(a)(Mishnah): A Ba'al Ov is a witch who raises the dead under his armpit, from where it talks;

(b)Yid'oni is one who talks with his mouth (this will be explained).

(c)Both of these are stoned. One who asks (either of them to conjure up the dead) transgresses a Lav.

(d)(Gemara) Question: Why does our Mishnah mention both Ov and Yid'oni, and the Mishnah in Kerisus (which lists all the Chayvei Kerisus, for which one brings a Korban if he was Shogeg) teaches Ov and omits Yid'oni?

(e)Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): Since one Lav forbids both of them, there is only one Kares. (If someone transgressed both b'Shogeg in one He'elem, he brings only one Korban).

(f)Answer #2 (Reish Lakish): Yid'oni is not Chayav Kares because it is done without an action.

(g)Question: According to R. Yochanan, why did the Mishnah list Ov, and omit Yid'oni (and not the opposite)?

(h)Answer: It taught the first one in the verse.

(i)Question: Why didn't Reish Lakish explain like R. Yochanan?

(j)Answer (Rav Papa): The Torah is Mechayav Misah for Ov or Yid'oni. This teaches that each obligates Misah by itself. If Yid'oni were Chayav Kares, one who transgressed Ov and Yid'oni (b'Shogeg) would bring two Korbanos.

1.R. Yochanan says that since the Torah does not write a separate Lav for each, they are considered like one.


(a)Question: Why didn't R. Yochanan explain like Reish Lakish?

(b)Answer: He says that the Mishnah in Kerisus is R. Akiva, who obligates a Korban even without an action.

1.Reish Lakish says, even R. Akiva requires a small action to obligate a Korban.

2.Question: The Mishnah lists Megadef (blasphemy). What action is there?

3.Answer: Moving the lips is a (small) action. (Yid'oni need not even move his lips.)

4.Question: What action does a Ba'al Ov do?

5.Answer #1: He bangs his arms.

6.Question: Does Reish Lakish say that even Chachamim consider this an action?!

i.(Beraisa): One is liable (to bring a Korban) only for an action, such as slaughtering, burning, Nisuch, or bowing.

ii.(Reish Lakish): The Beraisa obligates for bowing. It is like R. Akiva, who does not require a (big) action.

iii.(R. Yochanan): It is even like Chachamim. They consider bending one's stature to be an action.

iv.Summation of question: Reish Lakish says that Chachamim do not consider bending one's stature to be an action. All the more so, banging one's arms is not an action!

7.Answer: Reish Lakish says only that R. Akiva considers it to be an action, but Chachamim do not.

8.Rejection: (In the Seifa of that Mishnah, Chachamim exempt Megadef from a Korban, for it does not have an action.) If so they should also exempt Ba'al Ov!

9.Answer #2 (to Question 6 - Ula): Chachamim obligate a Ba'al Ov who offers incense to the Shed (that performs the Kishuf of Ov).

10.Objection (Rava): If so, he is liable for idolatry!

11.Answer #3 (Rava): Chachamim obligate a Ba'al Ov who offers incense(Rashi in Kerisus - to the leader of the Shedim) in order to gather Shedim (that perform Ov. The incense is not offered to worship them).

12.Question (Abaye): This is "Chover Chaver" (which is only a Lav)!

13.Answer: When done for the sake of Ov, it is Chayav Misah. (Chover Chaver who whispers charms to gather animals is only a Lav.)

(c)(Beraisa): "Chover Chaver" is whether he gathers (through Kishuf) large or small animals, even snakes and scorpions.

(d)(Abaye): Therefore, one may not gather (through Kishuf) wasps and scorpions (to a deserted place; alternatively, incite them to kill each other), even though he intends to stop them from damaging others (unless they are chasing someone. Then, it is Piku'ach Nefesh).

(e)Question: Why does R. Yochanan say that Chachamim consider bending one's stature to be an action, but not moving one's lips?

(f)Answer #1 (Rava): Megadef is not considered an action because it depends on one's intention (Rashi; Tosfos - a verse calls it intention).


(g)Objection (R. Zeira - Beraisa): Zomemim witnesses are excluded (from bringing a Chatas) because they do not do an action.

1.False testimony does not depend on one's intention!

(h)Answer #1 (Rava): False testimony is different because it depends on voice (which is intangible).

(i)Rejection: R. Yochanan considers voice like an action!

1.(R. Yochanan): If someone used is voice to muzzle an animal (he shouted at it when it wanted to eat) or make diverse species work together, he is liable;

2.(Reish Lakish): He is exempt.

i.R. Yochanan obligates, for he holds that moving one's mouth is an action;

ii.Reish Lakish exempts, for he holds that it is not an action.

(j)Answer #2 (Rava): False testimony is different because it depends on what they (claimed to, but did not) see (i.e. inaction. Some say that this is a second answer to Question (e).)


(a)(Beraisa): Ba'al Ov is one who raises the dead and makes him speak from a joint of the Mechashef (e.g. his knee);

1.Yid'oni is one who puts a bone of a Yadu'a (a certain Chayah) in his mouth. The bone speaks by itself.

(b)Question: "V'Hayah k'Ov me'Eretz Kolech" implies that the voice is heard normally (from the ground, i.e. his grave)!

(c)Answer: No, he talks from the Mechashef's joint. (The voice is low because he has no life.)

(d)Question: "...Elohim (an angel, i.e. the spirit of Shmuel) Ra'isi Olim Min ha'Aretz."

1.His voice was heard from the ground!

(e)Answer: No, it was heard from the Mechashefah's joint.

(f)(Beraisa): The same law applies to a Ba'al Ov that raises the Mes on his Ever, or one who asks questions to a skull (and makes it answer);

1.The difference is, a Mes does not come up on the Ever normally (rather, upside down), and it cannot come on Shabbos. When asking a skull; it arises normally, and it can come on Shabbos.

2.Objection: When asking a skull; it stays still!

3.Correction: When asking a skull, it answers normally (without resting on the Ba'al Ov's joint), and it can answer on Shabbos.

(g)Turnusrufus: Why do you say that one day (Shabbos) is more special than others?

1.R. Akiva: Why do you say that one person (such as yourself) is more special than others?

2.Turnusrufus: My master (the king) chose to elevate me.

3.R. Akiva: Likewise, Hash-m chose to elevate Shabbos!

4.Turnusrufus: How do you know that what you call Shabbos is the day Hash-m chose?

5.R. Akiva: We can prove this from the Sabatyon river (it is calm on Shabbos, it rages all other days), from a Ba'al Ov (it does not come up on Shabbos), or from your father's grave (smoke emits from it every day except for Shabbos).

(h)Question: Asking an Ov is the same as "Doresh El ha'Mesim." Why does the Torah write both together?

(i)Answer (Beraisa): "V'Doresh El ha'Mesim" is one who starves himself and spends the night in a cemetery, in order that a spirit of Tum'ah will rest on him;

1.R. Akiva: One who starves himself in order that a spirit of Tum'ah will rest on him achieves his goal. All the more so, one who starves himself in order that a spirit of Taharah will rest on him should achieve this!

2.We do not reach Taharah due to our sins - "Avonoseichem Hayu Mavdilim Beineichem l'Vein Elokeichem."

(j)(Rava): If Tzadikim wanted, they could (be totally sin- free and) create a world - "Avonoseichem Hayu Mavdilim..." (If not for sins, they would be like Hash-m.)

(k)Rava created a man. He sent him to R. Zeira. R. Zeira talked to him, he did not respond.

1.R. Zeira: You are not a real person. A Chacham created you. Return to the dust!

2.Every Erev Shabbos R. Chanina and R. Oshaya would use Sefer Yetzirah to create an Eglah Tilsa (it a third grown calf. Some say that it was as good as the third calf born from a cow), and eat it.

(l)(Beraisa - R. Shimon): Me'onen is one who puts semen of seven men on the eye;

(m)Chachamim say, it is a sleight of hand magician (who appears to do magic);

(n)R. Akiva says, it is one who 'calculates' times that are good or bad, e.g. today is good to embark, tomorrow is good to buy, wheat is good in Erev Shemitah, if one uproots legumes without harvesting them they will not rot or grow wormy.

(o)(Beraisa): Menachesh is superstition, looking for or acting according to omens like the following:

1.His bread fell from his mouth, his staff fell from his hand, his son called to him from behind him, a deer crossed his path, a snake was on his right, a fox was on his left, do not collect the tax from me first, I do not want to pay my debt now, it is the start of the day or week or month.