Join Our Mailing List

Sponsor Us!

Tractate Sukkah:
Chapter 5



Print Friendly and PDF

Regulations concerning the enjoyments and the songs in the Temple during the times of the sacrifices, and their order

MISHNA: The pipes were played sometimes on five days, and sometimes six. This means, the pipes played on during the time of water-drawing, which does not supersede either the Sabbath or the festival.

GEMARA: The rabbis taught: The playing of pipes supersedes the Sabbath, so is the decree of R. Jose bar Jehudah; but the sages said, even the festival it does not supersede. Said R. Joseph: They differ only about the music of the sacrifices. R. Jose holds that the music of the sacrifices is instrumental, consequently it is a service, and supersedes the Sabbath; but the sages hold it is vocal, and therefore not a service, and does not supersede the Sabbath; but the music of the drawing of the water all agree is only an enjoyment, and does not supersede the Sabbath. But R. Jeremiah bar Abba said: They differ only about the music of the drawing of water. R. Jose bar R. Jehudah holds that this enjoyment also supersedes the Sabbath, and the sages hold it does not; but about the music of the sacrifice all agree it is a service, and does supersede the Sabbath.

What is the reason of those who say that the main music must be instrumental? Because it is written [II Chron. xxix. 27]: "And Hezekiah ordered to offer the burnt-offering on the altar. And when the burnt-offering began, the song of the Lord began with the trumpets, and with the instruments of David the King of Israel." And what is the reason of those who said the main music is vocal? Because it is written [ibid. v. 13]: "And it came thus to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound." But what will they do with the former passage? Hezekiah meant, the voices accompanied the instruments. And those who hold it was only instrumental, what will they say to the last-quoted passage? They explain it thus: The singers were as the trumpeters, i.e., used instruments also.

MISHNA: He who has not witnessed the rejoicings at the water-drawing has, throughout the whole of his life, witnessed no real rejoicing. At the expiration of the first holiday of the festival they descended into the women's court, where a great transformation was made. Golden candelabra were placed there, with four golden basins at the top of each; and four ladders were put to each candelabrum, on which stood four lads from the rising youth of the priesthood, holding jars of oil containing 120 jugs, with which they replenished each basin.

The cast-off breeches and belts of the priests were torn into shreds for wicks, which they lighted. There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not illuminated by the lights of the water-drawing. Pious and distinguished men danced before the people with lighted flambeaux in their hands, and sang hymns and lauds before them; and the Levites accompanied them with harps, psalteries, cymbals, and numberless musical instruments. On the fifteen steps which led into the women's court, corresponding with the fifteen songs of degrees, stood the Levites, with their musical instruments, and sang. At the upper gate which leads down from the court of the Israelites to the court of the women stood two priests, with trumpets in their hands. When the cock first crowed they blew a blast, a long note, and a blast. This they repeated when they reached the tenth step, and again (the third time) when they got into the court. They went on, blowing their trumpets as they went, until they reached the gate that leads out to the east. When they reached that gate they turned westward, with their faces towards the Temple, and said: Our ancestors, who were in this place, turned their backs on the Temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east; for they worshipped the sun towards the east; but we lift our eyes to God. R. Jehudah says: They repeated again and again: "We belong to God, and raise our eyes to God."

GEMARA: The rabbis taught: Who has not seen the rejoicing at the drawing of water, has not seen a real rejoicing in his life. He who has not seen Jerusalem in its beauty, has not seen a beautiful great city in his whole life; and who has not seen the building of the Second Temple, has not seen a handsome building in his life. What is meant by this? Said Abayi, according to others R. Hisda: It means the building of Herod. Of what materials was it built? Said Rabba: Of black and white marble; and according to others, of other colors also. He made one tier of stones projecting outward, and one tier of stones remaining inside. He wished to overlay it with gold, but the sages said to him: Leave it so, because it is more beautiful, having the appearance of waves of the sea.

