גמ׳ תניא ר' ישמעאל אומר ברק ברקאי ר"ע אומר עלה ברקאי נחומא בן אפקשיון אומר אף ברקאי בחברון מתיא בן שמואל (אומר) הממונה על הפייסות אומר האיר פני כל המזרח עד שבחברון רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר האיר פני כל המזרח עד בחברון ויצאו כל העם איש איש למלאכתו
GEMARA: It was taught in a baraita that the Sages disputed the precise expression that was employed in the Temple. Rabbi Yishmael says that the formula is: The light flashed; Rabbi Akiva says: The light has risen, which is brighter than a mere flash. Naḥuma ben Apakshiyon says: There is even light in Hebron. Matya ben Shmuel says that the appointed priest in charge of the lotteries says: The entire eastern sky is illuminated all the way to Hebron. Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says that this is what the appointed priest said: The entire eastern sky is illuminated all the way to Hebron and the entire nation has gone out, each and every person to engage in his labor.
אי הכי נגה ליה טובא לשכור פועלים קאמרינן
The Gemara questions Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira’s version of the formula: If it is so that the people have gone to work, it has grown considerably lighter. People go to work after it is light. Apparently, Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira is referring to a time after sunrise, not a time adjacent to dawn. The Gemara answers: It is that people have gone out to hire workers that we are saying. Owners of fields rose early, adjacent to dawn, to hire workers so that they could begin working when it is light.
אמר רב ספרא צלותיה דאברהם מכי משחרי כותלי
§ Rav Safra said: The time for the afternoon prayer of Abraham begins from when the walls begin to blacken from shade. When the sun begins to descend from the middle of the sky, producing shadows on the walls, that marks the beginning of the setting of the sun and then the afternoon prayer may be recited.
אמר רב יוסף אנן מאברהם ניקום וניגמר אמר רבא תנא גמר מאברהם ואנן לא גמרינן מיניה דתניא (ויקרא יב, ג) וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו מלמד שכל היום כשר למילה אלא שהזריזין מקדימין למצות שנאמר (בראשית כב, ג) וישכם אברהם בבקר ויחבוש וגו'
Rav Yosef said: And will we arise and derive a halakha from Abraham? Didn’t Abraham live before the Torah was given to the Jewish people, and therefore halakhot cannot be derived from his conduct? Rava said: The tanna derived a halakha from Abraham’s conduct, and we do not derive a halakha from his conduct? As it was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” (Leviticus 12:3), this verse teaches that the entire day is suitable for performance of the mitzva of circumcision. However, the vigilant are early in their performance of mitzvot and circumcise in the morning, as it is stated with regard to the binding of Isaac: “And Abraham arose early in the morning and saddled his donkey” (Genesis 22:3). He awakened early to fulfill the mitzva without delay. Apparently, halakha is derived from the conduct of Abraham.
אלא אמר רבא רב יוסף הא קא קשיא ליה דתנן חל ערבי פסחים להיות בע"ש נשחט בשש ומחצה וקרב בשבע ומחצה ונשחטיה מכי משחרי כותלי
Rather, Rava said: With regard to Rav Yosef, it was not the matter of deriving halakha from the conduct of Abraham that is difficult. Rather, this is difficult for him, as we learned in a mishna: When Passover eves occur on Shabbat eves, the daily afternoon offering is slaughtered at six and a half hours of the day and sacrificed on the altar at seven and a half hours. The afternoon offering was slaughtered as early as possible to enable all the Paschal lambs, which were slaughtered after the daily afternoon offering was sacrificed, to be slaughtered and roasted before sunset, so that no labor would be performed on Shabbat. Now, if indeed this halakha is derived from the conduct of Abraham, let us slaughter the offering even earlier, from when the walls begin to blacken, just after the end of the sixth hour of the day. Apparently, halakha is not derived from the conduct of Abraham.
מאי קושיא ודילמא כותלי דבית המקדש בשש ומחצה משחרי משום דלא מכווני טובא א"נ שאני אברהם דאיצטגנינות גדולה היתה בלבו א"נ משום דזקן ויושב בישיבה הוה דא"ר חמא בר' חנינא מימיהן של אבותינו לא פרשה ישיבה מהם
The Gemara rejects this: What is the difficulty?
Perhaps the walls of the Temple begin to blacken only at six and a half hours of the day because they are not perfectly aligned. The Temple walls were broad at the bottom and gradually narrowed as they reached the top; therefore, the upper part of the wall did not cast a shadow on the wall opposite it until six and a half hours of the day.
Or, alternatively, it is different with regard to Abraham because there was great knowledge of astronomy [itztagninut] in his heart. He was able to precisely calculate the movements of the heavenly bodies and was therefore able to discern immediately after noon that the sun had begun its descent. Others require a half hour to be certain that the descent of the sun has begun.
Or, alternatively Abraham was different because he was an Elder and sat and studied Torah in a yeshiva, where the Divine Presence rests. There he developed the expertise to determine the precise hour. As Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: From the days of our ancestors, yeshiva never left them. Our ancestors were leaders of their generations, who taught Torah to students who came to them.
היו במצרים ישיבה עמהם שנאמר (שמות ג, טז) לך ואספת את זקני ישראל היו במדבר ישיבה עמהם שנאמר (במדבר יא, טז) אספה לי שבעים איש מזקני ישראל אברהם אבינו זקן ויושב בישיבה היה שנאמר (בראשית כד, א) ואברהם זקן בא בימים יצחק אבינו זקן ויושב בישיבה היה שנאמר (בראשית כז, א) ויהי כי זקן יצחק יעקב אבינו זקן ויושב בישיבה היה שנאמר (בראשית מח, י) ועיני ישראל כבדו מזוקן
When they were in Egypt there was a yeshiva with them, as it is stated: “Go and gather the Elders of Israel” (Exodus 3:16), indicating that there were Sages among them who studied Torah. And similarly, when they were in the desert, there was a yeshiva with them, as it is stated: “Gather for me seventy men from the Elders of Israel” (Numbers 11:16). Abraham our Patriarch was himself an Elder and would sit in yeshiva, as it is stated: “And Abraham was old, advanced in years” (Genesis 24:1). From the apparent redundancy of the terms old and advanced in years, it is derived that old means that he was a wise Elder and prominent in Torah, and advanced in years means that he was elderly. Similarly, Isaac our Patriarch was an Elder and sat in yeshiva, as it is stated: “And it came to pass when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim” (Genesis 27:1). Similarly, Jacob our Patriarch was an Elder and sat in yeshiva, as it is stated: “And Israel’s eyes were heavy with age” (Genesis 48:10).
אליעזר עבד אברהם זקן ויושב בישיבה היה שנאמר (בראשית כד, ב) ויאמר אברהם אל עבדו זקן ביתו המושל בכל אשר לו אר"א שמושל בתורת רבו (בראשית טו, ב) הוא דמשק אליעזר א"ר אלעזר שדולה ומשקה מתורתו של רבו לאחרים
Eliezer, servant of Abraham, was an Elder and sat in yeshiva, as it is stated: “And Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household, who ruled over all he had” (Genesis 24:2). Rabbi Elazar said: The verse means that he had mastery over the Torah of his master, having gained proficiency in all of the Torah of Abraham. That is the meaning of the verse: “He is Damascus [Dammesek] Eliezer” (Genesis 15:2). Rabbi Elazar said: The word Dammesek is a contraction of he who draws [doleh] and gives drink [mashke] to others from his master’s Torah.
אמר רב קיים אברהם אבינו כל התורה כולה שנאמר (בראשית כו, ה) עקב אשר שמע אברהם בקולי וגו' א"ל רב שימי בר חייא לרב ואימא שבע מצות הא איכא נמי מילה ואימא שבע מצות ומילה א"ל א"כ מצותי ותורותי למה לי
Apropos the previous statement, the Gemara cites that Rav said: Abraham our Patriarch fulfilled the entire Torah before it was given, as it is stated: “Because [ekev] Abraham hearkened to My voice and kept My charge, My mitzvot, My statutes and My Torahs” (Genesis 26:5). Rav Shimi bar Ḥiyya said to Rav: And say that the verse means that he fulfilled only the seven Noahide mitzvot and not the entire Torah. The Gemara asks: But isn’t there also circumcision that Abraham clearly observed, which is not one of the Noahide laws? Apparently, Abraham fulfilled more than just those seven. The Gemara asks: And say that he fulfilled only the seven mitzvot and circumcision. Rav said to him: If so, why do I need the continuation of the verse, that Abraham kept: My mitzvot and myTorah? That is a clear indication that he fulfilled mitzvot beyond the seven Noahide mitzvot, and apparently fulfilled the entire Torah.
אמר (רב) ואיתימא רב אשי קיים אברהם אבינו אפילו עירובי תבשילין שנאמר תורותי אחת תורה שבכתב ואחת תורה שבעל פה
Rav said, and some say Rav Ashi said: Abraham our Patriarch fulfilled the entire Torah, even the mitzva of the joining of cooked foods, a rabbinic ordinance instituted later, as it is stated: MyTorahs. Since the term is in the plural, it indicates that Abraham kept two Torahs; one, the Written Torah, and one, the Oral Torah. In the course of fulfilling the Oral Torah, he fulfilled all the details and parameters included therein.
