Tractate Erchin Highlights

Tractate Erchin

Pg 8: Debate on God’s mercy: R’ Elazar: God removes the sins from the “scales” (thereby making the merits “heavier”). R’ Yosi son of R’ Chanina: God raises the sin scale (automatically making the merits “heavier”).

Pg 9: Shmuel says: A lunar year (of twelve lunar months) is never less than 352 days and never more than 356 days (by adding or subtracting days to the lunar month, which are either 29 or 30 days each).

Pg 10: There was a flute in the Temple, a thin, peeled reed from the days of Moses. A king had it covered with gold, but then it no longer sounded pleasant. They removed the gold and it sounded pleasant as before.

Pg 11: “And the stranger who approaches will die.” Numbers 3:38. Why a second warning? To teach that someone who is a ‘stranger’ to a job (does a job that is not his) is culpable.

Pg 12: Only 4 of the 24 priestly shifts returned to the 2nd Temple. Yedayah, Charim, Pashchor & Eimar. The prophets divided them into 24 to fill the roles of their missing brothers.

Pg 13: Rav Papa: Why is there a minimum of 12 Levites on the Temple platform? 9 harps, 2 lyres and 1 pair of cymbals.

Pg 14: Debate on generosity of consecrations: R’ Huna: Man is generous. If he consecrates a field (to the Temple), he includes everything in it (land, trees, produce). R’ Shimon: Man is stingy. If he consecrates a field, he only includes land, grafted carob and sycamore stumps (which draw much sustenance from the land).


Pg 15: R’ Yishmael’s academy: Whoever gossips, his sins are compared to idol worship, illicit relations and murder.

Pg 16: R’ Yehuda in the name of Rav: Man should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even if he’s disingenuous (lo lishmah), for from doing it this way he will eventually do it genuinely (lishmah).

Pg 17: If a man consecrated his worth to the Temple, was poor & became rich, or was rich and became poor, he gives as a rich man.

Pg 18: The value of a rental to the owner is only counted upon payment (i.e. the Talmud doesn’t value “accounts receivable”).

Pg 19: Hizkiya: People say: “An old man in the house is useless; an old woman is a treasure.”

Pg 20: Debate: The Rabbis: A man cannot consecrate to the Temple something that is not in existence yet (fruit, payment, etc). R’ Meir: One can.

Pg 21: An auction on behalf of orphans is for 30 days, for Temple property is 60 days (to make sure word spreads and they get a good price), and is announced morning and night.

Pg 22: If the auction announcement is made daily, then it is for 30 days. If it is only on Mondays and Thursdays, then it is for 60 days.

Pg 23: A man does not sin to benefit someone else, if it does not benefit him.

Pg 24: If a man consecrated all his belongings to the Temple, it does not include the clothing of his wife or children, nor clothing dyed for them, nor shoes bought for them.

Pg 25: R’ Yishmael’s academy: If a man consecrated a field to the Temple, no one but his son can redeem it (buy it back) and award it back to the father. A daughter cannot.

Pg 26: Case: A man bought a field from his father, consecrated it to the Temple and then his father died. R’ Meir: The field isn’t consecrated (it wasn’t his yet). R’ Shimon & R’ Yehuda: It is.

Pg 27: The original owner of a consecrated field is pressured to redeem it. It is dear to him, so he is willing to pay more. It’s a commandment for him to redeem it and he must pay a fifth over the redemption price.

Pg 28: R’ Ila: The High Court of Usha enacted: One should never give more than one fifth of his wealth to charity.

Pg 29: Land outside of Israel is equivalent to movable possessions of Israel (meaning the laws and restrictions of Israel land-transfer don’t apply to other lands).

Pg 30: R’ Yosef: A mouse is not the cause of the theft, it’s the hole (it’s not the thief, it’s the buyer’s fault). Abaye: If there’s no mouse, what difference does the hole make? (if there’s no thief, it doesn’t matter if there is a buyer). R’ Yosef: We fine the person in possession of the stolen goods (the buyer).

Pg 31: The calculation of a year for real-estate purchases is determined by the day and the hour of purchase.

Pg 32: Definition of a “walled city”: at least 3 courtyards of at least 2 houses each surrounded by a wall from the times of Joshua son of Nun.

Pg 33: City design: A Levite city needs to be surrounded by 1000 ‘amot’ (about a foot) of greenery and 1000 ‘amot’ of fields & vineyards.

Pg 34:

End Erhin

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