[56a - 42 lines; 56b - 37 lines]
1)[line 1]ואוכלין מתחת הנשריםOCHLIN MI'TACHAS HA'NESHARIM- [on Shabbos and Yom Tov] they ate beneath date palms from which dates fell [without knowing whether the dates had fallen on Shabbos or Yom Tov or beforehand] (RASHI). The Gemara (56b) explains why the Chachamim did not agree with this practice.
(a)While harvesting grain, one must leave the corner of his field unharvested for the poor to take, as the Torah states, "Lo Sechaleh Pe'as Sadecha Liktzor... le'Ani vela'Ger Ta'azov Osam" - "Do not completely harvest the corner of your field... you shall leave them (the gifts of Pe'ah, Leket, Olelos, and Peret) for the poor and the stranger" (Vayikra 19:9-10).
(b)The requirement to leave Pe'ah for the poor applies to trees as well, as Chazal derive from the verse, "Ki Sachbot Zeisecha, Lo Sefa'er Acharecha; la'Ger la'Yasom vela'Almanah Yiheyeh" - "When you beat your olive trees (in order to remove the fruit) do not remove all of its splendor; it (that which is left as Pe'ah - Chulin 131b) shall be for the convert, the orphan, and the widow" (Devarim 24:20). Pe'ah does not apply to vegetables, however, as the Gemara (56b) explains, and one may not leave Pe'ah for the poor when there is no obligation to do so. Since Pe'ah is exempt from Ma'aser, those who see that Pe'ah was left from vegetables will mistakenly think that Ma'aser need not be separated, leading them to consume Tevel, untithed produce.
3)[line 4]גיררGIRER- dragged. The father of King Chizkiyah was Achaz, a notorious Rasha. Chizkiyah dragged his father's body on a bed of ropes to denigrate him. This served the dual purpose of (a) atoning to some degree for his father's misdeeds, and (b) serving as a Kidush HaSh-m.
4)[line 5]כיתתKITES- ground to powder
5)[line 5]נחש הנחשתNECHASH HA'NECHOSHES- While in the desert, Bnei Yisrael spoke against HaSh-m and Moshe, alleging, "Why did you take us out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread and no water! We are becoming disgusted with this insubstantial food (the Man)." As a punishment, HaSh-m sent poisonous snakes to attack the people, causing a number of Bnei Yisrael to die. The people came to Moshe, confessed their sin, and asked him to pray for them. After doing so, Moshe was instructed by HaSh-m to make the form of a venomous snake out of copper and place it upon a high pole. When people looked up toward the snake, they were reminded to raise their eyes heavenward and repent, leading to HaSh-m curing them from the venom (Bamidbar 21:4-9). Many years after entering Eretz Yisrael, Bnei Yisrael began to worship the copper snake, calling it "Nechushtan." Chizkiyahu ha'Melech destroyed it to prevent this practice from continuing (Melachim II 18:4).
6)[line 5]ספר רפואותSEFER REFU'OS- (a) a book which listed remedies for every illness. Because people were able to cure themselves of any malady immediately, they failed to realize that the illness was sent by HaSh-m as a message to repent. By hiding it, Chizkiyahu effectively forced the Jews to rely on HaSh-m for their healing and to pray for mercy from Him, instead of relying on the Sefer Refu'os. (RASHI); (b) a collection of astrological formulae for healing, which involved placing certain forms in certain places at certain hours. King Shlomo wrote this "Book of Cures" in order to demonstrate the wonders that exist in the natural world. (The Rambam refers to this type of healing by its Greek name of "Talisman.") It is permitted to study from such a book, but not to use the actual formulae in practice, since doing so is a form of Avodah Zarah. When Chizkiyahu realized that people were utilizing the book to heal themselves, he hid it away. (RAMBAM, Peirush ha'Mishnayos); (c) a book which listed various poisons and their antidotes. When people began misusing it in order to poison their enemies, Chizkiyahu hid it away (RAMBAM ibid.).
