Previous Folio / Yebamoth Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth

>Yebamoth 75a

Surely it is written,1  She shall touch no hallowed thing2  [which] includes terumah!3  The fact, however, is that Scripture enumerated a number of distinct subjects.4  Now what need was there for three distinct texts5  in respect of terumah! — They are all required. For were terumah to be deduced from Until he be clean,6  it would not be known whereby,7  hence did the All Merciful write, And when the sun is down, he shall be clean.8  And if the All Merciful had written only And when the sun is down,8  it might have been assumed [to apply to such a person] as is not liable to bring a sacrifice, but in the case of one who is liable it might have been presumed that cleanness is not effected before he has brought his atonement, hence the All Merciful wrote, Until … be fulfilled.9  And had the All Merciful written only, Until … be fulfilled,10  it might have been presumed that cleanness may be effected even without ablution, hence did the All Merciful write, Until he be clean.6

According. however, to that Tanna who disagrees with the Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael, maintaining that the text6  speaks of a zab who had three attacks of gonorrhoea and of a confirmed leper,11  and that the deduction from Until he be clean6  is 'until he brings his atonement,'12  what need was there for two texts13  in respect of holy food? — [They are both] required. For had the All Merciful written about the woman after childbirth only,14  the law15  might have been said to apply to her only because her uncleanness is of long duration,16  but not to a zab. And had the All Merciful written the law17  in connection with a zab only,18  it might have been assumed to apply to him only since his uncleanness does not automatically cease,19  but not to a woman after childbirth.20  [Hence both texts were] necessary.

What was the need21  for the text, It must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even?22  — R. Zera replied: In respect of touch;23  as it was taught: And it shall be unclean24  might have been taken to refer to all cases,25  hence it was stated, Then shall it be clean.26  And if only Then shall it be clean26  had been stated it might have been assumed to refer to all cases,27  hence it was stated, And it shall be unclean.28  How then [are the two to be reconciled]? The one29  refers to [second] tithe and the other30  to terumah. But might not the deduction be reversed? — It stands to reason that as the eating of terumah is more restricted than the eating of tithe, so shall the touching of terumah be more restricted than the touching of tithe.

If you prefer I might say that the prohibition against the touching of terumah31  is deduced from the following. It was taught:32  She shall touch no hallowed thing,33  is a warning against its consumption.34  Perhaps it is not so, but against touching it? It was stated, She shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary;33  the hallowed thing is thus compared to the sanctuary; as [an offence against] the sanctuary involves loss of life,35  so [must the offence against] the hallowed thing be such as involves loss of life, while in respect of touch no loss of life is involved; and the reason [why eating] was expressed by a term denoting touch is to indicate that touching and eating are equally [forbidden].36

[A PRIEST WHO IS] WOUNDED IN HIS STONES etc. Who is it that taught: A woman subject to a pentateuchally forbidden cohabitation37  may eat terumah?38  — R. Eleazar replied: This question is the subject of a dispute, and the ruling here is that of R. Eleazar and R. Simeon.39  R. Johanan said: [The ruling here] may even be that of R. Meir,39  the circumstances here being different, since the woman has already been eating.40  And R. Eleazar? — The argument, 'since she has already been eating' cannot be entertained; for should you not admit this,41  a daughter of an Israelite who was married to a priest and whose husband subsequently died, should also be permitted to eat terumah since she has already been eating it.42  And R. Johanan? — There,43  his kinyan had completely lapsed;44  here, however, his kinyan did not lapse.45

WHAT IS TERMED A PEZU'A? Our Rabbis taught: What is termed a pezu'a dakkah? A man both of whose stones were wounded or even only one of them; even though they were only punctured, crushed, or simply defective. Said R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Beroka: I heard from the mouth of the Sages at the Vineyard46  at Jabneh that one having only one stone is a natural born eunuch47  and is, therefore, a fit person. How could it be said that such a person is a natural born eunuch!48  — Say rather, he is like a natural born eunuch and is, therefore, fit.49

Is [a man whose stones are] punctured incapable of procreation? Surely, a man once climbed up a palm tree

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. In the same section.
  2. Lev. XII, 4.
  3. V. Mak. 14b. The proselyte and emancipated slave are also included in such a prohibition.
  4. One may be applicable to one class of persons. and another to others.
  5. Lev. XXII, 4. ibid. 7, and ibid. XII, 4, which, as explained supra. refer to terumah.
  6. Lev. XXII, 4.
  7. Cleanness is effected.
  8. Ibid. 7.
  9. Ibid. XII, 4. which speaks of a woman after childbirth, who is liable to bring a sacrifice and is, nevertheless, regarded as clean in respect of terumah immediately after the sunset of the last day of the prescribed period.
  10. V. supra n. 24.
  11. Both of whom are liable to bring sacrifices.
  12. The text referring to holy food, terumah having been deduced by him from Lev. XXII, 7.
  13. Lev. XII, 8 and ibid. XXII, 4.
  14. I.e., Lev. XII, 8.
  15. That the prescribed sacrifice must be brought before cleanness is effected.
  16. Eighty days must elapse in the case of the birth of a daughter (v. Lev. XII. 5) before the mother is permitted to eat of terumah or of holy food.
  17. V. supra note 3.
  18. I.e., Lev, XXII, 4.
  19. He remains unclean however long his affliction may last.
  20. Who, in respect of connubial relations, is regarded as clean on the termination of the prescribed period, though the flow may still continue.
  21. In view of Lev. XXII, 7 which makes the consummation of cleanness dependent on sunset.
  22. Lev. XI, 32, which, also making the consummation of cleanness dependent on sunset, must, like Lev. XXII, 7 refer to terumah.
  23. Before sunset on the day of purification no terumah may come in contact with the unclean vessel; and the same restriction applies to the tebul yom (v. Glos.). This could not have been deduced from Lev. XXII, 7 which does not speak of touch or contact but of eating.
  24. Lev. XI, 32, even after it had been put in water.
  25. I.e., that the uncleanness remains in respect of both terumah and [second] tithe.
  26. Ibid. [H]. The use of this form of the verb (which may also represent the present participle), instead of the imperfect, implies a state of cleanness even before the sun had set. (V. Rashi).
  27. That the state of cleanness arises, as soon as ablution had taken place, in respect of both tithe and terumah.
  28. Lev. XI, 32.
  29. The latter, Be clean.
  30. The former, Be unclean.
  31. On the part of a tebul yom. V. Glos.
  32. So BaH. Cur. edd. omit.
  33. Lev. XII, 4.
  34. Before the sunset of the last day of the prescribed period, the woman being regarded until then as a tebul yom, the 'day' (yom) being a 'long one' embracing all the days of the prescribed period.
  35. The penalty for entering the sanctuary while one is unclean is kareth. Cf. Num. XIX, 20.
  36. To the unclean or the tebul yom.
  37. As is the case in our Mishnah with the wife of the mutilated priest with whom no cohabitation has yet taken place after his mutilation, though such cohabitation may still take place at any moment.
  38. V. our Mishnah.
  39. V. supra 57b.
  40. Before her husband was disabled. She is not deprived of a privilege she had been enjoying though she may not be entitled to new privileges.
  41. That the argument is untenable.
  42. Which is absurd. The argument is consequently untenable.
  43. The case of a priest who married the daughter of an Israelite and died.
  44. When he died. Hence the woman's loss of her privilege.
  45. Since the marriage had not been annulled.
  46. The College. So called because the students were sitting in rows arranged like the vines in a vineyard.
  47. [H] lit., 'a eunuch through heat', i.e., fever, illness (v. Golds.) or 'a eunuch of the sun', i.e., from birth when the child first saw the sun (v. Jast.).
  48. The former surely might be the result of an accident!
  49. The prohibition being restricted to the wounded or crushed.

Yebamoth 75b

and a thorn pierced his stones, [his semen] issued like a thread of pus, and, [despite the accident], he begat children! — In that case, as a matter of fact, Samuel sent word to Rab, telling him, 'Institute enquiries respecting the parentage of his children'.

Rab Judah stated in the name of Samuel: A man whose stones have been injured by a supernatural agency1  is regarded as a fit person.2  Said Raba: This is the reason why the Scriptural text reads, Who is wounded3  and not 'the wounded'.4

In a Baraitha it was taught: It was said in Scripture. He who is wounded … shall not enter3  and it was also said, A bastard shall not enter,'5  as the latter is the result of human action, so is the former the result of human action.6

Raba stated: Wounded3  applies to all,7  crushed3  applies to all,7  and cut off8  applies to all.9  'Wounded applies to all': Whether the membrum, the stones or the spermatic cords of the stones were injured. 'Crushed applies to all': Whether the membrum, the stones or the spermatic cords were crushed. 'Cut off applies to all': Whether the membrum, the stones or the spermatic cords were cut off.

A certain Rabbi asked Raba: Whence is it inferred that the expression pezu'a dakkah8  refers to an injury in the privy parts; might it not be said to refer to the head? The other replied: As no number of generations is mentioned,10  it may be inferred that the reference is to the privy parts.11  But is it not possible that the reason why no number of generations is given in this case is because only he himself12  is forbidden,13  while his son and the son of his son are permitted! — [This must be] similar to the case of him whose membrum is cut off; as the latter involves the privy parts, so must the former involve those parts.

And whence is it inferred that the injury of the keruth shafekah14  himself involves his privy parts? Might it not be one involving his lips!15  — Shafekah16  is written, implying, 'at the spot where it discharges',17  But might it not refer to one's nose? — It is not written, '[Cut] at the organ that discharges', but 'a cut organ that discharges'; thus implying that organ which in consequence of a cut discharges, and in the absence of a cut does not discharge but flows out. This excludes the nose which in either case18  emits a discharge.19

In a Baraitha it was taught: It was said in Scripture. He who is wounded in his stones shall not enter,8  and it was also said. A bastard shall not enter,20  as the latter refers to the privy parts, so does the former refer to the privy parts.

In a case where a puncture beginning below the corona terminated21  at the other end of it above the corona, R. Hiyya b. Abba desired to declare the sufferer as fit.22  Said R. Assi to him: Thus ruled R. Joshua b. Levi, '[A perforation of] any size in the corona constitutes a bar [against fitness]'.

IF, HOWEVER, ANY PART OF THE CORONA REMAINED etc. Rabina, while sitting [at his studies], raised the following question: Must the HAIR'S BREADTH of which they spoke extend over the entire circumference thereof or only over its greater part? — 'The HAIR'S BREADTH', said Rabbah23  Tosfa'ah to Rabina, must extend over the greater part of it and towards its upper section'.24

R. Huna ruled: If it25  is cut away like a reed pen it constitutes no disqualification; if like a gutter26  it causes disqualification. For in the latter case the air penetrates;27  in the former it does not. R. Hisda, however, ruled: [If the cut was] in the shape of a gutter no disqualification is constituted; if it had the shape of a reed pen disqualification is constituted. For in the first case friction may be produced; in the latter it cannot.

Raba said: It is reasonable to adopt the view of R. Huna that in the latter case the air penetrates while in the former it does not. For in regard to friction it is only like a bung in a cask.28

Said Rabina to Meremar: Thus said Mar Zutra in the name of R. Papa, 'The law is that no disqualification is constituted whether the corona was cut away like a reed pen or like a gutter He raised, however, the question. [whether such a cut must be] below the corona or may even be above it?24  — It is obvious that it may even be above it; for were it to be below the corona, the man would be regarded as fit even if the entire membrum there had been cut off. Rabina, however,29  only desired to test Meremar.

Such an incident30  once occurred at Matha Mehasia, and R. Ashi arranged for the corona to be cut into the shape of a reed pen, and then declared the man to be fit. It once happened at Pumbeditha that a man had his semen duct blocked, and the discharge of the semen made its way through the urinal duct. R. Bibi b. Abaye intended to declare the man fit. R. Papi, however, said to him, 'Because you are yourselves

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lit., 'by the hands of heaven', through lightning, for instance, or from birth.
  2. He is not included in the prohibition to enter the congregation of the Lord. V. infra n. 9.
  3. Deut. XXIII. 2.
  4. The definite article would have implied that the incapacity was of long standing. (Cf. supra note 7).
  5. Deut. XXIII, 3.
  6. Not that of a supernatural force. (Cf. supra note 7).
  7. The organs of procreation.
  8. Deut. XXIII. 2.
  9. The organs of procreation.
  10. Forbidding them to enter into the assembly of the Lord, as is the case with a bastard, an Ammonite, a Moabite etc. V. Deut. XXIII, 2ff.
  11. An injury which deprives one of the power of procreation.
  12. Who is wounded.
  13. To enter into the assembly of the Lord. V. ibid. 2.
  14. Here rendered, 'one whose membrum is cut off'.
  15. From which spittle may be emitted. Shafekah, from rt. [H] 'to pour out', emit'.
  16. Cf. supra n. 8.
  17. Spittle does not flow out of the mouth.
  18. Even when it is not cut.
  19. But does not ejaculate.
  20. Deut. XXIII. 3.
  21. By sloping upwards towards the body.
  22. Since one end of the perforation is below the corona.
  23. So Emden. Cur. edd. 'Raba'.
  24. Which is nearer to the body.
  25. The corona.
  26. The cut running across the centre and leaving the sides intact.
  27. Cooling the membrum and preventing the flow of the semen.
  28. Though the bung is cut away at its lower end it nevertheless closes the hole with its upper part which comes in contact with the sides of the bung hole. The contact produced by the upper part of the membrum is sufficient for the generation of the heat required for fertilization.
  29. In raising a question the answer to which was so obvious.
  30. The cut having taken the shape of a gutter.