לא תצא לחולין מפני שהוא ספק
does not vacate its sanctified status and assume non-sacred status because his status with regard to halakhic intelligence is uncertain. According to Rabbi Eliezer, a deaf-mute apparently has a degree of halakhic intelligence, and therefore has a greater obligation in mitzvot than a minor.
כי תיבעי לך אליבא דרבנן דתנן חמשה לא יתרומו ואם תרמו אין תרומתן תרומה אלו הן חרש שוטה וקטן והתורם את שאינו שלו וגוי שתרם את של ישראל אפילו ברשותו אין תרומתו תרומה
When you raise this dilemma, the issue is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, as we learned in a mishna: There are five categories of people who may not separate teruma ab initio, and if they separated teruma, their teruma is not considered teruma. They are: A deaf-mute, an imbecile, and a minor, and one who separates teruma from produce that is not his; and a gentile who separated teruma from the produce of a Jew, even with his permission, his teruma is not considered teruma because a gentile cannot be appointed as an agent to separate teruma, and all the more so he cannot separate teruma on his own. The deaf-mute and the minor have the same legal status according to the Rabbis; therefore, a dilemma arises as to which of them should receive the pouch on Shabbat.
מאי לחרש יהיב ליה דקטן אתי לכלל דעת או דילמא לקטן יהיב ליה דחרש אתי לאחלופי בגדול פיקח איכא דאמרי לחרש יהיב ליה איכא דאמרי לקטן יהיב ליה
What should one do? Should he give it to the deaf-mute because the minor will eventually reach the stage of halakhic intelligence, when he will be obligated to observe the mitzvot, and it is preferable that he not become accustomed to desecrating Shabbat? Or perhaps he should give it to the minor, because if he is allowed to give it to the deaf-mute, onlookers will mistake him for an adult with halakhic intelligence and conclude that it is permitted to give his pouch to an adult? In that case it would be preferable to give the pouch to a minor, as it is clear that he is not obligated in mitzvot. Regarding this halakha, some say that he gives it to the deaf-mute and some say that he gives it to the minor, and no definitive conclusion was reached.
אין שם לא גוי ולא חמור ולא חרש ולא שוטה ולא קטן מאי אמר רבי יצחק עוד אחרת היתה ולא רצו חכמים לגלותה מאי עוד אחרת היתה מוליכו פחות פחות מארבע אמות אמאי לא רצו חכמים לגלותה משום כבוד אלהים הסתר דבר וכבוד מלכים חקור דבר והכא מאי כבוד אלהים איכא דילמא אתי לאתויי ארבע אמות ברשות הרבים
The Gemara asks: If there is neither a gentile nor a donkey nor a deaf-mute nor an imbecile nor a minor there, what should one do? Rabbi Yitzḥak said: There was another manner of dealing with this situation, and the Sages did not want to reveal it. The Gemara asks: To what was Rabbi Yitzḥak referring when he said: There was another manner? The Gemara answers: The alternative is to move the pouch in increments, each less than four cubits, and thereby carry the object in the public domain without violating a Torah prohibition. The Gemara asks: Why didn’t the Sages want to reveal this alternative? The Gemara answers that it is due to the verse: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). And here, what glory of God is there in concealing this option? The Gemara answers: If one were to move the pouch in this manner, there is concern lest he come to carry the object four cubits in the public domain.
תניא רבי אליעזר אומר בו ביום גדשו סאה רבי יהושע אומר בו ביום מחקו סאה
The ruling that one should give his pouch to a gentile rather than carry in increments each less than four cubits was among the eighteen decrees issued in accordance with the position of Beit Shammai, enumerated in the first chapter of tractate Shabbat. Sages of later generations disagreed with regard to these eighteen decrees: It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: On that day they measured with a large se’a measurement, i.e., they did well to issue these decrees, which construct a fence around the Torah to prevent its violation. Rabbi Yehoshua said: On that very day they measured with a minimal se’a, i.e., because these decrees are difficult to observe, they not only will lead people to violate the decrees, but to violate Torah prohibitions as well.
