Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. On the evening of [previous to] the 14th of Nissan, it is necessary to make search for leaven by the light of a candle; it is not required to search places in which it is not usual to put leaven. Why then was it ordered that two rows [of barrels] must be searched? Because it treats there of a warehouse or wine-cellar, in which leaven is sometimes carried. Beth Shammai decide, "that search must be made between two rows of barrels over the whole surface of such a warehouse;" but Beth Hillel say, "It is
sufficient to search between the two external rows, which are also the highest." 1
§ 2. It needs not be suspected that a weasel might [possibly] have dragged any leaven from one house or place to another; 2 for if so, the same suspicion will attach to a [possible] removal from one court, or even from one city to another, and [the search] would thus become an endless task.
§ 3. R. Jehudah says, "It is necessary to search on the evening before the 14th [of Nissan], or early on the morning of that day, or at the time [when all leaven must be removed];" but the sages say, "If no search has been made on the evening preceding the 14th, it must be done on that day: if omitted on that day, it must be done at the time appointed 3 [for the removal of leaven], and in case it was then also omitted, it must be done afterwards, 4 and whatever leaven remains, must be kept in a well guarded place, that no further search may become necessary."
§ 4. R. Meir says, "It is lawful to eat [leaven on the 14th] the whole of the first five hours, 5 and what remains must be burned at the commencement of the sixth hour:" but R. Jehudah says, "It is only permitted to eat [leaven] the first four hours; it must be abstained from during the whole of the fifth hour; and it must be burned at the commencement of the sixth hour."
§ 5. R. Jehudah also taught, "That formerly, two cakes of thanksgiving-offering which had become desecrated, were exposed on a bench or gallery [of the Temple]. Whilst they lay there, all the people did yet eat [leaven]: when one was removed, they abstained
from eating, but did not burn it; when both were removed, all the people commenced burning [the leaven]." Rabbon Gamaliel says, "Non-consecrated things may be eaten during the first four hours; but heave-offering may yet be eaten during the fifth hour: both, however, must be burned at the commencement of the sixth hour."
§ 6. R. Hanina, the Sagan [chief or principal] of the priests, says, "The priests did never object to burn flesh which had become unclean in an inferior degree, 6 with other flesh which had become unclean in the first degree, 7 although the [legal] impurity of the first mentioned was thereby increased." R. Akivah added to this, and said, "The priests did never object to burn the oil of heave-offering, which had become unclean by being put by an unclean person, who [however] had bathed on that day, into [a metal] lamp which had come in contact with a dead body, although a higher degree of impurity had thus been added to its former impurity."
§ 7. R. Meir says, "We learn from their words, that it is lawful, on account of the Passover, to burn clean heave-offering [of leaven] with that which has become unclean;" but R. Jose said to him, "This is not a [true] inference;" R. Eleazar and R. Joshua agree, however, that it is necessary to burn each separately. Wherein do they differ? Concerning things whose uncleanliness is doubtful, and things which are certainly unclean; for R. Eleazar says, "Each of these must be burned separately;" but R. Joshua says, "They may be burned together."
98:1 This is variously explained; the plainest exposition seems to be the following:—supposing 100 barrels to be piled up one on the other, in a cellar or warehouse, in ten rows of ten barrels each; according to Beth Shammai, the front and top rows must be searched; but Beth Hillel consider it sufficient to search between the two external rows (i.e. those in a perpendicular position), in the first only.
98:2 From a place that has not been searched to one that has.
98:3 The word מועד is here rendered according to Rashi; others have explained it in its usual sense, namely, "festival."
98:4 After the search has been made to serve for the consumption of the family, between that time and the period when all leaven must be burned, or otherwise removed.
98:5 That is, Till eleven o'clock. To reduce the rabbinical hours to our modern computation of time, add six to the hours mentioned in the Mishna.
99:6 That is, the second degree of impurity.
99:7 This, and the following section, can only be properly understood by a knowledge of the laws laid down on this subject in Seder Taharot.