Rava says the same thing about the phrase that is today recited in the middle of the kaddish (the kaddish as we know it did not exist during the talmudic period).
Again, R. Safra says that it is not a problem because it is clear that the second half is just the conclusion of the first.
This week’s daf begins by relating to the issue of repeating lines in the Hallel. Today we do this towards the end of the Hallel, at the end of Psalm 118.
According to the baraita that explains the mishnah, Rabbi used to repeat certain phrases. Rashi explains that Rabbi would repeat only from verse 25, “Ana Hashem Hoshia Na” and onward. Rabbi Elazar b. Perata would add more repeated verses, from verse 21 and onward, “Odecha ki anitani.” This is the custom that we follow today.
Today’s section deals with the blessings recited before and after Hallel. The mishnah seems to say that this is just a custom—in a place where they have a custom to bless they would bless, and if there was no custom to bless, they would simply not bless. This is modified in the Talmud.
The mishnah said that blessing over the Hallel was dependent on custom. However, Abaye says that this is only with regard to the concluding blessing. Some people recite this blessing and some do not (today we do recite it). But either custom is valid. However, the blessing before the Hallel must be recited. It is not dependent on custom. This is because Rav Judah stated that one blesses prior to the performance of all mitzvoth.
We should note that there is a slight expansion of the rule in this passage. When Rav Judah said one blesses before performing commandments, he probably meant commandments that are “performed” such as circumcision, candle lighting, lulav, shofar, etc. Hallel is not “performed” for it is a prayer/recitation not an act. Abaye takes Rav Judah’s rule and expands it to include recitations as well.
Rav Judah used the word “over” to mean “before,” in his statement about blessing before a mitzvah. Evidently, the rabbis sense that this is an unusual use of the word. Therefore, they try to look for biblical precedent for the word used in this manner, to mean “before.” They find three verses in which the word or the root עבר is used to mean to go before. We should note that this isn’t exactly the way that Rav Judah uses the word. He uses the word as a preposition—before their performance. In the verses, the word is used as a verb. Nevertheless, it does mean to go before.
Today’s short section consists of a mishnah. My commentary is from the Mishnah Yomit. The Talmud will explain this later, so consider these explanations a preview.
On the sabbatical year all produce must be removed from one’s house and destroyed once it no longer grows in the field. A person can harvest the etrog and use it, but once etrogim are no longer found in the trees he must get rid of the etrogim in his house. When a person sells an etrog (or any other produced) which grew on the sabbatical year, the money retains the status of the etrog (or other produce) itself. That is to say, when there are no more etrogim in the field he must get rid of the money as well. The person in our mishnah is purchasing the four species from someone he fears does business in produce grown in the sabbatical year. He shouldn’t buy from him the etrog lest the seller not get rid of the money when he is supposed to. A person shouldn’t aid another in transgressing the commandment of observing the sabbatical year. To avoid this problem and still obtain a lulav, he should pay for the lulav (the palm) which is not subject to the laws of the sabbatical year (because it sprouted in the previous year) and have the price of the etrog included in the price of the lulav. He receives the etrog as a present when he buys the lulav. In this way the money used to buy the etrog need not be removed from the seller’s house when etrogim are no longer found on trees.
Today’s section comments on the mishnah, which said that on the sabbatical year one shouldn’t purchase the etrog—he should get it as a gift along with the lulav.
As an aside, we can sense from this sugya that there were many people who didn’t observe the sabbatical year laws. This halakhah is an interesting case of how the rabbis had to navigate living in a world where Jews did not keep the halakhot the way the rabbis would have liked them to. The rabbis had to find a way to do business with Jews who weren’t perfect in their observance of mitzvoth. It is, in my opinion, an interesting test case.
If the seller doesn’t want to give the etrog directly as a gift, he can include the price of the etrog in the price of the lulav. In this way, he can get the same amount of money that he wanted but the money doesn’t take on the sanctity of the etrog (see the explanation of yesterday’s mishnah).
The Talmud now explains why one shouldn’t pay directly for the etrog. There is a general principle that one shouldn’t give money to an am haaretz for sabbatical year produce. An am haaretz, sometimes translated as an ignoramus, was in mishnaic times a person not scrupulous about tithing, as well as the observance of other agricultural laws and the laws of purity. One shouldn’t give something to an am haaretz if he will not treat it with the proper sanctity. As I explained in yesterday’s section, on the Sabbatical year, once produce has stopped growing in the field, one can no longer eat the same type of produce that one has stored in the house. If one sells this produce, the money can be used only as long as the produce that the money purchased still grows in the field. Since the am haaretz will not observe this law, he will circulate money that should no longer be used. Therefore, one should only buy produce from him for an amount of money greater than needed to buy three meals. Assumedly, if the am haaretz gets a small amount of money he will use it up before it becomes prohibited.
If one still wants to buy a larger amount of produce from the am haaretz, he should declare that regular produce he has at home will take on the sanctity of the money he is giving to the am haaretz. In this way the am haaretz can use the money as long as he wants, and the purchaser will just have to treat that produce that he has in his house as if it was sabbatical year produce itself.