אמר ליה בעאי לאותובך ערל הזאה
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.
ואזמל סדין בציצית
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.
וכבשי עצרת ושופר
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.
ולולב השתא דשנית לן שב ואל תעשה לא מיעקר הוא כולהו נמי שב ואל תעשה נינהו
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.
ת"ש (דברים יח, טו) אליו תשמעון אפילו אומר לך עבור על אחת מכל מצות שבתורה כגון אליהו בהר הכרמל הכל לפי שעה שמע לו
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.
שאני התם דכתיב אליו תשמעון וליגמר מיניה מיגדר מילתא שאני:
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.
ת"ש בטלו מבוטל דברי רבי רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אינו יכול לא לבטלו ולא להוסיף על תנאו א"כ מה כח ב"ד יפה
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?
והא הכא דמדאורייתא בטל גט ומשום מה כח בית דין קא שרינן אשת איש לעלמא מאן דמקדש אדעתא דרבנן מקדש ואפקעינהו רבנן לקידושין
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.
א"ל רבינא לרב אשי התינח דקדיש בכספא קדיש בביאה מאי איכא למימר שויוה רבנן לבעילתו בעילת זנות
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.
ת"ש א"ר אלעזר בן יעקב שמעתי שב"ד מכין ועונשין שלא מן התורה ולא לעבור על דברי תורה אלא לעשות סייג לתורה ומעשה באדם אחד שרכב על סוס בשבת בימי יונים והביאוהו לב"ד וסקלוהו לא מפני שראוי לכך אלא שהשעה צריכה לכך
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.
ושוב מעשה באדם אחד שהטיח באשתו תחת התאנה והביאוהו לבית דין והלקוהו לא מפני שראוי לכך אלא שהשעה צריכה לכך מיגדר מילתא שאני:
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.
ולא זה וזה מטמאין לה: מנלן דכתיב (ויקרא כא, ב) כי אם לשארו הקרוב אליו ואמר מר שארו זו אשתו
§ 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.
וכתיב (ויקרא כא, ד) לא יטמא בעל בעמיו להחלו יש בעל שמיטמא ויש בעל שאין מיטמא הא כיצד מיטמא הוא לאשתו כשרה ואינו מיטמא לאשתו פסולה:
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.
ולא זה וזה זכאין במציאתה וכו': טעמא מאי אמור רבנן מציאת אשה לבעלה כי היכי דלא תיהוי ליה איבה הכא תיהוי ליה איבה ואיבה:
§ 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.
ובמעשה ידיה: טעמא מאי אמרי רבנן מעשה ידיה לבעלה משום דקאכלה מזוני הכא כיון דמזוני לית לה מעשה ידיה לאו דידיה:
§ 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.
ולא מיפר נדריה: טעמא מאי אמר רחמנא בעל מיפר כדי שלא תתגנה הכא תתגנה ותתגנה:
§ 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.
היתה בת ישראל נפסלה מן הכהונה וכו':
§ The mishna taught that if she was an Israelite woman, she is disqualified from marrying into the priesthood.