THE LEADERSHIP IN YISRAEL
(Rav): I was among the Beis Din that Rebbi convened to vote on this law. I was the first to speak.
Question (Mishnah): In matters of money or Tum'ah, the greatest Chacham speaks first (and Rebbi was the greatest). In capital cases, he does not.
Answer (Rabah brei d'Rava): Rebbi conducted differently. He never spoke first. (Rashi - he holds that the greatest Chacham never speaks first. Tosfos - he did not want to show that he was the greatest.)
(Rabah brei d'Rava): From the time of Moshe until Rebbi, we do not find that the leader of Yisrael was the greatest in Torah.
Question #1: Yehoshua (bin Nun) was the leader and the greatest in Torah!
Answer: Elazar (ben Aharon) was as great in Torah.
Question #2: Elazar was the greatest (after Yehoshua died)!
Answer: Pinchas was as great.
Question #3: Pinchas was the greatest (after Elazar died)!
Answer: The elders were as great.
Question #4: Sha'ul was the greatest!
Answer: Shmuel was around.
Question: After Shmuel died, Sha'ul was the greatest!
Answer: Rabah brei d'Rava means, no one else was the greatest all the years of his reign.
Question #5: Shlomo was the greatest!
Answer: Shim'i ben Geira was around.
Question: Shlomo was greatest after he killed Shim'i!
Answer: He was not the greatest all the years of his reign.
WHEN WAS THE LEADER OF YISRAEL THE GREATEST IN TORAH?
Question #6: Chizkiyah was the greatest!
Answer: There was Shevna.
Question: He was killed!
Answer: Chizkiyah was not the greatest all the years of his reign.
Question: Ezra was the greatest!
Answer: Nechemyah ben Chachalyah was as great.
(Rav Acha brei d'Rava): Similarly, from Rebbi until Rav Ashi, the leader was not the greatest in Torah.
Question: Huna bar Noson was the greatest!
Answer: Huna was submissive to Rav Ashi.
ACQUISITIONS OF CHILDREN
(Mishnah): A Cheresh (deaf-mute) gestures or reacts to gestures (to make transactions);
Ben Beseirah says, he moves his lips or responds to lip motion (and this suffices) for Metaltelim.
If Pa'utos (mature children) buy or sell Metaltelim, it is valid.
(Gemara - Rav Nachman) Version #1: They argue only about Metaltelim, but all agree that gestures suffice for Gitin.
Question: This is obvious. The Mishnah explicitly says that they argue about Metaltelim!
Answer: One might have thought that they argue even about Metaltelim. Rav Nachman teaches that this is not so.
Version #2: Just like they argue about Metaltelim, they also argue about Gitin.
Question: The Mishnah says only that they argue about Metaltelim!
Answer: It means, they argue even about Metaltelim.
(Mishnah): If Pa'utos buy or sell Metaltelim, it is valid.
Question: At what age are children considered Pa'utos?
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): It is from the age of six or seven.
Answer #2 (Rav Kahana): It is from the age of seven or eight.
Answer #3 (Beraisa): It is from the age of nine or 10.
They do not argue. It varies according to the sharpness of the child.
Question: Why was it enacted that Pa'utos can buy and sell Metaltelim?
Answer (Rav Aba bar Yakov): It is so they can buy their necessities.
Question: "He said to the guardian of the Miltechah, take out clothing for all that serve the idol Ba'al" - what is Miltechah?
Answer (Rav Aba bar Yakov): (A fabric) that is NiMLal and NimTaCH (rolled and stretched. The Gemara brings these teachings of Rav Acha bar Yakov together, even though they are not related to each other.)
(Rav Dimi): Bunyas ben Bunyas sent to Rebbi four types of linen garments. They were amazingly thin, and could be compressed into the size of a nut and a half.
Question: Up to how much may Pa'utos err, and the transaction is still valid?
Answer (R. Yonah): It is up to a sixth of the value, like the law of adults.
Question (Abaye): Can Pa'utos give gifts?
Answer #1 (Rav Yemar): They cannot.
Answer #2 (Mar bar Rav Ashi): They can.
Rabanan sent these opinions to Rav Mordechai, but they switched them.
(Rav Mordechai): Tell Mar bar Rav Ashi that my Rebbi (his father) ruled that they can give gifts;
This applies whether the child is healthy or dying, whether the gift is large or small.
ENACTMENTS FOR THE SAKE OF SHALOM
(Mishnah): The following are enactments for the sake of Shalom.
A Kohen reads the Torah first, followed by a Levi, followed by a Yisrael.
The Eruv (bread used to make a courtyard shared by different houses considered one joint domain) is always placed in the same house.
The pit closest to the irrigation ditch takes water first.
It is considered stealing to take from where fishermen and hunters set their traps;
R. Yosi says, this is absolute theft!
If a Cheresh, lunatic or minor picked up a Hefker object, it is considered stealing to take it from him;
R. Yosi says, this is absolute theft!
If an Oni (poor person) knocked down olives from an olive tree, someone else not take the olives below;
R. Yosi says, this is absolute theft!
We do not object to poor Nochrim who take Leket, Shichechah and Pe'ah (agricultural gifts left for the poor).
THE ORDER OF READING FROM THE TORAH
(Gemara) Question: What is the source that a Kohen reads first?
Answer #1 (Rav Masnah): "Moshe wrote the Torah and gave it to the Kohanim, the sons of Levi."
Question: We already know that Kohanim descend from Levi!
Answer: Rather, this teaches that a Kohen reads first, then a Levi.
Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): "Aharon was separated to be the holiest."
Answer #3 (R. Chiya bar Aba): "You will sanctify him (a Kohen)" - for every matter of Kedushah.
Beraisa (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "You will sanctify him" for every matter of Kedushah - to speak first, to bless first, and to receive a nice portion first.
Objection (Abaye): The Mishnah say that he reads first for the sake of Shalom. According to these answers, the Torah says that he reads first!
Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): The Torah says so for the sake of Shalom.
Objection: All laws of the Torah are for the sake of Shalom - "its ways are ways of Shalom"!
Answer #2 (and Answer #4 to Question (a) - Abaye): We understand this from what my Rebbi (Rabah) said. (The enactment was that a Kohen must read first. The Torah teaches that we ask him to read first.)
(Beraisa): If two eat from a common serving bowl, one does not take another portion until the other finishes his portion (so he can take at the same time);
If three eat and two have finished, they need not wait for the third.
The one who blessed on the bread is the first to take from the bowl (to accompany his bread). He may honor his Rebbi or one greater than himself by letting them take first.
(Rabah): This applies only to a meal. Regarding reading the Torah, a Kohen may not honor someone else by letting him read first, for this will lead to quarrels.
(Rav Masnah): Rabah's law applies only on Shabbos or Yom Tov, when many people are in Beis ha'Keneses, but not on Mondays or Thursdays.
Question: Rav Huna (who was not a Kohen) read first on Shabbos and Yom Tov!
Answer: He is an exception. Even R. Ami and R. Asi, the greatest Kohanim of Eretz Yisrael, were submissive to him. (People will not quarrel if Rav Huna reads first.)
(Abaye): If no Kohen is present, the order is undone. (The Levi does not read at all. Some say that there is no set place for him to read.)
(Abaye): If no Levi is present, a Kohen reads in his place.
Question: R. Yochanan taught, a Kohen may not read after a Kohen, lest people think that the latter reads because we found out that the first was not a valid Kohen. A Levi may not read after a Levi, lest people think that either one of them is not a Levi!
Answer (Abaye): The Kohen who read first also reads the second portion.
Question: Regarding Leviyim, R. Yochanan is concerned lest people think that either of them is not a Levi. Regarding Kohanim, he is concerned for suspicion only about the first!
Answer: The case is, everyone knows that the father of the second Kohen is a valid Kohen.
Question: We should say that similarly, everyone knows that the father of the second Levi is a valid Levi!
Answer: People will think that the second Levi's mother is a Mamzeres or Nesinah, therefore he is not a proper Levi.
Question: If so, we should be concerned lest people think that the second Kohen's mother is a divorcee or Chalutzah, and he is a Kohen Pasul!
Answer: (People will not suspect this, for) if he were Pasul, he would not be considered even a Levi, and he would not read second.
Question: About whom are we concerned (lest they suspect that the first Kohen is Pasul)?
Suggestion: We are concerned about people who stay for the entire Torah reading.
Rejection: They will see that he was counted among the seven who read (so they will know that he is a valid Kohen)!
Answer: We are concerned about people who leave during the Torah reading.