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חבטינהו לא אכל נקרינהו לא אכל אמר להו דלמא לא מעשרן עשרינהו ואכל אמר ענייה זו הולכת לעשות רצון קונה ואתם מאכילין אותה טבלים

The hosts sifted the barley with a utensil, but the donkey did not eat it. They separated the chaff from the barley by hand, but the donkey did not eat it. They wondered why the donkey would not eat the barley. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to his hosts: Perhaps the barley is not tithed. They tithed it and the donkey ate it. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said: This poor animal is going to perform the will of its Maker, and you are feeding it untithed produce? Rabbi Zeira was referring to this donkey when it spoke of God preventing mishaps from occurring through animals of the righteous.

ומי מיחייבא והתנן הלוקח לזרע ולבהמה וקמח לעורות ושמן לנר ושמן לסוך בו את הכלים פטור מהדמאי

The Gemara asks: And is one who purchases grain that is demai in order to feed his animal obligated to tithe it? But didn’t we learn in a mishna ( Demai 1: 3): One who purchases grain in the market for sowing or for feeding an animal, or flour to process animal hides, or oil to kindle a lamp, or oil to smear on vessels is exempt from the obligation of tithing demai?

התם הא אתמר עלה אמר רבי יוחנן לא שנו אלא שלקחן מתחלה לבהמה אבל לקחן מתחלה לאדם ונמלך עליהם לבהמה חייב לעשר והתניא הלוקח פירות מן השוק לאכילה ונמלך עליהן לבהמה הרי זה לא יתן לא לפני בהמתו ולא לפני בהמת חברו אלא אם כן עישר

The Gemara answers: There, it was stated with regard to that mishna that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They taught this only in a case where one purchased those items initially for the animal or for the other purposes enumerated in the mishna, but if he purchased them initially for a person and reconsidered his plans for them and decided to use them for an animal, he is obligated to tithe the demai. And it is taught in a baraita in support of that understanding: In the case of one who purchases produce from the market for human consumption, and he reconsidered his plans for it and decided to use it for an animal, that person may neither place it before his animal nor before the animal of another unless he tithed the produce.

שמע רבי נפק לאפיה אמר ליה רצונך סעוד אצלי אמר לו הן צהבו פניו של רבי

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi heard that Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir arrived, and he emerged to greet him. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: Is it your desire to dine with me? Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to him: Yes. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s face beamed [tzahavu], as it was well known that Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir did not accept invitations to dine with others.

אמר לו כמדומה אתה שמודר הנאה מישראל אני ישראל קדושים הן יש רוצה ואין לו ויש שיש לו ואינו רוצה וכתיב אל תלחם [את] לחם רע עין ואל תתאו למטעמתיו כי כמו שער בנפשו כן הוא אכול ושתה יאמר לך ולבו בל עמך ואתה רוצה ויש לך

Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: Are you under the impression that deriving benefit from the Jewish people is forbidden to me by vow? On the contrary, the Jewish people are holy. I avoid accepting invitations, as there is one who wants to invite guests to dine with him but he does not have the means, and I do not want to enjoy a meal that my host cannot afford. And there is one who has the means but does not want to host guests, and with regard to those people it is written: “ Eat not the bread of him that has an evil eye, neither desire his delicacies. For as one that has reckoned within himself, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you; but his heart is not with you” (Proverbs 23: 6–7). But you want to invite guests to dine with you, and you have the means.

מיהא השתא מסרהיבנא דבמלתא דמצוה קא טרחנא כי הדרנא אתינא עיילנא לגבך

But now I am rushing [mesarheivna], as I am engaged in the performance of a matter involving a mitzva. When I come back I will enter to dine with you.

כי אתא איתרמי על בההוא פיתחא דהוו קיימין ביה כודנייתא חוורתא אמר מלאך המות בביתו של זה ואני אסעוד אצלו

When Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir came back, he happened to enter through that entrance in which white mules were standing. He said: The Angel of Death is in this person’s house, and I will eat with him? White mules were known to be dangerous animals.

שמע רבי נפק לאפיה אמר ליה מזבנינא להו אמר ליה ולפני עור לא תתן מכשל

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi heard the comment of Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir and emerged to greet him. He said to him: I will sell the mules. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to him: You will thereby violate the prohibition:“ Nor place a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14), as it is prohibited for any Jew to keep a destructive animal in his possession.

מפקרנא להו מפשת היזקא עקרנא להו איכא צער בעלי חיים קטילנא להו איכא בל תשחית

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: I will declare the mules ownerless. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to him: You will thereby increase the damage, as there will be no owner to restrain it. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: I will remove their hooves so that they will be unable to kick and cause damage. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to him: There is the requirement to prevent suffering to animals, and you will be violating it. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: I will kill them. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir said to him: There is the prohibition: Do not destroy items of value.

