סקר
מסכת בבא קמא:





 

Steinsaltz

However, this is difficult, as didn’t Rav Kahana say that they taught this halakha that if one is not particular about the substance it is not considered an interposition only when the substance covers just a majority of his body; but if it covers all of it, it is considered an interposition by Torah law, even if he is not particular about it. The Gemara answers: A fetus is different, as this is its natural manner of growth. Its mother’s womb cannot be considered an interposition, as it is the fetus’ natural place of development, and therefore the fetus itself is regarded as having undergone immersion.

When Ravina came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: With respect to lineage, among the other nations of the world, i.e., while they are still gentiles, follow the male, but if they married after they converted, follow the more flawed in lineage of the two. The Gemara explains: Among the nations, follow the male, as it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that if one from the other nations had relations with a Canaanite woman and had a son from her, you are permitted to purchase him as a slave, and he is not considered a Canaanite who may not be allowed to remain in Eretz Yisrael? As it is stated: “And also from the children of the strangers that dwell among you, of them may you buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land; and they may be your possession” (Leviticus 25:45).

One might have thought that even if one from the Canaanite nations had relations with a woman from one of the other nations and had a son from her, you are permitted to purchase him as a slave. Therefore, the same verse states: “Which they have begotten in your land,” which indicates that slaves may be bought only from those begotten in your land, i.e., from those whose father was a non-Canaanite and whose mother was a Canaanite. It is the way of women to remain in their own land, and so a child born in Eretz Yisrael was certainly born to a Canaanite mother. But slaves may not be bought from those dwelling in your land. If a child is born to a Canaanite man and a non-Canaanite woman outside of Eretz Yisrael, and that offspring later returns to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, the offspring may not be acquired as a slave, because his lineage follows his father. He is regarded as a Canaanite, who may not be allowed to remain in Eretz Yisrael.

It was taught above in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan that if they married after they converted, follow the more flawed in lineage of the two. The Gemara asks: To what circumstances is this referring? If we say it is referring to a male Egyptian convert who married a female Ammonite convert, what is the meaning of: More flawed in lineage of the two, in this case? The halakha is that an Ammonite man is barred from entering into the congregation, but not an Ammonite woman, and so she is not flawed at all. Rather, it must be referring to a male Ammonite convert who married a female Egyptian convert. If the child is male, assign him to his Ammonite father, so that he is permanently barred from entering the congregation. If it is a female, assign her to her Egyptian mother, so that she is treated like a second-generation Egyptian convert.

MISHNA: Mamzerim and the Gibeonites who converted to Judaism in the days of Joshua are prohibited from entering into the congregation and marrying a woman who was born Jewish. Their prohibition is eternal, for all generations, and it applies to both males and females.

GEMARA: Reish Lakish said: A mamzeret, a female mamzer, is permitted after ten generations. Why? He derived this halakha by way of a verbal analogy between the word “tenth” stated in relation to an Ammonite and a Moabite in the verse “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to the tenth generation shall none of them enter into the congregation of the Lord forever” (Deuteronomy 23:4), and the word “tenth” stated in relation to a mamzer in the verse “A mamzer shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the congregation of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:3) He explained the analogy as follows: Just as below, with regard to an Ammonite and a Moabite, females are permitted, so too here, with regard to a mamzer, females are permitted.

The Gemara raises a difficulty: Or perhaps one should say that just as below, with regard to an Ammonite and a Moabite, their females are permitted immediately, so too here, a mamzeret is permitted immediately. The Gemara answers: The verbal analogy is effective only from the tenth generation and onward.

The Gemara raises another difficulty: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that mamzerim and Gibeonites are prohibited, and their prohibition is eternal for all generations, and it applies to both males and females? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult for Reish Lakish, as he understands that there is a dispute in this regard: This opinion, that of Reish Lakish, is in accordance with the tanna who said that the application of a verbal analogy is extended by way of the principle: Infer from it, and again from it. In other words, after deducing case B from case A, all of the characteristics of case A are applied to case B. In the case discussed here, although the verbal analogy comes primarily to render a mamzer permanently forbidden, it is extended and understood to mean that a mamzeret is permitted after ten generations.

That other opinion, i.e., the mishna, is in accordance with the tanna who said that the application of a verbal analogy is limited, according to the principle: Infer from it, and then leave it in its place. That is to say, after the main provision of case A is applied to case B, case B is recognized as having its own character and specific rules that apply to it. Accordingly, in the case discussed here, the verbal analogy teaches one specific halakha that a mamzer is prohibited permanently, but nothing else.

