Shabbat 17aשבת י״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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17aי״ז א

אקפח את בני שזו הלכה מקופחת ששמע השומע וטעה האיכר עובר ומרדעו על כתפו ואיהל צדו אחת על הקבר טימאו אותו משום כלים המאהילים על המת

I will bury my sons if this is not a truncated halakha, i.e., that the one who heard it, heard a halakhic ruling concerning a different situation and erred. He thought this halakha was established with regard to the following: Movable objects with the thickness of an ox goad transmit impurity to another vessel when the movable object is over both the source of impurity and the vessel at the same time. However, the original halakha is as follows: If the farmer was passing and his ox goad was on his shoulder and one side of the ox goad covered the grave, the Sages deemed the ox goad itself impure due to the impurity of vessels that cover a corpse. Any object located over a grave becomes impure. However, just because the ox goad itself became impure, this does not necessarily mean that it transmits impurity to other objects.

אמר רבי עקיבא אני אתקן שיהו דברי חכמים קיימים שיהו כל המטלטלים מביאין את הטומאה על האדם שנושא אותן בעובי המרדע ועל עצמן בכל שהן ועל שאר אדם וכלים בפותח טפח

Rabbi Akiva said: I will correct and explain the halakha so that the statements of the Sages will be upheld as they were originally said, and this halakha will be explained as follows: All movable objects transmit impurity to the person carrying them if the objects are at least as thick as an ox goad. As will be explained below, there is room to decree that a round object with the circumference of an ox goad should have the legal status of a tent over a corpse. Something that serves as a covering over a corpse not only becomes impure itself, but also transmits impurity, as it is written: “Anything that is in the tent will become impure for seven days” (Numbers 19:14). Therefore, even the person carrying the ox goad becomes impure due to the ox goad. And, however, movable objects that covered the corpse bring impurity upon themselves by means of this makeshift tent at any size, and there is no minimum measure. And, however, those objects that cover the corpse do not transmit impurity to other people who are not carrying them. And the same is true with regard to vessels, unless the width of these vessels is at least one handbreadth.

ואמר רבי ינאי ומרדע שאמרו אין בעביו טפח ויש בהיקפו טפח וגזרו על היקפו משום עביו

And Rabbi Yannai said: And the ox goad that they mentioned is specifically one in which its width is not a handbreadth and, however, its circumference is a handbreadth, and they, the Sages, issued a decree on its circumference due to its width. If its width was a handbreadth it would transmit impurity as a tent by Torah law. Therefore, they issued a rabbinic decree with regard to an object whose circumference is a handbreadth. This is another of the eighteen decrees.

ולרבי טרפון דאמר אקפח את בני שהלכה זו מקופחת בצרו להו אמר רבי נחמן בר יצחק אף בנות כותים נדות מעריסתן בו ביום גזרו ובאידך סבירא ליה כרבי מאיר:

The Gemara asks: And according to Rabbi Tarfon, who said: I will bury my son if this is not a truncated halakha, the tally of the decrees is lacking, and there are not eighteen. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The decree that the daughters of the Samaritans are considered to already have the status of menstruating women from their cradle, they issued on that day. And in the other matter of drawn water, he holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, and thereby the tally of the decrees is complete.

ואידך הבוצר לגת שמאי אומר הוכשר הלל אומר לא הוכשר אמר לו הלל לשמאי מפני מה בוצרין בטהרה ואין מוסקין בטהרה

And another of those decrees is the matter of one who harvests grapes in order to take them to the press. Shammai says: It has become susceptible, and Hillel says: It has not become susceptible. Hillel said to Shammai: If so, for what purpose do they harvest grapes in purity, i.e., utilizing pure vessels, as in your opinion, since the grapes are susceptible to impurity by means of the juice that seeps from them, care must be taken to avoid impurity while gathering; and, however, they do not harvest olives in purity? According to your opinion that liquid that seeps out renders the fruit susceptible to impurity, why is there not a similar concern with regard to the liquid that seeps out of olives?

