Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. On that day 1 they divided and decided, 2 "That a trough used to wash the feet [and capable of] containing from two lug to nine kab—which has been split [near the bottom 3], may become unclean from pressure," 4 although R. Akivah contended that [such] a trough always remains like what it is named. 5
§ 2. On the same day they decided, "That all sacrifices which have been brought under an improper designation, 6 are valid, but do not absolve the owners from their obligation, 7 except the paschal sacrifice, and the sin-offering; the paschal sacrifice in due season, and the sin-offering at all times." R. Eleazar saith, "The trespass-offering likewise: the paschal sacrifice in its due season, and the sin or trespass-offering at all times." R. Simeon ben Azai said, "I have it as a tradition from the mouths of seventy-two elders, on the day they inducted R. Eleazar ben Azariah into the president's seat, that all sacrifices [which may be eaten] that have been brought under an improper designation, are valid, but do not absolve the owners of their obligation, except the paschal sacrifice and the sin-offering."
[paragraph continues] Ben Azai only added the burnt-offering, but the sages did not coincide with him.
§ 3. On the same day they argued: [The land of] Ammon and [of] Moab, how are they [affected] by the Sabbatical year [of agrarian rest]? R. Tarphon decided, "[That Israelites residing in those countries must pay] tithes for the poor;" but R. Eleazar bell Azariah decided, "[They must pay] second tithes." 8 R. Ishmael then said, "Eleazar ben Azariah, it behoves thee to prove thy assertion, for thou enactest a more rigid observance; and whosoever enacts a more rigid observance, with him rests the onus of making good his decision." R. Eleazar ben Azariah replied, "Ishmael, my brother, I have not deviated from the regular order [series] of the years, 9 but my brother Tarphon has deviated therefrom, therefore, the onus probandi rests on him." R. Tarphon [then] replied, "Egypt is out of the land [of Israel; abroad], and Ammon and Moab are out of the land [of Israel; abroad]: even as Egypt [pays] tithe for the poor in the Sabbatical year, so Ammon and Moab [must likewise pay] tithe for the poor during the Sabbatical year." R. Eleazar ben Azariah replied, "Babylon is out of the land [of Israel; abroad], and Ammon and Moab are out of the land [of Israel]: even as Babylon [pays] second tithe during the Sabbatical year, so Ammon and Moab [must likewise pay] second tithe during the Sabbatical year." R. Tarphon [further] replied, "Egypt being near [adjoining to the land of Israel], is subjected to tithe for the poor, in order that the poor in Israel may be thereby supported during the Sabbatical year; so likewise Ammon and Moab, which are near [adjoining the land of Israel], must also be subjected to tithe for the poor, in order that the poor in Israel may be thereby supported during the Sabbatical year." To this R. Eleazar ben Azariah replied, "Thou seekest to increase the money [contributed for the poor], but in truth thou losest souls; wouldst thou be the cause that heaven should send down neither dew nor rain, as it is said, 'Shall a man defraud God? Yet ye have defrauded me. But ye say, In what have we defrauded thee? In
tithes and heave-offerings.'" 10 R. Joshua then said, "Behold, I will answer for my brother Tarphon, although not according to his mode of argumentation. [The regulation concerning] Egypt is newly established; [whereas that concerning] Babylon is established of old; the subject before us [also relates to a regulation to be] newly established. Let, therefore, [one] new regulation be subjected to conclusions drawn from [another] new regulation; but let not a new regulation be subjected to conclusions drawn from an old established regulation. [Moreover, the regulation concerning] Egypt is established by the elders [of the great Sanhedrin; whereas the regulation concerning] Babylon is established by the prophets [their predecessors]; the subject before us [also relates to a regulation to be] established by elders. Let, therefore, [one] regulation established by elders be subjected to conclusions drawn from [another] regulation established by elders, but let not a regulation by elders be subjected to conclusions drawn from a regulation by prophets." They [the sages] then divided, and [the majority] decided, "That Ammon and Moab must pay tithe for the poor during the Sabbatical year." When R. José ben Dormiskith came to R. Eleazar [ben Hyrcanos], at Lydda, he [R. Eleazar] inquired of him, "What had ye new in the Beth Medrash [College] to-day?" He [R. José] replied, "They divided and decided, that Ammon and Moab must pay tithe for the poor in the Sabbatical year." [On hearing this], R. Eleazar wept, and exclaimed, "The secrets of the Lord are for those who fear him, and his covenant to be made known to them; 11 go forth and tell them, Ye need be under no apprehension on account of the decision you have adopted, for I have it as a tradition from the mouth of Rabbon Jochanan ben Zachai, who heard it from his teacher, who heard it from his teacher, even up to the decision of Moses from Sinai, that Ammon and Moab pay tithes to the poor during the Sabbatical year.'"
§ 4. On that day came Judah, an Ammonitish proselyte, and stood before them in the Medrash. He said to them [the sages], "How
am I [situated with respect] to coming into the congregation [of Israel]?" 12 Rabbon Gamaliel answered him, "Thou art prohibited." R. Joshua answered him, "Thou art permitted." Rabbon Gamaliel then said, "The Scripture saith, 'An Ammonite and a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord, even to their tenth generation,' and so forth." 13 To this R. Joshua replied, "Are then the Ammonites or Moabites still in their own land? Sennacherib, king of Assyria, did already long ago march up and intermix the nations, as it is said, 'I have removed the bounds of the nations, have plundered their treasures, and laid low the might of the inhabitants.'" 14 "[But]," said Rabbon Gamaliel to him, "the Scriptures declare, 'And afterwards I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon,' 15 and [therefore] they are already returned." [To this] R. Joshua replied, "The Scriptures [also] declare, 'I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel' [and Judah], 16 but [nevertheless] they are not yet returned;" upon which they [the sages] permitted him [the Ammonitish proselyte] to come into the congregation.
§ 5. The Targum [Chaldee passages] in Ezra and Daniel makes the hands unclean. Targum written in Hebrew characters, and Hebrew written in Targum [Syriac] characters or in Hebrew characters, do not make the hands unclean. In no case do [sacred Scriptures] make [the hands] unclean, unless the writing be Assyrian [square] characters on parchment with ink.
§ 6. The Sadducees said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, because you say, 'Sacred Scriptures make the hands unclean, but the books Hameram 17 do not make the hands unclean.'" Rabbon Jochanan ben Zachai replied [ironically], "And have we nothing else to object to the Pharisees but this? They also assert that the bones of an ass are clean, but the bones of Jochanan the high priest are unclean." They [the Sadducees] replied, "According to their love [the estimation in which the bones are held] is their uncleanness,
so that no one may turn the bones of his father and mother into spoons." He answered them, "In like manner [are] the sacred Scriptures; according to their love [the high estimation in which they are held] is their uncleanness; whereas the books Hameram, which are not beloved [held in no esteem], do not make the hands unclean."
§ 7. The Sadducees said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, that ye declare the stream [which flows when water is poured from a clean vessel into an unclean one] to be clean." 18 The Pharisees replied [with much better right], "We [may] blame [object to] you Sadducees, that ye declare a streamlet of water which flows from a burial ground to be clean." 19 The Sadducees [further] said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, because ye say, 'If mine ox or mine ass cause any damage, I am bound [to make compensation], but should my bondman or bondwoman cause any damage, I am absolved [from making compensation];' if I am bound for mine ox and mine ass, respecting which there are no duties enjoined on me, [does it not follow that] for my bondman or bondwoman, respecting whom there are duties enjoined on me, it is just that I should [also] be bound [to compensate] for the damage he [or she] occasions?" [But] they [the Pharisees] replied, "Not the same rule which applies to mine ox or mine ass, that are not possessed of reason, can apply to my bondman or bondwoman, who are possessed of reason; for, should I offend them, they may [maliciously] set fire to the growing corn of another person, in order that I might be bound to pay for it."
§ 8. A Galilean Sadducee said, "I blame [object to] you Pharisees, that you insert the name of the sovereign in the same document [letter of divorce] with Moses." 20 The Pharisees replied [with much better reason], "We [might] blame [object to] thee, Galilean Sadducee, that ye inscribe the [name of the] sovereign with the Holy Name on the same page: and not only that, but ye inscribe the sovereign first, as it is said, 'And Pharaoh said,
[paragraph continues] Who is the Lord that I should hearken to his voice to let Israel go?'" 21 [But when he was punished, he exclaimed, "The Lord is righteous."] 22
363:1 The day on which R. Eleazar ben Azariah was appointed president of the school at Jabneh (Jamniah).
363:2 The ayes and the noes divided, and the majority decided.
363:3 So that it cannot contain water sufficient to wash one foot at a time, and is, therefore, no longer a bathing trough.
363:4 Should an unclean person sit thereon.
363:5 Though unfit for use, it still is a trough, and as such, not liable to become unclean from pressure. (Vide Treatise Kelim, chap. 1. § 2.)
363:6 If bound to bring a sacrifice of one kind, he designates it as a different kind. (Vide Treatise Sebachim, chap. I. §§ 2, 3.)
363:7 He is still bound to bring his sacrifice.
364:8 The tithe for the poor was Cholin [common food], and might be eaten in any place, whereas the second tithe was consecrated, and could only be eaten in Jerusalem. (Vide Deut. xiv. 22, and Treatise Maasar Sheni.)
364:9 It was an established rule that the year in which the tithe was paid to the poor, should be succeeded by a year in which the second tithe was consumed in Jerusalem; and as the sixth year was fixed for payment of tithe to the poor, the seventh year, in all countries not subject to the agrarian rest, entailed the obligation of second tithe.
365:10 Malachi iii. 8:—R. Eleazar ben Azariah assumes that the tithe spoken of by the prophet cannot be tithe for the poor, which is Cholin, or profane; but that it must be second tithe, because that is consecrated like the heave, in connexion with which it is mentioned.
365:11 Ps. xxv. 14.—Some explain, that R. Eleazar wept for joy, because they had adopted the right decision; others will have it that he wept for grief, because they had forgotten and put to the vote an הלכה למשה מסיגי
366:12 To marry an Israelitish woman.
366:13 Deut. xxiii. 3.
366:14 Isa. x. 13.—The "removal of bounds" is expressive of the custom to transplant conquered nations from their own country to some other land.
366:15 Jer. xlix. 6.
366:16 Amos ix. 14.
366:17 ספרי המירם According to Bartenora, from המיר, to change, or substitute falsehood in lieu of truth—books written against revealed religion. Others consider it to mean the writings of Homer, the Greek poet.
367:18 Vide Treatise Maksheerin, chap. V. § 9.
367:19 If a streamlet of water which flows from so unclean a place as a cemetery, is by the Sadducees allowed to be clean, surely the water which flows out of a clean vessel is, with much more reason, to be considered as clean.
367:20 In dating the document, the year of the sovereign's reign is inserted, and the whole closes with the formula, "According to the Law of Moses and of Israel." This mention of the sovereign, and the year of his reign, the Sadducee considers as an insult to Moses.
368:21 Exod. v. 2.—The name of the heathen sovereign cannot be considered as an insult to Moses, since, in the passage quoted, the name of Pharaoh is coupled with that of the Lord, and even precedes it.
368:22 Exod. ix. 27.—This sentence forms no part of the Pharisee's reply, and has no connexion with what precedes, but is only introduced that the Treatise may not conclude with Pharaoh's blasphemy.