|born, but not conceived in sanctity, possesses kin on his mother's side but not on his father's side. E.g., if he married his sister by his mother, [born before his mother's conversion, and who subsequently became converted too,] he must divorce her; by his father, he may keep her; his father's sister by his father's mother, he must divorce her; by his father's father, he may keep her; his mother's sister by her mother, he must renounce her; by her father — R. Meir ruled that he must divorce her, but the Sages maintained that he may keep her; for R. Meir held that all forbidden degrees of consanguinity on the mother's side must be divorced; on the father's side may be kept. He may marry his brother's wife, his paternal uncle's wife, and all other relations by marriage are permitted to him, this including his father's wife. If he married a woman and her daughter he retains one and must divorce the other. But in the first place, he must not marry them. If his wife died, he may marry his mother-in-law; others say that he may not! — Rab Judah said, There is no difficulty: one dictum is by R. Meir according to R. Eliezer, and one is by R. Meir according to R. Akiba. For it has been taught: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother; R. Eliezer said: His father means 'his father's sister'; his mother, 'his mother's sister'. R. Akiba said: His father means 'his father's wife'; his mother is literally meant. And he shall cleave, but not to a male; to his wife, but not to his neighbour's wife; and they shall be as one flesh, applying to those that can become one flesh, thus excluding cattle and beasts, which cannot become one flesh with man.||
שהיתה הורתו שלא בקדושה ולידתו בקדושה יש לו שאר האם ואין לו שאר האב הא כיצד נשא אחותו מן האם יוציא מן האב יקיים אחות האב מן האם יוציא מן האב יקיים אחות האם מן האם יוציא אחות האם מן האב ר"מ אומר יוציא וחכ"א יקיים שהיה ר"מ אומר כל ערוה שהיא משום שאר אם יוציא משום שאר האב יקיים ומותר באשת אחיו ובאשת אחי אביו ושאר כל עריות מותרות לו לאתויי אשת אביו נשא אשה ובתה כונס אחת ומוציא אחת ולכתחילה לא יכנוס מתה אשתו מותר בחמותו ואיכא דאמרי אסור בחמותו אמר רב יהודה לא קשיא הא ר"מ אליבא דר' אליעזר והא ר"מ אליבא דר"ע דתניא (בראשית ב) על כן יעזב איש את אביו ואת אמו רבי אליעזר אומר אביו אחות אביו אמו אחות אמו ר"ע אומר אביו אשת אביו אמו אמו ממש (בראשית ב) ודבק ולא בזכר (בראשית ב) באשתו ולא באשת חבירו (בראשית ב) והיו לבשר אחד מי שנעשים בשר אחד יצאו בהמה וחיה שאין נעשין בשר אחד
|The Master stated: 'R. Eliezer said: His father means 'his father's sister'. But may it not mean his father literally? — This is forbidden by and he shall cleave, but not to a male. But perhaps it means 'his father's wife'? — That is taught by to his wife, but not to his neighbour's wife [which includes his father's]. But perhaps it forbids her even after his father's death? — It must be similar to his mother: just as his mother is not his relation by marriage, so his father must refer to a non-marriage relationship.||
אמר מר רבי אליעזר אומר אביו אחות אביו אימא אביו ממש היינו ודבק ולא בזכר אימא אשת אביו היינו באשתו ולא באשת חבירו אימא לאחר מיתה דומיא דאמו מה אמו דלאו אישות אף אביו דלאו אישות
|'His mother means, his mother's sister'. But may it not be literally meant? — That is taught by to his wife, but not to his neighbour's wife. But perhaps it forbids her even after his father's death? — It must be similar to his father: just as his father is not literally meant, so his mother is not literally meant.||
אמו אחות אמו ואימא אמו ממש היינו באשתו ולא באשת חברו ואימא לאחר מיתה דומיא דאביו מה אביו דלאו ממש אף אמו דלאו ממש
|'R. Akiba said: His father, means, his father's wife'. But perhaps it is literally meant? — That is taught by and he shall cleave, but not to a male. If so, is not his father's wife taught by to his wife, but not to his neighbour's wife? — That teaches that she is forbidden even after his father's death.||
רע"א אביו אשת אביו ואימא אביו ממש היינו ודבק ולא בזכר א"ה אשת אביו נמי היינו באשתו ולא באשת חברו לאחר מיתה
|'His mother is literally meant'. But is this not taught by to his wife, but not to his neighbour's wife'? — This refers to his mother who was violated by his father.||
אמו אמו ממש היינו באשתו ולא באשת חברו אמו מאנוסתו
|What are the grounds of their dispute? — R. Eliezer is of the opinion||
במאי קא מיפלגי ר"א סבר
- I.e., whose mother was a heathen at his conception, but became a Jewess before his birth.
- The guiding principal in all this is: 'a proselyte is as a new born babe', who stands absolutely in no relationship to any pre-conversion relation. Consequently, his brothers and sisters, father, mother, etc. from before his conversion lose his relationship on his conversion. Should they too subsequently become converted, they are regarded as strangers to him, and he might marry, e.g., his mother or sister. This is the Biblical law. But since heathens themselves recognised the law of incest in respect of maternal relations, the Rabbis decreed that this should hold good for a proselyte too, i.e., that he is forbidden to marry his maternal relations who were forbidden to him before his conversion, so that it should not be said that he abandoned a faith with a higher degree of sanctity than the one he has embraced (since he cannot be expected to understand the principle of complete annulment of relationships). In this case, since he was born in sanctity, he is really not a proselyte at all. He is so styled because he too is legally a stranger to all his father's and mother's pre-conversion relations. As for his mother's paternal sister, R. Meir held that since she is partly maternally related, she is forbidden, as otherwise it would be thought that a proselyte is permitted to marry his maternal relations. But the Rabbis held that there was no fear of this, and since the relationship is in its source paternal, it is not forbidden.
- By 'his brother's wife' is meant even his brother by his mother. For the heathens do not recognise consanguinity in relations by marriage, and consequently these are permitted to a proselyte.
- I.e., who stood in that relationship before they were converted.
- This is explained in Yeb. 98b as referring to those relations whom, as stated above, he may retain
- Now in this Baraitha a number of relations forbidden to Jews on pain of death e.g., his father's wife and his mother-in-law, are permitted to the proselyte, and hence to heathens in general; whilst a number of relations not forbidden on pain of death, e.g., his sister, his paternal and maternal aunts, are prohibited to him: This, taught in R. Meir's name, contradicts his other ruling that all forbidden degrees of consanguinity punishable by death are forbidden to heathens.
- Rashi states that both were his teachers, and cites Bezah 3b as proof. The J.E. (v. Meir) and Weiss, Dor II, 132, do not give R. Eliezer as one of his teachers. Nevertheless he may well have transmitted some of his rulings.
- Gen. II, 24.
- I.e., that union with these relations are forbidden.
- I.e., a prohibition against pederasty. This is deduced from the fact that it is natural only for the opposite sexes to cleave to each other.
- This is a prohibition of adultery.
- Hence R. Meir's dictum that heathens are forbidden those relations which are prohibited to Jews on pain of death, e.g., the father's wife, reflects R. Akiba's teaching, whilst his ruling in the Baraitha that a proselyte may marry his father's wife is R. Eliezer's view, who does not interpret 'his father' as his father's wife.
- Thus prohibiting pederasty.
- But not made his wife.