Now, if it be so [that a Noachide is bidden to sanctify the Divine Name], he should not have said this?1 — The one is private, the other public.2
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: A man once conceived a passion for a certain woman,3 and his heart was consumed by his burning desire [his life being endangered thereby]. When the doctors were consulted, they said, 'His only cure is that she shall submit.' Thereupon the Sages said: 'Let him die rather than that she should yield.' Then [said the doctors]; 'let her stand nude before him;' [they answered] 'sooner let him die'. 'Then', said the doctors, 'let her converse with him from behind a fence'. 'Let him die,' the Sages replied 'rather than she should converse with him from behind a fence.' Now R. Jacob b. Idi and R. Samuel b. Nahmani dispute therein. One said that she was a married woman; the other that she was unmarried. Now, this is intelligible on the view, that she was a married woman, but on the latter, that she was unmarried, why such severity? — R. Papa said: Because of the disgrace to her family. R. Aha the son of R. Ika said: That the daughters of Israel may not be immorally dissolute. Then why not marry her? — Marriage would not assuage his passion, even as R. Isaac said: Since the destruction of the Temple, sexual pleasure has been taken [from those who practise it lawfully] and given to sinners, as it is written, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.4
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING ARE BURNT: HE WHO COMMITS INCEST WITH A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER, AND A PRIEST'S ADULTEROUS DAUGHTER. THERE IS INCLUDED IN A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER' HIS OWN DAUGHTER, HIS DAUGHTER'S DAUGHTER, HIS SON'S DAUGHTER, HIS WIFE'S DAUGHTER AND THE DAUGHTER OF HER DAUGHTER OR SON, HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW, HER MOTHER, AND HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER.
GEMARA. The Mishnah does not state, 'He who commits incest with a woman whose daughter he has married', but 'HE WHO COMMITS INCEST WITH A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER'; this proves that both are forbidden. Who are they then? His mother-in-law and her mother. Then the Mishnah further states, THERE IS INCLUDED IN 'A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER'; this proves that the first are explicit and the others derived.5 Now this agrees with Abaye,6 who maintains that they7 differ as to the text from which the law is derived; hence the Mishnah is taught in accordance with R. Akiba's view.8 But on Raba's view, that they differ about his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death,9 with whom does the Mishnah agree? — Raba can answer you: Read [in the Mishnah] He who commits incest with a woman whose daughter he has married.
THERE IS INCLUDED IN 'A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW, HER MOTHER, AND HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER.
In Abaye's view,10 since the Mishnah desires to state — HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER, it adds HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW AND HER MOTHER. On Raba's view,11 because the Mishnah must teach 'HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER', and 'HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER', 'HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW' too is mentioned.
Whence do we know this? — For our Rabbis taught: And if a man take a woman and her mother [it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they.]12 This law refers only to a woman and her mother. Whence do I derive it for a woman and her daughter, or her daughter's daughter, or her son's daughter? The word zimmah [wickedness] occurs here, and is also written elsewhere:13 Just as there, her daughter, her daughter's daughter and her son's daughter [are meant by zimmah], so here too her daughter, her daughter's daughter, and her son's daughter [are included in the punishment of burning decreed for incest with them]. Whence do we know that males are as females? 'Wickedness' [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere; just as there, males are as females, so here too. Whence do we know that the lower is as the upper? 'Wickedness' [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere: just as there, the lower is as the upper, so here too; and just as here the upper is as the lower, so there too.14
The Master said: 'Whence do we know that males are as females?' What is meant by this? Shall we say that her son's daughter is equally forbidden as her daughter's daughter?15 But these are simultaneously derived!16 Again, if it means that his father-in-law's mother is as his mother-in-law's mother:17 but seeing that the latter is as yet unproven, why demonstrate that the former is equal thereto?18
Original footnotes renumbered.
- For thereby he tacitly concurred in Naaman's proposal.
- Naaman was to simulate idolatry in the Temple of Rimmon, where no Jews were present. This, according to the statement on 74b, is transgression in private. The problem however is whether he must publicly sanctify the Divine Name, i.e. in the presence of Jews.
- Lit., 'set his eyes on a certain woman.'
- Prov. IX, 17.
- The statement that a number of other women are included in the first cannot be literal, for in fact the meaning of 'a woman and her daughter' cannot be extended to include, e.g., his own daughter or his son's daughter. Hence it must mean that 'a woman and her daughter' are explicitly stated in the Bible, whilst the others are included as derivations from these two. Now since the wording of the Mishnah shows that both the first two are forbidden and that the only relation explicitly forbidden on pain of burning is his mother-in-law, it follows that 'a woman and her daughter' must mean his mother-in-law ('daughter') and her mother. And these are regarded as explicitly forbidden.
- V. infra 76b.
- R. Akiba and R. Ishmael.
- Who holds that the mother of his mother-in-law is explicitly prohibited.
- But as to his mother-in-law's mother there is a common agreement that the prohibition is only derived and not explicitly stated.
- That burning for the first two is explicitly decreed, so that they cannot be included in 'a woman etc.' but are identical therewith.
- That only his mother-in-law is explicitly forbidden on pain of death by fire, but not her mother.
- Lev. XX, 14.
- Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness, [H] (Lev. XVIII, 17).
- This is explained in the Gemara.
- The meaning being, the issue of males is prohibited just as that of females.
- From the gezarah shawah of zimmah.
- Thus teaching that incest with both is punished by fire.
- At this stage, nothing has been adduced to shew that incest with his mother-in-law's mother is thus punished, for 'a woman' has been translated literally. Consequently, only his mother-in-law is forbidden in this verse.
— Abaye said, This is what is meant: Whence do we know that his issue is as hers?1 The word 'zimmah' occurs here, and is also written elsewhere etc. But 'zimmah' is not written in connection with his issue?2 Raba answered: R. Isaac b. Abudimi said unto me: We learn identity of law from the fact that 'hennah' [they] occurs in two related passages, and likewise 'zimmah' [wickedness] in two.3
The Master said: 'Whence do we know that the lower is as the upper?' What is meant by 'lower' and 'upper'? Shall we say that her son's daughter and her daughter's daughter ['lower'] are as her own daughter ['upper']?4 But are not [all three] simultaneously derived?5 Again, if it means that his father-in-law's mother and his mother-in-law's mother are as his mother-in-law: then instead of 'the lower is as the upper', the Tanna should have said 'the upper is as the lower'?6 — Read, 'the upper is as the lower'. If so, [how explain] wickedness [zimmah] is stated here, and also elsewhere'; seeing that their very prohibition is as yet unknown, how can 'zimmah' be written in connection therewith?7 Abaye answered: This is its meaning: Whence do we know that the third generation above is treated as the third below?8 — The word 'zimmah' is written in connection with both the lower generation9 and the upper;10 just as in the lower, the third generation is forbidden also,11 so in the upper too;12 and just as the lower is assimilated to the upper in respect of punishment, so is the upper to the lower in respect of formal prohibition.13 R. Ashi said: After all, it is as taught:14 What then is the meaning of 'lower'? Lower in [gravity of the] prohibition.15
Now, if so,16 then just as her [i.e. his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother?17 — Abaye answered: The Writ sayeth, [The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover'] she is thy mother — 18 teaching: thou canst punish for [incest with] his mother, but not with his mother's mother.
Raba said: Whether we maintain, 'judge from it in its entirety', or19 'judge from it, and place it on its own basis', this could not be deduced.20 For on the view, 'judge from it in its entirety', [the deduction would proceed thus:] Just as her [his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother forbidden. [Then carrying the analogy] to its uttermost, just as in her case [i.e., incest with the former] is punished by fire so in his case [i.e., incest with the latter] is punished by fire. But on the view21 that burning is severer [than stoning]. This analogy can be refuted. [Thus:] Why is her case [forbidden]?22 Because her [his wife's] mother is similarly forbidden.23 But can you say the same in his case, seeing that his mother is forbidden [only] on pain of stoning!24 Moreover, his mother is forbidden on pain of stoning: shall his mother's mother be forbidden on pain of burning!25 Further, just as in her [his wife's] case, you have drawn no distinction between her mother and her mother's mother [both being forbidden on pain of burning], so in his, no distinction must be drawn between his mother and his mother's mother.26 And on the view that stoning is severer, the analogy cannot be deduced because of this last difficulty.27 Whilst on the view, 'judge from it and place it on its own basis,' [the deduction would proceed thus:] Just as her [his wife's] maternal grandmother is forbidden [to him], so is his maternal grandmother forbidden. But 'place it on its own basis', thus: in the former case the punishment is burning; but in the latter, stoning, the penalty which we find prescribed for incest with his mother. Now, on the view that burning is severer, this can be refuted,
Original footnotes renumbered.
- I.e., that his daughter, his son's daughter, or daughter's daughter by a mistress are forbidden to him on pain of burning just as wife's daughter, her son's daughter, and her daughter's daughter. For Lev. XVIII, 17 (cited on p. 508 n. 5) refers to the offspring of marriage, not of seduction or outrage. On this interpretation, 'male' refers to his issue, 'female' to his wife's.
