אַבָּא שָׁאוּל אוֹמֵר: ״עַרְבֵי״ — שְׁתַּיִם. אַחַת לַלּוּלָב, וְאַחַת לַמִּקְדָּשׁ. Abba Shaul says: “Willows” in the plural teaches that there are two mitzvot that involve use of the willow branch. One is the willow branch for the lulav, and one is the willow branch taken for the Temple, with which the people would circle the altar on Sukkot.
וְרַבָּנַן, לַמִּקְדָּשׁ מְנָא לְהוּ? הִלְכְתָא גְּמִירִי לְהוּ. דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אַסִּי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: עֶשֶׂר נְטִיעוֹת, עֲרָבָה וְנִיסּוּךְ הַמַּיִם — הֲלָכָה לְמֹשֶׁה מִסִּינַי. And the Rabbis, who do not interpret the verse that way, from where do they derive the mitzva of the willow branch for the Temple? It is a halakha transmitted to Moses from Sinai that they learned through tradition and not from a verse, as Rabbi Asi said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: There are three halakhot for which the Sages unsuccessfully sought a Torah source. The first is the halakha of ten saplings. There is a mitzva by Torah law to extend the sanctity of the Sabbatical Year and to begin refraining from plowing thirty days before the Sabbatical Year begins. However, one may plow around individual saplings to sustain them. In a field that is one beit se’a, fifty by fifty cubits, in which there are ten evenly spaced saplings, it is permitted to plow the entire field until the onset of the Sabbatical Year to sustain the saplings. The second halakha is the mitzva of the willow branch in the Temple. And the third halakha is the mitzva of the water libation on the altar, which accompanies the daily offerings each day of Sukkot, together with the daily wine libation. No Torah source was found for these halakhot, as each is a halakha transmitted to Moses from Sinai.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: ״עַרְבֵי נַחַל״ — הַגְּדֵילוֹת עַל הַנַּחַל, פְּרָט לְצַפְצָפָה הַגְּדֵילָה בֵּין הֶהָרִים. אָמַר רַבִּי זֵירָא, מַאי קְרָאָה: ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים צַפְצָפָה שָׂמוֹ״. The Sages taught an additional baraita: “Willows of the brook” is referring to those that grow by the river, which comes to exclude a tzaftzafa, which grows among the mountains and not near a brook. Rabbi Zeira said: What is the verse from which the fact that the tzaftzafa is unfit is derived? It is derived from the reprimand that is written: “He placed it by great waters, and set it as a tzaftzafa” (Ezekiel 17:5). The Jewish people were planted like a willow on great waters, but ultimately became like a tzaftzafa. Apparently, a tzaftzafa does not grow on great waters.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי: וְדִילְמָא פָּרוֹשֵׁי קָא מְפָרֵשׁ — ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים״, וּמַאי נִיהוּ — צַפְצָפָה! אִם כֵּן, מַאי ״שָׂמוֹ״? אָמַר רַבִּי אֲבָהוּ: אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי שֶׁיְּהוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְפָנַי כְּ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים״, וּמַאי נִיהוּ — עֲרָבָה, וְהֵן שָׂמוּ עַצְמָן כְּצַפְצָפָה שֶׁבֶּהָרִים. Abaye said to Rabbi Zeira: And perhaps the second part of the verse is merely explaining the first part, and it means: He placed it by great waters, and what is it that He placed there? It is a tzaftzafa. Rabbi Zeira answered: If so, and that is the meaning of the verse, what is the meaning of the term “set it”? Rather, the verse means that the willow branch was transformed into a tzaftzafa. That is how Rabbi Abbahu explained the verse, as Rabbi Abbahu said that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I said that the Jewish people should be before Me as a plant placed by great waters, and what is that plant? It is a willow. And they set themselves as a tzaftzafa of the mountains.
אִיכָּא דְּמַתְנֵי לַהּ לְהַאי קְרָא אַמַּתְנִיתָא: ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים צַפְצָפָה שָׂמוֹ״. מַתְקֵיף לַהּ רַבִּי זֵירָא: וְדִילְמָא פָּרוֹשֵׁי קָא מְפָרֵשׁ ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים״, מַאי נִיהוּ — צַפְצָפָה! אִם כֵּן — מַאי ״שָׂמוֹ״? אָמַר רַבִּי אֲבָהוּ: אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי שֶׁיְּהוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְפָנַי כְּ״קָח עַל מַיִם רַבִּים״, וּמַאי נִיהוּ — עֲרָבָה, וְהֵן שָׂמוּ עַצְמָן כְּצַפְצָפָה שֶׁבֶּהָרִים. Some taught this verse as the conclusion of the baraita and Rabbi Zeira raised the objection, and the response to his objection is unattributed: He placed it by great waters, and set it as a tzaftzafa. Rabbi Zeira strongly objects: And perhaps the second part of the verse is merely explaining the first part, and it means: He placed it by great waters, and what is it that He placed there? It is a tzaftzafa. The Gemara rejects this suggestion: If so, and that is the meaning of the verse, what is the meaning of the term “set it”? Rabbi Abbahu said that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I said that the Jewish people should be before Me as a plant placed by great waters, and what is that plant? It is a willow. And they set themselves as a tzaftzafa of the mountains.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: אֵי זֶהוּ עֲרָבָה וְאֵיזֶהוּ צַפְצָפָה? עֲרָבָה, קָנֶה שֶׁלָּהּ אָדוֹם, וְעָלֶה שֶׁלָּהּ מָשׁוּךְ וּפִיהָ חָלָק. צַפְצָפָה, קָנֶה שֶׁלָּהּ לָבָן, וְעָלֶה שֶׁלָּהּ עָגוֹל וּפִיהָ דּוֹמֶה לְמַגָּל. וְהָא תַּנְיָא: דּוֹמֶה לְמַגָּל כָּשֵׁר, דּוֹמֶה לְמַסָּר — פָּסוּל! אֲמַר אַבָּיֵי: כִּי תַּנְיָא הָהִיא, בְּחִילְפָא גִּילָא. Apropos the defining characteristics of the willow branch, in contrast to similar species that are unfit, the Sages taught: What is a willow and what is a tzaftzafa? With regard to a willow branch, its stem is red, and its leaf is elongated, and the edge of its leaf is smooth. With regard to a tzaftzafa, its stem is white, its leaf is round, and the edge of its leaf is serrated like a sickle. The Gemara objects: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: If the edge of its leaf is serrated like a sickle it is fit, but if it is serrated like a saw, whose teeth are uneven in both size and sequence, it is unfit? Abaye said: When that baraita was taught, it was referring to a particular type of willow called ḥilfa gila, whose leaves are serrated. However, all other types of willow branches have leaves with a smooth edge.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ הַאי חִילְפָא גִּילָא — כָּשֵׁר לְהוֹשַׁעְנָא. פְּשִׁיטָא! מַהוּ דְּתֵימָא: הוֹאִיל וְאִית לֵיהּ שֵׁם לְוַוי לָא נִתַּכְשַׁר, קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן. Abaye said: Conclude from it that this ḥilfa gila is fit for use in the hoshana of the four species. The Gemara wonders: That is obvious. The Gemara answers: Lest you say that since its name is accompanied by a modifier, as it is called ḥilfa gila, it should not be fit. Therefore, Abaye teaches us that it is fit.
וְאֵימָא הָכִי נָמֵי! ״עַרְבֵי נַחַל״ אָמַר רַחֲמָנָא, מִכׇּל מָקוֹם. The Gemara asks: And say it is indeed so, that since its name is accompanied by a modifier it is unfit. The Gemara answers: The Merciful One states: “Willows of the brook,” in the plural, teaching that the branches of willows are fit in any case.
אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא: הָנֵי תְּלָת מִילֵּי אִשְׁתַּנִּי שְׁמַיְיהוּ מִכִּי חֲרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ: חֲלַפְתָּא — עֲרַבְתָּא, עֲרַבְתָּא — חֲלַפְתָּא. מַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ? לְלוּלָב. Apropos the branches of the willow and the tzaftzafa, the Gemara cites what Rav Ḥisda said: These three objects’ names changed since the Temple was destroyed. That which was called willow was called in later generations ḥalfata, which is another name for tzaftzafa, and that which was called ḥalfata was called willow. The Gemara asks: What is the practical halakhic difference that emerges from the name change? The Gemara answers: It is with regard to the mitzva of taking the lulav, as one of the species bound with the lulav is a willow branch, which is now called tzaftzafa.
שִׁיפּוּרָא — חֲצוֹצַרְתָּא, חֲצוֹצַרְתָּא — שִׁיפּוּרָא. מַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ? לְשׁוֹפָר שֶׁל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. In addition, that which was called trumpet was called shofar in later generations, and that which was called shofar was called trumpet in later generations. The Gemara asks: What is the practical halakhic difference whether a shofar is called shofar or trumpet? The Gemara answers: It is significant with regard to the halakhot of shofar of Rosh HaShana. On Rosh HaShana, one fulfills his obligation only by sounding a shofar. If one comes today and asks what instrument he should use to sound the requisite blasts, he should be told to use a trumpet.
פָּתוּרְתָּא — פָּתוּרָא, פָּתוּרָא — פָּתוּרְתָּא. לְמַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ? לְמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר. Also, that which was called petorata, originally meaning a small table, was called in later generations petora, and that which was called petora, originally meaning a large table, was called petorata in later generations. The Gemara asks: What is the practical halakhic difference that emerges from the change of name? The Gemara answers: It is with regard to the laws of buying and selling. One who orders a petora should know that he ordered a small table and not a large one.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי, אַף אֲנִי אוֹמֵר: בֵּי כָסֵי — הוּבְלִילָא, הוּבְלִילָא — בֵּי כָסֵי. Abaye said: I too shall speak of changes in the meaning of terms in this generation. That which was called huvlila, the first compartment of the stomach of animals that chew their cud, is, in recent generations, called bei kasei, the name of the second compartment of the animal’s stomach. Similarly, that which was once called bei kasei is called huvlila in recent generations.
לְמַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ? לְמַחַט הַנִּמְצָא בְּעוֹבִי בֵּית הַכּוֹסוֹת. What is the practical halakhic difference that emerges from this change of names? It is with regard to a needle that is found in the thick wall of the second compartment of the stomach. In the halakhot of tereifot, it is prohibited to eat animals with a life expectancy of less than a year. It was established that if a needle punctures the wall of the second compartment of the stomach from only one side, the animal is kosher. If the needle penetrates the wall in a manner visible from both sides, the animal assumes the halakhic status of a tereifa. In the first stomach, even if the needle penetrated only one side of the wall, the animal assumes the halakhic status of a tereifa. Therefore, it is crucial to distinguish between the first and the second compartments of the stomach.
אָמַר רָבָא בַּר יוֹסֵף, אַף אֲנִי אוֹמֵר: בָּבֶל — בּוֹרְסִיף, בּוֹרְסִיף — בָּבֶל. לְמַאי Rava bar Yosef said: I too shall speak of changes in the meaning of terms in this generation. The city that in biblical times was called Babylon was called Bursif in later generations, and Bursif was called Babylon in later generations. The Gemara asks: What is