The Babylonian Talmud in Selection, by Leo Auerbach, , at sacred-texts.com
A WIFE is acquired in three ways, and she can get her freedom in two ways. She is acquired through money, through a deed, or through sexual intimacy. And she can get her freedom by divorce, or through her husband's death.
THIS Mishna is in accord with Rabbi Simon, for Rabbi Simon taught: Why did the Torah say (Deuteronomy xxii, 13) If a man take a wife, and not if a woman is taken by a man? Because this is the way of the male to go out and look for the female, and it is not the custom for the female to look for the male. This is the same when someone loses an object. Who is looking for whom? The loser looks for the object, and not the object for the loser.
By money. How so? We have learned that the father exercises authority over his daughter in regard to her betrothal by money contract, or intercourse. How do we know that she can be acquired through money,
and that the money belongs to her father? Rab Yehuda replied in the name of Rab: The scriptures say: (Exodus xxi, 11) Then shall she go out free without money. Her master does not receive any money, but money is given to another master, namely, the father. How about the money belonging to the girl? How is it that her father has authority over her betrothal? For it is written: (Deuteronomy xxii, 16) I gave my daughter unto this man, and she should get the money. Possibly this refers to a minor who has no right to accept her betrothal contract; but how about a grown girl, who has the right to accept her betrothal contract? She can betroth herself and take the money. It is written (Numbers xxx, 16) In her youth in her father's house. All gain of youth belongs to her father. The Rabbis taught: How is a wife acquired through money? If a man gave a woman money, or its equivalent, and said to her: Thou art betrothed to me; Thou art consecrated to me; Thou art a wife to me,—then she is betrothed to him. But if she gives the money to the man and says: I am betrothed to thee; I am consecrated to thee; I am a wife to thee,—she is not betrothed.
A HEBREW slave is acquired by money or by a deed: and can free himself in the "seventh" year, or in the year of Jubilee or by paying for the outstanding time of his service. The Hebrew female slave has the advantage of being freed by signs of puberty. The slave who does not want to be freed in the "seventh" year is secured by having his ear bored, and is made free in the Jubilee or on his master's death.
THE Rabbis taught: If the man stole a thousand, but he is worth five hundred, he is sold once and then sold again. If he stole five hundred, and he is worth a thousand, he is not sold at all. Rabbi Eliezer says: If his theft corresponds to his worth, he is sold, otherwise he is not sold at all. The Rabbis said: In the following arguments Rabbi Eliezer prevails over the Rabbis: If he stole five hundred but he is still worth a thousand, he is not sold; because the All Merciful said: (Exodus xxii, 3) Then he shall be sold. All of him, and not half of him and the All Merciful also said: (Exodus xxii, 3) Sold for his theft; not for half of his theft.
A slave is freed against her own will. Raba wanted to interpret this: against the master's will, but Abaya said to him: How is that? Does it mean that one gives the master a bond for the value?—Would that be right? A man has a pearl in his hand, and we will give him a potsherd for it? But Abaya explained: It is meant against the will of her father, because of the disgrace to the family. Then should the family of a Hebrew male slave be compelled to redeem him because of the disgrace to the family?—Then he may go and sell himself again. In the case of the female slave too, cannot the father go and sell her again? Were not we taught, however, she cannot be sold, and sold over again, and this is according to Rabbi Simon who taught: A man may sell his daughter for marriage, and sell her a second time. He may sell her over again. He may sell her in marriage after servitude, but not for servitude after marriage says Rabbi Simon. Just as you cannot sell a daughter for servitude after the marriage, one cannot sell her for servitude after servitude.
A CANAANITE slave is acquired through money, through a bond or through the law of possession. He can redeem himself through money paid by others or through a bond of his own. This is according to Rabbi Meir. The sages, however, said: Through money of his own or by a bond of other people, providing the money belongs to other people.
Large cattle are acquired through delivery. Small cattle are acquired through lifting. This according to Rabbis Meir and Eliezer. The sages, however, said: Small cattle are acquired through pulling.
Secured property can be acquired by money, by a deed, or by the law of possession.
THE Rabbis taught: Through possession in the following manner: If the slave loosened his shoe, if he carried his baggage for him to the bathing place, if he undressed him, bathed him, rubbed him, dressed him, put his shoes on, or if he lifted him, thus he acquired him. Rabbi Simon said: Possession is not greater than lifting; for by lifting, acquisition is valid everywhere. What does he mean? Rabbi Ashi explains: If the slave lifted the master he is thereby acquired by the master, but if the master lifted the slave, he did not acquire the slave. Rabbi Simon' said: Possession should not be greater than lifting, since lifting is recognized everywhere as acquisition.
We are taught: A slave goes free because of the loss of an eye, a tooth, or a limb that grows not again. It is quite obvious that the slave goes free because of the loss of an eye or a tooth. This is stated in the Torah. But how do we apply this to other parts of the body? It
is self-evident. An eye or a tooth are blemishes which grow not again, so the loss of other limbs that grow not again make the slave free.
THE Rabbis taught: The father has the following obligations towards his son: He must circumcise him, redeem him, teach him the Torah, take a wife unto him, and teach him a trade. Some say he must teach him to swim also. Rabbi Yehuda said: He that does not teach his son a trade, teaches him to rob. Teaches him to rob? How is that?—we may say: as though he taught him to rob.
The Rabbis taught: If one must study and is about to marry, he studies first and marries later. But if he cannot do without a wife, he marries first, and then he studies. Rab Yehuda said in the name of Samuel: The law is that he marries first and studies later. Said Rabbi Yohanan: What? with a stone around his neck he can study the law?
Rab Hisda praised Rab Hamnuna before Rab Huna. He called him a great man. Said Rab Huna to him: If he comes to you, bring him to me. When Rab Hamnuna came before Rab Huna, he saw that he had no shawl on him. He asked him: Why have you no shawl on you? Rab Hamnuna replied: Because I am unmarried. The Rabbi turned his face away from him and said: Take notice that you do not see me again until you are married. He was consistent with his principles. For he said: He who is twenty and is not married lives in sin. Does he really mean, lives in sin? You may say, in sinful thoughts.
Rabbi said, and the school of Rabbi Ishmael agreed
with him: Till the age of twenty, the Lord sits and waits. When will the man take a wife unto himself? But when he reaches twenty and had not taken a wife unto himself, the Lord says: Let his bones be swollen.
Rab Hisda said: The reason I am more alert than my colleagues is because I was married at sixteen. And had I married at fourteen, I would have said to Satan, an arrow in thine eye.
Rab said to Rabbi Nehemia ben Ammi: Marry him off while you have your hand around your son's neck; that is between sixteen and twenty. Others say: between eighteen and twenty-four. The Rabbis taught: The evil desire is very hard. Even his Creator called him evil. It was said: (Genesis viii, 21) For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.
Rabbi Isaac said: The desire of man renews itself every day and has designs on him. As it was written: (Genesis vi, 5) was only evil continually. And Rabbi Simon ben Levi said: The evil desire of man gets the upper hand of him every day and wishes to destroy him. As was said: (Psalms xxxvii, 32) The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. And if the Lord, blessed be He, would not prevail against him, as was said: (ibid. 33) The Lord will not leave him in his hand.
The school of Rabbi Ishmael taught: If this reprehensible thing shall come upon thee, drag it into the house of learning. If it be stone, it will melt. If it be iron, it will fall to fragments. As it was said: (Jeremiah xxiii, 29) Is not my word like as fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock into pieces. And if it is stone it will melt, as was said: (Isaiah lv, 1) Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to
the waters. And moreover it was said: (Job xiv, 19) The waters wear the stones.
To take a wife to him. How do we know this? For it was written: (Jeremiah xxix, 6) Take ye wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands. All this is said of his sons, for they are in his hands. But what about the daughters, are they in his hand too?—This is the meaning. One gives her a dowry, clothing and adornments, so that man will desire her.
THE Rabbis taught: It was said: (Exodus xx, 12) Honor thy father and thy mother. It is also said: (Proverbs iii, 9) Honor the Lord with thy substance. The Scriptures had compared, here, the honor of father and mother with that of the Lord. It was said: (Leviticus xix, 3) Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father and it was said: (Deuteronomy vi, 13) Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and serve him. The Scriptures thus compare the fear of the Lord to that of the father and mother. It was said: (Leviticus xxiv, 15) Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. Thus the Scriptures compare the blessings of father and mother to the blessing of the Lord.
Said Rab Yehuda in the name of Samuel: Rabbi Eliezer was once asked: How far should the honor of father and mother extend? He answered: Go and see how a non-Jew, Dama ben Nethinah of Ashkelon, behaved towards his father:
Once the sages wanted to buy from him precious stones for the priest's breastplate. It would have brought him a profit of 60,000 denars, and Rabbi Kahana thinks
it was 80,000. But the key to the jewel case was under the pillow of Dama's father and Dama would not wake him. The Lord rewarded him for it, for next year a red calf was born in his herd. When the sages of Israel came to him again, he said to them I know that if I demand it, you would give me all the money in the world for the red calf, which you need for your rites. But all I will ask of you is the amount I lost, because of the honor I paid to my father. Rabbi Hanina commented: If he who is not commanded, gets such a reward, how much more will be rewarded the man who was given a commandment and fulfills his commandment.
When Rabbi Dimi came he related: Once Dama sat, among Romans, wearing a gold-embroidered silken gown. His mother came in and tore the garment off, struck him on the head, and spat in his face. He, however, did not shame her.
Abimi, the son of Rabbi Abahu taught: One gives his father pheasants to tat, yet this drives him out of this world, because of the manner in which he gives it to him, while another makes his father work at the grindstone in the mill, and yet this will give him life in the world to come, for he does so with due honor to his parent.
Rabbi Abahu said: Here is an illustration, how my son Abimi fulfilled the commandment of honor to his father. Abimi had five ordained sons during the life of his father, but when Rabbi Abahu came knocking at the door, he himself would run to open it for him, shouting all the while: I am coming, I am coming, until he reached it.
One day his father said: Get me a drink of water.
[paragraph continues] While he was getting the water the father fell asleep. Abimi bent over him and stood there till he awoke. He was rewarded for it, for he succeeded in interpreting the Song of Asaph, in the Psalms.
The Rabbis taught: What is fear and what is honor? Fear means that the son does not stand in his father's place, does not sit in his father's place, he does not contradict him and does not overrule him. Honor means that he feeds him, clothes him, covers him, and leads him in and out.
HE THAT is versed in the Scripture, the Mishna and the way of the world will not sin easily, for it was said: (Ecclesiastes iv, 12) And a three-fold cord is not quickly broken. But he who is not versed in the Scripture, nor in the Mishna, nor in the ways of life, has no place in the world.
SAID Rabbi Eleazar in the name of Rabbi Zadok: The righteous in this world are compared to a tree that stands in a clean place, but whose branches spread over an unclean place. If the branches are pruned off, the tree is now entirely in a clean place. The Holy One blessed be His name, brings suffering upon the righteous in this world, so that they may inherit the world to come, as was said: (Job viii, 7) Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase. To what are the evil compared? To a tree that stands in an unclean place, but its branches spread to a clean place. If the branches are pruned off, the tree remains entirely in an unclean place. So does the Holy One, blessed be His name, bestow goodness upon the sinners in this world, but He shall destroy them and shall make them inherit
the lowest depths of perdition, as was said: (Prov. xiv, 12) There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the ends thereof are the ways of death.
Once Rabbi Tarpon and the elders were in an upper story in the house of Nitzza in Lydia. The question was propounded: What is greater, study or action? Rabbi Tarpon said: Action. Rabbi Akiba said: Study is greater. Then all the rabbis agreed and said study is greater, for study leads to action.
The Rabbis taught: He who eats in the street is like a dog, and some say he is disqualified from being a witness.
Bar Kappara preached. The hot tempered gains nothing but the effects of his hot temper. But the good man partakes of the fruit of his good deeds. From a man that knows no Scripture, no Mishna, and no ways of life, one may have no benefit. For it was said: (Psalms i, 1) His seat is the seat of the scornful.
FROM CHAPTER I
A MAN may betroth himself personally or through an agent. A woman may betroth herself personally or through an agent. A man may betroth his grown daughter personally or through an agent.
If a man said to a woman: Be betrothed to me with this date, or be betrothed to me with this, and one of them is worth a perutha, the betrothal is valid; if not, it is not valid. If he said: Be betrothed to me with this, this and this, and they were together worth a perutha, the betrothal is valid; if they are not worth a perutha, it is not valid. If he said: Be betrothed to me with
this cup of wine, and it was found to contain honey, or if he said: With this cup of honey and it was found to contain wine, or with this silver denar, and it was found to be of gold; or with this gold denar and it was found to be of silver; if he said: Be betrothed to me with the understanding that I am rich, and it was found that he was poor, or if he said poor and he was found to be rich; the betrothal is not valid.
