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Today's Daf Yomi

November 2, 2017 | י״ג 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 109

What did the generation of those who built the Tower of Bavel trying to do?  What were the acts of Sodom?  What made them do it?  Most of the things they did fall into 2 categories – not treating guests properly and perverting justice.  There is a debate about Korach and his followers – whether they are deserving of the World to Come or not.  THe gemara extrapolates the names of the people in Korach’s group.  On ben Pelet was saved by his wife and didn’t rejoin Korach’s group.

מאן נשדר נשדר בהדי נחום איש גם זו דמלומד בנסים הוא

whom shall we send the gift? They decided: We will send it with Naḥum of Gam Zo, as he is experienced in miracles.

כי מטא לההוא דיורא בעא למיבת אמרי ליה מאי איכא בהדך אמר להו קא מובילנא כרגא לקיסר קמו בליליא שרינהו לסיפטיה ושקלו כל דהוה גביה ומלנהו עפרא כי מטא להתם אישתכח עפרא אמר אחוכי קא מחייכי בי יהודאי אפקוהו למקטליה אמר גם זו לטובה אתא אליהו ואידמי להו כחד מינייהו אמר להו דילמא האי עפרא מעפרא דאברהם אבינו הוא דהוה שדי עפרא הוו חרבי גילי הוו גירי בדוק ואשכחו הכי

When he reached a certain lodging, he sought to sleep there. The residents of that lodging said to him: What do you have with you? Naḥum said to them: I am taking the head tax to the emperor. They rose in the night, opened his chest and took everything that was in it, and then filled the chest with dirt. When he arrived there, in Rome, earth was discovered in the chest. The emperor said: The Jews are mocking me by giving me this gift. They took Naḥum out to kill him. Naḥum said: This too is for the best. Elijah the prophet came and appeared to them as one of Naḥum’s traveling party. Elijah said to them: Perhaps this earth is from the earth of Abraham our forefather, who would throw dust and it became swords, and who would throw straw and it became arrows. They examined the dust and discovered that it was indeed the dust of Abraham.

הוה מחוזא דלא הוו קא יכלי ליה למיכבשיה שדו מההוא עפרא עליה וכבשוה עיילוהו לבי גנזא אמרי שקול דניחא לך מלייה לסיפטא דהבא כי הדר אתא אמרו ליה הנך דיורי מאי אמטית לבי מלכא אמר להו מאי דשקלי מהכא אמטאי להתם שקלי אינהו אמטו להתם קטלינהו להנך דיורי

There was a province that the Romans were unable to conquer. They threw some of this earth upon that province and they conquered it. In appreciation for the gift that Naḥum of Gam Zo had brought on behalf of the Jewish people, they brought him into the treasury and said: Take that which is preferable to you. He filled his chest with gold. When he returned to that lodging, those residents said to him: What did you bring to the king’s palace? Naḥum said to them: What I took from here, I brought to there. The residents concluded that the earth with which they had filled the chest had miraculous properties. They took earth and brought it to the emperor. Once the Romans discovered that the earth was ineffective in battle, they executed those residents.

דור הפלגה אין להם חלק לעולם הבא וכו׳ מאי עבוד אמרי דבי רבי שילא נבנה מגדל ונעלה לרקיע ונכה אותו בקרדומות כדי שיזובו מימיו מחכו עלה במערבא אם כן ליבנו אחד בטורא

§ The mishna teaches that the members of the generation of the dispersion have no share in the World-to-Come. The Gemara asks: What sin did they perform? Their sin is not explicitly delineated in the Torah. The school of Rabbi Sheila say that the builders of the Tower of Babel said: We will build a tower and ascend to heaven, and we will strike it with axes so that its waters will flow. They laughed at this explanation in the West, Eretz Yisrael, and asked: If that was their objective, let them build a tower on a mountain; why did they build it specifically in a valley (see Genesis 11:2)?

(אלא) אמר רבי ירמיה בר אלעזר נחלקו לשלש כיתות אחת אומרת נעלה ונשב שם ואחת אומרת נעלה ונעבוד עבודה זרה ואחת אומרת נעלה ונעשה מלחמה זו שאומרת נעלה ונשב שם הפיצם ה׳ וזו שאומרת נעלה ונעשה מלחמה נעשו קופים ורוחות ושידים ולילין וזו שאומרת נעלה ונעבוד עבודה זרה כי שם בלל ה׳ שפת כל הארץ

Rather, Rabbi Yirmeya bar Elazar says: They divided into three factions; one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and dwell there. And one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and engage in idol worship. And one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and wage war. With regard to that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and dwell there, God dispersed them. And that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and wage war, became apes, and spirits, and demons, and female demons. And with regard to that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and engage in idol wor-ship, it is written: “Because there the Lord confounded the language of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).

תניא רבי נתן אומר כולם לשם עבודה זרה נתכוונו כתיב הכא נעשה לנו שם וכתיב התם ושם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו מה להלן עבודה זרה אף כאן עבודה זרה

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Natan says: All of those factions intended to build the tower for the sake of idol worship. It is written here: “And let us make a name for us” (Genesis 11:4), and it is written there: “And make no mention of the name of the other gods” (Exodus 23:13). Just as there, the connotation of “name” is idol worship, so too here, the connotation of “name” is idol worship.

אמר רבי יוחנן מגדל שליש נשרף שליש נבלע שליש קיים אמר רב אויר מגדל משכח אמר רב יוסף בבל ובורסיף סימן רע לתורה מאי בורסיף אמר רבי אסי בור שאפי

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The uppermost third of the tower was burned, the lowermost third of the tower was swallowed into the earth, and the middle third remained intact. Rav says: The atmosphere of the tower causes forgetfulness; anyone who goes there forgets what he has learned. As a result of the building of the tower, forgetting was introduced into the world. Rav Yosef says: Babylonia and the adjacent place, Bursif, are each a bad omen for Torah, i.e., they cause one to forget his knowledge. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of Bursif? Rabbi Asi says: It is an abbreviation of empty pit [bor shafi].

אנשי סדום אין להם חלק לעולם הבא וכו׳ תנו רבנן אנשי סדום אין להן חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ואנשי סדם רעים וחטאים לה׳ מאד׳ ׳רעים׳ בעולם הזה ׳וחטאים׳ לעולם הבא

§ The mishna teaches: The people of Sodom have no share in the World-to-Come. The Sages taught: The people of Sodom have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13). “Wicked” indicates in this world; “and sinners” indicates for the World-to-Come.

