And Ezra came and added to the Torah’s minimal obligation. He instituted the requirement of combing the hair even when it is known that it is not knotted and contains no repulsive substance.
The Gemara discusses the next of Ezra’s ordinances: And that peddlers should circulate through all the towns. This Gemara explains that this is because peddlers supply women’s cosmetics, and therefore Ezra instituted this practice so that women should not become unattractive to their husbands.
The Gemara analyzes the last of the ten ordinances: And he instituted the requirement of immersion for those who experienced a seminal emission. The Gemara asks: But this is required by Torah law, as it is written: “And if the flow of seed go out from a man, then he shall bathe all his flesh in water” (Leviticus 15:16). The Gemara answers: By Torah law immersion is required only if one wishes to partake of teruma or sacrificial meat. Ezra came and further instituted that immersion is necessary even for reciting or studying matters of Torah.
§ The mishna teaches that one may not raise chickens in Jerusalem. The Gemara cites a baraita that contains a list of other halakhot that are unique to Jerusalem. Ten matters were stated with regard to Jerusalem: A house situated in Jerusalem does not become irredeemable one year after its sale. Those who sell houses in other walled cities have the right to buy back their property for one year after the transaction. If they fail to do so, the house becomes the permanent possession of the buyer (see Leviticus 25:29–30). This halakha does not apply to houses in Jerusalem. And its Elders do not bring a heifer whose neck is broken as required when a murder victim is found near a city and the murderer is unknown (see Deuteronomy 21:1–9); and it cannot become an idolatrous city (see Deuteronomy 13:13–19).
The baraita continues its list: And a house in Jerusalem cannot become ritually impure with the impurity of leprous sores; and one may not build out projections or balconies [gezuztraot] from houses that are in it; and one may not establish garbage dumps in Jerusalem; and one may not build kilns in it; and one may not plant gardens and orchards [pardesot] in it, except for the rose gardens that were already there from the times of the early prophets; and one may not raise chickens in it; and finally, one may not leave a corpse overnight in Jerusalem.
The Gemara discusses these ten halakhot pertaining to Jerusalem, one by one: A house situated in it does not become irredeemable one year after its sale. The reason is that it is written: “And if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him who bought it, throughout his generations” (Leviticus 25:30). And the tanna who taught this baraita maintains that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any single one of the tribes of Israel; rather, it is considered common property. Since no one has ancestral ownership of any house in Jerusalem, its houses cannot be sold permanently.
The Gemara analyzes the next halakha: And its inhabitants do not bring a heifer whose neck is broken. The reason is that it is written: “If one is found slain in the land that the Lord your God gives you to possess it” (Deuteronomy 21:1). And, again, the tanna who taught this baraita maintains that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any one of the tribes of Israel. Therefore, it is not included in the description: “The land that the Lord your God gives you to possess it.”
The baraita states: And it cannot become an idolatrous city. The reason is that it is written, in the introduction of the passage dealing with the halakha of an idolatrous city: “If you shall hear tell concerning one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell there” (Deuteronomy 13:13). And the tanna who taught this baraita maintains that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any one of the tribes of Israel. It is therefore not included in the description “one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell there.”
The baraita further teaches: And a house in Jerusalem does not become ritually impure with the impurity of leprous sores. The reason is that it is written: “And I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession” (Leviticus 14:34). And the tanna who taught this baraita maintains that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any one of the tribes of Israel. It is there-fore not included in the description “a house of the land of your possession.”
The Gemara discusses the next halakha: And one may not build out projections or balconies from houses that are in Jerusalem. The Gemara provides two reasons for this prohibition. First, it is due to the danger of contracting ritual impurity by being in the same tent as a corpse, i.e., under the same roof, in which case the impurity spreads to all items under the roof. If even a small part of a corpse is under a balcony, everyone who passes under that balcony is rendered impure. Many people come to Jerusalem to sacrifice offerings, and they must maintain a state of ritual purity. The other reason is so that those great crowds of pilgrims not be injured by colliding with the projections.
The next halakha pertaining to Jerusalem is: And one may not establish garbage dumps in it. The Gemara explains that the reason is due to the repugnant creatures that are attracted to such heaps and impart ritual impurity upon their death.
The baraita states: And one may not build kilns in Jerusalem. The reason is due to the unsightly smoke produced by kilns. The Sages sought to preserve the beauty of Jerusalem and the Temple.
The baraita teaches: And one may not plant gardens and orchards in it. This is due to the odor emitted by these places, either from discarded weeds or from fertilizer.
The next halakha on the list is: And one may not raise chickens in Jerusalem. The Gemara explains that this is due to the sacrificial meat that is consumed in Jerusalem. Since chickens peck in the garbage, they are likely to pick up items that impart ritual impurity and bring them into contact with the consecrated food, which may not be eaten in an impure state.
The Gemara discusses the last halakha: And one may not leave a corpse overnight in it. The Gemara notes that this prohibition is a tradition; there is no known explanation for it.
§ The mishna teaches that one may not raise pigs anywhere. The Sages taught in a baraita the background for this halakha: When the members of the house of Hasmonean monarchy were at war with each other, Hyrcanus, one of the parties to this war, was inside the besieged Jerusalem, while his brother Aristobulus, the other contender to the throne, was on the outside. And every day the people inside would lower down money in a box from the Temple walls, to purchase sheep to sacrifice, and those on other side would take the money and send up sheep to them over the wall for the daily offerings.
There was a certain elder there who was familiar with Greek wisdom, and he said to those besieging Jerusalem: As long as they occupy themselves with the Temple service, they will not be delivered into your hands. The next day they lowered down money in a box as usual, but this time they sent up to them a pig. When the pig reached to the midpoint of the Temple wall it stuck its hooves into the wall, and Eretz Yisrael quaked over an area of four hundred parasangs by four hundred parasangs.
At that time the Sages said: Cursed be the man who raises pigs, and cursed be the man who teaches his son Greek wisdom. And it was concerning that time of siege that we learned in a mishna: There was an incident in which the barley for the omer offering came from the gardens of Tzerifin, far from Jerusalem, and the wheat for the two loaves of Shavuot was brought from the valley of Ein Sokher. Barley and wheat could not be brought from any nearer because the besiegers had destroyed all the produce around Jerusalem. This concludes the baraita.
The Gemara asks a question with regard to this baraita: And is it really prohibited to study Greek wisdom? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: In Eretz Yisrael,