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Today's Daf Yomi

April 6, 2020 | י״ב בניסן 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 31

Hillel was known to be incredibly patient and answered silly questions on Erev Shabbat from someone who was just trying to get him angry. A number of people came to convert before Shamai and Hillel and had preconditions, like only wanting to accept the written Torah or wanted to convert to become the high priest. Shamai was impatient with them and kicked them out but Hillel accepted them and ultimately through learning, they came to accept all of Judaism. One came and asked to know all the Torah while standing on one leg – Shamai kicked him out but Hillel told him “What is hated by you, do not do to your friend. And the rest is all commentary.” Fear of God is the most important thing and one who learns without having it is considered missing something very basic – like getting keys to an inner room without getting the keys to the main room that leads to that inner room. Various verses are brought showing the importance of fearing God. How do all these stories/statements connect to the topic of Shabbat and the mishna that we are learning regarding situations when one can or cannot extinguish a candle of Shabbat? The opinion of Rabbi Yossi in the mishna that one can extinguish for all the reasons other than one who wants to save the wick, is it according to Rabbi Shimon or Rabbi Yehuda regarding melacha sheaina tzricha legufa? Two approaches are brought – one explaining it according to Rabbi Yehuda and one according to Rabbi Shimon.

תוכן זה תורגם גם ל: עברית

שהמרו זה את זה אמרו כל מי שילך ויקניט את הלל יטול ארבע מאות זוז אמר אחד מהם אני אקניטנו אותו היום ערב שבת היה והלל חפף את ראשו הלך ועבר על פתח ביתו אמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה ראשיהן של בבליים סגלגלות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שאין להם אחיות פקחות

who wagered with each other and said: Anyone who will go and aggravate Hillel to the point that he reprimands him, will take four-hundred zuz. One of them said: I will aggravate him. That day that he chose to bother Hillel was Shabbat eve, and Hillel was washing the hair on his head. He went and passed the entrance to Hillel’s house and in a demeaning manner said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Hillel wrapped himself in a dignified garment and went out to greet him. He said to him: My son, what do you seek? He said to him: I have a question to ask. Hillel said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked him: Why are the heads of Babylonians oval? He was alluding to and attempting to insult Hillel, who was Babylonian. He said to him: My son, you have asked a significant question. The reason is because they do not have clever midwives. They do not know how to shape the child’s head at birth.

הלך והמתין שעה אחת חזר ואמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה עיניהן של תרמודיין תרוטות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שדרין בין החולות

That man went and waited one hour, a short while, returned to look for Hillel, and said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Again, Hillel wrapped himself and went out to greet him. Hillel said to him: My son, what do you seek? The man said to him: I have a question to ask. He said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked: Why are the eyes of the residents of Tadmor bleary [terutot]? Hillel said to him: My son, you have asked a significant question. The reason is because they live among the sands and the sand gets into their eyes.

הלך והמתין שעה אחת חזר ואמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה רגליהם של אפרקיים רחבות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שדרין בין בצעי המים

Once again the man went, waited one hour, returned, and said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Again, he, Hillel, wrapped himself and went out to greet him. He said to him: My son, what do you seek? He said to him: I have a question to ask. He said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked: Why do Africans have wide feet? Hillel said to him: You have asked a significant question. The reason is because they live in marshlands and their feet widened to enable them to walk through those swampy areas.

אמר לו שאלות הרבה יש לי לשאול ומתירא אני שמא תכעוס נתעטף וישב לפניו אמר לו כל שאלות שיש לך לשאול שאל אמר לו אתה הוא הלל שקורין אותך נשיא ישראל אמר לו הן אמר לו אם אתה הוא לא ירבו כמותך בישראל אמר לו בני מפני מה אמר לו מפני שאבדתי על ידך ארבע מאות זוז אמר לו הוי זהיר ברוחך כדי הוא הלל שתאבד על ידו ארבע מאות זוז וארבע מאות זוז והלל לא יקפיד:

That man said to him: I have many more questions to ask, but I am afraid lest you get angry. Hillel wrapped himself and sat before him, and he said to him: All of the questions that you have to ask, ask them. The man got angry and said to him: Are you Hillel whom they call the Nasi of Israel? He said to him: Yes. He said to him: If it is you, then may there not be many like you in Israel. Hillel said to him: My son, for what reason do you say this? The man said to him: Because I lost four hundred zuz because of you. Hillel said to him: Be vigilant of your spirit and avoid situations of this sort. Hillel is worthy of having you lose four hundred zuz and another four hundred zuz on his account, and Hillel will not get upset.

תנו רבנן מעשה בגוי אחד שבא לפני שמאי אמר לו כמה תורות יש לכם אמר לו שתים תורה שבכתב ותורה שבעל פה אמר לו שבכתב אני מאמינך ושבעל פה איני מאמינך גיירני על מנת שתלמדני תורה שבכתב גער בו והוציאו בנזיפה בא לפני הלל גייריה יומא קמא אמר ליה אב גד למחר אפיך ליה אמר ליה והא אתמול לא אמרת לי הכי אמר ליה לאו עלי דידי קא סמכת דעל פה נמי סמוך עלי:

The Sages taught: There was an incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai. The gentile said to Shammai: How many Torahs do you have? He said to him: Two, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The gentile said to him: With regard to the Written Torah, I believe you, but with regard to the Oral Torah, I do not believe you. Convert me on condition that you will teach me only the Written Torah. Shammai scolded him and cast him out with reprimand. The same gentile came before Hillel, who converted him and began teaching him Torah. On the first day, he showed him the letters of the alphabet and said to him: Alef, bet, gimmel, dalet. The next day he reversed the order of the letters and told him that an alef is a tav and so on. The convert said to him: But yesterday you did not tell me that. Hillel said to him: You see that it is impossible to learn what is written without relying on an oral tradition. Didn’t you rely on me? Therefore, you should also rely on me with regard to the matter of the Oral Torah, and accept the interpretations that it contains.