We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jehudah said: Who has not seen the διπλο στοα (diuplustin, double portico) of Alexandria in Egypt, has not seen the glory of Israel. It was said it was a great ) βασιλιχη (a palace with colonnades), and the palace could contain twice the number of men who went out from Egypt (the Israelites), and there were seventy-one golden cathedras (armchairs with footstools) for the seventy-one sages of the Great Sanhedrin, and each cathedra was no less than twenty-one myriads of talents of gold; and a wooden βημα (pulpit) was in the middle of the palace, where the sexton of the congregation stood, with a flag in his hand, and when the time came in the prayer to respond "Amen," he raised the flag, and the whole people said "Amen." And they did not sit promiscuously, but separately; the golden chairs were separate, the silver chairs were separate, smiths sat separately, carpenters separately, and all of the different trades sat separately, and when a poor man went in, he recognized who his fellow-tradesmen were, and went to them, and thus got there work for the support of himself and his family. Said Abayi: And all these were killed by Alexander of Macedon. Why were they so punished? Because they had transgressed the passage [Deut. xvii. 16]: "The Lord had said unto you, Ye shall henceforth not return on that way any more." And they returned, and resided in Egypt. When Alexander came, he found them reading the passage [ibid. xxviii. 49]: "The Lord will bring up against thee a nation from afar," etc., and he said: "I had to go ten days on board the ship, and the winds blew and brought me here in five days (certainly I was meant by the quoted passage)"; and he killed them.

"At the expiration of the first holy day," etc. What was the transformation? Said R. Eleazar: Similar to what we have learned in the following Boraitha: The court of the women was formerly without a balcony, but they surrounded it with a balcony, and ordained that the women should sit above and the men below.

The rabbis taught: Formerly the women sat in inward chambers and the men in outer ones; but thereby was produced some levity, and therefore it was ordained the men should sit inwardly and the women outwardly; but still levity arose, and therefore it was ordained that the women sit above and the men below. How could they do so? Does not the passage say [in I Chron. xxviii. 19]: "All was put in writing from the hand of the Lord, who gave me instruction respecting all the works of the pattern"? Said Rabh: They found another passage and lectured about it, namely [Zech., xii. 12]: "And the land will mourn, every family apart by itself, the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart." And they said: Is this not an a fortiori conclusion? At the time of mourning, when the passions are powerless, it is said the women and the men should be separate; so much the more in the Temple, where they were occupied in rejoicing, and the passions can have power over them.

What was the mourning for? R. Dosa and the rabbis differ: One holds that it was for the Messiah the son of Joseph, who was killed; 1 and one holds that it was for the evil angel, who was killed. 2 It would be right according to one who holds that it was for the Messiah the son of Joseph, because he explains as supporting him the passage [Zech. xii. 10]: "And they will look up toward me (for every one) whom they have thrust through, and they will lament for him, as one lamenteth for an only son, and weep bitterly for him, as one weepeth bitterly for the firstborn"; but according to one who says that it was for the death of the evil angel, why mourning? must it not be, on the contrary, an enjoyment? Why then weeping? This can be explained as R. Jehudah lectured: In the future the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring the evil angel and slaughter him in the presence of both the upright and the wicked. To the former he will look like a high mountain, and to the latter he will look like a thin hair. Both, however, will cry. The upright will cry, saying: How could we overpower such a high mountain? and the wicked will cry, saying: How could we not subdue such a thin hair? And also the Holy One, blessed be He, will join them in wondering, as it is written [Zech. viii. 6]: "Thus hath said the Lord of hosts: If it should be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvellous in my eyes. 1

R. Assi said: In the beginning the evil angel appears as insignificant and thin as a cobweb, 2 and finally he becomes as thick as a wagon-rope, as it is written [Is. v. 18]: "Wo unto those that draw iniquity with the cords of falsehood, and as with a wagon-rope, sinfulness.

The rabbis taught: The Messiah b. David, who (as we hope) will appear in the near future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to him: Ask something of me and I will give it to thee, as it is written [Ps. ii. 7-8]: "I will announce the decree . . . Ask it of me, and I will give," etc. But as the Messiah b. David will have seen that the Messiah b. Joseph who preceded him was killed, he will say before the Lord: Lord of the Universe, I will ask nothing of Thee but life. And the Lord will answer: This was prophesied already for thee by thy father David [Ps. xxi. 5]: "Life hath he asked of thee, thou gavest it to him."

