Houses of Hillel and Shammai
The House of Hillel (Beit Hillel) and House of Shammai (Beit Shammai) were, among Jewish scholars, two schools of thought during the period of tannaim, named after the sages Hillel and Shammai (of the last century BCE and the early 1st century CE) who founded them. These two schools had vigorous debates on matters of ritual practice, ethics, and theology which were critical for the shaping of the Oral Law and Judaism as it is today.
The Mishnah mentions the disagreement of Hillel and Shammai as one which had lasting positive value:
- A disagreement which is for the sake of Heaven will be preserved, and one which is not for the sake of Heaven will not be preserved. What is a disagreement that is for the sake of Heaven? The disagreement of Hillel and Shammai. That is not for the sake of Heaven? The disagreement of Korah and his congregation.
In most cases, though not always, Beit Hillel's opinion is the more lenient and tolerant of the two. In nearly all cases, Beit Hillel's opinion has been accepted as normative by halacha, and is the opinion followed by modern Jews.
Only three (or, according to some authorities, five) disputes are recorded between Hillel and Shammai themselves. However, with time the differences between their respective schools multiplied, to the point that hundreds of disputes between them are recorded in the Talmud. The split between them was so deep that, according to the Talmud, "the Torah (Jewish law) became like two Torahs".
The matters they debated included:
- Admission to Torah study: Beit Shammai believed only worthy students should be admitted to study Torah. Beit Hillel believed that Torah may be taught to anyone, in the expectation that they will repent and become worthy.
- White lies: Whether one should tell an ugly bride that she is beautiful. Beit Shammai said it was wrong to lie, and Beit Hillel said that all brides are beautiful on their wedding day.
- Divorce: Beit Shammai held that a man may only divorce his wife for a serious transgression, but Beit Hillel allowed divorce for even trivial offenses, such as burning a meal.
- Hanukkah: Beit Shammai held that on the first night eight lights should be lit, and then they should decrease on each successive night, ending with one on the last night; while Beit Hillel held that one should start with one light and increase the number on each night, ending with eight. Beit Hillel's rationale is that as a general rule in halacha, one increases holiness, rather than decreasing. Beit Shammai's opinion was based on the halachic principle that allows one to derive law using similarities. The Sukkot Temple sacrifices involved 70 bullocks, reducing by one each day from 13 down to 7.
- Tu Bishvat: Beit Hillel holds that the new year for trees is on the 15th of the Jewish month of Shevat. Beit Shammai says it is on the 1st on Shevat. Beit Hillel's opinion is now accepted, so the new year is commonly called Tu Bishvat (literally "15th of Shevat").
- Forgetting to say grace after meals: Beit Shammai says that one who forgot to say Birkat Hamazon, and had left the place where he ate, should return to that place to recite birkat hamazon. Beit Hillel says that one should recite birkat hamazon in the place where he realizes his omission.
In general, Beit Shammai's positions were stricter than those of Beit Hillel. It was said that the school of Shammai binds; the school of Hillel looses. On the few occasions when the opposite was true, Beit Hillel would sometimes later recant their position. Similarly, though there are no records of Beit Shammai as a whole changing its stance, a few individuals from Beit Shammai are recorded as deserting a particular stringent opinion of their school, in favor of Beit Hillel's opinion.
The final law almost always coincides with Beit Hillel, not because they constituted the majority, but because Beit Hillel studied the view of their opponents, and because a Divine voice (bat-kol) was heard in Yavne declaring a general rule of practice: "Both schools espouse to the words of the living God, but the Halakhah follows the School of Hillel." Accordingly, halachic-practice was decided in favor of Beit Hillel since they were agreeable and forebearing (or more literally, piteous). Not only did they teach Beit Shammai's teachings, but they said them first before their own. The ruling in accordance with the teachings of the School of Hillel was also intended to bring conformity to Jewish practices.
Later in the same passage (Eruvin 13b) a disagreement is mentioned between the two schools, on whether it would have been more suitable (נוח) for man to have been created or not to have been created, with the school of Shammai taking the position that it would have been preferable if man had not been created. The passage then says something which seems to imply that the position of the school of Shammai was accepted ("נמנו וגמרו נוח לו לאדם שלא נברא יותר משנברא").
Modern day Rabbinic Judaism almost invariably follows the teachings of Hillel, but there are several notable exceptions. The Mishna provides a list of 18 matters in which the halacha was decided in favor of Beit Shammai.
According to one opinion in the Talmud, while halacha follows Beit Hillel, one may choose to follow either Beit Hillel or Beit Shammai as long as they do so consistently. However, if they follow the leniencies of both schools, they are considered evil; while if they follow the stringencies of both schools, the verse "The fool walks in darkness" is applied to them.
Both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud attribute the wide-range of disputes between the two schools of thought to the fact that the disciples of Hillel and Shammai did not fully serve their masters, to the point of understanding the fine differences in Halacha.
The political principles of Beit Shammai were similar to those of the Zealots, among whom they therefore found support. As public indignation against the Romans grew over the course of the 1st century, Beit Shammai gradually gained the upper hand, and the gentle and conciliatory Beit Hillel came to be ostracised from Beit Shammai's public acts of prayer.
As the Jewish conflict with the Romans grew, the nations surrounding Judea (then part of Roman Iudaea province) all sided with the Romans, causing Beit Shammai to propose that all commerce and communication between Jew and Gentile should be completely prohibited. Beit Hillel disagreed, but when the Sanhedrin convened to discuss the matter, the Zealots sided with Beit Shammai. Then Eleazar ben Hanania, the Temple captain and a leader of the militant Zealots, invited the students of both schools to meet at his house; Eleazar placed armed men at the door, and instructed them to let no-one leave the meeting. During the discussions Beit Shammai achieved a majority and were able to force all the remaining individuals to adopt a radically restrictive set of rules known as "Eighteen Articles"; later Jewish history came to look back on the occasion as a day of misfortune. According to one source, Beit Shammai obtained their majority either by killing members of Beit Hillel, or by intimidating them into leaving the room.
However, the fortunes of Beit Hillel improved after the First Jewish–Roman War, which had resulted in destruction of the Jewish Temple; Jewish leaders no longer had an appetite for war. Under Gamaliel II, the Sanhedrin, which was reconstituted in Yavne (see also Council of Jamnia), reviewed all the points disputed by Beit Hillel, and this time it was their opinions which won the Sanhedrin's support; on most issues, it was said that whenever Beit Shammai had disputed the opinion of Beit Hillel, Beit Shammai's opinion was now null and void.
Even though the two schools had vigorous arguments, they respected each other. The Mishnah even records that the constituents of the two schools intermarried—despite their disagreements regarding the laws of marriage and divorce. According to the Talmud, each school kept track of lineages among its members to whom the other school would forbid marriage, and informed the other school of this status when marriage to such a person was proposed.
In later generations, a fast day was observed due to the conflict between the two houses, though this fast day is no longer observed. Various explanations are given of the tragedy which justified fasting: bloodshed which killed 3000 students; or else the simple fact of the Torah being divided into two incompatible interpretations.
The Houses of Hillel and Shammai convened to discuss arcane matters of Jewish law and to decide on new measures thought essential to ensure a more universal adherence to Jewish law and practice. Together, they legislated many new enactments and passed new decrees, in an effort to ensure that the people of Israel not transgress the basic laws bequeathed to them by Moses. These enactments were, therefore, seen as safeguards by the rabbinic clergy. While some of these enactments are still binding today, others have been cancelled by scholars of later generations.
