[58a - 39 lines; 58b - 33 lines]

1)[line 1]ובלבד שלא יצא חוץ לתחוםU'VILVAD SHELO YEITZEI CHUTZ L'TECHUM- as long as he does not leave the Techum while "jumping over" an obstacle that is too wide to be "swallowed" by the 50-Amah rope directly in front of the city, but is measurable off to one side. RASHI gives two possible explanations: a) One may not leave the Techum while measuring off to the side in order to then measure backward from the far end to mark off the Techum; rather, he should measure until the end of the Techum and then mark the Techum in the middle of the obstacle opposite that length. b) One may not measure off to the side at all if the place where he is measuring is outside of the Techum of the city.

2)[line 3]שמקדרין בהריםMEKADRIN BE'HARIM- lit., we bore a hole through the mountain when we measure it; i.e. we measure the span of the mountain ignoring part of its altitude. This is done by using a rope which is only four Amos long. One person holds the rope at the level of his heart while the person higher up the slope holds the rope at the level of his feet. In this way, the height of the mountain is reduced by half of the height of a person per every four Amos of its span.

3)[line 7]ליטול חמשים ולסבב חמשיםLITOL CHAMISHIM V'SABEV CHAMISHIM- see Background to Eruvin 23:7

4a)[line 11]מפני שמרבהMIPNEI SHE'MARBEH- it can be stretched to the point where it will record an inaccurately long measurement

b)[line 11]מפני שממעטMIPNEI SHE'MEMA'ET- due to its length, the weight of the rope will cause the middle of the rope to sag, resulting in an inaccurately short measurement

5)[line 13]אפסקימאAFSEKIMA- twisted palm bark

6)[line 13]נרגילאNARGILA- coconut-palm, whose flexible fibrous bark is used for making ropes

7)[line 14]דיקלא דחד נבראDIKLA D'CHAD NEVARA- [the fibrous substance that appear like the tendrils (O.F. vedille) of vines that are located just under the surface of] a palm which has only one covering of flexible fibrous bark

8)[line 20]"ואשא עיני וארא והנה איש ובידו חבל מדה""VA'ESA EINAI VA'EREI V'HINEI ISH UV'YADO CHEVEL MIDAH" - "... I raised my eyes and I beheld a man, and in his hand was a measuring rope." (Zecharyah 2:5) (ZECHARYAH'S VISION ABOUT YERUSHALAYIM)

(a)The verse continues, "And I said, 'Where are you going?' And he said to me, 'To measure Yerushalayim, to see how wide and how long it is.' At that point the angel who was speaking to him left and he saw another angel coming towards him. And he (the second angel) said to him (the first angel), 'Run and speak to that young man (Zecharyah) and tell him that Yerushalayim will be settled beyond its walls, due to the multitude of people and animals within it!'"

(b)HaSh-m showed Zecharyah a prophecy depicting the destruction of the four nations to which Yisrael has been subservient throughout our history: Babylon, Persia/Medes, Greece, and Edom (Esav) - who is destined to fall into the hands of Mashi'ach.

(c)Zecharyah then perceives a man approaching him holding a measuring rope with which, he is told, he is going to measure the city of Yerushalayim. This was meant to imply that Yerushalayim of that time was much smaller than it was destined to become in the future.

(d)The angel takes his leave and another angel is seen approaching the prophet. Thinking that the purpose of the measuring is to ascertain the current as well as future size of Yerushalayim, Zecharyah queries the angel about it. The second angel then instructs the first angel to run and tell Zecharyah the real purpose of the measuring. Others explain, citing our Gemara, that Zecharyah told the angel who was measuring to stop, since HaSh-m had changed His mind and that Yerushalayim, like other less prominent cities, will remain without borders.

(e)The prophecy ends with a promise that HaSh-m will be a wall of fire and that He will rest His Shechinah there.

9)[line 20]קנה המדהKENEH HAMIDAH- a measuring stick

10)[line 21]לתרעיL'TAR'EI- for [the measuring of] gates

11)[line 22]מגגMEGEG- a species of reed; (O.F. jonc) rush, a water-side plant with a slender, tapering, pith-filled stem, used for weaving baskets, etc.

12)[line 24]נצרNETZER- (a) peeled willow; (b) the fibrous substance under the bark of a palm tree (RASHI)

13)[line 23]לפרהL'PARAH (PARAH ADUMAH)

(a)The Parah Adumah, an exclusively red-haired female cow is burned on Har ha'Zeisim and its ashes are used for making a person Tahor if he is Tamei Mes. A place is prepared for its slaughter on Har ha'Zeisim, opposite the gate to the Azarah (the courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash). After it is slaughtered, its blood is sprinkled in the direction of the Beis ha'Mikdash seven times. A cedar branch, some hyssops (Ezov) and a piece of crimson wool are burned along with the cow. (Bamidbar 19:1-22)

(b)If a person (or utensil) became Tamei through touching a Mes, he must wait seven days to become Tahor. On the third and seventh days he must have spring water mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah (Mei Chatas) sprinkled on him. A person who is Tahor dips three hyssops which have been bound together into the mixture and sprinkles them on the person who is Tamei. On the seventh day, he immerses in a Mikvah after the mixture is sprinkled on him to complete his Taharah.

(c)The Parah Adumah is mentioned in our Sugya because it was tied down with a reed rope. This was because a reed rope cannot become Tamei, and every part of the process involving the Parah Adumah was performed strictly b'Taharah.

14)[line 24]מערכתהMA'ARACHASAH- the pyre of wood on which it was burned

15)[line 24]לסוטהSOTAH

(a)A Sotah is a woman who is suspected of committing adultery because she was warned by her husband not to seclude herself with a certain man and she violated the warning. The husband must bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash, along with a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approx. 2 quarts) of barley meal as a Minchah offering.

(b)The Kohen reads Parshas Sotah, the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed, out loud (in any language that the Sotah understands) and makes the Sotah swear that she has been faithful to her husband. Many actions are done in order to humiliate her, including ripping her clothes and tying them together with a rope made of Netzarim.

(c)An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor, and dirt from the floor of the Azarah is placed on top of the water. Parshas Sotah (which contains numerous appearances of HaSh-m's name), is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, causing the ink to dissolve and the holy name to be erased. The woman then drinks from the water. If she had been unfaithful to her husband, the water enters her body and causes her belly to swell out and her thigh to rupture. If she was faithful to her husband, she remains unharmed and is blessed with children. (Bamidbar 5:11-31)

16)[line 26]של פשתן למדידהSHEL PISHTAN L'MEDIDAH- Rav Yosef is arguing with Rav Asi, who said earlier that we use a rope of Afsekima for measuring Techumim (Rashi)

17)[line 28]דאם אינו יכול... וצופה כנגד מידתוD'IM EINO YACHOL... V'TZOFEH KENEGED MIDASO- if the wadi is wider than 50 Amos at the point along the line where the Techum is being measured, but is 50 Amos wide at a point to the right or left of the line, the people who are measuring the Techum walk to the narrow part, are Mavli'a ("jump over" see above, Background to Eruvin 57:20) the wadi, and continue measuring the Techum along that line. They measure until they are parallel with the point where the wadi ends (when coming from the direction that the Techum was originally measured). They then walk back to that point and continue measuring until they finish the 2000-Amah measurement.

18)[line 34]גיא מעוקםGAI ME'UKAM- (a) a wadi with sloping walls which are easy to climb; (b) a wadi that bends and curves around a city (thereby making it impossible to measure over the shortest part and then continue on the other side in a straight line)

19)[line 35]יקוב הכותלYIKOV HA'KOSEL- (lit. bore a hole in the wall) that is, Mavli'a

20)[line 36]אומדוOMDO- estimate its distance

21a)[line 37]ניחא תשמישתאNEICHA TASHMISHASA- it is easy to walk upon (that is, it does not rise more than ten Tefachim per four Amos. In such a case one may be Mekader if the span is wider than 50 Amos)

b)[line 37]לא ניחא תשמישתאLO NEICHA TASHMISHASA- When it is too steep to walk upon easily, the slope does not count as part of the length of the Techum and one need not be Mekader.

22)[last line]שאין חוט המשקולת יורד כנגדוEIN CHUT HA'MISHKOLES YORED KENEGDO- a plumb line does not go straight down (but extends a horizontal distance of four Amos from the top of the line)


23)[line 1]מודדו מדידה יפהMODEDO MEDIDAH YAFAH- he must measure it properly. (That is, he must go down into the wadi, measure its width, and then ascend the other side of the wadi and continue to measure from the edge of the wadi. The slope of the wadi is not measured at all.)

24)[line 2]וכמה עומקו של גיאV'KAMA OMKO SHEL GAI- until what depth may one still be Mavli'a

25)[line 11]ארבעARBA- four Amos

26)[line 13]המתלקט י' מתוך ד'HA'MISLAKET ASARAH MI'TOCH ARBA- which rises ten Tefachim within a distance of four Amos

27)[line 14]מודדו מדידה יפהMODEDO MEDIDAH YAFAH- he must measure it properly (that is, the actual distance of the sides of the mountain)

28)[line 23]נקיטינןNEKITINAN- we have a tradition

29)[line 26]בעגלה ערופהEGLAH ARUFAH

(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Eretz Yisrael) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah (Devarim 21:1) requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled.

(b)Five elders of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish "supreme court") measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it. When measuring these distances, they measure the exact length of the slope of the mountains or valleys, since these measurements are mid'Oraisa.

(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI) and strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe.

(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).

30)[line 27]בערי מקלטAREI MIKLAT - Cities of Refuge

(a)A person who murders intentionally after having been previously warned is liable to the death penalty. A person who murders unintentionally is exempt from the death penalty, but is punished with Galus (banishment).

(b)When it is proven that a person killed unintentionally, he is banished to one of the six Arei Miklat (Cities of Refuge) or one of the forty-two cities of the Leviyim. He must stay there and not leave the city or its Techum for any reason whatsoever until the death of the Kohen Gadol who served at the time that he was sentenced to banishment.

(c)When the Techum of one of these cities is measured, the exact length of the slope of the mountains or valleys is measured, since this measurement is mid'Oraisa.

(d)If the unintentional murderer leaves his City of Refuge, the Go'el ha'Dam (the closest relative of the murdered person) is permitted to avenge the death of his relative and kill the murderer.

31)[line 28]אלא מן המומחהELA MIN HA'MUMCHEH- (a) only an expert in measuring (RASHI); (b) according to the Girsa of RABEINU CHANANEL (which is the Girsa of our Mishnah) ELA MIN HA'MUMCHEH - (1) only on level, straight ground (RABEINU CHANANEL, RIF); (2) in a line that is straight out from the city (RABEINU TAM)