סקר
לקראת סיום מסכת עירובין






 

Steinsaltz

Shiloh, Nob, and Gibeon, and also the Eternal House, i.e., the Temple in Jerusalem. The dust for the sota is still brought from the ground of the Sanctuary wherever it is located, even after the Jewish people are no longer in the wilderness.

Isi ben Menaḥem says: There is no need to derive this halakha from the verse. It may be learned by an a fortiori inference: With regard to the prohibition against entering the Sanctuary in a state of impurity, a lenient matter for which there is no court-imposed capital punishment, the Torah does not differentiate. It is prohibited for an impure person to enter the Tabernacle no matter where it stands. Therefore, with regard to the impurity of a married woman, which is stringent and carries the penalty of strangulation, all the more so is it not clear that the Torah does not differentiate? The dust must be brought from the Sanctuary no matter where it stands. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “And of the dust that is on the floor of the Tabernacle”? It teaches that one should not bring dust from his own basket and place it directly into the water; he must first place it on the floor.

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If there is no dust there, what is the halakha? May one place ashes in the vessel instead? The Gemara responds: There is no need to raise the dilemma if one holds in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as they say: We never find ashes referred to as dust in the Torah.

When you raise the dilemma, it is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, who say: We do find ashes referred to as dust in the context of the red heifer (Numbers 19:17). They likewise hold that ashes may also be used instead of dust to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal (see Leviticus 17:13). What is the halakha here, with regard to the water of a sota? May ashes replace dust? Although elsewhere ashes may be referred to as dust, here it is written: “On the floor of the Tabernacle,” indicating that dust in particular is required, since dust comes from the ground. Or perhaps the phrase “on the floor of the Tabernacle” comes only to teach that the halakha is in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Yehuda or in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Menaḥem. If so, perhaps ashes are acceptable as well.

Come and hear evidence from that which Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Yishmael: In three instances the halakha supersedes the verse, i.e., the tradition alters the straightforward meaning of the verse.

The Torah states: “And whatsoever man…that takes in hunting any beast or fowl that may be eaten, he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it in dust” (Leviticus 17:13), but the halakha is that the blood may be covered in anything similar to dust. The Torah states with regard to the nazirite: “All the days of his vow of naziriteship there shall be no razor come upon his head” (Numbers 6:5), but the halakha is that the nazirite may not remove his hair with anything. The Torah states: “That he writes her a bill [sefer] of divorce” (Deuteronomy 24:1). The word sefer denotes a scroll, but the halakha is that the husband may inscribe the bill of divorce on anything that is detached from the ground and suitable to be written upon, not only on a scroll.

And if it is so that ashes may be placed in the water of a sota despite the verse’s stipulation of dust, consider this fourth case as well to be a halakha that supersedes the verse. Since it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmael’s statement, it seems that ashes may not be used.

The Gemara responds: Rabbi Yishmael taught some cases and omitted others; his list is not exhaustive. The Gemara asks: What else did he omit that he omitted this? It is not reasonable that he would provide a list lacking only one item. The Gemara answers: He omitted the leper, as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Nega’im 1:9): In the verse: “And it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave off all his hair” (Leviticus 14:9), the phrase “all his hair” is a generalization. The phrase that follows: “His head and his beard and his eyebrows,” is a detail. And with the following phrase: “Even all his hair he shall shave off,” the verse then generalized again. In any case of a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail. Just as the detail is explicitly referring to areas where there is a collection of hair which is visible, so too all areas on the leper that have a collection of hair which is visible must be shaven.

To what otherwise excluded case does this baraita extend the halakha? It extends the halakha of hair to include pubic hair. What does the baraita exclude? It excludes armpit hair, which is not visible, and body hair that is not collected. This is the straightforward meaning of the verse.

And yet the halakha is: The leper shaves like a gourd, i.e., his entire body must be shaved. As we learned in a mishna (Nega’im 14:2): When the priest comes to shave the leper, he passes a razor over all of his flesh. And in the latter clause, the mishna teaches: On the seventh day he shaves the leper again. The second shaving is just like the first shaving. The verse previously analyzed is referring to the second shaving, and its straightforward meaning is that not all of the leper’s flesh needs to be shaved. However, the mishna states that the leper must shave all of his flesh in the second shaving as well. This is another instance where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse, yet it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmael’s list.

Rabbi Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Rabbi Yishmael consciously omitted the halakha of the leper because he counted only instances where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse. This halakha of the leper, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes only an exegetical interpretation of the Sages.

Rav Pappa said: Rabbi Yishmael counted only cases where the halakha both supersedes and uproots the straightforward meaning of the verse. This, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes and adds. The halakha does not overrule the verse but rather adds an additional requirement, i.e., that the whole body must be shaved.

Rav Ashi said: This baraita, which teaches that only certain parts of the body must be shaved, is in accordance with whose opinion? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, who interprets verses by means of the principle of generalizations and details. According to this interpretation, only collected areas of hair that are visible must be shaven.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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