אֶפְשָׁר בַּת מֵאָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וְקֹרֵא לָהּ בַּת דְּאָמַר רַבִּי חָמָא בַּר חֲנִינָא זוֹ יוֹכֶבֶד שֶׁהוֹרָתָהּ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְנוֹלְדָה בֵּין הַחוֹמוֹת דִּכְתִיב אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה אֹתָהּ לְלֵוִי בְּמִצְרָיִם
The Gemara asks: Is it possible that this is Jochebed? Jochebed was then 130 years old and the verse called her a daughter, indicating one who is very young. Jochebed’s age is established based on a tradition concerning the number of Jacob’s descendants who came to Egypt, as follows: While the verse states that Leah had thirty-three descendants (Genesis 46:15), only thirty-two were enumerated. This was explained as Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: This “daughter of Levi” is Jochebed, whose conception occurred on the journey as the family of Jacob descended to Egypt, and she was born within the walls, i.e., having entered Egypt, as it is written: “And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt” (Numbers 26:59).
לֵידָתָהּ בְּמִצְרַיִם וְהוֹרָתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא בְּמִצְרַיִם וְאַמַּאי קָרוּ לַהּ בַּת אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה בַּר זְבִידָא מְלַמֵּד שֶׁנּוֹלְדוּ בָּהּ סִימָנֵי נַעֲרוּת נִתְעַדֵּן הַבָּשָׂר נִתְפַּשְּׁטוּ הַקְּמָטִין וְחָזַר הַיּוֹפִי לִמְקוֹמוֹ
One can infer from the verse: Her birth was in Egypt, but her conception was not in Egypt. Since the Jewish people were in Egypt for 210 years and Moses was eighty years old at the time of the Exodus, Jochebed must have been 130 years old when Moses was born. The Gemara therefore asks: And why does the verse call her “a daughter”? Rav Yehuda bar Zevida says: This teaches that her signs of youth miraculously came into being again. The flesh became smooth, the wrinkles were straightened out, and the youthful beauty returned to its place.
וַיִּקַּח וַיַּחְזוֹר מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה בַּר זְבִידָא מְלַמֵּד שֶׁעָשָׂה לָהּ מַעֲשֵׂה לִקּוּחִין הוֹשִׁיבָה בְּאַפִּרְיוֹן וְאַהֲרֹן וּמִרְיָם מְשׁוֹרְרִים לְפָנֶיהָ וּמַלְאֲכֵי שָׁרֵת אוֹמְרִים אֵם הַבָּנִים שִׂמְחָה
The verse concerning Amram’s marriage to Jochebed states: “And a man of the house of Levi went, and took as a wife a daughter of Levi” (Exodus 2:1). The Gemara asks: Since Jochebed had already been married to Amram for some years, as Miriam and Aaron were already born, the verse should have stated: And he took back as a wife. Rav Yehuda bar Zevida says: The wording of the verse teaches that Amram performed for her a formal act of marriage as though he were marrying her for the first time. He seated her in a bridal palanquin [be’appiryon], and Aaron and Miriam were singing before her, and the ministering angels were saying: “A joyful mother of children” (Psalms 113:9).
לְהַלָּן מְנָאָן הַכָּתוּב דֶּרֶךְ גְּדוּלָּתָן וְכָאן דֶּרֶךְ חׇכְמָתָן מְסַיְּיעָא לֵיהּ לְרַבִּי אַמֵּי דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אַמֵּי בִּישִׁיבָה הַלֵּךְ אַחַר חׇכְמָה בִּמְסִיבָּה הַלֵּךְ אַחַר זִקְנָה אָמַר רַב אָשֵׁי וְהוּא דְּמַפְלַיג בְּחׇכְמָה וְהוּא דְּמַפְלַיג בְּזִקְנָה
§ The Gemara returns to discuss Zelophehad’s daughters: Later on, the verse lists them according to their age, stating: “For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married” (Numbers 36:11), and here the verse lists them in a different order, according to their wisdom: “And these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah” (Numbers 27:1). This supports the ruling of Rabbi Ami, as Rabbi Ami says: In the context of sitting in judgment or learning Torah, follow the participants’ wisdom in determining the seating, so that the wisest is granted the highest honor, and in the context of reclining for a meal, follow the participants’ age. Rav Ashi says: And this is so only when one is outstanding in wisdom, then wisdom trumps age; and this is so only when one of the participants is outstanding in age, i.e., particularly old, then age trumps wisdom.
תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד שְׁקוּלוֹת הָיוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַתִּהְיֶינָה הֲוָיָה אַחַת לְכוּלָּן
The Gemara cites an alternative opinion: The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: The daughters of Zelophehad were equal in stature, as it is stated: “For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were [vatihyena] married.” The word “vatihyena” demonstrates: There was one uniform existence [havaya], i.e., spiritual level, for all of them.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד הוּתְּרוּ לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְכׇל הַשְּׁבָטִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֵיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים אֶלָּא מָה אֲנִי מְקַיֵּים אַךְ לְמִשְׁפַּחַת מַטֵּה אֲבִיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים עֵצָה טוֹבָה הִשִּׂיאָן הַכָּתוּב שֶׁלֹּא יִנָּשְׂאוּ אֶלָּא לְהָגוּן לָהֶן
§ Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The daughters of Zelophehad were permitted to marry members of any of the tribes, as it is stated: “Let them be married to whom they think best” (Numbers 36:6). But how do I realize the meaning of the continuation of the same verse: “Only into the family of the tribe of their father shall they be married” (Numbers 36:6), according to which they were permitted to marry only members of their own tribe? The verse offered them good advice, that they should be married only to those fit for them, who were often men from within the family.
מוֹתֵיב רַבָּה אָמַר אֲלֵיהֶם לְאוֹתָן הָעוֹמְדִים עַל הַר סִינַי לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם אֵלּוּ דּוֹרוֹת הַבָּאִים אִם נֶאֱמַר אָבוֹת לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר בָּנִים וְאִם נֶאֱמַר בָּנִים לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר אָבוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּאָבוֹת מַה שֶּׁאֵין בַּבָּנִים וְיֵשׁ בַּבָּנִים מַה שֶּׁאֵין בָּאָבוֹת
Rabba raised an objection from a baraita taught concerning the prohibition against eating consecrated foods while in a state of ritual impurity. Moses was commanded: “Say to them: Whoever will be of all your descendants throughout your generations, who approaches to the holy things, which the children of Israel consecrate to the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from before Me” (Leviticus 22:3). Which people are referred to in the phrase “say to them”? It is referring to those standing at Mount Sinai. Which people are referred to in the phrase “throughout your generations”? These are the coming generations. If the halakha is stated to the fathers, why is it stated to the sons; and if the halakha is stated to the sons, why is it stated to the fathers? This is because there are mitzvot for the fathers that are not for the sons, and there are mitzvot for the sons that are not for the fathers.
בָּאָבוֹת הוּא אוֹמֵר וְכׇל בַּת יֹרֶשֶׁת נַחֲלָה וְהַרְבֵּה מִצְוֹת נִצְטַוּוּ בָּנִים שֶׁלֹּא נִצְטַוּוּ אָבוֹת הָא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּאָבוֹת שֶׁאֵין בַּבָּנִים וְיֵשׁ בַּבָּנִים מַה שֶּׁאֵין בָּאָבוֹת הוּצְרַךְ לוֹמַר אָבוֹת הוּצְרַךְ לוֹמַר בָּנִים
The baraita continues: For the fathers, the verse states: “And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from the tribes of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father” (Numbers 36:8). This mitzva, that the woman should marry a member of her own tribe, applied only to the first generation that received tribal portions of Eretz Yisrael. And, by contrast, there were many mitzvot, e.g., all the mitzvot that applied only from the time that Eretz Yisrael was settled, which the sons were commanded to fulfill but which the fathers were not commanded to fulfill. Because there are mitzvot for the fathers that are not for the sons, and there are mitzvot for the sons that are not for the fathers, the verse needed to state, i.e., to address, the fathers, and it needed to state, i.e., to address, the sons.
קָתָנֵי מִיהַת בָּאָבוֹת הוּא אוֹמֵר וְכׇל בַּת יֹרֶשֶׁת נַחֲלָה הוּא מוֹתֵיב לַהּ וְהוּא מְפָרֵק לַהּ לְבַר מִבְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד
Rabba states his objection: In any event, the baraita teaches: For the fathers, the verse states: “And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from the tribes of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father.” This indicates that this was a mitzva for that entire generation, including Zelophehad’s daughters, in contrast to the statement of Shmuel. The Gemara explains: He, Rabba, raised the objection, and he resolved it: This mitzva applied to everyone except for the daughters of Zelophehad, who were explicitly permitted to marry members of any tribe.
אָמַר מָר בָּאָבוֹת הוּא אוֹמֵר וְכׇל בַּת יוֹרֶשֶׁת נַחֲלָה בְּאָבוֹת אִין בְּבָנִים לָא מַאי מַשְׁמַע אָמַר רָבָא אָמַר קְרָא זֶה הַדָּבָר דָּבָר זֶה לֹא יְהֵא נוֹהֵג אֶלָּא בְּדוֹר זֶה
The Master says in the baraita cited above: For the fathers, the verse states: “And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from the tribes of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father.” For the fathers, yes, this is the mitzva, but for the sons, it is not so. The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred? Rava said that the verse states there: “This is the matter that the Lord has commanded” (Numbers 36:6), meaning: This matter will not be practiced except in this generation.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבָּה זוּטֵי לְרַב אָשֵׁי אֶלָּא מֵעַתָּה זֶה הַדָּבָר דִּשְׁחוּטֵי חוּץ הָכִי נָמֵי דְּלָא יְהֵא נוֹהֵג אֶלָּא בְּדוֹר זֶה שָׁאנֵי הָתָם דִּכְתִיב לְדֹרֹתָם
Rabba Zuti said to Rav Ashi: If that is so, then concerning the phrase “this is the matter” written with regard to an offering slaughtered outside the Tabernacle (see Leviticus 17:2–3), so too, is it the halakha that it will not be practiced except in this generation? Certainly that is not so, as that prohibition applies in all generations. What is the difference between the two passages? Rav Ashi answered: It is different there, with regard to offerings slaughtered outside the Tabernacle or Temple, as it is written: “Throughout their generations” (Leviticus 17:7), indicating that the prohibition is in effect in all generations.