Elu Metziot shiur #9, 22b

  • Rav Joshua Amaru

YESHIVAT HAR ETZION
ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)


Introduction to the Study of Talmud
By Rav Josh Amaru

Elu Metziot shiur #9,  22b.

Today's shiur includes the vocabulary list for the shiur itself. If you wish to consult the full cumulative vocabulary list, it is found at
http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud2/vocab.htm.  

As usual, the citations to the text of the gemara are linked to the online scan of the daf, for those who do not have an open gemara before them.  The gemara can be found on-line at
http://www.e-daf.com/dafprint.asp?ID=3068 
and http://www.e-daf.com/dafprint.asp?ID=3069.

Key words and phrases are marked in blue, and their translation/explanation can be seen by placing the cursor over them.  Other vocabulary words are marked in red and can be found on the vocabulary list at the end of the shiur.  Particularly important vocabulary words will have a link to the vocabulary list. 

   

Summary of last week's shiur: Last week we finally concluded the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at.  We looked at two baraitot.  The first was about the "ki yutan" כי יותן rule requiring the owner's approval of the contact with liquid for that liquid to prepare foodstuff to be subject to tum'ah.  At first glance it appeared that the baraita, in its insistence that the owner's awareness and approval is relevant only if the produce is still wet, supported Abaye.  The gemara explained this rule according to Rava to be unique to the laws of hekhsher (preparation of) tum'ah and therefore not relevant.  The gemara continued with a baraita about the law of "lost to all," where the owner may keep the lost object even though it has simanim.  The gemara deduced from this baraita that the halakha is like Abaye and could find no refutation that would accord with Rava's opinion.  We then concluded that the halakha is like Abaye. 

    This week, we will have only a very short shiur dealing with some of the offshoots of the ruling in accordance with Abaye.  The rest of this week's shiur will be dedicated to two things: 

1.  The first Aramaic grammar lesson, which is in a separate file (01grammar.htm) attached to the mailing.  I have sent it out as a separate file to encourage you to print it out, even if you usually read the shiur on computer.  The lesson consists of a table with the conjugation of a sample verb.  I suggest that you complete the exercise in writing.  I cannot overemphasize to any of you who are trying to make your way through the Aramaic text how useful it will be to take ten minutes to learn a little grammar.  In something like five lessons, you can learn most of the grammar that you will need to read Talmudic Aramaic fluently.

2. The main of focus this week is on review.  We have learned nearly two daf of gemara and must take the time to digest what we have learned.  Here too, it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of review, called chazara in (yeshivish) Hebrew.  In our case, the chazara serves a double purpose.  In addition to being the only way to actually remember what you have learned, to internalize a small part of the Torah, it is also the only way to be self-critical of one's skill progress. Through review you will acquire a better sense of what you can do and what you still need to work on.

Before we turn to review, let's tie up a few loose ends in the gemara.  On daf 22b, learn from "Amar lei Rav Akha berei de-Rava....אמר ליה רב אחא בריה דרבא"  until "... Amar lei: asiran   אמר ליה: אסירן."  Make use of the schematic analysis.

The gemara reports on the exchange between two Amoraim as to the proper application of the ruling that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is invalid.  Rav Acha berei de-Rava challenges Rav Ashi to explain the commonly accepted practice of eating windfallen dates, since we have rejected Rava's opinion and concluded that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is invalid.  What is the difficulty raised by Rav Acha?  Let us look in Rashi, s.v.heikhi akhlinan le-hu. Rashi explains that the problem with the dates lies in the fact the owner of the date palm has not been mityaesh.  Since we hold like Abaye, and the dates are permitted only if the owner is aware of the loss, and therefore is explicitly mityeush, these dates (that the owner presumably is unaware of their having fallen) are not permitted. 

   However, as Rashi points out, it is hard to understand why Rav Acha berei de-Rava frames this question in the context of yeush she-lo mi-da'at.  After all, as we learned on the bottom of daf 21b, even Rava agrees that fallen fruit, since its origins are easily identifiable, is considered to have a siman, and therefore there can be no presumption of yeush.   Rashi answers that Rav Acha berei de-Rava is not really challenging the ruling that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is invalid.  Rather he is using that ruling as a rhetorical device - since we have decided to be so strict regarding the question of yeush, how is it that we eat the windfallen dates?

