Elu Metziot shiur #2 - 21a

  • Rav Joshua Amaru
Talmud 02: 21a

YESHIVAT HAR ETZION

ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)

Introduction to the Study of Talmud

By Rav Josh Amaru

 

Elu Metziot shiur #2, - 21a.

 

Summary of last week's shiur:

     Last week we examined the mishna on Bava Metzia 21a, that deals with the laws concerning the finder of lost objects.  We discovered, with the help of Rashi's commentary, that despite the mitzva of hashavat aveida, of returning lost objects, there are circumstances in which the finder can keep what he finds.  In short, 'finder's keeper's' applies when there is yeush on the part of the original owner.  The mishna lists articles about which we can presume yeush since they do not have simanim (identifiable signs).  Thus we learned that the presence or absence of simanim is the deciding feature in determining whether yeush has taken place.

 

 

     This week, we will begin our study of the gemara.  As I am sure that many of you are aware, understanding gemara can be particularly difficult, for two main reasons.  First of all, the language is a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic.  Even a good knowledge of modern Hebrew does not make it possible to read gemara easily (though it is a lot better than not knowing Hebrew.

 

     Besides the difficulty of dealing with fifth century Aramaic*, the gemara is not formulated in an accessible way.  As opposed to the mishna, which is formulated (more or less) as a halakhic codex, the gemara is an

There is an ongoing debate among scholars as to when and how the final text of the gemara crystallized.  Traditionally, the formulation of the Talmud Bavli is associated with two scholars, Rav Ashi and Ravina, who lived in the sixth century C.E.  It is not clear what exactly was Rav Ashi’s and Ravina’s accomplishment, and the Talmud as it is today includes parts that postdate their era. 

account of discussions, usually, but not exclusively, of the topics raised in the mishna.  The formulators of the gemara made  an effort to preserve the style of discussion in the beit midrash (house of study) rather than to turn the material into a legal code.  This sometimes makes the arguments difficult to follow as it involves multiple digressions alongside complicated chains of reasoning.

 

    

      We will encounter three types of statements in the gemara.  First of all, there is a lot of Tannaic material in the gemara, i.e. material that comes from the Tanaim, the Sages who are represented in the Mishna.  The gemara will quote from other mishnayot besides that at the head of the sugya.  It will also present to us Tannaic material that does not appear in the mishna.  A Tannaic quote that is not from the mishna is called a baraita.*

 

"Baraita", ברייתא, is short for "Matnita Baraita" מתניתא ברייתא .  It literally means an "external mishna."  The Amoraim referred to any specific oral text that they had preserved from the time of the Tannaim as a mishna משנה or, in Aramaic, a matnita מתניתא.  A mishna that was included in the text of what we call The Mishna, was referred to as matnitin מתניתין, or 'our mishna.'  For this reason, the beginning of a new mishna in the standard editions of the Talmud (except at the beginning of a chapter) is marked with the abbreviation "Matni'", מתני' in bold letters.  This stands for 'Matnitin' מתניתין, in other words, 'our mishna' in Aramaic.   Another tradition, in so far as it was not included in 'our mishna', came to be referred to as a matnita baraita מתניתא ברייתא, or merely baraita ברייתא, for short, meaning ‘external mishna.’

     

      Secondly, we will encounter statements made by Amoraim, the sages of the gemara. A statement made by an Amora, called a meimra,

The ability to distinguish between a baraita and a meimra of an Amora is an acquired skill that we will work on.  The significant identifying features are that baraitot are usually in Hebrew and Amoraic statements usually in Aramaic.  In addition, Babylonian Amoraim are titled ‘Rav so and so’ while Tanaim have the honorific ‘Rabi’.  This identifier is confused somewhat by the fact that Palestinian Amoraim, who are quoted on nearly every page of the Bavli, are also called ‘Rabi’.  Lastly, there is a finite number of Sages quoted in the gemara.  As one becomes familiar with their names, it becomes much easier to identify whether a particular statement is Amoraic or Tannaic.

is usually identified by name.  It is important to be able to distinguish between a baraita or a mishna and a meimra.  The older, Tannaic sources are more authoritative, and the gemara presumes that the Amoraim are aware of them and accept their authority.

