משנה לולב וערבה ששה ושבעה


Mishnah: The Mitzvos of Lulav and (circling the altar with the) Aravah are observed for six or seven days of Sukos.

ההלל והשמחה שמונה


Halel and rejoicing (eating the meat of a Shelamim sacrifice) are observed for eight days (which includes Shemini Atzeres).

סוכה וניסוך המים שבעה


Sukah and the water libations are observed for seven days (but not Shemini Atzeres).

והחליל חמשה וששה לולב שבעה


The flute (one of the musical instruments played at the Simchas Beis Hasho'evah) is used for five or six days of Sukos. The Lulav is observed for seven days.

כיצד יום טוב הראשון של חג שחל להיות בשבת לולב שבעה ושאר כל הימים ששה


How is this? If the first day of Sukos occurred on Shabbos, the Mitzvah of Lulav is observed for seven days; if it occurred on a weekday, the Mitzvah is observed for six days.

ערבה שבעה כיצד יום השביעי של ערבה שחל להיות בשבת שבעה ושאר כל הימים ששה


When is Aravah observed for seven days? If the seventh day of Sukos occurred on Shabbos, Aravah is observed for seven days; if it occurred on a weekday, it is observed for six.

גמרא ר' זעירה ר' אילא ר' יסא בשם ר' יוחנן ערבה הלכה למשה מסיני


(Gemara - R. Zeira/ R. Ila/ R. Yasa quoting R. Yochanan): The Mitzvah of Aravah is a tradition from Har Sinai.

ודלא כאבא שאול דאבא שאול אומר ערבה דבר תורה


This is unlike Abba Shaul who says that its source is in the Torah -

וערבי נחל שתים. ערבה ללולב וערבה למקדש


"Arvei Nachal" - is plural (meaning two) - an Aravah for the Lulav and an Aravah for the Temple.

רבי בא ר' חייה בשם ר' יוחנן ערבה (ו)ניסוך המים [ועשר נטיעות] הלכה למשה מסיני


R. Ba/ R. Chiya quoting R. Yochanan: Aravah, water libations, and 'ten saplings' are a tradition from Har Sinai. (The Halachah is that a 'Beis Se'ah' sized field that contains ten saplings may be ploughed until immediately before the Shemita year, even though ploughing is usually forbidden from Shavuos of the 6th year).

ודלא כר' עקיבה דרבי עקיבה אמר ניסוך המים דבר תורה. בשני ונסכיהם. בששי ונסכיה. בשביעי כמשפטם מ"ם יו"ד מ"ם מים


This is unlike R. Akiva who said that the practice of water libations in the Temple (on Sukos) is written in the Torah (in Bamidbar Chap. 29) - On the second day (of Sukos) the Pasuk says "Venischayhem" (using an extra letter "Mem"); on the sixth day of Sukos, the Pasuk says "U'Nesacheha" (using an extra letter "Yud"); on the seventh day of Sukos, the Pasuk says "Kemishpatam" (using an extra letter "Mem") - these extra letters spell the word Mayim, meaning water, referring to the water libations.

ר' חייה בר בא בעא קומי ר' יוחנן [דף יח עמוד א] ועכשיו למה הם חורשין בזקינות


Question (R. Chiya bar Ba to R. Yochanan): (You taught that the case of 'ten saplings' is a tradition from Har Sinai, but the implication was that the field of older trees may not be ploughed); if so, nowadays, why do we plough around older trees until Rosh Hashanah?

א"ל בשעה שניתנו הלכה לכך ניתנה שאם ביקשו לחרוש יחרוש


Answer (R. Yochanan): When the tradition was transmitted, it included the stipulation that if Beis Din perceive that there is a need to plough, it is permitted.

ר' בא בר זבדא בשם ר' חונייא דברת חוורן ערבה וניסוך המים ועשר נטיעות מיסוד הנביאים הם


R. Ba bar Zavda quoting R. Chunya of Beras Chavran: Aravah, water libations and 'ten saplings' were decreed by the later prophets of the Men of the Great Assembly (Chagai, Zecharia and Malachi).

מה ופליג


Question: Does R. Chunya disagree with R. Yochanan who said the they are a tradition from Har Sinai?

ר' יוסי בי ר' בון בשם לוי כך היתה הלכה בידם ושכחוה ועמדו השניים והסכימו על דעת הראשונים ללמדך שכל דבר שנותנין נפשם בית דין עליו סופו להתקיים בידן כמה שנאמר למשה בסיני


Answer (R. Yosi bei R. Bun quoting Levi): There was a tradition from Har Sinai, but it was forgotten and later re-established by the prophets. This teaches that whenever Beis Din make special efforts to understand and fulfill something thoroughly, it will ultimately be established by them as it was taught originally to Moshe at Har Sinai.

ואתיא כהיא דאמר רבי מנא (דברים לב) כי לא דבר רק הוא. ואם רק הוא מכם. למה שאין אתם יגיעין בו. כי הוא חייכם. אימתי הוא חייכם בשעה שאתם יגיעים בו


This follows the statement of R. Mana - the Pasuk states (Devarim 32,47), "it is not an empty matter [from you]". If it is empty, it is because of you, because you are not toiling in it. "As it is your life" - When is it "your life"? When you toil in it.

ר' יוחנן אמר לרבי חייה בר בא בבלייא תרין מילין סלקון בידיכון מפשיטותא דתעניתא וערובתא דיומא שביעייא


R. Yochanan to R. Chiya bar Ba of Bavel: Two things that you (Babylonians) said, are the Halachah - (a) One only prostrates with extended arms and legs on a public fast day; (b) taking the Aravah on the seventh day of Sukos is only a custom of the prophets.

ורבנן דקיסרין אמרין אף הדא מקזתה


Rabbanan of Kisarin: There is also the case of blood-letting. (They were accustomed to let blood only certain days - this custom later spread throughout the Jewish world). (Note: This entry follows the explanation of the Pnei Moshe.)

ר' סימון מפקד לאילין דמחשבין יהבון דעתכון דלא תעבדין לא תקיעתה בשבת ולא ערבתא בשבתא ואין אדחקון עבדון תקיעתה ולא תעבדון ערבתא


R. Simon ordered those that made the calculation of 'full' months to ensure that the 1st day of Rosh Hashanah does not occur on Shabbos and to also ensure that the 7th day of Sukos does not occur on Shabbos. If it is not possible to do both of these, they should preferably ensure that the 7th day of Sukos should not occur on Shabbos. (This is because even if the 1st day of Rosh Hashanah occurs on Shabbos, they can still sound the Shofar on the 2nd day. Alternatively, sounding the Shofar is from the Torah and does not require special strengthening; but Aravah is a tradition and must be strengthened.)