Yoma 66b:12יומא ס״ו ב:יב
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66bס״ו ב

שיהא מזומן עתי ואפילו בשבת עתי ואפי' בטומאה

that he should be designated the day before. The word appointed also indicates that the scapegoat is always sent away at the appointed time, and even on Shabbat. Similarly, the word appointed indicates that the scapegoat is always sent away at the appointed time, and even when the appointed man is in a state of ritual impurity.

איש להכשיר את הזר פשיטא מהו דתימא כפרה כתיבא ביה קמ"ל

The baraita stated that the word man is mentioned to qualify a non-priest. The Gemara expresses surprise: It is obvious that a non-priest is qualified for this service; why would one have thought otherwise? The Gemara answers: Lest you say: The term atonement is written with regard to it, and atonement is achieved only through services performed by priests. Therefore, it teaches us that this atonement is not achieved through a sacrificial offering, and consequently the service may be performed even by an Israelite.

עתי ואפילו בשבת למאי הלכתא אמר רב ששת לומר שאם היה חולה מרכיבו על כתפו

The baraita stated that the word appointed indicates that the service is performed even on Shabbat. The Gemara asks: With regard to what halakha is this stated? There is no apparent desecration of Shabbat by escorting the goat, since the halakha of Shabbat boundaries is merely Rabbinic. Rav Sheshet said: It is mentioned in order to state that if the goat were ill and could not walk the whole way, the one who escorts the goat carries it on his shoulder.

כמאן דלא כרבי נתן דאי רבי נתן האמר חי נושא את עצמו אפילו תימא רבי נתן חלה שאני

The Gemara comments: In accordance with whose opinion was this stated? It is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Natan, as, if it were in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Natan, didn’t he say that a living being carries itself? Because a living being is lighter than dead weight, the living being is considered to be aiding the one carrying it, and therefore carrying a living being is not considered an act of prohibited labor according to Torah law. The Gemara rejects this: Even if you say that it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Natan, a living being that is ill is different. Since the goat cannot walk on its own strength, despite the fact that it is alive, all agree that the one who carries it is performing a prohibited labor.

אמר רפרם זאת אומרת עירוב והוצאה לשבת ואין עירוב והוצאה ליום הכפורים

Based on the fact that the word appointed indicates that the scapegoat is sent away even on Shabbat, Rafram said: That is to say that the concept of eiruv and the prohibition against carrying out apply to Shabbat, but eiruv and carrying out do not apply to Yom Kippur. If these halakhot applied equally to Yom Kippur, and nevertheless the Torah commanded that the scapegoat be sent away, it would be unnecessary to derive that the same is true even if Yom Kippur occurs on Shabbat.

עתי ואפי' בטומאה למאי הלכתא אמר רב ששת לומר שאם נטמא משלחו נכנס טמא לעזרה ומשלחו

The baraita stated that the word appointed indicates that the service is performed even in a state of ritual impurity. The Gemara asks: With regard to what halakha is this stated? Rav Sheshet said: The verse comes to tell you that if the one sending the goat away became impure, he nevertheless enters the Temple courtyard while he is impure and sends it away.

שאלו את רבי אליעזר חלה מהו שירכיבהו על כתפו אמר להם יכול הוא להרכיב אני ואתם חלה משלחו מהו שישלחנו ביד אחר אמר להם אהא בשלום אני ואתם

§ Apropos this discussion, the Gemara mentions that the students once asked Rabbi Eliezer: If the goat became ill, what is the halakha with regard to whether the escort may carry it on his shoulder? He said to them: That goat can carry me and you, meaning the goat designated healthy was unlikely to become ill. Rabbi Eliezer thereby avoided the question. They asked him: If the one sending the goat away became ill, what is the halakha with regard to whether they send it with someone else? He said to them dismissively: I and you shall be in peace, i.e., this would never happen.

דחפו ולא מת מהו שירד אחריו וימיתנו אמר להם (שופטים ה, לא) כן יאבדו כל אויביך ה' וחכמים אומרים חלה מרכיבו על כתפו חלה משלחו ישלחנו ביד אחר דחפו ולא מת ירד אחריו וימיתנו

The students continued to question Rabbi Eliezer: If he pushed the goat and it did not die upon its fall, what is the halakha with regard to whether he should follow it down and kill it? He said to them: “So may all your enemies perish, Lord” (Judges 5:31). In other words, the goat will certainly die on its own. Rabbi Eliezer did not wish to answer these questions, as will be explained below. However, the Sages say: If the goat became ill, the escort carries it on his shoulder. If the one sending out the goat became ill, he sends the goat with someone else. If he pushes it and it does not die, he follows it down and kills it.

שאלו את ר' אליעזר פלוני מהו לעולם הבא א"ל לא שאלתוני אלא על פלוני

The Gemara cites more questions that the students asked Rabbi Eliezer, which he refused to answer. They asked Rabbi Eliezer: What is the fate of so-and-so, a certain man who was known to be wicked, with regard to the World-to-Come? He evaded the question and said to them: You have only asked me about so-and-so, and not a different individual whom you believe to be righteous?

מהו להציל רועה כבשה מן הארי אמר להם לא שאלתוני אלא על הכבשה מהו להציל הרועה מן הארי אמר להם לא שאלתוני אלא על הרועה ממזר מה הוא לירש מהו ליבם מהו לסוד את ביתו מהו לסוד את קברו

They asked him: What is the halakha with regard to whether a shepherd may save a ewe from a lion on Shabbat (Me’iri)? He said to them: You have only asked me about the ewe? They asked him: What is the halakha with regard to saving the shepherd from the lion on Shabbat? He said to them: You have only asked me about the shepherd? They asked him: What is the halakha with regard to whether a mamzer inherits from his parents? Rabbi Eliezer responded with a question: Did you not ask me what is the halakha with regard to whether he may perform levirate marriage? They asked him: What is the halakha with regard to whether it is permitted to plaster one’s house after the destruction of the Temple? Rabbi Eliezer responded: What is the halakha with regard to plastering one’s grave?

לא מפני שהפליגן בדברים אלא מפני שלא אמר דבר שלא שמע מפי רבו מעולם

The Gemara explains: It was not because he was distancing them with words, and made irrelevant statements because he did not know the answers to these questions. Rather, Rabbi Eliezer responded in this way because he never said anything that he did not hear from the mouth of his teacher. Since he had not learned these points from his teacher, he did not answer directly, thereby indicating that he did not have a tradition with regard to these questions.

שאלה אשה חכמה את ר' אליעזר מאחר שמעשה העגל שוין מפני מה אין מיתתן שוה אמר לה אין חכמה לאשה אלא בפלך וכן הוא אומר (שמות לה, כה) וכל אשה חכמת לב בידיה טוו

The Gemara cites another question posed to Rabbi Eliezer. A wise woman asked Rabbi Eliezer: Since all bore equal responsibility for the incident of the Golden Calf, due to what factor were their deaths not equal? Some of the people were killed by the sword of Moses and the Levites, some were killed in a plague, and others were struck with an intestinal illness. He said to her: There is no wisdom in a woman except weaving with a spindle, and so it states: “And any woman who was wise-hearted spun with her hands” (Exodus 35:25). Therefore, it is unbefitting for a woman to concern herself with such questions.

איתמר רב ולוי חד אמר זיבח וקיטר בסייף גפף ונישק במיתה שמח בלבבו בהדרוקן

With regard to this issue, it was stated that the amora’im Rav and Levi disagreed: One of them said: One who sacrificed and burned incense to the calf, which are idolatrous practices that incur capital punishment, was punished by the sword. One who embraced and kissed it, which are not forms of idolatrous worship that incur capital punishment, was subject to a divine punishment of death by a plague. One who rejoiced inwardly but performed no act was killed by the intestinal illness known as hidrokan.

וחד אמר עדים והתראה בסייף עדים בלא התראה במיתה לא עדים ולא התראה בהדרוקן

And one of them said: One who served the calf in the presence of witnesses and after a warning was punished by the sword. One who served the calf in the presence of witnesses but without warning was subject to death by a plague. One who served without witnesses and without warning was killed by hidrokan.

אמר רב יהודה שבטו של לוי לא עבד עבודת כוכבים שנאמר (שמות לב, כו) ויעמוד משה בשער המחנה וגו'

Rav Yehuda said: The entire tribe of Levi did not engage in idol worship, as it is stated: “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said: Who is for God, let him come to me; and all the children of Levi gathered to him” (Exodus 32:26).

יתיב רבינא וקאמר להא שמעתא איתיביה בני ר' פפא בר אבא לרבינא (דברים לג, ט) האומר לאביו ולאמו לא ראיתיו

Ravina sat and related this halakha with regard to the tribe of Levi. The sons of Rav Pappa bar Abba raised an objection to Ravina: The verse states in praise of the tribe of Levi: “Who said of his father and of his mother: I have not seen him, neither did he acknowledge his brothers, nor did he know his sons” (Deuteronomy 33:9). This indicates that some of them did engage in idol worship and were killed by their relatives.

אביו אבי אמו מישראל אחיו אחיו מאמו מישראל בניו בני בתו מישראל

Ravina answered them: “His father” does not refer to his actual father, but rather his mother’s father, who was an Israelite. Similarly, the term “his brothers” is referring to his half-brothers from his mother, who were fathered by an Israelite. “His sons” is referring to his daughter’s sons from an Israelite, who are considered Israelites. In fact, however, no one from the tribe of Levi worshipped the calf.

וכבש עשו לו כו' אמר רבה בר בר חנה לא בבליים היו אלא אלכסנדריים היו ומתוך ששונאים את הבבליים היו קורין אותן על שמן תניא רבי יהודה אומר לא בבליים היו אלא אלכסנדריים היו אמר לו רבי יוסי תנוח דעתך שהנחת את דעתי

§ It was taught in the mishna that they made a ramp for the goat due to the Babylonian Jews in Jerusalem. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said: They were not actually Babylonians, rather they were Alexandrians from Egypt. And since in Eretz Yisrael they hate the Babylonians, they would call all foreigners who acted inappropriately by their name as an insult. Similarly, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: They were not Babylonians, rather they were Alexandrians. Rabbi Yosei, whose family was from Babylonia, said to him: May your mind be at ease, since you have put my mind at ease.

טול וצא תנא מה שהי צפירא דין וחובי דרא סגיאין

It was taught in the mishna that the Babylonians would say: Take our sins and go. It was taught in the Tosefta that they would say as follows: Why does this goat remain here with the many sins of the generation; let him hurry and leave.

מתני׳ מיקירי ירושלים היו מלוין אותו עד סוכה הראשונה עשר סוכות מירושלים ועד צוק

MISHNA: People from among the prominent residents of Jerusalem would escort the one leading the goat until they reached the first booth. Booths were set up along the path to the wilderness to provide the escort a place to rest. There were ten booths from Jerusalem to the cliff,