Tractate Yoma: Chapter 8
Regulations concerning the fasting on the day of atonement, what may be done thereon, and what may not be done.
Regulations concerning the fasting on the day of atonement, what may be done thereon, and what may not be done.
MISHNA: On the Day of Atonement it is forbidden to eat and to drink, to wash, to anoint, to lace on shoes, and to hold sexual intercourse. A king and a bride may wash their faces; and a lying-in woman may lace on shoes. Such is the decree of R. Eleazar. But the sages forbid it. Whosoever eats food to the size of a large date--that is, the date with the kernel--or drinks a mouthful, is guilty. All kinds of food are reckoned together to the size of the date, and all liquids to the mouthful; but food and beverages are not reckoned together.
GEMARA: In the Torah it is written, Karoth is the penalty; and you say, merely, it is forbidden? [Lev. xxiii. 29]. Said R. Ila, according to others R. Jeremiah: What is said in the Mishna, "forbidden," applies to half of the prescribed quantity. This would be right according to him who says that half of the prescribed quantity is biblically forbidden, but of him who says that it is biblically allowed, what can you say? Then it was taught: A half of the prescribed quantity, R. Johanan says, is prohibited biblically; and Resh Lakish says: It is allowed biblically. Then the Mishna would be according to R. Johanan. But of Resh Lakish what can be said? Resh Lakish avows, that rabbinically it is prohibited. When it is said in the Mishna "forbidden," it is meant, forbidden rabbinically.
When Karoth is the penalty, is not the term "prohibited" employed? We have learned in the following Boraitha: Although the sages have said that it is prohibited in all regards, Karoth is due only for eating, drinking, and work. We see, then, that even when Karoth is the penalty, the term "prohibited" is employed? The Boraitha meant to say as follows: When the Mishna says "prohibited," it is meant for the half of the prescribed quantity; but if he has eaten the prescribed quantity, Karoth is due for eating and drinking, and work; but not for the other actions. If you wish, I can say, when it is stated in the Mishna "prohibited," the other actions only are meant (hence Karoth is not due). Rabba and R. Joseph taught from the books of the Pentateuch other than Leviticus, as follows: Whence do we deduce that on the Day of Atonement one must not wash, anoint, lace on the shoes, and have sexual intercourse? Because it is written [Lev. xvi. 31]: "A Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict yourselves." What is meant by rest? Desisting from washing, anointing, etc. The text above states: Half of the prescribed quantity is biblically forbidden, according to R. Johanan? Why? Because if he will eat twice the other half, he will have eaten the whole. Resh Lakish says: The Merciful One has said "eat," and this is not called "eating."
The rabbis taught: It is written [ibid. 29]: "Ye shall afflict yourselves." Shall we assume that he should go and sit in the sunshine or in the cold, to cause himself suffering? Therefore it is written: "No work shall ye do." As about the work the prohibition is negative, so the affliction is meant to be only negative; i.e., abstinence. But perhaps it is meant thereby, if he sits in sunshine or in shade, and feels too hot or too cold, they should not say to him: "Remove from this place," that he might suffer? The affliction is compared to the work: as in case of the work it matters not in which place it is, so in case of the affliction.
The disciples of R. Ishmael have taught: It is written here, "affliction," and it is written further, "affliction" [Deut. viii. 3]: ("He afflicted thee and suffered thee to hunger"). As there by affliction hunger is meant, so here. If he deduces it from an analogy of expression, let him deduce it from the expression [Gen. xxxi. 50]: "If thou shouldst afflict my daughters." It is deduced from an affliction suffered spontaneously (as hunger), but not from affliction inflicted by men.
It is written [Deut. viii. 16]: "Who hath fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, in order to afflict thee." What was the affliction? R. Ami and R. Assi said the one, that not to have bread ready in one's basket is an affliction, whereas the manna had to be hoped for every day; and the other says, not to see what one eats (the manna) is an affliction. (The manna had all flavors at will, but not the appearance of all foods whose flavors it had.) Said R. Joseph Infer from this, that the blind are never satiated. Says Abayi He who has to eat, therefore, should eat only by day, and not by night. Said R. Zera: How can it be inferred from Scripture? From Ecc. vi. 9: "Better is what one seeth with the eyes than the wandering of desire." It is written [Prov. xxiii. 31]: "When he glances into the cup, it goes down smoothly." R. Ami and R. Assi said--the one, that then (when he is drunk) all blood-relations are forgotten by him; and the other says, that the whole world seems to him alike (he does not distinguish between his own and others' property). It is written [Prov. xii. 26]: "If there is care in the heart of a man, he shall suppress it." Said R. Ami and R. Assi-the one, he should suppress it, by driving it out of his thoughts; and the other, by relating about it to another person.
It is written [Is. lxv. 25]: "The serpent dust shall be his food." R. Ami and R. Assi said--the one, that whatever he eats, he tastes the flavor of earth; and the other, that whatsoever he should eat, he is not filled, unless he eats earth after it.
We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jose said: Come and see. The visage of the Holy One, blessed be He, is not like that of a human being. When a human being incenses another, the latter tries to embitter his life; the Lord, when He cursed the serpent to eat earth, the serpent finds his food wheresoever he goes. He cursed Canaan, that it should be subjected: so it eats what its master eats, and drinks what its master drinks. He has cursed woman, and all run after her. He has cursed the earth, and the world is nourished by it.
It is written [Num. xi. 3]: "We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt." Said Rabh and Samuel--one, that simply fish is meant; and the other, licentiousness (since forbidden by the commandments). He who says "fish," says it is plainly mentioned "ate"; and the other, who says licentiousness is meant, proves it from Proverbs xxx. 20: "She eateth, and wipeth her mouth."
We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jose said: As the prophet told the Israelites all that passed in their dwellings, and the very nooks, so the manna betrayed all their secrets. How so? For instance, two came to Moses, and one said: "He has stolen my slave," and the other said: "You sold him to me." Moses said: "In the morning we will decide it." On the morrow, if the Omer of manna for the slave was found for the one, it was a sign that the slave had been stolen but if for the other, it was evident that he had bought him. If one came and impeached his wife of adultery, and she charged him with that crime, then the Omer decided. If her Omer was found for her husband, it was evident that she had sinned; if for her father, it was plain that he had sinned.
Three verses are written [Num. xv. 9]: "When the dew fell upon the camp in the night the manna fell upon it"; and [Ex. xvi. 4]: "The people shall go out, and gather"; and [Num. xi. 8]: "The people went about, and gathered it." How shall the three verses be reconciled? This is meant: For the upright, the manna came down at the door of their tents; for the general, they went out and found it; the wicked had to seek it, till they found it.
In Exodus it is written, "bread from heaven "; and [Num. xi. 4], "made cakes of it "; and [ibid.] "ground it." How shall these be reconciled? For the righteous, there was bread ready; as for the general, they made cakes of the flour; and the wicked had to grind it. It is written [Num. xi. 8]: "Its taste was as the taste of cakes mixed with oil." Said R. Abahu: As the milk of its mother has various flavors for the infant, so the manna, so long as the Israelites ate it, had for them all flavors.
It is written [Ex. xvi. 8]: "Flesh to eat, and bread in the morning to the full." It was taught in the name of R. Joshua b. Kar'ha: Because meat they asked for in an unbecoming manner, they did not receive it as was fitting, but bread which they had asked for properly, they had given to them properly. From this verse we can learn that the usage of the world ought to be that meat is to be eaten only by night. But Abayi has said above: He who has to eat a meal, should eat it only by day? He meant, when there is yet light. Said R. A'ha b. Jacob: At first the Israelites were like chickens, which eat out of the rubbish, till Moses came and fixed for them the times for the meals.
It is written "bread," "oil," "honey." What does this signify? For the young it was bread, for the old it was oil, and for the children it was honey.
