[San 4b: We begin on the fourth line. Rav Yitzchak b. Yosef had asserted that Rabbi, R. Yehuda b. Ro'etz, Beit Shammai, R. Shimon, and R. Akiva all give primacy to pronunciation. Rav Aha ben Yaakov, then argued that _all_ of the Sages gave primacy to pronunciation. The gemara reconsiders the four instances referred to above from his point of view.]

[With respect to Rabbi's position on the number of judges, the gemara concluded that Rabbi and the opposing Sages all agreed on the primacy of pronunciation, and differed on exegetical details. The gemara now goes on to consider the other four cases.]

And R. Yehuda b. Ro'etz [who granted priority to pronunciation in the case of the required two weeks before the purification of a woman who have birth to an girl] -- the Rabbis do not disagree with him.

[Next the gemara returns to the case of Beit Shammai, who gave primacy to pronunciation in the exegesis of the minimum number of blood sprinklings required for a sin offering. Beit Shammai's requirement of a minimum of two of the four prescribed sprinklings was based on an exegetic reading of the word "karnot" (horns of the Altar) by pronunciation, so it was assumed that Beit Hillel based the minimal requirement of a single sprinkling on the fact that "karnot" appears in Lev 4: 25, 30, 34 with two different spellings, one of which can be read as singular.]

Beit Hillel, as was taught in a b'raita (citing Lev 4: 26, 31, and 35): "make atonement," "make atonement," "make atonement" [the phrase is repeated three times, once for each of the specified sacrifices], because logically one might conclude [that there was no atonement unless all of the four prescribed sprinklings were performed in every case].

But couldn't one conclude [that only one sprinkling is required, using the following logic]? Scripture prescribes blood on the lower half of the Altar and on the upper half of the Altar. Just like a single sprinkling of blood on the lower half of the Altar effects atonement [see e.g. Lev 5:9], so too [in the case of a sin-offering in which the blood is sprinkled] on the (horns on the) upper half of the Altar a single sprinking effects atonement.

[The gemara answers:] There is an alternative: Blood is stated for the outer Altar [where most sacrifices were offered] and blood is stated for the Inner Altar [used for a sin-offering if the entire congregation sinned, as well as for the Kohen Gadol]. Just as with the Inner Altar, skipping even one step means that nothing was accomplished, so too with the Outer Altar, if one omits even one step, nothing is accomplished.

[Thus, there are two logical arguments, one requiring only one sprinkling and one requiring all four sprinkling.]

Let's see which is more similar (to the sin offering on the Outer Alter). Shall we derive (this law for) the Outer Altar from (other laws of) the Outer Alter, and not from (those of) the Inner Altar [in which case the minimum requirement is one sprinkling]? Or shall we derive the sin offering, which requires [sprinkling on] four horns [of the Altar] from the [Inner Altar] sin-offering which also describes the four horns (Lev. 4:18), but not from other kinds of sacrifices which are not sin-offerings and do not mention the four horns?

[There does not seem to be any a priori reason to assume that one logical argument is any stronger than the other.]

Therefore, [Scripture says] "make atonement," "make atonement," "make atonement." "Make atonement" even if he performed only three sprinkings, "make atonement" even if he performed only two sprinking, "make atonement" even if he made only one sprinking.

[This explains that Beit Hillel's requirement of only one sprinkling is derived from an altogether different exegesis than that of Beit Shammai, who require a minimum of two, and so does not imply that they reject exegesis by pronunciation.]

[We consider the fourth case cited by Rav Yitzchak b. Yosef regarding the primacy of pronunciation ... that of R. Shimon. On San 4a, the gemara discussed the disagreement between Rav Shimon, who holds that s sukkah requires at least three full walls plus one symbolic wall, and the Rabbis, who hold that a sukkah requires only two walls plus one symbolic wall. The gemara there indicated that the dispute was based on the fact that Rav Shimon assigned primacy to pronunciation, and the Rabbis assigned primacy to spelling. The gemara will now conclude that both the Rabbis and Rav Shimon assign primacy to pronunciation.]

