Watchman Willie Martin Archive

Talmud ‑ Mas. Yevamoth 45b

is, of course,1 Rab Judah.2 But surely Rab Judah had explicitly stated: Where one who is a half slave and half freed man cohabited with the daughter of an Israelite the child born from such a union can have no redress!3 — Rab Judah's ruling4 was made only in the case where he5 betrothed6 the daughter of an Israelite,7 in consequence of which his partial slavery cohabits with a married woman.8

     But did not the Nehardeans state in the name of R. Jacob that according to him who regards [the offspring]9 as illegitimate, the child is so regarded even [where cohabitation had taken place] with an unmarried woman; and according to him who regards [the child] as legitimate, the child is so regarded even [if the cohabitation had taken place] with a married woman! And the deduction by both10 was made from none other than the wife of one's father.11 He who regards the child9 as illegitimate is of the opinion that as with the wife of one's father, betrothal with whom is invalid, the child is a bastard. So is the child a bastard in the case of all those12 betrothal with whom is invalid. And he who regards the child as legitimate is of the opinion [that the comparison is]: As with the wife of one's father, betrothal with whom is invalid in the case of the son only,13 but is valid in the case of others;14 an idolater and a slave betrothal with whom is in all cases invalid are consequently excluded!15

     Hence the statement of R. Judah16 must have been made in respect of one17 who had intercourse with a married woman, so that his emancipated side18 cohabits with a married woman.19

     Rabina said: R. Gaza told me, ‘R. Jose b. Abin happened to be at our place when an incident20 occurred with an unmarried woman and  declared the child to be legitimate: [and when it occurred] with a married woman he declared the child to be illegitimate’.

     R. Shesheth said: R. Gaza told me that it was not R. Jose b. Abin but R. Jose son of R. Zebida, and that he declared the child to be legitimate, both in the case of the married, as well as in that of the unmarried woman.21

     R. Aha son of Raba22 said to Rabina: Amemar once happened to be in our place and he declared the child23 to be legitimate in the case of a married, as well as in that of an unmarried woman.

     And the law is that if an idolater or a slave had cohabited with the daughter of an Israelite the child [born from such a union] is legitimate, both in the case of a married, and in that of an unmarried woman.21

     Raba declared R. Mari b. Rachel24 to be a legitimate Israelite and appointed him among the pursers25 of Babylon. And although a Master said: Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee . . . one from among thy brethren,26 all appointments which you make must be made only ‘from among thy brethren’, [means that] such a man,27 since his mother was a descendant of Israel, may well ‘be regarded as ‘one from among thy brethren’.

     The slave of R. Hiyya b. Ammi once made a certain idolatress bathe for a matrimonial purpose.28 Said R. Joseph: I could declare her to be a legitimate Jewess29 and her daughter30 to be of legitimate birth.31 In her case, in accordance with the view of R. Assi; for R. Assi said, ‘Did she not bathe for the purpose of her menstruation’?32 In the case of her daughter, because when an idolater or a slave has intercourse with a daughter of an Israelite, the child [born of such a union] is legitimate.33

     A certain person was once named ‘son of the female heathen’.34 Said R. Assi, ‘Did she not bathe for the purpose of her menstruation’?’

     A certain person was once named ‘son of the male heathen’.35 Said R. Joshua b. Levi, ‘Did he36 not bathe in connection with any mishap37 of his’?38

     R. Hama b. Guria said in the name of Rab: If a man bought a slave from an idolater and [that slave] forestalled him and performed ritual ablution with the object of acquiring the status of a freed man, he acquires thereby his emancipation. What is the reason?


(1) Lit., ‘who is it’?

(2) So that Rabbah's decision in the case of the half slave is based on a ruling of Rab Judah.

(3) I.e., he is a bastard, and may never marry a Jewess, How, then, could Rabbah regard the child of such a union as legitimate?

(4) That he can have no redress.

(5) The half slave,

(6) Not merely cohabited without betrothal.

(7) The betrothal, as far as his partial status of a slave is concerned, is invalid, while in respect of his partial state of emancipation it is valid. The Jewess is consequently his legal wife.

(8) The slave in him having cohabited with the woman who is legally betrothed to the emancipated part of him causes the offspring of the union to be deemed a bastard, as is the case with the offspring of any union between a betrothed or married woman and a stranger, be the latter Israelite, idolater or slave. If, however, cohabitation only between the half slave and a Jewess took place, ‘without previous betrothal, the woman is not the legal wife of the ‘half freed man’ and the child born from the union is the child of an unmarried woman and is consequently legitimate, as Rabbah ruled. In the case of a full slave the question of betrothal does not arise since even if betrothal did take place it is invalid and the woman is legally deemed to be unmarried.

(9) Of a union between a Jewess and an idolater or a slave.

(10) He who regards the child as legitimate and the other who regards him as illegitimate.

(11) Betrothal of whom by the son is invalid and the offspring of any union between them is a bastard.

(12) Such as an idolater or a slave,

(13) Lit,, ‘to him’.

(14) So in all such cases, A child born from such unions only is illegitimate.

(15) The cases of these being different from that of ‘father's wife’, the child born from a union between a Jewess and any of these must be deemed to be legitimate. The father is entirely eliminated and the child is ascribed to the mother. Now, since the statement of the Nehardeans proves that there is no difference between an unmarried and a married (or betrothed) woman, the distinction drawn supra between cohabitation after a betrothal and one in the absence of betrothal is obviously untenable. The objection then against Rabbah's ruling remains!

(16) That the child has no redress.

(17) The half slave and half freed man spoken of.

(18) Which has the same status as that of an Israelite,

(19) Cf. supra p. 295, n. 14. As the offspring of a union between an Israelite and a married woman is a bastard, so is that of the union between the semi‑emancipated (cf. supra n. 10) and a married woman.

(20) A child was born from a union between a slave and a Jewess.

(21) For the reason given supra Cf. supra p. 296, nn. 6. 7 and text.

(22) So Emden a.l, Cur. edd., ‘Rabbah’.

(23) Cf. supra n. 1.

(24) Rachel was one of Mar Samuel's captive daughters, who, while in captivity, was married to an idolater and gave birth to Mari, Issur, the father of the child, embraced Judaism while Rachel was still in her pregnancy, and he is several times referred to in the Talmud as Issur the proselyte. (V. Keth. 23a; B.B. 149a. Sonc. ed. p. 644, and notes a.l.).

(25) hxrup, sing. txrup cf. Gr. **, ‘supervisor’, ‘purser’ or ‘collector’. The appointment gave its holder authority over the Jews under its jurisdiction.

(26) Deut. XVII, 15. Cf. Bah a.I.

(27) R. Mari.

(28) The slave wished to take her as wife. Lit,, ‘wife’, or ‘wifehood’. He made her take a ritual bath in accordanee with the requirements prescribed for the menstruant before she can be permitted connubial intercourse.

(29) Though the bath was taken for menstrual purification yet since an idolatress takes no such baths, it may be regarded as one for the purpose of her conversion also. Usually, before he may be admitted as a legitimate proselyte, the convert most both be circumcised and bathe in a ritual bath for the specific purpose of the conversion. V, infra 46b.

(30) Born from the slave and herself,

(31) Though she is the offspring of a union between a slave and a woman who, at the time of giving birth to her, had already enjoyed the status of a Jewess.

(32) So long as she bathed for one purpose she may be deemed to have bathed for the other also. (V. infra).

(33) For the reason given supra. Cf. supra p. 296. on. 6, 7 and text.

(34) Because his mother did not take a ritual bath at the time of her conversion to Judaism.

(35) Cf. note 6 mutatis mutandis.

(36) The father.

(37) Keri, the emission of semen,

(38) V. supra note 4.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Yevamoth 46a

 — The idolater has no title to the person [of the slave]1 and he can transfer to the Israelite only that which is his. And [the slave], since he forestalled him and performed ritual ablution for the purpose of acquiring the status of a freed man, has thereby cancelled the obligations of his servitude, in accordance with the ruling of Raba. For Raba stated: Consecration,2 leavened food3 and manumission4 cancel a mortgage.5

     R. Hisda raised an objection: It happened with the proselyte Valeria6 that her slaves forestalled her and performed ritual ablutions7 before her. And when the matter came before the Sages they decided that the slaves had acquired the status of freed men.8 [From here it follows that] only if they performed ablution before her,9 but not if after her!10 — Raba replied: ‘Before her’ they acquire their emancipation whether the object of their bathing had, or had not been specified;11 ‘after her’ emancipation is acquired only when the object had been specified,12 but not when it had not been specified.13

     R. Iwya said: What has been taught14 applies only to one15 who buys16 from an idolater; but the idolater himself17 may well be acquired;18 for it is written in Scripture, Moreover from the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them may ye buy:19 you may buy of them but they may not buy of you, nor may they buy of one another.20 ‘But they may not buy of you’. — What can this refer to? If it be suggested [that it refers] to one's manual labour, may not an idolater, [it may be asked,] buy an Israelite to do manual labour? Surely it is written, Or to the offshoot of a stranger's family,21 and a Master said that by ‘stranger's family’ an idolater was meant?22 Consequently it must refer to his person;23 and the All Merciful said, ‘You may buy of them,24 even their persons’. R. Aha objected: It25 might be said [to refer to acquisition] by means of money and ritual ablution!26 — This is a difficulty.

     Samuel said: He27 must be firmly held28 while he is in the water;29 as [was done with] Menjamin, the slave of R. Ashi who wished to perform ritual ablution,30 and was entrusted to Rabina and R. Aha son of Raba. ‘Note’, [R. Ashi] said to them, ‘that I shall claim him from you’.31 They put a chain32 round his neck, and loosened it and again tightened it. They loosened it in order that there might be no interposition.33 They then tightened it again in order that he might not forestall them and declare,34 ‘I perform the ablution in order to procure thereby the status of a freed man’. While he was raising his head from the water they placed upon it a bucket full of clay and told him, ‘Go, carry it to your master's house.

     R. Papa said to Raba: The master must have observed the men of Papa b. Abba's house who advance sums of money on people's accounts in respect of their capitation taxes,35 and then force them into their service. Do they,36 when set free, require a deed of emancipation or not? He replied: Were I now dead I could not have told you of this ruling. Thus said R. Shesheth: The surety for these people37 is deposited in the king's archive, and the king has ordained that whosoever does not pay his capitation tax shall be made the slave of him who pays it for him.38

     R. Hiyya b. Abba once came to Gabla39 where he observed Jewish women who conceived from proselytes who were circumcised but had not performed the required ritual ablution;40 he also noticed that idolaters were serving41 Jewish wine and Israelites were drinking it,42 and he also saw that idolaters were cooking lupines and Israelites ate them;43 but he did not speak to them on the matter at all. He called, however, upon R. Johanan who instructed him: Go and announce that their children are bastards; that their wine is forbidden as nesek wine;44 and that their lupines are forbidden as food cooked by idolaters, because45 they46 are ignorant of the Torah.

     ‘That their children are bastards’, R. Johanan ruling in accordance with his view. For R. Hiyya b. Abba stated in the name of R. Johanan: A man cannot become a proper proselyte unless he has been circumcised and has also performed ritual ablution; when, therefore, no ablution has been performed he is regarded as an idolater; and Rabbah b. Bar Hana stated in the name of R. Johanan that if an idolater or a slave cohabited with the daughter of an Israelite the child [born from such a union] is a bastard.

     ‘That their wine is forbidden as nesek wine’, because a nazirite47 is told, ‘Keep away; go round about; approach not the vineyard’.48

     ‘That their lupines are forbidden as food cooked by idolaters, because they are ignorant of the Torah’. [Would their lupines have been] permitted if the men had been acquainted with the Torah? Surely R. Samuel b. R. Isaac stated in the name of Rab, ‘Any foodstuff that may be eaten raw does not come under the prohibition of food cooked by idolaters’, and since lupines cannot be eaten raw the prohibition of food cooked by idolaters should apply!49 — R. Johanan holds the view as expressed in a second version. For R. Samuel b. R. Isaac stated in the name of Rab, ‘Whatever is not served on a royal table as a dish to be eaten with bread is not subject to the prohibition of food cooked by idolaters The reason, therefore,50 is because they were ignorant of the Torah;51 for had they been acquainted with the Torah [their lupines would have been] permitted.

     Our Rabbis taught: ‘If a proselyte was circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual ablution, R. Eliezer said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that our forefathers52 were circumcised and had not performed ritual ablution’. If he performed the prescribed ablution but had not been circumcised, R. Joshua said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that the mothers53 had performed ritual ablution but had not been circumcised’. The Sages, however, said, ‘Whether he had performed ritual ablution but had not been circumcised or whether he had been circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual ablution, he is not a proper proselyte, unless he has been circumcised and has also performed the prescribed ritual ablution.

     Let R. Joshua also infer from the forefathers, and let R. Eliezer also infer from the mothers! And should you reply54 that a possibility55 may not be inferred from an impossibility,56 surely [it may be retorted] it was taught: R. Eliezer said, ‘whence is it deduced that the paschal lamb57 of later generations58 may be brought from hullin59 only? Those in Egypt were commanded to bring60 a Paschal lamb and those of later generations were commanded to bring a Paschal lamb; as the Paschal lamb spoken of in Egypt could be brought from hullin59 only, so may also the paschal lamb which had been commanded to later generations be brought from hullin only’. Said R. Akiba to him, ‘may a possibility be inferred from an impossibility!’61 The other replied. ‘Although an impossibility, it is nevertheless a proof of importance and deduction from it may be made’!62 — But


(1) As will be explained infra, no idolater may acquire the person of another idolater.

(2) For the altar, of a pledged animal,

(3) Which is pledged to a non‑Israelite but kept in the possession of an Israelite when the time for its destruction on the Passover Eve arrived. No leavened food may be kept in Jewish possession (though pledged to a non‑Jew) from midday of Passover Eve until the conclusion of the Passover festival.

(4) Of a mortgaged slave, v, Git. 40b.

(5) Similarly here, the ritual ablution of the slave, for the purpose of procuring his manumission, cancelled his obligations to his idolatrous master, and ipso facto to his Jewish master who is only the representative of the former and can lay no greater claim to the slave than he.

(6) Heb. thrukc.

(7) For the purpose of conversion to Judaism, and thereby procuring their manumission.

(8) Infra 66b, Keth, 59b, Git, 40b, Ned, 86b, B.K. 89b.

(9) Are they manumitted; because, in that case, they were already proselytes while she was still an idolatress with no title to them.

(10) Lit,, ‘before her, yes: after her, no’. Thus it has been shewn that if the owner is an Israelite, ritual ablution does not procure the slave's manumission, which is in contradiction to what R. Hama stated in the name of Rab!

(11) Lit., ‘whether specified or unspecified’.

(12) When the slave specifically stated that his ablution was performed for the purpose of procuring his manumission: cf. the statement of R. Hama b. Guria.

(13) Lit., ‘by specified, yes: by unspecified. no’.

(14) That by ritual ablution a slave procures his emancipation.

(15) Lit., ‘they did not teach but’.

(16) A slave.

(17) If he sold his own person.

(18) And a ritual ablution does not procure his liberation.

(19) Lev, XXV, 45.

(20) Git. 37b.

(21) Lev. XXV, 47.

(22) How then could it be suggested that an Israelite may not sell his manual labour to an idolater!

(23) An idolater cannot acquire the person of an Israelite,

(24) Of then, may ye by, Lev, XXV, 45.

(25) The authorization to buy the person of an idolater.

(26) As a slave of a Jew. A heathen, bought as a slave by a Jew, had to submit to circumcision and ritual ablution and thereby acquired partly the status of a Jew: in respect of observances he was on the same footing as Jewish women and minor sons. What proof, however, is there that an idolater does not acquire his freedom if he performed ritual ablution with the specific object of procuring thereby his manumission?

(27) An idolatrous slave who is performing his ablution on his initiation into Judaism as a slave of a Jew.

(28) To indicate that he is performing his ablution as a slave.

(29) Unless some outward mark of slavery accompanied the ablution the slave can procure his manumission by making a declaration, while he is still in, the water, that he performs his ablution for the purpose of procuring thereby his freedom.

(30) On his initiation as the slave of a Jew.

(31) If, while in the water, he will declare that his ablution was performed for the purpose of procuring his emancipation.

(32) txhurt ‘chain’ (Aruk): — Persian arvis, ‘rope’ (Perles, Ety. Stud.); ‘halter’ (Jast.); v. Levy.

(33) Between his body and the water. In all cases of ritual ablution the water must come in direct contact with every external part of the body.

(34) So Bah. Cur. edd., add, ‘to them’.

(35) Which they themselves are unable to pay to the government when due.

(36) These temporary slaves who were heathens.

(37) ivhhervun v. Jast hervun’signatures’ (Rashi) or ‘registers of tax payers’ (V. Aruk), ‘written document V. Levy.

(38) The temporary service is consequently regarded as proper slavery, and a deed of emancipation is necessary should such slaves ever desire to embrace Judaism and to be permitted to marry a Jewess.

(39) Gebal of Ps. LXXXIII, 8. i.e. , the northern part of Mt. Seir.

(40) Ritual ablution is an essential part of the ceremonial of initiation into Judaism.

(41) The verb dzn (cf. Gr. ** Lat. misceo). lit., ‘to mix’, sc. wine with water or spices, also signifies ‘to fill the cup, ‘to serve’.

(42) Wine that has been touched by an idolater suspected of dedicating it to idolatrous purposes is forbidden to an Israelite.

(43) Although an Israelite is forbidden to eat of the food which an idolater has cooked.

(44) lxb uhh ‘wine of libation’, applied to wine that has been, or is suspected of having been dedicated as a ‘drink offering’ to an idol or idolatrous purpose.

(45) The reason applies to the prohibition of the lupines. v. infra.

(46) The men of Gabla.

(47) V. Num. VI, 2ff.

(48) I.e,, a man must be so careful in the observance of a commandment that he must not only keep away from a prohibition itself but also from that which is permitted but might lead to an infringement of a prohibition, A nazirite who is forbidden to drink wine must not even approach a vineyard. Similarly nesek wine is forbidden only when an idolater has actually touched it; but as a preventive measure it has been forbidden, as here, even when contact was indirect.

(49) What need then was there to give as a reason, ‘because they are ignorant of the Torah’?

(50) Why the lupines of the men of Gabla were forbidden,

(51) The restriction having been imposed upon them as a preventive measure against their possible laxity in the general laws concerning food cooked by idolaters; cf. parallel passage ‘A.Z. 59a.

(52) Those who departed from Egypt as heathens and received the Torah on Mount Sinai when they were, so to speak. converted to Judaism.

(53) V. supra p. 302, n. 6.

(54) To the second query.

(55) It is possible to circumcise a male proselyte.

(56) The mothers who left Egypt may have been admitted to Judaism by ritual ablution only because the other rite was in their case an impossibility.

(57) V. Ex. XII, 3ff.

(58) Subsequent to the generation that brought the first Paschal lamb in Egypt.

(59) ihkuj ‘profane’, animals that had not previously been consecrated. In the case of the Paschal lamb consecrated animals could only be such as had been set aside as ‘second tithe’ the law of which had not been promulgated till after the Exodus.

(60) Lit., ‘it was said’.

(61) The Paschal lamb in Egypt could not possibly have been brought from consecrated animals. V. supra n. 7, second clause.

(62) Men. 82a, which proves that even from an impossibility an inference may be drawn. The difficulty, therefore, remains, why does not R. Eliezer, like R. Joshua, infer from the mothers?

Talmud ‑ Mas. Nidah 43a

But not the inside of its inside,1 hence we were informed [that the oven is unclean].2

     Resh Lakish ruled: If a reed was held in a fold of the body of a zab and he shook therewith a clean person the latter remains clean.3 If a reed was held in the fold of the body of a clean person and he shook therewith a zab the former is unclean.4 What is the reason?5 Because Scripture said, And whomsoever he that hath issue6 toucheth, without having rinsed his hands in water,7 and this8 refers to the shaking of a zab, a form of conveyance of uncleanness the like of which we do not find anywhere in all the Torah; and the All Merciful expressed this in the term of touching,9 in order to tell that shaking and touching must be performed with a part of the body which is like one's hands; as one's hands are exposed10 so must any other part of the body11 be exposed.

     BUT A ZAB AND ONE WHO EMITTED SEMEN CONVEY NO UNCLEANNESS etc. A ZAB, because it is written in Scripture, When any man hath an issue out of his flesh,12 [which implies that no uncleanness is conveyed] unless his issue emerged ‘out of his flesh’; ONE WHO EMITTED SEMEN, because It is written, And if the flow of seed go out from a man.13

     IF A MAN WAS EATING TERUMAH WHEN HE FELT etc. Was it not, however, taught: R. Eliezer stated, whoever holds his membrum when he makes water is as though he had brought a flood on the world?14 — Abaye replied: One does it with a thick rag.15 Raba stated: It may even be done with a soft rag, for once the semen has been detached the subsequent touch is of no consequence.16 And Abaye?17 — He takes into consideration the possibility of an additional discharge. And Raba? — He does not consider the possibility of an additional discharge. But does he not?18 Was it not in fact taught: ‘To what may this be compared? To the putting of a finger upon the eye when, so long as the finger remains on it, the eye continues to tear’? Now Raba?19 — It is unusual to get heated twice in immediate succession.20

     Samuel ruled, Any semen the emission of which is not felt throughout one's body causes no uncleanness. What is the reason? — The All Merciful has said, The flow of seed,21 implying that the text22 deals only with such as is fit to produce seed. An objection was raised: If a man was troubled with unchaste thoughts in the night and when he rose up he found his flesh heated, he is unclean!23 — R. Huna explained this to apply to a man who dreamt of indulging in sexual intercourse, it being impossible to indulge in the act without experiencing the sensation. Another rendering: Samuel ruled, Any semen which does not shoot forth like an arrow causes no uncleanness. What is the practical difference between the latter reading and the former reading? — The practical difference between them is the case where the detachment of the semen was perceived but the emergence was not felt.24 Now this ruling which was quite obvious to Samuel was a matter of enquiry for Raba. For Raba enquired: What is the law where the detachment of the semen was perceived but its emergence was not felt?25 — Come and hear: If a man who emitted semen performed immersion26 before he had made water, his uncleanness is resumed when he makes water!27 — There it is different, since the emergence of most of the semen was perceived. Others have a different reading: Samuel ruled, Any semen which does not shoot forth like an arrow causes no fructification. It is only fructification that it does not cause but it does cause uncleanness, for it is said in Scripture. If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of that which chanceth him,28 which implies: Even a chance emission29 whatever its nature.30

     Raba enquired: What is the law where an idolater indulged in sexual thoughts,31 and then32 he went down and performed ritual immersion?33 If you were to find some case where we follow the time of detachment34 [the question would arise]. Does this apply only where the law is thereby restricted,35 but not here36 where the law would thereby be relaxed,37 or is it possible that no distinction is made? — This is undecided.

     Raba enquired: What is the ruling where the urine of a zabah had been detached from the source38 and then she went down and performed ritual immersion?39 If you were to find some case where we follow the time of the detachment [the question would arise], Does this apply only to semen, since it cannot be restrained,40 but not to her urine which she is able to restrain,41 or is it possible that no distinction is made? — This is undecided.

     Raba enquired: What is the law where the urine of an idolatress42 who was a zabah had been detached


(1) Inside, for instance, an arm‑pit which is inside the oven.

(2) The implication, ‘but not the inside of its inside’ excludes only the case where a creeping thing was within a vessel whose rim and mouth projected above the vessel in which it was contained.

(3) The reason is given presently.

(4) Since he ‘carried’ the zab. The carrying of a zab as the carrying ‘of his couch conveys uncleanness to the carrier (cf. Lev. XV, 10).

(5) Why a person who was shaken by a reed held in the fold of the body of a zab remains clean.

(6) Heb. zab.

(7) Lev. XV, 11.

(8) Since the text cannot refer to direct touch which was already dealt with in Lev. XV, 7.

(9) ‘Toucheth’.

(10) Lit., ‘as there from outside’.

(11) If it is to convey uncleanness.

(12) Lev. XV, 2, emphasis on ‘out’.

(13) Ibid. 16. Cf. prev. n.

(14) Supra 13a.

(15) Which intercepts the warmth of one's hand.

(16) Lit., ‘since it uprooted it uprooted’.

(17) Why, in view of Raba's explanation, does he insist on a thick rag?

(18) So with Bah. Cur. edd. omit.

(19) What has he to say to this?

(20) Lit., ‘any being heated and being heated again at the time is not usual’. The comparison with the eye holds good only when a discharge was originally due to friction.

(21) Lev. XV, 16, emphasis on the last word.

(22) Then he shall . . . . be unclean (ibid.).

(23) Mik. VIII, 3; because he might also have emitted some semen. As this would presumably occur without his being aware of it, an objection arises against Samuel.

(24) According to the first reading uncleanness would, and according to the latter reading would not be caused.

(25) Is uncleanness thereby conveyed or not?

(26) Which frees him from his uncleanness.

(27) Mik. VIII, 4 (cur. edd. ‘3’, is an error). Now here there was obviously no perception, and yet uncleanness is nevertheless conveyed. An objection against Samuel.

(28) Deut. XXIII, 11, mikreh of the rt. vre (v. foll. n.).

(29) Keri of the rt. hre (cf. prev. n.).

(30) Lit., ‘in the world’.

(31) As a result of which semen had been detached but did not emerge.

(32) For the purpose of his conversion to Judaism.

(33) Subsequent to which the semen emerged.

(34) Sc. that, in the case of an Israelite, uncleanness is caused where the detachment was perceived even though the emergence was not felt.

(35) Uncleanness is caused.

(36) The case of the idolater.

(37) Since at the time of the detachment the man was still an idolater and free from the laws of uncleanness.

(38) Which is a ‘father of uncleanness’.

(39) Whereby she is freed from her uncleanness; and then she made the water. Is she, it is asked, unclean because at the time of the detachment she was unclean or is she clean because the emergence took place when she was already in a condition of cleanness?

(40) In consequence of which detachment must be regarded as virtual emergence.

(41) So that the emergence is a separate process which, having taken place after immersion, causes no uncleanness.

(42) Which is Rabbinically unclean.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Yevamoth 24b

what practical ruling was thereby intended?1 — To impair his rights; As a firstborn does not take a double portion in his father's prospective property2 in the same way as he does in that which is already In his possession,3 so does this one4 take no [double]5 portion In [his father's] prospective property6 as he does in that which is already in his possession.7


     GEMARA. This implies that she may become a proper prose lyte.14 But against this a contradiction is raised. Both a man who became a proselyte for the sake of a woman and a woman who became a proselyte for the sake of a man, and, similarly, a man who became a proselyte for the sake of a royal board, or for the sake of joining Solomon's servants,15 are no proper proselytes. These are the words of R. Nehemiah, for R. Nehemiah used to Say: Neither lion‑proselytes,16 nor dream‑proselytes17 nor the proselytes of Mordecai and Esther18 are proper proselytes unless they become converted at the present time. How can it be said, ‘at the present time’?‑Say ‘as at the present time’!19 ‑Surely concerning this it was stated that R. Isaac b. Samuel b. Martha said in the name of Rab: The halachah is in accordance with the opinion of him who maintained that they were all proper proselytes. If so, this20 should have been permitted altogether!21 ‑ On account of [the reason given by] R. Assi. For R. Assi said,22 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lip's etc.23

     Our Rabbis learnt: No proselytes will be accepted in the days of the Messiah.24 In the same manner no proselytes were accepted in the days of David nor in the days of Solomon.25 Said R. Eleazar: What Scriptural [support is there for this view]?‑Behold he shall be a proselyte who is converted for my own sake,’26 he who lives with you shall be settled among you,27 he only who ‘lives with you’ in your poverty shall be settled among you; but no other.

     IF A MAN IS SUSPECTED OF INTERCOURSE WITH A MARRIED WOMAN etc. Rab said: [This28 must be confirmed] by witnesses.29 Said R. Shesheth: It seems30 that Rab made this statement while he was sleepy and about to doze off;31 for it was taught: ‘If a man is suspected of intercourse with a married woman who, in consequences was taken away from her husband32 and was subsequently divorced by another man,33 he34 need not part with her once he has married her’. Now, how is this to be understood? If it is a case where witnesses35 are available, of what avail is it that another man stepped in and checked the rumour?36 [Must we] not then [conclude that this is a case] where there were no witnesses;35 and the reason37 is because another man stepped in and checked the rumour, but had that not happened she would have been taken away from him?38 — Rab can answer you: The same law, that where witnesses35 are available she is taken away from him and that where no witnesses are available she is not taken away, applies also to the case where no other man stepped in and checked the rumour, but this it is that was meant: ‘Even if another man stepped in and checked the rumour it is not proper for him39 to marry her’.40

     An objection was raised: This41 has been said in the case only where she had no children,42 but if she has children42 she must not be divorced.43 If, however, witnesses to the seduction44 presented themselves, she must go away from him45 even if she had ever so many children!46 ‑Rab explains our Mishnah as dealing with the case where she has children and witnesses against her are available.

     What, however, impels Rab to explain our Mishnah as dealing with a case where she has children and where witnesses against her are available, and to give as the reason why she is to be taken away, because witnesses are available, and [to imply that] if witnesses are not available she is not taken away; let him rather explain [our Mishnah as dealing with the case] where she has no children [and has to be taken away] even though no witnesses are available! Raba replied: Our Mishnah presented a difficulty to him. What point was there [he argued] for using the expression ‘WAS TAKEN AWAY’?47 It should have been stated ‘he parted from her’;48 but any such expression as ‘was taken away’ implies ‘by the Beth din’ and the Beth din take away Only where witnesses are available.49

     If you prefer I may say that that Baraitha50 represents the view of Rabbi;51 for It was taught: When a pedlar52 leaves a house and the woman within is fastening her sinnar,53 since the thing is ugly she must, said Rabbi, go.54 If spittle is found55 on the upper part of the curtained bed, since the thing is ugly,56 she must, said Rabbi, go.54


(1) For all practical purposes. as it has been shewn, the elder or eldest brother has the same privileges as the firstborn; why, then, was the expression rufc, (firstborn) used instead of kusd(elder or eldest) which would have included the firstborn?

(2) Property which was not in his father's possession at the time of his death.

(3) At the time he died.

(4) The levir who marries the widow and is given a double share (his and that of the deceased) in the inheritance of their father.

(5) Rashi. [Aliter: the levir inherits only such property of the deceased brother as had been in the latter's possession at the time of his death. Any property that fell into his possession subsequent thereto he shares equally with the other brothers. On this view the levir has no claim to the share which the deceased brother would have been entitled to in the property of their father had he survived the father, v. Nimmuke Joseph and Me'iri.]

(6) V. supra note 3.

(7) V. note 4.

(8) igyb lit., ‘spoken against’‘having to be a defendant’. Rt. igy ‘to plead’, ‘sue’.

(9) Since such a marriage might confirm the rumour.

(10) Lit., ‘they do not take out of his hand’.

(11) Lit., ‘the wife of a man’.

(12) Lit., ‘and they (i.e., Beth din) took her out from under his hand’. He was ordered to divorce her.

(13) Because the woman is Biblically forbidden to both husband and seducer. (V. Sot. 27b).

(14) Even though her conversion was solely due to her desire to contract the marriage.

(15) To enter the king's employ.

(16) ,uhrt hrd’proselytes of lions’, those who, like the Samaritans (II Kings XVII, 25), were converted to Judaism by the fear of divine visitation.

(17) ,unukj hrd ‘proselytes of dreams’, those who embraced Judaism in response to a dream or the advice of a dreamer.

(18) V. Esth. VIII, 17. Those who from similar motives of expediency adopt the Jewish faith.

(19) In the dire days after the Hadrianic Wars, when the proselyte 15 not actuated either by motives of fear or of gain. Now, how is this Baraitha to be reconciled with Our Mishnah?

(20) The marriage of the proselyte spoken of in our Mishnah.

(21) Lit., ‘even as at the start’. Why then was it stated, HE MUST NOT HARRY HER?

(22) In explaining the reason for the prohibition of marrying the proselyte. (Rashi); v. Keth., Sonc. ed. p. 123. n. 5’

(23) Prov. IV, 24. Owing to the rumour of Previous Intercourse one should not contract such a marriage. V. supra p. 147, n. 10.

(24) When Israel will be Prosperous and Prospective proselytes will be attracted by worldly considerations.

(25) During Israel's heyday. V. previous note.

(26) Or who is converted while I am not with you (v. Rashi, a.l.) i.e., while Israel is in exile and forsaken by God.

(27) Isa. LIV, 15, according to the Midrashic interpretation of R. Eleazar. The rt. rud which E.V. renders ‘to gather’ is here interpreted ‘to become a proselyte’, ‘to be converted’.

(28) The suspicion.

(29) Who were present during the misconduct.

(30) Lit., ‘I would say’.

(31) Lit., ‘dozing and lying’.

(32) V. supra p. 147. nn. 9’ 12 and 13.

(33) To whom she was married after her first husband had divorced her.

(34) The paramour.

(35) V. supra note 3.

(36) By his marriage. The testimony of the witnesses surely caused her to be permanently prohibited to the paramour.

(37) Why the paramour need not divorce her once he has married her.

(38) How then could Rab maintain that she is taken away Only where there are witnesses?

(39) The paramour.

(40) Only if he already married her may she in this case remain with him.

(41) That the paramour must divorce her.

(42) From the first husband.

(43) A divorce would be regarded as a confirmation of the suspicion, and the children would thereby be tainted as bastards.

(44) Lit., ‘uncleanness’.

(45) The paramour.

(46) Which shews, contrary to the Opinion of Rab, that when see has no children ‘she is to part from her paramour even where witnesses are not available.

(47) vthmuv lit., ‘they (i.e. Beth din) took her away’.

(48) vthmuv, lit., ‘he (i.e., the husband) brought her out’.

(49) No wife may be taken away from her husband because of a mere rumour or suspicion.

(50) Which requires a wife who had no children to leave her husband even where no witnesses are available.

(51) Who forbids a wife to her husband even on the grounds of a rumour or suspicion. According to the other Rabbis, however, who are the majority, the woman, as Rab said, need not be taken away where no witnesses are available, even if she has no children.

(52) kfur Rashi explains rokel as dealer in women's perfumes.

(53) The rbhx was a kind of breech‑cloth or petticoat women wore as a matter of chastity (v. Rashi, a.l.).

(54) Even if there were no witnesses that misconduct took place.

(55) After the pedlar had left the house.

(56) Only the woman lying face upwards could have spat on that spot Intercourse may. therefore, be suspected.

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