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Today's Daf Yomi

May 1, 2020 | ז׳ באייר 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 56

Today’s shiur is sponsored in Rabbi Fredda Cohen for her courageous and compassionate work as a Chaplain and director of Pastoral Care at White Plains Hospital in Westchester, New York, during this pandemic by Rabbi Julie Danan. 

Today’s daf continues to mention others who are mentioned in the Torah as having sinned and Rabbi Yonatan says that they didn’t really sin according to what it says in the verse, however they did something wrong on account of which the sin is attrubuted to them. People mentioned are the sons of Shmuel, David, Solomon and Yoshiayahu (Josiah).

בני שמואל חטאו אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויהי (כי זקן שמואל ובניו לא הלכו) בדרכיו בדרכיו הוא דלא הלכו מיחטא נמי לא חטאו

that the sons of Samuel sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel…And his sons walked not in his ways but sought after unjust gain, and took bribes, and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:1–3). By inference: In his ways they did not walk, however, they did not sin either. They were not the equals of their father, but they were not sinners.

אלא מה אני מקיים ויטו אחרי הבצע שלא עשו כמעשה אביהם שהיה שמואל הצדיק מחזר בכל מקומות ישראל ודן אותם בעריהם שנאמר והלך מדי שנה בשנה וסבב בית אל והגלגל והמצפה ושפט את ישראל והם לא עשו כן אלא ישבו בעריהם כדי להרבות שכר לחזניהן ולסופריהן

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “And they sought after unjust gain,” indicating that they were sinners? It means that they did not conduct themselves in accordance with the actions of their father. As Samuel the righteous would travel to all places where the people of Israel were located and sit in judgment in their towns, as it is stated: “And he went from year to year in circuit from Beth-El, and Gilgal, and Mitzpa, and judged Israel in all those places” (I Samuel 7:16). And, however, they did not do so and travel from place to place. Rather, they sat in their own cities in order to enhance the fees collected by their attendants and scribes. Therefore, the verse ascribes to them liability as if they sinned by seeking ill-gotten gains and bribes.

כתנאי ויטו אחרי הבצע רבי מאיר אומר חלקם שאלו בפיהם רבי יהודה אומר מלאי הטילו על בעלי בתים רבי עקיבא אומר קופה יתירה של מעשר נטלו בזרוע רבי יוסי אומר מתנות נטלו בזרוע:

The Gemara notes that this matter is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im. As it was taught in a baraita that the verse states: “And they sought after unjust gain.” Rabbi Meir says: This means that they vocally demanded their portions of the tithe due them as Levites, abusing their position to the detriment of other Levites. Rabbi Yehuda says: They imposed upon local homeowners to sell their merchandise and support them. Rabbi Akiva says: They took an extra basket of tithes, beyond that which was their due, by force. Rabbi Yosei says: They took only the gifts due them; however, they took them by force. They acted improperly, as a Levite is required to wait until he is given his gifts and may not take them.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר דוד חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויהי דוד לכל דרכיו משכיל וה׳ עמו וגו׳ אפשר חטא בא לידו ושכינה עמו

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that David sinned with Bathsheba is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And David succeeded in all his ways; and the Lord was with him” (I Samuel 18:14). Is it possible that sin came to his hand and nevertheless the Divine Presence was with him?

אלא מה אני מקיים מדוע בזית את דבר ה׳ לעשות הרע שביקש לעשות ולא עשה

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the rebuke of the prophet Nathan: “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do that which is evil in My sight? Uriah the Hittite you have smitten with the sword, and his wife you have taken to be your wife, and him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon” (II Samuel 12:9), indicating that David sinned? The Gemara answers: David sought to do evil and have relations with Bathsheba while she was still married to Uriah but did not do so.

אמר רב רבי דאתי מדוד מהפך ודריש בזכותיה דדוד מדוע בזית את דבר ה׳ לעשות הרע רבי אומר משונה רעה זו מכל רעות שבתורה שכל רעות שבתורה כתיב בהו ויעש וכאן כתיב לעשות שביקש לעשות ולא עשה

Rav said: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who descends from the house of David, seeks to teach the verse in favor of David. With regard to that which is written: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord to do evil,” Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: This evil mentioned with regard to David is different from all other evils in the Torah; as with regard to all other evils in the Torah, it is written: And he did evil, and here it is written: To do evil. This unique phrase indicates that David sought to do evil but did not actually do so. His intentions were improper; however, his actions were proper.

את אוריה החתי הכית בחרב שהיה לך לדונו בסנהדרין ולא דנת ואת אשתו לקחת לך לאשה ליקוחין יש לך בה

That which is written: “Uriah the Hittite you have smitten with the sword,” means that you could have judged him before the Sanhedrin as one guilty of treason against the throne, and you did not judge him in that manner. Instead, you had him executed in a manner that deviated from the generally accepted principles of judgment. With regard to that which is written: “And his wife you have taken to be your wife”; it means that you have rights of marriage with her, as by law Bathsheba was already divorced from Uriah.

דאמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל היוצא למלחמת בית דוד כותב גט כריתות לאשתו שנאמר ואת עשרת חריצי החלב האלה תביא לשר האלף ואת אחיך תפקד לשלום ואת ערבתם תקח

As Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who goes to a war waged by the royal house of David writes a conditional bill of divorce to his wife. That was done to prevent a situation in which the soldier’s wife would be unable to remarry because the soldier did not return from battle and there were no witnesses to his fate. The conditional bill of divorce accorded her the status of a divorcee and freed her to remarry. As it is stated: “And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and to your brothers bring greetings and take their pledge [arubatam]” (I Samuel 17:18).

מאי ערבתם תני רב יוסף דברים המעורבים בינו לבינה

What is the meaning of arubatam? Rav Yosef taught: It refers to matters that are shared [hame’oravim] between him, the husband, and her, the wife, i.e., marriage. The verse should be read: Take the bill of divorce that determines the status of the relationship between husband and wife. As, apparently, it was customary for men at war to send their wives a conditional divorce, since Uriah later died, Bathsheba retroactively assumed divorced status from the time that he set out to war. She was not forbidden to David.

ואתו הרגת בחרב בני עמון מה חרב בני עמון אי אתה נענש עליו אף אוריה החתי אי אתה נענש עליו

With regard to that which is written: “And him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon,” it means: Just as you are not punished for soldiers killed by the sword of the children of Ammon in the course of the war, so too you are not punished for the death of Uriah the Hittite.

מאי טעמא מורד במלכות הוה דאמר ליה ואדני יואב ועבדי אדני על פני השדה חנים

What is the reason that David was not liable for the death of Uriah? Because Uriah was a traitor against the throne. As he said to David: “And my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields” (II Samuel 11:11). In the presence of the king, one may not refer to another as his lord. Doing so is treason.

אמר רב כי מעיינת ביה בדוד לא משכחת ביה בר מדאוריה דכתיב רק בדבר אוריה החתי

Rav said: When you analyze the matter of David, no sin that he committed is found in his lifetime, except for that involving Uriah. As it is written: “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (I Kings 15:5).

אביי קשישא רמי דרב אדרב מי אמר רב הכי והאמר רב קיבל דוד לשון הרע קשיא

Abaye the Elder raised a contradiction between one statement of Rav and another statement of Rav: Did Rav actually say this? Didn’t Rav say: David accepted a slanderous report? Just as it is prohibited to relate a slanderous report, it is similarly prohibited to accept it. This contradiction remains unresolved, and it is difficult.

גופא רב אמר קיבל דוד לשון הרע דכתיב ויאמר לו המלך איפוא הוא ויאמר ציבא אל המלך הנה הוא בית מכיר בן עמיאל (בלא) דבר וכתיב וישלח המלך ויקחהו מבית מכיר בן עמיאל (מלא) דבר

The Gemara now examines the matter itself with regard to Rav’s statement cited in the course of the previous discussion. Rav said: David accepted a slanderous report, as it is written with regard to David’s search for a surviving son of Jonathan: “And the king said to him, to Ziba, Saul’s slave: Where is he? And Ziba said to the king: Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-Devar [belo devar]” (II Samuel 9:4). Ziba indicated to David that Jonathan’s son was inconsequential, lacking any matter [lo devar] of Torah. And it is written: “Then King David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-Devar [milo devar]” (II Samuel 9:5). That verse can be read that after sending for him, David found him filled with matters [melo devar] of Torah.

מכדי חזייה דשקרא הוא כי הדר אלשין עילויה מאי טעמא קיבלה מיניה דכתיב ויאמר המלך (אל ציבא איה) בן אדוניך ויאמר ציבא אל המלך הנה (הוא) יושב בירושלים וגו׳ ומנא לן דקיבל מיניה דכתיב ויאמר המלך הנה לך כל אשר למפיבושת ויאמר ציבא השתחויתי אמצא חן (בעיני) המלך

Now, after David saw that Ziba was a liar, when Ziba once again slandered Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, why did David accept his report? As it is written that when David fled from Absalom, he met Ziba: “And the king said: And where is your master’s son? And Ziba said to the king: Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem, as he said: Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father” (II Samuel 16:3). And from where do we derive that David accepted Ziba’s slanderous report? As it is written: “Then said the king to Ziba: Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours. And Ziba said: I humbly beseech you that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king” (II Samuel 16:4).

ושמואל אמר לא קיבל דוד לשון הרע דברים הניכרים חזא ביה דכתיב ומפיבושת בן שאול ירד (לפני) המלך ולא עשה רגליו ולא עשה שפמו ואת בגדיו לא כבס וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי כי בא ירושלים לקראת המלך ויאמר לו המלך למה לא הלכת עמי מפיבושת ויאמר אדני המלך עבדי רמני כי אמר עבדך אחבשה לי החמור וארכב עליה ואלך את המלך כי פסח

And Shmuel said: David did not accept Ziba’s slanderous report without substantiation. Rather, he himself saw conspicuous matters in Mephibosheth that indicated that Ziba was right. As it is written: “And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, came down to meet the king, and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes from the day the king departed until the day he came back in peace” (II Samuel 19:25). David thought that he was mourning the fact that he had returned in peace. And it is written: “And it came to pass, when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, and the king said to him: Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth? And he answered: My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said: I will saddle me a donkey, and I will ride on it, and go to the king; because lame is

