Michael Levi Rodkinson.

New edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 20) online

. (page 24 of 25)
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a man, He created a catus of angels, etc. Every place where the Minnim
gave their wrong interpretation the answer of annulling it is to be found
in the same place — e.g., p. 370. The discussion with il. Gamaliel and other
rabbis, pp. 372-276. " My creatures are sinking into the sea, and ye want
to sing?" It reads [Ob. i. l] : "The vision of the Lord . . . con-
cerning Edom." Obadiah was an Edomite-proselyte. And this is what people
say that the handle of the hatchet to cut the forest is taken from the wood
of the same forest. [Gen. xxii. i] : "After these things." After what?
After the words of the Satan, etc. According to Levi, " after the exchange

of the words between Ishmael and Isaac, etc., 362-378

MiSHNA IF. The men of a misled town have no share in the world to
come (the Halakhas in detail, 378-383). Concerning the key of rain, which
is one of the three keys which are not to be transferred to a messenger,
Elijah, too, in the days of Achab, etc., 378-385





MiSHNA /. TO X. How should witnesses be made collusive ? There are
another sort of witnesses who are not subject to the punishment of collusive-
ness but who are to suffer stripes instead. Where do we find a hint in the
Scripture that collusive witnesses shall be punished with stripes ? There are
four points concerning collusive witnesses, etc. And they are not sold as
Hebrew slaves. As it reads : " He shall be sold for his theft, but not for
his collusiveness." A collusive witness pays his share. What does this
mean ? We testify that so and so has divorced his wife and has not paid the
amount mentioned in her marriage contract, etc. We testify that so and so
owes to his neighbor a thousand zuz, etc. If one says I will make you a loan
with the stipulation that the Sabbathic year shall not release me, it neverthe-
less releases. If one loans money to his neighbor without a fixed term of
return, he has no right to demand it before the elapse of thirty days. We
testify that so and so owes 200 zuz to his neighbor, and they were found
collusive, etc. To a negative commandment that does not contain manual
labor, stripes does not apply. The fine of money may be divided into two
or three shares; however, this is not to be done with stripes. Witnesses
cannot be made collusive unless the falsehood lies in their bodies. A woman
once brought witnesses, and they were found false. She then brought
another party, who were also found false ; she then brought another party,
etc. Because she is suspicious should all Israel be suspected of testifying
falsely ? Collusive witnesses are not to be killed unless the sentence of capital
punishment for the defendant is rendered. There is no punishment on the
ground o^ a fortiori conclusions. May I not live to see the consolation of
our nation, if I have not killed a collusive witness for the purpose of remov-
ing from the mind of -the saducier, etc. The verse punishes one, an accom-
plice who conjoins himself to transgressors with the same punishment, etc.
And we may learn from this ; that so much the more will he who conjoins
himself to those who are engaged in meritorious acts, be rewarded, etc.
There is no capital punishment, unless two witnesses have warned this cul-
prit. If both of the witnesses have seen him who warned them, they are con-
sidered conjoined. The court of Sanhedrin is to be established in Palestine
as well as in the countries outside of it. In the large cities bu* not in the
small ones 1-14



MiSHNA / TO V. The following are exiled, he who kills a person unin-
tentionally. The act of one who thought that such is allowed is not to be
considered an accident, but almost intentional. If one has climbed a ladder
and the step under him broke and killed, one Boraitha declares him guilty,
etc. If the iron of a hatchet slipped off and killed. One threw a lump of
brittle stone at a date tree, and the dates fell off and killed (a child). What
is considered second force according to Rabbi ? If one throws a stone in
a public ground and it kills, he is to be exiled. The punishment of exile
attaches but to a private set. Is hewing wood always considered a private
affair ? All kinds of human beings are exiled when they killed by accident
an Israelite. A father is exiled if he killed his son accidentally. A heathen
or a slave is to be exiled or punished with stripes through an Israelite and
vice versa. A stranger or an idolator who has killed even unintentionally is
put to death. Only then when, thinking that such is allowed ; "For he is a
prophet." How is this to be understood ? Because he is a prophet she has
to be returned, but if a layman, she would not, etc. Exile does not apply to
a blind one. An enemy is not exiled (as such a punishment does not suffice).
If the rope to which the man's instrument was attached, broke — then he is
exiled ; but if the instrument slips out of his hand, exile is not sufficient.
Whither are they to be exiled ? To the cities of refuge, etc. They were
also obliged to prepare roads from one city to the other. Formerly all
murderers, accidental as well as intentional, used to flee to the cities of refuge,
etc. " Giliad is become a city of workers of wickedness," etc. What does
this expression mean ? The city of refuge must neither be too large nor too
small, but middle-sized ones. Be situated in places where there is water and
markets. If a disciple is exiled, his master is exiled with him ; because the
expression, "and live," means you shall supply him with the sources of
moral life. He who loves the abundance of scholars possesses the fruit of
knowledge. I learned much from my masters, more, however, from my col-
leagues, and still more from my disciples. The Holy One, blessed be He,
appoints them into one inn, and he who had killed intentionally is placed
under a ladder, while the other, who killed unintentionally, descends the
steps, falls and kills him. According to one he wrote only the eight verres,

