Emor, Section 1 אמור, פרשה א
1 א

[א] "ויאמר ה' אל משה אמר אל הכהנים בני אהרן ואמרת אלהם לנפש לא יטמא בעמיו"-- בני אהרן אין מיטמים למתים, מִטמאות הן בנות אהרן למתים. "בני אהרן"-- יכול חללים? תלמוד לומר "הכהנים", יצאו חללים. ומנין לרבות בעלי מומין? תלמוד לומר "בני אהרן". "בני אהרן"-- אף הקטנים במשמע.

1) (Vayikra 21:1) ("And the L–rd said to Moses, saying: Speak to the Cohanim, the sons of Aaron, and you shall say to them: For a dead body he shall not become tamei among his people." The sons of Aaron may not become tamei for a dead body; the daughters of Aaron may become tamei for a dead body. "the sons of Aaron": I might think that challalim (those of imperfect priestly status, are also included in the interdict); it is, therefore, written "Cohanim" — to exclude challalim. And whence is it derived that those with blemishes are included? From "the sons of Aaron." "the sons of Aaron": even the minors.

2 ב

[ב] "ואמרת אלהם לנפש לא יטמא בעמיו"-- אין לי אלא המת, ומנין לרבות את הדם? תלמוד לומר "לנפש". ואומר "כי הדם הוא הנפש".

2) "and you shall say to them: For a dead body (nefesh) he may not become tamei among his people.": This tells me only of the dead body. Whence do I derive (for inclusion) the blood? It is, therefore, written "for a nefesh," and elsewhere (Devarim 12:23) it is written "for the blood is the nefesh."

3 ג

[ג] מנין לרבות את הטומאות הפורשות מן המת? תלמוד לומר "ואמרת אלהם"-- לרבות את הטומאות הפורשות מן המת. "לנפש לא יטמא בעמיו"-- בזמן שעמיו שם אינו מטמא, מִטמא הוא למת מצוה.

3) Whence is derived for inclusion all the tumah segments that separate from the body? From "and you shall say to them" — to include these. "For a dead body he shall not become tamei among his people": When his people are there [i.e., when there are non-priests who can tend to the body, he is not to become tamei, but he is to become tamei for a meth mitzvah (a body which has no one to tend to it.)

4 ד

[ד] "כי אם לשארו הקרוב אליו"-- אין "שארו" אלא אשתו שנאמר "שאר אביך הִוא". "הקרוב"-- לא את הארוסה. "אליו"-- לא את הגרושה. יאמר "לאמו", מה תלמוד לומר "ולאביו"? מה אמו --שהיא מתחללת-- הרי הוא מטמא לה, אביו שאינו מתחלל אינו דין שיטמא לו?! אילו כן הייתי אומר מה אמו בידוע אף אביו בידוע. אביו חזקה מנין? תלמוד לומר "ולאביו".

4) (Vayikra 21:2) ("Only for his flesh that is near to him, his mother and his father, his son and his daughter and his brother.") "Only for his flesh that is near to him": "flesh" is his wife, viz. (Vayikra 18:12) "She is the flesh (i.e., the wife) of your father." "that is ner": to exclude one that was betrothed to him. "to him": to exclude one that he divorced. Let it be written (only) "to his mother." Why need "to his father" be written? (i.e., it can be derived a fortiori), viz.: If he makes himself tamei to his mother, who becomes a challalah (by relations with one who is unfit), how much more so should he make himself tamei to his father, who does not make himself a challal thereby! — If so, I would say: Just as his mother is definitely known (to be his mother), so his father must be definitely known. Whence would I know (that he makes himself tamei for him even when he is known as) his father by common acceptance? It must, therefore, be written "to his father."

5 ה

[ה] או אילו נאמר 'לאביו' ולא נאמר "לאמו" הייתי אומר מה אביו --שהוא חזקה-- הרי הוא מטמא לו, אמו ודאי אינו דין שיטמא לה?! אילו כן הייתי אומר מה אביו שאינו מתחלל אף אמו שאינה מתחללת. אמו שנתחללה מנין? תלמוד לומר "לאמו".

5) Or, if it were written "to his father" and not "to his mother," I would say: If he makes himself tamei for his father, who is such only by common acceptance, how much more so does he make himself tamei for her, (who is definitely known to be his mother!) — If so, I would say: Just as his father does not make himself a challal (see above), (then he may make himself tamei) only for his mother who has not become a challalah. Whence would I know that he does so even if she has become a challalah? It must, therefore, be written "to his mother."

6 ו

[ו] יאמר "לבנו ולבתו", מה תלמוד לומר "לאמו ולאביו"? בנו ובתו --שאינו חייב בכבודם-- הרי הוא מטמא להם, אמו ואביו שהוא חייב בכבודם אינו דין שיטמא להם?! אילו כן הייתי אומר לבנו ולבתו הנפלים. תלמוד לומר "לאמו ולאביו". מה אמו ואביו בני קיימא אף בנו ובתו בני קיימא. יצאו בנו ובתו הנפלים שאינם בני קיימא.

