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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 106a

The one1  is a positive precept and the other2  is also a positive precept. but the positive precept of shewing respect for the Torah2  must take precedence. He, therefore, postponed3  the orphans' case and brought up that man's suit. When the other party4  noticed the honour he was shewing him5  he remained speechless.6  [Until that happened] Elijah7  was a frequent visitor of R. Anan whom he was teaching the Order of Elijah.8  but as soon as he9  acted in the manner described10  [Elijah] stayed away. He9  Spent his time11  in fasting, and in prayers for [God's] mercy, [until Elijah] came to him again; but when he appeared he greatly frightened him. Thereupon he12  made a box [for himself] and in it he sat before him until he concluded his Order with him. And this is [the reason] why people speak of the Seder Eliyyahu Rabbah and the Seder Eliyyahu Zuta.13

In the days14  of R. Joseph there was a famine.15  Said the Rabbis to R. Joseph, 'Will the Master offer prayers for [heavenly] mercy'? He replied, 'If Elisha, with whom, when the [main body of] Rabbis had departed, there still remained two thousand and two hundred Rabbis,16  did not offer up any prayers for mercy in a time of famine,15  should I [at such a time venture to] offer prayers for mercy? But whence is it inferred that so many remained? — [From Scripture] where it is written, And his servant said: How should I set this before a hundred men.?17  Now what is meant by [the expression.] 'Before a hundred men'? If it be suggested that all18  [was to be set] before the hundred men [one might well object that] in years of famine [all this] is rather a large quantity. Consequently it must be concluded19  that each [loaf was set] before a hundred men.20

When the [main body of] Rabbis departed from the school of Rab there still remained behind one thousand and two hundred Rabbis; [when they departed] from the school of R. Huna there remained behind eight hundred Rabbis. R. Huna when delivering his discourses [was assisted] by thirteen interpreters.21  When the Rabbis stood up after R. Huna's discourses22  and shook out their garments the dust rose [so high] that it obscured the [light of] day, and people in Palestine23  said, 'They have risen after the discourses of R. Huna the Babylonian' — When [the main body of] Rabbis departed from the schools of Rabbah and R. Joseph there remained four hundred Rabbis and they described themselves as orphans. When [the main body of] Rabbis departed from the school of Abaye (others say, From the school of R. Papa, while still others say, From the school of R. Ashi) there remained two hundred Rabbis, and these described themselves as orphans of the orphans.

R. Isaac b. Radifa said in the name of R. Ammi: The inspectors of [animal] blemishes24  in Jerusalem received their wages from the Temple funds.25  Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The learned men who taught the priests the laws of ritual slaughter received their fees from the Temple funds.25  R. Giddal said in the name of Rab: The learned men who taught the priests the rules of kemizah26  received their fees from the Temple funds.25  Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan: Book readers27  in Jerusalem received their fees from the Temple funds.28

R. Nahman said: Rab stated that the women who wove the [Temple] curtains received their wages from the Temple funds25  but I maintain [that they received them] from the sums consecrated for Temple repairs, since the curtains were a substitute for builder's work.

An objection was raised: The women who wove the [Temple] curtains, and the house of Garmo29  [who were in charge] of the preparation of the shewbread,30  and the house of Abtinas29  [who were in charge] of the preparation of the incense,31  received their wages from the Temple funds!32  — There33  [it may be replied] the reference is [to the curtains] of the gates;34  for R. Zera related in the name of Rab: There were thirteen curtains in the second Temple, seven corresponding to the seven gates,35  one for the entrance to the Hekal,36  one for the entrance to the 'Ulam,36  two37  [at the entrance] to the Debir36  and two [above them and] corresponding to them in the upper storey.38

Our Rabbis taught: The women who brought up their children for the [services of the red] heifer,39  received their wages from the Temple funds. Abba Saul said: The notable40  women of Jerusalem fed them and maintained them.

R. Huna enquired of Rab:

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'that', to judge the orphan.
  2. Respect for a man of learning (cf. B.K. 41b) and consequently also for those who are related to him.
  3. Lit., removed', 'put aside'.
  4. Lit., 'the master of his law (suit').
  5. His opponent, whom R. Nahman presumed to be R. Anan's relative.
  6. Lit., 'his plea was stopped'.
  7. Cf supra p. 488, n. 6.
  8. [H], a Rabbinic work of mysterious origin and authorship.
  9. R. Anan.
  10. Lit., 'thus'. He allowed himself to be the unconscious tool of the man who cunningly bribed him.
  11. Lit., 'sat'.
  12. R. Anan.
  13. The former was taught when P. Anan was without, the latter when he was within, the box (Rashi). [Tosaf.: the Treatise consists of a large and small book, hence the names Rabbah and Zuta. Both constitute the Midrash known as Tanna debe Eliyyaha].
  14. Lit., 'years'. a reference perhaps to the period during which he was head of the academy.
  15. [H], lit., 'agitation'. excitement', hence 'anger'. Owing to God's anger the world was afflicted with famine (v. Rashi).
  16. To dine with him.
  17. II Kings IV, 43.
  18. Lit., 'all of them', i.e., the twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of corn, enumerated in the preceding verse.
  19. Lit., 'but'.
  20. There were twenty loaves of barley (II Kings II, 42). one loaf of bread of the first-fruits (ibid.) and one loaf of fresh ears of corn (ibid.). a total of twenty-two loaves. Since each loaf was set before a hundred men the total number of the men must have been (twenty-two times one hundred =) two thousand two hundred (Rashi).
  21. Each of whom addressed a section of the crowded audiences, v. Glos. s.v. Amora.
  22. Lit., 'sitting'.
  23. Lit., 'in the west'.
  24. [H], lit., 'those who examine blemishes', officials whose duty it was to ascertain whether any beast was unfit as a sacrifice owing to a disqualifying blemish.
  25. [H], v. supra p. 673, n. 13.
  26. [H], (rt. [H], 'to close the hand'), 'taking a handful' from a meal-offering. Cf. e.g., Lev. II, 2 and Men. 11a.
  27. Who check scribal errors.
  28. In order to preserve the accuracy of the written word the services of the readers were placed free at the disposal of any member of the public (cf. Rashi).
  29. A priestly family.
  30. Cf. Ex. XXV. 30 and Yoma 38a.
  31. Cf. Ex. XXX, 23ff and Yoma 38a.
  32. An objection against R. Nahman.
  33. In the Baraitha just cited.
  34. Which cannot be regarded as forming a part of the structure of the building, while R. Nahman spoke of those curtains that replaced a wall that in the first Temple formed the partition between the Holy of Holies and the Hekal (v. infra n. 5 and Yoma 51b).
  35. Of the Temple court.
  36. The Hekal ([H]) or 'Holy', was situated between the 'Ulam ([H]) the Temple porch and the Debir ([H]), and contained the candlestick, the table for the shewbread and the golden altar. The Debir, or the Holy of Holies, contained the ark and the cherubim.
  37. With a space of one cubit between them in place of the thickness of the wall in the first Temple (cf. supra note 3).
  38. To form a partition between the chamber above the Debir and that above the Hekal.
  39. Cf. Num. XIX, 2ff. Certain services in connection with its preparation had to be entrusted to children who from birth were brought up under conditions of scrupulous ritual purity. For this purpose the mothers had to live in specially constructed buildings from the ante-natal period until the time the children were ready for their duties. (Cf. Suk. 21a).
  40. Rich (Rashi).
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Kethuboth 106b

May vessels of ministry1  be procured2  with the offerings consecrated to Temple repair? Are these [a part of] the equipment3  of the altar and were, therefore,4  purchased5  with the offerings consecrated to Temple repair, or are they rather among the requirements of the sacrifices and were, therefore, procured6  with the Temple funds? — 'They'. the other7  replied, 'may be procured2  with the Temple funds only'.

He raised an objection against him; And when they had made an end, they brought the rest of the money8  before the King and Jehoiada,9  whereof were made vessels for the house of the Lord, even vessels wherewith to minister10  etc. — The other11  replied: He that taught you the Hagiographa did not teach you the Prophets: But there were not made for the hose of the Lord cups12  etc. for they gave that to them that did the work.13  But if so, is there not a contradiction between the two Scriptural texts? — There is really no contradiction. The former is a case14  where after the collections were made [for Temple repair] there remained a balance,15  while the latter14  is a case where no balance remained.16  But even if there was a balance after the Collection had been made, what of it?17  R. Abbahu replied: Beth din make a mental18  Stipulation that if they19  be required they should be utilized for their original purpose20  and that if [they would] not [be required] they should be [spent] on vessels of ministry.

A Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael taught: Vessels of ministry were provided21  from the Temple funds; for it is said in Scriptures The rest of the money,22  now what funds shewed a balance?23  Obviously24  the Temple funds.25  But might it not be suggested that only the balance itself [could be spent on the vessels of ministry]?26  — As Raba said,27  The burnt-offering28  implies the first burnt-offering,29  so must the money30  imply the first money.31 

An objection was raised: The incense and all congregational sacrifices were provided32  from the Temple funds; the golden altar,33  the frankincense34  and the vessels of ministry were provided from the residue of the drink-offerings;35  the altar for the burnt-offerings,36  the chambers and the courts were provided from the funds that were dedicated for Temple repair, [and whatever was situated] outside the court walls37  was provided out of the surplus of the Temple funds;38  and it is this that [explains what] we learned: The city wall and its towers and all other requirements of the city were provided from the surplus of the Temple funds?39  — This [point40  is in fact a question at issue between] Tannaim. For we learned: What were they doing41  with the surplus of the offerings [for the Temple funds]?42  Beaten gold [plates that served as] a covering for [the walls and floor]43  of the Holy of Holies. R. Ishmael said: The surplus of the fruit44  [was spent on the purchase of sacrifices] for the dry season45  of the altar, while the surplus of the offerings [for the Temple funds] was spent upon vessels of ministry. R. Akiba said: The surplus of the offerings [for the Temple funds was spent on sacrifices] for the dry season of the altar while the surplus of the drink-offerings35  was used for [the purchase of] the vessels of ministry. R. Hanina, the deputy High Priest, said: The surplus of the drink-offerings [was spent on sacrifices] for the dry season of the altar, while the surplus of the offerings [for the Temple funds was spent] on vessels of ministry. And neither the one nor the other46  admitted that [there ever was a surplus] in the [proceeds of the] fruit.47

