We know from Devarim 20:8 that someone who is "fearful and faint-hearted" is sent home from battle (in optional wars) lest he demoralize others. In Sotah 8:5 Rabbi Yose the Galilean says this refers to transgressions he has committed (and so he's afraid of being punished, I think), and Rabbi Yose (different Yose) gives a specific list, all of which are forbidden marriages. A commentary at Sefaria notes that these are ongoing transgressions (for as long as he remains married), not transgressions committed in the past.

Did any ongoing transgression cause one to be sent home from battle, and Rabbi Yose is just listing examples? Or is this specifically about forbidden marriages, and other ongoing transgressions (like owning forbidden items) would not disqualify one? The passage in D'varim (and in this chapter of mishna) exempts one based on a new house, a new vineyard, or a newly betrothed wife, so it might be that only ongoing transgressions involving these things are relevant. Or it might be that a (forbidden) marriage is more public than those idols you have in your basement, so maybe that's the reason. Or maybe we say that, as with mitzvot, we do not know which are more important and so any ongoing transgression would send somebody home, ideally so he can correct the problem, and these are just examples.

  • Rabbi Yose haglili says that averot derabanan also did exempt, Rabbi Yose, an other tana rules that averot mideorayta only can exempt him
    – kouty
    Apr 28, 2019 at 5:44

1 Answer 1


The sins are not enumerated, not by RYHG and not by RY. The purpose of RY is to give a paradigm of a Tora law, that is continuously violated.

Gemara Sota 44b:

The Gemara asks: With regard to their understanding that the “fearful and fainthearted” is referring to one harboring sins, what difference is there between the opinion of Rabbi Yosei and the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili? The Gemara answers: There is a practical difference between them with regard to a sin which violates a prohibition by rabbinic law. According to Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, one who has violated a rabbinic law returns home, whereas Rabbi Yosei maintains that one returns home only if he has violated a Torah law, as in the case of a priest who has married a divorcée. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which is taught in a baraita: If one spoke between donning the phylactery of the arm and the phylactery of the head, he has a sin on his hands, and due to that sin he returns from the ranks of soldiers waging war. In accordance with whose opinion does this man return? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, who maintains that one returns even due to a minor transgression.

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