מלמד שלן בעומקה של הלכה ואמר רב שמואל בר אוניא גדול תלמוד תורה יותר מהקרבת תמידין שנאמר עתה באתי
This teaches that he spent the night in the depths [be’umeka] of halakha, i.e., that he spent the night studying Torah with the Jewish people. And Rav Shmuel bar Unya said: Torah study is greater than sacrificing the daily offerings, as it is stated: “I have come now” (Joshua 5:14), indicating that the angel came to rebuke Joshua for neglecting Torah study and not for neglecting the daily offering. Consequently, how did the Sages of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi determine that the Temple service is more important than Torah study?
לא קשיא הא דרבים והא דיחיד
The Gemara explains that it is not difficult. This statement, with regard to the story of Joshua, is referring to Torah study by the masses, which is greater than the Temple service. That statement of the Sages of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is referring to Torah study by an individual, which is less significant than the Temple service.
ודיחיד קל והתנן נשים במועד מענות אבל לא מטפחות ר' ישמעאל אומר אם היו סמוכות למטה מטפחות בראשי חדשים בחנוכה ובפורים מענות ומטפחות בזה ובזה אבל לא מקוננות
The Gemara asks: Is the Torah study of an individual a light matter? Didn’t we learn in a mishna: On the intermediate days of a Festival, women may lament the demise of the deceased in unison, but they may not clap their hands in mourning? Rabbi Yishmael says: Those that are close to the bier may clap. On the New Moon, on Hanukkah, and on Purim, which are not mandated by Torah law, they may both lament and clap their hands in mourning. However, on both groups of days, they may not wail responsively, a form of wailing where one woman wails and the others repeat after her.
ואמר רבה בר הונא אין מועד בפני תלמיד חכם כל שכן חנוכה ופורים
And Rabba bar Huna said: All these regulations were said with regard to an ordinary person, but there are no restrictions on expressions of mourning on the intermediate days of a Festival in the presence of a deceased Torah scholar. If a Torah scholar dies on the intermediate days of a Festival, the women may lament, clap, and wail responsively as on any other day, and all the more so on Hanukkah and Purim. This indicates that even the Torah study of an individual is of great importance.
כבוד תורה קאמרת כבוד תורה דיחיד חמור תלמוד תורה דיחיד קל
The Gemara rejects this argument: You speak of the honor that must be shown to the Torah, and indeed, the honor that must be shown to the Torah in the case of an individual Torah scholar is important; but the Torah study of an individual in itself is light and is less significant than the Temple service.
אמר רבא פשיטא לי עבודה ומקרא מגילה מקרא מגילה עדיף מדר' יוסי בר חנינא תלמוד תורה ומקרא מגילה מקרא מגילה עדיף מדסמכו של בית רבי
§ Rava said: It is obvious to me that if one must choose between Temple service and reading the Megilla, reading the Megilla takes precedence, based upon the exposition of Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina with regard to the phrase “every family” (Esther 9:28). Similarly, if one must choose between Torah study and reading the Megilla, reading the Megilla takes precedence, based upon the fact that the Sages of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi relied on Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina’s exposition to rule that one interrupts Torah study to hear the reading of the Megilla.
תלמוד תורה ומת מצוה מת מצוה עדיף מדתניא מבטלין תלמוד תורה להוצאת מת ולהכנסת כלה עבודה ומת מצוה מת מצוה עדיף (במדבר ו, ז) מולאחותו
Furthermore, it is obvious that if one must choose between Torah study and tending to a corpse with no one to bury it [met mitzva], the task of burying the met mitzva takes precedence. This is derived from that which is taught in a baraita: One cancels his Torah study to bring out a corpse for burial, and to join a wedding procession and bring in the bride. Similarly, if one must choose between the Temple service and tending to a met mitzva, tending to the met mitzva takes precedence, based upon the halakha derived from the term “or for his sister” (Numbers 6:7).
דתניא ולאחותו מה ת"ל הרי שהיה הולך לשחוט את פסחו ולמול את בנו ושמע שמת לו מת יכול יטמא
As it is taught in a baraita with regard to verses addressing the laws of a nazirite: “All the days that he consecrates himself to the Lord, he shall not come near to a dead body. For his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, he shall not make himself ritually impure for them when they die” (Numbers 6:6–7). What is the meaning when the verse states “or for his sister”? The previous verse, which states that the nazirite may not come near a dead body, already prohibits him from becoming impure through contact with his sister. Therefore, the second verse is understood to be teaching a different halakha: One who was going to slaughter his Paschal lamb or to circumcise his son, and he heard that a relative of his died, one might have thought that he should return and become ritually impure with the impurity imparted by a corpse.
אמרת לא יטמא יכול כשם שאינו מיטמא לאחותו כך אינו מיטמא למת מצוה ת"ל ולאחותו לאחותו הוא דאינו מיטמא אבל מיטמא למת מצוה
You said: He shall not become impure; the death of his relative will not override so significant a mitzva from the Torah. One might have thought: Just as he does not become impure for his sister, so he does not become impure for a corpse with no one to bury it [met mitzva]. The verse states: “Or for his sister”; he may not become impure for his sister, as someone else can attend to her burial, but he does become impure for a met mitzva.
בעי רבא מקרא מגילה ומת מצוה הי מינייהו עדיף מקרא מגילה עדיף משום פרסומי ניסא או דלמא מת מצוה עדיף משום כבוד הבריות בתר דבעיא הדר פשטה מת מצוה עדיף דאמר מר גדול כבוד הבריות שדוחה את לא תעשה שבתורה
On the basis of these premises, Rava raised a dilemma: If one must choose between reading the Megilla and tending to a met mitzva, which of them takes precedence? Does reading the Megilla take precedence due to the value of publicizing the miracle, or perhaps burying the met mitzva takes precedence due to the value of preserving human dignity? After he raised the dilemma, Rava then resolved it on his own and ruled that attending to a met mitzva takes precedence, as the Master said: Great is human dignity, as it overrides a prohibition in the Torah. Consequently, it certainly overrides the duty to read the Megilla, despite the fact that reading the Megilla publicizes the miracle.
גופא א"ר יהושע בן לוי כרך וכל הסמוך לו וכל הנראה עמו נדון ככרך תנא סמוך אע"פ שאינו נראה נראה אע"פ שאינו סמוך
§ The Gemara examines the matter itself cited in the course of the previous discussion. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A walled city, and all settlements adjacent to it, and all settlements that can be seen with it, i.e., that can be seen from the walled city, are considered like the walled city, and the Megilla is read on the fifteenth. It was taught in the Tosefta: This is the halakha with regard to a settlement adjacent to a walled city, although it cannot be seen from it, and also a place that can be seen from the walled city, although it is not adjacent to it.
בשלמא נראה אע"פ שאינו סמוך משכחת לה כגון דיתבה בראש ההר אלא סמוך אע"פ שאינו נראה היכי משכחת לה א"ר ירמיה שיושבת בנחל
The Gemara examines the Tosefta: Granted that with regard to a place that can be seen from the walled city, although it is not adjacent to it, you find it where the place is located on the top of a mountain, and therefore it can be seen from the walled city, although it is at some distance from it. However, with regard to a settlement that is adjacent to a walled city although it cannot be seen from it, how can you find these circumstances? Rabbi Yirmeya said: You find it, for example, where the place is located in a valley, and therefore it is possible that it cannot be seen from the walled city, although it is very close to it.
וא"ר יהושע בן לוי כרך שישב ולבסוף הוקף נדון ככפר מ"ט דכתיב (ויקרא כה, כט) ואיש כי ימכור בית מושב עיר חומה שהוקף ולבסוף ישב ולא שישב ולבסוף הוקף
And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A walled city that was initially settled and only later surrounded by a wall is considered a village rather than a walled city. What is the reason? As it is written: “And if a man sells a residential house in a walled city” (Leviticus 25:29). The wording of the verse indicates that it is referring to a place that was first surrounded by a wall and only later settled, and not to a place that was first settled and only later surrounded by a wall.
ואמר ריב"ל כרך שאין בו עשרה בטלנין נדון ככפר מאי קמ"ל תנינא איזו היא עיר גדולה כל שיש בה עשרה בטלנין פחות מכאן הרי זה כפר כרך איצטריך ליה אע"ג דמיקלעי ליה מעלמא
And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A walled city that does not have ten idlers, i.e., individuals who do not work and are available to attend to communal needs, is treated as a village. The Gemara asks: What is he teaching us? We already learned in a mishna (5a): What is a large city? Any city in which there are ten idlers; however, if there are fewer than that, it is a village. The Gemara answers: Nevertheless, it was necessary for Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi to teach this halakha with regard to a large city, to indicate that even if idlers happen to come there from elsewhere, since they are not local residents, it is still considered a village.
ואמר ריב"ל כרך שחרב ולבסוף ישב נדון ככרך מאי חרב אילימא חרבו חומותיו ישב אין לא ישב לא והא תניא רבי אליעזר בר יוסי אומר (ויקרא כה, ל) אשר לוא חומה אף על פי שאין לו עכשיו והיה לו קודם לכן
And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi also said: A walled city that was destroyed and then later settled is considered a city. The Gemara asks: What is meant by the term destroyed? If we say that the city’s walls were destroyed, and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi comes to teach us that if it was settled, yes it is treated as a walled city, but if it was not settled, it is not treated that way, there is a difficulty. Isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer bar Yosei says: The verse states: “Which has [lo] a wall (Leviticus 25:30),” and the word lo is written with an alef, which means no, but in context the word lo is used as thought it was written with a vav, meaning that it has a wall. This indicates that even though the city does not have a wall now, as the wall was destroyed, if it had a wall before, it retains its status as a walled city.
אלא מאי חרב שחרב מעשרה בטלנין
Rather, what is meant by the term destroyed? That it was destroyed in the sense that it no longer has ten idlers, and therefore it is treated like a village. However, once it has ten idlers again, it is treated like a city.
And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: