מנו רב יהודה והא אמר רב יהודה מי שחציו עבד וחציו בן חורין הבא על בת ישראל אותו ולד אין לו תקנה
who is he? He is Rav Yehuda, as the Gemara cited above. But didn’t Rav Yehuda himself say: With regard to one who is a half-slave half-freeman who engaged in intercourse with a Jewish woman, that offspring of that union has no recourse to be able to marry? It is apparent, then, that even one who permits the offspring of a slave to marry into the congregation of Israel does not permit the offspring of a half-slave to do so, contrary to Rava’s assertion.
כי איתמר דרב יהודה כגון דקדיש בת ישראל דנמצא צד עבדות שבו משתמש באשת איש
The Gemara resolves the difficulty: When this ruling of Rav Yehuda was stated, it was referring to a case where the half-slave betrothed a Jewish woman. Since a slave’s betrothal does not take effect, the result of that betrothal is that the woman is married to only the free half of the half-slave half-freeman, such that it emerges that when he has relations with her, the slave side of him is engaging in relations with a married woman to whom that side of him is not married, and so the offspring of that union is a mamzer.
והאמרי נהרדעי משמיה דרבי יעקב לדברי הפוסל פוסל אפילו בפנויה לדברי המכשיר מכשיר אפי' באשת איש
The Gemara raises an objection: But didn’t the Sages of Neharde’a say in the name of Rabbi Ya’akov: According to the statement of the one who renders the child of a gentile or slave and a Jewish woman unfit to marry into the congregation of Israel, he renders the child unfit even when the mother is an unmarried woman. And according to the statement of the one who renders the child fit, he renders the child fit even when the mother is a married woman.
ושניהם לא למדוה אלא מאשת אב מאן דפסיל סבר מה אשת אב דלא תפסי בה קדושין [הולד ממזר] אף כל דלא תפסי בה קדושין הולד ממזר
And both of them derived their opinions only from the halakha of one’s father’s wife, as follows: The one who renders the child unfit holds that just as with regard to one’s father’s wife, one’s betrothal of her does not take effect even after she is widowed or divorced, and so the offspring of such a union is a mamzer, so too, with regard to any one for whom betrothal of her does not take effect, including a gentile or a slave, the offspring is a mamzer.
ומאן דמכשר סבר מה אשת אב דלדידיה לא תפסי בה קדושין לאחריני תפסי בה קדושין לאפוקי עובד כוכבים ועבד דלא תפסי בהו קדושין כלל
And the one who renders the child fit holds that the derivation from the halakha of one’s father’s wife is more limited, and it is derived that the offspring is a mamzer only in a case just like one’s father’s wife, in that although his betrothal of her does not take effect, with someone else his betrothal of her does take effect. This is to the exclusion of a gentile and a slave, for whom betrothal of any Jewish woman does not take effect at all, and so the offspring of such a union will not be a mamzer. It is apparent from this statement of the Sages of Neharde’a that according to the lenient opinion, the offspring of a slave is never a mamzer, irrespective of the marital status of the Jewish woman. Therefore, the Gemara’s resolution is undermined.
אלא כי איתמר דרב יהודה כגון שבא על אשת איש ונמצא צד חירות שבו משתמש באשת איש
The Gemara offers a different resolution: Rather, when this statement of Rav Yehuda was stated, it was referring to a case where the half-slave half-freeman engaged in intercourse with a married woman who was married to someone else, and it therefore emerges that although the woman’s union with the slave side of him will not render the offspring a mamzer, the free side of him is engaging in relations with a married woman to whom he is not married, and due to that side of him the offspring is a mamzer.
אמר רבינא אמר לי רב גזא איקלע ר' יוסי בר אבין לאתרין והוה עובדא בפנויה ואכשר באשת איש ופסיל א"ר ששת לדידי אמר לי רב גזא לא ר' יוסי בר אבין הוה אלא רבי יוסי ברבי זבידא הוה ואכשר בין בפנויה בין באשת איש א"ל רב אחא בריה דרבה לרבינא איקלע אמימר לאתרין ואכשר בין בפנויה בין באשת איש
Ravina said: Rav Gazza said to me that Rabbi Yosei bar Avin once happened to come to our place, and there was an incident involving an unmarried woman who had engaged in intercourse with a slave, and Rabbi Yosei bar Avin rendered her offspring fit to marry into the congregation of Israel. And there was another incident involving a married woman who had engaged in intercourse with a slave, and he rendered her offspring unfit to marry into the congregation of Israel by ruling the offspring was a mamzeret. Rav Sheshet said: Rav Gazza told me that it was not Rabbi Yosei bar Avin; rather, it was Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Zevida, and he rendered the offspring fit both in the case of an unmarried woman and in the case of a married woman. Rav Aḥa, son of Rabba, said to Ravina: Ameimar once happened to come to our place and rendered the offspring fit both in the case of an unmarried woman and in the case of a married woman.
והלכתא עובד כוכבים ועבד הבא על בת ישראל הולד כשר בין בפנויה בין באשת איש
The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is that with regard to a gentile or slave who engaged in intercourse with a Jewish woman, the lineage of the offspring is unflawed, whether she was an unmarried or a married woman.
רבא אכשריה לרב מרי בר רחל ומנייה בפורסי דבבל ואע"ג דאמר מר (דברים יז, טו) שום תשים עליך מלך כל משימות שאתה משים אל יהו אלא מקרב אחיך האי כיון דאמו מישראל מקרב אחיך קרינן ביה
The Gemara cites a related halakha: Rava ruled that Rav Mari bar Raḥel, who was the son of a gentile father and a Jewish mother, was fit to marry into the congregation of Israel, and furthermore he appointed him as one of the officials [pursei] of Babylonia. And although the Master said that from the verse, “You shall place a king over you whom the Lord your God shall chose; from among your brethren shall you place a king over you” (Deuteronomy 17:15) it is derived that not only with regard to the kingship but also with regard to all positions of authority that you appoint, the incumbents may be selected only from among your brethren who share your Jewish lineage. Nevertheless, with regard to this one, i.e., Rav Mari bar Raḥel, since his mother is of Jewish lineage, we call him “from among your brethren,” and so he is eligible.
§ A gentile slave purchased by a Jew must be circumcised and then immersed in a ritual bath. By being immersed for the sake of slavery, he takes on the status of a full slave, which, among other things, obligates him to keep certain mitzvot. However, if the slave, or any gentile, is immersed for the sake of conversion, he then becomes a full Jew and fully obligated in mitzvot like any other Jew.
עבדיה דרבי חייא בר אמי אטבלה לההיא עובדת כוכבים לשם אנתתא אמר רב יוסף יכילנא לאכשורי בה ובברתה
The Gemara considers the result of different intentions accompanying an immersion: Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Ami’s slave immersed a certain gentile woman for the sake of having intimate relations, i.e., to purify her from her menstrual impurity. Rav Yosef said: I am able to render both her and her daughter fit to marry into the congregation of Israel.
בה כדרב אסי דאמר רב אסי מי לא טבלה לנדותה
With regard to her, I can render her fit in accordance with the opinion of Rav Asi, as Rav Asi said concerning a woman whose status as a convert was unclear but who lived as a part of the Jewish people and acted like all other Jewish women: Didn’t she immerse for the sake of purifying herself from her menstruation? Therefore, even if the original immersion was invalid, her intention in subsequent immersions was sufficient to be considered for the sake of conversion, since ultimately she immersed as an expression of her commitment to Judaism. She is therefore fully Jewish.
בברתה עובד כוכבים ועבד הבא על בת ישראל הולד כשר
And with regard to her daughter, she is the daughter of a gentile or slave who engaged in intercourse with a Jewish woman, and the halakha is that the lineage of the offspring is unflawed.
ההוא דהוו קרו ליה בר ארמייתא אמר רב אסי מי לא טבלה לנדותה ההוא דהוו קרו ליה בר ארמאה אמר ריב"ל מי לא טבל לקריו
The Gemara details the circumstances of Rav Asi’s ruling: There was a certain man whom people would call: Son of the Aramean woman, as they cast aspersions on the validity of his mother’s conversion. With regard to that case, Rav Asi said: Didn’t she immerse for the sake of purifying herself from her menstruation? A similar incident is recounted: There was a certain man whom people would call: Son of an Aramean man, as they cast aspersions on the validity of his father’s conversion. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Didn’t he immerse for the sake of purifying himself from his seminal emission? That intention is sufficient to consider the immersion an immersion for the sake of conversion.
אמר רב חמא בר גוריא אמר רב הלוקח עבד מן העובד כוכבים וקדם וטבל לשם בן חורין קנה עצמו בן חורין מאי טעמא
Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: In the case of a Jew who purchased a slave from a gentile, and before he managed to immerse him for the sake of slavery the slave preempted him and immersed for the sake of conversion to render himself a freeman, he thereby acquired himself and becomes a freeman, i.e., his immersion effects a full conversion and he is no longer a slave. What is the reason for this halakha?