מדלין שלופי כדתנן המידל בגפנים כשם שהוא מידל בשלו כך הוא מידל בשל עניים דברי ר' יהודה רבי מאיר אומר בשלו רשאי ואינו רשאי בשל עניים
one may draw is that one may pull out some of the vegetables that are growing densely together. The baraita comes to teach that one is permitted to thin out a garden bed on the intermediate days of a Festival in order to eat on the Festival those that he removes, but he is prohibited to do so in order to enhance the appearance of those that remain. As we learned in a mishna (Pe’a 7:5): One who thins out [meidel] the vines in his vineyard, just as he may thin out his own vines, so too, he may thin out the vines set aside for the poor. Since he is doing it for the sake of the vines, he may also thin out what he leaves for the poor; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Meir disagrees and says: His own vines he is permitted to thin out, but he is not permitted to thin out the vines set aside for the poor. This mishna indicates that the term meidel can be used to mean thinning out and does not refer only to drawing water.
אמר ליה והתניא מדלין מים לירקות כדי לאוכלן אמר ליה אי תניא תניא:
Ravina said to Rabba Tosefa’a: But wasn’t it explicitly taught in a baraita: One may draw water to irrigate vegetables in order to eat them? Rabba Tosefa’a said to him: If it is taught explicitly in a baraita, the halakha is as it is taught, and I retract my statement.
ואין עושין עוגיות לגפנים: מאי עוגיות אמר רב יהודה בנכי תניא נמי הכי אלו הן עוגיות בדידין שבעיקרי זיתים ושבעיקרי גפנים
§ It was taught in the mishna: And one may not construct circular ditches [ugiyyot] around the bases of grapevines on the intermediate days of a Festival. The Gemara asks: What are ugiyyot? Rav Yehuda said: They are what are called in Aramaic binkei, circular ditches around vines. The Gemara notes that this is also taught in a baraita: These are ugiyyot: Bedidin, circular ditches around the bases of olive trees and around the bases of grapevines.
איני והא רב יהודה שרא לבני בר ציתאי למעבד בנכי לכרמיהון לא קשיא הא בחדתי הא בעתיקי:
The Gemara asks: Is that so? Is it prohibited to dig circular ditches on the intermediate days of the Festival? Didn’t Rav Yehuda permit the family of bar Tzitai to construct circular ditches for their vineyards on the intermediate days of a Festival? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This source, i.e., the mishna that renders the practice prohibited, is referring to digging new ditches. That other source, i.e., Rav Yehuda’s ruling that permits the digging of such ditches, is referring to old ones, which merely need to be cleared.
ר' אלעזר בן עזריה אומר אין עושין את האמה: בשלמא מועד משום דקא טרח אלא שביעית מאי טעמא
§ It was taught in the next clause of the mishna that Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: One may not construct a new water channel during the intermediate days of a Festival or during the Sabbatical Year. The Gemara asks: Granted, it is prohibited for him to do so on the intermediate days of a Festival, because in so doing he excessively exerts himself on the Festival. But what is the reason that this is prohibited during the Sabbatical Year, when only labors that enhance the growth of plants are prohibited?
פליגו בה רבי זירא ורבי אבא בר ממל חד אמר מפני שנראה כעודר וחד אמר מפני שמכשיר אגפיה לזריעה
The Gemara answers: Rabbi Zeira and Rabbi Abba bar Memel disagreed with regard to this issue. One of them said: It is prohibited because it appears to others as if he were hoeing his field. As onlookers do not know that he is merely digging a water channel, they suspect him of working his land during the Sabbatical Year. And the other one said: It is prohibited because he thereby prepares the channel’s banks for planting, for when he digs out the channel, he piles the fresh soil that is fit for planting on its two banks.
מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו דקא אתו מיא בתריה מאן דאמר מפני שמכשיר אגפיה לזריעה איכא ומ"ד מפני שנראה כעודר ליכא
The Gemara asks: What is the practical halakhic difference between them? The Gemara answers: There is a practical halakhic difference between them in a case where water comes into the channel immediately after he digs it out. According to the one who said that digging a water channel is prohibited because he thereby prepares its banks for planting, there is still a prohibition, as here too, he piles the fresh soil on the channel’s banks. But according to the one who said it is prohibited because it appears as if he were hoeing, there is no prohibition here, as the immediate entry of water makes it obvious that he is digging a water channel.
ולמאן דאמר מפני שנראה כעודר ליחוש מפני שמכשיר אגפיה לזריעה אלא איכא בינייהו דקא שקיל מיניה ושדי לבראי למאן דאמר מפני שמכשיר אגפיה לזריעה ליכא למ"ד מפני שנראה כעודר איכא
The Gemara asks: But according to the one who said that digging a water channel is prohibited because it appears as if he were hoeing, let him be concerned that the digger thereby prepares the channel’s banks for planting and render digging prohibited in this case as well. Rather, the matter must be explained differently, such that there is a practical difference between them in a case where he takes the earth that he excavates from the channel and throws it a considerable distance outside. According to the one who said that it is prohibited because he thereby prepares the channel’s banks for planting, there is no prohibition here, as he does not prepare them for planting. But according to the one who said it is prohibited because it appears as if he were hoeing, there is a prohibition here, as here too, it appears as if he were hoeing.
ולמ"ד מפני שמכשיר אגפיה לזריעה ליחוש מפני שנראה כעודר עודר נמי כי קא שקיל בדוכתיה מנח ליה
The Gemara asks: But according to the one who said that digging a water channel is prohibited because he thereby prepares its banks for planting, let him be concerned that the digger appears as if he were hoeing. The Gemara answers that this is not a concern, because it is also true of one who hoes that when he takes up a clump of earth, he puts it down again in its place. Consequently, since one throws the dug-up earth far away, it is immediately apparent that he is not engaged in hoeing but is rather digging a water channel.
אמימר מתני לה מפני שנראה כעודר וקשיא ליה דרבי אלעזר בן עזריה אדר' אלעזר בן עזריה ומי אמר ר' אלעזר בן עזריה כל שנראה כעודר אסור
Ameimar would teach this mishna as stating explicitly that Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says that one may not dig a new water channel during the Sabbatical Year because it appears as if he were hoeing his field, and he therefore found a difficulty between this statement of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya and another statement of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya. The difficulty is as follows: Did Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya actually say that any action that causes him to appear as if he were hoeing is prohibited?
ורמינהי עושה אדם את זבלו אוצר ר' מאיר אוסר עד שיעמיק שלשה טפחים או עד שיגביה ג' טפחים היה לו דבר מועט מוסיף עליו והולך
One may raise a contradiction to this assertion from a mishna (Shevi’it 3:3) that states: A person may pile his manure in his field during the Sabbatical Year so that it becomes a storage heap, and there is no cause for concern that it may appear as if he were fertilizing his field. Rabbi Meir prohibits this unless he deepens the storage area for the manure three handbreadths below the ground or raises it three handbreadths above the surface of the ground, so that it does not appear as if he were fertilizing his field. If he already had a small amount of manure in that heap from before the Sabbatical Year, he may continue to add to it, and there is no need for concern.
רבי אלעזר בן עזריה אוסר עד שיעמיק שלשה או עד שיגביה שלשה או עד שיתן על הסלע
Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya prohibits piling his manure in his field unless he deepens the storage area for the manure three handbreadths below the surface of the ground, or he raises it three handbreadths above the surface, or he places it on a rock. In any event, it seems that according to Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, it is permitted for him to dig a hole in the ground in order to deposit his manure there, even though he might appear to be hoeing the ground.
ר' זירא ור' אבא בר ממל חד אמר כגון שהעמיק וחד אמר זיבלו מוכיח עליו:
Rabbi Zeira and Rabbi Abba bar Memel both offered resolutions to this difficulty: One of them said: The case in this second mishna is one where he had already deepened the three-handbreadth pit during the sixth year. And the other one said: His pile of manure is proof that he intends merely to bury the manure and not to hoe the field.
ומתקנין את המקולקלת במועד: מאי מקולקלת אמר רבי אבא שאם היתה עמוקה טפח מעמידה על ששה טפחים
§ It was taught in the mishna that the Rabbis say: One may repair a damaged water channel during the intermediate days of a Festival. What is meant by a damaged water channel? Rabbi Abba said that if it was now a handbreadth deep because it had become filled with sediment, he may dredge it out until he sets it at its original depth of six handbreadths.
פשיטא חצי טפח על שלשה טפחים כיון דלא עבר מיא לא כלום הוא טפחיים על שנים עשר דקא טרח טירחא יתירא לא
Based on this ruling, the Gemara clarifies several practical issues: It is obvious that if the channel is half a handbreadth deep and he wants to restore it to a depth of three handbreadths, since water does not flow through a three-handbreadth-deep channel in sufficient quantity, it is nothing at all and it is certainly prohibited to exert oneself with work that provides insignificant benefit. So too, if the channel is two handbreadths deep and he wants to deepen it to twelve handbreadths, even though he preserves the same ratio as in Rabbi Abba’s case, since it involves excessive exertion, no, this is also not permitted.
טפחיים על שבעה מהו הכא חמשה קא מעמיק והכא חמשה קא מעמיק או דלמא כיון דאיכא טפח יתירא איכא טירחא טפי תיקו
However, in a case where the channel is two handbreadths deep and he wants to deepen it to seven handbreadths, what is the halakha? The Gemara explains the two sides of the question of whether this can be compared to the case in the mishna: Here, in the case of dredging a one-handbreadth-deep channel to restore its depth of six handbreadths, he deepens the channel by five handbreadths, and similarly here, in the case of deepening the channel from two to seven handbreadths, he likewise wants to deepen it by five handbreadths, and therefore it should be permitted. Or perhaps, since there is an extra handbreadth of depth, then bending over to dig that additional handbreadth involves greater effort, which is unnecessary, and so possibly it should be prohibited. The Gemara states that the dilemma shall stand unresolved.
אביי שרא לבני בר המדך לשחופי נהרא רבי ירמיה שרא להו לבני סכותא למיכרא נהרא טמימא רב אשי שרא להו לבני מתא מחסיא לאקדוחי נהר בורניץ אמר כיון דשתו מיניה רבים כרבים דמי ותנן עושין כל צורכי רבים:
It was related that Abaye permitted the people of Bar Hamdakh to remove the branches of the trees from the river on the intermediate days of a Festival. Rabbi Yirmeya permitted the people of Sekhavta to dredge out a river that had become blocked. Rav Ashi permitted his townsmen, the people of Mata Meḥasya, to clean out the nearby Burnitz River. He said: Since the public drinks from it, it is considered like a public need, and we learned in the mishna that one may tend to all other public needs on the intermediate days of a Festival.
§ It was taught in the mishna: During the intermediate days of a Festival one may repair