Keritot 24aכריתות כ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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24aכ״ד א

במפריש שני אשמות לאחריות ונתכפר באחת מהן דשני ירעה עד שיסתאב וימכר ויפלו דמיו לנדבה

in a case where one designates two provisional guilt offerings from the outset as a guarantee, so that if one is lost he may achieve atonement with the other, and he achieved atonement with one of them. He concedes that the second animal retains its sanctity and shall graze until it becomes blemished and that then it shall be sold and the money received for it shall be allocated for communal gift offerings.

מאי טעמא ע"כ לא פליגי ר"מ עליהון דרבנן אלא משום דלא גלי דעתיה דלבו נוקפו אבל הכא מכדי חד הוא דאיבעי ליה לאפרושי מ"ט אפריש תרי דסבר אי מירכס חדא מיכפרנא באידך חבריה וכיון דגלי דעתיה דלבו נוקפו היה הואיל וכך היה גמר והקדישו

What is the reason that Rabbi Meir agrees in such a case? Rabbi Meir disagrees with the Rabbis in a case where one brings a provisional guilt offering and later discovers with certainty that he did not sin, only because Rabbi Meir holds that the one consecrating the animal did not initially reveal that his heart was striking him with pangs of conscience. But here, in a case where he set aside two animals as provisional guilt offerings, since he was required to designate only one animal, what is the reason that he designated two? Evidently, the reason is that he thought: If one of the animals is lost, I will achieve atonement with the other one. And as he revealed by this scrupulous behavior that his heart was striking him with pangs of conscience, since that was so, he wholeheartedly resolved to consecrate the animal.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מודים חכמים לר"מ באשם תלוי שהוזמו עדיו דיצא וירעה בעדר

§ Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The Rabbis concede to Rabbi Meir in a case of a provisional guilt offering where two witnesses testified that someone may have committed a sin, e.g., that he ate a piece of fat with regard to which there was uncertainty if it was permitted or forbidden fat, and later those witnesses were rendered conspiring witnesses, that the animal shall go out and graze among the flock as a non-sacred animal.

מ"ט עד כאן לא פליגי רבנן עליה אלא היכא דאפרשיה ע"פ עצמו ואמרינן לבו נוקפו אבל היכא דע"פ עדים אפרשיה לא הוה סמוך עילוי דעדים דסבר דלמא אתו אחרים ומזמי להו

What is the reason? It is that the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Meir only in a case where the person designated the animal as a provisional guilt offering of his own volition, and therefore we say that his heart was striking him with pangs of conscience and he wholeheartedly resolved to consecrate the animal. But in a case where he designated the animal as a provisional guilt offering due to the testimony of witnesses, he was not relying on the witnesses. Rather, he thought: Perhaps other witnesses will come and render these witnesses conspiring witnesses.

מתיב רבא שור הנסקל אינו כן אם עד שלא נסקל יצא וירעה בעדר ה"ד אילימא דאתו בי תרי אמרי הרג ובי תרי אמרי לא הרג מאי חזית דציית לבתראי ציית להו לקמאי

Rava raises an objection from the mishna: The case of an ox that is sentenced to be stoned is not similar to the case of a provisional guilt offering, as even the Rabbis agree that if it is discovered that the testimony with regard to the ox was false before it was stoned, it shall go out and graze among the flock. Rava explains his objection: What are the circumstances? If we say that initially two people came and said that the ox killed someone and the animal was therefore sentenced to be stoned, and two people later say that the ox did not kill, what did you see that you listen to the latter pair? You could just as well listen to the former pair.

אלא לאו בעדי הזמה ודכוותיה גבי אשם תלוי בעדי הזמה ופליגי

Rather, isn’t the mishna referring to conspiring witnesses, i.e., the second pair of witnesses testified that the first pair were not in the vicinity at the time of the incident and therefore the testimony of the second pair of witnesses is accepted? And if so, in the corresponding situation in the mishna with regard to a provisional guilt offering, it is likewise referring to conspiring witnesses, i.e., one designated an animal as a provisional guilt offering due to the testimony of witnesses, and they were subsequently proven to be conspiring witnesses. And yet the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Meir in that case and rule that this provisional guilt offering is not rendered non-sacred.

א"ל אביי ודלמא שור הנסקל ה"ד כגון שבא הרוג ברגליו

Abaye said to Rava: This proof is inconclusive. Perhaps one can say that in the case of an ox that is sentenced to be stoned, which goes out and grazes among the flock, what are the circumstances? It is not referring to conspiring witnesses, but rather to a case where the supposedly killed individual comes to the court on his feet, thereby conclusively disproving the testimony.

ודכוותיה גבי אשם תלוי כגון דהוכרה חתיכה אבל היכא דאפרשיה לאשם תלוי ע"פ עדים לא

And in the corresponding situation in the mishna of a provisional guilt offering, it is referring to a case where one designated the animal as a provisional guilt offering of his own volition, and, for example, it later became known that the uncertain piece of fat that he ate was permitted fat. But in a case where he designated an animal as a provisional guilt offering due to the testimony of witnesses, he did not wholeheartedly resolve to consecrate the animal, and therefore it shall go out and graze among the flock.

