When they sent something to R. Zira [from the Patriarch's house,] he would not take it. And when they invited him [for a meal] he would go. He said, [45a] “They receive honor by honoring me [so when I go it is not a bribe for me].”
A. Said R. Judah, said Rab, “If [the windpipe] was pierced [with a number of perforations] like a sieve, they combine them together to constitute a majority [and render the animal a terefah].” [Holes combine to constitute the measure for a tear in the windpipe.]
B. R. Jeremiah posed a question, “And regarding a skull that has one long hole [this is a sign the animal is terefah]. Or if there were many holes, they combine them together to constitute [the minimum measure of the size of] a drill hole. It seems [logical to conclude] that since the [minimum] measure is [the size of] a drill hole, they combine together to constitute [a measure the size of] a drill hole. Here as well [with regard to the measure of a hole in the windpipe that constitutes a terefah] since its [minimum] measure is [the size of] an issar [a small coin], they combine together to constitute [a measure the size of] an issar.” [He argues that you should reckon holes in regard to the measure for holes, not the measure for a tear in the windpipe.]
C. He [Jeremiah] must have neglected that said by R. Helbo, said R. Hama bar Goria, said Rab, “Holes resulting from a loss [of a piece of bone or cartilage] combine together to constitute [a measure the size of] an issar. [Holes] not resulting from a loss [but rather from a piercing] combine together to constitute a majority [of the circumference, that is a tear that would invalidate the windpipe].” [Judah in A referred to a case of the latter kind of piercing.]
D. Said Rabbah bar bar Hannah, said R. Joshua b. Levi, “If he removed a strip [from the windpipe], it combines [with other holes] to constitute [a measure] the size of an issar [to invalidate the animal].”
E. R. Yitzhak bar Nahmani asked R. Joshua b. Levi, “If [the windpipe] was pierced [with a number of perforations] like a sieve, what is the law?”
F. He said to him, “Lo, they said, `Holes resulting from a loss [of a piece of bone or cartilage] combine together to constitute [a measure the size of] an issar. [Holes] not resulting from a loss [but rather from a piercing] combine together to constitute a majority.'”
G. What is the law for fowl? [What is the minimum measure for holes that result from a loss in its windpipe?] Said R. Yitzhak bar Nahmani, “This was interpreted for me by R. Eleazar. [He cuts around all the holes in the windpipe until he can fold over the tissue with the holes.] He folds the tissue and places it over the opening of the windpipe. If it covers the majority of the windpipe, it is terefah. And if not then it is valid.”
H. Said R. Pappa, “And the mnemonic [for this interpretation is]: a sieve. [When he folds the tissue with the holes over the opening it looks like a sieve.]”
I. If it [the windpipe] was slashed [in three ways so that the tissue was hanging] like a door — said R. Nahman, “[It is terefah if there is enough room in the opening] so that an issar could pass through it across the width [of the opening, but not if it can pass through only diagonally].”
A. If it [the windpipe] was slit lengthwise — said Rab, “Even if there remained only one ring intact at the top and one ring intact at the bottom [but all the other rings were split] it is valid.”
B. They said this before R. Yohanan. He said, “What is [the need for] this ring [to be intact at the top] and what is [the need for] this ring [to be intact at the bottom] that Rab spoke of? Rather it makes sense to maintain that even if there remained any amount [intact] at the top and any amount at the bottom, it is valid.”
C. They said this before R. Yohanan in this regard in the name of R. Jonathan. He said to them, “Those Babylonian associates know how to interpret things in a logical way.”
A. R. Hiyya bar Joseph taught in the name of R. Yohanan, “Any place in the neck is valid for slaughtering, from the large ring until the bottom lobe of the lung.”
B. Said Raba, “The bottom [lobe actually] means the upper [lobe that is found at the bottom]. For I say that [you may slaughter anywhere that is accessible] as it [naturally] extends its neck to graze. But you may not force it [to extend its neck to find additional accessible places to slaughter].”
C. R. Hanina posed a question. And alternatively: R. Hanania. “What is the law if it forced itself [to extend its neck]?” The question stands unresolved.
D. R. Yohanan and R. Simeon b. Laqish were sitting and they jointly issued the following rule of law: If [an animal] was forced [to stretch] its organs and he slaughtered [at a place in the neck ordinarily inaccessible] it is invalid. If the windpipe was pierced below in the breast, it is judged to be [a puncture] in the lung.
E. Our rabbis taught on Tannaite authority, What is the breast? Whatever is visible from the ground and upward, through to the neck, and downward through to the belly. One cuts it off and removes it from between the two walls on either side [T. 9:13 A-C]. And this is the breast that is given to the priests.
A. [If] the membrane of the brain is pierced [M. 3:1 C]. Rab and Samuel, the two of them said, “[This rule refers to a case where] the exterior membrane [was pierced, the dura mater (Cashdan)], even if the interior membrane [pia mater (Cashdan)] was not pierced [it is terefah].”
B. And there are those that say [it is not terefah] until the interior membrane is pierced.
C. Said R. Samuel bar Nahmani, “Your mnemonic for this is: The sack in which the brain rests.” [The word for sack, hyyt', resembles the word for living, hy.]
D. Said Rabbah bar bar Hannah, said R. Joshua b. Levi, “The same [structure of interior and exterior membranes] is observable in the [animal's] testicles.”
E. Said R. Simeon b. Pazzi, said R. Joshua b. Levi, in the name of Bar Qappara, “The brain is defined as all that is found in the cranium. Where it starts to draw away [from the cranium] that is defined as the spinal cord.”
F. And from what point does it start to draw away? Said R. Yitzhak bar Nahmani, “R. Joshua b. Levi's [rule] was explained to me. There are two bean [shaped objects, i.e., the occipital condyles that articulate the cranium to the first vertebra (Cashdan)] [45b] attached at the cranial opening. From the place of these beans and inside [the cranium] is defined as part of the [brain] inside. And from the place of these beans and outside [the cranium] is defined as [the spinal cord] outside. And at the place of these beans themselves, I do not know [the law]. But its makes sense that they are [defined as part of the brain] inside.”
G. R. Jeremiah examined a fowl and found objects like two beans attached at the cranial opening.
A. [If] the heart is pierced up to the cavity thereof [M. 3:1 C]. R. Zira posed the question: [Does this mean] the small cavity [the atrium] or the large cavity [the ventricle]? Said to him Abbaye, “What is your question? Was it not taught [in an analogous case] in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority, R. Simeon says, `[It is not terefah] until its bronchial tubes are pierced' [M. 3:1 E]?”
B. And said Rabbah bar Tahlifa, said R. Jeremiah bar Abba, said Rab, [this means], “Until its large bronchial tube is pierced.”
C. [Zira answered], “Are these cases comparable? There it is taught, Bronchial tubes, [lit., the housing of the tubes, which implies] to the place where the bronchial tubes all converge. And here it is taught, The cavity, [lit., the housing of the heart]. What is the difference to me if it refers to the large cavity or the small cavity?” [In either case it is terefah.]
A. [Concerning a piercing of] the main artery of the heart [i.e., the aorta] — Rab says, “Any amount [renders the animal terefah].” And Samuel says, “A majority [renders the animal terefah].”
B. Where is the aorta? Said Rabbah bar Yitzhak, said Rab, “It is the fat [artery] adjacent to the walls [of the chest cavity].”
C. The walls? Does that make sense? Rather [say that it is the artery that is] adjacent to the walls of the lung [i.e., the mediastal cavity (Cashdan)].
D. Said Amemar in the name of R. Nahman, “There are three [large] arteries. One diverges to the heart [i.e. the aorta]. One diverges to the lungs [i.e., the windpipe, not an artery]. And one diverges to the liver [i.e., the vena cava inferior (Cashdan)]. The one that diverges to the lung is considered to be part of the lung [with regard to defects in the animal]. The one that diverges to the liver is considered to be part of the liver. The one that diverges to the heart, is the subject of a dispute.”
E. R. Hiyya bar Rab went and recited the teaching of Rab in front of Samuel. He said to him, “If this is what Abba [Rab] said, then he knew nothing about [the laws of] terefot.”
A. [If] the backbone is broken [so that the spinal cord is severed] [M. 3:1 C]. It was taught on Tannaite authority, If the spinal cord was snapped [Talmud here adds: through a majority of the cord], it is invalid [Talmud adds: the words of Rabbi]. R. Jacob says, "Even if it [the spinal cord] was perforated, [it is invalid] [T. 3:1 F-G]."
B. Rabbi taught [that the law was] in accord with R. Jacob. Said R. Huna, “The law is not in accord with R. Jacob.”
C. And how much constitutes a majority [of the cord]? Rab said, “A majority of its skin [i.e., its membrane].” And some say, “A majority of its inner matter [i.e., of the medulla (Cashdan) even if the membrane is intact].”
D. According to the authority who says [it is terefah if severed in], “A majority of its inner matter,” certainly [it is terefah if severed in], “A majority of the skin” [because once the membrane breaks the spinal matter will cease to be intact].
E. But according to the authority who says [it is terefah if severed in], “A majority of its skin,” what is the law [if it is severed in], “A majority of it inner matter?”
F. Come and take note: For said Nivli, said R. Huna, “The majority about which they spoke refers to the majority of the skin. [Severing] this inner matter makes no difference at all.”
G. R. Nathan bar Abin was sitting before Rab. He inspected [a spinal cord for severance] of the majority of its skin and he inspected it [for severance] of a majority of its inner matter. He [Rab] said to him, “If the majority of the skin is intact, [severing of] this inner matter makes no difference at all.”
A. Said Rabbah bar bar Hannah, said R. Joshua b. Levi, “[If the spinal matter] turned into liquid, it is invalid. [If the spinal matter] turned soft, it is invalid.” What is the definition of “turned into liquid”? And what is the definition of “turned soft”? “Turned into liquid” [means] it can be poured. “Turned soft” [means] it cannot stand [on its own without a container].
B. R. Jeremiah posed the question: If it cannot stand [on its own] because of its own weight, what is the law? The question stands unresolved.
C. The House of Rab say, “If it turned soft, it is invalid. If it disintegrated [in part], it is valid.”
D. They posed this objection: R. Simeon b. Eleazar says, “An animal whose spinal matter disintegrated is terefah.” [They responded:] That was stated [actually where it] turned soft.
E. Does that make sense? But lo, Levi was sitting in the baths. He saw a person who hit his head [and injured his spine]. He said [about him], “This man's spine has disintegrated.” Did he not imply [by saying this that because of the injury] the man could not continue to live? Said Abbaye, “No. He meant to say that he was rendered impotent [as a result of such an injury].”
A. How long is the spinal cord [as far as the laws of defects are concerned]? Said R. Judah, said Samuel, “[It extends] to the place where the [sacral] nerves branch off.”
B. R. Dimi bar Yitzhak had to go to Be Huzai. He came before R. Judah. He said to him, “Will the master please show me where is the place where the nerves branch off?” He said to him, “Go fetch me a kid and I will show you.” He brought him a fattened kid. He said to him, “[The nerves] are embedded too much [in the fat] and I cannot identify them.” He brought him a thin kid. He said to him, “[The nerves] are protruding too much [and are too close to the bones] and I cannot identify them.” He said to him, “Come and I will teach you the rule [in any case even though I cannot demonstrate it for you]. This is what Samuel said, `[Any severing of the cord] up to the first branch [of the nerves] is terefah. After the third branch, it is valid. In the second branch, I do not know [the law].'”