AND WHAT MAN IS THERE THAT HATH BETROTHED A WIFE? etc. Our Rabbis taught: 'That hath betrothed' — it is all one whether he betrothed a virgin or a widow or a childless widow waiting for her brother-in-law; and even when there are five brothers, one of whom died in battle, they all return home.10 [The fact that Scripture does not read] 'and hath not taken' but 'and hath not taken her' is to exclude a High Priest who married a widow, an ordinary priest who married a divorcee or a Haluzah, a lay Israelite who married an illegitimate or a Nethinah, or a daughter of an Israelite married to an illegitimate or a Nathin. Is this to say that [this teaching is] not in agreement with R. Jose the Galilean? For if it agreed with R. Jose the Galilean, behold he has said: 'Fainthearted' i.e., he who is afraid because of the transgressions he had committed!11 — You may even say that it agrees with R. Jose the Galilean, and it is in accord with Rabbah; for Rabbah said: He is certainly not guilty until he has cohabited with her. For what is the reason [of the prohibition] shall he not take?12 So that he shall not profane [his seed].13 Hence he does not receive the punishment of lashes14 until he has cohabited with her.
Our Rabbis taught: [The order of the phrases is] 'that hath built', 'that hath planted', 'that hath betrothed'. The Torah has thus taught a rule of conduct: that a man should build a house, plant a vineyard and then marry a wife. Similarly declared Solomon in his wisdom, Prepare thy work without, and make it ready for thee in the field, and afterwards build thine house15 — 'prepare thy work without', i.e., a dwelling. place; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., a vineyard; 'and afterwards build thine house', i.e., a wife. Another interpretation is: 'prepare thy work without', i.e., Scripture; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., Mishnah; 'and afterwards build thine house', i.e., Gemara. Another explanation is: 'prepare thy work without', i.e., Scripture and Mishnah; 'and make it ready for thee in the field', i.e., Gemara; 'and afterwards build thine house,' i.e., good deeds. R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose the Galilean says: 'Prepare thy work without,' i.e., Scripture: Mishnah and Gemara; 'and make it ready for thee in the field,' i.e., good deeds; 'and afterwards build thine house, i.e., make research [in the Torah] and receive the reward.
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT RETURN HOME: HE WHO BUILT A LODGE etc. A Tanna taught: If [when rebuilding the house] he adds a row [of fresh bricks] to it, he does return home.16
R. ELIEZER SAYS: ALSO HE WHO BUILT A BRICK-HOUSE IN SHARON DOES NOT RETURN HOME. A Tanna taught: [The reason is] because they have to renew it twice in a period of seven years.
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT MOVE FROM THEIR PLACE: HE WHO BUILT A NEW HOUSE AND DEDICATED IT etc. Our Rabbis taught: A new wife17 — I have here only 'a new wife'; whence is it [that the law applies also to] a widow and divorcee? There is a text to state 'wife', i.e., in every case. Why, however, does the text state 'a new wife'? [It means] one who is new to him, thus excluding the case of a man who takes back his divorced wife, since she is not new to him.
Our Rabbis taught: He shall not go out in the host18 — and it is possible to think that he does not go out in the host, but he supplies water and food and repairs the roads [for the army]; therefore there is a text to state, 'Neither shall he be charged with any business'. It is possible to think that I am also to include [among those who do not move from their place] the man who built a house but did not dedicate it, or planted a vineyard and did not use its fruit, or betrothed a wife but did not take her; therefore there is a text to state, 'Neither shall he be charged' — but you may charge others.19 Since, however, it is written 'Neither shall he be charged', what is the purpose of 'He shall not go out in the host'?20 So that a transgression of the Law should involve two prohibitions.
