וּגְשָׁרִים וּנְפָשׁוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן בֵּית דִּירָה — מוֹצִיאִין אֶת הַמִּדָּה כְּנֶגְדָּן. וְעוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ כְּמִין טַבְלָא מְרוּבַּעַת, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא נִשְׂכָּר אֶת הַזָּוִיּוֹת.
and bridges and monuments over graves in which there is a residence, one extends the measure of that side of the city as though there were other structures opposite them in the adjacent corner of the city. And prior to measuring the Shabbat limit, one renders the city like a square tablet so that it gains the corners, although there are actually no houses in those corners.
גְּמָ׳ רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל: חַד תָּנֵי ״מְעַבְּרִין״ וְחַד תָּנֵי ״מְאַבְּרִין״.
GEMARA: The Gemara cites a dispute with regard to the mishna’s terminology. Rav and Shmuel disagreed: One taught that the term in the mishna is me’abberin, with the letter ayin, and one taught that the term in the mishna is me’abberin, with the letter alef.
מַאן דְּתָנֵי ״מְאַבְּרִין״ — אֵבֶר אֵבֶר, וּמַאן דְּתָנֵי ״מְעַבְּרִין״ — כְּאִשָּׁה עוּבָּרָהּ.
The Gemara explains: The one who taught me’abberin with an alef explained the term in the sense of limb [ever] by limb. Determination of the city’s borders involves the addition of limbs to the core section of the city. And the one who taught me’abberin with an ayin explained the term in the sense of a pregnant woman [ubbera] whose belly protrudes. In similar fashion, all the city’s protrusions are incorporated in its Shabbat limit.
מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה, רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, חַד אָמַר: שְׁנֵי בָתִּים זֶה לִפְנִים מִזֶּה, וְחַד אָמַר: בַּיִת וַעֲלִיָּיה עַל גַּבָּיו.
Apropos this dispute, the Gemara cites similar disputes between Rav and Shmuel. With regard to the Machpelah Cave, in which the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried, Rav and Shmuel disagreed. One said: The cave consists of two rooms, one farther in than the other. And one said: It consists of a room and a second story above it.
בִּשְׁלָמָא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר זֶה עַל גַּב זֶה — הַיְינוּ ״מַכְפֵּלָה״. אֶלָּא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר שְׁנֵי בָתִּים זֶה לִפְנִים מִזֶּה, מַאי ״מַכְפֵּלָה״?
The Gemara asks: Granted, this is understandable according to the one who said the cave consists of one room above the other, as that is the meaning of Machpelah, double. However, according to the one who said it consists of two rooms, one farther in than the other, in what sense is it Machpelah? Even ordinary houses contain two rooms.
שֶׁכְּפוּלָה בְּזוּגוֹת. ״מַמְרֵא קִרְיַת אַרְבַּע״, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק, קִרְיַת הָאַרְבַּע זוּגוֹת: אָדָם וְחַוָּה, אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה, יִצְחָק וְרִבְקָה, יַעֲקֹב וְלֵאָה.
Rather, it is called Machpelah in the sense that it is doubled with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, who are buried there in pairs. This is similar to the homiletic interpretation of the alternative name for Hebron mentioned in the Torah: “Mamre of Kiryat Ha’Arba, which is Hebron” (Genesis 35:27). Rabbi Yitzḥak said: The city is called Kiryat Ha’Arba, the city of four, because it is the city of the four couples buried there: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah.
״וַיְהִי בִּימֵי אַמְרָפֶל״, רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, חַד אָמַר: נִמְרוֹד שְׁמוֹ. וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ אַמְרָפֶל? שֶׁאָמַר וְהִפִּיל לְאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ בְּתוֹךְ כִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ, וְחַד אָמַר: אַמְרָפֶל שְׁמוֹ, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ נִמְרוֹד? שֶׁהִמְרִיד אֶת כָּל הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ עָלָיו בְּמַלְכוּתוֹ.
