BACKGROUND ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Sanhedrin 53
1) [line 3] ARBA MISOS GEMARA GEMIREI LEHU - we know the four death
penalties (what they are and their order of stringency) from the tradition
that Moshe received on Mount Sinai (Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai)
2) [line 7] OV V'YID'ONI - see below, entry #6
3) [line 13] MISAH HA'KESUVAH BO - the death penalty that is prescribed for
it in the Torah (whether explicitly or as was derived from the verses by the
4) [line 15] B'CHOL MISAH SHE'ATAH YACHOL L'HAMISO - with any method in
which you are able to kill him, e.g. arrows or stones (see RABEINU CHANANEL
to Sanhedrin 45b)
5) [line 31] HA'NOSEN MI'ZAR'O LA'MOLECH
(a) The Torah (Vayikra 18:21, 20:2-5) prohibits the rites of Molech, which
is either an Avodah Zarah (an idol) or a form of Darchei ha'Emori, those
customs of the Nochrim that have no logical foundation, but are not idol
(b) According to RASHI (Sanhedrin 64a and to Vayikra 18:21), the person who
wished to practice the rites of Molech handed over his children to the
priests of Molech, who forced them to walk in between two large bonfires.
(There is a dispute as to whether the children were burned to death or
not -- Sanhedrin 64a.) RAMBAN (to Vayikra ibid.) argues, claiming that after
the parents handed over their children to the priests of Molech (who perform
Tenufah or Hagashah before the Molech idol) the parents *themselves* must
walk their children *into* the bonfires.
(c) The prohibition against Avodah Zarah is one of the Ten Commandments
(Shemos 20:3-5; see Background to Sanhedrin 40:23). The prohibition to
practice any of the Dachei ha'Emori is learned from the verse (Vayikra 18:3)
"uve'Chukoseihem Lo Seileichu" (RASHI to Shabbos 67a), or from the verse
(Shemos 23:24) "Lo Sa'aseh k'Ma'aseihem" (RASHI to Chulin 77a, RAMBAN to
6) [line 31] BA'AL OV V'YID'ONI - one who practices the forms of witchcraft
known as "Ov" and "Yid'oni"
(a) OV - The Gemara (Sanhedrin 65b) defines a Ba'al Ov as someone who
attempts to communicate with the dead by bringing up a deceased person
through sorcery and having it speak. To get it to speak, the diviner would
put a certain bone in his armpit and flap his arms or move around in various
7) [line 32] HA'MEKALEL AVIV V'IMO - one who cruses his father or his mother
(as prohibited by the Torah in Vayikra 20:9)
(b) YIDONI - This form of witchcraft was accomplished by placing a bone from
the Yidu'a or Adnei ha'Sadeh creature (Kil'ayim 8:5) in the mouth of the
diviner in order to communicate with the dead.
8a) [line 32] HA'MESIS (MESIS)
(a) A man or woman who leads a fellow Jew astray by trying to influence him
or her to commit idolatry, is put to death by stoning (Devarim 13:7-12). It
makes no difference if anyone actually committed idolatry or not.
(b) Certain Halachos of Mesis are more stringent than any other capital
offence of the Torah. A Mesis does not need a warning to be found guilty;
however, he must perform the Hasasah in front of two witnesses in order to
be put to death. Even if the witnesses stood in a concealed place, it is
possible for the Mesis to be guilty of Hasasah, whereas in all other capital
punishment cases this testimony would be invalid (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodah
(c) In addition, as our Gemara teaches, Beis Din is not enjoined to find
reason to acquit the Mesis, as Beis Din is enjoined to do in the case of
every other capital offender.
