THINGS CHACHAMIM DID NOT OBJECT TO
(Beraisa): Chachamim approved of three things that Chizkiyah did, and disapproved of three; they approved of the following:
He dragged the bones of his father (Achaz, a Rasha) around on ropes [to atone for him and to chastise Resha'im);
He ground up the copper snake that Moshe had made [to save people who had been bitten by snakes - people had started to worship it];
He hid Sefer ha'Refu'os (Rashi - because people used it for quick cures, and did not turn to Hash-m to be healed; Rambam - astrologers determined which images would be helpful for which sicknesses - it is forbidden to use them).
They disapproved of three:
He cut off the doors of the Heichal and sent them to Sancheriv [for tribute, hoping to dissuade his impending attack];
He dammed up the waters of the upper Gichon [to cause problems for Sancheriv's army. Regarding both of these, he should have relied on Hash-m's promise to save Yerushalayim];
[To allow more time for people to become Tahor for Pesach,] he was Me'aber the year (added a second Adar) in Nisan (really, on Adar 30, which has potential to become Rosh Chodesh Nisan).
(Mishnah): They would Markiv date trees the entire day.
Question: What did they do?
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): They would bring moist myrtle and beer of laurel berries and barley flour in a Keli within 40 days [of when it was ground]; they cook them together and pour it into the 'heart' (central trunk) of the tree;
Any tree within four Amos of it will dry up immediately unless the same is done for it [because the tree that was treated will absorb all the moisture from the soil].
Answer #2 (Rav Acha brei d'Rava): They would graft young branches onto old trees (alternatively - male branches that produce dates onto sterile female trees. Above (53A) we said that R. Ilai cut [dates of] a male tree whose dates never ripen - we must say that this does not apply to all male trees.)
(Mishnah): They were Korech Shma.
Question: What did they do?
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): They said the first verse without pausing (between it and "V'Ohavta"; alternatively, between "Yisrael" and "Hash-m");
Answer #2 (Rava): They paused then, but they would not pause between "ha'Yom" and "Al Levavecha," connoting that today one must put Torah to one's heart today, but tomorrow he need not.
(Beraisa) Question: How were they Korech Shma?
Answer #1 (R. Meir): They said the first verse without pausing.
Answer #2 (R. Yehudah): They paused, but they did not say 'Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso l'Olam va'Ed'.
Question: Why do we say it? (It is not in the Torah!)
Answer: We say it on account of Reish Lakish's teaching:
(Reish Lakish): "Va'Yikra Yakov El Banav va'Yomer He'asfu v'Agidah Lachem" - Yakov wanted to tell his sons Ketz ha'Yamin (these are the last words in Sefer Daniel - tradition says that this is like Ketz ha'Yamim, the end of days, which refers to the ultimate redemption or revival of the dead) - the Shechinah departed.
Yakov feared that this was because one of his children was improper, just like Avraham fathered Yishmael and Yitzchak fathered Esav.
His sons: "Shma Yisrael Hash-m Elokeinu Hash-m Echad" - just like Hash-m is One in your heart, also in ours.
Yakov: Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso l'Olam va'Ed (this is what people say after the Kohen Gadol says Hash-m's name in the Mikdash - we learn from "Ki Shem Hash-m Ekra Havu Godel Leilokeinu." Rashi (Bereishis 46:29) cites a Medrash that Yakov was saying Shma when he was reunited with Yosef, before the above dialogue - presumably this refers to the essence of Shema, Kabalas Ol Malchus Shomayim, even if it was not the same text we say today - PF.)
Chachamim considered whether or not it should be included in Shma:
We should not say it, for Moshe did not write it in the Torah;
On the other hand, we should say it, for Yakov said it!
They enacted to say it quietly.
(R. Yitzchak): This is like a king's daughter who smelled seasoned meat - if she will say [that she wants some], it will be disgraceful for her; if she will not say, she will be in pain (if one smelled food and desires it, it is dangerous not to taste it - Mishnah Berurah 159:2. Maharal - Baruch Shem Kavod is an exalted praise that angels say, Benei Yisrael are worthy to say it only on Yom Kipur; Nefesh ha'Chayim - Hash-m is so exalted that it belittles Him to call Him King of our lowly world [like it belittled the princess to request the meat in the parable] - in His humility, he lets us say it and considers it a praise.)
Her servants brought some for her covertly.
(R. Avahu): They enacted to say [Baruch Shem Kavod...] aloud, lest heretics claim [that we say improper things at that time, e.g. heresy].
