1 א

מפסיקים לפורים כמנהג רבותינו שבמערב להתענות שלשה ימי צום מרדכי ואסתר פרודות ולאחר פורים שני וחמישי ושני:

[Reverting to the sequence of the readings which] is interrupted for Purim.1Cf. XVII, 2 where the subject was begun. Having been suspended in favour of other Festivals, it is here resumed. It is2So GRA and H. V and M read ‘according to’. the custom of our Rabbis in the West to afflict themselves by fasting the three days of the fast of Mordecai and Esther3Cf. Esth. 4, 16. intermittently, viz. after Purim on the Monday, Thursday and Monday.

2 ב

ולמה אין מתענין אותן בחדש ניסן מפני שבאחד בניסן הוקם המשכן וי"ב נשיאים הקריבו קרבנם לי"ב יום יום לכל שבט ושבט וכל א׳ היה עושה ביומו י"ט ובן לעתיד לבא עתיד המקדש להבנות בניסן לקיים מה שנאמר (קהלת א׳:ט׳) אין כל חדש תחת השמש:

And why do we not fast in the month of Nisan? Because on the first of Nisan the Tabernacle was erected4Cf. Ex. 40, 2. and twelve princes offered their sacrifices during [the first] twelve days, a day for each tribe,5Cf. Num. 7, 1ff. and everyone held a festival on his day.6Between the twelfth of Nisan and the fifteenth, on which Passover begins, only two days intervene; therefore they, too, are regarded as festival days. The Passover ending on the twenty-first (in the land of Israel) or on the twenty-second (in the Diaspora), only eight or nine days of the month remain. As by far the greater part of the month was made up of festival days, the entire month is treated as a festival season in which fasting is prohibited. Furthermore, in the time to come the Sanctuary will be rebuilt in Nisan, to confirm what is stated, There is nothing new under the sun.7Eccl. 1, 9.

3 ג

לפיכך אין אומרין תחנונים כל ימי ניסן ואין מתענין עד שיעבור ניסן אלא הבכורות שמתענין בערב הפסח והצנועין בשביל המצה כדי שיכנסו בה בתאוה והתלמידים מתענין בו שני וחמישי מפני חילול השם ומפני כבוד ההיכל שנשרף:

For this reason8That most of the month contained festival days. no supplications9This refers in particular to the prayer, ‘And He, being merciful’, etc. (P.B., pp. 57-65). are offered on any of the days of Nisan and there is no fasting until Nisan has passed. The only exception is [the fast of] the firstborn who fast on the eve of Passover.10In thanksgiving for the deliverance of the Israelite firstborn on Passover eve when Egypt’s firstborn perished (Ex. 12, 29). The very pious also fast on that day on account of the unleavened bread, in order that they shall begin to eat it11On the evening preceding the fifteenth of Nisan. Lit. ‘that they shall enter it’. with relish.12In honour and appreciation of the commandment. Scholars fast on Mondays and Thursdays [throughout the year] on account of the desecration of the name of God13By the heathens who destroyed Jerusalem. and for the honour of the Temple which was burnt.

4 ד

בד"א בצנעה אבל להזכיר בציבור אסור עד שיעבור ניסן. ובאחד באדר משמיעין על השקלים ולמה באחד באדר שהיה צפוי וגלוי וידוע לפני מי שאמר והיה העולם שיהיה המן עתיד לשקול על ישראל לפיכך הקדים ואמר למשה (שהיו ק׳) שקלי ישראל קודמין להמן וצריכין ישראל לתת שקליהם לפני שבת זכור ואסור לומר עליהם לשם כופר אלא לשם נדבה צריכין להספיק מים ומזון לאחיהם עניים משום קובלין ומתנות לאביונים ויש שמספיקין לחם ויין ויש שמספיקין לחם ודגים ומ"מ לא יפחות משתי מתנות אפילו חטים ופולים:

To what does the foregoing apply? To fasting in private, but it is forbidden to proclaim a public fast until Nisan has passed.
On the first day of Adar a public proclamation is made regarding the shekels.14Every adult had the obligation to give one half-shekel as a contribution to the Temple. Why on the first of Adar? Because it was foreseen, revealed and known before Him Who spoke and the world came into being that Haman would in time to come weigh [shekels] against Israel.15Cf. Esth. 3, 9. He, therefore, forestalled him and instructed Moses that the shekels of Israel should precede Haman’s. It is required that Israel shall give their shekels before [43b] the Sabbath of Remember;16The Sabbath before Purim when the mafṭir reads the passage beginning Remember (Deut. 25, 17-19). and it is forbidden to say of them17The half-shekels. that they are ‘for a ransom’ [but must be given] for a freewill-offering. From the proceeds water and food should be supplied for their poor brethren on account of a sacrifice18Reading ḳorban with GRA. V has ‘on account of complaints’ (ḳoblin). [M has ḳislin which Krauss, Lehnwörter, p. 531, renders ‘feast’.] and gifts to the poor.19Cf. Esth. 9, 22. Some supply bread and wine, others supply bread and fish; in any event not less than two gifts20Since Esth. loc. cit. speaks of gifts, in the plural, which indicates not less than two. should be given, although they consist only of wheat and beans.

5 ה

בי"ד ובט"ו יושבין שולחנות של חבירים בכפרים בי"ד ובכרכים בט"ו בו:

21The translation of this Rule follows the reading of GRA. V, M and H read: ‘On the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar, tables of Ḥaberim (“associates”, i.e. men who observed levitical purity) were set up (for changing foreign currency into half-shekels); in the villages on the fourteenth and in the walled cities on the fifteenth’. In villages and towns [the Megillah] is read on the fourteenth [of Adar], and in walled cities22Those that, like Jerusalem, had been walled in the days of Joshua the son of Nun (cf. Meg. I, 1). on the fifteenth of the month.

6 ו

קורין בויבא עמלק ואע"פ שאין בה [אלא] תשעה פסוקין אין מתחילין בוישמע יתרו אלא ראשון קורא שלשה פסוקים ויבא עמלק ויאמר משה ויעש יהושע. ושני קורא והיה כאשר ירים משה וידי משה ויחלש יהושע שלישי קורא ויאמר ה׳ ויבן משה ויאמר כי יד על כס יה מלחמה לה׳ ומניחין ספר תורה במקומו ואומר (תהילים קי״ג:ב׳) יהי שם ה׳ מבורך מעתה ועד עולם וקדיש (שאין לך קריאה שטעון קדיש עד שיחזיר אלא של שבת בלבד מפני המפטיר ועל הנביא לאחר שמניחין ס"ת במקומו אומר קדיש וקדיש למה אלא ללמד) שאין אומרי׳ קדיש לא בראשי חדשים ולא בתעניות ולא בשני ובחמישי ולא בחולו של מועד ולא בשמונת ימי חנוכה ולא בפורים עד שמחזירים ספר תורה למקומו בשעה שהעם עומדים והן עונין אמן יהא שמיה רבה בכוונה בעמידה :

We read23On Purim in the morning service. from Then came Amalek;24Ex. 17, 8-16. and although it consists of only nine verses,25While the general rule is that a reading must consist of not less than ten verses (cf. Rule 7). we do not begin26For the third person called to the Torah. Now Jethro … heard,27Ex. 18, 1, etc., which follows the section beginning Then came Amalek. but the first [to be called up] reads three verses, viz. Then came Amalek … And Moses said … So Joshua did;28ibid. XVII, 8-10. the second reads And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand … But Moses’ hands … And Joshua discomfited;29ibid. 11-13. the third reads And the Lord said … And Moses built … And he said: The hand upon the throne of the Lord: the Lord will have war.30ibid. 14-16. The scroll of the Torah is then put back in its place, and Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for ever31Ps. 113, 2. and ḳaddish are said;32V inserts here in parentheses, as also M and H, ‘For there is no reading [of the Torah] which requires ḳaddish until after he restores [the scroll in the ark] except that of the Sabbath alone on account of the mafṭir and over the Prophet. After the scroll of the Torah is put in its place one says ṭaddish; and why ṭaddish? Only to teach’. GRA transposes this to the end of the Rule in an emended version. because neither on New Moons, nor fast days, nor Mondays and Thursdays, nor on the intermediate days of a Festival, nor the eight days of Ḥanukkah, nor Purim is ḳaddish said until after the Torah scroll had been restored to its place, while the people stand and respond ‘Amen, let His great name’, etc.,33Cf. P.B., p. 75. with devotion and [still] standing. Furthermore, you have no reading that requires a ḳaddish before [the scroll] is put back except that of Sabbath and Festivals alone, [when it is said] before the hafṭarah is read in the Prophet.

7 ז

רב הונא אמר שלש קריות שבתורה לא יפחתו להם מעשרה פסוקים חזקיה אמר כנגד עשרת הדברות והתנינן ביום הראשון [בראשית] ויהי רקיע דהא לית בהון אלא תמניא רב אידי אמר איתפלגין בה כהנא ואשי חד אמר חוזר וחד אמר חותך מאן דאמר חוזר חוזר לשני פסוקים ומאן דאמר חותך ויהי ערב ויהי בקר פסוק בפני עצמו הוא והתנינן בשני יהי רקיע ויקוו המים מאן דאמר חוזר חוזר לשני פסוקים ומאן דאמר חותך אפילו חותך לית בהון התיב רבי פוליפא בר רבי פריט קמית ר׳ יונה הרי פרשת עמלק אמר לא שנויה היא היא סדרה של יום התיב רבי אליעזר ברבי מקום המפטיר בנביא לא יפחות מעשרים ואחד פסוקים (מדלגין בנביא ואין מדלגין בתורה שאפילו אם דלג פסוק אחד ולא קראו והחזיר את התורה ואמר קדיש חוזר ופותח ומברך וקורא הוא ושנים אחרים):

R. Huna said: For three readings in the Torah34i.e. when only three persons are called up to the reading of a section, viz. on a Monday or Thursday or at a Sabbath afternoon service. not less than ten verses must be allotted.35Three verses for each of the first two and four for the third. Hezekiah36A Rabbi of that name. explained [the reason:37Why ten verses are required. The number] corresponds to the Ten Commandments. But have we not learned in a Mishnah:38Ta‘an. IV, 3 (Sonc. ed., p. 137). ‘On Sunday [the men of the ma‘amad read] In the beginning39Gen. 1, 1-4. and Let there be a firmament40ibid. 5-8. although they contain not more than eight verses?41How then could R. Huna rule that a minimum of ten verses was required? R. Iddi said: Kahana and Ashë differ [on the method of procedure],42As how to make ten verses out of eight. one holding that [the reader] goes back, and the other maintaining that he cuts.43This is explained in the continuation. According to him who holds that ‘[the reader] goes back’, he repeats two verses;44The second person repeats the last two of the three verses which the first had read. The two, together with the eight, make up the minimum of ten verses. and according to him who maintains that ‘he cuts’, And there was evening and there was morning45The second part of each of verses 4 and 8 of Gen. 1. is a verse on its own.46So that verses 4 and 8 represent two verses each, bringing the number to ten. But have we not learned in [the same] Mishnah: ‘On Monday [the reading of the ma‘amad was] Let there be a firmament47Gen. 1, 6-8, three verses. and Let the waters … be gathered together’?48ibid. 9-13, five verses. Now, according to him who holds that ‘[the reader] goes back’, he goes back over two verses, but according to him who maintains that ‘he cuts’, even if he does so, there are not ten49Added by GRA, omitted by V, M and H. verses!50There would only be nine, since And there was evening, etc., forms the whole of verse 13 and cannot be reckoned as two verses as in the case of verses 5 and 8. R. Polippa b. R. Pariṭ raised an objection before R. Jonah,51To R. Huna’s ruling. ‘Behold the section of Amalek!’52Ex. 17, 8-16, read on Purim, which consists only of nine verses. ‘This is different’, he replied, ‘since53So GRA, M and H. V reads: ‘he said, No, it is taught, it’. it is the prescribed portion for the day’.54This reply could also have been given to the preceding objection, since in Gen. 1, 6-13, if only verse 8 is divided into two, there would be nine verses, as in the section of Amalek. R. Eliezer b. R. Maḳom raised an objection:55To R. Huna’s ruling. [It has been taught,] ‘He who reads the hafṭarah from the Prophet shall read not less than twenty-one verses’,56Meg. 23a (Sonc. ed., p. 140). From ‘but [if R. Huna’s ruling … to the last one]’ is added by GRA. V omits it but inserts in brackets: ‘It is permitted to skip in a Prophet but not in the Torah, because if [a reader] skipped even one verse by not reading it, and restored the scroll [to the ark] and recited ḳaddish, he must unroll it again, say the benedictions, and read that verse and the two verses which follow it’. This is a repetition of XI, 2, 6. but [if R. Huna’s ruling] is valid, twenty-three verses should be required, ten for the first three,57In accordance with R. Huna’s ruling above that ‘for three readings … no less than ten verses must be allotted’. ten for the second three, and three for the last one!58Since a minimum of three verses must be read for each person who is called up. No reply is given to the objection, but it is possible to provide the following explanation: Only when no more than three persons are called up is it necessary to allot ten verses, but when the number of persons is more than three, as, e.g., on the Sabbath when not less than seven persons must be called to the Torah, three verses for each person or twenty-one in all are sufficient.

8 ח

מקום שנהגו לקרות את המגילה שני ימים קורין לילה ויום קורין הכל כמנהג המדינה וחייבין כל ישראל לקרותה בלשון הקודש:

Where the custom is to read the Megillah on two days59The fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar. it should be so read, [and where it is customary to read it] in the night and in the day, it should be so read; all depends on the practice of the country. Furthermore, all Israel must read it in the holy tongue.60In Hebrew.

9 ט

האדם הגדול בענקים (הגדול היה אברהם אבינו גבוה יותר מענק) בענקים זה אברהם אבינו שהיה גבוה קומתו כנגד שבעים וארבעה אנשים ואכילתו ושתייתו כך היה כנגד שבעים וארבעה אנשים וכוחו כן מה עשה נטל שבעה עשר בני קטורה ובנה להן כרך של ברזל והכניסן לתוכה והשמש מעולם לא נכנס בתוכה מפני שהיא גבוה הרבה ומסר להן דיסקרין של אבנים טובות ומרגליות ומשתמשין לעתיד לבא כשעתיד הקב"ה להחפיר המה ולבנה כמה דכתיב (ישעיהו כ״ד:כ״ג) וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה שמהן עתידין לשמש: עוג הוא אליעזר ופרסות רגליו אברהם אבינו היה טומנו בכף ידו ופעם אחת גער בו ומיראתו נפל ממנו שינו ונטלו אברהם אבינו ועשאו מטות שהן של שן והיה ישן שם ויש אומרים כסא עשאו וישב בו כל ימיו ומי נתנו לאברהם נמרוד והלך עוג ובנה ששים עיירות והקטן שבהן היה גובהן ששים מיל שנאמר (דברים ג׳:ד׳) ששים עיר כל חבל ארגוב ומה היה אכילתו אלף שורים וכן כל מין חיה ושתייתו אלף מידות ומה שהיתה טיפת זריעתו שלשים וששה ליטרין (וכן לכל דורות). תני מה עשה יעקב אבינו כשהביאו בניו את הכתונת בדם לא האמין להן כל עיקר מנין דכתיב (בראשית ל״ז:ל״ה) וימאן להתנחם לפי שאין מקבלין תנחומין על חי אבל שמת הוא מעצמו משתכח מן הלב שנאמר (תהילים ל״א:י״ג) נשכחתי כמת מלב ומה עשה הלך בהרים וחצב שנים עשר אבנים והעמידן שורה וכתב על כל אחת ואחת שם שבטו ושם מזלו ושם ירחו היאך (אלא) הוא על (האחת) האבן [האחת] ראובן טלה ניסן וכן לכל אבן ואבן התחיל משמעון ואמר להו גוזרני עליכם שתעמדו לראובן ולא עמדו לשמעון ולא עמדו לכל שבט ושבט ולא עמדו האבנים וכיון שהזכיר להם שם יוסף מיד עמדו וכרעו לפני אבן יוסף ועדיין לא ברור הדבר לו שהוא חי ועוד הלך ובחן באלומות כדעת הראשון וכתב עליהן שמות השבטים והמזלות והחדשים ואמר להן גוזרני עליכם שתשתחוו ללוי שהוא לבוש אורים ותומים [ולא] עמדו ליהודה שהוא מלך ולא עמדו וכשהזכיר להן יוסף עמדו וכרעו כולן ליוסף ועדיין לא נתברר כל עיקר שהוא חי אלא מן המשמרות אלישב כהן אלקנה שקנה פוטיפר (בראשית ל״ט:א׳) ויוסף הורד מצרימה ויקנהו פוטיפר וגו׳ (שם מא) (ויקרא פרעה שם יוסף צפנת פענח וגו׳). בת שלש שנים (ושלשה ימים) היתה רבקה כשיצאת מבית אביה שכן דרכן של מלכים כשתוליד להן בת מנהגן לשמוע לאחר ג׳ ימים ולפי שלא שמע אביה ולכך נעשה לה נס שלא תטמא שכך היה מנהגן של ארמיים לשכוב עם בנותיהם בתולות ואחר כך משיאין אותן (על שם דכתיב (שם כד) ואיש לא ידעה ואין איש אלא אביה). בת שש שנים היתה דינה כשהולידה את אסנת משכם מנין שש שנים של שכר הצאן שעבד יעקב אבינו ללבן והוסיף עשרים שנה שמת מכאן ואילך יוסיף המבין דעת וירד מיכאל והוליכה לבית פוטיפר:

