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Today's Daf Yomi

September 19, 2017 | ื›ืดื— ื‘ืืœื•ืœ ืชืฉืขืดื–

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Sanhedrin 65

What are the definitions of the various types of witchcraft mentioned in the Torah? ย Why is baal ov and yidoniย mentioned in this mishna but in the mishna in critutย only baal ov is mentioned? ย Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish offer two different answers. ย Their opinions are analyzed in the gemara. ย What is considered an action? ย Generally one is only obligated for actions, according to the rabbis. ย How much of an action is needed to obligate one? ย Is moving one’s lips an action? Bowing to an idol? ย Rabbi Akiva obligates even without an action – but does he include any non-action? ย Or does he have some minimal criteria?

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื–ื” ืคื™ืชื•ื ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ืžืฉื—ื™ื• ื•ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื–ื” ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ื‘ืคื™ื• ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ื‘ืกืงื™ืœื” ื•ื”ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื”ื ื‘ืื–ื”ืจื”

MISHNA: The list of those liable to be executed by stoning includes those who practice various types of sorcery. The mishna describes them: A necromancer is a pitom from whose armpit the voice of the dead appears to speak. And a sorcerer is one from whose mouth the dead appears to speak. These, the necromancer and the sorcerer, are executed by stoning, and one who inquires about the future through them is in violation of a prohibition.

ื’ืžืณ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื”ื›ื ื“ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื•ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื•ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื’ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ื“ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื•ืฉื™ื™ืจื™ื” ืœื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™

GEMARA: What is different here, that the mishna teaches the halakhot of both a necromancer and a sorcerer, and what is different in tractate Karetot (2a), that the mishna teaches the halakha of a necromancer but leaves out the halakha of a sorcerer?

ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืฉื ื™ื”ืŸ ื‘ืœืื• ืื—ื“ ื ืืžืจื•

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: The mishna in tractate Karetot does not count a sorcerer separately in the list of those liable to receive karet since both a necromancer and a sorcerer are stated in the Torah in one prohibition. Consequently, one who unwittingly serves as both a necromancer and a sorcerer is not obligated to bring two sin-offerings, as would be one who transgressed two prohibitions punishable by karet.

ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ืœืคื™ ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื• ืžืขืฉื”

Reish Lakish says: A sorcerer is not included in the list in tractate Karetot because his transgression does not involve an action; it involves only speech, and one does not bring a sin-offering for transgressing a prohibition that does not involve an action.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื“ื ืงื˜ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืคืชื— ื‘ื™ื” ืงืจื

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan, that a sorcerer is not listed because sorcery is included in the same prohibition as that of necromancy, what is different about a necromancer that the mishna uses specifically that example, and not the example of a sorcerer? The Gemara answers: The mishna chooses to mention the example of a necromancer because the verse introduces the prohibition with it; the case of a sorcerer is mentioned in the verse afterward (see Deuteronomy 18:11).

ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืคืคื ื—ืœื•ืงื™ืŸ ื”ืŸ ื‘ืžื™ืชื”

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Reish Lakish did not say an explanation in accordance with the explanation of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan? Rav Pappa says: Reish Lakish disagrees with the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan because the cases of a necromancer and a sorcerer are divided in the verse with regard to the issue of the death penalty, i.e., one is liable to receive the death penalty for each transgression. Consequently, one would be obligated to bring a separate sin-offering for sorcery were it not for the fact that this transgression does not involve an action.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื—ืœื•ืงื” ื“ืœืื• ืฉืžื” ื—ืœื•ืงื” ื“ืžื™ืชื” ืœื ืฉืžื” ื—ืœื•ืงื”

And Rabbi Yoแธฅanan could respond that one cannot infer the number of sin-offerings one is obligated to bring based on capital punishment. With regard to determining the number of sin-offerings, where there is a division of a prohibition, i.e., when two acts are listed as two separate prohibitions, it is considered a division that leads to a separate sin-offering, but where there is a division of a separate death penalty, i.e., when the death penalties are listed separately, it is not considered a division in this regard.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืœืš ืžืชื ื™ืชื™ืŸ ื“ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan did not say an explanation in accordance with the explanation of Reish Lakish, that a sorcerer is not listed in tractate Karetot because his transgression does not involve an action? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Yoแธฅanan could have said to you that the mishna of tractate Karetot is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says that we do not require an action for one to be obligated to bring a sin-offering.

ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื ื”ื™ ื“ืœื ื‘ืขื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžืขืฉื” ืจื‘ื” ืžืขืฉื” ื–ื•ื˜ื ื‘ืขื™

And Reish Lakish could have responded that although Rabbi Akiva does not require that one perform a significant action to be obligated to bring a sin-offering; nevertheless, he does require that one perform at least a minor action. Sorcery, by contrast, involves no action, and therefore even Rabbi Akiva would not deem one obligated to bring a sin-offering for it.

ืžื’ื“ืฃ ืžืื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืื™ื›ื ืขืงื™ืžืช ืฉืคืชื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: In the case of a blasphemer, i.e., one who curses God, what action is there? He merely speaks, and nevertheless Rabbi Akiva deems him obligated to bring a sin-offering. Clearly, Rabbi Akiva maintains that no action is necessary at all. The Gemara answers: The twisting of his lips while he speaks is considered an action.

ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืžืื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืื™ื›ื ื”ืงืฉืช ื–ืจื•ืขื•ืชื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: What action is there in the case of a necromancer? The Gemara answers: The striking of his arms against each other in order to create the sound of a voice is considered an action.

ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื•ื”ืชื ื™ื ืื™ื ื• ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืืœื ืขืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืฉ ื‘ื• ืžืขืฉื” ื›ื’ื•ืŸ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ื— ืงื™ื˜ื•ืจ ื•ื ื™ืกื•ืš ื•ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืื”

The Gemara asks: And is this considered an action even according to the opinion of the Rabbis, who require a significant action for one to be obligated to bring a sin-offering? But isnโ€™t it taught in a baraita: One is liable for idol worship only for a matter that involves an action, e.g., sacrificing an idolatrous offering, burning incense to an idol, and pouring a libation to an idol, and bowing to an idol.

ื•ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืžืืŸ ืชื ื ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืื” ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ืืคื™ืœื• ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

And Reish Lakish says: Who is the tanna who taught bowing among these examples? It is Rabbi Akiva, who says: We do not require a significant action for one to be liable; any action is sufficient. And Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: You may even say that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, as the bending of oneโ€™s height, according to the opinion of the Rabbis, is considered a significant action.

ื”ืฉืชื ืœืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ื”ืงืฉืช ื–ืจื•ืขื•ืชื™ื• ื“ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

Now consider, if according to Reish Lakish, the bending of oneโ€™s height is not considered a significant action according to the Rabbis, can a less noticeable action such as the striking of the necromancerโ€™s arms be considered a significant action?

ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื ืžื™ ืœืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื‘ืœ ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื

The Gemara answers: Reish Lakish concedes that according to the Rabbis, the striking of the necromancerโ€™s arms is not considered a significant action. When Reish Lakish says that it is considered an action, that statement is also in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva. But according to the Rabbis, it is not considered a significant action.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื™ืฆื ืžื’ื“ืฃ ื•ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืžื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœื™ื”

The Gemara challenges: If so, that the Rabbis hold that the transgression of a necromancer does not involve an action, then when stating in tractate Karetot (2a) that if one unwittingly transgresses a prohibition for which one is liable to receive karet if he transgresses it intentionally he is obligated to bring a sin-offering, excluding a blasphemer, as he does not perform an action, the Rabbis should have stated: Excluding a blasphemer and a necromancer, as they do not perform an action.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืขื•ืœื ื‘ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœืฉื“

Rather, Ulla says: The reason the Rabbis do not state: Excluding a blasphemer and a necromancer, is that when the mishna there lists the case of a necromancer it is referring to one who burns incense to a demon in order to raise the dead, which is a significant action.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœืฉื“ ืขื•ื‘ื“ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื”ื•ื ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื‘ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœื—ื‘ืจ

Rava said to Ulla: One who burns incense to a demon is an idol worshipper, which is already mentioned in the mishna in Karetot. Rather, Rava says: The mishna there is referring to one who burns incense to the demons not as a form of worship but as a manner of sorcery, in order to gather the demons, i.e., to bring them to one place.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ื”ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœื—ื‘ืจ ื—ื•ื‘ืจ ื—ื‘ืจ ื”ื•ื

Abaye said to Ulla: One who burns incense to the demons in order to gather them is considered a charmer, whom the Torah relates to with a distinct prohibition (see Deuteronomy 18:11), which is not punishable by karet.

ืื™ืŸ ื•ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื—ื•ื‘ืจ ื–ื” ื‘ืกืงื™ืœื”

Rava responded: Yes, such a person is also considered a charmer, but the Torah states that this particular charmer, who gathers demons, is included in the category of a necromancer, and therefore he is executed by stoning, and karet applies as well.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณื—ื‘ืจ ื—ื‘ืจืณ ืื—ื“ ื—ื‘ืจ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื•ืื—ื“ ื—ื‘ืจ ืงื˜ืŸ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ื ื—ืฉื™ื ื•ืขืงืจื‘ื™ื

The Sages taught with regard to a charmer that the prohibition applies both to a gathering of large animals to one place and to a gathering of small animals to one place, and even to a gathering of snakes and scorpions.

ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื”ืœื›ืš ื”ืื™ ืžืืŸ ื“ืฆืžื™ื“ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื ื•ืขืงืจื‘ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืงื ืžื™ื›ื•ื™ืŸ ื“ืœื ืœื™ื–ืงื• ืืกื•ืจ

Abaye says: Therefore, with regard to this person, who through sorcery gathers a hornet and a scorpion to harm each other, he is nevertheless prohibited from doing so even if he intends to prevent them from harming him.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื“ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืขืงื™ืžืช ืฉืคืชื™ื• ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: And as for Rabbi Yoแธฅanan, who holds that according to the Rabbis one is liable for bowing to an idol but not for blaspheming, what is different between these cases, leading to the conclusion that the bending of oneโ€™s height while bowing is considered an action according to the Rabbis, but a blasphemerโ€™s twisting of his lips to speak is not considered an action?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืžื’ื“ืฃ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ื• ื‘ืœื‘

Rava says: The case of a blasphemer is different, since this transgression is in the heart as well. The sin of blasphemy does not apply to speech alone, as the blasphemerโ€™s intention is central to the transgression; if he spoke without intention he is not considered a blasphemer. Consequently, one is not obligated to bring a sin-offering for such an action, as it is essentially a sin of the heart.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื™ืฆืื• ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื”ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืืžืื™ ื”ื ืœื™ืชื ื”ื• ื‘ืœื‘

Rabbi Zeira raises an objection to Ravaโ€™s answer, as it is stated in a baraita that one who unwittingly commits a transgression punishable by death is obligated to bring a sin-offering, excluding conspiring witnesses, who are not obligated to bring a sin-offering, as their transgressions do not involve an action. Rabbi Zeira asks: And why is a false witnessโ€™s testimony not considered a transgression that involves an action? The testimony is delivered through speech, which should be considered an action, as this is not a transgression that is committed in the heart; the witnesses are liable for what they said, and not for their intention.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ื• ื‘ืงื•ืœ

Rava says: Conspiring witnesses are different, since their transgression is committed through their voice. The essence of their transgression is not speech itself but rather making themselves heard by the court. Therefore, since the projection of oneโ€™s voice does not involve action, the transgression of conspiring witnesses is considered not be to involving action.

ื•ืงื•ืœ ืœืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืœืื• ืžืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื•ื”ื ืื™ืชืžืจ ื—ืกืžื” ื‘ืงื•ืœ ื•ื”ื ื”ื™ื’ื” ื‘ืงื•ืœ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืคื˜ื•ืจ

The Gemara asks: And is projecting oneโ€™s voice not considered an action according to Rabbi Yoแธฅanan? But wasnโ€™t it stated that amoraโ€™im engaged in a dispute concerning the following case: If one muzzled an animal by projecting his voice, by berating it whenever it tried to eat, has he transgressed the prohibition of: โ€œYou shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the cornโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:4)? And similarly, if one led different species to work together by projecting his voice, without performing any action, has he transgressed the prohibition of: โ€œYou shall not plow with an ox and a donkey togetherโ€ (Deuteronomy 22:10)? Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says he is liable, and Reish Lakish says he is exempt.

ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืขืงื™ืžืช ืคื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืคื˜ื•ืจ ืขืงื™ืžืช ืคื™ื• ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara explains the reasoning behind their opinions: Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says he is liable, as he maintains that the twisting of oneโ€™s mouth to speak is considered an action, whereas Reish Lakish says he is exempt, because he holds that that the twisting of oneโ€™s mouth to speak is not considered an action. Evidently, Rabbi Yoแธฅanan holds that a transgression one commits by projecting his voice is considered to involve an action.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ืŸ ื‘ืจืื™ื”

Rather, Rava says there is a different answer to Rabbi Zeiraโ€™s objection: Conspiring witnesses are different, since they are rendered liable mainly through sight, i.e., the important part of their testimony is what they saw, which is not considered an action.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื–ื” ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžื‘ื™ืŸ ืืฆื™ืœื™ ื™ื“ื™ื• ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื–ื” ื”ืžื ื™ื— ืขืฆื ื™ื“ื•ืข ื‘ืคื™ื• ื•ื”ื•ื ืžื“ื‘ืจ ืžืืœื™ื•

ยง The Sages taught: A necromancer is one who causes the voice of the dead to be heard speaking from between his joints or from his armpit. A sorcerer [yideoni] is one who places a bone of an animal called a yadua in his mouth, and the bone speaks on its own.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื•ื”ื™ื” ื›ืื•ื‘ ืžืืจืฅ ืงื•ืœืš ืžืื™ ืœืื• ื“ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื›ื™ ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœื ื“ืกืœื™ืง ื•ื™ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžืฉืชืขื™

The Gemara raises an objection from the verse: โ€œAnd your voice shall be as a ghost out of the groundโ€ (Isaiah 29:4). What, does the dead person not speak from the grave on his own? The Gemara answers: No, this is not so, as the dead person rises by sorcery and sits between the joints of the necromancer and speaks.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื•ืชืืžืจ ื”ืืฉื” ืืœ ืฉืื•ืœ ืืœื”ื™ื ืจืื™ืชื™ ืขืœื™ื ืžืŸ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืื™ ืœืื• ื“ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื›ื™ ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœื ื“ื™ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžืฉืชืขื™

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from the statement of the necromancer to King Saul: โ€œAnd the woman said to Saul, I see a godlike being coming up out of the earthโ€ (Iย Samuel 28:13). What, does the verse not mean to say that the dead person spoke on his own? The Gemara refutes this proof: No, this is not so, as the dead person sits between the joints of the necromancer and speaks.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืื—ื“ ื”ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื–ื›ื•ืจื• ื•ืื—ื“ ื”ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื’ื•ืœื’ื•ืœืช ืžื” ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืœื–ื” ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื–ื›ื•ืจื• ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื’ื•ืœื’ื•ืœืช ืขื•ืœื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืขื•ืœื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช

The Sages taught: The category of a necromancer includes both one who raises the dead with his zekhur, which is a form of sorcery, and one who inquires about the future from a skull [begulgolet]. What is the difference between this type of necromancer and that type of necromancer? When one raises the dead with his zekhur, the dead does not rise in its usual manner, but appears upside-down, and it does not rise on Shabbat. By contrast, when one inquires about the future from a skull, the dead rises in its usual manner, and it rises [oleh] even on Shabbat.

ืขื•ืœื” ืœื”ื™ื›ื ืกืœื™ืง ื”ื ืงืžื™ื” ืžื ื— ืืœื ืื™ืžื ืขื•ื ื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืขื•ื ื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช

The Gemara asks with regard to the wording of the last statement: Rises? To where does it rise? Isnโ€™t the skull lying before him? Rather, say as follows: The dead answers in its usual manner, and it answers [veโ€™oneh] even on Shabbat.

ื•ืืฃ ืฉืืœื” ื–ื• ืฉืืœ ื˜ื•ืจื ื•ืกืจื•ืคื•ืก ื”ืจืฉืข ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื•ืžื” ื™ื•ื ืžื™ื•ืžื™ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื•ืžื” ื’ื‘ืจ ืžื’ื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื“ืžืจื™ ืฆื‘ื™ ืฉื‘ืช ื ืžื™ ื“ืžืจื™ ืฆื‘ื™

With regard to the statement that the dead do not rise on Shabbat, the Gemara relates: The wicked Turnus Rufus, the Roman governor of Judea, asked this question of Rabbi Akiva as well. Turnus Rufus said to him: And what makes this day, Shabbat, different from other days? Rabbi Akiva said to him: And what makes this man, referring to his interlocutor, more distinguished than other men? Turnus Rufus said to him: I am more distinguished because my master the emperor wants it that way. Rabbi Akiva said to him: Shabbat too is unique because my Master wants it that way, as he has sanctified that day.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžื™ื ื ืœืš ืžื™ ื™ื™ืžืจ ื“ื”ืื™ื“ื ื ืฉื‘ืชื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื ื”ืจ ืกื‘ื˜ื™ื•ืŸ ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ืงื‘ืจื• ืฉืœ ืื‘ื™ื• ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ืฉืื™ืŸ ืžืขืœื” ืขืฉืŸ ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ืืžืจ ืœื• ื‘ื™ื–ื™ืชื• ื‘ื™ื™ืฉืชื• ื•ืงื™ืœืœืชื•

Turnus Rufus said to him: This is what I mean to say to you: Who is to say that now is Shabbat? Perhaps a different day of the week is Shabbat. Rabbi Akiva said to him: The Sabbatyon River can prove that today is Shabbat, as it is calm only on Shabbat. A necromancer can also prove this, as the dead do not rise on Shabbat. The grave of his father, referring to Turnus Rufusโ€™s father, can also prove this, as it does not emit smoke on Shabbat, although smoke rises from it all week, as during the week he is being punished in Gehenna. Turnus Rufus said to him: You have demeaned my father, you have publicly shamed him, and you have cursed him by saying that he is being punished in Gehenna.

ืฉื•ืืœ ืื•ื‘ ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื•ื“ืจืฉ ืืœ ื”ืžืชื™ื

ยง The Gemara asks: Isnโ€™t one who inquires about the future from a necromancer the same as what is described in the verse: โ€œOr directs inquiries to the deadโ€ (Deuteronomy 18:11)? Why are they mentioned separately in the verse?

ื“ื•ืจืฉ ืœืžืชื™ื ื›ื“ืชื ื™ื ืณื•ื“ืจืฉ ืืœ ื”ืžืชื™ืืณ ื–ื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื•ื”ื•ืœืš ื•ืœืŸ ื‘ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืงื‘ืจื•ืช ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื”

The Gemara answers: One who directs inquiries to the dead em-ploys a different method to contact the dead, as it is taught in a baraita: โ€œOr directs inquiries to the deadโ€; this is one who starves himself and goes and sleeps overnight in a graveyard so that a spirit of impurity should settle upon him, and he can listen to what the dead are saying.

ื•ื›ืฉื”ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžื’ื™ืข ืœืžืงืจื ื–ื” ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื•ื›ื” ื•ืžื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื” ืฉื•ืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื”ืจื” ืขืœ ืื—ืช ื›ืžื” ื•ื›ืžื” ืื‘ืœ ืžื” ืืขืฉื” ืฉืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื ื• ื’ืจืžื• ืœื ื• ืฉื ืืžืจ ืณื›ื™ [ืื] ืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื›ื ื”ื™ื• ืžื‘ื“ืœื™ื ื‘ื™ื ื™ื›ื ืœื‘ื™ืŸ ืืœื”ื™ื›ืืณ

And when Rabbi Akiva would arrive at this verse he would weep and say: If one who starves himself so that a spirit of impurity will settle upon him succeeds in doing so, and a spirit of impurity settles upon him, all the more so one who starves himself so that a spirit of purity will settle upon him should be successful, and a spirit of purity should settle upon him. But what can I do, as our iniquities have caused us not to merit the spirit of sanctity and purity, as it is stated: โ€œBut your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hearโ€ (Isaiah 59:2).

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืื™ ื‘ืขื• ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ ื‘ืจื• ืขืœืžื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื›ื™ ืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื›ื ื”ื™ื• ืžื‘ื“ืœื™ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ

Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world, as it is stated: โ€œBut your iniquities have separated between you and your God.โ€ In other words, there is no distinction between God and a righteous person who has no sins, and just as God created the world, so can the righteous.

ืจื‘ื ื‘ืจื ื’ื‘ืจื ืฉื“ืจื™ื” ืœืงืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื”ื•ื” ืงื ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื” ื•ืœื ื”ื•ื” ืงื ืžื”ื“ืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืŸ ื—ื‘ืจื™ื ืืช ื”ื“ืจ ืœืขืคืจื™ืš

Indeed, Rava created a man, a golem, using forces of sanctity. Rava sent his creation before Rabbi Zeira. Rabbi Zeira would speak to him but he would not reply. Rabbi Zeira said to him: You were created by one of the members of the group, one of the Sages. Return to your dust.

ืจื‘ ื—ื ื™ื ื ื•ืจื‘ ืื•ืฉืขื™ื ื”ื•ื• ื™ืชื‘ื™ ื›ืœ ืžืขืœื™ ืฉื‘ืชื ื•ืขืกืงื™ ื‘ืกืคืจ ื™ืฆื™ืจื” ื•ืžื™ื‘ืจื• ืœื”ื• ืขื™ื’ืœื ืชื™ืœืชื ื•ืื›ืœื™ ืœื™ื”

The Gemara relates another fact substantiating the statement that the righteous could create a world if they so desired: Rav แธคanina and Rav Oshaya would sit every Shabbat eve and engage in the study of Sefer Yetzira, and a third-born calf [igla tilta] would be created for them, and they would eat it in honor of Shabbat.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณืžืขื•ื ืŸืณ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืื•ืžืจ ื–ื” ื”ืžืขื‘ื™ืจ ืฉื‘ืขื” ืžื™ื ื™ ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืขืœ ื”ืขื™ืŸ ื•ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืื•ืžืจื™ื ื–ื” ื”ืื•ื—ื– ืืช ื”ืขื™ื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื•ืžืจ ื–ื” ื”ืžื—ืฉื‘ ืขืชื™ื ื•ืฉืขื•ืช ื•ืื•ืžืจ ื”ื™ื•ื ื™ืคื” ืœืฆืืช ืœืžื—ืจ ื™ืคื” ืœื™ืงื— ืœืžื•ื“ื™ ืขืจื‘ื™ ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ื•ืช ื—ื˜ื™ืŸ ื™ืคื•ืช ืขื™ืงื•ืจื™ ืงื˜ื ื™ื•ืช ืžื”ื™ื•ืช ืจืขื•ืช

ยง The Sages taught: What is the definition of the soothsayer mentioned in the verse: โ€œThere shall not be found among youโ€ฆa soothsayerโ€ (Deuteronomy 18:10)? Rabbi Shimon says: This is one who applies seven types of semen [zekhur] to oneโ€™s eye in order to perform sorcery. And the Rabbis say: This is one who deceives the eyes, as though he is performing sorcery. Rabbi Akiva says: This is one who calculates the fortune of times and hours, and says, for example: Today is a propitious day for going away on a journey; tomorrow is propitious for purchasing property successfully. Or he says that on the eve of the Sabbatical Years, the wheat harvest is generally good; uprooting legumes rather than cutting them from above the ground prevents them from going bad.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณืžื ื—ืฉืณ ื–ื” ื”ืื•ืžืจ ืณืคืชื• ื ืคืœื” ืžืคื™ื•ืณ ืณืžืงืœื• ื ืคืœื” ืžื™ื“ื•ืณ ืณื‘ื ื• ืงื•ืจื ืœื• ืžืื—ืจื™ื•ืณ ืณืขื•ืจื‘ ืงื•ืจื ืœื•ืณ ืณืฆื‘ื™ ื”ืคืกื™ืงื• ื‘ื“ืจืšืณ ืณื ื—ืฉ ืžื™ืžื™ื ื•ืณ ื•ืณืฉื•ืขืœ ืžืฉืžืืœื•ืณ

The Sages taught: The enchanter mentioned in the verse (Deuteronomy 18:10) is one who relies on superstitious signs, e.g., one who says: If oneโ€™s bread fell from his mouth, that is a bad sign for him; or: If oneโ€™s staff fell from his hand, it is a bad sign; or: If oneโ€™s son calls him from behind, it is a sign that he should return from his journey; or: If a raven calls to him, or if a deer blocks him on the way, or if a snake is to his right, or if a fox is to his left, all of these are bad signs. An enchanter is one who relies on these as bad signs and consequently changes his course of action.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

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Sanhedrin 65

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sanhedrin 65

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื–ื” ืคื™ืชื•ื ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ืžืฉื—ื™ื• ื•ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื–ื” ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ื‘ืคื™ื• ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ื‘ืกืงื™ืœื” ื•ื”ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื”ื ื‘ืื–ื”ืจื”

MISHNA: The list of those liable to be executed by stoning includes those who practice various types of sorcery. The mishna describes them: A necromancer is a pitom from whose armpit the voice of the dead appears to speak. And a sorcerer is one from whose mouth the dead appears to speak. These, the necromancer and the sorcerer, are executed by stoning, and one who inquires about the future through them is in violation of a prohibition.

ื’ืžืณ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื”ื›ื ื“ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื•ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื•ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื’ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ื“ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื•ืฉื™ื™ืจื™ื” ืœื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™

GEMARA: What is different here, that the mishna teaches the halakhot of both a necromancer and a sorcerer, and what is different in tractate Karetot (2a), that the mishna teaches the halakha of a necromancer but leaves out the halakha of a sorcerer?

ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืฉื ื™ื”ืŸ ื‘ืœืื• ืื—ื“ ื ืืžืจื•

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: The mishna in tractate Karetot does not count a sorcerer separately in the list of those liable to receive karet since both a necromancer and a sorcerer are stated in the Torah in one prohibition. Consequently, one who unwittingly serves as both a necromancer and a sorcerer is not obligated to bring two sin-offerings, as would be one who transgressed two prohibitions punishable by karet.

ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ืœืคื™ ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื• ืžืขืฉื”

Reish Lakish says: A sorcerer is not included in the list in tractate Karetot because his transgression does not involve an action; it involves only speech, and one does not bring a sin-offering for transgressing a prohibition that does not involve an action.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื“ื ืงื˜ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืคืชื— ื‘ื™ื” ืงืจื

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan, that a sorcerer is not listed because sorcery is included in the same prohibition as that of necromancy, what is different about a necromancer that the mishna uses specifically that example, and not the example of a sorcerer? The Gemara answers: The mishna chooses to mention the example of a necromancer because the verse introduces the prohibition with it; the case of a sorcerer is mentioned in the verse afterward (see Deuteronomy 18:11).

ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืคืคื ื—ืœื•ืงื™ืŸ ื”ืŸ ื‘ืžื™ืชื”

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Reish Lakish did not say an explanation in accordance with the explanation of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan? Rav Pappa says: Reish Lakish disagrees with the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan because the cases of a necromancer and a sorcerer are divided in the verse with regard to the issue of the death penalty, i.e., one is liable to receive the death penalty for each transgression. Consequently, one would be obligated to bring a separate sin-offering for sorcery were it not for the fact that this transgression does not involve an action.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื—ืœื•ืงื” ื“ืœืื• ืฉืžื” ื—ืœื•ืงื” ื“ืžื™ืชื” ืœื ืฉืžื” ื—ืœื•ืงื”

And Rabbi Yoแธฅanan could respond that one cannot infer the number of sin-offerings one is obligated to bring based on capital punishment. With regard to determining the number of sin-offerings, where there is a division of a prohibition, i.e., when two acts are listed as two separate prohibitions, it is considered a division that leads to a separate sin-offering, but where there is a division of a separate death penalty, i.e., when the death penalties are listed separately, it is not considered a division in this regard.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืœืš ืžืชื ื™ืชื™ืŸ ื“ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan did not say an explanation in accordance with the explanation of Reish Lakish, that a sorcerer is not listed in tractate Karetot because his transgression does not involve an action? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Yoแธฅanan could have said to you that the mishna of tractate Karetot is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says that we do not require an action for one to be obligated to bring a sin-offering.

ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื ื”ื™ ื“ืœื ื‘ืขื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžืขืฉื” ืจื‘ื” ืžืขืฉื” ื–ื•ื˜ื ื‘ืขื™

And Reish Lakish could have responded that although Rabbi Akiva does not require that one perform a significant action to be obligated to bring a sin-offering; nevertheless, he does require that one perform at least a minor action. Sorcery, by contrast, involves no action, and therefore even Rabbi Akiva would not deem one obligated to bring a sin-offering for it.

ืžื’ื“ืฃ ืžืื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืื™ื›ื ืขืงื™ืžืช ืฉืคืชื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: In the case of a blasphemer, i.e., one who curses God, what action is there? He merely speaks, and nevertheless Rabbi Akiva deems him obligated to bring a sin-offering. Clearly, Rabbi Akiva maintains that no action is necessary at all. The Gemara answers: The twisting of his lips while he speaks is considered an action.

ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืžืื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืื™ื›ื ื”ืงืฉืช ื–ืจื•ืขื•ืชื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: What action is there in the case of a necromancer? The Gemara answers: The striking of his arms against each other in order to create the sound of a voice is considered an action.

ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื•ื”ืชื ื™ื ืื™ื ื• ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืืœื ืขืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืฉ ื‘ื• ืžืขืฉื” ื›ื’ื•ืŸ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ื— ืงื™ื˜ื•ืจ ื•ื ื™ืกื•ืš ื•ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืื”

The Gemara asks: And is this considered an action even according to the opinion of the Rabbis, who require a significant action for one to be obligated to bring a sin-offering? But isnโ€™t it taught in a baraita: One is liable for idol worship only for a matter that involves an action, e.g., sacrificing an idolatrous offering, burning incense to an idol, and pouring a libation to an idol, and bowing to an idol.

ื•ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืžืืŸ ืชื ื ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืื” ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ืขื™ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ืืคื™ืœื• ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

And Reish Lakish says: Who is the tanna who taught bowing among these examples? It is Rabbi Akiva, who says: We do not require a significant action for one to be liable; any action is sufficient. And Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: You may even say that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, as the bending of oneโ€™s height, according to the opinion of the Rabbis, is considered a significant action.

ื”ืฉืชื ืœืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ื”ืงืฉืช ื–ืจื•ืขื•ืชื™ื• ื“ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

Now consider, if according to Reish Lakish, the bending of oneโ€™s height is not considered a significant action according to the Rabbis, can a less noticeable action such as the striking of the necromancerโ€™s arms be considered a significant action?

ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื ืžื™ ืœืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื‘ืœ ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื

The Gemara answers: Reish Lakish concedes that according to the Rabbis, the striking of the necromancerโ€™s arms is not considered a significant action. When Reish Lakish says that it is considered an action, that statement is also in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva. But according to the Rabbis, it is not considered a significant action.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื™ืฆื ืžื’ื“ืฃ ื•ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืžื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœื™ื”

The Gemara challenges: If so, that the Rabbis hold that the transgression of a necromancer does not involve an action, then when stating in tractate Karetot (2a) that if one unwittingly transgresses a prohibition for which one is liable to receive karet if he transgresses it intentionally he is obligated to bring a sin-offering, excluding a blasphemer, as he does not perform an action, the Rabbis should have stated: Excluding a blasphemer and a necromancer, as they do not perform an action.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืขื•ืœื ื‘ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœืฉื“

Rather, Ulla says: The reason the Rabbis do not state: Excluding a blasphemer and a necromancer, is that when the mishna there lists the case of a necromancer it is referring to one who burns incense to a demon in order to raise the dead, which is a significant action.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœืฉื“ ืขื•ื‘ื“ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื”ื•ื ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื‘ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœื—ื‘ืจ

Rava said to Ulla: One who burns incense to a demon is an idol worshipper, which is already mentioned in the mishna in Karetot. Rather, Rava says: The mishna there is referring to one who burns incense to the demons not as a form of worship but as a manner of sorcery, in order to gather the demons, i.e., to bring them to one place.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ื”ืžืงื˜ืจ ืœื—ื‘ืจ ื—ื•ื‘ืจ ื—ื‘ืจ ื”ื•ื

Abaye said to Ulla: One who burns incense to the demons in order to gather them is considered a charmer, whom the Torah relates to with a distinct prohibition (see Deuteronomy 18:11), which is not punishable by karet.

ืื™ืŸ ื•ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื—ื•ื‘ืจ ื–ื” ื‘ืกืงื™ืœื”

Rava responded: Yes, such a person is also considered a charmer, but the Torah states that this particular charmer, who gathers demons, is included in the category of a necromancer, and therefore he is executed by stoning, and karet applies as well.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณื—ื‘ืจ ื—ื‘ืจืณ ืื—ื“ ื—ื‘ืจ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื•ืื—ื“ ื—ื‘ืจ ืงื˜ืŸ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ื ื—ืฉื™ื ื•ืขืงืจื‘ื™ื

The Sages taught with regard to a charmer that the prohibition applies both to a gathering of large animals to one place and to a gathering of small animals to one place, and even to a gathering of snakes and scorpions.

ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื”ืœื›ืš ื”ืื™ ืžืืŸ ื“ืฆืžื™ื“ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื ื•ืขืงืจื‘ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืงื ืžื™ื›ื•ื™ืŸ ื“ืœื ืœื™ื–ืงื• ืืกื•ืจ

Abaye says: Therefore, with regard to this person, who through sorcery gathers a hornet and a scorpion to harm each other, he is nevertheless prohibited from doing so even if he intends to prevent them from harming him.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ืฉื ื ื“ื›ืคื™ืคืช ืงื•ืžืชื• ืœืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืขืงื™ืžืช ืฉืคืชื™ื• ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara asks: And as for Rabbi Yoแธฅanan, who holds that according to the Rabbis one is liable for bowing to an idol but not for blaspheming, what is different between these cases, leading to the conclusion that the bending of oneโ€™s height while bowing is considered an action according to the Rabbis, but a blasphemerโ€™s twisting of his lips to speak is not considered an action?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืžื’ื“ืฃ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ื• ื‘ืœื‘

Rava says: The case of a blasphemer is different, since this transgression is in the heart as well. The sin of blasphemy does not apply to speech alone, as the blasphemerโ€™s intention is central to the transgression; if he spoke without intention he is not considered a blasphemer. Consequently, one is not obligated to bring a sin-offering for such an action, as it is essentially a sin of the heart.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื™ืฆืื• ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ืฉืื™ืŸ ื‘ื”ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื•ืืžืื™ ื”ื ืœื™ืชื ื”ื• ื‘ืœื‘

Rabbi Zeira raises an objection to Ravaโ€™s answer, as it is stated in a baraita that one who unwittingly commits a transgression punishable by death is obligated to bring a sin-offering, excluding conspiring witnesses, who are not obligated to bring a sin-offering, as their transgressions do not involve an action. Rabbi Zeira asks: And why is a false witnessโ€™s testimony not considered a transgression that involves an action? The testimony is delivered through speech, which should be considered an action, as this is not a transgression that is committed in the heart; the witnesses are liable for what they said, and not for their intention.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ื• ื‘ืงื•ืœ

Rava says: Conspiring witnesses are different, since their transgression is committed through their voice. The essence of their transgression is not speech itself but rather making themselves heard by the court. Therefore, since the projection of oneโ€™s voice does not involve action, the transgression of conspiring witnesses is considered not be to involving action.

ื•ืงื•ืœ ืœืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืœืื• ืžืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื•ื”ื ืื™ืชืžืจ ื—ืกืžื” ื‘ืงื•ืœ ื•ื”ื ื”ื™ื’ื” ื‘ืงื•ืœ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืคื˜ื•ืจ

The Gemara asks: And is projecting oneโ€™s voice not considered an action according to Rabbi Yoแธฅanan? But wasnโ€™t it stated that amoraโ€™im engaged in a dispute concerning the following case: If one muzzled an animal by projecting his voice, by berating it whenever it tried to eat, has he transgressed the prohibition of: โ€œYou shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the cornโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:4)? And similarly, if one led different species to work together by projecting his voice, without performing any action, has he transgressed the prohibition of: โ€œYou shall not plow with an ox and a donkey togetherโ€ (Deuteronomy 22:10)? Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says he is liable, and Reish Lakish says he is exempt.

ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืืžืจ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืขืงื™ืžืช ืคื™ื• ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื” ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืืžืจ ืคื˜ื•ืจ ืขืงื™ืžืช ืคื™ื• ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืžืขืฉื”

The Gemara explains the reasoning behind their opinions: Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says he is liable, as he maintains that the twisting of oneโ€™s mouth to speak is considered an action, whereas Reish Lakish says he is exempt, because he holds that that the twisting of oneโ€™s mouth to speak is not considered an action. Evidently, Rabbi Yoแธฅanan holds that a transgression one commits by projecting his voice is considered to involve an action.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืฉืื ื™ ืขื“ื™ื ื–ื•ืžืžื™ืŸ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื™ืฉื ืŸ ื‘ืจืื™ื”

Rather, Rava says there is a different answer to Rabbi Zeiraโ€™s objection: Conspiring witnesses are different, since they are rendered liable mainly through sight, i.e., the important part of their testimony is what they saw, which is not considered an action.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื–ื” ื”ืžื“ื‘ืจ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžื‘ื™ืŸ ืืฆื™ืœื™ ื™ื“ื™ื• ื™ื“ืขื•ื ื™ ื–ื” ื”ืžื ื™ื— ืขืฆื ื™ื“ื•ืข ื‘ืคื™ื• ื•ื”ื•ื ืžื“ื‘ืจ ืžืืœื™ื•

ยง The Sages taught: A necromancer is one who causes the voice of the dead to be heard speaking from between his joints or from his armpit. A sorcerer [yideoni] is one who places a bone of an animal called a yadua in his mouth, and the bone speaks on its own.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื•ื”ื™ื” ื›ืื•ื‘ ืžืืจืฅ ืงื•ืœืš ืžืื™ ืœืื• ื“ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื›ื™ ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœื ื“ืกืœื™ืง ื•ื™ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžืฉืชืขื™

The Gemara raises an objection from the verse: โ€œAnd your voice shall be as a ghost out of the groundโ€ (Isaiah 29:4). What, does the dead person not speak from the grave on his own? The Gemara answers: No, this is not so, as the dead person rises by sorcery and sits between the joints of the necromancer and speaks.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื•ืชืืžืจ ื”ืืฉื” ืืœ ืฉืื•ืœ ืืœื”ื™ื ืจืื™ืชื™ ืขืœื™ื ืžืŸ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืื™ ืœืื• ื“ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื›ื™ ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœื ื“ื™ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจืงื™ื ื•ืžืฉืชืขื™

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from the statement of the necromancer to King Saul: โ€œAnd the woman said to Saul, I see a godlike being coming up out of the earthโ€ (Iย Samuel 28:13). What, does the verse not mean to say that the dead person spoke on his own? The Gemara refutes this proof: No, this is not so, as the dead person sits between the joints of the necromancer and speaks.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ืื—ื“ ื”ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื–ื›ื•ืจื• ื•ืื—ื“ ื”ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื’ื•ืœื’ื•ืœืช ืžื” ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืœื–ื” ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื–ื›ื•ืจื• ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื ืฉืืœ ื‘ื’ื•ืœื’ื•ืœืช ืขื•ืœื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืขื•ืœื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช

The Sages taught: The category of a necromancer includes both one who raises the dead with his zekhur, which is a form of sorcery, and one who inquires about the future from a skull [begulgolet]. What is the difference between this type of necromancer and that type of necromancer? When one raises the dead with his zekhur, the dead does not rise in its usual manner, but appears upside-down, and it does not rise on Shabbat. By contrast, when one inquires about the future from a skull, the dead rises in its usual manner, and it rises [oleh] even on Shabbat.

ืขื•ืœื” ืœื”ื™ื›ื ืกืœื™ืง ื”ื ืงืžื™ื” ืžื ื— ืืœื ืื™ืžื ืขื•ื ื” ื›ื“ืจื›ื• ื•ืขื•ื ื” ื‘ืฉื‘ืช

The Gemara asks with regard to the wording of the last statement: Rises? To where does it rise? Isnโ€™t the skull lying before him? Rather, say as follows: The dead answers in its usual manner, and it answers [veโ€™oneh] even on Shabbat.

ื•ืืฃ ืฉืืœื” ื–ื• ืฉืืœ ื˜ื•ืจื ื•ืกืจื•ืคื•ืก ื”ืจืฉืข ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื•ืžื” ื™ื•ื ืžื™ื•ืžื™ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื•ืžื” ื’ื‘ืจ ืžื’ื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื“ืžืจื™ ืฆื‘ื™ ืฉื‘ืช ื ืžื™ ื“ืžืจื™ ืฆื‘ื™

With regard to the statement that the dead do not rise on Shabbat, the Gemara relates: The wicked Turnus Rufus, the Roman governor of Judea, asked this question of Rabbi Akiva as well. Turnus Rufus said to him: And what makes this day, Shabbat, different from other days? Rabbi Akiva said to him: And what makes this man, referring to his interlocutor, more distinguished than other men? Turnus Rufus said to him: I am more distinguished because my master the emperor wants it that way. Rabbi Akiva said to him: Shabbat too is unique because my Master wants it that way, as he has sanctified that day.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžื™ื ื ืœืš ืžื™ ื™ื™ืžืจ ื“ื”ืื™ื“ื ื ืฉื‘ืชื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื ื”ืจ ืกื‘ื˜ื™ื•ืŸ ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ื‘ืขืœ ืื•ื‘ ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ืงื‘ืจื• ืฉืœ ืื‘ื™ื• ื™ื•ื›ื™ื— ืฉืื™ืŸ ืžืขืœื” ืขืฉืŸ ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ืืžืจ ืœื• ื‘ื™ื–ื™ืชื• ื‘ื™ื™ืฉืชื• ื•ืงื™ืœืœืชื•

Turnus Rufus said to him: This is what I mean to say to you: Who is to say that now is Shabbat? Perhaps a different day of the week is Shabbat. Rabbi Akiva said to him: The Sabbatyon River can prove that today is Shabbat, as it is calm only on Shabbat. A necromancer can also prove this, as the dead do not rise on Shabbat. The grave of his father, referring to Turnus Rufusโ€™s father, can also prove this, as it does not emit smoke on Shabbat, although smoke rises from it all week, as during the week he is being punished in Gehenna. Turnus Rufus said to him: You have demeaned my father, you have publicly shamed him, and you have cursed him by saying that he is being punished in Gehenna.

ืฉื•ืืœ ืื•ื‘ ื”ื™ื™ื ื• ื•ื“ืจืฉ ืืœ ื”ืžืชื™ื

ยง The Gemara asks: Isnโ€™t one who inquires about the future from a necromancer the same as what is described in the verse: โ€œOr directs inquiries to the deadโ€ (Deuteronomy 18:11)? Why are they mentioned separately in the verse?

ื“ื•ืจืฉ ืœืžืชื™ื ื›ื“ืชื ื™ื ืณื•ื“ืจืฉ ืืœ ื”ืžืชื™ืืณ ื–ื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื•ื”ื•ืœืš ื•ืœืŸ ื‘ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืงื‘ืจื•ืช ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื”

The Gemara answers: One who directs inquiries to the dead em-ploys a different method to contact the dead, as it is taught in a baraita: โ€œOr directs inquiries to the deadโ€; this is one who starves himself and goes and sleeps overnight in a graveyard so that a spirit of impurity should settle upon him, and he can listen to what the dead are saying.

