Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
Sanhedrin 59aסנהדרין נ״ט א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
59aנ״ט א

והא דינין קום עשה הוא וקא חשיב קום עשה ושב אל תעשה נינהו

The Gemara challenges: But the mitzva of establishing courts of judgment is a mitzva to stand up and take action, and nevertheless he counts it among the seven mitzvot. The Gemara answers: This mitzva contains a requirement to stand up and take action, i.e., the obligation to establish courts and carry out justice, and it also contains a requirement to sit and refrain from action, i.e., the prohibition against doing injustice.

ואמר ר' יוחנן עובד כוכבים שעוסק בתורה חייב מיתה שנאמר (דברים לג, ד) תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה לנו מורשה ולא להם

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A gentile who engages in Torah study is liable to receive the death penalty; as it is stated: “Moses commanded us a law [torah], an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4), indicating that it is an inheritance for us, and not for them.

וליחשבה גבי שבע מצות מ"ד מורשה מיגזל קא גזיל לה מאן דאמר מאורסה דינו כנערה המאורסה דבסקילה

The Gemara challenges: But if so, let the tanna count this prohibition among the seven Noahide mitzvot. The Gemara explains: According to the one who says that the verse is referring to the Torah as an inheritance, this prohibition is included in the prohibition of robbery, as a gentile who studies Torah robs the Jewish people of it. According to the one who says that the verse is referring to the Torah as betrothed, as the spelling of the Hebrew word for betrothed [me’orasa], is similar to that of the word for inheritance [morasha], the punishment of a gentile who studies Torah is like that of one who engages in intercourse with a betrothed young woman, which is execution by stoning.

מיתיבי היה ר"מ אומר מניין שאפילו עובד כוכבים ועוסק בתורה שהוא ככהן גדול שנאמר (ויקרא יח, ה) אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם כהנים לוים וישראלים לא נאמר אלא האדם הא למדת שאפילו עובד כוכבים ועוסק בתורה הרי הוא ככהן גדול

The Gemara raises an objection to Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement from a baraita: Rabbi Meir would say: From where is it derived that even a gentile who engages in Torah study is considered like a High Priest? It is derived from that which is stated: “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My ordinances, which if a man does he shall live by them” (Leviticus 18:5). The phrase: Which if priests, Levites, and Israelites do they shall live by them, is not stated, but rather: “A man,” which indicates mankind in general. You have therefore learned that even a gentile who engages in Torah study is considered like a High Priest.

התם בשבע מצות דידהו:

The Gemara answers: There, in the baraita, the reference is to a gentile who engages in the study of their seven mitzvot. It is a mitzva for a gentile to study the halakhot that pertain to the seven Noahide mitzvot, and when he does so he is highly regarded.

ר' חנינא בן גמליאל אומר אף הדם מן החי: ת"ר (בראשית ט, ד) אך בשר בנפשו דמו לא תאכלו זה אבר מן החי רבי חנינא בן גמליאל אומר אף הדם מן החי

§ The baraita that lists the Noahide mitzvot (56a) teaches that Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel says: The descendants of Noah are also commanded concerning the prohibition against consuming the blood from a living animal. The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to the verse: “Only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you shall not eat” (Genesis 9:4), this is the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal. Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel says: The blood from a living animal is also prohibited in this verse.

מ"ט דרבי חנינא בן גמליאל קרי ביה בשר בנפשו לא תאכל דמו בנפשו לא תאכל ורבנן ההוא למישרי שרצים הוא דאתא

The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning behind the opinion of Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel? The Gemara answers: He reads into the verse: Flesh with its life you shall not eat; blood with its life you shall not eat. The Gemara asks: And how do the Rabbis explain the mention of blood in this verse? After all, in their opinion, blood from a living animal is not forbidden. The Gemara answers: That comes to permit eating limbs from living creeping animals. The verse indicates that the prohibition does not apply to creeping animals, whose blood is not considered separate from their flesh (see 59b).

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר (דברים יב, כג) רק חזק לבלתי אכל הדם כי הדם הוא הנפש וגו' (רק חזק לבלתי אכל הדם זה אבר מן החי כי הדם הוא הנפש זה דם מן החי)

The baraita continues: Similarly, you can say that according to the opinion of Rabbi Ḥanina, blood from a living animal is also forbidden to the Jewish people in particular; as it is stated: “Only be steadfast in not eating blood, as the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh” (Deuteronomy 12:23). With regard to the statements: “Only be steadfast in not eating blood,” this is a limb from a living animal; “as the blood is the life,” this is blood from a living animal.

ורבנן ההוא לדם הקזה שהנשמה יוצאה בו הוא דאתא

The Gemara asks: And how do the Rabbis, who hold that there is no specific prohibition with regard to blood from a living animal, interpret this verse? The Gemara answers: That verse comes to teach the prohibition against consuming blood spilled in the process of bloodletting, as this is blood through which the soul departs (see Karetot 20b).

למה לי למיכתב לבני נח ולמה לי למשני בסיני

The Gemara asks: According to Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel, why do I need the Torah to write this halakha with regard to descendants of Noah, and why do I need the Torah to repeat it at Sinai with regard to Jews? Aren’t Jews also descendants of Noah?

כדר' יוסי בר' חנינא דא"ר יוסי בר' חנינא כל מצוה שנאמרה לבני נח ונשנית בסיני לזה ולזה נאמרה

The Gemara answers that it is to be understood in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina; as Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: Any mitzva that was first stated with regard to the descendants of Noah and was repeated at Sinai was stated for this group and for that group, i.e., it applies to both gentiles and Jews.

לבני נח ולא נשנית בסיני לישראל נאמרה ולא לבני נח ואנו אין לנו אלא גיד הנשה ואליבא דר' יהודה

But a mitzva that was stated with regard to the descendants of Noah and was not repeated at Sinai among the mitzvot given to the Jewish people was stated for the Jewish people and not for the descendants of Noah. And we have only the prohibition against eating the sciatic nerve to which this classification applies, and this is according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who holds that the verse: “Therefore the children of Israel do not eat the sciatic nerve, which is on the hollow of the thigh, until this day” (Genesis 32:32), is referring to the sons of Jacob, who were commanded to observe this prohibition even though they had the status of descendants of Noah.

אמר מר כל מצוה שנאמרה לבני נח ונשנית בסיני לזה ולזה נאמרה אדרבה מדנשנית בסיני לישראל נאמרה ולא לבני נח

§ The Master said in a baraita: Any mitzva that was stated with regard to the descendants of Noah and was repeated at Sinai was stated for this group and for that group. The Gemara raises an objection: On the contrary, from the fact that it was repeated at Sinai, clearly it can be derived that it was stated for the Jewish people and not for the descendants of Noah, as if it pertains to the descendants of Noah as well, why repeat it at Sinai? Aren’t the Jewish people are also descendants of Noah?

מדאיתני עבודת כוכבים בסיני ואשכחן דענש עובדי כוכבים עילווה ש"מ לזה ולזה נאמרה:

The Gemara answers: From the fact that the prohibition of idol worship was repeated at Sinai, and we find that God punished gentiles for it, conclude from it that any mitzva that was repeated at Sinai was stated for this group and for that group, and not only for the Jewish people.

לבני נח ולא נשנית בסיני לישראל נאמרה ולא לבני נח: אדרבה מדלא נישנית בסיני לבני נח נאמרה ולא לישראל ליכא מידעם דלישראל שרי ולעובד כוכבים אסור

It is further stated in the baraita that a mitzva that was stated with regard to the descendants of Noah and was not repeated at Sinai was stated for the Jewish people and not for the descendants of Noah. The Gemara raises an objection: On the contrary, from the fact that it was not repeated at Sinai, clearly it can be derived that it was stated for the descendants of Noah and not for the Jewish people. The Gemara answers: There is nothing that is permitted to a Jew and forbidden to a gentile.

ולא והרי יפת תואר התם משום דלאו בני כיבוש נינהו

The Gemara asks: And is there not? But isn’t there the permission for a Jew to take a married beautiful woman, who was taken as a prisoner of war, to be his wife? For a gentile to do so is forbidden. The Gemara answers: There, the reason gentiles are prohibited from doing so is because they are not authorized to conquer. It is not permitted for gentiles to wage wars of conquest, and the halakha of marrying a beautiful woman is stated only with regard to a war of conquest. Therefore the fact that a beautiful woman who is a prisoner of war is permitted only to a Jew and not to a gentile does not indicate that gentiles have a higher degree of sanctity.

והרי פחות משוה פרוטה התם משום דלאו בני מחילה נינהו:

The Gemara asks: But isn’t stealing less than the value of one peruta prohibited to a gentile and permitted to a Jew? The Gemara answers: There it is because gentiles are not apt to grant forgiveness of debts, even of less than the value of one peruta. Therefore, for a gentile to take even such a minuscule amount is considered robbery. Jews normally forgive such small amounts.

כל מצוה שנאמרה לבני נח ונישנית בסיני לזה ולזה נאמרה

It is stated in the baraita that any mitzva that was stated with regard to the descendants of Noah and was repeated at Sinai was stated both for this group and for that group.