משנה אֵילּוּ הֵן הַמְמוּנִּין שֶׁהָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. יוֹחָנָן בֶּן פִּינְחָס עַל הַחוֹתָמוֹת. אֲחִייָה עַל הַנְּסָכִים. מַתְיָה בֶּן שְׁמוּאֵל עַל הַפְּייָסוֹת. Halakha 1 · MISHNA These are the officials who served in specific positions in the Temple: Yoḥanan ben Pineḥas was responsible for the seals. One who paid for a specific type of sacrificial item received a seal, which he presented to the Temple official in exchange for that item. Aḥiyya was responsible for the libations, i.e., the wine, oil, and flour prepared with the level of ritual purity necessary for the libation offerings and the meal-offerings, which accompanied many animal offerings. Aḥiyya supplied the libations to those who presented the appropriate seal. Matya ben Shmuel was responsible for the lotteries, which were used to select priests for the various Temple services each day.
פְּתַחְיָה עַל הַקִּינִּים Petaḥya was responsible for the pairs of birds, i.e., the turtledoves or pigeons, brought by a zav, a zava, a woman after childbirth, and a leper. They placed the appropriate sum of money into the horn designated for this purpose, and each day Petaḥya oversaw the purchase of birds from that money and their sacrifice in the proper manner.
פְּתַחְיָה זֶה מָרְדְּכָי. וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ פְּתַחְיָה שֶׁהָיָה פּוֹתֵחַ בִּדְבָרִים וְדוֹרְשָׁן וְיוֹדֵעַ בְּשִבְעִים לָשׁוֹן. Incidentally, the Gemara mentions: Petaḥya is Mordecai from the book of Esther. And why was he called Petaḥya, which resembles the word for opening [petaḥ]? The reason is that he would open, i.e., elucidate, difficult topics and interpret them to the people, and because he knew all seventy languages known at the time.
בֶּן אֲחִייָה עַל חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם. נְחוּנְייָה חוֹפֵר שִׁיחִין. גְּבִינֵי כָרוֹז. בֶּן גֶּבֶר עַל נְעִילַת שְׁעָרִים. The mishna resumes the list of officials. Ben Aḥiyya was responsible for the care of the priests who suffered from intestinal disease. Neḥunya was the well digger for pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for the Festivals. Gevini was the Temple crier who would awaken the priests and the Levites for their Temple duties. Ben Gever was responsible for locking the Temple gates in the evening and for unlocking them in the morning.
בֶּן בֵּבָי מְמוּנֶּה עַל הַפָּקִיעַ .בֶּן אַרְזָה עַל הַצִּלְצָל. הוּגְדַּס בֶּן לֵוִי עַל הַשִּׁיר. Ben Bevai was appointed over the shreds of garments, which were formed into wicks for the Temple candelabra. He also supervised the twisting of those wicks into the appropriate thickness for the various nights during the different seasons of the year. Ben Arza was responsible for the cymbal, which was rung as a signal that the Levites should commence their song. Hugras ben Levi was responsible for the song. He taught and conducted the singers in the Temple.
בֵּית גַּרְמוּ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים. בֵּית אַבְטִינָס עַל מַעֲשֵׂה הַקְּטֹרֶת. אֶלְעָזָר עַל הפָּרוֹכוֹת וּפִנְחָס הַמַּלְבִּישׁ. The house of Garmu was responsible for the preparation of the shewbread; the house of Avtinas was responsible for the preparation of the incense; and Elazar was responsible for weaving the Temple curtains; and Pineḥas was the valet, who assisted the priests in fitting their clothes and dressing themselves for their Temple service.
הלכה אֵילּוּ הֵן הַמְמוּנִּין שֶׁהָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ כול׳. רִבִּי חִזְקִיָּה אָמַר. רִבִּי סִימוֹן וְרַבָּנִן. חַד אָמַר. כְּשֵׁירֵי כָּל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר בָּא לִמְנוֹת [עֲלֵהֶן]. וְחוֹרָנָה אָמַר. מִי שֶׁהָיָה בְאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר מָנָה מַה שֶׁבְּדוֹרוֹ. GEMARA: The mishna lists fifteen names of officials who filled specific positions in the Temple, despite the fact that during the many years of the Temple there must have been far more than fifteen officials who served those functions. Rabbi Ḥizkiyah said that Rabbi Simon and the Rabbis disagreed as to why the mishna mentions only these fifteen names. One of them said: The mishna comes to enumerate those who were the most fit of all the officials who served in each position, from whatever generation they were from. And the other said: The tanna who was in that generation enumerated those functionaries who served in his generation.
מָאן דְּאָמַר. כְּשֵׁירֵי כָּל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר בָּא לִמְנוֹת. עַל כּוּלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר. זֵיכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה. Several of these officials are also mentioned in the mishna in Yoma, some for praise (37a), and others for censure (38a). The Gemara notes that this issue is related to the aforementioned dispute. The one who said that the mishna comes to enumerate the most fit of those who served from whatever generation claims that when the mishna in Yoma says: “The memory of a righteous person shall be for a blessing” (Proverbs 10:7) it is in reference to all of them. According to this opinion, the tanna in Yoma maintains that the reason these officials did not teach their specialties to others was because they wanted to prevent their knowledge from being used for idol worship. The only officials censured are those like ben Kamtzar, who refused to divulge their secrets for unworthy reasons, but these people are not mentioned in the mishna.
מָאן דְּאָמַר. מִי שֶׁהָיָה בְאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר מָנָה מַה שֶׁבְּדוֹרוֹ. עַל כּוּלָּם הוּא אוֹמֵר. וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב׃ עַל מִי נֶאֱמַר זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה. עַל בֶּן קָטִין וַחֲבֵירָיו. Conversely, the one who said that the tanna who was in that generation enumerated those officials who served in his generation, he claims that the mishna in Yoma says: “But the name of the wicked shall rot” (Proverbs 10:7) in reference to all of them. And with regard to whom is the tanna in Yoma speaking when he cites the verse: “The memory of a righteous person shall be for a blessing”? He is referring only to ben Katin, who improved the basin for the priests in the Temple, and his colleagues.
