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Today's Daf Yomi

October 27, 2017 | ז׳ במרחשון תשע״ח

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Sanhedrin 103

Why didn’t Menashe have a portion in the World to Come?  Some think that Menashe did get a potrtion in the World to Come because according to Chronicles, he repented.  Why are other bad kings not on this list of those who have no portion in the World to Come?  Some think that they are on the list or do not know why they aren’t.  Descriptions are brought about some of the bad kings and how they led things downhill until the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.

בגלל מנשה דלא עבד תשובה

“on account of Manasseh” means because he did not repent, and the people followed in his footsteps.

אמר רבי יוחנן כל האומר מנשה אין לו חלק לעולם הבא מרפה ידיהן של בעלי תשובה דתני תנא קמיה דרבי יוחנן מנשה עשה תשובה (לשלשים) [שלשים] ושלש שנים דכתיב בן שתים עשרה שנה מנשה במלכו וחמשים וחמש שנה מלך בירושלים ויעש (הרע) [אשרה] וכו׳ כאשר עשה אחאב מלך ישראל כמה מלך אחאב עשרין ותרתין שנין מנשה כמה מלך חמשים וחמש דל מינייהו עשרים ותרתין פשו להו תלתין ותלת

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Anyone who says that Manasseh has no share in the World-to-Come discourages penitents, as Manasseh repented and according to them is nevertheless excluded from the World-to-Come. As the tanna taught a baraita before Rabbi Yoḥanan: Manasseh repented for thirty-three years, as it is written: “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem…And he did that which was evil…And he made an ashera, as did Ahab king of Israel” (II Kings 21:1–3). How many years did Ahab reign? He reigned twenty-two years. How many years did Manasseh reign? He reigned fifty-five years. Deduct from them the twenty-two years during which he performed evil like Ahab, and thirty-three years remain for him to have repented.

אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב וישמע אליו ויחתר לו ויעתר לו מיבעי ליה מלמד שעשה לו הקדוש ברוך הוא כמין מחתרת ברקיע כדי לקבלו בתשובה מפני מדת הדין

Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And he prayed to Him; and He made an opening for him” (II Chronicles 33:13)? Instead: And He received his entreaty, should have been written. Rather, this teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, crafted for him a type of opening in Heaven in order to accept him in repentance. It was necessary for Manasseh to enter the World-to-Come in a clandestine manner, due to the attribute of justice that sought to prevent his entry by claiming that his sentence was irreversible.

ואמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב בראשית ממלכת יהויקים בן יאשיהו וכתיב בראשית ממלכת צדקיה וכי עד האידנא לא הוו מלכי

§ And Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah” (Jeremiah 26:1), and it is written: “In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah” (Jeremiah 28:1). But is it so that until now there were no kings? Why did the prophet use the term “in the beginning” exclusively with regard to these two kings, as opposed to: During the first year of his reign, or a similar formulation?

אלא בקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להחזיר את העולם כולו לתוהו ובוהו בשביל יהויקים נסתכל בדורו ונתקררה דעתו

Rather, the reason for the unusual formulation is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to restore the entire world to chaos and void, as it was in the beginning before Creation, on account of Jehoiakim the wicked; but He observed Jehoiakim’s generation, which included the righteous who had not yet been exiled to Babylonia, and His mind was set at ease. The term “in the beginning” is used to signify that it is as though the world had been created anew.

בקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להחזיר את העולם כולו לתוהו ובוהו בשביל דורו של צדקיה נסתכל בצדקיה ונתקררה דעתו בצדקיה נמי כתיב ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳ שהיה בידו למחות ולא מיחה

Likewise, the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to restore the entire world to chaos and void, as it was in the beginning before Creation, on account of the generation of Zedekiah, as only the wicked remained after the exile of the righteous; but He observed Zedekiah and His mind was set at ease. The Gemara asks: With regard to Zedekiah it is also written: “And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (II Kings 24:19); why was God’s mind set at ease? The Gemara answers: Zedekiah was not wicked; rather, he had it in his power to rebuke the people of his generation and he did not rebuke them. Therefore, their sins are attributed to him.

ואמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב איש חכם נשפט את איש אויל ורגז ושחק ואין נחת אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא כעסתי על אחז ונתתיו ביד מלכי דמשק זיבח וקיטר [לאלהיהם] שנאמר ׳ויזבח לאלהי דרמשק המכים בו ויאמר [כי] אלהי מלכי ארם הם מעזרים אתם להם אזבח ויעזרוני והם היו [לו] להכשילו ולכל ישראל׳

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he is angry or laughs, there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9)? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I was angry with Ahaz and I delivered him into the hand of the kings of Damascus. He then sacrificed offerings and burned incense to their gods, as it is stated: “He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that smote him; and he said: Because the gods of the kings of Aram help them, I will sacrifice to them, and they will help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel” (II Chronicles 28:23). When the Holy One, Blessed be He, was angry with Israel and caused them to lose a war to prompt them to repent of their sins, their response was to worship idols.

שחקתי עם אמציה ונתתי מלכי אדום בידו הביא אלהיהם והשתחוה להם שנאמר ׳ויהי אחרי בוא אמציהו מהכות את אדומים ויבא את אלהי בני שעיר ויעמידם [לו] לאלהים ולפניהם ישתחוה ולהם יקטר׳ אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי בכיי ליה למר דלא ידע חייכי למר דלא ידע ווי ליה למר דלא ידע בין טב לביש

I smiled upon Amaziah and I delivered the kings of Edom into his hand. In response, he brought their gods and bowed to them, as it is stated: “And it came to pass after Amaziah came from striking the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir and set them up to be his gods and prostrated himself before them, and burned incense to them” (II Chronicles 25:14). The response to victory in war was the same, idol worship. They are incorrigible. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: I cried for the master and he did not know, I smiled for the master and he did not know; woe unto the master who does not know the distinction between good and bad. The Jewish people also resorted to idol worship both when God rewarded them and when He afflicted them.

