[53a - 43 lines; 53b - 34 lines]

1)[line 3]ארבע מיתות גמרא גמירי להוARBA MISOS GEMARA GEMIREI LEHU- we know the four death penalties (what they are and their order of stringency) from the tradition that Moshe received on Mount Sinai (Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai)

2)[line 7]מאוב וידעוניOV V'YID'ONI- see below, entry #6

3)[line 13]במיתה הכתובה בוMISAH HA'KESUVAH BO- the death penalty that is prescribed for it in the Torah (whether explicitly or as was derived from the verses by the Rabanan)

4)[line 15]בכל מיתה שאתה יכול להמיתוB'CHOL MISAH SHE'ATAH YACHOL L'HAMISO- with any method in which you are able to kill him, e.g. arrows or stones (see RABEINU CHANANEL to Sanhedrin 45b)

5)[line 31]והנותן מזרעו למולךHA'NOSEN MI'ZAR'O LA'MOLECH

(a)The Torah (Vayikra 18:21, 20:2-5) prohibits the rites of Molech, which is either an Avodah Zarah (an idol) or a form of Darchei ha'Emori, those customs of the Nochrim that have no logical foundation, but are not idol worship.

(b)According to RASHI (Sanhedrin 64a and to Vayikra 18:21), the person who wished to practice the rites of Molech handed over his children to the priests of Molech, who forced them to walk in between two large bonfires. (There is a dispute as to whether the children were burned to death or not - Sanhedrin 64a.) RAMBAN (to Vayikra ibid.) argues, claiming that after the parents handed over their children to the priests of Molech (who perform Tenufah or Hagashah before the Molech idol) the parents themselves must walk their children into the bonfires.

(c)The prohibition against Avodah Zarah is one of the Ten Commandments (Shemos 20:3-5; see Background to Sanhedrin 40:23). The prohibition to practice any of the Dachei ha'Emori is learned from the verse (Vayikra 18:3) "וּבְחֻקּוֹתֵיהֶם לֹא תֵלֵכוּ" "uve'Chukoseihem Lo Seileichu" (RASHI to Shabbos 67a), or from the verse (Shemos 23:24) "וְלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כְּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם" "v'Lo Sa'aseh k'Ma'aseihem" (RASHI to Chulin 77a, RAMBAN to Shemos ibid.)

6)[line 31]ובעל אוב וידעוניBA'AL OV V'YID'ONI - one who practices the forms of witchcraft known as "Ov" and "Yid'oni"

(a)OV - The Gemara (Sanhedrin 65b) defines a Ba'al Ov as someone who attempts to communicate with the dead by bringing up a deceased person through sorcery and having it speak. To get it to speak, the diviner would put a certain bone in his armpit and flap his arms or move around in various ways.

(b)YID'ONI - This form of witchcraft was accomplished by placing a bone from the Yidu'a or Adnei ha'Sadeh creature (Kil'ayim 8:5) in the mouth of the diviner in order to communicate with the dead.

7)[line 32]והמקלל אביו ואמוHA'MEKALEL AVIV V'IMO- one who curses his father or his mother (as prohibited by the Torah in Vayikra 20:9)

8a)[line 32]והמסיתHA'MESIS (MESIS)

(a)A man or woman who leads a fellow Jew astray by trying to influence him or her to commit idolatry, is put to death by stoning (Devarim 13:7-12). It makes no difference if anyone actually committed idolatry or not.

(b)Certain Halachos of Mesis are more stringent than any other capital offense of the Torah. A Mesis does not need a warning to be found guilty; however, he must perform the Hasasah in front of two witnesses in order to be put to death. Even if the witnesses stood in a concealed place, it is possible for the Mesis to be guilty of Hasasah, whereas in all other capital punishment cases this testimony would be invalid (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodah Zarah 5:1-5).

(c)In addition, as the Gemara teaches (Sanhedrin 29a), Beis Din is not enjoined to find reason to acquit the Mesis, as Beis Din is enjoined to do in the case of every other capital offender.

b)[line 32]והמדיחHA'MEDI'ACH- one who persuades others to worship Avodah Zarah (as described in the Mishnah and Gemara, Sanhedrin 67a)

9)[line 33]והמכשףHA'MECHASHEF- one who practices witchcraft (as the Torah prohibits in Shemos 22:17, and as described in the Mishnah and Gemara, Sanhedrin 67a)

10)[line 33]ובן סורר ומורהBEN SORER U'MOREH - The "stubborn and rebellious son"

(a)A boy can become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh (Devarim 21:18-21) from the time that he shows signs of puberty (when two hairs grow) until he reaches a further stage of development (approximately three months later). He must steal money from his father and buy 50 Dinars' weight of meat, eating it rare outside his father's property and in bad company. He must also drink half a log (5 oz.) of wine with the meal. It is therefore forbidden for a boy of this age to eat such a meal at any time (Sefer ha'Mitzvos, Lo Sa'aseh #195).

(b)A Ben Sorer u'Moreh is punished with Sekilah (stoning). Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili explains that since he is running after worldly pleasures, he will eventually deplete all of his father's possessions, and when there is nothing left, he will stand at a crossroads and steal from people. It is better to kill him when he is young and has few sins than to let him live and die a wicked man (Sanhedrin 72a).

(c)The Gemara (Sanhedrin 68b-72a) learns that there are additional conditions necessary to become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh, which are so numerous and intricate that according to one opinion (71a), it is unfeasible for this punishment ever to be executed.

11)[line 42]כרבי עקיבא דאמר אין קידושין תופסין בחייבי לאויןK'REBBI AKIVA D'AMAR EIN KIDUSHIN TOFSIN B'CHAYAVEI LAVIN - Rebbi Yehudah holds like Rebbi Akiva, who said that Kidushin does not take effect with a person to whom one is prohibited to marry because of a Lo Ta'aseh.

(a)There are women whom the Torah prohibits to certain men. However, if these men transgress a Torah prohibition and are Mekadesh (betroth) them, the Kidushin is valid. Other women are prohibited to the extent that even if the men are Mekadesh them, the Kidushin is not valid.

(b)The Tana'im argue, based upon differing interpretations of the verses of the Torah (Kidushin 67b-68a), with which women Kidushin is valid and with which women Kidushin is not valid.

1.According to most of the Tana'im, Kidushin is valid with women who are prohibited only with a Lav and/or an Aseh. Kidushin is not valid with women who are prohibited with an Isur Kares (such as the Arayos that the Torah prohibits in Parshas Acharei Mos, Vayikra 18:6-23).

2.Rebbi Akiva and other Tana'im are more stringent, ruling that Kidushin is not valid even with those women who are prohibited with an Isur Lav. The Tana'im argue further with regard to the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, as to whether Kidushin is not valid only with some of the Chayavei Lavin (those women who were never permitted to the man in question), or with all of them. Additionally, one Tana claims that according to Rebbi Akiva, Kidushin is not valid with Isurei Aseh either (see "Mamzer," Background to Kidushin 66:24).

(c)Another result of the above-mentioned argument applies to Mamzerim. According to the opinion that rules that only Kidushin with Chayavei Kares is not valid, the children of Chayavei Lavim are not Mamzerim. According to Rebbi Akiva and those Tana'im who rule that Kidushin with Chayavei Lavim is not valid either, the children of Chayavei Lavim are also Mamzerim (see "Mamzer," in the Background ibid.).

(d)According to all opinions, Kidushin may not be effected with a non-Jewish maidservant or a Nochris, even though the prohibition against marrying them is not a Isur Kares, since the institution of Kidushin does not exist with regard to these women (see Insights to Yevamos 45:1).

12a)[last line]איסור מצוהISUR MITZVAH- a Rabbinical prohibition, i.e. the relatives one is forbidden to marry mid'Rabanan (see below, entry #14. According to the Tana Kama (Yevamos 20a), they are called "Isur Mitzvah" because it is a Mitzvah to heed the words of the sages).

b)[last line]ואיסור קדושהISUR KEDUSHAH- a Torah prohibition, i.e. the women one is forbidden to marry by a Lo Sa'aseh that does not carry the punishment of Kares. For example, a widow to a Kohen Gadol, a divorcee to a Kohen, a Mamzeres or Nesinah to a Yisrael, and a Bas Yisrael to a Nesin or Mamzer. According to the Tana Kama (Yevamos 20a), they are called "Isur Kedushah" because of the verse regarding the Kohanim, "קְדֹשִׁים יִהְיוּ" "Kedoshim Yiheyu" - "They shall be holy" (Vayikra 21:6). (Rebbi Yehudah explains Isur Mitzvah and Isur Kedushah in the exact opposite way, as our Gemara will explain.)

