a Jewish maidservant would not lower her in the gentile’s estimation. The Gemara answers: This statement applies only concerning matters that take place in private; however, in public, the matter is disrespected, and a gentile would not marry the maidservant of a Jew.

ההיא אמתא דהות בפומבדיתא דהוו קא מעבדי בה אינשי איסורא אמר אביי אי לאו דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל המשחרר עבדו עובר בעשה הוה כייפנא ליה למרה וכתיב לה גיטא דחירותא רבינא אמר כי הא מודה רב יהודה משום מילתא דאיסורא

§ The Gemara relates: There was an incident involving a certain maidservant in Pumbedita with whom people were performing prohibited sexual acts, and her master was unable to prevent this. Abaye said: If not for the fact that Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says that anyone who emancipates his slave violates a positive mitzva, as it is written in the Torah: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” (Leviticus 25:46), I would force her master, and he would write and give her a bill of manumission, enabling her to marry a Jew, which would ensure that she would cease her promiscuous behavior. Ravina said: In a case like that, Rav Yehuda concedes that it is permitted to emancipate her, due to the prohibited matter that others are violating.

ואביי משום איסורא לא האמר רב חנינא בר רב קטינא אמר ר' יצחק מעשה באשה אחת שחציה שפחה וחציה בת חורין

The Gemara asks: And does Abaye hold that one cannot emancipate a slave even due to a prohibition that is being violated? Didn’t Rav Ḥanina bar Rav Ketina say that Rav Yitzḥak says: There was an incident involving a woman who was a half-maidservant half-free woman, as she had belonged to two masters and was emancipated by one of them,