Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. Inhabitants of a town who have sold the open [or marketplace]
of the town, 1 may buy for that money a synagogue. The money obtained by the sale of a synagogue, they may apply to the purchase of an ark [to keep the rolls of the Holy Law in]; for that obtained by the sale of such an ark, cloaks or wrappers for the rolls of the Holy Law may be purchased; for the produce of such wrappers, sacred books 2 may be purchased; for the produce of sacred books, a roll of the Holy Law may be purchased; but if they had sold a roll of the Holy Law, it will not be lawful to apply that money for the purchase of [other] sacred books, nor wrappers for the proceeds of sacred books, nor an ark for the proceeds of wrappers, nor a synagogue with the proceeds of an ark, nor an open [or market] place with the money obtained by the sale of a synagogue, 3 and even so in respect to any surplus fund. According to R. Meir, it is unlawful to sell sacred public property to private individuals, because its sanctity becomes thereby lowered: but the sages replied, "If so, it would be also prohibited for a large town to sell sacred things to a smaller one."
§ 2. A synagogue may, according to R. Meir, only be sold on condition that it may at any time be repurchased by the original owners; but the sages permit it to be sold permanently, only it may not be sold to be applied to the following occupations: namely, as a bathing-house, as a tanning place [or pit], as a diving-bath, and as a laundry. R. Jehudah says, "It may be sold on the condition that it be made an open court, and then the purchaser is at liberty to turn it to what purpose he pleases."
§ 3. R. Jehudah teaches also, that no funeral orations may be delivered in a synagogue which had become ruinous, nor may it be used as a rope-walk, 4 nor to spread nets therein [to dry, &c.], nor to spread fruit on its roof, nor to use it as a short cut, 5 as it is said (Lev. xxvi. 31), "I will bring your sanctuaries into desolation," that is, they remain sanctuaries even in their desolation. If grass
spring up therein, it may not be pulled up, that the view may contribute to the affliction [of the beholder].
§ 4. When the new moon of Adar happens on a Sabbath, the section Shekalim (Exod. xxx. 11), is to be read; if it happen on any other day, that section must he read on the preceding Sabbath, and nothing additional is read on the following Sabbath. On the second, the section זכור (Deut. xv. 14), is to be read; on the third, that of the red heifer, פרה (Num. xix); on the fourth, that of החדש (Exod. xvii); on the fifth, they return again to the regular order. 6 The regular order [of Aphtoroth] is also to be interrupted on the feast of new moon, on that of dedication, on Pureem, 7 and on public fast-days, also on the fast of the standing men. 8
§ 5. On [the first day of] Passover, the section in Leviticus relative to the festival must be read; on the feast of weeks, that commencing, "Seven weeks shall ye count," &c. (Deut. xvi); on the feast of new year, the section commencing, "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month" (Num. xxix. 1); on the day of atonement, that of אחרי מות (Lev. xvi.); on the first day of the feast of tabernacles, the section in Leviticus relative to the festivals must be read; and on the other days of that festival, the offerings for each day (Num. xxix. 17).
§ 6. On the feast of dedication, the section of the offerings of the princes (Num. vii.) must be read; on Pureem, that of ויבא עמלק (Exod. ix. 8); on the feast of new moon, ובראשי חדשיכם (Num. xviii. 11); on the fast-days for the standing men, the history of the creation (Gen. i., &c.); 9 on fast-days, the section containing the blessings and maledictions (Lev. xxvi. 3), the denunciations therein contained must be read without interruption, namely, one man must read the whole [chapter]. On Mondays and Thursdays, and on the Sabbath afternoon, they shall read the section of the law in its regular order, but these readings are not available to reduce the regular number: 10 for it is said, Lev. xxiii. 44, "Moses declared
unto the children of Israel the appointed festivals of the Lord," whence it is inferred, that each section must be read on the appointed festival to which it refers.
186:1 Which is occasionally used to pray in (see Treatise Taanith, c. ii. § 1), and which, therefore, has some degree of sanctity.
186:2 Under this term are comprehended all the Sacred Writings, the Pentateuch excepted.
186:3 The rule is, that the money must be applied to the purchase of an object having a higher degree of sanctity than that possessed by the object from the sale of which the money was derived.
186:4 Nor indeed for any other work; but the Mishna mentions a rope-walk as a business most likely to be carried on in a large ruinous building.
186:5 That is, passing through it to save ground.
187:6 Of the Aphtoroth; which, on other occasions, must be connected with the subject of the first section read, but during the mentioned weeks, the subject of the Aphtorah is that of the last, or additional sections.
187:7 Which formerly might happen on the Sabbath: compare our Note 5, p. 181.
187:8 Vide Treatise Taanith.
187:9 See the last chapter of Taanith.
187:10 That is, the three men then called, and the section read to them, are not to be deducted from the section of the following week, as having already been read, but the section is to be recommenced on the following Sabbath.