Thursday, August 02, 2007

Daf Yomi Yevamot 110a: Another Two Applications of the Kelal Horaah of "Do We Listen to Forced 'Explanations' of Braytot?"

A short while back, I saw a gemara in Yevamot -- cited lehalacha -- that caught my eye. Despite reinterpretations of several braytot to match Rav's view, in the end we reject Rav. To cite that gemara (from my post)
דאמרינן לקמן רב פפא סבר למיעבד עובדא דמאי הוה לה למיעבד אמר ליה רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע לרב פפא והא אנן תנן הני מתניתא א"ל ולא שנינהו א"ל ואנן אשינויא ניקום וניסמוך
דאלמא לית הלכתא כרב דאמר לא תצא מהיתרה של בעלה הראשון ולא כרבי שמעון דאמר נשאת שלא ברשות מותרת לחזור לו ואף על גב דאמר רב הכין הלכתא לא סמכינן עליה

For we say later on {Yevamot 91b}: Rav Pappa thought to practice in accordance with it, for "what should she have done?" Rav Huna son of Rav Yehoshua said to Rav Pappa: But we learned all those braytot {with rulings in the opposite direction}! He said to him: But they were all explained {with specific reasons for those rulings and why we do not apply "what should she have done?"}. He said to him: Should we then rely on explanations?
Thus it is evident that the halacha is not like Rav who said that she does not go out of her initial permittedness to her first husband, and not like Rabbi Shimon who said shat if she was married not with permission, she is allowed to return to him. And although Rav said that such is the halacha, we do not rely upon him.
At the time, I wondered how wide-ranging this halachic principle is, this principle of "Should we then rely on explanations?" Does it extend past this one case, where Rav Pappa brings it forth? Does this Rif elsewhere apply it, and what about other halachists?

This could form good precedent for applying a mechkar-based approach to pesak halacha. Over and over, after all, we have somewhat far-fetched reinterpretations and harmonizations of braytot and statements of Amoraim, to answer some difficulty.

I just encountered one instance where the Rif cites the principle rather explicitly, and another case where Rabbenu Tam, while not explicitly invoking this, rejects a reinterpretation of a brayta.

The first we encounter shortly in daf Yomi, in Yevamot 110a:

איתמר קטנה שלא מיאנה והגדילה ועמדה ונשאת רב אמר אינה צריכה גט משני ושמואל אמר צריכה גט משני
ואוקימנא להא דאמר רב אינה צריכה גט משני כשבעלה הראשון אחר שגדלה אצלו אבל אם לא בעלה אחר שגדלה אצלו קדושי קטנה ולא כלום הוא וצריכה גט משני It was stated {by Amoraim}: A {female} minor who did not refuse and then she grew up and married {someone else} --
Rav said: She does not require a get from the second husband.
And Shmuel said: She requires a get from the second husband.
And we establish this that Rav said that she does not require a get from the second, where the first one had intercourse with her after she grew up by him, but if he did not have intercourse with her after she grew up by him, it is betrothal of a minor and it is nothing at all, and so she requires a get from the second husband.

ושמואל סבר אף על גב דבעלה אחר שגדלה צריכה גט משני שכל הבועל על דעת קידושין הראשונים הוא בועל
And Shmuel held that even though he had intercourse with her after she grew up, she requires a get from the second husband, for whoever has intercourse does so on the basis of the initial betrothal.

ואותבינן עליה דרב מהא דתניא המקדש את הקטנה קידושיה תלויין
מאי קידושיה תלויין לאו דכי גדלה גדלו בהדה ואע"ג דלא בעל
ופריק לה מילתא דקטנה מיתלא תליא
וקיימא אי בעל אין ואי לא בעל לא
And we object to Rav from this that they learnt {in a brayta}: If one betroths a {female} minor, her betrothal is suspended.
What is meant by "her betrothal is suspended?" Does this not mean that when she matures, it {meaning the betrothal} matures with her, even though he did not have intercourse with her.
And we resolve the matter of a {female} minor is a suspended suspended, and we establish that is he had intercourse, yes, and if he did not have intercourse, no.

ולא איפסקא הכא הלכתא בהדיא
וחזינן מאן דכתב דהא מילתא ספיקא היא ועבדינן בה לחומרא דהא תניא המקדש את הקטנה קידושיה תלוין ואע"ג דשנינן לה אשינויא לא סמכינן ואי לא בעל [משגדלה] ונתקדשה לאחר צריכה גט מזה ומזה
And we do not explicitly establish the halacha here.
And we have seen one who wrote that this matter is one of doubt, and so we act stringently, for they learnt {in a brayta}: If one betroths a {female} minor, her betrothal is suspended. And even though we interpreted it {otherwise, as above}, we do not rely on interpretations, and if he did not have intercourse with her [when she matures] and she is betrothed to another {man}, she requires a get from this one and from that one.

והאי סברא סברא מעליא הוא דגרסינן בהדיא בפרק יוצא דופן ...
And this reasoning is an excellent reasoning. For we learn explicitly in perek Yotzei Dofen...
Thus, in this case, where the halacha is not ruled explicitly in the gemara, we do not say that the halacha is like Rav over Shmuel by prohibitions, but rather we pay heed to the brayta that goes against him, and rule stringently because it is a Biblical matter. And despite the fact that we reinterpreted the brayta to accord with Rav, we do not pay heed to reinterpretations -- ואע"ג דשנינן לה אשינויא לא סמכינן -- just as Rav Pappa said earlier in a different context. And Rif, in the part which continues, which I did not cite, bolsters this conclusion of what to do from a different sugya. So here it is not the fact that it is a reinterpretation, by itself, but it is indeed a factor.

The second one I encountered recently is in Chullin 67a-b, about bug-infested produce, though this differs in that the reinterpretation is not really even in the gemara. The gemara there reads:
אמר שמואל קישות שהתליעה באביה אסורה משום (ויקרא יא) השרץ השורץ על הארץ לימא מסייע ליה דתני חדא על הארץ להוציא את הזיזין שבעדשים ואת היתושים שבכליסים ותולעת שבתמרים ושבגרוגרות ותניא אידך כל השרץ השורץ על הארץ לרבות תולעת שבעיקרי זיתים ושבעיקרי גפנים מאי לאו אידי ואידי בפירא והא באביה והא שלא באביה לא אידי ואידי באביה ולא קשיא הא בפירא הא באילנא גופא
And the Rif cites that gemara and says:
אמר שמואל קישות שהתליע באיביה אסורין משום שרץ השורץ על הארץ תניא על הארץ להוציא זיזין שבעדשים ויתושין שבאכלוסין ותולעת שבתמרים וגרוגרות וה"מ דאיתליע בתלוש אבל התליע במחובר אסור
דקי"ל כשמואל
Thus, the gemara explained the brayta against Shmuel, but Rif interjects with a distinction which would work to resolve it with Shmuel -- a contrast between attached to the ground or not. This because elsewhere in the gemara there is a statement by an Amora that appears to say we rule like Shmuel.

However, others do not go for this reinterpretation of the brayta in accordance with Shmuel, going instead for the local distinction made in the braytot, which is against Shmuel. This is well summed up by Tosafot (which appears to the right).

Thus, some will discard the explanations of the brayta within our gemara as just an explanation but without force of law, and will offer their own explanation of the brayta to accord it with Shmuel. Thus, we do not go for "explanations" of braytot just because they appear in the gemara. Those who will keep with the gemaras explanation and rule against Shmuel will pay no heed to the fact that we can "explain" the braytot in keeping with Shmuel's position.

Not as neat as the first case, but I'm just citing them as I encounter them.

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