Sukkah 51a:16סוכה נ״א א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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51aנ״א א

כתנאי (דתניא) עבדי כהנים היו דברי ר' מאיר רבי יוסי אומר משפחת בית הפגרים ומשפחת בית ציפריא ומאמאום היו שהיו משיאין לכהונה

This dispute is parallel to another dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a mishna in tractate Arakhin: The Temple musicians were slaves of priests; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yosei says: The musicians were not slaves; they were Israelites from the family of the House of Happegarim and the family of the House of Tzipperaya. And they were from the city of Emma’um, and their lineage was sufficiently distinguished that they would marry their daughters to members of the priesthood.

ר' חנינא בן אנטיגנוס אומר לוים היו מאי לאו בהא קא מיפלגי דמאן דאמר עבדים היו קסבר עיקר שירה בפה ומאן דאמר לוים היו קסבר עיקר שירה בכלי

Rabbi Ḥanina ben Antigonus says: They were Levites. What, is it not that they disagree with regard to this; that the one who said that the musicians were slaves holds that the primary essence of song is singing with the mouth. Since the instrumental music is mere accompaniment, it could be performed by slaves. And the one who said that the musicians were Levites holds that the primary essence of song is accompaniment by musical instruments. Therefore, the musicians were Levites, who were tasked with the song that was part of the Temple service.

ותסברא רבי יוסי מאי קסבר אי קסבר עיקר שירה בפה אפילו עבדים נמי אי קסבר עיקר שירה בכלי לוים אין ישראלים לא

The Gemara asks: And how can you understand the mishna that way? According to that explanation, what does Rabbi Yosei hold? If he holds that the primary essence of song is singing with the mouth, then even slaves can also play the instruments. Why then does he require that the musicians be from Israelite families of distinguished lineage? If he holds that the primary essence of song is accompaniment by musical instruments, he should have said: Levites, yes, they may play the instruments, but Israelites, no, they may not.

אלא דכולי עלמא עיקר שירה בפה ובהא קא מיפלגי דמר סבר הכי הוה מעשה ומר סבר הכי הוה מעשה

Rather, the explanation of the dispute is that everyone agrees that the primary essence of song is singing with the mouth and the musical instruments are merely for accompaniment. And it is with regard to this that they disagree: It is that one Sage holds that the event took place in this manner, i.e., slaves played the instruments, and one Sage holds that the event took place in this manner, i.e., Israelite families of distinguished lineage played the instruments.

למאי נפקא מינה למעלין מדוכן ליוחסין ולמעשר קא מיפלגי

The Gemara asks: What practical halakhic difference is there whether one group or another played the instruments? The Gemara answers: It is with regard to whether one elevates a Levite from the platform to the presumptive status of distinguished lineage and eligibility to receive tithes that they disagree. Is it possible to draw the conclusion that a family is of distinguished lineage or eligible to receive tithes based on the fact that a member or ancestor of that family played a musical instrument on the Temple platform?

מאן דאמר עבדים היו קסבר אין מעלין מדוכן ליוחסין ולא למעשר ומאן דאמר ישראל היו קסבר מעלין מדוכן ליוחסין אבל לא למעשר ומאן דאמר לוים היו קסבר מעלין מדוכן בין ליוחסין בין למעשר

The one who said that the musicians were slaves holds that one does not elevate from the platform to the presumptive status of distinguished lineage and eligibility to receive tithes. And the one who said that the musicians were Israelites holds that one elevates a Levite from the platform to the presumptive status of distinguished lineage but not eligibility to receive tithes. And the one who said that the musicians were Levites holds that one elevates a Levite from the platform to the presumptive status of distinguished lineage and eligibility to receive tithes.

ורבי ירמיה בר אבא אמר מחלוקת בשיר של שואבה דרבי יוסי בר יהודה סבר שמחה יתירה נמי דוחה את השבת ורבנן סברי שמחה יתירה אינה דוחה את השבת אבל בשיר של קרבן דברי הכל עבודה היא ודוחה את השבת

§ The Gemara cites an opinion that disagrees with that of Rav Yosef. And Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: The dispute between Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda and the Rabbis is with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water. Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda holds that extra rejoicing also overrides Shabbat, and the Rabbis hold that extra rejoicing does not override Shabbat. However, with regard to the song that the Levites sang accompanying an offering, everyone agrees that it is part of the Temple service, and overrides Shabbat.

מיתיבי שיר של שואבה דוחה את השבת דברי רבי יוסי בר יהודה וחכמים אומרים אף יום טוב אינו דוחה תיובתא דרב יוסף תיובתא

The Gemara raises an objection to the opinion of Rav Yosef that the dispute is with regard to the song that the Levites sang accompanying the daily offering: The song of the Drawing of the Water overrides Shabbat; this is the statement of Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda. And the Rabbis say: It does not override even the Festival. Apparently, their dispute is with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water. Say that this is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rav Yosef. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, it is a conclusive refutation.

לימא בשיר של שואבה הוא דפליגי אבל בשיר של קרבן דברי הכל דוחה את השבת לימא תיהוי תיובתא דרב יוסף בתרתי

The Gemara suggests: Let us say, based on this baraita, that it is with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water alone that they disagree; however, with regard to the song that the Levites sang accompanying the daily offering, everyone says that it overrides Shabbat. If so, let us say that this will be a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rav Yosef on two counts. According to Rav Yosef, the dispute is with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water, and not with regard to the song the Levites sang accompanying the daily offering. The above suggestion refutes both aspects of his opinion.

אמר לך רב יוסף פליגי בשיר של שואבה והוא הדין לקרבן והאי דקמיפלגי בשיר של שואבה להודיעך כחו דרבי יוסי בר יהודה דאפילו דשואבה נמי דחי

Rav Yosef could have said to you: They disagree with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water and the same is true for the song that the Levites sang accompanying an offering. And the fact that they disagree specifically with regard to the song of the Drawing of the Water and do not specifically mention the song that the Levites sang accompanying the daily offering is to convey to you the far-reaching nature of the opinion of Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda, that even the song of the Drawing of the Water also overrides Shabbat.

והא קתני זהו חליל של בית השואבה שאינו דוחה לא את השבת ולא את יום טוב זהו דאינו דוחה אבל דקרבן דוחה מני אי נימא רבי יוסי בר יהודה האמר שיר של שואבה נמי דוחה אלא לאו רבנן ותיובתא דרב יוסף בתרתי תיובתא

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in the mishna: This is the flute of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, which overrides neither Shabbat nor the Festival. By inference, this is the flute that does not override Shabbat; however, the flute that accompanies the daily offering overrides Shabbat. The Gemara asks: Who is the tanna of the mishna? If we say it is Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda, didn’t he say that the song of the Drawing of the Water also overrides Shabbat? Rather, is it not the Rabbis, and say that this is a conclusive refutation of Rav Yosef on two counts. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, it is a conclusive refutation.

מאי טעמא דמאן דאמר עיקר שירה בכלי דכתיב (דברי הימים ב כט, כז) ויאמר חזקיהו להעלות העולה להמזבח ובעת החל העולה החל שיר ה' והחצוצרות ועל ידי כלי דויד מלך ישראל

The Gemara asks: What is the rationale for the opinion of the one who said: The primary essence of song is singing accompanied by musical instruments? The Gemara answers: It is as it is written: “And Hezekiah commanded to sacrifice the burnt-offering upon the altar. And when the burnt-offering began, the song of the Lord began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David, king of Israel” (II Chronicles 29:27), indicating that the song of God that accompanies the offering is played by trumpets and other instruments.

מ"ט דמאן דאמר עיקר שירה בפה דכתיב (דברי הימים ב ה, יג) ויהי כאחד למחצצרים ולמשוררים להשמיע קול אחד

The Gemara asks: What is the rationale for the opinion of the one who said: The primary essence of song is singing with the mouth? The Gemara answers: It is as it is written: “And it came to pass, when the trumpeters and the singers were as one to make one sound” (II Chronicles 5:13). Since the verse does not mention any musical instrument played with the singing other than the trumpets, and the trumpets were not sounded as accompaniment for the singers, apparently the primary essence of song is singing with the mouth. The trumpets were sounded in order to accompany the sacrifice of the daily and additional offerings with the requisite sounds of tekia and terua.

ואידך נמי הא כתיב ויאמר חזקיהו הכי קאמר החל שיר ה' בפה על ידי כלי דויד מלך ישראל לבסומי קלא

The Gemara asks: And according to the other tanna too, who holds that the primary essence of song is singing with the mouth, isn’t it written: “And Hezekiah commanded…the song of the Lord began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments,” indicating that the instruments are the primary essence? The Gemara answers: This is what the verse is saying: “The song of the Lord began,” indicates that the primary essence is with the mouth; “with the instruments of David, King of Israel,” is to sweeten the sound, as the instruments are merely to accompany and enhance the singing.

ואידך נמי הא כתיב ויהי כאחד למחצצרים ולמשוררים הכי קאמר משוררים דומיא דמחצצרים מה מחצצרים בכלי אף משוררים בכלי:

The Gemara asks: And according to the other tanna too, who holds that the primary essence of song is singing accompanied by musical instruments, isn’t it written: “And it came to pass, when the trumpeters and the singers were as one,” indicating that the primary essence is with the mouth? The Gemara answers: This is what the verse is saying: Through their juxtaposition, one derives that the singers are similar to the trumpeters; just as trumpeters produce their sound with an instrument, so too the singers produce their song with an instrument.

מתני׳ מי שלא ראה שמחת בית השואבה לא ראה שמחה מימיו במוצאי יום טוב הראשון של חג ירדו לעזרת נשים ומתקנין שם תיקון גדול מנורות של זהב היו שם וארבעה ספלים של זהב בראשיהם וארבעה סולמות לכל אחד ואחד וארבעה ילדים מפירחי כהונה ובידיהם כדים של מאה ועשרים לוג שהן מטילין לכל ספל וספל מבלאי מכנסי כהנים ומהמייניהן מהן היו מפקיעין ובהן היו מדליקין ולא היה חצר בירושלים שאינה מאירה מאור בית השואבה

MISHNA: One who did not see the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water never saw celebration in his days. This was the sequence of events: At the conclusion of the first Festival day the priests and the Levites descended from the Israelites’ courtyard to the Women’s Courtyard, where they would introduce a significant repair, as the Gemara will explain. There were golden candelabra atop poles there in the courtyard. And there were four basins made of gold at the top of each candelabrum. And there were four ladders for each and every pole and there were four children from the priesthood trainees, and in their hands were pitchers with a capacity of 120 log of oil that they would pour into each and every basin. From the worn trousers of the priests and their belts they would loosen and tear strips to use as wicks, and with them they would light the candelabra. And the light from the candelabra was so bright that there was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated from the light of the Place of the Drawing of the Water.

חסידים ואנשי מעשה היו מרקדין בפניהם

The pious and the men of action would dance before the people who attended the celebration,