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December 4, 2021 | ל׳ בכסלו תשפ״ב | TODAY'S DAF: Taanit 22 - Shabbat December 4

Today's Daf Yomi

February 27, 2020 | ב׳ באדר תש״פ

Berakhot 55

Today’s shiur is sponsored by David and Eve Farber in honor of Olivia and Dov’s birthdays.

What things should one spent a lot of time on? Why? The gemara proceeds to list all differnt types of things – three things that cut short one’s life, three things that require mercy from God, three things that God directly brings. Sicne dreams were mentioned in the context of things that require mercy, the gemara delves into the issue of dreams and brings many differnt statements regarding dreams.

תוכן זה תורגם גם ל: עברית

כל המאריך בתפלתו ומעיין בה סוף בא לידי כאב לב שנאמר תוחלת ממשכה מחלה לב ואמר רבי יצחק שלשה דברים מזכירים עונותיו של אדם ואלו הן קיר נטוי ועיון תפלה ומוסר דין על חבירו לשמים

Anyone who prolongs his prayer and expects it to be answered, will ultimately come to heartache, as it is stated: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Similarly, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Three matters evoke a person’s sins, and they are: Endangering oneself by sitting or standing next to an inclined wall that is about to collapse, expecting prayer to be accepted, as that leads to an assessment of his status and merit, and passing a case against another to Heaven, as praying for Heaven to pass judgment on another person causes one’s own deeds to be examined and compared with the deeds of that other person. This proves that prolonging prayer is a fault.

הא לא קשיא הא דמעיין בה הא דלא מעיין בה והיכי עביד דמפיש ברחמי

The Gemara resolves the apparent contradiction: This is not difficult. This, where we learned that prolonging prayer is undesirable, refers to a situation when one expects his prayer to be accepted, while this, where Rav Yehuda says that prolonging prayer prolongs one’s life, refers to a situation where one does not expect his prayer to be accepted. How does he prolong his prayer? By increasing his supplication.

והמאריך על שלחנו דלמא אתי עניא ויהיב ליה דכתיב המזבח עץ שלוש אמות גבה וכתיב וידבר אלי זה השלחן אשר לפני ה׳ פתח במזבח וסיים בשלחן רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר דאמרי תרוייהו כל זמן שבית המקדש קיים מזבח מכפר על ישראל ועכשיו שלחנו של אדם מכפר עליו

As for the virtue of prolonging one’s mealtime at the table, which Rav Yehuda mentioned, the Gemara explains: Perhaps a poor person will come during the meal and the host will be in a position to give him food immediately, without forcing the poor person to wait. The Sages elsewhere praised a person who acts appropriately at a meal, as it is written: “The altar, three cubits high and the length thereof, two cubits, was of wood, and so the corners thereof; the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were also of wood” (Ezekiel 41:22), and it is written in the continuation of that verse: “And he said unto me: This is the table that is before the Lord.” The language of this verse is difficult, as it begins with the altar and concludes with the table. Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar both say: As long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel’s transgressions. Now that it is destroyed, a person’s table atones for his transgressions.

והמאריך בבית הכסא מעליותא הוא והתניא עשרה דברים מביאין את האדם לידי תחתוניות האוכל עלי קנים ועלי גפנים ולולבי גפנים ומוריגי בהמה ושדרו של דג ודג מליח שאינו מבושל כל צרכו והשותה שמרי יין והמקנח בסיד ובחרסית והמקנח בצרור שקנח בו חברו ויש אומרים אף התולה עצמו בבית הכסא יותר מדאי

With regard to what Rav Yehuda said in praise of one who prolongs his time in the bathroom, the Gemara asks: Is that a virtue? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Ten things bring a person to suffer from hemorrhoids: One who eats the leaves of bulrushes, grape leaves, tendrils of grapevines, the palate and tongue of an animal, as well as any other part of the animal which is not smooth and which has protrusions, the spine of a fish, a salty fish that is not fully cooked, and one who drinks wine dregs, and one who wipes himself with lime and clay, the materials from which earthenware is made, and one who wipes himself with a stone with which another person wiped himself. And some say: One who suspends himself too much in the bathroom as well. This proves that prolonging one’s time in the bathroom is harmful.

לא קשיא הא דמאריך ותלי הא דמאריך ולא תלי

The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This baraita, which teaches that doing so is harmful, refers to where one prolongs his time there and suspends himself, while this statement of Rav Yehuda refers to where one prolongs his time there and does not suspend himself.

כי הא דאמרה ליה ההיא מטרוניתא לרבי יהודה ברבי אלעאי פניך דומים למגדלי חזירים ולמלוי ברבית אמר לה הימנותא לדידי תרוייהו אסירן אלא עשרים וארבעה בית הכסא איכא מאושפיזאי לבי מדרשא דכי אזילנא בדיקנא נפשאי בכולהו

The Gemara relates the benefits of prolonging one’s time in the bathroom. Like that incident when a matron [matronita] said to Rabbi Yehuda son of Rabbi El’ai: Your face is fat and full, like the faces of pig farmers and usurers who do not work hard and who make a plentiful living. He said to her: Honestly, those two occupations are prohibited to me; rather, why is it that my face is nice? Because there are twenty-four bathrooms between my lodging and the study hall, and when I walk I stop and examine myself in all of them.

ואמר רב יהודה שלשה דברים מקצרים ימיו ושנותיו של אדם מי שנותנין לו ספר תורה לקרות ואינו קורא כוס של ברכה לברך ואינו מברך והמנהיג עצמו ברבנות

And Rav Yehuda said: Three things curtail a person’s days and years: One who is invited and given the Torah scroll to read and he does not read, one who is given a cup of blessing over which to recite a blessing and he does not recite a blessing, and one who conducts himself with an air of superiority.

ספר תורה לקרות ואינו קורא דכתיב כי הוא חייך וארך ימיך כוס של ברכה לברך ואינו מברך דכתיב ואברכה מברכיך והמנהיג עצמו ברבנות דאמר רבי חמא בר חנינא מפני מה מת יוסף קודם לאחיו מפני שהנהיג עצמו ברבנות:

The Gemara details the biblical sources for these cases: One who is given the Torah scroll to read and he does not read, as it is written of the Torah: “It is your life and the length of your days” (Deuteronomy 30:20). A cup of blessing over which to recite a blessing and he does not recite a blessing, as it is written: “I will bless them that bless you” (Genesis 12:3); one who blesses is blessed and one who does not bless does not merit a blessing. And with regard to one who conducts himself with an air of superiority, as Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: Why did Joseph die before his brothers, as evidenced by the order in the verse: “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation” (Exodus 1:6)? Because he conducted himself with an air of superiority, and those who did not serve in a leadership role lived on after he died.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב שלשה צריכים רחמים מלך טוב שנה טובה וחלום טוב מלך טוב דכתיב פלגי מים לב מלך ביד ה׳ שנה טובה דכתיב תמיד עיני ה׳ אלהיך בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה חלום טוב דכתיב ותחלימני ותחייני:

Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: Three matters require a plea for mercy to bring them about: A good king, a good year, and a good dream. These three, kings, years, and dreams, are all bestowed by God and one must pray that they should be positive and constructive. The Gemara enumerates the sources for these cases: A good king, as it is written: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord as the watercourses: He turns it whithersoever He will” (Proverbs 21:1). A good year, as it is written: “The eyes of the Lord, thy God, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12). And a good dream, as it is written: “O Lord, by these things men live, and altogether therein is the life of my spirit; wherefore You will recover me [vataḥlimeni], and make me to live” (Isaiah 38:16). Due to their apparent etymological similarity, the word taḥlimeni is interpreted as deriving from the word ḥalom, dream.

