Real Pit Barbecue!

Daf 397 (Pesachim 74a-74b)

Perek 7. Mishnah. “How do we roast the Pesach?” There is a dispute between R’Yose HaGlili and R’Akiva regarding how to mount the carcass over the fire.

Gemara. The gemara wonders why the spit must be made of pomegranite wood. Why not metal? or palm wood? or fig wood? or oak or carob or sycamore? Is it permissible to eat a roasted animal “stuffed with raw meat”?

Daf 398 (Pesachim 75a-75b)

The mishnah seems to be saying that the Pesach offering may not be roasted on a grill, but it is known that Rabban Gamliel used a grill. The gemara speculates that the mishnah was referring to a grill that was not perforated. The Sages debate what constitutes “fire roasting.” They digress to consider the various options for executing one who has been sentenced to die by fire.

Mishnah. Here are additional restrictions on fire roasting.

Daf 399 (Pesachim 76a-76b)

Gemara. The Sages seek to determine how to deal with gravy and other substances that drip onto the meat. Is the mingling of aromas also a concern?

Mishnah. The rules restricting contaminated communities from eating most offerings are different from those for Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine if the mishnah has omitted any offerings.

Daf 400 (Pesachim 77a-77b)

There is a dispute about the validity of offerings when the blood or the meat have been compromised. R’Elizer insists the ruling is derived explicitly from Scripture. Pointing to a less explicit source, R’Yehoshua counters, “Whenever it is possible to expound the superfluous verse we expound it.” Knowing the source of their rulings does not resolve the question of how and when to apply them to determine the validity of an offering.

Daf 401 (Pesachim 78a-78b)

R’Yose’s opinion is added to the mix as the gemara continues by exploring the status of one who ate meat that was subsequently discovered to be part of an invalid offering. It then returns to the question of whether the communal offering may proceed if a fault is found in the meat after it has begun. For individual offerings, these “leniencies” are not considered.

Mishnah. Here are rules pertaining to an individual’s Pesach offering.

Gemara. Why is the offering accepted if it is unfit to be eaten? Perhaps it is sufficient to have had the intention to eat it at the time of the offering?

Daf 402 (Pesachim 79a-79b)

Mishnah. Here are protocols for the Pesach offering when either some of the people or the Kohen are contaminated.

Gemara. The gemara cites a Baraisa that adds the consideration of when the sacred vessels are contaminated. When half the people are contaminated and half are not, Rav treats each half as a majority; Rav Kahana treats each half as a minority. The gemara wonders if Rav Kahana’s ruling might exclude the contaminated from participating in both the first and second offering.

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Confusability and Preoccupation

Daf 392 (Pesachim 69a-69b)

R’Akiva and R’Eliezer vigorously dispute the conditions under which slaughter is permissible on the Sabbath, At one point R’Eliezer lashes out: “Akiva! You have answered me irreverently in a matter of slaughter– through slaughter shall be his death!”

R’Akiva explains that his answer had been an attempt to remind R’Eliezer that he himself had taught Akiva the law Eliezer was now apparently refuting. “He held that it was not proper for him to openly correct his teacher.”

The gemara continues, seeking to understand why R’Eliezer holds that sprinkling the Pesach offering on Shabbes is a problem. Rav Yehudah rules in favor of R’Akiva.

Mishnah. Here are rules for additional offerings on Pesach. These are not offered on Shabbes or on weekdays when the initial offering is “abundant.”

Gemara. The gemara asks why this mishnah is inserted here.

Daf 393 (Pesachim 70a-70b)

The gemara seeks to determine the manner of preparing the additional offering and the interval within which one may eat it.

Yehuda ben Dortai is so certain that the additional offering must be made even on the Sabbath (a position contrary to practice at the Temple) that he places himself at a great distance from Jerusalem to exempt himself from the obligation to join the pilgrimmage to the Temple on a year when Pesach coincided with the Sabbath. When this incident is discussed, Rav Ashi dismisses it, “need we arise and explain the reasons of separatists?”