    Rav Ashi replies (in a manner we have come to expect) that fallen dates are another exception.  Just as an owner is originally mityaesh from fallen figs, since they are generally repulsive from the fall, so too he initially despairs of any dates that fall, since they are subject to the attentions of various creeping and crawling creatures.

    Rav Acha berei de-Rava then addresses this notion of the owner initially giving up on the fallen dates.  This works regarding an adult who can dispose of his or her property as they wish, and can relate to the dates on the tree as his own only if they do not fall.  Minor orphans, or minors in general, do not have the legal ability to waive property rights (it is an interesting question whether this is some sort of protection or merely that they are considered legally incompetent).  Thus we cannot regard the windfallen dates that come from trees belonging to minors as permitted.  Their owners could not have initially given up on them since they do not have that legal capacity. 

    Rav Ashi answers this objection by pointing out that generally we do not know whether the owners of a particular field are minors.  Since this is a relatively unusual situation, we can presume that any particular field does not belong to minors and thus the fallen dates are permitted.

     Rav Acha berei de-Rava concludes with one final sally:  what if we know that the field belongs to orphans?  Alternatively what if the field is well fenced such that the fallen dates will not be eaten by animals?  In these cases, Rav Ashi admits that there is no presumption of yeush and it is forbidden to eat the dates. 


At this point I would like to begin the chazara - review.  You should work as follows:

Step 1. Go through the the text from the mishna on 21a until "...Amar lei: asiran אמר ליה: אסירן on 22b.  As you review, remind yourself of the words and concepts with the help of the complete vocabulary page.  It is a good idea to try to memorize the key words list but do not focus on that now. 

Step 2. Once you have made your way through the gemara or part of it (it will probably take a while), take a look at the review questions below.  Try to answer them, briefly, preferably in writing, with the help of the gemara text and the shiurim (archived at http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud65.html), as needed. 

Step 3. Check your answers against my answers, attached to the end of this shiur.

Step 4. Go back to the text of the gemara.  See if you can remember the flow of the sugyas as they appear.  Can you go through the progression of the gemara in your head without looking at the text?  If not, try to make a brief outline.  If you want, figure out what the letters of the siman that appears on 21a stand for.  Do you find the siman helpful? (I'll admit that I do not).

    This sounds like a lot of work and it may be.  All I can say is that if you take the trouble to do chazara, tedious as it may be, you will almost immediately be gratified with the results.  Good luck!

Review Questions:

1.  The mishna on 21a contains a list of consumer items that may be kept by one who finds them.  What are the defining features of this list?  What is the difference between the list here and the list in the next mishna (23b) of items that must be announced? (mishna on 21a with Rashi)

2.  According to Rashi (on the first mishna), why can the finder keep the lost objects listed in the mishna?  (Rashi on the mishna 21a)

3. What is the first issue the gemara deals with following the mishna?  What is the problem with using R. Yitzhak's rule to resolve this issue?  (21a)

4.  To what case does R. 'Ukva bar Chama apply R. Yitzchak's rule? (21a)

5.  What is the theme of R. Yirmiah's series of questions?  How are they resolved? (21a)

6.  In what case do Rava and Abaye disagree about yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  Explain their respective positions. (21b)

7.  How does the case described in the mishna of "scattered fruit" furnish support to Rava's position about yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  How does the gemara explain it according to Abaye? (22b)

8. What is the difficulty for Abaye with most of the other cases in the mishna?  How does the gemara resolve them? (21b)

9.  Can the finder keep money found in a public place according Abaye?  Explain. (21b)

10. What is the difficulty raised by the halakha that leket becomes permitted to all once the nemushot have gone through?  How does the gemara resolve it? (21b)

11.  What is the law regarding fruit that has fallen from a tree overhanging a road?  Is there a difference between different kinds of fruit?  How is this halakha relevant to the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  (21b)

12.  What is the halakha regarding stolen property that the thief has passed on to a third party? (22a)

13. How does the baraita about the building materials swept away by a river pose a problem for Rava?  (22b)  How does the gemara interpret this baraita according to Rava?

14.  Under what circumstances can one separate teruma from someone else's produce?  (22a)

15.  What does it mean when an the owner of the field says to his agent, "why did you not take from the better quality produce"?

16.  Does the rule about "why did you not take from the better quality produce?" apply to other situations than teruma?  Explain.

17.  Under what circumstances does the owner's expression of approval that his foodstuff came into contact with liquid not make that food mukhshar lekabel tum'ah?  (22b)

18.  How is the baraita about "ki yutan" relevant to the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at?(22b)

19.  What is the conclusive argument that leads to the resolution of the machloket in favor of Abaye?  (22b)

20.  Under what circumstances is it forbidden to eat windfallen dates?  Explain. (22b)

 

 

Schematic Analysis #9

Schematic analysis from 22b "Amar lei Rav Akha berei de-Rava....אמר ליה רב אחא בריה דרבא"  until "... Amar lei: asiran .   אמר ליה: אסירן"

Translation of gemara Schematic Analysis Text of gemara 22a
1.  R. Aha, the son of Raba, said to R. Ashi: Seeing that Rava has been refuted,  how is it that we eat  windfallen dates? Question that arises from the halakhic decision.

1.  אמר ליה רב אחא בריה דרבא לרב אשי: וכי מאחר דאיתותב רבא, הני תמרי דזיקא היכי אכלינן להו?   י

2.  [R. Ashi] answered him: [The owner] gives them up straight away because there are vermin and creeping creatures that eat them. 

Answer.

2.  אמר ליה: כיון דאיכא שקצים ורמשים דקא אכלי להו, מעיקרא יאושי מיאש מנייהו.י

3.  [But what if they belong to] orphans who [are minors and] cannot legally renounce [their possessions]?  

Additional question.

3.  יתמי דלאו בני מחילה נינהו מאי? י

4.  [R. Ashi] answered him: We do not assume that every piece of ground is the property of orphans.

Answer.

4.  אמר ליה: באגא בארעא דיתמי לא  מחזקינןי

5.  What if it is established [to be the property of orphans]? What if [the tree] is surrounded by a fence? Further questions.

5.  מוחזק ועומד מאי? כרכתא מאי? - י

6.  [R. Ashi] answered him: Then they are forbidden.

Answer.

6.  אמר ליה: אסירן.  י

 

 

Selection from Rashi daf 22b

Translation

Rashi Text

heikhi akhlinan le-hu, how do we eat them -  after all,  he [the owner] has not been mityaesh.  The fact that the questioner bases his question on the refutation of Rava is problematic (to me):  even if Rava had not been refuted one could ask the question, as Rava concedes [that there is no yeush] regarding anything whose appearance identifies it, with the exception of figs that become disgusting upon falling.(see shiur #5 and the gemara on 21a). 

It appears to me that [the gemara] asked the question in this way only in order to emphasize the severity of the transgression:  Since we have established [through the refutation of Rava] that even things that have no siman are forbidden, all the more so these [dates], that have a siman

היכי אכלינן להו - הא לא מיאש, והא דנקט למיבעי בעיא מאחר דאיתותב רבא קשיא לי, דבלא איתותב רבא איכא למיבעי, דהא מודה רבא בכל דבר שחזותו מוכיח עליו חוץ מן התאנה מפני שנמאסת על נפילתה.

 ונראה בעיני: דלא נקט לה אלא להרבות בחומר איסור, כלומר: מאחר דאיתותב אפילו בדבר שאין בו סימן, כל שכן שאלו אסורין שיש בהן סימן.

 

Key Gemara Terms

heikhi - how, what for איך,כיצד

היכי

lehu - them (direct object)

אותם

להו

ninhu - they

 הם

נינהו

tiyuvta, itotiv - refutation, has been refuted. tiyuvta de-Rava tiyuvta תיובתא דרבא תיובתא means that this is a conlusive refutation of Rava's position.