אמר רבי יוחנן שלשה דברים מכריז עליהם הקדוש ברוך הוא בעצמו ואלו הן רעב ושובע ופרנס טוב רעב דכתיב כי קרא ה׳ לרעב וגו׳ שובע דכתיב וקראתי אל הדגן והרביתי אתו פרנס טוב דכתיב ויאמר ה׳ אל משה לאמר ראה קראתי בשם בצלאל וגו׳

Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Three matters are proclaimed by the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself: Famine, plenty, and a good leader. The Gemara enumerates the sources for these cases: Famine, as it is written: “For the Lord has called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years” (II Kings 8:1). Plenty, as it is written: “And I will call for the grain, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you” (Ezekiel 36:29). And a good leader, as it is written: “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: See, I have called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Exodus 31:1–2).

אמר רבי יצחק אין מעמידין פרנס על הצבור אלא אם כן נמלכים בצבור שנאמר ראו קרא ה׳ בשם בצלאל אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה משה הגון עליך בצלאל אמר לו רבונו של עולם אם לפניך הגון לפני לא כל שכן אמר לו אף על פי כן לך אמור להם הלך ואמר להם לישראל הגון עליכם בצלאל אמרו לו אם לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא ולפניך הוא הגון לפנינו לא כל שכן

With regard to Bezalel’s appointment, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: One may only appoint a leader over a community if he consults with the community and they agree to the appointment, as it is stated: “And Moses said unto the children of Israel: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Exodus 35:30). The Lord said to Moses: Moses, is Bezalel a suitable appointment in your eyes? Moses said to Him: Master of the universe, if he is a suitable appointment in Your eyes, then all the more so in my eyes. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Nevertheless, go and tell Israel and ask their opinion. Moses went and said to Israel: Is Bezalel suitable in your eyes? They said to him: If he is suitable in the eyes of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and in your eyes, all the more so he is suitable in our eyes.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן בצלאל על שם חכמתו נקרא בשעה שאמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה לך אמור לו לבצלאל עשה לי משכן ארון וכלים הלך משה והפך ואמר לו עשה ארון וכלים ומשכן אמר לו משה רבינו מנהגו של עולם אדם בונה בית ואחר כך מכניס לתוכו כלים ואתה אומר עשה לי ארון וכלים ומשכן כלים שאני עושה להיכן אכניסם שמא כך אמר לך הקדוש ברוך הוא עשה משכן ארון וכלים אמר לו שמא בצל אל היית וידעת

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Bezalel was called by that name on account of his wisdom. When the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: Go say to Bezalel, “Make a tabernacle, an ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 31:7–11), Moses went and reversed the order and told Bezalel: “Make an ark, and vessels, and a tabernacle” (see Exodus 25–26). He said to Moses: Moses, our teacher, the standard practice throughout the world is that a person builds a house and only afterward places the vessels in the house, and you say to me: Make an ark, and vessels, and a tabernacle. If I do so in the order you have commanded, the vessels that I make, where shall I put them? Perhaps God told you the following: “Make a tabernacle, ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 36). Moses said to Bezalel: Perhaps you were in God’s shadow [betzel El], and you knew precisely what He said. You intuited God’s commands just as He stated them, as if you were there.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב יודע היה בצלאל לצרף אותיות שנבראו בהן שמים וארץ כתיב הכא וימלא אתו רוח אלהים בחכמה ובתבונה ובדעת וכתיב התם ה׳ בחכמה יסד ארץ כונן שמים בתבונה וכתיב בדעתו תהומות נבקעו

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Bezalel knew how to join the letters with which heaven and earth were created. From where do we derive this? It is written here in praise of Bezalel: “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3); and it is written there with regard to creation of heaven and earth: “The Lord, by wisdom, founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19), and it is written: “By His knowledge the depths were broken up and the skies drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:20). We see that wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, the qualities with which the heavens and earth were created, are all found in Bezalel.

אמר רבי יוחנן אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נותן חכמה אלא למי שיש בו חכמה שנאמר יהב חכמתא לחכימין ומנדעא לידעי בינה שמע רב תחליפא בר מערבא ואמרה קמיה דרבי אבהו אמר ליה אתון מהתם מתניתו לה אנן מהכא מתנינן לה דכתיב ובלב כל חכם לב נתתי חכמה:

On a similar note, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, only grants wisdom to one who already possesses wisdom, as it is stated: “He gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to they who know understanding” (Daniel 2:21). Rav Taḥalifa, from the West, Eretz Yisrael, heard this and repeated it before Rabbi Abbahu. Rabbi Abbahu said to him: You learned proof for this idea from there; we learn it from here: As it is written in praise of the builders of the Tabernacle: “And in the hearts of all who are wise-hearted I have placed wisdom” (Exodus 31:6).

אמר רב חסדא כל חלום ולא טוות ואמר רב חסדא חלמא דלא מפשר כאגרתא דלא מקריא ואמר רב חסדא לא חלמא טבא מקיים כוליה ולא חלמא בישא מקיים כוליה ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא עדיף מחלמא טבא ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא עציבותיה מסתייה חלמא טבא חדוייה מסתייה אמר רב יוסף חלמא טבא אפילו לדידי בדיחותיה מפכחא ליה ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא קשה מנגדא שנאמר והאלהים עשה שיראו מלפניו ואמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן זה חלום רע

Related to what was stated above, that one should pray for a good dream, the Gemara cites additional maxims concerning dreams and their interpretation. Rav Ḥisda said: One should see any dream, and not a fast. In other words, any dream is preferable to a dream during a fast. And Rav Ḥisda said: A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read. As long as it is not interpreted it cannot be fulfilled; the interpretation of a dream creates its meaning. And Rav Ḥisda said: A good dream is not entirely fulfilled and a bad dream is not entirely fulfilled. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream is preferable to a good dream, as a bad dream causes one to feel remorse and to repent. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream, his sadness is enough for him; a good dream, his joy is enough for him. This means that the sadness or joy engendered by the dream renders the actual fulfillment of the dream superfluous. Similarly, Rav Yosef said: Even for me, the joy of a good dream negates it. Even Rav Yosef, who was blind and ill, derived such pleasure from a good dream that it was never actually realized. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream is worse than lashes, as it is stated: “God has so made it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), and Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That is a bad dream that causes man to fear.

הנביא אשר אתו חלום יספר חלום ואשר דברי אתו ידבר דברי אמת מה לתבן את הבר נאם ה׳ וכי מה ענין בר ותבן אצל חלום אלא אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי כשם שאי אפשר לבר בלא תבן כך אי אפשר לחלום בלא דברים בטלים

With regard to the verse: “The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What has the straw to do with the grain? says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:28), the Gemara asks: What do straw and grain have to do with a dream? Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai: Just as it is impossible for the grain to grow without straw, so too it is impossible to dream without idle matters. Even a dream that will be fulfilled in the future contains some element of nonsense.

אמר רבי ברכיה חלום אף על פי שמקצתו מתקיים כולו אינו מתקיים מנא לן מיוסף דכתיב והנה השמש והירח וגו׳

On a similar note, Rabbi Berekhya said: Even though part of a dream is fulfilled, all of it is not fulfilled. From where do we derive this? From the story of Joseph’s dream, as it is written: “And he said: Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon

וההיא שעתא אמיה לא הות

and eleven stars bowed down to me” (Genesis 37:9), and at that time his mother was no longer alive. According to the interpretation of the dream, the moon symbolizes Joseph’s mother. Even this dream that was ultimately fulfilled contained an element that was not fulfilled.

אמר רבי לוי לעולם יצפה אדם לחלום טוב עד עשרים ושתים שנה מנלן מיוסף דכתיב אלה תלדות יעקב יוסף בן שבע עשרה שנה וגו׳ וכתיב ויוסף בן שלשים שנה בעמדו לפני פרעה וגו׳ מן שבסרי עד תלתין כמה הוי תלת סרי ושב דשבעא ותרתי דכפנא הא עשרים ושתים

From the same source, Rabbi Levi said: One should always anticipate fulfillment of a good dream up to twenty-two years after the dream. From where do we derive this? From Joseph, as it is written in the story of Joseph’s dream: “These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren” (Genesis 37:2); and it is written: “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh King of Egypt” (Genesis 41:46). From seventeen to thirty how many years are they? Thirteen; and add seven years of plenty and two of famine; the total is twenty-two and only then was the dream fulfilled when his brothers came and bowed down to him.

אמר רב הונא לאדם טוב אין מראין לו חלום טוב ולאדם רע אין מראין לו חלום רע

Rav Huna said: A good person is not shown a good dream and a wicked person is not shown a bad dream; rather, a good person is punished for his relatively few transgressions with bad dreams and a wicked person is rewarded for his relatively few merits with good dreams.

תניא נמי הכי כל שנותיו של דוד לא ראה חלום טוב וכל שנותיו של אחיתופל לא ראה חלום רע

That was also taught in a baraita: All of King David’s life he never saw a good dream, and all of Ahitophel’s life he never saw a bad dream.

והכתיב לא תאנה אליך רעה ואמר רב חסדא אמר רב ירמיה בר אבא שלא יבהילוך לא חלומות רעים ולא הרהורים רעים ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא תמצא אשתך ספק נדה בשעה שאתה בא מן הדרך אלא איהו לא חזי ליה אחריני חזו ליה

The Gemara raises a difficulty: Is it not written: “No evil shall befall you, neither shall any plague come near your tent” (Psalms 91:10)? And Rav Ḥisda said that Rav Yirmeya bar Abba said in explanation of that verse: This means that you will be frightened neither by bad dreams nor by evil thoughts. Neither shall any plague come near your tent, means that you will never find your wife with the uncertain status of a menstruating woman when you return from a journey. This proves that it is impossible that a righteous person will experience bad dreams throughout his life. Rather, one might say that he does not see bad dreams; others see bad dreams about him.

וכי לא חזא איהו מעליותא הוא והאמר רבי זעירא כל הלן שבעה ימים בלא חלום נקרא רע שנאמר ושבע ילין בל יפקד רע אל תקרי שבע אלא שבע אלא הכי קאמר דחזא ולא ידע מאי חזא

The Gemara asks: And when he does not see a dream, is that a virtue? Didn’t Rabbi Zeira say: Anyone who sleeps seven days without a dream is called evil, as it indicates that God does not wish to appear to him even in that indirect manner. Allusion to this is, as it is stated: “And he that has it shall lie satisfied [vesave’a], he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23). The Sages said: Do not read it as satisfied [vesave’a], rather read it as seven [vesheva], which is an allusion to the fact that one who sleeps seven times and does not experience a dream is considered evil. Rather, one must say that David saw dreams and the baraita says as follows: David certainly saw dreams, but he did not understand what he saw.

אמר רב הונא בר אמי אמר רבי פדת אמר רבי יוחנן הרואה חלום ונפשו עגומה ילך ויפתרנו בפני שלשה יפתרנו והאמר רב חסדא חלמא דלא מפשר כאגרתא דלא מקריא אלא אימא יטיבנו בפני שלשה ליתי תלתא ולימא להו חלמא טבא חזאי ולימרו ליה הנך טבא הוא וטבא ליהוי רחמנא לשוייה לטב שבע זימנין לגזרו עלך מן שמיא דלהוי טבא ויהוי טבא ולימרו שלש הפוכות ושלש פדויות ושלש שלומות

Rav Huna bar Ami said that Rabbi Pedat said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One who sees a dream from which his soul is distraught, should go and have it interpreted before three. The Gemara is surprised by this: Interpreted? Didn’t Rav Ḥisda say: A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read? If one is concerned about a dream, why would he actively promote its fulfillment? Rather, say as follows: He should better it before three. He should bring three people and say to them: I saw a good dream. And they should say to him: It is good, and let it be good, may God make it good. May they decree upon you from heaven seven times that it will be good, and it will be good. Afterwards they recite three verses of transformation from bad to good, three verses of redemption, and three verses which mention peace.

שלש הפוכות הפכת מספדי למחול לי פתחת שקי ותאזרני שמחה אז תשמח בתולה במחול ובחרים וזקנים יחדו והפכתי אבלם לששון וגו׳ ולא אבה ה׳ אלהיך לשמע אל בלעם ויהפך וגו׳

The Gemara elaborates: Three transformations:
“You transformed my mourning into dancing;
You loosed my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness” (Psalms 30:12);
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together;
for I will transform their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:12);
and: “Nevertheless the Lord your God would not hearken unto Balaam;
but the Lord your God transformed the curse into a blessing unto you” (Deuteronomy 23:6).

שלש פדויות דכתיב פדה בשלום נפשי מקרב לי וגו׳ ופדויי ה׳ ישבון וגו׳ ויאמר העם אל שאול היונתן ימות אשר עשה הישועה וגו׳

And three redemptions, as it is written:
“He has redeemed my soul in peace so that none came near me; for they were many that strove with me” (Psalms 55:19);
“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10);
and: “The people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel?
So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not” (I Samuel 14:45).

שלש שלומות דכתיב בורא ניב שפתים שלום שלום לרחוק ולקרוב אמר ה׳ ורפאתיו ורוח לבשה את עמשי וגו׳ ואמרתם כה לחי ואתה שלום וביתך שלום וגו׳

And three mentions of peace, as it is written:
“Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, says the Lord that creates the expression of the lips; and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:19);
“Then the spirit clothed Amasai, who was chief of the captains: Yours are we, David, and on your side, you son of Yishai;
peace, peace be unto you, and peace be to your helpers” (I Chronicles 12:19);
and: “Thus you shall say: All hail and peace be both unto you,
and peace be to your house, and peace be unto all that you have” (I Samuel 25:6).

אמימר ומר זוטרא ורב אשי הוו יתבי בהדי הדדי אמרי כל חד וחד מינן לימא מלתא דלא שמיע ליה לחבריה פתח חד מינייהו ואמר האי מאן דחזא חלמא ולא ידע מאי חזא ליקום קמי כהני בעידנא דפרסי ידייהו ולימא הכי רבונו של עולם אני שלך וחלומותי שלך חלום חלמתי ואיני יודע מה הוא בין שחלמתי אני לעצמי ובין שחלמו לי חבירי ובין שחלמתי על אחרים אם טובים הם חזקם ואמצם כחלומותיו של יוסף ואם צריכים רפואה רפאם כמי מרה על ידי משה רבינו וכמרים מצרעתה וכחזקיה מחליו וכמי יריחו על ידי אלישע וכשם שהפכת קללת בלעם הרשע לברכה כן הפוך כל חלומותי עלי לטובה ומסיים בהדי כהני דעני צבורא אמן ואי לא לימא הכי אדיר במרום שוכן בגבורה אתה שלום ושמך שלום יהי רצון מלפניך שתשים עלינו שלום

The Gemara relates: Ameimar and Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi were sitting together. They said: Let each and every one of us say something that the other has not heard. One of them began and said: One who saw a dream and does not know what he saw should stand before the priests when they lift their hands during the Priestly Blessing and say the following:
Master of the Universe, I am Yours and my dreams are Yours,
I dreamed a dream and I do not know what it is.
Whether I have dreamed of myself, whether my friends have dreamed of me or whether I have dreamed of others,
if the dreams are good, strengthen them and reinforce them like the dreams of Joseph.
And if the dreams require healing,
heal them like the bitter waters of Mara by Moses our teacher, and like Miriam from her leprosy,
and like Hezekiah from his illness, and like the bitter waters of Jericho by Elisha.
And just as You transformed the curse of Balaam the wicked into a blessing,
so transform all of my dreams for me for the best.
And he should complete his prayer together with the priests so the congregation responds amen both to the blessing of the priests and to his individual request. And if he is not able to recite this entire formula, he should say:
Majestic One on high, Who dwells in power,
You are peace and Your name is peace.
May it be Your will that You bestow upon us peace.