שוב מעשה בגוי אחד שבא לפני שמאי אמר לו גיירני על מנת שתלמדני כל התורה כולה כשאני עומד על רגל אחת דחפו באמת הבנין שבידו בא לפני הלל גייריה אמר לו דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד זו היא כל התורה כולה ואידך פירושה הוא זיל גמור

There was another incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai and said to Shammai: Convert me on condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I am standing on one foot. Shammai pushed him away with the builder’s cubit in his hand. This was a common measuring stick and Shammai was a builder by trade. The same gentile came before Hillel. He converted him and said to him: That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study.

שוב מעשה בגוי אחד שהיה עובר אחורי בית המדרש ושמע קול סופר שהיה אומר ואלה הבגדים אשר יעשו חושן ואפוד אמר הללו למי אמרו לו לכהן גדול אמר אותו גוי בעצמו אלך ואתגייר בשביל שישימוני כהן גדול בא לפני שמאי אמר ליה גיירני על מנת שתשימני כהן גדול דחפו באמת הבנין שבידו בא לפני הלל גייריה

There was another incident involving one gentile who was passing behind the study hall and heard the voice of a teacher who was teaching Torah to his students and saying the verse: “And these are the garments which they shall make: A breastplate, and an efod, and a robe, and a tunic of checkered work, a mitre, and a girdle” (Exodus 28:4). The gentile said: These garments, for whom are they designated? The students said to him: For the High Priest. The gentile said to himself: I will go and convert so that they will install me as High Priest. He came before Shammai and said to him: Convert me on condition that you install me as High Priest. Shammai pushed him with the builder’s cubit in his hand. He came before Hillel; he converted him.

אמר לו כלום מעמידין מלך אלא מי שיודע טכסיסי מלכות לך למוד טכסיסי מלכות הלך וקרא כיון שהגיע והזר הקרב יומת אמר ליה מקרא זה על מי נאמר אמר לו אפילו על דוד מלך ישראל נשא אותו גר קל וחומר בעצמו ומה ישראל שנקראו בנים למקום ומתוך אהבה שאהבם קרא להם בני בכורי ישראל כתיב עליהם והזר הקרב יומת גר הקל שבא במקלו ובתרמילו על אחת כמה וכמה

Hillel said to him, to the convert: Is it not the way of the world that only one who knows the protocols [takhsisei] of royalty is appointed king? Go and learn the royal protocols by engaging in Torah study. He went and read the Bible. When he reached the verse which says: “And the common man that draws near shall be put to death” (Numbers 1:51), the convert said to Hillel: With regard to whom is the verse speaking? Hillel said to him: Even with regard to David, king of Israel. The convert reasoned an a fortiori inference himself: If the Jewish people are called God’s children, and due to the love that God loved them he called them: “Israel is My son, My firstborn” (Exodus 4:22), and nevertheless it is written about them: And the common man that draws near shall be put to death; a mere convert who came without merit, with nothing more than his staff and traveling bag, all the more so that this applies to him, as well.

בא לפני שמאי אמר לו כלום ראוי אני להיות כהן גדול והלא כתיב בתורה והזר הקרב יומת בא לפני הלל אמר לו ענוותן הלל ינוחו לך ברכות על ראשך שהקרבתני תחת כנפי השכינה לימים נזדווגו שלשתן למקום אחד אמרו קפדנותו של שמאי בקשה לטורדנו מן העולם ענוותנותו של הלל קרבנו תחת כנפי השכינה:

The convert came before Shammai and told him that he retracts his demand to appoint him High Priest, saying: Am I at all worthy to be High Priest? Is it not written in the Torah: And the common man that draws near shall be put to death? He came before Hillel and said to him: Hillel the patient, may blessings rest upon your head as you brought me under the wings of the Divine Presence. The Gemara relates: Eventually, the three converts gathered together in one place, and they said: Shammai’s impatience sought to drive us from the world; Hillel’s patience brought us beneath the wings of the Divine Presence.

אמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב והיה אמונת עתיך חוסן ישועות חכמת ודעת וגו׳ אמונת זה סדר זרעים עתיך זה סדר מועד חוסן זה סדר נשים ישועות זה סדר נזיקין חכמת זה סדר קדשים ודעת זה סדר טהרות ואפילו הכי יראת ה׳ היא אוצרו

The Gemara continues discussing the conduct of the Sages, citing that Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And the faith of your times shall be a strength of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, the fear of the Lord is his treasure” (Isaiah 33:6)? Faith; that is the order of Zeraim, Seeds, in the Mishna, because a person has faith in God and plants his seeds (Jerusalem Talmud). Your times; that is the order of Moed, Festival, which deals with the various occasions and Festivals that occur throughout the year. Strength; that is the order of Nashim, Women. Salvations; that is the order of Nezikin, Damages, as one who is being pursued is rescued from the hands of his pursuer. Wisdom; that is the order of Kodashim, Consecrated Items. And knowledge; that is the order of Teharot, Purity, which is particularly difficult to master. And even if a person studies and masters all of these, “the fear of the Lord is his treasure,” it is preeminent.