R. Awira, according to others R. Joshuah b. Levi, lectured: There are seven names for the evil angel (tempting man). The Holy One, blessed be He, names him "evil," as it is written [Gen. Viii. 21]: "The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth"; Moses calls him "obduracy," as it is written [Deut. x. 16]: "Remove the obduracy of your heart"; David calls him "unclean," as it is written [Ps. li. 12]: "Create unto me a clean heart"; and when he says "a clean heart," it must be an unclean one. Solomon calls him "enemy," as it is written [Prov. xxv. 21]: "If thy enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for though thou gatherest coals of fire upon his head, yet will the Lord repay it unto thee." Do not read שלם (repay it), but שלים (he will make him peaceful toward thee). Isaiah calls him "stumbling-block," as it is written [Is. lvii. 14]: "And he will say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, clear out of the way, lift up every stumbling-block out of the way of my people." Ezekiel names him "stone," as it is written [Ezek. xxxvi. 26]: "I will remove the heart of stone out of your body." Joel calls him "host of the north," as it is written [Joel, ii. 20]: "And the host of the north will I remove." (The expression in Hebrew is Tzephoni, which also signifies the "hidden one," and they interpret it as the evil spirit which is hidden in the heart of man.)

The rabbis taught: And I will drive it into a land barren and desolate: the evil angel hidden in a man's heart I will drive into the desert, i.e., where men do not live, that he might tempt them; "with its advance towards the eastern sea," i.e., he set his eyes on the First Temple, and destroyed it, and killed the scholars that were there; "and its rearward toward the western sea," i.e., he set his eyes on the Second Temple, and destroyed it, and killed the scholars that were there; "and its stench shall ascend, and its ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things," i.e., he leaves out the other nation, and comes to tempt only the Israelites.

"He hath done great things." Said Abayi: Scholars he tempts more than any one else. As it once happened, Abayi heard a man say to a woman: "Let us rise early, and we will go on the road"; and Abayi thought: "I will follow them, and prevent them from a sin." He went after them about three miles through reeds, and he heard them saying: "Our conversation has been very agreeable, and now we must take separate roads." Said Abayi: "My enemy (meaning himself) would not have contained himself thus." He leaned against the bolt of the door, and was very sorry that he would have been worse than a common man. And an old man came to him and taught him: "The greater a man is, the more is he tempted by the evil angel." R. Itz'hak said: The evil passions of man try to get the better of him all the day long, as it is written [Gen. vi. 5]: "Was only evil all day long." R. Simeon b. Lakish said: They try to get the better of him, and to slay him, as it is written [Ps. xxxvii. 32]: "The wicked looketh out for the righteous, and seeketh to slay him"; and were not the Holy One, blessed be He, to aid him, man could not resist, as it is written further: "The Lord will not leave him in his hand, and will not condemn him when he is judged."

The disciples of R. Ishmael taught: If this hideousness has attacked thee, take it to the house of learning; if it is a stone it will be ground to powder, and if it is iron it will be split to pieces. "If a stone, it will be ground," as it is written [Is. lv. 1]: "Ho, every one of ye that thirsteth, come ye to the water" (i.e., the Law); and it is written [Job, xiv. 19]: "The water weareth out stones." "And of iron, it will be split into pieces," as it is written [Jeremiah, xxiii. 29] Is not thus my word like the fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that shivereth the rock?" Said R. Samuel bar Na'hmani in the name of Jehonathan: The evil angel tempts man in this world, and bears testimony in the world to come, as it is written [Prov. xxix. 21]: "If one rear his slave delicately from his youth, then will he at length become Manon"; and in the Alpha Betha of R. Hiya, which was called Atbach, a witness was called Manon1

Rabh Huna pointed out a contradiction: It is written [Hosea, iv. 12]: "For the spirit of lewdness has caused them to err," and [ibid. v. 4]: "The spirit of lewdness is in their bosom." At first it causes to err, and afterwards it remains in the bosom. Rabha said: In the beginning he is called "traveller," and then "guest," and then "man," as it is written [II Sam. xii. 4]: "And there came a traveller unto the rich man; and he felt compunction to take from his own flocks and from his own herds to dress for the guest that was come to him; but he took the ewe of the poor man, and dressed it for the man that was come to him" (Rabha assumes the whole verse to refer to the evil angel).

R. Johanan said: If it were not for the following three passages, the enemies of Israel (meaning Israel) could not withstand: First [Micah, iv. 6]: "And her to whom I have done evil"; and the second [Jeremiah, xviii. 6]: "As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel"; and the third is [Ezek. xxxvi. 26]: "I will remove the heart of stone out of your body, and I will give you a heart of flesh." R. Papa says: Also from the following verse [ibid., ibid. 27]: "And my spirit I will put within you."

It is written [Zech. ii. 3]: "And the Lord showed me four carpenters." Who are the four carpenters? Said R. Hanah bar Bizna in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: Messiah b. David, and Messiah b. Joseph, Elijah, and Cohen Zedek.

