Objects of service are deduced from objects of
service,1 thus excluding the broken-necked
heifer, which is in itself taboo. And why does Abaye not deduce [his ruling]
from idol-worship? — He answers you: Normal practices are deduced from normal
practices so excluding idol-worship which is not
(Mnemonic: Veil; Tomb; Hewn. The craftsman's bag.)3
An objection is raised: 'If a veil, which is
Midras,5 is designated [as a cover]
for the Book [of the law], it is purified from [the uncleanness of]
Midras,6 yet may become unclean by
direct contact [with the dead]'?7 —
Say thus: If it was designated for and wrapped round [the
Book].8 But why are both 'designation'
and 'wrapping' necessary?9 — This
is in accordance with R. Hisda, who said: If a cloth was assigned for wrapping
Tefillin therein, and was so used, one may not tie up coins in it. If it
was assigned, but not used so, or vice
versa,10 one may tie up coins in
it.11 But on Abaye's view, viz., that
[mere] designation is a material act; if one had assigned the cloth [for
the purpose of wrapping up his Tefillin], even though he did not do so, or
if he wrapped them in it, and also assigned it [for that purpose], it is
so [i.e., the prohibition holds good]; but if he had not assigned it, it
is not [forbidden].
Come and hear! 'A tomb12 built for
a man still alive, may be used.13
If, however, one added a single row of stones for a dead
person,14 no [other] use may be made
thereof'?15 — This deals with a case
where the corpse had actually been buried there. If so why [teach] particularly
'if one added [etc.]'; even if not, the law would have been the same! —
This is only necessary [to teach that the prohibition remains] even if the
body has [subsequently] been
Rafram R. Papa said In R. Hisda's name: If he recognizes that [additional
row] he may remove it and the tomb becomes again permissible.
Come and hear! 'If one hews a grave for his [dead] father and then goes and
buries him elsewhere, he [himself] may never be buried
therein'?17 — Here it is on account
of his father's honour.18 That too
stands to reason. For the second clause teaches: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said;
Even if one hews stones19 [for a tomb]
for his father, but goes and buries him elsewhere, he [himself] may never
employ them for his own grave.20 Now,
if you agree that it is out of respect for his father, it is correct. But
if you say that it is because of designation, does any one maintain that
yarn spun for weaving [a shroud is
Come and hear! A fresh grave may be used. But if an abortion has been laid
therein, it is forbidden for
use,22 Thus, it is so only if it has
actually been laid therein, but not
otherwise!23 — The same law holds
good even if it [the abortion] was not laid
therein;24 and it [the statement,
'if it has been laid therein'] is [only] intended to exclude the view of
R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, who maintains: Abortions take no possession of their
graves.25 He therefore teaches us
Come and hear! 'The surplus [of a collection] for the dead must be used for
[other] dead,27 but the surplus [of
a collection] for a [particular] deceased person belongs to his
heirs'?28 — This refers to a case
[where the money was] collected during [the deceased's] lifetime. But [the
Tanna] did not teach thus? For we learnt: The surplus [of a collection] for
the dead must be used for [other] dead, but the surplus [of a collection]
for a [particular] deceased person belongs to his heirs. Now, it was taught
thereon: How so? If it was collected for the dead in general that is where
we rule; The surplus [of a collection] for the dead must be used for [other]
dead, but if it was collected for a particular dead person, that is where
we rule, The surplus [of a collection] for a deceased belongs to his heirs!
— But according to your view,29 consider
the second section: R. Meir said: It must remain intact until Elijah
comes;30 R. Nathan ruled: It is to
be expended for a monument on his grave, or sprinkling [aromatic wine] before
his bier.31 But Abaye reconciles
them32 in accordance with his view,
and Raba in accordance with his
view.33 'Abaye reconciles them in
accordance with his view;' [thus;] all agree that designation is a material
act. Now, the first Tanna holds that he [the dead] takes
possession34 only of as much as he
needs, and not of the surplus;35 R.
