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Steinsaltz

This line of reasoning is correct, because we expound each one of the listed items in the generalization, and detail, and generalization by itself. Each item is treated individually as representing a category, but the different items are not grouped together into one broad category. Since several animals are listed, it is concluded that if the stolen item is an animal it must resemble the listed animals. But since birds do not transmit impurity through contact or carrying, they are not subject to double payment.

The Gemara rejects this: If so, let the Merciful One write just one detail, i.e., animal, and that would have been enough to teach that animals are subject to double payment only if they transmit impurity through contact and carrying, so birds are excluded. Since the Torah listed several animals, birds are included.

The Gemara questions this assertion: Which individual animal should the Merciful One have written? If the Merciful One had written only “ox,” I would say that only an animal that is similar to an ox, in that it is sacrificed on the altar, yes, it is subject to double payment. But an animal that is not sacrificed on the altar, no, it is not subject to double payment. And if the Merciful One had written only “donkey,” I would say that only an animal that is similar to a donkey, in that its firstborn male offspring is sacred with the sanctity of a firstborn, yes, it is subject to double payment. But an animal that is not sacred with the sanctity of a firstborn, no, it is not subject to double payment. The principle of double payment would then include cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys, but not other animals (see Exodus 13:13 and Deuteronomy 15:19).

The Gemara responds: Say in answer to this question: If so, if the Torah had wished to limit double payment to cases where cattle, sheep, goats, or donkeys were stolen, let the Merciful One write just “ox” and “donkey”; why do I need the verse to mention “sheep”? Conclude from it that the Torah intends to include even animals that do not meet these criteria, e.g., birds.

The Gemara asks further: But say that the verse mentions sheep in order to include only kosher birds, which are similar to the sheep listed in the verse, in that a carcass of these birds renders both the one who eats it and his garments ritually impure when it passes through his esophagus, as the carcass of a sheep also transmits ritual impurity. But non-kosher birds, whose carcasses do not have ritual impurity at all, as they do not render either the one who eats them or his garments impure when they pass through his esophagus, no, they are not subject to double payment. The Gemara answers: The word “any [kol],” in the phrase “for any [kol] matter of trespass” is an amplification, and serves to include even non-kosher birds in the principle of double payment.

The Gemara asks: But is it so that anywhere that the Torah wrote the word kol it is an amplification? But isn’t it so that with regard to second tithe, the word kol is written in the verse: “And you shall bestow the money for whatever [bekhol] your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you” (Deuteronomy 14:26)? And yet we expound that verse as a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization.

As it is taught in a baraita: “And you shall bestow the money for whatever your soul desires,” is a generalization, as no particular type of food is specified. “For oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink,” is a detail, as specific types of food are mentioned. When the verse concludes with “or for whatever your soul asks of you,” it has generalized again. Since the verse is formulated as a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail. This indicates that just as each of the items mentioned in the detail is clearly defined as the produce of produce, i.e., they grow from a parent organism, e.g., agricultural produce or animals, and they are grown from the ground, i.e., their sustenance comes from the ground, so too the category of items one may purchase with second-tithe money includes all items that are the produce of produce and are grown from the ground.

The Gemara responds: Say in answer to this question that the term bekhol is a generalization, whereas the term kol is an amplification. And if you wish, say an alternate answer: The word kol is usually a generalization. But the word kol that is written here, in the verse concerning double payment (Exodus 22:8), is an exception. It is regarded as an amplification, as the Gemara will explain.

After all, there is another generalization, and a detail, and a generalization written at the beginning of this passage, as it is written: “If a man gives his neighbor money or vessels to safeguard and it was stolen from the house of the man, if the thief shall be found he shall pay double” (Exodus 22:6). “If a man gives his neighbor” is a generalization. “Money or vessels” is a detail. When the verse concludes “to safeguard,” it has generalized again.

And if it enters your mind to say that this later verse: “For any matter of trespass” (Exodus 22:8), is also coming to state a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, let the Merciful One write these details, i.e., ox, donkey, sheep, and garment, which are cited in the later verse, together with that previous generalization, and detail, and generalization. Why do I need the latter verse beginning with “for any matter of trespass”? Conclude from it that the word kol is an amplification in this instance, and it includes all animals.

The Gemara asks: Now that you said that the word kol is an amplification, why do I need all these details listed in the verse, i.e., ox, donkey, sheep, and garment? The Gemara answers: As for the three animals listed, one is mentioned to exclude land, one to exclude Canaanite slaves, and one to exclude financial documents. The example of a garment is mentioned to exclude an item that is not clearly delineated in size or quantity. “Or for any manner of lost thing” is written to teach that which Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says, as Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: With regard to one who falsely states the claim that a thief stole

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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