ויבאו כל [שרי] מלך בבל ( ויבאו) [ וישבו] בשער התוך אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מקום שמחתכין בו הלכות אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי באתרא דמריה תלא ליה זייניה תמן קולבא רעיא קולתיה תלא

With regard to the verse: “And all the princes of the king of Babylonia came in and sat in the middle gate [sha’ar hattavekh]” (Jeremiah 39:3), Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: Sha’ar hattavekh was the place in which they would decide [meḥattekhin] halakhot. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: In the place that the master of the house hangs his weapons, there the despicable shepherd hangs his jug. In the place where the Sanhedrin convened, Nebuchadnezzar the wicked and his princes now assemble.

(סימן על שדה בתים לא תאונה)

§ The Gemara cites a mnemonic for the following statements that Rav Ḥisda said that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: By the field, houses, shall not befall.

אמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מאי דכתיב על שדה איש עצל עברתי ועל כרם אדם חסר לב והנה עלה כלו קמשונים כסו פניו חרלים וגדר אבניו נהרסה על שדה איש עצל עברתי זה אחז ועל כרם אדם חסר לב זה מנשה והנה עלה כלו קמשונים זה אמון כסו פניו חרלים זה יהויקים וגדר אבניו נהרסה זה צדקיהו שנחרב בית המקדש בימיו

Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I passed by the field of an indolent man, and by the vineyard of a man void of understanding; and behold, it was overgrown with thistles, and its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken” (Proverbs 24:30–31)? The verse describes the spiritual and political decline of the kings of Judea. “I passed by the field of an indolent man”; this is a reference to Ahaz. “And by the vineyard of a man void of understanding”; this is a reference to Manasseh. “And behold, it was overgrown with thistles”; this is a reference to Amon. “And its surface was covered with nettles”; this is a reference to Jehoiakim. “And its stone wall was broken”; this is a reference to Zedekiah, in whose days the Temple was destroyed.

ואמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא ארבע כיתות אין מקבלות פני שכינה כת לצים כת שקרנים כת חניפים כת מספרי לשון הרע כת לצים דכתיב משך ידו את לצצים כת שקרנים דכתיב דבר שקרים לא יכון לנגד עיני כת חניפים דכתיב כי לא לפניו חנף יבוא כת מספרי לשון הרע דכתיב כי לא אל חפץ רשע אתה לא יגרך רע צדיק אתה ולא יהיה במגורך רע

Apropos the previous statement, the Gemara cites an additional statement. And Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that four groups do not receive the Divine Presence: This pertains to the group of cynics, the group of liars, the group of flatterers, and the group of slanderers. This pertains to the group of cynics, as it is written: “He withdrew His hand with cynics” (Hosea 7:5), indicating that God distanced Himself from them. This pertains to the group of liars, as it is written: “He that speaks falsehoods shall not be established before My eyes” (Psalms 101:7). This pertains to the group of flatterers, as it is written: “That a flatterer shall not come before Him” (Job 13:16). This pertains to the group of slanderers, as it is stated: “For You are not a God who desires wickedness; evil shall not dwell with You” (Psalms 5:5), which means: You are righteous, and there will be no form of evil in Your dwelling.

ואמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מאי דכתיב לא תאנה אליך רעה ונגע לא יקרב באהלך לא תאנה אליך רעה שלא ישלוט בהן יצר הרע ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא תמצא אשתך ספק נדה בשעה שתבא מן הדרך

And Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your tent” (Psalms 91:10)? “No evil shall befall you” means that the evil inclination shall not dominate them. “Nor shall any plague come near your tent” means that you will never find your wife in a state of uncertainty whether she has the halakhic status of a menstruating woman when you return from a journey. After a period of separation, when a husband desires his wife, her uncertain status may prove more frustrating than a situation where the prohibition is clear-cut.

דבר אחר לא תאנה אליך רעה שלא יבעתוך חלומות רעים והרהורים רעים ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא יהא לך בן או תלמיד שמקדיח תבשילו ברבים כגון ישו הנוצרי

Alternatively, the phrase “no evil shall befall you” means that you will be frightened neither by bad dreams nor by evil thoughts. “Nor shall any plague come near your tent” means that you will not have a child or student who overcooks his food in public, i.e., sins in public and causes others to sin, such as in the well-known case of Jesus the Nazarene.

עד כאן ברכו אביו מכאן ואילך ברכתו אמו כי מלאכיו יצוה לך לשמרך בכל דרכיך על כפים ישאונך וגו׳ על שחל ופתן תדרך וגו׳

Until this point in the psalm, Solomon’s father, David, blessed him, as these are blessings appropriate for a father to bless his son. From this point forward, his mother blessed him, as these are blessings appropriate for a mother to bless her son. “For he shall order His angels to preserve you in all your ways. They shall bear you on their hands, lest they dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the crocodile shall you trample under foot” (Psalms 91:11–13).

עד כאן ברכתו אמו מכאן ואילך ברכתו שמים

Until this point in the psalm, his mother blessed him. From this point forward, God in Heaven blessed him, as the psalm proceeds to refer to God in the first person, as though speaking in His name:

כי בי חשק ואפלטהו אשגבהו כי ידע שמי יקראני ואענהו עמו אנכי בצרה אחלצהו ואכבדהו אורך ימים אשביעהו ואראהו בישועתי

“Because he has desired Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” (Psalms 91:14–16).

אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב וימנע מרשעים אורם וזרוע רמה תשבר מפני מה עין של רשעים תלויה כיון שנעשה אדם רש מלמטה נעשה רש מלמעלה

Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And He will withhold their light from the wicked [resha’im], and the high arm shall be broken” (Job 38:15)? For what reason is the letter ayin of the word resha’im suspended slightly above the rest of the letters? It is suspended so that the word will be read rashim, meaning poor people. It means: Once a person becomes poor on earth below and the number of his enemies grows, he becomes poor in Heaven above, as he is certainly a sinner and that is why he is hated.

