Pisqa’ 206

Pisqa’ 2061


“After the city closest to the murder victim has been determined” (Dt.21:3).

This refers to the nearest among the near.

On this basis they taught:

If the murder victim is found

exactly between two cities,

each of them brings two calves

[one for itself and one for its neighbor].

But sages say:

One city brings one calf,

and two cities do not bring two calves.2

But residents of Jerusalem are

under no obligation to bring a Beheaded-calf for the rite

[because Jerusalem falls within no tribal inheritance].3  


“Then, the elders of that city shall purchase” (Dt.21:3)—

but not the elders of Jerusalem.

“A calf of the herd” (Dt.21:3).

R. Eliezer says:

A calf qualifies [for the rite] in its first year,

While a heifer qualifies [for the rite of the Red Heifer4] in its second.

But sages say:

A calf qualifies in its second year,

While a heifer qualifies in its third or fourth.5

Another word:

“A calf of the herd” (Dt.21:3)—

one that has two distinguishing traits.

And what might these be?

It must be two years old,

And it must be a calf6 of the herd.

Another word:

Rinsing the hands is the task of elders (Dt.21:6),

while the absolution is the task of Priests (Dt.21:5-7)7

“Which had never been worked” (Dt.21:3)—

Can this mean any work at all?

How do I know that

this refers to bearing a yoke?

The Teaching states:

“Which has never carried a yoke”8 (Dt.21:3)

  1. H:221; JN2:101-102.
  2. =T, Neg.1:13
  3. =M. Sotah 9:2.
  4. See Nu.19:1ff.
  5. =M. Par.1:1; cf. T, Par.1:1, Sifre Nu, 123, s.v., r ‘eli`ezer ‘omer.
  6. So F:242. Pardo emends to parah, “heifer.”
  7. These two paragraphs are identified by F:242, n.3 as extraneous to Sifre’s “core”. Cf. M.Sotah 9:6.
  8. Cf. T.Par.3:4.