שלא יהו מכוונות בשלמא לרבא כי היכי דליהויין הללו שוחקות והללו עצבות אלא לאביי קשיא
that they are not precisely a cubit. Granted, according to Rava, the baraita means: So that these, the cubits of diverse kinds of seeds, should be measured with expansive handbreadths, and those, the cubits of sukka, should be measured with depressed handbreadths. However, according to Abaye, it is difficult.
אמר לך אביי אימא אמת כלאים באמה בת ששה
The Gemara answers: Abaye could have said to you: Emend the baraita and say: The cubit of diverse kinds of seeds mentioned by the Sages is measured with a cubit of six handbreadths, not the other cubits.
והא מדקתני סיפא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר כל אמות שאמרו חכמים בכלאים באמה בת ששה ובלבד שלא יהו מצומצמות מכלל דתנא קמא כל אמות קאמר
The Gemara raises a difficulty. However, from the fact that it is taught in the latter clause of the baraita that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: All the cubits that the Sages mentioned with regard to diverse kinds of seeds are measured with cubits of six handbreadths, provided that they are not measured with exact handbreadths? This proves by inference that the anonymous first tanna is speaking of all cubits, and not only those in the case of diverse kinds of seeds.
אמר לך אביי ולאו מי איכא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל דקאי כוותי אנא דאמרי כרבן שמעון בן גמליאל
The Gemara answers that Abaye could have said to you: Isn’t there Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who holds in accordance with my opinion? I stated my opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel.
לאביי ודאי תנאי היא לרבא מי לימא תנאי היא
The Gemara comments: According to Abaye, the issue of large and small cubits is certainly subject to a dispute between tanna’im, as his ruling can only be in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel. According to Rava, however, must it be said that this is subject to a dispute between tanna’im?
אמר לך רבא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל הא אתא לאשמועינן אמת כלאים לא יצמצם
The Gemara answers: This is not necessarily the case, as Rava could have said to you: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel does not dispute the basic teaching of the anonymous first tanna that all the cubits mentioned by the Sages are cubits of six handbreadths. Rather, he came to teach us this: One should not reduce the cubit of diverse kinds of seeds, i.e., one should not measure it with depressed handbreadths.
ולימא אמת כלאים לא יצמצם באמה בת ששה למעוטי מאי לאו למעוטי אמת סוכה ואמת מבוי
The Gemara raises an objection. And if that is the case, let him say: One must not reduce the cubit of diverse kinds of seeds. What does the phrase: A cubit consisting of six handbreadths come to exclude? Does it not come to exclude the cubit of a sukka and the cubit of an alleyway, which are measured with cubits of five handbreadths?
לא למעוטי אמה יסוד ואמה סובב
The Gemara rejects this argument. No, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel’s formulation comes to exclude the cubit of the base of the altar, which is the bottom level of the altar, one cubit high with a ledge one cubit wide, and the cubit of the surrounding ledge of the altar, which is five cubits above the base, six cubits above the ground, and one cubit wide. Everyone agrees that those cubits are small cubits of five handbreadths.
דכתיב ואלה מדות המזבח באמות אמה אמה וטפח וחיק האמה ואמה רחב וגבולה אל שפתה סביב זרת האחד וזה גב המזבח חיק האמה זה יסוד ואמה רחב זה סובב וגבולה אל שפתה סביב אלו הקרנות וזה גב המזבח זה מזבח הזהב:
As it is written: “And these are the measures of the altar by cubits; the cubit is a cubit and a handbreadth, the bottom shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and its border by its edge round about shall be a span: And this shall be the higher part of the altar” (Ezekiel 43:13). And the Sages explained this verse as follows: “The bottom shall be a cubit,” this is the base of the altar; “and the breadth a cubit,” this is the surrounding ledge of the altar; “and its border by its edge round about,” these are the horns of the altar, i.e., extensions of the corners of the altar; “and this shall be the higher part of the altar,” this refers to the golden altar that stood inside the Sanctuary and was also measured by small cubits.
אמר רבי חייא בר אשי אמר רב שיעורין חציצין ומחיצין הלכה למשה מסיני
Since the Gemara discussed measurements, it proceeds to cite that which Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Ashi said that Rav said: The measures relating to mitzvot in the Torah, and the halakhot governing interpositions that invalidate ritual immersions, and the halakhot of partitions are all halakhot transmitted to Moses from Sinai. These halakhot have no basis in the Written Torah, but according to tradition they were orally transmitted by God to Moses together with the Written Torah.
שיעורין דאורייתא הוא דכתיב ארץ חטה ושעורה וגו׳ ואמר רב חנן כל הפסוק הזה לשיעורין נאמר
The Gemara questions this assertion: Are measures a halakha transmitted to Moses from Sinai? They are written in the Torah, as it is written: “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey” (Deuteronomy 8:8), and Rav Ḥanan said: This entire verse was stated for the purpose of teaching measures with regard to different halakhot in the Torah.
חטה לכדתנן הנכנס לבית המנוגע וכליו על כתיפיו וסנדליו וטבעותיו בידיו הוא והם טמאין מיד היה לבוש כליו וסנדליו ברגליו וטבעותיו באצבעותיו הוא טמא מיד והן טהורין עד שישהא בכדי אכילת פרס פת חיטין ולא פת שעורין מיסב ואוכל בליפתן
Wheat was mentioned as the basis for calculating the time required for one to become ritually impure when entering a house afflicted with leprosy, as that which we learned in a mishna: One who enters a house afflicted with leprosy of the house (see Leviticus 14), and his clothes are draped over his shoulders, and his sandals and his rings are in his hands, both he and they, the clothes, sandals, and rings, immediately become ritually impure. However, if he was dressed in his clothes, and his sandals were on his feet, and his rings were on his fingers, he immediately becomes ritually impure, but they, the clothes, sandals, and rings, remain pure until he stays in the house long enough to eat half a loaf of bread. This calculation is based on wheat bread, which takes less time to eat, and not on barley bread, and it relates to one who is reclining and eating it together with relish, which hastens the eating. This is a Torah measurement connected specifically to wheat.
שעורה דתנן עצם כשעורה מטמא במגע ובמשא ואינו מטמא באהל
Barley is also used as a basis for measurements, as we learned in a mishna: A bone from a corpse the size of a grain of barley imparts ritual impurity through contact and by being carried, but it does not impart impurity by means of a tent, i.e., if the bone was inside a house, it does not render all the articles in the house ritually impure.
גפן כדי רביעית יין לנזיר
The halakhic measure determined by a vine is the quantity of a quarter-log of wine for a nazirite. A nazirite, who is prohibited to drink wine, is liable to be flogged if he drinks that measure.