Selections from the Jewish Talmud:

On the Passover

Text Source:

Chapter 1

[1.1] On the eve of the fourteenth day of Nisan[1] men search for leaven by candlelight. Every place where men do not bring in leaven, there is no need of search. "And wherefore do they say, two lines of barrels in the wine cellar?" "The place is meant into which persons bring leaven." The school of Shammai say, "two rows in front of the whole cellar." But the school of Hillel say, "the two outer lines on the top."

[1.2] People need not suspect, lest perchance the weasel have slipped (with leaven) from house to house or from place to place. If so, from court to court, from city to city, there is no end to the matter.

[1.3] Rabbi Judah said, "men search on the eve of the fourteenth and on the morning of the fourteenth day, and at the time of burning it." But the Sages say, "if one did not search on the eve of the fourteenth, he must search on the fourteenth; if he did not search on the fourteenth, he must search during the feast; if he did not search during the feast he must search after the feast; and whatever remains, he shall leave well concealed, that there be no further need of search after it."

[1.4] Rabbi Meier said, "men may eat it till five o'clock,[2] and burn it at the beginning of six." Rabbi Judah said, "they may eat it till four, and they are in suspense about five, but they burn it at the beginning of six."

[1.5] And again said R. Judah, "two loaves of the disallowed praise-offering were placed on the portico of the Temple inclosure; whilst they were placed there, all the people might eat leaven. If one were taken down they were in suspense; they neither ate nor burned it. When both were taken down they began to burn it." Rabban Gamaliel said, "men may eat ordlnary food till four o'clock, and the heave-offering till five o'clock, but they burned the leaven at six o'clock."

[1.6] Rabbi Chanina, the deputy of the priesthood, said, "from the (first) days of the priesthood the priests did not object to burn the flesh rendered legally unclean[3] with the second degree of uncleanness, with the flesh rendered legally unclean with the first degree of uncleanness. Even though they should add legal uncleanness to legal uncleanness." Rabbi Akiba went further and said, "from the (first) days of the priesthood the priests did not object to light the oil which was disallowed on the day of a man's baptism (who had been legally unclean), with a candle which was unclean with the uncleanness of the dead, even though they should add legal uncleanness to legal uncleanness."

[1.7] Said R. Meier, "from their words we learn that men may burn the clean heave-offering of leaven, with that which is unclean, on account of the passover." To him replied Rabbi Jose, "this is not the conclusion." But Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua confess "that men should burn each by itself." And the contention is with regard to what is doubtful, and what is unclean. Because Rabbi Eliezer said, "thou shalt burn each by itself." But R. Joshua said, "both at once."

Chapter 2

[2.1] The whole time that it is allowed to eat leaven, men may feed beasts with it, and wild animals and fowls, and they may sell it to a stranger. And they are allowed to enjoy it in every way. When that season has passed over its enjoyment is disallowed, and they must not heat with it an oven or a stove. Rabbi Judah said, "there is no riddance of leaven but by burning." But the Sages say, "also by powdering and scattering it to the wind, or casting it into the sea."

[2.2] "The leaven of a stranger, over which the passover has passed?" "Its enjoyment is allowed." "But of an Israelite?" "Its enjoyment is disallowed," as is said,[4] "And there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee."

[2.3] "The stranger who has lent money to an Israelite on his leaven?" "After passover its enjoyment is allowed." "An an Israelite who lent money to the stranger on his leaven?" Its enjoyment after passover is disallowed." "Leaven over which a building fell?" "It is as though it was cleared away." Rabban Simon, son of Gamaliel, said, "all after which the dog cannot snuff."

[2.4] "He who has eaten a leavened heave-offering during the passover in error?" "He must pay its value and a fifth more." "In presumption?" "He is free from the payment, and from its value even for fuel."[5]

[2.5] These are the things by which one can discharge his obligation to eat unleavened bread during the passover; with cakes made of wheat, and barley, and rye, and oats, and spelt; and they discharge their obligation in that of which the tithing was doubtful, and in the first tithe after the heave-offering was separated from it, and in second tithes and holy things after their redemption. And the priests discharge their obligation with cakes of dough-offering and heave-offering, but not with that which owes first tithes, or before the heave-offering was separated from it, nor with that which owes second tithes or holy things before their redemption. "The loaves of the praise-offering and the cakes of the Nazarite?" "If made for themselves, they do not discharge the obligation: if made for sale in the market, they discharge the obligation."

[2.6] And these are the herbs with which one discharges his obligation to eat bitter herbs in the passover: lettuce, endives, horse-radish, liquorice, and coriander. The obligation can be discharged whether they be moist or dry, but not if they be pickled, or much boiled, or even a little boiled. And they may be united to form the size of an olive. And the obligation may be discharged with their roots; and also if their tithes be in doubt; and with their first tithing, when the heave-offering has been taken from them; and with their second tithe, and with holy things which are redeemed.

[2.7] Persons must not moisten bran during the passover for chickens, but they may scald it. A woman must not moisten bran in her hand when she goes to the bath. But she may rub it dry on her flesh. A man should not chew wheat and leave it on a wound during Passover, because it becomes leavened.

[2.8] People must not put flour into the charoseth[6] or into the mustard. "But if one puts it?" "He must eat it off-hand." But Rabbi Meier forbids it. They must not boil the passover offering in liquids nor in fruit juice. But one may smear it (after it is roasted), or dip it into them. Water used by the baker must be poured away because it becomes leavened.

Chapter 3

[3.1] These cause transgression during passover: the Babylonian cuthack,[7] and the Median beer, and the Edomite vinegar, and the Egyptian zithum,[8] and the purifying dough of the dyer,[9] and the clarifying grain of the cooks, and the paste of the bookbinders. Rabbi Eleazar said, "even the cosmetics of women." This is the rule. All kinds of grain whatever may cause transgression during the passover. These are negative commands, and they are not visited by cutting off.

[3.2] "Dough in a split of a kneading trough?" "If there be the size of an olive in a single place one is bound to clear it out." Less than this is worthless from its minuteness. And so is it with the question of uncleanness. Particularity causes division. "But if one wish it to remain?" "It is reckoned as the trough." "Dough dried up?"[10] "If it be like that which can become leavened it is forbidden."

[3.3] "How do persons separate the dough-offering when it becomes unclean on a holiday?" Rabbi Eleazar said, "you cannot call it a dough-offering till it be baked." Rabbi Judah, the son of Bethira, said, "you must put it in cold water." Said R. Joshua, "it is not leaven so as to transgress the negative command 'It shall not be seen nor found,'[11] but it must be separated and left till the evening. But if it become leavened it is leavened."

[3.4] Rabban Gamaliel said, "three women may knead at once, and bake in one oven, each after the other." But the Sages say, "three women may be busied with the dough, one kneads, and one prepares, and one bakes." Rabbi Akiba said, "all women, and all wood, and all ovens, are not alike." This is the rule. "If it ferment it must be smoothed down with cold water."

[3.5] Dough which begins to leaven must be burned, but he who eats it is free. When it begins to crack it must be burned, and he who eats it must be cut off. "What is leavening?" "Like the horns of locusts." "Cracking?" "When the cracks intermingle." The words of R. Judah. But the Sages say, "if either of them be eaten, the eater must be cut off." "And what is leavening?" "All which changed its appearance, as when a man's hairs stand on end through fright."

[3.6] "If the fourteenth day of Nisan happened on the Sabbath?" "They must clear off all the leaven before the Sabbath begins." The words of R. Meier. But the Sages say, "in the proper season." Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Zaduk, said, "the heave-offering before the Sabbath, and ordinary things in the proper season."

[3.7] "If one went to kill his passover, or circumcise his son, or to eat the marriage-feast in the house of his father-in-law, and he remembered that there was leaven in his house?" "If he can he must return and clear it out, and return to his duties. He must return and clear it away. But if not, he can esteem it as nothing in his heart." "(If one went) to save a person from the militia, or from a river, or from robbers, or from burning, or from the fall of buildings?" "He may esteem it as nothing in his heart." "But if he is reposing at his ease?" "He must return off-hand."

[3.8] And so also when one went forth from Jerusalem and remembered that he had holy flesh in his hand. If he passed Zophim[12] he must burn it on the spot. But if not he must return and burn it in front of the temple with the wood of the altar. "And for how much flesh or leaven must men return?" Rabbi Meier said, "both of them the size of an egg." Rabbi Judah said, "both the size of an olive." But the Sages say, "Holy flesh the size of an olive, and leaven the size of an egg."

Chapter 4

[4.1] "A place in which men are accustomed to do work on the eve of the passover?" "For half a day they may work." "A place in which they are not accustomed to work?" "They must not work." "If one goes from a place where they work to a place where they do not work; or from a place where they do not work to a place where they do work?" "The Sages put on him the burden[13] of the place from which he went, or the burden of the place to which he came; but a man should not change the customs of a place, as it causes quarrels."

[4.2] Like to him is he who carried fruits of the Sabbatical year from a place where they were finished growing to a place where they were not finished growing; or from a place where they were not finished to a place where they were finished. He is bound to remove them. Rabbi Judah said, "they can say to him, go and bring them for yourself from the field."[14]

[4.3] "A place in which men are accustomed to sell small cattle to Gentiles?" "They may sell them." "A place in which they are not accustomed to sell them?" "They may not sell them." But in no place may they sell working cattle - calves, ass-foals, either unblemished or broken down.[15] Rabbi Judah "allowed the broken down." The son of Bethira "allowed a horse."

[4.4] "A place where men are accustomed to eat roast meat on the night of the passover?" "They may eat it." "A place in which they are not accustomed to eat it?" "They may not eat it." "A place in which they are accustomed to light a candle on the night of the Day of Atonement?" "They may light it." "A place in which they are not accustomed to light it?" "They may not light it." But men may light candles in the synagogues, and in the schools, and in the dark streets, and for the sick.

[4.5] "A place in which men are accustomed to do work on the ninth of Ab?"[16] "They may work." "A place in which they are not accustomed to work.?" "They may not work." But everywhere the disciples of the Sages are idle. Rabban Simon, the son of Gamaliel, said, "a man may always make himself a disciple of the Sages." But the Sages say, "in Judah they did work on the eves of the passovers for half a day, and in Galilee they did nothing." And work in the night before the passover the school of Shammai disallowed; but the school of Hillel "allowed it till sunrise."

