Sanhedrin 51aסנהדרין נ״א א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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51aנ״א א

אין לי אלא שניסת לכהן ניסת ללוי ולישראל לעובד כוכבים לחלל לממזר ולנתין מניין ת"ל (ויקרא כא, ט) ובת איש כהן אע"פ שאינה כהנת

I have a source only for the case of a priest’s daughter who married a priest. From where do I derive that she is also liable to be executed by burning if she married a Levite or an Israelite, a Samaritan, a priest disqualified due to flawed lineage [ḥalal], a son born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzer], or a Gibeonite? The verse states: “And the daughter of a priest,” indicating that this halakha applies even if she is not now a priestess, having married a non-priest.

(ויקרא כא, ט) היא בשריפה ואין בועלה בשריפה היא בשריפה ואין זוממיה בשריפה

It is derived from the verse: “She shall be burned with fire,” that she is executed by burning, but her paramour is not executed by burning; his punishment is the same as that of one who engages in adulterous intercourse with the betrothed or married daughter of a non-priest. It is further derived from the word “she” that she is executed by burning, but witnesses who testified concerning her that she committed adultery and who were proven to be conspiring witnesses are not executed by burning.

רבי אליעזר אומר את אביה בשריפה ואת חמיה בסקילה

The baraita concludes: Rabbi Eliezer says: If she is with her father she is executed by burning, and if she is with her father-in-law she is executed by stoning, as the Gemara will explain below.

אמר מר יכול אפילו חיללה שבת חיללה שבת בת סקילה היא

§ After quoting this baraita, the Gemara now clarifies and discusses it. The Master said in the baraita: One might have thought that even one who desecrated Shabbat should be executed by burning. The Gemara asks: If she desecrated Shabbat she is liable to be executed by stoning, just like anyone else who desecrates Shabbat, so why would one think that because she is the daughter of a priest she should be executed by burning, a less severe type of capital punishment?

אמר רבא הא מני ר"ש היא דאמר שריפה חמורה סד"א הואיל ואחמיר בהו רחמנא בכהני דרבי בהו מצות יתירות תידון בשריפה קא משמע לן

Rava says: In accordance with whose opinion is this? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who says that burning is more severe than stoning. It might enter your mind to say that since the Merciful One treats priests more stringently, in that He gave them additional mitzvot, the daughter of a priest should be punished for desecrating Shabbat by burning, which, according to Rabbi Shimon, is more severe than stoning. Therefore, the verse teaches us that with regard to the desecration of Shabbat, the daughter of a priest receives the same punishment as the rest of the Jewish people.

מאי שנא מיניה דידיה

The Gemara asks: In what way is she different from the priest himself? A priest who desecrates Shabbat is executed by stoning, so why would one have thought that the daughter of a priest should be punished by burning?

סלקא דעתך אמינא איהו דאשתריא ליה שבת לגבי עבודה היא כיון דלא אשתריא שבת לגבה אימא תידון בשריפה קא משמע לן

The Gemara answers: It might enter your mind to say that concerning the priest himself, the halakhot of Shabbat are less stringent, as acts that are forbidden on Shabbat are permitted to him with regard to the performance of the Temple service. Therefore, one might have thought that if a priest desecrates Shabbat in a manner that is forbidden to him, his punishment should not be more severe than that of a non-priest. But concerning her, the daughter of a priest, since acts that are forbidden on Shabbat are not permitted to her at all, as she does not perform the Temple service, one might say that she should be punished by burning, which is more severe. Therefore, the verse teaches us that this is not so.

יכול אפילו פנויה הא לזנות כתיב

The baraita teaches: One might have thought that even if she is unmarried and engages in promiscuous intercourse she should be executed by burning. The Gemara asks: Why might one think this? Isn’t it written in the verse: “When she profanes herself by playing the harlot [liznot]”? This term is referring to a sinful relationship such as adultery and not to the promiscuous intercourse of an unmarried woman.

כדר"א דאמר פנוי הבא על הפנויה שלא לשום אישות עשאה זונה

The Gemara answers: The statement of the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who says: An unmarried man who engages in intercourse with an unmarried woman, not for the purpose of marriage, has rendered her a zona, i.e., a woman who has engaged in intercourse with a man forbidden to her by the Torah. In the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, the term liznot is referring to any promiscuous intercourse.

או אינו אומר אביה אלא להוציא את כל אדם אלא מאי ניהו שזינתה מאביה מאי איריא בת כהן אפילו בת ישראל נמי

The baraita teaches: Or perhaps one might have thought that the verse states “her father” only in order to exclude all men other than her father. The Gemara asks: Rather, what case is the verse referring to? Is it a case where she engaged in intercourse with her father? If so, why does the verse specifically mention the daughter of a priest? Even the daughter of a non-priest is executed by burning in such a case.