It is written [Micah, v. 4]: "And in this (manner) shall there be peace: If Asshur should come into our land; and if he should tread in our palaces, then will we raise up against him seven shepherds, and eight anointed men. Who are the seven shepherds? David in the centre; Adam, Sheth, Methushelach, at his right; Abraham, Jacob, and Moses at his left. And who are the eight anointed men? Jesse, Saul, Samuel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zedekiah, Messiah, and Elijah. 1

"And four ladders," etc. It was taught in a Boraitha, that the height of every candelabrum was fifty ells.

"And four lads," etc. The schoolmen propounded a question: Is it meant that each of them held a pitcher that contained 120 lugs, or the 120 lugs was the joint capacity of all the four? Come and hear: And in their hands were pitchers of oil containing each 30 lugs, which altogether amounted to 120. And a Boraitha states that they were praised more than the son of Martha the daughter of Baithus. It was said of the latter that he used to take two legs from the large ox which was bought for a thousand Zuz, in his hands, and went with them slowly, step by step. And his fellow-priests did not let him do so, because it is written [Prov. xiv. 28]: "In the multitude of the people is the king's glory" (i.e., if more men carried, God's glory were greater). What is meant by, "They were praised more than the son of," etc.? Shall we assume the 30 lugs were heavy--the legs were heavier? Yea, but there was only one step, and it was square; but here was a ladder, and standing upright (and it was more difficult for children to carry the burden).

"There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not illuminated." A Boraitha taught: A woman could pick wheat by this light.

"Pious and distinguished men," etc. The rabbis taught: Among were such as said thus: "Well be to our youth which does not disgrace our age." They were pious and distinguished men, and there were among them people who said: "Well be to our age that has atoned for our youth." And these are the penitents. Both used to say: "Well be to those who have not sinned at all; but who has sinned shall repent, and he will be forgiven." We have learned in a Boraitha: It was said of Hillel the Elder (the Prince): When he rejoiced at the drawing of the water, he used to say thus: If I am here, all are here; but if I am not here, who is here? He used also to say: To the places which I am fond of, my feet bring me; if thou wilt visit my house, I will visit thy house; but if thou wilt not visit my house, I shall never visit thine. As it is written [Ex. xx. 21]: "In every place where I shall permit my name to be mentioned, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee." 1 R. Johanan said: The feet of the man are securities for him: where he is needed, they bring him thither. Two Ethiopians were in the service of King Solomon, named Elihoreph and Achiyah the son of Shisha, and were his scribes. One day Solomon saw the Angel of Death was sad, and he asked him for the reason, and he said: Because the two men are required from me. And Solomon took the two men and gave them away to devils, who should carry them away to the city of Luz, which the Angel of Death cannot enter. On the morrow he saw the Angel of Death was very cheerful, and when he asked him the reason, he told him: To the place where I was commanded to take the lives of these two men, thou hast sent them, for they died at the gate of Luz. Then said Solomon: The feet of a man are his securities; where he is needed, to that place they bring him.

We have learned in a Boraitha: It was said that Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel, when he rejoiced at the drawing of water, would take eight flambeaux in his hands, and throw them into the air, and catch, and one would not touch another. When he used to prostrate himself, he fixed his thumbs on the ground, and bowed, and kissed the floor, and then raised himself, and no creature can do so. And this is what is called Qidah. Levi tried to make such a Qidah in the presence of Rabhi, and became lame on one leg. Levi also tried in the presence of Rabhi to throw and catch eight knives. Samuel tried to do so in the presence of Sha'bur the king with eight goblets full of wine; and Abayi in the presence of Rabha with eight eggs, according to others with four eggs. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Joshua b. R. Hananiah said: When we were engaged in rejoicing at the drawing of water, our eyes saw no sleep. How so? The first hour for the morning daily sacrifice; afterwards for praying, and from that to the additional sacrifice; after that the additional prayer; afterwards we went to the house of learning; from there we went to eat and drink at home, and afterwards the Min'ha prayer; and from the Min'ha prayer to the daily evening sacrifices, and from that time we rejoiced at the drawing of the water till the morning. But this is not so? Did not R. Johanan say: If one says: I swear I will not sleep three days, he shall get stripes for a false oath, and shall go to sleep immediately? He meant to say: We have not tasted any sleep, for we slept each on the other's shoulders.

"Fifteen songs of degrees," etc. Said R. Hisda to one of the rabbis who read the Agada (legends) before him: Have you heard of the fifteen songs of the degrees, for what purpose David composed them? He answered: So said R. Johanan: When David was mining under the altar to get water, water burst out ready to overflow the world; there he composed the fifteen songs of degrees, and therewith checked it.