- For that his issue is at all forbidden is derived not from Lev. XVIII, 17, but from Lev. XVIII, 10: The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for their's (hennah [H]) is thine own nakedness
- Supra 51a. In Lev. XVIII, 10 it is stated. The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover; for they (hennah) are thine own nakedness. Further, it is written (ibid. XVIII, 17): Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they (hennah) are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness (zimmah, [H]). Since hennah occurs in these two passages, they are identified with each other, and zimmah in the second passage, referring to her issue, is understood to be implicit in the first too, which refers to his issue. Then the first passage is further identified with Lev. XX, 14: And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness (zimmah): They shalt be burnt with fire: thus we derive burning for incest with his issue.
- So that 'lower' and 'upper' refer to the order of generations: 'lower', the third generation in the downward direction, viz. her son's daughter and her daughter's daughter; 'upper', one generation above them, viz., her daughter.
- As explained in that very passage.
- For the older generation is always referred to as the upper.
- Cf. p. 509 n. 4. At this stage, no verse has been adduced at all to show that his father-in-law's mother or his mother-in-law's mother are forbidden.
- I.e., just as his daughter's daughter and his son's daughter (the third generation below) are forbidden, so likewise his father-in-law's mother and mother-in-law's mother, the third generation above.
- Lev. XVIII, 17.
- lbid. XX, 14.
- I.e., his son's daughter and daughter.
- I.e., though only the second generation is explicitly interdicted, viz., his mother-in-law, the third is included too, viz., his mother-in-law's mother and his father-in-law's mother.
- For in Lev. XVIII, 10, where the third lower generation is forbidden, nothing is said about punishment, which is derived from Lev. XX, 14, as stated above. On the other hand, in Lev. XX, 14, which is made to include the third generation above, though only explicitly stating the second, no formal prohibition is given. This in turn is derived from Lev. XVIII, 10. (Both are derived through the medium of Lev. XVIII, 17, the connecting link between the other two.) On Abaye's interpretation it is necessary to amend the Baraitha from 'and the lower is as the upper', to 'that the upper is as the lower etc.'
- I.e., no emendation is necessary.
- I.e., 'the upper' or higher prohibition is that of his mother-in-law, his more immediate relation, whilst the prohibition of her mother, as also of his father-in-law's mother, is regarded as 'lower', i.e., weaker, as they are a generation further removed. Hence this is its meaning: Whence do we know that his mother-in-law's mother and his father-in-law's mother, whose relationships are lower (i.e., further removed, and consequently weaker) than his mother-in-law's, are treated as his mother-in-law? — It is derived from his wife's daughter: just as in the latter case, the 'lower' relation is as the 'upper' (stronger), i.e., his wife's daughter's daughter is as his wife's daughter, though more distant; so here too, his mother-in-law's mother is as she herself. This deduction is in respect of equal punishment. The second clause is explained by R. Ashi as Abaye, as referring to the prohibition.
- This reverts to the explanation of 'whence do we know that males are regarded as females', as meaning, 'whence do we know that his relations are regarded as hers?'
- Whereas in Yeb. 21a the prohibition of the latter is regarded as Rabbinical only, whilst the former is Biblical.
- Lev. XVIII, 7.
- Lit., 'whether according to the one (Tanna) who says … or whether according to the one who says etc.'
- A verse is unnecessary, because his maternal grandmother could not be deduced from the gezerah shawah based on zimmah, whatever view be held on the scope of a gezerah shawah. There are two views on this. One is that the identity of law taught by a gezerah shawah must hold good in all respects, so that the case deduced is equal to the premise in all points; this is called 'judge from it and from (all) of it'. An opposing view is that the analogy holds good only in respect of the main question at issue, but that thereafter, the case deduced may diverge from its premise. This is called, 'judge from it, but place it on its own basis', i.e., confine the analogy to the main question, not to the subsidiary points.
- Lit., 'but according to the one Tanna who says that, etc.'
- I.e., the reason that his wife's maternal grandmother is forbidden on pain of burning.
- Hence, since the prohibition of his wife's mother is so severe, it is natural that it should extend to her maternal grandmother too.
- Surely not! Since the prohibition is weaker, its punishment being more lenient, its extent too may be more limited, and not include his maternal grandmother.
- Surely there cannot be a severer punishment for the latter, a more distant relative, than for the former. Yet if the latter be derived at all by this gezerah shawah, the punishment must be burning, on this view that the analogy must be carried through on all points.
- Just as incest with his mother is punished by stoning, so with his mother's mother. But making the analogy from another angle, the latter should be punished by burning, as has already been shewn. Hence, by a reductio ad absurdum, we are forced to dismiss the entire analogy.
- Though the former two do not arise.