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Today's Daf Yomi

October 22, 2017 | ב׳ במרחשוון תשע״ח

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

Sanhedrin 98

Will the Mashiach come because the people have returned to God or will it come regardless of that?  Will it come either for a generation of people who are all good or are all bad?  What are signs of events that will precede the coming of that mashiach?  Some rabbis say they know the mashiach will come but they prefer not to see him as they are worried that their sins will; cause them to be destroyed in the “chevlei mashiach.”


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מלכים יראו וקמו שרים וישתחוו׳

Kings shall see and arise, princes shall prostrate themselves, because of the Lord, Who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, Who has chosen you” (Isaiah 49:7), indicating that redemption will come independent of repentance?

אמר לו רבי אליעזר והלא כבר נאמר ׳אם תשוב ישראל נאם ה׳ אלי תשוב׳ אמר לו רבי יהושע והלא כבר נאמר ׳ואשמע את האיש לבוש הבדים אשר ממעל למימי היאר וירם ימינו ושמאלו אל השמים וישבע בחי העולם כי למועד מועדים וחצי וככלות נפץ יד עם קדש תכלינה כל אלה׳ וגו׳ ושתק רבי אליעזר

Rabbi Eliezer said to him: But isn’t it already stated: “If you will return, Israel, says the Lord, return to Me” (Jeremiah 4:1), indicating that redemption is contingent upon repentance? Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: But isn’t it already stated: “And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he lifted up his right hand and his left hand to heaven and swore by the One Who lives forever that it shall be for a period, periods, and a half; when the crushing of the power of the holy people shall have been completed, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7), indicating that the time for redemption is set and unrelated to repentance? And Rabbi Eliezer was silent, unable to refute the proof from that verse.

ואמר רבי אבא אין לך קץ מגולה מזה שנאמר ואתם הרי ישראל ענפכם תתנו ופריכם תשאו לעמי ישראל וגו׳ רבי אליעזר אומר אף מזה שנאמר כי לפני הימים האלה ההם שכר האדם לא נהיה ושכר הבהמה איננה וליוצא ולבא אין שלום מן הצר

§ And Rabbi Abba says: You have no more explicit manifestation of the end of days than this following phenomenon, as it is stated: “But you, mountains of Israel, you shall give your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel, for they will soon be coming” (Ezekiel 36:8). When produce will grow in abundance in Eretz Yisrael, it is an indication that the Messiah will be coming soon. Rabbi Eliezer says: You have no greater manifestation of the end of days than this following phenomenon as well, as it is stated: “For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; nor was there peace from the oppressor to him who exits and to him who enters” (Zechariah 8:10). When there are no wages for work and no rent paid for use of one’s animal, that is an indication that the coming of the Messiah is at hand.

מאי ליוצא ולבא אין שלום מן הצר רב אמר אף תלמידי חכמים שכתוב בהם שלום דכתיב שלום רב לאהבי תורתך אין שלום מפני צר ושמואל אמר עד שיהיו כל השערים כולן שקולין

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: “Nor was there peace from the oppressor to him who exits and to him who enters”? Rav says: It means that even for Torah scholars, with regard to whom the promise of peace is written, as it is written: “Great peace have they who love Your Torah; and there is no obstacle for them” (Psalms 119:165), there will be no peace from the oppressor. And Shmuel says: It means that the Messiah will not come until all the prices are equal.

אמר רבי חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שיתבקש דג לחולה ולא ימצא שנאמר אז אשקיע מימיהם ונהרותם כשמן אוליך וכתב בתריה ביום ההוא אצמיח קרן לבית ישראל

Rabbi Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until a fish will be sought for an ill person and will not be found, as it is stated with regard to the downfall of Egypt: “Then I will make their waters clear and cause their rivers to run like oil” (Ezekiel 32:14), meaning that the current in the rivers will come to a virtual standstill. And it is written thereafter: “On that day I will cause the glory of the house of Israel to flourish” (Ezekiel 29:21).

אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שתכלה מלכות הזלה מישראל שנאמר וכרת הזלזלים במזמרות וכתיב בתריה בעת ההיא יובל שי לה׳ צבאות עם ממשך ומורט

Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until the contemptuous [hazalla] kingdom of Rome will cease from the Jewish people, as it is stated: “And He shall sever the sprigs [hazalzallim] with pruning hooks” (Isaiah 18:5). And it is written thereafter: “At that time shall a present be brought to the Lord of hosts, by a people scattered and hairless” (Isaiah 18:7).

אמר זעירי אמר רבי חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו גסי הרוח מישראל שנאמר כי אז אסיר מקרבך עליזי גאותך וכתיב והשארתי בקרבך עם עני ודל וחסו בשם ה׳

Ze’eiri says that Rabbi Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until the arrogant will cease to exist from among the Jewish people, as it is stated: “For then I will remove from your midst your proudly exulting ones” (Zephaniah 3:11), and it is written afterward: “And I will leave in your midst a poor and lowly people, and they shall take refuge in the name of the Lord” (Zephaniah 3:12).

אמר רבי שמלאי משום רבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו כל שופטים ושוטרים מישראל שנאמר ואשיבה ידי עליך ואצרף כבר סגיך וגו׳ ואשיבה שפטיך

Rabbi Simlai says in the name of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon: The son of David will not come until all the judges and officers will cease to exist from among the Jewish people, and there will be no more autonomous government in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “And I will turn My hand against you and purge away your dross as with lye and take away your base alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first” (Isaiah 1:25–26).

אמר עולא אין ירושלים נפדית אלא בצדקה שנאמר ציון במשפט תפדה ושביה בצדקה אמר רב פפא אי בטלי יהירי בטלי אמגושי אי בטלי דייני בטלי גזירפטי אי בטלי יהירי בטלי אמגושי דכתיב ואצרף כבר סגיך ואסירה כל בדיליך ואי בטלי דייני בטלי גזירפטי דכתיב הסיר ה׳ משפטיך פנה איבך

Ulla says: Jerusalem is redeemed only by means of righteousness, as it is stated: “Zion shall be redeemed with justice and those who return to it with righteousness” (Isaiah 1:27). Rav Pappa says: If the arrogant will cease to exist, the Persian sorcerers will cease to exist as well. If the deceitful judges will cease to exist, the royal officers [gazirpatei] and taskmasters will cease to exist. Rav Pappa elaborates: If the arrogant will cease, the Persian sorcerers will cease, as it is written: “And I will purge away your dross [sigayikh] as with lye, and I will remove all your alloy [bedilayikh].” When the arrogant [sigim] are purged, the sorcerers, who are separated [muvdalim] from the fear of God, will also cease. And if the deceitful judges cease to exist, the royal officers and taskmasters will cease to exist, as it is written: “The Lord has removed your judgments; cast out your enemy” (Zephaniah 3:15).