They disagreed about this verse as well: “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel” (Genesis 14:1). Rav and Shmuel both identified Amraphel with Nimrod. However, one said: Nimrod was his name. And why was his name called Amraphel? It is a contraction of two Hebrew words: As he said [amar] the command and cast [hippil] our father Abraham into the fiery furnace, when Abraham rebelled against and challenged his proclaimed divinity. And one said: Amraphel was his name. And why was his name called Nimrod? Because he caused the entire world to rebel [himrid] against God during his reign.
״וַיָּקׇם מֶלֶךְ חָדָשׁ עַל מִצְרָיִם״, רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, חַד אָמַר: חָדָשׁ מַמָּשׁ, וְחַד אָמַר: שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ גְּזֵירוֹתָיו.
They also disagreed about this verse: “There arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). Rav and Shmuel disagreed. One said: He was actually a new king, and one said: He was in fact the old king, but his decrees were new.
מַאן דְּאָמַר חָדָשׁ מַמָּשׁ — דִּכְתִיב ״חָדָשׁ״, וּמַאן דְּאָמַר שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ גְּזֵירוֹתָיו — מִדְּלָא כְּתִיב ״וַיָּמׇת וַיִּמְלוֹךְ״.
The Gemara explains. The one who said he was actually a new king based his opinion on the fact that it is written in the verse that he was new. And the one who said that his decrees were new derived his opinion from the fact that it is not written: And the king died, and his successor reigned, as it is written, for example, with regard to the kings of Edom (Genesis 36).
וּלְמַאן דְּאָמַר שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ גְּזֵירוֹתָיו, הָא כְתִיב ״אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע אֶת יוֹסֵף״? מַאי ״אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע אֶת יוֹסֵף״ — דַּהֲוָה דָּמֵי כְּמַאן דְּלָא יָדַע לֵיהּ לְיוֹסֵף כְּלָל.
The Gemara asks: And according to the one who said that his decrees were new, isn’t it written: “Who knew not Joseph”? If it were the same king, how could he not know Joseph? The Gemara explains: What is the meaning of the phrase: “Who knew not Joseph”? It means that he conducted himself like one who did not know Joseph at all.
(סִימָן: שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לָמַדְנוּ בְּדָוִד וַיִּבֶן.)
The Gemara cites a mnemonic of key words from a series of traditions cited below: Eighteen and twelve we studied, with regard to David, and he will understand.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: שְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר יָמִים גִּידַּלְתִּי אֵצֶל רַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא בְּרִיבִּי וְלֹא לָמַדְתִּי מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא דָּבָר אֶחָד בְּמִשְׁנָתֵינוּ: כֵּיצַד מְאַבְּרִין אֶת הֶעָרִים — בְּאָלֶף.
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: I spent eighteen days with Rabbi Oshaya the Distinguished [Beribbi], and I learned from him only one matter in our Mishna. In the phrase: How does one extend cities, the word me’abberin is spelled with an alef.
אִינִי?! וְהָאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר תַּלְמִידִים הָיוּ לוֹ לְרַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא בְּרִיבִּי, וּשְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר יָמִים גִּידַּלְתִּי בֵּינֵיהֶן, וְלָמַדְתִּי לֵב כׇּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד, וְחׇכְמַת כׇּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד?
The Gemara asks: Is this so? Didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan say: Rabbi Oshaya the Distinguished had twelve students, and I spent eighteen days among them, and I learned the heart of each and every one, i.e., the nature and character of each student, and the extent of the wisdom of each and every one? How could Rabbi Yoḥanan say that he learned only one matter?
לֵב כׇּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד וְחׇכְמַת כׇּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד גְּמַר, גְּמָרָא — לָא גְּמַר. אִיבָּעֵית אֵימָא: מִנַּיְיהוּ דִּידְהוּ — גְּמַר, מִינֵּיהּ דִּידֵיהּ — לָא גְּמַר. וְאִיבָּעֵית אֵימָא: דָּבָר אֶחָד בְּמִשְׁנָתֵינוּ קָאָמַר.
The Gemara answers: It is possible that he learned the heart of each and every one and the wisdom of each and every one, but he did not learn substantive tradition. And if you wish, say instead: From the students themselves he learned many things; from Rabbi Oshaya himself he did not learn anything beyond that one matter. And if you wish, say instead: Rabbi Yoḥanan meant to say that he learned only one matter in our Mishna from Rabbi Oshaya, but he learned other matters from him based on baraitot and other sources.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: כְּשֶׁהָיִינוּ לוֹמְדִין תּוֹרָה אֵצֶל רַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא, הָיִינוּ יוֹשְׁבִין אַרְבָּעָה אַרְבָּעָה בְּאַמָּה. אָמַר רַבִּי: כְּשֶׁהָיִינוּ לוֹמְדִין תּוֹרָה אֵצֶל רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן שַׁמּוּעַ, הָיִינוּ יוֹשְׁבִין שִׁשָּׁה שִׁשָּׁה בְּאַמָּה.
And Rabbi Yoḥanan said about that period: When we were studying Torah with Rabbi Oshaya, it was so crowded with students that we would sit four in each square cubit. Similarly, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: When we were studying Torah with Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua, we would sit six in each square cubit.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: רַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא בְּרִיבִּי בְּדוֹרוֹ כְּרַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּדוֹרוֹ, מָה רַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּדוֹרוֹ לֹא יָכְלוּ חֲבֵרָיו לַעֲמוֹד עַל סוֹף דַּעְתּוֹ — אַף רַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא לֹא יָכְלוּ חֲבֵרָיו לַעֲמוֹד עַל סוֹף דַּעְתּוֹ.
Rabbi Yoḥanan said about his teacher: Rabbi Oshaya the Distinguished was as great in his generation as Rabbi Meir was in his generation: Just as with regard to Rabbi Meir, in his generation his colleagues were unable to fully grasp the profundity of his thinking due to the subtlety of his great mind, so it was with Rabbi Oshaya; his colleagues were unable to fully grasp the profundity of his thinking.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: לִבָּן שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹנִים כְּפִתְחוֹ שֶׁל אוּלָם, וְשֶׁל אַחֲרוֹנִים כְּפִתְחוֹ שֶׁל הֵיכָל, וְאָנוּ — כִּמְלֹא נֶקֶב מַחַט סִידְקִית.
Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The hearts, i.e., the wisdom, of the early Sages were like the doorway to the Entrance Hall of the Temple, which was twenty by forty cubits, and the hearts of the later Sages were like the doorway to the Sanctuary, which was ten by twenty cubits. And we, i.e., our hearts, are like the eye of a fine needle.
רִאשׁוֹנִים — רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אַחֲרוֹנִים — רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן שַׁמּוּעַ. אִיכָּא דְּאָמְרִי: רִאשׁוֹנִים — רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן שַׁמּוּעַ, אַחֲרוֹנִים — רַבִּי אוֹשַׁעְיָא בְּרִיבִּי. וְאָנוּ כִּמְלֹא נֶקֶב מַחַט סִידְקִית.
He explains: The term early Sages is referring to Rabbi Akiva, and the term later Sages is referring to his student, Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua. Some say that the term early Sages refers to Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua and that the term the later Sages refers to Rabbi Oshaya the Distinguished. And we are like the eye of a fine needle.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: וַאֲנַן, כִּי סִיכְּתָא בְּגוּדָּא לִגְמָרָא. אָמַר רָבָא: וַאֲנַן, כִּי אֶצְבַּעְתָּא בְּקִירָא לִסְבָרָא. אָמַר רַב אָשֵׁי: אֲנַן, כִּי אֶצְבַּעְתָּא בְּבֵירָא לְשִׁכְחָה.
