וְאַל יְשַׁנֶּה אָדָם מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלוֹקֶת כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ הַמּוֹלִיךְ פֵּירוֹת שְׁבִיעִית מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁכָּלוּ לִמְקוֹם שֶׁלֹּא כָּלוּ אוֹ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁלֹּא כָּלוּ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁכָּלוּ חַיָּיב לְבַעֵר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר צֵא וְהָבֵא לְךָ אַף אַתָּה
The Sages stated a principle: And a person may not deviate from the local custom, due to potential dispute. Similarly, one who transports Sabbatical Year produce from a place where a crop has ceased in the fields to a place where it has not yet ceased or from a place where it has not yet ceased to a place where it has already ceased is obligated to remove the produce from his possession, in accordance with the stringencies of both locations. It is permitted for homeowners to eat Sabbatical Year produce in their houses only as long as that species of fruit remains in the field as ownerless property. However, once that particular fruit is no longer available for animals in the fields, one is required to remove what remains of that species from his home. The statement in the mishna is referring to one who transported fruit from a location where it ceased in the fields to one where it did not, and vice versa. Rabbi Yehuda says that he need not remove the produce, as he can say to a local resident: You, too, go out and bring this produce from a place where it remains in the field.
גְּמָ׳ מַאי אִירְיָא עַרְבֵי פְסָחִים אֲפִילּוּ עַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת וְעַרְבֵי יָמִים טוֹבִים נָמֵי דְּתַנְיָא הָעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בְּעַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם הָתָם מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה הוּא דְּאָסוּר סָמוּךְ לַמִּנְחָה לָא הָכָא מֵחֲצוֹת אִי נָמֵי הָתָם סִימָן בְּרָכָה הוּא דְּלָא חָזֵי אֲבָל שַׁמּוֹתֵי לָא מְשַׁמְּתִינַן לֵיהּ הָכָא שַׁמּוֹתֵי נָמֵי מְשַׁמְּתִינַן לֵיהּ
GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Why discuss this prohibition particularly with regard to Passover eves? It is prohibited to perform labor even on Shabbat eves and Festival eves as well, as it was taught in a baraita: One who performs labor on Shabbat eves and Festival eves from minḥa time onward never sees a sign of blessing from this work. The Gemara answers that there is a difference between the two situations: There, in the case of Shabbat and Festivals, performing labor is prohibited from minḥa time onward; it is not prohibited adjacent to minḥa time, i.e., just before it. Here, in the case of Passover eve, it is prohibited from midday. Alternatively, there, on Shabbat eve and Festival eve, it is a sign of blessing that he does not see; however, the Sages do not excommunicate him for performing labor. Here, in the case of Passover eve, the Sages also excommunicate him for performing labor, as it is explicitly prohibited.
גּוּפָא הָעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בְּעַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת וּבְעַרְבֵי יָמִים טוֹבִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה וּבְמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת וּבְמוֹצָאֵי יוֹם טוֹב וּבְמוֹצָאֵי יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וּבְכׇל מָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם נִידְנוּד עֲבֵירָה לְאֵתוֹיֵי תַּעֲנִית צִיבּוּר אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם
The Gemara cites the source of the matter itself in its entirety: One who performs labor on Shabbat eves or on Festival eves from minḥa time onward, and similarly one who works immediately upon the conclusion of Shabbat, or the conclusion of a Festival, or the conclusion of Yom Kippur, or on any occasion where there is a trace of sin, which comes to include a communal fast, e.g., the Ninth of Av or a fast for rain, when it is prohibited to perform labor, never sees a sign of blessing from this work. If one performs labor just before Shabbat or immediately after Shabbat, the concern is that even a slight miscalculation could lead to performance of labor on Shabbat itself, when it is prohibited.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן יֵשׁ זָרִיז וְנִשְׂכָּר וְיֵשׁ זָרִיז וְנִפְסָד יֵשׁ שָׁפָל וְנִשְׂכָּר וְיֵשׁ שָׁפָל וְנִפְסָד זָרִיז וְנִשְׂכָּר דְּעָבֵיד כּוּלֵּי שַׁבְּתָא וְלָא עָבֵיד בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא זָרִיז וְנִפְסָד דְּעָבֵיד כּוּלֵּי שַׁבְּתָא וְעָבֵיד בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא שָׁפָל וְנִשְׂכָּר דְּלָא עָבֵיד כּוּלֵּי שַׁבְּתָא וְלָא עָבֵיד בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא שָׁפָל וְנִפְסָד דְּלָא עָבֵיד כּוּלֵּי שַׁבְּתָא וְעָבֵיד בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא אָמַר רָבָא הָנֵי נְשֵׁי דְמָחוֹזָא אַף עַל גַּב דְּלָא עָבְדָן עֲבִידְתָּא בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא מִשּׁוּם מְפַנְּקוּתָא הוּא דְּהָא כׇּל יוֹמָא נָמֵי לָא קָא עָבְדָן אֲפִילּוּ הָכִי שָׁפָל וְנִשְׂכָּר קָרֵינַן לְהוּ
Apropos reward or lack thereof, the Gemara cites the Tosefta in which the Sages taught: There is one who is diligent and rewarded for his diligence; and there is one who is diligent and penalized due to his diligence; there is one who is lazy and rewarded; and there is one who is lazy and penalized. How so? Diligent and rewarded is referring to one who works the entire week and does not work on Shabbat eve. Diligent and penalized is one who works all week and works on Shabbat eve. Lazy and rewarded is one who does not work the entire week and does not work on Shabbat eve. Lazy and penalized is one who does not work the entire week and works on Shabbat eve to complete the work he neglected to perform during the week. Rava said: With regard to those women of Meḥoza, even though they do not perform labor on Shabbat eve, it is due to excessive pampering, as neither do they work on any other day. Even so, we call them lazy and rewarded. Despite the fact that their laziness is not motivated by piety, their inactivity has a positive aspect to it.
