Translation:Talmud/Seder Moed/Tractate Pesachim/2a
ON THE EVENING [OR] OF THE FOURTEENTH [OF NISAN] A SEARCH IS MADE FOR LEAVEN BY THE LIGHT OF A LAMP. EVERY PLACE WHEREIN LEAVENED BREAD IS NOT TAKEN DOES NOT REQUIRE SEARCHING, THEN IN WHAT CASE DID THEY RULE, TWO ROWS OF THE WINE CELLAR [MUST BE SEARCHED]? [CONCERNING] A PLACE WHEREIN LEAVEN MIGHT BE TAKEN, BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: TWO ROWS OVER THE FRONT OF THE WHOLE CELLAR; BUT BETH HILLEL MAINTAIN: THE TWO OUTER ROWS, WHICH ARE THE UPPERMOST.
What is OR? — R. Huna said: Light [naghe]; while Rab Judah said: Night [lele]. Now it was assumed [that] he who says light means literally light; while he who says night means literally night. An objection is raised: As soon as the morning was light [or], the men were sent away, which proves that ‘or’ is day? — Is it then written, The ‘or’ was morning: [Surely] ‘the morning was or’ is written, as one says, Morning has broken forth. And [this verse is] in accordance with what Rab Judah said in Rab's name. For Rab Judah said in Rab's name: A man should always enter [a town] by day, and set out by day. An objection is raised: As the light of [or] the morning, when the sun riseth, which proves that ‘or’ means the daytime? — Is it then written, ‘or is morning’: surely it is written, ‘as the light of [or] the morning’, and this is its meaning: ‘and as the light of the morning’ in this world so shall the rising of the sun be unto the righteous in the world to come. An objection is raised: And God called the light [or] Day which proves that or is daytime? — This is its meaning: the advancing of light He called Day. If so, ‘and the darkness He called Night’ means [similarly], the advancing of darkness He called Night: but surely it is an established principle that it is day until the appearance of the stars? Rather this is its meaning: The Merciful One summoned the light and appointed it for duty by day, and He summoned the darkness and appointed it for duty by night. An objection is raised: Praise him all ye stars of light [or], which proves that ‘or’ is evening? — This is its meaning: praise him all ye stars which give light. If so, are only the stars that give light to praise [Him], while those which do not give light need not praise — yet surely It is written, Praise ye him, all his host? Rather he [the Psalmist] tells us this: the light of the stars too is [designated] light. What is its practical bearing? In respect of one who vows [not to benefit] from light. For it was taught: If one vows [not to benefit] from light, he is prohibited the light of stars. An objection is raised: The murderer riseth with the light [or], he killeth the poor and needy, and in the night he is as a thief.
- אור. This is the meaning finally assigned in the Gemara to OR after a considerable discussion.
- Heb. חמץ, hamez. Two words are employed in the Bible: (i) hamez, leavened stuff v. infra 42a and (ii) se'or, leaven, i.e., dough so greatly leavened as to act as a leavening agent for other dough. In this Tractate hamez will generally be translated ‘leaven’ except where it is necessary to distinguish it from se'or.
- So that there shall be none in the house during Passover, which commences on the fifteenth.
- Seeing that leaven is not generally taken into a wine cellar.
- A private cellar from which supplies are drawn for table. The servant sometimes enters it while eating bread.
- Must be searched.
- V. infra 8b.
- I.e., daybreak or morning.
- Rashi deletes this, since that is so, in fact.
- Gen. XLIV, 3.
- Lit., ‘when it is good’, the allusion being to Gen. I, 4: and God saw the light, that it was good.
- Thus the brethren waited for daybreak before setting out.
- II Sam. XXIII, 4.
- Though at sunrise in this world it is still rather dark, yet in the future world it shall be as light as when the morning is advanced in this world (R. Tam). Rashi's explanation is slightly different.
- Gen. I, 5.
- Lit., ‘that which proceeds to grow light’.
- I.e.,the moment when light begins to appear marks the commencement of day. On this translation or is not a noun but a gerund: the lighting up.
- The moment when darkness begins to fall marks the commencement of night.
- Though darkness begins to fall earlier.
- Thus wayikra is translated: and he summoned, not, ‘and he called (designated)’, as in E.V.
- Ps. CXLVIII, 3.
- Ibid. 2.
- Job. XXIV, 14.