חייב בשמחה ואת שאינו לא שומע ולא מדבר ושוטה וקטן פטורין אף מן השמחה הואיל ופטורין מכל מצות האמורות בתורה מאי שנא לענין ראיה דפטירי ומאי שנא לענין שמחה דמחייבי
they are obligated in rejoicing. And one who does not hear and does not speak, an imbecile, and a minor are all exempt even from rejoicing, since they are exempt from all the mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. The Gemara asks: What is different with regard to the mitzva of appearance, that a deaf person and a mute are exempt from this mitzva? And what is different with regard to the mitzva of rejoicing, that they are obligated?
לענין ראיה גמר ראיה ראיה מהקהל דכתיב (דברים לא, יב) הקהל את העם האנשים והנשים והטף וכתיב (דברים לא, יא) בבא כל ישראל לראות
The Gemara explains: With regard to their exemption from the obligation of appearance, the tanna derives this halakha by means of a verbal analogy between the term appearance stated with regard to the mitzva of appearance at the Temple on the pilgrim Festival and the term appearance stated with regard to the mitzva of assembly, i.e., the obligation to assemble in the Temple on Sukkot in the year following the Sabbatical Year. As it is written, with regard to the mitzva of assembly: “Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones” (Deuteronomy 31:12), and it is written in that context: “When all of Israel come to appear” (Deuteronomy 31:11). Just as a deaf person and a mute are not obligated to attend the assembly, they are likewise exempt from appearing in the Temple on the Festivals.
והתם מנלן דכתיב (דברים לא, יב) למען ישמעו ולמען ילמדו ותניא למען ישמעו פרט למדבר ואינו שומע ולמען ילמדו פרט לשומע ואינו מדבר
The Gemara asks: And there, with regard to the mitzva of assembly, from where do we derive that a deaf person and a mute are exempt? As it is written there: “That they may hear, and that they may learn” (Deuteronomy 31:12), and it is taught in a baraita that the phrase “that they may hear” excludes one who speaks but does not hear; and the phrase “and that they may learn” excludes one who hears but does not speak, as he is unable to learn.
למימרא דכי לא משתעי לא גמר והא הנהו תרי אילמי דהוו בשבבותיה דרבי בני ברתיה דרבי יוחנן בן גודגדא ואמרי לה בני אחתיה דרבי יוחנן דכל אימת דהוה עייל רבי לבי מדרשא הוו עיילי ויתבי קמייהו ומניידי ברישייהו ומרחשין שפוותייהו
The Gemara asks: Is that to say that one who is not able to speak is not able to learn? But consider the following incident. There were two mute people who were in the neighborhood of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. They were the sons of the daughter of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda, and some say that they were the sons of the sister of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda. Whenever Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi would enter the study hall they would also enter and sit before the Sages, and they would nod their heads as if they understood and move their lips.
ובעי רבי רחמי עלייהו ואיתסו ואשתכח דהוו גמירי הלכתא וספרא וספרי וכולה הש"ס
And Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi prayed for God to have mercy upon them, and they were healed. And it was discovered that they had learned and were proficient in halakha, i.e., Mishna; Sifra, the halakhic midrash on Leviticus; Sifrei, the halakhic midrash on Numbers and Deuteronomy; and the entire Talmud. This shows that those who cannot speak are able to learn.
אמר מר זוטרא קרי ביה למען ילמדו רב אשי אמר ודאי למען ילמדו הוא דאי סלקא דעתך למען ילמדו וכיון דלא משתעי לא גמר וכיון דלא שמע לא גמר
Mar Zutra said that one should read into the verse: That they may teach [yelamdu], instead of: “That they may learn [yilmedu]” (Deuteronomy 31:12). Even if a mute person is able to learn he cannot teach others. Rav Ashi said that the verse is certainly to be read: That they may teach. As, if it enters your mind that one should read: “That they may learn,” as it is written, and you will explain that since he is not able to speak he is not able to learn, and similarly the reason for the exemption of a deaf person is that since he is not able to hear he is not able to learn, you will have erred. According to this interpretation, it is clear from the context that a deaf person is exempted by the phrase: “That they may hear,” not merely due to his lack of hearing but because his inability to hear prevents him from learning.