Daf 394 (Pesachim 71a-71b)

What preparation is required for a meal of “rejoicing”? Must the meat have been slaughtered during the “rejoicing”? Can one rejoice without a meal? Rav Pappa says, “clean garments and drinking aged wine” suffices.

Mishnah. The prohibition of slaughtering an animal on Shabbes is waived for the Pesach offering, but if the offering is performed in a way that results in an invalid offering, it is a desecration of the Sabbath. This mishnah describes a dispute as to the consequences of this unique desecration.

Daf 395 (Pesachim 72a-72b)

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine a general principle from the specific case of the mishnah: what is the liability for inadvertently performing a mitzvah incorrectly or addressed to the wrong subject? According to Rav Nachman, “Confusability is valid grounds for exemption even where he is not preoccupied.” According to some, R’Yochanan argues that an attempt to perform a mitzvah that does not result in a valid mitzvah is not exempt; but others say R’Yochanan held the opposite opinion.

Daf 396 (Pesachim 73a-73b)

The rabbis pass decrees based on the concern that “people might not distinguish between before and after atonement.” The gemara then presents regulations requiring that there be a change in the appearance in a failed offering before it is burnt.

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Contaminants in This World and The Next

Daf 390 (Pesachim 67a-67b)

The gemara seeks to determine which forms of contamination would disqualify an individual from participating in the Pesach offering and which forms of contamination are more serious– those that come from without or those that come from within.

Daf 391 (Pesachim 68a-68b)

“One contaminated with corpse tumah has a more stringent law than one who emitted semen.”

Consideration of the protocol for scraping sheep intestines leads to musings on the resurrection of the dead and a dispute on whether the World to Come will include gentiles.

The gemara reviews all of the holidays, seeking to determine which are for the sake of God and which are for the sake of you.

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The Effectiveness of Unspoken Intentions

Daf 368 (Pesachim 45a-45b)

Mishnah. Here are procedures for handling traces of leavened dough in the cracks of a kneading trough before Pesach. (Sometimes it is considered part of the trough.)

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine the implications of the mishnah. Two conflicting interpretations are considered. Rav Huna says, “Have you removed all the Tenaim from the world that you cannot find a Tanna who holds the view of the first . . . !”

Daf 369 (Pesachim 46a-46b)

The dough in the cracks is considered part of the trough unless the owner objects to it.

Mishnah. Dough that does not appear leavened is only considered chametz if other dough comparable to it is chametz.

Gemara. The gemara asks what one does when there is no dough to compare it with.

MIshnah. Here are rules for separating challah from tumah dough erev Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to understand whether the dispute between R’Yehoshua and R’Eliezer is as to whether the benefit of “gratitude” is considered “equity.”

Daf 370 (Pesachim 47a-47b)

The rabbis agree that they may waive their own restrictions for the sake of the Temple service but disagree on whether this is a general principle or one that only applies to an immediate purpose.

Daf 371 (Pesachim 48a-48b)

How much dough is one permitted to knead on Pesach? The answer depends on whether it is wheat or barley and the quality of the grain.

Mishnah. The mishnah records a dispute on the procedure to follow when three women are preparing to bake matzah in an oven too small to accommodate more than one of them at a time.

Gemara. Rabbi Gamliel and Rabbi Akiva clash.

Mishnah. The mishnah attempts to define permissible Si’iur: “Any dough whose surface has turned pale like a person whose hair stands on end because of a fright.”

Daf 372 (Pesachim 49a-49b)

Mishnah. Here is a dispute on the procedures for disposing of chametz when the 14th of Nisan falls on Shabbes.

Gemara. R’Elizar bar Tzadok recalls that his father was instructed by Rabban Gamliel to dispose of the chametz on Shabbes.

Mishnah. Here are protocols for nullifying chametz in your home if you find yourself too far from home to arrive to physically dispose of it at its appointed time.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine if attending a betrothal feast is a sufficiently important mitzvah that one should go on to it rather than return home to dispose of chametz. It may depend on who is getting married. (Marriages between certain types of people are destined to end badly regardless.) For example, “The Rabbis taught . . . a man should always be prepared to sell all he owns and marry the daughter of a Torah scholar or marry off his own daughter to a Torah scholar.”

Several stories disparage the am haaretz. For example, “R’Elazar said, ‘It is permitted to stab an am haaretz to death even on a Yom Kippur that falls on the Sabbath’.”

Later, “Rabbi Akiva said ‘When I was an am haaretz I said, “Who will give me a Torah scholar that I may bite him like a donkey”‘”

There is a dispute over whether one announces the lost property of an am haaretz.

Daf 373 (Pesachim 50a-50b)

A vision of the world to come: it is the opposite of this world except that Torah scholars are as well regarded there as they are here. “Those executed by the government enjoy such an exalted level . . . that no other person can stand in their enclosure.”

A verse from Zachariah is considered: “And  . . . on that day Hashem will be one and His Name will be one.” The gemara asks, “Is He not One today?”

Perek 4. Mishnah. Here are the rules for how to behave when one encounters a place where the local custom differs from your own: “. . . a person should not deviate from the local custom because of the conflict that could otherwise ensue.”

Gemara. An exception to the principle in the mishnah: working erev Shabbat.

The gemara considers several occupations that “will never have a sign of blessing.”

Daf 374 (Pesachim 51a-51b)

Several examples of customs unique to specific locales are considered. If the custom is more stringent than that which is more generally practiced elsewhere, the gemara rules that “public nullification is prohibited” — i.e., do not publicly act in violation of the custom.

Daf 375 (Pesachim 52a-52b)

Rules limiting consumption of shemittah are disputed.

Daf 376 (Pesachim 53a-53b)

Mishnah. Small livestock may be sold to gentiles if that is the local custom; not so, large livestock (“however R’Yehudah permits selling in the case of a maimed animal”).

Gemara. What are the rules for preparing meat for a Pesach meal?

Mishnah. Lighting lamps in homes on Yom Kippur is permitted where it is the local custom. Lighting lamps in “synagogues and houses of study, in dark alleys, and for the sick” is permitted everywhere.

Gemara. Regardless of which custom prevails in the home on Yom Kippur, it is for the same reason: “to prevent cohabitation between husband and wife.”

Daf 377 (Pesachim 54a-54b)

A dispute is recorded regarding when one says a blessing over fire. Was fire created after Adam’s first Sabbath? What was created before the world?

“Seven things are concealed from people: . . . the day of a person’s death, the day of personal consolation . . .”, etc.

Mishnah. Local customs on Tisha B’Av are discussed.

Gemara. Is it permitted to eat and work on the eve of Tisha B’Av? Shmuel says yes. Rules regulating fasting on Tisha B’Av are compared to the rules for Yom Kippur.

Daf 378 (Pesachim 55a-55b)

Some rabbis say a groom may say the Shema on his wedding night, but Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, “Not everyone who wishes to take the Good Name . . . may take it.”

Mishnah. There is a dispute between Hillel and Shammai regarding how long work is permitted on erev Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to determine whether R’Yehudah sees the rules regarding work on erev Pesach as a matter of law or custom.

Mishnah. R’Meir only permits completing work on erev Pesach, but the Sages specify professions to which this restriction does not apply.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to discover the limits of R’Meir’s ruling: Must the incomplete work be “for a festival need” to be permitted erev Pesach? Apparently, yes, in those places where the custom is to abstain from work on that day.

Mishnah. Here are rules for caring for livestock erev Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara wonders if the leniency of the mishnah only applies to preventing substantial loss.

Mishnah. The customs of the Jews of Jericho are summarized: “For three of them the Sages reproved the people and for three others they did not reprove the people.”

Daf 379 (Pesachim 56a-56b)

Gemara. The gemara looks at six other acts not directly related to Jericho before studying the mishnah. They derive an explanation for why the phrase “Blessed is the Name . . .” is quietly inserted into the Shma despite the fact that Moses did not say it.

Daf 380 (Pesachim 57a-57b)

The gemara relates incidents involving the “consecration of property to prevent its expropriation”; stories that suggest some greed and corruption among the Kohanim. For example, “In all the days of Yochanan ben Narbai, leftover sacrificial meat was never found in the Temple.”

Daf 381 (Pesachim 58a-58b)

Perek 5. Mishnah. Here the afternoon tamid offering is described. This offering precedes the Pesach offering.

Gemara. The gemara asks, “From where do we know this?” and seeks to determine whether the protocol was mandated Biblically or by a Rabbinic enactment. There is a dispute on whether the timing of the offering is different if Pesach falls on the Sabbath or the offering itself falls on the Sabbath.

Daf 382 (Pesachim 59a-59b)

The dispute expands to encompass the order of all the offerings related to the Pesach offering.

Mishnah. Here are the consequences of offering a Pesach sacrifice without the proper intention: the offering is invalid.

Gemara. The gemara asks if the initially expressed intention is binding or a second intention may invalidate it.

Daf 383 (Pesachim 60a-60b)

The basic question is reduced to whether or not a person is accountable for everything he says, and whether an intention, left unsaid, may be assumed. The effect of a change of ownership during or after the sacrifice is also considered.

Daf 384 (Pesachim 61a-61b)

Mishnah. Here are additional disqualifications of a Pesach offering, some related to timing.

Gemara. The gemara questions, “From where do we derive these matters?” Alternative explanations are weighed.

Daf 385 (Pesachim 62a-62b)

References to the lost Book of Yochasin digress from the consideration of invalid offerings. R’Yochanan is reluctant to teach this book to anyone from Lod or Nehardea. R’Simali, who was born in Lod and lived in Nehardea tries to persuade R’Yochanan to agree to teach him the book over three months. “R’Yochanan took a clod of dirt and threw it at him. He said to him ‘Now if Beruryah . . . who could learn three hundred rulings a day from three hundred different masters nevertheless did not . . . complete the study of this work in three years, do you say that you want to finish it in three months!”

Daf 386 (Pesachim 63a-63b)

When a Pesach sacrifice is offered on behalf of both circumcised and uncircumcised people it may be valid if the circumcised are mentioned first. If the declaration is interrupted or misspoken and the sacrifice is offered before it is completed or corrected, does the unspoken intention take effect or not? R’Meir says, “a man’s pronouncements are ineffective unless his words and thoughts coincide.”

Mishnah. Slaughtering a Pesach offering over chametz invalidates it.

Gemara. There is a dispute related to whether either the ownership or positioning of the chametz affects the validity of the sacrifice. What does the mishnah intend with the term “over”?

Daf 387 (Pesachim 64a-64b)

Mishnah. This unusually lengthy mishnah describes the sequence of the Pesach offerings.

Gemara. Do the priests close the gates before the sacrifice or depend on a miracle to close them?

Daf 388 (Pesachim 65a-65b)

The Pesach offering is divided into three shifts. Those who come last are in the third group, which is called “lazy.” The gemara asks, “But it is not possible to properly offer the Pesach offering without this third group. What should they have done?” The answer: “Even so, they should have hurried themselves . . . It is not possible for the world to function without perfume merchants and without tanners. Happy is he whose occupation is that of a perfume merchant, and woe is to him whose occupation is that of a tanner.”

The gemara considers how the Kohanim disposed of the blood from the offerings. It is suggested that at times it accumulated such that they walked in blood up to their knees. One objects, “But the vestments of the Kohanim will become stained if the blood accumulates on the floor . . . if a Kohen’s garments were soiled and he performed an avodah, his avodah is not valid.” Several explanations fall short of resolving the contradiction and the subject is dropped without explanation.

Perek 6. Mishnah. When erev Pesach falls on Shabbat, some acts normally prohibited on Shabbes are permitted. However, forbidden acts not essential to the Pesach preparations remain forbidden. The rabbis dispute whether Rabbinic ordinances may override Biblical obligations.