 

     Finally, most of the text of the gemara is made up of what is called ‘stama d’gemara,’ which is the anonymous account of the discussion.  It is usually formulated as a series of questions and answers, weaving into it statements of Tanaim and Amoraim in the attempt to clarify a point of law or resolve a makhloket.*

 

     We will proceed as follows:  I will ask you to read and attempt to translate a passage.  If you do not have a gemara open before you, you can find an online copy of the daf here (http://www.e-daf.com/dafprint.asp?mesechta=22&daf=%2021a). As you go, you can make use of the schematic analysis and translation to be found here.  Key terms and phrases will be marked as hypertext, linking to a page on which they are explained.  (It is a good idea to take the time to learn these terms and how they are used; they are surprisingly few and mastery of them is half way to the ability to read gemara fluently.)  These separate pages will allow me to focus on the content of the passage we are learning in the main shiur, without too many technical distractions.  If you are reading this shiur in hard copy, I suggest that you print out the supplementary pages as well.

 

     Finally, let us now turn to Bava Metzia 21a.  The gemara begins with a discussion of the first case described in the mishna: one who found scattered fruit.  Read from the beginning of the gemara to “…arba amot,” lines 1-3 in the schematic analysis (one line and a half on the printed page).  What is the gemara’s question and how does R. Yitzhak answer it? 

 

     “Scattered” implies that if the fruit is not scattered, but piled up neatly, we must presume that it was left there deliberately and the owner plans to come back for it.  So the gemara asks: “vekama?”  How much?  How dispersed must the fruit be to be considered scattered?  R. Yitzchak provides an answer – a kav (unit of volume about 1.4 liters) dispersed over four square amot (plural of ama, unit of length, about 48 cm).   If the fruit is that dispersed or more, then it belongs to the finder.  If it is more concentrated than that, we do not regard it as scattered and the finder cannot take it; presumably, he or she must announce that he or she has found some fruit, in order to return it to its owners. 

 

     Before we continue, think about R. Yitzhak’s rule.  Does it fit with what we learned in the last shiur, that the scattered fruit belongs to the finder because it has no siman and therefore we presume that the owner was mityaesh?  Why is the density of fruit’s dispersal relevant? Now read on in the gemara, from “Heichi Dami…” until “ve-lo mifkar le-hu(lines 4-6).

 

     The gemara asks a question: Heichi Dami, what is the case?  What is the situation that R. Yitzhak’s din applies to?  After all, in order for the finder to be allowed to keep the fruit, there must be yeush on the part of the owner.  The degree of dispersal does not seem relevant:  if the fruit looks like it has fallen, and thus was lost by the original owner, then even if it is distributed more densely than one kav in four amot, we can presume yeush since the fruit has no siman.  On the other hand, if, it looks like the fruit was deliberately placed there by its owner, even if it is dispersed more than one kav in four amot, we must assume that it is not lost fruit at all and of course no one can take it!  In other words, the relevant category for determining whether the finder can keep the fruit is not how much it is scattered!  What matters is whether we can presume yeush or not and that depends upon whether the fruit is understood to be lost or left there on purpose.  Only if it is lost does the absence of a siman indicate yeush.  So what is the point of R. Yitzhak’s designation a kav in four amot?

 

     In response to this challenge, R. Ukva bar Chama re-directs R. Yitzhak’s statement to a different case.  According to R. Ukva bar Chama, R. Yitzhak is not referring to a standard case of dispersed fruit in a public place.  In such circumstances, the relevant issue would in fact be ‘dropped/lost’ or ‘placed’, i.e. whether the manner of dispersal of the fruit indicates that it was dropped there by accident and lost or placed there deliberately and we can assume that the owner plans to return for it.  Instead, R. Ukva bar Chama suggests that R. Yitzhak’s designation of a kav in four amot must be applied in a different case – that of a pile of grain left on the threshing floor.  If it dispersed such that there is a kav or less over four amot, it would be too much trouble to gather and we can

This sort of resolution of a difficulty is called an Ukimta.  It involves the designation of a specific case or class of cases as the scope of some rule, in this case, R. Yitzhak’s.  Some of you might be scratching your heads; how can we apply R. Yitzhak’s ruling to a case that he never mentioned?  Wasn’t R. Yitzhak talking about our mishna?  Is the gemara saying that the case of “scattered fruits” in the mishna is not a case of ordinary lost objects but refers specifically grain left deliberately on the threshing floor?

presume that the owner has abandoned what was left.  If it is not so dispersed, presumably the owner will be back to gather it up.*  Note how the issue here is not one of lost objects and yeush at all.  The leftover grain on the threshing floor is not lost in the conventional sense.  The original owner is fully aware of where it is.  The question in this case is in determining the cost–benefit analysis of the owner.  When does he take the trouble to come back for what is left? When can we presume that he has left it here on purpose, and made it hefker (ownerless)?  R. Yitzhak offers us a standard to make this distinction: if it is dispersed such that there is only a kav (or less) over four amot, then we can presume that the owner will not bother.  If it is more densely distributed, then we must presume that the owner will be back and it is not hefker.

 

     Learn the gemara now from “Ba’ei R. Yirmiah…” to “…de-lo chashivi, mifkar le-hu”, lines 7-8 in the schematic analysis;

 

     R. Yirmiah opens here a series of questions that are an attempt to clarify R. Yitzhak’s rule regarding the grain left of the threshing floor.  The gemara here is structured as a ba’aya (problem), which is a common Amoraic form of analysis (see explanation on the key words page).  R. Yirmiah would like to clarify what is the guiding principle behind R. Yitzhak’s cost-benefit analysis of a kav in four amot.  The upshot of R.  Yirmia’s questions can be put like this: Does the owner not return for a kav in four amot because of the cost, the difficulty of gathering  up grain that is so widely dispersed; or does he not return because of the [lack of] benefit in coming back for a mere kav of grain.  In the standard case, of a kav of grain dispersed over four amot, both these factors exist in parallel.  R. Yirmia offers us a case in which we isolate one factor over against the other:  What about a half a kav, distributed over two amot? In this case, it is a lot easier for the owner to return and pick up the grain since there is only half as much.  Given that it is so easy,

Biographical note:  R. Yirmia is a second generation Amora (circa 250 C.E.).  He seems to have moved from Babylonial, where he was a student of Rav, to the Land of Israel, where he studied under R. Yohanan and R. Shimon ben Lakish.  He seems to have had a particular affinity for the type of reasoning exhibited here – the critique of a quantitative rule by presenting various extreme scenarios.  In fact, we are told about a case where he questioned a rule by testing its application in a particularly absurd scenario (see Bava Batra 23b).  In response the other sages had R.Yirmia removed from the Beit Midrash!  Apparently, his critical approach was viewed as obstructionist rather than clarifying. 

perhaps we cannot presume that the owner will make it hefker.  On the other hand, the benefit is accordingly smaller, and therefore perhaps the owner will not bother coming back and does mafkir it.  To sum up, R. Yirmia wants to know what the determining factor is that gives rise to our presumption that the owner makes the grain hefker:  is it a function of the trouble he will have to go to, or of the loss that he will incur.*

 

     Now learn the gemara until the end of sugya, “… teiku.”  Lines 9-15.  As will be clear, the rest of the sugya is a series of ba’ayot (plural of ba’aya) on the same theme, as R. Yirmia explores all the implications of his question.

 

     R. Yirmia’s next question is the inversion of his first.  What about two kavs distributed over eight amot?  Here, it is even more difficult to gather the grain but on the other hand, the value of the grain is twice as much.  Do we focus on the difficulty factor and presume that he made it hefker?  Or do we focus on the value and presume he is coming back?

