Kiddushin 23aקידושין כ״ג א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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23aכ״ג א

זה פירש למיתה וזה פירש לחיים

and this person, Rabbi Yehuda from India, departed to death, and that individual, Mar Zutra, departed to life by receiving a slave.

ואיכא דאמרי קטן הוה ודלא כאבא שאול דתניא גר שמת ובזבזו ישראל נכסיו והיו בהן עבדים בין גדולים בין קטנים קנו עצמן בני חורין אבא שאול אומר גדולים קנו עצמן בני חורין קטנים כל המחזיק בהן זכה בהן:

And there are those who say that this slave was a minor, and Mar Zutra did not act in accordance with the opinion of Abba Shaul. As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a convert who dies without heirs and Jews plundered his property, as it is considered ownerless, and among his possessions were slaves, then, whether the slaves were adults or minors, they acquire ownership of themselves and become freemen, as they can acquire themselves from the ownerless property. Abba Shaul says: Adult slaves acquire ownership of themselves and become freemen. But with regard to minor slaves, anyone who takes possession of them acquires them. According to the opinion of Abba Shaul, Mar Zutra did not have to hasten to acquire the slave during Rabbi Yehuda’s lifetime before the slave would acquire himself. He could have waited until Rabbi Yehuda died before acquiring the slave.

וקונה את עצמו בכסף כו': בכסף ע"י אחרים אין אבל לא על ידי עצמו במאי עסקינן אילימא שלא מדעתו מכדי שמענא ליה לר' מאיר דאמר חוב הוא לעבד שיצא מיד רבו לחירות ותנינא זכין לאדם שלא בפניו ואין חבין לו אלא בפניו

§ The mishna teaches that a slave can acquire himself by means of money, and Rabbi Meir rules that this money must be given by others. The Gemara comments: This ruling indicates that with money given by others, yes, the slave can be freed in this manner, but not by giving money himself. The Gemara inquires: With what are we dealing? If we say that this is referring to emancipating the Canaanite slave without his consent, that creates a difficulty. After all, we have heard that Rabbi Meir is the one who says: It is against the slave’s interest to leave his master’s authority for freedom, as he thereby loses out on certain benefits; and we learned in a baraita: One can act in a person’s interest in his absence, but one can act against a person’s interest only in his presence. How can one act against the slave’s interest and free him without his consent?

אלא פשיטא מדעתו והא קמשמע לן על ידי אחרים אין על ידי עצמו לא אלמא אין קנין לעבד בלא רבו

Rather, it is obvious that this slave was freed with his consent, and the mishna teaches us this: With money given by others, yes, the slave can be freed in this manner, but by giving money himself, no, he cannot be freed in this manner, despite his consent. Evidently, a slave has no acquisition without his master. It is impossible for a slave to perform an independent act of acquisition, as everything acquired by him immediately belongs to his master. Consequently, he cannot be in possession of money with which he can acquire himself. Instead, the money must be given to his owner by somebody else.

אי הכי אימא סיפא בשטר על ידי עצמו על ידי עצמו אין על ידי אחרים לא ואי מדעתו על ידי אחרים אמאי לא

The Gemara asks: If so, say the latter clause of the mishna: He can be freed by means of a bill of manumission if he accepts it by himself. The Gemara analyzes this ruling: If he accepts it by himself, yes, but if it is accepted by others, no, he cannot acquire his freedom in this manner. And if this document is produced with the slave’s consent, as claimed above, why is it not effective if it is accepted by others?

וכי תימא מאי ע"י עצמו אף ע"י עצמו והא קמ"ל דגיטו וידו באים כאחד והא לא תני הכי דתניא בשטר ע"י עצמו ולא ע"י אחרים דברי ר"מ

The Gemara adds: And if you would say in response: What is the meaning of: If he accepts it by himself? This means that in addition to being freed if the bill of manumission is accepted by others, he can also be freed if he accepts it by himself, and according to this interpretation the mishna teaches us this, that his bill of manumission and his ability to acquire himself come simultaneously. In other words, although he did not have the legal power to acquire himself while he was still a slave, when he receives his bill of manumission he attains this ability at that same moment. The Gemara explains why this interpretation of the mishna is problematic: But Rabbi Meir did not teach this ruling, as it is taught in a baraita: A slave can be freed by means of a bill of manumission if he accepts it by himself, but not if it is accepted by others; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.

אמר אביי לעולם שלא מדעתו ושאני כסף הואיל וקני ליה בעל כורחיה מקני ליה בעל כורחיה

Abaye said: Actually, according to Rabbi Meir the mishna is referring to a case where the master received money without the slave’s consent, and acquisition effected with the giving of money is different: Since it acquires him against his will from another master, as the slave’s consent is not necessary in that case, it likewise acquires him for himself against his will. His consent is not required, despite the fact that it is against his interest to be freed.

אי הכי שטר נמי האי שטרא לחוד והאי שטרא לחוד

The Gemara asks: If so, that the halakha that a slave can be freed with the giving of money without his consent is predicated on the halakha that he can be acquired by means of the giving of money to his previous master without his consent, he should also be freed with a document if it is accepted by others without his consent. The Gemara answers: This document is discrete, and this document is discrete, i.e., the comparison between the acquisition of a slave and his emancipation is invalid in the case of a document, as a document of sale is not similar to a bill of manumission.

