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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
how1 could an Egyptian of the second generation ever attain purity!2 But is not this possible when he transgressed and did marry one?3 — Scripture4 would not have written of a case of 'when'.5 Behold the case of the bastard which is one of 'when'6 and yet Scripture did write it!7 — It wrote of a 'when' [leading] to a prohibition;8 it would not have written of a 'when' [if it led] to permissibility.9 Behold the case of the man who remarried his divorced wife,10 which involves a 'when' [leading] to a permitted act11 and yet did Scripture write of it! — In that case it was written mainly for the purpose of the original prohibition.12
Our Rabbis taught: If the expression of sons13 was used, why was also that of generations13 used; and if that of generations was used, why also that of sons?14 If the expression of 'sons' had been used and not that of 'generations'15 it might have been assumed that only the first and second son is forbidden but that the third16 is permitted, the expression of 'generations'17 was, therefore, used. And had the expression of 'generations' only been used and not that of sons,18 it might have been assumed that the precept was given only to those who stood at Mount Sinai,19 the expression of sons' was therefore used.20 Unto them,21 Count from them.22 Unto them.23 Be guided by the status of the ineligible among them.24
It was necessary [for Scripture] to write Unto them,25 and it was also necessary for it to write, That are born.25 For had the All Merciful written only. 'That are born', it might have been presumed that the counting must begin from their children,26 hence did the All Merciful write 'Unto them'.27 And had the All Merciful written only 'Unto them',28 it might have been presumed that, where a pregnant Egyptian woman became a proselyte, she and her child are regarded as one generation. hence did the All Merciful write. 'That are born'.29
It was, furthermore, necessary to write Unto them28 in this case,30 and Unto him31 in respect of the bastard. For had the All Merciful used the expression here only,30 [the restriction32 might have been assumed to apply to this case only], because the child descended from a tainted origin.33 but not to a bastard, since he is descended from an untainted origin.34 And had the All Merciful written the expression in respect of the bastard, [the restriction32 might have been presumed to apply to him only]. because he is for all time unfit to enter into the assembly, but not in this case.35 [Both texts were, therefore,] required.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana stated in the name of R. Johanan: If an Egyptian of the second generation married an Egyptian woman of the first generation, her son is [regarded as belonging to the] third generation. From this it is obvious that he36 is of the opinion that the child is ascribed to him.37
R. Joseph raised an objection: R. Tarfon said, 'Bastards may attain to purity. How? If a bastard married a female slave, their child is a slave. When, however, he38 is emancipated he becomes a free man'.39 This40 clearly proves that the child is ascribed to her! — There it is different, because Scripture said, The wife and her children shall be her master's.41
Raba raised an objection: R. Judah related, 'Menjamin, an Egyptian proselyte. was one of my colleagues among the disciples of R. Akiba, and he once told me: I am an Egyptian of the first generation and married an Egyptian wife of the first generation; and I shall arrange for my son to marry an Egyptian wife of the second generation in order that my grandson shall be eligible to enter the congregation'.42 Now, if it could be assumed that the child is ascribed to his father, [he could have married a wife] even of the first generation!43 — The fact is that44 R. Johanan said to the Tanna:45 Read, '[a woman of the] first generation'.
When R. Dimi came46 he stated in the name of R. Johanan: If an Egyptian of the second generation married an Egyptian wife of the first generation. her son is [regarded as belonging to the] second generation. From this it is obvious that a child is ascribed to his mother.
Said Abaye to him: What then of the following statement of R. Johanan. 'If a man set aside a pregnant beast as a sin-offering and it then gave birth, his atonement may be made, if he desires, with the beast itself, and, if he prefers, his atonement may be made with her young'.47 This law would be intelligible if you admit that an embryo is not regarded as a part48 of its mother, since this case would be similar to that of one who set aside as a security two sin-offerings,49 in respect of which R. Oshaia had stated that a man who set aside two sin-offerings as a security49 is to be atoned for with either of them, while the other goes to the pasture.50 If you maintain, however, that an embryo is a part51 of its mother, the former is like the young of a sin-offering,52 and the young of a sin-offering is sent to die!53 The other remained silent. 'Is it not possible', the first said to him, 'that there54 it is different.55 since it is written That are born,56 Scripture made it dependent on birth'?57 — 'Clever man',58 the other replied, 'I saw your chief59 between the pillars60 when R. Johanan gave the following traditional ruling: The reason61 here is because it was written, That are born;56 elsewhere, however, the child is ascribed to the father'.62
What, however, of the following statement of Raba. 'If a pregnant gentile woman was converted, there is no need for her son to perform ritual immersion'.63 Why64 is there no need for him to perform immersion? Should you reply that it65 is due to a ruling of R. Isaac; for R. Isaac stated: Pentateuchally [a covering of] the greater part,66 if one objects to it,67 constitutes legally an interposition,68 and if one does not object to,69 no legal interposition is constituted;70
surely [it may be retorted] R. Kahana stated: This applies only in respect of its greater part, but when the whole of it is effected a legal interposition is constituted!1 — The case of the embryo is different since its position2 is that of its natural growth.3
'Among the other nations follow the male, as it was taught: Whence is it deduced that if one of the other nations8 cohabited with a Canaanitish9 woman and begat a son, that son may be purchased as a slave?10 It is said, Moreover of the children of the strangers11 that do sojourn among you, of them may ye buy.12 As it might have been assumed that even if one of the Canaanites9 had cohabited with one of the women of the other [gentile] nations8 and begat a son, you may buy that son as a slave, it was explicitly stated, That they have begotten in your land;12 only from those who were begotten13 in your land, but not from those who dwell in your land.14
'If they are converted, follow the more tainted of the two'. In what case? If it be suggested that it refers to an Egyptian15 who married an Ammonitess,16 how could the expression 'the more tainted of the two', be applicable when Scripture explicitly said, An Ammonite,'17 but not an Ammonitess?18 — Rather, the reference is to an Ammonite19 who married an Egyptian wife.20 If [the child of such a marriage] is a male, he is ascribed to the Ammonite;21 if it is a female, she is ascribed to the Egyptian.22
GEMARA. Resh Lakish said: A woman bastard is eligible25 after ten generations. This is derived from an analogy between tenth,26 and tenth27 mentioned in respect of the Ammonite and the Moabite; as in the latter case the females are permitted27 so are they permitted in the former case.28 Should you suggest that as in the latter case eligibility begins forthwith so it does in the former case, [it may be replied] that the analogy can only be effective in respect of the generations after the tenth.29 But, surely, we learned, BASTARDS AND NETHINIM ARE INELIGIBLE, AND THEIR INELIGIBILITY IS FOR ALL TIME, WHETHER THEY BE MALES OR FEMALES!30 — This is no difficulty: One statement31 is in agreement with him who holds32 that a deduction is carried through in all respects,33 while the other34 is in agreement with him who maintains32 that a deduction is restricted by its original basis.35
R. Eliezer was asked: What [is the legal position36 of] a female bastard after ten generations? 'Were anyone to present to me', he replied, 'a third generation. I would declare it pure!' He is obviously of the opinion [that the stock of] a bastard does not survive.37 So also did R. Huna state: A bastard's stock does not survive. Did we not learn, however, BASTARDS ARE INELIGIBLE, AND THEIR INELIGIBILITY IS FOR ALL TIME? — R. Zera replied: It was explained to me by Rab Judah that those who are known38 survive;39 those who are not known38 do not survive; and those who are partly known and partly unknown survive for three generations but no longer.
A certain man once lived in the neighbourhood of R. Ammi. and the latter made a public announcement that he was a bastard. As the other was bewailing the action,40 [the Master] said to him: I have given you life.41
R. Hana b. Adda stated: David issued the decree of prohibition42 against the nethinim,43 for it is said, And the king called the Gibeonites,44 and said unto them-now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel etc.45
Why did he issue the decree against them? — Because it is written. And there was a famine in the days of David three years. year after year.46 In the first year he said to them, 'It is possible that there are idolaters among you, for it is written, And serve other gods, and worship them … and he will shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain etc.'47 They instituted enquiries but could not discover any idolaters. In the second year he said to them, 'There may be transgressors among you, for it is written, Therefore the showers have been withheld and there hath been no latter rain; yet thou hadst a harlot's forehead etc.'48 Enquiries were made but none was found. In the third year he said to them, 'There might be among you men who announce specified sums for charity in public but do not give them, as it is written, As vapours and wind without rain, so is he that boasteth himself of a false gift'.49 Enquiries were made and none was found. 'The matter', he concluded, 'depends entirely upon me; Immediately, he sought the face of the Lord.46 What does this mean? — Resh Lakish explained: He enquired of the Urim and Tummim.50 How is this inferred? R. Eleazar replied: It is arrived at by an analogy between two occurrences of the expression of 'countenance of'; for here it is written, And David sought the countenance of the Lord,46 and elsewhere it is written, Who shall enquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the countenance of the Lord.51 And the Lord said: 'It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites'.52 'For Saul', because he was not mourned for in a proper manner; 'and his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites'. Where, however, do we find that Saul 'put to death the Gibeonites'! The truth is that, as he killed the inhabitants of Nob, the city of the priests who were supplying them53 with water and food, Scripture regards it as if he himself had killed them.
Justice is demanded for Saul because he was not properly mourned for, and justice is demanded because he put to death the Gibeonites?54 — Yes; for Resh Lakish stated: What is meant by the Scriptural text, Seek ye the Lord, all ye humble of the earth, that have executed His ordinance?55 Where there is his ordinance,56 there are also his executions.57
David said: As to Saul, there have already elapsed
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