פתח אידך ואמר האי מאן דעייל למתא ודחיל מעינא בישא לנקוט זקפא דידא דימיניה בידא דשמאליה וזקפא דידא דשמאליה בידא דימיניה ולימא הכי אנא פלוני בר פלוני מזרעא דיוסף קאתינא דלא שלטא ביה עינא בישא שנאמר בן פרת יוסף בן פרת עלי עין וגו׳ אל תקרי עלי עין אלא עולי עין רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא אמר מהכא וידגו לרב בקרב הארץ מה דגים שבים מים מכסים עליהם ואין עין רעה שולטת בהם אף זרעו של יוסף אין עין רעה שולטת בהם ואי דחיל מעינא בישא דיליה ליחזי אטרפא דנחיריה דשמאליה

Another began and said: One who enters a city and fears the evil eye should hold the thumb [zekafa] of his right hand in his left hand and the thumb of his left hand in his right hand and recite the following: I, so-and-so son of so-and-so, come from the descendants of Joseph, over whom the evil eye has no dominion, as it is stated: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain [alei ayin]; its branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22). Do not read it as alei ayin; but rather, read it as olei ayin, who rise above the eye and the evil eye has no dominion over him. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: Derive it from here, from what is stated in Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons: “And let them grow like fish into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Genesis 48:16): Just as fish in the sea are covered by water and the evil eye has no dominion over them as they cannot be seen, so too the offspring of Joseph, the evil eye has no dominion over them. And if he is concerned about his own evil eye, lest it damage others, he should look at the side of his left nostril.

פתח אידך ואמר האי מאן דחליש יומא קמא לא לגלי כי היכי דלא לתרע מזליה מכאן ואילך לגלי כי הא דרבא כי הוה חליש יומא קמא לא מגלי מכאן ואילך אמר ליה לשמעיה פוק אכריז רבא חלש מאן דרחים לי לבעי עלי רחמי ומאן דסני לי לחדי לי וכתיב בנפל אויבך אל תשמח ובכשלו אל יגל לבך פן יראה ה׳ ורע בעיניו והשיב מעליו אפו

Another began and said: One who is sick should not reveal it on the first day of his illness so that his luck should not suffer; from there on he may reveal it. Like that which Rava does when he falls ill; on the first day he does not reveal it, from there on he says to his servant: Go out and announce: Rava is sick. Those who love me will pray that God have mercy on me and those who hate me will rejoice over my distress. And it is written: “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him” (Proverbs 24:17–18). The joy of my enemy over my distress will also assist my healing.

שמואל כי הוה חזי חלמא בישא אמר וחלמות השוא ידברו כי הוה חזי חלמא טבא אמר וכי החלומות השוא ידברו והכתיב בחלום אדבר בו

The Gemara relates: Shmuel, when he would see a bad dream, would say: “And the dreams speak falsely” (Zechariah 10:2). When he would see a good dream, he would say: And do dreams speak falsely? Isn’t it written: “I speak with him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6)?

רבא רמי כתיב בחלום אדבר בו וכתיב וחלמות השוא ידברו לא קשיא כאן על ידי מלאך כאן על ידי שד

Rava raised a contradiction between these verses: On the one hand, it is written: “I speak with him in a dream”; and on the other hand, it is written: “And the dreams speak falsely.” The Gemara resolves this contradiction: This is not difficult because there are two types of dreams. Here, the verse, “I speak with him in a dream,” refers to dreams that come by means of an angel; here, the verse, “And the dreams speak falsely,” refers to dreams that come by means of a demon.

אמר רבי ביזנא בר זבדא אמר רבי עקיבא אמר רבי פנדא אמר רב נחום אמר רבי בירים משום זקן אחד ומנו רבי בנאה עשרים וארבעה פותרי חלומות היו בירושלים פעם אחת חלמתי חלום והלכתי אצל כולם ומה שפתר לי זה לא פתר לי זה וכולם נתקיימו בי לקיים מה שנאמר כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה

In a long chain of those transmitting this statement, it is said that Rabbi Bizna bar Zavda said that Rabbi Akiva said that Rabbi Panda said that Rav Naḥum said that Rabbi Birayim said in the name of one elder, and who is he, Rabbi Bena’a: There were twenty-four interpreters of dreams in Jerusalem. One time, I dreamed a dream and went to each of them to interpret it. What one interpreted for me the other did not interpret for me, and, nevertheless, all of the interpretations were realized in me, to fulfill that which is stated: All dreams follow the mouth of the interpreter.

אטו כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה קרא הוא אין וכדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר מנין שכל החלומות הולכין אחר הפה שנאמר ויהי כאשר פתר לנו כן היה אמר רבא והוא דמפשר ליה מעין חלמיה שנאמר איש כחלמו פתר

The Gemara asks: Is that to say that all dreams follow the mouth is a verse cited as corroboration? The Gemara responds: Yes, and in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: From where is it derived that all dreams follow the mouth of the interpreter? As it is stated in the story of the dreams of Pharaoh’s two ministers. The butler said to Pharaoh: “And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was” (Genesis 41:13). Rava said, one must attach a caveat to this: This is only in a case where it is interpreted for him in a manner akin to the dream, where the interpretation is relevant to the dream, as it is stated in the story of Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh’s two ministers: “Each man according to his dream he did interpret” (Genesis 41:12).

וירא שר האפים מנא ידע אמר רבי אלעזר מלמד שכל אחד ואחד הראוהו חלומו ופתרון חלומו של חבירו

With regard to Joseph’s interpretation of these dreams, the Gemara asks, it is written: “The baker saw that the interpretation was good” (Genesis 40:16); from where did the baker know that the interpretation was good? Rabbi Elazar said: This teaches that each of them was shown his dream and the interpretation of the other’s dream. That is how he knew that it was the correct interpretation.

אמר רבי יוחנן השכים ונפל לו פסוק לתוך פיו הרי זו נבואה קטנה

With regard to the veracity of dreams, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One who awakened in the morning and a specific verse happens into his mouth, it is a minor prophecy and an indication that the content of the verse will be fulfilled.

ואמר רבי יוחנן שלשה חלומות מתקיימין חלום של שחרית וחלום שחלם לו חבירו וחלום שנפתר בתוך חלום ויש אומר אף חלום שנשנה שנאמר ועל השנות החלום וגו׳

Rabbi Yoḥanan also said: Three dreams are fulfilled: A dream of the morning, a dream that one’s fellow dreamed about him, and a dream that is interpreted within a dream. And some say that a dream that is repeated several times is also fulfilled, as it is stated: “And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Genesis 41:32).

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן אין מראין לו לאדם אלא מהרהורי לבו שנאמר אנת מלכא רעיונך על משכבך סלקו ואיבעית אימא מהכא ורעיוני לבבך תנדע אמר רבא תדע דלא מחוו ליה לאינש לא דקלא דדהבא ולא פילא דעייל בקופא דמחטא:

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: A person is shown in his dream only the thoughts of his heart when he was awake, as evidenced by what Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, as it is stated: “As for you, O king, your thoughts came upon your bed, what should come to pass hereafter” (Daniel 2:29). And if you wish, say instead that it is derived from here, a related verse: “And that you may know the thoughts of your heart” (Daniel 2:30). How will you know the thoughts of your heart? By their being revealed to you in a dream. Rava said: Know that this is the case, for one is neither shown a golden palm tree nor an elephant going through the eye of a needle in a dream. In other words, dreams only contain images that enter a person’s mind.

