The Babylonian Talmud



Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 61a

the animal is forbidden for any use;1 but Resh Lakish ruled that it is permitted.2 Now this difficulty is disposed of on R. Johanan's view;3 but on the view of Resh Lakish,4 [why not say that] the verse is required [for this purpose]?

R. Papa demurred: Would the verse singling out sacrificing be superfluous on R. Johanan's view? Surely he merely rules that the animal is forbidden [as a result of the analogy from piggul], but the person may not be liable to death. Hence the verse teaches [by singling out sacrificing] that he is so liable!

R. Aha the son of R. Ika demurred: Would the verse singling out sacrificing not be superfluous on the view of Resh Lakish? Surely he merely rules that the animal is permitted, yet the person may be punishable by death, just as in the case of one who prostrates himself before a mountain, the mountain remaining free for use though the person thereby renders himself liable to decapitation!5

R. Aha of Difti said to Rabina: According to Raba son of R. Hanan's question to Abaye, vi., 'let us say that prostration was singled out in order to throw light upon the general law,' what is excluded by the verse, [Take heed to thyself . . . that thou enquire not after their gods, saying,] How did these nations serve their gods3 even so will I do likewise]?6 Should you say, it excludes the act of uncovering oneself before deities whose normal mode of worship is sacrifice - but that is derived from prostration: just as prostration is an act of honour, so every act [to be punishable] must be one of honour! - But it excludes the act of uncovering oneself before merculis: for I would think, since its normal mode of worship is a contemptuous act [viz. - casting stones thereon], therefore any other degrading action [incurs guilt]; hence the verse excludes it. But what of R. Eleazar's dictum: Whence do we know that, if one sacrificed an animal to merculis, he is liable to punishment? - From the verse, And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto demons.7 Since this is redundant in respect of normal worship, being derived from, How did these nations serve their gods,8 apply it to abnormal worship [as being punishable].9 Now, [on Raba son of R. Hanan's hypothesis that prostration throws light on the general statement] is not abnormal worship derived from prostration? - That verse teaches that even if he sacrificed to merculis merely as an act of provocation10 [but without thereby accepting it as a divinity], he is punished.

R. Hamnuna lost his oxen. [On going to seek them] he was met by Rabbah, Who showed a contradiction in two Mishnahs. We have learnt: He WHO ENGAGES IN IDOL-WORSHIP [ IS EXECUTED]; implying, only if he actually worshipped it, but Ð0 he merely said that he would serve it, he is not punished. But we have learnt: If he [the seduced person] says - 'I will worship.' or 'I will go and worship'. or we will go and worship' [the seducer is executed].11 - He replied, The first Mishnah refers to one who said, 'I will not accept it as a god before I serve it.' R. Joseph said: You have chosen Tannaim at random!12 This is a conflict of Tannaim. For it has been taught: If a man said, 'Come and worship me,' R. Meir declared him liable to death [as any other seducer], but R. Judah ruled that he is not. Now if they [his listeners] did actually worship him, all agree that he is executed, for it is written, Thou shalt not make unto thee any idol.13 Their dispute is only if they merely affirmed that they would worship him: R. Meir maintaining that a mere affirmation is of consequence14 , whilst R. Judah holds that a mere affirmation is of no consequence.15 Subsequently R. Joseph said: My answer is groundless for even R. Judah maintains that guilt is inc{rred for a mere assertion, as it has been taught: R. Judah said: He [the seducer] is n t liable to execution unless the seduced person declares, 'I will worship it,' or 'I will go and worship,' or 'Let us go and worship.'16 But the dispute of R. Meir and R. Judah applies to a case where he incited others to worship him, and they replied. 'Yes!', R. Meir maintaining that when a man incites others to worship him, he is paid heed to, and the 'yes' was said in earnest; whilstóR. Judah holds that no heed is paid to him, for they say,

(1) Although it was not slaughtered with idolatrous intent, and even if subsequently the blûod was not sprinkled idolatrously, the unlawful intention at the time of slaughtering, though in respect of a different service, renders the animal unfit for use. R. Johanan deduces this by drawing an analogy from piggul (v. Glos.).
(2) Resh Lakish does not accept the analogy of piggul.
(3) Since R. Johanan draws an analogy in respect of the animal itself, he can apply the same analogy to the offender-viz., that an idolatrous intention in respect of one service is punishable, even though made in another act. Consequently, if prostration was singled out in order to illumine the entire law, the special statement of sacrificing is superfluous. Hence we are forced to the conclusion that prostration was singled out only for itself.
(4) For since he does not accept the analogy, we can argue thus. Prostration was singled out to illumine the whole, and sacrificing was singled out to teach that though an unlawful intention in respect of one act of service made in the course of another does not affect the animal's fitness for use, it is nevertheless punishable.
(5) I.e., though Resh Lakish rejects the analogy of piggul, he might accept that of mountain worship. For he rejects the former because piggul is in the course of service within the Temple, whilst ordinary slaughter is without. But mountain service, being also without, may provide the basis of an analogy.
(6) Deut. XII, 30. This implies that only the normal mode of serving the deities is forbidden. But, as shewn above, the light thrown upon the general statement of Deut. XVII,3, whether by prostration or by sacrificing, is in respect of abnormal acts of worship. Now, if prostration teaches that even extra-Temple acts are punished, what is excluded by this verse?
(7) Lev. XVII, 7.
(8) Deut. XII, 30.
(9) Hence sacrificing to merculis, though not its normal mode of worship, incurs guilt.
(10) I.e., to God.
(11) Infra 67a.
(12) I.e.. there is no warrant for assuming both Mishnahs to be of the same Tanna.
(13) Ex. XX, 4. Hence, since they worshipped him, he is guilty as a seducer.
(14) And renders the seducer liable.
(15) Hence the first Mishnah is taught in accordance with R. Judah; the second agrees with R. Meir.
(16) Thus though he did not actually worship it, even R. Judah maintains that he is executed.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 61b

'Wherein does he differ from us'? and in saying 'yes' they were but mocking him.1 The two Mishnahs however are to be reconciled thus: The first Mishnah refers to a multitude who were seduced; the second to an individual. For an individual will not reconsider his resolve, hence he will surely go astray after the seducer; but a multitude do reconsider [because they discuss it with each other],and will therefore not go astray after the seducer.2

R. Joseph said: Whence do I know it [that the seducer is liable in the case of an individual]? - From the verse, [If thy brother . . . entice thee . . .] Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him.3 Hence, if he consented and hearkened unto him [declaring that he would do as the seducer urged], guilt is incurred. Abaye demurred to this: Is there any difference whether the one or the many are seduced? Surely it has been taught: If thy brother, the son of thy mother, entice thee;4 it is all one whether the one or the many are seduced. Scripture however excludes an individual from the law pertaining to a multitude, and a multitude from the provisions of an individual; [viz..] an individual is excluded from the law pertaining to a multitude, in that his person is punished with greater severity, whilst his property is treated with greater leniency, whilst a multitude are excluded from the law of an individual, being personally punished with greater leniency, but their property is treated with greater severity.5 Hence the distinction is only in this respect, but in all other matters they are alike6 . Abaye therefore answered thus:7 The first Mishnah refers to one who is self-persuaded, the second to enticement by others; if he is self-persuaded, he may reconsider the matter [therefore he is punished only if he actually engages in worship]; but if he is enticed by others, he will be dragged after them [therefore for his mere assertion the penalty is merited]. Abaye said: Whence do I know this? From the verse, Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him: hence if he consented and hearkened [unto the seducer by affirmation] he is liable.

Raba said: Both Mishnahs deal with one who was seduced by others; the second Mishnah refers to a seducer who [described the idol's might] saying. 'it eats thus,' 'it drinks thus,' 'it does so much good and so much harm;' but the first Mishnah treats of a seducer who did not thus descant upon the idol's greatness.8 Raba said, Whence do I learn this? - From the verse, [If thy brother... entice thee . . . saying let us go and serve other gods . . . ;] Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee or far from thee.9 Now, what does it matter whether they are far or near? - But the Writ means this: from the character of the near idols you can learn the nature of the distant ones.10 Surely then it means that the seducer had said to the seduced; 'It eats thus, it drinks thus, it does so much good and so much harm.' This proof is conclusive.

R. Ashi said; The second Mishnah refers to a non-conforming Israelite.11 Rabina said: The two Mishnahs teach 'not-only-this. but-even-that.'12

It has been taught; If one engages in idolatry through love or fear [of man, but does not actually accept the divinity of the idol], Abaye said, he is liable to punishment; but Raba said, he is free from a penalty. Abaye ruled that he is liable, since he worshipped it; but Raba said that he is free: only if he accepts it as a god is he liable, but not otherwise.

Mnemonic; 'ebed yishtahaveh lemoshiah.)13 Abaye said, how do I know it? Because we have learnt, HE WHO ENGAGES IN IDOL WORSHIP, IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE SERVE IT etc. Surely it means: whether he serve it through love or fear, [or whether he sacrifice to it as a god].14 But Raba answers you: That is not so, but as R. Jeremiah resolved the difficulty.15

Abaye [further] said, Whence do I know it? For it has been taught: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them:16 thou mayest not bow down to them, but thou mayest bow down to a human being like thyself. I might think that this applies even to one who is worshipped, like Haman; but the Writ adds, not serve them.17 But Haman was thus served through fear.18 Raba, however, explains it thus: 'like Haman, but not altogether so. [To bow down to one] 'like Haman' [is forbidden], since he set himself up as a divinity; 'but not altogether so,' for Haman was worshipped through fear, whilst the prohibition of this verse applies only to a voluntary action.

Abaye said: Whence do I know it? - For it has been taught: [As for an anointed High priest's19 [liability to a sacrifice] for [unwitting] idol-worship - Rabbi said: It holds good even if his inadvertency was in respect of the action only. But the Sages say, There must have been forgetfulness of the [principal] law itself.20 They agree, however, that his sacrifice is a she-goat, as that of a private individual [who committed idolatry inadvertently].21 They also agree that he is not bound to bring the guilt offering of doubt.22 Now, how can the act of idol-worship be committed unwittingly? If he [saw an idolatrous shrine,] thought it to be a synagogue, and bowed down to it. - surely his heart was to heaven!23 But it must mean that he saw a royal statue and bowed down to it;24 now, if he accepted it as a god, he is a deliberate sinner;

(1) And therefore he is not treated as a seducer, the likelihood of his obtaining a hearing being so remote
(2) Therefore in their case guilt is incurred only for actual worship; but in the case of a single individual the mere declaration is punishable.
(3) Deut XIII, 9, referring to an individual.
(4) Ibid. 7.
(5) Deut. XIII, 13-17 treats of a multitude that are seduced; they are to be decapitated (an easier death than stoning), and their properly destroyed. Deut. XVII, 2-5 deals with an individual (or individuals) who engage in idol worship; he is to be stoned, but nothing is said about his property, whence it may be concluded that it is left intact. Thus the individual is excluded from the law pertaining to the multitude, and vice versa, there being an aspect of greater severity and leniency in each.
(6) This refutes R. Joseph's distinction between an individual and a multitude.
(7) The difficulty presented by the two Mishnahs.
(8) Consequently his listener is likely to reconsider his resolve, and therefore punishment is not imposed until actual worship.
(9) Ibid. 8.
(10) A seducer generally seeks to entice one to worship distant idols by describing their great power, but avoids mention of the near ones, which his victims would themselves know to be powerless; therefore Scripture warns one against such enticement, by pointing out that the near (and known) idols are an object lesson for the distant ones. Scripture thus assumes that such blandishments were used.
(11) Therefore his mere assertion is sufficient to condemn him, as it is certain that he will keep it. But an observant Israelite may reconsider his desire.
(12) The first Mishnah states that the death penalty is imposed for engaging in idol worship, the second adds that this is so not only for actually worshipping idols but also for the mere statement of intention. Both Mishnahs will then refer to the same kind of Jew.
(13) ישתחוה עבד למשיח Lit. 'The servant shall bow down to the anointed one.' Three passages are adducced, whose catchwords are respectively Service, Prostration, The Anointed One. S. Funk (Die Juden in Babylonien, P. 94. n. 2) sees in this mnemonic an allusion to the Christians' acceptance of Jesus, 'the servant' being the title claimed by those who worship him as the Messiah.
(14) For, as in supra 60b the difficulty arises, what is meant by 'whether he serve it', Seeing that all other actions mentioned are forms of service. Abaye therefore proposes this solution.
(15) Supra 60b.
(16) Ex, XX, 5.
(17) Ibid. This phrase is superfluous, and is therefore so interpreted.
(18) This proves that idolatry (which includes worshipping a human as a divinity) is forbidden even when done through fear.
(19) Until the destruction of the First Temple, High Priests were consecrated by anointing (Ex. XXVIII, 41; XXX, 30; Lev, VII, 36. X, 7); and one thus consecrated was called Kohen ha-mashiah (the anointed priest). But during the second Temple, when no anointing took place (Sifra Zaw, Par. 3 ch, v.). they were consecrated by investiture in the official garments of the High Priesthood. Such a high priest was called merubeh begadim, i.e distinguished by a larger number of garments (eight as against the ordinary priest's four).
(20) Lit., 'the thing (in itself)'. This is in reference to Lev. IV, 2f: If soul shall sin through ignorance ... If the priest that is anointed do sin . . .then let him bring for his sin . . .etc. In Hor. 7b it is deduced that by ignorance in the case of the anointed priest is meant an inadvertence; viz., the action involving a complete forgetfulness of the prohibition on his part, as against an ordinary individual who has to bring an offering even if his inadvertency was only in regard to the action, but not to the prohibition itself. Now the Sages maintain that this applies to all sins, including idolatry. But Rabbi rules that if idolatry be committed inadvertently by the anointed Priest, though without forgetting that it is forbidden, he is still obliged to offer a sacrifice like an ordinary individual.
(21) I.e., though in Lev. IV, 3, a young bullock is prescribed as the sacrifice for an anointed Priest's inadvertent sin, yet in the ease of idolatry, even the Sages agree that he is treated as an ordinary individual, who offers a she-goat: Num. XV, 27. And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she-goat of the first year for a sin offering. By 'any soul' one understands even a High Priest; and 'sin' is interpreted as referring to idol-worship.
(22) If one is in doubt whether he has committed a sin, for the certain (unwitting) transgression of which a sin-offering must be brought, he is bound to bring a guilt offering of doubt (Lev. V, 17-19). This, however, does not apply to a High Priest. Now, even if the doubt is in respect of idolatry, though Rabbi assimilates the High Priest in this case to the common people as to the measure of inadvertency required, he nevertheless concurs with the Sages that the High Priest differs from others, in that he need not bring a guilt-offering of doubt. All this is deduced from Scripture in Hor. 7b.
(23) Hence, he has not even inadvertently committed idolatry.
(24) It was customary to set up royal statutes to which homage was paid. This was quite permissible. But occasionally a royal statue was actually worshipped; thereafter it was forbidden to make obeisance to it.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 62a

whilst if not, his action was not idolatrous at all. Hence, it surely must mean that he worshipped it idolatrously, through love or fear.1 But Raba answers you thus: His inadvertency arose through his declaring that idolatry is permissible. But if he declares it permissible, is it not forgetfulness of the law? It refers to a declaration that it is entirely permissible; whilst forgetfulness consists of partial confirmation and partial annulment.2

R. Zakkai recited to R. Johanan: If one sacrificed, offered incense, made libations, and prostrated himself [before an idol] in one state of unawareness,3 he is bound to bring only one sacrifice. Thereupon R. Johanan retorted: 'Go, teach this outside'.4

[But] R. Abba said, This teaching of R. Zakkai is the subject of a dispute between R. Jose and R. Nathan. For it has been taught: The prohibition of kindling [on the Sabbath] was singled out [from the general prohibition of work] to teach that it is merely the object of a negative precept - This is R. Jose's view. R. Nathan maintained, it was particularly specified to indicate 'separation'.5 Now, on the view that kindling was specified to teach that it is merely the object of a negative precept, prostration too was singled out for that purpose. Whilst if kindling was singled out to indicate 'separation', prostration was likewise singled out for the same reason.6 R. Joseph objected: Perhaps R. Jose maintains that kindling was singled out to teach that it is the object of a negative precept, only because he derives 'separation' of different acts of labour from the phrase 'of one of them'.7 For it has been taught: R. Jose said, [If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord, concerning things which ought not to be done,] and shall do of one of them:8 this teaches that sometimes one sacrifice is incurred for 'all of them' [transgressions], whilst at others for each one [of the transgressions] a separate sacrifice must be brought. Whereon, R. Jonathan remarked, What is the reason of R. Jose [i.e., how does he deduce this from the verse]? - Because It is written, and shall do of one of them.9 This teaches that liability is incurred for one complete act of violation [i.e., 'one']; and for one which is but a part of one [i.e., 'of one']; and for transgressing actions forbidden in themselves [i.e., 'them'], and for actions [the prohibited nature of which is derived] from others [i.e., 'of them']; further, that one transgression may involve liability for a number of sacrifices [i.e. 'one' = 'them']. whilst many offences may involve but one sacrifice [i.e., 'them' = 'one']. Thus: 'one complete act of violation,' - the writing [on the Sabbath] of Simeon; 'one which is but a part of one,' - the writing of Shem as part of Simeon;10 'actions forbidden in themselves' [i.e., 'them'] - the principal acts of labour forbidden on the Sabbath; 'actions [the prohibited nature of which is derived] from others [i.e., "of them"]' - the derivatives;11 'One transgression may involve liability for a number of sacrifices [i.e., "one" = "them"]' - e.g., if one knew that it was the Sabbath [and that some work is forbidden on the Sabbath] - but was unaware that these particular acts are forbidden;12 'many offences may involve but one sacrifice [i.e., "them" = "one"]' - e.g., if he was unaware that it was the Sabbath, but knew that his actions are forbidden on the Sabbath.13 But here [in idol worship]. since separation of actions is not derived from elsewhere, may we not say that all agree [even R. Jose] that prostration was singled out to indicate 'separation'?14 [But is this so?] May not 'separation' of acts in the case of idolatry too be deduced from 'of one of them'?15 Thus, 'one complete act of idolatry' - sacrificing [to idols]; a part of one [i.e., 'of one'] - the cutting of one organ.16 'Actions forbidden in themselves' [i.e., 'them'] - principal acts; i.e., sacrificing, burning incense, making libations, and prostration; 'actions derived from others' [i.e., 'of them'] the derivatives of these - e.g.,if he broke a stick before it;17 'one transgression may involve liability for a number of sacrifices,' [i.e., 'one'='them']. e.g., when one knows that it is an idol [and that idolatry is forbidden], but is unaware that the particular acts in question constitute idol-worship;18 many offences may involve but one sacrifice, [i.e., 'them' = 'one']; if he is unaware that it is an idol, but knows that these acts are forbidden in idol worship?19 - Now, how is the unawareness of the idolatrous nature of a thing possible?20 If one [saw an idolatrous shrine,] thought it to be a synagogue, and bowed down to it? Surely his heart was to heaven! But it must mean that he saw a royal statue and bowed down to it. Now, if he accepted it as a god, he is a deliberate sinner; whilst if not, he has committed no idolatry at all. Hence it must surely mean that he worshipped it idolatrously through love or fear. Now, this interpretation [of the phrase 'of one of them'] is possible on Abaye's view that a penalty is incurred for this. But on Raba's view that there is no liability, what can you say? Hence you will have to explain it that his inadvertency arose through his declaring that idolatry is permissible.21 But on that assumption you may solve the problem which Raba propounded to R. Nahman, viz., 'What if one forgot both?22 [Now on that assumption] you may deduce that he is liable only for one sacrifice?23 - That causes no difficulty: then solve it!24

But canst thou apply this verse to idolatry? In this chapter,25 for the sin of an anointed High priest a bullock is prescribed;26 of a chief, a he-goat27 ; and of a private individual, a she-goat or a lamb;28 whilst with respect to idolatry we have learnt: They agree that his sacrifice is a she-goat, as that of a private individual. There is nothing more to be said about the matter.29

When R. Samuel b. Judah came,30 he said:

(1) Without knowing that this is idol worship. This constitutes inadvertency in respect of the action, but not forgetfulness (or ignorance) of the law, since he knows that idolatry per se is forbidden. Hence this Baraitha supports Abaye's ruling.
(2) E.g if the priest declares: Sacrificing and offering incense to idols are forbidden, but prostration is permitted, that is called ignorance of the law; if he declares that idolatry is not prohibited at all, it is, in Raba's opinion, regarded as inadvertency of action.
(3) I.e., he was not apprised between these actions of their forbidden character, subsequently forgetting it, but was unconscious thereof throughout.
(4) I.e., it is incorrect, and not to be admitted to the school as authentic teaching.
(5) In Ex. XX, 10, it is stated: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. This is repeated in XXV, 2, with a special prohibition against kindling a fire, v. 3: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day. Now kindling is prohibited by the general law of Ex. XX, 10: why is it singled out? R. Jose answers, to teach that whereas other modes of work are punishable by death, this is merely punishable like any other negative precept (viz., by flagellation). But R. Nathan maintained that it was in order to shew that if one did a number of separate acts on the Sabbath (in one state of forgetfulness) e.g., seething, reaping, and threshing, they are accounted as separate offenses, just as kindling was given as a separate offence, and a sacrifice must be brought on account of each.
(6) On 63a (infra) it is stated that prostration is specifically forbidden three times: (i) Ex. XX, 5: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, (ii) Ibid. XXIII, 24: Thou shalt not bow down to their Gods, nor serve them; and (iii) Ibid. XXXIV, 14: For thou shalt not bow down to any other god. (The injunctions against prostration in Deut. are not included, since Deut. is a repetition of the preceding books). One prohibition teaches that prostration even as an abnormal mode of worship is forbidden; the second that as a normal mode of worship it is forbidden (v. 63a); and the third intimates 'separation', viz., that if a number of idolatrous acts were unwittingly committed (in one state of ignorance), separate atonement must be made for each. Now, R. Abba holds that interpretation to agree only with the view that kindling was specified in order to teach separation. But on the other view, prostration was singled out to indicate not 'separation' but that its deliberate transgression is the subject of a negative precept and not punished by extinction as other idolatrous acts, involving consequently no sin offering for its unwitting transgression, albeit here the punishment is greater, viz., death instead of extinction (v. Deut. XVII, 3, 5). Consequently, R. Zakkai's statement is not incorrect; it is in accord with the view of R. Jose.
(7) Lev. IV, 2.
(8) Ibid.
(9) מאחת הנה. This is a peculiar construction. The Scripture should have written, 'and shall do one (not of) of them', or, 'and do of them' (one being understood), or, 'and shall do one' (of them being understood). Instead (of which, a partitive preposition is used before each. Hence each part of the pronoun is to be interpreted separately, teaching that he is liable for the transgression of 'one' precept; and for part of one (i.e.. for 'of one'); for 'them' (explained as referring to the principal acts); and for the derivatives 'of them' (acts forbidden because they partake of the same nature as the fundamentally prohibited acts); also, each pronoun reacts upon the other, as explained in the discussion.
(10) A sin offering for the unwitting violation of the Sabbath is not due unless a complete action is performed. The writing of a complete word - Simeon - is given as an example. Now, if one commenced writing the word Simeon שמעון SHime'on in Hebrew, and only wrote the first two letters thereof, viz., Shem, שם, SHem, he is also liable, though his intention was only partly fulfilled, because Shem is a complete name in itself; similarly, if he commenced writing Daniel and only wrote Dan. This the Talmud calls one action which is part of another (i.e. - 'of one'). If, however, the part he wrote is not complete in itself, e.g., the first two letters of Reuben, in Hebrew, there is no liability.
(11) Labour forbidden on the Sabbath is divided into two categories: (1) fundamental or principal acts, forbidden in themselves and named in the Talmud 'fathers' - 39 are enumerated in Shab. 73a; and (ii) derivative or secondary acts, regarded as species of the former, and called 'toledoth', lit., 'offsprings'. E.g., Sowing, ploughing, and reaping belong to the first category; planting, digging, and vintaging are their respective derivatives.
(12) Hence, though he violated only one injunction, viz., the sacredness of the Sabbath, yet since he was ignorant of each of these acts, he is regarded as having committed a number of separate inadvertent transgressions, for each of which a sacrifice is due.
(13) Therefore, since all his actions were the result of being unaware of one single fact, viz., that it was the Sabbath, only one sacrifice is due. In this discussion 'them' is taken to indicate more than one. We see from this Baraitha that R. Jose derives 'separation' of labour on the Sabbath from this verse, therefore he is bound to interpret the singling out of kindling as teaching something else, viz., that kindling is only subject to a negative precept.
(14) This difficulty is left unanswered, and a further one is raised.
(15) Since that verse refers to sin in general, not particularly to the Sabbath, its deductions apply to idolatry too.
(16) The ritual slaughtering and the sacrificing of an animal consists of cutting through two organs, the windpipe and the gullet. Now, if one cuts only one organ (in idol worship) he commits 'part of one' forbidden action. Nevertheless, he incurs the penalty of idolatry, because this partial action is a complete action elsewhere, for a fowl sin-offering needs only the severing of one organ.
(17) I.e., in honour of the idol. As an idolatrous act, this being similar to slaughter, whereby the neck is broken, is hence a derivative. A penalty is incurred only if this is the normal mode of worship of that particular deity. 'A.Z. 51a.
(18) E.g., knowing that sacrifice is forbidden, but thinking that burning incense and offering libations are permitted.
(19) The reasoning is the same as in the case of the Sabbath.
(20) This is the answer.
(21) Though this does not constitute unawareness that a particular thing is an idol and consciousness that these particular acts are forbidden in idol worship, yet it is a case where many transgressions involve but one sacrifice.
(22) This refers to the Sabbath. If one did a number of forbidden acts on the Sabbath, unaware that it was the Sabbath and also ignorant that these particular acts are forbidden on the Sabbath.
(23) For if one declared that idolatry is permissible, it is as though he were unaware that a particular thing was an idol, as explained at the beginning of 62a. Hence if we deduce from the verse that in idolatry only one sacrifice is needed for such inadvertence, the same must apply to the Sabbath. At this stage of the discussion it is assumed, however, that this deduction is impossible, as otherwise Raba would not have propounded his problem. Consequently the verse cannot be applied to idolatry, and R. Abba is justified in regarding kindling and prostration as interdependent both in interpretaton and in the resultant laws and R. Zakkai's statement is admissible as correct - according to R. Jose.
(24) I.e., the fact that this interpretation solves Raba's problem does not militate against its correctness. Consequently, the verse can be applied to idolatry, and R. Abba's views are again refuted.
(25) Introduced by the passage under discussion, viz., If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord . . . and shall do of one of them.
(26) Lev. IV, 3.
(27) Ibid. 22f.
(28) Ibid. 27f, 32.
(29) I.e., to this no answer is possible. Consequently this verse cannot teach separation of idolatrous actions. In R. Joseph's view, as expressed by his objection, it is deduced from the singling out of prostration.
(30) From Palestine to Babylon.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 62b

This is the teaching which he [R. Zakkai] recited to him [R. Johanan]: [In one respect] the Sabbath is more stringent than other precepts; [in another,] it is the reverse. Now the Sabbath is more stringent than other precepts - in that if one did two acts of work in one state of unawareness, he must make atonement for each separately; this is not so in the case of other precepts. Other precepts are more stringent than the Sabbath, for in their case, if an injunction was unwittingly and unintentionally violated, atonement must be made: this is not so with respect to the Sabbath.1

The `aster said: 'The Sabbath is more stringent than other precepts, in that if one did two acts of work etc.' How so? Shall we say that he reaped and ground [corn]? Then an analagous violation of other precepts would be the partaking of forbidden fat and blood - but in both cases, two penalties are incurred! But how is it possible in the case of other precepts that only one liability is incurred? E.g., if one ate forbidden fat twice;2 then by analogy, the Sabbath was desecrated by reaping twice - but in each case, only one liability is incurred! Therefore R. Johanan said to him? 'Go, teach it outside!'

