אֲבָל לְהַחֲיוֹת אֲפִילּוּ מֵעַל מִזְבְּחִי וּמָה זֶה שֶׁסָּפֵק יֵשׁ מַמָּשׁ בִּדְבָרָיו סָפֵק אֵין מַמָּשׁ בִּדְבָרָיו וַעֲבוֹדָה דּוֹחָה שַׁבָּת קַל וָחוֹמֶר לְפִקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ שֶׁדּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת נַעֲנָה רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר וְאָמַר וּמָה מִילָה שֶׁהִיא אֶחָד מִמָּאתַיִם וְאַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנָה אֵיבָרִים שֶׁבָּאָדָם דּוֹחָה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת קַל וָחוֹמֶר לְכׇל גּוּפוֹ שֶׁדּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת
but to preserve a life, e.g., if the priest can testify to the innocence of one who is sentenced to death, one removes him even from on top of My altar, even while he is sacrificing an offering. Just as this priest, about whom there is uncertainty whether there is substance to his words of testimony or whether there is no substance to his words, is taken from the Temple service in order to save a life, and Temple service overrides Shabbat, so too, a fortiori, saving a life overrides Shabbat. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya answered and said: Just as the mitzva of circumcision, which rectifies only one of the 248 limbs of the body, overrides Shabbat, so too, a fortiori, saving one’s whole body, which is entirely involved in mitzvot, overrides Shabbat.
רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר אֶת שַׁבְּתוֹתַי תִּשְׁמוֹרוּ יָכוֹל לַכֹּל תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר אַךְ חָלַק רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן בֶּן יוֹסֵף אוֹמֵר כִּי קוֹדֶשׁ הִיא לָכֶם הִיא מְסוּרָה בְּיֶדְכֶם וְלֹא אַתֶּם מְסוּרִים בְּיָדָהּ
Other tanna’im debated this same issue. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says that it is stated: “But keep my Shabbatot” (Exodus 31:13). One might have thought that this applies to everyone in all circumstances; therefore, the verse states “but,” a term that restricts and qualifies. It implies that there are circumstances where one must keep Shabbat and circumstances where one must desecrate it, i.e., to save a life. Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef says that it is stated: “For it is sacred to you” (Exodus 31:14). This implies that Shabbat is given into your hands, and you are not given to it to die on account of Shabbat.
רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן מְנַסְיָא אוֹמֵר וְשָׁמְרוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה חַלֵּל עָלָיו שַׁבָּת אַחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁמוֹר שַׁבָּתוֹת הַרְבֵּה אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל אִי הֲוַאי הָתָם הֲוָה אָמֵינָא דִּידִי עֲדִיפָא מִדִּידְהוּ וְחַי בָּהֶם וְלֹא שֶׁיָּמוּת בָּהֶם
Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya said: It is stated: “And the children of Israel shall keep Shabbat, to observe Shabbat” (Exodus 31:16).The Torah said: Desecrate one Shabbat on his behalf so he will observe many Shabbatot. Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: If I would have been there among those Sages who debated this question, I would have said that my proof is preferable to theirs, as it states: “You shall keep My statutes and My ordinances, which a person shall do and live by them” (Leviticus 18:5), and not that he should die by them. In all circumstances, one must take care not to die as a result of fulfilling the mitzvot.
אָמַר רָבָא לְכוּלְּהוּ אִית לְהוּ פִּירְכָא בַּר מִדִּשְׁמוּאֵל דְּלֵית לֵיהּ פִּירְכָא דְּרַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל דִּילְמָא כִּדְרָבָא דְּאָמַר רָבָא מַאי טַעְמָא דְּמַחְתֶּרֶת חֲזָקָה אֵין אָדָם מַעֲמִיד עַצְמוֹ עַל מָמוֹנוֹ וְהַאי מִידָּע יָדַע דְּקָאֵי לְאַפֵּיהּ וְאָמַר אִי קָאֵי לְאַפַּאי קָטֵילְנָא לֵיהּ וְהַתּוֹרָה אָמְרָה בָּא לְהׇרְגְּךָ הַשְׁכֵּם לְהׇרְגוֹ וְאַשְׁכְּחַן וַדַּאי סָפֵק מְנָלַן
Rava commented on this: All of these arguments have refutations except for that of Shmuel, which has no refutation. The Gemara explains Rava’s claim: The proof brought by Rabbi Yishmael from the thief who breaks in could perhaps be refuted based on the principle of Rava, as Rava said: What is the reason for the halakha about the thief who breaks in? There is a presumption that while a person is being robbed he does not restrain himself with respect to his money. And this thief knows that the homeowner will rise to oppose him and said to himself from the start: If he rises against me, I will kill him. And the Torah states: If a person comes to kill you, rise to kill him first. We found a source for saving a life that is in certain danger, but from where do we derive that even in a case where there is uncertainty as to whether a life is in danger one may desecrate Shabbat? Consequently, Rabbi Yishmael’s argument is refuted.
דְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא נָמֵי דִּילְמָא כִּדְאַבָּיֵי דְּאָמַר אַבָּיֵי מָסְרִינַן לֵיהּ זוּגָא דְרַבָּנַן לֵידַע אִם מַמָּשׁ בִּדְבָרָיו וְאַשְׁכְּחַן וַדַּאי סָפֵק מְנָא לַן
The proof of Rabbi Akiva can also be refuted. He brought the case of removing a priest from altar service in order to have him testify on another’s behalf, since his testimony might acquit the accused and save him from execution. But perhaps that halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Abaye, as Abaye said: If the accused says he has a witness in his favor, we send a pair of rabbis on his behalf to determine if his words of testimony have substance. These rabbis would first check that the testimony of the priest is substantive before removing him from the altar. If so, we have found that one interrupts the Temple service to save a life from certain danger, but from where do we derive that one interrupts the Temple service when the likelihood of saving life is uncertain?
וְכוּלְּהוּ אַשְׁכְּחַן וַדַּאי סָפֵק מְנָא לַן וְדִשְׁמוּאֵל וַדַּאי לֵית לֵיהּ פִּירְכָא אָמַר רָבִינָא וְאִיתֵּימָא רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק טָבָא חֲדָא פִּלְפַּלְתָּא חֲרִיפָא מִמְּלָא צַנָּא דְקָרֵי
And for all the other arguments as well, we have found proofs for saving a life from certain danger. But for cases of uncertainty, from where do we derive this? For this reason, all the arguments are refuted. However, the proof that Shmuel brought from the verse: “And live by them,” which teaches that one should not even put a life in possible danger to observe mitzvot, there is certainly no refutation. Ravina said, and some say it was Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak who said with regard to this superior proof of Shmuel: One spicy pepper is better than a whole basket of squash, since its flavor is more powerful than all the others.
מַתְנִי׳ חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם וַדַּאי מְכַפְּרִין מִיתָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפְּרִין עִם הַתְּשׁוּבָה תְּשׁוּבָה מְכַפֶּרֶת עַל עֲבֵירוֹת קַלּוֹת עַל עֲשֵׂה וְעַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה וְעַל הַחֲמוּרוֹת הוּא תּוֹלֶה עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וִיכַפֵּר הָאוֹמֵר אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה אֶחֱטָא וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עֲבֵירוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עֲבֵירוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵירוֹ אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵירוֹ
MISHNA: A sin-offering, which atones for unwitting performance of transgressions punishable by karet, and a definite guilt-offering, which is brought for robbery and misuse of consecrated items, atone for those sins. Death and Yom Kippur atone for sins when accompanied by repentance. Repentance itself atones for minor transgressions, for both positive mitzvot and negative mitzvot. And repentance places punishment for severe transgressions in abeyance until Yom Kippur comes and completely atones for the transgression. With regard to one who says: I will sin and then I will repent, I will sin and I will repent, Heaven does not provide him the opportunity to repent, and he will remain a sinner all his days. With regard to one who says: I will sin and Yom Kippur will atone for my sins, Yom Kippur does not atone for his sins. Furthermore, for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person.
דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי ה׳ תִּטְהָרוּ עֲבֵירוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עֲבֵירוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵירוֹ אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵירוֹ אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אַשְׁרֵיכֶם יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי מִי אַתֶּם מִטַּהֲרִין מִי מְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם אֲבִיכֶם שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם וְאוֹמֵר מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל (ה׳) מָה מִקְוֶה מְטַהֵר אֶת הַטְּמֵאִים אַף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְטַהֵר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל
Similarly, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya taught that point from the verse: “From all your sins you shall be cleansed before the Lord” (Leviticus 16:30). For transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person. In conclusion, Rabbi Akiva said: How fortunate are you, Israel; before Whom are you purified, and Who purifies you? It is your Father in Heaven, as it is stated: “And I will sprinkle purifying water upon you, and you shall be purified” (Ezekiel 36:25). And it says: “The ritual bath of Israel is God” (Jeremiah 17:13). Just as a ritual bath purifies the impure, so too, the Holy One, Blessed be He, purifies Israel.
