“It came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard” (II Chronicles 5:13). This indicates that the Levites must be capable of singing in one voice, and one who is unable to do so is unfit for service.
The baraita teaches that the priest is eligible for service until he ages. The Gemara asks: Until when, i.e., what is the definition of aging in this context? Rabbi Ela says that Rabbi Ḥanina says: Until his hands and feet begin to tremble.
We learned in a mishna there (Mikvaot 8:4): With regard to one who experienced a seminal emission who then immersed in a ritual bath and did not urinate before immersing, when he urinates he is ritually impure, because residue of the semen remain in his body and was discharged with the urine, rendering him impure. Rabbi Yosei says: In the case of an ill person and an elderly person, he is ritually impure; in the case of a young person and a healthy person, he is ritually pure, as the semen was presumably discharged in its entirety at the outset.
Until when is one considered a young person? Rabbi Ela says that Rabbi Ḥanina says: Anyone who is able to stand on one of his legs and remove his shoe or put on his shoe is considered young. They said about Rabbi Ḥanina that he was eighty years old and would stand on one of his legs and remove his shoe or put on his shoe. Rabbi Ḥanina says: The hot water and oil that my mother smeared on me in my youth benefited me in my old age.
The Sages taught: If one’s beard is fully grown, he is fit to be appointed an emissary of the community for various matters, and to descend before the ark as a prayer leader, and to lift his hands for the Priestly Benediction. From when is a priest fit for Temple service? It is from the time he reaches puberty and grows two pubic hairs. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: I say that he is not fit for Temple service until he is twenty years of age.
Rav Ḥisda said: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi? The reason is as it is written: “And appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to oversee of the work of the House of the Lord” (Ezra 3:8). And what does the other tanna hold? He holds that to oversee is different and requires an older priest.
The Gemara asks: But what proof can be cited from this verse with regard to priests; isn’t that verse written with regard to Levites? The Gemara answers: It is understood in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, as Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: In twenty-four places in the Bible the priests are called Levites. And this is one of those verses: “And the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok” (Ezekiel 44:15). The verse in Ezra is another one of the verses.
The Sages taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Any man of your descendants throughout their generations that has a blemish shall not approach to offer the bread of his God” (Leviticus 21:17); from here Rabbi Elazar says: A minor priest is unfit for Temple service, even if he is unblemished, as he is not a man. From when is he fit for service? From the time he reaches puberty and grows two pubic hairs. But his brethren the priests do not allow him to perform the service until he is twenty years of age.
There are those who say: This is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, and he is of the opinion that there is no disqualification for one between puberty and twenty years of age even by rabbinic law. The other priests simply do not allow priests of that age to perform the Temple service ab initio. And there are those who say: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is of the opinion that there is disqualification by rabbinic law in that case, and this statement in the baraita is the opinion of the Rabbis, and they hold that it is ab initio that one may not perform the service, but after the fact, his service is valid.
MISHNA: That which is ritually pure in an earthenware vessel is ritually impure in all the other types of vessels; that which is ritually pure in all the other types of vessels is ritually impure in an earthenware vessel.
GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita explaining the mishna: If a primary source of ritual impurity fell into the airspace of an earthenware vessel the vessel is ritually impure, and if it fell on its outer side, the vessel is ritually pure. If a primary source of ritual impurity fell into the airspace of all the other types of vessels, the vessels are ritually pure, and if it fell on their outer side, they are ritually impure. It is found that that which is ritually pure in an earthenware vessel is ritually impure in all the other vessels, and that which is ritually pure in all the other vessels is ritually impure in an earthenware vessel.
The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? It is as the Sages taught in a baraita based on the verse: “And every earthenware vessel into which [tokho] any of them falls, whatever is in it [tokho] shall be impure, and it you shall break” (Leviticus 11:33); if an impure item fell “in it [tokho],” and even in a case where the impure item did not come into contact with the vessel, the vessel becomes impure.
The baraita continues: Do you say that it is impure even if the impure item did not come into contact with the vessel, or perhaps it is impure only if it did come into contact with the vessel? Rabbi Yonatan ben Avtolemos says: Tokho is stated with regard to transmitting impurity to food in its airspace, as it is stated: “Whatever is in it [tokho] shall be impure,” and tokho is stated with regard to becoming impure, as it is stated: “Into which [tokho] any of them falls”; just as in the case of tokho that is stated with regard to transmitting impurity to food in its airspace, the food is impure even if the impure item did not come into contact with the vessel, so too, in the case of tokho that is stated with regard to the vessel becoming impure, the vessel is impure even if the impure item did not come into contact with it.
The Gemara asks: And there, with regard to rendering food impure in its airspace, from where do we derive that the food becomes impure even if it did not come into contact with the impure vessel? Rabbi Yonatan said: The Torah testified about an earthenware vessel