PESACHIM 53 (29 Teves) - Dedicated in memory of Jeri Turkel, who passed away on 29 Teves 5776, by her husband Eli Turkel in honor of her Yahrzeit. The memory of Jeri's vibrant energy, her fervent prayers and her thirst for learning are cherished by all who knew her.

[53a - 40 lines; 53b - 45 lines]

1)[line 1]משיגריעוMISHE'YAGRI'U- from when the grapes grow to the size of a white bean

2)[line 1]משיניצוMISHE'YANITZU- from when the flower starts to open

3)[line 2]בוסרBOSER- a more advanced stage of unripe grape then Semadar

4)[line 7]בדניסחני קץB'D'NISCHANEI KATZ- [cut down] a male date palm [whose inferior fruit never ripens on the tree]

5)[line 8]דליותDALIYOS- (O.F. treilles) the lattice-work upon which grapevines grow

6)[line 8]אוכלOCHEL- a vineyard

7)[line 10]שבתקועTEKO'A- a city near Beis Lechem known for its abundant production of olive oil (Menachos 85b) (see RADAK to Shmuel II 20:26)

8)[line 11]גוש חלבGUSH CHALAV- a city in the Galilee, in the portion of Asher, known for its abundant production of olive oil (Menachos 85b)

9a)[line 12]בנופוNOFO- its branches

b)[line 12]בעיקרוIKARO- its trunk

10)[line 12]רובעROVA- a quarter [of a Kav] (approximately 0.345 or 0.6 liter, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions)

11a)[line 13]בגרוגרותGREGEROS- dried figs

b)[line 13]פגיPAGEI- [small] figs

c)[line 13]בית היניBEIS HINI- a place in Eretz Yisrael, also known as Beisyoni or Beis Oni (Eruvin 28b)

12)[line 15]ואהיני דטובינאAHINEI D'TOVINA- the [small] dates of Tovina, also known as Toveisa (Tosefta Shevi'is 7:11, according to the Girsa of the Vilna Ga'on)

13)[line 24]סימן להרים מיליןSIMAN L'HARIM MILIN- the sign of a mountain is [one upon which] "Milin" (the product of a certain species of oak tree - either gall-nuts (quercus infectoria) or acorns (quercus aegilops) - which are used as an ingredient in the tanning process) [grow]. (If there are no Milin there, it is not a mountain.)

14)[line 25]לנחליםNECHALIM- (a) rivers; (b) unfertile valleys; (c) wadis (see Insights)

15)[line 25]לשפלהSHEFELAH- plains, lowland

16)[line 25]שקמהSHIKMAH- sycamore trees (alt. Egyptian fig trees)

17)[line 26]"ויתן המלך את הכסף בירושלים כאבנים ואת הארזים נתן כשקמים אשר בשפלה לרוב""VA'YITEN HA'MELECH ES HA'KESEF BI'YERUSHALAYIM KA'AVANIM, VE'ES HA'ARAZIM NASAN KA'SHIKMIM ASHER BA'SHEFEILAH LA'ROV" - "... the king made silver in Yerushalayim as common as stones, and cedars as abundant as Shikmim in the lowland" (Melachim I 10:27) (THE WEALTH OF SHLOMO HA'MELECH)

(a)After describing the deep impression that Shlomo ha'Melech made on the Queen of Sheba and the huge gift of gold, spices, and precious stones that she gave him, the verse describes Shlomo's wealth and the influence that he wielded throughout the world.

(b)The Navi writes how the ships of Chirom, the king of Tyre, would bring him gold, spices, precious stones, and vast amounts of corral-trees from Ofir, which he used to build a walkway to the House of HaSh-m and to his palace, and to fashion harps and lyres for the singers.

(c)The gold alone that came into his coffers in that year alone was 606 Kikar (a little less than two million golden Shekalim), besides the tax-income from merchants and the spice-peddlers, from all the vassal kings and the governors of the land. The king made 200 three-sided shields, each comprising 600 gold Dinarim, and another 300 golden shields, each comprising three gold Manim (300 Dinarim); both of these, which were made of fine-quality gold, were placed in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.

(d)The Navi then goes on to describe Shlomo's magnificent ivory (overlaid with gold) throne, with its six steps each flanked by two lions, leading up to its round platform which housed his throne and its arm-rest, flanked by another two lions.

(e)All the king's drinking vessels were made of high-quality gold, as were all of the vessels of the Forest of Lebanon. In fact, the verse testifies, silver at that time was valueless.

(f)Once every three years, Shlomo's Tarshish fleet of ships together with that of Chiram would return from overseas, laden with gold, silver, ivory, monkeys, and peacocks. Shlomo's wealth and wisdom, the Navi writes, far surpassed that of all other kings. Everybody sought to visit Shlomo, to hear first-hand his G-d-given wisdom. When they came for their yearly visit, they brought with them a specific gift of silver vessels, golden vessels, clothes, weapons, spices, horses and mules.