According to Mishnah Shabbat 1:4, disciples of Hillel and Shammai met in parley within the home of the astute Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon to vote on many new measures and to make them binding upon Israel. Not all decisions were gladly received by the School of Hillel, but they were compelled to acquiesce unto the rulings by virtue of the greater numbers of the School of Shammai, seeing that they were the unanimous party, and whose vote was the most consequential. The Sages at the time looked with displeasure upon many of these new enactments and decrees, saying that they had gone too far and have "filled-up the measure." Many of these rulings revolve around Israelites and their relationship to the priests who are required to eat their Terumah (Heave-offering) in a state of ritual purity. Talmudic exegete, Menachem Meiri, who cites Maimonides, lists the eighteen enactments/decrees made by them as follows:
|Number||Enactment (E) / Decree (D)||Purpose of enactment or decree|
|1 (D)||A Jew who consumes any food defiled by a "Father of uncleanness" (e.g. foods touched by carrion, or by one of the eight dead creeping things, etc. and which foods contracted thereby a 1st-grade uncleanness), his body contracts a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption when touched by him||By making Israelites ever mindful of what they eat, as also the consequences thereof, this ensured that the priests of Aaron's descent would continue to eat their own hallowed bread in a state of ritual purity, without suspecting that it had been defiled unawares|
|2 (D)||A Jew who consumes any defiled food that had contracted a 2nd-grade uncleanness (such as by the food touching a liquid that had been defiled by a dead creeping thing), his body contracts a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption when touched by him||By making Israelites ever mindful of what they eat, as also the consequences thereof, this ensured that the priests of Aaron's descent would continue to eat their own hallowed bread in a state of ritual purity, without suspecting that it had been defiled unawares|
|3 (D)||He that drinks liquids that suffer a 1st-grade uncleanness (Hebrew: tǝḥilah), his body takes on a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption had he touched it||By making Israelites ever mindful of what they eat, as also the consequences thereof, this ensured that the priests of Aaron's descent would continue to eat their own hallowed bread in a state of ritual purity, without suspecting that it had been defiled unawares|
|4 (D)||He that immerses his head and the greater part of his body in water that had been drawn, rather than in water which ran of itself naturally and collected into an Immersion-pool, the person's body contracts a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption when touched by him||Since the people were used to immersing within caves where the water was often fetid and muddy, they would afterwards rinse themselves with drawn well-water from a bucket to clean themselves, from which practice they began to think that the drawn water was the principal act of cleansing, rather than the immersion in the mikveh|
|5 (D)||A ritually clean man upon whose head and the greater part of his body there had fallen 3 logs of drawn water, the person's body contracts a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption when touched by him||By saying that a "ritually clean man" becomes defiled thereby, even so, the man who is not ritually clean will take heed and not think to bathe himself in water that has been drawn, but rather in a ritual bath of natural rain water or spring water|
|6 (D)||Any Jew who touches a Torah scroll, his hands contract a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption by a priest.||To prevent Israelites from stashing the Terumah inside the Torah encasement, where mice would often come and consume the bread, but also destroy the Torah scroll in the process. Moreover, by saying that hands are defiled by touching a Torah scroll, the reader takes precaution to use a scarf as an interposing object between his bare hands and the scroll itself.|
|7 (D) + (E)||All hands, before they are washed, suffer a 2nd-grade uncleanness, capable of rendering the Terumah unfit for consumption by the priests. Moreover, all persons must wash their hands before eating common bread.||By declaring that all hands suffer a state of uncleanness and requiring them to be washed before eating common bread, so, too, the priests will follow suit and wash their own hands before eating their hallowed bread. Moreover, since hands are normally fidgety, and are prone to touch defiled liquids, removing the suspected impurity through washing can prevent a further spread of defilement to hallowed things.|
