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Today's Daf Yomi

August 5, 2020 | ט״ו באב תש״פ

Masechet Shabbat is sponsored in memory of Elliot Freilich, Eliyahu Daniel ben Bar Tzion David Halevi z"l by a group of women from Kehilath Jeshurun, Manhattan.

Shabbat 152

Today’s shiur is dedicated for a refuah shleima to Rav Adin Steinsaltz, HaRav Adin ben Rivka Leah. 

The gemara explains verses in Kohelet that describe the deterioration of the body as one gets older as well as what happens to the body and soul after death. various stories involving conversations and something arguments are brought that connect with the ideas discussed. Where does the soul of the righteous, evil and average people go after death. Do the bodies of righteous people decompose?

ושל בית הכסא רעות של סם ושל שחוק ושל פירות יפות

and from pain in the bathroom are bad for the eyes. Tears that come from medicinal drugs, and from laughter, and from sharp produce are good for the eyes.

ביום שיזועו שומרי הבית והתעותו וגו׳ ביום שיזועו שומרי הבית אלו הכסלים והצלעות והתעותו אנשי החיל אלו שוקים ובטלו הטוחנות אלו שינים וחשכו הרואות בארובות אלו עינים

The Gemara continues to interpret verses from the Book of Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “On the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out the windows shall be dimmed” (Ecclesiastes 12:3). “On the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble”; this is referring to the flanks and ribs that surround and protect a person’s internal organs. “And the strong men shall bow themselves”; these are the thighs, which support a person’s strength. “And the grinders cease”; these are the teeth, which decay and fall out. “And those that look out the windows shall be dimmed”; these are the eyes, which become dimmer.

אמר ליה קיסר לרבי יהושע בן חנניה מאי טעמא לא אתית לבי אבידן אמר ליה טור תלג סחרוני גלידין כלבוהי לא נבחין טחנוהי לא טוחנין בי רב אמרי אדלא אבידנא בחישנא

The Gemara relates: The Roman emperor said to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya: What is the reason you did not come to the House of Avidan? This was a place in which dialogues and debates were conducted. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said to him enigmatically: The snowy mountain is surrounded with ice, meaning that his hair had turned white; his dogs do not bark, meaning that his voice could no longer be heard; his grinders have ceased grinding, meaning that his teeth had fallen out. In the school of Rav they say that he added: I am searching for that which I have not lost, because an old man walks bent over and appears to be searching for something.

תניא רבי יוסי בר קיסמא אומר טבא תרי מתלת ווי לה לחדא דאזלא ולא אתיא מאי היא אמר רב חסדא ינקותא כי אתא רב דימי אמר ינקותא כלילא דוורדא סבותא כלילא דחילפא תנא משמיה דרבי מאיר דוק בככי ותשכח בניגרי שנאמר ונשבע לחם ונהיה טובים ורעה לא ראינו אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא שרי שקיך ועייל לחמך עד ארבעין שנין מיכלא מעלי מכאן ואילך משתי מעלי

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei bar Kisma says: The two feet of one’s youth are better than the three of old age, when one walks with a cane. Woe to the one who goes and does not come back. What is this referring to? Rav Ḥisda said: Youth. Similarly, when Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said: Youth is a crown of roses; old age is a crown of thorns. The Sage taught in the name of Rabbi Meir: Grind food with your teeth and you will find in your feet the strength to carry your body, as it is stated: “For we were sated with our bread and were well, and saw no evil” (Jeremiah 44:17). Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Large-toothed one; untie your sack, that is, your mouth, and insert your food. Until the age of forty years, food is beneficial; from here and on, drinking is beneficial.

אמר ליה ההוא גוזאה לרבי יהושע בן קרחה מהכא לקרחינא כמה הוי אמר ליה כמהכא לגוזניא אמר ליה צדוקי ברחא קרחא בארבעה אמר ליה עיקרא שליפא בתמניא

Having quoted some aphorisms of the Sages, the Gemara relates the following conversation: A certain eunuch who was an apostate said the following to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa as a provocation: How far is it from here to Karḥina? The provocateur’s intention was to hint to the fact that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa was bald [kere’aḥ]. He said to him: It is the same as the distance from here to the mountains of Gozen, hinting at the eunuch’s castration, which in Aramaic is goza (Rav Ya’akov Emden). The apostate said to him: A bald buck is sold for four dinar. He said to him: A castrated goat [ikkara shelifa] is sold for eight.

חזייה דלא סיים מסאניה אמר ליה דעל סוס מלך דעל חמור בן חורין ודמנעלי בריגלוהי בר איניש דלא הא ולא הא דחפיר וקביר טב מיניה אמר ליה גוזא גוזא תלת אמרת לי תלת שמעת הדרת פנים זקן שמחת לב אשה נחלת ה׳ בנים ברוך המקום שמנעך מכולם אמר ליה קרחא מצויינא אמר ליה עיקרא שליפא תוכחה

The apostate saw that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa was not wearing shoes. He said to him: One who rides on a horse is a king. One who rides on a donkey is a free man. And one who wears shoes is at least a human being. One who does neither this nor that, someone who is buried in the earth is better than him. He said to him: Eunuch, eunuch, you said to me three things, and now hear three things: The glory of a face is the beard, the joy of the heart is a wife, and “the portion of the Lord is children” (Psalms 127:3); blessed is the Omnipresent who has denied you all of them, for a eunuch does not have a beard, a wife or children. He said to him: Does a bald man quarrel? He said to him: Does a castrated male goat speak words of rebuke?

