[60a - 60 lines; 60b - 36 lines]

1)[line 1]" ""MECHASHEFAH LO SECHAYEH"- "Do not allow a witch to remain alive" (Shemos 22:17). The death penalty may be administered by Beis Din to anyone who practices Kishuf (sorcery), whether they are male or female.

2)[line 1]" ""KOL SHOCHEV IM BEHEMAH MOS YUMAS"- "Anyone who has relations with an animal shall surely be put to death" (Shemos 22:18). Relations with an animal is punishable by stoning. This verse and the previous one are written together in a single Parshah, which is entirely made up of these two verses. Therefore, Rebbi Shimon connects the two.

3)[line 5]" , , - ; [ ]""ES CHUKOSAI TISHMORU: BEHEMTECHA LO SARBI'A KIL'AYIM, SADCHA LO SIZRA KIL'AYIM, U'VEGED KIL'AYIM SHA'ATNEZ LO YA'ALEH ALECHA"- "My edicts you should guard: do not crossbreed your animals, do not sow different species [together] in your field, [and do not place upon yourself an article of clothing made of different materials]" (Vayikra 19:19).

4)[line 8]HARKAVAH- grafting

5)[line 11]" [ ; ']""U'SHMARTEM ES CHUKOSAI V'ES MISHPATAI [ASHER YA'ASEH OSAM HA'ADAM VA'CHAI BA'HEM; ANI HASH-M]"- "And guard My edicts and my judgments [that a man should perform and live through them; I am HaSh-m]" (Vayikra 18:5). Although this verse is written following the prohibitions against illicit relations, it is written generally enough that it refers to all of the Mitzvos of the Torah.

6a)[line 12] " " - HASAM "U'SHMARTEM ES CHUKOSAI", D'HASHTA- there [the verse states] "And guard My edicts" [which implies that it refers to edicts that are commanded] now [since the injunction to guard precedes the word "edicts"]

b)[line 13] " " - HACHA "ES CHUKOSAI TISHMORU", CHUKIM D'ME'IKARA TISHMORU- here [the verse states] "My edicts you should guard" [which implies that] you should guard those edicts that had been previously commanded [since the word "edicts" precedes the injunction to guard]

7)[line 16] SHEM BEN ARBA OSIYOS- the four letter name [of HaSh-m] (see Insights to Sanhedrin 55:2)

8)[line 17]" " "YAKEH YOSI ES YOSI" TENAN!- we learned in our Mishnah [that the witnesses testify that the blasphemer said,] "May Yosi smite Yosi" ("Yosi" is a reference to the name of HaSh-m; see Background to 56:2:a)

9)[line 18] MILSA B'ALMA HU D'NAKAT- it is merely a non-specific example that [the Mishnah] has seized upon

10)[line 23] SHEM RABAH- a longer name (e.g., the forty-two or seventy-two letter name of HaSh-m)

11)[line 25]" , , , ' - ', ""V'EHUD BA ELAV, V'HU YOSHEV BA'ALIYAS HA'MEKERA ASHER LO..."- "And Ehud came to him, and he was sitting alone in the cooling loft that he had, and Ehud said, 'I have a word of El-kim to you,' and he stood from upon his chair" (Shoftim 3:20). Ehud, Shofet (leader) of Klal Yisrael, came to Eglon, king of Moav. Ehud tricked Eglon and killed him, helping to sway the balance of the war that Klal Yisrael were waging against Moav. Because Eglon rose and took three steps in honor of HaSh-m, he merited to have Rus, mother of the Davidic dynasty, descend from him.

12a)[line 30]KINUY- a term referencing HaSh-m (as opposed to a true name of HaSh-m; see next entry)

b)[line 30] SHEM HA'MEFORASH- a true, ineffable name of HaSh-m (such as the Tetragrammaton)

13)[line 31]" , , , ""VA'YAVO ELYAKIM BEN CHILKIYAH(U)..."- "And Elyakim son of Chilkiyah who was appointed over the house [of the king], Shevna the scribe, and Yo'ach son of Asaf the secretary came to Chizkiyahu with torn clothing, and they related to him the words of Ravshakei" (Melachim II 18:37). Upon the orders of Sancheriv king of Ashur, Ravshakei blasphemed HaSh-m, claiming that He was as unable to save His nation as the idols of the other nations.

14)[line 35] "" ""ASYA "KERI'AH" "KERI'AH" (GEZEIRAH SHAVAH - - A Derivation Equating Two Subjects Utilizing a Common Word or Phrase)

(a)In a Beraisa found in the introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash on Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists the thirteen methodologies employed by Chazal when determining Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of these is Gezeirah Shavah, in which two identical words (or two words that share the same root) that appear in two different sections of the Torah reveal that the Halachos applicable to one section apply to the other and vice versa.

(b)One may apply a Gezeirah Shavah only if he has received a tradition from his teachers that such a connection between the two words exists. Once the connection is established, however, then one may derive Halachos that were not specified in the tradition.

(c)A Gezeirah Shavah is unlimited; one may not pick and choose which Halachos he would like to apply. This facet of a Gezeirah Shavah is termed "Ein Gezeirah Shavah l'Mechetzah." This rule is waived in the case of an explicit teaching that precludes the application of a specific Halachah.

(d)There are three possible configurations of a Gezeirah Shavah:

1.MUFNEH MI'SHNEI TZEDADIM - If both words are seemingly unnecessary and are not used in the derivation of any other teaching, then all of the rules described above apply.

2.MUFNEH MI'TZAD ECHAD - If the word in only one of the sections is available, some maintain that Halachos may be derived from such a Gezeirah Shavah only if there is no argument against comparing the two sections. This status is known as "Lemedin u'Meshivin." Others rule that such a Gezeirah Shavah is no more limited than one that is Mufneh mi'Shnei Tzedadim.

3.EINO MUFNEH KOL IKAR - If neither word is free, then those who maintain that a Gezeirah Shavah that is Mufneh mi'Tzad Echad is unlimited grant such a Gezeirah Shavah the status of Lemedin u'Meshivin. Those who applied the status of Lemedin u'Meshivin to a Gezeirah Shavah that is Mufneh mi'Shnei Tzedadim rule that this one may not be used to determine any Halachos whatsoever.

(e)In our Gemara, Rebbi Avahu explains that a Gezeirah Shavah connects the verse referring to those who ripped their clothing after hearing the blasphemy of Ravshakei to that which discusses Elisha rending his garments in mourning for his Rebbi, Eliyahu.


(a)Eliyahu ha'Navi's time on this world was drawing to a close. In what would be the final miracle he was to perform, he split the Yarden (Jordan) river and crossed it on dry land together with his disciple Elisha.

(b)While crossing, Eliyahu asked what favor he could perform for Elisha before he was taken. Elisha requested a spirit of prophecy twice that of his Rebbi. Eliyahu replied that this request was a difficult one for him to fulfill (for how can one grant another that which he himself does not possess?). He notified Elisha that if he would be able to observe the proceedings when Eliyahu would be taken to Shamayim, then he would know that his request had been granted. A fiery chariot and fiery horses appeared and separated the two, and Eliyahu ascended (alive) in a stormy wind to Heaven (Melachim II 2:11). "And Elisha saw, and he cried out, 'Father, father - chariot of Yisrael and its riders!' And he did not see him any longer, and he held onto his clothing and tore them into two pieces" (Melachim II 2:12).

16)[line 46] , HA'MELECH CHIZKIYAHU KARA, V'HEM LO KAR'U- [this implies that] King Chizkiyahu tore, but they did not tear [since they had already heard this blasphemy] (see Insights)

17)[line 49]AZKARAH- the mention [of the name of HaSh-m in conjunction with a curse]

18)[line 50]MUMAR- an apostate

19)[line 52] SHEM HA'MEYUCHAD- a unique name [of HaSh-m] (see above, entry #12:b)

20)[line 54] BI'ZMAN HA'ZEH- nowadays [after the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash, when the death penalty for cursing the name of HaSh-m is no longer a threat]

21)[line 55] ?MI PAKIREI KULEI HAI?- are they so rebellious [that one would assume that they would constantly blaspheme HaSh-m]?

22)[line 56] ?MI GEMIREI?- have they learned [the ineffable of HaSh-m to the extent that they would blaspheme HaSh-m with it]?

23)[line 59] MAILAH HU D'AVID RABANAN- it is an enhancement enacted by the Rabanan

24)[line 59] LO EFSHAR- it is impossible; i.e. we do not wish to require each witness to repeat what he heard, since we wish to minimize the repetition of the blasphemy

25)[last line] ?HACHA MISHUM D'LO EFSHAR KATLINAN L'GAVRA?- would we put a man to death in this case [when, according to Torah law, he is not liable] simply because we wish to minimize the repetition of the blasphemy?

26)[last line] , ' SETAMA K'REBBI AKIVA D'MAKISH SHALOSH LI'SHENAYIM- [Our] unattributed [Mishnah] follows the opinion of Rebbi Akiva who compares three witnesses to two. The Mishnah (Makos 5b) addresses the question of why the verse (Devarim 17:6; see Background to 41:9) states that "two or three witnesses" are required before administering capital punishment. If two are enough, is it not obvious that three will suffice? The Mishnah records a disagreement between Tana'im as to what we derive from these extra words. Rebbi Akiva maintains that the reason is to equate the Halachic status of a third witness to that of the other two: if the third one is found to be invalid, then the testimony of the entire set is discounted. It is for this reason that even the testimony of the third witness must be verified.


27a)[line 1]OVED- worships. The Gemara explains the meaning of this term.

b)[line 2]MEZAB'EACH- slaughters an animal

c)[line 2]MEKATER- offers through burning [fats, limbs, or incense]

d)[line 2]MENASECH- pours a libation (usually of wine)

28)[line 3] , HA'MEKABLO ALAV LE'ELO'AH, VEHA'OMER LO, "ELI ATAH"- (a) one who accepts [an Avodah Zarah] upon himself as a god, even if he does so by merely saying to it, "You are my god" (first explanation of RASHI); (b) one who accepts [an Avodah Zarah] upon himself as a god [when it is not before him], and one who says to [an Avodah Zarah before him], "You are my god" (second explanation of RASHI) (see also Insights)

29a)[line 4]MEGAPEF- hugs

b)[line 4]MENASHEK- kisses

c)[line 5]MECHABED- sweeps [the area in front of an Avodah Zarah]

d)[line 5]MERABETZ- settles the earth [in front of an Avodah Zarah] by sprinkling the area with water

e)[line 5]MERACHETZ- washes

f)[line 5]SACH- anoints [with oil]

g)[line 5]MALBISH- clothes

h)[line 6]MAN'IL- shoes

30)[line 6] OVER B'LO SA'ASEH- transgresses a prohibition [of "Lo Sa'avdem"]. Idol worship is prohibited by the verse that clearly forbids inquiring into how the nations serve their gods (Devarim 12:30-31). In addition, the Torah twice states "Lo Sa'avdem" - "Do not worship them" (Shemos 23:24, and in the Aseres ha'Dibros - Shemos 20:4 / Devarim 5:8). One of these teaches that all forms of idol worship are prohibited (RASHI according to the understanding of the MAHARSHA; see also MAHARSHAL)

31)[line 6] HA'NODER BI'SHMO VEHA'MEKAYEM BI'SHMO (NEDARIM U'SHEVU'OS - Different Types of Oaths)

(a)By accepting a prohibition or obligation upon oneself aloud, he has triggered a Torah obligation to fulfill that prohibition or obligation (Bamidbar 30:3). There are two categories of vows possible to accept upon oneself: Nedarim (Nidrei Isur) and Shevu'os.

(b)Generally speaking, the difference between a Neder and a Shevu'ah is that the object of a Neder is the item in question, whereas the object of a Shevu'ah is the person taking the vow. One who states, "This loaf of bread is prohibited to me" has voiced a Neder, whereas one who states "I hereby prohibit myself from eating this loaf of bread" has expressed a Shevu'ah. A Neder, therefore, is generally limited to prohibitions, whereas a Shevu'ah can obligate one in a previously voluntary activity as well. Furthermore, the subject of a Shevu'ah can be that which is intangible (a "Davar she'Ein Bo Mamash"), such as sleep. A Neder must focus upon a tangible object. A further difference between a Neder and a Shevu'ah is that through a Neder one may prohibit even his own object on another or another's object to himself. A Shevu'ah, however, affects only the one who expresses it. The Mishnah and Gemara (Nedarim 16b) suggest many other practical differences between Nedarim and Shevu'os. (See also Insights to Nedarim 2:3.)

(c)Our Mishnah teaches that one who takes a Neder or a Shevu'ah in the name of an idol has transgressed a prohibition. A Neder would take the form of "May all food in the world be prohibited to me in the name of such-and-such an idol if I wash." A Shevu'ah - here referred to as a "Kiyum" based upon the Aramaic term for Shevu'ah - would take the form of "I swear in the name of such-and-such an idol...."

32)[line 6] OVER B'LO SA'ASEH- transgresses a prohibition [of "Do not mention the name of other gods..." (Shemos 23:13)].

33)[line 7] HA'PO'ER ATZMO- one who defecates

34a)[line 8] BA'AL PE'OR- a Moabite idol worshipped through defecation and certain highly immoral practices

b)[line 9]MARKULIS- the Roman god Mercury, also identified with the Norse god Wodin, worshipped through the throwing of stones at it or removal of stones from before it

35a)[line 11]K'DARKAH- in the normal way through which it is worshipped [even if that is through hugging or kissing, or even a dishonorable action such as defecation or stone throwing]

b)[line 13] SHE'LO K'DARKAH- if this is not the normal way through which it is worshipped

36)[line 13] ?V'LEICHSHOV NAMI ZOREK?- and why does [the Mishnah] not count [the case of one who] dashed [blood in worship of an idol]? As the Gemara goes on to explain, one receives the death penalty if he worships any idol in the way in which HaSh-m is worshipped inside of the Azarah (Courtyard) of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since we find that an offering of blood is one of the ways in which idol worship is described in the Torah (see next entry), why is this method of worship not also listed in our Mishnah?

37)[line 14]"... ...""... BAL ASICH NISKEIHEM MI'DAM..."- "... I will not pour their libations of blood..." (Tehilim 16:4). In this verse, David ha'Melech asserts that he will not act in the manner of those who worship Avodah Zarah through offerings of blood.

38)[line 16]" , ' ""ZOVE'ACH LA'ELOHIM YACHARAM, BILTI LA'SH-M LEVADO"- "One who slaughters [an animal] to [false] gods shall be put to death, other than to HaSh-m alone" (Shemos 22:19). The term "la'Elohim" implies any idol, even if it is not normally worshipped through the slaughter of animals.

39)[line 16] ZOVE'ACH KODASHIM BA'CHUTZ (SHECHUTEI CHUTZ - Slaughtering a Sanctified Animal Outside of the Beis Ha'Mikdash)

All sanctified animals fit to be offered upon the Mizbe'ach must be offered as Korbanos (Vayikra 17:1-7). Aside from this positive Mitzvah, one is prohibited from slaughtering such animals outside of the Azarah (courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash). Animals slaughtered outside of the Beis ha'Mikdash are termed "Shechutei Chutz." One who willfully ignores this prohibition is liable to receive Kares (see Background to Gitin 55:42).

40a)[line 20] RIKEN HA'AVODOS KULAN L'SHEM HA'MEYUCHAD- [this implies that] all methods of worship must be exclusive to HaSh-m [upon pain of death]


(a)In a Beraisa found in the introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash on Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists the thirteen methodologies employed by Chazal when determining Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of these is Davar she'Hayah bi'Chlal v'Yatza Min ha'Klal l'Lamed, Lo l'Lamed Al Atzmo Yatza Ela l'Lamed Al ha'Klal Kulo Yatza. This means that when a verse teaches an example of a rule that has already been taught, the reason for this is to reveal a teaching relevant to the entire category. This rule can be applied in one of three possible ways:

1.If a Halachah not previously taught is included in the verse detailing the specific example, then this new teaching applies to the entire category.

2.If no new teaching is readily apparent, then Chazal search for that which may be revealed to us from the fact that one example is written separately. An example of this is the opinion of Rebbi Nasan regarding the prohibition against kindling a fire on Shabbos. Although this is included in the general prohibition against performing Melachah on Shabbos, it is nevertheless spelled out explicitly (Shemos 35:3). Rebbi Nasan maintains that this is l'Chalek - to teach that one need not perform all thirty-nine Melachos forbidden on Shabbos in order to be liable to punishment; the transgression of any one of them is sufficient.

3.If no new Halachah is apparent, then Chazal conclude that the reason why the example was singled out is to limit the category to those examples similar to specified example. This functions similar to a Klal u'Frat u'Chlal (see Background to Mo'ed Katan 3:18).

(b)in our Gemara, the slaughter of an animal in worship of an idol is an example taught even though we have already the learned the general prohibition against idol worship. This example differs from the rule in that while in general one is not liable to the death penalty unless he worships an idol in the prescribed manner of its worship, one who slaughters an animal to any Avodah Zarah is Chayav. So too, any other manner of service that is performed in the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash to HaSh-m (an Avodas Penim) - assuming that it is referred to in the Torah as a way through which Avodah Zarah is served - will make the one who performed it liable for Sekilah, regardless of whether it is the accepted way to serve that particular idol or not. The Beraisa cited in our Gemara then asks: why is prostrating oneself (Hishtachava'ah) in front of an idol listed in our Mishnah as a manner of worship for which one is always Chayav? Hishtachava'ah is not an Avodas Penim!

41)[line 25] ?AZHARAH MINAYIN?- where is the prohibition [against prostration such that the Torah now details the punishment]?

42)[line 26] YACHOL SHE'ANI MARBEH HA'MEGAPEF VEHA'MENASHEK VEHA'MAN'IL- I might have thought to include one who hugs, kisses, or puts shoes on [an idol as liable to receive the death penalty, even if it is not the accepted manner of worship]. The Beraisa now addresses the question of why Zibu'ach is the exception that modifies the rule, while Hishtachava'ah remains a unique exception. Why not learn from that which prostrating oneself in front of any idol is included in the death penalty that any manner of worship which honors an idol - even if it is not the accepted manner of worship - will make one liable to receive Sekilah?

43)[line 27] ; ?ZEVICHAH BI'CHLAL HAYESAH; V'LAMAH YATZ'AH?- see above, entry #40b

44)[line 28]HAKISH- compare

45)[line 29]MEYUCHEDES- has this particular characteristic

46)[line 30] YATZ'AH HISHTACHVA'AH LIDON B'ATZMAH- prostration left [the rule] to be considered a unique exception

47)[line 33] , ; , KI ASRU BEI, KETALA; KI LO ASRU BEI, KARES- when [the witnesses] warned him [first], he would receive the death penalty; when [the witnesses] did not warn him [first], he would receive Kares (This is indeed true for Shabbos, Avodah Zarah, and certain illicit relations)

48)[line 35] MECHASHVIN ME'AVODAH L'AVODAH- thoughts [of idol worship] pertaining to one service, at the time of a different service, cause even the current service to have the status of idol worship

49)[line 35] HA'SHOCHET BEHEMAH LI'ZROK DAMAH L'AVODAS KOCHAVIM- if one slaughters an animal [in order to eat it, but with intention] to dash its blood in worship of an idol

50)[last line]CHELBAH- its fat