If R. Yishmael requires both the words entering and settlement, why didn’t he respond to R. Akiva that Shabbat is obligatory everywhere because only the word “settlements” is used and not the word “enter.”
Indeed, R. Yishmael could have made two responses against R. Akiva.
The direct subject of the dispute between R. Akiva and R. Yishmael is whether they offered libations with the sacrifices offered in the Mishkan while still in the wilderness. R. Akiva holds that they did not, R. Yishmael holds that they did.
This section deals with R. Yishmael’s understanding of the phrases used in the Torah for entering and settling the land. Do they always mean that the mitzvah is obligatory only in the land? For ease of reference, here again is R. Yishmael’s statement:
R. Ishmael. For it was taught: This is to teach you that wherever “settlement” is stated, it means only after taking possession and settling down, the words of R. Yishmael.
According to the Talmud, R. Yishmael requires both the words “entrance” and “settlement” must be used.
According to the earlier baraita from the School of R. Yishmael, when it says “entrance” and “settling down” the mitzvah takes effect only when the land has been settled. If both words are not used, then the mitzvah takes effect before Israel settles down (and outside the Land). But according to this baraita, also attributed to the School of R. Yishmael, whenever the Torah uses the word “entrance (ביאה)” we apply the rule that the mitzvah takes effect only after possession and settling down. The verse that uses both verbs is Deuteronomy 17:14, in reference to appointing a king, “When you come to the land…and you inherit it and settle it.”
The other baraita holds that the appointment of a king is not a paradigm because there is another verse that also uses both verbs—Deuteronomy 26:1 about first fruits. Since there are two verses that use these verbs, it is a case of “two verses that come as one” and in any such case they do not serve as paradigms for other cases.
To counter the “two verses that come as one” argument, the opposing view must argue that both verses are necessary. If the Torah had only used these verbs in connection with the king, I would have thought that the obligation to bring first fruits is immediate, since they would have benefited from first fruits immediately. And if the Torah had not used these verses in connection with the king, I would have thought that the law to appoint a king is immediately effective since a king is needed to conquer the Land.
The other voice argues that both are not really necessary. The Torah could have written the verbs only in connection with the king and we could have said that if the mitzvah to appoint a king does not go in effect until possession and settling down, all the more so the mitzvah to bring first fruits does not.
The other voice argues that the Torah had to state this explicitly with regard to first-fruits, for if not we would have analogized it with hallah, which is obligatory even outside the Land. Therefore, we needed the verse to teach that both with regard to the appointment of the king and first fruits, the mitzvah does not take effect until the land is settled. But only for these two mitzvoth and not for others.
Earlier we concluded that the words “settlement” and “entrance” imply that the mitzvah is obligatory only in Israel. But there are mitzvoth, such as Shabbat, that use these words and yet are still obligatory everywhere. Why then are these words used in those contexts?
Leviticus 23:3 states that Shabbat should be observed in “all of your settlements.” The verse emphasizes that Shabbat is obligatory everywhere lest we think that it requires “sanctification” as do the Festivals. This refers to the sanctification of the new moon by the court, a practice done only in Judea. Shabbat is not dependent on the new moon, and therefore it is observed in “all your settlements.”
Leviticus 3:17 states, “A perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your settlements, that you shall eat neither forbidden fat nor blood.” The word “settlements” emphasizes that the prohibition of forbidden fat and blood is obligatory even when sacrifices are no longer practiced. After the destruction of the Temple, these parts of an animal remain prohibited.
Exodus 12:20 states, “In all your dwellings you shall eat matzah” in order to emphasize that one must eat matzah and marror even after the Passover sacrifice is no longer eaten—i.e. after the destruction of the Temple.
Exodus 13:11, which deals with tefillin and redeeming the first born of a donkey uses the word “entrance.” Why do we need this word—after all, both mitzvoth are obligatory everywhere, and not just in the Land? These mitzvoth were performed in the wilderness and through them Israel entered the Land. They are not mitzvoth “dependent” on the Land. They are mitzvoth on which entrance into the Land is dependent.
This week’s daf continues to discuss the implications of the dispute over whether the word “settlement” implies that the mitzvah is obligatory in any place where Israel dwells, or only in the land of Israel, after the land was conquered and settled.
The word “settlement” is written with regard to the prohibition of eating new produce. To recall, there are two opinions as to what this word implies—1) that the mitzvah applies everywhere; 2) that the mitzvah applies only once the Israelites conquered and settled Canaan. This verse shows that they ate the new produce as soon as they entered the land, even before conquering and settling it. This proves the first interpretation.