(איוב יד, ט) מריח מים יפריח ועשה קציר כמו נטע
from the scent of water it will blossom and put forth branches like a plant” (Job 14:8–9). If the figurative trunk of one’s family is drying up through lack of Torah, he should plant himself in a place of water, i.e., a family of scholars, water being a metaphor for Torah. This will ensure that his children will blossom into Torah scholars.
ויום טוב היה עושה לאוהביו ת"ר מעשה בכהן גדול אחד שיצא מבית המקדש והוו אזלי כולי עלמא בתריה כיון דחזיונהו לשמעיה ואבטליון שבקוהו לדידיה ואזלי בתר שמעיה ואבטליון
§ It was taught in the mishna: The people escort the High Priest to his house. And he would make a feast for his loved ones. The Sages taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving one High Priest who exited the Holy Temple and everyone followed him. When they saw Shemaya and Avtalyon, the heads of the Sanhedrin, walking along, in deference to them they left the High Priest by himself and walked after Shemaya and Avtalyon.
לסוף אתו שמעיה ואבטליון לאיפטורי מיניה דכהן גדול אמר להן ייתון בני עממין לשלם אמרו ליה ייתון בני עממין לשלם דעבדין עובדא דאהרן ולא ייתי בר אהרן לשלם דלא עביד עובדא דאהרן
Eventually, Shemaya and Avtalyon came to take leave of the High Priest before returning to their homes. Envious of the attention they received, he angrily said to them: Let the descendants of the gentile nations come in peace. Shemaya and Avtalyon descended from converts, and he scornfully drew attention to that fact. They said to him: Let the descendants of the gentile nations come in peace, who perform the acts of Aaron, who loved and pursued peace; and let not a descendant of Aaron come in peace, who does not perform the acts of Aaron and who speaks condescendingly to descendants of converts.
מתני׳ כהן גדול משמש בשמונה כלים וההדיוט בארבעה בכתונת ומכנסים ומצנפת ואבנט מוסיף עליו כ"ג חשן ואפוד ומעיל וציץ באלו נשאלין באורים ותומים ואין נשאלין אלא למלך ולאב ב"ד ולמי שהציבור צריך בו
MISHNA: Throughout the year the High Priest serves in eight garments, and the common priest serves in four: In a tunic and trousers and a mitre and a belt. The High Priest adds another four garments beyond those worn by the common priest: A breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a frontplate. When dressed in these eight garments, the High Priest may be consulted for the decision of the Urim VeTummim. And he may be consulted for the decision of the Urim VeTummim only on behalf of the king, or on behalf of the president of the court, or on behalf of one whom the community needs. Individual inquiries are not posed to the Urim VeTummim.
גמ׳ ת"ר דברים שנאמר בהן שש חוטן כפול ששה משזר שמונה מעיל שנים עשר פרוכת עשרים וארבעה חושן ואפוד עשרים ושמונה
GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to those items of the priestly vestments about which it is stated they must be made with linen [shesh], their threads are spun six-fold, as suggested by the use of the term shesh, which also means six. When the Torah states that certain items are twined, it means their threads are spun eight-fold.Threads used to weave the robe were spun from twelve strands. The threads of the curtain were spun from twenty-four strands. The threads used to weave the breastplate and ephod were spun from twenty-eight strands.
חוטן כפול ששה מנא לן דאמר קרא (שמות לט, א) ויעשו את הכתנת שש ואת המצנפת שש ואת פארי המגבעות שש ואת מכנסי הבד שש משזר חמשה קראי כתיבי חד לגופיה דכיתנא ניהוו וחד שיהא חוטן כפול ששה וחד שיהיו שזורין וחד לשאר בגדים שלא נאמר בהן שש וחד לעכב
The Gemara asks: That the threads made from shesh are spun six-fold, from where do we derive this? The verse states: “And they made the tunics of linen [shesh] of woven work for Aaron and for his sons. And the mitre of linen, and the adorning mitres of linen, and the linen [bad] trousers of twined linen” (Exodus 39:27–28). Five mentions of the word linen are written; four times as “shesh” and an additional instance of “bad,” both meaning linen. One mention is stated for that halakha itself, to teach that they should be made of linen. And one mention is written to teach that the threads should be spun six-fold, shesh being interpreted as six. And one mention teaches that the six strands should be spun together into one. And one mention teaches that this also applies to the other garments, even though the term shesh is not stated with regard to them. And one mention teaches that this requirement is indispensable and that garments not made this way are invalid.
