סקר
איך אתה לומד דף יומי?






 

Steinsaltz

I am ready to answer any questions put to me like those of the intellectually sharp ben Azzai, who would regularly expound in the markets of Tiberias. One of the Sages said to Abaye: The verses discussing the redemption of a Hebrew slave can be interpreted as a leniency for the slave, and they can also be interpreted as a stringency for him. From where is it derived that the verses should be interpreted as a leniency for the slave? Say that they should be interpreted as a stringency for him.

Abaye explained: Such a possibility should not enter your mind, due to the fact that the Merciful One was explicitly lenient with regard to a slave. As it is taught in a baraita: The verse states with regard to a Hebrew slave: “And it shall be, if he says to you I will not leave you…because he fares well with you” (Deuteronomy 15:16). The term “with you” indicates that the slave must be with you, i.e., treated as your equal, with regard to food, and with you with regard to drink. This means that you should not be eating fine bread while he eats inferior bread [kibbar], bread from coarse flour mixed with bran. Likewise, you should not drink old wine while he drinks inferior new wine. You should not sleep on bedding made from soft sheets while he sleeps on the ground. From here the Sages stated: One who acquires a Hebrew slave is considered like one who acquires a master for himself, as he must ensure that the slave’s living conditions are equal to his own.

That Sage raised an objection to Abaye: On the contrary, let us impose a stringency upon the slave, due to the statement of Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. As Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says in explanation of the juxtaposition of several passages in the Torah (Leviticus, chapter 25): Come and see how severe is even the hint of violation of the prohibition of the Sabbatical Year, as the prohibition against engaging in commerce with produce of the Sabbatical Year is not one of the primary prohibitions of the Sabbatical Year, and yet its punishment is harsh.

Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, continues: If a person has commercial dealings with produce of the Sabbatical Year or of the Jubilee Year, ultimately he will become so poor that he will be compelled to sell his movable property, as it is stated: “In this Jubilee Year you shall return every man to his possession” (Leviticus 25:13), and it is written in the subsequent verse: “And if you sell something to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand,” which is referring to an item acquired by passing it from hand to hand. The juxtaposition of the two verses indicates that if one violates the halakhot of the Jubilee Year or the Sabbatical Year, he will eventually have to sell his movable property.

If he does not feel remorse and he does not repent, ultimately he will be compelled to sell his fields, as it is stated in an adjacent verse: “If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his ancestral land” (Leviticus 25:25).

If consciousness of his sins does not come to him, ultimately he will be compelled to sell his house, as it is stated: “And if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city” (Leviticus 25:29). The Gemara asks: What is different there, in the previous clause, where the tanna says that the sinner does not sense remorse, and what is different here, where he says that consciousness of his sins does not come to him? The Gemara responds: This is in accordance with the statement of Rav Huna, as Rav Huna says: Once a person commits a transgression and repeats it, it is permitted to him.

The Gemara asks: Can it enter your mind to say that it is actually permitted to him because he has transgressed twice? Rather, say that it becomes as though it were permitted to him, that is, after transgressing the prohibition twice he becomes accustomed to this behavior and no longer feels that it is a sin. If one transgresses the prohibition only once, he is apt to feel remorse. Once he repeats his transgression, he loses this sensibility concerning his sins and will no longer feel any remorse.

Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, continues: If consciousness of his sins does not come to him, ultimately he will be compelled to borrow with interest, as it is stated: “And if your brother becomes poor and his means fail with you, then you shall uphold him” (Leviticus 25:35), and it is written in the subsequent verse: “You shall take no interest or increase from him.”

One does not come to borrow with interest until he has already been compelled to sell his daughter, as it is stated: “And when a man sells his daughter as a maidservant” (Exodus 21:7). The Gemara explains: And even though his daughter is not mentioned in that context in Leviticus, nevertheless, a person prefers to sell his daughter and not to borrow money with interest. This is because there, when one sells his daughter, the sum required in order to redeem her continuously decreases, while here, where one borrows with interest, his debt continuously increases. One may therefore assume that if one borrows with interest, he has already sold his daughter.

If consciousness of his sins does not come to him, ultimately he will be compelled to sell himself, as it is stated: “And when your brother becomes poor with you and sells himself to you” (Leviticus 25:39). Not only will he be sold to you, a born Jew; rather, he will even be sold to a stranger, as it is stated: “And sells himself to the stranger” (Leviticus 25:47). And not only to a stranger who is a convert, but even to a gentile who resides in Eretz Yisrael and observes the seven Noahide mitzvot [ger toshav], as it is stated: “And sells himself to a ger toshav with you” (Leviticus 25:47).

When the verse further states: “Or to the offshoot of a stranger’s family,” this is referring to the gentile relatives of a ger toshav, who are idolaters. When it says: “Or to the offshoot [le’eker] of a stranger’s family,” this is referring to one who is sold and becomes a servant to idol worship itself, i.e., he is put to work in a temple dedicated to idolatry. In any event, the baraita teaches that it is only due to an individual’s sins that he reaches such a low point that he must sell himself as a slave. If so, the verses dealing with a Hebrew slave should be interpreted in a stringent manner, so that the slave cannot easily be redeemed.

Abaye said to that Sage: But the verse subsequently restores him, i.e., it requires that one strive to redeem him from slavery. As the tanna of the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Since he went and sold himself to a temple dedicated to idol worship, should I throw a stone after the fallen? In other words, perhaps he should be left to his own devices? The verse states: He shall have a perpetual right of redemption, and he shall leave in the Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:31, 48). The Gemara objects: Even so, you can say that he shall have a redemption so that he will not be assimilated among the gentiles, but actually, with regard to his redemption we will be stringent, as it is due only to his sins that he is enslaved.

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Two verses are written with regard to redeeming someone who was sold to a gentile. It is written: “If there are yet many in the years, according to them he shall return the price of his redemption from the money that he was bought for” (Leviticus 25:51). And it is written in the next verse: “And if there remain but few in the years until the Jubilee Year, then he shall reckon with him; according to his years he shall return the price of his redemption.”

Now, are there years with much time and years with little time? Every year is the same length. Rather, this means that if his monetary value appreciated during the years of his service, he is redeemed according to “the money that he was bought for,” which is the lower sum. And if his monetary value depreciated over time, one determines his value “according to his years,” i.e., according to his current value rather than according to his previous worth. The verse indicates that one acts leniently when calculating the redemption payment of a Hebrew slave.

The Gemara asks: But say that the verses should be interpreted as follows: “If there are yet many in the years,” is referring to a case where he served for two years, and four years of servitude remain. In this situation let him return to his master the value of four years of his servitude according to “the money that he was bought for.” And the phrase “if there remain but few in the years” is referring to a case where he served for four years and two years of servitude remain. In this situation let him return to his master the value of two years of his servitude “according to his years.”

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: If so, let the verse write: If there are yet many years. What is the meaning of the phrase “in the years”? Rather, this indicates that if his monetary value appreciated in the years of his service, he is redeemed according to “the money that he was bought for,” which is the lower sum. If his monetary value depreciated in the years, one determines his value “according to his years,” i.e., according to his current value. Upon hearing this explanation, Rav Yosef said: Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak interpreted these verses as truly as if the interpretation had been transmitted to Moses from Sinai.

§ The mishna teaches: One may not sell his ancestral field that is located in a distant area and redeem with that money a field that he sold in a nearby area. Likewise, he may not sell a low-quality field and redeem with that money a high-quality field. And he may not borrow money and redeem the field, nor may he redeem the field incrementally, half now and half at a later date. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? As the Sages taught with regard to the verse: “And he prospers and finds sufficient means to redeem it” (Leviticus 25:26), the phrase “and he prospers” teaches that the money he uses to redeem the field must be his own possession, meaning that he may not borrow money and redeem the field.

The baraita continues: “And finds sufficient means”; this excludes the usage of means that were previously available, meaning that one may not sell property that he owned at the time of the sale in order to redeem his field, e.g., he may not sell a field that is located in a distant area and redeem a field that is located in a nearby area, nor may he sell a low-quality field and redeem a high-quality field. “Sufficient means to redeem it”; this indicates that one may redeem his field if he possesses sufficient means to redeem the entire field, but he may not partially redeem his field.

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that the term “finds” indicates that the means were found now and were not previously available? But you can raise a contradiction to this premise from a baraita: The verse states with regard to an unintentional killer: “And one who goes into the forest with another to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the blade slips off the wood, and finds another person, and he dies, he shall flee to one of these cities and live” (Deuteronomy 19:5). The term “and finds” excludes one who introduces himself into the area of danger. From here Rabbi Eliezer said: If, after the stone departed from one’s hand, the other person stuck his head out and received a blow from it and died, the killer is exempt from exile. Evidently, the term “finds” indicates an item that is there from the outset.

Rava said: Here, “finds” is interpreted according to the context of the verse, and here it is likewise interpreted according to the context of the verse. Here, with regard to redeeming a field, one interprets “finds” in a manner similar to the phrase “he prospers.” Just as “he prospers” is referring to funds that he acquires only now, so too “finds” indicates property that he finds only now, and not property that he owned from the outset. And here, with regard to an unintentional killer, one interprets “finds” in a manner similar to the term “forest.” Just as a forest is something that is there from the outset, so too, “finds” indicates something, i.e., an individual, that is there from the outset. This excludes an individual who was not in the vicinity when the ax slipped.

§ The mishna teaches: But with regard to redeeming a field from the Temple treasury, it is permitted to redeem the field in any of these ways. This is a halakha where greater stringency applies with regard to redeeming a field from an ordinary individual than with regard to redeeming it from the Temple treasury. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? As the Sages taught with regard to a verse dealing with one who consecrates his field: “And if the one who consecrates the field will indeed redeem it” (Leviticus 27:19). The phrase “will indeed redeem” teaches that one may borrow money and redeem his field, and one may partially redeem his field, despite the fact that one may not do so when redeeming a field from an ordinary individual.

Rabbi Shimon said: What is the reason for this leniency in the case of consecrated fields? It is because we find with regard to one who sells his ancestral field, that the Torah enhanced his power, in that if the Jubilee Year arrived and the field was not redeemed, it returns to its original owners in the Jubilee Year. Therefore, his power was diminished with regard to the manner of redemption, in that he cannot borrow money and redeem the field, and he cannot partially redeem it.

But with regard to one who consecrates his ancestral field, since his power was diminished, in that if the Jubilee Year arrived and the field was not redeemed, the field leaves the possession of the Temple treasury and passes to the possession of the priests and does not return to the original owner, the Torah therefore enhanced his power, in that he may borrow money and redeem his field, and he may partially redeem 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)
© כל הזכויות שמורות לפורטל הדף היומי | אודות | צור קשר | הוספת תכנים | רשימת תפוצה | הקדשה | תרומות | תנאי שימוש באתר | מפת האתר