בפלוגתא אשם תלוי שהוזמו עדיו רבי אלעזר אומר הרי היא כמנחת קנאות דתניא נמצאו עדיה זוממין מנחתה תצא לחולין

The Gemara notes that Rav Yehuda and Rava, who discuss the case of conspiring witness above, disagree with regard to the issue that is the subject of the dispute between Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yoḥanan: If one designated an animal as a provisional guilt offering due to the testimony of witnesses and then those witnesses were rendered conspiring witnesses, Rabbi Elazar says: This case is similar to a meal offering of jealousy, sacrificed as part of the trial undergone by a sota, i.e., a suspected adulteress (see Numbers 5:25–26). As it is taught in a baraita: If the witnesses who testified about her were later found to be conspiring, her meal offering is transferred to non-sacred status. Likewise, a provisional guilt offering whose witnesses were proven to be conspiring witnesses becomes non-sacred.

רבי יוחנן אמר ירעה עד שיסתאב וימכר ויפלו דמיו לנדבה ורבי יוחנן נדמייה למנחת קנאות לא דמי מנחת קנאות לא לכפרה קאתייא אלא לברר עון אבל אשם תלוי דלכפרה אתי מתוך שלבו נוקפו גומר ומקדישו

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: That provisional guilt offering shall graze until it becomes blemished; and then it shall be sold, and the money received for it shall be allocated for communal gift offerings. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, let us compare that case to a meal offering of jealousy, as claimed by Rabbi Elazar. The Gemara explains that Rabbi Yoḥanan would claim that the cases are not similar: A meal offering of jealousy does not come for atonement, but rather to clarify the sin of the sota. Since it has been clarified that she did not sin, the meal offering becomes non-sacred. But with regard to a provisional guilt offering, which comes for atonement, one must explain as follows: Since his heart strikes him with pangs of conscience, he wholeheartedly resolves to consecrate the animal, and therefore it remains sacred.

אמר רבי כרוספדאי אמר ר' יוחנן שור הנסקל שהוזמו עדיו כל המחזיק בו זכה בו

§ Rabbi Keruspedai says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: With regard to an ox that is stoned whose witnesses were rendered conspiring,anyone who takes possession of the ox acquires it, as the owner of the ox relinquished his possession upon hearing that the animal is sentenced to die.

אמר רבא מסתברא טעמא דרבי יוחנן כגון דאמרי ליה נרבע שורו אבל אמרו רבע שורו הוא בעצמו מידע ידיע דלא רבע ולא מפקר ליה וטרח ומייתי עדים

Rava said: The explanation of Rabbi Yoḥanan stands to reason in a case where the witnesses said to him that his ox was the object of bestiality; since he assumes that the witnesses are telling the truth, he relinquishes his ownership of the animal. But if the witnesses said that the owner himself engaged in bestiality with his ox, he knows about himself that he did not engage in bestiality with the ox, and therefore he will not relinquish his ownership of the ox. But rather, he will make an effort and bring other witnesses to prove that those witnesses are conspiring.

ומאי שנא מהא דאמר רבה בר איתי אמר ר"ל עיר הנדחת שהוזמו עדיה כל המחזיק בה זכה בה

The Gemara asks: And what is different between this case and that which Rava bar Ittai says that Reish Lakish says: In a case of an idolatrous city, where witnesses testified that the majority of inhabitants committed idolatry, and the halakha is that all of the city’s property must be burned, if its witnesses were rendered conspiring witnesses, anyone who takes possession of the city’s property acquires it? In this case, the residents of the city know about themselves that they did not commit idolatry.

עיר הנדחת דרבים נינהו כל חד אמר בדעתיה אנא לא חטאי אחרינא חטא ומפקר ממוניה אבל הכא דבדידיה תליא מילתא הוא בעצמו מידע ידע דלא רבע ולא מפקר ליה וטרח ומייתי עדים

The Gemara responds: With regard to an idolatrous city, which involves many people, each person says to himself: Although I did not sin, others sinned, and consequently the city will be entirely burned; and he therefore relinquished ownership of his property. But here, with regard to the ox sentenced to be stoned, where the matter is dependent solely upon the owner himself, he knows about himself that he did not engage in bestiality with the ox, and therefore he does not relinquish his ownership of the ox. But rather, he will make an effort and bring other witnesses to prove that these are conspiring witnesses. Therefore, if they are in fact found to be conspiring witnesses, the ox remains in his possession.

אמר ר"ל הנותן מתנה לחבירו ואמר הלה אי אפשי בה כל המחזיק בה זכה בה

§ The Gemara cites another example of a case where anyone who takes possession acquires an item. Reish Lakish says: In the case of one who gives a gift to another and that person receiving the gift says: I do not want [ee efshi] it, anyone who takes possession of the item acquires it, as ownership of the item has been relinquished.

ומ"ש מהא דאמר רבה בר אבוה אמר רב ששת ואמרי לה א"ר אבהו אמר רב ששת מקבל מתנה שאמר לאחר שבאת מתנה לידו מתנה זו תיבטל מבוטלת אי אפשי בה דבריו קיימין בטילה אינה מתנה לא אמר כלום

The Gemara raises a difficulty: And what is different between this case and that statement which Rabba bar Avuh says that Rav Sheshet says, and some say that Rabbi Abbahu says that Rav Sheshet says: With regard to one who receives a gift who, after the gift entered his possession, said: Let this gift become void, or said: This gift is rendered void, or said: I do not want it, his statement is effective. But if he said: It is void, or: It is not a gift, it is as though he said nothing.