מְגִלָּה נִקְרֵאת בְּאַחַד עָשָׂר, בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר, בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר, לֹא פָחוֹת וְלֹא יוֹתֵר. כְּרַכִּין הַמֻּקָּפִין חוֹמָה מִימוֹת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן, קוֹרִין בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר. כְּפָרִים וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת, קוֹרִין בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, אֶלָּא שֶׁהַכְּפָרִים מַקְדִּימִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה:
The Megillah [Scroll of Esther] is read on the eleventh, on the twelfth, on the thirteenth, on the fourteenth, [or] on the fifteenth [of Adar], not earlier and not later. Cities surrounded with walls from the days of Yehoshua son of Nun read it on the fifteenth [of Adar]. Villages and large cities read it on the fourteenth, but villages read in advance on the day of assembly.
כֵּיצַד. חָל לִהְיוֹת יוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר בַּשֵּׁנִי, כְּפָרִים וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת קוֹרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם, וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה לְמָחָר. חָל לִהְיוֹת בַּשְּׁלִישִׁי אוֹ בָּרְבִיעִי, כְּפָרִים מַקְדִּימִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת קוֹרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם, וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה לְמָחָר. חָל לִהְיוֹת בָּחֲמִישִׁי, כְּפָרִים וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת קוֹרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם, וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה לְמָחָר. חָל לִהְיוֹת עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת, כְּפָרִים מַקְדִּימִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה, וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה קוֹרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם. חָל לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת, כְּפָרִים וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת מַקְדִּימִין וְקוֹרִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה, וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה לְמָחָר. חָל לִהְיוֹת אַחַר הַשַּׁבָּת, כְּפָרִים מַקְדִּימִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה, וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת קוֹרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם, וּמֻקָּפוֹת חוֹמָה לְמָחָר:
How does it work? If the fourteenth of the month fell on a Monday, villages and large cities read on that day, and those surrounded by a wall - on the next day. If it fell on a Tuesday or a Wednesday - villages [read] in advance on the day of assembly, and large cities read on that day, and those surrounded by a wall - on the next day. If it fell on a Thursday, villages and large cities read on that day, and those surrounded by a wall - on the next day. If it fell on the day before Shabbat - villages [read] in advance on the day of assembly, and large cities and cities surrounded by a wall read on that day. If it fell on Shabbat, villages and large cities read in advance on the day of assembly, and those surrounded by a wall - on the next day. If it fell after Shabbat, villages [read] in advance on the assembly day, and large cities read on that day, and cities surrounded by a wall - on the next day.
אֵיזוֹ הִיא עִיר גְּדוֹלָה, כֹּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ עֲשָׂרָה בַטְלָנִים. פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן, הֲרֵי זֶה כְפָר. בָּאֵלּוּ אָמְרוּ מַקְדִּימִין וְלֹא מְאַחֲרִין. אֲבָל זְמַן עֲצֵי כֹהֲנִים וְתִשְׁעָה בְאָב, חֲגִיגָה וְהַקְהֵל, מְאַחֲרִין וְלֹא מַקְדִּימִין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמְרוּ מַקְדִּימִין וְלֹא מְאַחֲרִין, מֻתָּרִין בְּהֶסְפֵּד וּבְתַעֲנִיּוֹת וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, אֵימָתַי, מְקוֹם שֶׁנִּכְנָסִין בְּשֵׁנִי וּבַחֲמִישִׁי. אֲבָל מְקוֹם שֶׁאֵין נִכְנָסִין לֹא בְּשֵׁנִי וְלֹא בַחֲמִישִׁי, אֵין קוֹרִין אוֹתָהּ אֶלָּא בִזְמַנָּהּ:
What kind of city is considered large? Any in which there are ten idle men. Any less than that, it is considered a village. Concerning these [laws, the rabbis] said: "We may do so in advance but not delay." But the time of [delivery of] wood for the priests, and [the fast of] the 9th of Av, and the festival offering, and hakhel [the national gathering at the Temple on Sukkot after the Sabbatical year to hear the king read the Torah] may be delayed but not done in advance. And even though they said [in respect to the reading of the Megillah] that it may be done in advance, it is still permitted [before the fourteenth of Adar, even when the Megillah is read,] to eulogize, to fast, and to give gifts to the poor. Rabbi Yehudah said: In what situation [are these alternative dates valid]? In places where they in fact assemble on Monday and Thursday. But in a place where they do not assemble, neither on Monday nor on Thursday, they can only read it at its ordained time.