אמר רבי יוחנן אם ראית דור שמתמעט והולך חכה לו שנאמר ואת עם עני תושיע וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן אם ראית דור שצרות רבות באות עליו כנהר חכה לו שנאמר כי יבא כנהר צר ורוח ה׳ נססה בו וסמיך ליה ובא לציון גואל

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: If you saw a generation whose wisdom and Torah study is steadily diminishing, await the coming of the Messiah, as it is stated: “And the afflicted people You will redeem” (II Samuel 22:28). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: If you saw a generation whose troubles inundate it like a river, await the coming of the Messiah, as it is stated: “When distress will come like a river that the breath of the Lord drives” (Isaiah 59:19). And juxtaposed to it is the verse: “And a redeemer will come to Zion” (Isaiah 59:20).

ואמר רבי יוחנן אין בן דוד בא אלא בדור שכולו זכאי או כולו חייב בדור שכולו זכאי דכתיב ועמך כלם צדיקים לעולם יירשו ארץ בדור שכולו חייב דכתיב וירא כי אין איש וישתומם כי אין מפגיע וכתיב למעני אעשה

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The son of David will come only in a generation that is entirely innocent, in which case they will be deserving of redemption, or in a generation that is entirely guilty, in which case there will be no alternative to redemption. He may come in a generation that is entirely innocent, as it is written: “And your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever” (Isaiah 60:21). He may come in a generation that is entirely guilty, as it is written: “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor; therefore His arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness, it sustained Him” (Isaiah 59:16). And it is written: “For My own sake, for My own sake will I do it; for how should it be profaned? And My glory I will not give it to another” (Isaiah 48:11).

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי רבי יהושע בן לוי רמי כתיב בעתה וכתיב אחישנה זכו אחישנה לא זכו בעתה

§ Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction in a verse addressing God’s commitment to redeem the Jewish people. In the verse: “I the Lord in its time I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22), it is written: “In its time,” indicating that there is a designated time for the redemption, and it is written: “I will hasten it,” indicating that there is no set time for the redemption. Rabbi Alexandri explains: If they merit redemption through repentance and good deeds I will hasten the coming of the Messiah. If they do not merit redemption, the coming of the Messiah will be in its designated time.

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי רבי יהושע בן לוי רמי כתיב וארו עם ענני שמיא כבר אנש אתה וכתיב עני ורכב על חמור זכו עם ענני שמיא לא זכו עני ורוכב על חמור

Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction between two depictions of the coming of the Messiah. It is written: “There came with the clouds of heaven, one like unto a son of man…and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom…his dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 7:13–14). And it is written: “Behold, your king will come to you; he is just and victorious; lowly and riding upon a donkey and upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Rabbi Alexandri explains: If the Jewish people merit redemption, the Messiah will come in a miraculous manner with the clouds of heaven. If they do not merit redemption, the Messiah will come lowly and riding upon a donkey.

אמר ליה שבור מלכא לשמואל אמריתו משיח על חמרא אתי אישדר ליה סוסיא ברקא דאית לי אמר ליה מי אית לך בר חיור גווני

King Shapur of Persia said to Shmuel mockingly: You say that the Messiah will come on a donkey; I will send him the riding [barka] horse that I have. Shmuel said to him: Do you have a horse with one thousand colors [bar ḥivar gavanei] like the donkey of the Messiah? Certainly his donkey will be miraculous.

רבי יהושע בן לוי אשכח לאליהו דהוי קיימי אפיתחא דמערתא דרבי שמעון בן יוחאי אמר ליה אתינא לעלמא דאתי אמר ליה אם ירצה אדון הזה אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי שנים ראיתי וקול שלשה שמעתי

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi found Elijah the prophet, who was standing at the entrance of the burial cave of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: Will I be privileged to come to the World-to-Come? Elijah said to him: If this Master, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will wish it so. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: Two I saw, Elijah and me, and the voice of three I heard, as the Divine Presence was also there, and it was in reference to Him that Elijah said: If this Master will wish it so.

אמר ליה אימת אתי משיח אמר ליה זיל שייליה לדידיה והיכא יתיב אפיתחא דרומי ומאי סימניה יתיב ביני עניי סובלי חלאים וכולן שרו ואסירי בחד זימנא איהו שרי חד ואסיר חד אמר דילמא מבעינא דלא איעכב

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to Elijah: When will the Messiah come? Elijah said to him: Go ask him. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asked: And where is he sitting? Elijah said to him: At the entrance of the city of Rome. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asked him: And what is his identifying sign by means of which I can recognize him? Elijah answered: He sits among the poor who suffer from illnesses. And all of them untie their bandages and tie them all at once, but the Messiah unties one bandage and ties one at a time. He says: Perhaps I will be needed to serve to bring about the redemption. Therefore, I will never tie more than one bandage, so that I will not be delayed.

אזל לגביה אמר ליה שלום עליך רבי ומורי אמר ליה שלום עליך בר ליואי אמר ליה לאימת אתי מר אמר ליה היום אתא לגבי אליהו אמר ליה מאי אמר לך אמר ליה שלום עליך בר ליואי אמר ליה אבטחך לך ולאבוך לעלמא דאתי אמר ליה שקורי קא שקר בי דאמר לי ׳היום אתינא׳ ולא אתא אמר ליה הכי אמר לך ׳היום אם בקלו תשמעו׳

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi went to the Messiah. He said to the Messiah: Greetings to you, my rabbi and my teacher. The Messiah said to him: Greetings to you, bar Leva’i. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: When will the Master come? The Messiah said to him: Today. Sometime later, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi came to Elijah. Elijah said to him: What did the Messiah say to you? He said to Elijah that the Messiah said: Greetings [shalom] to you, bar Leva’i. Elijah said to him: He thereby guaranteed that you and your father will enter the World-to-Come, as he greeted you with shalom. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to Elijah: The Messiah lied to me, as he said to me: I am coming today, and he did not come. Elijah said to him that this is what he said to you: He said that he will come “today, if you will listen to his voice” (Psalms 95:7).