"We belong to God and we raise our eyes to God." This is not so? Did not R. Zera say: One who said twice, "Shema, Shema," is the same as if he had said, "Modim, Modim," 1 of which a Mishna says, that he must be silenced? The Mishna meant thus: Our ancestors bowed toward the east to the sun, but only to God we bow, and our eyes we raise in hope to God.

MISHNA: In the Temple they never blew the trumpet less than twenty-one times a day, nor oftener than forty-eight times. They daily blew the trumpet twenty-one times: thrice at opening the gates, nine times at the daily morning offering, and nine times at the daily evening offering. When additional offerings were brought, they blew nine times more. On the eve of the Sabbath, they blew six times more: thrice to interdict the people from doing work, and thrice to separate the holy day from the work day. But on the eve of the Sabbath, during the festival (of Tabernacles) they blew forty-eight times: thrice at the opening of the gates, thrice at the upper gate, thrice at the lower gate, thrice at the drawing of water, thrice over the altar, nine times at the daily morning offering, nine times at the daily evening offering, nine times at the additional offerings, thrice to interdict the people from doing work, and thrice to separate the holy day from the work day.

GEMARA: Our Mishna is not in accordance with R. Jehudah of the following Boraitha: According to those who say they were few, they were not less than seven; and according to those who say that they were many, they were not more than sixteen.

What is the point on which they differ? R. Jehudah holds that blowing and alarming are one and the same thing, while the sages hold that they are two separate things. But what is the reason of R. Jehudah? Because it is written [Num. x. 5]: "And when ye blow an alarm." The rabbis, however, maintain that the passage means to say, that before and after the alarming a common blowing must be used. What is the reason of the rabbis' decree? Because it is written [ibid. 7]: "But at the assembling of the assembly, ye shall blow, but he shall not sound an alarm"; hence blowing and alarming are two separate things, for if they were not, how could the Merciful One command to do only half of the merit.

According to whom would be the saying of R. Kahana that there is no difference between a Tekiah (a blowing) and a Teruah (an alarming) whatever? This is certainly in accordance with R. Jehudah.

"But on the eve of Sabbath, during the festival." The Mishna does not count the times that they blew when they ascended the tenth step, and therefore we must assume the Mishna is in accordance with R. Eliezer b. Jacob from the following Boraitha: Three times they blew, when they ascended the tenth step. R. Eliezer b. Jacob, however, said: These three times they blew over the altar. From this we see that those who said it was blown over the altar, do not hold it was blown on the tenth step; and he who says it was blown on the tenth step, does not mean to say it was blown over the altar. What is the reason of Eliezer b. Jacob? He meant, when it was blown at the opening of the gates, it was not necessary to blow again on the tenth step. And what is the reason of the rabbis? They hold that when it was blown at the drawing of the water, it was unnecessary to blow over the altar. And therefore they gave preference to the ascending of the tenth step. When R. A'ha bar Hanina came from the South, he brought a Boraitha with him, thus: It is written [Num. x. 8]: "And the sons of Aaron the priest shall blow with the trumpets." This verse is superfluous, because there it is already written [ibid. 10]: "Shall ye blow with the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace-offerings." And why is the first-cited verse needed? To signify that they have to blow when there are additional sacrifices. He taught the Boraitha, and he explained it that it meant to say, that it was a duty to blow at every additional sacrifice.

An objection was raised based upon our Mishna: But on the eve of Sabbath during the festival they blew forty-eight times. Now, if it was so (to blow at each additional sacrifice) let the Mishna state that if the Sabbath falls during the festival there were fifty-one (because there was one additional sacrifice)? Said R. Zera: Because they did not blow at the opening of the gates on Sabbath. Said Rabha: Who is that who is not careful in his statements? The saying of R. Zera cannot hold good at all events. First, the Mishna states that there was blowing every day, which certainly includes Sabbath, and, secondly, even if the Sabbath, falling during the festival, were equal to the eve of Sabbath (in regard to blowing), the Mishna would not mention the eve of Sabbath, instead of the Sabbath itself, of which we could learn two things: that of R. Eliezer b. Jacob, that the blowing was not on the tenth step, but over the altar, and, secondly, what R. A'ha b. Hanina stated above, that they blew at each additional sacrifice.

