But perhaps that which Ahab's men slaughtered, Ahab and his men ate. And that which Jehoshaphat's men slaughtered, Jehoshaphat and his men ate. [5a] He would not have separated himself [from them]. What is the source of that assertion? If you say from that which is written, “I am as you are, my people as your people...” (I Kings 22:4), but of this part [at the conclusion of the verse,] “My horses as your horses,” shall we say the same [about that phrase]? Rather [it implies] what will be upon your horses will be upon mine. Here too [the implication is] whatever will be upon you and your nation will be upon me and my nation.
G. Rather [derive the assertion from this], “Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria” (I Kings 22:10). What is the meaning of “threshing floor”? If it means an actual threshing floor, can it be that at the gate of Samaria there was a threshing floor? Rather [it means they sat arrayed] “like a threshing floor.“ For it was taught on Tannaite authority, The [members of the] Sanhedrin were [arranged] in the shape of a half of a round threshing floor [that is, as an amphitheater], so that [the judges] should see one another [M. San. 4:3 A-B].
H. Let us say this supports [R. Anan's] view: “And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening” (I Kings 17:6). And said R. Judah, said Rab, “[They brought him meat] from Ahab's butchers.” [But you cannot prove anything from this instance because any occurrence] on the [divine] command is different [from ordinary circumstances].
I. What is the meaning of “ravens”? Said Rabina, “Actual ravens.” Said to him R. Ada bar Manyomi, “Perhaps these were two men whose name was Oreb [= raven]. Is it not written, `They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb' (Judges 7:25)?” He said to him, “Could this happen by coincidence that both of them were named Oreb?” Perhaps they were named after their locality.
J. Is it not written, “Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little maid from the land of Israel” (II Kings 5:2)? This poses a difficulty for us. She is called “maid” and she is called “little.” And said R. Pedat, “She was a little girl from the town of Naaran [i.e., from the same root as the word maid, proving that people are named after their localities].” If so [they objected] then it should have said [in the original verse under consideration] “Orebites.” [The proof is inconclusive.]
K. Let us say this supports [R. Anan's] view: All are valid [to carry out an act of] slaughter [M. 1:1 A], even a Samaritan, even an uncircumcised man, and even an Israelite apostate [T. 1:1 A-B]. What is the situation of this reference to an uncircumcised man? Is it that his brothers died as a result of their circumcisions [and thus he was not circumcised because of the danger]? This person is a complete Israelite. Rather it is simply a case of one who was an apostate with regard to the [commandment regarding the removal of the] foreskins. [And he is of the opinion that one who is an apostate with regard to one commandment is not accorded status as an apostate with regard to the entire Torah.]
L. Consider the end of the text: and even an Israelite apostate. Now what is the situation with regard to this apostate? If he is an apostate with regard to another matter [other than slaughtering], this is identical to the case of an apostate with regard to the [commandment regarding the removal of the] foreskins. Rather no it must be that he is an apostate with regard to idolatry. And this accords with the view of R. Anan.
M. No. It is consistent to say that an apostate with regard to idolatry may not [slaughter]. For the master said, “Idolatry is a serious matter. For one who repudiates it is like one who accepts the entire Torah.”
N. Rather say that he is an apostate with regard to that same matter [i.e., slaughtering] and in accord with the view of Raba [I.5 A].
A. They raised an objection: “[When any man] of you [brings an offering to the Lord]” (Lev. 1:2) — and not all of you [may bring]. This excludes the apostate.
B. [Continuing the interpretation of the verse:] “Of you” — among you I have differentiated and not among the other nations. “From the herd” — to include people who resemble beasts. Based on this they said they accept sacrifices from Israelite transgressors so that they will repent, with the exception of the apostate, of one who pours libations [before idolatry], and of one who violates the Sabbath in public.
C. This teaching in itself contains a contradiction. It says, “[When any man] of you [brings an offering to the Lord]” (Lev. 1:2) — and not all of you [may bring]. This excludes the apostate. And then it teaches, they accept sacrifices from Israelite transgressors. Lo, this is not a contradiction. The first part [of the text refers to one who is] an apostate with regard to the entire Torah. And the middle part [of the text refers to one who is] an apostate with regard to one matter.