which begin with. "And Moses died," etc., 14-28

MiSHNA VI. TO X. There is no difference between the high priests who
were anointed with the holy oil, etc. Therefore the mothers of the priests
used to support the murderers with food and clothes, etc. It is counted as
a sin to the priest who should pray that no accident might happen in that
generation. If a sage has put some one under the ban conditionally, etc.
The forty years during which Israel was in the desert, the remains of Judah
were dismembered in his coffin until Moses prayed for him, etc. If after
the decision has been rendered, the high priest dies, he is not exiled, etc.
If it happens that a murderer goes outside of the limit, etc. What has the
high priest done that the murderer's fate should depend upon his death ?
Joab erred twice in so acting: (a) he thought that the horns of the altar
protect, etc. The cities of refuge are not given for cemeteries. If one
killed accidentally in the city of refuge, he is to be exiled, etc. If a murderer


was exiled, the townsmen like to honor him, he has to saj' to them • " I am
a murderer," 28-34.


MiSHNA /. TO V. To the following stripes apply : Crimes under th»
category of Korath, as well as under that of capital punishment, are also
punished with stripes if they were so warned. To a negative command,
which is preceded by a positive one, stripes apply. The culprit does not
^et stripes unless he abolishes the succeeding positive command. R.
Simeon b. Lakish, however, differs, and says : He is free from stripes only
when he has fulfilled the succeeding one. He who took the mother-bird
with her children gets, according to R. Jehudah, stripes. It happened with
a children teacher who struck too much the children, and R. A'ha excom-
municated him ; Rabbma, however, returned him because he could not find
as good a teacher. Stripes also apply to him who partook of the first fruit
before the ceremony of reading was performed. If a positive succeeds a
negative, no stripes apply. A stranger who had consumed sin and trans-
gression offerings before their blood was sprinkled is free from any punish-
ment. Concerning the first fruit, placing it in the temple is the main thing,
and not the ceremony of reading. The culpability for second tithe arises
only after it has seen the face of the wall of Jerusalem. He who makes a
baldness in the hair of his head, or rounds it, etc., is liable. The culpability
arises only, then, when he took it off with a razor. What should be the size
of the bald spot which would make him culpable ? If one made an incision
with an instrument he is culpable. For dead he is culpable at all courts
whether by hand or instrument. The culpability for etching-in arises only
when he has done both, wrote and etched-in with dye, etc. A Nazarite who
was drinking wine the whole day is culpable only for one negative. There
is an instance that one may plough only one bed and shall be culpable for
eight negatives. The number of stripes is forty less one, . . 34-47.

MiSHNA VI.-IX. The examination as to the number of stripes he can
receive and remain alive must be such that can be equally divided by three.
If one commits a sin to which two negatives apply, etc. How is the punish-
ment with stripes to be performed ? The striker strikes him with one hand
so that the strokes shall become weaker. If, after he has been tied, he suc-
ceeds to run away from the Court, he is free. As he was already disgraced,
he is not taken to be disgraced again. The Lord wanted to make Israel
blissful and therefore he multiplied to them his commands. At three places
the Holy Spirit appeared. At the court of Shem, etc. Six hundred and
thirteen commands were said to Moses, etc. Isaiah reduced them to six.
Michah came and reduced them to three. Isaiah (the second) again reduced
them to two. "Keep ye justice and do equity." Amos reduced them to
one. "Seek ye for me, and ye shall live," 47-56.


He who speaks ill of his neighbor, he who listens to such evil-speak-
ing, finally, he who bears false testimony deserves to be thrown to the
dogs, 47-56.





MiSHNA /. There are two kinds of oaths which are subdivided into four.
The he-goat makes it pending. How is this to be understood? If it does
not atone, what is the use of making it pending? It means, i.e, if the trans-
gressor dies then it may be considered that if he dies before he becomes
aware of it, this sin is not reckoned to him any more. Said Rabha to him:
" In case he dies, the death itself completes the atonement; it is the he-goat
that saves him from chastisement before he becomes aware by making it
pending. All the above-mentioned persons are atoned for by the exported
he-goats for all other transgressions without any difference, etc. Such is
the custom of the divine attribute of justice, that the righteous atone for
the wicked and not that the wicked atone for another wicked, . 1-16


MiSHNA I. The cognition of uncleanness is of two kinds subdivided into
four. The courtyard was sanctified with the remains of a meal-offering
only, in order to make it equal to the City of Jerusalem itself, etc. The
orchestra of the thanks-offering consisted of violins, fifes, trumpets on every
corner as well as on every elevated stone in Jerusalem, and used to play, etc.
It was taught, R. Huna says: "All the details in the Mishna were essential
in the construction, etc. If one enters a leprous house backwards, although
all his body was already in the house except his nose, he remains clean.
And ye shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness," whence
you derive the warning that the children of Israel should separate them-
selves from their wives near the period of menstruation, etc. If there
were two paths one of which was unclean (but it was not certain which
one), and one passed through one of them entering, etc. . . 17-26


Mishna /. to VII. There are two kinds of oaths subdivided into four.
I swear that I will eat, or I will not eat, etc. Where do we find that one
must bring an offering for mere talk, as this one does talk and brings an
offering. What is Issor mentioned in the Torah? If one says: " I take
upon myself not to eat meat," etc. Vain (Shakve) and false (Shekker) are
identical. Stripes apply to all negatives of the Torah implying manual
labor, but not to those without manual labor, excepting, however, an oath.
There is a moth, which is but a minimum in size, and yet one is liable for


consuming it. I swear that I will not eat, and thereafter eats and drinks, he
is guilty but once. I will drink neither wine, oil nor honey, and then drinks,
he is guilty for each severally. If he swore not to eat and thereafter ate
carcasses or illegal cattle, reptiles and vermin, he is guilty. R. Simeon
declares him free. The reason of him who holds that one is liable for an
inclusion is that he compares it to an additional prohibition. It is im-
material whether the things sworn oflf concern himself or others, whether
they are or are not of some essential nature. One is guilty only for an
oath made with reference to the future, etc. I swear that I know something
to testify for you, and it is found hereafter that he knows nothing, etc.
There is a rule that, if to something that was included in the general a
new law be applied, only by the new one must guide one's self, etc. To
exclude compulsion what could illustrate this? As it happened to R.
Kahana and R. Assi after the lectures at Rabh's college, etc. Suppose
one swear not to eat this bread, and then he is in danger if he does not
eat it, how is it, etc.? If one swears to ignore some commandment and
does not carry out his oath, etc. If one says I swear not to eat this bread,
in case I eat the other, etc. Which is false swearing? If one swears that
something is different from what it is known by everybody to be. The
provisions regarding uttered swearing apply to males, females, to kindred,
non-kindred, etc 27-46


MiSHNA /. TO VI. The witness-oath applies to men but not to women,
to unrelated but not to kindred, etc. If a scholar was aware of a case, but
it was a humiliation to him to go to that particular court he may remain at
home, etc., concerning civil cases only. The many things inferred from
Exod. xxiii. 7. Keep thyself far from a false speech. How does a witness-
oath come about? If some one said to two, etc. If there were two parties
of witnesses and both denied successively, etc. There is also a case concern-
ing a witness who refuses to testify to the death of a husband, etc. If one
of them denies and the other confesses, etc. I adjure you that you come and
bear me witness, that I have in the possession of so and so, etc. I adjure
you to testify that so and so has spread abroad an evil name on my
daughter, etc. We swear that we know nothing for you, while in reality
they do know, etc. I adjure you, I impose upon you, I bind you (by oath)
so they are guilty, etc. If one writes Aleph Lamed (the first letters from
Eloim), etc. It must riot be erased, etc. All the divine names found in the
Torah in connection with Abraham are holy, etc. Amen embraces oath,
acceptance and confidence, etc. Nay means oath and yea means also an
oath, etc. R. Kama, while sitting before R. Jehudah, repeated the Mishna
in its own language, and he said to him: " Change the language and use
it in the third person, 46-65


