Sanhedrin 64b:4סנהדרין ס״ד ב:ד
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64bס״ד ב

א"ר ינאי אינו חייב עד שימסרנו למשרתי ע"ז שנאמר (ויקרא יח, כא) ומזרעך לא תתן להעביר למולך

§ Rabbi Yannai says: One is not liable for passing his child through fire to Molekh unless he hands him over to the priests of Molekh, as it is stated: “And you shall not give any of your offspring to pass them over to Molekh” (Leviticus 18:21), which indicates that the prohibition is to give, i.e., to hand the child over to the priests.

תניא נמי הכי יכול העביר ולא מסר יהא חייב ת"ל לא תתן מסר למולך ולא העביר יכול יהא חייב ת"ל להעביר מסר והעביר שלא למולך יכול יהא חייב ת"ל למולך

This is also taught in a baraita: One might have thought that one who passed his child through fire but did not hand him over to the priests of Molekh should be liable. Therefore, the verse states: “You shall not give.” If one handed over his son to the priests of Molekh but did not pass him through fire, one might have thought that he should be liable. Therefore, the verse states: “To pass,” indicating that passing is also necessary. If one handed over the child and passed him through fire, not to priests of Molekh but rather to priests of another object of idol worship, one might have thought that he should be liable. Therefore, the verse states: “To Molekh.”

מסר והעביר למולך ולא באש יכול יהא חייב נאמר כאן להעביר ונאמר להלן (דברים יח, י) לא ימצא בך מעביר בנו ובתו באש מה להלן באש אף כאן באש ומה כאן מולך אף להלן מולך

If one handed over his child and passed him over to the priests of Molekh, but he did not pass him through the fire, one might have thought that he should be liable. It is stated here, in the verse: “To pass,” and it is stated there, in another verse: “There shall not be found among you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire” (Deuteronomy 18:10). Just as there, the verse is referring to passing one’s child through the fire, so too here, the reference is to passing one’s child through the fire. And just as here, the verse is referring to one who passes his child over to the priests of Molekh, so too there, the reference is to Molekh alone, excluding any other object of idol worship.

אמר רב אחא בריה דרבא העביר כל זרעו פטור שנאמר מזרעך ולא כל זרעך

Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, says: One who passed all his offspring through fire to the priests of Molekh is exempt, as it is stated: “Of your offspring,” indicating: But not all your offspring.

בעי רב אשי העבירו סומא מהו ישן מהו בן בנו ובן בתו מהו

Rav Ashi raises a dilemma: If one passed through the fire a child of his who is blind, what is the halakha? Furthermore, if one passed his child through the fire while the child was asleep, what is the halakha? Does the child need to be capable of passing through on his own, or is that not necessary? Likewise, if one passed his son’s son or his daughter’s son through the fire, what is the halakha?

תפשוט מיהא חדא דתניא (ויקרא כ, ג) כי מזרעו נתן למולך מה ת"ל לפי שנאמר לא ימצא בך מעביר בנו ובתו באש אין לי אלא בנו ובתו בן בנו ובן בתו מנין ת"ל (ויקרא כ, ד) בתתו מזרעו

The Gemara answers: Resolve at least one of these dilemmas, as it is taught in a baraita: Why must the verse state: “Because he has given of his offspring to Molekh” (Leviticus 20:3)? What is added by this statement? Because it is stated: “There shall not be found among you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire,” I have derived only that it is prohibited for one to pass his son or daughter. From where do I derive that one who passes his son’s son or his daughter’s son is also liable? The verse states: “When he gives of his offspring” (Leviticus 20:4). The term “offspring” indicates that grandchildren are included. This resolves one of Rav Ashi’s dilemmas.

תנא פתח בכי מזרעו וסליק בתתו מזרעו

The Gemara asks: The tanna began his exposition with the phrase in the verse “because he has given of his offspring,” and ended with an interpretation of the phrase in the verse “when he gives of his offspring.” Why did he cite two different verses as proof for his halakhic statement?

דרשה אחרינא הוא זרעו אין לי אלא זרע כשר זרע פסול מנין ת"ל בתתו מזרעו

The Gemara answers: The second verse is stated in the baraita for a different exposition, which was omitted from the baraita and reads as follows: From the term in the verse “his offspring” I have derived only that one is liable for passing through the fire his offspring of unflawed lineage, i.e., his descendants from a woman whom he was permitted to marry. From where do I derive that one is liable for passing through the fire his offspring of flawed lineage, e.g., a mamzer, as well? The verse states: “When he gives of his offspring,” indicating that one is liable for passing any of his offspring.

אמר רב יהודה אינו חייב עד שיעבירנו דרך העברה היכי דמי אמר אביי שרגא דליבני במיצעי נורא מהאי גיסא ונורא מהאי גיסא

§ Rav Yehuda says: One is not liable for passing his child through fire to Molekh unless he passes him in the typical manner of passing. The Gemara asks: What is considered the typical manner of passing? Abaye says: The child is taken by foot along a latticework [sirega] of bricks in the middle, between the fire on this side and the fire on that side.

רבא אמר כמשוורתא דפוריא

Rava says: The typical manner of passing is like the leaps of children on Purim. It was customary to light a bonfire on Purim inside a pit, and children would amuse themselves by leaping over the bonfires. Passing one’s child over a fire in such a fashion is the typical manner of passing a child over to Molekh.

