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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth

Folio 70a

, but where she is suspected of illicit relations with him, the child is regarded as his, although she is also suspected of such relations with others. Said Raba: Whence do I derive this? From the Statement, IF, HOWEVER, SHE GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD, SHE MAY EAT. For how is this to be understood? If it be suggested to refer to a woman who is suspected of illicit relations with him but not with strangers, was it at all necessary to state that she may eat terumah?1  Consequently it must refer to a woman2  who was suspected of illicit relations with strangers also. Now, if there,3  where she is forbidden to the one as well as to the other,4  the child is regarded as his,5  how much more so6  here7  where she is forbidden to any other man and is permitted to him.8  Said Abaye to him: It may still be maintained that Rab is of the opinion that wherever she is suspected of illicit relations with strangers the child is deemed to be a bastard even if she is also suspected of such relations with him; and our Mishnah deals with one who had not been suspected at all.9

A SLAVE, BY HIS COHABITATION, DEPRIVES A WOMAN OF THE PRIVILEGE OF EATING TERUMAH etc. What is the reason?10  — Scripture stated, The wife and her11  children shall be etc.12

A BASTARD DEPRIVES A WOMAN OF THE PRIVILEGE OF EATING TERUMAH AND ALSO BESTOWS THE PRIVILEGE UPON HER. Our Rabbis taught: And have no child.13  So far I only know14  of her own child; whence her child's child? It was consequently stated, And have no child,13  implying 'any child whatsoever'.15  So far I only know of a legitimate child; whence the illegitimate child? It was stated, And have no [en lah]16  child,13  which implies, 'hold an enquiry17  concerning her.'18  But from this text,13  surely, the deduction concerning a child's child was made! — No Scriptural text is really required for the inclusion of one's child's child, since children's children are like children;19  if a text is at all required it is for the inclusion of an illegitimate child.

Said Resh Lakish to R. Johanan: In accordance with whose view?20  Is it only in accordance with that of R. Akiba who maintains that the offspring of a union between such whose intercourse involves them in the penalty of a negative precept is regarded as a bastard!21  — It may even be said to represent the view of the Rabbis, since in respect of an idolater and a slave they agree.22  For when R. Dimi came23  he stated in the name of R. Isaac b. Abdimi in the name of our Master:24  If an idolater or a slave cohabited with the daughter of an Israelite, the child born from such a union is deemed a bastard.

A HIGH PRIEST SOMETIMES DEPRIVES A WOMAN OF HER RIGHT. Our Rabbis taught: [The grandmother might justly say], 'I would [willingly] be an atonement25  for my grandson, the little cruse26  who bestows upon me the privilege of eating terumah,27  but would not be an atonement for my grandson, the big jar28  who deprives me of the privilege of eating terumah.27




GEMARA. It was taught: R. Eliezer36  stated, Whence is it deduced that an uncircumcised [priest] may not eat terumah? A sojourner and a hired servant were mentioned in connection with the paschal lamb,37  and A sojourner and a hired servant were also mentioned in respect of terumah,38  as the paschal lamb, in connection with which 'A sojourner and a hired servant' were mentioned, is forbidden to the uncircumcised,39  so is terumah, in respect of which 'A sojourner and a hired servant' were mentioned, forbidden to the uncircumcised. R. Akiba stated: This deduction is unnecessary. Since it was stated, What man soever,40  the uncircumcised also is included.41

