Shabbat 136aשבת קל״ו א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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136aקל״ו א

מימהל היכי מהלינן ליה

If so, with regard to circumcision, how can we circumcise him? Perhaps he is a stillborn and one may not desecrate Shabbat for his circumcision.

אמר רב אדא בר אהבה מלין אותו ממה נפשך אם חי הוא שפיר קא מהיל ואם לאו מחתך בבשר הוא

Rav Adda bar Ahava said: One may circumcise him whichever way you look at it, based on the following calculation: If he is a child who will live, the circumcisor may well circumcise the child, and if not, if the child is a stillborn and the circumcisor is merely cutting flesh, one who cuts the flesh of a corpse or the flesh of one with the legal status of a corpse is not considered to have made a wound, and therefore has not performed a prohibited labor.

ואלא הא דתניא ספק בן שבעה ספק בן שמונה אין מחללין עליו את השבת אמאי נימהליה ממה נפשך אם חי הוא שפיר קא מהיל ואם לאו מחתך בבשר הוא

The Gemara raises a difficulty: And however, with regard to that which was taught in a baraita: If there is uncertainty whether he was born after seven months of pregnancy, and uncertainty whether he was born after eight months, one does not desecrate Shabbat on his behalf and circumcise him. The Gemara asks: Why? Let us circumcise him on Shabbat, as whichever way you look at it, that is appropriate. If he is a child that will live, the circumcisor may well circumcise the child, and if not, he is merely cutting the flesh of a corpse, which does not violate any Shabbat prohibitions.

אמר מר בריה דרבינא אנא ורב נחומי בר זכריה תרגימנא מימהיל הכי נמי מהלינן ליה לא נצרכה אלא למכשירי מילה ואליבא דרבי אליעזר

Mar, son of Ravina, said: Rav Naḥumei bar Zekharya and I interpreted this as follows: Indeed, as for circumcision itself, we do indeed circumcise that child even on Shabbat. It was only necessary to say that one does not desecrate Shabbat on his behalf with regard to the issue of preparing facilitators of circumcision on Shabbat, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that actions that facilitate circumcision at its appointed time override Shabbat.

אמר אביי כתנאי וכי ימות מן הבהמה אשר היא לכם לאכלה להביא בן שמנה שאין שחיטתו מטהרתו רבי יוסי ברבי יהודה ורבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון אומרים שחיטתו מטהרתו

Abaye said: The issue of whether a child who has not yet survived thirty days from his birth is considered viable is parallel to a dispute between the tanna’im with regard to the interpretation of the verse: “And if any animal of which you may eat shall die, one who touches its carcass shall be impure until the evening” (Leviticus 11:39). The verse is interpreted as coming to include offspring of eight months. Large domesticated animals typically give birth after a gestation period of nine months. If an animal of that sort gives birth after eight months, its offspring is deemed to be not viable and its slaughter does not purify it. Rather, it assumes the status of an unslaughtered animal, which is not only prohibited to be eaten, but also transmits ritual impurity to those who touch or move it. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, say: Its slaughter purifies it, and it does not assume unslaughtered animal status.

מאי לאו בהא קא מיפלגי דמר סבר חי הוא ומר סבר מת הוא

What, is it not that this is the matter with regard to which they disagree? That this Master holds that the animal is considered alive and therefore its slaughter is effective, as is the case with regard to all pure animals, while this Master, the first tanna, holds that it is considered dead.

אמר רבא אי הכי אדמיפלגי לענין טומאה וטהרה ליפלגי לענין אכילה

Rava said: If so, instead of disagreeing over the issue of impurity and purity, let them disagree over the issue of eating, i.e., whether it is permitted to eat this offspring after it is slaughtered. Since they did not dispute this point, their disagreement must revolve around a different factor.

אלא דכולי עלמא מת הוא ורבי יוסי ברבי יהודה ורבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון סברי כטרפה טרפה לאו אף על גב דמתה היא שחיטתה מטהרתה הכא נמי לא שנא ורבנן לא דמי לטרפה טרפה היתה לה שעת הכושר האי לא היתה לה שעת הכושר

Rather, it must be that everyone agrees that it is considered dead, yet Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, hold that it has the legal status like that of a tereifa, an animal with a condition that will cause it to die within twelve months. With regard to a tereifa, is it not that even though it is considered dead from the perspective of halakha because there is no possibility of long-term survival, nevertheless, if it is slaughtered, its slaughter purifies it? It does not cause ritual impurity like an unslaughtered animal, even though it may not be eaten. Here too, it is no different. And the Rabbis, who do not accept this claim, say: It is not similar to a tereifa, since a tereifa had a period of fitness before it became a tereifa. However, this animal that was born after eight months of pregnancy did not ever have a period of fitness.

וכי תימא טרפה מבטן מאי איכא למימר התם יש במינה שחיטה הכא אין במינה שחיטה

And if you say: With regard to an animal that was a tereifa from the womb and was born in that condition, what is there to say? It too never had a period of fitness. There is a distinction between the cases. There, with regard to a tereifa, there is slaughter in its type; here, with regard to a stillborn, there is no slaughter in its type, as there is no circumstance where slaughter of a stillborn animal is appropriate.

איבעיא להו מי פליגי רבנן עליה דרבן שמעון בן גמליאל או לא אם תמצי לומר פליגי הלכה כמותו או אין הלכה כמותו

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Do the Rabbis disagree with Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who holds that any animal that survived for eight days after birth is presumed viable, or not? If you say that they disagree, the dilemma is: Is the halakha in accordance with his opinion, or is the halakha not in accordance with his opinion?

תא שמע עגל שנולד ביום טוב שוחטין אותו ביום טוב הכא במאי עסקינן דקים ליה בגוויה שכלו לו חדשיו

Come and hear proof from that which we learned: With regard to a calf that was born on a Festival, one may slaughter it on the Festival. Apparently, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel’s opinion is not accepted, and one need not wait eight days after the animal is born. The Gemara refutes this: With what are we dealing here? It is a case in which one is certain that its months of gestation were completed, and therefore, it is certainly not stillborn.

תא שמע ושוין שאם נולד הוא ומומו עמו שזה מן המוכן הכא נמי שכלו לו חדשיו

Come and hear another proof from that which we learned: Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon, who disagreed with regard to whether or not it is permitted to inspect firstborn animals for blemishes on a Festival, agree that if a firstborn animal was born with its blemish, it is considered prepared for use on the Festival. It is not deemed set-aside and an expert may examine it to determine whether or not it is a permanent blemish. Apparently, a firstborn animal may be slaughtered on the day of its birth. The Gemara refutes this proof as well: It is a case in which one is certain that its months of gestation were completed, and it is certainly not stillborn.

תא שמע דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבן שמעון בן גמליאל הלכה מכלל דפליגי שמע מינה

Come and hear a solution to the dilemma, as Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The halakha in this matter is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel. Nonetheless, from the fact that the halakha was ruled in accordance with Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, by inference, the Sages disagree with his ruling. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, conclude from this the resolution to both dilemmas raised above.

אמר אביי נפל מן הגג או אכלו ארי דברי הכל חי הוא כי פליגי שפיהק ומת מר סבר חי הוא ומר סבר מת הוא

Abaye said: With regard to a baby less than thirty days old that fell off a roof or was eaten by a lion, everyone agrees that he is considered to have been alive; it was a viable baby that died in the accident. Where they disagree is in a case where the baby yawned, i.e., breathed momentarily after birth, and then immediately died. This Master, the Rabbis, hold: The baby is considered to have been living, since it was born alive; and this Master holds: It is considered to have been born dead until it lives a month after its birth.

למאי נפקא מיניה לפטור מן הייבום

What practical difference is there whether or not the baby is considered to have been alive? The difference is to exempt the child’s mother from levirate marriage. If a man died with no children, and his wife was pregnant and a viable child was born, the woman is exempt from levirate marriage; however, if the child was born dead, the man is considered to have died childless, and his widow is obligated in levirate marriage.

נפל מן הגג או אכלו ארי דברי הכל חי הוא והא רב פפא ורב הונא בריה דרב יהושע איקלעו לבי בריה דרב אידי בר אבין ועביד להו עיגלא תילתא ביממא דשבעה ואמרי ליה אי איתרחיתו ליה עד לאורתא הוה אכלינן מיניה השתא לא אכלינן מיניה

The Gemara raises a difficulty: Is that to say that if the child fell off a roof or was eaten by a lion, everyone agrees that it is considered to have been alive? Didn’t Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, happen to come to the house of the son of Rav Idi bar Avin, and he prepared for them a third-born calf on the seventh day after its birth. And they said to him: Had you waited to slaughter it until the evening, we would have eaten from it. Now that you did not wait, we shall not eat from it. Apparently, if a calf is slaughtered before it was alive for eight days and definitely viable, suspicion that it is stillborn remains; the same is true of a child who dies from an accident within thirty days of birth.

אלא כשפיהק ומת דברי הכל מת הוא כי פליגי בנפל מן הגג ואכלו ארי מר סבר מת הוא ומר סבר חי הוא

Rather, Abaye’s statement must be reformulated: When the baby yawned and died, everyone agrees that it is considered to have been dead from the outset. Where they disagree is in a case when it fell off a roof or was eaten by a lion: This Master, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, holds: It is considered to have been dead; and this Master holds that since it did not die on its own, it is considered to have been alive.

בריה דרב דימי בר יוסף אתיליד ליה ההוא ינוקא בגו תלתין יומין שכיב יתיב קמתאביל עילויה אמר ליה אבוה צוורוניתא קבעית למיכל אמר ליה קים לי ביה שכלו לו חדשיו

The Gemara relates: A baby was born to the son of Rav Dimi bar Yosef. Within thirty days the baby died. He sat and mourned over him. His father, Rav Dimi bar Yosef, said to him: Are you mourning because you wish to partake of the delicacies fed to mourners? The halakha deems a child that dies before thirty days stillborn, and one does not mourn over it. He said to him: I am certain that its months of gestation were completed.

רב אשי איקלע בי רב כהנא איתרע ביה מילתא בגו תלתין יומין חזייה דיתיב וקא מתאבל עילויה אמר ליה לא סבר ליה מר להא דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבן שמעון בן גמליאל אמר ליה קים לי בגויה שכלו לו חדשיו

The Gemara similarly relates that Rav Ashi happened to come to Rav Kahana’s house. A matter befell him, i.e., his child died within thirty days of its birth. Rav Ashi saw him and observed that he was sitting and mourning over him. He said to him: Doesn’t the Master hold in accordance with that which Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, that only a child who lived for thirty days is not considered stillborn? He said to him: I am certain that its months of gestation were completed and he is not to be considered a stillborn.

איתמר מת בתוך שלשים ועמדה ונתקדשה אמר רבינא משמיה דרבא

It was stated that the Sages discussed the following question: What is the ruling in a case where a baby died within thirty days after birth, leaving its mother a childless widow, and before they decided whether or not she was obligated in levirate marriage, she stood and was betrothed to another? Ravina said in the name of Rava: