בניך יפיפין ביותר אמרה להן אינו מספר עמי לא בתחלת הלילה ולא בסוף הלילה אלא בחצות הלילה וכשהוא מספר מגלה טפח ומכסה טפח ודומה עליו כמי שכפאו שד
are your children so beautiful? She said to them: My husband does not converse with me while engaging in sexual intercourse, neither at the beginning of the night nor at the end of the night, but rather at midnight. And when he converses with me while engaging in sexual intercourse, he reveals a handbreadth of my body and covers a handbreadth, and he covers himself up as though he were being coerced by a demon and is covering himself out of fear.
ואמרתי לו מה טעם ואמר לי כדי שלא אתן את עיני באשה אחרת ונמצאו בניו באין לידי ממזרות
And I said to my husband: What is the reason for this behavior? And he said to me: It is so that I will not set my eyes on another woman, i.e., think about another woman; if a man thinks about another woman during sexual intercourse with his wife, his children consequently come close to receiving a mamzer status, i.e., the nature of their souls is tantamount to that of a mamzer. Therefore I engage in sexual intercourse with you at an hour when there are no people in the street, and in this manner. In any event, it can be seen from her words that a Sage conversed with his wife while engaging in sexual intercourse with her.
לא קשיא הא במילי דתשמיש הא במילי אחרנייתא
The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This permission to converse with her is with regard to matters of sexual intercourse, whereas that restriction of conversation is with regard to other matters that are not related to sexual intercourse.
אמר רבי יוחנן זו דברי יוחנן בן דהבאי אבל אמרו חכמים אין הלכה כיוחנן בן דהבאי אלא כל מה שאדם רוצה לעשות באשתו עושה משל לבשר הבא מבית הטבח רצה לאוכלו במלח אוכלו צלי אוכלו מבושל אוכלו שלוק אוכלו וכן דג הבא מבית הצייד
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That is the statement of Yoḥanan ben Dehavai. However, the Rabbis said: The halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Yoḥanan ben Dehavai. Rather, whatever a man wishes to do with his wife he may do. He may engage in sexual intercourse with her in any manner that he wishes, and need not concern himself with these restrictions. As an allegory, it is like meat that comes from the butcher. If he wants to eat it with salt, he may eat it that way. If he wants to eat it roasted, he may eat it roasted. If he wants to eat it cooked, he may eat it cooked. If he wants to eat it boiled, he may eat it boiled. And likewise with regard to fish that come from the fisherman.
אמר אמימר מאן מלאכי השרת רבנן דאי תימא מלאכי השרת ממש אמאי אמר רבי יוחנן אין הלכה כיוחנן בן דהבאי הא אינהו בקיאי בצורת הולד טפי ואמאי קרו להו מלאכי השרת דמצייני כמלאכי השרת
Ameimar said: Who are the ministering angels that Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Dehavai mentioned? He was referring to the Sages, for whom he employed the honorary title: Ministering angels. Because if you say that he was referring to actual ministering angels, why did Rabbi Yoḥanan say that the halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Yoḥanan ben Dehavai? The ministering angels are more knowledgeable about the forming of the fetus than people are. Clearly, if the ministering angels were the source for the ruling of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Dehavai it would have been imperative to heed his instructions. And why are the Sages called ministering angels? Because they stand out like ministering angels, as they are recognized by their clothing.
ההיא דאתאי לקמיה דרבי אמרה לו רבי ערכתי לו שולחן והפכו אמר לה בתי תורה התירתך ואני מה אעשה ליך ההיא דאתאי לקמיה דרב אמרה לו רבי ערכתי לו שולחן והפכו אמר מאי שנא מן ביניתא
The Gemara relates: A certain woman, who came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi to complain about her husband, said to him: My teacher, I set him a table, using a euphemism to say that she lay before him during intimacy, and he turned it over. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to her: My daughter, the Torah permitted him to engage in sexual intercourse with you even in an atypical manner, and what can I do for you if he does so? Similarly, a certain woman who came before Rav said to him: My teacher, I set a table for him and he turned it over. He said to her: In what way is this case different from a fish [binnita] that one may eat any way he wishes?
ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם מכאן אמר רבי אל ישתה אדם בכוס זה ויתן עיניו בכוס אחר אמר רבינא לא נצרכא אלא דאפילו שתי נשיו
§ The verse states: “And that you not go about after your own heart” (Numbers 15:39). Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said that it is derived from here that a man should not drink from this cup while setting his eyes on another cup, i.e., one should not engage in sexual intercourse with one woman while thinking about another woman. Ravina said: This statement is not necessary with regard to an unrelated woman. Rather, it is necessary only to state that even with regard to his own two wives, he should not engage in sexual intercourse with one while thinking about the other.
וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ"ת משגע"ח
The verse states: “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and those that transgress against Me” (Ezekiel 20:38). Rabbi Levi said: These are children of those who have nine traits, who are defective from their conception and from whom rebels and transgressors emerge. The mnemonic for these nine traits is children of the acronym aleph, samekh, nun, tav, mem, shin, gimmel, ayin, ḥet.
בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה בני נידוי בני תמורה בני מריבה בני שכרות בני גרושת הלב בני ערבוביא בני חצופה
The children of nine traits are as follows: Children of fear [eima], i.e., where the wife was afraid of her husband and engaged in sexual intercourse with him out of fear; children of a woman who was raped [anusa]; children of a hated woman [senua], i.e., a woman who was hated by her husband; children of ostracism [niddui], i.e., one of the parents was ostracized by the court; children of substitution [temura], i.e., while engaging in intercourse with the woman, the man thought that she was another woman; children of strife [meriva], i.e., the parents engaged in intercourse while they were quarreling; children of drunkenness [shikhrut], i.e., the parents engaged in intercourse while they were drunk; children of a woman who was divorced in the heart [gerushat halev], i.e., the husband had already decided to divorce her when they engaged in intercourse; children of mixture [irbuveya], i.e., the man did not know with which woman he was engaging in intercourse; children of a shameless woman [ḥatzufa] who demands of her husband that he engage in intercourse with her.
איני והאמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל אדם שאשתו תובעתו הויין לו בנים שאפילו בדורו של משה רבינו לא היו כמותם שנאמר הבו לכם אנשים חכמים ונבונים וכתיב ואקח את ראשי שבטיכם ולא כתיב נבונים
The Gemara asks: Is that so? But didn’t Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani say that Rabbi Yonatan said: Any man whose wife demands of him that he engage in sexual intercourse with her will have children the likes of whom did not exist even in the generation of Moses our teacher? As it is stated: “Get you wise men, and understanding, and well known from each one of your tribes, and I will make them head over you” (Deuteronomy 1:13); and it is written subsequently: “So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and well known” (Deuteronomy 1:15). And it does not say that they were understanding. Evidently, even Moses could not find understanding men in his generation.
וכתיב יששכר חמור גרם וכתיב מבני יששכר יודעי בינה לעתים
And by contrast, it is written: “Issachar is a large-boned donkey” (Genesis 49:14). The Sages transmitted a tradition that this is an allusion to the incident when Jacob came in from the field riding on a donkey, and Leah went out to greet him, saying: “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes” (Genesis 30:16). Issachar was conceived from their subsequent sexual intercourse. And it is written: “And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times” (I Chronicles 12:33). The descendants of Issachar were understanding men. It is derived from here that a woman who demands from her husband that he engage in sexual intercourse with her has a positive effect on their children.
ההיא דמרציא ארצויי:
The Gemara answers: That baraita is not referring to a woman who demands intercourse explicitly, but rather to one who entices her husband, so that he understands that she wants to engage in sexual intercourse with him. They consequently have excellent children.
הדרן עלך ואלו מותרין
מתני׳ ארבעה נדרים התירו חכמים נדרי זרוזין ונדרי הבאי ונדרי שגגות ונדרי אונסין נדרי זרוזין כיצד היה מוכר חפץ ואמר קונם שאיני פוחת לך מן הסלע והלה אומר קונם שאיני מוסיף לך על השקל
MISHNA: The Sages dissolved four types of vows without the requirement of a request to a halakhic authority: Vows of exhortation, vows of exaggeration, vows that are unintentional, and vows whose fulfillment is impeded by circumstances beyond one’s control. The mishna explains: Vows of exhortation are those by which one encourages another using vow terminology that is exaggerated. How so? One was selling an item and said: I will not lower the price for you to less than a sela, as that is konam, forbidden as if it were an offering, for me. And the other one, the buyer, says: I will not raise my payment to you to more than a shekel, as that is konam for me.