(g)Shlomo also gathered chariots and horsemen (1,400 chariots and 1,200 horsemen). He kept the bulk in special chariot-cities, and some with him in Yerushalayim.

18)[line 28]לבכוריםBIKURIM

(a)The Mitzvah of Bikurim consists of bringing those fruits which were the first to emerge in one's field at the beginning of the season to the Beis ha'Mikdash. After arriving in the Beis ha'Mikdash, while the basket is still on his shoulder, the owner of the fruit recites specific verses from Devarim (26:3,5-10) which thank HaSh-m for taking us out of Egypt and giving us the land of Eretz Yisrael. He then places his basket of fruit at the base of the southwestern corner of the Mizbe'ach (RAMBAM Hilchos Bikurim 3:12) and bows down before HaSh-m. Afterwards, he gives the Bikurim to a Kohen (Mishnah Bikurim 3:8, RAMBAM ibid. 3:1).

(b)The Mitzvah of Bikurim applies only to the seven species with which the land of Eretz Yisrael is blessed (Devarim 8:8) - wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (Bikurim 1:3, RAMBAM ibid. 2:2). (Although many other types of produce now grow in Eretz Yisrael, these are the only species of produce truly indigenous to Eretz Yisrael. Other "immigrant" species may be destroyed by drought or harsh weather, but these seven will always grow in the land - Heard from a leading botanist (M. KORNFELD)).

(c)In certain instances, one does not recite any verses when bringing Bikurim (Mevi v'Eino Korei). For example, if one brings Bikurim between Sukos and Chanukah, he does not recite any verses (see 36b and Rashi there).

19)[line 29]מפירות שבעמקיםPEIROS SHEB'AMAKIM- wheat [grown] in the valleys (which is of inferior quality)

20)[line 30]לנחל איתןNACHAL EISAN (EGLAH ARUFAH)

(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Eretz Yisrael) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1).

(b)Five elders of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish "supreme court") measure the distances between the dead body and the cities around it in order to determine which city is closest.

(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never performed any sort of labor to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with barren soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe.

(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a statement that the dead man was given provisions for his journey and as accompanied properly on his way out of the city. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).

21)[line 30]למקח וממכרMEKACH U'MIMKAR- buying and selling (i.e. if one agrees to sell or purchase a "Shefelah", it must have sycamore trees)

22a)[line 31]בהמה דקהBEHEMAH DAKAH- small domesticated animals (such as sheep and goats)

b)[line 33]בהמה גסהBEHEMAH GASAH- large domesticated animals (such as cattle and donkeys)


(a)The Chachamim decreed that one may not sell a beast of burden to a Nochri. The reason for this prohibition is that if one were allowed to sell such an animal to a Nochri, he may come to lend or rent it to a Nochri as well, who might very well then work the animal on Shabbos. This is prohibited, as it states in Shemos (20:10), "Lo Sa'aseh Chol Melachah... u'Vehemtecha" - "Do not do any work [on Shabbos]... [nor] your animals."

(b)Another reason for this decree is that one may sell the animal close to Shabbos, and then call to the burdened animal following the sale - on Shabbos - in order to demonstrate to the Nochri how well it performs. By doing so he transgresses the prohibition of Mechamer on Shabbos (Avodah Zarah 15a).

(c)Ben Beseira makes an exception for horses, since their primary function is to be ridden. Riding an animal on Shabbos is prohibited only mid'Rabanan.

24a)[line 33]עגליםAGALIM- calves

b)[line 33]וסייחיןSEYACHIN- young donkeys

25)[line 34]צליTZLI- roasted meat [other than the Korban Pesach]. If such meat is eaten outside of Yerushalayim, one may come to think that the Korban Pesach may be as well.

26)[line 37]דמינטרMINTAR- guarded

27)[line 39]גדיים מקולסיןGEDAYIM MEKULASIN- (lit. helmeted kid-goats) kid-goats roasted in the same manner as the Korban Pesach


28)[line 5](כ)[ב]רבי שמעון(K'REBBI) [B'REBBI] SHIMON- [replacing "Rebbi Yosi"] with "Rebbi Shimon"


(a)If a person pledges a donation to Hekdesh in a nonsensical manner (such as to give the Erech (a Torah-ordained value assigned to people based upon gender and age) of a vessel), there is a disagreement among the Tana'im as to whether or not his contribution is accepted. Some Tana'im maintain that since he meant what he said and there is no meaning to his statement, he need not give anything at all. Others are of the opinion that Ein Adam Motzi Devarav l'Vatalah - people do not generally make nonsensical statements. Therefore, we redefine his words to be referring to the closest possible sensible pledge, and that is what he is required to donate to Hekdesh.

(b)In the Mishnah cited by our Gemara, the case under discussion involves one who pledged a Korban Minchah (see Background to Menachos 2:1) consisting of barley flour. No voluntary Minchah consists of barley flour; they are all made up of wheat flour. Rebbi Shimon is of the opinion that one need not bring any sort of Minchah since he pledged to do so she'Lo k'Derech ha'Misnadvim. Therefore, the Gemara asks, why would he consider a kid-goat roasted on Pesach which has never been verbally designated as "for Pesach" similar to Kodshim? Not only has it never been referred to as "Pesach," but even if it had been after it was already slaughtered, this would be an unusual manner of donating to Hekdesh! If the Halachah is that we ignore such overtures, certainly what has not been connected to Kodshim whatsoever should not be considered "close to" Kodshim!


(a)Tefos Lashon Rishon means, "Grab the first [part of the] statement." That is, if a person utters a two-fold statement designating an object as Hekdesh with contradictory Halachic ramifications, we view the second [part of the] statement as an addition to the first. Therefore, the first [part of the] statement is valid, while the second is ignored.

(b)The dissenting opinion maintains that "bi'Gemar Devarav Adam Nitpas" - "A person is bound (lit. caught) by his last words." There is a Machlokes Rishonim regarding this opinion. The RAN (Nedarim 26a) writes that this opinion maintains that the second [part of the] statement categorically revokes the first [part of the] statement. Therefore, the second [part of the] statement is valid while the first one is ignored. The ROSH and RASHI (Pesachim 53b DH Rebbi Shimon) understand this opinion to maintain that "Af bi'Gemar Devarav Adam Nitpas" - the person originally intended that both [parts of his] statement[s] should apply, since he did not realize that they were Halachically contradictory. According to this opinion, both [parts of the] statement[s] are valid, and a compromise should be found between the two when possible.

(c)According to "Tefos Lashon Rishon," one who pledged a Korban Minchah consisting of barley flour would be required to bring a regular wheat-flour Minchah. We view his statement of "Harei Alai Minchah" to stand alone, and ignore his addition of "Shel Se'orim." Rebbi Shimon, who says that he need not bring any Minchah, must agree with Rebbi Yosi, who says that Af bi'Gemar Devarav Adam Nitpas. Since there is no way to reconcile a voluntary Minchah with barley flour, he is Patur.

31)[line 14]לא רבי שמעון...LO. REBBI SHIMON...- Not so. Rebbi Shimon agrees with Rebbi Yosi...

32a)[line 16]גברא רבהGAVRA RABA- a great person, i.e. a Torah scholar

b)[line 16]בעל אגרופיןBA'AL EGROFIN- (lit. a master of fists) a bandit

33)[line 18]חנניה מישאל ועזריהCHANANYAH MISHA'EL V'AZARYAH- In the book of Daniel (Daniel 3:1-30), the story of Chananyah, Misha'el, and Azaryah is told. King Nevuchadnetzar ordered them to bow down to an idol, but they opted to be thrown into a burning furnace instead. A miracle occurred and the fire did not harm them.

34)[line 22]"ובמשארותיך""UV'MISH'AROSECHA"- "and in your kneading troughs" (Shemos 7:28)

35)[line 26]מטיל מלאי לכיס של תלמידי חכמיםMATIL MELAI L'CHIS SHEL TALMIDEI CHACHAMIM- one who supplies a Talmid Chacham with merchandise to sell in return for half the profit

36)[line 32]ובמבואות האפליםMEVO'OS HA'AFELIM- dark passageways

37)[line 33]לדבר אחד נתכוונוL'DAVAR ECHAD NISKAVNU- had the same thing in mind; i.e. discouraging marital relations, which are forbidden in Yom Kippur. Those who had the custom of lighting a candle did so since marital relations are prohibited by the light of a candle. Those who did not light a candle preferred that husband and wife not be able to see each other, lessening the chance that they be overwhelmed with desire.

38)[line 37]ותחלת ברייתו הואTECHILAS BERIYASO HU- it was first created [on Motza'ei Shabbos]

39)[line 38]ישר(YASHER) [YEYASHER]- well-said!

40)[line 40]ודאי דאמריתו...?VADAI D'AMRISU...?- Is it true that you said...?

41)[line 41]הדר עולא חזא ביה... בישותHADAR ULA, CHAZA BEI... BISHUS- Ula turned, [and] looked at Rabah bar bar Chanah angrily

42)[last line]עדא תהאADA TEHEI- this is [truly a quotation of Rebbi Yochanan]

43)[last line]"מים עמוקים עצה בלב איש ואיש תבונה ידלנה""MAYIM AMUKIM ETZAH B'LEV ISH, V'ISH TEVUNAH YIDLENAH..."- "Deep waters are the counsel in the heart of a man, and one with understanding is able to draw it out" (Mishlei 20:5). Rav Yosef is commenting on the ability of Rabah bar bar Chanah to understand the look that Ula gave him.