it might be thought that the same is true of a leper, therefore Scripture says 'his head'.1 And another [Baraitha] taught: Why does Scripture mention 'his head'? Since it says with reference to the nazirite, There shall no razor come upon his head,2 it might be thought that the same is true of a nazirite who becomes a leper, therefore Scripture says 'his head'.3 Now surely there is here a difference of opinion between Tannaim [on the question of rounding the whole head]. The [Tanna] who refers ['his head'] to the nazirite holding that the rounding of the whole head does not count as rounding,4 and that the purpose of the text5 is to override the prohibition and positive command [incumbent on the nazirite],6 whilst the other [Tanna] holds that the rounding of the whole head does count as rounding7 and the purpose of the verse is to override a simple prohibition!8 — Said Raba: [It may be that] both [Tannaim] agree that the rounding of the whole head does not count as rounding, and the purpose of the verse [according to the latter Tanna]9 is [to permit rounding] where he first rounds [the corners only] and then shaves [the rest of the head]. Since he would not be guilty if he shaved it all at the same time, he is not guilty if he first rounds [the corners] and then shaves [the rest].10
But could Scripture possibly intend this?11 Has not Resh Lakish said that wherever we find a positive command and a prohibition [at variance], then if it is possible to observe both, well and good, otherwise the positive command overrides the prohibition?12 — We must therefore say that both [Tannaim] agree that the rounding of the whole head counts as rounding [the corners], and that the authority who utilises the verse ['his head' to prove that a positive command] may override both a prohibition and a positive command, infers that a simple prohibition [can be overridden] from [the command to wear] twisted cords. For the verse says, Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff,13 and it has been taught [in explanation of this]: Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, [wool and linen together], but nevertheless, Thou shalt make thee twisted cords14 of them.
Why does not the one who infers this [rule]15 from 'his head' infer it from 'twisted cords'? — He will reply that [the latter] is required for [the following dictum of] Raba. For Raba noted the following contradiction. It is written, And that they put with the fringe of each corner, [i.e.,] of the same [material] as the corner16 must there be a thread of blue.17 Yet it is [also] written wool and linen together.18 How are these to be reconciled? Wool and linen discharge [the obligation to provide fringes] both for [garments of] their own species,19 and also for other species,20 but other kinds [of material] discharge [this obligation] only for [garments of] the same species but not for [garments of] a different species.21
And whence does the Tanna who utilizes 'his head' for [the inference that a positive command overrides] a simple prohibition learn that the positive command22 overrides both a prohibition and a positive command?23 — He infers it from [the expression] 'his beard'.24 For it has been taught: Why does Scripture mention 'his beard'?25 Since it says,26 neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard,27 it might be thought that the same is true of a priest who is a leper, and so Scripture says 'his beard'.28
Why does not the [Tanna] who utilizes 'his head' for [teaching that] the positive command and prohibition [can be overruled by a positive command] infer it from [the words] 'his beard'? — But according to your view29 when we have the rule elsewhere
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- The leper must even shave his head.
- Num. VI, 5.
- Even a nazirite must shave his head if he becomes a leper. Cf. the somewhat different discussion of these two Baraithas, supra 41a.
- And so no special permission is required to round the head of a leper on shaving him.
- 'His head'.
- Viz.: There shall no razor come upon his head (Num. VI. 5) and, He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long (Ibid.). In spite of these verses, the leprous nazirite is to shave his head.
- And it might be thought that even an ordinary leper must not round his head.
- I.e., one which has no accompanying positive command to the same effect.
- Who uses it to allow rounding in the case of an ordinary Ieper.
- I.e., the verse tells us that even if he shaves his head without avoiding the transgression of the prohibition against rounding, where is no penalty.
- Viz.: no permit infringement of a prohibition when it can he avoided.
- And here, if rounding the whole head is not an infringement, he should shave the whole head at once.
- Deut. XXII, 21.
- The next verse. The inference is that fringes of wool may be placed on a linen garment, the prohibition of the preceding verse notwithstanding.
- That a positive command overrides a simple prohibition.
- This is inferred from the redundant 'each corner'. Since we know from the preceding phrase that the fringes are to he on the corners, Raba concludes that the fringes must he of the same material as the garment.
- Num. XV, 38.
- Deut. XXII, 21, followed by Thou shalt make thee twisted cords, implying apparently that fringes must be made of wool and linen only.
- Wool and linen.
- Wool fringes may be put on a silk or linen garment.
- Silk fringes do nor count as fringes if put on a woollen garment.
- In the case of the leper.
- If the nazirite becomes leprous he may shave his head on recovering.
- Lev. XIV, 9 of a leper.
- Since he must shave the whole of his body.
- Of the priests.
- Lev. XXI, 5. This is the prohibition. The positive command is contained in the next verse. They shall be holy unto their God.
- Even a priest must shave his beard if he is a leper.
- That we make the inference from 'his beard', so that the case of the leprous nazirite can be deduced from that of the leprous priest.
that a positive command cannot override a prohibition accompanied by a positive command, let it be inferred from the [case of a leprous] priest that it can override?1 [To this you reply] that we can make no inference from the [case of a leprous priest], [because] the case of the priest is different since the prohibition [overridden] does not apply to all people equally.2 So, too, we are unable to infer the nazirite [leper] from the priest [leper] since the prohi bition [overridden in the case of the priest] does not apply equally to all people.3
Now to what use does the [Tanna] who utilizes [the phrase] 'his head' for the nazirite [leper], put [the phrase] 'his beard'?4 — He requires it for [the following] that has been taught:5 [From the verse] Neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard,6 it might be thought that even if he shaved it with a scissors, he would be guilty, and so Scripture says [elsewhere], neither shalt thou mar [the corners of thy beard].7 If it had [only written] 'neither shalt thou mar' It might have been thought that if he plucked it out with tweezers or a rohitni,8 he would be guilty, and so Scripture says, 'neither shalt they shave off the corners of their beard'. What sort of shaving also mars? I should say that this is [shaving with] a razor.9
Now according to the other tanna who utilizes the phrase, 'his head' for [overriding] a simple prohibition, why is it necessary to write both 'his head' and 'his beard'? [For since the expression 'his head'] can be understood as implying the overriding of a simple prohibition10 and it can be understood also as implying the overriding of a prohibition accompanied by a positive command,11 it can be applied indifferently to both,12 and both could be inferred?13 — The priest [leper] cannot be inferred from the nazirite [leper], since the latter can secure release [from his nazirite vow].14 The nazirite [leper] cannot be inferred from the priest [leper], since the [latter] prohibition does not apply equally to all people.15 [Finally,] we cannot infer from these a rule for other cases,16 since the previously mentioned objections could be raised.17
Rab said: A man may thin [the hair of] his whole body with a razor. An objection was raised. [It has been taught:] One who removes [the hair of] the armpits or the private parts is to be scourged?18 — This [refers to removal] by a razor whereas the other of [Rab refers to removal] by a scissors. But Rab also mentions a razor? — [He means closely] as though with a razor.
R. Hiyya b. Abba, citing R. Johanan said: One who removes [the hair of] the armpits or of the private parts is to be scourged. An objection was raised. [It has been taught:] Removal of hair is not [forbidden] by the Torah, but only by the Soferim?19 — What he too meant by scourging is [scourging inflicted] by the Rabbis.20
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- For your question assumes that there is no difference between this case and others.
- It refers to priests but not to ordinary Israelites. A prohibition which applies to all equally must be considered of greater force and, therefore, if accompanied by a positive command, it cannot be overruled.
- But anyone can become a nazirite and so the nazirite prohibition is of greater force, and a rule which applies to priests cannot be taken as applying to nazirites.
- For the priest leper can be inferred from the nazirite leper.
- Our text repeats here the Baraitha about a priest leper quoted before: Why does Scripture mention 'his beard'? Because it says, neither shall they share off the corners of their beard, it might be thought that the same is true of a priest who is a leper, and so Scripture says 'his beard'. And how do we know that this must be done with a razor? It has been taught: This passage appears to have been omitted by all the commentators and so we omit it with the Bail.
- Lev. XXI, 5.
- Lev. XIX, 27 of an ordinary Israelite. Scissors do not mar.
- V. Glos.
- And the phrase, 'his beard' teaches us that the leper too must shave with a razor; cf. supra 40b.
- By inference from the verse, 'ye shall not round the corners of your head' as in the first Baraitha supra.
- From the nazirite as in the second Baraitha.
- I.e., seeing that the method of inference is the same in both cases, we should have inferred both.
- What need is there of 'his beard'? The priest-leper can be inferred from the naziriteleper.
- By applying to a sage. And since the prohibition is not a permanent one, it might be thought that only here can a positive command override a prohibition accompanied by a positive command but not in the case of a priest-Ieper.
- But only to priests, whereas anyone can become a nazirite. Hence if the fact that a priest-Ieper may shave were taught, it would not be possible to infer in the case of a nazirite-leper that the prohibition and positive command to let his hair grow are overruled by the positive command for a leper to shave.
- Lit., 'we cannot infer other cases from them'. I.e., that in all cases a positive command overrides a prohibition accompanied by a positive command.
- Viz.: That the case of the nazirite and the priest are special instances and cannot be generalised.
- For infringing the prohibition against a man appearing as a woman; v. infra.
- Lit. 'by the Scribes' (v. Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 360, n. 7). Why then does R. Johanan say that the penalty is scourging.
- I.e. not the statutory 39 stripes, but a scourging prescribed at the discretion of the Rabbis for transgressing a non-Biblical law.