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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
Nor [are they liable] in respect of idolatry unless [they ruled] concerning a matter the punishment for which is kareth, if it was committed wilfully and a sin-offering if committed unwittingly;1 and we also learnt: [For the unwitting transgression of any] commandment in the Torah the penalty for which, if committed wilfully, is kareth and, if committed unwittingly a sin-offering, the private individual brings a sin-offering of a lamb or a she-goat; the ruler brings a goat; and the anointed High Priest and the Beth din bring a bullock. In the case of idolatry the individual and the ruler and the anointed High Priest bring a she-goat while the Beth din2 bring a bullock and a goat, the bullock for a burnt-offering and the goat for a sin-offering. Whence is this deduced? From the following. For our Rabbis taught: When the sin wherein they have sinned is known:3 Rabbi said, here4 we read 'aleha5 and further on6 we also read 'aleha;7 as further on6 the prohibition involves the penalty of kareth if the transgression was wilful and that of a sin-offering if it was unwitting, so here8 also, [the ruling must be concerning] a prohibition which involves the penalty of kareth if the transgression was wilful and that of a sin-offering if it was unwitting.9
Proof has thus been adduced for the case of the congregation; whence for that of the anointed High Priest? — It is written in relation to the High Priest, So as to bring guilt upon the people;10 this shews that the anointed High Priest is like the congregation. And for an individual and a ruler? — The inference is made by a comparison of Things11 with Things.12 'Nor [are they liable] in respect of idolatry unless [their ruling] concerned a matter the punishment for which is kareth if it was committed wilfully, and a sin-offering if committed unwittingly'. As regards the congregation in the matter of idolatry, deduction13 is made by comparison between From the eyes14 and From the eyes.15 [The law16 of] a private individual, a ruler and an anointed High Priest [is deduced] from, And if one soul17 which implies that there is no distinction between a private individual, a ruler and an anointed High Priest, while the waw18 connects them with the previous subject,19 and consequently the latter20 may be deduced from the former.21
Whence, however, do the Rabbis22 arrive at this inference?23 — They deduce it from the Biblical interpretation which R. Joshua b. Levi taught to his son: Ye shall have one law for him that doeth aught in error. But the soul that doeth aught with a high hand etc.,24 all the Torah is compared to the prohibition of idolatry;25 as in regard to idolatry [obligation is incurred only where] the offence involves the punishment of kareth26 when it was committed wilfully and a sin-offering27 when committed unwittingly, so also in the case of any other transgression [it must be such] as involves kareth when committed wilfully and a sin-offering when committed unwittingly.
Proof has thus been found for the case of a private individual, a ruler and an anointed High Priest28 both in regard to idolatry and the rest of the commandments; whence, however, [is it proved that the same law applies also to] the congregation in the case of idolatry? — Scripture said, And if one soul,29 and the former30 may be deduced from the latter.31 Whence, however, [is it deduced that the same law applies to] the congregation in the case of the other commandments? — Deduction is made by comparison between 'From the eyes' and 'From the eyes'.32
And what does Rabbi do with the text of One law?33 — He applies it to the following.34 Whereas we find that Scripture made distinction between individuals and a group,35 individuals being punished by stoning and their money, therefore, being spared, while a group are punished by the sword and their money is consequently destroyed, one might also assume that a distinction should be made in respect of their sacrifices; hence it was explicitly stated, Ye shall have one law.33
R. Hilkiah of Hagronia36 demurred: Is the reason37 because the All Merciful has written, Ye shall have one law,33 so that had it not so been written it might have been thought that a distinction should be made [in respect of their sacrifices]? What, however, could they bring! Should they bring a bullock? The congregation,38 surely, brings a bullock for the transgression of any one of all the other commandments!39 [Should they bring] a lamb? An individual, surely, brings a lamb if he transgressed any of the other commandments!40 A he-goat? A ruler brings one in the case of transgression of any of the other commandments!40 A bullock for a burnt-offering and a goat for a sin-offering? Such, surely, are brought by the congregation in the case of idolatry!40 Should they, then, bring a she-goat? This, surely, is also the sin-offering of a private individual!41 — [The text]42 was required, because it might have been suggested that whereas the congregation, in the case of an erroneous ruling, brings a bullock for a burnt-offering and a he-goat for a sin-offering, these43 should also bring the same sacrifices, but] in the reverse order;44 or [it might have been assumed to be] necessary45 but that there was no remedy;46 hence it was necessary to teach us.47
Said Levi to Rabbi: What ground is there for stating48 FIFTEEN? Sixteen should have been stated! — The other replied: It seems to me that this man has no brains in his head. 'Do you mean', he continued, 'a man's mother who had been outraged by his father?49 The case of a man's mother who has been outraged by his father is a matter in dispute between R. Judah and the Rabbis,50 and the author of our Mishnah does not deal with any controversial matter'. But does he not? Surely, the prohibition due to a Rabbinical ordinance and the prohibition due to the levir's sanctity,51 concerning which R. Akiba and the Rabbis are in dispute,52 are mentioned! — We mean, in our chapter. But, surely it was taught,53 'Beth Shammai permit rivals to the other brothers and Beth Hillel prohibit them'!54 — The view of Beth Shammai where it is in contradiction to that of Beth Hillel is of no consequence.55
Is there not the case of the wife of a man's brother who was not his contemporary.56
concerning which R. Simeon and the Rabbis are in dispute,1 and which is nevertheless mentioned? — R. Simeon does not dispute the case where the birth2 was first, and the levirate marriage3 later.4 Did not R. Oshaia, however, say1 that R. Simeon disputed the first case also?5 — Surely. R. Oshaia's view was refuted.
Did not, however, Rab Judah state in the name of Rab, and R. Hiyya also taught: In the case of all these6 it may happen that she who is forbidden to one brother may be permitted to the other1 while she who is forbidden to the other brother may be permitted to the one, and that her sister who is her sister-in-law may be subject either to halizah or to the levirate marriage.7 And Rab Judah interpreted [it8 as referring to those]9 from one's MOTHER-IN-LAW onwards but not to the first six categories. What is the reason? Because in the case of a daughter this10 is possible only [with one born] from a woman who had been outraged but not [with one born] from a legal marriage,11 [and the author of our Mishnah] deals only with cases of legal matrimony and not with those of outraged women.12 And Abaye interpreted it8 [as referring] also to a daughter from a woman who had been out raged, because, since [the application of Rab's statement] is quite possible in her case, it matters not whether she was born from a woman who was legally married or from one that had been outraged; but not to the wife of a brother who was not his contemporary. What is the reason? Because [the application of Rab's statement in this case] is possible only according to the view of R. Simeon and not according to that of the Rabbis, [the author of our Mishnah] does not deal with any matter which is in dispute. And R. Safra interprets it13 as referring also to the wife of a brother who was not his contemporary, and [in his opinion] it13 is possible in the case of six brothers in accordance with the view of R. Simeon.14
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