[דף יג:] אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹנָה. כְּתִיב לָכֵ֞ן אֲחַלֶּק־ל֣וֹ בָֽרַבִּ֗ים וְאֶת־עֲצוּמִים֘ יְחַלֵּ֣ק שָׁלָל֒. זֶה רִבִּי עֲקִיבָה שֶׁהִתְקִין מִדְרַשׁ הֲלָכוֹת וְהַגָּדוֹת. [13b] § After recording the praises of certain historical figures, the Gemara continues in a similar vein. Rabbi Yona said that it is written: “Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul until death, and was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). This verse is referring to Rabbi Akiva, who conveyed the Oral Law to the people by arranging the halakhic and homiletic midrash.
וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים. אֵילּוּ אַנְשֵׁי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. מַה שֶׁהִתְקִין זֶה כְלָלִין וּפְרָטִין. And some say that the members of the Great Assembly arranged these compilations of Torah knowledge. But if so, what did this Sage, Rabbi Akiva, arrange? He arranged the interpretive method of generalizations and details.
אָמַר רִבִּי אַבָּהוּ. כְּתִיב מִשְׁפְּח֤וֹת סֽוֹפְרִים֙ יֹוֹשְׁבֵי יַעְבֵּ֔ץ. מַה תַלְמוּד לוֹמַר סֽוֹפְרִים֙. אֶלָּא שֶׁעָשׂוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה סְפוּרוֹת סְפוּרוֹת. Rabbi Abbahu said: The lineage of Salma, son of Caleb, son of Hur, is listed in the book of Chronicles. It is written there: “And the families of scribes that dwelt at Jabez: The Tirathites, the Shimeathites, the Sucathites; these are the Kenites that came of Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab” (I Chronicles 2:55). What is the meaning when the verse states the word scribes, literally, counters? It does not mean that they were scribes; rather, it means that they crafted the halakhot of the Torah into numbered groups. They categorized and brought together disparate halakhot into a mnemonic device to assist learners.
חֲמִשָּׁה לֹא יִתְרוֹמוּ. חֲמִשָּׁה דְבָרִים חַייָבִין בַּחַלָּה חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה נָשִׁים פּוֹטְרוֹת צָרוֹתֵיהֶן. שְׁלשִׁים וָשֵׁשׁ כְּרֵיתוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה. שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר דָּבָר בְּנִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר. אַרְבַּע אֲבוֹת נְזִיקִין. אֲבוֹת מְלָאכוֹת אַרְבָּעִים חָסֵר אֶחָת The Gemara lists some examples of this numerical categorization: Five categories of people may not separate teruma; five types of grain require the separation of ḥalla from their dough; fifteen categories of women exempt their co-wives from levirate marriage and ḥalitza if they were both married to the same man who died childless; thirty-six transgressions for which one is liable to receive karet are listed in the Torah; thirteen matters are stated with regard to the unslaughtered carcass of a kosher bird; there are four primary categories of damages; and the number of primary categories of labor prohibited on Shabbat is forty-less-one.
אָמַר רִבִּי אָחָא. כְּתִיב לְעֶזְרָ֥א הַכֹּהֵ֖ן הַסּוֹפֵר. מַה תַלְמוּד לוֹמַר סוֹפֵֽר. אֶלָּא כְשֵׁם שֶׁהָיָה סוֹפֵר בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה כָּךְ הָיָה סוֹפֵר בְּדִבְרֵי חֲכָמִים. The Gemara cites a different interpretation for the Hebrew word for scribe. Rabbi Eliezer said: It is written: “Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest the scribe, a scribe of the words of the mitzvot of the Lord, and of His statutes to Israel” (Ezra 7:11). What is the meaning when the verse states the word scribe [sofer] twice? “Scribe” can be interpreted as scholar. The verse is not redundant; rather, it means that just as Ezra was a scholar in matters of Torah, so was he a scholar in matters of the Sages, i.e., the Oral Law.
רִבִּי חַגַּיי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחָמָן. הָרִאשׁוֹנִים חָֽרְשׁוּ וְזָֽרְעוּ נִיכְּשׁוּ כִּיסְּחוּ עִידְּרוּ קָֽצְרוּ עִימִּירוּ דָּשׁוּ זָרוּ טָחֲנוּ הִרְקִידוּ לָשׁוּ קִיטִּיפוּ וְאָפוּ. וְאָנוּ אֵין לָנוּ פֶה לוֹכַל. Rabbi Ḥaggai said in the name of Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥman: The former Sages, i.e., the scholars of earlier generations, metaphorically plowed and planted, weeded, cleared thorns, hoed, harvested, gathered sheaves into a pile, threshed the sheaves, winnowed the threshed grain, separated the bad grain form the good, ground the remainder into flour, sifted the flour in a sieve, kneaded the dough, smoothed the surface of the unbaked loaves with liquid, and baked the bread. They prepared everything so that we should be able to grasp Torah concepts; and yet, after all that, we have nothing to eat, as we are still unable to understand the Torah properly.
רִבִּי אַבָּא בַּר זְמִינָא בְשֵׁם רִבִּי זְעוּרָא. אִין הֲווֹן קַדְמָאֵיי מַלְאָכִין אֲנָן בְּנֵי אֵינַשׁ. וְאִין הֲווֹן בְּנֵי אֵנַשׁ אֲנָן חֲמָרִין. אָמַר רִבִּי מָנָא. בְּהַהִיא שַׁעְתָּא אָֽמְרִין. אֲפִילוּ לַחֲמַרְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי פִינְחָס בֶּן יָאִיר לָא אִידְמִינָן. The Gemara cites another metaphor with regard to the relationship between the earlier and later generations. Rabbi Abba bar Zemina said in the name of Rabbi Ze’eira: If the former generations were akin to angels, we are akin to humans; and if they were akin to humans, we are akin to donkeys. Rabbi Mana said: At that hour, when the previous statement was issued, they also said: We are not even comparable to the female donkey of Rabbi Pineḥas ben Yair.
חֲמַרְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי פִינְחָס בֶּן יָאִיר גְּנַבְתָהּ לִיסְטָאֵי בַלֵּילִיָּא. עֲבְדַּת טְמִירָא גַבּוֹן תְּלָתָא יוֹמִין וְלֹא טַעֲמָה כְלוּם. בְּתַר תְלָתָה יוֹמִין אִימְלָכוּן מַחְזַרְתָּהּ. אָֽמְרוּן. אַפְקוּנַהּ מִן הָכָא דְלָא תֵימוּת גָּבָּן. אַפְקוּנַהּ. אָֽזְלַת וְקָמַת עַל תִּרְעָא דָמָרָהּ. שְׁרִײַת מְנַהֲקָה. אֲמַר לוֹן. פָּֽתְחוּן לָהָדָא עֲלִיבְתָא דְּאִית לָהּ תְּלָתָה יוֹמִין דְּלָא טַעֲמָה כְלוּם. פָּֽתְחוּן לָהּ וְעָלַת לָהּ. § The Gemara explains the reference to this particular donkey. The donkey of Rabbi Pineḥas ben Yair was stolen by robbers one night. It was kept hidden by them for three days, and yet it did not eat anything. After three days, they reconsidered and decided to return it. They said: Let’s get it out of here, so that it shouldn’t die in our possession and leave a stench in our cave. When they set it free it went and stood by its master’s gate and began braying. Rabbi Pineḥas said to the members of his household: Open up for that poor creature, which has gone three days without eating anything. They opened the gate for it, and it entered Rabbi Pineḥas’ courtyard.
אֲמַר לוֹן. יְהָבוּ לָהּ תֵּיכוּל. יְהָבוּן קוֹמָהּ סְעָרִין וְלָא בָעַת מִיכוּל. אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. רִבִּי. לָא בָעַת מִיכוּל. אֲמַר לוֹן. מְתַקְּנִין אִינּוּן. אָֽמְרוּ לֵיהּ. אִין. אֲמַר לוֹן. וָאַרִימִיתוּן דְּמַיִין. He told them: Give it something to eat. They placed barley before it, but it would not eat. They said to him: Rabbi, it will not eat. He said to them: Has the barley been tithed so that it is fit to eat? They replied: Yes. He then asked them: And have you separated their doubtfully tithed produce? Did you tithe the grain about which there is doubt as to whether it has been tithed properly?
אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. לֹא כֵן אַלְפָּן רִבִּי. הַלּוֹקֵחַ זֶרַע לִבְהֵמָה קֶמַח לְעוֹרוֹת שֶׁמֶן לָאוֹר פָּטוּר מִן הַדְּמַאי. אֲמַר לוֹן. מַה נַעֲבִיד לָהָדָא עֲלִיבְתָא דְּהִיא מַחְמְרָא עָל גַּרְמָהּ סַגִּין. וָאַרִימוֹן דְּמַיִין וְאָֽכְלָת. They replied: Didn’t you teach us the following, Rabbi: One who purchases grain for feeding an animal, or flour for processing animal hides, or oil for lighting a lamp, is exempt from separating doubtfully tithed produce? There is no need to separate tithes from doubtfully tithed produce to feed a donkey. He said to them: What can we do for that poor creature, which is very strict with itself and will not eat even from doubtfully tithed produce, despite this exemption? And they therefore separated tithes from the doubtfully tithed produce, and the donkey finally ate the barley grains.
פְּתַחְיָה עַל הַקִּנִּים. בּוֹא וּרְאֵה מַה גָדוֹל הוּא כוֹחוֹ שֶׁלְאוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ שֶׁהוּא פּוֹתֵחַ בִּדְבָרִים וְדוֹרְשָׁן וְיוֹדֵעַ שִבְעִים לָשׁוֹן. תַּנֵּי. סַנְהֶדְרִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שְׁנַיִם שֶׁיּוֹדְעִין לְדַבֵּר וְכוּלָּן רְאוּיִין לִשְׁמוֹעַ הֲרֵי זוֹ רְאוּיָה לְסַנְהֶדְרִין. § The mishna states that Petaḥya was responsible for the pairs of birds. The Gemara mentions some of the talents of this Petaḥya. Come and see how great was the skill of that man. He could open, i.e., elucidate, difficult topics and interpret them. As mentioned in the mishna, he understood all seventy languages. The Gemara adds: It was taught in a baraita: A Sanhedrin that includes two members who are able to speak all the seventy languages, and all of its members are at least capable of understanding those languages, this court is minimally fit to serve as a Sanhedrin.
שְׁלֹשָׁה הֲרֵי זוֹ בֵינוֹנִית. אַרְבָּעָה הֲרֵי זוֹ חֲכָמָה. וּבְיַבְנֶה הָיוּ בָהּ אַרְבָּעָה. בֶּן עַזַּאִ וּבֶן זוֹמָא בֶּן חֲכִינַאִי וְרִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן מַתְיָה. If it has three who can speak those languages, it is a medium level Sanhedrin. If it has four, it is a wise Sanhedrin. In Yavne, the Sanhedrin included four who could speak all seventy languages: Ben Azzai, ben Zoma, ben Ḥakhinai, and Rabbi Elazar ben Matya.
אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא. פַּעַם אַחַת יָֽבְשָׁה אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל (וְקָֽלְטוּ לְגַגּוֹת צְרִיפִין.) [וְלֹא יָדְֽעוּ מֵהֵיכָן לְהָבִיא. The Gemara cites a story that exemplifies Petaḥya’s skills at understanding linguistic allusions. Rabbi Ḥisda said: Once Eretz Yisrael dried up. There was a drought, no grain grew there, and the Sages did not know from where they could bring the omer, the measure of barley brought as a communal offering on the sixteenth of Nisan.
וַהֲוָה תַמָּן חַד אִלֵּם דַּהֲוַה יְהִיב חַד יָדֵיהּ עַל גַּגּוֹת יִחָדָא יָדֵיהּ עַל צְרִיפָה. אַיְתוּנֵיהּ קַמֵּיהּ דִּפְתַחָא. אֲמַר לָהוּ. אִי אֲתַר דְּמִתְקָרֵי גַגּוֹת צְרִיפִין אוֹ צְרִיפִין גַּגּוֹת. אָֽזְלִין תַּמָּן וְאַשְׁכְּחוֹן.] And there was a mute present there who knew where barley was growing that year. He came to the Sages and gestured to them with his hands. He placed one of his hands on roofs [gagot] and the other hand on huts [tzerifin], alluding to the name of the place where barley could be found. Since they did not understand his allusions, they brought Petaḥya before him, who observed the actions of the mute and said to them: Is there a place called Gagot Tzerifin or Tzerifin Gagot? They remembered that there was indeed such a place. They went there and found barley for the omer offering.