ולא נכתביה כלל רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר מפני כבודו של דוד וחד אמר משום כבודו של נחמיה בן חכליה

The Gemara challenges: If that is the meaning, let the ayin not be written at all and let the verse say: Rashim. Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar both explain why the ayin was not omitted. One says: It was due to the desire to preserve the honor of David, who had numerous enemies below despite the fact that he was a righteous person and had a place in the World-to-Come. And one says: It was due to the desire to preserve the honor of Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, who also had numerous enemies below, despite his righteousness.

תנו רבנן מנשה היה שונה חמשים וחמשה פנים בתורת כהנים כנגד שני מלכותו אחאב שמנים וחמשה ירבעם מאה ושלשה

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: Manasseh, king of Judea, would study fifty-five different aspects in interpreting Torat Kohanim, the halakhic midrash on Leviticus, corresponding to the years of his reign, indicating that he possessed great knowledge. Ahab was greater and studied eighty-five aspects, and Jeroboam was greater still and studied one hundred and three aspects.

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר אבשלום אין לו חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ויכו את אבשלום וימיתהו׳ ׳ויכוהו׳ בעולם הזה ׳וימיתהו׳ לעולם הבא תניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר משום רבי מאיר אחז ואחזיה וכל מלכי ישראל שכתוב בהן ׳ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳׳ לא חיין ולא נידונין

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: Absalom has no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And they smote Absalom and they killed him” (II Samuel 18:15). “And they smote Absalom” is referring to death in this world, while “and they killed him” is referring to death in the World-to-Come. It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says in the name of Rabbi Meir: Ahaz and Ahaziah, kings of Judea, and all of the kings of the kingdom of Israel about whom it is written: “And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (see, e.g., I Kings 15:34), neither live in the World-to-Come nor are sentenced to Gehenna.

וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה הרבה מאד עד אשר מלא את ירושלים פה לפה לבד מחטאתו אשר החטיא את יהודה לעשות הרע בעיני ה׳ הכא תרגימו שהרג ישעיה במערבא אמרי שעשה צלם משאוי אלף בני אדם ובכל יום ויום הורג (את) כולם כמאן אזלא הא דאמר רבה בר בר חנה שקולה נשמה של צדיק אחד כנגד כל העולם כולו כמאן דאמר ישעיה הרג

It is stated: “And Manasseh shed a great deal of innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem from one end to another [peh lafeh], beside his sin that he made Judea sin, to do evil in the eyes of the Lord” (II Kings 21:16). Here, in Babylonia, they interpret the verse to mean that he killed the prophet Isaiah (see Yevamot 49b). In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say that Manasseh crafted an idol so large that it was a burden requiring one thousand people to carry it, and each and every day he would require them to carry it, which would kill all of them. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rabba bar bar Ḥana says: The soul of one righteous person is equal in value to the entire world? It is in accordance with the opinion of the one who says: He killed Isaiah.

כתיב פסל וכתיב פסילים אמר רבי יוחנן בתחלה עשה לו פרצוף אחד ולבסוף עשה לו ארבעה פרצופים כדי שתראה שכינה ותכעוס

It is written that Manasseh crafted “an idol” (II Chronicles 33:7), and it is written that Manasseh crafted “idols” (II Chronicles 33:19). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Initially, he crafted one face [partzuf ] for the idol, and ultimately, he crafted four faces for it so that the Divine Presence would see it from each side and become angry.

אחז העמידו בעלייה שנאמר ואת המזבחות אשר על הגג עלית אחז וגו׳ מנשה העמידו בהיכל שנאמר וישם את פסל האשרה אשר עשה בבית אשר אמר ה׳ אל דוד ואל שלמה [בנו] בבית הזה ובירושלים אשר בחרתי מכל שבטי ישראל אשים את שמי לעולם אמון הכניסו לבית קדשי הקדשים שנאמר כי קצר המצע מהשתרע והמסכה צרה כהתכנס

Ahaz placed that idol in the upper chamber in the Temple, as it is stated: “And the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz” (II Kings 23:12). Manasseh placed it in the Sanctuary itself, as it is stated: “And he set the graven image of the ashera that he had crafted, in that house of which the Lord said to David, and to Solomon his son: In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, will I put My name forever” (II Kings 21:7). Amon introduced it into the Holy of Holies, as it is stated: “For the bed is too short for spreading, and the covering too narrow for when he gathers himself” (Isaiah 28:20).

מאי כי קצר המצע מהשתרע אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן [כי] קצר המצע זה מלהשתרר עליו שני רעים כאחד מאי והמסכה צרה וגו׳ אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני רבי יונתן כי הוה מטי להאי קרא הוה קא בכי מי שכתב בו ׳כנס כנד מי הים׳ תעשה לו מסכה צרה

What is the meaning of the phrase “For the bed is too short for spreading”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says that it means: For his bed is too narrow for two colleagues to spread upon it together, as it is impossible that service of God and idol worship will coexist there. What is the meaning of the phrase “and the covering [masekha] too narrow [tzara] for when he gathers himself [kehitkanes]”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says: When Rabbi Yonatan would reach this verse he would cry. He about whom it is written: “He gathers [kones] the waters of the sea like a rampart” (Psalms 33:7), shall a graven image [masekha] be a rival [tzara]?

