R. Hisda, quoting Abimi [said]: It refers to one who pledges movable objects in payment of his own dedicated value.5 But in that case the words VALUATIONS OF MOVABLE OBJECTS should have been written MOVABLE OBJECTS OF ASSESSMENT!6 Read: MOVABLE OBJECTS OF ASSESSMENT.
R. Abbahu said: This refers to one who declares, 'I dedicate my value;' when the Priest comes to collect it, [on his failure to pay],7 movable property is assessed by three; immovable property by ten.8
R. Aha of Difti said to Rabina: The requirement of three assessors is correct in the case of one having to redeem anything out of the possession of the Sanctuary;9 but why need three to bring them into its possession?10 — It is common sense, he answered. What is the difference between appropriating a thing to, and expropriating a thing from [the possession of the Sanctuary]? In the case of expropriation, the reason [for three assessors] is the eventuality of error; but the same eventuality exists in the case of appropriation.11
R. JUDAH SAYS etc. R. Papa said to Abaye: On R. Judah's opinion this is right: for that reason 'Priest' is written. But according to the Rabbis,12 [who hold that no priest is required] — what is the purpose of that reference? — The question remained unanswered.
LAND VALUATION NEEDS NINE AND A PRIEST. Said Samuel: Whence is this inferred? — [From the] ten Biblical references to 'Priest' in the chapter [relating to valuation],13 One is needed for the actual law;14 the others are merely exclusions [of non-priests], one following the other. And [according to Talmudic rule,]15 exclusion, following exclusion, implies, not limitation, but extension,16 and so includes [as valid, a valuation made] even by nine non-priests,17 and [only] one priest.
R. Huna, the son of R. Nathan, demurred: Why not say that the ten assessors must consist of five priests and five non-priests?18 The difficulty remained unsolved.
THE VALUATION OF A MAN IS SIMILAR. But is a man an object that can be dedicated?19 — The words refer, said R. Abbahu, to the case of one who says; 'I dedicate my value'; as it has been taught 'If one says, I dedicate my value [to the Sanctuary-]', he is assessed exactly as a slave sold in the market; — and a slave is equated to immovable property.20
R. Abin asked: How many assessors are needed for the valuation of hair that is ready to be shorn? Is it regarded as already shorn, and thus assessed by three,21 or as attached to the body, hence by ten?22 — Come and hear! If one dedicates his slave, no liability to a trespass-offering is incurred in respect of him.23 But R. Simeon b. Gamaliel says: Liability is incurred in respect of his hair. And we know that the point on which they differ is regarding the hair which is ready to be shorn. Infer, therefore, from this [that R. Abin's question is a point of difference among the Rabbis].
Shall we take it that these Tannaim24 differ in the same respect as the Tannaim of the following Mishnah? For we learnt: R. Meir says: There are things that notwithstanding their attachment to the soil are considered as movable property.25 But the Sages disagree with him. In what case? [If A says to B.] 'I handed over to thee ten vines laden with fruit,' and the latter replies, 'They were only five,' R. Meir imposes [an oath on the defendant],26 while the Sages say that an object which is still attached to the soil is subject to the laws of immovable property.27 And R. Jose b. Hanina said: The case in question is one of grapes ready to be gathered: according to the one master,28 they are considered as gathered; according to the other.29 they are not! — No, you might say it is so30 even according to R. Meir. Only there, in the case of grapes, which after ripening deteriorate by remaining ungathered, does R. Meir hold that they are considered as gathered: whereas hair, the longer it is left, the better it is.
CAPITAL CASES, CASES OF CARNAL CONNEXION WITH BEASTS etc. The law is stated categorically, without any distinction whether the connection is between a beast and a man or a beast and a woman. It is right as regards the [requirement of twenty-three] in the case of a woman, as this follows from the verse, Thou shalt slay the woman and the beast.31 But whence is it to be deduced in the case of a man? — It is written, Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.32 If this has no bearing on a case where a man is the active participant,33 we must refer it to one in which he is the passive offender. And it is expressed in the Divine Law as if the man were the active sinner, for the purpose of equating the passive sinner to him. Just as in the case where the man approaches the beast, both he and the beast are judged by [a court of] twenty-three; so also, where the man is approached by the beast, both he and the beast are judged by twenty-three.
