תניתוה עומר שהחזיק בו להוליכו לעיר והניחו על גבי חבירו ושכחו התחתון שכחה והעליון אינו שכחה ר' שמעון בן יהודה אומר משום ר' שמעון שניהן אינן שכחה התחתון מפני שהוא טמון והעליון מפני שהוא צף סברוה דהני תנאי כר' יהודה סבירא להו דאמר בשדה פרט לטמון
You learned it in the baraita (Tosefta, Pe’a 3:7): In the case of a sheaf that had been held by its owner in order to take it to the city, and he placed it on top of another sheaf, and he forgot both sheaves, the lower sheaf is deemed to be a forgotten sheaf, and the upper one is not deemed to be a forgotten sheaf. Rabbi Shimon ben Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Shimon: Both of them are not deemed to be forgotten sheaves; the lower one because it is concealed and the upper one because it is floating and not directly touching the field. The Sages assumed that these tanna’im in the baraita basically hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says that the phrase “in the field” serves to exclude a concealed sheaf.
מאי לאו בהא קא מיפלגי דמר סבר מין במינו הוי טמון ומר סבר לא הוי טמון
The Gemara continues Abaye’s statement: What, is it not the case that they disagree about this, as one Sage, Rabbi Shimon, holds that a substance in contact with the same type of substance is considered to be concealed, and therefore the lower sheaf is not deemed to be a forgotten sheaf, and one Sage, the Rabbis, holds that it is not considered to be concealed, which means it is deemed to be a forgotten sheaf. The same dispute would apply to the two corpses.
לא אי כר' יהודה סבירא להו דכ"ע מין במינו הוי טמון והכא בפלוגתא דרבי יהודה ורבנן קמיפלגי דרבנן כרבנן ור' שמעון בן יהודה כרבי יהודה
The Gemara refutes this claim: No, if they hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, then it could be that everyone agrees that a substance in contact with the same type of substance is considered to be concealed, and they would maintain this with regard to the two corpses as well. And here they disagree with regard to the issue that is the subject of the dispute of Rabbi Yehuda and the Rabbis, in that the opinion of the Rabbis of this baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis there, which claims that the halakha of a forgotten sheaf applies even to a concealed sheaf, and Rabbi Shimon ben Yehuda holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who maintains that a concealed sheaf is exempt from the halakha of forgotten sheaves.
אי הכי מאי איריא על גבי חבירו אפי' בעפר ובצרור נמי אין הכי נמי ולהודיעך כחו דר' יהודה דאמר אפי' מין במינו הוי טמון
The Gemara asks: If that is so, that their dispute is with regard to the halakha of concealed sheaves, why did they specifically disagree in the case of a sheaf that was on top of another sheaf; the same would hold true even in a case where the sheaf was concealed in dirt and pebbles? The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so. They disagree with regard to all concealed sheaves, and their dispute is stated with regard to a case of one sheaf on top of another in order to convey to you the far-reaching nature of the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says that even a substance that is in contact with the same type of substance is considered concealed. Therefore, a substance concealed in a different type of matter is all the more so considered concealed.
תנו רבנן חלל ולא חנוק חלל ולא מפרפר באדמה ולא טמון בגל נופל ולא תלוי באילן בשדה ולא צף על פני המים ר' אלעזר אומר בכולן אם היה חלל עורפין
§ The Gemara returns to discuss when the ritual of breaking the neck of the heifer is performed. The Sages taught, expounding the verse “If one be found slain in the land which the Lord your God has given you to possess it, lying in the field” (Deuteronomy 21:1): “Slain” indicates one killed by a sword, but not one who was strangled; “slain,” but not one who was found twitching in his death throes; “in the land,” but not concealed in a pile of stones; “lying,” but not hanging on a tree; “in the field,” but not floating on the surface of the water. Rabbi Elazar says: In all these cases, if a person was slain by the sword, the judges break the neck of the heifer, and it does not matter where the corpse was found.
תניא אמר רבי יוסי בר יהודה אמרו לו לר"א אי אתה מודה שאם היה חנוק ומוטל באשפה שאין עורפין אלמא חלל ולא חנוק הכא נמי באדמה ולא טמון בגל נופל ולא תלוי באילן בשדה ולא צף על גבי מים ור"א חלל יתירא כתיב
It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda says that the Sages said to Rabbi Elazar: Do you not concede that if he was strangled and left in a garbage heap, that they do not break the heifer’s neck? Apparently, “slain” is a precise term that means slain but not strangled. If you accept that, here too the words “in the land” should indicate: In the land, but not concealed in a pile of stones; “fallen” should indicate: Fallen but not hanging on a tree; and “in the field” should indicate in the field but not floating on the surface of the water. And Rabbi Elazar holds that those other situations are not excluded, and that because in that first case the Torah writes “slain” an extra time in the next verse: “About him that is slain” (Deuteronomy 21:2), this repetition teaches that a victim of strangulation is not included in this halakha.
נמצא סמוך לספר או לעיר שרובה עובדי כוכבים כו' דכתיב כי ימצא פרט למצוי
§ The mishna taught: If a corpse was found close to the border of the country or close to a city in which the majority of its inhabitants are gentiles, the judges would not break the heifer’s neck, as it is written: “If one be found slain” (Deuteronomy 21:1). This excludes places where murdered bodies are commonly found, such as the aforementioned locations.
או לעיר שאין בה ב"ד דבעינא זקני העיר וליכא אין מודדין אלא לעיר כו' פשיטא כיון דתנא לעיר שאין בה ב"ד אנא ידענא דאין מודדין אלא לעיר שיש בה בית דין
The mishna taught: Or if the victim was discovered close to a city that is without a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges, they would not measure the distance to that city. The Gemara explains: This is because the verse requires “the Elders of that city” (Deuteronomy 21:3), and this is not the case here; therefore the rite was not performed. The mishna also taught that the Elders measure the distance from the corpse only to a city that contains a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges. The Gemara asks: This is obvious. Since the mishna taught that they do not measure the distance to a city that does not have a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges, I know that they measure the distance only to a city that has a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges.
הא קא משמע לן כדתניא מנין שאם נמצא סמוך לעיר שאין בה ב"ד שמניחין אותה ומודדין לעיר שיש בה בית דין ת"ל (דברים כא, ג) ולקחו זקני העיר ההיא מכל מקום
The Gemara answers: This tanna teaches us the halakha as it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that if the corpse was found close to a city that does not have a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges, that they leave the city aside and measure the distance from the corpse to a city that has a rabbinical court of twenty-three judges? The verse states: “And the Elders of that city shall take” (Deuteronomy 21:3), which indicates that the Elders of a city are involved in any case, and the measurement is taken even if it is not to the city closest to the body.
מתני׳ נמצא מכוון בין שתי עיירות שתיהן מביאות שתי עגלות דברי רבי אליעזר ואין ירושלים מביאה עגלה ערופה נמצא ראשו במקום אחד וגופו במקום אחר מוליכין הראש אצל הגוף דברי רבי אליעזר רבי עקיבא אומר הגוף אצל הראש מאין היו מודדין רבי אליעזר אומר מטיבורו רבי עקיבא אומר מחוטמו רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר ממקום שנעשה חלל מצוארו
MISHNA: If the slain person is found precisely between two cities, the inhabitants of the two of them bring two heifers total; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not bring a heifer whose neck is broken, even if Jerusalem is the city closest to the slain victim. If the head of the corpse was found in one place and his body was found in a different place, they bring the head next to the body; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Akiva says: They bring the body next to the head. From where on the body would they measure the distance? Rabbi Eliezer says: From his navel. Rabbi Akiva says: From his nose. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: From the place where he became a slain person, which is from the neck.
גמ׳ מאי טעמא דרבי אליעזר קסבר אפשר לצמצם וקרובה ואפילו קרובות
GEMARA: The Gemara explains: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Eliezer, that when a body is found precisely between two cities, the inhabitants of each city bring a heifer? His ruling is based on two factors. First, he holds that it is possible to measure precisely and that it is a real possibility to determine that both cities are exactly the same distance from the corpse. And second, he interprets the term “That is nearest” (Deuteronomy 21:3), to be referring not only to one city. It can even be understood as: That are nearest, so that the halakhot apply to more than one city.
ואין ירושלים מביאה עגלה ערופה דאמר קרא (דברים כא, א) לרשתה וקסבר ירושלים לא נתחלקה לשבטים
The mishna taught: And the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not bring a heifer whose neck is broken. The Gemara explains: This is because the verse states: “If one be found slain in the land which the Lord your God has given you to possess it” (Deuteronomy 21:1), and this tanna holds that Jerusalem was not divided among the tribes in the division of Eretz Yisrael. It was not given as a possession to any particular person but belongs to all; therefore the halakha of the heifer whose neck is broken does not apply to it.
נמצא ראשו במקום כו' במאי קמפלגי אילימא לענין מדידה קמיפלגי הא מדקתני סיפא מאין היו מודדין מכלל דרישא לא במדידה עסקינן אמר ר' יצחק במת מצוה קנה מקומו קמיפלגי
§ With regard to the halakha of a corpse whose head was found in one place and its body elsewhere, the Gemara asks: With regard to what halakha do they disagree? If we say they disagree with regard to whether the measurement is taken from the head or the body, from the fact that the latter clause teaches: From where would they measure the distance, it may be inferred that in the first clause we are not dealing with measurement. Rabbi Yitzḥak said: They disagree with regard to a different matter, the question of whether a corpse with no one to bury it [met mitzva] acquires its place, meaning if an unattended corpse must be buried where it is found.
והכי קאמר לקוברו קנה מקומו והיכא דנמצא ראשו במקום אחד וגופו במקום אחר מוליכין הראש אצל הגוף דברי ר' אליעזר ר' עקיבא אומר הגוף אצל הראש במאי קמיפלגי מר סבר גופיה בדוכתיה נפיל רישא דנאדי ונפיל ומר סבר רישא היכא דנפיל נפיל גופא הוא דרהיט אזיל
And this is what the mishna is saying: With regard to burying him, the victim acquires his place, and he is buried there. The mishna continues: And in a case where his head is found in one place and his body is found in a different place, they bring the head next to the body and bury him there; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Akiva says: They bring the body next to the head. The Gemara explains: With regard to what do they disagree? They both agree that he should be buried in the place where he was killed, but one Sage, Rabbi Eliezer, holds that his body fell in its place, and it was the head that rolled away and fell. And one Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that his head fell where it fell, and it was the body that went and continued onward. Therefore, the body is brought to the head.