[אחז בטל את העבודה] וחתם את התורה שנאמר צור תעודה חתום תורה בלמודי מנשה קדר את האזכרות והרס את המזבח אמון שרף את התורה והעלה שממית על גבי המזבח אחז התיר את הערוה מנשה בא על אחותו

Ahaz nullified the Temple service and sealed the Torah, prohibiting its study, as it is stated: “Bind up the testimony, seal the Torah among my disciples” (Isaiah 8:16). Manasseh excised the mentions of God’s names from sacred books and destroyed the altar. Amon burned the Torah and sacrificed a gecko, an impure creeping animal, upon the altar. Ahaz permitted engaging in sexual intercourse with forbidden relatives, and announced that marriage between those relatives is permitted. Manasseh exploited that pronouncement and engaged in sexual intercourse with his sister.

אמון בא על אמו שנאמר כי הוא אמון הרבה אשמה רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר ששרף את התורה וחד אמר שבא על אמו אמרה לו אמו כלום יש לך הנאה ממקום שיצאת ממנו אמר לה כלום אני עושה אלא להכעיס את בוראי

Amon engaged in sexual intercourse with his mother, as it is stated: “But Amon increased his guilt” (II Chronicles 33:23), indicating that he performed a greater and more disgraceful transgression than anyone else. Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagreed about his transgression; one says that he burned the Torah, and one says that he engaged in sexual intercourse with his mother. His mother said to him: Do you have any pleasure by engaging in intercourse from the place from which you emerged? He said to her: I am doing this only to express insolence to my Creator, not for my pleasure.

כי אתא יהויקים אמר קמאי לא ידעי לארגוזי כלום אנו צריכין אלא לאורו יש לנו זהב פרויים שאנו משתמשין בו יטול אורו אמרו לו והלא כסף וזהב שלו הוא שנאמר ׳לי הכסף ולי הזהב נאם ה׳ צבאות׳ אמר להם כבר נתנו לנו שנאמר ׳השמים שמים לה׳ והארץ נתן לבני אדם׳

When Jehoiakim came along and reigned, he said: My predecessors did not know how to express insolence to God. Do we need God even for his light? Since we have parvayim gold that we use that shines, let God take His light from the world. They said to him: Aren’t the silver and the gold His, as it is stated: “The silver is mine and the gold is mine says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8)? Jehoiakim said to them: He has already given it to us, as it is stated: “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the children of men” (Psalms 115:16).

אמר ליה רבא לרבה בר מרי מפני מה לא מנו את יהויקים משום דכתיב ביה ויתר דברי יהויקים ותעבתיו אשר עשה והנמצא עליו מאי והנמצא עליו רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר שחקק שם עבודה זרה על אמתו וחד אמר שחקק שם שמים על אמתו

§ Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: For what reason did the tanna’im not enumerate Jehoiakim among the kings who have no share in the World-to-Come? One would imagine that he has no share in the World-to-Come, because it is written concerning him: “And the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and his abominations that he did, and that which was found on him” (II Chronicles 36:8). The Gemara explains: What is the meaning of the phrase “and that which was found on him”? Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagree; one says that he etched the name of idols on his penis due to his devotion to them, and one says that he etched the name of Heaven on his penis in a display of contempt.

אמר ליה במלכים לא שמעתי בהדיוטות שמעתי מפני מה לא מנו את מיכה מפני שפתו מצויה לעוברי דרכים שנאמר כל העובר ושב אל הלוים

Rabba bar Mari said to Rava: With regard to the list of kings, I did not hear why Jehoiakim was excluded; but with regard to the list of commoners, I heard why a certain sinner was excluded. For what reason did the tanna’im not enumerate Micah among those with no share in the World-to-Come? After all, he crafted idols that the Jewish people worshipped (see Judges, chapter 17). It is due to the fact that his bread was available for passersby, as it is stated: All those who pass by the Levites. He would provide sustenance to all hosted in his house.

ועבר בים צרה והכה בים גלים אמר רבי יוחנן זה פסלו של מיכה תניא רבי נתן אומר מגרב לשילה שלשה מילין והיה עשן המערכה ועשן פסל מיכה מתערבין זה בזה

With regard to that which is written: “And He shall pass through the sea with affliction and shall strike the waves in the sea” (Zechariah 10:11), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This affliction is a reference to the idol of Micah, as Micah passed through the sea during the exodus from Egypt. It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: The distance from Gerav, where Micah resided, to Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was at that time, was three mil, and the smoke from the arrangement of wood on the altar in Shiloh and the smoke from the worship of the idol of Micah would intermingle with each other.

בקשו מלאכי השרת לדוחפו אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא ׳הניחו לו שפתו מצויה לעוברי דרכים׳ ועל דבר זה נענשו אנשי פלגש בגבעה אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא ׳בכבודי לא מחיתם על כבודו של בשר ודם מחיתם׳

The ministering angels sought to dismiss him from the world. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Leave him, as his bread is available for travelers. And it is for this matter, the sin of Micah’s idol, that the people involved in the incident of the concubine in Gibeah were punished. The tribes of Israel waged war with the tribe of Benjamin and forty thousand of them were killed. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: You did not protest for My honor and took no action to destroy Micah’s idol, but you protested for the honor of one of flesh and blood who was killed? Therefore, the other tribes were initially unsuccessful, and many of their soldiers were killed.

אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי יוסי בן קסמא גדולה לגימה שהרחיקה שתי משפחות מישראל שנאמר על דבר אשר לא קדמו אתכם בלחם ובמים ורבי יוחנן דידיה אמר מרחקת את הקרובים ומקרבת את הרחוקים ומעלמת עינים מן הרשעים ומשרה שכינה על נביאי הבעל ושגגתו עולה זדון

Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma: Great is eating, as it distanced two clans from the Jewish people, as it is stated: “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord…because they met you not with bread and with water” (Deuteronomy 23:4–5). And Rabbi Yoḥanan himself says: Food distances the near, and draws near the distant, and averts eyes from the wicked, sparing them from punishment, and causes the Divine Presence to rest on the prophets of the Baal; and an unwitting transgression with regard to it is at times considered an intentional transgression.

מרחקת את הקרובים

The Gemara elaborates: The fact that it distances the near is derived

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Sanhedrin 103

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Sanhedrin 103

בגלל מנשה דלא עבד תשובה

“on account of Manasseh” means because he did not repent, and the people followed in his footsteps.

אמר רבי יוחנן כל האומר מנשה אין לו חלק לעולם הבא מרפה ידיהן של בעלי תשובה דתני תנא קמיה דרבי יוחנן מנשה עשה תשובה (לשלשים) [שלשים] ושלש שנים דכתיב בן שתים עשרה שנה מנשה במלכו וחמשים וחמש שנה מלך בירושלים ויעש (הרע) [אשרה] וכו׳ כאשר עשה אחאב מלך ישראל כמה מלך אחאב עשרין ותרתין שנין מנשה כמה מלך חמשים וחמש דל מינייהו עשרים ותרתין פשו להו תלתין ותלת

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Anyone who says that Manasseh has no share in the World-to-Come discourages penitents, as Manasseh repented and according to them is nevertheless excluded from the World-to-Come. As the tanna taught a baraita before Rabbi Yoḥanan: Manasseh repented for thirty-three years, as it is written: “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem…And he did that which was evil…And he made an ashera, as did Ahab king of Israel” (II Kings 21:1–3). How many years did Ahab reign? He reigned twenty-two years. How many years did Manasseh reign? He reigned fifty-five years. Deduct from them the twenty-two years during which he performed evil like Ahab, and thirty-three years remain for him to have repented.

אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב וישמע אליו ויחתר לו ויעתר לו מיבעי ליה מלמד שעשה לו הקדוש ברוך הוא כמין מחתרת ברקיע כדי לקבלו בתשובה מפני מדת הדין

Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And he prayed to Him; and He made an opening for him” (II Chronicles 33:13)? Instead: And He received his entreaty, should have been written. Rather, this teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, crafted for him a type of opening in Heaven in order to accept him in repentance. It was necessary for Manasseh to enter the World-to-Come in a clandestine manner, due to the attribute of justice that sought to prevent his entry by claiming that his sentence was irreversible.

ואמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב בראשית ממלכת יהויקים בן יאשיהו וכתיב בראשית ממלכת צדקיה וכי עד האידנא לא הוו מלכי

§ And Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah” (Jeremiah 26:1), and it is written: “In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah” (Jeremiah 28:1). But is it so that until now there were no kings? Why did the prophet use the term “in the beginning” exclusively with regard to these two kings, as opposed to: During the first year of his reign, or a similar formulation?

אלא בקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להחזיר את העולם כולו לתוהו ובוהו בשביל יהויקים נסתכל בדורו ונתקררה דעתו

Rather, the reason for the unusual formulation is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to restore the entire world to chaos and void, as it was in the beginning before Creation, on account of Jehoiakim the wicked; but He observed Jehoiakim’s generation, which included the righteous who had not yet been exiled to Babylonia, and His mind was set at ease. The term “in the beginning” is used to signify that it is as though the world had been created anew.

בקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להחזיר את העולם כולו לתוהו ובוהו בשביל דורו של צדקיה נסתכל בצדקיה ונתקררה דעתו בצדקיה נמי כתיב ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳ שהיה בידו למחות ולא מיחה

Likewise, the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to restore the entire world to chaos and void, as it was in the beginning before Creation, on account of the generation of Zedekiah, as only the wicked remained after the exile of the righteous; but He observed Zedekiah and His mind was set at ease. The Gemara asks: With regard to Zedekiah it is also written: “And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (II Kings 24:19); why was God’s mind set at ease? The Gemara answers: Zedekiah was not wicked; rather, he had it in his power to rebuke the people of his generation and he did not rebuke them. Therefore, their sins are attributed to him.

ואמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מאי דכתיב איש חכם נשפט את איש אויל ורגז ושחק ואין נחת אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא כעסתי על אחז ונתתיו ביד מלכי דמשק זיבח וקיטר [לאלהיהם] שנאמר ׳ויזבח לאלהי דרמשק המכים בו ויאמר [כי] אלהי מלכי ארם הם מעזרים אתם להם אזבח ויעזרוני והם היו [לו] להכשילו ולכל ישראל׳

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: What is the meaning of that which is written: “If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he is angry or laughs, there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9)? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I was angry with Ahaz and I delivered him into the hand of the kings of Damascus. He then sacrificed offerings and burned incense to their gods, as it is stated: “He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that smote him; and he said: Because the gods of the kings of Aram help them, I will sacrifice to them, and they will help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel” (II Chronicles 28:23). When the Holy One, Blessed be He, was angry with Israel and caused them to lose a war to prompt them to repent of their sins, their response was to worship idols.

שחקתי עם אמציה ונתתי מלכי אדום בידו הביא אלהיהם והשתחוה להם שנאמר ׳ויהי אחרי בוא אמציהו מהכות את אדומים ויבא את אלהי בני שעיר ויעמידם [לו] לאלהים ולפניהם ישתחוה ולהם יקטר׳ אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי בכיי ליה למר דלא ידע חייכי למר דלא ידע ווי ליה למר דלא ידע בין טב לביש

I smiled upon Amaziah and I delivered the kings of Edom into his hand. In response, he brought their gods and bowed to them, as it is stated: “And it came to pass after Amaziah came from striking the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir and set them up to be his gods and prostrated himself before them, and burned incense to them” (II Chronicles 25:14). The response to victory in war was the same, idol worship. They are incorrigible. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: I cried for the master and he did not know, I smiled for the master and he did not know; woe unto the master who does not know the distinction between good and bad. The Jewish people also resorted to idol worship both when God rewarded them and when He afflicted them.

