In the classic Vilna printing of the Talmud, there is a significant amount of white space present underneath Menachot 63b.

Why is this the case? Is there something missing that used to be there in other editions? Was something censored?

As motivation for asking this question, I note Sanhedrin 43a which also has significant white space underneath, and is known to be the subject of censorship (owing to references to Jesus and his disciples).

  • 2
    חסרונות הש״ס doesn’t appear to show anything – Dr. Shmuel Oct 13 '18 at 21:44
  • I've checked in the Dikdukei Soferim, but I couldn't find relevant things either. I usually check the PDF Shas on Hebrewbooks.org, which is the Oz veHadar edition with reinserted omissions, while the text version seems to be the censored Vilna one. – Kazi bácsi Oct 14 '18 at 19:30

There are two things that could convince you of no censorship.

1) The particular text is a flowing conversation indifferent from any other Talmudic banter. Which opposes the given example from Sanhedrin; the text is cut off abruptly there.

2) The Munich Manuscript (the only known complete Babylonian Talmud in manuscript, available here.) shows no signs at all of tampering or censoring etc. as opposed to Sanhedrin, where the text has clearly been tampered with.

Menachos, page 845:

Menachos follow-along text:

קאמר ר' ישמעאל הכא אלא דליכא בזיון קדשים אבל התם דאיכא בזיון קדשים אימא לך כרבנן סבירא ליה אי נמי עד כאן לא קא"ר ישמעאל בנו של ר' יוחנן בן ברוקא התם אלא דאיתעביד ליה צורך גבוה

Sanhedrin, page 686:


No, this seems to just be a victim of chance/statistics relating to printing or font size, I would guess. Similar spaces (albeit slightly less than this), can be found nearby, such as Menachos 62a (early Vilna print, modern print).

This is because there is nothing relevant that looks likely to have been censored (unless someone post-Vilna Shas who supported the Boethusians cut out something in the Mishna relating to the Omer, in which case we would expect them to remove the Rashi there which mentions them directly), and no other manuscript evidence supports any censorship, as per Dikdukei Sofrim (thanks Kazi!).

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