אמר רב יהודה רעים בגופן וחטאים בממונם רעים בגופן דכתיב ואיך אעשה הרעה הגדלה הזאת וחטאתי לאלהים וחטאים בממונם דכתיב והיה בך חטא לה׳ זו ברכת השם מאד שמתכוונים וחוטאים

Rav Yehuda says: “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies; “and sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their money. “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies, as it is written with regard to Joseph and the wife of Potiphar: “And how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God” (Genesis 39:9). “And sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their money, as it is written: “And your eye is wicked against your poor brother, and you give him nothing…for it shall be reckoned to you as a sin” (Deuteronomy 15:9). “Before the Lord”; this is referring to blessing, a euphemism for cursing, God. “Exceedingly” means that they had intent and sinned and did not sin unwittingly or driven by lust.

במתניתא תנא ׳רעים׳ בממונם ׳וחטאים׳ בגופן ׳רעים׳ בממונם דכתיב ׳ורעה עינך באחיך האביון׳ ׳וחטאים׳ בגופן דכתיב ו׳חטאתי לאלהים׳ ׳לה׳׳ זו ברכת השם ׳מאד׳ זו שפיכות דמים שנאמר ׳וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה בירושלים הרבה מאד׳ [וגו׳]

It was taught in a baraita: “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their money; “and sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies. “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their money, as it is written: “And your eye is wicked against your poor brother and you give him nothing” (Deuteronomy 15:9). “And sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies, as it is written with regard to Joseph and the wife of Potiphar: “And sin against God” (Genesis 39:9). “Before the Lord”; this is referring to blessing, a euphemism for cursing, God. “Exceedingly [meod ]” is referring to bloodshed, as it is stated: “Moreover Manasseh shed very [meod ] much blood” (II Kings 21:16).

תנו רבנן אנשי סדום לא נתגאו אלא בשביל טובה שהשפיע להם הקדוש ברוך הוא ומה כתיב בהם ׳ארץ ממנה יצא לחם ותחתיה נהפך כמו אש מקום ספיר אבניה ועפרת זהב לו נתיב לא ידעו עיט ולא שזפתו עין איה לא הדריכוהו בני שחץ לא עדה עליו שחל׳

The Sages taught: The people of Sodom became haughty and sinned due only to the excessive goodness that the Holy One, Blessed be He, bestowed upon them. And what is written concerning them, indicating that goodness? “As for the earth, out of it comes bread, and underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. That path no bird of prey knows, neither has the falcon’s eye seen it. The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion passed thereby” (Job 28:5–8). The reference is to the city of Sodom, which was later overturned, as it is stated thereafter: “He puts forth His hand upon the flinty rock; He overturns the mountains by the roots” (Job 28:9).

אמרו ׳וכי מאחר שארץ ממנה יצא לחם ועפרת זהב לו למה לנו עוברי דרכים שאין באים אלינו אלא לחסרינו [מממוננו] בואו ונשכח תורת רגל מארצנו׳ שנאמר ׳פרץ נחל מעם גר הנשכחים מני רגל דלו מאנוש נעו׳

The people of Sodom said: Since we live in a land from which bread comes and has the dust of gold, we have everything that we need. Why do we need travelers, as they come only to divest us of our property? Come, let us cause the proper treatment of travelers to be forgotten from our land, as it is stated: “He breaks open a watercourse in a place far from inhabitants, forgotten by pedestrians, they are dried up, they have moved away from men” (Job 28:4).

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב עד אנה תהותתו על איש תרצחו כלכם כקיר נטוי גדר הדחויה מלמד שהיו נותנין עיניהן בבעלי ממון ומושיבין אותו אצל קיר נטוי ודוחין אותו עליו ובאים ונוטלין את ממונו

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “How long will you seek to overwhelm a man? You will all be murdered like a leaning wall or a tottering fence” (Psalms 62:4)? This teaches that the people of Sodom set their sights on property owners. They would take one and place him alongside an inclined, flimsy wall that was about to fall, and push it upon him to kill him, and then they would come and take his property.

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב חתר בחשך בתים יומם חתמו למו לא ידעו אור מלמד שהיו נותנים עיניהם בבעלי ממון ומפקידים אצלו אפרסמון ומניחים אותו בבית גנזיהם לערב באים ומריחין אותו ככלב שנאמר ישובו לערב יהמו ככלב ויסובבו עיר ובאים וחותרים שם ונוטלין אותו ממון

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they know not the light” (Job 24:16)? This teaches that they would set their sights on property owners. They would take one and they would give him balsam, whose smell diffuses, and the property owner would place it in his treasury. In the evening, the people of Sodom would come and sniff it out like a dog and discover the location of the property owner’s treasury, as it is stated: “They return at evening; they howl like a dog, and go round about the city” (Psalms 59:7). And after discovering the location they would come and dig there, and they would take that property.

ערום ילינו מבלי לבוש ואין כסות בקרה חמור יתומים ינהגו יחבלו שור אלמנה גבלות ישיגו עדר גזלו וירעו והוא לקברות יובל ועל גדיש ישקוד

The Gemara cites verses that allude to the practices of the people of Sodom: “They lie at night naked without clothing, and they have no covering in the cold” (Job 24:7). And likewise: “They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox as a pledge” (Job 24:3). And likewise: “They trespass; they violently steal flocks and graze them” (Job 24:2). And likewise: “For he is brought to the grave, and watch is kept over his tomb” (Job 21:32).

דרש רבי יוסי בציפורי אחתרין ההיא ליליא תלת מאה מחתרתא בציפורי אתו וקא מצערי ליה אמרו ליה יהבית אורחיה לגנבי אמר להו מי הוה ידענא דאתו גנבי כי קא נח נפשיה דרבי יוסי שפעי מרזבי דציפורי דמא

Rabbi Yosei taught in Tzippori the methods of theft employed in Sodom. That night three hundred tunnels were excavated in Tzippori in order to employ those methods. Homeowners came and harassed him; they said to him: You have given a way for thieves to steal. Rabbi Yosei said to them: Did I know that thieves would come as a result of my lecture? The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Yosei died, the gutters of Tzippori miraculously overflowed with blood as a sign of his death.

