Bava Kamma 38bבבא קמא ל״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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38bל״ח ב

מואבים עצמן לא כל שכן

with regard to the Moabites themselves, is it not clear all the more so that they should be attacked?

אמר לו הקב"ה לא כשעלתה על דעתך עלתה על דעתי שתי פרידות טובות יש לי להוציא מהן רות המואביה ונעמה העמונית

To counter this, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: That which has entered your mind has not entered Mine, because I have two virtuous fledglings [feridot], i.e., girls, to extract from them: Ruth the Moabite, who will be the foremother of the dynasty of David, and Naamah the Ammonite, Solomon’s wife, from whom the continuation of that dynasty will emerge. For the sake of these women, the Moabites and Ammonites must not be destroyed.

והלא דברים ק"ו ומה בשביל שתי פרידות טובות חס הקב"ה על ב' אומות גדולות ולא החריבן בתו של רבי אם כשרה היא וראויה היא לצאת ממנה דבר טוב על אחת כמה וכמה דהוה חיה

Ulla continued: And are these matters not inferred a fortiori? If for the sake of two virtuous fledglings the Holy One, Blessed be He, had pity on two large nations and did not destroy them, then if the daughter of my teacher, Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda, was righteous, and she had the potential for something good to emerge from her, it is all the more so clear that she would have lived.

אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן אין הקב"ה מקפח שכר כל בריה אפילו שכר שיחה נאה

§ Having mentioned the Moabites and Ammonites, the Gemara cites that Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not deprive any creature of its reward. He rewards every person for his good deeds, and provides reward even for using pleasant speech by using euphemisms.

דאילו בכירה דקאמרה מואב אמר לו הקב"ה למשה (דברים ב, ט) אל תצר את מואב ואל תתגר בם מלחמה מלחמה הוא דלא הא אנגריא עביד בהו

As with regard to the descendants of the elder of the two daughters of Lot, who said that the name of her son, whom she conceived with her father, would be Moab, meaning: From father, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: “Do not be at enmity with Moab, neither contend with them in battle,” indicating that specifically a full-fledged battle was not authorized but that the Jewish people could impose forced labor [angarya] on them.

צעירה דקאמרה בן עמי א"ל הקב"ה למשה (דברים ב, יט) וקרבת מול בני עמון אל תצורם ואל תתגר בם כלל דאפילו אנגריא לא תעביד בהו

By contrast, with regard to the descendants of the younger daughter, who said her son’s name would be ben Ami, meaning: Son of my nation, merely alluding to the fact she conceived him through an incestuous union, the Holy One, Blessed be He said to Moses: “And when you come near against the children of Ammon, do not harass them, nor contend with them” (Deuteronomy 2:19). In other words, do not contend with them at all; do not even impose forced labor on them. This additional prohibition was a reward for her employing a euphemism when naming her son.

ואמר ר' חייא בר אבא אמר ר' יהושע בן קרחה לעולם יקדים אדם לדבר מצוה שבשביל לילה אחת שקדמתה בכירה לצעירה קדמתה ארבע דורות לישראל עובד ישי ודוד ושלמה ואילו צעירה עד רחבעם דכתיב (מלכים א יד, כא) ושם אמו נעמה העמונית

And with regard to the daughters of Lot, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa says: A person should always hasten to perform a mitzva, as due to the one night by which the elder daughter of Lot preceded the younger daughter, with the intention of performing a mitzva by bringing children into the world, she preceded her by four generations in having her descendants enter into the Jewish people. They are: Obed, son of Ruth the Moabite, Yishai, David, and Solomon. Whereas, the descendants of the younger daughter did not join the Jewish people until Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was born, as it is written: “And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite” (I Kings 14:31).

ת"ר שור של ישראל שנגח שור של כותי פטור ושל כותי שנגח שור של ישראל תם משלם חצי נזק ומועד משלם נזק שלם

§ The Sages taught: With regard to the ox of a Jew that gored the ox of a Samaritan, the owner is exempt from liability. But with regard to the ox of a Samaritan that gored the ox of a Jew, if the Samaritan’s ox was innocuous he pays half the cost of the damage, and if it was forewarned, he pays the full cost of the damage. Accordingly, the halakha with regard to Samaritans is not identical to that of a gentile, who is liable to pay the full cost of the damage even for the act of an innocuous ox.