 

תיובתא, איתותיב

General vocabulary

baga be-ar'a - a peice of land

באגא בארעא

heikhi - how, what for איך, כיצד

היכי

zika - the wind

הרוח

זיקא

karkhata -  fenced

כרכתא

lehu - them (direct object)

אותם

להו

muchzak, mechazkinan - it is established, we hold as established

מוחזק, מחזקינן

mechila - renunciation, forgiving (of a loan)

מחילה

ninhu - they

 הם

נינהו

tiyuvta, itotiv - refutation, has been refuted. tiyuvta de-Rava tiyuvta תיובתא דרבא תיובתא means that this is a conlusive refutation of Rava's position.

 

תיובתא, איתותיב

 

Answers to Review Questions:

1.  The mishna on 21a contains a list of consumer items that one who finds them can keep.  What are the defining features of this list?  What is the difference between the list here and the list in the next mishna (23b) of items that must be announced? (mishna on 21a with Rashi)

Answer:  This list is a list of objects that do not have simanim, as opposed to the list in the next mishna which is a list of objects that do have simanim and therefore must be announced.

2.  According to Rashi (on the first mishna), why can the finder keep the lost objects listed in the mishna?   (Rashi on the mishna 21a)

Answer:  Since the objects in this list do not have simanim, we can presume that their owner was mityaesh, i.e., has given up hope of recovery.  According to Rashi, this makes these objects hefker, ownerless, and the finder thus can become the new owner.   

3. What is the first issue the gemara deals with following the mishna?  What is the problem with using R. Yitzchak's rule to resolve this issue?  (21a)

Answer:  The gemara attempts to define the category of "scattered fruits" and makes use of R. Yitzchak's rule, "a kav distributed over four amot" as a standard of what it means to be scattered.  The gemara rejects this because the degree of dispersion is not relevant to the determination of whether the owner was mityaesh.  What is relevant is whether the owner placed the fruits here (and presumably is coming back for them) or if they fell (and thus they are lost and the owner has been mityaesh).   

4.  To what case does R. 'Ukva bar Chama apply R. Yitzchak's rule? (21a)

Answer:  R. 'Ukva bar Chama applies R. Yitzchak's rule to the case of the mekhanashta de-bei dari, the leavings of the threshing floor.  In such a situation, it is clear that the owner has knowingly left the fruit and the degree of dispersal is a good indicator of whether or not he will be coming back for them.

5.  What is the theme of R. Yirmia's series of questions?  How are they resolved? (21a)

Answer:  R. Yirmia analyzes R. Yitzchak's rule "a kav dispersed over four amot" in the attempt to clarify the crucial element in our evaluation of the owner's psychology:  Does the owner abandon the fruit because of the trouble the owner will have to go to in order to pick up fruit that is so dispersed or does he abandon it because of its relatively low value?  According to the weight that one gives to each element, one can decide how to deal with other cases in which one or the other elements is emphasized.  R. Yirmia's inquiry is concluded with teiku, meaning that it is unresolved in principle and we treat such cases according to the principles of sefeika de-dina (unresolved legal questions).

6.  In what cases do Rava and Abaye disagree about yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  Explain their respective positions. (21b)

Answer:  Abaye and Rava's makhloket about yeush she-lo mi-da'at applies only to objects without simanim, that are lost to the owner but have not been inaccessible to all.   Objects that are "lost to all" are a separate category that the finder may keep regardless of simanim.  Regular lost objects that have simanim are not candidates for yeush she-lo mi-da'at even according to Rava. 

Abaye and Rava disagree about a lost object that has no simanim but that the owner is not yet aware of the loss.   According to Abaye, the fact that the owner will be mityaesh upon discovery of the loss is irrelevant.  Since at the moment the finder acquired the object, it belonged to someone else, the mitzva of hashavat aveida applies and the finder may not keep it for himself.  Rava agrees in principle that once the finder is obligated to return the object, yeush does not matter.  However, regarding objects that have no simanim and are thus unreturnable, we view the future yeush as having already taken place and allow the finder to keep the lost object.  