|8 (D)||A Jew who ate any food that came in contact with a liquid touched by unwashed hands, his body contracts a 2nd-grade uncleanness. The same rule applies to liquids contained in a vessels wherein one of the dead creeping things had fallen||By saying that a person is capable of contracting defilement from liquids touched by unwashed hands, he will thereby become doubly cautious about liquids wherein one of the eight dead creeping things had fallen. Likewise, by saying that a person is capable of contracting defilement by liquids in a vessel wherein one of the dead creeping things had fallen, he will thereby become doubly cautious about liquids (e.g. spittle, urine, etc.) that issue forth from a zav (i.e. the man who has suffered a running issue from his flesh)|
|9 (D)||He that inadvertently left a vessel beneath a channel that carried water at a time when rain clouds were massing, even though in the interim the clouds dissipated and later returned, the water collected in the vessel is deemed "water that has been drawn" and would disqualify a mikveh (ritual bath) had it trickled down into an Immersion-pool.||To prevent Israel from making use of drawn water in a mikveh (ritual ablution for purification).|
|10 (D)||Corpse uncleanness can be conveyed by all movable objects by way of overshadowing when the same movable objects have the thickness of a medium-sized plough-handle (which, although it is less than one handbreadth when measured in a straight line or in diameter, its circumferance measures one handbreadth), particularly, whenever one end of that movable object hangs over a deceased person whilst the other end of the same object hangs over a vessel||To instill within the hearts and minds of the people that, by a received tradition from Sinai, corpse uncleanness is conveyed to the person who carries his plough, or like objects, in one hand and passes with it over a grave, on the condition that that very object has the thickness (in diameter) of one handbreadth (ṭefach), or what is approximately 8 cm. (3.1 inches) to 9 cm. (3.5 inches). Had the thickness (diameter) of that object been less than a handbreadth, but its circumference equaled a handbreadth, the same object conveys corpse uncleanness to its carrier and to utensils by a rabbinic decree, whenever it overshadows them and a grave. By being mindful of the measurements prescribed by a rabbinic injunction, one also takes heed to the laws governing overshadowing, as passed down from Sinai|
|11 (D)||He that picks grapes for pressing in the wine press, the grapes immediately become susceptible to uncleanness - even though the picker had taken precaution to keep himself clean from all defilement and had not brought the grapes into contact with other liquids||By saying that the grapes are immediately rendered susceptible to uncleanness, the owner will be mindful that his harvested grapes are only one step away from contracting uncleanness if not carefully guarded by him. The owner of the grapes, whether over himself or over his hired laborers, will be doubly cautious during the vintage season and avoid having the fruit laid-up within defiled baskets, or else within baskets lined with pitch where he would have, on other occasions, been interested in retaining their moisture content. Moreover, during the harvest season, the gatherers of the grapes are required to make sure that their bodies are ritually clean, otherwise, they may render invalid the portion destined to be Terumah (Heave-offering)|
|12 (D)||Produce that had been separated as Terumah unto the priest, although the produce was later defiled and could not be consumed by the priest, whatsover is planted or sown from the original Terumah produce is, likewise, considered Terumah (i.e. has the same sanctity as Terumah)||To prevent a priest of Aaron's lineage from taking grain separated unto him as Terumah, which same had become defiled, and replanting it to make use of the second crop in an ordinary fashion, such as by selling it. The rabbinic decree also comes to prevent him from delaying its burning, out of concern that he might inadvertently transgress by eating the defiled grain in the meantime. (This rabbinic decree applies only to defiled Terumah produce in the hands of the priest, but not to untainted Terumah produce in the hand of an Israelite and which may have been resown or replanted)|
|13 (E)||A Jew who is traveling with a Gentile when the sun is close to setting on a Friday evening (Sabbath eve), he gives his purse to a Gentile to carry for him on the Sabbath||To prevent the Jew (who fails to reach his destination when the Sabbath day begins) from being compelled to walk with his purse four cubits in the public domain on the Sabbath day. (Normally, it is prohibited for a Jew to request a non-Jew to do work for him on the Sabbath day. However, in this case, since the Jew will not voluntarily take leave of his money while on his journey, and runs the risk of carrying it on the Sabbath day, the rabbis permitted him to make use of the Gentile in such extenuating circumstances)|
|14 (E)||Prohibition of eating bread baked by Gentiles||To prevent the development of a bond between a Jewish man and non-Jewish woman and their intermarrying. In the final analysis, this prohibition also serves to distance the people of Israel from idolatry|
|15 (E)||Prohibition of Jews making use of olive oil prepared by Gentiles||Vessels in which oil is contained thought to have been contaminated by unclean foodstuffs and that the same impurity would be imparted to the oil.|
|16 (E)||Prohibition of drinking wine produced by Gentiles||To prevent the development of a relationship between Jew and non-Jew and their consummating a marriage|
|17 (D)||The daughters of the Cuthim, from the moment they are born and laid in a cradle, are as menstruate women, capable of rendering defilement when touched||To dissuade Jewish males from accompanying with non-Jewish women and girls in a secluded place, and where either one may be tempted into an illicit relationship with the other. (Children born from non-Jewish women are no longer Jewish, even though their father was Jewish).|
|18 (D)||Gentile male children nine-years old and older convey a serious-grade of uncleanness (as one who is a zav) when touched||To prevent Jewish male children from interacting with them and being lured into a licentious relationship|
The Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 1:4) mentions other enactments, besides these. Included therein are the prohibition of eating cheese produced by Gentiles, and the requirement of one who suffered a seminal or nocturnal emission (Hebrew: ba'al ḳeri) to immerse himself in a mikveh before reading from the Torah scroll, a ruling which was later rescinded, and the sweeping declaration that the lands of the Gentiles induce a defilement to any Jew that ventures therein.
- Pirkei Avot 5:17
- Shabbat 15a; Hagigah 2:2; Eduyot 1:2,3; Niddah 1:1
- Tosefta Hagigah 2:9; Sanhedrin 88b; Sotah 47b
- Avot of Rabbi Natan 2:9
- Talmud, Ketubot 16b–17a
- Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 90a
- Shabbat 21b
- Mishnah Rosh Hashana 1:1
- Mishnah Brachot 8:7
- Drew Kaplan, "Rabbinic Popularity in the Mishnah VII: Top Ten Overall [Final Tally] Drew Kaplan's Blog (5 July 2011).
- Jewish Encyclopedia, Bet Hillel and Bet-Shammai
- This article incorporates text from the 1903 Encyclopaedia Biblica article "BINDING AND LOOSING", a publication now in the public domain.
- Eduyot 1:12 etc; compare Weiss, "Dor," i. 179 et seq.
- Beitzah 20a; Jerusalem Talmud Hagigah 2 (78a)
- Cf. Jerusalem Talmud (Chagigah 2:3 [12a]), where the School of Shammai had grown to be more numerous than the School of Hillel.
- Babylonian Talmud (Eruvin 13b); Jerusalem Talmud (Berakhot 1:4)
- Hebrew: נוחין ועלובין היו
- Eruvin 13b
- Mishnah Shabbat 1:3
- Ecclesiastes 2:14
- Rosh Hashana 14b
- לעתיד לבוא הלכה תהיה כבית שמאי
- Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 88b); Jerusalem Talmud (Hagigah 2:2)
- Jost, "Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten," i. 261; Tosefta Rosh Hashana, end
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254-256: "The reign of Gaius Caligula (37-41) witnessed the first open break between the Jews and the Julio-Claudian empire. Until then — if one accepts Sejanus' heyday and the trouble caused by the census after Archelaus' banishment — there was usually an atmosphere of understanding between the Jews and the empire ... These relations deteriorated seriously during Caligula's reign, and, though after his death the peace was outwardly re-established, considerable bitterness remained on both sides. ... Caligula ordered that a golden statue of himself be set up in the Temple in Jerusalem. ... Only Caligula's death, at the hands of Roman conspirators (41), prevented the outbreak of a Jewish-Roman war that might well have spread to the entire East."