7)[line 6]קיצץ דלתות של היכלKITZETZ DELASOS SHEL HEICHAL- he stripped the outer doors of the Beis ha'Mikdash (of their gold overlay, in order to send it to Sancheriv, king of Ashur, as a bribe)
8)[line 7]סתם מי גיחון העליוןSASAM MEI GICHON HA'ELYON- he stopped up the flow of the river Gichon (in order that Sancheriv and his invading armies not find a source of fresh water)
9)[line 7]עיבר ניסן בניסןIBER NISAN B'NISAN (IBUR SHANAH)
(a)A Shanah Me'uberes (leap year) is one to which an extra month is added; when this is necessary, the month of Adar occurs twice. In the current fixed calendar, this occurs seven times in every nineteen-year cycle. When Beis Din determines the date of Rosh Chodesh based upon the testimony of witnesses, the decision to make the year Me'uberes must be made prior to accepting witnesses for the sanctification of the month that follows Adar. If the year is to be a leap year, then it is declared Adar ha'Sheni; if not, then it is declared Nisan. The principal reason for adding an extra month is in order to make certain that Pesach falls in the season of Aviv (spring; lit. "ripening grain"), as the verse states, "Shamor Es Chodesh ha'Aviv, v'Asisa Pesach..." - "Observe the month of Aviv, and (bring) the Pesach Sacrifice..." (Devarim 16:1).
(b)The Beis Din determines the time of Aviv based upon the following three variables: the vernal equinox; the occurrence of the Aviv season in the districts of Yehudah, Ever ha'Yarden, and the Galil; and the timely blossoming of the fruit trees. The first variable is straightforward; if the spring equinox will fall on the 16th of Nisan or later (i.e., on the day of the Omer offering it will still be winter), then that month should be declared Adar ha'Sheni instead. The next two variables are interrelated. The Chachamim first observe the development of the ripening grain, and then reckon whether or not those fruits which are normally ripe when Pesach arrives will have ripened. If the grain and fruits are each late in two out of the three aforementioned districts, then the month is declared Adar ha'Sheni, even if the equinox would fall before the 16th of Nisan.
(c)Aside from the principal reason of insuring that Pesach occurs in its proper season, there are four possible additional reasons to add an extra month to the year. These are:
1.The roads are impassable, making it impossible for those who live outside of Yerushalayim to reach the Beis ha'Mikdash in time to offer the Korban Pesach;
2.The bridges are washed out and the journey to Yerushalayim is impossible or dangerous for those who live outside of Yerushalayim;
3.Those who live outside of Yerushalayim have started their journey, but will not arrive in Yerushalayim on time;
4.The clay ovens in Yerushalayim used to roast the Korban Pesach became wet during the rainy season, and now must dry out in the sun (Sanhedrin11a-b) (RAMBAM Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 4:1-5).
(d)Chizkiyahu ha'Melech proclaimed a leap year, but he did so only after the month following Adar had begun as Nisan. He saw that many people were still Tamei from the reign of his wicked father Achaz and would be unable to bring the Korban Pesach. He therefore retroactively changed the then-current month of Nisan into Adar Sheni.
10)[line 8]מייתי אסא דראMAISEI ASA DARA- they (the men of Yericho) bring a moist myrtle branch
11)[line 9]ושיכרא דדפנאV'SHICHRA D'DAFNA- and beer made from laurel berries (O.F. lor - laurel, O.F. baies - berries of the laurel)
12)[line 9]וקימחא דשערי דרמי במנאV'KIMCHA D'SA'AREI D'RAMI B'MANA- and barley flour that is placed in a utensil
13)[line 9]דלא חלפי עליה ארבעין יומיןD'LO CHALFEI ALEI ARBE'IN YOMIN- over which forty days have not passed [from when it was ground]
14)[line 10]ומרתחי להוU'MARTECHEI LEHU- and they boil them
15)[line 10]ושדו להו לדיקלא בליביהV'SHADU LEHU L'DIKLA B'LIBEI- and they pour them (the mixture) into the heart (the sap-wood, located in the center of the trunk) of the palm tree (this concoction serves as a vitalizing agent)
16)[line 11]צאוי לאלתרTZAVI L'ALTAR- dries up immediately
17)[line 12]מנחי כופרא דיכרא לנוקבתאMANCHEI KUFRA DICHRA L'NEKUVTA- (a) (O.F. enter - to graft) they would graft a tender branch which grew in the previous year onto a fully grown palm tree (RASHI, 1st explanation); (b) they would graft a branch from a male palm tree (which produces fruit) onto a female palm tree (which does not produce fruit) (RASHI, 2nd explanation; however, see TOSFOS YOM TOV, RASHI to Eruvin 28b DH bed'Nischeni, and MENACHEM MESHIV NEFESH here. According to the TIFERES YISRAEL, the female palm produces no fruit at all, while the male palm produces inferior fruit. Only when a male branch is grafted onto a female tree is quality fruit produced.); (c) they would perform a grafting procedure between the male palm (which produces inferior fruit) and the female palm (which produces quality dates only after this procedure). If this process is not performed at a specific time, it will not succeed. The Mishnah is referring to a case when the appropriate time was Erev Pesach (ARUCH Erech Nesen).