ื•ื›ืฉื”ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžื’ื™ืข ืœืžืงืจื ื–ื” ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื•ื›ื” ื•ืžื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื” ืฉื•ืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื•ืžืื” ื”ืžืจืขื™ื‘ ืขืฆืžื• ื›ื“ื™ ืฉืชืฉืจื” ืขืœื™ื• ืจื•ื— ื˜ื”ืจื” ืขืœ ืื—ืช ื›ืžื” ื•ื›ืžื” ืื‘ืœ ืžื” ืืขืฉื” ืฉืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื ื• ื’ืจืžื• ืœื ื• ืฉื ืืžืจ ืณื›ื™ [ืื] ืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื›ื ื”ื™ื• ืžื‘ื“ืœื™ื ื‘ื™ื ื™ื›ื ืœื‘ื™ืŸ ืืœื”ื™ื›ืืณ

And when Rabbi Akiva would arrive at this verse he would weep and say: If one who starves himself so that a spirit of impurity will settle upon him succeeds in doing so, and a spirit of impurity settles upon him, all the more so one who starves himself so that a spirit of purity will settle upon him should be successful, and a spirit of purity should settle upon him. But what can I do, as our iniquities have caused us not to merit the spirit of sanctity and purity, as it is stated: โ€œBut your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hearโ€ (Isaiah 59:2).

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืื™ ื‘ืขื• ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ ื‘ืจื• ืขืœืžื ืฉื ืืžืจ ื›ื™ ืขื•ื ื•ืชื™ื›ื ื”ื™ื• ืžื‘ื“ืœื™ื ื•ื’ื•ืณ

Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world, as it is stated: โ€œBut your iniquities have separated between you and your God.โ€ In other words, there is no distinction between God and a righteous person who has no sins, and just as God created the world, so can the righteous.

ืจื‘ื ื‘ืจื ื’ื‘ืจื ืฉื“ืจื™ื” ืœืงืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื”ื•ื” ืงื ืžืฉืชืขื™ ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื” ื•ืœื ื”ื•ื” ืงื ืžื”ื“ืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืŸ ื—ื‘ืจื™ื ืืช ื”ื“ืจ ืœืขืคืจื™ืš

Indeed, Rava created a man, a golem, using forces of sanctity. Rava sent his creation before Rabbi Zeira. Rabbi Zeira would speak to him but he would not reply. Rabbi Zeira said to him: You were created by one of the members of the group, one of the Sages. Return to your dust.

ืจื‘ ื—ื ื™ื ื ื•ืจื‘ ืื•ืฉืขื™ื ื”ื•ื• ื™ืชื‘ื™ ื›ืœ ืžืขืœื™ ืฉื‘ืชื ื•ืขืกืงื™ ื‘ืกืคืจ ื™ืฆื™ืจื” ื•ืžื™ื‘ืจื• ืœื”ื• ืขื™ื’ืœื ืชื™ืœืชื ื•ืื›ืœื™ ืœื™ื”

The Gemara relates another fact substantiating the statement that the righteous could create a world if they so desired: Rav แธคanina and Rav Oshaya would sit every Shabbat eve and engage in the study of Sefer Yetzira, and a third-born calf [igla tilta] would be created for them, and they would eat it in honor of Shabbat.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณืžืขื•ื ืŸืณ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืื•ืžืจ ื–ื” ื”ืžืขื‘ื™ืจ ืฉื‘ืขื” ืžื™ื ื™ ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืขืœ ื”ืขื™ืŸ ื•ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืื•ืžืจื™ื ื–ื” ื”ืื•ื—ื– ืืช ื”ืขื™ื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื•ืžืจ ื–ื” ื”ืžื—ืฉื‘ ืขืชื™ื ื•ืฉืขื•ืช ื•ืื•ืžืจ ื”ื™ื•ื ื™ืคื” ืœืฆืืช ืœืžื—ืจ ื™ืคื” ืœื™ืงื— ืœืžื•ื“ื™ ืขืจื‘ื™ ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ื•ืช ื—ื˜ื™ืŸ ื™ืคื•ืช ืขื™ืงื•ืจื™ ืงื˜ื ื™ื•ืช ืžื”ื™ื•ืช ืจืขื•ืช

ยง The Sages taught: What is the definition of the soothsayer mentioned in the verse: โ€œThere shall not be found among youโ€ฆa soothsayerโ€ (Deuteronomy 18:10)? Rabbi Shimon says: This is one who applies seven types of semen [zekhur] to oneโ€™s eye in order to perform sorcery. And the Rabbis say: This is one who deceives the eyes, as though he is performing sorcery. Rabbi Akiva says: This is one who calculates the fortune of times and hours, and says, for example: Today is a propitious day for going away on a journey; tomorrow is propitious for purchasing property successfully. Or he says that on the eve of the Sabbatical Years, the wheat harvest is generally good; uprooting legumes rather than cutting them from above the ground prevents them from going bad.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืณืžื ื—ืฉืณ ื–ื” ื”ืื•ืžืจ ืณืคืชื• ื ืคืœื” ืžืคื™ื•ืณ ืณืžืงืœื• ื ืคืœื” ืžื™ื“ื•ืณ ืณื‘ื ื• ืงื•ืจื ืœื• ืžืื—ืจื™ื•ืณ ืณืขื•ืจื‘ ืงื•ืจื ืœื•ืณ ืณืฆื‘ื™ ื”ืคืกื™ืงื• ื‘ื“ืจืšืณ ืณื ื—ืฉ ืžื™ืžื™ื ื•ืณ ื•ืณืฉื•ืขืœ ืžืฉืžืืœื•ืณ

The Sages taught: The enchanter mentioned in the verse (Deuteronomy 18:10) is one who relies on superstitious signs, e.g., one who says: If oneโ€™s bread fell from his mouth, that is a bad sign for him; or: If oneโ€™s staff fell from his hand, it is a bad sign; or: If oneโ€™s son calls him from behind, it is a sign that he should return from his journey; or: If a raven calls to him, or if a deer blocks him on the way, or if a snake is to his right, or if a fox is to his left, all of these are bad signs. An enchanter is one who relies on these as bad signs and consequently changes his course of action.

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