והתניא כיוצא בו א"ר יוסי (עזרא ח, לה) והבאים מהשבי בני הגולה הקריבו עולות פרים (בני בקר) שנים עשר אילים תשעים ותשעה כבשים שבעים ושבעה שעירי חטאת שנים עשר הכל עולה לה' But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Similarly, Rabbi Yosei said: It is stated with regard to those who returned from Babylonia in the days of Ezra: “The children of the captivity that came out of exile sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve goats for a sin offering; all this was a burnt offering unto the Lord” (Ezra 8:35).
וחטאת מי קרבה עולה אמר רבא כי עולה מה עולה אינה נאכלת אף חטאת אינה נאכלת שהיה רבי יוסי אומר על עבודה זרה הביאום ואמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל על עבודה זרה שעשו בימי צדקיהו The Gemara first analyzes this verse: But is it possible for a sin offering to be sacrificed as a burnt offering? Rava said: The verse means that it was all performed in the manner of a burnt offering: Just as a burnt offering may not be eaten, so too, that sin offering was not eaten. As Rabbi Yosei would say: They brought these twelve sin offerings for the sin of idol worship; and Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: They were brought for the sin of idol worship they committed in the days of King Zedekiah.
קא סלקא דעתין למאן דאית ליה חטאת צבור שנתכפרו בעליה מתה אית ליה נמי חטאת צבור שמתו בעליה מתה והא הכא דאיכא דמתו בעליה וקא קרבה The Gemara explains the difficulty concerning which it cited this verse: It might enter our mind to think that according to the one who holds that a communal sin offering whose owners achieved atonement with another sin offering is left to die, he also holds that a communal sin offering whose owners died is left to die. But here, with regard to the offerings brought by the returning exiles, this is a case of a communal sin offering whose owners died, as the sin was committed in the time of Zedekiah, in the First Temple period, whereas the offerings were brought several generations later by those returning to rebuild the Second Temple. And yet they were sacrificed. This proves that a communal sin offering whose owners achieved atonement with another sin offering is not left to die.
אמר רב פפא אפילו למאן דאמר חטאת צבור שכפרו בעליה מתה חטאת צבור שמתו בעליה אינה מתה לפי שאין הצבור מתים Rav Pappa said in response: Even according to the one who said that a communal sin offering whose owners achieved atonement with another sin offering is left to die, he agrees that a communal sin offering whose owners died is not left to die. This is because a community does not die.
מנא ליה לרב פפא הא אי נימא משום דכתיב (תהלים מה, יז) תחת אבותיך יהיו בניך אי הכי אפי' יחיד נמי The Gemara asks: From where does Rav Pappa derive this statement? If we say it is because it is written: “Your sons shall be instead of your fathers” (Psalms 45:17), i.e., it is considered as though the fathers are alive, if so, then this should apply even to an individual as well. In other words, sons should be able to sacrifice the sin offerings of their late fathers.
אלא היינו טעמא שאין הציבור מתים משעירי רגלים וראשי חדשים דאמר רחמנא אייתינהו מתרומת הלשכה ודלמא מתו מרייהו דהני זוזי אלא לאו ש"מ אין הצבור מתים Rather, this is Rav Pappa’s reasoning for his statement that a community does not die. It is derived from the halakha of the goats sacrificed on pilgrimage Festivals and on New Moons, as the Merciful One states: Bring them from the funds of the collection of the Temple treasury chamber, where they kept the half-shekels donated every year in the month of Adar, with which communal offerings were purchased. The Gemara explains: But perhaps the owners of these coins that were used to purchase these offerings have died in the meantime between the month of Adar and when the offerings are sacrificed throughout the year. If so, how can a sin offering be brought on behalf of some of its owners who have already died? Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from this halakha that a community does not die?
ואיבעית אימא כי אקרובינהו להני חטאות אחיי אקרבינהו דכתיב (עזרא ג, יב) ורבים מהכהנים הלוים וראשי האבות הזקנים אשר ראו את הבית הראשון ביסדו זה הבית בוכים בקול גדול ורבים בתרועה And if you wish, say instead a different answer in response to the earlier difficulty: The sin offerings for idolatry brought by the returning exiles were not in fact sacrificed for people who had died. Rather, when they sacrificed these sin offerings for the idolatry committed in the time of Zedekiah, they sacrificed them for the living, i.e., for those survivors who had worshipped idols in the time of Zedekiah and were still alive many decades later and had returned to rebuild the Second Temple. As it is written: “But many of the priests, Levites, and heads of fathers’ houses, the old men that had seen the first house standing on its foundation, wept with a loud voice when this house was before their eyes; and many shouted aloud for joy” (Ezra 3:12).
ודילמא הנך מיעוטא לא מצית אמרת דכתיב (עזרא ג, יג) (ולא הכירו העם בתרועה ושמחה) לקול בכי העם The Gemara objects: But perhaps those who remained and remembered the First Temple were the minority, in which case they should have each brought individual sin offerings, rather than a communal sin offering. The fact that they brought communal sacrifices indicates that the sin offering was not brought only on behalf of those few who remained. The Gemara explains: You cannot say that they were the minority, as it is written in the following verse: “So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off” (Ezra 3:13). This verse shows that the people who cried because they remembered the First Temple were not a small minority.
והיכי מקרבי להו והרי מזידין הוו אמר רבי יוחנן הוראת שעה היתה The Gemara asks: But how could they sacrifice sin offerings for the sin of idolatry? After all, they were intentional idol worshippers, and a sin offering is brought only by one who sins unwittingly. Rabbi Yoḥanan says in response: It was a provisional edict issued in exigent circumstances, according to which they were permitted to bring sin offerings even for intentional sins.