The Master said, 'R. Eliezer stated, "A sojourner and a hired servant were mentioned in connection with the paschal lamb, and "A sojourner and a hired servant" were also mentioned in respect of terumah,'42  as the paschal lamb, in connection with which "A sojourner and a hired servant" were mentioned, is forbidden to the uncircumcised, so is terumah, in respect of which "A sojourner and a hired servant were mentioned, forbidden to the uncircumcised'. Is it43  free for deduction?44  For if it is not free, the objection might be raised45  that the paschal lamb may be different46  since in connection with it one may also incur penalties47  for pigul,48  nothar48  and uncleanness!49  — It is certainly free for the deduction. Which expression50  is free? Is it that of terumah? Surely it is required for its own purpose. For it was taught: A sojourner51  means one who is acquired for life52  and a hired servant51  means one who is acquired for a number of years.53  But let 'sojourner' only be mentioned and a 'hired servant' be omitted and one would infer: If one who is acquired for life54  is not permitted to eat terumah how much less one who is acquired only for a number of years! If so,55  it might have been assumed that 'a sojourner' means one who is acquired for a number of years [and that only he may not eat terumah],56  but that one who is acquired for life may eat,57  hence the insertion of the expression, 'a hired servant', which explains the meaning of sojourner,58  [viz.,] that it signifies one who, though acquired for life, may not eat!59  — But [in fact] the one60  mentioned in respect of the paschal lamb is free for deduction. For what could be the meaning of 'A sojourner and a hired servant' which the All Merciful wrote in connection with the paschal lamb?61  If it be suggested that it means the actual sojourner and hired servant,62  [could it have been imagined] that [an Israelite]63  is exempt from the Paschal lamb because he is a sojourner or a hired servant? Surely, we have it as an established law in regard to terumah that such a person is not permitted to eat it,64

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Certainly not; since the child is obviously the son of the priest.
  2. Lit., 'but no'.
  3. In our Mishnah.
  4. To the violator and seducer as well as to any other man.
  5. The violator's or seducer's.
  6. Should the child be regarded as the son of the man who betrothed her.
  7. The case of the betrothed.
  8. The man who betrothed her.
  9. Either in respect of the violator or seducer on the one hand or in respect of any others. All that our Mishnah teaches is that if cohabitation with the former took place, even if only once, the child is regarded as his.
  10. Why is he not regarded as the offspring of the priest? V. our Mishnah and supra p. 466, n. 16.
  11. Emphasis on her.
  12. Shall be her master's (Ex. XXI, 4), i.e., they are regarded (a) as slaves, and (b) as the offspring of the bondwoman. Hence they cannot be regarded as the offspring of the priest.
  13. [H] Lev. XXII, 13.
  14. Had [H] been omitted.
  15. Lit., 'from all (any) place'.
  16. [H].
  17. [H] 'examine', 'investigate'. The Aleph of [H] is interchangeable with the 'Ayin of [H].
  18. An enquiry is to be made whether she has any kind of son, i.e., even if only a bastard. Thus a bastard also is deemed to be her child. Cf. supra 22b.
  19. Supra 62b.
  20. Was it stated in our Mishnah that the offspring of a union between the daughter of an Israelite and an idolater or a slave (a union which is forbidden by a negative precept only, no kareth being involved, cf. supra 45a) is regarded as a bastard.
  21. Does our Mishnah, then, represent the view of an individual, which is contrary to the expressed view of the majority.
  22. With R. Akiba.
  23. From Palestine.
  24. Rabbi, Judah the Prince, the Master par excellence of his time. Cf. supra 45a.
  25. [H]: an expression of respect or affection. Cf. Kid. 31b.
  26. Metaph. for bastard. [H] cf. [H].
  27. As stated in our Mishnah.
  28. The High Priest. Cf. the colloquial expres. 'big pot'.
  29. Though the uncircumcision was not due to any fault of his. If, e.g.. he was forbidden circumcision because his brothers died as a result of such an operation. Cf. supra 64b.
  30. By virtue of the rights of their husband and master. Uncircumcision and uncleanness are only temporary disqualifications which prevent the priest from eating terumah, while they continue. His sanctity and privileges, however, remain in force.
  31. [H]
  32. [H]
  33. Because the cohabitation with these maimed priests causes the profanation of the women.
  34. Who were married to them before they were maimed.
  35. Terumah.
  36. Cur. edd. 'Eleazar'. Cf. Tosaf. Sotah 24a s.v. [H], and Men. 17b [H].
  37. Ex. XII, 45.
  38. Lev. XXII, 10.
  39. Ex. XII, 48.
  40. Lev. XXII, 4.
  41. In the prohibition; the text, according to Rabbinical interpretation, referring to the prohibition of eating terumah.
  42. V. supra p. 473 notes.
  43. The expression. 'A sojourner and a hired servant'.
  44. I.e., is not the expression required in connection with the subject spoken of in the context.
  45. Against deducing terumah from the Paschal lamb.
  46. From terumah, i.e., subject to greater restrictions.
  47. Kareth if the transgression was wilful, and a sin-offering if unwitting.
  48. V. Glos.
  49. How then could terumah which is not surrounded by such restrictions be deduced from it?
  50. Of the two expressions, 'A sojourner and a hired servant'.
  51. Lev. XXII, 20.
  52. Lit., 'an everlasting possession', i.e., a Hebrew servant who, on refusing to go out free, has had his ear bored. (Cf. Ex. XXI, 5f).
  53. The ordinary Hebrew servant who remains the property of his master for six years only, after which he goes out free for nothing (v. Ex. XXI, 2).
  54. Who is in fact his master's absolute property.
  55. If only the sojourner had been mentioned.
  56. Since he is not his master's absolute possession.
  57. Since he is the absolute property of his master.
  58. Since a hired servant implies one who is acquired for a period, the other expression cannot refer to the same class of servant, but to one acquired for life. [H], E.V. a sojourner (rt. [H] 'to abide') implies longer service than that of the [H], E.V., hired servant.
  59. How, then, since the expression is required for the laws of terumah, could it be suggested that the expression, 'a sojourner and a hired servant', mentioned in connection with terumah, is free for deduction?
  60. The expression 'A sojourner and a hired servant'.
  61. Ex. XII, 45, a sojourner … shall not eat thereof.
  62. I.e., a Hebrew servant who (a) serves his master for life or (b) for a period of years. Cf. supra p. 474, nn. 14 and 15.
  63. Who is subject to the fulfilment of the commandments.
  64. Though his master is a priest.

Yebamoth 70b

which proves1  that his master does not acquire his person2  so that here also3  his master does not acquire his person!4  [The expression]5  must consequently [have been written] for the purpose of the deduction.6

But is it7  not free in one direction only,8  while R. Eliezer9  was heard to state [that an analogy between expressions of which only] one10  is free11  may be drawn, but may also be refuted!12  — Since [the expressions]13  are not required [for their own context]14  one of them is allotted to the law15  in respect of which the inference is made16  and the other is allotted to the law from which the inference is made,17  so that a word analogy is obtained which is free in both directions.

Might18  [not the deduction be made:]19  As the paschal lamb is forbidden to an onan20  so is terumah forbidden to an onan21  — R. Jose son of R. Hanina replied: Scripture stated, 'There shall no common man,22  I commanded you concerning its prohibition to the common man23  but not concerning that of the onan. But might it be suggested: But not the uncircumcised!24  Surely 'A sojourner and a hired servant'25  was written.26  And what reason do you see?27  — It is logical to infer that the case of the uncircumcised is to be included, since28  it involves the absence of an act29  and that act is one affecting the man's own body; [the uncircumcised] is punishable by kareth;30  the law29  was in force before the Revelation;31  and the [non]-circumcision of one's male children and slaves debars [one from eating of the paschal lamb].32  On the contrary; the case of the onan should have been included,33  since mourning is an ever- present possibility,34  is common to men as well as to women, and no man has the power to cure himself of it!35  — Those36  are more in number.

Raba said: Even if those36  were not more in number, you could not suggest that uncircumcision, which is actually mentioned in respect of the Paschal lamb, should be excluded37  while the mourning of an onan, which in the case of the paschal lamb itself was deduced from that of the tithe,38  should be deduced from it.

Might39  [it not be said:]40  As the [non]-circumcision of one's male children and slaves debars one from the eating of the paschal lamb, so should the [non]-circumcision of one's male children and slaves debar one from the eating of terumah! — Scripture stated, When thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof,41  the [non]-circumcision of one's male children and slaves debars one from the eating thereof, of the Paschal lamb only; the [non]-circumcision of one's male children and slaves does not, however, debar one from the eating of terumah. If so,42  [why not] say, But no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof43  [also implies:] He may not eat 'thereof' only but may eat terumah!44  — Surely it was written A sojourner and a hired servant.45  And what reason do you see?46  — It is only logical to include a man's own circumcision, since the act is performed on his own person and its neglect is punishable by kareth. On the contrary; the circumcision of one's male children and slaves should have been excluded because it may occur at any time! — The former restrictions are more in number. And if you prefer I might say that even if those were not more in number your suggestion could not be entertained; for is there anything which is not debarred by his own state of uncircumcision but is debarred by that of the other!

Now that it has been said that the expression. 'Thereof,' was introduced for expository purposes. what47  was the purpose of the text, There shall no alien eat of it?48  — Only with regard to it49

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Since a Canaanite slave, whose body is acquired by the master, may eat of his terumah.
  2. The Hebrew servant sells only his labour, while he himself remains a free man.
  3. In respect of the Paschal lamb.
  4. As he is thus a free man, it is obviously his duty to observe the commandment of the Paschal lamb. What need then was there for the specification of A sojourner and hired servant?
  5. A sojourner and a hired servant. Ex. XII, 45.
  6. [The verse would then be referring to a non-jew, 'a sojourner' denoting a resident alien and 'a hired servant' an idolater. This, however, would be included in uncircumcised' (Ex. Xli, 48) and 'alien' (verse 43). Consequently the verse must have been written for deduction (Tosaf.)].
  7. The expression. A sojourner and a hired servant.
  8. That of the Paschal lamb.
  9. Cur. edd. 'Eleazar'.
  10. Lit., 'from one side'.
  11. For interpretation or deduction.
  12. Infra 104a. The analogy in the present instance might be refuted by the objection raised supra 70a.
  13. (a) sojourner and (b) hired servant.
  14. Both being superfluous and free for deduction.
  15. That of terumah.
  16. That terumah may not be eaten by the uncircumcised.
  17. Paschal lamb.
  18. Lit., 'if (you say)'.
  19. Since a word analogy has been established.
  20. V. Glos.
  21. If the two are compared as regards the uncircumcised they should also be compared in respect of the onan!
  22. Lev. XXII, 10.
  23. The non-priest.
  24. I.e., the uncircumcised might have been excluded by the text cited, not the onan.
  25. Ex. XII, 45.
  26. Which includes the uncircumcised in the prohibition.
  27. For excluding onan and including the uncircumcised.
  28. Cur. edd. insert in parenthesis the following mnemonic as an aid to the recollection of the characteristics which distinguish the uncircumcised from the onan: Acts cut (kareth) in the Word (Revelation) of the servant.
  29. Circumcision.
  30. If he wilfully neglects the fulfilment of the precept.
  31. On Sinai. Lit., 'and it is before (divine) speech'. The commandment concerning circumcision was given to Abraham. V. Gen. XVII, 9ff.
  32. A man is forbidden to participate in the eating of the Paschal lamb if any of his sons or slaves who are liable to circumcision remain uncircumcised. Cf. Ex. XII, 44, 48.
  33. In the prohibition to eat terumah.
  34. Lit., 'it is at all hours'; one may have more than one bereavement in his lifetime, but can be circumcised once only.
  35. The cause of an onan's mourning is not controlled by human action. To make oneself fit by circumcision is within man's own power.
  36. The restrictions of circumcision.
  37. Lit., 'leave out' from the prohibition.
  38. v. infra 73a.
  39. Lit., 'if (you say)'.
  40. Since a word analogy has been established.
  41. Ex. XII, 44, emphasis on thereof.
  42. Since the expression 'thereof 'is made the basis of an exposition.
  43. Ibid. 48.
  44. Which, of course, would be contrary to the deduction supra.
  45. From which deduction was made that an uncircumcised person may not eat terumah.
  46. For including in the prohibition one's own circumcision and excluding that of one's sons and slaves.
  47. BaH emends the following version by some transpositions and additions.
  48. Ex. XII, 43. emphasis on the last word, [H] of it (E.V. thereof).
  49. [H] (cf. supra n. 2), the Paschal lamb.