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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
the latter1 gave her a letter of divorce he has not thereby disqualified her from marrying a priest',2 it may be inferred that she requires no divorce;3 for should she require a divorce, why does he not disqualify her from marrying a priest!4 — Rather,5 in the final clause it will be assumed6 that the betrothal was an erroneous one.7 In the first clause also [let it be said that] it would be assumed that the marriage was an erroneous one!8 The Rabbis have penalized her.9 Then let them penalize her in the final clause also! — In the first clause where she committed a forbidden act10 they penalized her; in the final clause where she did not commit a forbidden act, the Rabbis did not penalize her.
SHE HAS NO [CLAIM TO HER] KETHUBAH, [because] what is the reason why the Rabbis have provided a kethubah for a woman? In order that it may not be easy for the husband11 to divorce her!12 But in this case let it be easy for him, to divorce her.13
IF SHE HAD TAKEN ANYTHING FROM THE ONE OR FROM THE OTHER, [SHE MUST RETURN IT]. Is this not obvious! — As it might haved been assumed that since she has already seized it, it is not to be taken from her, hence we were taught [that SHE MUST RETURN IT].
THE CHILD … IS A BASTARD. Elsewhere we learned: Terumah17 from levitically unclean produce may not be set apart for that which is levitically clean.18 If, however, such terumah has been set apart it is valid if the act was done in error, but if it was done wilfully it is null and void.19 Now what is meant by 'it is null and void'? — R. Hisda replied: The act is absolutely null and void, even that griva20 [which has been designated as terumah] returns to its former state of tebel.21 R. Nathan son of R. Oshaia replied: It is null and void in respect of making the remainder22 fit for use, but [that which has been set apart] becomes terumah.23 R. Hisda does not give the same explanation as R. Nathan son of R. Oshaia, for, should it be said [that the portion set apart] is lawful terumah, it might sometimes happen that one would wilfully neglect to set apart the terumah [from the remainder].24
But why should this be different from, [the following case concerning] which we learned: If a man has set apart as terumah a cucumber which was found to be bitter, or a melon which turned out to be decayed25 [the fruit becomes] terumah; but [from the remainder] terumah must again be set apart!26 Do you raise an objection from a case where one has acted unwittingly27 against a case where one has acted wilfully?28 Where one has acted unwittingly,29 no forbidden act has been committed; when, however, one has acted wilfully,30 a forbidden act has been committed.
A contradiction, however, was pointed out between two acts committed unwittingly: Here31 it is stated, 'It is lawful terumah if the act was done unwittingly',32 while there sit was stated, 'Terumah,' but [from the remainder] terumah must again be set apart'! — There,33 it is an erroneous act amounting almost34 to a wilful one, since he should have tasted it.35
A contradiction was also pointed out between two cases of wilful action: Here36 it is stated, 'but if it was done wilfully, it is null and void', while elsewhere we learned: If a man has set apart as terumah [the produce] of an unperforated plant-pot37 for [the produce of] a perforated pot,38 [the former becomes] terumah but [from the latter] terumah must again be separated!39 — In [the case of produce grown in] two different vessels40 a man would obey;41 in [that of] one vessel42 he would not obey.43
Now according to R. Nathan, son of R. Oshaia, who explained that 'the act is null and void in respect of making the remainder fit for use but [that that which has been set apart] becomes terumah.44
, why is this case different from [the following] where we learned [that if a man has set apart as terumah the produce] of a perforated plant-pot1 for that of an unperforated one,2 the terumah is valid, but3 may not be eaten4 before terumah and tithe from other produce5 has been set aside for it!6 — Here7 it is different, since Pentateuchally the terumah is valid, in accordance with the view of R. Elai; for R. Elai stated: Whence is it inferred that if one separates terumah from an inferior quality for a superior quality, his terumah is valid? It is written, And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, seeing that ye have set apart from it the best thereof.8 [Now, this implies that if you do not set apart from the best but of the worst you shall bear sin]; if, [however, the inferior quality] does not become consecrated, why [should there be any] bearing of sin?9 Hence it may be inferred10 that if one sets apart terumah from an inferior quality for a superior quality, his terumah is valid.11
Said Rabbah to R. Hisda: According to you who maintain that 'the act is absolutely null and void' so that 'even that griva [which has been designated as terumah] returns to its former state of tebel', the reason being12 that this is a preventive measure against the possibility 'that one might wilfully neglect to set apart [the terumah from the remainder]'; is there anywhere [I may ask] a law that terumah which is Pentateuchally valid should, owing to the possibility that one might wilfully neglect his duty, be turned into13 unconsecrated produce?14 Could, then, a Beth din lay down a condition that would cause a law of the Torah to be uprooted! — The other replied: And do you not yourself agree with such a ruling? Have we not learned, THE CHILD BY THE ONE HUSBAND OR THE OTHER IS A BASTARD. Now, it is reasonable [that the child] by the second [should be deemed] a bastard,15 but why [should the child] by the first [be a bastard]? She is, surely, his wife16 and [the child is consequently] a proper Israelite whom [by regarding him as a bastard] we permit to marry a bastard!17 The first retorted: Thus said Samuel, 'He is forbidden to marry a bastard'. And so said Rabin, when he came,18 in the name of R. Johanan. 'He is forbidden to marry a bastard'. Why, then,19 is he called a bastard? — In respect of forbidding him to marry the daughter of an Israelite.20
R. Hisda sent to Rabbah through R. Aha son of R. Huna [the following enquiry]: Cannot the Beth din lay down a condition which would cause the abrogation of a law of the Torah? Surely it was taught: 'At what period of her age21 is a husband entitled to be the heir of his wife [if she dies while still] a minor?22 Beth Shammai stated: When she attains to womanhood;23 and Beth Hillel said: When she enters into the bridal chamber.24 R. Eliezer said: When connubial intercourse has taken place. Then he is entitled to be her heir, he may defile himself for her,25 and she may eat terumah by virtue of his rights'. (Beth Shammai said, 'When she attains to womanhood',26 even though she has not entered the bridal chamber!27 — Read, 'When she attains to womanhood and enters the bridal chamber', and it is this that Beth Shammai said to Beth Hillel: In respect of your statement, 'When she enters the bridal chamber', it is only when she has attained womanhood that the bridal chamber is effective, but otherwise the bridal chamber alone is of no avail. 'R. Eliezer said: When connubial intercourse has taken place'. But, surely, R. Eliezer said that the act of a minor has no legal force!28 — Read, 'After she has grown up and connubial intercourse has taken place'.) At all events it was here stated, 'He29 is entitled to be her heir'; but, surely, by Pentateuchal law it is her father30 who should here be her legal heir, and yet it is the husband who is heir in accordance with a Rabbinical ordinance!31 — Hefker32 by Beth din is legal hefker.33 for R. Isaac stated: Whence is it deduced that hefker by Beth din is legal hefker? It is said, Whosoever came not within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of the captivity.34 R. Eleazar stated [that the deduction35 is made] from here: These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest. and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance.36 Now, what relation is there between Heads and Fathers? But [this has the purpose] of telling you that as fathers may distribute as an inheritance to their children whatever they wish, so may the heads distribute as an inheritance to the people whatever they wish.
'He may defile himself for her'. But, surely, by Pentateuchal law it is her father who may here defile himself for her, and yet it is the husband who by a Rabbinical law was allowed to defile himself for her!37 — [This was allowed] because she is a meth mizwah.38 Is she, however, a meth mizwah?38 Surely, it was taught. 'Who may he regarded as a meth mizwah? He who has no [relatives] to bury him'. [If, however, he has relatives upon whom] he [could] call and they39 would answer him, he is not regarded as a meth mizwah!40 — Here also, since they are not her heirs, they would not answer even if she were to call upon them.
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