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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nazir

Folio 38a

does not require the principle of combination.1  What interpretation does he put on the verse, 'Nothing that is made etc.'? — He requires it for the rule that one cannot become a nazirite without undertaking explicitly to abstain from all the things [that are forbidden a nazirite].2

R. Abbahu, quoting R. Eleazar, said: In none of the instances In the Torah requiring a quarter [of a log]3  does what is permitted combine with what is forbidden, with the exception of the quarter [of a log] of the nazirite, where the Torah uses the phrase 'soaked in'.4  What is the difference between R. Johanan5  and R. Eleazar? — It is that the former includes solid foods,6  the latter liquids only but no other things.

R. Eleazar said that there are ten quarters [of a log]7  and R. Kahana knew for a fact8  that five [involved] red [liquids]9  and five white.10  For the five red ones [there is the following mnemonic]:11  A nazirite and a celebrant of the passover who delivered judgment in the sanctuary and died. 'A nazirite' indicates the quarter [log] of wine [entailing a penalty] for the nazirite [who drinks it].12  'A celebrant of the passover' refers to the following dictum quoted by Rab Judah on behalf of Samuel viz: — Each of these four cups13  should contain sufficient [undiluted wine] to make a quarter of a log [of diluted wine].14  'Who delivered judgment' [refers to the law that] one who has partaken of a quarter of a log of wine must not render a decision.15  'In the sanctuary [refers to the law that a priest] who drinks a quarter of a log of wine and then enters the sanctuary renders himself liable to death penalty.16  'And they died' [indicates the following teaching]: For it has been taught, whence do we infer that a quarter of a log of blood taken from two corpses renders unclean the contents of a tent? Because it is said, Neither shall he go to any dead body.17

The five white [fluids are indicated in the following mnemonic]: The cake of a nazirite or a leper who were disqualified on the Sabbath. 'The cake' [signifies] the quarter of a log of oil for the cake;18  'of a nazirite', the quarter of a log of oil [that must be brought] by a nazirite;19  'or a leper,' the quarter of a log of water [that must be used] for a leper.20  'Disqualified' [indicates] what we have learnt: Other ritually defiled liquids render the body unfit21  if a quarter of a log [is partaken of].22  'On the Sabbath' [indicates] what we have learnt: For all other liquids [the legal quantity]23  is a quarter of a log, and for all waste liquids [the legal quantity] is a quarter of a log.

But is there no instance other than [the ten mentioned, requiring a quarter of a log?] There is surely the case: 'With a quarter [of a log of water] the hands of one person, and even of two may be washed [before food]'!24  Disputed cases are not included.25  But we have [also the following case]: He brought an earthenware phial and poured into it half a log of water from the laver.26  According to R. Judah it was only a quarter of a log'?27  — Disputed cases are not included.

But we have [also the following]: 'How much water must be poured [into the chamber-pot]?28  As little as one pleases. R. Zakkai said: It must be a quarter of a log'.29  — Disputed cases are not included.

But there is also the ritual-bath?30  — [There are ten cases] besides this one, for the Rabbis [subsequently] disallowed this quantity.31

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Because in his opinion there is a penalty even for a minute quantity of any one of the things forbidden the nazirite. V. supra 4a.
  2. Supra 3b.
  3. E.g., The quarter-log of blood that spreads defilement throughout a tent; Cf. infra 54a.
  4. Num. VI, 3.
  5. Who uses the term 'all the prohibitions of the Torah' instead of 'all quarters (of a log) in the Torah'. Supra 35b.
  6. In the scope of the application of the principle.
  7. In ten instances the quantity of fluid required by the Law is a quarter of a log.
  8. Lit., 'held in his hand'.
  9. Wine or blood.
  10. Water or oil.
  11. Each term of the mnemonic indicates one of the instances.
  12. Mishnah supra 34b
  13. That must he partaken of at the passover meal; v. Pes. X, 1.
  14. Wine was usually diluted with three parts of water, v. Pes. 108b.
  15. Inferred from the juxtaposition of the forbidding of wine to priests about to enter the sanctuary (Lev. X, 9) and the statement that a priest's duty is to 'teach (lit., 'render decisions for') the children of Israel'. (Ibid. V, 11).
  16. M. Ker. III, 3, inferred from Lev. X. 9.
  17. Lev. XXI, 11. Heb. 'nafshoth' in the plural, and so two or more corpses, v. Sanh. 4a.
  18. I.e., the unleavened portion of the thankoffering, which required half of what was brought for the whole thank-offering. V. Lev. VII, 12 and Men. 8 (Tosaf).
  19. Num. VI, 15.
  20. Lev. XIV, 5.
  21. I.e., ritually unclean.
  22. V. Me'il. 17b. [There the reading is 'all liquids'. Our text is difficult to explain; cf. Bertinoro on Mik. x, 7.]
  23. The removal of which from a public to a private domain carries with it a penalty for breach of the Sabbath.
  24. Yad. I, 1.
  25. This is not a unanimous opinion, R. Jose contending that each person requires a quarter of a log (ibid.).
  26. The Mishnah is describing the preparation of the 'bitter waters' to be drunk by a faithless wife. V. Lev. V, 17.
  27. Sotah II, 2.
  28. To enable one to say one's prayers in the same room.
  29. Ber. 25b.
  30. A ritual-bath containing a quarter of a log might be used for dipping small vessels such as needles to remove ritual defilement; v. Pes. 17b.
  31. And enacted that only a full-size ritual-bath containing 40 seahs was to be used even for needles. V. Hag. 21b.
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Nazir 38b

WHILST THERE IS NO PENALTY UNLESS HE EATS AN OLIVE'S BULK OF GRAPES etc.:] The first Tanna1  does not put all the things forbidden a nazirite on the same footing as drinking,2  whereas R. Akiba, because of the verse nor eat fresh grapes nor dried,3  says that just as in eating an olive's bulk [entails a penalty], so for all the prohibitions4  an olive's bulk [is sufficient to entail a penalty].

THERE IS A SEPARATE PENALTY FOR WINE etc. Our Rabbis taught: [The verse,] 'Nor eat fresh grapes nor dried' indicates that there is a penalty for [eating] the one by itself, and a penalty for [eating] the other by itself.5  From here a rule may be derived applicable to all prohibitions of the Torah.6  Just as here where we have a single species [grapes] known by two different names [fresh and dried], each entails a distinct penalty, so wherever we find a single species known by two different names, each entails a penalty distinct from the other. In this way, new wine and grapes are included.7

Abaye said: For eating pressed-grapes [the nazirite] is scourged twice;8  For eating grape-stones he is scourged twice; for eating both pressed-grapes and grape-stones he is scourged three times. Raba9  said: He is scourged once only [in the first two cases] since we do not scourge for [breach of] the prohibition expressed in general terms.

R. Papa raised an objection: [It is taught] R. Eleazar said that a nazirite who drank wine all day long would be scourged once only. If, however, he was warned, 'Do not drink', and again 'Do not drink', [and so on], there would be a penalty for each [warning]. If he ate fresh grapes, dried grapes, pressed-grapes, grape-stones, and squeezed a cluster of grapes and drank [the liquor] he would be scourged five times.10  Now if [Abaye is right] he should be scourged six times, including once on account of 'He shall eat nothing [that is made of the grape-vine]'? — [Abaye replied:] He mentioned some and omitted others.11  But what other [count] is omitted, that the one referred to12  should have been omitted?13  — He omitted, He shall not break his word.14  Had this last, however, been the only one, it would not have been considered an omission,15  [as it could be argued that R. Eleazar] mentioned only [those prohibitions] that are not found elsewhere, whereas this one is found in connection with ordinary vows too.16

Rabina of Parazikia17  said to R. Ashi: But he has in any case omitted the intermediate portion of the grape!18  — But said R. Papa19  [in reply to the various arguments advanced]: Five is not actually mentioned [in the Baraitha].20  But [R. Papa]

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. I.e. the 'earlier Mishnah' of our text, which prescribes a different legal quantity for drinking (viz.: a quarter of a log) than for eating.
  2. And so in other cases an olive's bulk entails a penalty. Thus the first Tanna makes no use of the arguments of R. Akiba given later at all.
  3. Num. VI, 3, the first half of which is the prohibition against drinking.
  4. Including drinking.
  5. So that in eating both together there will be a double penalty.
  6. Tosaf. has the preferable reading 'all prohibitions of the nazirite'.
  7. Although the first can be obtained simply by squeezing the second, a nazirite who partakes of both is scourged twice.
  8. The general prohibition contained in the verse, 'He shall eat nothing that is made of the grape-vine' is held by Abaye to add one scourging to the total number entailed by eating forbidden substances.
  9. In Pes. 41b, where this controversy also occurs, the names are interchanged, Raba's appearing before the statement here attributed to Abaye. V. D.S. a.l
  10. Tosef. Naz. IV, 1. (Here there is a variation based on the Mishnah infra 42a).
  11. I. e. 'five' does not represent the total number of counts, but there are five scourgings in addition to others on counts not mentioned.
  12. Viz., The general prohibition 'He shall eat nothing etc.'
  13. It is assumed that the Tanna would not ordinarily omit one count only.
  14. Num. XXX, 3. There would be stripes for breach of this injunction also.
  15. And so its omission cannot be used as a counter argument against Raba (Tosaf). Aliter 'This is not an omission at all, for R. Eleazar etc.' so that the original contradiction remains.
  16. There is thus a good reason for its omission, and so no objection to its being the only one omitted. (Tosaf.)
  17. [Or Parazika, Farausag, near Bagdad, Obermeyer, p. 269. Var. lec. Raba of Parazikia, v. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 15.]
  18. The pulp, which entails a separate penalty, (v. supra, 34b near end). This would be present in the squeezed cluster, so that there should be six counts apart from the other two.
  19. [Var. lec. Rabina; cf. n. 7.]
  20. The correct reading is '… he would be scourged on each count', so that both Abaye and Raba can interpret it to suit their opinions. Incidentally the objection of Rabina of Parazikia is also disposed of.

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