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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Horayoth

Folio 13a

IF THE BULLOCK OF THE ANOINTED HIGH PRIEST AND THE BULLOCK OF THE CONGREGATION etc. Whence is this deduced? — From what our Rabbis taught: And he shall burn it ins he burnt the first bullock;1  what need was there to state, the first?2  In order to indicate that it3  must precede the bullock of the congregation in all its details.4

Our Rabbis taught: If the bullock of the anointed High Priest and the bullock of the congregation are simultaneously presented, the bullock of the anointed High Priest must precede the bullock of the congregation in all its details,4  forasmuch as the anointed High Priest effects the atonement and the congregation receives the atonement, it is reasonable that he who effects atonement shall take precedence over him who receives the atonement; and so it is also stated [in Scripture]. And have made atonement [i] for himself, and [ii] for his household, and [iii] for all the assembly of Israel.5

The bullock that is offered for a sin committed by the congregation through ignorance of a law is to precede the bullock for the sin of idolatry. What is the reason? — The one is a sin offering and the other6  is a burnt offering, and it was taught, 'What need was there for Scripture to state, And he shall offer that which is for the sin offering first?7  If merely in order to teach that the sin offering was to be the first, surely, it has already been stated, And he shall prepare the second for a burnt offering, according to the ordinance!8  Consequently it must be concluded that in this text there has been laid down the general principle9  that all sin offerings are to precede the burnt offerings that are presented together with them; and, there is an accepted tradition that even a sin offering consisting of a bird is to precede a burnt offering consisting of a beast.'

The bullock for idolatry is to precede the goat for idolatry. Why? The one surely, is a sin offering while the other is a burnt offering! — In the West10  it was explained in the name of Rabbah11  b. Mari: Because an Aleph is wanting in the Hattath12  for idolatry, the written form being le-Hatth.13  Raba replied: Because According to the ordinance14  was written concerning it.15

The goat for idolatry is to precede the goat of the ruler. What is the reason? — The one is for a congregation while the other is for an individual.

The he-goat of a ruler is to precede the she-goat of a private individual. What is the reason? — The one is for a sovereign; the other for a commoner.

The she-goat of an individual is to precede the ewe-lamb of an individual.16  But, surely, it was taught that the ewe-lamb of an individual must precede the she-goat of an individual! — Abaye replied: This is a matter of dispute between Tannaim. One Master holds the view that a she-goat is preferable since it has also the advantage of being the offering of an individual for the sin of idolatry, while the other Master is of the opinion that a ewe-lamb is preferable since it has the advantage of having its fat tail also offered on the altar.

The omer17  must precede the lamb that is brought together with it. The two loaves18  are to precede the lambs19  that are brought with them. This is the general rule: The offering which is due to the sanctity of20  the day is to precede the offering the presentation of which is due to20  the bread.21


GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: If a man and his father and his teacher were in captivity he takes precedence over23  his teacher and his teacher takes precedence over his father,24  while his mother takes precedence over all of them. A scholar takes precedence over a king of Israel, for if a scholar dies there is none to replace him25  while if a king of Israel dies, all Israel are eligible for kingship. A king takes precedence over a High Priest, for it is said, And the king said unto them: Take with you the servants of your lord etc.26  A High Priest takes precedence over a prophet, for it is said, And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there,27  Zadok being mentioned before Nathan; and furthermore it is stated, Hear now, O Joshua the High Priest, thou and thy fellows etc.;28  lest it be assumed that these were common people it was expressly stated, For they are men that are a sign,28  and the expression 'sign' cannot but refer to a prophet as it is stated, And he29  give thee a sign or a wonder.30  A High Priest anointed with the anointing oil takes precedence over one who is only dedicated by the additional garments. He who is dedicated by the additional garments takes precedence over an anointed High Priest who has retired from office owing to a mishap. An anointed High Priest who has retired from office on account of a mishap takes precedence over one who has retired on account of his blemish. He who has retired on account of his blemish takes precedence over him who was anointed for war purposes only. He who was anointed for war takes precedence over the Deputy High Priest.31  The Deputy High Priest takes precedence over the amarkal.32  What is amarkal? — R. Hisda replied: He who commands33  all. The amarkal takes precedence over the Temple treasurer. The Temple treasurer takes precedence over the chief of the watch.34  The chief of the guard takes precedence over the chief of the men of the daily watch.35  The chief of the daily watch takes precedence over an ordinary priest.

