GEMARA. BETH SHAMMAI SAY THAT CONSECRATION, etc.: Beth Shammai's reason is that they compare original consecration1 with secondary consecration.2 Just as substitution, even when made in error, is effective,3 so [original] consecration, even when made in error, is effective. Beth Hillel, however, contend that this is true only of substitution,4 but that no consecration in error can take effect in the first instance.
But suppose, according to Beth Shammai, someone says, 'This [animal] is to replace that [one] at midday,' it would surely not become a substitute [immediately] from that moment, but only when midday arrives, and so here too, [surely, consecration should not take effect] until the condition [under which it was made] becomes realized?5 — R. Papa replied: The reason that [the word] 'FIRST' was mentioned by him was [simply] to indicate that one [of his black oxen] which should emerge first.6 — But the text says, 'the black bull,' and surely it contemplates the case where he may have only the one?7 — In the case considered, he is assumed to have two or three.8 Beth Hillel, however, contend that if this [was his intention]9 it should have said, '[The black hull] that leaves earliest.'10 — Raba of Barnesh11 said to R. Ashi; Is this [called] consecration in error? It is surely intentional consecration?12 — [He replied:] Quite so, but [it is called consecration in error] because at first the expression he used gave a wrong impression.13
Is it indeed Beth Shammai's opinion that consecration in error is not effective consecration?14 Have we not learnt: If a man, who vows to be a nazirite, sets aside an animal [for the sacrifice], and [then] applies to the Sages [for absolution from his vow] and they release him, [the animal] goes forth and pastures with the flock.15 Beth Hillel said to Beth Shammai: Do you not admit that this is a case of consecration in error,16 and yet [the animal] goes forth and pastures with the flock?17 Whence18 it follows [does it not] that Beth Shammai hold consecration in error to be effective? — No; Beth Hillel were mistaken. They took the reason for Beth Shammai's view19 to be that consecration in error is effective, but the latter replied that [the consecration is effective] not because it was consecration in error, but because at first the expression he used gave a wrong impression.20
But is it Beth Shammai's opinion that consecration in error is not effective? Come [then] and hear: If [some people] were walking along the road
Nazir 31band [saw] someone coming towards them, and one said, 'I declare myself a nazirite if it is So-and-so,' whilst another said, 'I declare myself a nazirite if it is not So-and-so,' [and a third man,] 'I declare myself a nazirite if one of you is a nazirite, [a fourth, 'I declare myself a nazirite] if neither of you is a nazirite, [a fifth, 'I declare myself a nazirite] if both of you are nazirites,' [and a sixth, 'I declare myself a nazirite] if all of you are nazirites,' Beth Shammai say that all [six] of them are nazirites.1 Now this is a case of consecration in error,2 and yet [the Mishnah] teaches that all of them are nazirites? — From this it certainly follows that Beth Shammai are of the opinion that consecration in error is effective, but not from the other.3
Abaye said: You should not assume that [the declaration] was made in the morning.4 We speak here of a case where it was already midday, and he then said, 'The black bull that left my house first [to day] shall be sacred,'5 and when informed that a white one left [first], he remarked, 'Had I known that a white one left, I should not have said black.'6 But how can you say that it refers to what took place at midday,7 seeing that the text reads: THE GOLD DENAR THAT COMES?8 — Read, 'that has come.'9 [But the text also reads,] THE CASK OF WINE THAT I COME ACROSS?8 — Read, 'that I came across.9
R. Hisda said: Black [oxen] amongst white [ones] spoil the herd.10 White [patches] on black [oxen] are a blemish.
We have learnt: [IF SOMEONE SAYS,] 'THE BLACK BULL THAT IS THE FIRST TO LEAVE MY HOUSE [SHALL BE SACRED,' AND A WHITE ONE EMERGES, BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE] IT SACRED. Now when a person consecrates, he does so with an ill grace,11 and yet Beth Shammai say that [the white bull] is sacred?12 Do you suggest then that a person consecrates with a good grace?13 [If so, how can we explain the following clause: IF HE SAYS,] 'THE GOLD DENAR THAT COMES INTO MY HAND FIRST [SHALL BE SACRED],' AND A SILVER DENAR CAME TO HIS HAND, BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE IT SACRED?14 — Do you submit, then, that a person consecrates with an ill grace? [Consider then the following: IF HE SAYS,] 'THE CASK OF WINE THAT I COME ACROSS FIRST [SHALL BE SACRED],' AND HE COMES ACROSS A CASK OF OIL, BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE IT SACRED,' and yet oil is superior to wine? — That raises no difficulty, for it was taught with reference to Galilee where wine is superior to oil. But the first clause [of our Mishnah] seems to contradict R. Hisda? — R. Hisda will reply: My statement15 referred to Carmanian16 oxen.
R. Hisda also used to say: A black ox for its hide, a red one for its flesh, a white one for ploughing.17
But R. Hisda said that black [oxen] amongst white ones spoil the herd?18 — He said that with reference to Carmanian oxen.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN VOWS TO BE A NAZIRITE AND THEN SEEKS RELEASE FROM A SAGE19 BUT IS FORBIDDEN [TO ANNUL HIS VOW], HE CAN RECKON [THE NAZIRITESHIP] FROM THE TIME THAT THE VOW WAS MADE.20 IF HE SEEKS RELEASE FROM A SAGE AND IS ABSOLVED AND HAS AN ANIMAL SET ASIDE [FOR A SACRIFICE], IT GOES FORTH TO PASTURE WITH [THE REST OF] THE HERD.21 BETH HILLEL SAID TO BETH SHAMMAI: DO YOU NOT ADMIT THAT HERE WHERE THE CONSECRATION IS IN ERROR,22 [THE ANIMAL] GOES FORTH TO PASTURE WITH THE HERD?23 BETH SHAMMAI REPLIED: DO YOU NOT ADMIT THAT IF A MAN IN ERROR CALLS THE NINTH [ANIMAL], THE TENTH,24 OR THE TENTH THE NINTH, OR THE ELEVENTH THE TENTH, EACH BECOMES SACRED?25 BETH HILLEL RETORTED: IT IS NOT THE ROD THAT MAKES THESE SACRED,26 FOR SUPPOSE THAT IN ERROR HE PLACED THE ROD UPON THE EIGHTH OR UPON THE TWELFTH, WOULD THIS HAVE ANY EFFECT? [THE FACT IS] THAT SCRIPTURE WHICH HAS DECLARED THE TENTH TO BE SACRED, HAS ALSO DECLARED SACRED THE NINTH
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