אמר ליה רבי לרבי שמעון בן חלפתא מפני מה לא הקבלנו פניך ברגל כדרך שהקבילו אבותי לאבותיך אמר ליה סלעים נעשו גבוהים קרובים נעשו רחוקים משתים נעשו שלש משים שלום בבית בטל:

The Gemara again addresses old age: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Shimon ben Ḥalafta: For what reason did we not greet you during the Festival the way that my fathers greeted your fathers? This was a polite way of asking Rabbi Shimon ben Ḥalafta why he had not come to visit Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. He said to him: Because I have grown old, and the rocks on the road have become tall, and destinations that are near have become far away, and my two feet have been made into three with the addition of a cane, and that which brings peace to the house, namely, the sexual drive which motivates a couple to make peace, is no more.

וסגרו דלתים בשוק וגו׳ אלו נקביו של אדם בשפל קול הטחנה בשביל קורקבן שאינו טוחן ויקום לקול הצפור שאפילו צפור מנערתו משנתו וישחו כל בנות השיר שאפילו (קול שירים ושירות) דומות עליו כשוחה

The Gemara continues to expound the verses of the final chapter of Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “And the doors shall be shut in the marketplace when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall start up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low” (Ecclesiastes 12:4). The Sages expounded: “And the doors shall be shut in the marketplace”; these are a person’s orifices, which cease to function normally. The interpretation continues: “When the sound of the grinding is low”; because the stomach is not grinding and digesting one’s food. “And one shall start up at the voice of a bird”; because one is unable to sleep deeply such that even a bird will wake him from his sleep. “And all the daughters of music shall be brought low”; this means that even the voices of male and female singers will seem to him like mere conversation, and he will no longer derive pleasure from song.

ואף ברזילי הגלעדי אמר לדוד בן שמנים שנה אנכי היום האדע בין טוב לרע מכאן שדעותן של זקנים משתנות אם יטעם עבדך את אשר אוכל ואת אשר אשתה מכאן ששפתותיהן של זקנים מתרפטות אם אשמע עוד בקול שרים ושרות מכאן שאזניהם של זקנים מתכבדות

And even Barzilai the Gileadite said to David: “Today I am eighty years old, can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women?” (II Samuel 19:36). The Gemara explains: “Can I discern between good and bad”; from here we derive that the minds of the elderly change and they no longer discern properly. “Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink”; from here we derive that the lips of the elderly crack and wither. “Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women”; from here we derive that the ears of the elderly become heavy.

אמר רב ברזילי הגלעדי שקרא הוה דההיא אמתא דהויא בי רבי בת תשעין ותרתין שנין והות טעמא קידרא רבא אמר ברזילי הגלעדי שטוף בזמה הוה וכל השטוף בזמה זקנה קופצת עליו תניא רבי ישמעאל ברבי יוסי אומר תלמידי חכמים כל זמן שמזקינין חכמה נתוספת בהם שנאמר בישישים חכמה ואורך ימים תבונה ועמי הארץ כל זמן שמזקינין טפשות נתוספת בהן שנאמר מסיר שפה לנאמנים וטעם זקנים יקח

Rav said: Barzilai the Gileadite was a liar and he merely wanted to avoid joining David upon his return to Jerusalem, for an eighty-year old man is not usually this debilitated. For there was a particular maidservant in the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who was ninety-two years old, and she would taste the food that was cooking in the pots. Rava said: Barzilai was speaking the truth, but Barzilai the Gileadite was steeped in promiscuity, and anyone who is steeped in promiscuity is overtaken by old age before his time. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, says: As Torah scholars grow older, wisdom is increased in them, as it is stated: “With aged men is wisdom; and length of days brings understanding” (Job 12:12). And as ignoramuses grow older, foolishness is increased in them, as it is stated: “He removes the speech of men of trust and takes away the understanding of the aged” (Job 12:20).

גם מגבוה ייראו שאפילו גבשושית קטנה דומה עליו כהרי הרים וחתחתים בדרך בשעה שמהלך בדרך נעשו לו תוהים וינאץ השקד זו קליבוסת ויסתבל החגב אלו עגבות ותפר האביונה זו חמדה

The Gemara continues interpreting verses from Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high and terrors shall be on the road, and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall drag itself along, and the caper berry shall fail, for a person goes to his eternal home, and the mourners circle the marketplace” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). The Gemara explains: “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high”; this means that even a small knoll on the road seems to him, the elderly, like the highest of mountains. “And terrors shall be on the road”; this means that while he is walking on the road he will have terrors, i.e., he will fear falling or otherwise suffering injury. “And the almond tree shall blossom”; this is the hip bone that protrudes from the skin of an elderly person. “And the grasshopper [ḥagav] shall drag itself along [yistabbel]”; by replacing the letter ḥet of ḥagav with an ayin, this can be understood as referring to the buttocks [agavot] which become heavy [sevel]. “And the caper berry shall fail”; this is sexual desire that ceases.

רב כהנא הוה פסיק סידרא קמיה דרב כי מטא להאי קרא נגיד ואתנח אמר שמע מינה בטל ליה חמדיה דרב אמר רב כהנא מאי דכתיב כי הוא אמר ויהי זו אשה הוא צוה ויעמוד אלו בנים תנא אשה חמת מלא צואה ופיה מלא דם והכל רצין אחריה

The Gemara relates that Rav Kahana was reading biblical verses before Rav. When he got to this verse, Rav sighed. Rav Kahana said: We can derive from this that Rav’s desire has ceased. Rav Kahana also said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For He spoke and it was, He commanded and it stood” (Psalms 33:9)? He understands this to mean that God created man with desires that push him to do things he would not do if he acted purely on the judgment of his intellect, and Rav Kahana therefore interprets the verse in the following manner: “For He spoke and it was”; this is a woman that a man marries. “He commanded and it stood”; these are the children who one works hard to raise. A tanna taught in a baraita: A woman is essentially a flask full of feces, a reference to the digestive system, and her mouth is full of blood, a euphemistic reference to menstruation, yet men are not deterred and they all run after her with desire.

כי הולך האדם אל בית עולמו אמר רבי יצחק מלמד שכל צדיק וצדיק נותנין לו מדור לפי כבודו משל למלך שנכנס הוא ועבדיו לעיר כשהן נכנסין כולן בשער אחד נכנסין כשהן לנין כל אחד ואחד נותנין לו מדור לפי כבודו

The Gemara interprets the continuation of the verse cited above: “For a person goes to his eternal home” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). Rabbi Yitzḥak said: This teaches that each and every righteous person is given a dwelling place in the World-to-Come in accordance with his honor. The Gemara offers a parable in which a king enters a city along with his servants. When they enter, they all enter through a single gate; however, when they sleep, each one is given a dwelling place in accordance with his honor. So too, although everyone dies, not everyone receives the same reward in the World-to-Come.

ואמר רבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי הילדות והשחרות הבל דברים שאדם עושה בילדותו משחירים פניו לעת זקנתו

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For childhood and youth [shaḥarut] are vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:10)? Sinful things that a person does in his youth darken [mashḥirim] his face with shame as he grows old (Rabbi Yoshiya Pinto).

ואמר רבי יצחק קשה רימה למת כמחט בבשר החי שנאמר אך בשרו עליו יכאב אמר רב חסדא נפשו של אדם מתאבלת עליו כל שבעה שנאמר ונפשו עליו תאבל וכתיב ויעש לאביו אבל שבעת ימים

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: The maggots that eat the flesh of the deceased are as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living, as it says with regard to the dead: “But his flesh is in pain for him, and his soul mourns over him” (Job 14:22). Rav Ḥisda said: A person’s soul mourns for him during all seven days of mourning following his death, as it is stated: And his soul mourns over him,” and it is also written: “And he mourned his father seven days” (Genesis 50:10).

אמר רב יהודה מת שאין לו מנחמין הולכין עשרה בני אדם ויושבין במקומו ההוא דשכיב בשבבותיה דרב יהודה לא היו לו מנחמין

Rav Yehuda said: In the case of a deceased person who has no comforters, i.e., he has nobody to mourn for him, ten people should go and sit in his place and accept condolences. The Gemara relates the story of a certain person who died in Rav Yehuda’s neighborhood and who did not have any comforters, i.e., mourners;

כל יומא הוה דבר רב יהודה בי עשרה ויתבי בדוכתיה לאחר שבעה ימים איתחזי ליה בחילמיה דרב יהודה ואמר ליה תנוח דעתך שהנחת את דעתי

every day of the seven-day mourning period, Rav Yehuda would take ten people and they would sit in his place, in the house of the deceased. After seven days had passed the deceased appeared to Rav Yehuda in his dream and said to him: Put your mind to rest, for you have put my mind to rest.

אמר רבי אבהו כל שאומרים בפני המת יודע עד שיסתם הגולל פליגי בה רבי חייא ורבי שמעון ברבי חד אמר עד שיסתם הגולל וחד אמר עד שיתעכל הבשר

Rabbi Abbahu said: Everything people say before the deceased, he knows, until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone. Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, disagreed with regard to the meaning of this statement. One of them said that the deceased is aware until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone, which is referring to the covering of the grave (Tosafot). And one of them said that it is until the flesh decomposes.

מאן דאמר עד שיתעכל הבשר דכתיב אך בשרו עליו יכאב ונפשו עליו תאבל מאן דאמר עד שיסתם הגולל דכתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה וגו׳

The one who said that it is until the flesh decomposes can support his position based on that which is written in the following verse: “But his flesh grieves for him, and his soul mourns over him” (Job 14:22). This indicates that the deceased is aware of the pain of his flesh in the grave. The one who said that the deceased is aware only until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone can support his view based on that which is written in a different verse: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). This indicates that when the body returns to the earth, the spirit also returns to its place and is no longer aware of what is happening to the body.

תנו רבנן והרוח תשוב אל האלהים אשר נתנה תנה לו כמו שנתנה לך בטהרה אף אתה בטהרה משל למלך בשר ודם שחלק בגדי מלכות לעבדיו פקחין שבהן קיפלום והניחום בקופסא טפשים שבהן הלכו ועשו בהן מלאכה לימים ביקש המלך את כליו פקחין שבהן החזירום לו כשהן מגוהצין טפשין שבהן החזירום לו כשהן מלוכלכין שמח המלך לקראת פקחין וכעס לקראת טפשין

The Sages taught with regard to the verse: “And the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) that the words: Who gave it, mean: As it was given. In other words, give it to Him as He gave it to you; just as He gave it to you in purity, you too should return it to God in purity. The Gemara cites a parable of a king of flesh and blood who distributed royal garments to his servants. The wise ones folded them and placed them in a box [kufsa] to protect them, whereas the foolish ones went and worked in them. After a period of time the king requested that his garments be returned to him. The wise ones returned them to him pressed, as they were when the servants received them, and the foolish ones returned them dirty. The king was happy to greet the wise ones and angry to greet the foolish ones.

על פקחין אמר ינתנו כלי לאוצר והם ילכו לבתיהם לשלום ועל טפשין אמר כלי ינתנו לכובס והן יתחבשו בבית האסורים

With regard to the wise ones he said: My garments shall be given back to the storehouse, and let them go to their homes in peace. And with regard to the foolish ones he said: My garments shall be given to the launderer, and they, the fools, will be locked up in prison as a punishment for degrading the king’s garments for their own purposes.