Therefore said Rabha that the reason (for not mentioning Sabbath in our Mishna) is because they did not draw water on Sabbath, but on the eve of Sabbath, as stated supra; and then there were many blowings less (namely, the blowing when they reached the upper and the lower gate, the water-gate, and over the altar).

But let the Mishna state, when New Year falls on a Sabbath, when there are three additional sacrifices, namely, the New Year, the new moon, and the Sabbath sacrifice. The Mishna, in reality, left this out, as well as it left out the case when the eve of Passover falls on a Sabbath, when there were many additional blowings at the slaughtering of the Paschal lamb.

"Nor oftener than forty-eight times." Is that so? Did they not blow, when the eve of Passover fell on Sabbath, according to R. Jehudah fifty-one, and according to the rabbis fifty-seven, times? When the Passover offering was brought, it is explained in Tract Pesachim (Chap. V., Mishna 5, p. 119) that it was blown many times during the time when the three divisions brought their offerings. This, which was done every year, is counted in the Mishna; but the eve of a Passover that fell on Sabbath, which Is not every year, but only seldom, is not reckoned. But does the eve of Sabbath fall every year on the festival; it may happen that the first day of the festival falls on Friday, and then there is no eve of Sabbath during the whole festival? If this happens, then we prolong the festival for another day, because if the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles would be on Friday, the Day of Atonement would fall on Sunday, and no Day of Atonement must fall on Friday or on Sunday. An objection was raised: We have learned that if the first day of the month falls on Sabbath, the song of the first of the month supersedes the song of the Sabbath. Now, if it would be as R. A'ha interpreted the Boraitha before, that they blew at every additional sacrifice, why does it supersede? Let the song of the first of the month be sung, and that of Sabbath also? Said R. Saphra: The Boraitha which says "supersedes the Sabbath" means, it is said before the song of the Sabbath. Why so? Is there not a rule as to that which is frequent and that which is rare, that the frequent has the preference? Said R. Johanan: This was an exception to the rule, that the people should know that this month is consecrated by Beth Din in its time.

Another objection was raised: Rabha bar Samuel taught: One may say, as we must blow every Sabbath separately, and every first month separately, so shall we blow at every additional sacrifice? Therefore it is written [Num. x. 10]: "On the beginnings of your months" (on the beginnings of the months only, but not at additional sacrifices). This objection to R. A'ha's teaching remains. How is it inferred from this passage? Said Abayi: Because it is written, "on the beginnings of the months," in the plural, all the months shall be equal (and if a first day of the month falls on Sabbath, and it would be blown for every additional sacrifice, the months would not be equal). R. Ashi says: We may infer it from the following: It is written "your months," and the "beginnings," in the plural. Which month can happen to have two beginnings? That is New Year, which is the beginning of the year and of the month, and it is nevertheless written, "your months." From this we infer, all the first days of the months must be equal. We have learned in another Boraitha: On the intermediate days the songs were as follows: On the first day they used to say from Psalm xxix.: "Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye sons of the mighty"; on the second, from Ps. 1. 16; on the third, Ps. xciv. 16; on the fourth, ibid. 8; on the fifth day, Ps. lxxxi. 7. On the sixth day they used to say lxxxii. 5: "All the foundations of the earth are moved"; and if Sabbath fall on one of these days, "All the foundations of the earth are moved" should be superseded. (Now, from what is said, that when Sabbath falls it is superseded, we see that it was not blown for additional offerings.) The objection of R. A'ha remains. But did not R. A'ha bar Hanina cite both a verse and a Boraitha? Said Rabbina: The Boraitha which says it was blown at additional offerings, meant to say it was blown a little longer, but not a greater number of times. The rabbis of Cæsarea in the name of R. A'ha said: It was added to the number of trumpets.

And we in exile, who keep two days of festival, how shall we say in the additional prayer the passages [Num. xxix. 17-32] about the sacrifices? Amemar ordained in Nehardai: The second day we should leave out verse 17, but on the third day we should say (17-20) "both on the second and third"; on the fourth day (20-23) "the third and the fourth," etc., because in exile it was doubtful when the first of the month was consecrated.

MISHNA: On the first holy day of the festival there were thirteen bullocks, two rams, and one goat to be offered. There then remained fourteen lambs for eight orders of priests. On the first day of the festival six of these orders offered two lambs each, and the other two orders one lamb each. On the second day five of the orders offered two lambs each, and the remaining four orders one lamb each. On the third day four orders offered two lambs each, and the remaining six orders one lamb each. On the fourth day three orders offered two lambs each, and the remaining eight orders one lamb each. On the fifth day two orders offered two lambs each, and the remaining ten orders one lamb each. On the sixth day one order offered two lambs, and the remaining twelve orders one lamb each. On the seventh day they were all equal. On the eighth day they cast lots, as on other festivals. It was so regulated that the order which offered bullocks one day were not permitted to offer bullocks the next day, but it went in rotation.

