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Tuesday, 11 Cheshvan 5778 / October 31, 2017

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Talmud Torah - Chapter Six

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Talmud Torah - Chapter Six

1

It is a mitzvah to respect every Torah sage, even if he is not one's teacher, as [Leviticus 19:32] states: "Stand up before a white-haired [man] and respect an elder." [The word] zakein, [translated as "elder," alludes to the Hebrew words meaning] "one who has acquired wisdom."

When is one obligated to stand before him? When he approaches within four cubits of him until he passes him.

א

כל תלמיד חכם מצוה להדרו ואע"פ שאינו רבו שנאמר מפני שיבה תקום והדרת פני זקן זקן זה שקנה חכמה ומאימתי חייבין לעמוד מפניו משיקרב ממנו בארבע אמות עד שיעבור מכנגד פניו:

It is a mitzvah to respect - and stand up in deference to him as implied by the verse quoted

every Torah sage - In Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 209), the Rambam counts this as one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot. (See also Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 257.)

In the Guide to the Perplexed (Vol. III, Chapter 36), the Rambam explains the motivating principle for this mitzvah: If respect is not shown to the Sages, their teachings will not be upheld and Torah study will be neglected.

even if he is not one's teacher - in which case more severe measures of honor are necessary, as mentioned in the previous chapter.

The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 244:1) states that this obligation applies only to another sage who surpasses oneself in knowledge.

as [Leviticus 19:32] states: "Stand up before a white-haired [man] and respect an elder." [The word] zakein, [translated as "elder," alludes to the Hebrew words - zeh shekanah chochmah,

meaning] "one who has acquired wisdom" - even if he is young.

The definition of a Torah sage is a matter of question. Kiddushin 49b states:

"On the condition that I am a student" - we do not say that he must be comparable to Shimon ben Azzai or Shimon ben Zoma. Rather, anyone who can be asked about any matter in the area where he is studying and can reply...
"On the condition that I am a wise man" - we do not say that he has to be like the Sages of Yavneh....Rather, anyone who can be asked about any Torah subject and can reply...

The Rambam quotes this statement in Hilchot Ishut. Nevertheless, since he does not specify such a definition here, in Hilchot Talmud Torah, one may therefore assume that in this context, he does not limit himself to that definition. The Siftei Cohen (Yoreh De'ah 244:2) addresses himself to this issue and explains that here we are referring to a Torah sage who possesses a prodigious amount of knowledge and is considered unique within his community.

When is one obligated to stand before him? When he approaches within four cubits of him - Kiddushin 33a states that once the sage comes this close, standing before him can easily be appreciated as a sign of respect. Note the contrast between this halachah and the measure of respect due one's own teacher, as mentioned in Chapter 5, Halachah 7.

until he passes him. - However, once he passes, one may sit, in contrast to the requirement regarding one's teacher mentioned in the previous halachah.

2

One should not stand before [a sage] in a bathhouse or toilet, for it is stated [ibid.]: "Stand up...and respect...," [implying] standing up that conveys respect.

Craftsmen are not obligated to stand before the Torah sages while they are involved in their work, for it is stated: "Stand up...and respect...." [It can be inferred that] just as showing respect does not involve a financial loss, standing need not involve a financial loss.

What is the source [which teaches that] a person should not divert his eyes from the sage so that he will not see him, lest he be required to stand before him? It is written [ibid.], "and you shall fear your God." With regard to all matters dependent on one's conscience, the Torah states: "and you shall fear your God."

ב

אין עומדין מפניו לא בבית המרחץ ולא בבית הכסא שנאמר תקום והדרת קימה שיש בה הידור ואין בעלי אומניות חייבין לעמוד מפני תלמידי חכמים בשעה שעוסקין במלאכתן שנאמר תקום והדרת מה הידור שאין בה חסרון כיס אף קימה שאין בה חסרון כיס ומנין שלא יעצים עיניו מן החכם כדי שלא יראהו עד שלא יעמוד מפניו שנאמר ויראת מאלהיך הא כל דבר שהוא מסור ללב נאמר בו ויראת מאלהיך:

One should not stand before [a sage] in a bathhouse - i.e., in the inner rooms where people stand undressed. The general principle followed is: in the places where it is permitted to recite words of Torah, one must honor a sage; where one may not recite words of Torah, one should not honor a sage (Kessef Mishneh).

or toilet, for it is stated [ibid.]: "Stand up...and respect..." [implying] standing up that conveys respect. - This law is not mentioned with regard to one's own teacher, since, as stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 6, one may not enter a bathhouse together with one's teacher (Rav Kapach).

Craftsmen are not obligated to stand before the Torah Sages while they are involved in their work - The commentaries disagree whether a craftsman may interrupt his work to show a sage this token of respect or not. The Kessef Mishneh states that a craftsman is permitted to do so, and rules accordingly in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 244:5). In contrast, Rabbenu Nissim (Chulin 54b) maintains that a craftsman is not permitted to stand, because the general impression that will be created - i.e., some craftsmen standing in honor of the sage and some not - will not be favorable.

This difference of opinion exists only with regard to craftsmen working independently. All authorities agree that a craftsman hired by others may not stand. His time is not his own, and by standing, he steals time from his employer.

for it is stated: "Stand up...and respect...." [It can be inferred that] just as showing respect does not involve a financial loss, standing need not involve a financial loss. - The Lechem Mishneh objects to these statements, noting that the Rambam's phraseology is not an exact quote from Kiddushin 33a, which is his source. Nevertheless, it can be explained that the Rambam is not quoting that Talmudic passage, but rather explaining a concept that can be inferred from it.

What is the source [which teaches that] a person should not divert his eyes from the sage so that he will not see him, lest he be required to stand before him? - Kiddushin (ibid.) states that we would not suspect that a person would fail to honor a sage when the latter is actually in proximity to him. Rather, this implies that it is forbidden for one to turn away when he sees the sage approaching from afar, so that when the latter approaches, he will not be obligated to stand.

It is written [ibid.], "and you shall fear your God." With regard to all matters dependent on one's conscience, the Torah states: "and you shall fear your God" - who probes man's heart and understands his inner feelings.

3

It is not proper for a sage to trouble the people and position himself before them so that they will have to stand for him. Rather, he should take shortcuts and have the intent that they should not see him, so that he will not trouble them to stand. The Sages would take circular routes through the outskirts [of their cities], where people who recognize them would not be found, in order not to trouble them.

ג

אין ראוי לחכם שיטריח את העם ויכוין עצמו להן כדי שיעמדו מפניו אלא ילך בדרך קצרה ומתכוין שלא יראו אותו כדי שלא יטריחן לעמוד והחכמים היו מקיפין והולכין בדרך החיצונה שאין מכיריהן מצויין שם כדי שלא יטריחום:

It is not proper for a sage to trouble the people and position himself before them so that they will have to stand for him. - Kiddushin 33b derives this concept through the exegesis of the verse from Leviticus quoted above.

Rather, he should take shortcuts and have the intent that they should not see him, so that he will not trouble them to stand. - Kiddushin 33a promises a sage long life for following this practice.

The Sages would take circular routes through the outskirts [of their cities], where people who recognize them would not be found, in order not to trouble them. - Kiddushin (ibid.) mentions that Abbaye and Rabbi Zeira would follow this practice.

The Bnei Binyamin notes an apparent contradiction between the Rambam's statements and BaMidbar Rabbah 15:17. There, the Midrash relates that Rav Abba Cohen would always avoid crowds, lest he trouble them by causing them to rise. When he mentioned this to Rabbi Yosse, the son of Rabbi Zevida, the latter reprimanded him, explaining that he would be doing them a great favor by having them stand before him, because this would lead to the fear of God, as implied by Leviticus (ibid.): "Stand up before a white-haired [man]...and you shall fear your God."

The Bnei Binyamin explains that everything depends on the sage's intention. A righteous man who is not at all motivated by self-interest may appear before crowds. However, a person who is concerned with his own pride should avoid them.

4

Riding is considered to be walking. Just as one stands before [a sage who is] walking, so one should stand before one who is riding.

ד

רוכב הרי הוא כמהלך וכשם שעומדים מפני המהלך כך עומדין מפני הרוכב:

In this context...

Riding is considered to be walking. - i.e., we do not say that since the sage is seated on his beast, it is not considered as if he is walking. However, in other contexts - see Hilchot Kri'at Shema 2:2-3 - the Rambam considers riding as comparable to sitting.

Just as one stands before [a sage who is] walking, so one should stand before one who is riding. - Kiddushin 33a relates that Abbaye would stand as soon as he saw the donkey of Rav Yosef, his teacher, approach.

5

When three people are journeying [together], the master should walk in the center, the [student of] greater [stature] on his right, and the one of lesser [stature] on his left.

ה

שלשה שהיו הולכין בדרך הרב באמצע גדול מימינו וקטן משמאלו:

When three people are journeying [together] - This addition was made on the basis of the Hagahot Maimoniot, who maintains that this law does not apply when each individual is journeying separately, involved in his own affairs.

the master should walk in the center, the [student of] greater [stature] - should follow slightly behind him...

on his right - However, one who walks alongside his teacher is considered a boor (Yoma 37a; see Kessef Mishneh and also Chapter 5, Halachah 6 above).

and the one of lesser [stature] - should follow the sage...

on his left. - Yoma (ibid.) derives this formation from the pattern in which the angels who visited Abraham (Genesis, Chapter 18) walked. This formation was also employed by the High Priest and his subordinates when he would serve in the Temple.

The Pri Chadash and other commentaries question the Kessef Mishneh's interpretation. One point of difficulty with the halachah in general is that it appears to refer to one's personal teacher, and thus it would more appropriately have been mentioned in the previous chapter.

6

One who sees a sage need not stand in deference to him until he reaches within four cubits of him; once he has passed, he may sit.

Should one see the av beit din, one should stand in deference to him from the time he sees him - as far away as he can see. He may not sit until he has passed four cubits beyond him.

Should one see the nasi, one should stand in deference to him from the time he sees him - as far away as he can see. He may not sit until he has reached his place or passed [beyond his field of vision] and is hidden.

Should a nasi [desire to] waive the honor due him, he may forgo it.

When the nasi enters, all the people should stand. They may not sit until he tells them to. When the av beit din enters, two rows are opened for him, and the people stand on either side until he enters and sits in his place. The other people remain seated in their places.

ו

הרואה חכם אינו עומד מפניו עד שיגיע לו לארבע אמות וכיון שעבר יושב ראה אב בית דין עומד מלפניו משיראנו מרחוק מלא עיניו ואינו יושב עד שיעבור מאחריו ארבע אמות ראה את הנשיא עומד מלפניו מלא עיניו ואינו יושב עד שישב במקומו או עד שיתכסה מעיניו והנשיא שמחל על כבודו כבודו מחול כשהנשיא נכנס כל העם עומדים ואינן יושבין עד שיאמר להם שבו כשאב בית דין נכנס עושין לו שתי שורות ועומדין מכאן ומכאן עד שנכנס ויושב במקומו ושאר העם יושבין במקומן:

One who sees a sage need not stand in deference to him until he reaches within four cubits of him; once he has passed, he may sit. - This halachah in its entirety is quoted from the Midrash Hagadol, Shemot 33:8. (With slight textual differences, it also appears in Kiddushin 33b.) Nevertheless, the question arises: Why does the Rambam mention this particular clause? It appears redundant in light of Halachah 1. Perhaps his intent was to emphasize the contrast between an ordinary Sage and others of greater stature.

Should one see the av beit din - The sage second in stature to the nasi, and who acts as the latter's assistant (Hilchot Sanhedrin 1:3).

The laws regarding a nasi and an av beit din are also quoted in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 244:13-15), which, in contrast to the Mishneh Torah, mentions only those halachot that are applicable in the present age. The Siftei Cohen (244:11) questions that inclusion, noting that today's rashei yeshivot and avot batei hadin are not paid the same tokens of respect as the nasi and av beit din mentioned here.

one should stand in deference to him from the time he sees him - the av beit din

as far away as he can see. - i.e., as soon as the av beit din appears on the horizon

He may not sit until he has passed four cubits beyond him. - at which point, he may sit.

Should one see the nasi - In Hilchot Sanhedrin (ibid.), the Rambam describes this position as follows:

The wisest sage among them is appointed to be the head. He is the Rosh Yeshivah. He is the person whom the Sages referred to as nasi in all the sources, taking the place of Moses, our teacher.

one should stand in deference to him from the time he sees him - as far away as he can see. - as explained with regard to the av beit din.

He may not sit until he has reached his place or passed [beyond his field of vision] and is hidden. - Kiddushin (ibid.) derives this from Exodus 33:8, which relates that:

Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise. Each person would stand near his tent, gazing at Moses until he came to the tent.

Should a nasi [desire to] waive the honor due him, he may forgo it. - i.e., although people are obligated to honor the nasi, should he desire to forgo those honors, there is no objection. In contrast, a king may never forgo his honor and must constantly be treated with reverence. (See Hilchot Melachim 2:3.)

Kiddushin 32b relates the following discussion of this law:

An incident occurred when Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabbi Tzadok were participating in the wedding feast of Rabban Gamliel's son, and Rabban Gamliel poured drinks for them. He offered a cup to Rabbi Eliezer, and he refused to accept it. He offered a cup to Rabbi Yehoshua and he accepted it.
Rabbi Eliezer told him: "Yehoshua, what is this? We are sitting and Rabban Gamliel is pouring drinks for us!"
He replied to him: "We find [a precedent when] a person of greater stature served others. Abraham surpassed all others in his generation, yet [Genesis 18:8] relates that 'he stood over them [to serve them']. Do not think that he thought they were angels; he thought they were Arabs. If so, why shouldn't we let Rabban Gamliel serve us?"

The above laws refer to instances when a sage is sighted in the public thoroughfare. The following laws apply when he enters the house of study (Hagahot Maimoniot). (See Horayot 13b.)

When the nasi enters - the house of study

all the people should stand. - as a sign of respect to him.

They may not sit until he tells them to. - for he is the spiritual leader of the entire nation and deserves such honor.

When the av beit din enters - the house of study

two rows are opened for him - At present, when we are used to auditoriums with fixed seats, the setting for this law is difficult to picture. However, in Talmudic times, the people would sit on the floor. When the av beit din arrived, the people sitting between the entrance and his place would stand and create a path for him two rows wide.

and the people stand on either side until he enters and sits in his place. The other people - in the house of study are not obligated to rise as a sign of respect and may...

remain seated in their places. - On the surface, it is difficult to understand why the av beit din is given lesser honor in the house of study than in the marketplace. Perhaps the reason is to minimize the neglect of Torah study.

Horayot 13b relates that, originally, the people would show the same token of respect to the av beit din and other sages as to the nasi. In order to preserve the authority of his office, Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, the nasi, ordained that a lesser degree of respect be shown to all other sages.

7

When a sage enters - when he approaches within four cubits of anyone - the latter should stand for him. Thus, one stands and one sits until he enters and sits in his place.

The sons and the students of the sages may jump over the heads of the people to reach their place when their presence is required by the people at large.

It is not praiseworthy for a sage to enter [the house of study] last. If one leaves to tend to his needs, he may return to his place.

The children of the sages who have enough knowledge to listen turn their faces toward their father. If they lack the knowledge to listen, they turn their faces to the people.

ז

חכם שנכנס כל שיגיע לו בארבע אמות עומד מלפניו אחד עומד ואחד יושב עד שנכנס ויושב במקומו בני חכמים ותלמידי חכמים בזמן שהרבים צריכין להם מקפצין על ראשי העם ונכנסים למקומם ואין שבח לתלמידי חכמים שיכנסו לאחרונה יצא לצורך חוזר למקומו בני חכמים בזמן שיש בהן דעת לשמוע הופכין פניהן כלפי אביהן אין בהן דעת לשמוע הופכין פניהן כלפי העם:

When a sage - of lesser stature than those mentioned in the previous halachah...

enters - the house of study, a path is not made for him. Rather, he should proceed toward his place...

when he approaches within four cubits - Avodat HaMelech notes that this figure is not found in Horayot 13b, the source for this law. Rather, it was added by the Rambam, based on the logic that no less respect should be paid to a sage when he enters the house of study than is paid to him in the marketplace.

of anyone - sitting in the house of study,...

the latter should stand for him - and allow him to pass.

Thus, one - person sitting in the house of study

stands - to allow the sage to pass

and one sits - after he has passed

until he - the Sage

enters and sits in his place.

The sons and the students of the sages may jump over the heads of the people to reach their place when their presence is required by the people at large. - i.e., there are many students whose presence is an invaluable asset to their teacher, for through their questions they enable their teacher to penetrate to the core of the subject matter. Therefore, they are allowed to proceed to their places at the front of the house of study, even if doing so is somewhat discourteous to the people who have already taken places.

In this vein, Yevamot 105b states: Those who are required by the holy nation may step over the heads of the holy nation. However, how dare one who is not required by the holy nation step over the heads of the holy nation!

It is not praiseworthy for a sage - Indeed, Berachot 43b lists this as one of six undesirable tendencies that a sage should guard himself against acquiring.

to enter [the house of study] last. - doing so is considered an act of laziness, which causes unnecessary difficulty to the people sitting there.

If one leaves to tend to his needs - i.e., to use the toilet (Horayot ibid.). Alternatively, the term litzorech can be translated as "for a necessary purpose" - i.e., for a purpose that benefits the people at large (Tosafot, Yevamot 105b).

he may return to his place. - Forcing the people to stand for him a second time, or the sage's stepping over them is not considered to be discourteous, since he was compelled to leave by forces beyond his control. However, if he leaves for other reasons, he should try not to return to his original place.

The children of the sages who - are not mature enough to merit a distinguished position in the house of study in their own right are allowed to sit before their parents as a gesture of respect to the high communal position the latter have attained (Rashi, Horayot 13b). If they...

have enough knowledge to listen turn their faces toward their father. If they lack the knowledge to listen, they turn their faces to the people. - Horayot (ibid.) states that the children are allowed this privilege only during their father's lifetime, but not afterwards.

8

A student who is constantly sitting before his teacher is permitted to rise in his honor only [twice daily,] in the morning and in the evening, so that the honor paid to him does not exceed the honor paid to God.

ח

תלמיד שהוא יושב לפני רבו תמיד אינו רשאי לעמוד מפניו אלא שחרית וערבית בלבד שלא יהא כבודו מרובה מכבוד שמים:

A student who is constantly - Avodat HaMelech notes that the latter word is the Rambam's addition to this teaching quoted from Kiddushin 33b. The addition implies that this restriction applies only to those students who are constantly in attendance at the house of study. In contrast, those who come from time to time must stand as often as necessary. (See also Tosafot, Kiddushin, ibid.)

sitting before his teacher - in the house of study. In contrast, if a student sees his teacher in the marketplace, he is obligated to show him respect at every opportunity, lest others consider him to be disrespectful to his teacher (Kessef Mishneh).

is permitted - Tosafot (ibid.) notes that the expression eino rashei can be rendered "is not obligated," and suggests that meaning in this context. However, since rising more frequently can be construed to be an affront to God, it is questionable whether that interpretation can be accepted.

to rise in his honor only [twice daily,] in the morning and in the evening, so that the honor paid to him - the teacher

does not exceed the honor paid to God. - i.e., twice daily we accept the yoke of God's service by reciting the Shema (Kessef Mishneh).

9

We should stand before an old man of exceedingly advanced age, even if he is not a sage. Even a sage who is young is obligated to stand before an old man of exceedingly advanced age. Nevertheless, he need not rise to his full height, and need only show some token of respect.

Even an old gentile should be addressed with words of respect, and a hand should be extended to support him, as [Leviticus 19:32] states: "Stand up before a white-haired [man]." Every white-haired man is included therein.

ט

מי שהוא זקן מופלג בזקנה אף על פי שאינו חכם עומדין לפניו ואפילו החכם שהוא ילד עומד בפני הזקן המופלג בזקנה ואינו חייב לעמוד מלא קומתו אלא כדי להדרו ואפילו זקן כותי מהדרין אותו בדברים ונותנין לו יד לסומכו שנאמר מפני שיבה תקום כל שיבה במשמע:

We should stand before an old man of exceedingly advanced age - The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 244:1) explains this as referring to a man of seventy. Others, emphasizing that the Rambam uses the term "exceedingly advanced age," see that as a reference to Gittin 28a, which describes a person ninety years old with such terminology.

even if he is not a sage. - The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 244:1) emphasizes that there is no obligation to stand before a wicked man.

The commentaries have raised questions concerning this law, noting that it reflects a difference of opinion between two Talmudic sages, and yet the Rambam's statements do not conform exactly to either position.

Kiddushin 32b states:

"Stand up before a white-haired [man]." Does this apply even with regard to a common person of advanced age? The Torah continues [mentioning] "an elder." [The term] "elder" refers only to a wise man, as implied by [Numbers 11:16]: "Assemble seventy of Israel's elders."
Rabbi Yosse Hag'lili states: [The word] "elder" means "one who has acquired wisdom..."
Issi ben Yehudah states: "Stand up before a white-haired [man]" - Every white-haired man is included therein.

The Talmud explains that although the first opinion is similar to that of Rabbi Yosse Hag'lili, there are minor differences between them.

From the Rambam's statements in Halachah 1, it would appear that he follows Rabbi Yosse Hag'lili's position. However, this halachah appears to echo Issi ben Yehudah's view.

Even a sage who is young is obligated to stand before an old man of exceedingly advanced age. Nevertheless, he - i.e., the sage of youthful age

need not rise to his full height, and need only show some token of respect. - However, anyone other than a sage is obligated to rise to his full height (Tur, Yoreh De'ah, 244).

Even an old gentile - Kiddushin 33a relates that Rabbi Yochanan would stand in deference to an aged gentile, explaining: "How many experiences has he gone through!"

should be addressed with words of respect - Kiddushin (ibid.) notes that Rabbah would follow this practice.

and a hand should be extended to support him - Kiddushin (ibid.) notes that Abbaye would follow this practice.

as [Leviticus 19:32] states: "Stand up before a white-haired [man]." Every white-haired man is included therein. - The commentaries question: If, in fact, the verse refers even to gentiles, and Rabbi Yochanan would follow such a practice, why doesn't the Rambam obligate standing in the presence of an aged gentile?

10

Torah sages should not personally take part in any communal work projects - e.g., building, digging, or the like - [to improve] the city, lest they become disgraced in the eyes of the common people.

Money should not be collected from them to pay for building the [city] wall, fixing its gates, its watchmen's wages, and the like. [The same applies regarding] a present to be offered to the king.

Similarly, they are not obligated to pay taxes - neither [their share in] a tax levied on the city as a whole nor a head tax levied on each individual - as [Hoshea 8:10] states: "Although they will give among the nations, now I will gather them; in a little while, they will be released from the burden of the king and his officers."

Similarly, if a Torah sage has merchandise to sell, he is allowed to sell it first, and no other person at the marketplace is allowed to sell until he does. Similarly, if he has a legal matter and stands among many other litigants, he is given priority. [Also,] he is allowed to sit.

י

תלמידי חכמים אינם יוצאין בעצמן לעשות עם כל הקהל בבנין וחפירה של מדינה וכיוצא בהן כדי שלא יתבזו בפני עמי הארץ ואין גובין מהן לבנין החומה ותיקון השערים ושכר השומרים וכיוצא בהן ולא לתשורת המלך ואין מחייבים אותן ליתן המס בין מס שהוא קצוב על בני העיר בין מס שהוא קצוב על כל איש ואיש שנאמר גם כי יתנו בגוים עתה אקבצם ויחלו מעט ממשא מלך ושרים וכן אם היתה סחורה לתלמיד חכם מניחים אותו למכור תחלה ואין מניחים אחד מבני השוק למכור עד שימכור הוא וכן אם היה לו דין והיה עומד בכלל בעלי דינים הרבה מקדימין אותו ומושיבין אותו:

Torah sages should not personally take part - However, the sages must bear their share of the cost of such projects (Hilchot Sh'chenim 6:6). The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 243:1-2) adds that they are obligated to pay only the cost of the raw materials. They need not hire workers to take their place. This applies only when the work is performed by the members of the community. However, if workers are hired by the community to complete the task, the sages must also pay their share.

in any communal work projects - e.g., building, digging, or the like - [to improve] the city - In Hilchot Sh'chenim (6:6-7), the Rambam gives some examples of such projects: fixing roads and thoroughfares and digging irrigation channels.

lest they become disgraced in the eyes of the common people. - Bava Batra 8a explains that if the common people see the sages performing menial tasks, they might cease to respect them.

Money should not be collected from them to pay for building the [city] wall, fixing its gates, its watchmen's wages, and the like. - In Hilchot Sh'chenim (ibid.), the Rambam explains the rationale for this law. Torah sages are freed from any obligation incurred to ensure the city's protection, because they are protected by the merit of their study.

[The same applies regarding] a present to be offered to the king. - The order in which this law is taught is somewhat questionable. Bava Batra 8a, the source for these laws, mentions a sage's lack of obligation to contribute to a present for the king as part of his absolution from taxes, and not as a leniency granted to him because "his Torah protects him."

Similarly, they are not obligated to pay taxes - neither [their share in] a tax levied on the city as a whole nor a head tax levied on each individual - Bava Batra (ibid.) also mentions that Artashta, the Persian king who sent Ezra to rebuild Jerusalem, freed all those involved in this holy work from all forms of taxes and tribute. (See Ezra 7:24.)

The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 243:2) states that even if the gentile government levies taxes on a Torah sage, the community is obligated to pay the tax on his behalf.

The commentaries question whether there are sages today who are worthy of these benefits. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 243:2) explains that these privileges should be extended only to those sages who devote the majority of their time to Torah study and limit their business involvement to the minimum necessary to earn a livelihood. Other authorities have voiced other opinions, some stricter and some more lenient. (See Siftei Cohen, Yoreh De'ah 243:7; Choshen Mishpat 163:14.)

as [Hoshea 8:10] states: "Although they will give among the nations - an allusion to the payment of taxes

now I will gather them; in a little while, they will be released - an allusion to the sages' exemption

from the burden of the king and his officers." - Rav Kapach notes that in the original, there is no vav before the word ????. However, the quotation of the verse in Bava Batra (ibid.) does include one.

Similarly, if a Torah sage has merchandise to sell, he is allowed to sell it first, and no other person at the marketplace is allowed to sell until he does. - Although the Rambam harshly forbade a Torah sage from taking money from charity because of his knowledge (see Chapter 1, Halachah 7 and Chapter 3, Halachah 10), he allows a sage these privileges in earning his livelihood.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 243:4) states that this law applies only when the market is controlled by Jews. However, if there are gentiles who will sell their goods regardless, the other Jewish merchants are not obligated to risk suffering a loss.

