סקר
איך אתה לומד דף יומי?






 

Steinsaltz

Rather, isn’t the baraita referring to a case of one witness, and it teaches that when he does not contradict the testimony of the witness, the witness is deemed credible? Learn from it that one witness can render a person liable to bring a sin offering if the person does not contradict the testimony.

§ The mishna teaches that if two witnesses say that someone ate forbidden fat, and he denies it, Rabbi Meir deems him liable to bring a sin offering. Rabbi Meir said: This conclusion can be inferred a fortiori: If two witnesses could have brought him liability to receive the severe punishment of death, can they not bring him liability to sacrifice an offering, which is relatively lenient? The Rabbis said to him: Witnesses are unable to render another person liable to bring an offering contrary to his statement, as what if he wishes to say: I did so intentionally, in which case he would be exempt from bringing an offering?

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the reasoning of the Rabbis, who deem him exempt from bringing an offering? Is it because they hold that a person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people? Or perhaps it is because we say that since he could advance a more advantageous claim [miggo], in that if he wishes, he could say: I did so intentionally, in which case he would be exempt from bringing an offering, therefore, also when he says: I did not eat, he is deemed credible and is exempt.

The Gemara asks: And what is the practical difference between the two possibilities? The Gemara answers: The difference is whether it is possible to resolve from it the case of ritual impurity, when witnesses testify that one became ritually impure before entering the Temple, and he claims that he did not become impure. If you say that the Rabbis’ reasoning is that a person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people, then it is no different if it is a case of new impurity, where they testify that he became impure the day he entered the Temple, and it is no different if it is a case of old impurity, where they testify that he became impure at some earlier date. In either case, the person’s claim that he was not impure when he entered the Temple would be deemed credible.

But if you say that the reasoning of the Rabbis is that he can say miggo, then the Rabbis would deem him exempt from the obligation to bring a sliding-scale offering in a case of old impurity, but in a case of new impurity he would be obligated to bring a sliding-scale offering. What is the reason? With regard to old impurity, since if he wishes, he could say: I immersed in a ritual bath after becoming impure and at sunset I became ritually pure, in which case he would be exempt from bringing an offering for having entered the Temple the following day, then also when he says: I did not become impure, he is exempt, as it can be said: What does he mean when he says: I did not become impure? He means: I did not remain in my state of impurity, but rather I immersed in a ritual bath.

But in a case of new impurity, he would be obligated to bring an offering. What is the reason? It is because even when he says: I immersed in a ritual bath, he would be obligated to bring an offering if he entered the Temple, as the witnesses would say to him: You became impure just now, and you could not have purified yourself in the meantime.

What, then, is the reasoning of the Rabbis? The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a baraita: If one witness said to a person: You became impure, and he says: I did not become impure, he is exempt from bringing an offering. One might have thought this is the halakha even where two witnesses said this. Rabbi Meir said: This conclusion can be inferred a fortiori: If two witnesses could have brought him liability to receive the severe punishment of death, can they not bring him liability to bring an offering, which is relatively lenient? And the Rabbis say: A person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people. The Gemara explains its suggestion: Learn from the baraita that the reasoning of the Rabbis is that they say that a person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people.

Rabbi Ami said: Actually, the Rabbis’ reasoning is that we say miggo, and this is what it is teaching: Since if he wished to say: I did not remain in my state of impurity but rather I immersed, then he would be exempt, therefore a person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people. The Gemara asks: If so, this case is identical to that of eating forbidden fat, which the mishna already discussed.

The Gemara explains that the baraita mentions the case of ritual impurity lest you say the following: When he says: I did not eat forbidden fat, he may explain his statement to mean: I did not eat forbidden fat unwittingly but intentionally, and I am therefore not obligated to bring an offering. But if two witnesses say: You have become impure, and he says: I have not become impure, one might say that he cannot explain his statement in a manner that would exempt him, as it makes no difference whether he became impure unwittingly or intentionally. Therefore, the baraita teaches us that here too, he can explain his statement in a different manner: I did not remain in my state of impurity, but rather I immersed, and he is therefore not obligated to bring an offering.

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear an explanation of the opinion of the Rabbis from another baraita, which discusses the case of the defiling of the Temple, by entering it while ritually impure, or its sacrificial foods, by partaking of them while ritually impure one who enters the Temple or eats sacred foods in a state of ritual impurity: The Torah states: “And it shall be, when he shall be guilty of one of these things, that he shall confess…and he shall bring…for a sin offering” (Leviticus 5:5–6). This verse indicates that only one who confesses verbally to sinning is liable to bring a sin offering, whereas one who does not confess verbally is exempt from bringing a sin offering. If one witness said to him: You have become impure, and he says: I have not become impure, he is exempt from bringing a sin offering.

One might have thought even in a case where two witnesses contradict him, he is exempt from bringing an offering. Rabbi Meir said: If two witnesses could have brought him liability to receive the severe punishment of death, can they not bring him liability to bring an offering, which is relatively lenient? Rabbi Yehuda says: A person is deemed credible about himself more than the testimony of one hundred people.

The baraita continues: And the Rabbis, whose opinion is cited in the mishna, concede to Rabbi Yehuda with regard to denying the accusation of two witnesses that he ate forbidden fats, or with regard to entering the Temple in a state of impurity, that if the person says that he did not eat the fats or enter the Temple, he is deemed credible. But with regard to ritual impurity, where witnesses say that he entered the Temple or ate sanctified food while impure and he says that he entered the Temple or ate the sanctified food but he was not impure, they do not concede to him; rather, they accept the opinion of Rabbi Meir that the testimony of two witnesses renders him obligated to bring an offering despite the fact that he denies that he transgressed.

The Gemara asks: What type of impurity are we dealing with? If we say

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)
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