PEOPLE WHO TRANSGRESS SHEMITAH
(Mishnah - R. Shimon): At first, they used to call such people gatherers of Shemitah Peros....
Question: What does this mean?
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): At first, they used to say that gatherers of Shemitah Peros are Kesherim (they do so to eat it), but Socharei Shemitah are disqualified;
It became rampant that people would say (to am Oni (poor person)) 'take this money and gather Peros for me';
Version #1 (Rashi): Chachamim then decreed that also gatherers are Socharei Shemitah (since they gathered with intent to sell), and are disqualified.
Version #2 (Ramah): Chachamim then called the Aniyim Socharei Shemitah (since they picked the Peros in order to sell it to the gatherers) and disqualified them.
Objection (Bnei Rachbah - Mishnah): After extortionists became rampant...
According to Rav Yehudah, it should say 'after merchants became rampant'!
Answer #2 (Bnei Rachbah): At first, they used to say that gatherers and Socharim of Shemitah are both disqualified;
'After extortionists became rampant' refers to Arnona (the king demands a certain amount of Peros from each field), they declared that gatherers are Kesherim but Socharim are still disqualified;
R. Yanai announced 'seed the land in Shemitah due to Arnona' (we may be lenient, for Shemitah is only mid'Rabanan nowadays. Alternatively, there is mortal danger if they cannot pay what the king demands.)
R. Chiya bar Zarnuki and R. Shimon ben Yehotzadak were going to Asya to (consider whether or not to) be Me'aber the (coming) year. Reish Lakish saw them and accompanied them to see how it is done.
On the way, he saw a man plowing (it was Shemitah). He said 'this must be a Kohen plowing in Shemitah.'
R. Chiya and R. Shimon: Perhaps it is for the sake of Arnona (Rashi - or he is a sharecropper in a Nochri's field).
Reish Lakish also saw a man pruning a vineyard. He said 'this must be a Kohen pruning in Shemitah.'
R. Chiya and R. Shimon: Perhaps he needs the vines to tie the beam in his olivepress.
Reish Lakish: He knows his intention!
Question: Which man did Reish Lakish see first?
It cannot be the man plowing, for then Reish Lakish would not have accused the man pruning. He could have assumed that it is for Arnona!
Answer: He first saw the man pruning.
Question: Why did he assume that he was a Kohen?
Answer: Kohanim were suspected of transgressing Shemitah;
(Beraisa): If a Se'ah of Terumah fell into 100 Se'im of Shemitah Peros, it is Batul (a non- Kohen may eat it like regular Shemitah);
If it fell into less than 100 Se'im, we must let the entire mixture rot.
Question: Why must it rot? We should sell the mixture to Kohanim, without charging for the value of the Terumah. They will eat it with the stringencies of Terumah and Shemitah!
Answer (Rav Chiya): This teaches that Kohanim were suspected of transgressing Shemitah (therefore, we do not give Shemitah Peros to them).
R. Chiya and R. Shimon: Our companion is quarrelsome!
When they reached Asya, they went up to the roof and took the ladder (so Reish Lakish could not follow them).
Reish Lakish (to R. Yochanan): Are people suspected of transgressing Shemitah (they defend transgressors!) Kesherim to be Me'aber the year?
Retraction (Reish Lakish): This is not difficult. They may participate, just like three cattle shepherds did (18b);
Chachamim rely on their own calculations to decide whether we should be Me'aber the year.
Retraction (Reish Lakish): Really, this is a problem! Even though Chachamim rely on their own calculation, three Kosher judges are required (to begin), and not Kesher (a band of) Resha'im!
R. Yochanan: That is improper (to call them Resha'im)!
R. Chiya and R. Shimon complained to R. Yochanan: Reish Lakish considered us like shepherds, and you were silent (until he called us Resha'im)?!
R. Yochanan: What should I have said?
Question: What is 'Kesher Resha'im'?
Answer: Shevna (who was appointed over the house of Chizkiyah ha'Melech) would expound in front of 130,000 people, and Chizkiyah in front of 110,000;
When Sancheriv besieged Yerushalayim, Shevna sent to him 'Shevna and his followers surrender to you. Chizkiyah and his followers do not.' We learn from "ha'Resha'im Yidrechun Keshes" (Lashon ha'Ra is like arrows).
Chizkiyah feared lest Hash-m follow the majority. Since they will fall to the enemy, also we will!
Hash-m reassured him (through Yeshayah ha'Navi) "Lo Somerun Kesher l'Chol Asher Yomar ha'Am ha'Zeh Kesher";
"Kesher" refers to 'Kesher Resha'im.' They are not counted when determining the majority.
Shevna went to dig a grave for himself in the burial place of Beis David (to show that he considers himself to be king). Hash-m told him (through Yeshayah) "Mah Lecha Fo... Hash-m Metaltelcha Taltelah Gaver" (He will drag you like a man).
(Rav): It is worse for a man to be dragged around than a woman (Iyun Yakov - this opposes his nature. Man was created from the ground.)
(R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): "V'Otecha Ato" teaches that he became a Metzora, about which it similarly says "v'Al Safam Yateh."
(Beraisa): "Yitznofecha Tzefenah Kador" - he wanted to disgrace his master's house, therefore his honor was turned to shame.
When he left Yerushalayim to make Shalom with Sancheriv, Gabri'el closed the door in front of his camp.
Sancheriv's men: Where are your followers?
Shevna: They reconsidered.
Sancheriv's men: You mock us!
They pierced his ankles and hung him from the tails of their horses; they dragged him on thorns.
(R. Elazar): Shevna indulged in pleasures. It says "Lech Ba El ha'Sochen", like it says "va'Tehi Lo Sochenes."
(Rav Yehudah or Eina): "Ki ha'Shasos Yeharesun Tzadik Mah Pa'al" - if Chizkiyah and his followers would be trampled, where is the reward for their righteousness?
(The other of Rav Yehudah and Eina): If the Beis ha'Mikdash would be destroyed, where is the reward for their righteousness?
(Ula): If the Machshavos (plans) of that Rasha (Shevna) will not be foiled, where is the reward for Tzadikim?
Question: According to Ula, we understand why it says "ha'Shasos Yeharesun."
We also understand according to the one who said 'if the Beis ha'Mikdash would be destroyed';
(Mishnah): There was a rock called Shesiyah (under the Aron) from the days of the early Nevi'im.
However, according to the one who said 'if Chizkiyah and his followers would be trampled', where do we find a Tzadik called 'Shesos'?
Answer #1: "La'Shem Metukei Eretz va'Yashes Aleihem Tevel."
Answer #2: "Hifli Etzah Higdil Toshiyah."
(R. Chanan): Torah is called Shesiyah because it saps one's strength;
Alternatively, it is called Shesiyah because it was given b'Chashai (quietly), due to the Satan.
Alternatively, it is called Shesiyah because it is Tohu (non-physical) and the world is Meshusas (based) on it.
Version #1 - Rashi - (Ula): Worry about finances makes one forget (everything, even) Torah - "Mefer Machshevos Arumim v'Lo Sa'asenah Yedeihem Tushiyah."
Version #2 - Ramah - (Ula): Planning (when one will accomplish something) inhibits one from fulfilling it, even Torah - "Mefer..." (end of Version #2)
(Rabah): If one learns Lishmah, planning will not harm his Torah - "Rabos Machashavos b'Lev Ish va'Atzas Hash-m Hi Sakum."
ANNOUNCING THAT SOMEONE IS DISQUALIFIED
(Mishnah - R. Yehudah): When is this?...
(R. Avahu): The Halachah follows R. Yehudah.
(R. Avahu): All of them must be announced by Beis Din (to be disqualified. Until this they are Kosher).
(Rav Acha or Ravina): A shepherd must be announced.
(The other of Rav Acha and Ravina): He need not be announced.
Question: According to the opinion that he need not be announced, we understand why Rav Yehuda taught that a shepherd is assumed to be disqualified;
However, according to the opinion that he must be announced, why is this? (He should be Kosher until Beis Din disqualifies him!)
Answer: Rav Yehudah means that Beis Din may announce about him (without evidence), and assume that he should be disqualified.
Two thieves were signed on a gift document; Rav Papa bar Shmuel thought to honor the document, because no announcement was made about the thieves.
(Rava): No. Announcement is only for thieves mid'Rabanan. Thieves mid'Oraisa do not need announcement.
TRANSGRESSIONS THAT DISQUALIFY SOMEONE
(Rav Nachman): Those who consume 'Devar Acher' (take Tzedakah from Nochrim, which desecrates Hash-m's name) are disqualified from testifying.
This is only if they take in public. If they take privately, they are Kesherim.
Even if they take in public, they are disqualified only if they could take privately but do not.
If they have no choice but to take in public, this is their livelihood, and they are Kesherim.
(Rav Nachman): One who is suspected of sexual immorality is Kosher for testimony.
Objection (Rav Sheshes): We give forty lashes (for bad repute). Surely he is disqualified!
(Rava): Rav Nachman admits that he is disqualified to testify about a woman.
(Ravina): Rava refers to testifying (alone) that a man died (to permit his widow to remarry). He is Kosher to testify that she became Mekudeshes.
Objection: This is obvious!
Answer: One might have thought that he prefers that she be (established to be) married to increase his enjoyment - "Mayim Genuvim Yimtaku" - Ravina teaches that this is not so. When she is considered single, she is more available to him.
(Rav Nachman): A thief of Nisan (harvest time) and Tishrei (time of gathering) is not considered a thief.
This refers only to a sharecropper who takes a small amount of something that need not be processed further (he considers himself like a worker who may eat while he works. Really, since he receives a portion of the Peros, he is not entitled to this.)
Rav Zvid had two farmhands (who do not receive a portion of the Peros). One stole a Kav of barley, and the other stole a cluster of dates. Rav Zvid disqualified both of them.
Burial workers buried someone on Shavu'os (on the first day of Yom Tov). Rav Papa excommunicated them and disqualified them from testifying;
Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua was Machshir them for testimony.
Rav Papa: They are Resha'im!
Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua: They thought that they were doing a Mitzvah.
Rav Papa: I put them in Niduy (and they continued to bury on Yom Tov)!
Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua: They reasoned that the Mitzvah to bury the dead overrides Yom Tov, and your Niduy was for atonement (because they had to desecrate Yom Tov).