אמר להו מי אכלי אינשי נהמא דדהבא אמרו ליה אלא אי נהמא בעית לא הוה לך באתרך נהמא למיכל דשקלית ואתית להכא כי נפיק ואתי כתב אבבא דמחוזא אנא אלכסנדרוס מוקדון הויתי שטייא עד דאתיתי למדינת אפריקי דנשיא ויליפת עצה מן נשיא Alexander said to the women: Do people eat bread of gold? They said to him: But if all you wanted was actual bread, didn’t you have bread to eat in your own place? It was not for bread that you took up a campaign and toiled and came here. You must have come to increase your wealth. When Alexander left and came back to his land, he wrote upon the gate of the town: I, Alexander of Macedon, was a fool until I came to the country of Africa of women, and I learned sense from women.
כי שקיל ואתי יתיב אההוא מעיינא קא אכיל נהמא הוו בידיה גולדני דמלחא בהדי דמחוורי להו נפל בהו ריחא אמר ש"מ האי עינא מגן עדן אתי § With regard to Alexander, the Gemara relates: When he took himself and went on his way, he sat at a certain spring and was eating bread. He had salted fish [guldenei] in his hands, and while he cleansed them of their excessive salt, a particularly pleasant fragrance fell upon them. Alexander said to himself: I may conclude from this event that this spring comes from the Garden of Eden.
איכא דאמרי שקל מהנהו מיא טרא באפיה איכא דאמרי אידלי כוליה עד דמטא לפתחא דגן עדן רמא קלא פתחו לי בבא אמרו ליה (תהלים קיח, כ) זה השער לה' וגו' אמר להון אנא נמי מלכא אנא מיחשב חשיבנא הבו לי מידי יהבו ליה גולגלתא חדא אתייה תקליה לכוליה דהבא וכספא דידיה בהדיה לא הוה מתקליה There are those who say: He took from those waters and washed his face. And there are those who say: He ascended along the length of the entire spring until he reached the entrance of the Garden of Eden. He raised a loud voice, calling out: Open the gate for me! The sentry of the Garden of Eden said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter into it” (Psalms 118:20). Since you are not righteous, you may not enter. He said to them: I too am worthy, as I am a king; I am very important. If I will not be admitted, at least give me something from inside. They gave him one eyeball. He brought it and he weighed all the gold and silver that he had against the eyeball, and yet the riches did not balance against the eyeball’s greater weight.
אמר להון לרבנן מאי האי אמרי גולגלתא לעינא דבישרא ודמא דלא קא שבע אמר להו ממאי דהכי הוא שקלי קלילי עפרא וכסייה לאלתר תקלא דכתיב (משלי כז כ) שאול ואבדון לא תשבענה וגו' He said to the Sages: What is this? Why does this eyeball outweigh everything? They said: It is the eyeball of a mortal person of flesh and blood, which is not satisfied ever. He said to them: From where do you know that this is the reason for the unbalanced scale? The Sages answered him: Take a small amount of dirt and cover the eye. He did so, and it was immediately balanced by its proper counterweight. The eye is never satisfied while it can see, as it is written: “The netherworld and destruction are never satiated; so the eyes of man are never satiated” (Proverbs 27:20).
תנא דבי אליהו גיהנם למעלה מן הרקיע וי"א לאחורי הרי חשך The Gemara cites a statement related to its earlier account of Alexander’s journey. The school of Eliyahu taught: Gehenna is above the heavens, and some say that it is beyond the Mountains of Darkness.
תנא רבי חייא כל העוסק בתורה בלילה שכינה כנגדו שנאמר (איכה ב יט) קומי רוני בלילה לראש אשמורות שפכי כמים לבך נכח פני ה' (וגו') אמר ר"א בן עזריה תלמידי חכמים מרבים שלום בעולם שנאמר (ישעיהו נד, יג) וכל בניך לימודי ה' ורב שלום בניך: The chapter, as well as the talmudic portion of the tractate, concludes with words of praise for those who study Torah. Rabbi Ḥiyya taught: With regard to anyone who occupies himself with Torah at night, the Divine Presence is across from him, as it is stated: “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord, lift up your hands toward Him” (Lamentations 2:19). Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya said: Torah scholars increase peace in the world, as it is stated: “And all your children [banayikh] shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13). This can be read as bonayikh, your builders, i.e., scholars build and increase peace for the entire world.
הדרן עלך לא היו כופתין
א אמר להם הממונה ברכו ברכה אחת והם ברכו קראו עשרת הדברות שמע והיה אם שמוע ויאמר MISHNA: 5:1 After the priests completed laying the parts of the daily offering on the ramp, they went to the Chamber of Hewn Stone to recite Shema. The appointed priest who oversaw the lotteries in the Temple said to the priests: Recite a single blessing of the blessings that accompany Shema. And the members of the priestly watch recited a blessing, and then they recited the Ten Commandments, Shema (see Deuteronomy 6:4–9), VeHaya im Shamoa (see Deuteronomy 11:13–21), and VaYomer (see Numbers 15:37–41), the standard formula of Shema.
ברכו את העם שלש ברכות אמת ויציב ועבודה וברכת כהנים ובשבת מוסיפין ברכה אחת למשמר היוצא: Additionally, they blessed with the people three blessings. These blessings were: True and Firm, the blessing of redemption recited after Shema; and the blessing of the Temple service, which is also a blessing recited in the Amida prayer; and the Priestly Benediction, recited in the form of a prayer, without the lifting of hands that usually accompanies that blessing (Tosafot). And on Shabbat, when the new priestly watch would begin its service, the priests would add one blessing recited by the outgoing priestly watch, that love, fraternity, peace, and friendship should exist among the priests of the incoming watch.
ב אמר להם חדשים לקטרת בואו והפיסו זכה מי שזכה אמר להם חדשים עם ישנים בואו והפיסו מי מעלה אברים מן הכבש למזבח ר"א בן יעקב אומר המעלה אברים לכבש הוא מעלה אותן ע"ג המזבח: MISHNA 5:2 The appointed priest said to them: Let only those priests who are new to burning the incense come and participate in the lottery for the incense. Whoever won that lottery won the privilege to burn the incense. The appointed priest said to them: Those new priests, i.e., those who had never performed the service, together with those old priests, i.e., those who had already performed it, may come and participate in the lottery to determine who takes the limbs from the bottom half of the ramp, where they had been placed earlier, up to the altar. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: The priest who takes the limbs up to the ramp is the one who takes them up from the ramp and places them upon the altar.
ג מסרום לחזנים היו מפשיטין אותם את בגדיהם ולא היו מניחין עליהם אלא מכנסים בלבד וחלונות היו שם וכתוב עליהם תשמיש הכלים: MISHNA 5:3 The priests who did not win a lottery were still dressed in the priestly vestments that they were required to don when entering the lottery, so that if they won they would be prepared for immediate service. The appointed priest handed over these priests to the care of the attendants [laḥazanim]. The attendants would undress these priests and remove their garments, and they would leave only their trousers on them. After the priests donned their non-sacred garments, they would remove the priestly trousers and don their non-sacred trousers. And there were four storage compartments there in the Temple for the storage of priestly vestments for each priestly watch, and on each of them was written the use of the garment stored there: Trousers, tunic, belt, and mitre.
ד מי שזכה בקטרת הי' נוטל את הכף והכף דומה לתרקב גדול של זהב מחזקת שלשה קבין והבזך היה בתוכו MISHNA 5:4 The priest who won the lottery to burn the incense would take the spoon used for carrying the incense. And the spoon was similar to a large gold vessel that held three kav, and the smaller vessel was placed inside the spoon.