DISTANCING DAMAGERS FROM A CITY
We must distance Neveilos, graves and tanneries 50 Amos from the city.
A tannery may only be made to the east of the city;
R. Akiva says, it may be made in any direction except for the west, and he must distance 50 Amos.
We must distance a soaking pit from (his neighbor's) vegetables, and leeks from onions, and mustard from bees;
R. Yosi permits mustard near bees.
(Gemara) Question: What does R. Akiva say?
Does he permit a tannery adjacent to the city in any direction except for the west, and he requires 50 Amos if it is in the west?
Or, does he require 50 Amos in the other directions, but the west is always forbidden?
Answer (Beraisa - R. Akiva): One may make a tannery 50 Amos from the city in any direction except for the west;
The west is always forbidden. It is constant.
Question (Rava): What does this mean?
Suggestion: The west wind blows more often than the other directions.
Rejection: Rav Chanan bar Aba taught that all four winds blow every day. The north wind blows with each one, the world could not survive without this;
The south wind is the harshest. A certain angel contains it. If it did not, it would destroy the world.
THE FOUR DIRECTIONS
Answer (Rav Nachman): The west constantly hosts the Shechinah (Divine Presence);
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): We must be grateful to our ancestors (Anshei Keneses ha'Gedolah), for they taught us the direction to pray in - "u'Tzva ha'Shomayim Lecha Mishtachavim" (the sun, moon and stars travel westward).
Objection (Rav Acha bar Yakov): Perhaps the Shechinah is in the east. The sun, moon and stars bow to His Presence while departing, like a servant who walks (backwards) away from his master!
This is left difficult.
R. Oshaya holds that the Shechinah is everywhere.
(R. Oshaya): "Atah Hu Hash-m Levadecha" - Your messengers are unlike a human's messengers!
When one sends a messenger, the messenger later returns to where he was sent from;
When Hash-m sends a messenger, the messenger need not return (wherever he goes, Hash-m is there) - "ha'Sishalach... v'Yelechu v'Yomeru Lecha Hinenu" (the messenger reports back to Hash-m at the place he goes to).
Also R. Yishmael holds that the Shechinah is everywhere.
(Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "Ha'Mal'ach...Yotzei u'Mal'ach Acher Yotzei Likraso" - it does not say that another angel is sent after the first, rather he goes to greet him;
Hash-m can send the second angel from the place the first angel was heading towards, because the Shechinah is everywhere.
Also Rav Sheshes holds that the Shechinah is everywhere.
(Rav Sheshes was blind.) He told his servant 'you can point me in any direction to pray, except for eastwards.'
The Shechinah is also in the east, Rav Sheshes did not want to pray eastwards because Minim pray eastwards.
R. Avahu holds that the Shechinah is in the west.
(R. Avahu): (In Persian, west is) 'URiYaH' - the AviR of KaH (Hash-m. Alternatively, 'Uriyah' means east,) - the Avir that Kah faces.
(Rav Yehudah): "Ya'arof ka'Matar Likchi" refers to the west wind, which comes from the Oref (strength, i.e. the place of the Shechinah. Alternatively, the back) of the world;
"Tizal ka'Tal Imrasi" refers to the north wind, which (brings heat and famine, which raises the price of food and) Mazeles (cheapens) gold;
"Ki'Se'iRim Alei Deshe" refers to the east wind, which is MeSa'eRes (agitates) the entire world like a Sa'ir (goat);
"Vechi'Rvivim Alei Esev" refers to the south wind, which brings Revivim (rain) and makes Asavim (herbs) grow.
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): The world is like a three-walled building; the north side is not covered;
The sun traverses the other three directions. When it reaches the northwest corner, it goes above the Raki'a (and goes eastward overnight, and rises in the northeast in the morning).
R. Yehoshua says, the world is like a tent, the north side is covered;
When the sun reaches the northwest corner, it goes (through a window) in back of the tent;
"Holech El Darom v'Sovev El Tzafon" - the sun (always) travels along the south by day, and circles around the north side by night.
"Sovev Sovev Holech ha'Ru'ach" - sometimes (i.e. in summer) the sun travels along the east and west by day. Sometimes (i.e. in winter) it circles around the east and west by night.
R. Eliezer says, "umi'Mezarim Karah" refers to the north wind (which is cold, because the north side is exposed).
"V'Rochav Mayim b'Mutzak" - this is the east wind.
Question: We said that the south wind brings rain!
Answer: The south wind brings rain gently, the east wind brings gushing rain.
(Rav Chisda): From the day of the Churban, the south wind no longer brings rain - "Va'Yigzor Al Yamin v'Ra'ev";
"Tzafon v'Yamin" - this shows that Yamin is south.
(Rafram bar Papa): From the day of the Churban, rain does not come from Hash-m's good storehouse;
"Yiftach... Otzaro ha'Tov" - only when Yisrael does Hash-m's will, we dwell in Eretz Yisrael and merit this blessing;
(R. Yitzchak): One who wants to grow wise should face southwards when praying. One who wants to grow rich should face northwards when praying.
A way to remember this is that (in the Heichal) the Menorah was in the south, and the Shulchan was in the north.
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): One should always face southwards. Through growing wise, he will grow rich - "Orech Yamim bi'Minah bi'Semolah Osher v'Chavod".
Question: R. Yehoshua ben Levi said that the Shechinah is in the west (so one should face west)!
Answer: He faces west, and tilts slightly to the south.
R. Chanina (to R. Yoshiyah): You live (in Bavel), to the north of Eretz Yisrael. You should face southwards.
Question: What is the source that Bavel is to the north?
Answer: "Mi'Tzafon Tifasach ha'Ra'ah".
(Mishnah): We must distance a soaking pit from (his neighbor's) vegetables, and leeks from onions, and mustard from bees.
(Beraisa - R. Yosi): One may grow mustard near bees;
The neighbor cannot tell him 'distance your mustard (for it harms my bees)', for he can say back 'distance your bees, for they harm my mustard!'
(Mishnah): Reuven must distance his tree 25 Amos from Shimon's pit;
A carob or sycamore tree must be distanced 50 Amos.
This is whether the tree is on ground above the pit or even with it.
If (the tree is too close and) the pit was there before the tree, Shimon may cut the tree without compensating Reuven;
If the tree was there before the pit, he may not cut the tree.
R. Yosi says, even if the pit preceded the tree, he may not cut it. Just like Shimon may dig in his own property, Reuven may plant in his own property!
(Gemara - Beraisa): This is whether the tree is above the pit or below it.
Question: Granted, if the tree is above the pit, its roots will descend and damage the pit;
However, if the tree is below, what is the problem?
Answer (R. Chaga): The roots spread to underneath the pit and harm the soil there.
(Mishnah - R. Yosi): Even if the pit preceded the tree, he may not cut it. Just like Shimon may dig in his own property, Reuven may plant in his own property!
(Rav Yehudah): The Halachah follows R. Yosi.
(Rav Ashi): R. Yosi admits regarding Girei Dilei (his arrows, i.e. damage that comes directly from the person's hand).
Papa Yona'ah was a poor man who became wealthy; he built a house. There were people in his neighborhood who pressed sesame to make oil; this caused his house to shake.
Rav Ashi: R. Yosi admits regarding Girei Dilei.
Question: How much must the house shake to obligate the pressers to distance themselves?
Answer: It is so much that if a Keli is on the wall (Rashi; Ri - if one holds a Keli), its cover will shake.