בן בנו של נמרוד הרשע שהמריד את כל העולם כולו עלי במלכותו כמה שנותיו של אדם שבעים שנה ואם בגבורות שמונים שנה שנאמר ימי שנותינו בהם שבעים שנה ואם בגבורות שמונים שנה
the disciple in corruption of Nimrod the wicked, who caused the entire world to rebel against Me during his reign by advising the generation of the dispersion to build a tower in order to fight the Hosts of Heaven, how many are the years of a person altogether? Seventy years, and if he is with strength, eighty years, as it is stated: “ The days of our years are seventy years and with strength eighty years” (Psalms 90:10).
מן הארץ עד לרקיע מהלך חמש מאות שנה ועוביו של רקיע מהלך חמש מאות שנה ובין (כל) רקיע לרקיע מהלך חמש מאות שנה וכן בין כל רקיע ורקיע אך אל שאול תורד אל ירכתי בור תיובתא
In contrast, from the earth to the first firmament of seven (see Ḥagiga 12b) is a walking distance of five hundred years, and the thickness of the firmament is a walking distance of five hundred years, which is equal to approximately 1. 8 million parasangs, and between each firmament is another walking distance of five hundred years, and so too between each and every firmament. Therefore, how can you, Nebuchadnezzar, hope to reach the heavens in your lifetime, such that you say: “ I will be like the Most High”? Rather, as the verse continues:“ Yet you shall be brought down to the netherworld, to the uttermost parts of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). In any event, this is a conclusive refutation of Rava’s opinion that the thickness of the firmament is only one thousand parasangs.
In a discussion related to the structure of the natural world, the Sages taught: The Jewish Sages say the celestial sphere of the zodiac is stationary, and the constellations revolve in their place within the sphere; and the sages of the nations of the world say the entire celestial sphere revolves, and the constellations are stationary within the sphere. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: A refutation of their words that the entire sphere moves can be derived from the fact that we have never found the constellation of Ursa Major in the South or Scorpio in the North. This indicates that it is the stars themselves that revolve in place and not the celestial sphere as a whole, because otherwise it would be impossible for Ursa Major to remain in the North and Scorpio to remain in the South.
מתקיף לה רב אחא בר יעקב ודילמא כבוצינא דריחיא אי נמי כצינורא דדשא
Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov strongly objects to this proof: And perhaps the stars are stationary within the sphere like the steel socket of a mill, which remains stationary while the stones of the mill revolve around it. Alternatively, perhaps they are stationary like the pivot of a door, which remains stationary while the door makes wide turns around it; similarly, perhaps the constellations are stationary within a sphere, and there is an outer sphere within which the sun revolves around all the constellations. Therefore, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s statement is not necessarily true.
חכמי ישראל אומרים ביום חמה מהלכת למטה מן הרקיע ובלילה למעלה מן הרקיע וחכמי אומות העולם אומרים ביום חמה מהלכת למטה מן הרקיע ובלילה למטה מן הקרקע אמר רבי ונראין דבריהן מדברינו שביום מעינות צוננין ובלילה רותחין
The Gemara presents a similar dispute: The Jewish Sages say that during the day the sun travels beneath the firmament and is therefore visible, and at night it travels above the firmament. And the sages of the nations of the world say that during the day the sun travels beneath the firmament, and at night it travels beneath the earth and around to the other side of the world. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: And the statement of the sages of the nations of the world appears to be more accurate than our statement. A proof to this is that during the day, springs that originate deep in the ground are cold, and during the night they are hot compared to the air temperature, which supports the theory that these springs are warmed by the sun as it travels beneath the earth.
תניא רבי נתן אומר בימות החמה חמה מהלכת בגובה של רקיע לפיכך כל העולם כולו רותח ומעינות צוננין בימות הגשמים חמה מהלכת בשיפולי רקיע לפיכך כל העולם כולו צונן ומעינות רותחין
It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: During the summer the sun travels high in the sky, above the earth, and therefore the entire world is hot, and springs that originate deep in the ground are cold. On the other hand, during the winter the sun travels low in the sky, over the edges of the earth. Therefore, the entire world is cold, but springs are hot relative to the air temperature.
תנו רבנן בארבעה שבילין חמה מהלכת ניסן אייר וסיון מהלכת בהרים כדי לפשר את השלגין תמוז אב ואלול מהלכת בישוב כדי לבשל את הפירות תשרי מרחשון וכסליו מהלכת בימים כדי ליבש את הנהרות טבת שבט ואדר מהלכת במדבר שלא ליבש את הזרעים:
The Sages taught: The sun travels in four paths during the four seasons of the year, and each causes a unique weather pattern: During the months of Nisan, Iyyar, and Sivan, the sun travels over the mountains in order to melt the snows that collected during the winter. During Tammuz, Av, and Elul, it travels over the areas of the settlement in order to ripen the produce. During Tishrei, Marḥeshvan, and Kislev, it travels over the seas in order to dry the rivers, as the rivers flow more gently during that time of year and the water turns into rain clouds. During Tevet, Shevat, and Adar, it travels over the desert in order to not dry the seeds that were planted in the inhabited areas of settlement, which begin to sprout during this time.
It was taught in the mishna that Rabbi Eliezer says: Anyone located from the threshold of the Temple courtyard and beyond is considered to be on a distant journey. The Gemara objects: And even though he is able to enter the courtyard, we do not say to him: Get up and enter; rather, we rely on the fact that at the critical moment he is outside the courtyard. But wasn’t it taught in a baraita:
An adult uncircumcised Jew who did not circumcise himself will be punished with karet for being unable to eat the Paschal lamb on Passover; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Apparently, Rabbi Eliezer himself requires one to take action and circumcise himself so that the obligation to bring the Paschal lamb will apply to him. If one does not do so, he is considered to have intentionally refrained from eating the Paschal lamb and will receive karet. This baraita in which Rabbi Eliezer requires a person to be proactive seems to contradict the mishna in which Rabbi Eliezer permits a person to remain passive.
אמר אביי דרך רחוקה לטהור ואין דרך רחוקה לטמא
Abaye said: The exemption from the observing the first Pesaḥ granted to one on a distant journey was stated only for one who is ritually pure, and there is no exemption of a distant journey for one who is ritually impure or is unfit to offer the Paschal lamb for any other reason. One who is unfit to offer the sacrifice must take action to enable him to fulfill his obligation, and he is not included in the exemption of being on a distant journey. Conversely, the exemption does apply to people who are inherently fit to offer the sacrifice, and who are therefore not liable to karet if they do not enter the courtyard. There is no need to warn them to offer the Paschal lamb.
Rava said: It is a dispute between tanna’im as to Rabbi Eliezer’s true opinion, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: The exemption of a distant journey is stated with regard to the Paschal lamb, and the exemption of a distant journey is stated with regard to the second tithe, as the verse states: “ And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God shall choose to set His name there” (Deuteronomy 14:24). Just as later in the Torah, with regard to the second tithe, the exemption applies only to someone located outside the area where it may be eaten, as the second tithe may be eaten only in Jerusalem, so too here, with regard to the Paschal lamb, the exemption of a distant journey applies only to one located outside the place in which it may be eaten, which is the entire city of Jerusalem. According to this opinion, anyone located in Jerusalem is included in the obligation to offer the Paschal lamb.
However, Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Yehuda says, citing Rabbi Eliezer: The exemption of a distant journey applies to anyone located outside the area where the offering of the Paschal lamb may be performed, which is the Temple courtyard.
The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Rav Yosef said: In determining whether the majority of the community is ritually pure or ritually impure, follow the majority of those standing in the courtyard, and do not take into consideration people who are in Jerusalem but have not come to the courtyard. In accordance with whose opinion is it? It is in accordance with the opinion that Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Yehuda said, citing Rabbi Eliezer, which is as follows: Circumstances that can change the details of one’s obligation to offer the Paschal lamb, such as whether one is in a state of ritual impurity or whether he is on a distant journey, are determined based on whether or not one is within the Temple courtyard at the time of the slaughter.
It was taught in the mishna that Rabbi Yosei said to him: Therefore, there is a dot over the letter heh. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says: If the verse had said simply: “ A distant journey, ” One would conclude from it that it means the distance of at least a two- or three-day walk. However, when it says later: “ But the man who is ritually pure and is not on a journey” (Numbers 9:13) and does not specify a distant journey, it teaches that from the threshold of the courtyard and beyond is called a journey, and the exemption is not limited to one on a distant journey as the first verse seemed to imply.