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Sotah 44a:6סוטה מ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
44aמ״ד א

מת תופס ארבע אמות לטומאה ותנא תונא חצר הקבר העומד בתוכה טהור והוא שיהו בה ארבע אמות דברי בית שמאי ב"ה אומרים ארבעה טפחים במה דברים אמורים שפתחה מלמעלה אבל פתחה מן הצד דברי הכל ארבע אמות

A corpse occupies four cubits with regard to impurity, as the Sages decreed that one becomes impure when he stands within four cubits of a corpse. This measure protects priests and others who are forbidden to contract ritual impurity imparted by a corpse, so that they do not inadvertently become impure. And the tanna of the mishna taught in another mishna as well (Oholot 15:8): With regard to a courtyard adjacent to a grave, one who stands within it is ritually pure, provided that there are four cubits by four cubits within it. A courtyard this size constitutes its own space, according to the statement of Beit Shammai. Beit Hillel say: A space of four handbreadths by four handbreadths is enough. In what case is this statement said? Four handbreadths suffice when the entrance to the courtyard is from above. In such a case there is no concern that one will cover the grave with his body, and thereby become ritually impure, when entering the courtyard. However, if its entrance is from the side, everyone agrees the courtyard must be at least four cubits by four cubits in size.

כלפי לייא אדרבה מן הצד מידריד ונפיק מלמעלה אי אפשר דלא מאהיל אלא במה דברים אמורים שפתחה מן הצד אבל פתחה מלמעלה ארבע אמות והני מילי חצר הקבר דמסיימא מחיצתא אבל מת בעלמא תפיס

The Gemara challenges the preceding resolution: In which direction [kelapei layya] is there a distinction between the positions of the entrance? On the contrary, if one enters from the side, he can slip away and exit without becoming impure. However, if one enters from above it is impossible that he will not overlie the grave over the course of climbing in and out of the courtyard. Rather, it should say: In what case is this statement of Beit Hillel, according to which four handbreadths by four handbreadths are enough, said? It is when the entrance is from the side. However, if the entrance is from above, then the courtyard must be at least four cubits by four cubits according to all opinions. The Gemara further qualifies: And this statement applies in a courtyard adjacent to a grave whose partitions are delineated, but if there is only a corpse lying about without any enclosures, it certainly occupies and affects a surrounding area of four cubits.

(דברים כ, ז) מי האיש אשר ארש אשה כו ת"ר אשר ארס אחד המארס את הבתולה ואחד המארס את האלמנה ואחד שומרת יבם ואפילו חמשה אחין ומת אחד מהם במלחמה כולן חוזרין (דברים כ, ז) לא לקח ולא לקחה פרט לאלמנה לכהן גדול גרושה וחלוצה לכהן הדיוט ממזרת ונתינה לישראל בת ישראל לממזר ולנתין

§ The mishna teaches among the statements that were said before battle: “What man is there that has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house” (Deuteronomy 20:7). The Sages taught: “That has betrothed” is referring to one who betroths a virgin, and to one who betroths a widow, and to one whose yevama is a widow awaiting her yavam, i.e., this man in the military ranks, to perform levirate marriage. And even if there are five brothers, and one of them dies in the war, they all return for the widow. In addition, the verse could have singled out one who has not taken a wife. When the verse specifies: “and has not taken her,” this excludes men in forbidden marriages: A widow who is betrothed to a High Priest; either a divorcée or a yevama who performed ḥalitza [ḥalutza], who is betrothed to a common priest; a mamzeret or a Gibeonite woman who is betrothed to an Israelite; or an Israelite woman who is betrothed to a mamzer or to a Gibeonite.

לימא דלא כרבי יוסי הגלילי דאי רבי יוסי הגלילי הא אמר (דברים כ, ח) הירא ורך הלבב זה המתיירא מעבירות שבידו

The Gemara asks: Shall we say that this opinion is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili? As, if it were in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, he says: When the verse singles out “fearful and fainthearted” (Deuteronomy 20:8), this is referring to one who is afraid because of sins that he has. According to this interpretation, one who marries a woman forbidden to him should return home from war because of his guilt, which seems to contradict the opinion mentioned above that such a man does not return from the ranks.

אפילו תימא ר' יוסי הגלילי כדרבה דאמר רבה לעולם אינו חייב עד שיבעול מה טעם לא יקח משום לא יחלל משום הכי אינו לוקה עד שיבעול

The Gemara answers: Even if you say that the ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, such a man does not return, in accordance with the opinion of Rabba. As Rabba said: A man is never liable for a forbidden marriage until he engages in sexual intercourse with his wife. With regard to the forbidden marriages of a High Priest, the Torah states: “A widow, or a divorcée, or a profaned woman, or a harlot, these he shall not take…And he shall not profane his seed among his people” (Leviticus 21:14–15). What is the reason that “he shall not take” one of these women as a wife? It is due to: “He shall not profane his seed” by engaging in sexual intercourse. Due to that reason, he is not flogged until he engages in sexual intercourse with a woman who is forbidden to him. Therefore, even according to Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, one who merely betroths a forbidden wife might not return home from the ranks.

תנו רבנן אשר בנה אשר נטע אשר ארש לימדה תורה דרך ארץ שיבנה אדם בית ויטע כרם ואח"כ ישא אשה ואף שלמה אמר בחכמתו (משלי כד, כז) הכן בחוץ מלאכתך ועתדה בשדה לך אחר ובנית ביתך הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה בית ועתדה בשדה לך זה כרם אחר ובנית ביתך זו אשה

§ The Sages taught (Tosefta 7:20-21): The Torah states: “What man is there that has built” (Deuteronomy 20:5), and then “that has planted” (Deuteronomy 20:6), and finally “that has betrothed” (Deuteronomy 20:7). The Torah has taught a person the desired mode of behavior: A person should build a house, then plant a vineyard, and afterward marry a woman. And even King Solomon said in his wisdom: “Prepare your work outside, and make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house” (Proverbs 24:27). The Sages explained: “Prepare your work outside”; this is a house. “And make it fit for yourself in the field”; this is a vineyard. “And afterward you shall build your house”; this is a wife.

ד"א הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה מקרא ועתדה בשדה לך זה משנה אחר ובנית ביתך זה גמ' ד"א הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה מקרא ומשנה ועתדה בשדה לך זה גמרא אחר ובנית ביתך אלו מעשים טובים ר' אליעזר בנו של ר"י הגלילי אומר הכן בחוץ מלאכתך זה מקרא ומשנה וגמרא ועתדה בשדה לך אלו מעשים טובים אחר ובנית ביתך דרוש וקבל שכר

Alternatively, this verse may be understood as relating to Torah study: “Prepare your work outside”; this is the study of Bible. “And make it fit for yourself in the field”; this is the study of Mishna. “Afterward you shall build your house”; this is the study of Gemara, the analysis of and deliberation over the statements of the Sages. Alternatively: “Prepare your work outside”; this is the study of Bible and Mishna. “And make it fit for yourself in the field”; this is the study of Gemara. “Afterward you shall build your house”; these are good deeds. Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, says: “Prepare your work outside”; this is the study of Bible, and Mishna, and Gemara. “And make it fit for yourself in the field”; these are good deeds. “Afterward you shall build your house”; expound upon new understandings of Torah and receive reward, which is possible only after the initial steps.

ואלו שאינן חוזרין הבונה ביה שער כו' תנא אם הוסיף בו דימוס אחד חוזר ר' אליעזר אומר אף הבונה בית לבנים בשרון לא היה חוזר תנא מפני שמחדשין אותו פעמים בשבוע

§ The mishna teaches: And these are the men who do not return from the ranks: One who builds a gateway, or an enclosed veranda, or a balcony…Rabbi Yehuda says: Even one who rebuilds a house as it stood originally would not return. A Sage taught (Tosefta 7:18): If one adds one additional row of stones [dimos] to the original structure, he returns from the ranks. That is enough to render it a new building. The mishna further teaches: Rabbi Eliezer says: Even one who builds a new brick house in the Sharon would not return. A Sage taught: This is because the owners renew it twice in a period of seven years, and it is therefore not considered a permanent structure.

ואלו שאין זזין ממקומן בנה בית חדש וחנכו וכו' תנו רבנן (דברים כד, ה) אשה חדשה אין לי אלא אשה חדשה אלמנה וגרושה מנין תלמוד לומר אשה מכל מקום אם כן מה ת"ל אשה חדשה מי שחדשה לו יצא מחזיר גרושתו שאין חדשה לו

§ The mishna teaches: These are the men who do not even move from their places: One who built a house and dedicated it within the year; one who planted a vineyard and used its fruit for less than a year; one who marries his betrothed and one who marries his yevama, as it is stated: “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army, neither shall he be charged with any business; he shall be free for his house one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5). With respect to a new husband’s exemption, the Sages taught a number of halakhot from this verse. From the term: “A new wife” I have derived only that a man returns only for a new virgin wife. From where do I derive that it applies to a widow or a divorcée? The verse states: “A wife,” in any case. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “A new wife?” It is referring to one who is new for him, excluding one who remarries his divorcée, who is not new to him.

ת"ר (דברים כד, ה) לא יצא בצבא יכול בצבא הוא דלא יצא אבל יספיק מים ומזון ויתקן הדרכים תלמוד לומר (דברים כד, ה) ולא יעבור עליו לכל דבר יכול שאני מרבה אף הבונה בית ולא חנכו נטע כרם ולא חללו ארס אשה ולא לקחה ת"ל עליו עליו אי אתה מעביר אבל אתה מעביר על אחרים ומאחר דכתב לא יעבור לא יצא בצבא למה לי לעבור עליו בשני לאוין

The Sages taught with regard to the verse: “He shall not go out with the army” (Deuteronomy 24:5); one might have thought it is with the army that he does not go out, but he does go to supply water and food to the army and to repair the roads for them. Therefore, the verse states: “Neither shall he be charged with any business.” One might have thought that I include even one who has built a house and has not dedicated it, or one who has planted a vineyard and has not used its fruit, or one who has betrothed a woman and has not taken her as his wife? The verse states: “Neither shall he be charged with any business”; you do not charge him with any responsibilities, but you do charge others. The Gemara asks: And since the Torah states: “Neither shall he be charged with any business,” why do I need to be taught: “He shall not go out with the army”? The Gemara answers: The Torah adds this clause so that he will violate two prohibitions if he goes out to war: “He shall not go out with the army,” and: “Neither shall he be charged.”

מתני׳ (דברים כ, ח) ויספו השוטרים לדבר אל העם וגו' ר' עקיבא אומר הירא ורך הלבב כמשמעו שאינו יכול לעמוד בקשרי המלחמה ולראות חרב שלופה רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר הירא ורך הלבב זהו המתיירא מן העבירות שבידו לפיכך תלתה לו התורה את כל אלו שיחזור בגללן

MISHNA: The mishna continues its discussion of the speech given before battle. “And the officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say: What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house” (Deuteronomy 20:8). Rabbi Akiva says: “That is fearful and fainthearted” is to be understood as it indicates, that the man is unable to stand in the battle ranks and to see a drawn sword because it will terrify him. Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says: “That is fearful and fainthearted”; this is one who is afraid because of the sins that he has; he, too, returns. Therefore, the Torah provided him with all these additional reasons for exemption from the army so he can ascribe his leaving to one of them. In this way, the sinner may leave the ranks without having to publicly acknowledge that he is a sinner.

רבי יוסי אומר אלמנה לכהן גדול גרושה וחלוצה לכהן הדיוט ממזרת ונתינה לישראל בת ישראל לממזר ולנתין הרי הוא הירא ורך הלבב

Rabbi Yosei says: With regard to one who has betrothed a woman forbidden to him, including a widow betrothed to a High Priest; a divorcée or a yevama who performed ḥalitza [ḥalutza] betrothed to a common priest; a mamzeret or a Gibeonite woman betrothed to an Israelite; or a daughter of an Israelite betrothed to a mamzer or a Gibeonite; this man is he whom the verse calls “fearful and fainthearted.” He fears that his sin will jeopardize his safety in the war.

(דברים כ, ט) והיה ככלות השוטרים לדבר אל העם ופקדו שרי צבאות בראש העם ובעקיבו של עם מעמידין זקיפין לפניהם ואחרים מאחוריהם וכשילין של ברזל בידיהן וכל המבקש לחזור הרשות בידו לקפח את שוקיו

The mishna continues its discussion. The verse states: “And it shall be, when the officers conclude speaking to the people, that captains of legions shall be appointed at the head of the people” (Deuteronomy 20:9). The mishna adds: As well as at the rear of the people. The officers station guards [zekifin] in front of them, and other guards behind them, and they have iron rods [kashilin] in their hands. And with regard to anyone who attempts to turn back and flee from the war, the guard has license to beat [lekape’aḥ] his legs