סקר
כמה לומדי דף יומי יש במשפחתך הקרובה?






 

Steinsaltz

If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “For his father, or for his mother” (Numbers 6:7)? It emphasizes that it is to bury his father and to bury his mother that he may not become impure; however, he may become impure to bury a met mitzva.

The baraita questions the need for this derivation: Even if the verse had not stated this halakha, I have a way of deriving it by right, i.e., logically, with an a fortiori inference: General prohibitions are stated in the Torah with regard to a High Priest contracting impurity from a corpse, i.e., “neither shall he go in to any dead bodies” (Leviticus 21:11), and similar general prohibitions are stated with regard to a nazirite: “He shall not come near to a dead body” (Numbers 6:6). The baraita explains: Just as the general prohibitions stated with regard to a High Priest teach that it is to bury his father that he may not become impure, but he may become impure to bury a met mitzva, so too, the general prohibitions stated with regard to a nazirite indicate that it is for his father that he may not become impure, but he may become impure to bury a met mitzva. Accordingly, there is no need for the derivation from the phrase “for his father or for his mother.”

The baraita refutes this proof: Or perhaps you can go this way and accept a different interpretation: General prohibitions are stated with regard to a common priest contracting impurity imparted by a corpse, i.e., “there shall none defile himself for the dead among his people” (Leviticus 21:1), and general prohibitions are stated with regard to a nazirite. Just as the general prohibitions stated with regard to a common priest teach that he may become impure to bury his father (Leviticus 21:2), so too, the general prohibitions stated with regard to a nazirite say that he may become impure to bury his father. Perhaps a nazirite is compared to a common priest, not a High Priest.

Since one cannot learn from the general prohibitions, one must revert to the previous derivation: The verse states with regard to a nazirite: “He shall not become defiled for his father, or for his mother” (Numbers 6:7), which indicates that he may become impure to bury a met mitzva. The baraita raises a difficulty with this last proof: One requires this verse for the halakha itself, to say that a nazirite, unlike a common priest, may not become impure to bury his father. How, then, can one learn from here that he may become impure to bury a met mitzva?

Rather, the baraita explains as follows: The superfluous phrase “for his father” serves to say that he may not become impure to bury his father, and all the more so for his other relatives. The phrase “for his brother” teaches that he may not become impure to bury his brother but he may become impure to bury a met mitzva. “And for his mother”; this phrase is for a verbal analogy in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, that a nazirite may contract ritual impurity of types other than a corpse.

As for the phrase “and for his sister,” it is used for that which is taught in a baraita, as it is taught in a baraita: “And for his sister”; what is the meaning when the verse states this with regard to a nazirite? This detail is apparently superfluous, as the halakha that a nazirite may not become impure to bury a relative has already been derived.

The baraita continues: Rather, the term “and for his sister” teaches the following: If someone went to slaughter his Paschal offering or to circumcise his son, which are particularly stringent positive mitzvot, as their neglect is punished by karet, and he hears that a relative of his had died, one might have thought that he should become impure to bury his dead relative and abandon his performance of the mitzva. You can say in response that he may not become impure, as one is not permitted to neglect the obligation of the Paschal offering or circumcision, even to bury a close relative.

The baraita continues: One might have thought that he may not become impure even to bury a met mitzva. The verse states: “For his sister.” It is only for his sister or another close relative that the nazirite may not become impure, but he does become impure to bury a met mitzva. Since the verse had already taught that a nazirite may not become impure to bury a relative but does become impure to bury a met mitzva in an ordinary circumstance, the additional term “and for his sister” teaches that the same halakha applies even when he is going to perform an important mitzva.

Rabbi Akiva says that this verse dealing with a nazirite should be explained differently. “He shall not come near to a dead body” (Numbers 6:6) teaches the following: “Body”; these are the distant people. “Dead”; these are the close relatives. The subsequent verse stresses that “for his father or for his mother” he may not become impure; however, he does become impure to bury a met mitzva.

The next term in the verse, “for his brother,” indicates that even if he was a High Priest and he was also a nazirite, he may not become impure to bury his brother, but he may become impure to bury a met mitzva. As for the term “for his sister,” this is used to teach that which is taught in a baraita: If one was going to slaughter his Paschal offering or to circumcise his son and encountered a met mitzva, the obligation to bury the corpse takes precedence over the other important mitzva.

The Gemara asks: And according to the derivation of Rabbi Akiva, from where does he derive the halakha of the verbal analogy of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi that a High Priest may contract impurities other than the impurity of a corpse? How does Rabbi Akiva derive this halakha?

The Gemara answers: Rabbi Akiva could have said to you: Since the Master said that if someone was a High Priest and also a nazirite, it is to bury his brother that he may not become impure but he does become impure to bury a met mitzva, one can therefore argue: What difference is it to me if he was only a High Priest, and what difference is it to me if he was both a nazirite and a High Priest? Once the Torah has stated that a nazirite may contract other forms of ritual impurity, the same halakha applies equally to a nazirite who is also a High Priest.

The Gemara asks: And according to the derivation of Rabbi Yishmael, from where does he derive that a High Priest who is also a nazirite must become impure to bury a met mitzva? The Gemara answers: Since the Merciful One permits one prohibition with regard to a met mitzva, either that of a High Priest or that of a nazirite, what difference is it to me if one prohibition is permitted, and what difference is it to me if two prohibitions are permitted? Once the Torah has permitted both a High Priest and a nazirite to contract ritual impurity to bury a met mitzva, it makes no difference if a single prohibition or two prohibitions are involved.

The Gemara asks further: If so, why do I need the term “his sister”? The Gemara answers: It might enter your mind to say that when the Merciful One permits the contracting of impurity to bury a met mitzva, this is in the case of a nazirite and a priest, each of which involves a negative prohibition not to become impure. However, with regard to circumcision and the Paschal offering, whose neglect entails the punishment of karet, perhaps one should not become impure to bury a met mitzva. The verse therefore teaches us that one must become impure even if this forces him to neglect a mitzva whose neglect is punishable by karet.

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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