אֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹם אִשָּׁה עַל יְדֵי בַּעְלָהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָכִי אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל אֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹם אִשָּׁה כְּלָל שְׁלַחָה לֵיהּ דְּבֵיתְהוּ שְׁרִי לֵיהּ תִּגְרֵיהּ דְּלָא נִישַׁוְּויָךְ כִּשְׁאָר עַם הָאָרֶץ One may not send greetings to a woman even with a messenger, as this may cause the messenger and the woman to relate to each other inappropriately. Rav Naḥman countered by suggesting that he send his greetings with her husband, which would remove all concerns. Rav Yehuda said to him: This is what Shmuel says: One may not send greetings to a woman at all. Yalta, his wife, who overheard that Rav Yehuda was getting the better of the exchange, sent a message to him: Release him and conclude your business with him, so that he not equate you with another ignoramus.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאי שְׁיָאטֵיהּ דְּמָר הָכָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ טַסְקָא דְהַזְמָנוּתָא שַׁדַּר מָר אַבָּתְרַאי אֲמַר לֵיהּ הַשְׁתָּא שׁוּתָא דְמָר לָא גְּמִירְנָא טַסְקָא דְהַזְמָנוּתָא מְשַׁדַּרְנָא לְמָר אַפֵּיק דִּיסְקָא דְהַזְמָנוּתָא מִבֵּי חָדֵיהּ וְאַחְזִי לֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָא גַּבְרָא וְהָא דִּסְקָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ הוֹאִיל וַאֲתָא מָר לְהָכָא לִישְׁתַּעֵי מִילֵּיהּ כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלָא לֵימְרוּ מְחַנְּפִי רַבָּנַן אַהֲדָדֵי Desiring to release Rav Yehuda, Rav Naḥman said to him: What is the reason that the Master is here? Rav Yehuda said to him: The Master sent me a summons. Rav Naḥman said to him: Now that I have not even learned the Master’s form of speech, as you have demonstrated your superiority to me by reproving me even over such matters, could I have sent a summons to the Master? Rav Yehuda removed the summons from his bosom and showed it to him. While doing so, Rav Yehuda said to him: Here is the man and here is the document. Rav Naḥman said to him: Since the Master has come here, let him present his statement, in order that people should not say: The Sages flatter one another and do not judge each other according to the letter of the law.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאי טַעְמָא שַׁמְּתֵיהּ מָר לְהָהוּא גַּבְרָא צַיעַר שְׁלִיחָא דְרַבָּנַן וְנַגְּדֵיהּ מָר דְּרַב מְנַגֵּיד עַל מַאן דִּמְצַעַר שְׁלוּחָא דְרַבָּנַן דַּעֲדִיף מִינֵּיהּ עֲבַדִי לֵיהּ Rav Naḥman commenced the deliberation, and said to him: What is the reason that the Master excommunicated that man? Rav Yehuda replied: He caused discomfort to an agent of one of the Sages, and therefore he deserved the punishment of one who causes discomfort to a Torah scholar. Rav Naḥman challenged this answer: If so, let the Master flog him, as Rav would flog one who causes discomfort to an agent of the Sages. Rav Yehuda responded: I punished him more severely than that. Rabbi Yehuda held that excommunication is a more severe punishment than flogging.
מַאי טַעְמָא אַכְרֵיז מָר עֲלֵיהּ דְּעַבְדָּא הוּא אֲמַר לֵיהּ דִּרְגִיל דְּקָרֵי אִינָשֵׁי עַבְדֵי וְתָנֵי כׇּל הַפּוֹסֵל פָּסוּל וְאֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר בִּשְׁבָחָא לְעוֹלָם וְאָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל בְּמוּמוֹ פּוֹסֵל אֵימַר דְּאָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל לְמֵיחַשׁ לֵיהּ לְאַכְרוֹזֵי עֲלֵיהּ מִי אָמַר Rav Naḥman further inquired: What is the reason that the Master proclaimed about him that he is a slave? Rav Yehuda said to him: Because he is in the habit of calling people slaves, and it is taught: Anyone who disqualifies others by stating that their lineage is flawed, that is a sign that he himself is of flawed lineage. Another indication of his lineage being flawed is that he never speaks in praise of others. And Shmuel said: He disqualifies with his own flaw. Rav Naḥman retorted: You can say that Shmuel said this halakha only to the degree that one should suspect him of being of flawed lineage. But did he actually say this to the extent that one could proclaim about him that he is of flawed lineage?
אַדְּהָכִי וְהָכִי (אֲתָא הַהוּא בַּר דִּינֵיהּ מִנְּהַרְדָּעֵי) אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָהוּא בַּר דִּינֵיהּ לְרַב יְהוּדָה לְדִידִי קָרֵית לִי עַבְדָּא דְּאָתֵינָא מִבֵּית חַשְׁמוֹנַאי מַלְכָּא אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָכִי אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל כֹּל דְּאָמַר מִדְּבֵית חַשְׁמוֹנַאי קָאָתֵינָא עַבְדָּא הוּא The Gemara continues the story: Meanwhile, that litigant arrived from Neharde’a. That litigant said to Rav Yehuda: You call me a slave? I, who come from the house of the Hasmonean kings? Rav Yehuda said to him: This is what Shmuel says: Anyone who says: I come from the house of the Hasmonean kings, is a slave. As will be explained, only slaves remained of their descendants.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ לָא סָבַר לַהּ מָר לְהָא דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא אָמַר רַב הוּנָא אָמַר רַב כׇּל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁמּוֹרֶה הֲלָכָה וּבָא אִם קוֹדֶם מַעֲשֶׂה אֲמָרָהּ שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ וְאִם לָאו אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָא אִיכָּא רַב מַתְנָה דְּקָאֵי כְּווֹתִי Rav Naḥman, who heard this exchange, said to Rav Yehuda: Does the Master not hold in accordance with this halakha that Rabbi Abba says that Rav Huna says that Rav says: With regard to any Torah scholar who proceeds to teach a ruling of halakha with regard to a particular issue, if he said it before an action that concerns himself occurred, they should listen to him, and his ruling is accepted. But if not, if he quoted the halakha only after he was involved in an incident related to the halakha he is quoting, they do not listen to him, due to his personal involvement? Your testimony with regard to what Shmuel ruled should be ignored, as you stated it only after the incident. Rav Yehuda said to Rav Naḥman: There is Rav Mattana, who stands by my report, since he has also heard this ruling of Shmuel.
רַב מַתְנָה לָא חַזְיַיהּ לִנְהַרְדְּעָא תְּלֵיסַר שְׁנֵי הָהוּא יוֹמָא אֲתָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ דְּכִיר מָר מַאי אֲמַר שְׁמוּאֵל כִּי קָאֵי חֲדָא כַּרְעָא אַגּוּדָּא וַחֲדָא כַּרְעָא בְּמַבָּרָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָכִי אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל כֹּל דְּאָמַר מִדְּבֵית חַשְׁמוֹנַאי מַלְכָּא קָאָתֵינָא עַבְדָּא הוּא דְּלָא אִישְׁתְּיוּר מִינַּיְיהוּ אֶלָּא הַהִיא רְבִיתָא דְּסָלְקָא לְאִיגָּרָא וְרָמְיָא קָלָא וְאָמְרָה כֹּל דְּאָמַר מִבֵּית חַשְׁמוֹנַאי אֲנָא עַבְדָּא הוּא The Gemara continues: Rav Mattana had not seen the city of Neharde’a for thirteen years. That very day he arrived. Rav Yehuda said to him: Does the Master remember what Shmuel said when he was standing with one foot on the bank and one foot on the ferry? Rav Mattana said to him: This is what Shmuel said at that time: Anyone who says: I come from the house of the Hasmonean kings, is a slave, as none remained of them except for that young girl who ascended to the roof and raised her voice and said: From now on, anyone who says: I come from the house of the Hasmonean kings, is a slave. Other than this girl, the only members of the family who remained were descendants of Herod, and he was an Edomite slave.
נְפַלָה מֵאִיגָּרָא וּמִיתָה אַכְרוּז עֲלֵיהּ דְּעַבְדָּא הוּא The girl then fell from the roof and died, leaving only slaves from the Hasmoneans. With the confirmation of the report of the statement of Shmuel, they also publicized in Neharde’a about him, i.e., that man who claimed to come from the Hasmonean kings, that he was a slave.