Similarly, if he has a legal matter - i.e., a case to be tried at court

and stands among many other litigants, he is given priority. - Sh'vuot 30a relates:

Rav Olah, the son of Rav Ellai, was involved in a judgment before Rav Nachman. Rav Yosef sent [Rav Nachman a message:] "Olah is our colleague in Torah and mitzvot."
Rav Nachman said: "Why did he send this [notice] to me? To curry favor before me." Afterwards, he said: "[His purpose was] so that I try his case first."

Tosafot questions this teaching, noting that there is a positive commandment to try every case in the order that it comes before the court. Two resolutions are offered:
a) If both cases come to the court at the same time, the court should try the case of the sage first;
b) The positive commandment to honor a sage overrides this positive commandment. Hence, the sage's case is tried first, even if it came before the court later.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 15:1) accept the latter position. (See also Hilchot Sanhedrin 21:6.)

[Also,] he is allowed to sit. - Sh'vuot (ibid.) states: 'And the two men shall stand' (Deuteronomy 19:17): it is a mitzvah for the litigants to stand." Nevertheless, as a token of respect for the sage, he is invited to sit.

The same privilege is also granted to the litigant opposing him, because otherwise, this gesture would be considered to be an unfair advantage granted to the sage. It is worthwhile to note that in Hilchot Sanhedrin 21:5, the Rambam writes that, at present, it is customary to seat all litigants, "for we do not have the potential to carry out the judgments of the Torah in the proper way." These laws are quoted in the Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 17:2-3.

11

It is a great sin to disgrace Torah sages or to hate them. Jerusalem was not destroyed until [its inhabitants] disgraced its sages, as implied by [II Chronicles 36:16]: "And they would mock the messengers of God, despise His words, and scoff at His prophets" - i.e., they would scorn those who taught His words.

Similarly, the Torah's prophecy [Leviticus 26:16]: "If you despise My statutes" [should be interpreted]: "If you despise the teachers of My statutes." Whoever disgraces the sages has no portion in the world to come and is included in the category: "Those who scorn the word of God" [Numbers 15:31].

יא

עון גדול הוא לבזות את החכמים או לשנאותן לא חרבה ירושלים עד שבזו בה תלמידי חכמים שנאמר ויהיו מלעיבים במלאכי האלהים ובוזים דבריו ומתעתעים בנביאיו כלומר בוזים מלמדי דבריו וכן זה שאמרה תורה אם בחקותי תמאסו מלמדי חקותי תמאסו וכל המבזה את החכמים אין לו חלק לעולם הבא והרי הוא בכלל כי דבר ה' בזה:

It is a great sin to disgrace Torah sages or to hate them. - Sanhedrin 99b equates such sinners with epikorsim - total unbelievers.

Shabbat 119b relates:

Jerusalem was not destroyed - This refers to the destruction of the city by the Babylonians.

until [its inhabitants] disgraced its sages, as implied by [II Chronicles 36:16]: "And they would mock the messengers of God, despise His words, and scoff at His prophets" - i.e., they would scorn those who taught His words. - although the teaching is quoted from the Talmud, the Talmud does not itself define which of the verse's clauses refers to the disgrace heaped upon the sages. It is interesting to note that the Rambam's interpretation differs from that of Rashi - who equates the Sages with "His prophets" - and of the Maharsha, who interprets "the messengers of God" as the reference to the Sages. (See also Guide to the Perplexed, Vol. II, Chapter 42 and Lechem Mishneh.)

Similarly, the Torah's prophecy [Leviticus 26:16]: "If you despise My statutes" - which precedes the list of curses to befall the Jews

[should be interpreted]: "If you despise the teachers of My statutes." - See Sifra, Bechukotai.

Whoever disgraces the sages has no portion in the world to come and is included in the category: "Those who scorn the word of God" [Numbers 15:31]. - In Hilchot Teshuvah 3:14, the Rambam mentions the sin of disgracing the sages in a list of transgressions concerning which he writes: "a person who frequently commits these sins will not receive a portion in the world to come."

12

Even though a person who disgraces a Torah sage will not receive a portion in the world to come, if witnesses come [and testify that] he disgraced him, even if only verbally, he is obligated to be placed under a ban of ostracism. This ban is publicly announced by the court. Also, wherever he is located, he is fined a litra of gold, which is given to the sage.

Even one who disgraces a sage after his death is placed under a ban of ostracism by the court. They should release the ban when he repents. In contrast, if the sage is alive, they do not release the ban until he appeases the sage for whose [honor] he was ostracized.

[To protect] his honor, a sage may issue a ban of ostracism against a common person who acted outrageously against him. He does not need witnesses, nor must [the offender] have been warned. The ban is not lifted until he appeases the sage. If the sage dies, three people may come and lift [the ban]. If the sage desires to forgive him and not place him under ban, he is permitted to do so.

יב

אע"פ שהמבזה את החכמים אין לו חלק לעוה"ב אם באו עדים שבזהו אפילו בדברים חייב נידוי ומנדין אותו בית דין ברבים וקונסין אותו ליטרא זהב בכ"מ ונותנין אותה לחכם והמבזה את החכם בדברים אפילו לאחר מיתה מנדין אותו בית דין והם מתירים אותו כשיחזור בתשובה אבל אם היה החכם חי אין מתירין אותו עד שירצה זה שנדוהו בשבילו וכן החכם עצמו מנדה לכבודו לעם הארץ שהפקיר בו ואין צריך לא עדים ולא התראה ואין מתירין לו עד שירצה את החכם ואם מת החכם באין שלשה ומתירין לו ואם רצה החכם למחול לו ולא נדהו הרשות בידו:

Even though a person who disgraces a Torah sage will not receive a portion in the world to come - i.e., even though, as stated in the previous halachah, a person who disgraces a sage will receive the ultimate punishment after his death, he is also subject to punishment in this world.

if witnesses come [and testify - The Siftei Cohen, Yoreh De'ah 334:96, states that proper witnesses are not required, and even the testimony of women or slaves may be accepted.

that] he disgraced him, even if only verbally, he is placed under a ban of ostracism. - The details of this ban are discussed in the following chapter - in particular, in Halachah 4 there.

An example of a sage placing individuals under such a ban for embarrasing a sage can be found in Mo'ed Katan 16a.

This ban is publicly announced by the court. - The Beit Yosef, Yoreh De'ah 243, cites an example of the public announcement of such a ban from Kiddushin 70a. However, the section he quotes is not mentioned in our text of the Talmud.

