Part 1 of 2
God's says how men should hold & look at their cocks and balls;
plus pissing & sperm emissions
GEMARA. Wherein [in this respect]3 do women differ from men?4 — Women [in this matter] are not sensitive,5 hence they are praiseworthy,1 but in the case of men who are highly sensitive [their hands] ought to be cut off.2 But, if so,2 what was the point in saying 'MAKES FREQUENT' [seeing that the same reason2 applies] also where [the examinations are] infrequent? — When 'MAKES FREQUENT' was mentioned it was intended to refer to women only.6
One taught: This7 applies only to the emission of semen but as regards flux8 a man also is as praiseworthy as the women;9 and even in regard to the emission of semen, if he desires to make the examination with a splinter or with a potsherd10 he may do so. May he not, however, do it with a rag, seeing that it was taught: A man may examine himself with a rag or with any other thing he wishes? — As Abaye stated elsewhere: 'With a thick rag'.10 So also here11 it may be explained: With a thick rag.10 And in what connection was Abaye's statement made? In connection with the following: If a priest, while eating terumah, felt a shiver run through his body12 he takes hold of his membrum13 and swallows the terumah.14 'Takes hold'! But has it not been taught: R. Eliezer said, 'Whoever holds his membrum when he makes water is as though he had brought a flood on the world'?15 To this Abaye replied. 'With a thick rag'.16 Raba replied: It17 may even be said to apply to a soft rag for once the semen has been detached the subsequent touch does no longer matter.18 And Abaye?19 — He made provision against the possibility of an additional discharge.20 And Raba? — He does not consider the possibility of any additional discharges. But does he not, seeing that it was taught, 'To what may this21 be compared? To the putting of a finger upon the eye where, as long as the finger remains on it, the eye continues to tear'?22 Now Raba?23 — It is quite uncommon for one to get heated twice in immediate succession.24
[Reverting to] the main text: 'R. Eliezer said, Whoever holds his membrum when he makes water is as though he had brought a flood on the world'. But, they said to R. Eliezer, would not the spray bespatter his feet and he would appear to be maimed in his privy parts so that he25 would be the cause of casting upon his children the reflection of being illegitimate? — It is preferable, he answered them, that a man should be the cause of casting upon his children the reflection of being illegitimate than that he should make himself a wicked man, even for a while, before the Omnipresent. Another [Baraitha] taught: R. Eliezer replied to the Sages. It is possible for a man to stand on a raised spot and to make water or to make water in loose earth and thus to avoid making himself wicked, even for a while, before the Omnipresent. Which26 did he27 tell them28 first? If it be suggested that it was the first mentioned statement that he gave them first [is it likely, it may be objected], that after he spoke to them of a prohibition29 he would merely offer a remedy?30 — The fact is that it was the last mentioned statement31 that he gave them first, and when they asked him, 'What is he to do when he can find no raised spot or loose earth', he answered them, 'It is preferable that a man should be the cause of casting upon his children the reflection of being illegitimate than that he should make himself a wicked man, even for a while, before the Omnipresent'.
But why all these precautions?32 — Because otherwise one might emit semen in vain, and R. Johanan stated: Whosoever emits semen in vain deserves death, for it is said in Scripture. And the thing33 which he did33 was evil in the sight of the Lord, and He slew him also.34 R. Isaac and R. Ammi said. He35 is as though he shed blood, for it is said in Scripture. Ye that inflame yourselves among the terebinths, under every leafy tree, that slay the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks;36 read not 'that slay'37 but 'that press out'.38 R. Assi said: He39 is like one who worships idols; for here36 it is written, 'Under every leafy tree' and elsewhere40 it is written, upon the high mountains … and under every leafy tree.41
Rab Judah and Samuel once stood upon the roof of the Synagogue of Shaf-weyathib42 in Nehardea. Said Rab Judah to Samuel 'I must make water'. 'Shinena',43 the other replied, 'take hold of your membrum44 and make the water outside [the roof]'. But how could he45 do so, seeing that it was taught: R. Eliezer said, Whoever holds his membrum when he makes water is as though he brought a flood on the world? — Abaye replied: He treated this case as that of a reconnoitering troop, concerning which we learnt, 'If a reconnoitering troop has entered a town in time of peace the open wine jars are forbidden46 and the closed ones are permitted,47 but in times of war the former as well as the latter are permitted because the troops have no time to offer libations'.48 Thus it clearly follows that owing to their being in a state of fear they do not think49 of offering libations, and so also in this case, since he45 was in a state of fear he would not think of lustful matters. But what fear could there be here? — If you wish I might reply: The fear of the night and of the roof.50 If you prefer I might reply: The fear of his Master.51 If you prefer I might say: The fear of the Shechinah.52 If you prefer I might say: The fear of the Lord that was53 upon him,54 for Samuel once remarked of him55 'This man is no mortal being'.55 If you prefer I might say: He was a married man, and concerning such R. Nahman ruled, 'If a man was married, this is permitted'. If you prefer I might say: It was this that he taught him, vis., that which R. Abba the son of R. Benjamin b. Hiyya learnt: But he may support the testicles from below. And if you prefer I might say: It was this that he taught them, viz., that which R. Abbahu stated in the name of R. Johanan: It has a limit; from the corona downward [touch] is permitted but from the corona upwards1 it is forbidden.
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
15. Shab. 41a, infra 43a. The generation of the flood were guilty of such offences (cf. R.H. 12a). Now how, in view of R. Eliezer's statement, could one be allowed to commit an offence even for the sake of terumah?