עבדך וירגל בעבדך אל אדני המלך ואדני המלך כמלאך האלהים ועשה הטוב בעיניך ויאמר לו המלך למה תדבר עוד דבריך אמרתי אתה וציבא תחלקו את השדה ויאמר מפיבשת אל המלך גם את הכל יקח אחרי אשר בא אדני המלך בשלום אל ביתו אמר לו אני אמרתי מתי תבא בשלום ואתה עושה לי כך לא עליך יש לי תרעומות אלא על מי שהביאך בשלום

your servant. And he slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like an angel of God: Do therefore what is good in your eyes” (II Samuel 19:26–28). “And the king said to him: Why do you speak any more of your matters? I have said: You and Ziba shall divide the estate. And Mephibosheth said to the king: Let him even take all, seeing that my lord the king is come back in peace to his own house” (II Samuel 19:30–31). Mephibosheth said to David as follows: I had hoped for your return, saying: When will he come in peace, and yet you do this to me, giving Ziba half of my estate? It is not against you that I have grievances, but against He who brought you back in peace. Mephibosheth’s own statement substantiates Ziba’s report about him.

היינו דכתיב ובן יהונתן מריב בעל וכי מריב בעל שמו והלא מפיבשת שמו אלא מתוך שעשה מריבה עם בעליו יצתה בת קול ואמרה לו נצא בר נצא נצא הא דאמרן בר נצא דכתיב ויבא שאול עד עיר עמלק וירב בנחל אמר רבי מני על עסקי נחל

This is what is written: “And the son of Jonathan was Meriv-Baal” (I Chronicles 8:34). The Gemara asks: And was Meriv-Baal his name? Wasn’t his name Mephibosheth? However, since he entered into a quarrel [meriva] with his Master [ba’al], i.e., God, and complained about God having saved David, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Quarrelsome one, the son of a quarrelsome one; you are just like your father, Saul. The Gemara explains: Quarrelsome one; that which we just said that Mephibosheth complained to God about His salvation of David. The son of a quarrelsome one; as it is written: “And Saul came to a city of Amalek and quarreled in the valley” (I Samuel 15:5). And Rabbi Mani said: Saul quarreled with God with regard to matters of the valley, saying: For the murder of even a single person, there is a commandment to break the neck of a heifer in a valley to atone for the crime (see Deuteronomy 21:1–9); why then must all these Amalekites be killed?

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שאמר דוד למפיבשת אתה וציבא תחלקו את השדה יצתה בת קול ואמרה לו רחבעם וירבעם יחלקו את המלוכה

To the matter at hand: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: When David said to Mephibosheth: You and Ziba shall divide the estate, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Rehoboam and Jeroboam shall divide the kingdom.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אילמלי לא קיבל דוד לשון הרע לא נחלקה מלכות בית דוד ולא עבדו ישראל עבודה זרה ולא גלינו מארצנו:

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Had David not accepted Ziba’s slanderous report about Mephibosheth, the kingdom of the house of David would not have been divided, Israel would not have worshipped idols because of Jeroboam, and we would not have been exiled from our land.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר שלמה חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ולא היה לבבו שלם עם ה׳ אלהיו כלבב דוד אביו כלבב דוד אביו הוא דלא הוה מיחטא נמי לא חטא

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that King Solomon sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David, his father” (I Kings 11:4). By inference: Solomon’s heart was not equal to the heart of David, his father; however, he also did not sin.

אלא מה אני מקיים ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו ההיא כרבי נתן דרבי נתן רמי כתיב ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו והכתיב כלבב דוד אביו כלבב דוד אביו הוא דלא הוה מיחטא נמי לא חטא הכי קאמר ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו ללכת אחרי אלהים אחרים ולא הלך

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4)? That verse is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Natan; as Rabbi Natan raised a contradiction between the two parts of the verse. On the one hand, it is written: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods.” On the other hand, isn’t it written: “And his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father,” indicating that Solomon’s heart was not equal to the heart of David his father; however, he also did not sin? Rather, the verse says as follows: For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart, in an attempt to spur him to go after other gods; however, he did not go after them.

והכתיב אז יבנה שלמה במה לכמוש שקץ מואב שבקש לבנות ולא בנה

The Gemara asks: Isn’t it written: “Then did Solomon build [yivne] an altar for Kemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon” (I Kings 11:7), indicating that Solomon did in fact stray after idols? The Gemara answers: This can be understood to mean that Solomon sought to build an altar for idols but did not build it.

אלא מעתה אז יבנה יהושע מזבח לה׳ שבקש לבנות ולא בנה אלא דבנה הכא נמי דבנה

The Gemara objects: But now if that is the way to understand the future tense verb form yivne, what of another instance where the same form is employed: “Then did Joshua build [yivne] an altar to the Lord God of Israel in Mount Eival” (Joshua 8:30)? There too, would you say that Joshua sought to build an altar but did not build one? Rather, there, in the case of Joshua, it means that he actually built it. Here too, with regard to Solomon, it means that he actually built the altar.

אלא כדתניא רבי יוסי אומר ואת הבמות אשר על פני ירושלים אשר מימין להר המשחה אשר בנה שלמה מלך ישראל לעשתרת שקץ צידנים וגו׳

Rather, this verse should be understood as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: The verse states: “And the altars that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the Mount of Olives, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoret the abomination of the Zidonim, and for Kemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milkom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile” (II Kings 23:13). All these were destroyed by Josiah.