61From this point to the end of the tractate is an aggadic addendum. The greatest man among the Anakim62Josh. 14, 15.—among the Anakim refers to our father Abraham whose height was equal to that of seventy-four men; his eating and drinking were of a similar proportion, equal to those of seventy-four men; so too his strength. What did he do?63This is probably a reference to Gen. 25, 6, But unto the sons of the concubines … Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away … eastward, unto the east country. He removed the sixteen64So GRA in accordance with Gen. 25, 2-4. V, M and H incorrectly ‘seventeen’. sons of Keturah, built for them a walled city of iron and settled them in it. The sun never penetrated into it because it was exceedingly high, so Abraham handed to them disks of precious stones and pearls of which use will be made65So GRA. V, M and H read, ‘and they will be used’. in the hereafter when the Holy One, blessed be He, will cause the sun and moon to be confounded, as it is written, When the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed,66Is. 24, 23. because use will be made of these [disks as luminaries].
Og67King of Bashan; Deut. 3, 11. is identical with Eliezer,68Abraham’s servant; cf. Gen. 15, 2, XXIV, 2ff. and [he was so huge that] he could hide Abraham’s feet in the palm of his hand. Once he was rebuked [by Abraham] and from fright his tooth fell out. Abraham picked it up and made ivory beds of it in which he slept. Others say that he made of it a chair which he used69lit. ‘and sat in it’. all his life. Who gave him to Abraham? Nimrod.70Mentioned in Gen. 10, 8ff. Og went and built sixty cities, the smallest of which was sixty miles high, as it is stated, Threescore cities, all the region of Argob.71Deut. 3, 4. And what did he eat? A thousand oxen and the same [number of] other animals, and his drink consisted of a thousand measures. A72So GRA. V, M and H read ‘and what was the’. drop of his semen weighed thirty-six pounds.73V and H add ‘and so for all generations’, which makes no sense.
It was taught: What did our father Jacob do when his sons brought him the coat [stained] with blood?74Cf. Gen. 37, 31ff. He did not believe them at all. Whence do we infer this? For it is written, But he refused to be comforted,75ibid. 35. because no consolations are acceptable for a living person. One, however, who is dead passes naturally from the mind,76lit. ‘he is forgotten from the heart of his own accord’. as it is stated, I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind.77Ps. 31, 13. What then did he do? He proceeded to make a test with sheaves,78GRA transposes the order of V, M and H by putting the test of the sheaves before that of the stones, and omits ‘according to the first opinion’. writing upon them the respective names of the tribes, their constellations and the months, and said to them, ‘I order you to prostrate yourselves before Levi because he wears the Urim and Thummim’,79Cf. Ex. 28, 30. but they did not stand up. ‘Before Judah who is king’, but they did not stand up; but when he mentioned Joseph to them, they all stood up and bowed before Joseph. But it was not yet quite clear that he was alive. So Jacob went to the mountains, hewed twelve stones, arranged them in a row, and wrote on each the name of