אִשָּׁה הָיְתָה בּוֹרֶרֶת חִטִּים לָאוֹר שֶׁל בֵּית הַשּׁוֹאֵבָה:
It was so bright that a woman would be able to sort wheat by the light of the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water.
חֲסִידִים וְאַנְשֵׁי מַעֲשֶׂה כּוּ׳ תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן יֵשׁ מֵהֶן אוֹמְרִים אַשְׁרֵי יַלְדוּתֵנוּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּיְּישָׁה אֶת זִקְנוּתֵנוּ אֵלּוּ חֲסִידִים וְאַנְשֵׁי מַעֲשֶׂה וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן אוֹמְרִים אַשְׁרֵי זִקְנוּתֵנוּ שֶׁכִּפְּרָה אֶת יַלְדוּתֵנוּ אֵלּוּ בַּעֲלֵי תְשׁוּבָה אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ אוֹמְרִים אַשְׁרֵי מִי שֶׁלֹּא חָטָא וּמִי שֶׁחָטָא יָשׁוּב וְיִמְחוֹל לוֹ
§ The mishna continues: The pious and the men of action would dance before the people who attended the celebration. The Sages taught in the Tosefta that some of them would say in their song praising God: Happy is our youth, as we did not sin then, that did not embarrass our old age. These are the pious and the men of action, who spent all their lives engaged in Torah and mitzvot. And some would say: Happy is our old age, that atoned for our youth when we sinned. These are the penitents. Both these and those say: Happy is he who did not sin; and he who sinned should repent and God will absolve him.
תַּנְיָא אָמְרוּ עָלָיו עַל הִלֵּל הַזָּקֵן כְּשֶׁהָיָה שָׂמֵחַ בְּשִׂמְחַת בֵּית הַשּׁוֹאֵבָה אָמַר כֵּן אִם אֲנִי כָּאן הַכֹּל כָּאן וְאִם אֵינִי כָּאן מִי כָּאן הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר כֵּן מָקוֹם שֶׁאֲנִי אוֹהֵב שָׁם רַגְלַי מוֹלִיכוֹת אוֹתִי אִם תָּבֹא אֶל בֵּיתִי אֲנִי אָבֹא אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ אִם אַתָּה לֹא תָּבֹא אֶל בֵּיתִי אֲנִי לֹא אָבֹא אֶל בֵּיתֶךָ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּכׇל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַזְכִּיר אֶת שְׁמִי אָבֹא אֵלֶיךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּיךָ
It is taught in the Tosefta: They said about Hillel the Elder that when he was rejoicing at the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water he said this: If I am here, everyone is here; and if I am not here, who is here? In other words, one must consider himself as the one upon whom it is incumbent to fulfill obligations, and he must not rely on others to do so. He would also say this: To the place that I love, there my feet take me, and therefore, I come to the Temple. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: If you come to My house, I will come to your house; if you do not come to My house, I will not come to your house, as it is stated: “In every place that I cause My name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you” (Exodus 20:20).
אַף הוּא רָאָה גֻּלְגּוֹלֶת אַחַת שֶׁצָּפָה עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם אֲמַר לַהּ עַל דְּאַטֵּפְתְּ אַטְפוּךְ וּמְטִיפַיִךְ יְטוּפוּן אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן רַגְלוֹהִי דְּבַר אִינִישׁ אִינּוּן עָרְבִין בֵּיהּ לַאֲתַר דְּמִיתְבְּעֵי תַּמָּן מוֹבִילִין יָתֵיהּ
The Gemara cites another statement of Hillel the Elder. Additionally, he saw one skull that was floating on the water and he said to it: Because you drowned others, they drowned you, and those that drowned you will be drowned. That is the way of the world; everyone is punished measure for measure. Apropos following one’s feet, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The feet of a person are responsible for him; to the place where he is in demand, there they lead him.
הָנְהוּ תַּרְתֵּי כּוּשָׁאֵי דַּהֲווֹ קָיְימִי קַמֵּי שְׁלֹמֹה אֱלִיחֹרֶף וַאֲחִיָּה בְּנֵי שִׁישָׁא סוֹפְרִים דִּשְׁלֹמֹה הֲווֹ יוֹמָא חַד חַזְיֵיהּ מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת דַּהֲוָה קָא עֲצִיב אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַמַּאי עֲצִיבַתְּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ דְּקָא בָעוּ מִינַּאי הָנֵי תַּרְתֵּי כּוּשָׁאֵי דְּיָתְבִי הָכָא מַסְרִינְהוּ לִשְׂעִירִים שַׁדְּרִינְהוּ לְמָחוֹזָא דְלוּז כִּי מְטוֹ לְמָחוֹזָא דְלוּז שְׁכִיבוּ
The Gemara relates with regard to these two Cushites who would stand before Solomon: “Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha” (I Kings 4:3), and they were scribes of Solomon. One day Solomon saw that the Angel of Death was sad. He said to him: Why are you sad? He said to him: They are asking me to take the lives of these two Cushites who are sitting here. Solomon handed them to the demons in his service, and sent them to the district of Luz, where the Angel of Death has no dominion. When they arrived at the district of Luz, they died.
לִמְחַר חַזְיֵהּ מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת דַּהֲוָה קָבָדַח אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַמַּאי בְּדִיחַתְּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ בַּאֲתַר דִּבְעוֹ מִינַּאי תַּמָּן שַׁדַּרְתִּינְהוּ מִיָּד פָּתַח שְׁלֹמֹה וְאָמַר רַגְלוֹהִי דְּבַר אִינִישׁ אִינּוּן עָרְבִין בֵּיהּ לַאֲתַר דְּמִיתְבְּעֵי תַּמָּן מוֹבִילִין יָתֵיהּ
The following day, Solomon saw that the Angel of Death was happy. He said to him: Why are you happy? He replied: In the place that they asked me to take them, there you sent them. The Angel of Death was instructed to take their lives in the district of Luz. Since they resided in Solomon’s palace and never went to Luz, he was unable to complete his mission. That saddened him. Ultimately, Solomon dispatched them to Luz, enabling the angel to accomplish his mission. That pleased him. Immediately, Solomon began to speak and said: The feet of a person are responsible for him; to the place where he is in demand, there they lead him.
תַּנְיָא אָמְרוּ עָלָיו עַל רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל כְּשֶׁהָיָה שָׂמֵחַ שִׂמְחַת בֵּית הַשּׁוֹאֵבָה הָיָה נוֹטֵל שְׁמֹנֶה אֲבוּקוֹת שֶׁל אוֹר וְזוֹרֵק אַחַת וְנוֹטֵל אַחַת וְאֵין נוֹגְעוֹת זוֹ בָּזוֹ וּכְשֶׁהוּא מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה נוֹעֵץ שְׁנֵי גּוּדָלָיו בָּאָרֶץ וְשׁוֹחֶה וְנוֹשֵׁק אֶת הָרִצְפָּה וְזוֹקֵף וְאֵין כׇּל בְּרִיָּה יְכוֹלָה לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן וְזוֹ הִיא קִידָּה
§ It is taught in a baraita: They said about Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel that when he would rejoice at the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, he would take eight flaming torches and toss one and catch another, juggling them, and, though all were in the air at the same time, they would not touch each other. And when he would prostrate himself, he would insert his two thumbs into the ground, and bow, and kiss the floor of the courtyard and straighten, and there was not any other creature that could do that due to the extreme difficulty involved. And this was the form of bowing called kidda performed by the High Priest.
לֵוִי אַחְוִי קִידָּה קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי וְאִיטְּלַע וְהָא גְּרַמָא לֵיהּ וְהָאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר לְעוֹלָם אַל יָטִיחַ אָדָם דְּבָרִים כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אָדָם גָּדוֹל הֵטִיחַ דְּבָרִים כְּלַפֵּי מַעְלָה וְאִיטְּלַע וּמַנּוּ לֵוִי הָא וְהָא גְּרַמָא לֵיהּ
The Gemara relates: Levi demonstrated a kidda before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and strained his thigh and came up lame. The Gemara asks: And is that what caused him to be lame? But didn’t Rabbi Elazar say: One should never speak impertinently toward God above; as a great person once spoke impertinently toward God above, and even though his prayers were answered, he was still punished and came up lame. And who was this great person? It was Levi. Apparently his condition was not caused by his bow. The Gemara answers: There is no contradiction. Both this and that caused him to come up lame; because he spoke impertinently toward God, he therefore was injured when exerting himself in demonstrating kidda.
לֵוִי הֲוָה מְטַיֵּיל קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי בְּתַמְנֵי סַכִּינֵי שְׁמוּאֵל קַמֵּיהּ שַׁבּוּר מַלְכָּא בִּתְמָנְיָא מְזָגֵי חַמְרָא אַבָּיֵי קַמֵּיהּ (דְּרָבָא) בִּתְמָנְיָא בֵּיעֵי וְאָמְרִי לַהּ בְּאַרְבְּעָה בֵּיעֵי
Apropos the rejoicing of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel at the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, the Gemara recounts: Levi would walk before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi juggling with eight knives. Shmuel would juggle before King Shapur with eight glasses of wine without spilling. Abaye would juggle before Rabba with eight eggs. Some say he did so with four eggs. All these were cited.
תַּנְיָא אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן חֲנַנְיָה כְּשֶׁהָיִינוּ שְׂמֵחִים שִׂמְחַת בֵּית הַשּׁוֹאֵבָה לֹא רָאִינוּ שֵׁינָה בְּעֵינֵינוּ כֵּיצַד שָׁעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה תָּמִיד שֶׁל שַׁחַר מִשָּׁם לִתְפִלָּה מִשָּׁם לְקׇרְבַּן מוּסַף מִשָּׁם לִתְפִלַּת הַמּוּסָפִין מִשָּׁם לְבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ מִשָּׁם לַאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה מִשָּׁם לִתְפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה מִשָּׁם לְתָמִיד שֶׁל בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ לְשִׂמְחַת בֵּית הַשּׁוֹאֵבָה
It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said: When we would rejoice in the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water, we did not see sleep in our eyes the entire Festival. How so? In the first hour of the day, the daily morning offering was sacrificed and everyone came to watch. From there they proceeded to engage in prayer in the synagogue; from there, to watch the sacrifice of the additional offerings; from there, to the synagogue to recite the additional prayer. From there they would proceed to the study hall to study Torah; from there to the eating and drinking in the sukka; from there to the afternoon prayer. From there they would proceed to the daily afternoon offering in the Temple. From this point forward, they proceeded to the Celebration of the Place of the Drawing of the Water.
אִינִי וְהָאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אִישַׁן שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ וְיָשֵׁן לְאַלְתַּר אֶלָּא הָכִי קָאָמַר לֹא טָעַמְנוּ טַעַם שֵׁינָה דַּהֲווֹ מְנַמְנְמִי אַכַּתְפָּא דַהֲדָדֵי:
The Gemara wonders: Is that so? But didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan say: One who took an oath that I will not sleep three days, one flogs him immediately for taking an oath in vain, and he may sleep immediately because it is impossible to stay awake for three days uninterrupted. Rather, this is what Rabbi Yehoshua is saying: We did not experience the sense of actual sleep, because they would merely doze on each other’s shoulders. In any case, they were not actually awake for the entire week.
חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב חִסְדָּא לְהָהוּא מִדְּרַבָּנַן דַּהֲוָה קָמְסַדַּר אַגָּדָתָא קַמֵּיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ שְׁמִיעַ לְךָ הָנֵי חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת כְּנֶגֶד מִי אֲמָרָם דָּוִד אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָכִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁכָּרָה דָּוִד שִׁיתִין קְפָא תְּהוֹמָא וּבָעֵי לְמִשְׁטְפֵיהּ לְעָלְמָא אָמַר דָּוִד חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת וְהוֹרִידָן אִי הָכִי חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת יוֹרְדוֹת מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ
§ The mishna continues: The musicians would stand on the fifteen stairs that descend from the Israelites’ courtyard to the Women’s Courtyard, corresponding to the fifteen Songs of the Ascents in Psalms. Rav Ḥisda said to one of the Sages who was organizing aggada before him: Did you hear with regard to these fifteen Songs of Ascents in Psalms, corresponding to what did David say them? He said to him that this is what Rabbi Yoḥanan said: At the time that David dug the drainpipes in the foundation of the Temple, the waters of the depths rose and sought to inundate the world. Immediately, David recited the fifteen Songs of the Ascents and caused them to subside. Rav Ḥisda asked: If so, should they be called fifteen Songs of the Ascents? They should have been called Songs of the Descents.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ הוֹאִיל וְאַדְכַּרְתַּן (מִלְּתָא) הָכִי אִתְּמַר בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁכָּרָה דָּוִד שִׁיתִין קְפָא תְּהוֹמָא וּבְעָא לְמִשְׁטְפֵיהּ לְעָלְמָא אָמַר דָּוִד מִי אִיכָּא דְּיָדַע אִי שְׁרֵי לְמִכְתַּב שֵׁם
Rav Ḥisda continued and said to him: Since you reminded me of this matter, this is what was originally stated: At the time that David dug the drainpipes, the waters of the depths rose and sought to inundate the world. David said: Is there anyone who knows whether it is permitted to write the sacred name