The question was raised: In respect of Levitical uncleanness,36  who takes precedence, the Deputy High Priest or the Priest anointed for War? — Mar Zutra the son of R. Nahman replied: Come and hear what has been taught: If a Deputy High Priest or a Priest anointed for War were going on their way and came upon a corpse the burial of which is obligatory upon them,37  it is better that the Priest anointed for War shall defile himself rather than the Deputy High Priest; for if the High Priest meet with some disqualification the Deputy High Priest steps in to perform the Temple service. Has it not been taught, however, that the Priest anointed for War takes precedence over the Deputy High Priest? — Rabina replied: That Baraitha deals with the question of saving life.38


GEMARA. A PRIEST TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER A LEVITE for it is stated The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron wins separated that he should be sanctified as most holy.42  A LEVITE takes precedence OVER AN ISRAELITE for it is stated, At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi etc.43  AN ISRAELITE takes precedence OVER A BASTARD for the one is of legitimate birth and the other is not. A BASTARD takes precedence OVER A NATHIN for the one comes from an eligible origin and the other from a non-eligible origin. A NATHIN takes precedence OVER A PROSELYTE for the one was brought up with us in holiness and the other was not brought up with us in holiness. A PROSELYTE takes precedence OVER AN EMANCIPATED SLAVE for the one was included in the curse44  and the other was not included in the curse.

THIS ORDER OF PRECEDENCE APPLIES ONLY WHEN ALL THESE WERE IN OTHER RESPECTS EQUAL etc. Whence is this deduced? — R. Aha son of R. Hanina replied: From Scripture which states, She45  is more precious than rubies,46  i.e., more precious than the High Priest who enters into the innermost47  sanctuary.

It was taught, R. Simeon b. Yohai said: It stands to reason that an emancipated slave should take precedence over a proselyte, for the one was brought up with us in holiness and the other was not; but the former was included in the curse44  while the latter was not.

R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok was asked by his disciples: Why

    are all willing to marry a proselyte while not all are willing to marry an emancipated slave? He answered them: The one was included in the curse48  while the other was not. Another explanation is that the one is known to protect her chastity while the other is not.

R. Eleazar49  was asked by his disciples: Why does a dog know its owner while a cat does not? He answered them: If he who eats something of that from which a mouse has eaten loses his memory, how much more so the animal which eats the mouse itself!

R. Eleazar50  was asked by his disciples: Why do all persecute the mice? — Because of their bad nature. What is it? Raba replied: They gnaw even at clothes51

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lev. IV, 21.
  2. This being obvious, since that offering was in that context mentioned first.
  3. The bullock of the High Priest.
  4. V. supra p. 94, n. 8.
  5. Lev. XVI, 17.
  6. That for idolatry.
  7. Lev. V, 8.
  8. Ibid. 10.
  9. Lit., 'but this built a father'.
  10. Palestine.
  11. So MS.M. Cut, edd. 'Raba'.
  12. [H], 'sin offering'.
  13. [H], 'for a sin offering'. Num. XV, 24; as if to say that it is lacking in something accorded to other sin offerings.
  14. Ibid.
  15. The burnt offering for idolatry; thus implying that the process of the offering of the sacrifices in that particular case must be in the same order as they were ordained in that text, viz., the burnt offering first.
  16. The individual's sin offering may be either a she-goat (Lev. IV, 28) or a ewelamb (ibid. v. 32).
  17. V. Glos.
  18. The wave-loaves offered on Pentecost. V. Lev. XXIII, 17.
  19. V. ibid. v. 18.
  20. Lit., 'that comes for the sake of'.
  21. The wave-loaves and the omer. The lambs are merely an adjunct to these.
  22. [To spare him the indignity of pederasty.]
  23. In procuring his ransom.
  24. I.e., he must procure the ransom of his teacher before that of his father.
  25. Lit., 'we have none like him'.
  26. I Kings I, 33. David is designated lord in an instruction addressed to Zadok his High Priest.
  27. Ibid. 34.
  28. Zech. III, 8.
  29. The prophet.
  30. Deut. XIII, 2.
  31. Segan, v. Sanh. (Sonc, ed.) p. 97, n. 1.
  32. V. Glos. [They were officers, the 'Keepers of the door' (cf. II Kings XII, 12) drawn from every watch; Mishmar (v. n. 4), entrusted with the keys and vessels of the Temple during their particular week of service. V. Buchler, Priester and Cultus, p. 96, who draws attention to Josephus, Contra Apinem, II, 8: 'When those days are over, other priests … assemble together at mid-day and receive the Keys of the temple and the vessels by tale.']
  33. [H], 'who said (i.e., directs) all things.'
  34. Mishmar, v. Glos.
  35. Heb., beth ab, v. Glos.
  36. The burial, e.g., of a corpse found in a lonely spot where there is no one else to attend to it.
  37. Heb, meth mizwah, v. Glos. and cf. previous note.
  38. The life of the Priest for War is of more importance in a war of defence than the life of the Deputy High Priest.
  39. V. Glos.
  40. Lit., 'when? at the time'.
  41. Heb. 'am ha-arez, v. Glos.
  42. I Chron. XXIII, 13. A priest is a descendant of Aaron.
  43. Deut. X, 8.
  44. Lit., 'cursed be', 'the first two words of the curse which Noah pronounced against Canaan when he condemned him to slavery (v. Gen. IX, 25), which he considered the greatest curse imaginable (Rashi).
  45. The Torah, learning.
  46. Prov. III, 15. [H].
  47. [H] a play upon the word [H] V. n. 7.
  48. V. p. 99, n. 5.
  49. [MS.M.: 'Eleazar b. Zadok.']
  50. [Var. lec.: 'Eleazar b. Zadok.']
  51. Which is no food. They cause loss to the owner though they themselves derive no benefit.
Tractate List

Horayoth 13b

R. Papa replied: They gnaw even at the handle of a hoe.

Our Rabbis taught: Five things make one forget one's studies: Eating1  something from which a mouse or a cat has eaten, eating1  the heart of a beast, frequent consumption2  of olives, drinking3  the remains of water that was used for washing, and washing4  one's feet one above the other. Others say: He also who puts his clothes under his head [forgets his studies].

Five things restore one's learning:5  Wheaten bread and much more so wheat6  itself, eating1  a roasted7  egg without salt, frequent consumption8  of olive oil, frequent indulgence in wine and spices, and the drinking3  of water that has remained from kneading. Others say: Dipping one's finger in salt and eating is also included.

'Frequent consumption of olive-oil'. This corroborates the view of R. Johanan who said: As the olive causes one to forget seventy years of study, so does olive oil restore seventy years of study.

'Frequent indulgence in wine and spices'. This corroborates the view of Raba who said: Wine and spices have made me wise.


'Dipping one's finger in salt' — Said Resh Lakish: One only. This is a matter of dispute between Tannaim: R. Judah said, one finger but not two; R. Jose said, two but not three. Your mnemonic9  is the third finger.10

Ten things adversely affect one's study: Passing11  under the bit of a camel and much more so under the camel itself, passing11  between two camels, passing between two women, the passing of a woman12  between two men, passing under the offensive odour of a carcass, passing under a bridge under which water has not flowed for forty days, eating bread that was insufficiently baked, eating meat out of a soup-ladle, drinking from a streamlet that runs through a graveyard, and looking into the face of a dead body. Others say: He who reads an inscription upon a grave is also [subject to the same disability].

