Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878], at


1. The palm-branch and the willow (were used) for six days and for seven. The hymn, and the rejoicings, for eight days. The booth and the pouring out of water for seven days; and the musical pipes for five and for six days.

2. The palm-branch (was used) for seven days. "How?" "When the first day of the feast fell on a Sabbath, the palm-branch (was used) for seven days. Otherwise all the days were six."

3. The willow (was used) for seven days. "How?" "When the seventh day of the willow happened to fall on a Sabbath, the willow (was used) for seven days. Otherwise all the days were six."

4. "How was the command for the palm-branch when the first day of the feast fell on a Sabbath?" "They used to bring their palm-branches to the mountain of the House, and the inspectors received them, and arranged them on a bench. But the elders placed theirs in a chamber. And the people were taught to say, "Whoever takes my palm-branch in his

p. 144

hand, be it his as a gift." On the morrow they came early, and the inspectors spread them before them. And they used to snatch them and hurt each other. When the Sanhedrin saw that persons were endangered, it was decreed that every man should take them home."

5. "How was the command for the willow?" “There was a place below Jerusalem called Moza; 1 thither the people went down and gathered drooping willow-branches. And they came and erected them at the side of the altar, with their tops bending over the altar. They blew the trumpet, and sounded an alarm, and blew a blast. Every day they made one circuit round the altar, and said, “Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord! O Lord, I beseech Thee, send now prosperity.” Rabbi Judah said, "I and HE save now, I beseech Thee." 2 On the day itself 3 they made seven circuits round the altar. "As they withdrew what did they say?" "Beauty is thine, O Altar!" "Beauty is thine, O Altar!" R. Eleazar said "To the LORD, and to thee, O Altar!" "To the LORD, and to thee, O Altar!"

6. As they did on the week-days, so they did on the Sabbath, save that they gathered the willow-boughs on the Sabbath-eve, and put them into vases of gold, that they might not fade. R. Joshua, son of Beroka, says, "they brought date-branches, and thrashed them on the ground at the sides of the altar." (others say "on the altar"). And the day itself was called, "the day for thrashing the branches."

7. Immediately the children threw down their palm-branches, and ate their citrons.

8. The hymn and rejoicings were for eight days. "How?" "It is taught, that a man is bound to the hymn, and the rejoicings in honour of the last day of the feast, even as on its other days." "How is the booth for seven days?" "When a man has completed his eating, he is not to pull down his booth; but after the evening sacrifice he may remove his furniture in honour of the last day of the feast."

p. 145

9. "How was the pouring out of the water?" "A golden pitcher holding three logs 1 was filled from Siloam. When they came (with it) to the watergate they blew the trumpet, an alarm, and a blast. The priest then went up the ascent to the altar, and turned to his left. Two silver basins were there. R. Judah says, "they were of lime, but their look was dark from the wine." And they were bored with two narrow nostrils, one wider, the other narrower, that both might get empty at once. "The one to the west was for the water; the other to the east was for the wine; but if the water was poured into the wine basin, or the wine into the water basin, it was allowed." R. Judah said, "they poured out one log on each of the eight days." To him, who poured out, they said, "lift your hand:" for once it happened, that one poured over his feet, 2 and all the people pelted him to death with their citrons.

10. As they did on the week days, so they did on the Sabbath; save that on the Sabbath eve an unconsecrated golden cask was filled from Siloam, and placed in a chamber. If it were spilt or uncovered, it was refilled from the laver, as water and wine which had been uncovered were disallowed on the altar.


144:1 Means a place exempt from taxation called Colonin, perhaps the modern Colonia. Some, however, say it was a place in the Kedron Valley.

144:2 Deut. xxxii. 39.

144:3 The seventh day on which they used the willows.

145:1 A log is about half a pint.

145:2 He is said to have been a Sadducee who rejected tradition. Alexander Jannæus, to show his contempt for the Pharisees, poured the water on the ground. The people became excited, and pelted him with their ethrogs or citrons till his body-guard interfered, and, as fighting took place, some six thousand Jews were killed in the Temple. Josephus. Antiq., Book xiii. chap. xiii., 5.

Next: Chapter V