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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth

Folio 82a

— R. Judah follows his own view; for he stated:1  The law of neutralization takes no effect in homogeneous objects.2  [Had the piece] not been crushed, however, what [would have been the law]? Assumingly that it could not be neutralized! Why. then, was it taught. 'If, however, a piece of a levitically clean sin-offering was mixed up with a hundred pieces of clean and unconsecrated meat … neutralization cannot take place'?3  Let the distinction be drawn in [the case of consecrated meat] itself, thus: This4  applies only where it5  was crushed; but when it was not crushed it may not be neutralized! — He preferred [to speak of] a mixture of clean with clean.6

According to Resh Lakish,7  wherein lies the difference between the first clause and the final clause?8  — R. Shisha the son of R. Idi replied: The first clause deals with uncleanness that was due to liquids,9  which is only Rabbinical,10  while the final clause [deals with a prohibition]11  which is Pentateuchal.12  What, however, [would be the law in the case of] uncleanness through a reptile?13  Assumingly that no neutralization is permitted! Why, then, did he state in the final clause, 'If, however, a piece of levitically clean sin-offering was mixed up with a hundred pieces of clean and unconsecrated meat … neutralization cannot take place'?14  Let the distinction rather be drawn in [respect of consecrated meat] itself, thus: This15  applies only to uncleanness due to liquids, but when it is due to a reptile it may not be neutralized! — He preferred [to speak] of a mixture of clean with clean.16

Rabbah replied:17  The first clause [deals with] a prohibition under a negative precept18  while the final clause [deals with] one that involves the penalty of kareth.19  But surely was it not Rabbah who stated that in all Pentateuchal prohibitions there is no difference20  between a prohibition that is due to a negative precept and one that involves kareth!21  — This is a difficulty.

R. Ashi replied:17  [The law22  in the] final clause is due to the fact that [the consecrated food] is an object which may be made23  permissible,24  and any object which [in certain circumstances] becomes permitted24  cannot be neutralized even in a thousand.25  This statement of R. Ashi, however, is mere fiction.26  For to whom [would the mixture become permitted]!27  To28  the priest it is permitted [all the time];29  to the Israelite28  it is for ever forbidden!30  The statement of R. Ashi must consequently be regarded as mere fiction. But is R. Johanan of the opinion that terumah at the present time31  is Pentateuchal?32  Surely it was taught: If in front of two baskets, one of which contained unconsecrated fruit and the other that of terumah, were two se'ah measures, one containing unconsecrated fruit and the other that of terumah, and the latter fell into the former, behold these are permitted,33  for it is assumed that the terumah fell into the terumah and the unconsecrated fruit fell into the unconsecrated fruit.34  And [in reference to this ruling] Resh Lakish stated: 'Only if the unconsecrated fruit35  was more than that of the terumah';36  while R. Johanan stated, 'Even if the unconsecrated fruit were no more than the terumah'.37  Now, according to Resh Lakish38  the ruling39  may well be justified since he may hold the opinion that with Rabbinically [forbidden food] also it is necessary40  to have a larger quantity [of the permitted food]. According to R. Johanan.41  however, a difficulty arises!42  'This'43  [R. Johanan may reply] 'is the view of44  the Rabbis,45

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Zeb. 79a, Men. 22b.
  2. Lit., 'a kind in its kind does not cease to exist'.
  3. Thus drawing a distinction between a mixture of consecrated and unconsecrated meat.
  4. That neutralization takes place.
  5. The piece of the sin-offering.
  6. To indicate that even in such a case, where the law of neutralization might have been expected to apply (cf. Ter. V. 3-4). the mixture remains forbidden.
  7. Who explained the Baraitha under discussion to refer to a crushed piece.
  8. In either case the piece is Pentateuchally forbidden. As neutralization takes place in the case of the first clause owing to the insignificant value of the piece. neutralization should also take place, for the same reason, in the case of the final clause! According to R. Johanan, the reason for the difference between the two clauses has been explained supra p. 553, n. 6.
  9. If the crushed mixture was contained, for instance. in a vessel that had been in contact with unclean liquids.
  10. Pentateuchally no unclean liquid can impart uncleanness to a vessel.
  11. The consumption of consecrated food by a non-priest.
  12. Food Pentateuchally forbidden, if mixed with other food of the same kind, cannot be neutralized, according to this opinion. even if it is sold in bulk.
  13. Pentateuchal uncleanness.
  14. V. supra note 2.
  15. That neutralization takes place.
  16. V. supra p. 554, n. 5.
  17. To the objection raised against Resh Lakish.
  18. That of eating consecrated meat which is unclean. V. Lev. VII, 19.
  19. Were the crushed mixture which contained a piece of consecrated meat to be regarded as neutralized and treated like unconsecrated meat, it might be eaten by an unclean person who would thus incur the penalty of kareth for eating consecrated meat during his uncleanness. Cf. Lev. VII, 20.
  20. In respect of preventive measures enacted by the Rabbis.
  21. Infra 219a, where, however, the reading is 'Raba'.
  22. Disallowing neutralization.
  23. If the consumer is, for instance, a priest.
  24. Even though no neutralization were to take place.
  25. Times its quantity.
  26. [H] v. B. M., Sonc. ed., p. 47. n. 1.
  27. The law which rules out neutralization in the case of objects which may attain to a state of permissibility without this process, is applicable only to such objects as become permissible, i.e., which emerge from a state of prohibition into one of permissibility. Cf. Bezah 3b.
  28. Lit., 'if to'.
  29. He may eat the piece of consecrated food even if it were never mixed up with the unconsecrated food.
  30. If no neutralization were to be allowed.
  31. After the destruction of the Temple.
  32. As stated supra 81a.
  33. Even an Israelite may eat from the basket that contained the unconsecrated fruit.
  34. Tosef. Ter. VI end; Pes. 9b, 44a; Naz. 36b.
  35. In the basket.
  36. In the se'ah measure. Only in such a case is the assumption mentioned made, because the terumah representing the smaller quantity might be regarded as neutralized even if it had fallen into the basket of the unconsecrated fruit.
  37. No excess of unconsecrated fruit is necessary since the assumption mentioned is alone sufficient to establish the permissibility of the unconsecrated fruit.
  38. Who, as stated supra, regards terumah at the present time as Rabbinical.
  39. In the Baraitha cited.
  40. To make the mentioned assumption.
  41. In whose opinion terumah is Pentateuchal at the present time also.
  42. How could the assumption mentioned be made in the case of a prohibition which is Pentateuchal!
  43. The ruling in the Baraitha cited.
  44. Lit., 'this according to whom?'
  45. Who hold that terumah at the present time is only Rabbinical.
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Yebamoth 82b

while I maintain the view of R. Jose'.1  For it was taught in Seder 'Olam:2  Which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it,3  they had a first,4  and a second5  possession,6  but they had no third one;7  and R. Johanan stated, 'Who is the author of Seder 'Olam? R. Jose'.8

But is R. Johanan of the opinion that in respect of a Rabbinically forbidden object no excess is required?9  Surely we learned: A ritual bath containing exactly forty se'ah [of water]10  to which one se'ah11  was added and from which one se'ah12  was taken off, is deemed to be ritually fit.13  And R. Judah b. Shila stated in the name of R. Assi in the name of R. Johanan. 'As much as its greater part'.14  Does not this mean that the greater part must remain?15  — No; that the greater part must not be removed.16  And if you prefer I might say: Here17  it is different,18  since it may be said, 'For it is assumed'.19

We learned, THE HERMAPHRODITE MAY MARRY [A WIFE]!20  — Read, 'If he married',21  But, surely, it was stated MAY MARRY!22  — And even in accordance with your view what is the meaning of BUT MAY NOT BE MARRIED [BY A MAN]?23  Consequently it must be granted that as MAY … BE MARRIED23  implies an act that had already been performed, so also MAY MARRY implies an act that had already been performed. It may still be urged: No;24  MAY MARRY implies that the act is permissible; but MAY NOT BE MARRIED23  implies, not even if the act had already been performed.25  But surely since it was taught in the final clause, R. ELIEZER STATED: [FOR COPULATION WITH] AN HERMAPHRODITE THE PENALTY OF STONING IS INCURRED AS [IF HE WERE] A MALE, it is to be inferred that the first Tanna was doubtful on the point!26  — The law27  was clear to the one Master as well as to the other Master; the only difference between them was the question of stoning for copulation through either of his two organs. One Master28  was of the opinion that the penalty of stoning is incurred by copulation through either of the two organs,29  while the other Master30  was of the opinion [that it is incurred through the male organ only] AS [IF HE WERE] A MALE.

Rab said:

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Who stated in our Mishnah that the hermaphrodite may confer upon his wife the right of eating terumah. It was in reference to this that R. Johanan had stated that the hermaphrodite may also confer upon his wife the right of eating the breast and the shoulder, which are Pentateuchally ordained, since terumah also according to R. Jose is even at the present time a Pentateuchal ordinance.
  2. Lit., 'Order of the World', a chronological work compiled in the first half of the second century by R. Jose b. Halafta.
  3. Deut. XXX. 5, [H] the rt. of [H] is repeated.
  4. After the conquest in the days of Joshua
  5. In the days of Ezra.
  6. The sanctity of Eretz Israel having ceased with the destruction of the first Temple and the Babylonian exile, a second 'posses sion was necessary to restore to the land its sanctity.
  7. Which was not necessary, the second sanctification having remained for all time. As the land thus remained sacred the Pentateuchal obligation of terumah also remained in force.
  8. V. Nid. 46b.
  9. To effect neutralization. It is now assumed that the reason why R. Johanan maintains that 'even if the unconsecrated fruit were no more than the terumah' it is permitted is because, in the case of a Rabbinical prohibition, neutralization is effected by the mere accident of the mixing of consecrated with unconsecrated fruit even though the latter did not form the larger part and not because he relies on the above mentioned assumption.
  10. The minimum quantity of water that constitutes a ritual bath.
  11. Of unsuitable liquid.
  12. Of the entire quantity of forty-one se'ah.
  13. Mik. VII, 2. The se'ah of unsuitable liquid is regarded as having been neutralized in the forty se'ah of water, so that when one se'ah of the mixture was subsequently removed, the minimum of forty se'ah of suitable liquid still remained in the bath.
  14. Zeb. 22a. This is explained presently.
  15. I.e., se'ah after se'ah of unsuitable liquid may be added and an equal quantity of the mixture may be successively removed only until a minimum of twenty-one se'ah of suitable water remains in the bath. Should there remain less, so that the suitable liquid no longer represents the greater part of the mixture, the bath would become ritually unfit. This (the unsuitability of certain liquids in a ritual bath being only a Rabbinical provision) proves that according to R. Johanan an excess is required even in the case of Rabbinical ordinances!
  16. If only half of the suitable water remained the unsuitable liquid is neutralized, no excess being required.
  17. The case in the Baraitha of Terumoth.
  18. From the case of the ritual bath or other Rabbinical ordinances where an excess may in fact be required.
  19. 'That the terumah fell into the terumah and the unconsecrated fruit etc.' (v. supra), so that no forbidden food had ever entered the basket of the unconsecrated fruit. Such an assumption is obviously inapplicable in the case of the bath.
  20. taub. This shews that he is regarded as a proper male. As such he should confer upon his wife the right to eat of the breast and the shoulder. How then could Resh Lakish maintain supra that he does not?
  21. [H] i.e., if marriage had already taken place it is valid in so far as to require a letter of divorce for its dissolution since it is possible that he is a male. Originally, however, no such marriage is permitted owing to the equal possibility that he is not a male but a female.
  22. Implying that marriage may be contracted in the first instance.CF. supra n. 1.
  23. [H]. Perfect. Surely this cannot refer to marriage in the first instance but to a marriage already performed?
  24. The two expressions are not identical.
  25. The difficulty against the view of Resh Lakish consequently remains, while the opinion of R. Johanan receives confirmation.
  26. Whether the hermaphrodite is to be regarded as a male. This, then, presents an objection against the view of R. Johanan.
  27. That the hermaphrodite is regarded as a male.
  28. The first Tanna.
  29. Even if it was effected through his female organ.
  30. R. Eliezer.
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