משנה: הִגִּיעַ שִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר בְּמַרְחֶשְׁוָן וְלֹא יָֽרְדוּ גְשָׁמִים הִתְחִילוּ הַיְחִידִים מִתְעַנִּין. אוֹכְלִין וְשׁוֹתִין מִשֶּׁחָשֵׁיכָה וּמוּתָּרִין בִּמְלָאכָה וּבִרְחִיצָה וּבְסִיכָה וּבִנְעִילַת הַסַּנְדָּל וּבְתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּיטָּה׃ MISHNAH: When the Seventeenth of Marḥeshwan arrived without rainfall, particular people157As described in the Halakhah. started to fast. They eat and drink while it is dark and are permitted work, washing, and anointing, and wearing sandals158During daylight time when they were fasting. “Sandals” stand here for any leather shoes. Any of these fast-days are either Monday or Thursday. The Babli version is “started to fast three fast-days.” The version in the editio princeps of the Yerushalmi and reproduced here, identical to Maimonides’s autograph Mishnah, seems to imply that they were fasting every Monday and Thursday between Marḥeshwan 17 and Kislew 1., and sexual intercourse.
הלכה: אֵילּוּ הֵם הַיְּחִידִים. אֵילּוּ שֶׁהֵן מִתְמַנִּין פַּרְנָסִין עַל הַצִּיבּוּר. מִכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא מִתְמַנֶּה פַּרְנָס עַל הַצִּיבּוּר הוּא מִתְפַּלֵּל וְנַעֲנֶה. אֶלָּא מִכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא מִתְמַנֶּה פַּרְנָס עַל הַצִּיבּוּר וְנִמְצָא נֶאֱמָן כְּדַיי הוּא מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. HALAKHAH: These are the particular people, those who were appointed overseers159The classical Arabic vocalization is פִרנָאס “village head”. The Babli 10a/b admits only rabbis worthy to be appointed to public office. over the public. Because he was appointed overseer over the public he will be heard when he prays? But since he was appointed overseer over the public and found to be honest, he is worthy to pray and be heard.
חַד בַּר נַשׁ הֲוָה מַפִּיק מַעְשְׂרוֹי כְתִיקֻּנָן. אָמַר לֵיהּ רִבִּי מָנָא. קוּם אֱמוֹר בִּעַ֧רְתִּי הַקּוֹדֶשׁ מִן־הַבַּ֗יִת. A person was tithing following the rules160Which not may people did.. Rebbi Mana said to him, stand up and say, I removed the sancta from the house161Deut. 26:13. One has to explain that this happened during a prayer for rain, and R. Mana wanted him to recite the entire passage, ending with v. 15: Look down from Your holy Place, from Heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the Land which You gave us as You had sworn to our forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey..
חַד בַּר נַשׁ אֲתַא גַבֵּי חַד מִן קְרִיבוֹי דְרִבִּי יַנַּיי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. רִבִּי. זְכֵה עִימִּי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. וְלָא הֲוָה לְאָבוּךְ פְּרִיטִין. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. לָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. גַּבִּיי אִינוּן מְפַקְדִּין. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. שְׁמָעִית עֲלֵיהוֹן דְּאִינּוּן [פָֽרְקוֹן]. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. כְּדַיי אַתְּ מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. A person came to a relative of Rebbi Yannai and said to him: Rabbi, acquire merit with me162By giving me alms.. He said to him, did your father not have money163And you are barred from taking alms.? He answered, no. He told him, it is deposited with me. He told him, I heard about it that it was [repayment164It is not known what the original text of the scribe was. The editio princeps has סרקון, Arabic סרק “to steal”. The beggar did not want to take the money, either following the editio princeps because his father stole it, or following the corrector’s text in the ms. because it was not the father’s money since it came to the hand of the holder as repayment of a loan. The second version is preferable. (Cf. Peah8:9, Šeqalim5:6 Note 99.)]. He said to him165Depending on the interpretation of the previous sentence, the pious party should be the leader in prayers for rain., you are worthy to pray and be heard.
אִיתְחֲמֵי לְרַבָּנִן. פַּלָּן חַמָּרָא יַצְלִי וּמִיטְרָא נְחַת. שַׁלְחוֹן רַבָּנִן וְאַייתוּנֵיהּ. אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. מָה אוּמְנָךְ. אֲמַר לוֹן. חַמָּר אֲנָא. אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. וּמַה טִיבוּ עֲבַדְתָּ. אֲמַר לוֹן. חַד זְמַן אוּגַרִית חַמְרִי לְחָדָא אִיתָה. וַהֲווָת בַּכְייָה גַּו אִיסְרָטָה. וְאָֽמְרִית לָהּ. מַה לִיךְ. אָֽמְרָה לִי. בַּעֲלָהּ דְּהִיא אִיתְּתַא חֲבִישׁ וַאֲנָא בְעָייָא מֵיחְמֵי מַה מֵיעֲבַד וּמַפְנִינֵיהּ. וְזָֽבְנִית חַמְרִי וְיָבִית לָהּ טִימִיתֵיהּ. וְאָֽמְרִית לָהּ. הָא לִיךְ. פְּנַיי בַּעֲלִיךְ וְלָא תַחַטִּיי. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. כְּדַיי אַתְּ מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. It was seen by the rabbis166In a dream., a certain donkey driver should pray167Be the reader in the services, described in Chapter 2, of a public fast for rain as described in Mishnah 6. This service contains parts reserved for the reader alone. and rain will come. The rabbis sent and brought him. They asked him, what is your profession? He said, I am a donkey driver. They asked him, what good deed did you do? He told them, once I rented out my donkey to a certain woman, and she was crying on the road. I asked her, what is your problem? She said to me, this woman’s husband is jailed and I have to see what to do to free him168To bribe the jailer.. I sold my donkey, gave her its value169Greek τιμή. and told her, this is yours; free your husband and do not sin. They told him, you are worthy to pray and be heard.
אִיתְחֲמֵי לְרִבִּי אַבָּהוּ. פַּנְטֳקַקָּה יַצְלִי וַאֲתֵי מִיטְרָא. שְׁלַח רִבִּי אַבָּהוּ וְאַייתִיתֵיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. מָה אוּמְנָךְ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. חָמֵשׁ עֲבֵירָן הַהוּא גוֹבְרָא עֲבִיד בְּכָל־יוֹם. מוֹגַר זַנְייָתָא. מְשַׁפֵּר תֵײַטְרוֹן. מְעִיל מָנֵיהוֹן לְבָנֵי. מְטַפֵּחַ וּמְרַקֵּד קֳדָמֵיהוֹן. וּמַקִּישׁ בְּבַבּוּלִייָא קֳדָמֵיהוֹן. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. וּמַה טִיבוּ עֲבַדְתָּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. חַד זְמַן הֶוָה הַהוּא גַבְרָא מַשְׁפַּר תֵײַטְרוֹן. אֲתַת חָדָא אִיתָא וְקָמַת לָהּ חוֹרֵי עֲמוּדָא. בַּכְייָא. וְאָֽמְרִת לָהּ. מַה לִיךְ. וְאָֽמְרָה לִי. בַּעֲלָהּ דְּהִיא אִיתְּתַא חֲבִישׁ וַאֲנָא בְעָייָא מֵיחְמֵי מַה מִעֲבַד וּמַפְנִינֵהּ. וְזָֽבְנִית עַרֵסִי וּפְרוֹס עַרְסִי וְיָבִית לָהּ טִימִיתֵיהּ. וְאָֽמְרִית לָהּ. הָא לִיךְ. פְּנַיי בַּעֲלִיךְ וְלָא תֵיחַטִּיי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ. כְּדַיי אַתְּ מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. It was seen by Rebbi Abbahu, Pantokaka170Greek παντόκακος, “all bad”. shall pray and rain will come. Rebbi Abbahu sent and brought him. He asked him, what is your profession? He told him, five sins this man commits every day. He rents out prostitutes171Usually gentile slaves., maintains the theater172Greek θέατρον., brings their garments to the baths, claps his hands and dances before them, and plays cymbals173Greek βαβούλια (Liebermann.) The Hebrew word is misspelled in the editio princeps and all printed editions depending on it. before them174Either the customers of his bordello or the public in the theater.. They asked him, what good deed did you do? He told them, once I was maintaining the theater, when a woman came and stood behind a pillar, crying. I asked her, what is your problem? She said to me, this woman’s husband is jailed and I have to see what to do to free him. I sold my bed, and my bed-spread, gave her its value, and told her, this is yours; free your husband and do not sin. They told him, you are worthy to pray and be heard.