Meir, however, is doubtful whether he takes possession [of the surplus] or
not: consequently it must remain intact until Elijah comes; whereas R. Nathan
holds that he certainly takes possession [even of the surplus]; hence it
is to be employed for a monument on his grave. 'And Raba in accordance with
his view;' [thus:] all agree that assignment is not a material
act.36 Now, the first Tanna maintains:
Though they humiliated him,37 he forgives
his humiliation for his heirs'
sake,38 R. Meir, however, is doubtful
whether he forgives it or not; therefore it must remain intact etc.; whilst
R. Nathan takes the definite view that he does not forgive it, therefore
the surplus must be expended on a monument for his grave or for sprinkling
[aromatic wine] before his bier.
Come and hear! If his father and mother are throwing garments upon
him,39 it is the duty of others to
Original footnotes renumbered.
I.e., the shroud for the dead and the animal devoted
to be sacrificed to an idol are not in themselves taboo, but merely so because
they are used in the service of something that is forbidden. In A.Z. 51b
the verse referring to idolatry (quoted in n. 4) is interpreted as bearing
upon objects used in the service of idols.
'Normal' is used in the sense of 'sanctioned by law.'
I.e., it is a normal (permitted) practice to make a shroud for the dead,
likewise to break the neck of a heifer under prescribed conditions. But under
no circumstances can idolatry be 'normal' (i.e. — permitted). Therefore,
mere designation in connection with idolatry does not impose a prohibition,
because, since it is abnormal (forbidden), one may repent and never use it
for the purpose. But in the case of the other two, if permitted (or even
obligatory), once they are designated for that purpose they will certainly
be used, unless unforeseen circumstances intervene. Therefore the mere
designation suffices to give them the same status as though they had actually
[On this mnemonic v. Brull. I., Mnemotechnick p. 44.]
Rashi here, and the commentary of R. Samson of Sens
on the Mishnah, Kel. XXVIII, 5, understand it literally, i.e., it had actually
become unclean. Maim. and Asheri, however, translate (loc. cit.), which is
liable to become unclean, but had not, in fact, become so.
[H], a technical term in the laws of purity, from [H]
'to tread', denoting the uncleanness of an object through being used either
for sitting on or lying on, i.e., being made to bear the weight of a person
with issue. If it is so defiled, it becomes a primary source of uncleanness
to men and utensils. A veil is thus liable, since it may be folded up and
sat upon, or, when it is being worn on the head, the wearer may lean back
on her seat or the wall, and thus cause it to bear her weight.
So according to Rashi and R. Samson. M. and Asheri:
it ceases to be liable to the uncleanness of Midras. The reason, according
to all interpretations, is that it can no longer be used in such a way.
As all other finished articles which have a definite
use (technically, 'utensils'). Rashi translates (with a different reading):
yet it retains the uncleanness of touch, i.e., if when the person with issue
bore down on it, he also touched it, the uncleanness of Midras disappears,
but it retains to the uncleanness of having been touched by him — which
is a different degree of impurity', (Kelim XXVIII, 5). This proves that mere
designation is a material act which suffices to change the status of an object,
and thus contradicts Raba's ruling.
Hence there was not merely designation, but also use;
the combination can certainly effect a change.
The use itself should have sufficed for the change.
I.e., Tefillin were wrapped therein, but it had not
been previously assigned for that purpose.
I.e., assignment by itself is not a material act. Again,
wrapping something in it without having made the assignment is assumed to
be merely incidental. The same applies to the veil, and therefore both are
required. — Of course, that is only on Raba's view; Abaye will interpret
the Mishnah cited quite literally.
[H]. The word actually means a structure built over
a tomb, to be used as a grave.
For other purposes.
I.e., the addition was made when the person was actually
Thus proving that mere designation is a material act.
When the prohibition of its use depends on whether
a special row of stones was added for the corpse. If not it loses its forbidden
character, for it is then like the cloth in which Tefillin were wrapped without
its having been previously designated for that purpose.
V. p. 315, n. 12.
That the grave is prohibited to serve as the son's
From a quarry for the purpose of building a vault.
Lit., 'may never be buried in them.'
None, not even Abaye. For Abaye only maintains that
if a shroud is actually woven, and so fit for its purpose, it is forbidden
through mere designation. But when yarn is spun, though its ultimate destiny
is to be woven into a shroud, it is not forbidden, since as yarn it is useless
for its purpose. Similarly, when stones are prepared for building a tomb,
they should not become forbidden. Hence the prohibition must be on account
of filial respect, not designation.
V. p 316, n. 2.
I.e., if it was merely assigned for an abortion, it
is not forbidden, proving that mere assignment is not a material act.
On account of the assignment of the abortion.
I.e., they do not impose a lasting prohibition thereon,
to operate even after the graves are cleared.
Therefore the Tanna is particular to mention 'an abortion,'
but is not exact in his statement as to what is done for the abortion. But
actually, even if the grave is merely designated for an abortion, it is forbidden
If a collection was made for burying the poor, the
actual person, however, being unspecified, and at any particular moment there
is a balance in hand, it must be kept for other dead. This is so even if,
when the collection was made, it was known that it was for certain dead,
but they were not specified.
To be used for any purpose, thus proving that designation
is not a material act (Mishnah Shek. II. 5).
That assignment is not material.
I.e., Elijah the prophet glorified in the Haggadah
as a messenger charged with various tasks, one of which is to be the precursor
of the Messiah, when he will solve all questions in doubt. (Cf. B.M. 29b;
From this it would seem that since it was designated
for the dead, it must be so used, proving that designation is a material act.
[The words, 'Or sprinkling … his bier', do not occur in the cited Mishnah,
but in Tosef, Shek. I.]
The differences of opinion in the Mishnah.
In such a way that the differing Tannaim may he seen
to agree with their (Abaye's and Raba's) views respectively.
I.e., it becomes his peculiar property, in the sense
that it may not be used for any other purpose.
Lit., 'of what he does not need.'
And the reasons given by R. Meir and R. Nathan for
prohibiting the balance for general use is not that it is actually forbidden,
but because the deceased was put to shame when a public collection was made
for his funeral.
V. preceding note.
I.e., that they may have the benefit of the surplus.
Their dead son. It was an expression of extreme grief,
and a symbol that they were ready to renounce everything left behind, that
belonged to him (Rashi).
By removing them from the corpse, as though returning
lost property. Now, had assignment been a material act, how could they be
saved after being dedicated to the dead?
— There [it is done] solely out of
grief.1 If so, how explain what was
taught regarding this: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: When is this so? Only
if they [the garments] have not [actually] touched the bier, but if they
have, they are forbidden [for
use]?2 — 'Ulla interpreted this as
referring to a bier which is buried with
him,3 [the garments being forbidden]
because they might be confused with the vestments of the
Come and hear! 'One may not put money in a bag which was made to hold
Tefillin.5 But if one [incidentally]
put Tefillin in a bag, he may afterwards put money
therein'?6 — Let us put it thus: If
a man made it [for Tefillin] and placed Tefillin therein, it is forbidden
to put money in it: and this is in accordance with R.
Come and hear! 'If one says to a craftsman, Make me a sheath for a Scroll
[of the Law], or a receptacle for Tefillin,' before they are actually used
for their sacred purposes, they may be employed for secular requirements;
but once used for their sacred purposes they may not be put to secular use!'8
— There is here a dispute among Tannaim for it has been taught: If one overlaid
them [the Tefillin] with gold or covered them with the hide of an unclean
beast, they are unfit.9 If with the
hide of a clean beast, they are permissible, even though it was not dressed
for the purpose. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: Even if covered with the hide
of a clean beast, they are unfit, unless it was not specially dressed for
Rabina said to Raba: Is there any place where the dead lie while the shroud is being
woven?11 Yes, he answered; e.g., it
is so with the dead of
Harpania.12 Meremar said in a lecture:
The law rests with Abaye. But the Rabbis say: The law rests with Raba. In
fact the law is as Raba says.
