צֵא וְקַדֵּשׁ לִי אִשָּׁה סְתָם אָסוּר בְּכׇל הַנָּשִׁים שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם חֲזָקָה שָׁלִיחַ עוֹשֶׂה שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ וְכֵיוָן דְּלָא פָּרֵישׁ לֵיהּ הָא לָא יָדַע הֵי נִיהוּ קַדֵּישׁ לֵיהּ Go out and betroth a woman for me, without specifying a particular woman; from that moment onward the one who appointed the agent is forbidden to all the women in the world until he finds out which woman the agent betrothed. There is a presumption that an agent performs his assigned agency and that he has betrothed a woman for him, and since the agent did not clarify to him which woman he chose, he therefore does not know which woman is the one betrothed to him. If he now betroths another woman, it is possible that she is the daughter, sister, or mother of the one his agent betrothed on his behalf and is therefore forbidden to him.
אֵיתִיבֵיהּ רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ לְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן קֵן סְתוּמָה שֶׁפָּרְחָה גּוֹזָל אֶחָד מֵהֶן לַאֲוִיר הָעוֹלָם אוֹ שֶׁפָּרְחָה לְבֵין חַטָּאוֹת הַמֵּתוֹת אוֹ שֶׁמֵּת אֶחָד מֵהֶן יִקַּח זוּג לַשֵּׁנִי Reish Lakish raised an objection to Rabbi Yoḥanan from a mishna (Kinnim 2:1): With regard to an impure person who comes to undergo his purification process, and for this purpose set aside an unspecified nest, meaning a pair of turtledoves or pigeons, to use for his offerings. One is to be a burnt-offering and one is to be a sin-offering, and he had not yet specified which bird will be used for which offering. If one fledgling of the pair flew away and escaped to the open air of the world, or if it flew among birds invalidated for sin-offerings that have been left to die, or if one of them died, in each of these cases the owner of the nest purchases a partner for the second, i.e., remaining, bird. At that point he may decide which is for a sin-offering and which is for a burnt-offering.
וְאִילּוּ קֵן מְפוֹרֶשֶׁת אֵין לוֹ תַּקָּנָה But if a fledgling flew away or died from a specified nest, after the owner had designated which bird would be used for which offering, and it is not known which bird escaped, it has no means of remedy. This is because he does not know whether the remaining fledgling is for a burnt-offering or a sin-offering.
וְאִילּוּ שְׁאָר קִינִּין בְּעָלְמָא מִיתַּקְּנָן וְאַמַּאי לֵימָא כׇּל חֲדָא וַחֲדָא דִּלְמָא הַאי נִיהוּ Reish Lakish infers: But generally, other nests belonging to other people are fit; there is no concern with regard to them. Reish Lakish states his objection to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan: According to your opinion that there is a concern that each woman might be a relative of the woman the agent betrothed, then why should the halakha with regard to nests be so? Let us likewise say with regard to each and every fledgling bird in the world that perhaps this is the one that was consecrated and flew away. How can anyone ever use a bird for their own offering, as it may be the bird that flew away from someone else’s nest?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ קָאָמֵינָא אֲנָא אִשָּׁה דְּלָא נָיְידָא וְאָמְרַתְּ לִי אַתְּ אִיסּוּרָא דְּנָיֵיד Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Reish Lakish: I state my opinion that there is a concern for other women only with regard to a woman, who does not move but is fixed in her home. An unidentified item is presumed to have the same legal status as the majority of items like it, and there is no concern that it may be forbidden, even if there are some forbidden items like it. However, if this unidentified item was fixed in its place, there is an equal presumption that it may belong to the class of similar permitted items or to the class of similar forbidden items. Consequently, all women in the world are forbidden to him, as there is an equal presumption that she may or may not be a relative of the woman that the agent betrothed to him. And you speak to me of a prohibition that moves and is not fixed. Since the fledgling bird is not fixed in one spot, the majority is followed and the minority is ignored.
וְכִי תֵּימָא הָכָא נָמֵי נָיֵיד אֵימוֹר בְּשׁוּקָא אַשְׁכַּח וְקַדֵּישׁ הָתָם הָדְרָא לְנִיחוּתָא גַּבֵּי קֵן מִי הָדְרָא And if you would say: Here too, she moves, since it is possible to say that the agent found the woman in the marketplace and betrothed her there to the one who appointed the agent, so the prohibited woman was not in a fixed location? Nevertheless, there she eventually returns to her place of rest, i.e., her home, and is therefore considered to be fixed. Conversely, with regard to a nest, does the fledgling return to a fixed place? Since it does not, the assumption is that any bird has the status of the majority of birds in the world, which have not been consecrated as offerings.
אָמַר רָבָא וּמוֹדֶה רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ לֹא בַּת וְלֹא בַּת בַּת וְלֹא בַּת בֵּן וְלֹא אֵם וְלֹא אֵם אֵם וְלֹא אָחוֹת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיְתָה לָהּ אָחוֹת וְנִתְגָּרְשָׁה לְאַחַר מִכָּאן דְּהָהִיא שַׁרְיָא Rava said: And Rabbi Yoḥanan concedes that with regard to a woman who does not have a daughter, nor a daughter of a daughter, nor a daughter of a son, nor a mother, nor a mother of a mother, nor a sister who was single when he appointed the agent, that the one who appointed the agent may betroth her. There is no concern that the agent might have betrothed a relative that would now render such a woman forbidden. And even though she had, when he appointed the agent, a married sister, or daughter, or other female relative, and she was later divorced, Rabbi Yoḥanan concedes that this woman whom he wishes to now marry is permitted.
מַאי טַעְמָא דִּבְהָהִיא שַׁעְתָּא דְּקָא אָמַר לֵיהּ הֲוָה נְסִיבָן לְגַבְרֵי כִּי מְשַׁוֵּי שָׁלִיחַ בְּמִילְּתָא דְּקָיְימָא קַמֵּיהּ בְּמִילְּתָא דְּלָא קָיְימָא קַמֵּיהּ לָא מְשַׁוֵּי שָׁלִיחַ What is the reason for this? It is that at that moment, when he told the agent to go betroth a woman on his behalf, these women were married to men. There is a principle that when one appoints an agent, he does so only with regard to a matter present before him. In other words, he instructs his agent to betroth a woman who is available at that time, but he does not appoint an agent with regard to a matter that is not present before him. Consequently, even if the agent betrothed one of the relatives of the woman after they were divorced, the betrothal would not take effect because he was not authorized to betroth them, and therefore the one who appointed the agent is permitted to the woman.
תְּנַן הֲרֵינִי נָזִיר וְעָלַי לְגַלֵּחַ נָזִיר וְשָׁמַע חֲבֵירוֹ וְאָמַר וַאֲנִי וְעָלַי לְגַלֵּחַ נָזִיר אִם הָיוּ פִּקְחִין מְגַלְּחִין זֶה אֶת זֶה וְאִם לָאו מְגַלְּחִין נְזִירִים אֲחֵרִים בִּשְׁלָמָא בָּתְרָאָה אִיכָּא קַדְמָאָה קַמֵּיהּ אֶלָּא קַדְמָאָה מִי אִיכָּא בָּתְרָאָה קַמֵּיהּ The Gemara now proceeds to raise a difficulty against this last argument from the mishna: We learned in the mishna that if one says: I am hereby a nazirite and it is incumbent upon me to shave a nazirite, and another heard him and said: And I am hereby a nazirite, and it is incumbent upon me to shave a nazirite, if they are perspicacious they shave each other; and if not, they shave other nazirites. According to the reasoning that one takes into account only that which is possible at the time, the following difficulty arises: Granted, the last person has the first one before him and may have had in mind to volunteer to pay for the other’s offerings; but with regard to the first person, is the last one before him? When the first one stated his vow, the other one was not yet a nazirite, and he could not have been taking him into account when he vowed to pay for the offerings of another. How can paying for the offerings of the second nazirite be considered a fulfillment of his vow?