Sanhedrin 47bסנהדרין מ״ז ב
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47bמ״ז ב

הרוגי מלכות להרוגי בית דין הרוגי מלכות כיון דשלא בדין קא מיקטלי הויא להו כפרה הרוגי בית דין כיון דבדין קא מיקטלי לא הוי להו כפרה

those referred to in the verse in Psalms who were killed by a heathen government to those inhabitants of an idolatrous city who were killed by a Jewish court? Those who were killed by a heathen government, since they were killed unjustly, achieve atonement through their deaths, even without repentance. But those who were killed by a Jewish court, since they were killed justly for their sins, do not achieve atonement unless they repent.

תדע דתנן לא היו קוברין אותו בקברות אבותיו ואי סלקא דעתך כיון דאיקטול הויא להו כפרה ליקברו מיתה וקבורה בעינן

The Gemara adds: Know that this is true, as we have learned in the mishna: They would not bury the executed transgressor in his ancestral burial plot. And if it enters your mind to say that once the transgressors are executed by the court, they achieve atonement, let them be buried in their ancestral burial plots. The Gemara rejects this argument: An executed transgressor cannot be buried in his ancestral burial plot, because in order to achieve atonement, both death and burial are needed. But once he is buried in the graveyard set aside for the wicked, he achieves full atonement.

מותיב רב אדא בר אהבה לא היו מתאבלין אלא אוננין שאין אנינות אלא בלב ואי סלקא דעתך כיון דאיקבור הויא להו כפרה ליאבלו

Rav Adda bar Ahava raised an objection to this from another ruling in the mishna: The relatives of the executed transgressor would not mourn him with the observance of the usual mourning rites, but they would grieve over his passing, since grief is felt only in the heart. And if it enters your mind to say that once the executed transgressors are buried they achieve atonement, let the relatives of the executed transgressor mourn him as well, as he has already achieved atonement.

בעינן נמי עיכול בשר דיקא נמי דקתני נתעכל הבשר מלקטין את העצמות וקוברין אותן במקומן שמע מינה

The Gemara refutes this argument: An executed transgressor is not mourned, because in order to achieve atonement, decomposition of his flesh is also needed. Once his flesh has decayed, he has achieved full atonement. The Gemara notes that the language of the mishna is also precise, as it teaches: Once the flesh of the deceased had decomposed, they would gather his bones and bury them in their proper place in his ancestral burial plot, indicating that with the decomposition of his flesh, the executed transgressor achieves atonement, so that he may be buried alongside his righteous relatives. The Gemara affirms: Learn from the mishna that this is so.

רב אשי אמר אבילות מאימתי קא מתחלת מסתימת הגולל כפרה מאימתי קא הויא מכי חזו צערא דקברא פורתא הלכך הואיל ואידחו ידחו

Rav Ashi says that an alternative resolution of the objection raised by Rav Adda bar Ahava may be suggested: When does the obligation of mourning a deceased relative commence? It begins from the time of the sealing of the grave with the grave cover. And when is atonement achieved? Atonement is achieved when the deceased begins to see and experience a bit of the anguish of the grave. Consequently, since the mourning rites were set aside at the time that they should have begun, they remain permanently set aside, even after the executed transgressor has in fact achieved atonement.

אי הכי למה לי עיכול בשר משום דלא אפשר

The Gemara asks: If so, that the executed transgressor achieves atonement as soon as he experiences a bit of the anguish of burial, why do I need decomposition of his flesh to occur before he can be reburied in his ancestral burial plot? The Gemara answers: Because it is impossible to move a partly decomposed body in a respectful manner, and therefore they wait until the body is fully decomposed.

