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Steinsaltz

MISHNA: With regard to the roots of the non-sacred tree of an ordinary person that enter into consecrated land, and the roots of a consecrated tree that enter into the non-sacred land of an ordinary person, one may not derive benefit from them ab initio, but if he derived benefit from them he is not liable for their misuse. With regard to water of a spring that flows in a non-sacred field but which emerges from that field and flows into a consecrated field, when it is in the consecrated field one may not derive benefit from it ab initio, but if one derived benefit from it he is not liable for its misuse. Once the spring emerges outside the consecrated field one may derive benefit from the water.

With regard to the water that was drawn from the Siloam pool into the golden jug, which was not consecrated as a service vessel, to bring it to the altar for libation on the festival of Sukkot, one may not derive benefit from the water ab initio, as it was drawn for use in the Temple service. But if one derived benefit from it he is not liable for its misuse, since it was not consecrated in a service vessel. Once one places the water from the jug for libation into the flask, which is a service vessel, the water is consecrated and he is liable for misusing the water.

With regard to the willow branches that are placed on the sides of the altar on the festival of Sukkot, before their placement one may not derive benefit from them ab initio, but if he derived benefit from them he is not liable for their misuse. After their placement their mitzva has been fulfilled, and therefore at that time one may derive benefit from the willow branches ab initio. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, says: The elders were accustomed to derive benefit from the willow branches even before their placement on the sides of the altar, by cutting small branches for use in their lulav, in fulfillment of the mitzva of the four species.

GEMARA: Reish Lakish says: When the mishna teaches that one is not liable for misusing the water in the golden jug awaiting use as a libation, it means that one is not liable for misuse of all of the water in the jug, if it contained more than three log. But one is liable for misusing the three log required for the libation.

The Gemara raises a difficulty: But the latter clause of the mishna teaches that once one placed the water from the jug into the flask he is liable for misusing the water. One can conclude by inference that in the case addressed in the first clause of the mishna, where the water is still in the jug, one is not liable for misuse in all circumstances, even if the jug contains only the requisite three log. This apparently contradicts the statement of Reish Lakish.

The Gemara answers: Rather, if a qualification was stated in this matter it was stated with regard to the latter clause of the mishna, which teaches that once the water is placed in the flask one is liable for misusing the water. The qualification is as follows: Reish Lakish says one is liable for its misuse only if the flask contains exactly three log of water, which is the requisite amount for the mitzva. But if there is more than three log one is not liable for misusing any of the water, as it is not consecrated at all.

And Rabbi Yoḥanan disagrees and says: Even if the flask contained more than three log of water, one is liable for misusing any of the water. He maintains there is no fixed measure for water used in the libation, and therefore all the water is consecrated for the mitzva. The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Reish Lakish holds there is a maximum measure for the water used in the libation? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Zevaḥim 110b) that deals with liability for sacrificing outside the Temple that Rabbi Eliezer, or Rabbi Elazar, says: One who pours, as a libation, water consecrated for the libation of the festival of Sukkot, during the Festival, outside the courtyard, is liable to receive karet just as though he sacrificed outside the Temple.

The Gemara continues: And Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Menaḥem Yodafa: Rabbi Elazar says that halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, his teacher, who interprets a verse dealing with the offerings of the festival of Sukkot: “Beside the daily burnt offering, its meal offering, and its libations” (Numbers 29:31), as follows: The plural form indicates that the verse is speaking of two types of libations: One is the water libation, unique to the festival of Sukkot, and the other one is the wine libation, which always accompanies the daily offering.

And Reish Lakish said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: If Rabbi Elazar derives the obligation for the water libation through the derivation taught by Rabbi Akiva, and that is why he rules that one who pours it as a libation outside the courtyard is liable, then he should equate the libations of wine and water, as follows: Just as with regard to wine the measure for the mitzva is three log, so too here, in the case of water, the measure for the mitzva should be three log. One may conclude by inference from this statement that Reish Lakish himself holds there is no measure for the water used in the libation. The Gemara answers: Actually, Reish Lakish maintains that there is a measure for the water, but he stated his question according to the explanation of Rabbi Menaḥem Yodafa, cited by Rabbi Yoḥanan.

MISHNA: With regard to a bird’s nest that is atop the consecrated tree, one may not derive benefit from it ab initio, but if one derived benefit from it he is not liable for its misuse. In order to acquire a bird’s nest that is atop a tree worshipped as idolatry, from which one may not derive benefit even by climbing it, one should dislodge the nest from its place by striking it with a pole. In the case of one who consecrates his forest, one is liable for misusing everything in the entire forest.

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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