אמר רבא בשעה שמכניסין אדם לדין אומרים לו נשאת ונתת באמונה קבעת עתים לתורה עסקת בפריה ורביה צפית לישועה פלפלת בחכמה הבנת דבר מתוך דבר ואפילו הכי אי יראת ה׳ היא אוצרו אין אי לא לא משל לאדם שאמר לשלוחו העלה לי כור חיטין לעלייה הלך והעלה לו אמר לו עירבת לי בהן קב חומטון אמר לו לאו אמר לו מוטב אם לא העליתה

With regard to the same verse, Rava said: After departing from this world, when a person is brought to judgment for the life he lived in this world, they say to him in the order of that verse: Did you conduct business faithfully? Did you designate times for Torah study? Did you engage in procreation? Did you await salvation? Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom or understand one matter from another? And, nevertheless, beyond all these, if the fear of the Lord is his treasure, yes, he is worthy, and if not, no, none of these accomplishments have any value. There is a parable that illustrates this. A person who said to his emissary: Bring a kor of wheat up to the attic for me to store there. The messenger went and brought it up for him. He said to the emissary: Did you mix a kav of ḥomton, a preservative to keep away worms, into it for me? He said to him: No. He said to him: If so, it would have been preferable had you not brought it up. Of what use is worm-infested wheat? Likewise, Torah and mitzvot without the fear of God are of no value.

תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל מערב אדם קב חומטון בכור של תבואה ואינו חושש:

On a related note, the Gemara cites a halakha that was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: A person who sells wheat may, ab initio, mix a kav of ḥomton into a kor of grain and need not be concerned that by selling it all at the price of grain he will be guilty of theft, as the kav of ḥomton is essential for the preservation of the wheat.

אמר רבה בר רב הונא כל אדם שיש בו תורה ואין בו

Rabba bar Rav Huna said: Any person who has Torah in him but does not have

יראת שמים דומה לגזבר שמסרו לו מפתחות הפנימיות ומפתחות החיצונות לא מסרו לו בהי עייל מכריז רבי ינאי חבל על דלית ליה דרתא ותרעא לדרתא עביד אמר רב יהודה לא ברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את עולמו אלא כדי שייראו מלפניו שנאמר והאלהים עשה שייראו מלפניו

fear of Heaven is like a treasurer [gizbar] to whom they gave keys to the inner doors of the treasury but they did not give keys to the outer door. With what key will he enter? Although the Torah is the inner key, without fear of Heaven one cannot gain access to the genuine Torah. Similarly, Rabbi Yannai would proclaim: Woe unto one who does not have a courtyard, and who makes a fence for the courtyard, i.e., a person who lacks fear of Heaven and is nevertheless involved in Torah study. Rav Yehuda said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, only created His world so that people would fear before Him, as it is stated: “And God has so made it that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

רבי סימון ורבי אלעזר הוו יתבי חליף ואזיל רבי יעקב בר אחא אמר ליה חד לחבריה ניקו מקמיה דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא אמר אידך ניקו מקמיה דגבר בר אוריין הוא אמר אמינא לך אנא דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא ואמרת לי את בר אוריין הוא

The Gemara also related that Rabbi Simon and Rabbi Elazar were sitting. Rabbi Ya’akov bar Aḥa passed and went adjacent to them. One said to the other: Let us stand before him as he is a man who fears sin. The other said to him in response: Let us stand before him, as he is a man of Torah study. He said to him: I said to you that he is a man who fears sin, and you said me that he is a man of Torah study? The former is much greater praise than the latter.

תסתיים דרבי אלעזר הוא דאמר דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי אלעזר אין לו להקדוש ברוך הוא בעולמו אלא יראת שמים בלבד שנאמר ועתה ישראל מה ה׳ אלהיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וגו׳ וכתיב ויאמר לאדם הן יראת ה׳ היא חכמה וגו׳ שכן בלשון יוני קורין לאחת הן תסתיים:

The Gemara remarks: Conclude that Rabbi Elazar is the one who said that he is praiseworthy because he is a man who fears sin, as elsewhere he also spoke in praise of fear. As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: The Holy One, Blessed be He, has in His world only fear of Heaven alone, as it is stated: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you, but to fear the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 10:12). And it is written: “And unto man He said: Behold [hen], the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28), as in the Greek language they call one hen. Apparently, fear of God is of primary importance. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, conclude that Rabbi Elazar is the one who said so.

דרש רב עולא מאי דכתיב אל תרשע הרבה וגו׳ הרבה הוא דלא לירשע הא מעט לירשע אלא מי שאכל שום וריחו נודף יחזור ויאכל שום אחר ויהא ריחו נודף

Rav Ulla taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Be not overmuch wicked” (Ecclesiastes 7:17)? This appears difficult, as, is that to say that only overmuch one should not be wicked; a little, one should be wicked? Rather, this can be understood based on the following adage: One who ate a clove of garlic and its odor spreads, should he again eat another clove of garlic so that its odor will spread further? If you were somewhat wicked, do not think that it is legitimate to continue and be very wicked.

דרש רבא בר רב עולא מאי דכתיב כי אין חרצבות למותם ובריא אולם אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לא דיין לרשעים שאינן חרדין ועצבין מיום המיתה אלא שלבם בריא להן כאולם והיינו דאמר רבה מאי דכתיב זה דרכם כסל למו יודעין רשעים שדרכם למיתה ויש להם חלב על כסלם שמא תאמר שכחה היא מהן תלמוד לומר ואחריהם בפיהם ירצו סלה:

Rava bar Rav Ulla taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For there are no pangs [ḥartzubot] at their death and their body is sound” (Psalms 73:4)? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Is it not enough for wicked people that they are not anxious [ḥared] or sad [atzuv], ḥartzubot is an acronym of ḥared and atzuv, in anticipation of the day of their death, but also, their heart is as unyielding for them as the entrance to a hall is wide, and they devote no thought to it. And that is what Rabba said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “This is the way of them that are foolish and of those who after them speak approvingly, Selah” (Psalms 49:14)? It means that the wicked know that their path leads to eternal death, but they have fat on their kidneys that prevents that realization from entering their hearts. Lest you say that it is simply forgotten from them; therefore, the verse states: “And of those who after them speak approvingly, Selah” (Psalms 49:14). They are aware of their fate and speak of it, but it does not affect them.

כחס על הנר כו׳: רבי יוסי כמאן סבירא ליה אי כרבי יהודה סבירא ליה אפילו בהנך נמי ליחייב ואי כרבי שמעון סבירא ליה פתילה נמי ליפטר אמר עולא לעולם כרבי יהודה סבירא ליה וקסבר רבי יוסי סותר על מנת לבנות במקומו הוי סותר על מנת לבנות שלא במקומו לא הוי סותר

We learned in the mishna that if one extinguished a flame on Shabbat because he sought to spare the lamp, the oil, or the wick, he is liable, but Rabbi Yosei exempts in all cases except in a case in which he extinguished the flame to spare the wick. The Gemara asks with regard to Rabbi Yosei: In accordance with whose opinion does he hold with regard to prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake? If he holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who holds that one is liable for a prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake, then even in all those cases he should also deem him liable. And if he holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who holds that one is exempt for a prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake, then even in the case of a wick he should also deem him exempt. Ulla said: Actually, Rabbi Yosei holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. However, Rabbi Yosei holds that with regard to every destructive action, if he dismantles in order to rebuild in the same place, then it is considered to be dismantling, and he is liable for having performed a prohibited labor on Shabbat. However, one who demolishes in order to build elsewhere it is not considered performance of the prohibited labor of dismantling. He merely performed a destructive act and is not liable. When one extinguishes the flame to spare the lamp or the oil, he does not do so in order to relight them. When he does so to spare the wick, he indicates that he intends to relight the wick.

אמר ליה רבה מכדי כל מלאכות ילפינן להו ממשכן והתם סותר על מנת לבנות שלא במקומו הוא אמר ליה שאני התם כיון דכתיב על פי ה׳ יחנו כסותר על מנת לבנות במקומו דמי

Rabba said to him: That reasoning is implausible. After all, all labors prohibited on Shabbat, we derive them from the labors performed in the Tabernacle, and there it was a case of dismantling in order to build elsewhere. They would dismantle the Tabernacle and reconstruct it at the next encampment. Ulla said to Rabba: That is not a proof, as there, in the case of the Tabernacle, it is different. Since it is written: “At the commandment of the Lord they encamped” (Numbers 9:23). The time and place of their travels and their encampments were not determined by them but rather by the word of God. Consequently, when they took down the Tabernacle it was tantamount to demolishing in order to build in the same place. Since the demolition and the construction were both accomplished at the command of God, there was never a case of destruction without a constructive purpose.

ורבי יוחנן אמר לעולם כרבי שמעון סבירא ליה ומאי שנא פתילה כדאמר רב המנונא ואיתימא רב אדא בר אהבה הכא בפתילה שצריך להבהבה עסקינן דבההיא אפילו רבי שמעון מודי דקא מתקן מנא אמר רבא דיקא נמי דקתני שהוא עושה פחם ולא קתני מפני שנעשית פחם שמע מינה:

And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Actually, Rabbi Yosei holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. And as far as the question, what is different about a wick, that can be answered as Rav Hamnuna said, and some say, Rav Adda bar Ahava said: Here, we are dealing with a wick that one must singe before lighting it in order to facilitate its burning, as, in that case, even Rabbi Shimon agrees that extinguishing the flame is prohibited, as, by doing so, he prepares a vessel for use. Rava said: That interpretation is also precise in the language of the mishna, as it was taught in the mishna that one who extinguished a wick is liable because he makes the wick into charcoal intentionally, and it was not taught because charcoal was made on its own. The Gemara concludes: Conclude from it that the mishna is to be understood in that manner.

מתני׳ על שלש עבירות נשים מתות בשעת לידתן על שאינן זהירות בנדה בחלה ובהדלקת הנר:

MISHNA: This mishna concludes the aggadic treatment of the topic of kindling the Shabbat lights. For three transgressions women are punished and die during childbirth: For the fact that they are not careful in observing the laws of a menstruating woman, and in separating ḥalla from the dough, and in lighting the Shabbat lamp.

גמ׳ נדה מאי טעמא אמר רבי יצחק היא קלקלה בחדרי בטנה לפיכך תלקה בחדרי בטנה תינח נדה חלה והדלקת הנר מאי איכא למימר כדדרש ההוא גלילאה עליה דרב חסדא אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא רביעית דם נתתי בכם על עסקי דם הזהרתי אתכם

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: A woman who was not careful in observing the laws of menstruation, what is the reason that she is punished during childbirth? Rabbi Yitzḥak said: She sinned with regard to the chambers of her womb; therefore, she is afflicted in the chambers of her womb. The Gemara asks: Granted, with regard to menstruation; but with regard to a woman who was not careful in separating ḥalla and in kindling the Shabbat lights, what is there to say? Rather, it must be explained in accordance with that which that Galilean taught before Rav Ḥisda. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I placed a quarter [reviit] of a log of blood in you when you were formed, and about matters of the blood of menstruation I warned you.

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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Shabbat 31

שהמרו זה את זה אמרו כל מי שילך ויקניט את הלל יטול ארבע מאות זוז אמר אחד מהם אני אקניטנו אותו היום ערב שבת היה והלל חפף את ראשו הלך ועבר על פתח ביתו אמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה ראשיהן של בבליים סגלגלות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שאין להם אחיות פקחות

who wagered with each other and said: Anyone who will go and aggravate Hillel to the point that he reprimands him, will take four-hundred zuz. One of them said: I will aggravate him. That day that he chose to bother Hillel was Shabbat eve, and Hillel was washing the hair on his head. He went and passed the entrance to Hillel’s house and in a demeaning manner said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Hillel wrapped himself in a dignified garment and went out to greet him. He said to him: My son, what do you seek? He said to him: I have a question to ask. Hillel said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked him: Why are the heads of Babylonians oval? He was alluding to and attempting to insult Hillel, who was Babylonian. He said to him: My son, you have asked a significant question. The reason is because they do not have clever midwives. They do not know how to shape the child’s head at birth.

הלך והמתין שעה אחת חזר ואמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה עיניהן של תרמודיין תרוטות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שדרין בין החולות

That man went and waited one hour, a short while, returned to look for Hillel, and said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Again, Hillel wrapped himself and went out to greet him. Hillel said to him: My son, what do you seek? The man said to him: I have a question to ask. He said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked: Why are the eyes of the residents of Tadmor bleary [terutot]? Hillel said to him: My son, you have asked a significant question. The reason is because they live among the sands and the sand gets into their eyes.

הלך והמתין שעה אחת חזר ואמר מי כאן הלל מי כאן הלל נתעטף ויצא לקראתו אמר לו בני מה אתה מבקש אמר לו שאלה יש לי לשאול אמר לו שאל בני שאל מפני מה רגליהם של אפרקיים רחבות אמר לו בני שאלה גדולה שאלת מפני שדרין בין בצעי המים

Once again the man went, waited one hour, returned, and said: Who here is Hillel, who here is Hillel? Again, he, Hillel, wrapped himself and went out to greet him. He said to him: My son, what do you seek? He said to him: I have a question to ask. He said to him: Ask, my son, ask. The man asked: Why do Africans have wide feet? Hillel said to him: You have asked a significant question. The reason is because they live in marshlands and their feet widened to enable them to walk through those swampy areas.

אמר לו שאלות הרבה יש לי לשאול ומתירא אני שמא תכעוס נתעטף וישב לפניו אמר לו כל שאלות שיש לך לשאול שאל אמר לו אתה הוא הלל שקורין אותך נשיא ישראל אמר לו הן אמר לו אם אתה הוא לא ירבו כמותך בישראל אמר לו בני מפני מה אמר לו מפני שאבדתי על ידך ארבע מאות זוז אמר לו הוי זהיר ברוחך כדי הוא הלל שתאבד על ידו ארבע מאות זוז וארבע מאות זוז והלל לא יקפיד:

That man said to him: I have many more questions to ask, but I am afraid lest you get angry. Hillel wrapped himself and sat before him, and he said to him: All of the questions that you have to ask, ask them. The man got angry and said to him: Are you Hillel whom they call the Nasi of Israel? He said to him: Yes. He said to him: If it is you, then may there not be many like you in Israel. Hillel said to him: My son, for what reason do you say this? The man said to him: Because I lost four hundred zuz because of you. Hillel said to him: Be vigilant of your spirit and avoid situations of this sort. Hillel is worthy of having you lose four hundred zuz and another four hundred zuz on his account, and Hillel will not get upset.

תנו רבנן מעשה בגוי אחד שבא לפני שמאי אמר לו כמה תורות יש לכם אמר לו שתים תורה שבכתב ותורה שבעל פה אמר לו שבכתב אני מאמינך ושבעל פה איני מאמינך גיירני על מנת שתלמדני תורה שבכתב גער בו והוציאו בנזיפה בא לפני הלל גייריה יומא קמא אמר ליה אב גד למחר אפיך ליה אמר ליה והא אתמול לא אמרת לי הכי אמר ליה לאו עלי דידי קא סמכת דעל פה נמי סמוך עלי:

The Sages taught: There was an incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai. The gentile said to Shammai: How many Torahs do you have? He said to him: Two, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The gentile said to him: With regard to the Written Torah, I believe you, but with regard to the Oral Torah, I do not believe you. Convert me on condition that you will teach me only the Written Torah. Shammai scolded him and cast him out with reprimand. The same gentile came before Hillel, who converted him and began teaching him Torah. On the first day, he showed him the letters of the alphabet and said to him: Alef, bet, gimmel, dalet. The next day he reversed the order of the letters and told him that an alef is a tav and so on. The convert said to him: But yesterday you did not tell me that. Hillel said to him: You see that it is impossible to learn what is written without relying on an oral tradition. Didn’t you rely on me? Therefore, you should also rely on me with regard to the matter of the Oral Torah, and accept the interpretations that it contains.

שוב מעשה בגוי אחד שבא לפני שמאי אמר לו גיירני על מנת שתלמדני כל התורה כולה כשאני עומד על רגל אחת דחפו באמת הבנין שבידו בא לפני הלל גייריה אמר לו דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד זו היא כל התורה כולה ואידך פירושה הוא זיל גמור

There was another incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai and said to Shammai: Convert me on condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I am standing on one foot. Shammai pushed him away with the builder’s cubit in his hand. This was a common measuring stick and Shammai was a builder by trade. The same gentile came before Hillel. He converted him and said to him: That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study.

שוב מעשה בגוי אחד שהיה עובר אחורי בית המדרש ושמע קול סופר שהיה אומר ואלה הבגדים אשר יעשו חושן ואפוד אמר הללו למי אמרו לו לכהן גדול אמר אותו גוי בעצמו אלך ואתגייר בשביל שישימוני כהן גדול בא לפני שמאי אמר ליה גיירני על מנת שתשימני כהן גדול דחפו באמת הבנין שבידו בא לפני הלל גייריה

There was another incident involving one gentile who was passing behind the study hall and heard the voice of a teacher who was teaching Torah to his students and saying the verse: “And these are the garments which they shall make: A breastplate, and an efod, and a robe, and a tunic of checkered work, a mitre, and a girdle” (Exodus 28:4). The gentile said: These garments, for whom are they designated? The students said to him: For the High Priest. The gentile said to himself: I will go and convert so that they will install me as High Priest. He came before Shammai and said to him: Convert me on condition that you install me as High Priest. Shammai pushed him with the builder’s cubit in his hand. He came before Hillel; he converted him.

אמר לו כלום מעמידין מלך אלא מי שיודע טכסיסי מלכות לך למוד טכסיסי מלכות הלך וקרא כיון שהגיע והזר הקרב יומת אמר ליה מקרא זה על מי נאמר אמר לו אפילו על דוד מלך ישראל נשא אותו גר קל וחומר בעצמו ומה ישראל שנקראו בנים למקום ומתוך אהבה שאהבם קרא להם בני בכורי ישראל כתיב עליהם והזר הקרב יומת גר הקל שבא במקלו ובתרמילו על אחת כמה וכמה

Hillel said to him, to the convert: Is it not the way of the world that only one who knows the protocols [takhsisei] of royalty is appointed king? Go and learn the royal protocols by engaging in Torah study. He went and read the Bible. When he reached the verse which says: “And the common man that draws near shall be put to death” (Numbers 1:51), the convert said to Hillel: With regard to whom is the verse speaking? Hillel said to him: Even with regard to David, king of Israel. The convert reasoned an a fortiori inference himself: If the Jewish people are called God’s children, and due to the love that God loved them he called them: “Israel is My son, My firstborn” (Exodus 4:22), and nevertheless it is written about them: And the common man that draws near shall be put to death; a mere convert who came without merit, with nothing more than his staff and traveling bag, all the more so that this applies to him, as well.

בא לפני שמאי אמר לו כלום ראוי אני להיות כהן גדול והלא כתיב בתורה והזר הקרב יומת בא לפני הלל אמר לו ענוותן הלל ינוחו לך ברכות על ראשך שהקרבתני תחת כנפי השכינה לימים נזדווגו שלשתן למקום אחד אמרו קפדנותו של שמאי בקשה לטורדנו מן העולם ענוותנותו של הלל קרבנו תחת כנפי השכינה:

The convert came before Shammai and told him that he retracts his demand to appoint him High Priest, saying: Am I at all worthy to be High Priest? Is it not written in the Torah: And the common man that draws near shall be put to death? He came before Hillel and said to him: Hillel the patient, may blessings rest upon your head as you brought me under the wings of the Divine Presence. The Gemara relates: Eventually, the three converts gathered together in one place, and they said: Shammai’s impatience sought to drive us from the world; Hillel’s patience brought us beneath the wings of the Divine Presence.

אמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב והיה אמונת עתיך חוסן ישועות חכמת ודעת וגו׳ אמונת זה סדר זרעים עתיך זה סדר מועד חוסן זה סדר נשים ישועות זה סדר נזיקין חכמת זה סדר קדשים ודעת זה סדר טהרות ואפילו הכי יראת ה׳ היא אוצרו

The Gemara continues discussing the conduct of the Sages, citing that Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And the faith of your times shall be a strength of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, the fear of the Lord is his treasure” (Isaiah 33:6)? Faith; that is the order of Zeraim, Seeds, in the Mishna, because a person has faith in God and plants his seeds (Jerusalem Talmud). Your times; that is the order of Moed, Festival, which deals with the various occasions and Festivals that occur throughout the year. Strength; that is the order of Nashim, Women. Salvations; that is the order of Nezikin, Damages, as one who is being pursued is rescued from the hands of his pursuer. Wisdom; that is the order of Kodashim, Consecrated Items. And knowledge; that is the order of Teharot, Purity, which is particularly difficult to master. And even if a person studies and masters all of these, “the fear of the Lord is his treasure,” it is preeminent.

אמר רבא בשעה שמכניסין אדם לדין אומרים לו נשאת ונתת באמונה קבעת עתים לתורה עסקת בפריה ורביה צפית לישועה פלפלת בחכמה הבנת דבר מתוך דבר ואפילו הכי אי יראת ה׳ היא אוצרו אין אי לא לא משל לאדם שאמר לשלוחו העלה לי כור חיטין לעלייה הלך והעלה לו אמר לו עירבת לי בהן קב חומטון אמר לו לאו אמר לו מוטב אם לא העליתה

With regard to the same verse, Rava said: After departing from this world, when a person is brought to judgment for the life he lived in this world, they say to him in the order of that verse: Did you conduct business faithfully? Did you designate times for Torah study? Did you engage in procreation? Did you await salvation? Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom or understand one matter from another? And, nevertheless, beyond all these, if the fear of the Lord is his treasure, yes, he is worthy, and if not, no, none of these accomplishments have any value. There is a parable that illustrates this. A person who said to his emissary: Bring a kor of wheat up to the attic for me to store there. The messenger went and brought it up for him. He said to the emissary: Did you mix a kav of ḥomton, a preservative to keep away worms, into it for me? He said to him: No. He said to him: If so, it would have been preferable had you not brought it up. Of what use is worm-infested wheat? Likewise, Torah and mitzvot without the fear of God are of no value.

תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל מערב אדם קב חומטון בכור של תבואה ואינו חושש:

On a related note, the Gemara cites a halakha that was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: A person who sells wheat may, ab initio, mix a kav of ḥomton into a kor of grain and need not be concerned that by selling it all at the price of grain he will be guilty of theft, as the kav of ḥomton is essential for the preservation of the wheat.

אמר רבה בר רב הונא כל אדם שיש בו תורה ואין בו

Rabba bar Rav Huna said: Any person who has Torah in him but does not have

יראת שמים דומה לגזבר שמסרו לו מפתחות הפנימיות ומפתחות החיצונות לא מסרו לו בהי עייל מכריז רבי ינאי חבל על דלית ליה דרתא ותרעא לדרתא עביד אמר רב יהודה לא ברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את עולמו אלא כדי שייראו מלפניו שנאמר והאלהים עשה שייראו מלפניו

fear of Heaven is like a treasurer [gizbar] to whom they gave keys to the inner doors of the treasury but they did not give keys to the outer door. With what key will he enter? Although the Torah is the inner key, without fear of Heaven one cannot gain access to the genuine Torah. Similarly, Rabbi Yannai would proclaim: Woe unto one who does not have a courtyard, and who makes a fence for the courtyard, i.e., a person who lacks fear of Heaven and is nevertheless involved in Torah study. Rav Yehuda said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, only created His world so that people would fear before Him, as it is stated: “And God has so made it that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

רבי סימון ורבי אלעזר הוו יתבי חליף ואזיל רבי יעקב בר אחא אמר ליה חד לחבריה ניקו מקמיה דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא אמר אידך ניקו מקמיה דגבר בר אוריין הוא אמר אמינא לך אנא דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא ואמרת לי את בר אוריין הוא

The Gemara also related that Rabbi Simon and Rabbi Elazar were sitting. Rabbi Ya’akov bar Aḥa passed and went adjacent to them. One said to the other: Let us stand before him as he is a man who fears sin. The other said to him in response: Let us stand before him, as he is a man of Torah study. He said to him: I said to you that he is a man who fears sin, and you said me that he is a man of Torah study? The former is much greater praise than the latter.

תסתיים דרבי אלעזר הוא דאמר דגבר דחיל חטאין הוא דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי אלעזר אין לו להקדוש ברוך הוא בעולמו אלא יראת שמים בלבד שנאמר ועתה ישראל מה ה׳ אלהיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וגו׳ וכתיב ויאמר לאדם הן יראת ה׳ היא חכמה וגו׳ שכן בלשון יוני קורין לאחת הן תסתיים:

The Gemara remarks: Conclude that Rabbi Elazar is the one who said that he is praiseworthy because he is a man who fears sin, as elsewhere he also spoke in praise of fear. As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: The Holy One, Blessed be He, has in His world only fear of Heaven alone, as it is stated: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you, but to fear the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 10:12). And it is written: “And unto man He said: Behold [hen], the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28), as in the Greek language they call one hen. Apparently, fear of God is of primary importance. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, conclude that Rabbi Elazar is the one who said so.

דרש רב עולא מאי דכתיב אל תרשע הרבה וגו׳ הרבה הוא דלא לירשע הא מעט לירשע אלא מי שאכל שום וריחו נודף יחזור ויאכל שום אחר ויהא ריחו נודף

Rav Ulla taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Be not overmuch wicked” (Ecclesiastes 7:17)? This appears difficult, as, is that to say that only overmuch one should not be wicked; a little, one should be wicked? Rather, this can be understood based on the following adage: One who ate a clove of garlic and its odor spreads, should he again eat another clove of garlic so that its odor will spread further? If you were somewhat wicked, do not think that it is legitimate to continue and be very wicked.

דרש רבא בר רב עולא מאי דכתיב כי אין חרצבות למותם ובריא אולם אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לא דיין לרשעים שאינן חרדין ועצבין מיום המיתה אלא שלבם בריא להן כאולם והיינו דאמר רבה מאי דכתיב זה דרכם כסל למו יודעין רשעים שדרכם למיתה ויש להם חלב על כסלם שמא תאמר שכחה היא מהן תלמוד לומר ואחריהם בפיהם ירצו סלה:

Rava bar Rav Ulla taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For there are no pangs [ḥartzubot] at their death and their body is sound” (Psalms 73:4)? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Is it not enough for wicked people that they are not anxious [ḥared] or sad [atzuv], ḥartzubot is an acronym of ḥared and atzuv, in anticipation of the day of their death, but also, their heart is as unyielding for them as the entrance to a hall is wide, and they devote no thought to it. And that is what Rabba said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “This is the way of them that are foolish and of those who after them speak approvingly, Selah” (Psalms 49:14)? It means that the wicked know that their path leads to eternal death, but they have fat on their kidneys that prevents that realization from entering their hearts. Lest you say that it is simply forgotten from them; therefore, the verse states: “And of those who after them speak approvingly, Selah” (Psalms 49:14). They are aware of their fate and speak of it, but it does not affect them.

כחס על הנר כו׳: רבי יוסי כמאן סבירא ליה אי כרבי יהודה סבירא ליה אפילו בהנך נמי ליחייב ואי כרבי שמעון סבירא ליה פתילה נמי ליפטר אמר עולא לעולם כרבי יהודה סבירא ליה וקסבר רבי יוסי סותר על מנת לבנות במקומו הוי סותר על מנת לבנות שלא במקומו לא הוי סותר

We learned in the mishna that if one extinguished a flame on Shabbat because he sought to spare the lamp, the oil, or the wick, he is liable, but Rabbi Yosei exempts in all cases except in a case in which he extinguished the flame to spare the wick. The Gemara asks with regard to Rabbi Yosei: In accordance with whose opinion does he hold with regard to prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake? If he holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who holds that one is liable for a prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake, then even in all those cases he should also deem him liable. And if he holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who holds that one is exempt for a prohibited labor performed on Shabbat not for its own sake, then even in the case of a wick he should also deem him exempt. Ulla said: Actually, Rabbi Yosei holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. However, Rabbi Yosei holds that with regard to every destructive action, if he dismantles in order to rebuild in the same place, then it is considered to be dismantling, and he is liable for having performed a prohibited labor on Shabbat. However, one who demolishes in order to build elsewhere it is not considered performance of the prohibited labor of dismantling. He merely performed a destructive act and is not liable. When one extinguishes the flame to spare the lamp or the oil, he does not do so in order to relight them. When he does so to spare the wick, he indicates that he intends to relight the wick.

אמר ליה רבה מכדי כל מלאכות ילפינן להו ממשכן והתם סותר על מנת לבנות שלא במקומו הוא אמר ליה שאני התם כיון דכתיב על פי ה׳ יחנו כסותר על מנת לבנות במקומו דמי

Rabba said to him: That reasoning is implausible. After all, all labors prohibited on Shabbat, we derive them from the labors performed in the Tabernacle, and there it was a case of dismantling in order to build elsewhere. They would dismantle the Tabernacle and reconstruct it at the next encampment. Ulla said to Rabba: That is not a proof, as there, in the case of the Tabernacle, it is different. Since it is written: “At the commandment of the Lord they encamped” (Numbers 9:23). The time and place of their travels and their encampments were not determined by them but rather by the word of God. Consequently, when they took down the Tabernacle it was tantamount to demolishing in order to build in the same place. Since the demolition and the construction were both accomplished at the command of God, there was never a case of destruction without a constructive purpose.

ורבי יוחנן אמר לעולם כרבי שמעון סבירא ליה ומאי שנא פתילה כדאמר רב המנונא ואיתימא רב אדא בר אהבה הכא בפתילה שצריך להבהבה עסקינן דבההיא אפילו רבי שמעון מודי דקא מתקן מנא אמר רבא דיקא נמי דקתני שהוא עושה פחם ולא קתני מפני שנעשית פחם שמע מינה:

And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Actually, Rabbi Yosei holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. And as far as the question, what is different about a wick, that can be answered as Rav Hamnuna said, and some say, Rav Adda bar Ahava said: Here, we are dealing with a wick that one must singe before lighting it in order to facilitate its burning, as, in that case, even Rabbi Shimon agrees that extinguishing the flame is prohibited, as, by doing so, he prepares a vessel for use. Rava said: That interpretation is also precise in the language of the mishna, as it was taught in the mishna that one who extinguished a wick is liable because he makes the wick into charcoal intentionally, and it was not taught because charcoal was made on its own. The Gemara concludes: Conclude from it that the mishna is to be understood in that manner.

מתני׳ על שלש עבירות נשים מתות בשעת לידתן על שאינן זהירות בנדה בחלה ובהדלקת הנר:

MISHNA: This mishna concludes the aggadic treatment of the topic of kindling the Shabbat lights. For three transgressions women are punished and die during childbirth: For the fact that they are not careful in observing the laws of a menstruating woman, and in separating ḥalla from the dough, and in lighting the Shabbat lamp.

גמ׳ נדה מאי טעמא אמר רבי יצחק היא קלקלה בחדרי בטנה לפיכך תלקה בחדרי בטנה תינח נדה חלה והדלקת הנר מאי איכא למימר כדדרש ההוא גלילאה עליה דרב חסדא אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא רביעית דם נתתי בכם על עסקי דם הזהרתי אתכם

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: A woman who was not careful in observing the laws of menstruation, what is the reason that she is punished during childbirth? Rabbi Yitzḥak said: She sinned with regard to the chambers of her womb; therefore, she is afflicted in the chambers of her womb. The Gemara asks: Granted, with regard to menstruation; but with regard to a woman who was not careful in separating ḥalla and in kindling the Shabbat lights, what is there to say? Rather, it must be explained in accordance with that which that Galilean taught before Rav Ḥisda. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I placed a quarter [reviit] of a log of blood in you when you were formed, and about matters of the blood of menstruation I warned you.

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