בְּנֵי הָעִיר שֶׁמָּכְרוּ רְחוֹבָהּ שֶׁל עִיר, לוֹקְחִין בְּדָמָיו בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת. בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת, לוֹקְחִין תֵּבָה. תֵּבָה, לוֹקְחִין מִטְפָּחוֹת. מִטְפָּחוֹת, לוֹקְחִין סְפָרִים. סְפָרִים, לוֹקְחִין תּוֹרָה. אֲבָל אִם מָכְרוּ תוֹרָה, לֹא יִקְחוּ סְפָרִים. סְפָרִים, לֹא יִקְחוּ מִטְפָּחוֹת. מִטְפָּחוֹת, לֹא יִקְחוּ תֵבָה. תֵּבָה, לֹא יִקְחוּ בֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת. בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת, לֹא יִקְחוּ אֶת הָרְחוֹב. וְכֵן בְּמוֹתְרֵיהֶן. אֵין מוֹכְרִין אֶת שֶׁל רַבִּים לְיָחִיד, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמּוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ מִקְּדֻשָּׁתוֹ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, אִם כֵּן, אַף לֹא מֵעִיר גְּדוֹלָה לְעִיר קְטַנָּה:
Residents of a town who sold the town square, which was at times used for public prayer and therefore attained a certain degree of sanctity, may use the proceeds of the sale only to purchase something of a greater degree of sanctity. They may therefore purchase a synagogue with the proceeds of the sale. If they sold a synagogue, they may purchase an ark in which to house sacred scrolls. If they sold an ark, they may purchase wrapping cloths for the sacred scrolls. If they sold wrapping cloths, they may purchase scrolls of the Prophets and the Writings. If they sold scrolls of the Prophets and Writings, they may purchase a Torah scroll. However, the proceeds of a sale of a sacred item may not be used to purchase an item of a lesser degree of sanctity. Therefore, if they sold a Torah scroll, they may not use the proceeds to purchase scrolls of the Prophets and the Writings. If they sold scrolls of the Prophets and Writings, they may not purchase wrapping cloths. If they sold wrapping cloths, they may not purchase an ark. If they sold an ark, they may not purchase a synagogue. If they sold a synagogue, they may not purchase a town square.
אֵין מוֹכְרִין בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת, אֶלָּא עַל תְּנַאי שֶׁאִם יִרְצוּ יַחֲזִירוּהוּ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, מוֹכְרִים אוֹתוֹ מִמְכַּר עוֹלָם, חוּץ מֵאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים, לְמֶרְחָץ וּלְבֻרְסְקִי וְלִטְבִילָה וּלְבֵית הַמָּיִם. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, מוֹכְרִין אוֹתוֹ לְשֵׁם חָצֵר, וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה יַעֲשֶׂה:
And similarly, the same limitation applies to any surplus funds from the sale of sacred items, i.e., if after selling an item and purchasing something of a greater degree of sanctity there remain additional, unused funds, the leftover funds are subject to the same principle and may be used to purchase only something of a degree of sanctity greater than that of the original item. They may not sell a sacred object belonging to the community to an individual, even if the object will still be used for the same purpose, due to the fact that by doing so they downgrade its degree of sanctity, as an item used by fewer people is considered to have a lower degree of sanctity than one used by many; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. The Rabbis said to him: If so, by your logic, it should also not be permitted to sell a sacred object from a large town to a small town. However, such a sale is certainly permitted, and therefore it must also be permitted to sell such an object to an individual. They may sell a synagogue only with a stipulation that if the sellers so desire it, the buyers will return it to them; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: They may sell a synagogue with a permanent sale for any usage, except the following four things, which would be an affront to the synagogue’s previous sanctity: For a bathhouse, where people stand undressed; or for a tannery [burseki], due to the foul smell; for immersion, i.e., to be used as a ritual bath, where people also stand undressed; or for a lavatory. Rabbi Yehuda says: They may sell a synagogue for the generic purpose of serving as a courtyard, and then the buyer may then do with it as he wishes, even if that is one of the above four purposes.
וְעוֹד אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת שֶׁחָרַב, אֵין מַסְפִּידִין בְּתוֹכוֹ, וְאֵין מַפְשִׁילִין בְּתוֹכוֹ חֲבָלִים, וְאֵין פּוֹרְשִׂין לְתוֹכוֹ מְצוּדוֹת, וְאֵין שׁוֹטְחִין עַל גַּגּוֹ פֵרוֹת, וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין אוֹתוֹ קַפַּנְדַּרְיָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כו), וַהֲשִׁמּוֹתִי אֶת מִקְדְּשֵׁיכֶם, קְדֻשָּׁתָן אַף כְּשֶׁהֵן שׁוֹמֵמִין. עָלוּ בוֹ עֲשָׂבִים, לֹא יִתְלֹשׁ, מִפְּנֵי עָגְמַת נָפֶשׁ:
And Rabbi Yehuda said further: A synagogue that fell into ruin still may not be used for a mundane purpose. Therefore, one may not eulogize in it. And nor may one stretch out and repair ropes in it. The wide expanse of the synagogue would have been particularly suitable for this. And nor may one spread animal traps within it. And nor may one spread out produce upon its roof to dry. And nor may one make it into a shortcut. The halakha that a synagogue in disrepair still may not be used for mundane purposes is derived from a verse, as it is stated: “And I will bring desolation to your sanctuaries” (Leviticus 26:31). The fact that the word “sanctuaries” appears after the word “desolation” indicates that their sanctity remains upon them even when they are desolate. However, if grass sprang up of its own accord in the ruined synagogue, although it is not befitting its sanctity, one should not pick it, due to the anguish that it will bring to those who see it. It will remind them of the disrepair of the synagogue and the need to rebuild it.
רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר שֶׁחָל לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת, קוֹרִין בְּפָרָשַׁת שְׁקָלִים (שמות ל). חָל לִהְיוֹת בְּתוֹךְ הַשַּׁבָּת, מַקְדִּימִין לְשֶׁעָבַר וּמַפְסִיקִין לְשַׁבָּת אַחֶרֶת. בַּשְּׁנִיָּה, זָכוֹר (דברים כה). בַּשְּׁלִישִׁית, פָּרָה אֲדֻמָּה (במדבר י״ט:ב׳). בָּרְבִיעִית, הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם (שמות יב). בָּחֲמִישִׁית, חוֹזְרִין לִכְסִדְרָן. לַכֹּל מַפְסִיקִין, בְּרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים, בַּחֲנֻכָּה וּבְפוּרִים, בַּתַּעֲנִיּוֹת וּבַמַּעֲמָדוֹת וּבְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים:
On four Shabbatot during and surround-ing the month of Adar, a Torah portion of seasonal significance is read. When the New Moon of Adar occurs on Shabbat, the congregation reads the portion of Shekalim on that Shabbat. If the New Moon occurs during the middle of the week, they advance the reading of that portion to the previous Shabbat, and, in such a case, they interrupt the reading of the four portions on the following Shabbat, which would be the first Shabbat of the month of Adar, and no additional portion is read on it. On the second Shabbat, the Shabbat prior to Purim, they read the portion: “Remember what Amalek did” (Deuteronomy 25:17–19), which details the mitzva to remember and destroy the nation of Amalek. On the third Shabbat, they read the portion of the Red Heifer [Para] (Numbers 19:1–22), which details the purification process for one who became ritually impure through contact with a corpse. On the fourth Shabbat, they read the portion: “This month [haḥodesh] shall be for you” (Exodus 12:1–20), which describes the offering of the Paschal lamb. On the fifth Shabbat, they resume the regular weekly order of readings and no special portion is read. For all special days, the congregation interrupts the regular weekly order of readings, and a special portion relating to the character of the day is read. This applies on the New Moons, on Hanukkah, and on Purim, on fast days, and on the non-priestly watches, and on Yom Kippur.
בְּפֶסַח קוֹרִין בְּפָרָשַׁת מוֹעֲדוֹת שֶׁל תּוֹרַת כֹּהֲנִים (ויקרא כב). בַּעֲצֶרֶת, שִׁבְעָה שָׁבֻעוֹת (דברים טז). בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ (ויקרא כג). בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, אַחֲרֵי מוֹת (שם טז). בְּיוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל חָג קוֹרִין בְּפָרָשַׁת מוֹעֲדוֹת שֶׁבְּתוֹרַת כֹּהֲנִים (ויקרא כג), וּבִשְׁאָר כָּל יְמוֹת הֶחָג בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת הֶחָג (במדבר כט):
On the first day of Passover, the congregation reads from the portion of the Festivals of Leviticus (Leviticus 22:26–23:44). On Shavuot they read the portion of “Seven weeks” (Deuteronomy 16:9–12). On Rosh HaShana they read the portion of “And on the seventh month on the first of the month” (Leviticus 23:23–25). On Yom Kippur they read the portion of “After the death” (Leviticus 16). On the first Festival day of Sukkot they read from the portion of the Festivals of Leviticus (Leviticus 22:26–23:44), and on the other days of Sukkot they read selections from the portion of the offerings of Sukkot (Numbers 29:12–39).
בַּחֲנֻכָּה, בַּנְּשִׂיאִים (שם ז). בְּפוּרִים, וַיָּבֹא עֲמָלֵק (שמות יז). בְּרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים, וּבְרָאשֵׁי חָדְשֵׁיכֶם (במדבר כח). בַּמַּעֲמָדוֹת, בְּמַעֲשֵׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית (בראשית א). בַּתַּעֲנִיּוֹת, בְּרָכוֹת וּקְלָלוֹת (ויקרא כו). אֵין מַפְסִיקִין בַּקְּלָלוֹת, אֶלָּא אֶחָד קוֹרֵא אֶת כֻּלָּן. בַּשֵּׁנִי וּבַחֲמִישִׁי וּבְשַׁבָּת בַּמִּנְחָה, קוֹרִין כְּסִדְרָן, וְאֵין עוֹלִין לָהֶם מִן הַחֶשְׁבּוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג), וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶת מֹעֲדֵי יְיָ אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִצְוָתָן שֶׁיְּהוּ קוֹרִין כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד בִּזְמַנּוֹ:
On each day of Hanukkah they read selections from the portion of the dedication of the altar by the tribal princes (Numbers 7). On Purim they read the portion of “And Amalek came” (Exodus 17:8–16). On the New Moon they read the portion of “And in the beginnings of your months” (Numbers 28:11–15). And in the non-priestly watches they read the act of Creation (Genesis 1:1–2:3). The Jewish people were divided into twenty-four watches. Each week, it would be the turn of a different watch to send representatives to Jerusalem to be present in the Temple to witness the sacrificial service. Those remaining behind would fast during the week, from Monday to Thursday, offer special prayers, and read the account of Creation from the Torah. On fast days, they read the portion of blessings and curses (Leviticus, chapter 26). One should not interrupt the reading of the curses by having two different people read them. Rather, one person reads all of them. On Mondays, and on Thursdays, and on Shabbat during the afternoon service, they read in accordance with the regular weekly order, i.e., they proceed to read the first section of the Torah portion that follows the portion that was read on the previous Shabbat morning. However, these readings are not counted as a progression in the reckoning of reading the Torah portions, i.e., they do not proceed on Monday to read the section that immediately follows the section read on Shabbat during the afternoon, and then the following section on Thursday. Rather, until the reading on the following Shabbat morning, they return to and read the same first section of the Torah portion that follows the portion that was read on the previous Shabbat morning. On Festivals and holidays, they read a portion relating to the character of the day, as it is stated: “And Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed seasons of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:44), which indicates that part of the mitzva of the Festivals is that the people should read the portion relating to them, each one in its appointed time.