13)[last line]חולצות ולא מתייבמותCHOLTZOS V'LO MISYABMOS - she does Chalitzah but not Yibum (CHALITZAH)

(a)If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife - see Background to Bava Basra 134:11), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum.

(b)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.

(c)In certain situations (such as when the wife of the deceased man is prohibited to his brother because of a Lo Ta'aseh, as mentioned above in entry #12b), the woman may not do Yibum, but may do only Chalitzah.


14)[line 1]שניות מדברי סופריםSHENIYOS MI'DIVREI SOFRIM - Arayos prohibited by Rabbinic decree (SHENIYOS)

(a)In addition to the forbidden relationships (Isurei Ervah) prohibited by the Torah and punishable with Kares (Vayikra 18:6-30, 20:10-22, et. al.), the Chachamim decreed to prohibit certain relatives who are permitted mid'Oraisa. This decree of Sheniyos (lit. "secondaries") was meant to distance a person from engaging in relationships that are prohibited by the Torah. Although the Chachamim lent severity to this Isur by showing hidden inferences to Sheniyos from various verses in the Torah (Yevamos 21a), nevertheless, the prohibition of Sheniyos is only mid'Rabanan. Therefore, if a man betroths a Sheniyah, his Kidushin is valid, and the resulting child is not a Mamzer as the child of an Ervah mid'Oraisa would be. If a Yevamah is a Sheniyah of the Yavam, she and her Tzarah (co-wife) must do Chalitzah and not Yibum.

(b)In some cases, Sheniyos were prohibited only in a single generation, while in other cases they were prohibited in subsequent generations as well. For example, not only is one's mother's mother a Sheniyah, his mother's mother's mother is a Sheniyah as well; not only is one's son's daughter-in-law a Sheniyah, his son's son's daughter-in-law is a Sheniyah as well. The general rule is that if there is an Ervah mid'Oraisa in one generation (in the above example, one's mother or daughter-in-law) the associated Sheniyah was prohibited in all previous generations or subsequent generations as well; that is, the Sheniyah was prohibited "without a Hefsek" (RASHI to Yevamos 21a DH v'Eshes Achi ha'Av - There are several exceptions to this rule; see Chart #6 to Yevamos 21a-22a and footnotes 2, 3.)

(c)There are those who prohibited Sheniyos based on the principle that "any relative who, as a female, is Asur as an Ervah, as a male his wife is Asur mid'Rabanan (i.e. a Sheniyah)." For example, since a man's daughter's daughter is prohibited to him, the Chachamim decreed that the daughter-in-law of his daughter is prohibited to him as a Sheniyah (GEMARA Yevamos 21b; see TOSFOS ibid. DH Lo Asru).

15)[line 6]רבי יהודה מחליףREBBI YEHUDAH MACHLIF- Rebbi Yehudah exchanges [the definition for which woman is considered an "Isur Mitzvah" and which woman is considered an "Isur Kedushah"]

16)[line 11]לדבריו דתנא קמא קאמרLI'DEVARAV D'TANA KAMA KA'AMAR- [Rebbi Yehudah is not stating his own opinion, but rather] he is speaking according to the opinion of the Tana Kama (who obligates a woman who is prohibited to marry her Yavam by a Lo Ta'aseh (such as an Almanah to a Kohen Gadol) to nevertheless do Chalitzah with him)

17)[line 23]לכדרב שישא בריה דרב אידיLECHED'RAV SHISA BREI D'RAV IDI- [the Rabanan expound the words "אִמְּךָ הִוא" "Imcha Hi" (Vayikra 18:7)] according to the explanation of Rav Shisa brei d'Rav Idi (who says, on 54a, that "Imcha Hi" teaches that one's mother who is not the wife of his father has the same laws of the wife of his father)

18)[line 32]ומייתי לה בגזירה שוהU'MAISI LAH BI'GEZEIRAH SHAVAH- and he learns it through a Gezeirah Shavah (Rebbi Yehudah learns that the words "עֶרְוַת אָבִיךָ" "Ervas Avicha" (ibid.) refer to the wife of one's father (and not to one's father himself) through a Gezeirah Shavah with the words "עֶרְוַת אָבִיו" "Ervas Aviv" (Vayikra 20:11))