מאי משמע דהאי שש כיתנא הוא אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא דאמר קרא בד דבר העולה מן הקרקע בד בד ואימא עמרא עמרא איפצולי מיפצלא כיתנא נמי איפצולי מפציל כיתנא אגב לקותיה מפציל
The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that this term shesh means linen? Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: As the verse also states: “Bad,” and uses it interchangeably with shesh. And bad refers to something which sprouts from the ground stalk by stalk [bad bad], each one by itself. This is a fitting description of flax, the plant used to produce linen, as opposed to other plants, such as cotton, whose fibers grow meshed together. The Gemara asks: And say that it refers to wool, since when it grows from the animal, each hair grows separately. The Gemara answers: Wool splits, with each hair dividing into several hairs, so it does not fully fit the description of sprouting stalk by stalk. The Gemara asks: But flax also splits into individual hairs. The Gemara answers: Flax, unlike wool, splits only when beaten.
רבינא אמר מהכא (יחזקאל מד, יח) פארי פשתים יהיו על ראשם ומכנסי פשתים יהיו על מתניהם
Ravina said: We have a proof for the matter from here: The verse states: “They shall have linen [pishtim] mitres upon their heads, and linen trousers upon their loins” (Ezekiel 44:18). The term pishtim used in Ezekiel certainly refers to linen; therefore, it is clear that the terms shesh and bad, used in the Torah for the same garments, also refer to linen.
אמר ליה רב אשי הא מקמי דאתי יחזקאל מאן אמרה ולטעמיך הא דאמר רב חסדא דבר זה מתורת משה רבינו לא למדנו מדברי יחזקאל בן בוזי למדנו (יחזקאל מד, ט) כל בן נכר ערל לב וערל בשר לא יבא אל מקדשי (לשרתני) הא מקמי דאתי יחזקאל מאן אמרה אלא גמרא גמירי לה ואתא יחזקאל ואסמכה אקרא הכא נמי גמרא גמירי לה ואתא יחזקאל ואסמכה אקרא
Rav Ashi said to him: But before Ezekiel came, who said this halakha? How was it known? Ravina retorted: And according to your reasoning, the same question could be asked with regard to that which Rav Ḥisda said concerning the disqualification of an uncircumcised priest from serving in the Temple: This matter we did not learn from the Torah of Moses our teacher, as it is not written explicitly in the Torah; rather, we learned it from the words of Ezekiel ben Buzi, as the verse states: “No foreigner, uncircumcised of heart or uncircumcised of flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary” (Ezekiel 44:9). One could ask here as well: Before Ezekiel came, who said this halakha? Rather, perforce, they learned it as a tradition and then Ezekiel came and supported it with a verse. Here, too, they learned it as a tradition and then Ezekiel came and supported it with a verse.
משזר שמונה מנא לן דכתיב (שמות לט, כד) ויעשו על שולי המעיל רמוני תכלת וארגמן ותולעת שני משזר ויליף משזר משזר מפרוכת מה להלן עשרים וארבעה אף כאן עשרים וארבעה דהוה כל חד וחד תמני
The Gemara continues to explain the baraita. That the use of the term twined implies that the thread should be spun from eight strands, from where do we derive this? As it is written: “And they made upon the skirts of the robe pomegranates of sky-blue, and purple, and scarlet, twined” (Exodus 39:24); and derive a verbal analogy from the term “twined” used in this verse and the term “twined” from the verse about the curtain: Just as there, with regard to the curtain, there are twenty-four strands, as will be explained, so too here, there are twenty-four strands in total. And since each pomegranate is made of three colors, sky-blue, purple, and scarlet, it must be that each one of them was spun from eight strands.
ונילף מחשן ואפוד מה להלן עשרים ושמונה אף כאן עשרים ושמונה דנין דבר שלא נאמר בו זהב מדבר שלא נאמר בו זהב לאפוקי חשן ואפוד שנאמר בהן זהב אדרבה דנין בגד מבגד לאפוקי פרוכת דאהל הוא
The Gemara challenges this derivation: Let us derive the number of strands instead from the breastplate and ephod and say: Just as there, with regard to the breastplate and ephod, there are twenty-eight strands, so too, here there are twenty-eight strands. The Gemara answers: It is preferable to derive the halakhot of an item, i.e., the pomegranates, with regard to which the use of gold threads is not stated, from the halakhot of an item, i.e., the curtain, with regard to which the use of gold threads is also not stated. This would come to exclude the possibility of deriving them from the breastplate and ephod, with regard to which the use of gold threads is stated. The Gemara asks: On the contrary, it should be preferable to derive the halakhot of one garment from another garment, i.e., the halakhot of the robe from the halakhot of the breastplate and ephod. This would come to exclude the possibility of deriving them from the curtain, which is a tent, i.e., part of the Temple building, and not a garment. The Gemara accepts that the derivation is flawed.
אלא דנין מאבנט ודנין בגד ודבר שלא נאמר בו זהב מבגד ודבר שלא נאמר בו זהב ואין דנין דבר שאין בו זהב מדבר שיש בו זהב
Rather, the need for thread of eight strands is derived from the belt, which had twenty-four threads in total, and a garment and an item with regard to which the use of gold thread is not stated, i.e., the pomegranates, are derived from a garment and an item with regard to which the use of gold thread is not stated. And an item with no gold, such as the pomegranates and robe, is not derived from an item that has gold in it, such as the breastplate and ephod.
רב מרי אמר תעשנו כתיב תעשנו לזה ולא לאחר
Rav Mari said another reason not to derive the number of strands in a pomegranate from the breastplate and ephod: “Like the work of the ephod you shall make it” (Exodus 28:15) is written with regard to the breastplate to indicate that you shall make it, i.e., the breastplate, like the ephod, which indicates that for this, i.e., the breastplate, you shall use thread of twenty-eight strands, and not for anything else.
רב אשי אמר ועשית כתיב שיהיו כל עשיות שוות והיכי נעביד נעביד תלתא דעשרה עשרה הוו להו תלתין נעביד תרי דתשעה תשעה וחד דעשרה אמר קרא ועשית שיהיו כל עשיותיו שוות
Rav Ashi said another reason that there could not be twenty-eight strands in a pomegranate: “And you shall make pomegranates of sky-blue, and of purple, and of scarlet” (Exodus 28:33) is written to indicate that all the makings of it must be equal, i.e., that each color thread should be made from the same number of strands. However, if there are twenty-eight strands in total, the three threads, each of a different color, cannot be made with an equal number of strands, as how should we do it? Let us make three colored threads of ten strands each; then they are thirty strands in total, which is too many. Let us make two colored threads of nine strands and one of ten; but the verse states: “And you shall make,” to indicate that all the makings of it must be equal. Perforce, the threads used for the pomegranates and the robe must be derived from an item woven from threads of a number of strands divisible by three, such as the curtain.
מעיל שנים עשר מנא לן דכתיב (שמות כח, לא) ועשית את מעיל האפוד
The Gemara continues to explain the baraita: That the robe must be woven from threads spun from twelve strands, from where do we derive this? As it is written: “And you shall make the robe of the ephod