2ב׳
1 א

המאבד עצמו לדעת אין מתעסקין עמו בכל דבר רבי ישמעאל אומר קורין עליו הוי נטלה הוי נטלה א"ל ר"ע הנח לו בסתמו אל תכבדהו ואל תקללהו אין קורעין עליו ואין חולצין עליו ולא מספידין עליו אבל עומדין עליו בשורה ואומרין עליו ברכת אבלים מפני שהוא כבוד חיים כללו של דבר כל שהוא כבוד של חיים מתעסקין בו כל שאין כבוד של חיים אין הרבים מתעסקין עמו לכל דבר:

We do not occupy ourselves in any respect with the funeral rites of one who committed suicide wilfully. R. Ishmael said: We exclaim over him, ‘Alas for a lost1Heb. niṭṭelah, ‘[a life] carried away’. H reads nishlah with a similar meaning (cf. God takth away [yeshel] his soul, Job 27, 8). GRA emends to nithlah, ‘hanged’. [life!] Alas for a [lost] life!’ R. ‘Aḳiba said to him, ‘Leave him unmourned; speak neither well nor ill of him’.2lit. ‘do not bless him and do not curse him’.
We do not rend garments for him,3According to the Ṭur Y.D., §345, near relatives do not rend their garments. bare the shoulder, or deliver a memorial address over him. We do, however, stand in a row4At the cemetery after the funeral those present divide themselves into two rows and the mourners pass between them to receive condolences. for him and recite the benediction of mourners5The condolence ended with the words, ‘Blessed be He Who comforteth the mourners’ (Keth. 8b, Sonc. ed., p. 40). Hence the term ‘benediction of mourners’; cf. J. Rabbinowitz, Mishnah Megillah, p. 119. for him, from respect of the living [relatives]. The general rule is: With anything that makes for respect of the living we occupy ourselves, but with anything that does not make for the respect of the living, the public do not in any way occupy themselves.

2 ב

איזהו המאבד עצמו לדעת לא שעלה בראש האילן ונפל ומת בראש הגג ונפל ומת אלא זה שאמר הריני עולה לראש הגג או לראש האילן ואפיל עצמי ואמות ורואין אותו שעלה לראש האילן ונפל ומת הרי זה בחזקת המאבד את עצמו בדעת וכל המאבד את עצמו לדעת אין מתעסקין עמו בכל דבר:

Who [comes within the category of] ‘one who committed suicide wilfully’? He does not who climbed to the top of a tree and fell down and died, or he who went up to the top of the roof and fell down and died.6It may have been an accidental fall. But he who calls out, ‘Look, I am going to the top of the roof or to the top of the tree, and I will throw myself down that I may die’ [comes within the category]. When people saw him go up to the top of a tree or roof [for the purpose] and he fell down and died, he is presumed to have committed suicide wilfully; and with the person who commits suicide wilfully we do not occupy ourselves in any respect.

3 ג

מצאהו חנוק ותלוי באילן הרוג ומושלך על גבי הסייף הרי זה בחזקת המאבד את עצמו שלא בדעת ואין מונעין הימנו כל דבר:

If a person was found strangled or hanging from a tree or lying dead on a sword, he is presumed not to have committed suicide wilfully, and none [of the rites] are withheld from him.

4 ד

מעשה בבנו של גורנוס בלוד שברח מבית הספר והראה לו אביו באזנו ונתירא מאביו והלך ואבד עצמו בבגד ובאו ושאלו את רבי טרפון ואמר אין מונעין הימנו כל דבר:

It is related of the son of Gorgias7A variant is Gornos. [He is not mentioned elsewhere in Rabbinic literature.] of Lydda that he ran away from school and his father pointed to his ear.8i.e. he threatened to punish him. In fear of his father he went and destroyed himself in a pit.9So GRA and H. V wrongly ‘with a garment’. They went and inquired of R. Ṭarfon who ruled: We do not withhold anything from him.10He is buried with full rites.

5 ה

מעשה בתינוק אחד מבני ברק ששבר צלוחית בשבת והראה לו אביו באזנו ונתירא מאביו והלך ואבד עצמו בבור ושאלו את רבי עקיבא ואמר אין מונעין הימנו כל דבר:

It is related of a child in Benë Beraḳ11A town near Jaffa. that he broke a bottle on the Sabbath and his father pointed to his ear. In fear of his father he went and destroyed himself in a pit. They inquired of R. ‘Aḳiba who ruled: We do not withhold anything from him.

6 ו

מכאן אמרו חכמים אל יראה אדם לתינוק באזנו אלא מלקיהו מיד או ישתוק ולא יאמר לו כלום ר׳ שמעון בן אלעזר אומר יצר תינוק ואשה תהא שמאל דוחה וימין מקרבת:

Hence the Sages ruled: A man should not point at the ear of a child, but either punish him immediately or keep silent and say nothing to him.
R. Simeon b. Eleazar said:12Sanh. 107b (Sonc. ed., p. 736), Soṭah 47a (Sonc. ed., p. 246). With human nature,13Heb. Yeẓer, which means human instinct; cf. Lazarus, Ethics of Judaism, II, pp. 106f. a child and a woman, the left hand should repulse them but the right hand bring them back.14One should not be too severe with them, not suppressing their desires but disciplining them.

7 ז

הרוגי בית דין אין מתעסקין עמהן בכל דבר אחיהם וקרוביהם באין ושואלין את שלום העדים ואת שלום הדיינין שאין בלבנו עליכם שדין אמת דנתם ולא היו מתאבלין אלא אוננים שאין אנינות אלא בלב:

With those executed by a Court we do not occupy ourselves in any respect. Their brothers and relatives come and greet the witnesses and judges15Cf. Sanh. 46a (Sonc. ed., p. 305). [as if to say], ‘We have no [ill feelings] against you in our hearts because you gave a true judgment’. They observe no [public] mourning16i.e. the seven days, thirty days and the twelve months. for them but grieve, since grief is felt only in the heart.

8 ח

רבי נתן אומר אין בין שתיקה לבכיה כלום:

R. Nathan said: There is no difference between silence and mourning.17i.e. the silence of the mourners is itself a form of mourning. Hence the persons mentioned in the previous Rule must not even grieve. It is suggested that R. Nathan’s statement was originally a marginal note which found its way into the text.

9 ט

אין מברין עליהם שנא׳ (ויקרא יט) לא תאכלו על הדם ב"ד שהרג לא היה טועם כל אותו היום ומניחין אותן לדבר עם אחיהם ועם קרוביהם ובשביל שלא להשהות ומשקין אותן יין ולבונה כדי שלא יצטערו ומלמדין אותן להתוודות שכל המתודה יש לו חלק לעולם הבא שכן מצינו בעכן שאמר לו יהושע (יהושע ז) בני שים נא כבוד לה׳ (אלהיך) [אלהי ישראל] ותן לו תודה והגד נא לי מה עשית אל תכחד ממני ויען עכן את יהושע ויאמר אמנה אנכי חטאתי לה' אלהי ישראל וכזאת וכזאת עשיתי ומה ת"ל וכזאת וכזאת מלמד שמעל בחרם שני פעמים אנכי חטאתי אנכי ולא ביתי אנכי ולא בני מלמד שהתודה באמונה ומניין שכיפר לו וידויו שנאמר ויאמר יהושע מה עכרתנו יעכרך ה׳ ביום הזה ביום הזה אתה עכור ואי אתה עכור לעולם הבא ואומר (דה"א ב) ובני זרח זמרי ואיתן [והימן] וכלכל ודרע כלם חמשה וכי אין אנו יודעים שכולם ה׳ אלא מלמד שאף עכן עמהם לעולם הבא (כיוצא בו הגונב את המכס ואת החרם הרי זה שופך דמים ולא שופך דמים בלבד אלא כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים ומגלה עריות ומחלל שבתות):

The ‘meal of comfort’18The first meal partaken by the mourners on their return from the funeral is termed ‘the meal of comfort [habra’ah]’; cf. 2 Sam. 3, 35, to cause David to eat bread (lehabroth). It was prepared by friends and consisted of lentils and eggs (cf. Sanh. 63a, Sonc. ed., p. 430, n. 6) the round shape of which being a reminder of the revolving wheel of fortune. is not eaten in their case, as it is stated, Ye shall not eat [anything] with the blood.19Lev. 19, 26. This is homiletically interpreted to mean: where blood is shed (i.e. an execution has taken place) no ceremonial meal of mourners should be eaten. Cf. Sanh. loc. cit.
[The judges of] a Court who ordered the execution of a man used not to eat anything on that day.20Sanh. loc. cit.
[The condemned] are allowed to converse with their brothers and relatives; and not to delay matters21i.e. to avoid giving the appearance that the execution of justice is unduly protracted. they are given to drink wine containing frankincense22To numb the senses; cf. Sanh. 43a (Sonc. ed., p. 279). so that they should not feel grieved. They are urged23lit. ‘they teach them’. to confess, because he who confesses has a portion in the World to Come. We find it so with Achan to whom Joshua said, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make confession unto Him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide nothing from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said: Of a truth I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.24Josh. 7, 19f. What is the meaning of and thus and thus? It teaches that he violated the ban twice.25By taking from the devoted things on two occasions. Sanh. 43b (Sonc. ed., p. 284) explains that he took of the ban three times, twice in the days of Moses and once at Jericho. [44b] I have sinned, i.e. I and not my household, I and not my children. This teaches that he truthfully26Of a truth (’omnam) is explained as be’emunah (‘truthfully’). confessed. And whence do we know that his confession made atonement for him? As it is stated, And Joshua said: Why hast thou troubled us? The Lord shall trouble thee this day27ibid. 25.this day art thou to be troubled but thou shalt not be troubled in the World to Come; and it states, And the sons of Zerah: Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol and Dara: five of them in all.281 Chron. 2, 6. Do we not know that there were five of them in all?29Since five names are specified. It teaches that Achan will be with them in the world to come.30Cf. Sanh. 44b (Sonc. ed., p. 291). Zimri, according to a tradition, is identical with Achan. As Achan is mentioned together with the other four, who are considered to be worthy men, it is an indication that his confession was accepted and with them he shared in the World to Come.
Similarly one who steals the tax31i.e. eludes the customs; cf. B.Ḳ. 113a (Sonc. ed., p. 663), Tosiftha B.Ḳ. X, 8. or anything devoted [to the Sanctuary] is as if he shed blood; and not only is he as if he shed blood, but he is also as if he worships idols, was guilty of immorality and desecrates the Sabbath.32[On this passage, cf. Büchler, Studies in Sin and Atonement, p. 198n.]

10 י

כל הפורש מדרכי צבור אין מתעסקין עמו בכל דבר אחיהם וקרוביהן לובשין לבנים ומתעטפין לבנים ואוכלין ושותין ושמחים שנאבד שונאו של מקום שנא׳ (תהילים קל״ט:כ״א-כ״ב) הלא משנאיך ה׳ אשנא ובתקוממיך אתקוטט (מפני מה ש) תכלית שנאה שנאתים לאויבים היו לי:

We do not occupy ourselves with those who separated themselves from the community33According to Maimonides (Hil. ’Ebel, I, 5, cf. Ṭur Y.D., §345) the reference is to those who discarded all the religious precepts and ceremonies of Judaism. in any respect. Their brothers and relatives clothe themselves in white, wrap themselves in white and eat and drink and rejoice because an enemy of the All-present perished; as it is stated, Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And do not I strive with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with utmost hatred; I count them mine enemies.34Ps. 139, 21f.

11 יא

הרוגי מלכות אין מונעין מהן כל דבר מאימתי מתחילין למנות להם משעה שנתייאשו מלשאול אבל לא מלגנוב שכל הגונב הרי זה שופך דמים ולא שופך דמים בלבד אלא כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים וכו׳:

We do not withhold mourning rites from those executed by the Government.35i.e. the occupying power, viz. the Romans.
When do we begin to count [the days of mourning] for them?36Usually this begins from the moment the grave is filled in, but here the body of the victim was not handed over to the family for burial. From the time that [the relatives] despaired in their appeal [for the body to be delivered to them for burial], but not [given up the hope] of stealing it. For he who steals is as if he shed blood, and not only is he as if he had shed blood, but also as if he worshipped idols, etc.37This sentence is repeated from the last clause of Rule 9 and has no relevance to the present context.

12 יב

מי שנפל לים מי ששטפו נהר מי שאכלתו חיה רעה אין מונעין מהן כל דבר מאימתי מתחילין למנות להם משעה שנתייאשו לבקש מצאוהו אברים אברים אין מונין לו עד שימצא ראשו ורובו רבי יהודה אומר השדרה והגלגולת הן רובו:

Mourning rites are not withheld in any respect from one who fell into the sea, or was washed away by a stream, or killed by a wild beast. When do we begin to count [the days of mourning] for such as these? From the time that hope of finding them has been given up. If they found a body limb by limb, we do not count [the days of mourning] until the head and greater part [of the torso] is found. R. Judah said: The spine and skull constitute the greater part [of the torso].

13 יג

מי שהיה בעלה צלוב עמה בעיר אשתו צלובה עמו בעיר אביו ואמו צלובין עמו בעיר לא ישרה באותה העיר אא"כ היתה עיר גדולה כאנטוכיא לא ישרה בצד זה אלא ישרה בצד זה עד מתי הוא אסור עד שיכלה הבשר כולו ואין הצורה ניכרת בעצמות:

If one’s husband, wife, father or mother had been impaled38By the Roman authorities. Impaling was not a form of execution carried out by the Jews. in his city, one should not continue to reside there39On seeing him, people will recall the impaling of his relative, and that would be a slight on the memory of the victim. unless it is a city as big as Antioch.40The ancient capital of Syria. Since it is a large city, the fact might not be generally known. [Even then] one should not reside in the same side of the city but in another part. Until when is one so forbidden? Until the flesh is completely decomposed and the identity41lit. ‘the form’. unrecognizable from the bones.

14 יד

(ב"ש אומרים) המגרש את אשתו לא ישרה עמה לא במבוי ולא בחצר אם היה מבוי של שניהם הופך פתחו לצד אחד ואם היתה חצר של שניהם מפנה זה מפני זה ומפנה אשה מפני איש בד"א בזמן שנשאו והכהנת אע"ג שלא נשאו בד"א מן הנשואין אבל מן האירוסין לא וכן החולץ ליבמתו לא יפנה מפני שאין לבו גס בה:

[Beth Shammai said:]42GRA omits. For what follows, cf. Keth. 27b, 28a (Sonc. ed., p. 152). If a man divorced his wife, he should not live in the same alley or courtyard as she.43Lest he be tempted to cohabit with her. If the alley belonged to both of them, he transfers the door [of his house] to another side; and if the courtyard belonged to both of them, one vacates it on account of the other, and the woman vacates it on account of the man. This rule only applies if she has remarried44So GRA; V ‘they have married’. After remarriage with another she can never return to her first husband (cf. Deut. 24, 3f). and in the case of the [divorced] wife of a kohen even if she has not remarried.45A kohen may not marry a divorced woman, not even his divorced wife (Lev. 21, 7). It further applies only if she is divorced after marriage and not after betrothal.46Cf. Kallah 1, n. 1. Likewise one who has freed his sister-in-law from the levirate marriage47Cf. Deut. 25, 5ff. does not vacate on account of her, because he does not feel attracted to her.