ר"מ אומר שור של ישראל שנגח שור של כותי פטור ושל כותי שנגח שור של ישראל בין תם בין מועד משלם נזק שלם

Rabbi Meir says: With regard to the ox of a Jew that gored the ox of a Samaritan, the owner of the ox is exempt from liability. And with regard to the ox of a Samaritan that gored the ox of a Jew, whether it was innocuous or forewarned, the owner pays the full cost of the damage, like a gentile.

למימרא דסבר ר"מ כותים גרי אריות הן

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Rabbi Meir holds that Samaritans are converts who had converted due to fear of lions, i.e., the original conversion of the Samaritans was under duress and consequently meaningless, and therefore he assigns to them the same status as gentiles with regard to liability for damages?

ורמינהי כל הכתמים הבאים מרקם טהורים רבי יהודה מטמא מפני שהן גרים וטועים

And the Gemara raises a contradiction to this suggestion from a mishna (Nidda 56b): All bloodstained clothes, presumably from menstrual blood, that come from the city of Rekem are ritually pure, since most of the residents there are gentiles, and the bloodstains of gentile women are not ritually impure. Nevertheless, Rabbi Yehuda deems them impure because, in his opinion, the inhabitants of Rekem are converts who are mistaken, i.e., they converted, and they do not observe the mitzvot because they have forgotten Judaism. He holds that since they are halakhically Jewish, their blood is ritually impure.

מבין הנכרים טהורים מבין ישראל ומבין הכותים ר"מ מטמא וחכמים מטהרין שלא נחשדו (ישראל) על כתמיהן

Bloodstained clothes that come from among gentiles are considered pure. With regard to bloodstained clothes that come from among Jews or from among Samaritans, Rabbi Meir deems them impure, as he suspects them of not taking care to keep impure clothes out of the public domain. And the Rabbis deem them pure, as Jews and Samaritans are not suspected of not being careful about their bloodstains.

אלמא קסבר ר"מ כותים גרי אמת הם

Apparently, Rabbi Meir holds that Samaritans are true converts; otherwise the halakha concerning them would be the same as for gentiles, whose bloodstains are not impure at all. This being the case, why does Rabbi Meir regard them as gentiles with regard to liability to pay damages?

א"ר אבהו קנס הוא שקנס ר"מ בממונם שלא יטמעו בהם

Rabbi Abbahu says: They are true converts, and are therefore considered Jews by Torah law inasmuch as in the event that a Jew’s ox causes damage to them, the owner of the ox is liable to pay damages, and if an innocuous ox belonging to them gores a Jew’s ox, the owner pays only half the cost of the damage. Nevertheless, Rabbi Meir imposed a monetary fine on them, giving them the status of gentiles, so that Jews would not assimilate with them.

מתיב רבי זירא ואלו נערות שיש להם קנס הבא על הממזרת ועל הנתינה ועל הכותית ואי ס"ד קנס ר' מאיר בממונם ה"נ נקנוס כדי שלא יטמעו בהן

Rabbi Zeira raises an objection to this answer from a mishna (Ketubot 29a): And these are the cases of young women for whom there is a fine paid to their fathers by one who rapes them. Not only is one who rapes a Jewish young woman of unflawed lineage liable to pay this fine, but so is one who engages in intercourse with a mamzeret, or with a female Gibeonite, or with a female Samaritan. Rabbi Zeira states his objection: And if it enters your mind that Rabbi Meir imposed a monetary fine on them to render them like gentiles, so too, let us fine a female Samaritan who is raped, by rendering her ineligible to receive the fine for rape, so that people will not consider them regular Jews and will not assimilate with them.

אמר אביי כדי

Abaye said: According to Rabbi Meir, the reason the Sages did not revoke this fine is in order