Gittin 38bגיטין ל״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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38bל״ח ב

וכפו את רבה ועשאה בת חורין ואמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מנהג הפקר נהגו בה

and the court forced her master to emancipate her, and he made her a free woman. And Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said in explanation of why they forced him to do this: They took liberties with her, i.e., people engaged in sexual intercourse with her freely. This demonstrates that it is permitted to free a slave to prevent people from violating prohibitions.

הכי השתא התם לא לעבד חזיא ולא לבן חורין חזיא הכא אפשר דמיחד לה לעבדיה ומנטר לה

The Gemara rejects this proof: How can these cases be compared? There, in the case of a half-maidservant half-free woman, she is not fit for marrying a slave and she is not fit for marrying a freeman. This is why she is available to all, and the only way to solve this problem is to emancipate her. Here, in the case of the maidservant, it is possible for the master to assign her to marry his slave, and that slave will guard her from people who wish to be promiscuous with her. Therefore, it is not necessary to emancipate her.

גופא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל המשחרר עבדו עובר בעשה שנאמר (ויקרא כה, מו) לעולם בהם תעבודו

§ The Gemara returns to discussing the matter itself cited above. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: Anyone who emancipates his slave violates a positive mitzva, as it is stated: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” (Leviticus 25:46). This is a positive mitzva requiring that one subjugate slaves their entire lives. Therefore, it is prohibited to emancipate them.

מיתיבי מעשה בר' אליעזר שנכנס בבית הכנסת ולא מצא עשרה ושחרר עבדו והשלימו לעשרה מצוה שאני:

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: There was an incident involving Rabbi Eliezer, who entered a synagogue to pray, and he did not find a quorum of ten men, and he emancipated his slave and had him complete a quorum of ten. This demonstrates that one is permitted to emancipate his slave. The Gemara answers: Freeing a slave to enable the performance of a mitzva, e.g., completing a quorum, is different. This does not demonstrate that in general one is permitted to emancipate his slave.

ת"ר לעולם בהם תעבודו רשות דברי רבי ישמעאל ר"ע אומר חובה ודילמא ר"א סבר לה כמאן דאמר רשות

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita to the proof citing the incident involving Rabbi Eliezer: The Sages taught: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever,” is optional; this is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. Rabbi Akiva says: It is an obligation. The Gemara now explains the Gemara’s objection: But perhaps Rabbi Eliezer holds in accordance with the opinion of the one who says that it is optional. Therefore, the incident involving Rabbi Eliezer cannot serve as a proof that even those who hold that it is prohibited to free a slave would hold that it is permitted to free a slave to enable the performance of a mitzva.

לא סלקא דעתך דתניא בהדיא רבי אליעזר אומר חובה

The Gemara answers: It cannot enter your mind to say that Rabbi Eliezer holds that enslaving them permanently is optional, as it is taught explicitly in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” is an obligation.

אמר רבה בהני תלת מילי נחתי בעלי בתים מנכסיהון דמפקי עבדייהו לחירותא ודסיירי נכסייהו בשבתא ודקבעי סעודתייהו בשבתא בעידן בי מדרשא דא"ר חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן שתי משפחות היו בירושלים אחת קבעה סעודתא בשבתא ואחת קבעה סעודתא בערב שבת ושתיהן נעקרו

In connection with this issue, Rabba said: With these three matters homeowners become impoverished: That they emancipate their slaves; and that they inspect their property on Shabbat; and that they set their meals on Shabbat at the time of the sermon in the study hall, so that they miss it, as Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: There were two families in Jerusalem, one that set its meal on Shabbat and one that set its meal on the eve of Shabbat, and both of them were uprooted. One family was uprooted because they caused the suspension of Torah study, and the other was uprooted because by eating their meal on Shabbat eve, they did not properly distinguish between Shabbat and Shabbat eve.

אמר רבה אמר רב המקדיש עבדו יצא לחירות מאי טעמא גופיה לא קדיש לדמי לא קאמר דליהוי (דברים יד, ב) עם קדוש קאמר

§ Rabba says that Rav says: With regard to one who consecrates his slave, the slave is emancipated. The Gemara explains: What is the reason for this? He did not consecrate the slave himself, as the slave cannot become consecrated to be an offering. If you say that it is only with regard to his monetary value that he is consecrated, i.e., the owner pledges to give the value of his slave to the Temple, his owner did not say this. Therefore, it must be that he said that this slave should be a member of the sacred nation, meaning that the slave should be emancipated and become a Jew.

ורב יוסף אמר רב המפקיר עבדו יצא לחירות מ"ד מקדיש כ"ש מפקיר מאן דאמר מפקיר אבל מקדיש לא דלמא לדמי קאמר

And Rav Yosef says that Rav says: With regard to one who renounces ownership of his slave, the slave is emancipated. The Gemara points out: According to the one who says that one who consecrates his slave emancipates him, this is all the more so with regard to one who renounces ownership. But according to the one who says that one who renounces ownership of his slave emancipates his slave holds that this is the halakha only if one renounces ownership of his slave; but one who consecrates his slave does not emancipate him, as perhaps when he consecrated his slave he said that his slave is consecrated with regard to his monetary value, he should be sold and the profit donated toward the Temple maintenance.

איבעיא להו צריך גט שיחרור או לא צריך ת"ש דאמר רב חייא בר אבין אמר רב אחד זה ואחד זה יצא לחירות וצריך גט שחרור

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: In both of these cases, where the slave is emancipated after his owner renounces his ownership of him or consecrates him, does the slave require a bill of manumission, or does he not require a bill of manumission? The Gemara suggests a proof to resolve this dilemma: Come and hear that which Rav Ḥiyya bar Avin says that Rav says: In both this case, where one consecrates his slave, and that case, where one renounces ownership of his slave, the slave is emancipated but nevertheless requires a bill of manumission.

אמר רבה ומותבינן אשמעתין המקדיש נכסיו והיו בהן עבדים אין הגזברין רשאין להוציאן לחירות אבל מוכרין אותן לאחרים ואחרים מוציאין אותן לחירות רבי אומר אומר אני אף הוא נותן דמי עצמו ויוצא מפני שהוא כמוכרו לו מתני' קא רמית עליה דרב רב תנא הוא ופליג

Rabba said: And we raise an objection from a baraita to our halakha that Rav said that one who consecrates his slave emancipates him: With regard to one who consecrates all his possessions, and among them were slaves, the Temple treasurers are not allowed to emancipate them. However, they may sell the slaves to others, and these others may emancipate them. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: I say that even the slave himself can give his own monetary value and is emancipated, due to the fact that it is as if the Temple treasurer sold him to himself. This demonstrates that the act of consecrating one’s slave does not emancipate him. The Gemara rejects this argument: Do you raise an objection to Rav from a baraita? Rav himself is a tanna, and, as such, has the authority to dispute the determination in the baraita.

ת"ש (ויקרא כז, כח) אך כל חרם וגו' מאדם אלו עבדיו ושפחותיו הכנענים הכא במאי עסקינן דאמר לדמי

The Gemara raises another objection from a baraita to the opinion of Rav: Come and hear: “Notwithstanding, no dedicated thing that a man may dedicate to the Lord from all that he has, whether of man or beast, or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed” (Leviticus 27:28). The Sages interpret the verse as follows: “Of man”; these are his Canaanite slaves and maidservants. This demonstrates that one may consecrate his slaves and they are not emancipated as a result. The Gemara answers: With what are we dealing here? This is referring to a case where the master said explicitly that he is consecrating them with regard to their monetary value.

אי הכי אידך נמי דאמר לדמי

The Gemara asks: If that is so, then why not say that the other baraita quoted above is also referring to a case where one said explicitly that the slave is consecrated with regard to his monetary value? Why is it necessary to answer that Rav disagrees with that baraita?

א"ה אין הגזברים רשאין להוציאן לחירות גזברים מאי עבידתייהו

The Gemara answers: If that is so, that the baraita is referring to one who said that the slaves are consecrated only with regard to their monetary value, then why does the baraita state that the Temple treasurers [gizbarim] are not allowed to emancipate them. The Temple treasurers; what are they doing in this discussion? They would never be able to emancipate the slaves, as the slaves were never actually consecrated.

ותו אבל מוכרין אותן לאחרים ואחרים מוציאין אותן לחירות אחרים מאי עבידתייהו ותו רבי אומר אומר אני אף הוא נותן דמי עצמו ויוצא מפני שהוא כמוכרו לו ואי לדמי מאי מפני שהוא כמוכרו לו

And furthermore, the baraita states: However, they may sell the slaves to others, and these others may emancipate them. Others; what are they doing in this discussion? They also should not be able to emancipate the slaves. And furthermore, the baraita states: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: I say that even the slave himself can give his own monetary value and is emancipated, due to the fact that it is as if the Temple treasurer sold him to himself. And if the slave was consecrated only with regard to his monetary value, what is the meaning of: Due to the fact that it is as if the Temple treasurer sold him to himself? The baraita makes sense only according to the opinion that one who consecrates a slave consecrates the slave himself, and since there is nothing for the Temple to do with the slave, he must be redeemed and the money used in his place. Therefore, the baraita contradicts Rav’s opinion.

תא שמע המקדיש עבדו עושה ואוכל שלא הקדיש אלא דמיו

The Gemara raises another objection to Rav’s opinion from a baraita: Come and hear: In a case of one who consecrates his slave, the slave works and is sustained as compensation for his labor, as the master consecrated only his monetary value and donates that sum to the Temple treasury. This demonstrates that the slave does not become consecrated, as he may still work for the master, and he is also not emancipated.