אֲמַר לֵיהּ בְּעַאי לְאוֹתוֹבָךְ עָרֵל הַזָּאָה Rav Ḥisda said to Rabba: I wanted to raise a difficulty against you from the halakha of an uncircumcised man. The Sages decreed that one who converts on the eve of Passover may not partake of the Paschal lamb, due to his ritual impurity. According to Beit Hillel, one who separates from the foreskin by being circumcised is ritually impure like one who separates from the grave (Pesaḥim 92a). This is the halakha despite the fact that by Torah law he is obligated to bring the offering. Rav Ḥisda continued: And I also thought of asking from the case of sprinkling the waters of a purification offering for one who became ritually impure through contact with a corpse, as the Sages rendered it prohibited for one who is impure to receive the sprinkling on the eve of Passover that occurred on Shabbat, although this prevents him from partaking of the Paschal lamb.
וְאִזְמֵל סָדִין בְּצִיצִית And I was likewise going to raise a question from the case of a circumcision knife, which the Sages decreed may not be carried on Shabbat, despite the fact that this entails the neglect of a Torah mitzva. And I also wanted to raise a question from the case of a linen cloak, on which the Sages did not allow one to place ritual fringes made of wool. This is a decree that was issued lest he do the same with a garment worn only at night, which is exempt from fringes, and therefore this would be a mixture of wool and linen that is forbidden, although this means that he is unable to fulfill the mitzva of ritual fringes.
וְכִבְשֵׂי עֲצֶרֶת וְשׁוֹפָר And likewise I wanted to mention a difficulty from the case of the lambs sacrificed on Shavuot. When the festival of Shavuot occurs on Shabbat, the Sages rendered it prohibited to sprinkle the blood of its sacrificial lambs if the offerings had not been slaughtered with the proper intention, despite the fact that the sprinkling itself is not prohibited by Torah law. And similarly, there is a difficulty with regard to the halakha of the shofar, which is sounded on Rosh HaShana, and yet the Sages rendered it prohibited for it to be blown on Shabbat, lest one carry it four cubits in the public domain.
וְלוּלָב הַשְׁתָּא דְּשַׁנִּית לַן שֵׁב וְאַל תַּעֲשֶׂה לָא מִיעֲקַר הוּא כּוּלְּהוּ נָמֵי שֵׁב וְאַל תַּעֲשֶׂה נִינְהוּ And finally I wished to raise a difficulty from the case of a lulav, which may not be carried on the first day of Sukkot that occurred on Shabbat, for the same reason the Sages rendered it prohibited to sound the shofar on Rosh HaShana that occurs on Shabbat. However, now that you have resolved for us that an action defined as a case of: Sit and refrain from action, is not considered uprooting, all these are also cases of sit and refrain from action.
תָּא שְׁמַע אֵלָיו תִּשְׁמָעוּן אֲפִילּוּ אוֹמֵר לְךָ עֲבוֹר עַל אַחַת מִכׇּל מִצְוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה כְּגוֹן אֵלִיָּהוּ בְּהַר הַכַּרְמֶל הַכֹּל לְפִי שָׁעָה שְׁמַע לוֹ The Gemara suggests: Come and hear another proof. The verse states with regard to a true prophet: “To him you shall listen” (Deuteronomy 18:15). From here it is derived that even if the prophet says to you: Transgress one of the mitzvot of the Torah, for example, as in the case of Elijah at Mount Carmel, who brought an offering to God on that mountain during a period when it was forbidden on pain of karet to sacrifice offerings outside the Temple, with regard to everything that he permits for the requirement of the hour, you must listen to him. This indicates that a Torah mitzva can indeed be uprooted in an active manner.
שָׁאנֵי הָתָם דִּכְתִיב אֵלָיו תִּשְׁמָעוּן וְלִיגְמַר מִינֵּיהּ מִיגְדַּר מִילְּתָא שָׁאנֵי The Gemara answers: There it is different, as it is written: “To him you shall listen,” which means that it is a positive mitzva to obey a prophet, and a positive mitzva overrides a prohibition. The Gemara asks: And let him derive from this case a principle that the Sages have the same power as a prophet. The Gemara answers: Safeguarding a matter is different. Since Elijah acted with the aim of preventing the Jewish people from worshipping idols, it was temporarily permitted for him to override a mitzva, in order to strengthen Torah observance with regard to a particular matter in which the people are lax.