קָרְאוּ אֶת הַמְּגִלָּה בַּאֲדָר הָרִאשׁוֹן וְנִתְעַבְּרָה הַשָּׁנָה, קוֹרִין אוֹתָהּ בַּאֲדָר הַשֵּׁנִי, אֵין בֵּין אֲדָר הָרִאשׁוֹן לַאֲדָר הַשֵּׁנִי אֶלָּא קְרִיאַת הַמְּגִלָּה וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים:
If the Megillah was read in first of Adar, and the year was [subsequently] intercalated, we read it in second of Adar. There is no difference between the first Adar and the second Adar except the reading of the Megillah and alms to the poor.
אֵין בֵּין יוֹם טוֹב לְשַׁבָּת אֶלָּא אֹכֶל נֶפֶשׁ בִּלְבָד. אֵין בֵּין שַׁבָּת לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים אֶלָּא שֶׁזֶּה זְדוֹנוֹ בִּידֵי אָדָם וְזֶה זְדוֹנוֹ בְּכָרֵת:
There is no difference between a festival day and Shabbat except okhel nefesh (the law allowing one to do certain types of food preparation on festivals). There is no difference between Shabbat and Yom Kippur except that the willful violation of [Shabbat] is [punishable] by man, and the willful violation of [Yom Kippur] is [punishable] by karet [Divinely imposed punishment consisting in severance from Heaven and/or the Jewish people].
אֵין בֵּין הַמֻּדָּר הֲנָאָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לַמֻּדָּר מִמֶּנּוּ מַאֲכָל אֶלָּא דְּרִיסַת הָרֶגֶל וְכֵלִים שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין בָּהֶן אֹכֶל נֶפֶשׁ. אֵין בֵּין נְדָרִים לִנְדָבוֹת אֶלָּא שֶׁהַנְּדָרִים חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן, וּנְדָבוֹת אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן:
There is no difference between one who disavows any benefit from his fellow and one who disavows [accepting] any food from him except setting foot [in his house] and [borrowing] vessels that are not used for okhel nefesh. There is no difference between vow-offerings and voluntary offerings except that one is obligated to fulfill his vow-offerings [regardless of whether the original animal can be brought], and one is not obligated to fulfill voluntary offerings [if the original animal cannot be brought].
אֵין בֵּין זָב הָרוֹאֶה שְׁתֵּי רְאִיּוֹת לְרוֹאֶה שָׁלֹשׁ אֶלָּא קָרְבָּן. אֵין בֵּין מְצֹרָע מֻסְגָּר לִמְצֹרָע מֻחְלָט אֶלָּא פְרִיעָה וּפְרִימָה. אֵין בֵּין טָהוֹר מִתּוֹךְ הֶסְגֵּר לְטָהוֹר מִתּוֹךְ הֶחְלֵט אֶלָּא תִגְלַחַת וְצִפֳּרִים:
There is no difference between a zav [a male who has certain types of atypical genital discharges, which render him impure] who has seen two sightings and one who has seen three except an offering. There is no difference between a [possible] metzorah [one rendered severely impure from an unsightly skin disease. Upon recovery and purification, he must bring offerings] who has been sequestered [in order to ascertain his status] and one who has been definitively declared a metzorah except rent clothes and unkempt hair. There is no difference between one who was declared pure after being sequestered [in order to ascertain his status] and one who was declared pure after being definitively declared [a metzorah] except shaving and [the offering of] birds.
אֵין בֵּין סְפָרִים לִתְפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת אֶלָּא שֶׁהַסְּפָרִים נִכְתָּבִין בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן, וּתְפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת אֵינָן נִכְתָּבוֹת אֶלָּא אַשּׁוּרִית. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, אַף בַּסְּפָרִים לֹא הִתִּירוּ שֶׁיִּכָּתְבוּ אֶלָּא יְוָנִית:
There is no difference between sefarim [books of the Tanach written in holiness, on parchment, and used for personal or public study, or for reading aloud in public. Sometimes the intent is specifically Torah scrolls] and tefillin and mezuzot except that sefarim may be written in any language, while tefillin and mezuzot may only be written in ashurit [in the Hebrew language using a particular set of glyphs]. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, "Even concerning sefarim, they only permitted them to be written in Greek."
אֵין בֵּין כֹּהֵן מָשׁוּחַ בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה לִמְרֻבֶּה בְגָדִים אֶלָּא פַּר הַבָּא עַל כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. אֵין בֵּין כֹּהֵן מְשַׁמֵּשׁ לְכֹהֵן שֶׁעָבַר אֶלָּא פַּר יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וַעֲשִׂירִית הָאֵיפָה:
There is no difference between the (high) priest anointed with the anointing oil and the "many-clothed" (high-priest), but the bullock which is brought for "all the mitzvoth" (Leviticus 4:2). [(the "many-clothed"): These are the priests who officiated in the second Temple and also in the first Temple from Yoshiyahu on. The cruse of anointing oil was secreted in his days, so that high-priests were invested with the donning of (additional) vestments alone. If the anointed high-priest (but not the "many-clothed") rules to be permitted something for which wilful transgression is punishable by kareth, and he acts upon his ruling, he brings a bullock (as an offering), viz. (Ibid. 3): "And if the anointed priest, etc."]. There is no difference between an officiating priest ("cohein meshamesh") and a pre-empted priest ("cohein she'avar") but the bullock of Yom Kippur and the tenth of the ephah. [("cohein hameshamesh":) If the high-priest sustained a blemish, and another were appointed in his stead, and his blemish disappeared, and he returned to his service, and his "stand-in" stepped down — the first is called "meshamesh," and the second, "avar." ("but the bullock of Yom Kippur":) it being impossible to offer two. And, likewise, with the tenth of the ephah, the daily cakes of the high-priest, it being impossible to offer two. But in all other respects, they are alike. If he (the "avar") comes to offer the incense or to perform any service, he wears eight vestments. And both are commanded (to wed only) a virgin, and are exhorted against marrying a widow, and officiate at sacrifices even in mourning.]
אֵין בֵּין בָּמָה גְדוֹלָה לְבָמָה קְטַנָּה אֶלָּא פְסָחִים. זֶה הַכְּלָל, כָּל שֶׁהוּא נִדָּר וְנִדָּב, קָרֵב בַּבָּמָה. וְכֹל שֶׁאֵינוֹ לֹא נִדָּר וְלֹא נִדָּב, אֵינוֹ קָרֵב בַּבָּמָה:
There is no difference between a large bamah (sacrificial mound) and a small bamah but pesachim (Pesach offerings). [This, when the bamoth were permitted. A large bamah is a congregational sacrificial mound, as that of Nov and Giveon. A small bamah is one that each individual makes for himself. Pesachim and all (offerings) like pesachim, i.e., obligatory offerings having a set time, such as temidim and mussafim, (are offered on a large bamah, but not on a small one); but obligatory offerings having no set time, such as the bullock of forgetfulness of the congregation and the goats for (unwitting) idolatry were not offered even on a large bamah.] This is the rule: Whatever is vowed and donated may be offered on a (small) bamah; whatever is not vowed and donated may not be offered on a bamah.
אֵין בֵּין שִׁילֹה לִירוּשָׁלַיִם אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּשִׁילֹה אוֹכְלִים קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בְּכָל הָרוֹאֶה, וּבִירוּשָׁלַיִם לִפְנִים מִן הַחוֹמָה. וְכָאן וְכָאן קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים נֶאֱכָלִים לִפְנִים מִן הַקְּלָעִים. קְדֻשַּׁת שִׁילֹה יֵשׁ אַחֲרֶיהָ הֶתֵּר, וּקְדֻשַּׁת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אֵין אַחֲרֶיהָ הֶתֵּר:
There is no difference between (the sanctuary of) Shiloh and Jerusalem, but that in Shiloh lesser-order offerings and ma'aser sheni are eaten wherever [Shiloh] can be seen, and, in Jerusalem, (only) within the wall. And, in both places, holy of holies are eaten (only) within the enclosure (of the sanctuary). The sanctity of Shiloh permits [of bamoth] after it [i.e., after its destruction.] The sanctity of Jerusalem does not permit [of bamoth] after it.