- Tosefta Shabbat 1:16 etc.; Shabbat 13a; 17a
- Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbat 1:4 (3c)
- Tosefta Yebamot 1:13; Jerusalem Talmud Berakhot 1:3b
- Berakhot 36b; Beitzah 11b; Yevamot 9a
- Yevamot 1:4
- Yevamot 14b
- Halachot Gedolot, laws of Tisha BeAv; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580
- Beit Yosef, Orach Chaim 580
- Eliyahu Rabbah 580:7; see also a Cairo Geniza fragment quoted in Margalioth, Mordecai (1973). Hilkhot Erets Yisra'el min ha-Genizah (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook. p. 142. OCLC 19497945.
- Levush, Orach Chaim 580; see also Cairo Geniza fragments quoted here
- Babylonian Talmud, (Shabbat 13b)
- Tosefta (Shabbat 1:17)
- Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 9a [1:4])
- Meiri (2006). Daniel Bitton (ed.). Beit HaBechirah (Chiddushei ha-Meiri) (in Hebrew). 1. Jerusalem: Hamaor Institute. p. 28. OCLC 181631040., s.v. Shabbat 13b
- Chananel (1995). David Metzger (ed.). Pirushei Rabbeinu Chananel bar Chushiel Le-Talmud (Tractate Shabbat) (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Machon 'Lev Sameach'. p. 21 (17b). OCLC 122703105.
- Cf. Mishnah (Zavim 5:12)
- Chananel (1995). David Metzger (ed.). Pirushei Rabbeinu Chananel bar Chushiel Le-Talmud (Tractate Shabbat) (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Machon 'Lev Sameach'. p. 17 (13b). OCLC 122703105.
- The novelty of this teaching is that, by saying tǝḥilah, it implies a state of uncleanness equal to a first-grade uncleanness. The difference being that things suffering from a first-grade uncleanness had actually made contact with a "Father of uncleanness." The word tǝḥilah which is used here refers to a same defiled state, but where no contact has been made with a "Father of uncleanness."
- Meiri (2006). Daniel Bitton (ed.). Beit HaBechirah (Chiddushei ha-Meiri) (in Hebrew). 1. Jerusalem: Hamaor Institute. p. 29. OCLC 181631040., s.v. Shabbat 13b
- One log has the capacity of 6 medium-size eggs; 3 logs the capacity of 18 medium-size eggs.
- Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 14a)
- Jerusalem Talmud (Hagigah 13a (2:5))
- Cf. Tosefta (Berakhot 6:3), where the School of Hillel disagreed with the School of Shammai and argued that if there was a doubtful case of defiled liquids on the hands, the hands were still clean.
- Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 14b)
- Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 14b)
- Babylonian Talmud, (Shabbat 16b)
- Mishnah (Mikwaoth 4:1)
- The novelty of this saying is that, normally, it takes a willful intent to collect rain water, or to collect natural water runoff, in order for the water within that vessel to be considered drawn water and capable of disqualifying a mikveh. In this case, there was no willful intent to collect the water after the clouds had dissipated, although it had later fallen into the bucket. The School of Hillel strongly disagreed with the School of Shammai regarding this ruling, but were required to accept the ruling since the vote was unanimous in favor of the ruling.
- Babylonian Talmud, (Shabbat 16b–17a, Rashi)
- Maimonides (1967). Mishnah, with Maimonides' Commentary (in Hebrew). 3. Translated by Yosef Qafih. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook. p. 195. OCLC 741081810., s.v. Ohelot 16:1
- An allusion to Numbers 19:14, where it is inferred that all men and utensils who are under the same 'tent' or roof as a corpse, or who are overshadowed by something which also overshadows a corpse, they would also suffer corpse uncleanness and remain unclean for seven days.
- Chananel (1995). David Metzger (ed.). Pirushei Rabbeinu Chananel bar Chushiel Le-Talmud (Tractate Shabbat) (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Machon 'Lev Sameach'. p. 20 (17a). OCLC 122703105.
- An allusion to Leviticus 11:38, namely, foodstuffs (e.g. grain, fruit, etc.) cannot become unclean unless moisture has first fallen upon them after being harvested; also, this moisture must be such as the owner of the foodstuffs desires. The seven liquids which can render foodstuffs susceptible to uncleanness are a) wine, b) honey, c) oil, d) milk, e) dew, f) blood, and f) water. In the case of vintage grapes, the Sages decreed automatic susceptibility upon them.
- According to BT Shabbat 17a, the school of Hillel greatly opposed this ruling, but were compelled to accept it, for fear of the School of Shammai making a similar ruling against harvested olives.
- BT Shabbat 17a
- Cf. Mishnah (Terumot 10:3)
- Maimonides (1963). Mishnah, with Maimonides' Commentary (in Hebrew). 1. Translated by Yosef Qafih. Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook. p. 191. OCLC 741081810., s.v. Terumah 9:4
- Cf. Mishnah (Terumah 9:4)
- Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinoro's Commentary on Mishnah Terumot 9:4
- Jerusalem Talmud (Terumot 9:4), s.v. Commentary Pnei Moshe
- Cf. Mishnah (Shabbat 24:1)
- Six Orders of the Mishnah (Shisha sidrei mishnah), Eshkol Publishers: Jerusalem 1978, s.v. Commentary of Rabbeinu Chananel on Shabbat 24:1
- The Jerusalem Talmud (Pesahim 2:2) makes it clear that this enactment was not accepted by all Jews in all places. In some places of Jewry, they continued to eat bread baked by non-Jews. The Jerusalem Talmud (ibid.) says that leaven belonging to gentiles, which had been in existence during the Passover and which was left over after the Passover, may be eaten by Israel after the Passover in those places where it was customary for Israel to eat bread that was baked by gentiles. Where it was not customary for Israel to eat bread baked by gentiles, Israel could not eat of their leaven which remained after the Passover. Maimonides, in his commentary on Mishnah Pesahim 2:2, writes that, by this, the matter of eating bread baked by gentiles depends upon local custom. Maimonides writes further (Hil. Ma'achaloth Asuroth 17:12) that, in Spain, while it was not a custom to eat gentile bread which was baked in their homes, it was, however, a custom to eat gentile bread taken from the public bakery. The Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 10a) permits the consumption of bread baked by the local non-Jewish baker where bread cannot otherwise be found for consumption, and that one's sustenance depended upon it. Cf. Shulhan Arukh (Orach Chayim 603:1).
- Cf. Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:6)
- Maimonides, Mishne Torah (Hil. Ma'achaloth Asuroth 17: 9-12), who wrote: "The bread of gentiles baked within their homes is forbidden, an enactment made by the early Sages in order that Israel might be kept at a distance from non-Jews, and, especially, from consummating marriages with them.
- Meiri (2006). Daniel Bitton (ed.). Beit HaBechirah (Chiddushei ha-Meiri) (in Hebrew). 7. Jerusalem: Hamaor Institute. p. 61. OCLC 181631040., s.v. Avodah Zarah 35b, והפת
- Cf. Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 35b)
- Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 36b)
- This prohibition was strictly observed during the time of Josephus (early-mid 1st century CE), as evinced by The Jewish War (2.590) and Vita § 13. See also Eric M. Meyers, et al., Excavations at the Ancient Synagogue of Gush Ḥalav, American Schools of Oriental Research: Winona Lake 1990, p. 17. The prohibition of making use of oil produced by Gentiles was later cancelled by R. Judah HaNasi (late 2nd century CE). Cf. Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 36a), where it writes: "As for [olive] oil [produced by non-Jews], Rabbi Judah and his court conducted a vote over it and permitted its use."
- Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 35b–36a)
- Often, the word "Cuthim" (literally, "Samaritan") refers to Gentiles in general.
- Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 16b)
- Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 17b; Avodah Zarah 36b–37a); Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 9a–b)