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Tractate Sukkah: Chapter 3

Regulations concerning palm branches, myrtles, willows, and citrons used on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Regulations concerning palm branches, myrtles, willows, and citrons used on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

MISHNA: A palm branch 1 which has been acquired by theft, or which is dried, is not valid. One which comes from a grove (devoted to idolatry) or from a rejected town 2 is not valid; if the point has been broken off, or the leaves torn off, it is not valid; if they are only dissevered, it is valid. R. Jehudah says: It must be tied together at the top. A palm branch from the Iron Mount 3 is valid. A palm branch that is three spans long, sufficient to shake it by, is valid.

GEMARA: The Mishna does not mention on which day it is valid, and on which not; and from this we can infer that it is invalid even for the second day. This would be right only in case of a dried one, because it is written hadar, which means "beauty," which a dried one has not; but a robbed one--that is prohibited only because it must be his own, as stated above (p. 34)--but on the second day, which is wholly rabbinical, why should it be invalid? Said R. Johanan in the name of R. Simeon b. Jochi: Because it is a religious duty that is performed by a sin. R. Johanan said again in the name of the same authority: It is written [Is. lxi. 8]: "For I, the Lord, love justice: I hate robbery with burnt-offering." It resembles a human king who passed the custom-house and said to his servants: "Pay the duty to the officers"; and the servants said to him: "Why shall we give duties? All the duties are thine"; and he said: "All passengers shall learn it from me, and shall not shirk to pay their duty." So the Holy One, blessed be He, said: "I, the Lord, hate robbery with a burnt-offering of me shall my children learn, and avoid robbery."

It was taught also in the name of R. Ami: A withered one is invalid, because it has no beauty; and a robbed one is invalid, because it is a religious duty done by a sin.

R. Huna said to the sellers of the myrtles: If you buy myrtles from the heathen, do not cut them off yourselves, but let themselves cut off, and give them to you. Why so? Because most heathen have robbed the ground from the Israelites, and the robber is not considered the owner of the ground, even when the original owner has despaired of it (but the law is different about movable property). And therefore, if you will cut off yourselves, that will be as taking a robbed thing; but when they cut off, and as the original owners have despaired, the cut-off myrtle boughs become theirs, and you may buy them.

The rabbis taught: A robbed Succah or a roof made in a public street, R. Eliezer makes invalid, but the sages make it valid. Said R. Na'hman: They differ only when the ground on which the Succah is built belongs to his neighbor, and he put out the neighbor and took the Succah to himself. This is according to R. Eliezer's theory, who said that one cannot fulfil his duty in his neighbor's Succah. It is invalid in any case. According to those who say that the robber of ground is considered the owner of it, after the original owner has despaired, it is a robbed Succah; and even according to those who say that he can never become the owner of the ground, it is nevertheless a borrowed Succah (because it is not a robbed one). But the sages hold to their theory that one can fulfil his duty in a borrowed Succah, and also that ground cannot be robbed; therefore it is valid, because it is considered as a borrowed Succah. But if one has robbed wood, and made a roof, according to all, the owner of the wood has only to claim his money, but the wood becomes the property of the robber, and the Succah is valid. And he infers this from the expression of the Mishna, "a robbed Succah or a roof made in public ground," as in the latter case the ground was certainly not his, so also the robbed Succah means, that the ground was also not his and he has robbed it.

It happened once that an old woman came to R. Na'hman and said: The exilarch, and all the sages of the house of the exilarch, are sitting in a robbed Succah. She complained, but he did not answer her. Said she again: A woman whose father had three hundred and eighteen slaves complains before you, and you do not pay attention. R. Na'hman said to the sages: The woman is only a prattler: she has to claim only the money for the wood that has been taken for the use of the Succah.

Rabhina said: If a beam of the roof of a Succah has been robbed, the sages have arranged that only money for it should be returned to the owner, and not the beam itself. Is this not self-evident? What is the difference between a beam and wood, as just mentioned above? One might say wood can be found in any place, and one can buy it for the money; but a beam, which is not so common, should be returned. They come to teach us that during the seven days of the festival, one can lay claim only to money, but after the festival it must be returned, provided one has not attached it with clay; but if one has, even after the seven days only the money shall be given.

We have learned in a Boraitha: A withered palm branch is invalid, but R. Jehudah makes it valid. Said Rabha: They differ only about a Lulab that is rabbinical. The sages hold that we compare a Lulab to a citron: as the citron must be beautiful, because it is written hadar (beauty), so the Lulab must be beautiful; and R. Jehudah does not hold this theory, and says that a Lulab need not be beautiful, but a withered citron, according to all, is invalid. Does R. Jehudah require that a citron shall be beautiful? Did we not learn in a Boraitha: The four kinds that are with the Lulab, as there must not be less, so nothing shall be added to them? If one did not find a citron, he cannot replace it with a lemon or a pomegranate, or anything else; and if they are withered they are valid, but if dried, then invalid. R. Jehudah, however, said: Even when dry, they are valid. And he says again: The inhabitants of great cities used to transmit their Lulabs to their grandchildren. And they answered him: This cannot prove, because the places where such things are rarities do not prove. Hence we see that R. Jehudah said that even dry ones are valid, and this includes also citrons? Nay, R. Jehudah meant only the Lulab when he said dry ones are valid.

