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Original Text, Edited, Corrected, Formulated, and
MICHAEL L. RODKINSON
SECTION JURISPRUDENCE (DAMAGES)
TRACTS ABOTH (FATHERS OF THE SYNAGOGUE), WITH
RABBA, AND ZUTA
Revised by the Rev. Mr. GODFREY (Shajah) TAUBENHAUS
Volume I. (IX.)
NEW TALMUD PUBLISHING COMPANY
1332 FIFTH AVENUE
1941, Feb. 11.
In our translation we adopted these principles:
1. Tenan of the original-We have learned in a Mishna; Tania—We have learned in a Boraitha; Itemar—It was taught.
2. Questions are indicated by the interrogation point, and are immediately followed by the answers, without being so marked.
3. When in the original there occur two statements separated by the phrase, Lishna achrena or Waïbayith Aema or Ikha d'amri (literally, "otherwise interpreted "), we translate only the second.
4. As the pages of the original are indicated in our new Hebrew edition, it is not deemed necessary to mark them in the English edition, this being only a translation from the latter.
5. Words or passages enclosed in round parentheses ( ) denote the explanation rendered by Rashi to the foregoing sentence or word. Square parentheses [ ] contain commentaries by authorities of the last period of construction of the Gemara.
COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY
TO HIS EXCELLENCY
THE WELL-KNOWN PHILANTHROPIST, WHO WARMLY ESPOUSES THE CAUSE OF JUDAISM AND ITS LITERATURE BARON EDMUND DE ROTHSCHILD
THIS VOLUME IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY THE EDITOR AND TRANSLATOR
MICHAEL L. RODKINSON
New York, Purim, 5660
INTRODUCTION TO SECTION JURISPRUDENCE.
WITH the present volume we begin the Section" Damages, also called" Jurisprudence," from the occurrence of discussions on criminal law. This section forms the fourth in the old edition, and comprises the following treatises: "First Gate,' Middle Gate," "Last Gate," "Sanhedrin," Stripes,' "Oaths," "Testimonies," "Idolatry," "Fathers" (or "Ethics of the Fathers of the Synagogue ''), and “Decisions."
Notwithstanding the fact that in the old edition of the Talmud "Fathers" stands next to the last tract, we have placed it at the head of the section, relying upon the decision of Sherira Gaon in his letter (Goldberg edition, Mayence, 1872, p. 14) declaring that it is perfectly permissible to change the order of sequence of tracts in the several sections. Therefore, because the treatise entitled "Fathers" deals entirely with the ethics of life, we have deemed it best to give it precedence over the other treatises. Just as in the Pentateuch we find the ten commandments the basis of all ethical religion-heading the subsequent detailed laws and ordinances, so it seems but fit that the Section "Damages" should be headed by the tract setting forth the main ethical principles, and be continued by the detailed discussions. We are further borne out by the Talmud itself, which reads (First Gate, Chap. III., Mishna 3): "One who wishes to be pious should observe the laws of damages. Rabhina said: 'He should observe the teachings of the Fathers.'"' Rabhina's statement should, in our opinion, not be taken literally, but as indicative of the opinion that the decisions contained both in "Fathers" and in "Damages" generally are equivalent.
"Fathers" is one of the few treatises which consists of Mishna only; i.e., has no supplementary Gemara either in the Babylonian or the Palestinian Talmud, although interspersed throughout the contents of the entire Talmud may be found amplifications or comments on some of the sentences of the " Fathers." There is, however, a Tosephtha entitled "Fathers of Rabbi