GEMARA: These seventy bullocks, for what purpose were they offered? Said R. Elazar: For the sake of the seventy nations which existed then. And to what purpose was offered the one bullock [Num. xxix. 36]? For the sake of the single nation (Israel). It can be compared to a human king who says to his slaves: Make for me a great meal for several days. On the last day he says to his friend: You make for me a little meal, that I should have a benefit from yourself only. Said R. Johanan: Woe be to the nations, they have lost, and they do not know even what they have lost! When the Temple was in existence, the altar atoned for their sins, but now who shall atone for their sins?

MISHNA: Three times in the year all the twenty-four orders of priests were alike entitled to share the pieces of offerings of the festival, and in the shewbread; and on the Feast of Pentecost the distributors say to each priest: "Here is leavened bread for thee, and here is unleavened bread for thee." The order of priests whose regular time of service occurs in the festivals offer the continual daily offerings, vows, and voluntary offerings, and all congregational offerings, and every sacrifice.

GEMARA: The pieces of the offerings? They were brought to the altar? Said R. Hisda: Do not read "pieces 1 of the offering," but "the offerings that were said to be sacrificed on the festivals." The rabbis taught: Whence do we deduce that all the orders of the priests had equal shares of the offerings of the festival? Because it is written [Deut. xviii. 6]: "And come with all the longing of his soul . . . he shall minister." Lest one say, on any day of the year it should be also so, therefore it is written, "from any one of thy gates," to signify, this is only when all Israel comes through one gate.

"And in the shewbread." The rabbis taught: Whence do we deduce that all the orders of the priests have equal shares of the shewbread? From what is written [Deut. xviii. 8]: "They shall have like portions to eat." That means, according to his share in the service shall be his share in eating. But what is meant by eating? Shall we assume, that means to eat his share of the sacrifice? This is already deduced from Leviticus, vii. 9: "Shall belong to the priest that offereth it alone." Hence it means only the eating of the shewbread. But lest one say, they shall have a share also in the duty-offerings which are not dependent on the festival, therefore it is written [Deut. xviii. 8]: "Beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony." What is meant by selling the patrimony? That they have divided the weeks: I and my children shall take this week, and you shall have the other week.

"And on Pentecost," etc. It was taught: (If one has to pronounce two benedictions, of the Succah and the time,) Rabh said, he shall pronounce first the benediction of the Succah, and after this that of the time; and Rabha bar bar Hana said, that of the time first. The reason of Rabh is because the duty of the day must be given preference; and Rabha bar bar Hana's, the frequent thing has the preference over the rarer thing (and the benediction of the time is said many times in the year, and that of the Succah only once a year). An objection was raised from our Mishna: On Pentecost it is said: "Here is leavened bread, and here is unleavened bread." Now, on the Pentecost, the duty of the day is with leavened bread, and nevertheless it mentions unleavened bread first, and this would be an objection to Rabh, who says that the duty of the day must be given preference? Rabh might say . On this differ the Tanaim, as we learn in the following Boraitha: Here is unleavened bread, here is leavened bread. R. Saul, however, said: Here is leavened bread, here is unleavened bread. R. Na'hman b. R. Hisda lectured: It shall be done not according to Rabh to pronounce the benediction of Succah before that of time, but that of time should be said before that of Succah. R. Shesheth the son of R. Idi says: The Succah before the time. And so the Halakha prevails.

"The order of priests, whose regular time," etc. What is meant by "all congregational sacrifices"? It means to add the bullock, which the congregation has to offer for ignorance [Lev. iv. 13, 14] and the goat for idolatry.

"And every sacrifice." What is meant by every sacrifice? It means, to supply the deficit on the altar. (See Tract Shekalim, Chap. IV., Mishna D.)

MISHNA: If a festival falls before or after a Sabbath, all the twenty-four orders share alike in the shewbread. But if a day intervenes between the Sabbath and the festival, the order whose regular turn it was, received ten of the shewbread, and the loiterers received two shewbread. At other times of the year the order which entered on their duty received six, and that which went off duty received also six. R. Jehudah says: That order which enters on duty received seven, and that which goes off receives five. Those who entered shared them on the north side, and those who went out, on the south side (of the Temple court). The order Bilgah always divided their share on the south side; their slaughter ring was fastened down, and the window of their chamber blocked up.

GEMARA: What is meant by "before or after"? Shall we assume that "before" means the first day of the festival, and after a Sabbath? The last day of the festival, is it not the same as a Sabbath during the festival? Therefore we must say that "before" means, the last day was before a Sabbath, and "after" means, the first day was after Sabbath. Why, then, shall the shares be equal? The Sabbath does not belong to the festival at all? Because those who have to work on the succeeding week must come before the Sabbath, and those whose duty was out could not go away on the festival, and they all stayed in the Temple. Therefore the sages ordained they should have an equal share.

"If a day intervene," etc. And according to R. Jehudah, what is the reason that those who enter received two more? Said R. Itz'hak: That was the reward for opening the gates. But why did they not say, let it be equal for ever, for in the other week those who take seven this week will have five the next? Said Abayi: It is better to take a ripe small orange than to wait for an unripe large melon.

"Those who entered shared them on the north," etc. The rabbis taught: Those that entered took their shares on the north side, that it should be seen they were entering; and those who took them on the south side did it that everybody should see they were going out.

"The order Bilgah," etc. The rabbis taught: It happened to Miriam the daughter of Bilgah that she became an apostate, and was married to an officer of the Greek kingdom. When the Greeks entered the Temple, she took her sandal and knocked on the altar, and said: Lucus, Lucus, how long will you destroy the money of Israel, if you cannot help them in their trouble? When the sages heard this, they fastened down their ring and blocked up the window. But according to others, the order of Bilgah was always late to come, and the order of Jeshebab his brother substituted them; and although always the neighbors of the wicked are not benefited, the neighbors of Bilgah have benefited, because they took their share always in the south, and those of Jeshebab his brother always in the north. It is right according to those who say that the whole order was late, therefore it was punished; but according to those who say that only Miriam, Bilgah's daughter, became apostate, can it be that the Bilgah should be punished for his daughter? Said Abayi: Yea, because people say, what a child speaks in the street, it has heard either from its father or from its mother. But must the whole order be punished for the sin of her father and mother? Said Abayi: Woe be to the wicked, and woe be to his neighbor; well be to the righteous, and well be to his neighbor, as it is written [Is. iii. 10]: "Say ye to the righteous, that he hath done well; for the fruit of their doings shall they eat."

 


Footnotes

79:1 There was a tradition among the ancient Hebrews that two Messiahs would appear before the redemption of Israel one of the tribe of Joseph and one of the tribe of Jehudah, a descendant of David and the expression "who was killed" means who will have been killed. The Jewish Christians at that time, who did not believe in the divinity of Christ, but in his Messiahship (i.e., that the traditional Messiah ben Joseph meant the son of a man by the name of Joseph, but not of the tribe of Joseph, as Christ was, and that his fate was to be killed before the appearance of Messiah b. David), explain this passage to have reference to Christ.

79:2 See Tract Yomah,

80:1 Leeser in his translation has it in the form of an interrogation, but the Talmud takes it in simple form.

80:2 According to Rashi; according to Scheinhack, however, it means the thread of the χροχη and so it seems also from the Aruch.

82:1 In Leeser's version of the Bible he translates Manon "son," for which we do not know the authority; but the Mashbir translates Manon μενοιναω, i.e., "violent," and quotes a Midrash where the evil angel is meant.

83:1 It is strange to Rashi why Isaac is not mentioned here among the patriarchs. He says it seems to him that it is stated elsewhere that it is because Isaac went to redeem his children from Gehenna. It is so. This can be found in Midrash "Chronicles and in Jalkut Shimoni Micah, v. The strangeness of this saying, however, remains.

84:1 Rashi explains this that Hillel said so in the name of the Shekhina--that the Shekhina says: "As long as I am in the Temple, all are here; but if I am not here, who shall be here?" In the Palestinian Talmud, however, it is explained that he says it of himself; Tosphoth, however, said that the second part based on the verse shows that Rashi's explanation is correct.

85:1 This is explained in Tract Berachoth, Chap. V., Mishna 3.

90:1 The expression in the Mishna for pieces is אימורי, and in Hebrew signifies also "saying"; and R. Hisda interprets it not pieces, but the saying, what ought to be sacrificed.


Sources: Sacred Texts

Back to Top