On the topic of the steady decline of the generations, Abaye said: And we, as far as our capabilities are concerned, are like a peg in the wall with regard to Torah study. Just as a peg enters a wall with difficulty, our studies penetrate our minds only with difficulty. Rava said: And we are like a finger in wax [kira] with regard to logical reasoning. A finger is not easily pushed into wax, and it extracts nothing from the wax. Rav Ashi said: We are like a finger in a pit with regard to forgetfulness. Just as a finger easily enters a large pit, similarly, we quickly forget our studies.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה שֶׁהִקְפִּידוּ עַל לְשׁוֹנָם, נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָם בְּיָדָם. בְּנֵי גָלִיל שֶׁלֹּא הִקְפִּידוּ עַל לְשׁוֹנָם, לֹא נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָם בְּיָדָם.
The Gemara continues the discussion relating to study and comprehension, and cites that which Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: With regard to the people of Judea, who were particular in their speech and always made certain that it was both precise and refined, their Torah knowledge endured for them; with regard to the people of the Galilee, who were not particular in their speech, their Torah knowledge did not endure for them.
מִידֵּי בִּקְפֵידָא תַּלְיָא מִילְּתָא? אֶלָּא: בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה דְּדָיְיקִי לִישָּׁנָא, וּמַתְנְחִי לְהוּ סִימָנָא, נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָן. בְּנֵי גָלִיל דְּלָא דָּיְיקִי לִישָּׁנָא, וְלָא מַתְנְחִי לְהוּ סִימָנָא, לֹא נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָם.
The Gemara asks: Is this matter at all dependent on being particular with one’s language? Rather, with regard to the people of Judea, who were precise in their language and who would formulate mnemonics for their studies, their Torah knowledge endured for them; with regard to the people of the Galilee, who were not precise in their language and who would not formulate mnemonics, their Torah knowledge did not endure for them.
בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה גְּמַרוּ מֵחַד רַבָּה, נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָם. בְּנֵי גָלִיל דְּלָא גָּמְרִי מֵחַד רַבָּה, לֹא נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָם.
Furthermore, with regard to the people of Judea, who studied from one teacher, their Torah knowledge endured for them, as their teacher provided them with a consistent approach; however, with regard to the people of the Galilee, who did not study from one teacher, but rather from several teachers, their Torah knowledge did not endure for them, as it was a combination of the approaches and opinions of a variety of Sages.
רָבִינָא אָמַר: בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה דְּגַלּוֹ מַסֶּכְתָּא, נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָם. בְּנֵי גָלִיל דְּלָא גַּלּוֹ מַסֶּכְתָּא, לֹא נִתְקַיְּימָה תּוֹרָתָן בְּיָדָם.
Ravina said: With regard to the people of Judea, who would publicly disclose the tractate to be studied in the coming term so that everyone could prepare and study it in advance (ge’onim), their Torah knowledge endured for them; with regard to the people of the Galilee, who would not disclose the tractate to be studied in the coming term, their Torah knowledge did not endure for them.
דָּוִד גַּלִּי מַסֶּכְתָּא, שָׁאוּל לָא גַּלִּי מַסֶּכְתָּא. דָּוִד דְּגַלִּי מַסֶּכְתָּא, כְּתִיב בֵּיהּ: ״יְרֵאֶיךָ יִרְאוּנִי וְיִשְׂמָחוּ״. שָׁאוּל דְּלָא גַּלִּי מַסֶּכְתָּא, כְּתִיב בֵּיהּ: ״(אֶל כׇּל) אֲשֶׁר יִפְנֶה
The Gemara relates that King David would disclose the tractate to be studied in advance, whereas Saul would not disclose the tractate to be studied. With regard to David, who would disclose the tractate, it is written: “Those who fear You will see me and be glad” (Psalms 119:74), since all were prepared and could enjoy his Torah. With regard to Saul, who would not disclose the tractate to be studied, it is written: “And wherever he turned himself