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹסֵה בֵּירִבִּי בּוּן. פַּעַם אַחַת נִשְׂרַף כָּל־הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ וְלֹא הָיוּ יוֹדְעִין מֵאֵיכָן לְהָבִיא. וַהֲוָה תַמָּן חַד אִילֵּם וַהֲוַה יְהִיב יָדֵיהּ עַל עֵייְנֵיהּ וְיָדֵ͏יהּ עַל סוֹכְרָא. אַיְתוּנֵיהּ גַּבֵּי פְתַחְיָה. אֲמַר לוֹן. אִית אֲתַר דְּמִתְקָרֵי עֵין סוֹכֵר אוֹ סוֹכֵר עַיִן. וְאָֽזְלִין תַּמָּן וְאַשְׁכְּחוֹן. The Gemara relates a similar story. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Bun, said: Once all the grain in the entire world was blighted, and the Sages did not know from where they could bring barley for the omer. And again there was a mute present there who knew where barley was growing. He came before the Sages and gestured to them with his hands. He placed one hand on his eye and the other hand on a doorjamb [sokhara]. Since the Sages were unable to understand his allusions, they brought Petaḥya before him, who observed his actions and said to them: Is there a place called Ein Sokher or Sokher Ein? They remembered that there was indeed such a place. They went there and found barley for the omer offering.
שָׁלֹשׁ נָשִׁים הֵבִיאוּ קִינֵּיהֶן. אַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת. לְעֵינָתִי. וְְְאַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת לְיַמָּתִי. וְאַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת. לְזִיבָתִי. The Gemara cites yet another story that exemplifies Petaḥya’s deciphering skills. There were three women who brought their own pair of birds to the Temple. It was not clear which type of offering each of them intended to bring. One of the women said: This pair of birds is for my fountain; and the second one said: It is for my sea; and the third one said: It is for my ziva.
זוֹ שֶׁאָֽמְרָה. לְעֵינָתִי. סָֽבְרִין מֵימַר. שׁוֹפַעַת כְמַעֲייָן. אֲמַר לוֹן. בְּעֵייְנָהּ סְכָנָת. With regard to that woman who said: For my fountain, the Rabbis thought to say that she meant that her post-menstrual blood was flowing like a fountain. She was therefore bringing the pair of birds of a zava, as a sin-offering and a burnt-offering for her ritual purity. However, Petaḥya said to them: She was endangered in a fountain. She has brought this pair of birds as a thanks-offering for her escape from that life-threatening situation.
זוֹ שֶׁאָֽמְרָה. לְיַמָּתִי. סָֽבְרִין מֵימַר. שׁוֹפַעַת כַּיָּם. אֲמַר לוֹן. בְּיַמָּהּ סְכָנָת. With regard to that woman who said: For my sea, the Rabbis thought to say that she meant that her post-menstrual blood was flowing like the sea, which likewise means that she was a zava bringing her offerings for ritual purity. But Petaḥya said to them: She was endangered in the sea, so she too has brought this pair of birds as a thanks-offering.
זוֹ שֶׁאָֽמְרָה. לְזִיבָתִי. סָֽבְרִין מֵימַר. זָבָה מַמָּשׁ. אֲמַר לוֹן. זְאֵב בָּא לִיטּוֹל אֶת בְּנָהּ. Finally, with regard to that woman who said: For my ziva, the Rabbis thought to say that she meant that she was an actual zava, and she was therefore bringing an offering for ritual purity. But Petaḥya said to them: A wolf [ze’ev], a word that is similar to the one she used, came and attempted to snatch her son, but he was ultimately saved. She, too, has brought this pair of birds as a thanks-offering.
בֶּן אֲחִייָה עַל חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם. עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהָיוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים מְהַלְּכִין יְחֵיפִים עַל הָרִצְפָּה וְהָיוּ אוֹכְלִין בָּשָׂר וְשׁוֹתִין מַיִם הָיוּ בָאִין לִידֵי חוֹלֵי מֵיעַיִם. וַהֲוָה יְדַע אֲהֵײ דֵין חֲמַר טַב לִמְעַייָא. וְהֵיי דֵין חֲמַר סְמַס לִמְעַייָא. § The mishna states that ben Aḥiyya was appointed to treat those priests who suffered from intestinal disease. The Gemara explains why priests were particularly susceptible to this ailment. Since the priests would walk barefoot on the floor, even when it was cold, as their feet had to be in contact with the stones of the Temple floor, and since they would eat a lot of meat from the offerings and drink a lot of water, they would contract intestinal disease. And ben Aḥiyya knew that this particular type of wine was good for healing the intestines, and that this other type of wine was effective intestinal medicine.
נְחוּנְייָה חוֹפֵר שִׁיחִין. שֶׁהָיָה חוֹפֵר שִׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת. וַהֲוָה יְדַע [דף יד.] הֵיי דֵין כֵּיף מְקוֹרֵר מַיָא וְהֵײ דֵין כֵּיף אִית בֵּיהּ שַׁרְבְּרוּבֵי וְעַד מַטֵּי הֵן שַׁרְבְּרוּבִיתֵיהּ מַטָייָה. אָמַר רִבִּי אָחָא. וּמֵת [בְּנוֹ] בַצָּמָא. The mishna states that Neḥunya was the well digger. The Gemara explains that he would dig wells and caves, where rainwater would collect, for pilgrims to use on their way to Jerusalem for the Festivals. And he knew [14a] which rock contains water, and which rock contains fissures in which water may be found, and how far those fissures extend. This would enable him to calculate how deep he had to dig to reach water. Rabbi Eliezer said: And his son died of thirst.
אָמַר רִבִּי חֲנִינָה. מָאן דְּאָמַר דְּרַחֲמָנָא ווַתְרָן יִתְווַתְרוּן בְּנֵי מָעוֹי. אֶלָּא מַעֲרִיךְ רוּחֵיהּ וְגָבֵי דִידֵיהּ. Since the previous passage mentioned God’s rigorously exacting attitude toward righteous people like Neḥunya, the Gemara discusses how God relates to sinners. Rabbi Ḥanina said: Whoever says that the Merciful One overlooks the punishment due to sinners, his intestines will be overlooked, i.e., cease functioning. The reason sinners often appear to go unpunished is rather that God extends His patience with evildoers to give them a chance to repent, but eventually He collects His due and punishes the wicked.
אָמַר רִבִּי אָחָא כְּתִיב וּ֝סְבִיבָ֗יו נִשְֽׂעֲרָ֥ה מְאֹֽד. מְדַקְדֵּק עִמָּהֶן כְּחוּט הַשְּׂעָרָה. The Gemara explains the harsh judgment inflicted on the righteous Neḥunya. Rabbi Aḥa said that it is written: “Our God comes and does not keep silence; a fire devours before Him, and His surroundings storm [nis’ara] mightily” (Psalms 50:3). The Hebrew spelling of the word nis’ara is very similar to the word sa’ara, hair. This hints that God is exacting with the righteous, who are close to Him and can be called His surroundings, up to a hairsbreadth. Even slight deviations from the proper path can elicit punishment.
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹסֵה. לֹא מִטַּעַם זֶה. אֶלָּא מִן מַה דִכְתִיב וְ֝נוֹרָ֗א [הוּא] עַל־כָּל־סְבִיבָֽיו. מוֹרָאוֹ עַל הַקְּרוֹבִים יוֹתֵר מִן הָֽרְחוֹקִים. Rabbi Yosei said: This idea is derived not through that source, but rather from that which is written about God: “And dreadful is He upon all of His surroundings” (Psalms 89:8), which indicates that His dread is upon those close to Him, i.e., the righteous, more than upon those distant from Him, i.e., the sinful.
רִבִּי הַגַּיי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָן. מַעֲשֶׂה בְחָסִיד אֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה חוֹפֵר בּוֹרוֹת שֵׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת לָעוֹבְרִים וְלַשָּׁבִים. פַּעַם אַחַת הָֽיְתָה בִתּוֹ עוֹבֶרֶת לְהִינָּשֵׂא וּשְׁטָפָהּ נָהָר. וַהֲווֹן כָּל־עַמָּא עָֽלְלִין לְגַבֵּיהּ בְּעַייָן מְנַחַמְתֵּיהּ וְלָא קִיבֵּל עֲלוֹי מִתְנַחֲמָה. The Gemara cites a related story. Rabbi Ḥaggai said in the name of Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥman: There was an incident involving a certain pious man who would dig pits, wells, and caves to collect water for passersby. Once his daughter was passing over a river for the purpose of marriage, and the river washed her away. And all the people came to console him, but he refused to accept their condolences.
עָאַל רִבִּי פִינְחָס בֶּן יָאִיר לְגַבֵּיהּ בָּעֵי מְנַחַמְתֵּיהּ וְלָא קִבֵּל עֲלוֹי מִתְנַחֲמָה. אֲמַר לוֹן. דֵּין הִינּוֹ חָסִידֵיכוֹן. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. רִבִּי. כָּךְ וְכָךְ הָיָה עוֹשֶׂה וְכָךְ וְכָךְ אִירַע. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Yair came to visit him to console him, but he refused to accept condolences even from Rabbi Pineḥas. Rabbi Pineḥas said to the people of that community: Is this your righteous man, who will not be consoled and accept God’s judgment? They said to him: Rabbi, he would perform such and such acts of righteousness, by supplying water, and yet such and such tragedy, the drowning of his daughter, occurred to him.
אָמַר. אֵיפְשַׁר שֶׁהָיָה מְכַבֵּד אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ בַמַּיִם וְהוּא מְקַפְּחוֹ בַמַּיִם. מִיַּד נָֽפְלָה הֲבָרָה בָעִיר. בָּאָת בִּתּוֹ שֶׁלְאוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ. אִית דְּאָֽמְרִין. בְּשׁוּכְתָּא אִיתְעֲרִײַת. וְאִית דְּאָֽמְרִין. מַלְאַךְ יָרַד כִּדְמוּת רִבִּי פִינְחָס בֶּן יָאִיר וְהִצִּילָהּ. Rabbi Pineḥas said: Is it possible that he honors his Creator with water, and yet his Creator strikes him with water? Immediately thereafter, a report spread throughout the city: The daughter of that righteous man has arrived, as she did not actually drown. Some say she grasped a branch and pulled herself out of the river, and some say an angel in the form of Rabbi Pineḥas ben Yair descended from heaven and rescued her.
גְּבִינֵי כָרוֹז. שֶׁהָיָה מַכְרִיז בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. מֶה הָיָה אוֹמֵר. הַכֹּהֲנִים לָעֲבוֹדָה וְהַלְּוִיִּם לְדוּכָן וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַעֲמָד. אַגְרִיפַּס הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁמַע קוֹלוֹ עַד שְׁמוֹנֶה פַרְסָאוֹת וְנָתַן לוֹ מַתָּנוֹת הַרְבֶּה. § The mishna states that Gevini was the Temple crier. The Gemara cites a baraita that states that Gevini would issue an announcement every morning in the Temple. What would he say in his announcement? Arise, priests, to service; and Levites to their platform to sing; and Israelites, i.e., the group of Israelites who represented the entire community at the sacrifice, to their watch. Gevini’s voice was so powerful that King Agrippa once heard his voice as far away as eight parasangs, and Agrippa gave him many gifts as a sign of his appreciation.
בֶּן גֶּבֶר עַל נְעִילַת שְׁעָרִים. תִּירְגֵּם רַב קוֹמֵי דְבֵית רִבִּי שִׁילָה. קָרָא גַבְרָא. אַכְרִיז כָּרוֹזָא. The mishna states that ben Gever was responsible for locking the Temple gates in the evening and opening them in the morning. The Gemara cites an incident involving ben Gever. It is taught in a mishna (Yoma 20a): On each day, the ashes are removed from the altar at the calling of the gever or near this time. The Sages dispute whether the term gever in this context means man or rooster. The Gemara relates that when Rav went to visit Rabbi Sheila, he would serve as his interpreter, explaining his lectures to the public. On one occasion, after Rabbi Sheila had explicitly stated that gever means a rooster, Rav nevertheless interpreted in the study hall of Rabbi Sheila that the phrase: Gever cried out, means: The crier announced.
אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. קָרָא תַרְנְגוֹלָא. אֲמַר לוֹן. וְהָתַנִּינָן בֶּן גֶּבֶר. אִית לָךְ מֵימַר בַּר תַּרְנְגוֹלָא. Rabbi Sheila said to him: Say that this expression means: The rooster cried out. Rav said to him: But we learned in a mishna above (13a) that there is a man called ben Gever. Could you possibly say that his name means son of a rooster? In this context, gever must mean man, not rooster. Therefore, in Yoma as well it must indicate that a man issued an announcement.