גְּמָ׳ אָשָׁם וַדַּאי אִין אָשָׁם תָּלוּי לָא וְהָא כַּפָּרָה כְּתִיבָא בֵּיהּ הָנָךְ מְכַפְּרִי כַּפָּרָה גְּמוּרָה אָשָׁם תָּלוּי אֵינוֹ מְכַפֵּר כַּפָּרָה גְּמוּרָה
GEMARA: The mishna says that a definite guilt-offering atones for sins. The Gemara analyzes this: With regard to a definite guilt-offering, yes, it does atone for sins. This implies that an uncertain guilt-offering does not. The Gemara asks: But isn’t atonement written with regard to it? Why, then, doesn’t it atone? The Gemara answers: Those, the sin-offerings and definite guilt-offerings, facilitate complete atonement, but an uncertain guilt-offering does not facilitate complete atonement. Instead, this offering provides temporary atonement for an individual, to protect him from punishment until he becomes aware of his sin and brings the appropriate offering.
אִי נָמֵי הָנָךְ אֵין אַחֵר מְכַפֵּר כַּפָּרָתָן אָשָׁם תָּלוּי אַחֵר מְכַפֵּר כַּפָּרָתָן דִּתְנַן חַיָּיבֵי חַטָּאוֹת וַאֲשָׁמוֹת וַדָּאִין שֶׁעָבַר עֲלֵיהֶן יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים חַיָּיבִין אֲשָׁמוֹת תְּלוּיִן פְּטוּרִין
Alternatively, there is this distinction: Nothing else facilitates the atonement of those sin-offerings and definite guilt-offerings, whereas something else does facilitate the atonement of the uncertain guilt-offering, as we learned in a mishna: If Yom Kippur passed, those who are obligated to bring sin-offerings and definite guilt-offerings are still obligated to bring their offerings; however, those obligated to bring uncertain guilt-offerings are exempt because Yom Kippur atoned for them.
מִיתָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפְּרִין עִם הַתְּשׁוּבָה עִם הַתְּשׁוּבָה אִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן לָא נֵימָא דְּלָא כְּרַבִּי דְּתַנְיָא רַבִּי אוֹמֵר עַל כׇּל עֲבֵירוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה בֵּין עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה בֵּין לֹא עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר חוּץ (מִפּוֹרֵק עוֹל) וּמְגַלֶּה פָּנִים בַּתּוֹרָה וּמֵיפֵר בְּרִית בָּשָׂר שֶׁאִם עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר וְאִם לֹא עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר
§ It was taught in the mishna that death and Yom Kippur atone for sins when accompanied by repentance. The Gemara analyzes this: With repentance, yes, they do atone for sins; but by themselves, without repentance, they do not. Let us say that the mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, as it was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says that for all transgressions in the Torah, whether one repented or did not repent, Yom Kippur atones, with the exception of rejecting the yoke of Torah and mitzvot; and denying the Holy One, Blessed be He; and interpreting the Torah falsely; and violating the covenant of the flesh, i.e., circumcision. In these cases, if one repents Yom Kippur atones for his sin, and if one does not repent Yom Kippur does not atone for his sin.
אֲפִילּוּ תֵּימָא רַבִּי תְּשׁוּבָה בָּעֲיָא יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים לָא בָּעֲיָא תְּשׁוּבָה
The Gemara rejects this: This is no proof; even if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the mishna can be understood as follows: Repentance still requires Yom Kippur in order to complete the atonement, whereas Yom Kippur does not require repentance but atones even without it.
תְּשׁוּבָה מְכַפֶּרֶת עַל עֲבֵירוֹת קַלּוֹת עַל עֲשֵׂה וְעַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה הַשְׁתָּא עַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה מְכַפֶּרֶת עַל עֲשֵׂה מִיבַּעְיָא אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה הָכִי קָאָמַר עַל עֲשֵׂה וְעַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנִּיתַּק לַעֲשֵׂה
§ It was taught in the mishna: Repentance itself atones for minor transgressions, for both a positive mitzva and for a negative mitzva. The Gemara is surprised at this: Now that it was stated that repentance atones for a negative mitzva, which is severe and warrants lashes, is it necessary to also teach that it atones for a positive mitzva, which is more lenient? Rav Yehuda said: This is what it said, i.e., the mishna should be understood as follows: Repentance atones for a positive mitzva and for a negative mitzva whose violation can be rectified by a positive mitzva. One is not punished by a court for violating a prohibition for which the Torah prescribes a positive act as a corrective measure and which thereby has the same halakha as a positive mitzva.
וְעַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה גָּמוּר לָא וּרְמִינְהוּ אֵלּוּ הֵן קַלּוֹת עֲשֵׂה וְלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה
The Gemara asks: But does repentance not atone for a full-fledged negative mitzva? The Gemara raises a contradiction from a separate source: It was taught that these are minor transgressions: A positive mitzva and a negative mitzva,