מֵאֵימָתַי קוֹרִין אֶת שְׁמַע בְּעַרְבִית?
מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁהַכֹּהֲנִים נִכְנָסִים לֶאֱכֹל בִּתְרוּמָתָן, עַד סוֹף הָאַשְׁמוּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר.
וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, עַד חֲצוֹת.
רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר.
מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁבָּאוּ בָנָיו מִבֵּית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה:
אָמְרוּ לוֹ, לֹא קָרִינוּ אֶת שְׁמַע.
אָמַר לָהֶם, אִם לֹא עָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר, חַיָּבִין אַתֶּם לִקְרוֹת. וְלֹא זוֹ בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַד חֲצוֹת, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר.
הֶקְטֵר חֲלָבִים וְאֵבָרִים, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר. וְכָל הַנֶּאֱכָלִים לְיוֹם אֶחָד, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר.
אִם כֵּן, לָמָּה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַד חֲצוֹת? כְּדֵי לְהַרְחִיק אֶת הָאָדָם מִן הָעֲבֵרָה:
From when may one recite Shema in the evening?
"From the time when the Kohanim go in to eat their Terumah [produce consecrated for priestly consumption], until the end of the first watch," Rabbi Eliezer's words.
And sages say: "Until midnight."
Rabban Gamliel says, "Until the break of dawn."
It once happened that his [Rabban Gamliel’s] sons came from the house of drinking:
They said to him, "We have not recited Shema."
He said to them, "If dawn has not broken, you are obligated to recite it. And [this is true] not only in this case; rather, in all cases where the Sages said that the time to until midnight — their precepts are [still in force] until the break of dawn."
Burning the fats and limbs [of the sacrifices, on the Temple altar] — their mitzvot are until the break of dawn. And [another example:] all [sacrifices] which may be eaten for one day — their precepts [of eating them can be performed] until the break of dawn. If that is so, why did the Sages say, "until midnight"? To distance a person from transgression.
One of the first mishnayos introduces an incident in which Rabban Gamliel's sons return home from a night of drinking past midnight (that's not hard to imagine - a lot of times that people return home past midnight involve a night of drinking, even to this day). We don't know anything else about the drinking house, aside from it was where drinking took place: we don't know if it's someone's house at which drinking took place, if it was a public house (such as a bar) where drinking was meant to take place in a commercial sense, or some other location.
מִשֶּׁבָּטְלָה סַנְהֶדְרִין, בָּטְלָה הַשִּׁיר מִבֵּית הַמִּשְׁתָּאוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה כד) בַּשִּׁיר, לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ-יָיִן; יֵמַר שֵׁכָר, לְשֹׁתָיו
When the Sanhedrin ceased, song ceased from the drinking houses, as it is said, “They drink their wine without song; beer is bitter to its drinkers” (Isaiah 24:9).
In this mishnah, we are informed that pre-cessation of the Sanhedrin, it was common for people to engage in singing during their drinking sessions at these drinking houses, but, owing to an unspecified cause, people no longer engaged in singing while at these drinking houses.
It is unclear whether singing was more universally dropped from the these drinking houses or only mostly - maybe people occasionally broke out in song at these drinking houses.
It is also unclear whether or not people had musical instrumentation typically accompanying their singing while at these drinking houses.
One thing that does seem clear from the language deployed in this mishnah is that song seemed to have ceased from these drinking houses due to some sort of national sadness, rather than any sort of [rabbinic] decree.
הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תֵלֵךְ לְבֵית הָאֵבֶל אוֹ לְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה, יוֹצִיא וְיִתֵּן כְּתֻבָּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנּוֹעֵל בְּפָנֶיהָ.
וְאִם הָיָה טוֹעֵן מִשּׁוּם דָּבָר אַחֵר, רַשָּׁאי.
One who vows [to prohibit] his wife from entering a house of mourning or a house of drinking, must divorce her and pay her ketubah, because he is locking [the doors of comfort and rejoicing] in her face.
But if he claims [that there is a good reason for keeping the vow], he is permitted [to remain married to her].
One comment to make is that the mishnah from Ketubot does not allow a husband to forbid his wife from going to either a house of mourning or a drinking house, since this is locking her in. The Talmud comments that this is obviously unfair to her (bKetubot 71b-72a), seemingly since people need to be able to go to either drinking houses or houses of mourning, as part of normal living.
מַדְלִיקִין שֶׁמֶן שְׂרֵפָה בְּבָתֵּי כְנֵסִיּוֹת, וּבְבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת, וּבַמְּבוֹאוֹת הָאֲפֵלִין, וְעַל גַּבֵּי הַחוֹלִין בִּרְשׁוּת כֹּהֵן.
בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת לְכֹהֵן, וְהִיא לְמוּדָה אֵצֶל אָבִיהָ, אָבִיהָ מַדְלִיק בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ.
מַדְלִיקִין בְּבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה, אֲבָל לֹא בְבֵית הָאֵבֶל, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה.
וְרַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, בְּבֵית הָאֵבֶל, אֲבָל לֹא בְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה.
רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹסֵר כָּאן וְכָאן.
רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן מַתִּיר כָּאן וְכָאן:
One may burn oil that has to be burnt [because it is contaminated Terumah] in synagogues, study houses, dark alleys, and for sick people with permission of a priest.
An Israelite's daughter who is married to a priest and regularly goes to her father’s house, her father may burn [such oil] with her permission.
"One may burn [such oil] in the drinking house, but not in the house of mourning," Rabbi Yehudah's words.
Rabbi Yosi says, "In the house of mourning, but not in the drinking house."
Rabbi Meir forbids [both] here and here.
Rabbi Shimon permits here and here.
כֵּיצַד מִשְׁתַּתְּפִין בַּתְּחוּמִין?
מֵנִיחַ אֶת הֶחָבִית וְאוֹמֵר, הֲרֵי זֶה לְכָל בְּנֵי עִירִי, לְכָל מִי שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ לְבֵית הָאֵבֶל אוֹ לְבֵית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה.
וְכֹל שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם, מֻתָּר.
מִשֶּׁתֶּחְשַׁךְ, אָסוּר, שֶׁאֵין מְעָרְבִין מִשֶּׁתֶּחְשָׁךְ:
How are techumin [the area around a person or community within which it is permissible to travel on Shabbat] to be combined?
One places a cask [of wine, oil or food], and says, "Behold this is for all my townsmen, for all who go to the house of mourning, or to the drinking house." Whomever accepted upon oneself [to make use of this and carry in the combined techumim] while it is yet day [before Shabbat], is permitted [to carry in the enlarged area; but if one does so] after dark, one is forbidden [from doing so], because one cannot create an eruv after dark.
These three mishnayos (mTerumot 11:10, mEruvin 8:1, and mKetubot 7:5) all pair the drinking house (בית המשתה) with the mourning house (בית האבל), which seemingly draws from Ecclesiastes/קהלת 7:2, one of the three times that the phrase בית המשתה is found in the Bible/תנ"ך (the other two of which are Jer. 16:8 and Est. 7:8).
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to a drinking house; for that is the end of every man, and a living one should take it to heart.
It seems that these three mishnayos all draw upon this language. One thing that the mishnaic authors could be reflecting about the drinking house and the house of mourning is that just as the house of mourning is at someone's house and there just happens to be mourning taking place at certain times and not that it always exists as a someone's place of mourning, so, too, a drinking house is merely someone's house where a drinking session is taking place, rather than an enduring building for coming together to drink. Nevertheless, it is still merely speculation, so I'm not 100% convinced.
We could also check out what the Tosefta has to say about the drinking house....
היה הולך לבית האבל ולבית המשתה היה בידו לגין של יין המתקשקש לא ימלאנו מים מפני שטוענו טענת חנם
ואם היה חבר עיר הרי זה מותר.
If one was walking to either a house of mourning or a house of drinking and had a flagon of wine in his hand which was shaking about, he should not fill it up with water, because it is unnecessarily deceptive to others.
But if he was a known person in town, it is permissible.
From this text, it would seem that the house of drinking was not necessarily like that of a bar, per se, in which wine or beer might be sold to customers, but perhaps more like that of a house/building in which people bring their own drinks (most likely to share) from which they could consume their wine(/beer).
חכם שמת הכל קרוביו הכל קורעין הכל חולצין והכל סופדין והכל מברין עליו [ואפי'] ברחובה של עיר אין מוליכין חלילין לבית האבל [אלא] לבית המשתה ולבית השמחה במקום שנהגו
A sage who died - all are considered as his close relatives: all tear their garments, and all bare [their shoulders], and all lament, and all receive a mourner's meal on his account, even in the street of the town.
They do not bring wailing pipes to the house of mourning, but to the house of drinking, and to the house of rejoicing, in the place in which that was the custom.
While we had seen mSotah describing singing at houses of drinking, this text describes bringing wailing pipes to a house of drinking (and house of rejoicing), so there may be other instruments that may have been brought to houses of drinking.
The phrase "house of celebration" (בית השמחה) does not appear at all in the Mishnah and the only two times it appears in the Tosefta are here in tBeitsah and tMoed Katan.
בני חכמים תלמידי חכמים בזמן שיש בהם דעת לשמוע הופכין את פניהם כלפי אביהם אין בהם דעת לשמוע הופכין את פניהם כלפי העם
רבי אלעזר ברבי צדוק אומר בבית המשתה עושים אותן סניפין
Children and students of the wise - at a time in which they can understand the proceedings - they should turn their faces to their fathers; if not, they should turn their faces towards the assembled people.
Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Zadok, says, "They make them adjunct to them at a drinking house."
In these two texts (tBeitsah & tSanhedrin), it would seem that it was not a common occurrence to bring children to drinking houses, but that they may be brought there, as long as they are somehow not part of the main action going on in the drinking house.
הדירה שלא תלך לבית האבל או לבית המשתה יוציא ויתן כתובה שלמחר תהא מוטלת ואין כל בריה סופנה
If he had prohibited her by vow from going to a house of mourning or a house of drinking, he must divorce her and pay her ketubah, because sometime later she will be laid out [for burial] and not a single person will come to pay respects to her.
This text is very similar to mKetubot 7:5, except that it posits a different reason for the divorce, although this reasoning seems a bit weaker than that offered in the Mishnah.
אמר רבי אלעזר ברבי צדוק כך היו חבורות שבירושלים נוהגין אלו לבית המשתה ואלו לבית האבל אלו לסעודת אירוסין ואלו לסעודת נשואין אלו לשבוע [בן] ואלו לליקוט עצמות
שבוע הבן וליקוט עצמות שבוע הבן קודם לליקוט עצמות
בית המשתה ובית האבל בית המשתה קודם לבית האבל
רבי ישמעאל היה מקדים בית האבל לכולם שנאמר (קוהלת ז) טוב ללכת אל בית אבל [וגו']
Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Zadok, said, "Such were the groupings accustomed to do in Jerusalem: some were for a house of drinking, some for a house of mourning, some for a meal in celebration of a betrothal, some for a meal in celebration of a marriage, some for the celebration of the week of a son's birth, and some for the gathering of bones [of parents for a secondary burial]."
If one has to celebrate the week of a son's birth and the occasion of gathering the bones of one's parents, the celebration of the week of a son's birth takes precedence over the gathering of the bones of parents.
If one has the occasion to join in a house of drinking or a house of mourning, the house of drinking takes precedence over the house of mourning.
Rabbi Yishma'el used to give precedence to the house of mourning over all of them, as it is said, "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of drinking, for this is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart" (Eccl. 7.2).
Having knowledge of Ecclesiastes 7:2, it is quite unsurprising that Rabbi Yishma'el would give precedence to a house of mourning than going to a house of drinking. However, it is quite fascinating that the text suggests one give precedence to attending a house of drinking over that of a house of mourning!
חצר גדולה שירד בה גשמים והיה בה בית האבל או בית המשתה מביא תבן בקופה ומרדד ובלבד שלא ירדד בידו ובקופה כדרך שעושה בחול
A large courtyard into which rain fell, and in which was a house of mourning or a house of drinking, one may bring straw in a basket and make a path in it, as long as one not make a path by hand or by using a basket, as one would normally do during the week.
אנשי חצר ששכח אחד מהן ולא עירב עליו לבטל [רשות]
אם היה בית האבל או בית המשתה ורצו לבטל רשותו הרשות בידו.
If someone in a courtyard forgot to join in the 'eruv - it is upon that person to give up their right to the courtyard.
If it was a house of mourning or a house of drinking, and they wanted to give up their right, they have the permission to do so.
המערב על ידי בני עירו שילכו עמו לבית האבל או לבית המשתה וקבלו עליהן [שיבאו ה"ז מערב עליהן] בקופות של תמרים ובקופות של גרוגרות ובקופות של זיתים
אם יש מזון שתי סעודות לכל אחד ואחד יבואו
ואם לאו לא יבואו
קבלו [כליהן] זה אחר זה הראשונים שיש להם יבאו
אחרונים לא יבואו.
One who prepares an 'eruv on behalf of the town's residents so that they can go with him to either a house of mourning or a house of drinking and they accepted upon them with baskets of dates or baskets of olives.
If there is enough food for two meals for each and every person, they can come along.
But, if not, they should not come along.
If they accepted one after another, the ones who accepted initially, can come along;
the later ones should not come along.
השואל מחבירו חלוק לילך בו לבית האבל כדי שילך ויחזור
לבית המשתה כל היום
לבית האבל ולבית המשתה שלו אין פחות מז' ימים
רבי שמעון אומר אין פחות מן שתי שבתות מפני שבית חמיו באין אצלו שבת שניה
One who borrows a cloak from one's friend to go to a house of mourning is for enough time to go there and return.
One who borrows a cloak from one's friend to go to a house of drinking can do so for an entire day.
One who borrows a cloak from one's friend to go to his house of mourning or to his house of drinking, he can do so for no less than seven days.
Rabbi Shimon says, "No less than two weeks, since for the household of his father-in-law comes to visit him for the second Shabbat."
It is also quite interesting that all of the mentions of the house of drinking in the Tosefta pair up with a house of mourning, with the lone exception of tSanhedrin 7:5, perhaps because it is exceptional, in that we would not be surprised to see children at a house of mourning, but we would be surprised to see them at a drinking house.
You may also be curious: how is the term משתה (drinking) used in these bodies of literature? The term משתה appears twice in the Mishnah
וְאֵלּוּ אֵידֵיהֶן שֶׁל גּוֹיִם, קָלֶנְדָּא, וּסְטַרְנוּרָא, וּקְרָטֵסִים, וְיוֹם גְּנֻסְיָא שֶׁל מְלָכִים, וְיוֹם הַלֵּידָה, וְיוֹם הַמִּיתָה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר.
וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, כָּל מִיתָה שֶׁיֶּשׁ בָּהּ שְׂרֵפָה, יֶשׁ בָּהּ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה.
וְשֶׁאֵין בָּהּ שְׂרֵפָה, אֵין בָּה עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה.
יוֹם תִּגְלַחַת זְקָנוֹ וּבְלוֹרִיתוֹ, יוֹם שֶׁעָלָה בוֹ מִן הַיָּם, וְיוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא בוֹ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִים, וְגוֹי שֶׁעָשָׂה מִשְׁתֶּה לִבְנוֹ, אֵינוֹ אָסוּר אֶלָּא אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם וְאוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ בִּלְבָד:
And these, according to Rabbi Meir, are the festivals of the non-Jews: Kalendae, Saturnalia, Kratesim, kings' days of accession, the day of birth, and the day of death.
And the Sages say: every funeral in which a conflagration is present, [thereby] involves idol worship.
One that has no conflagration does not involve idol worship.
[A celebration of] the day on which a [non-Jewish] man cuts his beard or his hair, the day that he came ashore from the sea, and the day he was released from prison, and a pagan who made a drinking-event for his son, [for all these] the prohibition extends only to that day and that man alone.
גָּמַר מִלִּמְסֹק אֲבָל עָתִיד לִקַּח, גָּמַר מִלִּקַּח אֲבָל עָתִיד לִלְווֹת, אֵרְעוֹ אֵבֶל, אוֹ מִשְׁתֶּה, אוֹ אֹנֶס, אֲפִלּוּ זָבִים וְזָבוֹת מְהַלְּכִים עֲלֵיהֶן, טְהוֹרִין.
נָפְלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין, אֵין טָמֵא אֶלָּא מְקוֹם מַגָּעָן, וְהַמֹּחַל הַיּוֹצֵא מֵהֶן טָהוֹר:
If one finished harvesting [his olives] but intends to buy, or finished buying but intends to borrow [more olives], if it happened that he became a mourner, or had a drinking-event, or something unavoidable befell him [preventing him from getting more olives or pressing them], even if zavim and zavot [certain individuals with discharges that render them a Source of impurity] walk upon them [i.e. upon the olives he already had] they remain pure [as they have not become primed for impurity].
If impure liquids fell on them, only the area they touched is impure, and the sap that emerges from them is pure.