Yevamot 82 - Things that are always counted

Earlier we saw that an androgynous Kohen is considered a male, to the point that his marriage to a woman qualifies her to eat the priest's portion of grain. Rabbi Yochanan says that this designation of him as a male is definite, because otherwise he would not be giving his wife the right to eat the priest's portion, for which a regular person is liable to death by the hand of Heaven. This logic is valid, because the laws of priest's portion (terumah) are valid even today, when there is diaspora.

However, Resh Lakish disagrees about precisely this point: the priest's portion is just a reminder that the Sages have established for the future time, when it will be reinstated, at the in-gathering of the exiles. Then how is the wife of an androgynous Kohen allowed to eat terumah? - Because the terumah itself is only a decree of the Sages, and as part of their law they allowed her to eat terumah. Resh Lakish then regards the designation of an androgyne as a male as only a possibility.

This disagreement in rooted in another, about the wording in the "things that are counted" rule. What is this rule? Some versions say that "all things that are counted" are included in the laws of nullification - that is, things that are sometimes counted and sometimes weighted, like a sliver of meat. Other versions insist on "only things that are counted," which would include only such things as cabbage stalks. In Israel they used to grow as big as small trees, and were always counted, never weighed. It is this disagreement which is the root for the laws of nullification of terumah and for the disagreements listed above.

Art: Still-life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber by Juan Sanchez Cotan