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Today's Daf Yomi

February 21, 2022 | כ׳ באדר א׳ תשפ״ב

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

Chagigah 12

Today’s daf is sponsored by Geula Zamist in honor of the marriage of her daughter, Rachel Zamist to Avi Lermer and with never-ending thanks and appreciation to Rabbanit Michelle.

Today’s daf is sponsored by Leah Ackner in honor of her mother’s 74th birthday!

Today’s daf is sponsored by Marsha Levi to commemorate the shloshim of her mother Kitty Levi, Kayla bat Meir v’ Machla.

The Gemara brings all kinds of drashot on the creation of the world. Ten things were created on the first day – what are they? Was light created on the first day or the fourth day? Several drashot are brought to explain that God created certain things on a grand scale and then reduced them. What are they and why did God reduce them? Beit Hillel, Beit Shamai, and the sages disagree – was the sky created first or the earth or both at once? How do they each prove their position through both logic and verses? Rabbi Yossi described that the earth is supported by pillars, and pillars on the water, water on the mountains, mountains on the wind, wind on the storm, storm on the arms of God – all this is derived from verses. The sages explain that there are twelve pillars representative of the twelve tribes. Some say seven pillars and others say on one – a tzaddik. Are there two levels of firmaments in the heavens or seven? Reish Lakish holds that there are seven firmaments and explains what is held/done in each one.

השתא דנפקא ליה מלמקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ למה לי

The Gemara poses a question: Now that it is derived from the phrase “from one end of the heavens to the other,” why do I need the phrase “since the day that God created man upon the earth”?

כדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר אדם הראשון מן הארץ עד לרקיע שנאמר למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ וכיון שסרח הניח הקדוש ברוך הוא ידיו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר אחור וקדם צרתני ותשת עלי כפכה

The Gemara answers that this phrase teaches us something else, according to Rabbi Elazar. As Rabbi Elazar said: The height of Adam the first man reached from the ground to the skies, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens” (Deuteronomy 4:32). When he sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished him, as it is stated: “You fashioned me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (Psalms 139:5).

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון מסוף העולם ועד סופו היה שנאמר למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ ולמקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים כיון שסרח הניח הקדוש ברוך הוא ידו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר ותשת עלי כפכה

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: The size of Adam the first man was from one end of the world to the other, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens to the other,” which indicates that he spanned the entire length of the world. Once he sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished him, as it states: “And laid Your hand upon me.”

אי הכי קשו קראי אהדדי אידי ואידי חד שיעורא הוא

The Gemara asks: If so, the two parts of the verse contradict each other, since one indicates that his height reached the heavens while the other says it reached the end of the earth. The Gemara answers: Both this and that are one, the same, measure.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב עשרה דברים נבראו ביום ראשון ואלו הן שמים וארץ תהו ובהו אור וחשך רוח ומים מדת יום ומדת לילה

§ The Gemara continues to discuss Creation: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Ten things were created on the first day of Creation, and they are as follows: Heaven and earth; tohu and vohu, i.e., unformed and void; light and darkness; wind and water; the length of day and the length of night.

שמים וארץ דכתיב בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ תהו ובהו דכתיב והארץ היתה תהו ובהו אור וחשך חשך דכתיב וחשך על פני תהום אור דכתיב ויאמר אלהים יהי אור רוח ומים דכתיב ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים מדת יום ומדת לילה דכתיב ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום אחד

All of these are derived from the Torah: Heaven and earth, as it is written: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Tohu and vohu, as it is written: “And the earth was unformed and void [tohu vavohu]” (Genesis 1:2). Light and darkness; darkness, as it is written: “And darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2); light, as it is written: “And God said: Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Wind and water, as it is written: “And the wind of God hovered over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The length of day and the length of night, as it is written: “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).

תנא תהו קו ירוק שמקיף את כל העולם כולו שממנו יצא חשך שנאמר ישת חשך סתרו סביבותיו בהו אלו אבנים המפולמות המשוקעות בתהום שמהן יוצאין מים שנאמר ונטה עליה קו תהו ואבני בהו

It was taught in the Tosefta: Tohu is a green line that encompasses the entire world, and from which darkness emerges, as it is stated: “He made darkness His hiding place round about Him” (Psalms 18:12), indicating that a line of darkness surrounds the world. Vohu; these are damp stones submerged in the depths, from which water emerges, as it is stated: “And He shall stretch over it the line of tohu and stones of vohu” (Isaiah 34:11), which demonstrates that tohu is a line and that vohu is referring to stones.

ואור ביום ראשון איברי והכתיב ויתן אותם אלהים ברקיע השמים וכתיב ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום רביעי

The Gemara poses a question: And was light created on the first day? But isn’t it written: “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven” (Genesis 1:17), and it is also written: “And there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:19), indicating that light was created on the fourth day.

כדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר אור שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא ביום ראשון אדם צופה בו מסוף העולם ועד סופו כיון שנסתכל הקדוש ברוך הוא בדור המבול ובדור הפלגה וראה שמעשיהם מקולקלים עמד וגנזו מהן שנאמר וימנע מרשעים אורם

The Gemara answers: This should be understood in accordance with Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was not that of the sun but a different kind of light, through which man could observe from one end of the world to the other. But when the Holy One, Blessed be He, looked upon the generation of the Flood and the generation of the Dispersion and saw that their ways were corrupt and that they might misuse this light for evil, He arose and concealed it from them, as it is stated: “And from the wicked their light is withheld” (Job 38:15).

ולמי גנזו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא שנאמר וירא אלהים את האור כי טוב ואין טוב אלא צדיק שנאמר אמרו צדיק כי טוב

And for whom did He conceal it? For the righteous people in the future, as it is stated: “And God saw the light, that it was good” (Genesis 1:4), and “good” is referring to none other than the righteous, as it is stated: “Say of the righteous that it shall be good for them, for they shall eat the fruit of their actions” (Isaiah 3:10).

כיון שראה אור שגנזו לצדיקים שמח שנאמר אור צדיקים ישמח

When the light saw that it had been concealed for the righteous, it rejoiced, as it is stated: “The light for the righteous shall rejoice” (Proverbs 13:9).

כתנאי אור שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא ביום ראשון אדם צופה ומביט בו מסוף העולם ועד סופו דברי רבי יעקב וחכמים אומרים הן הן מאורות שנבראו ביום ראשון ולא נתלו עד יום רביעי

The Gemara comments: This is like a dispute between tanna’im: The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was so profound that man could observe through it from one end of the world to the other; this is the statement of Rabbi Ya’akov. And the Rabbis say: This light is the very same as the lights created on the first day, but they were not suspended in their designated places in the firmament until the fourth day.

