עשרה נקבים היו בה כל אחד ואחד מוציא עשרה מיני זמר נמצאת כולה מוציאה מאה מיני זמר במתניתא תנא היא אמה וגבוה אמה וקתא יוצא הימנה ועשרה נקבים היו בה כל אחד מוציא מאה מיני זמר נמצאת כולה מוציאה אלף מיני זמר אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק וסימניך מתניתא גוזמא: There were ten holes in it and each and every one would emit ten types of tone. It therefore emerges that the entire instrument emitted one hundred types of tone. It was taught in a baraita: The magreifa was one cubit wide and one cubit tall, and a handle protruded from it. It was hollow and there were ten holes in it and each one would produce one hundred types of tone. It therefore emerges that that the entire instrument emitted one thousand types of tone. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And your mnemonic to remember which of these two statements was said by Shmuel and which was taught in a baraita is that the baraita expresses itself with exaggeration, as it is common for baraitot to exaggerate numbers.
ועבדי כהנים היו כו': לימא בהא קמיפלגי דמ"ד עבדים היו קסבר עיקר שירה בפה וכלי לבסומי קלא הוא דעבידא ומ"ד לוים היו קסבר עיקר שירה בכלי § The mishna teaches that the Temple musicians were slaves of priests according to Rabbi Meir, whereas according to Rabbi Yosei they were Israelites of pure lineage, and according to Rabbi Ḥanina ben Antigonus they were Levites. The Gemara suggests: Let us say that they disagree about this; that the one who says they were slaves holds that the primary component of song in the Temple service is singing with the mouth, and the instrumental music was performed merely to sweeten the sound of the singing. Since the instrumental music is mere accompaniment, it could be performed by slaves. And the one who says that the musicians were Levites holds that the primary component of song in the Temple service is the music played with instruments. Therefore, the musicians had to be Levites, who were tasked with the song that was part of the Temple service.
ותסברא רבי יוסי מאי קסבר אי קסבר עיקר שירה בפה עבדים סגיא אי קסבר עיקר שירה בכלי לוים בעינן The Gemara responds: And can you understand the disagreement in this manner? According to this suggestion, what does Rabbi Yosei, who says that the musicians were Israelites of pure lineage, hold? If he holds that the primary component of song in the Temple service is singing with the mouth, then it should be sufficient if slaves play the instruments. Why would he require Israelites of pure lineage? And if he holds that the primary component of song in the Temple service is the music played with instruments, we should require Levites to play the instruments.
לעולם קסבר עיקר שירה בפה והכא במעלין מדוכן ליוחסין ולמעשרות קמיפלגי The Gemara responds: Actually, Rabbi Yosei holds that the primary component of song in the Temple service is singing with the mouth. And here, the tanna’im disagree about whether the musicians in the Temple may be elevated from the musical platform to the presumptive status of pure lineage with regard to marriage and eligibility to receive Levitical tithes.
מ"ד עבדים היו קסבר אין מעלין מדוכן לא ליוחסין ולא למעשרות מ"ד לוים היו קסבר מעלין מדוכן בין ליוחסין בין למעשרות ולמ"ד ישראלים היו קסבר מעלין מדוכן ליוחסין ולא למעשרות: The one who says that the musicians were slaves holds that people cannot be elevated from the Temple musical platform to the presumptive status of pure lineage with regard to marriage and eligibility to receive tithes. The one who says that the musicians were Levites holds that one elevates from the platform both to the presumptive status of pure lineage and eligibility to receive tithes. And according to the one who says that the musicians were Israelites, he holds that one elevates from the platform to the presumptive status of pure lineage but not with regard to the eligibility to receive tithes.
תנו רבנן השיר מעכב את הקרבן דברי רבי מאיר וחכמים אומרים אינו מעכב § The Sages taught in a baraita: The song that the Levites sing while a communal offering is being sacrificed is an indispensable component of the offering, which means that if the Levites did not sing, the offering is invalid. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: It is not indispensable.