7.  How does the case described in the mishna of "scattered fruit" furnish support to Rava's position about yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  How does the gemara explain it according to Abaye? (22b)

Answer:  The fact that the mishna does not distinguish between situations where the owner is aware of the loss of the fruit and when he or she is unaware would indicate that such a consideration is irrelevant.  This would imply that the finder may keep the lost fruit even if the owner is unaware of the loss - i.e. that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is valid.  The gemara rejects this proof based upon the reading of the mishna in accordance with R. 'Ukva bar Chama's understanding that the scattered fruit case is not one of an ordinary lost object but of the threshing floor leavings, in which the the owner is aware of the loss.   

8. What is the difficulty for Abaye with most of the other cases in the mishna?  How does the gemara resolve them? (21b)

Answer:  As above, the difficulty lies in the fact that the mishna does not distinguish between situations where the owner is aware of the loss and when he or she is not.  This would indicate that such a consideration is irrelevant, implying that the finder may keep the lost object even if the owner is unaware of the loss - i.e. that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is valid. 

The gemara explains the cases in the mishna in generally the same way:  because the items listed are valuable or heavy, we can assume that the owner checks on them frequently and thus is aware of the loss.

9.  Can the finder keep money found in a public place according Abaye?  Explain. (21b)

Answer.  The baraita quoted in the gemara states that money found in a public place belongs to the finder.  This can be explained according to Abaye as a function of the fact that people check their moneypurses frequently so we may presume that the person who lost the money is aware of the loss and has been mityaesh.

10. What is the difficulty raised by the halakha that leket becomes permitted to all once the nemushot have gone through?  How does the gemara resolve it? (21b)

Answer: the gemara understands that the leket becomes permitted upon the passage of the nemushot since that is the point at which the poor will have been mityaesh of gathering anything more from the field.  This is difficult from Abaye's perspective, given that the poor in other places (who also have at least a theoretical right to the leket) will not be aware that the nemushot have passed through.  It would appear that this is a case of yeush she-lo mi-da'at - we extrapolate from their future yeush upon discovering the passage of the nemushot, to the present.

The gemara refutes this proof by explaining that the poor of other places have waived their rights to the leket, assuming that it will be collected by the local poor.  Thus their yeush takes place in practice, even before the passage of the nemushot, which serves as an indicator of yeush only regarding the local poor.    

11.  What is the law regarding fruit that has fallen from a tree overhanging a road?  Is there a difference between different kinds of fruit?  How is this halakha relevant to the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at?  (21b)

Answer:  The baraita distinguishes between figs (either fallen from the tree or cut and left to dry in a field) on the one hand and carobs and olives on the other.  Figs fallen onto the road may be taken while carobs and olives may not.  Abaye can explain that the figs are permitted because the owner was mityaesh:  the cut figs are valuable so the owner frequently checks on them and the owner is initially mityaesh from the figs hanging over the road since he or she is aware that figs tend to fall off the tree.  Rava, however, would have difficulty explaining why the passerby may not take the olives and carobs in the road - they do not have a siman and presumably the owner will give up on them.  The gemara answers that fruit does have a siman and one can identify where it came from, therefore the owner is not mityaesh and expects passersby to leave his fruit.  Figs are an exception since they become disgusting upon falling and thus the owner does not expect to recover them.  

12.  What is the halakha regarding stolen property that the thief has passed on to a third party? (22a)

Answer: Stolen property about which the owner has been mityaesh ceases to be the property of the owner once it has been passed on to a third party.  In other words, yeush and shinui reshut (change of possession) are koneh (bring about a change of ownership) a stolen object.  Once this has taken place, the original owner cannot recover the actual stolen object and must sue the thief for compensation. 

