The Rebellious Son – Sanhedrin 68b English

Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein
The Conservative Yeshiva

To view the Hebrew text, click here.

68b

Mishnah

1. ‘A STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON’: WHEN DOES HE BECOME LIABLE TO THE PENALTY OF A STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON’? FROM THE TIME THAT HE PRODUCES TWO HAIRS UNTIL HE GROWS A BEARD RIGHT ROUND (BY WHICH IS MEANT THE HAIR OF THE GENITALS, NOT THAT OF THE FACE, BUT THAT THE SAGES SPOKE IN POLITE TERMS),

2. FOR IT IS WRITTEN, IF A MAN HAVE A STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON (Deuteronomy 21:18):

2a. ‘A SON’, BUT NOT A DAUGHTER;

2b. ‘A SON’, BUT NOT A FULL-GROWN MAN. WHILST A MINOR IS EXEMPT, SINCE HE DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMMANDMENTS.

GEMARA.

1. [Shealah]

Whence do we know that A MINOR IS EXEMPT?

2. [Teshuva]

(Whence do we know? The Mishnah states the reason, viz that HE DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMMANDMENTS.

3. [Another Teshuva – with a rhetorical question]

Moreover, where else do we find that Scripture prescribed a penalty [for a minor], that a verse should be necessary here to exempt him? This is our question:

4. [Clarification of the shealah]

Thus we say: Now, is then a ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON’ executed for his actual iniquity? Surely he is rather slain on account of his ultimate end; and that being so, even a minor should be executed?

5. [Another justification of the shealah]

Moreover, [the interpretation,] ‘a son’, but not a man, implies a minor?

6. [Teshuva]

Rab Judah said in Rab’s name: Scripture says, If a man has a son [that is stubborn and rebellious], implying, a son near to the strength of manhood.

69b-70a

1. [Quotation from the Mishnah]

A SON’, BUT NOT A DAUGHTER.

2. [Baraita]

It has been taught: R. Simeon said, logically, a daughter should come within the scope of a ‘stubborn and rebellious child’, since many frequent her in sin, but that it is a divine decree: ‘a son’, but not a daughter.

MISHNAH.

1. WHEN DOES HE BCOME LIABLE? — WHEN HE EATS A TARTEMAR OF MEAT AND DRINKS HALF A LOG OF ITALIAN WINE.

2. R. JOSE SAID: A MINA OF FLESH AND A LOG OF WINE.

3. IF HE ATE IT IN A COMPANY [CELEBRATING] A RELIGIOUS ACT, OR GATHERED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERCALATING THE MONTH; IF HE ATE THE SECOND TITHE IN JERUSALEM; IF HE ATE THE NEBELOTH OR TEREFOTH, ABOMINABLE AND CREEPING THINGS, OR TEBEL, OR THE FIRST TITHE FROM WHICH TERUMAH HAD NOT BEEN SEPARATED, OR UNREDEEMED SECOND TITHE, OR UNREDEEMED SACRED FOOD; IF HIS EATING INVOLVED A RELIGIOUS ACT OR A TRANSGRESSION; IF HE ATE ANY FOOD BUT MEAT OR DRANK ANY DRINK BUT WINE, HE DOES NOT BECOME A ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON THEREBY, UNLESS HE EATS MEAT AND DRINKS WINE,

4. FOR IT IS WRITTEN, [THIS OUR SON IS STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS HE WILL NOT OBEY OUR VOICE;] HE IS A GLUTTON [ZOLEL] AND A DRUNKARD [WE-SOBE]. (Deut. 21:20),

5. AND THOUGH THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE PROOF, THERE IS A SUGGESTION FOR THIS, AS IT IS WRITTEN, BE NOT AMONG THOSE WHO GUZZLE WINE [BE-SOBE]; AMONG GLUTTONOUS EATERS OF FLESH [BE-ZOLELE]. (Proverbs 23:20)

GEMARA.

1. [Shealah and teshuva]

R. Zera said: I do not know what is this tartemar; but since R. Jose doubled the measure of wine, he must have doubled that of meat too; hence the tartemar is half a mina.

2. [Limiting the meaning of “Glutton and drunkard”]

R. Hanan b. Moladah said in R. Huna’s name: He is not liable unless he buys meat and wine cheaply and consumes them, for it is written. “He is a Zolel”.

3. [Another delimiting]

R. Hanan b. Moladah also said in R. Huna’s name: He is not liable unless he eats raw meat and drinks undiluted wine.

4. [Kushiyah – an apparent contradiction]

But that is not so, for did not Rabbah and R. Joseph both say: If he ate raw meat or drank undiluted wine, he does not become a ‘stubborn and rebellious son’?

5. [Teirutz]

Rabina answered, by ‘undiluted wine’ insufficiently diluted wine is meant, and raw meat means only partially cooked, like charred meat eaten by thieves.

6. [Another delimiting]

Rabbah and R. Joseph both said: If he eats pickled meat or drinks ‘wine from the vat’, [i. e., new wine before it has matured], he does not become a stubborn and rebellious son’.

7. [A mishnah on a different subject which deals with a similar issue]

We learnt elsewhere [in the Mishnah]: On the eve of the ninth of Ab one must not partake of two courses, neither eat meat nor drink wine.

8. [A baraita on the same subject]

And a Tanna taught: But he may eat pickled meat and drink new wine.

9. [Shealah –clarification of the subject of the baraita]

Now, what length of time must elapse before it is regarded as pickled meat [as opposed to fresh meat]?

10. [Teshuva]

R. Hanina b. Kahana said: As long as the flesh of the peace offering may be eaten.

11. [Shealah]

And how long is it called new wine?

12. [Teshuva]

As long as it is in its first stage of fermentation;

13. [Parenthetical baraita regarding the nature of new wine]

and it has been taught: wine in the first stage of fermentation does not come within the prohibition against uncovered liquid: and how long is this first stage? — Three days.

14. [A comparative shealah]

Now, what is the law here?

15. [Teshuvah]

There [the prohibition of eating meat on the eve on the month of Ab] is on account of joy: as long as it is as the flesh of a peace offering, it yields the joy of meat eating. Here, however, it is on account of its seductiveness, and when a short period has passed, it no longer attracts, whilst wine is unattractive until it is forty days old.

71a-b

1. [Quote from the Mishnah]

HE DOES NOT BECOME A ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON,’ UNLESS HE EATS MEAT AND DRINKS WINE.

2. [Baraita]

Our Rabbis taught: If he ate any food but meat, and drank any drink but wine, he does not become a stubborn and rebellious son’ — unless he eats meat and drinks wine, for it is written. He is a glutton and a drunkard; and though there is no absolute proof, there is a suggestion for this, as it is written, Be not among those who guzzle wine, among gluttonous eaters of flesh. (Proverbs 23:20) And it is also said, For the drunkard and glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:21)

3. [Another midrash on the verse from Proverbs]

R. Zera said: whoever sleeps in the Beth Hamidrash, his knowledge shall be reduced to tatters, for it is written, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

MISHNAH.

1. IF HE STOLE OF HIS FATHER’S AND ATE IT IN HIS FATHER’S DOMAIN, OR OF STRANGERS AND ATE IT IN THE DOMAIN OF THE STRANGERS, OR OF STRANGERS AND ATE IN HIS FATHER’S DOMAIN, HE DOES NOT BECOME A ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON,’ — UNTIL HE STEALS OF HIS FATHER’S AND EATS IN THE DOMAIN OF STRANGERS.

2. R. JOSE, SON OF R. JUDAH SAID: UNTIL HE STEALS OF HIS FATHER’S AND MOTHER’S.

GEMARA.

1. [Explanation of the laws in the Mishnah]

a. IF HE STOLE OF HIS FATHER’S AND ATE IT IN HIS FATHER’S DOMAIN: though this is easily within his reach, he is afr
aid;

b. OR OF STRANGERS AND ATE IT IN THE DOMAIN OF STRANGERS: though he is not afraid, yet it is not easily within his reach; how much more so

c. IF HE STOLE OF STRANGERS AND ATE IN HIS FATHER’S DOMAIN, this not being easily attainable, and he, in addition, is afraid.

d. UNTIL HE STEALS OF HIS FATHER’S AND EATS IT IN THE DOMAIN OF STRANGERS, which is easily within his reach and does not cause him fear.

1. [Quote from the mishnah]

R. JOSE, SON OF R. JUDAH SAID: UNTIL HE STEALS OF HIS FATHER’S AND MOTHER’S.

2. [Kushiyah]

But how can his mother possess aught, seeing that whatever a woman acquires belongs to her husband?

3. [Teirutz]

R. Jose. son of R. Hanina answered: It means that he steals from a meal prepared for his father and mother.

4. [Kushiyah]

But did not R. Hanan b. Molad say in R. Huna’s name: He is not liable unless he buys meat and wine cheaply and consumes them?

5. [Teirutz]

But say thus: from the money set aside for a meal for his father and mother.

6. [Alternative teirutz]

An alternative answer is this: a stranger had given her something and said to her, ‘I stipulate that your husband shall have no rights therein.’

MISHNAH.

1. IF HIS FATHER DESIRES [TO HAVE HIM PUNISHED], BUT NOT HIS MOTHER; OR THE REVERSE, HE IS NOT TREATED AS A ‘STUBBORN A REBELLIOUS SON’,

2. UNLESS THEY BOTH DESIRE IT.

3. R. JUDAH SAID: IF HIS MOTHER IS NOT FIT FOR HIS FATHER, HE DOES NOT BECOME A ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON’.