There are no heretics in Neharda'a, therefore they say it quietly.
PRACTICES IN YERICHO
(Beraisa - R. Meir): Six things were done in Yericho, Chachamim approved of only the following three:
They would Markiv date trees the entire day [on Erev Pesach]; they were Korech Shma; they harvested Chadash;
Chachamim disapproved of three:
They made piles of Chadash;
They breached the walls of their gardens and orchards to enable poor people to enter and eat fruit that fell on Shabbos and Yom Tov, in famine years;
They benefited from branches of Hekdesh carob and sycamore trees.
R. Yehudah: If Chachamim approved [of the first three], people would do so everywhere!
Rather, Chachamim disapproved of all six; three of them they did not protest - grafting the entire day, Korech Shma, harvesting and making piles of Chadash;
They protested about three - benefiting from Hekdesh branches, breaching gardens and orchards to enable the poor to eat fruit that fell on Shabbos and Yom Tov in famine years, and leaving Pe'ah from Yerakos.
Question: R. Yehudah does not forbid harvesting Chadash!
(Mishnah): In Yericho they harvested and made piles of Chadash - Chachamim approved of harvesting but disapproved of making piles (perhaps he will eat it - he could wait to make piles without any loss), but they did not protest.
This is like R. Yehudah, who says that they [disapproved of all six], the only distinction was which they protested about, and it says that they approved of harvesting!
Counter-question: [You challenged the Beraisa from the Mishnah - the Beraisa itself is difficult! It says that they did not protest about three, but] it lists four (grafting the entire day, Korech Shma, harvesting and piling Chadash)!
Answer to both questions: We must delete harvesting from the Beraisa.
They benefited from branches of Hekdesh carob and sycamore trees - they said 'Our ancestors were Makdish only the trunks, we may benefit from the branches of Hekdesh carob and sycamore trees.
They permitted Gedulim (things that grow from) Hekdesh - they hold like the opinion that Me'ilah does not apply to Gedulei Hekdesh.
Chachamim disapproved - they hold that even though Me'ilah does not apply, it is forbidden!
(Beraisa): They breached [to enable the poor to eat fruit that fell on Shabbos].
(Ula): They argue about dates that [became detached on Shabbos and] fell into 'nets' of bent Lulavim at the top of the tree - Chachamim forbid lest one climb up to get them and detach attached dates; Anshei Yericho do not decree (Rashi; Tosfos - it is forbidden to take anything from a tree on Shabbos! We must say that they were detached and caught in nets before Shabbos, and on Shabbos they fell to the ground; Chachamim forbid because they were forbidden at the start of Shabbos);
All permit dates caught below the branches, for there are no attached dates there.
Question (Rava): They are Muktzeh (they were attached (Tosfos - they were on the tree) at the start of Shabbos)!
Suggestion: Since they were fit for ravens to eat (one who raises ravens may lead them there to eat them), they are considered prepared for people.
Rejection: Something fit for people to eat is not considered prepared for dogs - will you say that something fit for ravens is considered prepared for people?!
(Mishnah - R. Yehudah): If an animal died on Shabbos, we may not cut up the carcass in front of dogs, since it was not prepared.
Answer (Ula): Indeed, something fit for people to eat is not considered prepared for dogs, because a person does not abandon something he can use;
Something fit for ravens is considered prepared for people - a person intends to use anything which he might need.
(Ravin): They argue about dates caught below the branches - Chachamim hold that something fit for ravens is not considered prepared for people, Anshei Yericho hold that it is;
All forbid dates in the 'nets', lest one climb up to get them and detach.
(Mishnah): They left Pe'ah from Yerakos.
Question: Do they argue with the Mishnah?!
(Mishnah): Pe'ah must be left from any food with the following properties - people guard it, it grows from the ground, it is harvested at once, and it may be stored for a long time.
It says 'food' to exclude Sefichim (things that grew by themselves, e.g. from seeds which fell) of safflower or woad (a dye);
'People guard it' excludes Hefker; 'it grows from the ground' excludes mushrooms and truffles; 'it is harvested at once' excludes figs; 'it may be stored for a long time' excludes Yerek.
Answer (Rav Yehudah): They left Pe'ah from turnip leaves [or roots; they can be stored via pickling with the bulbs attached - Chazon Ish Shevi'is, near end of Siman 7]:
Anshei Yericho hold that storing by means of something else is considered storing; Chachamim disagree.