דאמר רבא אמר לי רב יצחק בר אבודימי אתיא הנה הנה

The Gemara answers that the prohibition of and punishment for intercourse between a father and daughter are not stated explicitly in the Torah; rather, they are derived by means of two verbal analogies. As Rava said: Rav Yitzḥak bar Avudimi said to me: This prohibition is derived by means of a verbal analogy between the word henna in the verse: “The nakedness of your son’s daughter, or of your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs [henna] is your own nakedness” (Leviticus 18:10), and the word henna in a different verse: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter; you shall not take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They [henna] are near kinswomen; it is lewdness” (Leviticus 18:17). This verbal analogy indicates that just as it is prohibited to engage in intercourse with one’s granddaughter and with one’s wife’s daughter or granddaughter, so too, it is prohibited to engage in intercourse with one’s daughter.

אתיא זמה זמה

Furthermore, it is derived from a verbal analogy between the word “lewdness” (Leviticus 18:17) and the word “lewdness” in the verse: “And if a man take with his wife also her mother, it is lewdness; they shall be burned with fire, both he and they, so that there be no lewdness among you” (Leviticus 20:14), that one who engages in intercourse with his daughter or granddaughter is liable to be executed by burning.

איצטריך סד"א קרא לאפוקי מדרבא מדגלי רחמנא בבת כהן ולא בבת ישראל קמ"ל

Since the punishment for engaging in intercourse with one’s daughter is derived from a verbal analogy and is not stated explicitly, it was necessary for the verse to indicate that the daughter of a priest is liable to be executed by burning even if she commits adultery with a man who is not her father. Otherwise, it might enter your mind to say that the verse concerning the daughter of a priest is stated to exclude the statement of Rava in the following manner: From the fact that the Merciful One revealed this punishment explicitly with regard to the daughter of a priest and not with regard to the daughter of a non-priest, it may be derived that the punishment of burning does not apply to the daughter of a non-priest. Therefore, the verse teaches us through the expression “she profanes” that it is referring to a priest’s daughter who committed adultery with any man, and not just with her father.

בת כהן אין לי אלא שניסת לכהן ניסת ללוי לישראל ולעובד כוכבים ולחלל לנתין ולממזר מניין תלמוד לומר בת איש כהן אף על פי שאינה כהנת

The baraita teaches: From the expression “the daughter of a priest,” I have a source only for the case of a priest’s daughter who married a priest. From where is it derived that she is also liable to be executed by burning if she married a Levite, an Israelite, a Samaritan, a ḥalal, a Gibeonite, or a mamzer? The verse states: “And the daughter of a priest,” indicating that this halakha applies even if she is not now a priestess.

משום דאינסבא להו להני לאו בת כהן היא ותו מידי כהנת לכהן כתיב

The Gemara asks: Because she married one of these men who are not priests, is she no longer the daughter of a priest? Why should her punishment be different in these cases? And furthermore, is it written: A priestess who married a priest? The verse refers only to the status of her father, not to that of her husband.

סד"א (ויקרא כא, ט) כי תחל לזנות אמר רחמנא הני מילי היכא דקא מתחלא השתא אבל הא כיון דקא מתחלא וקיימא מעיקרא

The Gemara answers: It might enter your mind to say that when the Merciful One states: “When she profanes herself by playing the harlot,” it indicates that this matter applies only in a case where she profanes herself now by committing adultery. But in this case, where she is married to a non-priest, since she is already profaned from the outset, from the time of her marriage, the verse does not apply to her.

דאמר מר (ויקרא כב, יב) ובת כהן כי תהיה לאיש זר כיון שנבעלה לפסול לה פסלה

The Gemara clarifies: If she is married to a man of flawed lineage, she is already profaned. As the Master said, it is derived from the verse: “And if a priest’s daughter be married to a non-priest, she shall not eat of that which is set apart from the sacred” (Leviticus 22:12), that once she engaged in intercourse with one who is unfit for her, he has disqualified her from ever partaking of teruma.

ללוי וישראל נמי (ויקרא כב, יג) ושבה אל בית אביה כנעוריה מכלל דכי איתיה גביה לא אכלה

And if she is married to a Levite or an Israelite, she is also disqualified from partaking of teruma for as long as they are married; as the verse states: “But if a priest’s daughter is a widow, or divorced, and has no child, and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s bread” (Leviticus 22:13). By inference, while she is with her non-priest husband, she does not partake of teruma.

אימא לא תידון בשריפה קמ"ל

Evidently, the marriage of the daughter of a priest to anyone who is not a priest involves some measure of profanation, and therefore one might say that she should not be punished by burning, the punishment unique to the daughter of a priest, if she committed adultery. Therefore, the verse teaches us that the punishment of execution by burning applies to any daughter of a priest, regardless of the status of her husband.

ודלא כר"מ דתניא בת כהן שניסת לישראל ואכלה תרומה משלמת את הקרן ואינה משלמת את החומש ומיתתה בשריפה

The Gemara adds: And this baraita is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir. As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a priest’s daughter who married an Israelite and then unwittingly partook of teruma, she pays the principal, as she partook of teruma to which she has no rights, but she does not pay the additional one-fifth, the fine paid by a non-priest who partakes of teruma unwittingly. This is because she is not completely disqualified from the priesthood; if she were to be widowed or divorced without children, it would again be permitted for her to partake of teruma. And, as befits the daughter of a priest, if she commits adultery, her death penalty is by burning.