The text says: "If he cannot find a citron, he shall not replace it with a lemon," etc. Is not this self-evident? One might say, he shall replace it with something, lest the command. of a citron should be forgotten: it comes to teach us that if it would be done so, the later generations might use such things forever. Come and hear: An old citron is invalid, but R. Jehudah says it is valid. Is this not a contradiction to the saying of Rabha 1 above, that R. Jehudah meant only the Lulab, and not a citron? Yea, it is a contradiction. But how can R. Jehudah say that an old one is valid? is it not written hadar (beautiful)? R. Jehudah explains the word hadar 1 not to mean "beauty," but "dwelling"; that means, a fruit which dwells on its tree the whole year.

"If the point was broken off." Said R. Huna: If it is broken off; but if it is only split, it is valid. But have we not learned in a Boraitha: A bristly Lulab or one crooked like a scythe, a split one, a hardened one, is invalid. But if it seems hardened, and in reality is not, it is valid. Hence we see that a split one is also invalid? Said R. Papa: By "split" is here meant one growing as a fork, into two different directions. "Crooked like a scythe," said Rabha; "that is only if it is bent forward, but if backward it is natural, and it is valid." Said R. Na'hman: If bent sideways, it is as if forward. According to others, R. Na'hman says it is as if bent backward. Rabha said again: A Lulab that has all the leaves on one side, and on the other side none at all, is blemished and is invalid.

"If the leaves were torn off." Said R. Papa: By torn off is meant that it is made like a broom. What is meant by dissevered? When the leaves grow as branches of a tree, in different directions.

R. Papa put a question: If the "twins" of the Lulab are divided, how is the law (the double leaves on a palm branch are called "twins")? Come and hear: R. Mathun in the name of R. Joshuah b. Levi said: If the "twins" are divided, it is as if the leaves were torn off, and it is invalid.

"R. Jehudah says," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jehudah said in the name of R. Tarphon: The expression "branches of palm trees" is Kapoth Tmarim. As the word kapoth signifies in Aramaic "bound," "tied," if the Lulab was separated, it must be tied together. Said Rabhina to R. Ashi: How is it known that by Kapoth Tmarim is meant a young Lulab that has been the first year on the tree? Perhaps the branches are meant when they are two or three years old, when the leaves spread on all sides? We require that they shall be tied together, and in that case they cannot be tied at all.

"A Lulab from the Iron Mount." Said Abayi The case is only when the top of one reaches the lower part of the one that grows over it; but if not, they are invalid.


"A Lulab three spans long." Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: The prescribed size for a myrtle bough and willow is three spans, and of the Lulab four, so that the Lulab shall be one span higher than the myrtle bough and willow when they are tied, R. Parnach in the name of R. Johanan said: (Not the leaves, but) the back of the Lulab, should be one span higher. Come and hear: The prescribed size of a myrtle bough and willow is three spans, of a Lulab four spans: is it not meant with the leaves? Nay, it is meant, besides the leaves. The Boraitha says farther on: R. Tarphon says: It shall be measured with an ell of five spans. Said Rabha: May the Lord forgive R. Tarphon for such teaching: A myrtle bough of three spans is not to be found, and he calls for a myrtle bough of the length of five spans. When Rabbin came from Palestine, he said that R. Tarphon meant to say so: An ell which was five spans, consider it as if it was six spans, and three spans of this take off for the myrtle bough, and the remainder, which is about two and a half, for the Lulab. If it is so, then it is a contradiction to Samuel, for according to R. Tarphon the myrtle bough would be only two and a half spans, and Samuel said it must be three spans? Samuel was not particular in his decision, and said more rigorously, three. But, nevertheless, R. Huna says in his name that the halakhah prevails according to R. Tarphon.

MISHNA: A myrtle bough which has been acquired by theft, or which is dry, is not valid. One which comes from a grove or from a rejected town is invalid. If the tip has been broken off, or the leaves torn off, or if one has on it more berries than leaves, it is invalid; if the berries are diminished in number it becomes valid, but this must not be done on the festival. A willow of the brook, which has been acquired by theft, or which is dry, is invalid. One which comes from a grove, or a rejected town, is not valid. If the point has been broken off, or the leaves torn off, or if it be a Tzaphtzapha1 it is invalid. One which is faded, or from which some leaves have dropped off, or which has grown on dry ground (not near a bank), is valid.

GEMARA: The rabbis taught: It is written: "Boughs of the myrtle tree"; that is, a tree whose branches cover the whole tree, and this is only a myrtle tree. Rabha said: We take a myrtle bough because it is written [Zechariah, viii. 19]: "Only love ye the truth and peace" (as a myrtle is an emblem of peace and love, therefore we take it on the festival). 1

The rabbis taught: A branch that is twined like a chain, that is the myrtle. R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: It is written: "The branch of a twined tree." That means, a tree whose trunk and fruit have the same taste, and that is a myrtle. In a Boraitha we have learned: A branch that is twined, is valid; if not, it is invalid. What is meant by twined? Said R. Jehudah: On each stem are three leaves. R. Kahna however, says: Even if on one stem are two, and on the other one, it is also reckoned three. R. A'ha the son of Rabha was looking for a myrtle bough which had two and one and two and one because this has been announced by R. Kahna. Said Mar bar Amemar to R. Ashi: My father calls such a myrtle a wild myrtle.