אמר רב זוטרא בר טוביא אמר רב בעשרה דברים נברא העולם בחכמה ובתבונה ובדעת ובכח ובגערה ובגבורה בצדק ובמשפט בחסד וברחמים

§ Rav Zutra bar Tuvya said that Rav said: The world was created through ten attributes: Through wisdom, through understanding, through knowledge, through strength, through rebuke, through might, through righteousness, through justice, through kindness, and through mercy.

בחכמה ובתבונה דכתיב ה׳ בחכמה יסד ארץ כונן שמים בתבונה בדעת דכתיב בדעתו תהומות נבקעו בכח וגבורה דכתיב מכין הרים בכחו נאזר בגבורה בגערה דכתיב עמודי שמים ירופפו ויתמהו מגערתו בצדק ומשפט דכתיב צדק ומשפט מכון כסאך בחסד ורחמים דכתיב זכר רחמיך ה׳ וחסדיך כי מעולם המה

Scriptural proof is provided for this statement as follows: It was created through wisdom and through understanding, as it is written: “The Lord founded earth with wisdom, and established the heavens with understanding” (Proverbs 3:19); through knowledge, as it is written: “With His knowledge the depths were broken up” (Proverbs 3:20); through strength and through might, as it is written: “Who by Your strength sets fast the mountains, who is girded about with might” (Psalms 65:7); through rebuke, as it is written: “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His rebuke” (Job 26:11); through righteousness and justice, as it is written: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalms 89:15); through kindness and mercy, as it is written: “Remember Your mercies, O Lord, and Your kindnesses, for they are from times of old” (Psalms 25:6).

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את העולם היה מרחיב והולך כשתי פקעיות של שתי עד שגער בו הקדוש ברוך הוא והעמידו שנאמר עמודי שמים ירופפו ויתמהו מגערתו והיינו דאמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב אני אל שדי אני הוא שאמרתי לעולם די אמר ריש לקיש בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את הים היה מרחיב והולך עד שגער בו הקדוש ברוך הוא ויבשו שנאמר גוער בים ויבשהו וכל הנהרות החריב

And Rav Yehuda said that Rav said, with regard to the same matter: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the world, it continued to expand like two balls of a warp, whose cord lengthens as they unravel, until the Holy One, Blessed be He, rebuked it and made it stand still, as it is stated: “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His rebuke” (Job 26:11). And this is the same as that which Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai]” (Genesis 17:1)? It means: I am He Who said to the world “enough [dai],” instructing it to stop expanding. Similarly, Reish Lakish said: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the sea, it continued to expand until the Holy One, Blessed be He, rebuked it and made it dry, as it is stated: “He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and desiccates all the rivers” (Nahum 1:4).

תנו רבנן בית שמאי אומרים שמים נבראו תחלה ואחר כך נבראת הארץ שנאמר בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ ובית הלל אומרים ארץ נבראת תחלה ואחר כך שמים שנאמר ביום עשות ה׳ אלהים ארץ ושמים

§ Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel dispute the order of Creation, as the Sages taught: Beit Shammai say: The heavens were created first and afterward the earth was created, as it is stated: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), which indicates that heaven came first. And Beit Hillel say: The earth was created first, and heaven after it, as it is stated: “On the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven” (Genesis 2:4).

אמר להם בית הלל לבית שמאי לדבריכם אדם בונה עלייה ואחר כך בונה בית שנאמר הבונה בשמים מעלותיו ואגודתו על ארץ יסדה אמרו להם בית שמאי לבית הלל לדבריכם אדם עושה שרפרף ואחר כך עושה כסא שנאמר כה אמר ה׳ השמים כסאי והארץ הדום רגלי וחכמים אומרים זה וזה כאחת נבראו שנאמר אף ידי יסדה ארץ וימיני טפחה שמים קורא אני אליהם יעמדו יחדו

Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai: According to your words, does a person build a second floor and build the first floor of the house afterward? As it is stated: “It is He Who builds His upper chambers in the heaven, and has founded His vault upon the earth” (Amos 9:6), indicating that the upper floor, heaven, was built above the earth. Beit Shammai said to Beit Hillel: According to your words, does a person make a stool for his feet, and make a seat afterward? As it is stated: “So said the Lord: The heavens are My seat, and the earth My footstool” (Isaiah 66:1). But the Rabbis say: Both this and that were created as one, for it is stated: “Indeed, My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together” (Isaiah 48:13), implying that they were created as one.

ואידך מאי יחדו דלא משתלפי מהדדי קשו קראי אהדדי אמר ריש לקיש כשנבראו ברא שמים ואחר כך ברא הארץ וכשנטה נטה הארץ ואחר כך נטה שמים

The Gemara asks: And the others, Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, what, in their opinion, is the meaning of “together”? The Gemara responds: It means that they do not separate from each other. In other words, the term “together” is referring not to the moment of their creation but to the manner of their positioning. The Gemara comments: In any case, the verses contradict each other, as heaven is sometimes mentioned first, while on other occasions earth is listed beforehand. Reish Lakish said: When they were created, He first created the heavens and afterward created the earth, but when He spread them out and fixed them in their places, He spread out the earth and afterward He spread out the heavens.

מאי שמים אמר רבי יוסי בר חנינא ששם מים במתניתא תנא אש ומים מלמד שהביאן הקדוש ברוך הוא וטרפן זה בזה ועשה מהן רקיע

Incidental to the above, the Gemara asks: What is the meaning and source of the word “heaven” [shamayim]? Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said: It is an acronym, shesham mayim, meaning: That water is there. It was taught in a baraita: Shamayim means esh umayim, fire and water, which teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, brought them both and combined them together, and made the firmament from them.

שאל רבי ישמעאל את רבי עקיבא כשהיו מהלכין בדרך אמר ליה אתה ששימשת את נחום איש גם זו עשרים ושתים שנה שהיה דורש כל אתין שבתורה את השמים ואת הארץ מה היה דורש בהן אמר ליה אילו נאמר שמים וארץ הייתי אומר שמים שמו של הקדוש ברוך הוא עכשיו שנאמר את השמים ואת הארץ שמים שמים ממש ארץ ארץ ממש

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yishmael asked Rabbi Akiva a question when they were walking along the way. He said to him: You who served Naḥum of Gam Zu for twenty-two years, who would expound and learn that every appearance of the word et in the Torah is meant to teach something, what would he expound from the phrase: “The heaven and the earth” [et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz] (Genesis 1:1)? He said to him: These words should be expounded as follows: Had it stated: In the beginning God created hashamayim veha’aretz, i.e., the heaven and the earth, without the word et, I would have said: Shamayim is the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the same goes for aretz, and the verse would sound as if it meant that God, whose name is Shamayim and Aretz, created the world. Since it states “et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz,” it is clear that these are created objects and that shamayim means the actual heaven and aretz is the actual earth. It is for this reason that the word et is necessary.

את הארץ למה לי להקדים שמים לארץ והארץ היתה תהו ובהו מכדי בשמים אתחיל ברישא מאי שנא דקא חשיב מעשה ארץ תנא דבי ר׳ ישמעאל משל למלך בשר ודם שאמר לעבדיו השכימו לפתחי השכים ומצא נשים ואנשים למי משבח למי שאין דרכו להשכים והשכים

Why do I need “and the earth” [et ha’aretz]? To teach that heaven preceded earth in the order of Creation. The next verse states: “And the earth was unformed and void” (Genesis 1:2). The Gemara asks: After all, the Bible began with heaven first; what is different about the second verse? Why does the Bible recount the creation of earth first in the second verse? The Sage of the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: This can be explained by a parable of a flesh-and-blood king who said to his servants: Rise early and come to my entrance. He arose and found women and men waiting for him. Whom does he praise? Those who are unaccustomed to rising early but yet rose early, the women. The same applies to the earth: Since it is a lowly, physical sphere, we would not have expected it to be created together with heaven. Therefore, it is fitting to discuss it at greater length.

תניא רבי יוסי אומר אוי להם לבריות שרואות ואינן יודעות מה רואות עומדות ואין יודעות על מה הן עומדות הארץ על מה עומדת על העמודים שנאמר המרגיז ארץ ממקומה ועמודיה יתפלצון עמודים על המים שנאמר לרוקע הארץ על המים מים על ההרים שנאמר על הרים יעמדו מים הרים ברוח שנאמר כי הנה יוצר הרים ובורא רוח רוח בסערה שנאמר רוח סערה עושה דברו סערה תלויה בזרועו של הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר ומתחת זרועות עולם

§ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei says: Woe to them, the creations, who see and know not what they see; who stand and know not upon what they stand. He clarifies: Upon what does the earth stand? Upon pillars, as it is stated: “Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble” (Job 9:6). These pillars are positioned upon water, as it is stated: “To Him Who spread forth the earth over the waters” (Psalms 136:6). These waters stand upon mountains, as it is stated: “The waters stood above the mountains” (Psalms 104:6). The mountains are upon the wind, as it is stated: “For behold He forms the mountains and creates the wind” (Amos 4:13). The wind is upon a storm, as it is stated: “Stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Psalms 148:8). The storm hangs upon the arm of the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “And underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27), which demonstrates that the entire world rests upon the arms of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

וחכמים אומרים על שנים עשר עמודים עומדת שנאמר יצב גבולות עמים למספר בני ישראל ויש אומרים שבעה עמודים שנאמר חצבה עמודיה שבעה רבי אלעזר בן שמוע אומר על עמוד אחד וצדיק שמו שנאמר וצדיק יסוד עולם

And the Rabbis say: The earth stands on twelve pillars, as it is stated: “He set the borders of the nations according to the number of the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8). Just as the children of Israel, i.e., the sons of Jacob, are twelve in number, so does the world rest on twelve pillars. And some say: There are seven pillars, as it is stated: “She has hewn out her seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1). Rabbi Elazar ben Shammua says: The earth rests on one pillar and a righteous person is its name, as it is stated: “But a righteous person is the foundation of the world” (Proverbs 10:25).

אמר רב יהודה שני רקיעים הן שנאמר הן לה׳ אלהיך השמים ושמי השמים

§ Rabbi Yehuda said: There are two firmaments, as it is stated: “Behold, to the Lord your God belongs the heaven and the heaven of heavens” (Deuteronomy 10:14), indicating that there is a heaven above our heaven.

ריש לקיש אמר שבעה ואלו הן וילון רקיע שחקים זבול מעון מכון ערבות וילון אינו משמש כלום אלא נכנס שחרית ויוצא ערבית ומחדש בכל יום מעשה בראשית שנאמר הנוטה כדוק שמים וימתחם כאהל לשבת רקיע שבו חמה ולבנה כוכבים ומזלות קבועין שנאמר ויתן אותם אלהים ברקיע השמים שחקים שבו רחיים עומדות וטוחנות מן לצדיקים שנאמר ויצו שחקים ממעל ודלתי שמים פתח וימטר עליהם מן לאכול וגו׳

Reish Lakish said: There are seven firmaments, and they are as follows: Vilon, Rakia, Sheḥakim, Zevul, Ma’on, Makhon, and Aravot. The Gemara proceeds to explain the role of each firmament: Vilon, curtain, is the firmament that does not contain anything, but enters at morning and departs in the evening, and renews the act of Creation daily, as it is stated: “Who stretches out the heavens as a curtain [Vilon], and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:22). Rakia, firmament, is the one in which the sun, moon, stars, and zodiac signs are fixed, as it is stated: “And God set them in the firmament [Rakia] of the heaven” (Genesis 1:17). Sheḥakim, heights, is the one in which mills stand and grind manna for the righteous, as it is stated: “And He commanded the heights [Shehakim] above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the corn of heaven” (Psalms 78:23–24).

זבול שבו ירושלים ובית המקדש ומזבח בנוי ומיכאל השר הגדול עומד ומקריב עליו קרבן שנאמר בנה בניתי בית זבול לך מכון לשבתך עולמים ומנלן דאיקרי שמים דכתיב הבט משמים וראה מזבול קדשך ותפארתך

Zevul, abode, is the location of the heavenly Jerusalem and the heavenly Temple, and there the heavenly altar is built, and the angel Michael, the great minister, stands and sacrifices an offering upon it, as it is stated: “I have surely built a house of Zevul for You, a place for You to dwell forever” (I Kings 8:13). And from where do we derive that Zevul is called heaven? As it is written: “Look down from heaven and see, from Your holy and glorious abode [Zevul]” (Isaiah 63:15).

מעון שבו כיתות של מלאכי השרת שאומרות שירה בלילה וחשות ביום מפני כבודן של ישראל שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ובלילה שירה עמי

Ma’on, habitation, is where there are groups of ministering angels who recite song at night and are silent during the day out of respect for Israel, in order not to compete with their songs, as it is stated: “By day the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song is with me” (Psalms 42:9), indicating that the song of the angels is with God only at night.