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If You Say You Had a Good Dream, Then Your Dream Was Good

A challenging daf, not only because it's long (this section of Berakhot has long dapim), but also because its focus...

Berakhot 55

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Berakhot 55

כל המאריך בתפלתו ומעיין בה סוף בא לידי כאב לב שנאמר תוחלת ממשכה מחלה לב ואמר רבי יצחק שלשה דברים מזכירים עונותיו של אדם ואלו הן קיר נטוי ועיון תפלה ומוסר דין על חבירו לשמים

Anyone who prolongs his prayer and expects it to be answered, will ultimately come to heartache, as it is stated: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Similarly, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Three matters evoke a person’s sins, and they are: Endangering oneself by sitting or standing next to an inclined wall that is about to collapse, expecting prayer to be accepted, as that leads to an assessment of his status and merit, and passing a case against another to Heaven, as praying for Heaven to pass judgment on another person causes one’s own deeds to be examined and compared with the deeds of that other person. This proves that prolonging prayer is a fault.

הא לא קשיא הא דמעיין בה הא דלא מעיין בה והיכי עביד דמפיש ברחמי

The Gemara resolves the apparent contradiction: This is not difficult. This, where we learned that prolonging prayer is undesirable, refers to a situation when one expects his prayer to be accepted, while this, where Rav Yehuda says that prolonging prayer prolongs one’s life, refers to a situation where one does not expect his prayer to be accepted. How does he prolong his prayer? By increasing his supplication.

והמאריך על שלחנו דלמא אתי עניא ויהיב ליה דכתיב המזבח עץ שלוש אמות גבה וכתיב וידבר אלי זה השלחן אשר לפני ה׳ פתח במזבח וסיים בשלחן רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר דאמרי תרוייהו כל זמן שבית המקדש קיים מזבח מכפר על ישראל ועכשיו שלחנו של אדם מכפר עליו

As for the virtue of prolonging one’s mealtime at the table, which Rav Yehuda mentioned, the Gemara explains: Perhaps a poor person will come during the meal and the host will be in a position to give him food immediately, without forcing the poor person to wait. The Sages elsewhere praised a person who acts appropriately at a meal, as it is written: “The altar, three cubits high and the length thereof, two cubits, was of wood, and so the corners thereof; the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were also of wood” (Ezekiel 41:22), and it is written in the continuation of that verse: “And he said unto me: This is the table that is before the Lord.” The language of this verse is difficult, as it begins with the altar and concludes with the table. Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar both say: As long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel’s transgressions. Now that it is destroyed, a person’s table atones for his transgressions.

והמאריך בבית הכסא מעליותא הוא והתניא עשרה דברים מביאין את האדם לידי תחתוניות האוכל עלי קנים ועלי גפנים ולולבי גפנים ומוריגי בהמה ושדרו של דג ודג מליח שאינו מבושל כל צרכו והשותה שמרי יין והמקנח בסיד ובחרסית והמקנח בצרור שקנח בו חברו ויש אומרים אף התולה עצמו בבית הכסא יותר מדאי

With regard to what Rav Yehuda said in praise of one who prolongs his time in the bathroom, the Gemara asks: Is that a virtue? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Ten things bring a person to suffer from hemorrhoids: One who eats the leaves of bulrushes, grape leaves, tendrils of grapevines, the palate and tongue of an animal, as well as any other part of the animal which is not smooth and which has protrusions, the spine of a fish, a salty fish that is not fully cooked, and one who drinks wine dregs, and one who wipes himself with lime and clay, the materials from which earthenware is made, and one who wipes himself with a stone with which another person wiped himself. And some say: One who suspends himself too much in the bathroom as well. This proves that prolonging one’s time in the bathroom is harmful.

לא קשיא הא דמאריך ותלי הא דמאריך ולא תלי

The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This baraita, which teaches that doing so is harmful, refers to where one prolongs his time there and suspends himself, while this statement of Rav Yehuda refers to where one prolongs his time there and does not suspend himself.

כי הא דאמרה ליה ההיא מטרוניתא לרבי יהודה ברבי אלעאי פניך דומים למגדלי חזירים ולמלוי ברבית אמר לה הימנותא לדידי תרוייהו אסירן אלא עשרים וארבעה בית הכסא איכא מאושפיזאי לבי מדרשא דכי אזילנא בדיקנא נפשאי בכולהו

The Gemara relates the benefits of prolonging one’s time in the bathroom. Like that incident when a matron [matronita] said to Rabbi Yehuda son of Rabbi El’ai: Your face is fat and full, like the faces of pig farmers and usurers who do not work hard and who make a plentiful living. He said to her: Honestly, those two occupations are prohibited to me; rather, why is it that my face is nice? Because there are twenty-four bathrooms between my lodging and the study hall, and when I walk I stop and examine myself in all of them.

ואמר רב יהודה שלשה דברים מקצרים ימיו ושנותיו של אדם מי שנותנין לו ספר תורה לקרות ואינו קורא כוס של ברכה לברך ואינו מברך והמנהיג עצמו ברבנות

And Rav Yehuda said: Three things curtail a person’s days and years: One who is invited and given the Torah scroll to read and he does not read, one who is given a cup of blessing over which to recite a blessing and he does not recite a blessing, and one who conducts himself with an air of superiority.

ספר תורה לקרות ואינו קורא דכתיב כי הוא חייך וארך ימיך כוס של ברכה לברך ואינו מברך דכתיב ואברכה מברכיך והמנהיג עצמו ברבנות דאמר רבי חמא בר חנינא מפני מה מת יוסף קודם לאחיו מפני שהנהיג עצמו ברבנות:

The Gemara details the biblical sources for these cases: One who is given the Torah scroll to read and he does not read, as it is written of the Torah: “It is your life and the length of your days” (Deuteronomy 30:20). A cup of blessing over which to recite a blessing and he does not recite a blessing, as it is written: “I will bless them that bless you” (Genesis 12:3); one who blesses is blessed and one who does not bless does not merit a blessing. And with regard to one who conducts himself with an air of superiority, as Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: Why did Joseph die before his brothers, as evidenced by the order in the verse: “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation” (Exodus 1:6)? Because he conducted himself with an air of superiority, and those who did not serve in a leadership role lived on after he died.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב שלשה צריכים רחמים מלך טוב שנה טובה וחלום טוב מלך טוב דכתיב פלגי מים לב מלך ביד ה׳ שנה טובה דכתיב תמיד עיני ה׳ אלהיך בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה חלום טוב דכתיב ותחלימני ותחייני:

Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: Three matters require a plea for mercy to bring them about: A good king, a good year, and a good dream. These three, kings, years, and dreams, are all bestowed by God and one must pray that they should be positive and constructive. The Gemara enumerates the sources for these cases: A good king, as it is written: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord as the watercourses: He turns it whithersoever He will” (Proverbs 21:1). A good year, as it is written: “The eyes of the Lord, thy God, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12). And a good dream, as it is written: “O Lord, by these things men live, and altogether therein is the life of my spirit; wherefore You will recover me [vataḥlimeni], and make me to live” (Isaiah 38:16). Due to their apparent etymological similarity, the word taḥlimeni is interpreted as deriving from the word ḥalom, dream.

אמר רבי יוחנן שלשה דברים מכריז עליהם הקדוש ברוך הוא בעצמו ואלו הן רעב ושובע ופרנס טוב רעב דכתיב כי קרא ה׳ לרעב וגו׳ שובע דכתיב וקראתי אל הדגן והרביתי אתו פרנס טוב דכתיב ויאמר ה׳ אל משה לאמר ראה קראתי בשם בצלאל וגו׳

Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Three matters are proclaimed by the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself: Famine, plenty, and a good leader. The Gemara enumerates the sources for these cases: Famine, as it is written: “For the Lord has called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years” (II Kings 8:1). Plenty, as it is written: “And I will call for the grain, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you” (Ezekiel 36:29). And a good leader, as it is written: “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: See, I have called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Exodus 31:1–2).

אמר רבי יצחק אין מעמידין פרנס על הצבור אלא אם כן נמלכים בצבור שנאמר ראו קרא ה׳ בשם בצלאל אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה משה הגון עליך בצלאל אמר לו רבונו של עולם אם לפניך הגון לפני לא כל שכן אמר לו אף על פי כן לך אמור להם הלך ואמר להם לישראל הגון עליכם בצלאל אמרו לו אם לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא ולפניך הוא הגון לפנינו לא כל שכן

With regard to Bezalel’s appointment, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: One may only appoint a leader over a community if he consults with the community and they agree to the appointment, as it is stated: “And Moses said unto the children of Israel: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Exodus 35:30). The Lord said to Moses: Moses, is Bezalel a suitable appointment in your eyes? Moses said to Him: Master of the universe, if he is a suitable appointment in Your eyes, then all the more so in my eyes. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Nevertheless, go and tell Israel and ask their opinion. Moses went and said to Israel: Is Bezalel suitable in your eyes? They said to him: If he is suitable in the eyes of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and in your eyes, all the more so he is suitable in our eyes.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן בצלאל על שם חכמתו נקרא בשעה שאמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשה לך אמור לו לבצלאל עשה לי משכן ארון וכלים הלך משה והפך ואמר לו עשה ארון וכלים ומשכן אמר לו משה רבינו מנהגו של עולם אדם בונה בית ואחר כך מכניס לתוכו כלים ואתה אומר עשה לי ארון וכלים ומשכן כלים שאני עושה להיכן אכניסם שמא כך אמר לך הקדוש ברוך הוא עשה משכן ארון וכלים אמר לו שמא בצל אל היית וידעת

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Bezalel was called by that name on account of his wisdom. When the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: Go say to Bezalel, “Make a tabernacle, an ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 31:7–11), Moses went and reversed the order and told Bezalel: “Make an ark, and vessels, and a tabernacle” (see Exodus 25–26). He said to Moses: Moses, our teacher, the standard practice throughout the world is that a person builds a house and only afterward places the vessels in the house, and you say to me: Make an ark, and vessels, and a tabernacle. If I do so in the order you have commanded, the vessels that I make, where shall I put them? Perhaps God told you the following: “Make a tabernacle, ark, and vessels” (see Exodus 36). Moses said to Bezalel: Perhaps you were in God’s shadow [betzel El], and you knew precisely what He said. You intuited God’s commands just as He stated them, as if you were there.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב יודע היה בצלאל לצרף אותיות שנבראו בהן שמים וארץ כתיב הכא וימלא אתו רוח אלהים בחכמה ובתבונה ובדעת וכתיב התם ה׳ בחכמה יסד ארץ כונן שמים בתבונה וכתיב בדעתו תהומות נבקעו

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Bezalel knew how to join the letters with which heaven and earth were created. From where do we derive this? It is written here in praise of Bezalel: “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3); and it is written there with regard to creation of heaven and earth: “The Lord, by wisdom, founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19), and it is written: “By His knowledge the depths were broken up and the skies drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:20). We see that wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, the qualities with which the heavens and earth were created, are all found in Bezalel.

אמר רבי יוחנן אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נותן חכמה אלא למי שיש בו חכמה שנאמר יהב חכמתא לחכימין ומנדעא לידעי בינה שמע רב תחליפא בר מערבא ואמרה קמיה דרבי אבהו אמר ליה אתון מהתם מתניתו לה אנן מהכא מתנינן לה דכתיב ובלב כל חכם לב נתתי חכמה:

On a similar note, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, only grants wisdom to one who already possesses wisdom, as it is stated: “He gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to they who know understanding” (Daniel 2:21). Rav Taḥalifa, from the West, Eretz Yisrael, heard this and repeated it before Rabbi Abbahu. Rabbi Abbahu said to him: You learned proof for this idea from there; we learn it from here: As it is written in praise of the builders of the Tabernacle: “And in the hearts of all who are wise-hearted I have placed wisdom” (Exodus 31:6).

אמר רב חסדא כל חלום ולא טוות ואמר רב חסדא חלמא דלא מפשר כאגרתא דלא מקריא ואמר רב חסדא לא חלמא טבא מקיים כוליה ולא חלמא בישא מקיים כוליה ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא עדיף מחלמא טבא ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא עציבותיה מסתייה חלמא טבא חדוייה מסתייה אמר רב יוסף חלמא טבא אפילו לדידי בדיחותיה מפכחא ליה ואמר רב חסדא חלמא בישא קשה מנגדא שנאמר והאלהים עשה שיראו מלפניו ואמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן זה חלום רע

Related to what was stated above, that one should pray for a good dream, the Gemara cites additional maxims concerning dreams and their interpretation. Rav Ḥisda said: One should see any dream, and not a fast. In other words, any dream is preferable to a dream during a fast. And Rav Ḥisda said: A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read. As long as it is not interpreted it cannot be fulfilled; the interpretation of a dream creates its meaning. And Rav Ḥisda said: A good dream is not entirely fulfilled and a bad dream is not entirely fulfilled. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream is preferable to a good dream, as a bad dream causes one to feel remorse and to repent. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream, his sadness is enough for him; a good dream, his joy is enough for him. This means that the sadness or joy engendered by the dream renders the actual fulfillment of the dream superfluous. Similarly, Rav Yosef said: Even for me, the joy of a good dream negates it. Even Rav Yosef, who was blind and ill, derived such pleasure from a good dream that it was never actually realized. And Rav Ḥisda said: A bad dream is worse than lashes, as it is stated: “God has so made it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), and Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That is a bad dream that causes man to fear.

הנביא אשר אתו חלום יספר חלום ואשר דברי אתו ידבר דברי אמת מה לתבן את הבר נאם ה׳ וכי מה ענין בר ותבן אצל חלום אלא אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי כשם שאי אפשר לבר בלא תבן כך אי אפשר לחלום בלא דברים בטלים

With regard to the verse: “The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What has the straw to do with the grain? says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:28), the Gemara asks: What do straw and grain have to do with a dream? Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai: Just as it is impossible for the grain to grow without straw, so too it is impossible to dream without idle matters. Even a dream that will be fulfilled in the future contains some element of nonsense.

אמר רבי ברכיה חלום אף על פי שמקצתו מתקיים כולו אינו מתקיים מנא לן מיוסף דכתיב והנה השמש והירח וגו׳

On a similar note, Rabbi Berekhya said: Even though part of a dream is fulfilled, all of it is not fulfilled. From where do we derive this? From the story of Joseph’s dream, as it is written: “And he said: Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon

וההיא שעתא אמיה לא הות

and eleven stars bowed down to me” (Genesis 37:9), and at that time his mother was no longer alive. According to the interpretation of the dream, the moon symbolizes Joseph’s mother. Even this dream that was ultimately fulfilled contained an element that was not fulfilled.

