And furthermore [we have a principle that] the Torah had mercy on the money of an Israelite [b. 49b].
I. Said R. Pappa to Rabbah [=Raba], “[We must take into account the view of] R. Simeon b. Laqish [who disputes the view of R. Yohanan in b. Pes. 84a and holds that the sinews are not deemed to be flesh]. And [we are dealing here with] a prohibition [of an animal that is terefah] that is based on the authority of the Torah. And you say, `What should we suspect?'”
J. He [Raba] was silent. And why was he silent? Lo, did Raba not say that the law follows in accord with the view of R. Simeon b. Laqish in these three [specified cases, not including ours, per b. Yeb. 36a]?
K. This one is different because R. Yohanan retracted his view regarding the matter in deference to the view of R. Simeon b. Laqish. For he said to him, “Stop annoying me. I teach this as a personal view.”
A. There was [a case of a bird] whose bone was broken and extruded outside the skin. A fragment [of the bone] was taken away from it. They brought it before Abayye [for a ruling]. He delayed [ruling on the matter] for three festivals. Said to him R. Ada bar Matna, “Go before Raba the son of R. Joseph bar Hama [for a ruling] because he is as sharp as a tack [and will find a way to permit the use of the bird].”
B. He said, “Consider that it was taught on Tannaite authority [in IV.1 A], `If the bone was broken and it extrudes [through the skin].' What difference does it make to me if [a piece] fell away or if it is still there?”
C. Said Rabina to Raba, “What is the law in the case of [flesh around an extruding bone] that must be gathered up [to constitute the minimum needed to cover it]? What is the law in the case of [flesh around an extruding bone] that was shredded? What is the law in the case of [flesh around an extruding bone] that was putrefied?”
D. What is the definition of [flesh around an extruding bone] that was putrefied? Any instance [of non-vital tissue] that the physician would scrape away [to help restore the living flesh][M. 3:1, XXVII.3 D, b. 53b].
E. They posed to them a question: What is the law in the case of [flesh around an extruding bone] that was pierced? What is the law if it was peeled away [from the bone]? What is the law if it was slit? What is the law if the inner third [layer of the flesh] was removed?
F. Come and take note: For said Ulla, said R. Yohanan, “The hide, lo it is the same as the flesh [IV.1 C].” [Certainly it should be sufficient in these cases where flesh remains in addition to the skin.] Perhaps [this is not a fair assumption] because the bone holds on to its own [skin but not on to the flesh in these cases].
G. Said R. Ashi, “When I was in the house of R. Pappi he posed a question to us, `What is the law if it [flesh] was sliced off like a ring [around a bone]?' And we answered him by making reference to this. For said R. Judah, said Rab, `This matter I asked of the sages and the physicians and they said [there is a ruling that] they may cut around with a bone [scalpel] and it will form a scab and heal up. But if one cuts with an iron [scalpel] it will inflame the flesh and infect the wound.”
H. Said R. Pappa, “It is the case that the bone causes its own [skin to adhere and this is the beginning of healing through the formation of a scab].”
I.1 begins with an exercise in Mishnah-criticism that clarifies the correct reading and meaning before us. II.1 further clarifies Mishnah's terms and rules. II.2-3 extend the rule of Mishnah and defines it. III.1 analyzes a dispute based on the rule of Mishnah. IV.1 cites a Tannaite complement to M and clarifies its meaning. Finally, IV.2 adds cases related to the foregoing and examines their premises.
A. He who slaughters the beast and found in it an afterbirth —
B. [slaughtering the mother renders it clean, so] a robust person will eat it.
C. But it is subject to neither the uncleanness of foods nor [if the beast dies] the uncleanness of carrion.
D. [If] he gave thought to it [for use as food], it imparts the uncleanness of foods [M. Uqsin 3:1], but not the uncleanness of carrion.
E. An afterbirth, part of which emerged, is prohibited to be eaten.
F. It is a token of [the birth of] an offspring in a woman, and the token of [the birth of] an offspring in a beast.
G. A beast which, producing its first born, dropped an afterbirth —
H. one should throw it to the dogs.
I. And in the case of Holy Things, it is to be buried.
J. They do not bury it at the crossroads.
K. And they do not hang it on a tree,
L. because of [the prohibition against imitating] the ways of the Amorites.
A. What is the source of these assertions? As it was taught by our rabbis on Tannaite authority: “Every animal [that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two, and chews the cud, among the animals], it you may eat” (Deut. 14:6) — this [phrasing of the verse has extraneous words and thereby] includes in the rule the afterbirth. You might infer that even if part of it [the foetus] came out [it, the afterbirth, should be permitted as it is a different entity]. It comes to teach [to the contrary by the addition of the word], “it [you may eat].” “It [you may eat]” and not its afterbirth.
B. Consider [that this is stated in an explicit rule]: There is only an afterbirth where there is a foetus [i.e., they have the same status, b. B.Q. 11a]. Why then do I need to infer the rule from a verse? The verse is merely a secondary support.
A. But it is subject to neither the uncleanness of foods nor [if the beast dies] the uncleanness of carrion [M. 4:7 C]. R. Yitzhak bar Nappaha posed a question: What is the law regarding the hide of an ass that was boiled [until it softened]? To which [law is he referring]? If [the question refers] to the law of rendering foods unclean, this was taught on Tannaite authority. [77b] If [the question refers] to the law of rendering unclean as carrion, this was taught on Tannaite authority.
B. With regard to rendering foods unclean — as it was taught on Tannaite authority: The hide and the afterbirth [of unclean animals] do not render foods unclean. Hide that was boiled and an afterbirth that he intended [to eat from these animals] do render foods unclean [b. Erub. 28b].
C. With regard to the law of [these parts of the animal] rendering unclean as carrion, this also was taught on Tannaite authority: “[And if any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches] its carcass [shall be unclean until the evening]” (Lev. 11:39) — and not [one who touches] its hide, and not its sinews, and not its horns, and not its hooves.
D. And said Rabbah bar bar Hannah, “It was necessary to teach this only [to exclude these parts of the animal from the law of the uncleanness of carrion] where he stewed them in a pot [to make them edible].”
E. It is consistent to conclude that [the question was posed in A in reference to] the law of rendering foods unclean. And [even though the matter is stated explicitly] the case of the hide of an ass is different [from the ordinary case of hides] because it is disgusting.
A. An afterbirth, part of which emerged, is prohibited to be eaten [M. 4:7 E]. Said R. Eleazar, “They taught this only in the case where there is no foetus with it [i.e., with that part that remains in the womb of the mother]. But where there is a foetus with it, they do not suspect that there is another foetus [and that it came out with the first part of the afterbirth].”
B. And R. Yohanan said, “Whether there is not or is a foetus with it, we do suspect that there is another foetus.”
C. Is this accurate? For lo, said R. Jeremiah, “R. Eleazar stated a strict rule.”
D. But if you wish to state the matter [correctly], here is how you should state the matter: Said R. Eleazar, “They taught this only in the case where it was not attached to the foetus. But where it was attached to the foetus, they do not suspect that there is another foetus.”
E. And R. Yohanan said, “For our purposes we rule [in this manner] only where there is an afterbirth without a foetus. But where there is a foetus with it, whether it is attached to the foetus or it is not attached to the foetus, we do not suspect that there is another foetus.”
F. And this is consistent with what R. Jeremiah said, “R. Eleazar stated a strict rule.”
G. There is a Tannaite teaching in accord with the view of R. Eleazar: One who aborts [a foetus that looks like] a kind of beast, or wild beast, or fowl, and the afterbirth is [aborted] with it — as long as it is attached to [the foetus], we do not suspect that there is another foetus. If it was not attached to the [foetus], lo I apply to this case the strict rule of [assuming that there were] two foetuses. [One foetus may have been a female and she would have to observe fourteen days of uncleanness on account of that abortion.] For I say, perhaps the [other] foetus of that afterbirth dissolved. Or perhaps the afterbirth of [this animal-like] foetus dissolved.
A. A beast which, producing its first born, dropped an afterbirth — one should throw it to the dogs [M. 4:7 G-H]. What is the basis for this rule? Said R. Iqa the son of R. Ammi, “[We have a principle:] The majority of animals give birth to a firstling that is holy. And a minority of animals give birth to a firstling that is not holy.” And what is that [animal that is not holy]? [A sheep or a goat that gave birth to] a similar [species of animal. See M. Bekh. 2:5.]
B. And all those that give birth, give birth half the time to males and half the time to females. You may add the minority of cases of [a sheep or a goat that give birth to] a similar [species] to the half that are [normally born] female. And the chances of a [normal] male birth will then be in the minority. [This is the logical basis for our rule in the Mishnah.]
A. And in the case of Holy Things, it is to be buried [M. 4:7 I]. What is the basis for this rule? The majority of offspring of holy animals are holy.
A. They do not bury it at the crossroads [M. 4:7 J]. Abayye and Raba both said, “Anything that is done to heal, may not classified as a [prohibited] practice of the Amorites. [Anything] that is not done to heal, may be classified as a [prohibited] practice of the Amorites.”
B. But lo it was taught on Tannaite authority: A tree that drops all its fruits off may be tinted red or have stones heaped on it.
C. Now it makes perfect sense to say that one may heap on it stones [78a] because this will weaken its [excessive] power [and heal it of its dysfunction]. But why should they permit it to be tinted red? [This appears to be a magical practice.] In order that people will see it and seek mercy for it [through prayer].
D. As was taught on Tannaite authority: “[The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip] and cry, `Unclean, unclean'” (Lev. 13:45). He does this to inform the public [of his malady] so that the public will seek mercy for him [through prayer].
E. And likewise anyone who is afflicted in some way must inform the public so that the public will seek mercy for him [through prayer].
F. Said Rabina, “In accord with whose view [are we permitted] to hang a basket [of dates] on a tree [that drops its fruit]? In accord with this Tannaite authority [of B].”
I.1 provides scriptural basis for the rules of Mishnah. II-VI clarify the meaning and underlying principles of Mishnah.