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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
how then can we circumcise him?1 — Said R. Adda b. Ahabah: We circumcise him in either case: if he is viable, the is rightly circumcised; whilst if not, one [merely] cuts flesh.2 Then as to what was taught, If there is doubt whether he is a seven-months' [infant] or an eight-months', we must not desecrate the Sabbath on his account:3 why so? let us circumcise him in either case: if he is viable, he is rightly circumcised; if not, you [merely] cut flesh? — Mar the son of Rabina said: R. Nehumi b. Zechariah and I explained it: We do indeed circumcise him; this [teaching] is required only in respect of the preliminaries of circumcision, this being in accordance with R. Eliezer.4
Abaye said, This is dependent on Tannaim:5 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die: [he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even];6 this is to include an eight-months' [animal],7 [teaching] that shechitah8 does not render it clean.9 R. Jose son of R. Judah and R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon maintain: It is shechitah does render it clean. Surely they differ in this: one Master holds, It is a living creature;10 whilst the other Master holds, It is [technically] dead? — Said Raba: If so, instead of disputing on the matter of uncleanness and cleanness, let them dispute on the question of consumption.11 Rather [say then] all hold that it is [technically] dead, but R. Jose son of R. Judah and R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon argue, it is as a terefah:12 a terefah, though indeed it is dead, does not shechitah render it clean?13 So here too it is not different. But the Rabbis [reason]: it is unlike a terefah, for a terefah had a period of fitness,14 whereas this one enjoyed no period of fitness. And should you object, what can be said about a terefah from birth?15 There shechitah is efficacious for its kind, whereas here shechitah is not efficacious for its kind.16
The scholars asked: Do the Rabbis disagree with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel17 or not?18 Should you answer [that] they differ, is the halachah as he or not? — Come and hear: If a calf is born on a festival, one may slaughter it on a festival!19 — What case do we treat of here? Where we know for certain that its months [of bearing] were complete.20 Come and hear: And they agree that if it is born together with its blemish, it is mukan!21 Here too [it is said] where its months [of bearing] were complete. Come and hear: For Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: The halachah, is as R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. 'The halachah [is thus]' implies that they [the Rabbis] disagree.22 This proves it.
Abaye said: If it falls from a roof or is devoured by a lion, all hold that it was viable.23 When do they differ? if it yawns and dies.24 One Master holds: It was viable; whilst the other Master holds: it was [technically] dead. What is the practical difference? Whether it frees the mother from Levirate marriage.25
'If it falls from a roof or is devoured by a lion, all hold that it was viable.' But surely R. Papa and R. Huna the son of R. Joshua visited the house of R. Iddi b. Abin's son, who prepared a third-born calf26 for them on its seventh day [from birth], whereupon they said to him, 'Had you waited with it until evening27 we would have eaten thereof: now we will not eat thereof'!28 — Rather [say thus:] If it yawns and dies, all agree that it was dead [non-viable]; they differ where it falls from a roof or is devoured by a lion, one Master holding that it was viable; the other Master, that it was dead.29
A child was born to the son of R. Dimi b. Joseph, [and] it died within thirty days. [Thereupon] he sat and mourned for it.30 Said his father to him, 'Do you wish to eat dainties?'31 'I know for certain that its months [of pregnancy] were complete.' R. Ashi visited R. Kahana: a mishap befell him within the thirty days.32 Seeing him sitting and mourning for it, he said to him, 'Does the Master not agree with what Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: The halachah is as R. Simeon b. Gamaliel?' — 'I know for certain that its months were complete,' replied he.
If she is an Israelite's wife,1 she must perform halizah;2 but if she is a priest's wife,3 she does not perform halizah.4 But R. Sherabia5 ruled in Raba's name: Both the one and the other must perform halizah. Rabina said to R. Sherabia: In the evening Raba did rule thus, but the [following] morning he retracted.6 You would permit her,7 he retorted: would that you permitted forbidden fat!
R. JUDAH PERMITS, etc. R. Shizbi said in R. Hisda's name: Not in respect of everything did R. Judah rule [that] an hermaphrodite is a male; for if you do say thus, in the case of vows of valuation8 let him be subject to valuation — And how do we know that he is not subject to 'valuation'? Because it was taught: '[And thy estimation shall be of] the male [from twenty years old, etc.]:9 but not a tumtum10 or an hermaphrodite. You might think that he does not come within the valuation of a man, yet he does come within the valuation of a woman; therefore it is stated, … the male … and if it be a female:11 a certain male, a certain female, but not a tumtum or a hermaphrodite'. —
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