ויבאו כל [שרי] מלך בבל ( ויבאו) [ וישבו] בשער התוך אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מקום שמחתכין בו הלכות אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי באתרא דמריה תלא ליה זייניה תמן קולבא רעיא קולתיה תלא

With regard to the verse: “And all the princes of the king of Babylonia came in and sat in the middle gate [sha’ar hattavekh]” (Jeremiah 39:3), Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: Sha’ar hattavekh was the place in which they would decide [meḥattekhin] halakhot. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: In the place that the master of the house hangs his weapons, there the despicable shepherd hangs his jug. In the place where the Sanhedrin convened, Nebuchadnezzar the wicked and his princes now assemble.

(סימן על שדה בתים לא תאונה)

§ The Gemara cites a mnemonic for the following statements that Rav Ḥisda said that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: By the field, houses, shall not befall.

אמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מאי דכתיב על שדה איש עצל עברתי ועל כרם אדם חסר לב והנה עלה כלו קמשונים כסו פניו חרלים וגדר אבניו נהרסה על שדה איש עצל עברתי זה אחז ועל כרם אדם חסר לב זה מנשה והנה עלה כלו קמשונים זה אמון כסו פניו חרלים זה יהויקים וגדר אבניו נהרסה זה צדקיהו שנחרב בית המקדש בימיו

Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I passed by the field of an indolent man, and by the vineyard of a man void of understanding; and behold, it was overgrown with thistles, and its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken” (Proverbs 24:30–31)? The verse describes the spiritual and political decline of the kings of Judea. “I passed by the field of an indolent man”; this is a reference to Ahaz. “And by the vineyard of a man void of understanding”; this is a reference to Manasseh. “And behold, it was overgrown with thistles”; this is a reference to Amon. “And its surface was covered with nettles”; this is a reference to Jehoiakim. “And its stone wall was broken”; this is a reference to Zedekiah, in whose days the Temple was destroyed.

ואמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא ארבע כיתות אין מקבלות פני שכינה כת לצים כת שקרנים כת חניפים כת מספרי לשון הרע כת לצים דכתיב משך ידו את לצצים כת שקרנים דכתיב דבר שקרים לא יכון לנגד עיני כת חניפים דכתיב כי לא לפניו חנף יבוא כת מספרי לשון הרע דכתיב כי לא אל חפץ רשע אתה לא יגרך רע צדיק אתה ולא יהיה במגורך רע

Apropos the previous statement, the Gemara cites an additional statement. And Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that four groups do not receive the Divine Presence: This pertains to the group of cynics, the group of liars, the group of flatterers, and the group of slanderers. This pertains to the group of cynics, as it is written: “He withdrew His hand with cynics” (Hosea 7:5), indicating that God distanced Himself from them. This pertains to the group of liars, as it is written: “He that speaks falsehoods shall not be established before My eyes” (Psalms 101:7). This pertains to the group of flatterers, as it is written: “That a flatterer shall not come before Him” (Job 13:16). This pertains to the group of slanderers, as it is stated: “For You are not a God who desires wickedness; evil shall not dwell with You” (Psalms 5:5), which means: You are righteous, and there will be no form of evil in Your dwelling.

ואמר רב חסדא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מאי דכתיב לא תאנה אליך רעה ונגע לא יקרב באהלך לא תאנה אליך רעה שלא ישלוט בהן יצר הרע ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא תמצא אשתך ספק נדה בשעה שתבא מן הדרך

And Rav Ḥisda says that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your tent” (Psalms 91:10)? “No evil shall befall you” means that the evil inclination shall not dominate them. “Nor shall any plague come near your tent” means that you will never find your wife in a state of uncertainty whether she has the halakhic status of a menstruating woman when you return from a journey. After a period of separation, when a husband desires his wife, her uncertain status may prove more frustrating than a situation where the prohibition is clear-cut.

דבר אחר לא תאנה אליך רעה שלא יבעתוך חלומות רעים והרהורים רעים ונגע לא יקרב באהלך שלא יהא לך בן או תלמיד שמקדיח תבשילו ברבים כגון ישו הנוצרי

Alternatively, the phrase “no evil shall befall you” means that you will be frightened neither by bad dreams nor by evil thoughts. “Nor shall any plague come near your tent” means that you will not have a child or student who overcooks his food in public, i.e., sins in public and causes others to sin, such as in the well-known case of Jesus the Nazarene.

עד כאן ברכו אביו מכאן ואילך ברכתו אמו כי מלאכיו יצוה לך לשמרך בכל דרכיך על כפים ישאונך וגו׳ על שחל ופתן תדרך וגו׳

Until this point in the psalm, Solomon’s father, David, blessed him, as these are blessings appropriate for a father to bless his son. From this point forward, his mother blessed him, as these are blessings appropriate for a mother to bless her son. “For he shall order His angels to preserve you in all your ways. They shall bear you on their hands, lest they dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the crocodile shall you trample under foot” (Psalms 91:11–13).

עד כאן ברכתו אמו מכאן ואילך ברכתו שמים

Until this point in the psalm, his mother blessed him. From this point forward, God in Heaven blessed him, as the psalm proceeds to refer to God in the first person, as though speaking in His name:

כי בי חשק ואפלטהו אשגבהו כי ידע שמי יקראני ואענהו עמו אנכי בצרה אחלצהו ואכבדהו אורך ימים אשביעהו ואראהו בישועתי

“Because he has desired Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” (Psalms 91:14–16).

אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב וימנע מרשעים אורם וזרוע רמה תשבר מפני מה עין של רשעים תלויה כיון שנעשה אדם רש מלמטה נעשה רש מלמעלה

Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And He will withhold their light from the wicked [resha’im], and the high arm shall be broken” (Job 38:15)? For what reason is the letter ayin of the word resha’im suspended slightly above the rest of the letters? It is suspended so that the word will be read rashim, meaning poor people. It means: Once a person becomes poor on earth below and the number of his enemies grows, he becomes poor in Heaven above, as he is certainly a sinner and that is why he is hated.

ולא נכתביה כלל רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר מפני כבודו של דוד וחד אמר משום כבודו של נחמיה בן חכליה

The Gemara challenges: If that is the meaning, let the ayin not be written at all and let the verse say: Rashim. Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar both explain why the ayin was not omitted. One says: It was due to the desire to preserve the honor of David, who had numerous enemies below despite the fact that he was a righteous person and had a place in the World-to-Come. And one says: It was due to the desire to preserve the honor of Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, who also had numerous enemies below, despite his righteousness.

תנו רבנן מנשה היה שונה חמשים וחמשה פנים בתורת כהנים כנגד שני מלכותו אחאב שמנים וחמשה ירבעם מאה ושלשה

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: Manasseh, king of Judea, would study fifty-five different aspects in interpreting Torat Kohanim, the halakhic midrash on Leviticus, corresponding to the years of his reign, indicating that he possessed great knowledge. Ahab was greater and studied eighty-five aspects, and Jeroboam was greater still and studied one hundred and three aspects.

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר אבשלום אין לו חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ויכו את אבשלום וימיתהו׳ ׳ויכוהו׳ בעולם הזה ׳וימיתהו׳ לעולם הבא תניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר משום רבי מאיר אחז ואחזיה וכל מלכי ישראל שכתוב בהן ׳ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳׳ לא חיין ולא נידונין

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: Absalom has no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And they smote Absalom and they killed him” (II Samuel 18:15). “And they smote Absalom” is referring to death in this world, while “and they killed him” is referring to death in the World-to-Come. It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says in the name of Rabbi Meir: Ahaz and Ahaziah, kings of Judea, and all of the kings of the kingdom of Israel about whom it is written: “And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (see, e.g., I Kings 15:34), neither live in the World-to-Come nor are sentenced to Gehenna.

וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה הרבה מאד עד אשר מלא את ירושלים פה לפה לבד מחטאתו אשר החטיא את יהודה לעשות הרע בעיני ה׳ הכא תרגימו שהרג ישעיה במערבא אמרי שעשה צלם משאוי אלף בני אדם ובכל יום ויום הורג (את) כולם כמאן אזלא הא דאמר רבה בר בר חנה שקולה נשמה של צדיק אחד כנגד כל העולם כולו כמאן דאמר ישעיה הרג

It is stated: “And Manasseh shed a great deal of innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem from one end to another [peh lafeh], beside his sin that he made Judea sin, to do evil in the eyes of the Lord” (II Kings 21:16). Here, in Babylonia, they interpret the verse to mean that he killed the prophet Isaiah (see Yevamot 49b). In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say that Manasseh crafted an idol so large that it was a burden requiring one thousand people to carry it, and each and every day he would require them to carry it, which would kill all of them. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rabba bar bar Ḥana says: The soul of one righteous person is equal in value to the entire world? It is in accordance with the opinion of the one who says: He killed Isaiah.

כתיב פסל וכתיב פסילים אמר רבי יוחנן בתחלה עשה לו פרצוף אחד ולבסוף עשה לו ארבעה פרצופים כדי שתראה שכינה ותכעוס

It is written that Manasseh crafted “an idol” (II Chronicles 33:7), and it is written that Manasseh crafted “idols” (II Chronicles 33:19). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Initially, he crafted one face [partzuf ] for the idol, and ultimately, he crafted four faces for it so that the Divine Presence would see it from each side and become angry.

אחז העמידו בעלייה שנאמר ואת המזבחות אשר על הגג עלית אחז וגו׳ מנשה העמידו בהיכל שנאמר וישם את פסל האשרה אשר עשה בבית אשר אמר ה׳ אל דוד ואל שלמה [בנו] בבית הזה ובירושלים אשר בחרתי מכל שבטי ישראל אשים את שמי לעולם אמון הכניסו לבית קדשי הקדשים שנאמר כי קצר המצע מהשתרע והמסכה צרה כהתכנס

Ahaz placed that idol in the upper chamber in the Temple, as it is stated: “And the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz” (II Kings 23:12). Manasseh placed it in the Sanctuary itself, as it is stated: “And he set the graven image of the ashera that he had crafted, in that house of which the Lord said to David, and to Solomon his son: In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, will I put My name forever” (II Kings 21:7). Amon introduced it into the Holy of Holies, as it is stated: “For the bed is too short for spreading, and the covering too narrow for when he gathers himself” (Isaiah 28:20).

מאי כי קצר המצע מהשתרע אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן [כי] קצר המצע זה מלהשתרר עליו שני רעים כאחד מאי והמסכה צרה וגו׳ אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני רבי יונתן כי הוה מטי להאי קרא הוה קא בכי מי שכתב בו ׳כנס כנד מי הים׳ תעשה לו מסכה צרה

What is the meaning of the phrase “For the bed is too short for spreading”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says that it means: For his bed is too narrow for two colleagues to spread upon it together, as it is impossible that service of God and idol worship will coexist there. What is the meaning of the phrase “and the covering [masekha] too narrow [tzara] for when he gathers himself [kehitkanes]”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says: When Rabbi Yonatan would reach this verse he would cry. He about whom it is written: “He gathers [kones] the waters of the sea like a rampart” (Psalms 33:7), shall a graven image [masekha] be a rival [tzara]?

[אחז בטל את העבודה] וחתם את התורה שנאמר צור תעודה חתום תורה בלמודי מנשה קדר את האזכרות והרס את המזבח אמון שרף את התורה והעלה שממית על גבי המזבח אחז התיר את הערוה מנשה בא על אחותו

Ahaz nullified the Temple service and sealed the Torah, prohibiting its study, as it is stated: “Bind up the testimony, seal the Torah among my disciples” (Isaiah 8:16). Manasseh excised the mentions of God’s names from sacred books and destroyed the altar. Amon burned the Torah and sacrificed a gecko, an impure creeping animal, upon the altar. Ahaz permitted engaging in sexual intercourse with forbidden relatives, and announced that marriage between those relatives is permitted. Manasseh exploited that pronouncement and engaged in sexual intercourse with his sister.