רָבָא רָמֵי כְּתִיב כִּי גָדֹל עַד שָׁמַיִם חַסְדֶּךָ וּכְתִיב כִּי גָדֹל מֵעַל שָׁמַיִם חַסְדֶּךָ הָא כֵּיצַד כָּאן בְּעוֹשִׂין לִשְׁמָהּ וְכָאן בְּעוֹשִׂין שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁמָהּ וְכִדְרַב יְהוּדָה דְּאָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב לְעוֹלָם יַעֲסוֹק אָדָם בְּתוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁמָהּ שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁמָהּ בָּא לִשְׁמָהּ
On the topic of reward for a mitzva fulfilled without intent, Rava raised a contradiction: It is written: “For Your mercy is great unto the heavens, and Your truth reaches the skies” (Psalms 57:11); and it is written elsewhere: “For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches the skies” (Psalms 108:5). How so? How can these verses be reconciled? The Gemara explains: Here, where the verse says that God’s mercy is above the heavens, it is referring to a case where one performs a mitzva for its own sake; and here, where the verse says that God’s mercy reaches the heavens, it is referring to a case where one performs a mitzva not for its own sake. Even a mitzva performed with ulterior motives garners reward, as Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: A person should always engage in Torah study and performance of mitzvot, even if he does so not for their own sake, as through the performance of mitzvot not for their own sake, one gains understanding and comes to perform them for their own sake.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן הַמְצַפֶּה לִשְׂכַר אִשְׁתּוֹ וְרֵיחַיִם אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם שְׂכַר אִשְׁתּוֹ מַתְקוּלְתָּא רִיחְיָיא אַגְרָתָא אֲבָל עָבְדָה וּמְזַבְּנָה אִישְׁתַּבּוֹחֵי מִשְׁתַּבַּח בָּהּ קְרָא דִּכְתִיב סָדִין עָשְׂתָה וַתִּמְכֹּר
The Sages taught: One who anticipates receiving the earnings of his wife or of a mill never sees a sign of blessing from them. The Gemara explains: Earnings of his wife is referring to a case where she spins thread for others and charges by weight on a scale (Rabbeinu Ḥananel). The profit is small and it is demeaning to walk in public to solicit customers. Earnings of the mill is referring to a hand mill for which people pay rent and grind their grain. In that case too, the profits are meager. However, if a woman works and sells the product of her labor, the verse praises her, as it is written about a woman of valor: “She made a cloak and sold it, and delivered a belt to the peddler” (Proverbs 31:24).
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן הַמִּשְׂתַּכֵּר בְּקָנִים וּבְקַנְקַנִּים אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם מַאי טַעְמָא כֵּיוָן דִּנְפִישׁ אַפְחָזַיְיהוּ שָׁלְטָא בְּהוּ עֵינָא תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן תַּגָּרֵי סִימְטָא וּמְגַדְּלֵי בְּהֵמָה דַּקָּה וְקוֹצְצֵי אִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְנוֹתְנִין עֵינֵיהֶן בְּחֵלֶק יָפֶה אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם מַאי טַעְמָא דְּתָהוּ בֵּיהּ אִינָשֵׁי
The Sages taught with regard to a sign of blessing: One who earns a living from selling rods or jugs will never see a sign of blessing from them. What is the reason for this? Since their volume is great, the evil eye dominates them. People believe that one is selling more than he is actually selling. Similarly, the Sages taught: Merchants who sell their wares in an alleyway [simta] adjacent to a thoroughfare, where they are seen by all; and those who raise small livestock, which tend to damage other people’s fields; and those who chop down good fruit trees, even if they were permitted to do so; and those who direct their eyes to the fine portion with the intention of taking that portion for himself when dividing an item with others, will never see a sign of blessing from them. What is the reason for this? It is that due to these actions people wonder about him and pay special attention to his conduct. Due to that attention, his actions will not be blessed.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן אַרְבַּע פְּרוּטוֹת אֵין בָּהֶן סִימָן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם שְׂכַר כּוֹתְבִין וּשְׂכַר מְתוּרְגְּמָנִין וּשְׂכַר יְתוֹמִים וּמָעוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִמְּדִינַת הַיָּם
Similarly the Sages taught: In four perutot, payments, there is never a sign of blessing: Wages of scribes of sacred books; wages of disseminators, who repeat and explain the lectures delivered by the Sages on Shabbat; payment of orphans, which one receives when engaging in a partnership with the executor of an orphan’s estate; and money that comes from a country overseas.