תָּא שְׁמַע בִּטְּלוֹ מְבוּטָּל דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לֹא לְבַטְּלוֹ וְלֹא לְהוֹסִיף עַל תְּנָאוֹ אִם כֵּן מָה כֹּחַ בֵּית דִּין יָפֶה The Gemara suggests another proof. Come and hear: The Sages rendered it prohibited for a man who has sent a bill of divorce to his wife to cancel it in the presence of a court without her knowledge after he has given the bill of divorce to his messenger but before she gets the document. The prohibition was instituted to prevent a situation where the messenger, who is unaware of the cancellation, gives her the bill of divorce and she marries another man under the mistaken impression that she is divorced. If he proceeded to nullify it regardless, it is nullified; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: He cannot nullify or add to its condition in a case where the bill of divorce included a stipulation. For if so, i.e., if he has the ability to cancel the bill of divorce, what good is the power of the court in their decree that one may not do so?
וְהָא הָכָא דְּמִדְּאוֹרָיְיתָא בָּטֵל גֵּט וּמִשּׁוּם מָה כֹּחַ בֵּית דִּין קָא שָׁרֵינַן אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ לְעָלְמָא מַאן דִּמְקַדֵּשׁ אַדַּעְתָּא דְּרַבָּנַן מְקַדֵּשׁ וְאַפְקְעִינְהוּ רַבָּנַן לְקִידּוּשִׁין The Gemara explains the proof from this source: And here it is a case where by Torah law, the bill of divorce is nullified, and yet due to the reason of: What good is the power of the court, his nullification is ineffective, which means that we permit a married woman to all men. The Gemara answers: The halakhot of marriage afford no proof, as with regard to one who betroths a woman, he betroths on the authorization of the Sages, and in this case the Sages nullified the betrothal, which they can do because their consent was required for the betrothal to be effective in the first place.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבִינָא לְרַב אָשֵׁי הָתִינַח דְּקַדֵּישׁ בְּכַסְפָּא קַדֵּישׁ בְּבִיאָה מַאי אִיכָּא לְמֵימַר שַׁוְּיוּהּ רַבָּנַן לִבְעִילָתוֹ בְּעִילַת זְנוּת Ravina said to Rav Ashi: This works out well in a case when he betrothed with money, as it can be explained that the Sages declared the money ownerless, thereby negating the betrothal. However, if he betrothed by means of sexual relations, what can be said? The Gemara answers: The Sages equated his relations with this woman with licentious sexual intercourse. Since in this situation as well the acquisition of betrothal is effective only by authorization of the Sages, they have the power to declare it invalid.
תָּא שְׁמַע אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב שָׁמַעְתִּי שֶׁבֵּית דִּין מַכִּין וְעוֹנְשִׁין שֶׁלֹּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא לַעֲבוֹר עַל דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה אֶלָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת סְיָיג לַתּוֹרָה וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאָדָם אֶחָד שֶׁרָכַב עַל סוּס בַּשַּׁבָּת בִּימֵי יְוָנִים וֶהֱבִיאוּהוּ לְבֵית דִּין וּסְקָלוּהוּ לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרָאוּי לְכָךְ אֶלָּא שֶׁהַשָּׁעָה צְרִיכָה לְכָךְ The Gemara cites yet another relevant source. Come and hear, as Rabbi Elazar ben Ya’akov said: I have heard that the reason why the court may administer lashes and punish not by Torah law, i.e., in response to actions for which one is not liable to receive punishment by Torah law, is not so as to transgress matters of Torah, but to establish a safeguard for the Torah. And an example of this is an incident involving a certain person who rode on a horse on Shabbat in the days of the Greeks, an act that is prohibited by rabbinic law, and they brought him to the court and they stoned him as a desecrator of Shabbat. They did so not because he was deserving of this, as riding a horse is not punishable by stoning by Torah law, but because the hour required it, as at that time Jews were negligent with regard to Shabbat observance.
