Talmud/Seder Moed/Tractate Pesachim/2b

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  from that which it says, "and at night he shall be like a thief," it is proven that "light" is day.
There, this is what it is saying:
  If the matter is as clear to you as light that he comes to take life,
  he is a murderer, and permission is given to save himself by [the murderer's] life.
  But if the matter is uncertain to you as night, let him be in your eyes like a thief,
  and permission is not given to save himself by [the thief's] life.

They brought an argument:
  "Let the stars of its twilight be dark, let it wish for light, but [have] none;
  let it not see the glimmerings of morning." (Job 3:9);
  from that which it says, "let it wish for light, but [have] none," it is proven that "light" is day.
There, Job is cursing his fortune; he said, "Let it be desirous that that man [Job] wish for light, and not find it.

They brought an argument:
  "I had said, 'Only darkness shall surround me,' but night was light for me;" it is proven that "light" is day.
There, this is what David is saying:
  "I had said, 'only darkness shall surround me' in the World to Come, which is comparable to day;
  now, This World, which is comparable to night, is light for me.

They brought an argument:
  Rabbi Yehudah says: we check [for leavened foods] on the light of the fourteenth,
    and on the fourteenth in the morning,
    and at the time of the destruction [of the unleavened foods];
  it is proven that "light" is night.
[Indeed,] hear it from this.

They brought an argument:
  From when is the fourteenth forbidden in doing work?
    Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov says: from the time of the light.
    Rabbi Yehudah says: from the time of sunrise.
    Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov said to Rabbi Yehudah:
      Now where have we found a day that part of it is forbidden in doing work, and part of it is permitted in doing work?
    [Rabbi Yehudah] said to him:
      [The fourteenth] itself shall prove it;
      for part of it is permitted in eating leavened foods,
      and part of it is forbidden in eating leavened foods.
  From the fact that Rabbi Yehudah said "from the time of sunrise,"
    it is proven that the "light" which Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov spoke about is night.
No - what is "light?" Dawn.
If so, that which [Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov] said
  "Now where have we found a day that part of it is forbidden in doing work, and part of it is permitted in doing work?" —
  let him say it to himself; for there is the night, which is permitted [in doing work].
Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov was saying the following:
  It is well according to me,
    [for] we find that the rabbis divide between day and night by a public fast:
      Until when can one eat and drink?
      Until the breaking of dawn, the words of Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov.
      Rabbi Shimon says: Until the call of the rooster.
    but according to you, where do we find that the rabbis divide within the day itself?
  [Rabbi Yehudah] [therefore] said to him:
    [The fourteenth] itself shall prove it;
    for part of it is permitted in eating leavened foods,
    and part of it is forbidden in eating leavened foods.
Rabbi Yehudah spoke well to Rabbi Eliezer [ben Yaakov]!
This is what Rabbi Eliezer could say to him:
  I spoke to you [regarding] rabbinically prohibitted work,
  and you spoke to me [regarding] Biblically prohibitted leavened food?
  for until here the Merciful One prohibitted and until here the Merciful One permitted.
And [Rabbi Yehudah]?
[He was refering to] the rabbinically prohibitted hours
And [Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov]?
[He could say:] that is a distancing that the rabbis made for a Biblical law.

They brought an argument:
  We do not light bonfires except for a month that was seen in its proper time, [in order] to sanctify it.
  And when do we light bonfires? At the light of its passing.
It is proven that "light" is night.
[Indeed,] hear it from this.

They brought an argument:
  If he was standing on the altar and offering sacrifices all night,
  by its light he requires sactification of the hands and feet,
  the words of Rabbi [Yehudah the Nassi]
"Its light" is different.

Mar Zutra brought an argument:

Explanation[edit]

work: This refers to the 39 categories of work prohibited on the Sabbath and festivals. Although the 14th of Nisan is not a festival (Passover begins on the 15th), some localities observed a custom of abstaining from work on that day.