אפשר בא אסא ולא ביערם יהושפט ולא ביערם עד שבא יאשיה וביערם והלא כל עבודה זרה שבארץ ישראל אסא ויהושפט ביערום אלא מקיש ראשונים לאחרונים מה אחרונים לא עשו ותלה בהן לשבח אף ראשונים לא עשו ותלה בהן לגנאי

The Gemara asks: Is it possible that the righteous king Asa came and did not destroy them, and the righteous king Jehosaphat came and did not destroy them until Josiah came and destroyed them? Didn’t Asa and Jehosaphat destroy all the idolatry in Eretz Yisrael? Rather, the verse juxtaposes the earlier ones, i.e., Solomon, to the later ones, i.e., Josiah. Just as the later ones, Josiah, did not effect the destruction of the altars, as it was done by his predecessors, and nevertheless the verse attributes it to him to praise him as if he had destroyed all those altars, so too, the earlier ones, Solomon, did not effect the construction, and nevertheless the verse attributes it to him to disgrace him as he did not prevent their construction.

והכתיב ויעש שלמה הרע בעיני ה׳ אלא מפני שהיה לו למחות בנשיו ולא מיחה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאלו חטא

The Gemara raises another question. Isn’t it written: “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 11:6), clearly indicating that Solomon sinned? Rather, since he should have protested against the conduct of his wives, i.e., their involvement in idolatry, but he did not protest, the verse ascribes to him liability as if he had sinned.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל נוח לו לאותו צדיק שיהא שמש לדבר אחר ואל יכתב בו ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: It would have been preferable for that righteous man, Solomon, to be a servant tasked with drawing water and hewing wood for another matter, i.e., idolatry, and not have the verse write about him: “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord,” even though he did not.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה הכניסה לו אלף מיני זמר ואמרה לו כך עושין לעבודה זרה פלונית וכך עושים לעבודה זרה פלונית ולא מיחה בה

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, she brought to him a thousand musical instruments and said to him: This is the way we do it for this idolatry, and this is the way we do it for that idolatry, and he did not protest that talk.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה ירד גבריאל ונעץ קנה בים ועלה בו שירטון ועליו נבנה כרך גדול [של רומי]

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, the angel Gabriel descended from heaven and implanted a reed into the sea, and a sandbar grew around it, growing larger each year, and upon it the great city of Rome was built, which became God’s instrument to punish Israel.

במתניתא תנא אותו היום שהכניס ירבעם שני עגלי זהב אחד בבית אל ואחד בדן נבנה צריף אחד וזהו איטליאה של יון:

It was taught in a baraita: On that very day that Jeroboam introduced two golden calves, one in Beth-El and the other in Dan, a single small hut was constructed, which was the first house constructed there. And that was the inauguration of Italy of Greece.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר יאשיהו חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויעש הישר בעיני ה׳ וילך בכל דרך דוד אביו אלא מה אני מקיים וכמהו לא היה לפניו מלך אשר שב וגו׳

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that Josiah sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand nor to the left” (II Kings 22:2). However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “And like him was there no king before him that returned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Torah of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” (II Kings 23:25)? The verse states: Josiah returned to the Lord. Apparently, in his early days he was a sinner, and later he returned to God.

שכל דין שדן מבן שמנה עד שמנה עשרה החזירן להן שמא תאמר נטל מזה ונתן לזה תלמוד לומר בכל מאדו שנתן להם משלו

The Gemara answers: The reference here is not to repentance for actual sins that Josiah committed. Rather, in every judgment that he issued from the age of eight, when he was crowned, until the age of eighteen, he returned the money to the parties whom he judged liable, due to concern that in his youth he may not have judged the cases correctly. And lest you say that he took from this one, whom he exonerated, and gave to that one, whom he found culpable, therefore the verse states: Returned to the Lord with all his might [me’odo], i.e., with all his money. It means that he gave those he judged liable in his youth from his own money.

ופליגא דרב דאמר רב אין לך גדול בבעלי תשובה יותר מיאשיהו בדורו ואחד בדורנו ומנו אבא אבוה דרבי ירמיה בר אבא ואמרי לה אחא אחוה דאבא אבוה דרב ירמיה בר אבא דאמר מר רבי אבא ואחא אחי הוו

The Gemara notes that Rabbi Yonatan disagrees with Rav, as Rav said: There is no greater penitent than Josiah in his generation, and there is one in our generation. The Gemara asks: And who is the great penitent in Rav’s generation? The Gemara answers: He is Abba, father of Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba, and some say it is Aḥa, brother of Abba, father of Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba, as the Master said: Rabbi Abba and Aḥa were brothers.

אמר רב יוסף ועוד אחד בדורנו ומנו עוקבן בר נחמיה ריש גלותא והיינו נתן דצוציתא אמר רב יוסף הוה יתיבנא בפירקא והוה קא מנמנם וחזאי בחילמא דקא פשט ידיה וקבליה:

Rav Yosef said: And there is another great penitent in our generation. And who is he? He is Okvan, son of Neḥemya the Exilarch. And that is the one also known as Natan detzutzita, i.e., from whose head sparks emerged. Rav Yosef said: I was once sitting at the lecture delivered on the Festival [pirka] and I was dozing. And I saw in a dream how an angel stretched out his hands and received Natan detzutzita, demonstrating that his repentance was accepted.

הדרן עלך במה בהמה

 

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Shabbat 56

בני שמואל חטאו אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויהי (כי זקן שמואל ובניו לא הלכו) בדרכיו בדרכיו הוא דלא הלכו מיחטא נמי לא חטאו

that the sons of Samuel sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel…And his sons walked not in his ways but sought after unjust gain, and took bribes, and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:1–3). By inference: In his ways they did not walk, however, they did not sin either. They were not the equals of their father, but they were not sinners.

אלא מה אני מקיים ויטו אחרי הבצע שלא עשו כמעשה אביהם שהיה שמואל הצדיק מחזר בכל מקומות ישראל ודן אותם בעריהם שנאמר והלך מדי שנה בשנה וסבב בית אל והגלגל והמצפה ושפט את ישראל והם לא עשו כן אלא ישבו בעריהם כדי להרבות שכר לחזניהן ולסופריהן

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “And they sought after unjust gain,” indicating that they were sinners? It means that they did not conduct themselves in accordance with the actions of their father. As Samuel the righteous would travel to all places where the people of Israel were located and sit in judgment in their towns, as it is stated: “And he went from year to year in circuit from Beth-El, and Gilgal, and Mitzpa, and judged Israel in all those places” (I Samuel 7:16). And, however, they did not do so and travel from place to place. Rather, they sat in their own cities in order to enhance the fees collected by their attendants and scribes. Therefore, the verse ascribes to them liability as if they sinned by seeking ill-gotten gains and bribes.

כתנאי ויטו אחרי הבצע רבי מאיר אומר חלקם שאלו בפיהם רבי יהודה אומר מלאי הטילו על בעלי בתים רבי עקיבא אומר קופה יתירה של מעשר נטלו בזרוע רבי יוסי אומר מתנות נטלו בזרוע:

The Gemara notes that this matter is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im. As it was taught in a baraita that the verse states: “And they sought after unjust gain.” Rabbi Meir says: This means that they vocally demanded their portions of the tithe due them as Levites, abusing their position to the detriment of other Levites. Rabbi Yehuda says: They imposed upon local homeowners to sell their merchandise and support them. Rabbi Akiva says: They took an extra basket of tithes, beyond that which was their due, by force. Rabbi Yosei says: They took only the gifts due them; however, they took them by force. They acted improperly, as a Levite is required to wait until he is given his gifts and may not take them.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר דוד חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויהי דוד לכל דרכיו משכיל וה׳ עמו וגו׳ אפשר חטא בא לידו ושכינה עמו

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that David sinned with Bathsheba is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And David succeeded in all his ways; and the Lord was with him” (I Samuel 18:14). Is it possible that sin came to his hand and nevertheless the Divine Presence was with him?

אלא מה אני מקיים מדוע בזית את דבר ה׳ לעשות הרע שביקש לעשות ולא עשה

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the rebuke of the prophet Nathan: “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do that which is evil in My sight? Uriah the Hittite you have smitten with the sword, and his wife you have taken to be your wife, and him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon” (II Samuel 12:9), indicating that David sinned? The Gemara answers: David sought to do evil and have relations with Bathsheba while she was still married to Uriah but did not do so.

אמר רב רבי דאתי מדוד מהפך ודריש בזכותיה דדוד מדוע בזית את דבר ה׳ לעשות הרע רבי אומר משונה רעה זו מכל רעות שבתורה שכל רעות שבתורה כתיב בהו ויעש וכאן כתיב לעשות שביקש לעשות ולא עשה

Rav said: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who descends from the house of David, seeks to teach the verse in favor of David. With regard to that which is written: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord to do evil,” Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: This evil mentioned with regard to David is different from all other evils in the Torah; as with regard to all other evils in the Torah, it is written: And he did evil, and here it is written: To do evil. This unique phrase indicates that David sought to do evil but did not actually do so. His intentions were improper; however, his actions were proper.

את אוריה החתי הכית בחרב שהיה לך לדונו בסנהדרין ולא דנת ואת אשתו לקחת לך לאשה ליקוחין יש לך בה

That which is written: “Uriah the Hittite you have smitten with the sword,” means that you could have judged him before the Sanhedrin as one guilty of treason against the throne, and you did not judge him in that manner. Instead, you had him executed in a manner that deviated from the generally accepted principles of judgment. With regard to that which is written: “And his wife you have taken to be your wife”; it means that you have rights of marriage with her, as by law Bathsheba was already divorced from Uriah.

דאמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל היוצא למלחמת בית דוד כותב גט כריתות לאשתו שנאמר ואת עשרת חריצי החלב האלה תביא לשר האלף ואת אחיך תפקד לשלום ואת ערבתם תקח

As Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who goes to a war waged by the royal house of David writes a conditional bill of divorce to his wife. That was done to prevent a situation in which the soldier’s wife would be unable to remarry because the soldier did not return from battle and there were no witnesses to his fate. The conditional bill of divorce accorded her the status of a divorcee and freed her to remarry. As it is stated: “And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and to your brothers bring greetings and take their pledge [arubatam]” (I Samuel 17:18).

מאי ערבתם תני רב יוסף דברים המעורבים בינו לבינה

What is the meaning of arubatam? Rav Yosef taught: It refers to matters that are shared [hame’oravim] between him, the husband, and her, the wife, i.e., marriage. The verse should be read: Take the bill of divorce that determines the status of the relationship between husband and wife. As, apparently, it was customary for men at war to send their wives a conditional divorce, since Uriah later died, Bathsheba retroactively assumed divorced status from the time that he set out to war. She was not forbidden to David.

ואתו הרגת בחרב בני עמון מה חרב בני עמון אי אתה נענש עליו אף אוריה החתי אי אתה נענש עליו

With regard to that which is written: “And him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon,” it means: Just as you are not punished for soldiers killed by the sword of the children of Ammon in the course of the war, so too you are not punished for the death of Uriah the Hittite.

מאי טעמא מורד במלכות הוה דאמר ליה ואדני יואב ועבדי אדני על פני השדה חנים

What is the reason that David was not liable for the death of Uriah? Because Uriah was a traitor against the throne. As he said to David: “And my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields” (II Samuel 11:11). In the presence of the king, one may not refer to another as his lord. Doing so is treason.

אמר רב כי מעיינת ביה בדוד לא משכחת ביה בר מדאוריה דכתיב רק בדבר אוריה החתי

Rav said: When you analyze the matter of David, no sin that he committed is found in his lifetime, except for that involving Uriah. As it is written: “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (I Kings 15:5).

אביי קשישא רמי דרב אדרב מי אמר רב הכי והאמר רב קיבל דוד לשון הרע קשיא

Abaye the Elder raised a contradiction between one statement of Rav and another statement of Rav: Did Rav actually say this? Didn’t Rav say: David accepted a slanderous report? Just as it is prohibited to relate a slanderous report, it is similarly prohibited to accept it. This contradiction remains unresolved, and it is difficult.

גופא רב אמר קיבל דוד לשון הרע דכתיב ויאמר לו המלך איפוא הוא ויאמר ציבא אל המלך הנה הוא בית מכיר בן עמיאל (בלא) דבר וכתיב וישלח המלך ויקחהו מבית מכיר בן עמיאל (מלא) דבר

The Gemara now examines the matter itself with regard to Rav’s statement cited in the course of the previous discussion. Rav said: David accepted a slanderous report, as it is written with regard to David’s search for a surviving son of Jonathan: “And the king said to him, to Ziba, Saul’s slave: Where is he? And Ziba said to the king: Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-Devar [belo devar]” (II Samuel 9:4). Ziba indicated to David that Jonathan’s son was inconsequential, lacking any matter [lo devar] of Torah. And it is written: “Then King David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-Devar [milo devar]” (II Samuel 9:5). That verse can be read that after sending for him, David found him filled with matters [melo devar] of Torah.

מכדי חזייה דשקרא הוא כי הדר אלשין עילויה מאי טעמא קיבלה מיניה דכתיב ויאמר המלך (אל ציבא איה) בן אדוניך ויאמר ציבא אל המלך הנה (הוא) יושב בירושלים וגו׳ ומנא לן דקיבל מיניה דכתיב ויאמר המלך הנה לך כל אשר למפיבושת ויאמר ציבא השתחויתי אמצא חן (בעיני) המלך

Now, after David saw that Ziba was a liar, when Ziba once again slandered Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, why did David accept his report? As it is written that when David fled from Absalom, he met Ziba: “And the king said: And where is your master’s son? And Ziba said to the king: Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem, as he said: Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father” (II Samuel 16:3). And from where do we derive that David accepted Ziba’s slanderous report? As it is written: “Then said the king to Ziba: Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours. And Ziba said: I humbly beseech you that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king” (II Samuel 16:4).

ושמואל אמר לא קיבל דוד לשון הרע דברים הניכרים חזא ביה דכתיב ומפיבושת בן שאול ירד (לפני) המלך ולא עשה רגליו ולא עשה שפמו ואת בגדיו לא כבס וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי כי בא ירושלים לקראת המלך ויאמר לו המלך למה לא הלכת עמי מפיבושת ויאמר אדני המלך עבדי רמני כי אמר עבדך אחבשה לי החמור וארכב עליה ואלך את המלך כי פסח

And Shmuel said: David did not accept Ziba’s slanderous report without substantiation. Rather, he himself saw conspicuous matters in Mephibosheth that indicated that Ziba was right. As it is written: “And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, came down to meet the king, and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes from the day the king departed until the day he came back in peace” (II Samuel 19:25). David thought that he was mourning the fact that he had returned in peace. And it is written: “And it came to pass, when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, and the king said to him: Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth? And he answered: My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said: I will saddle me a donkey, and I will ride on it, and go to the king; because lame is

עבדך וירגל בעבדך אל אדני המלך ואדני המלך כמלאך האלהים ועשה הטוב בעיניך ויאמר לו המלך למה תדבר עוד דבריך אמרתי אתה וציבא תחלקו את השדה ויאמר מפיבשת אל המלך גם את הכל יקח אחרי אשר בא אדני המלך בשלום אל ביתו אמר לו אני אמרתי מתי תבא בשלום ואתה עושה לי כך לא עליך יש לי תרעומות אלא על מי שהביאך בשלום

your servant. And he slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like an angel of God: Do therefore what is good in your eyes” (II Samuel 19:26–28). “And the king said to him: Why do you speak any more of your matters? I have said: You and Ziba shall divide the estate. And Mephibosheth said to the king: Let him even take all, seeing that my lord the king is come back in peace to his own house” (II Samuel 19:30–31). Mephibosheth said to David as follows: I had hoped for your return, saying: When will he come in peace, and yet you do this to me, giving Ziba half of my estate? It is not against you that I have grievances, but against He who brought you back in peace. Mephibosheth’s own statement substantiates Ziba’s report about him.

היינו דכתיב ובן יהונתן מריב בעל וכי מריב בעל שמו והלא מפיבשת שמו אלא מתוך שעשה מריבה עם בעליו יצתה בת קול ואמרה לו נצא בר נצא נצא הא דאמרן בר נצא דכתיב ויבא שאול עד עיר עמלק וירב בנחל אמר רבי מני על עסקי נחל

This is what is written: “And the son of Jonathan was Meriv-Baal” (I Chronicles 8:34). The Gemara asks: And was Meriv-Baal his name? Wasn’t his name Mephibosheth? However, since he entered into a quarrel [meriva] with his Master [ba’al], i.e., God, and complained about God having saved David, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Quarrelsome one, the son of a quarrelsome one; you are just like your father, Saul. The Gemara explains: Quarrelsome one; that which we just said that Mephibosheth complained to God about His salvation of David. The son of a quarrelsome one; as it is written: “And Saul came to a city of Amalek and quarreled in the valley” (I Samuel 15:5). And Rabbi Mani said: Saul quarreled with God with regard to matters of the valley, saying: For the murder of even a single person, there is a commandment to break the neck of a heifer in a valley to atone for the crime (see Deuteronomy 21:1–9); why then must all these Amalekites be killed?

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שאמר דוד למפיבשת אתה וציבא תחלקו את השדה יצתה בת קול ואמרה לו רחבעם וירבעם יחלקו את המלוכה

To the matter at hand: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: When David said to Mephibosheth: You and Ziba shall divide the estate, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Rehoboam and Jeroboam shall divide the kingdom.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אילמלי לא קיבל דוד לשון הרע לא נחלקה מלכות בית דוד ולא עבדו ישראל עבודה זרה ולא גלינו מארצנו:

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Had David not accepted Ziba’s slanderous report about Mephibosheth, the kingdom of the house of David would not have been divided, Israel would not have worshipped idols because of Jeroboam, and we would not have been exiled from our land.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר שלמה חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ולא היה לבבו שלם עם ה׳ אלהיו כלבב דוד אביו כלבב דוד אביו הוא דלא הוה מיחטא נמי לא חטא

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that King Solomon sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David, his father” (I Kings 11:4). By inference: Solomon’s heart was not equal to the heart of David, his father; however, he also did not sin.

אלא מה אני מקיים ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו ההיא כרבי נתן דרבי נתן רמי כתיב ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו והכתיב כלבב דוד אביו כלבב דוד אביו הוא דלא הוה מיחטא נמי לא חטא הכי קאמר ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו ללכת אחרי אלהים אחרים ולא הלך

However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4)? That verse is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Natan; as Rabbi Natan raised a contradiction between the two parts of the verse. On the one hand, it is written: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods.” On the other hand, isn’t it written: “And his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father,” indicating that Solomon’s heart was not equal to the heart of David his father; however, he also did not sin? Rather, the verse says as follows: For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart, in an attempt to spur him to go after other gods; however, he did not go after them.

והכתיב אז יבנה שלמה במה לכמוש שקץ מואב שבקש לבנות ולא בנה

The Gemara asks: Isn’t it written: “Then did Solomon build [yivne] an altar for Kemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon” (I Kings 11:7), indicating that Solomon did in fact stray after idols? The Gemara answers: This can be understood to mean that Solomon sought to build an altar for idols but did not build it.

אלא מעתה אז יבנה יהושע מזבח לה׳ שבקש לבנות ולא בנה אלא דבנה הכא נמי דבנה

The Gemara objects: But now if that is the way to understand the future tense verb form yivne, what of another instance where the same form is employed: “Then did Joshua build [yivne] an altar to the Lord God of Israel in Mount Eival” (Joshua 8:30)? There too, would you say that Joshua sought to build an altar but did not build one? Rather, there, in the case of Joshua, it means that he actually built it. Here too, with regard to Solomon, it means that he actually built the altar.

אלא כדתניא רבי יוסי אומר ואת הבמות אשר על פני ירושלים אשר מימין להר המשחה אשר בנה שלמה מלך ישראל לעשתרת שקץ צידנים וגו׳

Rather, this verse should be understood as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: The verse states: “And the altars that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the Mount of Olives, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoret the abomination of the Zidonim, and for Kemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milkom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile” (II Kings 23:13). All these were destroyed by Josiah.