Mishna 7. to VI. The depository oath concerns men and women non-
kindred and kindred, those fit to testify and those unfit, etc. What is the
law, when one has intentionally made a depository oath in spite of a warning,
is he liable to a sin-offering or not? If the depository claims that the


depbsi't has been stolen from him, swears, but thereafter confesses, etc. If
one denies money when there are witnesses, he is subject to an oath, but
is free from such if there is a document. How is it if five persons claim the
four articles and he says to one of them I swear that thou hast not with
me a deposit, etc., and not thou and not thou, etc. . . . 66-74


MiSHNA /. TO III. In the case of an oath before court, the claim must
amount to two silver, and the confession to one peruta, etc. If one requires
movables and real estate, and the other admits movables but denies real estate
or vice versa, he is free, etc. One must stand when taking the oath; a
scholar, however, may do it while sitting. An oath taken by one before the
court must be uttered in a language he understands, and the court must
say to him the following introduction. Be aware that the whole world was
trembling when the Lord spake on the Mount Sinai: "Thou shalt not bear
the name of the Lord thy God falsely." I have with you a gold dinar in
gold. Nay you have with me only a silver dinar, he is liable. If one was
about to claim wheat, and the defendant hastened to confess barley, etc.
What is the difference between a biblical and a rabbinical oath. I have a
mana with you. Yea, you shall not return it to me without the presence
of witnesses, etc. In another case one demanded a hundred zuz, etc. A
borrower said to the lender: " You are trusted so long as you will say that
I have not paid you"; thereafter he paid him in the presence of witnesses,
etc. One does not swear to the following: To slaves written documents, etc.
One swears but to things capable of being measured, weighed and counted.
How so? If one lends to his neighbor on a pledge, and the pledge got lost,
etc. If one lends to his neighbor 1,000 zuz, and pledges them the handle
of a scythe only, etc. 75-93


MiSHNA 7. All those who are subject to a biblical oath swear and do not
pay, etc. Give me change for a dinar. Give the dinar. I have given it to you
already, etc. You have hired me for two zuz to repair something, while the
employer says that he hired him only for one zuz, etc. If witnesses saw one
concealing utensils under his garments when coming out from a house,
and he claims that he had bought them, etc. The oath returns to its place —
the Mount Sinai. If there were two parties of witnesses contradicting each
other, each party may appear and testify for itself. Let the master con-
join with us in nullifying the statement of Rabh and Samuel. It once
happened that 5, who had borrowed money of A through a surety and
on a document died, etc 93-ioS


MiSHNA 7. There are four kinds of bailees, gratuitous, on hire, borrower
and hirer, etc. This is the rule: "Whoever tends to commutate, by his
oath liability to liability, unliability to unability, or unability to liability is
free, etc Appendix, 106-108





MiSHNA /. Three days before the festival of the heathen, it is for-
bidden to have any business with them. In the future the Lord will take
the Holy Scroll in hand, saying, "He who was occupied with it shall appear
and receive his reward." The kingdom of Rome will then enter first, etc.
After Rome has departed, Persia enters, etc. We have constructed many
bridges, conquered many great cities, we were engaged in many wars, all for
the sake of Israel to enable them to study the law, etc. "Have we then
accepted the Torah, and not fulfilled its commandments?" A Gentile
who is occupied with the study of the law is likened to a High-priest, etc.
" Lord of the Universe, has then Israel, who has accepted the Torah,
observed it?" " Men of ye nations may come and testify that Israel has
observed the Torah. Nimrod may testify, etc. There are twelve hours in a
day, three hours of which the Lord is occupied with the Torah, etc. There
is no smiling by the Lord, since the temple was destroyed. But in the
fourth three hours He teaches, etc. There is no Gehenna in the future.
But the Lord will take out the sun from its sheath, etc. If not for the fear
for government the stronger would swallow the weaker, etc. Concerning
the explanation of (Amos, iii. 2) said R. Abuhuh, I will do it in the form of a
parable. There was once a creditor of two persons, one a friend and the
other an enemy of his. It is advisable for one not to pray singly the addi-
tional benediction in the first three hours at the first day of new year. When
one performs a meritorious act in this world it precedes him in the world to
come. " Three days," etc. Is such a long time needed? is this forbidden
because a Jew must not interfere with the idols, or because " Thou shalt not
put a stone for the blind " ? The prohibition to do business with them
refers only to a thing which can be kept in good order until the festival day.
It is advisable for one to always arrange the praises of the Ominipotent first,
and thereafter to recite the daily eighteen benedictions. The following are
the festivals of the heathens: Kalends, Saturnalia, Kratsin, etc. Adam the
first, on the first day of his creation, when he saw the sun set, cried: " Woe
is to me, the world is to be returned to chaos, etc." Thirty-two battles the
Romans fought with the Greeks, etc. Twenty-six years the Romans kept their


promise to Israel, and thereafter they failed. The twenty-six years are not
counted. The world will continue for six thousand years, the first two
thousand of which were a chaos (Tahu), etc. It happened with Antoninus
(the Caesar of Rome), who said to Rabbi, etc. (See the whole legend, pp.
16-18). Unklus b. Klenimus embraced Judaism, and the Caesar sent militia
to take him, etc. (See the legend, pp. 18-19). There was still another festi-
val in Rome which occurs once in seventy years, on which they would make

a well man ride on a lame man, etc 1-21

MiSHNA IV. In a city where the idol is placed, interfering is forbidden
inside, but not outside. If, during an idol festival in the city, some
stores were there decorated, one must not buy, etc. The following are for-
bidden to be sold to the heathens; Fir-cones, etc. We have a tradition that
the tract Aboda Zara of Abraham the patriarch contained four hundred chap-
ters, etc. Where it is customary to sell small cattle to heathens it is lawful
to do so, etc. One must not sell to them bears, lions, and all such things, by
which the people can be injured, etc. I walked in the upper market of
Ciporas, and I met one of the minim, named Jacob, of the village of Sac-
hania. So taught Josa B. Southyra, etc. (See foot-note, p. 27.) The legend
of Eliazer ben Durdaya (28). The leech hath two daughters (crying),
" Give, give," i.e. minunism — and the government, which are never satisfied,
etc. Raba sold an ass to an Israelite who was suspected of selling it to a
heathen, etc. He who occupies himself with the Torah, but does not observe
bestowing of favors, is similar to him who denies God. The Legend of
Eliezer b. Sarta and Chanina b. Tradion when captured by government,
p. 29, 30. How Chanina was burned together with the holy scrolls, and
what became of his wife and daughter, p. 31, 32. The redeeming of latter
by R. Mair (Baal Hanes), p. 33. Happy is he who conquers his evil spirit,
as a heroic man, etc. It is advisable to divide one's years into three parts:
one-third for the study of Scripture, the second Mishna, and the third Tal-
mud, etc. R. Aqiba when he saw the wife of Tornus Rupers, he laughed and
wept, etc. Houses must not be rented to the heathens in Palestine, etc.
One must not rent his bath-house to a heathen, but how is it to a Samaritan?
etc 21-40


Mishna /. Cattle must not be placed in the inns of the heathens. (See
foot-note, p. 41.) "And the cows went straight forward," etc. What does
this expression mean? It reads (Jos. x. 13): "And the sun stood still,
written in the book of Yasher." What is the book of Yasher? One must
not stay alone even with two women. If an Israelite while on the road,
happened to be accompanied by a heathen, etc. One must not confine a
heathen because she brought up a person to idolatry, etc. A city in which
there is no Jewish physician, but a Samaritan and a heathen, the heathen
shall circumcise and not the Samaritan. One may employ their (the
heathens') services for curing his personal property, etc. Ben Dama was
bitten by a snake, Jacob come to heal him with the name of Jesus, but R.
Ismael did not allow. With R. Johanan it is different, as he himself was an
established physician. Medicines and other remedies for different sickness
by different men and women, on pp. 50-53. The following things of the

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Online LibraryMichael Levi RodkinsonNew edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 20) → online text (page 24 of 25)