13. How does the baraita about the building materials swept away by a river pose a problem for Rava?    How does the gemara interptet this baraita according to Rava?(22b)

Answer:  The baraita about building materials swept away by a river says that the owner of the field where they wash up may keep them because the owner has been mityaesh. Rashi explains that we can know that the owner has been mityaesh since such a we may assume that he is aware of the flood.  From the fact that the baraita specifies that the finder may keep the boards etc. because yeush has taken place in practice, we can deduce that in a case where he is unaware and thus there has not yet been yeush, the finder may not keep it.  In other words, yeush she-lo mi-da'at is invalid.  

The gemara refutes this proof by explaining that according to Rava, the baraita's specification that the original owner was mityaesh does not come to exclude yeush she-lo mi-da'at but to teach us that in a flood where the owner could save his building materials if he exerts himself, the fact that he does not exert himself is evidence of yeush. 

14.  Under what circumstances can one separate teruma from someone else's produce?  (22a)

Answer:  According to the gemara's conclusion, only a shaliach (agent) of the owner may separate teruma from the owner's produce.  A person operating on his own initiative may not.  Even the shaliach's separation is invalidated if the owner protests upon discovering the shaliach's actions.

15.  What does it mean when an the owner of the field says to his agent "why did you not take from the better quality produce"?

Answer:  The interpretation of the statement "why did you not take from the better quality produce?" depends upon the context.  If there actually is better quality produce we take the statement at face value.  The owner is not protesting so much as confirming the shaliach's decision to take the teruma from better than average quality produce.  However, if there is no better quality produce, we must assume that the owner is sarcastically protesting the shaliach's action and the statement should be read as a rhetorical question.    

16.  Does the rule about "why did you not take from the better quality produce?" apply to other situations than teruma?  Explain.

Answer:  We learn from the story about Mar Zutra and his fellow scholars' visit to Mari bar Isak's orchard that one can interpret "why did you not take from the better quality produce?" as acceptance when there exists even better quality only with regard to teruma.  We may presume that someone is glad to perform a mitzva in the best possible way.  In a situation where his statement may be motivated by embarrassment, we cannot assume that the owner is obliquely expressing his consent based upon such a statement.

17.  Under what circumstances does the owner's expression of approval that his foodstuff came into contact with liquid not make that food mukhshar lekabel tum'ah?  (22b)

Answer:  If the owner's approval only took place after the food was already dry, then it is not "bekhi yutan" and the food is not mukhshar lekabel tum'ah.

18.  How is the baraita about "ki yutan" relevant to the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at?(22b)

Answer:  In the case of ki yutan, the baraita concludes that the future approval of the owner of the food is not viewed as approval such that the food will become mukhshar lekabel tum'ah.  Analogously, we should say that future yeush i.e. yeush she-lo mi-da'at, is not viewed as yeush.  The gemara explains that according to Rava, ki yutan is a special case that requires a higher level of intentional involvement than is usual (ki yutan must be similar to ki yitein).

19.  What is the conclusive argument that leads to the resolution of the machloket in favor of Abaye?  (22b)

Answer:  The gemara decides in Abaye's favor based upon a baraita that teaches us that an object that is "lost to all," i.e. was inaccessible to everyone and not just the owner, like something lost in a flood, is permitted to the finder.  This is the case regardless of simanim.  From the fact that simanim are irrelevant in the "lost to all case", the gemara concluded that simanim or their absence must be irrelevant in the standard case of lost objects that are lost to the owner but in principle accessible.  To assert that yeush she-lo mi-da'at is valid is to assert that even though the owner is unaware of the loss and has not in practice been mityaesh, the finder may keep it since the object has no simanim.  This assertion implies that the presence or absence of simanim play a greater role than merely as indicators of the owner's pyschology, and that implication is contradicted by the baraita.    

20.  Under what circumstances is it forbidden to eat windfallen dates?  Explain. (22b)

Answer:  Generally, it is permitted to eat windfallen dates since the owner, aware of the prescence of small animals that will eat them, is mityaesh from them even before they fall.  However, if it is known that these dates are the property of minors who does not have the legal ability to give up on their property, it is forbidden to take the dates.  In addition, if the field is fenced such that it is inaccessible to small animals, their is not presumption of yeush and one cannot partake of the fallen dates even when the field belongs to an adult.