Watchman Willie Martin Archive

In order to show you why the Talmud is so hard to read, and why most of the Judeo-Christian Clergy and their flocks the Judeo-Christians will not study it to see what it is saying. It is very difficult reading and one must read and study a lot in order to see what is actually being said.

As is their custom the Jews use as much subterfuge wording so that Christians will not understand what they are saying about Christ, Christians and etc. As you read the following you will clearly see why I say this. Also you will see why the defenders of the Jews, who usually know nothing about the Talmud themselves, but rely on their so-called “friend(s)” the Jews. Who are not really their friend but are doing what they have been taught from birth and that is to deceived Christians and non-Jews about Jewish teachings.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Sanhedrin 67a: Jesus referred to as the son of Pandira, a soldier, Mother a prostitute.

That is merely a mnemonical sign. (1)


      GEMARA. A MESITH IS A LAYMAN. Thus, only because he is a layman [is he stoned]; but if a prophet, he is strangled. WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL: thus, only if he seduces an individual; but if a community, he is strangled. Hence, who is [the Tanna of] the Mishnah? — R. Simeon. For it has been taught: A prophet who entices [people to idolatry] is stoned; R. Simeon said: He is strangled. (5) Then consider the second clause. (6) A maddiah (7) is one who says: ‘Let us go and serve idols’: whereon Rab Judah observed in Rab's name: This Mishnah teaches of those who lead astray a seduced city. Thus it agrees with the Rabbis [who maintain that these too are stoned, not strangled]. Hence, the first clause is taught according to R. Simeon; the second according to the Rabbis! — Rabina said: Both clauses are based on the Rabbis’ ruling, but proceed from the universally admitted to the disputed. (8) R. Papa said: When the Mishnah states A MESITH IS A HEDYOT, (9) it is only in respect of hiding witnesses. (10) For it has been taught: And for all others for whom the Torah decrees death, witnesses are not hidden, excepting for this one. How is it done? — A light is lit in an inner chamber, the witnesses are hidden in an outer one [which is in darkness], so that they can see and hear him, (11) but he cannot see them. Then the person he wished to seduce says to him, ‘Tell me privately what thou hast proposed to me’; and he does so. Then he remonstrates; ‘But how shall we forsake our God in Heaven, and serve idols’? If he retracts, it is well. But if he answers: ‘It is our duty and seemly for us’, the witnesses who were listening outside bring him to the Beth din (A Jewish Court of Law), and have him stoned. (Only through the study of the Talmud could you realize that this is speaking of Christ, and He is called Ben Stada in the footnote; it shows you that they are speaking of Him here, but one would never know that unless they read the footnotes, and here is where most Judeo-Christians leave the field because of their inability to read properly) (12) MISHNAH. A MADDIAH IS ONE WHO SAYS, ‘LET US GO AND SERVE IDOLS’. A SORCERER, IF HE ACTUALLY PERFORMS MAGIC, IS LIABLE [TO DEATH]. BUT NOT IF HE MERELY CREATES ILLUSIONS. (13) R. AKIBA SAID IN R. JOSHUA'S NAME: OF TWO WHO GATHER CUCUMBERS [BY MAGIC] ONE MAY BE PUNISHED AND THE OTHER EXEMPT: HE WHO REALLY GATHERS THEM IS PUNISHED: WHILST HE WHO PRODUCES AN ILLUSION IS EXEMPT.

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

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


(1) I.e., in both the reference is to something done for the first time: there to coition; here to profanation. But the similarity ceases at this point.

(2) Heb. hedyot. As opposed to a prophet.

(3) Heb. hedyot. But not a whole community. On the Heb. term hedyot, v. p 456, nn. 2 and 3.

(4) The seducer by using any one of those expressions incurs guilt and is executed; v. Rashi (supra, 61a) who refers it to the seduced person.

(5) V. infra 84a.

(6) I.e., the next Mishnah, which is really part of this.

(7) Who is stoned, as stated in the Mishnah on 53a, of which all the subsequent Mishnahs in this chapter are explanations.

(8) Lit., ‘nor only this, but that also).’ When the Mishnah states, [HE] WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL, it is not intended to exclude a multitude, but merely to commence with the universally agreed law. Then the next Mishnah adds that the same applies to the seduction of a multitude, though this is not admitted by all.

(9) yuhsv , ** rendered in Mishnah, ‘LAYMAN’, also means ignorant, ignoble.

(10) I.e., hedyot is not used in the sense of a layman as opposed to a prophet, but in the sense of ignoble; so dastardly in his action, that he is not shewn the same consideration as other malefactors, but hidden witnesses are set to entrap him. There is no dispute between Rabina and R. Papa, both teaching that the two clauses agree with the Rabbis; but Rabina explains the phrase, ‘HE WHO SEDUCES AN INDIVIDUAL’, whilst R. Papa deals with ‘A MESITH IS A HEDYOT’.

(11) Otherwise, they could not testify.

(12) In the uncensored editions of the Talmud there follows this important passage (supplied from D.S. on the authority of the Munich and Oxford Mss. and the older editions) ‘And this they did to Ben Stada in Lydda (suk), and they hung him on the eve of Passover. Ben Stada was Ben Padira. R. Hisda said: ‘The husband was Stada, the paramour Pandira. But was nor the husband Pappos b. Judah? — His mother's name was Stada. But his mother was Miriam, a dresser of woman's hair? (thab tksdn megaddela neshayia): — As they say in Pumbaditha, This woman has turned away (satath da) from her husband, (i.e., committed adultery).’T. Herford, in ‘Christianity in the Talmud’, pp. 37 seqq, 344 seqq, identifies this Ben Stada with Jesus of Nazareth. As to the meaning of the name, he connects it with ** ‘seditious’, and suggests (p. 345 n.1) that it originally denoted ‘that Egyptian’ (Acts XXI 38, Josephus, Ant. XX, 8, 6) who claimed to be a prophet and led his followers to the Mount of Olives, where he was routed by the Procurator Felix, and that in later times he might have been confused with Jeshua ha‑Notzri. This hypothesis, however, involves the disregard of the Talmudic data, for Pappos b. Judah lived a century after Jesus (Cit. 90a), though the mother's name, Miriam (Mary), would raise no difficulty, as thab tksdn megaddla neshayia may be the result of a confusion with Mary Magdalene (v. also Box, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, pp. 201f, for other possible meanings of Ben Stada and Ben Pandira) Derenbourg (Essai note 9, pp. 465‑471) rightly denies the identity of Ben Stada with Jesus, and regards him simply as a false prophet executed during the second century at Lydda.

(13) I.e., the illusion of doing something, whereas in fact he does nothing.

(14) Cf. supra 53a.

(15) Ex. XXII, 17.

(16) Deut. XX, 17. This refers to the war of extermination against the seven races inhabiting Canaan before the Conquest by Joshua. They would naturally be killed by the sword.

(17) Ex. XIX, 13. This refers to the taboo placed upon Mount Sinai before the Theophany.

(18) And yet at Sinai stoning was chosen.


Talmud ‑ Mas. Chagigah 4b: Christ is said to be the angel of death, while speaking of Mary His mother in footnote 31.

a delicate person.1 For it is written: When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample2 My courts?3

      A Tanna taught: The uncircumcised4 and the unclean5 are exempt from [bringing] the pilgrimage‑offering.6 Granted as regards the unclean, for it is written: And thither thou shalt come,’ and thither ye shall bring.7 To whomever ‘coming’ applies, ‘bringing’ applies; to whomever ‘coming’ does not apply, ‘bringing’ does not apply. But whence do we derive [the exemption of] the uncircumcised? — This will be according to R. Akiba, who includes the uncircumcised like the unclean. For it is taught: R. Akiba said: [the expression], what man soever,8 comes to include uncircumcised.9

      Our Rabbis taught: An unclean person is exempt from [bringing] the pilgrimage‑offering, for it is written: ‘And thither thou shalt come; and thither ye shall bring’. To whomever ‘coming’ applies ‘bringing’ applies; to whomever ‘coming’ does not apply ‘bringing’ does not apply. R. Johanan b. Dahabai said in the name of R. Judah: A person who is blind in one eye is exempt from appearing [at the Temple]. for it is said: Yir'eh10 [He shall see], Yera'eh [He shall be seen]; just as He comes to see, so He comes to be seen; as He comes to see with both eyes. so also to be seen with both eyes.

      R. Huna, when he came to this verse, Yir'eh, Yera'eh,11 wept. He said: The slave whom his Master longs to see should become estranged from him! For it is written: When ye come to appear12 before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample My courts?13

      R. Huna, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And thou shalt sacrifice peace‑offerings, and shalt eat there.14 The slave at whose table his Master longs to eat should become estranged from him! For it is written: To what purpose is the abundance of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord.15

      R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And his brethren could not answer him, for they were affrighted at his presence.16 Now if the rebuke of flesh and blood be such, how much more so the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He!

      R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And Samuel said to Saul: Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring14 me up?17 Now if Samuel, the righteous, was afraid of the Judgment, how much more so should we be! How do we know this about Samuel?18 — For it is written: And the woman said unto Saul: I see godlike beings coming up out of the earth.19 ‘Coming up’20 implies two: one was Samuel, but [who was] the other? Samuel went and brought Moses with him, Saying to him: Perhaps, Heaven forfend,21 I am summoned to Judgment: arise with me,22 for there is nothing that thou hast written in the Torah, which I did not fulfil.

      R. Ami, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Let him put his mouth in the dust, perhaps there may be hope.23 He said: All this, and [only] perhaps!24

      R. Ami, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Seek righteousness, seek humility, perhaps ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.25 He said: All this, and [only] perhaps!

      R. Assi, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate, perhaps the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious.26 All this, and [only] perhaps!

      R. Joseph, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: But there is that is swept away without judgment.27 [He said]:28 Is there anyone who passes away before one's [allotted] time?29 — Yes, as in the story [heard] by R. Bibi b. Abaye,30 who was frequently visited by the Angel of death. [Once] the latter said to his messenger: Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser! (This is speaking of Mary the mother of Christ, but one has to study the footnote to know this) 31 He went and brought him Miriam, the children's nurse. Said he to him:32 I told thee Miriam, the women's hairdresser. He answered: If so, I will take her back. Said he to him: Since thou hast brought her, let her be added.33 But how were you able to get her?34 She was holding a shovel in her hand and was heating


(1) I.e., one that cannot walk barefoot; and it is forbidden to walk on the sacred Temple Mount with covered feet.

(2) I.e., with shod feet.

(3) Isa. I, 12.

(4) I.e., a Jew that was not circumcised because two of his brothers had died as a result of their circumcision; cf. Shab. 134a and Yeb. 64b.

(5) Cf. Num. XIX, 20.

(6) They are exempt even from sending the offering by a messenger; cf. also p. 1, n. 1.

(7) Deut. XII, 5,6. The verse continues: Your burnt‑offerings etc.

(8) Lev. XXII, 4.

(9) I.e., if he is a priest, he is prohibited from eating Terumah (i.e., the priest's share of crop or dough) like a priest who has become unclean.

(10) Ex. XXIII, 17; v. p. 3, n. 3.

(11) Which implies (v. n. 1) that the Divine Master reciprocally comes to meet the human pilgrim.

(12) Lit., ‘to be seen’, as above.

(13) Isa. I, 12.

(14) Deut. XXVII, 7.

(15) Isa. I, 11.

(16) Gen. XLV, 3.

(17) I Sam. XXVIII, 15.

(18) I.e., that it was the Divine Judgment that he feared.

(19) Ibid. v. 13.

(20) Heb. ohkg which is plural. The deduction cannot be made from ohvkt (godlike beings) which is also plural in form, because its meaning is generally singular, viz. God.

(21) Lit., ‘forbearance and peace.’

(22) I.e., to testify on my behalf.

(23) Lam. III, 29.

(24) I.e., after so much suffering, hope of salvation is only problematical.

(25) Zeph. 11,3.

(26) Amos V, 15.

(27) Prov. XIII, 23.

(28) Rashi and Tosaf. delete the words: the question is then asked by the Gemara.

(29) I.e., although the person has committed no sin to merit shortening of life.

(30) An occultist; cf. Ber. 6a where he performed an experiment with the object of seeing demons.

(31) Supposed by Tosaf. to be the Mother of Jesus; cf. Shab. 104b in the earlier uncensored editions. [Her description megaddela (hairdresser) is connected by some with the name of Mary Magdalene whose name was confused with that of Mary, the mother of Jesus, v. Herford R.T. Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, pp. 40f].

(32) I.e., the Angel of death to his messenger.

(33) I.e., to the dead.

(34) Since it was not yet her time to die.


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). (One would never guess that this is speaking of both Christ and Paul, until they read the footnotes)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’ ! (One would never guess that they are speaking of Christ here; it is only by reading the footnote that one discovers this) 26 One of his disciples (This is speaking of Christ also, but one can glean that by the mention of his disciples) 27 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





(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 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. Yoma 66b

[means] that he must be prepared [from the previous day]; ‘appointed’ [means] that [it is to send away]; even on the Sabbath ‘appointed’, even if in a state of uncleanness.1 [You say]: ‘Man [means] to declare a non‑priest eligible’, but that is obvious? — You might have thought that since [the term] Kapparah [atonement] is written in connection therewith,2 therefore he informs us [as above]. — ‘Appointed’, i.e., even on the Sabbath. What does this teach?3 — R. Shesheth said: It is to say that if it is sick, he may make it ride on his shoulder. According to whose view is this? Not according to R. Nathan, for R. Nathan said: A living being carries itself!4 ‑You may even say that this is in accord with R. Nathan: when it is sick it is different,5 however.

      Rafram said: This is to say that [the laws of] ‘erub6 and carrying out7 apply on Sabbath, but do not apply on the Day of Atonement.8 ‘Appointed’, i.e., even in a state of uncleanness.9 What does that teach? — R. Shesheth said: It is to say that if he who is to carry it away became unclean, he may enter in impurity the Temple Court10 and carry it away.

      R. Eliezer was asked: What about his carrying it on his shoulder? — He said: He could carry you and me.11 If he who is to take it away became sick, may he send it away through someone else? — He said: I wish to keep well, I and you!12 If he pushed it down and it did not die, must he go down after it and kill it? — He said to them: So perish all Thine enemies, O Lord.13 But the Sages say: If it became sick, he may load it on his shoulder; if he pushed it down and it did not die, he shall go down and kill it. They asked R. Eliezer: ‘What about So‑and‑so (One would never know this is speaking of Christ, until they look at the footnotes; that is where most of the information comes from as to who is being discussed in the Folo) 14 in the world to come’? — He replied, ‘Have you asked me only about this one’?15 ‘May one save the lamb from the lion’? — He said to them: ‘Have you asked me only about the lamb’?15 ‘May one save the shepherd from the lion’? — He said to them: ‘Have you asked me only about the shepherd’?16 ‘May a mamzer17 inherit’? — [He replied]: ‘May he marry the wife of his brother who died without issue’?18 ‘May one whitewash his house’?19 — [He replied]: ‘May one whitewash his grave’? — [His evasion was due] not to his desire to divert them with words [counter‑questions], but because he never said anything that he had not heard from his teacher.20

      A wise woman asked R. Eliezer: Since with regard to the offence with the golden calf all were evenly associated, why was not the penalty of death the same?21 — He answered her: There is no wisdom in woman except with the distaff. Thus also does Scripture say: And all the women that were wise‑hearted did spin with their hands.22 It is stated: Rab and Levi are disputing in the matter. One said: Whosoever sacrificed and burned incense died by the sword; whosoever embraced and kissed [the calf] died the death [at the hands of Heaven];23 whosoever rejoiced in his heart died of dropsy. The other said: He who had sinned before witnesses and after receiving warning,24 died by the sword; he who sinned before witnesses but without previous warning, by death; and he who sinned without witnesses and without previous warning, died of dropsy.

      Rab Judah said: The tribe of Levi did not participate in the idolatry, as it is said: Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp.25 Rabina was sitting and reporting this teaching, whereupon the sons of R. Papa b. Abba objected to Rabina: Who said of his father and of his mother: ‘I have not seen him, etc.’?26 — ‘His father’, that is the father of his mother, an Israelite; ‘brother’, the brother of his mother, an Israelite; ‘sons’, that means the sons of his daughter [which she had] from an Israelite.

      AND THEY MADE A CAUSEWAY FOR HIM etc. Rabbah b. Bar Hana said: These were not Babylonians but Alexandrians, and because they [the Palestinians] hated the Babylonians,27 they called them [the Alexandrians] by their [the Babylonians’] name. It was taught: R. Judah said, They were not Babylonians, but Alexandrians. — R. Jose said to him: May your mind be relieved even as you have relieved my mind!28



(1) This is soon explained.

(2) And this term as a rule occurs only in connection with a rite performed by priests.

(3) What Sabbath desecration could the taking of the scapegoat to the wilderness involve?

(4) V. Shab. 90a. Hence no transgression would be involved in carrying it.

(5) A sick being, unable to ‘carry itself’, might logically be assumed to be an exception to R. Nathan's rule.

(6) v. Glos.

(7) I.e., transferring an object from public to private grounds and vice versa, both of which were prohibited on the Sabbath.

(8) Since the word ‘anointed’ is here interpreted as referring to the suspension of the Sabbath law, the inference is justified that no such prohibition existed on the Day of Atonement, or else it would be illogical to say that a special statement permits the suspension of these laws on the Day of Atonement which fell on a Sabbath, since they would be operative on any Day of Atonement, even if it fell on a weekday. The laws of ‘carrying out’ and ‘erub belong together, hence strictly speaking, the Gemara need not have mentioned both; when one is applied, the other automatically applies too.

(9) How should the laws on levitical uncleanness apply to the taking of the scapegoat to the wilderness?

(10) When he receives it from the high priest.

(11) R. Eliezer made a point of not answering any question concerning which he had not received a definite tradition or interpretation from his teachers.

(12) This, too, is an evasive answer: You and I are well, hope to keep well, why trouble about such hypothetical situations?

(13) Judg. V, 31.

(14) Peloni. It may have been a general question concerning ‘John Doe’, or it may refer to Solomon's (Rashi), or to Absalom's (R. Han.) regard for the Davidic Dynasty being responsible for the substitution of the vague Peloni. [Some see in Peloni a reference to Jesus, Finkelstein L. to Philo. Bokser, B.Z Pharisaism in Transition pp. 18ff, rightly regards these identifications as hardly supported by any facts.]

(15) Ali his answers are evasive.

(16) Some see in the question about the shepherd a reference to David, who as lion (King) or as shepherd had taken the lamb (Bathsheba) from her husband. Others see the lamb in Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, whom the lion (David) sent to his death.

(17) May a bastard (the issue of a union forbidden under the penalty of extinction) inherit his father?

(18) Why don't you ask the whole question: How far does he participate in the rights and duties of normal Jews?

(19) May one whitewash one's house in spite of the fact that one ought to remain conscious all the time of the destruction of the Temple, etc.

(20) [V. Suk., Sonc. ed., p. 122. Bokser, op. cit. pp. 108f sees in these questions differences of opinion on important points of law. The question about sheep concerned the ban against cattle‑raising which the Rabbis wished to enforce (v. B.M. 84b) and which R. Eliezer opposed as having no precedent in tradition. The questions relating to the mamzer involved the imposition of certain discriminations against the mamzer of which R. Eliezer did not approve, and similarly he refused to accept the prohibition of the other Rabbis of plastering one's house in sad remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, not finding any support for it in tradition].

(21) Scripture mentions three forms of penalties: Some died by the sword (Ex. XXXII, 27), others by the plague (ibid. 35), the rest by dropsy as the result of their drinking the water containing the gold dust, which Moses had offered them in expiation (ibid. 20).

(22) Ex. XXXV, 25.

(23) I.e., died by the plague.

(24) Penalty could be imposed only when the offence had been committed in the presence of two witnesses who accuse the defendant, after he had been warned as to the consequences of his offence.

(25) Ex. XXXII, 26. (cont.) and said: ‘Whoso is on the Lord's side, let him come unto me’. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

(26) Deut. XXXIII, 9. Here seems scriptural proof that the Levites, in punishing the guilty, ignored relationships, such as father or mother, but executed punishment on all. Thus their relatives, other Levites, must have been guilty.

(27) This hatred caused them to look down upon the Babylonians as remiss in their religious duties, and to father upon them other people's wrongs.

(28) R. Jose was a Babylonian. He welcomes the interpretation, which freed his fellow‑countrymen from the charge of such boorish conduct.

(29) Lit., ‘the peak’, the mountain top from which the scapegoat was precipitated. Also used to denote the precipice itself.


Talmud ‑ Mas. Sanhedrin 90b

And it is [further] written, And so it fell unto him: for the people trod upon him in the gate, and he died.1 But perhaps this was the result of Elisha's curse, for Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The curse of a Sage, even if unmerited, is fulfilled? — If so, Scripture should have written, they trod upon him and he died. Why, trod upon him in the gate? — [To show that it was] on account of matters pertaining to the gate.2

      How is resurrection derived from the Torah? — As it is written, And ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest.3 But would Aaron live for ever; he did not even enter Palestine, that terumah4 should be given him?5 But it teaches that he would be resurrected, and Israel give him terumah. Thus resurrection is derived from the Torah. The school of R. Ishmael taught: To Aaron [means to one] like Aaron: just as Aaron was a haber,6 so his sons must be haberim.7 R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan's name: Whence do we know that terumah must not be given to a priest and ‘am ha‑arez?8 From the verse, Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the Levites, that they might hold fast to the law of the Lord:9 [thus,] whoever holds fast to the law of the Lord, has a portion; whoever does not, has no portion. R. Aha b. Adda said in Rab Judah's name: One who gives terumah to an ignorant priest is as though he had placed it before a lion: just as a lion may possibly tear his prey and eat it and possibly not,10 so is an ignorant priest — he may possibly eat it undefiled and possibly defiled. R. Johanan said: He even causes his [sc. the ignorant priest's] death, for it is written, and die therefore, if they profane it.11 The School of R. Eliezer b. Jacob taught: He also embroils him in a sin of general trespass,12 for it is written, Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass when they eat their holy things.13

      It has been taught: R. Simai said: Whence do we learn resurrection from the Torah? — From the verse, And I also have established my covenant with them, [sc. the Patriarchs] to give them the land of Canaan:14 ‘[to give] you’ is not said, but ‘to give them’ [personally]; thus resurrection is proved from the Torah.15

      (Mnemonic: Zedek, Gam, Geshem, Kam.)16 Sectarians [minim] (Here is another one of their subterfuge wordings, which would not indicate Christ, except that someone look at the footnote)17 asked Rabban Gamaliel: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead? He answered them from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, yet they did not accept it [as conclusive proof]. ‘From the Torah’: for it is written, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers and rise up [again].18 ‘But perhaps,’ said they to him, ‘[the verse reads], and the people will rise up?’ ‘From the prophets’: as it is written, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out its dead.19 But perhaps this refers to the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected?20 ‘From the Hagiographa’: as it is written, And the roof of thy mouth, like the best wine of my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.21 But perhaps it means merely that their lips will move, even as R. Johanan said: If a halachah is said in any person's name in this world, his lips speak in the grave, as it is written, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak? [Thus he did not satisfy them] until he quoted this verse, which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give to them;22 not to you, but to them is said; hence resurrection is derived from the Torah. Others say that he proved it from this verse, But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day;23 just as you are all alive to‑day, so shall you all live again in the world to come.24

      The Romans asked R. Joshua b. Hananiah: Whence do we know that the the Holy One, blessed he He, will resurrect the dead and knows the future? — He replied: Both are deduced from this verse, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up again; and this people shall go a whoring etc.25 But perhaps ‘will rise up, and go a whoring’? — He replied: Then at least you have the answer to half, viz., that He knows the future. It has been stated likewise: R. Johanan said on the authority of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead and knoweth the future? From, Behold, Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and . . . rise again etc.

      It has been taught: R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose, said: In this matter I refuted the books of the sectarians,26 who maintained that resurrection is not deducible from the Torah. I said to them: You have falsified your Torah,27 yet it has availed you nothing. For ye maintain that resurrection is not a Biblical doctrine, but it is written, [Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment], that soul shall utterly be cut off28 [Heb. hikkareth tikkareth]; his iniquity shall be upon him.29 Now, [seeing that] he shall utterly be cut off in this world, when shall his iniquity be upon him? surely in the next world.30 R. Papa said to Abaye: Could he not have deduced both [this world, and the next] from he shall be utterly cut off?31 — They would have replied: The Torah employed human phraseology.

      This is disputed by Tannaim: That soul shall utterly be cut off [hikkareth] he shall be cut off in this world and [tikkareth] in the next: this is R. Akiba's view. R. Ishmael said: But the verse has previously stated, he reproacheth the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off are there then three worlds? But [interpret thus]: and [that soul] shall be cut off — in this world: hikkareth, he is to be cut off — in the next; whilst as for [the repetition] tikkareth, that is because the Torah employs human phraseology.32 How do both R. Ishmael and R. Akiba utilize his iniquity shall be upon him? — For that which has been taught: I might think that [this is so] even if he repented: therefore Scripture saith, his iniquity is upon him: I decreed [that he shall be cut off] only if his iniquity is still in him. Queen Cleopatra33 asked R. Meir, ‘I know that the dead will revive, for it is written, And they [sc. the righteous] shall [in the distant future] blossom forth out of the city [Jerusalem] like the grass of the earth.34 But when they arise, shall they arise nude or in their garments?’ — He replied, ‘Thou mayest deduce by an a fortiori argument [the answer] from a wheat grain: if a grain of wheat, which is buried naked, sprouteth forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their raiment!’

      An emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel: ‘Ye maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?’


(1) Ibid. 20.

(2) I.e., Elisha had prophesied that wheat and barley would be sold cheaply at the gate of Samaria, and he denied it.

(3) Num. XVIII, 28.

(4) V. Glos.

(5) The priestly dues were rendered only in Palestine.

(6) V. Glos.

(7) Hence this verse is to teach that the priestly dues are not to be rendered to an ignoramus, and affords no basis for resurrection.

(8) Lit., ‘people of the earth,’ peasants, and then denoting the ignorant and irreligious in general.

(9) II Chron. XXXI, 4.

(10) I.e., when a lion steals an animal and mauls it, we do not know whether it was to appease his hunger, or merely to satisfy his blood lust.

(11) Lev. XXII, 9.

(12) I.e., a sin which leads to guilt in a number of ways.

(13) Ibid. 16.

(14) Ex. VI, 4.

(15) The promise could be literally fulfilled only by the Patriarchs’ resurrection.

(16) An apt mnemonic, meaning lit., ‘As to the Righteous, also the Body Riseth.’

(17) Term used generally as a designation for Judeo‑Christians. Herford, Christianity in the Talmud, pp. 232‑4, conjectures that this discussion took place in Rome, whither R. Gamaliel journeyed in 95 C.E., since this is followed by ‘The Romans asked R. Joshua.’ He maintains that both sides accepted the fact of resurrection of the dead, the dispute being whether it is intimated in the Torah. The importance of the debate lay in the fact that the Christians maintained that the resurrection of the dead was consequent upon the resurrection of Christ this doctrine of course would be weakened if it could be shewn that resurrection was already taught in the Torah.

(18) Deut. XXXI, 16.

(19) Isa. XXVI, 19.

(20) V. Ezek. XXVII.

(21) Cant. VII, 9. As the entire Song is interpreted by the Rabbis as a dialogue between God and Israel, the last phrase is understood to refer to the dead, whom God will cause to speak again.

(22) Deut. XI, 21.

(23) Ibid. IV, 4.

(24) This is deduced from ‘this day’, which is superfluous.

(25) Deut. XXXI, 16.

(26) Herford, op. cit. states that ohbhn is an error for oh,uf Cutheans, Samaritans, as is proved by parallel passages in the Sif.; cf. 87a, and D.S.

(27) [The words ‘to them’, from which R. Gamaliel (p. 605) deduced the resurrection are left out in the Samaritan text.]

(28) ,rf, ,rfv.

(29) Num. XV, 31.

(30) I.e., at the resurrection.

(31) V. next passage in text.

(32) V. supra 64b.

(33) [Not of ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ fame. Bacher, Agada der Tanaiten, I, 68, n. 2, regards t,fkn tryputhke (Cleopatra, the Queen) as a corruption of ht,ufs heuryp the Patriarch of the Samaritans (v. Gen. Rab. XCIV, 6). Cp. Koh. Rab. V, 12, where the disputant of the belief of the resurrection of the dead with R. Meir is a Samaritan, h,uf.]

(34) Ps. LXXII, 16: the bracketed addition gives the sense according to Rabbinic interpretation; v. Keth. 111a.


Talmud ‑ Mas. Sanhedrin 59a

But the precept of observing social laws is a positive one, yet it is reckoned? — It is both positive and negative.1

      R. Johanan said: A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death, for it is written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance;2 it is our inheritance, not theirs.3 Then why is this not included in the Noachian laws? — On the reading morasha [an inheritance] he steals it; on the reading me'orasah [betrothed], he is guilty as one who violates a betrothed maiden, who is stoned.4 An objection is raised: R. Meir used to say. Whence do we know that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest? From the verse, [Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments:] which, if man do, he shall live in them.5 Priests, Levites, and Israelites are not mentioned, but men: hence thou mayest learn that even a heathen who studies6 the Torah is as a High Priest! — That refers to their own seven laws.7

      ‘R Hanania b. Gamaliel said: [They were also commanded] not to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal.’

      Our Rabbis taught: But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat,8 this prohibits flesh cut from the living animal. R. Hanina b. Gamaliel said: It also prohibits blood drawn from a living animal. What is his reason? — He reads the verse thus: flesh with the life thereof [shall ye not eat]: blood with the life thereof shall ye not eat. But the Rabbis maintain that this reading teaches that flesh cut from live reptiles is permitted.9 Similarly it is said, Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life,’ and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.10 But the Rabbis maintain that the verse teaches that the blood of arteries, with which life goes out, [is also forbidden as blood].11

      Why was it first enjoined upon the sons of Noah, and then repeated at Sinai? — As the dictum, of R. Jose b. Hanina. For R. Jose b. Hanina said: Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [heathens and Israelites]; that which was given to the sons of Noah but not repeated at Sinai was meant for the Israelites, but not for the heathens. Now, the only law thus commanded to the children of Noah and not repeated at Sinai was the prohibition of the sinew that shrank [nervous ischiadicus], and in accordance with R. Judah's view.12

      The Master said: ‘Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [Noachides and Israelites]’. On the contrary, since it was repeated at Sinai, should we not assume it to be meant for Israel only?13 — Since idolatry was repeated as Sinai, and we find that the Noachides were punished for practising it,14 we must conclude that it was meant for both.

      ‘That which was given to the sons of Noah but not repeated at Sinai was meant for the Israelites, but not for the heathens.’ On the contrary, since it was not repeated at Sinai, should we not assume that it was meant for the Noachides and not for Israel?15 — There is nothing permitted to an Israelite yet forbidden to a heathen. Is there not? But what of a beautiful woman?16 — There it is because the heathens were not authorised to conquer.17 But what of a thing worth less than a Perutah?18 — There it is because the heathens do not forgive.19

      ‘Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [Noachides and Israelites]’.


(1) Positive: In dispense justice; negative: to refrain from injustice. But the Sabbath is entirely positive.

(2) Deut. XXXIII. 4.

(3) This seems a very strong expression. In the J. E. (loc. cit.) it is suggested that R. Johanan feared the knowledge of Gentiles in matters of Jurisprudence, as they would use it against the Jews in their opponents’ courts. In support of this it may be observed that the Talmud places R. Johanan's dictum (which, of course, is not to be taken literally) immediately after the passage dealing with the setting up of law courts by Gentiles. It is also possible that R. Johanan's objection was to the studying of Oral Law by Jewish Christians, as the possession of the Oral Law was held to be the distinguishing mark of the Jews. It is significant that it was R. Johanan who also said that God's covenant with Israel was only for the sake of the Oral Law. (Cf. Ex. Rab. 47.)

(4) In Pes. 49b two opinions on the reading of this verse are recorded. One view is that it should be read, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance (morasha varun), in accordance with the Scriptural text. Another version is Moses commanded us a law for a betrothal (reading me'orasah varun =vxrtn i.e., as something betrothed, consecrated to us, from art= xrt). On the first view, this prohibition is included in that of robbery; on the second, in that of adultery.

(5) Lev. XVIII. 5.

(6) Which includes observing.

(7) It is meritorious for them to study these; but not laws which do not pertain to them.

(8) Gen. IX, 4.

(9) V. infra 59b.

(10) Deut. XII, 23. Thus, the blood being equated with the life, it may not be eaten whilst ‘the life’ is with the ‘flesh’, i.e., whilst the animal is alive.

(11) The prohibition of blood is mentioned in the same chapter in connection with the slaughtering of the animal: 15 seq., Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates . . . Only ye shall not eat the blood. Now, owing to this juxtaposition, I might think that only the blood that gushes forth from the throat when the animal is slaughtered is forbidden. Therefore the second injunction in v. 23 equates the prohibition of blood with that of flesh cut from the living animal. Just as the latter is forbidden in itself, so the former is forbidden irrespective of any connection with slaughtering. In Ker. 22a R. Johanan and Resh Lakish dispute as to what is meant by ‘the blood with which life goes out’.

(12) R. Judah maintains that this was forbidden to the children of Jacob, who, living before the giving of the Law, are accounted Noachians. But the Rabbis maintain that this was given at Sinai, but that Moses when writing the whole Pentateuch, was commanded to insert it in Gen. XXXII, 33, so as to elucidate its reason.

(13) For if it were not so repeated, it would be natural to suppose that its application was a universal one. Hence its repetition would seem to limit it to Israel.

(14) V. p. 382. n. 3.

(15) The stand point of this objection is that the code promulgated at Sinai to the Israelites should cancel any previous code not given specifically to them.

(16) V. supra 57a.

(17) I.e., Palestine. For even the Israelites were permitted this only in the course of their conquest of Palestine, but not otherwise.

(18) The theft of which is regarded as an offence by heathens but not by Jews. V. supra 57a.

(19) Actually, it would be theft in the case of a Jew too, but that Jews are not particular about such a trifle, and readily forgive. Heathens, however, do not forgive, and therefore it is theft in their case.


Talmud ‑ Mas. Sanhedrin 56a


      GEMARA. It has been taught: [The blasphemer is not punished] unless he ‘blesses’ the Name, by the Name2 . Whence do we know this? — Samuel said: The Writ sayeth, And he that blasphemeth [nokeb] the name of the Lord . . . when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.3 How do you know that the word nokeb4 [used in the Hebrew] means a ‘blessing’? — From the verse, How shall I curse [Ekkob]5 whom God hath not cursed;6 whilst the formal prohibition is contained in the verse, thou shalt not revile God.7 But perhaps it means ‘to pierce,’8 as it is written, [So Jehoiada the priest took a chest,] and bored [wa‑yikkob]9 a hole in the lid of it,10 the formal injunction against this being the verses, Ye shall destroy the names of them [idols] out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God?11 — The Name must be ‘blessed’ by the Name, which is absent here. But perhaps the text refers to the putting of two slips of parchment, each bearing the Divine Name, together, and piercing them both? — In that case one Name is pierced after the other.12 But perhaps it prohibits the engraving of the Divine Name on the Point of a knife and piercing therewith [the Divine Name written on a slip of parchment]? — In that case, the point of the knife pierces, not the Divine Name. But perhaps it refers to the pronunciation of the ineffable Name, as it is written, And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed [nikkebu]13 by their names;14 the formal prohibition being contained in the verse, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God?15 — Firstly, the Name must be ‘blessed’ by the Name, which is absent here; and secondly, it is a prohibition in the form of a positive command, which is not deemed to be a prohibition at all.16 An alternative answer is this: The Writ saith, [And the Israelitish woman's son] blasphemed wa‑yikkob17 [and cursed],18 proving that blasphemy [nokeb] denotes cursing. But perhaps it teaches that both offences must be perpetrated?19 You cannot think so, because it is written, Bring forth him that hath cursed,20 and not ‘him that hath blasphemed and cursed’, proving that one offence only is alluded to.

      Our Rabbis taught: [Any man that curseth his God, shall bear his sin.21 It would have been sufficient to say], ‘A man, etc:’ What is taught by the expression any man?22 The inclusion of heathens, to whom blasphemy is prohibited just as to Israelites, and they are executed by decapitation; for every death penalty decreed for the sons of Noah is only by decapitation.23

      Now, is [the prohibition of blasphemy to heathens] deduced from this verse? But it is deduced from another, viz., The Lord, referring to the ‘blessing’ of the Divine Name.24 — R. Isaac the smith25 replied; This phrase [‘any man’] is necessary only as teaching the inclusion of substitutes of God's name26 , and the Baraitha is taught in accordance with R. Meir's views For it has been taught: Any man that curseth his God shall bear his sin.27 Why is this written? Has it not already been stated, And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death?28 Because it is stated, And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death, I might think that death is meted out only when the ineffable Name is employed. Whence do I know that all substitutes [of the ineffable Name] are included [in this law]? From the verse, Any man that curseth his God‑shewing culpability for any manner of blasphemy [even without uttering the Name, since the Name is not mentioned in this sentence]: this is the view of R. Meir. But the Sages maintain: [Blasphemy] with use of the ineffable Name, is punishable by death: with the employment of substitutes, it is the object of an injunction. [but not punishable by death].

      This view [of R. Isaac the smith] conflicts with that of R. Miyasha; for R. Miyasha said: If a heathen [son of Noah] blasphemed, employing substitutes of the ineffable Name, he is in the opinion of the Sages punishable by death. Why so? — Because it is written, as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land [when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death].29 This teaches that only the stranger [i.e.. a proselyte], and the native [i.e., a natural born Israelite] must utter the ineffable Name; but the heathen is punishable even for a substitute only. But how does R. Meir interpret the verse, ‘as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land’? — It teaches that the stranger and citizen are stoned, but a heathen is decapitated. For I would think, since they are included [in the prohibition], they are included [in the manner of execution too]: hence we are taught otherwise. Now how does R. Isaac the smith interpret the verse, ‘as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land’, on the view of the Rabbis?30 — It teaches that only a stranger and a native must revile the Name by the Name, but for a heathen this is unnecessary. Why does the Torah state any man?31 — The Torah employed normal human speech.32

      Our Rabbis taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws;33 to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal.34


(1) The witnesses, in giving testimony, do not state that they heard the accused say, ‘May He slay himself’, uttering the actual divine name, but use the word ‘Jose’ as a substitute for the divine name. ‘Jose’ is chosen as a substitute, because it contains four letters, like the actual Tetragrammaton, which must have been used by the blasphemer for him to be punished. Moreover, the numerical value of ‘Jose’ is the same as of Elohim (81). According to Levy, s.v. hubhf, the first Jose hxuh stands for Jesus (**, son), and the second is an abbreviation of ;xuh, Joseph, the Father, by which, however, God was to be understood. The witnesses were accordingly asked whether the accused in his blasphemy had set Jesus above God. (R. Joshua b. Karha, the author of this saying, lived at a time when Judeo‑Christians ascribed more power to Jesus than to God.)

(2) As in the Mishnah, ‘Jose strike Jose’. ‘Bless’ is here a euphemism for curse, and is so in the whole of the ensuing discussion.

(3) Lev. XXIV, 16. The repetition shows that the Divine Name must be cursed by the Divine Name.

(4) ceb

(5) cet

(6) Num. XXIII, 8.

(7) Ex. XXII, 27.

(8) I.e., it is a capital offence to pierce the Divine Name, written on a slip of parchment, and thus destroy it.

(9) cehu

(10) II Kings XII, 10.

(11) Deut. XII, 3f. The interpretation is based on the juxtaposition of the two verses; v. Mak. 22a.

(12) The knife passes successively from one slip to the other, but one Name does not pierce the other.

(13) uceb

(14) Num. 1, 17.

(15) Deut. VI, 13, which is interpreted as a prohibition against the unnecessary utterance of His Name.

(16) The statement, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, though implying abstention from something, is nevertheless given as a positive command, but punishment is imposed for the violation only of a direct negative precept.

(17) cehu

(18) Lev. XXIV, 11.

(19) I.e., only he who both blasphemes, that is, utters the ineffable Name, and curses it, is executed.

(20) Ibid. XXIV, 14.

(21) Ibid. XXIV, 15.

(22) Lit., ‘A man, a man’, heb.ish ish, aht aht

(23) The only place where death is explicitly decreed for non‑Israelites is in Gen. IX, 6: Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. It is a general law, applicable to all, having been given in the pre‑Abrahamic era; his blood shall be shed must refer to the sword, the only death whereby blood is shed.

(24) V. infra 56b. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden, thou mayest freely eat. Gen. II, 16. Every word or phrase in this verse is separately interpreted, the Lord teaching the prohibition of blasphemy to a Noachide.

(25) In the Talmudic period the Rabbi was an honorary official; consequently, he had to have a private occupation e.g., R. Joshua, who came into conflict with R. Gamaliel, was a blacksmith, (Ber. 28a.) others translate, charcoal‑burner.

(26) I.e., even if only a substitute was employed in blasphemy, the death penalty is incurred.

(27) Lev. XXIV, 15

(28) Ibid. 16.

(29) Ibid.

(30) That a heathen too must use the ineffable Name for incurring punishment.

(31) This is a difficulty For R. Isaac and R. Miyasha, as they explain the opinions of the Sages. They both maintain that the culpability of a heathen is deduced from And the Lord (God commanded etc.) When employing substitutes, his culpability, in the view of R. Miyasha is deduced from as well the stranger etc.; Whilst R. Isaac denies that it is punishable at all. Hence the difficulty, why the repetition ish ish, a man, a man?

(32) I.e., no particular significance attaches to the repetition, it being the usual idiom.

(33) I.e., to establish courts of justice, or, perhaps, to observe social justice (Nahmanides on Gen. XXXIV, 13): Hast. Dict. (s.v. Noachian precepts) translates ‘obedience to authority’.

(34) These commandments may be regarded as the foundations of all human and moral progress. Judaism has both a national and a universal outlook in life. In the former sense it is particularistic, setting up a people distinct and separate from others by its peculiar religious law. But in the latter, it recognises that moral progress and its concomitant Divine love and approval are the privilege and obligation of all mankind. And hence the Talmud lays down the seven Noachian precepts, by the observance of which all mankind may attain spiritual perfection, and without which moral death must inevitably ensue. That perhaps is the idea underlying the assertion (passim) that a heathen is liable to death for the neglect of any of these. The last mentioned is particularly instructive as showing the great importance attached to the humane treatment of animals; so much so, that it is declared to be fundamental to human righteousness.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Sanhedrin 56b

R. Hanania b. Gamaliel said: Also not to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal. R. Hidka added emasculation. R. Simeon added sorcery. R. Jose said: The heathens were prohibited everything that is mentioned in the section on sorcery. viz., There shall not be found among you any one, that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them [sc. the heathens in Canaan] out from before thee.1 Now, [the Almighty] does not punish without first prohibiting.2 R. Eleazar added the forbidden mixture [in plants and animals]: now, they are permitted to wear garments of mixed fabrics [of wool and linen] and sow diverse seeds together; they are forbidden only to hybridize heterogeneous animals and graft trees of different kinds.

      Whence do we know this? — R. Johanan answered: The Writ saith: And the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.3 And [He] commanded, refers to [the observance of] social laws, and thus it is written, For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.4 The Lord‑is [a prohibition against] blasphemy, and thus it is written, and he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.5 God‑is [an injunction against] idolatry, and thus it is written, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.6 The man‑refers to bloodshed [murder], and thus it is written, Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.7 Saying‑refers to adultery, and thus it is written, They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and became another man's.8 Of every tree of the garden‑but not of  robbery.9 Thou mayest freely eat‑but not flesh cut from a living animal.10

      When R. Isaac came,11 he taught a reversed interpretation. And He commanded‑refers to idolatry; God [Heb. elohim] to social law. Now ‘God’ may rightly refer to social laws, as it is written, And the master of the house shall be brought unto elohim [i.e., the judges].12 But how can ‘and He commanded’ connote a prohibition of idolatry? — R. Hisda and R. Isaac b. Abdimi‑one cited the verse, They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, etc.13 And the other cited, Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.14 Wherein do they differ? — In respect of a heathen who made an idol but did not worship it: On the view [that the prohibition of idolatry is derived from] they have made them a molten calf, guilt is incurred as soon as the idol is made [even before it is worshipped]; but according to the opinion that it is from, because he willingly walked after the commandment, there is no liability until the heathen actually follows and worships it. Raba objected: Does any scholar maintain that a heathen is liable to punishment for making an idol even if he did not worship it? Surely it has been taught: With respect to idolatry, such acts for which a Jewish Court decrees sentence of death [on Jewish delinquents] are forbidden to the heathen; but those for which a Jewish Court inflicts no capital penalty on Jewish delinquents are not forbidden to him.15 Now what does this exclude? Presumably the case of a heathen who made an idol without worshipping it?16 R. Papa answered: No. It excludes the embracing and kissing of idols.17 Of which idols do you say this? Is it of those whose normal worship is in this manner; but in that case he is surely liable to death? — Hence it excludes the embracing and kissing of idols which are not usually worshipped thus.

      ‘Social laws.’ Were then the children of Noah bidden to observe these? Surely it has been taught: The Israelites were given ten precepts at Marah, seven of which had already been accepted by the children of Noah, to which were added at Marah social laws ,the Sabbath, and honouring one's parents; ‘Social laws,’ for it is written, There [sc. at Marah] he made for them a statute and an ordinance;18 ‘the Sabbath and honouring one's parents’. for it is written, As the Lord thy God commanded thee!19 — R. Nahman replied in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: The addition at Marah was only in respect of an assembly, witnesses, and formal admonition.20 If so, why say ‘to which were added social laws’?21 — But Raba replied thus: The addition was only in respect of the laws of fines.22 But even so, should it not have been said, ‘additions were made in the social laws’? — But R. Aha b. Jacob answered thus: The Baraitha informs us that they were commanded to set up law courts in every district and town. But were not the sons of Noah likewise commanded to do this? Surely it has been taught: Just as the Israelites were ordered to set up law courts in every district and town, so were the sons of Noah likewise enjoined to set up law courts in every district and town! — But Raba answered thus: The author of this Baraitha [which states that social laws were added at Marah] is a Tanna of the School of Manasseh, who omitted social laws and blasphemy23 [from the list of Noachian precepts] and substituted emasculation and the forbidden mixture [in plants, ploughing. etc.].23 For a Tanna of the School of Manasseh taught: The sons of Noah were given seven precepts. viz., [prohibition of] idolatry, adultery, murder, robbery, flesh cut from a living animal, emasculation and forbidden mixtures. R. Judah said: Adam was prohibited idolatry only, for it is written, And the Lord God commanded Adam.24 R. Judah b. Bathyra maintained: He was forbidden blasphemy too. Some add social laws. With whom does the following statement of Rab Judah in the name of Rab agree: viz., [God said to Adam,] I am God, do not curse Me; l am God, do not exchange Me for another; I am God, let My fear be upon you?25 — This agrees with the last mentioned [who adds social laws to the list].

      Now, what is the standpoint of the Tanna of the School of Manasseh? If he interprets the verse, And the Lord God commanded etc. [as interpreted above], he should include these two [social laws and blasphemy] also, and if he does not, whence does he derive the prohibition of the rest? — In truth, he does not accept the interpretation of the verse, ‘And the Lord God commanded etc., but maintains that each of these [which he includes] is separately stated: Idolatry and adultery.


(1) Deut. XVIII, 10ff.

(2) Therefore, since it is stated that they are being expelled as a punishment for these sins, they must first have been warned (i.e., prohibited) against them.

(3) Gen. II, 16.

(4) Gen. XVIII, 19. Thus ‘command’ relates to justice and judgment.

(5) Lev. XXIV, 16‑’The Lord’ being used in connection with blasphemy.

(6) Ex. XX, 3.

(7) Gen. IX, 6.

(8) Jer. III, 1. Thus ‘saying’ is used in connection with adultery.

(9) Since it was necessary to authorize Adam to eat of the trees of the garden, it follows that without such authorisation‑i.e., when something belongs to another‑it is forbidden.

(10) By interpreting thus: Thou mayest eat that which is now ready for eating, but not whilst the animal is alive. It is perhaps remarkable that a verse, the literal meaning of which is obviously permission to enjoy, should be interpreted as a series of prohibitions. Yet it is quite in keeping with the character of the Talmud: freedom to enjoy must be limited by moral and social considerations, and indeed only attains its highest value when so limited. Cf. Ab. VI, 2: No man is free but he who labours in the Torah.

(11) V. p. 361, n. 5.

(12) Ex. XXII, 7. The root idea of ‘elohim’ is power, majesty.

(13) Ex. XXXII, 8.

(14) Hos. V, 11, referring to idolatry; thus in both cases ‘command’ is used in connection with idolatry.

(15) V. Mishnah 60b.

(16) For which a Jew is not punished by death.

(17) Teaching that these are not punishable.

(18) Ex. XV, 25. Ordinance (Heb. mishpat) refers to social law.

(19) Deut. V, 16. This occurs in the fifth commandment of the second Decalogue. Similar words are used in the fourth commandment: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. In both cases then there is a reference to some previous event, shewn by the use of the past tense: commanded thee. Now the second Decalogue, though spoken by Moses towards the end of his life in the plains of Moab many years after the first at Sinai, was nevertheless a repetition thereof. Therefore this reference back must have been made in the first promulgation also, and can only relate to Marah, where, as stated above, ‘he made for them a statute and an ordinance’, i.e., gave certain laws to the  the Israelites.

(20) I.e., that Justice should be meted out by an ‘assembly’. viz., a Sanhedrin; that an accusation was to be attested by at least two witnesses, and that a formal warning or admonition was to be given to the accused before he committed his offence, as otherwise he was not liable to the prescribed penalty. But the sons of Noah, though bidden to observe civil laws, were not bound by these regulations.

(21) Since the addition was only in the method of procedure, but not in actual content.

(22) E.g., Deut. XXII, 19, 29, where a slanderer of a woman's honour is ordered to pay 100 silver shekels to her father, and a seducer of a virgin 50 silver shekels. These payments are not regarded as equitable indemnifications against loss sustained, but as fines for reprehensible acts. These laws were wanting in the civil code of the sons of Noah, and only these commands added at Marah.

(23) The text employs abbreviations for these commands.

(24) Which means that He commanded him to remember His Godhead, and not to reject it for a different deity.

(25) ‘Let my fear be upon you’ is an exhortation to dispense justice uprightly, without fear of man.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Kethuboth 11a

We will also say:1 ailonith [the barren woman that is] a man‑like2 woman, who does not bear children.3

MISHNAH. A WOMAN PROSELYTE, A WOMAN CAPTIVE, AND A WOMAN SLAVE, WHO HAVE BEEN REDEEMED, CONVERTED, OR FREED [WHEN THEY WERE] LESS THAN THREE YEARS AND ONE DAY OLD — THEIR KETHUBAH IS TWO HUNDRED [ZUZ]. AND THERE IS WITH REGARD TO THEM THE CLAIM OF [NON‑]VIRGINITY.4 GEMARA. R. Huna said: A minor proselyte5 is immersed6 by the direction7 of the court.8 What does he let us know? That it is an advantage9 to him and one may act for a person in his absence10 to his advantage? [Surely] we have learned [this already]: One may act for a person in his absence to his advantage. but one cannot act for a person in his absence to his disadvantage!

     What you might have supposed is that an idolator11 prefers a life without restraint12 because it is established for us that a slave certainly prefers a dissolute life,13 therefore, he14 lets us know that this is said15 [only in the case] of a grown‑up person who has already tasted sin,16 but [in the case of] a minor, it is an advantage to him.17 May we say that [this Mishnah] supports him:18 A WOMAN PROSELYTE, A WOMAN CAPTIVE, AND A WOMAN SLAVE, WHO HAVE BEEN REDEEMED, CONVERTED. OR FREED [WHEN THEY WERE] LESS THAN THREE YEARS AND ONE DAY OLD [etc.]? Is it not that they immersed them19 by the direction of the Court?20 No, here we treat of the case of a proselyte whose sons and daughters were converted with him, so that they are satisfied with what their father does.21

     R. Joseph said: When they22 have become of age they can protest [against their conversion].23

     Abaye asked:24 A WOMAN PROSELYTE, A WOMAN CAPTIVE, AND A WOMAN SLAVE, WHO HAVE BEEN REDEEMED, CONVERTED OR FREED [WHEN THEY WERE] LESS THAN THREE YEARS AND ONE DAY OLD‑THEIR KETHUBAH IS TWO HUNDRED [ZUZ]. Now if you indeed mean to say [that] when they have become of age they can protest [against their conversion],25 would we give her the kethubah that she may go and eat [it] in her heathen state? When she has become of age.26 [But] when she has become of age, too, she can protest and go out!27 As soon as she was of age one hour, and did not protest, she cannot protest any more.28

     Raba raised an objection: These maidens receive the fine:29 if a man has intercourse with30 a bastard,31 a Nethinah,32 a Cuthean,33 a proselyte, a captive. or a slave, who have been redeemed, converted, or freed [when they were] less than three years and one day old‑they have to be paid the fine.34 Now if you say [that] when they have become of age they can protest, would we give her35 the fine that she may go and eat it in her heathen state? — When she has become of age.36 When she has become of age too she can protest and go out!37 As soon as she was of age one hour and did not protest she cannot protest any more.38 Abaye did not say as Raba [said]39 [because] there40 [where it speaks of fines we can say]: This is the reason:41 that the sinner should not have any benefit.42 Raba did not say as Abaye [said]43 because in the case of the kethubah [we can say that] this is the reason:44 that it45 should not be a light matter in his eyes to send her away.46



(1) We will make a similar etymological exposition.

(2) Or ram‑like. ,hbukhht ‘a woman who cannot bear children,’ is connected with kht(ram).

(3) I.e., who is incapable of bearing children.

(4) If they had sexual intercourse before they were three years and one day old the hymen would grow again, and they would be virgins. V. 9a and 11b and cf. Nid. 44b and 45a.

(5) I.e., a minor who wants to become a proselyte, that is, be converted to Judaism. Prior to and for the purpose of that conversion the would‑be proselyte has to undergo circumcision and immersion in water. V. Yeb. 46aff. The immersion is to signify his purification. If the would‑be proselyte is a minor (under thirteen years of age) and has no father to act for him, the Court can authorise his ritual immersion.

(6) Lit., ‘they immerse him’.

(7) Lit., ‘by the knowledge’.

(8) Lit., ‘house of judgment’. Three members constitute the court.

(9) To be received into the Jewish Faith.

(10) Lit., ‘not in his presence’. — As the proselyte is a minor he is not, legally speaking, present.

(11) Lit.,’one who worships the stars and planets.’

(12) Lit., ‘lawlessness, unbridled lust.’ — It would therefore be a disadvantage to the minor would‑be proselyte to become a Jew.

(13) Cf. Git. 13a. — This confirms the former supposition.

(14) R. Huna.

(15) Lit., ‘these words.’

(16) Lit., ‘who has tasted the taste of what is forbidden’.

(17) To become a Jew.

(18) R. Huna.

(19) The women proselytes.

(20) Because they were less than three years and one day old, consequently minors.

(21) The immersion of the minor proselytes therefore took place by the direction of their father and not of the Court. — This Mishnah is therefore no support for R. Huna.

(22) The minor proselytes.

(23) And leave the Jewish faith and go back to their former state without being liable to a penalty by the Jewish Court.

(24) Lit., ‘he raised against this a point of contradiction from a higher authority.’

(25) V. note 2.

(26) Only then one gives her the kethubah.

(27) Of Judaism; why then give her the kethubah?

(28) The kethubah would be given to her after ‘one hour’.

(29) Lit., ‘These maidens to whom there is a fine’. — The fine is that for seducing a girl; v. Deut. XXII, 29.

(30) Lit., ‘He who came on.’

(31) V. Yeb. 49a.

(32) A descendant of the Gibeonites. V. Joshua IX, 22, 23, 27 and cf. Yeb. 78b.

(33) A Samaritan.

(34) V. infra 29a.

(35) The proselyte.

(36) And adhered to Jewish practice, only then she is paid the fine, v. Tosaf.

(37) Of Judaism.

(38) The fine would be given to her after ‘one hour’.

(39) Did not ask the question of Raba.

(40) In the Mishnah, infra 29a.

(41) Why the fine should he paid to the seduced proselyte girl.

(42) Therefore he should pay the fine in any case. But the case of the kethubah (in our Mishnah) is different. Therefore, Abaye asked from our Mishnah.

(43) He did not ask the same question as Abaye.

(44) Why the kethubah is paid to the woman proselyte.

(45) Lit., ‘she’.

(46) Lit., ‘to bring her out (of his house)’, that is, to divorce her. Therefore he should pay the kethubah in any case. But the case of the fine is different. Therefore Raba asks from the Mishnah infra 29a.

(47) A man who was of age.

(48) Lit., ‘who came on’.

(49) Less than three years old.

(50) Less than nine years of age.

(51) Lit., ‘One who was injured by wood’, as a result of which she injured the hymen.

(52) Lit., ‘the words of’.

(53) A maiden was married, and immediately after the marriage. became a widow or divorced, or a haluzah; v. supra 10b.

(54) Lit., ‘their’, that is, the kethubah of each of them.

(55) Since the marriage had taken place she is regarded as a married woman and it is assumed that she is no more a virgin.

Talmud ‑ Mas. Kethuboth 11b


     GEMARA. Rab Judah said that Rab said: A small boy who has intercourse with a grown‑up woman makes her [as though she were] injured by a piece of wood.1 When I said it before Samuel he said: ‘Injured by a piece of wood’ does not apply to2 flesh. Some teach this teaching by itself:3 [As to] a small boy who has intercourse with a grown‑up woman. Rab said, he makes her [as though she were] injured by a piece of wood; whereas Samuel said: ‘Injured by a piece of wood’ does not apply to flesh. R. Oshaia objected: WHEN A GROWN‑UP MAN HAS HAD INTERCOURSE WITH A LITTLE GIRL, OR WHEN A SMALL BOY HAS INTERCOURSE WITH A GROWN‑UP WOMAN, OR WHEN A GIRL WAS ACCIDENTALLY INJURED BY A PIECE OF WOOD‑[IN ALL THESE CASES] THEIR KETHUBAH IS TWO HUNDRED [ZUZ]; SO ACCORDING TO R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY: A GIRL WHO WAS INJURED ACCIDENTALLY BY A PIECE OF WOOD — HER KETHUBAH IS A MANEH!4 Raba said. It means5 this: When a grown‑up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing, for when the girl is less than this,6 it is as if one puts the finger into the eye;7 but when a small boy has intercourse with a grown‑up woman he makes her as ‘a girl who is injured by a piece of wood.’ and [with regard to the case of] ‘a girl injured by a piece of wood.’ itself, there is the difference of opinion between R. Meir and the Sages.

     Rami b. Hama said: The difference of opinion8 is [only] when he9 knew her,10 for R. Meir compares her11 to a mature girl,12 and the Sages compare her to a woman who had intercourse with a man.13 But if he did not know her,14 all agree15 that she has nothing.16 And why does R. Meir compare her to a mature girl? Let him compare her to a woman who had intercourse with a man! — [In the case of] a woman who had intercourse with a man, a deed had been done to her by a man;17 but in her case18 — no deed has been done to her by a man. — And why do the Rabbis compare19 her to a woman who had intercourse with a man? Let them compare her to a mature girl! [In the case of] a mature girl no deed whatsoever has been done to her,20 but in her case — a deed has been done to her.21

     ‘But if he did not know her, all agree that she gets nothing’.22 R. Nahman objected: If she says. ‘I was injured by a piece of wood,’ and he says. ‘No, but thou hadst intercourse with a man’, Rabban Gamaliel and R. Eliezer say [that] she is believed!23 But, said Raba, whether he knew’ her24 and whether he did not know her,25 according to R. Meir [her kethubah is] two hundred [zuz];26 [whereas] according to the Rabbis, if he knew her [her kethubah is] a maneh, [if] he did not know her, she gets nothing.27

     Raba however changed his opinion,28 for it has been taught: How [does] the bringing out of an evil name29 [take place]? He30 comes to court and says, ‘I, So‑and‑so,31 have not found in thy daughter the tokens of virginity.’ If there are witnesses that she has been unchaste under him,32 she gets a33 kethubah of a maneh.34 [But surely] if there are witnesses that she has been unchaste under him, she is to be stoned!35 — It means this: If there are witnesses that she has been unchaste under him, she has to be stoned; if she was unchaste before [the betrothal], she gets a kethubah of a maneh. Now R. Hiyya b. Abin said [that] R. Shesheth said: This teaches:36 If he married her in the presumption that she is a virgin and she was found to have had intercourse with a man,37 she gets a kethubah of a maneh. Whereupon R. Nahman objected: ‘If one marries a woman and does not find in her virginity, [and] she says, "After thou hadst betrothed me [to thyself] I was forced38 and [thus] thy39 field has been inundated," and he says, "No, but before I betrothed thee [unto me] [thou hadst intercourse with a man], my bargain is [thus] a mistaken one.’ [etc.]’40 and [this assuredly means] she is to get nothing!41 And R. Hiyya b. Abin said to them: Is it possible! R. Amram and all the great ones of the age sat42 when R. Shesheth said that teaching and they found it difficult43 and he44 answered: In which respect is it indeed a mistaken bargain? In respect of two hundred [zuz:], but a maneh she gets [as a kethubah]. And you45 say [that it means] she gets nothing! Whereupon Raba said: He who asked [this question]46 has asked well, for a mistaken bargain’ means entirely.47 But [then] that [other teaching] presents a difficulty.48 Put [it] right49 and say thus: If there are witnesses that she was unchaste under him50 she has to be stoned, if she was unchaste before [the betrothal], she gets nothing, if she was found to be injured by a piece of wood, she has a kethubah of a maneh. But Surely it was Raba who said [above that], according to the Rabbis, if he did not know her, she gets nothing!51 Hence you must conclude52 from this53 that Raba retracted from that [opinion].54 Our Rabbis taught: If the first [husband] took her [the bride] to his home for the purpose of marriage. and she has witnesses that she was not alone [with him,]55 or even if she was alone [with him]. but she did not stay [with him] as much time as is needed for intercourse, the second [husband]56 cannot raise any complaint with regard to her virginity. for the first [husband] had taken her to his home [for the purpose of marriage].57


(1) Although the intercourse of a small boy is not regarded as a sexual act, nevertheless the woman is injured by it as by a piece of wood.

(2) Lit., ‘is not in’.

(3) I.e., the difference of opinion between Rab and Samuel with regard to that question was recorded without any reference to R. Judah.

(4) The Sages differ only with regard to a girl injured by a piece of wood, but not with regard to a small boy who has intercourse with a grown‑up woman. This shows that the latter case cannot be compared with the former case. The Mishnah would consequently be against Rab and for Samuel.

(5) Lit., ‘says’.

(6) Lit ‘here’, that is, less than three years old.

(7) I.e., tears come to the eye again and again, so does virginity come back to the little girl under three years. Cf. Nid. 45a.

(8) Between R. Meir and the Sages.

(9) The husband.

(10) I.e., he knew, when he married her, that the bride was thus injured.

(11) The one who was thus injured.

(12) A bogereth (v. Glos.), a girl of full maturity, may sometimes not have signs of virginity, (v. Yeb. 59a), and her kethubah is nevertheless two hundred zuz.

(13) And had no virginity. Therefore her kethubah is only a maneh, as that of a widow.

(14) Did not know of the injury and thus thought that she was in her full virginity.

(15) Lit., ‘the words of all.’

(16) Lit., ‘it is nothing’. — As he was kept in ignorance of what happened to her, she does not get even a maneh (Rashi).

(17) Lit., ‘by the hands of man’.

(18) Lit., ‘this’.

(19) Lit., ‘instead of comparing’.

(20) Her signs of virginity vanished through her maturity.

(21) Through the piece of wood.

(22) This is the concluding part of the statement.

(23) V. infra 23a. This shews that she gets the kethubah even if he did not know that she had been thus injured.

(24) I.e., knew, when he married her, that she had been injured.

(25) Did not know that she was thus injured.

(26) [And the author of the Mishnah which states that she is believed, will be R. Meir, and she receives two hundred zuz].

(27) V. n. 4. [And our Mishnah which states that she gets only a maneh will represent the view of the Sages in the case where he knew her].

(28) Lit., ‘and Raba went back on himself.’

(29) Cf. Deut. XXII, 13,14.

(30) The husband.

(31) Lit., ‘such and such a person’, — the, husband is addressing the father of his young wife.

(32) I.e., that she had intercourse with a man after their betrothal.

(33) Lit., ‘there is unto her’.

(34) V. infra 46a.

(35) Lit., ‘a daughter of stoning’ — (Cf. Deut. XXII, 20, 21). [How then can she have a claim to a kethubah?]

(36) Lit., ‘this says’.

(37) Before the betrothal.

(38) By a man to have intercourse with him.

(39) Lit., ‘his field’.

(40) V. Mishnah, infra 12b.

(41) [I.e., the words ‘my bargain is a mistaken one’ imply that the husband in making this charge denies her the right to receive anything at all. This refutes R. Shesheth's view that she is entitled in such a case to one maneh.]

(42) I.e., were present.

(43) Lit., ‘and it was difficult unto them’. I.e., they felt the difficulty presented by the cited Mishnah.

(44) R. Shesheth.

(45) R. Nahman.

(46) I.e., R. Nahman, by asking the question from the cited Mishnah.

(47) I.e., entirely a mistaken bargain and she gets nothing. The question of R. Nahman was therefore a good question.

(48) Lit., ‘That is difficult’. The Baraitha of Kethuboth 46a, which says that if she was unchaste before the betrothal she gets a kethubah of a maneh.

(49) I.e., answer.

(50) I.e., that she had intercourse with a man after their betrothal.

(51) And this is in contradiction with what Raba said just now, namely. that if the young wife was found to be injured by a piece of wood, she has a Kethubah of a maneh.

(52) Lit., ‘hear from this’.

(53) From Raba's statement that one injured thus gets a kethubah of a maneh.

(54) Expressed by Raba previously that, according to the Rabbis, if the husband did not know before the betrothal that the bride was injured, she gets no kethubah at all.

(55) Lit., ‘that she was not hidden.’

(56) The woman married again after the death of, or divorce by. the first husband.

(57) As she was married before, the second husband must reckon with the possibility of her having had intercourse with the first husband, in spite of the evidence which she can bring to shew that the marriage was not consummated

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