אמרי דאית ליה חד תורא מרעי חד יומא דלית ליה לירעי תרי יומי ההוא יתמא בר ארמלתא הבו ליה תורי למרעיה אזל שקלינהו וקטלינהו אמר להו

The people of Sodom would say: Anyone who has one ox shall herd the city’s oxen for one day. Anyone who does not have any oxen shall herd the city’s oxen for two days. The Gemara relates: They gave oxen to a certain orphan, son of a widow, to herd. He went and took them and killed them. The orphan said to the people of Sodom:

דאית ליה תורא נשקול חד משכא דלית ליה תורא נשקול תרי משכי אמרו ליה מאי האי אמר להו סוף דינא כתחילת דינא מה תחילת דינא דאית ליה תורא מרעי חד יומא דלית ליה תורי מרעי תרי יומי אף סוף דינא דאית ליה חד תורא לשקול חד דלית ליה תורא לשקול תרי

Let anyone who has one ox take one hide and let anyone who does not have an ox take two hides. The people of Sodom said to the orphan: What is the reason for this? The orphan said to them: The ultimate rule is parallel to the initial rule; just as the initial rule is that anyone who has one ox shall herd the city’s animals for one day and anyone who does not have any oxen shall herd the city’s animals for two days, so too, the ultimate rule is: Let anyone who has one ox take one hide and let anyone who does not have an ox take two hides.

דעבר במברא ניתיב חד זוזא דלא עבר במברא ניתיב תרי דהוה ליה תורא [דרא] דלבני אתי כל חד וחד שקיל חדא אמר ליה אנא חדא דשקלי דהוה שדי תומי או שמכי אתו כל חד וחד שקיל חדא אמר ליה אנא חדא דשקלי

Furthermore, they declared in Sodom: Let one who crosses on a ferry give one dinar as payment; let one who does not cross on a ferry, but walks in the river, give two dinars. In addition, when there was anyone who had a row of bricks, each and every one of the people of Sodom would come and take one brick and say to him: I am taking only one, and you are certainly not particular about so inconsequential an item, and they would do this until none remained. And when there was anyone who would cast garlic or onions to dry, each and every one of the people of Sodom would come and take one and say to him: I took only one garlic or onion, and they would do this until none remained.

ארבע דייני היו בסדום שקראי ושקרוראי זייפי ומצלי דינא דמחי ליה לאיתתא דחבריה ומפלא ליה אמרי ליה יהבה ניהליה דניעברה ניהליך דפסיק ליה לאודנא דחמרא דחבריה אמרו ליה הבה ניהליה עד דקדחא דפדע ליה לחבריה אמרי ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקל לך דמא

There were four judges in Sodom and they were named for their actions: Shakrai, meaning liar, and Shakrurai, habitual liar, Zayfai, forger, and Matzlei Dina, perverter of justice. These were the judgments that they rendered: In a case of one who strikes the wife of another and causes her to miscarry, they would say to the woman’s husband: Give the woman to the one who struck her, so that she will be impregnated for you again. In a case of one who severed the ear of another’s donkey, they would say to the owner of the donkey: Give the donkey to the one who caused the damage, until the ear grows back. In a case of one who wounds another, they would say to the injured party: Give the one who wounded you a fee, as he let your blood.

דעבר במברא יהיב ארבעה זוזי דעבר במיא יהיב תמני זוזי זימנא חדא אתא ההוא כובס איקלע להתם אמרו ליה הב ארבע זוזי אמר להו אנא במיא עברי אמרו ליה אם כן הב תמניא דעברת במיא לא יהיב פדיוהו אתא לקמיה דדיינא אמר ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקיל לך דמא ותמניא זוזי דעברת במיא

And they instituted an ordinance: One who crossed the river on a ferry gives four dinars, and one who crossed the river in the water gives eight dinars. One time a certain launderer came and arrived there. The people of Sodom said to him: Give four dinars as payment for the ferry. He said to them: I crossed in the water. They said to him: If so, give eight dinars, as you crossed in the water. He did not give the payment, and they struck him and wounded him. He came before the judge to seek compensation. The judge said to him: Give your assailant a fee, as he let your blood, and eight dinars, as you crossed the river in the water.

אליעזר עבד אברהם איתרמי התם פדיוהי אתא לקמיה דיינא אמר ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקל לך דמא שקל גללא פדיוהי איהו לדיינא אמר מאי האי אמר ליה אגרא דנפק לי מינך הב ניהליה להאי וזוזי דידי כדקיימי קיימי

Eliezer, servant of Abraham, happened to come there, and they wounded him. He came before the judge to seek compensation. The judge said to him: Give your assailant a fee, as he let your blood. He took a stone and he wounded the judge. The judge said: What is this? Eliezer said to him: The fee that is to be paid to me by you, give it to that person who wounded me, and my money will remain where it remains.

הויא להו פורייתא דהוו מגני עלה אורחין כי מאריך גייזי ליה כי גוץ מתחין ליה אליעזר עבד אברהם אקלע להתם אמרו ליה קום גני אפוריא אמר להון נדרא נדרי מן יומא דמיתת אמא לא גנינא אפוריא

The Gemara continues to discuss the sins of the people of Sodom: They had beds on which they would lay their guests; when a guest was longer than the bed they would cut him, and when a guest was shorter than the bed they would stretch him. Eliezer, servant of Abraham, happened to come there. They said to him: Come lie on the bed. He said to them: I took a vow that since the day my mother died I do not lie on a bed.

כי הוה מתרמי להו עניא יהבו ליה כל חד וחד דינרא וכתיב שמיה עליה וריפתא לא הוו ממטי ליה כי הוה מית אתי כל חד וחד שקיל דידיה

When a poor person would happen to come to Sodom, each and every person would give him a dinar, and the name of the giver was written on each dinar. And they would not give or sell him bread, so that he could not spend the money and would die of hunger. When he would die, each and every person would come and take his dinar.

הכי אתני בינייהו כל מאן דמזמין גברא לבי הילולא לשלח גלימא הוי האי הילולא אקלע אליעזר להתם ולא יהבו ליה נהמא כי בעי למסעד אתא אליעזר ויתיב לסיפא דכולהו אמרו ליה מאן אזמנך להכא אמר ליה לההוא [דיתיב] אתה זמנתן [אמר דילמא שמעי בי דאנא אזמינתיה ומשלחי ליה מאניה דהאי גברא] שקל גלימיה ההוא דיתיב גביה ורהט לברא וכן עבד לכולהו עד דנפקי כולהו ואכלא איהו לסעודתא

This is what the people of Sodom stipulated among themselves: Whoever invites a man to a wedding, his cloak will be removed. There was this wedding, and Eliezer, servant of Abraham, arrived there and they did not give him bread. When he sought to dine, Eliezer came and sat at the end, behind everyone. They said to him: Who invited you to here? He said to the one sitting next to him: You invited me. That man said to himself: Perhaps they will hear that I invited him and they will remove the garment of that man, referring to himself. The one who sat next to him took his cloak and ran outside. And likewise, Eliezer did the same for all of them until they all left, and he ate the meal.

הויא ההיא רביתא דהות קא מפקא ריפתא לעניא בחצבא איגלאי מלתא שפיוה דובשא ואוקמוה על איגר שורא אתא זיבורי ואכלוה והיינו דכתיב ויאמר ה׳ זעקת סדם ועמרה כי רבה ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב על עיסקי ריבה

There was a young woman who would take bread out to the poor people in a pitcher so the people of Sodom would not see it. The matter was revealed, and they smeared her with honey and positioned her on the wall of the city, and the hornets came and consumed her. And that is the meaning of that which is written: “And the Lord said: Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great [rabba]” (Genesis 18:20). And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Rabba is an allusion to the matter of the young woman [riva] who was killed for her act of kindness. It is due to that sin that the fate of the people of Sodom was sealed.

מרגלים אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳וימתו האנשים מוצאי דבת הארץ רעה במגפה׳ ׳וימתו׳ בעולם הזה ׳במגפה׳ לעולם הבא

§ The mishna teaches: The spies who spread an evil report of their visit to Canaan have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And those men who spread the evil report about the land died by plague before the Lord” (Numbers 14:37). “And…died” indicates in this world, and “by plague” indicates for the World-to-Come.

עדת קרח אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ותכס עליהם הארץ׳ בעולם הזה ׳ויאבדו מתוך הקהל׳ לעולם הבא דברי רבי עקיבא רבי אליעזר אומר עליהם אמר הכתוב ׳ה׳ ממית ומחיה מוריד שאול ויעל׳

The members of the assembly of Korah have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the earth closed upon them” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in this world, and also: “And they perished from among the assembly” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in the World-to-Come; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Eliezer says: About the assembly of Korah, the verse states: “The Lord kills and makes alive; He lowers to the grave, and raises” (I Samuel 2:6), indicating that the assembly of Korah has a share in the World-to-Come.

תנו רבנן עדת קרח אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ותכס עליהם הארץ׳ בעולם הזה ׳ויאבדו מתוך הקהל׳ לעולם הבא דברי רבי עקיבא רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר הרי הן כאבידה המתבקשת שנאמר ׳תעיתי כשה אבד בקש עבדך כי מצותיך לא שכחתי׳

The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 13:9): The members of the assembly of Korah have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the earth closed upon them” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in this world, and also: “And they perished from among the assembly” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in the World-to-Come; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: Although it says that they perished, they are like a lost item that is sought, ultimately found, and rehabilitated, as it is stated: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your mitzvot” (Psalms 119:176).

ויקח [קרח] אמר ריש לקיש שלקח מקח רע לעצמו קרח שנעשה קרחה בישראל בן יצהר בן שהרתיח עליו את כל העולם כצהרים בן קהת בן שהקהה שיני מולידיו בן לוי בן שנעשה לויה בגיהנם

Apropos Korah, the Gemara proceeds to interpret the verses written concerning him. “And Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, took [vayikkaḥ]” (Numbers 16:1), Reish Lakish says: He purchased [lakaḥ] a bad acquisition for himself, as through his actions he drove himself from the world. “Korah” alludes to the fact that because of him a void [korḥa] was created in the children of Israel. “Son of Izhar,” is referring to a son who incited the wrath of the entire world upon him like the heat of the afternoon [tzohorayim]. “Son of Kohath,” is referring to a son who blunted [hik’ha] the teeth of his parents, i.e., he shamed them with his conduct. “Son of Levi,” is referring to a son who became an escort [levaya] in Gehenna.

וליחשוב נמי בן יעקב בן שעקב עצמו לגיהנם אמר רב שמואל בר רב יצחק יעקב ביקש רחמים על עצמו שנאמר בסדם אל תבא נפשי בקהלם אל תחד כבדי בסדם אל תבא נפשי אלו מרגלים בקהלם אל תחד כבדי זה עדת קרח

The Gemara asks: But if Korah’s lineage is being interpreted disparagingly, why not let the Torah also include: Son of Jacob [Ya’akov], and interpret it: A son who contorted [she’akav] himself until he reached Gehenna? Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: Jacob prayed for mercy for himself that his name would not be included in the lineage of Korah, as it is stated: “Let my soul not come into their council; to their assembly let my honor not be united” (Genesis 49:6). “Let my soul not come into their council”; these are the spies. Jacob prayed that his name would not be mentioned in their regard. “To their assembly let my honor not be united”; this is referring to the assembly of Korah.

דתן שעבר על דת אל אבירם שאיבר עצמו מעשות תשובה ואון שישב באנינות פלת שנעשו לו פלאות בן ראובן בן שראה והבין

The Gemara proceeds to interpret the names of Korah’s cohorts: “Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben” (Numbers 16:1). “Dathan” is one who violated the precepts [dat] of God. “Abiram” is one who braced [iber] himself from repenting. “And On” indicates one who sat in acute mourning [aninut] over the sin that he committed, and he repented and was spared. “Peleth” is one for whom wonders [pelaot] were performed. Son of Reuben [Reuven], is a son who saw and understood [ra’a vehevin] the nature of what was transpiring and repented.

אמר רב און בן פלת אשתו הצילתו אמרה ליה מאי נפקא לך מינה אי מר רבה אנת תלמידא ואי מר רבה אנת תלמידא אמר לה מאי אעביד הואי בעצה ואשתבעי לי בהדייהו אמרה ליה ידענא דכולה כנישתא קדישתא נינהו דכתיב ׳כי כל העדה כלם קדשים׳ אמרה ליה תוב דאנא מצילנא לך אשקיתיה חמרא וארויתיה ואגניתיה גואי אותבה על בבא

Rav says: On, son of Peleth, did not repent on his own; rather, his wife saved him. She said to him: What is the difference to you? If this Master, Moses, is the great one, you are the student. And if this Master, Korah, is the great one, you are the student. Why are you involving yourself in this matter? On said to her: What shall I do? I was one of those who took counsel and I took an oath with them that I would be with them. She said to him: I know that the entire assembly is holy, as it is written: “For all the assembly is holy” (Numbers 16:3), and they observe the restrictions of modesty. She said to him: Sit, for I will save you. She gave him wine to drink and caused him to become drunk and laid him on a bed inside their tent. She sat at the entrance of the tent

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Sanhedrin 109

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Sanhedrin 109

מאן נשדר נשדר בהדי נחום איש גם זו דמלומד בנסים הוא

whom shall we send the gift? They decided: We will send it with Naḥum of Gam Zo, as he is experienced in miracles.

כי מטא לההוא דיורא בעא למיבת אמרי ליה מאי איכא בהדך אמר להו קא מובילנא כרגא לקיסר קמו בליליא שרינהו לסיפטיה ושקלו כל דהוה גביה ומלנהו עפרא כי מטא להתם אישתכח עפרא אמר אחוכי קא מחייכי בי יהודאי אפקוהו למקטליה אמר גם זו לטובה אתא אליהו ואידמי להו כחד מינייהו אמר להו דילמא האי עפרא מעפרא דאברהם אבינו הוא דהוה שדי עפרא הוו חרבי גילי הוו גירי בדוק ואשכחו הכי

When he reached a certain lodging, he sought to sleep there. The residents of that lodging said to him: What do you have with you? Naḥum said to them: I am taking the head tax to the emperor. They rose in the night, opened his chest and took everything that was in it, and then filled the chest with dirt. When he arrived there, in Rome, earth was discovered in the chest. The emperor said: The Jews are mocking me by giving me this gift. They took Naḥum out to kill him. Naḥum said: This too is for the best. Elijah the prophet came and appeared to them as one of Naḥum’s traveling party. Elijah said to them: Perhaps this earth is from the earth of Abraham our forefather, who would throw dust and it became swords, and who would throw straw and it became arrows. They examined the dust and discovered that it was indeed the dust of Abraham.

הוה מחוזא דלא הוו קא יכלי ליה למיכבשיה שדו מההוא עפרא עליה וכבשוה עיילוהו לבי גנזא אמרי שקול דניחא לך מלייה לסיפטא דהבא כי הדר אתא אמרו ליה הנך דיורי מאי אמטית לבי מלכא אמר להו מאי דשקלי מהכא אמטאי להתם שקלי אינהו אמטו להתם קטלינהו להנך דיורי

There was a province that the Romans were unable to conquer. They threw some of this earth upon that province and they conquered it. In appreciation for the gift that Naḥum of Gam Zo had brought on behalf of the Jewish people, they brought him into the treasury and said: Take that which is preferable to you. He filled his chest with gold. When he returned to that lodging, those residents said to him: What did you bring to the king’s palace? Naḥum said to them: What I took from here, I brought to there. The residents concluded that the earth with which they had filled the chest had miraculous properties. They took earth and brought it to the emperor. Once the Romans discovered that the earth was ineffective in battle, they executed those residents.

דור הפלגה אין להם חלק לעולם הבא וכו׳ מאי עבוד אמרי דבי רבי שילא נבנה מגדל ונעלה לרקיע ונכה אותו בקרדומות כדי שיזובו מימיו מחכו עלה במערבא אם כן ליבנו אחד בטורא

§ The mishna teaches that the members of the generation of the dispersion have no share in the World-to-Come. The Gemara asks: What sin did they perform? Their sin is not explicitly delineated in the Torah. The school of Rabbi Sheila say that the builders of the Tower of Babel said: We will build a tower and ascend to heaven, and we will strike it with axes so that its waters will flow. They laughed at this explanation in the West, Eretz Yisrael, and asked: If that was their objective, let them build a tower on a mountain; why did they build it specifically in a valley (see Genesis 11:2)?

(אלא) אמר רבי ירמיה בר אלעזר נחלקו לשלש כיתות אחת אומרת נעלה ונשב שם ואחת אומרת נעלה ונעבוד עבודה זרה ואחת אומרת נעלה ונעשה מלחמה זו שאומרת נעלה ונשב שם הפיצם ה׳ וזו שאומרת נעלה ונעשה מלחמה נעשו קופים ורוחות ושידים ולילין וזו שאומרת נעלה ונעבוד עבודה זרה כי שם בלל ה׳ שפת כל הארץ

Rather, Rabbi Yirmeya bar Elazar says: They divided into three factions; one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and dwell there. And one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and engage in idol worship. And one said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and wage war. With regard to that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and dwell there, God dispersed them. And that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and wage war, became apes, and spirits, and demons, and female demons. And with regard to that faction that said: Let us ascend to the top of the tower and engage in idol wor-ship, it is written: “Because there the Lord confounded the language of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).

תניא רבי נתן אומר כולם לשם עבודה זרה נתכוונו כתיב הכא נעשה לנו שם וכתיב התם ושם אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו מה להלן עבודה זרה אף כאן עבודה זרה

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Natan says: All of those factions intended to build the tower for the sake of idol worship. It is written here: “And let us make a name for us” (Genesis 11:4), and it is written there: “And make no mention of the name of the other gods” (Exodus 23:13). Just as there, the connotation of “name” is idol worship, so too here, the connotation of “name” is idol worship.

אמר רבי יוחנן מגדל שליש נשרף שליש נבלע שליש קיים אמר רב אויר מגדל משכח אמר רב יוסף בבל ובורסיף סימן רע לתורה מאי בורסיף אמר רבי אסי בור שאפי

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The uppermost third of the tower was burned, the lowermost third of the tower was swallowed into the earth, and the middle third remained intact. Rav says: The atmosphere of the tower causes forgetfulness; anyone who goes there forgets what he has learned. As a result of the building of the tower, forgetting was introduced into the world. Rav Yosef says: Babylonia and the adjacent place, Bursif, are each a bad omen for Torah, i.e., they cause one to forget his knowledge. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of Bursif? Rabbi Asi says: It is an abbreviation of empty pit [bor shafi].

אנשי סדום אין להם חלק לעולם הבא וכו׳ תנו רבנן אנשי סדום אין להן חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ואנשי סדם רעים וחטאים לה׳ מאד׳ ׳רעים׳ בעולם הזה ׳וחטאים׳ לעולם הבא

§ The mishna teaches: The people of Sodom have no share in the World-to-Come. The Sages taught: The people of Sodom have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13). “Wicked” indicates in this world; “and sinners” indicates for the World-to-Come.