6) Let it be written (only) "to his son and to his daughter." Why need "to his mother and to his father" be written? (i.e., it can be derived a fortiori), viz. If he makes himself tamei to his son and to his daughter, whom he is not commanded to honor, how much more so should he make himself tamei to his mother and father, whom he is commanded to honor! — If so, I would say (that the verse speaks also of) his aborted son or daughter. It is, therefore, written "to his mother and to his father." Just as his mother and his father were alive, so, his son or daughter (must have been) alive — to exclude his aborted son or daughter, who were not alive.

7 ז

[ז] ומה תלמוד לומר 'לבנו'? ומה תלמוד לומר 'לבתו'? לפי שיש בבן מה שאין בבת ויש בבת מה שאין בבן. הבן, אביו חייב בו מצוות-- למולו ולפדותו, ללמדו תורה וללמדו אומנות, ולהשיאו אשה. מה שאין כן בבת. הבת, אביה זכאי במציאתה, במעשה ידיה ובהפר נדריה. מה שאין בבן. צריך לומר 'לבנו' וצריך לומר 'לבתו'.

7) And why are "to his son" and "to his daughter" mentioned (separately)? (i.e., let one be mentioned and I would know the other). Because there obtains with a son what does not obtain with a daughter, and there obtains with a daughter what does not obtain with son. With a son, the father is commanded to perform mitzvoth — to circumcise him, to redeem him, to teach him Torah, to teach him a trade and to get a wife for him, which does not obtain with a daughter. With a daughter, the father has title to what she finds, to the work of her hands, and to the nullification of her vows, which does not obtain with a son. Therefore, both "to his son" and "to his daughter" must be written.

8 ח

[ח] יאמר "לאחיו ולאחותו", מה תלמוד לומר 'לבנו ולבתו'? אחיו ואחותו --שאינו חייב בהם מצוות-- הרי הוא מִטמא להם, בנו ובתו שהוא חייב בהם מצוות אינו דין שיהא מטמא להם?! אילו כן הייתי אומר "לאחיו ולאחותו" יכול לאחיו ולאחותו מאמו?... תלמוד לומר "לבנו ולבתו". מה בנו ובתו שהוא יורשו, אף אחיו ואחותו שהוא יורשו-- יצאו אחיו ואחותו מאמו שאינו יורשו.

8) Let it be written (only_ "to his brother and to his sister." Why need "to his son and to his daughter" be written? (i.e., it can be derived a fortiori) viz.: If he makes himself tamei to his brother and to his sister, in respect to whom he is not commanded to perform mitzvoth, how much more so should he make himself tamei to his son and to his daughter, in respect to whom he is commanded to perform mitzvoth! — If so, I would say that "to his brother" and "to his sister" applies (also) to his maternal brother and sister; it is, therefore, written "to his son and to his daughter. Just as his son and daughter inherit him, so his brother and his sister (to whom he makes himself tamei) inherit him — to exclude his maternal brother and sister, who do not inherit him.

9 ט

[ט] יאמר 'לאחיו', מה תלמוד לומר 'לאחותו'? שאילו נאמר 'לאחיו' ולא נאמר 'לאחותו' הייתי אומר מה אחיו בין גדול בין קטן, אף אחותו בין קטנה בין גדולה. תלמוד לומר "ולאחותו הבתולה"-- הקטנה ולא הגדולה.

9) Let it be written (only) "to his brother." Why need "to his sister" be written? If it were written "to his brother," and not "to his sister," I would say: Just as (he makes himself tamei) for his brother, whether married or unmarried, so, for his sister, whether a virgin or not; it is, therefore, written "and for his sister, the virgin," and not one who is not a virgin.

10 י

[י] אילו נאמר 'לאחותו' ולא נאמר 'לאחיו' הייתי אומר מה אחותו שהיא קטנה ולא גדולה אף אחיו הקטן ולא הגדול. תלמוד לומר "ולאחיו"-- בין קטן בין גדול.

10) If it were written "for his sister," and not "for his brother," I would say: Just as his sister, who has not had intercourse, so, his brother who is unmarred; it is, therefore, written "for his brother," whether married or unmarried.

11 יא

[יא] "ולאחותו הבתולה"-- פרט לאנוסה ולמפותה. או יכול שאני מוציא את מוכת עץ? תלמוד לומר "אשר לא היתה לאיש"-- שהויתה על ידי איש ולא שהויתה בדבר אחר.

11) (Vayikra 21:3) ("And for his sister, the virgin, who is near to him, who was not wed to a man — for her shall he make himself tamei.") "and for his sister, the virgin": to exclude one who was forced or seduced. I might think that I (also) exclude one whose hymen was accidentally ruptured. It is, therefore, written "who was not wed to a man," (the implication being) one who lost her virginity by being possessed by a man, and not through other causes.

12 יב

[יב] "הקרובה"-- לרבות את הארוסה. "אליו"-- לרבות את הבוגרת. "לה יטמא"-- מצוה. לא רצה לטמא מטמין אותו בעל כרחו. ומעשה ביוסף הכהן שמתה אשתו בערב פסח ולא רצה לטמא לה, ודחפוהו חכמים וטימאוהו בעל כרחו.

12) "who is near": to include one who was betrothed. "to him": to include a bogereth (one beyond the age of twelve and a half, even if she lost part of her virginal signs in the process of maturing). "for her shall he make himself tamei": It is a mitzvah to do so. If he demurred, we force him to do so. And it happened with Yosef the Cohen, whose wife died on the eve of Pesach, and who did not wish to make himself tamei for her, that the sages pushed him and made him do so perforce.

13 יג

[יג] "לה יטמא"-- מטמא הוא על הודאי ואינו מטמא על הספק. "לה יטמא"-- אינו מטמא לאחרים עמה, שלא יאמר "הואיל ונטמאתי, אלקט עצמות פלוני בידי". "לה יטמא"-- אינו מטמא על איבריה, שאין אדם מטמא על אבר מן החי מאביו. אבל מטמא הוא על עצם כשעורה מאביו. ר' יוסי אומר אין אדם מטמא על עצם כשעורה מאביו.

13) "for him shall he make himself tamei": for (one who is his sister of) a certainty; and he does not make himself tamei for one who is not his sister or a certainty. "for her shall he make himself tamei": and not for others with her, i.e., he should not say: Since I have already made myself tamei (for her), I shall collect the bones of so and so. "for him shall he make himself tamei": but not for her (discrete) limbs, which she lost when she was alive, his being forbidden to do so (even) for the limbs of his father; but he does make himself tamei for a bone the size of a barley-corn of his father.

14 יד

[יד] מעשה ביוסף פן פכסס שעלת נומי על רגלו ובקש הרופא לחותכה. אמר לו כשתניח בה כחוט השערה הודיעני. חתכה והניח בה כחוט השערה והודיעו. קרא לנחוניא בנו. אמר לו "חוניא בני, עד כאן היית חייב ליטפל בי. מיכן ואילך צא לך, שאין מטמא על אבר מן החי מאביו." וכשבא דבר לפני חכמים אמרו, על זה נאמר "יש צדיק אובד בצדקו"-- הצדיק אבד וצדקו עמו.

14) It once happened with Yosef b. Pachsas (a Cohein) that his foot ulcerated and the surgeon wished to amputate it, at which (Yosef) said: "When it is hanging by a thread, let me know." When it reached that point, the surgeon told him and he (Yosef) called to Nechunya his son: "Chunia, my son, until now you were obligated to attend upon me. But now, leave, for the son (of a Cohein) does not make himself tamei for a limb (amputated) from a live father." And when the sages heard about this, they said (on Koheleth 7:15): "The tzaddik has lost, but his righteousness remains with him."

15 טו

[טו] "לא יטמא בעל בעמיו" מה תלמוד לומר? לפי שנאמר 'לאמו ולאביו ולבנו ולבתו ולאחיו ולאחותו' מטמא להם בין פסולים בין כשרים, יכול אף לאשתו יטמא בין כשרה בין פסולה?... תלמוד לומר "לא יטמא בעל בעמיו"-- יש בעל שמטמא ויש בעל שאין מטמא. הא כיצד? מטמא הוא לאשתו כשרה ואינו מטמא לאשתו פסולה.

15) (Vayikra 21:4) ("Let a husband not become tamei among his people to become profaned.") "Let a husband not become tamei among his people to become profaned." What is the intent of this? Because it is written that he makes himself tamei for his mother and his father, his son and his daughter, his brother and his sister, whether they are or are not fit (for the priesthood), I might think that he does so also for his wife." It is, therefore, written "Let a husband (who is a Cohein) not become unclean (for his wife." There is a husband who becomes unclean and there is a husband who does not become clean. How so? He makes himself tamei for his wife who is kasher, and does not make himself tamei for his wife who is pasul (i.e., who makes his children challalim, this being the thrust of "to become profaned").

16 טז

[טז] "בעמיו"-- בזמן שעושים כמעשה עמיו, לא בזמן שפירשו מדרכי ציבור. "להחלו"-- נהג מנהג כזה הרי הוא חולין. יכול יהא חולין לעולם? תלמוד לומר "להחלו"-- בזמן שהוא מתעסק עמו הרי הוא חולין. פירש, הרי הוא בקדושתו.

16) "among his people": when they act as his people do, and not when they have strayed from the ways of the congregation. "to become profaned": If he (the strayer) follows this course, he (the Cohein in question) becomes chullin ("mundane," and unfit for the priestly service.) I might think that he remains chullin forever; it is, therefore, written "beamav." As long as he (the strayer in question) is "with it" (imo [i.e., as long as he persists in this course]), then he (the Cohein) is chullin. Once he departs from it, he (the Cohein) reverts to his original sanctity.