לא פגעו בו קנאין מהו אינשייה רב לגמריה אקריוהו לרב כהנא בחלמיה (מלאכי ב, יא) בגדה יהודה ותועבה נעשתה בישראל ובירושלים כי חלל יהודה קדש ה' אשר אהב ובעל בת אל נכר אתא א"ל הכי אקריון If zealots did not strike him, what is the halakha? Rav forgot that which he learned through tradition concerning this matter. They read this verse to Rav Kahana in his dream: “Judah has dealt treacherously and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, as Judah has profaned the sacred of the Lord, which he loves, and has engaged in intercourse with the daughter of a strange god” (Malachi 2:11). Rav Kahana came and said to Rav: This is what they read to me in my dream.
אדכריה רב לגמריה בגדה יהודה זו עבודת כוכבים וכן הוא אומר (ירמיהו ג, כ) [כן] בגדתם בי בית ישראל נאום ה' ותועבה נעשתה בישראל ובירושלים זה משכב זכור וכן הוא אומר (ויקרא יח, כב) ואת זכר לא תשכב משכבי אשה תועבה היא כי חלל יהודה קדש ה' זו זונה וכן הוא אומר (דברים כג, יח) לא (יהיה קדש) ובעל בת אל נכר זה הבא על הכותית Rav then remembered that which he learned through tradition and said: “Judah has dealt treacherously,” this is a reference to the sin of idol worship. And likewise it says: But as a wife who treacherously departs her husband, you have dealt treacherously with Me, house of Israel, says the Lord (Jeremiah 3:20). “And an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem,” this is a reference to male homosexual intercourse, and likewise it says: “You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “As Judah has profaned the sacred [kodesh] of the Lord,” this is a reference to a prostitute, and likewise it says: “There shall be no harlot [kedesha] of the daughters of Israel” (Deuteronomy 23:18). “And has engaged in intercourse with the daughter of a strange god,” this is a reference to one who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman.
וכתיב בתריה (מלאכי ב, יב) יכרת ה' לאיש אשר יעשנה ער ועונה (מאלהי) יעקב ומגיש מנחה לה' צבאות אם ת"ח הוא לא יהיה לו ער בחכמים ועונה בתלמידים אם כהן הוא לא יהיה לו בן מגיש מנחה לה' צבאות And it is written thereafter with regard to those enumerated in the verse: “May the Lord excise the man who does this, who calls and who answers from the tents of Jacob, and he who sacrifices a meal-offering to the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:12). The Gemara interprets the verse: If he is a Torah scholar, he will have neither one among his descendants who calls and initiates discourse among the Sages, nor one who answers among the students, i.e., one who is capable of answering questions posed by the Sages. If he is a priest, he will not have among his descendants a son who sacrifices a meal-offering to the Lord of hosts.
א"ר חייא בר אבויה כל הבא על הכותית כאילו מתחתן בעבודת כוכבים דכתיב ובעל בת אל נכר וכי בת יש לו לאל נכר אלא זה הבא על הכותית Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Avuya says: With regard to anyone who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman it is as though he married the object of idol worship itself, as it is written: “And has engaged in intercourse with the daughter of a strange god.” Does a strange god have a daughter? Rather, this is a reference to one who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman who is an adherent of a strange god.
וא"ר חייא בר אבויה כתוב על גלגלתו של יהויקים זאת ועוד אחרת זקינו דרבי פרידא אשכח ההוא גולגלתא דהות שדיא בשערי ירושלים והוה כתוב עילויה זאת ועוד אחרת קברה והדר נבוג קברה והדר נבוג אמר האי גולגלתא של יהויקים דכתיב ביה (ירמיהו כב, יט) קבורת חמור יקבר סחוב והשלך מהלאה לשערי ירושלים § The Gemara cites another of Rav Ḥiyya bar Avuya’s statements. Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Avuya says: It was written on the skull of Jehoiakim king of Judea: This and yet another, indicating that he will suffer a punishment in addition to the punishment that he already received. The Gemara relates: The grandfather of Rabbi Perida, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Avuya, found a skull that was cast at the gates of Jerusalem, and upon it was written: This and yet another. He buried it, and it then emerged [navug] from beneath the soil. He buried it and it then emerged from beneath the soil again. He said: This is the skull of Jehoiakim, as it is written in his regard: “With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried, drawn and cast beyond the gates of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 22:19). He will find no rest in a grave.
אמר מלכא הוא ולאו אורח ארעא לבזויי שקלה כרכה בשיראי ואותביה בסיפטא אתאי דביתהו חזיתה נפקת אמרה להו לשיבבתהא אמרי לה האי דאיתתא קמייתא היא דלא קא מנשי לה שגרתא לתנורא וקלתה כי אתא אמר היינו דכתיב עילויה זאת ועוד אחרת Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Avuya said: He is a king and it is not proper conduct to treat him contemptuously. He took the skull, wrapped it in silk [beshira’ei] and placed it in a chest [besifta]. His wife came and saw the skull, went out and told her neighbors and asked them what it was. The neighbors said to her: This is the skull of the first wife to whom he was married, as he has not forgotten her and he keeps her skull in her memory. That angered his wife, and she kindled the oven and burned the skull. When Rabbi Ḥiyya son of Avuya came and learned what she had done, he said: That is the fulfillment of that which is written about him: This and yet another. Having his remains cast beyond the gates of Jerusalem did not complete the punishment of Jehoiakim. He suffered the additional indignity of having his remains burned.
כי אתא רב דימי אמר בית דינו של חשמונאי גזרו הבא על הכותית חייב עליה משום נשג"א § When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: The court of the Hasmoneans issued a decree that one who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman is liable due to his violation of prohibitions represented by the letters: Nun, shin, gimmel, alef. He is liable for engaging in intercourse with a menstruating woman [nidda] who did not immerse in a ritual bath and remains impure. Although by Torah law there is no impurity of menstruation with regard to gentiles, it has been decreed that one must distance himself from them as he does from a menstruating woman. He is liable for engaging in intercourse with a Canaanite maidservant [shifḥa], as relative to a Jewish woman, the status of a gentile woman is that of a maidservant. He is liable for engaging in intercourse with a gentile woman [goya] and with a married woman [eshet ish].
כי אתא רבין אמר משום נשג"ז נדה שפחה גויה זונה אבל משום אישות לית להו ואידך נשייהו ודאי לא מיפקרי When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: He is liable due to his violation of prohibitions represented by the letters: Nun, shin, gimmel, zayin. Ravin agreed with Rav Dimi that the Hasmoneans decreed that one who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman is liable for engaging in intercourse with a menstruating woman, a maidservant, and a gentile woman. He adds that the individual is liable for engaging in intercourse with a zona. But he disagrees with Rav Dimi and holds that one is not liable due to the violation of the prohibition involving matrimony, i.e., of engaging in intercourse with a married woman, because the halakhic framework of matrimony does not exist among gentiles. Their relationships are fundamentally temporary. And the other amora, Rav Dimi, holds that gentiles certainly do not forsake their wives; therefore, the status of the wife of a gentile is that of a married woman.
א"ר חסדא הבא לימלך אין מורין לו איתמר נמי אמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן הבא לימלך אין מורין לו Rav Ḥisda says: Concerning one who comes to consult with the court when he sees a Jewish man engaging in intercourse with a gentile woman, the court does not instruct him that it is permitted to kill the transgressor. It was also stated that Rabba bar bar Ḥana says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Concerning one who comes to consult with the court, the court does not instruct him that it is permitted to kill the Jewish man engaging in intercourse with a gentile woman.
ולא עוד אלא שאם פירש זמרי והרגו פנחס נהרג עליו נהפך זמרי והרגו לפנחס אין נהרג עליו שהרי רודף הוא Moreover, if Zimri son of Salu (see Numbers 25:1–9) had separated himself from the woman and only then Pinehas killed him, Pinehas would have been executed for killing him, because it is permitted for zealots to kill only while the transgressor is engaged in the act of intercourse. Furthermore, if Zimri would have turned and killed Pinehas in self-defense, he would not have been executed for killing him, as Pinehas was a pursuer. One is allowed to kill a pursuer in self-defense, provided that the pursued is not liable to be executed by the court.
(במדבר כה, ה) ויאמר משה אל שופטי ישראל וגו' הלך שבטו של שמעון אצל זמרי בן סלוא אמרו לו הן דנין דיני נפשות ואתה יושב ושותק מה עשה עמד וקיבץ כ"ד אלף מישראל והלך אצל כזבי אמר לה השמיעי לי אמרה לו בת מלך אני וכן צוה לי אבי לא תשמעי אלא לגדול שבהם אמר לה אף הוא נשיא שבט הוא ולא עוד אלא שהוא גדול ממנו שהוא שני לבטן והוא שלישי לבטן It is stated: “And Moses said to the judges of Israel: Each of you shall slay his men who have adhered unto Ba’al-Peor” (Numbers 25:5). The tribe of Simeon went to Zimri, son of Salu, their leader, and said to him: They are judging cases of capital law and executing us and you are sitting and are silent? What did Zimri do? He arose and gathered twenty-four thousand people from the children of Israel, and went to Cozbi, daughter of Zur, princess of Midian, and said to her: Submit to me and engage in intercourse with me. She said to him: I am the daughter of a king, and this is what my father commanded me: Submit only to the greatest of them. Zimri said to her: He, too, referring to himself, is the head of a tribe; moreover, he is greater than Moses, as he is the second of the womb, as he descends from Simeon, the second son of Jacob, and Moses is the third of the womb, as he descends from Levi, the third son of Jacob.
תפשה בבלוריתה והביאה אצל משה אמר לו בן עמרם זו אסורה או מותרת ואם תאמר אסורה בת יתרו מי התירה לך נתעלמה ממנו הלכה געו כולם בבכיה והיינו דכתיב (במדבר כה, ו) והמה בוכים פתח אהל מועד וכתיב (במדבר כה, ז) וירא פנחס בן אלעזר He seized her by her forelock and brought her before Moses. Zimri said to Moses: Son of Amram, is this woman forbidden or permitted? And if you say that she is forbidden, as for the daughter of Yitro to whom you are married, who permitted her to you? The halakha with regard to the proper course of action when encountering a Jewish man engaging in intercourse with a gentile woman eluded Moses. All of the members of the Sanhedrin bawled in their weeping, and that is the meaning of that which is written: “And they are crying at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 25:6). And it is written thereafter: “And Pinehas, son of Elazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw and arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand” (Numbers 25:7).
מה ראה אמר רב ראה מעשה ונזכר הלכה אמר לו אחי אבי אבא לא כך לימדתני ברדתך מהר סיני הבועל את כותית קנאין פוגעין בו אמר לו קריינא דאיגרתא איהו ליהוי פרוונקא The Gemara asks: What did Pinehas see that led him to arise and take action? Rav says: He saw the incident taking place before him and he remembered the halakha. He said to Moses: Brother of the father of my father, as Moses was the brother of his grandfather Aaron, did you not teach me this during your descent from Mount Sinai: One who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman, zealots strike him? Moses said to him: Let the one who reads the letter be the agent [parvanka] to fulfill its contents.
ושמואל אמר ראה שאין (משלי כא, ל) חכמה ואין תבונה ואין עצה נגד ה' כל מקום שיש חילול השם אין חולקין כבוד לרב ר' יצחק אמר ר"א ראה שבא מלאך והשחית בעם And Shmuel says: Pinehas saw and considered the meaning of the verse: “There is neither wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30), which the Sages interpreted to mean: Anywhere that there is desecration of the Lord’s name, one does not show respect to the teacher. In those situations, one need not consult his teacher, but must immediately proceed to right the wrong that is transpiring. Therefore, he took the spear and took immediate action. Rabbi Yitzḥak says that Rabbi Eliezer says: He saw that an angel came and destroyed among the people in punishment for the sin of Zimri, and he realized that he must take immediate action to ameliorate the situation.
ויקם מתוך העדה ויקח רומח בידו מיכן שאין נכנסין בכלי זיין לבית המדרש שלף שננה והניחה באונקלו והיה It is written with regard to Pinehas: “He arose from amidst the assembly and he took a spear in his hand” (Numbers 25:7). From here, where it is written that he took the spear only after he arose from the assembly, it is derived that one does not enter the study hall with a weapon. The assembly in this context is referring to the seat of the Sanhedrin. Pinehas removed the blade of the spear and placed it in his garment [be’unkalo] and held the shaft of the spear like a walking stick, and he was