מתיא בן שמואל אמר וכו' והוא אומר הן מאן אמר הן אילימא הך דקאי אאיגרא הוא חלים והוא מפשר אלא הך דקאי אארעא מנא ידע
§ It was taught in the mishna that Matya ben Shmuel says that the appointed priest asks: Is the entire eastern sky illuminated even to Hebron? And he says: Yes. The Gemara asks: Who said yes? If we say it is that person who is standing on the roof, does he dream and also interpret his dream? Is it reasonable that the one asking the question answers it? Rather, say that it was that person who is standing on the ground who said yes. From where does he know that the sky is illuminated such that he is able to answer yes?
איבעית אימא הך דקאי אארעא ואיבעית אימא הך דקאי אאיגרא איבעית אימא הך דקאי אאיגרא אמר איהו האיר פני כל המזרח וא"ל הך דקאי אארעא עד שבחברון וא"ל איהו הן
The Gemara suggests two possible solutions: If you wish, say it was that person who is standing on the ground who answered yes, and if you wish, say it was that person who is standing on the roof who answered. If you wish, say that the person who is standing on the roof said: The entire eastern sky is illuminated. And that person who is standing on the ground said to him: Has it illuminated even to Hebron? And he who is standing on the roof said to him: Yes.
ואיבעית אימא הך דקאי אארעא אמר איהו האיר פני כל המזרח וא"ל עד שבחברון וא"ל הן
And if you wish, say instead that the person who is standing on the ground said: Is the entire eastern sky illuminated? And he who is standing on the roof said to him: Do you mean that it is illuminated even to Hebron? And he who is standing on the ground said to him: Yes, that is what I mean.
ולמה הוצרכו לכך וכו' ומי מיחליף והתניא רבי אומר אינו דומה תימור של לבנה לתימור של חמה תימור של לבנה מתמר ועולה כמקל תימור של חמה מפציע לכאן ולכאן תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל יום המעונן היה ומפציע לכאן ולכאן אמר רב פפא שמע מינה יומא דעיבא כוליה שמשא
§ The mishna asks: And why did they need to ascertain this? The mishna answered that there was an incident where they confused the light of the moon with the light of the rising sun and slaughtered the daily morning offering too early. The Gemara asks: And are sunlight and moonlight mistaken for one another? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: A column of the light of the moon is not similar to a column of the light of the sun; a column of the light of the moon rises like a staff in one column while a column of the light of the sun diffuses to here and to there? The Gemara answers that the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: It was a cloudy day, and then even the moonlight diffuses to here and to there, which caused them to err and believe that it was the rising sun. Rav Pappa said: Learn from this statement of Rabbi Yishmael that a cloudy day is similar to a completely sunny day because the sunlight is further diffused by the clouds.
למאי נפקא מינה לשטוחי עורות אי נמי לכדדרש רבא אשה לא תלוש לא בחמה ולא בחמי חמה
The Gemara asks: What are the practical ramifications of the statement that a cloudy day is similar to a completely sunny day? The Gemara explains: The ramifications are with regard to spreading hides to dry them. On a cloudy day, wherever the hides are placed they will be exposed to sunlight. Alternatively, the ramifications are according to that which Rava taught with regard to matza: A woman may neither knead dough for matza for Passover in the light of the sun nor may she prepare the dough with hot water heated in the sun. On a cloudy day, one may not knead the dough anywhere outside since the light of the sun is diffused everywhere.
אמר רב נחמן זוהמא דשימשא קשי משימשא וסימניך דנא דחלא שברירי דשימשא קשו משימשא וסימניך דילפא
Apropos a cloudy day, the Gemara cites that Rav Naḥman said: The hazy light of the sun through the clouds is more damaging than the light of the sun itself. And your mnemonic is the cover of a jar of vinegar: As long as the jar is tightly closed, the odor of the vinegar does not spread and it intensifies. Even the slightest opening in the lid releases an odor more powerful than the odor generated by vinegar that was not sealed in a jar. The same is true with regard to the rays of the sun. With regard to sunlight that is obscured behind clouds, when it escapes through breaks in the clouds it is more powerful than direct sunlight. Dazzling sunlight, which shines through cracks in the clouds, is more harmful to the eyes than direct sunlight. And your mnemonic is a drip; water that drips on a person is more bothersome than water in which one completely immerses his body.