אף הקדוש ברוך הוא על גופן של צדיקים אומר יבא שלום ינוחו על משכבותם ועל נשמתן הוא אומר והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים על גופן של רשעים הוא אומר אין שלום אמר ה׳ לרשעים ועל נשמתן הוא אומר ואת נפש אויביך יקלענה בתוך כף הקלע

The Holy One, Blessed be He, also acts in this way. With regard to the bodies of the righteous, which are likened to the royal garments that are well kept, it states: “He enters into peace, they rest on their beds each one that walks in his uprightness” (Isaiah 57:2). And with regard to their souls, it states: “And the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord your God” (I Samuel 25:29). And conversely, with regard to the bodies of the wicked, it states: “There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21), and with regard to their souls, it states: “And the souls of your enemies He shall sling out in the hollow of a sling” (I Samuel 25:29).

תניא רבי אליעזר אומר נשמתן של צדיקים גנוזות תחת כסא הכבוד שנאמר והיתה נפש אדני צרורה בצרור החיים ושל רשעים זוממות והולכות [ומלאך אחד עומד בסוף העולם ומלאך אחר עומד בסוף העולם ומקלעין נשמתן זה לזה] שנאמר ואת נפש אויביך יקלענה בתוך כף הקלע

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: The souls of the righteous are stored beneath the Throne of Glory, as it is stated: “And the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life” (I Samuel 25:29). And the souls of the wicked are continuously tied up, and one angel stands at one end of the world and another angel stands at the other end of the world and they sling the souls of the wicked back and forth to one another, as it is stated: “And the souls of your enemies He shall sling out in the hollow of a sling” (I Samuel 25:29).

אמר ליה רבה לרב נחמן של בינונים מאי אמר ליה איכא שכיבנא לא אמרי לכו האי מילתא הכי אמר שמואל אלו ואלו לדומה נמסרין הללו יש להן מנוח הללו אין להן מנוח אמר (ליה) רב מרי עתידים צדיקים דהוו עפרא דכתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה

Rabba said to Rav Naḥman: What happens to the souls of middling people, who are neither righteous nor wicked? Rav Naḥman said to him: It is good that you asked me this question, for even if I were dead I would not have been able to tell you that. As Shmuel said as follows: These and those, the souls of the wicked and of the middling people, are handed over to Duma, the angel in charge of spirits. But these, the souls of the middling people, have rest, and these, the souls of the wicked, do not have rest. Rav Mari said: Even the bodies of the righteous will not be preserved and will become dust, as it is written: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

הנהו קפולאי דהוו קפלי בארעא דרב נחמן נחר בהו רב אחאי בר יאשיה אתו ואמרו ליה לרב נחמן נחר בן גברא אתא ואמר ליה מאן ניהו מר אמר ליה אנא אחאי בר יאשיה אמר ליה ולאו אמר רב מרי עתידי צדיקי דהוו עפרא אמר ליה ומני מרי דלא ידענא ליה אמר ליה והא קרא כתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה

The Gemara cites a related story: The diggers who were digging in Rav Naḥman’s land came upon a grave, and Rav Aḥai bar Yoshiya, who was buried there, rebuked them. They came and said to Rav Naḥman: A deceased person just rebuked us. Rav Naḥman came and said to the person buried there: Who is the Master, i.e., who are you? He said to him: I am Aḥai bar Yoshiya. Rav Naḥman said to him: How has your body been preserved? Didn’t Rav Mari say that the righteous will turn to dust? Rav Aḥai said to him: And who is Mari, whom I do not know? Why should I be concerned about what he says? Rav Naḥman said to him: Even without Rav Mari’s statement, there is an explicit verse which is written: “And the dust will return to the earth as it was” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

אמר ליה דאקרייך קהלת לא אקרייך משלי דכתיב ורקב עצמות קנאה כל מי שיש לו קנאה בלבו עצמותיו מרקיבים כל שאין לו קנאה בלבו אין עצמותיו מרקיבים

Rav Aḥai said to him: Whoever taught you the book of Ecclesiastes did not teach you the book of Proverbs, for it is written in Proverbs: “A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh, but envy is the rotting of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). This means that anyone who has envy in his heart during his lifetime, his bones rot in the grave, and anyone who does not have envy in his heart, his bones do not rot.

גששיה חזייה דאית ביה מששא אמר ליה ליקום מר לגוויה דביתא אמר ליה גלית אדעתך דאפילו נביאי לא קרית דכתיב וידעתם כי אני ה׳ בפתחי את קברותיכם

Rav Naḥman touched him and saw that he had substance. Rav Naḥman said to him: Let the Master arise and come into my house. Rav Aḥai said to him: You have revealed that you have not even studied Prophets, and it is not just the Writings of which you are ignorant, for it is written: “And you shall know that I am the Lord when I open up your graves and lift you up from your graves, My nation” (Ezekiel 37:13). As long as the dead have not been instructed to leave their graves, leaving of their own accord is prohibited.

אמר ליה והכתיב כי עפר אתה ואל עפר תשוב אמר ליה ההוא שעה אחת קודם תחיית המתים

Rav Naḥman once again asked Rav Aḥai about the preservation of the flesh, and he said: But it is written: “For you are dust and you shall return to dust” (Genesis 3:19), so why has your body not turned into dust? He said to him: That verse applies to the righteous only one hour before the resurrection of the dead, so that they, too, may be created anew (Maharsha).

אמר ליה ההוא מינא לרבי אבהו אמריתו נשמתן של צדיקים גנוזות תחת כסא הכבוד אובא טמיא היכא אסקיה לשמואל בנגידא אמר ליה התם בתוך שנים עשר חדש הוה דתניא כל שנים עשר חדש גופו קיים ונשמתו עולה ויורדת לאחר שנים עשר חדש הגוף בטל

A certain apostate once said to Rabbi Abbahu: You say that the souls of the righteous are stored beneath the Throne of Glory, but if so, how did the oracle woman raise up Samuel using necromancy if his soul was no longer in this world? Rabbi Abbahu said to him: There, it was within twelve months of his death, as it was taught in a baraita: For a full twelve months a deceased person’s body remains and his soul ascends and descends, such that it is sometimes in this world with its body. After twelve months, the body ceases to exist

Masechet Shabbat is sponsored in memory of Elliot Freilich, Eliyahu Daniel ben Bar Tzion David Halevi z"l by a group of women from Kehilath Jeshurun, Manhattan.

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one week at a time with tamara spitz

Daf Yomi One Week at a Time – Shabbat 152-157 +Siyum

We will review key concepts in Daf 152-157 including the effects of aging, having a Non-Jew carry your items on...

Shabbat 152

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Shabbat 152

ושל בית הכסא רעות של סם ושל שחוק ושל פירות יפות

and from pain in the bathroom are bad for the eyes. Tears that come from medicinal drugs, and from laughter, and from sharp produce are good for the eyes.

ביום שיזועו שומרי הבית והתעותו וגו׳ ביום שיזועו שומרי הבית אלו הכסלים והצלעות והתעותו אנשי החיל אלו שוקים ובטלו הטוחנות אלו שינים וחשכו הרואות בארובות אלו עינים

The Gemara continues to interpret verses from the Book of Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “On the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out the windows shall be dimmed” (Ecclesiastes 12:3). “On the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble”; this is referring to the flanks and ribs that surround and protect a person’s internal organs. “And the strong men shall bow themselves”; these are the thighs, which support a person’s strength. “And the grinders cease”; these are the teeth, which decay and fall out. “And those that look out the windows shall be dimmed”; these are the eyes, which become dimmer.

אמר ליה קיסר לרבי יהושע בן חנניה מאי טעמא לא אתית לבי אבידן אמר ליה טור תלג סחרוני גלידין כלבוהי לא נבחין טחנוהי לא טוחנין בי רב אמרי אדלא אבידנא בחישנא

The Gemara relates: The Roman emperor said to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya: What is the reason you did not come to the House of Avidan? This was a place in which dialogues and debates were conducted. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya said to him enigmatically: The snowy mountain is surrounded with ice, meaning that his hair had turned white; his dogs do not bark, meaning that his voice could no longer be heard; his grinders have ceased grinding, meaning that his teeth had fallen out. In the school of Rav they say that he added: I am searching for that which I have not lost, because an old man walks bent over and appears to be searching for something.

תניא רבי יוסי בר קיסמא אומר טבא תרי מתלת ווי לה לחדא דאזלא ולא אתיא מאי היא אמר רב חסדא ינקותא כי אתא רב דימי אמר ינקותא כלילא דוורדא סבותא כלילא דחילפא תנא משמיה דרבי מאיר דוק בככי ותשכח בניגרי שנאמר ונשבע לחם ונהיה טובים ורעה לא ראינו אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא שרי שקיך ועייל לחמך עד ארבעין שנין מיכלא מעלי מכאן ואילך משתי מעלי

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei bar Kisma says: The two feet of one’s youth are better than the three of old age, when one walks with a cane. Woe to the one who goes and does not come back. What is this referring to? Rav Ḥisda said: Youth. Similarly, when Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said: Youth is a crown of roses; old age is a crown of thorns. The Sage taught in the name of Rabbi Meir: Grind food with your teeth and you will find in your feet the strength to carry your body, as it is stated: “For we were sated with our bread and were well, and saw no evil” (Jeremiah 44:17). Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Large-toothed one; untie your sack, that is, your mouth, and insert your food. Until the age of forty years, food is beneficial; from here and on, drinking is beneficial.

אמר ליה ההוא גוזאה לרבי יהושע בן קרחה מהכא לקרחינא כמה הוי אמר ליה כמהכא לגוזניא אמר ליה צדוקי ברחא קרחא בארבעה אמר ליה עיקרא שליפא בתמניא

Having quoted some aphorisms of the Sages, the Gemara relates the following conversation: A certain eunuch who was an apostate said the following to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa as a provocation: How far is it from here to Karḥina? The provocateur’s intention was to hint to the fact that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa was bald [kere’aḥ]. He said to him: It is the same as the distance from here to the mountains of Gozen, hinting at the eunuch’s castration, which in Aramaic is goza (Rav Ya’akov Emden). The apostate said to him: A bald buck is sold for four dinar. He said to him: A castrated goat [ikkara shelifa] is sold for eight.

חזייה דלא סיים מסאניה אמר ליה דעל סוס מלך דעל חמור בן חורין ודמנעלי בריגלוהי בר איניש דלא הא ולא הא דחפיר וקביר טב מיניה אמר ליה גוזא גוזא תלת אמרת לי תלת שמעת הדרת פנים זקן שמחת לב אשה נחלת ה׳ בנים ברוך המקום שמנעך מכולם אמר ליה קרחא מצויינא אמר ליה עיקרא שליפא תוכחה

The apostate saw that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa was not wearing shoes. He said to him: One who rides on a horse is a king. One who rides on a donkey is a free man. And one who wears shoes is at least a human being. One who does neither this nor that, someone who is buried in the earth is better than him. He said to him: Eunuch, eunuch, you said to me three things, and now hear three things: The glory of a face is the beard, the joy of the heart is a wife, and “the portion of the Lord is children” (Psalms 127:3); blessed is the Omnipresent who has denied you all of them, for a eunuch does not have a beard, a wife or children. He said to him: Does a bald man quarrel? He said to him: Does a castrated male goat speak words of rebuke?

אמר ליה רבי לרבי שמעון בן חלפתא מפני מה לא הקבלנו פניך ברגל כדרך שהקבילו אבותי לאבותיך אמר ליה סלעים נעשו גבוהים קרובים נעשו רחוקים משתים נעשו שלש משים שלום בבית בטל:

The Gemara again addresses old age: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Shimon ben Ḥalafta: For what reason did we not greet you during the Festival the way that my fathers greeted your fathers? This was a polite way of asking Rabbi Shimon ben Ḥalafta why he had not come to visit Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. He said to him: Because I have grown old, and the rocks on the road have become tall, and destinations that are near have become far away, and my two feet have been made into three with the addition of a cane, and that which brings peace to the house, namely, the sexual drive which motivates a couple to make peace, is no more.

