Bablyonian Talmud, Book 4: Tracts Pesachim, Yomah and Hagiga, tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, , at sacred-texts.com
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE POSTURE OF THE READER OF THE MEGILLA, AND HIS CLOTHES, BEFORE PRAYER.
MISHNA: The Megilla may be read either sitting or standing, by one person only, or by two persons at the same time. They alike fulfil their duty. In places where it is usual to say a blessing (after reading it) it is obligatory to say it, but not when it is not customary. Three men are called to read in the Holy Scrolls on Mondays and Thursdays; and in the afternoon of the Sabbath neither more nor less than that number may be called, nor shall any section from the Prophets then be read. He who commences the reading of the Holy Scrolls shall pronounce the first benediction before reading it, and he who concludes the reading shall pronounce the last benediction after reading it.
On the first of the month, on the intermediate days of the festivals, four men are to be called. This number may neither be added to nor diminished, nor shall any section of the Prophets then be read (the first of these men shall say the first blessing before reading, and the last who concludes the reading shall say the last blessing after reading). This is the rule: On all days, when an additional offering is prescribed, which are nevertheless not festivals, four men are to be called; five on festivals; six on the Day of Atonement; and seven on the Sabbath. This number may not be diminished, but it may be increased, and a section of the Prophets must be read on those days. The first and the last readers shall pronounce the benedictions before and after reading.
GEMARA: We have learned in a Boraitha: It is not so with the reading of the Torah, which can be read only when the congregation sits. Whence do we deduce this? Said R. Abahu: It is written [Deut. v. 28]: "But as for thee, stand thou here by me." From this we infer, he should stand, and the congregation should sit. He says again: How do we know that the Master should not teach the disciple when he sits on the bed, and the disciple on the floor? Because it is written: "Stand by (with) me" (as I stand so you should stand).
The rabbis taught: From the time of Moses till Rabban Gamaliel the Law was studied standing; when R. Gamaliel died, sicknesses came into existence, and they began to study sitting. And this is what we have learned in a Mishna elsewhere, that since R. Gamaliel had died the honoring of the Law had ceased.
One verse says [Deut. ix. 9]: "I sat on the mount"; and another [ibid. x. 10]: "I stood on the mount." Said Rabh: He stood when he studied, and he sat when he repeated. R. Johanan, however, said: By "sitting" is meant abiding, as is written [Deut. i. 46]: "And ye sat in Kadesh," which means "dwelt." Rabha says: The easy things he learned standing, and the difficult things he sat down to understand.
"By one person, or by two," etc. We have learned in a Boraitha: The law is not so with the Holy Scrolls (which only one can read, not two).
The rabbis taught: The scrolls of the Pentateuch one should read and the other should interpret; but not one shall read and two interpret; but the Prophets: One should read and two may interpret it, but two should not read and two interpret. In case of Hallel and the Megilla, however, even ten may read and ten interpret. Why so? Because Hallel and the Megilla are dear to the people, and even if ten read they will give their attention.
"In places where it is usual to say a blessing," etc. Says Abayi: The Mishna refers only to the benediction after it; but before, it is obligatory. As R. Jehudah said in the name of Samuel: For all religious duties, one should pronounce a benediction before they are done.
What blessing should be pronounced before the reading of the Megilla? R. Shesheth of Qartazia said in the presence of R. Ashi: Three blessings: Blessed be He, etc., who has commanded us to read the Megilla; Blessed be He, etc., who has performed miracles for our ancestors; and the benediction of the time. What blessing is said after the reading of the Megilla? "Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast taken up our quarrels, who hast judged our judgments, who hast taken revenge for us, who hast retaliated for us on our adversaries, and who recompensest according to their deservings all our enemies. Blessed be Thou, O Lord, who punishest all the adversaries of Israel." Rabha said: "Blessed be Thou, God of salvation." Said R. papa: Therefore, we should say both: "Blessed be Thou, O Lord, who punishest our adversaries, God of our salvation!"
"Three men are called to read," etc. To what do the three
correspond? To the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa. So said R. Ashi. Rabha said: To priests, Levites, and Israelites. And R. Simi taught: One must not read less than ten verses in the house of prayer; and if one of them consists of the words, "And God spoke to Moses," it is reckoned among the ten. To what do these ten correspond? R. Joshua b. Levi says: To the ten unemployed men in the synagogue. And R. Joseph said: To the ten commandments given to Moses on Sinai. R. Johanan says: To the ten sayings of the Lord, by which He created the world.
Rabha said: The first of the three men who goes to read in the Torah, if he has read four verses, he may be praised; if not the first, but the second did it, he may be praised; if the third did this, he may be praised (and if all three read four verses each, all may be praised). It happened once R. Papa came to the synagogue of Abiguber; and he read four verses to the first, and R. Papa praised him.
"Neither more nor less." We have learned in a Boraitha: "The beginner shall pronounce the benediction before the reading, and the last reader after." But in this time, when we have the custom that everyone says the benediction both before and after, the reason why the rabbis have ordained so is that those who enter and go away in the middle of the reading should not fail to hear either the blessing before or after.
"On the first of the month." Ula bar Rabh asked Rabha: The portion about the beginning of the month [Num. xxviii. 11], how should it be read? Shall we begin to read with the first verse of the chapter which speaks about the daily offering--eight verses--how shall we do? If two each read three verses, only two will be left for the third, and two should not be read? If they read each four, then for the third will be left seven verses, because about Sabbath there are two, and about the first of the month five? If the third should begin with the ninth verse (about Sabbath), and read the two about Sabbath and one about the first of the month, we have learned in a Boraitha: One must not begin a portion (containing less) than three verses? (and about Sabbath there are two). If the third begin with Sabbath, and read three about the first month, then two verses will be left. Rabha answered: This I did not hear, but I heard something similar. We have learned in the Mishna, in Tract Taanith: "The first day one reads in Genesis from i. 6: 'Let there be an expanse,'" And a Boraitha added to this: From "In the beginning"
should be read by two, and from "Let there be an expanse" should be read by one. And it was discussed: It is right that from "Let there be an expanse" should be read by one, because there are three verses; but up to that there are only five verses, and how can two men read it? Have we not learned in a Boraitha that each must read no less that three verses? And in answer to it, it was taught: Rabh said: The second should begin from the third verse, which has been already read; and Samuel says: They shall divide the third verse into two parts.
[Why does Rabh say he shall read a second time, and not begin in the middle? Because Rabh holds the verse which Moses did not leave in the middle we may not split; but Samuel says we may. And according to Samuel may we stop in the middle of the verse? Did not Hanania Kara say: I had great trouble when I was by R. Hanina the Great, who did not permit me to stop in the middle of a verse, except for the schoolchildren, because I had to teach them? Why did R. Hanina permit? Because schoolchildren could not otherwise be taught; and so Samuel allowed, because it was necessary. But why does not Samuel say as Rabh? Because if one enter in the middle, and hear the second reading the third verse, he may think the first has read only two.]
An objection was raised: We have learned in Taanith: "A portion containing six verses may be read by two men, but if it contain five, only one man must read; but if the first has only read three, the second must read the remaining two, and one of the next portion. But, according to others, he must read three verses of the next, because he must not begin to read a portion, unless he read three verses." Now, if it were as Rabh and Samuel say, why does not the Boraitha teach he shall repeat a verse, or stop in the middle? There the case is different; because it is practicable, but not here.
Said R. Tan'hum in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The Halakha prevails according to the saying of the Boraitha in the name of the others. And he says again: As one must not begin a portion, to read less than three verses, so one must not stop unless three verses are yet left.
Rabba the son of Rabha sent to ask R. Joseph how the Halakha prevails. And he sent him the answer: The Halakha prevails, that it shall be repeated by the second reader.
"This is the rule: When an additional offering." The schoolmen propounded a question: On a fast of the congregation how
many persons should be called to read? Should we say that be. cause on the first of the month and intermediate days there is an additional offering, four should read; but on this occasion, when there is no additional offering, only three should read? Or that, because there is an additional prayer, four should be called to read?, Come and hear: It happened that Rabh came to Babylon on a congregational fast-day. He arose and read in the Torah, and said a benediction when he began, but not when he finished. The whole congregation fell upon their faces, and he did not. Now let us see: Rabh (who was no priest) could read only what an Israelite reads (i.e., was the third). Why, then, did he not pronounce the benediction after he had finished? We must assume because he thought a fourth would yet read, so there would be four? Nay; Rabh was the beginner, and substituted a priest, because he was the best man; and we find in Gittin, that R. Huna did so too. It is right of R. Huna, because, as it is said there, R. Ammi and R. Ashi, although they were priests themselves and the most honored men of Palestine, nevertheless bowed before R. Huna; but Rabh, how could he substitute a priest? Was there not Samuel, who was a priest, and always had preference before Rabh? Nay; Samuel also bowed to Rabh; but Rabh gave preference to him only to honor him, and it seems to us that this is correct, that Rabh read first; because if not so, why did he pronounce the benediction before? But perhaps it was after it was ordained that the benediction should be pronounced both before and after? Then he would have pronounced the benediction after it also? It is different. Where Rabh was, the people were permitted to enter the house of prayer, but not to leave, till Rabh finished lecturing. Hence there was no fear for those who might leave. (The question is therefore not decided, because after the first may be either two or three.) Come and hear. This is the rule: On the day when no labor is done, as on a congregational fast and the 9th of Abh, three must read; and on those days when to do labor is not prohibited, as on the first of the month and intermediate days of a festival, four read. This decides the question.