 

     Again, goes on R. Yirmia, what about sesame seeds, which are very small and difficult to pick up, but even a small quantity of which is relatively valuable (see Rashi s.v. "sumsumin" at the bottom of daf 21a).  Does the kav in four amot rule apply there too?

 

     Finally, what about dates or pomegranates, that are large and easy to pick up, but a kav of which is not so valuable (see Rashi s.v. temarim ve-rimonim).  Does the kav in four amot rule apply there?

 

     The gemara concludes with “teiku”, which is the Talmudic equivalent of “no answer”.  R. Yirmia’s concerns as to the application of R. Yitzhak’s rule are legitimate, but we have no way of resolving them.  We do not know how to weigh the cost versus the benefit (or more precisely, the difficulty versus the loss), in order to reach firm conclusions in such cases.  We are left with a series of sefaikot (pl. of safek, doubt, unresolved dilemma).*

 

Despite the fact that “teiku” means that the question is un-resolved, it is still a kind of resolution of the sugya.  Many, perhaps most Talmudic sugyot (pl. of sugya) do not arrive at a firm halakhic conclusion.  The halakha in those cases was decided by later authorities in accordance with their understanding of the sugya and certain preference rules (for a summary of these, see R. Shmuel HaNagid’s “Introduction to the Talmud,” printed in the back of Masechet Brachot.  A translation can be found in Aryeh Carmell’s booklet “Aiding Talmud Study.”).  A sugya that ends in “teiku” is different.  It is not only unresolved but irresolvable.  Closing a sugya with “teiku” is a kind of pesak halakha (halakhic ruling).  It is the determination that this issue is a safek and must be dealt with according to the rules of sefaikot, rather than be resolved by a later authority.   

 

     One final note.  R. Yirmia’s series of questions raises doubts about the application of R. Yitzhak rule:  “a kav in four amot,” What do you think is R. Yirmia’s intent?  It seems to me that there are two ways of interpreting R. Yirmia’s critique of R. Yitzhak.  It could be that he is merely asking for clarification:  what is the correct balance between difficulty and loss such that we can presume that the owner made the leavings of the threshing floor hefker?  Alternatively, and to my mind more compellingly, one could interpret R. Yirmia as offering a critique of R. Yitzhak’s style of thinking.  R. Yitzhak offered us paradigm, a kav in four amot, in order to evaluate the psychological state of the owner – did he make it hefker or not.  Perhaps R. Yirmia objects to this way of addressing the problem – it is too intuitive.  It does not directly address the owner’s psychology:  is the key factor in his motivation the desire to avoid the difficulty of collecting the grain or a lack of interest in something of small value.  R. Yitzhak offers a model, an example, which has the advantage of encompassing both sides of the question but the disadvantage of being vague in its application.  R. Yirmia prefers to make the psychological guidelines explicit, which aids in application at the expense of a certain crudeness of exposition – we are forced to choose the factor we consider the dominant one. 

 

     Summary of this week’s shiur:  This week we began learning the gemara on daf 21a. We discussed the definition of “scattered fruit” as it appears in the mishna and came to the conclusion that R. Yitzhak’s definition of ‘scattered’ cannot be apply to an ordinary case of lost fruit, but refers to a case where we need to determine when an owner will deliberately abandon the leavings on a threshing floor.  In the case of lost fruit, the conclusion depends upon whether its appearance indicates that it indeed was lost and not placed there by the owner.  In the case of the leavings of the threshing floor, R. Yitzhak asserted a principle that we can presume the owner made it hefker when a kav is distributed over four amot.  We then saw a series of ba’ayot introduced by R. Yirmia from which learned that two considerations go into why the owner makes the fruit hefker when a kav is distributed over four amot: 

1. It is too much trouble to pick up fruit that is so spread out. 

2. It is not worth his of her while to come back and collect fruit of such minimal value. 

 

We are left with teiku – our understanding of the relative values of these considerations is left incomplete.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Schematic analysis of 21a

Below is a schematic analysis of the gemara up until the word “teiku” on the bottom of 21a.  As you go through the gemara by yourself, see if your reading matches the one presented.  The words marked as hypertext are key terms for gemara learning that will be used time and again.  They are linked to a page on which they are explained.  As always, I would greatly appreciate any feedback that you might have as to whether this is a useful tool.

