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I haven't looked at the g'mara except as you've quoted it, but in that quotation it says "לסוף יתיב באימתא", "at the end he would sit in reverence" (emphasis supplied), which seems to fit right in to the g'mara's second answer: he would first say something funny and then sit in reverence.


The Sefas Emes here says that the gemora continued to investigate because the refutation only succeeded in showing that the argument that the case was mentioned only incidentally was flawed, but maybe the assertion is still true anyway even without the attempted proof. Thus, this is the sequence of the gemora: The gemora asks about the permissibility of ...

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