תניא כוותיה דרבא אינו חייב עד שיעבירנו דרך עברה העבירה ברגל פטור

The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rava: One is not liable unless he passes his child through the fire in the typical manner of passing. If he passed her by foot, he is exempt. Evidently, the passing ritual is performed by leaping and not by walking.

ואינו חייב אלא על יוצאי יריכו הא כיצד בנו ובתו חייב אביו ואמו אחיו ואחותו פטור העביר עצמו פטור ורבי אלעזר בר' שמעון מחייב

The baraita continues: And one is liable only for passing his descendants. How so? If one passed his son or his daughter through the fire, he is liable. If he passed his father, or his mother, his brother, or his sister, he is exempt. If one passed himself over to Molekh, he is exempt. And Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, deems him liable.

אחד למולך ואחד לשאר ע"ז חייב רבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון אומר למולך חייב שלא למולך פטור

Both one who passes his child through fire to Molekh and one who passes his child through fire to other objects of idol worship are liable. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, says: If he passes him over to Molekh, he is liable, but if he transfers him to another object of idol worship, not to Molekh, he is exempt.

אמר עולא מאי טעמא דרבי אלעזר בר' שמעון אמר קרא (דברים יח, י) לא ימצא בך בך בעצמך

Ulla says: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who deems one who passes himself over to Molekh liable? The verse states: “There shall not be found among you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire” (Deuteronomy 18:10), and the term “among you” is interpreted homiletically to mean: Among yourself.

ורבנן לא דרשי בך והתנן אבידתו ואבידת אביו שלו קודמת ואמרינן מאי טעמא ואמר רב יהודה אמר קרא (דברים טו, ד) אפס כי לא יהיה בך אביון שלו קודמת לשל כל אדם

The Gemara asks: And do the Rabbis not interpret the term “among you” as referring to oneself? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Bava Metzia 33a): If one finds his lost item and his father’s lost item, taking care of his own lost item takes precedence. And we said in discussion of that mishna: What is the reason for this? And Rav Yehuda said that it is because the verse states: “Only so that there shall be no needy among you” (Deuteronomy 15:4), meaning that one must avoid becoming needy. Therefore, if one lost an item, tending to his lost item takes precedence over tending to the lost item of any other person. Apparently, this interpretation of the verse is based on the understanding that the term “among you” is referring to oneself, i.e., one must take care of himself so that he will not become needy.

והתם מאפס

The Gemara answers: And there, in that discussion, the halakha is derived from the word “only,” a limiting term, which is interpreted to mean that in preventing destitution one should begin with himself.

אמר רבי יוסי בר' חנינא שלש כריתות בע"ז למה

§ Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: Why is the punishment of excision from the World-to-Come [karet] mentioned three times with regard to idol worship? It is stated twice with regard to the ritual of Molekh, in the verse: “I will also set My face against that man, and I will excise him from among his people” (Leviticus 20:3), and in the verse: “Then I will set My face against that man, and against his family, and I will excise him” (Leviticus 20:5). The third mention of karet is with regard to one who blasphemes: “That person blasphemes the Lord, and that soul shall be excised from among his people” (Numbers 15:30).

אחת לכדרכה ואחת לשלא כדרכה ואחת למולך

One mention is for worshipping an idol in its typical manner of worship, and one mention is for worshipping an idol not in its typical manner of worship, and one mention is for performing the ritual of Molekh.

ולמאן דאמר מולך ע"ז היא כרת במולך למה לי למעביר בנו שלא כדרכה

The Gemara asks: And according to the one who says that Molekh is an object of idol worship, why do I need a special mention of karet with regard to Molekh? The Gemara answers: It is necessary for the case of one who passes his child through fire to an idol other than Molekh, where this is not its typical manner of worship. According to this opinion, one who passes his son through fire to any idol is liable.

ולמאן דאמר מגדף ע"ז היא כרת במגדף למה לי

The Gemara asks: And according to the one who says that the verse concerning one who blasphemes is referring to one who engages in idol worship and not to one who curses God, why do I need karet to be mentioned with regard to one who blasphemes?

לכדתניא (במדבר טו, לא) הכרת תכרת הכרת בעולם הזה תכרת לעולם הבא דברי רבי עקיבא

The Gemara answers that it is necessary for that which is taught in a baraita: It is stated with regard to one who blasphemes: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has breached His mitzva, that soul shall be excised [hikkaret tikkaret], his iniquity shall be upon him” (Numbers 15:31). The phrase “hikkaret tikkaret” is interpreted as follows: Hikkaret”; the sinner is excised in this world, meaning that he will die prematurely. Tikkaret”; the sinner is excised in the World-to-Come, and he will not merit everlasting life. This is the statement of Rabbi Akiva.

אמר לו רבי ישמעאל והלא כבר נאמר ונכרתה וכי שלשה עולמים יש אלא ונכרתה בעולם הזה הכרת לעולם הבא תכרת דברה תורה כלשון בני אדם:

Rabbi Yishmael said to him: But isn’t it already stated in the previous verse: “He blasphemes the Lord; that soul shall be excised [venikhreta]” (Numbers 15:30)? Are there three worlds in which the sinner is excised? Rather, from the term in the verse venikhreta it is derived that the sinner is excised in this world, from the term hikkaret it is derived that the sinner is excised in the World-to-Come, and nothing is derived from the doubled verb “hikkaret tikkaret,” as the Torah spoke in the language of people.