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they have both acquired the animal in that manner. Rabbi Yehuda says: Actually, one acquires an animal only through pulling in the case of a camel or driving in the case of a donkey, as that is the manner in which they are normally directed.

In any event, it is taught in the baraita: Or one who was pulling and one who was driving, which indicates that pulling and driving are indeed effective modes of acquisition, but sitting in a riding position on an animal is not.

The Gemara rejects this inference: The same is true with regard to even sitting in a riding position on an animal; it is an effective mode of acquisition. And the reason that the baraita teaches specifically the modes of pulling and driving is only to exclude the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says that one acquires an animal only through pulling in the case of a camel or driving in the case of a donkey. Therefore, the first tanna teaches us that even in the opposite manner, i.e., pulling a donkey or driving a camel, one acquires the animal.

The Gemara asks: If that is so, then let the first tanna combine the cases and teach them as follows: With regard to two people who were pulling or driving either a camel or a donkey, they each acquire the respective animal. The fact that this wording is not used indicates that the first tanna does not entirely disagree with Rabbi Yehuda.

The Gemara modifies its response: There is one manner of acquisition by which the first tanna concedes to Rabbi Yehuda that one does not acquire the animal if one employs it, and it is unclear what manner that is. Some say that by pulling a donkey one does not acquire it, as donkeys tend to not move at all when being pulled, and some say that by driving a camel one does not acquire it, as that is not the common way to move it.

And according to an alternative version of this discussion, there are those who raise an objection to the opinion that one can acquire an animal by sitting on it in a riding position from the latter clause of the statement of the first tanna in the baraita: They acquire the animal in that manner. The phrase in that manner is stated to exclude what? Is it not to exclude one who sits in a riding position on the animal? The Gemara answers: No, it is stated to exclude the opposite cases: One who drives a camel or pulls a donkey does not acquire the animal.

The Gemara asks: If so, that is identical to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. The Gemara answers: There is a practical difference between them with regard to one manner of acquisition in which one does not acquire the animal. Some say that according to the first tanna, by pulling a donkey one does not acquire it, and some say that by driving a camel one does not acquire it.

Come and hear proof from a baraita that one can acquire an animal by sitting on it in a riding position: If one person is sitting in a riding position on a donkey and one other person is holding the reins, this one, the one sitting on the donkey, acquires the donkey, and that one, who is holding the reins, acquires the reins. Learn from it that one who sits in a riding position on an animal acquires it.

The Gemara rejects this: Here too, the reference is to one who is not only sitting on the donkey but who is also driving it with his feet by squeezing or kicking it. The Gemara asks: If so, the one who is sitting should acquire part of the reins too. The fact that he does not acquire the reins indicates that his acquisition of the donkey is imperfect, which would not be the case if he were driving it. The Gemara answers: Emend the text and say: This one acquires the donkey and half of the reins, and that one acquires half of the reins.

The Gemara asks: Granted, the one sitting on the donkey acquires half of the reins because a mentally competent person, the one holding the reins, has lifted it for him, but in what manner does the one holding the reins acquire half the reins? The other end of the reins is attached to the donkey, and because he does not acquire the donkey he cannot acquire the reins.

The Gemara answers: Emend the text and say: This one, the one sitting on the donkey, acquires the donkey and almost the entire reins, and that one, who is holding the reins, acquires only the part of the reins that is actually held in his hand.

The Gemara asks: What is the basis for this understanding? Even if you say that in a case of one who performs an act of acquisition by lifting a found item on behalf of another, the other person, i.e., the latter, acquires ownership of the item, that statement applies only in a case where one lifts an item with the intention that another person will acquire it. In the case here, this person who is holding the reins is lifting them with the intention of acquiring them for himself. Since he himself does not acquire them, how can he acquire them for others?

Rav Ashi said: Emend the baraita and say: This one, who is sitting on the donkey and driving it, acquires the donkey and its halter, which is attached to its head; and that one, who is holding the reins, acquires only the part that is held in his hand. And with regard to the rest, the part of the reins that is neither attached to the donkey’s head nor held in the person’s hand, neither this one nor that one has acquired it.

Rabbi Abbahu said: Actually, do not emend the baraita; leave it as it is taught. The one holding the reins acquires them because he can detach them from the donkey and bring them toward himself. Since he is able to pull the reins into his possession, they are considered his even though he does not lift them.

The Gemara comments: And this statement of Rabbi Abbahu is an error. As, if you do not say so, but instead accept Rabbi Abbahu’s opinion, that would result in an incorrect halakhic ruling in the case of a garment, half of which was lying on the ground and half of which was lying on a pillar, and one came and lifted the half of it that was on the ground off the ground, and another person came and lifted the other half of it off the pillar. In that case, should one also rule that the first one acquires the garment and the latter one does not acquire it, since the first one was able to detach it from the pillar and bring the entire garment toward him? That is certainly not the halakha. Rather, clearly this statement of Rabbi Abbahu is an error. In any event, the question of whether one can acquire an animal by sitting on it in a riding position remains unresolved.

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear an additional proof from a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer says: If one sits on an animal in the field or leads an animal in the city, he acquires it. This proves that one can acquire an animal by sitting on it. The Gemara rejects this proof: Here too, the reference is to one who leads, i.e., drives, the animal with his feet. The Gemara asks: If so, that is the same as leading the animal. Why would the baraita mention the same case twice? The Gemara answers: The baraita is discussing two types of leading.

The Gemara asks: If that is so, what is the reason that one who sits on an animal in the city does not acquire it? Rav Kahana said: It is because people do not normally ride in the city, as it is crowded.

Rav Ashi said to Rav Kahana: If that is so, that by means of an unusual action one cannot effect an acquisition, then if one lifted a purse that he found on Shabbat, has he also not acquired it, since people do not normally lift a purse on Shabbat due to the prohibition of set-aside [muktze]? That is clearly not the halakha. Rather, how should one rule in that case? What he did, he did, and he acquires the purse. Here too, if one sat on an animal in the city, what he did, he did, and he acquires the animal.

Rather, the baraita is not referring to the case of a found animal, which one can acquire it even by sitting on it in the city. In fact, we are dealing with a case of buying and selling an animal, where the seller said to the buyer: Acquire the animal the way that people normally acquire an animal. Therefore, the buyer cannot acquire it in the city by sitting on it.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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