 

 

Text of the gemara

Analysis

Translation of gemara

1.       מצא פירות מפוזרין.

Quote from the mishna.

1.        One finds scattered fruit

 

 

2.       וכמה?

Question about the mishna

2.        How much? (i.e. how dispersed must be the fruit to be considered ‘scattered’?)

 

 

3.       אמר רבי יצחק: קב בארבע אמות.

Answer

back to shiur

3.        R. Yitzhak said: a kav within four [square] amot.  (see glossary for explanation of amounts)

 

 

4.       היכי דמי? אי דרך נפילה - אפילו טובא נמי, ואי דרך הינוח - אפילו בציר מהכי נמי לא!

Difficulty raised with the answer

4.        Heichi Dami? (What kind of case is R. Yitzhak referring to?)

If it [the fruit] appears to have been dropped, then even more (than a kav in four amot)!

     If it appears to have been [deliberately] put down, then even less [a kav in four amot] also!

 

 

5.       אמר רב עוקבא בר חמא: במכנשתא דבי דרי עסקינן:

Ukimta אוקמתא of R. Yitzhak’s answer in line 3 in response to the difficulty raised in line 4

5.        R. ‘Ukva b. Hama says: We deal here with [the remains of] what has been gathered on the threshing floor.

 

 

6.       קב בארבע אמות דנפיש טרחייהו - לא טרח איניש ולא הדר אתי ושקיל להו, אפקורי מפקר להו. בציר מהכי - טרח והדר אתי ושקיל להו, ולא מפקר להו.

Explanation of R. Yitzhak’s din in accordance with the ukimta.

 

back to shiur

 

 

 

 

6.        R. ‘Ukva b. Hama says: We deal here with [the remains of] what has been gathered on the threshing floor:  Since  [collecting] a kav [scattered over] four amot is troublesome, and people do not trouble to come back and collect it, then [the owner] is mafkir (makes it hefker) it.  Less than that, he does take the trouble to come back and collect it, and does not mafkir it.

 

 

7.       בעי רבי ירמיה: חצי קב בשתי אמות מהו?

Ba’aya בעיה

7.        R. Yirmia enquired: What about half a kav [scattered over] two amot?

 

 

8.       קב בארבע אמות טעמא מאי - משום דנפיש טרחייהו, חצי קב בשתי אמות כיון דלא נפיש טרחייהו - לא מפקר להו.

או דלמא: משום דלא חשיבי, וחצי קב בשתי אמות, כיון דלא חשיבי - מפקר להו.

Elaboration of question presenting the options.

 

 

back to shiur

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.        If the reason a kav within four amot [belongs to the finder] is that it is difficult to gather up, then half a kav within two amot, which is not difficult to gather up, he [the owner] does not make hefker.

However,

if the reason is that it [a kav in four amot] is not valuable enough, then half a kav within two amot, which is even less valuable, he does make hefker. 

 

 

9.       קביים בשמונה אמות מהו?

Ba’aya בעיה

9.        What about two kavs scattered over eight amot?

 

 

10.   קב בארבע אמות טעמא מאי - משום דנפיש טרחייהו, וכל שכן קביים בשמונה אמות, כיון דנפישא טרחייהו טפי - מפקר להו.

או דלמא: משום דלא חשיבי, וקביים בשמונה אמות כיון דחשיבי - לא מפקר להו.

Elaboration of question presenting the options.

10.     If the reason a kav within four amot [belongs to the finder] is because it is difficult to gather up, then kol she-ken (all the more so) two kavs within eight amot, which are even more difficult to gather up, he [the owner] makes hefker.

