ואם היה מומחה לרבים דן אפילו יחידי אמר רב נחמן כגון אנא דן דיני ממונות ביחידי וכן אמר ר' חייא כגון אנא דן דיני ממונות ביחידי But if one was a judge accepted as an expert for the public, then he may judge cases even as the lone judge. Rav Naḥman said: One such as I may judge cases of monetary law as the lone judge. And similarly, Rabbi Ḥiyya said: One such as I may judge cases of monetary law as the lone judge.
איבעיא להו כגון אנא דגמירנא וסבירנא ונקיטנא רשותא אבל לא נקיט רשותא דיניה לא דינא או דילמא אע"ג דלא נקיט רשותא דיניה דינא A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the meaning of: Such as I, in the statements of these Rabbis? Did they intend to say: Such as I, in that I have studied and have the skills to extrapolate and derive new rulings on the basis of earlier decisions, and have also received permission to judge as the lone judge? But accordingly, if one has not received permission to judge as the lone judge, his judgment is not a valid judgment? Or perhaps this is not the correct reading of the statements, and the halakha is that even though he did not receive permission to judge as the lone judge, his judgment is nevertheless a valid judgment?
ת"ש דמר זוטרא בריה דר"נ דן דינא וטעה אתא לקמיה דרב יוסף א"ל אם קיבלוך עלייהו לא תשלם ואי לא זיל שלים ש"מ כי לא נקיט רשותא דיניה דינא ש"מ The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a solution to this dilemma from the following case: Mar Zutra, son of Rav Naḥman, once adjudicated a certain case and erred in his ruling. Upon recognizing his error, he came before Rav Yosef to ask what he should do. Rav Yosef said to him: If the litigants accepted you upon themselves as the lone judge, and both had agreed that they would accept your ruling, you are not liable to pay restitution to the party who lost the case due to your erroneous ruling. But if they did not accept you on themselves, but were rather compelled to be judged before you, you must go and pay restitution. And learn from it that even in a case where one did not receive permission to judge as the lone judge, his ruling is a valid judgment. The Gemara affirms: Learn from it that this is the case.
אמר רב האי מאן דבעי למידן דינא ואי טעה מיבעי למיפטרא לישקול רשותא מבי ריש גלותא וכן אמר שמואל לשקול רשותא מבי ריש גלותא § Rav says: One who wants to adjudicate a case and wants to be exempt from payment of restitution if he errs in his judgment must receive permission from the Exilarch to judge cases. And similarly, Shmuel says: In such a case he must receive permission from the Exilarch. Once he receives permission, even an erroneous decision carries halakhic force and therefore it is as if he did not err.
פשיטא מהכא להכא ומהתם להתם (מהני) ומהכא להתם (נמי) מהני דהכא שבט והתם מחוקק Since the Gemara mentioned the importance of a judge receiving authorization from the Exilarch, it now discusses the scope of this authority. It is obvious that from here to here, meaning relying on permission granted by the Exilarch in Babylonia in order to adjudicate cases within Babylonia, and from there to there, relying on permission granted by the Nasi in Eretz Yisrael in order to adjudicate cases within Eretz Yisrael, the authorization is effective. And it is also obvious that from here to there, relying on permission granted by the Exilarch to adjudicate cases within Eretz Yisrael, it is also effective, as the authority of the Exilarch is greater than that of the Nasi. This is so since the Exilarch here in Babylonia may be termed a scepter, i.e., a ruler with actual power of governance, and the Nasi there in Eretz Yisrael is only a staff, i.e., a legislator with limited power.
כדתניא (בראשית מט, י) לא יסור שבט מיהודה אלו ראשי גליות שבבבל שרודין את ישראל בשבט ומחוקק מבין רגליו אלו בני בניו של הלל שמלמדין תורה ברבים This is as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes” (Genesis 49:10). The term “Shiloh” is understood as a reference to the Messiah, and therefore the verse is interpreted as delineating the authority of Jewish rulers during the exile, before the Messiah comes. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah”; these are the Exilarchs in Babylonia, who are empowered by the government and consequently subjugate the Jewish people as with a scepter. “Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet”; These are the grandchildren of Hillel the Elder who hold the position of Nasi and teach Torah in public, but do not have authority to actually enforce their judgments.
מהתם להכא מאי ת"ש דרבה בר חנה דן דינא וטעה אתא לקמיה דרבי חייא א"ל אי קיבלוך עלייהו לא תשלם ואי לא זיל שלים והא רבה בר חנה רשותא הוה נקיט ש"מ מהתם להכא לא מהני ש"מ If one has permission from there, from the Nasi, and wants to adjudicate cases here in Babylonia, what is the halakha? The Gemara suggests: Come and hear an incident that occurred: Rabba bar Ḥana adjudicated a case in Babylonia and erred. He came before Rabbi Ḥiyya to ask what he should do. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to him: If the litigants accepted you upon themselves, you are not liable to pay restitution to the party who unjustly lost the case, but if not, go and pay. But Rabba bar Ḥana received permission from the Nasi in Eretz Yisrael; therefore, learn from this incident that permission from there to adjudicate cases here is not effective. The Gemara affirms: Learn from it that this is the case.
