(ויקרא ו, ז) זאת תורת המנחה הקרב אותה בני אהרן לפני ה' אל פני המזבח והנותרת ממנה יאכלו אהרן ובניו מצות תאכל אמר ליה מצוה לא קא מיבעיא לי כי קא מיבעיא לי לעכב “And this is the law of the meal offering: The sons of Aaron shall sacrifice it before the Lord in front of the altar…And that which is left of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; it shall be eaten as matzot” (Leviticus 6:7–9). These verses demonstrate that there is a general requirement that meal offerings must be brought as matza. Rabbi Perida said to Rabbi Ami: I do not raise the dilemma with regard to the source of the mitzva ab initio, as that is clearly derived from these verses. Where I raise the dilemma, it is with regard to the source that indicates this requirement is indispensable, i.e., that if one violated the mitzva and brought a meal offering not as matza the offering is not valid.
אמר ליה לעכב נמי כתיב (ויקרא ו, י) לא תאפה חמץ אלא מצה Rabbi Ami said to Rabbi Perida: With regard to the halakha that the requirement that meal offerings must come as matza is indispensable, it is also written: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread” (Leviticus 6:10), but rather must come as matza. This additional verse indicates that even after the fact, if a meal offering was not made as matza it is not valid.
מתקיף לה רב חסדא ואימא לא תאפה חמץ אלא שיאור Rav Ḥisda objects to this: But one can say that the verse should be interpreted as follows: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread,” i.e., fully leavened, but it can be brought even if it has been leavened slightly with leavening [siur] dough. Although it does not have the status of leavened bread and is therefore not prohibited by the verse, it also does not have the status of matza.
שיאור דמאן אי דר"מ לר' יהודה מצה מעליא היא אי דרבי יהודה לר"מ חמץ מעליא הוא The Gemara analyzes Rav Ḥisda’s objection, as there is a dispute among the Sages with regard to the definition of siur (see Pesaḥim 48b). According to Rabbi Meir, siur is dough at the beginning of the leavening process, when its surface has become pale. Conversely, Rabbi Yehuda maintains that siur is dough that has been leavened to the point that it has cracks that look like the antennae of locusts. In this light, the Gemara inquires: This siur, mentioned by Rav Ḥisda in his suggested interpretation of the verse, is in accordance with whose opinion? If he is referring to siur as defined by Rabbi Meir, then according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda Rav Ḥisda’s objection does not arise, as Rabbi Yehuda maintains this is full-fledged matza. And if Rav Ḥisda is referring to siur as defined by Rabbi Yehuda, then according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir Rav Ḥisda’s objection does not arise either, as Rabbi Meir holds that it is full-fledged leavened bread.
אי דר"מ לר"מ מדלקי עליה חמץ הוא אלא דר' יהודה לר' יהודה Furthermore, if Rav Ḥisda is referring to siur as defined by Rabbi Meir, then even according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir himself the objection does not arise. The reason is that from the fact that Rabbi Meir rules that one who eats this siur on Passover is flogged for it, this indicates that it is deemed full-fledged leavened bread. Rather, Rav Ḥisda’s objection arises with regard to leavening dough as defined by Rabbi Yehuda, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who maintains that this dough is not considered full-fledged leavened bread.
מתקיף לה רב נחמן בר יצחק ואימא לא תאפה חמץ אלא חלוט חלוט מאי ניהו רביכה אי דאיכא רביכה כתיב בה רביכה והא לא כתיב בה רביכה Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak also objects to Rabbi Ami’s explanation: But one can say that the verse can be interpreted as follows: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread,” but one may bring a meal offering that has been boiled, as this is not leavened bread; although it is also not matza. The Gemara asks: This boiled dough, what is it? It is poached [revikha], as described in the verse: “In a pan it shall be made of oil, when it is soaked [murbekhet]” (Leviticus 6:14). If so, there is no need to derive the halakha of boiled dough from the verse: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread.” If it is a meal offering that must be poached, it is explicitly written with regard to it that it must be poached. And if it is a meal offering that is not to be poached, it is not written with regard to it that it is poached.
ואימא דכתיב בה רביכה מצוה ברביכה ודלא כתיב בה רביכה אי בעי רביכה לייתי אי בעי מצה לייתי The Gemara challenges: But one can say that the verse: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread,” indicates that with regard to a meal offering about which it is written explicitly that it must be poached, it is a mitzva that it be poached, and with regard to a meal offering about which it is not written that it must be poached, the one who brings the offering can decide: If he wants, let him bring it poached, and if he wants, let him bring it as matza. Accordingly, Rabbi Ami’s proof from the verse is inconclusive.
מתקיף לה רבינא ואימא לא תאפה חמץ למיקם גברא בלאו בעלמא ואיפסולי לא מיפסלא Ravina also objects to Rabbi Ami’s explanation: But one can say that the verse: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread,” serves to determine that this man who brings a meal offering as leavened bread is liable for violating a mere prohibition, but the meal offering itself is not invalid.
אלא מנלן כדתניא מצה יכול מצוה תלמוד לומר תהיה הכתוב קבעה חובה All these objections indicate that the verse: “It shall not be baked as leavened bread,” can be interpreted in ways other than that suggested by Rabbi Ami. Accordingly, the Gemara asks: Rather, from where do we derive that all meal offerings not brought as matza are not valid? The Gemara answers: We derive it as it is taught in a baraita discussing a verse concerning meal offerings: “It shall be of matza” (Leviticus 2:5): One might have thought that it is only a mitzva ab initio for a meal offering to be of matza. Therefore, the verse states: “It shall be,” which indicates that the verse established it as an obligation, i.e., if the meal offering was not brought as matza it is not valid.
בעא מינה ר' פרידא מר' אמי מנין לכל המנחות שנילושות בפושרין ומשמרן שלא יחמיצו נלמדנה מפסח דכתיב (שמות יב, יז) ושמרתם את המצות § Rabbi Perida raised another dilemma before Rabbi Ami: From where is it derived with regard to all the meal offerings that must be brought as matza that they are kneaded with lukewarm water so that the dough will be baked well, as only a small amount of oil is added, and that one must watch over them to ensure that they do not become leavened while kneading and shaping them? Shall we derive this halakha from the prohibition concerning leavened bread on the festival of Passover, as it is written: “And you shall watch over the matzot” (Exodus 12:17), which indicates that one must watch over any dough that is supposed to be made into matza, to ensure that it does not become leavened?
אמר ליה בגופה כתיב (ויקרא ב, ה) מצה תהיה החייה Rabbi Ami said to Rabbi Perida: The halakha of meal offerings is not derived from Passover, as it is written in the context of a meal offering itself: “It shall be [tehiye] of matza” (Leviticus 2:5), which can be read as meaning: Preserve [haḥaye] matza, i.e., preserve the matza as it is, and do not let it become leavened.
והא אפיקתיה לעכב אם כן ליכתוב קרא מצה היא מאי תהיה שמעת מינה תרתי The Gemara asks: But didn’t you already derive from the term “it shall be” that the requirement that a meal offering must be made as matza is indispensable? The Gemara answers: If so, that this term serves to teach only one halakha, let the verse write: It is matza. What is the reason that it writes: “It shall be of matza”? Learn from it two conclusions, both that the requirement that it be made as matza is indispensable and that one must watch over the matza to ensure that it does not become leavened.
אמרי ליה רבנן לרבי פרידא רבי עזרא בר בריה דרבי אבטולס דהוא עשירי לר' אלעזר בן עזריה דהוא עשירי לעזרא קאי אבבא אמר מאי כולי האי § The Gemara relates an incident that involves the aforementioned Rabbi Perida. The Sages said to Rabbi Perida: The Sage Rabbi Ezra, who is of especially fine lineage, a grandson of Rabbi Avtolus, who in turn is a tenth-generation descendant of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, who is a tenth-generation descendant of Ezra the Scribe, is standing and waiting at the gate of the house and seeks entry. Rabbi Perida said to the Sages: What is the need for all this detail about Rabbi Ezra’s lineage?