וְשׁוּב מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאָדָם אֶחָד שֶׁהֵטִיחַ בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ תַּחַת הַתְּאֵנָה וֶהֱבִיאוּהוּ לְבֵית דִּין וְהִלְקוּהוּ לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרָאוּי לְכָךְ אֶלָּא שֶׁהַשָּׁעָה צְרִיכָה לְכָךְ מִיגְדַּר מִילְּתָא שָׁאנֵי And again, an incident occurred involving a certain person who cohabited with his own wife under a fig tree in plain view, and they brought him to the court and flogged him, not because this punishment was fitting for him, as it is not prohibited by the Torah for one to engage in relations with his wife wherever he chooses, but because the hour required it, to discourage others from engaging in licentious behavior. This shows that the court can uproot a Torah mitzva even by means of a positive action such as stoning. The Gemara answers: Safeguarding a matter is different. As stated above, the court may uproot a Torah mitzva so as to strengthen Torah observance in general, as was the case with the prophet Elijah.
וְלֹא זֶה וָזֶה מְטַמְּאִין לָהּ מְנָלַן דִּכְתִיב כִּי אִם לִשְׁאֵרוֹ הַקָּרוֹב אֵלָיו וְאָמַר מָר שְׁאֵרוֹ זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ § The mishna taught: Neither this one, her first husband, nor that one, her second, may become impure for her, if they were priests. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this halakha? The Gemara explains that it is written: “But to his relative, who is close to him, for her he may defile himself” (Leviticus 21:2), and the Master said: “His relative” is his wife.
וּכְתִיב לֹא יִטַּמָּא בַּעַל בְּעַמָּיו לְהֵחַלּוֹ יֵשׁ בַּעַל שֶׁמִּיטַּמֵּא וְיֵשׁ בַּעַל שֶׁאֵין מִיטַּמֵּא הָא כֵּיצַד מִיטַּמֵּא הוּא לְאִשְׁתּוֹ כְּשֵׁרָה וְאֵינוֹ מִיטַּמֵּא לְאִשְׁתּוֹ פְּסוּלָה And it is further written: “He shall not defile himself, a husband among his people, to profane himself” (Leviticus 21:4). It may be inferred from this apparent contradiction between the verses that there is a husband who becomes impure for his wife, and there is a husband who does not become impure. How so? He becomes impure for his fit wife, but he does not become impure for his disqualified wife. Since in the case of the mishna, the woman in question is disqualified with regard to both men, neither of them may become impure for her.
וְלֹא זֶה וָזֶה זַכָּאִין בִּמְצִיאָתָהּ וְכוּ׳ טַעְמָא מַאי אֲמוּר רַבָּנַן מְצִיאַת אִשָּׁה לְבַעְלָהּ כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלָא תִּיהְוֵי לֵיהּ אֵיבָה הָכָא תִּיהְוֵי לֵיהּ אֵיבָה וְאֵיבָה § The mishna further taught: Neither this one nor that one is entitled to her found articles. The Gemara explains: What is the reason that the Sages said that the found object of a wife belongs to her husband? So that he should not harbor enmity toward her, due to her refusal to give him the item she found. Here, however, let him harbor much enmity toward her, as the Sages want him to divorce her.
וּבְמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ טַעְמָא מַאי אָמְרִי רַבָּנַן מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ לְבַעְלָהּ מִשּׁוּם דְּקָאָכְלָה מְזוֹנֵי הָכָא כֵּיוָן דִּמְזוֹנֵי לֵית לַהּ מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיהָ לָאו דִּידֵיהּ § And the mishna also taught that neither man is entitled to her earnings. The Gemara explains: What is the reason that the Sages said that a wife’s earnings belong to her husband? Because she eats his food. In this case here, since she does not have rights to his food, her earnings are not his either.
וְלֹא מֵיפֵר נְדָרֶיהָ טַעְמָא מַאי אָמַר רַחֲמָנָא בַּעַל מֵיפֵר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְגַּנֶּה הָכָא תִּתְגַּנֶּה וְתִתְגַּנֶּה § And the mishna further taught that they may not nullify her vows. The Gemara similarly explains: What is the reason that the Merciful One states that a husband may nullify his wife’s vows? So that she should not have to fulfill a vow that will cause her to become repulsive to him, such as refraining from washing or from applying cosmetics. Here, let her be highly repulsive, as the Sages want their relationship to end.
הָיְתָה בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל נִפְסְלָה מִן הַכְּהוּנָּה וְכוּ׳ § The mishna taught that if she was an Israelite woman, she is disqualified from marrying into the priesthood.