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Today's Daf Yomi

September 23, 2014 | ื›ืดื— ื‘ืืœื•ืœ ืชืฉืขืดื“

  • 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 15

ื™ื›ื•ืœ ืื ื™ ืœื‘ืขื•ืœ ื›ืžื” ื‘ืขื™ืœื•ืช ื‘ืœื ื“ื ืื• ื“ืœืžื ื“ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื ืืžืจ ืœื”ื• ื“ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื— ื•ื—ื™ื™ืฉื™ื ืŸ ืฉืžื ื‘ืืžื‘ื˜ื™ ืขื™ื‘ืจื”

I can engage in intercourse several times without blood. In other words, I can have relations with a woman while leaving her hymen intact. If this is so, it is possible that the assumed virgin had intercourse in this manner and is forbidden to the High Priest. Or, perhaps a person who can act like Shmuel is not common and the halakha is not concerned with this case. He said to them: One like Shmuel is not common, and we are concerned that she may have conceived in a bath. Perhaps she washed in a bath that contained a manโ€™s semen, from which she became impregnated while remaining a virgin.

ื•ื”ืืžืจ ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื›ืœ ืฉื›ื‘ืช ื–ืจืข ืฉืื™ื ื• ื™ื•ืจื” ื›ื—ืฅ ืื™ื ื• ืžื–ืจืขืช ืžืขื™ืงืจื ื ืžื™ ื™ื•ืจื” ื›ื—ืฅ ื”ื•ื”

The Gemara asks: How could she possibly become pregnant in such a manner? Didnโ€™t Shmuel say: Any semen that is not shot like an arrow cannot fertilize? The Gemara answers: This does not mean that it must be shot like an arrow at the moment of fertilization. Even if initially, when released from the male, it was shot as an arrow, it can also fertilize a woman at a later moment.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ื—ื ื ื™ื” ืฉื”ื™ื” ืขื•ืžื“ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื”ืจ ื”ื‘ื™ืช ื•ืจืื”ื• ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ื•ืœื ืขืžื“ ืžืœืคื ื™ื• ืืžืจ ืœื• ืžืื™ืŸ ื•ืœืื™ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ืืžืจ ืœื• ืฆื•ืคื” ื”ื™ื™ืชื™ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื”ืขืœื™ื•ื ื™ื ืœืžื™ื ื”ืชื—ืชื•ื ื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืœื–ื” ืืœื ืฉืœืฉ ืืฆื‘ืขื•ืช ื‘ืœื‘ื“ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ืจื•ื— ืืœื”ื™ื ืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ื›ื™ื•ื ื” ืฉืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ื‘ื ื™ื” ื•ืื™ื ื” ื ื•ื’ืขืช ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืœืชืœืžื™ื“ื™ื• ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ืžื‘ื—ื•ืฅ

With regard to the fate of ben Zoma, the Sages taught: There was once an incident with regard to Rabbi Yehoshua ben แธคananya, who was standing on a step on the Temple Mount, and ben Zoma saw him and did not stand before him to honor him, as he was deep in thought. Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: From where do you come and where are you going, ben Zoma, i.e., what is on your mind? He said to him: In my thoughts I was looking upon the act of Creation, at the gap between the upper waters and the lower waters, as there is only the breadth of a mere three fingers between them, as it is stated: โ€œAnd the spirit of God hovered over the face of the watersโ€ (Genesis 1:2), like a dove hovering over its young without touching them. Rabbi Yehoshua said to his students who had overheard this exchange: Ben Zoma is still outside; he has not yet achieved full understanding of these matters.

ืžื›ื“ื™ ื•ืจื•ื— ืืœื”ื™ื ืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ืื™ืžืช ื”ื•ื™ ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืจืืฉื•ืŸ ื”ื‘ื“ืœื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ืฉื ื™ ื”ื•ื ื“ื”ื•ืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ืžื‘ื“ื™ืœ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ืœืžื™ื ื•ื›ืžื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ื›ืžืœื ื ื™ืžื ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืืžืจื™ ื›ื™ ื’ื•ื“ื ื“ื’ืžืœื ืžืจ ื–ื•ื˜ืจื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ ืืกื™ ืืžืจ ื›ืชืจื™ ื’ืœื™ืžื™ ื“ืคืจื™ืกื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™ ื•ืืžืจื™ ืœื” ื›ืชืจื™ ื›ืกื™ ื“ืกื—ื™ืคื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™

The Gemara explains: Now, this verse: โ€œAnd the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters,โ€ when was it stated? On the first day, whereas the division of the waters occurred on the second day, as it is written: โ€œAnd let it divide the waters from the watersโ€ (Genesis 1:6). How, then, could ben Zoma derive a proof from the former verse? The Gemara asks: And how much, in fact, is the gap between them? Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov said: Like the thickness of a thread; and the Rabbis said: Like the gap between the boards of a bridge. Mar Zutra, and some say it was Rav Asi, said: Like two robes spread one over the other, with a slight gap in between. And some said: Like two cups placed one upon the other.

ืื—ืจ ืงื™ืฆืฅ ื‘ื ื˜ื™ืขื•ืช ืขืœื™ื• ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ืื•ืžืจ ืืœ ืชืชืŸ ืืช ืคื™ืš ืœื—ื˜ื™ื ืืช ื‘ืฉืจืš ืžืื™ ื”ื™ื ื—ื–ื ืžื™ื˜ื˜ืจื•ืŸ ื“ืืชื™ื”ื‘ื ืœื™ื” ืจืฉื•ืชื ืœืžื™ืชื‘ ืœืžื™ื›ืชื‘ ื–ื›ื•ื•ืชื ื“ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืืžืจ ื’ืžื™ืจื ื“ืœืžืขืœื” ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืœื ื™ืฉื™ื‘ื” ื•ืœื ืชื—ืจื•ืช ื•ืœื ืขื•ืจืฃ ื•ืœื ืขื™ืคื•ื™ ืฉืžื ื—ืก ื•ืฉืœื•ื ืฉืชื™ ืจืฉื•ื™ื•ืช ื”ืŸ

ยง The Gemara stated earlier that Aแธฅer chopped down the saplings, becoming a heretic. With regard to him, the verse states: โ€œDo not let your mouth bring your flesh into guiltโ€ (Ecclesiastes 5:5). The Gemara poses a question: What was it that led him to heresy? He saw the angel Mitatron, who was granted permission to sit and write the merits of Israel. He said: There is a tradition that in the world above there is no sitting; no competition; no turning oneโ€™s back before Him, i.e., all face the Divine Presence; and no lethargy. Seeing that someone other than God was seated above, he said: Perhaps, the Gemara here interjects, Heaven forbid, there are two authorities, and there is another source of power in control of the world in addition to God. Such thoughts led Aแธฅer to heresy.

ืืคืงื•ื”ื• ืœืžื™ื˜ื˜ืจื•ืŸ ื•ืžื—ื™ื•ื”ื• ืฉื™ืชื™ืŸ ืคื•ืœืกื™ ื“ื ื•ืจื ืืžืจื• ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื›ื™ ื—ื–ื™ืชื™ื” ืœื ืงืžืช ืžืงืžื™ื” ืื™ืชื™ื”ื™ื‘ื ืœื™ื” ืจืฉื•ืชื ืœืžื™ืžื—ืง ื–ื›ื•ื•ืชื ื“ืื—ืจ ื™ืฆืชื” ื‘ืช ืงื•ืœ ื•ืืžืจื” ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

The Gemara relates: They removed Mitatron from his place in heaven and smote him with sixty rods [pulsei] of fire, so that others would not make mistake that Aแธฅer made. They said to the angel: What is the reason that when you saw Elisha ben Avuya you did not stand before him? Despite this conduct, since Mitatron was personally involved, he was granted permission to erase the merits of Aแธฅer and cause him to stumble in any manner. A Divine Voice went forth saying: โ€œReturn, rebellious childrenโ€ (Jeremiah 3:22), apart from Aแธฅer.

ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืื™ื˜ืจื™ื“ ื”ื”ื•ื ื’ื‘ืจื ืžื”ื”ื•ื ืขืœืžื ืœื™ืคื•ืง ืœื™ืชื”ื ื™ ื‘ื”ืื™ ืขืœืžื ื ืคืง ืื—ืจ ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ื ืคืง ืืฉื›ื— ื–ื•ื ื” ืชื‘ืขื” ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืื• ืืœื™ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ืื‘ื•ื™ื” ืืช ืขืงืจ ืคื•ื’ืœื ืžืžื™ืฉืจื ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื•ื™ื”ื‘ ืœื” ืืžืจื” ืื—ืจ ื”ื•ื

Upon hearing this, Elisha ben Avuya said: Since that man, meaning himself, has been banished from that world, let him go out and enjoy this world. Aแธฅer went astray. He went and found a prostitute and solicited her for intercourse. She said to him: And are you not Elisha ben Avuya? Shall a person of your stature perform such an act? He uprooted a radish from a patch of radishes on Shabbat and gave it to her, to demonstrate that he no longer observed the Torah. The prostitute said: He is other than he was. He is not the same Elisha ben Avuya, he is Aแธฅer, other.

ืฉืืœ ืื—ืจ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœืื—ืจ ืฉื™ืฆื ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื’ื ืืช ื–ื” ืœืขื•ืžืช ื–ื” ืขืฉื” ื”ืืœื”ื™ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ืœ ืžื” ืฉื‘ืจื ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื‘ืจื ื›ื ื’ื“ื• ื‘ืจื ื”ืจื™ื ื‘ืจื ื’ื‘ืขื•ืช ื‘ืจื ื™ืžื™ื ื‘ืจื ื ื”ืจื•ืช

The Gemara relates: Aแธฅer asked Rabbi Meir a question, after he had gone astray. He said to him: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œGod has made even the one as well as the otherโ€ (Ecclesiastes 7:14)? Rabbi Meir said to him: Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created, He created a similar creation corresponding to it. He created mountains, He created hills; He created seas, He created rivers.

ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืจื‘ืš ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืš ืืœื ื‘ืจื ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ื‘ืจื ืจืฉืขื™ื ื‘ืจื ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื‘ืจื ื’ื™ื”ื ื ื›ืœ ืื—ื“ ื•ืื—ื“ ื™ืฉ ืœื• ืฉื ื™ ื—ืœืงื™ื ืื—ื“ ื‘ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื•ืื—ื“ ื‘ื’ื™ื”ื ื ื–ื›ื” ืฆื“ื™ืง ื ื˜ืœ ื—ืœืงื• ื•ื—ืœืง ื—ื‘ืจื• ื‘ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื ืชื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืจืฉืข ื ื˜ืœ ื—ืœืงื• ื•ื—ืœืง ื—ื‘ืจื• ื‘ื’ื™ื”ื ื

Aแธฅer said to him: Rabbi Akiva, your teacher, did not say so, but explained the verse as follows: Everything has its opposite: He created the righteous, He created the wicked; He created the Garden of Eden, He created Gehenna. Each and every person has two portions, one in the Garden of Eden and one in Gehenna. If he merits it, by becoming righteous, he takes his portion and the portion of his wicked colleague in the Garden of Eden; if he is found culpable by becoming wicked, he takes his portion and the portion of his colleague in Gehenna.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืžืฉืจืฉื™ื ืžืื™ ืงืจืื” ื’ื‘ื™ ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื›ืŸ ื‘ืืจืฆื ืžืฉื ื” ื™ื™ืจืฉื• ื’ื‘ื™ ืจืฉืขื™ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืžืฉื ื” ืฉื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ืจื

Rav Mesharshiyya said: What is the verse from which it is derived? With regard to the righteous, it is stated: โ€œTherefore in their land they shall possess doubleโ€ (Isaiah 61:7); whereas with regard to the wicked, it is stated: โ€œAnd destroy them with double destructionโ€ (Jeremiah 17:18); therefore, each receives a double portion.

ืฉืืœ ืื—ืจ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœืื—ืจ ืฉื™ืฆื ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื ื™ืขืจื›ื ื” ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ื•ืชืžื•ืจืชื” ื›ืœื™ ืคื– ืืžืจ ืœื• ืืœื• ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืชื•ืจื” ืฉืงืฉื™ืŸ ืœืงื ื•ืชืŸ ื›ื›ืœื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื›ืœื™ ืคื– ื•ื ื•ื—ื™ืŸ ืœืื‘ื“ืŸ ื›ื›ืœื™ ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืจื‘ืš ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืš ืืœื ืžื” ื›ืœื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื›ืœื™ ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉื ืฉื‘ืจื• ื™ืฉ ืœื”ื ืชืงื ื” ืืฃ ืชืœืžื™ื“ ื—ื›ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืกืจื— ื™ืฉ ืœื• ืชืงื ื” ืืžืจ ืœื• ืืฃ ืืชื” ื—ื–ื•ืจ ื‘ืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ื‘ืจ ืฉืžืขืชื™ ืžืื—ื•ืจื™ ื”ืคืจื’ื•ื“ ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

Aแธฅer asked Rabbi Meir another question, again after he had gone astray. What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œGold and glass cannot equal it; neither shall its exchange be vessels of fine goldโ€ (Job 28:17)? If it is referring to the praise and honor of the Torah, it should have compared it only to gold, not to glass. He said to him: This is referring to words of Torah, which are as difficult to acquire as gilded vessels and vessels of fine gold but are as easy to lose as glass vessels. Aแธฅer said to him: Rabbi Akiva, your teacher, did not say so, but taught as follows: Just as golden vessels and glass vessels have a remedy even when they have broken, as they can be melted down and made into new vessels, so too a Torah scholar, although he has transgressed, has a remedy. Rabbi Meir said to him: If so, you too, return from your ways. He said to him: I have already heard the following declaration behind the dividing curtain, which conceals God from the world: โ€œReturn, rebellious children,โ€ (Jeremiah 3:22) apart from Aแธฅer.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื‘ืื—ืจ ืฉื”ื™ื” ืจื•ื›ื‘ ืขืœ ื”ืกื•ืก ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื•ื”ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืžื”ืœืš ืื—ืจื™ื• ืœืœืžื•ื“ ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื• ืืžืจ ืœื• ืžืื™ืจ ื—ื–ื•ืจ ืœืื—ืจื™ืš ืฉื›ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืขืจืชื™ ื‘ืขืงื‘ื™ ืกื•ืกื™ ืขื“ ื›ืืŸ ืชื—ื•ื ืฉื‘ืช ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืฃ ืืชื” ื—ื–ื•ืจ ื‘ืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœื ื›ื‘ืจ ืืžืจืชื™ ืœืš ื›ื‘ืจ ืฉืžืขืชื™ ืžืื—ื•ืจื™ ื”ืคืจื’ื•ื“ ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

The Gemara cites a related story: The Sages taught: There was once an incident involving Aแธฅer, who was riding on a horse on Shabbat, and Rabbi Meir was walking behind him to learn Torah from him. After a while, Aแธฅer said to him: Meir, turn back, for I have already estimated and measured according to the steps of my horse that the Shabbat boundary ends here, and you may therefore venture no further. Rabbi Meir said to him: You, too, return to the correct path. He said to him: But have I not already told you that I have already heard behind the dividing curtain: โ€œReturn, rebellious children,โ€ apart from Aแธฅer?

ืชืงืคื™ื” ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ืžื“ืจืฉื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ืื™ืŸ ืฉืœื•ื ืืžืจ ื”ืณ ืœืจืฉืขื™ื ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ื™ ืื ืชื›ื‘ืกื™ ื‘ื ืชืจ ื•ืชืจื‘ื™ ืœืš ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื›ืชื ืขื•ื ืš ืœืคื ื™ ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื”

Nevertheless, Rabbi Meir took hold of him and brought him to the study hall. Aแธฅer said to a child, by way of divination: Recite your verse that you studied today to me. He recited the following verse to him: โ€œThere is no peace, said the Lord, concerning the wickedโ€ (Isaiah 48:22). He brought him to another study hall. Aแธฅer said to a child: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œFor though you wash with niter, and take for you much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Meโ€ (Jeremiah 2:22). He brought him to another study hall. Aแธฅer said to

ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืืช ืฉื“ื•ื“ ืžื” ืชืขืฉื™ ื›ื™ ืชืœื‘ืฉื™ ืฉื ื™ ื›ื™ ืชืขื“ื™ ืขื“ื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื›ื™ ืชืงืจืขื™ ื‘ืคื•ืš ืขื™ื ื™ืš ืœืฉื•ื ืชืชื™ืคื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ

a child: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œAnd you, spoiled one, what are you doing, that you clothe yourself with scarlet, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you make yourself fairโ€ (Jeremiah 4:30).

ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืขื“ ื“ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœืชืœื™ืกืจ ื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ื›ื•ืœื”ื• ืคืกืงื• ืœื™ื” ื›ื™ ื”ืื™ ื’ื•ื•ื ื ืœื‘ืชืจื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืจืฉืข ืืžืจ ืืœื”ื™ื ืžื” ืœืš ืœืกืคืจ ื—ืงื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื”ื”ื•ื ื™ื ื•ืงื ื”ื•ื” ืžื’ืžื’ื ื‘ืœื™ืฉื ื™ื” ืืฉืชืžืข ื›ืžื” ื“ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืืœื™ืฉืข ืืžืจ ืืœื”ื™ื ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ืกื›ื™ื ื ื”ื•ื” ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื” ื•ืงืจืขื™ื” ื•ืฉื“ืจื™ื” ืœืชืœื™ืกืจ ื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื™ ื•ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ืืžืจ ืื™ ื”ื•ืื™ ื‘ื™ื“ื™ ืกื›ื™ื ื ื”ื•ื” ืงืจืขื ื ืœื™ื”

He brought him to another synagogue, until he had brought him into thirteen synagogues, where all the children recited to him similar verses that speak of the hopeless situation of the wicked. At the last one, he said to him: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œAnd to the wicked [velerasha] God says, what is it for you to declare My statutesโ€ (Psalms 50:16). The Gemara relates: That child had a stutter, so it sounded as though he were saying to him: Veleโ€™elisha, i.e., and to Elisha, God says. This made Elisha think the child was deliberately insulting him. Some say Aแธฅer had a knife, and he tore the child apart and sent him to the thirteen synagogues. And others say that Aแธฅer merely said: Had I a knife, I would have torn him apart.

ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืืžืจื™ ืœื ืžื™ื“ืŸ ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ื•ืœื ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืœื™ืชื™ ืœื ืžื™ื“ืŸ ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืขืกืง ื‘ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ื•ืœื ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืœื™ืชื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ื—ื˜ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื“ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ื•ืœื™ืชื™ ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืžืชื™ ืืžื•ืช ื•ืืขืœื” ืขืฉืŸ ืžืงื‘ืจื• ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืกืœื™ืง ืงื•ื˜ืจื ืžืงื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ

The Gemara relates: When Aแธฅer passed away, the Heavenly Court declared that he should not be judged, nor brought into the World-to-Come. He should not be judged in a manner befitting his deeds, because he occupied himself with Torah, whose merit protects him. And he should not be brought into the World-to-Come because he sinned. Rabbi Meir said: It is better that he be judged properly and be brought into the World-to-Come. When I die I will request this of Heaven, and I will cause smoke to rise up from his grave, as a sign that he is being sentenced in Gehenna. The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Meir passed away, smoke rose up from the grave of Aแธฅer, implying that Rabbi Meirโ€™s wish was granted.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื’ื‘ื•ืจืชื ืœืžื™ืงืœื ืจื‘ื™ื” ื—ื“ ื”ื•ื” ื‘ื™ื ื ื ื•ืœื ืžืฆื™ื ืŸ ืœืืฆื•ืœื™ื” ืื™ ื ืงื˜ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื“ ืžืืŸ ืžืจืžื™ ืœื™ื” ืžืืŸ ืืžืจ ืžืชื™ ืืžื•ืช ื•ืื›ื‘ื” ืขืฉืŸ ืžืงื‘ืจื• ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืคืกืง ืงื•ื˜ืจื ืžืงื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืคืชื— ืขืœื™ื” ื”ื”ื•ื ืกืคื“ื ื ืืคื™ืœื• ืฉื•ืžืจ ื”ืคืชื— ืœื ืขืžื“ ืœืคื ื™ืš ืจื‘ื™ื ื•

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: Was this a mighty deed on Rabbi Meirโ€™s part, to burn his teacher? Was this the only remedy available? Can it be that there was one Sage among us who left the path and we cannot save him? If we hold him by the hand, who will remove him from our protection; who? Rabbi Yoแธฅanan continued and said: When I die I will have the smoke extinguished from his grave, as a sign that he has been released from the sentence of Gehenna and brought to the World-to-Come. Indeed, when Rabbi Yoแธฅanan passed away, the smoke ceased to rise up from the grave of Aแธฅer. A certain eulogizer began his eulogy of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan with the following: Even the guard at the entrance could not stand before you, our rabbi. The guard at the entrance to Gehenna could not prevent Rabbi Yoแธฅanan from arranging the release of Aแธฅer.

ื‘ืชื• ืฉืœ ืื—ืจ ืืชื™ื ืœืงืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืคืจื ืกื ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื” ื‘ืช ืžื™ ืืช ืืžืจื” ืœื• ื‘ืชื• ืฉืœ ืื—ืจ ืื ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื” ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ืฉ ืžื–ืจืขื• ื‘ืขื•ืœื ื•ื”ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื ื ื™ืŸ ืœื• ื•ืœื ื ื›ื“ ื‘ืขืžื• ื•ืื™ืŸ ืฉืจื™ื“ ื‘ืžื’ื•ืจื™ื• ืืžืจื” ืœื• ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืœืชื•ืจืชื• ื•ืืœ ืชื–ื›ื•ืจ ืžืขืฉื™ื• ืžื™ื“ ื™ืจื“ื” ืืฉ ื•ืกื›ืกื›ื” ืกืคืกืœื• ืฉืœ ืจื‘ื™ ื‘ื›ื” ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื•ืžื” ืœืžืชื’ื ื™ืŸ ื‘ื” ื›ืš ืœืžืฉืชื‘ื—ื™ืŸ ื‘ื” ืขืœ ืื—ืช ื›ืžื” ื•ื›ืžื”

The Gemara relates: The daughter of Aแธฅer came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and said to him: Rabbi, provide me with sustenance, as she was in need of food. He said to her: Whose daughter are you? She said to him: I am the daughter of Aแธฅer. He said to her, angrily: Is there still of his seed remaining in the world? But isnโ€™t it stated: โ€œHe shall have neither son nor grandson among his people or any remaining in his dwellingsโ€ (Job 18:19)? She said to him: Remember his Torah, and do not remember his deeds. Immediately, fire descended and licked Rabbi Yehuda HaNasiโ€™s bench. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wept and said: If God protects the honor of those who treat the Torah with contempt in such a manner, as Aแธฅer despised the Torah and relinquished its teachings, how much more so would He do for those who treat it with honor.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื’ืžืจ ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ื•ื”ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื›ื™ ืฉืคืชื™ ื›ื”ืŸ ื™ืฉืžืจื• ื“ืขืช ื•ืชื•ืจื” ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืžืคื™ื”ื• ื›ื™ ืžืœืืš ื”ืณ ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื”ื•ื ืื ื“ื•ืžื” ื”ืจื‘ ืœืžืœืืš ื”ืณ ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื”ื• ื•ืื ืœืื• ืืœ ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื”ื•

The Gemara poses a question: And Rabbi Meir, how could he learn Torah from the mouth of Aแธฅer? But didnโ€™t Rabba bar bar แธคana say that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œFor the priestโ€™s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek Torah from his mouth; for he is an angel of the Lord of hostsโ€ (Malachi 2:7)? The verse teaches: If the rabbi is similar to an angel of the Lord of hosts, perfect in his ways, they should seek Torah from his mouth; but if not, they should not seek Torah from his mouth.

ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืงืจื ืืฉื›ื— ื•ื“ืจืฉ ื”ื˜ ืื–ื ืš ื•ืฉืžืข ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ื•ืœื‘ืš ืชืฉื™ืช ืœื“ืขืชื™ ืœื“ืขืชื ืœื ื ืืžืจ ืืœื ืœื“ืขืชื™

Reish Lakish said: Rabbi Meir found a verse and interpreted it homiletically: โ€œIncline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to My knowledgeโ€ (Proverbs 22:17). It does not state โ€œto their knowledge,โ€ but โ€œto My knowledge.โ€ In other words, one must listen to the words of the Sages, despite their flaws, provided that their opinion concurs with that of God.

ืจื‘ ื—ื ื™ื ื ืืžืจ ืžื”ื›ื ืฉืžืขื™ ื‘ืช ื•ืจืื™ ื•ื”ื˜ื™ ืื–ื ืš ื•ืฉื›ื—ื™ ืขืžืš ื•ื‘ื™ืช ืื‘ื™ืš ื•ื’ื•ืณ

Rav แธคanina said that one can find support for this idea from here: โ€œListen, daughter and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people and your fatherโ€™s houseโ€ (Psalms 45:11), which likewise indicates that one must listen to the words of a Sage while forgetting, i.e., ignoring, the faulty aspects of his teachings.

ืงืฉื• ืงืจืื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™ ืœื ืงืฉื™ื ื”ื ื‘ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื”ื ื‘ืงื˜ืŸ

The Gemara asks: If so, the verses contradict each other, for one source states that one may learn only from a scholar who is perfect in his ways, while the other indicates that it is permitted even to learn from one whose character is flawed. The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This case, in which it is permitted to a flawed scholar, is referring to an adult; whereas that case, which prohibits doing so, is referring to a minor, who should learn only from a righteous person, so that his ways are not corrupted by a teacher with flawed character.

ื›ื™ ืืชื ืจื‘ ื“ื™ืžื™ ืืžืจ ืืžืจื™ ื‘ืžืขืจื‘ื ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืื›ืœ ืชื—ืœื ื•ืฉื“ื ืฉื™ื—ืœื ืœื‘ืจื ื“ืจืฉ ืจื‘ื ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืืœ ื’ื ืช ืื’ื•ื– ื™ืจื“ืชื™ ืœืจืื•ืช ื‘ืื‘ื™ ื”ื ื—ืœ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืœืžื” ื ืžืฉืœื• ืชืœืžื™ื“ื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืœืื’ื•ื– ืœื•ืžืจ ืœืš ืžื” ืื’ื•ื– ื–ื” ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืžืœื•ื›ืœืš ื‘ื˜ื™ื˜ ื•ื‘ืฆื•ืื” ืื™ืŸ ืžื” ืฉื‘ืชื•ื›ื• ื ืžืืก ืืฃ ืชืœืžื™ื“ ื—ื›ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืกืจื— ืื™ืŸ ืชื•ืจืชื• ื ืžืืกืช

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say: Rabbi Meir ate a half-ripe date and threw the peel away. In other words, he was able to extract the important content from the inedible shell. Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œI went down into the garden of nuts, to look at the green plants of the valleyโ€ (Song of Songs 6:11)? Why are Torah scholars compared to nuts? To tell you: Just as this nut, despite being soiled with mud and excrement, its content is not made repulsive, as only its shell is soiled; so too a Torah scholar, although he has sinned, his Torah is not made repulsive.

ืืฉื›ื—ื™ื” ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืœื ืœืืœื™ื”ื• ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ืงื ืขื‘ื™ื“ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืงืืžืจ ืฉืžืขืชื ืžืคื•ืžื™ื™ื”ื• ื“ื›ื•ืœื”ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื•ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœื ืงืืžืจ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืงื ื’ืžืจ ืฉืžืขืชื ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืจืžื•ืŸ ืžืฆื ืชื•ื›ื• ืื›ืœ ืงืœื™ืคืชื• ื–ืจืง ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ืฉืชื ืงืืžืจ ืžืื™ืจ ื‘ื ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื–ืžืŸ ืฉืื“ื ืžืฆื˜ืขืจ ืฉื›ื™ื ื” ืžื” ืœืฉื•ืŸ ืื•ืžืจืช ืงืœื ื™ ืžืจืืฉื™ ืงืœื ื™ ืžื–ืจื•ืขื™ ืื ื›ืš ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืžืฆื˜ืขืจ ืขืœ ื“ืžืŸ ืฉืœ ืจืฉืขื™ื ืงืœ ื•ื—ื•ืžืจ ืขืœ ื“ืžืŸ ืฉืœ ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ืฉื ืฉืคืš

The Gemara relates: Rabba bar Sheila found Elijah the prophet, who had appeared to him. He said to Elijah: What is the Holy One, Blessed be He, doing? Elijah said to him: He is stating halakhot transmitted by all of the Sages, but in the name of Rabbi Meir He will not speak. He said to him: Why? He replied: Because he learned halakhot from the mouth of Aแธฅer. He said to him: Why should he be judged unfavorably for that? Rabbi Meir found a pomegranate and ate its contents while throwing away its peel. He said to him: Indeed, your defense has been heard above. Now God is saying: My son, Meir, says: When a person suffers, e.g., by receiving lashes or the death penalty at the hands of the court, how does the Divine Presence express itself? Woe is Me from My head, woe is Me from My arm, as God empathizes with the sufferer. If the Holy One, Blessed be He, suffers to such an extent over the blood of the wicked, how much more so does He suffer over the blood of the righteous that is spilled.

ืืฉื›ื—ื™ื” ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื“ืชืœื™ ื‘ืขื™ื‘ืจื ื“ื“ืฉื ื•ืงื ื‘ื›ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืฉื™ื ื ื ืžืื™ ืงื ื‘ื›ื™ืช ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžื™ ื–ื•ื˜ืจื ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื”ื• ื‘ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืื™ื” ืฉื•ืงืœ ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืืช ื”ืžื’ื“ืœื™ื ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ื›ืœ ืื•ืชื™ื•ืช ืฉื‘ืชื•ืจื” ืื™ื” ืฉื•ืงืœ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืฉื•ืงืœื™ื ืงืœื™ืŸ ื•ื—ืžื•ืจื™ืŸ ืฉื‘ืชื•ืจื” ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืืช ื”ืžื’ื“ืœื™ื ืฉื”ื™ื• ืฉื•ื ื™ืŸ ืฉืœืฉ ืžืื•ืช ื”ืœื›ื•ืช ื‘ืžื’ื“ืœ ื”ืคื•ืจื— ื‘ืื•ื™ืจ

The Gemara relates: Shmuel found Rav Yehuda leaning on the bar of the door, crying. He said to him: Long-toothed one [shinnana], what are you crying for? He said to him: Is it a small matter, that which is written with regard to Sages who have sinned: โ€œWhere is he who counted, where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?โ€ (Isaiah 33:18). He proceeded to explain: โ€œWhere is he who countedโ€; for they would count all the letters of the Torah. โ€œWhere is he who weighedโ€; for they would weigh and compare the minor and major transgressions of the Torah. โ€œWhere is he who counted the towersโ€; for they would teach three hundred halakhot concerning the details of tent impurity involving a wooden closet floating in the air. If they studied a subject so removed from reality in such depths, how much more so did they analyze other issues.

ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืืžื™ ืชืœืช ืžืื” ื‘ืขื™ื™ ื‘ืขื• ื“ื•ืื’ ื•ืื—ื™ืชื•ืคืœ ื‘ืžื’ื“ืœ ื”ืคื•ืจื— ื‘ืื•ื™ืจ ื•ืชื ืŸ ืฉืœืฉื” ืžืœื›ื™ื ื•ืืจื‘ืขื” ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ื•ืช ืื™ืŸ ืœื”ื ื—ืœืง ืœืขื•ืœื ื”ื‘ื ืื ืŸ ืžื” ืชื”ื•ื™ ืขืœืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืฉื™ื ื ื ื˜ื™ื ื ื”ื™ืชื” ื‘ืœื‘ื

And Rabbi Ami said: Doeg asked Ahithophel three hundred questions with regard to a closet floating in the air, as they were both great Torah scholars. And we learned in a mishna (Sanhedrin 90a): Three kings and four commoners have no portion in the World-to-Come, a list that includes Doeg and Ahithophel. If such great Sages could sin and forfeit their share in the World-to-Come, we, who are less knowledgeable than they, what will be of us? He said to him: Long-toothed one, there was mud [tina] in their hearts, i.e., they had certain flaws that prevented their Torah learning from protecting them.

ืื—ืจ ืžืื™ ื–ืžืจ ื™ื•ื•ื ื™ ืœื ืคืกืง ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ืืžืจื• ืขืœื™ื• ืขืœ ืื—ืจ ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ื™ื” ืขื•ืžื“ ืžื‘ื™ืช ื”ืžื“ืจืฉ ื”ืจื‘ื” ืกืคืจื™ ืžื™ื ื™ืŸ ื ื•ืฉืจื™ืŸ ืžื—ื™ืงื•

The Gemara explains: Aแธฅer, what was his failing? Greek tunes never ceased from his mouth. He would constantly hum Greek songs, even when he was among the Sages. This shows that from the outset he was drawn to gentile culture and beliefs. Similarly, they said about Aแธฅer: When he would stand after learning in the study hall, many heretical books, which he had been reading, would fall from his lap. Therefore, he was somewhat unsound even when among the Sages.

ืฉืืœ ื ื™ืžื•ืก ื”ื’ืจื“ื™ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ื›ืœ ืขืžืจ ื“ื ื—ื™ืช ืœื™ื•ืจื” ืกืœื™ืง ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื›ืœ ืžืืŸ ื“ื”ื•ื” ื ืงื™ ืื’ื‘ ืื™ืžื™ื” ืกืœื™ืง ื›ืœ ื“ืœื ื”ื•ื” ื ืงื™ ืื’ื‘ ืื™ืžื™ื” ืœื ืกืœื™ืง

The gentile philosopher, Nimos HaGardi, asked Rabbi Meir: Does all wool that enters the cauldron to be dyed emerge colored? In other words, do all those who learn Torah emerge as decent and worthy? He said to him: Whoever was clean when he was with his mother, from the outset, will emerge decent and worthy, but all those who were not clean when they were with their mother will not emerge worthy. One who approaches Torah study having been flawed from the outset will not be properly influenced by it.

ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืขืœื” ื‘ืฉืœื•ื ื•ื™ืจื“ ื‘ืฉืœื•ื ื•ืขืœื™ื• ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ืื•ืžืจ ืžืฉื›ื ื™ ืื—ืจื™ืš ื ืจื•ืฆื” ื•ืืฃ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื‘ืงืฉื• ืžืœืื›ื™ ื”ืฉืจืช ืœื“ื•ื—ืคื• ืืžืจ ืœื”ื ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื”ื ื™ื—ื• ืœื–ืงืŸ ื–ื” ืฉืจืื•ื™ ืœื”ืฉืชืžืฉ ื‘ื›ื‘ื•ื“ื™

ยง The Gemara returns to the four who entered the orchard. It is stated above that Rabbi Akiva ascended in safety and descended safely. With regard to him, the verse states: โ€œDraw me, we will run after you; the king has brought me into his chambersโ€ (Song of Songs 1:4). The Gemara relates: And even Rabbi Akiva, the ministering angels sought to push him out of the orchard. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Leave this Elder, for he is fit to serve My glory.

  • 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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The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Chagigah 15

ื™ื›ื•ืœ ืื ื™ ืœื‘ืขื•ืœ ื›ืžื” ื‘ืขื™ืœื•ืช ื‘ืœื ื“ื ืื• ื“ืœืžื ื“ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื ืืžืจ ืœื”ื• ื“ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื— ื•ื—ื™ื™ืฉื™ื ืŸ ืฉืžื ื‘ืืžื‘ื˜ื™ ืขื™ื‘ืจื”

I can engage in intercourse several times without blood. In other words, I can have relations with a woman while leaving her hymen intact. If this is so, it is possible that the assumed virgin had intercourse in this manner and is forbidden to the High Priest. Or, perhaps a person who can act like Shmuel is not common and the halakha is not concerned with this case. He said to them: One like Shmuel is not common, and we are concerned that she may have conceived in a bath. Perhaps she washed in a bath that contained a manโ€™s semen, from which she became impregnated while remaining a virgin.

ื•ื”ืืžืจ ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื›ืœ ืฉื›ื‘ืช ื–ืจืข ืฉืื™ื ื• ื™ื•ืจื” ื›ื—ืฅ ืื™ื ื• ืžื–ืจืขืช ืžืขื™ืงืจื ื ืžื™ ื™ื•ืจื” ื›ื—ืฅ ื”ื•ื”

The Gemara asks: How could she possibly become pregnant in such a manner? Didnโ€™t Shmuel say: Any semen that is not shot like an arrow cannot fertilize? The Gemara answers: This does not mean that it must be shot like an arrow at the moment of fertilization. Even if initially, when released from the male, it was shot as an arrow, it can also fertilize a woman at a later moment.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื‘ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ื—ื ื ื™ื” ืฉื”ื™ื” ืขื•ืžื“ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ืžืขืœื” ื‘ื”ืจ ื”ื‘ื™ืช ื•ืจืื”ื• ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ื•ืœื ืขืžื“ ืžืœืคื ื™ื• ืืžืจ ืœื• ืžืื™ืŸ ื•ืœืื™ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ืืžืจ ืœื• ืฆื•ืคื” ื”ื™ื™ืชื™ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ื”ืขืœื™ื•ื ื™ื ืœืžื™ื ื”ืชื—ืชื•ื ื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืœื–ื” ืืœื ืฉืœืฉ ืืฆื‘ืขื•ืช ื‘ืœื‘ื“ ืฉื ืืžืจ ื•ืจื•ื— ืืœื”ื™ื ืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ื›ื™ื•ื ื” ืฉืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ื‘ื ื™ื” ื•ืื™ื ื” ื ื•ื’ืขืช ืืžืจ ืœื”ืŸ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืœืชืœืžื™ื“ื™ื• ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ื–ื•ืžื ืžื‘ื—ื•ืฅ

With regard to the fate of ben Zoma, the Sages taught: There was once an incident with regard to Rabbi Yehoshua ben แธคananya, who was standing on a step on the Temple Mount, and ben Zoma saw him and did not stand before him to honor him, as he was deep in thought. Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: From where do you come and where are you going, ben Zoma, i.e., what is on your mind? He said to him: In my thoughts I was looking upon the act of Creation, at the gap between the upper waters and the lower waters, as there is only the breadth of a mere three fingers between them, as it is stated: โ€œAnd the spirit of God hovered over the face of the watersโ€ (Genesis 1:2), like a dove hovering over its young without touching them. Rabbi Yehoshua said to his students who had overheard this exchange: Ben Zoma is still outside; he has not yet achieved full understanding of these matters.

ืžื›ื“ื™ ื•ืจื•ื— ืืœื”ื™ื ืžืจื—ืคืช ืขืœ ืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ืื™ืžืช ื”ื•ื™ ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืจืืฉื•ืŸ ื”ื‘ื“ืœื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ืฉื ื™ ื”ื•ื ื“ื”ื•ืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื™ื”ื™ ืžื‘ื“ื™ืœ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื™ื ืœืžื™ื ื•ื›ืžื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ื›ืžืœื ื ื™ืžื ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืืžืจื™ ื›ื™ ื’ื•ื“ื ื“ื’ืžืœื ืžืจ ื–ื•ื˜ืจื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ ืืกื™ ืืžืจ ื›ืชืจื™ ื’ืœื™ืžื™ ื“ืคืจื™ืกื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™ ื•ืืžืจื™ ืœื” ื›ืชืจื™ ื›ืกื™ ื“ืกื—ื™ืคื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™

The Gemara explains: Now, this verse: โ€œAnd the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters,โ€ when was it stated? On the first day, whereas the division of the waters occurred on the second day, as it is written: โ€œAnd let it divide the waters from the watersโ€ (Genesis 1:6). How, then, could ben Zoma derive a proof from the former verse? The Gemara asks: And how much, in fact, is the gap between them? Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov said: Like the thickness of a thread; and the Rabbis said: Like the gap between the boards of a bridge. Mar Zutra, and some say it was Rav Asi, said: Like two robes spread one over the other, with a slight gap in between. And some said: Like two cups placed one upon the other.

ืื—ืจ ืงื™ืฆืฅ ื‘ื ื˜ื™ืขื•ืช ืขืœื™ื• ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ืื•ืžืจ ืืœ ืชืชืŸ ืืช ืคื™ืš ืœื—ื˜ื™ื ืืช ื‘ืฉืจืš ืžืื™ ื”ื™ื ื—ื–ื ืžื™ื˜ื˜ืจื•ืŸ ื“ืืชื™ื”ื‘ื ืœื™ื” ืจืฉื•ืชื ืœืžื™ืชื‘ ืœืžื™ื›ืชื‘ ื–ื›ื•ื•ืชื ื“ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืืžืจ ื’ืžื™ืจื ื“ืœืžืขืœื” ืœื ื”ื•ื™ ืœื ื™ืฉื™ื‘ื” ื•ืœื ืชื—ืจื•ืช ื•ืœื ืขื•ืจืฃ ื•ืœื ืขื™ืคื•ื™ ืฉืžื ื—ืก ื•ืฉืœื•ื ืฉืชื™ ืจืฉื•ื™ื•ืช ื”ืŸ

ยง The Gemara stated earlier that Aแธฅer chopped down the saplings, becoming a heretic. With regard to him, the verse states: โ€œDo not let your mouth bring your flesh into guiltโ€ (Ecclesiastes 5:5). The Gemara poses a question: What was it that led him to heresy? He saw the angel Mitatron, who was granted permission to sit and write the merits of Israel. He said: There is a tradition that in the world above there is no sitting; no competition; no turning oneโ€™s back before Him, i.e., all face the Divine Presence; and no lethargy. Seeing that someone other than God was seated above, he said: Perhaps, the Gemara here interjects, Heaven forbid, there are two authorities, and there is another source of power in control of the world in addition to God. Such thoughts led Aแธฅer to heresy.

ืืคืงื•ื”ื• ืœืžื™ื˜ื˜ืจื•ืŸ ื•ืžื—ื™ื•ื”ื• ืฉื™ืชื™ืŸ ืคื•ืœืกื™ ื“ื ื•ืจื ืืžืจื• ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื›ื™ ื—ื–ื™ืชื™ื” ืœื ืงืžืช ืžืงืžื™ื” ืื™ืชื™ื”ื™ื‘ื ืœื™ื” ืจืฉื•ืชื ืœืžื™ืžื—ืง ื–ื›ื•ื•ืชื ื“ืื—ืจ ื™ืฆืชื” ื‘ืช ืงื•ืœ ื•ืืžืจื” ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

The Gemara relates: They removed Mitatron from his place in heaven and smote him with sixty rods [pulsei] of fire, so that others would not make mistake that Aแธฅer made. They said to the angel: What is the reason that when you saw Elisha ben Avuya you did not stand before him? Despite this conduct, since Mitatron was personally involved, he was granted permission to erase the merits of Aแธฅer and cause him to stumble in any manner. A Divine Voice went forth saying: โ€œReturn, rebellious childrenโ€ (Jeremiah 3:22), apart from Aแธฅer.

ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืื™ื˜ืจื™ื“ ื”ื”ื•ื ื’ื‘ืจื ืžื”ื”ื•ื ืขืœืžื ืœื™ืคื•ืง ืœื™ืชื”ื ื™ ื‘ื”ืื™ ืขืœืžื ื ืคืง ืื—ืจ ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ื ืคืง ืืฉื›ื— ื–ื•ื ื” ืชื‘ืขื” ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืื• ืืœื™ืฉืข ื‘ืŸ ืื‘ื•ื™ื” ืืช ืขืงืจ ืคื•ื’ืœื ืžืžื™ืฉืจื ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื•ื™ื”ื‘ ืœื” ืืžืจื” ืื—ืจ ื”ื•ื

Upon hearing this, Elisha ben Avuya said: Since that man, meaning himself, has been banished from that world, let him go out and enjoy this world. Aแธฅer went astray. He went and found a prostitute and solicited her for intercourse. She said to him: And are you not Elisha ben Avuya? Shall a person of your stature perform such an act? He uprooted a radish from a patch of radishes on Shabbat and gave it to her, to demonstrate that he no longer observed the Torah. The prostitute said: He is other than he was. He is not the same Elisha ben Avuya, he is Aแธฅer, other.

ืฉืืœ ืื—ืจ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœืื—ืจ ืฉื™ืฆื ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื’ื ืืช ื–ื” ืœืขื•ืžืช ื–ื” ืขืฉื” ื”ืืœื”ื™ื ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ืœ ืžื” ืฉื‘ืจื ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื‘ืจื ื›ื ื’ื“ื• ื‘ืจื ื”ืจื™ื ื‘ืจื ื’ื‘ืขื•ืช ื‘ืจื ื™ืžื™ื ื‘ืจื ื ื”ืจื•ืช

The Gemara relates: Aแธฅer asked Rabbi Meir a question, after he had gone astray. He said to him: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œGod has made even the one as well as the otherโ€ (Ecclesiastes 7:14)? Rabbi Meir said to him: Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created, He created a similar creation corresponding to it. He created mountains, He created hills; He created seas, He created rivers.

ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืจื‘ืš ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืš ืืœื ื‘ืจื ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ื‘ืจื ืจืฉืขื™ื ื‘ืจื ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื‘ืจื ื’ื™ื”ื ื ื›ืœ ืื—ื“ ื•ืื—ื“ ื™ืฉ ืœื• ืฉื ื™ ื—ืœืงื™ื ืื—ื“ ื‘ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื•ืื—ื“ ื‘ื’ื™ื”ื ื ื–ื›ื” ืฆื“ื™ืง ื ื˜ืœ ื—ืœืงื• ื•ื—ืœืง ื—ื‘ืจื• ื‘ื’ืŸ ืขื“ืŸ ื ืชื—ื™ื™ื‘ ืจืฉืข ื ื˜ืœ ื—ืœืงื• ื•ื—ืœืง ื—ื‘ืจื• ื‘ื’ื™ื”ื ื

Aแธฅer said to him: Rabbi Akiva, your teacher, did not say so, but explained the verse as follows: Everything has its opposite: He created the righteous, He created the wicked; He created the Garden of Eden, He created Gehenna. Each and every person has two portions, one in the Garden of Eden and one in Gehenna. If he merits it, by becoming righteous, he takes his portion and the portion of his wicked colleague in the Garden of Eden; if he is found culpable by becoming wicked, he takes his portion and the portion of his colleague in Gehenna.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืžืฉืจืฉื™ื ืžืื™ ืงืจืื” ื’ื‘ื™ ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื›ืŸ ื‘ืืจืฆื ืžืฉื ื” ื™ื™ืจืฉื• ื’ื‘ื™ ืจืฉืขื™ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืžืฉื ื” ืฉื‘ืจื•ืŸ ืฉื‘ืจื

Rav Mesharshiyya said: What is the verse from which it is derived? With regard to the righteous, it is stated: โ€œTherefore in their land they shall possess doubleโ€ (Isaiah 61:7); whereas with regard to the wicked, it is stated: โ€œAnd destroy them with double destructionโ€ (Jeremiah 17:18); therefore, each receives a double portion.

ืฉืืœ ืื—ืจ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœืื—ืจ ืฉื™ืฆื ืœืชืจื‘ื•ืช ืจืขื” ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื ื™ืขืจื›ื ื” ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ื•ืชืžื•ืจืชื” ื›ืœื™ ืคื– ืืžืจ ืœื• ืืœื• ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืชื•ืจื” ืฉืงืฉื™ืŸ ืœืงื ื•ืชืŸ ื›ื›ืœื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื›ืœื™ ืคื– ื•ื ื•ื—ื™ืŸ ืœืื‘ื“ืŸ ื›ื›ืœื™ ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ืืžืจ ืœื• ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืจื‘ืš ืœื ืืžืจ ื›ืš ืืœื ืžื” ื›ืœื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื•ื›ืœื™ ื–ื›ื•ื›ื™ืช ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉื ืฉื‘ืจื• ื™ืฉ ืœื”ื ืชืงื ื” ืืฃ ืชืœืžื™ื“ ื—ื›ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืกืจื— ื™ืฉ ืœื• ืชืงื ื” ืืžืจ ืœื• ืืฃ ืืชื” ื—ื–ื•ืจ ื‘ืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ื‘ืจ ืฉืžืขืชื™ ืžืื—ื•ืจื™ ื”ืคืจื’ื•ื“ ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

Aแธฅer asked Rabbi Meir another question, again after he had gone astray. What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œGold and glass cannot equal it; neither shall its exchange be vessels of fine goldโ€ (Job 28:17)? If it is referring to the praise and honor of the Torah, it should have compared it only to gold, not to glass. He said to him: This is referring to words of Torah, which are as difficult to acquire as gilded vessels and vessels of fine gold but are as easy to lose as glass vessels. Aแธฅer said to him: Rabbi Akiva, your teacher, did not say so, but taught as follows: Just as golden vessels and glass vessels have a remedy even when they have broken, as they can be melted down and made into new vessels, so too a Torah scholar, although he has transgressed, has a remedy. Rabbi Meir said to him: If so, you too, return from your ways. He said to him: I have already heard the following declaration behind the dividing curtain, which conceals God from the world: โ€œReturn, rebellious children,โ€ (Jeremiah 3:22) apart from Aแธฅer.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืžืขืฉื” ื‘ืื—ืจ ืฉื”ื™ื” ืจื•ื›ื‘ ืขืœ ื”ืกื•ืก ื‘ืฉื‘ืช ื•ื”ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืžื”ืœืš ืื—ืจื™ื• ืœืœืžื•ื“ ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื• ืืžืจ ืœื• ืžืื™ืจ ื—ื–ื•ืจ ืœืื—ืจื™ืš ืฉื›ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืขืจืชื™ ื‘ืขืงื‘ื™ ืกื•ืกื™ ืขื“ ื›ืืŸ ืชื—ื•ื ืฉื‘ืช ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืฃ ืืชื” ื—ื–ื•ืจ ื‘ืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœื ื›ื‘ืจ ืืžืจืชื™ ืœืš ื›ื‘ืจ ืฉืžืขืชื™ ืžืื—ื•ืจื™ ื”ืคืจื’ื•ื“ ืฉื•ื‘ื• ื‘ื ื™ื ืฉื•ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื—ื•ืฅ ืžืื—ืจ

The Gemara cites a related story: The Sages taught: There was once an incident involving Aแธฅer, who was riding on a horse on Shabbat, and Rabbi Meir was walking behind him to learn Torah from him. After a while, Aแธฅer said to him: Meir, turn back, for I have already estimated and measured according to the steps of my horse that the Shabbat boundary ends here, and you may therefore venture no further. Rabbi Meir said to him: You, too, return to the correct path. He said to him: But have I not already told you that I have already heard behind the dividing curtain: โ€œReturn, rebellious children,โ€ apart from Aแธฅer?

ืชืงืคื™ื” ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ืžื“ืจืฉื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ืื™ืŸ ืฉืœื•ื ืืžืจ ื”ืณ ืœืจืฉืขื™ื ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื• ื›ื™ ืื ืชื›ื‘ืกื™ ื‘ื ืชืจ ื•ืชืจื‘ื™ ืœืš ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื›ืชื ืขื•ื ืš ืœืคื ื™ ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื”

Nevertheless, Rabbi Meir took hold of him and brought him to the study hall. Aแธฅer said to a child, by way of divination: Recite your verse that you studied today to me. He recited the following verse to him: โ€œThere is no peace, said the Lord, concerning the wickedโ€ (Isaiah 48:22). He brought him to another study hall. Aแธฅer said to a child: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œFor though you wash with niter, and take for you much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Meโ€ (Jeremiah 2:22). He brought him to another study hall. Aแธฅer said to

ืœื™ื ื•ืงื ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืืช ืฉื“ื•ื“ ืžื” ืชืขืฉื™ ื›ื™ ืชืœื‘ืฉื™ ืฉื ื™ ื›ื™ ืชืขื“ื™ ืขื“ื™ ื–ื”ื‘ ื›ื™ ืชืงืจืขื™ ื‘ืคื•ืš ืขื™ื ื™ืš ืœืฉื•ื ืชืชื™ืคื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ

a child: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œAnd you, spoiled one, what are you doing, that you clothe yourself with scarlet, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you make yourself fairโ€ (Jeremiah 4:30).

ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืขื“ ื“ืขื™ื™ืœื™ื” ืœืชืœื™ืกืจ ื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื ื›ื•ืœื”ื• ืคืกืงื• ืœื™ื” ื›ื™ ื”ืื™ ื’ื•ื•ื ื ืœื‘ืชืจื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืคืกื•ืง ืœื™ ืคืกื•ืงืš ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืจืฉืข ืืžืจ ืืœื”ื™ื ืžื” ืœืš ืœืกืคืจ ื—ืงื™ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื”ื”ื•ื ื™ื ื•ืงื ื”ื•ื” ืžื’ืžื’ื ื‘ืœื™ืฉื ื™ื” ืืฉืชืžืข ื›ืžื” ื“ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื•ืœืืœื™ืฉืข ืืžืจ ืืœื”ื™ื ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ืกื›ื™ื ื ื”ื•ื” ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื” ื•ืงืจืขื™ื” ื•ืฉื“ืจื™ื” ืœืชืœื™ืกืจ ื‘ื™ ื›ื ื™ืฉืชื™ ื•ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ืืžืจ ืื™ ื”ื•ืื™ ื‘ื™ื“ื™ ืกื›ื™ื ื ื”ื•ื” ืงืจืขื ื ืœื™ื”

He brought him to another synagogue, until he had brought him into thirteen synagogues, where all the children recited to him similar verses that speak of the hopeless situation of the wicked. At the last one, he said to him: Recite your verse to me. He recited to him: โ€œAnd to the wicked [velerasha] God says, what is it for you to declare My statutesโ€ (Psalms 50:16). The Gemara relates: That child had a stutter, so it sounded as though he were saying to him: Veleโ€™elisha, i.e., and to Elisha, God says. This made Elisha think the child was deliberately insulting him. Some say Aแธฅer had a knife, and he tore the child apart and sent him to the thirteen synagogues. And others say that Aแธฅer merely said: Had I a knife, I would have torn him apart.

ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืืžืจื™ ืœื ืžื™ื“ืŸ ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ื•ืœื ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืœื™ืชื™ ืœื ืžื™ื“ืŸ ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืขืกืง ื‘ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ื•ืœื ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืœื™ืชื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ื—ื˜ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื“ืœื™ื“ื™ื™ื ื™ื” ื•ืœื™ืชื™ ืœืขืœืžื ื“ืืชื™ ืžืชื™ ืืžื•ืช ื•ืืขืœื” ืขืฉืŸ ืžืงื‘ืจื• ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืกืœื™ืง ืงื•ื˜ืจื ืžืงื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ

The Gemara relates: When Aแธฅer passed away, the Heavenly Court declared that he should not be judged, nor brought into the World-to-Come. He should not be judged in a manner befitting his deeds, because he occupied himself with Torah, whose merit protects him. And he should not be brought into the World-to-Come because he sinned. Rabbi Meir said: It is better that he be judged properly and be brought into the World-to-Come. When I die I will request this of Heaven, and I will cause smoke to rise up from his grave, as a sign that he is being sentenced in Gehenna. The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Meir passed away, smoke rose up from the grave of Aแธฅer, implying that Rabbi Meirโ€™s wish was granted.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื’ื‘ื•ืจืชื ืœืžื™ืงืœื ืจื‘ื™ื” ื—ื“ ื”ื•ื” ื‘ื™ื ื ื ื•ืœื ืžืฆื™ื ืŸ ืœืืฆื•ืœื™ื” ืื™ ื ืงื˜ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื“ ืžืืŸ ืžืจืžื™ ืœื™ื” ืžืืŸ ืืžืจ ืžืชื™ ืืžื•ืช ื•ืื›ื‘ื” ืขืฉืŸ ืžืงื‘ืจื• ื›ื™ ื ื— ื ืคืฉื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืคืกืง ืงื•ื˜ืจื ืžืงื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืคืชื— ืขืœื™ื” ื”ื”ื•ื ืกืคื“ื ื ืืคื™ืœื• ืฉื•ืžืจ ื”ืคืชื— ืœื ืขืžื“ ืœืคื ื™ืš ืจื‘ื™ื ื•

Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: Was this a mighty deed on Rabbi Meirโ€™s part, to burn his teacher? Was this the only remedy available? Can it be that there was one Sage among us who left the path and we cannot save him? If we hold him by the hand, who will remove him from our protection; who? Rabbi Yoแธฅanan continued and said: When I die I will have the smoke extinguished from his grave, as a sign that he has been released from the sentence of Gehenna and brought to the World-to-Come. Indeed, when Rabbi Yoแธฅanan passed away, the smoke ceased to rise up from the grave of Aแธฅer. A certain eulogizer began his eulogy of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan with the following: Even the guard at the entrance could not stand before you, our rabbi. The guard at the entrance to Gehenna could not prevent Rabbi Yoแธฅanan from arranging the release of Aแธฅer.

ื‘ืชื• ืฉืœ ืื—ืจ ืืชื™ื ืœืงืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืคืจื ืกื ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื” ื‘ืช ืžื™ ืืช ืืžืจื” ืœื• ื‘ืชื• ืฉืœ ืื—ืจ ืื ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื” ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ืฉ ืžื–ืจืขื• ื‘ืขื•ืœื ื•ื”ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืœื ื ื™ืŸ ืœื• ื•ืœื ื ื›ื“ ื‘ืขืžื• ื•ืื™ืŸ ืฉืจื™ื“ ื‘ืžื’ื•ืจื™ื• ืืžืจื” ืœื• ื–ื›ื•ืจ ืœืชื•ืจืชื• ื•ืืœ ืชื–ื›ื•ืจ ืžืขืฉื™ื• ืžื™ื“ ื™ืจื“ื” ืืฉ ื•ืกื›ืกื›ื” ืกืคืกืœื• ืฉืœ ืจื‘ื™ ื‘ื›ื” ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื•ืžื” ืœืžืชื’ื ื™ืŸ ื‘ื” ื›ืš ืœืžืฉืชื‘ื—ื™ืŸ ื‘ื” ืขืœ ืื—ืช ื›ืžื” ื•ื›ืžื”

The Gemara relates: The daughter of Aแธฅer came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and said to him: Rabbi, provide me with sustenance, as she was in need of food. He said to her: Whose daughter are you? She said to him: I am the daughter of Aแธฅer. He said to her, angrily: Is there still of his seed remaining in the world? But isnโ€™t it stated: โ€œHe shall have neither son nor grandson among his people or any remaining in his dwellingsโ€ (Job 18:19)? She said to him: Remember his Torah, and do not remember his deeds. Immediately, fire descended and licked Rabbi Yehuda HaNasiโ€™s bench. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wept and said: If God protects the honor of those who treat the Torah with contempt in such a manner, as Aแธฅer despised the Torah and relinquished its teachings, how much more so would He do for those who treat it with honor.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื’ืžืจ ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ื•ื”ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื›ื™ ืฉืคืชื™ ื›ื”ืŸ ื™ืฉืžืจื• ื“ืขืช ื•ืชื•ืจื” ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืžืคื™ื”ื• ื›ื™ ืžืœืืš ื”ืณ ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื”ื•ื ืื ื“ื•ืžื” ื”ืจื‘ ืœืžืœืืš ื”ืณ ืฆื‘ืื•ืช ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื”ื• ื•ืื ืœืื• ืืœ ื™ื‘ืงืฉื• ืชื•ืจื” ืžืคื™ื”ื•

The Gemara poses a question: And Rabbi Meir, how could he learn Torah from the mouth of Aแธฅer? But didnโ€™t Rabba bar bar แธคana say that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œFor the priestโ€™s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek Torah from his mouth; for he is an angel of the Lord of hostsโ€ (Malachi 2:7)? The verse teaches: If the rabbi is similar to an angel of the Lord of hosts, perfect in his ways, they should seek Torah from his mouth; but if not, they should not seek Torah from his mouth.

ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืงืจื ืืฉื›ื— ื•ื“ืจืฉ ื”ื˜ ืื–ื ืš ื•ืฉืžืข ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ื•ืœื‘ืš ืชืฉื™ืช ืœื“ืขืชื™ ืœื“ืขืชื ืœื ื ืืžืจ ืืœื ืœื“ืขืชื™

Reish Lakish said: Rabbi Meir found a verse and interpreted it homiletically: โ€œIncline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to My knowledgeโ€ (Proverbs 22:17). It does not state โ€œto their knowledge,โ€ but โ€œto My knowledge.โ€ In other words, one must listen to the words of the Sages, despite their flaws, provided that their opinion concurs with that of God.

ืจื‘ ื—ื ื™ื ื ืืžืจ ืžื”ื›ื ืฉืžืขื™ ื‘ืช ื•ืจืื™ ื•ื”ื˜ื™ ืื–ื ืš ื•ืฉื›ื—ื™ ืขืžืš ื•ื‘ื™ืช ืื‘ื™ืš ื•ื’ื•ืณ

Rav แธคanina said that one can find support for this idea from here: โ€œListen, daughter and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people and your fatherโ€™s houseโ€ (Psalms 45:11), which likewise indicates that one must listen to the words of a Sage while forgetting, i.e., ignoring, the faulty aspects of his teachings.

ืงืฉื• ืงืจืื™ ืื”ื“ื“ื™ ืœื ืงืฉื™ื ื”ื ื‘ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื”ื ื‘ืงื˜ืŸ

The Gemara asks: If so, the verses contradict each other, for one source states that one may learn only from a scholar who is perfect in his ways, while the other indicates that it is permitted even to learn from one whose character is flawed. The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This case, in which it is permitted to a flawed scholar, is referring to an adult; whereas that case, which prohibits doing so, is referring to a minor, who should learn only from a righteous person, so that his ways are not corrupted by a teacher with flawed character.

ื›ื™ ืืชื ืจื‘ ื“ื™ืžื™ ืืžืจ ืืžืจื™ ื‘ืžืขืจื‘ื ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืื›ืœ ืชื—ืœื ื•ืฉื“ื ืฉื™ื—ืœื ืœื‘ืจื ื“ืจืฉ ืจื‘ื ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืืœ ื’ื ืช ืื’ื•ื– ื™ืจื“ืชื™ ืœืจืื•ืช ื‘ืื‘ื™ ื”ื ื—ืœ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ืœืžื” ื ืžืฉืœื• ืชืœืžื™ื“ื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืœืื’ื•ื– ืœื•ืžืจ ืœืš ืžื” ืื’ื•ื– ื–ื” ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืžืœื•ื›ืœืš ื‘ื˜ื™ื˜ ื•ื‘ืฆื•ืื” ืื™ืŸ ืžื” ืฉื‘ืชื•ื›ื• ื ืžืืก ืืฃ ืชืœืžื™ื“ ื—ื›ื ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืกืจื— ืื™ืŸ ืชื•ืจืชื• ื ืžืืกืช

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say: Rabbi Meir ate a half-ripe date and threw the peel away. In other words, he was able to extract the important content from the inedible shell. Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: โ€œI went down into the garden of nuts, to look at the green plants of the valleyโ€ (Song of Songs 6:11)? Why are Torah scholars compared to nuts? To tell you: Just as this nut, despite being soiled with mud and excrement, its content is not made repulsive, as only its shell is soiled; so too a Torah scholar, although he has sinned, his Torah is not made repulsive.

