Kiddushin 29b:14קידושין כ״ט ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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29bכ״ט ב

כל היכא דליכא אלא חמש סלעים הוא קודם לבנו מאי טעמא מצוה דגופיה עדיפא כי פליגי היכא דאיכא חמש משועבדים וחמש בני חורין

that anywhere that there are only five sela available, i.e., enough to redeem only one man, and one is obligated to redeem both himself and his son, he, the father, takes precedence over his son. What is the reason? It is that his own mitzva is preferable to one that he performs on behalf of others. When they disagree is in a case where there is land worth five sela that is liened property that has been sold, i.e., he sold this land to other people but it can be reclaimed by his prior creditor, and five sela which is entirely unsold property.

ר' יהודה סבר מלוה דכתיב בתורה ככתובה בשטר דמיא בהני חמש פריק לבריה ואזיל כהן וטריף ליה לחמש משועבדים לדידיה

And the reasoning behind the dispute is as follows: Rabbi Yehuda maintains that a loan that is written in the Torah, i.e., any financial obligation that applies by Torah law, is considered as though it is written in a document, and therefore it can be collected from liened property, like any loan recorded in a document. This means that the liened property worth five sela is available for one’s own redemption, but not for that of his son, as the sale of the property occurred before the birth of his firstborn. Consequently, with these five sela upon which there is no lien he redeems his son, and the priest goes and repossesses the land worth five sela that is liened property for his own redemption. In this manner one can fulfill both mitzvot.

ורבנן סברי מלוה דכתיב באורייתא לאו ככתובה בשטר דמיא והילכך מצוה דגופיה עדיף

And the Rabbis maintain: A loan that is written in the Torah is not considered as though it is written in a document, since buyers will not be aware of this obligation, so that they should be aware that the land may be repossessed. And therefore there is no advantage for this man to redeem his son with the five sela upon which there is no lien, and his own mitzva is preferable, which means he redeems himself with the free land. With the liened property that is left he cannot redeem his son, as the land was sold before the birth of his firstborn.

ת"ר לפדות את בנו ולעלות לרגל פודה את בנו ואחר כך עולה לרגל ר' יהודה אומר עולה לרגל ואח"כ פודה את בנו שזו מצוה עוברת וזו מצוה שאינה עוברת

The Sages taught: If one has money to redeem his son and to ascend to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival, he redeems his son and then ascends to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival. Rabbi Yehuda says: He ascends to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival and then redeems his son. His reasoning is that this trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival is a mitzva whose time soon passes, and this, the redemption of the firstborn son, is a mitzva whose time does not soon pass, as it can be fulfilled later.

בשלמא לר' יהודה כדקאמר טעמא אלא רבנן מאי טעמייהו דאמר קרא (שמות לד, כ) כל בכור בניך תפדה והדר לא יראו פני ריקם

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, it is as he stated in his reasoning, i.e., Rabbi Yehuda provided the rationale for his opinion. But what is the reasoning of the Rabbis, who say that he should first redeem his son? The Gemara answers that the reason is that the verse states: “All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem” (Exodus 34:20), and it then states, in the same verse: “And none shall appear before me empty,” referring to the pilgrimage Festival in Jerusalem. The order of the verse indicates that one should redeem his firstborn son before traveling to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival.

ת"ר מנין שאם היו לו חמשה בנים מחמש נשים שחייב לפדות כולן ת"ל כל בכור בניך תפדה פשיטא בפטר רחם תלא רחמנא

The Sages taught: From where is it derived that if one had five firstborn sons, from five different women, he is obligated to redeem them all? The verse states: “All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem” (Exodus 34:20), and the emphasis of “all” includes any of one’s firstborn sons. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it obvious this is the case? After all, the Merciful One made this mitzva dependent upon the opening of the womb, as it states: “Sanctify to Me all the firstborn, whoever opens the womb” (Exodus 13:2). Since each of these sons is the firstborn of his mother, it is clear that the father is required to redeem each of them.