קבריה דרב הוו שקלי מיניה עפרא לאישתא בת יומא אתו אמרו ליה לשמואל אמר להו יאות עבדין קרקע עולם הוא וקרקע עולם אינה נאסרת דכתיב (מלכים ב כג, ו) וישלך את עפרה על קבר בני העם מקיש קבר בני העם לעבודת כוכבים

§ It was related that people would take dirt from the grave of Rav as a cure for a one-day fever. A number of people came and told Shmuel about this practice, thinking that perhaps the dirt should be forbidden, as one may not derive benefit from a corpse. Shmuel said to them: They are acting properly, as the dirt in the grave is natural ground, and natural ground does not become forbidden in any situation, as it is written: “And he brought out the ashera from the house of the Lord…and beat it into dust, and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people” (II Kings 23:6). This verse juxtaposes the graves of the common people to objects of idol worship.

מה עבודת כוכבים במחובר לא מיתסרא דכתיב (דברים יב, ב) אשר אתם יורשים אותם את אלהיהם על ההרים הרמים על ההרים אלהיהם ולא ההרים אלהיהם הכא נמי במחובר לא מיתסר

This teaches that just as objects of idol worship are not forbidden when attached to the ground; the Gemara interjects by teaching the source of this halakha: As it is written: “You shall utterly destroy all the places, in which the nations whom you are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree. And you shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their asherim with fire” (Deuteronomy 12:2–3); i.e., there is an obligation to destroy their gods that are upon the mountains, but there is no obligation to destroy the mountains that are themselves their gods, meaning that if people worshipped the mountain itself as a god, there is no need to destroy it, as anything that is attached to the ground does not become forbidden. The Gemara resumes the comparison: Here too, with regard to the prohibition against deriving benefit from a corpse, the dirt in the grave that is attached to the ground does not become forbidden.

מיתיבי החוצב קבר לאביו והלך וקברו במקום אחר הרי זה לא יקבר בו עולמית הכא במאי עסקינן בקבר בנין

The Gemara raises an objection against this ruling from a baraita: If one hews a grave for his deceased father in one place, and he then goes and buries him in a different place, the son may never be buried in the grave that he had dug, as it is prohibited to derive benefit from a grave that had been prepared for another. This indicates that even that which is attached to the ground can become an item from which deriving benefit is prohibited. The Gemara answers: With what are we dealing here? We are dealing not with a grave dug in the ground, but with a cave that was constructed above ground out of rocks that were hewn from the ground. In such a case all of the stones used in the construction become forbidden, as they were detached from the ground.

תא שמע קבר חדש מותר בהנאה הטיל בו נפל אסור בהנאה הכא נמי בקבר בנין

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a different proof from that which was taught in a baraita: With regard to a fresh grave that was not designated for anyone in particular, one is permitted to derive benefit from it. But if even a non-viable newborn that died was cast into it, one is prohibited from deriving benefit from the grave. This indicates that even a grave that is attached to the ground can become forbidden. The Gemara answers: Here too, the reference is to a grave that was constructed above ground out of rocks that were detached from the ground.

תא שמע נמצא אתה אומר שלש קברות הן קבר הנמצא קבר הידוע קבר המזיק את הרבים קבר הנמצא מותר לפנותו פינהו מקומו טהור ומותר בהנאה

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from another baraita: It turns out that you say that there are three types of graves, and each type is governed by different halakhot with regard to whether or not a corpse may be removed from the grave and buried elsewhere: A newly found grave, a known grave, and a grave that causes damage to the public. How so? With regard to a newly found grave, i.e., a grave in which a corpse had been buried without the permission of the property’s owner, one is permitted to remove the corpse from the grave and bury it elsewhere. After he has removed the corpse, the place of the grave is ritually pure and he is permitted to derive benefit from it.

קבר הידוע אסור לפנותו פינהו מקומו טמא ואסור בהנאה

With regard to a known grave, i.e., a grave in which a corpse had been buried with the permission of the property’s owner, it is prohibited to remove the corpse from the grave and bury it elsewhere. If one went ahead and removed the corpse, the place of the grave is ritually impure and it is prohibited to derive benefit from it.

קבר המזיק את הרבים מותר לפנותו פינהו מקומו טהור ואסור בהנאה הכא נמי בקבר בנין

As for a grave that causes damage to the public, e.g., a grave that was dug on a public road and causes the passersby to contract ritual impurity, one is permitted to remove the corpse from the grave and bury it elsewhere. After he has removed the corpse, the place is ritually pure, but nevertheless, it is prohibited to derive benefit from it. This indicates that even that which is attached to the ground can become forbidden, even after the corpse has been removed from the grave. The Gemara answers: Here too, the reference is to a grave that was constructed above ground.

וקבר הנמצא מותר לפנותו דילמא מת מצוה הוא ומת מצוה קנה מקומו שאני מת מצוה דקלא אית ליה

Having cited this last baraita, the Gemara raises a question about one of its details: As for a newly found grave, is one really permitted to remove the corpse just because it was buried there without the owner’s permission? But perhaps this is a corpse with no one to bury it [met mitzva]. If the deceased has no relatives or acquaintances to bury him, everyone is obligated to assist in his burial. And the halakha is that a met mitzva acquires its place, i.e., the corpse is buried where it was found, and one is not permitted to remove it. The Gemara answers: A met mitzva is different, as it generates publicity. Were the corpse buried in the newly found grave that of a met mitzva, people would have heard about it.

איתמר האורג בגד למת אביי אמר אסור ורבא אמר מותר

§ It was stated that the amora’im disagreed about the halakha in the following case: With regard to one who weaves a garment for one who has died, what is the halakha? Abaye says: It is prohibited to derive benefit from the garment, even if it was never actually used as a shroud. And Rava says: It is permitted to derive benefit from the garment.

אביי אמר אסור הזמנה מילתא היא ורבא אמר מותר הזמנה לאו מילתא היא

The Gemara explains their respective opinions. Abaye says that one is prohibited from deriving benefit from the garment, since he maintains that mere designation of an item is a significant matter, i.e., all the relevant halakhot of an item already apply once an item is designated for a specific purpose, whether or not it has been used for that purpose. Therefore, a garment woven for one who had died is forbidden as if it had already been used as a shroud. And Rava says that the garment is permitted, as he maintains that mere designation is nothing, and therefore the garment becomes prohibited only once it is actually used as a shroud.

מאי טעמא דאביי גמר (במדבר כ, א) שם (דברים כא, ד) שם מעגלה ערופה מה עגלה ערופה בהזמנה מיתסרא האי נמי בהזמנה מיתסרא

The Gemara explains further: What is the reasoning behind the opinion of Abaye? He derives a verbal analogy between the word “there” written in the context of a grave, from the word “there” written in the context of a heifer whose neck is broken. The verse states concerning a grave: “And Miriam died there and she was buried there” (Numbers 20:1), and the verse states concerning a heifer whose neck is broken: “And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a hard valley, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley” (Deuteronomy 21:4). Just as it becomes prohibited to derive benefit from a heifer whose neck is broken through mere designation, i.e., as soon as the animal is designated as such, here too, it becomes prohibited to derive benefit from the items relating to a dead person through mere designation.

ורבא גמר (דברים יב, ב) שם שם מעבודת כוכבים מה עבודת כוכבים בהזמנה לא מיתסרא אף הכא נמי בהזמנה לא מיתסרא

And Rava derives a verbal analogy between the word “there” written in the context of a grave from the word “there” written in the context of objects of idol worship. The verse states concerning objects of idol worship: “The places in which the nations…served their gods there” (Deuteronomy 12:2). Just as it does not become prohibited to derive benefit from objects of idol worship through mere designation, but only through actual ritual worship, so too, here it does not become prohibited to derive benefit from items relating to a deceased person through mere designation.

ורבא מאי טעמא לא גמר מעגלה ערופה אמר לך

The Gemara asks: And Rava, what is the reason that he does not derive a verbal analogy from a heifer whose neck is broken? The Gemara answers: Rava could have said to you: