וְאוֹכְלִין מִתַּחַת הַנְּשָׁרִים בְּשַׁבָּת, וְנוֹתְנִין פֵּאָה לַיָּרָק. וּמִיחוּ בְּיָדָם חֲכָמִים.
and they would eat fallen fruit from beneath palm trees that shed fruit that had fallen on Shabbat; and they would designate the produce in the corner for the poor in a field of vegetables, which is exempt from this obligation even by rabbinic law. And the Sages reprimanded the people of Jericho for doing these three things.
גְּמָ׳ תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שִׁשָּׁה דְבָרִים עָשָׂה חִזְקִיָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ, עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה הוֹדוּ לוֹ, וְעַל שְׁלֹשָׁה לֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ: גֵּירַר עַצְמוֹת אָבִיו עַל מִטָּה שֶׁל חֲבָלִים — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ. כִּיתַּת נְחַשׁ הַנְּחשֶׁת — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ. גָּנַז סֵפֶר רְפוּאוֹת — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ.
GEMARA: Apropos the people of Jericho, who were reprimanded for some of their actions and not reprimanded for others, the Gemara cites a similar baraita. The Sages taught: King Hezekiah performed six actions. With regard to three of them, the Sages of his generation conceded to him; and with regard to three of them, the Sages did not concede to him. Due to King Hezekiah’s father’s wickedness, he dragged the bones of his father Ahaz on a bier of ropes and did not afford him the respect due to a king, and the Sages conceded to him. He ground the copper snake that Moses fashioned in the desert because Israel worshipped it, and the Sages conceded to him. He suppressed the Book of Cures, and they conceded to him.
וְעַל שְׁלֹשָׁה לֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ: קִיצֵּץ דְּלָתוֹת שֶׁל הֵיכָל וְשִׁיגְּרָן לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ. סָתַם מֵי גִיחוֹן הָעֶלְיוֹן — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ. עִיבֵּר נִיסָן בְּנִיסָן — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ.
And with regard to three actions, the Sages did not concede to him. He cut off the doors of the Sanctuary and sent them to the King of Assyria, and they did not concede to him because he thereby demeaned the Temple. He sealed the waters of the upper Gihon stream, diverting its water into the city by means of a tunnel, and they did not concede to him, because he harmed the local populace in the process and should have relied upon God (Me’iri). He intercalated the year, delaying the advent of the month of Nisan during Nisan, and they did not concede to him. The Gemara explains that he declared the first of Nisan to be the thirtieth of Adar and only then intercalated the year (see II Chronicles 30:2).
מַרְכִּיבִין דְּקָלִים כׇּל הַיּוֹם וְכוּ׳. הֵיכִי עָבְדִי? אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה: מַיְיתֵי אָסָא דָּרָא וְשִׁיכְרָא דְּדַפְנָא וְקִימְחָא דִשְׂעָרֵי דִּרְמֵי בְּמָנָא דְּלָא חָלְפִי עֲלֵיהּ אַרְבְּעִין יוֹמִין, וּמַרְתְּחִי לְהוּ, וְשָׁדוּ לְהוּ לְדִיקְלָא בְּלִיבֵּיהּ, וְכׇל דְּקָאֵי בְּאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת דִּידֵיהּ, אִי לָא עָבְדִי לֵיהּ הָכִי — צָאוֵי לְאַלְתַּר. רַב אַחָא בְּרֵיהּ דְּרָבָא אָמַר: מַנְּחִי כּוּפְרָא דִּיכְרָא לְנוּקְבְּתָא.
We learned in the mishna: They would graft palm trees the entire day of the fourteenth of Nisan. The Gemara asks: How did they perform this grafting? Rabbi Yehuda said: They brought fresh myrtle, strong beer made from the fruit of the laurel tree, and barley flour that was cast into a vessel, and forty days has not passed since it was ground. They boiled them together and poured the mixture into the core of the palm tree. And for any tree standing within four cubits of that tree, if they did not perform this treatment with it, it would immediately wither because the tree that received the treatment would grow faster at the expense of the surrounding trees. Rav Aḥa, son of Rava, said: They placed a branch of a male palm tree on the female, and by doing so the female tree would yield fruit.
וְכוֹרְכִין אֶת שְׁמַע. הֵיכִי עָבְדִי? אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה: אוֹמְרִים ״שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד״, וְלֹא הָיוּ מַפְסִיקִין. רָבָא אָמַר: מַפְסִיקִין הָיוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים ״הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ״, דְּמַשְׁמַע: הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ, וְלֹא מָחָר עַל לְבָבֶךָ. תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: כֵּיצַד הָיוּ כּוֹרְכִין אֶת שְׁמַע? אוֹמְרִים ״שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד״, וְלֹא הָיוּ מַפְסִיקִין, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: מַפְסִיקִין הָיוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ אוֹמְרִים ״בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד״.