Rabbi Simon says: If the advantage is on her side, she is betrothed.
If he said to the woman be betrothed to me, because I am a priest and he was found to be a levite. . . . If he said because I have a grown daughter or a bondwoman and he does not have them, or he said I have them not, and he has them, or if he said that he had children and he did not have them, or if he said he did not have children and had them. In all of these cases, though she may say: It was in my heart to be betrothed to him, the betrothal is not valid, and this also holds good if she deceived the man.
IF HE can betroth himself through an agent is it not self-evident that he can do it personally? Rabbi Joseph said: Personally is preferable to doing it through an agent. It is even said that herewith is injected a prohibition. This is in accordance with Rab Yehuda, who quoted Rab: One is prohibited to be betrothed to a woman before he has seen her, for upon seeing her he may find something repugnant in her and she may be detestable to him, and the All Merciful taught: (Leviticus xix, 18) But thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. And this according to Rab Joseph applies to the woman,
too. But Resh Lakish disagrees. He says: There is no prohibition as regards the woman, for it is better to suffer in marriage than to live in widowhood.
"A man may betroth his grown daughter." He may betroth her when she is grown, but not when she is a minor. This agrees with Rab. For Rab Yehuda said in the name of Rab, some may say it was Rabbi Eleazar: It is prohibited to betroth a daughter while she is a minor, only when she is grown and declares: "I want so-and-so."
RAB Nahman said in the name of Samuel: When orphans come to divide the estate of their father, the court appoints a guardian for them, and he selects a proper portion for each of them. But when they become of age they can protest it. Rab Nahman, however, decided that they cannot protest, because what would become of the authority of the court? If then Rab Nah-man decides thus against the court, what becomes of the authority of the court in this instance? But it is taught: If the valuation of the judges was one-sixth too high or one-sixth too low the sale is void. Rabbi Simon ben Gamaliel said: It is not void, otherwise where does the authority of the court come in? Said Rab Huna in the name of Rabbi Hinena: Rab Nahman ruled that the law is in agreement with the sages. There is no contradiction here. It is one thing when the judges made a mistake, and another thing when there was no mistake.
TEN measures of wisdom descended upon the world. Nine were taken by the Land of Israel and one was taken by the rest of the world. Ten measures of beauty descended
upon the world. Nine were taken by Jerusalem and one by the rest of the world. Ten measures of wealth descended upon the world, nine were taken by Rome and one by the rest of the world. Ten measures of poverty descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Babylon and one by the rest of the world. Ten measures of rudeness descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Elam and one by the rest of the world. Was not rudeness supposed to descend to Babylon? For it was written: (Zech. v, 9) Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork; and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, to build it a house in the land of Shinar (Babylon) . Rabbi Yohanan says: This refers to hypocrisy and haughtiness, which descended upon Babylon. It came first to Babylon, but went then to Elam. But this is, indeed, not so, said the Master. What is the sign of rudeness but poverty, and poverty is to be found in Babylon. What is meant by poverty is poverty of learning, as it is written: (Song of Solomon viii, 8) We have a little sister and she hath no breasts. Rabbi Yohanan said: This refers to Elam, which had the advantages of learning, but not that of teaching. Ten measures of strength descended upon the world. Nine were taken by the Persians, and one by the rest of the world. Ten measures of vermin descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Medea, and one. . . . Ten measures of witchcraft descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Egypt, and one. . . . Ten measures of
plagues descended upon the world. Nine were taken by the pigs, and one. . . . Ten measures of whoring descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Arabia, and one. . . . Ten measures of impudence descended upon the world. Nine were taken by Meshan, and one. . . . Ten measures of gossip descended upon the world. Nine were taken by woman, and one. . . . Ten measures of blackness descended upon the world. Nine were taken by the Ethiopians, and one. . . . Ten measures of sleep descended upon the world. Nine were taken by slaves and one by the rest of the world.
IF A man betrothed a woman with the stipulation that she has no vows and it was found that she had vows, she is not betrothed. If she was betrothed without any stipulations, and it was found that she had vows, she may be sent away without her marriage allotment. If she was betrothed with the stipulation that there are no defects in her, and it was found that she possesses defects, she is not betrothed. If she was betrothed without any stipulations, and if she was found to possess defects, she may be sent away without her marriage allotment. All defects which disqualify priests disqualify women.
If a man betrothed two women with what was worth a perutha or one woman with what was worth less than a perutha, even if he sends gifts to her later, the betrothal is not valid, for the reason he sends his gifts is that they have already been betrothed. This applies, also, to a minor.
If a man betroths a woman and her daughter, or a woman and her sister both at the same time, they are not betrothed.
There was once the case of five women, among whom were two sisters. A man lifted a basket of figs that belonged to them—it contained the produce of the 7th year—and said: With this basket you all are betrothed to me, and one of the women accepted the basket on behalf of them all. The sages ruled that the sisters were not betrothed.
FROM CHAPTER II
IF A man betrothed a woman, and later says: I believed that she was the daughter of a priest, and she proves to be the daughter of a levite. Or the daughter of a levite, and she is the daughter of a priest. Or rich, and she is poor, or poor, and she is rich. She is betrothed to him, for she did not deceive him. If a man says to a woman: Be thou betrothed to me after I become a proselyte, or after thou becomest a proselyte, or after I become free, or thou becomest free, or after thine husband shall die, or after thine sister shall die, or after thou shalt have performed the Halizah to thine brother-in-law: she is not betrothed. This applies also to one who said: If thine wife shall bear thee a female child, it is betrothed to me. The child is not betrothed.
If a man said: Be betrothed to me on the condition that I intercede for thee with the government or on condition that I work for thee as a laborer; if he interceded on her behalf with the government or worked for her as a laborer, she is betrothed. But if he did not, she is not betrothed. If he said: Be thou betrothed to me on condition that my father consents. If the father consent, she is betrothed, if not, she is not betrothed. If the father die in the meantime, she is betrothed. But if the
son died, the father is instructed to say that he does not consent.
If a man says: I betrothed my daughter to someone, but I do not know whom, and someone appears and says: I betrothed her, he is believed. If two appear and each says that he betrothed her, both are compelled to give her a writ of divorce, but if they are willing, one gives her a writ of divorce and the other marries her.
RAB says: He is believed when it's a question of a divorce as no one will sin without any gain; but not believed as to marriage.
His passion may have persuaded him to say it. Rab Ashi says: He is believed to marry her. But Rab Ashi stipulates, however, if the woman says: I have been betrothed, and know not to whom I have been betrothed, and one appears and says: I betrothed her, he is not believed to marry her.
We were taught according to Rabbi Ashi: I betrothed my daughter and know not to whom. If one comes and says: I betrothed her, he is believed to marry her. If he married her and another came and says: I betrothed her, he is not believed and she is not forbidden to the husband. But if a woman says: I was betrothed and know not to whom, and one appears and says: I betrothed her, he is not believed, because the woman will shield the man.
RAB Yehuda said: If one had betrothed this woman before one witness, the betrothal is disregarded. Rab Yehuda was asked: Suppose both admit it? He was uncertain, yes or no.
A question was asked: If one witness charges that one's wife committed adultery? Abaya says: The witness is believed. Rabbi says: This is a case of incest, and in a case of incest two witnesses are needed. Abaya said the following case proves it to me: Mar-Samuel had a blind man who used to recite the law for him every day. One day the man did not appear, so the Rabbi sent a messenger for him. While the messenger took one road, the blind man entered, coming through a different road. When the messenger returned, he announced that the blind man's wife committed adultery. Mar-Samuel said to the blind man, if you believe him send your wife away; but if you don't believe him, don't send her away. If you believe him means that the witness is not a robber. And Rab said: If you believe him as if it were two witnesses, send her away, otherwise don't send her away.
Abaya said: I also learn this from the following story:
Once King Yanai went to Kohalith in the wilderness and conquered sixty cities. When he returned he was very happy. He invited all the sages of Israel and said to them. Our forefathers ate mallow when they were building the Temple. Let us, too, eat mallow, in remembrance of our forefathers. So mallow was served on golden tables and they ate. Among them there was one Eleazar ben Poyra, a scoffer and an evil-minded man, and he said to King Yanai: "O King Yanai! The heart of the Pharisees is against thee." What shall I do? asked the King. Test them by the gold plate between thine eyes. So he tested them with the gold plate between his eyes. There was an old man there by the
name of Yehuda ben Gedidiah. And Yehuda ben Gedidiah said to the King, "Oh King Yanai, the crown of royalty is enough for thee. Leave the crown of priesthood to the descendants of Aaron." Now there was talk that Yanai's mother was once a captive in Modin (This would make Yanai ineligible for priesthood), but this charge was investigated, and was never substantiated. The Sages of Israel departed in anger. Whereupon Eleazar ben Poyra said to King Yanai: "This is the law, even for the meanest in Israel, and thou art a King and High Priest. Art thou bound by the same law? Then what shall I do?" "If thou wilt listen to my advice, trample them down." "Then what shall become of the Torah?" "The Torah is rolled up, lying in the corner, whoever wants let him come and study." Said Rabbi Nahmai ben Israel: Immediately heresy entered into his soul, for he should have answered this applies to the written law, but how about the oral law? And this evil was spread through Eleazar ben Poyra. All the Sages of Israel were slain. And the world became desolate till Simon ben Shetah appeared and restored the Torah to its former position.
