A. A certain Aramean [alt.: Roman, but from the context: illusionist] saw a certain man fall from the roof to the ground. His abdomen burst and his intestines protruded. He brought the man's son and created the illusion that he was slaughtering him [the son] before him [the father]. [57a] He [the father, upon seeing the apparition,] swooned and sighed deeply and drew [his intestines] back into his abdomen and they stitched up his belly.
A. (6) [If] its legs are broken [M. 3:4 E]. A certain basket of crippled birds was brought before Raba [for a ruling]. Raba inspected them at the nexus of the sinews and he declared them fit.
B. Said R. Judah, said Rab, “[A case of] a dislocated fore-leg in an animal is valid. [A case of] a dislocated femur in an animal is terefah. [A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah. [A case of] a dislocated wing in a bird is terefah. [In that case] we suspect that perhaps the lung was pierced.”
C. And Samuel said, “Let it [i.e., the lung of a bird with a dislocated wing] be inspected.” And so said R. Yohanan, “Let it [i.e., the lung of a bird with a dislocated wing] be inspected.”
D. Hezekiah said, “There are no [defect that renders terefah in the] lungs in a bird.” And R. Yohanan said, “There are. And they are like the petals of a rose between the wings.”
E. What does it mean: There are not lungs in a bird? If you say it means that they have none at all, but lo we can see that they do have. Rather it must mean that they are not rendered terefah by [defects in] them.
F. But lo, Levi taught, `The terefot that the sages enumerated for an animal all have equivalents for a fowl. There is an additional one for fowl: If the bone is pierced [it is invalid] even if the membrane of the brain was not pierced'” [M. 3:3 I:3 A, b. 56a].
G. Rather what does it mean? There are no [defects in the lungs in a bird that affect its status], neither if it falls [from a roof], nor if it is scorched [in a flame]. What is the basis for this view? Said R. Hanna, “Because the majority of its ribs protect them [from becoming defective].” But lo what [is the implication of what] R. Yohanan said [in D], “There are. And they are like the petals of a rose between the wings?” We may derive from this the conclusion that Hezekiah reasons that they have no [lungs].
H. But they said in the West [Israel] in the name of R. Yosé b. R. Hanina, “From the words of Beribbi [i.e., Hezekiah] it is understood that he is not knowledgeable in [the anatomy of] fowls.”
A. Said R. Huna, said Rab, “[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is valid.” Said to him Rabbah bar R. Huna to R. Huna, “But lo the rabbis who came from Pumbedita said [that] R. Judah in the name of Rab said, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah.'”
B. He said to him, “Every river runs its own course.” [Every place has its own customs.]
C. R. Abba went and found R. Jeremiah bar Abba inspecting the nexus of the sinews. He [Abba] said to him, “Why is the master doing all this?” But lo [said] R. Huna, said Rab, “[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is valid.”
D. He [Jeremiah] said to him, “I know the Mishnah [that says], A beast, the [hind] legs of which are cut off below the knee, is valid. [If they are cut off] above the knee, it is invalid. And so [if] the juncture of the thigh sinews was removed [it is invalid]. [M. 4:6 A-C].” And Rab said regarding this, “The same applies to a bird.”
E. If this is the case, then we have a contradiction between one statement of Rab [cited in C] and the other [cited in D]. He [Jeremiah] was silent. He [Abba] said to him, “Perhaps he [Rab] differentiated between a dislocated [femur] and one that had been cut.” He [Jeremiah] said to him, “Are you explaining the teaching of Rab? Rab said explicitly, `A dislocated [femur] is valid. A cut [femur] is invalid.' And do not be surprised [by these rules]. For lo, you may cut from this place and [the animal] will die. You may cut this [other] place and [the animal] will live.” [Cf. M. 3:1 XIV.1 I, b. 48b.]
F. When R. Abba departed [for Israel] he found R. Zira sitting and saying, “Said R. Huna, said Rab, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah.'” He said to him, “By the master's life! Since the time you departed to come here [57b] we had a chance to speak before R. Huna. And we asked him [about this matter]. And he said to us, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is valid.' And we also found R. Jeremiah bar Abba who was sitting and inspecting the nexus of the sinews. And we asked him, `Does not the master reason in accord with that which R. Huna said in the name of Rab: [A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is valid?'”
G. He said to us, “I know the Mishnah [that says], A beast, the [hind] legs of which are cut off below the knee, is valid. [If they are cut off] above the knee, it is invalid. And so [if] the juncture of the thigh sinews was removed [it is invalid]. [M. 4:6 A-C].” And Rab said regarding this, “The same applies to a bird.”
H. And we said to him, “If this is the case then we have a contradiction between one statement of Rab and the other.” He [Jeremiah] was silent. And we asked him, “Perhaps he [Rab] differentiated between a dislocated [femur] and one that had been cut.” He [Jeremiah] said to me, “Are you explaining the teaching of Rab? Rab said explicitly, `A dislocated [femur] is valid. A cut [femur] is invalid.'”
I. And what more do you [Zira] have [to contribute to this discussion]? [He said,] “This is what R. Hiyya bar Ashi said, said Rab, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah.' And so said R. Jacob bar Idi, said R. Yohanan, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah.'”
J. And said R. Jacob bar Idi, “If R. Yohanan had been in that place when the associates ruled that it was permitted, he would not dare to raise a finger to oppose the ruling [because of the greatness of those sages].”
K. For said R. Hanina, said Rabbi, “[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is valid.” And R. Hanina had a hen that had a dislocated femur. And he brought it before Rabbi [for a ruling]. And he ruled to permit it to him. And R. Hanina pickled it [to keep it as an exhibit]. And he would teach the law to his students with it [saying], “This is what Rabbi ruled to permit for me. This is what Rabbi ruled to permit for me.”
L. And the law does not follow in accord with any of these teachings. Rather [it is in accord] with what R. Yosé b. Nehorai asked R. Joshua b. Levi, “How large must the hole be in the windpipe [to render it terefah]?” He said to him, “We learned a absolute [rule in the] Mishnah about this: So much as an Italian issar [M. 3:2 B].”
M. He [Yosé] said to him, “But there was a lamb in our neighborhood that had a hole in its windpipe and they made for it a tube of a reed [and inserted it in the windpipe] and it lived [that way].”
N. He [Joshua] said to him, “But can you rely on that [single case as proof of the law]? But lo the law was disseminated in Israel that, `[A case of] a dislocated femur in a bird is terefah.' And [yet] R. Simeon b. Halafta had a hen whose femur was dislocated. And they made for it a tube of a reed [to replace it] and it lived [that way].”
O. But what can you say regarding this [latter case]? It [lived] less than twelve months [that way]. Here too [in the former case] it [lived] less than twelve months. [And the principle is that if it can live less than twelve months with an injury it is terefah.]
A. They said concerning R. Simeon b. Halafta that he was an inventor. And he performed an act to dissuade R. Judah [from his view]. For R. Judah used to say, If the fuzz is removed, it is invalid [M. 3:4 F]. And R. Simeon b. Halafta had a hen whose fuzz had been removed. And he put it in an oven and he dressed it in a leather apron of bronze workers [that is constantly hot]. And it grew more new feathers than it had originally.
B. But perhaps [this was not valid proof that the condition is not a severe enough defect to render the bird terefah because] R. Judah reasons that a terefah may show [temporary] signs of improvement. But is this so [that it would improve] in the very manner in which it became terefah? It grew more new feathers than it had originally!
C. What does it mean that he was an inventor? Said R. Mesharshayya, “As it is written, `Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest' (Prov. 6:6-8). He [Simeon] said, `I will go and see if it is true that he [the ant] has no ruler.' He went at the season of Tammuz [the summer solstice] and spread his cloak [over an ant hill]. One of them came out. He marked it with a sign. It went back in and said to them [the other ants], 'The shade has descended.' They all came out. He removed his cloak [from the hill] and the sun shined upon them. So they pounced on that ant [that misled them like a mob] and killed him. He [Simeon] said, `'We may derive from this that they have no ruler. For if they had, would they not have had to seek the authority of the ruler [before killing that ant]?”
D. Said R. Aha the son of Raba to R. Ashi, “But perhaps there was a ruler among them. Or perhaps they did have the authority of the ruler. Or perhaps it was between the reign of one ruler and another. As it is written, `In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes' (Jud. 17:6). [No. You must reject all these alternatives.] Rather, you must rely on Solomon's integrity [in his statement about the ants. Accordingly, it must be that they had no king.]”
A. Said R. Huna, “A sign [that an animal with a physical defect is not to be deemed a] terefah [is that it lives] twelve months [after developing the defect].”
B. They posed an objection: [Another source says,] A sign [that an animal with a physical defect is to be deemed a] terefah [is that] it does not give birth. [That is, if it gives birth, it is not deemed to be a terefah.] Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says, “If its health improves, we know that it is valid. If its health deteriorates, we know that it is terefah.”
C. Rabbi [var. R. Meir] says, “A sign [that an animal with a physical defect is not] terefah [is that it lives] thirty days.” They said to him [by way of objection], “But lo, many live two or three years.”
D. This [issue] is the [principle behind] a Tannaite dispute. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: 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 [a sign that it is terefah if they exceed the minimum measure of the size of] a drill hole [b. 45a, M. 3:1 VII.1 B].
E. Said R. Yosé b. Meshullam, “Once at Ayn Ibl a person's skull was broken. And they used a gourd hull as a splint for it. And he lived.” Said to him R. Simeon b. Eleazar, “From this we have no proof. It was during the summer. [The weather was mild and there was no stress on the person.] As soon as winter came, he died.”
F. Said R. Aha bar Jacob, “The law is in accord with the view that [an animal with a physical defect may be deemed a] terefah [even if] it gives birth or if its health improves.”