אמר רבי לוי לעולם יצפה אדם לחלום טוב עד עשרים ושתים שנה מנלן מיוסף דכתיב אלה תלדות יעקב יוסף בן שבע עשרה שנה וגו׳ וכתיב ויוסף בן שלשים שנה בעמדו לפני פרעה וגו׳ מן שבסרי עד תלתין כמה הוי תלת סרי ושב דשבעא ותרתי דכפנא הא עשרים ושתים

From the same source, Rabbi Levi said: One should always anticipate fulfillment of a good dream up to twenty-two years after the dream. From where do we derive this? From Joseph, as it is written in the story of Joseph’s dream: “These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren” (Genesis 37:2); and it is written: “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh King of Egypt” (Genesis 41:46). From seventeen to thirty how many years are they? Thirteen; and add seven years of plenty and two of famine; the total is twenty-two and only then was the dream fulfilled when his brothers came and bowed down to him.

אמר רב הונא לאדם טוב אין מראין לו חלום טוב ולאדם רע אין מראין לו חלום רע

Rav Huna said: A good person is not shown a good dream and a wicked person is not shown a bad dream; rather, a good person is punished for his relatively few transgressions with bad dreams and a wicked person is rewarded for his relatively few merits with good dreams.

תניא נמי הכי כל שנותיו של דוד לא ראה חלום טוב וכל שנותיו של אחיתופל לא ראה חלום רע

That was also taught in a baraita: All of King David’s life he never saw a good dream, and all of Ahitophel’s life he never saw a bad dream.

והכתיב לא תאנה אליך רעה ואמר רב חסדא אמר רב ירמיה בר אבא שלא יבהילוך לא חלומות רעים ולא הרהורים רעים ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא תמצא אשתך ספק נדה בשעה שאתה בא מן הדרך אלא איהו לא חזי ליה אחריני חזו ליה

The Gemara raises a difficulty: Is it not written: “No evil shall befall you, neither shall any plague come near your tent” (Psalms 91:10)? And Rav Ḥisda said that Rav Yirmeya bar Abba said in explanation of that verse: This means that you will be frightened neither by bad dreams nor by evil thoughts. Neither shall any plague come near your tent, means that you will never find your wife with the uncertain status of a menstruating woman when you return from a journey. This proves that it is impossible that a righteous person will experience bad dreams throughout his life. Rather, one might say that he does not see bad dreams; others see bad dreams about him.

וכי לא חזא איהו מעליותא הוא והאמר רבי זעירא כל הלן שבעה ימים בלא חלום נקרא רע שנאמר ושבע ילין בל יפקד רע אל תקרי שבע אלא שבע אלא הכי קאמר דחזא ולא ידע מאי חזא

The Gemara asks: And when he does not see a dream, is that a virtue? Didn’t Rabbi Zeira say: Anyone who sleeps seven days without a dream is called evil, as it indicates that God does not wish to appear to him even in that indirect manner. Allusion to this is, as it is stated: “And he that has it shall lie satisfied [vesave’a], he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23). The Sages said: Do not read it as satisfied [vesave’a], rather read it as seven [vesheva], which is an allusion to the fact that one who sleeps seven times and does not experience a dream is considered evil. Rather, one must say that David saw dreams and the baraita says as follows: David certainly saw dreams, but he did not understand what he saw.

אמר רב הונא בר אמי אמר רבי פדת אמר רבי יוחנן הרואה חלום ונפשו עגומה ילך ויפתרנו בפני שלשה יפתרנו והאמר רב חסדא חלמא דלא מפשר כאגרתא דלא מקריא אלא אימא יטיבנו בפני שלשה ליתי תלתא ולימא להו חלמא טבא חזאי ולימרו ליה הנך טבא הוא וטבא ליהוי רחמנא לשוייה לטב שבע זימנין לגזרו עלך מן שמיא דלהוי טבא ויהוי טבא ולימרו שלש הפוכות ושלש פדויות ושלש שלומות

Rav Huna bar Ami said that Rabbi Pedat said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One who sees a dream from which his soul is distraught, should go and have it interpreted before three. The Gemara is surprised by this: Interpreted? Didn’t Rav Ḥisda say: A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read? If one is concerned about a dream, why would he actively promote its fulfillment? Rather, say as follows: He should better it before three. He should bring three people and say to them: I saw a good dream. And they should say to him: It is good, and let it be good, may God make it good. May they decree upon you from heaven seven times that it will be good, and it will be good. Afterwards they recite three verses of transformation from bad to good, three verses of redemption, and three verses which mention peace.

שלש הפוכות הפכת מספדי למחול לי פתחת שקי ותאזרני שמחה אז תשמח בתולה במחול ובחרים וזקנים יחדו והפכתי אבלם לששון וגו׳ ולא אבה ה׳ אלהיך לשמע אל בלעם ויהפך וגו׳

The Gemara elaborates: Three transformations:
“You transformed my mourning into dancing;
You loosed my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness” (Psalms 30:12);
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together;
for I will transform their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:12);
and: “Nevertheless the Lord your God would not hearken unto Balaam;
but the Lord your God transformed the curse into a blessing unto you” (Deuteronomy 23:6).

שלש פדויות דכתיב פדה בשלום נפשי מקרב לי וגו׳ ופדויי ה׳ ישבון וגו׳ ויאמר העם אל שאול היונתן ימות אשר עשה הישועה וגו׳

And three redemptions, as it is written:
“He has redeemed my soul in peace so that none came near me; for they were many that strove with me” (Psalms 55:19);
“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10);
and: “The people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel?
So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not” (I Samuel 14:45).

שלש שלומות דכתיב בורא ניב שפתים שלום שלום לרחוק ולקרוב אמר ה׳ ורפאתיו ורוח לבשה את עמשי וגו׳ ואמרתם כה לחי ואתה שלום וביתך שלום וגו׳

And three mentions of peace, as it is written:
“Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, says the Lord that creates the expression of the lips; and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:19);
“Then the spirit clothed Amasai, who was chief of the captains: Yours are we, David, and on your side, you son of Yishai;
peace, peace be unto you, and peace be to your helpers” (I Chronicles 12:19);
and: “Thus you shall say: All hail and peace be both unto you,
and peace be to your house, and peace be unto all that you have” (I Samuel 25:6).

אמימר ומר זוטרא ורב אשי הוו יתבי בהדי הדדי אמרי כל חד וחד מינן לימא מלתא דלא שמיע ליה לחבריה פתח חד מינייהו ואמר האי מאן דחזא חלמא ולא ידע מאי חזא ליקום קמי כהני בעידנא דפרסי ידייהו ולימא הכי רבונו של עולם אני שלך וחלומותי שלך חלום חלמתי ואיני יודע מה הוא בין שחלמתי אני לעצמי ובין שחלמו לי חבירי ובין שחלמתי על אחרים אם טובים הם חזקם ואמצם כחלומותיו של יוסף ואם צריכים רפואה רפאם כמי מרה על ידי משה רבינו וכמרים מצרעתה וכחזקיה מחליו וכמי יריחו על ידי אלישע וכשם שהפכת קללת בלעם הרשע לברכה כן הפוך כל חלומותי עלי לטובה ומסיים בהדי כהני דעני צבורא אמן ואי לא לימא הכי אדיר במרום שוכן בגבורה אתה שלום ושמך שלום יהי רצון מלפניך שתשים עלינו שלום

The Gemara relates: Ameimar and Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi were sitting together. They said: Let each and every one of us say something that the other has not heard. One of them began and said: One who saw a dream and does not know what he saw should stand before the priests when they lift their hands during the Priestly Blessing and say the following:
Master of the Universe, I am Yours and my dreams are Yours,
I dreamed a dream and I do not know what it is.
Whether I have dreamed of myself, whether my friends have dreamed of me or whether I have dreamed of others,
if the dreams are good, strengthen them and reinforce them like the dreams of Joseph.
And if the dreams require healing,
heal them like the bitter waters of Mara by Moses our teacher, and like Miriam from her leprosy,
and like Hezekiah from his illness, and like the bitter waters of Jericho by Elisha.
And just as You transformed the curse of Balaam the wicked into a blessing,
so transform all of my dreams for me for the best.
And he should complete his prayer together with the priests so the congregation responds amen both to the blessing of the priests and to his individual request. And if he is not able to recite this entire formula, he should say:
Majestic One on high, Who dwells in power,
You are peace and Your name is peace.
May it be Your will that You bestow upon us peace.

פתח אידך ואמר האי מאן דעייל למתא ודחיל מעינא בישא לנקוט זקפא דידא דימיניה בידא דשמאליה וזקפא דידא דשמאליה בידא דימיניה ולימא הכי אנא פלוני בר פלוני מזרעא דיוסף קאתינא דלא שלטא ביה עינא בישא שנאמר בן פרת יוסף בן פרת עלי עין וגו׳ אל תקרי עלי עין אלא עולי עין רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא אמר מהכא וידגו לרב בקרב הארץ מה דגים שבים מים מכסים עליהם ואין עין רעה שולטת בהם אף זרעו של יוסף אין עין רעה שולטת בהם ואי דחיל מעינא בישא דיליה ליחזי אטרפא דנחיריה דשמאליה

Another began and said: One who enters a city and fears the evil eye should hold the thumb [zekafa] of his right hand in his left hand and the thumb of his left hand in his right hand and recite the following: I, so-and-so son of so-and-so, come from the descendants of Joseph, over whom the evil eye has no dominion, as it is stated: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain [alei ayin]; its branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22). Do not read it as alei ayin; but rather, read it as olei ayin, who rise above the eye and the evil eye has no dominion over him. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: Derive it from here, from what is stated in Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons: “And let them grow like fish into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Genesis 48:16): Just as fish in the sea are covered by water and the evil eye has no dominion over them as they cannot be seen, so too the offspring of Joseph, the evil eye has no dominion over them. And if he is concerned about his own evil eye, lest it damage others, he should look at the side of his left nostril.

פתח אידך ואמר האי מאן דחליש יומא קמא לא לגלי כי היכי דלא לתרע מזליה מכאן ואילך לגלי כי הא דרבא כי הוה חליש יומא קמא לא מגלי מכאן ואילך אמר ליה לשמעיה פוק אכריז רבא חלש מאן דרחים לי לבעי עלי רחמי ומאן דסני לי לחדי לי וכתיב בנפל אויבך אל תשמח ובכשלו אל יגל לבך פן יראה ה׳ ורע בעיניו והשיב מעליו אפו

Another began and said: One who is sick should not reveal it on the first day of his illness so that his luck should not suffer; from there on he may reveal it. Like that which Rava does when he falls ill; on the first day he does not reveal it, from there on he says to his servant: Go out and announce: Rava is sick. Those who love me will pray that God have mercy on me and those who hate me will rejoice over my distress. And it is written: “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him” (Proverbs 24:17–18). The joy of my enemy over my distress will also assist my healing.

שמואל כי הוה חזי חלמא בישא אמר וחלמות השוא ידברו כי הוה חזי חלמא טבא אמר וכי החלומות השוא ידברו והכתיב בחלום אדבר בו

The Gemara relates: Shmuel, when he would see a bad dream, would say: “And the dreams speak falsely” (Zechariah 10:2). When he would see a good dream, he would say: And do dreams speak falsely? Isn’t it written: “I speak with him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6)?

רבא רמי כתיב בחלום אדבר בו וכתיב וחלמות השוא ידברו לא קשיא כאן על ידי מלאך כאן על ידי שד

Rava raised a contradiction between these verses: On the one hand, it is written: “I speak with him in a dream”; and on the other hand, it is written: “And the dreams speak falsely.” The Gemara resolves this contradiction: This is not difficult because there are two types of dreams. Here, the verse, “I speak with him in a dream,” refers to dreams that come by means of an angel; here, the verse, “And the dreams speak falsely,” refers to dreams that come by means of a demon.

אמר רבי ביזנא בר זבדא אמר רבי עקיבא אמר רבי פנדא אמר רב נחום אמר רבי בירים משום זקן אחד ומנו רבי בנאה עשרים וארבעה פותרי חלומות היו בירושלים פעם אחת חלמתי חלום והלכתי אצל כולם ומה שפתר לי זה לא פתר לי זה וכולם נתקיימו בי לקיים מה שנאמר כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה

In a long chain of those transmitting this statement, it is said that Rabbi Bizna bar Zavda said that Rabbi Akiva said that Rabbi Panda said that Rav Naḥum said that Rabbi Birayim said in the name of one elder, and who is he, Rabbi Bena’a: There were twenty-four interpreters of dreams in Jerusalem. One time, I dreamed a dream and went to each of them to interpret it. What one interpreted for me the other did not interpret for me, and, nevertheless, all of the interpretations were realized in me, to fulfill that which is stated: All dreams follow the mouth of the interpreter.

אטו כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה קרא הוא אין וכדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר מנין שכל החלומות הולכין אחר הפה שנאמר ויהי כאשר פתר לנו כן היה אמר רבא והוא דמפשר ליה מעין חלמיה שנאמר איש כחלמו פתר

The Gemara asks: Is that to say that all dreams follow the mouth is a verse cited as corroboration? The Gemara responds: Yes, and in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: From where is it derived that all dreams follow the mouth of the interpreter? As it is stated in the story of the dreams of Pharaoh’s two ministers. The butler said to Pharaoh: “And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was” (Genesis 41:13). Rava said, one must attach a caveat to this: This is only in a case where it is interpreted for him in a manner akin to the dream, where the interpretation is relevant to the dream, as it is stated in the story of Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh’s two ministers: “Each man according to his dream he did interpret” (Genesis 41:12).

וירא שר האפים מנא ידע אמר רבי אלעזר מלמד שכל אחד ואחד הראוהו חלומו ופתרון חלומו של חבירו

With regard to Joseph’s interpretation of these dreams, the Gemara asks, it is written: “The baker saw that the interpretation was good” (Genesis 40:16); from where did the baker know that the interpretation was good? Rabbi Elazar said: This teaches that each of them was shown his dream and the interpretation of the other’s dream. That is how he knew that it was the correct interpretation.

אמר רבי יוחנן השכים ונפל לו פסוק לתוך פיו הרי זו נבואה קטנה

With regard to the veracity of dreams, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One who awakened in the morning and a specific verse happens into his mouth, it is a minor prophecy and an indication that the content of the verse will be fulfilled.

ואמר רבי יוחנן שלשה חלומות מתקיימין חלום של שחרית וחלום שחלם לו חבירו וחלום שנפתר בתוך חלום ויש אומר אף חלום שנשנה שנאמר ועל השנות החלום וגו׳

Rabbi Yoḥanan also said: Three dreams are fulfilled: A dream of the morning, a dream that one’s fellow dreamed about him, and a dream that is interpreted within a dream. And some say that a dream that is repeated several times is also fulfilled, as it is stated: “And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Genesis 41:32).

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן אין מראין לו לאדם אלא מהרהורי לבו שנאמר אנת מלכא רעיונך על משכבך סלקו ואיבעית אימא מהכא ורעיוני לבבך תנדע אמר רבא תדע דלא מחוו ליה לאינש לא דקלא דדהבא ולא פילא דעייל בקופא דמחטא:

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: A person is shown in his dream only the thoughts of his heart when he was awake, as evidenced by what Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, as it is stated: “As for you, O king, your thoughts came upon your bed, what should come to pass hereafter” (Daniel 2:29). And if you wish, say instead that it is derived from here, a related verse: “And that you may know the thoughts of your heart” (Daniel 2:30). How will you know the thoughts of your heart? By their being revealed to you in a dream. Rava said: Know that this is the case, for one is neither shown a golden palm tree nor an elephant going through the eye of a needle in a dream. In other words, dreams only contain images that enter a person’s mind.

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