Now where were the Gates of Nicanor1 situated? At the entrance to [the camp of] the Levites2 [were they not]? And yet it has been taught: One who is defiled by a corpse is allowed to enter the camp of the Levites; and not merely one defiled by a corpse, but even the corpse itself [may enter there], for it Says, And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him;3 the meaning of with him is 'in his own section, i.e. in the camp of the Levites.4 It must therefore be,5 said Abaye, that a tebul yom after gonorrhoea is not like a sufferer from gonorrhoea,6 but in spite of this, because he still lacks atonement, he is not to enter [into the Temple precincts].7 For seeing that the reference is to the Camp of the Levites,8 why is it called [in the verse], 'the Tent of Meeting'? To tell us that just as one who lacks atonement might not enter there,9 so one who lacks atonement may not enter the Camp of the Levites.10
How is it known in that case?11 — It has been taught: He shall be unclean,12 includes also a tebul yom; his uncleanness is yet upon him13 includes also one who lacks atonement.
MISHNAH. HOW WAS [THE RITE OF] POLLING IN RITUAL PURITY14 PERFORMED? HE WOULD BRING THREE ANIMALS, A SIN-OFFERING, A BURNT-OFFERING, AND A PEACE-OFFERING, SLAUGHTER THE PEACE-OFFERING AND POLL THEREAFTER. THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. JUDAH. R. ELEAZAR SAID: HE WOULD POLL ACTUALLY AFTER THE SIN-OFFERING, FOR IN ALL CASES [THE SACRIFICE OF] THE SIN-OFFERING TAKES PRECEDENCE.15 BUT IF HE POLLED AFTER [THE SLAUGHTER] OF ANY ONE OF THE THREE HIS OBLIGATION WOULD BE DISCHARGED.16
R. SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAID: IF HE BROUGHT THREE ANIMALS WITHOUT SPECIFYING [WHAT THEY WERE FOR],17 THE ONE SUITABLE FOR A SIN-OFFERING18 WAS TO BE SACRIFICED AS A SIN-OFFERING, FOR A BURNT-OFFERING19 AS A BURNT-OFFERING, AND FOR A PEACE OFFERING.20 AS A PEACE OFFERING.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: [When it says], And the nazirite shall shave at the door of the tent of meeting,21 Scripture is speaking of the peace-offering22 of which it is said, And kill it at the door of the tent of meeting.23 You say that Scripture is speaking of the peace-offering, but may it not mean literally 'at the door of the tent of meeting'?24 I will explain. If that were its meaning, it would show contempt [for the Sanctuary] — R. Josiah said: It is unnecessary [to rely on a mere assertion] — 25 For the Torah says, Neither shalt thou go up by steps upon Mine Altar,26 and how much more so should it be forbidden to show contempt.27
R. Isaac said: This argument is unnecessary.28 For the verse continues, And shall take the hair of his consecrated head and put it on the fire [which is under the sacrifice of peace-offerings),29 referring to one who needs only to take it and put it [on the fire], and thus excluding [the case contemplated],30 where he would need to take it, fetch it,31 and put it [on the fire].
Another version [of R. Isaac's dictum].32 R. Isaac said: Scripture is there33 speaking of the peace-offering. You say it is speaking of the peace-offerings but may it not mean literally 'at the door of the tent of meeting'? The verse continues, And shall take the hair of his consecrated head [etc.], signifying that he shaved where he broiled [the peace-offering].34
Abba Hanan, on behalf of R. Eliezer, said: 'And the nazirite shall shave at the door of the tent of meeting' signifies that whenever the door of the tent of meeting is not open,35 he is forbidden to shave.
R. Simeon [of] Shezuri said: 'And the nazirite shall shave at the door of the tent of meeting', but not a female nazirite,
Original footnotes renumbered.
- It was to the Gates of Nicanor, which separated the Women's Court from the rest of the Temple precincts, that the sacrifices were brought. [The Nicanor Gate was situated on the West of the Women's Court, and was an entrance to the Inner Court. For a full discussion of the apparent discrepancies between the Talmudic sources and Josephus on the situation of the Nicanor Gate, v. Buchler, JQR, 1898, 687ff, and Hollis, F. J., The Archaeology of Herod's Temple. pp. 180ff.]
- The division of the encampment of the Israelites in the wilderness into three camps of varying degrees of sanctity, viz.: (i) The Camp of Israel. (ii) The Camp of the Levites, (iii) The Camp of the Divine Presence, was transferred to the Temple at Jerusalem, the three divisions being known by the same names (v. Sifre Num. I, 1).
- Ex. XIII, 19.
- Thus the nazirite even before purification could enter the Camp of the Levites, which makes the above deduction after the fashion of the colleagues of R. Nathan b. Hoshaya absurd. (V. Tosef. Kelim Kamma, I, 7.)
- What follows is the text and version of Tosaf. That of Rashi is given below, note 8.
- And might have a Paschal lamb slaughtered on his behalf.
- I.e., he is forbidden to enter the Camp of the Levites to give his sacrifices to the priest, not because he is treated as though he were still suffering from the issue, but because he is lacking in atonement, i.e., has not yet offered the necessary sacrifices. And although, in general, a person lacking in atonement was not forbidden to enter the Camp of the Levites, but only the Camp of the Divine Presence, here for the reason to be given immediately entry even into the Camp of the Levites is forbidden until after sunset.
- For the sacrifices had only to be taken as far as the Gates of Nicanor in the Camp of the Levites.
- The proof is given below.
- Whereas the nazirite is not considered lacking in atonement since his defilement arose from external causes (contact with the dead) and not from internal ones (leprosy or issue). Thus far the version of Tosaf. Rashi reads as follows: '(The colleagues of R. Nathan replied): As a matter of fact, a tebul yom after gonorrhoea does count as a sufferer from gonorrhoea, whilst even in the case you mention (of the nazirite) he should not enter (the Camp of the Levites, although a corpse itself might do so) because he lacks atonement. For if it is only the Camp of the Levites that is in question (i.e., if in any case the defiled nazirite can enter the Camp of the Levites and has to penetrate no further), why is it referred to in the verse as 'the Tent of Meeting' (which is part of the Camp of the Divine Presence)? To tell us that just as one who lacks atonement may not enter (the latter place), so he may not enter the Camp of the Levites'. It will be observed that apart from the obvious difference at the beginning, Tosaf. does not consider a defiled nazirite as coming within the category of 'lacking atonement' whilst Rashi does.
- I.e., how do we know that one who lacks atonement is forbidden to enter the Camp of the Divine Presence?
- Num. XIX, 13; this refers to a person defiled by a corpse who has not bathed; and in the context he is forbidden to enter the Sanctuary. The use of the future tense in the verb is taken as a sign that even a tebul yom must not enter there.
- Ibid. The inference is from the redundancy of these words.
- At the termination of the naziriteship; v. Num. VI, 14ff.
- V. Zeb. 900.
- I.e., the opinions of R. Judah and R. Eleazar give the normal procedure, but a variation in the order would not invalidate the polling.
- Cf. supra 28b.
- A ewe-lamb in its first year.
- A he-lamb in its first year.
- A two-year old ram.
- Num. VI, 18.
- I.e., the nazirite is to shave after the slaughter of the peace-offering.
- Lev. III, 2.
- And so be referring to the place, not the time of polling.
- We can infer directly from the Torah that a disdainful proceeding is not to be allowed, and need not rely on our feelings on the subject.
- 'That thy nakedness be not uncovered there', Ex. XX, 23.
- We have given our printed text as interpreted by the early commentators (Rashi, Asheri). In Sifre Num. Sect. 34 (in VI, 28), the words 'R. Josiah said: It is unnecessary' are lacking. Recent Talmud editions insert in square brackets an alternative text from the Midrash Rabbah on Numbers, beginning with 'R. Josiah said: Scripture is speaking etc.' There is also a version of the Wilna Gaon (v. Ed. Romm, Marginal Annotations), concluding, 'This is the opinion of R. Josiah'. All these alternatives make what our text gives as two opinions, one opinion.
- I.e., It is unnecessary to make use of the argument that to shave at the door of the tent of meeting would show contempt.
- Num. VI, 18.
- I.e., that the nazirite should shave at the door of the tent of meeting.
- From where he shaved to the place where the nazirites used to broil the peace-offering. It follows then that the first half of the verse cannot be taken literally as referring to place, but must be referring to time, viz.: after the slaughter of the peaceoffering. [The chamber where the Nazirites broiled their peace-offering was situated on the South East of the women's court, Mid. II, 6.]
- This is the version in Sifre (ibid.).
- In Num. VI, 18, And the nazirite shall shave at the door etc.
- Asheri pertinently points out that there is no Scriptural proof that the broiling was not to take place at the door.
- [H], 'door' means 'opening'. Abba Hanan prefers an interpretation as near as possible to the literal one, if the literal one itself cannot be used.
lest the young priests become assailed by temptation through her.1 [R. Simeon's colleagues] said to him: The case of the faithless wife2 disproves your point, for there it is written, And [the priest] shall set her before the Lord,3 and we are not afraid lest the young priests be assailed by temptation, through her.4 He replied: [The woman nazirite] pencils [her eyebrows] and applies rouge, whilst [the faithless wife] uses neither pencil nor rouge.5
MISHNAH. HE THEN TOOK THE HAIR OF HIS CONSECRATED HEAD AND THREW IT UNDER THE CAULDRON.6 IF HE SHAVED IN THE 'PROVINCE'7 HE DID NOT THROW IT UNDER THE CAULDRON: THE ABOVE REFERS ONLY TO POLLING IN RITUAL PURITY.8 WHEREAS IN POLLING [AFTER] RITUAL DEFILEMENT HE DID NOT CAST IT UNDER THE CAULDRON; R. MEIR SAID: ALL [NAZIRITES] THREW IT UNDER THE CAULDRON WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION OF A DEFILED NAZIRITE [WHO POLLED] IN THE 'PROVINCES.