[4.6] Rabbi Meier said, "every work which was begun before the fourteenth day of Nisan may be finished on the fourteenth; but it must not be commenced on the fourteenth, even though it can be finished." And the Sages say, "three trades can carry on business on the eves of the passovers for half a day; and these are they - the tailors, and the barbers, and the washers." Rabbi Jose, the son of Judah, said, "also shoemakers."

[4.7] Persons may set hens on their nests on the fourteenth. "But if the hen ran off?" "They may return her to her place." "And if she died?" "They may set another instead of her." They may clear away from beneath the feet of beasts on the fourteenth. But on the holiday (or middle-days) they put it aside. They may carry to and bring vessels from the house of the trader, even though they be not necessary for the holiday.

[4.8] The men of Jericho did six things, in three they were prohibited, and in three they were allowed. And these are they in which they were allowed: they engrafted dates the whole fourteenth day of Nisan, and they shortened the "Hear,"[17] and they reaped and stacked new corn before "the sheaf"[18] was offered; and they were allowed. And in these they were prohibited: they used the produce of what was consecrated, and they ate on the Sabbath the fruit that had fallen down from the trees, and they gave[19] (to the poor) the corners of the fields of vegetables. And the Sages prohibited them from these things.[20]

[4.9] BEREITHA - EXTERNAL TRADITION. Hezekiah the king did six things; to three the Sages consented, and to three they did not consent. He carried the bones of his father (Ahaz) on a rope bed,[21] and they consented. He powdered the brazen serpent,[22] and they consented. He concealed the book of medicines,[23] and they consented. And to three they did not consent: he cut off (the gold from) the doors of the temple[24] and sent it to the Assyrian king, and they did not consent. He stopped the waters of the upper Gihon,[25] and they did not consent. He introduced an intercalary Nisan, and they did not consent.

Chapter 5

[5.1] The daily offering was slaughtered at half-past eight,[26] and offered at half-past nine. On the eve of the passover it was slaughtered at half-past seven and offered at half-past eight, whether the passover fell on a week-day or on the Sabbath. When the eve of the passover began on the eve of the Sabbath (Friday), it was slaughtered at half-past six, and offered at half-past seven, and the passover followed after it.

[5.2] "The passover offering, which was slaughtered without intention - and the priest took its blood, and he went and sprinkled it without intention?" or "with intention, and without intention?" or "without intention and with intention?" "It is disallowed." "How can it be with intention and without intention?" "With intention partly for the passover, and with intention partly for peace-offerings." "Without intention and with intention?" "With intention partly for peace-offerings, and with intention partly for the passover-offering."

[5.3] "If he slaughtered the passover for those who may not legally eat it - for those who are not reckoned in one company - for the uncircumcised, and for the unclean?" "It is disallowed." "For those who may eat, and for those who may not eat it?" "For those who are reckoned in one company, and for those who are not so reckoned?" "For circumcised, and for uncircumcised?" "For unclean, and for clean?" "It is allowed." "If he slaughtered it before noon?" "It is disallowed." Because it is said "between the evenings."[27] "If he slaughtered it before the daily offering?" "It is allowed." Except that one must keep stirring[28] its blood, till the blood of the daily offering be sprinkled. "But if it be even sprinkled (before ?)" "It is lawful."

[5.4] "He who slaughtered the passover-offering possessing leaven?" "He transgressed a negative command."[29] Rabbi Judah said, "this applies even to the daily offering (of that evening)." Rabbi Simon said, "the slaughter of the passover on the fourteenth with intention for the passover makes (a man possessing leaven) guilty; but if it be slaughtered without intention for the passover he is free." "And in all other sacrifices during the feast, whether one sacrifice with or without the proper intention?" "He is free." "When one thus offers in the feast itself with proper intention?" "He is free." "Without proper intention?" "He is guilty." "And in all the other sacrifices, when one possessing leaven offers either with or without intention?" "He is guilty, only excepting the sin-offering, which was slaughtered without intention."

[5.5] The passover was slaughtered[30] for three bands in succession, as is said, "The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel"[31] - assembly, congregation, Israel. The first band entered, the court was filled, the doors of the court were locked. The trumpeters blew with the trumpets, blew an alarm, and blew. The priests stood in rows, and in their hands were bowls of silver and bowls of gold. All the silver row was entirely silver, and all the golden row was entirely gold. They were not mingled. And the bowls were not flat-bottomed, lest they should lay them down, and the blood be coagulated.

[5.6] When an Israelite slaughtered, and a priest caught the blood, he gave it to his companion, and his companion to his companion, and he took the full, and returned the empty bowl. The priest nearest the altar poured it out at once in front of the foundation of the altar.

[5.7] The first band went out, the second band entered; the second went out, the third entered. As was the proceeding of the first, so was the proceeding of the second and the third. They read the praise.[32] When they finished they repeated it, and after repeating it they read it a third time, even though they did not complete it thrice in their time. R. Judah said, "during the time of the third band they did not reach to 'I love the Lord, for He hath heard,' because the people were few."

[5.8] As was the proceeding in ordinary days, so was the proceeding on the Sabbath, save that the priests washed out the court,[33] though not with the will of the Sages. R. Judah said, "a cup was filled with mixed-up blood,[34] and poured out at once upon the altar;" but the Sages "did not admit it."

[5.9] "How did they hang up and skin the passover sacrifices?" "Iron hooks were fixed in the walls and pillars, and on them they hung them, and skinned them." "And every one who had not a place to hang them up and skin them?" "Thin smooth rods were there, and he rested one on his shoulder and on the shoulder of his companion, and hung it up and skinned it." Rabbi Eliezer said, "when the fourteenth began on a Sabbath, he rested his hand on the shoulder of his companion, and the hand of his companion on his shoulder, and he hung it up and skinned it."

[5.10] He cut it open, and took out its entrails. He put them on a dish and incensed them on the altar. The first party went out, and sat down on the Mountain of the House. The second party were in the Chel,[35] and the third party remained in their place. When it grew dark they went out and roasted their passovers.

Chapter 6

[6.1] These things in the passover abrogate the command against work on the Sabbath: its slaughtering, and the sprinkling of its blood, and purging its inwards, and incensing its fat. But its roasting and the rinsing of its inwards do not abrogate the Sabbath. But to carry it, and to bring it beyond a Sabbath day's journey, and to cut off its wen, do not abrogate the Sabbath. Rabbi Eleazar said, "they abrogate it."

[6.2] Said Rabbi Eleazar, "and is not this the teaching? when slaughtering is work it abrogates the Sabbath. Things which are for 'resting' do not abrogate the Sabbath."[36] To him said Rabbi Joshua, "a holiday will give the proof; the Sages permitted that which is work, and they forbade that which is resting." Rabbi Eleazar said to him, "what do you mean, Joshua? what comparison is there between a command and that which is voluntary? "Rabbi Akiba answered and said, "sprinkling[37] will give the proof, because it is a positive command, and it is for 'resting,' and does not abrogate the Sabbath; but you should not wonder at this, even though it be a command, as it is for 'resting,' and does not abrogate the Sabbath." Rabbi Eleazar said to him, "and on that I form my judgment, when slaughtering is work it abrogates the Sabbath; sprinkling, which is for 'resting,' does it not teach that it abrogates the Sabbath?" Rabbi Akiba said to him, "on the contrary, if sprinkling, which is for 'resting,' does not abrogate the Sabbath, slaughtering, which is for work, is it not the teaching? should not abrogate the Sabbath." Rabbi Eleazar said to him, "Akiba, thou hast annulled what is written in the Law, 'between the evenings,' 'in its appointed time,' whether it be a week-day or a Sabbath." He said to him, "My teacher, give me proof of an appointed time for these things, like the appointed time for slaughtering the passover-offering?" The rule is, said R. Akiba, "all work for the passover which it is possible to do on the eve of the Sabbath does not abrogate the Sabbath; slaughtering, which it is impossible to do on the eve of the passover which falls on a Sabbath, abrogates the Sabbath."

[6.3] "When do men bring with the passover a feast-offering?" "When the passover falls on a week-day, when those who offer it are legally clean, and when the lamb is too small for the eaters. But when the passover falls on a Sabbath, when the lamb is too much for the eaters, and there is legal uncleanness, they should not bring with it a feast-offering."

[6.4] The feast-offering[38] came from flocks, from herds, from sheep and goats, from rams and ewes, and it may be eaten during a period of two days and one night.

[6.5] "The passover which was slaughtered without the proper intention on a Sabbath?" "The offerer of it is indebted for a sin-offering." "And all the other sacrifices which he slaughtered for the passover?" "If they be not suitable for it he is guilty." "And if they be suitable?" Rabbi Eleazar declares him "indebted for a sin-offering." But R. Joshua "frees him." Said Rabbi Eleazar, "what! if the passover which was allowed for proper intention when the offerer changed its intention, makes him guilty; is it not the teaching that sacrifices, which are disallowed for want of proper intention when the offerer changed their intention, make him also guilty?" Rabbi Joshua said to him, "no; if thou saidst in the passover when he changed its intention it is changed to a thing disallowed, thou wilt say in the other sacrifices when he changed their intention they are changed to a thing allowed." Rabbi Eleazar said to him, "the congregational offerings will give the proof, because they are rendered lawful on the Sabbath by intention, but whoever slaughtered (another) sacrifice with their intention is guilty." Rabbi Joshua said to him, "no; if thou sayest so in the congregational offerings, which are a determined number, thou wilt also say so in the passover sacrifice which has no determined number. Rabbi Meier said, "even he who slaughtered other offerings on the Sabbath, with the intention of the congregational offerings, is free."

[6.6] "When one slaughtered the passover, but not for its eaters, or not for those numbered to eat it, for uncircumcised and for unclean persons?" "He is guilty." "For its eaters and not for its eaters? For its reckoning and not for its reckoning? For circumcised and uncircumcised? For clean and unclean?" "He is free." "He slaughtered it, and it was found blemished?" "He is guilty." "He slaughtered it and it was found torn in secret?" "He is free." "He slaughtered it, and it became known that its owners retired from it, or died, or became legally unclean?" "He is free, because he slaughtered it with lawful permission."

Chapter 7

[7.1] "How do men roast the passover?" "They bring a stick of pomegranate and thrust it through its mouth to its tail. And they put its legs and intestines inside it." The words of R. Jose, the Galilean. Rabbi Akiba said, "that is a kind of boiling, therefore they hang them outside of it."

[7.2] Men must not roast the passover on a spit or a girdiron. Said R. Zaduk, "it happened to Rabban Gamaliel that he said to Zabi, his servant, 'go and roast for us the passover on the gridiron.'" "If it touch the side of the oven?" "That part must be peeled off." "If its gravy drop on the side of the oven, and again return on it?" "That part must be taken out." "If the gravy drop on the fine flour?" "That part must be pulled out" (and burned).

[7.3] "If men anointed (basted) it with oil of the heave-offering?" "If it be a company of priests, they may eat it." "If it be a company of Israelites?" "If it be raw they can wash it away." "But if roast?" "They must peel off the surface." "If it was anointed with oil of the second tithe?" "Its value in money must not be charged to the members of the company, because they cannot redeem[39] the second tithes in Jerusalem."

[7.4] Five things may be brought during legal uncleanness, but they must not be eaten in legal uncleanness: the sheaf,[40] the two wave loaves,[41] and the shewbread,[42] sacrifices of peaceofferings of the congregation,[43] and the kids[44] on the feast of the New Moon. The passover which was brought during legal uncleanness, may be eaten in uncleanness, because in the beginning the command came only for eating.

[7.5] "If the flesh be legally unclean and the fat unpolluted?" "The priest must not sprinkle its blood on the altar." "If the fat be unclean and the flesh unpolluted?" "The priest may sprinkle its blood." But with other holy offerings it is not so, for though their flesh be unclean, and their fat remains unpolluted, the priest may sprinkle their blood on the altar.

[7.6] "If the congregation be legally unclean, or its majority, or the priests be legally unclean, and the congregation legally clean?" "The passover may be kept in legal uncleanness." "If the minority of the congregation be legally unclean?" "The clean majority can keep the first, and the unclean minority the second passover" (on the fourteenth day of the following month).

[7.7] When the blood of the passover-offering was poured on the altar, and it was afterward known that it was unclean, the (golden)[45] plate of the High Priest makes it accepted. When the body of the paschal sacrifice was unclean, "the plate" cannot make it accepted, as they say the Nazarite and the celebrant of the passover have the uncleanness of the blood accepted with "the plate." But "the plate" does not make the legal uncleanness of the body of the paschal lamb accepted. If it be legally unclean with an unknown uncleanness, the plate makes it accepted.

[7.8] "If it be legally unclean in whole or in most part?" "The passover must be burned in front of 'the palace'[46] with the wood of the altar." "A little which is unclean, and that which is left over?" "The owners may burn it in their own courts, or on their roofs with their own wood." The stingy ones burnt it in front of the palace, that they might use the wood of the altar.

[7.9] "The passover which was carried out of the city, or became unclean?" "The owner must burn it off-hand." "Its masters became unclean or died?" "Let its appearance change, and let it be burned on the sixteenth."[47] Rabbi Jochanan, the son of Beruka, said, "even it must be burned off-hand, because it has no one to eat it."

[7.10] "Bones and tendons and what is left over?" They must be burned on the sixteenth. "If the sixteenth happened on a Sabbath?" "They must be burned on the seventeenth, because they cannot abrogate either the laws of the Sabbath or the holiday."

[7.11] All that is eaten in a great ox may be eaten in a tender kid, and the tops of the shoulder-blades, and the gristle. "Whoever broke any bone in a clean passover?" "He must receive forty stripes." "But for what is left over in the clean, and broken in an unclean passover?" "He does not receive the forty."

[7.12] "A member partly displaced?" "One must cut in till he reach the bone, and he must peel off the flesh till he reach the joint, and he cuts it off. But in other holy offerings one may cleave the displaced members with an axe, since there does not exist any (prohibition of) breaking the bone for them." (For example), from the door-post and inwards is inside. From the door-post and outwards is outside. The windows and thickness of the wall are recioned as inside.

[7.13] "Two companies which eat the passover in one house?" "These turn their faces to this side and eat; and those turn their faces to that side and eat. And the boiler[48] is between the companies. The servant stands to mix wine. The servant must shut his mouth till he serve the other company. He afterward turns his face till he reach his own company, and then he may eat. And she who is newly married can turn her face aside and eat it."

Chapter 8

[8.1] "The married woman, while she is in the house of her husband?" "Her husband slaughtered on her account, and her father slaughtered on her account?" "She must eat the passover with her husband." "She went to spend the first feast after her marriage in the house of her father her father slaughtered on her account, and her husband slaughtered on her account?" "She may eat in the place which she wishes." "An orphan on whose account the guardians slaughtered?" "He may eat in the place which he wishes." "A slave of two partners?" "He must not eat with both." "A slave who is half free?" "He must not eat with his master."

[8.2] One said to his slave, "go and slaughter for me the passover." "He slaughtered a kid?" "He may eat it." "He slaughtered a lamb?" "He may eat it." "He slaughtered a kid and a lamb?" "He may eat of the first." "He forgot what his master said to him what shall he do?" "He must slaughter a lamb and a kid, and shall say, 'If my master said to me - a kid, the kid is on his account, and the lamb is on my account; and if my master said to me - a lamb, the lamb is for him, and the kid is for me.'" "If his master forgot what he said to him?" "Both animals must go forth to the house of burning; and they are free from keeping the second passover."

[8.3] One said to his sons, "I am ready to slaughter the passover for you who shall first go up to Jerusalem." As soon as one of them entered with his head and the greater part of his body inside the city gate, he gained his own share of the passover, and gained it for his brothers with him. They may always be reckoned in one company, when each one obtains the size of an olive. They may first be reckoned, and afterward withdraw from a company till the passover be slaughtered. Rabbi Simon said, "until its blood be poured out on their account."

[8.4] "He who reckoned others with himself in his portion of the lamb?" "The members of the company are allowed to give to him his share, and he may eat of it with his own guests; and they may eat their portion with their own guests."

[8.5] "If one observed an issue twice?" "They may slaughter the lamb on his account on the seventh day of the issue if it be the fourteenth day of Nisan." "If he observed it thrice?[49] "They may only slaughter on his account on the eighth day of the issue" (if it be the fourteenth day of Nisan).

[8.6] "The mourner and the person who opened a heap,[50] and also the person who has the promise of release from prison, and the sick, and the aged, who are able to eat the size of an olive?" "They may slaughter the passover for them." For all of them they must not slaughter the lamb on their own account alone, lest they bring the passover into contempt,[51] because there might happen to them some abomination. They are freed from keeping a second passover - excepting him who in opening the heap was unclean from the beginning.

[8.7] "They must not slaughter the passover for one person." The words of Rabbi Judah; but Rabbi Jose "allowed it." Even for a company of a hundred, when they cannot eat the size of an olive, they must not slaughter the passover; and they must not form a company of women, of slaves, and of little ones.

[8.8] A mourner may be baptized, and eat his passover in the evening, but not other holy things. "He who heard of a death, or had the bones of his relations collected?" "He may be baptized and eat holy things." "A stranger who was proselytized on the eve of the passover?" The school of Shammai say, "He may be baptized and eat his passover in the evening"; but the school of Hillel say, "he who just departed from the foreskin is as legally unclean as he who just departs from the grave."

Chapter 9

[9.1] He who was legally unclean, or in a journey afar off, and did not keep the first, must keep the second (passover). "He mistook it, or was constrained by force, and did not keep the first?" "He must keep the second." "If so, why is it said unclean[52] or in a journey afar off?" "Because such persons are free from being cut off, but those bound to observe it are to be cut off if they neglect it."

[9.2] What is a "journey afar off?" "From Modiim[53] and outward; and so is the measure from Jerusalem on every side." The words of Rabbi Akiba; Rabbi Eleazar said, "from the threshold of the temple-court and outward." Said R. Jose, "for this reason there is a dot on the 'he,' to explain not that it is really afar off, but that one is afar off from the threshold of the temple-court and outward."

[9.3] "What is the difference between the first and second passover?" "The first passover forbids leaven to be seen or found; but the second allows unleavened and leavened bread in one's house." The first passover requires hallel[54] during eating, but the second does not require hallel during eating. Both require hallel in their preparations, and the paschal sacrifices must be eaten roasted on unleavened bread with bitter herbs, and they both abrogate the Sabbath."

[9.4] "The passover-offering which was brought during legal uncleanness?" "The man or woman with an issue may not eat of it, nor she in separation or in childbirth. But if they eat they are free from being cut off." Rabbi Eleazar "frees them even in going into the sanctuary."

[9.5] "What is the difference between the passover of Egypt and the passover of succeeding generations?" "The passover of Egypt was taken on the tenth day,[55] and required the sprinkling with a bunch of hyssop on the lintel and the two slde posts, and was eaten with haste in one night; but the passover of succeeding generations exists the whole seven days."

[9.6] Said R. Joshua, "I once heard that the substitute[56] of the passover-offering can be sacrificed, and that the substitute of the passover-offering cannot be sacrificed, I have no one to explain." Said R. Akiba, "I will explain: the passover-offering, which was found (after being lost) before the time for slaughtering its substitute, may be pastured till it be blemished, and it can be sold, and the owner can take for its price peace-offerings, and so also for its substitute. After the time for slaughtering the passover-offering its substitute may be offered for a peace-offering, and so can also its substitute."

[9.7] "He who set apart a ewe for his passover, or a male of two years?" "He may pasture it till it be blemished. And he can sell it, and its price may be used for a free-will offering." "He who selected his passover, and afterward died?" "His son must not offer it after him with the intention of a passover, but he may offer it with the intention of a peaceoffering."

[9.8] "The passover-offering which was mixed up with other sacrifices?" "All must be pastured till they be blemished and they must be sold, and the offerer must bring the price of the best of this kind and the price of the best of that kind, and the loss he must make up from his private means." "The passover-offering which was mixed up with first-borns?" Rabbi Simon said, "if there be companies of priests they may eat it."

[9.9] "A company[57] which lost its passover-offering, and said to someone, 'go and seek it and slaughter it for us'; and he went and found it and slaughtered it, and they meanwhile also took one and slaughtered it, if his be first slaughtered?" "He may eat of his and they may eat with him of his." "But if theirs be first slaughtered?" "They may eat of theirs, and he may eat of his." "But if it be not known which of them was first slaughtered, or both were slaughtered at once?" "He must eat of his passover, but they cannot eat with him, and their passover must go forth to the house of burning; and they are freed from keeping a second passover." "He said to them, 'if I be too late, go and slaughter for me'; he went, and meanwhile found (the lost) one and slaughtered it, and they took and also slaughtered one. If theirs be first slaughtered?" "They may eat of theirs, and he may eat with them." "But if his were first slaughtered?" "He shall eat of his, and they shall eat of theirs." "But if it be not known which of them was first slaughtered or both of them were slaughtered at once?" "They shall eat of theirs, but he must not eat with them, and his lamb must go forth to the house of burning, and he is freed from keeping a second (passover)." "If he said to them 'slaughter for me,' and they also said to him 'slaughter for us?'" "All shall eat of that one first slaughtered." "But if it be not known which of them was first slaughtered?" "Both must go forth to the house of burning." "If he did not say it to them, nor they say it to him?" "They are not sureties one for the other" (and they must eat apart from each other).

[9.10] "Two companies had their passover-offerings mixed: this company drew out one for themselves, and that company drew out one for themselves. One of these comes to those, and one of those comes to these, and thus they say, 'if this passover be ours, let our hands be withdrawn from yours and be counted with ours; but if this passover be yours, let our hands be withdrawn from ours and be counted with yours.' And so with five companies of five each, and ten of ten each, they may draw out and join one from every company, and say so."

[9.11] "Two persons who had their passover-offerings mixed?" "One draws out one for himself, and the other draws out one for himself. This one can count with himself a person invited from the market. And that one can count with himself a person- invited from the market. This individual comes to that one, and that one comes to this one, and so they say, 'if this passover be mine, let thy hands be withdrawn from thine, and be counted with mine; and if this passover be thine, let my hands be withdrawn from mine, and be counted with thine.'"

Chapter 10

[10.1] On the eves of the passovers near to the time of evening prayer a man must not eat till it be dark. And even the poorest in Israel must not eat till he can recline at ease, and they must not withhold from him the four cups of wine, even though he receives the weekly alms.

[10.2] When they mix for him the first cup of wine,[58] the school of Shammai say, "he shall repeat the blessing for the day, and after that the blessing for the wine." But the school of Hillel say, "he shall repeat the blessing for the wine, and after that the blessing for the day."

[10.3] The attendants bring before him greens and lettuce. He dips the lettuce in its sauce till he come to the time for the seasoning of the bread. They bring before him unleavened bread, and lettuce, and the fruit sauce, on two dishes, even though the fruit sauce is not a command. Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Zadok, said (it is) "a command, and in the time of the sanctuary they used to bring before him the body of the passover offering."

[10.4] The attendants mixed for him the second cup, and here the son asks his father, and if the son have no knowledge his father teaches him, "in what is this night different from all other nights?" "Because in all other nights we eat leavened and unleavened bread. In this night all is unleavened. Because in all other nights we eat every herb, in this night bitter herbs. Because in all other nights we eat flesh roasted, well boiled, and boiled. In this night all is roasted. Because in all other nights we dip what we eat once, in this night twice" (i.e., in the sauce and in the seasoning). And according to the knowledge of the son his father teaches him. He begins in shame and he ends in praise. And he expounds from "a Syrian ready to perish was my father,"[59] till he end the whole passage.

[10.5] Rabban Gamaliel used to say, "everyone who did not speak of these three things in the passover did not discharge his duty, and these are they: the passover, the unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. Passover, because OMNIPRESENCE passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt. Unleavened, because our fathers were redeemed from Egypt. Bitter, because the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt." In every generation man is bound to look to himself as though he in person went out from Egypt, as is said,[60] "And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt." For this reason we are bound to acknowledge, to thank, to praise, to glorify, to exalt, to magnify, to bless, to elevate, without limit, HIM who has done for our fathers and us all these miracles. He brought us from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to festivity, and from thick darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption, and let us say before Him Hallelujah.

[10.6] "How far does he repeat?" The school of Shammai say, till "a joyful mother of children."[61] But the school of Hillel say, till "the flint into a fountain of waters,"[62] and he finished with a "blessing for redemption." Rabbi Tarphon said, "'Who redeemed us and redeemed our fathers from Egypt,' and he does not end with any other blessing." Rabbi Akiba adds, "So the Lord our God and the God of our fathers shall bring us to holidays and other feast-days yet to come to us in peace, rejoicing in the building of THY city, and delighting in THY service; and we shall eat there the sacrifices and the passovers, etc., until 'Blessed be Thou, Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.'"

[10.7] When the attendants mixed for him the third cup[63] he says the blessing for his food, with the fourth cup he finished the hallel, and said over it the blessing of the Song.[64] Between the first and second cups if he wish to drink, he may drink as much as he likes. Between the third and fourth he must not drink.

[10.8] Persons are not free after the passover to ask for more food. "If some fall asleep during the passover?"[65] "They may afterward eat of it." "All?" "They must not eat of it." Rabbi Jose says, "If they dozed?" "They may eat of it." "If they slept?" "They must not eat of it."

[10.9] 9. The passover after midnight renders hands legally unclean. False intention and the remains of the feast render hands legally unclean.[66] "When one repeated the passover-blessing?" "He is free from the sacrifice-blessing, but the sacrifice-blessing does not free him from that of the passover." The words of R. Ishmael. Rabbi Akiba said, "this does not free from that, nor that from this."


[1] Nisan nearly corresponds with the month of March.

[2] I.e., 11 o'clock A.M. To obtain our computation of time, six must be added to the hours mentioned in the Mishna.

[3] When uncleanness is mentioned, it is to be understood of legal uncleanness.

[4] Exodus 13:7

[5] I.e., he is to be put to death forthwith

[6] Fruit-sauce; a mixture of dates raisins, and other fruits, to recall the memory of the mortar from which the bricks in Egypt were made.

[7] Fragments of chickens and dough left to ferment.

[8] A compound of barley, wild saffron, and salt, one-third of each.

[9] A dough or unripe grain lid put over the liquid to absorb the dregs from the foam of fermentation.

[10] Literally, "deaf"; that is, dough which does not rise, or that sounds dull when it is struck.

[11] Exodus 11:19

[12] An eminence from which there was a clear view of the temple.

[13] The burden means that the man is forbidden to work.

[14] See treatise on the Sabbatical year ix.5, etc.

[15] Lest the Gentiles should set them to work on the Sabbath.

[16] Part of July and August. The ninth of Ab is the anniversary of the threefold destruction of the Temple.

[17] Deut. 6:4

[18] Lev. 23:15

[19] Lev. 19:9-10

[20] Because the poor might eat them untithed, thinking they were Peah.

[21] To show his abhorrence of his father's idolatry

[22] 2 Kings 18:4

[23] Lest the people should substitute medicine for God.

[24] 2 Kings 18:16

[25] 2 Chron. 32:4

[26] I.e., 2.30 P.M.

[27] Exod. 12:6.

[28] To prevent its coagulating.

[29] Exod. 23:18.

[30] Josephus mentions the number of lambs slain at a particular passover to have been numbered by the high priest, and they were found to have been 256,500. Allowing not less than ten persons to the eating of each lamb, he computes those present at the feast to have been 2,700,200 persons. - Josephus' "Wars," vi. 9, 3.

[31] Exod. 12:6.

[32] Psalms 113 - 118

[33] They washed the court indirectly by stopping a canal of water which overflowed the court; they afterward opened it, when all flowed off again.

[34] Taken from the intermingled blood of the many offerings.

[35] See "Measurements," ii. 3.

[36] The following subtle discussion arises out of the distinction between "work" forbidden by the law of God and "resting from work" enjoined by tradition.

[37] The sprinkling of a person unclean from touching a dead body when the passover fell on a Sabbath.

[38] This refers to the second chagigah - the feast-offering of individuals on the 15th of Nisan. It is called by the general name passover, John 18:28. Want of acquaintance with this subject has led some commentators to suppose that there is a discrepancy between the account of the last passover of our Lord as related in the Synoptical Gospels, and as recorded by St. John.

[39] Jer. Tal. reads "sell."

[40] Lev. 23:11

[41] Lev. 23:17

[42] Exodus 25:30

[43] Lev. 23:19

[44] Numbers 28:15

[45] Exod. 28:36-38

[46] I Chron. 29:19

[47] It remained uneaten overnight, and therefore must be burned, in accordance with Exodus 12:10

[48] From the need of a boiler it appears that the wine used at the passover was mixed with hot water. The wine itself was always red.

[49] If one observed the issue three times on the same day, he could not be considered clean before he brought a sacrifice.

[50] In which there is a dead body

[51] The mourner might be too sorrowful to eat, the sick too ill to eat, and the prisoner might be detained in prison, etc.

[52] Numbers 9:10

[53] About fifteen miles from Jerusalem. Modiim or Modin was the city of the Maccabees.

[54] Psalms 113-118.

[55] Exodus 12:3

[56] The substitute refers to one animal changed for another, which had been intended for the passover-offering.

[57] The following rules are founded on two principles; firstly, that every lamb must have its own numbered company of eaters; and secondly, that no person could be numbered with two companies.

[58] It was after the first cup of wine was drunk that our Lord washed the disciples' feet (John 13:5; Luke 12:17).

[59] Deut. 26:5-11

[60] Exodus 13:8

[61] Psalm 113:9

[62] Psalm 116:8

[63] The third cup was called the "cup of blessing " (I Cor. 10:16). It was the one used by our Lord for the institution of the holy sacrament.

[64] Psalm 136

[65] They may have been overcome with wine (I Cor. 11:21).

[66] This is explained in the treatise "Hands".

Copyright (c) 1998 by Bruce J. Butterfield

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