RAISING SMALL ANIMALS IN ERETZ YISRAEL
(Beraisa - Talmidim) Question: May one raise (small animals)?
Answer (R. Gamliel): Yes.
Question: The Mishnah forbids this!
Correction: Rather, they asked if one may keep a small animal for 30 days before the festival;
R. Gamliel permitted this, on condition that it does not graze with the herd (e.g. of cattle, which one may raise). Rather, he must tie it to the bed.
(Beraisa): A case occurred in which a Chasid was groaning. Doctors said that to be cured he needs warm milk (straight from the animal) every morning. They brought a goat and tied it to his bed. He suckled every morning.
One day his friends came and saw the goat. They were outraged to see an 'armed robber' in his house, and left.
They could not find another thing he had done wrong. He himself, as he was dying, confessed that his only transgression was disobeying the decree. (Meiri - even though one may transgress Isurim for Piku'ach Nefesh, one should be more stringent about something forbidden by a decree because it harms others.)
R. Yishmael: My father's house in Galil was destroyed because they used to graze small animals in forests and judge monetary cases alone (without a Beis Din of three).
Even though they had forests near their houses, someone else owned a small field on the way to the forest.
(Beraisa): If a shepherd repents, he need not sell his whole flock immediately. He may sell it little by little.
Similarly, if a convert inherited dogs and pigs, he need not sell them all immediately. He may sell them little by little.
Similarly, if one who vowed to buy a house and marry a woman in Eretz Yisrael, we do not force him to fulfill this immediately. He may wait until he finds a suitable house and wife.
A man was pressuring his mother to get married. She swore that she would not refuse anyone. She was swarmed with improper men. Chachamim ruled that she intended only for someone appropriate for her.
ANIMALS THAT ONE MAY RAISE
(Beraisa): Just like we may not raise small Behemos, also we may not raise small Chayos.
R. Shimon ben Elazar says, we may raise Kufri (midget; some say, large hunting) dogs, cats, monkeys, and bush weasels because they clean the house from mice.
Question: What is a bush weasel?
Answer (Rav Yehudah): It is a rodent with thin (another version - small) thighs.
Version #1 (Rav Yehudah citing Rav): In Bavel, we adopted the law of Eretz Yisrael to forbid raising small animals.
Rav Ada bar Ahavah (to Rav Huna): Why do you have small animals?
Rav Huna: My wife Chovah guards them from damaging.
Rav Ada bar Ahavah: She should bury her son!
As long as Rav Ada was alive, none of Rav Huna's children from Chovah survived.
Version #2 (Rav Huna): After Rav came to Bavel, we adopted the law of Eretz Yisrael to forbid raising small animals. (end of Version #2)
Rav, Shmuel and R. Asi went to a circumcision. Some say that it was a feast in honor of the redemption of a firstborn son. Rav did not want to enter in front of Shmuel; Shmuel did not want to enter in front of R. Asi; R. Asi did not want to enter in front of Rav.
They decided that Shmuel would wait outside.
Question: Why didn't Rav or R. Asi wait outside?
Answer: Really, both of them were greater than Shmuel. Rav honored Shmuel and would not enter in front of Shmuel because he regretted that he once cursed Shmuel.
Meanwhile, a cat came and cut off a child's hand.
(Rav): One may kill cats, and one may not raise them. There is no Isur to steal them, nor a Mitzvah to return a lost cat.
Question: If one may kill them, obviously one may not raise them!
Answer: One might have thought that it is permitted to kill them, but there is no Isur to raise them. Rav teaches that this is not so.
Question: If there is no Isur to steal them, obviously there is no Mitzvah to return a lost cat!
Answer (Ravina): There is not even a Mitzvah to return the skin (if one finds it dead).
Question (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): We may raise Kufri dogs, cats, monkeys, and bush weasels because they clean the house from mice.
Answer: White cats often harm people. One may not raise them. One may raise black cats.
Question: The cat in the above story was black!
Answer: It was a black cat born to a white cat.
Question: Ravina never settled that question!
Question (Ravina): May one raise a black cat born to a white cat?
Answer: Ravina asked about when the cat's grandmother was black. The grandmother of the cat that cut off a child's hand was white.
TEACHINGS OF RAV PAPA'S SON
(Rav Acha bar Papa (or one of his brothers)): We announce (Rashi - with Shofaros and trumpets) on Shabbos about boils, so that people will pray. A locked door is not easily opened. If one buys a house in Eretz Yisrael, the document of sale may be written on Shabbos.
Question (Beraisa): For other calamities that come, such as boils, locusts, flies, wasps, mosquitoes, and invasions of snakes and scorpions, only individuals cry out in prayer.
Answer: For dry boils, we announce. For moist boils, only individuals cry out.
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): The boils that Hash-m brought on the Mitzriyim were wet on the outside and dry on the inside.
He learns from "Avabu'os Pore'ach" - they were moist (only) where they spread (on the outside).
Question: Rav Acha taught that a locked door is not easily opened. To what does this refer?
Answer #1 (Mar Zutra): If one was unable to get Semichah (ordination to give Halachic rulings), it will be hard to get it later.
Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): If Hash-m afflicts someone, He is not quick to bestow good upon him.
Answer #3 (Rav Acha mi'Difti): (If Hash-m afflicts someone,) He will never bestow good upon him.
This is wrong. Rav Acha discussed only his own situation. (Chachamim voted to make him Rosh Yeshiva, but it never occurred.)
(Rav Acha): If one buys a house in Eretz Yisrael, the document of sale may be written on Shabbos.
Objection: This cannot be!
Answer: It means like Rava said (elsewhere), we tell a non-Jew to write the document.
Even though normally (mid'Rabanan) one may not ask a non-Jew to do forbidden labors, here Chachamim did not decree, to promote settling in Eretz Yisrael.
(Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): If one buys a city in Eretz Yisrael, we force him to buy paths to it from all four directions, to promote settlement of Eretz Yisrael.