The rabbis taught: If the greater number of leaves have dropped, and on three stems they remained, it is valid. The rabbis taught: If the greater part of the leaves on the bough have dried up and only three twigs, each containing three leaves, remained, it is valid. Said R. Hisda, provided that the remainder are on the top of each.

"If the tip has been broken off." Ulla bar Hinna taught: If the tip has been broken off, and in its place is a green fruit like a date (Rashi explains this, that on the top of a myrtle there happen to be green fruits, with which women paint their vails), it is valid. R. Jeremiah put a question: If the tip had been broken off on the eve of the festival, and this green fruit grew up on the festival, how is the law? Shall it be said that, because it was not fit on the eve, it has been rejected, and cannot be used any more; or, the law of rejecting does not apply to religious duties? This question is not decided. Shall we assume that this is a point of difference between the following Tanaim: We have learned: If one has transgressed, and cut off the berries on the festival, it is invalid, according to R. Elazer b. R. Zodok; but according to the sages it is valid? Must we not assume that he who says it is invalid does it because he holds the law of rejecting applies to religious duties, and as this branch with the berries was rejected on the eve of the festival, it was rejected for the whole festival, and he who says it is valid does so because he holds that the law of rejecting does not apply to religious duties? Nay, all agree that the law of rejecting applies to the positive commandments of religious duties, but in this case they differ whether a Lulab must be tied or not, as on this point differ the Tanaim of the following Boraitha: A Lulab, whether tied or not, is valid. R. Jehudah, however, said: A tied one is valid; if not, it is invalid. What is the reason of R. Jehudah? He infers it from an analogy of expression. It is written here [Lev. xxiii. 40]: "Ye shall take unto yourselves on the first day," and [in Ex. xii. 22] "and ye shall take a bunch of hyssop"; as there it is plainly written a bunch, so also here it must be tied as a bunch, and the sages do not take into consideration this analogy of expression. 1

"If one has more berries on it than leaves." R. Hisda said: The following thing said our great rabbi (i.e., Rabh), and the Lord come to his help: The case is only if it was in one place, but if the berries were in two or three places, then it is valid. Said Rabha to him: If it was in two or three places, it seems spotted, and it is invalid? Therefore if such a thing was taught, it was taught thus, said R. Hisda: The following thing our great rabbi said, and may God come to his help: The case is only when the berries were black; but if they were green, they are the same as the myrtle bough, and it is valid.

"If they have been diminished in number," etc. They have been diminished in number when? If before it was tied, it is self-evident, and if after it was tied, then it was rejected for the festival, and how made good? Infer from this that the law of rejecting does not apply to religious duties! Nay, we can say that the case is even after it had been tied, but the Tana of the Mishna holds that the tying is not considered a construction, but only a preparation, and does not therefore count it.

The rabbis taught: They must not be diminished in number on the festival. In the name of R. Eliezer bar Simeon, however, it was said: It maybe done. But is not this like repairing a utensil on the festival? Said R. Ashi: R. Eliezer means to say, that if he took off the berries for the purpose of eating, and he holds as his father, that a thing which was done unintentionally is allowed.

The rabbis taught: If the binding of the Lulab was loosened on the festival, one shall tie it as he usually ties a bundle of herbs. Why? Let him tie it into a loop (not a knot). That is according to R. Jehudah, who said in Sabbath (p. 233), that tying into a loop is like a knot, for either is culpable. But according to R. Jehudah the Lulab must be tied not as a bundle of herbs, but in a good knot? This Tana holds as R. Jehudah in one thing, and differs from him in the other.

"A willow of the brook," etc. The rabbis taught: It is written "A willow of the brook." That means, they usually grow near every brook. According to others, the willow of the brook means that it has leaves smooth as a brook. In another Boraitha we have learned: The willows of the brook! Whence do we deduce that willows from dry ground and mountains are valid? It is written "willows," in the plural: all are included. Abba Shaul, however, said: The plural signifies that two are needed: one for the Lulab and one for the Temple. And whence do the rabbis deduce that One for the Temple? They hold it is Sinaic (as will be explained farther on).

The rabbis taught: Willows of the brook, that grow only at brooks; but the Tzaphtzapha, which grows only between mountains, is excepted.

The rabbis taught: How can we recognize what is a willow and what is a Tzaphtzapha? The willow's stem is red, with the leaves elongated and their edges smooth. But a Tzaphtzapha has the stem white, and the leaves round, and their edges like a scythe. But have we not learned, if it is like a scythe, it is valid, and when like a saw it is invalid? Said Abayi: This we learned of the willows of Hilpha Gila: they are valid. Abayi said again: We may infer from this that the same willows may be used for the seventh day when Hosha'noth are used. Is not this self-evident? One would say that because the willows of Hilpha Gila have an additional name, they are not valid, he comes to teach that it is not so. But perhaps it is so? Because it is written in the plural, all are included.

MISHNA: R. Ishmael says: Three myrtle boughs, two willows, one palm branch, and one citron are needed. If two out of the three myrtle boughs had the tips broken off, they may be used. R. Tarphon says: Even if all three should have the tips broken off. R. Aqiba says-: As one Lulab and one citron are needed, so are only one myrtle bough and one willow needed.