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא אימתי בן דוד בא אמר מתיירא אני שמא תבקשו ממני אות אמרו לו אין אנו מבקשין ממך אות

§ Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma’s students asked him: When will the son of David come? Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said: I am hesitant to answer you, lest you request from me a sign to corroborate my statement. They said to him: We are not asking you for a sign.

אמר להם לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה ויפול ויבנה ויפול ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא אמרו לו רבינו תן לנו אות אמר להם ולא כך אמרתם לי שאין אתם מבקשין ממני אות

Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: You will see when this existing gate of Rome falls and will be rebuilt, and will fall a second time and will be rebuilt, and will fall a third time. And they will not manage to rebuild it until the son of David comes. The students said to him: Our rabbi, give us a sign. Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: But didn’t you say to me that you are not asking me for a sign?

אמרו לו ואף על פי כן אמר להם אם כך יהפכו מי מערת פמייס לדם ונהפכו לדם

They said to him: And nevertheless, provide us with a sign. Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: If it is as I say, the water of the Cave of Pamyas will be transformed into blood. The Gemara relates: And it was transformed into blood.

בשעת פטירתו אמר להן העמיקו לי ארוני

At the time of his death, Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to his students: Place my coffin deep in the ground,

שאין כל דקל ודקל שבבבל שאין סוס של פרסיים נקשר בו ואין לך כל ארון וארון שבארץ ישראל שאין סוס מדי אוכל בו תבן

as there is no palm tree that is in Babylonia to which a horse of the Persians will not be tethered when the Persians and Medes go to conquer other lands. And there is no coffin buried in Eretz Yisrael from which a Median horse will not eat straw. During wars, all the coffins will be removed from the ground and used as animal troughs. I do not want my coffin to be used for that purpose.

אמר רב אין בן דוד בא עד שתתפשט המלכות הרשעה על ישראל תשעה חדשים שנאמר לכן יתנם עד עת יולדה ילדה ויתר אחיו ישובון על בני ישראל

Rav says: The son of David will not come until the evil Roman kingdom will disperse throughout Eretz Yisrael for nine months, as it is stated: “Therefore will He give them up, until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel” (Micah 5:2). Once a period equivalent to a term of pregnancy passes, the redemption will come.

אמר עולא ייתי ולא איחמיניה וכן אמר [רבה] ייתי ולא איחמיניה רב יוסף אמר ייתי ואזכי דאיתיב בטולא דכופיתא דחמריה

§ Ulla says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him, as I fear the suffering that will precede his coming. Likewise, Rabba says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Rav Yosef says: Let the Messiah come, and I will be privileged to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s excrement. I am willing to undergo all the pain and disgrace associated with his arrival.

אמר ליה אביי לרבה מאי טעמא אילימא משום חבלו של משיח והתניא שאלו תלמידיו את רבי אלעזר מה יעשה אדם וינצל מחבלו של משיח יעסוק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים ומר הא תורה והא גמילות חסדים

Abaye said to Rabba: What is the reason that you are so concerned? If we say it is due to the pains preceding and accompanying the coming of the Messiah, but isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Elazar’s students asked Rabbi Elazar: What shall a person do to be spared from the pains preceding the coming of the Messiah? Rabbi Elazar said to them: They shall engage in Torah study and acts of kindness. Abaye continued: And as far as the Master is concerned, isn’t there the Torah and aren’t there the acts of kindness that you performed?

אמר ליה שמא יגרום החטא כדרבי יעקב בר אידי דרבי יעקב בר אידי רמי כתיב והנה אנכי עמך ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך וכתיב ויירא יעקב מאד ויצר לו

Rabba said to him: I am concerned lest sin cause me to suffer the pain despite the Torah study and the good deeds in which I engage, in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi. As Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi raises a contradiction. It is written that God said to Jacob: “And I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15), and it is written: “And Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). If God assured Jacob that He would keep him, why was he concerned?

שהיה מתיירא שמא יגרום החטא כדתניא ׳עד יעבר עמך ה זו ביאה ראשונה ׳עד יעבר עם זו קנית׳ זו ביאה שניה

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: He was afraid lest sin on his part cause that assurance to be abrogated, as it is taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Until Your people pass over, Lord, until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over” (Exodus 15:16). “Until Your people pass over, Lord”; this is a reference to the first entry into the land, led by Joshua. “Until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over”; this is a reference to the second entry into the land, when they returned to Zion from Babylonia.

אמור מעתה ראויים היו ישראל לעשות להם נס בביאה שניה כביאה ראשונה אלא שגרם החטא

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: Say from now, based on this statement, that the Jewish people were worthy for God to perform a miracle on their behalf in the second entry into the land that was like the miracles that were performed during the exodus from Egypt and the first entry into the land, but the sin caused the second entry to take place in an unremarkable manner, with the Jewish people being subject to the dominion of the gentiles.

וכן אמר רבי יוחנן ייתי ולא איחמיניה אמר ליה ריש לקיש מאי טעמא אילימא משום דכתיב כאשר ינוס איש מפני הארי ופגעו הדב [ובא הבית] וסמך ידו על הקיר ונשכו הנחש בא ואראך דוגמתו בעולם הזה בזמן שאדם יוצא לשדה ופגע בו סנטר דומה כמי שפגע בו ארי נכנס לעיר פגע בו גבאי דומה כמי שפגעו דב נכנס לביתו ומצא בניו ובנותיו מוטלין ברעב דומה כמי שנשכו נחש

And so too Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Reish Lakish said to him: What is the reason that you are concerned? If we say it is because it is written with regard to the day of God: “As when a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his arm on the wall and a snake bit him” (Amos 5:19), that is not a reason. Come, and I will show you a counterpart in this world to the situation described in this verse, as even today one encounters those situations. At a time when a person goes out to the field and is accosted by a guard [santar] who demands payment, his situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a lion. He then enters the city and is accosted by a royal tax collector. His situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a bear. He then enters his house and finds his sons and daughters afflicted with famine. His situation is similar to that of one whom a snake bit.

