WHERE DO WE CHECK FOR CHAMETZ?
(Mishnah): At 'Or' (this will be explained) on the 14th of Nisan, we check for Chametz by light of a Ner (lamp or candle. Rashi - this is to avoid transgressing Bal Yera'eh and Bal Yimatzei, seeing or having Chametz in one's premises on Pesach; Tosfos - it is lest one come to eat Chametz on Pesach);
Any place where Chametz is not brought need not be checked.
Question: In what case was it taught that two rows in a wine cellar must be checked? (This will be explained.)
Answer: This is when Chametz is brought there.
Beis Shamai say, two rows along the entire face of the wine cellar [must be checked - this will be explained];
Beis Hillel say, the two outermost rows that are the top ones [must be checked].
WHAT IS 'OR'?
(Gemara) Question: What does 'Or' mean?
Answer #1 (Rav Huna): It means Naghi (this will be explained);
Answer #2 (Rav Yehudah): It means night (Ra'avad - it says Or to teach that we start when there is still some light).
We are thinking that Naghi literally refers to daybreak, [and night literally refers to night. Rashi deletes this from the text; Tosfos defends the text - even though there was never a doubt about this, it is included for parallel structure].
Question #1: "Ha'Boker Or veha'Anashim Shulchu" - this teaches that Or is day!
Answer: It does not say 'Ha'Or Boker' [which would implies that Or is a noun, i.e. morning] - rather, it says "Ha'Boker Or" - the morning illuminated (but when Or is a noun, it means night).
The verse alludes to Rav Yehudah's teaching.
(Rav Yehudah): A traveler should stop [in the evening] and begin [in the morning] when the sun is out [on account of animals and bandits].
Question #2: "Uch'Or Boker Yizrach Shemesh" - this teaches that Or is day!
Answer: It does not say 'Or Boker' - rather, it says "Uch'Or Boker" (like sunrise illuminates);
The entire verse means, the sun will shine [so strongly] for Tzadikim in the world to come that dawn will illuminate like sunrise in this world.
Question #3: "Va'Yikra Elokim la'Or Yom" - this teaches that Or is day!
Answer #1: No - rather, Hash-m called the time that is Me'ir u'Va (keeps getting brighter) 'day'.
Objection: If so, you should say that "Vela'Choshech Kara Laylah" means that He called the time that keeps getting darker 'night' - but it is day until Tzeis ha'Kochavim (when stars are visible, even though it starts getting dark from sunset)!
Answer #2: Rather, "Va'Yikra" does not refers to giving a name - rather, Hash-m summoned the illuminating component of the creation and commanded it to serve during the day; He summoned the darkening component of the creation and commanded it to serve at night (see note 1 in Appendix).
Question #4: "Haleluhu Kol Kochvei Or" - this teaches that Or is night!
Answer #1: No - rather, the illuminating stars should praise Him.
Rejection: This implies that stars that do not illuminate need not praise Him - but it says "Haleluhu Kol Tzeva'av"!
Answer #2: Rather, it teaches that light of stars is also called light.
Question: What difference does it make?
Answer: This teaches that one who vowed not to benefit from light may not benefit from starlight [unless we know that people do not call it light - vows depend on how people speak].
WHAT IS 'OR'? (cont.)
Question #5: "La'Or Yakum Rotze'ach...uva'Laylah Yehi cha'Ganav" (during the day a robber kills; at night he steals stealthily) - this implies that Or is the opposite of night, i.e. day!
Answer: No - it alludes to a thief tunneling into a house;
It says, if it is as clear to you as day that he is ready to kill [the Ba'al ha'Bayis, if he will stand up to defend his property], he is a murderer - anyone may kill him;
If the matter is unclear like night, treat him like a regular thief - do not kill him.
Question #6: "Yechshechu Kochvei Nishpo Yekav l'Or v'Ayin" (Iyov cursed the day he was born, it should remain night and never come) - this shows that Or is day!
Answer: No - he cursed his Mazel (when he was born) - if only it had remained dark and not become light!
Question #7: [David said] "Va'Omar Ach Choshech Yeshufeni v'Laylah Or Ba'adeni" (night became day for me) - this shows that Or is day!
Answer: No - he said 'I thought that it would be dark for me [on account of my sin, even] in the world to come, which is like day - but Hash-m [forgave me], and illuminated for me even in this world, which is like night!
Question #8 (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): We check on Or of the 14th, [and if not then] on the morning of the 14th, and [if not] at the time of Bi'ur (when Chametz must be destroyed, i.e. six hours of the day).
This shows that Or is night! (See note 2 in Appendix.)
Question #9 (Beraisa): When on the 14th does it become forbidden to do Melachah (Tosfos; Rashi - where the custom is to refrain - but before this time, a custom has no validity)?
Answer #1 (R. Eliezer ben Yakov): It is forbidden from the time of Or.
Answer #2 (R. Yehudah): It is forbidden from sunrise.
R. Eliezer ben Yakov: We never find that Melachah is permitted for part of a day and forbidden for part [without a logical reason - Tosfos]!
R. Yehudah: Regarding eating Chametz, this day itself is partially permitted and partially forbidden!
Summation of question: Since R. Yehudah forbids from sunrise, R. Eliezer ben Yakov, who said Or, must refer to night!
Answer: No, he refers to dawn.
Question: R. Eliezer said that we never find that Melachah is permitted for part of a day and forbidden for part - if he permits until dawn, and forbids afterwards, this is difficult also for him!
Answer: He means, this is not difficult for me, for we find that Chachamim distinguished between day and night, e.g. fast days [on account of a lack of rain in Eretz Yisrael]:
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer ben Yakov): One may eat until dawn;
R. Shimon says, he may eat until Keros ha'Gever (when roosters cry out; alternatively, this is a man who called Kohanim to come to serve in the Mikdash).
But this is difficult for R. Yehudah, for we never find that Chachamim divided during the day itself!
(Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Regarding eating Chametz, this very day itself is partially permitted and partially forbidden!
Question: How can R. Eliezer argue with this?!
Answer: He says, I discuss Melachah, which is mid'Rabanan - do not bring a proof from eating, which is mid'Oraisa!
The Torah itself divided the day (until midday is permitted, afterwards is forbidden) - Chachamim merely added [an hour or two of Isur] to distance people from [erring and] transgressing the Torah.
Question #10 (Beraisa): We make signal fires [to publicize which day was fixed to be Rosh Chodesh] only when the previous month was 29 days;
We make the fires at Or of (after) Iburo (the 30th day, which is sometimes added to the month).
This teaches that Or is night (fires cannot be seen from afar during the day)!
Question #11 (Beraisa - Rebbi): If a Kohen was offering Korbanos all night, l'Orah (when day comes) he must Mekadesh (wash his hands and feet) again (this shows that Or is day)!
Answer: All agree that 'Orah' refers to day [they argue about 'Or'].