אמר רב יהודה רעים בגופן וחטאים בממונם רעים בגופן דכתיב ואיך אעשה הרעה הגדלה הזאת וחטאתי לאלהים וחטאים בממונם דכתיב והיה בך חטא לה׳ זו ברכת השם מאד שמתכוונים וחוטאים

Rav Yehuda says: “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies; “and sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their money. “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies, as it is written with regard to Joseph and the wife of Potiphar: “And how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God” (Genesis 39:9). “And sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their money, as it is written: “And your eye is wicked against your poor brother, and you give him nothing…for it shall be reckoned to you as a sin” (Deuteronomy 15:9). “Before the Lord”; this is referring to blessing, a euphemism for cursing, God. “Exceedingly” means that they had intent and sinned and did not sin unwittingly or driven by lust.

במתניתא תנא ׳רעים׳ בממונם ׳וחטאים׳ בגופן ׳רעים׳ בממונם דכתיב ׳ורעה עינך באחיך האביון׳ ׳וחטאים׳ בגופן דכתיב ו׳חטאתי לאלהים׳ ׳לה׳׳ זו ברכת השם ׳מאד׳ זו שפיכות דמים שנאמר ׳וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה בירושלים הרבה מאד׳ [וגו׳]

It was taught in a baraita: “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their money; “and sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies. “Wicked” is referring to sins they committed with their money, as it is written: “And your eye is wicked against your poor brother and you give him nothing” (Deuteronomy 15:9). “And sinners” is referring to sins they committed with their bodies, as it is written with regard to Joseph and the wife of Potiphar: “And sin against God” (Genesis 39:9). “Before the Lord”; this is referring to blessing, a euphemism for cursing, God. “Exceedingly [meod ]” is referring to bloodshed, as it is stated: “Moreover Manasseh shed very [meod ] much blood” (II Kings 21:16).

תנו רבנן אנשי סדום לא נתגאו אלא בשביל טובה שהשפיע להם הקדוש ברוך הוא ומה כתיב בהם ׳ארץ ממנה יצא לחם ותחתיה נהפך כמו אש מקום ספיר אבניה ועפרת זהב לו נתיב לא ידעו עיט ולא שזפתו עין איה לא הדריכוהו בני שחץ לא עדה עליו שחל׳

The Sages taught: The people of Sodom became haughty and sinned due only to the excessive goodness that the Holy One, Blessed be He, bestowed upon them. And what is written concerning them, indicating that goodness? “As for the earth, out of it comes bread, and underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. That path no bird of prey knows, neither has the falcon’s eye seen it. The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion passed thereby” (Job 28:5–8). The reference is to the city of Sodom, which was later overturned, as it is stated thereafter: “He puts forth His hand upon the flinty rock; He overturns the mountains by the roots” (Job 28:9).

אמרו ׳וכי מאחר שארץ ממנה יצא לחם ועפרת זהב לו למה לנו עוברי דרכים שאין באים אלינו אלא לחסרינו [מממוננו] בואו ונשכח תורת רגל מארצנו׳ שנאמר ׳פרץ נחל מעם גר הנשכחים מני רגל דלו מאנוש נעו׳

The people of Sodom said: Since we live in a land from which bread comes and has the dust of gold, we have everything that we need. Why do we need travelers, as they come only to divest us of our property? Come, let us cause the proper treatment of travelers to be forgotten from our land, as it is stated: “He breaks open a watercourse in a place far from inhabitants, forgotten by pedestrians, they are dried up, they have moved away from men” (Job 28:4).

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב עד אנה תהותתו על איש תרצחו כלכם כקיר נטוי גדר הדחויה מלמד שהיו נותנין עיניהן בבעלי ממון ומושיבין אותו אצל קיר נטוי ודוחין אותו עליו ובאים ונוטלין את ממונו

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “How long will you seek to overwhelm a man? You will all be murdered like a leaning wall or a tottering fence” (Psalms 62:4)? This teaches that the people of Sodom set their sights on property owners. They would take one and place him alongside an inclined, flimsy wall that was about to fall, and push it upon him to kill him, and then they would come and take his property.

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב חתר בחשך בתים יומם חתמו למו לא ידעו אור מלמד שהיו נותנים עיניהם בבעלי ממון ומפקידים אצלו אפרסמון ומניחים אותו בבית גנזיהם לערב באים ומריחין אותו ככלב שנאמר ישובו לערב יהמו ככלב ויסובבו עיר ובאים וחותרים שם ונוטלין אותו ממון

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they know not the light” (Job 24:16)? This teaches that they would set their sights on property owners. They would take one and they would give him balsam, whose smell diffuses, and the property owner would place it in his treasury. In the evening, the people of Sodom would come and sniff it out like a dog and discover the location of the property owner’s treasury, as it is stated: “They return at evening; they howl like a dog, and go round about the city” (Psalms 59:7). And after discovering the location they would come and dig there, and they would take that property.

ערום ילינו מבלי לבוש ואין כסות בקרה חמור יתומים ינהגו יחבלו שור אלמנה גבלות ישיגו עדר גזלו וירעו והוא לקברות יובל ועל גדיש ישקוד

The Gemara cites verses that allude to the practices of the people of Sodom: “They lie at night naked without clothing, and they have no covering in the cold” (Job 24:7). And likewise: “They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox as a pledge” (Job 24:3). And likewise: “They trespass; they violently steal flocks and graze them” (Job 24:2). And likewise: “For he is brought to the grave, and watch is kept over his tomb” (Job 21:32).

דרש רבי יוסי בציפורי אחתרין ההיא ליליא תלת מאה מחתרתא בציפורי אתו וקא מצערי ליה אמרו ליה יהבית אורחיה לגנבי אמר להו מי הוה ידענא דאתו גנבי כי קא נח נפשיה דרבי יוסי שפעי מרזבי דציפורי דמא

Rabbi Yosei taught in Tzippori the methods of theft employed in Sodom. That night three hundred tunnels were excavated in Tzippori in order to employ those methods. Homeowners came and harassed him; they said to him: You have given a way for thieves to steal. Rabbi Yosei said to them: Did I know that thieves would come as a result of my lecture? The Gemara relates: When Rabbi Yosei died, the gutters of Tzippori miraculously overflowed with blood as a sign of his death.

אמרי דאית ליה חד תורא מרעי חד יומא דלית ליה לירעי תרי יומי ההוא יתמא בר ארמלתא הבו ליה תורי למרעיה אזל שקלינהו וקטלינהו אמר להו

The people of Sodom would say: Anyone who has one ox shall herd the city’s oxen for one day. Anyone who does not have any oxen shall herd the city’s oxen for two days. The Gemara relates: They gave oxen to a certain orphan, son of a widow, to herd. He went and took them and killed them. The orphan said to the people of Sodom:

דאית ליה תורא נשקול חד משכא דלית ליה תורא נשקול תרי משכי אמרו ליה מאי האי אמר להו סוף דינא כתחילת דינא מה תחילת דינא דאית ליה תורא מרעי חד יומא דלית ליה תורי מרעי תרי יומי אף סוף דינא דאית ליה חד תורא לשקול חד דלית ליה תורא לשקול תרי

Let anyone who has one ox take one hide and let anyone who does not have an ox take two hides. The people of Sodom said to the orphan: What is the reason for this? The orphan said to them: The ultimate rule is parallel to the initial rule; just as the initial rule is that anyone who has one ox shall herd the city’s animals for one day and anyone who does not have any oxen shall herd the city’s animals for two days, so too, the ultimate rule is: Let anyone who has one ox take one hide and let anyone who does not have an ox take two hides.

דעבר במברא ניתיב חד זוזא דלא עבר במברא ניתיב תרי דהוה ליה תורא [דרא] דלבני אתי כל חד וחד שקיל חדא אמר ליה אנא חדא דשקלי דהוה שדי תומי או שמכי אתו כל חד וחד שקיל חדא אמר ליה אנא חדא דשקלי

Furthermore, they declared in Sodom: Let one who crosses on a ferry give one dinar as payment; let one who does not cross on a ferry, but walks in the river, give two dinars. In addition, when there was anyone who had a row of bricks, each and every one of the people of Sodom would come and take one brick and say to him: I am taking only one, and you are certainly not particular about so inconsequential an item, and they would do this until none remained. And when there was anyone who would cast garlic or onions to dry, each and every one of the people of Sodom would come and take one and say to him: I took only one garlic or onion, and they would do this until none remained.

ארבע דייני היו בסדום שקראי ושקרוראי זייפי ומצלי דינא דמחי ליה לאיתתא דחבריה ומפלא ליה אמרי ליה יהבה ניהליה דניעברה ניהליך דפסיק ליה לאודנא דחמרא דחבריה אמרו ליה הבה ניהליה עד דקדחא דפדע ליה לחבריה אמרי ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקל לך דמא

There were four judges in Sodom and they were named for their actions: Shakrai, meaning liar, and Shakrurai, habitual liar, Zayfai, forger, and Matzlei Dina, perverter of justice. These were the judgments that they rendered: In a case of one who strikes the wife of another and causes her to miscarry, they would say to the woman’s husband: Give the woman to the one who struck her, so that she will be impregnated for you again. In a case of one who severed the ear of another’s donkey, they would say to the owner of the donkey: Give the donkey to the one who caused the damage, until the ear grows back. In a case of one who wounds another, they would say to the injured party: Give the one who wounded you a fee, as he let your blood.

דעבר במברא יהיב ארבעה זוזי דעבר במיא יהיב תמני זוזי זימנא חדא אתא ההוא כובס איקלע להתם אמרו ליה הב ארבע זוזי אמר להו אנא במיא עברי אמרו ליה אם כן הב תמניא דעברת במיא לא יהיב פדיוהו אתא לקמיה דדיינא אמר ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקיל לך דמא ותמניא זוזי דעברת במיא

And they instituted an ordinance: One who crossed the river on a ferry gives four dinars, and one who crossed the river in the water gives eight dinars. One time a certain launderer came and arrived there. The people of Sodom said to him: Give four dinars as payment for the ferry. He said to them: I crossed in the water. They said to him: If so, give eight dinars, as you crossed in the water. He did not give the payment, and they struck him and wounded him. He came before the judge to seek compensation. The judge said to him: Give your assailant a fee, as he let your blood, and eight dinars, as you crossed the river in the water.

אליעזר עבד אברהם איתרמי התם פדיוהי אתא לקמיה דיינא אמר ליה הב ליה אגרא דשקל לך דמא שקל גללא פדיוהי איהו לדיינא אמר מאי האי אמר ליה אגרא דנפק לי מינך הב ניהליה להאי וזוזי דידי כדקיימי קיימי

Eliezer, servant of Abraham, happened to come there, and they wounded him. He came before the judge to seek compensation. The judge said to him: Give your assailant a fee, as he let your blood. He took a stone and he wounded the judge. The judge said: What is this? Eliezer said to him: The fee that is to be paid to me by you, give it to that person who wounded me, and my money will remain where it remains.

הויא להו פורייתא דהוו מגני עלה אורחין כי מאריך גייזי ליה כי גוץ מתחין ליה אליעזר עבד אברהם אקלע להתם אמרו ליה קום גני אפוריא אמר להון נדרא נדרי מן יומא דמיתת אמא לא גנינא אפוריא

The Gemara continues to discuss the sins of the people of Sodom: They had beds on which they would lay their guests; when a guest was longer than the bed they would cut him, and when a guest was shorter than the bed they would stretch him. Eliezer, servant of Abraham, happened to come there. They said to him: Come lie on the bed. He said to them: I took a vow that since the day my mother died I do not lie on a bed.

כי הוה מתרמי להו עניא יהבו ליה כל חד וחד דינרא וכתיב שמיה עליה וריפתא לא הוו ממטי ליה כי הוה מית אתי כל חד וחד שקיל דידיה

When a poor person would happen to come to Sodom, each and every person would give him a dinar, and the name of the giver was written on each dinar. And they would not give or sell him bread, so that he could not spend the money and would die of hunger. When he would die, each and every person would come and take his dinar.

הכי אתני בינייהו כל מאן דמזמין גברא לבי הילולא לשלח גלימא הוי האי הילולא אקלע אליעזר להתם ולא יהבו ליה נהמא כי בעי למסעד אתא אליעזר ויתיב לסיפא דכולהו אמרו ליה מאן אזמנך להכא אמר ליה לההוא [דיתיב] אתה זמנתן [אמר דילמא שמעי בי דאנא אזמינתיה ומשלחי ליה מאניה דהאי גברא] שקל גלימיה ההוא דיתיב גביה ורהט לברא וכן עבד לכולהו עד דנפקי כולהו ואכלא איהו לסעודתא

This is what the people of Sodom stipulated among themselves: Whoever invites a man to a wedding, his cloak will be removed. There was this wedding, and Eliezer, servant of Abraham, arrived there and they did not give him bread. When he sought to dine, Eliezer came and sat at the end, behind everyone. They said to him: Who invited you to here? He said to the one sitting next to him: You invited me. That man said to himself: Perhaps they will hear that I invited him and they will remove the garment of that man, referring to himself. The one who sat next to him took his cloak and ran outside. And likewise, Eliezer did the same for all of them until they all left, and he ate the meal.

הויא ההיא רביתא דהות קא מפקא ריפתא לעניא בחצבא איגלאי מלתא שפיוה דובשא ואוקמוה על איגר שורא אתא זיבורי ואכלוה והיינו דכתיב ויאמר ה׳ זעקת סדם ועמרה כי רבה ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב על עיסקי ריבה

There was a young woman who would take bread out to the poor people in a pitcher so the people of Sodom would not see it. The matter was revealed, and they smeared her with honey and positioned her on the wall of the city, and the hornets came and consumed her. And that is the meaning of that which is written: “And the Lord said: Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great [rabba]” (Genesis 18:20). And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Rabba is an allusion to the matter of the young woman [riva] who was killed for her act of kindness. It is due to that sin that the fate of the people of Sodom was sealed.

מרגלים אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳וימתו האנשים מוצאי דבת הארץ רעה במגפה׳ ׳וימתו׳ בעולם הזה ׳במגפה׳ לעולם הבא

§ The mishna teaches: The spies who spread an evil report of their visit to Canaan have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And those men who spread the evil report about the land died by plague before the Lord” (Numbers 14:37). “And…died” indicates in this world, and “by plague” indicates for the World-to-Come.

עדת קרח אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ותכס עליהם הארץ׳ בעולם הזה ׳ויאבדו מתוך הקהל׳ לעולם הבא דברי רבי עקיבא רבי אליעזר אומר עליהם אמר הכתוב ׳ה׳ ממית ומחיה מוריד שאול ויעל׳

The members of the assembly of Korah have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the earth closed upon them” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in this world, and also: “And they perished from among the assembly” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in the World-to-Come; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Eliezer says: About the assembly of Korah, the verse states: “The Lord kills and makes alive; He lowers to the grave, and raises” (I Samuel 2:6), indicating that the assembly of Korah has a share in the World-to-Come.

תנו רבנן עדת קרח אין להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ותכס עליהם הארץ׳ בעולם הזה ׳ויאבדו מתוך הקהל׳ לעולם הבא דברי רבי עקיבא רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר הרי הן כאבידה המתבקשת שנאמר ׳תעיתי כשה אבד בקש עבדך כי מצותיך לא שכחתי׳

The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 13:9): The members of the assembly of Korah have no share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And the earth closed upon them” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in this world, and also: “And they perished from among the assembly” (Numbers 16:33), meaning in the World-to-Come; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: Although it says that they perished, they are like a lost item that is sought, ultimately found, and rehabilitated, as it is stated: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your mitzvot” (Psalms 119:176).

ויקח [קרח] אמר ריש לקיש שלקח מקח רע לעצמו קרח שנעשה קרחה בישראל בן יצהר בן שהרתיח עליו את כל העולם כצהרים בן קהת בן שהקהה שיני מולידיו בן לוי בן שנעשה לויה בגיהנם

Apropos Korah, the Gemara proceeds to interpret the verses written concerning him. “And Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, took [vayikkaḥ]” (Numbers 16:1), Reish Lakish says: He purchased [lakaḥ] a bad acquisition for himself, as through his actions he drove himself from the world. “Korah” alludes to the fact that because of him a void [korḥa] was created in the children of Israel. “Son of Izhar,” is referring to a son who incited the wrath of the entire world upon him like the heat of the afternoon [tzohorayim]. “Son of Kohath,” is referring to a son who blunted [hik’ha] the teeth of his parents, i.e., he shamed them with his conduct. “Son of Levi,” is referring to a son who became an escort [levaya] in Gehenna.

וליחשוב נמי בן יעקב בן שעקב עצמו לגיהנם אמר רב שמואל בר רב יצחק יעקב ביקש רחמים על עצמו שנאמר בסדם אל תבא נפשי בקהלם אל תחד כבדי בסדם אל תבא נפשי אלו מרגלים בקהלם אל תחד כבדי זה עדת קרח

The Gemara asks: But if Korah’s lineage is being interpreted disparagingly, why not let the Torah also include: Son of Jacob [Ya’akov], and interpret it: A son who contorted [she’akav] himself until he reached Gehenna? Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: Jacob prayed for mercy for himself that his name would not be included in the lineage of Korah, as it is stated: “Let my soul not come into their council; to their assembly let my honor not be united” (Genesis 49:6). “Let my soul not come into their council”; these are the spies. Jacob prayed that his name would not be mentioned in their regard. “To their assembly let my honor not be united”; this is referring to the assembly of Korah.

דתן שעבר על דת אל אבירם שאיבר עצמו מעשות תשובה ואון שישב באנינות פלת שנעשו לו פלאות בן ראובן בן שראה והבין

The Gemara proceeds to interpret the names of Korah’s cohorts: “Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben” (Numbers 16:1). “Dathan” is one who violated the precepts [dat] of God. “Abiram” is one who braced [iber] himself from repenting. “And On” indicates one who sat in acute mourning [aninut] over the sin that he committed, and he repented and was spared. “Peleth” is one for whom wonders [pelaot] were performed. Son of Reuben [Reuven], is a son who saw and understood [ra’a vehevin] the nature of what was transpiring and repented.

אמר רב און בן פלת אשתו הצילתו אמרה ליה מאי נפקא לך מינה אי מר רבה אנת תלמידא ואי מר רבה אנת תלמידא אמר לה מאי אעביד הואי בעצה ואשתבעי לי בהדייהו אמרה ליה ידענא דכולה כנישתא קדישתא נינהו דכתיב ׳כי כל העדה כלם קדשים׳ אמרה ליה תוב דאנא מצילנא לך אשקיתיה חמרא וארויתיה ואגניתיה גואי אותבה על בבא

Rav says: On, son of Peleth, did not repent on his own; rather, his wife saved him. She said to him: What is the difference to you? If this Master, Moses, is the great one, you are the student. And if this Master, Korah, is the great one, you are the student. Why are you involving yourself in this matter? On said to her: What shall I do? I was one of those who took counsel and I took an oath with them that I would be with them. She said to him: I know that the entire assembly is holy, as it is written: “For all the assembly is holy” (Numbers 16:3), and they observe the restrictions of modesty. She said to him: Sit, for I will save you. She gave him wine to drink and caused him to become drunk and laid him on a bed inside their tent. She sat at the entrance of the tent

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