Rav Shimon and the Rabbis disagree on the following: Rav Shimon holds that the requirement of s'chach [the roof of the sukkah] does not have to be mentioned in the biblical verse. [Obviously, the sukkah must have a roof, so it need not be specified. The four occurences of the term "sukkot in Lev 23:42-43 are thus freed for exegetic proof that four wall are required {three full walls and one symbolic wall}.] The Rabbis hold that the requirement of s'chach (branches) _does_ have to be cited in the verse. [Thus, one occurence of the term "sukkot" is needed to teach that a roof is required. The remaining three occurrences teach that three walls are required -- two full walls and one symbolic wall. Thus, both the Rabbis and Rav Shimon assign primacy to pronunciation: the word "sukkot" is read similarly whether or not it is spelled with an extra "vav".]

[The final case cited by Rav Yitzchak b. Yosef was that of R. Akiva and the Rabbis, who argued over whether blood from two corpses can combine to form the minimum measure for imparting impurity. Again, the gemara will try to show that both protagonists assign primacy to pronunciation.]

And R. Akiva and the Rabbis disagree on the following: R. Akiva holds that "n'fashot" (Lev 21:11, that a ohen Gadol cannot contract impurity) means two corpses [even though the spelling of the word,without the "vav" could be read as singular]. And the Rabbis hold that "n'fashot" means _any_ corpses [but it must be the blood of a single corpse].

[The gemara's point is that the Rabbis did not necessarily disagree with the primacy of pronunciation.]

[Rav Yitzchak b. Yosef's five cases have been discussed. And R. Aha b. Yaakov has shown that, in each case, it is possible that all the protagonists -- indeed, all the tanna'im -- assign primacy to pronunciation. The gemara now questions that conclusion]:

Does everyone give primacy to pronunciation? We learned in a b'raita: "Totafot," "totafot," "totafot."

[Ex 3:16, Deut 6:8, and Deut 11:18 describe the tfillin worn on the head as "totafot." The third time, the word is spelled with a "vav" after the first "tet" and before the final "tav," a plural form.]

That makes four [compartments within the tfillin box]; these are the words of R. Yishmael.

[R. Yishmael must have assigned primacy to spelling rather than to pronunciation. There are three occurences, each in the plural. If he had assigned primacy to pronunciation, each of them might have been regarded as referring to either one compartment or two, giving a total of either three or six, but certainly not four.]

R. Akiva said: We do not need (this exegesis): "Tot" in Coptic means two, and "Fot" in Afriki (another African dialect) means two. [In any event, it is clear that R. Yishmael does not assign primacy to pronunciation, and Rav Aha b. Yaakov's assertion that everyone does so is clearly wrong.]

Rather, they [the Tanna'im] do disagree. But when do they disagree? When the pronunciation differs from the masoretic spelling. But in the case of "`helev" vs "`halav" [seething the kid in its mother's fat or milk, depending on how the word is pronounced] in which both words are spelled identically], pronunciation is primary.

[The gemara objects:] But what about "yir'eh" and "ye'ra'eh" which are spelled identically, but are the subject of a dispute?

[The requirement that all Jewish males ascend to the Temple for the Three Pilgrimages is stated in Ex 23:17, which reads: "Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God". However, the word "yera'eh" (shall appear), spelled "yod resh alef he", can also be pronounced "yir'eh," it means "shall see."]

Yet we learned in a b'raita: Yohanan b. Dehavai said in the name of R. Yehudah b. Teima: a person blind in one eye is exempt from the pilgrimage, for it says "shall see", "shall be seen." Just as he comes to see [God, i.e., His Temple], so does he come to be seen [by God]. Just as He sees with "both eyes" [i.e., with perfect vision] so must He be seen with both eyes.

[This passage has been explained in several different ways. Whichever is correct, we have a case in which, according to one opinion, spelling is used for exegesis rather than pronunciation, even when the spelling is identical, as in the case of "helev" (fat) versus "halav" (milk), in which it is forbidden to seeth a kid. So, if primacy is not assigned to spelling, rather than pronunciation, how does one know that seething a kid in its mother's milk is forbidden? Perhaps "its mother's fat" is meant.]

Instead, Rav Aha b. Rav Ika said: "Thou shalt not seethe a kid" (Ex 23:19) -- the Torah prohibited it in the manner of seething [i.e., cooking meat in a liquid; cooking in fat is frying, not seething].

[We end on the last line of 4b.]

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