הכי נמי מסתברא דאי לא תימא הכי בשלמא פרים ושעירי' כנגד שנים עשר שבטים אלא כבשים כנגד מי אלא הוראת שעה היתה The Gemara adds that this also stands to reason, as, if you do not say so, one can object as follows: Granted, they sacrificed twelve bulls and goats, since each tribe must bring a communal sin offering, as stated in the Torah (Numbers, chapter 15), and these offerings correspond to the twelve tribes. But to what do the ninety-six sheep correspond? Rather, it must be that it was a provisional edict.
תנן התם משמת יוסף בן יועזר איש צרידה ויוסף בן יוחנן איש ירושלים בטלו האשכולות איש שהכל בו § Earlier the Gemara mentioned the halakha of a sin offering whose owner died, which was one of the halakhot forgotten during the mourning period for Moses (see 16a). On this topic the Gemara says that we learned in a mishna there (Sota 47a): From the time when Yosef ben Yo’ezer of Tzereida and Yosef ben Yoḥanan of Jerusalem died, the clusters [eshkolot] ceased, i.e., they were the last of the clusters. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of eshkolot? It means a man who contains all [ish shehakol bo], i.e., both Torah and mitzvot.
ואמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל אשכולות שעמדו להן לישראל מימות משה עד שמת יוסף בן יועזר היו למדין תורה כמשה רבינו מכאן ואילך לא היו למדין תורה כמשה רבינו And Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: All the clusters who stood at the head of the Jewish people, from the days of Moses until Yosef ben Yo’ezer died, would study Torah in the manner of Moses, our teacher. From that point forward they would not study Torah in the manner of Moses, our teacher.
והאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל שלשת אלפים הלכות נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה דאישתכח להו אישתכח ודגמירן להו הוו גמירי כמשה רבינו The Gemara objects: But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Shmuel said: Three thousand halakhot were forgotten during the days of mourning for Moses. This suggests that the Sages who came immediately after Moses did not study Torah in the same manner as Moses. The Gemara answers: Those halakhot that they forgot, were forgotten, but with regard to those halakhot that they studied, they would continue to study in the manner of Moses, our teacher.
והא תניא משמת משה אם רבו מטמאין טמאו אם רבו טהורין טיהרו The Gemara objects: But isn’t it taught in a baraita with regard to the resolution of questions of halakha: From the time when Moses died, if the majority deem an item impure, they have established it as impure, and if the majority deem an item pure, they have established it as pure. If this is the case, then the manner of studying Torah after the death of Moses is based on a majority, whereas when Moses was alive there was no dispute in matters of halakha.
ליבא דאימעיט מיגמר הוו גמירי להו כמשה רבינו The Gemara explains that this baraita is referring specifically to those halakhot that were forgotten during the mourning period after the death of Moses. Since the understanding of the heart was limited [libba de’ime’it], the Sages were unable to reach a clear ruling on these matters. Consequently, they had to follow the majority. But with regard to all other halakhot they studied, they would study them in the manner of Moses, our teacher.
במתניתא תנא כל אשכולות שעמדו לישראל מימות משה עד שמת יוסף בן יועזר איש צרידה לא היה בהם שום דופי מכאן ואילך היה בהן שום דופי It was taught in a baraita: All the clusters who stood at the head of the Jewish people from the days of Moses until Yosef ben Yo’ezer died had no flaw in them. From this point forward the clusters, i.e., the leadership of the Jewish people, had flaws in them.
והתניא מעשה בחסיד אחד שהיה גונח מלבו ושאלו לרופאים ואמרו אין לו תקנה עד שיינק חלב רותח שחרית והביאו עז וקשרו לו בכרעי מיטתו והיה יונק ממנה חלב The Gemara raises a difficulty: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving a certain pious man who was groaning, i.e., suffering, due to a pain in his heart. And they asked the physicians what to do for him, and they said: There is no other remedy for him but that he should suckle warm milk every morning. And they brought him a goat and tied it to the leg of the bed for him, and he would suckle milk from it.
למחר נכנסו חביריו לבקרו כיון שראו העז אמרו ליסטים מזויין בתוך ביתו ואנו נכנסים לבקרו ישבו ובדקו ולא מצאו בו עון אלא של אותה העז בלבד On the following day, his friends entered to visit him. When they saw the goat tied to the leg of the bed they said: There is an armed bandit in this man’s house, and we are entering to visit him? They referred to the goat in this manner because small animals habitually graze on the vegetation of neighbors, stealing their crops. The Sages sat and examined this pious man’s behavior, and they could not find any transgression attributable to him other than the sin of keeping that goat in his house alone.
ואף הוא בשעת מיתתו אמר יודע אני בעצמי שאין בי עון אלא של אותה העז בלבד שעברתי על דברי חבירי שהרי אמרו חכמים אין מגדלין בהמה דקה בארץ ישראל And that man himself also said at the time of his death: I know for a fact with regard to myself that I have no transgression attributable to me but the sin of keeping that goat in my house alone, as I transgressed the statement of my colleagues, the Sages. As the Sages said in a mishna (Bava Kamma 79b): One may not raise small domesticated animals, i.e., sheep and goats, in inhabited areas of Eretz Yisrael, because they graze on people’s crops.
וקי"ל כל היכא דאמר מעשה בחסיד אחד או ר' יהודה בן בבא או ר' יהודה בר אילעאי ורבנן בתר יוסף בן יועזר איש צרידה דרי דרי הוו And we maintain that anywhere that it says: There was an incident involving a certain pious man, the man in question is either Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava or Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai. And these Sages lived many generations after Yosef ben Yo’ezer of Tzereida. If this is the case, then even in later generations there were Sages without a flaw.