הכא נמי האי כספא לחוד והאי כספא לחוד טיבעא מיהא חד הוא

The Gemara asks: Here too, this money is discrete and this money is discrete, as the money is given for a different purpose in the cases of acquisition and manumission. The Gemara answers: In any event, the coin itself is one, i.e., there is no noticeable difference between the coin used for acquisition of a slave and one that would be used for emancipating him. The same cannot be said with regard to documents, as particular texts serve specific purposes, and the same document could not be used for both acquiring a slave and emancipating him.

רבא אמר כסף קבלת רבו גרמה לו שטר קבלת אחרים גרמה לו:

Rava said the following distinction: With regard to emancipation by means of money, his master’s receipt of the money causes him to be freed, not the giving of the money by others. Therefore, they are not considered to have harmed the slave without his consent. By contrast, in the case of a document, the receipt of the document by others on behalf of the slave causes him to be freed, and one can incur liability for another person only in his presence.

וחכמים אומרים בכסף ע"י עצמו: בכסף ע"י עצמו אין ע"י אחרים לא אמאי נהי נמי דשלא מדעתו מכדי שמענא להו לרבנן דאמרי זכות הוא שיצא מתחת יד רבו לחירות ותנינא זכין לאדם שלא בפניו ואין חבין לו אלא בפניו

§ The mishna teaches: And the Rabbis say: The slave can be freed by means of money given by himself. The Gemara analyzes this ruling: By means of money given by himself, yes, he can be emancipated in this manner, but with money given by others, no, he cannot be emancipated in this manner. The Gemara asks: Why not? Although this was indeed performed without the slave’s consent, after all, we heard that the Rabbis say: It is in a slave’s interest to go out from the master’s authority to freedom. And we learned in a baraita: One can act in a person’s interest in his absence, but one can act against a person’s interest only in his presence. Why, then, isn’t he freed when others give the money, considering that this change of status is to his advantage?

וכ"ת מאי ע"י עצמו אף ע"י עצמו וקמ"ל דיש קנין לעבד בלא רבו א"ה אימא סיפא בשטר ע"י אחרים ולא על ידי עצמו והא קיימא לן דגיטו וידו באין כאחד

And if you would say: What is the meaning of the phrase: By means of money given by himself? This means that not only can he be redeemed by means of money given to others but he can be redeemed even by means of money given to himself, and it teaches us that a slave has the ability to receive an acquisition without his master. If so, say the latter clause of the mishna: He can be freed by means of a bill of manumission if it is accepted by others. This indicates: If it is accepted by others but not if he accepts it by himself. And yet we maintain that according to the Rabbis his bill of manumission and his ability to acquire his freedom come simultaneously. If so, why can’t he be freed through a document he accepts by himself?

וכי תימא מאי ע"י אחרים אף ע"י אחרים והא קמ"ל דזכות הוא לעבד שיצא מיד רבו לחירות אי הכי נערבינהו וניתנינהו בכסף ובשטר בין ע"י אחרים בין על ידי עצמו

And if you would say: What is the meaning of: If it is accepted by others? This means that not only can he be emancipated if he accepts the bill of manumission by himself, but he can even be freed if it is accepted by others, and the mishna teaches us this: That it is in a slave’s interest to go out from the master’s authority to freedom. If so, there is no difference between emancipation by means of money and emancipation by means of a document, and therefore let us combine them and teach them together and say: A slave can be freed by means of money and by means of a bill of manumission, whether by others or whether by himself.

אלא בכסף בין ע"י אחרים בין ע"י עצמו בשטר ע"י אחרים ולא ע"י עצמו ור"ש בן אלעזר הוא דתניא ר' שמעון בן אלעזר אומר אף בשטר על ידי אחרים ולא ע"י עצמו ושלש מחלוקות בדבר

Rather, it is clear that there is a difference between money and a document. When he is emancipated by means of money, a slave can be freed whether by means of money given by others or whether by means of money given by himself. In the case of a bill of manumission, he can be emancipated if it is accepted by others but not if he accepts it by himself. And this latter clause is the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar. As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: A slave can also be freed with a bill of manumission if it is accepted by others but not if he accepts it by himself. And there are three disputes with regard to the matter. There are the opinions of Rabbi Meir, the Rabbis, and Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar.

אמר רבה מ"ט דר' שמעון בן אלעזר גמר לה לה מאשה מה אשה עד שיוציא גט לרשות שאינה שלו אף עבד נמי עד שיוציא גט לרשות שאינה שלו

Rabba said: What is the reason of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar? He derives this by means of a verbal analogy, understanding the meaning of “to her [lah],” written with regard to a maidservant in the verse: “Nor was freedom given to her” (Leviticus 19:20), from the meaning of “for her [lah],” written with regard to a wife: “And he writes for her a bill of divorce” (Deuteronomy 24:3). Just as a woman is not divorced until the husband moves the bill of divorce from his domain to a domain that is not his, and the bill of divorce is ineffective as long as it remains in his domain; so too, a slave is not freed unless the master moves the bill of manumission to a domain that is not his. Since the slave belongs to him, the document will remain the master’s even if he gives it to the slave. Therefore, he can be freed by means of a document only through other people who receive the document on his behalf.

בעי רבה

Rabba raises a dilemma: