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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah

Folio 70a

She is an abomination,1  but her children are no abomination. If the sacrifices of two lepers were mixed up and after the sacrifice of one of them was offered2  one of them died, what is to be done about the other?3  He replied: He assigns4  his possessions to others so that he becomes a poor man and then5  brings a bird sin-offering which may be brought6  even in a case of doubt. But is there not also a guilt-offering?7  — Samuel replied: This8  applies only where his guilt-offering had been duly offered.9  R. Shesheth observed: A great man like Samuel should say such a thing! In agreement with whose view [could his answer10  have been given)? If in agreement with that of R. Judah11  [the difficulty arises:] Did he not state that12  the guilt-offering13  determines a person's status,14  so that since the guilt-offering determined for him15  a status of wealth he could no longer bring a sin-offering in the state of poverty? For we have learnt, 'If a leper brought the sacrifice of a poor man16  and then17  became rich or if he brought that of a rich man18  and became poor, all depends19  on20  the sin-offering;21  so R. Simeon. R.22  Judah ruled: All depends on the guilt-offering.23  R. Eliezer b. Jacob ruled: All depends on the birds'.24  And if [Samuel has given his answer] in agreement with the view of R. Simeon who ruled that the sin-offering25  determines the man's status,26  why should he not bring another sacrifice27  even where the guilt-offering had not been offered,28  for, surely, we have heard R. Simeon say, 'Let him bring one and make his stipulation'; for it was taught: R. Simeon ruled,29  On the morrow30  he brings his guilt-offering and its log31  with it, places it at the Nikanor gate32  and pronounces over it the following stipulation: If he is a leper, behold his guilt-offering and its log31  with it, and if he is not, let this guilt-offering be a freewill peace-offering. Now this guilt-offering33  is

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Deut. XXIV, 4, dealing with a remarried divorcee. Emphasis on 'she'
  2. It being unknown whose sacrifice it was.
  3. The survivor. Sc. how is he to attain cleanness? He cannot bring the second sacrifice, since it may possibly be the one that belonged to the dead man and a sin-offering whose owner is dead may not be offered upon the altar; and he cannot bring a new sacrifice, since it is possible that the one that was already offered was his so that he is now exempt from bringing any other sacrifice and the new one he would bring would have no sanctity and, as an unconsecrated animal, is forbidden to be brought into the Temple court.
  4. Lit., 'writes'.
  5. Exercising the privilege of the poor.
  6. Into the Temple.
  7. Which a leper whether rich or poor, must bring. Of course there is. Now since the sacrifice (presumably both the sin- and the guilt-offerings) were mixed up, how can he bring an animal as a guilt-offering in a case of doubt?
  8. R. Joshua's ruling.
  9. Before the other leper died.
  10. 'Where his guilt-offering had been duly offered'
  11. Who, holding that a guilt-offering may not be brought conditionally, could find no remedy for the leper if his guilt-offering had not been offered up before.
  12. Cf. marg. n., Rashi and Bomb. ed. Cur. edd., 'for he said'.
  13. The first of the three sacrifices which a leper must bring at the termination of his uncleanness.
  14. Sc. if at that time he was rich or poor his other two sacrifices must be those prescribed for a rich or poor man respectively, irrespective of whether at the time he brings the latter his condition has changed from wealth to poverty of from poverty to wealth.
  15. Lit., for itself', dative of advantage.
  16. A bird.
  17. Before bringing his burnt-offering, the last of the prescribed sacrifices.
  18. A ewe-lamb.
  19. As regards the burnt-offering.
  20. Lit., 'follows'.
  21. Cf. p. 488, n. 15 mut. mut.
  22. V. marg. n. Cur. edd. 'and R.'
  23. Cf. p. 488, n. 15.
  24. Which the leper brings seven days before the ritual cutting of his hair. His financial condition at that time determines whether the sacrifices he is to bring later are to be those of a rich man or of a poor man.
  25. And not the guilt-offering.
  26. So that even though the guilt-offering was brought when the man was rich he may still bring a poor man's sin-offering if he subsequently became poor.
  27. As a conditional guilt-offering (v. infra).
  28. And the adoption of this procedure would remove the necessity for Samuel to limit the case supra to one who had already brought his guilt-offering.
  29. In the case of a doubtful leprosy.
  30. The day following immersion on which the sacrifices have to be brought.
  31. Of oil,
  32. Of the Temple court. A leper is not permitted to enter into the court.
  33. Being subject to the requirements of both guilt-offerings and peace-offerings.
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Niddah 70b

to be slain1  in the north2  and is subject to the requirements of application1  in the thumbs,3  leaning,4  drink-offerings, waving5  and the presentation of the breast and shoulder to the priest.5  It may also be eaten by the priestly males on the same day and the following night;1  but the Sages did not agree with R. Simeon because6  one might7  cause holy things8  to be brought into the place of disqualified sacrifices.9  — Samuel may hold the same view as R. Simeon in one respect10  while differing from him in another.11

'Three were matters of aggada'; One verse says, For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth,12  but another verse says, Because the Lord would slay them?13  — The former refers to those who are penitents while the latter refers to those who are not penitent. One verse says, who regardeth not persons,14  nor taketh reward,15  but another verse says, The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee?16  — The former refers to the time before sentence is passed while the latter refers to the time after the sentence has been passed. One verse says, For the Lord hath chosen Zion,17  but another verse says, For this city18  hath been to me a provocation of Mine anger and of My fury from the day that they built it even unto this day?19  The former applied to the time before Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh while the latter applied to the time after Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh.

'Three were mere nonsense': Does the wife of Lot20  convey uncleanness? He replied: A corpse conveys uncleanness but no pillar of salt conveys uncleanness. Does the son of the Shunamite21  convey uncleanness?22  He replied: A corpse conveys uncleanness but no live person conveys uncleanness. Will the dead in the hereafter23  require to be sprinkled upon24  on the third and the seventh25  or will they not require it? He replied: When they will be resurrected we shall go into the matter.26  Others say: When our Master Moses will come with them.

'Three were concerned with matters of conduct': What must a man do that he may become wise? He replied: Let him engage much in study27  and a little in business. Did not many, they said, do so and it was of no avail to them? — Rather, let them pray for mercy from Him to whom is the wisdom, for it is said, For the Lord giveth wisdom, out of His mouth cometh knowledge and discernment.28  R. Hiyya taught: This29  may be compared to the action of a mortal king who prepared for his servants a banquet but to his friends he sent from that which he had before himself. What then30  does he31  teach us?32  That one without the other33  does not suffice. What must a man do that he may become rich? He replied: Let him engage much in business34  and deal honestly. Did not many, they said to him, do so but it was of no avail to them? — Rather, let him pray for mercy from Him to whom are the riches, for it is said, Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold.35  What then36  does he37  teach us?38  — That one without the other39  does not suffice. What must a man do that he may have male children? He replied: He shall marry a wife that is worthy of him

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. As a guilt-offering.
  2. Of the altar.
  3. Cf. Lev, XIV, 17.
  4. As a peace-offering (cf. Lev. III, 2).
  5. As peace-offerings.
  6. By restricting the time of consumption to a day and a night.
  7. If some of the sacrificial meat remained after the day and the night (cf. prev. n.) have passed.
  8. Sc. this sacrifice which, in case the man was no leper, is a peace-offering that may be eaten on two days.
  9. Lit., 'the house of disqualification', the enclosure where disqualified sacrificial meat was burnt. Now since Samuel follows R. Simeon and the latter allows a conditional sacrifice why was it necessary for the former to explain (supra 70a) that the guilt-offering had been offered while the man was rich?
  10. That the guilt-offering of a leper does not determine his financial condition in regard to his other two sacrifices,
  11. Maintaining, contrary to R. Simeon's view, that a guilt-offering may not be offered up conditionally.
  12. Ezek. XVIII, 32.
  13. I Sam, II, 25.
  14. Heb. lo yissa panim, lit., 'shall not lift up the countenance',
  15. Deut. X, 17.
  16. Num. VI, 26.
  17. Ps. CXXXII, 13.
  18. Zion.
  19. Jer. XXXII, 31.
  20. Who became a pillar of salt (Gen. XIX, 26.).
  21. "Whom Elisha restored to life (II Kings IV, 35).
  22. As if he were still dead.
  23. At the resurrection.
  24. As is the case with one who was in contact with a corpse.
  25. Of the seven days that are to be counted after one had contracted corpse uncleanness.
  26. Lit., 'we shall be wise about them'.
  27. Lit., 'in sitting (in the schoolhouse)'.
  28. Prov. II, 6.
  29. The knowledge that is given 'out of His mouth'.
  30. Seeing that one has in any case to pray for mercy.
  31. Samuel who stated, 'Let him engage much' etc.
  32. Sc. what is the use of study if mercy from heaven must in any case be sought?
  33. Study without prayer and vice-versa.
  34. 'Engage … business' is deleted by Elijah Wilna.
  35. Hag. II, 8.
  36. Seeing that one has in any case to pray for mercy.
  37. Samuel who stated, 'Let him engage much' etc.
  38. Cf. prev. n. but five mut. mut.
  39. Honest dealing without prayer and vice versa.
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