However, with regard to those people who harvest the crop before the omer is sacrificed, they act contrary to the will of the Sages. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. The concern is that while working with the grain they might come to eat from it, despite the fact that it is still prohibited. Rabbi Yehuda says: They act in accordance with the will of the Sages. And in that case, Rabbi Yehuda did not issue a decree lest one eat from it. Why, then, does he issue a decree with regard to leaven? Rava said that the prohibition of new grain is different: Since before the omer you permitted one to harvest the crop only by picking it by hand and may not harvest it in the typical manner, he will remember the prohibition and refrain from eating it. That is not the case with regard to leaven.
Abaye said to him: This works out well in explaining Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion with regard to the time when one is picking the grain; however, with regard to the time of grinding and sifting, what can be said? Apparently, it is permitted to perform these acts in a typical manner. Why, then, is there no concern lest one eat the grain at that stage? The Gemara responds: This is not difficult, as one also performs grinding in an atypical manner. One must grind the grain before the sacrificing of the omer with a hand mill, not with a mill powered by an animal or by water. Likewise, sifting is performed atypically, not in the interior of the sifter. Instead, it is performed on top of the sifter. Since all of these actions are performed in an atypical manner, there is no concern lest he come to eat the grain.
The Gemara raises another difficulty: However, with regard to that which we learned in a mishna: One may harvest grain from a field that requires irrigation and from fields in the valleys, as their grain ripens long before the omer is sacrificed, but one may not pile the produce, and the Gemara adds: And we established that this mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda; what can be said? The use of the term: One may harvest, in this mishna indicates that the grain was harvested in a typical manner, not by hand.
Rather, Abaye said: This difference between the cases of the omer and leaven is not based on the manner in which one harvests, grinds, or sifts. Instead, the reason for the different rulings is that from new grain, one distances himself, as it is prohibited to eat the new grain all year until the omer is offered. But from leavened bread one does not distance himself, as it is permitted during the rest of the year. Therefore, he is more likely to unwittingly eat leaven.
Rava said: Is the contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda difficult, while the contradiction between one statement of the Rabbis and the other statement of the Rabbis is not difficult? There is also an apparent contradiction between the opinion of the Rabbis, i.e., Rabbi Meir, who rule that the Sages issued a decree with regard to new grain but did not issue a decree with regard to leaven.
Rava explains as follows: The contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda is not difficult, as we resolved it above. The contradiction between one ruling of the Rabbis and the other ruling of the Rabbis is also not difficult: The Rabbis maintain that there is no need to issue a decree prohibiting searching for leaven after leaven is prohibited, as, with regard to one who himself is seeking out leaven to burn it, will he eat from that leaven? However, in the case of new grain, he is processing the grain, preparing it for consumption. Therefore, the concern is that he will come to eat it unwittingly.
Rav Ashi said: The contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda is not difficult, as the difficulty can be resolved in an alternative manner, as we learned in the mishna that the markets of Jerusalem were filled with flour and toasted grain. It is permitted to prepare only these foods before the omer, as they will not be eaten without further preparation. Therefore, there is no concern lest one eat it unwittingly before the omer offering is sacrificed.
The Gemara rejects this interpretation: That statement of Rav Ashi is a mistake, as this suggestion can easily be refuted. That works out well with regard to the status of the grain from the point that the grain was processed into flour or toasted grain and forward, as there is no concern lest one come to eat it. However, with regard to its status initially until it became toasted grain, what can be said? There must have been a certain point when the grain kernels were edible before they were transformed into toasted grain. Why is there no concern that one might come to eat the grain at this earlier stage?
And lest you say that the grain is distinguished by the atypical manner in which it is harvested, in accordance with the earlier statement of Rava, but with regard to the difficulty raised to Rava’s opinion that one may harvest a field that requires irrigation and a field that is in the valleys in the typical manner and we established that statement in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, what can be said? Rather, the Gemara rejects this explanation and concludes that Rav Ashi’s statement is a mistake.
The above conclusion was that Rabbi Yehuda distinguishes between prohibitions involving substances from which people regularly separate themselves and prohibitions involving substances from which people are not used to keeping their distance. The Gemara asks: And anywhere that one does not distance himself from a prohibition, does Rabbi Yehuda issue a decree that one must keep away from a prohibited item to avoid accidentally using it?
