Sanhedrin 56b:3סנהדרין נ״ו ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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56bנ״ו ב

רבי חנניה בן (גמלא) אומר אף על הדם מן החי רבי חידקא אומר אף על הסירוס רבי שמעון אומר אף על הכישוף

Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamla says: The descendants of Noah are also commanded concerning the prohibition against consuming the blood from a living animal. Rabbi Ḥideka says: They are also commanded concerning castration, i.e., they are prohibited to castrate any living animal. Rabbi Shimon says: They are also commanded concerning the prohibition against engaging in sorcery.

רבי יוסי אומר כל האמור בפרשת כישוף בן נח מוזהר עליו (דברים יח, י) לא ימצא בך מעביר בנו ובתו באש קוסם קסמים מעונן ומנחש ומכשף וחובר חבר ושואל אוב וידעוני ודורש אל המתים וגו' ובגלל התועבות האלה ה' אלהיך מוריש אותם מפניך ולא ענש אלא אם כן הזהיר

Rabbi Yosei says: With regard to every type of sorcery that is stated in the passage about sorcery, it is prohibited for a descendant of Noah to engage in it. This is derived from the verses: “When you come into the land that the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to do like the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you one who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, a diviner, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a warlock, or a charmer, or one who consults a necromancer and a sorcerer, or directs inquiries to the dead. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominations, the Lord your God is driving them out from before you” (Deuteronomy 18:9–12). Evidently, the Canaanites were punished for these practices; and since God would not have punished them for an action unless He first prohibited it, these practices are clearly prohibited to gentiles.

רבי אלעזר אומר אף על הכלאים מותרין בני נח ללבוש כלאים ולזרוע כלאים ואין אסורין אלא בהרבעת בהמה ובהרכבת האילן

Rabbi Elazar says: The descendants of Noah were also commanded concerning the prohibition of diverse kinds. Nevertheless, it is permitted for the descendants of Noah to wear diverse kinds of wool and linen and to sow diverse kinds of seeds together, and they are prohibited only with regard to breeding diverse species of animals and grafting diverse species of trees.

מנהני מילי אמר ר' יוחנן דאמר קרא (בראשית ב, טז) ויצו ה' אלהים על האדם לאמר מכל עץ הגן אכול תאכל

§ The Gemara asks: From where are these matters, the Noahide mitzvot, derived? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It is from that which the verse states: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat from it, for on the day that you eat from it, you shall die” (Genesis 2:16–17).

ויצו אלו הדינין וכן הוא אומר (בראשית יח, יט) כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה את בניו וגו'

The verse is interpreted homiletically as follows: With regard to the term “and…commanded,” these are the courts of judgment; and so it states in another verse: “For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19).

ה' זו ברכת השם וכן הוא אומר (ויקרא כד, טז) ונוקב שם ה' מות יומת אלהים זו עבודת כוכבים וכן הוא אומר (שמות כ, ב) לא יהיה לך אלהים אחרים על האדם זו שפיכות דמים וכן הוא אומר (בראשית ט, ו) שופך דם האדם וגו'

With regard to the term “the Lord,” this alludes to blessing the name of God; and so it states in another verse: “And he who blasphemes the name of the Lord…shall be put to death” (Leviticus 24:16). “God,” this alludes to idol worship; and so it states: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2). “The man,” this alludes to bloodshed; and so it states: “One who sheds the blood of man, by man his blood shall be shed” (Genesis 9:6).

לאמר זו גילוי עריות וכן הוא אומר (ירמיהו ג, א) לאמר הן ישלח איש את אשתו והלכה מאתו והיתה לאיש אחר מכל עץ הגן ולא גזל אכל תאכל ולא אבר מן החי

With regard to the term “saying,” this alludes to forbidden sexual relations; and so it states: “Saying, if a man sends his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s…will that land not be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers” (Jeremiah 3:1). “Of every tree of the garden” alludes to the fact that one may partake only of items that are permitted to him, as they belong to him, and he may not partake of stolen items. “You may freely eat” alludes to the fact that one may eat fruit, but not a limb from a living animal.

כי אתא רבי יצחק תני איפכא ויצו זו עבודת כוכבים אלהים זו דינין

When Rav Yitzḥak came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he taught two of the expositions in the opposite order: “And…commanded,” this alludes to idol worship. “God,” this alludes to courts of judgment.

בשלמא אלהים זו דינין דכתיב (שמות כב, ז) ונקרב בעל הבית אל האלהים אלא ויצו זו ע"ז מאי משמע

The Gemara asks: Granted, the source for the exposition: “God [Elohim],” this alludes to courts of judgment, is clear; as it is written: “Then the master of the house shall come near the judges [ha’elohim]” (Exodus 22:7). Evidently, judges are called elohim. But with regard to the exposition: “And…commanded,” this alludes to idol worship, from where is this inferred?

רב חסדא ורב יצחק בר אבדימי חד אמר (שמות לב, ח) סרו מהר מן הדרך אשר צויתים עשו להם וגו' וחד אמר (הושע ה, יא) עשוק אפרים רצוץ משפט כי הואיל הלך אחרי צו

Rav Ḥisda and Rav Yitzḥak bar Avdimi both give answers to this question. One of them says that it is inferred from the verse: “They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them; they have made them a molten calf” (Exodus 32:8). The word “commanded” is mentioned here in the context of idol worship. And the other one says that it is inferred from the verse: “Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in justice, because he willingly went after filth [tzav]” (Hosea 5:11). The word tzav, used in this context in reference to idol worship, is the same Hebrew word used in the phrase: “And…commanded [vaytzav].”

מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו עכו"ם שעשה ע"ז ולא השתחוה לה למאן דאמר עשו משעת עשייה מיחייב למאן דאמר כי הואיל הלך עד דאזיל בתרה ופלח לה

The Gemara asks: What is the difference between these two sources? The Gemara answers: The practical difference between them is in the case of a gentile who fashioned an idol but did not bow to it, i.e., he has not yet worshipped it. According to the one who says that the proof is from the verse: “They have made them a molten calf,” he is rendered liable from the time of fashioning it. According to the one who says that the proof is from the verse: “Because he willingly went after filth,” he is not liable until he goes after it and worships it.

אמר רבא ומי איכא למאן דאמר עכו"ם שעשאה ע"ז ולא השתחוה לה חייב והתניא בעכו"ם דברים שבית דין של ישראל ממיתין עליהן בן נח מוזהר עליהן אין בית דין של ישראל ממיתין עליהן אין בן נח מוזהר עליהן למעוטי מאי לאו למעוטי עכו"ם שעשה ע"ז ולא השתחוה לה

Rava says: And is there anyone who says that a gentile who fashioned an idol but did not bow to it is liable? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: With regard to idol worship, matters, i.e., transgressions, for which a Jewish court executes a Jew who commits one of them, are prohibited to a descendant of Noah. But with regard to transgressions for which a Jewish court does not execute a Jew who commits one of them, a descendant of Noah is not prohibited from doing them. To exclude what transgressions, i.e., to determine that they do not apply to gentiles, is this stated? Is it not to exclude the case of a gentile who fashioned an idol but did not bow to it? Since Jews are not executed for this transgression, gentiles should not be liable for this act either.

אמר רב פפא לא למעוטי גיפוף ונישוק

Rav Pappa says: No, it is possible that it is stated to exclude embracing and kissing the idol; neither a Jew nor a gentile who embraces or kisses an idol is liable. No proof can be brought from here with regard to a gentile who fashions an idol but does not worship it.

גיפוף ונישוק דמאי אילימא כדרכה בר קטלא הוא אלא למעוטי שלא כדרכה

The Gemara asks: Embracing and kissing an idol in what manner? If we say that he did so in its standard manner of worship, i.e., that embracing and kissing is the standard method of worshipping this idol, certainly he is liable to receive the death penalty. Rather, it is stated to exclude a case where he did not do so in its standard manner of worship.

דינין בני נח איפקוד והתניא עשר מצות נצטוו ישראל במרה שבע שקיבלו עליהן בני נח והוסיפו עליהן דינין ושבת וכיבוד אב ואם

§ The Gemara asks with regard to the list of the Noahide mitzvot: Were the descendants of Noah commanded to establish courts of judgment? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: The Jewish people were commanded to observe ten mitzvot when they were in Marah: Seven that the descendants of Noah accepted upon themselves, and God added to them the following mitzvot: Judgment, and Shabbat, and honoring one’s father and mother.

דינין דכתיב (שמות טו, כה) שם שם לו חוק ומשפט שבת וכיבוד אב ואם דכתיב (דברים ה, יא) כאשר צוך ה' אלהיך ואמר רב יהודה כאשר צוך במרה

The mitzva of judgment was given at Marah, as it is written with regard to Marah: “There He made for them a statute and an ordinance” (Exodus 15:25). Shabbat and honoring one’s father and mother were given at Marah, as it is written concerning them in the Ten Commandments: “Observe the day of Shabbat to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:11), and similarly: “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:16). The phrase “as the Lord your God commanded you” indicates that they had already been commanded to observe these mitzvot previously. And Rav Yehuda says: “As the Lord your God commanded you” in Marah. Apparently, the mitzva of establishing courts is not included in the seven Noahide mitzvot.

אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה לא נצרכה אלא לעדה ועדים והתראה

Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says: Establishing courts is a Noahide mitzva. The additional mitzva that was given in Marah was necessary only with regard to the details of the halakhot of the justice system, e.g., that a defendant in a capital case is punished only by a full panel of twenty-three judges of the Sanhedrin, and only if there are two witnesses who testify concerning him, and only if he was issued a forewarning before his transgression.

אי הכי מאי והוסיפו עליהן דינין

The Gemara asks: If so, and the mitzva given at Marah is a specification of the halakhot of the justice system, what is the meaning of the sentence: And God added to them: Judgment? The details of a preexisting mitzva would not be referred to as an added mitzva.

אלא אמר רבא לא נצרכה אלא לדיני קנסות אכתי והוסיפו בדינין מיבעי ליה

Rather, Rava says: The mitzva given at Marah was necessary only with regard to the halakhot of fines. Since these are not halakhot that pertain to the basic performance of justice, but rather concern an additional fine for the guilty party, they were not given to the descendants of Noah. The Gemara asks: According to this interpretation, the language of the baraita is still inaccurate, as it should have stated: And God added to them more halakhot of judgment.

אלא אמר רב אחא בר יעקב לא נצרכה אלא להושיב בית דין בכל פלך ופלך ובכל עיר ועיר והא בני נח לא איפקוד והתניא כשם שנצטוו ישראל להושיב בתי דינין בכל פלך ופלך ובכל עיר ועיר כך נצטוו בני נח להושיב בתי דינין בכל פלך ופלך ובכל עיר ועיר

Rather, Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov says: It was necessary only for the additional requirement to establish a court in each and every province and in each and every city. The Gemara asks: And were the descendants of Noah not commanded with regard to this matter? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Just as the Jewish people were commanded to establish courts in each and every province and in each and every city, so too, the descendants of Noah were commanded to establish courts in each and every province and in each and every city?

אלא אמר רבא האי תנא תנא דבי מנשה הוא דמפיק ד"ך ועייל ס"ך

Rather, Rava says: This tanna, who holds that the mitzva of establishing courts of judgment is not included in the Noahide mitzvot, is the tanna of the school of Menashe, who removes from the list of the Noahide mitzvot two mitzvot whose mnemonic is dalet, kaf, which stands for judgment [dinim] and blessing the name of God [birkat Hashem], and inserts in their place two mitzvot whose mnemonic is samekh, kaf, standing for castration [seirus] and diverse kinds [kilayim].

דתנא דבי מנשה שבע מצות נצטוו בני נח ע"ז וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים גזל ואבר מן החי סירוס וכלאים

As the school of Menashe taught: The descendants of Noah were commanded to observe seven mitzvot: The prohibitions of idol worship, and forbidden sexual relations, and blood-shed, and robbery, and eating a limb from a living animal, and castration, and diverse kinds.

רבי יהודה אומר אדם הראשון לא נצטווה אלא על ע"ז בלבד שנאמר ויצו ה' אלהים על האדם רבי יהודה בן בתירה אומר אף על ברכת השם ויש אומרים אף על הדינים

Rabbi Yehuda says: Adam, the first man, was commanded only with regard to the prohibition of idol worship, as it is stated: “And the Lord God commanded the man” (Genesis 2:16). Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: He was also commanded concerning blessing the name of God. And some say that he was also commanded concerning establishing courts of judgment.

כמאן אזלא הא דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב אלהים אני לא תקללוני אלהים אני לא תמירוני אלהים אני יהא מוראי עליכם כמאן כיש אומרים

The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rav Yehuda says that Rav says, in interpretation of the aforementioned verse: Since I am “God,” do not curse Me; since I am “God,” do not exchange Me with another god; since I am “God,” My fear shall be upon you? The Gemara answers: In accordance with whose opinion? It is in accordance with what some say, i.e., that the phrase “and the Lord God commanded the man” includes the prohibitions against cursing God’s name and idol worship, as well as the mitzva of establishing a system of law and justice, so that the fear of God will be upon the people.

תנא דבי מנשה אי דריש ויצו אפילו הנך נמי אי לא דריש ויצו הני מנא ליה

The Gemara challenges: If the tanna of the school of Menashe interprets the verse “and the Lord God commanded” homiletically, even these mitzvot, cursing the name of God and establishing courts, should be included. And if he does not interpret the verse “and the Lord God commanded” homiletically, from where does he derive these seven mitzvot in his list?

לעולם לא דריש ויצו הני כל חדא וחדא באפי נפשיה כתיבא ע"ז וגילוי עריות

The Gemara answers: Actually, he does not interpret the verse “and the Lord God commanded” homiletically, but with regard to these mitzvot in his list, each and every one of them is written separately in the Torah. The prohibitions of idol worship and forbidden sexual relations are stated,