We learned in the mishna that the residents of Jericho would bundle Shema. The Gemara asks: What does it mean that they bundled Shema? How did they do so? Rabbi Yehuda said that they recited: “Hear Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One” (Deuteronomy 6:4), and they would not pause between words. Rava said: They would pause between words, but instead of reciting this verse in the proper manner: “That which I command you today, shall be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:5), pausing after the word today; they would say: Today shall be on your heart, inferring: Today it will be on your heart, and tomorrow it will not be on your heart. The Sages taught in the Tosefta: How would they bundle Shema? They recited: “Hear Israel, the Lord is our God the Lord is One,” without pausing; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: They paused, but they would not recite: Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.
וַאֲנַן, מַאי טַעְמָא אָמְרִינַן לֵיהּ? כִּדְדָרֵישׁ רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ.
The Gemara asks: What is the reason that we recite that passage: Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever, even though it does not appear in the Torah? The Gemara answers: We recite it in accordance with that which Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish interpreted homiletically.
דְּאָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ: ״וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם״. בִּיקֵּשׁ יַעֲקֹב לְגַלּוֹת לְבָנָיו קֵץ הַיָּמִין, וְנִסְתַּלְּקָה מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁכִינָה. אָמַר: שֶׁמָּא חַס וְשָׁלוֹם יֵשׁ בְּמִטָּתִי פְּסוּל, כְּאַבְרָהָם שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, וְאָבִי יִצְחָק שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ עֵשָׂו? אָמְרוּ לוֹ בָּנָיו: ״שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד״. אָמְרוּ: כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין בְּלִבְּךָ אֶלָּא אֶחָד, כָּךְ אֵין בְּלִבֵּנוּ אֶלָּא אֶחָד. בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה פָּתַח יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ וְאָמַר: ״בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד״.
As Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said that it is written: “And Jacob called his sons and said, Gather around and I will tell you what will occur to you in the end of days” (Genesis 49:1). Jacob wanted to reveal to his sons when the complete redemption would arrive at the end of days (see Daniel 12:13), but the Divine Presence abandoned him, rendering him unable to prophesy. He said: Perhaps the Divine Presence has abandoned me because, Heaven forfend, one of my descendants is unfit, as was the case with my grandfather Abraham, from whom Ishmael emerged, and like my father Isaac, from whom Esau emerged. His sons said to him: Hear Israel, our father, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. They said: Just as there is only one God in your heart, so too, there is only one in our hearts. At that moment Jacob our father said in praise: Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever, as all his children were righteous.
אָמְרִי רַבָּנַן: הֵיכִי נַעֲבֵיד? נֵאמְרֵיהּ, לֹא אֲמָרוֹ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ. לָא נֵאמְרֵיהּ, אֲמָרוֹ יַעֲקֹב. הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בַּחֲשַׁאי. אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק, אָמְרִי דְּבֵי רַבִּי אַמֵּי: מָשָׁל לְבַת מֶלֶךְ שֶׁהֵרִיחָה צִיקֵי קְדֵירָה. אִם תֹּאמַר — יֵשׁ לָהּ גְּנַאי. לֹא תֹּאמַר — יֵשׁ לָהּ צַעַר. הִתְחִילוּ עֲבָדֶיהָ לְהָבִיא בַּחֲשַׁאי.
The Rabbis said: What should we do? Shall we recite this verse? But Moses our teacher did not say it in the Torah as part of Shema. Shall we not recite it? But Jacob said it. In order to resolve this dilemma they established that this passage should be recited surreptitiously. Rabbi Yitzḥak said that the school of Rabbi Ami said: This is analogous to the daughter of a king who smelled the fragrance of the dried spices stuck to the bottom of the pot and craved to eat them. What can she do? If she tells her servants to give it to her, she will be disgraced, as the dried spices are a contemptible food. However, if she does not say she wants to eat them, she will endure suffering. Her servants began to bring them to her surreptitiously. One should conduct himself in that manner in similar cases of uncertainty.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֲבָהוּ: הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בְּקוֹל רָם, מִפְּנֵי תַּרְעוֹמֶת הַמִּינִין. וּבִנְהַרְדְּעָא, דְּלֵיכָּא מִינִין, עַד הַשְׁתָּא אָמְרִי לַהּ בַּחֲשַׁאי.
Rabbi Abbahu said: The Sages instituted that the people should recite it aloud due to the grievance of the heretics. It was instituted to prevent the heretics from claiming that the Jews are surreptitiously reciting inappropriate statements. The Gemara adds: In Neharde’a, where there are no heretics, they recite it surreptitiously even now.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שִׁשָּׁה דְּבָרִים עָשׂוּ אַנְשֵׁי יְרִיחוֹ, שְׁלֹשָׁה בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, וּשְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים. וְאֵלּוּ בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים: מַרְכִּיבִין דְּקָלִים כׇּל הַיּוֹם, וְכוֹרְכִין אֶת שְׁמַע, וְקוֹצְרִין לִפְנֵי הָעוֹמֶר. וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים: גּוֹדְשִׁין לִפְנֵי הָעוֹמֶר, וּפוֹרְצִין פְּרָצוֹת בְּגַנּוֹתֵיהֶן וּבְפַרְדְּסוֹתֵיהֶן לְהַאֲכִיל נֶשֶׁר לַעֲנִיִּים בִּשְׁנֵי בַצּוֹרֶת בְּשַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים, וּמַתִּירִין גַּמְזִיּוֹת שֶׁל הֶקְדֵּשׁ שֶׁל חָרוּב וְשֶׁל שִׁקְמָה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר.
The Sages taught a related matter in the Tosefta: The people of Jericho performed six actions, three in keeping with the will of the Sages and three against the will of the Sages. And these are what they did in keeping with the will of the Sages: They would graft palm trees the entire day of the fourteenth of Nisan; and they would bundle Shema; and they would harvest grain before the omer offering was brought. And these are what they did against the will of the Sages: They would pile the harvest before the omer; and they would make breaches in the walls of their gardens and their orchards to feed fallen fruit to the poor during drought years, so that the poor could take the fruit that had fallen on Shabbat and Festivals; and they would permit the use of consecrated branches of carob and of sycamore trees. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir.
אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה: אִם בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין, יְהוּ כׇּל אָדָם עוֹשִׂין כֵּן. אֶלָּא: אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין, עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה מִיחוּ בְּיָדָם, וְעַל שְׁלֹשָׁה לֹא מִיחוּ בְּיָדָם.
Rabbi Yehuda said to him: It is inaccurate to formulate it in that manner, as if they acted in keeping with the will of the Sages, all people would do so, not only the residents of Jericho. Rather, formulate it in this manner: Both these three acts and those three were performed against the will of the Sages. With regard to three the Sages reprimanded them; and with regard to three the Sages did not reprimand them. Since one could contend that the latter are permitted and the people of Jericho had already performed them, the Sages chose not to reprimand them.
וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא מִיחוּ בְּיָדָם: מַרְכִּיבִין דְּקָלִים כׇּל הַיּוֹם, וְכוֹרְכִין אֶת שְׁמַע, וְקוֹצְרִין וְגוֹדְשִׁין לִפְנֵי הָעוֹמֶר. וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁמִּיחוּ בְּיָדָם: מַתִּירִין גַּמְזִיּוֹת שֶׁל הֶקְדֵּשׁ שֶׁל חָרוּב וְשֶׁל שִׁקְמָה, וּפוֹרְצִין פְּרָצוֹת בְּגַנּוֹתֵיהֶן וּפַרְדְּסֵיהֶן לְהַאֲכִיל נֶשֶׁר לַעֲנִיִּים בְּשַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים בִּשְׁנֵי בַצּוֹרֶת, נוֹתְנִין פֵּיאָה לַיָּרָק, וּמִיחוּ בְּיָדָם חֲכָמִים.
And these are what they did for which the Sages did not reprimand them: They would graft palm trees the entire day; and they would bundle Shema; and they would harvest and pile grain before the omer offering was brought. And these are what they did for which the Sages reprimanded them: They would permit the use of consecrated branches of carob and of sycamore trees; they would make breaches in the walls of their gardens and orchards on Shabbat and Festivals, in order to feed the poor fallen fruit during drought years; and they would designate for the poor the produce in the corner in a field of vegetables. And the Sages reprimanded them for those actions.
וְסָבַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה קְצִירָה שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים הִיא? וְהָתְנַן: אַנְשֵׁי יְרִיחוֹ קוֹצְרִין לִפְנֵי הָעוֹמֶר בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, וְגוֹדְשִׁין לִפְנֵי הָעוֹמֶר שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, וְלֹא מִיחוּ בְּיָדָם חֲכָמִים.
The Gemara asks: And does Rabbi Yehuda maintain that this harvest performed by the residents of Jericho was against the will of the Sages? Didn’t we learn in a mishna: The people of Jericho would harvest before the omer, in keeping with the will of the Sages, and they would pile the grain before the omer, against the will of the Sages, but the Sages did not reprimand them?