READING THE TORAH IN THE TZIBUR
Question (people of Galil): Who reads after the Kohen and Levi?
Answer (R. Yitzchak Nafcha): The next priorities to read are: Chachamim appointed over the Tzibur; Chachamim qualified to be appointed; children of the appointed Chachamim; the heads of the Tzibur; and everyone else.
Question (people of Galil): May we read the Torah in the Beis ha'Keneses from a scroll containing only one of the five Chumashim?
Answer #1 (Rabanan): We learn from R. Yochanan that one may not.
(R. Yochanan): We may not read in the Beis ha'Keneses from a Sefer Torah missing a column.
Rejection: He disqualifies a deficient Sefer. We ask about a complete Sefer!
Answer #2 (Rabah and Rav Yosef): We may not read, for it is dishonorable to the Tzibur.
(Rabah and Rav Yosef): We may not read from a Sefer Haftorah (a scroll containing only the passages from Nevi'im read for the Haftorah), for one may not write such a Sefer. (One may write only complete Sefarim of Tanach.)
(Mar bar Rav Ashi): One may not even move it on Shabbos, for one may not read from it!
Rejection: The Halachah does not follow these opinions. Rather, we may move and read from such a Sefer. (We learn from the following.)
R. Yochanan and Reish Lakish read from a Sefer of Agadata on Shabbos.
Question: One may not write oral Torah!
Answer: Since there was no alternative (the teachings were in danger of being forgotten), they could be written - "Es La'asos la'Shem Heferu Torasecha."
Similarly, we may write and use a Sefer Haftorah (since not every Tzibur can afford a complete set of Nevi'im).
WRITING PORTIONS OF THE TORAH
Question (Abaye): May one write a Megilah (a partial Chumash), in order to teach a child?
We can ask according to the opinion that the Torah was given (written) one Parshah at a time (and merged at the end), and also according to the opinion that the Torah was given (not written until it was) complete.
According to the opinion that the Torah was given one Parshah at a time, we should likewise be allowed to write a Megilah;
Or perhaps, once the Torah was finalized, it can no longer be written piecemeal!
According to the opinion that the Torah was given complete, likewise, we may write only complete Seforim;
Or perhaps, since there is no alternative (for people who cannot write a full Chumash), one may write a Megilah.
Answer #1 (Rabah): According to both opinions, it may not be written.
Question (Mishnah): Queen Hilni made a gold tablet on which Parshas Sotah was written (for the Kohanim to copy from).
Answer (Reish Lakish): Only the first letter of each word was written.
Question (Beraisa): The Kohen (who copies the Parshah) looks at the tablet and writes what is written in the tablet.
Answer: This means that he writes based on what is written in the tablet.
Question (Beraisa): It is written in the tablet "if a man lied (with you)... if a man did not lie."
Answer: Only the first word of each verse is properly written in the tablet. Only the initial letters of the other words are written.
Answer #2: Tana'im argue about whether or not one may write a Megilah to teach a child.
(Beraisa): One may not write a Megilah to teach a child;
R. Yehudah says, one may write from Bereishis until the generation of the flood. One may write from the beginning of Sefer Vayikra until "va'Yhi ba'Yom ha'Shemini."
(R. Yochanan): The Torah was given one Parshah at a time - "bi'Mgilas Sefer it is written about me."
(Reish Lakish): The Torah was given complete - "take this Sefer Torah."
Question: How does R. Yochanan explain this verse?
Answer: It was said only after the Torah was completed.
Question: How does Reish Lakish explain the verse that R. Yochanan learned from?
Answer #1: The entire Torah is also called a Megilah - "I see a Megilah flying."
Answer #2: Only eight Parshiyos, which were taught on the day that the Mishkan was inaugurated, were written separately.
(R. Levi): The following eight Parshiyos were written on the day that the Mishkan was inaugurated:
The special Isurim of Kohanim;
The Parshah of the Leviyim (that they will assist the Kohanim);
That people Tamei at the time of Pesach bring the Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheni (Rashi; Tosfos - that Tamei people may not touch Kodshim);
The expulsion of Tamei people from the camps;
That only the Kohen Gadol may enter the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim, during the Yom Kipur service.
The Isur for a Kohen to serve while drunk;
The lighting of the Menorah;
The red heifer.
(R. Elazar): The majority of the Torah is written, the minority is oral - "I will write for him (Yisrael) most of My Torah."
(R. Yochanan): The majority of the Torah is oral, the minority is written - "Al Pi (according to - literally, by the mouth) these words" (the covenant was made).
Question: How does R. Yochanan explain R. Elazar's verse?
Answer: Hash-m asks in astonishment "should I write for him most of My Torah? He considers it foreign!"
Question: How does R. Elazar explain the verse that R. Yochanan learned from?
Answer: The covenant was on the oral Torah, for it is harder to learn.
Question (R. Yehudah bar Nachmani): One verse says "write these words", and another says "Al Pi these words" (they should be oral)!
Answer (R. Yehudah bar Nachmani): You may not recite (Rashi - teach to Yisrael) written Torah by heart. You may not read oral Torah from a written text (you may not write it).
(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "These" - words of Torah you may write, but you may not write Halachos.
(R. Yochanan): Hash-m made a covenant with Yisrael only due to the oral Torah - "Al Pi these words I made a covenant with you and with Yisrael."
ENACTMENTS FOR THE SAKE OF SHALOM
(Mishnah): The Eruv is placed in the same house (like it used to be) for the sake of Shalom.
Question: Why is this needed for Shalom?
Suggestion: It is due to the honor of the original house.
Rejection: The Shofar (sounded on Erev Shabbos; some say, a collection box for money to support the Yeshivah) of Pumbadisa was originally in Rav Yehudah's home. It later passed to the houses of (the succeeding Roshei Yeshiva, i.e.) Rabah, then Rav Yosef, then Abaye, then Rava!
Answer: Rather, if people see it missing from its usual place, they might suspect that people carrying in the courtyard are transgressing.
(Mishnah): The pit closest to the irrigation channel takes water first...
(Rav): The people downstream on a river drink from it first;
(Shmuel): The people upstream drink first.
All agree that anyone may take whenever he wants like the river flows; they argue about damming up the river to irrigate one's fields.
Shmuel says that the upstream people have priority, for the water comes to them first.
Rav says that the downstream people have priority. They can claim that the river should be allowed to flow. (No one cares what happens downstream from them.)
Question (against Rav - Mishnah): The pit closest to the irrigation channel takes water first for the sake of Shalom.
Answer (Shmuel, on behalf of Rav): The case is, the channel passes over the pit.
Question: If so, obviously they take first!
Answer: One might have thought that the others can tell him to cover his pit and draw with a bucket (like they do). The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
(Rav Huna bar Tachlifa): Since the Halachah was not fixed like either opinion, the strongest party wins.
Rav Simi bar Ashi told Abaye that he would irrigate his fields for him, in order that Abaye would have time to learn with him.
Rav Simi told the people upstream that the Halachah is that the people downstream drink first. He told the people downstream that the upstream people drink first. He dammed the river and irrigated Abaye's fields.
Abaye was upset. He did not eat from the Peros of his fields that year (to show his disapproval).
Certain people detoured a river so it would irrigate their fields. People upstream (at the beginning of the detour) complained to Abaye that this ruined it. (It flowed slowly, and flooded their fields.).
Abaye: Dig to deepen the new course of the river. (This will speed the flow and avoid the flooding.)
The upstream people: If so, our irrigation ditches will dry [when the river is low, for water will not enter them!]
Abaye: If so, the downstream people must return the river like initially (Rashi. R. Chananel - the upstream people cannot protest.)