CHAPTER I.1. A booth which is above twenty cubits high is disallowed. R. Judah allows it. One which is not ten hands high, one which has not three walls, or which has more sun than shade, is disallowed. "An old booth?" "The school of Shammai disallow it; but the school of Hillel allow it." "What is an old booth?" "One that was made thirty days before the feast: but if it were made with intention for the feast, even from the beginning of the year, it is allowed."
2. "If a man make his booth beneath a tree?" "It is as though he made it in the house." "If one booth be above another?" "The upper one is allowed; but the lower one is disallowed." R. Judah says, "if they cannot inhabit the upper one, the lower one is allowed."
3. "If one spread a cloth over (its roof) 2 on account of the sun; or under (its roof) on account of the falling leaves; or if one spread a canopy over his bed?" "It is disallowed. But he may spread a cloth over two bedposts."
4. "If one have trained a vine, or a gourd, or ivy, and covered it over?" "It is disallowed. But if the covering
be larger than these, or if they have been trimmed, it is allowed." The rule is, everything which contracts uncleanness, and does not grow from the ground, must not be used for a covering; but everything which does not contract uncleanness, and grows from the ground, may be used for a covering.
5. Bundles of straw, and bundles of wood, and bundles of twigs, must not be used for covering. But all of them, if untied, are allowed. And all of them are allowed for side walls.
6. "They may cover it with laths." The words of R. Judah; but R. Meier forbids it. "If one put a board four hands wide over it?" "It is allowed, provided he do not sleep under it."
7. "Rafters over which there is no ceiling?" R. Judah says, "the school of Shammai say, 'let him loosen them, and remove the middle one out of three.' But the school of Hillel say, 'he may either loosen them, or remove the middle one out of every three.'" R. Meier says, "he must remove the middle one out of every three, but he need not loosen them."
8. "If one roof in his booth with spits, or bed-boards?" "If the intermediate spaces be equal to them, it is allowed." "If one pile up loose sheaves to make a booth?" "It is no booth."
9. "If one interweave the side walls from above downwards?" "If they be three handbreadths high from the ground, it is disallowed." "If from the ground upwards they be ten handbreadths high?" "It is allowed." R. José says, "even as from the ground upwards ten handbreadths (are required), so likewise from the roof downwards, ten handbreadths (are required)." "If the covering be three handbreadths above the side walls?" "It is disallowed."
10. "If a house be unroofed and covered over?" "If there be a space of four cubits between the wall and the covering, it is disallowed: also a court, in which there is an enclosed passage." "If the large booth be inclosed with covering, which must not be used, and if there be below it a space of four cubits?" "It is disallowed."
11. "If one make his booth like a pyramid; or lean it against a wall?" R. Eleazar "disallows it, because it has no roof;" but the Sages "allow it." "A large reed mat, which has been made for sleeping purposes?" "It contracts uncleanness, and they must not cover with it." "If made for covering purposes?" "They may use it; and it contracts no uncleanness." R. Eleazar says, "whether large or small, if made for sleeping, it contracts uncleanness, and must not be used for covering; but if made for covering, they may cover with it, and it contracts no uncleanness."
Footnotes136:1 According to Maimonides, we have in this treatise proof that it is coeval with the laws of Moses on the same subject.
136:2 The cloth would change it into a tent.
CHAPTER II.1. "If one sleep under a bed in the booth?" "He has not discharged his duty." R. Judah said, "we used to sleep under a bed before the elders, and they said nothing to us." R. Simon said, "it happened that Tabbi, the slave of R. Gamaliel, used to sleep under a bed, and R. Gamaliel said to the elders, 'you have seen my slave Tabbi, he is a disciple of the Sages, and knows that slaves are exempted from the booth, therefore he sleeps under a bedstead.' From this we in our way infer that he who sleeps under a bed has not discharged his duty."
2. "If a man support his booth with the posts of his bed?" "It is allowed." R. Judah says, "a booth which cannot stand by itself, is disallowed." A booth, which is unequally covered, and its shade greater than its sunlight, is allowed. If the covering be thick like a house roof, even though the stars are not seen through it, it is allowed.
3. "If one make his booth on the top of a waggon, or on a boat?" "It is allowed; and he may go up to it on the festival." "If one make it on the top of a tree, or on the back of a camel?" "It is allowed, but he must not go up to it on the festival." 1 "If two sides (be formed) by a tree, and one by the hands of man, or two by the hands of man and one by a tree?" "The booth is allowed, but he must not
go up to it on the festival." "If three (sides be formed) by hands of man and the fourth by a tree?" "The booth is allowed, and he may go up to it on the festival." This is the rule—when, on the removal of the tree, it can stand by itself, the booth is allowed, and one may go up to it on the festival.
4. "If one make his booth between trees, and the trees form side walls?" "The booth is allowed." Messengers on a pious errand are exempted from the booth. The sick and their attendants are exempted from the booth. Persons may occasionally eat or drink outside the booth.
5. It happened that they brought to R. Jochanan, son of Zachai, a dish to taste, and to Rabban Gamaliel two dates and a jar of water, and they said, "bring them to the booth." But when they brought to R. Zadok food smaller than an egg, he took it in the napkin 1 and ate it outside the booth, but he did not say a blessing after it.
6. R. Eleazar says, "a man is bound to eat fourteen meals in the booth, one by day and one by night;" but the Sages say the matter is not determined, except on the first night of the festival. Moreover R. Eleazar said, "he who has not taken his meal on the first night of the festival, may complete it on the last night of the festival; but the Sages say that he must not complete it, and for this it is said, (That which is) crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting, cannot be numbered." 2
7. "If any one's head, and the greater part of his body, be in the booth, and his table in the house?" The school of Shammai "disallow it;" but the school of Hillel "allow it." The school of Hillel said to the school of Shammai, "did it not happen that the elders of the school of Shammai, and those of the school of Hillel, went to visit R. Jochanan, son of Hachorni, and they found him sitting with his head and the greater part of his body in the booth while his table was in the house, and they said nothing to him?" The school of Shammai said to them, "Is that a proof? Even the elders
did say to him, 'if such has been thy custom, thou hast never in thy life fulfilled the commandment of the booth.'"
8. Women, slaves, and children, are exempted from the booth. A boy who no longer needs his mother is bound to the booth. It happened that the daughter-in-law of Shammai, the elder, 1 gave birth to a son, and Shammai removed the ceiling and covered over her bed on account of the little one.
9. During the whole seven days a man is to make the booth his regular dwelling, and (to use) his house only occasionally. "If rain fall, when is it permitted to remove from it?" "When the porridge is spoiled." The elders illustrate this by an example: "To what is the matter like?" "It is as if a servant pour out a cup for his master, who in return dashes a bowlful in his face."
Footnotes138:1 But he may go up on the middle days of the feast.
139:1 Lest he should render the food legally unclean with his unwashen hands. Mark vii. 2, 5.
139:2 Eccles. i. 15.
140:1 He lived about eighty years before the destruction of the Temple.
CHAPTER III.1. A palm branch stolen or withered is disallowed. One from an idolatrous grove, or from a city withdrawn to idolatry, 2 is disallowed. If the point be broken off, or the leaves torn off, it is disallowed. If they be only parted, it is allowed. R. Judah says, "it must be tied together at the top." Short-leaved palms from the Iron Mount 3 are allowed. A palm branch measuring three hands, sufficient to shake it by, is allowed.
2. A myrtle bough stolen, or withered, is disallowed. One from an idolatrous grove, or from a city withdrawn to idolatry, is disallowed. If the point be broken off, or the leaves torn off, or if it have more berries than leaves, it is disallowed. But if the berries be lessened it is allowed; but they must not diminish them on the festival.
3. A willow of the brook stolen, or withered, is disallowed. One from an idolatrous grove, or from a town withdrawn to idolatry, is disallowed. If the point be broken off, or the leaves torn off, or if it be a mountain willow, it is disallowed.
