AN INVALID GIFT
Question: What did Shamai originally think?
Answer: He thought that this is like the gift of Beis Choron.
(Mishnah): A case occurred in Beis Choron in which a vow forbade Shimon to benefit from his son Levi. Levi was marrying off his son. He told his friend Yehudah 'I give to you the courtyard and the banquet (that I prepared), just so my father can come and eat (and he will benefit from you, and not from me).'
Yehudah: If they are mine, I hereby make them Hekdesh!
Levi: I did not give to you in order that you will be Makdish them!
Yehudah: You gave me so your father can come and eat, and the vow will be transgressed through me (for this is not a real gift)!
Chachamim: Any gift like this, in which the recipient cannot be Makdish it (Tosfos - because the giver stipulated exactly what must be done with it) is not a gift.
THE TALMIDIM OF HILLEL
(Beraisa): Hillel had 80 Talmidim. Thirty were worthy that the Divine Presence rest on them like Moshe (but the generation was not worthy for this), 30 were worthy that the sun should stop for them as it did for Yehoshua, and 20 were intermediate;
His greatest Talmid was Yonason ben Uzi'el, and his smallest was R. Yochanan Ben Zakai.
R. Yochanan Ben Zakai learned everything - Torah, Nevi'im, and Kesuvim, Mishnah, Gemara (resolutions of difficulties between Mishnayos), Halachos, Agados, Drashos, Rabbinical enactments, laws learned from Kal va'Chomer and Gezerah Shavah, calculation of the Tekufos (equinoxes and solstices), Gematriyos, parables about launderers and foxes, the speech of Shedim, of date trees and of angels, and big and small matters;
A big matter is Hash-m's chariot (mentioned in Yechezkeil). A small matter is the questions of Abaye and Rava.
He fulfilled "Lehanchil l'Ohavai Yesh v'Otzroseihem Amalei."
He was the smallest Talmid. All the more so the greatest (knew all this)!
When Yonason ben Uzi'el engaged in Torah, a bird flying over him would be burned.
WHEN A MAN CAN EXEMPT HIS WIFE FROM YIBUM
(Mishnah): If Reuven says 'this is my son', he is believed (this will be explained);
If he says 'this (Ploni) is my brother', he is not believed (to make his brothers share their inheritance with Ploni). He divides his share with Ploni;
When Ploni dies, Reuven gets back what Ploni took from Reuven's share.
If Ploni had received property from another place, all the brothers share it.
(Gemara) Question: When he says 'this (Ploni) is my son', regarding what is he believed?
Answer (Rav Yehudah): Ploni inherits Reuven, and exempts Reuven's wife from Yibum.
Objection: Obviously, Reuven is believed to say that Ploni inherits him. He could give his money to him for a gift if he wants! (This applies to what Reuven owns now. He is not believed regarding property he will receive later.)
Answer: The Chidush is that Reuven is believed to exempt his wife from Yibum.
Question: We already learn this from a Mishnah!
(Mishnah): If Reuven said just before he died 'I have sons', he is believed (to exempt his wife from Yibum);
If he said 'I have brothers', he is not believed (to forbid his wife from remarrying).
Answer: There, he is Muchzak not to have brothers (he is believed because even without his words, the Chazakah is that his wife will be permitted when he dies);
Here, he is believed even if he is Muchzak to have brothers.
(Rav Yosef citing Rav Yehudah): He is believed because a husband is believed to say that he divorced his wife.
Objection (Rav Yosef): What I said is improper. It attributes the reason for a Mishnah to a law not taught in a Mishnah!
Correction (Rav Yosef): Rather, surely Rav Yehudah taught that he is believed because he could exempt her from Yibum if he wants by divorcing her.
WHEN A MAN IS BELIEVED TO SAY THAT HE DIVORCED HIS WIFE
(Rav Yosef): Since we believe a person based on what he could do, a man is believed to say that he divorced his wife, because he could divorce her.
(Rav Yitzchak bar Yosef citing R. Yochanan): A man is not believed to say that he divorced his wife.
(Rav Sheshes): This disproves Rav Yosef's reasoning!
Question: R. Chiya bar Avin cited R. Yochanan to say that a man is believed to say that he divorced his wife!
Answer: Rav Yitzchak taught that he is not believed about the past (e.g. to exempt her if she committed adultery). R. Chiya bar Avin taught that he is believed about the future.
Question: If a man said that he divorced his wife at a specific time in the past, (he is not believed about the past, but) is he believed about the future?
Do we divide his statement (and believe that he divorced her, but not when this was), or not (and since we cannot believe his entire statement, we do not believe him at all)?
Answer #1 (Rav Mari or Rav Zvid): We divide his words.
Answer #2 (the other of Rav Mari and Rav Zvid): We do not divide his words.
Question: Why is this different than Rava's law?
(Rava): If Reuven says 'Ploni had Bi'ah with my wife', he can join with another witness to kill Ploni, but not to kill his wife. (Even though Reuven is not believed about his own wife, it is as if he said 'Ploni had Bi'ah with a married woman' and 'a man had Bi'ah with my wife'. He is believed about the former.)
Answer: When he discusses two people we divide his words, but not when he discusses one.