Also, wherever he is located, he is fined a litra - a Talmudic measure equal to approximately 168 grams...

of gold which is given to the sage. - Hilchot Chovel UMazik 3:5-6 relates:

One who embarrasses a sage is obligated to pay him the full extent of the damages even though he embarrassed him only verbally.
The decision has already been rendered that whoever embarrasses a sage - even with words alone - is fined...eight and three quarter sela'im of gold.
It is an accepted tradition that this fine is collected everywhere, whether in Eretz Yisrael or in the Diaspora. Decisions of this nature were frequently rendered before us in Spain. Some sages would forgo payment, and that is commendable. Others would demand payment, but accept a compromise. However, the judges would tell the person who caused the embarrassment: "you are obligated to give him a litra of gold."

The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 243:7) states that, at present, there are no sages whose stature is that great that they are to be awarded "a litra of gold," if they are publicly shamed. However, a person who embarrasses a sage is obligated to pay damages.

This is the general opinion of most authorities at present. However, in the generations before the Ramah - and in certain communities, even after his decision - this fine was, in fact, imposed if someone publicly embarrassed a sage.

Even - The use of this term implies that this is a lesser transgression than embarrassing a sage in his lifetime (Rivash, Responsum 120).

one who disgraces a sage after his death is placed under a ban of ostracism by the court. - Eduyot 5:6 relates that the court imposed such a ban when someone made disparaging remarks about the sages Shemayah and Avtalion. (See also Berachot 19a.)

They should release the ban when he repents.

In contrast, if the sage is alive, they do not release the ban until he appeases the sage for whose [honor] he was ostracized. - The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Rambam's statements appears to imply that the ban is not lifted until the offender actually appeases the sage. He questions that decision, since it is possible that even though the offender genuinely asks for forgiveness, the sage will refuse to grant it.

Note Hilchot De'ot 6:6 and Hilchot Teshuvah 2:10, which advise a person who has been wronged to be generous and forgive the offender for his actions.

[To protect] his honor, a sage may - act on his own initiative, without bringing the matter to a court...

issue a ban of ostracism against a common person - The Kessef Mishneh states that this expression implies that although a sage can be placed under ban for embarrassing a sage of greater stature, that ban may not be issued by the sage alone, and can be put into effect only by a Rabbinic court. Nevertheless, he postulates that if the sage who was embarrassed is of far greater stature than the sage who made the insult, the former is allowed to issue the ban himself, without a court.

who acted outrageously - See Kiddushin 70a

against him. - The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 243:8) mentions a difference of opinion whether, at present, there are sages of the stature that allows them to issue a ban of ostracism without taking the matter to court. See also Pitchei Teshuvah 243:7.

He does not need witnesses, nor must [the offender] have been warned - i.e., the ban may be imposed without following the standard judicial process.

The ban is not lifted until he appeases the sage. - See note above.

If the sage dies, three people - even individuals who are not sages worthy of sitting on a Rabbinic court (Chapter 7, Halachah 7)

may come and lift [the ban]. - The Rambam does not require him to ask forgiveness from the sage (see Hilchot Teshuvah 2:11) or repent. Perhaps this leniency is granted because the ban was imposed by the sage himself and not by an objective court.

If the sage desires to forgive him - Note Chapter 7, Halachah 13, which explains that this is the general practice of Torah sages, who are willing to forgo insults to them. However, that halachah specifies that such leniency can be granted only when the insult was made in private. If the sage was publicly disgraced, disciplinary action must be taken, or else the honor of the Torah would suffer.

and not place him under ban, he is permitted to do so. - The Mishneh LaMelech notes that this leniency is granted only regarding matters between man and man. If a person is obligated to be placed under a ban of ostracism for matters between man and God - e.g., uttering God's name in vain - the ban must be put into effect even though the individual repents. (See also Tosafot, Yevamot 22b.)

13

If a teacher placed a person under a ban of ostracism because of his honor, all of his students are obligated to treat the person in the required fashion. However, if a student issued a ban of ostracism because of his honor, his teacher is not obligated to abide by the terms of the ban. Nevertheless, all other people are obligated to do so.

Similarly, when a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of the nasi, all Jews are obligated to abide by the terms of the ban. However, if a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of any Jew, the nasi is not obligated to abide by it.

When a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of his city, other cities must also abide by this ban. However, if he is placed under ban by other cities, his own city need not abide by the ban.

יג

הרב שנידה לכבודו כל תלמידיו חייבין לנהוג נידוי במנודה אבל תלמיד שנדה לכבוד עצמו אין הרב חייב לנהוג בו נידוי אבל כל העם חייבין לנהוג בו נידוי וכן מנודה לנשיא מנודה לכל ישראל מנודה לכל ישראל אינו מנודה לנשיא מנודה לעירו מנודה לעיר אחרת מנורה לעיר אחרת אינו מנודה לעירו:

If a teacher placed a person under a ban of ostracism because of his honor - i.e., the case was not tried in court, but the teacher issued the ban of ostracism on his own initiative, as mentioned in the previous halachah.

all of his students - for they are obligated to protect his honor...

are obligated to treat the person in the required fashion - described in Chapter 7, Halachah 4. The Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 334) maintains that one can infer from the Rambam's words that the ban need not be observed by the other sages, even those of lesser stature than the teacher, who are not his students.

However, if a student issued a ban of ostracism because of his honor, his teacher - is not obligated to honor his student to this extent. Hence, he...

is not obligated to abide by the terms of the ban. Nevertheless, all other people - of a lesser Torah stature (Beit Yosef, Yoreh De'ah 334)

are obligated to do so. - As mentioned in the following halachah, this applies only when the student imposed the ban to protect his honor. If he imposed the ban because the person violated a prohibition, his teacher would be obligated to observe it.

Similarly, when a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of - an affront to the honor of...

the nasi - whom all Israel are obligated to honor. This law is also quoted by the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 334:21. Note the commentary on Halachah 6, which questions the applicability of the term nasi within the context of our present-day experience.

all Jews are obligated to abide by the terms of the ban - for all Israel are required to honor him.

However, if a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of any Jew - this also refers to a ban imposed only because of an affront to the person's honor

the nasi is not obligated to abide by it - for he is not obligated to honor others to this degree. In this case as well, were the ban imposed for other reasons, the nasi would be bound by it.

When a person is placed under a ban of ostracism because of - an affront to the honor of...

his city, other cities must also abide by this ban. - The Beit Yosef and the Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 334:20) maintain that even a city whose Torah stature exceeds that of the city which issued the ban is obligated to abide by it.

However, if he is placed under ban by other cities - because he treated them disrespectfully

his own city need not abide by the ban - but other cities of lesser Torah stature are required to observe it (Ramah, ibid.).

14

When does the above apply? When the ban was imposed because he acted disrespectfully to a Torah sage. However, a person who was placed under a ban of ostracism for another reason for which such a ban may be declared - even if the ban was declared by a person of the lowest stature in Israel - the nasi and all Jews are obligated to abide by the terms of the ban until he repents for the matter for which the ban was imposed, and the ban is lifted.

A ban of ostracism is imposed upon a person - either man or woman - for [the following] 24 reasons:
a) a person who disgraces a sage, even after his passing;
b) a person who embarrasses a messenger of a court;
c) a person who calls a colleague a slave;
d) a person who was ordered [to appear before] a court at a specific time and did not come;
e) a person who treats even one point of Rabbinic law with disrespect; needless to say, this applies regarding [matters of] Torah law;
f) a person who refuses to comply with the decisions [rendered by a court] is placed under ban until he complies;
g) a person who possesses an entity that can cause damage - e.g., a dangerous dog or a faulty ladder - is placed under ban until he removes that entity;
h) a person who sells land to a gentile is placed under ban until he accepts responsibility for any damages which the gentile may cause his Jewish neighbor;
i) a person who testifies against a Jewish colleague in a secular court and causes money which Torah law would not [require him to pay] to be expropriated from him is placed under ban until he repays [that amount];
j) a butcher who is a priest and does not separate the priestly gifts and give them to another priest is placed under ban until he gives them;
k) a person who violates the sanctity of the second day of the festivals in the Diaspora, even though [their observance] is only a custom;
l) a person who performs work on Pesach eve after noon;
m) a person who takes God's name in vain or takes an oath casually;
n) a person who causes the many to desecrate God's name;
o) a person who causes the many to eat sacrificial food outside [its proper place];
p) a person who calculates the years [and declares a leap year] or fixes the day of the new month in the Diaspora;
q) a person who causes the blind [ - i.e., the morally unaware - ] to stumble;
r) a person who prevents the many from performing a mitzvah;
s) a butcher who sold non-kosher meat;
t) a butcher who does not inspect his knife in the presence of a sage;
u) a person who intentionally causes himself to have an erection;
v) a person who divorced his wife, and then entered into a partnership or business dealing with her which requires them to come into contact. When they come to court, they are placed under ban;
w) a sage whose reputation is unsavory;
x) a person who places a person under ban when the latter does not deserve [such punishment];

יד

בד"א במי שנדוהו על שבזה תלמידי חכמים אבל מי שנידוהו על שאר דברים שחייבים עליהם נידוי אפילו נידהו קטן שבישראל חייב הנשיא וכל ישראל לנהוג בו נידוי עד שיחזור בתשובה מדבר שנידוהו בשבילו ויתירו לו:

על עשרים וארבעה דברים מנדין את האדם בין איש בין אשה ואלו הן:

(א) המבזה את החכם ואפילו לאחר מותו:

(ב) המבזה שליח בית דין:

(ג) הקורא לחבירו עבד:

(ד) מי ששלחו לו בית דין וקבעו לו זמן ולא בא:

(ה) המזלזל בדבר אחד מדברי סופרים ואין צריך לומר בדברי תורה:

(ו) מי שלא קיבל עליו את הדין מנדין אותו עד שיתן:

(ז) מי שיש ברשותו דבר המזיק כגון כלב רע או סולם רעוע מנדין אותו עד שיסיר היזקו:

(ח) המוכר קרקע שלו לעובד כוכבים מנדין אותו עד שיקבל עליו כל אונס שיבא מן העובד כוכבים לישראל חבירו בעל המצר:

(ט) המעיד על ישראל בערכאות של עובדי כוכבים והוציא ממנו בעדותו ממון שלא כדין ישראל מנדין אותו עד שישלם:

(י) טבח כהן שאינו מפריש המתנות ונותנן לכהן אחר מנדין אותו עד שיתן:

(יא) המחלל יום טוב שני של גליות אף על פי שהוא מנהג:

(יב) העושה מלאכה בערב הפסח אחר חצות:

(יג) המזכיר שם שמים לבטלה או לשבועה בדברי הבאי:

(יד) המביא את הרבים לידי חלול השם:

(טו) המביא את הרבים לידי אכילת קדשים בחוץ:

(טז) המחשב שנים וקובע חדשים בחוצה לארץ:

(יז) המכשיל את העור:

(יח) המעכב הרבים מלעשות מצוה:

(יט) טבח שיצאה טרפה מתחת ידו:

(כ) טבח שלא בדק סכינו לפני חכם:

(כא) המקשה עצמו לדעת:

(כב) מי שגירש את אשתו ועשה בינו ובינה שותפות או משא ומתן המביאין להן להזקק זה לזה כשיבואו לבית דין מנדין אותם:

(כג) חכם ששמועתו רעה:

(כד) המנדה מי שאינו חייב נידוי:

When does the above - leniency that frees certain people from abiding by the requirements of the ban of ostracism

apply? When the ban was imposed because he acted disrespectfully - The Hagahot Maimoniot notes that a ban can be imposed only because of disrespectful behavior. However, this punishment may not be administered for failing to honor the sage.

to a Torah sage. - Many commentaries have noted the difficulty in the Rambam's words. This statement implies that there is a certain leniency with regard to a ban imposed because of the embarrassment of a Torah sage. However, the first of the 24 reasons the Rambam lists for imposing a ban of ostracism that must be observed by every Jew is disgracing a Torah sage. (See Avodat Hamelech.)

Among the resolutions of the difficulty offered is that there is a difference between a ban imposed by a court according to Torah law and a ban issued by a sage individually to protect his own honor.

However, a person who was placed under a ban of ostracism for another reason for which such a ban may be declared - as are enumerated below

even if the ban was declared by a person of the lowest stature in Israel - the nasi and all Jews are obligated to abide by the terms of the ban - Mo'ed Katan 17a relates that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's maidservant declared a ban of ostracism on a person, and the entire Jewish people observed that ban for three years.

until he repents for the matter for which the ban was imposed and the ban is lifted. - See Chapter 7, Halachah 7.

A ban of ostracism is imposed upon a person - either man or woman - Most of the instances where the Talmud mentions a ban of ostracism concern men. However, a number of cases (see Rosh HaShanah 31b, Mo'ed Katan 16b, and Nedarim 7b and 50b) also involve women.

for [the following] 24 reasons: - Berachot 19a mentions that this is the number of reasons for which a person can be placed under ban, but explains only several of these twenty-four reasons. A significant number of reasons are also mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud (Mo'ed Katan 3:1); however, the majority of the reasons mentioned by the Rambam below were gathered by him from many different passages throughout the Talmud.

a) a person who disgraces a sage - as explained above

even after his passing - Berachot 19a relates that a ban was imposed on a person for disgracing the sages Shemayah and Avtalion, even after their passing.

b) a person who embarrasses a messenger of a court - Kiddushin 70b relates that Rav would impose a ban of ostracism for this reason.

c) a person who calls a colleague a slave - See Kiddushin 28a.

d) a person who was ordered [to appear before] a court at a specific time and did not come - See Bava Kama 112b and also Hilchot Sanhedrin 25:8.

e) a person who treats even one point of Rabbinic law with disrespect - Eduyot 5:6 relates that Eliezer ben Chanoch was placed under ban for raising difficulties regarding the practice of washing one's hands, a Rabbinic ordinance.

needless to say, this applies regarding [matters of] Torah law - The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Rambam uses the expression, "treats with disrespect." If a person transgresses a command, he is punished by other means. However, ostracism is imposed for causing others to view a Torah or Rabbinic law disparagingly.

f) a person who refuses to comply with the decisions [rendered by a court] is placed under ban until he complies - Bava Kama 113a serves as the source for this law. Note the slight difference between the Rambam's statements here and those in Hilchot Sanhedrin ibid.

g) a person who possesses an entity that can cause damage - e.g., a dangerous dog or a faulty ladder - is placed under ban until he removes that entity - This concept, with these two examples, is quoted from Bava Kama 15b.

h) a person who sells land to a gentile is placed under ban until he accepts responsibility for any damages which the gentile may cause his Jewish neighbor - Bava Kama 112a mentions this point.

Tosafot postulates that this restriction applies only when a Jewish colleague is prepared to pay the same amount as the gentile. However, if the gentile offers more than the Jew, the owner is not liable to sustain the loss. However, in Hilchot Sh'chenim 12:7, where the Rambam quotes this law, he does not make such a provision. Furthermore, in several of his responsa, he forbids selling property that borders on the property of a fellow Jew to a gentile, even when substantial losses are involved (Rav Kapach).

i) a person who testifies against a Jewish colleague in a secular court and causes money which Torah law would not [require him to pay] to be expropriated from him is placed under ban until he repays [that amount] - See Bava Kama 113b. In Hilchot Sanhedrin 26:7, the Rambam writes:

Whoever has his case judged by gentile judges and courts...is wicked and is considered as if he cursed...the Torah of Moses....
If gentiles rule his society and his fellow litigant is strong-willed, and it is thus impossible to collect [one's due] from him according to Jewish law, he should call him to a Jewish court first. If he refuses to come, he should receive the court's permission to preserve his property through secular law.

j) a butcher who is a priest - but not a priest who slaughters for his personal use (Hilchot Bikkurim 9:8)

and does not separate the priestly gifts - the foreleg, jaw, and the maw, which must be given to a priest from every animal slaughtered. (See Deuteronomy 18:3; Hilchot Bikkurim, Chapter 9.)

and give them to another priest is placed under ban until he gives them - Chulin 132b

k) a person who violates the sanctity of the second day of the festivals in the Diaspora - See Pesachim 52a.

even though [their observance] is only a custom - The Or Sameach explains that the Rambam added this clause because he had already stated that a person who disgraces a Rabbinic ordinance is liable to be banned. Hence, he clarifies that, at present, since we use a fixed calendar, the observance of the second day of the festivals is no longer considered to be a Rabbinic decree and is only a custom. (See Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 6:14.)

l) a person who performs work on Pesach eve after noon - Pesach eve is singled out because the Paschal sacrifice was offered at that time. (See Pesachim 50b; Hilchot Sh'vitat Yom Tov 8:17.)

m) a person who takes God's name in vain or takes an oath casually - See Nedarim 7b; Hilchot Sh'vuot 12:9.

n) a person who causes the many to desecrate God's name - This is derived from the Jerusalem Talmud (Mo'ed Katan 3:1), which quotes how, in a time of drought, Choni HaM'agel drew a circle on the ground and called out to God: "I will not move from here until You provide rain."

Shimon ben Shetach told Choni that his act warranted ostracism, because if God had not answered his prayers, many of the people would have lost faith. Nevertheless, Shimon ben Shetach did not enforce that punishment after he saw how God answered Choni's prayers.

o) a person who causes the many to eat sacrificial food outside [its proper place] - Berachot 19a relates how Todus of Rome instituted the custom of roasting lambs on Pesach eve in a manner similar to the Paschal sacrifice. The sages told him that, were it not for his other personal qualities, he would have been placed under ban, for it is possible that someone would actually consider his lamb as a Paschal sacrifice.

p) a person who calculates the years [and declares a leap year] or fixes the day of the new month in the Diaspora - Berachot 63a relates that Isaiah 2:3: "Out of Zion will come forth the Torah..." implies that the above decisions must be made in Eretz Yisrael, and prescribes this punishment for someone who makes them in the Diaspora.

q) a person who causes the blind [ - i.e., the morally unaware - ] - Note the commentaries to Leviticus 19:14 and also Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 232).

to stumble - Mo'ed Katan 17a relates that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi's maidservant issued a ban of ostracism on a father who physically beat his son after the latter had reached adulthood. By doing so, he was goading his son into rebelling against his father. This ban was respected by all the sages.

r) a person who prevents the many from performing a mitzvah - See the Jerusalem Talmud, Mo'ed Katan 3:1. See also Hilchot Teshuvah 4:1.

s) a butcher who sold non-kosher meat - The Kessef Mishneh quotes Sanhedrin 25a as teaching that Rav Nachman administered such a punishment. However, in our texts of the Talmud, that passage does not mention ostracism specifically.

t) a butcher who does not inspect his knife in the presence of a sage - See Chullin 18a. In Hilchot Shechitah 1:26, the Rambam states that this halachah applies even if later the knife was inspected and found to be kosher. The Kessef Mishneh notes that leniency is taken in this matter, because it has become customary for ritual slaughter to be performed only by experts. (See Tur, Yoreh De'ah 18.)

u) a person who intentionally causes himself to have an erection - Niddah 13b; for by doing so, he leads himself to immodest thoughts, at the very least. (See also Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 21:18.)

v) a person who divorced his wife, and then entered into a partnership or business dealing with her which requires them to come into contact. When they come to court, they are placed under ban - After divorce, a couple should have as little contact together as possible, lest the familiarity they previously enjoyed lead them to sexual behavior outside the bounds of marriage. (See also Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 21:27.)

w) a sage whose reputation is unsavory - Mo'ed Katan 17a relates how Rabbi Yehudah passed a ban of ostracism on a sage for this reason.

x) a person who places a person under ban when the latter does not deserve [such punishment] - Mo'ed Katan 17a relates the following episode: Resh Lakish was employed as a watchman and noticed a thief. Although he shouted at him, the thief did not stop. Therefore, Resh Lakish proclaimed: "You are under a ban of ostracism."

The thief replied: "Although I am obligated to repay him, I am not obligated to be ostracized. You should be ostracized."

When the matter was related in the House of Study, the sages stated that Resh Lakish's ban was not justified, but the thief's was.

The Ra'avad and other commentators mention other acts in which a ban of ostracism is in order. Indeed, in a number of cases (e.g., Hilchot Gerushin 13:20), the Rambam himself mentions this punishment. The commentaries explain that the Rambam limits himself to 24 instances, because that is the figure mentioned in the Talmud. However, these can be considered to be general categories including other instances as well.

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