מ"ט דר' מאיר דאמר קרא (במדבר ח, יט) ואתנה את הלוים נתונים לאהרן ולבניו מתוך בני ישראל ולכפר על בני ישראל מה כפרה מעכבת אף שירה מעכבת The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Meir, i.e., from where does he derive his opinion? The Gemara answers: It is as the verse states: “And I have given the Levites, they are given to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the Tent of Meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel” (Numbers 8:19). The verse compares the atonement for the Jewish people, which is caused by the sprinkling of the blood of offerings on the altar, to the service of the Levites, which is their singing. This teaches that just as the atonement caused by the sprinkling of the blood is an indispensable component of the offering, so too the song of the Levites is indispensable.
ורבנן ההוא לאידך דר' אלעזר דאמר ר"א מה כפרה ביום אף שירה ביום: The Gemara asks: And what do the Rabbis derive from the comparison in this verse? The Gemara answers: That comparison serves to teach another halakha, which was stated by Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar says: Just as the atonement achieved by the sprinkling of the blood must take place during the day, so too the song must be sung during the day.
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל מנין לעיקר שירה מן התורה שנאמר (דברים יח, ז) ושרת בשם ה' אלהיו איזהו שירות שבשם הוי אומר זה שירה Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: From where is it derived that the basic requirement to accompany communal offerings with song applies by Torah law? As it is stated with regard to a Levite who serves in the Temple: “Then he shall serve with the name of the Lord his God” (Deuteronomy 18:7). What is this service that is performed with the name of God? You must say that this is the song, in which the Levites mention and praise the name of God.
ואימא נשיאות כפים מדכתיב (דברים י, ח) לשרתו ולברך בשמו מכלל דברכת כהנים לאו שירות היא The Gemara objects: But you can say that this service with the name of God is referring to the lifting of the hands for the Priestly Benediction, which also includes the mention of the name of God. If so, the verse is referring to priests, not ordinary Levites. The Gemara responds: From the fact that it is written: “At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi…to serve Him, and to bless in His name” (Deuteronomy 10:8), it can be derived by inference that the Priestly Benediction is not considered service, as the verse mentions service and the Priestly Benediction as distinct rituals.
רב מתנה אמר מהכא (דברים כח, מז) תחת אשר לא עבדת את ה' אלהיך בשמחה ובטוב לבב איזו היא עבודה שבשמחה ובטוב לבב הוי אומר זה שירה ואימא דברי תורה דכתיב (תהלים יט, ט) פקודי ה' ישרים משמחי לב משמחי לב איקרי טוב לא איקרי Rav Mattana said that the source for the requirement to accompany the Temple offerings with song is derived from here: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness, and with goodness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47). What is this service of God that is performed with joyfulness and with goodness of heart? You must say that this is song. The Gemara objects: But you can say that this service is studying the words of Torah, as it is written: “The precepts of the Lord are upright, rejoicing the heart” (Psalms 19:9). The Gemara explains: Torah is indeed called a matter that rejoices the heart, but it is not called “goodness.”
ואימא בכורים דכתיב (דברים כו, יא) ושמחת בכל הטוב טוב איקרי טוב לבב לא איקרי The Gemara objects: But you can say that the joyful service of God referred to above is the bringing of the first fruits, as it is written in that context: “And you shall rejoice in all the goodness that the Lord your God has given you” (Deuteronomy 26:11). The Gemara answers: Bringing the first fruits is indeed called goodness, but it is not called something that involves goodness of heart.
א"ר מתנה מנין לביכורים שטעונין שירה אתיא טוב טוב מהכא The Gemara discusses a related matter. Rav Mattana says: From where is it derived that bringing the first fruits to the Temple requires the accompaniment of song? The Gemara answers: It is derived from here, i.e., from the requirement to accompany communal offerings with song, by means of a verbal analogy of the word goodness in the verse “And with goodness of heart” and the word goodness in the verse “You shall rejoice in all the goodness.”
