IF ONE CARRIES OUT A LOAF INTO THE STREET, HE IS CULPABLE; IF TWO CARRY IT OUT, THEY ARE NOT CULPABLE. IF ONE COULD NOT CARRY IT OUT AND TWO CARRY IT OUT, THEY ARE CULPABLE; BUT R. SIMEON EXEMPTS [THEM]
How so? The rabbis interpret this through the biblical verse: And if one person of the common people shall sin unwittingly, in his doing. . . (Lev. 4:27)
Rabbi Simon reads the sentence to list 3 limitations based on: “person”, “one shall sin” and “in his doing”
1. excludes the case where one person moves an article from one domain and a second person puts it in the other domain
2. excludes the case whereby each of these two individuals has the ability to perform the action
3. excludes where neither of them is able to perform the action alone.
And yet, they don’t agree! Rabbi Judah, reading the same text see different limitations
1. excludes [the case where] one [person] removes and another deposits
2. excludes [the case of] each being able
3. excludes [the case of] an individual who acts on the ruling of Beth din (Rabbinic court)
And Rabbi Meir sees only two limitations from the same text but reading only “one person” and “in his doing”:
1. excludes [the case where] one removes and another deposits
2. excludes [the case of] an individual who acts on the ruling of Beth din
All from the same text. This is the fun of close reading!