Daf 389 (Pesachim 66a-66b)

Akiva argues logically that an act Biblically prohibited on Shabbes may not be performed when erev Pesach falls on Shabbes. R’Eliezer responds, “Akiva, you have uprooted . . . the Torah!” (The Torah says the Pesach offering must be performed “in its appointed time,” which may fall on the Sabbath.)

Gemara. An incident is related in which the people forgot that the Pesach offering was permitted on Shabbes. They consult Hillel, who identifies over 200 offerings that are permitted on Shabbes. Proof is then offered for the following: “Concerning anyone who shows haughtiness: if he is a wise man, his wisdom deserts him; if he is a prophet, his prophecy deserts him.” Likewise, for one who shows anger.

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Is flavor equivalent to substance?

Daf 361 (Pesachim 38a-38b)

Does one only fulfill the obligation to eat matzah with matzah that one owns? Must the matzah have been made with the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah?

Daf 362 (Pesachim 39a-39b)

Mishnah. Here is a list of vegetables that may be used to make maror.

Gemara. The gemara suggests vegetables that had only been alluded to in the mishnah. R’Yochanan concludes, “From the words of all . . . it may be learned that a bitter herb necessarily has sap and its appearance is pale green.”

Does it more completely satisfy the mitzvah to eat the most bitter herb or the one listed first in the mishnah? The rabbis argue over whether all vegetables that may constitute maror may be planted in the same bed.

Mishnah. Here are processes that may facilitate leavening and thus should be avoided during Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara suggests foods that do not become leavened when moistened.

Daf 363 (Pesachim 40a-40b)

The gemara seeks to determine if it is forbidden to soak any grains during Pesach. One can eat matzah prepared by a gentile but does it fulfill the mitzvah (can we be sure it was properly “guarded”)?

Is it permissible to add flour to a pot during Pesach? Rava asks, “Is there anyone who would permit such a thing in a place where slaves are common?” (Though some say Rava would personally add the flour to thicken the sauce.)

Mishnah. Here are more actions that are forbidden because they might cause chametz to develop.

Gemara. There is a dispute on whether flour may be added to mustard.

Daf 364 (Pesachim 41a-41b)

All agree that meat cooked in water may not be eaten during Pesach; they disagree on the case of a pot roast cooked in its own fat, for which it may depend on whether it was roasted before it was cooked.

Daf 365 (Pesachim 42a-42b)

The gemara seeks to determine how to recognize whether a rule regulating Pesach observance is a positive or negative commandment.

Perek 3. Mishnah. Which are the substances it is forbidden to own on Pesach?

Gemara. The gemara comments on the nutritional value of various foods that are not consumed during Pesach. It notes that the quality of wine in Israel declined following the destruction of the Temple.

Daf 366 (Pesachim 43a-43b)

If eating matzah is a time-bound positive commandment, are women exempt? The gemara considers and rejects the possibility.

Does the Biblical prohibition against eating chametz apply to mixtures that contain chametz?

Daf 367 (Pesachim 44a-44b)

Apparently, even if mixtures containing terumah and chametz might be Biblically forbidden, Rav Dimi suggests that “nowadays” (i.e., in “exile”) this is not a concern.

Is flavor equivalent to substance? — i.e., if the quantity of a forbidden substance is below the minimum that is forbidden, but the flavor of the forbidden substance is clearly present, is the substance forbidden?

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Murky Teachings (cont’d)

Daf 355 (Pesachim 32a-32b)

Gemara. One who inadvertently eats terumah must replace it, but if the value of the terumah has fluctuated, is he expected to replace it according to the monetary value of what he consumed at the time he consumed it or with the volume of terumah he consumed? Those who hold that terumah that is chametz during Pesach has no value also hold that the one who ate it must replace it with the volume that he consumed. Others insist that chametz has value even when it is forbidden: “Even in this case . . . the Kohen has permission to burn it or to benefit from it in some other fashion. For had the Kohen wished, he could have placed it before his dog to eat, or burned it for fuel under his pot of food.”