אמר לו אם תקניטני גוזרני טומאה אף על המסיקה נעצו חרב בבית המדרש אמרו הנכנס יכנס והיוצא אל יצא ואותו היום היה הלל כפוף ויושב לפני שמאי כאחד מן התלמידים והיה קשה לישראל כיום שנעשה בו העגל וגזור שמאי והלל ולא קבלו מינייהו ואתו תלמידייהו גזור וקבלו מינייהו

Shammai said to him: If you provoke me and insist that there is no difference between gathering olives and grapes, then, in order not to contradict this, I will decree impurity on the gathering of olives as well. They related that since the dispute was so intense, they stuck a sword in the study hall, and they said: One who seeks to enter the study hall, let him enter, and one who seeks to leave may not leave, so that all of the Sages will be assembled to determine the halakha. That day Hillel was bowed and was sitting before Shammai like one of the students. The Gemara said: And that day was as difficult for Israel as the day the Golden Calf was made, as Hillel, who was the Nasi, was forced to sit in submission before Shammai, and the opinion of Beit Shammai prevailed in the vote conducted that day. And Shammai and Hillel issued the decree, and the people did not accept it from them. And their students came and issued the decree, and the people accepted it from them.

מאי טעמא אמר (רבי) זעירי אמר רבי חנינא גזירה שמא יבצרנו בקופות טמאות

As to the essence of the matter, the Gemara asks: What is the reason they decreed that liquids that seeped from the grapes unintentionally render the grapes susceptible to impurity? Rabbi Ze’iri said that Rabbi Ḥanina said: The Sages issued a decree due to concern lest he gather the grapes in impure baskets. The impurity of the vessel would accord the liquid in it the status of a liquid that renders food items susceptible to impurity.

הניחא למאן דאמר כלי טמא חושב משקין שפיר אלא למאן דאמר אין כלי טמא חושב משקין מאי איכא למימר אלא אמר זעירי אמר רבי חנינא גזירה שמא יבצרנו בקופות מזופפות

The Gemara asks: This works out well, according to the one who said that an impure vessel accords liquids in it the halakhic status as if they were placed there willfully, and they render foods susceptible to impurity even if he did not want the liquids in the vessel. However, according to the one who said that an impure vessel does not accord liquids that status, what can be said in explanation of the decree? Rather, Rabbi Ze’iri said that Rabbi Ḥanina said the following: The reason is not as we suggested; rather, this is a decree instituted by the Sages lest he gather them in pitched baskets, which are sealed. Since liquids that seep out of the grapes do not spill out of the baskets, it is opportune for him to have the liquids seep out of the grapes as he thereby accelerates the production of wine in the press. Because the seeping of the liquid is opportune, it renders the grapes susceptible to impurity.

רבא אמר גזירה משום הנושכות (דאמר) רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה פעמים שאדם הולך לכרמו לידע אם הגיעו ענבים לבצירה או לא ונוטל אשכול ענבים לסוחטו ומזלף על גבי ענבים ובשעת בצירה עדיין משקה טופח עליהם:

Rava said: The reason for the decree is due to the case of liquid that squirted out when one separated clusters of grapes that were stuck together. Since he did so by his own hand, consciously and willfully, the liquid that seeps out renders the grapes susceptible to impurity. Just as Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said: Sometimes a person goes to his vineyard in order to ascertain whether or not the grapes have reached the time for gathering, and he takes a cluster of grapes to squeeze it, and he sprays the juice onto the grapes. Based on the quality of the juice, he determines whether or not the grapes are sufficiently ripe. If so, this grape juice was squeezed by his own hand willfully and it renders the grapes susceptible to impurity, as even at the time of gathering it is conceivable that the liquid is still moist upon the grapes.

ואידך אמר

Since all eighteen decrees decreed that day have not yet been enumerated, the Gemara asks: And what is the other? Said