bm 31b; We begin on the second line. The previous texts have focused on exegesis of biblical repetitive phrases. Here we continue with an analysis of the Torah's sentence for murder: "Or if he hit him with his hand because of hatred and he died, he who st ruck shall die, he shall die; he is a murderer" (Num 35:21).]
"He who struck shall die, he shall die": [Without the repetition] I would have known [that execution could only be] by the prescribed method [in the case of murder, the method is beheading]. How do you know that if you cannot put him to death by the presc ribed method, you can put him to death by _any_ method possible? The Torah says "shall die, he shall die," [the duplication implying] by any method. [Rashi explains that the convicted murderer might escape by boat; the Court could carry out the execution by shooting an arrow or by sinking the boat.]
[The next exegesis of repetitive phrases involves the case of a city whose entire population (or a majority of the population) has adopted to idolatry. The Torah says (Deut 13:16) "Smite, you shall smite the residents of that city by the sword." Death by "the sword" is, means talmudic analysis, beheading.]
"Smite, you shall smite." I would have known only that you can smite with the prescribed punishment; how do you know that if you cannot execute them by the prescribed method, you are permitted to execute them with any method that you can? "Smite, you shal l smite" -- in any manner available.
[The next exegesis refers to the case of a debtor who leaves personal property as collateral. The Torah refers to a case in which the collateral is a garment, and requires that the creditor return the collateral at times when the debtor needs it: "Return, you shall return the collateral to him at sunset, and he shall sleep with his garment, and he will bless you, and it will be tz'daka before G-d (Deut 24:13).]
"Return, you shall return." [Without the repetition] I would know only the case in which the collateral was obtained with permission of the courts [i.e., the creditor asked the court's assistance in getting repayment, and the court ordered seizure of the collateral]; how do I know that this applies even without the court's assistance [i.e., if the creditor illegally seized the collateral without court intervention]? "Return, you shall return" -- under all circumstances.
[The next verse analyzed deals with a similar case: "If you obtain, you obtain, your friend's garment [as collateral], until the sun sets, you shall return it to him" (Ex 22:25).]
"You obtain, you obtain." I would have known only the case in which you obtain it with permission [of the court]; how do I know that the rule applies if he took it without permission? "You obtain, you obtain" [the repetition implies] in all circumstances.
Why do I need two verses ("You obtain" and "Return")? One ("You obtain ... until the sun sets") refers to a garment worn during the day, and one ("Return ... at sunset") refers to a garment worn at night.
[We are 16 lines from the top, and continue the rabbinic exegesis of repetitive biblical phrases. The Torah (Deut:15: 7-8) tells us "When there is a poor person from among your brothers in one of your gates ... do not harden your heart or close your hand ... you shall open, open your hand to him."]
"You shall open, open." [Without the repetition,] I would have known only [of the obligation to help] the poor of your own town. From where do I learn the obligation to help the poor of another town? "You shall open, open" implies in all cases.
[The next exegesis focuses on treatment of the Hebrew servant who is freed. The servant must be given gifts: "You shall give, give him gifts ... from the sheep and grain and wine with which G-d has blessed you ..." (Deut 15:13-14).]
"You shall give, give:" [Without the repetition,] I would have known only if the household was blessed because of him (the servant) one must give gifts. From where do we learn [about the obligation] even if the household was not blessed? The Torah says "Y ou shall ive, give," in all cases.
But according to R. Elazar b. Azariah who says that if the household was blessed because of him, you give gifts, but if the household was not blessed because of him you do not give gifts, why "give" [the repeated>phrase]? [R. Elazar b. Azariah holds that] the Torah speaks in collouial terms [.e., the repetition is simply stylistic, and does not set the occasion for exegesis.] [Tosafot asks whether R. Elazar b. Azariah's rejection of exegesis would apply to all the instances of repetitive phrases that we h ave examined. They suggest that R. Elazar b. Azariah's rejection of exegesis would only apply to the present case, because the Torah specifies "with which G-d has blessed you," linking the obligation to give the gift the with blessing.]
[Next, we examine the Torah's requirement that we lend money to those in need. The Torah says "And you shall lend, lend him enough to meet his needs" (Deut 15:8).]