האי מלמען ישמעו נפקא אלא ודאי למען ילמדו הוא
However, this is incorrect, for if so, this exemption of a mute could also be derived from: “That they may hear,” as the verse has already taught the basic principle that anyone who cannot learn is not obligated in the mitzva of assembly. Rather, the verse is certainly to be read as: “That they may teach,” which indicates that although a mute is able to learn himself, and therefore he is not exempted by the previous verse, he is nevertheless exempt because he is unable to teach others.
אמר ר' תנחום חרש באזנו אחת פטור מן הראיה שנאמר (דברים לא, יא) באזניהם
Rabbi Tanḥum said: One who is deaf in one ear is exempt from the mitzva of appearance in the Temple, as it is stated with regard to the mitzva of assembly: “When all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place that He shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their ears” (Deuteronomy 31:11). This verse indicates that the obligation of assembly applies only to those who can hear with both ears. Since the two mitzvot are connected by verbal analogy, as explained above, this halakha applies to the mitzva of appearance as well.
והאי באזניהם מבעי ליה באזניהם דכולהו ישראל ההוא מנגד כל ישראל נפקא אי מנגד כל ישראל הוה אמינא אע"ג דלא שמעי כתב רחמנא באזניהם והוא דשמעי
The Gemara asks: But this phrase: “In their ears,” is necessary to teach that the reading of the Torah at the assembly must enter the ears of the entire Jewish people. Consequently, it cannot serve as the source of the halakha concerning one who is deaf in one ear. The Gemara answers: That halakha, that the reading of the Torah must be heard by the entire Jewish people, is derived from the phrase: “Before all Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:11). The Gemara asks: If that halakha were derived from: “Before all Israel,” I would say that the mitzva applies even though they cannot hear; therefore, the Merciful One writes: “In their ears,” and that indicates that they must be able to hear. If so, this phrase is not available for deriving the halakha of someone who is deaf in one ear.
ההוא מלמען ישמעו נפקא
The Gemara answers: That halakha, that the people must hear, is derived from: “That they may hear” (Deuteronomy 31:12). Therefore, the phrase: “In their ears,” is not required for that purpose. Rather, it teaches that only those who can hear with both ears are obligated in the mitzva of assembly, and by extension, in the mitzva of appearance as well.
אמר רבי תנחום חיגר ברגלו אחת פטור מן הראיה שנאמר רגלים
Rabbi Tanḥum said: One who is lame in one leg is exempt from the mitzva of appearance, as it is stated: “Three times [regalim] shall you keep a feast for Me in the year” (Exodus 23:14).Since the term for feet is raglayim, it can be inferred from here that the obligation to ascend involves the use of both of one’s legs.
והא רגלים מבעי ליה פרט לבעלי קבין ההוא מפעמים נפקא דתניא פעמים אין פעמים אלא רגלים וכן הוא אומר (ישעיהו כו, ו) תרמסנה רגל רגלי עני פעמי דלים ואומר (שיר השירים ז, ב) מה יפו פעמיך בנעלים בת נדיב
The Gemara asks: But the term “regalim” is necessary to exclude people with artificial legs. Although these people are capable of walking, as they do not have two natural legs they are exempt from ascending to the Temple. The Gemara responds: That halakha is derived from: “Three occasions [pe’amim] in the year all your males will appear before the Lord God” (Exodus 23:17). The term pe’amim can also mean legs, as it is taught in a baraita, with regard to the term “pe’amim”: Pe’amim means nothing other than legs. And so it says: “The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor and the steps [pa’amei] of the needy” (Isaiah 26:6), and it says: “How beautiful are your feet [fe’amayikh] in sandals, daughter of the prince” (Song of Songs 7:2).
דרש רבא מאי דכתיב מה יפו פעמיך בנעלים בת נדיב כמה נאין רגליהן של ישראל בשעה שעולין לרגל בת נדיב בתו של אברהם אבינו שנקרא נדיב שנאמר (תהלים מז, י) נדיבי עמים נאספו עם אלהי אברהם אלהי אברהם ולא אלהי יצחק ויעקב אלא אלהי אברהם שהיה תחילה לגרים
With regard to the aforementioned verse, Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, daughter of the prince [nadiv]”? How pleasant are the feet [raglehen] of the Jewish people when they ascend to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival [regel]. “Daughter of the prince”: this is referring to the daughter of Abraham our father who is called a prince, as it is stated: “The princes of the peoples are gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham” (Psalms 47:10). The Gemara asks: Is God only “the God of Abraham,” and not the God of Isaac and Jacob? Rather, the verse mentions “the God of Abraham,” as he was the first of the converts. Abraham was the first prince, as all converts who follow in his path are called “the princes of the peoples.”
אמר רב כהנא דרש רב נתן בר מניומי משום ר' תנחום מאי דכתיב (בראשית לז, כד) והבור רק אין בו מים משמע שנאמר והבור רק איני יודע שאין בו מים אלא מים אין בו אבל נחשים ועקרבים יש בו
The Gemara cites another statement of Rabbi Tanḥum. Rav Kahana said that Rabbi Natan bar Manyumi taught in the name of Rabbi Tanḥum: What is the meaning of that which is written with regard to Joseph: “And they took him, and cast him into the pit; and the pit was empty, there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:24). By inference from that which is stated: “And the pit was empty,” don’t I know that there was no water in it? Rather, this teaches that there was no water in it, but there were snakes and scorpions in it.
ת"ר מעשה ברבי יוחנן בן ברוקה ורבי אלעזר (בן) חסמא שהלכו להקביל פני ר' יהושע בפקיעין אמר להם מה חידוש היה בבית המדרש היום אמרו לו תלמידיך אנו ומימיך אנו שותין אמר להם אף על פי כן אי אפשר לבית המדרש בלא חידוש
§ The Sages taught: There was an incident involving Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka and Rabbi Elazar ben Ḥisma, when they went to greet Rabbi Yehoshua in Peki’in. Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: What novel idea was taught today in the study hall? They said to him: We are your students and we drink from your water, i.e., all of our Torah knowledge comes from you, and therefore how can we tell you something you have not already learned? He said to them: Even so, there cannot be a study hall without a novelty.
שבת של מי היתה שבת של ר' אלעזר בן עזריה היתה ובמה היתה הגדה היום אמרו לו בפרשת הקהל ומה דרש בה
He asked them: Whose week was it, i.e. who was the lecturer this week? They said to him: It was Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya’s week. He inquired: And on what subject was the lecture today? They said to him: He spoke about the portion of the mitzva of assembly. Rabbi Yehoshua persisted: And what verse did he interpret homiletically with regard to this mitzva?
(דברים לא, יב) הקהל את העם האנשים והנשים והטף אם אנשים באים ללמוד נשים באות לשמוע טף למה באין כדי ליתן שכר למביאיהן אמר להם מרגלית טובה היתה בידכם ובקשתם לאבדה ממני
They said to him that Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya interpreted the following verse: “Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones” (Deuteronomy 31:12). This verse is puzzling: If men come to learn, and women, who might not understand, come at least to hear, why do the little ones come? They come in order for God to give a reward to those who bring them, i.e., God credits those who bring their children to the assembly. Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: This good pearl of wisdom was in your hands, and you tried to conceal it from me?
ועוד דרש (דברים כו, יז) את ה' האמרת היום וה' האמירך היום
Upon seeing that Rabbi Yehoshua was pleased to hear this idea, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka and Rabbi Elazar ben Ḥisma said to him: Additionally, Rabbi Elazar interpreted the following verses homiletically: “You have affirmed, this day, that the Lord is your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His mitzvot, and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. And the Lord has affirmed you, this day, to be His treasure, asHe promised you, and that you should keep all His mitzvot” (Deuteronomy 26:17–18).
אמר להם הקב"ה לישראל אתם עשיתוני חטיבה אחת בעולם ואני אעשה אתכם חטיבה אחת בעולם אתם עשיתוני חטיבה אחת בעולם דכתיב (דברים ו, ד) שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד ואני אעשה אתכם חטיבה אחת בעולם שנאמר
Rabbi Elazar explained: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Jewish people: You have made Me a single entity in the world, as you singled Me out as separate and unique. And therefore I will make you a single entity in the world, as you will be a treasured nation, chosen by God. You have made Me a single entity in the world, as it is written: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4). And therefore I will make you a single entity in the world, as it is stated: