Friday, July 20, 2007

A MAMZER WILL NOT SURVIVE - Yevamos 78 - Daf Yomi

Rish Lakish said: A mamzeres is permitted to marry into the congregation after ten generations. The Gemora cites the Scriptural source for this.

They asked Rabbi Eliezer: What is the halacha regarding a mamzeres after ten generations?

He said to them: If you would give me a third-generation mamzer, I will render him pure. (This scenario is not possible, because Heaven does not allow third-generation mamzeirim to be in existence, in order that the ordinary Jews will not unknowingly marry them.)

Rav Huna said: Mamzeirim do not survive.

The Gemora asks: But we learned in our Mishna that the prohibition regarding mamzeirim is eternal? It would seem that they do survive, and they have future generations.

Rabbi Zeira answers: Rav Yehudah explained to me the following: A known mamzer survives (since there is no danger of intermarriage with them or their descendants). An unknown mamzer does not survive. A mamzer that is known, but unknown (it is not common knowledge) will survive until three generations, but not longer (by that time, everyone will have forgotten).

Reb Yonasan Eibshitz explains: Up until ten generations, the strength of the father still exists in his descendants.

The Vilna Gaon states: A father and mother are equal partners in a child. A grandson would have twenty-five percent from the father. The third generation will have an eighth. The fourth will have a sixteenth. The fifth will have one thirty-second from the original mamzer. The sixth will have one sixty-fourth. The seventh generation will only have one out of one hundred and twenty-eight. The eighth will have one out of two hundred and fifty-six. The ninth will have one out of five hundred and twelve. The tenth generation will only have one out of one thousand and twenty-four from the original mamzer.

The portion of the mamzer that exists in the tenth-generation descendant has now become nullified. The Yerushalmi states that a berya, a complete creature can become nullified if it is intermingled among a mixture of more that nine hundred and sixty.

The Yerushalmi states that an unknown mamzer will not survive even for thirty days. The Aruch lener explains: This is only true when he is halachically classified as a mamzer (there were witnesses), but it is not public knowledge. Since he is forbidden to enter into the congregation, and people do not know this, there is a decree from heaven that he will die. However, in a case where there is a doubt if he is a mamzer, he will survive, because the halacha is that an uncertain mamzer is permitted to enter into the congregation. (Reb Elchonon disagrees with this.)

The Beis Shmuel (E”H, 2:18) cites a Sefer Chasidim who states that a mamzer will not survive twelve months, similar to a tereifah.


David said...

That Vilna Gaon is gevalt! Although I feel compelled to day, skeptic that I am, that the Gaon never said it. ( There are lots of compilations of "vertlach" where things are attributed to the Gra). But if I am wrong, and regardless of who said, it is still ingenius.

(Not sure why a mamzer is held to the staus of beryah, though. Maybe the point is just that this is the highest proportion of bittul, so afer 10 generations we are no longer concerned.)

Also, we can ask that really the generation should be reduced. Becasue a child does not contain one half of his father, but one third. According to the Genmara in niddah, there are 3 partners in creation, and so only one third comes from the father!

Anonymous said...

2 questions on the 'vilna gaon':

1) what happens if both mother and father are a mamzer? it should take a few extra generations if the vort holds up, which I don't think it does based on question number 2, whose logic definitely applies to the double mamzer.

2) the kid is a full out mamzer not a half-mamzer. it is true that he is a mamzer based only on his father, but he is still a full out mamzer. And thus his kid is also a full-out mamzer, not a 1/4. the vilna gaon who knew yoreh deah pretty well wouldn't make this simple error. this seems more like a yeshivish vort that someone stam made up but doesn't really back.

Avromi said...

I think l'halacha a berya is not even batul in a thousand.

I also was thinking of the third shutaf, but I guess He is not included in the physical makeup; especially with the mamzer.

I cannot vouch that the Gr"A said this vort, but I don't believe your questions are irrefutable.

The first question is stronger than the second. In respect to the second question, while it's true, he is completely a mamzer, but it is because of one partner. The vort is saying that the kochos which render the descendants to be a mamzer weaken each generation.

ANON Fri Jul 20, 5:45 PM said...

Why would the gra use an obscure saying from a yerushalmi that is not oisgehalten (held of) to explain a real halacha?

Hashem is in everything including a mamzer. To say otherwise will get you into trouble. As an irrelevant raayah, take note of the fact that Lot cohabited with his daughters and ultimately gave birth to Dovid. Similarly, Yehuda lived with his daughter in law, who was also a yevama reserved for the yavam and she ultimately gave birth to Dovid.

What is the answer to the first question?

What is your answer/refutation of the second question? All you did was restate the vort, which I already read. The question was asking on the vort and pointing to a weakness inherent in it. Restating what the vort is trying to say doesn't accomplish much. Although it is true that with each passing generation the progenitor of mamzerus is distanced farther, since each child gets a status of mamzer and not chatzi-mamzer the mamzerus should continue indefinitely. There was a reference there to yoreh deah. If a bug falls into a stew and that stew falls into a different stew, much like a mamzer having children, all of the resulting stews will be unkosher. The gra knew that.

Avromi said...

Firstly, the Gra is saying b'derech drush, so I think you should calm down a little.

I am not saying that Hashem did not have a role in the mamzer c"v; He does not have a role in the Gra's vort.

As to why he uses that obscure halacha, I do not know, and I said that I'm not sure that we even follow that l'halacha. Also, why should a mamzer should be a berya, like David asked.

I don't know the answer to your first question, and I said that before.

In regards to your second question, you are disagreeing with the Gra (or the vort). He is saying that according to this opinion in mamzeirus, it weakens every generation. There are cases like this in Y"D, that when one mixture falls into a second and then a third, it can be easier to be mevatel (especially in cases when you don't say chaticha naaseh neveilah).

I appreciate your passion, and I wish i could help you better. I don't believe this is a halachic vort. The Nefesh Chaya (O"C 53) cites it in brackets.

Anonymous said...

As written above:

"This seems more like a yeshivish vort that someone stam made up but doesn't really back."

Seth said...

Mr. Anon: Have you ever opened up a Chassidishe sefer in your life? How about a Ksav Sofer? Any sefer that has some pilpul in it? Yeshiveshe vort? No! Chassidish, more like it. It is a bit unusual that the Gr"A got mixed into this, but even he has many vors like this in kol Eliyahu and Divrei Eliyahu. Your original question on the vort was a good one, but your badgering the host afterwards is bit over the top.

Anonymous said...

The question regarding
mamzerus becoming weaker
in every generation vs.
"full out" as the poster
wrote, is a red herring
(a ridiculous diversion).
First of all, you don't
know what's "Oisgehalten."
Unless you are an expert
in the sugya in Yerushalmi
Terumos Perek 9. Maybe
you are. 2) If it weakens
that doesn't mean that
the title of "mamzer"
goes away. 3) the title
does go away al pi the GRA
in the 10th generation.
Before you allude to
your obnoxious "Yeshivishe Pshat" and
"Chasidishe Vort," try
learning up the sugya.
We have enough trouble
in the world without
your ridiculous taggings
of groups and Torahs.
Maybe this is why Mashiach hasn't come yet.
You do know the reason
the Beis HaMikdash was
destroyed don't you? Also, the reason R'Akiva's
talmidim died out.
Talk less, learn more.
(Pirkei Avos) Shabbos
tomorrow is long. Pick
one up. Crack a book.

Avromi said...

I am not sure who you are focusing your rant on, but it doesn't seem like it will be leading to mashiachs arrival any time soon. There are such things as drush, yshiveshe vorts, chassideshe vorts etc. That is not fighting or bickering or picking sides. Elu vaelu.

Anonymous said...

I think the poster was saying that you're a "mevateil." You like labels? That's the obstacle to Mashiach, not someone showing you that you are a "labeler." Which you are.

Avromi said...

Once again, I'm not sure who you are referring to. I am the poster: the others are commenters. The commenters are the ones who were "mevatel" the vort and me. "Labeling" a vort prevents mashiach from coming? Why? It is also ironic that you say "labeling" prevents mashiach from coming. I labeled a vort; you labeled people. Which is worse? In conclusion, some people think better as to what they are writing by signing their name. To hide behind your annonymous comments and slander others is not beneficial.

Anonymous said...

I think it's always healthy to get excited about Torah, I believe, however, that before engaging in dialogue, one should employ the dictum of Shlomo HaMelech, ''ki seisheiv lilchom es mosheil bin tavin es asher lefanecho,'' when you sit down to battle the ruler, know well who is before you. This can be extrapolated to mean that before commenting on a blog, check out previous posts and comments, so that you know who you're dealing with. As someone who likes Derush, I know what it means to be confronted by pshat, but it's definitely not worth fighting over. This is not personal. Rather, it is clearly bakashas haemes, despite the fact that the truth sometimes hurts. I wish the poster and commenters much continued hatzlacha and we should all be zoche to ''es vahev bisufah,'' as the Gemara interprets to mean that in the end Talmidei Chachamim come to love each other!!!!