18)[line 13]ולא היו מפסיקיןV'LO HAYU MAFSIKIN- and they did not pause. One must draw out the end of the word "Echad" and then pause before beginning the verse of "v'Ahavta," contemplating the acceptance of "Ol Malchus Shamayim" - the yoke of the Heavenly Kingship.
19)[line 14]היום על לבבךHA'YOM AL L'VAVECHA- When this verse is read according to the cantillation marks, the word "ha'Yom" is attached to the previous word, "Metzavecha." When it instead is read together with the words that follow, the combination gives rise to an improper connotation.
20)[line 17]שלא היו אומרים...SHE'LO HAYU OMERIM...- According to an alternate Girsa in Rashi, "SHE'HAYU OMERIM," this means that they would say "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso..." - but they would not say it out loud.
21)[line 19]קץ הימיןKETZ HA'YAMIN- (lit. the end of days) when HaSh-m will once again defend Bnei Yisrael, which will occur when the Exile is over. (The Exile is the period when HaSh-m's "hand" is turned away from fighting his enemies, as it is written "Heshiv Achor Yemino Mipnei Oyev" - "He turned his right hand backward from in front of the enemy"; Eichah 2:3)
22)[line 21]שמע ישראלSHEMA YISRAEL- Yaakov's other name was Yisrael; his children were addressing him.
23)[line 25]בחשאיB'CHASHAI- quietly (discreetly)
24)[line 26]שהריחה ציקי קדירהSHE'HARICHAH TZIKEI KEDEIRAH- who smelled (O.F. arsedure - meat seasoned with spices) a spicy, tasty dish (considered poor-man's food, and therefore beneath her dignity to partake of)
25)[line 26]אם תאמרIM TOMAR- if she says [that she desires to eat the Tzikei Kedeirah]
26)[line 27]להביא [לה] בחשאיL'HAVI [LAH] B'CHASHAI- to bring it [to her] secretly, discreetly
27)[line 28]תרעומת המיניןTAR'OMES HA'MININ- the seditious talk (lit. murmuring) of the heretics (who claim that something improper is being uttered, necessitating that it be whispered)
28)[line 32]ופורצין פרצותPORTZIN PIRTZOS- they would create breaches [in the fence] (during the week)
29)[line 32]נשרNESHER- fallen [fruits[
30)[line 33]בשני בצורתSHENEI BATZORES- years of famine [due to little or no rainfall, when some have what to eat while others do not (Avos 5:8)]
31a)[line 34]חרובCHARUV- carob trees
b)[line 34]שקמהSHIKMAH- sycamore trees (alt. Egyptian fig trees)
32)[last line]שלא ברצון חכמיםSHE'LO BI'RETZON CHACHAMIM- the Chachamim did not want people to work overly much with Chadash, as they may come to eat it.
33)[line 3]הני ארבעה הוהHANI ARBA'AH HAVAH- [although the Beraisa quoted earlier claimed that there were three things which the Chachamim protested against,] these are four! (Markivin, Korchin, Kotzrin, and Godshin)
34)[line 3]סמי מיכןSAMI MI'KAN- strike from here (the Beraisa)
35a)[line 12]בשל מכבדותB'SHEL MACHBEDOS- [those dates which have fallen and have been caught] in the branches at the top of the date-palm (which are near growing clusters of dates)
b)[line 14]בשל בין הכיפיןB'SHEL BEIN HA'KEIFIN- [those dates which have fallen and have been caught] in the lower branches (lit. those which are "arched over"; i.e. no longer fresh)
36)[line 15]מוקצותMUKTZOS (MUKTZAH)
(a)Muktzah literally means "set aside" or "designated." With regard to Shabbos, this term is used to describe items which one has no intention to use on Shabbos, such as wood stacked in a barn. Anything that a person had no intention to use during Bein ha'Shemashos at the start of Shabbos (or Yom Tov) - for any reason - is included in the category of Muktzah and may not be moved on Shabbos.
(b)In our Sugya, Rava wonders how any fallen dates may be eaten on Shabbos if they were still attached to the tree at the beginning of Shabbos. Since one may not pick them during Bein ha'Shemashos, they are Muktzah Machmas Isur (also known as Migo d'Iskatza'i). This means that if one may not move an object during Bein ha'Shemashos due to the fact that it is prohibited to do so on Shabbos, one may not move it for the rest of Shabbos, even when the original reason for the prohibition no longer applies (such as in our case when the date has since fallen from the tree).
37)[line 16]דחזי לעורביןCHAZI L'ORVIN- fit for [consumption by domesticated] ravens
38)[line 16]מוכן לאדם לא הוי מוכן לכלביםMUCHAN L'ADAM LO HEVEI MUCHAN L'KELAVIM
(a)A food item fit for human consumption (though not in its present state) may not be fed to dogs on other animals on Shabbos (even if it is fit for them in its present state). This is a form of Muktzah (see above, entry #36).
(b)There are two distinct types of Muktzah which may be included in the term "Muchan l'Adam Lo Hevei Muchan l'Kelavim":
1.The first refers to a food item which is not currently able to be eaten due to the laws of Shabbos or Yom Tov. One example of this is a live animal, which on Shabbos is not fit for human consumption since it is forbidden to slaughter an animal on Shabbos. Although live animals are sometimes fed to dogs, since this animal is not presently fit for humans it is Muktzah (even according to Rebbi Shimon).
2.The second type of food item rendered Muktzah through "Muchan l'Adam Lo Hevei Muchan l'Kelavim" is one which became unfit for human consumption on Shabbos. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that such an item may not be fed to dogs, since this is a form of Nolad (see Background to Beitzah 33:12:c). An example of such an occurrence is an animal which was alive when Shabbos began (and was fit for human consumption as its owner plans on slaughtering it at a future date and eating it then) and then died on Shabbos, becoming unfit for human consumption. This is the case brought by our Gemara. Rebbi Yehudah prohibits feeding such an animal to dogs, while Rebbi Shimon disagrees and permits feeding it to dogs under such circumstances.
39)[line 30]אוכלOCHEL- fit for consumption
40)[line 31]ונשמרNISHMAR- (lit. guarded) that which people care to keep
41)[line 31]ולקיטתו כאחתU'LEKITASO K'ACHAS- and is harvested at once. This excludes the fig tree, the fruits of which ripen gradually over an extended period of time. (This excludes not only the fig tree, but most other trees as well. Only eight trees are listed in Mishnayos Pe'ah as obligated in Pe'ah. -TOSFOS Shabbos 68a DH ul'Bar)
42)[line 31]ומכניסו לקיוםMACHNISO L'KIYUM- is put into storage
43)[line 32]לספיחי סטיס וקוצהSEFICHEI SETIS V'KOTZAH- safflower (a plant which produces a red dye) and woad (a plant which produces blue dye) which grew of their own accord
44)[line 33]לכמהין ופטריותKEMEIHIN, PITRIYOS- types of fungi, such as mushrooms, morels, and truffles
45)[line 34]בראשי לפתותROSHEI LEFATOS- turnip tops (i.e. the leaves growing out of the top of the turnip. These leaves are stored away together with the turnips themselves, which are stored away since they last for long periods of time.)
46)[line 36]ללפתLEFES- [the leaves growing out of the top of] a turnip
47)[line 36]ולכרובKERUV- cabbage
48)[last line]ולקפלוטKAFLOT- leek