Yevamot 15bיבמות ט״ו ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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15bט״ו ב

הרואה אומר לאפושי מיא הוא דקא עביד

anyone watching would say that he did it to increase the water flow, and he did not intend to change the halakha. Rather, they would think that he widened the water trough only because there was not enough water flow.

ת"ש דא"ר אלעזר בר צדוק כשהייתי לומד תורה אצל ר' יוחנן החורני ראיתי שהיה אוכל פת חריבה במלח בשני בצורת באתי והודעתי את אבא אמר לי הולך לו זיתים והולכתי לו ראה אותן שהן לחין אמר לי אין אני אוכל זיתים

§ The Gemara cites another relevant source. Come and hear, as Rabbi Elazar bar Tzadok said: When I studied Torah with Rabbi Yoḥanan the Ḥorani, who was a disciple of Beit Shammai, I saw that he would eat dry bread in salt in years of drought. I went and informed my father of his meager meal, and he said to me: Take olives for him, and I took for him some olives. Rabbi Yoḥanan saw that they were moist with the liquid that oozes from olives, which renders them susceptible to ritual impurity. Concerned that they had already become ritually impure, he said to me: I do not eat olives. He spoke politely and stated that he did not eat olives because he did not wish to embarrass his benefactor by disclosing that he feared they had become ritually impure.

באתי והודעתי את אבא אמר לי לך ואמור לו חבית נקובה היתה אלא שסתמוה שמרים ותנן חבית של זיתים מגולגלים בית שמאי אומרים אין צריכה לנקב

Rabbi Elazar bar Tzadok continued his account. I went and informed my father. He said to me: Go and say to him that the barrel containing the olives was perforated, but it was clogged by sediments in the oil and therefore some moisture remained inside. However, due to the presence of the hole, the olives were not rendered susceptible to ritual impurity. And we learned this in a mishna: With regard to a barrel of preserved olives, Beit Shammai say it does not need to be perforated, as the juice issuing from the olives does not render them susceptible to ritual impurity.

ובית הלל אומרים צריכה לנקב ומודים שאם ניקבה וסתמוה שמרים שהיא טהורה

And Beit Hillel say that it does need to be perforated, as they maintain that the juice of olives is considered oil and it therefore renders the olives susceptible to ritual impurity. And Beit Hillel concede that if the barrel was perforated and subsequently clogged by sediments it is ritually pure, despite the moisture on the olives. Since liquids render food susceptible to ritual impurity only if they were placed on them intentionally, the hole in the barrel clearly shows that one did not intend for the juice to be there. By boring a hole in the barrel he has rendered it obvious that he did not desire the presence of the olive juices, and therefore it does not matter that the hole became blocked.

ואע"פ שתלמיד שמאי היה כל מעשיו לא עשה אלא כדברי ב"ה אי אמרת בשלמא עשו היינו רבותיה אלא אי אמרת לא עשו מאי רבותיה

The baraita adds: And although Rabbi Yoḥanan the Ḥorani was a disciple of Shammai, he always acted only in accordance with the statements of Beit Hillel. The Gemara infers: Granted, if you say that Beit Shammai acted in accordance with their opinions, this is Rabbi Yoḥanan the Ḥorani’s greatness, i.e., he is praised for acting in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel. However, if you say that Beit Shammai did not act in accordance with their own rulings, what is the greatness and uniqueness of Rabbi Yoḥanan the Ḥorani? From here it can be inferred that Beit Shammai generally did act in accordance with their opinions.

ת"ש שאלו את ר' יהושע צרת הבת מהו אמר להם מחלוקת ב"ש וב"ה והלכה כדברי מי אמר להם מפני מה אתם מכניסין ראשי בין שני הרים גדולים בין שתי מחלוקות גדולות בין ב"ש ובין ב"ה מתיירא אני שמא ירוצו גלגלתי

§ The Gemara adds: Come and hear a different proof. They asked Rabbi Yehoshua: What is the halakha with regard to the rival wife of a daughter? He said to them: It is a matter of dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel. They continued to ask him: And in accordance with whose statement is the halakha? He said to them: Why are you inserting my head between two great mountains, i.e., between two great disputing opinions, between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel? I fear lest these two mountains break my skull.