אמון בא על אמו שנאמר כי הוא אמון הרבה אשמה רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר ששרף את התורה וחד אמר שבא על אמו אמרה לו אמו כלום יש לך הנאה ממקום שיצאת ממנו אמר לה כלום אני עושה אלא להכעיס את בוראי

Amon engaged in sexual intercourse with his mother, as it is stated: “But Amon increased his guilt” (II Chronicles 33:23), indicating that he performed a greater and more disgraceful transgression than anyone else. Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagreed about his transgression; one says that he burned the Torah, and one says that he engaged in sexual intercourse with his mother. His mother said to him: Do you have any pleasure by engaging in intercourse from the place from which you emerged? He said to her: I am doing this only to express insolence to my Creator, not for my pleasure.

כי אתא יהויקים אמר קמאי לא ידעי לארגוזי כלום אנו צריכין אלא לאורו יש לנו זהב פרויים שאנו משתמשין בו יטול אורו אמרו לו והלא כסף וזהב שלו הוא שנאמר ׳לי הכסף ולי הזהב נאם ה׳ צבאות׳ אמר להם כבר נתנו לנו שנאמר ׳השמים שמים לה׳ והארץ נתן לבני אדם׳

When Jehoiakim came along and reigned, he said: My predecessors did not know how to express insolence to God. Do we need God even for his light? Since we have parvayim gold that we use that shines, let God take His light from the world. They said to him: Aren’t the silver and the gold His, as it is stated: “The silver is mine and the gold is mine says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8)? Jehoiakim said to them: He has already given it to us, as it is stated: “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the children of men” (Psalms 115:16).

אמר ליה רבא לרבה בר מרי מפני מה לא מנו את יהויקים משום דכתיב ביה ויתר דברי יהויקים ותעבתיו אשר עשה והנמצא עליו מאי והנמצא עליו רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר חד אמר שחקק שם עבודה זרה על אמתו וחד אמר שחקק שם שמים על אמתו

§ Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: For what reason did the tanna’im not enumerate Jehoiakim among the kings who have no share in the World-to-Come? One would imagine that he has no share in the World-to-Come, because it is written concerning him: “And the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and his abominations that he did, and that which was found on him” (II Chronicles 36:8). The Gemara explains: What is the meaning of the phrase “and that which was found on him”? Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagree; one says that he etched the name of idols on his penis due to his devotion to them, and one says that he etched the name of Heaven on his penis in a display of contempt.

אמר ליה במלכים לא שמעתי בהדיוטות שמעתי מפני מה לא מנו את מיכה מפני שפתו מצויה לעוברי דרכים שנאמר כל העובר ושב אל הלוים

Rabba bar Mari said to Rava: With regard to the list of kings, I did not hear why Jehoiakim was excluded; but with regard to the list of commoners, I heard why a certain sinner was excluded. For what reason did the tanna’im not enumerate Micah among those with no share in the World-to-Come? After all, he crafted idols that the Jewish people worshipped (see Judges, chapter 17). It is due to the fact that his bread was available for passersby, as it is stated: All those who pass by the Levites. He would provide sustenance to all hosted in his house.

ועבר בים צרה והכה בים גלים אמר רבי יוחנן זה פסלו של מיכה תניא רבי נתן אומר מגרב לשילה שלשה מילין והיה עשן המערכה ועשן פסל מיכה מתערבין זה בזה

With regard to that which is written: “And He shall pass through the sea with affliction and shall strike the waves in the sea” (Zechariah 10:11), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This affliction is a reference to the idol of Micah, as Micah passed through the sea during the exodus from Egypt. It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: The distance from Gerav, where Micah resided, to Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was at that time, was three mil, and the smoke from the arrangement of wood on the altar in Shiloh and the smoke from the worship of the idol of Micah would intermingle with each other.

בקשו מלאכי השרת לדוחפו אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא ׳הניחו לו שפתו מצויה לעוברי דרכים׳ ועל דבר זה נענשו אנשי פלגש בגבעה אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא ׳בכבודי לא מחיתם על כבודו של בשר ודם מחיתם׳

The ministering angels sought to dismiss him from the world. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Leave him, as his bread is available for travelers. And it is for this matter, the sin of Micah’s idol, that the people involved in the incident of the concubine in Gibeah were punished. The tribes of Israel waged war with the tribe of Benjamin and forty thousand of them were killed. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: You did not protest for My honor and took no action to destroy Micah’s idol, but you protested for the honor of one of flesh and blood who was killed? Therefore, the other tribes were initially unsuccessful, and many of their soldiers were killed.

אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי יוסי בן קסמא גדולה לגימה שהרחיקה שתי משפחות מישראל שנאמר על דבר אשר לא קדמו אתכם בלחם ובמים ורבי יוחנן דידיה אמר מרחקת את הקרובים ומקרבת את הרחוקים ומעלמת עינים מן הרשעים ומשרה שכינה על נביאי הבעל ושגגתו עולה זדון

Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma: Great is eating, as it distanced two clans from the Jewish people, as it is stated: “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord…because they met you not with bread and with water” (Deuteronomy 23:4–5). And Rabbi Yoḥanan himself says: Food distances the near, and draws near the distant, and averts eyes from the wicked, sparing them from punishment, and causes the Divine Presence to rest on the prophets of the Baal; and an unwitting transgression with regard to it is at times considered an intentional transgression.

מרחקת את הקרובים

The Gemara elaborates: The fact that it distances the near is derived

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