Said R. Ashi: Have we not learned in our Mishna: This is the rule: On the day which has an additional sacrifice, but is not a festival, four men read? Now, when it is said, "this is the rule," may we not assume that it is meant to include a congregational fast and the 9th of Abh? Nay, a sign only was given that it should not be thought festivals and intermediate
days are equal in the reading of the Torah: they gave us a rule that even on a day having a preference over another day, one man more must be called to read. Therefore, on the first of the month, intermediate days, which have an additional sacrifice, four read; on a festival, when no labor may be done, five must read; on the Day of Atonement, which has a punishment of Kareth, six read; on Sabbath, which has a capital punishment, seven read.
It is said above: Rabh did not fall on his face. Why? Because he was the most honored man; and this is similar to the teaching of R. Elazar: He said, an honored man must not fall on his face, unless he is sure he will be answered as Joshua b. Nun, of whom it is written [Josh. vii. 10]: "And the Lord said to Joshua: Get thee up; wherefore liest thou upon thy face?" Said R. Hyya bar Abbin: I saw that Abayi and Rabha used not to fall on their faces, but only reclined their heads on their hands.
"Six on the Day of Atonement." According to whom is our Mishna? Not according to R. Ishmael, and not according to R. Aqiba of the following Boraitha: "On the festival five, on the Day of Atonement six, and on the Sabbath seven--not more and not less. So is the decree of R. Ishmael. R. Aqiba says: On a festival five, on the Day of Atonement seven, on Sabbath six--not less, but it may be more." If the Mishna was in accordance with R. Ishmael, it would not allow, as he, more; and if in accordance with R. Aqiba, the latter says, on Sabbath six? Said Rabha: The Mishna is in accordance with the disciples of R. Ishmael, who teach: On festivals five, on the Day of Atonement six, on Sabbath seven--not less, but more is permitted. So said R. Ishmael. This is in self-contradiction of R. Ishmael? There are two Tanaim: One says R. Ishmael had said so, and the second he had said otherwise. To what do the three, five, and seven correspond? R. Itz'hak b. Nahmani and R. Simeon b. Pazzi, according to others R. Samuel b. Nahmani--one said that it corresponds to the blessings of the priests (where there are three words in the first verse, five in the second, seven in the third), and the other said that they correspond to the three door-keepers [II Kings, xxv. 18] and the five men who could come unto the king's presence [ibid. 19] and the seven who could see Ahasuerus [Esther, i. 14]. And the same taught R. Joseph. Said Abayi to him: Why has the Master not explained it to us before? He answered: I did not know you needed an explanation
of it, and you asked me not; did you ever ask me anything to which I answered not?
Said Jacob, one of the Minim, 1 to R. Jehudah: The six men who read on the Day of Atonement, to whom do they correspond?, He said: To the six men who stood on the right and the left of Ezra, as is written [Nehem. viii. 4]: "The names of the six who stood on the right, and of the six that stood on the left."