its tribe, the name of its constellation and the name of its month. On one stone he wrote ‘Reuben, lamb, Nisan80The name of the tribe, constellation and month. and similarly on every stone. He began from Simeon and said to them, ‘I order you to stand up for Reuben’, but they did not stand up. ‘For Simeon’, but they did not stand up. ‘For every tribe’, but the stones did not stand up. As soon, however, as he mentioned the name of Joseph to them, they stood up at once and bowed before Joseph’s stone.81The translation follows the text of GRA. For this reason, all the tribes were written on Joseph’s stone. Similarly, all Israel are called by Joseph’s name, as it is stated, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock.82Ps. 80, 2 where Joseph is a synonym of all Israel. So also all the heads of the families of the priests and Levites, [e.g.] Eliashib,83Neh. 3, 1. because of the phrase lahashibo ’el ’abiw;84In the story of Joseph (Gen. 37, 22), E.V. to restore him to his father. The name Eliashib is broken up in three parts corresponding in sound and meaning to these three Heb. words. From ‘For this reason’ to ’abiw is the reading of GRA. V and H have instead: ‘but from the mishmaroth, Eliashib the priest’. Elḳanah,85Connected with ḳanah, ‘he bought’. because Potiphar had bought him [as it is stated,] And Joseph ms brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar … bought him.86Gen. 39, 1. V inserts in parentheses, And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Ẓaphenath, paneah, etc. (ibid. XLI, 45), which has no relevance to the subject.
When Rebekah left her father’s house87Cf. ibid. XXIV, 59ff. she was three years old,88V, M and H add ‘and three days’. because it is customary among kings, when a daughter is born to them, to hear of it after three days;89H reads ‘after three years and three days’. but as her father did not hear [of her birth] he did not defile her up to that time; and now a miracle happened to her in that her father died so that he should not defile her, as it is written, Neither had any man known her,90Gen. 24, 16. and by man only her father could be meant,91From ‘he did not’ to ‘meant’ is GRA’s reading. V, M and H read: ‘therefore a miracle happened to her that she should not be defiled’. for such was the practice of the Arameans to lie with their virgin daughters after they were three years of age,92‘After … age’ is inserted by GRA; omitted in V, M and H. and then to give them away in marriage.93V, M and H add: ‘on account of that which is written, Neither had any man known her, and by man only her father could be meant’.
Dinah was six years old when she bore Asenath from [her association with] Shechem,94Cf. Gen. 34. corresponding to95lit. ‘the number of’. the six years which Jacob served Laban in payment for the flock,96ibid. XXXI, 41. thus completing97lit. ‘until’. the twenty years of his service. [The Archangel] Michael then descended and took her away to the house of Potiphar.
From here onward let the man of understanding increase knowledge.98From ‘completing the twenty years’ to ‘knowledge’ is GRA’s text. V and M have instead: ‘and he added twenty years, because he died. From this point onwards let the man of understanding increase knowledge. And Michael descended and led her to Potiphar’s house’.