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Today's Daf Yomi

February 14, 2022 | י״ג באדר א׳ תשפ״ב

  • 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 5

Today’s daf is sponsored by Caroline Ben-Ari in honor of the birth of Maeve Ray Winestock, “the ‘rainbow baby’ of my niece Gabi and her husband Benji.”

Rabbi Yochanan had a series of psukim that used to cause him to cry. If God is going to be incited to destroy us or if God doesn’t trust his righteous ones (as the verses in Job seem to indicate) what hope does humanity have? Once Rabbi Yochanan saw a man picking unripe figs, and the man explained that this was a metaphor for God sometimes killing the righteous before they sin. Another time, a young scholar died and the comment was made that he could have lived. However, in that instance, he acted irreverently. Another verse that causes Rabbi Yochanan to cry relates to Malachi 3:5, which seemingly says that God judges man and testifies against him, and the continuation of this verse was explained by other amoraim. Rabbi Yochanan also cried when he recited the verse from Kohelet 12:14 that speaks about God judging us for inadvertent sins, not just deliberate ones.  The verse speaks about “hidden things” which are interpreted as things that a person does (like spitting) that offend others. The final part of that verse says “whether good or bad” which means good acts that have a bad side to them. Some examples are giving charity in public (which creates embarrassment), giving charity to a woman (which suggests impropriety) or even sending meat to one’s wife on Friday afternoon which hasn’t had the sciatic nerve removed – which might cause her to forget to remove it. Rabbi Yochanan also cried at the verses which said that God punishes us with “evils” and “troubles.” This doubling is interpreted as punishments that have mutually exclusive cures, or loans that come with burdensome payback plans. These verses also are explained to be referring to “hester panim” and financial burdens imposed by gentile regimes which the rabbis understood to be something every Jew must undergo. Rava, who seemingly had a great relationship with King Shapur and didn’t suffer very much explains that in fact, people didn’t know how he had to bribe King Shapur. “Hester panim” is counterbalanced by God continuing to protect us, and this was reflected in a public debate between Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hanania and a heretic in front of the Roman Caesar. There is a debate whether a man is accountable for frivolous conversations between himself and his wife during intimate moments, and Rav Kahana was so committed to learning from his teacher Rav, that he slept under his bed, until Rav reprimanded him. Though God hides Himself, there is a debate whether God cries for the Jews and for the Temple. In addition, God cries for bittul Torah. Various sages are lauded for their capacity to study Torah or see other sages even for a short time, highlighting the significance of every moment of Torah.

ומחריא תנורא שקלתא ואנחתא אגבה דכרעה קדחא ואיתרע מזלה ואייתיתה

and sweeping the oven. She took the fire and set it on her foot; she was scalded and her luck suffered, which gave me the opportunity, and I brought her.

אמר ליה רב ביבי בר אביי אית לכו רשותא למיעבד הכי אמר ליה ולא כתיב ויש נספה בלא משפט אמר ליה והכתיב דור הולך ודור בא

Rav Beivai bar Abaye said to the Angel of Death: Do you have the right to act in this manner, to take someone before his time? The Angel of Death said to him: And is it not written: “But there are those swept away without justice” (Proverbs 13:23)? Rav Beivai said to him: And isn’t it written: “One generation passes away, and another generation comes” (Ecclesiastes 1:4), which indicates that there is a predetermined amount of time for the life of every generation.

אמר דרעינא להו אנא עד דמלו להו לדרא והדר משלימנא ליה לדומה אמר ליה סוף סוף שניה מאי עבדת אמר אי איכא צורבא מרבנן דמעביר במיליה מוסיפנא להו ליה והויא חלופיה

He said to him: I shepherd them, not releasing them until the years of the generation are completed, and then I pass them on to the angel Duma who oversees the souls of the dead. Rav Beivai said to him: Ultimately, what do you do with his extra years, those taken away from this individual? The Angel of Death said to him: If there is a Torah scholar who disregards his personal matters, i.e., who overlooks the insults of those who wrong him, I add those years to him and he becomes the deceased’s replacement for that time.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי ותסיתני בו לבלעו חנם עבד שרבו מסיתין לו וניסת תקנה יש לו רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי הן בקדשיו לא יאמין אי בקדושיו לא יאמין במאן יאמין

§ The Gemara returns to the previous topic. When Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried, as God said to the Satan about Job: “Although you did incite Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3). Rabbi Yoḥanan said: With regard to a slave whose master is one whom others incite to act harshly against the slave and the master is incited to do so, is there a remedy for the slave? Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “Behold He puts no trust in His sacred ones” (Job 15:15), saying: If He does not place trust in His sacred ones, in whom does He place trust?

יומא חד הוה קא אזיל באורחא חזייה לההוא גברא דהוה מנקיט תאני שביק הנך דמטו ושקיל הנך דלא מטו אמר ליה לאו הני מעלן טפי אמר ליה הני לאורחא בעינן להו הני נטרן והני לא נטרן אמר היינו דכתיב הן בקדושיו לא יאמין

The Gemara relates: One day Rabbi Yoḥanan was walking along the road, and he saw a certain man who was picking figs in an unusual manner: He left the ones that had reached the stage of ripeness and took those that had not yet reached that state. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Aren’t these ripe ones much better? He said to him: I need these dates for the road; these that are not yet ripe will be preserved, and these that are already ripe will not be preserved. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: This is the same as is written: “Behold He puts no trust in His sacred ones”; there are righteous people whom God takes from this world before their time, as He knows that in the future they will stumble.

איני והא ההוא תלמידא דהוה בשיבבותיה דרבי אלכסנדרי ושכיב אדזוטר ואמר אי בעי האי מרבנן הוה חיי ואם איתא דלמא מהן בקדושיו לא יאמין הוה ההוא מבעט ברבותיו הוה

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But there was a certain student in the neighborhood of Rabbi Alexandri, and he died while he was still young. And Rabbi Alexandri said: If this young Sage had wanted, he would have lived, i.e., his actions caused him to die young. And if it is so, as Rabbi Yoḥanan suggested, perhaps this student was from those concerning whom it is written: “Behold he puts no trust in his sacred ones,” and it was not his sins that caused his death. The Gemara answers: That student was one who acted irreverently toward his teachers, and Rabbi Alexandri knew of his improper behavior.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי וקרבתי אליכם למשפט והייתי עד ממהר במכשפים ובמנאפים ובנשבעים לשקר ובעושקי שכר שכיר עבד שרבו מקרבו לדונו וממהר להעידו תקנה יש לו

When Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false witnesses, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who turn aside the convert from his right, and do not fear Me, says the Lord” (Malachi 3:5). He said: With regard to a slave whose master comes near to him to judge him and is swift to testify against him, is there a remedy for him?

אמר רבי יוחנן בן זכאי אוי לנו ששקל עלינו הכתוב קלות כחמורות

With regard to that same verse, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said: Woe to us, as the verse weighs lenient mitzvot for us like more stringent mitzvot, as it lists both those who violate sins punishable by death, e.g., sorcerers and adulterers, with those who violate apparently less severe sins, e.g., those who withhold payment from a hired worker.

אמר ריש לקיש כל המטה דינו של גר כאילו מטה דינו של מעלה שנאמר ומטי גר ומטי כתיב אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא כל העושה דבר ומתחרט בו מוחלין לו מיד שנאמר ולא יראוני הא יראוני מוחלין להם מיד

Reish Lakish said: Anyone who distorts the judgment of a convert, it is considered as if he distorted the judgment of the One above, as it is stated: “And who turn aside [umattei] the convert” (Malachi 3:5). This term is written as: Umatti, turn Me aside, i.e., one who distorts the judgment of a convert it considered as though he distorts the judgment of God, as it were. Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa said: Anyone who does something sinful and regrets it, he is forgiven immediately, as it is stated: “And do not fear Me” (Malachi 3:5), which indicates that if they do fear Me and are embarrassed to sin before God, they are forgiven immediately.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי כי את כל מעשה האלהים יביא במשפט על כל נעלם עבד שרבו שוקל לו שגגות כזדונות תקנה יש לו

Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). He said: With regard to a slave whose master weighs his unwitting sins like intentional ones, i.e., God punishes him even for an action that was hidden from him, is there a remedy for him?

מאי על כל נעלם אמר רב זה ההורג כינה בפני חברו ונמאס בה ושמואל אמר זה הרק בפני חבירו ונמאס

The Gemara asks: What sin is the verse referring to when it states: “Concerning every hidden thing”? Rav said: This is referring to one who kills a louse in the presence of another and his friend is disgusted by it. God judges him for the unintentional discomfort he caused. And similarly, Shmuel said: This is referring to one who spits in the presence of another and his friend is disgusted by his action.

מאי אם טוב ואם רע אמרי דבי רבי ינאי זה הנותן צדקה לעני בפרהסיא כי הא דרבי ינאי חזייה לההוא גברא דקא יהיב זוזא לעני בפרהסיא אמר ליה מוטב דלא יהבת ליה מהשתא דיהבת ליה וכספתיה

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the end of that verse: “Whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)? This verse indicates that God judges man harshly even for the good deeds he performs. The Sages from the school of Rabbi Yannai say: This verse is referring to one who gives charity to a poor person in public. Although he performed a good deed, he embarrassed the pauper, as in this case of Rabbi Yannai, who saw a certain man who was giving a dinar to a poor person in public. He said to him: It would have been better had you not given it to him than what you did, as now you gave it to him and embarrassed him.

דבי רבי שילא אמרי זה הנותן צדקה לאשה בסתר דקא מייתי לה לידי חשדא רבא אמר זה המשגר לאשתו בשר שאינו מחותך בערבי שבתות

The Sages from the school of Rabbi Sheila say: This verse is referring to one who gives charity to a woman in private, as he subjects her to suspicion, for people might think that he is engaging her services as a prostitute. Rava said: This is referring to one who sends his wife meat that is not sliced, i.e., that has not yet had the prohibited sciatic nerve removed, on Shabbat eve. Since she is in a hurry she might not notice and will perhaps cook the prohibited meat.

והא רבא משגר שאני בת רב חסדא דקים ליה בגווה דבקיאה

The Gemara asks: But yet Rava himself would send this type of meat to his wife on Shabbat eve. The Gemara answers: The daughter of Rav Ḥisda, Rava’s wife, is different, as he was certain about her that she was an expert in this matter. Rava trusted that his wife would realize the sciatic nerve had not been removed even when she was in a hurry on Shabbat eve.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי והיה כי תמצאן אותו רעות רבות וצרות עבד שרבו ממציא לו רעות וצרות תקנה יש לו

Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “Then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them” (Deuteronomy 31:21). He said: With regard to a slave whose master brings upon him evils and troubles, is there a remedy for him?

מאי רעות וצרות אמר רב רעות שנעשות צרות זו לזו כגון זיבורא ועקרבא

The Gemara asks: What is the verse referring to when it states: “Evils and troubles”? Rav said: Evils that become troubles for one another, i.e., the remedy for one problem has a deleterious effect on the other. For example, one who is stung by a hornet and a scorpion. The sting of a hornet must be treated only with a cold ointment, while that of a scorpion must be treated with a hot ointment. As these medicaments are mutually exclusive, one cannot treat both stings at the same time.

ושמואל אמר זה הממציא לו מעות לעני בשעת דוחקו אמר רבא היינו דאמרי אינשי זוזא לעללא לא שכיחא לתליתא שכיח

And Shmuel said: This verse is referring to one who provides money to a poor person as a loan during his exigent financial circumstances, but immediately after the borrower is released from the initial pressure by receiving the loan, the lender begins to demand repayment, subjecting the recipient to further pressure. Rava said that this explains the folk saying that people say: A dinar for produce is not found; for hanging it can be found. A poor person cannot find money to buy basic necessities; however, when the lenders hang on and pressure him he must come up with the money somehow.

וחרה אפי בו ביום ההוא ועזבתים והסתרתי פני מהם אמר רב ברדלא בר טביומי אמר רב כל שאינו בהסתר פנים אינו מהם כל שאינו בוהיה לאכול

On the same topic the Gemara states: “Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured” (Deuteronomy 31:17). Rav Bardela bar Tavyumei said that Rav said: Anyone who is not subject to His hiding of the face, i.e., whose prayers are invariably answered, is not from the Jewish people, as the verse states about the Jewish people that God will hide His face from them as a result of their sins. Similarly, anyone who is not subject to: “And they shall be devoured,” i.e., gentiles do not steal his money,

אינו מהם אמרו ליה רבנן לרבא מר לא בהסתר פנים איתיה ולא בוהיה לאכול איתיה אמר להו מי ידעיתו כמה משדרנא בצנעא בי שבור מלכא אפילו הכי יהבו ביה רבנן עינייהו אדהכי שדור דבי שבור מלכא וגרבוהו אמר היינו דתניא אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל כל מקום שנתנו חכמים עיניהם או מיתה או עוני

is not from among them. The Sages said to Rava: Master, you are not subject to His hiding of the face, as your prayers are heard, and you are not subject to: “And they shall be devoured,” as the authorities take nothing from you. He said to them: Do you know how many gifts I send in private to the house of King Shapur? Although it might seem that the monarchy does not take anything from me, in actuality I am forced to give many bribes. Even so, the Sages looked upon Rava with suspicion. In the meantime, messengers from the house of King Shapur sent for him and imprisoned him to extort more money from him. Rava said: This is as it is taught in a baraita that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: Wherever the Sages looked upon someone, it resulted in either death or poverty.

ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני ביום ההוא אמר רבא אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אף על פי שהסתרתי פני מהם בחלום אדבר בו רב יוסף אמר ידו נטויה עלינו שנאמר ובצל ידי כסיתיך

With regard to the verse: “And I will hide my face in that day” (Deuteronomy 31:18), Rava said that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Even though I hid my face from them and My Divine Presence is not revealed, nevertheless: “I speak with him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6). Rav Yosef said: His hand is outstretched, guarding over us, as it is stated: “And I have covered you in the shadow of my hand” (Isaiah 51:16).

רבי יהושע בן חנניה הוה קאי בי קיסר אחוי ליה ההוא מינא עמא דאהדרינהו מריה לאפיה מיניה אחוי ליה ידו נטויה עלינו אמר ליה קיסר לרבי יהושע מאי אחוי לך עמא דאהדרינהו מריה לאפיה מיניה ואנא מחוינא ליה ידו נטויה עלינו

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya was standing in the house of the Caesar. A certain heretic, who was also present, gestured to him, indicating that his was the nation whose Master, God, turned His face away from it. Rabbi Yehoshua gestured to him that His hand is outstretched over us in protection. The Caesar said to Rabbi Yehoshua: What did he gesture to you, and how did you respond? He replied: He indicated that mine is the nation whose Master turned His face from it, and I gestured to him that His hand is outstretched over us.

אמרו ליה לההוא מינא מאי אחויית ליה עמא דאהדרינהו מריה מיניה ומאי אחוי לך לא ידענא אמרו גברא דלא ידע מאי מחוו ליה במחוג יחוי קמי מלכא אפקוהו וקטלוהו

The members of the Caesar’s household said to that heretic: What did you gesture to him? He said to them: I gestured that his is the nation whose Master has turned His face from it. They asked: And what did he gesture to you? He said to them: I don’t know; I did not understand. They said: How can a man who does not know what others gesture to him dare to gesture in the presence of the king? They took him out and killed him.

כי קא ניחא נפשיה דרבי יהושע בן חנניה אמרו ליה רבנן מאי תיהוי עלן ממנאי אמר להם אבדה עצה מבנים נסרחה חכמתם כיון שאבדה עצה מבנים נסרחה חכמתן של אומות העולם

The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya was dying, the Sages said to him: What will become of us, from the threat of the heretics, when there is no scholar like you who can refute them? He said to them that the verse states: “Is wisdom no more in Teiman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?” (Jeremiah 49:7). He explained: Since counsel has perished from the prudent, from the Jewish people, the wisdom of the nations of the world has vanished as well, and there will be no superior scholars among them.

ואי בעית אימא מהכא ויאמר נסעה ונלכה ואלכה לנגדך

And if you wish, say instead that the same idea can be derived from here: “And he said: Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go corresponding to you” (Genesis 33:12). Just as the Jewish people rise and fall, so too, the nations of the world simultaneously rise and fall, and they will never have an advantage.

רבי אילא הוה סליק בדרגא דבי רבה בר שילא שמעיה לינוקא דהוה קא קרי כי הנה יוצר הרים ובורא רוח ומגיד לאדם מה שיחו אמר עבד שרבו מגיד לו מה שיחו תקנה יש לו מאי מה שיחו אמר רב אפילו שיחה יתירה שבין איש לאשתו מגידים לו לאדם בשעת מיתה

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Ila was ascending the stairs in the house of Rabba bar Sheila, a children’s teacher. He heard a child who was reading a verse out loud: “For, lo, He Who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his speech” (Amos 4:13). Rabbi Ila said: With regard to a servant whose master declares to him what is his proper speech, is there a remedy for him? The Gemara asks. What is the meaning of the phrase: “What is his speech”? Rav said: Even frivolous speech that is between a man and his wife before engaging in relations is declared to a person at the time of death, and he will have to account for it.

איני והא רב כהנא הוה גני תותי פורייה דרב ושמעיה דסח וצחק ועשה צרכיו אמר דמי פומיה דרב כמאן דלא טעים ליה תבשילא אמר ליה כהנא פוק לאו אורח ארעא

The Gemara asks: Is that so? Is it prohibited for a man to speak in this manner with his wife? Wasn’t Rav Kahana lying beneath Rav’s bed, and he heard Rav chatting and laughing with his wife, and performing his needs, i.e., having relations with her. Rav Kahana said out loud: The mouth of Rav is like one who has never eaten a cooked dish, i.e., his behavior is lustful. Rav said to him: Kahana, leave, as this is not proper conduct. This shows that Rav himself engaged in frivolous talk before relations.

לא קשיא כאן דצריך לרצויה הא דלא צריך לרצויה

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, where this type of speech is permitted, it is referring to a situation where he must appease his wife before relations, and therefore this speech is appropriate. However, this statement, that it is prohibited, is referring to a situation where he doesn’t need to appease her. In these circumstances, it is prohibited to engage in excessively lighthearted chatter with one’s wife.

ואם לא תשמעוה במסתרים תבכה נפשי מפני גוה אמר רב שמואל בר איניא משמיה דרב מקום יש לו להקדוש ברוך הוא ומסתרים שמו מאי מפני גוה אמר רב שמואל בר יצחק מפני גאוותן של ישראל שניטלה מהם ונתנה לגוים רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר מפני גאוותה של מלכות שמים

The verse states: “But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret [bemistarim] for your pride” (Jeremiah 13:17). Rav Shmuel bar Inya said in the name of Rav: The Holy One, Blessed be He, has a place where He cries, and its name is Mistarim. What is the meaning of “for your pride”? Rav Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said: God cries due to the pride of the Jewish people, which was taken from them and given to the gentile nations. Rav Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: He cries due to the pride of the kingdom of Heaven, which was removed from the world.

ומי איכא בכיה קמיה הקדוש ברוך הוא והאמר רב פפא אין עציבות לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר הוד והדר לפניו עוז וחדוה במקומו לא קשיא הא בבתי גואי הא בבתי בראי

The Gemara asks: But is there crying before the Holy One, Blessed be He? Didn’t Rav Pappa say: There is no sadness before the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and gladness are in His place” (I Chronicles 16:27)? The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This statement, that God cries, is referring to the innermost chambers, where He can cry in secret, whereas this statement, that He does not cry, is referring to the outer chambers.

ובבתי בראי לא והא כתיב ויקרא אדני ה׳ צבאות ביום ההוא לבכי ולמספד ולקרחה ולחגור שק שאני חרבן בית המקדש דאפילו מלאכי שלום בכו שנאמר הן אראלם צעקו חוצה מלאכי שלום מר יבכיון

The Gemara asks: And doesn’t God cry in the outer chambers? Isn’t it written: “And on that day the Lord, the God of hosts, called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth” (Isaiah 22:12)? The Gemara responds: The destruction of the Temple is different, as even the angels of peace cried, as it is stated: “Behold, their valiant ones cry without; the angels of peace weep bitterly” (Isaiah 33:7).

ודמע תדמע ותרד עיני דמעה כי נשבה עדר ה׳ אמר רבי אלעזר שלש דמעות הללו למה אחת על מקדש ראשון ואחת על מקדש שני ואחת על ישראל שגלו ממקומן ואיכא דאמרי אחת על ביטול תורה

The verse continues: “And my eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive” (Jeremiah 13:17). Rabbi Elazar said: Why these three references to tears in the verse? One is for the First Temple; one is for the Second Temple; and one is for the Jewish people who were exiled from their place. And there are those who say: The last one is for the unavoidable dereliction of the study of Torah in the wake of the exile.

בשלמא למאן דאמר על ישראל שגלו היינו דכתיב כי נשבה עדר ה׳ אלא למאן דאמר על ביטול תורה מאי כי נשבה עדר ה׳ כיון שגלו ישראל ממקומן אין לך ביטול תורה גדול מזה

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who said that the last tear is for the Jewish people who were exiled, this is as it is written: “Because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.” However, according to the one who said that this tear is for the dereliction of the study of Torah, what is the meaning of: “Because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive”? The Gemara answers: Since the Jewish people were exiled from their place, there is no greater involuntary dereliction of the study of Torah than that which was caused by this.

תנו רבנן שלשה הקדוש ברוך הוא בוכה עליהן בכל יום על שאפשר לעסוק בתורה ואינו עוסק ועל שאי אפשר לעסוק בתורה ועוסק ועל פרנס המתגאה על הצבור

The Sages taught that there are three types of people for whom the Holy One, Blessed be He, cries every day: For one who is able to engage in Torah study and does not engage in it; and for one who is unable to engage in Torah study and nevertheless he endeavors and engages in it; and for a leader who lords over the community.

רבי הוה נקיט ספר קינות וקא קרי בגויה כי מטא להאי פסוקא השליך משמים ארץ נפל מן ידיה אמר מאיגרא רם לבירא עמיקתא

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was holding the book of Lamentations and was reading from it. When he reached the verse: “He has cast down from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel” (Lamentations 2:1), in his distress the book fell from his hand. He said: From a high roof to a deep pit, i.e., it is terrible to tumble from the sky to the ground.

רבי ורבי חייא הוו שקלי ואזלי באורחא כי מטו לההוא מתא אמרי איכא צורבא מרבנן הכא נזיל וניקביל אפיה אמרי איכא צורבא מרבנן הכא ומאור עינים הוא אמר ליה רבי חייא לרבי תיב את לא תזלזל בנשיאותך איזיל אנא ואקביל אפיה

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and Rabbi Ḥiyya were walking along the road. When they arrived at a certain city, they said: Is there a Torah scholar here whom we can go and greet? The people of the city said: There is a Torah scholar here but he is blind. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: You sit here; do not demean your dignified status as Nasi to visit someone beneath your stature. I will go and greet him.

תקפיה ואזל בהדיה כי הוו מיפטרי מיניה אמר להו אתם הקבלתם פנים הנראים ואינן רואין תזכו להקביל פנים הרואים ואינן נראין אמר ליה איכו השתא מנעתן מהאי בירכתא

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi grabbed him and went with him anyway, and together they greeted the blind scholar. When they were leaving him, he said to them: You greeted one who is seen and does not see; may you be worthy to greet the One Who sees and is not seen. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Ḥiyya: Now, if I had listened to you and not gone to greet him, you would have prevented me from receiving this blessing.

אמרו ליה ממאן שמיעא לך מפרקיה דרבי יעקב שמיע לי דרבי יעקב איש כפר חיטייא הוה מקביל אפיה דרביה כל יומא כי קש אמר ליה לא נצטער מר דלא יכיל מר

They said to the blind scholar: From whom did you hear that we are worthy of this blessing? He said to them: I heard it from the instruction of Rabbi Ya’akov, as Rabbi Ya’akov of the village of Ḥitiyya would greet his teacher every day. When Rabbi Ya’akov grew elderly, his teacher said to him: Do not despair, my Master, that my Master is unable to make the effort to greet me. It is better that you should not visit me.

אמר ליה מי זוטר מאי דכתיב בהו ברבנן ויחי עוד לנצח לא יראה השחת כי יראה חכמים ימותו ומה הרואה חכמים במיתתן יחיה בחייהן על אחת כמה וכמה

Rabbi Ya’akov said to him: Is it a minor matter, that which is written about the Sages: “That he should still live always, that he should not see the pit. For he sees that wise men die” (Psalms 49:10–11)? In this regard an a fortiori reference applies: Just as one who sees Sages in their death will live, all the more so one who sees them in their lifetime. From here the blind scholar learned the importance of greeting Torah scholars, which is why he blessed the Sages who came to greet him.

רב אידי אבוה דרבי יעקב בר אידי הוה רגיל דהוה אזיל תלתא ירחי באורחא וחד יומא בבי רב והוו קרו ליה רבנן בר בי רב דחד יומא חלש דעתיה קרי אנפשיה שחוק לרעהו אהיה וגו׳ אמר ליה רבי יוחנן במטותא מינך לא תעניש להו רבנן

The Gemara relates: Rav Idi, father of Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi, would regularly travel three months on the road to reach the study hall and as he would immediately travel back again to arrive home for the festival of Sukkot, he spent only one day in the school of Rav. And the Sages would disparagingly call him: A student of Torah for one day. He was offended and read the following verse about himself: “I am as one that is a laughingstock to his neighbor, a man who calls upon God, and He answers him” (Job 12:4). Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Please do not punish the Sages, i.e., do not take offense and be harsh with them, as this will cause them to be punished by God.

נפק רבי יוחנן לבי מדרשא ודרש ואותי יום יום ידרשון ודעת דרכי יחפצון וכי ביום דורשין אותו ובלילה אין דורשין אותו אלא לומר לך כל העוסק בתורה אפילו יום אחד בשנה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עסק כל השנה כולה

Rabbi Yoḥanan left Rav Idi and went to the study hall and taught: “Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways” (Isaiah 58:2). But is it possible that only during the day they seek Him and at night they do not seek Him? What is the meaning of daily? Rather, this verse comes to say to you that with regard to anyone who engages in Torah study even one day a year, the verse ascribes him credit as though he engaged in Torah study the entire year.

וכן במדת פורענות דכתיב במספר הימים אשר תרתם את הארץ וכי ארבעים שנה חטאו והלא ארבעים יום חטאו אלא לומר לך כל העובר עבירה אפילו יום אחד בשנה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עבר כל השנה כולה

And the same applies to the attribute of punishment, as it is written: “After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall you bear your iniquities” (Numbers 14:34). But did they sin for forty years? Didn’t they sin for only forty days? Rather, this comes to say to you that anyone who transgresses a sin even one day a year, the verse ascribes him liability as though he transgressed the entire year.

אי זהו קטן כל שאינו יכול לרכוב על כתפו של אביו מתקיף לה רבי זירא

§ The mishna taught: Who is a minor who is exempt from the mitzva of appearance in the Temple? Any child who is unable to ride on his father’s shoulders and ascend from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount. Rabbi Zeira strongly objects to this:

  • 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 5

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Chagigah 5

ומחריא תנורא שקלתא ואנחתא אגבה דכרעה קדחא ואיתרע מזלה ואייתיתה

and sweeping the oven. She took the fire and set it on her foot; she was scalded and her luck suffered, which gave me the opportunity, and I brought her.

אמר ליה רב ביבי בר אביי אית לכו רשותא למיעבד הכי אמר ליה ולא כתיב ויש נספה בלא משפט אמר ליה והכתיב דור הולך ודור בא

Rav Beivai bar Abaye said to the Angel of Death: Do you have the right to act in this manner, to take someone before his time? The Angel of Death said to him: And is it not written: “But there are those swept away without justice” (Proverbs 13:23)? Rav Beivai said to him: And isn’t it written: “One generation passes away, and another generation comes” (Ecclesiastes 1:4), which indicates that there is a predetermined amount of time for the life of every generation.

אמר דרעינא להו אנא עד דמלו להו לדרא והדר משלימנא ליה לדומה אמר ליה סוף סוף שניה מאי עבדת אמר אי איכא צורבא מרבנן דמעביר במיליה מוסיפנא להו ליה והויא חלופיה

He said to him: I shepherd them, not releasing them until the years of the generation are completed, and then I pass them on to the angel Duma who oversees the souls of the dead. Rav Beivai said to him: Ultimately, what do you do with his extra years, those taken away from this individual? The Angel of Death said to him: If there is a Torah scholar who disregards his personal matters, i.e., who overlooks the insults of those who wrong him, I add those years to him and he becomes the deceased’s replacement for that time.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי ותסיתני בו לבלעו חנם עבד שרבו מסיתין לו וניסת תקנה יש לו רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי הן בקדשיו לא יאמין אי בקדושיו לא יאמין במאן יאמין

§ The Gemara returns to the previous topic. When Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried, as God said to the Satan about Job: “Although you did incite Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3). Rabbi Yoḥanan said: With regard to a slave whose master is one whom others incite to act harshly against the slave and the master is incited to do so, is there a remedy for the slave? Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “Behold He puts no trust in His sacred ones” (Job 15:15), saying: If He does not place trust in His sacred ones, in whom does He place trust?

יומא חד הוה קא אזיל באורחא חזייה לההוא גברא דהוה מנקיט תאני שביק הנך דמטו ושקיל הנך דלא מטו אמר ליה לאו הני מעלן טפי אמר ליה הני לאורחא בעינן להו הני נטרן והני לא נטרן אמר היינו דכתיב הן בקדושיו לא יאמין

The Gemara relates: One day Rabbi Yoḥanan was walking along the road, and he saw a certain man who was picking figs in an unusual manner: He left the ones that had reached the stage of ripeness and took those that had not yet reached that state. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Aren’t these ripe ones much better? He said to him: I need these dates for the road; these that are not yet ripe will be preserved, and these that are already ripe will not be preserved. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: This is the same as is written: “Behold He puts no trust in His sacred ones”; there are righteous people whom God takes from this world before their time, as He knows that in the future they will stumble.

איני והא ההוא תלמידא דהוה בשיבבותיה דרבי אלכסנדרי ושכיב אדזוטר ואמר אי בעי האי מרבנן הוה חיי ואם איתא דלמא מהן בקדושיו לא יאמין הוה ההוא מבעט ברבותיו הוה

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But there was a certain student in the neighborhood of Rabbi Alexandri, and he died while he was still young. And Rabbi Alexandri said: If this young Sage had wanted, he would have lived, i.e., his actions caused him to die young. And if it is so, as Rabbi Yoḥanan suggested, perhaps this student was from those concerning whom it is written: “Behold he puts no trust in his sacred ones,” and it was not his sins that caused his death. The Gemara answers: That student was one who acted irreverently toward his teachers, and Rabbi Alexandri knew of his improper behavior.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי וקרבתי אליכם למשפט והייתי עד ממהר במכשפים ובמנאפים ובנשבעים לשקר ובעושקי שכר שכיר עבד שרבו מקרבו לדונו וממהר להעידו תקנה יש לו

When Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false witnesses, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who turn aside the convert from his right, and do not fear Me, says the Lord” (Malachi 3:5). He said: With regard to a slave whose master comes near to him to judge him and is swift to testify against him, is there a remedy for him?

אמר רבי יוחנן בן זכאי אוי לנו ששקל עלינו הכתוב קלות כחמורות

With regard to that same verse, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said: Woe to us, as the verse weighs lenient mitzvot for us like more stringent mitzvot, as it lists both those who violate sins punishable by death, e.g., sorcerers and adulterers, with those who violate apparently less severe sins, e.g., those who withhold payment from a hired worker.

אמר ריש לקיש כל המטה דינו של גר כאילו מטה דינו של מעלה שנאמר ומטי גר ומטי כתיב אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא כל העושה דבר ומתחרט בו מוחלין לו מיד שנאמר ולא יראוני הא יראוני מוחלין להם מיד

Reish Lakish said: Anyone who distorts the judgment of a convert, it is considered as if he distorted the judgment of the One above, as it is stated: “And who turn aside [umattei] the convert” (Malachi 3:5). This term is written as: Umatti, turn Me aside, i.e., one who distorts the judgment of a convert it considered as though he distorts the judgment of God, as it were. Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa said: Anyone who does something sinful and regrets it, he is forgiven immediately, as it is stated: “And do not fear Me” (Malachi 3:5), which indicates that if they do fear Me and are embarrassed to sin before God, they are forgiven immediately.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי כי את כל מעשה האלהים יביא במשפט על כל נעלם עבד שרבו שוקל לו שגגות כזדונות תקנה יש לו

Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). He said: With regard to a slave whose master weighs his unwitting sins like intentional ones, i.e., God punishes him even for an action that was hidden from him, is there a remedy for him?

מאי על כל נעלם אמר רב זה ההורג כינה בפני חברו ונמאס בה ושמואל אמר זה הרק בפני חבירו ונמאס

The Gemara asks: What sin is the verse referring to when it states: “Concerning every hidden thing”? Rav said: This is referring to one who kills a louse in the presence of another and his friend is disgusted by it. God judges him for the unintentional discomfort he caused. And similarly, Shmuel said: This is referring to one who spits in the presence of another and his friend is disgusted by his action.

מאי אם טוב ואם רע אמרי דבי רבי ינאי זה הנותן צדקה לעני בפרהסיא כי הא דרבי ינאי חזייה לההוא גברא דקא יהיב זוזא לעני בפרהסיא אמר ליה מוטב דלא יהבת ליה מהשתא דיהבת ליה וכספתיה

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the end of that verse: “Whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)? This verse indicates that God judges man harshly even for the good deeds he performs. The Sages from the school of Rabbi Yannai say: This verse is referring to one who gives charity to a poor person in public. Although he performed a good deed, he embarrassed the pauper, as in this case of Rabbi Yannai, who saw a certain man who was giving a dinar to a poor person in public. He said to him: It would have been better had you not given it to him than what you did, as now you gave it to him and embarrassed him.

דבי רבי שילא אמרי זה הנותן צדקה לאשה בסתר דקא מייתי לה לידי חשדא רבא אמר זה המשגר לאשתו בשר שאינו מחותך בערבי שבתות

The Sages from the school of Rabbi Sheila say: This verse is referring to one who gives charity to a woman in private, as he subjects her to suspicion, for people might think that he is engaging her services as a prostitute. Rava said: This is referring to one who sends his wife meat that is not sliced, i.e., that has not yet had the prohibited sciatic nerve removed, on Shabbat eve. Since she is in a hurry she might not notice and will perhaps cook the prohibited meat.

והא רבא משגר שאני בת רב חסדא דקים ליה בגווה דבקיאה

The Gemara asks: But yet Rava himself would send this type of meat to his wife on Shabbat eve. The Gemara answers: The daughter of Rav Ḥisda, Rava’s wife, is different, as he was certain about her that she was an expert in this matter. Rava trusted that his wife would realize the sciatic nerve had not been removed even when she was in a hurry on Shabbat eve.

רבי יוחנן כי מטי להאי קרא בכי והיה כי תמצאן אותו רעות רבות וצרות עבד שרבו ממציא לו רעות וצרות תקנה יש לו

Additionally, when Rabbi Yoḥanan reached this verse, he cried: “Then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them” (Deuteronomy 31:21). He said: With regard to a slave whose master brings upon him evils and troubles, is there a remedy for him?

מאי רעות וצרות אמר רב רעות שנעשות צרות זו לזו כגון זיבורא ועקרבא

The Gemara asks: What is the verse referring to when it states: “Evils and troubles”? Rav said: Evils that become troubles for one another, i.e., the remedy for one problem has a deleterious effect on the other. For example, one who is stung by a hornet and a scorpion. The sting of a hornet must be treated only with a cold ointment, while that of a scorpion must be treated with a hot ointment. As these medicaments are mutually exclusive, one cannot treat both stings at the same time.

ושמואל אמר זה הממציא לו מעות לעני בשעת דוחקו אמר רבא היינו דאמרי אינשי זוזא לעללא לא שכיחא לתליתא שכיח

And Shmuel said: This verse is referring to one who provides money to a poor person as a loan during his exigent financial circumstances, but immediately after the borrower is released from the initial pressure by receiving the loan, the lender begins to demand repayment, subjecting the recipient to further pressure. Rava said that this explains the folk saying that people say: A dinar for produce is not found; for hanging it can be found. A poor person cannot find money to buy basic necessities; however, when the lenders hang on and pressure him he must come up with the money somehow.

וחרה אפי בו ביום ההוא ועזבתים והסתרתי פני מהם אמר רב ברדלא בר טביומי אמר רב כל שאינו בהסתר פנים אינו מהם כל שאינו בוהיה לאכול

On the same topic the Gemara states: “Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured” (Deuteronomy 31:17). Rav Bardela bar Tavyumei said that Rav said: Anyone who is not subject to His hiding of the face, i.e., whose prayers are invariably answered, is not from the Jewish people, as the verse states about the Jewish people that God will hide His face from them as a result of their sins. Similarly, anyone who is not subject to: “And they shall be devoured,” i.e., gentiles do not steal his money,

אינו מהם אמרו ליה רבנן לרבא מר לא בהסתר פנים איתיה ולא בוהיה לאכול איתיה אמר להו מי ידעיתו כמה משדרנא בצנעא בי שבור מלכא אפילו הכי יהבו ביה רבנן עינייהו אדהכי שדור דבי שבור מלכא וגרבוהו אמר היינו דתניא אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל כל מקום שנתנו חכמים עיניהם או מיתה או עוני

is not from among them. The Sages said to Rava: Master, you are not subject to His hiding of the face, as your prayers are heard, and you are not subject to: “And they shall be devoured,” as the authorities take nothing from you. He said to them: Do you know how many gifts I send in private to the house of King Shapur? Although it might seem that the monarchy does not take anything from me, in actuality I am forced to give many bribes. Even so, the Sages looked upon Rava with suspicion. In the meantime, messengers from the house of King Shapur sent for him and imprisoned him to extort more money from him. Rava said: This is as it is taught in a baraita that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: Wherever the Sages looked upon someone, it resulted in either death or poverty.

ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני ביום ההוא אמר רבא אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אף על פי שהסתרתי פני מהם בחלום אדבר בו רב יוסף אמר ידו נטויה עלינו שנאמר ובצל ידי כסיתיך

With regard to the verse: “And I will hide my face in that day” (Deuteronomy 31:18), Rava said that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Even though I hid my face from them and My Divine Presence is not revealed, nevertheless: “I speak with him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6). Rav Yosef said: His hand is outstretched, guarding over us, as it is stated: “And I have covered you in the shadow of my hand” (Isaiah 51:16).

רבי יהושע בן חנניה הוה קאי בי קיסר אחוי ליה ההוא מינא עמא דאהדרינהו מריה לאפיה מיניה אחוי ליה ידו נטויה עלינו אמר ליה קיסר לרבי יהושע מאי אחוי לך עמא דאהדרינהו מריה לאפיה מיניה ואנא מחוינא ליה ידו נטויה עלינו

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya was standing in the house of the Caesar. A certain heretic, who was also present, gestured to him, indicating that his was the nation whose Master, God, turned His face away from it. Rabbi Yehoshua gestured to him that His hand is outstretched over us in protection. The Caesar said to Rabbi Yehoshua: What did he gesture to you, and how did you respond? He replied: He indicated that mine is the nation whose Master turned His face from it, and I gestured to him that His hand is outstretched over us.

אמרו ליה לההוא מינא מאי אחויית ליה עמא דאהדרינהו מריה מיניה ומאי אחוי לך לא ידענא אמרו גברא דלא ידע מאי מחוו ליה במחוג יחוי קמי מלכא אפקוהו וקטלוהו

The members of the Caesar’s household said to that heretic: What did you gesture to him? He said to them: I gestured that his is the nation whose Master has turned His face from it. They asked: And what did he gesture to you? He said to them: I don’t know; I did not understand. They said: How can a man who does not know what others gesture to him dare to gesture in the presence of the king? They took him out and killed him.

כי קא ניחא נפשיה דרבי יהושע בן חנניה אמרו ליה רבנן מאי תיהוי עלן ממנאי אמר להם אבדה עצה מבנים נסרחה חכמתם כיון שאבדה עצה מבנים נסרחה חכמתן של אומות העולם

The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya was dying, the Sages said to him: What will become of us, from the threat of the heretics, when there is no scholar like you who can refute them? He said to them that the verse states: “Is wisdom no more in Teiman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?” (Jeremiah 49:7). He explained: Since counsel has perished from the prudent, from the Jewish people, the wisdom of the nations of the world has vanished as well, and there will be no superior scholars among them.

ואי בעית אימא מהכא ויאמר נסעה ונלכה ואלכה לנגדך

And if you wish, say instead that the same idea can be derived from here: “And he said: Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go corresponding to you” (Genesis 33:12). Just as the Jewish people rise and fall, so too, the nations of the world simultaneously rise and fall, and they will never have an advantage.

רבי אילא הוה סליק בדרגא דבי רבה בר שילא שמעיה לינוקא דהוה קא קרי כי הנה יוצר הרים ובורא רוח ומגיד לאדם מה שיחו אמר עבד שרבו מגיד לו מה שיחו תקנה יש לו מאי מה שיחו אמר רב אפילו שיחה יתירה שבין איש לאשתו מגידים לו לאדם בשעת מיתה

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Ila was ascending the stairs in the house of Rabba bar Sheila, a children’s teacher. He heard a child who was reading a verse out loud: “For, lo, He Who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his speech” (Amos 4:13). Rabbi Ila said: With regard to a servant whose master declares to him what is his proper speech, is there a remedy for him? The Gemara asks. What is the meaning of the phrase: “What is his speech”? Rav said: Even frivolous speech that is between a man and his wife before engaging in relations is declared to a person at the time of death, and he will have to account for it.

איני והא רב כהנא הוה גני תותי פורייה דרב ושמעיה דסח וצחק ועשה צרכיו אמר דמי פומיה דרב כמאן דלא טעים ליה תבשילא אמר ליה כהנא פוק לאו אורח ארעא

The Gemara asks: Is that so? Is it prohibited for a man to speak in this manner with his wife? Wasn’t Rav Kahana lying beneath Rav’s bed, and he heard Rav chatting and laughing with his wife, and performing his needs, i.e., having relations with her. Rav Kahana said out loud: The mouth of Rav is like one who has never eaten a cooked dish, i.e., his behavior is lustful. Rav said to him: Kahana, leave, as this is not proper conduct. This shows that Rav himself engaged in frivolous talk before relations.

לא קשיא כאן דצריך לרצויה הא דלא צריך לרצויה

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, where this type of speech is permitted, it is referring to a situation where he must appease his wife before relations, and therefore this speech is appropriate. However, this statement, that it is prohibited, is referring to a situation where he doesn’t need to appease her. In these circumstances, it is prohibited to engage in excessively lighthearted chatter with one’s wife.

ואם לא תשמעוה במסתרים תבכה נפשי מפני גוה אמר רב שמואל בר איניא משמיה דרב מקום יש לו להקדוש ברוך הוא ומסתרים שמו מאי מפני גוה אמר רב שמואל בר יצחק מפני גאוותן של ישראל שניטלה מהם ונתנה לגוים רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר מפני גאוותה של מלכות שמים

The verse states: “But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret [bemistarim] for your pride” (Jeremiah 13:17). Rav Shmuel bar Inya said in the name of Rav: The Holy One, Blessed be He, has a place where He cries, and its name is Mistarim. What is the meaning of “for your pride”? Rav Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said: God cries due to the pride of the Jewish people, which was taken from them and given to the gentile nations. Rav Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: He cries due to the pride of the kingdom of Heaven, which was removed from the world.

ומי איכא בכיה קמיה הקדוש ברוך הוא והאמר רב פפא אין עציבות לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר הוד והדר לפניו עוז וחדוה במקומו לא קשיא הא בבתי גואי הא בבתי בראי

The Gemara asks: But is there crying before the Holy One, Blessed be He? Didn’t Rav Pappa say: There is no sadness before the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and gladness are in His place” (I Chronicles 16:27)? The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This statement, that God cries, is referring to the innermost chambers, where He can cry in secret, whereas this statement, that He does not cry, is referring to the outer chambers.

ובבתי בראי לא והא כתיב ויקרא אדני ה׳ צבאות ביום ההוא לבכי ולמספד ולקרחה ולחגור שק שאני חרבן בית המקדש דאפילו מלאכי שלום בכו שנאמר הן אראלם צעקו חוצה מלאכי שלום מר יבכיון

The Gemara asks: And doesn’t God cry in the outer chambers? Isn’t it written: “And on that day the Lord, the God of hosts, called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth” (Isaiah 22:12)? The Gemara responds: The destruction of the Temple is different, as even the angels of peace cried, as it is stated: “Behold, their valiant ones cry without; the angels of peace weep bitterly” (Isaiah 33:7).

ודמע תדמע ותרד עיני דמעה כי נשבה עדר ה׳ אמר רבי אלעזר שלש דמעות הללו למה אחת על מקדש ראשון ואחת על מקדש שני ואחת על ישראל שגלו ממקומן ואיכא דאמרי אחת על ביטול תורה

The verse continues: “And my eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive” (Jeremiah 13:17). Rabbi Elazar said: Why these three references to tears in the verse? One is for the First Temple; one is for the Second Temple; and one is for the Jewish people who were exiled from their place. And there are those who say: The last one is for the unavoidable dereliction of the study of Torah in the wake of the exile.

בשלמא למאן דאמר על ישראל שגלו היינו דכתיב כי נשבה עדר ה׳ אלא למאן דאמר על ביטול תורה מאי כי נשבה עדר ה׳ כיון שגלו ישראל ממקומן אין לך ביטול תורה גדול מזה

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who said that the last tear is for the Jewish people who were exiled, this is as it is written: “Because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.” However, according to the one who said that this tear is for the dereliction of the study of Torah, what is the meaning of: “Because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive”? The Gemara answers: Since the Jewish people were exiled from their place, there is no greater involuntary dereliction of the study of Torah than that which was caused by this.

תנו רבנן שלשה הקדוש ברוך הוא בוכה עליהן בכל יום על שאפשר לעסוק בתורה ואינו עוסק ועל שאי אפשר לעסוק בתורה ועוסק ועל פרנס המתגאה על הצבור

The Sages taught that there are three types of people for whom the Holy One, Blessed be He, cries every day: For one who is able to engage in Torah study and does not engage in it; and for one who is unable to engage in Torah study and nevertheless he endeavors and engages in it; and for a leader who lords over the community.

רבי הוה נקיט ספר קינות וקא קרי בגויה כי מטא להאי פסוקא השליך משמים ארץ נפל מן ידיה אמר מאיגרא רם לבירא עמיקתא

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was holding the book of Lamentations and was reading from it. When he reached the verse: “He has cast down from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel” (Lamentations 2:1), in his distress the book fell from his hand. He said: From a high roof to a deep pit, i.e., it is terrible to tumble from the sky to the ground.

רבי ורבי חייא הוו שקלי ואזלי באורחא כי מטו לההוא מתא אמרי איכא צורבא מרבנן הכא נזיל וניקביל אפיה אמרי איכא צורבא מרבנן הכא ומאור עינים הוא אמר ליה רבי חייא לרבי תיב את לא תזלזל בנשיאותך איזיל אנא ואקביל אפיה

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and Rabbi Ḥiyya were walking along the road. When they arrived at a certain city, they said: Is there a Torah scholar here whom we can go and greet? The people of the city said: There is a Torah scholar here but he is blind. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: You sit here; do not demean your dignified status as Nasi to visit someone beneath your stature. I will go and greet him.

תקפיה ואזל בהדיה כי הוו מיפטרי מיניה אמר להו אתם הקבלתם פנים הנראים ואינן רואין תזכו להקביל פנים הרואים ואינן נראין אמר ליה איכו השתא מנעתן מהאי בירכתא

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi grabbed him and went with him anyway, and together they greeted the blind scholar. When they were leaving him, he said to them: You greeted one who is seen and does not see; may you be worthy to greet the One Who sees and is not seen. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Ḥiyya: Now, if I had listened to you and not gone to greet him, you would have prevented me from receiving this blessing.

אמרו ליה ממאן שמיעא לך מפרקיה דרבי יעקב שמיע לי דרבי יעקב איש כפר חיטייא הוה מקביל אפיה דרביה כל יומא כי קש אמר ליה לא נצטער מר דלא יכיל מר

They said to the blind scholar: From whom did you hear that we are worthy of this blessing? He said to them: I heard it from the instruction of Rabbi Ya’akov, as Rabbi Ya’akov of the village of Ḥitiyya would greet his teacher every day. When Rabbi Ya’akov grew elderly, his teacher said to him: Do not despair, my Master, that my Master is unable to make the effort to greet me. It is better that you should not visit me.

אמר ליה מי זוטר מאי דכתיב בהו ברבנן ויחי עוד לנצח לא יראה השחת כי יראה חכמים ימותו ומה הרואה חכמים במיתתן יחיה בחייהן על אחת כמה וכמה

Rabbi Ya’akov said to him: Is it a minor matter, that which is written about the Sages: “That he should still live always, that he should not see the pit. For he sees that wise men die” (Psalms 49:10–11)? In this regard an a fortiori reference applies: Just as one who sees Sages in their death will live, all the more so one who sees them in their lifetime. From here the blind scholar learned the importance of greeting Torah scholars, which is why he blessed the Sages who came to greet him.

רב אידי אבוה דרבי יעקב בר אידי הוה רגיל דהוה אזיל תלתא ירחי באורחא וחד יומא בבי רב והוו קרו ליה רבנן בר בי רב דחד יומא חלש דעתיה קרי אנפשיה שחוק לרעהו אהיה וגו׳ אמר ליה רבי יוחנן במטותא מינך לא תעניש להו רבנן

The Gemara relates: Rav Idi, father of Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi, would regularly travel three months on the road to reach the study hall and as he would immediately travel back again to arrive home for the festival of Sukkot, he spent only one day in the school of Rav. And the Sages would disparagingly call him: A student of Torah for one day. He was offended and read the following verse about himself: “I am as one that is a laughingstock to his neighbor, a man who calls upon God, and He answers him” (Job 12:4). Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Please do not punish the Sages, i.e., do not take offense and be harsh with them, as this will cause them to be punished by God.

נפק רבי יוחנן לבי מדרשא ודרש ואותי יום יום ידרשון ודעת דרכי יחפצון וכי ביום דורשין אותו ובלילה אין דורשין אותו אלא לומר לך כל העוסק בתורה אפילו יום אחד בשנה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עסק כל השנה כולה

Rabbi Yoḥanan left Rav Idi and went to the study hall and taught: “Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways” (Isaiah 58:2). But is it possible that only during the day they seek Him and at night they do not seek Him? What is the meaning of daily? Rather, this verse comes to say to you that with regard to anyone who engages in Torah study even one day a year, the verse ascribes him credit as though he engaged in Torah study the entire year.

וכן במדת פורענות דכתיב במספר הימים אשר תרתם את הארץ וכי ארבעים שנה חטאו והלא ארבעים יום חטאו אלא לומר לך כל העובר עבירה אפילו יום אחד בשנה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עבר כל השנה כולה

And the same applies to the attribute of punishment, as it is written: “After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall you bear your iniquities” (Numbers 14:34). But did they sin for forty years? Didn’t they sin for only forty days? Rather, this comes to say to you that anyone who transgresses a sin even one day a year, the verse ascribes him liability as though he transgressed the entire year.

אי זהו קטן כל שאינו יכול לרכוב על כתפו של אביו מתקיף לה רבי זירא

§ The mishna taught: Who is a minor who is exempt from the mitzva of appearance in the Temple? Any child who is unable to ride on his father’s shoulders and ascend from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount. Rabbi Zeira strongly objects to this:

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