האומר לשפחתו הרי את בת חורין וולדך עבד הולד כמותה דברי ר' יוסי הגלילי וחכ"א דבריו קיימים משום שנאמר (שמות כא, ד) האשה וילדיה תהיה לאדוניה
With regard to one who says to his pregnant Canaanite maidservant: You are hereby a free woman but your offspring shall remain a slave, the offspring is emancipated like her. This is the statement of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili. And the Rabbis say: The master’s statement is upheld, because it is stated: “The wife and her children shall be her master’s” (Exodus 21:4).
מאי תלמודא אמר רבא אדרבי יוסי הגלילי
The Gemara expresses surprise at this ruling: What is the biblical derivation here? How do the Rabbis learn from here that the child of an emancipated maidservant remains a slave in this case? Rava said: The proof from the verse beginning with: “The wife and her children,” is not the source of the opinion of the Rabbis. Rather, this is referring to the statement of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, who claims that the children follow their mother, as indicated by this verse. Consequently, if she is emancipated, her offspring do not retain the status of slaves.
מתני׳ ר' טרפון אומר יכולין ממזרין ליטהר כיצד ממזר שנשא שפחה הולד עבד שיחררו נמצא הבן בן חורין רבי אליעזר אומר הרי זה עבד ממזר
MISHNA: Rabbi Tarfon says: Mamzerim can be purified, so that their offspring will not be mamzerim. How so? With regard to a mamzer who married a Canaanite maidservant, their offspring is a slave. If his master subsequently emancipates him, that son is found to be a freeman, rather than a mamzer. Rabbi Eliezer says: This method is not effective, as this son is a mamzer slave.
גמ׳ איבעיא להו רבי טרפון לכתחילה קאמר או דיעבד קאמר תא שמע אמרו לו לרבי טרפון טיהרת את הזכרים ולא טיהרת את הנקיבות
GEMARA: A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Did Rabbi Tarfon state his halakha ab initio, i.e., a mamzer is permitted to marry a maidservant, or did he state it only after the fact, but he does not permit a mamzer to marry a maidservant ab initio? The Gemara answers: Come and hear proof from a baraita: The other Sages said to Rabbi Tarfon: You have thereby purified the male offspring of a mamzer, but you have not purified the female children of mamzerim, as your solution does not apply to them.
ואי אמרת לכתחילה קאמר ממזרת נמי תינסיב לעבדא עבד אין לו חייס
The Gemara explains the apparent proof from this baraita. And if you say that Rabbi Tarfon stated his halakha ab initio and permitted a mamzer to marry a Canaanite maidservant, a mamzeret should also be allowed to marry a Canaanite slave and her child can then be emancipated as well. The Gemara answers: A slave has no lineage. Even if she were to marry a slave, their child would not be considered his, but would be a Jewish mamzer like her. Consequently, this source provides no proof with regard to the Gemara’s question.
תא שמע דאושפזיכניה דרבי שמלאי ממזר הוה ואמר ליה אי אקדמתך טהרתינהו לבנך אי אמרת בשלמא לכתחילה שפיר אלא אי אמרת דיעבד מאי ניהו
The Gemara further suggests: Come and hear, as Rabbi Simlai’s host was a mamzer, and Rabbi Simlai said to him: Had I found out about your status earlier, before you married and had children, I would have purified your sons by advising you to marry a Canaanite maidservant, as suggested by Rabbi Tarfon. The Gemara explains the proof: Granted, if you say that Rabbi Tarfon spoke ab initio, it is well that Rabbi Simlai would suggest this. But if you say that he meant only that this method is effective after the fact, what was the advice that Rabbi Simlai would have given his host?
דמנסיב ליה עצה ואמר ליה זיל גנוב ואיזדבן בעבד עברי ובשני דר' שמלאי עבד עברי מי הוה והאמר מר אין עבד עברי נוהג אלא בזמן שהיובל נוהג אלא לאו שמע מינה רבי טרפון לכתחילה קאמר שמע מינה אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כר' טרפון
The Gemara answers that Rabbi Simlai would have advised him by saying: Go steal, and be sold as a Hebrew slave, which would mean you could marry a Canaanite maidservant and your offspring would be slaves. The Gemara asks: But in the days of Rabbi Simlai, was the halakha of a Hebrew slave observed in practice? But didn’t the Master say: The halakha of a Hebrew slave is practiced only when the Jubilee Year is practiced, and Rabbi Simlai lived many years after the observance of the Jubilee Year ceased. Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from it that Rabbi Tarfon spoke ab initio, i.e., it is permitted for a mamzer to marry a Canaanite maidservant? The Gemara affirms: Indeed, conclude from the baraita that this is the case. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Tarfon.
רבי אליעזר אומר הרי זה עבד ממזר אמר ר' אלעזר מאי טעמיה דרבי אליעזר דאמר קרא (דברים כג, ג) לו הלך אחר פסולו
§ The mishna teaches that Rabbi Eliezer says: This son is a mamzer slave. Rabbi Elazar said: What is the reason of Rabbi Eliezer? As the verse states with regard to a mamzer: “Even to the tenth generation none of his shall enter the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:3), which indicates that in the case of the child of a mamzer and a Canaanite maidservant, one follows his parent with the flawed lineage, and the child is a mamzer.
