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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
R. Gebiha of Be Kathil3 came and repeated the reported ruling4 in the presence of R. Ashi, whereupon the other said to him: Surely both Rab and R. Johanan stated '[a High Priest] must not marry a woman who is adolescent5 or "wounded",6 but if he married her, the marriage is valid', which clearly proves [that he may continue to live with the woman because in any case] she would ultimately have become adolescent and would ultimately have been 'wounded' by living with7 him; here also8 [she should be permitted to live with him because] ultimately she would have become a be'ulah by living with7 him! — This is a difficulty.
'He shall not marry a woman whom another man has outraged or seduced. If he did marry her, the child, said R. Eliezer9 b.Jacob, is profaned; but the Sages said: The child is fit'.10 Said R. Huna in the name of Rab: The halachah is in agreement with R. Eliezer b. Jacob; and so said R. Giddal in the name of Rab: The halachah is in agreement with R. Eliezer b. Jacob. Others say: R. Huna stated in the name of Rab. What is R. Eliezer b. Jacob's reason?11 — He is of the same opinion as R. Eleazar.12 But is the former of the same opinion as the latter? Surely we have an established tradition that 'the teaching of R. Eliezer b. Jacob is small in quantity, but select',13 while in this case R. Amram14 stated that the halachah is not in accordance with R. Eleazar!15 — This is a difficulty.
R. Ashi explained: They16 differ [on the question whether the offspring] of a union forbidden by a positive commandment17 is deemed to be a halal. R. Eliezer b. Jacob is of the opinion [that the offspring] of a union forbidden by a positive commandment is deemed to be a halal while the Rabbis are of the opinion that the offspring of a union forbidden by a positive commandment is no halal. What is R. Eliezer b. Jacob's reason? — Because it is written, A widow, or one divorced, or a profaned woman, or a harlot, these shall he not take,' but a virgin etc.,18 and this is followed by the Scriptural injunction, And he shall not profane19 his seed among his people,20 which refers to all.21 And the Rabbis?22 — [By the expression] these18 the context is broken up.23 But R. Eliezer b. Jacob maintains that the expression, these,18 serves the purpose of excluding the menstruant.24
Whose view is represented in the following statement wherein it was taught: [Only the offspring] of these25 is to be regarded a halal but no offspring of a menstruant is to be deemed a halal.26 — Whose view? That of R. Eliezer b. Jacob. But on the view of R. Eliezer b. Jacob, the expression these26 should have been written at the end!27 — This is a difficulty.28
Our Rabbis taught: For a betrothed sister,29 R. Meir and R. Judah said, [a common priest]30 may defile himself.31 R. Jose and R. Simeon said: He may not defile himself for her. For [a sister who was] outraged or seduced, all agree that he may not defile himself.31 As to one 'wounded',32 R. Simeon says he may not defile himself for her; for R. Simeon maintains that he may defile himself for one who is fit for a High Priest,33 but he may not defile himself for one who is not fit for a High Priest.34 For one who is adolescent, all agree35 that he may defile himself.36
What is R. Meir's and R. Judah's reason? — They make the following exposition: And for his sister a virgin,37 excludes one who had been outraged or seduced.38 It might be assumed that one who was 'wounded' is also to be excluded.39 Hence it was specifically stated, That hath had no husband,37 only she whose condition is due to a man [is excluded]39 but not one40 whose condition is not due to a man. That is near,37 includes a betrothed [sister]; unto him,37 includes a sister who is adolescent.
What need was there for a Scriptural text in this case?41 Surely R. Meir stated, 'virgin implies even [one who retains] some of her virginity'!42 — It was required, because it might have been assumed that the expression of virgin43 shall be deduced from virgin elsewhere;44 as there it refers to a na'arah45 only, so here also it refers to a na'arah45 only, hence we were taught [that the case here is different]. And what are the reasons of R. Jose and R. Simeon? — They make the following exposition: And for his sister a virgin,43 excludes one who has been outraged, seduced or wounded;46 that hath had no,43 excludes one who is betrothed; that is near,43 includes a betrothed who had been divorced; unto him,43 includes one who is adolescent. 'That is near, includes a betrothed who had been divorced';
but, surely, R. Simeon said, 'He may defile himself for one who is fit for a High Priest, but may not defile himself for one who is not fit for a High Priest'!1 — There2 it is different, because the All Merciful has included her [by the expression] near.3 If so, the 'wounded' also should be included! — Near3 implies one and not two. And what [reason for this]4 do you see? — To the body of the one something had been done while to that of the other nothing had been done.
As to R. Jose, since his colleague5 had left him,6 it may be inferred that in respect of the 'wounded', he himself is of the same opinion as R. Meir.7 Whence, however, does he derive it? — From That hath had no man. But deduction,8 surely, had already been made9 from this text! — One8 is deduced from That hath had no and the other10 from man.11
'"Unto him", includes one who is adolescent'. But surely R. Simeon stated that 'virgin' implied a perfect virgin!12 — His reason there is also derived from here, because he makes the following exposition: since [the Scriptural text], 'unto him', was required to include one who is adolescent, it is to be inferred that 'virgin' implies a perfect virgin.
It was taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai stated: A proselyte who is under the age of three years and one day is permitted to marry a priest,13 for it is said, But all the women children that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves,14 and Phinehas15 surely was with them. And the Rabbis?16 — [These were kept alive] as bondmen and bondwomen.17 If so,18 a proselyte whose age is three years and one day19 should also be permitted! — [The prohibition is to be explained] in accordance with R. Huna. For R. Huna pointed out a contradiction: It is written, Kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him,20 but if she hath not known, save her alive; from this it may be inferred that children are to be kept alive whether they have known or have not known [a man]; and, on the other hand, it is also written, But all the women children, that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves,14 but do not spare them if they have known. Consequently21 it must be said that Scripture speaks of one who is fit22 for cohabitation.23
It was also taught likewise: And every woman that hath known man;20 Scripture speaks of one who is fit23 for cohabitation. You say, 'Of one who is fit for cohabitation'; perhaps it is not so but of one who had actual intercourse? — As Scripture stated, But all women children, that have not known man by lying with him,24 it must be concluded that Scripture speaks of one who is fit for cohabitation.23
Whence did they know?25 — R. Hana26 b. Bizna replied in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: They were made to pass before the frontplate.27 If the face of anyone turned pale28 it was known that she was fit for cohabitation; if it did not turn pale28 it was known that she was unfit for cohabitation.
R. Nahman said: Dropsy is a manifestation of lewdness.
Similarly, it is said, And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had not known man by lying with him;29 whence did they know it?30 R. Kahana replied: They made them sit upon the mouth of a wine-cask. [Through anyone who had] had previous intercourse, the odour penetrated; through a virgin, its odour did not penetrate. They should have been made to pass before the frontplate!31 — R. Kahana son of R. Nathan replied: It is written, for acceptance,32 for acceptance but not for punishment. If so, the same should have applied at Midian also!33 R. Ashi replied: It is written, 'unto them', implying unto them34 for acceptance but not for punishment; unto idolaters,35 however, even for punishment.36
R. Jacob b. Idi stated in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The halachah is in agreement with R. Simeon b. Yohai.37 Said R. Zera to R. Jacob b. Idi: Did you hear this37 explicitly or did you learn it by a deduction? What [could be the] deduction? — As R. Joshua b. Levi related: There was a certain town in the Land of Israel the legitimacy of whose inhabitants was disputed, and Rabbi sent R. Romanos who conducted an enquiry and found in it the daughter of a proselyte who was under the age of three years and one day,38 and Rabbi declared her eligible to live with a priest.39 The other40 replied:41 I heard it explicitly. And what [matters it] if it42 was learned by deduction?43 — It is possible that there44 it was different; since the marriage had already taken place he sanctioned it; for, indeed, both Rab and R. Johanan stated: A priest may not marry one who is adolescent or 'wounded', but if already married, he may continue to live with her. How now! There it is quite correct [to sanction the marriage since in any case] she would ultimately become adolescent while she45 will be with him,46 and she would also ultimately become a be'ulah while with him;46 but here, would she ultimately become a harlot47 while with him?48 R. Safra taught [that he40 arrived at it]42 by deduction, and, having raised the difficulty,49 answered it in the same way.50
A certain priest married a proselyte who was under the age of three years and one day. Said R. Nahman b. Isaac to him: What [do you mean by] this?51 — The other replied: Because R. Jacob b. Idi stated in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi that the halachah is in agreement with R. Simeon b. Yohai.52 'Go', the first said, 'and arrange for her release, or else I will pull R. Jacob b. Idi out of your ear'.53
It was taught: And so did R. Simeon b. Yohai state
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