The rabbis taught: All are entitled to be counted read among the seven on Sabbath, even a minor and a woman. The sages, however, said: A woman should not read in the Torah for the honor of the congregation. The schoolmen propounded a question: May the last reader from the Prophets be counted among the seven? R. Huna and R. Jeremiah bar Abba differ: One says yes; the other says no. The first gives the reason that, although he reads from the Prophets, he reads from the Pentateuch also, and why should he not be counted? while the second holds with Ula, who said that the reader from the Prophets reads from the Pentateuch only in honor of the Torah, not because it is his task; and therefore it is not counted. An objection was raised: We have learned that he who reads portions from the Prophets should read not less than twenty-one verses, to correspond to the verses from the Torah read by the seven men (each of whom read three). Now, if the same person reads also from the Pentateuch, he should read but twenty-four verses from the Prophets, as he himself read three in the Torah? As be reads only in honor of the Law, it should not be counted. Rabha opposed: Do not we read Jeremiah, vii., from verse 21 to chapter viii., where twenty-one verses are not found? There it is different, because the subject is concluded there. And where the subject is not finished, must we read twenty-one verses? Did not Samuel bar Abba say: I stood many times before R. Johanan, and when we had done reading ten verses, he told us to stop, though it was in the midst of the subject? Where there is an interpreter, the law is different. As R. Tahlipha b. Samuel taught: When must be read twenty-one verses? Where there is no interpreter, otherwise he may cease earlier.
MISHNA: When men come into the synagogue after the prayer has been finished, they may not repeat the prayer if they
are less than ten in number, nor may any of them act as minister before the reading-desk, nor may priests raise their hands (to say the priest's blessing), nor may they read in the Law, nor read a section from the Prophets. When there are less than ten men present at a burial, the customary standings and sittings with the corpse, may not take place, nor may the blessing for mourners be said, nor the forms used in condolence with mourners, nor the seven blessings said on the celebration of a marriage, nor may the persons who join to say grace after meals mention the Divine name. And on an occasion of redeeming land that has been consecrated it is necessary that at least nine Israelites and a Cohen (priest) shall be present, and the same also at the valuation of a man (if he had said: I consecrate the value of my person to the sanctuary).
GEMARA: Where is this deduced from? Said R. Hyya b. Abba in the name of R. Johanan: Because it is written [Lev. xxii. 32]: "I may be sanctified among the children of Israel." All things sanctified must not be less than ten. 1
"Standings and sittings." Because it was the custom for a mourner to say: "Rise, honored men, rise!" and "Sit down, honored men, sit down!" which may not be said to less than ten.
"Blessing for mourners," etc. What is the blessing for mourners? The benediction they said in the streets after the burial. Then R. Itz'hak said in the name of R. Johanan that the benediction of mourners was pronounced by not less than ten men, and the mourners themselves are not counted. The benediction of bridegrooms, however, is also said by ten, including, however, the bridegrooms.
"Mention the Divine name." Why so? Because he must say: "Let us bless our God," and this is not suitable when there are less than ten. 2 (The Owner of Rewards shall recompense you for the kindness of accompanying the deceased. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who givest rewards), and the same was said to the condolers.
MISHNA: Not less than three verses of the Holy Scrolls may be read in the synagogue by each person (called to read). One verse only of the Law may at one time be read to the interpreter.
[paragraph continues] From the Prophets, however, may be read three also; but if each verse should form a separate section, each must be read separately. Passages may be skipped in the reading of the Prophets, but not in that of the Holy Scrolls. What time may be suffered to elapse to skip from one passage to another? while the interpreter does not conclude his interpretation.
GEMARA: "A separate section," etc. For instance, Isaiah, lii. 3, 4, and 5, treat of different subjects.
"Passages may be skipped." There is a contradiction: We have learned in a Mishna in Yoma the following: He reads Lev. xvi. 7, "After the death," etc., and then in xxiii. 27, "But on the tenth." From this we see that he skips in the Pentateuch also? Said Abayi: It presents no difficulty. In the Pentateuch one may not skip when it is one subject; but if there are two different subjects one may. But we have learned in a Boraitha that even when the subject is the same one may skip in the Pentateuch, and in the Prophets only when the subjects are different? In both cases it is meant, while the interpreter does not conclude his interpretation.
In another Boraitha we have learned: One must not skip from one Prophet to the other. In the reading of the twelve Minor Prophets, however, one may do so; but not from the termination of one to the beginning of the other.
MISHNA: Whoever reads in the house of prayer the section from the Prophets may also repeat the prayer (Shema) and act as minister before the reading-desk; and if he is a priest, may say the blessing of the priests. If a minor, his father or teacher shall act for him.
A minor may read in the Law (in the synagogue) and act as an interpreter, but may not publicly recite the Shema, nor act as minister at the reading-desk, nor (if a priest) say by himself the blessing of priests. A man in rags may repeat the Shema and act as interpreter, but he may not read in the Holy Scrolls, nor act as minister before the reading-desk, nor (if a priest) say the blessing of priests. A blind man may repeat the prayer and act as interpreter; but R. Jehudah says: One who never beheld the light (i.e., was born blind) may not repeat Shema.
GEMARA: Why so? Said R. Papa: This is a reward of honor (because to read portions from the Prophets is not such an honor as to act as minister). Rabba bar Simi, however.. said: To prevent quarrels (one should not say: I will read the Prophets and thou read the Shema).
"A man in rags." Ula bar Rabh asked Abayi: May a minor in rags read in the Torah? He answered: Why did you not ask about a naked man? Because we are certain that he must not, for the honor of the congregation, the same is the case here.
We have learned in a Boraitha: The sages said to R. Jehudah: Many persons lectured about the Merkabha (Divine Chariot) [Ezekiel, i.], although they had never seen it. Answered R. Jehudah: That deals with things in the inner consciousness, and if one meditates about them one may be fit to lecture. But if a man blesses for light it is for the benefit received, and a blind man has no benefit by it. The rabbis, however, hold that a blind man does derive benefit from light, as R. Jose of the following Boraitha said: My whole life I was sorry about the following verse [Deut. xxviii. 29]: "And thou shalt grope about at noonday, as the blind gropeth about in the darkness." I always asked, what matters it to the blind whether it be light or darkness, he gropes at any rate? till it happened once I walked in a dark night, and I met a blind man who walked with a torch. I asked him: My son, thou art blind. Why walkest thou with fire? He replied: So long as the torch is in my hands, people see me, and would not let me fall into a pit or tread on thorns.
MISHNA: A priest whose hands are deformed must not raise them (to bless the people). R. Jehudah also Prohibits it to a priest whose hands are stained with wood or with madder roots, because the people stare at him.
GEMARA: We have learned in a Boraitha: By the blemishes are meant those on his hands, face, or feet. R. Joshua b. Levi said: If there are eruptions on his hands, he must not raise them. We have learned the same in the following Boraitha: If he has eruptions on the hands, or they are crooked, he must not raise them. Said R. Ashi: The priests from the villages 'Hiphni and Bishni all stutter, and must not bless either. The same we have learned in the following Boraitha: One must not make men act as ministers who are from Beth Sheon or Beth Hippa; also the men of Tibonin, because they pronounce an a as an h, and an h as an a. R. Johanan said: A priest of one eye must not raise his hands. But was there not a one-eyed priest in the neighborhood of R. Johanan who did bless, and he said to him nothing? That man was known in his town, and nobody stared at him because of his peculiarity; as is stated in a Boraitha: If one such is known in his town, he may.
"R. Jehudah also prohibits." We have learned in a Boraitha:
If the majority of a town worked at the same kind of work, and their hands were stained also, he may.
MISHNA: One who should say: "I will not minister at the reading-desk in colored clothes," may not be permitted to do so even in white ones [because we are afraid perhaps he becomes heretical, as only the Minim are particular about this]. If he refuses to minister with sandals on his feet, he may not be permitted to minister even barefooted. A man who makes the Tephilin round endangers himself, and has not properly observed the commandment. 1 A person who places them low down on his forehead, or on the palm of his hand, acts like the Sadducees. If he covers them with gold, or places them on his unkli, 2 he acts like a dissenter who does not care for our tradition.
If one says in his prayers: "The good shall bless Thee," he acts heretically. 3 If he says: "As to birds' nests were Thy mercies extended, so have mercy upon us"; or, "For Thy good be Thy name remembered"; or one who says twice "Modim," he shall be silenced (by authority). Also, whoever explains the text [Lev. xviii. 21]: "And of any of thy seed shalt thou not let pass through to Molech" to mean, "Thou shalt not give thy seed to an Aramite (heathen) woman," (and those who explain figuratively the section in the Law relating to carnal intercourse between relatives [Lev. xviii.] ), shall be silenced, and publicly reprimanded. The occurrence of Reuben with Bilha is to be read without being interpreted; that of Tamar is to be read and interpreted. The first part of the occurrence with the golden calf is to be read and interpreted; but the second part [commencing Ex. xxxiv. 21] is to be read without being interpreted. The blessing of the priests, and the occurrence of David and Amnon, are neither to be read nor interpreted; the description
of the Divine Chariot [Ezek. i.] is not to be read as a portion from the Prophets, but R. Jehudah permits it. R. Eliezer says, neither [Ezek. xvi.]: "Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations," etc.
GEMARA: "The rabbis taught: The Scripture about the creation of the world may be read and interpreted." [Is this not self-evident? Lest one say if it will be read and interpreted, one may ask what was before the creation, or what will be after the world, what is taking place above, and what is occurring below, they come to teach us this is not feared.] What happened to Lot and his two daughters may be read and interpreted. [Is this not self-evident? One might say that we should care for the honor of Abraham: they come to teach it is not so.] What happened to Tamar and Jehudah may be read and interpreted. [Is not this self-evident? Lest one say that we should care for the honor of Jehudah, they come to teach us, on the contrary, it is an honor for Jehudah that he confessed it.] What occurred with the golden calf may be read as far as the first part goes, and interpreted. [Is this not self-evident? We might assume we should care for the honor of Israel. They come to teach us that it is more agreeable to them when it is interpreted, that it causes their forgiveness.] The blessings and the curses pronounced by Moses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy may be read and interpreted. [Is this not self-evident? We might assume, perhaps, when they will hear it, they will become dejected, and say: If so, we will do all we please, as we will be punished so terribly in any event: they come to teach us it is not so.] The warnings and punishments may be read and interpreted. [Is this not self-evident? One might say if the punishments will be read, one might think Israel should do their duties only from fear, they come to teach us this is not apprehended.] The story of Abisolom, Amnan, and Tamar may be read and interpreted. [Is this not self-evident? One might say we should spare the honor of David. They tell us it is not so.] The story of the concubine in Gibea may be read and interpreted. [Is not this self-evident? They come to teach us that we should not do as R. Eliezer of the following Boraitha: It happened to a man who read in Ezekiel, xvi.: "Make known unto Jerusalem her abominations," in the presence of R. Eliezer, that R. Eliezer said to him: "Instead of investigating the unworthiness of Jerusalem, go and rather investigate the faults of your mother." When it was heard, an investigation was
made, and it was found he was not a rightful Israelite.] Following are those which may be read, but not interpreted: What happened to Reuben and Bilha may be read, but not interpreted. It happened once to R. Hanina b. Gamaliel, who went to Kabul, and the reader of the congregation read [Gen. xxxv. 22]: "And it came to pass when Israel dwelt," he said to the interpreter: "Stop, do not interpret except the last verse." And the sages commended him for this. The second part of the story about the golden calf may be read, but not interpreted? What is the second part? From Ex. xxxii. 21-25.
We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Simeon b. Elazar said: A man should always be prudent in his replies, for from Aaron's answer to Moses, those that murmured became lawless; for they said: There is something in idolatry, for it is written: "And I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf." The Blessing of Priests is read, but not interpreted, because it is written [Num. vi. 26]: "The Lord lift up his countenance."
"The occurrence of David and Amnan." Did we not learn in a Boraitha that the story of Amnan and Tamar is to be read and interpreted? It presents no difficulty: Where "Amnan ben David" is written, it must not be read; but the other places may.
63:1 Tosphoth proposes it should be read Matzaa, of the city of that name, because, If he would be of the Minim, the Gemara would not mention his name. We, however, have explained in our Philacterien-Ritus that Jacob the Mini is right.
64:1 The Gemara deduces this from an analogy of expression, where a congregation is mentioned, and it is said a congregation is not called an assembly if less than ten.
64:2 It is also shown from what the other laws are deduced, but they will all be found in other and mare proper places in the Talmud.
67:1 In our Philacterien-Ritus, pp. 56, 87, 126, we have corrected this misprint as, "it is dangerous and there is no merit in it." We found this misprint corrected in Tract Tephilin of the seven new tracts by Kirchheim.
67:2 About this Mishna we have remarked in our "History of Amulets, Charms, and Talismans," p. 30, note 33, thus: We have already demonstrated in "Phyl.-R.," p. 56 (and at length on p. 65, under the heading אונקלי) that the Mishna in Megilla, "If one cover them with gold," etc., "he acts like a dissenter," refers to the Jewish Christians.
67:3 The expression here is not plain. It seems to us that the Mishna meant to say he acts like the Persians, who believe in two Gods--one of good, the other of evil--as the latter part of the Mishna, "who says twice Modin," means: Who praises the God of good for his kindness, and the God of evil that he has not done evil.