Kiddushin 71a:14קידושין ע״א א:יד
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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71aע״א א

מטהר שבטים שבטו של לוי מטהר תחילה שנא' (מלאכי ג, ג) וישב מצרף ומטהר כסף וטיהר את בני לוי וזיקק אותם כזהב וככסף והיו לי"י מגישי מנחה בצדקה

purifies the tribes, i.e., clarifies their lineage, He will purify that of the tribe of Levi first, as it is stated with regard to the angel sent forth by God: “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and there shall be they that shall offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3).

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי כסף מטהר ממזרים שנאמר וישב מצרף ומטהר כסף מאי מגישי מנחה בצדקה א"ר יצחק צדקה עשה הקב"ה עם ישראל שמשפחה שנטמעה נטמעה

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: Money purifies mamzerim. Money causes rich mamzerim to become assimilated with Jews of unflawed lineage, since other families marry them despite their flawed lineage. In the future, God will not single them out as mamzerim, as it is stated: “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,” which teaches that money, i.e., silver, purifies them. What, then, is the connection to the next part of the verse: “They that shall offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness”? Rabbi Yitzḥak says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, performed an act of righteousness with the Jewish people by establishing that a family that has become assimilated with Jews of unflawed lineage remains assimilated. They are not removed from their tribe despite their flawed lineage.

גופא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל ארצות עיסה לארץ ישראל וארץ ישראל עיסה לבבל בימי רבי בקשו לעשות בבל עיסה לארץ ישראל אמר להן קוצים אתם משימים לי בין עיני רצונכם יטפל עמכם ר' חנינא בר חמא

§ With regard to the matter itself that was discussed earlier, the lineage of the Jews in various lands, Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The lineage of residents of all lands is muddled compared to that of the residents of Eretz Yisrael, and the lineage of residents of Eretz Yisrael is muddled compared to that of Babylonia. The Gemara relates: In the days of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, they sought to establish the lineage of the Jews in Babylonia as muddled relative to that of Eretz Yisrael. In other words, the people of Eretz Yisrael wanted their lineage to be considered superior to that of the residents of Babylonia, so that if people from Eretz Yisrael would wish to marry Babylonians, they would have to investigate the lineage of the Babylonians. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was descended from Hillel, a Babylonian, so he said to those who put forth this suggestion: Are you placing thorns between my eyes? Do you wish to insult me? If you wish, Rabbi Ḥanina bar Ḥama will join you and explain it to you.

נטפל עמהם ר' חנינא בר חמא אמר להם כך מקובלני מר' ישמעאל בר' יוסי שאמר משום אביו כל ארצות עיסה לארץ ישראל וארץ ישראל עיסה לבבל

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Ḥama joined them and said to them: This is the tradition that I received from Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, who says in the name of his father, who was from Eretz Yisrael: The lineage of residents of all lands is muddled compared to that of Eretz Yisrael, and the lineage of residents of Eretz Yisrael is muddled compared to that of Babylonia.

בימי רבי פנחס בקשו לעשות בבל עיסה לארץ ישראל אמר להם לעבדיו כשאני אומר שני דברים בבית המדרש טלוני בעריסה ורוצו כי עייל אמר להם אין שחיטה לעוף מן התורה

The Gemara further relates with regard to the same issue: In the days of Rabbi Pineḥas, they sought to establish the lineage of Babylonia as muddled relative to that of Eretz Yisrael. He said to his servants: When I have said two statements in the house of study, pick me up on a stretcher and run, so that I will not be attacked for my statements. When he entered the house of study he said to those studying there: Slaughter of a bird is not obligatory by Torah law.

אדיתבי וקמעייני בה אמר להו כל ארצות עיסה לארץ ישראל וארץ ישראל עיסה לבבל נטלוהו בעריסה ורצו רצו אחריו ולא הגיעוהו ישבו ובדקו עד שהגיעו לסכנה ופירשו

While they were sitting and scrutinizing this novel halakha, he said to them: The lineage of residents of all lands is muddled compared to that of Eretz Yisrael, and the lineage of residents of Eretz Yisrael is muddled compared to that of Babylonia. His servants picked him up on a stretcher and ran. Those that were in the house of study pursued him but could not catch him. Nevertheless, they sat and examined the lineage of various families in order to determine whether in fact the lineage of the residents of Eretz Yisrael was problematic, until they reached powerful families. It was dangerous to accuse them of flaws due to their power, and they withdrew from their inspections.

א"ר יוחנן היכלא בידינו היא אבל מה אעשה שהרי גדולי הדור נטמעו בה סבר לה כר' יצחק דאמר ר' יצחק משפחה שנטמעה נטמעה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says as an oath: By the Sanctuary! It is in our power to reveal the identity of a family that has a flawed lineage, but what can I do, as the greatest of the generation are assimilated into it? Consequently, I will not reveal its name. The Gemara comments: Rabbi Yoḥanan holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yitzḥak, as Rabbi Yitzḥak says: A family that has become assimilated remains assimilated, and one should not reveal their flawed status.

אמר אביי אף אנן נמי תנינא משפחת בית הצריפה היתה בעבר הירדן וריחקה בן ציון בזרוע עוד אחרת היתה וקירבה בן ציון בזרוע כגון אלו אליהו בא לטמא ולטהר לרחק ולקרב כגון אלו דידעין אבל משפחה שנטמעה נטמעה

Abaye said: We too learn in the mishna (Eduyyot 8:7): There was a family known as Beit HaTzerifa in Transjordan, and a person called ben Tziyyon forcefully distanced it and proclaimed that its lineage was flawed, although its lineage was unflawed. There was another one that ben Tzion forcefully drew near, although its lineage was flawed. The mishna adds: Known families such as these, Elijah comes to declare impure and to declare pure, to distance and to draw near. Abaye continues: When the mishna states: Such as these, it means those whose status we know. But a family that has become assimilated, whose flawed lineage is unknown to the public, has already become assimilated, and not even Elijah will publicize its flaw.

תאנא עוד אחרת היתה ולא רצו חכמים לגלותה אבל חכמים מוסרים אותו לבניהם ולתלמידיהן פעם אחת בשבוע ואמרי לה פעמים בשבוע אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מסתברא כמאן דאמר פעם אחת בשבוע כדתניא הריני נזיר אם לא אגלה משפחות יהיה נזיר ולא יגלה משפחות

The Sage taught (Tosefta, Eduyyot 3:4): There was another family with flawed lineage, but the Sages did not want to reveal its identity to all. But the Sages transmit its name to their children and to their students once every seven years, and some say twice every seven years, to prevent them from marrying into their family. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: It stands to reason in accordance with the one who says that they transmit it once every seven years, as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Nazir 1:2): One who says: I am hereby a nazirite if I do not reveal the names of families of flawed lineage among the Jewish people, he should be a nazirite and not reveal the identity of such families. This shows that such information should be kept secret as much as possible.

אמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר ר' יוחנן שם בן ארבע אותיות חכמים מוסרין אותו לתלמידיהן פעם אחת בשבוע ואמרי לה פעמים בשבוע אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מסתברא כמאן דאמר פעם אחת בשבוע דכתיב (שמות ג, טו) זה שמי לעולם לעלם כתיב רבא סבר למידרשיה בפירקא א"ל ההוא סבא לעלם כתיב

§ The above statement, concerning a matter that the Sages transmitted privately and infrequently, leads the Gemara to teach a similar halakha: Rabba bar bar Ḥana says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The Sages transmit the correct pronunciation of the four-letter name of God to their students once every seven years, and some say twice every seven years. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: It stands to reason in accordance with the one who says that they transmit it once every seven years, as it is written: “This is My name forever [le’olam]” (Exodus 3:15), which is written so that it can be read le’alem, to hide. This indicates that the Divine Name must remain hidden. The Gemara relates: Rava planned to expound and explain the proper way to say the name in a public discourse. A certain elder said to him: It is written so that it can be read le’alem, indicating that it must stay hidden.