[paragraph continues] One faded, or from which some leaves have dropped off, or which has grown on dry ground, is allowed.
4. R. Ishmael says, "three myrtle boughs, two willows, one palm branch, and one citron, even if two out of the three myrtle boughs have their points broken off." R. Tarphon says, "even if three have their points broken off." R. Akivah says, "even as there is one citron and one palm branch, so there is one myrtle bough and one willow."
5. A citron stolen or withered is disallowed. One from an idolatrous grove, or from a city withdrawn to idolatry, is disallowed. One off an uncircumcised tree 1 is disallowed. One from an unclean heave-offering 2 is disallowed. From the clean heave-offering one is not to take a citron, but if it be taken, it is allowed. "One from what is doubtful as to payment of tithe?" The school of Shammai "disallow it," but the school of Hillel "allow it." One is not to take a citron from the second tithe in Jerusalem, but if it be taken it is allowed.
6. If a stain spread over the greater part (of the citron), if it have lost its crown, or its rind be peeled off, or if it be split, or bored, or if ever so little be wanting, it is disallowed. If a stain be spread over the smaller part of it, if it have lost its stalk, or if it be bored so that no part however small be wanting, it is allowed. A dusky citron is disallowed. A leek green one R. Meier "allows," but R. Judah "disallows it."
7. "What is the (legal) size of a small citron?" R. Meier says "like a nut." R. Judah says "like an egg." "And of a large citron?" "That one can hold two in his hand." The words of R. Judah. But R. José says, "One if (it must be held) in two hands."
8. "They must only tie the palm-branch with its own kind." The words of R. Judah. But R. Meier says "even with twine." R. Meier said, "it happened that the men of Jerusalem tied their palm-branches with gold thread." The Sages said to him, "underneath they tied them with their own kind."
9. "When did they shake the palm-branch?" “At the
beginning and ending of “O give thanks unto the Lord,” 1 and at “Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord.” 2 The words of the school of Hillel. But the school of Shammai say, "also at 'O Lord, I beseech Thee,' send now prosperity." 3 R. Akivah said, "I watched Rabban Gamaliel and R. Joshua; and when all the people shook their palm-branches, they only shook theirs at 'Save now, I beseech Thee.'" If one be on the road, and have no palm-branch with him, he must, when he gets home, shake it at his table. If he have not done it in the morning, he must do it towards evening, as the whole day is allowed for the palm-branch.
10. If the hymns 4 be read to a man by a slave, or a woman, or a child, 5 he must repeat after gem what they read, but it is a disgrace 6 to him. If a grown-up man read it to him, he must repeat after him, Hallelujah.
11. In a place where it is the custom to repeat, 7 a man must repeat; to simply read, a man must simply read; to bless after the palm-branch, a man must bless. In every case according to the custom of the country. If a person buy a palm-branch from his neighbour during the Sabbatical year, he must give him a citron as a gift, for it is not permitted to buy a citron during the Sabbatical year.
12. At first the palm-branch was used in the Sanctuary seven days, and in the country one day. But after the Sanctuary was destroyed, R. Jochanan the son of Zachai decreed, "that in the country the palm-branch should be used seven days, in memory of the Sanctuary." He at the same time also decreed, "that on the day of the wave-sheaf 8 it should be unlawful to eat new grain."
13. If the first day of the feast fall on a Sabbath, all the people are to bring their palm-branches (beforehand) to the Synagogue. In the morning they come early, and each man must distinguish his own palm-branch, and take it, for the
[paragraph continues] Sages say, "that a man cannot discharge his duty on the first day of the feast by means of his neighbour's palm-branch, but on the other days of the feast he may discharge his duty by means of his neighbour's palm-branch."
14. R. José says, "if the first day of the feast fall on the Sabbath, and a man forget, and carry his palm-branch out on the public common, he is absolved, because he carried it out with permission." 1
15. A woman may receive the palm-branch from the hand of her son, or of her husband, and put it back into water on the Sabbath. R. Judah says, "on the Sabbath they may put it back; on the feast they may add water; and on the middle days they may change the water." A child who knows how to shake, is bound to shake the palm-branch.
Footnotes140:2 Deut. xiii. 13.
140:3 Supposed to be the mountain east of the Dead Sea above Callirrhoe.
141:1 Lev. xix. 23.
141:2 Num. xviii. 11, 12.
142:1 Psalm cxviii. 1.
142:2 Psalm cxviii. 25.
142:3 Psalm cxviii. 25.
142:4 Psalms cxiii. to cxviii. inclusive.
142:5 These not being legally bound to this duty cannot act as deputies for another.
142:6 His ignorance of reading.
142:7 "I will praise thee," etc.—Psalm cxviii. 21 to end.
142:8 Lev. xxiii. 10, 11.
143:1 Permission arising out of his intention to fulfil the law.
CHAPTER IV.1. The palm-branch and the willow (were used) for six days and for seven. The hymn, and the rejoicings, for eight days. The booth and the pouring out of water for seven days; and the musical pipes for five and for six days.
2. The palm-branch (was used) for seven days. "How?" "When the first day of the feast fell on a Sabbath, the palm-branch (was used) for seven days. Otherwise all the days were six."
3. The willow (was used) for seven days. "How?" "When the seventh day of the willow happened to fall on a Sabbath, the willow (was used) for seven days. Otherwise all the days were six."
4. "How was the command for the palm-branch when the first day of the feast fell on a Sabbath?" "They used to bring their palm-branches to the mountain of the House, and the inspectors received them, and arranged them on a bench. But the elders placed theirs in a chamber. And the people were taught to say, "Whoever takes my palm-branch in his
hand, be it his as a gift." On the morrow they came early, and the inspectors spread them before them. And they used to snatch them and hurt each other. When the Sanhedrin saw that persons were endangered, it was decreed that every man should take them home."
5. "How was the command for the willow?" “There was a place below Jerusalem called Moza; 1 thither the people went down and gathered drooping willow-branches. And they came and erected them at the side of the altar, with their tops bending over the altar. They blew the trumpet, and sounded an alarm, and blew a blast. Every day they made one circuit round the altar, and said, “Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord! O Lord, I beseech Thee, send now prosperity.” Rabbi Judah said, "I and HE save now, I beseech Thee." 2 On the day itself 3 they made seven circuits round the altar. "As they withdrew what did they say?" "Beauty is thine, O Altar!" "Beauty is thine, O Altar!" R. Eleazar said "To the LORD, and to thee, O Altar!" "To the LORD, and to thee, O Altar!"
6. As they did on the week-days, so they did on the Sabbath, save that they gathered the willow-boughs on the Sabbath-eve, and put them into vases of gold, that they might not fade. R. Joshua, son of Beroka, says, "they brought date-branches, and thrashed them on the ground at the sides of the altar." (others say "on the altar"). And the day itself was called, "the day for thrashing the branches."
7. Immediately the children threw down their palm-branches, and ate their citrons.
8. The hymn and rejoicings were for eight days. "How?" "It is taught, that a man is bound to the hymn, and the rejoicings in honour of the last day of the feast, even as on its other days." "How is the booth for seven days?" "When a man has completed his eating, he is not to pull down his booth; but after the evening sacrifice he may remove his furniture in honour of the last day of the feast."
9. "How was the pouring out of the water?" "A golden pitcher holding three logs 1 was filled from Siloam. When they came (with it) to the watergate they blew the trumpet, an alarm, and a blast. The priest then went up the ascent to the altar, and turned to his left. Two silver basins were there. R. Judah says, "they were of lime, but their look was dark from the wine." And they were bored with two narrow nostrils, one wider, the other narrower, that both might get empty at once. "The one to the west was for the water; the other to the east was for the wine; but if the water was poured into the wine basin, or the wine into the water basin, it was allowed." R. Judah said, "they poured out one log on each of the eight days." To him, who poured out, they said, "lift your hand:" for once it happened, that one poured over his feet, 2 and all the people pelted him to death with their citrons.
10. As they did on the week days, so they did on the Sabbath; save that on the Sabbath eve an unconsecrated golden cask was filled from Siloam, and placed in a chamber. If it were spilt or uncovered, it was refilled from the laver, as water and wine which had been uncovered were disallowed on the altar.
Footnotes144:1 Means a place exempt from taxation called Colonin, perhaps the modern Colonia. Some, however, say it was a place in the Kedron Valley.
144:2 Deut. xxxii. 39.
144:3 The seventh day on which they used the willows.
145:1 A log is about half a pint.
145:2 He is said to have been a Sadducee who rejected tradition. Alexander Jannæus, to show his contempt for the Pharisees, poured the water on the ground. The people became excited, and pelted him with their ethrogs or citrons till his body-guard interfered, and, as fighting took place, some six thousand Jews were killed in the Temple. Josephus. Antiq., Book xiii. chap. xiii., 5.
CHAPTER V.1. The musical pipes were (played) for five and (sometimes) six days. That is to say, the pipes of the water-drawing, which supersedes neither the Sabbath day nor the feast. The (Sages) said, "he who has not seen the joy 3 of the water-drawing, has never seen joy in his life."
2. With the departure of the first day of the feast, they went down into the women's court, and made great
preparations. 1 Four golden candlesticks were there, and four golden basins on their tops, and four ladders to each candlestick, and four lads from the young priests, and in their hands were jars of oil containing one hundred and twenty logs, with which they replenished each basin.
3. The cast-off breeches and belts of the priests were torn to wicks, which they lighted. And there was not a court in Jerusalem that was not lit up by the lights of the water-drawing.
4. Pious and experienced men danced with lighted torches in their hands, singing hymns and lauds before them. And the Levites accompanied them with harps, psalteries, cymbals, trumpets, and numberless musical instruments. On the fifteen steps which went down from the court of Israel into the women's court, corresponding with the fifteen songs of degrees, 2 stood the Levites with their musical instruments, and sang. And at the upper gate, which went down from the court of Israel to the court of the women, stood two priests with trumpets in their hands. When the cock crew, they blew a blast, an alarm, and a blast. 3 When they reached the tenth step, they blew a blast, an alarm, and a blast. And when they got into the court, they blew a blast, an alarm, and a blast. They went on blowing as they went, until they reached the gate, that leads out to the east. When they reached the gate, that leads out to the east, they turned their faces westward, 4 and said,
"Our fathers, who were in this place,[paragraph continues] R. Judah says, they repeated again and again,
Turned their backs upon the temple;
And their faces towards the east,
And worshipped the sun eastward." 5
Turned their backs upon the temple;
And their faces towards the east,
And worshipped the sun eastward." 5
"But we unto the LORD;p. 147
To the LORD are our eyes." 6
To the LORD are our eyes." 6
5. In the sanctuary they did not blow the trumpet less than twenty-one times, nor oftener than forty-eight times. Every day they blew the trumpet twenty-one times, thrice at opening the gates, nine times at the daily offering of the morning, and nine times at the daily offering of the evening. When there were additional offerings they blew nine times more. On the eve of the Sabbath they again blew six times; thrice to interdict the people from work, and thrice to separate the holy from the ordinary day. But on the eve of the Sabbath during the feast they blew forty-eight times: thrice at the opening of the gates, thrice at the upper gate, thrice at the lower gate, thrice at the water-drawing, thrice over the altar, nine times at the daily offering of the morning, nine times at the daily offering of the evening, nine times at the additional offerings, thrice to interdict the people from work, and thrice to separate the holy from the ordinary day.
6. On the first day of the feast there were thirteen bullocks, two rams, and one goat. There then remained fourteen lambs for eight courses of priests. 1 On the first day six courses offered two lambs each, and the other (two) courses one lamb each. On the second day five courses offered two lambs each, and the remaining (four) courses one lamb each. On the third day four courses offered two lambs each, and the remaining six one lamb each. On the fourth day three courses offered two lambs each, and the remaining eight one lamb each. On the fifth day two courses offered two lambs each, and the remaining ten one lamb each. On the sixth day one course offered two lambs, and the remaining twelve one lamb each. On the seventh day they were all equal. On the eighth day they cast lots, as on other feasts. They said, "that the order which offered bullocks to-day, was not permitted to offer bullocks to-morrow." But they changed in rotation.
7. Three times in the year all the courses shared alike in the offerings of the great feasts, and in the distribution of the
shewbread. In the Solemn Assembly 1 they say to each priest, "Here is unleavened bread for thee, and here is leavened for thee." The course in regular succession offered the daily sacrifices, vows, and free-will offerings, and all the other sacrifices and services of the congregation. If a feast be next to the Sabbath, either before or after it, all the courses shared alike in the distribution of the shewbread.
8. "But if a day intervene between the two?" "The course in regular succession took ten loaves, and the loiterers 2 took two." At other times of the year, the course entering on duty took six loaves, and the course going off duty took six. R. Judah says, "the course entering took seven, and that going off took five." Those entering shared them on the north side (of the temple court), and those going out on the south side. The course Bilgah always shared theirs on the south side. But their slaughter-ring was fastened down, and the window of their closet was shut up. 3
Footnotes145:3 Isaiah xii. 3; John vii. 37, 38.
146:1 Galleries were erected for the women, and the men stood below them.
146:2 Psalms cxx. to cxxxiv. inclusive.
146:3 The signal for drawing water.
146:4 The orthodox worshippers in the Temple looked towards the west, or Holy of Holies. The Baal or Sun worshippers turned towards the east, and used the eastward position. Under the Christian dispensation believers are directed to look to Jesus, who promises to be in their midst (Matt. xviii. 20).
146:5 Ezekiel viii. 16.
146:6 This is one of the very few specimens of Hebrew poetry, apart from Scripture (dating prior to the destruction of the Temple) which have come down to us.
147:1 The priesthood was divided into twenty-four courses (1 Chron. xxiv. 719). During the feast all the courses ministered, and, as each day the number of bullocks was decreased by one, the lambs were redistributed so as to supply an offering for every course.
148:1 In the feast of weeks there were two leavened wave loaves (Lev. xxiii. 17).
148:2 Those priests who were slow in attendance, as they were obliged to share their perquisites with the whole priesthood.
148:3 The course Bilgah was fifteenth (1 Chron. xxiv. 14). Each course had a ring to which the heads of the victims were tied, and also a closet for stores. These were taken from the course Bilgah as a mark of disgrace. During the persecution of Antiochus, Miriam, a daughter of Bilgah, married a Syro-Grecian husband. When the Greeks took the Temple, she struck the altar with her shoe, exclaiming, "O wolf, wolf, how long art thou to consume the wealth of Israel, and canst not preserve them in their hour of need!" It was supposed that she must have learned something evil in her father's house, and the whole course was therefore degraded. The Rabbis say that the courses of the priests were first ordained by Moses, and that he established eight of them. Four courses he assigned to the line of Eleazar, and four he assigned to the line of Ithamar. Samuel is said to have added eight courses more, and the remaining eight were added by David. The Scriptures, however, assert that David arranged the whole twenty-four courses. This arrangement continued till the captivity. After the captivity only four courses returned—namely Jedaiah, Harim, Pashur, and Immer. The Babylon Talmud mentions Jojarib instead of Harim. To restore again the number of courses, twenty-four lots were cast into a box, and each head of the four courses, which returned, drew six lots—one for himself, and five for the courses which they wished to revive. The restored order of courses continued as of old, except in the case of Jojarib, who yielded the first rank to Jedaiah, as Jedaiah was of the family of the High Priest Joshua, the son of Jozedek. They soon increased in numbers, and we read that each course kept a station of two thousand four hundred priests at Jerusalem, and half a station at Jericho. The lesser number was stationed at Jericho to give honour to Jerusalem.