כל דבר שיש בו מנין אפילו בדרבנן לא בטיל וכל שכן בדאורייתא
Any item that is counted, even if it is prohibited by rabbinic law, e.g., teruma of fruit, cannot be nullified, and all the more so items prohibited by Torah law, such as animals that are disqualified for the altar, as in the mishna.
דתניא ליטרא קציעות שדרסה על פי עיגול ואינו יודע באיזו עיגול דרסה על פי חבית ואינו יודע באיזו חבית דרסה על פי כוורת ואינו יודע באיזו כוורת דרסה
This is as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Terumot 5:11): The baraita discusses three cases, all of which relate to the tithing of figs, which is an obligation by rabbinic law. The first is the case of a litra of untithed dried figs that were pressed in different vessels and shaped into circles, that one placed into a barrel containing tithed figs, and during the process of producing a circle he pressed the figs onto the opening of one of the circular vessels in which the circles are formed, and he does not know into which circular vessel he pressed it. The second is the case in which he recalls that he pressed it on the opening of a barrel containing tithed figs, but he does not know into which barrel he pressed it. The third case is that he recalls that he pressed it on the opening of a straw receptacle containing tithed figs, but he does not know into which receptacle he pressed it. In all of these cases, there is a dispute between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda as to the details of a dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua.
ר"מ אומר ר"א אומר רואין את העליונות כאילו הן פרודות והתחתונות מעלות את העליונות
Rabbi Meir says that Rabbi Eliezer says: One views the upper layers of possibly untithed dried figs as though they are separate pieces, rather than one unit. And the lower ones, which were there beforehand and have certainly been tithed, nullify the upper ones, as there are enough circles of figs to nullify the upper layer. One does not need to tithe the figs at the top of any of the containers.
ר' יהושע אומר אם יש מאה פומין יעלו ואם לאו הפומין אסורין והשולים מותרין
Rabbi Meir continues: By contrast, Rabbi Yehoshua says: If there are one hundred openings of containers present there, the untithed litra of figs on the opening of one of the containers is nullified in a ratio of one part of untithed figs to one hundred parts of similar, tithed figs. But if not, all of the layers of figs at the openings of the containers are prohibited, i.e., viewed as untithed, as one of them certainly contains an untithed litra that has not been nullified. And the figs on the insides of the vessels are permitted, as the untithed figs certainly did not reach there. This is Rabbi Meir’s version of the dispute.
רבי יהודה אומר ר"א אומר אם יש שם ק' פומין יעלו ואם לאו הפומין אסורין וכו'
The baraita continues: Rabbi Yehuda says that Rabbi Eliezer says: If there are one hundred openings of containers with tithed figs present there, in addition to the untithed figs, it is nullified in the one hundred. But if not, all of the layers of figs at the openings of the containers are prohibited, i.e., viewed as untithed, as one of them certainly contains an untithed litra that has not been nullified. And the figs on the insides of the vessels are permitted, as the untithed figs certainly did not reach there.
רבי יהושע אומר אפילו יש שם שלשה מאות פומין לא יעלו
Rabbi Yehuda continues his statement: By contrast, Rabbi Yehoshua says: Even if there are three hundred openings present there, the layer at the top of the container is not nullified. This litra cannot be nullified in any manner, as Rabbi Yehoshua maintains that even an item occasionally sold by unit, such as a circle of dried figs, can never be nullified.
דרסה בעיגול ואינו יודע באיזה מקום בעיגול דרסה או לצפונה או לדרומה דברי הכל יעלו
Rabbi Yehuda continues: But if one pressed the litra of dried figs into a circular vessel along with other dried figs, but does not know onto which place, i.e., which side, of the circular vessel he pressed it, whether, e.g., to its northern side or to its southern side, in this case, as the prohibited litra is not located in a defined place and it cannot be distinguished from the others, it is not considered an item of significance, and everyone agrees that it is nullified. Accordingly, the ruling of the mishna that animals that are disqualified from being sacrificed are not nullified is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua as stated by Rabbi Eliezer, that an item occasionally sold by unit is not nullified. Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement, that only an item whose manner is exclusively to be counted is significant and cannot be nullified, is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir.
רב אשי אמר אפי' תימא רבנן בעלי חיים חשיבי ולא בטלי
Rav Ashi says: You may even say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, i.e., Rabbi Meir, who maintains that an item that is not always counted is nullified in a majority. The reason is that living creatures are significant, and therefore they are not nullified.
ונמשוך ונקרב חד מינייהו ונימא כל דפריש מרובא פריש נמשוך הוה לה קבוע
§ The Gemara raises a difficulty with the ruling of the mishna that all of the animals are prohibited. And let us draw out and sacrifice one animal from the mixture, and say, i.e., apply the principle: Any item that separates from a group is assumed to have separated from the majority. Accordingly, the animal that was sacrificed is presumed to be fit. One can continue in this manner until only two animals from the mixture remain. The Gemara questions this suggestion: Should we draw out an animal from the mixture? But this is the removal of an item from its fixed place,