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ובא כהן והציץ בו לידע אם זכר הוא אם נקבה היא ובא מעשה לפני חכמים וטיהרוהו מפני שחולדה וברדלס מצויין שם

and a priest came and glanced at the baby to ascertain whether it is male or whether it is female, as a woman who has just given birth, even to a stillborn, is ritually impure for different lengths of time, depending on whether she gave birth to a male or a female (see Leviticus 12). And the incident came before the Sages, to rule whether or not the priest contracted ritual impurity when standing over the corpse, and they deemed him ritually pure. The basis for this ruling was due to the fact that as a marten and a polecat [bardelas] are found there, it is likely that the baby was dragged away before the priest arrived at the pit.

והא הכא דודאי הטילה וספק גררוהו וספק לא גררוהו ההיא שעתא וקאתי ספק ומוציא מידי ודאי לא תימא שהטילה נפל לבור אלא אימא שהפילה כמין נפל לבור והוי ספק וספק

And yet here, where it is certain that she threw the stillborn baby into the pit, and it is uncertain whether a marten or polecat dragged it away and it is uncertain whether it did not drag it away at that time, the Sages nevertheless ruled that an uncertainty comes and overrides a certainty. The Gemara rejects this contention: Do not say in the baraita that she certainly threw a stillborn into a pit; rather, say that she threw an object similar to a stillborn into a pit. Perhaps it was not a stillborn baby; it might have simply been congealed blood, which does not transmit impurity. And therefore this is a conflict between uncertainty and uncertainty. It is unclear whether there was anything in the pit that could have rendered the priest ritually impure, and even if there was, it might have already been dragged away.

והא לידע אם זכר הוא אם נקבה היא קתני הכי קאמר לידע אם רוח הפילה אם נפל הפילה ואם תמצא לומר נפל הפילה לידע אם זכר הוא ואם נקבה היא

The Gemara retorts: But isn’t it taught in the baraita: To ascertain whether it is male or whether it is female, indicating that the only uncertainty was with regard to gender; it was certainly a stillborn baby. The Gemara rejects this proof, as this is what the baraita is say ing: The priest sought to ascertain whether she miscarried mere wind, i. e., an amorphous mass, or if she miscarried a stillborn baby. And if you say that she miscarried a stillborn, he sought to ascertain whether it is male or whether it is female.

ואיבעית אימא התם ודאי וודאי הוא כיון דחולדה וברדלס מצויין שם ודאי גררוהו בההיא שעתא נהי דשיורי משיירא מיגרר מיהת ודאי גררום בההיא שעתא (לישנא אחרינא נהי דודאי אכלום לא אמרינן ודאי גררוהו לחורייהו אמרינן)

And if you wish, say instead: There it is not a conflict between certainty and uncertainty; rather it is between certainty and certainty. Since a marten and a polecat are found there, they certainly dragged it away at that time, without delay. Although martens leave part of their food, in any case they certainly dragged the baby to their holes at that time. Another version of this answer: Although we do not say that they certainly ate the stillborn, we do say that they certainly dragged it to their holes. Consequently, the ruling in this case does not contradict the general principle that an uncertainty does not override a certainty.

ומי אמרינן אין חוששין שמא גררה חולדה והא קתני סיפא מה שמשייר יניחנו בצנעה שלא יהא צריך בדיקה אחריו

The Gemara proceeds to analyze a more fundamental aspect of the mishna: And do we say that one need not be concerned that perhaps a marten dragged the leaven? But isn’t it taught in the last clause, in the next mishna: With regard to the leaven that one leaves after the search, he should place it in a concealed location, so that it will not require searching after it. Apparently, there is concern lest a marten take some of the remaining leaven.

אמר אביי לא קשיא הא בארבעה עשר הא בשלשה עשר בשלשה עשר דשכיח ריפתא בכולהו בתי לא מצנעא בארבעה עשר דלא שכיחא ריפתא בכולהו בתי מצנעא

Abaye said: This is not difficult; this ruling is referring to the fourteenth of Nisan, whereas that ruling is referring to the thirteenth. The Gemara elaborates: On the thirteenth of Nisan, when bread is still found in every house, the marten does not conceal the leaven, and therefore there is no concern that perhaps the marten dragged the leaven elsewhere and concealed it. However, on the fourteenth of Nisan, when bread is not found in any of the houses, the marten hides the leaven.

אמר רבא וכי חולדה נביאה היא דידעא דהאידנא ארביסר ולא אפי עד לאורתא ומשיירא ומטמרא אלא אמר רבא מה שמשייר יניחנו בצנעה שמא תטול חולדה בפנינו ויהא צריך בדיקה אחריו

Rava said in surprise: And is the marten a prophetess that knows that now is the fourteenth of Nisan and no one will bake until the evening, and it leaves over bread and conceals it in its hole? Rather, Rava rejected Abaye’s answer and said: With regard to the leaven that one leaves after the search, he should place it in a concealed location, lest a marten take it before us and it will require searching after it. Only if one actually sees the marten take the leaven, is he required to search after it.

תניא כוותיה דרבא הרוצה לאכול חמץ אחר בדיקה כיצד יעשה מה שמשייר יניחנו בצנעה שלא תבוא חולדה ותיטול בפנינו ויהא צריך בדיקה אחריו

It was taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rava: One who wishes to eat leavened bread after his search, what should he do? With regard to the leaven that one leaves after the search, he should place it in a concealed location, so that a marten will not come and takes it before us, and he will need to search the house after it.

רב מרי אמר גזירה שמא יניח עשר וימצא תשע:

Rav Mari said that there is a different resolution of the apparent contradiction between the baraitot: One conceals the leaven that he found, due to a decree lest he place ten pieces of bread and find only nine. Since the tenth piece is missing, he will be obligated to conduct an additional search.

תשע ציבורין של מצה ואחד של חמץ ואתא עכבר ושקל ולא ידעינן אי מצה שקל אי חמץ שקל היינו תשע חנויות פירש ואתא עכבר ושקל היינו סיפא

Apropos the issue of leaven taken by a rodent, the Gemara analyzes a series of similar cases. In a case where there were nine piles of matza and one pile of leavened bread, and one saw a mouse come and take a morsel from a pile, and we do not know if it took matza or if it took leavened bread, this is akin to the case of nine stores in the mishna cited below. If a portion became separated from one of the piles and we did not know if it was matza or leaven, and one saw a mouse come and take it, that is akin to the case mentioned in the latter clause of that mishna.

דתנן תשע חנויות כולן מוכרין בשר שחוטה ואחת מוכרת בשר נבלה ולקח מאחת מהן ואינו יודע מאיזה מהן לקח ספיקו אסור

The Gemara elaborates. As we learned in a baraita:

With regard to nine stores in a city, all of which sell kosher meat from a slaughtered animal, and one other store that sells meat from unslaughtered animal carcasses, and a person took meat from one of them and he does not know from which one he took the meat, in this case of uncertainty, the meat is prohibited. This ruling is based on the principle: The legal status of an item fixed in its place is that of an uncertainty that is equally balanced. In this case, when it comes to determining whether or not this meat comes from a kosher store, the two types of stores are regarded as though they were equal in number.

ובנמצא הלך אחר הרוב

This baraita continues: And in the case of meat found outside, follow the majority. If most stores in the city sell kosher meat one can assume that the meat he found is kosher, based on the principle: Any item separated, i. e., not fixed in its place, is presumed to have been separated from the majority. By the same token, if most stores in that city sell non-kosher meat, the meat found is presumed to be non-kosher. These two principles can be applied to the cases involving piles of matza and leaven: If the morsel was separated from the piles when taken by the mouse, follow the majority. However, if the mouse took the morsel from one of the piles, the legal status of the morsel is that of an equally balanced uncertainty concerning whether it was taken from a pile of matza or a pile of leaven, and the owner is required to conduct an additional search.

שני ציבורין אחד של מצה ואחד של חמץ ולפניהם שני בתים אחד בדוק ואחד שאינו בדוק ואתו שני עכברים אחד שקל מצה ואחד שקל חמץ ולא ידעינן הי להאי עייל והי להאי עייל היינו שתי קופות

The Gemara discusses another case: There are two piles, one of matza and one of leavened bread, and before them there are two houses, one which was searched and one which was not searched, and two mice came, and in our presence one took matza and one took leavened bread. Each mouse went into a different house, and we do not know which mouse entered this house and which mouse entered that house. It is unclear whether or not the mouse that took the leaven entered the house that was searched. This situation is akin to the case of two baskets.

דתנן שתי קופות אחת של חולין ואחת של תרומה ולפניהם שני סאין אחד של חולין ואחד של תרומה ונפלו אלו לתוך אלו מותרין שאני אומר חולין לתוך חולין נפלו ותרומה לתוך תרומה נפלה

As we learned in the Tosefta : There are two baskets, one filled with non-sacred produce and the other one filled with teruma, and before them are two vessels each containing a se’a of produce, one filled with non-sacred produce and the other one filled with teruma. And these, the contents of each of the baskets, fell into those, each of the se’a vessels. It is possible that the teruma fell into the non-sacred produce, and it is prohibited for non-priests to eat a mixture of teruma and non-sacred produce. Nevertheless, the contents of the se’a vessel containing the non-sacred produce is permitted, as I say that the non-sacred produce fell into the non-sacred produce and the teruma fell into the teruma. Likewise, with regard to leaven, presumably the mouse took the leaven into the house that had not been searched, and there is no need to conduct an additional search of the house that was already searched.

אימור דאמרינן שאני אומר

The Gemara rejects this comparison: Say that we state and apply the principle: As I say, and assume that everything occurred in a way that preserves the produce in its permitted state