However,

if the reason is that it [a kav in four amot] is not valuable enough [to bother collecting], then two kavs within eight amot, which are more valuable, he does not make hefker. 

 

 

11.   קב שומשמין בארבע אמות מהו?

Ba’aya בעיה

11.     What about a kav of sesame seeds (which are very small) in four amot?

 

 

12.   קב בארבע אמות טעמא מאי - משום דלא חשיבי, ושומשמין כיון דחשיבי - לא מפקר להו.

או דלמא: משום דנפיש טרחייהו, וכל שכן שומשמין, כיון דנפיש טרחייהו טפי - מפקר להו.

Elaboration of question presenting the options.

12.     If the reason is that a kav in four amot is not valuable enough [to bother gathering], then sesame seeds, which are more valuable, he does not make hefker.

However,

if the reason is that it [a kav in four amot] is difficult to gather up, then sesame seeds, that are even more difficult to gather up, kol she-ken (all the more so) he [the owner] makes hefker.

 

 

13.   קב תמרי בארבע אמות, קב רמוני בארבע אמות מהו?

Ba’aya בעיה

13.     What about a kav of dates (which are large) or a kav of pomegranates (likewise) in four amot?

 

 

14.   קב בארבע אמות טעמא מאי - משום דלא חשיבי, קב תמרי בארבע אמות, קב רמוני בארבע אמות נמי, כיון דלא חשיבי - מפקר להו.

או דלמא: משום דנפישא טרחייהו, וקב תמרי בארבע אמות, וקב רמוני בארבע אמות, כיון דלא נפיש טרחייהו - לא מפקר להו, מאי?

Elaboration of question presenting the options

14.     If the reason is that a kav in four amot is not valuable enough [to bother gathering], then a kav of dates or a kav of pomegranates as well since they are not so valuable, he makes hefker.

However,

if the reason is that it [a kav in four amot] is difficult to gather up, then sesame seeds, that are even more difficult to gather up, kol she-ken (all the more so) he [the owner] makes hefker.

 

 

15.   תיקו.

Conclusion [back to shiur]

15.     teiku

 

 

 


Vocabulary and Grammar

                The grammarians amongst you will have to forgive me.  I make no claims to grammatical precision or elegance of translation.  On this page you will find two lists:

 

            Key gemara terms:  This will be a list of technical terms for gemara learning that come up time and again.  It is especially important that you become familiar with these words so that we can carry out a high level discussion without spending too much time on technicalities. 

 

            Aramaic vocabulary:  The purpose of this list is merely to help those of you who have a decent knowledge of Hebrew and want to make an effort to pick up an Aramaic vocabulary so that you can learn gemara without a translation.  Aramaic words that closely match their Hebrew equivalents will not be translated.  This list will include the words on the ‘key gemara terms’ list so that you do not have to check both.

 

            In the future, I will add short lessons in Aramaic grammar to this page.

 

            This page will remain on-line and will be updated weekly.  In addition, the new words that come up in each shiur will be attached to each week’s shiur.  Try to memorize the words each week and see how quickly your reading improves.

 

Key Gemara Terms

איתמר Itmar – It is said.  Generally used to introduce as Amoraic discussion that is independent (though often thematically connected) of the exposition of the mishna.

אוקימתא ukimta – noun form of לוקים lokim to establish or maintain.  An ukimta refers to the specification of a (class of) case(s) in which a particular law applies.  This usually serves to narrow the scope of the law and thus avoid a difficulty.

אף על גב af al gav – even though

בעיה ba’aya:  noun form of verb בעי ba’ei, he inquires.  A ba’aya is a clarifying question usually presented in the following form:

 

בעי ר' ___________                                             Ba’ei R. ________________        

אופציה א'                                                                                                Option 1

או דלמא                                     O dilma (or possibly, however)                            

אופציה ב'.                                                                                                Option 2

 

בציר batzir – less

היכי דמי heichi dami – what is the case?, what is the situation referred to in the previous statement?