MISHNAH. AND THE OFFICERS SHALL SPEAK FURTHER UNTO THE PEOPLE ETC.21 R. AKIBA SAYS: 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD LITERALLY VIZ., HE IS UNABLE TO STAND IN THE BATTLE-RANKS AND SEE A DRAWN SWORD. R. JOSE THE GALILEAN SAYS: 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED' ALLUDES TO ONE WHO IS AFRAID BECAUSE OF THE TRANSGRESSIONS HE HAD COMMITTED; THEREFORE THE TORAH CONNECTED ALL THESE22 WITH HIM THAT HE MAY RETURN HOME ON THEIR ACCOUNT.23 R. JOSE SAYS: A HIGH PRIEST WHO MARRIED A WIDOW, AN ORDINARY PRIEST WHO MARRIED A DIVORCEE OR HALUZAH, A LAY ISRAELITE WHO MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR NETHINAH, AND THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE WHO MARRIED AN ILLEGITIMATE OR A NATHIN-BEHOLD SUCH AN ONE IS 'FEARFUL AND FAINTHEARTED'.24
AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN THE OFFICERS HAVE MADE AN END OF SPEAKING UNTO THE PEOPLE, THAT THEY SHALL APPOINT CAPTAINS OF HOSTS AT THE HEAD OF THE PEOPLE.25 AND AT THE REAR OF THE PEOPLE THEY STATION GUARDS IN FRONT OF THEM AND OTHERS BEHIND THEM, WITH IRON AXES IN THEIR HANDS, AND SHOULD ANYONE WISH TO FLEE, THEY HAVE PERMISSION TO SMITE HIS THIGHS,
Sotah 44bBECAUSE THE BEGINNING OF FLIGHT IS FALLING,1 AS IT IS SAID, ISRAEL IS FLED BEFORE THE PHILISTINES, AND THERE HATH BEEN A GREAT SLAUGHTER AMONG THE PEOPLE;2 AND FURTHER ON IT STATES, AND THE MEN OF ISRAEL FLED FROM BEFORE THE PHILISTINES AND FELL DOWN SLAIN ETC.3
TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO VOLUNTARY WARS, BUT IN THE WARS COMMANDED BY THE TORAH4 ALL GO FORTH EVEN A BRIDEGROOM FROM HIS CHAMBER AND A BRIDE FROM HER CANOPY.5 R. JUDAH SAYS: TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO THE WARS COMMANDED BY THE TORAH; BUT IN OBLIGATORY WARS6 ALL GO FORTH, EVEN A BRIDEGROOM FROM HIS CHAMBER AND A BRIDE FROM HER CANOPY.
GEMARA. What is the difference between R. Jose and R. Jose the Galilean?7 — The issue between them is the transgression of a Rabbinical ordinance.8 With whom does the following teaching accord: He who speaks between [donning] one phylactery and the other9 has committed a transgression and returns home under the war-regulations? With whom [does it accord]? With R. Jose the Galilean. Who is the Tanna of the following: Our Rabbis taught: If he heard the sound of trumpets and was terror-stricken, or the crash of shields and was terror-stricken, or [beheld] the brandishing of swords and the urine discharged itself upon his knees, he returns home? With whom [does it accord]? Are we to say that it is with R. Akiba and not R. Jose the Galilean?10 — In such a circumstance even R. Jose the Galilean admits [that he returns home], because it is written: Lest his brethren's heart melt as his heart.11
AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN THE OFFICERS HAVE MADE AN END etc. The phrase, BECAUSE THE BEGINNING OF FLIGHT IS FALLING should be, 'because falling is the beginning of flight'! Read [in the Mishnah]: Because falling is the beginning of flight.
TO WHAT DOES ALL THE FOREGOING APPLY? TO VOLUNTARY WARS etc. R. Johanan said: [A war] which is [designated] voluntary according to the Rabbis is commanded according to R. Judah,12 and [a war] which is [designated] commanded according to the Rabbis is obligatory according to R. Judah.13 Raba said:14 The wars waged by Joshua to conquer [Canaan] were obligatory in the opinion of all; the wars waged by the House of David for territorial expansion were voluntary in the opinion of all; where they differ is with regard to [wars] against heathens so that these should not march against them. One15 calls them commanded and the other voluntary, the practical issue being that one who is engaged in the performance of a commandment is exempt from the performance of another commandment.16
MISHNAH. [THE DECLARATION OVER] THE HEIFER WHOSE NECK IS TO BE BROKEN MUST BE IN THE HOLY TONGUE; AS IT IS SAID, IF ONE BE FOUND SLAIN IN THE EARTH … THEN THY ELDERS AND THY JUDGES SHALL COME FORTH.17 THREE USED TO GO FORTH FROM THE SUPREME COURT IN JERUSALEM; R. JUDAH SAYS: FIVE, AS IT IS STATED, THY ELDERS, I.E., TWO, 'AND THY JUDGES' I.E., TWO, AND SINCE A COURT OF JUSTICE CANNOT CONSIST OF AN EVEN NUMBER, THEY ADD ONE MORE.
IF [THE CORPSE] WAS FOUND HIDDEN IN A HEAP OF STONES, OR HANGING ON A TREE, OR FLOATING UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER, THEY DO NOT BREAK [A HEIFER'S NECK]. BECAUSE IT IS STATED, 'IN THE EARTH' — AND NOT HIDDEN IN A HEAP OF STONES, NOR HANGING ON A TREE IN A FIELD, NOR FLOATING UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER. IF IT WAS FOUND NEAR TO THE FRONTIER, OR A CITY THE MAJORITY OF WHOSE INHABITANTS WERE HEATHENS, OR A CITY IN WHICH THERE IS NO COURT OF JUSTICE, THEY DO NOT BREAK [A HEIFER'S NECK]. THEY ONLY MEASURE18 THE DISTANCE TO A CITY IN WHICH THERE IS A COURT OF JUSTICE.
GEMARA. How does [the author of the Mishnah] prove his point?19 — R. Abbahu said: This is what he intends: It is stated: And they shall answer and say20 and elsewhere it is stated: And the Levites shall answer and say etc.,21 as the answering mentioned in this latter passage was in the holy tongue, so here also it was in the holy tongue, and as to the procedure in the ceremony of the heifer whose neck was to be broken — IF ONE BE FOUND SLAIN IN THE EARTH … THEN THY ELDERS AND THY JUDGES SHALL COME FORTH. THREE USED TO GO FORTH FROM THE SUPREME COURT IN JERUSALEM; R. JUDAH SAYS: FIVE etc.
Our22 Rabbis taught: 'Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth' — 'thy elders', i.e., two, 'and thy judges', i.e., two, and since a Court of justice cannot consist of an even number, they add one more; hence there were five. Such is the statement of R. Judah; but R. Simeon says: 'Thy elders', i.e., two, and since a Court of Justice cannot consist of an even number, they add one more; hence there were three. But for R. Simeon also it is written 'and thy judges'! — He requires that for [the teaching that they must be] the most distinguished of thy judges. And [where does] R. Judah [derive the teaching that they must be the most distinguished]? — It follows from 'thy' in 'thy elders'.23 [How does] R. Simeon [meet this argument]? — If the All-Merciful had only written 'elders', I might have thought that even old men from the market-place [would suffice]; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'thy elders'. If, further, the All-Merciful had only written 'thy elders', I might have thought that even [members of] a minor Sanhedrin24 [would suffice]; therefore the All-Merciful wrote 'and thy judges' i.e., the most distinguished of thy judges. [Where does] R. Judah [derive the teaching that they must be members of the Supreme Court]? — He draws an analogy between the use of the word 'elders' here and in the phrase the elders of the Congregation;25 as it there denotes the most distinguished men of the congregation so here also it denotes the most distinguished men of the congregation. If he makes a deduction, then let him deduce the whole from there and what is the necessity of 'and thy judges'!26 — But the 'and' in 'and thy judges' [denotes that the phrase is to be used] for obtaining the requisite number. [How does] R. Simeon [meet this argument]?27
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