Gittin 59aגיטין נ״ט א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Save "Gittin 59a"
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
59aנ״ט א

אנא הואי במניינא דבי רבי ומינאי דידי מנו ברישא

I was present for the counting of the vote in the court set up in the school of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi when they established this ordinance, and they would start with me first, asking for my opinion on the matter, although I was the youngest member of the court.

והאנן תנן דיני ממונות והטהרות והטומאות מתחילין מן הגדול ודיני נפשות מתחילין מן הצד

The Gemara asks: But didn’t we learn in the mishna (Sanhedrin 32a): In cases of monetary law and in cases involving ritual purities and impurities, the judges begin their deliberations with the opinion of the most learned member sitting on the bench, as a demonstration of honor to him. But in cases of capital law, they begin their deliberations with the opinion of the youngest member who sits on one of the side benches of the court, lest the junior members be unduly influenced by the opinion of their elders, and people come to be wrongfully executed as a result. The matter involving Rav was not a capital case. Why did they begin their deliberations with Rav, who was certainly not the most learned member of the court, as that designation clearly belonged to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi?

אמר רבה בריה דרבא ואיתימא ר' הילל בריה דר' וולס שאני מנינא דבי רבי דכולהו מנינייהו מן הצד הוו מתחילין

And Rabba, son of Rava, says, and some say that it was Rabbi Hillel, son of Rabbi Volas, who says: The counting of the vote in the court in the school of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was different, as all of their deliberations and countings of the vote would begin with the junior members sitting on the side. This was because Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was held in such high esteem that once he expressed his opinion, nobody would be so brazen as to contradict him.

ואמר רבה בריה דרבא ואיתימא רבי הילל בריה דרבי וולס מימות משה ועד רבי לא מצינו תורה וגדולה במקום אחד

And apropos of the greatness of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, Rabba, son of Rava, says, and some say that it was Rabbi Hillel, son of Rabbi Volas, who says: From the days of Moses and until the days of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi we do not find unparalleled greatness in Torah knowledge and unparalleled greatness in secular matters, including wealth and high political office, combined in one place, i.e., in a single individual.

ולא הא הוה יהושע הוה אלעזר הא הוה אלעזר הוה פנחס והא הוה פנחס הוו זקנים

The Gemara asks: But was there not such a person? Wasn’t there Joshua, who was unparalleled in both domains? The Gemara answers: During his day there was Elazar, who was Joshua’s equal in Torah knowledge. The Gemara asks: Wasn’t there Elazar, who outlived Joshua? The Gemara answers: During his day, there was Pinehas, who was Elazar’s equal in Torah knowledge. The Gemara objects: Wasn’t there Pinehas, who outlived Elazar? The Gemara answers: There were the Elders, who were equal to Pinehas in Torah knowledge.

הא הוה שאול הוה שמואל והא נח נפשיה כולהו שני קאמרינן והא הוה דוד הוה עירא היאירי

The Gemara further objects: Wasn’t there Saul, who was unparalleled in both domains? The Gemara answers: There was Samuel, who was Saul’s equal in Torah knowledge. The Gemara asks: But didn’t Samuel pass away in Saul’s lifetime, leaving Saul the leading figure in both domains? The Gemara answers: We meant to say that from the days of Moses to the days of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi there was no other single individual who reigned supreme in Torah and greatness for all the years that he was the leader of the Jewish people. The Gemara asks: But wasn’t there David, who was both the greatest Torah authority and the most powerful temporal authority of his day? The Gemara answers: There was Ira the Jairite, who was David’s equal in Torah knowledge.

והא נח נפשיה כולהו שני בעינן הא הוה שלמה הוה שמעי בן גרא והא קטליה כולהו שני קאמרינן

The Gemara objects: But didn’t Ira the Jairite pass away in David’s lifetime? The Gemara answers: In order to qualify for this designation, we require that he be the leading figure in both Torah and high office for all the years that he is the leader of the Jewish people. The Gemara asks: Wasn’t there Solomon, who was unparalleled in both domains? The Gemara answers: During his day there was Shimi ben Gera, who was Solomon’s master in Torah knowledge. The Gemara objects: But didn’t Solomon kill him at the beginning of his reign (see I Kings, chapter 2)? The Gemara answers: We meant to say that from the days of Moses to the days of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi there was no other single individual who reigned supreme in Torah and greatness all of his years.

הא הוה חזקיה הוה שבנא הא איקטיל כולהו שני קאמרינן והא הוה עזרא הוה נחמיה בן חכליה

The Gemara further objects: Wasn’t there Hezekiah, who was both the leading Torah scholar of his age and also the king of his people? The Gemara answers: There was Shebnah in that generation, who was Hezekiah’s equal in Torah knowledge. The Gemara asks: Wasn’t he killed in the war against Sennacherib? The Gemara answers: We meant to say that there was no similar individual who reigned supreme in both Torah and high office all of his years. The Gemara asks: But wasn’t there Ezra, who was the greatest Torah sage of his day and the leader of the Jewish people? The Gemara answers: There was Nehemiah ben Hacaliah who was his equal.

אמר רב אחא בריה דרבא אף אני אומר מימות רבי ועד רב אשי לא מצינו תורה וגדולה במקום אחד ולא והא הוה הונא בר נתן שאני הונא בר נתן דמיכף הוה כייף ליה לרב אשי:

Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, says: I also say something similar, that from the days of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and until the days of Rav Ashi, we do not find unparalleled greatness in Torah knowledge and unparalleled greatness in secular matters, including wealth and high political office, combined in one place, i.e., in a single individual. The Gemara asks: But was there not such a person? But wasn’t there Huna bar Natan, who enjoyed both great Torah scholarship and great wealth, who lived during the time of Rav Ashi? The Gemara answers: Huna bar Natan is different, as he himself was subordinate to Rav Ashi, who was his superior in both domains.

מתני׳ חרש רומז ונרמז ובן בתירא אומר קופץ ונקפץ במטלטלין הפעוטות מקחן מקח וממכרן ממכר במטלטלין:

MISHNA: The following enactments were also made for the betterment of the world: A deaf-mute may express his wishes through gestures [romez]; that is to say, he can signal that he wishes to buy or sell a certain item, and the purchase or sale is valid. And similarly he may respond to others through gestures; that is to say, he can signal that he agrees to a transaction initiated by another party, and the transaction is valid. And ben Beteira says: Signals are not necessary, as even if he expresses his wishes to buy or sell through lip movements [kofetz] or responds to others through lip movements, the transaction is valid. These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property. It was similarly enacted that a purchase made by young children [paotot] is a valid purchase, and a sale made by them is a valid sale. These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property.

גמ׳ א"ר נחמן מחלוקת במטלטלין אבל בגיטין דברי הכל ברמיזה

GEMARA: Rav Naḥman says in clarification of the scope of the dispute between the first tanna and ben Beteira: The dispute is only with regard to the purchase or sale of movable property. But with regard to bills of divorce, all agree, even ben Beteira, that a deaf-mute can communicate only through gestures and not through lip movements.

פשיטא במטלטלין תנן מהו דתימא אף במטלטלין קמ"ל

The Gemara asks: It is obvious that this is the case, as didn’t we learn in the mishna: These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property? The Gemara answers: Rav Naḥman’s statement is necessary, lest you say that the mishna means that these halakhot apply even to transactions involving movable property, and they similarly apply to other matters, such as bills of divorce. Therefore, Rav Naḥman teaches us that ben Beteira’s validation of lip movements applies only to transactions involving movable property, but not to bills of divorce.

איכא דאמרי א"ר נחמן כמחלוקת במטלטלין כך מחלוקת בגיטין והאנן במטלטלין תנן אימא אף במטלטלין:

There are those who say an alternative version of the previous passage, that Rav Naḥman says as follows: Just as there is a dispute between the first tanna and ben Beteira with regard to transactions involving movable property, so too, there is a dispute with regard to bills of divorce. The Gemara objects: But didn’t we learn in the mishna: These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property? The Gemara answers: Say that the mishna means as follows: These halakhot apply even to transactions involving movable property, and similarly they apply to other matters, such as bills of divorce.

הפעוטות מקחן מקח וממכרן ממכר במטלטלין: ועד כמה מחוי רב יהודה לרב יצחק בריה כבר שית כבר שב רב כהנא אמר כבר שב כבר תמני במתניתא תנא כבר תשע כבר עשר

§ The mishna teaches that a purchase made by young children is a valid purchase, and a sale made by them is a valid sale. These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property. The Gemara asks: And from what age are children included in this enactment? Rav Yehuda pointed to Rav Yitzḥak, his son: From the age of about six or seven. Rav Kahana said: From the age of about seven or eight. It was taught in a baraita: From the age of about nine or ten.

ולא פליגי כל חד וחד לפי חורפיה וטעמא מאי א"ר אבא בר יעקב א"ר יוחנן משום כדי חייו

The Gemara comments: And they do not disagree about the issue itself; rather, each child is evaluated according to his sharpness. Some children are gifted and understand the nature of business transactions from an earlier age, while others are slower and do not reach the requisite understanding until they are older. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that the Sages instituted this enactment for young children? Rabbi Abba bar Ya’akov says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: In order to provide for the child’s livelihood, as there may be times a child will have no other way to support himself but to engage in some type of business. If his transactions are not valid, he will go hungry.

(מלכים ב י, כב) ויאמר לאשר על המלתחה הוצא לבוש לכל עובדי הבעל מאי מלתחה א"ר אבא בר יעקב א"ר יוחנן דבר הנמלל ונמתח

Having cited a tradition reported by Rabbi Abba bar Ya’akov, the Gemara cites another such statement with regard to a different matter: The verse states: “And he said to him who was over the wardrobe [meltaḥa]: Bring forth garments for all the worshippers of the Ba’al” (II Kings 10:22). What is the meaning of the word meltaḥa”? Rabbi Abba bar Ya’akov says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It is something that can be compressed and then stretched [nimlal venimtaḥ] back to its former size; i.e., a certain type of garment that can be folded up so that it is very small, and afterward unfolded so that it is very large.

כי אתא רב דימי א"ר יוחנן שיגר לו בוניים בן נוניים לרבי סיבני וחומס סלסלה ומלמלא סיבני וחומס כאמגוזא ופלגיה דאמגוזא סלסלה ומלמלא כפיסתקא ופלגי דפיסתקא מאי מלמלא דבר הנמלל ונמתח

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A wealthy man named Bonyam ben Nunyam once sent Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi a gift comprised of the following items: Sivni and ḥoms, salsela and malmala, which were all special types of linen. The Gemara explains what was unique about each of these fabrics: When folded, the sivni and ḥoms could be compressed to the size, respectively, of a nut and half a nut. When the salsela and malmala were folded, they could be compressed to the size, respectively, of a pistachio nut and half a pistachio nut. These fabrics were so thin that they could be compressed to a small size, but when they were unfolded they were large enough to cover Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s body. The Gemara explains further: What is the meaning of the term malmala? It is something that can be compressed and stretched.

וטעותן עד כמה א"ר יונה א"ר זירא עד שתות כגדול

The Gemara returns to examine the matter of the transactions of young children and asks: And up to how much is their mistake? What is the maximum amount a child can underpay or overcharge without the mistake canceling the sale? Rabbi Yona says that Rabbi Zeira says: Up to one-sixth of the article’s value, like the mistake of an adult. If the buyer or seller underpaid or overcharged up to one-sixth of the article’s true value, the wronged party can demand reimbursement. If the error in price was greater than one-sixth, the transaction is annulled.

בעי אביי מתנתו מאי רב יימר אמר אין מתנתו מתנה מר בר רב אשי אמר מתנתו מתנה

Abaye raises a dilemma: What is the halakha with regard to a young child’s gift? Rav Yeimar says: His gift is not a valid gift. Mar bar Rav Ashi says: His gift is a valid gift.

אפכוה ושדרוה לקמיה דרב מרדכי א"ל זילו אמרו לבר מר לאו הכי הוה עובדא כי הוה קאי מר חד כרעיה אארעא וחד כרעיה אדרגא ואמרנא ליה מתנתו מאי ואמר לן מתנתו מתנה אחת מתנת שכיב מרע ואחת מתנת בריא אחת מתנה מרובה ואחת מתנה מועטת:

The Sages reversed the attributions of these two statements and sent word of this dispute to Rav Mordekhai, leading him to understand that it was Mar bar Rav Ashi who said that the child’s gift is not valid. Rav Mordekhai said to them: Go say to Mar son of my Master, Rav Ashi: Wasn’t the incident as follows? When the Master, Rav Ashi, was standing with one foot on the ground and one foot on the step, we said to him: What is the halakha with regard to a young child’s gift? And he said to us: His gift is a valid gift, whether it is the gift of a person on his deathbed, who gives instructions before his death concerning the disposal of his property, or it is the gift of a healthy person, whether it is a large gift or it is a small gift. In all cases the gift is valid.

מתני׳ אלו דברים אמרו מפני דרכי שלום כהן קורא ראשון ואחריו לוי ואחריו ישראל מפני דרכי שלום מערבין בבית ישן מפני דרכי שלום

MISHNA: Having mentioned a series of enactments instituted by the Sages for the sake of the betterment of the world, the Gemara continues: These are the matters that the Sages instituted on account of the ways of peace, i.e., to foster peace and prevent strife and controversy: At public readings of the Torah, a priest reads first, and after him a Levite, and after him an Israelite. The Sages instituted this order on account of the ways of peace, so that people should not quarrel about who is the most distinguished member of the community. Similarly, the Sages enacted that a joining of courtyards is placed in an old house where it had regularly been placed on account of the ways of peace, as will be explained in the Gemara.