בֶּן בֵּבָי עַל הַפָּקִיעַ. שֶׁהָיָה מְזַווֵיג אֶת הַפְּתִילוֹת. רִבִּי יוֹסֵה עָאַל לְכוּפְרָה. בְּעָא מַמְנִייָא עֲלֵיהוֹן פַּרְנָסִין וְלָא קִבְּלוּן מִינֵּיהּ. The mishna states that ben Bevai was responsible for the shreds of garments. The Gemara explains that he would braid shreds together to prepare wicks for the candelabrum that were of the appropriate thickness, so that they would burn the entire night during each period of the year. The Gemara relates that Rabbi Yosei came to the town of Kufra and wanted to appoint community leaders for them to care for the needs of the community and the provisions of the poor. However, those who were selected would not accept the appointment from them, i.e., from Rabbi Yosei, because they deemed this job beneath their dignity.
עָאַל וְאָמַר קוֹמֵיהוֹן. בֶּן בֵּבָי עַל הַפָּקִיעַ. וּמַה אִם זֶה שֶׁנִּתְמַנֶּה עַל הַפְּתִילֹות זָכָה לְהִימָּנוֹת עִם גְּדוֹלֵי הַדּוֹר. אַתֶּם שֶׁאַתֶּם מִתְמַנִּין עַל חַיֵּי נְפָשׁוֹת לֹא כָל־שֶׁכֵּן. Rabbi Yosei came and said to them: Ben Bevai, was responsible for the lowly function of the shreds of garments, and if this man, who was appointed to deal with the wicks, merited to be listed with the greatest of that generation, you, who are appointed for life-sustaining matters, all the more so are you not honored by the position? You should therefore accept the request without hesitation.
בֶּן אַרְזָה עַל הַצִּלְצָל. כַּהִיא דְתַנִּינָן תַּמָּן. הֵנִיף הַסְּגָן בַּסּוּדָרִין וְהִקִּישׁ בֶּן אַרְזָא בַּצִּלְצָל The mishna further taught that ben Arza was responsible for the cymbal. The Gemara explains that this is referring to that which we learned in a mishna there (Tamid 33b): When the High Priest bent over to pour the wine libation, the deputy High Priest waved the scarves as a signal and ben Arza beat upon the cymbal.
הוּגְדַּס בֶּן לִֵוי עַל הַשִּׁיר. אָמַר רִבִּי אָחָא. נְעִימָה יְתֵירָה הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ. וְאָֽמְרוּ עָלָיו עַל הוּגְדַּס בֶּן לֵוִי שֶׁהָיָה מַנְעִים אֶת קוֹלוֹ בַזֶּמֶר. וּכְשֶׁהָיָה נוֹעֵץ גּוֹדְלוֹ לְתוֹךְ פִּיו הָיָה מוֹצִיא כַמָּה מִינֵי זֶמֶר והָיוּ אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים נִזְקָרִין לוֹ בַת רֹאשׁ. The mishna states that Hugras ben Levi was responsible for the song. Rabbi Aḥa said: He knew an extraordinary manner of singing. And they said of Hugras ben Levi that he would make his voice pleasant in song, and when he would stick his thumb into his mouth he could produce several types of music simultaneously, and all of his fellow priests would lurch toward him all at once, from the intensity and the charm of the sound.
בֵּית גַּרְמוּ עַל מַעֲשֵׂה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים בֵּית גַּרְמוּ הָיוּ בְקִיאִין בְּמַעֲשֶׁה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים וּבְרִדִּייָתוֹ וְלֹא רָצוּ לְלַמֵּד. § The mishna mentioned that the house of Garmu was responsible for the preparation of the shewbread, which is the bread baked each week in a special form and displayed for a week on the designated table in the Sanctuary. The Gemara relates a story from a baraita about the house of Garmu and their talent in baking. The house of Garmu was proficient in the preparation of the shewbread and in its removal from the oven without ruining it, but they did not want to teach these skills to others.
שָֽׁלְחוּ וְהֵבִיאוּ אוּמָנִים מֵאַלֶכְּסַנְדְרִיאָה וְהָיוּ בְקִיאִין בְּמַעֲשֶׁה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים. וּבְרִדִּייָתוֹ לֹא הָיוּ בְקִיאִין. Therefore, the Sages sent messengers and brought in craftsmen from Alexandria, who were also proficient in the preparation of the shewbread, in an attempt to replace the house of Garmu. However, they were not as proficient as the house of Garmu in its removal from the oven. The complex form of the shewbread rendered it very difficult to remove from the oven without its breaking.
בֵּית גַּרְמוּ הָיוּ מַסִּיקִין מִבִּפְנִים וְרוֹדִין מִבַּחוּץ. וְלֹא הָֽיְתָה מִתְעַפֶּשֶׁת. וְאֵילּוּ הָיו מַסִּיקִין מִבִּפְנִים וְרוֹדִין מִבִּפְנִים. וְהָֽיְתָה מִתְעַפֶּשֶׁת. The Gemara clarifies the difference between the two manners of preparation. The house of Garmu would ignite the fire within the oven, bake the shewbread in a mold, and remove the bread from the mold only outside the oven, after it was fully baked. And, as they would remove it from the mold at this late stage, it would not spoil. Whereas these Egyptian craftsmen would ignite the fire within the oven and bake the shewbread in the mold, but, out of fear that it would break when removed from the mold, they would remove it from the mold inside the oven before it was fully baked. And the result was that the bread would spoil.
כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּֽדְעוּ חֲכָמִים בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה אָֽמְרוּ. כָּל־מַה שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִכְבוֹדוֹ בָּרָא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כֹּ֤ל פָּעַ֣ל יְ֖י לַֽמַּֽעֲנֵ֑הוּ. Once the Sages realized this matter, that their replacement shewbread was flawed, they said: Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created, He created for His glory, as it is stated: “The Lord has made everything for His own purpose” (Proverbs 16:4). Since spoiled shewbread does not promote the glory of God, we must forgo our honor and request the services of the house of Garmu once again.
שָֽׁלְחוּ אַחֲרֵיהֵם וְלֹא רָצוּ לָבוֹא עַד שֶׁכָּֽפְלוּ לָהֶן שְׂכָרָן. שְׁנֵים עַשָׂר מְנָה הָיוּ נוֹטְלִין וְנָֽתְנוּ לָהֶן עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע הָיוּ נוֹטְלִין וְנָֽתְנוּ לָהֶן אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה. Therefore, the Sages sent for the house of Garmu, but they did not want to come back to bake until the Sages doubled their compensation. They had been receiving twelve maneh, and now they gave them twenty-four. Rabbi Yehuda says: They had been receiving twenty-four maneh, and now they gave them forty-eight.
אָֽמְרוּ לָהֶן. מִפְּנֵי מַה אֵין אַתֶּם רוֹצִין לְלַמֵּד. אָֽמְרוּ לָהֶן. מְסוֹרֶת הִיא בְיָדֵינוּ מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁהַבַּיִת הַזֶּה עָתִיד לִיחָרֵב. שֶׁלֹּא יִלְמְדוּ אֲחֵרִים וְיִהְיוּ עוֹשִׂין כֵּן לִפְנֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁלָּהֶן. בִּדְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ מַזְכִּירִין אוֹתָן לִשְׁבָח. שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא מִיַּד בְּנֵיהֶם פַּת נְקִייָה מֵעוֹלָם. שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ אוֹמְרִים. מִמַּעֲשֶׂה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים הֵן אוֹכְלִין. The Sages said to them: For what reason don’t you want to teach the art of shewbread baking to others? The house of Garmu said to them: We have a tradition from our fathers that this House, the Temple, will be destroyed. We do not want to teach our method, so that others should not learn this art and unscrupulously perform it for their idolatry. Although their reason for refraining from teaching their method to others was not accepted, on this other matter the Sages did mention them with praise: That refined bread was never found in their children’s possession at all, so that people should not say that they feast upon their shewbread labor.
בֵּית אַבְטִינָס עַל מַעֲשֵׂה הַקְּטוֹרֶת. שֶׁלְבֵּית אַבְטִינָס הָיוּ בְקִיאִין בְפִיטּוּם הַקְּטוֹרֶת וּבְמַעֲלֶה עָשָׁן וְלֹא רָצוּ לְלַמֵּד. The mishna states that the house of Avtinas was responsible for the preparation of the incense. The Gemara relates a similar story from a baraita concerning the house of Avtinas and their knowledge of the incense preparation: The house of Avtinas was proficient in the preparations of the incense mixture, which included grinding the incense herbs and blending them together. And they were also expert in identifying the so-called smoke raiser, a plant that caused the incense smoke to rise upward in a straight line to the ceiling, but they did not want to teach these skills to others.
שָֽׁלְחוּ וְהֵבִיאוּ אוּמָנִים מֵאַלֶכְּסַנְדְרִיאָה וְהָיוּ בְקִיאִין בְפִיטּוּם הַקְּטוֹרֶת. וּבְמַעֲלֶה עָשָׁן לֹא הָיוּ בְקִיאִין. שֶׁלְבֵּית אַבְטִינָס הָֽיְתָה מְתַמֶּרֶת וְעוֹלָה וּפּוֹסָה וְיוֹרֶדֶת. וְשֶׁלְאֵילוּ הָֽיְתָה פוֹסָה מִיַּד. Therefore, the Sages sent out messengers and brought in craftsmen from Alexandria in Egypt. And these craftsmen were proficient in the incense mixture, but they were not proficient in identifying the smoke raiser. The incense smoke of the house of Avtinas would rise straight up like a staff to the ceiling, and from there it would spread out and descend, whereas the incense smoke of these Egyptian craftsmen would not rise but would simply spread out immediately.
וְכֵיוָן שֶׁיָּֽדְעוּ חֲכָמִים בַּדָּבָר אָֽמְרוּ. כָּל־מַה שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִכְבוֹדוֹ בָּרָא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כֹּ֚ל הַנִּקְרָ֣א בִשְׁמִ֔י וְלִכְבוֹדִ֖י בְּרָאתִ֑יו וגו׳. שָֽׁלְחוּ אַחֲרֵיהֵם וְלֹא רָצוּ לָבוֹא עַד שֶׁכָּֽפְלוּ לָהֶן שְׂכָרָן. שְׁנֵים עַשָׂר מְנָה הָיוּ נוֹטְלִין וְנָֽתְנוּ לָהֶן עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע הָיוּ נוֹטְלִין וְנָֽתְנוּ לָהֶן אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה. Once the Sages realized this matter, that this incense smoke was flawed, they said: Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created, He created for His glory, as it is stated: “Everything that is called by My name, and I have created for My glory, I have formed it and even made it” (Isaiah 43:7). Since incense smoke that rises straight up is superior, we must forgo our honor and request the services of the house of Avtinas once again. The Sages sent for them, but they did not want to come back until they doubled their compensation. They had been receiving twelve maneh, and now they gave them twenty-four. Rabbi Yehuda says: They had been receiving twenty-four maneh, and now they gave them forty-eight.
אָֽמְרוּ לָהֶן. מִפְּנֵי מַה אֵין אַתֶּם רוֹצִין לְלַמֵּד. אָֽמְרוּ לָהֶן. מְסוֹרֶת בְּיָדֵינוּ מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁהַבַּיִת הַזֶּה עָתִיד לִיחָרֵב. שֶׁלֹּא יִלְמְדוּ אֲחֵרִים וְיִהְיוּ עוֹשִׂין כֵּן לִפְנֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁלָּהֶן. The Sages said to them: For what reason don’t you want to teach the art of incense preparation to others? The house of Avtinas said to them: We have a tradition from our fathers that this House, the Temple, will be destroyed. We do not want to teach our method, so that others should not learn these skills and prepare this incense for their idolatry.
בִּדְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ מַזְכִּירִין אוֹתָן לִשְׁבָח. שֶׁלֹּא יָצָאת אִשָּׁה שֶׁלְאֶחָד מֵהֶן מְנוּשֶׂמֶת מֵעוֹלָם. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא כְשֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן נוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר הָיָה פוֹסֵק עִמָּהּ עַל מְנָת שֶׁלֹּא תִתְבַּשֵּׂם. [שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ אוֹמְרִים. מִמַּעֲשֶׂה פִיטּוּם הַקְּטוֹרֶת הֵן מִתְבַּשְּׂמוֹת. לְקַייֵם מַה שֶׁנֶּאֲמַר. וִֽהְיִיתֶ֧ם נְקִיִּ֛ם מֵֽיי וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֑ל.] Although their reason for refraining from teaching their method to others was not accepted, on these other matters the Sages did mention them with praise: That never did the wife of any one of them leave her house perfumed; and not only that, but when one of them would marry a woman from elsewhere, he would stipulate with her that the marriage was on condition that she may not perfume herself, so that people should not say that they perfume themselves from the preparation of the incense mixture. They did so to fulfill that which is stated: “Then you shall be clear before the Lord and before Israel” (Numbers 32:22).
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹסֵה. מָצָאתִי תִינּוֹק אֶחָד מִבֵּית אַבְטִינָס. אָמַרְתִּי לוֹ. בְּנִי. מֵאֵי זֶה מִשְׁפָּחָה אַתְּ. אָמַר לִי. מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת פְּלוֹנִית. אָמַרְתִּי לוֹ. בְּנִי. אֲבוֹתֶיךְ שֶׁנִּתְכַּווְנוּ לְרַבּוֹת כְּבוֹדָן וּלְמָעֵט כְּבוֹד שָׁמַיִם לְפִיכָךְ כְּבוֹדָם נִתְמָעֵט וּכְבוֹד שָׁמַיִם נִתְרַבָּה. Rabbi Yosei said: Once I was standing in Jerusalem, and I found a certain child from the house of Avtinas. I said to him: My son, from which family are you? He said to me: I am from a particular family, i.e., the house of Avtinas. I said to him: My son, I will say this about your forefathers: Since they intended to increase their own glory by ensuring that none were as proficient as they at preparing incense and by demanding double their previous wages, and they sought to reduce of the glory of Heaven by taking money from the Temple coffers, therefore they were punished and ultimately their glory was diminished, as after the destruction of the Temple they lost their importance. But the glory of Heaven increased, for God’s honor is not dependent upon the existence of the Temple.
אָמַר רִבִּי עֲקִיבָה. סָח לִי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לוּגה. מְלַקֵּט הָיִיתִי עֲשָׂבִים אֲנִי וְתִינּוֹק אֶחָד מִבֵּית אַבְטִינָס. וְרָאִיתִי אוֹתוֹ שֶׁבָּכָה וְרָאִיתִי אוֹתוֹ שֶׁשָּׂחַק. אָמַרְתִּי לוֹ. בְּנִי. לָמָּה בָכִיתָה. אָמַר לִי. עַל כְּבוֹד בֵּית אַבָּא שֶׁנִּתְמָעֵט. וְלָמָּה שָׂחַקְתָּה. אָמַר לִי. עַל הַכָּבוֹד הַמְתוּקָּן לַצַּדִּיקִים לְעָתִיד לְבוֹא. Rabbi Akiva said: Shimon ben Loga told me: Once I and a certain child from the house of Avtinas were collecting herbs, and I saw him crying, and later I saw him laughing. I said to him: My son, why did you cry? He said to me: I cried for the glory of my father’s house, which has been diminished after the destruction of the Temple. I subsequently asked him: And why did you laugh? He said to me: I laughed with joy over the glory prepared for the righteous in the future, when my family will have its role restored to them in the rebuilt Temple.
[וּמָה רָאִיתָ.] הֲרֵי מַעֲלֶה עָשָׁן לְנֶגְדִּי. נוֹמֵיתִי לוֹ. בְּנִי. הַרְאֵהוּ לִי. אָמַר לִי. מְסוֹרֶת בְּיָדִי מֵאֲבוֹתַײ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַרְאוֹתוֹ לְבִירְייָה. Shimon ben Loga added that he asked that child further: And what did you see that brought these things to mind? He replied: I saw the smoke raiser before me, among the herbs we were collecting. I said to him: My son, show it to me, and I will keep its identity secret so that no one will be able to use it for idolatry. He said to me: Rabbi, I have a tradition from my forefathers not to show it to a soul.
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי. פָּגַע בִּי זָקֵן [אֶחָד] מִשֶּׁלְבֵּית אַבְטִינָס [וּמְגִילַּת סַמָּנִים בְיָדוֹ.] אָמַר לִי. רִבִּי. לְשֶׁעָבַר הָיוּ בֵית אַבָּא צְנוּעִין וְהָיוּ [דף יד:] מוֹסְרִין אֶת הַמְגִילָּה הַזֹּאת אֵילּוּ לָאֵילּוּ. וְעַכְשָׁיו שֶׁאֵינָן נֶאֱמָנִין הֵילָךְ אֶת הַמְגִילָּה והִיזָּהֵר בָּהּ. Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri said: Once I and a certain elderly man were collecting herbs. I encountered a certain elderly man from the house of Avtinas with a scroll in his hand with instructions on how to identify herbs for the Temple incense and how to prepare it. That elderly man said to me: Rabbi, in the past the members of my father’s house were discreet [tzenu’in] and cautious. And they would [14b] transfer this scroll only to one another, so that it would not come into the possession of anyone who might misuse its information. And now that the members of my father’s house are not reliable, I am concerned that they might pass the scroll to the wrong person. I will not give it to one of them but only to someone whom I judge to be completely trustworthy. Therefore, here it is for you, as I can trust you to take the scroll and be careful with it, so that it will not reach anyone who might misuse its information.
וּכְשֶׁבָּאתִי וְהִרְצֵאתִי אֶת הַדְּבָרִים לִפְנֵי רִבִּי עֲקִיבָה זָֽלְגוּ דְמָעָיו וְאָמַר. מֵעַתָּה אֵין אָנוּ צְרִיכִין לְהַזְכִּירָן לִגְנַאי. Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri continued: And when I came and recounted these matters to Rabbi Akiva, his eyes shed tears, and he said: From now on, we should not mention the members of the house of Avtinas unfavorably, as it is evident that the only reason they did not teach their skills to others was due to the fear that someone might misuse them for idolatrous purposes.
אֶלְעָזָר עַל הַפָּרוֹכוֹת. שֶׁהָיָה מְמוּנֶּה עַל אוֹרְגֵי פְרָכוֹת. פִּנְחָס הַמַּלְבִּישׁ. שֶׁהָיָה מַלְבִּישׁ בִּגְדֵי כְהוּנָה גְּדוֹלָה. מַעֲשֶׂה בְכֹהֵן אֶחָד שֶׁהִלְבִּישׁ לְאִיסְטְרַטְיוֹט אֶחָד וְנָתָן לוֹ שְׁמוֹנָה זְהוּבִין. וְאִית דְּאָֽמְרִין. תְּרֵי עָשָׂר יְהִיב לֵיהּ. The mishna states that Elazar was responsible for the Temple curtains. The Gemara explains that this means he was the supervisor of the Temple curtain weavers. The mishna further teaches that Pineḥas was the valet. The Gemara states that he would dress the High Priest in the High Priestly vestments. The expertise of those appointed to this position was so great that there was an incident involving a certain valet priest who dressed a certain Roman army officer [isteratiyot], and the officer was so impressed with the manner in which he dressed him that he gave him eight gold coins. And some say he gave him twelve gold coins.