תניא משל דרבי אליעזר למה הדבר דומה לקופה מלאה קישואין ודילועין אדם נותן לתוכה חרדל והיא מחזקת משל דרבי יהושע למה הדבר דומה לעריבה מלאה דבש נותן לתוכה רימונים ואגוזים והיא מקיאה
It was taught in another baraita: The Sages articulated a parable to illustrate the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer. To what is this matter similar? It is similar to a basket full of squash and gourds into which a person places mustard seeds. Just as the basket also holds the mustard, the decree will also endure. They also articulated a parable to illustrate the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua: To what is this matter similar? It is similar to a large bowl full of honey into which one places pomegranates and walnuts. Just as the bowl expels the honey from inside it, so too, the decree will cause Torah prohibitions to be violated.
אמר מר אין עמו גוי מניחו על החמור והלא מחמר ורחמנא אמר לא תעשה כל מלאכה
We learned in the mishna that the Master said: When there is no gentile with him, one places the pouch on the donkey. The Gemara asks: Isn’t he thereby driving a laden animal? And the Torah stated: “And the seventh day is Shabbat for the Lord your God, you shall not perform any manner of labor, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your slave, nor your maidservant, nor your animal, nor your stranger that is within your gates” (Exodus 20:10). He is causing the prohibited labors of carrying from domain to domain and of carrying in the public domain by placing the pouch on his donkey on Shabbat.
אמר רב אדא בר אהבה מניחו עליה כשהיא מהלכת והא אי אפשר דלא קיימא להשתין מים ולהטיל גללים ואיכא עקירה והנחה כשהיא מהלכת מניחו עליה כשהיא עומדת נוטלו הימנה אי הכי אפילו חברו נמי
Rav Adda bar Ahava said: One places the pouch on the donkey as it is walking, because in doing so he does not commit a full-fledged violation of the Torah prohibition against carrying out from domain to domain on Shabbat. A full-fledged violation consists of lifting and placing the object. Because the animal was already walking when the pouch was placed on it, the animal performed no lifting. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it impossible that the animal will not stand in its place at some point after it begins walking, either in order to urinate or to defecate, and when it begins walking again there is both an act of lifting and an act of placing performed by the donkey. The Gemara answers: There is a solution to that problem. When the donkey is walking, one places the pouch on it, and when it stands, he removes it. The Gemara asks: If so, one could even place the pouch on another Jew as well, as there would be neither lifting nor placing.
אמר רב פפא כל שבגופו חייב חטאת בחברו פטור אבל אסור כל שחברו פטור אבל אסור בחמורו מותר לכתחלה
Rav Pappa said: Any action that if one performs it by himself, he is liable to bring a sin-offering for it, if he performed it by means of another, he is exempt but it is still prohibited for him to do so. And any action that if performed by means of another, he is exempt from bringing a sin-offering but it is still prohibited for him to do so, performing the action by means of his donkey is permitted ab initio.
אמר רב אדא בר אהבה היתה חבילתו מונחת לו על כתיפו רץ תחתיה עד שמגיע לביתו דוקא רץ אבל קלי קלי לא
Rav Adda bar Ahava said: One who was traveling on Shabbat eve and his package was resting on his shoulder as night fell, he runs beneath it, i.e., with his package on his shoulder, until he reaches his home. The Gemara infers: Specifically, one runs until he reaches home; however, walking a little bit at a time, no, he may not do so.
מאי טעמא כיון דלית ליה היכירא אתי למיעבד עקירה והנחה סוף סוף כי מטא לביתיה אי אפשר דלא קאי פורתא וקמעייל מרשות הרבים לרשות היחיד דזריק ליה כלאחר יד
The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this? Since, when walking in the usual manner, he has no conspicuous reminder that it is Shabbat, there is concern lest he come to perform the acts of lifting and placing by stopping to rest on his way home. The Gemara asks: Ultimately, when he reaches his home, it is impossible that he will not stop and stand a bit, and at that point, he will have performed the prohibited labor of carrying the package from the public domain into the private domain of his house. The Gemara answers: This is referring to a case in which he does not place the package in the typical manner when he reaches his home. Rather, he throws it down in an unusual manner. Since he did not perform the action in the typical manner, it is not prohibited by Torah law.
