Talmud - Mas. Sotah 26a
'[A wife] who was pregnant by a former husband or was suckling a child by a former husband does not drink and does not receive the marriage-settlement.'1 Such is the statement of R. Meir; because R. Meir says: A man may not marry a woman who is pregnant by a former husband or is suckling a child by a former husband, and if he married her he must let her go and never take her back; the Sages, on the other hand, say: He must let her go, but when the time arrives when he may marry her2 he marries her. 'If a youth married a barren woman or one too old to bear, and he did not previously have a wife and children, she does not drink and does not receive the marriage-settlement. R. Eliezer says: He is able to marry another wife and have offspring by her'.3 But 'if a man gives a warning to his betrothed or to his brother's childless widow and she secluded herself after marriage, she either drinks or does not receive the marriage-settlement. If the wife is pregnant or suckling a child by himself,4 she either drinks or does not receive the marriage-settlement. And if a youth married a barren woman or one too old to bear, and he already had a wife and children, she either drinks or does not receive the marriage-settlement. The legal wife of an illegitimate,5 the legal wife of a Nathin, the wife of a proselyte or freed slave, and a woman incapable of conception either drink or do not receive the marriage-settlement.6 Here the woman incapable of conception is specified [among the woman who are required to drink]! It is a refutation of R. Nahman.7
R. Nahman can reply, [That which I stated above is a difference between] Tannaim, whereas I agree with the following Tanna. For it has been taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: A woman incapable of conception does not drink and does not receive the marriage-settlement, as it is said: Then she shall be free and shall conceive seed8 - i.e., one whose way is to conceive seed, thus excluding one whose way is not to conceive seed.9 What, then, do the Rabbis make of the phrase 'Then she shall be free and shall conceive seed'? They require it in accordance with the following teaching: 'Then she shall be free and conceive seed' - so that if she had been barren, she now becomes visited.10 Such is the statement of R. Akiba. R. Ishmael said to him, In that case, all barren women will seclude themselves and be visited, and since this one did not seclude herself she will be the loser!11 If so, what is the purpose of 'Then she shall be free and shall conceive seed'? If she formerly bore children in pain she will now bear with ease; if formerly girls she will now give birth to boys; if formerly short she will now bear tall children; if formerly dark she will now have fair children.
'The legal wife of an illegitimate [either drinks or does not receive the marriage-settlement]' - this is self-evident!12 - What you might have said was that disqualified [members of the Community] should not be multiplied.13 Therefore he informs us [that such a marriage is treated like any other].
'The wife of a proselyte or freed slave and a woman incapable of conception [either drink or do not receive the marriage-settlement]' - this is self-evident! - What you might have said was, Speak unto the children of Israel14 - but not to proselytes. Therefore he informs us [that proselytes are included in the law]. Or as an alternative answer: And say15 is to be interpreted as including [the wife of a proselyte, etc.].
THE WIFE OF A PRIEST DRINKS etc. This is self-evident! - What you might have said was, And she had not been violated16 - then she is prohibited [to her husband];17 hence if she had been violated she is permitted to him; but this woman [being the wife of a priest] is prohibited to him even if she had been violated,and consequently she does not drink. Therefore he informs us [that she does undergo the ordeal].
AND IS PERMITTED TO HER HUSBAND. This is self-evident! - R. Huna said: [This refers to a case where] she becomes ill.18 But if she becomes ill, the water has proved her [guilty]! - [It refers to a case where] she becomes ill in other limbs.19 What you might have said was that she had committed adultery, and the fact that the water did not affect her in the usual way was due to her having acted immorally under force and as such she is prohibited to a priest. Therefore he informs us [that she is permitted to her husband].
THE WIFE OF A EUNUCH DRINKS. This is self-evident! - What you might have said was, Besides thine husband20 declared the All Merciful, and this man [being a eunuch] does not come within the category [of husband]. Therefore he informs us [that he is considered to be her husband for the law of the ordeal].
THROUGH [SECLUSION WITH] ALL PERSONS FORBIDDEN TO HER IN MARRIAGE JEALOUSY IS ESTABLISHED. This is self-evident!
(1) Ibid. 6.
(2) I.e., after the lapse of two years from the birth of the child.
(3) Tosef. ibid. 5. The last sentence occurs in the Mishnah p. 120, and instead the Tosef. reads: R. Eliezer says: He is able to separate from her and take her back after a time.
(4) I.e., by the husband who gives her warning.
(5) Viz., a woman who was competent to marry such a man, and she secluded herself after warning.
(6) Tosef. ibid. 1-4.
(7) He asserted above, 'All agree that she does not drink'.
(8) Num. V, 28.
(9) Tosef. ibid. 4.
(10) The Biblical term used of barren women who conceive.
(11) By remaining loyal to her husband and avoiding all suspicion a barren woman will continue sterile!
(12) Since her marriage is legal.
(13) The purpose of the Torah cannot be to restore harmony between such a couple, since the offspring of the union would be disqualified from membership in the Community.
(14) Num. V, 12.
(16) Num. V, 13; i.e., she had been a consenting party.
(17) V. supra 2b.
(18) After drinking the water.
(19) Not those enumerated in Num. V, 22.
(20) Ibid. 20.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 26b
- What you might have said was, The phrase 'and she be defiled' occurs twice1 - once with respect to the husband and the other with respect to the paramour2 - but it only applies when she becomes prohibited [to the paramour] by this act of adultery; but where she was in any event forbidden to him, conclude that she is not [barred from marrying him]. Therefore he informs us [that she has to undergo the ordeal although the paramour was forbidden to her in any case and if guilty she cannot marry her paramour].
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A MINOR etc. A man3 declared the All-Merciful, not a minor. AND ONE NOT A MAN. Whom does this exclude? If I answer that it is to exclude one whose flesh is wasted,4 behold Samuel has said: A warning [against seclusion] can be given in connection with a man who is wasting and he disqualifies for partaking of the heave-offering!5 (A warning [against seclusion] can be given in connection with him - this is self-evident! - What you might have said was, 'And a man lie with her carnally' declared the All-Merciful and such a one does not come within that category; therefore he informs us [that seclusion with him does bring the woman within the scope of the law]. And he disqualifies for partaking of the heave-offering - that is self-evident! - What you might have said was, He shall not profane his seed6 declared the All-Merciful-one who had 'seed' can profane,7 but one who had no 'seed' cannot profane; therefore he informs us [that he can profane].8 ) If, on the other hand, it is to exclude a gentile, behold R. Hamnuna has said: A warning [against seclusion] can be given in connection with a gentile and he disqualifies for partaking of the heave-offering! (A warning [against seclusion] can be given in connection with him - this is self-evident! - What you might have said was, The phrase 'and she be defiled' occurs twice - once with respect to the husband and the other with respect to the paramour - but it only applies when she becomes prohibited [to the paramour] by this act of adultery; but where she was in any event forbidden to him,9 conclude that she is not [warned against seclusion]. Therefore he informs us [that a warning can be given with respect to a gentile]. And he disqualifies for partaking of the heave-offering - this is self-evident! - What you might have said was, And if a priest's daughter be married unto a stranger10 declared the All-Merciful, i.e., when there was a legal marriage-status, but not when there is no legal marriage-status. Therefore he informs us [that a gentile] does disqualify her. This is in agreement with R. Johanan who said in the name of R. Ishmael: Whence is it that a gentile or a slave who had intercourse with a priest's daughter or Levite's daughter or an Israelite's daughter disqualifies her [for the heave-offering]? As it is said: But if a priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced11 - only In the case of a man where her widowhood or divorce [is legally recognised],12 thus excluding a gentile or slave where her widowhood or divorce is not [legally recognised].)13 What, then, [does the phrase AND NOT A MAN] exclude? - R. Papa said: It excludes an animal, because there is not adultery in connection with an animal.14
Raba of Parazika15 asked R. Ashi, Whence is the statement which the Rabbis made that there is no adultery in connection with an animal? - Because it is written: Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a dog etc.;16 and it has been taught: The hire of a dog17 and the wages of a harlot18 are permissible, as it is said: Even both these19 - the two [specified in the text are abominations] but not four.20
What is the purpose [of the Scriptural phrase] carnally?21 - It is required for this teaching: 'Carnally' to the exclusion of something else. What means 'something else'? - R. Shesheth said: It excludes the case where he warned her against unnatural intercourse. Raba said to him, [It excludes the case where he warned her against] unnatural intercourse? It is written: As lying with womankind!22 But, said Raba,it excludes the case where he warned her against contact of the bodies.23 Abaye said to him, That is merely an obscene act [and not adultery], and did the All-Merciful prohibit [a wife to her husband] for an obscene act? But, said Abaye, it excludes the case where he warned her against external contact. This is quite right according to him who maintains that by sexual contact is to be understood insertion24 inasmuch as external contact is not regarded, and consequently the Scriptural phrase is intended to exclude the latter; but according to him who maintains that sexual contact is the external contact what is there to say? - Certainly [the Scriptural phrase is intended to exclude the case where] he warned her against contact of the bodies; and should you argue that the All-Merciful made it depend upon the husband's objection [to such conduct] and behold the husband did object,25 therefore he informs us [that the phrase 'carnally' is to exclude this].
Samuel said: Let a man marry
(1) Ibid. 13f.
(2) She must be divorced by her husband and is not allowed to marry her paramour. V. Mishnah p. 135.
(3) Lie with her carnally. Num. V, 13.
(4) Tosef. Bek. V, 4, identifies the term with he who hath his stones broken in Lev. XXI, 20.
(5) If he married a priest's daughter when he was so afflicted, she loses the right to eat of the heave-offering.
(6) Lev. XXI, 15.
(7) A priest's daughter by marriage.
(8) Consequently a person who is so afflicted is regarded as 'a man' and cannot be intended by the Mishnah.
(9) He being a gentile.
(10) Lev. XXII, 12.
(11) Lev. XXII, 13.
(12) Does she return to her father's house and eat the heave-offering.
(13) Therefore a gentile cannot be intended by the Mishnah.
(14) She would not be prohibited to her husband for such an act.
(15) Farausag near Bagdad v. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 15. n. 4. He is thus distinguished from the earlier Rabbi of that name
(16) Deut. XXIII, 19.
(17) Money given by a man to a harlot to associate with his dog. Such an association is not legal adultery.
(18) If a man had a female slave who was a harlot and he exchanged her for an animal, it could be offered.
(19) Are an abomination unto the Lord (ibid.).
(20) Viz., the other two mentioned by the Rabbis.
(21) In Num. V, 13, since the law applies to a man who is incapable.
(22) Lev. XVIII, 22. The word for 'lying' is in the plural and is explained as denoting also unnatural intercourse.
(23) With the other man, although there is no actual coition.
(24) Which is legally equal to complete coition.
(25) As evidenced by his warning.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 27a
a woman of ill-repute rather than the daughter of a woman of ill-repute, since the former comes from pure stock and the latter from impure stock.1 R. Johanan, however, said: Let a man marry the daughter of a woman of ill-repute rather than a woman of ill-repute, since the former is presumably chaste whereas the latter is not. An objection was raised: One should marry a woman of ill-repute! - Raba said: Can you possibly think that [the meaning is that] he should marry [a woman of ill-repute who is such] at the outset? But the statement should take this form: 'If a man married [a woman of ill-repute']; and similarly [read] 'the daughter of a woman of ill-repute'.2 But the legal decision is: Let a man marry the daughter of a woman of ill-repute rather than a woman of ill-repute; because R. Tahlifa, the son of the West,3 recited in the presence of R. Abbahu, If a woman is an adulteress, her children are legitimate since the majority of the acts of cohabitation are ascribed to the husband.
R. Amram asked: How is it if she was excessively dissolute?4 According to him who maintains that a woman only conceives immediately before her period the question does not arise, because [the husband] may not know [when this is] and does not watch her; but the question does arise according to him who maintains that a woman only conceives immediately after the time of her purification. How is it then? Does he watch her since he knows when this occurs; or perhaps this is of no account since she is excessively dissolute?5 The question remains unanswered.
IN THE FOLLOWING CASES A COURT OF LAW etc. Our Rabbis taught: 'Man' - why does Scripture repeat the word?6 To include the wife of a deaf man, the wife of an imbecile, the wife of a weak-minded man, and cases where the husband has gone on a journey to a distant country or is imprisoned, that a Court of Law can give them warning to disqualify them in connection with the marriage-settlement. It is possible [to think that the warning] is also to make them drink; therefore there is a text to say: Then shall the man bring his wife.7 R. Jose says: It is also to make the woman drink so that when the husband is released from prison he makes her drink.8 On what do they differ? - The Rabbis are of the opinion that we require that the same man who 'warned' her must 'bring' her,9 whereas R. Jose is of the opinion that we do not require that the same man who 'warned' her must 'bring' her.10
Our Rabbis taught: When a wife, being under her husband, goeth aside11 - this is to compare a husband with a wife and a wife with a husband. For what practical purpose? - R. Shesheth said: Just as he does not make her drink if he is blind, as it is written: And it be hid from the eyes of her husband,12 so she does not drink if she is blind. R. Ashi said: Just as a woman who is lame or armless does not drink, for it is written,
(1) [As it is not known with whom the mother had relation.]
(2) [Since the Baraitha has to be amended in any case we might just as well amend 'a woman' into 'the daughter of a woman etc.'.]
(3) I.e., the Palestinian.
(4) Are the children legitimate?
(5) And she may deceive him although he is careful to watch her.
(6) In the Hebrew text of Num. V, 12.
(7) Ibid. 25.
(8) V. supra 24a.
(9) To the ordeal, and only the husband can bring her.
(10) And so he gives the Court power to warn her for the purpose of the ordeal.
(11) Num. V. 29.
(12) Ibid. 13. He presumably could see.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 27b
And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord . . . and put the meal-offering in her hands,1 so he does not make her drink if he is lame or armless. Mar son of R. Ashi said: Just as a dumb woman does not drink, for it is written And the woman shall say Amen, Amen,2 so he does not make her drink if he is dumb.
MISHNAH. JUST AS THE WATER PROVES HER SO THE WATER PROVES HIM;3 AS IT IS SAID, 'AND SHALL ENTER TWICE.4 JUST AS SHE IS PROHIBITED TO THE HUSBAND5 SO IS SHE PROHIBITED TO THE PARAMOUR;6 AS IT IS SAID, DEFILED . . . AND IS DEFILED.7 THIS IS THE STATEMENT OF R. AKIBA. R. JOSHUA SAID: THUS USED ZECHARIAH B. HAKAZAB TO EXPOUND.8 RABBI SAYS: THE WORD DEFILED OCCURS TWICE IN THE SCRIPTURAL PORTION,9 ONE REFERRING [TO HER BEING PROHIBITED] TO THE HUSBAND AND THE OTHER TO THE PARAMOUR.
ON THAT DAY, 10 R. AKIBA EXPOUNDED, AND EVERY EARTHEN VESSEL, WHEREINTO ANY OF THEM FALLETH, WHATSOEVER IS IN IT SHALL BE UNCLEAN,11 IT DOES NOT STATE TAME [IS UNCLEAN] BUT YITMA',12 I.E. TO MAKE OTHERS UNCLEAN. THIS TEACHES THAT A LOAF WHICH IS UNCLEAN IN THE SECOND DEGREE,13 MAKES [WHATEVER IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH] UNCLEAN IN THE THIRD DEGREE. R. JOSHUA SAID: WHO WILL REMOVE THE DUST FROM THINE EYES, R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI, SINCE THOU SAYEST THAT ANOTHER GENERATION IS DESTINED TO PRONOUNCE CLEAN A LOAF14 WHICH IS UNCLEAN IN THE THIRD DEGREE ON THE GROUND THAT THERE IS NO TEXT IN THE TORAH ACCORDING TO WHICH IT IS UNCLEAN!15 IS NOT R. AKIBA THY PUPIL?16 HE ADDUCES A TEXT IN THE TORAH ACCORDING TO WHICH IT IS UNCLEAN, VIZ., 'WHATSOEVER IS IN IT SHALL BE UNCLEAN'.
ON THAT DAY R. AKIBA EXPOUNDED, AND YE SHALL MEASURE WITHOUT THE CITY FOR THE EAST SIDE TWO THOUSAND CUBITS ETC.17 BUT ANOTHER TEXT STATES, FROM THE WALL OF THE CITY OUTWARD A THOUSAND CUBITS ROUND ABOUT.18 IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY THAT IT WAS A THOUSAND CUBITS SINCE IT HAS BEEN ALREADY STATED TWO THOUSAND CUBITS'; AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY THAT IT WAS TWO THOUSAND CUBITS SINCE IT HAS BEEN ALREADY STATED 'A THOUSAND CUBITS'! HOW WAS IT THEN? A THOUSAND CUBITS FOR THE SUBURB19 AND TWO THOUSAND CUBITS FOR THE SABBATH-LIMIT.20 R. ELIEZER THE SON OF R. JOSE THE GALILEAN SAYS: A THOUSAND CUBITS FOR THE SUBURB AND TWO THOUSAND CUBITS FOR FIELDS AND VINEYARDS.21
ON THAT DAY R. AKIBA EXPOUNDED, THEN SANG MOSES AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL THIS SONG UNTO THE LORD AND SPAKE, SAYING,22 THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE WORD 'SAYING', SO WHY WAS IT ADDED? IT TEACHES THAT THE ISRAELITES RESPONDED TO EVERY SENTENCE AFTER MOSES, IN THE MANNER OF READING HALLEL,23 'I WILL SING UNTO THE LORD, FOR HE HATH TRIUMPHED GLORIOUSLY,24 ON THAT ACCOUNT IS THE WORD 'SAYING' MENTIONED. R. NEHEMIAH SAYS: IN THE MANNER OF READING THE SHEMA'25 AND NOT HALLEL.
ON THAT DAY R. JOSHUA B. HYRCANUS EXPOUNDED: JOB ONLY SERVED THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, FROM LOVE: AS IT IS SAID, THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET WILL I WAIT FOR HIM.26 AND SHOULD IT BE STILL DOUBTFUL WHETHER THE MEANING IS 'I WILL WAIT FOR HIM' OR 'I WILL NOT WAIT,27 THERE IS ANOTHER TEXT TO DECLARE, TILL I DIE I WILL NOT PUT AWAY MINE INTEGRITY FROM ME.28 THIS TEACHES THAT WHAT HE DID WAS FROM LOVE. R. JOSHUA [B. HANANIAH] SAID: WHO WILL REMOVE THE DUST FROM THINE EYES, R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI, SINCE THOU HAST BEEN EXPOUNDING ALL THY LIFE THAT JOB ONLY SERVED THE ALL-PRESENT FROM FEAR, AS IT IS SAID, THAT MAN WAS PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, AND ONE THAT FEARED GOD. AND ESCHEWED EVIL!29 DID NOT JOSHUA, THE PUPIL OF THY PUPIL,30 TEACH THAT WHAT HE DID WAS FROM LOVE?31
GEMARA. [The Mishnah states: SO THE WATER PROVES] HIM. Whom? If I say that it is the husband, what has the husband done? Should you reply
(1) Num. V, 18.
(2) Ibid. 22.
(3) Her paramour.
(4) Num. V, 24, 27.
(5) He must divorce her if she is guilty.
(6) He is not allowed to marry her.
(7) Ibid. 29. The and is redundant; it is therefore employed by R. Akiba for an exegetical purpose.
(8) He similarly explained the redundant and.
(9) In verses 14 and 29. It also occurs in verse 13; but that is expounded in a different connection. V. fol. 2b, p. 5.
(10) When the preceding was taught. It was the important occasion when R. Eleazar b. Azariah was appointed Principal of the School in place of Rabban Gamaliel II. V. Ber. 27b et seq. (Rashi). V. 'Ed. (Sonc. ed.). Introduction p. XI. [Geiger, Lesestucke aus der Mischnah, p. 37: on the same day on which the previous teachings were presented.]
(11) Lev. XI, 33. The reference is to unclean creeping things.
(12) Since the text was unpointed R. Akiba read the word as yetamme', i.e., 'makes (others) unclean'.
(13) The vessel becomes unclean first and then defiles the loaf in it.
(14) [Even in holy food like that of the heave-offering.]
(15) (Even in common food.)
(16) [He was not the pupil of R. Johanan b. Zakkai, but of his disciple R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, yet he is so described on account of his eminence. (Maim.).]
(17) Num. XXXV, 5, defining the limits of the cities of refuge.
(18) Ibid. 4.
(19) Open spaces for cattle.
(20) Beyond the city an additional space was included equal to the extreme point one was allowed to proceed to from an inhabited spot on the Sabbath. viz., 2000 cubits. This latter space was inclusive of the suburb.
(21) This was also inclusive of the suburb.
(22) Ex. XV, 1.
(23) This will be explained in the Gemara. Hallel, lit., 'praise', is the name given to Pss. CXIII-CXVIII, cf. Suk. III, 10.
(24) Ex. XV, 1.
(25) V. Glos. The method of recital is explained in the Gemara.
(26) Job XIII, 15.
(27) There is a variant in the text which gives the alternative translation. V. R.V. margin.
(28) Ibid. XXVII, 5.
(29) Ibid. I, 1.
(30) He was the pupil of Akiba.
(31) [Buchler, Sin and Atonement, p. 140, suggests this controversy to have arisen in connection with the discussion whether the book of Job should be included in the Canon.]
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 28a
that if there be sin in him1 the water proves him, [it may be asked] should there be sin in him on his own account does the water prove her for her own sin, and behold it has been taught: And the man shall be free from iniquity, and that woman shall bear her iniquity,2 i.e., so long as the husband is free from iniquity the water proves his wife, but if the husband is not free from iniquity the Water does not prove his wife! - Should [the Mishnah, on the other hand, refer] to the paramour, it should have used the same phraseology as in the continuation, viz., 'Just as she is prohibited to the husband so is she prohibited to the paramour'!3 - It certainly refers to the paramour; but in the first clause since it uses the word 'HER' it uses the word HIM and in the continuation since it used the word 'HUSBAND' it used the word 'PARAMOUR.
AS IT IS SAID 'AND SHALL ENTER' TWICE. The question was asked: Does [the teacher in the Mishnah] mean 'shall enter and shall enter' or 'and shall enter and shall enter'?4 - Come and hear: JUST AS SHE IS PROHIBITED TO THE HUSBAND SO IS SHE PROHIBITED TO THE PARAMOUR; AS IT IS SAID, DEFILED. . . AND IS DEFILED.5 But it is still questionable whether [the teacher in the Mishnah] draws the conclusion from the repetition of 'defiled' or from the conjunction in 'defiled . . . and is defiled'! - Come and hear: Since he states in the continuation, RABBI SAYS: THE WORD DEFILED OCCURS TWICE IN THE SCRIPTURAL PORTION, ONE REFERRING TO THE HUSBAND AND THE OTHER TO THE PARAMOUR, it follows that it is R. Akiba who expounds the conjunction 'and'. Consequently for R. Akiba there are six texts [containing the phrase 'and shall enter']6 - one for the command regarding her7 and one for the command regarding him;8 one for the action regarding her and one for the action regarding him;9 one for the notification10 regarding her and one for the notification regarding him. For Rabbi,11 on the other hand, there are three texts - one for the command, one for the action and one for the notification.12 But whence does Rabbi derive the teaching: JUST AS THE WATER PROVES HER SO THE WATER PROVES HIM? - He derives it from [the following teaching]: For it has been taught: And make the belly to swell and the thigh to fall away,13 i.e., the belly and thigh of the paramour. You say it is the belly and thigh of the paramour; perhaps it is not so, but the belly and thigh of the adulteress! Since it is stated and her belly shall swell and her thigh shall fall away,14 here it is clearly the belly and thigh of the adulteress which are referred to; so how am I to explain 'and make the belly to swell and the thigh to fall away'? It refers to the belly and thigh of the paramour. And the other?15 - It indicates that the priest informs her that [the water] affects the belly first and then the thigh so as not to discredit the water of bitterness.16 And the other?17 - If that were so, It should have been written 'her belly and her thigh'; what means 'belly and thigh' [without specification]? Conclude that the reference is to the paramour. But am I to suppose that [the phrase without specification] is intended only for this?18 - If that were so, it should have been written 'his belly and his thigh'; what means 'belly and thigh'? Draw two inferences therefrom.19
R. JOSHUA SAID, THUS USED ZECHARIAH etc. Our Rabbis taught: Why is it mentioned three times in the Scriptural portion if she be defiled,20 she be defiled,21 and she is defiled?22 One [to make her prohibited] to the husband, one to the paramour, and one for partaking of the heave-offering. This is the statement of R. Akiba. R. Ishmael said: It is an a fortiori conclusion; if a divorced woman,23 who is allowed to partake of the heave-offering, is prohibited [to marry into] the priesthood, how much more must a woman who is prohibited from partaking of the heave-offering24 be prohibited [to marry into] the priesthood!25 For what purpose26 is it stated and she be defiled . . . and she be not defiled?27 If she be defiled, why should she drink; and if she be not defiled, why does he make her drink! Scripture informs you that in a doubtful case she is prohibited. From this you can draw an analogy [with respect to the defilement caused] by a creeping thing:28 if in the case of a suspected woman, where the effect is not the same should the act be in error or in presumption, under compulsion or of free will,29 there is the consequence [of being prohibited] when there is a doubt as when there is certainty; how much more so must there be the consequence [of defilement] in a case of doubt as in a case of certainty with a creeping thing where the effect is the same whether [the contact was] in error or in presumption, or whether it was under compulsion or of free will!
(1) By having cohabited with her after she had secluded herself with the other man.
(2) Nun,. V, 31.
(3) And state, 'so the water proves the paramour'.
(4) I.e., is the inference drawn from the redundant and or from the repetition of the word?
(5) Similarly in the first clause the deduction is drawn from the redundant and.
(6) In verses 22. 24 and 27, the conjunction 'and' duplicating each.
(7) verse 24, where God decreed that the water should have the effect of proving her.
(8) The paramour.
(9) verse 27, where the assurance is given that the water would take effect.
(10) Of the priest, in verse 22.
(11) Who draws no conclusion from 'and'.
(12) As regards the woman only in each instance.
(13) Num. V, 22. The pronoun 'thy' in the E.V. does not occur in the Hebrew. Therefore the reference is taken to be the paramour.
(14) Ibid. 27.
(15) I.e., how does R. Akiba explain the phrase 'and make the belly etc.'?
(16) V. supra 9b.
(17) How does Rabbi meet this argument?
(18) To teach that it refers to the paramour.
(19) That it refers to the paramour and also that it indicates the order in which the effect of the water is felt.
(20) Num. V, 27.
(21) Ibid. 14.
(22) Ibid. 29.
(23) Viz., a priest's daughter who had been married to a non-priest, v. Lev. XXII, 13.
(24) Because of suspected adultery.
(25) This will be explained anon.
(26) The exposition that follows is independent of the preceding.
(27) Num. V, 14.
(28) Viz., when it is doubtful whether defilement has been caused.
(29) If the woman acted in error or under force, she does not undergo the ordeal.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 28b
And from the position you have taken up1 [proceed to draw the following deductions]: As [the case of doubt in connection with] the suspected woman can only occur in a private domain [where seclusion takes place],2 so [the case of doubt in connection with] a creeping thing can only occur [when the contact takes place] in a private domain.3 And as [the case in connection with] a suspected woman is a matter where there is a rational being to be interrogated,4 so [in the case of doubt in connection with] a creeping thing it must be a matter where there is a rational being to be interrogated.5 Hence [the Rabbis] said: Where there is a rational being to be interrogated, should a doubtful [case of defilement] occur in a private domain it is regarded as unclean, but should it occur in a public place as clean; and when there is no rational being to be interrogated whether it occurs in a private domain or in a public place a doubtful [case of defilement] is regarded as clean.6
R. Akiba dealt above with [the woman being prohibited to partake] of the heave-offering, and R. Ishmael answers him with a statement about the priesthood!7 And further, whence does R. Akiba derive [the rule that the suspected woman cannot marry into] the priesthood? Should you answer that with reference to [this rule about] the priesthood a Scriptural text is not necessary,
(1) Viz., drawing the above analogy.
(2) As distinct from a public place.
(3) If the doubt occurred about contact in a public place, there is no defilement.
(4) As to whether she had misconducted herself or not.
(5) There must have been a person present who can be questioned about the probability of the contact having taken place.14
(6) Thus the end of the cited Baraitha.
(7) Into which an adulteress cannot marry. The reply was quite irrelevant to the issue.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 29a
since a woman about whom there is a doubt whether she is immoral is treated like an immoral woman,1 then [for the rule about] the heave-offering a Scriptural verse should likewise be unnecessary, since a woman about whom there is a doubt whether she is immoral is treated like an immoral woman!2 - But according to R. Akiba, there are four texts [where the word 'defiled' occurs]3 - one [to prohibit the woman] to the husband, one to the paramour, one to the priesthood and one for the heave-offering. Whereas according to R. Ishmael there are [only] three texts4 - one [to prohibit her] to the husband, one to the paramour, and one for the heave-offering; and [the prohibition] regarding the priesthood he deduces by a fortiori reasoning. Whence, however, does R. Ishmael [know] that a text is required for the heave-offering and that [the prohibition] regarding the priesthood is to be deduced by a fortiori reasoning; perhaps [a text] is required as regards the priesthood and the heave-offering is permitted to her!5 - He can reply to you, This is proved by the analogy of the husband and paramour: just as [the prohibition] respecting husband and paramour is in force already during the lifetime [of the husband],6 so also [the prohibition] respecting the heave-offering is likewise to come into force during his lifetime, to the exclusion of that respecting the priesthood which comes into effect after death.7 R. Akiba, on the other hand,8 does not accept the analogy of the husband and paramour; and even if he accepted it, a teaching which is deducible by a fortiori reasoning Scripture took the trouble to write down.9
R. Giddal said in the name of Rab: The [difference between] a case where there is a rational being to be interrogated and one where there is no rational being to be interrogated is derived from the following texts: And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten10 - when the thing is certainly unclean it may not be eaten; hence when there is a doubt whether it is unclean or clean it may be eaten. Consider now the continuation: And as for the flesh, all that is clean shall eat [sacrificial] flesh11 - [A man who is] certainly clean may eat, but when there is a doubt whether he is unclean or clean he may not eat!12 Is not, then, the conclusion to be drawn from this that in one case there is a rational being to be interrogated and not in the other?13 The statement of R. Giddal in the name of Rab was necessary, and it was also necessary to derive [the rule of defilement caused by a creeping thing] from the case of the suspected woman; for if [it had only been based on] the teaching of Rab, I would have said that the rule was the same whether [the defilement occurred] in a private domain or a public place; therefore it was also necessary to derive it from the case of a suspected woman.14 If, further, it [had been derived solely] from the case of the suspected woman, I would have said that the rule15 only applied when that which was touched and that which touched it were both rational beings.16 So it is necessary [to have Rab's teaching].17
ON THAT DAY R. AKIBA EXPOUNDED, AND EVERY EARTHEN VESSEL etc. Since it has no [basis in Scripture according to which it is unclean],18 why should it be unclean? - Rab Judah said in the name of Rab, It has none from the Torah, but it has one as a deduction from a fortiori reasoning: If a tebul yom,19 who is allowed with non-holy food,20 disqualifies21 the heave-offering,22 how much more so must a loaf unclean in the second degree, which is disqualified in the case of non-holy food,23 render the heave-offering unclean in the third degree! It can, however, be objected, This24 applies to a tebul yom because he may be a source of primary defilement.25 [But it may be answered,] You can draw [the necessary conclusion]
(1) 'A harlot' (Lev. XXI, 7) whom a priest may not marry.
(2) And if a priest's daughter loses the right to eat of the heave-offering though lawfully married to a non-priest (Lev. XXII, 12), how much more must she forfeit it if she is immoral; v. Yeb. 68a.
(3) In Num. V, 17, 28 and 29. In the last verse it is preceded by 'and', which is understood as the duplication of the term.
(4) He does not expound 'and'.
(5) Why does he not apply one occurrence of the word 'defiled' to the matter of the priesthood instead of the heave-offering?
(6) She is forbidden to the paramour whilst the husband is yet alive.
(7) During the husband's lifetime she cannot in any way marry into the priesthood since a priest may not marry a divorcee; the prohibition is consequently to refer here to after the husband's death, that even then a priest may not marry the suspected woman. Since the analogy does not apply, the text cannot be applied to this prohibition.
(8) Who bases the prohibition of marriage with a priest on a text.
(9) So the fact that the rule could be arrived at by deduction does not obviate R. Akiba's contention that it is based on a text.
(10) Lev. VII, 19.
(11) Ibid., sic.
(12) Contrary conclusions are drawn from the verse.
(13) The clause 'and as for flesh etc.' speaks of a man who is the object of uncleanness and a rational being to be interrogated; whereas the former 'and the flesh that toucheth etc.' refers to where there is no rational being to be interrogated.
(14) From which it is learnt that the rule is not the same in both localities.
(15) About a doubtful case of defilement being regarded as unclean.
(16) As happens with the suspected woman.
(17) That it is sufficient if the object touched is a rational being for a doubtful case to be unclean. It is not required that the defiling agent should also be a rational being.
(18) As R. Johanan declares in the Mishnah; and yet he held it to be defiled.
(19) Lit., 'bathed during day', i.e., an unclean person who has undergone immersion but awaits sunset before he regains his state of purity. V. Lev. XXII, 7.
(20) And does not defile it.
(21) [פסול This term denotes the last degree of uncleanness which cannot communicate defilement to any other object coming into contact with it.]
(22) By touching it so that it may not be eaten by a priest. v. Yeb. 74b.
(23) [If a creeping thing touches an object which in turn comes into contact with non-holy food, the latter, which is in the second degree of uncleanness, is disqualified; v. Lev. XI, 33.]
(24) The disqualifying of the heave-offering.
(25) Lit., 'father of defilement'. By, e.g., having touched a corpse or by himself being a leper. Tebul yom cannot thus be made the basis of deduction.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 29b
from a tebul yom [who was defiled] by a creeping thing.1 [Should it be objected that] it applies [only] to a tebul yom [who was defiled] by a creeping thing because he belongs to that category in which there may be a primary source of defilement ],2 the case of an earthenware vessel proves [the contrary].3 [And should it be objected that] it applies to an earthenware vessel because its interior space renders unclean,4 the case of tebul yom proves [the contrary].5
Thus the original reasoning [by a fortiori] holds good, since the characteristic [of the tebul yom] is unlike the characteristic [of the earthenware vessel]6 and vice versa;7 the point they have in common is that they are allowed with non-holy food but disqualify the heave-offering.8 How much more, then, must a loaf unclean in the second degree, which disqualifies in the case of non-holy food, disqualify the heave-offering! ANOTHER GENERATION,9 however, might object. What is the point common to them both? That in each there is a characteristic which makes for severity!10 But R. Johanan does not raise an objection on the ground that there is in each a characteristic which makes for severity.11
It has been taught: R. Jose said: Whence is it that with sacrificial food there is disqualification with the fourth degree of defilement? It is a deduction [from a fortiori reasoning]: If one lacking atonement,12 who is permitted with the heave-offering,13 is dis qualified as regards sacrificial food,14 how much more does the third degree, which is disqualified with the heave-offering,15 create a fourth degree of defilement with sacrificial food! We learnt [the rule about] a third degree of defilement with sacrificial food from the Torah and a fourth degree from a fortiori reasoning;16 whence have we it from the Torah that there is a third degree with sacrificial food? - As it is written: And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten17 - do we not deal here with [flesh] that touched something unclean in the second degree?18 And the All-Merciful declared: 'It shall not be eaten'. A fourth degree [is derived] from a fortiori reasoning as we stated above.
R. Johanan said: I do not understand the Master's19 reason20 since its refutation is by its side, viz., food which is made unclean by contact with a tebul yom proves [the contrary], inasmuch as it is disqualified in the case of heave-offering but does not create a fourth degree of defilement with sacrificial food. For it has been taught: Abba Saul said: A tebul yom is unclean in the first degree as regards sacrificial food to create two further degrees of defilement21 and one degree of disqualification.22 R. Meir Says: He creates one further degree of defilement and one of disqualification. The Sages Say: Just as he disqualifies food or liquids of the heave-offering,23 so he disqualifies sacrificial food and drinks.24 To this R. Papa demurred: Whence is it that R. Jose holds the same view as the Rabbis? perhaps he holds the same view as Abba Saul who says [that the tebul yom] creates two further degrees of defilement and one of disqualification! - If it enter your mind that he holds the same view as Abba Saul, let him [deduce the rule about] a fourth degree of defilement with sacrificial food from the case of food that is rendered unclean by contact with a tebul yom [as follows]: If a tebul yom is himself allowed with non-holy food,25 and yet you say that food which is unclean through him creates a fourth degree with sacrificial food,
(1) He is then unclean in the first degree but not a source of primary cause of defilement. A creeping thing is a primary source of defilement.
(2) [A man who touches a dead body becomes a primary source of uncleanness. This does not apply to foodstuffs.]
(3) Since it can never be a primary source of defilement and yet defiles the heave-offering by contact.
(4) Without actual contact, v. Lev. XI, 33.
(5) Because he obviously cannot defile except by direct contact and yet he disqualifies the heave-offering by touching it.
(6) Since the latter unlike the former defiles by its interior space.
(7) The former, unlike the latter, being possibly a primary source of defilement.
(8) [This is difficult to explain, since an earthenware vessel does disqualify non-holy food (v. Lev. Xl, 33ff). Rashi suggests another reading which is not free from difficulty. Tosaf. of Sens explains the reference to be to a broken earthenware vessel which in respect of non-holy food communicates no defilement.]
(9) Which would not regard this as unclean.
(10) In the law relating thereto, viz., the tebul yom can be a primary source of defilement and the interior space of an earthenware vessel can render unclean.
(11) Because the characteristic of severity is peculiar to each and not common to both.
(12) E.g., a leper on his recovery, (v. Lev. XIV, 9ff). The seventh day the sacrifice had not yet been offered, and he may not partake of sacrificial food until this has been done.
(13) And does not disqualify it by his touch.
(14) I.e., he disqualifies it by his touch.
(15) As proved on a fortiori reasoning, supra.
(16) [Once the third degree is derived from the Torah, it is possible to employ the a fortiori reasoning in regard to the fourth degree. Were it not so, we should have required the a fortiori reasoning for the third degree only.]
(17) Lev. VII, 19.
(18) Since 'unclean thing' means that which had been rendered unclean by something else. The flesh was accordingly unclean in the third degree.
(19) V. Nazir (Sonc. ed.) p. 64, n. 1.
(20) R. Jose's argument as given in the preceding paragraph with respect to a fourth degree with holy food.
(21) What touches him is unclean in the second degree and what this touches is unclean in the third.
(22) If the heave-offering was touched by the object unclean in the third degree it would become disqualified but would not create a fourth degree.
(23) But does not create any further degree of defilement.
(24) [Without creating a further degree of defilement. Whereas, adopting R. Jose's arguments the food touched by the tebul yom should on a fortiori reasoning produce here a disqualification in the fourth degree.]
(25) And does not disqualify it.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 30a
then that which is unclean in the third degree through contact with what is unclean in the second degree - the second degree which is itself forbidden in the case of non-holy food1 - must all the more create a fourth degree with the holy!2 And should you reply [as stated above], 'It can, however, be objected.It applies to a tebul yom because he may be a primary source of defilement', behold he [R. Jose] derived his argument from one lacking atonement and [he] did not raise this objection.3
R. Assi said in the name of Rab - another version is Rabbah b. Issi said in the name of Rab - , R. Meir, R. Jose, R. Joshua, R. Eleazar and R. Eliezer all hold the view that what is unclean in the second degree does not create a third degree with non-holy food. R. Meir - for we have learnt: Everything that requires immersion in water according to the statement of the scribes4 defiles the holy, disqualifies the heave-offering, and is permitted with the non-holy and with the tithe. Such is the statement of R. Meir; but the Sages prohibit in the case of the tithe.5 R. Jose - as we have stated above; for if it were so,6 then let him derive a fourth degree with the heave-offering and a fifth with the sacrificial food.7 R. Joshua - for we have learnt: R. Eliezer Says: He who eats food unclean in the first degree is unclean in the first degree; [if he eats] food unclean in the second degree he is unclean in the second degree; and similarly with the third degree. R. Joshua Says: He who eats food unclean in the first or second degree is unclean in the second degree; [if he eats food unclean] in the third degree, he is unclean in the second degree as regards the sacrificial food but not unclean in the second degree as regards the heave-offering. This8 is said of non-holy food which was prepared in the purity of the heave-offering.9 [This means, does it not,] 'When it is in the purity of the heave-offering' but not when it is in the purity of the sacrificial food?10 Conclude, then, that he holds that [normally] what is unclean in the second degree does not create a third degree with the non-holy. R. Eleazar - for it has been taught: R. Eleazar says: The following three are alike: the first degree of defilement in the case of the sacrificial food, the non-holy and the heave-offering; it creates two further degrees of defilement and one of disqualification with the sacrificial food;11 it creates one further degree of defilement and one of disqualification with the heave-offering;12 and it creates one degree of disqualification with the non-holy.13 R. Eliezer-for we have learnt: R. Eliezer Says: Hallah14 may be taken from [dough] which is pure on account of that which is defiled. How is this? There are two portions of dough, one pure and the other defiled. He takes a quantity sufficient for hallah15 from the dough from which its hallah had not been removed,16 and places a piece less than the size of an egg17 in the centre [of the defiled dough] so that [it may be considered that hallah] had been taken from the mass [of the defiled dough].
(1) Non-holy food can become unclean in the second degree.
(2) [The advantage of this deduction consists in that it is more direct than that of R. Jose, which involves a second a fortiori reasoning to prove that there is a disqualification in the third degree in the case of the heave-offering (v. p. 145, n. 3) Tosaf.]
(3) I.e., that one lacking atonement is different since he may be a primary source of defilement. The reason R. Jose did not raise this objection is evidently because he is no longer regarded as unclean, and the same applies to a tebul yom. Consequently R. Jose cannot be said to agree with Abba Saul, but must agree with the Rabbis, hence the question of R. Johanan.
(4) Viz., things which, according to the Torah, are clean, but the Rabbis take a stricter view.
(5) To be eaten; v. Parah, XI, 5.
(6) That there was a third degree of defilement with the non-holy.
(7) From his own a fortiori reasoning cited above.
(8) That food in the third degree renders the one eating it unclean in respect of sacrificial food.
(9) I.e., when a priest took upon himself that even the non-holy food he ate should be in the same state of purity as the heave-offering. But ordinary non-holy food cannot become unclean in the third degree.
(10) [As non-holy food cannot be raised to the level of purity of sacrificial food. Rashi reads: 'but not when it is ordinary non-holy food'. This is also the reading of MS.M.]
(11) There is thus a fourth degree of defilement.
(12) There is then a third degree.
(13) And so there is no third degree with the non-holy.
(14) Part of the dough presented to the priest; v. Num. XV, 17-21.
(15) One twenty-fourth of the whole in the case of an individual and half of that proportion in the case of a baker.
(16) The pure dough.
(17) A quantity less than the size of an egg cannot communicate defilement.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 30b
The Sages, however, forbid this. And it has also been taught: [The quantity1 may be] equal to the size of an egg. - [Now the schoolmen] held that both [these teachings]2 refer to dough which is unclean in the first degree, and that non-holy food from which hallah had not yet been taken is not like hallah.3 Is it not, then, to be supposed that they differ on this point: One4 holds that a second degree of defilement does not create a third with the non-holy,5 whereas the others hold that it does create a third degree with the non-holy?6 R. Mari b. R. Kahana said: All agree that a second degree of defilement does not create a third with the non-holy; but here they differ with regard to non-holy food from which hallah had yet to be taken. One holds that it is like hallah;7 the other holds that it is not like hallah. If you like I can say that all agree that non-holy food from which hallah had yet to be taken is not like hallah and a second degree of defilement does not create a third with the non-holy; and here they differ on whether it is permitted to apply the laws of defilement to non-holy food in the land of Israel.8 One9 holds that it is permitted to apply the laws of defilement to non-holy food in the land of Israel, the others hold that it is prohibited.10
ON THAT DAY R. AKIBA EXPOUNDED, [AND YE SHALL MEASURE] etc. On what do they11 differ? - One holds that the regulations concerning the Sabbath-limit are an institution of the Torah,12 whereas the other holds they are an institution of the Rabbis.
Our Rabbis taught: On that day R. Akiba expounded: At the time the Israelites ascended from the Red Sea, they desired to utter a Song; and how did they render the song? Like an adult who reads the Hallel [for a congregation]13 and they respond after him with the leading word.14 [According to this explanation] Moses said: 'I will sing unto the Lord' and they responded, 'I will sing unto the Lord'; Moses said: 'For He hath triumphed gloriously' and they responded, 'I will sing unto the Lord'. R. Eliezer son of R. Jose the Galilean declares, Like a minor who reads the Hallel [for a congregation], and they repeat after him all that he Says.15 [According to this explanation] Moses said: 'I will sing unto the Lord' and they responded, 'I will sing unto the Lord'; Moses said: 'For He hath triumphed gloriously' and they responded, 'For He hath triumphed gloriously'. R. Nehemiah declares: Like a school-teacher16 who recites17 the Shema' in the Synagogue, viz., he begins first and they respond after him.18 On what do they differ? - R. Akiba holds that the word 'saying'19 refers to the first clause;20 R. Eliezer son of R. Jose the Galilean holds that 'saying' refers to every clause; and R. Nehemiah holds that 'and spake' indicates that they sang all together 'and saying' that Moses began first.
Our Rabbis taught: R. Jose the Galilean expounded: At the time the Israelites ascended from the Red Sea, they desired to utter a Song; and how did they render the song? The babe lay upon his mother's knees and the suckling sucked at his mother's breast; when they beheld the Shechinah, the babe raised his neck and the suckling released the nipple from his mouth, and they exclaimed: This is my God and I will Praise Him;21 as it is said: Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou established strength.22 R. Meir used to say: Whence is it that even the embryos in their mothers' womb uttered a song? As it is said,
(1) [According to R. Eliezer.]
(2) [The one that holds that the quantity should be less than the size of an egg as well as the other, that it may be the size of an egg.]
(3) I.e., like heave-offering in respect of the law of defilement. [But is treated like non-holy, both on the view of R. Eliezer and the Rabbis. For this reason even if the quantity placed between the two doughs is of the size of an egg it does not communicate the defilement in the second degree, which it contracts from the defiled dough to the pure one, since there is no third degree with non-holy.]
(4) R. Eliezer.
(5) [For this reason he allows in the second teaching a quantity of the size of an egg; and the reservation in the first teaching is merely as a precaution lest the piece of dough may come in contact with impure dough after the hallah has been designated.]
(6) This shews that R. Eliezer holds that there is no third degree with non-holy food.
(7) The Rabbis consider that it can create a third degree.
(8) In Ber. 47b R. Meir defines an 'Am ha-arez (v. supra p. 110) as one who does not eat his non-holy food in a condition of ritual purity; but the Rabbis give a different definition.
(9) R. Eliezer.
(10) [And their concern is with the piece of dough placed between the two doughs which, though less than the size of an egg, can yet contract defilement.]
(11) R. Akiba and R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose of Galilee.
(12) R. Akiba takes this view; and therefore, according to him, the Torah had to make provision for the Sabbath-limit in the cities of refuge.
(13) He acts as precentor and his rendering is on their behalf so that they may thereby fulfil their duty to recite it.
(14) Lit., 'heads of chapters'. According to a statement in Suk. 38a, the response consisted of the word Hallelujah.
(15) Since he was a minor, his rendering would not exempt them from saying every word.
(16) Whose class was usually in the Synagogue and so he acted as Precentor.
(17) The word pores is lit., 'divide', and its exact meaning is disputed. V. Elbogen. Der judische Gottesdienst, pp. 514ff and the references cited there.
(18) Elbogen takes this to mean that the Precentor and Congregation read the verses alternately. Rashi's explanation is: he reads the benedictions preceding the Shema' which they repeat after him and then they read the Shema in unison. According to this explanation, Moses and the Israelites were divinely inspired so that they independently sang the same words in unison.
(19) In Ex. XV, 1.
(20) 'I will sing unto the Lord', and that only was the Israelites. response.
(21) Ibid. 3.
(22) Ps. VIII, 3. E.V. 2.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 31a
Bless ye the Lord in the Congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.1 But these could not behold [the Shechinah]! - R. Tanhum said: The abdomen became for them a kind of transparent medium and they did behold it.
ON THAT DAY R. JOSHUA B. HYRCANUS EXPOUNDED, JOB ONLY SERVED etc. But let him see how the word 'lo'2 is spelt; if it is written with lamed and aleph then it means 'not', and if with lamed and waw then it means for Him'!3 But is the meaning 'not' wherever the spelling is lamed and aleph? Can it apply to: In all their affliction there was affliction to Him?4 [The word 'lo', 'to Him'] is spelt lamed and aleph, but does it here also signify 'not'! And should you say that here too [it means 'not'], behold it continues with: And the angel of His presence saved them!5 But sometimes it has one meaning and at other times the other meaning.
It has been taught: R. Meir Says: It is declared of Job one that feared God,6 and it is declared of Abraham thou fearest God;7 just as 'fearing God' with Abraham indicates from love, so 'fearing God' with Job indicates from love. Whence, however, have we it in connection with Abraham himself [that he was motived by love]? As it is written: The seed of Abraham who loved Me.8 What difference is there between one who acts from love and one who acts from fear? - The difference is that indicated in this teaching: R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: Greater is he who acts from love than he who acts from fear, because with the latter [the merit] remains effective for a thousand generations but with the former it remains effective for two thousand generations. Here it is written: Unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments9 and elsewhere it is written: And keep His commandments to a thousand generations.10 But in this latter passage it is likewise written: 'With them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations! - In the first verse cited [the word 'thousand'] is attached [to them that love Me,] whereas in the second verse [cited the word 'thousand'] is attached [to keep His commandments].11
Two disciples were once sitting in the presence of Raba. One said to him, In my dream they read to me, O how great is Thy goodness which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee.12 The other said to him, In my dream they read to me, But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice, let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them; let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.13 He replied to them, Both of you are completely righteous Rabbis, but one is actuated by love and the other by fear.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN WARNED HIS WIFE AND SHE SECLUDED HERSELF [WITH ANOTHER MAN], EVEN IF HE HEARD [THAT SHE HAD DONE SO] FROM A FLYING BIRD,14 HE DIVORCES HER AND GIVES HER THE MARRIAGE-SETTLEMENT.15 SUCH IS THE STATEMENT OF R. ELIEZER. R. JOSHUA SAYS: [HE DOES NOT DO THIS] UNTIL WOMEN WHO SPIN BY MOONLIGHT DISCUSS HER.16
IF ONE WITNESS SAID, I SAW THAT SHE COMMITTED MISCONDUCT, SHE DOES NOT DRINK THE WATER.17 NOT ONLY THAT, BUT EVEN A SLAVE, MALE OR FEMALE,18 IS BELIEVED ALSO TO DISQUALIFY HER FOR THE MARRIAGE-SETTLEMENT. HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, HER MOTHER-IN-LAW'S DAUGHTER, HER ASSOCIATE-WIFE,19 HER SISTER-IN-LAW20 AND HER STEPDAUGHTER21 ARE BELIEVED, NOT TO DISQUALIFY HER FOR THE MARRIAGE-SETTLEMENT BUT THAT SHE SHOULD NOT DRINK.
IT22 IS A PROPER CONCLUSION THAT IF THE FIRST EVIDENCE [THAT THE WOMAN HAD SECLUDED HERSELF WITH THE MAN], WHICH DOES NOT PROHIBIT HER [TO HER HUSBAND] FOR ALL TIME,23 IS NOT ESTABLISHED BY FEWER THAN TWO WITNESSES, IS IT NOT RIGHT THAT THE FINAL EVIDENCE [THAT SHE HAD MISCONDUCTED HERSELF] WHICH PROHIBITS HER TO HIM FOR ALL TIME, SHOULD NOT BE ESTABLISHED BY FEWER THAN TWO WITNESSES! THEREFORE THERE IS A TEXT TO STATE, AND THERE BE NO WITNESS AGAINST HER,24 I.E., WHATEVER [EVIDENCE] THERE MAY BE AGAINST HER [IS BELIEVED, EVEN IF IT BE ONLY ONE WITNESS]. AND WITH RESPECT TO THE FIRST EVIDENCE [ABOUT HER SECLUSION WITH THE MAN, THAT ONE WITNESS SUFFICES MAY BE ARGUED BY] A FORTIORI REASONING AS FOLLOWS IF
(1) Ibid. LXVIII, 27, E.V. 26. 'From the fountain' indicates those who were still in the womb.
(2) In Job XIII, 15.
(3) So how could the Mishnah state that there is a doubt about the meaning?
(4) Isa. LXIII, 9.
(5) These words prove that 'lo' in the preceding clause cannot mean 'not'
(6) Job I, 1.
(7) Gen. XXII, 12.
(8) Isa. XLI, 8, sic.
(9) Ex. XX, 6. 'Thousands' is interpreted as generations, and the plural indicates at least two thousand.
(10) Deut. VII. 9.
(11) So in the former the motive is love, in the latter fear of punishment.
(12) Ps. XXXI, 20.
(13) Ibid. V, 12.
(14) It was only a vague rumour that came to his ears. [The rumour was concerning (a) seclusion only (Rashi); (b) misconduct (Maim.). - 'A FLYING BIRD' may denote a talking bird, a parrot (v. Maim. and Strashun.)
(15) He gives this to her if he was unwilling for her to drink the water, (Rashi). [According to this interpretation the husband, if he wishes, can make her drink even on the strength of a vague rumour, even as he can on the evidence of one witness to the seclusion, according to R. Eliezer. Rashbam, however, holds that a vague rumour is not on par with one witness and the husband therefore, though he cannot make her drink, must put her away and give her the marriage-settlement. (V. Tosaf. Sens): Similarly on the view of Maimonides (v. n. 1) the divorce is compulsory. though in the absence of real evidence of misconduct she does not forfeit the marriage-settlement.]
(16) Her behaviour had given rise to public scandal.
(17) One witness is accepted and she is divorced besides losing the marriage-settlement. V. supra 2a.
(18) Whose evidence is not accepted in an ordinary case.
(19) The husband had more than one wife.
(20) Viz., the wife of her husband's brother whom she was due to marry if she was left a childless widow.
(21) All these are presumably ill-disposed towards her, and their evidence would not have been accepted in any other kind of charge.
(22) V. supra 3b.
(23) Because the water may prove her innocent.
(24) Num. V, 13.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 31b
THE FINAL EVIDENCE [REGARDING MISCONDUCT], WHICH PROHIBITS HER TO HER HUSBAND FOR ALL TIME, IS ESTABLISHED BY ONE WITNESS, IS IT NOT PROPER THAT THE FIRST EVIDENCE, WHICH DOES NOT PROHIBIT HER TO HIM FOR ALL TIME, SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED BY ONE WITNESS! THEREFORE THERE IS A TEXT TO STATE, BECAUSE HE HATH FOUND SOME UNSEEMLY MATTER IN HER,1 AND ELSEWHERE IT STATES, AT THE MOUTH OF TWO WITNESSES, OR AT THE MOUTH OF THREE WITNESSES, SHALL A MATTER BE ESTABLISHED;2 AS THE 'MATTER' MENTIONED IN THIS LATTER CASE MUST BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO WITNESSES, SO ALSO HERE [IN THE CASE OF THE SUSPECTED WOMAN] THE 'MATTER' MUST BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO WITNESSES.
IF ONE WITNESS SAYS THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND ANOTHER WITNESS SAYS THAT SHE DID NOT,3 OR IF A WOMAN SAYS [OF HER] THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND ANOTHER WOMAN SAYS THAT SHE DID NOT, SHE DRINKS THE WATER. IF ONE WITNESS SAYS THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND TWO SAY THAT SHE DID NOT, SHE DRINKS THE WATER. IF TWO SAY THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND ONE SAYS THAT SHE DID NOT, SHE DOES NOT DRINK IT.
GEMARA. [Why does the teacher in the Mishnah use] the Scriptural text: 'Because he hath found some unseemly matter in her'? He should have used [the teaching]: 'Against her' - i.e., 'against her' [in the matter of misconduct] but not in the matter of warning, 'against her' [in the matter of misconduct] but not in the matter of seclusion!4 - He does also intend to say this: Therefore there is a text to state 'against her' - i.e., 'against her' [in the matter of misconduct] but not in the matter of warning, 'against her' [in the matter of misconduct] but not in the matter of seclusion. Whence, however, have we it that one witness is not believed in an ordinary charge of infidelity where there was neither warning nor seclusion? Here [in connection with infidelity] the word 'matter' occurs and it also occurs [in the law of evidence]; as with the latter [a charge is established] by two witnesses so [is the former established] by two witnesses.
IF ONE WITNESS SAYS THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF. The reason [why one witness is not accepted] is because there is another who contradicts him; but where nobody contradicts him one witness is believed - Whence have we this rule? Because our Rabbis have taught: 'And there be no witness against her' - the text refers to two witnesses. You say that it refers to two witnesses; but perhaps it is not so and even one [suffices]! There is a teaching to declare, One witness shall not rise up against a man etc.5 From the fact that it is stated: '[A] witness shall not rise up against a man,' do I not know that one is intended? Why is there a teaching to declare one witness'? This establishes the rule that wherever it is stated witness, it signifies two unless the text specifies 'one', and [in the case under discussion] the All-Merciful declares that when there are not two witnesses against her but only one, 'and she has not been violated,' she is forbidden [to her husband].6
But since, according to the Torah one witness is believed, how is it possible for another to contradict him? Surely 'Ulla has said: Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, he is regarded as two, and the evidence of one is of no account when opposed by two!7 - But, said 'Ulla, read the Mishnah as, 'She does not drink';8 and R. Isaac similarly declared that she does not drink, but R. Hiyya said that she does drink. The view of 'Ulla creates a difficulty against the statement of R. Hiyya!9 - There is no difficulty; one statement refers to evidence given simultaneously10 and the other when one witness follows the other.11
We learnt: IF ONE WITNESS SAYS THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND TWO SAY THAT SHE DID NOT, SHE DRINKS THE WATER. Consequently if there was one [against her] and one [for her], she would not drink; this is a refutation of R. Hiyya! - R. Hiyya can reply: And according to your view [that she does not drink] consider the next clause: IF TWO SAY THAT SHE MISCONDUCTED HERSELF AND ONE SAYS THAT SHE DID NOT, SHE DOES NOT DRINK IT. Consequently if there was one [against her] and one [for her], she would drink! But the whole [of this section of Mishnah] refers to disqualified witnesses,12 and it is R. Nehemiah's teaching; for it has been taught: R. Nehemiah says: 'Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, [the decision] follows the majority of persons [who testify]', so that two women against one man is identical with two men against one man. But there are some who declare that wherever a com petent witness came [and testified] first, even a hundred women are regarded as equal to one witness;13
(1) Deut. XXIV, 1.
(2) Ibid. XIX, 15.
(3) At the time of seclusion.
(4) For notes v. supra 3b.
(5) Deut. XIX, 15.
(6) For notes v. supra 3b.
(7) So that the evidence of the first witness, being accepted by the Torah, must stand though it is contradicted by another.
(8) Instead of 'she drinks the water', and she is held to be guilty.
(9) If the Torah accepts one witness, why should she drink the water?
(10) If it is contradictory it is not accepted.
(11) If one witness had testified and been accepted, another cannot come subsequently and offer contradictory evidence.
(12) Viz., women and slaves; and it teaches that two witnesses of this class can discredit the evidence of a competent witness.
(13) And they cannot upset his testimony.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 32a
and with what circumstance are we dealing here?1 For example, if it was a woman who came first [and testified]; and R. Nehemiah's statement is to be construed thus: R. Nehemiah says: 'Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, [the decision] follows the majority of persons [who testify]', so that two women against one woman is identical with two men against one man, but two women against one man is like half and half.2 Why, then, have we two teachings concerning disqualified witnesses?3 What you might have said was that when we follow the majority of persons [who testify] it is for taking the severer view, but to take the lenient view we do not follow [the majority]. Therefore [the Mishnah] informs us [of one case where the accused must drink and one where she does not drink, and in each the majority is followed].
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING MAY BE RECITED IN ANY LANGUAGE: THE SECTION CONCERNING THE SUSPECTED WOMAN,4 THE CONFESSION MADE AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE TITHE,5 THE SHEMA',6 THE 'PRAYER',7 THE GRACE AFTER MEALS,8 THE OATH CONCERNING TESTIMONY9 AND THE OATH CONCERNING A DEPOSIT.10
THE FOLLOWING ARE RECITED IN THE HOLY TONGUE:11 THE DECLARATION MADE AT THE OFFERING OF THE FIRSTFRUITS,12 THE FORMULA OF HALIZAH,13 THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES,14 THE PRIESTLY BENEDICTION,15 THE BENEDICTION OF THE HIGH PRIEST,16 THE SECTION OF THE KING,17 THE SECTION OF THE CALF WHOSE NECK IS BROKEN,18 AND THE ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE BY THE PRIEST ANOINTED [TO ACCOMPANY THE ARMY] IN BATTLE.19
WHENCE IS IT THAT THE DECLARATION MADE AT THE OFFERING OF THE FIRST-FRUITS [MUST BE IN HEBREW]? [IT IS STATED]. AND THOU SHALT ANSWER AND SAY BEFORE THE LORD THY GOD,20 AND ELSEWHERE IT IS STATED, AND THE LEVITES SHALL ANSWER AND SAY;21 AS THE LATTER MUST BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE,22 SO MUST THE FORMER BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE. WHENCE IS IT THAT THE FORMULA OF HALIZAH [MUST BE IN HEBREW]? [IT IS STATED]. AND SHE SHALL ANSWER AND SAY,23 AND ELSEWHERE IT IS STATED, AND THE LEVITES SHALL ANSWER AND SAY'; AS THE LATTER MUST BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE. SO MUST THE FORMER BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE. R. JUDAH SAYS: [IT IS DERIVED FROM THE TEXT], AND SHE SHALL ANSWER AND SAY THUS24 - I.E., SHE MUST SAY IT IN THIS LANGUAGE.
HOW WERE THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES [PRONOUNCED]? WHEN ISRAEL CROSSED THE JORDAN AND CAME TO MOUNT GERIZIM AND MOUNT EBAL WHICH ARE BY SAMARIA, (THIS IS IN THE VICINITY OF SHECHEM WHICH IS IN THE VICINITY OF THE TEREBINTHS OF MOREH, AND IT IS SAID, ARE THEY NOT BEYOND JORDAN ETC.25 AND ELSEWHERE IT STATES, AND ABRAM PASSED THROUGH THE LAND UNTO THE PLACE OF SHECHEM UNTO THE TEREBINTH OF MOREH;26 AS THE TEREBINTH OF MOREH MENTIONED IN THIS LATTER VERSE IS SHECHEM, SO THE TEREBINTH OF MOREH MENTIONED IN THE FORMER VERSE IS SHECHEM.) SIX TRIBES ASCENDED THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT GERIZIM, SIX TRIBES ASCENDED THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT EBAL, AND THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES WITH THE ARK WERE STATIONED BELOW IN THE CENTRE, THE PRIESTS SURROUNDING THE ARK, THE LEVITES [SURROUNDING] THE PRIESTS, AND ALL ISRAEL ON THIS SIDE AND THAT SIDE; AS IT IS SAID, AND ALL ISRAEL, AND THEIR ELDERS AND OFFICERS, AND THEIR JUDGES STOOD ON THIS SIDE THE ARK AND ON THAT SIDE ETC.27 THEY TURNED THEIR FACES TOWARDS MOUNT GERIZIM AND OPENED WITH THE BLESSING:BLESSED BE THE MAN THAT MAKETH NOT A GRAVEN OR MOLTEN IMAGE',28 AND BOTH PARTIES29 RESPOND AMEN. THEY THEN TURNED THEIR FACES TOWARDS MOUNT EBAL AND OPENED WITH THE CURSE: CURSED BE THE MAN THAT MAKETH THE GRAVEN OR MOLTEN IMAGE', AND BOTH PARTIES RESPOND 'AMEN. [SO THEY CONTINUE] UNTIL THEY COMPLETE THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES. AFTER THAT THEY BROUGHT THE STONES,30 BUILT THE ALTAR AND PLASTERED IT WITH PLASTER, AND INSCRIBED THEREON ALL THE WORDS OF THE TORAH IN SEVENTY LANGUAGES,31 AS IT IS SAID, VERY PLAINLY.32 THEN THEY TOOK THE STONES33 AND WENT
(1) When the Mishnah teaches: IF ONE WITNESS . . . AND TWO SAY etc.
(2) One witness against one witness; if they testified simultaneously the evidence is not accepted.
(3) In these last two clauses of the Mishnah which have been explained as referring to the evidence of women and slaves.
(4) The exhortation addressed to her by the priest (Num. V, 19ff).
(5) Deut. XXVI, 13ff.
(6) V. Glos.
(7) 'The Eighteen Benedictions' recited twice daily. V. P.B. pp. 44ff.
(8) Op. cit. pp. 280ff.
(9) Against the withholding of evidence (Lev. V, 1ff.).
(10) That it had not been misappropriated if the bailee declares that it had been stolen or is missing.
(12) Deut. XXVI, 9ff.
(13) Ibid. XXV, 9.
(14) Ibid. XXVII, 15ff.
(15) Num. VI, 24ff.
(16) V. infra. Mishnah p. 198.
(17) V. infra, Mishnah p. 202.
(18) Deut. XXI, 7f.
(19) Ibid. XX, 3ff.
(20) Ibid. XXVI, 5.
(21) Ibid. XXVII, 14.
(22) This will be demonstrated in the Gemara.
(23) Ibid. XXV, 9.
(24) He attaches the word 'thus' to what precedes.
(25) Deut. XI, 30. The verse ends with: beside the terebinths of Moreh.
(26) Gen. XII, 6.
(27) Josh. VIII, 33.
(28) The reverse of Deut. XXVII, 15.
(29) On the two mounts.
(30) V. Deut. XXVII, 2ff.
(31) The total number of languages in the world as the Rabbis thought.
(32) Ibid. 8.
(33) After the sacrifices had been offered, the altar was taken to pieces.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 32b
AND SPENT THE NIGHT IN THEIR PLACE.1
GEMARA. Whence have we it that the section concerning the suspected woman [may be recited in any language]? - As it is written: And the priest shall say unto the woman2 - in whatever language he speaks.
Our Rabbis taught: They explain to her in any language she understands for what reason she is about to drink the water, in what [sort of vessel] she drinks, why she had misconducted herself and in what manner she had misconducted herself. For what reason she is about to drink the water - because of [her husband's] warning and her subsequent seclusion. In what [sort of vessel] she drinks - in a potsherd.3 Why she had misconducted herself- because of levity and childishness. And in what manner she had misconducted herself - whether in error or deliberately, under compulsion or of free will. But why all this? So as not to discredit the water of bitterness.4
THE CONFESSION MADE AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE TITHE. Whence have we it that this [may be recited in any language]? - As it is written: And thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have put away the hallowed things out of mine house,5 and the deduction is to be drawn from the analogous use of the word 'say' in connection with the suspected woman that it may be in whatever language he speaks. R. Zebid said to Abaye, But let the deduction be drawn from the analogous use of the word 'say' in connection with the Levites6 [as follows]: As there it means that it must be in the holy tongue so here it must be in the holy tongue! - [He answered], We deduce [the meaning of] an unqualified use of 'say' from another occurrence of an unqualified use of 'say, but we do not deduce [the meaning of] an unqualified use of 'say' from a passage where the expression 'answer and say' occurs.7
It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai said: A man should recount what is to his credit in a low voice and what is to his discredit in a loud voice. That he is to recount what is to his credit in a low voice [is learnt] from the confession made at the presentation of the tithe, and what is to his discredit in a loud voice from the declaration made at the offering of the first-fruits.8 But should one recount what is to his discredit in a loud voice? Surely R. Johanan has said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Why was It instituted that the 'prayer'9 should be recited softly? So as not to put transgressors to shame;10 for behold, Scripture made no distinction as to the place of a sin-offering or burnt-offering!11 - Do not read [in R. Simeon's statement] 'his discredit' but 'his trouble';12 as it has been taught: And he shall cry, Unclean, unclean13 - it is necessary [for the leper] to make his trouble known to the multitude so that the multitude may pray on his behalf; and thus everybody to whom a calamity has occurred should make it known to the multitude so that the multitude may pray on his behalf. The [above] text states: 'R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Why was it instituted that the 'prayer' should be recited softly? So as not to put transgressors to shame; for, behold, Scripture made no distinction as to the place of a sin-offering or burnt-offering.' But it is not so, for there is a difference in the treatment of the blood. The blood of a sin-offering [was applied] above [the red line which ran round the altar], whereas the blood of a burnt-offering [was applied] below it! - Only the priest would know that. There is, however, the difference that for a sin-offering a female animal was sacrificed and for a burnt-offering a male! - Being covered by the fat tail [the sex would not be recognised]. That is quite right with a female lamb, but what of a female goat?14 - In that case the man brought the shame upon himself, because he should have offered a lamb but offered a goat. What, however, of the sin-offering brought for idolatry when only a goat suffices!15 - In that case let him experience shame so that he may receive atonement.
THE SHEMA. Whence have we it that this [may be recited in any language]? As it is written: Hear, O Israel16 - in any language you understand.
Our Rabbis taught: The Shema' must be recited as it is written.17 Such is the statement of Rabbi but the Sages say: In any language. What is Rabbi's reason? - Scripture declares, And [these words] shall be,18 i.e., they must remain as they are. And [what is the reason of] the Rabbis? - Scripture declares, 'Hear, O Israel' - in any language you understand. But for the Rabbis it is likewise written: 'And [these words] shall be'!19 - That indicates that one may not read it in the wrong order.20 And whence does Rabbi derive the rule that one may not read it in the wrong order? - From the fact that the text uses 'these words' and not merely 'words'. And the Rabbis?21 - They draw no inference from the use of 'these words' instead of 'words'. But for Rabbi it is likewise written: 'Hear'! - He requires that for the rule: Make audible to your ears what you utter with your lips.22 And the Rabbis? - They agree with him who said that if one has not recited the Shema' audibly he has fulfilled his obligation. It is possible to say that Rabbi holds
(1) Viz., in Gilgal where they were again set up (Josh. IV, 20).
(2) Num. V, 21.
(3) V. supra p. 38.
(4) So that if she had offended in error or under compulsion and the water did not affect her, she should not think there would have been no effect if she had offended deliberately or of her free will.
(5) Deut. XXVI, 13.
(6) V. ibid. XXVII, 14 and Mishnah p. 157.
(7) Viz., in connection with the Levites. Consequently the analogy is drawn with the reference to the suspected woman and not the Levites.
(8) In the former he tells how he had done his duty (V. Deut. XXVI, 13f.) and in that connection the unqualified 'say' occurs. In the latter he tells of his humble ancestry (ibid. 5ff.) and in that connection 'answer and say', i.e., say aloud, occurs.
(9) V. supra p. 157, n. 4.
(10) Who confess their sins in the course of prayer.
(11) They were offered on the same side of the altar, and an onlooker would not be able to tell which offering was being sacrificed.
(12) In the declaration made over the first-fruits, the allusion was to the vicissitudes of the patriarch; and such should be spoken aloud.
(13) Lev. XIII, 45.
(14) Which has no fat tail.
(15) V. Num. XV, 27, 29.
(16) Deut. VI, 4. The word for 'Hear' also means 'understand'.
(17) Only in Hebrew.
(18) Ibid. 6.
(19) Why do they not explain them: they must remain as they are?
(20) V. supra p. 91.
(21) What do they derive from the use of 'these words'?
(22) I.e., the Shema' must be recited audibly.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 33a
that the whole Torah may be read in any language; for if you maintain that it may be read1 only in the holy tongue, wherefore had the All-Merciful to write 'And [these words] shall be'? - It is necessary because it is written 'Hear'.2 It is likewise possible to say that the Rabbis hold that the whole Torah must be read in the holy tongue; for if you maintain that it can be read in any language, wherefore had the All-Merciful to write the word 'Hear'? - It is necessary because it is written 'And [these words] shall be'.3
THE 'PRAYER'. [It may be recited in any language because] it is only supplication, and one may pray in any language he wishes. But may the 'prayer' be recited in any language? Behold Rab Judah has said: A man should never pray for his needs in Aramaic. For R. Johanan declared: If anyone prays for his needs in Aramaic, the Ministering Angels4 do not pay attention to him, because they do not understand that language! - There is no contradiction, one referring to [the prayer] of an individual and the other to that of a Congregation.5 And do not the Ministering Angels understand Aramaic? Behold it has been taught: Johanan, the High Priest, heard a Bath Kol6 issue from within the Holy of Holies announcing, 'The young men who went to wage war against Antioch7 have been victorious.8 It also happened with Simeon the Righteous9 that he heard a Bath Kol issue from within the Holy of Holies announcing, 'Annulled is the decree which the enemy intended to introduce into the Temple'. Then was Caius Caligula10 slain and his decrees annulled. They noted down the time [when the Bath Kol spoke] and it tallied.11 Now it was in Aramaic that it spoke! - If you wish I can say that it is different with a Bath Kol since it occurs for the purpose of being generally understood;12 or if you wish I can say that it was Gabriel who spoke; for a Master has declared: Gabriel came and taught [Joseph] the seventy languages.13
THE GRACE AFTER MEALS. [That this may be recited in any language is derived from] the text: And thou shalt eat and be full, and thou shalt bless the Lord thy God14 - in any language wherein thou utterest a benediction.
THE OATH CONCERNING TESTIMONY. [That this may be uttered in any language is derived from] the text: And if any one sin, in that he heareth the voice of adjuration15 - in whatever language he hears it.
THE OATH CONCERNING A DEPOSIT. [That this may be uttered in any language] is derived from the analogous use of the phrase 'if any one sin' in the oath concerning testimony.16
THE FOLLOWING ARE RECITED IN THE HOLY TONGUE: THE DECLARATION MADE AT THE OFFERING OF THE FIRST-FRUITS, THE FORMULA OF HALIZAH, etc. down to: WHENCE IS IT THAT THE DECLARATION MADE AT THE OFFERING OF THE FIRST-FRUITS [MUST BE IN HEBREW]? [IT IS STATED], AND THOU SHALT ANSWER AND SAY BEFORE THE LORD THY GOD, AND ELSEWHERE IT IS STATED, AND THE LEVITES SHALL ANSWER AND SAY; AS THE LATTER MUST BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE, SO MUST THE FORMER BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE. But whence have we it of the Levites themselves [that they used Hebrew]? - It is derived from the analogous use of the word 'voice' in connection with Moses. Here it is written with a loud voice,17 and elsewhere it is written: Moses spake and God answered him by a voice;18 as in the latter passage it was in the holy tongue, so also in the other passage it means in the holy tongue.
WHENCE IS IT THAT THE FORMULA OF HALIZAH etc. What, then, do the Rabbis make of the word 'thus'?19 - They require it to indicate that each act20 invalidates [the ceremony by its omission]. And R. Judah?21 - From the use of 'Kakah' instead of koh.22 And the Rabbis? - They draw no inference from the use of 'Kakah' instead of koh.
(1) In the synagogue (Rashi).
(2) If he were of the opinion that the Torah can only be read in Hebrew, it would necessarily apply to the Shema'. Why, then, should he draw a conclusion from shall be? He does so to oppose the inference which the Rabbis draw from Hear.
(3) Which might otherwise be taken to indicate that the Shema' must be read in Hebrew.
(4) Who convey the petitions to the Throne of Glory.
(5) With the latter, the help of the angels is not required.
(6) V. Glos. This is evidently the incident related by Josephus (Ant. XIII, X, 3) of John Hyrcanus.
(7) [Antiochus Cyzicenus, over whom the children of John Hyrcanus were victorious, v. loc. cit., and Derenbourg, Essai, p. 47.]
(8) This and the following announcements were made in Aramaic, so the angels must have understood it.
(9) Possibly the High Priest Simon, son of Boethus, also called Cantheras, as Josephus describes him (op. cit. XIX, VI, 2). [For other views v. HUCA VIII-IX, p. 300.]
(10) The name is corrupted in the text. He ordered that his statue should be placed in the Temple and worshipped (Josephus, War II, X, 1.)
(11) With the time of Caligula's assassination.
(12) And Aramaic was the vernacular of the period.
(13) V. infra. Gabriel was exceptional; but the other angels were ignorant of Aramaic.
(14) Deut. VIII, 10.
(15) Lev. V, 1.
(16) V. ibid. 21.
(17) Deut. XXVII, 14.
(18) Ex. XIX, 19.
(19) Upon which R. Judah bases the teaching that the formula must be in Hebrew.
(20) Mentioned in Deut. XXV, 9, viz., loosing the shoe, spitting in his face, and pronouncing the formula.
(21) From where does he derive this teaching?
(22) Both words signify 'thus'; and since the text has the longer form, he takes it as an indication that the formula must be in Hebrew and also that the omission of an act invalidates the ceremony.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 33b
What, then, does R. Judah make of the phrase 'and she shall answer and say'?1 - He requires it for the purpose of deducing that the Levites [must pronounce the blessings and curses] in the holy tongue.2 But let him derive that from the analogous use of the word 'voice' in connection with Moses! - He had learnt [from his teacher] to draw an inference from the analogous use of the word 'answer' but not from 'voice'.3 It has been similarly taught: R. Judah says: Wherever [in Scripture the words] 'thus', both in the form of 'koh' and 'kakah', or 'answer and say' occur, [what has to be spoken] must only be in the holy tongue. The word 'koh' is found in 'Thus ye shall bless',4 'kakah' in connection with Halizah, and 'answer and say' with the Levites.
HOW WERE THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES [PRONOUNCED]? WHEN ISRAEL CROSSED THE JORDAN etc. Our Rabbis taught: Are they not beyond Jordan?5 [This means] on the other side of the Jordan and beyond; such is the statement of R. Judah. Behind the way of the coming of the sun6 - the place where the sun dawns.7 In the land of the Canaanites which dwell in the Arabah6 - i.e., mount Gerizim and mount Ebal where the Cutheans8 dwell. Over against Gilgal6 - [this means] near Gilgal.9 Beside the terebinths of Moreh6 - [this means] Shechem. Elsewhere it states: And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem unto the terebinth of Moreh;10 as the terebinth of Moreh mentioned in this latter verse is Shechem, so in the former verse it means Shechem.
It has been taught:11 R. Eleazar son of R. Jose said: In this connection I proved the Samaritan Scriptures12 to be false. I said to them, 'You have falsified your Torah13 but you gained nothing thereby.14 You declare that 'the terebinths of Moreh' means Shechem; we too admit that 'the terebinths of Moreh' means Shechem. We learnt this by an inference from analogy;15 but how have you learnt it!'16
R. Eleazar said: 'Are they not beyond the Jordan'? [This means] near the Jordan; because if it signified on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, is it not written: And it shall be when ye are passed over Jordan!17 'Behind the way of the coming of the sun' - [this means] the place where the sun sets.18 'In the land of the Canaanites' - i.e., the land of the Hivites. 'Which dwell in the Arabah' - but do they not dwell among mountains and hills!19 'Over against Gilgal' - but they could not see Gilgal!20 - R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: Scripture has here only the intention of pointing out to them the route for the second [part of the journey] as it had pointed out to them the route for the first [part of the journey].21 'The way' - [this means], Proceed along the high-road and not through fields and vineyards. 'Which dwell' - [this means], Pass through inhabited territory and not through deserts. 'In the Arabah' - [this means], Pass through the plain and not through mountains and hills.
Our Rabbis taught: How did Israel cross the Jordan? Each day [during the journey in the wilderness] the ark journeyed behind two standards,22 but on this day [of crossing] it journeyed in front; as it is said: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you.23 Each day the Levites carried the ark, but on this day the priests carried it; as it is said: And it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord etc.24 - It has been taught: R. Jose says: On three occasions the priests carried the ark: when they crossed the Jordan, when they walked round Jericho,25 and when they deposited it in its place.26 -
(1) Since he does not follow the Rabbis in basing upon it the rule that the formula must be in Hebrew.
(2) Since the phrase 'answer and say' occurs in Deut. XXVII, 14.
(3) [No inference can be drawn from the analogous use of a word (a Gezerah shawah, v. Glos.) which has not been received on tradition from a teacher.]
(4) Num. VI, 23, the priestly benediction which must be in Hebrew.
(5) Deut. XI, 30. This might have been interpreted as close to the other side of the Jordan.
(6) Ibid.; 'coming' is usually understood as 'setting', but it is here explained as 'coming up, rising'.
(7) [The East. The phrase means accordingly: Far away from the Eastern bank of the Jordan where the Israelites were at the time towards the West. The term אחרי as distinct from אחר denotes 'greatly separated'.]
(8) Samaritans, so called because they were brought by Sargon, King of Assyria, from Cuthea, to take the place of the exiled Israelites.
(9) [Not the Gilgal east of Jericho, but another place of that name identified with Juleijil, east of Mt. Gerizim; v. p. 166, n. 3.
(10) Gen. XII, 6.
(11) As Rashi remarks, the words 'it has been taught' should be deleted, as it is the continuation of the Baraitha, v. Sifre, a.l.
(12) For sifre 'Scriptures' we must read with the J. Talmud Sofre 'scribes, learned men'.
(13) The Samaritan recension of the Pentateuch. In Deut. XI, 30 it adds 'over against Shechem' which does not appear in the Hebrew version.
(14) I.e., your addition of the words was unnecessary.
(15) Gezerah shawah (v. Glos.).
(16) By tampering with the text.
(17) Ibid. XXVII, 4. This is explained: as soon as you have passed over; therefore it must have been a place close to the Jordan.
(18) [The West, and the verse means far away from the Western towards the Eastern bank of the Jordan.]
(19) Arabah signifies the plain.
(20) They lived at a distance from it; so why is this mentioned? [Rashi, who seems to have another and preferable text, explains the question: 'but they (these places) are far from Gilgal' Gilgal being East of Jericho (v. p. 165, n. 5), why then mention it, cf. also Rashi on Deut. XI, 30.]
(21) When Israel left Egypt a pillar of fire and cloud directed them; but this ceased on the death of Moses. Scripture therefore gives them directions, and its purpose is not to explain the location of Gerizim and Ebal.
(22) Of the tribes; v. Num. X, 11ff.
(23) Josh. III, 11.
(24) Ibid. 13.
(25) Ibid. VI, 6.
(26) In Solomon's Temple (I Kings VIII, 3).
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 34a
When the feet of the priests were dipped in the water, the water flowed backward; as it is said: And when they that bore the ark were come unto the Jordan . . . that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in one heap.1 What was the height of the water? Twelve mil by twelve mil in accordance with the dimensions of the camp of Israel.2 Such is the statement of R. Judah; and R. Eleazar b. Simeon said to him, According to your explanation, which is swifter, man or water? Surely water is swifter; therefore the water must have returned and drowned them!3 It rather teaches that the waters were heaped up like stacks to a height of more than three hundred mil, until all the kings of the East and West saw them; as it is said: And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were beyond Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard how that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel until they were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.4 And also Rahab the harlot said to Joshua's messengers, For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea etc.;5 and it continues, And as soon as we heard it, our hearts did melt neither did there remain any more etc.6
While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them, Know why you are crossing the Jordan; it is on condition that you disinherit the inhabitants of the land from before you; as it said: Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you etc.7 If you do this, well and good; otherwise the water will return and drown you [othekem].8 - What means 'othekem'? Me and you. While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them, Take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel etc.;9 and it continues, That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in time to come, saying: What mean ye by these stones? etc.10 It was to be a monument for the children that their fathers had crossed the Jordan. While they were still in the Jordan, Joshua said to them. Take you hence out of the midst of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night etc.11 It is possible [to think that they were to deposit them] in any lodging place; therefore there is a text to state, 'Where ye shall lodge this night'.
R. Judah12 said: Abba Halafta, R. Eliezer b. Mathia and Hananiah b. Hakinai stood upon those stones and estimated that each was equal to about forty se'ah.13 There is a tradition that the weight which a man can raise upon his shoulder is a third of the weight he can carry;14 so from this you may calculate what was the weight of the cluster of grapes,15 as it is said: And they bare it upon a staff between two.16 From the fact that it is stated upon a staff do I not know that it [was carried] between two? Why, then, is there a text to state 'between two'? [It means] on two staffs. R. Isaac said: [It means] a series of balancing poles.17 How was it? Eight [spies] carried the grape-cluster,18 one carried a pomegranate, one carried a fig, and Joshua and Caleb did not carry anything. If you wish I can say [that they did not carry anything] because they were the most distinguished of them,19 or alternatively that they did not have a share in the plan.20
R. Ammi and R. Isaac the smith differ in opinion. One said: According to the statement of R. Judah,21
(1) Josh. III, 15f.
(2) supra p. 71. So that as soon as the last Israelite had crossed over, the waters returned.
(3) If the water rose to twelve mil only to subside again, they would not have been able to traverse a sufficient distance to escape the returning water.
(4) Josh. V, 1.
(5) Ibid. II, 10.
(6) Ibid. 11.
(7) Num. XXXIII. 52.
(8) This is an unusual Hebrew form, and is taken as a combination of othi, 'me' and ethkem 'you'.
(9) Josh. IV, 5.
(10) Ibid. 6.
(11) Josh. IV, 3.
(12) The reading should be: R. Jose.
(13) The se'ah was a measure of capacity; so what is here meant is a weight equal to that of forty se'ah of wheat.
(14) . When others help to set it upon his shoulder. Consequently the weight of each was 120 se'ah.
(15) Carried by the spies.
(16) Num. XIII, 23.
(17) For four couples of carriers.
(18) [The weight of which would have been on this calculation 960 se'ahs, that is 8 times 120.]
(19) And so it was beneath their dignity.
(20) The bringing of the fruit was part of the plan to discourage the community. They would judge from its size what must be the stature of the inhabitants.
(21) That the water was twelve mil in height.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 34b
they crossed over in the formation of their encampment, and according to the statement of R. Eleazar b. Simeon1 they crossed over in single file.2 The other said: According to the statement of both teachers they crossed over in the formation of their encampment. One teacher was of the opinion that man was swifter, and the other that water was swifter.3 Send for thee men4 - Resh Lakish said: ['For thee' means] from thine own mind;5 because does anybody choose a bad position for himself?6 That is what is written: And the thing pleased me well7 - Resh Lakish said: It pleased me [Moses] well but not the All-Present.
That they search the land for us8 - R. Hiyya b. Abba said: The spies aimed at nothing else than discrediting the land of Israel. Here it is written: That they may search [we-yahperu] the land for us, and elsewhere it is written: Then the moon shall be confounded [we-haferah] and the sun ashamed etc.9
And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.10 R. Isaac said: It is a tradition in our possession from our forefathers that the spies were named after their actions, but only with one has it survived with us: Sethur the son of Michael.11 [He was named] Sethur because he undermined [sathar] the works of the Holy One, blessed be He; and Michael [was so named] because he suggested that God [el] was weak [mak].12 R. Johanan said: We can also explain [the name] Nahbi the son of Vophsi.13 [He was named] Nahbi because he hid [hikbi] the words14 of the Holy One, blessed be He; and Vophsi [was so named] because he stepped over [pasa'] the attributes15 of the Holy One, blessed be He.
And they went up by the South and he came unto Hebron16 - it should have read 'and they came'! - Raba said: It teaches that Caleb held aloof from the plan of the spies and went and prostrated himself upon the graves of the patriarchs, saying to them, 'My fathers, pray on my behalf that I may be delivered from the plan of the spies'. (As for Joshua, Moses had already prayed on his behalf; as it is said: And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua,17 [meaning], May Jah save thee [yoshi'aka] from the plan of the spies.) That is the intention of what is written: But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him.18
And there were Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai19 - Ahiman [was so named because he was] the strongest [meyuman] of them; Sheshai because he made the earth like pits [shehithoth];20 Talmai because he made the earth like furrows [telamim]. Another explanation:21 Ahiman built 'Anath, Sheshai built Alash, and Talmai built Telbesh.22 The children of Anak - [they are so called] because they wore the sun as a necklace [ma'anikin] owing to their stature.
Now Hebron was built seven years19 - what means 'was built'? If I say that it means actually built, is it possible that a man constructs a house for his younger son before his elder son; as it is written: And the sons of Ham: Cush and Mizraim?23 But [the intention is], it was seven times more productive than Zoan. There is no worse stony ground in all the land of Israel than Hebron, and that is why they bury the dead there; and there is none among all the countries superior to the land of Egypt, as it is said: Like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt;24 and there is no place superior to Zoan In all the land Egypt, as it is written: For his princes are at Zoan.25 Nevertheless Hebron was seven times more productive than Zoan. But was Hebron stony ground; behold it is written: And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go [and pay my vow . . . in Hebron];26 and R. Iwya - another version is, Rabbah b. Bar Hanan-said: He went to fetch lambs from Hebron; and there is also a teaching: [The best] rams are from Moab and lambs from Hebron! - From that very fact [it is proved that the land was stony]; because the soil is thin it produces pastures27 and the cattle grow fat there.
And they returned from spying out the land . . .
(1) That the height was over three hundred mil.
(2) The time of crossing was much longer; consequently the heap of water had to be of greater height.
(3) For that reason they suggest different heights for the water to enable the people to escape.
(4) Num. XIII, 2. So the Hebrew literally.
(5) I.e., the plan did not emanate from God but from Moses.
(6) Would God have sanctioned a plan which He knew was to end in disaster?
(7) Deut. I, 23.
(8) Ibid. 22. The word for search is here given the meaning 'confound'.
(9) Isa. XXIV, 23.
(10) Num. XIII, 4.
(11) Ibid. 13.
(12) Lit., 'he made himself to be weak' - a reverential avoidance of a disparaging reference to God. He was the man who said: 'Even the master of the house cannot remove his furniture from there' (infra 35a).
(13) Ibid. 14.
(14) Did not truthfully report them.
(15) He misrepresented them.
(16) Ibid. 22. So the Heb. literally.
(17) Num. XIII, 16.
(18) Ibid. XIV, 24. It continues: I will bring him into the land whereinto he went, viz. Hebron. V. Josh. XIV, 14.
(19) Num. XIII, 22.
(20) Through his heavy tread.
(21) These words should be deleted, and do not occur in the parallel passage Yoma 10a.
(22) [Identified by Obermeyer (op. cit. pp. 102-3) with 'Anah, Alusa and Telbeth, three fortified island-towns on the Northern Euphrates.]
(23) Gen. X, 6. Canaan was the youngest of his sons and Mizraim the second.
(24) Ibid. XIII, 10.
(25) Isa. XXX, 4.
(26) II Sam. XV, 7.
(27) It does not yield any other produce.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 35a
and they went and came.1 R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai, It compares the going to the coming back; as the coming back was with an evil design, so the going was with an evil design.2 And they told him and said: We came etc.,3 and it continues, Howbeit the people are strong.4 R. Johanan said5 in the name of R. Meir, Any piece of slander, which has not some truth in the beginning, will not endure in the end.6
And Caleb stilled [wa-yahas] the people concerning Moses7 - Rabbah said, [It means] that he won them over [hissithan] with words. When Joshua began to address them, they said to him, 'Would this person with the lopped-off head8 speak to us!' [Caleb] said [to himself], If I address them [in the same strain as Joshua], they will answer me in like manner and silence me; so he said to them, 'Is it this alone that Amram's son has done to us!'9 They thought that he was speaking to censure Moses, so they were silent. Then he said to them, 'He brought us out of Egypt, divided the Red Sea for us and fed us with manna. If he were to tell us, Prepare ladders and ascend to heaven, should we not obey him! Let us go up at once and possess it etc.'10
But the men that went up with him said: We will not be able etc.11 R. Hanina b. Papa said: A grievous statement did they make at that moment, viz. For they are stronger than we - read not than we but than He;12 as it were even the master of the house cannot remove his furniture from there.13
It is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof.14 Raba expounded: The Holy One, blessed be He, said: I intended this for good15 but they thought it in a bad sense. I intended this for good, because wherever [the spies] came, the chief [of the inhabitants] died, so that they should be occupied [with his burial] and not inquire about them.16 (Others say that Job died then and the whole world was occupied with mourning for him.) But they thought it in a bad sense: It is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof.17
And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.18 R. Mesharsheya said: The spies were liars. As regards 'we were in our own sight as grasshoppers', very well; but how could they know that 'so we were in their sight'? But it is not so;19 for when [the inhabitants] held their funeral-meal20 they ate it beneath cedar trees, and when [the spies] saw them they climbed the trees and sat there. Then they heard them say: 'We see men like grasshoppers in the trees.
And all the congregation lifted up their voice and wept.21 Rabbah said in the name of R. Johanan: That day was the ninth of Ab;22 and the Holy One, blessed be He, said: They are now weeping for nothing, but I will fix [this day] for them as an occasion of weeping for generations.
But all the congregation bade them stone them with stones,23 and it continues, And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting. R. Hiyya b. Abba said: It teaches that they took stones and hurled them against Him Who is above.24 Even those men that did bring up an evil report of the land died by the plague.25 R. Simeon b. Lakish said: They died an unnatural death.26 R. Hanina b. Papa said: R. Shila of Kefar Temarthah expounded; It27 teaches that their tongue was elongated and reached down to their navel, and worms issued from their tongue and penetrated their navel and from their navel they penetrated their tongue. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: They died of croup.28
When29 the last of the Israelites ascended from the Jordan, the waters returned to their place; as it is said: And it came to pass, when the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord were come up out of the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry ground, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and went over all its banks, as aforetime.30 Consequently the ark and its bearers and the priests were on one side [of the Jordan] and the Israelites on the other!31 The ark carried its bearers and passed over [the river]; as it is said: And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the Lord passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.32 On that account was Uzza punished, as it is said: And when they came unto the threshing-floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark.33 The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Uzza, [the ark] carried its bearers; must it not all the more [be able to carry] itself!'
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error [shal] etc.34 R. Johanan and R. Eleazar [differ on the interpretation of the word 'shal']. One said [that it means] on account of the act of error [shalu];35 the other said [that it means] he relieved himself in its presence.36
And there he died by37 the ark of God. R. Johanan said: Uzzah entered the World to Come, as it is stated 'with the ark of God' - as the ark endures for ever, so Uzzah entered the World to Come.
And David was angry, because the Lord had broken forth upon Uzzah.38 R. Eleazar said: His face was changed [so that it became in colour] like a cake baked upon the coals [hararah]. Are we to infer from this that wherever wa-yihar occurs it has this meaning? - In other passages the word 'af [anger] is added but here it is not added.
Raba expounded: Why was David punished?39 Because he called words of Torah 'songs', as it is said: Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.40 The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Words of Torah, of which it is written: Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? It is gone,41 thou recitest as songs! I will cause thee to stumble in a matter which even school-children know.' For it is written: But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none, because the service of the sanctuary etc.;42 and yet [David] brought it in a wagon.
And he smote of the men of Beth-Shemesh, because they looked into the ark.43 God smote them because they looked into the ark! R. Abbahu and R. Eleazar [differ in their interpretation]; one said that they went on reaping while they prostrated themselves [before the ark];44 the other said that they also used this [disrespectful] language to it,
(1) Num. XIII, 25f.
(2) They planned at the outset to bring back a discouraging report.
(3) Ibid. 27.
(4) Ibid. 28.
(5) The Gemara inserts here: mnemonic - truth, alone, interment. These are keywords to assist in remembering the sequence of the passages treated.
(6) On that account the report opened with a true description of the land's fertility.
(7) Ibid. 30. I.e., he silenced them to hear something about Moses. E.V. 'before'.
(8) An allusion to the fact that he was childless. What interest could he have in the conquest since he had no children to possess the land! (Rashi).
(9) He chose his words that the people should imagine he was against Moses, and so they would listen to him. 'Alone' in this sentence is the key-word of the mnemonic.
(11) Ibid. 31.
(12) [ממנו instead of ממנו a difference of pronounciation in the Babylonian Masora, in order to distinguish between the 1st. masc. plur and 3rd. sing, (v. Ges. K. 1910 para. m, n. 1), and cf. Ibn Ezra on Ex. I, 9.]
(13) Even God is powerless against them.
(14) Num. XIII, 32.
(15) Viz., that many Canaanites die there. Hence the word 'interment' in the mnemonic.
(16) This is how the spies were able to return unmolested.
(17) This fate would befall the Israelites if they settled there.
(18) Ibid. 33.
(19) The spies did not lie in this matter.
(20) After burying the dead, as mentioned above.
(21) Ibid. XIV, 1.
(22) Fifth month. On that date the two Temples were destroyed, and the day is observed as a fast.
(23) Ibid. 10.
(24) The word 'them' includes God,
(25) Num. XIV, 37.
(26) That is the meaning of 'by the plague'.
(27) The definite article in 'the plague' shows that it was not an ordinary epidemic.
(28) It was regarded as the severest form death could take (Ber. 8a) and was the fate of the slanderer (Shab. 33b).
(29) After this long digression there is resumed the narrative of the crossing of the Jordan.
(30) Josh. IV, 18.
(31) The text is understood in the same sense that the priests who carried the ark dipped their feet in the Jordan and the waters remained parted so long as the feet were kept there. When the Israelites had crossed, the priests lifted their feet out of the water, stepping back upon the bank. They were consequently on the other side; so how did they get over?
(32) Ibid. 11. Note that the ark 'passed over', and was not carried over.
(33) I Chron. XIII, 9.
(34) II Sam. VI, 7.
(35) [שלו error, neglect, cf. Ezra IV, 12.]
(36) Shal is connected with the root nashal 'to drop off.
(37) Lit., 'with'.
(38) II Sam. VI, 8. 'Angry' is 'wa-yihar' lit., 'be kindled'. The explanation is intended to avoid the thought that David was angered against God.
(39) That Uzzah died through him.
(40) Ps. CXIX, 54. When he fled from his enemies, he entertained himself by treating Scriptural passages as songs. He thus made a profane use of them.
(41) Prov. XXIII, 5 - i.e., the Torah is beyond human understanding.
(42) Num. VII, 9. The ark had to be carried upon the shoulders of the Levites.
(43) I Sam. VI, 19.
(44) [The phrase ראו בארון is taken to signify 'they gazed at the ark' with unbecoming interest, v. Driver, S.R., Samuel, a.l.]
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 35b
'Who embittered thee that thou wast thus embittered,1 and what has come upon thee that thou art now appeased?' Even He smote of the people seventy men and fifty thousand men.2 R. Abbahu and R. Eleazar [differ in their interpretation]; one said that there were only seventy men [smitten] each of whom was the equal of fifty thousand men, while the other said that there were fifty thousand men [smitten] each of whom was equal to the seventy who constituted the Sanhedrin.
And it was so, that when they that bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling,3 and it is also written, [They sacrificed] seven bullocks and seven rams!4 - R. Papa said in the name of Samuel: [The two passages are reconciled by supposing that] at each pace an ox and a fatling [were offered] and at each six paces seven bullocks and seven rams. R. Hisda said to him, On your theory you filled the whole of the land of Israel with high places! But, said R. Hisda, at each six paces an ox and a fatling [were offered] and at each six sets of six paces seven bullocks and seven rams.
[In one place the name of the threshing-floor] is written Chidon [and in another] Nacon!5 - R. Johanan said: At first [it was called] Chidon and afterwards Nacon.6
In consequence [of what is related in the Scriptures], you must conclude that there were three sets of stones: one which Moses caused to be erected in the land of Moab, as it is said: Beyond Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare etc.,7 and elsewhere it states: Thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law [very plainly],8 and the inference is drawn from the use of the analogous word [that as in the latter passage stones were employed, they were similarly employed in connection with what is narrated in the first passage]. The second set was that which Joshua caused to be erected in the midst of the Jordan, as it is said: And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan.9 The third set was that which he caused to be erected in Gilgal, as it is said: And those twelve stones which they took.10
Our Rabbis taught: How did the Israelites inscribe the Torah? - R. Judah says: They inscribed it upon the stones, as it is stated: 'Thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law etc.' After that they plastered them over with plaster. R. Simeon said to him, According to your explanation, how did the nations of that period learn the Torah!11 - He replied to him, The Holy One, blessed be He, endowed them with exceptional intelligence; and they sent their scribes who peeled off the plaster and carried away [a copy of the inscription]. On that account was the verdict sealed against them [to descend] to the pit of destruction, because it was their duty to learn [Torah] but they failed to do so. R. Simeon says: They inscribed it upon the plaster and wrote below, That they teach you not to do after all [their abominations].12 Hence you learn that if they turn in penitence they would be accepted. Raba b. Shila said: What is R. Simeon's reason? - Because it is written: And the peoples shall be as the burnings of lime13 - i.e., on account of the matter of the plaster.14 And [how does] R. Judah [explain this verse]? - [Their destruction will be] like plaster - as there is no other remedy for plaster except burning, so there is no other remedy for those nations [who cleave to the abominations] except burning. According to whom [is the following teaching] which has been taught: And thou carriest them away captive15 - this is to include Canaanites who reside outside the land [of Israel] so if they turn in penitence they will be accepted.
(1) And didst not release thyself from the Philistines.
(2) I Sam. VI, 19. [In M.T. the particle ו ('and') is missing.]
(3) II Sam. VI, 13.
(4) I Chron. XV, 26.
(5) Cf. II Sam. VI, 6 with I Chron. XIII, 9.
(6) Chidon means 'a spear', an appropriate name for the place where Uzzah lost his life; Nacon means 'established', and alludes to the fact that the ark was established there.
(7) Deut. I, 5. The Hebrew for 'declare' is be'er.
(8) Ibid. XXVII, 8. The Hebrew for 'plainly' is ba'er.
(9) Josh. IV, 9.
(10) Josh. IV, 20.
(11) Since the inscription was covered with plaster.
(12) Deut. XX, 18. The command to destroy was limited to those of the seven nations who resided in Canaan. Those of them who lived outside its borders could survive by giving up their abominable practices.
(13) Isa. XXXIII, 12. The word for 'lime' is the same as for plaster.
(14) The nations will be destroyed because they neglected to pay heed to the teachings inserted on the plaster.
(15) Deut. XXI, 10.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 36a
According to whom is this? - According to R. Simeon.
Come and see how many miracles were performed on that day. Israel crossed the Jordan, came to mount Gerizim and mount Ebal [thus traversing a distance of] more than sixty mil, no creature was able to withstand them and whoever withstood them was immediately panic-stricken; as it is said: I will send My terror before thee, and will discomfort all the people to whom thou shalt come, etc.,1 and it states: Terror and dread falleth upon them . . . till Thy people pass over, O Lord.2 This alludes to the first advance [of Israel in the days of Joshua]; and 'Till the people pass over which Thou hast gotten'2 alludes to the second advance [in the days of Ezra]. Conclude from this that the Israelites were worthy that a miracle should be performed on their behalf during the second advance as in the first advance, but sin caused [it to be withheld].
After that they brought the stones, built the altar, and plastered it with plaster, and inscribed thereon all the words of the Torah in seventy languages; as it is said: Very plainly.3 Then they sacrificed burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, ate and drank and rejoiced, pronounced the blessings and the curses,4 packed up the stones, and came and lodged in Gilgal; as it is said: Carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place.5 It is possible [to think that they were to deposit them] in any lodging place; therefore there is a text to state, Where ye shall lodge this night,5 and then it is written: And those twelve stones, which they took [out of Jordan, did Joshua set up in Gilgal].6
A Tanna taught: The hornet did not pass over [Jordan] with them; but behold it is written: And I will send the hornet before thee!7 - R. Simeon b. Lakish said: It stood by the bank of the Jordan and injected a virus [into the Canaanites] which blinded their eyes above and castrated them below; as it is said: Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath etc.8 R. Papa said: There were two hornets, one in the period of Moses and the other in the period of Joshua; the former did not pass over [Jordan] but the other did.
SIX TRIBES ASCENDED THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT GERIZIM etc. What means and the half of them?9 - R. Kahana said: As they were divided here [on the mounts]10 so were they divided on the stones of the ephod.11 An objection was raised: The High priest had two precious stones on his shoulders, one on this side and one on the other side; upon them were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes, six on one stone and six on the other, as it is said: Six of their names on the one stone, [and the names of the six that remain on the other stone, according to their birth].12 [This indicates that] the second six were to be according to their birth, but the first six were not to be according to their birth; because [the name of] Judah came first, and there were fifty letters, twenty-five on each stone. R. Hanina b. Gamaliel says:
(1) Ex, XXIII. 27.
(2) Ibid. XV, 16.
(3) Deut. XXVII. 8.
(4) [Wilna Gaon deletes 'and the curses', and refers the blessings to the Grace after meals, since the blessings and curses on the Mounts were pronounced before the altar was built, v. Mishnah.]
(5) Josh. IV, 3.
(6) Ibid. 20.
(7) Ex. XXIII, 28.
(8) Amos II, 9.
(9) Josh. VIII, 33. The Hebrew has the definite article which seems superfluous.
(10) Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin on Mount Gerizim, and Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali on Mount Ebal, v. Deut. XXVII, 12-13.
(11) Six tribes in the same order on each stone; v. Ex. XXVIII, 9ff.
(12) Ibid. 10.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 36b
They were not apportioned upon the stones as they were apportioned in the Book of Numbers1 but as they were apportioned in the second Book of the Pentateuch.2 How then [were they arranged]? The sons of Leah in order of seniority [on one stone, and on the other] the sons of Rachel, one on top and the other at the bottom, with the sons of the hand-maids in the centre.3 In that case, how am I to explain 'according to their birth'? [It means that the inscription was] according to the names which their father called them and not according to the names which Moses called them - Reuben and not Reubeni, Simeon and not Simeoni, Dan and not had-Dani, Gad and not hag-Gadi.4 This is a refutation of R. Kahana!5 The refutation [is unanswered].
What, then, is the meaning of 'and the half of them'? - It has been taught: 'The half in front of mount Gerizim was larger than that in front of mount Ebal, because [the tribe of] Levi was below [with the ark].'6 On the contrary, for the reason that Levi was below it must have been smaller!7 - This is what he intends: Although Levi was below [the party on mount Gerizim was still larger] because the sons of Joseph were included with them [and they were very numerous]; as it is said: And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying: Why hast thou given me but one lot and one part for an inheritance, seeing I am a great people? . . . And Joshua said unto them, If thou be a great people, get thee up to the forest.8 He said to them, 'Go, hide yourselves in the forests that the evil eye9 may not have sway over you'. They replied to him, 'The evil eye can bear no sway over the seed of Joseph'; for it is written: Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a fountain,10 and R. Abbahu said: Read not 'ale 'ayin [by a fountain] but 'ole 'ayin [overcoming the eye]. R. Jose b. Hanina said: [It is derived] from this passage, And let them grow [we-yidgu] into a multitude in the midst of the earth11 - as the water covers the fish [dagim] in the sea so that the [evil] eye bears no sway over them, so the [evil] eye bears no sway over the seed of Joseph.
[It was stated above that on the stones of the ephod] were fifty letters; but there were fifty less one! - R. Isaac said: One letter was added to the name of Joseph, as it is said: He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt.12 R. Nahman b. Isaac objected: We require according to their birth!13 - But [the correct explanation is] that throughout the whole Torah Benjamin's name is spelt without the letter yod [before the final letter], but here [on the ephod] it was spelt complete with yod; as it is written: But his father called him Benjamin.14
R. Hana15 b. Bizna said in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: Because Joseph sanctified the heavenly Name in private one letter was added to him from the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He; but because Judah sanctified the heavenly Name in public, the whole of his name was called after the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He. How was it with Joseph [that he sanctified the Name]? - As it is written: And it came to pass about this time, that he went into the house to do his work.16 R. Johanan said: This teaches that both [Joseph and Potiphar's wife] had the intention of acting immorally. 'He went into the house to do his work' - Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]. One said that it really means to do his work; but the other said that he went to satisfy his desires.17 'And there was none of the men of the house etc. - is it possible that there was no man in a huge house like that of this wicked [Potiphar]! - It was taught in the School of R. Ishmael: That day was their feast-day, and they had all gone to their idolatrous temple; but she had pretended to be ill because she thought, I shall not have an opportunity like to-day for Joseph to associate with me. And she caught him by his garment, saying etc.18 At that moment his father's image came and appeared to him through the window and said: 'Joseph, thy brothers will have their names inscribed upon the stones of the ephod and thine amongst theirs; is it thy wish to have thy name expunged from amongst theirs and be called an associate of harlots?' (As it is written: He that keepeth company with harlots wasteth his substance.)19 Immediately his bow abode in strength20 - R. Johanan said in the name of R. Meir: [This means] that his passion subsided. And the arms of his hands were made active20 - he stuck his hands in the ground so that his lust came out from between his finger-nails. 'By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob'20 - Who caused his name to be engraven upon the stones of the ephod but the Mighty One of Jacob? 'From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel'21 - from there was he worthy to be made a shepherd, as it is said: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest like the flock of Joseph.22
It has been taught: Joseph was worthy that twelve tribes should issue from him as they issued from his father Jacob, as it is said: These are the generations of Jacob, Joseph;23 but his lust came out from between his finger-nails.24 Nevertheless they25 issued from his brother Benjamin and were given names on his own account; as it is said: And the sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel etc.26 [He was called] Bela, because [Joseph] was swallowed up [nibla'] among the peoples. [He was called] Becher, because [Joseph] was the firstborn [bekor] of his mother. [He was called] Ashbel, because God sent [Joseph] into captivity [sheba'o el]. [He was called] Gera, because [Joseph] dwelt [gar] in lodgings [in a strange land]. [He was called] Naaman, because he was especially beloved [na'im]. [They were called] Ehi and Rosh, because [Joseph] is my brother [ahi] and chief [rosh]. [They were called] Muppim and Huppim, because [Benjamin said: Joseph] did not see my marriage-canopy [huppah] and I did not see his.27 [He was called] Ard, because [Joseph] descended [yarad] among the peoples. Others explain [that he was called] Ard, because [Joseph's] face was like a rose [wered].
R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: At the moment when Pharaoh said to Joseph, And without thee shall no man lift up his hand etc.,28 Pharaoh's astrologers exclaimed: 'Wilt thou set in power over us a slave whom his master bought for twenty pieces of silver!' He replied to them, 'I discern in him royal characteristics.' They said to him, 'In that case he must be acquainted with the seventy languages'. Gabriel came and taught [Joseph] the seventy languages, but he could not learn them. Thereupon [Gabriel] added to his name a letter from the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and he learnt [the languages] as it is said: He appointed it in Joseph29 for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, where I [Joseph] heard a language that I knew not.30 On the morrow, in whatever language Pharaoh conversed with him he replied to him; but when [Joseph] spoke to him in the holy tongue he did not understand what he said. So he asked him to teach it to him; he taught it to him but he could not learn it. [Pharaoh] said to him, 'Swear to me that thou wilt not reveal this';31 and he swore to him. When [Joseph] later said to him, My father made me swear, saying,32 he remarked to him, 'Go, ask [to be released from] thine oath.'33 He replied to him, 'I will also ask [to be released from my oath] concerning thee'.34 Therefore, although it was displeasing to him, [Pharaoh] said to him, Go up and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.35
What was it that Judah did?36 - As it has been taught: R. Meir said: When the Israelites stood by the Red Sea, the tribes strove with one another, each wishing to descend into the sea first. Then sprang forward
(1) V. I, 5ff.
(2) V. Ex. I, 2ff.
(3) On the one stone were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun; on the other Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Joseph.
(4) The latter are the tribal as distinct from the personal names.
(5) Who said that the tribes were divided on the stones of the ephod as on the two mounts; and this has been shewn to be incorrect.
(6) [The article 'the' denotes that those who stood on Ebal represented the full contingent of half the tribes. Whereas on Gerizim one of the tribes - Levi - was missing (Maharsha)].
(7) Since Levi should have been among the first six tribes.
(8) Josh. XVII, 14f.
(9) The personification of envy which causes harm to those who enjoy good fortune. Their numerical strength would excite envy.
(10) Gen. XLIX, 22.
(11) Ibid. XLVIII, 16, referring to Joseph's sons.
(12) Ps. LXXXI, 6. In this verse Joseph's name is spelt with five letters instead of the usual four, v, supra p. 50, n. 2.
(13) As explained above, viz., the name as given by Jacob; consequently we cannot use the exceptional form of his name as it occurs here.
(14) Gen. XXXV, 28; here it is spelt with the yod.
(15) In the parallel passage, supra 10b the name is Hanin.
(16) Ibid. XXXIX, 11.
(17) I.e., for an immoral purpose.
(18) Ibid. 12.
(19) Prov. XXIX. 3.
(20) Gen. XLIX, 24.
(21) Gen. XLIX, 24.
(22) Ps. LXXX, 2, E.V. 1., sic. Hence Israel is called Joseph's flock and he is the shepherd.
(23) Gen. XXXVII, 2.
(24) As mentioned above, and so his power to beget was diminished.
(25) I.e., ten sons, who, added to Joseph's two, made the total of twelve.
(26) Ibid. XLVI, 21.
(27) The derivation of Muppim has fallen out of the text, but is found in Tanhuma to Genesis (ed. Buber, p. 206), viz., his mouth (pi) was like that of our father, i.e., he learnt Torah from Joseph as from Jacob.
(28) Ibid. XLI, 44
(29) V. p. 179, n. 7.
(30) Ps. LXXXI, 6.
(31) That he was ignorant of Hebrew, and a king was expected to know every language.
(32) Ibid. L, 5, viz., that he should inter his body in Canaan.
(33) In Jewish Law only proper authorities could release a man from his oath. Pharaoh did not wish Joseph to leave Egypt to bury his father.
(34) I.e., if Pharaoh refused him permission, he would take steps to enable him to disclose the king's ignorance of Hebrew.
(35) Ibid. 6.
(36) That he sanctified God's Name publicly.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 37a
the tribe of Benjamin and descended first into the sea; as it is said: There is little Benjamin their ruler1 - read not rodem [their ruler] but rad yam [descended into the sea]. Thereupon the princes of Judah hurled stones at them; as it is said: The princes of Judah their council.2 For that reason the righteous Benjamin was worthy to become the host of the All-Powerful,3 as it is said: He dwelleth between his shoulders.4 R. Judah said to [R. Meir]: That is not what happened; but each tribe was unwilling to be the first to enter the sea. Then sprang forward Nahshon the son of Amminadab5 and descended first into the sea; as it is said: Ephraim compasseth me about with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah yet ruleth with God.6 Concerning him it is stated in Scripture,7 Save me O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing etc.8 Let not the waterflood overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow me up etc.9 At that time Moses was engaged for a long while in prayer; so the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'My beloved ones are drowning in the sea and thou prolongest prayer before Me!' He spake before Him, 'Lord of the Universe, what is there in my power to do?' He replied to him, Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward. And lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand etc.10 For that reason Judah was worthy to be made the ruling power in Israel, as it is said: Judah became His sanctuary, Israel his dominion.11 Why did Judah become His sanctuary and Israel his dominion? Because the sea saw [him] and fled.12
It has been taught. R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: It is impossible to declare that Levi [was stationed] below since it is stated that he was above,13 and it is impossible to declare that he was above since it is stated that he was below;14 so how was it? The elders of the priests and Levites were below and the rest above. R. Joshiyah said: All [the Levites] who were qualified to serve [as bearers of the ark] were below and the rest above. Rabbi says: Both [the priests and Levites] and also [the Israelites] were standing below.15 They turned their faces towards mount Gerizim and opened with the blessing, and then towards mount Ebal and opened with the curse; for what means 'al?16 It means 'near to'; as it has been taught: And thou shalt put pure frankincense near ['al] each row17 - Rabbi says: 'Al means 'near to'. You declare that 'al means 'near to'; but perhaps it is not so and the signification is actually 'upon'? Since it states: Thou shalt put a veil 'al the ark,18 conclude that 'al means 'near to'.
THEY TURNED THEIR FACES TOWARDS MOUNT GERIZIM AND OPENED WITH THE BLESSING etc. Our Rabbis taught: There was a benediction in general and a benediction in particular, likewise a curse In general and a curse in particular.19 [Scripture states]: to learn, to teach, to observe and to do;20 consequently there are
(1) Ps. LXVIII, 28, E.V. 27.
(2) Ibid. The word for council has the same root as the verb 'to stone'; so it is here understood as 'their stoners'.
(3) The Temple was erected on the territory of Benjamin, v. Yoma 12a.
(4) Deut. XXXIII, 12, i.e., God dwells in the land of Benjamin.
(5) He was the prince of the tribe of Judah (Num. VII, 12).
(6) Hos. XII, 1. The last words are rod 'im el, which are interpreted: he descended (into the sea because his trust was) with God.
(7) Kabbalah, lit., 'tradition', a term used for the Biblical canon other than the Pentateuch, v. B.K. (Sonc. ed) p. 3. n. 3.
(8) Ps. LXIX, 2f.
(9) Ibid. 16.
(10) Ex. XIV, 15f.
(11) Ps. CXIV. 2. The Temple was in the kingdom of Judah. 'His dominion' is understood as Judah's rule over Israel.
(12) Ibid. 3.
(13) On Gerizim (Deut. XXVII, 12).
(14) Josh. VIII, 33.
(15) This seems to be implied in Josh. l.c.
(16) In Deut. XXVII, 12, translated 'upon'.
(17) Lev. XXIV, 7.
(18) Ex. XL, 3. The veil was not 'upon' the ark but 'near to, i.e., in front of it.
(19) The general blessing or curse was in connection with Deut. XXVII, 26, and the particular blessing or curse for the actions specified in that chapter.
(20) Cf. ibid. v. I and Xl, 19.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 37b
four [duties associated with each commandment]. Twice four are eight1 and twice eight are sixteen.2 It was similar3 at Sinai and the plains of Moab; as it is said: These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses etc.'4 and it is written: Keep therefore the words of this covenant etc.5 Hence there were forty-eight covenants in connection with each commandment.6 R. Simeon excludes [the occasion of] Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal7 and includes that of the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness.8 The difference of opinion here is the same as that of the teachers in the following: R. Ishmael says: General laws were proclaimed at Sinai and particular laws in the Tent of Meeting. R. Akiba says: Both general and particular laws were proclaimed at Sinai, repeated in the Tent of Meeting, and for the third time in the plains of Moab. Consequently there is not a single precept written in the Torah in connection with which forty-eight covenants were not made. R. Simeon b. Judah of Kefar Acco9 said in the name of R. Simeon: There is not a single precept written in the Torah in connection with which forty-eight times six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty10 covenants were not made. Rabbi said: According to the reasoning of R. Simeon b. Judah of Kefar Acco who said in the name of R. Simeon that there is not a single precept written in the Torah in connection with which forty-eight times six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty covenants were not made, it follows that for each Israelite there are six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty commandments.11 What is the issue between them? - R. Mesharsheya said: The point between them is that of personal responsibility and responsibility for others.12
R. Judah b. Nahmani, the lecturer13 of Simeon b. Lakish, expounded: The whole section [of the blessings and curses] refers to none other than the adulterer and adulteress. [It states,] Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image etc.14 Does it suffice merely to pronounce cursed with such a person!15 - But it alludes to one who has immoral intercourse, and begets a son who goes to live among heathens16 and worships idols; cursed be the father and mother of this man since they were the cause of his sinning.17
Our Rabbis taught: Thou shalt set the blessing upon Mount Gerizim and the curse etc.18 What is the purpose of this text? If it is to teach that the blessing [is to be pronounced] on Mount Gerizim and the curse on mount Ebal, it has already been said: These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people,19 and it continues, And these shall stand upon mount Ebal for the curse!20 But [the purpose is to indicate] that the blessing must precede the curse. It is possible to think that all the blessings must precede the curses; therefore the text states 'blessing' and 'curse, I.e., one blessing precedes a curse and all the blessings do not precede the curses. A further purpose is to draw a comparison between blessing and curse to tell us that as the curse is pronounced by the Levites so the blessing must be pronounced by the Levites; as the curse is uttered in a loud voice so must the blessing be uttered in a loud voice; as the curse is said in the holy tongue21 so must the blessing be said in the holy tongue; as the curse is in general and particular terms so must the blessing be in general and particular terms; and as with the curse both parties respond with Amen so with the blessing both parties respond with Amen.
MISHNAH. HOW WAS THE PRIESTLY BENEDICTION [PRONOUNCED]? IN THE PROVINCE22 IT WAS SAID AS THREE BLESSINGS,23 BUT IN THE TEMPLE AS ONE BLESSING.24 IN THE TEMPLE THE NAME WAS UTTERED
(1) In connection with every command there is a covenant for each of the four duties. So there were four blessings and four curses pronounced with each precept.
(2) Eight blessings and curses with the general commandment and eight with the particular commandments.
(3) Viz., there were sixteen blessings and curses implied with the covenants entered into in each of the two places named.
(4) Deut. XXVIII, 69. apart from the section at Mt. Gerizim.
(5) Ibid. XXIX, 8.
(6) Sixteen in each of the three places.
(7) Because not all the commandments formed the covenant there.
(8) After its erection God spoke to Moses from thence (Lev. I, 1).
(9) [Caphare Accho in lower Galilee, mentioned in Josephus, Wars II, 20, 6; v. Hildesheimer, Beitrage, p. 81.]
(10) The number of male Israelites, with each of whom the covenants were made.
(11) And forty-eight covenants were made in connection with each of them.
(12) If it is held according to the Rabbis that each Israelite is responsible for the conduct of the rest, then the number must be squared to get the total.
(13) It was customary for a teacher to impart the lesson to a lecturer who delivered it to the disciples.
(14) Deut. XXVII, 15.
(15) The penalty is death.
(16) [Being the offspring of an adulterous union, he is debarred from the Assembly and cannot marry an Israelite woman.]
(17) [And not only with idolatry. His heathen association will lead him to commit the other offences in this section, provoking upon his parents the enumerated curses; v., however, Rashi.]
(18) Ibid, XI, 29.
(19) Ibid. XXVII, 12.
(20) Ibid. 13.
(21) V. supra 33a.
(22) I.e., outside the Temple.
(23) As divided in Num. VI, 24ff., and after each sentence there was a response of Amen.
(24) There was no interruption because the response of Amen was not made in the Temple.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 38a
AS WRITTEN,1 BUT IN THE PROVINCE IN ITS SUBSTITUTED NAME.2 IN THE PROVINCE THE PRIESTS RAISE THEIR HANDS IN A LINE WITH THEIR SHOULDERS, BUT IN THE TEMPLE ABOVE THEIR HEADS, EXCEPT THE HIGH PRIEST WHO DOES NOT RAISE HIS HANDS HIGHER THAN THE PLATE.3 R. JUDAH SAYS: ALSO THE HIGH PRIEST RAISES HIS HANDS HIGHER THAN THE PLATE, AS IT IS SAID, AND AARON LIFTED UP HIS HANDS TOWARD THE PEOPLE AND BLESSED THEM.4
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: On this wise ye shall bless5 - i.e., in the holy tongue. You say that it means in the holy tongue; but perhaps it is not so and it means in any language! It is stated here, 'On this wise ye shall bless,' and elsewhere it is stated: These shall stand to bless the people,'6 as in this latter passage it was in the holy tongue, so also in the former it was in the holy tongue. R. Judah says: [This deduction] is unnecessary, because it states 'on this wise' [which signifies] that they must pronounce it in this language [as written in Scripture].7
Another [Baraitha] taught: 'On this wise ye shall bless' - i.e., standing. You say that it means standing; but perhaps that is not so and [the benediction may be pronounced] even sitting! It is stated here, 'On this wise ye shall bless,' and elsewhere it is stated: 'These shall stand to bless' - as here it was standing so in the former passage it was standing. R. Nathan says: [This deduction] is unnecessary; behold it states: To minister unto Him and to bless in His name8 - as [the priest] ministers standing so he blesses standing. Whence is it that the ministering itself [was performed standing]? Because it is written: To stand to minister.9
Another [Baraitha] taught: 'On this wise ye shall bless' - i.e., with raising of the hands. You say that it means with raising of the hands; but perhaps that is not so [and the benediction can be pronounced] without raising of the hands! It is stated here, 'On this wise ye shall bless', and elsewhere it is stated: 'And Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them';10 as in this latter passage it was with raising of the hands, so also in the former passage it was with raising of the hands. R. Jonathan raised the question: If [your reasoning is valid], then as in that passage10 [the benediction was pronounced] by the High Priest, on the new moon11 and in the service of the Community, so also here it must be the High Priest, on the new moon and in the service of the Community! R. Nathan says: [This deduction] is unnecessary; behold it states: Him and his sons for ever,12 comparing him and his sons - as [the High Priest pronounced the benediction] with raising of the hands, so also his sons with raising of the hands. Furthermore it is written for ever,13 and a comparison is drawn between the benediction and ministering.14
Another [Baraitha] taught: 'On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel' - with the use of the Shem Hameforash.15 You say that it means with the Tetragrammaton; but perhaps that is not so and a substituted name was used!16 There is a text to say: So shall they put My name17 - My name which is unique to Me. It is possible to think that [the Shem Hameforash was also used] in places outside the Temple; but it is stated here, 'So shall they put My name' and elsewhere it is stated: To put His name there18 - as in this latter passage it denotes in the Temple so also in the former passage it denotes in the Temple. R. Joshiah says: [This deduction] is unnecessary; behold it states: In every place where I cause My name to be remembered I will come unto thee.19 Can it enter your mind that every place is intended?20 But the text must be transposed thus: In every place where I will come unto thee and bless thee will I cause My name to be remembered; and where will I come unto thee and bless thee? In the Temple; there, in the Temple, will I cause My name to be remembered.
Another [Baraitha] teaches: 'On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel' - I have here only the children of Israel; whence is it that proselytes, women and enfranchised slaves [are included]? There is a text to state, Ye shall say unto them21 - i.e., to all of them.
Another [Baraitha] teaches: 'On this wise ye shall bless' - i.e., face to face.22 You say that it means face to face; but perhaps that is not so and it means the face [of the priests] towards the back [of the people]! There is a text to state, 'Ye shall say unto them' - i.e., like a man who talks to his companion.
Another [Baraitha] teaches: 'On this wise ye shall bless - i.e., in a loud voice. But perhaps it is not so and the meaning is softly! There is a text to state, 'Ye shall say unto them' - like a man who talks to his companion.
Abbaye said: We have a tradition that [the Precentor]23 exclaims 'Kohanim!' when [at least] two are present but he does not exclaim 'Kohen!' when only one is there;24 as it is said: Ye shall say unto them - i.e., [at least] unto two. R. Hisda said: We have a tradition that [when the Precentor is himself] a kohen he exclaims 'Kohanim!' but a lay-Israelite does not; as it is said: 'Ye shall say unto them' - the saying
(1) The Tetragrammaton YHWH.
(2) Viz., Adonai.
(3) Worn on the forehead (Ex. XXVIII, 36).
(4) Lev. IX, 22.
(5) Num. VI. 23.
(6) Deut. XXVII, 12.
(7) V. supra 33b, p. 164.
(8) Ibid. X, 8.
(9) Ibid. XVIII, 5.
(10) Which refers to the special occasion when the Tent of Meeting was dedicated.
(11) That day on which the Tabernacle was set up was New Moon, v. Ex. XL, 2.
(12) Deut. XVIII, 5.
(13) He thus answers the argument that the benediction should only be pronounced by the High Priest and on the new moon.
(14) I.e., although Deut. XVIII, 5 only mentions ministering and not blessing, yet from the phrase to minister and to bless (ibid. X. 8) it is concluded that they are analogous.
(15) [Lit.. 'the Distinguished Name', synonymous with Shem Hameyuhad, 'the Unique Name' and generally held identical with the Tetragrammaton, uttered as written, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 408, n. 1.]
(16) [I.e., as read Adonai, v. Tosaf.]
(17) Num. VI, 27.
(18) Deut. XII, 5.
(19) Ex. XX, 24.
(20) [That the Divine presence will come there. Surely this is restricted to the Sanctuary or Temple; v. Rashi.]
(21) Num. VI, 23.
(22) The priests and people must face one another.
(23) When calling upon the Kohanim (v. Glos., s.v. Kohen) in the Synagogue to pronounce the benediction.
(24) [But the priest turns his face to bless the people of his own accord; v. 'Atereth Zekenim Sh. 'A. Orah Hayyim 128, 10.]
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 38b
must come from one of their own body. The legal decision is in accord with the view of Abaye and not according to R. Hisda.
(Mnemonic:1 Desires, for the benediction, platform, in the 'Service', cup, recognise, accepts hospitality, heifer.)
R. Joshua b. Levi said: Whence is it that the Holy One, blessed be He, desires the priestly benediction? As it is said: So shall they put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.2 R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Every kohen who pronounces the benediction is himself blessed, but if he does not pronounce it he is not blessed; as it is said: I will bless them that bless thee.3 R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Any kohen who refuses to ascend the platform4 transgresses three positive commandments, viz., 'On this wise shall ye bless', 'Ye shall say unto them', and 'So shall they put My name'. Rab said: We have to take into consideration that he might be the son of a divorcee or the son of a Haluzah.5 But [R. Joshua and Rab] are not at variance, one referring to a case where he ascends [the platform] occasionally,6 the other to a case where he does not occasionally ascend it.
R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Any kohen who does not ascend [the platform] in the 'Service'7 may not ascend later; as it is said: And Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them, - and he came down from offering the sin-offering and the burnt-offering and the peace-offering.8 As in this passage [the benediction occurred] during the 'Service', so here [in the Synagogue] it must be [during the prayers relating to] the 'Service'. But that is not so, seeing that R. Ammi and R. Assi ascended [at a later point in the liturgy]! - R. Ammi and R. Assi had already moved their feet [at the proper point to ascend the platform] but did not reach there [in time]. This is as R. Oshaia taught, [The statement that the kohen may not ascend after that point in the liturgy] does not apply except when he had not moved his feet, but if he had moved his feet he may ascend. It has been similarly learnt: If he9 is confident that he can raise his hands [for the benediction] and resume the prayers [without an error], he is permitted to do so;10 on arguing in this connection that he surely does not move [his feet],11 [the reply was] that he shifts a little [to one side]; so also in the present instance, if [a kohen] moves a little [to ascend at the right point, it is sufficient].
R. Joshua b. Levi also said: We give the cup of blessing12 for the recital of the Grace after meals only to one who is of a generous disposition,13 as it is said: He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed, for he giveth of his bread to the poor14 - read not yeborak ['shall be blessed'] but yebarek [shall say the Benediction]. R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Whence is it that even the birds recognise those who have a niggardly spirit?15 As it is said: For in vain is the net spread in the eyes of any bird.16 R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Whoever accepts hospitality of men of niggardly spirit transgresses a prohibition; as it is said: Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, [neither desire thou his dainties]. For as he reckoneth within himself; so is he; eat and drink, saith he to thee, [but his heart is not with thee].17 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: He transgresses two prohibitions, 'Eat thou not' and 'Neither desire thou'. R. Joshua b. Levi also said: [The necessity for] the heifer whose neck is to be broken18 only arises on account of the niggardly of spirit, as it is said: Our hands have not shed this blood.19 But can It enter our minds that the elders of a Court of Justice are shedders of blood! The meaning is, [The man found dead] did not come to us for help and we dismissed him, we did not see him and let him go - i.e., he did not come to us for help and we dismissed him without supplying him with food, we did not see him and let him go without escort.20
Adda said in the name of R. Simlai: In a Synagogue where all the worshippers are kohanim, they all ascend the platform. For whom, then, do they pronounce the benediction? R. Zera answered: For their brethren [working] in the fields.21 But it is not so; for Abba the son of R. Minyamin b. Hiyya taught: The people who are behind the kohanim do not come within the scope of the benediction!22 - There is no contradiction; the former refers to men who are compelled [to be absent] and the latter to men who are not compelled [to be stationed behind the kohanim]. But R. Shimi of the Fort of Shihori taught: In a Synagogue where all the worshippers are kohanim, some ascend [the platform] and the rest respond with Amen! - There is no contradiction; the latter refers to where ten remain [to respond Amen] and the former where ten do not remain.
The [above] text stated: 'Abba the son of R. Minyamin b. Hiyya taught: The people who are behind the kohanim do not come within the scope of the benediction.' It is obvious that the tall do not create an obstruction for the short,23 nor does the ark [where the Torah-scrolls are deposited] create an obstruction; but how is it with a partition [within the Synagogue]? - Come and hear: R. Joshua b. Levi said: Even a partition of iron does not divide between Israel and their Father in heaven. The question was asked: How is it with those standing on the side [of the kohanim]? - Abba Mar son of R. Ashi said: Come and hear: We have learnt: If he intended to sprinkle24 in front of him
(1) V. p. 171, n. 6.
(2) Num. VI, 27. [By blessing the people, the priests place, so to speak, to the delight of God, His name upon them (Rashi)].
(3) Gen. XII, 3.
(4) From which the benediction is pronounced.
(5) V. Glos. His father may have contracted a marriage which is forbidden to a kohen, in which case the son was disqualified.
(6) On some of the Festivals and then declines to do so on others; in which case we do not suspect him of being disqualified.
(7) I.e., the paragraph of the Eighteen Benedictions referring to the Temple-service. That is the point at which the kohen ascends the platform. V. P.B. p. 238a.
(8) Lev. IX, 22.
(9) The case is where the Precentor is the only kohen in the Synagogue. He is not required to 'raise his hands', because it might confuse him and lead to a mistake in the rendering of the prayers.
(10) V. Ber. 34a.
(11) From the reading desk to ascend the platform, so how can he 'raise his hands'?
(12) A cup of wine is used in the recital of Grace.
(13) Lit., 'good of eye', the opposite of bad of eye, i.e., envious.
(14) Prov. XXII, 9.
(15) Lit., 'narrow of eye'. Birds avoid such as these.
(16) Prov. I, 17. verse 19 continues, So are the ways of everyone that is greedy of gain.
(17) Ibid. XXIII, 6f.
(18) Cf. Deut. XXI, 1ff.
(19) Ibid. 7.
(20) A man without escort was liable to be set upon and murdered.
(21) Who were prevented by their work from being present.
(22) R.H. 35a. So how much more, they who are not present!
(23) Although the latter are shut out from the view of the kohanim, they are not excluded from the benediction.
(24) The purifying water to remove the defilement of vessels (v. Num. XIX, 18).
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 39a
and he sprinkled behind him, or vice versa, the sprinkling is invalid; [but if he intended to sprinkle] in front of him and did so on the sides in front of him, his sprinkling is valid.1
Raba son of R. Huna said: When the Torah-scroll is unrolled2 it is forbidden to converse even on matters concerning the law; as it is said: And when he opened it all the people stood up,3 and standing up signifies nothing else than silence, as it is said: And I wait because they speak not, because they stand still and answer no more.4 R. Zera said in the name of R. Hisda: [It may be derived] from this passage, And the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.5
R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Any kohen who has not washed his hands may not lift them up [to pronounce the benediction]; as it is said: Lift up your hands in holiness and bless ye the Lord.6
His disciples asked R. Eleazar b. Shammua, 'How have you prolonged your life?' He replied: 'Never have I made use of a Synagogue as a short cut,7 nor stepped over the heads of the holy people,8 nor lifted up my hands [as a kohen] without first uttering a benediction.' What benediction did he utter? - R. Zera said in the name of R. Hisda: '[Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe] Who hast commanded us with the sanctity of Aaron and hast commanded us to bless Thy people Israel in love'.9 When he [the priest] moves his feet [to ascend the platform] what does he say? - 'May it be pleasing before Thee, O Lord our God, that this benediction wherewith Thou hast commanded us to bless Thy people Israel may be free from stumbling and iniquity.' When he turns his face from the Congregation [to the ark after pronouncing the benediction] what does he say? - R. Hisda led R. 'Ukba forward10 and the latter explained [that what he says is], 'Lord of the Universe, we have performed what Thou hast decreed upon us;11 fulfil with us
(1) Consequently those standing on the side are within the scope of the benediction.
(2) For the lection in the Synagogue.
(3) Neh. VIII, 3, describing the reading of the Torah to the assembly.
(4) Job XXXII, 16.
(5) Neh. VIII, 3.
(6) Ps. CXXXIV, 2.
(7) In Ber. 62b it is stated: If one enters a Synagogue not for the purpose of making it a short cut, he may use it in that manner. But R. Eleazar took a stricter view.
(8) I.e., made his way to his seat by passing through the students who sat on the floor. He either arrived first or sat on the outside.
(9) This formula has been adopted in the ritual; P.S. p. 238a. [Cf. Rashi, Num. VI, 23 (quoting from Midrash): Ye shall not bless them hurriedly and hastily but devoutly and with a perfect heart.]
(10) [אדבריה Rashi (Bezah. 29a), 'took him out for a walk'; R. Hananeel (a.l.): 'put the words in his mouth' - i.e., prepared the exposition for him. R. 'Ukba was Exilarch and had his public discourses prepared by R. Hisda.]
(11) [I.e., although we are not worthy to bless; v. Tikkin Tefillah., Ozar ha- Tefilloth, (Wilna, 1923) p. 941.]
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 39b
what Thou hast promised us, viz., Look down from Thy holy habitation, from heaven etc.'1
R. Hisda said: The kohanim are not permitted to bend their fingerjoints2 until they turn their faces from the congregation.
R. Zera said in the name of R. Hisda: The Precentor is not permitted to exclaim 'Kohanim!'3 until the response of Amen [to the preceding benediction] had been completed by the congregation; and the kohanim are not permitted to begin the benediction until the announcement [of 'Kohanim!'] had been completed by the Precentor; and the congregation is not permitted to respond Amen until the benediction had been completed by the kohanim, - and the kohanim are not permitted to begin another section of the bene diction until the response of Amen had been completed by the congregation [to the preceding].
R. Zera also said in the name of R. Hisda: The kohanim are not permitted to turn their faces from the congregation 'until the Precentor begins the paragraph 'Grant peace';4 nor are they permitted to move their feet and descend until the Precentor has finished 'Grant peace'.
R. Zera also said in the name of R. Hisda: The congregation is not permitted to respond Amen until a benediction had been completed by the Precentor; and the reader is not permitted to read in the Torah until the response of Amen [to the preliminary benediction] had been completed by the congregation; and the translator5 is not permitted to begin the translation until the verse had been completed by the reader; and the reader is not permitted to begin another verse until the translation [of the preceding verse] had been completed by the translator.
R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: He who is to read the lection from the prophets must first read [a passage] in the Torah.6 R. Tanhum also said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: He who is to read the lection from the prophets is not permitted to begin his recital until the Torah-scroll is rolled up.7 R. Tanhum also said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The Precentor is not permitted to strip the ark bare in the presence of the Congregation because of the dignity of the congregation.8 R. Tanhum also said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The congregation is not permitted to depart until the Torah-scroll is removed9 and deposited in its place. Samuel said: [They may not depart] until [the Pre centor] has gone out.10 There is no variance between them; the former refers to when there is another exit,11 the latter to when there is not another exit. Raba said: Bar Ahina explained to me [that the Scriptural basis for this regulation is], Ye shall walk after the Lord your God.12
While the kohanim are blessing the people13 what do the latter say? - R. Zera declared in the name of R. Hisda: Bless the Lord, ye angels of His, ye mighty in strength . . . Bless the Lord, all ye His hosts, ye ministers of His that do His pleasure. Bless the Lord, all ye His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.14 What do they say [during the benediction] in the additional service of the Sabbath?15 - R. Assi declared: A Song of Ascents, Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord . . . Lift up your hands in holiness and bless ye the Lord.16 Blessed be the Lord Out of Zion, Who dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.17 But they should also say: The Lord bless thee out of Zion18 which occurs in that context! - Judah the son of R. Simeon b. Pazzi answered: Since he commenced with the blessings of the Holy One, blessed be He, he should conclude with His blessings. What do they say in the afternoon - service of a fast-day?19 - R. Aha b. Jacob declared: Though our iniquities testify against us, work Thou for Thy name's sake . . . O Thou hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble, why shouldest Thou be as a sojourner in the land . . . Why shouldest Thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? etc.20
(1) Deut. XXVI, 15.
(2) The fingers are outstretched during the benediction.
(3) On hearing which word they begin to bless the congregation.
(4) V. P.B., p. 53.
(5) In the ancient Synagogue the recital of each verse of the Scriptural section was followed by a translation into the vernacular.
(6) This custom is still preserved in the Synagogue, except that the lection from Scripture is read by the Precentor and not the person called up to the reading of the Law.
(7) The purpose is that they who are rolling it should not be prevented from listening to the recital.
(8) The ark was adorned with hangings, and these must not be removed so long as the worshippers are Present.
(9) [From the ark. The Scroll was removed from the synagogue after service for safe custody. The words, 'and deposited in its place' are difficult to explain. Rashi does not appear to have had them, nor do they occur in MS.M.]
(10) He used to carry the Scroll with him to his house for safe custody.
(11) [In which case the congregation can depart through the other exit as soon as the Scroll is removed, even before it leaves the synagogue (Rashi).]
(12) Deut. XIII, 5.
(13) On week-days according to the old usage.
(14) Ps. CIII, 20ff. Each of the Scriptural selections consists of three verses, one for each part of the priestly benediction.
(15) According to modern usage the kohanim do not utter the benediction on the Sabbath, with the exception of the Day of Atonement which falls on a Sabbath.
(16) Ibid. CXXXIV, If.
(17) Ibid. CXXXV, 21.
(18) Ibid. CXXXIV, 3.
(19) This is not the modern practice.
(20) Jer. XIV, 7ff.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 40a
What do they say in the concluding service of the Day of Atonement?1 - Mar Zutra declared - according to another version, there is a teaching to this effect - :Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion, and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children. Peace be upon Israel.2 Where did they say these verses? - R. Joseph answered: Between each benediction. R. Shesheth answered: At the mention of the Divine Name. R. Mari and R. Zebid differ on this matter; one said: A verse [by the congregation is to be recited] simultaneously with a verse [by the kohanim], while the other said, [The congregation recites] the whole for each verse [by the kohanim]. R. Hiyya b. Abba said: Whoever recites them outside the Temple simply errs.3 R. Hanina b. Papa said: Know that even in the Temple it is unnecessary to recite them; for is there a servant whom one blesses without his listening! R. Aha b. Hanina said: Know that even outside the Temple it is necessary to recite them; for is there a servant whom one blesses without his face brightening!4
R. Abbahu said: At first I used to recite them; but when I saw that R. Abba of Acco did not recite them I also did not. R. Abbahu also said: At first I used to think that I was humble; but when I saw R. Abba of Acco offer one explanation and his Amora5 offer another without his taking exception. I considered that I was not humble. How did R. Abbahu display humility? - The wife of R. Abbahu's Amora said to R. Abbahu's wife, 'My husband has no need of [instruction from] your husband; and when he bends down6 and straightens himself, he merely pays him respect'.7 R. Abbahu's wife went and reported this to him, and he said to her, 'Why worry about it? Through me and him the All-Highest is praised'. Further, the Rabbis decided to appoint R. Abbahu as principal [of the Academy]; but when he saw that R. Abba of Acco had numerous creditors [pressing for payment], he said to the Rabbis, 'There is a greater [scholar than I for the office]'. R. Abbahu and R. Hiyya b. Abba once came to a place; R. Abbahu expounded Aggada8 and R. Hiyya b. Abba expounded legal lore. All the people left R. Hiyya b. Abba and went to hear R. Abbahu, so that the former was upset. [R. Abbahu] said to him: 'I will give you a parable. To what is the matter like? To two men, one of whom was selling precious stones and the other various kinds of small ware. To whom will the people hurry? Is it not to the seller of various kinds of small ware?' Everyday R. Hiyya b. Abba used to accompany R. Abbahu to his lodging-place because he was esteemed by the Government; but on that day R. Abbahu accompanied R. Hiyya b. Abba to his lodging-place, and still his mind was not set at rest.
While the Precentor recites the paragraph 'We give thanks'9 what does the congregation say? - Rab declared: 'We give thanks unto Thee, O Lord our God, because we are able to give Thee thanks'. Samuel declared: 'God of all flesh, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Simai declared: 'Our Creator and Creator of all things in the beginning, seeing that we give Thee thanks.' The men of Nehardea10 declared in the name of R. Simai: 'Blessings and thanksgiving to Thy great Name because Thou hast kept us alive and preserved us, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Aha b. Jacob used to conclude thus: 'So mayest Thou continue to keep us alive and be gracious to us; and gather us together and assemble our exiles to Thy holy courts to observe Thy statutes and to do Thy will with a perfect heart, seeing that we give Thee thanks'. R. Papa said: Consequently let us recite them all.11
R. Isaac said: Let respect for the congregation be always upon thee; for behold, the kohanim had their faces towards the people and their backs towards the Shechinah.12 R. Nahman said: It is derived from this text: Then David the king stood up upon his feet and said: Hear me, my brethren and my people.13 If [he called them] 'my brethren' why 'my people', and vice versa? - R. Eleazar said: David told the Israelites, If you listen to me, you are my brethren; if not, you are my people and I will rule you with a rod. The Rabbis said: It is derived from the regulation that the kohanim are not permitted to ascend the platform wearing their shoes. This is one of the ten ordinances which R. Johanan b. Zakkai instituted. What was the reason? Was it not out of respect for the congregation? - R. Ashi said: No; [the reason] there was lest the shoe-lace become untied and he proceeds to retie it, and people will say: 'He is the son of a divorcee or a Haluzah'.14
BUT IN THE TEMPLE AS ONE BLESSING etc.
(1) This also is omitted in the modern ritual.
(2) Ps. CXXVIII, 4ff.
(3) They should be said only in the Temple where alone the Tetragrammaton is used, since they are a blessing upon the Divine Name.
(4) Therefore the recital of these verses, in acknowledgement, by the congregation is acceptable to God.
(5) V. Glos. Who should have conveyed the Rabbi's explanation to the disciples.
(6) To receive the teaching from the Rabbi.
(7) Because he was highly regarded by the Government. V. infra and Hag. 14a, Sanh. 14a.
(8) The non-legal part of Rabbinic lore which is the more popular, v. Glos.
(9) V. P.B. p. 51.
(10) A town in S. Babylonia where Rab founded his School.
(11) The accepted version combines them all. V. P.B. p. 51.
(12) I.e., the Ark in which the Torah-Scrolls are kept.
(13) I Chron. XXVIII, 2.
(14) Disqualified for priestly service. A derisive taunt at him for his undignified behaviour by stooping on the platform to retie his shoelace.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 40b
For what reason is this? - Because the response of Amen was not made in the Temple.
Our Rabbis taught: Whence is it that the response of Amen was not made in the Temple? As it is said: Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting.1 And whence is it that every benediction must be followed by an expression of praise? As it is said: And blessed be Thy glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise2 - i.e., upon every benediction ascribe praise to Him.
MISHNAH. WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE WITH THE BENEDICTIONS OF THE HIGH PRIEST?3 THE SYNAGOGUE ATTENDANT TAKES A TORAH-SCROLL AND HANDS IT TO THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT. THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT HANDS IT TO THE DEPUTY4 AND HE HANDS IT TO THE HIGH PRIEST. THE HIGH PRIEST STANDS, RECEIVES [THE SCROLL] AND READS [THEREIN] AFTER THE DEATH5 AND HOWBEIT ON THE TENTH DAY.6 THEN HE ROLLS THE TORAH-SCROLL TOGETHER, PLACES IT IN HIS BOSOM AND EXCLAIMS, 'MORE THAN I HAVE READ BEFORE YOU IS WRITTEN HERE!' THE PASSAGE 'ON THE TENTH DAY', WHICH IS IN THE BOOK OF NUMBERS, HE READS BY HEART,7 AND HE RECITES EIGHT BENEDICTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, VIZ., OVER THE TORAH, FOR THE TEMPLE-SERVICE, FOR THE THANKSGIVING, FOR THE PARDON OF SIN, OVER THE TEMPLE, OVER ISRAEL, OVER THE PRIESTS, OVER JERUSALEM, AND THE REST OF THE PRAYER.8
GEMARA. Is it to be deduced from this9 that honour may be paid to a disciple in the presence of his master? - Abaye said: [No]; all this was done for the purpose of honouring the High Priest.
THE HIGH PRIEST STANDS, RECEIVES [THE SCROLL] AND READS etc. [Since it is stated that] he stands, it follows that he had been sitting; but a Master has said: In the Temple-court the kings of the house of David alone were allowed to sit, as it is said: Then David the king went in, and sat before the Lord, and he said: Who am I? etc!'10 - It is as R. Hisda declared, [This occurred] in the Court of Women;11 and here also [with the reading of the High Priest] it was in the Court of Women. An objection was raised: Where did the lection take place? In the Temple-court; R. Eliezer b. Jacob declares it was on the Temple Mount, as it is said,
(1) Neh. IX, 5. This was the response to be used in the Temple; not Amen. [No satisfactory reason has so far been given for this regulation. Graetz MGWJ 1872, pp. 492ff., suggests that this does not mean that the response Amen was not allowed in the Temple, but that the solemnity of its service, heightened by the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton as written, demanded a more extensive and impressive formula than the single Amen. V. also Blau, L. REJ, XXXIX, p. 188.]
(2) Ibid. The word 'above' is understood as 'upon'.
(3) What is described here followed the completion of the rites connected with the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement. The Synagogue referred to was that situated on the Temple Mount.
(4) Segan. Of the High Priest who took his place if he became defiled or incapacitated during the Day of Atonement (Rashi); v. however Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 97, n. 1.
(5) I.e., Lev. XVI.
(6) Ibid. XXIII, 26-32.
(7) Num. XXIX, 7-11, to obviate the necessity of unrolling the Scroll from the former passage in Leviticus.
(8) The separate editions of the Mishnah and the J. Talmud omit 'over Jerusalem', and to complete the number eight read 'and over the rest of the prayer'.
(9) That the Torah was handed to his inferiors before being delivered to the High Priest.
(10) II Sam. VII, 18.
(11) A part of the Temple-precincts which was non-holy.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 41a
And he read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate.1 R. Hisda said: In the Court of Women.
AND READS [THEREIN] AFTER THE DEATH AND HOWBEIT ON THE TENTH DAY. I quote in contradiction: We may skip a passage in the Prophets but not in the Torah!2 - Abaye said: There is no contradiction; the latter teaching refers to a case where the passage skipped is sufficiently long to interrupt the translator, whereas [in the Mishnah] it is not sufficiently long to interrupt the translator.3 On this point, however, it has been taught: We may skip a passage in the Prophets but not in the Torah. How much may be skipped [in the reading of the Prophets]? A passage which is not sufficiently long to interrupt the translator. Consequently so far as the Torah is concerned nothing at all [may be skipped]! - But Abaye said: There is no contradiction; the teaching [that we may skip a passage in the reading of the Torah] applies to where there is one theme,4 the other teaching to where there are two themes. Thus it has been taught: We may skip [a passage] in the Torah where there is one theme and in the Prophets where there are two themes, but in either case only when it is not sufficiently long to interrupt the translator. We may not, however, skip from one Prophetical Book to another; but with a book of the Minor Prophets5 we may skip [from one to another] except that this may not be done from the end of the Book to its beginning.6
THEN HE ROLLS THE TORAH-SCROLL TOGETHER, PLACES IT IN HIS BOSOM etc. Why all this?7 - So as not to discredit the Torah-Scroll.8
THE PASSAGE 'ON THE TENTH DAY', WHICH IS IN THE BOOK OF NUMBERS, HE READS BY HEART. Let him roll up the Scroll and recite [the passage]!9 - R. Huna b. Judah said in the name of R. Shesheth: Because we do not roll up a Torah-scroll in the presence of a congregation.10 Then let another Torah-scroll be brought and read [it therein]! - R. Huna b. Judah said: [No], because it would discredit the first.11 R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Because we may not pronounce an unnecessary benediction.12 Do we, then, pay attention to [the reason that it would] discredit [the first Scroll]? Behold, R. Isaac the smith said: When the new moon of Tebeth13 falls on the Sabbath, three Scrolls are brought: the first for the lection of the [Sabbath] day, the second for [the portion of] the new moon, and the third for [the portion of] Hanukkah!14 - When three men [read] in three Scrolls, there is no fear about [a Scroll] being discredited, but when one man [reads] in two Scrolls there is this fear.
AND HE RECITES EIGHT BENEDICTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH etc. Our Rabbis taught: [The High Priest] pronounces a benediction over the Torah just as we do in Synagogue;15 for the Temple-service for the thanksgiving,16 and for the pardon of sin as usual;17 over the Temple separately,18 over the priests separately, over the Israelites separately - and over Jerusalem separately.
AND THE REST OF THE PRAYER. Our Rabbis taught: The rest of the prayer consists of petitions song and supplication that Thy people Israel is in need of salvation; and he concludes with, '[Blessed art Thou, O Lord,] Who hearkenest unto prayer.' From this point onward,19 each individual brings a Torah-scroll from his house and reads therein. For what purpose is this done? To display its beauty in public.20
MISHNAH. WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PORTION READ BY THE KING? AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE FESTIVAL [OF TABERNACLES] IN THE EIGHTH,21 I.E., THE END OF THE SEVENTH,22 THEY ERECT A WOODEN DAIS IN THE TEMPLE COURT, UPON WHICH HE SITS; AS IT IS SAID, AT THE END OF EVERY SEVEN YEARS, IN THE SET TIME etc.23 THE SYNAGOGUE-ATTENDANT24 TAKES A TORAH-SCROLL AND HANDS IT TO THE SYNAGOGUE PRESIDENT,25 AND THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT HANDS IT TO THE [HIGH PRIEST'S] DEPUTY. HE HANDS IT TO THE HIGH PRIEST WHO HANDS IT TO THE KING. THE KING STANDS AND RECEIVES IT, BUT READS SITTING. KING AGRIPPA26 STOOD AND RECEIVED IT AND READ STANDING, FOR WHICH ACT THE SAGES PRAISED HIM. WHEN HE REACHED, THOU MAYEST NOT PUT A FOREIGNER OVER THEE,27 HIS EYES RAN WITH TEARS.28 THEY SAID TO HIM, 'FEAR NOT, AGRIPPA, THOU ART OUR BROTHER, THOU ART OUR BROTHER!' [THE KING] READS FROM THE BEGINNING OF DEUTERONOMY UP TO THE SHEMA',29 THE SHEMA', AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IF YE HEARKEN,30 THOU SHALT SURELY TITHE,31 WHEN THOU HAST MADE AN END OF TITHING,32 THE PORTION OF THE KING,33 AND THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES, UNTIL HE FINISHES ALL THE SECTION. THE KING PRONOUNCES THE SAME BENEDICTIONS AS THE HIGH PRIEST, EXCEPT THAT HE SUBSTITUTES ONE FOR THE FESTIVALS INSTEAD OF ONE FOR THE PARDON OF SIN.
GEMARA. Does it enter your mind [that the Mishnah means] the eighth [day of the Festival]! - Read 'the eighth [year].34 But why all this?35 - It is all necessary; for if the All-Merciful had only written 'at the end', I might have thought that the reckoning was to be from then36 although they had not observed a year of release;37 therefore the All-Merciful wrote in 'the year of release', If the All-Merciful had only written 'the year of release', I might have thought that this means the end of the year of release;38 therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'in the set time.39 If He had only written 'in the set time, I might have thought that this means at the New Year festival; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'in the feast of tabernacles'. And if the All-Merciful had only written 'in the feast of tabernacles', I might have thought that this means on the last day of the festival; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'when all Israel is come'40
(1) Neh. VIII, 3.
(2) When read in the Synagogue.
(3) While he is translating the last passage from Lev. XVI, it would be possible to turn up chap. XXIII. v. supra p. 199, nn. 2-3.
(4) As here, since both passages deal with the Day of Atonement.
(5) These are regarded as one Book.
(6) I.e., it is not allowed to turn back in the reading.
(7) Viz., his exclamation, 'More than I have read' etc.
(8) The people should not imagine it was a defective Scroll and for that reason he read a portion by heart.
(9) Since he does not read it from the Scroll, why is it left open?
(10) In modern practice this is done.
(11) People would conclude that it had some defect, and for that reason another was brought.
(12) Over the use of the second Scroll.
(13) The tenth month.
(14) The Feast of Dedication which occurs at the end of Kislev and the beginning of Tebeth. Why are not all three portions read from one Scroll?
(15) V. P.B. p. 147.
(16) Op. cit., 50f.
(17) [As we have it in the Day of Atonement liturgy (Rashi, Yoma 70).]
(18) This and the following benedictions are not in the existing liturgy.
(19) I.e., after the High Priest had finished the benedictions.
(20) It was considered praiseworthy to possess a beautiful copy of the Torah-scroll.
(21) This is explained in the Gemara.
(22) The years were arranged in Cycles of seven, the seventh being 'the year of release' (Deut. XV, 1ff).
(23) Deut. XXXI, 10.
(24) [Hazzan. There is no certainty either in regard to the original function or rank of the Hazzan. Here he appears as second to the synagogue president; v. n. 5.]
(25) [ראש הכנסת. Identified with the **, the officer who administered the external affairs of the Synagogue; v. Krauss, Synagogale Altertumer pp. 116ff and JE II, 86.]
(26) Agrippa I. His reading occurred in the year 41 C.E. [Others ascribe this incident to Agrippa II. V. Derenbourg. op. cit. p. 217, and Buchler, Priester und der Cultus pp. 12ff.]
(27) Ibid. XVII, 15.
(28) Because on his father's side he was not of Jewish descent.
(29) I.e., down to ibid. VI, 4.
(30) Ibid. Xl. 13-25.
(31) Ibid. XIV, 22ff.
(32) Ibid. XXVI, 12ff.
(33) Ibid. XVII, 14ff.
(34) The word should have the feminine form, not masculine as in the Mishnah, to make it clear that the year and not the day is intended.
(35) Viz., the elaborate description of the time when the reading takes place as it is given in Deut. XXXI. 10.
(36) From the fortieth year after the Exodus.
(37) The observance only began seven years after the land had been divided among the Israelites.
(38) I.e., before the eighth year.
(39) The word for 'set time' usually denotes a festival; hence it refers to a festival in the eighth year.
(40) Deut. XXXI, 11. referring to the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary which was on the first day.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 41b
, i.e., the beginning of the Festival.
THE SYNAGOGUE-ATTENDANT TAKES A TORAH-SCROLL AND HANDS IT TO THE SYNAGOGUE-PRESIDENT. Is it to be deduced from this that honour may be paid to a disciple in the presence of his master?1 - Abaye said: [No]; all this was done for the purpose of honouring the king.
THE KING STANDS AND RECEIVES IT, BUT READS SITTING. KING AGRIPPA STOOD AND RECEIVED IT AND READ STANDING. [Since it is stated that] he stands, it follows that he had been sitting. But a Master has said: In the Temple-court the kings of the House of David alone were allowed to sit; as it is said: Then David the king went in, and sat before the Lord, and he said etc.!2 - It is as R. Hisda declared: [This occurred] in the Court of Women, and here also [with the reading by the king] it was in the Court of Women. FOR WHICH ACT THE SAGES PRAISED HIM. Since they praised him, it follows that he acted rightly; but R. Ashi has said: Even according to him who maintains that when a Nasi3 forgoes the honour due to him one may avail himself of the permission, when a king forgoes the honour due to him one may not avail himself of the permission; as it is said: Thou shalt set a king over thee4 - that his authority5 may be over thee! - It is different [with the fulfilment of] a precept.6
WHEN HE REACHED 'THOU MAYEST NOT PUT [etc.]'. A Tanna taught in the name of R. Nathan: At that moment7 the enemies of Israel8 made themselves liable to extermination, because they flattered Agrippa. R. Simeon b. Halafta said: From the day the fist of flattery prevailed, justice became perverted, conduct deteriorated, and nobody could say to his neighbour, 'My conduct is better than yours'. R. Judah the Palestinian - another version, R. Simeon b. Pazzi - expounded: It is permitted to flatter the wicked in this world, as it is said: The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful9 - consequently it is allowed in this world. R. Simeon b. Lakish said: [It may be derived] from this text: As one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.10 On this point he is at variance with R. Levi; for R. Levi said: A parable of Jacob and Esau: To what is the matter like? To a man who invited his neighbour to a meal, and the latter perceived that he wished to kill him. So he said to him, 'The taste of this dish of which I am partaking is like the dish I tasted in the king's palace'. The other said [to himself]. 'He is acquainted with the king!' So he became afraid and did not kill him.11 R. Eleazar said: Every man in whom is flattery brings anger upon the world: as it is said: But they that are flatterers at heart lay up anger.12 Not only that, but their prayer remains unheard; as it continues, They cry not for help when He chasteneth them.13 (Mnemonic:14 Anger, embryo, Gehinnom, in his hand, menstruant, exile).
R. Eleazar also said: As for any man in whom is flattery, even the embryos in their mothers' wombs curse him; as it is said: He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous, peoples shall curse him, nations shall abhor him15 - the word kob ['abhor'] means nothing but 'curse', as it is said: Whom God hath not cursed;16 and le'om [nation] means nothing but 'embryo', as it is said: And the one le'om [nation] shall be stronger than the other nation.17 R. Eleazar also said: Every man in whom is flattery will fall into Gehinnom; as it is said: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil etc.18 What is Written after that? Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame etc.19 R. Eleazar also said: Whoever flattereth his neighbour20 will finally fall into his hand; if he does not fall into his hand, he will fall into the hand of his sons; and if he does not fall into his sons' hand, he will fall into the hand of his grandsons; as it is stated: And Jeremiah said to Hananiah, Amen; the Lord do so; the Lord perform thy words,21 and it is written,
(1) V. infra 40b.
(2) II Sam. VII, 18.
(3) The Chief of the Great Sanhedrin.
(4) Deut. XVII, 15.
(5) Lit., 'fear'.
(6) A king may forgo his honour when fulfilling it.
(7) When the Rabbis said: 'Thou art our brother'.
(8) An euphemism for Israel.
(9) Isa. XXXII. 5. This verse alludes to the Hereafter.
(10) Gen. XXXIII, 10. The words were spoken in flattery by Jacob to the wicked Esau.
(11) Similarly Jacob's words were not flattery, but spoken with the intention of frightening Esau.
(12) Job XXXVI, 13.
(13) Because their cry receives no response.
(14) V. p. 171, n. 6. The first word refers to what has just preceded.
(15) Prov. XXIV, 24.
(16) Num. XXIII, 8.
(17) Gen. XXV, 23. The context deals with the unborn sons of Rebekkah.
(18) Isa. V, 20.
(19) Ibid. 24.
(20) [Var. lec. 'the wicked']
(21) Jer. XXVIII, 6. In the Massoretic text the reading is 'The prophet Jeremiah said: Amen; the Lord etc.'
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 42a
And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah,' and he laid hold on Jeremiah the prophet, saying: Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans. Then said Jeremiah, It is false,' I fall not away to the Chaldeans etc.,1 and it continues, So he laid hold on Jeremiah and brought him to the princes.2 R. Eleazar also said: Any community in which is flattery is as repulsive as a menstruant woman; as it is said: 'For the community of flatterers is galmud'3 - and in over-sea towns they call a menstruant woman galmudah. What means galmudah? - She is separated [gemulah da] from her husband. R. Eleazar also said: Any community in which is flattery will finally go into exile. It is written here, 'For the community of flatterers is galmud', and elsewhere it is written: Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath gotten me these, seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary [galmudah], an exile and wandering to and fro etc.4
R. Jeremiah b. Abba said: Four classes will not receive the presence of the Shechinah: the class of scoffers, the class of flatterers, the class of liars, and, the class of slanderers. The class of scoffers, as it is written: He stretched out His hand against scorners.5 The class of flatterers, as it is written: For a flatterer shall not come before Him.6 The class of liars, as it is written: He that speaketh falsehood shall not be established before Mine eyes.7 The class of slanderers, as it is written: For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; evil shall not sojourn with Thee8 - i.e., Thou art righteous, O Lord, evil may not sojourn in Thy habitation.
MISHNAH. AT THE TIME WHEN THE ANOINTED FOR BATTLE9 ADDRESSES THE PEOPLE HE SPEAKS IN THE HOLY TONGUE, AS IT IS SAID, AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN YE DRAW NIGH UNTO THE BATTLE, THAT THE PRIEST SHALL APPROACH10 - I.E., THE ANOINTED FOR BATTLE; AND SPEAK UNTO THE PEOPLE - I.E., IN THE HOLY TONGUE; AND SHALL SAY UNTO THEM, HEAR, O ISRAEL, [YE DRAW NIGH THIS DAY UNTO BATTLE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES]11 - 'AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES' BUT NOT AGAINST YOUR BRETHREN, NOT JUDAH AGAINST SIMEON NOR SIMEON AGAINST BENJAMIN, SO THAT IF YOU12 FALL INTO THEIR HAND THEY SHALL HAVE MERCY UPON YOU, AS IT IS SAID, AND THE MEN WHICH HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED BY NAME ROSE UP, AND TOOK THE CAPTIVES, AND WITH THE SPOIL CLOTHED ALL THAT WERE NAKED AMONG THEM, AND ARRAYED THEM, AND SHOD THEM, AND GAVE THEM TO EAT AND TO DRINK, AND ANOINTED THEM, AND CARRIED ALL THE FEEBLE OF THEM UPON ASSES, AND BROUGHT THEM TO JERICHO, THE CITY OF PALM TREES, UNTO THEIR BRETHREN; THEN THEY RETURNED TO SAMARIA ETC.13 AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES DO YOU MARCH, SO THAT IF YOU FALL INTO THEIR HAND THEY WILL HAVE NO MERCY UPON YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEART FAINT; FEAR NOT NOR TREMBLE ETC.14 - 'LET NOT YOUR HEART FAINT' AT THE NEIGHING OF THE HORSES AND THE BRANDISHING OF SWORDS; 'FEAR NOT' BECAUSE OF THE CRASH OF SHIELDS AND THE TRAMP OF THE SOLDIERS' FOOTWEAR; - 'NOR TREMBLE' AT THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS; 'NEITHER BE YE AFFRIGHTED' AT THE SOUND OF BATTLE-CRIES. FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU15 THEY COME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT YOU COME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF THE ALL-PRESENT. THE PHILISTINES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF GOLIATH; BUT WHAT WAS HIS FATE? IN THE END HE FELL BY THE SWORD AND THEY FELL WITH HIM. THE AMMONITES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF SHOBACH;16 BUT WHAT WAS HIS FATE? IN THE END HE FELL BY THE SWORD AND THEY FELL WITH HIM. BUT WITH YOU IT IS OTHERWISE; 'FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU TO FIGHT WITH YOU ETC.' [THIS ALLUDES TO] THE CAMP OF THE ARK.17
GEMARA. How does [the author of the Mishnah] prove his point?18 - He proves it thus: It is stated in this connection 'and speak', and elsewhere it states: Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice;19 as in the latter passage it was in the holy tongue, so also in the former it was in the holy tongue.
Our Rabbis taught: The priest shall approach and speak unto the people.20 It is possible to think that any priest who so desires [may address them]; therefore there is a text to state, And the officers shall speak21 - as the officers must have been appointed so must the priest have been appointed [for the purpose]. But I might say that it is the High Priest [who addresses them]! - It is analogous to the case of an officer; as an officer has a superior appointed over him,22 so also the priest [who addresses the people] has a superior appointed over him.23 But the High Priest likewise [has a superior over him]. viz., the king! - He is referring to his service.24 But I might say that it is the deputy High Priest [who addresses them]!25 - The deputy High Priest is not considered appointed; as it has been taught: R. Hanina, the deputy of the priests,26 said: For what is the priests' deputy appointed? If any disqualification should occur to the High Priest, he enters and functions in his stead.27
'And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel'. Why must he just [open with the words] 'Hear, O Israel'? - R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, Even if you only fulfilled morning and evening the commandment to recite the Shema',28 you will not be delivered into [the enemy's] hand.
'Let not your heart faint; fear not' etc. Our Rabbis taught: He addresses them twice: once on the boundary29 and once on the battle-field. What does he say on the boundary?
(1) Ibid. XXXVII, 13f. Note the captain was the grandson of Hananiah.
(2) [The M.T. reads 'So I Irijah laid hold etc.']
(3) Job XV, 34. The usual translation of galmud is 'barren'.
(4) Isa. XLIX, 21.
(5) Hos. VII, 5 sic., i.e., God kept them at a distance.
(6) Job XIII, 16.
(7) Ps CI, 7.
(8) Ibid. V, 5. The Psalm deals with the evil of slander.
(9) The priest designated to accompany the army to battle.
(10) Deut. XX, 2.
(11) Ibid., 3.
(12) I.e., any Israelite falls into the hand of another Israelite in battle.
(13) II Chron. XXVIII, 15.
(14) Deut. XX, 3.
(15) Deut. XX, 4.
(16) Cf. II Sam. X, 14ff
(17) I.e., the Israelite army which was accompanied by the ark.
(18) That the priest addresses the people in Hebrew.
(19) Ex. XIX, 19.
(20) Deut. XX, 2.
(21) Ibid. 5.
(22) Viz., the judge whose decisions the officer enforces.
(23) Therefore the High Priest is excluded.
(24) In the Temple. In this sphere the High Priest is supreme.
(25) V. p. 199, n. 1.
(26) V. Aboth. (Sonc. ed.) III, 2.
(27) But so long as the High Priest could officiate, the deputy ranked as an ordinary priest.
(28) V. Glos. This also opens with 'Hear, O Israel'.
(29) Before marching into the enemy's territory.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 42b
'Hear the words of the War-regulations and return home'.1 What does he say to them on the battle-field? 'Let not your heart faint; fear not, nor tremble, neither be ye affrighted'. [These four expressions] correspond to the four means adopted by the nations of the world [to terrorise the enemy]: they crash [their shields], sound [trumpets], shout [battle-cries] and trample [with their horses].
THE PHILISTINES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF GOLIATH etc. Goliath [was so named], said R. Johanan, because he stood with affrontery [gilluy panim] before the Holy One, blessed be He; as it is said: Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.2 The word 'man' signifies none other than the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said: The Lord is a man of war.3 The Holy One, blessed be He, declared: Behold, I will bring about his downfall through the hand of a son of man; as it is said: David was the son of that man of Ephrath.4
R. Johanan said in the name of R. Meir: In three places did his mouth trap that wicked man:5 first, 'Choose you a man for you, and let him come dawn to me';2 second, 'If he be able to fight with me, and kill me etc.,'6 and third, 'Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?'7 David likewise replied to him, Thou contest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin;8 and he continued, But, I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied.8
And the Philistine drew near morning and evening.9 R. Johanan said: To make them omit the recital of the Shema' morning and evening.
And presented himself forty days.9 R. Johanan said: [The period] corresponds to the forty days in which the Torah was given.10
And there went out a champion [benayim] out of the camp of the Philistines etc.11 What means 'benayim'? - Rab said: That he was built up [mebunneh] without any blemish. Samuel said: He was the middle one [benoni] of his brothers.12 In the School of R. Shila they explained: He was made like a building [binyan]. R. Johanan said: He was the son of a hundred fathers and one mother [ben nane].13 'Named Goliath of Gath' - R. Joseph learnt: [He is so described] because all men pressed his mother like a wine-press [gath].
The text has ma'aroth14 but we read the word as ma'arkoth! R. Joseph learnt: Because all had intercourse [he'eru] with his mother. The text has Harafah and also Orpah!15 - Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]. One said that her name was Harafah and why was she called Orpah? Because all had intercourse with her from the rear 'orfin] - The other said: Her name was Orpah; and why was she called Harafah? Because all ground her like a bruised corn [harifoth]. Thus it states: And the woman took and spread the covering over the well's mouth and strewed harifoth [bruised corn] thereon.16 If you like, I can derive [the meaning of harifoth] from this verse: Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle among harifoth [bruised corn].17
These four were born to Harafah in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.18 Who were they? - R. Hisda said: Saph, Madon, Goliath and Ishbi-benob.19 'And they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants', as it is written: And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her.20 R. Isaac said: The Holy One, blessed be He, spake, May the sons of the one who kissed21 come and fall by the hand of the sons of the one who clave.
Raba expounded: As a reward for the four tears which Orpah dropped upon her mother-in-law, she merited that four mighty warriors should issue from her; as it is said: And they lifted up their voice and wept again.22
The text further has hez [the arrow] of his spear but we read 'ez [the staff] of his spear!23 - R. Eleazar said: [It indicates that] we have not reached half [hazi] the praise of that wicked man.24 Hence [it is learnt] that it is forbidden to recount the praise of the wicked. Then [Scripture] should not have begun to recount it at all! - [The object] is to proclaim the praise of David [who conquered such a giant].
THE AMMONITES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF SHOBACH etc. [The name] is written Shobach and also Shofach!25 - Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]. One said that his name was Shofach; and why was he called Shobach? Because he was made like a dove-cote [shobak].26 The other said that his name was Shobach; and why was he called Shofach? Because whoever beheld him was [through terror] poured out [nishpak] before him like a ewer. Their quiver ['ashpah] is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.27 Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]; another version is, R. Ammi and R. Assi [differ in their interpretation]. One said: At the time when they shot an arrow they made heaps upon heaps [ashpatoth] of slain; and should you say that this was only because they were only skilled in fighting, there is a text to state, They are all mighty men.28 The other said: At the time when they relieved themselves they made heaps and heaps of excrement; and should you say that this was due to disorder of the bowels, there is a text to state, They are all mighty men.29 R. Mari said: Infer from this that whoever has excessive excrement suffers from disorder of the bowels. What is the practical purpose of this? - He should take steps [to cure himself].
Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop [yashhennah].30 - R. Ammi and R. Assi [differ in their interpretation]. One said, [The last word means], let him dismiss it [yissehennah] from his mind; the other said, [it means], let him talk of it [yesihenah] with others.
BUT WITH YOU IT IS OTHERWISE etc. Why all this?31 Because the Name32 and all His substituted names
(1) Viz., those who are qualified for exemption. V. ibid. 5ff.
(2) I Sam. XVII, 8.
(3) Ex. XV, 3.
(4) I Sam. XVII, 12.
(5) Goliath's words brought calamity upon him.
(6) I Sam. XVII, 9. David did kill him.
(7) Ibid. 43.
(8) Ibid. 45.
(9) Ibid. 16.
(10) V. Ex. XXIV, 18. [Ginzberg (Legends, VI, p. 250) quotes in this connection Philo, who explains the forty days as corresponding to the number of days wherein Israel feasted when they received the law in the wilderness. 'For forty days' said Goliath 'I will reproach them and after that I will fight them'. V., however, Rashi.]
(11) I Sam. XVII, 4.
(12) The third of four brothers. V. infra.
(13) Nana, Pers. for mother.
(14) 'Out of the ranks', ibid. 23.
(15) Cf. II Sam. XXI, 18 and Ruth I, 4. The first is taken as a proper noun and identified with the second.
(16) II Sam. XVII, 19.
(17) Prov. XXVII, 22.
(18) II Sam. XXI, 22.
(19) V. ibid. 18, 20 (translated a man of great stature), 19 and 16.
(20) Ruth I, 14.
(21) Goliath and his brothers were sons of Orpah who is identified with Naomi's daughter-in-law.
(22) Ibid. 'Again' denotes that they wept twice, and a tear dropped from each eye on each occasion.
(23) In I Sam. XVII, 7.
(24) Scripture has not described in full the prowess of Goliath.
(25) Cf. II Sam. X, 16 and I Chron. XIX, 16.
(26) He was excessively tall.
(27) Jer. V, 16.
(28) So it was due to their extraordinary strength.
(29) As giants they ate abnormal quantities of food.
(30) Prov. XII, 25.
(31) Viz., 'For the Lord your God etc.' and not simply, Your God is with you.
(32) The Tetragrammaton.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 43a
were deposited in the ark. Thus it states: And Moses sent them, a thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas1 - 'them' refers to the Sanhedrin; 'Phinehas' was the [priest] Anointed for Battle; 'with the vessels of the sanctuary' i.e., the ark and the tablets [of the decalogue] which were in it; 'and the trumpets for the alarm' i.e., the horns.2 - A Tanna taught: Not for naught did Phinehas go to the battle [against Midian] but to exact judgment on behalf of his mother's father [Joseph]; as it is said: And the Midianites sold him into Egypt etc.3 Is this to say that Phinehas was a descendant of Joseph? But behold it is written: And Eleazar Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; [and she bare him Phinehas]!4 Is it not to be supposed, then, that he was a descendant of Jethro who fattened [pittem]5 calves for idolatry? - No; [he was a descendant] of Joseph6 who mastered [pitpet] his passion. But did not the other tribes despise him7 [saying], 'Look at this son of Puti, the son whose mother's father fattened calves for idolatry; he killed a prince in Israel!'8 But, if his mother's father was descended from Joseph, then his mother's mother was descended from Jethro; and if his mother's mother was descended from Joseph, then his mother's father was descended from Jethro. This is also proved as a conclusion from what is written: 'One of the daughters of Putiel', from which are to be inferred two [lines of ancestry].9 Draw this conclusion.
MISHNAH. AND THE OFFICERS SHALL SPEAK UNTO THE PEOPLE, SAYING, WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH BUILT A NEW HOUSE, AND HATH NOT DEDICATED IT? LET HIM GO AND RETURN TO HIS HOUSE - ETC.10 IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE BUILT A BARN FOR STRAW, A STABLE FOR CATTLE, A SHED FOR WOOD, OR A STOREHOUSE;11 IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE BUILT, PURCHASED, INHERITED IT OR SOMEBODY HAD GIVEN IT TO HIM AS A PRESENT.12 AND WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH PLANTED A VINEYARD, AND HATH NOT USED THE FRUIT THEREOF? ETC.13 IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE PLANTED A VINEYARD OR PLANTED FIVE FRUIT-TREES14 AND EVEN OF FIVE SPECIES;15 IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE PLANTED, BENT16 OR GRAFTED IT, OR WHETHER HE PURCHASED, INHERITED OR SOMEBODY HAD GIVEN IT TO HIM AS A PRESENT. AND WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH BETROTHED A WIFE? ETC.17 IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE HAD BETROTHED A VIRGIN OR A WIDOW, OR EVEN A CHILDLESS WIDOW WAITING FOR HER BROTHER-IN-LAW, OR EVEN IF A MAN HEARD THAT HIS BROTHER HAD DIED IN BATTLE,18 HE RETURNS HOME. ALL THESE HEAR THE PRIEST'S WORDS CONCERNING THE WAR-REGULATIONS AND RETURN HOME; BUT THEY SUPPLY WATER AND FOOD AND REPAIR THE ROADS [FOR THE ARMY].
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT RETURN HOME: HE WHO BUILT A LODGE,19 A LOGGIA OR A VERANDAH; HE WHO PLANTED FOUR FRUIT-TREES OR FIVE TREES WHICH ARE NOT FRUIT-BEARING; HE WHO TOOK BACK HIS DIVORCED WIFE. IF A HIGH PRIEST MARRIED A WIDOW, OR AN ORDINARY PRIEST MARRIED A DIVORCEE OR A HALUZAH,20 OR A LAY ISRAELITE MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR A NETHINAH,21 OR THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR A NATHIN, HE DOES NOT RETURN HOME.22 R. JUDAH SAYS: ALSO HE WHO REBUILT A HOUSE UPON ITS FOUNDATIONS DOES NOT RETURN HOME. R. ELIEZER SAYS: ALSO HE WHO BUILT A BRICK-HOUSE IN SHARON23 DOES NOT RETURN HOME.
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT MOVE FROM THEIR PLACE:24 HE WHO BUILT A NEW HOUSE AND DEDICATED IT, PLANTED A VINEYARD AND USED ITS FRUIT, MARRIED HIS BETROTHED, OR TOOK HOME HIS BROTHER'S CHILDLESS WIDOW; AS IT IS SAID, HE SHALL BE FREE AT HOME ONE YEAR25 - 'AT HOME,' THIS REFERS TO HIS HOUSE; 'SHALL BE' REFERS TO HIS VINEYARD; 'AND SHALL CHEER HIS WIFE' REFERS TO HIS WIFE; WHICH HE HATH TAKEN' IS TO INCLUDE HIS BROTHER'S CHILDLESS WIDOW. THESE DO NOT SUPPLY WATER AND FOOD AND REPAIR THE ROADS [FOR THE ARMY].
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: 'And the officers shall speak' - it is possible to think that this refers to their own words;26 but when it states: And the officers shall speak further,27 behold this is to be understood as their own words; so how am I to explain 'And the officers shall speak'? Scripture alludes to the words of the priest Anointed for Battle. So what was the procedure? A priest speaks [the words] and an officer proclaims them [to the army]. One [authority] taught: A priest speaks [the words] and an officer proclaims them; another taught: A priest speaks [the words] and a priest proclaims them; while yet another taught: An officer speaks [the words] and an officer proclaims them! - Abaye said: What, then, was the procedure? From 'when ye draw nigh' down to 'and the officers shall speak'28 a priest speaks and a priest proclaims. From 'and the officers shall speak down to 'and the officers shall speak further'29 a priest speaks and an officer proclaims. From 'and the officers shall speak' onwards an officer speaks and an officer proclaims.
WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH BUILT A NEW HOUSE? etc. Our Rabbis taught: 'That hath built' - I have here only the case where he built; whence is it [that the law applies also to a case where] he purchased, inherited or somebody gave it to him as a present? There is a text to state, What man is there that hath built a house.30 I have here only the case of a house; whence is it that it includes a barn for straw, a stable for cattle, a shed for wood and a storehouse? There is a text to state 'that hath built' - i.e., whatever [structure be erected]. It is possible to imagine that I am also to include one who built a lodge, loggia or verandah; there is a text to state 'a house' - as 'house' implies a place suitable for habitation so every [building for which exemption may be claimed must be] suitable for habitation. R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: [The word] 'house' [is to be interpreted] according to its usual definition; [and the fact that Scripture does not read] 'and hath not dedicated' but and hath not dedicated it31 is to exclude a robber.32 Is this to say that [this teaching] is not in agreement with that of R. Jose the Galilean?33 For if it agreed with R. Jose the Galilean, behold he has said: Fainthearted34 i.e., he who is afraid
(1) Num. XXXI, 6.
(2) [Shofaroth (pl. of Shofar) - i.e., the instruments which were called in those days Shofaroth and not by the biblical term hazozeroth; v. Shab. 36a (Strashun).]
(3) Gen. XXXVII, 36.
(4) Ex. VI, 25.
(5) Putiel is explained as 'one who fattened (calves) for a god'.
(6) Identified with Putiel.
(8) Viz., Zimri (Num. XXV. 7ff). Consequently Phinehas was considered by his contemporaries to have descended from Jethro. V. Sanh. 82b.
(9) The name Putiel is spelt with a yod which is usually the sign of the plural. Hence both the explanations given are possible, viz., Putiel can be identified either with Joseph or Jethro.
(10) Deut. XX, 5.
(11) For wine, oil, produce etc.
(12) So long as it was new to him, he was exempt from service.
(13) Ibid. 6.
(14) The minimum number to warrant exemption.
(15) May be included in the requisite number of plantings.
(16) The vine so that the end is embedded in the soil and brings forth a new shoot.
(17) Deut. XX, 7.
(18) Leaving no offspring, and it is his duty to marry the widow.
(19) Lit., 'house of the gate'.
(20) V. Glos.
(21) V. p. 119, n. 5.
(22) Because these are illegal marriages.
(23) A place in Palestine which is very sandy; so a house built there does not last long.
(24) To join the army and then claim exemption.
(25) Deut. XXIV, 5.
(26) I.e., spoken by the officers and not by the priest.
(27) Deut. XX, 8. The addition of 'further' is the basis of the deduction.
(28) I.e., the exhortation in Deut. XX, 3ff.
(29) Ibid. 5-7.
(30) This is understood as: whatever man built a new house, the present owner of it is exempt.
(31) The suffix is superfluous.
(32) A man who steals a new house is not exempt.
(33) Who exempts a sinner; v. supra p. 222.
(34) Deut. XX, 8.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 43b
because of the transgressions he had committed!1 - You may even say that it agrees with R. Jose the Galilean, as, e.g., when the man had repented and restored the monetary value. But in that event he becomes the purchaser, and as such returns home! - Since it originally came into his possession as the result of robbery, he does not [return home].
AND WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH PLANTED A VINEYARD? etc. Our Rabbis taught: 'That hath planted' - I have here only the case where he planted; whence is it [that the law applies also to a case where] he purchased, inherited or somebody gave it to him as a present? There is a text to state, And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard. I have here only the case of a vineyard; whence is it that it includes five fruit-trees and even of other kinds [of plantings]? There is a text to state 'that hath planted'. It is possible to think that I am also to include one who planted four fruit-trees or five trees which are not fruit-bearing; therefore there is a text to state 'a vineyard'. R. Eliezer says: [The word] 'vineyard' [is to be interpreted] according to its usual definition; [and the fact that Scripture does not read] 'one hath not used the fruit' but 'and hath not used the fruit thereof is to exclude one who bends or grafts [the vine]. But we have the teaching: IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE PLANTED, BENT OR GRAFTED IT! - R. Zera said in the name of R. Hisda: There is no contradiction, the latter referring to a permitted grafting and the former to a prohibited grafting.2 What is an instance of this permitted grafting? If I say a young shoot on a young shoot, it follows that he ought to return home on account of [planting] the first young shoot! It must therefore be [grafting] a young shoot on an old stem. But R. Abbahu has said: If he grafted a young shoot on an old stem, the young shoot is annulled by the old stem and the law of 'orlah3 does not apply to it! - R. Jeremiah said: It certainly refers to a young shoot on a young shoot, and [the case of a permitted grafting is where], e.g., he planted the first [stem] for a hedge or for timber; as we have learnt: He who plants for a hedge or for timber is exempt from the law of 'orlah.4
What is the distinction that a young shoot is annulled [when grafted] on an old stem5 but not [when grafted] on a young shoot?6
In the former case if he reconsiders his intention with regard to it, it is incapable of retraction;7 but in the latter case if he reconsiders his intention with regard to it, it is capable of retraction8 since it is then analogous to [plants which] grow of themselves;9 for we have learnt: When they grow of themselves they are liable to 'orlah. But let him explain [the Mishnah10 as dealing with] the case of a vineyard belonging to two partners, where each returns home on account of his own [grafting]!11 - R. Papa declared: This is to say that in the case of a vineyard belonging to two partners, the war-regulations do not apply to it.12 Why, then, is it different with five brothers, one of whom dies in battle,13 that they all return home? - In the latter illustration we apply the words 'his wife' to each one of them;14 but in the other we cannot apply the words 'his vineyard' to each one of them.15
R. Nahman b. Isaac said: [The Mishnah deals with the] case where he grafted16 a tree into vegetables, and this accords with the view of the teacher responsible for the following teaching: If one bends17 a tree into vegetables - Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel allows it in the name of R. Judah b. Gamda of Kefar Acco,18 but the Sages forbid it. When R. Dimi came [from Palestine to Babylon] he reported in the name of R. Johanan, Whose teaching is it?19 It is that of R. Eliezer b. Jacob. Did not R. Eliezer b. Jacob declare above, The word 'vineyard' [is to be interpreted] according to its usual definition? So here also 'planted' [is to be interpreted] according to its usual definition; hence if he planted he does [return home], but if he bends or grafts he does not.20
When R. Dimi came he reported that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob: A young shoot less than a handbreadth in height is liable for 'orlah so long as it appears to be a year old;21 but this only applies where there are two plants with two other plants parallel to them and one in front.22 Should, however, the entire vineyard [consist of such shoots], then it is talked about.23
When R. Dimi came he reported that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob: A dead body affects four cubits with respect to the recital of the shema',24 as it is said: Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker.25 R. Isaac declared that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob: A step-daughter reared with her [step-] brothers is forbidden to marry one of them because she appears to be their sister. But this is not so since the relationship is generally known.26
R. Isaac also declared that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob: If gleanings, forgotten sheaves and the corner of the field27 are gathered into a barn, they become subject to the tithe.28 'Ulla said: He only intended this to refer to a rural district, but in the city the fact [that the owner is a poor man who collected the produce from the fields of others] is generally known.
R. Isaac also declared that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob: A shoot which is less than a handbreadth in height does not make the seeds forfeit;29 but this only applies when there are two plants with two other plants parallel to them and one in front. Should, however, the entire vineyard [consist of such shoots] it does make [the seeds] forfeit.
R. Isaac also declared that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:
(1) Consequently a robber may return home.
(2) Two different species.
(3) Lit., 'circumcision', the Law of Lev. XIX, 23 forbidding the enjoyment of the fruit of a tree during the first three years of growth. Since this regulation does not apply to a young shoot grafted on an old stem, it is not regarded as a new planting.
(4) And similarly he would not have to return on account of it.
(5) And its fruit is not subject to 'orlah.
(6) [Since it has been stated that one returns on account of a young shoot grafted on to another which has been planted for timber.]
(7) An old stem can never become young again, consequently the young shoot grafted to it becomes annulled.
(8) The planter can change his mind within the first three years, and determine the purpose of the young shoot, originally grafted for timber, to be for fruit, so that it becomes itself subject to 'orlah.
(9) And at the time of their plantation there was no definite purpose in the mind of the planter whether it was for fruit or timber.
(10) Which rules that one returns on account of grafting.
(11) [Instead of the far-fetched circumstance where the first young shoot was planted for timber.]
(12) Lit., 'they do not return on account of it from the army'. The partners do not have exemption for a new planting or grafting which belongs to them jointly, so that the Mishnah cannot deal with such a case.
(13) Leaving no offspring so that his wife is due to marry one of his brothers.
(14) Since it is not determined which one will marry her.
(15) Because it belongs to them jointly.
(16) [So Rashi. Rabina is answering the question in the Mishnah exempting one who grafts, cur. edd: 'bent'.]
(17) [Tosef. Kil. I, has 'grafts'.]
(18) [Being a permissible grafting it exempts the owner.]
(19) Viz., the statement above: is to exclude one who bends or grafts (the vine).
(20) [Even in a permissible case of bending or grafting.]
(21) Because if he uses its fruit, it might seem to others that he was doing what was forbidden.
(22) Five plants so arranged are considered a vineyard, to which all agree that the law of 'orlah applies, v. Ber. 35a.
(23) It is generally known that the vineyard has this peculiarity, and he may use the fruit.
(24) It may not be recited within the four cubits.
(25) Prov. XVII, 5. To perform a precept near a corpse is to deride it, since it is denied the privilege.
(26) That they have neither father or mother in common.
(27) V. Lev. XIX, 9f. and Deut. XXIV, 19.
(28) Because people may think that it is the produce of the man's field.
(29) Under the law forbidding mixture; v. Deut. XXII, 9.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 44a
A dead body affects four cubits with respect to communicating defilement.1 Similarly teaches a Tanna: With a fore-court of a burial vault,2 whoever stands within it is clean, provided there is in it a space of four cubits.3 Such is the statement of Beth Shammai; but Beth Hillel declare, [A space of] four handbreadths'.3 When does this4 apply? If the entrance is from above; but if the entrance is from the side,5 all agree that [a space of] four cubits [is necessary]. This should be just the reverse!6 On the contrary, when [the entrance is] from the side, he merely steps aside and goes out; but when it is from above it is impossible for him to avoid forming a cover!7 - But read thus: when does [the statement of Beth Hillel] apply? To [a vault] whose entrance is from the side; but if the entrance is from above [a space of] four cubits [is necessary].8 Now [the teaching that one is clean who stands therein] only holds good of a fore-court of a burial vault where the partitions [between the graves and the fore-court] are distinctly marked, but a corpse in general affects four cubits.9
AND WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH BETROTHED A WIFE? etc. Our Rabbis taught: 'That hath betrothed' - it is all one whether he betrothed a virgin or a widow or a childless widow waiting for her brother-in-law; and even when there are five brothers, one of whom died in battle, they all return home.10 [The fact that Scripture does not read] 'and hath not taken' but 'and hath not taken her' is to exclude a High Priest who married a widow, an ordinary priest who married a divorcee or a Haluzah, a lay Israelite who married an illegitimate or a Nethinah, or a daughter of an Israelite married to an illegitimate or a Nathin. Is this to say that [this teaching is] not in agreement with R. Jose the Galilean? For if it agreed with R. Jose the Galilean, behold he has said: 'Fainthearted' i.e., he who is afraid because of the transgressions he had committed!11 - You may even say that it agrees with R. Jose the Galilean, and it is in accord with Rabbah; for Rabbah said: He is certainly not guilty until he has cohabited with her. For what is the reason [of the prohibition] shall he not take?12 So that he shall not profane [his seed].13 Hence he does not receive the punishment of lashes14 until he has cohabited with her. Our Rabbis taught: [The order of the phrases is] 'that hath built', 'that hath planted', 'that hath betrothed'. The Torah has thus taught a rule of conduct: that a man should build a house, plant a vineyard and then marry a wife. Similarly declared Solomon in his wisdom, Prepare thy work without, and make it ready for thee in the field, and afterwards build thine house15 - 'prepare thy work without', i.e., a dwelling. place; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., a vineyard; 'and afterwards build thine house', i.e., a wife. Another interpretation is: 'prepare thy work without', i.e., Scripture; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., Mishnah; 'and afterwards build thine house', i.e., Gemara. Another explanation is: 'prepare thy work without', i.e., Scripture and Mishnah; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., Gemara; 'and afterwards build thine house,' i.e., good deeds. R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose the Galilean says: 'Prepare thy work without,' i.e., Scripture: Mishnah and Gemara; 'and make it ready for thee in the field,' i.e., good deeds; 'and afterwards build thine house, i.e., make research [in the Torah] and receive the reward.
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT RETURN HOME: HE WHO BUILT A LODGE etc. A Tanna taught: If [when rebuilding the house] he adds a row [of fresh bricks] to it, he does return home.16
R. ELIEZER SAYS: ALSO HE WHO BUILT A BRICK-HOUSE IN SHARON DOES NOT RETURN HOME. A Tanna taught: [The reason is] because they have to renew it twice in a period of seven years.
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT MOVE FROM THEIR PLACE: HE WHO BUILT A NEW HOUSE AND DEDICATED IT etc. Our Rabbis taught: A new wife17 - I have here only 'a new wife'; whence is it [that the law applies also to] a widow and divorcee? There is a text to state 'wife', i.e.,in every case. Why, however, does the text state 'a new wife'? [It means] one who is new to him, thus excluding the case of a man who takes back his divorced wife, since she is not new to him.
Our Rabbis taught: He shall not go out in the host18 - and it is possible to think that he does not go out in the host, but he supplies water and food and repairs the roads [for the army]; therefore there is a text to state, 'Neither shall he be charged with any business'. It is possible to think that I am also to include [among those who do not move from their place] the man who built a house but did not dedicate it, or planted a vineyard and did not use its fruit, or betrothed a wife but did not take her; therefore there is a text to state, 'Neither shall he be charged' - but you may charge others.19 Since, however, it is written 'Neither shall he be charged', what is the purpose of 'He shall not go out in the host'?20 So that a transgression of the Law should involve two prohibitions.
MISHNAH. AND THE OFFICERS SHALL SPEAK FURTHER UNTO THE PEOPLE ETC.21 R. AKIBA SAYS: 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD LITERALLY VIZ., HE IS UNABLE TO STAND IN THE BATTLE-RANKS AND SEE A DRAWN SWORD. R. JOSE THE GALILEAN SAYS: 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED' ALLUDES TO ONE WHO IS AFRAID BECAUSE OF THE TRANSGRESSIONS HE HAD COMMITTED; THEREFORE THE TORAH CONNECTED ALL THESE22 WITH HIM THAT HE MAY RETURN HOME ON THEIR ACCOUNT.23 R. JOSE SAYS: A HIGH PRIEST WHO MARRIED A WIDOW, AN ORDINARY PRIEST WHO MARRIED A DIVORCEE OR HALUZAH, A LAY ISRAELITE WHO MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR NETHINAH, AND THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE WHO MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR A NATHIN-BEHOLD SUCH AN ONE IS 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED'.24
AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN THE OFFICERS HAVE MADE AN END OF SPEAKING UNTO THE PEOPLE, THAT THEY SHALL APPOINT CAPTAINS OF HOSTS AT THE HEAD OF THE PEOPLE.25 AND AT THE REAR OF THE PEOPLE THEY STATION GUARDS IN FRONT OF THEM AND OTHERS BEHIND THEM, WITH IRON AXES IN THEIR HANDS, AND SHOULD ANYONE WISH TO FLEE, THEY HAVE PERMISSION TO SMITE HIS THIGHS,
(1) Whoever comes within that distance is rendered unclean.
(2) V. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 422 for diagram.
(3) V. op. cit. p. 423.
(4) The more lenient requirement of the School of Hillel.
(5) [This means apparently that the sepulchral chambers surrounded the fore-court only on three sides, the fourth side being left open. V. R. Samson of Sens commentary on Oh. loc. cit.]
(6) Viz., that when the entrance is from the side the requirement should be less strict.
(7) When he climbs up to get out he may put his hands upon the graves; therefore a larger space should be required since the probability of contracting defilement is greater.
(8) [This is the end of the cited Mishnah Oh. XV, 8. What follows is from a Baraitha another version of which is to be found in Tosef. Oh. XV.]
(9) [Even according to Beth Hillel, otherwise what need for their ruling in the case of one standing in a fore-court? The Tanna of the cited Mishnah is thus in support of R. Eliezer b. Jacob.]
(10) V. supra p. 214.
(11) If that is so, the men who contracted an illegal marriage should return home.
(12) Lev. XXI, 14, referring to the women forbidden in marriage to a High Priest.
(13) Ibid. 15.
(14) And but for the verse 'and hath not taken her', they would not be exempted where there was betrothal.
(15) Prov. XXIV, 27.
(16) It is then regarded as a new house.
(17) Deut. XXIV, 5.
(19) E.g., who have built a house and not dedicated it or betrothed a woman and not taken her to wife.
(20) The former surely includes the latter.
(21) Deut. XX, 8.
(22) Those who had exemption because of a new house etc.
(23) Otherwise anyone who claimed exemption because of sinfulness had to expose himself publicly as a transgressor.
(24) The difference in the point of view of R. Jose the Galilean and R. Jose will be explained in the Gemara.
(25) Deut. XX, 9.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 44b
BECAUSE THE BEGINNING OF FLIGHT IS FALLING,1 AS IT IS SAID, ISRAEL IS FLED BEFORE THE PHILISTINES, AND THERE HATH BEEN A GREAT SLAUGHTER AMONG THE PEOPLE;2 AND FURTHER ON IT STATES, AND THE MEN OF ISRAEL FLED FROM BEFORE THE PHILISTINES AND FELL DOWN SLAIN ETC.3
TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO VOLUNTARY WARS, BUT IN THE WARS COMMANDED BY THE TORAH4 ALL GO FORTH EVEN A BRIDEGROOM FROM HIS CHAMBER AND A BRIDE FROM HER CANOPY.5 R. JUDAH SAYS: TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO THE WARS COMMANDED BY THE TORAH; BUT IN OBLIGATORY WARS6 ALL GO FORTH, EVEN A BRIDEGROOM FROM HIS CHAMBER AND A BRIDE FROM HER CANOPY.
GEMARA. What is the difference between R. Jose and R. Jose the Galilean?7 - The issue between them is the transgression of a Rabbinical ordinance.8 With whom does the following teaching accord: He who speaks between [donning] one phylactery and the other9 has committed a transgression and returns home under the war-regulations? With whom [does it accord]? With R. Jose the Galilean. Who is the Tanna of the following: Our Rabbis taught: If he heard the sound of trumpets and was terror-stricken, or the crash of shields and was terror-stricken, or [beheld] the brandishing of swords and the urine discharged itself upon his knees, he returns home? With whom [does it accord]? Are we to say that it is with R. Akiba and not R. Jose the Galilean?10 - In such a circumstance even R. Jose the Galilean admits [that he returns home], because it is written: Lest his brethren's heart melt as his heart.11
AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN THE OFFICERS HAVE MADE AN END etc. The phrase, BECAUSE THE BEGINNING OF FLIGHT IS FALLING should be, 'because falling is the beginning of flight'! Read [in the Mishnah]: Because falling is the beginning of flight.
TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO VOLUNTARY WARS etc. R. Johanan said: [A war] which is [designated] voluntary according to the Rabbis is commanded according to R. Judah,12 and [a war] which is [designated] commanded according to the Rabbis is obligatory according to R. Judah.13 Raba said:14 The wars waged by Joshua to conquer [Canaan] were obligatory in the opinion of all; the wars waged by the House of David for territorial expansion were voluntary in the opinion of all; where they differ is with regard to [wars] against heathens so that these should not march against them. One15 calls them commanded and the other voluntary, the practical issue being that one who is engaged in the performance of a commandment is exempt from the performance of another commandment.16
MISHNAH. [THE DECLARATION OVER] THE HEIFER WHOSE NECK IS TO BE BROKEN MUST BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE; AS IT IS SAID, IF ONE BE FOUND SLAIN IN THE EARTH . . . THEN THY ELDERS AND THY JUDGES SHALL COME FORTH.17 THREE USED TO GO FORTH FROM THE SUPREME COURT IN JERUSALEM; R. JUDAH SAYS: FIVE, AS IT IS STATED, THY ELDERS, I.E., TWO, 'AND THY JUDGES' I.E., TWO, AND SINCE A COURT OF JUSTICE CANNOT CONSIST OF AN EVEN NUMBER, THEY ADD ONE MORE.
IF [THE CORPSE] WAS FOUND HIDDEN IN A HEAP OF STONES, OR HANGING ON A TREE, OR FLOATING UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER, THEY DO NOT BREAK [A HEIFER'S NECK]. BECAUSE IT IS STATED, 'IN THE EARTH' - AND NOT HIDDEN IN A HEAP OF STONES, NOR HANGING ON A TREE IN A FIELD, NOR FLOATING UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER. IF IT WAS FOUND NEAR TO THE FRONTIER, OR A CITY THE MAJORITY OF WHOSE INHABITANTS WERE HEATHENS, OR A CITY IN WHICH THERE IS NO COURT OF JUSTICE, THEY DO NOT BREAK [A HEIFER'S NECK]. THEY ONLY MEASURE18 THE DISTANCE TO A CITY IN WHICH THERE IS A COURT OF JUSTICE.
GEMARA. How does [the author of the Mishnah] prove his point?19 - R. Abbahu said: This is what he intends: It is stated: And they shall answer and say20 and elsewhere it is stated: And the Levites shall answer and say etc.,21 as the answering mentioned in this latter passage was in the holy tongue, so here also it was in the holy tongue, and as to the procedure in the ceremony of the heifer whose neck was to be broken - IF ONE BE FOUND SLAIN IN THE EARTH . . . THEN THY ELDERS AND THY JUDGES SHALL COME FORTH. THREE USED TO GO FORTH FROM THE SUPREME COURT IN JERUSALEM; R. JUDAH SAYS: FIVE etc.
Our22 Rabbis taught: 'Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth' - 'thy elders', i.e., two, 'and thy judges', i.e., two, and since a Court of justice cannot consist of an even number, they add one more; hence there were five. Such is the statement of R. Judah; but R. Simeon says: 'Thy elders', i.e., two, and since a Court of Justice cannot consist of an even number, they add one more; hence there were three. But for R. Simeon also it is written 'and thy judges'! - He requires that for [the teaching that they must be] the most distinguished of thy judges. And [where does] R. Judah [derive the teaching that they must be the most distinguished]? - It follows from 'thy' in 'thy elders'.23 [How does] R. Simeon [meet this argument]? - If the All-Merciful had only written 'elders', I might have thought that even old men from the market-place [would suffice]; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'thy elders'. If, further, the All-Merciful had only written 'thy elders', I might have thought that even [members of] a minor Sanhedrin24 [would suffice]; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'and thy judges' i.e., the most distinguished of thy judges. [Where does] R. Judah [derive the teaching that they must be members of the Supreme Court]? - He draws an analogy between the use of the word 'elders' here and in the phrase the elders of the Congregation;25 as it there denotes the most distinguished men of the congregation so here also it denotes the most distinguished men of the congregation. If he makes a deduction, then let him deduce the whole from there and what is the necessity of 'and thy judges'!26 - But the 'and' in 'and thy judges' [denotes that the phrase is to be used] for obtaining the requisite number. [How does] R. Simeon [meet this argument]?27
(1) The Gemara reverses the wording here.
(2) I Sam. IV, 27.
(3) Ibid. XXXI, I.
(4) E.g., the conquest of Canaan and the annihilation of the Amalekites (Deut. XXV, 19).
(5) The women provided food for the troops.
(6) In defence against attack.
(7) Since they agree in defining 'fainthearted' as one afraid of his sins.
(8) R. Jose does not consider this sufficient to warrant exemption; therefore in the Mishnah he instances marriages forbidden by the Torah as the kind of transgression for which exemption may be claimed.
(9) Upon the arm and the forehead. It is forbidden to speak between the putting on of the two.
(10) Since the latter does not understand 'fainthearted' as relating to physical fear.
(11) Deut. XX, 8.
(12) They differ in terminology but agree that a bridegroom does not serve.
(13) They agree that a bridegroom must serve.
(14) Raba explains R. Johanan's statement.
(15) R. Judah.
(16) If it is to be considered a war commanded by the Torah, those engaged in it are exempt from the performance of other commandments.
(17) Deut. XXI, 1ff.
(18) The distance between the corpse and the nearest city (ibid. 2).
(19) That the declaration must be in Hebrew. The verse adduced affords no proof.
(20) Ibid. 7.
(21) Ibid. XXVII, 14.
(22) On the whole passage, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 66ff.
(23) It would have been sufficient for the text to read: Then elders shall go forth.
(24) Consisting of twenty-three members, and not the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem of seventy-one members.
(25) E.g., in Lev. IV, 15.
(26) In Sanh. 3b it is argued that Lev. IV, 15 must be interpreted in the sense that five elders are required; that being so, why does not R. Judah use that argument and not 'and thy judges' for his opinion that five are necessary?
(27) Since he only requires three.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 45a
He draws no deduction from 'and';1 (for what then does the All-Merciful intend by the phrase? - They are to be the most distinguished of thy judges.)2 But on this line of argument: 'and they shall come forth'3 i.e., two, 'and they shall measure' i.e., two; according to R. Judah, then, there must be nine and according to R. Simeon there must be seven!4 - [No; the two phrases] are required for the following teaching:5 'They shall come forth' - they and not their agents; 'and they shall measure' - even if it is found obviously near to a particular city,6 they must still measure since it is a commandment to carry out the measurement.
Our Mishnah is not in agreement with R. Eliezer b. Jacob; for it has been taught: R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: 'Thy elders' i.e., the Sanhedrin; 'thy judges' i.e., the king and High priest-the king, for it is written: The king by judgment establisheth the land;7 and the High priest, for it is written: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be etc.8 The question was asked: Is R. Eliezer b. Jacob only at variance [in defining 'judges'] as the king and High priest, but as regards [the number of members of] the Sanhedrin does he agree with R. Judah or R. Simeon; or perhaps he is also at variance on that matter too and requires the whole of the Sanhedrin? - R. Joseph said: Come and hear: If they9 found a rebellious elder10 in Beth Pagi,11 and he rebelled against them,12 it is possible to think that his act of rebellion is punishable; therefore there is a text to State, Then shalt thou arise and get thee up unto the place.13 This teaches that the 'place' determines [whether the act of rebellion is punishable].
Now how many of them had gone forth [from the Great Sanhedrin to Beth Pagi]? If I say that only a part of them had gone forth, perhaps they who remain behind are of the same opinion as the accused!14 It is therefore evident that all must go forth. And for what purpose? If for a secular object, was it possible for them all to go? For behold it is written: Thy navel is like a round goblet, wherein no mingled wine is wanting,15 so that should a member have need to go out [from the hall where the Sanhedrin was in session], he may only do so if twenty-three [of his colleagues] remain, corresponding to the number of a minor Sanhedrin, otherwise he may not leave! Obviously, then, [they had gone forth] for a religious object. For what object? Must it not be to measure in connection with the heifer, according to the opinion of R. Eliezer b. Jacob?16 - Abaye said to [R. Joseph], No; [they may all go forth for such a purpose as] to add to the boundaries of the city [of Jerusalem] or the Temple-courts; as we have learnt: We do not add to the boundaries of the city [of Jerusalem] or the Temple-courts except by a Court of seventy-one.17 There is a teaching in agreement with R. Joseph: If they18 met in Beth Pagi, and [an elder] rebelled against them; e.g., they went forth to carry out a measurement in connection with the heifer, or to add to the boundaries of the city [of Jerusalem] or the Temple-courts,19 it is possible to think that his act of rebellion is punishable; therefore there is a text to State, Then shalt thou arise and get thee up [etc.].13 This teaches that the 'place' determines [whether the act of rebellion is punishable]. IF [THE CORPSE] WAS FOUND HIDDEN IN A HEAP OF STONES, OR HANGING ON A TREE. Is this to say that our Mishnah agrees with R. Judah and not the Rabbis? For it has been taught: And hast forgot a sheaf in the field20 - this excludes [a sheaf] which was hidden; such is the statement of R. Judah, but the Sages declare that 'in the field' is to include a hidden sheaf!21 - Rab said: You may even maintain that it agrees with the Rabbis since each case is to be explained in the light of its context. [In connection with the corpse] it is written: 'If one be found slain,' i.e., wherever it be found; 'in the earth', i.e., to the exclusion of one which is hidden. The other case [of the sheaf] is to be explained in the light of the context; for it is written: 'When thou reapest thine harvest in thy field and hast forgot a sheaf. There is an analogy between the forgotten sheaf and the harvesting: as the harvesting is visible to all so the forgotten sheaf must be visible to all;22 and the fact that the All-Merciful wrote 'in the field' is to include a hidden sheaf. Then let R. Judah likewise draw an analogy between the forgotten sheaf and the harvesting!23 - He actually does so; but [he argues], What is the purpose of 'in the field'? It is required to include standing-corn which is forgotten.24 From where, then, do the Rabbis derive the regulation of standing-corn which is forgotten? - They derive it from, When thou reapest thine harvest in thy field [and hast forgot].25 And [how does] R. Judah [explain this phrase]? - He requires it for the teaching of R. Abbahu in the name of R. Eleazar; for R. Abbahu said in the name of R. Eleazar: It excludes the case where sheaves were carried [by the wind] into his neighbours' field.26 And [from where] do the Rabbis [derive this regulation]? - From the fact that Scripture has 'thy field' and not merely 'the field'. And [what of] R. Judah? - He draws no inference from 'thy field' as distinct from 'the field'. R. Jeremiah asked: How is it if sheaves were carried27 into his own field? Is the air-space above a field identical with the field or not? - R. Kahana said to R. Papi another version is, R. Kahana said to R. Zebid, The problem is to be solved from the teaching of R. Abbahu who said in the name of R. Eleazar, 'It excludes the case where sheaves were carried [by the wind] into his neighbour's field,' implying, does it not, that only [when they are carried into] his neighbour's field they are [excluded], but [if the wind drops them] into his own field they are not!28 But according to your reasoning, [it would follow that] if the sheaves were carried into his neighbour's field [and alighted upon a stone, etc.,] they are excluded, but should they lie [upon the ground] they are not;29 surely we require [the sheaves to be] 'in thy field', but they are not there! Rather must they [argue thus:30 'It excludes when the sheaves were] in his neighbour's field' even if actually lying upon the ground; and the expression 'carried' is only employed because this could have happened only if they were 'carried' [by the force of the wind].
Come and hear: If he laid hold of a sheaf to convey it into the city, placed it on top of another sheaf belonging to his neighbour and forgot it, the lower is considered to be a forgotten sheaf but not the upper. R. Simeon b. Judah says in the name of R. Simeon: Neither is a forgotten sheaf, the lower because it is hidden and the upper because it is suspended.31 Hence they only differ as regards the lower, but with respect to the upper they all agree that it is not a hidden sheaf!32 - It is different in this circumstance, because having taken hold of it he has the right to it. If that is so,33 why use the argument 'placed it on top of another sheaf belonging to his neighbour'? It would have been the same if he had laid it upon the field [of his neighbour]! - That is so; but he used the illustration of 'on top of another sheaf belonging to his neighbour', because of the instance of the lower sheaf [about which there was a difference of opinion]. Why, then, should he use the phrase 'because it is suspended'!34 - Read: because it is like something suspended.35
Abaye said: Behold I am like Ben Azzai in the streets of Tiberias.36 So one of the Rabbis asked Abaye, If there were two corpses, one on top of the other,37 from which is the measurement taken? [Do we argue that with] two things of the same kind [the lower] is regarded as hidden and with two things of the same kind [the upper] is not regarded as suspended, so that he takes the measurement from the upper; or perhaps with two things of the same kind [the upper] is regarded as suspended and with two things of the same kind [the lower] is not regarded as hidden, so that he takes the measurement from the lower; or perhaps with two things of the same kind [the lower] is regarded as hidden and with two things of the same kind [the upper] is regarded as suspended, so that he takes measurement neither from the lower nor the upper! - He replied to him,
(1) I.e., he does not expound the analogy.
(2) [This passage, which is bracketed in cur. edd., is rightly omitted in some texts.]
(3) Deut. XXI, 2.
(4) The former obtained the number five from 'thy elders and thy judges' and now four more are to be added.
(5) And are not to be used to add to the number of elders.
(6) So that there is no need for measuring.
(7) Prov. XXIX, 4.
(8) Deut. XVII, 9. 'And' is understood as 'even; therefore the priests acted as judges; and since one in particular is specified in 'the judge' it must be the High Priest.
(9) The number of the Great Sanhedrin.
(10) One who refused to abide by the decision of the Sanhedrin, Deut. XVII, 8.
(11) A place within the walls of Jerusalem. Origen mentions that it was a village inhabited by priests.
(12) Against the decision of the local Sanhedrin to whom a disputed point of law was submitted.
(13) Deut. XVII, 8, i.e., the Temple mount, the locale of the Great Sanhedrin.
(14) How then could the rebellious elder be condemned?
(15) Cant. VII, 3, E.V. 2. This verse is applied to the Sanhedrin, called 'navel', because it sat in a place which was considered to be the centre of the world. 'Mingled wine' is defined (Shab. 77a) as diluted with two-thirds of water. Hence one third of the Sanhedrin must at least be present at a session.
(16) Who, ex hypothesi, requires the presence of the entire Sanhedrin.
(17) Sanh. I, 5.
(18) The Great Sanhedrin.
(19) So it is possible that they all went out to do the measuring.
(20) Deut. XXIV, 19.
(21) The former explains 'in the field' as lying about upon the surface of the field; the Rabbis understand it as hidden somewhere in the field.
(22) And the reaper merely overlooked it.
(23) And not maintain that it is excluded.
(24) If he forgot to cut down a portion of the corn, this remains for the poor.
(25) They connect 'forgot' with 'thy field', so that the forgetting applies also to corn standing in the field.
(26) And thinking that they were not his, he left them.
(27) Some texts read 'afu (flew) instead of zafu. The question relates to the circumstance where the sheaves did not fall upon the field but upon a stone or something similar, so that they were suspended above the field.
(28) Consequently so long as the sheaves are in his own field, they come within the law of the forgotten sheaf.
(29) And come within the law of the forgotten sheaf.
(30) With reference to the teaching of R. Abbabu.
(31) Not lying upon the ground.
(32) This conclusion would therefore answer R. Jeremiah's question.
(33) That his having taken hold of it precludes it from being regarded as a forgotten sheaf.
(34) Since it was irrelevant to the issue.
(35) It is exempt from the law of the forgotten sheaf because, having been in the owner's hand, it is like something suspended and not lying upon the ground.
(36) I.e., in his own town of Pumbeditha he felt as competent to solve difficult problems as did Ben Azzai in his city of Tiberias.
(37) The top one is not fully over the other, so that if the measurements are taken from the two, a different city would be the nearest in each case.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 45b
You have it stated: 'If he laid hold of a sheaf to convey it into the city, placed it on top of another sheaf belonging to his neighbour and forgot it, the lower is considered to be a forgotten sheaf but not the upper. R. Simeon b. Judah says in the name of R. Simeon: Neither is a forgotten sheaf, the lower because it is hidden and the upper because it is suspended. Now they were1 of the opinion that these Tannaim agreed with R. Judah who said: 'In the field', i.e., to the exclusion of one which is hidden. Do they, then, not differ on this issue: One holds that with two things of the same kind [the lower] is regarded as hidden, and the other holds it is not regarded as hidden? - No; if they were of the same opinion as R. Judah, they all agree that with two things of the same kind [the lower] is regarded as hidden; but here the difference is the same as that of R. Judah and the Rabbis. The Rabbis here agree with the Rabbis there,2 and R. Simeon b. Judah agrees with R. Judah.3 If that is so, why use the argument 'on top of another sheaf belonging to his neighbour'? It would have been the same if he had placed it on the earth or on pebbles! That is so; but the purpose was to let you know how strong is the position of R. Judah who said that even with two things of the same kind [the lower] is regarded as hidden.
Our Rabbis taught: 'Slain,' but not strangled,4 'slain,' but not one who is expiring;5 'in the land', but not hidden in a heap of stones; 'lying', but not hanging on a tree; 'in the earth', but not floating upon the surface of the water. R. Eleazar says: In all these cases, if the person had been slain, they break the heifer's neck. It has been taught: R. Jose b. Judah said: They asked R. Eleazar, Do you not admit that if he had been strangled and was lying upon a dung-heap,6 they do not break the heifer's neck?7 [Yes:] consequently [you must agree that] 'slain' indicates one who is not strangled; similarly 'in the earth' indicates one who is not hidden in a heap of stones, 'lying' one who is not hanging on a tree, 'in the earth' one who is not floating upon the surface of the water! [How does] R. Eleazar [meet this argument]? - The word 'slain' is written redundantly.8
IF IT WAS FOUND NEAR TO THE FRONTIER, OR A CITY THE MAJORITY OF WHOSE INHABITANTS WERE GENTILES etc. Because it is written 'be found', thus excluding what commonly occurs.9 OR A CITY IN WHICH THERE IS NO COURT OF JUSTICE. Because we require 'the elders of that city', and such are not [forthcoming].
THEY ONLY MEASURE THE DISTANCE TO A CITY [IN WHICH THERE IS A COURT OF JUSTICE]. This is obvious! Since he stated: OR A CITY IN WHICH IS NO COURT OF JUSTICE [etc.], I know that they only measure the distance to a city in which there is a Court of Justice! - He thereby informs us what is taught in the following: Whence is it that if it was found near a city in which there is no Court of Justice, they leave [the city out] and measure to [the nearest] city which has a Court of Justice? There is a text to state, The elders of that city shall take,10 i.e., in every case.11
MISHNAH. IF [THE CORPSE] WAS FOUND EXACTLY BETWEEN TWO CITIES, BOTH OF THEM BRING TWO HEIFERS [BETWEEN THEM]. SUCH IS THE STATEMENT OF R. ELIEZER;12 BUT JERUSALEM DOES NOT BRING A HEIFER WHOSE NECK IS TO BE BROKEN. IF THE HEAD WAS FOUND IN ONE PLACE AND THE BODY IN ANOTHER PLACE, THEY CARRY THE HEAD TO THE BODY. SUCH IS THE STATEMENT OF R. ELIEZER.13 R. AKIBA SAYS: [THEY CARRY] THE BODY TO THE HEAD. FROM WHAT PART [OF THE BODY] DO THEY MEASURE? R. ELIEZER SAYS: FROM THE NAVEL; R. AKIBA SAYS: FROM THE NOSE; R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAYS: FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS MADE A SLAIN PERSON, FROM THE NECK.
GEMARA. What is R. Eliezer's reason?13 - He holds that it is possible to make an exact measurement; and the word 'nearest'14 holds good of even more than one city. BUT JERUSALEM DOES NOT BRING A HEIFER WHOSE NECK IS TO BE BROKEN. Because Scripture declares, To possess it,15 and he is of the opinion that Jerusalem was not apportioned among the tribes.
IF THE HEAD WAS FOUND IN ONE PLACE etc. In what do they differ? If I should say that they differ on the question from where the measurement is to be taken, behold since [the author of the Mishnah] states in the sequel: FROM WHAT PART [OF THE BODY] DO THEY MEASURE? it follows that we are not dealing here with the subject of measurement! - R. Isaac said: They differ because of the regulation that a meth mizwah16 acquires his place; and thus he means to say: He acquires his place for burial, and where the head is found in one place and the body in another, they carry the head to the body [and bury it there]. Such is the statement of R. Eliezer; but R. Akiba says, [They carry] the body to the head [and bury it there]. In what do they differ? One is of the opinion that the body is in the place where it fell and the head rolled away, while the other is of the opinion that the head remains in the place where it falls while the body falls some way off.
FROM WHAT PART [OF THE BODY] DO THEY MEASURE? In what do they differ? One is of the opinion that the source of existence is in the nose, while the other is of the opinion that the source of existence is in the navel. Is this to say [that they differ on the same point] as the following teachers: From where is the embryo formed? From the head, and thus it states: Thou art He that took me [gozi] out of my mother's womb,17 and it further states: Cut off [gozi] thine hair and cast it away etc.18 Abba Saul Says: It is from the navel, and its root spreads in all directions [from there]! - You may even say that Abba Saul [agrees with R. Akiba], because Abba Saul's statement only applies to the formation, that when an embryo is formed it is formed from the centre, but with respect to existence all agree that [its source is] in the nose; for it is written: All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life etc.19
R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAYS: FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS MADE A SLAIN PERSON, FROM THE NECK. What is the reason of R. Eliezer b. Jacob? - Because it is written: To lay thee upon the necks of the wicked that are slain.20
MISHNAH. WHEN THE ELDERS OF JERUSALEM21 HAD DEPARTED AND GONE AWAY, THE ELDERS OF THAT CITY22 TAKE A HEIFER OF THE HERD23 WHICH HAS NOT DRAWN IN THE YOKE, AND A BLEMISH DOES NOT DISQUALIFY IT. THEY BRING IT DOWN TO A RAVINE WHICH IS STONY24 - 'ETHAN' IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN ITS LITERAL SENSE OF 'HARD' - BUT EVEN IF IT BE NOT STONY, IT IS FIT [FOR THE CEREMONY]. THEY THEN BREAK ITS NECK WITH A HATCHET FROM BEHIND.25 THE SITE MAY NEVER BE SOWN OR TILLED, BUT IT IS PERMITTED TO CARD FLAX AND CHISEL STONES THERE. THE ELDERS OF THAT CITY THEN WASH THEIR HANDS WITH WATER IN THE PLACE WHERE THE HEIFER'S NECK WAS BROKEN AND DECLARE, OUR HANDS HAVE NOT SHED THIS BLOOD, NEITHER HAVE OUR EYES SEEN IT.26 BUT CAN IT ENTER OUR MINDS THAT THE ELDERS OF A COURT OF JUSTICE ARE SHEDDERS OF BLOOD! [THE MEANING OF THEIR STATEMENT IS], HOWEVER, [THE MAN FOUND DEAD] DID NOT COME TO US [FOR HELP] AND WE DISMISSED HIM WITHOUT SUPPLYING HIM WITH FOOD, WE DID NOT SEE HIM AND LET HIM GO WITHOUT ESCORT.27
(1) The scholars who thought of solving the question from this Baraitha.
(2) Who maintained that a hidden sheaf came within the law of the forgotten sheaf.
(3) Who excludes a hidden sheaf from the law.
(4) The Hebrew for slain (halal) denotes by the sword.
(5) Not actually dead.
(6) So the body was not hanging, hidden or floating.
(7) For the reason that he was not 'slain'.
(8) It occurs four times in Deut. XXI, 1-9; emphasing that he must be 'slain' and not 'strangled'.
(9) It frequently happened that dead bodies were found in such localities.
(10) Deut. XXI, 3.
(11) The measurement must always be made and the nearest city containing 'elders' ascertained.
(12) [J. adds: BUT THE SAGES SAY ONLY ONE CITY BRINGS A HEIFER WHOSE NECK IS TO BE BROKEN BUT TWO CITIES DO NOT BRING.]
(13) For requiring two heifers if the body is found equidistant between two cities.
(14) Deut. XXI, 3.
(15) Deut. XXI, I.
(16) Lit., 'a dead body which is a commandment'; i.e., an unattended corpse, and it is the duty of whoever finds it to be concerned with its burial. The Talmud (B.K. 81b) relates that when Joshua divided out the land, he imposed a condition that a meth mizwah should be buried in whatever spot he is found.
(17) Ps. LXXI, 6.
(18) Jer. VII, 29. On the basis of the similar word in this verse, it is explained in the former as 'the place where my hair grows', i.e., the head.
(19) Gen. VII, 22.
(20) Ezek. XXI, 34.
(21) The members of the Great Sanhedrin whose duty it was to make the measurement.
(22) Which is found to be nearest the corpse.
(23) Defined in Parah I, 1 as less than a year old.
(24) The word ethan (Deut. XXI, 4) is interpreted by Maimonides in the sense given in the E.V. viz., running water.
(25) Not in front as in the act of ritual slaughter.
(26) Deut. XXI, 7.
(27) [In the J. text of the Mishnah and in MS.M. the words 'without . . . food' and 'without escort' are missing, and in the Gemara there it is stated that the reference is not, as maintained by the Babylonian scholars, to the murdered person, but to the murderer. The elders, that is to say, declare that 'he did not come to us and we dismissed him or allowed him to go unpunished.']
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 46a
THEN THE PRIESTS EXCLAIM, FORGIVE, O LORD, THY PEOPLE ISRAEL, WHOM THOU HAST REDEEMED, AND SUFFER NOT INNOCENT BLOOD TO REMAIN IN THE MIDST OF THY PEOPLE ISRAEL.1 THERE IS NO NEED FOR THEM TO SAY, AND THE BLOOD SHALL BE FORGIVEN THEM;2 BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT ANNOUNCES TO THEM, 'WHEN YOU ACT THUS, THE BLOOD IS FORGIVEN YOU.'
GEMARA. But that a blemish disqualified a heifer may be deduced by a fortiori reasoning from the instance of the [red] cow:3 if a blemish disqualifies a cow which is not disqualified on account of age,4 how much more must a blemish disqualify a heifer which is disqualified on account of age! - It is different there, because Scripture stated: Wherein is no blemish5 - a blemish disqualifies [a red cow] but does not disqualify a heifer. According to this argument,6 the other disqualifications on account of work having been done by it should not apply [to the red cow];7 why, then, did Rab Judah say in the name of Rab, If a person laid a bundle of sacks upon it ,8 it is disqualified, but with a heifer [it is not disqualified] until it draws [a load]!9 - It is different with a [red] cow, because we derive the meaning of the term 'yoke' [in connection with a red cow] from its occurrence in connection with a heifer.10 But let [the deduction that a blemish disqualifies] a heifer be also drawn from the instance of a [red] cow on the basis of a common use of the term 'yoke'! - Behold the All-Merciful has excluded that by using the word 'wherein' [bah]. But with the heifer it is likewise written 'wherewith' [bah]!11 - This is required to exclude animals destined as sacrifices which are not disqualified by having been used for work; because it might have occurred to you to say: Let us draw a conclusion by a fortiori reasoning from the heifer: if a heifer which is not disqualified by a blemish is disqualified by having been used for work, how much more must animals destined as sacrifices, which are disqualified by a blemish, be disqualified by having been used for work! It can, however, be objected: This is right for a heifer because it is also disqualified by an age-limit! - Do you mean to say, then, that there are no animals destined as sacrifices which are disqualified by an age-limit? Hence a text is necessary for those offerings which are disqualified by an age-limit.12 Is, however, [the regulation that] animals destined as sacrifices are not disqualified by having been used for work derived from here?13 Surely it is derived from the following: Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord14 - these ye shall not offer, but you may offer animals as sacrifices which have been used for work! - [This verse]15 is necessary, because it might have occurred to you to say: This only applies where they have been used for permissible work, but where it was for prohibited work16 conclude that they are forbidden [as sacrifices]! So it was necessary [to have this verse from which we infer that the animals may be offered even if they had been used for prohibited work]. But it could likewise have been derived from the following: Neither from the hand of a stranger shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these17 - these you shall not offer, but you may offer animals which have been used for work! - [This verse]15 is necessary, because it might have occurred to you to say: This only applies when they were worked while they were still not designated as sacrifices, but when they were worked after having been designated as sacrifices conclude that they are forbidden! So it was necessary [to have this verse from which we infer that even then they are acceptable as offerings].
The above text [teaches]: 'Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: If a person laid a bundle of sacks upon it, it is disqualified; but with a heifer [it is not disqualified] until it draws [a load]'. It is objected: Yoke18 - I have only mention of a yoke; whence is it that there are other [disqualifications on account of] work having been done by it? You may argue by a fortiori reasoning: if a heifer which is not disqualified by a blemish is disqualified by having been used for work, how much more must a [red] cow, which is disqualified by a blemish, be disqualified by having been used for various kinds of work! And if you like you may argue:19 It is stated here 'yoke' and there [with the heifer] it is stated 'yoke', as there the various kinds of work disqualify, so here [with the red cow] the various kinds of work disqualify. But why have this alternative argument?20 - Because you might reply [as mentioned above], 'It can, however, be objected: This is right for a heifer because it is also disqualified by an age-limit'. Or it might also [be objected] that the case of animals destined as sacrifices proves [the contrary, thus:] a blemish disqualifies them but the fact that they were used for work does not disqualify them. [Therefore the alternative line of reasoning is employed:] It is stated here 'yoke' and there [with the heifer] it is stated 'yoke'; as there the various kinds of work [disqualify], so here [with the red cow] the various kinds of work [disqualify].
Now from the same line of reasoning: You may conclude as there [with the heifer it is not disqualified] until it draws [a load], so here [with the red cow it is not disqualified] until it draws [a load]!21 - This is a matter disputed by Tannaim. Some of them deduce it from the instance of the heifer,22 while others deduce it from [the law of the red] cow itself.23 For it has been taught: 'Yoke' - I have mention only of a yoke; whence is it that various kinds of work [disqualify]? There is a text to state, Upon which never came yoke24 i.e., [work] of any sort. If that is so, why is 'yoke' specified? A yoke disqualifies whether during the time of work or not during the time of work,25 but the various kinds of work only disqualify during the time of work.26 But say that 'upon which never came' is general and 'yoke' is particular, and where there is a case of general and particular, only what is in the particular is in the general27 - viz., a yoke only [disqualifies] and nothing else! The phrase 'which' is inclusive [of various kinds of work], and there is a similar teaching in connection with the heifer as follows: Yoke28 - I have mention only of a yoke; whence is it that various kinds of work [disqualify]? There is a text to state, 'Which hath not been wrought with' - i.e., [work] of any sort. If that is so, why is 'yoke' specified? A yoke disqualifies whether during the time of work or not during the time of work, but the various kinds of work only disqualify during the time of work. But say that 'which hath not been wrought with' is general and 'yoke' is particular, and where there is a case of general and particular, only what is in the particular is in the general - viz. a yoke [disqualifies] and nothing else!29 - The phrase 'which' is inclusive [of various kinds of work].
R. Abbahu said: I asked R. Johanan, To what extent must there be drawing by a yoke [to constitute a disqualification]?30 - He replied: The full extent of the yoke. The question was asked: Does this mean its length or breadth? One of the Rabbis, named R. Jacob, answered: The statement of R. Johanan was explained to me as indicating drawing by a yoke to the extent of a handbreadth in its breadth. Then [R. Johanan] should have said: A handbreadth!-He intended to inform us that the minimum of a yoke [in its breadth] is a handbreadth. For what purpose does he deduce this? - For buying and selling. R. Johanan b. Saul said: Why does the Torah mention that he should bring a heifer into a ravine? The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Let something which did not produce fruit31 have its neck broken in a place which is not fertile and atone for one who was not allowed to produce fruit. What [does this last word] 'fruit' mean? If I answer [that it means] offspring, then according to this argument we should not break a heifer's neck if [the man found dead] was old or castrated! Therefore [by 'fruit' must be understood the performance of] commandments.32
AND BRING IT DOWN TO A RAVINE WHICH IS STONY 'ETHAN' IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN ITS LITERAL SENSE OF 'HARD'. Our Rabbis taught: Whence is it that 'ethan' means 'hard'? As it is said,
(1) Deut. XXI, 8.
(3) Num. XIX. How can the Mishnah declare that a blemish does not disqualify it?
(4) It may be more than a year old.
(5) Ibid. 2.
(6) That 'wherein' (bah) is a restrictive particle.
(7) Since it is merely stated 'upon which never came yoke' and not, as with the heifer, 'wherewith (bah) it hath not been wrought and which hath not drawn (Deut. XXI, 3), the 'wherewith' restricting it to the heifer.
(8) The red cow, and no yoke was placed upon it.
(9) Because the text states explicitly 'which hath not drawn'.
(10) And the restrictive word 'wherewith', stated with the heifer, is required for another purpose.
(11) Cf. p. 236, n. 7.
(12) E.g., the lambs offered on the Passover are specified as being of the first year, (Num. XXVIII, 19).
(13) From the restrictive particle written with the heifer.
(14) Lev. XXII, 22.
(15) The 'wherewith' stated with the heifer.
(16) E.g., on the Sabbath.
(17) Ibid. 25.
(18) Num. XIX, 2.
(19) Not by a fortiori reasoning but from the analogous occurrence of 'yoke'.
(20) Why does not the first suffice?
(21) Which refutes Rab Judah.
(22) This is the Tanna of the Baraitha cited. He will accordingly not disqualify the cow until it draws.
(23) The Tanna who follows.
(24) Num. XIX, 2.
(25) If he put the yoke on the animal to ease the load and not for the purpose of drawing it.
(26) If, e.g., he put sacks upon it not as a burden, there is no disqualification. Where, however, the sacks were placed as a load there is immediate disqualification, even though the cow did not draw. This is in agreement with Rab Judah.
(27) The general rule must be restricted in application to what is contained in the particular.
(28) Deut. XXI, 3.
(29) This is one of the principles of hermeneutics according to R. Ishmael. V. B.K., 54a.
(30) With a heifer.
(31) A heifer less than a year old could not bring forth young.
(32) Which produces a harvest of merit; and he was prevented by his murder from doing this.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 46b
Strong [ethan] is thy dwelling-place, and thy nest is set in the rock;1 and it states: Hear, O ye mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye enduring foundations [ethanim] of the earth.2 Others, however, say: Whence is it that 'ethan' means 'old'? As it is stated: It is an ethan nation, it is an ancient nation.3
THEY THEN BREAK ITS NECK WITH A HATCHET FROM BEHIND. What is the reason [that it is done from behind]? - He derives it by the analogous word 'breaking' [stated] in the case of a bird brought as a sin.offering.4
THE SITE MAY NEVER BE SOWN OR TILLED. Our Rabbis taught: Which is neither plowed nor sown5 - this refers to the past; such is the statement of R. Joshiah. R. Jonathan says: It refers to the future. Raba said: Nobody disputes as to the future since it is written: It shall not be sown;6 when they differ as to the past, R. Joshiah argues, Is it written: 'And it shall not be tilled'?7 And R. Jonathan argues, Is it written: 'Which has not been tilled'?8 And [how does] R. Joshiah [meet R. Jonathan's argument]? - The relative pronoun 'which' must be understood of the past.9 And R. Jonathan? - 'Which' is employed in an inclusive sense.10
BUT IT IS PERMITTED TO CARD FLAX AND CHISEL STONES THERE. Our Rabbis taught: 'Which is neither plowed nor sown' - I have here only sowing; whence is it that the other kinds of agricultural work [are prohibited]? There is a text to state, 'which is neither plowed' - i.e., [agricultural labour] in any form. If that is so, why is it stated 'nor sown'?11 Its purpose is to inform us that as sowing is special since it is connected with the soil itself, so everything which is connected with the soil itself [is forbidden], to the exclusion of carding flax and chiselling stones which are not connected with the soil itself. But argue that 'which is neither plowed' is general and 'nor sown' particular, and where there is a case of general and particular, only what is in the particular is in the general - viz. sowing only [is forbidden] but nothing else! - The term 'which' is employed in an inclusive sense.
THE ELDERS OF THAT CITY THEN WASH THEIR HANDS etc. Our Rabbis taught: And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.12 There was no need to state, 'whose neck was broken'!13 Why, then, is 'whose neck was broken' added? [It signifies], Over the place of the heifer's neck where it was broken. They then declare, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it'. But can it enter our minds that [the members of a] Court of Justice shed blood! [The meaning of their statement is], however, [The man found dead] did not come to us for help and we dismissed him without supplying him with food, we did not see him and let him go without an escort.It has been taught: R. Meir used to say: We may compel a person to escort [a traveller],14 because the reward for escorting is limitless; as it is said: And the watchers saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will deal kindly with thee.15 It continues, And he shewed them the entrance into the city.16 What was the kindness they did to him? They slew the whole of the city at the edge of the sword, but let that man and his family go.
And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.17 It has been taught: That is the Luz in which they dye the blue;18 that is the Luz against which Sennacherib marched without disturbing it,19 against which Nebuchadnezzar marched without destroying it, and even the Angel of Death has no permission to pass through it, but when the old men there become tired of life20 they go outside the wall and then die. For is not the matter21 an a fortiori inference? If this Canaanite, who did not utter a word or walk a step,22 caused deliverance to come to himself and his seed unto the end of all generations, how much more so he who performs the act of escorting by actually going with the person! How did he show them [the way]? - Hezekiah said: He just curved his mouth for them;23 R. Johanan said: He pointed for them with his finger. There is a teaching in agreement with R. Johanan, viz., Because this Canaanite pointed with his finger, he caused deliverance to come to himself and his seed unto the end of all generations.
R. Joshua b. Levi said: Whoever is on a journey and has no escort should occupy [his mind] with Torah;24 as it is said: For they shall be a chaplet of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.25 R. Joshua b. Levi also said: Because of the four paces with which Pharaoh accompanied Abraham, as it is said: And Pharaoh gave men charge concerning him etc.,26 he [was allowed to] enslave the latter's descendants for four hundred years, as it is said: And shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years.27 Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: Whoever accompanies his neighbour four cubits in a city will come to no harm [when on a journey]. Rabina accompanied Raba b. Isaac four cubits in a city; danger threatened him but he was saved.
Our Rabbis taught: A teacher [accompanies] his pupils until the outskirts28 of a city; one colleague [accompanies] another up to the Sabbath-limit;29 a pupil [accompanies] his master a distance without limit.30 But how far?31 - R. Shesheth said: Up to a parasang. This only applies when his master is not a distinguished scholar; but should his master be a distinguished scholar [he accompanies him] three parasangs.
R. Kahana once accompanied R. Shimi b. Ashi from Pum-Nahara to Be-Zinyatha.32 When they arrived there, he said to him, 'Is it true what you say, that these palms of Babylon are from the time of Adam?' He answered: 'You have reminded me of something which R. Jose b. Hanina said, viz., What means that which is written: Through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?33 Since no man passed through it, how could anyone dwell there, and since nobody dwelt there how could anyone pass through it! But [the meaning is], A land concerning which Adam decreed that it should be inhabited has become inhabited, and a land concerning which Adam did not so decree has not been inhabited'.34 R. Mordecai accompanied R. Ashi from Hagronia35 to Be-Kafi;36 another version is to Be-Dura.37 R. Johanan said in the name of R. Meir: Whoever does not escort others or allow himself to be escorted is as though he sheds blood; for had the men of Jericho escorted Elisha he would not have stirred up bears against the children, as it is said: And he went up from thence unto Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.38 What they said to him was, 'Go up, thou who hast made this place bald for us!'39 What means 'little children'?40 - R. Eleazar said: Ne'arim [children] means they were bare [menu'arim] of precepts; 'little' means they were little of faith.41 A Tanna taught: They were youths [ne'arim] but they behaved like little children. R. Joseph demurred to this: But perhaps they were so called after the name of the place; for is it not written: And the Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid,42 and the question is asked by us a maid [na'arah] and little?43 And R. Pedath explained: She was a little girl from a place called Ne'uran!44 - In this passage her place is not specified,45 but in the other their place is specified.46
And he looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord.47 What did he see? - Rab said: He actually looked upon them, as it has been taught: Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says: Wherever the Sages set their eyes there is either death or calamity.48 Samuel said: He saw that their mothers had all become conceived with them on the Day of Atonement.49 R. Isaac the smith said: He saw that their hair was plaited as with Amorites.50 R. Johanan said: He saw that there was no sap of the commandments in them. But perhaps there would have been such in their descendants!51 - R. Eleazar said: Neither in them nor in their descendants unto the end of all generations.
And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tore forty and two children of them.52
(1) Num. XXIV, 21.
(2) Micah VI, 2. 'Foundations', being parallel to 'mountains', has a similar meaning.
(3) Jer. V, 15. The true meaning here is 'enduring', but the word is taken as defined by what follows.
(4) Cf. Lev. V, 8 where the Hebrew is 'from the back of the neck'.
(5) Deut. XXI, 4.
(6) So the Hebrew literally. They all agree that the site may not be sown or tilled after the ceremony has taken place there.
(7) Since the text has not this form, it must refer to the past.
(8) Consequently it can only refer to the future.
(9) Since it would not be used if a command were implied, and the Torah would have stated: 'it shall not be tilled'.
(10) To include all kinds of agricultural work, as explained below.
(11) Since sowing is included in agricultural labour.
(12) Deut. XXI, 6.
(13) The words seem redundant.
(14) [Or the court compels a town to provide escorts for travellers.]
(15) Judg. I, 24.
(16) Ibid. 25.
(17) Ibid. 26.
(18) For the fringes (Num. XV, 38). The purpose of this statement and what follows is to illustrate the words 'which is the name thereof unto this day', showing that the city survived destruction and still exists.
(19) By not plundering it and exiling the inhabitants.
(20) Lit., 'their mind becomes loathsome to them'.
(21) That the reward for escorting is limitless.
(22) It merely states 'he showed them'.
(23) I.e., he made inarticulate sounds.
(24) As a means of protection.
(25) Prov. I, 9. The Hebrew word for chaplet is the same as for 'escort'.
(26) Gen. XII, 20.
(27) Ibid. XV, 13.
(28) [I.e., seventy cubits and two thirds beyond the outer range of the houses of the city. V. Ned. 56a.]
(29) V. p. 136, n. 7.
(30) [It is one of those deeds of kindliness to the performance of which no maximum is set; v. next note.]
(31) [I.e., what minimum distance must he accompany his teacher?]
(32) [Lit., 'Among the Palms', the former was near the Tigris, the latter was the district of the old city of Babylon, to which Sura belonged and which was rich in palms; cf. Sanh. 96b (Obermeyer, op. cit. p. 295).]
(33) Jer. II, 6.
(34) Accordingly Adam must have decreed that those palms should grow there.
(35) Outside Nehardea.
(36) [Be Kufai. A village four parasangs west of Bagdad, v. Obermeyer, op. cit. p. 267.]
(37) [Be-Duraja, S.W. of Bagdad. This would be about two hours beyond Be Kafi; (Obermeyer, op. cit., p. 268)]. This is cited to show how far a disciple escorted his teacher.
(38) II Kings II, 23. 'He went up' implies that he was unaccompanied.
(39) He had sweetened the waters in that place (ibid. 19ff.) and so had caused loss to the people of the vicinity who had profited by selling drinkable water. Hence the ill-feeling against him.
(40) 'Little' appears to be superfluous.
(41) Because they worried about their livelihood since they could no longer sell water.
(42) Ibid. V, 2.
(43) Na'arah implies that she was young (v. Glos.).
(44) Therefore it is suggested that in the other verse ne'arim means 'men of Ne'uran'. In Josh. XVI, 7 there is a town called Naarath.
(45) It is merely stated 'out of the land of Israel', so Na'arah could possibly indicate a place name.
(46) We gather from the context that the children belonged to Jericho.
(47) II Kings II, 24.
(48) It was believed that the Rabbis were endowed with this power and the Talmud relates several anecdotes on the subject.
(49) When cohabitation is forbidden.
(50) Lit., 'he saw they had a belorith'. They aped heathen manners. On belorith v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 114. n. 5.
(51) So why should they have perished on that account?
(52) II Kings II, 24.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 47a
Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]; one said it was a miracle, while the other said it was a miracle within a miracle. He who said it was a miracle did so because there was a forest but there were no bears;1 he who said it was a miracle within a miracle did so because there was no forest nor were there any bears. [But according to the latter interpretation] there need have been [provided] bears but not a forest! - [It was required] because [the bears] would have been frightened.2
R. Hanina said: On account of the forty-two sacrifices which Balak, king of Moab, offered,3 were forty-two children cut off from Israel. But it is not so; for Rab Judah has said in the name of Rab: Always should a man occupy himself with Torah and the commandments even though it be not for their own sake,4 for from [occupying himself with them] not for their own sake he comes to do so for their own sake; because as a reward for the forty-two sacrifices which Balak, king of Moab, offered,5 he merited that Ruth should issue from him and from her issued Solomon concerning whom it is written: A thousand burnt-offerings did Solomon offer!6 And R. Jose b. Honi said: Ruth was the daughter of Eglon the son of Balak!7 - Nevertheless his desire was to curse Israel.8 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, we pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth etc.9 [But how could it be so] since 'the water is naught and the land miscarrieth'! What, then, was its pleasantness? - R. Hanin said: The favour of a place in the estimation of its inhabitants. R. Johanan said: There are three kinds of favour: the favour of a locality in the estimation of its inhabitants, the favour of a woman In the estimation of her husband, and the favour of an article in the estimation of its purchaser.
Our Rabbis taught: Elisha was afflicted with three illnesses: one because he stirred up the bears against the children, one because he thrust Gehazi away with both his hands, and one of which he died; as it is said: Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died.10
Our Rabbis have taught: Always let the left hand thrust away and the right hand draw near. Not like Elisha who thrust Gehazi away with both his hands (and not like R. Joshua b. Perahiah who thrust one of his disciples away with both his hands).11 How is it with Elisha? As it is written: And Naaman said: Be content, take two talents,12 and it is written: And he said unto him, Went not my heart with thee when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and sheep and oxen, and manservants and maidservants?13 But had he received all these things? Silver and garments were what he had received! - R. Isaac said: At that time Elisha was engaged [in the study of the Law concerning] the eight kinds of [unclean] creeping things;14 so he said to [Gehazi], 'You wicked person, the time has arrived for you to receive the reward for [studying the law of] the eight creeping things.'15 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed for ever.16 Now there were four leprous men17 - R. Johanan said: This refers to Gehazi and his three sons. And Elisha came to Damascus18 - why did he go there?19 - R. Johanan said: He went to induce Gehazi to repent but he refused. He said to him, 'Repent'; but he replied: 'Thus have I received from thee that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence'. What had he done? Some say: He applied a loadstone to the idolatrous image of Jeroboam20 and suspended it between heaven and earth. Others say: He engraved upon it the Name [of God] so that it used to exclaim, 'I [am the Lord thy God]' and 'Thou shalt have no [other God beside me]' - Still others say: He drove the Rabbis from before him, as it is written: And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell before thee is too strait for us21 - hence, up to then it had not been too strait.
What22 was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahiah? - When King Jannaeus23 put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hid by his sister, whilst R. Joshua b. perahiah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace,24 Simeon b. Shetah sent [this message to him]: 'From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to thee Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband25 dwelleth in thy midst and I abide desolate'. [R. Joshua] arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said: 'How beautiful is this 'aksania'!26 One of his disciples27 said to him, 'My master, her eyes are narrow!' He replied to him, 'Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that thou occupiest thyself !' He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him.28 [The disciple] came before him on many occasions, saying'Receive me'; but he refused to notice him. One day while [R. Joshua] was reciting the Shema', he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshipped it. [R. Joshua] said to him, 'Repent'; but he answered him, 'Thus have I received from thee that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence'. A Master has said: The disciple practised magic and led Israel astray.
It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: Also human nature29 should a child and woman thrust aside with the left hand and draw near with the right hand.30
MISHNAH. IF THE MURDERER WAS DISCOVERED BEFORE THE HEIFER'S NECK WAS BROKEN, IT GOES FREE AND FEEDS WITH THE HERD; BUT IF AFTER THE HEIFER'S NECK WAS BROKEN, IT IS BURIED IN THAT PLACE BECAUSE IT CAME THERE FROM THE OUTSET IN CONNECTION WITH A MATTER OF DOUBT,31 AND ATONED FOR THE DOUBT WHICH IS NOW GONE. IF THE HEIFER'S NECK WAS BROKEN AND AFTERWARDS THE MURDERER IS DISCOVERED, BEHOLD HE IS EXECUTED.
IF ONE WITNESS SAYS 'I SAW THE MURDERER' AND ONE WITNESS SAYS 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM';32 OR IF A WOMAN SAYS 'I SAW HIM' AND ANOTHER WOMAN SAYS 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM', THEY BREAK ITS NECK. IF ONE WITNESS SAYS 'I SAW HIM' AND TWO SAY 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM', THEY BREAK ITS NECK. IF TWO SAY 'WE SAW HIM' AND ONE SAYS TO THEM 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM', THEY DO NOT BREAK ITS NECK.33 WHEN MURDERERS MULTIPLIED THE CEREMONY OF BREAKING A HEIFER'S NECK WAS DISCONTINUED. THAT WAS WHEN ELIEZER B. DINAI, ALSO CALLED TEHINAH B. PERISHAH, APPEARED;34 HE WAS AFTERWARDS RENAMED 'SON OF THE MURDERER - WHEN ADULTERERS MULTIPLIED THE CEREMONY OF THE BITTER WATER WAS DISCONTINUED AND IT WAS R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI WHO DISCONTINUED IT, AS IT IS SAID, I WILL NOT PUNISH YOUR DAUGHTERS WHEN THEY COMMIT WHOREDOM, NOR YOUR BRIDES WHEN THEY COMMIT ADULTERY, FOR THEY THEMSELVES ETC.35 WHEN JOSE B. JOEZER OF ZEREDAH AND JOSE B. JUDAH OF JERUSALEM DIED, THE GRAPE-CLUSTERS36 CEASED, AS IT IS SAID, THERE IS NO CLUSTER TO EAT; MY SOUL DESIRETH THE FIRST RIPE FIG.37
JOHANAN THE HIGH PRIEST38 BROUGHT TO AN END THE CONFESSION MADE AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE TITHE.39 HE ALSO ABOLISHED THE WAKERS AND THE KNOCKERS40
(1) These were miraculously created for the occasion.
(2) If there was no forest provided for them in which they could hide, they would not have dared to attack the children.
(3) Num. XXIII, 1, 14, 29.
(4) Without the expectation of reward.
(5) Although he did not offer them for their own sake.
(6) I Kings lii, 4. V. Hor. (Son. ed.) p. 75.
(7) So this was Balak's reward and not the death of the children.
(8) And so he had his reward in the death of these children.
(9) II Kings II, 19.
(10) Ibid. XIII, 14. Sick and sickness denote two, apart from his fatal illness.
(11) MSS. and old editions read Jesus the Nazarene. R. T. Herford sees in Gehazi a hidden reference to Paul. Cf. his Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, pp. 97ff.
(12) II Kings V, 23.
(13) Ibid. 26.
(14) Name of the Chapter in Mishnah Shabbath, XIV, I, cf. Lev. XI, 29ff.
(15) Referring to the eight kinds of presents he had accepted. That will be his reward in this world so that he may be punished in the Hereafter. For a fuller version v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 735.
(16) II Kings V, 27. 'For ever' indicates the World to Come.
(17) II Kings VII, 3.
(18) Ibid. VIII, 7.
(19) V. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 734, n. 8.
(20) Cf. I Kings XII, 28.
(21) II Kings VI, I.
(22) The following paragraph is deleted in censored editions, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 736, n. 2.
(23) Alexander Jannaeus, king of Israel from 104 to 78 B.C.E., a persecutor of the Pharisees. The chronological discrepancy is obvious since he lived a century before Jesus, v. however, Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) loc. cit.
(24) On his death-bed the King advised the Queen to put her confidence in the Pharisees. V. Josephus, Ant. XIII, XV, 5.
(25) His teacher, R. Joshua.
(26) The word means 'inn' and 'female innkeeper'. The Rabbi intended it in the first sense, Jesus in the second.
(27) MSS.: 'Jesus'.
(28) A horn is blown at the ceremony of excommunication. The large number used on this occasion indicated the extreme severity of the penalty.
(29) One must learn to control it so as to avoid extremes.
(30) [One must not be too severe in chiding a child or reproving a wife lest they be driven to despair.]
(31) The unknown murderer.
(32) [I.e., 'I was present with you at the time of the alleged murder and testify that it did not take place.' J. reads 'I did not see it', and similarly in the following clause substitutes the first person for the second.]
(33) The single witness does not upset the evidence of two, so there is no doubt about the murderer.
(34) He was a notorious bandit who committed numerous murders; (v. Josephus, Ant. XX, 6, I; 8, 5.)
(35) Hos. IV, 14.
(36) Descriptive of Rabbis of exceptional learning. These two Rabbis flourished in the first half of the second cent. B.C.E. and were the first of the Zugoth or 'Pairs' of teachers who preserved and passed on the Torah-lore accumulated by the men of the Great Assembly. [Lauterbach. J.Z. (JQR VI, p. 32, n. 34) explains this to mean that with his death teachers ceased to act as a body, reporting only such teachings as represented the opinion of the whole group to which they belonged, but began to report rulings of individual teachers.]
(37) Micah VII, 1.
(38) John Hyrcanus who reigned over Judea from 135 to 104 B.C.E.
(39) Cf. Deut. XXVI, 13f.
(40) These terms are explained in the Gemara.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 47b
. UP TO HIS DAYS THE HAMMER USED TO STRIKE1 IN JERUSALEM, AND IN HIS DAYS THERE WAS NO NEED TO INQUIRE ABOUT DEMAI.2
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: Whence is it that if the heifer's neck had been broken, and the murderer is afterwards discovered, they do not set him free? There is a text to state, And no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.3
IF ONE WITNESS SAYS, 'I SAW THE MURDERER' etc. The reason [why his evidence is not accepted] is because there is somebody who contradicts him; therefore if there is nobody who contradicts him, one witness is believed. Whence is this? - As our Rabbis taught: And it be not known who hath smitten him4 - hence if it be known who had smitten him, even by one person at the other end of the world, they do not break the neck. R. Akiba says: Whence is it that if the Sanhedrin saw a person commit murder, but they do not recognise him, the neck of the heifer is not broken? There is a text to state, Neither have our eyes seen it;5 but [in this case] they had seen it.6
Now that you admit that one witness is believed, how is it possible for another individual to contradict him? Surely 'Ulla has said: Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, he is regarded as two [witnesses], but the evidence of one is not regarded as the evidence of two!7 'Ulla can reply to you, Read in the Mishnah: They do not break its neck. Similarly said R. Isaac, Read in the Mishnah: They do not break its neck; but R. Hiyya said: Read in the Mishnah: They break its neck. Then R. Hiyya is in conflict with the teaching of 'Ulla! - There is no contradiction, one case referring to evidence given simultaneously8 and the other when one witness follows the others.9
The Mishnah declares: IF ONE WITNESS SAYS 'I SAW THE MURDERER' AND TWO SAY 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM', THEY BREAK ITS NECK. Consequently if there is one against one, they do not break its neck; and this is a refutation of R. Hiyya's statement!10 - But according to your own argument, cite the con tinuation: IF TWO SAY 'WE SAW HIM' AND ONE SAYS TO THEM 'YOU DID NOT SEE HIM',THEY DO NOT BREAK ITS NECK. Consequently if - there is one against one, they do break its neck!11 But our Mishnah deals entirely with disqualified witnesses,12 and is in accord with R. Nehemiah who said,13 Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, [the decision] follows the majority of persons [who testify], so that two women against one woman is identical with two men against one man. But there are some who declare that wherever a competent witness came [and testified] first, even a hundred women are regarded as equal to one witness; and with what circumstance are we dealing here? For example, if it was a woman who came first [and testified]; and R. Nehemiah's statement is to be construed thus: R. Nehemiah Says: Wherever the Torah accepts the testimony of one witness, [the decision] follows the majority of persons [who testify], so that two women against one woman is identical with two men against one man, but two women against one man is like half and half. Why, then, have we two teachings concerning disqualified witnesses?14 What you might have said was that when we follow the majority of persons [who testify] it is for taking the severer view, but to take the lenient view we do not follow [the majority]. Therefore [the Mishnah] informs us [of one case where the neck is broken and one where it is not, and in each the majority is followed].
WHEN MURDERERS MULTIPLIED etc. Our Rabbis taught: When murderers multiplied the ceremony of breaking a heifer's neck was discontinued, because it is only performed in a case of doubt; but when murderers multiplied openly, the ceremony of breaking a heifer's neck was discontinued.
WHEN ADULTERERS MULTIPLIED etc. Our Rabbis taught: And the man shall be free from iniquity15 - at the time when the man is free from iniquity, the water proves his wife; but when the man is not free from iniquity, the water does not prove his wife. Why, then, [was it necessary for the Mishnah to add]: AS IT IS SAID, 'I WILL NOT PUNISH YOUR DAUGHTERS WHEN THEY COMMIT WHOREDOM etc'? Should you say that his own iniquity [prevents the water from proving his wife] but the iniquity of his sons and daughters does not, come and hear: 'I WILL NOT PUNISH YOUR DAUGHTERS WHEN THEY COMMIT WHOREDOM, NOR YOUR BRIDES WHEN THEY COMMIT ADULTERY'. And should you say that his sin with a married woman [prevents the water from proving his wife] but not if it was with an unmarried woman, come and hear: FOR THEY THEMSELVES GO ASIDE WITH WHORES AND WITH THE HARLOTS etc.' What means And the people that doth not understand shall be overthrown?16 R. Eleazar said: The prophet spoke to Israel, If you are scrupulous with yourselves, the water will prove your wives; otherwise the water will not prove your wives.
When hedonists multiplied, justice became perverted,17 conduct deteriorated and there is no satisfaction [to God] in the world. When they who displayed partiality in judgment multiplied, the command Ye shall not be afraid [of the face of man]18 became void and Ye shall not respect [persons in judgment]19 ceased to be practised; and people threw off the yoke of heaven and placed upon themselves the yoke of human beings. When they who engaged in whisperings in judgment20 multiplied, fierceness of [the divine] anger increased against Israel and the Shechinah departed; because it is written: He judgeth among the judges.21 When there multiplied [men of whom it is said] Their heart goeth after their gain,22 there multiplied they who call evil good and good evil.23 When there multiplied they 'who call evil good and good evil', woes24 increased in the world. When they who draw out their spittle25 multiplied, the arrogant increased, disciples diminished, and Torah went about [looking] for them who would study it. When the arrogant multiplied, the daughters of Israel began to marry arrogant men, because our generation looks only to the outward appearance. But that is not so; for a Master has declared: An arrogant person is not acceptable even to the members of his household, as it is said: A haughty man one abideth not at home26 - i.e., even in his own house! - At first they jump round him, but in the end he becomes repugnant to them.
When there multiplied they who forced their goods upon householders,27 bribery increased as well as miscarriage of justice, and happiness ceased. When there multiplied [judges] who said 'I accept your favour' and 'I shall appreciate your favour', there was an Increase of Every man did that which was right in his own eyes;28 common persons were raised to eminence, the eminent were brought low, and the kingdom [of Israel] deteriorated more and more. When envious men and plunderers [of the poor] multiplied, there increased they who hardened their hearts and closed their hands from lending [to the needy], and they transgressed what is written in the Torah, viz., Beware that there be not etc.29 When there multiplied women who had stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,30 [the need] increased for the bitter water but it ceased [to be used]. When receivers of gifts multiplied, the days [of human life] became fewer and years were shortened; as it is written: But he that hateth gifts shall live.31 When the haughty of heart multiplied, dissensions increased in Israel. When the disciples of Shammai and Hillel multiplied who had not served [their teachers] sufficiently, dissensions increased in Israel and the Torah became like two Toroth. When there multiplied they who accepted charity of Gentiles, Israel became on top and they below, Israel went forward and they backward.32
WHEN JOSE B. JOEZER DIED etc. What does 'grape-clusters' [eshkoloth] mean? - Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: A man in whom is everything [ish she-hakol bo].
JOHANAN THE HIGH PRIEST BROUGHT TO AN END THE CONFESSION MADE AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE TITHE etc. What was his reason? - R. Jose b. Hanina said: Because people were not presenting it according to the regulation; for the Allmerciful said that they should give it to the Levites
(1) V. note on the Gemara infra.
(2) Produce about which there is uncertainty whether it had been tithed. The Gemara will explain what is intended.
(3) Num. XXXV, 33.
(4) Deut. XXI, I.
(5) Ibid. 7.
(6) Consequently the ceremony is not performed.
(7) But according to the Mishnah, if one is contradicted by one, the former is not accepted and the neck is broken.
(8) Then one witness can contradict another.
(9) The evidence of the first witness having been accepted is regarded as that of two.
(10) He proposed that when one is against one the Mishnah should read: They break its neck.
(11) Which supports R. Hiyya and in apparent contradiction to the first clause.
(12) Women and slaves.
(13) What follows is quoted from supra 31b et seq., q.v. for notes.
(14) In the two clauses of our Mishnah which have been explained as referring to the evidence of women and slaves.
(15) Num. V, 31.
(16) Hos. IV, 14.
(17) Judges accepted bribes.
(18) Deut. I, 17.
(20) To influence the judges in favour of one party.
(21) Ps. LXXXII, I, i.e., God is only with honest judges.
(22) Ezek. XXXIII, 31.
(23) Isa. V, 20.
(24) The word woe occurs frequently in Isa. V.
(25) As a mark of ostentation.
(26) Hab. II, 5 sic.
(27) Judges who compelled them to buy against their will.
(28) Judg. XVII, 6.
(29) Deut. XV, 9.
(30) Isa. III, 16.
(31) Prov. XV, 27.
(32) A euphemism for the reverse: Israel became below etc. This sentence has fallen out of the text in some modern editions.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 48a
whereas we present it to the priests.1 Then let them make the confession over the other tithes!2 - Resh Lakish said: Any household which does not make the confession over the first tithe may not make it over the other tithes. For what reason? - Abaye said: Because Scripture deals with that first;3 This implies that they had separated it [before proceeding to the other tithes]. But surely it has been taught: He also annulled the confession and decreed in respect of demai;4 because he sent [inspectors] throughout the Israelite territory and discovered that they only separated the great terumah5 but as for the first and second tithes some fulfilled the law while others did not.6 So he said to [the people], 'My sons, come, I will tell you this. Just as in [the neglect] of the "great terumah" there is mortal sin,7 so with [the neglect] to present the terumah of the tithe and with the use of untithed produce there is mortal sin'. He thus arose and decreed for them that whoever purchases fruits from an 'Am ha-arez8 must separate the first and second tithes therefrom. From the first tithe he separates the terumah of the tithe and gives it to a priest, and as for the second tithe he should go up and eat it in Jerusalem. With regard to the first tithe and the tithe of the poor9 whoever demands them from his neighbour has the onus of proving [that they had not been already apportioned]!10 [Johanan] made two decrees: he abolished the confession [over the presentation of the first tithe] in the case of the Haberim11 and decreed in regard to the demai12 of the 'Amme ha-arez.13
HE ALSO ABOLISHED THE WAKERS. What does 'WAKERS' mean? - Rehabah said: The Levites used daily to stand upon the dais and exclaim, Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?14 He said to them, Does, then, the All-Present sleep? Has it not been stated: Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep!15 But so long as Israel abides in trouble and the Gentiles are in peace and comfort, the words 'Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord'? [should be uttered].16
AND KNOCKERS. What does 'KNOCKERS' mean? - Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: They used to make an incision on the calf between its horns17 so that the blood should flow into its eyes.18 [Johanan] came and abolished the practice because it appeared as though [the animal had] a blemish. There is a Baraitha which teaches: They used to strike [the animal] with clubs as is the practice with idolatry. [Johanan] said to them, How long will you feed the altar with nebeloth!19 [How could he have described the carcasses as] nebeloth when they had been properly slaughtered! - Rather [should they be described as] terefoth,20 since the membrane of the brain may have been perforated. He [thereupon] arose and ordained rings for them in the ground.21
UP TO HIS DAYS THE HAMMER USED TO STRIKE IN JERUSALEM. On the intermediate days of the Festival.22
ALL HIS DAYS23 THERE WAS NO NEED TO INQUIRE ABOUT DEMAI. As we have explained above.24
MISHNAH. WHEN THE SANHEDRIN CEASED [TO FUNCTION], SONG CEASED FROM THE PLACES OF FEASTING; AS IT IS SAID, THEY SHALL NOT DRINK WINE WITH A SONG ETC.25
WHEN THE FORMER PROPHETS26 DIED, THE URIM AND THUMMIM27 CEASED. WHEN [THE SECOND] TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, THE SHAMIR AND NOPHETH ZUFIM28 CEASED, AND MEN OF FAITH DISAPPEARED FROM ISRAEL; AS IT IS SAID, HELP, LORD, FOR THE GODLY MAN CEASETH ETC.29 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: R. JOSHUA TESTIFIED THAT FROM THE DAY THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, THERE IS NO DAY WITHOUT A CURSE, THE DEW HAS NOT DESCENDED FOR A BLESSING, AND THE FLAVOUR HAS DEPARTED FROM THE FRUITS. R. JOSE SAYS: THE FATNESS30 WAS ALSO REMOVED FROM THE FRUITS. R. SIMEON B. ELEAZAR SAYS; [THE CESSATION OF] PURITY HAS REMOVED TASTE AND FRAGRANCE [FROM FRUITS]; [THE CESSATION OF] THE TITHES HAS REMOVED THE FATNESS OF CORN. BUT THE SAGES SAY: IMMORALITY AND WITCHCRAFT DESTROYED EVERYTHING.
GEMARA. How do we know that the text, ['They shall not drink wine with a song'] - applies to the time when the Sanhedrin ceased? - R. Huna, son of R. Joshua, said: Because Scripture states: The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.31
Rab said: The ear which listens to song should be torn off. Raba said: When there is song in a house there is destruction on its threshold; as it is stated: Their voice shall sing in the windows, desolation shall be in the thresholds, for He hath laid bare the cedar work.32 What means 'for he hath laid bare ['erah] the cedar work'? - R. Isaac said: Is a house panelled with cedar-wood a city ['irah]?33 But [the meaning is] even a house panelled with cedars will be overthrown [mithro'ea'].34 R. Ashi said: Infer from this that when destruction begins, it begins on the threshold; as it is stated: 'Desolation shall be in the thresholds' - Or if you will, deduce it from here: And the gate is smitten with destruction.35 Mar, son of R. Ashi said: I have personally seen him,36 and he gores like an ox.
R. Huna said: The singing of sailors and ploughmen is permitted, but that of weavers is prohibited.37 R. Huna abolished singing, and a hundred geese were priced at a zuz38 and a hundred se'ahs of wheat at a zuz and there was no demand for them [even at that price];39 R. Hisda came and [ordered R. Huna's edict to be] disregarded, and a goose was required [even at the high price of] a zuz but was not to be found.40 R. Joseph said: When men sing and women join in it is licentiousness; when women sing and men join in it is like fire in tow.41 For what practical purpose is this mentioned? - To abolish the latter before the former.42
R. Johanan said: Whoever drinks to the accompaniment of the four musical instruments43 brings five punishments to the world; as it is stated: Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the lute, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord.44 What is written after this? 'Therefore My people are gone into captivity for lack of knowledge' - they therefore cause captivity in the world; 'and their honourable men are famished' - they therefore bring hunger into the world; and their multitude are parched with thirst45 - they therefore cause Torah to be forgotten by its students. And the mean man is bowed down and the great man is humbled46 - they therefore cause humiliation to the haters of God47 - and 'man' signifies none other than the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said: The Lord is a man of war,'48 'and the eyes of the lofty are humbled' they therefore cause the humiliation of Israel. And what is written after that? Therefore
(1) Deut. XXVI, 13 requires that the first tithe should be given to the Levites; but it is related in Yeb. 86b that because the Levites refused to join in the return from Babylon, Ezra punished them by having the tithe transferred to the priests.
(2) The second and poor tithes.
(3) The Rabbis explain the verse as follows: 'Thou shalt give it unto the Levite' i.e., the first tithe; 'and unto the stranger' i.e., the tithe of the poor; 'within thy gates' i.e., the second tithe.
(4) The reason given by R. Jose b. Hanina.
(5) The part which is separated in the first instance is the 'great terumah' or offering for the priests, to distinguish it from the 'terumah of the tithe', i.e., the tenth part given by the Levite of the tithe he receives, to the priest; then the first tithe is taken from the remainder for the Levites; after that the second tithe is removed to be eaten by the owner in Jerusalem (Deut. XIV, 22ff.); and each third year a tithe is allocated to the poor (ibid. XXVI, 12); v. Glos., s.v. Terumah.
(6) I. H. Weiss (Dor I p. 119) suggests that at that time there was a growing aversion against paying the tithe to the Levites, firstly because their status had changed from the period when the land was apportioned among the tribes and they had no share; and secondly because part of the produce had to be paid as a tax to the Government and the law of the tithe pressed very heavily upon the people.
(7) I.e., the penalty involved is death at the hands of Heaven.
(8) V. p. 110 n. 1.
(9) Since they are non-holy and may be eaten by any person.
(10) This shows that the people neglected the separation of the tithe to the Levite.
(11) The opposite of the 'Amme ha-arez. They were most scrupulous in the allocation of the tithes. The reason for his edict was, as stated, because the tithe was presented to a priest and not a Levite.
(12) 'Doubtful produce', corn purchased from a farmer about which there is a doubt whether the tithes had been apportioned.
(13) Because he learnt from his inspectors that the law was being. neglected. It could therefore be safely assumed that the 'Amme ha-arez, were not observing it. Consequently if one purchased their produce, he had the responsibility of apportioning the tithes.
(14) Ps. XLIV, 24.
(15) Ibid. CXXI, 4.
(16) Since his reign was blessed with peace and prosperity, he felt it was unnecessary for the Levites to use the words.
(17) Before it was slaughtered for the altar.
(18) To prevent it from seeing what was to happen so that it should not struggle.
(19) I.e., animals which died not by the act of ritual slaughter.
(20) Animals found to possess a disqualification during the examination which followed the act of slaughter.
(21) To hold the animals fast so that they should not struggle, and the other methods were discontinued.
(22) I.e., work used to be done on those days, which were a semi-festival, and he abolished the practice.
(23) [The actual reading in our Mishnah is 'IN HIS DAYS'.]
(24) The purchaser had the responsibility of separating the tithe himself, so there was no need to inquire whether the produce had been tithed before the sale.
(25) Isa. XXIV, 9' The authority of the Sanhedrin was ended by the Roman General Gabinius in the middle of the first cent. B.C.E. Cf. Josephus, Ant. XIV, v. 4.
(26) The phrase is explained in the Gemara.
(27) V. Ex. XXVIII, 30.
(28) Shamir is the name of a worm which tradition relates had the power of splitting the hardest stone. The Gemara will explain Nopheth Zufim, a phrase occurring in Ps. XIX, 11, lit., 'the droppings of the honeycomb'.
(29) Ps. XII, 2. That the second and not the first Temple is intended here is proved in Tosaf. to Git!. 68a.
(30) Nourishing quality.
(31) Lam. V, 14. The elders sat in the gate of the city to judge.
(32) Zeph. II, 14. The last clause is understood as: even a cedar house, i.e., even the strongly-built house, will be destroyed.
(33) So Maharsha. Rashi explains differently.
(34) Hath laid bare ('erah) is connected with a root רעע 'to be razed'.
(35) Isa. XXIV, 12.
(36) The demon of destruction, v. B.K. 21a.
(37) Singing helps the former in their work, but with the latter it is done out of frivolity.
(38) A small coin worth about sevenpence.
(39) Through the decline of feasting.
(40) The demand for geese had become so great.
(41) A woman's singing aroused sexual passion. The latter is more serious, because it implies a wilful act on the part of the men to listen to the female voices.
(42) If both cannot be suppressed at the same time, the latter should receive more attention as being the worse of the two.
(43) Mentioned in the verse to be quoted.
(44) Isa. V, 11f.
(45) Ibid. 23.
(46) Ibid. 15.
(47) A euphemism for God Himself.
(48) Ex. XV, 3.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 48b
Sheol hath enlarged her desire and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth among them, descend into it.1
WHEN THE FORMER PROPHETS DIED. Who are the former prophets? - R. Huna said: They are David, Samuel and Solomon. R. Nahman said: During the days of David, they were Sometimes successful2 and at other times unsuccessful; for behold, Zadok consulted it and succeeded, whereas Abiathar consulted it and was not successful, as it is said. And Abiathar went up.3 Rabbah b. Samuel objected: [It is written], And he4 set himself to seek God all5 the days of Zechariah who had understanding in the vision of God.6 Was this not by means of the urim and Thummim?7 - No, it was through the prophets.
Come and hear: When the first Temple was destroyed - the cities with pasture land8 were abolished, the Urim and Thummim ceased, there was no more a king from the House of David; and if anyone incites you to quote, And the governor said unto them that they should not eat of the most holy things till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim,9 reply to him: [It is only a phrase for the very remote future] as when one man says to another, 'Until the dead revive and the Messiah, son of David, comes'! - But, said R. Nahman: Who are the former prophets? [The term 'former'] excludes Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi who are the latter [prophets]. For our Rabbis have taught: When Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi died, the Holy Spirit10 departed from Israel; nevertheless they made use of the Bath Kol.11 On one occasion [some Rabbis] were sitting in the upper chamber of Gurya's house in Jericho; a Bath Kol was granted to them from heaven which announced, 'There is in your midst one man who is deserving that the Shechinah should alight upon him, but his generation is unworthy of it'. They all looked at Hillel the elder; and when he died, they lamented over him, 'Alas, the pious man! Alas, the humble man! Disciple of Ezra!' On another occasion they were sitting in an upper chamber in Jabneh; a Bath Kol was granted to them from heaven which announced, 'There is in your midst one man who is deserving that the Shechinah should alight upon him, but his generation is unworthy of it'. They all looked at Samuel the Little;12 and when he died, they lamented over him, 'Alas, the humble man! Alas, the pious man! Disciple of Hillel!' At the time of his death he also said,13 'Simeon and Ishmael14 [are destined] for the sword and their colleagues for death, and the rest of the people for spoliation, and great distress will come upon the nation.' They also wished to lament over R. Judah b. Baba,15 'Alas, the pious man! Alas, the humble man!' But the times were disturbed and they could not lament publicly over those who had been slain by the government.
WHEN [THE SECOND] TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, THE SHAMIR CEASED etc. Our Rabbis taught: With the Shamir Solomon built the Temple,16 as it is said: And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry.17 The words are to be understood as they are written;18 such is the statement of R. Judah. R. Nehemiah asked him, Is it possible to say so? Has it not been stated: All these were of costly stones . . . sawed with saws!19 If that be so, why is there a text to State, There was neither hammer, nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in the building?20 [It means] that they prepared them outside and brought them within. Rabbi said: The statement of R. Judah is probable in connection with the stones of the Sanctuary, and the statement of R. Nehamiah in connection with [Solomon's] house. For what purpose, then, according to R. Nehemiah, was the Shamir necessary? - It was required as taught in the following: We may not write with ink upon these stones,21 because it is said: Like the engravings of a signet,22 nor cut into them with a knife because it is said: In their settings;23 but he writes with ink upon them, shows the Shamir [the written strokes] on the outside, and these split of their own accord,24 like a fig which splits open in summer and nothing at all is lost, or like a valley which splits asunder in the rainy season and nothing at all is lost.
Our Rabbis taught: The Shamir is a creature about the size of a barley-corn, and was created during the six days of Creation.25 No hard substance can withstand it. How is it kept? They wrap it in tufts of wool and place it in a leaden tube full of barley-bran.
R. Ammi said: When the first Temple was destroyed, fringed26 silk and white glass27 ceased to be used. There is a teaching to the same effect: When the first Temple was destroyed, fringed silk and white glass and iron chariots ceased to be used. Some say: Also wine-jelly28 which comes from Senir29 and resembles cakes of figs.
AND NOFETH ZUFIM. What means NOFETH ZUFIM? - Rab said: The fine flour which floats [zofah] upon the top of a sieve [nafah] and resembles dough kneaded with honey and oil. Levi said: It is two loaves attached to [opposite sides of] an oven which keep on swelling until they touch one another.30 R. Joshua b. Levi said: It is the honey which comes from the hills [zofim].31 How is this known?32 - As R. Shesheth33 translated:34 When the bees spring forth and fly in the heights of the world and collect honey from the herbage on the mountains.
We have learnt there:35 Whatever is poured out36 is clean with the exception of thick honey and batter.37 What means zifim [thick]? - R. Johanan said: Honey used for adulteration [ziyyef]; and Resh Lakish said: It is named after its place, as it is written: Zif, Telem and Bealoth.38 You may similarly quote, When the Zifites came and said to Saul, Doth not David etc.39 What means Zifites? - R. Johanan said: Men who falsify their words; and R. Eliezer says: They are named after their place, as it is written: Zif Telem, and Bealoth.38
AND MEN OF FAITH DISAPPEARED. R. Isaac said: These are men who had faith in the Holy One, blessed be He. For it has been taught: R. Eliezer the Great40 declares: Whoever has a piece of bread in his basket and Says. 'What shall I eat tomorrow?' belongs only to them who are little in faith. And that is what R. Eleazar said: What means that which is written: For who hath despised the day of small things?41 [It signifies,] What is the cause that the tables of the righteous are despoiled in the Hereafter?42 The smallness [of faith] which was in them, that they did not trust in the Holy One, blessed be He. Raba said: They are the little ones43 among the children of the wicked of Israel
(1) Isa. V, 14.
(2) In obtaining knowledge of the future by consulting the Urim and Thummim.
(3) II Sam. XV, 24. This is explained by the Rabbis: he retired from the priesthood because he received no reply from the Urim and Thummim.
(4) Uzziah, King of Judah.
(5) [M.T. reads 'in the days of.]
(6) II Chron. XXVI, 5.
(7) Therefore there were Urim and Thummim in the days of King Uzziah, contrary to the view of R. Huna.
(8) For the Levites; v. Num. XXXV, 2.
(9) Ezra II, 63. From this verse it would appear that the Urim and Thummim continued up to the destruction of the first Temple, contrary to the view of R. Huna.
(10) Divine inspiration.
(11) V. Gios.
(12) A famous pupil of Hillel who died about a decade after the destruction of the second Temple.
(13) Under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
(14) Probably Simeon b. Gamaliel and Ishmael b. Elisha who were put to death after the capture of Jerusalem. See the full discussion in R.T. Herford, op. cit., pp. 129ff.
(15) A victim of the Hadrianic Persecution. For further notes on this passage, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 46.
(16) V. Git. (Sonc. ed.) p. 323, n. 2.
(17) I Kings VI, 7. The Hebrew is 'perfect stone'.
(18) I.e., the stones were naturally in a hewn state, as though they had been cut in a quarry.
(19) Ibid. VII, 9 referring to Solomon's house.
(20) Ibid. VI, 7 referring to the Temple.
(21) On the ephod and High Priest's breastplate.
(22) Ex. XXVIII, 11.
(23) Ibid. 20. Lit., 'in their fullnesses', i.e., no part of the stones may be cut away.
(24) Through the action of the Shamir the stones are split open along the written lines without any part of the stones being cut away.
(25) According to Ab. v. 9 it was one of the ten things created in the twilight of the sixth day, before the first Sabbath.
(26) Perles, Etymol. Studien, p. 51, identifies the word with the Persian parand or barand.
(27) V. B.M. (Sonc. ed.) p. 184, n. 3.
(28) Lit., congealed wine; perhaps identical with 'wine mixed with snow (Neg. I, 2).
(29) A northern peak of Mt. Hermon mentioned in the Bible as famed for its cypresses.
(30) The dough is blessed and so increases in size. The loaves float (Zaf) in the space of the oven.
(31) There is another reading: zipya which Jastrow explains as the inner cells of the honeycomb.
(32) That bees gather honey from the hills.
(33) [Var. lec. 'R. Joseph', v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) p. 9, n. 9.]
(34) The words 'as bees do' in Deut. I, 44.
(35) Nazir 50a.
(36) If something is poured from a clean vessel into an unclean vessel, what is in the former is not defiled by the fact that the latter is unclean.
(37) Being thick the outflow connects what is in the two vessels.
(38) Josh. XV. 24.
(39) Ps. LIV, 2 (in the E.V. it is part of the heading of the Psalm).
(40) Eliezer b. Hyrcanus.
(41) Zech. IV, 10.
(42) They do not receive their full reward.
(43) Children who died young.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 49a
who despoil the verdict upon their fathers in the Hereafter, Saying before Him, 'Sovereign of the Universe! Since thou art about to exact punishment of them, why hast Thou blunted their teeth?'1
R. Elai b. Jebarekya said: Had it not been for the prayer of David, all Israel would have been sellers of rubbish,2 as it is stated: Grant them esteem, O Lord.3
R. Elai b. Jebarekya also said: Had it not been for the prayer of Habakkuk, two disciples of the Sages would have to cover themselves with one garment4 and occupy themselves with Torah; as it is stated: O Lord, I have heard the report of Thee and am afraid; O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years5 - read not 'in the midst of the years [bekereb shanim]' but in the drawing together of two [bekerub shenayim].6
R. Elai b. Jebarekya also said: If two disciples of the Sages proceed on a journey and there are no words of Torah between them, they are deserving of being burnt with fire; as it is stated: And it came to pass, as they still went on, that, behold, a chariot of fire etc.7 The reason [why the chariot of fire appeared] was that there was discussion [of Torah between them]; hence if there had not been such discussion, they would have deserved to be burnt.
R. Elai b. Jebarekya also said: If two disciples of the Sages reside in the same city and do not support each other in [the study of] the law, one dies and the other goes into exile;8 as it is stated: That the manslayer might flee thither, which slayeth his neighbour without knowledge,9 and 'knowledge' means nothing but Torah, as it is stated: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.10
R. Judah, son of R. Hiyya said: Any disciple of the Sages who occupies himself with Torah in poverty will have his prayer heard; as it is stated: For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more; He will surely be gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear, He will answer thee,11 and it continues, And the Lord will give you bread in adversity and water in affliction.12 R. Abbahu said: They also satisfy him from the lustre of the Shechinah, as it is stated: Thine eyes shall see thy Teacher.13 R. Aha b. Hanina said: Neither is the veil14 drawn before him, as it is said: 'Thy teacher shall no more be hidden.'
RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS IN THE NAME OF R. JOSHUA:15 FROM THE DAY THAT THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, THERE IS NO DAY etc. Raba said: And the curse of each day is severer than that of the preceding, as it is stated: In the morning thou shalt say: Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say: Would God it were morning.16 Which morning [would they long for]? If I say the morning of the morrow, nobody knows what it will be. Therefore [it must be the morning] which had gone.17 How, in that case, can the world endure?18 - Through the doxology recited after the Scriptural reading,19 and [the response of] 'May His great Name [be blessed]' [which is uttered in the doxology] after studying Aggada;20 as it is stated: A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself, a land of the shadow of death, without any order.21 Hence if there are Scriptural readings, it is illumined from the thick darkness.
THE DEW HAS NOT DESCENDED FOR A BLESSING AND THE FLAVOUR HAS DEPARTED FROM THE FRUITS etc. It has been taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar Says: [The cessation of] purity has removed taste and fragrance [from fruits]; [the cessation of] tithes has removed the fatness of corn. R. Huna once found a juicy date which he took and wrapped in his mantle. His son, Rabbah, came and said to him, 'I smell the fragrance of a juicy date'. He said to him, 'My son, there is purity in thee',22 and gave it to him. Meanwhile [Rabbah's] son, Abba, came; [Rabbah] took it and gave it to him. [R. Huna] said to [Rabbah], 'My son, thou hast gladdened my heart23 and blunted my teeth'.24 That is what the popular proverb Says, 'A father's love is for his children; the children's love is for their own children.' R. Aha b. Jacob reared R. Jacob, his daughter's son. When he grew up, [the grandfather] said to him, 'Give me some water to drink'. He replied: 'I am not thy son'.25 That is what the popular proverb says: 'Rear me, rear me;26 I am thy daughter's son'.
MISHNAH. DURING THE WAR WITH VESPASIAN27 THEY [THE RABBIS] DECREED AGAINST [THE USE OF] CROWNS WORN BY BRIDEGROOMS AND AGAINST [THE USE OF] THE DRUM.28 DURING THE WAR OF QUIETUS29 THEY DECREED AGAINST [THE USE OF] CROWNS WORN BY BRIDES AND THAT NOBODY SHOULD TEACH HIS SON GREEK. DURING THE FINAL WAR30 THEY DECREED THAT A BRIDE SHOULD NOT GO OUT IN A PALANQUIN31 IN THE MIDST OF THE CITY, BUT OUR RABBIS DECREED THAT A BRIDE MAY GO OUT IN A PALANQUIN IN THE MIDST OF THE CITY. WHEN R. MEIR32 DIED, THE COMPOSERS OF FABLES CEASED. WHEN BEN AZZAI33 DIED, THE ASSIDUOUS STUDENTS [OF TORAH] CEASED. WHEN BEN ZOMA34 DIED, THE EXPOSITORS CEASED.35 WHEN R. AKIBA36 DIED, THE GLORY OF THE TORAH CEASED. WHEN R. HANINA B. DOSA DIED, MEN OF DEED37 CEASED. WHEN R. JOSE KETANTA DIED, THE PIOUS MEN CEASED; AND WHY WAS HIS NAME CALLED KETANTA? BECAUSE HE WAS THE YOUNGEST38 OF THE PIOUS MEN.39 WHEN R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI40 DIED, THE LUSTRE OF WISDOM CEASED.41 WHEN RABBAN GAMALIEL THE ELDER DIED, THE GLORY OF THE TORAH CEASED, AND PURITY AND ABNEGATION PERISHED. WHEN R. ISHMAEL B. FABI42 DIED, THE LUSTRE OF THE PRIESTHOOD CEASED. WHEN RABBI DIED, HUMILITY AND FEAR OF SIN CEASED.43 R. PHINEAS B. JAIR SAYS: WHEN [THE SECOND] TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, SCHOLARS44 AND NOBLEMEN WERE ASHAMED AND COVERED THEIR HEAD,45 MEN OF DEED WERE DISREGARDED, AND MEN OF ARM AND MEN OF TONGUE46 GREW POWERFUL. NOBODY ENQUIRES,47 NOBODY PRAYS [ON THEIR BEHALF], AND NOBODY ASKS.48 UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. R. ELIEZER THE GREAT SAYS: FROM THE DAY THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED, THE SAGES BEGAN TO BE LIKE SCHOOL-TEACHERS,49 SCHOOL-TEACHERS LIKE SYNAGOGUE-ATTENDANTS, SYNAGOGUE-ATTENDANTS LIKE COMMON PEOPLE, AND THE COMMON PEOPLE
(1) Caused them suffering in this world by our death in childhood. By this plea the bereaved parents are spared punishment.
(2) Earning a precarious livelihood.
(3) Ps. IX, 21 (E.V. 'Put them in fear'). ['Them' are Israel, and the prayer is that God will bestow on them worldly goods which will secure for them the esteem of the nations.]
(4) Through poverty.
(5) Hab. III, 2.
(6) 'Thy work' is the study of Torah; and 'drawing together of two' refers to two students sharing one garment.
(7) II Kings II, 11.
(8) One being the cause of the other's death, he has, so to speak, to flee to a city of refuge; he is exiled.
(9) Deut. IV, 42.
(10) Hos. IV, 6.
(11) Isa. XXX, 19. The people dwelling in Zion symbolise students of Torah.
(12) Ibid. 20 sic.
(13) Ibid. 'Teacher' is applied to God.
(14) Hiding the glory of God from man.
(15) The wording in the Mishnah is: R. Joshua testified.
(16) Deut. XXVIII, 67.
(17) Because yesterday was less severe than today. Therefore they longed for its return.
(18) If every day is worse than the preceding day.
(19) [Kidushah-de-Sidra. Lit., 'the doxology of the order'. This name is given to the passage recited at the conclusion of the morning service which begins 'And a Redeemer shall come unto Zion' (v. P.B. p. 73) and which consists of Scriptural verses including the doxology in Hebrew and Aramaic. It was designed according to Rashi to take the place of the daily study of the law which is enjoined upon every Jew. For other explanations v. Abrahams, I., Companion to the Daily Prayer Book, p. LXXXIII.]
(20) V. p. 197, n. 1.
(21) Job X, 22. The word for 'order' is the same as that for the Scriptural reading.
(22) For that reason he was able to smell its fragrance.
(23) With his purity.
(24) By displaying more love for the son than the father, because he gave him the date.
(25) He claimed that the duty of honouring parents did not apply to grandparents, although he had been reared by him.
(26) And yet I have not the duty of a son.
(27) Which ended in the destruction of the second Temple.
(28) At wedding festivities.
(29) The text has Titus; but Neubauer's Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, II p. 66 has the correct reading. Quietus was a Moorish prince, appointed by Trajan to command the army which overran Babylon in 116 C.E.
(30) Rashi explains: when the Temple was destroyed. More probably it refers to the last stand against Rome under Bar Kochba in 135 C.E.
(31) In which she was conveyed to her husband's house.
(32) He was renowned for his fables, V. Sanh, 38b.
(33) He was wedded to the Torah. V. supra p. 15.
(34) He was a famous expositor. V. Ber. 12b.
(35) [The text of the separately printed Mishnah adds: WHEN R. JOSHUA DIED, GOODNESS DEPARTED FROM THIS WORLD. WHEN R, SIMEON B. GAMALIEL DIED, THE LOCUST CAME AND TROUBLE INCREASED. WHEN R. ELEAZAR B. AZARIAH DIED, WEALTH DEPARTED FROM THE SAGES.]
(36) He studied every letter of the Torah and derived ideas from every peculiarity of expression.
(37) The phrase has been variously interpreted. V. Buchler, Some Types of Jewish-Palestinian Piety, pp. 79ff, He explains it as men who devoted their lives to deeds of loving kindness.
(38) I.e., the last of them. There is no other mention of him in Rabbinic literature.
(39) [J. B.K. III, makes him identical with Jose the Babylonian, the son of Akabia b. Mahalaliel. V. Derenbourg. Essai, p. 483.]
(40) His disciples called him 'the lamp of Israel'. V. Br. 28b.
(41) [On the wide sweep of his knowledge embracing the whole gamut of sciences known in his day v. B.B. 134a.]
(42) Appointed High Priest by Agrippa II in 59 C.E. He was executed in Cyrene after the destruction of the Temple
(Josephus, War VI, II, 2.).
(43) Since Rabbi (Judah I, the Prince) was the redactor of the Mishnah, this paragraph is clearly a later addition. V. Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten, II, p. 222, n. 4.
(44) Haberim, v, Glos.
(45) Through the insolence of inferior Persons who grew powerful.
(47) Concerning Israel's plight.
(48) About the welfare of his neighbour.
(49) They deteriorated in quality.
Talmud - Mas. Sotah 49b
BECAME MORE AND MORE DEBASED; AND THERE WAS NONE TO ASK, NONE TO INQUIRE. UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH1 INSOLENCE WILL INCREASE AND HONOUR DWINDLE;2 THE VINE WILL YIELD ITS FRUIT [ABUNDANTLY] BUT WINE WILL BE DEAR;3 THE GOVERNMENT WILL TURN TO HERESY4 AND THERE WILL BE NONE [TO OFFER THEM] REPROOF; THE MEETING-PLACE [OF SCHOLARS] WILL BE USED FOR IMMORALITY; GALILEE WILL BE DESTROYED, GABLAN5 DESOLATED, AND THE DWELLERS ON THE FRONTIER WILL GO ABOUT [BEGGING] FROM PLACE TO PLACE WITHOUT ANYONE TO TAKE PITY ON THEM; THE WISDOM OF THE LEARNED6 WILL DEGENERATE, FEARERS OF SIN WILL BE DESPISED, AND THE TRUTH WILL BE LACKING; YOUTHS WILL PUT OLD MEN TO SHAME, THE OLD WILL STAND UP IN THE PRESENCE OF THE YOUNG, A SON WILL REVILE HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER WILL RISE AGAINST HER MOTHER, A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, AND A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD;7 THE FACE OF THE GENERATION WILL BE LIKE THE FACE OF A DOG,8 A SON WILL NOT FEEL ASHAMED BEFORE HIS FATHER. SO UPON WHOM IS IT FOR US TO RELY? UPON OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN.
GEMARA. Rab said: [The decree against the use of a crown] applies only to one made of salt and brimstone,9 but if made of myrtle or roses it is permitted; and Samuel said: Also one made of myrtle or roses is prohibited, but if made of reeds or rushes it is permitted; and Levi said: Also one made of reeds or rushes is prohibited. Similarly taught Levi in his Mishnah:10 It is also prohibited if made of reeds or rushes.
AND AGAINST [THE USE OF] THE DRUM [IRUS]. What means IRUS? - R. Eleazar said: A drum with a single bell.11 Rabbah b. R. Huna made a tambourine for his son; his father came and broke it, saying to him, 'It might be substituted for a drum with a single bell. Go, make for him [an instrument by stretching the skin] over the mouth of a pitcher or over the mouth of a kefiz'.12
DURING THE WAR OF QUIETUS THEY DECREED AGAINST [THE USE OF] CROWNS WORN BY BRIDES etc. What means 'crowns worn by brides'? - Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: A [miniature] golden city.13 There is a teaching to the same effect: What are 'crowns worn by brides'? - A golden city. But one may make a cap for her out of fine wool. A Tanna taught: They also decreed against [the use of] the canopy of bridegrooms. What means 'canopy of bridegrooms'? - Crimson silk embroidered with gold. There is a teaching to the same effect. The canopy of bridegrooms is crimson silk embroidered with gold. But we may make a framework of laths and hang on it anything one desires.
AND THAT NOBODY SHOULD TEACH HIS SON GREEK. Our Rabbis taught: When the kings of the Hasmonean house fought one another,14 Hyrcanus was outside and Aristobulus within. Each day15 they used to let down denarii in a basket, and haul up for them [animals for] the continual offerings. An old man there, who was learned in Greek wisdom,16 spoke with them17 in Greek,18 saying: 'As long as they carry on the Temple-service, they will never surrender to you'. On the morrow they let down denarii in a basket, and hauled up a pig.19 When it reached half way up the wall, it stuck its claws [into the wall] and the land of Israel was shaken over a distance of four hundred parasangs. At that time they declared,- 'Cursed be a man who rears pigs and cursed be a man who teaches his son Greek wisdom!' Concerning that year we learnt that it happened that the 'omer20 had to be supplied from the gardens of Zarifim and the two loaves from the valley of En-Soker.21 But it is not so!22 For Rabbi said: Why use the Syrian language in the land of Israel? Either use the holy tongue or Greek! And R. Joseph said: Why use the Syrian language in Babylon? Either use the holy tongue or Persian! - The Greek language and Greek wisdom are distinct.23 But is Greek philosophy forbidden? Behold Rab Judah declared that Samuel said in the name of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel, What means that which is written: Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city?24 There were a thousand pupils in my father's house; five hundred studied Torah and five hundred studied Greek wisdom, and of these there remained only I here and the son of my father's brother in Assia!25 - It was different with the household of Rabban Gamaliel because they had close associations with the Government;26 for it has been taught: To trim the hair in front27 is of the ways of the Amorites;28 but they permitted Abtilus b. Reuben29 to trim his hair in front because he had close associations with the Government. Similarly they permitted the household of Rabban Gamaliel to study Greek wisdom because they had close associations with the Government.
DURING THE FINAL WAR THEY DECREED THAT A BRIDE SHOULD NOT GO OUT IN A PALANQUIN etc. Why? - For reasons of chastity.30
WHEN RABBAN JOHANAN [B. ZAKKAI] DIED, [THE LUSTRE OF] WISDOM CEASED. Our Rabbis taught: When R. Eliezer died, the Torah-scroll was hidden away.31 When R. Joshua died, counsel and thought ceased.32 When R. Akiba died, the arms of the Torah ceased and the fountains of wisdom were stopped up. When R. Eleazar b. Azariah died, the crowns of wisdom ceased, because the crown of the wise is their riches.33 When R. Hanina b. Dosa died, men of deed ceased. When Abba34 Jose b. Ketanta died, the pious men ceased; and why was his name called Abba Jose b. Ketanta? Because he was the youngest of the pious men. When Ben Azzai died, the assiduous students [of Torah] ceased. When Ben Zoma died, the expositors ceased. When Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel died, locusts35 came up and troubles increased. When Rabbi died, troubles were multiplied twofold.
WHEN RABBI DIED, HUMILITY AND FEAR OF SIN CEASED. R. Joseph said to the tanna,36 Do not include [when reciting this Mishnah] the word 'humility', because there is I.37 R. Nahman said to the teacher, Do not include 'fear of sin', because there is I.38
(1) Just before his advent.
(2) Jast. renders; the nobility shall be oppressed. In Sanh. 97a there is a variant: honour will be perverted; or, according to Jast. the nobility will pervert (justice).
(3) Through the spread of drunkenness.
(4) These words are omitted in the Talmud ed. of the Mishnah. The meaning is: The Roman Empire will go over to Christianity. V. Herford, op. cit., p. 207.
(5) Perhaps Gebal of Ps. LXXXIII, 8, i.e., the Northern part of Mount Seir. [Others: Gaulan, E. of the Sea of Galilee and the Upper Jordan.]
(6) Lit., 'scribes'.
(7) V. Micah VII, 6.
(8) Impervious to shame. [In some editions the whole of this passage beginning 'R. Phineas b. Jair' is introduced with 'Our Rabbis taught', and not as part of the Mishnah.]
(9) Rashi explains that it was a crown cut out of a block of salt upon which figures were traced with brimstone.
(10) His own collection of traditional teachings.
(11) Lit., 'mouth'.
(12) A vessel of the capacity of three log.
(13) According to Shab. 59a a golden crown designed in the form of Jerusalem. V. Krauss. Tal. Arch., I, p. 662 n. 961.
(14) The allusion is to the struggle between the two sons of Alexander Jannaeus, Hyrcanus had the assistance of the Romans who besieged Jerusalem.
(15) According to Josephus Ant. XIV, II, 2, this demand for animals was for the Passover only.
(16) [Sophistry, v, Graetz, Geschichte. III, 710ff.]
(17) He was in Jerusalem and addressed his words to the besiegers. He spoke in Greek because the people in the city did not understand it.
(18) Lit., 'in great wisdom'.
(19) In Josephus' version, they took the money but sent up no animals. So the men in Jerusalem 'prayed to God that He would avenge them on their countrymen. Nor did He delay that punishment, but sent a strong and vehement storm of wind that destroyed the fruits of the whole country.'
(20) The sheaf of the first fruits and the meal-offering of two tenth parts of an ephah (Lev. XXIII, 10, 13) should consist of produce grown in the vicinity of Jerusalem. But that year the surroundings were devastated and the produce had to be brought from distant places.
(21) For further notes on this passage v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 469ff.
(22) That it is forbidden to teach Greek.
(23) The language is permitted but not the wisdom,
(24) Lam. III. 51.
(25) So Greek wisdom was studied by Rabban Gamaliel's pupils. Assia was a town east of the lake of Tiberias, v. Sanh.
(Sonc. ed.) p. 151, n, 1.
(26) An exception was made in their case.
(27) Forming a fringe on the forehead and letting the curls hang down over the temples. V. Krauss, op. cit., I. p, 647 n. 845.
(28) A heathenish practice which is forbidden.
(29) Nothing more is recorded of him in Rabbinic literature.
(30) There was danger of her being attacked.
(31) A tribute to his great learning.
(32) He was a protagonist of Judaism against heathen attacks. V. Hag. 5b.
(33) Prov. XIV, 24. He was extremely wealthy. V. Shab. 54b.
(34) Abba, 'father', was a title of affection given to a number of Rabbis.
(35) Some understand this literally; others see a reference to exacting tax-gatherers who despoiled the people. [The reference is said to be to R. Simeon II b. Gamaliel II, (the father of Rabbi) and to the plague of locusts and pestilence that broke out in the year 164 C.E. - about the time of his death. V. Kerem Chemed IV, p. 220.]
(36) Who conveyed his teaching to the students, v. Glos. s.v. (b).
(37) He claimed to be humble, [V. Hor. (Sonc. ed.) p. 105.]
(38) [In the separate printed editions of the Mishnah there follows: R. PHINEAS B. JAIR USED TO SAY: HEEDFULNESS LEADS TO CLEANLINESS; CLEANLINESS LEADS TO PURITY; PURITY LEADS TO ABSTINENCE; ABSTINENCE LEADS TO HOLINESS; HOLINESS LEADS TO HUMILITY; HUMILITY LEADS TO FEAR OF SIN; FEAR OF SIN LEADS TO SAINTLINESS; SAINTLINESS LEADS TO (THE POSSESSION) OF THE HOLY SPIRIT; THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD; AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD COMETH THROUGH ELIJAH OF BLESSED MEMORY, AMEN. On this passage which has been named the Saint's Progress, v. A.Z., 20b. (Sonc. ed.) p. 106.]