סקר
לקראת מסכת עירובין





 

Steinsaltz

is similar to a partially enclosed veranda [le’akhsadra], enclosed on three sides, and the northern side of the world is not enclosed with a partition like the other directions. The sun begins its revolution in the east and passes to the south and the west, and once the sun reaches the northwestern corner it turns around and ascends throughout the night above the sky to the east side and does not pass the north side. And Rabbi Yehoshua says: The world is similar to a small tent [lekubba], and the north side is enclosed with a partition as well, but once the sun reaches the northwestern corner it emerges from this small tent, and circles and passes behind the dome, i.e., outside the northern partition, until it reaches the east.

As it is stated: “The sun also rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to its place, where it rises again. It goes toward the south, and turns about to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns” (Ecclesiastes 1:5–6). The verse is understood as describing the sun’s movements, as follows: “It goes toward the south” during the day, “and turns about to the north,” on the outside of the firmament, at night. “Round and round goes the wind [ruaḥ] and the wind returns again to its circuits”; as the word ruaḥ can also mean direction or side, Rabbi Yehoshua explains that these are the face of the east and the face of the west. Sometimes, in the short winter days, the sun turns about them without being seen, and sometimes, in the long summer days, it traverses them visibly.

The baraita continues: He would say. Before continuing its citation, the Gemara interjects: In this statement, we arrive at the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that the world is like a partially enclosed veranda. The Gemara resumes its citation of the baraita: There is proof from a verse that the north side is open: “Out of the chamber comes the storm”; this is the southern side that forms a room with the other two sides. “And cold out of the dispersed parts” (Job 37:9); this is the northern side, which is open, and from which a cold wind comes. “By the breath of God ice is given”; this is the western side. “And the breadth of the waters is straitened” (Job 37:10); this is the eastern side, from which the rains come.

The Gemara asks: But doesn’t the Master say that the southern wind raises showers and causes herbs to grow? The Gemara answers that this is not difficult: This is referring to rain that falls gently, which waters plants and brings growth; that is referring to a downpour of rain that causes damage.

Rav Ḥisda said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Out of the north comes gold” (Job 37:22)? This is the northern wind, which devalues gold by causing a drought that raises the price of grain. And, in addition, it says: “You who lavish gold out of the bag” (Isaiah 46:6).

§ Rafram bar Pappa says that Rav Ḥisda says: From the day the Temple was destroyed the southern wind has not brought rain, as it is stated in the description of the destruction of the Temple: “He decrees on the right and there is hunger, and consumes on the left and they are not satisfied” (Isaiah 9:19). This means that God decreed that the southern wind, which is called right, shall bring famine with it. And it is written: “North and right, You have created them” (Psalms 89:13). This proves that the term right means south.

And Rafram bar Pappa says that Rav Ḥisda says: From the day the Temple was destroyed, the rains no longer descend from the good storehouse, as it is stated: “The Lord will open to you His good storehouse, the skies, to give the rain of your land in its season” (Deuteronomy 28:12). In a time when the Jewish people perform God’s will, and the Jewish people are settled in their land, rain descends from the good storehouse. In a time when the Jewish people are not settled in their land, rain does not descend from the good storehouse.

Rabbi Yitzḥak says: One who wishes to become wise should face south, and one who wishes to become wealthy should face north. And your mnemonic for this is that in the Temple the Table, which symbolized blessing and abundance, was in the north, and the Candelabrum, which symbolized the light of wisdom, was in the south of the Sanctuary. And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: One should always face south, as once he becomes wise he will subsequently also become wealthy, as it is stated with regard to the Torah: “Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor” (Proverbs 3:16).

The Gemara asks: But Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that the Divine Presence is in the west. How, then, can one pray facing south? The Gemara explains that one should turn aside slightly, so that he faces southwest. Rabbi Ḥanina said to Rav Ashi: An individual such as you, who lives to the north of Eretz Yisrael, should face south when you pray. And from where do we derive that Babylonia is located to the north of Eretz Yisrael? As it is written in a prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians: “Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land” (Jeremiah 1:14).

§ The mishna teaches that one must distance from vegetables the water in which flax is steeped, and distance mustard from bees. A Sage taught that Rabbi Yosei permits one not to do so in the case of mustard because he can say to the beekeeper: Before you tell me: Distance your mustard from my bees, I can tell you: Distance your bees from my mustard, as they come and eat my mustard plants. In other words, you are also causing damage to my property. Since they each cause damage to the other, neither can force his neighbor to move.

MISHNA: One must distance a tree twenty-five cubits from a cistern, and in the case of a carob and of a sycamore tree, whose roots extend farther, one must distance the tree fifty cubits. This is the halakha whether the cistern or tree is located above or to the side of the other. If the digging of the cistern preceded the tree, the owner of the tree cuts down the tree and the owner of the cistern pays him money. And if the tree preceded the cistern the owner of the tree need not cut down the tree. If it is uncertain whether this came first or that came first, the owner of the tree need not cut down the tree. Rabbi Yosei says: Even if the cistern preceded the tree, the owner of the tree need not cut down the tree. This is due to the fact that this one digs in his own property, and that one plants in his own property.

GEMARA: The Gemara discusses the mishna’s statement that a tree must be distanced if it is above a cistern. A Sage taught: This is the halakha whether the cistern is below and the tree is above, or whether the cistern is above and the tree is below. The Gemara asks: Granted, if the cistern is below and the tree is above, it will cause damage, as the roots extend and damage the cistern when they breach its walls. But if the cistern is above and the tree is below, why should he have to distance the tree, considering that the roots extend downward? Rabbi Ḥagga says in the name of Rabbi Yosei: He must distance the tree because its roots form holes in the ground and ruin the floor of the cistern.

Rabbi Yosei says: Even if the cistern preceded the tree, the owner of the tree need not cut down the tree. This is due to the fact that this one digs in his own property, and that one plants in his own property. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei. Rav Ashi said: When we were studying in the study hall of Rav Kahana, we would say that Rabbi Yosei concedes with regard to one’s arrows, i.e., one must distance his activities from his neighbor if his actions will cause immediate damage to his neighbor, even if he is acting on his own property.

The Gemara relates that a man called Pappei Yona’a was poor and became wealthy. He built a mansion [appadna] on his land. There were these sesame seed pressers in his neighborhood who would work, and when they would press the sesame seeds their activity would shake his mansion. He came before Rav Ashi to complain. Rav Ashi said to him: When we were studying in the study hall of Rav Kahana, we would say that Rabbi Yosei concedes with regard to one’s arrows. Here too, because the sesame seed pressers cause immediate damage they must distance themselves.

The Gemara asks: And how much must the mansion shake for the owner to have the right to compel the sesame seed pressers to distance themselves?

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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