אפשר בא אסא ולא ביערם יהושפט ולא ביערם עד שבא יאשיה וביערם והלא כל עבודה זרה שבארץ ישראל אסא ויהושפט ביערום אלא מקיש ראשונים לאחרונים מה אחרונים לא עשו ותלה בהן לשבח אף ראשונים לא עשו ותלה בהן לגנאי

The Gemara asks: Is it possible that the righteous king Asa came and did not destroy them, and the righteous king Jehosaphat came and did not destroy them until Josiah came and destroyed them? Didn’t Asa and Jehosaphat destroy all the idolatry in Eretz Yisrael? Rather, the verse juxtaposes the earlier ones, i.e., Solomon, to the later ones, i.e., Josiah. Just as the later ones, Josiah, did not effect the destruction of the altars, as it was done by his predecessors, and nevertheless the verse attributes it to him to praise him as if he had destroyed all those altars, so too, the earlier ones, Solomon, did not effect the construction, and nevertheless the verse attributes it to him to disgrace him as he did not prevent their construction.

והכתיב ויעש שלמה הרע בעיני ה׳ אלא מפני שהיה לו למחות בנשיו ולא מיחה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאלו חטא

The Gemara raises another question. Isn’t it written: “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 11:6), clearly indicating that Solomon sinned? Rather, since he should have protested against the conduct of his wives, i.e., their involvement in idolatry, but he did not protest, the verse ascribes to him liability as if he had sinned.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל נוח לו לאותו צדיק שיהא שמש לדבר אחר ואל יכתב בו ויעש הרע בעיני ה׳

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: It would have been preferable for that righteous man, Solomon, to be a servant tasked with drawing water and hewing wood for another matter, i.e., idolatry, and not have the verse write about him: “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord,” even though he did not.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה הכניסה לו אלף מיני זמר ואמרה לו כך עושין לעבודה זרה פלונית וכך עושים לעבודה זרה פלונית ולא מיחה בה

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, she brought to him a thousand musical instruments and said to him: This is the way we do it for this idolatry, and this is the way we do it for that idolatry, and he did not protest that talk.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה ירד גבריאל ונעץ קנה בים ועלה בו שירטון ועליו נבנה כרך גדול [של רומי]

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, the angel Gabriel descended from heaven and implanted a reed into the sea, and a sandbar grew around it, growing larger each year, and upon it the great city of Rome was built, which became God’s instrument to punish Israel.

במתניתא תנא אותו היום שהכניס ירבעם שני עגלי זהב אחד בבית אל ואחד בדן נבנה צריף אחד וזהו איטליאה של יון:

It was taught in a baraita: On that very day that Jeroboam introduced two golden calves, one in Beth-El and the other in Dan, a single small hut was constructed, which was the first house constructed there. And that was the inauguration of Italy of Greece.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר יאשיהו חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויעש הישר בעיני ה׳ וילך בכל דרך דוד אביו אלא מה אני מקיים וכמהו לא היה לפניו מלך אשר שב וגו׳

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that Josiah sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is stated: “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand nor to the left” (II Kings 22:2). However, how then do I establish the meaning of the verse: “And like him was there no king before him that returned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Torah of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” (II Kings 23:25)? The verse states: Josiah returned to the Lord. Apparently, in his early days he was a sinner, and later he returned to God.

שכל דין שדן מבן שמנה עד שמנה עשרה החזירן להן שמא תאמר נטל מזה ונתן לזה תלמוד לומר בכל מאדו שנתן להם משלו

The Gemara answers: The reference here is not to repentance for actual sins that Josiah committed. Rather, in every judgment that he issued from the age of eight, when he was crowned, until the age of eighteen, he returned the money to the parties whom he judged liable, due to concern that in his youth he may not have judged the cases correctly. And lest you say that he took from this one, whom he exonerated, and gave to that one, whom he found culpable, therefore the verse states: Returned to the Lord with all his might [me’odo], i.e., with all his money. It means that he gave those he judged liable in his youth from his own money.

ופליגא דרב דאמר רב אין לך גדול בבעלי תשובה יותר מיאשיהו בדורו ואחד בדורנו ומנו אבא אבוה דרבי ירמיה בר אבא ואמרי לה אחא אחוה דאבא אבוה דרב ירמיה בר אבא דאמר מר רבי אבא ואחא אחי הוו

The Gemara notes that Rabbi Yonatan disagrees with Rav, as Rav said: There is no greater penitent than Josiah in his generation, and there is one in our generation. The Gemara asks: And who is the great penitent in Rav’s generation? The Gemara answers: He is Abba, father of Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba, and some say it is Aḥa, brother of Abba, father of Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba, as the Master said: Rabbi Abba and Aḥa were brothers.

אמר רב יוסף ועוד אחד בדורנו ומנו עוקבן בר נחמיה ריש גלותא והיינו נתן דצוציתא אמר רב יוסף הוה יתיבנא בפירקא והוה קא מנמנם וחזאי בחילמא דקא פשט ידיה וקבליה:

Rav Yosef said: And there is another great penitent in our generation. And who is he? He is Okvan, son of Neḥemya the Exilarch. And that is the one also known as Natan detzutzita, i.e., from whose head sparks emerged. Rav Yosef said: I was once sitting at the lecture delivered on the Festival [pirka] and I was dozing. And I saw in a dream how an angel stretched out his hands and received Natan detzutzita, demonstrating that his repentance was accepted.

הדרן עלך במה בהמה

 

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