Abaye is again, hot to trot, to cut people out of assumptions of genealogical purity. He seems to want to disqualify Biram. But R. Yosef responds that families with the best lineage in Pumbedita married women from Biram. So relax Abaye.
R. Papa says that the borders of Babylonia with regard to lineage are the same as those with regard to divorce. When it comes to divorce, a messenger delivering a divorce from abroad to Eretz Yisrael must be able to say “it was written and signed in front of me.” This is to ensure it was produced properly. However, if he is bringing it from Babylonia, we can trust that it was written and signed properly.
R. Yosef says that the borders differ when it comes to divorce.
If you’re from one of these places, then you’ve won the lineage lottery. Like the Upper East Side of Babylonia!
R. Papa tries to rag on the lineage of these places by saying Samaritans have become mixed up there. Luckily the Talmud defends their honor—the Samaritans wanted a wife from one of these places, but they were refused.
A man declares he is from Shot-Mishot. Lucky for him, this is located between the rivers and he is assumed to have good lineage.
R. Ika b. Avin issues a statement saying that the families of two certain cities are valid in terms of their lineage. But Abaye claims that he is saying this only so he can marry a certain yevamah from there. Those are some pretty strong words Abaye!
R. Ika b. Avin holds that Hilazon and Nihavnad are fit. R. Yohanan holds that they are not.
R. Yohanan interprets a cryptic verse from Daniel in line with the identification of locations in Babylonia we saw above.
The Persians were evidently bear-like. If you watched or read Game of Thrones, think House Mormont. I do not think that the rabbis considered this a compliment. They didn’t have “teddy bears” back then.
Talk about racial stereotypes! The Habarim are, according to Rashi, a region neighboring Persia, and they are much worse than the Persians, who according to this tradition, come out pretty well. “Demons in the outhouse” sounds pretty bad.
On his death bed, R. Yehudah Hanasi has some prophetic visions through which he identifies which parts of Babylonia are not kosher (and where they engage in some pretty salacious hanky-panky). He also identifies which places have apostate themselves. He can also see who had his bris (is sitting in Avraham’s lap) and who was born.