הָהוּא יוֹמָא אִקַּרְעָן כַּמָּה כְּתוּבָּתָא בִּנְהַרְדְּעָא כִּי קָא נָפֵיק נָפְקִי אַבָּתְרֵיהּ לְמִירְגְּמֵיהּ אֲמַר לְהוּ אִי (שְׁתִיקוּ) [שָׁתְקִיתוּ] שְׁתִיקוּ וְאִי לָא מְגַלֵּינָא עֲלַיְיכוּ הָא דְּאָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל תַּרְתֵּי זַרְעֲיָיתָא אִיכָּא בִּנְהַרְדְּעָא חֲדָא מִיקַּרְיָא דְּבֵי יוֹנָה וַחֲדָא מִיקַּרְיָא דְּבֵי עוֹרַבְתִּי וְסִימָנָיךְ טָמֵא טָמֵא טָהוֹר טָהוֹר שַׁדְיוּהּ לְהָהוּא רִיגְמָא מִידַיְיהוּ וְקָם אַטְמָא בִּנְהַר מַלְכָּא The Gemara relates: On that day, several marriage contracts were torn up in Neharde’a, as many had their marriages annulled after having discovered that they had married slaves. When Rav Yehuda was leaving Neharde’a, they pursued him, seeking to stone him, as because of him it was publicized that their lineage was flawed. Rav Yehuda said to them: If you are silent, remain silent. And if you will not remain silent, I will reveal about you this statement that Shmuel said: There are two lines of offspring in Neharde’a. One is called the dove’s house, and one is called the raven’s house. And your mnemonic with regard to lineage is: The impure bird, the raven, is impure, meaning flawed, and the pure one, the dove, is pure, meaning unflawed. Upon hearing this, they threw all those stones that they were intending to stone him with from their hands, as they did not want him to reveal who had a flawed lineage. And as a result of all of the stones thrown into the river, a dam arose in the Malka River.
מַכְרִיז רַב יְהוּדָה בְּפוּמְבְּדִיתָא אַדָּא וְיוֹנָתָן עַבְדֵי יְהוּדָה בַּר פָּפָּא מַמְזֵירָא בָּטִי בַּר טוֹבִיָּה בְּרָמוּת רוּחָא לָא שָׁקֵיל גִּיטָּא דְחֵירוּתָא מַכְרֵיז רָבָא בְּמָחוֹזָא בַּלָּאֵי דַּנָּאֵי טַלָּאֵי מַלָּאֵי זַגָּאֵי כּוּלָּם לִפְסוּל אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה גּוֹבָאֵי גִּבְעוֹנָאֵי דּוּרְנוּנִיתָא דָּרָאֵי נְתִינָאֵי אָמַר רַב יוֹסֵף הַאי בֵּי כוּבֵּי דְפוּמְבְּדִיתָא כּוּלָּם דְּעַבְדֵי § The Gemara continues the discussion of those with a flawed lineage: Rav Yehuda proclaimed in Pumbedita: Adda and Yonatan, known residents of that town, are slaves; Yehuda bar Pappa is a mamzer; Bati bar Tuviyya, in his arrogance, did not accept a bill of manumission and is still a slave. Rava proclaimed in his city of Meḥoza: Balla’ai, Danna’ai, Talla’ai, Malla’ai, Zagga’ai: All these families are of flawed lineage. Rav Yehuda likewise says: Gova’ai, the inhabitants of a place called Gova, are in fact Gibeonites, and their name has been corrupted. Similarly, those people known as Dorenunita are from the village of Gibeonites, and they may not marry Jews with unflawed lineage. Rav Yosef says: With regard to this place called Bei Kuvei of Pumbedita, its residents are all descendants of slaves.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת עֲבָדִים וְאָמְרִי לַהּ אַרְבַּעַת אֲלָפִים עֲבָדִים הָיוּ לוֹ לְפַשְׁחוּר בֶּן אִימֵּר וְכוּלָּם נִטְמְעוּ בַּכְּהוּנָּה וְכׇל כֹּהֵן שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ עַזּוּת פָּנִים אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מֵהֶם אָמַר אַבָּיֵי כּוּלְּהוּ יָתְבָן בְּשׁוּרָא דְבִנְהַרְדְּעָא וּפְלִיגָא דְּרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אִם רָאִיתָ כֹּהֵן בְּעַזּוּת מֵצַח אַל תְּהַרְהֵר אַחֲרָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְעַמְּךָ כִּמְרִיבֵי כֹהֵן Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: Four hundred slaves, and some say four thousand slaves, were owned by Pashḥur ben Immer, a priest in the time of Jeremiah, and due to their greatness they were assimilated into the priesthood and became known as priests. And any priest who has the trait of insolence is only from them. Abaye said: They all sit in the rows of honor that are in the city of Neharde’a. The Gemara comments: And this statement disagrees with the statement of Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar says: If you see an insolent priest, do not speculate about him that he may be of flawed lineage, since it is stated: “For your people are as those who strive with a priest” (Hosea 4:4), which indicates that priests had a reputation for being cantankerous.
אָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין בַּר רַב אַדָּא אָמַר רַב כׇּל הַנּוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵינָהּ הוֹגֶנֶת לוֹ כְּשֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָתוֹ מֵעִיד עַל כׇּל הַשְּׁבָטִים וְאֵין מֵעִיד עָלָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אֵימָתַי הָוֵי עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַשְּׁבָטִים שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ § The Gemara discusses an idea raised earlier. Rabbi Avin bar Rav Adda says that Rav says: Concerning anyone who marries a woman who is not suited for him to marry, when the Holy One, Blessed be He, rests His Divine Presence upon the Jewish people, He testifies with regard to all the tribes that they are His people, but He does not testify with regard to he who married improperly, as it is stated: “The tribes of the Lord, as a testimony to Israel” (Psalms 122:4). When is it a testimony to Israel? When the tribes are the tribes of the Lord, but not when their lineage is flawed.
אָמַר רַבִּי חָמָא בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא כְּשֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָתוֹ אֵין מַשְׁרֶה אֶלָּא עַל מִשְׁפָּחוֹת מְיוּחָסוֹת שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּעֵת הַהִיא נְאֻם ה' אֶהְיֶה לֵאלֹהִים לְכֹל מִשְׁפְּחוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא לְכֹל מִשְׁפְּחוֹת Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, rests His Divine Presence, He rests it only upon families of unflawed lineage among Israel, as it is stated: “At that time, says the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel” (Jeremiah 30:25). Of all Israel, is not stated, but “of all the families,” which includes only those of unflawed lineage, the renowned families of Israel.
[וְהֵמָּה] יִהְיוּ לִי לְעָם אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר רַב הוּנָא זוֹ מַעֲלָה יְתֵירָה יֵשׁ בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לְגֵרִים דְּאִילּוּ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּתִיב בְּהוּ וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ לִי לְעָם וְאִילּוּ בְּגֵרִים כְּתִיב מִי הוּא זֶה עָרַב אֶת לִבּוֹ לָגֶשֶׁת אֵלַי נְאֻם ה' וִהְיִיתֶם לִי לְעָם וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים The verse from Jeremiah ends with the words “And they shall be my people.” Rabba bar Rav Huna says: This is a higher standard that differentiates between those born as Jews and converts, as with regard to those born as Jews it is written about them: “And I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Ezekiel 37:27), whereas with regard to converts it is written: “For who is he that has pledged his heart to approach unto Me? says the Lord. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Jeremiah 30:21–22). This teaches that converts are not drawn close to God, as indicated by the words “And I will be your God,” until they first draw themselves near to God, as indicated by the subsequent phrase “And you shall be my people.”
אָמַר רַבִּי חֶלְבּוֹ קָשִׁים גֵּרִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּסַפַּחַת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְנִלְוָה הַגֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם וְנִסְפְּחוּ עַל בֵּית יַעֲקֹב כְּתִיב הָכָא וְנִסְפְּחוּ וּכְתִיב הָתָם לַשְּׂאֵת וְלַסַּפַּחַת Rabbi Ḥelbo says: Converts are as difficult for the Jewish people as a scab. The proof is that it is stated: “And the convert shall join himself with them, and they shall cleave [venispeḥu] to the house of Jacob” (Isaiah 14:1). It is written here “venispeḥu,” and it is written there, among the types of leprosy: “And for a sore and for a scab [sappaḥat]” (Leviticus 14:56). The use of a term with a similar root indicates that converts are like a scab for the Jewish people.
אָמַר רַבִּי חָמָא בַּר חֲנִינָא כְּשֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: When the Holy One, Blessed be He,