GEMARA: We have learned in a Boraitha,: It is written: The fruit of the tree hadar," in the singular. one fruit; "a branch of a palm tree," in the singular, 1 one branch; "boughs of the myrtle tree, "in the plural, three; and "willows of the brook," also in the plural, two. And even if two had the tips broken off, it is valid. R. Tarphon, however, said: Three are needed; and if all the tips are broken off, it does not matter. R. Aqiba said: As the Lulab and the citron are only one, so of the myrtle boughs and the willows is needed only one. Said R. Eliezer to him: According to thee, the citron must be tied together with the Lulab? And he answered: Did the verse say: "The fruit of the tree hadar and a branch of a palm tree"? It mentions them separately. If so, whence do we know that one depends upon the other? Because it is written: "Ye shall take." That means, you shall take all things that are enumerated, and not one without the other. How shall we imagine the case, according to R. Ishmael? If all kinds have to be entire, why are the myrtle boughs allowed if they are broken? And if it is not required that they should be entire, let even the other kinds, if broken, be used? Said Birah in the name of R. Ammi: R. Ishmael retracted this decision. Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: The halakhah prevails according to R. Tarphon, and Samuel said this according to his theory, because he said to the sellers of the myrtles: Make the price lower, and if you will not do so, I will lecture that the halakhah prevails according to R. Tarphon. Let him then lecture according to R. Aqiba, who is more lenient, and says only one is needed? Three with the tips broken are more easily procurable than one uninjured.

MISHNA: A citron which has been robbed, or is withered, is invalid. One coming from a grove or a rejected town is invalid. One taken off a tree less than three years old 1 is not valid. Nor one taken from heave-offering that is unclean. From clean heave-offering a man is not to take a citron; but if he has taken, he has fulfilled his duty. One taken from Demai (fruit from which it is doubtful whether the legal dues have been paid) Beth Shammai hold invalid, but Beth Hillel hold it valid. A man is not to take a citron from second tithe in Jerusalem; but if he has taken one, he has done his duty. If a stain spread over the greater portion of the citron, if it has lost its crown, or the fine rind has been peeled off, or if it is split, or perforated, if ever so little thereof is wanting, it is not valid. If, however, the stain is spread over the smaller portion of the citron, if it has lost its stalk, or if that be perforated (but the citron itself is entire) so that no part, however small, be wanting, it is valid. A dark-colored one is invalid, a leek-green one R. Meir pronounces valid, but R. Jehudah invalid.

The minimum size of a small citron, R. Meir says, is like a nut; R. Jehudah says, like an egg; and of a large citron, that one can hold two in one hand. So is the decree of R. Jehudah; but R. Jose says, even one must be taken with both hands.

GEMARA: The rabbis taught: The fruit of the tree hadar; that is, a tree whose wood and fruit have the same taste, and that is a citron. Perhaps it is pepper, as we learn in the following Boraitha: R. Meir used to say: Because it is written [Lev. xix. 23]: "Plant any kind of tree, bearing edible fruit." Why was it needed to say, a tree bearing edible fruit? Is it not self-evident that if it is bearing fruit it is edible? From this we infer that to pepper, whose wood and fruit have the same taste, the law of Arlah applies. And in the land of Israel nothing is lacking (even pepper), as it is written [Deut. viii. 9]: "A land . . . wherein thou shalt not lack anything"? Because it is impossible: how shall we do? Shall we take one pepper-grain, that will not be noticed at all, many of them; the law says one, not two or three; and therefore it cannot be. R. Abahu says: Do not read hadar, but ha-dar; that is, a thing that dwells on its tree the whole year. Ben Azzai said: Do not read hadar, but adur, because in Greek they call water ?δωρ, and that means a tree which can grow in all waters, and that is only a citron.

"One that comes from a grove," etc. Because it must be burned, and therefore it is considered to have no size.

"From a tree less than three years," etc. Why so? R. Hiya bar Abbin and R. Assi differed: one says, because it is not allowed to eat it, it must not be used either; and one says, because at that time it is worth nothing (because it must not be used for any purpose).

R. Assi said: With a citron of second tithe, according to R. Meir, a man cannot fulfil his duty; but according to the sages, he can. The same is the case with Matzah of second tithe. And dough of second tithe, according to R. Meir, is exempt from Halah, and according to the sages, is not.

"From unclean heave-offering." Because it is not allowed to eat it. And from clean heave-offering? "One shall not take," etc. R. Ami and R. Assi differ: one says, because he makes it subject to defilement, and one says, because he spoils it (because, when he holds it in the hand, it gets black, and is spoiled).

"But if he has taken, it is valid." According to those who say that it must not be taken, because it is not allowed to be eaten, this law is according to all; and according to those who say because it has no value, this Mishna is only in accordance with the rabbis.

"From Demai." What is the reason of Beth Hillel? Because if one wishes, he can relinquish his estates, and then he would be poor, and he would be allowed to eat it; therefore now also we consider it proper.

"If a stain," etc. Said R. Hisda: The following thing our great rabbi said, may the Lord come to his help: The case is only when it is in one place (of the citron), but if it is in two or more places, it is like a spotted one, and is invalid. Said Rabha: On its top, even if it is but trifling, it is invalid.

"Its crown," etc. R. Itz'hak b. Elazar taught: The crown, but not the stalk at the bottom.

"Peeled off," etc. Said Rabha: If a citron has been peeled, and gets the color of a red date, it is valid. But did we not learn in our Mishna that if peeled, it is invalid? It presents no difficulty. If it was in part peeled off, it is like a spotted one, and invalid; but if entirely peeled, it is valid.

"Split or perforated," etc. Ulla bar Hanina taught: When it is perforated through and through, even if it is trifling, it is invalid; but otherwise, then if the hole is of the size of an Isar (a coin), it is also invalid, but if less it is valid.

A citron that is swollen, ill-smelling, soaked, boiled, black or white, or spotted, is invalid. A citron round as a sphere (not elliptical) is invalid. According to some, twins (two growing together) are also invalid. An unripe citron R. Aqiba makes invalid, and the sages do not. If it was made to grow in a mould, and it came out of an irregular shape, it is invalid.

It was taught: "A citron that mice have perforated," said Rabh, "cannot be called beautiful."

"And of a large citron," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jose said it once happened to R. Aqiba that he came to a prayer-house with his citron, and it was so large that he brought it on his shoulder. Said R. Jehudah to him: It proves nothing, because the sages told him then: This cannot be considered beautiful,

MISHNA: The Lulab must only be tied with its own kind (threads of palm branches). So says R. Jehudah. But R. Meir says: It may be tied even with twine. R. Meir also said: It happened that the inhabitants of Jerusalem tied a Lulab with gold lace. But the sages answered: Yes, they did so, but beneath the gold lace they tied it with its own kind.

GEMARA: Said Rabha: With the bark or the root of the same tree it may be tied. And he says again: What is, the reason of R. Jehudah's decree? Because according to him the Lulab must not be used unless it is tied, and if it be tied with another kind, it should be five kinds, and not four. He says again: Whence do I deduce that the bark and the root of the palm tree are considered of the same kind as the Lulab itself? From the following Boraitha: It is written: "Ye shall dwell in booths." That signifies, a booth of any materials: so is the decree of R. Meir. R. Jehudah, however, said: A booth must be made only of the four kinds used for the Lulab. And it seems to me that such is right, because if a Lulab which is used only in the day, and not in the night, must have the four kinds only, for a Succah which is used both by day and by night, so much the more are the four kinds needed. Replied the sages to him: Every law which is at the beginning more rigorous, and is finally more lenient, is no law at all. And our case, according to your opinion, if one did not find the four kinds, he should sit in his house, doing nothing; and the Torah says: "Seven days ye shall dwell in booths." Therefore we say a Succah should be made of any materials. And so it is written in Nehemiah, viii. 15: "Go forth unto the mountain and fetch olive leaves, and oleaster leaves, and myrtle leaves, and palm leaves, and leaves of the three-leaved myrtle to make booths." R. Jehudah, however, explains this verse thus: That olive leaves and oleaster leaves are for the walls of the Succah, and myrtle leaves, etc., are for the covering. And we have learned in a previous Mishna: It may be roofed with boards, so is the decree of R. Jehudah. Hence we see that, although R. Jehudah requires only the four kinds for the covering, nevertheless, if one has covered it with boards, it is valid, because the boards of the bark and of the roots of the same tree are considered by him of the same kind. But have we not learned in a Boraitha that if one has covered it with boards of cedar, it is valid according to R. Jehudah? By cedar is also Meant myrtle, as Rabha bar R. Huna says elsewhere: There are ten kinds of cedar, and the myrtle is among them, as it is written [Is. xli. 19]: "I will place in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle."

Said Rabba to the men who tied the Hosha'noth for the exilarch When you tie them, leave the breadth of a hand at the bottom there shall be no intervention between the hand and the Hosha'na. 1 Said Rabha: All that was made to beautify it, does not intervene. Rabba says again: A man shall not hold the Hosha'na through a cloth, because it is written: "Ye shall take," with your own hands. Rabha, however, said: Even if one takes it through another thing, it is still called taking. Rabba says again: After the Hosha'na and the myrtle bough have been tied, one shall not insert the Lulab, lest some leaves be torn off from them, and they will be an intervention between the Lulab and them. Rabba, however, said: A thing of the same kind makes no intervention.

Rabba says again: A myrtle bough used for the religious purpose may not be smelled, but a citron may. Why so? Because the myrtle is only used because of its odor, and as it has been designated for a religious purpose, it must not be smelled; but a citron, which is made for eating, has been designated only for eating, and may be smelled. The same authority says again: A myrtle attached to the ground may be smelled on the festival, but a citron must not. Why so? Because a myrtle, which is used only for smelling, if one will be allowed to smell it, when yet attached to the ground, he will not cut off; but a citron, which is for eating, if he will be allowed to smell, he will cut off, and eat. He says again: The Lulab must be held in the right hand, and the citron in the left hand. Why so? Because by the Lulab three duties are performed, and by the citron only one.

Said R. Jeremiah to R.. Zrika: Why do we pronounce the benediction over the Lulab only? Because it is higher than the other kinds. But let one raise the citron, and pronounce the benediction over it? And he answered: Because by nature it grows higher than the other kinds..

MISHNA: When must the Lulab be shaken? At the verse: "Praise ye the Lord" (in the prayer), at the beginning and ending (of that part of the prayer), and at the verse: "O Lord, we beseech thee, save us": so is the decree of Beth Hillel. But Beth Shammai hold, also at the verse: "O Lord, we beseech thee, prosper us." R. Aqiba said: I watched Rabban Gamaliel and R. Joshuah (in the time of prayer), and I saw while all men shook the Lulabs at both the above-mentioned verses, they shook theirs only at: "O Lord," etc., "save us."