הוה קא מבתש ביה טובא גבה טורא בינייהו בכה רבי ואמר מה בחייהן כך במיתתן על אחת כמה וכמה דאמר רבי חמא בר חנינא גדולים צדיקים במיתתן יותר מבחייהן שנאמר ויהי הם קוברים איש והנה ראו הגדוד וישליכו את האיש בקבר אלישע וילך ויגע האיש בעצמות אלישע ויחי ויקם על רגליו

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was greatly imploring him to enter his home until a mountain rose between them and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi could no longer speak with him. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wept and said: If during their lifetimes it is so that the righteous are great, after their death it is all the more so true. The Gemara comments: This is as Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: The righteous are greater after their death, more so than during their lifetimes, as it is stated: “ And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that they spied a raiding party; and they cast the man into the tomb of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet” (II Kings 13: 21).

אמר ליה רב פפא לאביי ודילמא לקיומי ביה ברכתא דאליהו דכתיב ויהי נא פי שנים ברוחך אלי אמר ליה אי הכי היינו דתניא על רגליו עמד ולביתו לא הלך

Rav Pappa said to Abaye: This proof from the case of Elisha that the righteous are greater after death is not valid. And perhaps this transpired to fulfill with regard to Elisha the blessing of Elijah, as it is written: “ Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me” (II Kings 2: 9). Elijah revived one dead person and this one is the second revived by Elisha. Abaye said to Rav Pappa: If so, is this consistent with that which is taught in a baraita:

The dead person arose on his feet but he did not go to his home, indicating that he had not truly been revived?

אלא במה איקיים כדאמר רבי יוחנן שריפא צרעת נעמן שהיא שקולה כמת שנאמר אל נא תהי כמת

The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, in what manner was Elijah’s blessing fulfilled? It is as Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The blessing was fulfilled when he cured the leprosy of Naaman, since a leper is equivalent to a dead person, as it is stated with regard to Miriam when she was afflicted with leprosy:“ Please, let her not be as one dead” (Numbers 12:12).

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי למה נקרא שמן ימים שאימתם מוטלת על הבריות דאמר רבי חנינא מימי לא שאלני אדם על מכת פרדה לבנה וחיה והא קחזינא דחיי אימא וחיית והא קחזינא דמיתסי דחיוורן ריש כרעייהו קא אמרינן

Apropos white mules, which were likened to the Angel of Death, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: Why are the mules called yemim (see Genesis 36: 24)? It is because their terror [eimatam] is cast over all creatures, as Rabbi Ḥanina says: In all my days, no man has asked me about a wound caused him by a white mule and survived, indicating that they are extremely dangerous. The Gemara asks: But haven’t we seen that some people survive after being wounded by a white mule? The Gemara answers: Say instead, no man has asked me about a wound caused him by a mule and the wound healed. The Gemara asks: But haven’t we seen that such wounds heal? The Gemara answers: The wound that we say does not heal is one caused by a mule the top of whose legs are white.

אין עוד מלבדו אמר רבי חנינא ואפילו כשפים ההיא איתתא דהות קא מהדרא למישקל עפרא מתותיה כרעיה דרבי חנינא אמר לה שקולי לא מסתייעא מילתיך אין עוד מלבדו כתיב והאמר רבי יוחנן למה נקרא שמן כשפים שמכחישין פמליא של מעלה שאני רבי חנינא דנפישא זכותיה

The Gemara relates other statements of Rabbi Ḥanina: With regard to the verse: “ There is none else beside Him” (Deuteronomy 4:35), Rabbi Ḥanina says: And even sorcery is ineffective against the will of God. The Gemara relates: There was a certain woman who would try to take dust from beneath the feet of Rabbi Ḥanina in order to perform sorcery on him and harm him. Rabbi Ḥanina said to her: Take the dust, but the matter will be ineffective for you, as it is written: “ There is none other beside Him. ” The Gemara asks: But doesn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan say: Why is sorcery called keshafim? It is an acronym for makhḥishin pamalya shel mala, meaning: That they diminish the heavenly entourage [pamalya], indicating that they function contrary to the will of God. The Gemara answers: Rabbi Ḥanina is different, as, because his merit is great, sorcery has no effect on him.

ואמר רבי חנינא אין אדם נוקף אצבעו מלמטה אלא אם כן מכריזין עליו מלמעלה שנאמר מה׳ מצעדי גבר כוננו ואדם מה יבין דרכו אמר רבי אלעזר דם ניקוף מרצה כדם עולה אמר רבא בגודל ימין ובניקוף שני והוא דקאזיל לדבר מצוה

And Rabbi Ḥanina says: A person injures his finger below, on earth, only if they declare about him on high that he should be injured, as it is stated: It is of the Lord that a man’s goings are established; and a man, what does he understand of his way (see Psalms 37: 23 and Proverbs 20: 24). Rabbi Elazar says: The blood of a wound effects atonement like the blood of a burnt offering. Rava said: This is stated with regard to a wound on his right thumb, as one applies force with that thumb and the wound is consequently more severe; and it is also stated with regard to a second wound in the same place before the first has healed, and it is provided that he is wounded while going to perform a matter involving a mitzva.

אמרו עליו על רבי פנחס בן יאיר מימיו לא בצע על פרוסה שאינה שלו ומיום שעמד על דעתו לא נהנה מסעודת אביו

Apropos Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir, the Gemara notes that they said about Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir: In all his days he never broke bread and recited a blessing on a piece of bread that was not his, and from the day that he achieved cognition he did not benefit even from the meal of his father, because he eschewed benefit from everyone.