אבל אני מעיד לכם על שתי משפחות גדולות שהיו בירושלים משפחת בית צבועים מבן עכמאי ומשפחת בית קופאי מבן מקושש שהם בני צרות ומהם כהנים גדולים ושמשו על גבי המזבח

However, I shall testify to you about two great families that were in Jerusalem, the Beit Tzevo’im family who came from the town of Ben Akhmai, and the Beit Kofai family from the town of Ben Mekoshesh: They were the descendants of rival wives who married others, in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, and from them came High Priests who served on the altar. Accordingly, I can testify that this was the accepted halakhic practice throughout the generations.

אי אמרת בשלמא עשו היינו דקאמר מתיירא אני אלא אי אמרת לא עשו אמאי קאמר מתיירא אני ונהי נמי דעשו מאי מתיירא אני

The Gemara infers from this statement: Granted, if you say that Beit Shammai acted in accordance with their opinions, this is why Rabbi Yehoshua said: I fear, since a conclusive halakhic ruling would mean that certain children are mamzerim, and the descendants of that family might take vengeance upon him. However, if you say that they did not act in accordance with their opinions, why did he say: I fear? The Gemara retorts: And even if Beit Shammai did act in accordance with their rulings, what is the reason that he said: I fear?

הא אמר ר' יהושע אין ממזר אלא מחייבי מיתות בית דין נהי נמי דממזר לא הוי פגום מיהו הוי

Didn’t Rabbi Yehoshua say that in his opinion a mamzer is only someone born from a union of those liable to receive the court-imposed capital punishments, not from those liable to receive karet. If so, in the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua, the children of rival wives who entered into levirate marriage would not be mamzerim at all, and therefore he had no reason to fear reprisals. The Gemara answers: Even if this is the case, nevertheless, he had something to fear, as, although the child of a rival wife would not be a mamzer, he would nevertheless be of flawed lineage and disqualified from the priesthood.

מק"ו מאלמנה מה אלמנה שאין איסורה נוהג בכל בנה פגום זו שאיסורה שוה בכל כו'

The Gemara adds that this can be derived by an a fortiori inference from the case of a widow: Just as in the case of a widow, whose prohibition does not apply to all, as she is forbidden in marriage only to a High Priest and not to any other man, and yet the lineage of her son is flawed, as he is disqualified from the priesthood, the son of this rival wife should certainly be disqualified from the priesthood, as her prohibition applies equally to all, even regular Israelites.

קבעו מיניה צרות וקפשיט ליה בני צרות תרתי קא בעי מיניה צרות מאי ואם תמצי לומר צרות כבית הלל בני צרות דבית הלל לב"ש מהו

§ Incidentally, the Gemara notes a problem with the above discussion: They asked Rabbi Yehoshua about rival wives, and he answered them about the children of rival wives. He did not refer to the rival wives themselves. The Gemara explains: They asked him questions on two matters: First, what is the halakha with regard to rival wives? And if you say that the halakha in the case of rival wives is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel and they are exempt, what is the halakha according to Beit Shammai in the case of the children of rival wives who, following Beit Hillel, married others without ḥalitza?

למאי נפקא מינה למיפשט ולד מחזיר גרושתו לבית הלל

The Gemara asks: What difference does this question make? Since Rabbi Yehoshua maintains that the halakha is in accordance with the ruling of Beit Hillel, why even discuss Beit Shammai’s opinion on this matter? The Gemara explains: His answer enables one to resolve a different issue, the case of a child of one who remarries his divorcée according to the opinion of Beit Hillel. Is the child of a divorcée who remarried her previous husband after she had been married to another man fit or disqualified from the priesthood?

מי קאמרינן קל וחומר ומה אלמנה לכהן גדול שאין איסורה שוה בכל בנה פגום זו שאיסורה שוה בכל אינו דין שבנה פגום

The Gemara elaborates: Do we say the following an a fortiori inference: And just as with regard to a widow married to a High Priest, whose prohibition does not apply to all, as she is prohibited in marriage only to a High Priest, and yet the lineage of her son is flawed as he is disqualified from the priesthood, so too, in the case of this rival wife, whose prohibition applies equally to all men, is it not right that her son should be of flawed lineage?

או דלמא איכא למיפרך מה לאלמנה שהיא עצמה מתחללת ואמר להו צרות מתיירא אני

Or perhaps this comparison can be refuted: What about the fact that a widow is different, as she herself is disqualified from marrying a priest, i.e., if a High Priest has intercourse with her she is disqualified from marrying any member of the entire priesthood, including common priests, whereas a remarried divorcée herself is not disqualified from marrying into the priesthood? And Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: I fear that if I issue a decisive ruling concerning rival wives this might lead to a conflict,