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פרק ד משנה ג
כל האסורים לבוא בקהל

All that are prohibited from entering [by marriage] the nation [of Israel]

מתרין לבוא זה בזה

are permitted to [marry] each other;

רבי יהודה אוסר

Rabbi Yehuda prohibits it.

רבי אליעזר אומר

Rabbi Eliezer says

 ודאן בודאן מותר

those that are definitely [unfit] are permitted with those that are definitely [unfit],

ודאן בספקן

but those that are definitely [unfit] with those that are uncertainly [unfit]

וספקן בודאן

or those that are uncertainly [unfit] with those that are definitely [unfit]

וספקן בספקן

and those that are uncertainly [unfit] with those that are uncertainly [unfit]


are prohibited.

ואלו הן הספקות

And these are the uncertainly [unfit]:

 שתוקי ואסופי וכותי

those of unknown fatherhood, foundlings and Cutheans



פרק ד משנה ד
click here for the family tree described in this mishna
הנושא אישה כהנת

[A Kohen] who marries a Kohenes

צריך לבדוק אחריה

is required to investigate her [lineage]

ארבע אמהות

for four mothers

 שהן שמונה

that are eight:

אמה ואם אמה

her mother; her mother's mother;

ואם אבי אימה ואמה

her mother's father's mother; her mother;

אם אביה ואמה

her father's mother; her mother

אם אבי אביה ואמה

her father's father's mother; and her mother;

לויה וישראלית

if she is a Leviah or Yisroelis

מוסיפין עליהן עוד אחת

we add to them another [generation of mothers to check].





משנה ג

כל האסורים לבוא בקהל מתרין לבוא זה בזה - This includes even converts from אמון ומואב who are permitted to marry a ממזר שתוקי ואסופי.

רבי יהודה אוסר - The גמרא explains that ר"י actually holds that an ordinary גר cannot marry a ממזר שתוקי ואסופי, as according to him that are part of the קהל.  But even according to ר"י a גר from אמון ומואב  may marry a ממזר שתוקי ואסופי as converts from those nations are not part of the קהל.

ודאן - This refers to ממזרי ונתיני

וכותי - The Cutheans were a nation that converted to Judaism, but possibly while under duress, and were not careful in their observance of the laws of marriage and divorce.  Thus, they were considered possible ממזרים  


משנה ד

צריך לבדוק - We investigate to be sure that there is no פסול.  Only mothers need to be investigated, as we would presumably know about any blemishes in the fathers' lineage, due to the fat that men will insult each other by disparaging their lineage, which women would not do.

שהן שמונה - In other words, of the first four mothers we check, we also check their mothers, for a total of eight.


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