GEMARA.

1. [Shealah]

What is meant by ‘NOT FIT’?

2. [Possible teshuva that will be rejected]

Shall we say that she is forbidden to him under penalty of extinction or capital punishment at the hand of Beth din; but after all, his father is his father, and his mother is his mother?

3. [Teshuva]

But he means not physically like his father.

4. [Baraita which supports this teshuva]

It has been taught likewise: R. Judah said: If his mother is not like his father in voice, appearance and stature, he does not become a rebellious son.

5. [Proof from Scripture]

Why so? Scritpure says, “he will not obey our voice” (Deuteronomy 21:20), and since they must be alike in voice, they must be also in appearance and stature.

6. [Shealah]

With whom does the following Baraitha agree: There never has been a ‘stubborn and rebellious son’, and never will be. Why then was the law written? That you may study it and receive reward.

7. [Teshuva]

This agrees with R. Judah.

8. [Alternative teshuva]

Alternatively, you may say it will agree with R. Simeon.

8a. [Proof from a baraita]

For it has been taught: R. Simeon said: Because one eats a tartemar of meat and drinks half a log of Italian wine, shall his father and mother have him stoned? But it never happened and never will happen. Why then was this law written? — That you may study it and receive reward.

8b. [Disputing opinion in the baraita]

R. Jonathan said: ‘I saw him and sat on his grave’.

9. [A baraita on a different subject with similar conclusion – See Deuteronomy 13:13-19]

With whom does the following agree? Viz., It has been taught: ‘There never was a condemned city, and never will be.’ — It agrees with R. Eliezer. For it has been taught, R. Eliezer said: No city containing even a single mezuzah can be condemned.

10. [Shealah]

Why so?

11. [Teshuva]

Because the Bible says [in reference thereto], (Deuteronomy 12:4) “And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it in the midst of the street thereof and shalt burn [them]”. But if it contains a single mezuzah, this is impossible, because it is written, (Deuteronomy 12:4) [And ye shall destroy the names of them — i.e., the idols — …] You shall not do so unto the Lord your God.

11a. [Disputing opinion in the baraita]

R. Jonathan said: I saw it, [a condemned city] and sat upon its ruins.

12. [Another baraita on a different subject with similar conclusion. See Lev. 14:33-53 ]

With whom does the following agree: There never was a leprous house [to need destruction], and never will be? Then why was its law written? — That you may study it and receive reward.

13. [Shealah]

With whom does it agree?

14. [Teshuva]

With R. Eliezer son of R Simeon.

14a. [Proof from a mishnah]

For we learnt: R. Eliezer son of R. Simeon said: A house never becomes unclean unless a plague spot appears, the size of two beans, on two stones in two walls, and at the angle of the walls; It must be two beans in length, and one in breadth.

15. [Shealah]

Why so?

16. [Teshuva]

Because the Bible refers to the walls [of the house] 1 and also to the wall: where is one wall as two? At its angle.

17. [Baraita with differing opinions]

It has been taught: R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok said: There was a place within a Sabbath’s walk 20 of Gaza, which was called the leprous ruins. R. Simeon of Kefar Acco said: I once went to Galilee and saw a place, which was marked off, and was told that leprous stones were thrown there!

MISHNAH.

1. IF ONE OF THEM [HIS FATHER OR HIS MOTHER] HAD A HAND OR FINGERS CUT OFF, OR WAS LAME, DUMB, BLIND OR DEAF, HE DOES NOT BECOME A ‘STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS SON’,

2. BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN, ‘THEN SHALL HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER LAY HOLD ON HIM’, — THIS EXCLUDES THOSE WITH HANDS OR FINGERS CUT OFF;

3. ‘AND BRING HIM OUT’, EXCLUDING LAME PARENTS;

4. ‘AND THEY SHALL SAY’, EXCLUDING THE DUMB;

5. ‘THIS OUR SON’, EXCLUDING THE BLIND;

6. ‘HE WILL NOT OBEY OUR VOICE, EXCLUDING THE DEAF.

7. HE IS ADMONISHED IN THE PRESENCE OF THREE AND FLAGELLATED.

8. IF HE TRANSGRESSES AGAIN AFTER THIS, HE IS TRIED BY A COURT OF TWENTY THREE,

9. AND CANNOT BE SENTENCED TO STONING UNLESS THE FIRST THREE ARE PRESENT,

10. BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN, ‘THIS OUR SON’, IMPLYING, ‘THIS ONE WHO WAS WHIPPED IN YOUR PRESENCE’.

GEMARA.

1. [Conclusion from the Mishnah]

This proves that the Bible must be taken literally as it is written!

2. [Refutation of the Conclusion]

[No; for] here it is different,

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