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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
GEMARA. Why does he [the Tanna] state, A GREAT PRINCIPLE? Shall we say that because he wishes to teach 'another principle',3 he [therefore] states here, A GREAT PRINCIPLE?4 And in respect to shebi'ith5 too, because he wishes to teach another principle, he states, This is a great principle?6 But what of tithes, though 'another principle' is taught, he nevertheless does not teach [elsewhere] 'a great principle'?7 — Said R. Jose b. Abin: As for the Sabbath and shebi'ith, since they possess both primaries and derivatives,8 he teaches GREAT; but in respect to tithes, since there are no primaries and derivatives, he does not teach great'. Then according to Bar Kappara, who did learn 'A great principle' in respect to tithes,9 what primaries and what derivatives are there? But surely this must be the reason:10 The penal scope of the Sabbath is 'greater' than that of shebi'ith, for whereas [the restriction of] the Sabbath is found in respect of both detached and growing [produce], [the prohibitions of] shebi'ith do not operate in respect of detached, but only in respect of growing [produce].11 Again, the penal scope of the seventh year is 'greater' than that of tithes: for whereas [the law of] shebi'ith applies to both human food and animal fodder, [the law of] tithes operates in the case of human food, but not of animal fodder.12 And according to Bar Kappara who learned 'a great principle' in connection with tithes, — the penal scope of tithes is greater than that of pe'ah:13 for whereas [the law of] tithes operates in figs and vegetables [too], pe'ah does not operate in figs and vegetables.14 For we learnt: A general principle was stated in respect to pe'ah: whatever is a foodstuff, is guarded, grows from the earth, is [all] gathered simultaneously,15 and is collected for storage,16 is liable to pe'ah. 'Foodstuff' excludes the aftergrowth of woad17 and madder;18 'is guarded' excludes hefker;19 'grows from the earth' excludes mushrooms and truffles;20 'is [all] gathered simultaneously' excludes the fig-tree;21 'and is taken in to be stored' excludes vegetables.22 Whereas in respect to tithes we learnt: A general principle was stated in respect to tithes: Whatever is a foodstuff, is guarded, and grows from the earth is subject to tithes; but we did not learn, 'is gathered simultaneously and is collected for storage.
Rab and Samuel both maintain: Our Mishnah treats of a child who was taken captive among Gentiles, or a proselyte who became converted in the midst of Gentiles.23 But if one knew and subsequently forgot, he is liable [to a sin-offering] for every Sabbath.24 We learnt: HE WHO FORGETS THE ESSENTIAL LAW OF THE SABBATH: surely that implies that he knew [it] originally? — No: what is meant by HE WHO FORGETS THE ESSENTIAL LAW OF THE SABBATH? That the very existence of the Sabbath was unknown25 to him. But what if he knew and subsequently forgot; he is liable for every Sabbath? Then instead of teaching, HE WHO KNOWS THE ESSENTIAL LAW OF THE SABBATH AND PERFORMS MANY LABOURS ON MANY SABBATHS, INCURS A SIN-OFFERING ON ACCOUNT OF EACH SABBATH: let him teach, He who knew and subsequently forgot, and how much more so this one? — What is meant by, HE WHO KNOWS THE ESSENTIAL LAW OF THE SABBATH? That he who knew the essential law of the Sabbath and forgot it.
What if he did not forget it?1 He is liable for each labour? Then instead of teaching, HE WHO KNOWS THAT IT IS THE SABBATH AND PERFORMS MANY LABOURS ON MANY SABBATHS, IS LIABLE FOR EVERY LABOUR, let him teach, He who knows the essential law of the Sabbath, and how much more so this case? Rather our Mishnah refers to one who knew but subsequently forgot, and Rab and Samuel's [ruling] too is similar to the case of one who knew but subsequently forgot, and it was thus stated: Rab and Samuel both maintain: Even a child who was taken captive among Gentiles or a proselyte who became converted in the midst of Gentiles is as one who knew but subsequently forgot, and so he is liable. But R. Johanan and Resh Lakish maintain: Only one who knew but subsequently forgot [is liable], but a child who was taken captive among Gentiles, or a proselyte who became converted in the midst of Gentiles, is not culpable.
An objection is raised: A great principle is stated in respect to Sabbath: He who forgets the essential law of Sabbath and performs many labours on many Sabbaths, incurs one sin-offering only. E.g., if a child is taken captive among Gentiles or a proselyte is converted in the midst of Gentiles and performs many labours on many Sabbaths, he is liable to one sin-offering only. And he is liable to one [sin-offering] on account of blood, one on account of heleb,2 and one on account of idolatry.3 But Monabaz exempts him. And thus did Monabaz argue before R. Akiba: Since a wilful transgressor is designated a sinner, and an unwitting transgressor [too] is designated a sinner;4 then just as wilful transgression implied that he had knowledge,5 so when unwittingly transgressing he must have had the knowledge.6 Said R. Akiba to him, Behold, I will add to your words. If so, just as wilful transgression involves that he shall have had knowledge at the time of his deed, so in unwitting transgression he must have had knowledge at the time of his deed.7 Even so, he replied, and all the more so since you have added [this argument]. As you define it,8 such is not designated unwitting, but wilful transgression, he retorted. Now after all it is stated, 'E.g., if a child' [etc.]: as for Rab and Samuel, it is well.9 But according to R. Johanan and Resh Lakish it presents a difficulty? — R. Johanan and Resh Lakish can answer you: Is there not Monabaz who declares him non-culpable? We rule as Monabaz.
What is Monabaz's reason?10 Because it is written, Ye shall have one law for him that doeth unwittingly;11 and in proximity thereto [it is written], And the soul that doeth aught with a high hand:12 hence unwitting is assimilated to wilful transgression:13 just as wilful transgression involves that he shall have had knowledge, so unwitting transgression implies that he shall have had knowledge.14 And the Rabbis: how do they employ this [verse], Ye shall have one law, [etc.]? — They employ it even as R. Joshua b. Levi taught his son: Ye shall have one law for him that doeth unwittingly; and it is written,
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