שנים ושלשה מקומות הוי מנומר ופסול
If the berries are distributed in two or three places, the myrtle branch is speckled with different colors in different places. It lacks beauty and is certainly unfit.
אלא אי אתמר הכי אתמר או שהיו ענביו מרובין מעליו פסול אמר רב חסדא דבר זה רבינו הגדול אמרו והמקום יהיה בעזרו ל"ש אלא ענביו שחורות אבל ענביו ירוקות מיני דהדס הוא וכשר
Rather, emend the text: If this statement was stated, it was stated as follows: Or, if its berries were more numerous than its leaves, it is unfit. Rav Ḥisda said: This statement was stated by our great rabbi, Rav, and may the Omnipresent come to his assistance: The Sages taught this halakha only with regard to ripe, black berries, since they stand in stark contrast to the green leaves of the branch, which then appears speckled. However, if its berries are green, they are considered of the same type as the myrtle branch, as they are the same color. Consequently, the branch does not appear speckled, and therefore it is fit.
אמר רב פפא אדומות כשחורות דמיין דא"ר חנינא האי דם שחור אדום הוא אלא שלקה:
Rav Pappa said: The legal status of red berries is like that of black ones, as Rabbi Ḥanina said: In the case of menstrual blood, this black blood is actually red blood, except that it deteriorated. Red and black are considered two shades of the same color.
אם מיעטן כשר: דמעטינהו אימת אילימא מקמיה דלאגדיה פשיטא אלא לבתר דלאגדיה דחוי מעיקרא הוא תפשוט מינה דחוי מעיקרא לא הוי דחוי
§ The mishna continues: If he diminished their number, it is fit. The Gemara asks: This is a case where he diminished their number when? If you say that he did so before he bound the lulav, it is obvious that it is fit. When he performs the mitzva with it, the leaves outnumber the berries. Rather, it must be that he diminished their number after he bound the lulav with the other species. If so, it is a case of disqualification from the outset, as it was unfit at the time that it was bound. Resolve from here the dilemma that was raised and conclude that disqualification from the outset is not permanent disqualification.
לעולם בתר דאגדיה וקסבר אגד הזמנה בעלמא הוא והזמנה בעלמא לאו כלום הוא:
The Gemara rejects this suggestion: Actually, it is a case where he diminished the number of berries after he bound it. And that Sage holds that binding does not render the three bound species a lulav used for a mitzva. Rather, it is mere designation of the species for the mitzva, and mere designation is not anything of significance. The fact that the berries outnumbered the leaves at the time that it was bound is not disqualification from the outset, as binding is a stage prior to the outset.
ואין ממעטין ביו"ט: הא עבר ולקטן מאי כשר דאשחור אימת אילימא דאשחור מאתמול דחוי מעיקרא הוא תפשוט מינה דחוי מעיקרא דלא הוי דחוי
§ The mishna continues: But one may not diminish the number on the Festival itself. The Gemara asks: But if one violated the prohibition and picked them, what is the halakha? The myrtle branch is fit, as the mishna prohibited doing so ab initio but did not deem it unfit. The Gemara clarifies: This is a case that the berries turned black when? If you say that they were black from yesterday, the Festival eve, the myrtle is disqualified from the outset, as it is unfit at the start of the Festival. If so, resolve from here that disqualification from the outset is not permanent disqualification, as the mishna says that if one picked the berries, the myrtle branch is fit.
אלא לאו דאשחור ביום טוב נראה ונדחה הוא שמעת מינה נראה ונדחה חוזר ונראה
Rather, is it not that they turned black on the Festival itself and he picked them that day. That then is a case where the myrtle branch was fit and then disqualified, as at the start of the Festival the berries were green and only later turned black, rendering the myrtle branch unfit. Conclude from it that an item that was fit and then disqualified can then be rendered fit again, thereby resolving an unresolved dilemma.
לא לעולם דאשחור מעיקרא דחוי מעיקרא דלא הוי דחוי תפשוט מינה אבל נראה ונדחה חוזר ונראה לא תפשוט
The Gemara rejects that conclusion. No, actually, it is a case where the berries turned black from the outset, prior to the Festival. Resolve from it that an item disqualified from the outset is not permanently disqualified. However, do not resolve the dilemma concerning whether an item that was fit and then disqualified can then be rendered fit, as no clear proof can be adduced from here.
ת"ר אין ממעטין ביום טוב משום ר' אליעזר בר' שמעון אמרו ממעטין והא קא מתקן מנא ביו"ט
The Sages taught: One may not diminish the number of berries on the Festival to render the myrtle branch fit. In the name of Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Shimon, they said: One may diminish their number. The Gemara asks: But isn’t he preparing a vessel on a Festival, as he renders an unfit myrtle branch fit for use in fulfilling the mitzva?
אמר רב אשי כגון שלקטן לאכילה ור' אליעזר בר' שמעון סבר לה כאבוה דאמר דבר שאין מתכוין מותר
Rav Ashi said: It is a case where he picked them for the purpose of eating them, as it is permitted to pick berries from a branch unattached to the ground, and preparing the myrtle branch for use is permitted because he did not intend to do so. And Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Shimon, holds in accordance with the opinion of his father, who said: An unintentional act, i.e., a permitted action from which a prohibited labor inadvertently ensues, is permitted on Shabbat or on a Festival. Here too, one’s intention is to eat the berries. Although the myrtle branch is prepared for use in the process, picking the berries is permitted because that was not his intention.
והא אביי ורבא דאמרי תרוייהו מודה ר"ש בפסיק רישיה ולא ימות
The Gemara challenges: But didn’t Abaye and Rava both say that Rabbi Shimon concedes in the case of: Cut off its head and will it not die? Even Rabbi Shimon, who says that an unintentional act is permitted, said so only in cases where the prohibited result is possible but not guaranteed. However, when a prohibited result is inevitable, just as death inevitably ensues from decapitation, the act is prohibited. In the case of picking berries off of a myrtle branch for food, one cannot claim that he did not intend for the prohibited result of preparing the myrtle branch for use to ensue. In this case, the myrtle branch will inevitably be rendered fit; how is this permitted?
הב"ע דאית ליה הושענא אחריתי
The Gemara answers: With what are we dealing here? It is with a case where he has another fit myrtle branch. Therefore, one is not considered to be preparing a vessel. Since the ultimate objective is to render the lulav and the accompanying species, which constitute the vessel in question, fit, and those species are already fit, picking the berries from the myrtle branch is not inevitable preparation of a vessel. Therefore, if one ate the berries, and the myrtle branch is thereby rendered fit, it is fit for use in the mitzva.
ת"ר הותר אגדו ביו"ט אוגדו כאגודה של ירק ואמאי ליענביה מיענב הא מני ר' יהודה היא דאמר עניבה קשירה מעלייתא היא
§ The Sages taught: If the binding of the lulav was untied on the Festival, one may bind it again. One may not bind it with a sophisticated knot as before, but with a knot like the one used in a binding of vegetables, by merely winding the string around the species. The Gemara asks: But why merely wind it? Let him tie a bow, which is permitted on Shabbat or a Festival, as he is not tying an actual knot. The Gemara answers: Whose opinion is it in this baraita? It is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says that a bow is a full-fledged knot, and therefore it is prohibited to tie one on the Festival.
אי ר' יהודה אגד מעלייתא בעי האי תנא סבר לה כוותיה בחדא ופליג עליה בחדא:
The Gemara answers: If the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, since he holds that a lulav requires binding, as he derived from the Paschal lamb, he requires the binding to be a full-fledged binding. How, then, can winding the string like the binding of vegetables suffice in fulfillment of the mitzva? The Gemara answers: This tanna of the baraita holds in accordance with his opinion in one matter, i.e., that a bow is a full-fledged knot, and disagrees with him in one matter, as the tanna holds that binding the species is merely to enhance the beauty of the mitzva, but it is not a Torah requirement.
מתני׳ ערבה גזולה ויבשה פסולה של אשרה ושל עיר הנדחת פסולה נקטם ראשה נפרצו עליה והצפצפה פסולה כמושה ושנשרו מקצת עליה ושל בעל כשרה:
MISHNA: A willow branch that was stolen or is completely dry is unfit. One from a tree worshipped as idolatry [asheira] or from a city whose residents were incited to idolatry is unfit. If the top was severed, or its leaves were severed, or if it is the tzaftzafa, a species similar to, but not actually a willow, it is unfit. However, a willow branch that is slightly dried, and one that a minority of its leaves fell, and a branch from a willow that does not grow by the river, but instead is from a non-irrigated field, is fit.
גמ׳ ת"ר (ויקרא כג, מ) ערבי נחל הגדילין על הנחל דבר אחר ערבי נחל שעלה שלה משוך כנחל
GEMARA: The Sages taught: “Willows of the brook” (Leviticus 23:40) means willows that grow by the brook. Alternatively, “willows of the brook” is an allusion to the tree in question. It is a tree whose leaf is elongated like a brook.
תניא אידך ערבי נחל אין לי אלא ערבי נחל של בעל ושל הרים מניין ת"ל ערבי נחל מכל מקום
It was taught in another baraita: From “willows of the brook,” I have derived only actual willows of the brook that grow on the banks of the brook. With regard to willows of the non-irrigated field and willows of the mountains, from where do I derive that they are fit as well? The verse states: “Willows of the brook,” in the plural, teaching that the branches of willows are fit in any case.