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Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at

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§ 1. The loolab and willow [to surround the altar, was sometimes used] on six [days], and [sometimes] on seven [days of the festival]. The hallel and the joyous repasts, [eating of peace-offerings, took place on] eight [days]. The [dwelling in the] succah, and the pouring out water, [lasted] seven [days], and the pipes [were played on sometimes] five, and [sometimes] six [days].

§ 2. [In which case was] the loolab [used] seven [days?] how? When the first holy day of the festival fell on a Sabbath, the loolab [was used on] seven [days]; but, [when the first day of the festival fell on] any other day [of the week] the loolab [is only used] six [days]. 1

§ 3. [In which case was] the willow [used on] seven [days?] How? When the seventh day of the willow happened to fall on a Sabbath, [the willow was used] seven [days]; but, when the seventh day fell on any other day [of the week], the willow was only used six [days].

§ 4. How was the command to take the loolab [fulfilled] when the first holy day of the festival fell on a Sabbath? [It was the custom that] every man brought his loolab to the Temple mount, where it was received by inspectors, who deposited it in a gallery. The elders placed theirs in a [separate] chamber; and the people were taught to say, "Whosoever gets hold of my loolab; be it his [I bestow it on him] as a gift." On the [next] morning the people came early; the inspectors threw all the loolabs down before them; every man seized on one, and it often happened that they hurt each other [in the scramble]. When the Beth Din 2 saw that people were thus exposed to danger, they decreed that every man was to use his loolab in his own house.

§ 5. How was the command to take the willow [fulfilled]? There was a place below Jerusalem called to ‏מוצא‎: 3 thither the people descended, and gathered drooping willow branches: these they brought and placed at the side of the altar, the tips inclining over it. While this was doing, a blast, a long note, and again a blast were blown.

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[paragraph continues] Every day they made one circuit round the altar, and recited [the verse], "‏אנא ה׳ הצליהח נא‎, ‏אנא ה׳ הושיעה נא‎." R. Jehudah said the words, ‏אני והו הושיצה נא‎ [were also said]. On the particular day for using the willows [the seventh of the festival] they made seven circuits round the altar. When they withdrew, what did they say? "Beauty is thine, O altar! Beauty is thine, O altar!" R. Eleazar said, [they also said] "To God and to thee, O altar! To God and to thee, O altar!" 4

§ 6. As they did on the week-days, so they did likewise on the Sabbath; excepting only that they gathered the willow branches on the Sabbath-eve, and put them into golden casks [filled with water], that they might not fade. R. Joshua ben Beroka saith, "They fetched branches of palms, and threshed [beat] them to pieces at the sides of the altar." [According to another version, "on the altar."] Thence the day was called "the branch threshing-day."

§ 7. Directly afterwards the children threw down their loolabs, and eat their citrons.

§ 8. How [was it that] the hallel and joyous repasts [took place on] eight [days]? Because it is deduced that man is bound to recite the hallel, and to enjoy the repasts [of his peace-offerings] in honour of the last day of the festival, even as on the preceding days thereof. How [is it that] the succah [is dwelt in] seven [days]? When a man has taken his last meal therein, he is not directly to pull down his succah; but, after noon, he moves the furniture back [into the house], in honour of the last day of the festival.

§ 9. How was the pouring out of the water? A golden pitcher, that held three lugs was filled with water from the [brook] Siloah. When they came [with it] to the water-gate, they blew a blast, a long note, and again a blast. The priest then ascended the stair [of the altar], and turned to the left; two silver basins stood there. R. Jehudah saith, "they were of gypsum [stucco], but had a dark appearance from the wine." Each was perforated with a small hole, like a nostril [at the bottom]. The one [for the wine] somewhat wider, the other [for the water] narrower, that both might get empty at once. The one, to the west, [was used] for the water; the other, to the east, for the wine: but if the water was poured into the wine basin, or the wine into the water basin, it was legal. R. Jehudah

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saith, "They poured out one lug on each of the eight days. To him who poured out the water the people called, 'Raise thy hand;' for once it happened that one [priest charged with this duty] poured the water over his feet, 5 and all the people pelted him to death with their citrons."

§ 10. As they did on the week-days so they did likewise on the Sabbath, except that they fetched the water from Siloah on the Sabbath-eve, in a golden cask that had not been consecrated, and placed it in a chamber; if it was upset, or uncovered, they filled again from the laver. For it was not lawful to bring on the altar, water or wine which had been uncovered.


138:1 It was not permitted to use the loolab on the intervening Sabbath.

138:2 The Sanhedrin, supreme tribunal of justice and of ritual observance.

138:3 Supposed to mean free [or exempt] place. As it was exempt from taxation, it was called Colonin.

139:4 Our thanks are due to God, and to the altar on which atonement has been made for us.

140:5 He was a Sadducee, and as such, rejected the authority of tradition.

Next: Chapter V