Sanhedrin 73a:2סנהדרין ע״ג א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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73aע״ג א

מתני׳ ואלו הן שמצילין אותן בנפשן הרודף אחר חבירו להרגו ואחר הזכר ואחר הנערה המאורסה אבל הרודף אחר בהמה והמחלל את השבת ועובד עבודת כוכבים אין מצילין אותן בנפשן:

MISHNA: And these are the ones who are saved from transgressing even at the cost of their lives; that is to say, these people may be killed so that they do not perform a transgression: One who pursues another to kill him, or pursues a male to sodomize him, or pursues a betrothed young woman to rape her. But with regard to one who pursues an animal to sodomize it, or one who seeks to desecrate Shabbat, or one who is going to engage in idol worship, they are not saved at the cost of their lives. Rather, they are forewarned not to transgress, and if they proceed to transgress after having been forewarned, they are brought to trial, and if they are found guilty, they are executed.

גמ׳ ת"ר מניין לרודף אחר חבירו להרגו שניתן להצילו בנפשו ת"ל (ויקרא יט, טז) לא תעמוד על דם רעך והא להכי הוא דאתא האי מיבעי ליה לכדתניא מניין לרואה את חבירו שהוא טובע בנהר או חיה גוררתו או לסטין באין עליו שהוא חייב להצילו ת"ל לא תעמוד על דם רעך אין ה"נ

GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that with regard to one who pursues another in order to kill him, the pursued party may be saved at the cost of the pursuer’s life? The verse states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another” (Leviticus 19:16); rather, you must save him from death. The Gemara asks: But does this verse really come to teach us this? This verse is required for that which is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who sees another drowning in a river, or being dragged away by a wild animal, or being attacked by bandits [listin], is obligated to save him? The Torah states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another.” The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so that this verse relates to the obligation to save one whose life is in danger.

ואלא ניתן להצילו בנפשו מנלן אתיא בקל וחומר מנערה המאורסה מה נערה המאורסה שלא בא אלא לפוגמה אמרה תורה ניתן להצילה בנפשו רודף אחר חבירו להרגו על אחת כמה וכמה

The Gemara asks again: But from where do we derive that one may be saved at the cost of the pursuer’s life? The Gemara answers: It is derived by means of an a fortiori inference from the halakha governing a betrothed young woman who was assaulted by a rapist: If in the case of a betrothed young woman, whom the rapist comes only to degrade, i.e., the result of the rape will be that her status is lowered, the Torah said that she may be saved even at the cost of the rapist’s life, then in the case of one who pursues another person to kill him, all the more so should one say that he may be saved even at the cost of the pursuer’s life.

וכי עונשין מן הדין דבי רבי תנא הקישא הוא (דברים כב, כו) כי כאשר יקום איש על רעהו ורצחו נפש וכי מה למדנו מרוצח

The Gemara asks: But does the court administer punishment based on an a fortiori inference? The Gemara answers: A Sage of the school of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi taught: This halakha is also derived from an analogy based on a juxtaposition. How so? With regard to the rape of a betrothed young woman it is written: “But you shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has committed no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, so too with this matter” (Deuteronomy 22:26). But why would the verse mention murder in this context? But what do we learn here from a murderer?

מעתה הרי זה בא ללמד ונמצא למד מקיש רוצח לנערה המאורסה מה נערה המאורסה ניתן להצילה בנפשו אף רוצח ניתן להצילו בנפשו

Now, the mention of murder came in order to teach a halakha about the betrothed young woman, and it turns out that, in addition, it derives a halakha from that case. The Torah juxtaposes the case of a murderer to the case of a betrothed young woman to indicate that just as in the case of a betrothed young woman one may save her at the cost of the rapist’s life, so too, in the case of a murderer, one may save the potential victim at the cost of the murderer’s life.

ונערה מאורסה גופה מנלן כדתנא דבי ר' ישמעאל דתנא דבי רבי ישמעאל (דברים כב, כז) ואין מושיע לה הא יש מושיע לה בכל דבר שיכול להושיע

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the betrothed young woman herself, from where do we derive that she may be saved at the cost of the rapist’s life? The Gemara explains: As it was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: The verse states: “For he found her in the field, and the betrothed young woman cried out, and there was none to save her” (Deuteronomy 22:27). But if there was someone to save her, he must do so by any means that can save her, even by killing the potential rapist.

גופא מניין לרואה את חברו שהוא טובע בנהר או חיה גוררתו או לסטין באין עליו שהוא חייב להצילו ת"ל לא תעמוד על דם רעך והא מהכא נפקא מהתם נפקא אבדת גופו מניין ת"ל והשבותו לו

Concerning the matter itself, it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who sees another drowning in a river, or being dragged away by a wild animal, or being attacked by bandits, is obligated to save him? The verse states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another” (Leviticus 19:16). The Gemara asks about this derivation: But is this really derived from here? It is derived from there, i.e., from a different verse, as it is taught: The Torah teaches that one must return lost property to its rightful owner. But from where is it derived that one must help his neighbor who may suffer the loss of his body or his health? The verse states: “And you shall restore it [vahashevato] to him [lo]” (Deuteronomy 22:2), which can also be read as: And you shall restore him [vehashevato] to him, i.e., saving his body. Consequently, there should be no need for the additional verse: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another.”

אי מהתם הוה אמינא ה"מ בנפשיה אבל מיטרח ומיגר אגורי אימא לא קמ"ל

The Gemara answers: If this halakha were derived only from there, I would say that this matter applies only to saving the person in danger by himself, i.e., that he himself must come to his neighbor’s rescue if he can, as is the halakha with regard to returning a lost item. But to trouble himself and hire workers for this purpose, one might say that he is not obligated, just as he is not obligated to hire workers to recover another’s lost item. Therefore, the verse “Do not stand by the blood of another” teaches us that he must even hire workers, and he transgresses a prohibition if he does not do so.

תנו רבנן אחד הרודף אחר חבירו להרגו ואחר הזכר ואחר נערה המאורסה ואחר חייבי מיתות ב"ד ואחר חייבי כריתות מצילין אותן בנפשו אלמנה לכהן גדול גרושה וחלוצה לכהן הדיוט אין מצילין אותן בנפשו

§ The Sages taught yet another baraita on the topic of a pursuer: One who pursues another to kill him; or pursues a male to sodomize him; or pursues a betrothed young woman to rape her; or pursues a woman who is forbidden to him by a prohibition, the violation of which renders him liable to receive a court-imposed death penalty; or pursues a woman who is forbidden to him by a prohibition, the violation of which renders him liable to receive karet, all these people are to be saved at the cost of the life of the transgressor. But with regard to a widow who is being pursued by a High Priest, or a divorcée, or a woman who has performed ḥalitza [ḥalutza] who is being pursued by an ordinary priest, they are not saved at the cost of the rapist’s life, because these unions are subject only to a mere prohibition.

נעבדה בה עבירה אין מצילין אותה בנפשו יש לה מושיע אין מצילין אותה בנפשו רבי יהודה אומר אף האומרת הניחו לו שלא יהרגנה

Furthermore, if a sin had already been committed with the betrothed young woman, she is not saved at the cost of the rapist’s life. In addition, if there is one to save her, i.e., if there is another way to save the betrothed young woman that does not involve killing the rapist, she is not saved at the cost of his life. Rabbi Yehuda says: Also, if the betrothed young woman says to those who come to rescue her: Let the rapist be, she is saying this so that he should not kill her, and therefore the rapist is not killed.

מנה"מ אמר קרא (דברים כב, כו) ולנערה לא תעשה דבר אין לנערה חטא מות נער זה זכור נערה זו נערה המאורסה חטא אלו חייבי כריתות מות אלו חייבי מיתות ב"ד

The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? The Gemara answers: The verse states: “But you shall do nothing to the young woman [na’ara]; the young woman has committed no sin worthy of death” (Deuteronomy 22:26). The word is read as young woman, “na’ara,” but it is written as young man, na’ar. Na’ar, as it is written, this is an allusion to sodomy. “Na’ara,” as it is read, this is a betrothed young woman. “Sin”; these are women who are forbidden to him by a prohibition the violation of which renders him liable to receive karet. “Death”; these are women who are forbidden to him by a prohibition the violation of which renders him liable to receive a court-imposed death penalty.

כל הני למה לי צריכי דאי כתב רחמנא נער משום דלאו אורחיה אבל נערה דאורחה אימא לא

The Gemara asks: Why do I need all these different cases? Why does it not suffice to offer one example from which all the others can be derived? The Gemara answers: These cases are all necessary, as had the Merciful One written only na’ar to teach the halakha with regard to sodomy, one might say that this victim alone is saved at the cost of his attacker’s life, because it is not his way to engage in intercourse with a man, and so he would suffer excessive embarrassment and pain were he not saved. But a young woman, whose natural way is to engage in intercourse with a man, one might say that her attacker may not be killed.

ואי כתב רחמנא נערה משום דקא פגים לה אבל נער דלא קא פגים ליה אימא לא

And had the Merciful One wrote only na’ara to teach the halakha concerning a betrothed young woman, one might say that she alone is saved at the cost of her attacker’s life, because he degrades her by taking her virginity, and she will be cheapened in the eyes of her betrothed. But a young man, who is not similarly degraded, one might say that his attacker may not be killed.

ואי כתב רחמנא הני

And had the Merciful One wrote both of these,