THE CASE OF AN OX TO BE STONED IS BY TWENTY-THREE, AS IT IS WRITTEN: THE OX SHALL BE STONED AND ITS OWNER ALSO SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH.34 AS THE DEATH OF THE OWNER [IS BY TWENTY-THREE], SO THE DEATH OF THE OX. Abaye said to Raba: Whence do we know that the verse, and its owner also shall be put to death, means to [teach that] the judgment of the ox is to be similar to that of the owner?
Sanhedrin 15bPerhaps it is meant to [indicate] capital punishment [for the owner]? — In that case it should have been written, and the owner also, and no more. But [perhaps] had the Divine Law written so,1 it could be argued that [the text implies death] by stoning?2 — Could this view possibly be entertained! If a man himself is the murderer, his death is by the sword:3 when his property [sc. an ox] slays, shall he [the owner] be stoned!4
But might it not be argued5 that the reason the Divine Law wrote 'yumath'6  is to [indicate] an easier death, i.e., to commute death by the sword to death by strangulation?7 Now, on the view that strangulation is a severer death,8 it is correct;9 but according to the view that strangulation is an easier death [than decapitation],10 what is there to be said [against it]?11 — This cannot be entertained, because it is written, If there be laid on him a ransom;12 and, should you maintain that he is liable to death, is it not written, You shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer?13 On the contrary, that fact [proves that the text is literal, Thus:] in case of a man's own crime, money is no adequate punishment, only death; whereas, when his beast kills, he can ransom himself with money?14 — But, said Hezekiah, and thus said a Tanna of the school of Hezekiah: Scripture state, He that smote him [a human being] shall surely be put to death, he is a murderer.15 For a murder committed by himself, you may put him to death, but you may not put him to death for a murder committed by his ox.16
The schoolmen asked: How many were needed [to judge] the ox [that sinned in approaching] Mount Sinai?17 [The question is] whether we can derive a temporary enactment from permanent practice or not? — Come and hear! Rammi b. Ezekiel taught, Whether it be beast or man, it shall not live;18 just as a man is judged by twenty-three, so is a beast judged by twenty-three.
THE LION AND THE WOLF etc. … Resh Lakish said: Provided, however, that they killed [a human being], but not otherwise.19 Thus he holds that they can be tamed and have owners.20 R. Johanan says [that it is R. Eliezer's view] even when they have killed no one. Hence he holds that they cannot be tamed or have owners.21
We learnt: R. ELIEZER SAYS, WHOEVER IS FIRST TO KILL THEM [WITHOUT TRIAL], ACQUIRES. This is correct according to R. Johanan:22 What does he acquire? — He acquires [the possession of] their skin. But according to Resh Lakish, what does he acquire? As soon as they killed someone, the Rabbis regarded them as sentenced [to death], in which case every benefit from them is prohibited!23 What then does he acquire? — He acquires [merit] in the sight of Heaven.
There is [a Baraitha] taught which is in agreement with Resh Lakish: It is all one whether it be an ox, or any other beast or animal that killed a man, [it is judged] by twenty-three. R. Eliezer says: Only an ox that killed [is tried] by twenty-three, but any other animal or beast who killed, whoever is first to kill them acquires merit in the sight of Heaven.24
A WHOLE TRIBE MUST NOT BE JUDGED etc. What sin was committed by the tribe? Shall I say, that it is a case of a tribe that desecrated the Sabbath? But27 if the Divine Law made a distinction between individual sinners and a multitude, it was only in cases of idolatry; did it then differentiate in cases [of the transgression] of other commandments? — It must therefore refer to a tribe that was beguiled [into idolatry]. Is it to imply that it must be tried like a multitude? [If so,] this coincides with the opinion of neither R. Josiah nor R. Jonathan. For it has been taught: How many inhabitants must a town have that it may be proclaimed condemned? Not less than ten and not more than a hundred:28 this is the view of R. Josiah. R. Jonathan says: From a hundred to the majority of the tribe in question. And even R. Jonathan admits only the majority of a tribe, but not the whole of it.29 The case in question, says R. Mathna, is one
- To Next Folio -