D. But consider the end [of the text]: “With the exception of the apostate, of one who pours libations [before idolatry], and of one who violates the Sabbath in public.” What is the circumstance regarding this apostate? If he is an apostate with regard to the entire Torah, that is identical to the first part [of the text]. If he is an apostate for one matter, then it contradicts the middle part [of the text]. Rather here is what you should say, “With the exception of the apostate who pours libations [before idolatry], or who violates the Sabbath in public.”
E. It turns out that an apostate with regard to idolatry is equivalent to an apostate with regard to the entire Torah. And the objection to the view of R. Anan is a valid objection.
F. But lo, do we derive this conclusion from that source? We derive it from this source [regarding the sin-offering]: [5b] “[If any one] of the common people [sins unwittingly]” (Lev. 4:27) — this excludes an apostate. R. Simeon b. Yosé says in the name of R. Simeon, “[Another verse implies the same thing]: `Doing unwittingly any one of all the things which the Lord his God has commanded not to be done, and is guilty' (Lev. 4:22). One who repents when he recognizes his sin may bring a sacrifice for his inadvertent transgression. One who does not repent when he recognizes his sin [i.e., an apostate] may not bring a sacrifice for his inadvertent transgression.”
G. And we may ask, what is the difference between these two explanations? And said R. Hamnuna, “[The following case]: an apostate with regard to eating forbidden fat, who brought a [sin-offering] sacrifice for [inadvertently drinking] blood is the difference between them.”
H. [Alternatively we may say both passages are needed.] One refers to the sin-offering and one refers to the whole burnt-offering. And we need both. For if we had been instructed regarding the sin-offering [I could argue that an apostate is enjoined] because the purpose is to achieve atonement. But because a whole burnt-offering is a gift it makes sense to accept it from him. And if we had been instructed regarding the whole burnt-offering [I could argue that an apostate is enjoined] because it is not an obligation [to bring that sacrifice]. But because it is an obligation to bring a sin-offering it makes sense to say that they should accept it from him. Therefore we need both verses.
A. [Referring to the inference above at I.7 B]: in every instance that Scripture uses “beast” is it in a derogatory sense? But lo it is written, “Man and beast thou savest, O Lord” (Psalm 36:6). And said R. Judah, said Rab, “These are the people who are sharp-witted and yet conduct themselves like beasts [in the herd, i.e., conform to the dictates of society]. [But there is a difference between these references.] There it says, “Man and beast” [so we may make a comparison and find a positive connotation]. Here it says just, “Beast” [and can only be taken in a derogatory sense].
B. But in every case that Scripture states “Man and beast” is there a positive connotation? But lo it is written, “I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast” (Jer. 31:27). There Scripture separates [the terms with the language] “the seed of man” by itself and “the seed of beast” by itself.
A. [A mnemonic is given.] Said R. Hanan, said R. Jacob bar Idi, said R. Joshua b. Levi, in the name of Bar Qappara, “Rabban Gamaliel and his court voted regarding the validity of slaughtering done by a Samaritan and they forbade [meat derived from] it.” Said R. Zira to R. Jacob bar Idi, “Perhaps the master did not hear this only applies when an Israelite is not standing over him [to supervise].” He said to him, “It is as if this rabbi has never studied at all! Do we need a teaching about [the obviously improper case of a Samaritan who slaughters] when an Israelite is not standing over him?”
B. So did he [Zira] accept reproof from him or not? Come and take note: For said R. Nahman bar Yitzhak, said R. Asi, “I saw R. Yohanan eat [meat from an animal] slaughtered by a Samaritan.” And even R. Assi ate [meat from an animal] slaughtered by a Samaritan. This surprised R. Zira. [He wondered]: perhaps they did not hear [of R. Gamaliel's ruling], for if they had heard they would have accepted it. Or did they hear of the ruling, but did not accept it? He finally figured this out on his own accord. It is logical to assume that they heard of the ruling but did not accept it. For if you conclude that they did not hear of it, but if they had heard of it they would have accepted it, then how could we possibly imagine that they [inadvertently] ate forbidden foods. Now [we have a rule that] the Holy One, blessed be He, does not cause the beasts of the righteous to stumble [into a situation that is sinful]. How much more [is it logical to assume that God protects from sin] the righteous themselves.