מהו דתימא נילף בכור בכור מנחלה מה להלן ראשית אונו אף כאן ראשית אונו קמ"ל:

The Gemara answers that this ruling is necessary lest you say that we should derive a verbal analogy between “firstborn” stated here and “firstborn” from the verses dealing with inheritance: Just as there, the verse describes a firstborn who receives a double portion of the inheritance as: “The first fruit of his strength” (Deuteronomy 21:17), i.e., he is the firstborn son to his father, and not the first child born to his mother; so too here, with regard to the redemption of the firstborn son, it is referring to the first fruit of his strength, which would mean that the father need redeem only his oldest child. Therefore, this baraita teaches us that this is not the case. Rather, every firstborn son to his mother must be redeemed.

ללמדו תורה: מנלן דכתיב (דברים יא, יט) ולמדתם אותם את בניכם והיכא דלא אגמריה אבוה מיחייב איהו למיגמר נפשיה דכתיב ולמדתם

§ The baraita teaches that a father is obligated to teach his son Torah. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this requirement? As it is written: “And you shall teach them [velimadtem] to your sons” (Deuteronomy 11:19). And in a case where his father did not teach him he is obligated to teach himself, as it is written, i.e., the verse can be read with a different vocalization: And you shall study [ulmadtem].

איהי מנלן דלא מיחייבא דכתיב ולימדתם ולמדתם כל שמצווה ללמוד מצווה ללמד וכל שאינו מצווה ללמוד אינו מצווה ללמד

From where do we derive that a woman is not obligated to teach her son Torah? As it is written: “And you shall teach [velimadtem],” which can be read as: And you shall study [ulmadtem]. This indicates that whoever is commanded to study Torah is commanded to teach, and whoever is not commanded to study is not commanded to teach. Since a woman is not obligated to learn Torah, she is likewise not obligated to teach it.

ואיהי מנלן דלא מיחייבה למילף נפשה דכתיב ולימדתם ולמדתם כל שאחרים מצווין ללמדו מצווה ללמד את עצמו וכל שאין אחרים מצווין ללמדו אין מצווה ללמד את עצמו ומנין שאין אחרים מצווין ללמדה דאמר קרא ולמדתם אותם את בניכם ולא בנותיכם

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that she is not obligated to teach herself? The Gemara answers: As it is written: “And you shall teach [velimadtem],” which can be read as: And you shall study [ulmadtem], which indicates that whoever others are commanded to teach is commanded to teach himself, and whoever others are not commanded to teach is not commanded to teach himself. And from where is it derived that others are not commanded to teach a woman? As the verse states: “And you shall teach them to your sons” (Deuteronomy 11:19), which emphasizes: Your sons and not your daughters.

ת"ר הוא ללמוד ובנו ללמוד הוא קודם לבנו ר' יהודה אומר אם בנו זריז וממולח ותלמודו מתקיים בידו בנו קודמו כי הא דרב יעקב בריה דרב אחא בר יעקב שדריה אבוה לקמיה דאביי כי אתא חזייה דלא הוה מיחדדין שמעתיה א"ל אנא עדיפא מינך תוב את דאיזיל אנא

The Sages taught: If one wishes to study Torah himself and his son also wants to study, he takes precedence over his son. Rabbi Yehuda says: If his son is diligent and sharp, and his study will endure, his son takes precedence over him. This is like that anecdote which is told about Rav Ya’akov, son of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov, whose father sent him to Abaye to study Torah. When the son came home, his father saw that his studies were not sharp, as he was insufficiently bright. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said to his son: I am preferable to you, and it is better that I go and study. Therefore, you sit and handle the affairs of the house so that I can go and study.

שמע אביי דקא הוה אתי הוה ההוא מזיק בי רבנן דאביי דכי הוו עיילי בתרין אפי' ביממא הוו מיתזקי אמר להו לא ליתיב ליה אינש אושפיזא אפשר דמתרחיש ניסא

Abaye heard that Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov was coming. There was a certain demon in the study hall of Abaye, which was so powerful that when two people would enter they would be harmed, even during the day. Abaye said to the people of the town: Do not give Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov lodging [ushpiza] so that he will be forced to spend the night in the study hall. Since Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov is a righteous man, perhaps a miracle will occur on his behalf and he will kill the demon.

