Sacred Texts  Judaism  Talmud  Index  Previous 

Babylonian Talmud, Book 9: Tracts Maccoth, Shebuoth, Eduyoth, Abuda Zara, and Horioth, tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, [1918], at

p. 25


MISHNA I.: R. Jehoshua b. Bathyra attested that the blood of carcasses is clean. R. Simeon b. Bathyra attested that the ashes of the sin-cleansing red cow, if touched even in part by an unclean one, become all unclean; to which R. Aqiba added that he who has bathed for cleansing himself (and hence is not yet wholly clean) renders improper the whole of the holy flour, the frankincense, the incense and the coal on touching them only in part.

MISHNA II.: R. Jehudah b. Baba and R. Jehudah the priest attested that an (orphaned) Israel-daughter married under age to a priest is entitled to eat terumah soon after she was led under the canopy, though before cohabitation. R. Jose the priest and R. Zecharia the son of a butcher related the following: It happened that a small girl had been kidnapped by the heathens of Ashkalon; her kinfolks wanted to reject her from the family notwithstanding the assurance of the witnesses that she was not hiding with anybody nor dishonored, and the sages interfered, saying: If you believe her witnesses that she was kidnapped, there is no reason for you not to believe that she was not hiding with anybody nor dishonored; on the other hand, if you distrust the latter part, don't believe the former, either.

MISHNA III.: R. Jehoshua and R. Jehudah b. Bathyra attested that the widow of a priest of a doubtful pedigree may yet marry a priest, that such a doubtful family may enquire after the purity or impurity of its members, in order to separate itself from, or to approach them. Thereupon remarked R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: We accept your attestation, but what shall we do now that R. Johanan b. Zakkai has decreed not to call any jury on this point? The priests will surely follow you when a case of separation, but not when such of approaching, is concerned!

MISHNA IV.: R. Jose b. Joezer, the man of Zereda, attested that the locust Ail Kamza is allowed, that all liquids in the slaughter-house of the temple are not subject to defilement,

p. 26

and finally that only he is unclean who has surely touched a corpse. He received on this account the name, Jose the allower.

MISHNA V.: R. Aqiba attested in the name of Nehemia from Beth D'lee, that the testimony of one witness suffices to allow a woman to remarry. R. Jehoshua attested that regarding bones found in the wood-barn (of the women's courtyard in the temple) which are yet unclean, the sages say: Pick them out singly, bone by bone, and all remains clean.

MISHNA VI.: Said R. Eliezar: I heard that when the central hall of the temple was being built, curtains were put up before both the hall and the courtyards, with the difference, however, that in the former the wall was built outside, while in the latter inside, of the curtains. R. Jehoshua said: I heard that it is allowed to offer sacrifices also when there is no temple, that the all-holiest offerings may be eaten also when there is no curtain; that leniently-holy offerings as well as second tithe may be eaten even if there be no city walls (around Jerusalem), for the first consecration has rendered her (the city) holy for her times as well as for all time to come.

MISHNA VII.: R. Jehoshua said: I have it by tradition from R. Johanan b. Zakkai, who heard it in direct line from his teacher, to be a Halakha from Sinai to Moses that Elijah is not coming in the future to declare certain families clean or unclean, to separate or to reconcile them, but to remove those who were reconciled by force, and to bring together those who were segregated by force. A family of the name Bethz'repha was across the Jordan, excluded by a certain Ben Zion with the use of force; another family (of impure blood) was in the same manner accepted by the same Ben Zion. It is to declare cases of this kind clean or unclean, to remove or to accept that Elijah is coming. R. Jehudah says: Only to accept, but not to remove. R. Simeon says: His mission is only to settle certain disputes. The sages, however, say: His advent will have for its purpose not the removing or accepting of the mentioned cases but the establishing of peace in the world, for it is written [Malachi, iii. 23, 24]: "Behold, I send unto you the prophet Elijah. . . . and he shall turn back the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."