SHIUR BEKIYUT #1: 66b
The next twelve pages of Kiddushin deal with "yuchsin" - the genealogical status of a man or woman which affects their permissibility to marry, and the status of their children. A short list of the different classes is found in the mishna at the beginning of the fourth chapter (69a). The ten categories listed there may be combined, logically, into three groups:
A - Tribal or familial: kohen, levi, or yisrael. Basically this indicates which family one belongs to. Since there is no halakhic ramifications to which tribe one belongs to, other than being a levi or kohen, the three categories listed are kohen, levi, and yisrael.
B - National: "ger" (convert) and "charuri" (freed slave). The mishna doesn't list the basic national distinction, between Jew and non-Jew, since it is referring to categories of Jews. In the next few weeks we will discuss, among other things, laws relating to relations with a non-Jew. The two categories of ger and charuri are practically equivalent, since a freed slave is a kind of convert. The Meiri (69a) states that the mishna distinguished between them only to indicate a distinction of attitude - the convert, who converts of his free will, is "more beloved" than the freed slave, who has achieved the same halakhic status involuntarily. Halakhically, we will refer to three types in this category: non-Jews, slaves and converts (including freed slaves). The laws applying here derive from the original national identity of non-Jewish.
There are also occasions where the particular national status of a non-Jew, or rather a ger, is important. The Torah prohibits Ammonite and Moabite men from marrying Jews even after conversion; Edomites and Mitzrites (Egyptians) are prohibited for three generations (Deut. 23). Hence, it is important to determine the particular national origin of a ger. One such case will be discussed in the gemara on 67a.
C - Personal: "chalal", "mamzer", "natin", "shtuki" and "asufi". This category is properly divided into two:
1. Pesulei kehuna. One whose status precludes marriage to a kohen. For instance, a kohen may not marry a divorcee. A child born of such a forbidden union is a "chalal" (literally, desecrated - the kohanic sanctity has been desecrated). There are two ramifications of the status of chalal. A male chalal (whose father is a kohen) loses part of his status as a kohen - he may not serve in the Beit HaMikdash. This will not concern us. A female child - a chalala - is prohibited from marrying a kohen. (As we shall see, the divorcee herself, the prohibited wife of a kohen, also becomes a chalala; that is, there are two kinds of chalala - the child of a kohen-forbidden union and the woman in such a situation herself.)
2. Pesulei kahal. One whose status precludes marriage with a Jew. The prime example is mamzer (which our mishna, 66b, will define). Shtuki and assufi are suspect mamzer (safek mamzer) and "natin" refers to the Givonites (see Joshua 9) who have a rabbinic status equivalent to mamzer.
There is a fourth kind of status which is relevant to marriage - "erva" (pl. "arayot"). This is the personal status relevant to incest - e.g., a woman who is permitted to marry may still not marry her brother. This includes "eishet ish", a married woman, as well. It is her family status which results in the prohibition, not her status as a Jew.
A. Next week's shiur will cover the gemara until 67b - "tana nami seifa kol makom".
B. The mishna we are now about to study discusses the transmission or creation of personal status to children, based on the marriage status of the parents. The mishna is divided into four rules. Try and relate those rules to the categories we delineated above.
C. Take a few minutes and try and decide whether the criteria given in the mishna for each rule are themselves reasons, or at least indicate the reasons, for each rule, or merely summary rules-of-thumb. In other words, is there any apparent logic for each rule indicated by the mishna's formulations?
D. Tosafot s.v. "kol" - The definition of mamzer in the mishna in Yevamot (49a "... divrei R. Yehoshua"). Tosafot points out that our mishna in Kiddushin assumes one of the opinions in Yevamot. (Tosafot is interested in proving that the halakha follows that opinion.) What is the basis of Tosafot's assertion?
E. Challal - The mishna categorizes the case of a kohen who marries a divorcee as one of "ha-vlad holech achar ha-pagum." See Rashi's explanation and compare to the Rambam (Commentary to the Mishna).
F. 67a - Some of the cases are rather complicated. It is nearly impossible to study "Yuchsin" without paper and pencil to help keep track of the genealogical trees.