Now how does the case stand? Shall we say that there were two witnesses who said that she was a captive, and two that said she was not? Shall we believe one or the other? Therefore it must have been one witness who testified that she was a captive, and two who testified that she was not. Otherwise we would say that one would be believed.
RABBI Tarfon says: Bastards can be made pure. In what manner? A bastard marries a slave, the offspring
is born a slave, but if he is later emancipated he becomes a free man. Rabbi Eliezer says: That is but a bastard slave.
A QUESTION. Does Rabbi Tarfon mean that this is at the very outset, or that it is already done? Come and hear. Rabbi Tarfon was asked: You have purified the male, but you have not purified the female. Now if you mean at the very outset, then let a female bastard go and marry a slave? A slave has no paternity. Come and hear: Once Rabbi Simlai said to his host, who was a bastard: Had I known you before, I could have made your sons to be pure. Surely! if you say that it is at the very outset; but if you say only if it has already been done, then what could he advise him? He would have told him to steal something and be sold as a Hebrew slave. From this you conclude that Rabbi. Tarfon means at the very outset. Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Samuel: The law is in accordance with Rabbi Tarfon.
FROM CHAPTER III
IF A man says: This son of mine is a bastard, he is not believed. Even when both parents say that the child in the mother's womb is a bastard, they are not believed. Rabbi Yehuda says: They are believed.
WHY say both parents? It is quite obvious that the father, who cannot be certain of the parentage, is not believed, but the mother who is sure of the parentage, why, too, is she not believed? It is self-evident that they
should not be believed when the child enjoys the presumption of being spotless, but in the case of a child who is still in the womb and does not enjoy the presumption of spotlessness, they are still not believed.
Rabbi Yehuda says: They are believed. We are taught: (Deuteronomy xxi, 17) He shall acknowledge him before the others. It follows: A man is believed when he says: This son of mine is my first born. He is also believed when he says: This one is the son of a divorcee, this one is the son of a Haluzah. But the Sages ruled that he is not believed.
A MAN must not stay alone with two women. But one woman may stay alone with two men. Rabbi Simon says: One man may stay with two women if his wife is with him, and he may sleep with them in an inn, because his wife keeps watch over him. A man may stay alone with his mother and with his daughter, and he may sleep with them in the same bed. But if they become of age she must sleep in her clothes, and he in his clothes.
"BUT one woman." Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Rab: This is spoken only of respectable men and women. Even ten men must not stay alone with a loose woman. There was a case once when ten men carried a woman out on a bier. Rabbi Joseph said: We have proven that ten men will get together to steal a beam, and will not be ashamed of each other.
Here is another proof: Two scholars are sent with the man so that he won't have intercourse with the woman on the way. Scholars, but not ordinary people. Only scholars, because they know and can warn him.
Rab and Rab Yehuda were once walking on the road. There was a woman walking in front of them. Said Rab to Rab Yehuda: "Run faster away with perdition." "But you yourself said that it was all right with respectable people." "Who says that respectable people means men like you and me?" "Who then?" "Such as Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Papi and their colleagues."
Rabbi Meir would scoff at transgression. One day Satan appeared to him on the other side of the river, disguised as a woman. As there was no bridge across, he grabbed a rope and began to tow himself across. When he reached the middle of the river, Satan let go, and said: Had they not proclaimed in Heaven: Take heed of Rabbi Meir and his learning, I would have valued your blood at two mahs.
Rabbi Akiba used to scoff at transgression. One day Satan appeared to him, disguised as a woman, on the top of a palm. Akiba grasped the palm and began to ascend. When he reached the middle, Satan let him go and said: Had they not proclaimed in Heaven: Take heed of Rabbi Akiba and his learning, I would have valued your blood at two mahs.
Pelimo used to say each day: A bolt in thine eye, Satan. One Eve of Atonement Satan appeared before him disguised as a beggar and knocked on his door. Bread was brought out to him. Whereupon Satan said: On a day like this everyone is within, shall I be outside? So he was asked to come in and they gave him bread. Whereupon he said: On a day like this everyone sits at the table, shall I sit alone? So he was asked to sit at the table. His body was all covered with sores and he conducted himself repulsively. Pelimo said to him: Sit
properly. Then Satan asked for a goblet. He was given the goblet and he began to cough in it and spat his phlegm into it. He was scolded. Whereupon he fell and died. Whereupon a voice cried: "Pelimo killed a man, Pelimo killed a man." So he ran and hid in a privy. Satan followed him. When he saw how Pelimo was suffering he let himself be recognized and said: "Why do you talk that way every day?" "What should I say?" inquired Pelimo. "You should say: The All-Merciful upbraid Satan."
Rab Hiya ben Ashi used to fall upon his face and pray: All-Merciful, protect us from evil desire. When one day his wife heard him, she reflected: It is so many years that he kept away from me, why does he pray in this manner? One day when he was studying in his garden, she dressed herself up and paced before him, back and forth several times. Whereupon he asked her: "Who are you?" "I am Hirtha, the courtesan", she answered, "and have returned only today." And when he desired her, she said to him: "Get me that pomegranate from the top of the tree." He went up and got it for her. When he returned home, his wife was just making the fire in the oven. So he went up and sat in it. She said to him: "What does this mean?" He answered her: "So and so happened to me." Whereupon she replied: "It was I", but he would not believe her until she gave him proof thereof. "Nonetheless", he said, "my intentions were sinful."
A BACHELOR must not teach children, and a woman must not teach children. Rabbi Eleazar says: Also one who has no wife must not teach children. Rabbi
[paragraph continues] Yehuda says: A bachelor must not tend cattle, nor may two bachelors sleep under one cover. But the Sages permit it. One whose business is with women must not stay alone with women. And a man should not teach his son a woman's craft. Rabbi Meir says a man should teach his son a clean and easy trade, and let him look up to those that possess riches and wealth, for there is no trade that there are riches and poverty in it, and riches do not come from trade, nor does poverty, for all depends on merit.
Rabbi Simon ben Eleazer says: Have you ever seen a wild beast or bird that has a trade? And yet they sustain themselves without much trouble, and they were created to serve me, while I was created to serve my Maker. Is it not right that I shall sustain myself without trouble? But I have turned to evil and so despoiled my livelihood.
Abba Gurian of Zaidan says in the name of Abba Guria: A man should not teach his sort to be: an ass-driver, or a camel-driver, or a barber, or a sailor, or a shepherd, or a shopkeeper, for all these trades are trades of thieves. Rabbi Yehuda said on his own account: The ass-drivers are mostly evil, but the camel-drivers are mostly honest. The sailors, most of them, are pious. The best of the medicine men may go to Hell, and the most honest of the butchers is a partner of Amalek. Rabbi Nehorai says: I keep away from all the trades in the world, and teach to my son the Torah only. Because a man gets his rewards in this world and the principal is secured for him for the world to come. But all other professions are not like that. For when a man gets sick or becomes old or is suffering and cannot engage
in his work, he dies from starvation. But the Torah is not like that. For it guards him from all evil, and gives him a future and hope in his old age.
The Rabbis taught: He whose business is with women has a sullen disposition, as for instance: The goldsmiths, carders, a mill cleaner, a hawker, a peddler, weavers, barbers, launderers, blood-letters, bath attendants and tanners. They may not be crowned King or High Priest. Why? Not because they are unfitted, but because of their mean occupation.
Bar Kappra discoursed: Always teach your son an easy and clean trade. What is it? Rabbi Yehuda replied: "Needlepoint embroidery!"
It was taught: There is no trade that will disappear from the world. Happy is he who sees his parents in a superior trade, and woe to him who sees his parents in a mean trade. The world cannot do without a perfume maker and without a tanner. Happy is he whose trade is perfume making, and woe to him who is a tanner. The world cannot exist without male and female. Happy is he whose children are male and woe to him whose children are female.
FROM CHAPTER IV