But didn’t we learn in a mishna: A person may not pierce a hole in an eggshell, and fill it with oil, and place it beside a lamp so that the egg will drip additional oil into the lamp and thereby extend the time that it burns? And this is the ruling even if it is not an actual egg but an earthenware tube, from which most people consider it unsuitable to drink. The concern is lest one forget and take the tube and use the oil for some other purpose, and violate the prohibition against extinguishing a flame on Shabbat.
And Rabbi Yehuda permits using a tube in that manner, as he is not concerned lest one remove it. Apparently, Rabbi Yehuda does not issue a decree even with regard to an item from which people do not distance themselves, e.g., oil. The Gemara answers: There, due to the stringency of Shabbat, one distances himself, as on Shabbat one is careful to distance himself from a candle or anything placed alongside it.
And the Gemara raised a contradiction between this halakha of Shabbat and another halakha of Shabbat, as it was taught in a baraita: With regard to the rope of a bucket that was severed on Shabbat, where one needs the rope to draw water from a well, he may not tie it with a regular knot, as by Torah law it is prohibited to tie a permanent knot. Rather, he may tie it into a bow. However, Rabbi Yehuda says: One may wrap a money belt [punda] around it or a sash [pesikya], provided that he does not tie it into a bow, lest he tie a proper knot.
This presents a difficulty, as there is a contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda, who permits placing a tube of oil beside the lamp, and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda, who prohibits tying a bow to reattach the severed rope of a bucket. There is likewise a difficulty between one statement of the Rabbis, who prohibit placing a tube of oil beside the lamp, and the other ruling of the Rabbis, where they permit tying a bow to reattach the severed rope of a bucket.
The Gemara answers: The apparent contradiction between one statement of the Rabbis and the other statement of the Rabbis is not difficult, as one usage of oil might be confused with another usage of oil. Given that it is permitted to use oil for other purposes, one is apt to utilize this oil as well. However, tying a bow will not be confused with the dissimilar tying of a knot. Consequently, the Rabbis do not issue a decree in that case.
The Gemara continues: Likewise, the contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda is not difficult, as the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda is not because he issues a decree to prohibit tying a bow due to the prohibition against tying a knot. Rather, the reason is more fundamental, because Rabbi Yehuda maintains that a bow itself is a full-fledged knot. According to Rabbi Yehuda, tying a bow is included in the prohibition against tying a knot on Shabbat.
And the Gemara raised a contradiction between one statement of the Rabbis and another statement of the Rabbis, as we learned in a mishna: One may tie a bucket with a sash, to draw water from a well, but one may not do so with a rope, and Rabbi Yehuda permits the use of a rope. Before addressing the aforementioned contradiction, the Gemara asks: The mishna is referring to a rope of what kind? If you say it is referring to a standard rope, does Rabbi Yehuda permit tying a knot in this rope? It is a permanent knot, as in tying the rope to the bucket he certainly comes to negate any other use of the rope. He performs a primary category of prohibited labor by tying a permanent knot.
Rather, it is obvious that the mishna is speaking about a rope used in the work of a weaver [gardi]. The legal status of this rope differs from that of an ordinary rope, as the weaver will certainly not leave his rope attached to a bucket and thereby negate any other use. Consequently, this knot is a temporary one.
The Gemara asks: And did the Rabbis issue a decree prohibiting the rope of a weaver due to a standard rope but they did not issue a decree prohibiting a bow due to a knot? The Gemara explains: Yes, the Rabbis indeed issued a decree prohibiting the rope of a weaver, as one rope may be interchanged with another rope, leading one to mistakenly tie a knot with a different rope. However, a bow is not interchanged with a knot.
The Gemara asks: And anywhere that one distances himself from the prohibition, does Rabbi Yehuda not issue a decree? But wasn’t it taught in a baraita: What should one do if he has an unblemished firstborn kosher animal whose blood circulation is constricted, and it can be healed only through bloodletting? This situation is problematic, as an unblemished firstborn animal is consecrated, and wounding it is prohibited. Even if it dies due to this condition, one may not let its blood at all; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.
And the Rabbis say: One may let the animal’s blood, provided that he does not inflict a blemish on the firstborn animal. In this case Rabbi Yehuda issues a decree with regard to a firstborn animal, despite the fact that its use is generally prohibited and people distance themselves from consecrated items. The Gemara answers: There, in the case of a firstborn animal, since a person is agitated and anxious