אמר ריש לקיש כל העוסק בתורה בלילה הקדוש ברוך הוא מושך עליו חוט של חסד ביום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ומה טעם יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו משום ובלילה שירה עמי ואיכא דאמרי אמר ריש לקיש כל העוסק בתורה בעולם הזה שהוא דומה ללילה הקדוש ברוך הוא מושך עליו חוט של חסד לעולם הבא שהוא דומה ליום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ובלילה שירה עמי

With regard to the aforementioned verse, Reish Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with Torah at night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him by day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness,” and what is the reason that “by day, the Lord will command His kindness”? Because “and in the night His song,” i.e., the song of Torah, “is with me.” And some say that Reish Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with Torah in this world, which is comparable to night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him in the World-to-Come, which is comparable to day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song is with me.”

אמר רבי לוי כל הפוסק מדברי תורה ועוסק בדברי שיחה מאכילין אותו גחלי רתמים שנאמר הקוטפים מלוח עלי שיח ושרש רתמים לחמם ומנלן דאיקרי שמים שנאמר השקיפה ממעון קדשך מן השמים

With regard to the same matter, Rabbi Levi said: Anyone who pauses from words of Torah to occupy himself with mundane conversation will be fed with the coals of the broom tree, as it is stated: “They pluck saltwort [maluaḥ] with wormwood [alei siaḥ], and the roots of the broom tree [retamim] are their food” (Job 30:4). The exposition is as follows: Those who pluck, i.e., pause, from learning Torah, which was given upon two tablets, luḥot, which sounds similar to maluaḥ, for the purpose of siaḥ, idle chatter, are punished by having to eat coals made from “the roots of the broom tree.” And from where do we derive that Ma’on is called heaven? As it is stated: “Look forth from Your holy Ma’on, from heaven” (Deuteronomy 26:15).

מכון שבו אוצרות שלג ואוצרות ברד ועליית טללים רעים ועליית אגלים וחדרה של סופה [וסערה] ומערה של קיטור ודלתותיהן אש שנאמר יפתח ה׳ לך את אוצרו הטוב

Makhon, dwelling place, is where there are storehouses of snow and storehouses of hail, and the upper chamber of harmful dews, and the upper chamber of drops, and the room of tempests and storms, and the cave of mist. And the doors of all these are made of fire. How do we know that there are storehouses for evil things? For it is stated: “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens” (Deuteronomy 28:12), which indicates the existence of a storehouse that contains the opposite of good.

הני ברקיעא איתנהו הני בארעא איתנהו דכתיב הללו את ה׳ מן הארץ תנינים וכל תהומות אש וברד שלג וקיטור רוח סערה עושה דברו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב דוד ביקש עליהם רחמים והורידן לארץ אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם לא אל חפץ רשע אתה לא יגורך במגורך רע צדיק אתה ה׳ לא יגור במגורך רע ומנלן דאיקרי שמים דכתיב ואתה תשמע השמים מכון שבתך

The Gemara asks a question: With regard to these things listed above, are they located in heaven? It is obvious that they are located on the earth. As it is written: “Praise the Lord from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Psalms 148:7–8). The verse seems to indicate that all these things are found on the earth. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: David requested mercy with regard to them, that they should not remain in heaven, and He brought them down to earth. He said before Him: Master of the Universe, “You are not a God that has pleasure in wickedness, evil shall not sojourn with You” (Psalms 5:5). In other words, You are righteous, O Lord. Nothing evil should sojourn in Your vicinity. Rather, it is better that they remain close to us. And from where do we derive that this place is called “heaven”? As it is written: “And You shall hear in heaven, the Makhon of Your dwelling” (I Kings 8:39).

ערבות שבו צדק משפט וצדקה גנזי חיים וגנזי שלום וגנזי ברכה ונשמתן של צדיקים ורוחות ונשמות שעתיד להיבראות וטל שעתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להחיות בו מתים צדק ומשפט דכתיב צדק ומשפט מכון כסאך צדקה דכתיב וילבש צדקה כשרין גנזי חיים דכתיב כי עמך מקור חיים וגנזי שלום דכתיב ויקרא לו ה׳ שלום וגנזי ברכה דכתיב ישא ברכה מאת ה׳

Aravot, skies, is the firmament that contains righteousness; justice; righteousness, i.e., charity; the treasuries of life; the treasuries of peace; the treasuries of blessing; the souls of the righteous; the spirits and souls that are to be created; and the dew that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will use to revive the dead. The Gemara proves this statement: Righteousness and justice are found in heaven, as it is written: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalms 89:15); righteousness, as it is written: “And He donned righteousness as armor” (Isaiah 59:17); the treasuries of life, as it is written: “For with You is the source of life” (Psalms 36:10). And the treasuries of peace are found in heaven, as it is written: “And he called Him the Lord of peace” (Judges 6:24), implying that peace is God’s name and is therefore found close to Him. And the treasuries of blessing, as it is written: “He shall receive a blessing from the Lord” (Psalms 24:5).

נשמתן של צדיקים דכתיב והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים את ה׳ אלהיך רוחות ונשמות שעתיד להיבראות דכתיב כי רוח מלפני יעטוף ונשמות אני עשיתי וטל שעתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להחיות בו מתים דכתיב גשם נדבות תניף אלהים נחלתך ונלאה אתה כוננתה

The souls of the righteous are found in heaven, as it is written: “And the soul of my master shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord, your God” (I Samuel 25:29). Spirits and souls that are to be created are found there, as it is written: “For the spirit that enwraps itself is from Me, and the souls that I have made” (Isaiah 57:16), which indicates that the spirit to be released into the world, wrapped around a body, is located close to God. The dew that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will use to revive the dead is found in heaven, as it is written: “A bountiful rain You will pour down, God; when Your inheritance was weary, You confirmed it” (Psalms 68:10).

שם אופנים ושרפים וחיות הקדש ומלאכי השרת וכסא הכבוד מלך אל חי רם ונשא שוכן עליהם בערבות שנאמר סולו לרוכב בערבות ביה שמו ומנלן דאיקרי שמים אתיא רכיבה רכיבה כתיב הכא סולו לרוכב בערבות וכתיב התם רוכב שמים בעזרך

There, in the firmaments, are the ofanim, the seraphim, the holy divine creatures, and the ministering angels, and the Throne of Glory. The King, God, the living, lofty, exalted One dwells above them in Aravot, as it is stated: “Extol Him Who rides upon the skies [Aravot], Whose name is God” (Psalms 68:5). And from where do we derive that Aravot is called “heaven”? This is learned by using a verbal analogy between two instances of “rides” and “rides”: Here, it is written: “Extol Him Who rides upon the skies [Aravot],” and there, it is written: “Who rides upon the heaven as your help” (Deuteronomy 33:26).

וחשך וענן וערפל מקיפין אותו שנאמר ישת חשך סתרו סביבותיו סוכתו חשכת מים עבי שחקים ומי איכא חשוכא קמי שמיא והכתיב הוא גלא עמיקתא ומסתרתא ידע מה בחשוכא ונהורא עמה שרא לא קשיא הא

And darkness and clouds and fog surround Him, as it is stated: “He made darkness His hiding place, His pavilion round about Him; darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies” (Psalms 18:12). The Gemara asks: And is there darkness before Heaven, i.e., before God? But isn’t it written: “He reveals deep and secret things, He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22), demonstrating that only light, not darkness, is found with God? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This verse, which states that only light dwells with Him, is referring

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

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Chagigah 12

השתא דנפקא ליה מלמקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ למה לי

The Gemara poses a question: Now that it is derived from the phrase “from one end of the heavens to the other,” why do I need the phrase “since the day that God created man upon the earth”?

כדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר אדם הראשון מן הארץ עד לרקיע שנאמר למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ וכיון שסרח הניח הקדוש ברוך הוא ידיו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר אחור וקדם צרתני ותשת עלי כפכה

The Gemara answers that this phrase teaches us something else, according to Rabbi Elazar. As Rabbi Elazar said: The height of Adam the first man reached from the ground to the skies, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens” (Deuteronomy 4:32). When he sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished him, as it is stated: “You fashioned me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (Psalms 139:5).

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון מסוף העולם ועד סופו היה שנאמר למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ ולמקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים כיון שסרח הניח הקדוש ברוך הוא ידו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר ותשת עלי כפכה

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: The size of Adam the first man was from one end of the world to the other, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens to the other,” which indicates that he spanned the entire length of the world. Once he sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished him, as it states: “And laid Your hand upon me.”

אי הכי קשו קראי אהדדי אידי ואידי חד שיעורא הוא

The Gemara asks: If so, the two parts of the verse contradict each other, since one indicates that his height reached the heavens while the other says it reached the end of the earth. The Gemara answers: Both this and that are one, the same, measure.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב עשרה דברים נבראו ביום ראשון ואלו הן שמים וארץ תהו ובהו אור וחשך רוח ומים מדת יום ומדת לילה

§ The Gemara continues to discuss Creation: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Ten things were created on the first day of Creation, and they are as follows: Heaven and earth; tohu and vohu, i.e., unformed and void; light and darkness; wind and water; the length of day and the length of night.

שמים וארץ דכתיב בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ תהו ובהו דכתיב והארץ היתה תהו ובהו אור וחשך חשך דכתיב וחשך על פני תהום אור דכתיב ויאמר אלהים יהי אור רוח ומים דכתיב ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים מדת יום ומדת לילה דכתיב ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום אחד

All of these are derived from the Torah: Heaven and earth, as it is written: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Tohu and vohu, as it is written: “And the earth was unformed and void [tohu vavohu]” (Genesis 1:2). Light and darkness; darkness, as it is written: “And darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2); light, as it is written: “And God said: Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Wind and water, as it is written: “And the wind of God hovered over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The length of day and the length of night, as it is written: “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).

תנא תהו קו ירוק שמקיף את כל העולם כולו שממנו יצא חשך שנאמר ישת חשך סתרו סביבותיו בהו אלו אבנים המפולמות המשוקעות בתהום שמהן יוצאין מים שנאמר ונטה עליה קו תהו ואבני בהו

It was taught in the Tosefta: Tohu is a green line that encompasses the entire world, and from which darkness emerges, as it is stated: “He made darkness His hiding place round about Him” (Psalms 18:12), indicating that a line of darkness surrounds the world. Vohu; these are damp stones submerged in the depths, from which water emerges, as it is stated: “And He shall stretch over it the line of tohu and stones of vohu” (Isaiah 34:11), which demonstrates that tohu is a line and that vohu is referring to stones.

ואור ביום ראשון איברי והכתיב ויתן אותם אלהים ברקיע השמים וכתיב ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום רביעי

The Gemara poses a question: And was light created on the first day? But isn’t it written: “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven” (Genesis 1:17), and it is also written: “And there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:19), indicating that light was created on the fourth day.

כדרבי אלעזר דאמר רבי אלעזר אור שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא ביום ראשון אדם צופה בו מסוף העולם ועד סופו כיון שנסתכל הקדוש ברוך הוא בדור המבול ובדור הפלגה וראה שמעשיהם מקולקלים עמד וגנזו מהן שנאמר וימנע מרשעים אורם

The Gemara answers: This should be understood in accordance with Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was not that of the sun but a different kind of light, through which man could observe from one end of the world to the other. But when the Holy One, Blessed be He, looked upon the generation of the Flood and the generation of the Dispersion and saw that their ways were corrupt and that they might misuse this light for evil, He arose and concealed it from them, as it is stated: “And from the wicked their light is withheld” (Job 38:15).

ולמי גנזו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא שנאמר וירא אלהים את האור כי טוב ואין טוב אלא צדיק שנאמר אמרו צדיק כי טוב

And for whom did He conceal it? For the righteous people in the future, as it is stated: “And God saw the light, that it was good” (Genesis 1:4), and “good” is referring to none other than the righteous, as it is stated: “Say of the righteous that it shall be good for them, for they shall eat the fruit of their actions” (Isaiah 3:10).

כיון שראה אור שגנזו לצדיקים שמח שנאמר אור צדיקים ישמח

When the light saw that it had been concealed for the righteous, it rejoiced, as it is stated: “The light for the righteous shall rejoice” (Proverbs 13:9).

כתנאי אור שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא ביום ראשון אדם צופה ומביט בו מסוף העולם ועד סופו דברי רבי יעקב וחכמים אומרים הן הן מאורות שנבראו ביום ראשון ולא נתלו עד יום רביעי

The Gemara comments: This is like a dispute between tanna’im: The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was so profound that man could observe through it from one end of the world to the other; this is the statement of Rabbi Ya’akov. And the Rabbis say: This light is the very same as the lights created on the first day, but they were not suspended in their designated places in the firmament until the fourth day.

אמר רב זוטרא בר טוביא אמר רב בעשרה דברים נברא העולם בחכמה ובתבונה ובדעת ובכח ובגערה ובגבורה בצדק ובמשפט בחסד וברחמים

§ Rav Zutra bar Tuvya said that Rav said: The world was created through ten attributes: Through wisdom, through understanding, through knowledge, through strength, through rebuke, through might, through righteousness, through justice, through kindness, and through mercy.

בחכמה ובתבונה דכתיב ה׳ בחכמה יסד ארץ כונן שמים בתבונה בדעת דכתיב בדעתו תהומות נבקעו בכח וגבורה דכתיב מכין הרים בכחו נאזר בגבורה בגערה דכתיב עמודי שמים ירופפו ויתמהו מגערתו בצדק ומשפט דכתיב צדק ומשפט מכון כסאך בחסד ורחמים דכתיב זכר רחמיך ה׳ וחסדיך כי מעולם המה

Scriptural proof is provided for this statement as follows: It was created through wisdom and through understanding, as it is written: “The Lord founded earth with wisdom, and established the heavens with understanding” (Proverbs 3:19); through knowledge, as it is written: “With His knowledge the depths were broken up” (Proverbs 3:20); through strength and through might, as it is written: “Who by Your strength sets fast the mountains, who is girded about with might” (Psalms 65:7); through rebuke, as it is written: “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His rebuke” (Job 26:11); through righteousness and justice, as it is written: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalms 89:15); through kindness and mercy, as it is written: “Remember Your mercies, O Lord, and Your kindnesses, for they are from times of old” (Psalms 25:6).

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את העולם היה מרחיב והולך כשתי פקעיות של שתי עד שגער בו הקדוש ברוך הוא והעמידו שנאמר עמודי שמים ירופפו ויתמהו מגערתו והיינו דאמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב אני אל שדי אני הוא שאמרתי לעולם די אמר ריש לקיש בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את הים היה מרחיב והולך עד שגער בו הקדוש ברוך הוא ויבשו שנאמר גוער בים ויבשהו וכל הנהרות החריב

And Rav Yehuda said that Rav said, with regard to the same matter: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the world, it continued to expand like two balls of a warp, whose cord lengthens as they unravel, until the Holy One, Blessed be He, rebuked it and made it stand still, as it is stated: “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His rebuke” (Job 26:11). And this is the same as that which Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai]” (Genesis 17:1)? It means: I am He Who said to the world “enough [dai],” instructing it to stop expanding. Similarly, Reish Lakish said: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the sea, it continued to expand until the Holy One, Blessed be He, rebuked it and made it dry, as it is stated: “He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and desiccates all the rivers” (Nahum 1:4).

תנו רבנן בית שמאי אומרים שמים נבראו תחלה ואחר כך נבראת הארץ שנאמר בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ ובית הלל אומרים ארץ נבראת תחלה ואחר כך שמים שנאמר ביום עשות ה׳ אלהים ארץ ושמים

§ Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel dispute the order of Creation, as the Sages taught: Beit Shammai say: The heavens were created first and afterward the earth was created, as it is stated: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), which indicates that heaven came first. And Beit Hillel say: The earth was created first, and heaven after it, as it is stated: “On the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven” (Genesis 2:4).

אמר להם בית הלל לבית שמאי לדבריכם אדם בונה עלייה ואחר כך בונה בית שנאמר הבונה בשמים מעלותיו ואגודתו על ארץ יסדה אמרו להם בית שמאי לבית הלל לדבריכם אדם עושה שרפרף ואחר כך עושה כסא שנאמר כה אמר ה׳ השמים כסאי והארץ הדום רגלי וחכמים אומרים זה וזה כאחת נבראו שנאמר אף ידי יסדה ארץ וימיני טפחה שמים קורא אני אליהם יעמדו יחדו

Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai: According to your words, does a person build a second floor and build the first floor of the house afterward? As it is stated: “It is He Who builds His upper chambers in the heaven, and has founded His vault upon the earth” (Amos 9:6), indicating that the upper floor, heaven, was built above the earth. Beit Shammai said to Beit Hillel: According to your words, does a person make a stool for his feet, and make a seat afterward? As it is stated: “So said the Lord: The heavens are My seat, and the earth My footstool” (Isaiah 66:1). But the Rabbis say: Both this and that were created as one, for it is stated: “Indeed, My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together” (Isaiah 48:13), implying that they were created as one.

ואידך מאי יחדו דלא משתלפי מהדדי קשו קראי אהדדי אמר ריש לקיש כשנבראו ברא שמים ואחר כך ברא הארץ וכשנטה נטה הארץ ואחר כך נטה שמים

The Gemara asks: And the others, Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, what, in their opinion, is the meaning of “together”? The Gemara responds: It means that they do not separate from each other. In other words, the term “together” is referring not to the moment of their creation but to the manner of their positioning. The Gemara comments: In any case, the verses contradict each other, as heaven is sometimes mentioned first, while on other occasions earth is listed beforehand. Reish Lakish said: When they were created, He first created the heavens and afterward created the earth, but when He spread them out and fixed them in their places, He spread out the earth and afterward He spread out the heavens.

מאי שמים אמר רבי יוסי בר חנינא ששם מים במתניתא תנא אש ומים מלמד שהביאן הקדוש ברוך הוא וטרפן זה בזה ועשה מהן רקיע

Incidental to the above, the Gemara asks: What is the meaning and source of the word “heaven” [shamayim]? Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said: It is an acronym, shesham mayim, meaning: That water is there. It was taught in a baraita: Shamayim means esh umayim, fire and water, which teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, brought them both and combined them together, and made the firmament from them.

שאל רבי ישמעאל את רבי עקיבא כשהיו מהלכין בדרך אמר ליה אתה ששימשת את נחום איש גם זו עשרים ושתים שנה שהיה דורש כל אתין שבתורה את השמים ואת הארץ מה היה דורש בהן אמר ליה אילו נאמר שמים וארץ הייתי אומר שמים שמו של הקדוש ברוך הוא עכשיו שנאמר את השמים ואת הארץ שמים שמים ממש ארץ ארץ ממש

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yishmael asked Rabbi Akiva a question when they were walking along the way. He said to him: You who served Naḥum of Gam Zu for twenty-two years, who would expound and learn that every appearance of the word et in the Torah is meant to teach something, what would he expound from the phrase: “The heaven and the earth” [et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz] (Genesis 1:1)? He said to him: These words should be expounded as follows: Had it stated: In the beginning God created hashamayim veha’aretz, i.e., the heaven and the earth, without the word et, I would have said: Shamayim is the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the same goes for aretz, and the verse would sound as if it meant that God, whose name is Shamayim and Aretz, created the world. Since it states “et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz,” it is clear that these are created objects and that shamayim means the actual heaven and aretz is the actual earth. It is for this reason that the word et is necessary.

את הארץ למה לי להקדים שמים לארץ והארץ היתה תהו ובהו מכדי בשמים אתחיל ברישא מאי שנא דקא חשיב מעשה ארץ תנא דבי ר׳ ישמעאל משל למלך בשר ודם שאמר לעבדיו השכימו לפתחי השכים ומצא נשים ואנשים למי משבח למי שאין דרכו להשכים והשכים

Why do I need “and the earth” [et ha’aretz]? To teach that heaven preceded earth in the order of Creation. The next verse states: “And the earth was unformed and void” (Genesis 1:2). The Gemara asks: After all, the Bible began with heaven first; what is different about the second verse? Why does the Bible recount the creation of earth first in the second verse? The Sage of the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: This can be explained by a parable of a flesh-and-blood king who said to his servants: Rise early and come to my entrance. He arose and found women and men waiting for him. Whom does he praise? Those who are unaccustomed to rising early but yet rose early, the women. The same applies to the earth: Since it is a lowly, physical sphere, we would not have expected it to be created together with heaven. Therefore, it is fitting to discuss it at greater length.

תניא רבי יוסי אומר אוי להם לבריות שרואות ואינן יודעות מה רואות עומדות ואין יודעות על מה הן עומדות הארץ על מה עומדת על העמודים שנאמר המרגיז ארץ ממקומה ועמודיה יתפלצון עמודים על המים שנאמר לרוקע הארץ על המים מים על ההרים שנאמר על הרים יעמדו מים הרים ברוח שנאמר כי הנה יוצר הרים ובורא רוח רוח בסערה שנאמר רוח סערה עושה דברו סערה תלויה בזרועו של הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר ומתחת זרועות עולם

§ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei says: Woe to them, the creations, who see and know not what they see; who stand and know not upon what they stand. He clarifies: Upon what does the earth stand? Upon pillars, as it is stated: “Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble” (Job 9:6). These pillars are positioned upon water, as it is stated: “To Him Who spread forth the earth over the waters” (Psalms 136:6). These waters stand upon mountains, as it is stated: “The waters stood above the mountains” (Psalms 104:6). The mountains are upon the wind, as it is stated: “For behold He forms the mountains and creates the wind” (Amos 4:13). The wind is upon a storm, as it is stated: “Stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Psalms 148:8). The storm hangs upon the arm of the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “And underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27), which demonstrates that the entire world rests upon the arms of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

וחכמים אומרים על שנים עשר עמודים עומדת שנאמר יצב גבולות עמים למספר בני ישראל ויש אומרים שבעה עמודים שנאמר חצבה עמודיה שבעה רבי אלעזר בן שמוע אומר על עמוד אחד וצדיק שמו שנאמר וצדיק יסוד עולם

And the Rabbis say: The earth stands on twelve pillars, as it is stated: “He set the borders of the nations according to the number of the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8). Just as the children of Israel, i.e., the sons of Jacob, are twelve in number, so does the world rest on twelve pillars. And some say: There are seven pillars, as it is stated: “She has hewn out her seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1). Rabbi Elazar ben Shammua says: The earth rests on one pillar and a righteous person is its name, as it is stated: “But a righteous person is the foundation of the world” (Proverbs 10:25).

אמר רב יהודה שני רקיעים הן שנאמר הן לה׳ אלהיך השמים ושמי השמים

§ Rabbi Yehuda said: There are two firmaments, as it is stated: “Behold, to the Lord your God belongs the heaven and the heaven of heavens” (Deuteronomy 10:14), indicating that there is a heaven above our heaven.

ריש לקיש אמר שבעה ואלו הן וילון רקיע שחקים זבול מעון מכון ערבות וילון אינו משמש כלום אלא נכנס שחרית ויוצא ערבית ומחדש בכל יום מעשה בראשית שנאמר הנוטה כדוק שמים וימתחם כאהל לשבת רקיע שבו חמה ולבנה כוכבים ומזלות קבועין שנאמר ויתן אותם אלהים ברקיע השמים שחקים שבו רחיים עומדות וטוחנות מן לצדיקים שנאמר ויצו שחקים ממעל ודלתי שמים פתח וימטר עליהם מן לאכול וגו׳

Reish Lakish said: There are seven firmaments, and they are as follows: Vilon, Rakia, Sheḥakim, Zevul, Ma’on, Makhon, and Aravot. The Gemara proceeds to explain the role of each firmament: Vilon, curtain, is the firmament that does not contain anything, but enters at morning and departs in the evening, and renews the act of Creation daily, as it is stated: “Who stretches out the heavens as a curtain [Vilon], and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:22). Rakia, firmament, is the one in which the sun, moon, stars, and zodiac signs are fixed, as it is stated: “And God set them in the firmament [Rakia] of the heaven” (Genesis 1:17). Sheḥakim, heights, is the one in which mills stand and grind manna for the righteous, as it is stated: “And He commanded the heights [Shehakim] above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the corn of heaven” (Psalms 78:23–24).

זבול שבו ירושלים ובית המקדש ומזבח בנוי ומיכאל השר הגדול עומד ומקריב עליו קרבן שנאמר בנה בניתי בית זבול לך מכון לשבתך עולמים ומנלן דאיקרי שמים דכתיב הבט משמים וראה מזבול קדשך ותפארתך

Zevul, abode, is the location of the heavenly Jerusalem and the heavenly Temple, and there the heavenly altar is built, and the angel Michael, the great minister, stands and sacrifices an offering upon it, as it is stated: “I have surely built a house of Zevul for You, a place for You to dwell forever” (I Kings 8:13). And from where do we derive that Zevul is called heaven? As it is written: “Look down from heaven and see, from Your holy and glorious abode [Zevul]” (Isaiah 63:15).

מעון שבו כיתות של מלאכי השרת שאומרות שירה בלילה וחשות ביום מפני כבודן של ישראל שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ובלילה שירה עמי

Ma’on, habitation, is where there are groups of ministering angels who recite song at night and are silent during the day out of respect for Israel, in order not to compete with their songs, as it is stated: “By day the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song is with me” (Psalms 42:9), indicating that the song of the angels is with God only at night.

אמר ריש לקיש כל העוסק בתורה בלילה הקדוש ברוך הוא מושך עליו חוט של חסד ביום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ומה טעם יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו משום ובלילה שירה עמי ואיכא דאמרי אמר ריש לקיש כל העוסק בתורה בעולם הזה שהוא דומה ללילה הקדוש ברוך הוא מושך עליו חוט של חסד לעולם הבא שהוא דומה ליום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה׳ חסדו ובלילה שירה עמי

With regard to the aforementioned verse, Reish Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with Torah at night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him by day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness,” and what is the reason that “by day, the Lord will command His kindness”? Because “and in the night His song,” i.e., the song of Torah, “is with me.” And some say that Reish Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with Torah in this world, which is comparable to night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him in the World-to-Come, which is comparable to day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song is with me.”

אמר רבי לוי כל הפוסק מדברי תורה ועוסק בדברי שיחה מאכילין אותו גחלי רתמים שנאמר הקוטפים מלוח עלי שיח ושרש רתמים לחמם ומנלן דאיקרי שמים שנאמר השקיפה ממעון קדשך מן השמים

With regard to the same matter, Rabbi Levi said: Anyone who pauses from words of Torah to occupy himself with mundane conversation will be fed with the coals of the broom tree, as it is stated: “They pluck saltwort [maluaḥ] with wormwood [alei siaḥ], and the roots of the broom tree [retamim] are their food” (Job 30:4). The exposition is as follows: Those who pluck, i.e., pause, from learning Torah, which was given upon two tablets, luḥot, which sounds similar to maluaḥ, for the purpose of siaḥ, idle chatter, are punished by having to eat coals made from “the roots of the broom tree.” And from where do we derive that Ma’on is called heaven? As it is stated: “Look forth from Your holy Ma’on, from heaven” (Deuteronomy 26:15).

מכון שבו אוצרות שלג ואוצרות ברד ועליית טללים רעים ועליית אגלים וחדרה של סופה [וסערה] ומערה של קיטור ודלתותיהן אש שנאמר יפתח ה׳ לך את אוצרו הטוב

Makhon, dwelling place, is where there are storehouses of snow and storehouses of hail, and the upper chamber of harmful dews, and the upper chamber of drops, and the room of tempests and storms, and the cave of mist. And the doors of all these are made of fire. How do we know that there are storehouses for evil things? For it is stated: “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens” (Deuteronomy 28:12), which indicates the existence of a storehouse that contains the opposite of good.

הני ברקיעא איתנהו הני בארעא איתנהו דכתיב הללו את ה׳ מן הארץ תנינים וכל תהומות אש וברד שלג וקיטור רוח סערה עושה דברו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב דוד ביקש עליהם רחמים והורידן לארץ אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם לא אל חפץ רשע אתה לא יגורך במגורך רע צדיק אתה ה׳ לא יגור במגורך רע ומנלן דאיקרי שמים דכתיב ואתה תשמע השמים מכון שבתך

The Gemara asks a question: With regard to these things listed above, are they located in heaven? It is obvious that they are located on the earth. As it is written: “Praise the Lord from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Psalms 148:7–8). The verse seems to indicate that all these things are found on the earth. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: David requested mercy with regard to them, that they should not remain in heaven, and He brought them down to earth. He said before Him: Master of the Universe, “You are not a God that has pleasure in wickedness, evil shall not sojourn with You” (Psalms 5:5). In other words, You are righteous, O Lord. Nothing evil should sojourn in Your vicinity. Rather, it is better that they remain close to us. And from where do we derive that this place is called “heaven”? As it is written: “And You shall hear in heaven, the Makhon of Your dwelling” (I Kings 8:39).

ערבות שבו צדק משפט וצדקה גנזי חיים וגנזי שלום וגנזי ברכה ונשמתן של צדיקים ורוחות ונשמות שעתיד להיבראות וטל שעתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להחיות בו מתים צדק ומשפט דכתיב צדק ומשפט מכון כסאך צדקה דכתיב וילבש צדקה כשרין גנזי חיים דכתיב כי עמך מקור חיים וגנזי שלום דכתיב ויקרא לו ה׳ שלום וגנזי ברכה דכתיב ישא ברכה מאת ה׳

Aravot, skies, is the firmament that contains righteousness; justice; righteousness, i.e., charity; the treasuries of life; the treasuries of peace; the treasuries of blessing; the souls of the righteous; the spirits and souls that are to be created; and the dew that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will use to revive the dead. The Gemara proves this statement: Righteousness and justice are found in heaven, as it is written: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalms 89:15); righteousness, as it is written: “And He donned righteousness as armor” (Isaiah 59:17); the treasuries of life, as it is written: “For with You is the source of life” (Psalms 36:10). And the treasuries of peace are found in heaven, as it is written: “And he called Him the Lord of peace” (Judges 6:24), implying that peace is God’s name and is therefore found close to Him. And the treasuries of blessing, as it is written: “He shall receive a blessing from the Lord” (Psalms 24:5).

נשמתן של צדיקים דכתיב והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים את ה׳ אלהיך רוחות ונשמות שעתיד להיבראות דכתיב כי רוח מלפני יעטוף ונשמות אני עשיתי וטל שעתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להחיות בו מתים דכתיב גשם נדבות תניף אלהים נחלתך ונלאה אתה כוננתה

The souls of the righteous are found in heaven, as it is written: “And the soul of my master shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord, your God” (I Samuel 25:29). Spirits and souls that are to be created are found there, as it is written: “For the spirit that enwraps itself is from Me, and the souls that I have made” (Isaiah 57:16), which indicates that the spirit to be released into the world, wrapped around a body, is located close to God. The dew that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will use to revive the dead is found in heaven, as it is written: “A bountiful rain You will pour down, God; when Your inheritance was weary, You confirmed it” (Psalms 68:10).

שם אופנים ושרפים וחיות הקדש ומלאכי השרת וכסא הכבוד מלך אל חי רם ונשא שוכן עליהם בערבות שנאמר סולו לרוכב בערבות ביה שמו ומנלן דאיקרי שמים אתיא רכיבה רכיבה כתיב הכא סולו לרוכב בערבות וכתיב התם רוכב שמים בעזרך

There, in the firmaments, are the ofanim, the seraphim, the holy divine creatures, and the ministering angels, and the Throne of Glory. The King, God, the living, lofty, exalted One dwells above them in Aravot, as it is stated: “Extol Him Who rides upon the skies [Aravot], Whose name is God” (Psalms 68:5). And from where do we derive that Aravot is called “heaven”? This is learned by using a verbal analogy between two instances of “rides” and “rides”: Here, it is written: “Extol Him Who rides upon the skies [Aravot],” and there, it is written: “Who rides upon the heaven as your help” (Deuteronomy 33:26).

וחשך וענן וערפל מקיפין אותו שנאמר ישת חשך סתרו סביבותיו סוכתו חשכת מים עבי שחקים ומי איכא חשוכא קמי שמיא והכתיב הוא גלא עמיקתא ומסתרתא ידע מה בחשוכא ונהורא עמה שרא לא קשיא הא

And darkness and clouds and fog surround Him, as it is stated: “He made darkness His hiding place, His pavilion round about Him; darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies” (Psalms 18:12). The Gemara asks: And is there darkness before Heaven, i.e., before God? But isn’t it written: “He reveals deep and secret things, He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22), demonstrating that only light, not darkness, is found with God? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This verse, which states that only light dwells with Him, is referring

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