The rabbis taught: It is written [Ps. lxviii. 25]: "The bread of Abirim did man eat." Said R. Aqiba: That means, the bread that angels eat. It was told to R. Ishmael. He said to them: Go and tell to Aqiba: Thou hast been in error. Do angels eat bread? It is written [Deut. ix. 9]: "Bread did I not eat, and water did I not drink." What, then, means "Abirim"? It is like "Ebrim" (members); it is absorbed by all the two hundred and forty-eight members, and no refuse is left. But it is written [Deut. xxiii. 14]: "And a spade shalt thou have." Wherefore did they need it? That is because they purchased from the Gentiles other foods also. R. Eliezer b. Parta, however, said: Even what they bought from the Gentiles, the manna dissolved. The above verse applies to the time after they had sinned.
"Forbidden to eat." To what do these five modes of affliction correspond? Said R. Hishda: To the five kinds of affliction found in the Torah: namely [Num. xxix.], "and on the tenth [Lev. xxiii.] "but on the tenth"; [ibid.] "a Sabbath of rest"; and [ibid. xvi.] "and a Sabbath of rest;" and [ibid.] "may it be to you." Here are only five, but in the Mishna we have learned six? Drinking is included in eating, as it is written [Deut. xiv. 23]: "And thou shalt eat thy corn, of thy wine, and of thy oil," etc.
The disciples of R. Simeon b. Johai questioned him: Wherefore did not the manna descend for the Israelites once a year? He answered: I will explain it to you by a parable. There was a king who ordered that the rations of his son shall be issued but once a year; the son, then, came to see his father but once a year, [at which the king became angry, and] ordered again that the rations should be issued daily, so that the son was compelled to see his father every day. So it was with the Israelites. Whoever had four or five children, worried, and said: Perhaps no manna will descend to-morrow, and all will starve. Consequently they prayed to Heaven every day. According to others, the reason is: So they should have it fresh every day; and still others say: So they should not have to carry it on the road.
It happened long ago that R. Tarphon and R. Ishmael and the elders (of the college) were discussing the subject of manna, and R. Eliezer the Modeite, who was among them, arose and said: The manna in the desert was sixty ells high. Said R. Tarphon to him: Modeite, how much longer wilt thou gather nonsensical words, and lay them before us? He rejoined: Rabbi, I take my theory from the following passages [Gen. vii. 20]: "Fifteen cubits above them did the water prevail, and the mountains were (thus) covered." (Now let us see how it was.) Was it fifteen ells above the valleys and fifteen ells above the mountains? Did, then, the water stand like pillars? And, besides, how could the ark ascend the mountains? We must, therefore, say that when all the fountains were broken up, etc. [ibid. 11], the water covered the earth, until it reached the top of the mountains, and over that the water was fifteen ells high. As we have a tradition, that the kindness of Heaven is much more than its affliction, and as at the affliction it is said [ibid., ibid. 11]: "And the windows of heaven were opened," and at the kindness it is written [Ps. lxxviii. 23]: "Then he ordained the skies from above, and the doors of heaven he opened"; and as we know from another tradition, that a heavenly door is equal in size to four of its windows, consequently there are eight windows in two doors (doors and windows, both plural, not less than two), and as at the affliction from two windows came water fifteen ells above the earth--therefore the manna which came from eight windows cannot be less than sixty ells high.
We have learned in a Boraitha: Issi b. Jehudah says: The manna has increased itself in height till all the kings of east and west saw it, as it is written [ibid. xxiii. 5]: "Thou preparest before me a table in the presence of my assailants."
How is it known that abstaining from washing and anointing is an affliction? Because it is written [Dan. x. 3]: "Costly food did I not eat, and flesh and wine came not in my mouth, nor did I anoint myself" What is meant by "costly food" I have not eaten? Says R. Jehudah the son of R. Samuel b. Shilath: Even bread of pure wheat he did not eat. How do we know it is thought an affliction? Because it is written further [ibid. 12]: "From the first day that thou didst set thy heart to . . . afflict thyself," etc. We have found that abstaining from anointing is an affliction, but how do we know that abstaining from washing is one? Said R. Zutra b. Tubiah: It is written [Ps. cix. 18]: "And it cometh like water within him, and like oil into his bones." But perhaps drinking is meant? It is like oil; as the oil here spoken of is used externally, so the water. If you wish, I will say, that we can infer abstaining from washing, as Itz'hak has said, from this verse [Prov. XXV. 25]: "As cold water is to a fainting soul." Here drinking is perhaps meant? That would be, if it were written "in a faint soul"; but here it is written (in Hebrew), "on a fainting soul." How do we know that the privation of shoes is an affliction? Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: From the following passage [Jer. ii. 25]: "Prevent thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from being thirsty," which means: Prevent thyself from sin, that thy foot be not unshod, and prevent thy tongue from speaking vain words, that thy throat be not thirsty. How is it known that abstinence from sexual intercourse is called an affliction? Because it is written [Gen. xxxi. 50]: "If thou shouldst afflict my daughters." This means, deprive them of sexual intercourse.
The rabbis taught: It is not prohibited to wash an inconsiderable part of one's body, as the whole body. If one is soiled by clay, or any such thing, he may wash himself without apprehension. One may not anoint a part of the body any more than the whole body. But if one is sick, or has an itch, he may anoint without apprehension. The disciples of Manasseh taught: A woman may wash her hand in water, and present bread to the children, without apprehension. It was said of Shamai the Elder: He was averse to give bread to his children, even with one hand, that he should not wash it; so they decreed that he should feed them with both his hands.
The rabbis taught: When a man goes to receive his father, master, or any superior, he may walk up to his neck in water, without apprehension. The schoolmen propounded a question: How if the Master goes to receive the disciple? Come and hear; R. Itz'hak bar bar Hana said: I have seen Z'eri go in water to R. Hiya b. R. Ashi, his disciple. R. Ashi, however, said: On the contrary, R. Hiya b. Ashi went to meet Z'eri, his Master. Rabha permitted the inhabitants across the river to go through the water to watch their fruit. Abayi said to Rabha: I have a Boraitha in support of what you say. Those who keep fruit, may walk through the water, up to their necks, without fear. R. Joseph permitted the inhabitants of Be Tarbu to walk through water to come to listen to the lecture, and return through the same element. Ahayi said to him: It is right that they should come to the lecture, but why return? He said: If they were not to be allowed to return, they would not come at all. R. Jehudah and R. Samuel b. R. Jehudah stood on the bank of the River Euphrates at the passage to 'Hatzdad. Rami b. Papa stood on the other side. He cried to them: How is the law? may I cross over to you? I have to ask of you a halakhah. R. Jehudah answered: Rabha and Samuel both say one way, but one may not draw away one's hands from the skirts of one's robe (not tuck it up on his back, like a burden). R. Pinchas said in the name of R. Huna of Tziporith: The spring that issued from the Holy of Holies was at first like the antennæ of a grasshopper; by the door of the sanctuary it was like a thread of the warp; at the porch it was thick as a thread of the woof; at the door of the forecourt it was as broad as the mouth of a small pitcher. [This is what we have learned in a Mishna (Midoth, ii. 4): "R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: Water will issue in the times to come from under the sill of the Temple."] Thenceforth, it waxed in strength, and when it reached the door of David's house, it was like a streaming river, and these people bathed, as it is written [Zech. xiii. i]: "On that day shall there be a fountain opened to the house of David . . . for cleansing from sins and for purification." Z'irah b. 'Hama was the entertainer of R. Ami, R. Assi, R. Joshua b. Levi and all rabbis of Cæsarea. R. Joseph the son of R. Joshua b. Levi said to him: Young scholar, come, I will tell thee of the good deeds thy father used to do. He had a kerchief which he used to soak in water on the eve of the Day of Atonement, and then used it on the morrow to wipe his face, hands, and feet. On the eve of the Ninth of Ab, he soaked it in water likewise, and on the morrow cleaned his eyes with it. When Rabba b. Mora came from Palestine, he related that on the eve of the Ninth of Ab, he himself was used to soak a kerchief in water, and take it out, putting it under his pillow; on the morrow he used it for wiping his face, hands, and feet. On the eve of the Day of Atonement he did the same thing, wrung it, and on the morrow wiped his eyes with it. Said R. Jacob to R. Jeremiah b. Ta'hlipha: Thou hast related it in the reverse order that on the Day of Atonement the whole face. etc., was wiped. We have objected: On that day it is prohibited to wring it out.
R. Mnashia b. Ta'hlipha said in the name of R. Amram, quoting Rabha bar bar Hana, R. Eleazar was asked, an Elder, who sat in the college, has he to receive permission from the Nassi to declare the firstlings which have got blemishes fit for slaughtering for personal use, or not? 1 [What was the point of the question the schoolmen have propounded? (Why is the question only about the firstlings? If he has license to decide Halakhas, those about firstlings are included?) The point of the question was this: R. Idda b. Abbin said elsewhere: The matter of firstlings was left to the Nassi, to honor them. But in this case, when he is an elderly man, and one of the first in the college, must he also receive permission, or not?]
Then R. Zadok b. 'Haluqah arose, and said: I have seen R. Jose b. Zimra, who was an old man and prominent in the college, and he was even a degree higher than the grandfather of our Nassi, and nevertheless he received permission to decide about the firstlings. Said R. Abba to him: The case was not so: R. Jose b. Zimra was himself a priest, and the question that was propounded was this: Shall we assume that the halakhah prevails according to R. Meir, who says, "Who is suspect in a matter, must not decide upon it, nor bear testimony about it," or according to Rabhan Simeon b. Gamaliel, who says, "He is believed in reference to his colleague, but not in reference to himself"? And it was decided then that the halakhah pre. vails according to R. Simeon b. Gamaliel.
The same propounded another question to R. Elazar: Whether one might put on a shoe made of cork on the Day of Atonement, and R. Itz'hak b. Na'hman rose, and said: I have seen myself R. Joshuah b. Levi wearing such shoes on the Day of Atonement, and I (Rabha bar bar Hana) asked him: How is it, to put on these shoes on a congregational fast for rain? He answered: There is no difference.
The rabbis taught: Children may do all these things, except putting on shoes. Why? Because it will be said: The adults have laced them on their feet. But the same is the case with the other actions? The other are necessary and usual, but a child is usually barefooted; and if it has shoes, the adults put them on its feet. As Abayi said: My mother told me that warm water and oil, for a child, is good for its growth, and also eggs and Kutah (see Pesachim, p. 68, foot-note), and also objects to break, as Rabha used to buy cracked clay vessels, and gave them to his infants, that they might break them.
"A king and a bride may wash their faces." Our Mishna is in accordance with R. Hanania b. Thradian of the following Boraitha: A king and a bride may not wash their faces. R. Hanania b. Thradian says in the name of R. Elizer: They may. A lying-in woman may not put on shoes. R. Hanania b. Thradian says she may. Why may a king? Because it is written [Is. xxxiii. 17]: "The king in his beauty shall thy eyes behold." And why a bride? Because she will otherwise displease her husband. Rabh asked R. Hiya: How long is she called a "bride"? He replied: This is as we have learned in the following Boraitha: A bride may not be forbidden to put on even her ornaments, when she is a mourner, the first thirty days after her marriage. And why may a lying-in woman put on shoes? Because otherwise she will catch cold. Said R. Samuel: Where there is a danger of snakes, or scorpions, all may put on shoes.
"Whosoever eats food to the size of a large date," etc. Said R. Jehudah: The size of a large date exceeds that of an egg, and it was certain to the rabbis that with such a quantity of food one might appease his hunger, but not with less. An objection was raised: We have learned in a Boraitha: What is the prescribed quantity of the food of a man who may join the three men necessary to say the blessing after a meal? The size of an olive. So is the decree of R. Meir. R. Jehudah says: The size of an egg. Because it is written [Deut. viii. 12]: "Thou hast eaten, and art satisfied"; and by food less than the size of an egg we cannot appease hunger. We see, then, that R. Jehudah says: One can be satisfied by food the size of an egg. Why does he say, above, of a large date? Therefore we must say, R. Jehudah must have said a large date is somewhat smaller than an egg. With food the size of an egg, one may be satisfied; but in this case one can still appease hunger with food to the size of a large date.
We have learned in a Boraitha: Rabbi said: All prescribed quantities are only of the size of an olive, except in case of defilement of eatables, about which Scripture has deviated from its rule. Therefore the sages have also altered this prescribed quantity, and a proof of this is the Day of Atonement. How has Scripture deviated in regard to them? It has said [Lev. xxiii. 29]: "Every soul that will not afflict itself." The sages have altered in this case the prescribed quantity by making it as a large date. Why could he say, the Day of Atonement is a proof? (We see, as will be written further, that Scripture has deviated in case of defilement also. Why, then, could he say, the Day of Atonement is proof?) The deviation in regard to defilement we might have thought to be the usual language of Scripture. But here, when it is said 'I shall not afflict itself, it is a deviation, because it might have been said: "The soul that had eaten." (What is it? It was taught:) What is the reason that an eatable subject to defilement must be of the size of an egg? Because it is written [ibid. xi. 34]: "Of all eatables which may be eaten." What is that? What is an eatable which comes from an eatable? An egg of a hen (which can be eaten itself, as well as the hen),
"Or drinks a mouthful." Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: Not a whole mouthful is meant, but so much as would make the check bulge out. But we have learned, a mouthful? Nay, it is meant, as a mouthful. The disciples of Zera opposed: Why do they say, about food "the size of a date" (equal for all), and about beverages, "a mouthful" (differing in every person)? Abayi answered: It was certain to the rabbis that food of the size of a date appeases hunger, but only that one's own mouthful of water will quench thirst, not necessarily another's mouthful.
"All kinds of food are reckoned together to the size of the date." Says R. Papa: When one has eaten meat and salt, both are reckoned. And although salt is no food, yet as salt is used with meat, it is also reckoned. Resh Lakish said: The sauce which is upon herbs is reckoned with them. Is this not self-evident? One may say, the sauce is a beverage, and not counted; hence he came to teach, that since it is only made to flavor the herbs, it is reckoned part of the dish. Resh Lakish said again: When one commits an excess in eating on the Day of Atonement, he is not culpable. What is the reason? Because it is written, "They should afflict themselves," and this afflicts him. Said R. Jeremiah in the name of Resh Lakish: A layman who has eaten to excess of the heave-offering must only pay the costs, but not one-fifth more; because it is written [ibid. xxii. 14]: "If a man eat." But eating to excess, to one's hurt, is not called eating.
"Food and beverage are not reckoned together." Who is the Tana who says so? Said R. Hisda, and also Resh Lakish: In this differ the Tanaim, in Tract M'ilah, and our Mishna is according to R. Joshua. R. Johanan says: It may be even according to the rabbis, but there they differ from R. Joshua on the point of defilement, but not from our Mishna, where the question is about appeasing hunger or thirst, for which purposes foods and beverages are not to be reckoned together.
MISHNA: If one has eaten and drunk through forgetfulness, he must bring only one sin-offering. If he has eaten and also done work, he must bring two. If he has eaten food not fit for eating, or drunk liquids not fit for drinking, as brine or fish-lye, he is not guilty.
GEMARA: Resh Lakish said: Why is there no positive command to afflict one's self? It is only said: "Every soul that not afflict itself, will be cut off." It could not be otherwise: If it were written, "shall not eat," instead of "will not afflict itself," then we might think, eating food of the size of an olive was also a sin. Then, should it have been written: "Beware lest you should not afflict yourselves," we might think, beware not to afflict ourselves, but go and eat!--The disciples of R. Ishmael have taught. (It is an analogy of expression.) Here it is written, "affliction," and [Deut. xxii. 24], "because he has afflicted (done violence to; in Hebrew it is the same term) the wife of his neighbor." As the penalty is preceded by a warning previously, so here the penalty (of being cut off) must have been preceded by a warning. R. A'ha b. Jacob says: (There is another analogy of expression.) Here it is written, "A Sabbath of rest," so it is like all Sabbaths; and as in cases of Sabbath there is a warning, so there must have been a warning (positive prohibition) here. R. Papa says: The Day of Atonement itself is considered as a Sabbath, as it is written [Lev. xxiii. 32]: "Your Sabbath." [It is right if R. Papa says differently from R. A'ha b. Jacob, because he does not deduce it, but finds it expressed in the same passage. But why does R. A'ha b. Jacob not say as R. Papa? R. A'ha b. Jacob requires that verse for what we have learned in the following Boraitha: It is written [ibid., ibid.]: "Ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day of the month." Shall we assume that we should begin to fast on the ninth? Therefore it is written, "at evening," We might think, when it became entirely dark? Hence it is written, "the ninth." How then? One shall begin to fast while it is yet day. From this we infer that something from the profane must be added to the holy. This is when the Day of Atonement arrives, but how do we know that is so when it departs? Therefore it is written, "from evening to evening." This we know about the Day of Atonement, but about other Sabbaths? Therefore it is written further, "shall ye rest" (Tishb'thu). How do we know about other holidays? Because it is written, "your Sabbaths." From this we deduce that whenever "rest" is enjoined, some portions of the profane day must be super-added to the holy days. But that Tana who infers all these things from the following verse [ibid. 29], "No manner of work shall ye do on this same day," that the penalty is due for violating the day itself, but not the additions made thereto, and this above implies that there are additions, what will he make of these verses? He needs these verses for what R. Hiya b. Rabh of Diphthi has taught, as follows: It is written: "ye shall fast on the ninth." Do we fast on the ninth? We fast on the tenth. This comes to teach, that he who eats and drinks on the ninth, the verse makes him equal (in merit) to him who would fast the ninth and the tenth.]
"If he has eaten food not fit for eating." Rabha said: If he has chewed pepper or ginger during the Day of Atonement, he is not culpable. The rabbis taught: If he has eaten leaves of reeds he is guiltless; but twigs of vines, he is guilty, What is meant by twigs of vines? Said R. Itz'hak of Magdala: Those that flourish between the first day of the year and the Day of Atonement. R. Kahna says: All the thirty days. We have learned in a Boraitha, as R. Itz'hak of Magdala has said: If he has eaten leaves of reeds he is guiltless; of twigs of vines, he is guilty. What are twigs of vines? Such as flourish between the beginning of the year and the Day of Atonement.
"If he has drunk . . . brine as fish-lye." How if he has drunk vinegar? He is guilty? We must say our Mishna is according to Rabbi in a Boraitha which says vinegar refreshes a man.
R. Gidel b. Menasseh of Biri d'Narash once lectured: The halakhah does not prevail according to Rabbi: when the Day of Atonement arrived, the whole world mixed vinegar with water, and drank. R. Gidel heard of this; he became indignant. He said: I have said, when it has been drunk already, one is not culpable, but have not recommended it. I meant a little, but did not mean much. I spoke of vinegar, but not of mixed vinegar.
MISHNA: Children are not made to fast on the Day of Atonement, but when one or two years old they are accustomed to do it, so that they become habituated to obey the religious commandments.
GEMARA: If it is stated "two years," one is understood? Said R. Hisda: It presents no difficulty. The one applies to a healthy child; the other, to a weakly child. R. Huna said: When the child is eight or nine years old, it may be accustomed to fast some hours. When it becomes ten or eleven years old, it may be made to fast rabbinically the whole day. A girl must fast biblically at the age of twelve. R. Na'hman, however, said: When nine or ten years old--some hours; at eleven or twelve--rabbinically the whole day; at thirteen--biblically, a boy. R. Johanan says: So long as it is rabbinical, they need not fast the entire day. Only at ten or eleven they must be habituated to fast for hours, and at twelve they must fast the whole day biblically.
MISHNA: A pregnant woman, who longs for food which she smells, should be fed until relieved. An invalid is fed by the direction of persons possessing medical knowledge; if there be none such, he is to be fed at his own desire, till he says, Enough."
The rabbis taught: If a pregnant woman has smelled sacred meat, or pork, something should be dipped in the sauce thereof, and presented to her mouth. If she is relieved thereby, it is good; otherwise, the sauce must be given to her. If this has not satisfied her either, the meat itself must be given to her. Because nothing is prohibited which is needed to save a life, except idolatry, adultery, and bloodshed.
It happened to a pregnant woman that she smelled food. They came to ask Rabbi. He said: Go, tell her in her car, Today is the Day of Atonement. They did thus, and she became composed. Rabbi said of this child the verse in Jeremiah [i. 5]: "Before yet I had formed thee in thy mother's body I knew thee." That child became R. Johanan. The same accident happened to another woman. They came to ask R. Hanina. He said the same; but it availed not. He said of him the verse [Ps. lviii. 4]: "The wicked are estranged from the womb"; and this child became Sabbathai, who used to buy fruits to sell in time of dearth (and this is forbidden in Palestine).
"An invalid is fed," etc. Said R. Janai: When the invalid says, "I must eat," and the physician says he need not, the patient is obeyed. Why? Because it is written [Prov. xiv. 10]: "The heart knoweth its own bitterness." Is this not self-evident? We might think the physician has a better comprehension of the patient's needs. He chooses to teach us; it is not so. How, if the case is reversed? Then the physician is obeyed, because the patient only fancies he does not need to eat.
An objection has been made to our Mishna: If no medical persons are there, he is fed at his own desire. Hence, when there are such, he is not to be fed at his own desire? The Mishna means: When the patient says he does not need to eat, then he is not fed at the recommendation of medical persons; but if he says he does need to eat, no one is to be consulted.
MISHNA: If a man is seized with bulimy, he may be fed even with unclean food, till his eyes become clear. One who is bitten by a mad dog may not have the dog's midriff above the liver given to him. R. Mathia b. Harash allows it. Moreover, R. Mathia b. Harash also said: "If a person has a sore throat, it is permitted to put drugs into his throat on Sabbath, because the disease may endanger his life, and whatsoever threatens to endanger life supersedes Sabbath."
If a building tumble down, and it is doubtful whether anyone is buried beneath the ruins or not; if it is doubtful whether he be dead or alive, it is permitted to remove the ruins from above him on the Sabbath. If he be found alive, the ruins are to be entirely removed; but should he be dead, he is to be left there.
GEMARA: The rabbis taught: Till his eyes become clear. How is it known when his eyes are clear? When he regains his reason to distinguish between good and evil. Said Abayi: Good and evil in taste is meant.
The rabbis taught: He who has been seized by bulimy must be fed with less strictly prohibited foods. For instance, if there is grain from which the heave-offering has not yet been separated, and carrion, he must be given the carrion (as for eating the first the penalty is death from Heaven). When there is such grain and grain of a Sabbatical year, he must be given the latter. When there is that grain, and the heave-offering itself, then there is a difference of opinion between the Tanaim of the following Boraitha: They may give him the grain from which the heave-offering has not been separated, but not the heave-offering itself. R. Thema said: The heave-offering, but not that grain. (The heave-offering is less strictly prohibited because a priest may eat thereof, but of other kind even a priest may not eat.)
The rabbis taught: He who is seized by bulimy must be fed on honey, and other sweet things, as these things make the eyes clear. And although there is no support thereto in the Bible, yet it is written in proof of it [1 Sam. xiv. 29]: "My eyes have become clear because I have tasted a little of this honey." Why is this no support? Because Jonathan had not been seized by bulimy. Said Abayi: This must be given after his repast, but if it be given to him before he has received the food, it will only increase his hunger. As it is written [ibid. xxx. 11, 12]: "And they found an Egyptian man in the field, and took him to David, and gave him bread and he did eat; and they made him drink water; and they gave him a piece of a cake of fig, and two clusters of raisins, and he ate, and then his spirit returned to him, for he had not eaten any bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights."
R. Na'hman said in the name of Samuel: He who has been seized by bulimy should be given the fat of a sheep's tail in honey,. R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said: Fine flour with honey is also good. R. Papa says, even barley flour with honey.
R. Johanan said: Bulimy once seized me. I ran to the eastern side of a date palm, and ate the dates. I fulfilled in my own person one verse [Eccl. vii. 12]: "Wisdom giveth life to him who possesseth it." [As R. Joseph has taught: He who desires to feel the real taste of dates, should take them from the eastern side of the palm, as it is written [Deut. xxxiii. 14]: "And through precious fruit, brought forth by the sun" (east).]
R. Jehudah and R. Jose were on the road. R. Jehudah was seized by bulimy. He overpowered a shepherd, and robbed him of his bread. Said to him R. Jose: Thou hast robbed the shepherd! When they came to the city, R. Jose was seized by bulimy. He was overladen with food and sweet things. R. Jehudah said to him: I have only robbed the shepherd, but thou--the whole city. It happened again that R. Meir, R. Jehudah, and R. Jose were on the road. R. Meir was particular about the names of his innkeepers, but the other two were not. When they arrived at an inn, they asked the host: What is thy name? He answered: "Kidor." R. Meir thought: He must be a wicked man, because it is written [Deut. xxxii. 20]: "Ki dor tah puchoth hema"--"for a perverse generation are they." R. Jehudah and R. Jose intrusted him with their purses for safekeeping over Sabbath, and R. Meir did not, but hid it in Kidor's father's sepulchre. Then his father appeared in a dream to Kidor, and told him: "Go and take away the purse that is over my head." Kidor rose in the morning, and told everybody of his dream. They said to him: A dream dreamed on the eve of Sabbath has no significance. Nevertheless, R. Meir kept watch over his money the whole day, and by night removed it. On the morrow R. Jehudah and R. Jose required of Kidor their purses. He said to them: You have never given them to me! R. Meir then said to them: Why were you not particular about names? They said to him: Why has the Master not told us about it? He replied: I say, such men ought only to be suspect, but I could not have said with certainty. Finally, they took him to a store. They perceived he had lentils on his mustache. They went to his wife, and told her that her husband had eaten that day lentils, and she should give them their money. She returned their purses to them, and they went away. He (Kidor) then went and murdered his wife. And this is what a Boraitha states: the failure to wash his hands before the meal caused a man to eat pork (as he was taken for this reason in the inn for a Gentile); and after the meal, caused a murder.
"One bitten by a mad dog." The rabbis taught: Five things have been mentioned as symptoms of a dog's madness: his mouth is opened, his saliva flows, his ears are lowered, and the tail is held between his thighs, and he ever takes the bypaths; and others say, he barks spasmodically. We have learned in a Boraitha: He must be killed by an arrow, or other projectile, for whoever touches him becomes dangerously sick, and who is bitten, dies. What are the remedies? He whose clothes have been touched by the dog, should cast them off, and run away.
R. Huna the son of R. Joshua happened to be rubbed against by a rabid dog; he stripped himself, and ran away, and said: I have fulfilled in my own person the verse: "Wisdom giveth life to him who possesseth it." What is the remedy for a bite? Says Abayi: He should fetch the hide of a hyena, and inscribe on it: "I, So-and-So, son of the woman So-and-So, have inscribed on the hide of a male hyena, I have inscribed on it thus: Kanti Kanti Qlirus"; others say: "Kandi Kandi Qlirus; Yo, Yo, Yehavah Tsebaoth. Amen, Amen. Selah." Then he should strip himself of his clothes, and inter them for twelve months; then he should take them out, burn them in an oven, and spread the ashes on the roads. During these twelve months he should drink water only out of copper vessels, that he should not see the image of the dog, as from this he may become dangerously sick. In the case of Abba b. Martha, who is Abba b. Minyumi, to whom this happened, his mother made for him a golden pitcher to drink out of it.
"R. Mathiah b. Heresh said also," etc. R. Johanan had the scurvy. He went to a matron of Rome. She did something to relieve him on a Thursday and the eve of Sabbath. He asked her, What shall I do on Sabbath? She said: You will not need to do anything. He said: But if, notwithstanding, I should be obliged to do something? She said: Swear to me that you will not tell of it to anyone, so I shall tell you. [After this, when she had told him, he went and lectured about it to everybody. But he had sworn not to tell? He had sworn, "To the God of Israel I will not reveal"; but to the people of Israel he could. But this deception was a profanation of God's name? He had told her immediately thereupon: I had sworn not to say it to God, but to Israel I would. What was it that she told him? Said R. A'ha the son of R. Ammi: Water of leavened dough, olive oil, and salt. R. Yemar says: Not the water, but leavened dough itself, olive oil, and salt. R. Ashi says: Fat of the wing of a goose. Said Abayi: I have used all these things, and was not cured until an Arab merchant said: The stones of olives, one-third grown, should be taken and burned in a new Mar, and be applied to the rows of the teeth. This I have done, and have been cured. What causes such a sickness? Eating of hot wheat bread, or the remains of a dish of Haisana (fish fried in oil) from the previous evening. What are its symptoms? When something is put on the teeth they begin to bleed.] R. Johanan did it on the Sabbath and was cured. How did R. Johanan do this? His life was not threatened? R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak said: Scurvy begins in the mouth and ends in the entrails. Said R. Hiya b. Abha to R. Johanan: Do you hold, then, as R. Mathiah b. Heresh, who says: If one has a sore mouth, it is permitted? He said: Yea, for I say, to put drugs into his mouth. In regard to this sickness the sages agree with him, but about other diseases they do not. Come and hear in support of this: Rabba b. Samuel taught: A pregnant woman, who smells food, should be fed till relieved. One bitten by a mad dog should be fed on the midriff of its liver; and he who has a sore mouth may have medicines put into it or, Sabbath. So has said R. Eliezer b. Jose in the name of R. Mathiah b. Heresh. And the sages say: In this case, but not other cases. Which case? Should we say, that of the pregnant woman, there are none differing about it; if of the mad dog, they are at variance about it. Hence the putting in of medicines is meant. Said R. Ashi: From our Mishna we can perceive it; for all the things about which the sages and R. Mathiah are at a variance are mentioned before, and then it is said: "R. Mathiah b. Heresh said also," and the rabbis do not differ with him. Now, if it were something from which the rabbis differed, it would be mentioned above, among the other things.
"Whatsoever threatens to endanger life supersedes Sabbath." Why has this to be mentioned again? Said R. Jehudah in the name of Rabh: Not only when it is doubtful whether his life is threatened this Sabbath, but even the next, it is allowed. How can this happen? E.g., when it has been estimated on a Sabbath that the patient must take the remedy the next eight days, lest it be said: The evening will be waited for; so that only the next Sabbath will have to be violated, it comes to teach us it is not so. We have learned thus in a Boraitha: Warm water has to be heated for a patient, whether for drinking or to wash him, even when the consequences of these measures will be felt the next Sabbath. It should not be said: It will be delayed, perhaps these remedies will not be needful; but immediately he must get them, because the danger to life supersedes Sabbath, not only if the danger is this Sabbath, but will be the next Sabbath. But these things must not be done through Gentiles as Samaritans, but the greatest Israelites. But such things must not be done when neither the physician nor the patient says this is necessary, but only women as Samaritans. But their opinion is added to give weight to others' opinions.
The rabbis taught: The Sabbath is superseded when life is threatened; and with more alacrity this is done, the greater the praise. Permission from Beth Din need not be taken for it. How so? When a child is seen to have fallen into the sea, it should be fished for immediately; and the sooner one does this, the more praiseworthy one is; and no permission from Beth Din is to be taken for it, even when he will take up in the net at the same time game fish. If one has seen a child fall into a pit, he may remove a piece of earth to save it the sooner. The more quickly he does it, the more praiseworthy he is, and though he forms by this means a staircase, he need not take license from Beth Din. If he saw a child enter, behind which the door got locked, he should break open the door immediately, and the sooner the better; and he need not take permission from Beth Din, even when by this means he breaks it for kindling. If he has perceived a fire kindled on Sabbath, he should extinguish it immediately; and the sooner the better, and even when the coals he saves from consumption will be used by him later for roasting meat.
"If a building tumble down." How is it to be understood? It is meant to say, that not only when it is doubtful whether one is there, and lives, or is not there; but even when the uncertainty is whether being there, he lives, or is dead, nevertheless the ruins are to be removed. If he is found alive, the ruins are entirely cleared. Is this not self-evident? The Mishna means to say, when it is known that he is dying, still the ruins are to be removed. If he is dead, he is to be left. Is not this also self-evident? This is to teach us that it is not according to R. Jehudah b. Lakish of the following Boraitha: Sabbath is not superseded to save a corpse from fire. R. Jehudah b. Lakish, however, said: I have heard, a corpse may be saved from fire, even on Sabbath. But even according to R. Jehudah b. Lakish, a corpse is to be saved only from fire; because otherwise he to whom the corpse is dear will extinguish the fire. But in this case, even when the dead body is dear to him, what can he do (to violate the Sabbath)?
The rabbis taught: When the body under the ruins seems dead, what members are to be brought to light and examined? As far as the nose. Others say, as far as the heart. When it does not beat, he is taken to be dead. But if one has commenced with examining the head and heart, and found them defunct, one should nevertheless bring to light the other parts, and examine them. As it happened, that the upper parts were dead, and yet the lower had still some life, said R. Papa: The sages differ when one has commenced the examination from below upwards; but from above downwards, that is, when the nose has been found to have ceased breathing, no further examination is needed, as it is written [Gen. vii. 22]: "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life." It happened long ago that R. Ishmael, R. Aqiba, and R. Eliezer b. Azariah were on the road; and Levi, the Sadar, or Sarad, 1 and R. Ishmael the son of R. Eliezer b. Azariah followed them. They were asked the following question: How is it known that, when life is in danger, Sabbath may be violated? R. Ishmael answered: It is written [Ex. xxii. 2]: "If a thief be found while breaking in and be smitten so that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him." We can deduce, a fortiori, from this: If in this case, when it is doubtful whether he had come to steal only, or to murder, yet taking his life is permitted, although bloodshed defiles the land and causes the Shekhina to remove from Israel, how much more is violation of the Sabbath (less important than bloodshed) permitted to save a human life.
R. Jonathan b. Joseph says: From the following verse: Of Sabbath it is written [Ex. xxxi. 14]: "For it is holy unto you." Unto you: The Sabbath is for you, but not you for the Sabbath. R. Simeon b. Menasseh says: It is written [ibid. 16]: "And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath." The Torah enjoins thus: Violate one Sabbath, that ye may keep many Sabbaths. R. Jehudah said: Samuel has said: If I had been there, I would have said a thing better than this; namely, it is written [Lev. xviii. 5]: "Ye shall keep my statutes . . . which, if a man do, he shall live by them." He shall live by them, but not die. Said Rabba: All the verses from which they have deduced it may be questioned, but to Samuel's nothing can be objected. Rabbina, and according to others R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak, has said of this: One grain of pungent pepper is better than a whole basket of cucumbers.
MISHNA: Sin-offerings and trespass-offerings atone. Death and the Day of Atonement, if one is penitent, atone. Penitence atones for slight breaches of positive or negative commandments; for grave sins, it effects a suspension, till the Day of Atonement completes the atonement. To him who says: "I will sin, repent, sin again, and repent again," is not given the opportunity to repent. For him who thinks, "I will sin; the Day of Atonement will atone for my sins," the Day of Atonement does not atone. A sin towards God, the Day of Atonement atones for; but a sin towards his fellowman is not atoned for by the Day of Atonement so long as the wronged fellowman is not righted. R. Eliezer b. Azariah lectured: It is written [Lev. xvi. 30]: "From all your sins before the Lord shall ye be clean." (This is our tradition.) The sin towards God, the Day of Atonement atones for; but sins toward man, the Day of Atonement cannot atone for till the neighbor has been appeased.
Said R. Aqiba: Happy are ye, O Israel. Before whom do ye cleanse yourselves, and who cleanses you? Your Father who is in Heaven. For it is written [Ezek. xxxvi. 25]: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean "; and it is also written: "The Migveh (hope, or legal bath) of Israel is the Lord." As a legal diving-bath purifies the unclean, so does the Holy One, blessed be He, cleanse Israel.
GEMARA: "Death and the Day of Atonement," etc. Only when one is penitent, but otherwise they do not atone? Shall we assume that the Mishna is not in accordance with Rabbi, in the following Boraitha: "Rabbi says: All sins mentioned in the Bible, whether one is penitent or not, are atoned by the Day of Atonement, except throwing off the yoke (of God), expounding the Torah falsely, and abolition of circumcision (and mocking a fellowman). These sins are atoned for by the Day of Atonement, if one is penitent, but not otherwise." It may be said even that the Mishna is in accordance with Rabbi: Penitence is supplemented by the Day of Atonement or Death, but the Day of Atonement does atone alone.
"Penitence atones for slight breaches, if positive or negative," etc. Why has it to be told, positive? If negative, so much the more positive? Said R. Jehudah: The Mishna meant to say, a positive commandment, or a negative commandment inferred from a positive. But a real negative commandment is not atoned? There is a contradiction from the following Boraitha: What are called slight sins? A breach of a positive and negative commandment, except the negative commandment [Ex. xx. 7]: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"; and all things equal to this: since this, which is a real negative commandment, is excepted, the other negative commandments are atoned for? Come and hear another contradiction: It is written [Ex. xxxiv. 7]: "And he will clear of sins." We might think, from this sin, the breach of the negative commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord," etc., he will also clear. Therefore it is further written, "by no means." Shall we assume, that from the breaches of all negative commandments he will not clear? Therefore it is written [Ex. xx. 7]: "For the Lord will not hold him guiltless (the Hebrew term is the same) that taketh His name in vain." Infer from this, that breaches of other negative commandments he does atone for? (How, then, does Jehudah say that the breaches of real negative commandments are not atoned for?) There is a difference of opinion among the Tanaim, as we have learned in the following Boraitha: "What does penitence atone for? For breaches of positive, and negative inferred from positive, commandments. And for which does penitence only gain a suspension, and the Day of Atonement atones? The sins for which the penalties are Karoth, death by Beth Din, and real negative commandments."
The Master has said: Because it is written [Ex. xxxiv. 7]: "He will clear of sins," how is it to be understood? That is as we have learned in the following Boraitha: R. Elazar said: We cannot say it means, He clears of sins, because it is written further, "by no means" does He clear. We cannot say, He does not, because it is written "clear of sins." 1 We must therefore explain the verse: He clears of sins those who do penance; and does not, those who are not penitent.
R. Mathiah b. Heresh asked R. Elazar b. Azariah at Rome: Have you heard of the four differences made in atonements, about which R. Ishmael lectured? He replied to him: There are only three, and penitence is combined with each. When one has transgressed a positive commandment, and done penance, he is atoned for before he goes away from his place. As it is written [Jerem. iii. 14]: "Return, O backsliding children." If he has transgressed a negative commandment, penitence suspends (the sentence), and the Day of Atonement atones. As it is written [Lev. xvi. 30]: "For on that day shall he make atonement for you, to cleanse you from all your sins." If he has committed sins for which the penalties are Karoth, or death by Beth Din, then penitence and the Day of Atonement suspend (the sentence in Heaven) and afflictions wipe it out. As it is written [Ps. lxxxix. 33]: "Then will I visit with the rod their transgressions, and with plagues their iniquity." But he who has on his conscience the defamation (profaning) of God, neither penitence can suspend, nor the Day of Atonement atone for, nor sufferings wipe out. But all the three only suspend, and death wipes out, as it is written [Is. xxii. 14]: "And it was revealed in my ears by the Lord of hosts: Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven unto you, until ye die."
What is called defamation of God? Says Rabh: For instance, if I take meat from the butcher, and do not immediately pay, I profane God (by its being said, a great and religious man robs). Says Abayi: This is when it is the custom to pay cash, but not where it is the usage to pay later. R. Johanan says: For instance, when I should walk four ells without Torah (in my mind), I profane God. R. Janai's disciples have said: When a man's companions are ashamed of his reputation, it profanes God. Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: (What is meant by reputation?) When people say of a man: "O God, pardon him for his deeds." And Abayi says, as we have learned in the following Boraitha: It is written [Deut. vi. 5]: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." That means, God's name should be loved through thee; that is to say, a man must read and study the Torah, and attend on (serve) scholars, and his dealings with the world should be mild. What do people then say of him? Well with his father, who taught him Torah; well with his teacher, who has instructed him in Torah, and woe to those people who have not learned the Law! Behold, the one who has learned Torah, how beautiful are his ways, how just his deeds! Of him says the verse [Is. xlix. 3]: "And he said unto me, My servant art thou, O Israel, thou on whom I will be glorified." But if one has learned Torah and served the scholars, but is in his dealings not honest and speaks with people not gently, then what do people say about him? Behold, him who has learned Torah, woe to his father, that has taught him Torah; woe to his teacher, who has instructed him in Torah! See the one who has learned Torah, how evil are his ways, how evil his deeds! Of him says the verse [ Ezek. xxxvi. 20]: "They profane my holy name, because they said of them, these are the people of the Lord, and out of his land are they gone forth."
R. Hania b. Hanina said: Penitence is great, and brings healing to the world, as it is written [Hosea xiv. 5]: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely." The same has found a contradiction: It is written [Jerem. iii. 14]: "Return, O backsliding children"; by which seems to be implied a former backsliding. And here it is written: "I will heal thy backsliding," where it seems to be implied that it will remain, only be healed. It presents no difficulty. When one does penance out of love towards God, he is as he had not been; but if he does penance only out of fear, his previous sins remain, only they are healed.
R. Jehudah finds a contradiction: In these verses it is written, "backsliding children," and elsewhere [Jerem. iii. 14]: "For I am become your husband and will take you." It presents no difficulty. Children they are called, when they do penance out of love or fear; and otherwise, when they do it through suffering. 1
R. Levi said. Penitence is great. It reaches the throne of His glory, as it is written [Hosea xiv. 2]: "Return, O Israel, even unto the Lord thy God." R. Johanan said: Penitence is great, so that it supersedes a negative commandment in the Torah. As it is written [Jerem. iii. 3]: "One could say, Behold, if a man send away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, can he return unto her again? Would not that land be greatly polluted? and thou hast played the harlot with many companions, and wilt yet return to me, saith the Lord." (So penitence is greater than the commandment not to take back one's wife, married to another.)
R. Jonathan said: Penitence is great, so that it brings the redemption, as it is written [Is. lix. 20]: "But unto Zion shall come the redeemer, and unto those who return from transgression in Jacob," which means, Why is the redeemer come? Because Jacob has returned from transgressions. Resh Lakish says: Penitence is great: even the sins that have been done intentionally are considered as if they had been done unintentionally. As it is written [Hosea xiv. 2]: "For thou hast stumbled in thy iniquity." Iniquity is intentional, and yet it is called "stumbling." This is not so? Did not Resh Lakish himself say: Penitence is great, so that intentional sins come to be considered as merits, as it is written [Ezek. xxxiii. 19]: "And when the wicked returneth from his wickedness, and executeth justice and righteousness, he shall surely live for them"? It presents no difficulty. One is from love, and the other from fear. R. Samuel b. Na'hmani in the name of R. Jonathan says: Penitence is great. It causes man to live long, as it is written: [ibid., ibid.]: "He shall surely live." R. Itz'hak said: In Palestine, they say in the name of Rabha b. Mari as follows: Come and see. The ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, are not like the ways of a man. When a man had incensed another man by his speech, it is doubtful whether he has really appeased him or not; but the Holy One, blessed be He, even if a man commits a sin in secret, allows himself to be appeased, as it is written [Hosea xix. 3]: "Take with you words, and return to the Lord." And not this alone, but He takes it as a favor, as it is written [ibid., ibid.]: "Accept good"; and not this only, but the verse makes him equal to one who has sacrificed bullocks, as it is written at the end of the verse: "Let us repay the steers with our lips." Perhaps it will be thought like steers as sin offerings. Therefore it is written [ibid. 5]: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them voluntarily."
We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Meir used to say: Repentance is great: when an individual repents, the whole world is pardoned, as it is written: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from them." 1 It is not said from them, but from us, from all of us.
What is a penitent man? Said R. Jehudah: When he had an opportunity to do a sin once, and a second time he did not do it. The same explains: That is meant, the same woman, the same place, the same time. R. Jehudah said again: Rabh found a contradiction in the following passages: It is written [Ps. xxxii. 1]: "Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered," and [Prov. xxviii. 13]: "He that concealeth his transgressions will not prosper." It presents no difficulty: This refers to a sin publicly known: he ought to confess, and repent; but that refers to one not yet known; he ought to repent before it has become known. R. Zutra b. Tubia said in the name of R. Na'hman: The one refers to a sin toward a man: he must make it public, and appease the man; but a sin toward God, one need not make public, but repent.
We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jose b. R. Jehudah said: When a man sins the first time he is pardoned; the second time, he is pardoned; the third time, he is pardoned; the fourth time, he is not pardoned, as it is written [Amos ii. 6]: "Thus hath said the Lord, For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, will I not turn away their punishment." And it is written [Job xxxiii. 29]: "Lo, all these things doth God two or three times with man." [What is the second passage required for? From the first we might think it is only the case with a congregation; but the second shows to us that it is true in case of an individual also.]
The rabbis taught: The sins one has confessed on one Day of Atonement, he need not confess on the next Day of Atonement. This is the case, if he has not repeated the sin; but in that case, he should repeat the confession. If, without having sinned again, he confessed again, then to him applies the verse [Prov. xxvi. 11]: "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so doth a fool repeat his folly." R. Eliezer b. Jacob, however, said: So much the more may he be praised, as it is written [Ps. li. 5]: "For of my transgressions I have full knowledge, and my sin is before me continually."
When he confesses, he must specify his sin, as it is written [Ex. xxxii. 31]: "This people hath sinned a great sin, and they have made themselves a god of gold." So said R. Jehudah b. Babha. R. Aqiba, however, said: "Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." [Why, then, has Moses specified the sin? It is, according to R. Janai: Moses said to the Holy One, blessed be He: "Lord of the universe, thou hast given so much gold that they said, 'Enough.' This has caused that they made a golden god."]
Two good leaders Israel had: Moses and David. Moses said: May my sins be inscribed, as it is written [Num. xxii. 12]: "Because ye have not confided in me, to sanctify me." And David said: May my sins not be inscribed; namely, "Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."
Moses and David may be compared to two women punished in court: one, because she has really sinned, and the other, because she has eaten fruit of the Sabbatical year. The second said: Pray, proclaim what my transgression is, that it should not be thought I am punished for the same sin as the other woman. They took the fruit, and suspended it on her neck, and proclaimed: Be it known, she has been chastised for eating fruit of the Sabbatical year.
The evil deeds of hypocrites should be made public, that the name of the Lord may not be profaned. As it is written [Ezek. iii. 20]: "When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness and doeth what is wrong, then will I lay a stumbling-block before him."
When a confirmed sinner repents, the execution of the punished is not carried out, even after the decree has been sealed.
The mirth of the wicked ends in sin; and the possession of power (dominion) buries him who wields it. Naked he enters, and naked he comes out. Were he but as clean when he goes out as when he came in! He who is given to philanthropic activity, him sin reaches not; and he who induces the public to sin, to him is not given from Heaven the opportunity to repent. The first is not allowed (from Above) to sin, that he may not be in Gehenna while his disciples are in Paradise, as it is written [Ps. xvi. 10]: For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to the grave, Thou wilt not suffer Thy pious to see corruption; and the second is not permitted to repent, that he should not be in Paradise while his disciples will be in Gehenna, as it is written [Prov. xxviii. 17]: "A man oppressed by the load of having shed human blood will flee even to the pit: they shall not support him."
"I will sin, the Day of Atonement will atone." Shall we assume that our Mishna is not in accordance with Rabbi, who said in the following Boraitha: All the sins mentioned in the Bible, whether one has repented or not, are forgiven on the Day of Atonement? The Mishna may be according to Rabbi; but if he sins, relying on the Day of Atonement to atone for his sins, then Rabbi also agrees that he is not pardoned.
"Transgressions towards God." R. Joseph b. Habu pointed to a contradiction to R. Abahu: Here it is said: The sins against men the Day of Atonement does not atone for. But is it not written [2 Sam. ii. 25]: "If one man sin against another, God will forgive him when be will pray"? Not God is meant [Elohim, God or Judge], but the Judge; and by "Upil'lo," not "will forgive for prayer" is meant, but "shall punish." If it is so, what means what is written further, "If against the Lord a man should sin, who shall judge him?" (Cannot God himself judge him?) This is meant: If one sins against a man, and appeases him, God forgives; but if he sins against God, who can pray for him (not judge)? Repentance and good deeds.
R. Itz'hak said: He who has provoked his neighbor, even by words, must appease him, as it is written [Prov. vi. 1, etc.]: "My son, if thou hast become surety for thy friend," etc., "go hasten to him and urge thy friend," which means, if thou hast his money, open thy palm, and restore it to him; if not, request some persons to pray him to forgive thee. Said R. Hisda: He must try to appease him three times, and among three circles of persons, as it is written [Job xxxiii. 27]: "He then should assemble men around, and say, I have sinned, and perverted what is right, yet have I not received a like return" (three verbs: "sinned," etc.).
R. Jose b. Hanina said: When one tries to appease another, he need not try more than three times, as it is written [Gen. l. 17]: Oh, I pray Thee, forgive, I pray Thee, the trespass of thy brothers, and their sin, for evil have they done unto Thee, and now we pray Thee, forgive ("pray Thee" repeated three times). And if the offended person is dead, he should bring ten persons to his grave and say: I have sinned against God and him who lies here.
R. Jeremiah had been not on quite good terms with R. Abha: he went to appease him. He sat down on the threshold. The servant-maid came out to empty dirty water, and bespattered him. He said: I was made like unto mud, and applied unto himself the verse [1 Sam. ii. 8]: "From the dunghill he lifteth up the needy." When R. Abha heard about this, he came out and said: Now I have to ask forgiveness of you, as it is written: "Go hasten to him, and urge thy friend."
When R. Zara was on bad terms with any person, he passed him repeatedly, that the other might recollect and appease him. Rabh once had a quarrel with a butcher. When the eve of the Day of Atonement arrived, the butcher did not come to ask his forgiveness. Rabh said: If he does not come to me I will go to him to ask his forgiveness. On the road, R. Huna met him, and inquired of him: Whither goes the Master? He said: I go to appease that man. Then R. Huna said to himself: Abha (i.e., Rabh) is going to kill a man. Meanwhile Rabh came to the butcher, who was cleaving heads of cattle. When the latter raised his eyes and perceived Rabh, he said: Abha, is that thou? Go away, I don't want to have any dealings with thee. When he resumed the cleaving of the heads, a bone flew out, and stuck in his throat, so that he died.
Rabh read a section from the Prophets before Rabbi. In the meantime R. Hiya entered. Rabh began again from the beginning. Then entered Bar Kapara. He began from the beginning again. Later came R. Simeon the son of Rabbi. He read from the beginning once more. Then came R. Hanina b. Hama. He said.. Shall I begin again from the beginning, after so many times? and he did not do it. R. Hanina was provoked by this. Rabh went to him thirteen eves of the Day of Atonement, and yet that man did not permit himself to be appeased. How did he do it? Did not R. Joseph b. Hanina say: More than three times one need not try? Rabh is different. He treated himself more rigorously. How did R. Hanina do so? R. Hanina saw in a dream that Rabh was hanged on a tree, and there is a tradition, if one dreams of a man that is hanged, he will become a head. He said: If I will not permit myself to be appeased, he will go to Babylon, and become a head (of a college) there, and I will become one here."
The rabbis taught: The duty of confession is on the eve of the Day of Atonement, when it grows dark. Still, the rabbis said, one should confess previously to the meal; for if something happen to him at his meal, he will have remained without a confession. But although one has confessed before the meal, he should confess again in the evening, and once more the next morning, and in the additional prayer, Minchab prayer, and the concluding prayer (N'ilah).
At what place in the prayer should he confess? An individual, at the end of the prayer; and the reader for the congregation, in the middle of the prayer. What shall he say? Rabh says: He shall begin: "Thou knowest the secrets of the world"; R. Samuel says, he should begin: "From the depths of the heart"; and Levi says, he shall begin: "In thy Torah it is written thus." R. Johanan says: He should begin: "Lord of the Universe (not for our merits we pray of Thee mercy," etc.); and R. Jehudah says: He shall begin: "Our transgressions are too numerous to be counted, and our sins too mighty to be told of." R. Hamnuna says: He shall begin: "My God, before I was created I had not been worthy to be created; and now when created, I am the same as previously. I am earth during my life, and so much the more when I will be dead. I am entirely before Thee as a vessel full of disgrace and shame. May it be Thy will that I may not sin more; and my sins hitherto mayest Thou in Thy great mercy wipe off, but not by means of suffering." And this was the confession of Rabha the whole year, and that of R. Hamnuna the Younger on the Day of Atonement. Said Mar Zutra: All this has to be said, if he has not said previously, "It is true we have sinned." If, however, he has pronounced this, he need add nothing to it. As Bar Hamduri related, when he stood once before Samuel on the Day of Atonement, he perceived that as soon as the reader came to this sentence, "It is true we have sinned," all rose. Hence he understands that this is the principal part. Ulla b. Rabh was a reader in the presence of Rabha: He began the concluding prayer with: "Thou hast chosen us," etc., and concluded with, "What are we and what is our life?" etc.; and Rabha praised him. R. Huna the son of R. Nathan, however, said: When an individual reads the concluding prayer, he should say, "What are we and what is our life," etc., after it.
Rabh said: The prayer of N'ilah substitutes the evening prayer also. Rabh is in accordance with his theory elsewhere, that it is an additional prayer, and if it has been read, no other prayer is needed for the evening. Did Rabh say so? Did he not say elsewhere that the evening prayer is in general voluntary, not a duty? He means, even according to him who would say it is a duty, the "concluding prayer" substitutes it. An objection was made: We have learned in a Boraitha: In the beginning of the evening before the Day of Atonement, one shall read as prayers the seven benedictions, and confess. The same one does in the morning, and also in the additional prayer, the seven benedictions, and confessions; the same in the "concluding prayer": but in the evening one shall say as prayers seven of the eighteen week-day benedictions. 1 R. Hanina b. Gamaliel said in the name of his ancestors: He shall say all the eighteen week-day benedictions, because he must include the Habdalah in the benediction of Wisdom (Honen Hadaath). The opinions of the Tanaim differ about it.
The disciples of R. Ishmael taught: He who sees Qeri on the Day of Atonement, he shall pray the whole year; but if he has survived this year, he shall be sure of entering the world to come. R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak said: The proof is when the whole world is hungry, he was full. When R. Dimi came from Palestine, he said: He will live long, he will see children and grandchildren, as it is written [Is. iii. 10]: "Shall see seed, live many days."
119:1 The law of firstlings, after the destruction of the Temple, is as follows: The firstling must be given to a priest, who has to keep it until it gets a blemish. And as he was suspected of making a blemish intentionally, it could not be slaughtered unless examined by the rabbi of the city. The latter, however, has no right to decide such a question unless he gets permission from the Nassi.
131:1 According to one "Aruch," it is the maker of the clothes of service (Bigde S'rad).
133:1 The literal translation is: "And clear he will not clear."
135:1 The passage is difficult, and Rashi is also uncertain.
136:1 The Hebrew for "from them" is "Mehem," but here "Mimenu" ("from us") is used.
141:1 What the seven of the eighteen are, will be explained in Tract Berachoth.
Sources: Sacred Texts