b) [line 32] HA'MEDI'ACH - one who persuades others to worship Avodah Zarah
(as described in the Mishnah and Gemara, Sanhedrin 67a)
9) [line 33] HA'MECHASHEF - one who practices witchcraft (as the Torah
prohibits in Shemos 22:17, and as described in the Mishnah and Gemara,
10) [line 33] BEN SORER U'MOREH - The "stubborn and rebellious son"
(a) A boy can become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh (Devarim 21:18-21) from the time
that he shows signs of puberty (when two hairs grow) until he reaches a
further stage of development (approximately three months later). He must
steal money from his father, and buy 50 Dinars of meat, eating it rare
outside his father's property and in bad company. He must also drink half a
log (5 oz.) of wine with the meal. It is therefore forbidden for a boy of
this age to eat such a meal at any time (Sefer ha'Mitzvos, Lo Sa'aseh #195)
(b) A Ben Sorer u'Moreh is punished with Sekilah (stoning). Rebbi Yosi
ha'Gelili explains that since he is running after worldly pleasures, he will
eventually deplete all of his father's possessions, and when there is
nothing left, he will stand at a crossroads and steal from people. It is
better to kill him when he is young and has few sins than to let him live
and die a wicked man (Sanhedrin 72a).
(c) The Gemara (Sanhedrin 68b-72a) learns that there are additional
conditions necessary to become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh, which are so numerous
and intricate that it is unfeasible for this punishment ever to be executed.
11) [line 42] K'REBBI AKIVA D'AMAR EIN KIDUSHIN TOFSIN B'CHAYAVEI LAVIN -
Rebbi Yehudah holds like Rebbi Akiva, who said that Kidushin does not take
effect with a person to whom one is prohibited to marry because of a Lo
(a) There are women whom the Torah prohibits to certain men. However, if
these men transgress a Torah prohibition and are Mekadesh (betroth) them the
Kidushin is valid. Other women are prohibited to the extent that even if the
men are Mekadesh them, the Kidushin is not valid.
(b) The Tana'im argue, based upon differing interpretations of the verses of
the Torah (Kidushin 67b-68a), with which women Kidushin is valid and with
which women Kidushin is not valid.
1. According to most of the Tana'im, Kidushin is valid with women who are
prohibited only with a Lav and/or an Aseh. Kidushin is not valid with women
who are prohibited with an Isur Kares (such as the Arayos that the Torah
prohibits in Parshas Acharei Mos, Vayikra 18:6-23).
(c) Another result of the above-mentioned argument applies to Mamzerim.
According to the opinion that rules that only Kidushin with Chayavei Kares
is not valid, the children of Chayavei Lavim are not Mamzerim. According to
Rebbi Akiva and those Tana'im who rule that Kidushin with Chayavei Lavim is
not valid either, the children of Chayavei Lavim are also Mamzerim (see
"Mamzer," in the Background ibid.).
2. Rebbi Akiva and other Tana'im are more stringent, ruling that Kidushin is
not valid even with those women who are prohibited with an Isur Lav. The
Tana'im argue further with regard to the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, as to
whether Kidushin is not valid only with some of the Chayavei Lavin (those
women who were never permitted to the man in question), or with all of them.
Additionally, one Tana claims that according to Rebbi Akiva, Kidushin is not
valid with Isurei Aseh either (see "Mamzer," Background to Kidushin 66:24).
(d) According to all opinions, Kidushin may not be effected with a
non-Jewish maidservant or a Nochris, even though the prohibition against
marrying them is not a Isur Kares, since the institution of Kidushin does
not exist with regard to these women (see Insights to Yevamos 45:1).
12a) [last line] ISUR MITZVAH - a Rabbinical prohibition, i.e. the relatives
one is forbidden to marry mid'Rabanan (see below, entry #14. According to
the Tana Kama (Yevamos 20a), they are called "Isur Mitzvah" because it is a
Mitzvah to heed the words of the sages.
b) [line 53] ISUR KEDUSHAH - a Torah prohibition, i.e. the women one is
forbidden to marry by a Lo Sa'aseh that does not carry the punishment of
Kares. For example, a widow to a Kohen Gadol, a divorcee to a Kohen, a
Mamzeres or Nesinah to a Yisrael, and a Bas Yisrael to a Nesin or Mamzer.
According to the Tana Kama (Yevamos 20a), they are called "Isur Kedushah"
because of the verse regarding the Kohanim, "Kedoshim Yiheyu" - "They shall
be holy" (Vayikra 21:6). (Rebbi Yehudah explains Isur Mitzvah and Isur
Kedushah in the exact opposite way, as our Gemara will explain.)