GEMARA: Where is it mentioned that it should be shaken? In the first Mishna of this chapter: it teaches, a Lulab which is three spans long "sufficient to shake it by"; and now it is asked, When shall it be shaken? Said R. Johanan: The shaking shall be towards all four sides--to the Creator, that all the sides are His; and it shall be raised and lowered to Him to whom the heaven and the earth belong. In the West they taught so: R. Hama bar Uqba in the name of R. Jose bar Hanina said: He shall shake towards all sides, to prevent bad winds; and up and down, to prevent bad dews.

MISHNA: If one is on the road, and has no Lulab, he must, when he gets home, shake it before his meal. If he has not done it in the morning, he must do it toward evening, as the duty may be done during the whole day.

If a slave, woman, or minor reads hallel (see Pesachim, Chap. X., pp. 242-46) to a man, he should repeat after them word for word, but it is a disgrace to him (not to have learned to read). If a grown man reads to him, he only responds "Hallelujah." At the places where certain verses are said twice, he is to do so. Where they are recited once, he must do so. Where a benediction is said after the Lulab, he must say it. In every case he must do as is the custom of the country.

GEMARA: Rabha said: Great Halakhoth can be inferred from the custom of saying Hallel: From the custom of our time, when almost all men can read the Hallel themselves, nevertheless they repeat the beginnings of the chapters after the reader, we may infer what are the essential portions of Hallel, and how it was done in the ancient times, when the people could not read themselves, and a man was wanted to read it, for them to repeat after him. The Mishna says: He responds "Hallelujah." From this we see that Hallelujah is of the essential portions which must be responded. We see also in our time, when the reader begins: "Praise, O ye servants of the Lord," and the people respond, "Hallelujah," we may infer that if a grown man is the reader of the Hallel, it is sufficient for the hearer to respond "Hallelujah," and not to repeat the whole chapter (part of the prayer). From what we see, that when the reader says, "Praise ye the Lord," they also repeat, "Praise ye the Lord," we infer that it is a merit to repeat the first verses of the chapter.

[It was also taught: R. Hanan bar Rabha said: It is a merit to repeat the first verses of the chapter.] When the reader says: "O Lord, save us," they should repeat it. If the reader is a minor, however, one must repeat after him word for word. When he says: "O Lord, prosper us," they repeat it, and from this we see that if one wishes to say it twice, he may do so. When he says, "Blessed be he that cometh," they respond, "in the name of the Lord." From this we see that he who listens to the prayer is equal to him who himself repeats it.

R. Hiya bar Abba was asked: If one has listened to the prayer, and not responded, how is the law? And he answered: The sages, the scribes, the heads of the people, the preachers, all have decided that he who has listened, and not answered, has fulfilled his duty.

"At the places where verses are said twice," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: Rabbi used to say twice in the Hallel same parts. R. Elazar b. Parta has added parts to the same prayer. What is meant by "added"? Said Abayi: He added the manner of saying twice every verse from the 21st verse of Psalm cxviii. to the end of that psalm.

"When it is the custom to say a benediction," etc. Said Abayi, that is only at the end of the Hallel; but before, it is not a custom, but obligatory. As R. Jehudah said in the name of Samuel: All the religious duties must have a benediction pronounced before they are performed.

MISHNA: If one buys a Lulab from a man of the common people in a Sabbatical year, he shall ask of him that the citron shall be given to him as a gift, because it is not allowed to buy a citron in the Sabbatical year.

GEMARA: But how is the law if the seller does not want to give him this as a gift? Said R. Huna: He shall include the price of the citron in the price for the Lulab. Why? Let him give it to him publicly? Because one must not give money for fruits forbidden to be sold on the Sabbatical year to a man of the common people. As we have learned in a Boraitha: One must not give money for fruit on the Sabbatical year to a man of the common people more than is sufficient for three meals; and if one has done it, he shall say: This money that I give to this man shall be exchanged for the fruit which I have in my house, and after that he uses the fruit which he has had in the house only for purposes for which fruit of the Sabbatical year may be used. When is that the case? When he saw that the man sold to him fruit from a field left to the public, which had no owner; but if he sold it from his own field, one must not buy even for half an isar. If it is so, why only the citron? What is the case with the palm branch? The Lulab cannot be of the Sabbatical year, because it had been ripe on the sixth year. But the same is the case with the citron? In case of a citron, it is not counted from the time of its ripeness, but its removal from the tree (as is explained in Tract Rosh Hashana, p. 19). But we know that according to both R. Gamaliel and R. Eliezer, in reference to the Sabbatical year, in case of the citron it is counted from the time of its budding. As we have learned in the following Mishna: The citron is equal to a tree in three respects, and to herbs in one respect--to a tree in three respects, to wit: Of arla (the first three years), rebai (the fourth year) [Lev. xix. 22-24], and of the Sabbatical year, in reference to which it is counted from the time of its budding; and to a herb in one respect, that it must be tithed when it is gathered (i.e., the tithe must be used for the purpose of that year). So is the decree of Rabban Gamaliel. R. Eliezer, however, said: A citron is equal to a tree in all respects (hence we see that all agree that in reference to the Sabbatical year it is counted in case of the citron from the time of its ripeness, not of its budding). The Tana of our Mishna holds as the Tana of the following Boraitha: R. Jose said: Abtulmus testified in the name of five elders, thus: The citron must be counted from the time when it is gathered for tithe. Our Masters, however, have voted and decided in the city of Usha that in reference both to tithe and Sabbatical year it is to be counted from the time of its gathering. But where is here mentioned the Sabbatical year? The Boraitha is not completed, and must read thus: The citron is counted when gathered in reference to tithe, and from budding in reference to the Sabbatical Year. Our Masters in Usha, however, have decided that in both cases it is counted from the time of the gathering.

R. Elazar said: The fruit of the Sabbatical year does not become exchanged, unless it is done in the manner of buying and selling. R. Johanan, however, said: It becomes exchanged even through exchanging. What is the reason of R. Elazar? Because it is written [Lev. xxv. 13]: "In this year of the jubilee," and the next verse says, "shall he sell," from this we infer, only through buying and selling. What is the reason of R. Johanan? Because it is written [ibid., ibid. 12]: "For it is the jubilee, holy shall it be unto you"; and as in case of all holiness there is no difference between selling and exchanging, the same is the case with the fruit of the Sabbatical year. We have learned in one Boraitha in accordance with R. Elazar, and in another Boraitha we have learned in accordance with R. Johanan.

A Boraitha according to R. Elazar: The Sabbatical year holds the money exchanged for its fruit, because it is written: "It is a jubilee year and shall be holy." As the holy things hold the money exchanged for it, and makes it holy, so also do the fruit of the Sabbatical year. But should we assume, as the holy things become ordinary, when exchanged, the same shall be with the Sabbatical year, therefore it is written: "It shall be"--which means, so shall it stay. How so? I.e., if one bought for its fruit meat, both must be destroyed; if, however, he bought fish for the meat, the fish becomes its substitute, and the meat is free; the fish, again, exchanged for wine, the latter becomes the substitute. The same is the case when the latter is exchanged for wine: the very last always becomes the substitute of the preceding one, except the original fruit, which remains as it was. Now, then, when the Boraitha mentions at every exchange the word "lokah," which means bought, we may infer from it that it was done only by purchase, but not by exchange (hence R. Elazar's opinion).

A Boraitha according to R. Johanan: Both the fruit of the Sabbatical year and of the second tithe may be exchanged for wild game, cattle, and fowl when they are either alive or slaughtered. So is the decree of R. Meir. But the sages say that only for slaughtered ones, but when alive they must not be taken in exchange, lest he shall raise a herd from them. Said Rabba: They differ only as to males, but females, all agree that only slaughtered ones may be exchanged, but not living ones, for the precautionary measure stated above.

Said R. Ashi: They differ only about the fruit exchanged already for the Sabbatical fruit, but about the Sabbatical fruit itself all agree, only through selling and not through exchanging. But have we not learned in a Boraitha: The fruit of the Sabbatical year and second tithe may be exchanged for animals, wild beasts, and fowls? By this is meant, not the fruit but the money obtained for it. And this must be so, because it is mentioned together with second tithe, and by second tithe could not be meant the fruit itself, because it is written [Deut. xiv. 25]: "Bind up the money in thy hand."

MISHNA: Formerly the Lulab was used in the Temple all the seven days of the festival; in the country, however, only one day. When the Temple was destroyed, R. Johanan b. Zakkai ordained: In the country it shall also be used all the seven days, in memory of the Temple. He ordained also at the same time that on the sixteenth day of Nissan, called the day of Noph (the day of waving the omer: Lev. xxiii. 11), it should not be allowed to eat new grain.

GEMARA: Whence do we infer that it must be done in memory of the Temple? Said R. Johanan: Because it is written [Jeremiah, xxx. 17]: "This is Zion, whom no one seeketh after." From this we infer that it must be sought after.

"The day of Noph," etc. What is the reason? Said R. Na'hman bar Itz'hak: R. Johanan b. Zakkai said this in accordance with the system of R. Jehudah, who said that it is biblically prohibited to eat the whole day, because it is written [Lev. xxiii. 14], "until the self-same day"; and the self-same day means this day shall be included. Does R. Johanan b. Zakkai indeed hold with R. Jehudah, did he not differ from him? As we learn in the following Mishna: When the Temple was destroyed, R. Johanan b. Zakkai ordained that the whole day of Noph it shall be prohibited. And R. Jehudah said to him: Why such an ordinance? Is it not biblically prohibited, as it is written, "on the self-same day," which means to include the whole day? R. Jehudah erred, because he thought R. Johanan b. Zakkai intended to make his ordinance rabbinical, and it was not so; R. Johanan b. Zakkai ordained this biblically. If biblically, what is meant by the expression "ordained"? Read: He lectured that this is biblical and so ordained.

MISHNA: If the first day of the festival falls on a Sabbath, the people bring their Lulabs to the synagogue on the eve of Sabbath and leave them there, and on the next morning they come early to synagogue, and each seeks out his own Lulab, and performs with it his duty, because the sages bold that the duty cannot be fulfilled on the first day by means of a Lulab belonging to his neighbor; but it can be fulfilled on the subsequent days of the festival.

R. Jose says: If the first day of the festival falls on the Sabbath, and one carries out the Lulab into public ground through forgetfulness, he is not culpable, because he carried it out with the intention to do a religious duty.

GEMARA: Whence is this deduced? From what the rabbis taught: It is written [Lev. xxiii. 40]: "Ye shall take," that means, it shall be taken with the hand; "unto yourselves," it shall be your own, but not a borrowed one or robbed one; and from this the sages said that one cannot fulfil his duty with the Lulab of his neighbor on the first day, unless he has made of it a present to him. And it happened to Rabban Gamaliel, R. Joshuah, R. Elazar b. Azariah, and R. Aqiba, when they were on board a ship, that they had but one Lulab, which was the property of Rabban Gamaliel, who had bought it for a thousand Zuz; and R. Gamaliel performed with it his duty, and then made of it a present to R. Joshuah; R. Joshuah did the same, and gave it away to R. Elazar, who did the same, and gave it as a present to R. Aqiba; and R. Aqiba, after having fulfilled his duty, returned it to Rabban Gamaliel. To what purpose do they tell us that R. Aqiba returned it to Rabban Gamaliel? It is to teach us by the way, that a present with the condition that it shall be returned after, is called a present. As Rabha said elsewhere: "If one say: I present to you this citron to fulfil your duty with it, and afterwards you shall return it to me," if the man returned it afterwards, he had fulfilled his duty, but if he failed to return it, it is not counted as anything. And to what purpose do they tell us that he bought it for a thousand Zuz? To let us know how dear to them were religious duties. Said Mar bar Amemar to R. Ashi: My father used to pray, holding the Lulab in his hand. We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Elazar 1 bar Zadok says: So was the custom of the men of Jerusalem: when one was going out of his house, the Lulab was in his hand; when he went to the house of prayer, the Lulab was in his hand; when he read the Shema and prayed, the Lulab was in his hand; when he read in the Torah and raised his hands (when a priest) to bless Israel, he laid it away, on the floor, and afterwards took it up. If he went to visit the sick, or console mourners, the Lulab was in his hand. When he went, however, to the house of learning, he sent it away through his son, or servant, or messenger. To what purpose is all this told? To let us know how mindful they were of religious duties.

"R. Jose said," etc. Said Abayi: He is not culpable so long as he has not fulfilled his duty with it; but if he has, he is. But has not the duty been performed as soon as he has taken it into his hand and raised it? Said Abayi: It means, if he carried it out inverted (because the duty is not fulfilled so long as he does not hold it as it grows). Rabha said: Even if he has not inverted it, but carried it out in a vessel. But did not Rabha himself say that taking through any other thing is called taking? That is, if he took it thus to honor it; but if in a vessel not appropriate to a Lulab, it is not called taking.

MISHNA: A woman may receive a Lulab out of the hand of her son or of her husband, and put it back into water on the Sabbath. R. Jehudah says: On the Sabbath it may be put back, on the festival they may add fresh water, and on the intermediate days they may change the water. A minor who understands how to shake the Lulab is bound to perform that duty.

GEMARA: Is this not self-evident? Lest one say, that because the Lulab is not obligatory for a woman, she must not handle it, it comes to teach us that she may.

"A minor," etc. The rabbis taught: A minor who knows how to shake the Lulab is bound to perform this duty. If he knows how to wrap himself in a cloth, he is bound to perform the duty of Tzitzith; if he is able to take care of Tefilin, his father may buy for him Tefilin. As soon as he can talk, his father shall teach him the Torah, and to read Shema. [What is meant by Torah? Said R. Hamnuna: The verse of Deuteronomy, xxxiii. 4: "The law which Moses commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob." What is meant by Shema? The first verse.] (The Boraitha says farther on): If he knows how to slaughter animals, it may be eaten of his slaughtering. Said R. Huna: Only if an adult was standing by. If he is capable to eat bread the size of an olive, one must remove from him to the distance of four ells (if one has to pray or to study), on certain occasions. Says R. Hisda: This is only if he can eat the piece of bread in the same length of time that a grown person can eat bread of the size of three eggs, or more. Said R. Hiya the son of R. Yeba: In the case of a grown man who is sick and unable to eat as much, in the above-mentioned length of time, one must nevertheless remove four ells. Because it is written [Eccl. i. 18]: "Where there is much wisdom, there is much vexation." If the minor is able to eat roasted meat of the size of an olive, the Paschal offering may be slaughtered for him, as it is written [Ex. xii. 4]: "Every man according to what he eateth." R. Jehudah, however, said: It must not be given to him until he is able to distinguish. How? If he is given a chip, he drops it; but a nut, he accepts it.


42:1 Lev. xxiii. 40.

42:2 Deut. xiii. 12.

42:3 A mountain near Jerusalem, southward, the palm branches of which wen very short.

44:1 The name of Rabha is not mentioned above, but it must have been known to him that Rabha said so.

45:1 The word hadar in Hebrew has two meanings: "Beauty" and dar means "dwelling" (see Ps. lxxxiv. 11). Hence R. Jehudah explains this in the latter sense.

46:1 The Gemara will explain the term.

47:1 Rashi explains it in another manner, which is complicated. We, however, think that our explanation is right.

48:1 See page 14, lines 32-37, beginning "But according," etc., which also belong here.

49:1 The word Kapath is written in the singular, but is read Kapoth, in the plural.

50:1 Lev. xix. 23.

54:1 The Gemara calls Hosha'na the Lulab, and the myrtle bough and willow tied together.

60:1 See foot-note in Tract Pesachim, p. 78.

Sources: Sacred Texts