Friday, February 09, 2007

Rif Megillah 2a {Megillah 2b continues; 3b}


{Megillah 2b continues}

והיהודים אשר בשושן נקהלו בשלשה עשר (יום) בו ובארבעה עשר (יום) בו ונוח בחמשה עשר בו מ"ט הואיל ונעשה בו נס

{explaining why on Shushan they read on the 15th, even though it was not walled from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun:}

יח והיהודיים (וְהַיְּהוּדִים) אֲשֶׁר-בְּשׁוּשָׁן, נִקְהֲלוּ בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ, וּבְאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, בּוֹ; וְנוֹחַ, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ, וְעָשֹׂה אֹתוֹ, יוֹם מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה. 18 But the Jews that were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
What is the reason? Since the miracle was done in it.

אמר ר' יהושע בן לוי כרך וכל הסמוך לו וכל הנראה עמו נידון ככרך וקורין בחמשה עשר ועד כמה אמר רבי ירמיה כמחמתן לטבריא והיינו מיל ולימא מיל הא קמ"ל דשיעורא דמיל כמחמתן לטבריא:
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A large city, all that neighbors it, and all that is seen with it {from a distance} is judged to be the large city and reads on the 15th {if it is a walled city from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun}.
And until how far?
Rabbi Yirmeya said: As from Chamtan to Teveria, and this is a mil.
So let him have said a mil?!
This informs us that the measure of a mil is as from Chamtan to Teveria.

{Megillah 3b}
וא"ר יהושע בן לוי כרך שישב ואח"כ הוקף נידון ככפר
מ"ט ואיש כי ימכור בית מושב עיר חומה
מושב שהוקף ולבסוף ישב ולא שישב ולבסוף הוקף
And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A large city which was settled and afterwards walled is judged as a {n unwalled} town.
What is the reason?
{Vayikra 25:29}

כט וְאִישׁ, כִּי-יִמְכֹּר בֵּית-מוֹשַׁב עִיר חוֹמָה--וְהָיְתָה גְּאֻלָּתוֹ, עַד-תֹּם שְׁנַת מִמְכָּרוֹ: יָמִים, תִּהְיֶה גְאֻלָּתוֹ. 29 And if a man sell a dwelling-house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; for a full year shall he have the right of redemption.
Thus, a settlement that was walled and afterwards settled, and not that it was settled and afterwards walled.


Avromi said...

The Gemora elaborates on Zevulun’s complaint. Zevulun said before Hashem: You gave to me mountains and hills while You gave to my brothers fields and vineyards. You gave to me lakes and rivers while You gave to my brothers land. Hashem responded: All your brothers will need to rely on you for the chilazon (a creature that comes up from the water and the blue dye for tzitzis is created from its blood). Zevulun asked Hashem: Who will notify me if anyone attempts to steal the chilazon from me? Hashem answered him that the dye produced from a stolen chilazon will be ruined.

It is evident from Zevulun’s complaint that fields and vineyards are superior to mountains and hills.

My Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Avrohom Chaim Levin asked on this Gemora from a Rashi in Chumash. The possuk in Parshas Ekev [11:11] states: But the land to which you cross over there to take possession of it is a land of mountains and valleys. Rashi explains that mountains are superior to the plains for on a plain, one can plant in a beis kor a kor’s worth of seeds; but on a mountain, one can plant five kors; four on the four slopes and one on the top.

It emerges from this Rashi that it is agriculturally advantageous to have mountains over plains. This is seemingly inconsistent with our Gemora which states that fields are superior to mountains.

I searched but did not find anyone ask this question.

joshwaxman said...

interesting question.

my guess would be that one can resolve the two. of course since there is more land available, that is a benefit, and thus Rashi cites the Sifrei to that effect. on the other hand, one could understand Zevulun's complaint that mountainous regions in general are not suited for agriculture, and he inheritance is not arable land but rather mountains, seas and rivers.

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