ืืฉื›ื—ื™ื” ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ืฉื™ืœื ืœืืœื™ื”ื• ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืื™ ืงื ืขื‘ื™ื“ ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืงืืžืจ ืฉืžืขืชื ืžืคื•ืžื™ื™ื”ื• ื“ื›ื•ืœื”ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื•ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืœื ืงืืžืจ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืงื ื’ืžืจ ืฉืžืขืชื ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ื“ืื—ืจ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ืจืžื•ืŸ ืžืฆื ืชื•ื›ื• ืื›ืœ ืงืœื™ืคืชื• ื–ืจืง ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ืฉืชื ืงืืžืจ ืžืื™ืจ ื‘ื ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื–ืžืŸ ืฉืื“ื ืžืฆื˜ืขืจ ืฉื›ื™ื ื” ืžื” ืœืฉื•ืŸ ืื•ืžืจืช ืงืœื ื™ ืžืจืืฉื™ ืงืœื ื™ ืžื–ืจื•ืขื™ ืื ื›ืš ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ืžืฆื˜ืขืจ ืขืœ ื“ืžืŸ ืฉืœ ืจืฉืขื™ื ืงืœ ื•ื—ื•ืžืจ ืขืœ ื“ืžืŸ ืฉืœ ืฆื“ื™ืงื™ื ืฉื ืฉืคืš

The Gemara relates: Rabba bar Sheila found Elijah the prophet, who had appeared to him. He said to Elijah: What is the Holy One, Blessed be He, doing? Elijah said to him: He is stating halakhot transmitted by all of the Sages, but in the name of Rabbi Meir He will not speak. He said to him: Why? He replied: Because he learned halakhot from the mouth of Aแธฅer. He said to him: Why should he be judged unfavorably for that? Rabbi Meir found a pomegranate and ate its contents while throwing away its peel. He said to him: Indeed, your defense has been heard above. Now God is saying: My son, Meir, says: When a person suffers, e.g., by receiving lashes or the death penalty at the hands of the court, how does the Divine Presence express itself? Woe is Me from My head, woe is Me from My arm, as God empathizes with the sufferer. If the Holy One, Blessed be He, suffers to such an extent over the blood of the wicked, how much more so does He suffer over the blood of the righteous that is spilled.

ืืฉื›ื—ื™ื” ืฉืžื•ืืœ ืœืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื“ืชืœื™ ื‘ืขื™ื‘ืจื ื“ื“ืฉื ื•ืงื ื‘ื›ื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืฉื™ื ื ื ืžืื™ ืงื ื‘ื›ื™ืช ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžื™ ื–ื•ื˜ืจื ืžืื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ื”ื• ื‘ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืื™ื” ืฉื•ืงืœ ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืืช ื”ืžื’ื“ืœื™ื ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ื›ืœ ืื•ืชื™ื•ืช ืฉื‘ืชื•ืจื” ืื™ื” ืฉื•ืงืœ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืฉื•ืงืœื™ื ืงืœื™ืŸ ื•ื—ืžื•ืจื™ืŸ ืฉื‘ืชื•ืจื” ืื™ื” ืกื•ืคืจ ืืช ื”ืžื’ื“ืœื™ื ืฉื”ื™ื• ืฉื•ื ื™ืŸ ืฉืœืฉ ืžืื•ืช ื”ืœื›ื•ืช ื‘ืžื’ื“ืœ ื”ืคื•ืจื— ื‘ืื•ื™ืจ

The Gemara relates: Shmuel found Rav Yehuda leaning on the bar of the door, crying. He said to him: Long-toothed one [shinnana], what are you crying for? He said to him: Is it a small matter, that which is written with regard to Sages who have sinned: โ€œWhere is he who counted, where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?โ€ (Isaiah 33:18). He proceeded to explain: โ€œWhere is he who countedโ€; for they would count all the letters of the Torah. โ€œWhere is he who weighedโ€; for they would weigh and compare the minor and major transgressions of the Torah. โ€œWhere is he who counted the towersโ€; for they would teach three hundred halakhot concerning the details of tent impurity involving a wooden closet floating in the air. If they studied a subject so removed from reality in such depths, how much more so did they analyze other issues.

ื•ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืืžื™ ืชืœืช ืžืื” ื‘ืขื™ื™ ื‘ืขื• ื“ื•ืื’ ื•ืื—ื™ืชื•ืคืœ ื‘ืžื’ื“ืœ ื”ืคื•ืจื— ื‘ืื•ื™ืจ ื•ืชื ืŸ ืฉืœืฉื” ืžืœื›ื™ื ื•ืืจื‘ืขื” ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ื•ืช ืื™ืŸ ืœื”ื ื—ืœืง ืœืขื•ืœื ื”ื‘ื ืื ืŸ ืžื” ืชื”ื•ื™ ืขืœืŸ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืฉื™ื ื ื ื˜ื™ื ื ื”ื™ืชื” ื‘ืœื‘ื

And Rabbi Ami said: Doeg asked Ahithophel three hundred questions with regard to a closet floating in the air, as they were both great Torah scholars. And we learned in a mishna (Sanhedrin 90a): Three kings and four commoners have no portion in the World-to-Come, a list that includes Doeg and Ahithophel. If such great Sages could sin and forfeit their share in the World-to-Come, we, who are less knowledgeable than they, what will be of us? He said to him: Long-toothed one, there was mud [tina] in their hearts, i.e., they had certain flaws that prevented their Torah learning from protecting them.

ืื—ืจ ืžืื™ ื–ืžืจ ื™ื•ื•ื ื™ ืœื ืคืกืง ืžืคื•ืžื™ื” ืืžืจื• ืขืœื™ื• ืขืœ ืื—ืจ ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ื™ื” ืขื•ืžื“ ืžื‘ื™ืช ื”ืžื“ืจืฉ ื”ืจื‘ื” ืกืคืจื™ ืžื™ื ื™ืŸ ื ื•ืฉืจื™ืŸ ืžื—ื™ืงื•

The Gemara explains: Aแธฅer, what was his failing? Greek tunes never ceased from his mouth. He would constantly hum Greek songs, even when he was among the Sages. This shows that from the outset he was drawn to gentile culture and beliefs. Similarly, they said about Aแธฅer: When he would stand after learning in the study hall, many heretical books, which he had been reading, would fall from his lap. Therefore, he was somewhat unsound even when among the Sages.

ืฉืืœ ื ื™ืžื•ืก ื”ื’ืจื“ื™ ืืช ืจื‘ื™ ืžืื™ืจ ื›ืœ ืขืžืจ ื“ื ื—ื™ืช ืœื™ื•ืจื” ืกืœื™ืง ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื›ืœ ืžืืŸ ื“ื”ื•ื” ื ืงื™ ืื’ื‘ ืื™ืžื™ื” ืกืœื™ืง ื›ืœ ื“ืœื ื”ื•ื” ื ืงื™ ืื’ื‘ ืื™ืžื™ื” ืœื ืกืœื™ืง

The gentile philosopher, Nimos HaGardi, asked Rabbi Meir: Does all wool that enters the cauldron to be dyed emerge colored? In other words, do all those who learn Torah emerge as decent and worthy? He said to him: Whoever was clean when he was with his mother, from the outset, will emerge decent and worthy, but all those who were not clean when they were with their mother will not emerge worthy. One who approaches Torah study having been flawed from the outset will not be properly influenced by it.

ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืขืœื” ื‘ืฉืœื•ื ื•ื™ืจื“ ื‘ืฉืœื•ื ื•ืขืœื™ื• ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ืื•ืžืจ ืžืฉื›ื ื™ ืื—ืจื™ืš ื ืจื•ืฆื” ื•ืืฃ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื‘ืงืฉื• ืžืœืื›ื™ ื”ืฉืจืช ืœื“ื•ื—ืคื• ืืžืจ ืœื”ื ื”ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื‘ืจื•ืš ื”ื•ื ื”ื ื™ื—ื• ืœื–ืงืŸ ื–ื” ืฉืจืื•ื™ ืœื”ืฉืชืžืฉ ื‘ื›ื‘ื•ื“ื™

ยง The Gemara returns to the four who entered the orchard. It is stated above that Rabbi Akiva ascended in safety and descended safely. With regard to him, the verse states: โ€œDraw me, we will run after you; the king has brought me into his chambersโ€ (Song of Songs 1:4). The Gemara relates: And even Rabbi Akiva, the ministering angels sought to push him out of the orchard. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Leave this Elder, for he is fit to serve My glory.

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