בִּשְׁלָמָא שְׂכַר מְתוּרְגְּמָנִין מִשּׁוּם דְּמִיחֲזֵי כִּשְׂכַר שַׁבָּת וּמָעוֹת יְתוֹמִים נָמֵי לָאו בְּנֵי מְחִילָה נִינְהוּ מָעוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִמְּדִינַת הַיָּם מִשּׁוּם דְּלָאו כׇּל יוֹמָא מִתְרְחִישׁ נִיסָּא
The Gemara asks: Granted, one will be unsuccessful when receiving wages of disseminators, as it appears as if he is receiving wages for work performed on Shabbat, even though what he is doing is not actually prohibited. And it is also understandable that one will see no blessing from orphans’ money, as minors are not capable of relinquishing property. Minors do not have the legal right to forgive even negligible losses, which partners typically overlook. Therefore, one who in the course of business takes even the smallest amount of money from them beyond the sum to which he is entitled is considered a thief. One sees no blessing from money that comes from a country overseas, because a miracle does not transpire every day. Since the risks involved in shipping cargo on long sea voyages are great, one’s merit is diminished each time his merchandise miraculously arrives intact.
אֶלָּא שְׂכַר כּוֹתְבִין מַאי טַעְמָא אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע תַּעֲנִיּוֹת יָשְׁבוּ אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה עַל כּוֹתְבֵי סְפָרִים תְּפִילִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת שֶׁלֹּא יִתְעַשְּׁרוּ שֶׁאִילְמָלֵי מִתְעַשְּׁרִין אֵין כּוֹתְבִין תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן כּוֹתְבֵי סְפָרִים תְּפִילִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת הֵן וְתַגָּרֵיהֶן וְתַגָּרֵי תַגָּרֵיהֶן וְכׇל הָעוֹסְקִין בִּמְלֶאכֶת שָׁמַיִם לְאֵיתוֹיֵי מוֹכְרֵי תְכֵלֶת אֵינָן רוֹאִין סִימָן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם וְאִם עוֹסְקִין לִשְׁמָהּ רוֹאִין
However, what is the reason that one sees no blessing from wages of scribes? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: The members of the Great Assembly observed twenty-four fasts, corresponding to the twenty-four priestly watches (Maharsha), for scribes who write Torah scrolls, phylacteries, and mezuzot, so that they will not become wealthy from their craft, as were they to become wealthy, they would no longer write these sacred items. Similarly, the Sages taught: Scribes who write scrolls, phylacteries, and mezuzot; and their merchants, who buy the sacred scrolls from the scribes to sell them; and their merchants’ merchants; and all those engaged in the work of Heaven and earn their living from it, a phrase that comes to include those who sell the sky-blue dye for ritual fringes, never see a sign of blessing from their labor. And if they engage in these activities for their own sake, to ensure that there will be more sacred items available to the public, then they do see blessing from their labor.
בְּנֵי בַיְישָׁן נְהוּג דְּלָא הֲווֹ אָזְלִין מִצּוֹר לְצִידוֹן בְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא אֲתוֹ בְּנַיְיהוּ קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אָמְרוּ לוֹ אֲבָהָתִין אֶפְשָׁר לְהוּ אֲנַן לָא אֶפְשָׁר לַן אֲמַר לְהוּ כְּבָר קִיבְּלוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ וְאַל תִּטּוֹשׁ תּוֹרַת אִמֶּךָ
As the mishna discusses the requirement to observe local customs, the Gemara relates: The residents of Beit She’an were accustomed not to travel from Tyre to market day in Sidon on Shabbat eve. In deference to Shabbat, they adopted a stringency and would not interrupt their Shabbat preparations even for a short sea voyage. Their children came before Rabbi Yoḥanan to request that he repeal this custom. They said to him: Due to their wealth, it was possible for our fathers to earn a living without traveling to the market on Friday; however, it is not possible for us to do so. He said to them: Your fathers already accepted this virtuous custom upon themselves, and it remains in effect for you, as it is stated: “My son, hear your father’s rebuke and do not abandon your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8). In addition to adhering to one’s father’s rebuke, i.e., halakha, one is also required to preserve his mother’s teaching, i.e., ancestral customs.
בְּנֵי חוֹזָאֵי נָהֲגִי דְּמַפְרְשִׁי חַלָּה מֵאָרוֹזָא אֲתוֹ וַאֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לְרַב יוֹסֵף אֲמַר לְהוּ נֵיכְלַהּ זָר בְּאַפַּיְיהוּ אֵיתִיבֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי דְּבָרִים הַמְוֻתָּרִים וַאֲחֵרִים נָהֲגוּ בָּהֶן אִיסּוּר
The Gemara relates additional customs: The residents of the city of Ḥozai were accustomed to separate ḥalla from rice dough. They came and told Rav Yosef about this custom. He said to them: Let a non-priest eat this dough in their presence to show them unequivocally that this custom has no legal basis. Abaye raised an objection to him: With regard to matters that are permitted, but others were accustomed to treat them as a prohibition,