Daf 356 (Pesachim 33a-33b)

A heated discussion continues on the permitted use of the forbidden.

Daf 357 (Pesachim 34a-34b)

The gemara seeks to determine the limits of invalidation due to “inattention.” When R’Yirmiyah heard an account of their investigations, he said, “The foolish Babylonians! It is because they dwell in a dark land that they state such murky teachings!” Rashi interprets this to mean “when they do not know the reason for a ruling, they simply invent one!”

Daf 358 (Pesachim 35a-35b)

Mishnah. Here are rules regarding the type of matzah that must be eaten on the first night of Pesach.

Gemara. The gemara seeks a Scriptural source that supports the mishnah. It argues over whether matzoh made from rice fulfills the mitzvah, as well as matzah made with flavored liquids (e.g., fruit juice).

Daf 359 (Pesachim 36a-36b)

Can a second prohibition ever be superimposed on an earlier prohibition?

Daf 360 (Pesachim 37a-37b)

Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai argue over the maximum thickness of an unleavened loaf one is permitted to bake during Pesach. Rav Yosef wonders if the same rules apply to people who are “diligent” and those who aren’t. The gemara seeks to develop a precise definition of bread; five definitions are offered and vigorously disputed.

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Mortgages and Chametz

Daf 350 (Pesachim 27a-27b)

May one benefit from a product produced jointly by a permitted and a forbidden factor? If not from Biblically forbidden factors, may one benefit from a product produced jointly by permitted and rabbinically forbidden factors?

The Sages declare chametz must be burned. The gemara objects, “If one does not find wood with which to burn the chametz, shall he sit idly and not fulfill the mitzvah to eliminate chametz?”

Daf 351 (Pesachim 28a-28b)

R’Yehudah’s argument by analogy against the requirement to burn chametz is refuted by his own argument (by analogy). leading Rava to note, “When the arrow-maker is killed by his arrows, through his own handiwork he is repaid.”

The rabbis argue over whether chametz must be crumbled before being cast into an ocean or river.

Mishnah. A gentile who owns chametz through Pesach may benefit from it; a Jew may not.

Gemara. The gemara seeks to identify whose opinion is reflected in the mishnah, and also the source of the commandment to eat matzah.

Daf 352 (Pesachim 29a-29b)

Can one eat a gentile’s chametz even on Pesach? Rashi says this is indeed the case, at least on a Biblical level. Tosafos disagrees: “by accepting it from a gentile to eat, the Jew acquires ownership . . .”

All agree “we do not redeem consecrated items in order to feed them to dogs,” but disagree over whether items that may eventually be sold should be treated as though they are money now. The final ruling on this issue (if there is one) may resolve the question of whether one may benefit from chametz one has been forbidden to eat.

Daf 353 (Pesachim 30a-30b)

The rabbis dispute Rava’s ruling that the halakah follows R’Shimon in permitting chametz that is left over after Pesach. It is suggested that R’Shimon permitted the chametz in mixtures but not undiluted.

The rabbis discuss which pots and dishes may be treated and used on Pesach.

Mishnah. Here are rules for when chametz is used as security for a loan: for a Jew borrowing from a gentile, the chametz is permitted after Pesach but not if the roles are reversed.

Gemara. The rabbis attempt to apply the Mishnah to a defaulted mortagage.

Daf 354 (Pesachim 31a-31b)

If a borrower defaults, is the lender’s ownership retroactive to the creation of the loan? Is it different if one of the parties is a gentile? (“It emerges that according to all opinions a gentile does not acquire the security of a Jew.”)

Mishnah. “Concerning chametz upon which a ruin collapsed: It is regarded as having been removed . . .”

Gemara. Rav Chisda says, “But the owner must also nullify the chametz in his heart.”

Mishnah. Here is the penalty for one who eats terumah that is chametz on Pesach.

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