קווץ סדוק עקום דומה למגל פסול חרות פסול דומה לחרות כשר אמר רב פפא דעביד כהימנק
that is thorny, split, or curved to the extent that it is shaped like a sickle is unfit. If it became hard as wood it is unfit. If it merely appears like hard wood but is not yet completely hardened, it is fit. Apparently, a split lulav is unfit. Rav Pappa said: The split lulav in the baraita is so split that it is shaped like a fork [heimanak], with the two sides of the split completely separated, and it appears that the lulav has two spines.
עקום דומה למגל אמר רבא לא אמרן אלא לפניו אבל לאחריו ברייתיה הוא
The baraita continues: If it is curved to the extent that it is shaped like a sickle, it is unfit. Rava said: We said that it is unfit only when it is curved forward away from the spine; however, if it is curved backward, toward the spine, it is fit for use because that is its nature, and that is the way a lulav typically grows.
אמר רב נחמן לצדדין כלפניו דמי ואמרי לה כלאחריו דמי
Rav Naḥman said: The legal status of a lulav that is curved to either of the sides is like that of a lulav curved forward, and it is unfit. And some say: Its legal status is like that of a lulav curved backward, and it is fit.
ואמר רבא האי לולבא דסליק בחד הוצא בעל מום הוא ופסול:
And Rava said: This lulav that grew with one leaf, i.e., leaves on only one side of the spine, is blemished and unfit.
נפרצו עליו כו' אמר רב פפא נפרצו דעביד כי חופיא נפרדו דאיפרוד אפרודי
§ The mishna continues: If the palm leaves were severed from the spine of the lulav, it is unfit; if its leaves were spread, it is fit. Rav Pappa said: Severed means that the leaves are completely detached from the spine, and one ties them to the lulav, so that the lulav is made like a broom. Spread means that the leaves remain attached but are merely separated from the spine in that they jut outward.
בעי רב פפא נחלקה התיומת מהו תא שמע דאמר (ר' יוחנן) אמר ר' יהושע בן לוי ניטלה התיומת פסול מאי לאו הוא הדין נחלקה לא ניטלה שאני דהא חסר ליה
Rav Pappa raised a dilemma: What is the halakha if the central twin-leaf split? The Gemara cites proof to resolve the dilemma. Come and hear that which Rabbi Yoḥanan said that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: If the central twin-leaf was removed, the lulav is unfit. What, is it not that the same is true if the twin-leaf split? The Gemara answers: No, the case where it was removed is different, because the result is that it is lacking, and an incomplete lulav is certainly unfit. However, if the leaf remains in place, even though it is split, it does not necessarily render the lulav unfit.
איכא דאמרי אמר (ר' יוחנן) אמר ריב"ל נחלקה התיומת נעשה כמי שניטלה התיומת ופסול:
Some say that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: If the central twin-leaf split, it becomes as a lulav whose central twin-leaf was removed, and it is unfit. According to this version of the statement, the dilemma is resolved.
ר' יהודה אומר: תניא ר' יהודה אומר משום ר' טרפון (ויקרא כג, מ) כפות תמרים כפות אם היה פרוד יכפתנו
§ The mishna continues. Rabbi Yehuda says: If the leaves were spread, one should bind the lulav from the top. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Tarfon that the verse states: “Branches [kappot] of a date palm.” The Sages interpret the term to mean bound [kafut], indicating that if the leaves of the lulav were spread, one should bind it.
אמר ליה רבינא לרב אשי ממאי דהאי כפות תמרים דלולבא הוא אימא חרותא בעינא כפות וליכא
Ravina said to Rav Ashi: From where is it ascertained that this term, “branches of a date palm,” is referring to the branches of the lulav? Say it is referring to the hardened branch of the date palm. Rav Ashi answered: That cannot be, as we require the lulav to be bound, and there is no binding, since at that stage the hardened leaves point outward, and binding them is impossible.
ואימא אופתא כפות מכלל דאיכא פרוד והאי כפות ועומד לעולם
The Gemara asks: If the fundamental requirement of the mitzva is a lulav that appears as one unit, say that one takes the trunk of the date palm. The Gemara answers: The term bound, from which it is derived that the branch should appear as one unit, indicates that there is the possibility that it could be spread. However, this trunk is perpetually bound, as it can never become separated.
ואימא כופרא אמר אביי (משלי ג, יז) דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום כתיב
The Gemara asks: And say the verse is referring to the branch of the date palm [kufra] that has not yet hardened completely and could still be bound, albeit with difficulty. Abaye said that it is written in praise of the Torah: “Its way are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). At that stage of development, some of the leaves are thorns that potentially wound. The Torah would not command to use that type of branch in fulfilling the mitzva.
אמר ליה רבא תוספאה לרבינא ואימא תרתי כפי דתמרי כפת כתיב ואימא חדא לההוא כף קרי ליה:
Rava, the expert in Tosefta, said to Ravina: Since the verse states “branches of a date palm” in the plural, say that one is obligated to take two palm branches in fulfilling the mitzva of the four species. Ravina answered: Although the word is vocalized in the plural, based on tradition kappot is written without the letter vav, indicating that only one is required. The Gemara suggests: And say that one is required to take only one leaf? The Gemara answers: If that were the intention of the Torah, it would not have written kappot without a vav. That single leaf is called kaf. Kappot without the vav indicates both plural, i.e., multiple leaves, and singular, i.e., one branch.
ציני הר הברזל כשרה: אמר אביי לא שנו אלא שראשו של זה מגיע לצד עיקרו של זה אבל אין ראשו של זה מגיע לצד עיקרו של זה פסול
§ The mishna continues: A lulav from the palms of the Iron Mountain is fit. It has few leaves on its spine, and those leaves are not crowded together like the leaves on a standard lulav. Abaye said: The Sages taught that this type of lulav is fit only in a case in which the top of this leaf reaches the base of that leaf above it on the spine. However, if there are so few leaves that the top of this leaf does not reach the base of that leaf, it is unfit.
תניא נמי הכי ציני הר הברזל פסולה והא אנן תנן כשרה אלא ש"מ כאביי שמע מינה
That was taught in a baraita as well: A lulav from the palms of the Iron Mountain are unfit. The Gemara asks: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that it is fit? Rather, learn from it in accordance with the statement of Abaye, that there is a distinction based on the configuration of the leaves on the lulav. Indeed, learn from it.