ולא מהני והא רבה בר רב הונא כי הוה מינצי בהדי דבי ריש גלותא אמר לאו מינייכו נקיטנא רשותא נקיטנא רשותא מאבא מרי ואבא מרי מרב ורב מר' חייא ור' חייא מרבי במילתא דעלמא הוא דאוקים להו The Gemara asks: And is this permission not effective? But when Rabba bar Rav Huna was involved in a dispute with the members of the house of the Exilarch he said: It is not from you that I received permission to judge cases. I received permission from my father, my master, i.e., Rav Huna, and my father, my master, received permission from Rav, and Rav from Rabbi Ḥiyya, and Rabbi Ḥiyya from Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi in Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, it seems that permission received in Eretz Yisrael is in fact effective in Babylonia. The Gemara rejects this proof: He was merely standing up to them with words alone, but there was no halakhic validity to his statement.
וכי מאחר דלא מהני רבה בר חנה רשותא דנקט למה לי לעיירות העומדים על הגבולין The Gemara asks: But since permission to judge received in Eretz Yisrael is not effective in Babylonia, why did Rabba bar Ḥana need to receive permission when he left for Babylonia? What was the value of that permission? The Gemara answers: The permission is effective for the cities that stand on the borders of Babylonia, which are not entirely in the jurisdiction of Babylonia, so permission from Eretz Yisrael is effective there.
מאי רשותא כי הוה נחית רבה בר חנה לבבל אמר ליה רבי חייא לרבי בן אחי יורד לבבל יורה יורה ידין ידין יתיר בכורות יתיר § What is the specific nature of this permission? The Gemara relates: When Rabba bar Ḥana descended to Babylonia, his uncle Rabbi Ḥiyya said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: My brother’s son is descending to Babylonia. May he teach people and issue rulings with regard to what is prohibited and what is permitted? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: He may teach. Rabbi Ḥiyya then asked: May he also adjudicate cases of monetary law, and be absolved from payment if he errs? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: He may adjudicate. Rabbi Ḥiyya continued: May he declare a firstborn animal permitted? The male firstborn of a kosher animal may not be eaten, as it is supposed to be offered in the Temple. But if it acquires a permanent blemish it is unfit for an offering, and it may be eaten. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: He may declare such an animal permitted.
כי הוה נחית רב לבבל אמר ליה רבי חייא לר' בן אחותי יורד לבבל יורה יורה ידין ידין יתיר בכורות אל יתיר Similarly, when Rav, who was also Rabbi Ḥiyya’s nephew, descended to Babylonia, Rabbi Ḥiyya said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: My sister’s son is descending to Babylonia. May he teach people and issue rulings with regard to what is prohibited and what is permitted? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: He may teach. Rabbi Ḥiyya then asked: May he also adjudicate cases of monetary law, and be absolved from payment if he errs? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi responded: He may adjudicate. Rabbi Ḥiyya continued: May he declare a firstborn animal permitted? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: He may not declare such an animal permitted.
מ"ש למר דקא קרי בן אחי ומ"ש למר דקא קרי בן אחותי וכי תימא הכי הוה מעשה והאמר מר איבו וחנה ושילא ומרתא ורבי חייא כולהו בני אבא בר אחא כרסלא מכפרי הוו רב בר אחוה דהוה בר אחתיה רבה בר חנה בר אחוה דלאו בר אחתיה This incident raises several questions, which the Gemara asks in sequence. What is different concerning this Sage, Rabba bar Ḥana, that Rabbi Ḥiyya called him: My brother’s son, and what is different concerning that Sage, Rav, that Rabbi Ḥiyya called him: My sister’s son? And if you would say that this was the situation: Rabba bar Ḥana was his brother’s son and Rav was his sister’s son, but doesn’t the Master say: Aivu, Rav’s father, and Ḥana, the father of Rabba bar Ḥana, and Sheila, and Marta, and Rabbi Ḥiyya, were all sons of Abba bar Aḥa Karsala from Kafrei? Consequently, Rav would also be Rabbi Ḥiyya’s brother’s son. The Gemara answers: Rav was his brother’s son who was also his sister’s son, as Rabbi Ḥiyya’s half-brother married Rabbi Ḥiyya’s half-sister; while Rabba bar Ḥana was his brother’s son who was not his sister’s son. Therefore, he referred to Rav in a manner that emphasized the additional relationship.
ואי בעית אימא And if you wish, say instead that he called him: My sister’s son, for a different reason: