(Beraisa): The Halachah always follows Beis Hillel. One may choose to hold like Beis Shamai, or like Beis Hillel;
If one holds like the leniencies of both, he is wicked;
If one holds like the stringencies of both (when they are inconsistent), he is a fool walking in darkness.
Rather, one must hold consistently like Beis Shamai, or like Beis Hillel.
Question: The Beraisa contradicts itself!
First it says that the Halachah always follows Beis Hillel. Then it says that one may choose to hold like Beis Shamai!
Answer #1: Before the Bas Kol (voice from Heaven) announced that the Halachah follows Beis Hillel, one could choose to hold like Beis Shamai. After the Bas Kol, the Halachah follows Beis Hillel.
Answer #2: The entire Mishnah is after the Bas Kol.
The first Tana says that we heed the Bas Kol. The second Tana is R. Yehoshua, who says that we do not heed a Bas Kol.
Question: Why did Rava rule according to stringencies that are inconsistent with each other?
Answer (Rav Tavos): Rava ruled entirely like Rav.
(Rami bar Yechezkel): What was taught in the name of Rav (43b) is according to Rav Yehudah, but Rav did not really say that!
Really, Rav holds that Chachamim specified which parts of the Veshet are valid for Shechitah. (This implies that the ends, including Turbatz Veshet, are invalid);
Nevertheless, Rav holds that if Turbatz Veshet is cut at all, it is Tereifah.
Question: How much of the top end of the Veshet is invalid for Shechitah?
Answer (Rav Nachman): It is the amount that can be held in one's hand (Rashi - the width of three or four fingers; Tosfos - two fingers).
Question: How much of the bottom end of the Veshet is invalid for Shechitah?
Answer (Rav Nachman): Until the part that has hair on it is invalid.
Question: Rav taught that the last Tefach of the Veshet closest to the Keres is the inner Keres. (The entire Veshet has no hair, so it is fitting for Shechitah.) How can one slaughter the inner Keres?!
Answer #1: Rather, the Tefach of the Keres closest to the Veshet is the inner Keres.
Answer #2: Rav discussed an ox, which has hair on the end of the Veshet.
(Shmuel): If the entire Turbatz Veshet was removed from the jaw, the animal is Kosher.
Support (Mishnah): If the lower jaw was removed, it is Kosher.
Question (against Shmuel - Rav Papa): Ikur (if the Simanim were uprooted) disqualifies Shechitah!
Counter-question: How does Rav Papa understand the Mishnah?
Answer: If the Siman is uprooted from the jaw and from the flesh, this disqualifies Shechitah. The Mishnah discusses when the jaw was removed from the flesh, but the Simanim are still connected to the flesh.
Answer: Shmuel meant only that most of the Turbatz Veshet was removed
Question: Shmuel taught that if most of the Simanim are dangling, it is Tereifah!
Answer: That is when they were yanked forcefully. If they were gently peeled off, it is Kosher.
A CUT KANEH
(Mishnah): If the Kaneh was cut (it is Tereifah).
(Beraisa): The majority must be cut.
Question: The majority of what (must be cut)?
Version #1 - Answer (Rav): The majority of the width of the (entire) Kaneh (the walls of the Kaneh are part of the calculation).
Version #2 - Answer (Rav): It is the majority of the interior of the Kaneh.
A case of a cut Kaneh was brought in front of Rav He was checking if the majority of the width of the Kaneh was cut.
Question (Rav Kahana and Rav Asi): You taught that we require only the majority of the interior!
They sent it to Rabah bar bar Chanah to check. He checked for the majority of the interior, and ruled that it was Kosher. He himself bought some of the meat.
Question: How could he permit what Rav forbade?
(Beraisa): A Chacham may not be Metaher or permit the same matter that another Chacham was Metamei or forbade (Tosfos - based on his own reasoning, but he may do so if his Rebbi taught him otherwise).
Answer: Rav never ruled that it was Tereifah.
CONDUCT EXPECTED OF CHACHAMIM
Question: Since a Chacham had to permit it, how could Rabah bar bar Chanah eat from it?
Yechezkel said about himself "I did not make my soul Tamei. I never ate Neveilah or Tereifah, Pigul (abominable) meat did not enter my mouth."
"I did not make my soul Tamei" - I did not have emissions at night due to thinking about women during the day;
"I never ate Neveilah or Tereifah" - I did not eat from an animal that was hurriedly slaughtered before it dies;
"Abominable meat did not enter my mouth" - I did not eat from an animal that needed a Chacham to rule that it was Kosher;
R. Noson explains, I did not eat from an animal before the gifts to the Kohen were separated.
Answer: A Chacham should refrain only from an animal permitted through reasoning. Rabah bar bar Chanah had a tradition that the majority of the interior must be cut to make it Tereifah. (Tosfos - this is a second answer to Question 3:h.)
Question: He should not have eaten, due to suspicion!
(Beraisa): If a judge ruled or witnesses testified about something, they may buy it later;
Still, Chachamim say that one should distance himself from anything that may lead to suspicion (that they are receiving a discount to reward them for the ruling or testimony).
Answer: That applies only to things sold by estimation. Rabah bar bar Chanah bought meat by weight. (All saw that he paid the usual price.)
Rava permitted an animal and bought some of the meat.
His wife: My father (Rav Chisda) would never buy a Bechor (firstborn animal) that he permitted (to be slaughtered due to a blemish)!
Rava: A blemished Bechor must be sold by estimation, without weighing. Had he bought, people could suspect that he got a discount;
I bought meat by weight. All saw that I paid the full price.
Suggestion: Perhaps people will think that I got a nicer piece due to my ruling!
Rejection: They always give me a nice piece!
(Rav Chisda): A Chacham (to whom we return a lost object if he says that he recognizes it, without giving a Siman) is one who rules that his own animal is Tereifah (when he cannot resolve a doubt);
He fulfills "one who hates gifts will live."
(Mar Zutra): If one learns written Torah, Mishnah, the reasons and resolutions of the Mishnayos, and rules that his own animal is Tereifah, he epitomizes "you will eat the work of your hands. You are happy, and it will be good for you."
(Rav Zvid): He inherits both worlds. "You are happy" in this world. "It will be good for you" in the world to come.
R. Elazar would not accept gifts from the Nasi's house, and he would decline invitations to eat there - "one who hates gifts will live".
R. Zeira would not accept gifts from the Nasi's house, but he would eat there when invited. He reasoned that they are honored through his coming.