טובא tuva – a lot

כל שכן kol she-ken -  all the more so.

 כולי עלמא לא פליגי kulei alma la peligieveryone agrees (lit. all the world does not dispute).

לקמן  le-kaman -- below, further on

נמי nami – also

נפיש nafish – much, a lot.

ספק safek (pl. ספקות sefaikot) - doubt, unresolved dilemma.

תא שמע Ta shema – Come and hear.  Ta shema is the opening of a quote from a precedent, usually a Baraita, but occasionally a mishna or a meimra of Amoraim.  Most often (as in the case on 21b), Ta shema is used to introduce a precedent that prima facie proves the point of one side of a makhloket.

תיקו, teiku – inconclusive resolution.  Teiku probably comes from the root קום kum and means ‘let it stand,’ in other words, there is no resolution.  Traditionally it has been interpreted as standing for תשבי יתרץ קושיות ואבעיות, Tishbi (Eliahu HaNavi) will resolve questions and problems.

 

schematic analysis         beginning of shiur         middle of shiur end of shiur


General Vocabulary    

אוקימתאnoun form of lokim, to establish or maintain.   An ukimta refers to the specification of a (class of) case(s) in which a particular law applies.  This usually serves to narrow the scope of the law and thus avoid a difficulty.

 

אית, לית – יש, אין.

 (no real translation into English.  In English, this semantic function is usually fulfilled by verbs such as “to have” e.g.:

)אית ביה סימן = יש בו סימן = it has a siman

 

איתמר -  נאמר  It is said.  Generally used to introduce as Amoraic discussion that is independent (though often thematically connected) of the exposition of the mishna.

 

אמאי – מדוע why, what for

אף על גבaf al gav – even though -

אתא – בא comes

בגויה – בו on it

בעי – רוצה, צריך, מתכוון – desires, requires, intends

בעיה –   Noun form of verb ba’ei, he inquires. A ba’aya is a clarifying question usually presented in the  following form: 

בעי ר' ___________                                             Ba’ei R. _________________?     

אופציה א'                                                                        Option 1

או דלמא                          O dilma (or possibly, however)

אופציה ב'.                                                                        Option 2

 

 

בציר -than   batzir less

הוי – הווה is

היכי דמי heichi dami – what is the case?, what is the situation referred to in the previous statement  - ?

הכא – כאן here

התם – שם there

זוטו של ים, שלוליתו של נהר - Zuto shel yam, shelulito shel nahar – items washed away be the (tides of ) the sea or the flooding of a river.

 

טובא -   tuva – a lot

יאוש - Yeush – despair (of ever recovering the lost object)

יהבנא – נותן אני I give

 כולי עלמא לא פליגי -  kulei alma la peligi – everyone agrees (lit. all the world does not dispute).

כל שכן kol she-ken -  all the more so -

ליה – אותו it

לקמן – בהמשך below, further on

מיניה – ממנו, from him

נמי nami – also -

נפיש -  nafish – much, a lot.

ספק safek (pl. sefaikot) - doubt, unresolved dilemma -

פליג – חולק  disagree

רחמנא – הקב"ה God

שקילנא – לוקח אני I’ll take

שרי – התיר permit

 

תא שמע Ta shema – Come and hear.  Ta shema is the opening of a quote from a precedent, usually - Baraita, but occasionally a mishna or a meimra of Amoraim.  Most often (as in the case on 21b), Ta shema is used to introduce a precedent that prima facie proves the point of one side of a makhloket.

 

תיקו -  Inconclusive resolution. Teiku probably come from the root ‘kum’ and means literally ‘let it stand’.  Traditionally it has been interpreted to be an acronym for the Hebrew phrase:

"תשבי יתרץ קושיות ואבעיות"

 “Tishbi Yetaretz Kushiyot Ve-Abayot” i.e., Tishbi (Eliahu HaNavi) will  resolve questions and problems.

 

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