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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