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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin
But if so,4 just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is his wife's daughter-in-law forbidden him?5 Abaye answered: The Writ saith, [Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law:] she is thy son's wife;6 teaching, you can punish only for incest with his son's wife, but not with her [his wife's] son's wife. Raba said: Whether it be maintained, 'judge from it in its entirety,' or 'judge from it and place it on its own basis', this could not be deduced. For on the first view, [the deduction would proceed thus:] just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is her's forbidden him. [Then carrying through the analogy] 'in its entirety,'just as in his case [the penalty] is stoning,7 so in her case is the penalty stoning. But if we regard stoning severer, this analogy can be refuted. [Thus]: Why is his [daughter-in-law forbidden]? Because his mother is forbidden him on pain of stoning: Can you then say the same of her daughter-in-law, seeing that incest with her mother incurs only death by fire?8 Moreover, her daughter is forbidden on pain of burning: shall her daughter-in-law be forbidden on pain of stoning?9 [This is no difficulty, for] let his own case prove it: his own daughter is forbidden by fire, yet his daughter-in-law by stoning. But [refute the analogy thus:] just as in his case, thou drawest no distinction between his mother and his daughter-in-law, so in her's [his wife's], you can draw no distinction between her mother and her daughter-in-law.10 And on the view that burning is considered more severe, the analogy cannot be made because of this last difficulty.11 Whilst on the view, 'judge from it and place it on its own basis,' [the deduction would proceed thus:] just as his daughter-in-law is forbidden him, so is her daughter-in-law forbidden; and place it on its own basis, thus: in the former case, [his daughter-in-law] the punishment is stoning; but in the latter, burning, the punishment we find for incest with her mother. But if stoning is severer, this can be refuted. [Thus]: Why is his daughter-in-law forbidden? Because his mother is forbidden him on pain of stoning. But can you say the same of her daughter-in-law, seeing that her mother is forbidden only on pain of burning! Moreover, just as in his case, you draw a distinction between his daughter [punished by burning] and his daughter-in-law [by stoning], so in her case, you should draw a distinction between her daughter and her daughter-in-law.12 And even on the view that burning is severer, the analogy cannot be made on account of this last difficulty.
Whence do we know that his daughter by a seduced woman [not his wife] is forbidden him?13 — Abaye said:14 This may be proved by arguing from the minor to the major; if he is punished for incest with his daughter's daughter, surely he is punished for his own daughter!15 But can punishment be imposed as the result of an ad majus conclusion? — The argument merely illumines the prohibition.16 Raba answered: R. Isaac b. Abudimi said unto me; we learn identity of law from the fact that 'hennah' [they] occurs in two related passages, and likewise 'zimmah' in two.17
The father of R. Abin learned: Because we have no express sanction [from Scripture that incest] with an illegitimate daughter [is punished by burning], therefore the Writ must say, And the daughter of a man [and] a priest, if she profane herself through her father, she profaneth him; she shall burnt with fire.18 If so, just as in the case of a priest's [adulterous] daughter, only she is burnt, but not her paramour, so for incest with an illegitimate daughter, only she should be burnt, but not her paramour?19 — Abaye answered: The Writ sayeth, she profaneth her father, teaching that this applies only to a case where she profaneth her father, excluded thus is this case,20 since her father profanes her,21 Raba answered, In the former case22 you rightly exclude him from the penalty of a priest's daughter, and assimilate him to an Israelite's daughter.23 But in this case,24 to whom will you assimilate him? to an unmarried woman?25
Now, whence do we derive a formal prohibition of incest with an illegitimate daughter? This is in order according to Abaye and Raba: from the verse from which they deduce punishment, they also learn the prohibition.26 But what of the deduction made by R. Abin's father?27 — R. Elai answered: The Writ sayeth, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be whore.28 R. Jacob, the brother of R. Aha b. Jacob objected: Is this verse, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be a whore, employed for this purpose? But it is needed for that which has been taught: 'Do not profane thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore' I might think that this prohibits29 a priest from marrying his daughter to a Levite or an Israelite:30 therefore Scripture states, 'to cause her to be a whore', shewing that the reference is only to profanation by harlotry, thus prohibiting the giving over of one's daughter for sex purposes without marriage intention'? If so, Scripture should have said al tahel; why al tehallel? — That both may be deduced from it.31
Now, how do Abaye and Raba utilize the verse, Do not profane thy daughter to cause her to be a whore? — R. Mani said: [According to them] this refers to one who marries his [young] daughter to an old man.32 As it has been taught: Do not profane thy daughter to
cause her to be a whore; R. Eliezer said: This refers to marrying one's [young] daughter to an old man. R. Akiba said: This refers to the delay in marrying off a daughter who is already a bogereth.33
R. Kahana said on R. Akiba's authority: The only poor in Israel is the subtly wicked and he who delays in marrying off his daughter, a bogereth.34 But is not one who thus delays himself subtly wicked?35 Abaye answered:
Sanhedrin 76bThis is its meaning: Which poor man is subtly wicked? He who delays marrying off his daughter, a bogereth.1
R. Kahana also said on R. Akiba's authority: Beware of one who counsels thee for his own benefit.2
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: One who marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son, or returns a lost article to a Cuthean,3 — concerning him Scripture sayeth, [that he bless himself in his heart saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart] to add drunkedness to thirst: The Lord will not spare him.4
An objection was raised: He who loves his wife as himself and honours her more than himself,5 and leads his children in the right path, and marries them just before they attain puberty — of him Scripture saith, And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.6 — If just before puberty, it is different.
Our Rabbis taught: He who loves his neighbour, displays friendly intimacy towards his relatives, and marries his sister's daughter and lends a sela' to the poor man in time of his need — of him Scripture saith, Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer.7
Our Rabbis taught: [And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire,] both he and they [ethe'en].8 [This means], he and one of them. That is R. Ishmael's opinion. R. Akiba said: [It means], he and both of them. Wherein do they differ?9 — Abaye said: They differ as to the text from which the law is derived: R. Ishmael maintains that 'he and ethe'en' means 'he and one of them', for in Greek 'one' is hello.10 Hence [incest with] his mother-in-law's mother [as a punishable offence] is arrived at [only] by [Biblical] interpretation. But R. Akiba maintained, 'he and ethe'en' means 'he and both of them', hence his mother-in-law's mother is explicitly interdicted in this verse.11 Raba said: They differ about his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death: R. Ishmael holds that [incest with] his mother-in-law after [his wife's] death is punished by burning; whilst R. Akiba's view is that it is merely forbidden.12
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING ARE DECAPITATED: A MURDERER, AND THE INHABITANTS OF A SEDUCED CITY. A MURDERER WHO SLEW HIS FELLOW WITH A STONE OR AN IRON, OR KEPT HIM DOWN UNDER WATER OR IN FIRE, SO THAT HE COULD NOT ASCEND THENCE, IS EXECUTED. IF HE PUSHED HIM INTO WATER OR FIRE, BUT SO THAT HE COULD ASCEND, YET HE DIED, HE IS FREE [FROM DEATH]. IF HE SET ON A DOG OR A SNAKE AGAINST HIM [AND THEY KILLED HIM], HE IS FREE FROM DEATH. BUT IF HE CAUSED A SNAKE TO BITE HIM [BY PUTTING HIS JAWS AGAINST HIM] — R. JUDAH RULED THAT HE IS EXECUTED; THE SAGES, THAT HE IS NOT.
GEMARA. Samuel said: why is 'hand' not mentioned in connection with iron?13 — Because iron can kill no matter what its size. It has been taught likewise: Rabbi said; It was well known to Him who spake and the world came into being that iron, no matter how small, can kill; therefore the Torah prescribed no size for it. This however, is only if one pierced therewith:14
OR KEPT HIM DOWN UNDER WATER. The first clause teaches the extreme limit of the law, and so does the last. Thus, the first clause teaches the extreme limit of the law, that though he himself did not push him [into the water], yet since he could not ascend, [through being held down], and so died, he is executed. The last clause likewise teaches the extreme limit, that though he actually pushed him into the water, yet since he could have ascended, but died, he is free from death.
Whence do we know that [he is liable to death] for keeping him down? — Samuel answered: The Writ sayeth, Or if with enmity he smote him with his hand:15 this extends the law to one who keeps his neighbour fast [e.g., in water, thus causing his death].
A certain man confined his neighbour's animal in a place exposed to the sun, so that it died [of sunstroke]. Rabina held him liable: R. Aha b. Rab ruled that he was not. Rabina held him liable by an ad majus argument from a murderer. If a murderer, in whose case unwitting murder is not treated as deliberate, nor an accident as intention, is nevertheless executed for confining [his neighbour in a place where he must die];
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