Sanhedrin 25a:9סנהדרין כ״ה א:ט
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25aכ״ה א

אימתי ובמה אינו אלא לפרש דברי חכמים

When does this halakha apply, or: In what case is this statement said, he intends only to explain the statement of the Rabbis, not to disagree with them?

רבי יוחנן אמר אימתי לפרש ובמה לחלוק ודכולי עלמא אימתי לפרש הוא

Granted, Rabbi Yoḥanan disagrees with Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and says that only the term: When does this halakha apply, indicates that Rabbi Yehuda intends to explain the previous statement of the Rabbis, but the term: In what case is this statement said, indicates that he intends to disagree. But according to everyone, the term when indicates that he intends to explain the previous statement. This is difficult according to Rami bar Ḥama.

גברא אגברא קא רמית מר סבר פליגי ומר סבר לא פליגי

The Gemara responds: Are you setting the statement of one man against the statement of another man? One Sage, Rami bar Ḥama, holds that Rabbi Yehuda and the Rabbis disagree even when Rabbi Yehuda employs the term: When does this halakha apply, and one Sage, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and similarly Rabbi Yoḥanan, holds that they do not disagree.

ולא פליגי והתניא בין שיש לו אומנות שלא הוא בין שאין לו אומנות אלא הוא הרי זה פסול

The Gemara asks: And do they not disagree? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Whether a dice player has an occupation other than this one, or whether he does not have an occupation other than this one, he is disqualified from bearing witness? This baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rami bar Ḥama.

ההיא רבי יהודה משום רבי טרפון היא דתניא רבי יהודה אומר משום רבי טרפון לעולם אין אחד מהן נזיר לפי שלא נתנה נזירות אלא להפלאה:

The Gemara answers: That baraita is not the opinion of the Rabbis in the mishna, but rather it is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda in the name of Rabbi Tarfon. As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Tarfon: In the case where two people quarreled and each of them declared that if the other is right he will become a nazirite, actually, neither of them becomes a nazirite, as naziriteship is determined only by explicitness. A vow of naziriteship does not take effect if the individual does not vow clearly and with certitude. Here too, Rabbi Tarfon maintains that one who bets on games played with dice is considered a thief, as one can acquire the money of another legally only if the latter gives it to him with certain and conclusive intent. Since one who plays dice is not certain that he will have to pay the other player, as he considers it likely that he will win, the transaction is an asmakhta and is legally invalid.

מלוה ברבית: אמר רבא לוה ברבית פסול לעדות והאנן תנן מלוה ברבית מלוה הבאה ברבית

§ The mishna teaches that one who lends money with interest is disqualified from bearing witness. Rava says: One who borrows money with interest is disqualified from bearing witness. The Gemara asks: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that specifically one who lends money with interest is disqualified? The Gemara answers: The reference in the mishna is to a loan that comes with interest, and is teaching that all those who participate in the loan are disqualified.

בר ביניתוס אסהידו ביה תרי סהדי חד אמר קמי דידי אוזיף בריביתא וחד אמר לדידי אוזפי בריביתא פסליה רבא לבר ביניתוס

The Gemara recounts: Two witnesses testified about bar Binittos. One said: He lent money with interest in my presence, and the other one said: He lent me money with interest. Rava rendered bar Binittos disqualified from bearing witness and from serving as a judge.

והא רבא הוא דאמר לוה ברבית פסול לעדות והוה ליה רשע והתורה אמרה אל תשת רשע עד

The Gemara asks: But isn’t Rava the one who said that one who borrows money with interest is disqualified from bearing witness? And accordingly the latter witness is considered a wicked man, as by his own account he borrowed money with interest from bar Binittos, and the Torah states: Do not place a wicked man as a witness (see Exodus 23:1). Consequently, the testimony of that witness cannot be accepted, and bar Binittos should not have been disqualified.

רבא לטעמיה דאמר רבא אדם קרוב אצל עצמו ואין אדם משים עצמו רשע

The Gemara answers: Rava conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as Rava says: A person is his own relative and a person cannot make himself wicked. Consequently, the part of the testimony that relates to the witness’s own status is not accepted, while the part that relates to bar Binittos is accepted.

ההוא טבחא דאישתכח דנפקא טריפתא מתותי ידיה פסליה רב נחמן ועבריה אזל רבי מזיה וטופריה סבר רב נחמן לאכשוריה

There was a certain slaughterer about whom it was discovered that a tereifa, an animal with a wound that would have caused it to die within twelve months, emerged from his possession. In other words, he sold tereifa meat without informing the customers of its status. Rav Naḥman disqualified him from bearing witness and removed him from his position as a slaughterer. The slaughterer subsequently went and grew his fingernails and his hair out of remorse over his actions. Rav Naḥman thought to deem him fit again for bearing witness, as he clearly repented, and once someone repents for his sin, his status as a valid witness is restored.

א"ל רבא דילמא איערומי קא מערים

Rava said to Rav Naḥman: Perhaps he is employing artifice, pretending to repent in order to be reinstated as a slaughterer.

אלא מאי תקנתיה כדרב אידי בר אבין דאמר רב אידי בר אבין החשוד על הטריפות אין לו תקנה עד שילך למקום שאין מכירין אותו ויחזיר אבידה בדבר חשוב או שיוציא טריפה מתחת ידו בדבר חשוב משלו:

Rather, what is his remedy? It is in accordance with the statement of Rav Idi bar Avin; as Rav Idi bar Avin says: One who is suspected of selling tereifot to others has no remedy to restore his fitness to bear witness until he goes to a locale where they do not recognize him and returns a lost item of substantial value that he finds, or removes his own tereifa meat of significant value from his possession. These actions demonstrate that he has repented, as he is willing to lose money for a mitzva. By contrast, if he does so in a place where he is recognized his fitness in not reinstated based on these actions, as perhaps he performed them only in order to be reinstated.

ומפריחי יונים: מאי מפריחי יונים הכא תרגומה אי תקדמיה יונך ליון רבי חמא בר אושעיא אמר ארא

§ Among the list of those who are disqualified from bearing witness the mishna teaches: And those who fly pigeons. The Gemara asks: What is meant by: Those who fly pigeons? Here, in Babylonia, the Sages explained that these are people who gamble on pigeon races, i.e., one says to another: If your pigeon reaches a certain destination before my pigeon I will give you such and such an amount of money. Rabbi Ḥama bar Oshaya says: It is referring to an ara, i.e., one who trains his pigeons to bring him pigeons from the property of others.

מאן דאמר אי תקדמיה יונך ליון מ"ט לא אמר ארא

The Gemara asks: With regard to the one who says that it is referring to those who say: If your pigeon reaches a certain destination before my pigeon I will give you such and such an amount of money, what is the reason that he does not say that it is referring to an ara?

אמר לך ארא מפני דרכי שלום בעלמא

The Gemara answers: He could say to you that an ara is not considered a robber, as the pigeons that he has his pigeons bring do not actually belong to those from whom he takes them. Rather, they dwell on the property of these individuals, and it is prohibited to take them merely due to the ways of peace.

ומאן דאמר ארא מאי טעמא לא אמר אי תקדמיה יונך ליון אמר לך היינו משחק בקוביא

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the one who says that the mishna is referring to an ara, what is the reason that he does not say that it is referring to one who says: If your pigeon reaches a certain destination before my pigeon I will give you such and such an amount of money? The Gemara answers: He could say to you that this individual is the same as one who plays with dice; they both gamble on games of chance. This type of disqualification is already listed in the mishna.

ואידך

The Gemara asks: And how would the other Sage, who maintains that the expression: Those who fly pigeons, is referring to those who gamble on racing their pigeons, respond to this claim?

תנא תולה בדעת עצמו ותנא תולה בדעת יונו

The Gemara answers that it is necessary for the mishna to teach that both types of gamblers are disqualified. The mishna taught that one who bets on dice, making it dependent on his own decision, as he believes he has a method by which he will win, is disqualified, and the mishna taught that one who bets on pigeon races, making it dependent on the decision of his pigeon, is also disqualified.

וצריכא דאי תנא תולה בדעת עצמו התם הוא דלא גמר ומקני דאמר

The Gemara explains: And both are necessary. As had the mishna taught this halakha only with regard to one who bets on dice, making it dependent on his own decision, one might reason that it is specifically there that a gambler is considered a thief. The reason for this is that he presumably does not resolve to transfer the money if he loses; as he says to himself: