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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
And who is this Tanna1 that admits the force2 of a 'comprehensive prohibition', a 'prohibition of a wider range' and 'simultaneous prohibitions'?3 -Rab Judah replied in the name of Rab: It is R. Meir; for we learnt:4 A man may sometimes consume one piece of food5 and incur thereby the penalty of four sin-offerings and one guilt.offering. [If. e.g., a man levitically] unclean ate suet6 that remained over from holy sacrifices,7 on the Day of Atonement8 R. Meir said: If this happened on9 the Sabbath and [the consumer] carried out [the suet] in his mouth, liability is incurred [for this act10 also].11 They said to him: This10 is an offence of a different character.12
Whose view, however, IS R. Meir13 following? If he follows R. Joshua.14 surely the latter had said that he who made a mistake in respect of a commandment15 is exonerated!16 — Rather he follows the view of R. Eliezer.17 If you prefer I might say: He may. in fact, follow the view of R. Joshua, for R. Joshua's statement, that he who made a mistake in respect of a commandment is exonerated, may only be applicable to the case of the children,18 where one is pressed for time.19 but not in such a case as this,20 where time is not pressing.21
What about terumah,22 where one is not pressed for time, and he23 nevertheless exonerates! For we learnt: In the case of a priest who was In the habit of eating terumah and it then transpired that he was the son of a divorced woman or of a haluzah,22 R. Eliezer imposes payment of the principal and of a fifth,24 and R. Joshua exonerates!25 — Surely, in relation to this it was stated that R. Bibi b. Abaye said: We are here speaking of terumah26 on the Eve of Passover when time is pressing.27 If you prefer I might say: [Our Mishnah speaks] of simultaneous prohibitions, and may represent even the View of R. Simeon.28
All these,29 it may well be conceded, may occur [simultaneously] where [the brothers] appointed an agent30 and [the sisters also] appointed an agent31 and one agent met the other;32 but how could such [simultaneity] occur with menstruation?33 - R. Amram in the name of Rab replied: When the women's menstrual discharge continued from [the men's] thirteenth, until after their thirteenth [birthday], when these become subject to legal punishments; and from their own twelfth, until after their twelfth [birthday], when they themselves become subject to punishments.34
THEY MUST BE KEPT APART. Surely, no woman conceives from the first contact!35 R. Nahman replied in the name of Rabbah b. Abuha: Where contact was repeated. Why, then, did R. Hiyya state, 'Behold sixteen offerings are here involved',36 when, in fact,37 there should be thirty-two?38 And according to your line of reasoning, following the opinion of R. Eliezer who deems they are guilty for every sexual effort, are there not more?39 But [your own answer would be] that he only takes into consideration the first effort. Well, here also, only the first contact is taken into consideration.
Said Raba to R. Nahman:
Surely Tamar1 conceived from a first contact! The other answered him: Tamar exercised friction with her finger;2 for R. Isaac said: All women of the house of Rabbi who exercise friction3 are designated Tamar. And why are they designated Tamar? — Because Tamar exercised friction with her finger. But were there not Er and Onan?4 — Er and Onan indulged in unnatural intercourse.
An objection was raised: During all the twenty-four months5 one may thresh within and winnow without;6 these are the words of R. Eliezer. The others said to him: Such actions are only like the practice of Er and Onan!7 -Like the practice of Er and Onan, and yet not [exactly] like the practice of Er and Onan: 'Like the practice of Er and Onan', for it is written in Scripture, And it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilt it on the ground;8 and 'not [exactly] like the practice of Er and Onan', for whereas there it was an unnatural act, here it is done in the natural way.
[The source for] Onan's [guilt] may well be traced, for it is written in Scripture, That he spilt it on the ground;8 whence however, [that of] Er? — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: It is written, And He slew him also,9 he also died of the same death.10
[The reason for] Onan's [action] may well be understood, because he knew That the seed would not be his;8 but why did Er act in such a manner? — In order that she might not conceive and thus lose some of her beauty.
Said Hon son of R. Nahman to R. Nahman: Does this imply that R. Judah is of the opinion that the Torah had consideration for the bride's make-up?13 — The other replied: Because no woman conceives from her first contact — 14 On what principle do they differ? — The Rabbis are of opinion that 'carnally'11 excludes the first stage of contact, and 'with whom'11 excludes unnatural intercourse; but R. Judah is of the opinion that the exclusion of unnatural intercourse and the first stage of contact may be derived from 'carnally'.11 while 'with whom'11 excludes a bride.
When Rabin came15 he stated in the name of R. Johanan: A woman who waited ten years after [separation from] her husband, and then remarried, would bear children no more. Said R. Nahman: This was stated only in respect of one who had no Intention of remarrying: if, however, one's intention was to marry again she may conceive.
Raba said to R. Hisda's daughter:16 The Rabbis are talking about you. She answered him: I had my mind on you.
A woman once appeared before R. Joseph, and said to him: Master, I remained unmarried after [the death of] my husband for ten years and now I gave birth to a child — He said to her: My daughter, do not discredit the words of the Sages. She thereupon confessed, 'l had intercourse with a heathen'.17
Samuel said: All these women,18 with the exception of a proselyte and an emancipated slave who were minors, must wait three months.19 An Israelitish minor, however, must wait three months. But how [was she separated]?20 If by a declaration of refusal,21 surely. Samuel said that she22 need not wait!23 And if by a letter of divorce, surely Samuel has already stated this once! For Samuel said: If she' formally refused him21 she need not wait three months; if he gave her a letter of divorce she must wait three months!24 -[It25 was] rather in respect of unlawful intercourse,
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