Our Rabbis taught: The property of those executed by the
State13 belongs to the King: the property
of those executed by the Beth din belongs to their heirs. R. Judah said:
Even the property of those executed by the State goes to their heirs. Said
they to R. Judah: But it is not written, Behold he [Ahab] is in the vineyard
of Naboth whither he is gone down to take possession of
it?14 — He answered: He [Naboth]
was his [the King's] cousin,15 and
therefore he [Ahab] was his legitimate
heir.16 But he [Naboth] had many sons!
— He [the King] slew both him and his sons, he replied, as it is written,
Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his
sons.17 And the
Rabbis?18 — They refer to his potential
sons.19 Now, on the view that their
property belongs to the King, it is correct: hence it is said, Naboth did
curse God and the King.20 But on the
view that their estate belongs to their
heirs,21 why mention and the
King?22 — But even according to your
reasoning,23 why state,
'God'?24 Hence [it must have been
added] in order to increase the anger [of the
judges].25 So here
too,26 it [the mention of the King]
was made in order to increase the anger [of the
judges].27 Now, on the view that the
estate belongs to the King, it is correct: hence it is written, And Joab
fled unto the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the
Altar;28 and it is further written,
And he said Nay, but I will die
here.29 But on the view that their
estate belongs to their heirs, what difference did it make to him? — [It
would serve] to prolong his life for a
And Benaiah brought back word unto the King saying, thus said Joab and thus
he answered me:31 He [Joab] had said
to him: Go and tell him [the King]: Thou canst not inflict a twofold punishment
upon me:32 if thou slayest me, thou
must submit to the curses which thy father uttered against
me;33 but it thou art unwilling [to
submit thereto], thou must let me live and suffer from thy father's curses
against me. And the King said unto him, Do as he hath
said,34 and fall upon him and bury
Rab Judah said in Rab's name; All the curses wherewith David cursed Joab
were fulfilled in David's own descendants. [It is written:] Let there not
fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or
that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth by the sword, or that lacketh
bread.36 'He that hath an issue' [was
fulfilled] in Rehoboam,37 for it is
written, And king Rehoboam made
speed38 to get him up to his chariot
to flee to Jerusalem;39 whilst it
is elsewhere written, And what saddle soever he that hath the issue rideth
upon shall be unclean.40 'A leper'
— Uzziah,41 for it is written, But
when he was strong his heart was lifted up so that he did corruptly, and
he trespassed against the Lord his God, for he went unto the Temple of the
Lord to burn the incense upon the altar of
incense;42 and it is further written,
And the leprosy broke forth on his
forehead.43 'He that leaneth on a
staff' — Asa,44 for it is written,
Only in the time of his age he was diseased in his
feet:45 concerning which Rab Judah
said in Rab's name: He was afflicted with
gout.46 Mar Zutra the son of R. Nahman
asked R. Nahman; What is it [this complaint] like? — He answered: Like a
needle in the raw flesh. But how did he [R. Nahman] know that? — Either
because he himself suffered with it; alternatively, he had a tradition from
his teacher; or again [he knew it] because, The
secret47 of the Lord is with them
that fear Him, and His covenant to make them know
it.48 'He that falleth by the sword,'
— Josiah,49 for it is written, And
the archers shot at king
Josiah:50 concerning which Rab Judah
said in Rab's name: They riddled his body like a sieve. 'That lacketh bread'
— Jechoniah,51 for it is written,
And for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him [by the
king].52 Rab Judah said in Rab's name:
Thus people say,
Original footnotes renumbered.
But without seriously intending to devote the garments
to the dead. Therefore it is not regarded as designation at all.
But seeing that the act is done only out of grief and
there is no assignment to the dead at all, why should they be forbidden?
Such was the custom in those days.
I.e., the permission given to use the garments might
be taken as applying also to the vestments, seeing that they come in contact
with one another. Otherwise they might have been permitted for use, not because
assignment is not material, but because in this case it was only an expression
Although it had not actually been used for that purpose.
Hence assignment is material.
Who holds that both designation and actual use are needed
for prohibition. Cf. supra 48a.
V. Tosef Meg. II. This definitely proves that use and
not designation is material, and contradicts Abaye.