אִיתְחֲמֵי לְרַבָּנִן. חֲסִידָא דִכְפַר אִימִּי יַצְלִי וּמִיטְרָא נְחַת. סַלְקוֹן רַבָּנִן לְגַבֵּיהּ. אָֽמְרָה לֹון בְּנֵי בֵיתֵיהּ. בְּטוּרָא הוּא יְהִיב. נַפְקוֹן לְגַבֵּיהּ. אָֽמְרוֹן לֵיהּ. אַיְשַׁר. וְלָא אַגִּיבוֹן. יְתַב מֵיכוּל וְלָא אֲמַר לוֹן. אַתּוֹן כְּרֵיכִין. מִי עֲלַל עֲבַד חַד מוֹבַל דְּקִיסִּין וִיהַב גּוּלְתַא מְרוֹם מוּבְלָה. אָעַל וַאֲמַר לִבְנֵי בֵיתֵיהּ. אִילֵּין רַבָּנִן הָכָא בָעֵיי נִיצְלֵי וִייחוֹת מִיטְרָא. וְאִין אֲנָא מַצְלִי וּמִיטְרָא נְחַת גְּנַאי הוּא לוֹן. וְאִין לָא חִילּול שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם הוּא. אֶלָּא אַיתִיי אֲנָא וָאַתְּ נִיסוֹק וְנַצְלֵי. אִין נְחַת מִיטְרָא. אֲנָן אָֽמְרִין לוֹן. כָּבַר דְּעָֽבְדוֹן שְׁמַייָא נִיסִּין. וְאִין לָא. אֲנָן אָֽמְרִין לוֹן. לֵית אֲנָן כְּדַיי מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. וְסָֽלְקוֹן וְצָלוֹן וּנְחַת מִיטְרָא. נְחַת לְגַבּוֹן. אֲמַר לוֹן. לָמָּה אִיטְרְפוֹן רַבָּנִן לְהָכָא יוֹמָא דֵין. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. בָּעֵיי תַצְלִי וִייחוֹת מִיטְרָא. אֲמַר לוֹן. וְלִצְלוּתִי אַתּוֹן צְרִיכִין. כְּבָר דְעָֽבְדוּן שְׁמַייָא נִיסִּין. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. לָמָּה כַד הֲוִיתָה בְטוּרָא אָֽמְרִינָן לָךְ. אַיַּשֵּׁר. וְלָא אַגִּיבְתִּינוֹן. אֲמַר לוֹן. דַּהֲוִינָה עֲסִיק בִּפָעוּלָּתִיי. מַה הֲוִינָה מַסְעַה דַעְתִּי מִן פְּעוּלָּתִי. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. לָמָּה כַד יָתַבְתְּ לְמֵיכוּל לָא אֲמַרְתְּ לוֹן. אַיתּוֹן כְּרֵיכִין. אֲמַר לוֹן. דְּלָא הֲוָה גַבַּיי אֶלָּא פַלְחִי. מַה הֲוִינָא מֵימוֹר לְכוֹן בְּחַנְפִּין. אָֽמְרִין לֵיהּ. לָמָּה כַד דַּאֲתִית לְמֵיעוֹל יְהַבְתְּ גּוּלְתַה מְרוֹם מוּבְלָה. אֲמַר לוֹן. דְּלָא הֲווָת דִּידִי. שְׁאִילָה הֲווָת דְּנִצְלִי בָהּ. מַה הֲוִינָא מְבַזְעָא יַתָהּ. אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. וְלָמָּה כַד הֲווִי אַתְּ בְּטוּרָא אִיתְּתָךְ לָֽבְשָׁה מָאנִין צָאִיָן. וְכַד דְּאַתְּ עֲלִיל מִן טוּרָא הִיא לָֽבְשָׁה מָאנִין נְקִיִיָן. אֲמַר לוֹן. כַּד דַּאֲנָא הֲוִי בְטוּרָא הִיא לָֽבְשָׁה מָאנִין צָאִייָן דְּלָא יִתֵּן בַּר נַשׁ עֵינוֹי עֲלָהּ. וְכַד דַּאֲנָא עֲלִיל מִן טוּרָא הִיא לָֽבְשָׁה מָאנִין נְקִיִיָן דְּלָא נִיתֵּן עִינַיי בְאִיתָא אוּחְרִי. אָֽמְרוּן לֵיהּ. יְאוּת אַתְּ מַצְלַייָא וּמִתְעַנְייָא. 175Like in the preceding paragraphs the pure Aramaic of the text shows that this is suggested text of sermons. A very similar story is told in the Babli 23a/b of Abba Ḥilkiah the son of Onias the circle-drawer, a mythical holy man from Hasmonean times. It was seen by the rabbis that the pious man of Kefar-Immi shall pray and rain will come. The rabbis went up to him. His house-companion176His wife. told them, he is working on the mountain. They went out to him. They said to him “much success” but he did not answer. He sat down to eat and did not invite them to partake. When he