איני והא א"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן מנין שאין אומרים שירה אלא על היין שנאמר (שופטים ט, יג) ותאמר להם הגפן החדלתי את תירושי המשמח אלהים ואנשים אם אנשים משמח אלהים במה משמח מכאן שאין אומרים שירה אלא על היין The Gemara asks: Is that so? But doesn’t Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani say that Rabbi Yonatan said: From where is it derived that songs of praise in the Temple are recited only over the wine libation accompanying the sacrifice? As it is stated: “And the vine replied: Should I leave my wine, which gladdens God and man, and go and wave above the trees” (Judges 9:13). If it is clear that wine gladdens people, in what way does it gladden God? Rather, derive from here that songs of praise in the Temple are recited only over the wine of libation, and it is this song that gladdens God. This is difficult, as since there is no wine libation associated with the bringing of first fruits, how can it be accompanied by song?
משכחת לה כדתני ר' יוסי פרי אתה מביא ואי אתה מביא משקין הביא ענבים ודרכן מנין ת"ל תביא: The Gemara answers: You can find cases where the first fruits are brought in the form of wine, as Rabbi Yosei teaches: The verse states with regard to the first fruits: “You shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land” (Deuteronomy 26:2). Since the verse mentions “fruit,” you must bring the actual fruit as your first fruits offering, and you may not bring it in the form of beverages. If one brought grapes and he had already pressed them into wine, from where is it derived that he has fulfilled his obligation of offering his first fruits? The verse states: “You shall bring in from your land.” This apparently superfluous phrase comes to teach that if one brings wine for the mitzva of first fruits, he has fulfilled his obligation.
חזקיה אמר מהכא (דברי הימים א טו, כב) וכנניהו שר הלוים (ישור) במשא כי מבין הוא אל תיקרי (ישור) אלא ישיר The Gemara presents another source for the requirement that the song of the Levites must accompany the sacrificial service in the Temple. Ḥizkiyya says that this obligation is derived from here: “And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites…he was master of lifting, because he was skillful” (I Chronicles 15:22). Do not read it as “he was master [yasor] of lifting,” but as: He shall sing [yashir] with the lifting of his voice.
בלווטי א"ר יוחנן מהכא (במדבר ד, מז) לעבוד עבודת עבודה איזהו עבודה שצריכה עבודה הוי אומר זו שירה The Sage named Balvatei said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the requirement for the Levites to accompany the Temple offerings with song is derived from here: The verse states with regard to the Levites: “Every one that entered in to do the work of service” (Numbers 4:47). What is work that must be performed in conjunction with another service? You must say that this is song.
רבי יצחק אמר מהכא (תהלים פא, ג) שאו זמרה ותנו תוף כנור נעים עם נבל ר"נ בר יצחק אמר מהכא (ישעיה כד, יד) הם ישאו קולם ירונו בגאון ה' צהלו מים: Rabbi Yitzḥak says that the requirement to accompany the Temple offerings with song is derived from here: “Sing aloud to God…Take up the melody, and sound the timbrel, the sweet harp with the lyre” (Psalms 81:2–3). Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said that the obligation is derived from here: “Those yonder lift up their voice, they sing for joy; for the majesty of the Lord they shout from the sea” (Isaiah 24:14).
ותנא מייתי לה מהכא (במדבר ז, ט) ולבני קהת לא נתן כי עבודת הקדש עליהם בכתף ישאו ממשמע שנאמר בכתף איני יודע שישאו מה ת"ל ישאו אין ישאו אלא לשון שירה וכן הוא אומר (תהלים פא, ג) שאו זמרה ותנו תוף ואומר ישאו קולם ירונו וגו' And a tanna cites a derivation for the requirement for the Levites to accompany the Temple offerings with song from here: “But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none, because the service of the holy things belonged to them: They bore them [yisa’u] upon their shoulders” (Numbers 7:9). By inference from that which is stated, “upon their shoulders,” don’t I know that they bore them? Why must the verse state “yisa’u”? The term “yisa’u” is not stated here in its meaning of “they bore them,” but rather as an expression of song. And similarly, the verse states: “Take up [se’u] the melody, and sound the timbrel,” and another verse states: “They lift up [yisu] their voice, they sing for joy.”
חנניא בן אחי רבי יהושע אמר מהכא (שמות יט, יט) משה ידבר והאלהים יעננו בקול Ḥananya, son of Rabbi Yehoshua’s brother, says that the requirement for the Levites to sing in the Temple is derived from here: “Moses spoke, and God answered him with a voice” (Exodus 19:19).