מאין היו מודדין במאי קמיפלגי מר סבר עיקר חיותא באפיה ומר סבר עיקר חיותא בטיבוריה
§ The mishna taught that there is a dispute concerning the question: From where on the body would they measure the distance? The Gemara asks: With regard to what do they disagree? One Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds: A person’s life is sustained mainly in his nose, in his respiratory system. And one Sage, Rabbi Eliezer, holds: His life is mainly in the area of his navel, in his digestive system.
לימא כי הני תנאי מהיכן הולד נוצר מראשו וכן הוא אומר (תהלים עא, ו) ממעי אמי אתה גוזי ואומר (ירמיהו ז, כט) גזי נזרך והשליכי וגו' אבא שאול אומר מטיבורו ומשלח שרשו אילך ואילך
The Gemara suggests: Shall we say that these tanna’im are like those tanna’im, who had a dispute as it is taught in a baraita: From where is an embryo formed? From its head, and so the verse states: “Out of my mother’s womb You pulled me [gozi]” (Psalms 71:6). And the proof that “gozi” is referring to the head is from the verse that states: “Cut off [gozi] your hair, and cast it away” (Jeremiah 7:29). In this verse, the term gozi relates to the hair of the head. Abba Shaul says: An embryo is formed from its navel, and it sends its roots forth. This dispute concerning the initial formation of an embryo also appears to depend on where the main source of life in a person is.
אפילו תימא אבא שאול ע"כ לא קאמר אבא שאול אלא לענין יצירה דכי מיתצר ולד ממציעתיה מיתצר אבל לענין חיותא דכולי עלמא באפיה הוא דכתיב (בראשית ז, כב) כל אשר נשמת רוח חיים באפיו וגו'
The Gemara refutes this comparison: You can even say that both tanna’im of the mishna agree with Abba Shaul, as Abba Shaul says his opinion only with regard to the forming of an embryo, that when an embryo is formed, it is formed from its middle. But with regard to life, everyone, i.e., both tanna’im in the baraita, agree that it is in his nose, as it is written: “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life” (Genesis 7:22).
רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר ממקום שנעשה חלל מצוארו מאי טעמא דרבי אליעזר בן יעקב כדכתיב (יחזקאל כא, לד) לתת אותך אל צוארי חללי רשעים
The mishna taught another opinion. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: The distance should be measured from the place where the victim became a slain person, from his neck. The Gemara poses a question: What is the reason of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov? The Gemara answers: As it is written: “To lay you upon the necks of the wicked who are to be slain” (Ezekiel 21:34), which shows that being slain occurs at the neck.
מתני׳ נפטרו זקני ירושלים והלכו להן זקני אותה העיר מביאין עגלת בקר אשר לא משכה בעול ואין המום פוסל בה ומורידין אותה לנחל איתן איתן כמשמעו קשה אע"פ שאינו איתן כשר ועורפין אותה בקופיץ מאחוריה ומקומה אסור מלזרוע ומלעבוד ומותר לסרוק שם פשתן ולנקר שם אבנים
MISHNA: The mishna continues to describe the ritual. After they would take the measurement, the Elders of Jerusalem took their leave and went away. The Elders of the city that is closest to the corpse bring a heifer from cattle, which has not pulled a yoke. But a blemish does not disqualify it, because, unlike the description of the red heifer, the Torah does not state that it must be without blemish. And they bring it down to a stream that is eitan. Eitan in this context means as the word generally indicates, powerful. The stream must have a forceful flow. The mishna comments: Even if it is not forceful, it is a valid site for the ritual. And they break the neck of the heifer from behind with a cleaver. And with regard to its place, where the heifer was standing when its neck was broken, it is prohibited for that ground to be sown or to be worked, but it is permitted to comb flax there or to cut stones there.
זקני אותה העיר רוחצין את ידיהן במים במקום עריפה של עגלה ואומרים (דברים כא, ז) ידינו לא שפכה את הדם הזה ועינינו לא ראו וכי על דעתינו עלתה שזקני ב"ד שופכי דמים הן אלא שלא בא על ידינו ופטרנוהו (בלא מזון) ולא ראינוהו והנחנוהו (בלא לוייה)
The Elders of that city would then wash their hands in water in the place of the breaking of the neck of the heifer, and they would recite: “Our hands did not spill this blood, nor did our eyes see” (Deuteronomy 21:7). The mishna explains: But did it enter our minds that the Elders of the court are spillers of blood, that they must make such a declaration? Rather, they mean to declare that the victim did not come to us and then we let him take his leave without food, and we did not see him and then leave him alone to depart without accompaniment. They therefore attest that they took care of all his needs and are not responsible for his death even indirectly.