ME'ILAH 13 (ROSH HASHANAH) - Dedicated l'Zechut Refu'ah Shleimah for Elisheva Chaya bat Leah. Dedicated by Michael Steinberg, David Steinberg, and Ethan Steinberg.

[13a - 25 lines; 13b - 24 lines]

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We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach, the Tzon Kodashim and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.

[1] Rashi 13b DH Aravah ד"ה ערבה:

Should be corrected as suggested by Shitah Mekubetzes #8


1)[line 11]ולד המעושרתVLAD HA'ME'USERES- the offspring of an animal that had been separated as Ma'asar Behemah (see Background to Temurah 8:2)

2)[line 12]אחרים מתנדבים כןACHERIM MISNADVIM KEN- lit. others donate such; see Insights for a summary of the interpretations of this phrase

3)[line 15]כרשיני הקדשKARSHINEI HEKDESH- Karshinin, the beans of a species of vine, probably the horse-bean (which is rarely used as human food), that belong to Hekdesh

4)[line 24]קלעיליןKAL'ILIN- a type of bean

5)[last line]אבקה מעלי להAVKAH MA'ALI LAH- the dust of the field is beneficial for the Kal'ilin (into which it becomes mingled)


6)[line 5]המים שבכד של זהב ... נתנן בצלוחיתHA'MAYIM SHEB'KAD SHEL ZAHAV ... NESANAN B'TZELOCHIS (NISUCH HA'MAYIM)

(a)One of the ceremonies of the holiday of Sukos in the Beis ha'Mikdash was the Nisuch ha'Mayim (water libation) ceremony, in which water was poured on the Mizbe'ach as a libation instead of wine. Tana'im argue as to whether this ceremony was performed all seven days of Sukos, or only six days (days 2-7) or two days (days 6 and 7). Another opinion holds that it was performed eight days, the seven days of Sukos and Shmini Atzeres (Ta'anis 3a; however see Hagahos Didukei Sofrim ad loc. #3, who suggests that no opinion holds that it was done for only two or six days).

(b)The Nisuch itself was done as follows. Three Lugin of water (approximately equal to 0.9, 1.035 or 1.8 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) was drawn into a golden Tzelochis (flask) at daybreak from the Shilo'ach spring that is located to the south of the Temple Mount and was brought to the Azarah in a joyous procession. When the morning Tamid sacrifice was brought, a Kohen poured the water into one of the "Sefalim" at the top of the Mizbe'ach (the silver libation pipes located in the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach).

(c)On Shabbos the water could not be drawn and brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash due to the Isur of Hotza'ah (see Background to Menachos 37:37:a-b). The water would therefore be drawn on Erev Shabbos and placed in a golden Kad (jug) that was not sanctified in order that the water should not become Pasul because of Linah (remaining overnight off of the Mizbe'ach; see Background to Me'ilah 6:1).

(d)This ceremony was associated with much rejoicing. On the nights preceding the Nisuch ha'Mayim, people gathered in the Azaros of the Beis ha'Mikdash to rejoice and sing praises to HaSh-m until the morning, when it was time to draw the water. The Leviyim played more musical instruments than usual and the greatest Talmidei Chachamim danced and juggled exultantly. So many torches and lamps were lit in the Mikdash area to provide light for the celebrants that the streets of the nearby city of Yerushalayim were illuminated as bright as day. The Mishnah, describing the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah (Sukah 51a), states that anyone who has not seen the rejoicing of the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah has not seen rejoicing in his life.

7)[line 6]ערבהARAVAH

(a)On the first six days of Sukos (except Shabbos), very long willow branches were cut in Motza, near Yerushalayim, and brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash. RASHI (Sukah 44b DH Aleh) states that there was no minimal requirement for the size of the branch or branches, but it became the custom to take large branches to beautify the Mitzvah. These branches were placed standing alongside the Mizbe'ach, with their tops leaning over the Mizbe'ach. The Kohanim circled the Mizbe'ach once, reciting certain prayers. (According to one opinion (Sukah 43b), they circled the Mizbe'ach carrying these branches.)

(b)On Hoshana Rabah, the seventh day of Sukos, the Kohanim circled the Mizbe'ach seven times, amidst extensive prayers for spiritual growth, salvation and bountiful crops. If Hoshana Rabah fell on Shabbos, the willow branches that were used in the ceremony were cut before Shabbos (Sukah 45a, RAMBAM Hilchos Lulav 7:20-21).

8)[line 22]הקןHA'KEN- a nest

9)[line 23]אשירהASHEIRAH

(a)Asheirah is a tree that serves as a form of Avodah Zarah. (Asheirah was a popular fertility goddess in the Near East. She is identified with Astarte (Ashtaros) and Aphrodite.) An Asheirah tree must be cut down or annulled. No benefit may be derived from it.

(b)The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 48a) lists three types of Asheirah trees: 1. A tree that the owner originally planted to worship as Avodah Zarah; 2. A tree that the owner stripped bare of any branches, shoots and the like, either with the intention of serving as an Avodah Zarah the entire tree or only the new growth; 3. A tree under which the owner placed an Avodah Zarah.

10)[line 23]יתיז בקנהYATIZ B'KANEH- (a) he should knock [the nest out of the tree] with a stick — that is, the nest is not prohibited, as is a nest in a tree of Hekdesh. If the nest is high off the ground, it is not permitted to climb the Asheirah (since it is Asur b'Hana'ah), but we may knock off the nest with a long stick (RASHI); (b) alternatively, the nest is not prohibited, but it is prohibited to remove it from the tree by hand since the person removing the nest by hand may forget himself and climb the tree or break off branches from the tree. The nest must be knocked off with a long stick (TOSFOS DH Yatiz and DH sheba'Asheirah, according to his Girsa in the Sugya on Daf 14a - see Girsa Section 14:2)

11)[last line]החורשHA'CHORESH- a forest