אלא משום דכתיב שאלו נא וראו אם ילד זכר מדוע ראיתי כל גבר ידיו על חלציו כיולדה ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Rather, the reason I am concerned is that it is written with regard to the day of God: “Ask now, and see whether a man gives birth. Why, then, do I see every man [kol gever] with his hands on his loins, as a woman in labor, and all faces turned green?” (Jeremiah 30:6).

מאי ראיתי כל גבר אמר רבא בר יצחק אמר רב מי שכל גבורה שלו ומאי ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון אמר רבי יוחנן פמליא של מעלה ופמליא של מטה בשעה שאמר הקדוש ברוך הוא הללו מעשה ידי והללו מעשה ידי היאך אאבד אלו מפני אלו

The Gemara clarifies: What is the meaning of the phrase “I see kol gever”? Rava bar Yitzḥak says that Rav says: It is a reference to He Whom all strength is His. It is as though even God will suffer like a woman in labor due to the troubles of the Jewish people. And what is the meaning of the phrase “And all faces turned green”? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The reference is to the heavenly entourage above, i.e., angels, and the earthly entourage below, i.e., the Jewish people, who will all suffer at the time when the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: These, the Jewish people, are My handiwork, and those, the gentiles, are My handiwork. How shall I destroy those on account of these? It appears that the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not distinguish between the Jewish people and the gentiles. That is why Rabbi Yoḥanan was concerned with regard to the coming of the Messiah.

אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי רהיט ונפל תורא ואזיל ושדי ליה סוסיא באורייה

Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: An ox runs and falls, and its owner goes and casts a horse in its place. Although the horse is an inferior work animal relative to the ox, when there is no ox available, a horse must suffice. So too, after the Jewish people sin, it is as though the Holy One, Blessed be He, transfers their prominence to the gentiles.

אמר רב גידל אמר רב עתידין ישראל דאכלי שני משיח אמר רב יוסף פשיטא ואלא מאן אכיל להו חילק ובילק אכלי להו לאפוקי מדרבי הילל דאמר אין משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה

§ Rav Giddel says that Rav says: The Jewish people are destined to eat from the bounty of, i.e., enjoy, the years of the Messiah. Rav Yosef says: Isn’t this obvious? And rather, who else will eat from them? Will Ḥillak and Billak, two shiftless characters, eat from them? The Gemara explains that Rav Giddel’s statement serves to exclude the statement of Rabbi Hillel, who says: There is no Messiah coming for the Jewish people, as they already ate from him, as all the prophecies relating to the Messiah were already fulfilled during the days of Hezekiah.

אמר רב לא אברי עלמא אלא לדוד ושמואל אמר למשה ורבי יוחנן אמר למשיח

Rav says: The world was created only for the sake of David, by virtue of his merit. And Shmuel says: It was created by virtue of the merit of Moses. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It was created by virtue of the merit of the Messiah.

מה שמו דבי רבי שילא אמרי שילה שמו שנאמר עד כי יבא שילה דבי רבי ינאי אמרי ינון שמו שנאמר יהי שמו לעולם לפני שמש ינון שמו דבי רבי חנינה אמר חנינה שמו שנאמר אשר לא אתן לכם חנינה ויש אומרים מנחם בן חזקיה שמו שנאמר כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי ורבנן אמרי חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאבינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנהו נגוע מכה אלהים ומענה

Apropos the Messiah, the Gemara asks: What is his name? The school of Rabbi Sheila says: Shiloh is his name, as it is stated: “Until when Shiloh shall come” (Genesis 49:10). The school of Rabbi Yannai says: Yinnon is his name, as it is stated: “May his name endure forever; may his name continue [yinnon] as long as the sun; and may men bless themselves by him” (Psalms 72:17). The school of Rabbi Ḥanina says: Ḥanina is his name, as it is stated: “For I will show you no favor [ḥanina]” (Jeremiah 16:13). And some say that Menaḥem ben Ḥizkiyya is his name, as it is stated: “Because the comforter [menaḥem] that should relieve my soul is far from me” (Lamentations 1:16). And the Rabbis say: The leper of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is his name, as it is stated: “Indeed our illnesses he did bear and our pains he endured; yet we did esteem him injured, stricken by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

אמר רב נחמן אי מן חייא הוא כגון אנא שנאמר והיה אדירו ממנו ומשלו מקרבו יצא אמר רב אי מן חייא הוא כגון רבינו הקדוש אי מן מתיא הוא כגון דניאל איש חמודות

Rav Naḥman says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as me, who already has dominion over the Jewish people, as it is stated: “And their prince shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from their midst” (Jeremiah 30:21), indicating that the redeemer is already in power. Rav says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as our saintly Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who was renowned for his sanctity, piety, and Torah knowledge. If the Messiah is among the dead he is a person such as Daniel, the beloved man.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב עתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להעמיד להם דוד אחר שנאמר ועבדו את ה׳ אלהיהם ואת דוד מלכם אשר אקים להם הקים לא נאמר אלא אקים אמר ליה רב פפא לאביי והכתיב ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם כגון קיסר ופלגי קיסר

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, is destined to establish another David for the Jewish people as the Messiah, as it is stated: “And they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will establish for them” (Jeremiah 30:9). It is not stated: I established, but “I will establish,” indicating that the name of the future king will be David. Rav Pappa said to Abaye: But isn’t it written: “And my servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:25), indicating that King David himself will rule over the Jewish people? Abaye said: They will rule in tandem like an emperor and a viceroy; the Messiah will be king and David will be second-in-command.

דרש רבי שמלאי מאי דכתיב הוי המתאוים את יום ה׳ למה זה לכם יום ה׳ הוא חשך ולא אור משל לתרנגול ועטלף שהיו מצפין לאור אמר ליה תרנגול לעטלף אני מצפה לאורה שאורה שלי היא ואתה למה לך אורה

§ Rabbi Simlai taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord. Why would you have this day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18)? It is comparable to a rooster and a bat who were looking forward to the light of day. The rooster said to the bat: I look forward to light, as light is an indication of my time to be active. But as for you, why do you need light? Nighttime for you is like daytime for me.

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Sanhedrin 98

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Sanhedrin 98

מלכים יראו וקמו שרים וישתחוו׳

Kings shall see and arise, princes shall prostrate themselves, because of the Lord, Who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, Who has chosen you” (Isaiah 49:7), indicating that redemption will come independent of repentance?

אמר לו רבי אליעזר והלא כבר נאמר ׳אם תשוב ישראל נאם ה׳ אלי תשוב׳ אמר לו רבי יהושע והלא כבר נאמר ׳ואשמע את האיש לבוש הבדים אשר ממעל למימי היאר וירם ימינו ושמאלו אל השמים וישבע בחי העולם כי למועד מועדים וחצי וככלות נפץ יד עם קדש תכלינה כל אלה׳ וגו׳ ושתק רבי אליעזר

Rabbi Eliezer said to him: But isn’t it already stated: “If you will return, Israel, says the Lord, return to Me” (Jeremiah 4:1), indicating that redemption is contingent upon repentance? Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: But isn’t it already stated: “And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he lifted up his right hand and his left hand to heaven and swore by the One Who lives forever that it shall be for a period, periods, and a half; when the crushing of the power of the holy people shall have been completed, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7), indicating that the time for redemption is set and unrelated to repentance? And Rabbi Eliezer was silent, unable to refute the proof from that verse.

ואמר רבי אבא אין לך קץ מגולה מזה שנאמר ואתם הרי ישראל ענפכם תתנו ופריכם תשאו לעמי ישראל וגו׳ רבי אליעזר אומר אף מזה שנאמר כי לפני הימים האלה ההם שכר האדם לא נהיה ושכר הבהמה איננה וליוצא ולבא אין שלום מן הצר

§ And Rabbi Abba says: You have no more explicit manifestation of the end of days than this following phenomenon, as it is stated: “But you, mountains of Israel, you shall give your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel, for they will soon be coming” (Ezekiel 36:8). When produce will grow in abundance in Eretz Yisrael, it is an indication that the Messiah will be coming soon. Rabbi Eliezer says: You have no greater manifestation of the end of days than this following phenomenon as well, as it is stated: “For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; nor was there peace from the oppressor to him who exits and to him who enters” (Zechariah 8:10). When there are no wages for work and no rent paid for use of one’s animal, that is an indication that the coming of the Messiah is at hand.

מאי ליוצא ולבא אין שלום מן הצר רב אמר אף תלמידי חכמים שכתוב בהם שלום דכתיב שלום רב לאהבי תורתך אין שלום מפני צר ושמואל אמר עד שיהיו כל השערים כולן שקולין

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: “Nor was there peace from the oppressor to him who exits and to him who enters”? Rav says: It means that even for Torah scholars, with regard to whom the promise of peace is written, as it is written: “Great peace have they who love Your Torah; and there is no obstacle for them” (Psalms 119:165), there will be no peace from the oppressor. And Shmuel says: It means that the Messiah will not come until all the prices are equal.

אמר רבי חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שיתבקש דג לחולה ולא ימצא שנאמר אז אשקיע מימיהם ונהרותם כשמן אוליך וכתב בתריה ביום ההוא אצמיח קרן לבית ישראל

Rabbi Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until a fish will be sought for an ill person and will not be found, as it is stated with regard to the downfall of Egypt: “Then I will make their waters clear and cause their rivers to run like oil” (Ezekiel 32:14), meaning that the current in the rivers will come to a virtual standstill. And it is written thereafter: “On that day I will cause the glory of the house of Israel to flourish” (Ezekiel 29:21).

אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שתכלה מלכות הזלה מישראל שנאמר וכרת הזלזלים במזמרות וכתיב בתריה בעת ההיא יובל שי לה׳ צבאות עם ממשך ומורט

Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until the contemptuous [hazalla] kingdom of Rome will cease from the Jewish people, as it is stated: “And He shall sever the sprigs [hazalzallim] with pruning hooks” (Isaiah 18:5). And it is written thereafter: “At that time shall a present be brought to the Lord of hosts, by a people scattered and hairless” (Isaiah 18:7).

אמר זעירי אמר רבי חנינא אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו גסי הרוח מישראל שנאמר כי אז אסיר מקרבך עליזי גאותך וכתיב והשארתי בקרבך עם עני ודל וחסו בשם ה׳

Ze’eiri says that Rabbi Ḥanina says: The son of David will not come until the arrogant will cease to exist from among the Jewish people, as it is stated: “For then I will remove from your midst your proudly exulting ones” (Zephaniah 3:11), and it is written afterward: “And I will leave in your midst a poor and lowly people, and they shall take refuge in the name of the Lord” (Zephaniah 3:12).

אמר רבי שמלאי משום רבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו כל שופטים ושוטרים מישראל שנאמר ואשיבה ידי עליך ואצרף כבר סגיך וגו׳ ואשיבה שפטיך

Rabbi Simlai says in the name of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon: The son of David will not come until all the judges and officers will cease to exist from among the Jewish people, and there will be no more autonomous government in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “And I will turn My hand against you and purge away your dross as with lye and take away your base alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first” (Isaiah 1:25–26).

אמר עולא אין ירושלים נפדית אלא בצדקה שנאמר ציון במשפט תפדה ושביה בצדקה אמר רב פפא אי בטלי יהירי בטלי אמגושי אי בטלי דייני בטלי גזירפטי אי בטלי יהירי בטלי אמגושי דכתיב ואצרף כבר סגיך ואסירה כל בדיליך ואי בטלי דייני בטלי גזירפטי דכתיב הסיר ה׳ משפטיך פנה איבך

Ulla says: Jerusalem is redeemed only by means of righteousness, as it is stated: “Zion shall be redeemed with justice and those who return to it with righteousness” (Isaiah 1:27). Rav Pappa says: If the arrogant will cease to exist, the Persian sorcerers will cease to exist as well. If the deceitful judges will cease to exist, the royal officers [gazirpatei] and taskmasters will cease to exist. Rav Pappa elaborates: If the arrogant will cease, the Persian sorcerers will cease, as it is written: “And I will purge away your dross [sigayikh] as with lye, and I will remove all your alloy [bedilayikh].” When the arrogant [sigim] are purged, the sorcerers, who are separated [muvdalim] from the fear of God, will also cease. And if the deceitful judges cease to exist, the royal officers and taskmasters will cease to exist, as it is written: “The Lord has removed your judgments; cast out your enemy” (Zephaniah 3:15).