רבי אבינא רמי כתיב (שמות ג, טו) זה שמי וכתיב (שמות ג, טו) זה זכרי אמר הקב"ה לא כשאני נכתב אני נקרא נכתב אני ביו"ד ה"י ונקרא באל"ף דל"ת

Rabbi Avina raised a contradiction: It is written: “This is My name,” indicating that the name as written is that of God; and it is written: “This is My remembrance” (Exodus 3:15), which indicates that it is not God’s actual name but merely a way of remembering His name. The explanation is as follows: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Not as I am written am I pronounced. I am written with the letters yod, heh, vav, heh, while My name is pronounced with the letters alef, dalet, nun, yod.

ת"ר בראשונה שם בן שתים עשרה אותיות היו מוסרין אותו לכל אדם משרבו הפריצים היו מוסרים אותו לצנועים שבכהונה והצנועים שבכהונה מבליעים אותו בנעימת אחיהם הכהנים תניא אמר רבי טרפון פעם אחת עליתי אחר אחי אמי לדוכן והטיתי אזני אצל כהן גדול ושמעתי שהבליע שם בנעימת אחיו הכהנים

The Sages taught: Initially, the Sages would transmit the twelve-letter name of God to any person. When the uninhibited ones who used the name disrespectfully increased, they would transmit it only to discreet members of the priesthood, and the discreet members of the priesthood would pronounce the name during the Priestly Benediction. They would conceal it by saying it during the sweet melody of their priestly brothers, so that it would not become publicly known. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Tarfon, who was himself a priest, said: On one occasion I ascended after my mother’s brother to the platform to give the Priestly Benediction, and I inclined my ear near the High Priest, and I heard him conceal the name during the sweet melody of his priestly brothers.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שם בן ארבעים ושתים אותיות אין מוסרין אותו אלא למי שצנוע ועניו ועומד בחצי ימיו ואינו כועס ואינו משתכר ואינו מעמיד על מדותיו וכל היודעו והזהיר בו והמשמרו בטהרה אהוב למעלה ונחמד למטה ואימתו מוטלת על הבריות ונוחל שני עולמים העולם הזה והעולם הבא

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The forty-two-letter name of God may be transmitted only to one who is discreet, and humble, and stands at at least half his life, and does not get angry, and does not get drunk, and does not insist upon his rights but is willing to yield. There is no concern that such a person might reveal the name in a fit of anger or drunkenness. And anyone who knows this name and is careful with it and guards it in purity is beloved above and treasured below; and fear of him is cast upon the creatures; and he inherits two worlds, this world and the World-to-Come.

אמר שמואל משמיה דסבא בבל בחזקת כשרה עומדת עד שיודע לך במה נפסלה שאר ארצות בחזקת פסול הן עומדות עד שיודע לך במה נכשרה ארץ ישראל מוחזק לפסול פסול מוחזק לכשר כשר

§ The Gemara returns to the issue of lineage: Shmuel says in the name of a certain elder: A family in Babylonia has a presumptive status of unflawed lineage until it becomes known to you in what way it was rendered of flawed lineage. Conversely, a family from other lands has a presumptive status of flawed lineage until it becomes known to you in what way it was rendered unflawed. As for families in Eretz Yisrael, one who has a presumptive status of flawed lineage is of flawed lineage, whereas one who has presumptive status of unflawed lineage is of unflawed lineage.

הא גופא קשיא אמרת מוחזק לפסול פסול הא סתמא כשר והדר תני מוחזק לכשר כשר הא סתמא פסול אמר רב הונא בר תחליפא משמיה דרב לא קשיא

The Gemara is puzzled by this last statement: This matter itself is difficult: First, you said that a family that has a presumptive status of flawed lineage is of flawed lineage, indicating that a family with unspecified status is of unflawed lineage. And then you teach: A family that has a presumptive status of unflawed lineage is of unflawed lineage, indicating that a family with unspecified status is of flawed lineage. Rav Huna bar Taḥalifa said in the name of Rav: This is not difficult.