וסגרו דלתים בשוק וגו׳ אלו נקביו של אדם בשפל קול הטחנה בשביל קורקבן שאינו טוחן ויקום לקול הצפור שאפילו צפור מנערתו משנתו וישחו כל בנות השיר שאפילו (קול שירים ושירות) דומות עליו כשוחה

The Gemara continues to expound the verses of the final chapter of Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “And the doors shall be shut in the marketplace when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall start up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low” (Ecclesiastes 12:4). The Sages expounded: “And the doors shall be shut in the marketplace”; these are a person’s orifices, which cease to function normally. The interpretation continues: “When the sound of the grinding is low”; because the stomach is not grinding and digesting one’s food. “And one shall start up at the voice of a bird”; because one is unable to sleep deeply such that even a bird will wake him from his sleep. “And all the daughters of music shall be brought low”; this means that even the voices of male and female singers will seem to him like mere conversation, and he will no longer derive pleasure from song.

ואף ברזילי הגלעדי אמר לדוד בן שמנים שנה אנכי היום האדע בין טוב לרע מכאן שדעותן של זקנים משתנות אם יטעם עבדך את אשר אוכל ואת אשר אשתה מכאן ששפתותיהן של זקנים מתרפטות אם אשמע עוד בקול שרים ושרות מכאן שאזניהם של זקנים מתכבדות

And even Barzilai the Gileadite said to David: “Today I am eighty years old, can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women?” (II Samuel 19:36). The Gemara explains: “Can I discern between good and bad”; from here we derive that the minds of the elderly change and they no longer discern properly. “Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink”; from here we derive that the lips of the elderly crack and wither. “Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women”; from here we derive that the ears of the elderly become heavy.

אמר רב ברזילי הגלעדי שקרא הוה דההיא אמתא דהויא בי רבי בת תשעין ותרתין שנין והות טעמא קידרא רבא אמר ברזילי הגלעדי שטוף בזמה הוה וכל השטוף בזמה זקנה קופצת עליו תניא רבי ישמעאל ברבי יוסי אומר תלמידי חכמים כל זמן שמזקינין חכמה נתוספת בהם שנאמר בישישים חכמה ואורך ימים תבונה ועמי הארץ כל זמן שמזקינין טפשות נתוספת בהן שנאמר מסיר שפה לנאמנים וטעם זקנים יקח

Rav said: Barzilai the Gileadite was a liar and he merely wanted to avoid joining David upon his return to Jerusalem, for an eighty-year old man is not usually this debilitated. For there was a particular maidservant in the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who was ninety-two years old, and she would taste the food that was cooking in the pots. Rava said: Barzilai was speaking the truth, but Barzilai the Gileadite was steeped in promiscuity, and anyone who is steeped in promiscuity is overtaken by old age before his time. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, says: As Torah scholars grow older, wisdom is increased in them, as it is stated: “With aged men is wisdom; and length of days brings understanding” (Job 12:12). And as ignoramuses grow older, foolishness is increased in them, as it is stated: “He removes the speech of men of trust and takes away the understanding of the aged” (Job 12:20).

גם מגבוה ייראו שאפילו גבשושית קטנה דומה עליו כהרי הרים וחתחתים בדרך בשעה שמהלך בדרך נעשו לו תוהים וינאץ השקד זו קליבוסת ויסתבל החגב אלו עגבות ותפר האביונה זו חמדה

The Gemara continues interpreting verses from Ecclesiastes. The verse states: “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high and terrors shall be on the road, and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall drag itself along, and the caper berry shall fail, for a person goes to his eternal home, and the mourners circle the marketplace” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). The Gemara explains: “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high”; this means that even a small knoll on the road seems to him, the elderly, like the highest of mountains. “And terrors shall be on the road”; this means that while he is walking on the road he will have terrors, i.e., he will fear falling or otherwise suffering injury. “And the almond tree shall blossom”; this is the hip bone that protrudes from the skin of an elderly person. “And the grasshopper [ḥagav] shall drag itself along [yistabbel]”; by replacing the letter ḥet of ḥagav with an ayin, this can be understood as referring to the buttocks [agavot] which become heavy [sevel]. “And the caper berry shall fail”; this is sexual desire that ceases.

רב כהנא הוה פסיק סידרא קמיה דרב כי מטא להאי קרא נגיד ואתנח אמר שמע מינה בטל ליה חמדיה דרב אמר רב כהנא מאי דכתיב כי הוא אמר ויהי זו אשה הוא צוה ויעמוד אלו בנים תנא אשה חמת מלא צואה ופיה מלא דם והכל רצין אחריה

The Gemara relates that Rav Kahana was reading biblical verses before Rav. When he got to this verse, Rav sighed. Rav Kahana said: We can derive from this that Rav’s desire has ceased. Rav Kahana also said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For He spoke and it was, He commanded and it stood” (Psalms 33:9)? He understands this to mean that God created man with desires that push him to do things he would not do if he acted purely on the judgment of his intellect, and Rav Kahana therefore interprets the verse in the following manner: “For He spoke and it was”; this is a woman that a man marries. “He commanded and it stood”; these are the children who one works hard to raise. A tanna taught in a baraita: A woman is essentially a flask full of feces, a reference to the digestive system, and her mouth is full of blood, a euphemistic reference to menstruation, yet men are not deterred and they all run after her with desire.

כי הולך האדם אל בית עולמו אמר רבי יצחק מלמד שכל צדיק וצדיק נותנין לו מדור לפי כבודו משל למלך שנכנס הוא ועבדיו לעיר כשהן נכנסין כולן בשער אחד נכנסין כשהן לנין כל אחד ואחד נותנין לו מדור לפי כבודו

The Gemara interprets the continuation of the verse cited above: “For a person goes to his eternal home” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). Rabbi Yitzḥak said: This teaches that each and every righteous person is given a dwelling place in the World-to-Come in accordance with his honor. The Gemara offers a parable in which a king enters a city along with his servants. When they enter, they all enter through a single gate; however, when they sleep, each one is given a dwelling place in accordance with his honor. So too, although everyone dies, not everyone receives the same reward in the World-to-Come.

ואמר רבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי הילדות והשחרות הבל דברים שאדם עושה בילדותו משחירים פניו לעת זקנתו

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For childhood and youth [shaḥarut] are vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:10)? Sinful things that a person does in his youth darken [mashḥirim] his face with shame as he grows old (Rabbi Yoshiya Pinto).

ואמר רבי יצחק קשה רימה למת כמחט בבשר החי שנאמר אך בשרו עליו יכאב אמר רב חסדא נפשו של אדם מתאבלת עליו כל שבעה שנאמר ונפשו עליו תאבל וכתיב ויעש לאביו אבל שבעת ימים

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: The maggots that eat the flesh of the deceased are as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living, as it says with regard to the dead: “But his flesh is in pain for him, and his soul mourns over him” (Job 14:22). Rav Ḥisda said: A person’s soul mourns for him during all seven days of mourning following his death, as it is stated: And his soul mourns over him,” and it is also written: “And he mourned his father seven days” (Genesis 50:10).

אמר רב יהודה מת שאין לו מנחמין הולכין עשרה בני אדם ויושבין במקומו ההוא דשכיב בשבבותיה דרב יהודה לא היו לו מנחמין

Rav Yehuda said: In the case of a deceased person who has no comforters, i.e., he has nobody to mourn for him, ten people should go and sit in his place and accept condolences. The Gemara relates the story of a certain person who died in Rav Yehuda’s neighborhood and who did not have any comforters, i.e., mourners;

כל יומא הוה דבר רב יהודה בי עשרה ויתבי בדוכתיה לאחר שבעה ימים איתחזי ליה בחילמיה דרב יהודה ואמר ליה תנוח דעתך שהנחת את דעתי

every day of the seven-day mourning period, Rav Yehuda would take ten people and they would sit in his place, in the house of the deceased. After seven days had passed the deceased appeared to Rav Yehuda in his dream and said to him: Put your mind to rest, for you have put my mind to rest.

אמר רבי אבהו כל שאומרים בפני המת יודע עד שיסתם הגולל פליגי בה רבי חייא ורבי שמעון ברבי חד אמר עד שיסתם הגולל וחד אמר עד שיתעכל הבשר

Rabbi Abbahu said: Everything people say before the deceased, he knows, until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone. Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, disagreed with regard to the meaning of this statement. One of them said that the deceased is aware until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone, which is referring to the covering of the grave (Tosafot). And one of them said that it is until the flesh decomposes.

מאן דאמר עד שיתעכל הבשר דכתיב אך בשרו עליו יכאב ונפשו עליו תאבל מאן דאמר עד שיסתם הגולל דכתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה וגו׳

The one who said that it is until the flesh decomposes can support his position based on that which is written in the following verse: “But his flesh grieves for him, and his soul mourns over him” (Job 14:22). This indicates that the deceased is aware of the pain of his flesh in the grave. The one who said that the deceased is aware only until the tomb is sealed with the top-stone can support his view based on that which is written in a different verse: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). This indicates that when the body returns to the earth, the spirit also returns to its place and is no longer aware of what is happening to the body.

תנו רבנן והרוח תשוב אל האלהים אשר נתנה תנה לו כמו שנתנה לך בטהרה אף אתה בטהרה משל למלך בשר ודם שחלק בגדי מלכות לעבדיו פקחין שבהן קיפלום והניחום בקופסא טפשים שבהן הלכו ועשו בהן מלאכה לימים ביקש המלך את כליו פקחין שבהן החזירום לו כשהן מגוהצין טפשין שבהן החזירום לו כשהן מלוכלכין שמח המלך לקראת פקחין וכעס לקראת טפשין

The Sages taught with regard to the verse: “And the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) that the words: Who gave it, mean: As it was given. In other words, give it to Him as He gave it to you; just as He gave it to you in purity, you too should return it to God in purity. The Gemara cites a parable of a king of flesh and blood who distributed royal garments to his servants. The wise ones folded them and placed them in a box [kufsa] to protect them, whereas the foolish ones went and worked in them. After a period of time the king requested that his garments be returned to him. The wise ones returned them to him pressed, as they were when the servants received them, and the foolish ones returned them dirty. The king was happy to greet the wise ones and angry to greet the foolish ones.

על פקחין אמר ינתנו כלי לאוצר והם ילכו לבתיהם לשלום ועל טפשין אמר כלי ינתנו לכובס והן יתחבשו בבית האסורים

With regard to the wise ones he said: My garments shall be given back to the storehouse, and let them go to their homes in peace. And with regard to the foolish ones he said: My garments shall be given to the launderer, and they, the fools, will be locked up in prison as a punishment for degrading the king’s garments for their own purposes.

אף הקדוש ברוך הוא על גופן של צדיקים אומר יבא שלום ינוחו על משכבותם ועל נשמתן הוא אומר והיתה נפש אדוני צרורה בצרור החיים על גופן של רשעים הוא אומר אין שלום אמר ה׳ לרשעים ועל נשמתן הוא אומר ואת נפש אויביך יקלענה בתוך כף הקלע

The Holy One, Blessed be He, also acts in this way. With regard to the bodies of the righteous, which are likened to the royal garments that are well kept, it states: “He enters into peace, they rest on their beds each one that walks in his uprightness” (Isaiah 57:2). And with regard to their souls, it states: “And the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord your God” (I Samuel 25:29). And conversely, with regard to the bodies of the wicked, it states: “There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21), and with regard to their souls, it states: “And the souls of your enemies He shall sling out in the hollow of a sling” (I Samuel 25:29).

תניא רבי אליעזר אומר נשמתן של צדיקים גנוזות תחת כסא הכבוד שנאמר והיתה נפש אדני צרורה בצרור החיים ושל רשעים זוממות והולכות [ומלאך אחד עומד בסוף העולם ומלאך אחר עומד בסוף העולם ומקלעין נשמתן זה לזה] שנאמר ואת נפש אויביך יקלענה בתוך כף הקלע

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: The souls of the righteous are stored beneath the Throne of Glory, as it is stated: “And the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life” (I Samuel 25:29). And the souls of the wicked are continuously tied up, and one angel stands at one end of the world and another angel stands at the other end of the world and they sling the souls of the wicked back and forth to one another, as it is stated: “And the souls of your enemies He shall sling out in the hollow of a sling” (I Samuel 25:29).

אמר ליה רבה לרב נחמן של בינונים מאי אמר ליה איכא שכיבנא לא אמרי לכו האי מילתא הכי אמר שמואל אלו ואלו לדומה נמסרין הללו יש להן מנוח הללו אין להן מנוח אמר (ליה) רב מרי עתידים צדיקים דהוו עפרא דכתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה

Rabba said to Rav Naḥman: What happens to the souls of middling people, who are neither righteous nor wicked? Rav Naḥman said to him: It is good that you asked me this question, for even if I were dead I would not have been able to tell you that. As Shmuel said as follows: These and those, the souls of the wicked and of the middling people, are handed over to Duma, the angel in charge of spirits. But these, the souls of the middling people, have rest, and these, the souls of the wicked, do not have rest. Rav Mari said: Even the bodies of the righteous will not be preserved and will become dust, as it is written: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

הנהו קפולאי דהוו קפלי בארעא דרב נחמן נחר בהו רב אחאי בר יאשיה אתו ואמרו ליה לרב נחמן נחר בן גברא אתא ואמר ליה מאן ניהו מר אמר ליה אנא אחאי בר יאשיה אמר ליה ולאו אמר רב מרי עתידי צדיקי דהוו עפרא אמר ליה ומני מרי דלא ידענא ליה אמר ליה והא קרא כתיב וישוב העפר על הארץ כשהיה

The Gemara cites a related story: The diggers who were digging in Rav Naḥman’s land came upon a grave, and Rav Aḥai bar Yoshiya, who was buried there, rebuked them. They came and said to Rav Naḥman: A deceased person just rebuked us. Rav Naḥman came and said to the person buried there: Who is the Master, i.e., who are you? He said to him: I am Aḥai bar Yoshiya. Rav Naḥman said to him: How has your body been preserved? Didn’t Rav Mari say that the righteous will turn to dust? Rav Aḥai said to him: And who is Mari, whom I do not know? Why should I be concerned about what he says? Rav Naḥman said to him: Even without Rav Mari’s statement, there is an explicit verse which is written: “And the dust will return to the earth as it was” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

אמר ליה דאקרייך קהלת לא אקרייך משלי דכתיב ורקב עצמות קנאה כל מי שיש לו קנאה בלבו עצמותיו מרקיבים כל שאין לו קנאה בלבו אין עצמותיו מרקיבים

Rav Aḥai said to him: Whoever taught you the book of Ecclesiastes did not teach you the book of Proverbs, for it is written in Proverbs: “A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh, but envy is the rotting of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). This means that anyone who has envy in his heart during his lifetime, his bones rot in the grave, and anyone who does not have envy in his heart, his bones do not rot.

גששיה חזייה דאית ביה מששא אמר ליה ליקום מר לגוויה דביתא אמר ליה גלית אדעתך דאפילו נביאי לא קרית דכתיב וידעתם כי אני ה׳ בפתחי את קברותיכם

Rav Naḥman touched him and saw that he had substance. Rav Naḥman said to him: Let the Master arise and come into my house. Rav Aḥai said to him: You have revealed that you have not even studied Prophets, and it is not just the Writings of which you are ignorant, for it is written: “And you shall know that I am the Lord when I open up your graves and lift you up from your graves, My nation” (Ezekiel 37:13). As long as the dead have not been instructed to leave their graves, leaving of their own accord is prohibited.

אמר ליה והכתיב כי עפר אתה ואל עפר תשוב אמר ליה ההוא שעה אחת קודם תחיית המתים

Rav Naḥman once again asked Rav Aḥai about the preservation of the flesh, and he said: But it is written: “For you are dust and you shall return to dust” (Genesis 3:19), so why has your body not turned into dust? He said to him: That verse applies to the righteous only one hour before the resurrection of the dead, so that they, too, may be created anew (Maharsha).

אמר ליה ההוא מינא לרבי אבהו אמריתו נשמתן של צדיקים גנוזות תחת כסא הכבוד אובא טמיא היכא אסקיה לשמואל בנגידא אמר ליה התם בתוך שנים עשר חדש הוה דתניא כל שנים עשר חדש גופו קיים ונשמתו עולה ויורדת לאחר שנים עשר חדש הגוף בטל

A certain apostate once said to Rabbi Abbahu: You say that the souls of the righteous are stored beneath the Throne of Glory, but if so, how did the oracle woman raise up Samuel using necromancy if his soul was no longer in this world? Rabbi Abbahu said to him: There, it was within twelve months of his death, as it was taught in a baraita: For a full twelve months a deceased person’s body remains and his soul ascends and descends, such that it is sometimes in this world with its body. After twelve months, the body ceases to exist

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