POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
1) CAN ONE BE CONVERTED AGAINST HIS WILL?
(a) (Rava): R. Shimon ben Elazar learns from "Kol Eved Ish
(any slave of a man... you will circumcise him)".
1. Question: Surely this applies also to the slave of a
(b) (Ula): Chachamim say that just like you cannot circumcise
a Nochri against his will, you cannot circumcise a slave
against his will.
2. Answer: Rather, you may circumcise Eved Ish (a male
slave) against his will, but not Ben Ish (a Nochri)
against his will.
(c) Question: What do they learn from "Kol Eved Ish"?
(d) Answer: They learn Shmuel's law:
1. (Shmuel): If one made his slave Hefker (ownerless),
the slave goes free, and does not need a Get
Shichrur (document of freedom).
(e) Question (Rav Papa): Chachamim said only their law
regarding a Yefas To'ar, since she is not yet commanded
in Mitzvos. A slave is already commanded in Mitzvos, so
they would agree that one may circumcise him against his
i. "Kol Eved Ish" - one is a slave only if he has
1. (Beraisa): The law of a convert is like the law of a
slave bought from a Nochri: he must accept the
(f) Question: The Beraisa (47b) equated a convert to a freed
slave (he need not accept)!
2. Inference: A slave bought from a Yisrael need not
accept the Mitzvos!
3. Suggestion: Perhaps the Beraisa is like R. Shimon
4. Rejection: He says that even a slave bought from a
Nochri need not accept the Mitzvos!
5. Rather, it is Chachamim. This shows that they say
that a slave bought from a Nochri must accept, but
not a slave bought from a Yisrael.
(g) Answer (and Answer #2 to Question 4:f, 47b): No, they are
the same regarding Tevilah.
2) AN "ESHES" "YEFAS" "TO'AR"
(a) (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): "She will shave her head and do
her nails" - she cuts her nails;
(b) R. Akiva says, she lets them grow long.
1. The Torah commands about her head and nails. R.
Eliezer says, just like she removes (her hair) from
her head, she removes her nails;
(c) Support (for R. Eliezer): "Mefivoshes... did not do his
legs nor his mustache" - 'doing' refers to removing (the
2. R. Akiva says, just like she does something to her
head to make herself repulsive, also regarding her
(d) (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): "She will cry over her father and
mother" - this is literally true;
(e) R. Akiva says, this refers to idolatry - "they say to (an
idol of) wood 'you are my father.'"
(f) "A month of days" - this is 30 days;
(g) R. Shimon ben Elazar says, it is 90 days. "Month" is 30
days, "days" are 30, "after this" is another 30.
(h) Question (Ravina): We should say that "month" is 30,
"days" are 30, "after this" is another 60 (corresponding
to what was mentioned above)!
(i) This is left difficult.
3) A SLAVE WHO REFUSES TO BE CIRCUMCISED
(a) (Beraisa - R. Yishmael): One may keep slaves who refuse
to be circumcised;
(b) R. Akiva says, we may not.
1. R. Yishmael: But it says, "The son of your slave
will rest!" (This will be explained.)
(c) Question: All agree that the verse discusses an Arel
(uncircumcised) slave. How do they know this?
2. R. Akiva: That refers to one who bought a slave Bein
ha'Shemashos (when Shabbos was entering) and did not
have time to circumcise him.
(d) Answer (Beraisa): "The son of your slave will rest"
refers to an Arel slave.
1. Suggestion: Perhaps it refers to a circumcised
(e) "And the Ger" refers to a Ger Toshav (a Nochri that keeps
his seven Mitzvos; he may live among us in Eretz
2. Rejection: "In order that your male and female slave
will rest like yourself" teaches about circumcised
slaves. We must say that the other verse discusses
an Arel slave.
1. Suggestion: Perhaps it refers to a convert!
(f) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): If one bought a slave from a
Nochri and the slave refuses to be circumcised, one may
keep him for 12 months. If he still refuses, he must be
sold to a Nochri.
2. Rejection: "The Ger in your gates" refers to a
convert, so the other verse must refer to a Ger
(g) Rabanan: This is unlike R. Akiva, who forbids keeping
(h) Rav Papa: It may be even like R. Akiva. R. Akiva forbids
keeping a slave who never agreed to be circumcised. If he
agreed then retracted, R. Akiva could agree that we wait
(i) Question (Rav Zvid): If so, why did R. Akiva say that the
verse discusses a slave bought Bein ha'Shemashos? He
should have said that it discusses a slave who initially
agreed to be circumcised!
(j) Answer: He gave one of two possible answers.
(k) (Ravin): One may keep an Arel slave only if he bought him
intending not to circumcise him.
(l) Rabanan: This is unlike R. Akiva, who forbids keeping
(m) Rav Papa: It may be even like R. Akiva. R. Akiva forbids
when there was no stipulation not to circumcise him. If
he stipulated, it is permitted.
(n) Question (Rav Zvid): If so, why did R. Akiva said that
the verse discusses a slave bought Bein ha'Shemashos? He
should have said that it discusses a slave bought without
intent to circumcise him!
1. Counter-question: How will you explain why he didn't
say that it discusses a slave who agreed to convert
(o) Answer to both questions: You must also say that R. Akiva
gave one of two or three possible answers.
(p) (Rav Chanina bar Papi, R. Ami, and R. Yitzchak Nafcha):
There was a city in Eretz Yisrael whose slaves did not
want to be circumcised. They kept them for 12 months,
then sold them to Nochrim.
(q) This is like the following Tana:
1. (Beraisa): If one bought a slave from a Nochri and
he did not agree to be circumcised, one keeps him
for 12 months. If he is still Arel, he is sold to a
2. R. Shimon ben Elazar says, in Eretz Yisrael we do
not let him stay so long lest he spoil Taharos;
3. In a city on the border he may not be kept even a
short time, lest he hear something and tell his
4) WHY CONVERTS SUFFER
(a) (Beraisa - R. Chananyah): Nowadays converts suffer
because they did not keep the Mitzvos of Bnei No'ach
(b) R. Yosi says, a convert is like a newborn (he is not
punished for what he did before)! Rather, converts suffer
because they are not meticulous in the Mitzvos as Yisrael
(c) Aba Chanan says, it is because they serve out of fear,
not out of love;
(d) Others say, it is because they delayed coming under
(e) (R. Avahu): Others learn from "Hash-m will pay your
actions, and your wages will be full from Hash-m (because
you (Rus) did not delay to convert)".
Index to Outlines for Maseches Yevamos