Cf. Shab. 108a on the verse in Ex. XIII, 9, That the
law of the Eternal may be in thy mouth, — they (the Tefillin) should be
made out of objects permissible for food.
Men. 42b. Git. 45b. thus, the first Tanna considers
designation as immaterial, whereas R. Simeon B. Gamaliel holds it to be a
material act. Hence Raba agrees with the first Tanna; Abaye is with R. Simeon
I.e., surely one does not wait for a person to die
and delay the funeral while a shroud is being woven. In that case, the dispute
of Abaye and Raba, whether a shroud woven for the dead (which means when
the person is actually dead) may be used for other purposes, is entirely
an imaginary one, such circumstances being inconceivable.
[Or Neharpania (v. D.S. a.l.), a town in Babylon in
the Mesene district, v. Obermeyer, op. cit., p. 197.] According to Rashi,
its inhabitants were so poor that they could not afford to prepare the shrouds
beforehand, and only after a death occurred was a public collection made,
and a shroud hastily woven. [According to Obermeyer, op. cit., p. 201, the
corpse in the meantime was lying naked in accordance with the Zoroastrian
practice which the Jews of that town seemed to have adopted which forbade
the covering or dressing of a corpse with any cloth but one that had been
specially woven and prepared for the purpose.]
The reference is to the Jewish State, e.g., those executed
for treason against the King.
So God said to Elijah. I Kings XXI, 18. The expression
'take possession' (from the verb 'to inherit') indicates that he took legitimate
possession, as an heir.
Lit., 'the son of his father's brother.'
This statement has no Biblical source.
II Kings IX, 26.
How could they urge the fact that he had sons in face
of the definite statement that they were slain?
Lit., 'to the sons that should have issued from him.'
— A murderer is held guilty not only of his victim's death, but also for
the frustration of the lives of his potential descendants for all time. (Cf.
Mishnah. supra 37a). But in their view, Ahab did not slay his actual sons.
I Kings XXI, 13, pointing to his culpability for treason
to the King in addition to blasphemy, which is punished by the Beth din;
hence his estate would fall to the crown.
So that Ahab took possession of the vineyard as heir.
Since blasphemy itself was sufficient for conviction,
why needlessly add a false indictment?
That treason was punished by death and royal confiscation.
The charge of blasphemy being in itself superfluous.
I.e., they might have been inclined to think that a
charge of treason alone was trumped up, but when blasphemy was added, they
assumed it to be genuine. So Rashi. Kimhi maintains that the judges knew
the testimony to be false, but that the accusation was made stronger in order
to keep the people from revolting against the execution.
I.e., even if he held that their estate did not belong
to the King.
I.e. to make the crime appear more heinous.
I Kings II, 28.
Ibid. 30. I.e., he declined to be tried by the King
so that his estate might not be confiscated.
He wished to gain the time which it would require to
take his message to the King and bring back an answer.
Ibid. This gives the impression that Benaiah had had
a long conversation with Joab.
Lit., 'that man.'
For the murder of Abner. V. II Sam. Ill, 29: The curse
is quoted in the text. — That curse then was to be Joab's punishment. But
if Solomon executed him, the curse would be transferred to Solomon himself.
And kill him where he is.
I Kings II, 31. Thus Solomon accepted the curses.
II Sam. III, 29.
Solomon's only son. V. I Kings XIV, 21.
Lit., 'used effort'.
I Kings XII, 18.
Lev. XV, 9. The deduction is made from a comparison
of the uses of the expression 'to ride' in both verses. According to Kimhi,
however, it is deduced from the fact that he had to use an effort to mount
Son of Amaziah, called also Azariah, Cf. II Kings XV,
II Chron. XXVI, 16.
Son of Abijah, King of Judah. II Kings XV, 8.
I Kings XV, 23.
Podagra, gout in the feet, in consequence of which
he had to lean on a staff.
E.V. 'The counsel.'
Ps. XXV, 14, — i.e., as a Divine revelation.
Son of Amon, II Kings XXII, 1.
II Chron. XXXV, 23.
Grandson of Josiah.
Of Babylon, II Kings XXV, 30.