אי בר אוריין הוא יאי אי בר אוריין ובר אבהן יאי ואי בר אבהן ולא בר אוריין אישא תיכליה אמרו ליה בר אוריין הוא אמר להו ליעול וליתי Rabbi Perida elaborated: If he is a man of Torah study, he is worthy of entry on his own account, regardless of his ancestors. And if he is both a man of Torah study and a man of lineage, he is also worthy of entry. But if he is a man of lineage and not a man of Torah, better for fire to devour him than for him to enter my house. In this case, his lineage is to his detriment, as it highlights his failure to become a Sage like his ancestors. The Sages said to Rabbi Perida: Rabbi Ezra is a man of Torah study. Rabbi Perida said to them: If so, let him enter and come.
חזייה דהוה עכירא דעתיה פתח ואמר (תהלים טז, ב) אמרת לה' אדני אתה טובתי בל עליך אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם החזק לי טובה שהודעתיך בעולם When Rabbi Ezra entered his house, Rabbi Perida saw that Rabbi Ezra’s mind was troubled with embarrassment at having to wait outside. Therefore, Rabbi Perida taught a homily to comfort Rabbi Ezra. He began and said an interpretation of the verse: “I have said to the Lord: You are my Lord; I have no good but in You [tovati bal alekha]” (Psalms 16:2). Rabbi Perida interpreted: The congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, give me credit, as I made Your Name known in the world, as indicated by the phrase: “You are my Lord.”
אמר לה טובתי בל עליך איני מחזיק טובה אלא לאברהם יצחק ויעקב שהודיעוני תחלה בעולם שנאמר (תהלים טז, ג) לקדושים אשר בארץ המה ואדירי כל חפצי בם God said to the congregation of Israel: I give no credit to you [tovati bal alekha]. God explained: I give credit only to the three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were the first who made My Name known in the world, as it is stated: “As for the holy that are in the earth, they are the excellent [ve’addirei] in whom is all My delight” (Psalms 16:3). The holy in the earth are the Patriarchs, in whom God delights. In this manner Rabbi Perida alluded to the importance of the ancestors of the Jewish people, including Ezra the Scribe, from whom Rabbi Ezra was descended.
כיון דשמעיה דקאמר אדיר פתח ואמר יבא אדיר ויפרע לאדירים מאדירים באדירים When Rabbi Ezra heard Rabbi Perida say the word: Excellent [addir], he too began a homily, one that plays with different forms of this term, and said: Let the Addir come and exact punishment for the addirim from the addirim in the addirim.
יבא אדיר זה הקדוש ברוך הוא דכתיב (תהלים צג, ד) אדיר במרום ה' ויפרע לאדירים אלו ישראל שנאמר ואדירי כל חפצי בם מאדירים אלו המצרים דכתיב (שמות טו, י) צללו כעופרת במים אדירים באדירים אלו מים שנא' (תהלים צג, ד) מקולות מים רבים אדירים משברי ים Rabbi Ezra explained this statement: With regard to Addir in the phrase: Let the Addir come, this is the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is written: “The Lord on high is mighty [addir]” (Psalms 93:4). In the phrase: And exact punishment for the addirim, these addirim are the Jews, as it is stated: “The excellent [ve’addirei] in whom is all My delight” (Psalms 16:3). In the phrase: From the addirim, these addirim are the Egyptians, as it is written with regard to the splitting of the Red Sea: “The mighty [addirim] sank as lead in the waters” (Exodus 15:10). In the phrase: In the addirim, these addirim are the waters, as it is stated: “Above the voices of many waters, the mighty [addirim] breakers of the sea” (Psalms 93:4).
יבא ידיד בן ידיד ויבנה ידיד לידיד בחלקו של ידיד ויתכפרו בו ידידים Rabbi Ezra stated another, similar, homiletic interpretation: Let yadid, son of yadid, come and build yadid for yadid in the portion of yadid, and let yedidim achieve atonement through it.
יבא ידיד זה שלמה המלך דכתיב (שמואל ב יב, כה) וישלח ביד נתן הנביא ויקרא שמו ידידיה בעבור ה' Rabbi Ezra explained this statement: With regard to yadid in the phrase: Let yadid, this is King Solomon, as it is written after Solomon’s birth: “And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he called his name Yedidya, for the Lord’s sake” (II Samuel 12:25).