What is [meant by] 'fruit'?48  — It was taught: What were they doing with the surplus of the offering [to the Temple funds]?49  They bought fruit at a low price and sold it at a higher price, and with the profits sacrifices were purchased for the dry season of the altar; and it is this that [explains what] we learned: The surplus of the fruits was spent on sacrifices for the dry season of the altar.

What is meant by 'neither the one nor the other admitted that [there ever was a surplus] in [proceeds of the] fruit'?50  — [The following of] which we learned: What were they doing with the surplus51  of the Temple funds? They purchased therewith wines, oils and various kinds of fine flour, and the profit [resulting was credited] to the sacred funds; so R. Ishmael. R. Akiba said: No sale for profit is made with the sacred funds nor out of those of the poor.52  Why [may no sales for profit be made] with sacred funds? — There must be no poverty where there is wealth. Why [is] no [sale for profit made] with the poor funds? — Because a poor man might come unexpectedly and there would be nothing to give him.

IF A MAN WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA. It was stated: Rab ruled,

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. For use on the 'external' altar, a stone structure in the Temple court.
  2. Lit., 'made'.
  3. Lit., 'need', 'requirement'.
  4. Since the altar was builder's work.
  5. Lit. 'come'.
  6. Lit., 'they were making them'.
  7. Rab.
  8. That was dedicated to Temple repair.
  9. 'The priest' is in cur. edd. enclosed in parentheses. It does not appear in M.T.
  10. II Chron. XXIV, 14; which proves that offerings for Temple repair may be used for the provision of vessels of ministry. An objection against Rab.
  11. Rab
  12. Sc. vessels of ministry.
  13. II Kings XII. 14-15.
  14. Lit., 'here'.
  15. Lit., 'they collected and left over'; hence it was permissible to procure 'vessels wherewith to minister' with the balance.
  16. Lit., 'where they collected and did not leave'.
  17. Cf. supra n. 8 ab init.; how could funds collected for one purpose lawfully be used for another?
  18. Lit., 'heart'.
  19. The funds collected.
  20. Lit., 'if they were required they were required'.
  21. Lit., 'come'.
  22. II Chron. XXIV, 14.
  23. Lit., 'which is the money that has a remainder'.
  24. Lit., 'be saying, this'.
  25. Since after the current yearly expenses were met the balance was allowed to remain in the treasury.
  26. But the main funds could not.
  27. Pes. 58b, B.K. 111a.
  28. [H] Lev. VI, 5, emphasis on the definite article.
  29. Sc. that is offered on the altar every morning before all other sacrifices.
  30. [H] (II Chron. XXIV, 14) emphasis again on the definite article (cf. supra n. 21).
  31. I.e., the income of the current year, and not only the balance. Cf. infra p. 684, n. 7.
  32. Lit., 'come'.
  33. Which, since it was not attached to the ground and was movable, was not regarded as a part of the structure of the building.
  34. That was placed at the side of the shewbread. The Wilna Gaon omits frankincense; v. J. Shek. IV, 3.
  35. This is explained in Men. 90a.
  36. The 'external' altar, cf. supra p. 682, n. 10.
  37. E.g., the women's court and the city walls.
  38. Sc. after the expenses for the current year have been met. Cf. supra p. 683, n. 24.
  39. Shek. IV, 2. Does not this Baraitha, which lays down that vessels of ministry were provided out of the surplus of the drink-offerings contradict the teaching of the school of R. Ishmael?
  40. From which funds the vessels of ministry were procured.
  41. When the new year began on the first of Nisan and the funds of the previous year were no longer allowed to be used for the purchase of congregational sacrifices.
  42. Of the previous year.
  43. Rashi.
  44. This is explained infra.
  45. [H]. Sc. when no private offerings were available and the altar lay idle; v. Shebu., Sonc. ed. p. 50, n. 3.
  46. Lit., 'and this and this', sc. R. Akiba and R. Hanina.
  47. Shek. 6a. Thus it is shewn that the opinion expressed at the school of R. Ishmael is a question in dispute between Tannaim.
  48. In the Mishnah just cited.
  49. V. supra P. 684, n. 10.
  50. Sc. how could they be so sure of the conditions of the market at all times?
  51. Lit., 'surplus of the remainder'.
  52. Shek. IV, 3. R. Akiba, and similarly R. Hanina (cf. supra n. 1). is thus of the opinion that there could never have been a surplus of tho fruit since it was never sold.
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