אמר רבי יוחנן אם ראית דור שמתמעט והולך חכה לו שנאמר ואת עם עני תושיע וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן אם ראית דור שצרות רבות באות עליו כנהר חכה לו שנאמר כי יבא כנהר צר ורוח ה׳ נססה בו וסמיך ליה ובא לציון גואל

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: If you saw a generation whose wisdom and Torah study is steadily diminishing, await the coming of the Messiah, as it is stated: “And the afflicted people You will redeem” (II Samuel 22:28). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: If you saw a generation whose troubles inundate it like a river, await the coming of the Messiah, as it is stated: “When distress will come like a river that the breath of the Lord drives” (Isaiah 59:19). And juxtaposed to it is the verse: “And a redeemer will come to Zion” (Isaiah 59:20).

ואמר רבי יוחנן אין בן דוד בא אלא בדור שכולו זכאי או כולו חייב בדור שכולו זכאי דכתיב ועמך כלם צדיקים לעולם יירשו ארץ בדור שכולו חייב דכתיב וירא כי אין איש וישתומם כי אין מפגיע וכתיב למעני אעשה

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The son of David will come only in a generation that is entirely innocent, in which case they will be deserving of redemption, or in a generation that is entirely guilty, in which case there will be no alternative to redemption. He may come in a generation that is entirely innocent, as it is written: “And your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever” (Isaiah 60:21). He may come in a generation that is entirely guilty, as it is written: “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor; therefore His arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness, it sustained Him” (Isaiah 59:16). And it is written: “For My own sake, for My own sake will I do it; for how should it be profaned? And My glory I will not give it to another” (Isaiah 48:11).

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי רבי יהושע בן לוי רמי כתיב בעתה וכתיב אחישנה זכו אחישנה לא זכו בעתה

§ Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction in a verse addressing God’s commitment to redeem the Jewish people. In the verse: “I the Lord in its time I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22), it is written: “In its time,” indicating that there is a designated time for the redemption, and it is written: “I will hasten it,” indicating that there is no set time for the redemption. Rabbi Alexandri explains: If they merit redemption through repentance and good deeds I will hasten the coming of the Messiah. If they do not merit redemption, the coming of the Messiah will be in its designated time.

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי רבי יהושע בן לוי רמי כתיב וארו עם ענני שמיא כבר אנש אתה וכתיב עני ורכב על חמור זכו עם ענני שמיא לא זכו עני ורוכב על חמור

Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction between two depictions of the coming of the Messiah. It is written: “There came with the clouds of heaven, one like unto a son of man…and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom…his dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 7:13–14). And it is written: “Behold, your king will come to you; he is just and victorious; lowly and riding upon a donkey and upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Rabbi Alexandri explains: If the Jewish people merit redemption, the Messiah will come in a miraculous manner with the clouds of heaven. If they do not merit redemption, the Messiah will come lowly and riding upon a donkey.

אמר ליה שבור מלכא לשמואל אמריתו משיח על חמרא אתי אישדר ליה סוסיא ברקא דאית לי אמר ליה מי אית לך בר חיור גווני

King Shapur of Persia said to Shmuel mockingly: You say that the Messiah will come on a donkey; I will send him the riding [barka] horse that I have. Shmuel said to him: Do you have a horse with one thousand colors [bar ḥivar gavanei] like the donkey of the Messiah? Certainly his donkey will be miraculous.

רבי יהושע בן לוי אשכח לאליהו דהוי קיימי אפיתחא דמערתא דרבי שמעון בן יוחאי אמר ליה אתינא לעלמא דאתי אמר ליה אם ירצה אדון הזה אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי שנים ראיתי וקול שלשה שמעתי

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi found Elijah the prophet, who was standing at the entrance of the burial cave of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: Will I be privileged to come to the World-to-Come? Elijah said to him: If this Master, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will wish it so. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: Two I saw, Elijah and me, and the voice of three I heard, as the Divine Presence was also there, and it was in reference to Him that Elijah said: If this Master will wish it so.

אמר ליה אימת אתי משיח אמר ליה זיל שייליה לדידיה והיכא יתיב אפיתחא דרומי ומאי סימניה יתיב ביני עניי סובלי חלאים וכולן שרו ואסירי בחד זימנא איהו שרי חד ואסיר חד אמר דילמא מבעינא דלא איעכב

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to Elijah: When will the Messiah come? Elijah said to him: Go ask him. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asked: And where is he sitting? Elijah said to him: At the entrance of the city of Rome. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asked him: And what is his identifying sign by means of which I can recognize him? Elijah answered: He sits among the poor who suffer from illnesses. And all of them untie their bandages and tie them all at once, but the Messiah unties one bandage and ties one at a time. He says: Perhaps I will be needed to serve to bring about the redemption. Therefore, I will never tie more than one bandage, so that I will not be delayed.

אזל לגביה אמר ליה שלום עליך רבי ומורי אמר ליה שלום עליך בר ליואי אמר ליה לאימת אתי מר אמר ליה היום אתא לגבי אליהו אמר ליה מאי אמר לך אמר ליה שלום עליך בר ליואי אמר ליה אבטחך לך ולאבוך לעלמא דאתי אמר ליה שקורי קא שקר בי דאמר לי ׳היום אתינא׳ ולא אתא אמר ליה הכי אמר לך ׳היום אם בקלו תשמעו׳

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi went to the Messiah. He said to the Messiah: Greetings to you, my rabbi and my teacher. The Messiah said to him: Greetings to you, bar Leva’i. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: When will the Master come? The Messiah said to him: Today. Sometime later, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi came to Elijah. Elijah said to him: What did the Messiah say to you? He said to Elijah that the Messiah said: Greetings [shalom] to you, bar Leva’i. Elijah said to him: He thereby guaranteed that you and your father will enter the World-to-Come, as he greeted you with shalom. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to Elijah: The Messiah lied to me, as he said to me: I am coming today, and he did not come. Elijah said to him that this is what he said to you: He said that he will come “today, if you will listen to his voice” (Psalms 95:7).

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא אימתי בן דוד בא אמר מתיירא אני שמא תבקשו ממני אות אמרו לו אין אנו מבקשין ממך אות

§ Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma’s students asked him: When will the son of David come? Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said: I am hesitant to answer you, lest you request from me a sign to corroborate my statement. They said to him: We are not asking you for a sign.

אמר להם לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה ויפול ויבנה ויפול ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא אמרו לו רבינו תן לנו אות אמר להם ולא כך אמרתם לי שאין אתם מבקשין ממני אות

Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: You will see when this existing gate of Rome falls and will be rebuilt, and will fall a second time and will be rebuilt, and will fall a third time. And they will not manage to rebuild it until the son of David comes. The students said to him: Our rabbi, give us a sign. Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: But didn’t you say to me that you are not asking me for a sign?

אמרו לו ואף על פי כן אמר להם אם כך יהפכו מי מערת פמייס לדם ונהפכו לדם

They said to him: And nevertheless, provide us with a sign. Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: If it is as I say, the water of the Cave of Pamyas will be transformed into blood. The Gemara relates: And it was transformed into blood.

בשעת פטירתו אמר להן העמיקו לי ארוני

At the time of his death, Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to his students: Place my coffin deep in the ground,

שאין כל דקל ודקל שבבבל שאין סוס של פרסיים נקשר בו ואין לך כל ארון וארון שבארץ ישראל שאין סוס מדי אוכל בו תבן

as there is no palm tree that is in Babylonia to which a horse of the Persians will not be tethered when the Persians and Medes go to conquer other lands. And there is no coffin buried in Eretz Yisrael from which a Median horse will not eat straw. During wars, all the coffins will be removed from the ground and used as animal troughs. I do not want my coffin to be used for that purpose.

אמר רב אין בן דוד בא עד שתתפשט המלכות הרשעה על ישראל תשעה חדשים שנאמר לכן יתנם עד עת יולדה ילדה ויתר אחיו ישובון על בני ישראל

Rav says: The son of David will not come until the evil Roman kingdom will disperse throughout Eretz Yisrael for nine months, as it is stated: “Therefore will He give them up, until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel” (Micah 5:2). Once a period equivalent to a term of pregnancy passes, the redemption will come.

אמר עולא ייתי ולא איחמיניה וכן אמר [רבה] ייתי ולא איחמיניה רב יוסף אמר ייתי ואזכי דאיתיב בטולא דכופיתא דחמריה

§ Ulla says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him, as I fear the suffering that will precede his coming. Likewise, Rabba says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Rav Yosef says: Let the Messiah come, and I will be privileged to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s excrement. I am willing to undergo all the pain and disgrace associated with his arrival.

אמר ליה אביי לרבה מאי טעמא אילימא משום חבלו של משיח והתניא שאלו תלמידיו את רבי אלעזר מה יעשה אדם וינצל מחבלו של משיח יעסוק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים ומר הא תורה והא גמילות חסדים

Abaye said to Rabba: What is the reason that you are so concerned? If we say it is due to the pains preceding and accompanying the coming of the Messiah, but isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Elazar’s students asked Rabbi Elazar: What shall a person do to be spared from the pains preceding the coming of the Messiah? Rabbi Elazar said to them: They shall engage in Torah study and acts of kindness. Abaye continued: And as far as the Master is concerned, isn’t there the Torah and aren’t there the acts of kindness that you performed?

אמר ליה שמא יגרום החטא כדרבי יעקב בר אידי דרבי יעקב בר אידי רמי כתיב והנה אנכי עמך ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך וכתיב ויירא יעקב מאד ויצר לו

Rabba said to him: I am concerned lest sin cause me to suffer the pain despite the Torah study and the good deeds in which I engage, in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi. As Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi raises a contradiction. It is written that God said to Jacob: “And I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15), and it is written: “And Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). If God assured Jacob that He would keep him, why was he concerned?

שהיה מתיירא שמא יגרום החטא כדתניא ׳עד יעבר עמך ה זו ביאה ראשונה ׳עד יעבר עם זו קנית׳ זו ביאה שניה

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: He was afraid lest sin on his part cause that assurance to be abrogated, as it is taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Until Your people pass over, Lord, until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over” (Exodus 15:16). “Until Your people pass over, Lord”; this is a reference to the first entry into the land, led by Joshua. “Until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over”; this is a reference to the second entry into the land, when they returned to Zion from Babylonia.

אמור מעתה ראויים היו ישראל לעשות להם נס בביאה שניה כביאה ראשונה אלא שגרם החטא

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: Say from now, based on this statement, that the Jewish people were worthy for God to perform a miracle on their behalf in the second entry into the land that was like the miracles that were performed during the exodus from Egypt and the first entry into the land, but the sin caused the second entry to take place in an unremarkable manner, with the Jewish people being subject to the dominion of the gentiles.

וכן אמר רבי יוחנן ייתי ולא איחמיניה אמר ליה ריש לקיש מאי טעמא אילימא משום דכתיב כאשר ינוס איש מפני הארי ופגעו הדב [ובא הבית] וסמך ידו על הקיר ונשכו הנחש בא ואראך דוגמתו בעולם הזה בזמן שאדם יוצא לשדה ופגע בו סנטר דומה כמי שפגע בו ארי נכנס לעיר פגע בו גבאי דומה כמי שפגעו דב נכנס לביתו ומצא בניו ובנותיו מוטלין ברעב דומה כמי שנשכו נחש

And so too Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Reish Lakish said to him: What is the reason that you are concerned? If we say it is because it is written with regard to the day of God: “As when a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his arm on the wall and a snake bit him” (Amos 5:19), that is not a reason. Come, and I will show you a counterpart in this world to the situation described in this verse, as even today one encounters those situations. At a time when a person goes out to the field and is accosted by a guard [santar] who demands payment, his situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a lion. He then enters the city and is accosted by a royal tax collector. His situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a bear. He then enters his house and finds his sons and daughters afflicted with famine. His situation is similar to that of one whom a snake bit.

אלא משום דכתיב שאלו נא וראו אם ילד זכר מדוע ראיתי כל גבר ידיו על חלציו כיולדה ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Rather, the reason I am concerned is that it is written with regard to the day of God: “Ask now, and see whether a man gives birth. Why, then, do I see every man [kol gever] with his hands on his loins, as a woman in labor, and all faces turned green?” (Jeremiah 30:6).

מאי ראיתי כל גבר אמר רבא בר יצחק אמר רב מי שכל גבורה שלו ומאי ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון אמר רבי יוחנן פמליא של מעלה ופמליא של מטה בשעה שאמר הקדוש ברוך הוא הללו מעשה ידי והללו מעשה ידי היאך אאבד אלו מפני אלו

The Gemara clarifies: What is the meaning of the phrase “I see kol gever”? Rava bar Yitzḥak says that Rav says: It is a reference to He Whom all strength is His. It is as though even God will suffer like a woman in labor due to the troubles of the Jewish people. And what is the meaning of the phrase “And all faces turned green”? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The reference is to the heavenly entourage above, i.e., angels, and the earthly entourage below, i.e., the Jewish people, who will all suffer at the time when the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: These, the Jewish people, are My handiwork, and those, the gentiles, are My handiwork. How shall I destroy those on account of these? It appears that the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not distinguish between the Jewish people and the gentiles. That is why Rabbi Yoḥanan was concerned with regard to the coming of the Messiah.

אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי רהיט ונפל תורא ואזיל ושדי ליה סוסיא באורייה

Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: An ox runs and falls, and its owner goes and casts a horse in its place. Although the horse is an inferior work animal relative to the ox, when there is no ox available, a horse must suffice. So too, after the Jewish people sin, it is as though the Holy One, Blessed be He, transfers their prominence to the gentiles.

אמר רב גידל אמר רב עתידין ישראל דאכלי שני משיח אמר רב יוסף פשיטא ואלא מאן אכיל להו חילק ובילק אכלי להו לאפוקי מדרבי הילל דאמר אין משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה

§ Rav Giddel says that Rav says: The Jewish people are destined to eat from the bounty of, i.e., enjoy, the years of the Messiah. Rav Yosef says: Isn’t this obvious? And rather, who else will eat from them? Will Ḥillak and Billak, two shiftless characters, eat from them? The Gemara explains that Rav Giddel’s statement serves to exclude the statement of Rabbi Hillel, who says: There is no Messiah coming for the Jewish people, as they already ate from him, as all the prophecies relating to the Messiah were already fulfilled during the days of Hezekiah.

אמר רב לא אברי עלמא אלא לדוד ושמואל אמר למשה ורבי יוחנן אמר למשיח

Rav says: The world was created only for the sake of David, by virtue of his merit. And Shmuel says: It was created by virtue of the merit of Moses. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It was created by virtue of the merit of the Messiah.

מה שמו דבי רבי שילא אמרי שילה שמו שנאמר עד כי יבא שילה דבי רבי ינאי אמרי ינון שמו שנאמר יהי שמו לעולם לפני שמש ינון שמו דבי רבי חנינה אמר חנינה שמו שנאמר אשר לא אתן לכם חנינה ויש אומרים מנחם בן חזקיה שמו שנאמר כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי ורבנן אמרי חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאבינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנהו נגוע מכה אלהים ומענה

Apropos the Messiah, the Gemara asks: What is his name? The school of Rabbi Sheila says: Shiloh is his name, as it is stated: “Until when Shiloh shall come” (Genesis 49:10). The school of Rabbi Yannai says: Yinnon is his name, as it is stated: “May his name endure forever; may his name continue [yinnon] as long as the sun; and may men bless themselves by him” (Psalms 72:17). The school of Rabbi Ḥanina says: Ḥanina is his name, as it is stated: “For I will show you no favor [ḥanina]” (Jeremiah 16:13). And some say that Menaḥem ben Ḥizkiyya is his name, as it is stated: “Because the comforter [menaḥem] that should relieve my soul is far from me” (Lamentations 1:16). And the Rabbis say: The leper of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is his name, as it is stated: “Indeed our illnesses he did bear and our pains he endured; yet we did esteem him injured, stricken by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

אמר רב נחמן אי מן חייא הוא כגון אנא שנאמר והיה אדירו ממנו ומשלו מקרבו יצא אמר רב אי מן חייא הוא כגון רבינו הקדוש אי מן מתיא הוא כגון דניאל איש חמודות

Rav Naḥman says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as me, who already has dominion over the Jewish people, as it is stated: “And their prince shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from their midst” (Jeremiah 30:21), indicating that the redeemer is already in power. Rav says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as our saintly Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who was renowned for his sanctity, piety, and Torah knowledge. If the Messiah is among the dead he is a person such as Daniel, the beloved man.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב עתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להעמיד להם דוד אחר שנאמר ועבדו את ה׳ אלהיהם ואת דוד מלכם אשר אקים להם הקים לא נאמר אלא אקים אמר ליה רב פפא לאביי והכתיב ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם כגון קיסר ופלגי קיסר

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, is destined to establish another David for the Jewish people as the Messiah, as it is stated: “And they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will establish for them” (Jeremiah 30:9). It is not stated: I established, but “I will establish,” indicating that the name of the future king will be David. Rav Pappa said to Abaye: But isn’t it written: “And my servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:25), indicating that King David himself will rule over the Jewish people? Abaye said: They will rule in tandem like an emperor and a viceroy; the Messiah will be king and David will be second-in-command.

דרש רבי שמלאי מאי דכתיב הוי המתאוים את יום ה׳ למה זה לכם יום ה׳ הוא חשך ולא אור משל לתרנגול ועטלף שהיו מצפין לאור אמר ליה תרנגול לעטלף אני מצפה לאורה שאורה שלי היא ואתה למה לך אורה

§ Rabbi Simlai taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord. Why would you have this day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18)? It is comparable to a rooster and a bat who were looking forward to the light of day. The rooster said to the bat: I look forward to light, as light is an indication of my time to be active. But as for you, why do you need light? Nighttime for you is like daytime for me.

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