13) [last line] CHOLTZOS V'LO MISYABMOS - she does Chalitzah but not Yibum
(a) If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the
marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife -- see Background to Bava
Basra 134:11), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses
that there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum.
(b) If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a
procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He
appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her,"
after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off
his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what
shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother,"
and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(c) In certain situations (such as when the wife of the deceased man is
prohibited to his brother because of a Lo Ta'aseh, as mentioned above in
entry #12b), the woman may not do Yibum, but may do only Chalitzah.
14) [line 1] SHENIYOS MI'DIVREI SOFRIM (SHENIYOS)
(a) In addition to the forbidden relationships (Isurei Ervah) prohibited by
the Torah and punishable with Kares (Vayikra 18:6-30, 20:10-22, et. al.),
the Chachamim decreed to prohibit certain relatives who are permitted
mid'Oraisa. This decree of Sheniyos (lit. "secondaries") was meant to
distance a person from engaging in relationships that are prohibited by the
Torah. Although the Chachamim lent severity to this Isur by showing hidden
inferences to Sheniyos from various verses in the Torah (Yevamos 21a),
nevertheless the prohibition of Sheniyos is only mid'Rabanan. Therefore, if
a man betroths a Sheniyah, his Kidushin is valid, and the resulting child is
not a Mamzer as the child of an Ervah mid'Oraisa would be. If a Yevamah is a
Sheniyah of the Yavam, she and her Tzarah (co-wife) must do Chalitzah and
(b) In some cases Sheniyos were prohibited only in a single generation,
while in other cases they were prohibited in subsequent generations as well.
For example, not only is one's mother's mother a Sheniyah, his mother's
mother's mother is a Sheniyah as well; not only is one's son's
daughter-in-law a Sheniyah, his son's son's daughter-in-law is a Sheniyah as
well. The general rule is that if there is an Ervah mid'Oraisa in one
generation (in the above example, one's mother or daughter-in-law) the
associated Sheniyah was prohibited in all previous generations and
subsequent generations as well; that is, the Sheniyah was prohibited
"without a Hefsek" (RASHI to Yevamos 21a DH v'Eshes Achi ha'Av -- There are
several exceptions to this rule; see Chart #6 to Yevamos 21a-22a and
footnotes 2, 3.)
(c) There are those who prohibited Sheniyos based on the principle that "any
relative who, as a female, is Asur as an Ervah, as a male his wife is Asur
mid'Rabanan (i.e. a Sheniyah)." For example, since a man's daughter's
daughter is prohibited to him, the Chachamim decreed that the
daughter-in-law of his daughter is prohibited to him as a Sheniyah (GEMARA
Yevamos 21b; see TOSFOS ibid. DH Lo Asru).
15) [line 6] REBBI YEHUDAH MACHLIF - Rebbi Yehudah exchanges [the definition
for which woman is considered an "Isur Mitzvah" and which woman is
considered an "Isur Kedushah"]
16) [line 11] LI'DEVARAV D'TANA KAMA KA'AMAR - [Rebbi Yehudah is not stating
his own opinion, but rather] he is speaking according to the opinion of the
Tana Kama (who obligates a woman who is prohibited by a Lo Ta'aseh to marry
her Yavam (such as an Almanah to a Kohen Gadol) to do Chalitzah with him)
17) [line 23] LECHED'RAV SHISA BREI D'RAV IDI - [the Rabanan expound the
words "Imcha Hi"] according to the explanation of Rav Shisa brei d'Rav Idi
(who says, on 54a, that "Imcha Hi" teaches that one's mother who is not the
wife of his father has the same laws of the wife of his father)
18) [line 32] U'MAISI LAH BI'GEZEIRAH SHAVAH - and he learns it through a
Gezeirah Shavah (Rebbi Yehudah learns that the words "Ervas Avicha" (Vayikra
18:7) refer to the wife of one's father (and not to one's father himself)
through a Gezeirah Shavah with the words "Ervas Aviv" (Vayikra 20:11))