But what is the difficulty? Perhaps it can be explained after all as referring to reaping and grinding. whilst 'this is not so in the case of other precepts' refers to idolatry, and in accordance with the dictum of R. Ammi, who said: If one sacrificed, burnt incense, and made libations [to an idol] in one state of unawareness, only one penalty is incurred [though a number of services were performed]! - This cannot be explained as referring to idolatry, because the second clause states: 'Other precepts are more stringent than the Sabbath, for in their case, if an injunction was unwittingly and unintentionally violated, atonement must be made.' Now, how is an unwitting and unintentional transgression of idolatry possible? If one thought it [sc. an idolatrous shrine] to be a synagogue, and bowed down to it - but his heart was to heaven! But it must mean that he saw a royal statue, and bowed down to it; now, if he accepted it as a god, he is a deliberate sinner; whilst if he did not accept it as a god, he has not committed idolatry at all. Hence it must mean that he worshipped it idolatrously through love or fear. Now this agrees with Abaye's view that a penalty is incurred; but on Raba's view that there is no liability, what can you say? You will therefore explain that his inadvertency arose through his declaring that idolatry is permissible.3 Then 'this is not so in the case of the Sabbath' will mean that there is no liability at all.4 But this cannot be so, for when Raba propounded to R. Nahman, 'What if one is unaware of both [i.e. that it is the Sabbath, and that labour on the Sabbath is forbidden],' his problem was whether one sacrifice is incurred or two [one for each act of work]; but none maintain that he is entirely exempt? What difficulty is this! Perhaps after all, it ought be said, the first clause [dealing with the greater severity of the Sabbath] refers to idolatry, whilst the second treats of other precepts; the unwitting and unintentional transgression of which consisted of thinking that [melted forbidden fat] was spittle, which he swallowed. [For this, liability is incurred,] which is not so with regard to the Sabbath, there being no liability [in an analogous case, e.g ] if one intended lifting something detached from the soil, but accidently tore out a plant from the earth, he is exempt from a penalty.5 Now, this is in accordance with R. Nahman's dictum in Samuel's name, viz., He who violates the injunction of forbidden fat or consanguineous relationship whilst intending to do something else6 is liable to a penalty, since he derived pleasure thereby. But he who mistakenly did a forbidden act on the Sabbath whilst intending to do another7 is free from penalty - because the Torah prohibited only a calculated action.8 But R. Johanan [who said, 'Go, teach it outside'.] was consistent with his attitude [elsewhere], that two clauses of a Mishnah must not be interpreted as referring each to different circumstances - for R. Johanan said: He who will explain to me the Mishnah of 'a barrel' to agree with one Tanna entirely, I shall carry his clothes for him to the baths.9 To revert to the main text:

(1) The Talmud discusses further on what is meant by unwittingly and unintentionally.
(2) In one state of unawareness, not being reminded in between that this fat is forbidden,
(3) And since he has never known of any prohibition, it is not only regarded as unwitting, but as unintentional too. Cf. 62a top.
(4) If one worked on the Sabbath, not knowing that there is any prohibition against it.
(5) Cutting or tearing out anything growing in the earth is a forbidden labour on the Sabbath. His offence was both unwitting and unintentional for (i) he had no intention of tearing out anything and (ii) he did not know that this was growing in the soil, Now, had he known that it was growing in the soil and deliberately uprooted it in ignorance of the forbidden nature of that action, his offence would have been unwitting but intentional. By analogy, had be intended to eat the melted fat, thinking that it was permitted, his offence would be regarded as unwitting but intentional. Since, however, he did not intend eating it at all, but accidentally swallowed it, thinking at the same time that it was spittle, his offence was both unwitting and unintentional.
(6) E.g., if he reached out for a permitted piece, and accidentally took the forbidden fat, or mistook his sister for his wife.
(7) Whether the other itself was forbidden or permitted. So Tosaf. Rashi, however, in Shebu. 19a explains it that he intended doing a permitted act, but mistakenly did a forbidden one, in accordance with the example given here.
(8) Hence the distinction drawn in the second clause between the Sabbath and other precepts is quite feasible.
(9) I.e., I would be his servant, The reference is to a Mishnah on B.M. 40b:If a barrel was entrusted to a man's keeping, a particular place being assigned to it, and this man moved it from the place where it was first set down, and it was broken. - Now, where it was broken whilst he was handling it, then if he was moving it for his own purposes (e.g., to stand on it), he must pay for it; if for its sake (e.g., if it was exposed to harm in the first place), he is not liable. But if it was broken after he had set it down, then in both cases he is not liable. If the owner, however, had assigned a place to it, and this man moved it, and it was broken, whether whilst in his hand or after he had set it down: if he moved it for his sake, he is liable; if for its own, he is not. The Talmud then proceeds to explain that the first clause is in accordance with R. Ishmael, who maintained that if one stole an article and returned it without informing its owner, he is free from all further liability in respect of it. Consequently, if he moved the barrel for his own purpose (which is like stealing), and set it down elsewhere, no particular place being assigned to it, his liabilities have ceased. But the second clause agrees with R. Akiba's ruling that if an article is stolen and returned, the liability remains until the owner is informed of its return. Consequently, if he moved it for his own purpose, he remains liable even after it is set down. But R. Johanan was dissatisfied with this explanation, holding that both clauses should agree with one Tanna. Now, the Talmud does actually explain that it can agree with one Tanna, viz., by assuming that in the first clause the barrel was subsequently returned to its original place, but that in the second clause it was not. Consequently, it concurs entirely with R. Ishmael, but his liability continues in the second instance because he did not return it to its first place. But R. Johanan rejects this explanation, not deeming it plausible to conceive of such different circumstances in the two clauses of the Mishnah. For the same reason, when R. Zakkai taught that sometimes the Sabbath is more stringent than other precepts, and sometimes it is the reverse, R. Johanan would not accept an interpretation whereby 'other precepts' in the first clause means idolatry, whilst in the second it referred to forbidden fat.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 63a

'R. Ammi said: If one sacrificed burnt incense and made libations [to an idol] in one state of unawareness, Only one penalty is incurred.' Abaye said: What is R. Ammi's reason?1 - Scripture saith, [Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them] nor serve them . . .2 thereby the Writ declares that all idolatrous deeds constitute one act of service. But did Abaye say thus? Did he not say: 'Why is prostration forbidden three times?3 Once to prohibit it when it is the normal mode of service, the second even if abnormal; and the third teaches separation'? - He explains R. Ammi's ruling, but disagrees with it himself.

To revert to the main text: Abaye said: Why is prostration forbidden three times? Once to prohibit it when it is the normal mode of service, the second even if abnormal, and the third teaches separation' - But is not the normal mode of worship derived from [Take heed . . . that thou enquire not after their gods saying,] How did these nations serve their gods? [Even so will I do likewise]?4 - But [amend thus:] one teaches that prostration is forbidden when it is the appropriate but unusual mode of worshipping that deity;5 the second forbids it even if it is not the normal mode of service;6 and the third teaches separation.


R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha in Rab's name: As soon as he said, 'Thou art my God', he is liable, [Liable] to what? If to execution, this is stated [already] in the Mishnah? - Hence it means liable to a sacrifice. Now, is this so even in the view of the Rabbis? But it has been taught: He [the idolator] is liable [to a sacrifice] only for that which entails an action, e.g., sacrificing, burning incense, making libations, and prostration. Whereon Resh Lakish observed: Which Tanna maintains that a sacrifice is due for prostration? R. Akiba, who rules that a deed entailing [much] action is unnecessary.7 Does this not prove that the Rabbis maintain that [much] action is necessary? [Consequently, in their opinion, the declaration 'Thou art my god' made unwittingly, does not involve a sacrifice]? - Rab's dictum is only in accordance with R. Akiba. But if so, is it not obvious; for it is just like blasphemy?8 - I might think that only for blasphemy does R. Akiba rule that a sacrifice is incurred, since extinction is prescribed for it [if committed deliberately]; but not in this case, since extinction is not prescribed. Therefore Rab teaches that a sacrifice is due, because they [sc. the sacrificing to an idol and the declaring 'thou art my god'] are equalized for it is written, [They have made them a molten calf,] and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and have said, these be thy gods, O Israel [which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt].9

R. Johanan said: But for the waw in 'who have brought thee up', the wicked of Israel would have deserved extermination.10 This is disputed by Tannaim: [It has been taught]: 'Others'11 say, but for the wow in 'who have brought thee up', the wicked of Israel would have deserved extermination. Thereupon R. Simeon b. Yohai remarked; But whoever associates the Heavenly Name with anything else [as co-deities] is utterly destroyed [lit., 'eradicated from the world'], for it is written, He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord alone, he shall be utterly destroyed.12 What then is intimated by [the plural in] 'who have brought thee up'? - That they lusted after many deities.13


When R. Dimi came,15 he said in R. Eleazar's name: For all these offences he is flagellated, except for vowing or swearing by its name. Now, why for 'Vowing or Swearing by its name'; because it is a negative precept the transgression of which involves no action? But those others too are only forbidden by a negative precept stated in general terms,16 and for such one is not flagellated? For it has been taught: Whence do we know that the eating of the flesh of an animal before it has expired17 is forbidden by a negative precept? From the verse, Ye shall not eat anything with the blood.18 Another meaning of Ye shall not eat anything with the blood is, Ye shall not eat the flesh [of sacrifices] whilst the blood is in the sprinkling bowl.19 R. Dosa said: Whence do we know that the meal of comfort is not eaten for criminals executed by Beth din?20 From the verse Ye shall not eat [i.e., observe the funeral meal] for one whose blood has been shed. R. Akiba said: Whence do we know that a Sanhedrin which executed a person must not eat anything on the day of the execution? From the verse, Ye shall not eat anything with the [shedding of] blood. R. Jonathan said: Whence do we derive a formal prohibition against a wayward and rebellious son? From the verse, Ye shall not do anything to cause bloodshed.21 Now, R. Abin b. Hiyya, or, as others state, R. Abin b. Kahana said: For none of these offences is the offender flagellated, because it is a negative precept in general terms.22 But when Rabin came, he said in R. Eleazar's name: For none of these [embracing, kissing, etc.] is the offender flagellated, excepting for vowing and swearing by its name. Now, why are these not punished by flagellation: because it is a negative command in general terms? But these too [should be exempt, since they] are forbidden by a negative precept involving no action? That is in accordance with R. Judah, who said: One is flagellated for a negative precept involving no action. For it has been taught: And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.23 Now, the Scripture follows up a negative precept with a positive one,

(1) Why does he not agree that prostration is singled out to teach 'separation'?
(2) Ex. XX, 5.
(3) V. p. 420. n. 4.
(4) Deut. XII, 30.
(5) If the deity is worshipped by an act of honour, but not prostration. Since the latter too is an act of honour, it is an appropriate mode of service, yet not the usual mode.
(6) And also an inappropriate form, e.g prostration before Baal Peor. Not only is it unusual, but inappropriate too, since the normal mode of worship is by an act of contempt.
(7) Even if little action is involved, as in, e.g., prostration, a sacrifice must be brought. The same will apply to a formal declaration of belief, in which the action is very slight. This excludes a mere mental affirmation.
(8) I.e., since blasphemy consists only of speech, and yet R. Akiba rules that a sacrifice is due, it is obvious that for such a declaration, though also consisting only of speech, a sacrifice is likewise due.
(9) Ex. XXXII, 8.
(10) The verb העלוך lit., 'they have brought thee up', is in the plural, the sign of which is a waw (ו). By using the plural, they shewed that they did not recognise the molten calf as the sole god, but admitted the divinity of the Almighty too. This circumstance in their favour saved them from complete annihilation.
(11) [Heb. Aherim represents frequently R. Meir, v. Hor. 13b.]
(12) Ex. XXII, 19. [To associate another deity with God is, according to R. Simeon, a graver offence than the total denial of God's existence.] Hence in his view, had they acknowledged other gods in addition to the Lord, they would the sooner have merited extermination.
(13) Without associating them with God.
(14) The negative precept for embracing etc. is: Turn ye not unto idols (Lev. XIX, 4); for vowing and swearing by its name: and make no mention of the name of other gods (Ex. XXIII, 13).
(15) V. supra p. 390, n. 1.
(16) I.e., a negative precept which does not explicitly forbid a particular action, but a class, as is the case of Turn ye not unto idols.
(17) After it has been ritually slaughtered, but before it is actually dead.
(18) Lev. XIX, 26, 'blood' being understood as a synonym of life.
(19) I.e., before the sprinkling of the blood.
(20) The first meal taken by mourners after the funeral is called the se'udath habra'ah, the meal of comfort, lit., 'the meal of refreshment or restoration'(from habra'ah, recovery to health). It is prepared by neighbours, and usually consists of bread with eggs or lentils, these being a symbol of death. B.B. 16a.
(21) V. infra 70a; since a rebellious son is executed for gluttony, as stated there, the verse is translated, Do not eat (gluttonously), that ye may not be executed (as rebellious sons).
(22) I.e., the commandment, Ye shall not eat with the blood involves many things; and if so, why is there a flogging attached to these other offences?
(23) Ex. XII, 10.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 63b

thereby teaching that one is not flagellated for it. This is R. Judah's view.1 R. Jacob said: This is not the real reason,2 but because it is a negative precept involving no action, for which one is not flagellated. From this we infer that in R. Judah's opinion one is flagellated for such transgressions.

HE WHO VOWS OR SWEARS BY ITS NAME VIOLATES A NEGATIVE PRECEPT. Whence do we know this? - It has been taught: and make no mention of the name of other gods.3 This means, one must not say to his neighbour 'Wait for me at the side of that idol'; neither let it be heard out of thy mouth:4 one should not vow or swear by its name nor cause others [sc. heathens] to swear by the name. Another interpretation: and neither let it be heard out of thy mouth, - this is a formal prohibition against a mesith and maddiah. But a mesith is explicitly forbidden: and all Israel shall hear and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you?5 - But it is a formal prohibition against a maddiah.6

'Nor cause others [sc. heathens] to vow or swear by its name.' This supports the dictum of Samuel's father. For the father of Samuel said: One may not enter into a business partnership with a heathen, lest the latter be obliged to take an oath [in connection with a business dispute], and he swear by his idol, whilst the Torah hath said, Neither let it be heard out through thy mouth.7

When 'Ulla came [to Babylonia] he lodged in Kalnebo.8 Subsequently Raba asked him, 'Where did you stay the night?' He replied, 'In Kalnebo'. 'But,' said he, 'is it not written, And make no mention of the name of other gods.?' - He answered: Thus did R. Johanan say: The name of every idol written in the Torah may be mentioned. Now, where is this name written? - Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth.9 But if the name is not written, may it then not be mentioned? To this R. Mesharshia objected: [We have learnt:] If one had a protracted issue of matter from his body, lasting as long as three normal issues, which is equivalent to the time of walking from Gadyawan to Shiloh, namely, as long as it takes to perform two ritual immersions, and dry oneself twice, he is a zab in all respects.10 - Rabina answered: Also Gad is written in the Bible viz., That prepare a table for Gad.11

R. Nahman said: All scoffing is forbidden, excepting scoffing at idols, which is permitted, as it is written, Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth . . . they stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden.12 And it is also written, They have spoken: The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of tho calves of Beth Aven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it for the glory thereof, which is departed from it.13 Read not Kebodo [its glory], but Kebedo [his weight].14

R. Isaac said, What is meant by, And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols in their image?15 - This teaches that each made a [small] image of his idol, put it in his pocket, and whenever he thought of it withdrew it from his bosom, and embraced and kissed it. What is meant by, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves?16 - R. Isaac, of the school of R. Ammi said: Whenever the idols' priests became envious of any wealthy men, they starved the calves [which were worshipped], made images of these men, and placed them at the side of the cribs. Then they loosed the calves, who recognising these men [from the images set before them] ran after them and pawed them. Thereupon the priests said, 'The idol desires thee; come and sacrifice thyself to them.17 Raba said, If so, the verse should not be, They sacrifice men and kiss the calves, but, 'The calves kiss them [i.e., paw, and fawn upon them] that they should sacrifice themselves'. But Raba explained it thus: If one sacrificed his son to the idol, the priest said to him: You have offered a most precious gift to it; come and kiss it.

Rab Judah said in rab's name: And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth.18 What is this? A fowl.19 And the men of Cuth made Nergal:20 What is it? - A cock. And the men of Hamath made Ashima:21 What is that? - A bald buck. And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak:22 What are these? - A dog and an ass. And the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim:23 What are these? - The mule and the horse: Adrammelech meaning that it [the mule] honours its master24 [lit., 'king'] with its load;25 Anammellech meaning that the horse responds to its master in battle.26 The father of Hezekiah King of judah wished to do likewise to him [i.e burn him in fire], but that his mother anointed him [with the blood of the] salamander.27

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The Israelites knew that the idols were nonentities, but they engaged in idolatry only that they might openly satisfy their incestuous lusts. R. Mesharshia objected: As those who remember their children, so they longed for their altars, and their graves by the green trees etc;28 which R. Eleazar interpreted. As one who yearns for his son [so they yearned]?29 - That was after they became addicted thereto.30 Come and hear: And I will cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols.31 It was related of Elijah the Righteous, that whilst searching for those who were languishing with hunger in Jerusalem, he once found a child faint with hunger lying upon a dungheap. On questioning him as to the family to which he belonged, he replied, 'I belong to such and such a family.' He asked: 'Are any of that family left,' and he answered, 'None, excepting myself.' Thereupon he asked: 'If I teach thee something by which thou wilt live, wilt thou learn?' He replied, 'Yes.' 'Then,' said he, 'recite every day, Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.' But the child retorted,

(1) This is a general principle, for when a positive precept follows a negative one, it is implied that If the latter is violated, tho remedy lies in the former.
(2) Lit., 'this is not of the same denomination'.
(3) Ex. XXIII, 13.
(4) Ibid.
(5) Deut. XIII, 12. This refers to the punishment of a mesith.
(6) On mesith and maddiah v. infra 67a.
(7) [I.e., at thy word, instance, instrumentality, ** translated out of thy mouth is taken in an instrumental sense. Cf. Gen. XLI, 40, **
(8) [Kar-nebo, 'the city of Nebo,' prob. Borsippa, Funk, Monumenta, I, p. 299.]
(9) Isa. XLVI, 1. The conjunction of the first letter of boweth down (**), the second of Bel, and the word Neho, gives the name Kalnebo, the letters r and l interchanging.
(10) One is not considered a zab, with all the laws pertaining thereto, unless he has three separate issues of matter. The minimum overall period for the three combined is the time taken for the issues themselves, (if very short) plus the time necessary to perform two ritual immersions and dry oneself twice, i.e., between the first and second issue, and between the second and third. This is equivalent to the walking time from Gadyasvan to Shiloh. This Mishnah is quoted from Zabin i. 5. where, however, the reading is Gad Yawan (two separate words, lit , 'Greek Fortune') to Siloah. Gad Yawan is probably the name of a pool connected with the Siloah, perhaps Fount of the Virgin. Gad was the name of the god of fortune, but as such it is only mentioned in Isa. LXV, 2, though occurring in the compounds Ba'al Gad and Migdal Gad Dillman (on Isaiah a.l.) suggests that Gad and Meni may have been mere Hebrew appellatives of Babylonian idols otherwise named there. We See from the present passage that Gad was the name of a Deity in Talmudic times. During the Second Temple, Palestine became thickly populated with Greeks (Halevy, Dorah iii, P. 9), and many places bore Greek names; Gad Yawan is an example of such, R. Mesharshia's objection is based on the use of the word Gad, though the name of a deity, by the Tanna of this Mishnah. The Pool of Siloam (the same as Siloah and Shiloah of the Bible, Isa. VIII, 6, Neh. III, 15) is located at the south eastern extremity of the European valley, at the southern part of Ophel. Its source is the Fountain of the Virgin, with which it is connected by a subterranean channel or conduit. Probably to this conduit Isaiah alluded when he spoke of the waters of Shiloah that go softly. Though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet, the passage from one to the other, owing to its winding and Zigzagging nature, measures 1750 feet.
(11) Isa. LXV, 2.
(12) Isa. XLVI, 1.
(13) Hos. X, 5. The same passage in Meg. 25b omits 'They have spoken', which belongs to the previous verse.
(14) ** instead of ** i.e., its weight is reduced (Jast.). Rashi explains that the reference is to its excrements.
(15) E.V., according to their own understanding: Hos. XII, 2.
(16) Ibid.
(17) Thus the verse is translated: They sacrifice (so. themselves) in their homage to the calves.
(18) II Kings XVII, 30. This and the following verses refer to the idols set up by the heathens with whom Sannecherib repopulated Samaria after its inhabitants were deported.
(19) They worshipped the image of a fowl, called in their language Succoth-benoth.
(20) Ibid.
(21) lbid.
(22) Ibid. 3. (Our printed Talmud texts read Nibhan. ** = 'to bark' (instead of Nibhaz), hence taken to be a dog.]
(23) Ibid.
(24) Adar, Heb. hadar ** = 'to honour', and melech (melek) = king, master.
(25) (I.e., the mule honours its master by carrying his load.]
(26) 'Ana, Heb. ** = 'to respond.'
(27) A reptile believed to be engendered in fire. One who smeared himself with its blood was thought to be fire-proof. Hag. 27a.
(28) Jer. XVII, 2.
(29) This shows that they really believed in idols.
(30) I.e., at first, it was only a pretext to satisfy their lust. But having engaged in idolatry, they were ensnared by its allurements and really believed in it.
(31) Lev. XXVI, 30.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 64a

'Be silent, for one must not make mention of the name of the Lord.'1 [He said this] because his father and mother had not taught him [to serve the Lord], and straightway he brought forth an idol from his bosom, embracing and kissing it, until his stomach burst, his idol fell to the earth, and he upon it, thus fulfilling the verse, And I shall cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols.2 - That too was after they became addicted thereto.

Come and hear: And they cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God.3 Now what did they say? - Rab Judah, or as others maintain R. Jonathan said: [They cried this:] 'Woe, woe, it is that [sc. idolatry] which destroyed the Sanctuary, burnt the Temple, slew the righteous, and exiled Israel from their land; and still it sports amongst us! Hast Thou not set it before us that we might be rewarded [for withstanding its allurements]? But we desire neither temptation nor reward!'4 - That too was after they were seduced by it. [Continuing Rab Judah's statement:] They fasted for three days, entreating for mercy; thereafter their sentence fell from Heaven, the word emeth [truth] written upon it. (R. Hanina said: This proves that the seal of the Holy One, blessed be He, is emeth.) The shape of a fiery lion's whelp issued from the Holy of Holies, and the Prophet said to Israel, That is the Tempter of Idolatry. Whilst they held it fast, a hair [of its body] fell out, and his roar of pain was heard for four hundred parasangs. [In perplexity] they cried: 'What shall we do? Maybe Heaven will pity him !' The prophet answered: Cast him into a lead cauldron, and cover it with lead to absorb his voice, as it is written, And he said, This is wickedness; and he cast it into the midst of the ephah: and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.5 Then they said, 'Since the time is propitious, let us pray that the Tempter of Sin [may likewise be delivered into our hands].' So they prayed and it was delivered into their hands. They imprisoned it for three days; after that they sought a new laid egg for an invalid in the whole of Palestine and could not find one.6 Then they said, 'What shall we do? Shall we pray that his power be but partially destroyed?7 Heaven will not grant it.' So they blinded it with rouge. This was so far effective that one does not lust for his forbidden relations.

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: A gentile woman once fell sick. She vowed, 'If I recover, I will go and serve every idol in the world.' She recovered, and proceeded to serve all idols. On reaching Peor, she asked its priests, 'How is this worshipped'? They replied, 'People eat beets, drink strong drink, and then uncover themselves before it.' She replied, 'I would rather fall sick again than serve an idol in such a manner.' But ye, O House of Israel,8 were not so [as it is written, Slay ye every one his men) that were joined unto Baal Peor:9 ye were attached to it like an air-tight lid.10 Whereas, Whilst ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God,11 implies merely like two dates sticking to each other.12 In a Baraitha it has been taught: that were joined unto Baal Peor: [loosely] like a bracelet on the hands of a woman;13 whereas Whilst ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God indicates that they were firmly attached.14

Our Rabbis taught: Sabta, a townsman of Avlas,15 once hired an ass to a gentile woman. When she came to Peor, she said to him, 'Wait till I enter and come out again.' On her issuing, he said to her, 'Now do you wait for me too until I go in and come out again.' 'But,' said she, 'are you not a Jew?' He replied, 'What does it concern thee?' He then entered, uncovered himself before it, and wiped himself on the idol's nose, whilst the acolytes praised him, saying, 'No man has ever served this idol thus.'

He that uncovers himself before Baal Peor thereby serves it, even if his intention was to degrade it. He who casts a stone at Merculis thereby serves it, even if his intention was to bruise it.

R. Manasseh was going to Be Toratha.16 On the way he was told, 'An idol stands here.' He took up a stone and threw it at the idol's statue. Thereupon they said to him: 'It is Merculis'. He said to them, 'But we have learned, HE WHO CASTS A STONE FOR MERCULIS17 THEREBY SERVES IT.' So he went and inquired at the Beth Hamidrash [whether he had done wrong, since his action was a gesture of contempt]. They informed him, We have learned, HE WHO CASTS A STONE AT MERCULIS18 [thereby serves it] - that is to say even if it is merely to bruise it. He said to them, 'Then I will go and remove it.' But they replied, 'Whether one casts a stone or removes it, he incurs guilt, because every stone thus removed leaves room for another.'


GEMARA. The Mishnah19 teaches idolatry and giving to Molech.20 R. Abin said: Our Mishnah is in accordance with the view that Molech worship is not idolatry. For it has been taught, [if one causes his seed to pass through the fire,] whether to Molech or to any other idol he is liable [to death]. R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon said: If to Molech, he is liable; if to another idol, he is not.

Abaye said: R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon and R. Hanina b. Antigonus said the one and same thing. R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon, that which has just been stated. R. Hanina b. Antigonus - as it has been taught: R. Hanina b. Antigonus said: Why did the Torah employ the word Molech? To teach that the same law applies to whatever they proclaimed as their king, even a pebble or a splinter.21 Rabina22 said: The difference between them is in respect of a temporary Molech.23

(1) Amos VI, 10.
(2) Now this too shows that the child had really been taught to believe in it.
(3) Nehem. IX, 4. This was on the fast-day held by the newly established community in Palestine.
(4) This also proves that it had a strong hold upon them. (5) A parasang is 8000 cubits.
(5) Zech. V. 8.
(6) Through the imprisonment of the Tempter sexual lust was dormant throughout creation.
(7) Lit.. 'half and half'. That it may arouse only legitimate sexual desire.
(8) This is Rab's comment.
(9) Num. XXV, 5.
(10) This connects the Heb. הנצמדים hanizmadim, who cleaved, with zamid, an exactly fitting lid.
(11) Deut. IV, 4.
(12) דבק ,הדבקים, dabak, used in this verse, does not imply so strong an attachment as zamad; thus they clung more fervently to Peor than to the Lord.
(13) Deriving hanizmadim from zamid, a bracelet.
(14) This reverses Rab's interpretation.
(15) In Cilicia, mentioned as one of the northern border places of the Land of Israel; Targum Jerus. Num. XXIV, 8; Targum Jonathan b. Uzziel a. I. (Jast.).
(16) A town in Babylonia, on the road to Pumbaditha, 'A.Z. 26a. It may perhaps be identified with Bithra, on the south of the royal canal, on the Seleucian road (A. Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud, p. 363).
(17) למרקוליס i.e., as act of worship.
(18) [He was told that the reading in the Mishnah is במרקוליס AT MERCULIS, implying even as a gesture of contempt.]
(19) On 53a.
(20) As two separate offences, proving that giving one's seed to Molech is not idolatry. The differences is, that if one sacrificed to Molech, or caused his son to pass through the fire to some other deity, he is not punished.
(21) Molech is connected with the idea of kingship. This shews that he too regards any fetish as a Moloch.
(22) In his view they did not say the one and the same thing.
(23) I.e., anything which was only temporarily worshipped as Molech, such as a pebble which would obviously not be a permanent idol.] According to R. Hanina b. Antigonus, he is executed even then. But R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon holds that the law applies only to a permanent idol worshipped as Molech.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 64b

R. Jannai said: Punishment is not incurred unless one delivers his seed to the acolytes of Molech,1 for it is said, And thou shalt not give of thy seed to pass through the fire to Molech.2 It has been taught likewise: I might think, that if one caused his seed to pass through the fire to Molech, without first delivering it to the priests, he is liable: therefore the Writ teaches, Thou shalt not give. If he gave it to the priests, but did not cause it to pass through the fire, I might think that he is liable: therefore the Writ states, to pass through. If one delivered it [to the priests of Molech], but caused it to pass through to some other deity, I might think that he is punished: therefore the Writ teaches, to Molech. Now, if he delivered it to the priests and caused it to pass to Molech, but not through the fire, I might think that he is liable: but, as here is written, to pass through; and elsewhere it is stated, There shall not he found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire:3 just as there, the reference is to fire, so here too; and just as here the reference is to Molech, so there too.

R. Aha the son of Raba said: If one caused all his seed to pass through [the fire] to Molech, he is exempt from punishment, because it is written, of thy seed implying, but not all thy seed.4

R. Ashi propounded: What if one caused his blind or sleeping son to pass through,5 or if he caused his grandson by his son or daughter to pass through? - One at least of these you may solve. For it has been taught: [Any men . . . that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall he put to death . . . And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people;] because he hath given of his seed unto Molech.6 Why is this stated?7 - Because it is said, there shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire.8 From this I know it only of his son or daughter. Whence do I know that it applies to his son's son or daughter's son too? From the verse, [And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man] when he giveth of his seed unto Molech [and kill him not: Then I will . . . cut him off.]9

Now the Tanna commences with the verse, 'because he hath given of his seed', but concludes with 'when he giveth of his seed'? - This is to intimate another deduction.10 Thus: [because he hath given] of his seed: From this I know only that the law applies to legitimate seed [that being the normal meaning of the word]; whence do I know that it also applies to illegitimate seed?11 - From the verse, when he giveth of his seed.12

Rab Judah said: He is only liable to punishment if he causes his seed to pass through in the normal way. How is that? - Abaye said: There was a loose pile of bricks in the middle, and fire on either side of it.13 Raba said: It was like the children's leaping about on Purim.14 It has been taught in support of Raba. Punishment is incurred only for causing one's seed to pass in the normal fashion; if he caused him to pass through on foot, he is exempt.15 He is liable only for his own issue; e.g., for his son and daughter, he is punished; but for his father or mother, brother or sister, he is not. If he passed through himself, he is free from punishment.16 R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon ruled that he is liable. Further, whether to Molech or to any other idol, he is liable. R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon said: If to Molech, he is liable; if to another idol, he is not.

'Ulla said: What is R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon s reason? - Scripture saith, There shall not be found among thee . . .17 'among thee' means in thyself.18 And the Rabbis? Do they not interpret 'among thee' thus? Surely we have learnt: If one must search for a lost article of his own and of his father's, priority is given to his own. And we observed thereon: Why so? - To which Rab Judah replied: Scripture saith, Save that there shall be no poor among thee,19 teaching that one's own loss has priority over that of any other man?20 There the deduction follows from 'save that'.21

R. Jose, son of R. Hanina said: Why is extinction thrice threatened for idolatry?22 - One teaches extinction for the normal worship of idols; one for abnormal; and one for the service of Molech.23 But on the view that Molech worship is included in general idolatry, why is extinction mentioned in its case? - To amply to one who causes his son to pass through to an idol [not Molech], where such is not the normal mode of worship. Now, on the view that a megaddef24 is a worshipper of idols,22 why is extinction stated for it?25 - Even as it has been taught26 : That soul shall surely be cut off from among his people;27 he shall be cut off in this world and in the next: this is R. Akiba's view.28 R. Ishmael said: But the verse has previously stated 'that soul shall be cut off':29 are there then three worlds?30 But [interpret this:] 'and [that soul] shall be cut off' - in this world: 'he is to he cut off' - [of the following verse, and denoted by the infinitive]31 in the next; whilst as for the repetition [the finite form of the verb],32 that is because the Torah employs human phraseology.33

(1) He explains this to be the meaning of the Mishnah UNLESS HE GIVES IT TO MOLECH.
(2) Lee. XVIII, 21. This proves that the offence consists of two parts; (i) formal delivery to the priests, and (ii) causing the seed to pass through the fire.
(3) Deut. XVIII, 10.
(4) Probably because this would not be accounted a normal mode of Molech worship: cp. pp. 438, 440.
(5) Is 'thou shalt not cause to pass' applicable only to a son who can naturally pass through himself, but not to a blind or sleeping son, who must be led or carried, or does it apply to all?
(6) Lev. XX, 2f.
(7) Since the passage commences by explicitly referring to this offence, why is it repeated?
(8) Deut. XVIII, 10.
(9) Lev. XX, 4. Hence the law applies also to grandsons.
(10) I.e., from the first verse, because etc. we learn that the law applies to one's grandsons too; when he giveth is stated in order that another law may be deduced.
(11) Not in the modern sense, but seed from a woman forbidden to him.
(12) This is superfluous, since it has already been stated twice in that passage that the reference is to this effect. Hence it indicates the application of the law to illegitimate seed.
(13) The victim walked along that pile to Moloch, but was not burnt. The statement that Hezekiah was smeared with the blood of the salamander to render him fireproof (63b), shewing that the victim was actually burnt, does not refer to Moloch, but to the divinities of Sepharvaim (Rashi).
(14) Probably referring to a game played on Purim when children jump over a fire lit in a pit. According to this, a pit was dug and a fire lit therein, and the victim leaped over it (So Rashi). Jast. translates: 'like the stirrup (a ring suspended from a frame) thrust over a bonfire on Purim;' cp. Aruch.
(15) This proves that the victim did not walk, but leaped to it.
(16) This too proves that the victim was not burnt in passing through the fire to Molech.
(17) Deut. XVIII, 10.
(18) Hence his view that one is liable if he passes through himself.
(19) Deut. XV, 4.
(20) The questioner understood this to be deduced from 'among thee' - in thyself. Since this is not taught in the name of any particular Tanna, it should agree with the Rabbis too.
(21) Heb. אפס efes, implying an admonition to avoid any action which may lead to poverty. Naturally, this is not to be interpreted as permitting dishonesty, but merely insists that poverty must not be courted.
(22) Twice in Lev. XX, 2-5: Whosoever be he . . . that giveth of his seeds to Molech . . . I will cut him off from among his people . . . And if the people of the land . . . kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man . . . and will cut him off. Once in Num. XV, 30f. But the soul that doeth aught presumptuously . . . the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord. This refers to idolatry.
(23) Which is not included in general idolatry, as stated above.
(24) In Num. XV, 30, the Heb. for 'he reproacheth' is megaddef.
(25) The meaning of megaddef is disputed in Ker. 7b. By a 'worshipper of idols' is meant, e.g., one who sings hymns in a heathen Temple.
(26) Since, being a normal part of idolatry, it is understood.
(27) Num. XV, 31. Continuing the verses quoted in note 3. In the Heb, as usual, this emphasis is denoted by the repetition of the verb, הכרת תכרת
(28) He interprets the doubling of the verb as referring to two worlds.
(29) Ibid. 30.
(30) Rashi explains that this question is not put to R. Akiba, because he interprets megaddef in that previous verse as referring to blasphemy, not idolatry. But this question is rhetorically stated by R. Ishmael on his own assumption that megaddef means an idol worshipper.
(31) הכרת
(32) תכרת
(33) In ordinary human speech, such repetition is quite common.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 65a


GEMARA. Why are both a Ba'al ob and Yidde'oni mentioned here [as being executed], whilst in the list of those who are punished by extinction only Ba'al ob is included, but Yidde'oni is omitted?5 - R. Johanan said: Because both are stated in one negative precept.6 Resh Lakish said: Yidde'oni is omitted [in Kerithoth], because it involves no action.7 Now, according to R. Johanan, why is a Ba'al ob mentioned [rather than a Yidde'oni]? - Because it is written first in the Scripture. Now why does Resh Lakish reject R. Johanan's answer? - R. Papa said: They are stated separately in the verse decreeing death.8 But R. Johanan maintains: Offences which are distinct in their injunctions [there being a different one for each], are held to be separate [in their atonement]; but if only in the decree of death, they are not regarded as separate.

Now, why does R. Johanan reject Resh Lakish's answer? - He can tell you: The Mishnah of Kerithoth is taught in accordance with R. Akiba's views, that action is unnecessary [for a sin offering to be incurred]. But Resh Lakish maintains: Granted that R. Akiba does not require a great action, but he requires at least a small one. But what action is there in blasphemy [which is included in the enumeration]? - The movement of the lips. But what action is done by a Ba'al ob? - The knocking of his arms.9 Now, is this so even in the view of the Rabbis? But it has been taught: [The idolater] is liable [to a sacrifice] only for that which entails an action, e.g., sacrificing, burning incense, making libations and prostration. Whereon Resh Lakish observed: Which Tanna maintains that a sacrifice is due for prostration? R. Akiba, who rules that a deed entailing [much] action is unnecessary. But R. Johanan said: It even agrees with the Rabbis, for in bending his body, he performs an action. Now, since Resh Lakish maintains that in the view of the Rabbis bending one's body is not regarded as an action, surely the knocking of the arms is not one? - Well then Resh Lakish's statement [that the Ba'al ob performs an action] is made on the view only of R. Akiba, but not of the Rabbis. If so, should not the Mishnah there state, [But the Rabbis maintain that] the blasphemer and Ba'al ob are excluded?10 - But 'Ulla answered: The Mishnah there refers to a Ba'al oh who burnt incense to a demon.11 Raba asked him: But is not burning incense to a demon idolatry?12 - But Raba said: It [i.e., the Ba'al ob in Kerithoth] refers to one who burns incense as a charm.13 Abaye said to him: But burning incense as a charm is to act as a charmer, which is merely prohibited by a negative precept? - That is so, but the Torah decreed that such a charmer is stoned.14

Our Rabbis taught: [There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter pass through to the fire . . .] Or a charmer.15 This applies to one who charms large objects, and to one who charms small ones,16 even snakes and scorpions. Abaye said: Therefore even to imprison wasps or scorpions [by charms], though the intention is to prevent them from doing harm, is forbidden.

Now, as for R. Johanan, why does he maintain that in the view of the Rabbis the bending of one's body [in prostration] is an action, whilst the movement of the lips is not? - Raba said: Blasphemy is different, since the offence lies in the intention.17

(1) Lev. XIX, 31. 'He that hath a familiar spirit'.
(2) ** ventriloquist, necromancer.
(3) Both refer to making the dead speak thus.
(4) Lev. XIX, 31, lit., 'a warning', carrying with it no penalty.
(5) Ker. 2a.
(6) Lev. XIX, 31. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, and wizards. Now in Ker. 2a, where the Mishnah teaches that thirty six offences are punished by extinction, the Gemara explains that the number - 36 - intimates that if one committed them all in one state of unawareness, he is bound to offer 36 separate sacrifices. Since however, those two are forbidden by one injunction, only one atonement must be made for both. Consequently, the two cannot be taught there.
(7) The Mishnah there refers to transgressions, the deliberate committal of which is punished by extinction, whilst if unwitting, a sin offering is due; but this is brought only for an offence involving action.
(8) Ibid. XX, 27. A man also that hath a familiar spirit, or (not and) that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death. 'Or', או is a disjunctive particle. Since they are thus sharply distinguished, one would have to make two separate atonements for the unwitting transgression, if the offence of wizardry incurred a sin offering at all.
(9) By flapping his arms about the Ba'al ob made it appear that the dead was speaking from his armpits
(10) In Ker. 2a the Rabbis state that a blasphemer is exempted from a sin offering, since his offence involves no action. But according to Resh Lakish, that they regard a Ba'al ob as doing no action too, they should have stated that he also is exempted.
(11) I.e., to the spirit of necromancy. That of course is an action even in the view of the Rabbis. This answer is given on the basis of Resh Lakish's statement.
(12) And does not come under the heading of Ba'al ob at all. Idolatry is taught there separately.
(13) To exorcise the demons (Jast.). Rashi reverses the interpretation: to call up the demons, that they may assist him in his sorcery. This is not idolatry, for the demons are not thereby worshipped as divinities, but it comes under the heading of Ba'al 'ob.
(14) Consequently, for unwitting transgression a sin offering is due. But the charmer who is punished by lashes is one who charms animals by bringing them together.
(15) Deut. XVIII, 10f.
(16) Large objects, viz., cattle, and beasts; small objects, creeping things, insects, etc.
(17) For blasphemy is an indictable offence only if it is mentally directed against God. If however, one reviles the Divine Name, whilst mentally employing it to denote some other object, he is not punished. Consequently, since the essence of the offence is mental, the slight action is disregarded.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 65b

R. Zera objected: False witnesses1 are excluded [from the necessity of a sin offering if they unwittingly offended], since their offence entails no action.2 But why so; their offence does not depend on intention? — Raba answered: False witnesses are different, because their offence is caused by sound.3 But does not R. Johanan regard sound as a [concrete] action? Has it not been stated: If one frightened [lit. ‘muzzled’] off an animal by his voice, or drove animals by his voice,4 R. Johanan ruled that he is liable to punishment, because the movement of his lips is an action; Resh Lakish ruled that he is not, because this is not an action?5 — But Raba answered thus: False witnesses are different, because their offence is caused through vision.6

Our Rabbis taught: A Ba'al ob is one who speaks from between the joints of his body and his elbow joints. A yidde'oni is one who places the bone of a yidoa’7 in his mouth and it speaks of itself. An objection is raised: And thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground:8 surely that means that it speaks naturally?9 — No. It ascends and seats itself between his joints and speaks. Come and hear: And the woman said unto Saul, I saw a god-like form ascending out of the earth: [And Samuel said to Saul . . .]10 surely that means that it spoke naturally? — No. It settled itself between her joints and spoke.

Our Rabbis taught: Ba'al ob denotes both him who conjures up the dead by means of soothsaying11 and one who consults a skull. What is the difference between them? — The dead conjured up by soothsaying does not ascend naturally [but feet first], nor on the Sabbath; whilst if consulted by its skull it ascends naturally and on the Sabbath too. [You say,] it ascends: but whither — does not the skull lie before him? — But say thus: It answers naturally,12 and on the Sabbath too. And this question was asked by Turnusrufus13 of R. Akiba: ‘Wherein does this day [the Sabbath] differ from any other?’ — He replied: Wherein does one man differ from another?’14 — ‘Because my Lord [the Emperor] wishes it.’ ‘The Sabbath too,’ R. Akiba rejoined, ‘then, is distinguished because the Lord wishes so.’ He replied: ‘I ask this: Who tells you that this day is the Sabbath?’ — He answered: ‘Let the river Sabbation15 prove it; let the Ba'al ob prove it;16 let thy father's grave, whence no smoke ascends on the Sabbath,17 prove it.’ He said to him: ‘You have shamed, disgraced, and reviled him [by this proof].’

He who enquireth of an ob — is that not the same as one that consulteth the dead?18 — As has been taught: Or that consulteth the dead: this means one who starves himself and spends the night in a cemetery, so that an unclean spirit [of a demon] may rest upon him [to enable him to foretell the future]. And when R. Akiba reached this verse, he wept: If one who starves himself that an unclean spirit may rest upon him has his wish granted, he who fasts that the pure spirit [the Divine Presence] may rest upon him — how much more should his desire be fulfilled! But alas!19 our sins have driven it away20 from us, as it is written, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God.21

Raba said: If the righteous desired it, they could [by living a life of absolute purity] be creators, for it is written, But your iniquities have distinguished between etc.22 Rabbah created a man,23 and sent him to R. Zera. R. Zera spoke to him, but received no answer. Thereupon he said unto him: ‘Thou art a creature of the magicians. Return to thy dust.’

R. Hanina and R. Oshaia spent every Sabbath eve in studying the ‘Book of Creation’,24 by means of which they created a third-grown calf25 and ate it.

Our Rabbis taught: Me'onen26 — R. Simeon said: That is one who applies the semen of seven male species to his eyes [in order to perform witchcraft]. The Sages say: It is one who holds people's eyes.27 R. Akiba said: It is one who calculates the times and hours, saying, To-day is propitious for setting forth; tomorrow for making purchases; the wheat ripening on the eve of the seventh year28 is generally sound; let the beans be pulled up [instead of being harvested in the usual manner] to save them from becoming worthy.

Our Rabbis taught: A Menahesh29 is one who says: So and so's bread has fallen out of his hand; his staff has fallen out of his hand; his son called after him; a raven screamed after him, a deer has crossed his path; a serpent came at his right hand or a fox at his left;30

(1) Lit., 'witnesses proved zomemim', v. Glos.
(2) Ker. 4a.
(3) Causing certain sounds, i.e., words, to be heard at Beth din. Since sound too is not concrete, false testimony is comjarable to blasphemy, and the essence of the transgression lies in intention.
(4) The first refers to Deut. XXV, 4: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn; the second to Deut. XXII, 10, Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together.
(5) Hence we see that R. Johanan considers voice an action?
(6) I.e., they offend byösaying that they saw something: and sight does not entail work or action.
(7) Rashi, the name of a beast; Maim., the name of a bird.
(8) Isa. XXIX, 4.
(9) I.e., the dead actually speaking out of the ground.
(10) I Sam. XXVIII, 13.
(11) [זכורו from Syriac זכר 'to divine'. Rashi connects it with זכרות, membrum'.]
(12) I.e., not from between the necromancer's joints.
(13) Tineius Rufus, a Roman Governor of Judea.
(14) 'Why is one a noble and one a commoner?' - referring to the high office which Rufus held.
(15) A legendary river, said to flow with such a strong current on week days, carrying (for note 10 see p. 447) along stones and rubble with tremendous force, as to be quite unnavigable, but resting on the Sabbath. (Cf. Plinius, Hist. Nat. XXI, 2, and Josephus, Wars, VII, 5, ¤ 1].
(16) Who cannot conjure up the dead on that day.
(17) The whole week smoke ascended from his grave, as he was being burnt in the fires of purgatory: but even the wicked in Gehenna have rest from their torments on the Sabbath.
(18) Deut. XVIII, 11.
(19) Lit., 'What am I to do'.
(20) Lit., 'have brought (this) upon us'.
(21) Isa. LIX, 2.
(22) Ibid. Raba understands mabadilim in the sense of 'draw a distinction'. But for their iniquities, their power would equal God's, and they could create a world.
(23) By means of the Sefer Yeziroh, Book of Creation. V. next note.
(24) The Book of Creation, Heb. Sefer Yeziroh, is the title of two esoteric books. The older, referred to here, was a thaumaturgical work popular in the Talmudic period. It was also known as Hilkoth Yezirah (Laws of Creation), and is so called in the same story quoted on 67b. Rashi there states that the creation was performed by means of mystic combinations of the Divine Name, which does not come under the ban of witchcraft. Its basic idea is that the Creation was accomplished by means of the power inherent in those letters (Cf. Rab's saying: 'Bezalel knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and earth were created'. Ber. 55a. Cf. also Enoch LXI, 3 et seq.; Prayer of Manasseh: Ecc. R. III, 11 on the magic power of the letters of the Divine Name), and that this same power could be utilised in further creation. The work was ascribed to Abraham, which fact indicates an old tradition, and the possible antiquity of the book itself. It has affinities with Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hellenic mysticism and its origin has been placed in the second century B.C.E., when such a combination of influences might be expected. It is noteworthy that Raba's statement above, though not mentioning the Sefer Yezirah, insists on freedom from sin as a prerequisite of creation by man, v. J.E., XII, 602.
(25) (I.e., a calf that has reached one third of its full growth; others interpret: (i) in its third year; (ii) third born, fat].
(26) Observer of times, Deut. XVIII, 10.
(27) Producing hallucinations in people by opening and shutting their eyes (Rashi).
(28) Time was calculated by seven-year cycles. The seventh year was called the year of release, and the land was not to be ploughed or sown therein. Lev. XXV, 1-7.
(29) An enchanter, Deut. XVIII, 10.
(30) All these omens were regarded by the superstitious as generally bad.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 66a

do not commence with me;1 it is morning; it is new moon; it is the conclusion of the Sabbath.2

Our Rabbis taught: Ye shall not use enchantments nor observe times.3 This refers to those who practise enchantment by means of weasels, birds, and fish.4


GEMARA. This proves that there is a manner of desecrating the Sabbath for the deliberate committal of which there is no extinction, nor is a sin offering to be brought for its unwitting transgression. What is it? - The law of boundaries, according to R. Akiba,5 and kindling a fire, according to R. Jose.6


GEMARA. Who is meant here by the Sages?8 - R. Menahem, son of R. Jose. For it has been taught: R. Menahem, son of R. Jose said, When he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.9 Why is 'the name' mentioned?10 To teach that he who curses his father or his mother does not incur a penalty unless he employs the Divine Name.11

Our Rabbis taught: [For any man12 that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death: his father and his mother he hath cursed; his blood shall be upon him.13 Now, the Scripture could have said,] A man [ish]; what is taught by any man [ish ish]? - The inclusion of a daughter, a tumtum,14 and a hermaphrodite [as being subject to this law]. That curseth his father and his mother.' from this I know only [that he is punished for cursing] his father and his mother; whence do I know [the same] if he cursed his father without his mother or his mother without his father? - From the passage his father and his mother he hath cursed: his blood shall be upon him,15 implying, a man that cursed his father; a man that cursed his mother. This is R. Joshiah's opinion. R. Jonathan said: The [beginning of the] verse alone implies either the two together or each separately unless the verse had explicitly stated 'together'.16 He shall surely be put to death - by stoning. You say: By stoning. But perhaps it means by one of the other deaths decreed in the Torah? - Here it is written, his blood shall be upon him; and elsewhere it is written, [A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones:] their blood shall be upon them:17 just as there stoning is meant, so here too. From this we learn punishment: whence do we derive the prohibition? - From the verse, Thou shalt not revile the judges, nor curse the ruler of thy people.18 Now, if his father is a judge, he is included in the Thou shalt not revile the judges; if a nasi,19 in nor curse the ruler of they people. If neither a judge nor a ruler, whence do we know it? - You may construct a syllogism with these two as premises; the case of a nasi is not analogous to that of a judge, nor of a judge to that of a nasi. Now, the case of a judge is not analogous to that of a nasi, for you art commanded to obey the ruling of a judge, but not of a nasi; whilst the case of a nasi is not analogous to that of judge, for you are enjoined not to rebel against the decree of a nasi, but not of a judge.20 Now, what is common to both, is that they are of 'thy people'21 and you are forbidden to curse them: so I extend the law to thy father, who is of 'thy people', that thou art forbidden to curse him. No; their common characteristic is their greatness, which is the decisive factor. Hence Scripture writes, Thou shalt not curse the deaf;22 thus applying the injunction even to the humblest of thy people. No; in the case of the deaf, his very deafness may be the cause [of the prohibition].23 Then let the nasi and the judge prove otherwise. But in their case their greatness may be the cause: then let the deaf prove the reverse. And thus the argument proceeds in a circle: the particular characteristic of one is lacking in the other, and vice versa.24 What is common to all is that they are of 'thy people', and you are forbidden to curse them: so I include thy father who is of thy people, and you are forbidden to curse him. No! What they have in common is that they are distinguished [from the average person].25 But if so, Scripture should have written either the judge and the deaf or the nasi and the deaf.26 Why then is the judge mentioned? - Since this is superfluous for itself, apply it to one's father. Now, this agrees with the view that elohim is profane; but on the view that it is holy, what canst thou say?27 For it has been taught: Elohim is profane:28 that is R. Ishmael's opinion. R. Akiba said: It is sacred.29 And it has been taught thereon: R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: Whence do we derive a formal prohibition against cursing God's name? From the verse, Thou shalt not revile god?30 - On the view that elohim is profane, the sacred is derived from the profane,31 hence, contrariwise, on the view that elohim is sacred, thou mayest derive the profane from the sacred.32 Now, it is quite correct to say that on the view that elohim is profane, the sacred is derived from it. But on the view that elohim is holy, how canst thou derive the profane from it: perhaps the prohibition is only in respect of the sacred [i.e.. God], but not of the profane at all? - If so, Scripture should have written, elohim lo takel [Thou shalt not revile God],

(1) I.e., if a tax-collector comes to him, he asks him to collect first from someone else, as it is a bad omen to be the first to pay taxes.
(2) He declines to pay his debts on these occasions, regarding it as a bad omen to start the week or day or month by paying debts. - All these superstitions are forbidden under the term menahesh.
(3) Lev. XIX, 26.
(4) Var. lec.: 'and stars'.
(5) According to Biblical law, as deduced by the Rabbis, one was not to go more than 12 mil (a mil = 1,000 cubits) beyond the town boundaries on the Sabbath (the Rabbis reduced this to 2,000 cubits). R. Akiba maintained that if this law was violated the offender was liable neither to extinction nor to a sin offering.
(6) V. supra 62a.
(7) E.g., The Merciful, the Gracious, the Almighty.
(8) This anonymous term did not necessarily represent the view of many Sages; it frequently connoted a single scholar.
(9) Lev. XXIV, 16.
(10) Since the beginning of the same verse explicitly states that the reference is to the Name: And he that blasphemeth the Name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.
(11) For 'the name' being unnecessary here, is applied to a different law. V. supra p. 365, n. 7.
(12) Lit. 'a man, a man', איש איש
(13) Lev. XX, 9.
(14) A person whose genitals are hidden or undeveloped, and hence of unknown sex.
(15) At the beginning of the sentence that curseth is in immediate proximity to his father; at the end, cursing is mentioned nearest to his mother, shewing that each is separate.
(16) I.e., the conjunctive waw implies both conjunction and separation. Hence, the first half of the sentence is sufficient to shew that the law applies to each separately. The second half is employed for a different purpose. V. infra 85b.
(17) Lev. XX, 27.
(18) Ex. XXII, 27.
(19) The Patriarch or chief of the great sanhedrin in Jerusalem and of its successors in Palestinian places. In earlier times, the princes of the tribes; v. Num. VII, 12-89.
(20) I.e., each has a measure of authority which the other lacks: the judge to give his verdict in disputes, the nasi make decrees. Now, considered separately, it might be argued that one is forbidden to curse either the nasi or the judge on account of the particular authority he enjoys. But when they are examined in conjunction, it is seen that the particular authority of each is not the decisive factor, since the other lacks it. Hence they must base something in common as the final factor, and the same law will apply to whomever shares it with them.
(21) This is taken to mean that they conform to the laws of Judaism (Yeb. 22b; B.B. 4a).
(22) Lev. XIX, 14.
(23) I.e., one may not take advantage of his infirmity.
(24) At this stage, the judge and the nasi are one proposition, the deaf another.
(25) The judge and the nasi by their greatness; the deaf by his infirmity.
(26) Had the Torah forbidden the cursing of the deaf and either a judge or a nasi, the other could have been deduced. For their common feature is that they are distinguished from other people; consequently, by analogy, the same law applies to either a judge or a nasi.
(27) Ex. XXII, 27: Thou shall not revile elohim (translated above 'the judges'); but that itself is the subject of a dispute.
(28) I.e., its meaning is 'judge', the root idea of elohim being power, authority.
(29) I.e., it means literally 'God'.
(30) Soferim IV, 5. On this latter view, elohim is not superfluous, to be applied to one's father, and the question remains, whence is derived the prohibition of cursing a father?
(31) Though elohim means judge, nevertheless the same law applies to God, by deriving the latter from the former. Such derivation is warranted, since Scripture expresses 'judge' by a word normally meaning God (Tosaf.).
(32) Thus, even if elohim means 'God', yet the same applies to a judge, by analogy. Now, since a nasi could have been deduced from a judge and the deaf, it is superfluous, and consequently must be applied to one's father. Hence, the general argument is as before, but the nasi, and not the judge, is now, regarded as unnecessary.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 66b

why [write] lo tekallel?1 - That both [God and judge] may be understood therefrom.


GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: If a na'arah [damsel] that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband;5 na'arah excludes a bogereth;6 'virgin' excludes one who is no longer a virgin; 'betrothed' excludes a nasu'ah; [because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore] in her father's house7 - this excludes one whom her father has given over to her husband's messengers [to take to her new home].

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: This [our Mishnah] is R. Meir's view, but the Sages maintain that by a betrothed damsel even a minor8 is understood.9 R. Aha of Difti said to Rabina: Whence do we know that the Mishnah is as R. Meir only, the term na'arah excluding a minor too; perhaps it agrees even with the Rabbis, whilst na'arah is intended to exclude a bogereth, but none else? - He replied: If so, instead of saying: HE IS NOT PUNISHED UNTIL SHE IS A NA'ARAH, A VIRGIN, AND BETROTHED, the Mishnah should have said: He is punished only for a na'arah, a virgin, and a betrothed.10 No further argument is possible!

R. Jacob b. Ada asked of Rab: What if one has intimate connexion with a betrothed minor, according to R. Meir's view? Does he exclude a minor entirely,11 or only from stoning?12 - He replied: It is reasonable to assume that he excludes him only from stoning. But is it not written. [If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband,] then they shall both of them die,13 implying that they must both be equal?14 Rab remained silent.15 Samuel said: Why was Rab silent? He should have answered him: [It is written, But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field . . . ] then the man only that lay with her shall die.16

This question is disputed by Tannaim: Then they shall both of them die: this teaches that they must both be equal. That is R. Joshiah's view. R. Jonathan said: Then the man only that lay with her shall die.17 And the other [R. Jonathan] - what does he deduce from 'then they shall both die'? - Raba answered: It excludes the mere whetting of one's lust.18 But the other?19 - He regards such excitation as of no consequence.20 And the other [R. Joshiah] - how does he interpret 'alone'? - Even as it has been taught: If ten men cohabited with her, yet leaving her a virgin,21 they are all stoned. Rabbi said: The first is stoned, but the others are strangled.22

Our Rabbis taught: And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself [tehel]23 by playing the whore.24 - Rabbi said: It implies the first,25 and thus it is also written, Then the man only that lieth with her shall die. What does this mean? - R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said: Rabbi agrees with R. Ishmael,26 viz., that only in arusah, the daughter of a priest, is singled out for burning; but not a nesu'ah [who is strangled, just as an Israelite's daughter]. And this is what he says: If her first coition is adulterous [i.e., if she is an arusah at the time] she is burnt; otherwise she is stoned.27 What is meant by 'and thus etc.'? - It is as there; just as there, Scripture refers to her first coition, so here too.28

R. Bibi b. Abaye said to him: The Master has not said thus (Who is it?29 - R. Joseph), but that Rabbi agreed with R. Meir who held that if a priest's daughter married one who was unfit for her [and then committed adultery], she is strangled [instead of burnt],30 and this is what Rabbi says: If her first profanation is through adultery, she is burnt; otherwise she is stoned.31 Then what is meant by 'and thus etc.'?32 -

(1) תקלל, tekallel, though having the same meaning as תקל takel, is a heavier form, being more emphatic, and hence of wider application.
(2) V. Glos.
(3) This excludes a maiden who had been given over to the messengers of her husband to be taken to her new home (Rashi).
(4) The first unnaturally, so that she was still as virgin.
(5) Deut. XXII, 23.
(6) V. Glos.
(7) Ibid. 21 . This is quoted from a previous section dealing with slander. The subject being the same - a betrothed maiden - it is linked up with the present passage
(8) קטנה before the age of twelve.
(9) V. Keth. 29a.
(10) He is not punished until she is (Heb. עד שתהא the imperfect of the verb 'to be') definitely implies that she must reach the state of a na'arah.
(11) I.e., that the whole law of Deut XXII, 23f. decreeing death for intimate connexion with a betrothed maiden, does not apply if she is a minor.
(12) I.e., the seducer is not stoned, as he would be for a na'arah, but executed in another way.
(13) Ibid. 22.
(14) Both must be of a responsible age: but if one is not, as in this case, both are exempt.
(15) I.e., he could not answer this objection.
(16) Ibid. 25. Now, only is superfluous, for the next verse distinctly states, But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing. Hence it teaches that sometimes the man alone is punished, even when the betrothed consented, viz., if she was a minor.
(17) V. n. 3.
(18) On a woman's body, without coming into contact with her sexual organ. This is deduced from 'both': both must enjoy sexual gratification. (Aruch reads מעשה הורדוס i.e., 'the doing of Herod' with reference to B.B. 3b. V. Derenbourg, J. Essai 152, n. 1.]
(19) R. Joshiah - why does be reject that interpretation?
(20) It is not an offence at all in the sense that it should be necessary to teach that no punishment follows.
(21) The connections having been unnatural.
(22) That is deduced from 'alone': though all of them committed adultery with a virgin, 'alone' shows that only the first is stoned, stoning being ordained in that passage.
(23) תחל
(24) Lev. XXI, 9.
(25) He derives tehel from tehilah, 'the beginning', and thus renders the verse, If she begin by playing the whore.
(26) Supra 51b.
(27) And in each case, her paramour's punishment is the same.
(28) I.e., just as a betrothed maiden is excepted from the punishment of a nesu'ah, viz., strangulation, being stoned instead, which exception applies to her seducer too, and that only for the first coition (the word 'only' showing that her second paramour is strangled, even if she was still a virgin), so also, in the case of the priest's daughter, the exception is made only for her first coition, viz., if she is an arusah, but not if a nesu'ah.
(29) The Master referred to.
(30) V. supra 51b.
(31) I.e., if she was married to one who was fit for her, so that only though her adultery does she profane herself, the law of Lev. XXI 9, applies viz., that she is burnt. But if she first profaned herself not through adultery, but through marrying a person forbidden to her and then committed adultery, she is strangled.
(32) For the explanation given above will not fit in with this interpretation.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 67a

. That is merely a mnemonical sign.1


GEMARA. A MESITH IS A LAYMAN. Thus, only because he is a layman [is he stoned]; but if a prophet, he is strangled. WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL: thus, only if he seduces an individual; but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is [the Tanna of] the Mishnah? - R. Simeon. For it has been taught: A prophet who entices [people to idolatry] is stoned; R. Simeon said: He is strangled.5 Then consider the second clause.6 A maddiah7 is one who says: 'Let us go and serve idols': whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab's name: This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city. Thus it agrees with the Rabbis [who maintain that these too are stoned, not strangled]. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon; the second according to the Rabbis! - Rabina said: Both clauses are based on the Rabbis' ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed.8 R. Papa said: When the Mishnah states A MESITH IS A HEDYOT,9 it is only in respect of hiding witnesses.10 For it has been taught: And for all others for whom the Torah decrees death, witnesses are not hidden, excepting for this one. How is it done? - A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one [which is in darkness], so that they can see and hear him,11 but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, 'Tell me privately what thou hast proposed to me'; and he does so. Then he remonstrates; 'But how shall we forsake our God in Heaven, and serve idols'? If he retracts, it is well. But if he answers: 'It is our duty and seemly for us', the witnesses who were listening outside bring him to the Beth din, and have him stoned.12


GEMARA. Rab Judah said in Rab's name: This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city.14

A SORCERER, IF HE ACTUALLY PERFORMS MAGIC etc. Our Rabbis taught: [Thou shalt not suffer] a witch [to live]:15 this applies to both man and woman. If so, why is a [female] witch stated? - Because mostly women engage in witchcraft. How are they executed? - R. Jose the Galilean said: Here it is written, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live; whilst elsewhere is written, Thou shalt not suffer anything that breatheth to live.16 Just as there, the sword is meant, so here is the sword meant too. R. Akiba said: It is here stated, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live; whilst elsewhere it is said, [There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through;] whether it be beast or man, it shall not live.17 Just as there, death by stoning is meant, so here too. R. Jose said to him, I have drawn an analogy between 'Thou shalt not suffer to live' written in two verses, whilst you have made a comparison between 'Thou shalt not suffer to live', and 'It shall not live'. R. Akiba replied: I have drawn an analogy between two verses referring to Israelites, for whom the Writ hath decreed many modes of execution,18 whilst you have compared Israelites to heathens, in whose case only

(1) I.e., in both the reference is to something done for the first time: there to coition; here to profanation. But the similarity ceases at this point.
(2) Heb. hedyot. As opposed to a prophet.
(3) Heb. hedyot. But not a whole community. On the Heb. term hedyot, v. p 456, nn. 2 and 3.
(4) The seducer by using any one of those expressions incurs guilt and is executed; v. Rashi (supra, 61a) who refers it to the seduced person.
(5) V. infra 84a.
(6) I.e., the next Mishnah, which is really part of this.
(7) Who is stoned, as stated in the Mishnah on 53a, of which all the subsequent Mishnahs in this chapter are explanations.
(8) Lit., 'nor only this, but that also).' When the Mishnah states, [HE] WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL, it is not intended to exclude a multitude, but merely to commence with the universally agreed law. Then the next Mishnah adds that the same applies to the seduction of a multitude, though this is not admitted by all.
(9) הדיוט, ** rendered in Mishnah, 'LAYMAN', also means ignorant, ignoble.
(10) I.e., hedyot is not used in the sense of a layman as opposed to a prophet, but in the sense of ignoble; so dastardly in his action, that he is not shewn the same consideration as other malefactors, but hidden witnesses are set to entrap him. There is no dispute between Rabina and R. Papa, both teaching that the two clauses agree with the Rabbis; but Rabina explains the phrase, 'HE WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL', whilst R. Papa deals with 'A MESITH IS A HEDYOT'.
(11) Otherwise, they could not testify.
(12) In the uncensored editions of the Talmud there follows this important passage (supplied from D.S. on the authority of the Munich and Oxford Mss. and the older editions) 'And this they did to Ben Stada in Lydda (לוד), and they hung him on the eve of Passover. Ben Stada was Ben Padira. R. Hisda said: 'The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira. But was nor the husband Pappos b. Judah? - His mother's name was Stada. But his mother was Miriam, a dresser of woman's hair? (מגדלא נשיא megaddela neshayia): - As they say in Pumbaditha, This woman has turned away (satath da) from her husband, (i.e., committed adultery).' T. Herford, in 'Christianity in the Talmud', pp. 37 seqq, 344 seqq, identifies this Ben Stada with Jesus of Nazareth. As to the meaning of the name, he connects it with ** 'seditious', and suggests (p. 345 n. 1) that it originally denoted 'that Egyptian' (Acts XXI 38, Josephus, Ant. XX, 8, 6) who claimed to be a prophet and led his followers to the Mount of Olives, where he was routed by the Procurator Felix, and that in later times he might have been confused with Jeshua ha-Notzri. This hypothesis, however, involves the disregard of the Talmudic data, for Pappos b. Judah lived a century after Jesus (Git. 90a), though the mother's name, Miriam (Mary), would raise no difficulty, as מגדלא נשיא megaddela neshayia may be the result of a confusion with Mary Magdalene (v. also Box, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, pp. 201f, for other possible meanings of Ben Stada and Ben Pandira) Derenbourg (Essai note 9, pp. 465-471) rightly denies the identity of Ben Stada with Jesus, and regards him simply as a false prophet executed during the second century at Lydda.
(13) I.e., the illusion of doing something, whereas in fact he does nothing.
(14) Cf. supra 53a.
(15) Ex. XXII, 17.
(16) Deut. XX, 17. This refers to the war of extermination against the seven races inhabiting Canaan before the Conquest by Joshua. They would naturally be killed by the sword.
(17) Ex. XIX, 13. This refers to the taboo placed upon Mount Sinai before the Theophany.
(18) And yet at Sinai stoning was chosen.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 67b

one death penalty is decreed.1 Ben 'Azzai said:2 It is here written, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, whilst [immediately after] it is said, Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.3 Now, this is placed in proximity, teaching that just as the latter is stoned, so is the former. Thereupon R. Judah said to him: Shall we, because of this proximity, exclude the former [from the easier death implied by an unspecified death sentence] changing it to stoning?4 But [reason this:] The ob and yidde'oni were included among other sorcerers.5 Why were they singled out?6 That other sorcerers may be assimilated to them, and to teach thee, just as the ob and yidde'oni are stoned, so are all other sorcerers stoned. But even according to R. Judah, are not ob and yidde'oni two statements teaching the same thing, and two statements teaching the same thing cannot throw light upon anything else?7 - R. Zechariah answered: For this very reason R. Judah is generally said to maintain that even two statements singled out for the same purpose illumine the proposition as a whole.8

R. Johanan said: Why are they [sorcerers] called Kashshafim?9 - Because they lessen the power of the Divine agencies.10

There is none else besides Him:11 R. Hanina said: Even by sorcery.12 A woman once attempted to take earth from under R. Hanina's feet.13 He said to her, 'If you succeed in your attempts, go and practise it [sc. sorcery]: it is written, however, There is none else beside him'. But that is not so, for did not R. Johanan say: Why are they called mekashshefim?14 Because they lessen the power of the Divine agencies? - R. Hanina was in a different category, owing to his abundant merit.15

R. Abaye b. Nagri said in the name of R. Hiyya b. Abba: Belatehem refers to magic through the agency of demons, belahatehem to sorcery [without outside help].16 And thus it is also said, And the flame [Heb. lahat] of the sword that turns of itself.17

Abaye said: The sorcerer who insists on exact paraphernalia18 works through demons; he who does not works by pure enchantment.

Abaye said: The laws of sorcerers are like those of the Sabbath: certain actions are punished by stoning, some are exempt from punishment, yet forbidden, whilst others are entirely permitted. Thus: if one actually performs magic, he is stoned; if he merely creates an illusion, he is exempt, yet it is forbidden; whilst what is entirely permitted? - Such as was performed by R. Hanina and R. Oshaia, who spent every Sabbath eve in studying the Laws of Creation, by means of which they created a third-grown calf and ate it.19

R. Ashi said: I saw Karna's father20 blow his nose violently and streamers of silk issued from his nostrils.

Then the magicians said unto Pharoah, This is the finger of God:21 R. Eleazar, said: This proves that a magician cannot produce a creature less than a barley corn in size. R. Papa said: By God! he cannot produce even something as large as a camel; but these [larger than a barley corn] he can [magically] collect [and so produce the illusion that he has magically created them], the others he cannot.

Rab said to R. Hiyya: 'I myself saw an Arabian traveller take a sword and cut up a camel; then he rang a bell, at which the camel arose.' He replied, 'After that, was there any blood or dung? But that was merely an illusion.'

Ze'iri happened to go to Alexandria in Egypt and bought an ass. When he was about to water it, it dissolved, and there stood before him a landing board.22 The vendors then said to him; 'Were you not Ze'iri, we would net return you [your money]: does anyone buy anything here without first testing it by water?'23

Jannai24 came to an inn. He said to them, 'Give me a drink of water,' and they offered him shattitha.25 Seeing the lips of the woman [who brought him this] moving,26 he [covertly] spilled a little thereof, which turned to snakes. Then he said, 'As I have drunk of yours, now do you come and drink of mine.' So he gave her to drink, and she was turned into an ass he then rode upon her into the market. But her friend came and broke the charm [changing her back into a human being], and so he was seen riding upon a woman in public.

And the frog came up, and covered the land of Egypt.27 R. Eleazar said: It was one frog, which bred prolifically and filled the land. This is a matter disputed by Tannaim. R. Akiba said: There was one frog which filled the whole of Egypt [by breeding]. But R. Eleazar b. Azariah said to him, 'Akiba, What hast thou to do with Haggadah?28 Cease thy words and devote thyself to 'Leprosies' and 'Tents.'29 One frog croaked for the others, and they came'.


(1) Viz., decapitation. Consequently, no true analogy is possible.
(2) His full name was Simeon b. 'Azzai. There were four companions each named Simeon, so for short they were referred to by their patronym (Rashi in Ab. IV, 1).
(3) Ex. XXII, 19.
(4) R. Judah does not regard the proximity of two subjects, סמוכין as a method of exegesis.
(5) I.e., in the verse, Thou shalt not suffer a sorcerer to live.
(6) In Lev. XX, 27.
(7) This is in accordance with the exegetical principle that if a general proposition is stated, and then one part thereof is singled out for special mention, the latter illumines the former; but not if two are singled out. For if they were intended to convey a teaching with respect to the proposition as a whole, only one should have been singled out, from which the second (together with the rest of the general statement) would be derived.
(8) R. Judah does not agree with the limitation expressed above, and it is precisely from this verse that he deduces that even two statements may be singled out to convoy a teaching for the whole; v. Kid. 35a.
(9) כשפים
(10) I.e., making incantations of death against those for whom Heaven has decreed life (Rashi); and in general seeking to interfere with the course of events as decreed from above. The word is treated as an abbreviation, thus Keshafim, Kahash, Famalia, Ma'alah. (Lessens [the] Family on High).
(11) Deut. IV, 35.
(12) I.e., not even sorcerers have power to oppose His decree.
(13) To perform magic against him.
(14) מכשפים Hebrew form of Kashshafim.
(15) Therefore God should certainly not permit any sorcerer to harm him.
(16) In the references to Pharoah's magicians, two words are employed to denote their art: belatehem, (בלטיהם) e.g., Ex. VII, 22 (with their enchantments); and belahatehem (בלהטיהם v. להט) Ex. VII, 11.
(17) Gen. III, 24, thus lahat is referred to an action taking place of itself; similarly, belahatehem connotes sorcery performed without extraneous aid.
(18) Demanding particular properties for different kinds of magic.
(19) V. p 446, nn. 9, 10. It thus all depends as to whose help is invoked in performing the miraculous.
(20) He was a magician.
(21) Ex. VIII, 19; this refers to the plague of lice, which they could not imitate.
(22) The ass had been a product of sorcery, created out of a landing board. Things thus created reverted to their original form when brought into contact with water.
(23) The scholars of the first century referred frequently to Egypt as the original home of magic arts (Blau, Das aljudische Zauberwesen, pp. 37-49). Sorcery was very rife in Alexandria, and was practised by Jews too, who were more influenced by pagan ideas in this city than in any other place of their dispersion. Among the less intelligent, Jewish and pagan, witchcraft were freely indulged in (Schurer, Geschichte, 3rd ed., III, 294-304). It is not clear in this passage whether Ze'iri had bought the ass from a Jew or Gentile, but the fact that such particular respect was shewn to him would seem to indicate that the vendor was a Jew.
(24) Rashi observes that this is the reading, not R. Jannai; for a scholar would not practise witchcraft.
(25) A drink prepared of flour and water. Cf. Lat. ptisanarium, a decoction of barley groats
(26) By this he recognised her to be a witch, probably muttering a charm.
(27) Ex. VIII, 6.
(28) Haggadah, also aggadah, from Nagad, to narrate, denotes the narrative, and homiletical portions of the Talmud.
(29) [Nega'im and Ohaloth, two subjects in the Talmud and name of two tractates dealing respectively with uncleanliness of a corpse and leprosy, subjects of extreme difficulty and thus suited to R. Akiba's keen dialetics.]

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 68a

But did R. Akiba learn this from R. Joshua? Surely it has been taught: When R. Eliezer fell sick, R. Akiba and his companions went to visit him. He was seated in his canopied four-poster, whilst they sat in his salon.1 That day was Sabbath eve, and his son Hyrcanus went in to him to remove his phylacteries.2 But his father rebuked him, and he retreated crestfallen. 'It seems to me,' said he to them, 'that my father's mind is deranged'.3 But R. Akiba said to them, 'his mind is clear, but his mother's [sc. of Hyrcanus] is deranged:4 how can one neglect a prohibition which is punished by death, and turn his attention to something which is merely forbidden as a shebuth?'5 The Sages, seeing that his mind was clear, entered his chamber and sat down at a distance of four cubits.6 'Why have ye come?' said he to them. 'To study the Torah', they replied; 'And why did ye not come before now', he asked? They answered, 'We had no time'. He then said, 'I will be surprised if these die a natural death'. R. Akiba asked him, 'And what will my death be?' and he answered, 'Yours will be more cruel than theirs'. He then put his two arms over his heart, and bewailed them, saying, 'Woe to you, two arms of mine, that have been like two Scrolls of the Law that are wrapped up.7 Much Torah have I studied, and much have I taught.8 Much Torah have I learnt, yet have I but skimmed from the knowledge of my teachers as much as a dog lapping from the sea. Much Torah have I taught, yet my disciples have only drawn from me as much as a painting stick from its tube. Moreover, I have studied three hundred laws on the subject of a deep bright spot,9 yet no man has ever asked me about them. Moreover, I have studied three hundred, (or, as others state, three thousand laws) about the planting of cucumbers [by magic] and no man, excepting Akiba b. Joseph, ever questioned me thereon. For it once happened that he and I were walking together on a road, when he said to me, "My master, teach me about the planting of cucumbers". I made one statement, and the whole field [about us] was filled with cucumbers. Then he said, "Master, you have taught me how to plant them, now teach me how to pluck them up". I said something and all the cucumbers gathered in one place'. His visitors then asked him, 'What is the law of a ball, a shoemaker's last , an amulet, a leather bag containing pearls, and a small weight?'10 He replied, 'They can become unclean, and if unclean, they are restored to their uncleanliness just as they are.'11 Then they asked him, 'What of a shoe that is on the last?'12 He replied, 'It is clean;' and in pronouncing this word his soul departed. Then R. Joshua arose and exclaimed, 'The vow is annulled, the vow is annulled!'13 On the conclusion of the Sabbath R. Akiba met his bier being carried from Caesarea to Lydda. [In his grief] he beat his flesh until the blood flowed down upon the earth - Then R. Akiba commenced his funeral address, the mourners being lined up about the coffin, and said: 'My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof;14 I have many coins, but no money changer to accept them.'15 Thus from this story we see that he learned this [sc. the producing of cucumbers by magic] from R. Eliezer? - He learned it from R. Eliezer, but did not grasp it, then he learned it from R. Joshua, who made it clear to him.

But how might R. Eliezer do so?16 Did we not learn, IF HE ACTUALly PERFORMS MAGIC, HE IS LIABLE? - If it is only to teach, it is different. For it has been said, Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of these nations:17 thou mayest not learn in order to practise, but thou mayest learn in order to understand.18 [

(1) טרקלין triclinium.
(2) For the Sabbath was drawing near, when the phylacteries are not to be worn.
(3) Since he would not let me remove his phylacteries.
(4) (So Bah in his marginal glosses: printed texts read 'His mind and that of his mother's etc.]
(5) An occupation forbidden only by the Rabbis, not by the Bible, because it does not harmonize with the nature of the the Sabbath. R. Eliezer had observed that his wife had not yet kindled the Sabbath lights, nor put away the Sabbath meal to keep it hot. Both of these, if done on the Sabbath, are punishable by stoning, whereas the wearing of phylacteries indoors are forbidden merely by a Rabbinical ordinance, lest one forget himself and go out in the street with them, which is biblically forbidden. Therefore he rebuked his son and wife.
(6) Because R. Eliezer had been placed under the ban; v. B.M. 59b.
(7) So that they cannot be read. So had his knowledge been, none learning from it, because he had been under a ban.
(8) Before the ban.
(9) One of the forms of leprosy, Lev. XII, 2.
(10) All these were made of leather, stuffed with hair or cottonwool. No leathern utensil can become unclean unless it has a receptacle, i.e., a hollow in which something can be placed. Now, the Sages maintain that since the hollow in these is made in the first place in order to be filled up, it is not a receptacle, and hence cannot become unclean. But R. Eliezer held that as they do, in fact, contain a hollow, though now filled up, they can become unclean. There is another dispute, with respect to the first two, if their outer covering was torn. It is then admitted by all that they are liable to become unclean, but there is a conflict with respect to tebilah (i.e immersion in a ritual bath to restore them to cleanliness. It is a general law that when anything is put into a ritual bath, no foreign matter may adhere to it, lest it prevent the water from getting to it. Now the Sages maintain that the stuffing is to he regarded as such, and hence must be removed before the immersion, which is otherwise ritually invalid. But R. Eliezer ruled that in this respect the stuffing is regarded as integrally part of themselves, and hence does not render the immersion invalid. Now that he was on his death-bed, thy asked him whether he still adhered to his ruling. The amulet was a charm, containing some mystic verses, worn about the neck to prevent or cure illness. A leather bag containing pearls (probably imitation, or of a very cheap kind) was worn by cattle for the same purpose. Small weights were inclosed in leather, to prevent from becoming worn.
(11) I.e., the filling is not to be regarded as foreign matter, which must be removed. Thus he told them that he adhered to his views.
(12) No utensil or garment could become unclean until it was quite ready for use. R. Eliezer and the Sages dispute with reference to a new shoe, ready for wear, but not yet removed from the last upon which it was made. The Rabbis maintained that it was a completely finished article, and hence liable to uncleanliness: whilst R. Eliezer held that until removed from its last it was not regarded as completely finished.
(13) I.e., the ban is now lifted from him. This declaration was made on account of the funeral, for had it not been annulled, a stone would have been placed upon his coffin. v. 'Ed. V, 6.
(14) II Kings II, 12.
(15) I.e., I have many questions on Torah, but no one to answer them.
(16) Cause cucumbers to grow by magic.
(17) Deut. XVIII, 9. This introduces the prohibitions of necromancy and witchcraft.
(18) R. Eliezer's action was likewise merely in order to teach.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 68b



GEMARA. Whence do we know that A MINOR IS EXEMPT? (Whence do we know? The Mishnah states the reason, viz that HE DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMMANDMENTS. Moreover, where else do we find that Scripture prescribed a penalty [for a minor], that a verse should be necessary here to exempt him? - This is our question: Now, is then a 'STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON' executed for his actual iniquity? Surely he is rather slain on account of his ultimate end;4 and that being so, even a minor should be executed? Moreover, [the interpretation,] 'a son', but not a man, implies a minor?) Rab Judah said in Rab's name: Scripture saith, If a man have a son [that is stubborn and rebellious], implying, a son near to the strength of manhood.5

UNTIL HE GROWS A BEARD RIGHT ROUND, etc. R. Hiyya taught: Until he grows a beard round the corona. When R. Dimi came,6 he explained it thus: It means, until the hair surrounds the membrane, but not until it grows round the testicles.7

R. Hisda said: If a minor begot a son, the latter does not come within the category of a stubborn and rebellious son, for it is written, If a man have a son, but not if a son [i.e., one who has not reached manhood] have a son. But is not that verse needed for the deduction made by Rab Judah in Rab's name?8 - If so, the verse should read, If there be a son to a man: why state, If a man have a son? - To teach R. Hisda's dictum.9 Then let us say that the entire verse teaches this?10 - If so, Scripture should have said, 'If there be the son of a man who [sc. the son] is stubborn,' etc.: Why state, If a man have a son etc.? Hence both are deduced.11

Now, R. Hisda's statement conflicts with Rabbah's. For Rabbah said: A minor cannot beget children, for it is written, But if the man hath no kinsman [to recompense the trespass unto].12 Now, is there any man in Israel that has no kinsman?13 Hence the Writ must refer to the robbery of a proselyte,14

(1) This chapter continues the exposition of the Mishnah on 53a.
(2) Deut. XXI, 18.
(3) I.e., the stage of moral responsibility involved on reaching the age of 13 years and one day; v. Ab. V, 24.
(4) V. infra 72a.
(5) The interpretation is based on the fact that 'son' is stated (in the Heb.) in immediate proximity to 'man' לאיש בן
(6) V. p. 390, n. 1.
(7) The other occurs much later. But once the former has taken place, he is a man, and no longer liable.
(8) v. supra.
(9) For if the verse merely teaches that the son must be just before the age of manhood, son should have immediately preceded man. By reversing the order, the manhood of the father (when begetting the son) is emphasized: only if a man beget a son but not if a minor beget one, though he is already a man when his son transgresses.
(10) Hence, how is Rab's dictum deduced?
(11) For if the verse wished to intimate only the manhood of the father, 'son' should have been in the weak, construct form (i c) so that the entire emphasis should be upon 'man'. By putting son in the absolute form (i c) and in immediate proximity to 'man', the manhood of both is emphasised, as taught in the dicta of Rab and b. Hisda.
(12) Num. V, 8.
(13) Since all Israel are related, being the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
(14) Who died before it could he returned. A proselyte has no relationship whatever with his pre-conversion relations; v. p. 394. n. 1.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 69a

and the Divine Law states, But if the man etc.,1 teaching that only in the case of a man must thou seek whether he has kinsmen or not, but not in the case of a minor, for it is obvious that he can have none.

Abaye objected. [It has been taught: And If any man lieth carnally with a woman that is a bondmaid].2 'A man': from this I know the law only with respect to a man: whence do I know it of one aged nine years and a day who is capable of intercourse? From the verse, And 'if a man'?3 - He replied: Such a minor can produce semen, but cannot beget therewith; for it is like the seed of cereals less than a third grown.4

The School of Hezekiah taught: But if a man came presumptuously [yazid] upon his neighbour to slay him with guile:5 a man can inflame [his genital] and emit semen, but not a minor.6 R. Mordechai asked of R. Ashi: Whence do we know that mezid denotes heating? - From the verse, And Jacob sod [wa-yazed] pottage.7

But this is not so.8 For the School of Ishmael9 taught: If a man have a son:10 implying, a son but not a father.11 Now, how is this possible? Shall we say that he impregnated [his wife] after producing two hairs, and begot before the hair was fully grown12 - but can there be such a long interval [between these, as to allow for complete gestation]? Did not R. Keruspedai say: The extreme limits of a 'stubborn and rebellious' son are only three months?13 Hence he must have caused conception before producing two hairs, and begot the child before the hair was fully grown; [and in that case he is excluded from the operation of the law] thus proving that a minor can beget children! - No. In truth, this refers to one who impregnated [his wife] after the appearance of two hairs, and begot [the child] after his hair was fully grown. But as for the difficulty raised by R. Keruspedai's dictum, - when R. Dimi came, he said: In the West [i.e.. Palestine], they explain [the deduction of the School of Ishmael] thus; a son, but not one who is fit to be called a father.14

To revert to the above text: 'R. Keruspedai said in R. Shabbethai's name: The extreme limit of a "stubborn and rebellious son is only three months'. But did we not learn, FROM THE TIME THAT HE PRODUCES TWO HAIRS UNTIL HE GROWS A BEARD RIGHT ROUND? - If he grew a beard, even if three months have elapsed, or if three months elapsed, even if he did not grow a beard [he is no longer liable].15

R. Jacob of Nehar Pekod16 sat before Rabina, and said thus in the name of R. Huna the son of R. Joshua: From the dictum of R. Keruspedai in R. Shabbethai's name one may deduce that if a woman bears at seven months, her pregnancy is not discernible at a third of its course; for if it is, why three months: two and a third are sufficient?17 He demurred: In truth, it may be that her pregnancy becomes manifest at a third of its course, but we must regard the majority.18 Now, this was repeated before R. Huna the son of R. Joshua, whereupon he remarked: But can we consider the majority [only, disregarding the majority entirely] in capital charges; did not the Torah say, Then the congregation shall judge . . . and the congregation shall deliver the slayer?19 Yet you say, regard the majority! This was reported back to Rabina. He replied: Do we then not follow the majority in capital charges? But we learnt: If one witness testified that the crime was committed on the second day of the month, and one on the third, their testimony is valid; for one knew that the past month had been full, and the other did not.20 But if you maintain that we do not follow the majority, should we not say that these witnesses testify exactly,21 and thus contradict each other? Hence it surely must be that we follow the majority who are wont to err with respect to the fulness of the month.

R. Jeremiah of Difti said: We also learnt the following: A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband's brother cohabited with her, she becomes his. The penalty of adultery may be incurred through her; [if a niddah,] she defiles him who has connection with her, so that he in turn defiles that upon which he lies, as a garment which has lain upon [a person afflicted with gonorrhoea]. If she married a priest, she may eat of terumah; if any unfit person cohabits with her, he disqualifies her from the priesthood. If any of the forbidden degrees had intercourse with her, they are executed on her account, but she is exempt.22

(1) 'Man' is superfluous, as the verse could have read, But if he hath no kinsman …
(2) Lev. XIX, 20.
(3) 'And' (ו) indicates an extension of the law, and is here interpreted to include a minor aged nine years and a day.
(4) Such cereals contain seed, which if sown, however, will not grow.
(5) Ex XXI, 14.
(6) Hif'il, יז יד (come presumptuously), is here derived from ציד, to seethe, Hif'il, hezid, to cook, boil, the technical terms for the excitation producing semen. Rashi states that this interpretation is placed upon the word, for if mere wanton wickedness were referred to, Scripture should have written Yarshia' ירשיע from רשע, a wicked man. Thus, by this exegesis, a minor is excluded from the scope of the law.
(7) xxxx Gen. XXV, 29.
(8) Thus the text as reconstructed by Rashal. This is an objection to the view that a minor cannot beget children.
(9) V. p. 387 n. 7. Similarly. the 'School of Ishmael' refers to his successors long after him; Weiss, Dor, 11. p. 93, 94 (where he implies that some teachings introduced by this caption did not really originate with him, or were such of which he would not have approved).
(10) Deut. XXI, 18.
(11) I.e. if the son is himself a father already, this law does not apply.
(12) Since these are the limits between which the law operates.
(13) Whilst the fetus needs at least six months to develop.
(14) I.e., once his wife is impregnated he is already fit to be called a father. But it is unnecessary to exclude him when he is already a father, for by then this hair must be fully grown, and he is automatically excluded by the limitations expressed in the Mishnah.
(15) I.e., whichever period is shorter.
(16) [A town in the vicinity of Nehardea; v. Obermeyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien, 270ff.]
(17) For the fetus being then discernible, the son is fit to be called a father, and is no longer liable, as stated above. v. Yeb. 35a.
(18) Whose pregnancy lasts nine months, the fetus thus not being discernible before three months, when the son becomes fit to be called a father and no longer liable to the law of a rebellious son.
(19) Num. XXXV, 25f; this is taken to mean, that in doubt, the accused be given the benefit.
(20) V. supra 40a.
(21) Jewish months are of either twenty-nine or thirty days duration. As the sanctification of the new month depended on the direct testimony of witnesses, each new month being proclaimed by the Sanhedrin. it well might happen that a witness had not known that the preceding month had consisted of thirty days, and hence thought that the day of the crime was the third, instead of the second, of the new month.
(22) I.e. that since there is a minority that does not err in respect of the length of the month, why not assume that each knows the length of the preceding month?

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 69b

But why so: may she not prove1 to be barren, her husband not having married her on such a condition?2 Hence it must be that we take into account only the majority, and the majority of women are not constitutionally barren! No. The penalty incurred on her account is a sacrifice, [but not death]. But it is explicitly stated, 'They are executed on her account?' — That refers to incest by her father. But the statement is, If any of the forbidden degrees had intercourse with her?3 — Hence this [Mishnah] refers to a husband who explicitly accepted her under all conditions.

Our Rabbis taught: If a woman sported lewdly with her young son [a minor], and he committed the first stage of cohabitation with her, - Beth Shammai say, he thereby renders her unfit to the priesthood.4 Beth Hillel declare her fit. R. Hiyya the son of Rabbah b. Nahmani said in R. Hisda's name; others state, R. Hisda said in Ze'iri's name: All agree that the connection of a boy aged nine years and a day is a real connection; whilst that of one less than eight years is not:5 their dispute refers only to one who is eight years old, Beth Shammai maintaining, We must base our ruling on the earlier generations, but6 Beth Hillel hold that we do not.

Now, whence do we know that in the earlier generations [a boy of eight years] could beget children? Shall we say since it is written: [i] [And David sent and inquired after the woman, And one said:] Is not this Bath Sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?7 And it is written, [ii] Eliam, the son of Ahitophel the Gilonite;8 and it is written, [iii] And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah [afterwards Solomon] because of the Lord;9 and it is written, [iv] And it came to pass, after two full years [after Solomon's birth], that Absalom had sheepshearers;10 and it is written, [v] So Absalom fled and went to Geshur and was there three years;11 and it is written [vi] So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face;12 and it is written, [vii] And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord in Hebron; and it is written,13 [viii] And when Ahitophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and got him home to his house, to his city and put his household in order, and hanged himself;14 and it is written, [ix] Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.15 And it has been taught: Doeg lived but thirty-four years, and Ahitophel thirty-three. Hence deduct seven years, Solomon's age when [Ahitophel] committed suicide,16 which leaves [Ahitophel] twenty-six years old at his birth. Now deduct two years for the three pregnancies, leaving each eight years old when he begot a child.17 But why so? Perhaps both [Ahitophel and Eliam] were nine years old [at conception], Bath Sheba being only six years when she conceived, because a woman has more [generative] vitality; the proof being that she bore a child before Solomon?18 - But it is deduced from the following: Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor and Haran.19 Now Abraham must have been [at least] one year older than Nahor, and Nahor one year older than Haran;20 hence Abraham was two years older that Haran. And it is written, And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai,' and the name of Nahor's wife Milcah, the daughter of Horan, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.21 Whereon R. Isaac observed: Iscah was Sarai, and why was she called Iscah? Because she foresaw [the future] by holy inspiration;22 hence it is written, In all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice.23 Another reason is, that all gazed at her beauty. It is also written. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto him that is on hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old bear?24 Hence, Abraham was ten years older than Sarah, and two years older than her father [Haran]. Therefore, Sarah must have been born when Haran was eight years old. But why so: perhaps Abram was the youngest of the brethren, the Writ giving them in order of wisdom? In proof of this contention, it is written, And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth; hence [if the order is according to age], Shem was at least a year older than Ham, and Ham a year older than Japheth, so that Shem was two years older than Japheth. Now, it is written, And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water was upon the earth;25 and it is written, These are the generations of Shem. Shem was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood.26 But was he a hundred years old? He must have been a hundred and two years old?27 Hence thou must say that they are enumerated in order of wisdom [not age];28 then here too [in the case of Terah's sons], they are stated in order of wisdom.

R. Kahana said: I repeated this discussion before R. Zebid of Nahardea. Thereupon he said to me: You deduce [that the order is according to wisdom] from these verses, but we deduce it from the following: Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even unto him were children born;29 this means that he was the eldest of the brothers.

Then [the difficulty remains,] whence do we know it?30 - From this; [i] And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;31 and it is written, [ii] And when Azubah [Caleb's wife] was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bore him Hur.32 Now, how old was Bezaleel when he made the Tabernacle? Thirteen years, for it is written, [iii] And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the Sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made.33 And it has been taught: [iv] In the first year after the Exodus, Moses made the Tabernacle; in the second, he erected it and sent out the spies. And it is written, [v] [And Caleb . . . said . . .] Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land,34 . . . and now lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.35 Now, how old was he when sent as a spy? Forty. Deduct fourteen, Bezaleel's age at the time,36 this leaves twenty-six [as Caleb's age at Bezaleel's birth]. Now, deduct two years for the three pregnancies; hence each must have begotten at the age of eight.37

A SON', BUT NOT A DAUGHTER. It has been taught: R. Simeon said, Logically, a daughter should come within the scope of a 'stubborn and rebellious child',

(1) V. supra 55b.
(2) In which case the marriage is null.
(3) This includes the violation of the marriage bond.
(4) I.e., she becomes a harlot, whom a priest may not marry (Lev. XXI, 7).
(5) So that if he was nine years and a day or more, Beth Hillel agree that she is invalidated from the priesthood; whilst if he was less that eight, Beth Shammai agree that she is not.
(6) When a boy of that age could cause conception.
(7) II Sam. XI, 3.
(8) Ibid. XXIII, 34.
(9) Ibid. XII, 25.
(10) Ibid. XIII, 23.
(11) Ibid. 38.
(12) Ibid. XIV, 28.
(13) Ibid. XV, 7.
(14) Ibid. XVII, 23.
(15) Ps. LV, 24. This is quoted in support of the next statement that Ahitopel did not reach thirty-five, half the normal span.
(16) This is arrived at by comparing verses iv, v and vi: Absalom slew Amnon two years after Solomon's birth (iv); he was exiled for three years (v); he then lived two years in Jerusalem before his rebellion (vi), in consequence of which Ahitophel hanged himself soon after (viii). Hence, Solomon was seven years old at the time.
(17) For Ahitopel begat Eliam (ii), Eliam begat Bath Sheba (i), and Bath Sheba begat Jedidiah, i.e., Solomon (iii). Now even allowing only seven months for each pregnancy, these three must have taken nearly two years (Rashi tries to prove that it would take exactly two years, by allowing an additional month in each case for pre-conception menstruation and purification; but this is difficult, and it is preferable to assume with Tosaf. that the two years are approximate). Thus twenty four years are left for the three generations, giving eight years for each: Ahitopel must have been eight years at the conception of Eliam; Eliam eight years at the conception of Bath Sheba; Bath Sheba eight years at the conception of Solomon.
(18) So that in any ease we are bound to assume a lower age for her conception.
(19) Gen. XI, 27.
(20) On the assumption that they are stated according to seniority.
(21) Ibid. 29.
(22) יסכה is derived from the Aramaic root סכא to gaze, to look.]
(23) Ibid XXI, 12.
(24) Ibid. XVII, 17.
(25) Ibid. VII, 6.
(26) Ibid. XI, 10.
(27) Since Noah was five hundred years old when Shem was born, and six hundred when the flood commenced, Shem must have been a hundred then. Consequently, two years later he was a hundred and two years old.
(28) So that Shem as the youngest, not the eldest.
(29) Ibid. X, 21.
(30) That in the earlier generations, a boy of eight could beget child.
(31) Ex. XXXVIII, 22.
(32) Chron. II, 19.
(33) Ex. XXXVI, 4; In the Heb. 'every man' is expressed by ish ish, the doubling of the word emphasising that he had just reached manhood.
(34) Josh. XIV, 7.
(35) Ibid. 10.
(36) Deduced from iii and iv.
(37) i shews that Caleb was Bezaleel's great-grandfather, and iii and iv shew that he was twenty-six at Bezaleel's birth, within which three generations were born.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 70a

since many frequent her in sin,1 but that it is a divine decree: 'a son', but not a daughter.


GEMARA. R. Zera said: I do not know what is this tartemar; but since R. Jose doubled the measure of wine, he must have doubled that of meat too; hence the tartemar is half a mina.

R. Hanan b. Moladah said in R. Huna's name: He is not liable unless he buys meat and wine cheaply and consumes them,19 for it is written. He is a Zolel.20 R. Hanan b. Moladah also said in R. Huna's name: He is not liable unless he eats raw meat and drinks undiluted wine.21 But that is not so, for did not Rabbah and R. Joseph both say: If he ate raw meat or drank undiluted wine, he does not become a 'stubborn and rebellious son'? - Rabina answered, by 'undiluted wine' insufficiently diluted wine is meant, and raw meat means only partially cooked, like charred meat eaten by thieves.22 Rabbah and R. Joseph both said: If he eats pickled meat or drinks 'wine from the vat', [i. e., new wine before it has matured], he does not become a stubborn and rebellious son'.23

We learnt elsewhere: On the eve of the ninth of Ab24 one must not partake of two courses, neither eat meat nor drink wine.25 And a Tanna taught: But he may eat pickled meat and drink new wine.26 Now, what length of time must elapse before it is regarded as pickled meat [as opposed to fresh meat]? - R. Hanina b. Kahana said: As long as the flesh of the peace offering may be eaten.27 And how long is it called new wine? - As lone as it is in its first stage of fermentation; and it has been taught: wine in the first stage of fermentation does not come within the prohibition against uncovered liquid:28 and how long is this first stage? - Three days. Now, what is the law here? - There [the prohibition of eating meat on the eve on the month of Ab] is on account of joy: as long as it is as the flesh of a peace offering, it yields the joy of meat eating. Here, however, it is on account of its seductiveness, and when a short period has passed, it no longer attracts, whilst wine is unattractive until it is forty days old.29

R. Hanan said: The only purpose for which wine was created was to comfort mourners and requite the wicked,30 for it is written, Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish [i.e., the wicked], and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.31 R. Isaac said: what is meant by, Look not thou upon the wine when it is red?32 - Look not upon the wine, which reddens the faces of the wicked in this world and makes them pale [with shame] in the next. Raba said: Look not thou upon the wine ki yith'addam: look not upon it, for it leads to bloodshed [dam]33.

R. Kahana raised a difficulty; The Bible writes tirash [for wine], but the word is read tirosh.34 - If one has merit, he becomes a leader, if not, he becomes impoverished. Raba raised a difficulty: The Bible writes, [and wine] yeshammah [the heart of man], but it is read yesammah.35 - If one has merit, it gladdens him; if not, it saddens him.36 And thus Raba said: wine and spices have made me wise.

R. Amram the son of R. Simeon b. Abba said in R. Hanina's name: What is meant by, Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine?37 - When R. Dimi came,38 he said: In the West it is said, In these verses, the second may be interpreted as explanatory of the first, or vice versa.39

'Ubar the Galilean gave the following exposition: The letter waw [and]40 occurs thirteen times in the passage dealing with wine: And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father, and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.41 [With respect to the last verse] Rab and Samuel [differ,] one maintaining that he castrated him, whilst the other says that he sexually abused him. He who maintains that he castrated him, [reasons thus;] Since he cursed him by his fourth son,42 he must have injured him with respect to a fourth son.43 But he who says that he sexually abused him, draws an analogy between 'and he saw' written twice. Here it is written, And Ham the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father; whilst elsewhere it is written, And when Shechem the son of Hamor saw her [he took her and lay with her and defiled her].44 Now, on the view that he emasculated him, it is right that he cursed him by his fourth son; but on the view that he abused him, why did he curse his fourth son; he should have cursed him himself? - Both indignities were perpetrated.45

And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard, - R. Hisda said in R. 'Ukba's name, and others state, Mar 'Ukba said in R. Zakkai's name: The Holy One, blessed be He, said unto Noah: 'Noah, shouldst thou not have taken a warning from Adam, whose transgression was caused by wine?' This agrees with the view that the [forbidden] tree from which Adam ate was a vine. For it has been taught: R. Meir said: That [forbidden] tree from which Adam ate was a vine,

(1) I.e., in her 'ultimate end' she may become a harlot, and cause many to err. V. infra 72a, cf. supra 65b.
(2) **, a weight; v. note 11.
(3) A liquid measure equal to the contents (or space occupied by) six eggs.
(4) Italian wine was particularly choice (and strong) and drinking such a quantity thereof, might lead him to drunkenness and its consequent vices. But this measure of any other (inferior) wine would be neither so potent nor seductive.
(5) The mina, sometimes called the Italian mina, was he equivalent of 1 1/2 Roman pounds. The Roman pound contained 288 scruples, the mina 300 scruples = 12 1/2 ounces. According to the Gemara below, the tartemar was half a mina. The word really means a third, and probably indicated 1/3 Alexandrian mina, which contained 150 denarii, whilst the Hebrew mina (maneh) was only 100 denarii. Cf. Zuckermann: Ueber Talmudische Gewichte und Munzen, p. 8.
(6) A religious feast was eaten on such occasions.
(7) One tithe of the crops was to be eaten by its owners in Jerusalem; this was called the second tithe (the first being the tithe given to the Levites. cf. Deut. XIV, 26).
(8) I.e if he stole money of the second tithe and purchased meat and wine, which he ate in Jerusalem.
(9) Nebelah, pl. nebeloth, is the technical term for an animal that came to its death by any but the prescribed method of slaughter.
(10) Terefah, plural terefoth, denotes an animal which having been ritually slaughtered, is found to have been suffering from certain diseases, which render it unfit for food.
(11) Which are forbidden, v. Lev. XX, 15, and XI, 10ff, 41ff.
(12) Tebel, the crops before the terumoth (v. Glos.) and tithes had been separated.
(13) The Levite, to whom the first tithe was given, had to separate a tithe thereof, called the terumah of the tithe, for the priest.
(14) If one lived at a distance from Jerusalem, he redeemed the second tithe by setting aside its value, plus a fifth, to be expended in Jerusalem. The second tithe then lost its sanctity and might be eaten anywhere.
(15) Food dedicated to sanctuary which had to be redeemed, Lev. XXVII, 19.
(16) V. infra 70b.
(17) זולל וסובא Deut. XXI, 20. Gluttony applies to meat, and drunkenness to wine.
(18) בסבאי ײן בזללי בשר, Prov. XXIII, 20.
(19) For if he has to pay a high price, he may find it difficult to procure them, and is therefore not likely to be led into the evil ways for fear of which he is punished - a striking example of the influence of economies on morals.
(20) זולל glutton; by a play on words, this is connected with זול cheap. This does not really prove the point, but is merely adduced as a support.
(21) This is discussed below.
(22) Thieves, always fleeing, have no time for properly cooked meat, so they place it hastily on a very hot fire, with the result that it is partly burnt and partly raw. Eating such meat and drinking strong drink is a sign of a voraciousness and drunkenness which justifies fear for his future.
(23) V. p. 476. n. 2.
(24) The great fast held in memory of the destruction of the Temple.
(25) Ta'an. 26b.
(26) Ibid. 30a.
(27) I.e., two days, which includes that of slaughter. Even if meat was salted for preserving immediately after slaughter, it has the taste of fresh meat for the first two days.
(28) For whilst it thus bubbles, it repels snakes. The prohibition of drinking liquid left overnight uncovered was through the fear that a snake might have drunk thereof and in so doing injected some of its poison into it.
(29) Since his sin lies not in that he actually eats and drinks, but because he is thereby drawn into evil ways, he is liable only for eating and drinking such food as can have a strong attraction for him. Meat more than a day, and wine less than forty days old, lack that attraction.
(30) The wicked are thereby rewarded for the little good they do in this world (Rashi).
(31) Prov. XXXI, 6.
(32) Ibid. XXIII, 31.
(33) כי יתאדם translated 'when it is red,' is taken as reflexive of דם 'blood'.
(34) תירש may mean 'thou shalt become impoverished': תירש 'thou shalt become a leader', a contraction of תהי ראש Thus the written word and the actual reading are contradictory.
(35) ישמח means 'maketh glad'; ישמח a play on the word שמה) ישמם) maketh desolate.
(36) I.e in moderation it is good; in excess, it wastes one's life.
(37) Prov. XXIII. 29f.
(38) V. p. 390, n. 1.
(39) The second as explanatory of the first: who have all these evils? - Those who tarry long etc., the second being the cause, the first the effect. Vice versa: for whom is it fitting to tarry long over wine? - For the wicked only (i.e.. those who have the woes, and contentions of a life of wickedness).
(40) V. following note.
(41) Gen. IX, 20-24. In this passage, the conversive waw occurs thirteen times, in each case followed by the yod of the imperfect. The combination waw yod, (וי) means 'woe' in Heb. Thirteen woes: so great are the sorrows caused by drunkenness.
(42) The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim, and Phut and Canaan. Gen. X, 7. Noah cursed Canaan, his fourth son. Ibid. IX, 25ff
(43) I.e., by emasculating him, he deprived Noah of the possibility of a fourth son.
(44) Ibid. XXXIV, 2.
(45) He both castrated and abused his father.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 70b

for nothing else but wine brings woe to man. R. Judah said: It was the wheat plant,1 for an infant cannot say 'father' and 'mother' until it has tasted of wheat.2 R. Nehemiah said: It was the fig tree, for whereby they transgressed, they were taught to make amends, as it is written, And they sewed fig leaves together.3

The words of King Lemuel, the burden wherewith his mother admonished him.4 R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: This teaches that his mother thrust him against a post5 and said to him, What my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? 'What my son?' All know that thy father was a God-fearing man, and therefore they will say that thou inheritest [thy sinfulness] from thy mother.6 'And what, the son of my womb?' All the women of thy father's harem, as soon as they conceived, no longer saw the king, but I forced myself in, so that my child might be vigorous and fair-skinned.7 'And what, the son of my vows?' All the women of thy father's household made vows [praying] that they might bear a son fit for the throne, but I vowed praying that I might bear a son zealous and filled with the knowledge of the Torah and fit for prophecy. It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes [to say,] Where is strong drink?8 She spoke thus to him: What hast thou to do with kings who drink wine and say, 'What need have we of God?'9 R. Isaac said: whence do we know that Solomon repented and confessed to his mother [the justice of her rebukes]? - From the verse, Surely, 'I am more brutish than man, and' have not the understanding of a man.10 I am more brutish than a man [ish].11 - that is, than Noah, of whom it is written, And Noah began to be an husbandman [ish];11 'and have not the understanding of a man' [adam]12 - of Adam.13

IF HE ATE IT IN A COMPANY [CELEBRATING] A RELIGIOUS ACT. R. Abbahu said: He is not liable unless he eats in a company consisting entirely of good-for-nothings. But did we not learn, IF HE ATE IT IN A COMPANY [CELEBRATING] A RELIGIOUS ACT,. . . HE DOES NOT BECOME A REBELLIOUS SON THEREBY. Hence, it is only because they were celebrating a religious act, but otherwise, [he becomes a rebellious son] even if they are not all wastrels? - The Mishnah teaches that even if they were all wastrels, yet if they were celebrating a precept, he is not punished.14


Shall we say that they ate15 meat and wine [on such occasions]? But it has been taught: They ascended16 for it with a meal consisting only of wheat bread and beans. — The Mishnah teaches thus; Though they normally ascended only with wheat bread and beans, whilst he brought up meat and wine and ate, Yet since they were engaged in a religious act, he would not be led astray.

Our Rabbis taught; Not less than ten ascend for the purpose of proclaiming the month a full one,17 nor do they ascend for it except with a meal consisting of wheat bread and beans; they ascend only on the evening following the intercalated day, and at night, not by day.18 But has it not been taught: They may not ascend for it by night, but only by day? — It is even as R. Hiyya b. Abba said to his sons: 'Go up there early, and come out early, so that the people may learn of your celebration.'19


For since he eats it in the normal way [i.e.. in Jerusalem], he is not drawn [to wickedness].


Raba said: If he eats the flesh of fowl, he does not become a 'stubborn and rebellious son'. But did we not learn: IF HE ATE NEBELOTH OR TEREFOTH, ABOMINABLE OR CREEPING THINGS20 … HE DOES NOT BECOME A 'STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON' THEREBY. [This implies;] but if he ate [the flesh of] clean [fowl], he does? — The Mishnah refers only to the completion [of the necessary amount].21


By a RELIGIOUS ACT is meant the meal for comforting mourners;22 A TRANSGRESSION means eating on a public fast day.23 And what is the reason?24 — The Bible saith, he will not obey our voice:25 this excludes disobedience of God's voice.26


IF HE ATE ANY FOOD BUT MEAT; this includes even pressed figs from Keilah.27 OR DRANK ANY DRINK BUT WINE: this includes even [liquid] honey and milk. For it has been taught: If one ate pressed figs from Keilah and drank honey or milk and then entered the Sanctuary,

(1) In which case, עץ, (tree) in the Heb. must be understood as a generic noun for plant life. There is also a legend that in the distant future the wheat shall grow as tall as a palm tree; in the Garden of Eden story it is therefore called a tree on account of its future state.
(2) Thus, wheat is the first thing to induce knowledge.
(3) Gen. III, 7.
(4) Prov. XXXI, 1.
(5) To have him flagellated for his over-indulgence in worldly pleasures (Rashi).
(6) I.e., why should you thus be called my son?
(7) And now he was employing his very strength and beauty in evil courses.
(8) Ibid. 3.
(9) By a play on words אל meaning 'not' is connected with 'to God', Lemuel read as lemo-el, (למו-אל למואל), 'to God', the Heb. letters being the same, differing only in the vowels
(10) Ibid. XXX, 2.
(11) איש
(12) אדם
(13) Both of whom were ensnared by wine, yet have I drank more than they.
(14) For in that case, the company will not cause him to err, seeing that they are thus engaged. But on the other hand, even if not engaged in celebrating a precept, if there is a single decent man amongst them, he may exercise a salutary influence, which may restrain this transgressor from a headlong course of evil.
(15) Lit. 'brought up'.
(16) V. next note.
(17) I.e., of thirty days. This was not for the purpose of a formal declaration, but of making known the decision of the Sanhedrin to the people. In order to give it publicity, all this was done in an upper chamber, hence the use of the verb 'ascended' — when exposed to the public view.
(18) This seems superfluous. Tosaf. explains that it might otherwise be thought that 'they ascend only on the evening following the additional day' merely emphasises that it must not be on the evening preceding, but that evening itself is not particularly taught.
(19) Lit., 'hear you.' I.e., they were not to wait until it was quite dark, as by then the streets are deserted, therefore they were to go up whilst it was yet day. But the essential ceremony took place at night. They were also to leave the chamber early in the morning: by so doing it became evident that they spent the night in the upper chamber and their purpose in going up also became evident. But if they tarried, it might be thought that they had gone up only in the morning and had some other purpose in view.
(20) Denoting also unclean fowls; v. Lev. XI, 13 ff.
(21) I.e., if he ate less than a tartemar of permitted flesh, and completed it by eating nebeloth etc. he is not punished. But if the whole tartemar was the flesh of clean fowl he would also be exempt.
(22) Though this was only a Rabbinical enactment. For the earlier clause of the Mishnah IF HE ATE IN A COMPANY (CELEBRATING) A RELIGIOUS ACT might be interpreted as referring to a Biblical precept, e.g the eating of the Passover sacrifice.
(23) Proclaimed by Rabbis. Though this too is only a Rabbinical ordinance.
(24) That the eating of forbidden food does not render one a rebellious son.
(25) Deut. XXI, 20.
(26) Lit., 'the Voice of Makom, the Place = Omnipresent [V. S. R. Hirsch, Jeshurun VII, pp. 225ff.]
(27) A town in the lowland district of Judea. These pressed figs were intoxicating, nevertheless, they do not render him a rebellious son.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 71a

he is punished.1


Our Rabbis taught: If he ate any food but meat, and drank any drink but wine, he does not become a stubborn and rebellious son' - unless he eats meat and drinks wine, for it is written. He is a glutton and a drunkard; and though there is no absolute proof, there is a suggestion for this, as it is written, Be not among the winebibbers, among gluttonous eaters of flesh.2 And it is also said, For the drunkard and glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.3 R. Zera said: whoever sleeps in the Beth Hamidrash,4 his knowledge shall be reduced to tatters,5 for it is written, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.


GEMARA. IF HE STOLE OF HIS FATHER'S AND ATE IT IN HIS FATHER'S DOMAIN: though this is easily within his reach, he is afraid;6 OR OF STRANGERS AND ATE IT IN THE DOMAIN OF STRANGERS: though he is not afraid, yet it is not easily within his reach; how much more so IF HE STOLE OF STRANGERS AND ATE IN HIS FATHER'S DOMAIN, this not being easily attainable, and he, in addition, is afraid. UNTIL HE STEALS OF HIS FATHER'S AND EATS IT IN THE DOMAIN OF STRANGERS, which is easily within his reach and does not cause him fear.


But how can his mother possess aught, seeing that whatever a woman acquires belongs to her husband? - R. Jose. son of R. Hanina answered: It means that he steals from a meal prepared for his father and mother. But did not R. Hanan b. Molad say in R. Huna's name: He is not liable unless he buys meat and wine cheaply and consumes them? - But say thus: from the money set aside for a meal for his father and mother.7 An alternative answer is this: a stranger had given her something and said to her, 'I stipulate that your husband shall have no rights therein.'


GEMARA. What is meant by 'NOT FIT'? Shall we say that she is forbidden to him under penalty of extinction or capital punishment at the hand of Beth din;8 but after all, his father is his father, and his mother is his mother? - But he means not physically like his father. It has been taught likewise: R. Judah said: If his mother is not like his father in voice, appearance and stature, he does not become a rebellious son. Why so? - The Writ saith,he will not obey our voice,9 and since they must be alike in voice, they must be also in appearance and stature. With whom does the following Baraitha agree: There never has been a 'stubborn and rebellious son',10 and never will be. Why then was the law written? That you may study it and receive reward. - This agrees with R. Judah.11 Alternatively, you may say it will agree with R. Simeon. For it has been taught: R. Simeon said: Because one eats a tartemar of meat and drinks half a log of Italian wine, shall his father and mother have him stoned? But it never happened and never will happen. Why then was this law written? - That you may study it and receive reward. R. Jonathan said: 'I saw him12 and sat on his grave'.

With whom does the following agree? Viz.,It has been taught: 'There never was a condemned city, and never will be.' - It agrees with R. Eliezer. For it has been taught, R. Eliezer said: No city containing even a single mezuzah13 can be condemned. Why so? Because the Bible saith [in reference thereto], And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it in the midst of the street thereof and shalt burn [them].14 But if it contains a single mezuzah, this is impossible, because it is written, [And ye shall destroy the names of them - i.e., the idols - . .] Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God.15 R. Jonathan said: I saw it, [a condemned city] and sat upon its ruins.

With whom does the following agree: There never was a leprous house [to need destruction], and never will be?16 Then why was its law written? - That you may study it and receive reward. With whom does it agree? - With R. Eliezer son of R Simeon. For we learnt: R. Eliezer son of R. Simeon said: A house never becomes unclean unless a plague spot appears, the size of two beans, on two stones in two walls, and at the angle of the walls; It must be two beans in length, and one in breadth. Why so? Because the Bible refers to the walls [of the house]17 and also to the wall:18 where is one wall as two? At its angle.19

It has been taught: R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok said: There was a place within a Sabbath's walk20 of Gaza, which was called the leprous ruins. R. Simeon of Kefar Acco21 said: I once went to Galilee and saw a place, which was marked off, and was told that leprous stones were thrown there!


GEMARA. This proves that the Bible must be taken literally as it is written!24 - [No; for] here it is different,

(1) This refers to a priest, who was forbidden to enter the Sanctuary after indulging in strong drink (Lev. X, 9).
(2) Prov. XXIII, 20.
(3) Ibid. 21.
(4) V. Glos.
(5) I.e., he shall forget most of it, retaining only scraps - perhaps R. Zera found an inclination among his disciples to dose off whilst he was teaching.
(6) To do this often, and hence will not be led into evil ways.
(7) [In which money the mother has an exclusive share, as alimentation is part of the husband's obligations to the wife.]
(8) E.g., if his mother was his father's sister or daughter.
(9) Deut. XXI, 20. Since 'voice' is in the singular, they must both have a similar voice, so that they sound as one,
(10) In the Biblical sense, to be executed.
(11) Since it is obviously impossible that his father and mother should be so exactly alike.
(12) A rebellious son who was executed at his parents' demand.
(13) מזוזה an encased strip of parchment, on which is written the first two sections of the Shema' (v. Glos.). This is fixed to the doorpost.
(14) Deut. XIII, 17.
(15) Ibid. XII, 4.
(16) V. Lev. XIV, 34 et seq.
(17) Lev. XIV, 37.
(18) Ibid. 37.
(19) Such a combination of circumstances must be so rare as to amount to an impossibility.
(20) 2000 cubits out of town.
(21) [Caphare Accho in lower Galilee, v. Hildesheimer, Beitrage, p. 81.]
(22) 'This our son' implies that they see him.
(23) For when they order him, and he replies, they cannot say for certain that he declined to obey them when ordered, even if they subsequently see that their order was disregarded.
(24) V. supra 45b.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 71b

since the entire verse is superfluous.1


Why so? Are not two sufficient? - Abaye answered: The Mishnah means this: He is admonished in the presence of two,2 and ordered lashes by a court of three.3

Where are lashes stated for a stubborn and rebellious son? - As in R. Abbahu's exegesis. For R. Abbahu said: we draw an analogy between and they shall chastise him, written twice;4 and [the meaning of] and they shall chastise him is deduced from [the fact that] ben5 [occurs in this passage], and then a further analogy is drawn between the word ben written here and in And it shall be if the wicked man be worthy6 to be beaten.7


But is not this verse [sc. This our son] needed to teach, 'This', excluding blind parents?8 - if so, the Bible should have written, 'He is9 our son'. Why state, This our son?10 [Hence] deduce there from both.


GEMARA. R. Hanina said: A Noachide who blasphemed the Divine Name and then became a proselyte, escapes punishment, since the judicial procedure and death are [thereby] changed.12 Shall we say that [the Mishnah] supports him? IF HE FLED BEFORE HIS TRIAL WAS COMPLETED AND THEN HIS NETHER HAIR GREW ROUND, HE IS FREE. Why so? Surely because since he has changed [in age] he has [also] changed [in liability]!13 - No, here [in the Mishnah] it is different, for should he transgress now, he is not liable at all.14

Come and hear: BUT IF HE FLED AFTER HIS TRIAL WAS COMPLETED, AND THEN HIS NETHER HAIR GREW ROUND, HE REMAINS LIABLE.15 - You speak of one who is actually sentenced! But once sentenced, he is [already] as dead.16

Come and hear: A Noachide who slew his neighbour [likewise a gentile] or violated his wife, and then became converted, is exempt. But if he did this to an Israelite, he is punished. But why so? Should we not say: Since he is changed [in respect of judicial procedure] he is changed [in respect of liability too]? - The change must be in respect of both the judicial procedure and the death penalty: but this Noachide's status has altered only in respect of the former, but not of the latter. Granted that this is true of a murderer: before [conversion] his penalty was decapitation, and it is so now too. But [the violation of] a married woman was punishable before [conversion] by decapitation, but now by strangulation? - [This refers to] the violation of a betrothed maiden, for which stoning is decreed in both cases. But 'if he did this to an Israelite' is parallel to 'or violated his neighbour's wife!'17 - The lesser [punishment] is included in the greater.18 Now this agrees with the view of the Rabbis that decapitation is severer [than stoning]; but on the view of R. Simeon that stoning is the greater punishment, what can you say? - R. Simeon concurs with the Tanna of the School of Manasseh, who says that wherever death is decreed for the Noachide, it is by strangulation. Now, this is true of adultery, the penalty for which both before and after [conversion] is strangulation.19 But murder was punishable before by strangulation; now by decapitation! - The lesser is included in the greater.20

Shall we say that the following supports him? [For it was taught:] If she [sc. a betrothed maiden] sinned [by committing adultery], and then attained puberty [becoming a bogereth], she is strangled.21 Now, why not stoned?22 Surely, because since she is changed [physiologically], she is likewise changed [in respect of punishment];23 how much more so in this case,24 where a complete change has taken place? - [This does not support him,] for R. Johanan said to the tanna:25 Read, she is stoned.


(1) For the Bible could have written, 'And ye shall bring him out unto the gate of that city, and stone him.' Hence, the rest must have been inserted as limiting clauses. But if a verse is not superfluous in itself, it may be that it need not be literally interpreted.
(2) So that they may be witnesses thereof since he cannot be executed on his parents' testimony alone.
(3) As all who are sentenced to lashes; v. supra 2a.
(4) R. Abbahu said this in reference to the slanderer of a woman's honour: whence do we know that he is punished by lashes? Because the Bible writes, And they (the elders) shall chastise him. Deut. XXII, 18. By analogy with And they shall chastise him, said with reference to a rebellious son (ibid. XXI, 18), we learn that the same treatment is meted out to both.
(5) ב ן 'son'.
(6) ב ן Heb. bin - the letters do not differ from ben, the meaning is the same.
(7) Deut. XXV, 2. There, flagellation is explicitly prescribed. By analogy, the same applies to a rebellious son, and by a further analogy, to the slanderer.
(8) V. Mishnah.
(9) That would imply, 'he who was lashed in your presence.'
(10) Which implies that they actually point to him (Rashi). [Yad Ramah reverses the interpretation].
(11) So that he is beyond the age limit; v. supra 68b.
(12) A Noachide is tried by one judge, and on the testimony of one witness only, and is executed even if no formal admonition preceded his offence; a Jew is tried by a court of twenty three, on the testimony of at least two, and only after formal admonition. Moreover, a gentile is decapitated, whereas a Jew is stoned.
(13) Hence, the same principle holds good here.
(14) But in the case under discussion, blasphemy after conversion is also punishable, though the procedure differs.
(15) In spite of his changed status. This refutes R. Hanina's dictum.
(16) Therefore his altered status does not free him.
(17) 'His neighbour's wife' must refer to a nesu'ah, since the sacredness of betrothal alone is not recognised by heathens. Consequently, 'if he did this to an Israelite must also refer to a nesu'ah.
(18) I.e., this does refer to a nesu'ah, whose violation before conversion is punished by decapitation; after conversion, by stoning. But the latter being more lenient than the former, it is regarded as included therein; hence his death has not changed. But in blasphemy, the change is from decapitation to stoning. Which is the reverse.
(19) According to the last answer.
(20) Decapitation being more lenient than strangulation.
(21) V. Keth. 45a.
(22) In accordance with the penalty of a na'arah.
(23) Though here it does not exempt her entirely, since strangulation, to which a bogereth is liable, is included in stoning, the punishment of a na'arah.
(24) Of blasphemy.
(25) [R. Shila, who recited the Baraitha, Keth. 45a.]
(26) It benefits them, in that they sin no more.
(27) For whilst drinking and sleeping they can do no evil.
(28) Because their time can be better spent, with greater advantage to themselves and to others.
(29) Being scattered, they cannot take counsel together for evil.
(30) As it gives them the opportunity of devising evil.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 72a

GEMARA. It has been taught: R. Jose the Galilean said: Did the Torah decree that the rebellious son shall be brought before Beth din and stoned merely because he ate a tartemar of meat and drank a log of Italian wine? But the Torah foresaw his ultimate destiny. For at the end, after dissipating his father's wealth, he would [still] seek to satisfy his accustomed [gluttonous] wants but being unable to do so, go forth at the cross roads and rob.1 Therefore the Torah said, 'Let him die while yet innocent, and let him, not die guilty.' For the death of the wicked benefits themselves and the world; of the righteous, injures themselves and the world. Sleep and wine of the wicked benefit themselves and the world; of the righteous, injure themselves and the world. The tranquillity of the wicked injures themselves and the world; of the righteous, benefits themselves and the world. The scattering of the wicked benefits themselves and the world; of the righteous, injures themselves and the world.


GEMARA. Raba said: what is the reason for the law of breaking in? Because it is certain that no man is inactive where his property is concerned; therefore this one [the thief] must have reasoned, 'If I go there, he [the owner] will oppose me and prevent me; but if he does I will kill him.' Hence the Torah decreed, 'If he come to slay thee, forestall by slaying him'.

Rab said: If one broke into a house, and stole some utensils and departed, he is free [from making restitution] - Why? Because he has purchased them with his blood.6 Raba7 said: It would logically appear that Rab's dictum holds good only if he broke the utensils, so that they are not in existence; but not if he merely took them [and they are still intact]. But in truth,8 Rab's dictum applies even if he merely took them. For [even] where there is 'blood-guiltiness for him', if the utensils are injured, he is liable. This proves that they stand under his [the thief's] ownership; so here too, they are under the thief's ownership.9 But it is not so.10 The Divine Law placed it under the thief's control only in respect of injury;11 but as to ownership, it remains the property of the first owner,12 just as in the case of a borrower.13

We learnt: IF HE BROKE THROUGH AND BROKE A JUG, SHOULD THERE BE BLOOD-GUILTINESS FOR HIM', HE MUST PAY [FOR THE JUG]; BUT IF THERE IS 'NO BLOOD-GUILTINESS FOR HIM', HE IS NOT LIABLE. Thus, it is only because he broke it that he is exempt when there is no blood-guiltiness for him, but if he only took it, he is not exempt?14 - The same law [of exemption] applies even if he merely took it, and the reason it states, 'AND BROKE A JUG' is to show that if there is blood-guiltiness for him, he is liable even if he broke it. But is this not obvious, since he damaged it? - We are thereby informed that [he is liable] even if he broke it unintentionally. What does this teach us? That a man is always regarded as forewarned?15 But we have already learnt this: A man is always regarded as forewarned, whether [he did damage] unwittingly or wittingly accidently or deliberately. This is a difficulty!16

R. Bibi b. Abaye objected: [We learnt:] If one steals a purse on the Sabbath, he is bound to make restitution, since the liability for theft arose before the desecration of the Sabbath. But if he drags it out of the house, he is exempt, since they are simultaneous!17 - [No]. This ruling holds good only, if he threw it into the river.18

Raba was robbed of some rams through a thief breaking in. Subsequently they [the thieves] returned them, but he refused to accept them, saying. 'Since Rab has thus ruled,19 [I abide by his decision]'.

Our Rabbis taught: [If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die], there shall no blood be shed for him, if the sun be risen upon him.20 Now, did the sun rise upon him only? But [this is the meaning: 'If it is as clear to thee as the sun that his intentions are not peaceable, slay him; if not, do not slay him.' Another [Baraitha] taught: If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him. Now, did the sun rise upon him alone? But if it is as clear to thee as the sun that his intentions are peaceable, do not slay him; otherwise, slay him. These two unnamed [Baraithas] contradict each other.21 - This is no difficulty:

(1) Evil habits, even if not actually sinful, very rapidly lead to sin. 'For precept draws precept in its train, and transgression, transgression; for the recompense of a precept is a precept, and the recompense of a transgression, a transgression' (Aboth IV. 2).
(2) V. Ex. XXII, 1. He may be killed by the occupier of the house with impunity.
(3) I.e., if his death is punishable.
(4) I.e., if he may be killed with impunity.
(5) V. infra. Not in every circumstance was the house owner allowed to kill him.
(6) Since he risked his life, which the owner could have taken with impunity.
(7) The Rashal reads 'Rabbah'.
(8) Lit., 'Oh God!' - an oath.
(9) The reasoning is as follows: when something is stolen, it loses its first ownership, and passes into that of the thief, who is therefore liable for having removed it from its owner's control as for an ordinary debt. Consequently, he is liable even if it is broken. For if it theoretically remained in its first ownership, the thief would not be liable for any injury to it. Hence in this case, since the thief, by his act of breaking in, became liable to death, restoration cannot be demanded even if it is intact, for liability to monetary restoration is cancelled in the face of the greater liability to death.
(10) Raba (or Rabbah), having proved that Rab's dictum holds good even if the utensils are intact, now demolishes the theory upon which it is based.
(11) As explained in note 1.
(12) And if intact, the thief cannot retain the stolen article and offer the value instead.
(13) If one borrows (not hires) an article, and it is damaged in his possession, he must make it good, though it really remains the property of the first owner, who can claim the return of it intact, if available. So here too.
(14) This contradicts Rab's ruling.
(15) I.e., lack of intention, or an accident, does not free him from his full liabilities.
(16) Nevertheless, it does not altogether refute Rab's ruling, since the Mishnah can be interpreted as holding good even if he took it, though as shown above, such interpretation is not very plausible (Rashi).
(17) Lit., 'The prohibition of stealing and the prohibition involving stoning came together'. By 'stealing' is meant that he took it in his hand, thereby lifting it up from it's place. Lifting up is a method of formal acquisition, and as soon as he does this with felonious intent he has stolen it, and hence is liable for theft. But the Sabbath is not violated until he takes it into the street, the violation consisting of the carrying of the purse from a private domain (the house) into a public domain (the street). But if he drags it along the floor of the house, not lifting it up, the act of theft is committed only when it leaves the house; simultaneously with this, the Sabbath is desecrated. Since he is liable to stoning for the latter, he is exempt on account of the former, it being a principle that if a person simultaneously commits two wrongs, the greater only is punished. Hence we see that though the purse is still in existence, he is not bound to return it. This refutes Rab's ruling.
(18) I.e., destroyed it. But if it is intact, he is bound to return it.
(19) Lit., 'Since the matter came out from the mouth of Rab'.
(20) Ex. XXII, 1ff. The clauses are thus coupled in this Baraitha, the Massoretic punctuation being disregarded.
(21) The first implying that in doubt thou mayest not slay him; the second, that in doubt thou mayest.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 72b

the first [Baraitha] refers to a father [robbing] his son, the second to a son [robbing] his father.1

Rab said: 'Any man that broke into my house, I would kill, excepting R. Hanina b. Shila.' Why? Shall we say because he is righteous [and therefore certain not to kill me]? Surely he has broken in!2 — But because I am assured that he would have pity upon me, like a father for his son.

Our Rabbis taught: [If the sun be risen upon him,] there shall be blood [damim] shed for him: both on a week day, and on the Sabbath. [If the thief be found breaking up, …] there shall no blood [damim] be shed for him:3 neither on week days, nor on the Sabbath. Now, granted that the exegesis of 'there shall no blood be shed for him', as including both week days and the Sabbath, is necessary, for I might think that this case is similar to that of those who are executed by Beth din, who may not be executed on the Sabbath:4 we are therefore told that [the thief] may be slain [even on the Sabbath].5 But why deduce 'there shall be blood shed for him', neither on a week day nor on the Sabbath? If he may not be slain on a week day, he may surely not be slain on the Sabbath? — R. Shesheth replied: This is necessary only to teach that a pile [of debris] must be removed for his sake.6

Our Rabbis taught: [If a thief be found breaking up,] and be smitten, — by any man; that he die, — by any death wherewith you can slay him. Now, [the exegesis] 'And be smitten, — by any man' is rightly necessary; for I might think that only the owner may be assumed not to remain passive. Whilst his money is being stolen, but not a stranger:7 it is therefore taught that he is regarded as a potential murderer,8 whom even a stranger may kill [in defence of the owner]. But what need of 'that he die', — by any death wherewith you can slay him'; can this not be deduced from a murderer? For it has been taught: He that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer.9 I only know that he may be executed with the death that is decreed for him; whence do I know that if you cannot execute him with that death, that you may execute him with any other death? From the verse: He that smote him shall surely be put to death, implying in any manner possible!10 — There it is different, because Scripture writes, He shall surely be put to death. Then why not derive this from it? Because the murderer and the avenging kinsman are two verses with the same object, and the teaching of such two verses does not extend to anything else.11

Our Rabbis taught: If a thief be found breaking in:12 from this I know that law only for breaking in [through the wall]: whence do we know it if he be found on the roof, in the court, or in an enclosure [attached to the house]? — From the verse, If the thief be found, implying, wherever he is [found as thief].13 If so, why state 'breaking in'? — Because most thieves enter by breaking in.

Another [Baraitha] taught: if a thief be found breaking in: from this I know the law only for breaking in: whence do I know it if he be found on the roof, in the court, or an enclosure? From the verse, 'If the thief be found,' implying. Wherever he is found as thief. If so, why state 'breaking in'? — Because his breaking in constitutes a formal warning.14

R. Huna said: A minor in pursuit may be slain to save the pursued.15 Thus he maintains that a pursuer, whether an adult or a minor, need not be formally warned. R. Hisda asked R. Huna: we learnt: Once his head has come forth, he may not be harmed, because one life may not be taken to save another.16 But why so? Is he not a pursuer?17 — There it is different, for she is pursued by heaven.18

Shall we say that the following supports him? [Viz.,] If a man was pursuing after his fellow to slay him, he (observer) says to him, 'See, he is an Israelite, and a son of the covenant, whilst the Torah hath said, Whosoever would shed the blood of a man, [to save] that man shall his own blood be shed,19 meaning, save the blood of the pursued by the blood of the pursuer'!20 — That is based on the ruling of R. Jose son of R. Judah. For it has been taught; R. Jose son of R. Judah said: A haber21 need not be warned, because a warning is necessary only to distinguish between ignorance and presumption.22

Come and hear: If a man was pursuing his neighbour to slay him, the observer says to him 'See he is an Israelite, and a son of the Covenant, whilst the Torah hath taught, Whosoever would shed the blood of a man, to save that man, shall his blood be shed'. If he [the pursuer] replied. 'I know that it is so', he is not liable to be slain; but if he replied. 'I do it even on such a condition',23 he is liable!24 — This is only if they are standing on two opposite sides of the river, so that he cannot save him. Hence what is [to be done]? To bring him before Beth din! But [punishment] by Beth din must be preceded by a warning. An alternative answer if you wish is this: R. Huna can tell you: My ruling agrees with the Tanna of 'breaking in', who held that his breaking in constitutes a formal warning.25

(1) A father has more compassion for his son than a son for his father. Hence, if a father robs his son, the latter must assume that he will not go to extremes if he defends his property. Consequently, he may kill him only if he is certain thereof. But if a son robs his father (and even more so, when he robs a stranger), he may assume that he is prepared to kill him, unless certain that he will not. Therefore, if he has any doubt, he may take his life.
(2) Which disposes of his righteousness.
(3) Ex. XXII,1-2. Damim is plural, teaching that this law holds good on more than one occasion and is therefore interpreted as referring to Sabbaths and week days.
(4) For this is really execution, the house owner standing in lieu of Beth din: hence, just as the latter may not execute on the Sabbath, so the former too.
(5) Since it is self-defence.
(6) If, in burrowing his way in, he dislodged a pile of masonry, which fell upon him, it must be removed even on the Sabbath, and if the owner does not, he is guilty of bloodshed.
(7) For it is only because of that assumption that his death is regarded as self-defence. But a stranger might not be assumed (by the thief) actively to interfere; therefore the thief is not likely to slay him, and hence his death at the hands of a stranger is not in self-defence.
(8) Lit., 'pursuer'.
(9) Num. XXXV, 21.
(10) V. p. 358, n. 2.
(11) V. supra 45b. Hence the need of a special verse here.
(12) Ex. XXII, 1.
(13) Since the writ does not state, If he be found, etc., but if the thief be found, which is superfluous, being understood from the context, it shows that if he is at all seen to be a thief, no matter what his position, the law applies.
(14) I.e., the owner need not warn him before killing him, as in the case elsewhere.
(15) Lit 'the pursued is to be saved by his (the pursuer's) blood'.
(16) This refers to a woman giving birth, whose life is endangered. Now, if the fetus put forth any limb but the head, it may be cut off, so as to facilitate delivery, and save the mother. But if his head issued, it is regarded as alive, and the mother may not be saved at his expense.
(17) I.e., in seeking to be born, he is as a pursuer. endangering his mother's life.
(18) I.e. it is an 'act of God'.
(19) Gen, IX, 6.
(20) Though the pursuer did not accept the warning, as is normally necessary in a formal admonition, he may be slain, which proves that a warning is unnecessary in his case.
(21) Lit., 'associate', fellow student; it was also a scholar's title (Fellow), and is employed in this sense here.
(22) Hence a scholar who knows what is forbidden need not be warned, even if his crime is punished by Beth din. Likewise, the above Baraitha is on the same basis. But on the opposing view that all transgressors, including scholars, must be formally warned, and the warning accepted, it may be that the same applies to a pursuer. Therefore this does not support R. Huna.
(23) I.e., even if I am to be slain for it.
(24) The latter formula is the acceptance of a warning. This proves that the pursuer must be formally warned, and thus refutes R. Huna.
(25) V. p. 494, n. 1. Because by breaking in he is really a pursuer, needing no warning.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 73a


GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: whence do we know that he who pursues after his neighbour to slay him must be saved [from sin] at the cost of his own life? From the verse, Thou shalt not stand by the blood of thy neighbour.2 But does it come to teach this? Is it not employed for the following [Baraitha] that has been taught: Whence do we know that if a man sees his fellow drowning, mauled by beasts, or attacked by robbers, he is bound to save him? From the verse, Thou shalt not stand by the blood of thy neighbor! - That in truth is so. Then whence do we know that [the pursuer] must be saved at the cost of his own life? - It is inferred by an ad majus reasoning from a betrothed maiden. If a betrothed maiden, whom he wishes merely to dishonour, yet the Torah decreed that she may be saved by the life of her ravisher, how much more so does this hold good for one who pursues his neighbour to slay him. But can punishment be inflicted as a result of an ad majus conclusion?3 - The School of Rabbi taught, It is derived by analogy:4 For as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so in this matter.5 But what do we learn from this analogy of a murderer?6 Thus, this comes to throw light, and is itself illumined.7 The murderer is compared to a betrothed maiden; just as a betrothed maiden must be saved [from dishonour] at the cost of his [her violater's] life, so in the case of a murderer, he [the victim] must be saved at the cost of his [the attacker's] life. And whence do we know this of betrothed maiden? - As was taught by the School of R. Ishmael. For the School of R. Ishmael taught; [The betrothed damsel cried]; and there was none to save her,8 but, if there was a rescuer, he must save her by all possible means [including the death of her ravisher].

[To revert to] the above text: 'Whence do we know that if a man sees his neighbour drowning, mauled by beasts, or attacked by robbers, he is bound to save him? From the verse, Thou shalt not stand by the blood of thy neighbour.' But is it derived from this verse? Is it not rather from elsewhere? Viz., Whence do we know [that one must save his neighbour from] the loss of himself? From the verse, And thou shalt restore him to himself!9 - From that verse I might think that it is only a personal obligation,10 but that he is not bound to take the trouble of hiring men [if he cannot deliver him himself]: therefore, this verse teaches that he must.

Our Rabbis taught: He who pursues after his neighbour to slay him, he who pursues a male [for sexual abuse], or a betrothed maiden, a woman forbidden to him on pain of death at the hands of Beth din, or one forbidden on pain of extinction11 - these are saved [from sin] at the cost of their own lives. But a High Priest in pursuit of a widow, and an ordinary priest in pursuit of a divorcee or a haluzah, may not be saved at the cost of their lives. If [the betrothed maiden] has been ravished previously, she may not be saved by her pursuer's death, likewise, if she can be otherwise rescued. R. Judah said: This applies also if she said [to her rescuers]. 'Let him be,' lest he slay her.12

Whence do we know all this? - But unto the damsel na'ar[ah] thou shalt do nothing there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death.13 Na'ar refers to a male, na'arah to a betrothed maiden;14 sin - to women forbidden on pain of extinction; death - to those forbidden on pain of death at the hands of Beth din.15 Why are all these needed?16 - They are necessary. For had the Divine Law written na'ar [a youth], I would have thought that he must thus be saved because it is unnatural lust; but since connection with a maiden is natural, I would think that she may not be saved thus. Whilst if na'arah [damsel] were written, I would think that the law applies only to her, because he destroys her virginity; but not to a youth, who is not thus injured. And had these [only] been stated,

(1) These must be slain, rather than be allowed to carry out their intention.
(2) Lev. XIX, 16. Stand not idly by, but save him from committing such a great sin.
(3) v. supra 54a.
(4) A hekkesh, v. Glos.,
(5) Deut. XXII, 26. This refers to the ravishing of a betrothed maiden.
(6) For the simile itself is superfluous, since the Torah explicitly states that the maiden is not punished. Hence it implies that a certain feature of the law of a murderer holds good here too, and vice versa.
(7) I.e., the verse shows that the case of a murderer throws light upon that of a betrothed maiden (v. infra 74a), but is it itself also illumined thereby.
(8) Ibid. 27.
(9) Ibid. 2. The passage refers to restoring a neighbour's lost property. This interpretation extends it to his own person. e.g if he has lost himself, he must be helped to find his way again. Hence it also applies to the rescuing of one from danger.
(10) Because, 'thou shalt restore'. . . implies thou in person.
(11) To commit incest or adultery.
(12) Before they reach her.
(13) Ibid. 26.
(14) The second half of the verse is superfluous, since the first half states, 'but unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing'. Hence each part thereof is separately interpreted. Though the verse as read (Kre) is na'arah, (נערה damsel). the written text (Kethib) is na'ar, (נער a youth). Hence both the written and the read word are interpreted.
(15) And those deduced from the verse must be saved at the cost of their pursuer's life.
(16) Could not the Torah have taught it of one, from which the others might be deduced?

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 73b

I would think that it is because the one is unnatural, and the other is deprived of her virginity; but other consanguineous relations, cohabitation with whom is both natural and does not inflict a great loss,1 might not be thus saved: therefore the Divine Law writes 'sin'.2 Now, had the Divine Law written 'sin' [only], I would have thought it applies even to those who are forbidden merely by a negative precept: therefore the Divine Law wrote 'death'. And had the the Divine Law written 'death' [only], I would have thought the law applies only to those forbidden on pain of death by Beth din, but not on pain of extinction: therefore the Divine Law writes 'sin'. Then why did the Divine Law not write merely there is no sin worthy of death, na'ar [youth] and na'arah [a damsel] being superfluous?3 - That is so. But as for na'ar and na'arah, one teaches the exclusion of an idolater, and the other, the exclusion of bestiality and the [desecration of the] Sabbath.4 But on the view of R. Simeon b. Yohai that an idolater must be saved [from sin] at the cost of his life, why are these verses necessary? - One excludes bestiality, and the other excludes the [desecration of the] Sabbath; for I would [otherwise] think, that the Sabbath is included through an analogy with idolatry, since 'profanation' is written in both.5 But on the view of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon, that he who desecrates the Sabbath must be saved [from sin] by death, because an analogy is drawn with idolatry, on account of profanation being written in both, what can you say? - One excludes bestiality; and as for the other, since the Divine Law wrote na'ar, it also wrote na'arah.6

'R. Judah said: The same applies if she said [to her rescuer] "Let him be", lest he slay her.'7

In which case do they8 differ?-Raba said: when she objects to dishonour, yet permits him, so that he should not slay her. The Rabbis maintain, The Divine Law was insistent for her honour, and since she too is particular about it. [her pursuer may be slain]. But R. Judah maintains that the reason that the Divine Law decreed that he should be slain is because she is prepared to give her own life [rather than be violated]; but this one is not prepared to do so.

R. Papa said to Abaye: But does not a High Priest dishonour a widow?9 - He replied, The Divine Law sought to protect her from great dishonour, but not from little dishonour.10

'Sin - refers to women forbidden on pain of extinction.

The Scholars objected: [We learnt,] Fine is imposed for the violation of the following maidens:11 he who outrages his sister.12 - The Rabbis explained this before R. Hisda: Once he has committed the first stage, thereby dishonouring her, he may no longer be slain;13 whereas monetary liability is not contracted until the completion of cohabitation.14 Now, this agrees with the view that the first stage [which dishonours her] is contact with her sexual organ; but on the view that the first stage is the insertion of the membrum, what can you say?15 But R. Hisda answered thus: This refers to unnatural followed by natural cohabitation.16 Raba said: This applies where she allows him [to have his will] so that he shall not slay her, and is based on the ruling of R. Judah.17

(1) For if they are unbetrothed, there is no arus (a betrothed husband) in whom the loss of virginity will rankle deeply; whilst if they are married, her virginity has already gone.
(2) Teaching that it applies to those who are forbidden on pain of execution.
(3) Since the violation of a betrothed maiden and the abuse of a male are punishable by death, they are included in the exegesis of 'death'.
(4) That one must not he prevented from sinning in respect of these by killing him.
(5) v. Infra 74b.
(6) In fact, it is not a double redundancy, for though na'ar is written, the context demands that na'arah be read, since the entire passage refers to a maiden.
(7) In the Baraitha quoted above,
(8) R. Judah and the Rabbis.
(9) By violating her he disqualifies her from marrying a priest; why then should she not be saved at the cost of his life?
(10) I.e, the Torah authorised the extreme measure of slaying the ravisher only when he would inflict great dishonour, e.g.. in the case of incest forbidden on pain of extinction, as a result of which she becomes a harlot (zonah) and the child a bastard. But here (a widow, violated by a High Priest), she is merely profaned (halalah).
(11) The reference is to Deut. XXII, 28f. The fifty shekels are regarded as a fine.
(12) Keth. 29a. I.e., even his sister, though and she shall be his wife is inapplicable. But if she might be saved by his life, he should not be fined, in accordance with the principle stated on p, 490, n. 1. In the case of the death penalty, this principle holds good even if the offender is not actually executed, or, as in this case, slain by the rescuers,
(13) By her rescuers in order to save her, for the extreme measure is permitted only if she is as yet untarnished,
(14) Consequently, the two penalties are not incurred simultaneously, and the principle is inoperative. By 'completion' the destruction of her virginity is meant,
(15) Since then dishonour and destruction of virginity are simultaneous.
(16) Since she has been unnaturally violated before, whether by her brother or another, she may not be saved now by his life. Therefore he is fined for destroying her virginity.
(17) V. supra 73a.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 74a

R. Papa said: This refers to seduction [not outrage], and therefore agrees with all.1 Abaye said: This applies where she could have been saved at the cost of one of the limbs [of the violator].2 and agrees with R. Jonathan b. Saul. For it has been taught: If one was pursuing his fellow to slay him, and he could have been saved3 by maiming a limb [of the pursuer] but did not thus save himself [killing him instead], he is executed on his account.4

What is R. Jonathan b. Saul's reason? - Because it is written, if men strive [and hurt a woman . . . ] he shall be surely punished . . . and pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.5 Whereon R. Eleazar said: The verse refers to attempted murder,6 for it is written, And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life7 and yet the Divine Law states, If no mischief follows, he shall surely be punished. Now this is correct if you say that where the pursued can be saved at the cost of one limb [of the pursuer] the latter may not be slain: hence it is conceivable that he shall be punished [by paying monetary compensation]. But if you maintain that he may be slain, how is it possible for him to be punished!8 Perhaps it is different here, because his liability to death is incurred on account of one person, but his monetary obligation on account of another?9 - That makes no difference. For Raba10 said: If a man was pursuing after his fellow [to slay him]. and broke some utensils, whether of the pursued or of some other person. he is free from liability. Why so? Because he is liable to be killed. If the pursued broke some articles: if they belonged to the pursuer, he is not liable for them; if to someone else, he is. 'If they belonged to the pursuer he is not liable', - because his property is not more precious than his own person.11 But 'if to someone else, he is' , - because he saved himself at his neighbour's expense. But if one pursuer was pursuing another pursuer to save him [the latter's victim] and broke some utensils, whether of the pursuer. or the pursued. or of any other person, he is not liable for them. This should not be so in equity12 but if thou wilt not rule thus, no man will save his neighbour from a pursuer.13


It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai said: An idolater may be saved [from sin] at the cost of his own life. This is deduced by reasoning from the minor to the major: If the dishonouring of a human14 being must be averted even at the cost of [the violator's] life, how much more so the dishonouring of the All-Highest.15 But can we punish16 as a result of an ad majus conclusion? - He maintains that we can.

It has been taught: R. Eliezer, son of R. Simeon, said: He who desecrates the Sabbath may be saved [from sin] by his own life. He agrees with his father, that punishment is imposed as a result of an ad majus conclusion, and then he deduces the Sabbath from idolatry by [a gezerah shawah based on the use of] 'profanation' in connection with the Sabbath and idolatry.17

R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozadak: By a majority vote, it was resolved in the upper chambers of the house of Nithza in Lydda18 that in every [other] law of the Torah, if a man is commanded: 'Transgress and suffer not death' he may transgress and not suffer death, excepting idolatry, incest, [which includes adultery] and murder.19 Now may not idolatry be practised [in these circumstances]? Has it not been taught: R. Ishmael said: whence do we know that if a man was bidden, 'Engage in idolatry and save your life', that he should do so, and not be slain? From the verse, [Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgements,' which if a man do] he shall live in them:20 but not die by them. I might think that it may even be openly practised. but Scripture teaches, Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed?'21 - They22 ruled as R. Eliezer. For it has been taught, R. Eliezer said: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.23 Since 'with all thy soul' is stated, why is 'with all thy might' stated? Or if 'with all thy might' be written, why also write 'with all thy soul'? For the man to whom life is more precious than wealth, 'with all thy soul' is written;24 whilst he to whom wealth is more precious than life is bidden, 'with all thy might' [i.e., substance].25

Incest and murder [may not be practised to save one's life], - even as Rabbi's dictum. For it has been taught: Rabbi said, For as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter.26 But what do we learn from this analogy of a murderer? Thus, this comes to throw light and is itself illumined. The murderer is compared to a betrothed maiden: just as a betrothed maiden must be saved [from dishonour] at the cost of his [the ravisher's] life, so in the case of a murderer, he [the victim] must be saved at the cost of his [the attacker's] life. Conversely, a betrothed maiden is compared to a murderer: just as one must rather be slain than commit murder, so also must the betrothed maiden rather be slain than allow her violation. And how do we know this of murder itself? - It is common sense. Even as one who came before Raba27 and said to him, 'The governor of my town has ordered me, "Go and kill so and so; if not, I will slay thee"'. He answered him, 'Let him rather slay you than that you should commit murder; who knows that your blood is redder? Perhaps his blood is redder.'28

When R. Dimi came,29 he said: This was taught only if there is no royal decree,30 but if there is a royal decree, one must incur martyrdom rather than transgress even a minor precept. When Rabin came, he said in R. Johanan's name: Even without a royal decree, it was only permitted in private; but in public one must be martyred even for a minor precept rather than violate it. What is meant by a 'minor precept'? - Raba son of R. Isaac said in Rab's name:

(1) For if she is seduced of her own consent, she may not be saved at the cost of her seducer's life, nevertheless, the fine is imposed.
(2) Without killing him.
(3) Here Rashi explains, either by the pursued, or by another person. On 57a he states, 'by the pursued'.
(4) Hence, in such circumstances the violator is not liable to death, and consequently liable to the fine.
(5) Ex. XXI. 22ff.
(6) I.e., he who injured the woman was striving to kill his opponent.
(7) Ibid. The extreme penalty, though the murder of the woman is unintentional, is explicable only on the above assumption.
(8) V. p. 490, n, 1.
(9) I.e., he is liable to be slain because he seeks to slay his combatant; but the monetary liability arises through his injury to the woman. Where, however, these liabilities are incurred on account of two different persons it may be that the one does not cancel the other.
(10) In B.K. 117b the text is Rabbah.
(11) And just as he would not have been punished had he killed him, so he is not liable for destroying his property.
(12) For if he who saves himself at another's expense is liable for the damage, how much more so when one saves another at a third party's expense.
(13) Lest in doing so he causes damage for which he will have to pay. Hence reverting to the subject under discussion, in the case of one man striving to kill another and injuring a woman, it must be assumed that he was not liable to be slain, and this is only possible if his opponent could be saved by a limb of the murderer, which proves R. Jonathan b. Saul's assertion.
(14) Viz., that of a betrothed maiden.
(15) Idolatry, by recognizing a divine power in addition to God's, dishonours Him, conceding to another that which is His alone.
(16) In this case, indemnify his slayer.
(17) The Sabbath: Everyone that profaneth it shall surely be put to death (Ex. XXXI, 14) idolatry: And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of the Lord thy God, (Lev. XVII, 21).
(18) A town in South Palestine (Roman name Diospolis).
(19) According to Graetz, Geschichte, IV, p.p. 155 and 428ff this took place during the Hadrianic persecutions consequent upon the failure of the revolt of Bar Cochba 132-135 C.E. [According to Halevy Doroth i.e., p. 371. before the fall of Bether].
(20) Lev. XVIII, 5.
(21) Lev. XXII, 32.
(22) The Sages that met at the house of Nithza.
(23) Deut, VI. 5.
(24) I.e., even to give thy soul (life) in His service.
(25) This proves that one must incur a martyr's death rather than practice idolatry, for 'and thou shalt love the Lord thy God' means that we must not worship any other in His place.
(26) Deut. XXII, 26.
(27) Var. lec., Rabbah.
(28) I.e., you have no right to murder him to save yourself: his life is no less valuable than your own.
(29) V. p. 390 n. 1.
(30) Forbidding the practice of Judaism, the action being by an individual.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 74b

Even to change one's shoe strap.1 And how many make it public? - R. Jacob said in R. Johanan's name: The minimum for publicity is ten.

It is obvious that Jews are required [for this publicity], for it is written. But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.2 R. Jeremiah propounded: What of nine Jews and one Gentile? - Come and hear: For R. Jannai, the brother of R. Hiyya b. Abba learned: An analogy is drawn from the use of tok ['among'] in two passages. Here is written, But I will be hallowed among [be-tok] the children of Israel; and elsewhere, separate yourselves from among [mi-tok] this congregation:3 just as there the reference is to ten, all Jews, so here too - ten, all Jews.4 But did not Esther transgress publicly?5 - Abaye answered; Esther was merely natural soil.6 Raba said: When they [sc. the persecutors] demand it for their personal pleasure. it is different.7 For otherwise, how dare we yield to them' [sc. the Parsees or fire worshippers] our braziers [or fire bellows] and coal shovels?8 But their personal pleasure is different;9 so here too [in Esther's case].10 This [answer] concurs with Raba's view expressed elsewhere. For Raba said: If a Gentile said to a Jew. 'Cut grass on the Sabbath for the cattle, and if not I will slay thee', he must rather be killed than cut it; 'Cut it and throw it into the river, he should rather be slain than cut it. Why so? - Because his intention is to force him to violate his religion.

It was asked of R. Ammi: Is a Noachide bound to sanctify the Divine Name or not? - Abaye said, Come and hear: The Noachides were commanded to keep seven precepts.11 Now, if they were commanded to sanctify the Divine Name, they are eight. Raba said to him: Them, and an pertaining thereto.12

What is the decision?-The disciples of Rab13 said: It is written, In this thing, the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon.14 And it is written, And he said unto him, Go in peace.15

(1) When religion itself is persecuted even the most insignificant religious custom or habit must be defended at all costs, having regard to the higher principle at stake. [The shoe latchets worn by Jews were white, those worn by heathens black. v. Nacht. JQR, (N.S.) VI, p. 12.]
(2) Lev. XXII, 23.
(3) Num. XVI, 21.; v. Meg. 23b. A further analogy is there drawn from the use of congregation ('edah עדה) in two passages; one, just quoted, and the second, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation. ('edah) Ibid. XIV, 27. 'Congregation' there refers to the Spies sent out by Moses. As Joshua and Caleb had dissociated themselves from their evil report, ten were left, all Israelites, cf. Supra Mishnah I.i.
(4) Therefore one is not called upon to suffer martyrdom if bidden to transgress in the presence of nine Jews and one Gentile.
(5) By permitting a Gentile - Ahasuerus - to take her to wife.
(6) Which is tilled, i.e., she was only the passive object of his embraces.
(7) And not as a measure of religious persecution.
(8) The passage is obscure. The interpretation here is that of Levy. Who adopts the reading הני קװקי ורימונקי היכי יהבינן להו. This refers to the Guebres, who permitted no fires in private dwellings on the festival days, and forced the Jews to give up to them their brazers (or bellows) and coal shovels, and themselves sit in darkness. On this interpretation קװקי is derived from קוק, the sound made by blowing up a fire. The Munich edition reads דומניקי תהני קיואקי ודומוניקי היכי יהבינן להו נורא or דימוניקי (another reading), bears a strong resemblance to dominica: now, dies dominica (the Lord's Day) signifies Sunday, and aedes dominica signifies church; קװקאי, for which an alternative reading is קורקי, may be a Greek word (**) also meaning church. In Raba's time there were Christian communities in Persia, observing their Sunday as strictly as the Jews observed the Sabbath, who therefore arranged for the Jews to heat their churches on that day, as they probably did a similar service for the Jews on the Sabbath (M. Jast. in REJ 1884, pp. 277ff.)
(9) I.e., They do not demand the fire as a religious act, whereby the Jew shall associate himself in idolatrous worship, but merely desire its warmth in their churches.
(10) Ahasuerus made her transgress for his personal pleasure, not because he desired her to violate her religion.
(11) V. supra 56a.
(12) I.e. sanctifying the Divine Name by observing their seven precepts is not a separate precept, but included therein.
(13) V. p. 387 n. 7.
(14) II Kings V, 18.
(15) Ibid. 19.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 75a

Now, if it be so [that a Noachide is bidden to sanctify the Divine Name], he should not have said this?1 - The one is private, the other public.2

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: A man once conceived a passion for a certain woman,3 and his heart was consumed by his burning desire [his life being endangered thereby]. When the doctors were consulted, they said, 'His only cure is that she shall submit.' Thereupon the Sages said: 'Let him die rather than that she should yield.' Then [said the doctors]; 'let her stand nude before him;' [they answered] 'sooner let him die'. 'Then', said the doctors, 'let her converse with him from behind a fence'. 'Let him die,' the Sages replied 'rather than she should converse with him from behind a fence.' Now R. Jacob b. Idi and R. Samuel b. Nahmani dispute therein. One said that she was a married woman; the other that she was unmarried. Now, this is intelligible on the view, that she was a married woman, but on the latter, that she was unmarried, why such severity? - R. Papa said: Because of the disgrace to her family. R. Aha the son of R. Ika said: That the daughters of Israel may not be immorally dissolute. Then why not marry her? - Marriage would not assuage his passion, even as R. Isaac said: Since the destruction of the Temple, sexual pleasure has been taken [from those who practise it lawfully] and given to sinners, as it is written. Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.4



GEMARA. The Mishnah does not state, 'He who commits incest with a woman whose daughter he has married', but 'HE WHO COMMITS INCEST WITH A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER'; this proves that both are forbidden. Who are they then? His mother-in-law and her mother. Then the Mishnah further states, THERE IS INCLUDED IN 'A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER'; this proves that the first are explicit and the others derived.5 Now this agrees with Abaye,6 who maintains that they7 differ as to the text from which the law is derived; hence the Mishnah is taught in accordance with R. Akiba's view.8 But on Raba's view, that they differ about his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death,9 with whom does the Mishnah agree? - Raba can answer you: Read [in the Mishnah] He who commits incest with a woman whose daughter he has married.


In Abaye's view,10 since the Mishnah desires to state - HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER, It adds HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW AND HER MOTHER. On Raba's view,11 because the Mishnah must teach HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER', and 'HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER', 'HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW' too is mentioned.

Whence do we know this? - For our Rabbis taught: And if a man take a woman and her mother [it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they.]12 This law refers only to a woman and her mother. Whence do I derive it for a woman and her daughter, or her daughter's daughter, or her son's daughter? The word zimmah [wickedness] occurs here, and is also written elsewhere:13 Just as there, her daughter, her daughter's daughter and her son's daughter [are meant by zimmah], so here too her daughter, her daughter's daughter, and her son's daughter [are included in the punishment of burning decreed for incest with them]. Whence do we know that males are as females? 'Wickedness' [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere; just as there, males are as females, so here too. Whence do we know that the lower is as the upper? 'Wickedness' [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere: just as there, the lower is as the upper, so here too; and just as here the upper is as the lower, so there too.14

The Master said: 'Whence do we know that males are as females?' What is meant by this? Shall we say that her son's daughter is equally forbidden as her daughter's daughter?15 But these are simultaneously derived!16 Again, if it means that his father-in-law's mother is as his mother-in-law's mother:17 but seeing that the latter is as yet unproven, why demonstrate that the former is equal thereto?18

(1) For thereby he tacitly concurred in Naaman's proposal.
(2) Naaman was to simulate idolatry in the Temple of Rimmon, where no Jews were present. This, according to the statement on 74b, is transgression in private. The problem however is whether he must publicly sanctify the Divine Name, i.e. in the presence of Jews.
(3) Lit 'set his eyes on a certain woman.'
(4) Prov. IX, 17.
(5) The statement that a number of other women are included in the first cannot be literal, for in fact the meaning of 'a woman and her daughter' cannot be extended to include, e.g., his own daughter or his son's daughter. Hence it must mean that 'a woman and her daughter' are explicitly stated in the Bible, whilst the others are included as derivations from these two. Now since the wording of the Mishnah shows that both the first two are forbidden and that the only relation explicitly forbidden on pain of burning is his mother-in-law, it follows that 'a woman and her daughter' must mean his mother-in-law ('daughter') and her mother. And these are regarded as explicitly forbidden.
(6) V. infra 76b.
(7) R. Akiba and R. Ishmael.
(8) Who holds that the mother of his mother-in-law is explicitly prohibited.
(9) But as to his mother-in-law's mother there is a common agreement that the prohibition is only derived and not explicitly stated.
(10) That burning for the first two is explicitly decreed, so that they cannot be included in 'a woman etc.' but are identical therewith.
(11) That only his mother-in-law is explicitly forbidden on pain of death by fire, but not her mother.
(12) Lev. XX, 14.
(13) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness, זמה (Lev. XVIII, 17).
(14) This is explained in the Gemara.
(15) The meaning being, the issue of males is prohibited just as that of females.
(16) From the gezarah shawah of zimmah.
(17) Thus teaching that incest with both is punished by fire.
(18) At this stage, nothing has been adduced to shew that incest with his mother-in-law's mother is thus punished, for 'a woman' has been translated literally. Consequently, only his mother-in-law is forbidden in this verse.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 75b

- Abaye said, This is what is meant: Whence do we know that his issue is as hers?1 The word 'zimmah' occurs here, and is also written elsewhere etc. But 'zimmah' is not written in connection with his issue?2 Raba answered: R. Isaac b. Abudimi said unto me: We learn identity of law from the fact that 'hennah' [they] occurs in two related passages, and likewise 'zimmah' [wickedness] in two.3

The Master said: 'Whence do we know that the lower is as the upper?' What is meant by 'lower' and 'upper'? Shall we say that her son's daughter and her daughter's daughter ['lower'] are as her own daughter ['upper']?4 But are not [all three] simultaneously derived?5 Again, if it means that his father-in-law's mother and his mother-in-law's mother are as his mother-in-law: then instead of 'the lower is as the upper', the Tanna should have said 'the upper is as the lower'?6 - Read, 'the upper is as the lower'. If so, [how explain] wickedness [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere'; seeing that their very prohibition is as yet unknown, how can 'zimmah' be written in connection therewith?7 Abaye answered: This is its meaning: Whence do we know that the third generation above is treated as the third below?8 - The word 'zimmah' is written in connection with both the lower generation9 and the upper;10 just as in the lower, the third generation is forbidden also,11 so in the upper too;12 and just as the lower is assimilated to the upper in respect of punishment, so is the upper to the lower in respect of formal prohibition.13 R. Ashi said: After all, it is as taught:14 What then is the meaning of 'lower'? Lower in [gravity of the] prohibition.15

Now, if so,16 then just as her [i.e. his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother?17 - Abaye answered: The Writ sayeth, [The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover'] she is thy mother -18 teaching: thou canst punish for [incest with] his mother, but not with his mother's mother.

Raba said: Whether we maintain, 'judge from it in its entirety', or19 'judge from it, and place it on its own basis', this could not be deduced.20 For on the view, 'judge from it in its entirety', [the deduction would proceed thus:] Just as her [his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother forbidden. [Then carrying the analogy] to its uttermost, just as in her case [i.e.,incest with the former] is punished by fire so in his case [i.e.,incest with the latter] is punished by fire. But on the view21 that burning is severer [than stoning]. This analogy can be refuted. [Thus:] Why is her case [forbidden]?22 Because her [his wife's] mother is similarly forbidden.23 But can you say the same in his case, seeing that his mother is forbidden [only] on pain of stoning!24 Moreover, his mother is forbidden on pain of stoning: shall his mother's mother be forbidden on pain of burning!25 Further, just as in her [his wife's] case, you have drawn no distinction between her mother and her mother's mother [both being forbidden on pain of burning], so in his, no distinction must be drawn between his mother and his mother's mother.26 And on the view that stoning is severer,the analogy cannot be deduced because of this last difficulty.27 Whilst on the view, 'judge from it and place it on its own basis,' [the deduction would proceed thus:] Just as her [his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother forbidden. But 'place it on its own basis', thus: in the former case the punishment is burning; but in the latter, stoning, the penalty which we find prescribed for incest with his mother. Now, on the view that burning is severer, this can be refuted,

(1) I.e., that his daughter, his son's daughter, or daughter's daughter by a mistress are forbidden to him on pain of burning just as wife's daughter, her son's daughter, and her daughter's daughter. For Lev. XVIII, 17 (cited on p. 508 n. 5) refers to the offspring of marriage, not of seduction or outrage. On this interpretation, 'male' refers to his issue, 'female' to his wife's.
(2) For that his issue is at all forbidden is derived not from Lev. XVIII, 17, but from Lev. XVIII, 10: The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for their's (hennah הנה) is thine own nakedness
(3) Supra 51a. In Lev. XVIII, 10 it is stated. The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover; for they (hennah) are thine own nakedness. Further, it is written (ibid. XVIII, 17): Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they (hennah) are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness (zimmah, זמה). Since hennah occurs in these two passages, they are identified with each other, and zimmah in the second passage, referring to her issue, is understood to be implicit in the first too, which refers to his issue. Then the first passage is further identified with Lev. XX, 14: And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness (zimmah): They shalt be burnt with fire: thus we derive burning for incest with his issue.
(4) So that 'lower' and 'upper' refer to the order of generations: 'lower', the third generation in the downward direction, viz. her son's daughter and her daughter's daughter; 'upper', one generation above them, viz., her daughter.
(5) As explained in that very passage.
(6) For the older generation is always referred to as the upper.
(7) Cf. p. 509 n. 4. At this stage, no verse has been adduced at all to show that his father-in-law's mother or his mother-in-law's mother are forbidden.
(8) I.e., just as his daughter's daughter and his son's daughter (the third generation below) are forbidden, so likewise his father-in-law's mother and mother-in-law's mother, the third generation above.
(9) Lev. XVIII, 17.
(10) lbid. XX, 14.
(11) I.e., his son's daughter and daughter.
(12) I.e., though only the second generation is explicitly interdicted, viz., his mother-in-law, the third is included too, viz., his mother-in-law's mother and his father-in-law's mother.
(13) For in Lev. XVIII, 10, where the third lower generation is forbidden, nothing is said about punishment, which is derived from Lev. XX, 14, as stated above. On the other hand, in Lev. XX, 14, which is made to include the third generation above, though only explicitly stating the second, no formal prohibition is given. This in turn is derived from Lev. XVIII, 10. (Both are derived through the medium of Lev. XVIII, 17, the connecting link between the other two.) On Abaye's interpretation it is necessary to amend the Baraitha from 'and the lower is as the upper', to 'that the upper is as the lower etc.'
(14) I.e., no emendation is necessary.
(15) I.e., 'the upper' or higher prohibition is that of his mother-in-law, his more immediate relation, whilst the prohibition of her mother, as also of his father-in-law's mother, is regarded as 'lower', i.e., weaker, as they are a generation further removed. Hence this is its meaning: Whence do we know that his mother-in-law's mother and his father-in-law's mother, whose relationships are lower (i.e., further removed, and consequently weaker) than his mother-in-law's, are treated as his mother-in-law? - It is derived from his wife's daughter: just as in the latter case, the 'lower' relation is as the 'upper' (stronger), i.e., his wife's daughter's daughter is as his wife's daughter, though more distant; so here too, his mother-in-law's mother is as she herself. This deduction is in respect of equal punishment. The second clause is explained by R. Ashi as Abaye, as referring to the prohibition.
(16) This reverts to the explanation of 'whence do we know that males are regarded as females', as meaning, 'whence do we know that his relations are regarded as hers?'
(17) Whereas in Yeb. 21a the prohibition of the latter is regarded as Rabbinical only, whilst the former is Biblical.
(18) Lev. XVIII, 7.
(19) Lit., 'whether according to the one (Tanna) who says . . . or whether according to the one who says etc.'
(20) A verse is unnecessary, because his maternal grandmother could not be deduced from the gezerah shawah based on zimmah, whatever view be held on the scope of a gezerah shawah. There are two views on this. One is that the identity of law taught by a gezerah shawah must hold good in all respects, so that the case deduced is equal to the premise in all points; this is called 'judge from it and from (all) of it'. An opposing view is that the analogy holds good only in respect of the main question at issue, but that thereafter, the case deduced may diverge from its premise. This is called, 'judge from it, but place it on its own basis', i.e., confine the analogy to the main question, not to the subsidiary points.
(21) Lit., 'but according to the one Tanna who says that, etc.'
(22) I.e., the reason that his wife's maternal grandmother is forbidden on pain of burning.
(23) Hence, since the prohibition of his wife's mother is so severe, it is natural that it should extend to her maternal grandmother too.
(24) Surely not! Since the prohibition is weaker, its punishment being more lenient, its extent too may be more limited, and not include his maternal grandmother.
(25) Surely there cannot be a severer punishment for the latter, a more distant relative, than for the former. Yet if the latter be derived at all by this gezerah shawah, the punishment must be burning, on this view that the analogy must be carried through on all points.
(26) Just as incest with his mother is punished by stoning, so with his mother's mother. But making the analogy from another angle, the latter should be punished by burning, as has already been shewn. Hence, by a reductio ad absurdum, we are forced to dismiss the entire analogy.
(27) Though the former two do not arise.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 76a

[Thus]: Why is her case [i.e., his wife's maternal grandmother forbidden]? Because her mother is [forbidden] on pain of death by fire. But can you say the same in his case, seeing that his mother is forbidden on pain of stoning [only]? Further, his maternal grandmother is like her's: just as in the latter case no distinction is drawn between his wife's maternal grandmother and her [his wife's] daughter,1 so in the former, no distinction should be allowed between his own maternal grandmother and his daughter.2 Whilst on the view that stoning is severer, the analogy cannot be made on account of this last difficulty.3

But if so,4 just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is his wife's daughter-in-law forbidden him?5 Abaye answered: The Writ saith, [Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law:] she is thy son's wife;6 teaching, you can punish only for incest with his son's wife, but not with her [his wife's] son's wife. Raba said: Whether it be maintained, 'judge from it in its entirety,' or 'judge from it and place it on its own basis', this could not be deduced. For on the first view, [the deduction would proceed thus:] just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is her's forbidden him. [Then carrying through the analogy] 'in its entirety,'just as in his case [the penalty] is stoning,7 so in her case is the penalty stoning. But if we regard stoning severer, this analogy can be refuted. [Thus]: Why is his [daughter-in-law forbidden]? Because his mother is forbidden him on pain of stoning: Can you then say the same of her daughter-in-law, seeing that incest with her mother incurs only death by fire?8 Moreover, her daughter is forbidden on pain of burning: shall her daughter-in-law be forbidden on pain of stoning?9 [This is no difficulty, for] let his own case prove it: his own daughter is forbidden by fire, yet his daughter-in-law by stoning. But [refute the analogy thus:] just as in his case, thou drawest no distinction between his mother and his daughter-in-law, so in her's [his wife's], you can draw no distinction between her mother and her daughter-in-law.10 And on the view that burning is considered more severe, the analogy cannot be made because of this last difficulty.11 Whilst on the view, 'judge from it and place it on its own basis,' [the deduction would proceed thus:] just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is her daughter-in-law forbidden; and place it on its own basis, thus: in the former case, [his daughter-in-law] the punishment is stoning; but in the latter, burning, the punishment we find for incest with her mother. But if stoning is severer, this can be refuted. [Thus]: Why is his daughter-in-law forbidden? Because his mother is forbidden him on pain of stoning. But can you say the same of her daughter-in-law, seeing that her mother is forbidden only on pain of burning! Moreover, just as in his case, you draw a distinction between his daughter [punished by burning] and his daughter-in-law [by stoning], so in her case, you should draw a distinction between her daughter and her daughter-in-law.12 And even on the view that burning is severer, the analogy cannot be made on account of this last difficulty.

Whence do we know that his daughter by a seduced woman [not his wife] is forbidden him?13 - Abaye said:14 This may be roved by arguing from the minor to the major; if he is punished for incest with his daughtzr's daughter, surely he is punished for his own daughter!15 But can punishment be imposed as the result of an ad majus conclusion? - The argument merely illumines the prohibition.16 Raba answered: R. Isaac b. Abudimi said unto me; we learn identity of law from the fact that 'hennah' [they] occurs in two related passages, and likewise 'zimmah' in two.17

The father of R. Abin learned: Because we have no express sanction [from Scripture that incest] with an illegitimate daughter [is punished by burning], therefore the Writ must say, And the daughter of a man [and] a priest, if she profane herself through her father, she profaneth him; she shall burnt with fire.18 If so, just a| in the case of a priest's [adulterous] daughter, only she is burnt, but not her paramour, so for incest with an illegitimate daughter, only she should be burnt, but not her paramour?19 - Abaye answered: The Writ sayeth, she profaneth her father,teachingžthat this applies only to a case where she profaneth her father, excluded thus is this case,20 since her father profanes her,21 Raba answered, In the former case22 you ©ightly exclude him from the penalty of a priest's daughter, and assimilate him to an Israelite's daughter.23 But in this case,24 to whom will you assimilate him? to an unmarried woman?25

Now, whence do we derive a formal prohibithon of incest with an illegitimate daughter? This is in order according to Abaye and Raba: from the verJe from which they deduce punishment, they also learn the prohibition.26 But what of the deduction made by R. Abin's father?27 - R. Elai answered: The Writ sayeth, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be whore.28 R. Jacob, the brother of R. Aha b. Jacob objected: Is this verse, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be a whore, employed for this purpose? But it is needed for that which has been taught: 'Do not profane thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore' I might think that this prohibits29 a priest from marrying his daughter to a Levite or an Israelite:30 therefore Scripture states, 'to cause her to be a whore', shewing that the reference is only to profanation by harlotry, thus prohibiting the giving over of one's daughter for sex purposes without marriage intention'? If so, Scripture should have said al tahel; why al tehallel? - That both may be deduced from it.31

Now, how do Abaye and Raba utilize the verse, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be a whore? - R. Mani said: [According to them] this refers to one who marries his [young] daughter to an old man.32 As it has been taught: Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be a whore; R. Eliezer said: This refers to marrying one's [young] daughter to an old man. R. Akiba said: This refers to the delay in marrying off a daughter who is already a bogereth.33

R. Kahana said on R. Akiba's authority: The only poor in Israel is the subtly wicked and he who delays in marrying off his daughter, a bogereth.34 But is not one who thus delays himself subtly wicked?35 Abaye answered:

(1) Incest with both being punishable by fire.
(2) So that incest with the former should be punished by burning, as with the latter. This however is impossible, for incest with one's grandmother cannot be more severely punished than with his mother, the penalty for which is only stoning, which on the present hypothesis is more lenient than burning.
(3) Since according to this comparison incest with his maternal grandmother is punished by burning. But his maternal grandmother should also be compared to his mother, the punishment for which is stoning; hence the entire analogy falls to the ground.
(4) This raises a new difficulty, reverting to the statement (75b) that his relatives are compared to hers.
(5) I.e., the wife of her son by a previous husband. But this is not so.
(6) Lev. XVIII, 15.
(7) v. supra 53a.
(8) Hence, since the prohibition of his relative, viz., his mother, is so severe, it is natural that it should extend in a downward direction too, whereas the prohibition of her relation, viz., her mother, being punished only by burning and consequently weaker, its extent may be more limited, and not embrace her daughter-in-law.
(9) Surely not!
(10) Hence, incest with the latter should he punished by burning. But as has already been proved, stoning is the proper punishment; therefore the entire analogy is impossible.
(11) Though the former two do not arise.
(12) I.e., Just as the punishment for his daughter-in-law is severer than for his daughter, viz., stoning instead of burning, so her daughter-in-law should be more stringently interdicted than her daughter, viz., by stoning, instead of burning. But if we compare her daughter-in-law to her mother, the punishment is burning. Hence the entire deduction is impossible.
(13) As explained by Abaye supra 75b. q.v. The difficulty arises because in Lev. XVIII, 10 q.v., which has been interpreted as referring to his illegitimate offspring, no mention is made of his own daughter.
(14) V. next note.
(15) [Thus Tosaf.; var lec., Did not Abaye say etc. i.e 'what is the question'-surely Abaye has solved it.']
(16) I.e., does not add the prohibition of another person, but shews that when Scripture (in Lev. XVIII, 10) interdicted his daughter's daughter, it meant that the daughter relationship in general is forbidden.
(17) V. p. 342, n. 1; just as in Lev. XVIII, 17 the daughter is forbidden equally with the daughter's daughter, so in XVIII, 10. The punishment of burning is then deduced from Lev. XX, 14.
(18) Lev. XXI, 9. 'A man' Is superfluous, and therefore teaches that even if she is only his daughter, not his wife's, this law holds good. By translating the rest of the verse as in the text, we deduce that an illegitimate daughter is burnt for incest with her father; and by regarding 'a man' as distinct from "priest' (the latter being attached to the former with the copula 'and'), the deduction is made to refer to any illegitimate daughter, not only a priest's (v. Tosef. Sanh. XII).
(19) Seeing that the former is deduced from 'she shall be burnt with fire', whilst the verse is made to refer to incest too.
(20) Incest with one's illegitimate daughter.
(21) Her case is excluded from the limitation implied in, she (and not her paramour) 'shall be burnt with fire': hence her paramour is likewise punished.
(22) The seducer of a priest's adulterous daughter.
(23) I.e., punishing him by stoning instead of burning. For the limitation of 'she', though teaching that the special law of a priest's daughter does not apply to him, yet leaves him to be punished as the seducer of a married woman in general.
(24) Incest with an illegitimate daughter.
(25) For if an incestuous paramour be excluded from the punishment of an adulterous woman, whether the daughter of a priest or an Israelite (since relationship is independent of these), his law can only be assimilated to that of an unmarried woman, whose unchastity is not punished at all. But surely it cannot be maintained that an illegitimate daughter is burnt for incest with her father, though her offence is a passive one, and less than the man's (v. supra 74b), whilst he goes scot free! Hence the limitation of 'she' cannot apply to this.
(26) Both being stated in the verses they employ for this purpose.
(27) Lev. XXI, 9 speaks only of punishment, but contains no prohibition.
(28) Lev. XIX, 29. This includes incest, and since 'daughter' in general is mentioned, it applies to an illegitimate one too.
(29) Lit., 'the Writ speaks of a priest etc.'
(30) Since he thereby 'profanes her', in that she is not permitted to eat of terumah (v. GIos) thereafter.
(31) The latter אל תחלל is a heavier form, yet with the same meaning אל תחל the former. Being heavier, it has a wider application.
(32) Since she cannot willingly accept him, she may be led to adultery.
(33) Having attained puberty, she may become unchaste if not married. Marriage, of course, was then at a far earlier age than now.
(34) This is explained further on.
(35) Why 'and he who delays etc.': the two are identical. His wickedness consists in that he keeps her unmarried, that he may profit by her labour whilst endangering her chastity.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 76b

This is its meaning: Which poor man is subtly wicked? He who delays marrying off his daughter, a bogereth.1

R. Kahana also said on R. Akiba's authority: Beware of one who counsels thee for his own benefit.2

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: One who marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son, or returns a lost article to a Cuthean,3 - concerning him Scripture sayeth, [that he bless himself in his heart saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart] to add drunkedness to thirst: The Lord will not spare him.4

An objection was raised: He who loves his wife as himself and honours her more than himself,5 and leads his children in the right path, and marries them just before they attain puberty - of him Scripture saith, And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.6 - If just before puberty, it is different.

Our Rabbis taught: He who loves his neighbour, displays friendly intimacy towards his relatives, and marries his sister's daughter and lends a sela' to the poor man in time of his need - of him Scripture saith, Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer.7

Our Rabbis taught: [And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire,] both he and they [ethe'en].8 [This means], he and one of them. That is R. Ishmael's opinion. R. Akiba said: [It means], he and both of them. Wherein do they differ?9 - Abaye said: They differ as to the text from which the law is derived: R. Ishmael maintains that 'he and ethe'en' means 'he and one of them', for in Greek 'one' is hello.10 Hence [incest with] his mother-in-law's mother [as a punishable offence] is arrived at [only] by [Biblical] interpretation. But R. Akiba maintained, 'he and ethe'en' means 'he and both of them', hence his mother-in-law's mother is explicitly interdicted in this verse.11 Raba said: They differ about his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death: R. Ishmael holds that [incest with] his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death is punished by burning; whilst R. Akiba's view is that it is merely forbidden.12


GEMARA. Samuel said: why is 'hand' not mentioned in connection with iron?13 - Because iron can kill no matter what its size. It has been taught likewise: Rabbi said; It was well known to Him who spake and the world came into being that iron, no matter how small, can kill; therefore the Torah prescribed no size for it. This however, is only if one pierced therewith:14

OR KEPT HIM DOWN UNDER WATER. The first clause teaches the extreme limit of the law, and so does the last. Thus, the first clause teaches the extreme limit of the law, that though he himself did not push him [into the water], yet since he could not ascend, [through being held down], and so died, he is executed. The last clause likewise teaches the extreme limit, that though he actually pushed him into the water, yet since he could have ascended, but died, he is free from death.

Whence do we know that [he is liable to death] for keeping him down?-Samuel answered: The Writ sayeth, Or if with enmity he smote him with his hand:15 this extends the law to one who keeps his neighbour fast [e.g., in water, thus causing his death].

A certain man confined his neighbour's animal in a place exposed to the sun, so that it died [of sunstroke]. Rabina held him liable: R. Aha b. Rab ruled that he was not. Rabina held him liable by an ad majus argument from a murderer. If a murderer, in whose case unwitting murder is not treated as deliberate, nor an accident as intention, is nevertheless executed for confining [his neighbour in a place where he must die];

(1) Through his poverty he delays her marriage, that he may profit from her labour, The poor man has no other opportunity of cunning wickedness
(2) Lit., 'in his own way'.
(3) v. p. 388, nn. 5-6.
(4) Deut. XXIX, 18ff. i.e., the associations involved in these practices are displeasing in the eyes of the Lord. [How bitter must have been the persecution of the Jews under Ardeshir (v. Funk, op. cit 1, pp 66 ff.) to have provoked gentle Rab to this harsh utterance.]
(5) By providing her with fine ornaments (Rashi).
(6) Job. V. 24. This proves that it is meritorious to marry off one's children whilst minors.
(7) Isa. LVIII, 9.
(8) אתהן, Lev. XX, 14.
(9) For obviously R. Akiba cannot mean that a man's wife must be burnt because her husband committed incest with his daughter.
(10) ***, acc. of ***.
(11) Since R. Ishmael maintains that only 'one of them' is denoted by אתהן, It must mean his mother-in-law. Consequently, her mother is not directly referred to, and has to be deduced. But R. Akiba, translating אתהן 'both of them' (which cannot possibly include his wife), regards the verse as referring to his mother-in-law and her mother; hence death by fire for the latter is explicitly taught in this verse.
(12) R. Ishmael interprets the verse, 'he and one of them' i.e., even if only one of them is alive (viz., his mother-in-law), the penalty for incest is burning, whilst R. Akiba maintains, 'he and both of them' i.e., only during the lifetime of both is incest with his mother-in-law punished by fire. Otherwise, there is no penalty, though it is forbidden.
(13) In Num. XXXV, 16-18, dealing with murder, iron, stone, and wooden weapons are enumerated: 'hand' is used in connection with the latter two, implying that they must be large enough to afford a hold to the hand, but not in connection with the first.
(14) But if used to strike therewith, it must be of a certain minimum size before the murderer is executed.
(15) Num. XXXV, 21.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 77a

then with respect to damages, wherein unwitting damage is treated as deliberate, and an accident as intention,1 surely he is liable for confining [the animal].

'R. Aha b. Rab ruled that he is not liable.' Said R. Mesharshia: Why does my grandfather2 rule him not liable? - Because of the verse, [Or in enmity he smite him with his hand, that he die:] He that smote him shall surely be put to death: for he is a murderer:3 only a murderer has the law made liable for confining, but not one who causes damage thereby.

Raba said: If one bound his neighbour and he died of starvation, he is not liable to execution. Raba also said: If he bound him in the sun, and he died, or in a place of intense cold and he died, he is liable; but if the sun was yet to appear, or the cold to make itself felt, he is not.4 Raba also said: If he bound him before a lion, he is not liable:5 before mosquitoes, [who stung him to death] he is. R. Ashi said: Even before mosquitoes, he is not liable, because these go and others come.6

It has been stated: If one overturned a vat upon a man [who then died of suffocation], or broke open a ceiling above him,7 - Raba and R. Zera [differ]: One ruled that he is liable, the other that he is not. It can be proved that it was Raba who ruled that he is not liable, for he said: If one bound his neighbour and he dies of starvation, he is not liable.8 On the contrary. it can be shewn that R. Zera ruled that he is not liable. For R. Zera said: If one led his neighbour in to an alabaster chamber9 and lit a candle therein, so that he died [of the fumes]. he is liable. Now, the reason is only that he lit a candle that he is liable;10 but had he not lit a candle [and the prisoner died of the natural heat and lack of air], he would be exempt!11 - I will tell you: In that case, without a candle, the heat would not have commenced [its effects]

(1) It being a general principle that a man is liable for any damage he does, no matter how, B.K. 26b.
(2) R. Aba b. Rab was a Babylonian amora of the fourth century, and the grandfather of R. Mesharshia.
(3) Ibid. The first half of the verse extends the law to confining one's neighbour in a place of death, (p. 519).
(4) I.e., he is liable only if the place was already exposed to heat or cold. But if it was merely destined to become hot, the sun not yet having risen, he is not liable. In the first case, he is regarded as a direct murderer, in the second, as an indirect cause. That is the general reason for the exemptions taught in this passage.
(5) Because he could not have saved himself in any case. [Raba probably refers to a prisoner thrown into an arena to be torn by lions.]
(6) I.e., the mosquitoes before which the prisoner was bound do not kill him entirely. as there is a continuous coming and going, Hence it is similar to binding one in a place where the sun will appear, but has not yet done so.
(7) So that the cold entering therein, killed him.
(8) This is similar: he did not kill him but indirectly caused his death.
(9) Which was then hermetically sealed, so that no fumes could escape.
(10) This being considered active murder under the circumstances.
(11) Thus R. Zera maintains that no penalty is incurred for indirectly causing one's death.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 77b

immediately [he placed him therein];1 but in this case [of placing the upturned vat over him] the heat commences immediately.

(Mnemonic: Ladder, shield, balsam, in a wall.)

Raba said: If one thrust his neighbour into a pit, in which there was a ladder [so that he could have climbed out], and then another came and removed it, or even if himself hastened to remove it, he is not liable [for the victim's death], because when he threw him in he could have climbed out. Raba also said: If one shot an arrow at his neighbour, who was holding a shield, but another came and snatched it away, or even if he himself [the thrower] hastened to do so, he is not liable, because when he shot the arrow its force was spent.2

Raba also said: If one shot an arrow at his neighbour. who had balsam in his hand [wherewith he could have healed the wound], but another dashed it out of his hand, or even if he himself [the thrower] did so, he is not liable, because when he did it he could have been healed. R. Ashi said: Therefore this holds good even if there was balsam in the market.3 R. Aha the son of Raba asked R. Ashi: What if he came across the balsam by chance?4 - He replied: Behold, he has left Beth din a free man.5

Raba also said: If one threw a stone at a wall, which rebounded and killed his neighbour,6 he is liable. And a Tanna teaches [in support of this]: If murder is committed by a man playing, for example. with a ball,7 if intentional, the thrower is executed; if unintentional, he is sentenced to the refuge cities.8 'If unintentional, he is sentenced to the refuge cities:' but is that not obvious? - It is necessary to teach that if intentional, he is executed, [the second half being added to complete it]; for I might say, this is a case of 'a doubtful warning', for who knows that it will rebound?9 We are therefore taught otherwise.

R. Tahlifa of the West10 recited before R. Abbahu [the following]: If [unintentional] murder is committed by a man playing, for example, with a ball, if [the victim] was within four cubits [of the wall]. the thrower is exempt; if beyond four cubits, he is liable [to exile]. Rabina objected to R. Ashi: How is this? If he desired it [to rebound], he should be liable even for a short distance;11 whilst if not, he should be liable even for a greater distance? - He replied: The greater the rebound, the more is the average player pleased.12

Are we to say that [a murder] so committed is regarded as by his direct action?13 But the following contradicts it: If one was sanctifying [the water], and the ashes14 fell upon his hand or upon the side of the utensil, whence it fell into the trough, it is unfit?15 - The reference here is to a dripping down.16

Come and hear! If an [unclean] needle was lying upon a shard, and the [purifying] water was sprinkled thereon, but it is doubtful whether upon the needle or upon the shard, and then it spurted [miza] upon the needle, the sprinkling is invalid.17 - R. Hinena b. R. Judah said in Rab's name: We have learnt, It was found [maza].18

R. Papa said: If one bound his neighbour and then caused a column of water to inundate him, it is as his arrows, and he is liable [for his death]. But that is only if [he was drowned] by his direct agency; but if through his indirect agency,19 he is merely regarded as a subsidiary cause.20

R. Papa also said: If one threw a stone upwards, and it returned in a slanting direction and killed a man, he is liable. Mar son of R. Ashi asked R. Papa. Why so? Because it is by his agency! But if so it should go upwards;21

(1) [By consuming the oxygen, the fire immediately produces effects of asphyxiation, but without fire such effects are not immediately felt.]
(2) Lit., 'broken', as at the time it was released there was a shield to prevent its killing.
(3) I. e., if when the arrow was thrown, a healing ointment could have been procured sufficiently quickly to prevent death, the attacker is not liable, even if for some reason the ointment became subsequently unavailable.
(4) When smitten, he neither possessed nor could procure it. But by some happy chance, he subsequently obtained it, and though he could have healed himself therewith, did not. Do we say, since when the attack was made, murder was its probable outcome, he is liable; or since he could have healed himself, he is not.
(5) I.e., he is not liable: in spite of the fact that the balsam was unavailable when he threw the arrow.
(6) And this was his intention.
(7) Children play by throwing a ball at a wall and catching or striking it on the rebound, thus here, one threw something at a wall, which, rebounding, struck his neighbour and killed him.
(8) V. Num. XXXV, 15.
(9) V. supra 72b. In this case, however, it might be thought that no true warning can be given, since the murder is doubtful.
(10) I.e., a Palestinian amora.
(11) I.e., even if it did not rebound so far, and struck a man standing within four cubits
(12) Therefore it may be presumed that he intended it to rebound at least four cubits; hence if less, he is not liable.
(13) Lit., 'force'.
(14) Lit., 'the sanctifier'.
(15) The reference is to the law of the red heifer: Num. XIX. The ashes thereof, when mixed with running water, are said to sanctify, the ashes themselves being denominated 'the sanctifier'. These had to be placed by a person into the water, not merely fall therein. Now, if one was engaged in sanctifying the water, and instead of pouring the ashes straight in, permitted them to fall upon his hand or on the side of a utensil, whence they fell into the trough containing the sanctified water, the water is unfit for its purpose, because the mixing had not been done directly by the person. This proves that a rebound is not regarded as a person's direct action, and this contradicts the law of murder.
(16) The ashes did not fall with force from the side of the utensil into the trough, but merely dripped down; therefore it is not regarded as man's direct agency. Had they fallen with force, however, the fall would be regarded as part of the man's action in dropping them on to the utensil, and the water would accordingly be fit. In the case of murder, the rebound is with force, and directly caused by the strength of the throw.
(17) Because the sprinkling, as the mixing. must be done by man. Thus we see that the rebound is not regarded as direct action.
(18) I.e., the text is corrupt, and instead of miza מיצא, miza מצא is to be read. Thus, the water was found upon the needle, but how it came there is not known, whether sprinkled direct thereon, or it had rebounded from the shard, which, on the present hypothesis would also be valid, or flowed of itself from the shard on to the needle, in which case it was not due at all to man's action.
(19) If the victim was lying immediately in front of the burst, where the strength of the water's flow is still due to the man's action, the drowning is by his direct agency. But if he was lying at some distance, he is held to be an indirect or secondary cause.
(20) Not the actual murderer.
(21) For he had exerted himself to cause it to go up, not down.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 78a

whilst if it is not by his agency, it should fall [vertically] down?1 - But it is through his agency, though weakened.2

Our Rabbis taught: If ten men smote a man with ten staves, whether simultaneously or successively, and he died, they are exempt. R. Judah b. Bathyra said: If successively, the last is liable, because he struck the actual death blow.3 R. Johanan said: Both derive [their rulings] from the same verse, And he that killeth kol nefesh4 [lit., 'all life'] of man shall surely be put to death.5 The Rabbis maintain that kol nefesh implies the whole life;6 but R. Judah b. Bathyra holds that kol nefesh implies whatever there is of life.7

Raba said: Both agree that if he killed a terefah,8 he is exempt; if he slew one who was dying through an act of God,9 he is liable; their dispute refers only to one who was dying through man's act:10 the one likens him to a terefah,11 the other to a person dying naturally. Now, he who likens him to a terefah, why does he not liken him to a person dying naturally? - Because no injury has been done to the latter; but an injury has been done to this one. Whilst he who likens him to a person dying naturally, why does he not liken him to a terefah? - A terefah has his vital organs affected12 , but this one has not.13

A tanna recited before R. Shesheth: And he that killeth all life of man: this includes one who smote his fellow, but there was not in his blow enough [force] to kill, and then a second came and killed him, [teaching] the latter is executed - But if the first man's blow was insufficient to kill, is it not obvious [that the second is liable]? - But [say thus: the first smote him] with sufficient force to kill, [but before he expired] a second came and slew him,; then the second is liable. This anonymous Baraitha agrees with R. Judah b. Bathyra.14

Raba said: If one kills a terefah, he is exempt; whilst if a terefah committed murder: if in the presence of a Beth din, he is liable; otherwise he is exempt. Why is he liable if in the presence of a Beth din? - Because it is written, so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.15 But if not, he is exempt, because the law of confuted testimony is inapplicable, and testimony which cannot be so confuted is inadmissible.16

Raba also said: He who commits pederasty with a terefah is liable to punishment; but if a terefah committed it, if in the presence of a Beth din, he is liable; otherwise he is not. 'If in the presence of a Beth din, he is liable', because it is written, So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. 'Otherwise he is not', because the law of confuted testimony is inapplicable. Why state this second [law]; is it not identical with the first? - It is necessary to teach concerning one who commits pederasty with a terefah: for I might think that he is as one who abuses a dead person, and hence exempt. Therefore he teaches that [punishment is generally imposed] because of the [forbidden] pleasure derived, and in this case too pleasure is derived.17

Raba also said: if witnesses testified [to murder] against a terefah and were then confuted,18 they are not executed.19 But if witnesses, themselves terefah, were confuted, they are executed. R. Ashi said: Even these are not slain , because those who disprove their evidence are not liable if their own is subsequently confuted.20

Raba also said: If an ox, a terefah, killed [a man], it is liable [to be stoned]; but if an ox belonging to a terefah [person] killed, it is exempt. Why so? - Because the Writ saith, The ox shall be stoned, and his owner shall also be put to death;21 wherever it is possible to read, 'and his owner shall also be put to death,' we also read, 'the ox shall be stoned;'but where we cannot apply, 'and his owner shall also be put to death,'22 we do not read, 'the ox shall be stoned.' R. Ashi said: Even an ox, a terefah is exempt. Why so? - Since the owner in a similar condition would be exempt, the ox too is exempt.23


R. Aha b. Jacob said: If you will investigate [the grounds of the dispute, you will learn that] in R. Judah's opinion the snake's poison is lodged in its fangs, therefore, one who causes it to bite [by placing its fangs against the victim's flesh] is decapitated, whilst the snake itself is exempt. But in the view of the Sages the snake emits the poison of its own accord; therefore the snake is stoned, whilst he who caused it to bite is exempt.24


GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: R. Nehemiah gave the following exposition: If he rise again, and walk abroad

(1) Not in a slanting direction.
(2) I.e., most of the force with which he threw it was already expended, but sufficient was left to impel it in the direction in which it fell.
(3) Lit., 'brought his death near'; v. B.K. 26b.
(4) כל נפש
(5) Lev. XXIV, 17.
(6) Hence, if ten men assailed him successively, he was already nearly dead when the last smote him: therefore the last too is exempt.
(7) I.e., however little life the man has, even if he is nearly dead, the man who actually kills him is liable.
(8) V. Glos. When used of a person, it means that he was suffering from some fatal organic disease, recovery from which is impossible.
(9) l.e., naturally, through age or weakness, but without an organic disease or wound.
(10) As here: nine men had smitten him, and though not actually a trefah, he was already at the point of death.
(11) Hence his slayer is exempt.
(12) Lit., 'cut'.
(13) Although suffering very much from the successive blows, and on the point of death, no vital organ, e.g., the heart or lungs, is injured, as in the case of a trefah.
(14) That the last of the ten is liable for hastening his death, though the cumulative effect of the preceding nine would have caused his death in any case, if not so soon.
(15) Deut. XIII, 6.
(16) Ibid. XIX, 16-19. Since the murder was not committed in the presence of a Beth din, witnesses must testify thereto. But should they subsequently be proved false (Zomemim, v. Glos.) they could not be executed in accordance with Deut. XIX, 16-19, because they had sought the execution of one who is already regarded as dead, a terefah being thus considered, and testimony to which this law is inapplicable is not valid. But if the murder was committed in the presence of a Beth din, so that no testimony at all is required, the ordinary law of a murderer applies.
(17) Whereas there is no sexual gratification in abusing the dead.
(18) It being proved they they were absent from the scene of the alleged murder.
(19) V. p. 523, n. 3.
(20) If A and B's testimony is disproved by C and D, who testify that they were with them elsewhere than at the scene of the alleged crime, and then the latter themselves are similarly refuted, the law of Deut. XIX, 16-19 is applicable to C and D, since they had sought to impose punishment upon the first two. But if A and B were terefah, this law would not apply to C and D; consequently, the entire law does not apply, and hence they are not executed.
(21) Ex. XXI, 29.
(22) As here, since the owner, being a terefah, is regarded as already dead.
(23) For this verse puts the two on an equal basis. It should be observed that in practice the owner was never killed, but ransomed, in accordance with Ex. XXI, 30 (v. supra 2a).
(24) On R. Judah's view, the fangs themselves are poisonous. Consequently, the snake does nothing, the murder being committed by the person. But the Sages maintain that even when its fangs are embedded in the flesh, they are not poisonous, unless it voluntarily emits poison. Consequently the murder is committed by the snake, not the man. The law of Ex. XXI, 30 applies to all animals and reptiles.
(25) Lit., 'there are feet', 'there is a basis, a reason for it'.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 78b

upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit.1 Now, could you have thought that whilst he walks in the market place his assailant is executed! But it must refer to one who, it was judged, would die [of his injuries], but then their effect lessened, only to increase subsequently so that he died, [the Torah thus teaching that his assailant] is quit. But how do the Rabbis2 explain 'then shall he that smote him be quit'? - This teaches that he is incarcerated [until the result is known]. Whence does R. Nehemiah know this? - From the 'gatherer [of sticks]'.3 Then let the Rabbis also deduce it thence? - The 'gatherer' was certainly liable to death, Moses merely not knowing by which death;4 that excludes our case, where we do not know whether he is liable to death at all.5 But R. Nehemiah maintains that it can be deduced from the 'blasphemer': though not knowing whether he was liable to death, they imprisoned him.6 But the Rabbis say that in case of the blasphemer, [his incarceration] was an ad hoc decision.7

[The preceding discussion agrees with what] has been taught: Moses knew that the 'gatherer' was to be executed, for it is written, Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death;8 but he did not know by which death, as it is written, [And they put him in ward,] because it was not declared what should be done to him.9 But in the case of the blasphemer, it is only said, [And they put him in ward,] that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them;10 implying that Moses did not know whether he was at all liable to death or not.

Now, on R. Nehemiah's view, it is right that two phrases bearing on judicial assessment are written;11 one teaching that if his injury was declared to be fatal, but yet he survived; the other, that if it was judged that he would die, and then the effect of the blow was lightened, [yet he subsequently died - that in both cases he is quit]. But according to the Rabbis [who maintain that in the latter case he is executed], why are two such clauses necessary? - One teaches that if his injuries were declared fatal, yet he survived, and the other, that if they were declared non-fatal, yet he died, - [that in both cases the assailant is free]. But R. Nehemiah maintains that no verse is necessary for the latter case, since he left Beth din a free man.12

Our Rabbis taught: If a man smite his neighbour and the blow was assessed to be fatal, yet he survived, he is dismissed.13 If the injury was declared fatal, but subsequently lightened, a second assessment of the financial damage is made.14 If thereafter he grew worse and died, the second assessment is followed.15 This is R. Nehemiah's view. The Sages maintain: There can be no second assessment after the first.16

Another [Baraitha] taught: If his injuries were declared fatal, they may subsequently be declared non-fatal.17 But once his injuries are declared non-fatal, they cannot subsequently be declared fatal.18 If the blow was assessed to be fatal, but then he became better, a second assessment of the financial damage is made, and if he subsequently died, he must make compensation for the damage, pain [etc.]19 to the heirs. From when must compensation be made? - From when he smote him.20 And thus this anonymous [Baraitha] agrees with R. Nehemiah.21


(1) Ex. XXI, 19.
(2) The representatives of the anonymous opinion in the Mishnah.
(3) V. Num. XV, 32-36. Pending a decision, 'they put him in ward'.
(4) Hence it is obvious that he had to be incarcerated. On this view, Moses knew that he had to be executed. This is discussed below.
(5) I.e., this case could not be deduced from the other.
(6) Lev. XXIV, 10-14.
(7) Lit., 'a decision for the moment'. For, death not having been previously prescribed for blasphemy, there was no reason for his incarceration, but that it seemed expedient. But a special ad hoc decision cannot be taken as precedent for normal procedure.
(8) Ex. XXXI, 14.
(9) Num. XV, 34.
(10) Lev. XXIV, 12. This implies that the entire law was unknown, whilst 'what should be done to him' indicates that only the details, i.e. mode of death, were unknown.
(11) V. Ex. XXI, 18f: And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. Two phrases are superfluous, viz., 'and he die not', and 'If he rise again and walk abroad upon his staff', for it is self-evident that the assailant cannot be executed under such circumstances: hence they must refer to a judicial calculation that he would not die, which was, however, subsequently falsified.
(12) A favourable verdict cannot be reversed (v. supra 33b). Therefore in the latter case it is obvious that 'he is quit'.
(13) [I.e., exempt from death, but liable to pay damages.]
(14) I.e., the probable period that he would be incapacitated and the cost of medical assistance, for both of which he is liable.
(15) I.e., he is liable for the financial damage, as it was computed, but not to death.
(16) I.e., since on the first computation the injuries were declared fatal, when he subsequently grew better, and financial damages were awarded, we do not regard him as having left Beth din a free man (in respect of the capital penalty), but judge him according to the ultimate issue, and hence he is executed.
(17) If he grew better, and the assailant is thus freed from death.
(18) If he grew worse and died, the culprit is not executed.
(19) [On the payments for injuries, v. B.K. VIII, 1.]
(20) In assessing the victim's worth, his value before being smitten is taken. But we do not say, since his injuries were first declared fatal, and then not fatal, subsequent to which he died, his value should be assessed on the basis of his health at the time of the second computation.
(21) That financial compensation must be made, but there is no liability to death.
(22) [A prematurely born child for the first thirty days is not considered viable.]

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 79a


GEMARA. To which clause does R. Simeon refer? Shall we say to the last? In that case, the Mishnah should state, R. Simeon declares him not liable.2 But he refers to the first clause: IF HE INTENDED KILLING AN ANIMAL, BUT SLEW A MAN, OR A HEATHEN AND HE SLEW AN ISRAELITE, OR A PREMATURELY BORN AND HE SLEW A VIABLE CHILD, HE IS NOT LIABLE. This implies, that if he intended killing one [Israelite] and killed another, he is liable. [Thereupon] R. SIMEON SAID: EVEN IF HE INTENDED KILLING ONE BUT KILLED ANOTHER, HE IS NOT LIABLE.

Now, it is obvious that if Reuben and Simeon were standing, and the murderer said, 'I intended killing Reuben, not Simeon [whom he did actually kill] - that is the case wherein they differ. But what if he said, 'I intended killing any of then,';3 or [again], if he thought that this victim was Reuben, but then found him to be Simeon? - Come and hear! For it has been taught: R. Simeon said: [He is not liable] unless he declares, 'My intention was to kill so and so' [whom he did kill].4

What is R. Simeon's reason? - The Writ saith, [But if any man hate his neighbour,] and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him:5 teaching that his intention must be against him. But the Rabbis?6 - The disciples of R. Jannai said: This excludes the case of one who threw a stone into the midst of a company [of Israelites and heathens]. How is this? Shall we say that the company consisted of nine heathens and one Israelite? Then his non-liability can be inferred from the fact that the majority were heathens. And even if half and half, when there is a doubt in a capital charge, a lenient attitude must be taken!7 - The verse is necessary only if there were nine Jews and one heathen, so that the heathen [though in a minority] is 'settled' there, and every 'settled' [minority] is as half and half.8

All is well according to the Rabbis, who maintain that if he intended killing one man and killed another, he is liable. For it is written, If men strive, and hurt a woman with child;9 whereupon R. Eleazar observed: The verse refers to attempted murder,10 because It is written, And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.11 But how does R. Simeon interpret, 'thou shalt give life for life' ?12 - It refers to monetary compensation, in harmony with Rabbi's [interpretation]. For it has been taught: Rabbi said: Then thou shalt give life for life: this refers to monetary compensation.13 You say, monetary compensation: but perhaps this is not so, life being literally meant? 'Giving' is stated below;14 and 'giving' is also stated

(1) Lit., 'a minor'.
(2) Why repeat, Even if he intended etc.? Since it bears upon the clause immediately preceding, the circumstances having been stated, it is sufficient just to give R. Simeon's ruling.
(3) Does R. Simeon regard this as intentional, or not, since he would have been equally satisfied had the other been killed.
(4) This proves that in both cases propounded, he is not liable according to R. Simeon.
(5) Deut. XIX, 11
(6) How do they interpret 'for him' and 'against him'?
(7) Since they were equally divided, we do not know whether he aimed at a Israelite or a heathen, and hence even without a verse we know that he is not liable.
(8) This is a general rule in the Talmud. Although the majority is always followed, that is only when the minority is not קבוע Kabua', fixed, settled in a certain place; but otherwise, it is equal to the majority. The following example from the Talmud will make it clearer. If there are ten butcher shops in a street, nine of which sell only kosher meat, the tenth selling terefah meat, and a piece of meat is found in the street, it may be assumed to be kosher, as the majority is followed. But if meat was bought in one of the shops, and it is not known from which, this assumption may not be made, because the doubt arises not in the street but in the shop, and the minority is in a settled place. Thus here too, since the company is all together, the place of the heathen is known and fixed, as it were. The verse under discussion teaches that the murderer in this case is not liable: hence it becomes the source of the principle that a 'settled' minority is regarded as equal to the majority.
(9) Ex. XXI, 22.
(10) Lit , 'the verse speaks of a strife with murderous intent'.
(11) Ibid. 23; v. supra, 74a.
(12) Since the murder of the woman was unintentional, according to R. Simeon there is no death penalty.
(13) I.e., the value of the woman's life must be paid to her husband.
(14) Viz., in the verse under discussion.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 79b

above:1 just as the latter refers to money, so the former too.

Raba said: The following Tanna of the School of Hezekiah differs from both Rabbi and the Rabbis - For a Tanna of the School of Hezekiah taught: And he that killeth a beast [shall pay for it:] and he that killeth a man, [he shall be put to death].2 Just as in the case of one who kills an animal, you draw no distinction between an unwitting or a deliberate act, an intentional or unintentional blow, a downward blow or an upward one,3 not acquitting him thereof, but imposing monetary liability; so in the case of killing a man,4 you must draw no distinction between an unwitting or a deliberate act, an intentional or unintentional blow, a downward or an upward thrust, not imposing a monetary liability. but acquitting him thereof.5 Now, what is meant 'unintentional'? Shall we say, entirely unintentional? But then it is identical with 'unwitting'. Hence it obviously means not intending to slay this one, but another: and for such a case it is taught, 'not imposing monetary liability', but acquitting him thereof'. But if he is liable to death, it is surely unnecessary to teach that he is not liable to make compensation?6 Hence it follows that he is liable neither to execution nor to make compensation.7


GEMARA. Who are meant by 'others'?9 Shall we say, other innocent men: is it not obvious?10 Moreover, could R. Judah say in such a case that 'they are placed in a cell'? (Mnemonic Besh rak)11 - R. Abbahu said in Samuel's name: The Mishnah treats of an unsentenced murderer who became mixed up with other murderers already sentenced, the Rabbis holding that no man can be condemned save12 in his presence; therefore they are all freed;13 while R. Judah maintains that they cannot all be exempted, since they are murderers: therefore they are placed in a cell.

Resh Lakish said: If this happened to human beings, all agree that they are exempt. But here the reference is to an ox [that had gored] but was as yet uncondemned, which was mixed up with other oxen already condemned. The Rabbis maintain: As the death penalty of its owner, so is that of the ox; therefore an ox [too] can be sentenced only in its presence, hence they are all exempt. But R. Judah rules that they are placed in a cell.14 Raba demurred:

(1) Viz., If . . . no mischief follow . . . he shall pay (Heb. ונתן give) as the judges determine.
(2) Lev. XXIV, 21. This verse, by coupling the two, likens them to each other; It also implies that where monetary compensation was to be made for an animal, it is not so for a man, since 'shall pay for it' is only prescribed for the former.
(3) This is irrelevant here, but is mentioned because in the case of homicide this distinction is drawn (v. Mak. 7a).
(4) Where, as observed in n. 4, there is no monetary compensation.
(5) [The greater penalty of death attached to the offence acquits the offender of all monetary liability even in cases where the death penalty is not applied.]
(6) V. p, 490 n. 1.
(7) Thus this teacher differs from Rabbi, who holds him liable to compensation, and from the Rabbis, who rule that he is even executed.
(8) V. infra 81b.
(9) In the first clause.
(10) That they must all be freed.
(11) בשר״ר. B (c) ABBAHU; SH (a) = SAMUEL; R (r) = RABA; K (e) = RESH LAKISH; the names of the Amoraim that follow.
(12) Even if they are all assembled, it is still regarded as in his absence, since he is unknown.
(13) Lit., 'they complete not the trial of a man'.
(14) The reasoning being as before.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 80a

If so, how could R. Jose observe thereon: Even if Abba Halafta were amongst them?1 - But Raba explained it thus: If two were standing, and an arrow was shot by one of them2 [unknown] and killed, they are both exempt. Whereon R. Jose remarked: Even if Abba Halafta was one.3 But if an ox [a gorer] which had been sentenced was mixed up with innocent4 oxen, they are all stoned.5 R. Judah said: They are placed in a cell.6 And thus has it been taught likewise: If a cow killed [a man] and then calved: if before sentence, the calf is permitted [for any use]; if after the sentence, the calf is forbidden.7 If the cow became mixed up with others, and these with others again, they are placed in a cell. R. Eleazar, son of R. Simeon, said: They are [all] brought to Beth din and stoned. The Master said: 'If [it calved] before sentence, the calf is permitted'; implying, even if it was with calf when it gored. But did not Raba say: The calf of a cow that gored is forbidden, because the mother and the calf gored; the calf of a cow subjected to bestiality is [likewise] forbidden because the mother and the calf were thus subjected!8 - Say thus: If the calf was conceived and born before its mother was condemned,it is permitted [for use]; but if conceived and born after sentence, it is forbidden.9 Now, this agrees with the view that the product of two things [one being forbidden] is itself forbidden;

(1) Abba Halafta was a pious scholar. Raba objects to both explanations: whether 'others' mean murderers or goring oxen. R. Jose's remark is entirely irrelevant.
(2) Lit., 'came forth from between them'.
(3) Though unthinkable that he should have shot the arrow, the other cannot be executed on this ground.
(4) Lit., 'good'.
(5) Since, in any case one could not benefit at all from them (v. Zeb. 70b), the owners suffer no loss.
(6) On this interpretation the text of the Mishnah is assumed to be defective, since R. Judah's ruling cannot refer to the first case.
(7) Because whilst within its mother, it is regarded as a part thereof. Therefore, when its mother became forbidden for use, as is the case of an animal condemned to stoning (v. Ex. XXI, 28). the prohibition extended to the unborn calf, which remains in force even after its birth.
(8) The reference is to sacrifice; these animals are not fit to be sacrificed. The act of goring or bestiality was in this case attested by one witness only, so that the cow is not stoned, and is permitted for secular, but not for sacred use, otherwise both mother and calf would be stoned. Thus
(9) In the first case, the mother itself was permitted at the time of calving, hence the calf too is likewise permitted; in the second, the cow having being condemned, the calf was the product of a forbidden animal, and hence itself forbidden too; but in both cases, the calf was not yet conceived at the time of goring, whereas Raba's statement applies only if it had already been conceived.

Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 80b

but on the view that such is permitted, what can you say?1 - But Rabina said: Read thus: If the calf was conceived and born before its mother was condemned, it is permitted: but if conceived before sentence and born after sentence, it is forbidden, because the embryo is a thigh [i.e., part] of its mother.2

IF A NUMBER OF CONDEMNED PERSONS DIFFERING IN THEIR DEATH SENTENCES ETC.. - [THEY ARE EXECUTED BY THE MOST LENIENT DEATH]. This proves that a warning of a greater penalty is ipso facto a warning for a smaller one too!3 - R. Jeremiah said: [This is no proof, for] the Mishnah treats of a case where he was warned in general terms ,4 and it agrees with the following Tanna. For it has been taught: But others liable to any death penalty decreed in the Torah5 are executed only on the testimony of [at least two] witnesses, by a 'congregation' [i.e., a full Beth din of twenty three], and after a warning, which warning must have

we see that if the cow was with calf when it gored, the calf is regarded as identical with its mother. stated that he 'was liable to death at the hands of Beth din. R. Judah said: They [the witnesses] must have informed him by which death he would be executed.6 The first Tanna deduces his ruling from 'the gatherer [of sticks', who had not been warned how he would be executed, but was nevertheless stoned]. Whereas R. Judah maintains that 'the gatherer' [was executed] on an ad hoc decision.7

IF CRIMINALS CONDEMNED TO STONING [BECAME MIXED UP] WITH OTHERS CONDEMNED TO BURNING. R. Ezekiel taught his son Ram: If criminals condemned to burning [became mixed up] with others condemned to stoning - R. Simeon said, they are stoned, because burning is severer. Thereupon Rab Judah said to him, 'Father, teach it not thus: Why state the reason because burning is severer? This follows from the fact that the majority are for stoning.'8 How then should l teach it'? The son replied, 'Thus: IF CRIMINALS CONDEMNED TO STONING [BECAME MIXED UP] WITH OTHERS CONDEMNED TO BURNING, - R. SIMEON SAID, THEY ARE STONED, BECAUSE BURNING IS SEVERER.' If so, consider the second clause, BUT THE SAGES SAY, THEY ARE BURNED, BECAUSE STONING IS MORE SEVERE. But does it not follow from the fact that the majority are to be burnt? - There the Rabbis oppose R. Simeon: You say, burning is severer; but that is not so, for stoning is severer.9 Samuel said to Rab Judah: You keen scholar,10

(1) The calf is the product of a cow and an ox, but the ox is permitted; therefore, on the latter view, even if conceived after sentence, it should still be permitted.
(2) In this case it is forbidden, not because it is the product of its mother, but because before birth it is part and parcel of its mother, and the prohibition of the latter applies to the embryo too.
(3) For each culprit must have been warned, and presumably, the warning had stated to which manner of death he would be liable. Since the Mishnah rules that they are all executed by the most lenient death, it follows that the warning in respect of a particular death is regarded as a warning in respect of an easier death too. Otherwise, they could not be executed.
(4) I.e., the culprit had been warned that he was liable to death, but not of the manner of execution.
(5) I.e., excluding a mesith, who requires no warning.
(6) Tosef. Sanh. XI.
(7) V. p. 527, n. 8.
(8) For 'if criminals condemned to burning became mixed up with others condemned to stoning' implies that the latter were in the majority, as the smaller number is lost (i.e., 'mixed up') in the larger.
(9) But their ruling could be deduced from the fact that the majority are to be burnt.
(10) Others translate: 'man of long teeth'.




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