GEMARA. HE THEN TOOK THE HAIR OF HIS CONSECRATED HEAD. Our Rabbis taught: He then took the broth,9 put it along with the hair of his consecrated head and threw it under the cauldron containing the peace-offering. But if he threw it under the cauldron containing the sin-offering or the guilt-offerings his obligation would also be discharged.
But is there a guilt-offering in the case of a ritually pure nazirite?10 — Raba replied: It means that if a ritually defiled nazirite threw it under the pot of the guilt-offerings his obligation would be discharged.
How do we know this?11 — Raba replied: The verse says, 'Which is under the sacrifice of the peace-offerings', signifying that part of its sacrifice should be underneath it.12
'But if he threw it under the cauldron containing the sin-offering [or the guilt-offering] his obligation would also be discharged.' Why?13 — The verse says, The sacrifice of,' thereby including the sin-offering and the guilt-offering.14
But have you not made use of the words 'the sacrifice of' for [the rule concerning] the broth? — If that is its whole significance the verse should have said, 'Of the broth of the peace-offerings.' Why then does it say 'the sacrifice of'? Clearly to include the sin-offering and the guilt-offering.
But perhaps its whole significance is this inference of the sin offering and the guilt-offering?15 — If so, the verse should have read 'the peace-offering or the sacrifice'. Why does it say, 'the sacrifice of the peace-offering'? We are thus entitled to infer both things.
Our Rabbis taught: All [nazirites] threw [their hair] beneath the cauldron with the exception of a defiled nazirite who polled in the 'province', because his hair had to be buried.16 This is the opinion of R. Meir. R. Judah said: Ritually clean [nazirites] whether in the one place or the other17 threw it under; ritually defiled nazirites whether in the one place or the other17 did not throw it under, whilst the Sages said: None threw it under the cauldron excepting a clean [nazirite who polled] in the sanctuary, because [the polling] had then been properly done in the prescribed manner.18
MISHNAH. HE EITHER BOILED OR HALF-BOILED19 THE PEACE-OFFERING. THE PRIEST THEN TOOK THE BOILED SHOULDER OF THE RAM,20 AN UNLEAVENED CAKE FROM THE BASKET, AND AN UNLEAVENED WAFER, PLACED THEM ON THE NAZIRITE'S HANDS21 AND WAVED THEM. AFTER THIS, THE NAZIRITE WAS ALLOWED TO DRINK WINE AND DEFILE HIMSELF FOR THE DEAD.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- The female nazirite was therefore required to poll in private, but not a male nazirite. [R. Simeon, according to Tosaf. understood 'door' in the literal sense, and consequently differs from the Mishnah Mid. II, 6, which provides for the polling a special chamber, v. supra p. 168, n. 10).
- Or Sotah, v. Num. V, 11ff.
- Num. V, 16. The hair was uncovered during the ceremony of administering the 'bitter waters'. V. 17.
- The purpose of the verse cannot be therefore to require a woman nazirite to poll in private. In fact, she need not do so.
- And is therefore not attractive. R. Simeon retained his opinion that a woman nazirite was to poll in private, and a male in public.
- In which his peace-offering was being prepared.
- I.e., outside the Temple precincts, he did not have to bring the hair into the temple. Thus the Babylonian version of the Mishnah. The Jerusalem version reads here also, 'he threw it under'
- At the termination of the naziriteship.
- Of the peace-offering.
- The sacrifices mentioned (supra 45a) are sin-offering, burnt-offering, peace-offering.
- That the broth had also to be cast under the cauldron.
- The inference is from the superfluous words 'the sacrifice of': showing that the fire was beneath the sacrifice itself, and not merely beneath the pot.
- I.e., why not say that the peace-offering only is meant, since it is mentioned explicitly.
- Although it should preferably be the peace-offering.
- And not the rule concerning the broth.
- V. Tem. 34a.
- Whether in the Temple or in the 'province'.
- Tosef. Naz. IV, 5.
- [ [H]. So Rashi. according to Tosaf. the word denotes 'overdone'.]
- [The Mishnah does not mention the 'breast' and the 'shoulder', Num. VI, 20), as it deals only with such rites as are distinct to the peace-offering of the nazirite; v. Petuchowski, a.l.]
- V. Num. VI, 19.