Our Rabbis taught: When the Nasi13  enters, all the people rise and do not resume their seats until he requests them to sit. When the Ab-beth-din14  enters, one row rises on one side15  and another row on the other [and they remain standing] until he has sat down in his place. When the Hakam16  enters, every one [whom he passes] rises and sits down [as soon as he passed] until the Sage has sat down in his place. Sons of sages, and scholars may, if the public is in need of their services, tread upon the heads of the people.17  If one [of them] went out in his need to ease himself he may re-enter and sit down in his place.18  Sons of a scholar19  whose father holds

    the office of Parnas20  may, if they possess the capability of understanding [the discourses], enter and sit down before their father with their backs to the people. When, however, they do not possess the capability of understanding [the discourses] they enter and sit down before their father with their faces towards the public. R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok said: In a festive gathering21  also they are treated as attachments [to their father].22

The Master said, 'If he went out in his need to ease himself he may re-enter and sit down in his place.' R. Papa said: This applies only23  to the minor [functions of the body] but not to the major [functions], since he should have examined himself before; for Rab Judah said: A man should always make a habit of easing himself early in the morning and late in the evening in order that there be no need for him to go far.24  Now,25  however, that everybody26  is weaker the same rule applies even to the larger functions.

'R. Eleazar son of R. Sadok said: At a festive gathering also they27  are treated as attachments [to their father].' Raba said: Only during the lifetime of their father and in the presence of their father.

R. Johanan said: That instruction28  was issued29  in the days of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel [II], when R. Simeon b. Gamaliel was the President, R. Meir the Hakam,30  and R. Nathan the Ab-beth-din.31  Whenever R. Simeon b. Gamaliel entered all the people stood up for him; when R. Meir and R. Nathan entered all the people stood up for them also. Said R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: Should there be no distinction between my [office] and theirs? And so he issued that ordinance.32

R. Meir and R. Nathan were not present on that day. Coming on the following day and seeing that the people did not rise for them as usual, they inquired as to what had happened.33  On being told that R. Simeon b. Gamaliel had issued that ordinance, R. Meir said to R. Nathan, 'I am the Hinkam and you are the Ab-beth-din, let us retaliate.34  Now, how are we to proceed against him? — Let us request him to discourse35  upon the tractate of 'Ukzin with which he is unfamiliar,36  and as he will be unable to discourse upon it37  we shall tell him: Who can express the mighty acts of the Lord; make all His praise to he heard;38  for whom is it becoming to express the mighty acts of the Lord? For him who can make all his praise to he heard. We shall then depose him and I shall become Ab-beth-din and you the Nasi.'

R. Jacob b. Korshai on hearing this conversation39  said, 'The matter might, God forbid, lead to [the Nasi's] disgrace.' So he went and sat down behind R. Simeon b. Gamaliel's study, expounding [the tractate of 'Uksin], and repeating it again and again. He40  said, 'What could this mean?41  Did anything, God forbid, happen at the college!' He concentrated his attention and familiarized himself with it.

On the following day when they said to him, 'Will the Master come and discourse on 'Uksin', he began and discoursed upon it. After he had finished he said to them, 'Had I not familiarized myself with it, you would have disgraced me!' He gave the order and they were removed from the college.

Thereupon they wrote down scholastic difficulties on slips of paper which they threw into the college.42  That which he43  solved was disposed of44  and as to those which he did not solve they wrote down the answers and threw them in. Said R. Jose to them:45  The Torah is without and we are within! Said R. Simeon b. Gamaliel to them:45  We shall re-admit them46  but impose upon them this penalty, that no traditional statement shall be reported in their names. [As a result] R. Meir was designated 'others', and R. Nathan 'some say'.

In their dreams they received a message to go and pacify47  R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. R. Nathan went; R. Meir did not, for he said: Dreams are of no consequence.48  When R. Nathan came,49  R. Simeon b. Gamaliel remarked to him: The honorable position50  of your father has indeed helped you to become Ab-beth-din; shall we therefore make you also Nasi? Rabbi taught his son R. Simeon: Others say that if it51  had been an exchanged beast

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'he who eats.'
  2. Lit., 'he who is accustomed in.'
  3. Lit., 'he who drinks.'
  4. Lit., 'he who washes'.
  5. I.e., strengthen one's memory.
  6. So MS.M. Cur. edd. 'bread of (i.e., baked on) coals … coals.'
  7. Lit., 'rolled'.
  8. Lit., 'he who is accustomed'.
  9. An aid for remembering the numbers given by the two Tannaim.
  10. Which, the thumb not being counted, has one finger on its right and two on its left.
  11. Lit., 'he who passes.'
  12. Lit., 'and a woman who passes.'
  13. The Prince, the President of the Sanhedrin.
  14. [Father of the Beth din, generally taken to denote as here the Vice-President. Buchler, Synedrion, pp. 172ff., however, shows that the title 'Ab-beth-din' was also of a more general character, designating the head of any important school.]
  15. Lit., 'they make for him one row from here.'
  16. [Lit.. 'the Sage.' There is no certainty either in regard to the original function or rank of the Hakam. He here appears as third in rank to the Nasi; v. Buchler, op. cit. pp. 155, 161ff.]
  17. [I.e., they may enter the house of study though the rest are already seated (cf. n. 10); v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 30, n. 8.]
  18. Though he thereby disturbs the people whom he has to pass.
  19. Lit., 'scholars.'
  20. [A title denoting usually a general leader of the people, and sometimes also a member of the council of the city; v. Buchler, Sepphoris, pp. 14, 16.]
  21. Lit., 'house'.
  22. Are given a place beside him. [According to Krauss, Sanhedrin-Makkot, p. 34, the meaning is that the young men were delegated to assist as supervisors against laxities and misdemeanours at marriage festivities.]
  23. Lit., 'they did not say but.'
  24. To find a private spot. In those days privies within the town or the village were unknown.
  25. 'Raba said' is placed within parentheses in cur. edd. [It is rightly omitted in some texts, as Raba is unlikely to comment on a statement of R. Papa, his pupil.]
  26. Lit., 'all the world.'
  27. The sons of scholars mentioned supra.
  28. Heb., Mishnah, (teaching), v. Glos.
  29. Lit., 'taught.'
  30. [H] 'sage', 'wise man'; an office in the college next in rank to that of Ab-beth-din. V supra p. 101, n. 8.
  31. V. supra p. 101, n. 6.
  32. Lit., 'established that teaching.' the procedure described supra. [This arrangement, made by H. Simeon, was not prompted by personal vanity. (Simeon's humility, well attested by his sayings. B. M. 84, 55a, is the best proof against such an imputation.) But it was introduced in order to increase the authority of the College over which the Nasi presided and to promote due respect for learning. V. Lauterbach, J.E. XI, p. 347.]
  33. Lit., 'they said, what is this'.
  34. Lit., 'let us do a thing as to us'.
  35. Lit., 'reveal', i.e., expound.
  36. Lit., 'he has not'.
  37. Lit., 'he did not learn'.
  38. Ps. CVI, 2.
  39. Lit., 'heard them'.
  40. K. Simeon b. Gamaliel.
  41. Lit., 'what is that in front'.
  42. Lit., 'there'.
  43. V. p. 102, n. 9.
  44. Lit., 'was solved'.
  45. The members of the college.
  46. The expelled scholars.
  47. Lit., 'they showed them in their dreams, go pacify him'.
  48. Lit., 'words of dreams neither bring up nor bring down'.
  49. Lit., 'went'.
  50. Lit., 'girdle'.
  51. A beast that in the course of tithing has been erroneously counted as the tenth.
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