על בת בההוא בי רבנן אידמי ליה כתנינא דשבעה רישוותיה כל כריעה דכרע נתר חד רישיה אמר להו למחר אי לא איתרחיש ניסא סכינתין

Rav Aḥa found no place to spend the night, and he entered and spent the night in that study hall of the Sages. The demon appeared to him like a serpent with seven heads. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov began to pray, and with every bow that he bowed one of the demon’s heads fell off, until it eventually died. The next day Rav Aḥa said to the townspeople: If a miracle had not occurred, you would have placed me in danger.

ת"ר ללמוד תורה ולישא אשה ילמוד תורה ואח"כ ישא אשה ואם א"א לו בלא אשה ישא אשה ואח"כ ילמוד תורה אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה נושא אשה ואח"כ ילמוד תורה

The Sages taught: If one has to decide whether to study Torah or to marry a woman, which should he do first? He should study Torah and afterward marry a woman. And if it is impossible for him to be without a wife, he should marry a woman and then study Torah. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The halakha is that one should marry a woman and afterward study Torah.

ר' יוחנן אמר ריחיים בצוארו ויעסוק בתורה ולא פליגי הא לן והא להו:

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: How can one do this? With a millstone hanging from his neck, i.e., with the responsibility of providing for his family weighing upon him, can he engage in Torah study? The Gemara comments: And the amora’im do not disagree; this is for us and that is for them. In other words, one statement applies to the residents of Babylonia, whereas the other is referring to those living in Eretz Yisrael.

משתבח ליה רב חסדא לרב הונא בדרב המנונא דאדם גדול הוא א"ל כשיבא לידך הביאהו לידי כי אתא חזייה דלא פריס סודרא א"ל מאי טעמא לא פריסת סודרא א"ל דלא נסיבנא אהדרינהו לאפיה מיניה א"ל חזי דלא חזית להו לאפי עד דנסבת

§ With regard to marriage, the Gemara relates: Rav Ḥisda would praise Rav Hamnuna to Rav Huna by saying that he is a great man. Rav Huna said to him: When he comes to you, send him to me. When Rav Hamnuna came before him, Rav Huna saw that he did not cover his head with a cloth, as Torah scholars did. Rav Huna said to him: What is the reason that you do not cover your head with a cloth? Rav Hamnuna said to him: The reason is that I am not married, and it was not customary for unmarried men to cover their heads with a cloth. Rav Huna turned his face away from him in rebuke, and he said to him: See to it that you do not see my face until you marry.

רב הונא לטעמיה דאמר בן עשרים שנה ולא נשא אשה כל ימיו בעבירה בעבירה סלקא דעתך אלא אימא כל ימיו בהרהור עבירה

The Gemara notes: Rav Huna conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as he says: If one is twenty years old and has not yet married a woman, all of his days will be in a state of sin concerning sexual matters. The Gemara asks: Can it enter your mind that he will be in a state of sin all of his days? Rather, say that this means the following: All of his days will be in a state of thoughts of sin, i.e., sexual thoughts. One who does not marry in his youth will become accustomed to thoughts of sexual matters, and the habit will remain with him the rest of his life.

אמר רבא וכן תנא דבי ר' ישמעאל עד כ' שנה יושב הקב"ה ומצפה לאדם מתי ישא אשה כיון שהגיע כ' ולא נשא אומר תיפח עצמותיו

Rava said, and similarly, the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Until one reaches the age of twenty years the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and waits for a man, saying: When will he marry a woman. Once he reaches the age of twenty and has not married, He says: Let his bones swell, i.e., he is cursed and God is no longer concerned about him.

אמר רב חסדא האי דעדיפנא מחבראי דנסיבנא בשיתסר ואי הוה נסיבנא בארביסר

Rav Ḥisda said: The fact that I am superior to my colleagues is because I married at the age of sixteen, and if I would have married at the age of fourteen,