ניסת לאחד מן הפסולין משלמת קרן וחומש ומיתתה בחנק דברי ר' מאיר

Rabbi Meir continues: But if she married one of the men who are unfit for her, e.g., a ḥalal, a mamzer, or a Gibeonite, and she unwittingly partook of teruma, she pays the principal and the additional one-fifth, as she is permanently disqualified from partaking of teruma. And similarly, if she commits adultery, her death penalty is by strangulation, like the daughter of a non-priest, as she is completely disqualified from the priesthood. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir.

וחכמים אומרים זו וזו משלמות קרן ולא חומש ומיתתן בשריפה

And the Rabbis say: Both this one, who married an Israelite, and that one, who married a man of flawed lineage, pay the principal and not the additional one-fifth, as they do not entirely forfeit their priesthood, and their death penalty is by burning, in accordance with the above baraita.

ר"א אומר את אביה בשריפה ואת חמיה בסקילה מאי את אביה ואת חמיה

The Gemara continues its analysis of the baraita, which teaches: Rabbi Eliezer says: If she is with her father she is executed by burning, and if she is with her father-in-law, she is executed by stoning. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the expressions: With her father, and: With her father-in-law?

אילימא את אביה מאביה ואת חמיה מחמיה מאי איריא בת כהן אפילו בת ישראל נמי בתו בשריפה וכלתו בסקילה

If we say that with her father means she engages in intercourse with her father, and with her father-in-law means she engages in intercourse with her father-in-law, why is this halakha stated specifically with regard to the daughter of a priest? Even in the case of the daughter of a non-priest the halakha is the same; in the case of one who engages in intercourse with his daughter, they are executed by burning, and in the case of one who engages in intercourse with his daughter-in-law, they are executed by stoning.

אלא את אביה ברשות אביה ואת חמיה ברשות חמיה

Rather, the expression: With her father, means under her father’s authority, i.e., she is still betrothed and not married yet, and the expression: With her father-in-law, means under her father-in-law’s authority, i.e., she is married.

כמאן אי כרבנן האמרי נשואה יצאת לשריפה ולא ארוסה אי כרבי שמעון האמר אחת ארוסה ואחת נשואה בשריפה

The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is this statement? If it is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, don’t they say that the married daughter of a priest who committed adultery is singled out for execution by burning, but not one who is betrothed? If it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, doesn’t he say that both the betrothed daughter of a priest and the married one are executed by burning? The opinion of Rabbi Eliezer does not accord with either of these opinions.

ואי כרבי ישמעאל האמר ארוסה יצאת לשריפה ולא נשואה את חמיה חנק הוא

And if it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael (see 51b), doesn’t he say that only the betrothed daughter of a priest is singled out for execution by burning, but not one who is married? In his opinion, if the daughter of a priest is under the authority of her father-in-law, i.e., if she is married, her punishment is death by strangulation, like any other married woman who committed adultery.

שלח רבין משמיה דרבי יוסי ברבי חנינא כך היא הצעה של משנה לעולם כרבנן והכי קאמר כל שהוא למטה ממיתת אביה ומאי ניהו נשוא' בת ישראל דאילו נשוא' בת ישראל בחנק הכא במיתת אביה בשריפה

Ravin sent the following explanation in the name of Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina: This is the explanation [hatza’a] of this mishna, i.e., the baraita: Actually, it is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis. And this is what it is saying: With regard to any act of adultery whose punishment is less severe than the death penalty for one who engages in intercourse with her father, here, in the case of the daughter of a priest, she receives the death penalty of one who engages in intercourse with her father, namely, execution by burning. And what act of adultery carries a less severe punishment than intercourse with one’s father? It is the case of the married daughter of a non-priest; as the married daughter of a non-priest who committed adultery is executed by strangulation.

כל שהיא למעלה ממיתת אביה ומאי ניהו ארוסה בת ישראל דאילו ארוסה בת ישראל בעלמא בסקילה הכא במיתת חמיה בסקילה

With regard to any act of adultery whose punishment is more severe than the death penalty for one who engages in intercourse with her father, here, in the case of the daughter of a priest, she receives the death penalty of one who engages in intercourse with her father-in-law, namely, execution by stoning. And what case is it? It is the case of the betrothed daughter of a non-priest, as in general, the betrothed daughter of a non-priest who committed adultery is executed by stoning.

מתקיף לה ר' ירמיה מידי למעלה למטה קתני אלא אמר רבי ירמיה

Rabbi Yirmeya objects to this explanation: Does the baraita teach the words more and less? These words, central to this interpretation, are not mentioned at all. Rather, Rabbi Yirmeya says an alternative interpretation: