אלא מקום הניחו לו אבותיו להתגדר בו אף אני מקום הניחו לי אבותי להתגדר בו
Rather, it must be that in not eradicating the serpent, his ancestors left Hezekiah room through which to achieve prominence [lehitgader]. I too can say that my ancestors left me room through which to achieve prominence by permitting untithed produce from Beit She’an.
מכאן לתלמיד חכם שאמר דבר הלכה שאין מזיחין אותו ואמרי לה אין מזניחין אותו ואמרי לה אין מזחיחין אותו
The Gemara adds: From here one learns with regard to a Torah scholar who states a new matter of halakha that one does not move [meziḥin] him from his position; and some say: One does not disregard [mazniḥin] him; and some say: One does not attribute his innovative statement to his conceit [mazḥiḥin].
מאן דאמר מזיחין כדכתיב ולא יזח החשן ומאן דאמר אין מזניחין דכתיב כי לא יזנח לעולם ה׳ ומאן דאמר מזחיחין דתנן משרבו זחוחי הלב רבו מחלוקות בישראל
The Gemara explains: With regard to the one who says meziḥin, it is as that which is written: “ And the breastplate shall not be loosed [yizaḥ] from the ephod” (Exodus 28:28). And with regard to the one who says: One does not disregard [mazniḥin], it is as it is written: “ For the Lord will not abandon [yizaḥ] forever” (Lamentations 3:31). And with regard to the one who says mazḥiḥin, it is as we learned in a baraita ( Tosefta , Sota 14: 9): From the time that those with conceited [zeḥuḥei] hearts proliferated, dispute proliferated among the Jewish people.
Yehuda, son of Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi, objects to the basic halakha: And is there anyone who says that Beit She’an is not part of Eretz Yisrael? But isn’t it written: “ And Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth She’an and its towns, nor of Taanach and its towns” (Judges 1:27).
The Gemara answers: That which Rabbi Shimon ben Elyakim says in the name of Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat, who says in the name of Rabbi Elazar ben Shammua, escaped the attention of Yehuda: Many cities were conquered by those who ascended from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael, led by Joshua, son of Nun, and were not conquered by those who ascended from Babylonia to Eretz Yisrael in the return to Zion led by Ezra. Among those cities was Beit She’an.
וקסבר קדושה ראשונה קדשה לשעתה ולא קדשה לעתיד לבא והניחום כדי שיסמכו עליהן עניים בשביעית
And Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi holds: The initial consecration with which Eretz Yisrael was sanctified during the era of Joshua, son of Nun, in terms of the obligation to fulfill land-based mitzvot, sanctified Eretz Yisrael for its time but did not sanctify it forever. Rather, the obligation lapsed with the exile to Babylonia. When those who ascended from Babylonia returned to Eretz Yisrael and sanctified the land, they left certain places unsanctified, so that the poor would rely upon them for sustenance during the Sabbatical Year, when produce is not plentiful. Since these areas were not sanctified, it is permitted to sow crops there during the Sabbatical Year, and the poor will not go hungry. Once Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi discovered that Beit She’an was one of those cities, he exempted it from land-based mitzvot.
Rabbi Yirmeya said to Rabbi Zeira: How did Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi rely on the testimony of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Zeruz to exempt from terumot and tithes produce that grows in Beit She’an? But wasn’t it merely a leaf that Rabbi Meir ate? It is permitted to eat untithed produce incidentally, not in the framework of a meal. Rabbi Zeira said to him: He ate the leaf from a bundle, and we learned in a mishna ( Ma’asrot 1: 5): With regard to a vegetable that is typically bound in a bundle, one is obligated to separate teruma and tithes from the moment that it is bound. From that point, one may not eat from it even incidentally before tithing.
ודלמא לאו אדעתיה השתא בהמתן של צדיקים אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מביא תקלה על ידן צדיקים עצמן לא כל שכן
Rabbi Yirmeya said to Rabbi Zeira: And perhaps it was not on Rabbi Meir’s mind, and his attention was diverted when he ate the leaf. Rabbi Zeira answered: Now, since even with regard to the animals of the righteous, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not generate mishaps through them, is it not all the more so true that the righteous themselves would not experience mishaps?
ודלמא עישר עליהם ממקום אחר לא נחשדו חברים לתרום שלא מן המוקף ודלמא נתן עיניו בצד זה ואכל בצד אחר אמר ליה חזי מאן גברא רבה קמסהיד עליה
Rabbi Yirmeya asked: And perhaps Rabbi Meir tithed those leaves from produce in another place. Rabbi Zeira answered: Ḥaverim are not suspected of separating teruma from produce that is not proximate to the produce for which it is being separated. Rabbi Yirmeya asked: And perhaps Rabbi Meir set his sight on this side of the vegetable with the intent of separating teruma and tithes, and ate a leaf on the other side. Rabbi Zeira said to him: See who the great man is who is testifying about Rabbi Meir. Certainly a man of the stature of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Zeruz accurately observed and reported Rabbi Meir’s actions.
§ The Gemara asks: What is the reference to animals of the righteous, about whom it is stated that God does not generate mishaps through them? It is based on the incident where Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir was going to engage in the redemption of captives, and he encountered the Ginai River.
אמר ליה גינאי חלוק לי מימך ואעבור בך אמר ליה אתה הולך לעשות רצון קונך ואני הולך לעשות רצון קוני אתה ספק עושה ספק אי אתה עושה אני ודאי עושה אמר ליה אם אי אתה חולק גוזרני עליך שלא יעברו בך מים לעולם חלק ליה
He said to the river: Ginai, part your water for me and I will pass through you. The river said to him: You are going to perform the will of your Maker and I am going to perform the will of my Maker, to flow in my path. With regard to you, it is uncertain whether you will perform His will successfully, and it is uncertain whether you will not perform His will successfully. I will certainly perform His will successfully. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to the river: If you do not part, I will decree upon you that water will never flow through you. The river parted for him.
הוה ההוא גברא דהוה דארי חיטי לפיסחא אמר ליה חלוק ליה נמי להאי דבמצוה עסיק חלק ליה הוה ההוא טייעא דלווה בהדייהו אמר ליה חלוק ליה נמי להאי דלא לימא כך עושים לבני לויה חלק ליה
There was a certain man who was carrying wheat for the preparation of matza for Passover. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to the river: Part your waters for that person too, as he is engaged in the performance of a mitzva. The river parted for him. There was a certain Arab [taya’a] who was accompanying them. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to the river: Part your waters for that person too, so that he will not say: Is that what one does to a person who accompanies him? The river parted for him.
אמר רב יוסף כמה נפיש גברא ממשה ושתין רבוון דאילו התם חד זימנא והכא תלתא זימנין ודלמא הכא נמי חדא זימנא אלא כמשה ושתין רבוון
Rav Yosef said: How great is this man, Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir, greater than Moses and the six hundred thousand who left Egypt, as there, at the Red Sea, the waters parted one time, and here the waters parted three times. The Gemara asks: And perhaps here too, the waters parted one time, and the river began to flow again only after all three of them passed. Rather, this man was as great as Moses and the six hundred thousand children of Israel.
אקלע לההוא אושפיזא רמו ליה שערי לחמריה לא אכל
After crossing the river, Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir happened to come to a certain inn [ushpiza]. His hosts cast barley before his donkey for him to eat. The donkey did not eat it.