finished he made one load of firewood and put the coat on top of the load. He went and said to his house-companion, these rabbis here want us to pray that rain should fall. But if I shall be praying and rain would fall, it would be a shame for them, and if not it would be a desecration of the Name of Heaven. Therefore come, I and you shall go up and pray. If it will rain, we shall say to them, Heaven already did wonders; and if not, we shall say to them, we are not worthy to pray and be heard. They went up, prayed, and it rained. He descended to them and asked them, why did the rabbis trouble themselves here today? They said to him, we ask that you should pray that it rain. He answered them, do you need my prayer? Heaven already did wonders. They asked him, when you were on the mountain, we said to you “much success” but you did not answer us? He told them, I was occupied in my work and did not want to divert my thoughts from my work. They asked him, and when you sat down to eat, why did you not invite us to partake? He answered them, because I had with me only my portion. What could I say to you in flattery? They asked him, why when you finished you put the coat on top of the load? He told them, because it is not mine. It is borrowed so I could pray wearing it. Why should I denigrate it? They asked him, why while you were on the mountain your wife wore dirty clothing, but when you came from the mountain she wore clean clothing177They took her dirty clothing as a sign that she was impure having her period and were taken aback noticing suddenly that she was pure without any purification.? He told them, while I was on the mountain your wife wore dirty clothing so no man should turn his eyes to her; but when I came from the mountain she wore clean clothing so I should not look at another’s wife. They told him, it is correct that you should be heard when praying.
תַּנֵּי. מוּתָּר לוֹכַל עַד שֶׁייֵאוֹר הַמִּזְרַח. דִּבְרֵי רִבִּי. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר. עַד קְרִיאַת הַגֶּבֶר. מַה תַלְמוּד לוֹמַר עַד קְרִיאַת הַגֶּבֶר. יָשַׁן וְעָמַד אָסוּר. בְּשֶׁלֹּא הִתְנָה. אֲבָל אִם הִתְנָה מוּתָּר. It was stated178Discussion of Mishnaiot 5 and 6, the daytime fasts. Parallel texts are Tosephta 1:6, Babli 12a/b. In the Babli sources the author is not Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel but R. Eleazar ben R. Simeon and no stipulation which allows eating after a night’s sleep is accepted.: “One is permitted to eat until the East is illuminated, the words of Rebbi. Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel says, until the cock calls179Approximately astronomical dawn..” What means “until the cock calls”? If he slept and awoke he is forbidden. That is, if he did not stipulate, but if he stipulated it is permitted.