ורבנן ההוא בישראל שנשא ממזרת סלקא דעתך אמינא (במדבר ד, ב) למשפחותם לבית אבותם כתיב אתא לו אפקיה
The Gemara asks: And how do the Rabbis, i.e., Rabbi Tarfon, respond to this claim? Rabbi Tarfon maintains that this verse is referring to a Jew of unflawed lineage who married a mamzeret. It might enter your mind to say that as it is written: “By their families, by their fathers’ houses” (Numbers 4:2), the child should follow his father’s lineage rather than that of his mother. Therefore, the term “of his” in the previously cited verse comes to exclude him from his father’s lineage, as it indicates that his lineage follows his mother when she is a mamzeret.
ורבי אליעזר לאו אע"ג דכתב למשפחותם לבית אבותם אתא לו אפקיה הכא נמי אף ע"ג דכתיב (שמות כא, ד) האשה וילדיה תהיה לאדוניה אתא לו אפקיה ורבנן כל ולד במעי שפחה כנענית כולד במעי בהמה דמי
And how does Rabbi Eliezer respond to this claim? Is it not the case that even though the Torah wrote: “By their families, by their fathers’ houses,” nevertheless, the term “of his” comes and excludes him? Here too, although it is written: “The wife and her children shall be her master’s” (Exodus 21:4), from which it is derived that the child of a Canaanite maidservant is like her, nevertheless the term “of his” comes and excludes him. And how do the Rabbis, Rabbi Tarfon, respond to this claim? They say: Any offspring in the womb of a Canaanite maidservant is considered like the offspring in an animal’s womb. Consequently, her children do not inherit the father’s status, even if his is the flawed lineage.
הדרן עלך האומר
May we return to you, chapter “the one who says”
מתני׳ עשרה יוחסים עלו מבבל כהני לויי ישראלי חללי גירי וחרורי ממזירי נתיני שתוקי ואסופי
MISHNA: There were ten categories of lineage, with varying restrictions on marriage, among the Jews who ascended from Babylonia to Eretz Yisrael with Ezra before the building of the Second Temple. They are as follows: Priests; Levites; Israelites; priests disqualified due to flawed lineage [ḥalalim]; converts, and emancipated slaves; mamzerim; Gibeonites, i.e., the descendants of the Gibeonites who converted in the time of Joshua; children of unknown paternity [shetuki]; and foundlings.
כהני לויי וישראלי מותרין לבא זה בזה לויי ישראלי חללי גירי וחרורי מותרין לבא זה בזה
The mishna proceeds to detail their halakhot: With regard to priests, Levites, and Israelites, it is permitted for men and women in these categories to marry one another. With regard to Levites who are not priests, Israelites, ḥalalim, converts, and emancipated slaves, it is permitted for men and women in these categories to marry one another.
גירי וחרורי ממזירי ונתיני שתוקי ואסופי כולם מותרין לבא זה בזה ואלו הם שתוקי כל שהוא מכיר את אמו ואינו מכיר את אביו אסופי כל שנאסף מן השוק ואינו מכיר לא את אביו ולא אמו אבא שאול היה קורא לשתוקי בדוקי
With regard to converts, and emancipated slaves, mamzerim, and Gibeonites, children of unknown paternity [shetuki], and foundlings, it is permitted for all of the men and women in these categories to marry one another. And these are the last two categories: A shetuki is any person who knows the identity of his mother but does not know the identity of his father. A foundling is anyone who was collected from the marketplace and doesn’t know the identity of his parents, neither that of his father nor that of his mother. These two categories are people whose status is uncertain; they may be mamzerim. Abba Shaul would call a shetuki by the label of beduki.
גמ׳ עשרה יוחסים עלו מבבל מאי איריא דתני עלו מבבל ניתני הלכו לארץ ישראל מילתא אגב אורחיה קמ"ל כדתניא (דברים יז, ח) וקמת ועלית אל המקום אשר יבחר ה' אלהיך מלמד שבית המקדש גבוה מכל ארץ ישראל וארץ ישראל גבוה מכל הארצות
GEMARA: The mishna teaches: There were ten categories of lineage among the Jews who ascended from Babylonia. The Gemara asks: Why does the tanna specifically teach the phrase: Ascended from Babylonia? Why was it important for the tanna to specify their place of origin? Let him teach that they went to Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara answers: He teaches us a matter in passing, as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “And you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord, your God, shall choose” (Deuteronomy 17:8). This teaches that the Temple is higher than all of Eretz Yisrael, which is why the verse speaks of ascending from the cities of Eretz Yisrael to the Temple. And it teaches that Eretz Yisrael is higher than all of the lands.
בשלמא בית המקדש גבוה מכל ארץ ישראל היינו דכתיב
The Gemara asks: Granted, the Temple is higher than all of Eretz Yisrael. This is derived from that which is written: