Yevamot 5bיבמות ה׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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5bה׳ ב

מקרא קמא אם כן לימא קרא ציצית תעשה לך גדילים למה לי ש"מ לאפנויי

they learn this from the first verse, which permits a mixture of diverse kinds of wool and linen in ritual fringes. As for the previous claim that in the opinion of the Rabbis the phrase “wool and linen” is not superfluous and therefore there is no cause to derive from the juxtaposed verses, the answer is as follows: If so, that no homiletical interpretation can be derived from this source, let the verse say only: You shall make fringes for yourself. Why do I need the expression “twisted fringes” (Deuteronomy 22:12)? Conclude from this that this phrase is free, i.e., a homiletical interpretation can be derived by the juxtaposition of verses due to this superfluous phrase.

האי לשיעורא הוא דאתא גדיל שנים גדילים ארבעה עשה גדיל ופותלהו מתוכו

The Gemara raises a difficulty: This term, “twisted fringes,” comes to teach the measure of ritual fringes, i.e., the requisite number of strings for the fringes, as it is taught: Twisted fringe, in the singular, indicates that it is entwined, which requires at least two strings. Consequently, when the verse says “twisted fringes” in the plural, it is referring to four strings. This means that one must prepare a twisted fringe and double it over from the middle, so that there are eight strings. Consequently, the term “twisted fringes” is not superfluous at all.

א"כ לימא קרא לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו ל"ל ש"מ לאפנויי

The Gemara responds: If so, that this phrase is not extraneous at all, and therefore it cannot be used as a homiletical interpretation by the juxtaposition of verses, let the verse say merely: You shall not wear diverse kinds [sha’atnez]. Why do I need the verse to add the phrase “wool and linen together”? Conclude from this that this phrase is free, and a homiletical interpretation can be derived from the juxtaposition of verses.

ואכתי מיבעי ליה לתוכף שתי תכיפות חיבור ותכיפה אחת אינו חיבור א"כ לכתוב רחמנא לא תלבש צמר ופשתים יחדו שעטנז ל"ל ש"מ לאפנויי

The Gemara raises a further difficulty: And still, it is necessary for the verse to state “wool and linen together” to teach another halakha concerning diverse kinds: When one combines a woolen garment with a linen garment, if he stitches two stitches with a needle, this is considered attachment, but a single stitch is not attachment. This halakha is derived from the term “together,” which indicates that they are attached as one. The Gemara answers: If so, let the Merciful One write: You shall not wear wool and linen together. Why do I need the verse to add the phrase “diverse kinds”? Conclude from this that this phrase is free.

ואכתי מיבעי ליה עד שיהא שוע טווי ונוז אלא כולה משעטנז נפקא

The Gemara comments: And still, it is necessary for the verse to state “diverse kinds [sha’atnez],” as this is interpreted as an acronym that teaches that the halakha of diverse kinds applies only when it is smooth combed [shoa], spun [tavui] as a thread, and attached [noz], but without these characteristics the connection is not considered diverse kinds. Rather, the Gemara explains that the entire interpretation is derived from the term “diverse kinds.” Since the Torah uses the highly distinctive word “sha’atnez,” in addition to functioning as the above acronym it serves as the source of the verbal analogy with the term in the verse: “Neither shall there come upon you a garment of diverse kinds [sha’atnez] mingled together” (Leviticus 19:19), from which it may be inferred that a positive mitzva overrides a prohibition.

אשכחן דאתי עשה ודחי לא תעשה גרידא לא תעשה שיש בו כרת היכא אשכחן דדחי דאיצטריך עליה למיסרה

§ The Gemara returns to the issue of a mitzva overriding a prohibition: We have found that a positive mitzva overrides a regular prohibition. However, where do we find that a positive mitzva overrides a prohibition that includes karet, as the phrase “with her” is necessary to prohibit her? It was mentioned previously that the superfluous phrase “with her” teaches that the mitzva of levirate marriage does not override the prohibition against taking a wife’s sister. However, why is this necessary? Why would it have been assumed that a positive mitzva is so powerful that it overrides even a prohibition that is punishable by karet?

וכי תימא נילף ממילה מה למילה שכן נכרתו עליה שלש עשרה בריתות

And if you suggest an answer and say: Let us derive this claim from the mitzva of circumcision, as there is a positive mitzva to perform circumcision on the eighth day of the boy’s life even on Shabbat, and this mitzva overrides the prohibition against performing labor on Shabbat, which is punishable by karet, one could respond: What about the fact that circumcision is an extremely important and severe positive mitzva, as thirteen covenants were established over it? The term “covenant” is mentioned thirteen times in the chapter of circumcision (Genesis, chapter 17).

מפסח מה לפסח שכן כרת

The Gemara adds: And if you say it is derived from the slaughter of the Paschal lamb, which overrides Shabbat and is therefore a positive mitzva that overrides a prohibition punishable by karet, this too can be rejected: What about the fact that the Paschal lamb is different, as it is a positive mitzva that is so severe that its neglect entails karet for those who do not bring it, unlike all other positive mitzvot?

מתמיד מה לתמיד שכן תדיר

The Gemara offers yet another suggestion: Perhaps it is derived from the daily offering, which was slaughtered every day, even on Shabbat. This is a positive mitzva that overrides the prohibition against performing labor on Shabbat, which is punishable by karet. The Gemara rejects this claim as well: What about the fact that the daily offering is special in that it is frequent? Since the mitzva of the daily offering is performed every day, it is perhaps especially important, whereas a positive mitzva that applies only at certain times might not be powerful enough to override a severe prohibition.

מחדא לא אתיא תיתי מתרתי מהי תיתי ממילה ופסח שכן כרת מפסח ותמיד שכן צורך גבוה

The Gemara says: Clearly, the principle cannot be derived from any single one of these cases. However, let it be derived from two of these cases combined together, by analyzing their common features. The Gemara asks: From which two cases can it be derived? If one would say that it can be derived from circumcision and the Paschal lamb, the factor common to both is their particular severity, as their neglect entails karet. If one would seek to derive this from the Paschal lamb and the daily offering, these have a different common factor, as both are a requirement of the altar in the Temple, not for personal benefit.

ממילה ותמיד שכן ישנו לפני הדבור ואליבא דמ"ד עולה שהקריבו ישראל במדבר עולת תמיד הוה ומכולהו נמי שכן ישנן לפני הדבור

Likewise, if one would suggest deriving the principle from circumcision and the daily offering, this too must be rejected, as both of these mitzvot were known by the Jewish people before the word of God was revealed at Mount Sinai. And this is according to the opinion of the one who said that the burnt-offering brought by the Jewish people in the desert was the daily offering. And moreover, from all of these together, i.e., circumcision, the Paschal lamb, and the daily offering, it is also not possible to derive a conclusion, as all three of these were known before the word of God was revealed. If so, no principle can be derived from these three mitzvot.

אלא איצטריך סד"א תיתי מכבוד אב ואם

§ Rather, the Gemara suggests an alternative explanation: The inference from “with her” is necessary, as were it not for this inference it might be assumed that the mitzva of levirate marriage overrides the prohibition against marrying one’s wife’s sister despite the fact that this prohibition incurs karet, since it could enter your mind to say that this halakha is derived from the mitzva of honoring one’s father and mother.

דתניא יכול יהא כבוד אב ואם דוחה שבת ת"ל (ויקרא יט, ג) איש אמו ואביו תיראו ואת שבתותי תשמורו כולכם חייבין בכבודי

As it is taught in a baraita: One might have thought that honoring one’s father and mother overrides Shabbat; therefore, the verse states: “You shall fear every man his mother and his father and you shall keep My Shabbatot, I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:3). The baraita explains the derivation from the verse: All of you, both parent and child, are obligated in My honor, and therefore honoring one’s parents does not override the honor of God, Who commanded the Jewish people to observe Shabbat.

מאי לאו דאמר ליה שחוט לי בשל לי וטעמא דכתב רחמנא את שבתותי תשמורו הא לאו הכי דחי לא

The Gemara analyzes this baraita: What, is it not referring to a situation where his father said to him: Slaughter for me, cook for me, or any other labor prohibited on Shabbat on pain of karet? And the reason that the Merciful One specifically writes: “Keep My Shabbatot,” is to warn against violating the prohibition against performing labor on Shabbat, a transgression which incurs karet, for the purpose of honoring one’s parents. It may therefore be inferred that if that was not so, the positive mitzva would override Shabbat. It is therefore possible to deduce from here that in general, positive mitzvot override even prohibitions that entail karet. The Gemara rejects this proof: No,