Avodah Zarah 3b:3עבודה זרה ג׳ ב:ג
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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3bג׳ ב

דמשכא להו תקופת תמוז עד חגא והוי להו צערא והאמר רבא מצטער פטור מן הסוכה נהי דפטור בעוטי מי מבעטי

when the season of Tammuz extends until the festival of Sukkot, and in such years sitting in the sukka causes them suffering. The Gemara asks: But doesn’t Rava say that one who suffers in the sukka is exempt from performing the mitzva of sukka, and under these circumstances even a Jew is permitted to leave the sukka? If so, why are the gentiles criticized for leaving? The Gemara answers: Granted that one is exempt from performing the mitzva and is permitted to leave his sukka, but should one kick it?

מיד הקב"ה יושב ומשחק עליהן שנאמר (תהלים ב, ד) יושב בשמים ישחק וגו' א"ר יצחק אין שחוק לפני הקב"ה אלא אותו היום בלבד

The Gemara resumes its narration: Immediately, the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and makes sport of those gentiles, i.e., He laughs at them, as it is stated: “He that sits in heaven makes sport, the Lord has them in derision” (Psalms 2:4). With regard to this verse, Rabbi Yitzḥak says: There is no making sport for the Holy One, Blessed be He, but on that day alone.

איכא דמתני להא דרבי יצחק אהא דתניא רבי יוסי אומר לעתיד לבא באין עובדי כוכבים ומתגיירין ומי מקבלינן מינייהו והתניא אין מקבלין גרים לימות המשיח כיוצא בו לא קבלו גרים לא בימי דוד ולא בימי שלמה

There are those who teach that which Rabbi Yitzḥak subsequently said with regard to this matter, as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: In the future, the nations of the world will come and convert. The Gemara asks: And do we accept them as converts at that time? But isn’t it taught in another baraita: The court does not accept converts in the days of the Messiah; similarly, they did not accept converts either in the days of David or in the days of Solomon, due to a concern that these people wanted to convert for ulterior motives, because the Jewish people were mighty and respected?

אלא שנעשו גרים גרורים ומניחין תפילין בראשיהן תפילין בזרועותיהם ציצית בבגדיהם מזוזה בפתחיהם

Rather, Rabbi Yosei means that they become converts who have attached themselves to the Jewish people, and they don phylacteries on their heads, phylacteries on their arms, place ritual fringes on their garments, and a mezuza in their doorways.

כיון שרואין מלחמת גוג ומגוג אומר להן על מה באתם אומרים לו על ה' ועל משיחו שנאמר (תהלים ב, א) למה רגשו גוים ולאומים יהגו ריק [וגו']

When these converts see the war of Gog and Magog, every convert of this sort will say to Gog and Magog: For what purpose did you come? They will say to him: We came to fight against the Lord and against His Messiah, as it is stated: “Why are the nations in an uproar? And why do the peoples mutter in vain. The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Messiah” (Psalms 2:1–2).

וכל אחד מנתק מצותו והולך שנאמר (תהלים ב, ג) ננתקה את מוסרותימו [וגו] והקב"ה יושב ומשחק שנאמר יושב בשמים ישחק וגו' א"ר יצחק אין לו להקב"ה שחוק אלא אותו היום בלבד

And then every one of these converts will tear loose his sign of performance of a mitzva and leave, as it is stated: “Let us tear their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalms 2:3). And the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and makes sport, i.e., laughs or rejoices, as it is stated: “He that sits in heaven makes sport, the Lord has them in derision” (Psalms 2:4). Rabbi Yitzḥak says: There is no making sport for the Holy One, Blessed be He, but on that day alone.

איני והא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שתים עשרה שעות הוי היום שלש הראשונות הקב"ה יושב ועוסק בתורה שניות יושב ודן את כל העולם כולו כיון שרואה שנתחייב עולם כלייה עומד מכסא הדין ויושב על כסא רחמים

The Gemara asks: Is that so? Is there is no other making sport for the Holy One, Blessed be He? But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Rav says: There are twelve hours in the day. During the first three, the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and engages in Torah study. During the second three hours, He sits and judges the entire world. Once He sees that the world has rendered itself liable to destruction, He arises from the throne of judgment and sits on the throne of mercy, and the world is not destroyed.

שלישיות יושב וזן את כל העולם כולו מקרני ראמים עד ביצי כנים רביעיות יושב ומשחק עם לויתן שנאמר (תהלים קד, כו) לויתן זה יצרת לשחק בו אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק עם בריותיו משחק ועל בריותיו אינו משחק אלא אותו היום בלבד

During the third set of three hours, the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and sustains the entire world, from the horns of wild oxen to the eggs of lice. During the fourth three hours, He sits and makes sport with the leviathan, as it is stated: “There is leviathan, whom You have formed to sport with” (Psalms 104:26). Evidently, God makes sport every day, not only on that one day. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says in explanation: He makes sport with His creations, just as He sports with the leviathan; He does not make sport of His creations but on that day alone.

א"ל רב אחא לרב נחמן בר יצחק מיום שחרב בית המקדש אין שחוק להקב"ה ומנלן דליכא שחוק אילימא מדכתיב (ישעיהו כב, יב) ויקרא ה' אלהים צבאות ביום ההוא לבכי ולמספד ולקרחה וגו' דלמא ההוא יומא ותו לא

Rav Aḥa said to Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak: From the day the Temple was destroyed, there is no longer any making sport for the Holy One, Blessed be He. And from where do we derive that there is no making sport? If we say that it is from that which is written: “And in that day did the Lord, the God of hosts, call to weeping, and to lamentation, and to baldness and to girding with sackcloth” (Isaiah 22:12), that is inconclusive: Perhaps that day alone was called for weeping and lamentation, and no additional days.

אלא דכתיב (תהלים קלז, ה) אם אשכחך ירושלם תשכח ימיני תדבק לשוני לחכי אם לא אזכרכי דלמא שכחה הוא דליכא אבל שחוק מיהא איכא אלא מהא (ישעיהו מב, יד) החשיתי מעולם אחריש אתאפק וגו'

Rather, you might suggest that the source is that it is written: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you” (Psalms 137:5–6). This is also inconclusive, as perhaps there is no forgetting of Jerusalem for God, but in any event there is still making sport. Rather, it is derived from this verse: “I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman, gasping and panting at once” (Isaiah 42:14).

ברביעיות מאי עביד יושב ומלמד תינוקות של בית רבן תורה שנאמר (ישעיהו כח, ט) את מי יורה דעה ואת מי יבין שמועה גמולי מחלב עתיקי משדים למי יורה דעה ולמי יבין שמועה לגמולי מחלב ולעתיקי משדים

The Gemara asks: If God no longer makes sport, what does He now do during the fourth three-hour period of the day? The Gemara answers: He sits and teaches Torah to schoolchildren, as it is stated: “Whom shall one teach knowledge? And whom shall one make to understand the message? Them that are weaned from the milk, them that are drawn from the breasts” (Isaiah 28:9). The verse is interpreted in the following manner: To whom does God teach knowledge, and to whom does He make to understand the message? To those who are just weaned from the milk and to those who are drawn from the breasts, i.e., children only recently weaned from nursing.

ומעיקרא מאן הוה מיגמר להו איבעית אימא מיטטרון ואיבעית אימא הא והא עביד

The Gemara asks: And initially, before the destruction of the Temple, who would teach the schoolchildren? The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that the angel Metatron would teach them, and if you wish, say instead that He would do both this, sport with the leviathan, and that, teach the schoolchildren; whereas after the destruction of the Temple in the fourth period of the day He only teaches the schoolchildren.

ובליליא מאי עביד איבעית אימא מעין יממא ואיבעית אימא רוכב על כרוב קל שלו ושט בשמונה עשר אלף עולמות שנאמר (תהלים סח, יח) רכב אלהים רבותים אלפי שנאן אל תקרי שנאן אלא שאינן ואיבעית אימא יושב ושומע שירה מפי חיות שנאמר (תהלים מב, ט) יומם יצוה ה' חסדו ובלילה שירו עמי

The Gemara asks: And during the twelve hours of the night, what does God do? The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that the night is similar to the day, i.e., God performs the same activities as in the day. And if you wish, say instead that He rides on his light cherub and flies in eighteen thousand worlds, as it is stated: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even [shinan] thousands” (Psalms 68:18). Do not read it as even [shinan], rather read it as: That which are not [she’einan]. Since the minimum of thousands is two thousand, the phrase: That which are not thousands, indicates that two thousand are not present, i.e., the chariots of God are twenty thousand minus two thousand, which means that God rides in eighteen thousand worlds. And if you wish, say instead that God sits and listens to the songs from the mouths of the angelic creatures, as it is stated: “By day the Lord will command His loving-kindness, and in the night His song shall be with me” (Psalms 42:9).

אמר רבי לוי כל הפוסק מדברי תורה ועוסק בדברי שיחה מאכילין לו גחלי רתמים שנאמר (איוב ל, ד) הקוטפים מלוח עלי שיח ושורש רתמים לחמם אמר ריש לקיש כל העוסק בתורה בלילה הקב"ה מושך עליו חוט של חסד ביום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה' חסדו ובלילה שירו עמי מה טעם יומם יצוה ה' חסדו משום דבלילה שירו עמי

§ Rabbi Levi says: Anyone who interrupts his study of words of Torah to occupy himself with mundane matters will be fed with the coals of the broom tree, as it is stated: “They pluck salt-wort from wormwood, and the roots of the broom are their food” (Job 30:4). Reish Lakish says: With regard to any-one who occupies himself with Torah at night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him by day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song shall be with me” (Psalms 42:9). The verse is understood as follows: What is the reason that by day, the Lord will command His kindness to extend over him? It is due to the fact that in the night His song is with me, i.e., he occupies himself at night with Torah, which is referred to as a song.

איכא דאמרי אמר ר"ל כל העוסק בתורה בעולם הזה הדומה ללילה הקב"ה מושך עליו חוט של חסד בעולם הבא הדומה ליום שנאמר יומם יצוה ה' חסדו וגו'

There are those who say that this is what Reish Lakish says: With regard to anyone who occupies himself with Torah in this world, which is comparable to night, the Holy One, Blessed be He, extends a thread of kindness over him in the World-to-Come, which is comparable to day, as it is stated: “By day, the Lord will command His kindness, and in the night His song shall be with me.”

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל מאי דכתיב (חבקוק א, יד) ותעשה אדם כדגי הים כרמש לא מושל בו למה נמשלו בני אדם כדגי הים לומר לך מה דגים שבים כיון שעולין ליבשה מיד מתים אף בני אדם כיון שפורשין מדברי תורה ומן המצות מיד מתים דבר אחר מה דגים שבים כיון שקדרה עליהם חמה מיד מתים כך בני אדם כיון שקדרה עליהם חמה מיד מתים

The Gemara continues discussing the importance of Torah study. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And makes people as the fish of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them” (Habakkuk 1:14)? Why are people compared to the fish of the sea? This serves to say to you: Just as with regard to the fish of the sea, once they arise onto dry land they die immediately; so too, with regard to people, once they separate themselves from studying words of Torah and performing the mitzvot, they die immediately. Alternatively, just as with regard to the fish of the sea, once the sun is heated over them they die immediately, so too with regard to people, once the sun is heated over them they die immediately.

איבעית אימא בעולם הזה ואיבעית אימא לעולם הבא איבעית אימא בעולם הזה כדר' חנינא דא"ר חנינא הכל בידי שמים חוץ מצנים פחים שנאמר (משלי כב, ה) צנים פחים בדרך עקש שומר נפשו ירחק מהם

The Gemara clarifies: If you wish, say that this applies in this world, and if you wish, say instead that it applies to the World-to-Come. If you wish, say that it applies in this world, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥanina. As Rabbi Ḥanina says: All occurrences that befall man are in the hands of Heaven except for colds and obstacles [paḥim], from which one is able to protect himself, as it is stated: “Colds and snares are on the path of the crooked; he who guards his soul shall keep far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). This indicates that cold and, conversely, heat, are forms of harm from which one must protect himself, which teaches that being exposed to excessive heat can cause death.

ואיבעית אימא לעולם הבא כדרשב"ל דאמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש אין גיהנם לעתיד לבא אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא מוציא חמה מנרתיקה ומקדיר רשעים נידונין בה וצדיקים מתרפאין בה רשעים נידונין

And if you wish, say instead that this is referring to the World-to-Come, in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish. As Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says: There is no Gehenna in the World-to-Come. Rather, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will remove the sun from its sheath [minnarteikah], where it is situated during these times, and heats [umakdir] that world with it. The wicked will be punished by it and consumed by the heat, but the righteous will be healed by it. The wicked will be punished