"You shall lend, lend" [Without the repetition] I would have known [only of the obligation to lend] to a person who does not have [what he needs] and does not want to be supported by others; the Merciful One says "Give it to him as a loan." How do I know of the obligation if he has [money] but does not want to support himself [i.e., a miser]? The verse says "Lend" [the repeated phrase] to imply in all cases. [Rashi explains that one gives such a person money now, and can reclaim the money from the miser's estate after his death.]
But according to R. Shimon who says that if he has money and he does not want to support himself, we are not tied to him [i.e., not obligated to lend him money] -- why do I need [the repeated phrase] "lend?"
The gemara answers: The Torah speaks in colloquial terms. [As was the case with gifts to the freed slave, Tosafot asks whether R. Shimon would reject all exegeses of repeated phrases. And Tosafot answers that R. Shimon's rejection would only apply to the case of lending money to a miser, since the Torah specifies lending him "enough to meet his needs."]
[Our mishna said:] If [the finder, when retrieving and returning the lost item] stopped [his own work valued at] a selah [a silver coin], he should not say to the owner "Give me the selah [that I "lost"]; instead, [the owner] gives him the wages of a work er. [The assumption is that a person retrieving a lost item would work less strenuously than in his regular, higher paying but more onerous job; hence the lower compensation.]
We have been taught in a b'raita: He gives him the wages of an idle worker. [I might make $10 per hour for hard work, but would be willing to accept instead only $5 per hour for remaining idle and not working at all.]
Why like an idle worker? [After all, the finder was _not_ idle; he was doing whatever work was required to recover and return the lost item!]
Abbaye said: Like a worker who is idle from the kind of work he had interrupted. [Thus, I was doing work that paid $10 per hour, but interrupted that work to retrieve the lost item. Work like that involved in the retrieval normally pays $7 per hour. If th e retrieval took an hour, I should be paid the $3 difference.]
[Our mishna said:] If there is court [ony three laymen. See bm30b2], he [the finder] may stipluate before them (the court) [that he is willing to retrieve the item only if he receives full payment for lost time.]
Issur and Rav Safra were in a joint business venture. Rav Safra divided the assets in the presence of two witnesses without Issur's awareness. [Presumably, the business was completed, but Issur was out of town. When Issur returned, he was apparently dissa tisfied, and sought arbitration.] (Rav Safra) came before Rabba bar Rav Huna. He (Rabba bar Rav Huna) said: Bring the three people in the presence of whom you divided the assets, or bring two of the three, or bring two witnesses to testify that you divide d the assets in the presence of a court of three. [Rabba bar Rav Huna was clearly implying that the division of assets had to have been in the presence of a three people, not two.]
He (Rav Safra) said: How do you know [that the division has to be before a court of three]?
He (Rabba bar Rav Huna) said: As we learned in a mishna: If there is a court, he [the finder] may stipulate before them. If there is no court, before who can he stipulate? [He cannot, and thus cannot demand full payment,] and his [the finder's needs] come first. [A court consists of at least three people. Rabba bar Rav Huna is thus suggesting that any financial claim, whether for a finder's full compensation or for the allocation of assets, must be supported by a court, though it may be a laymans' court.]
He (Rav Safra, argued and) said: Are the cases similar? There [in our mishna's case of the finder's claim for compensation], we are trying to take money from one person and give it to another, and we require a court. But here [in the asset allocation case ], he is taking his own money, (and the role of the witnesses is only) to confirm the facts (that the distribution was fair) -- and only two witnesses are necessary. [In effect, Rav Safra is arguing that a court is needed to force the exchange of assets, but that only two witnesses are needed to assure the equity of asset allocation.]
[Rav Safra continued:] Know that we learned in a mishna (Ketubot 97a) that a widow can sell assets without court approval. [The ketubah specifies payment to a widow. But until she demands that payment, the widow is supported by the assets of the estate. T he mishna imforms us that the sale of such assets for her support need not be supervised by a court.]
Abbaye said to him (Rav Safra): Did we not explain, with respect to this mishna, that Rav Yosef bar Minyumi said in the name of Rav Nachman that a widow does not have to sell assets with the approval of a court of experts, but she does require a court of lay people [i.e., a court of three is still required, and a sale in the presence of two witnesses in invalid].
[We end at the mishna 12 lines from the top of 32a.]
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