V. For [the rules of first shearings are similar to the laws for the firstling in eight ways, but not to the rules of tithes. With regard to tithes:] (1) An orphan [animal, whose mother died when it was born is not liable to the rules of tithes]; (2) [An animal that was] purchased [is not liable to tithes]; (3) [An animal that was] owned by partners [is not liable to tithes]; (4) [An animal that was] given [to someone as a gift is not liable to tithes]; (5) [The laws of tithes apply only] in the presence [of the Temple, i.e. while it stands in Jerusalem]; (6) The priest [receives the first born and the first shearings but not the animal tithes]; [137A] (7) [Animals designated as tithes must be] consecrated [by designation at the time they are separated. First born animals attain sanctity without special designation and first shearings have no inherent sanctity]; (8) [Firstlings and first shearings may be] sold [by the priest. Animal tithes may not be sold].
W. Accordingly, the rules [of first shearings] have more points in common [with the rules for the firstling than with the rules for animal tithes. Let us then make a complete analogy between those two sets of rules.]
X. [No. It is better to] learn an inference regarding [the rules of] an ordinary [i.e., unconsecrated offering such as first shearings] from [another] ordinary [unconsecrated offering, such as animal tithes].
A. But the [law regarding the] first shearings [of wool from the sheep of one's flock] applies only to sheep [M. 11:1 G].
B. What is the basis in scripture for this matter?
C. Said R. Hisda, “We derive [an inference by virtue of the common usage of the language concerning] `shearings' [in the case of first shearings] and `shearings' [in a verse in Job].”
D. Here it says, “Of the first shearings of your flock you shall give to him” (Deut. 18:4).
E. And there it says, “And with the shearings of my sheep I was not warmed” (Job 31:20).
F. Just as the latter verse refers to sheep, so too the former verse refers to sheep.
G. And why not derive [an inference by virtue of the common usage of the language concerning] `shearings' [in the case of first shearings] and `shearings' [in regard to the law of the first born]?
H. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: “You shall do no work with the first born of your oxen and you shall not shear the first born of your flock” (Deut. 15:19). From this verse we may derive only [the prohibition against] working with [first born] oxen and [against] shearing [first born] sheep.
I. Whence may we apply [the prohibition] stipulated for the former [i.e., against working] for the latter [i.e., for sheep] and [the prohibition] stipulated for the latter [i.e., against shearing the hair] for the former [i.e., for oxen]?
J. The verse comes to teach, “You shall do no work,” and “You shall not shear.” [The general language of the prohibition precedes the specific application to the cases in the verse.]
K. Scripture states, “[Of the first shearings of your flock] you shall give to him” (Deut. 18:4). [You must give it to him to make into clothing fit to wear] and not to use for making into his sack. [This excludes from the obligation of first shearings the hair of oxen that is not fit for wearing but can only be used for making a sack.]
L. But on this basis we should infer that the hair of goats be liable [to the rule of the first shearings because from it one can make clothing to wear].
M. [No, it is not liable.] It is necessary to “shear” the animal and [for hair] they do not do it. [In this case they remove in another way the hair from the goat].
N. Who derives this conclusion [that we infer from the wording of the verse that the animal must be sheared for the wool or hair to be liable]? R. Yosé.
O. But lo does not R. Yosé admit that [any wool or hair is liable to first shearings as long as it is removed] in its normal fashion? [Accordingly, goats' hair removed by means other than shearing also should be liable.]
P. Rather [this conclusion must accord with] that which R. Joshua b. Levi said, “[Because the Lord your God chose him (Levi) from among all of your tribes] to stand and serve [in the name of the Lord]” (Deut. 18:5). This implies that [to be included in the obligation of first shearings an item must be] fit for service. So too, anything that is fit for service [is liable to the law of first shearings].
Q. What then is the implication of [the common usage of the language concerning] `shearings' [in the case of first shearings] and `shearings' [in the verse in the book of Job]?
R. [It supports] what the House of R. Ishmael taught. For the House of R. Ishmael taught, “Sheep whose wool is stiff are exempt from the obligation of the first shearing. As it says, `And with the shearings of my sheep I was not warmed' (Job 31:20).” [One uses only soft wool for clothing to warm himself.]
A. It was taught in one [source]: One who shears [off the hair of] goats or one who washes [the wool of] sheep [and plucks it off] is exempt [in both cases from separating first shearings because this is not the usual practice].
B. And it was taught in another [source]: One who shears [off the hair of] goats is exempt [from separating first shearings]. And one who washes [the wool of] sheep [and plucks it off] is liable [to separate first shearings].
C. It is no contradiction. One [source] accords with the view of the rabbis and the other [source] accords with the view of R. Yosé.
D. For it was taught: [The verse says,] “The gleaning of your harvest” (Lev. 19:9), not the gleaning of your plucking.
E. R. Yosé says, “Gleaning is an activity that follows only the harvest [i.e., cutting of one's crops and not the plucking of one's crops]” [T. Peah 2:14].
F. Is not [the view of] R. Yosé in accord with that of the first Tanna [of the Tosefta passage]?
G. The whole [passage accords with the view of] R. Yosé. And this is how it should have been taught: In accord with what R. Yosé says, “Gleaning is an activity that follows only the harvest [i.e. cutting of one's crops and not the plucking of one's crops].”
A. Said R. Aha the son of Raba to R. Ashi, “R. Yosé concedes [that produce not cut in the harvest is liable to the laws of gleanings wherever the produce is gathered in any way] in accord with the normal practice [for that produce].”
B. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: R. Yosé says, “[The term in the verse is], `Harvest.' From this I can deduce that what is harvested [i.e. cut, is liable to the rules of gleanings]. What is the basis in scripture [to teach us that produce that was] uprooted [is liable to the rules of gleanings]? The verse teaches, `To harvest.' What is the basis in scripture [to teach us that produce that was] plucked [is liable to the rules of gleanings]? The verse teaches, `In your harvest' (Lev. 23:22).”
C. Said Rabina to R. Ashi, “We have taught a similar rule: [Yosé rules that we follow common practice as a guide to liability of produce to agricultural rules in another case.] [Concerning the liability to leave the corners of a field for the poor in the case of] rows of onions [growing] between [rows of] green vegetables: R. Yosé says, `One must leave over the corner of each row [of onions].' And sages say, `[One may leave over] one [set of corners] for the whole [field]' [M. Peah 3:4]. [In general vegetables are not subject ot the law of Peah because they are perishable. According to Yosé onions are liable to the law of Peah because normal practice is to store them for long periods of time, as for instance for grain.]”
A. And how many constitute “a large number?” [M. 11:1 I]. The view of the House of Shammai [in the Mishnah] makes sense. Two sheep also may be called a “flock.” [“A man shall rear a young cow and two sheep.” The term for flock is used in the verse referring to two animals, and this may apply to any situation, cf. Isa. 7:21].
B. But what is the basis in scripture for the opinion of the House of Hillel [that the minimum for liability to first shearings is five sheep]?
C. Said R. Kahana, “Scripture stated, `Five sheep prepared' (I Sam. 25:18). [`Prepared' (the plural form) implies that] they perform with them [at least] two commandments: [the separation of] first shearings, and of the gifts [to the priest of the shoulder, two cheeks and maw].”
D. Why not maintain [the language of the verse implies that with those sheep they must fulfill two other commandments]: the [obligation to give to the priest the] firstling, and the gifts [of the shoulder, two cheeks and maw].
E. But [this is not a valid objection because] is not a single animal also liable [to the laws of the firstling]?
F. But following this line of argument, [one can ask] is not a single animal also liable to [the laws of] the gifts [of the shoulder, two cheeks and maw]?
G. But said R. Ashi, “[The term] `Prepared' [implies something else]: They [these five sheep] provide their owner [with a means of fulfilling another obligation, viz. to give of the first shearings to the priest]. And [the presence of this minimum number of sheep] asserts upon him a claim to rise and perform a commandment.”
A. It was taught on Tannaite authority: [A member of] the House of R. Ishmael the son of R. Yosé says in the name of his father, “[The minimum number of sheep subject to the rule of first shearings is] four.”
B. As it says [in scripture], “And four of the flock in place of the lamb” (Exod. 21:37). [The verse specifies the number four in connection with the term, “flock.”]
C. It was taught on Tannaite authority: Said Rabbi, “Even if their words [i.e., of the Houses of Shammai and Hillel in the Mishnah] were based on the Torah, and the words of the House of Rabbi [Ishmael the son of R. Yosé] were based on tradition [alone, that is from verses in the prophets], we would accept the words of the House of Rabbi [Ishmael the son of R. Yosé]. And all the more so [should we accept the view of the House of R. Ishmael the son of R. Yosé] because their words [i.e., the views of the Houses] are based on tradition [i.e., verses in the prophets] and the words of the House of Rabbi [Ishmael the son of R. Yosé] are based on the Torah.”
D. But lo, said Mar, “A third [independent view presented as a compromise] decision is not a binding decision [at all because it takes neither side of the dispute into consideration].”
E. [137B] Said R. Yohanan, “[R. Yosé] based his view on a revelation transmitted [through the generations to him] from [the time of the last prophets] Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.” [His view is authoritative.]
A. R. Dosa b. Hyrcanus says, “Five sheep from which one produces [the value of] a maneh and a half each of wool — these [shearings] are subject to [the rules of] the first shearings.” And sages say, “Five sheep from which one shears any amount [these shearings are subject to the rules of the first shearings]” [M. 11:1 L-M].
B. And how much is “any amount?”
C. Said Rab, “A maneh and a half [of wool in all] as long as [each animal] yields a fifth [of the total].” [This equals thirty-seven and a half sela.]
D. And Samuel said, “[The sheep must produce at least] sixty [sela of wool]. And he must give one sela to the priest.”
E. [Said] Rabbah bar bar Hannah, said R. Yohanan, “[Even] six [sela is liable to the laws of first shearings]. And [from that] he must give five sela to the priest, and one he may keep for himself.”
F. [Said] Ulla, said R. Eleazar, “Any amount is what was taught [in the Mishnah, and that should be taken literally].”
A. It was taught on Tannaite authority in the Mishnah: And how much must one give to him [i.e., to the priest from the first shearings of the flock]? [An amount equivalent to] the value of five sela in Judea. And this is equivalent to [the value of] ten sela in the Galilee [M. 11:1 N-P].
B. This [rule of the Mishnah] is consistent with the view of Rab and R. Yohanan [in the previous discussion, since they accept that he must give five sela to the priest]. The matter is settled.
C. But this contradicts the views of Samuel and R. Eleazar [who both say above that one may give less than five to the priest].
D. And is it indeed settled according to the view of Rab? Lo, Rab and Samuel both said, “[The minimum measure to be given to the priest as] first shearings is one sixtieth.” [This means that from 37.5 sela he gives .625 sela, clearly less than stipulated in the Mishnah.]
E. Lo it was stated that this statement which Rab and Samuel both said [qualifies the rule of our Mishnah explaining] that it pertains to the situation of an Israelite who had a large amount of shearings and he wished to give from them to [more than one] priest. Concerning such a situation [the Mishnah] says that to each [priest] one should give no less than five sela [of first shearings. [But the absolute minimum one may give to one priest from a smaller amount of shearings is one sixtieth of the lot, which in fact may be less than five sela.]
A. Reverting to the body of the principal text [cited above]: Rab and Samuel both said, “[The minimum measure to be given to the priest as] first shearings is one sixtieth. [The minimum measure to be given to the priest as] heave-offering is one sixtieth. [The minimum measure to be left in one's field as] Peah is one sixtieth.”
B. Is [the minimum measure to be given to the priest as] heave-offering one sixtieth? Lo it was taught on Tannaite authority in the Mishnah, [The measure for] heave-offering for one who is generous is one fortieth [M. Ter. 4:3].
C. [This is not a contradiction.] The rule derived from the authority of the Torah requires only one sixtieth. The rule enacted by the authority of the rabbis requires one fortieth [for one who is generous with his heave-offering].
D. [Is this true that] the rule derived from the authority of the Torah requires one sixtieth? But lo Samuel said, “By [separating for heave-offering] one grain of wheat, he exempts the whole basket [from the obligation to separate from it heave-offering].”
E. [This too is no contradiction.] The rule derived from the authority of the Torah is as Samuel stated it.
F. The [more stringent] rule enacted by the rabbis for [produce] liable to heave-offering according to the Torah is [that one must separate] one fortieth [for heave-offering].
G. And [the additional] rule enacted by the rabbis for [produce] liable to heave-offering according to the authority of the rabbis [but not according to the authority of the Torah] is [that one must separate] one sixtieth [for heave-offering].
A. Is the [minimum to be left over in one's field for] Peah one sixtieth? Lo was it not taught on Tannaite authority in the Mishnah: These are the matters for which there is no set measure: Peah, first fruits, and the appearance-offering [brought on the festivals] [M. Peah 1:1].
B. According to the authority of the Torah there is no minimum quantity [to leave over for fulfilling the obligation of Peah]. According to the authority of the rabbis, the minimum to leave over [without harvesting] is one sixtieth [of the field].
C. What novel point then do [Rab and Samuel] teach us?
D. As it was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority: And they may designate for Peah no less than one sixtieth [of a field's produce][M. Peah 1:2 A].
E. But even so they said that for Peah there is no set measure. [This seems a contradiction.]
F. That [rule in D states the law] for [a field] in the Land of Israel. This [rule in E states the law] for [a field] outside the Land of Israel.
A. When Issi bar Hini left [to go to the Land of Israel], R. Yohanan found him teaching his son [our Mishnah at L, with a variation in the plural suffix of the word sheep]: “Five sheep [masculine plural suffix, rhylym].”
B. He [Yohanan] said to him, “It was taught [in the Mishnah differently, namely using the plural feminine suffix]: `Sheep [rhylwt].'”
C. He [Issi] said to him, “That is the way it is written in scripture, `Two hundred sheep [rhylym] (Gen. 32:15).'”
D. He [Yohanan] said to him, “The Torah has its own language and the sages have their own language. [You should not confuse the two.]”
E. He [Yohanan] said to him, “Who is now the head administrator [of the academies] in Babylonia?”
F. He [Issi] said to him, “Abba Arikha [i.e., Rab].”
G. He [Yohanan] said to him, “You call him Abba Arikha [and not Rab]! [This is not respectful enough.] I remember when I was sitting [in the study hall] seventeen rows behind Rab in the presence of Rabbi [who was reciting the lesson]. And fireworks [i.e., heated discourse] shot forth from the mouth of Rab to the mouth of Rabbi, and from the mouth of Rabbi to the mouth of Rab. And I did not understand what they were saying [because it was so advanced]. And yet you call him Abba Arikha! [You should show more respect.]”
H. He [Issi] said to him, “What is the minimum quantity [of fleece] for [liability to] first shearings?”
I. Said to him R. Yohanan, “Sixty [sela].”
J. He [Issi] said to him, “But lo it was taught that the minimum measure is any amount.”
K. He said to him, “If that is so then what is the difference between me and you?” [I interpret that the rabbis intentionally exaggerated and presented this low requirement to dispute Dosa's high measure. Sixty is a defensible figure because from that the priest would receive at least one sela, a respectable amount.]
A. When R. Dimi came [from the Land of Israel] he said, “Concerning the first shearings, Rab said [the minimum for liability is] sixty, and R. Yohanan in the name of R. Yannai said six.”
B. Said Abayye to R. Dimi, “We can accept one [of your teachings], but we have difficulty accepting the other.
C. “We can reconcile [the difference between one version of the teaching of] R. Yohanan [as we have it in V.5 I, `Sixty'] and [the contrary version of the teaching of] R. Yohanan [`Six,' that you just presented].
D. “One represents his view and the other [that you cited] represents his master's view.
E. “But [the contradiction between one teaching of] Rab and [another teaching of] Rab is difficult to reconcile.”
F. For lo Rab said, “A maneh and a half [in quantity is liable to first shearings, i.e. 37.5 sela, and one sixtieth of that would yield less than a sela for the priest, see above V.I C].”
G. There also is no difficulty reconciling one view attributed to Rab with the other view attributed to Rab.
H. What is the quantity of the maneh-measure specified? One of forty sela. [So that a maneh and a half] would be sixty sela.