In general the law is in accord with the House of Hillel. But one who wishes to act [consistently] in accord with the words of the House of Shammai may do so. [One who wishes to act consistently in accord with] the words of the House of Hillel may do so. [One who wishes to act in accord with] the leniencies of the House of Shammai and the leniencies of the House of Hillel is evil. [44a] [One who wishes to act in accord with] the stringencies of the House of Shammai and the stringencies of the House of Hillel, about him Scripture says, “The fool walks in darkness” (Qoh. 2:14). But [it is proper] if one follows the House of Hillel [to follow both] their leniencies and their stringencies and if one follows the House of Shammai [to follow both] their leniencies and stringencies [T. Suk. 2:3].
G. But this text itself contains a contradiction. It states, In general the law is in accord with the House of Hillel. And then it teaches, But one who wishes to act [consistently] in accord with the words of the House of Shammai may do so.
H. This is not a contradiction. This [latter statement that one may follow the House of Shammai was made] prior to the issuance of the heavenly echo [that proclaimed the law follows the House of Hillel]. And that [former statement that in general the law follows the House of Hillel was made] after the issuance of the heavenly echo.
I. And if you prefer [both statements were made] even after the issuance of the heavenly echo. And this accords with the view of R. Joshua who said, “We do not pay heed to a heavenly echo.”
J. In any case the objection stands [against Raba for ruling in accord with the stringencies of both Rab and of Samuel].
K. Said R. Tabot, “[Raba] acted entirely in accord with the view of Rab.” For when Rami bar Ezekiel came [from Israel] he said, “Pay no attention to these principles that Judah my brother brought in the name of Rab. This is what Rab said, `For [defining the location of] the gullet the sages prescribed a fixed measure.'” We may derive [from this statement] the rule that the pharynx is not a valid place [in the neck] for slaughtering. And it states, “Any amount [makes it terefah].” [Accordingly Raba rules consistently in accord with Rab.]
A. At the top [of the gullet] how far [does the place valid for slaughter extend]? Said R. Nahman, “Up to [the place where there is enough left over] for the hand to grasp [the gullet at the top].”
B. At the bottom [of the gullet] how far [does the place valid for slaughter extend]? Said R. Nahman, said Rabbah bar Abbuha, “Up to the place where it has hair [i.e., villi (Cashdan)].”
C. Is this the case? Lo, said Rabina, said Geniva in the name of Rab, “The lower handbreadth in the gullet near the rumen, this is called the inner rumen.” How [could you say that the place where it has hair is a valid place for slaughter]? When he slaughters [the animal at that place] he is slaughtering in the rumen! It makes sense to maintain that the handbreadth in the rumen near the gullet, this is called the inner rumen.
D. If you prefer — what Rab spoke of was in reference to an ox where there is more hair [higher up on the gullet].
A. Said R. Nahman, said Samuel, “[In an animal even if] the pharynx is completely detached from the jaw, it is valid.” And our Tanna teaches in accord with this: And these are the valid [carcasses] among cattle: ... [if] the lower jaw is removed [M. 3:2].
B. R. Pappa objected [to the rule of Samuel], “But lo, there is [in such a case the defect of] the organs that are torn out.” But according to R. Pappa is there not a contradiction from the Mishnah itself: And these are the valid [carcasses] among cattle: ... [if] the lower jaw is removed?
C. It is consistent to say that the Mishnah does not contradict the view of R. Pappa. Here [in the case where we declare it to be invalid the jaw] was torn away with force along with the surrounding flesh]. And here [in the case where we declare it valid the jaw] was torn away but remains embedded in the flesh near the organs.
D. But according to Samuel the contradiction remains. Do not say that all of it [was detached]. Say rather that a majority [was detached].
E. But lo, said Rabbah bar bar Hannah, said Samuel, “[In a beast where the] organs were dangling, detached in the major part, it is terefah.”
F. Said R. Shisha the son of R. Idi, “Here [where we say it is valid] it was stripped apart [from the animal in a contiguous fashion]. Here [where we say that it is invalid] it was broken away [in various places from the flesh of the animal].”
A. [These are the terefah [carcasses] among cattle: (1) one in which the gullet is pierced,] (2) and one in which the windpipe is torn. It was taught: How much constitutes a torn windpipe? A majority. And how much is a majority? Rab said, [44b] “A majority of the thickest part.” And others say, “A majority of [the circumference of] its cavity.”
B. An animal with a torn windpipe was brought before Rab. He sat and inspected it to see if a majority of the thickest part [was torn]. Said to him R. Kahana and R. Assi to Rab, “Did not our master instruct us that [it is rendered invalid if it was torn] in a majority of its cavity?”
C. He sent it before Rabbah bar bar Hannah who inspected it [to determine if it was torn through] a majority of its cavity. And he declared it valid. And he bought from it thirteen ordinary istirae's worth of meat.
D. But how could he have done this [reversing another sage's decision]? For lo it was taught on Tannaite authority, Once a sage has declared something unclean his colleague is not permitted to declare it clean. [Once a sage has] declared something forbidden his colleague is not permitted to declare it permitted [T. Ed. 1:5].
E. This case is different because Rab did not declare it forbidden. [The general rule does not pertain to it.]
F. [Now what about the conflict of interest?] Since the sage issued a ruling concerning [the meat], how could he eat from it?
G. But lo, it is written, “Then I said, `Ah Lord God! behold, I have never defiled myself; from my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has foul flesh come into my mouth'” (Ezek. 4:14). “Behold, I have never defiled myself,” [means that I was so pious that] I never reflected during the day about becoming unclean at night. “From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts,” [means, I was so pious that] I never in my life ate meat [from an animal at the point of death that was slaughtered in haste as they cried out], “Slaughter it, slaughter it.” “Nor has foul flesh come into my mouth,” [means] that I never ate from an animal [about whose validity there was some question and] a sage pronounced it [was valid].
H. In the name of R. Nathan they said [the last phrase means], “I never ate from an animal whose priestly gifts had not been given.” [This was an act of piety because as a priest he could have eaten it anyway.]
I. This concern [that it is an act of piety not to eat meat that a sage pronounced valid] applies to a case [where there was a question and he declared it valid] based on an issue of logical reasoning.
J. Rabbah bar bar Hannah [in C above] provided [additional] support [for his decision to reverse the ruling and to permit the meat].
K. But let us exclude this [justification] because there is a suspicion [that the sage is taking compensation for a favorable ruling]. As it was taught on Tannaite authority, [A judge] after he rendered the judgement, declared [the material] exempt or liable, unclean or clean, prohibited or permitted, and the witnesses who testified, all of them are permitted to purchase [a portion of the material about which they rendered judgement]. But the sages said, “Make yourself distant from what is ugly or what appears ugly” [T. Yeb. 4:7 and ARN 2].
L. This concern applies to something that one purchases through an appraisal [of the value of the object]. Here [in the case of meat] its weight is the evidence [that he receives no benefit from his ruling].
M. [This case is similar to] this one. Rabbah permitted [by his ruling the consumption of an animal that was thought to be] a terefah and he purchased meat from it. Said to him the daughter of R. Hisda, “My father permitted [by his ruling the consumption of an animal that was] a firstling and he did not buy meat from it.” He said to her, “This concern applies to a firstling that is sold by appraisal. Here [in the case of terefah] its weight is the evidence [that I received no benefit from my ruling]. What other [suspicion] is there? [Might they suspect] that I received the best cut of the meat? [That is not a pertinent suspicion.] Every day they sell me the best cut of the meat [out of respect].”
N. Said R. Hisda, “Who is considered a [true] disciple of the sages? He who sees [that it is proper to rule] that his own animal is terefah.” And said R. Hisda, “Who is [the true subject of the verse], `[He who is greedy for unjust gain makes trouble for his household, but] he who hates bribes will live' (Prov. 15:27)? He who sees [that it is proper to rule] that his own animal is terefah.”
O. Mar Zutra expounded in the name of R. Hisda, “Anyone who recites the Scripture and repeats the Mishnah and who sees [that it is proper to rule] that his own animal is terefah, and who serves disciples of the sages, about him Scripture says, `You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you' (Ps. 128:2).”
P. R. Zebid said, “He [who acts in this manner] merits and inherits both worlds — this world and the world to come. `You shall be happy,' in this world. `And it shall be well with you,' in the world to come.”
Q. When they sent something to R. Eleazar from the Patriarch's house, he would not take it. And when they invited him [for a meal] he would not go. He said, “The master [by doing this shows that he] does not want me to live. For it is written, `He who hates bribes will live' (Prov. 15:27).”