אמר רמי בר חמא המחמר אחר בהמתו בשבת בשוגג חייב חטאת במזיד חייב סקילה מאי טעמא אמר רבא דאמר קרא לא תעשה כל מלאכה אתה ובהמתך בהמתו דומיא דידיה מה הוא בשוגג חייב חטאת במזיד חייב סקילה אף בהמתו נמי בשוגג חייב חטאת במזיד חייב סקילה
With regard to the topic of driving a donkey on Shabbat, the Gemara cites that which Rami bar Ḥama said: With regard to one who drives his laden animal on Shabbat, if he does so unwittingly, he is liable to bring a sin-offering, and if he does so intentionally, he is liable to be executed by stoning. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this ruling? Rava said that the verse states: “You shall not perform any manner of labor, neither you…nor your animal” (Exodus 20:10). From this he derived: His animal is similar to himself; just as he, if he performed a prohibited labor on Shabbat unwittingly, he is liable to bring a sin-offering, and if he did so intentionally, he is liable to be executed by stoning, so too, if he performed a prohibited labor by means of his animal, if he did so unwittingly, he is liable to bring a sin-offering, and if he did so intentionally, he is liable to be executed by stoning.
אמר רבא שתי תשובות בדבר חדא דכתיב תורה אחת יהיה לכם לעושה בשגגה והנפש אשר תעשה ביד רמה הוקשה כל התורה כולה לעבודה זרה מה עבודה זרה דעביד מעשה בגופיה הכא נמי עד דעביד מעשה בגופיה
Rava said: There are two possible responses with which this statement can be rejected. One is, as it is written: “You shall have one law [Torah] for him that does unwittingly…and for the proselyte who resides among them. But the soul that does with a high hand, whether he be home-born or a stranger, he blasphemes the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people” (Numbers 15:29–30). This verse is referring to one who worships idolatry unwittingly. The entire Torah is juxtaposed to idolatry, and from that juxtaposition it is derived: Just as in the case of idolatry one is liable only when he performs an action with his body, i.e., himself, here too, in the case of Shabbat, he is liable only if he performs an action with his body, i.e., himself. He is not liable for an action performed by his animal.
ועוד תנן המחלל את השבת בדבר שחייבין על שגגתו חטאת ועל זדונו סקילה מכלל דאיכא מידי דאין חייבין על שגגתו חטאת ולא על זדונו סקילה
And furthermore, with regard to the statement that if he drove the laden donkey he is liable to be executed by stoning, we learned in a mishna that enumerates those who are executed by stoning: One who desecrates Shabbat by performing a matter that for its unwitting performance one is liable to bring a sin-offering, and for its intentional performance one is liable to be executed by stoning. By inference, there is another matter, another prohibition, that for which its unwitting performance one is not liable to bring a sin-offering, and for which its intentional performance one is not liable to be executed by stoning.
ומאי ניהו לאו דמחמר לא תחומין ואליבא דרבי עקיבא והבערה אליבא דרבי יוסי
And what is that Torah prohibition? Is it not the prohibition of driving a laden animal? Apparently, driving a laden animal and other labors performed by means of animals on Shabbat are not punishable by stoning, even though they are prohibited by Torah law. The Gemara rejects this second proof. No, this is not necessarily so. It is possible that the mishna is referring to the prohibition of Shabbat limits, and it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who holds that it is a Torah prohibition but that one is neither liable to bring a sin-offering for violating it unwittingly, nor is he liable to be executed by stoning for violating it intentionally. And likewise, it may refer to the prohibition of kindling a fire on Shabbat in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, who holds that it is not punishable by stoning but by lashes, like other prohibitions.