The Gemara relates that the students asked Rabbi Eliezer: With regard to a mamzeret after ten generations, what is the halakha? He said to them: Who will give me a third-generation mamzer so that I will declare him pure? The Gemara comments: Apparently he maintains that a mamzer does not survive. Mamzerim perish at the hand of Heaven, and therefore this question is not a practical one. And similarly, Rav Huna said that a mamzer does not survive.

The Gemara raises a difficulty: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that mamzerim are prohibited from entering into the congregation, and their prohibition is eternal for all generations? How is this possible if they do not even live long enough to produce three generations? Rabbi Zeira said: This matter was explained to me by Rav Yehuda himself: One who is known to be a mamzer will survive, as there is no concern that there will be any mingling of his seed. On the other hand, one who is not known as a mamzer will not survive, as he will die at the hand of Heaven so that there will be no mingling of his seed. As for one who is known and not known, i.e., one who is under suspicion, but it is unclear whether or not he is actually a mamzer, his descendants will survive for three generations, but more than this they will not survive.

It is related that a certain person lived in Rabbi Ami’s neighborhood, and following an investigation Rabbi Ami declared him to be a mamzer. The man went about weeping until Rabbi Ami said to him: You should not be upset, as now I have given you life. As explained above, once one is publicly known as a mamzer, he and his descendants may survive.

§ Rav Ḥana bar Adda said: As for the Gibeonites, it was King David who decreed that they may not enter into the congregation, as it is stated: “And the king called the Gibeonites and said to them. Now the Gibeonites are not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites” (II Samuel 21:2). This verse indicates that it was David who ruled that they are not part of the Jewish people and that they are barred from the congregation even though they converted.

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that David decreed that they may not enter into the congregation? In order to answer this question, the Gemara recounts all the relevant background events. As it is written: “And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year” (II Samuel 21:1). In the first year David said to the Jewish people: Perhaps there are idol worshippers among you, this being a sin that can lead to drought, as it is written: “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain, and the ground shall not yield her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11:16–17). They examined the matter but did not find sinners of this kind.

In the second year of the drought David said to them: Perhaps there are transgressors in sexual matters among you, as this too can lead to drought, as it is written: “Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; yet you had a harlot’s forehead, you refused to be ashamed” (Jeremiah 3:3), which indicates that licentious behavior can lead to a cessation of rainfall. Again they examined the matter, but did not find sinners of this kind either.

In the third year he said to them: Perhaps there are among you those who pledge money to charity in public, but do not actually give any charity. As it is written: “As vapors and wind without rain, so is he that boasts himself of a false gift” (Proverbs 25:14), teaching that one who falsely boasts of making a gift prevents the rain from falling. Once again they examined the matter, but could not find such sinners.

Having unsuccessfully searched the Jewish people for sins that cause drought, David said: The matter depends on nothing other than myself. Immediately it is stated: “And David sought the presence of the Lord” (II Samuel 21:1). The Gemara asks: What is this? How did David seek God? Reish Lakish said: He inquired through the Urim VeTummim, the stones embedded in the High Priest’s breastplate, which served as a means of communicating with God.

The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that David’s seeking was by way of the Urim VeTummim? Rabbi Elazar said: This is derived by way of a verbal analogy between the word “presence” used here and the word “presence” used elsewhere. It is written here: “And David sought the presence of the Lord,” and it is written there: “And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim in the presence of the Lord” (Numbers 27:21). Consequently, the “presence of the Lord” sought by David must have involved the Urim VeTummim.

The verse continues: “And the Lord said: It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites” (II Samuel 21:1). The Gemara explains: “For Saul” means that the Jewish people were punished because he was not eulogized properly. “And for his bloody house” is “because he put to death the Gibeonites.” The Gemara is puzzled by this explanation: Now, where do we find that Saul put to death the Gibeonites? The Gemara clarifies: Rather, because he killed the people of Nob, the city of priests, who would provide the Gibeonites with water and food in exchange for their services, the verse ascribes to him as if he himself had killed them.

The Gemara questions this understanding: On one hand, God demands retribution because Saul was not eulogized properly, while on the other hand, He demands retribution because Saul himself put to death the Gibeonites. The Gemara answers: Yes, this is how it should be. As Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Seek the Lord, all the humble of the earth, that have executed [pa’alu] His justice” (Zephaniah 2:3)? Where mention is made of the justice to be carried out against a person, his good deeds [pa’alo] should be mentioned there as well.

David said: With regard to the eulogy for Saul, there have already passed

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)
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