Bava Batra 10a:9בבא בתרא י׳ א:ט
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10aי׳ א

ימצא חיים בעלי עושר דכתיב צדקה בעלי אגדה דכתיב וכבוד כתיב הכא וכבוד וכתיב התם (משלי ג, לה) כבוד חכמים ינחלו

“He who pursues charity and mercy, finds life” (Proverbs 21:21), and with regard to wisdom it is written: “He who finds Me, finds life” (Proverbs 8:35). Masters of wealth, as it is written: “He who pursues charity and mercy finds charity,” meaning he will be able to give charity. Masters of aggada, as it is written: “He who pursues charity and mercy, finds honor.” And how do we know that this refers to masters of aggada? It is written here “honor,” and it is written there: “The wise shall inherit honor” (Proverbs 3:35).

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר יש לו לבעל הדין להשיבך ולומר לך אם אלהיכם אוהב עניים הוא מפני מה אינו מפרנסן אמור לו כדי שניצול אנו בהן מדינה של גיהנם וזו שאלה שאל טורנוסרופוס הרשע את ר"ע אם אלהיכם אוהב עניים הוא מפני מה אינו מפרנסם אמר לו כדי שניצול אנו בהן מדינה של גיהנם

§ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Meir would say: An opponent may bring an argument against you and say to you: If your God loves the poor, for what reason does He not support them Himself? In such a case, say to him: He commands us to act as His agents in sustaining the poor, so that through them we will be credited with the performance of mitzvot and therefore be saved from the judgment of Gehenna. And this is the question that Turnus Rufus the wicked asked Rabbi Akiva: If your God loves the poor, for what reason does He not support them Himself? Rabbi Akiva said to him: He commands us to sustain the poor, so that through them and the charity we give them we will be saved from the judgment of Gehenna.

אמר לו [אדרבה] זו שמחייבתן לגיהנם אמשול לך משל למה הדבר דומה למלך בשר ודם שכעס על עבדו וחבשו בבית האסורין וצוה עליו שלא להאכילו ושלא להשקותו והלך אדם אחד והאכילו והשקהו כששמע המלך לא כועס עליו ואתם קרוין עבדים שנאמר (ויקרא כה, נה) כי לי בני ישראל עבדים

Turnus Rufus said to Rabbi Akiva: On the contrary, it is this charity which condemns you, the Jewish people, to Gehenna because you give it. I will illustrate this to you with a parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to a king of flesh and blood who was angry with his slave and put him in prison and ordered that he should not be fed or given to drink. And one person went ahead and fed him and gave him to drink. If the king heard about this, would he not be angry with that person? And you, after all, are called slaves, as it is stated: “For the children of Israel are slaves to Me” (Leviticus 25:55). If God decreed that a certain person should be impoverished, one who gives him charity defies the will of God.

אמר לו ר"ע אמשול לך משל למה הדבר דומה למלך בשר ודם שכעס על בנו וחבשו בבית האסורין וצוה עליו שלא להאכילו ושלא להשקותו והלך אדם אחד והאכילו והשקהו כששמע המלך לא דורון משגר לו ואנן קרוין בנים דכתיב (דברים יד, א) בנים אתם לה' אלהיכם

Rabbi Akiva said to Turnus Rufus: I will illustrate the opposite to you with a different parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to a king of flesh and blood who was angry with his son and put him in prison and ordered that he should not be fed or given to drink. And one person went ahead and fed him and gave him to drink. If the king heard about this once his anger abated, would he not react by sending that person a gift? And we are called sons, as it is written: “You are sons of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:1).

אמר לו אתם קרוים בנים וקרוין עבדים בזמן שאתם עושין רצונו של מקום אתם קרוין בנים ובזמן שאין אתם עושין רצונו של מקום אתם קרוין עבדים ועכשיו אין אתם עושין רצונו של מקום אמר לו הרי הוא אומר (ישעיהו נח, ז) הלא פרוס לרעב לחמך ועניים מרודים תביא בית אימתי עניים מרודים תביא בית האידנא וקאמר הלא פרוס לרעב לחמך:

Turnus Rufus said to him: You are called sons and you are called slaves. When you fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, you are called sons; when you do not fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, you are called slaves. And since now you do not fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, the parable that I offered is more apt. Rabbi Akiva said to him: The verse states: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you shall bring the poor that are cast out to your house?” (Isaiah 58:7). When do we bring the poor that are cast out into our houses? Now, when we have to billet the Roman soldiers in our homes; and about that very time, the verse states: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?”

דרש רבי יהודה ברבי שלום כשם שמזונותיו של אדם קצובין לו מראש השנה כך חסרונותיו של אדם קצובין לו מראש השנה זכה הלא פרוס לרעב לחמך לא זכה ועניים מרודים תביא בית

Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Shalom taught: Just as a person’s entire livelihood is allocated to him from Rosh HaShana, when God issues His judgments for the entire year, so too are a person’s monetary losses allocated to him from Rosh HaShana. If one merits, the following verse is applied to him: “You shall share your bread with the hungry,” i.e., he will spend the sum allocated to him on gifts of charity; and if he does not merit, the following verse is applied to him: “You shall bring the poor that are cast out to your house, i.e., he will be compelled by the government to billet soldiers in his house and feed them against his will.

כי הא דבני אחתיה דרבן יוחנן בן זכאי חזא להו בחילמא דבעו למיחסר שבע מאה דינרי עשינהו שקל מינייהו לצדקה פוש גבייהו שיבסר דינרי כי מטא מעלי יומא דכיפורי שדור דבי קיסר נקטינהו

It is like this incident involving the nephews of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, who once saw in a dream that his nephews were destined to lose seven hundred dinars over the course of the year. He encouraged them and took money from them for charity, and they were left with seventeen dinars out of the seven hundred. When Yom Kippur eve arrived, the government sent messengers who came and took the remaining seventeen dinars.

אמר להו רבן יוחנן בן זכאי לא תדחלון שיבסר דינרי גבייכו שקלינהו מינייכו אמרי ליה מנא ידעת אמר להו חלמא חזאי לכו אמרו ליה ואמאי לא אמרת לן [דניתבינהו] אמר להו אמינא כי היכי דתעבדו מצוה לשמה

Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to them: Do not fear that they will take even more from you; they took from you the seventeen dinars that were still with you. The nephews said to him: How did you know? Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to them: I saw a dream about you, and he related his dream to them. They said to him: And why did you not tell us about the dream? Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to them: I said, It is better that they perform a mitzva for its own sake. Had you known from the start that you were fated to lose that amount of money, the mitzva would not have been performed purely for its own sake.

רב פפא הוה סליק בדרגא אישתמיט כרעיה בעי למיפל אמר השתא כן איחייב מאן דסני לן כמחללי שבתות וכעובדי עבודת כוכבים א"ל חייא בר רב מדפתי לרב פפא שמא עני בא לידך ולא פרנסתו

The Gemara relates: Rav Pappa was once climbing up a ladder when his foot slipped and he almost fell. He said: Now, is the one who hates us, a euphemism for himself, liable like Shabbat desecrators and idol worshippers, who are subject to death by stoning, which is similar to death by falling, the punishment that Rav Pappa narrowly escaped? Ḥiyya bar Rav of Difti said to Rav Pappa: Perhaps a poor person once approached you and you did not sustain him, and therefore you were given a glimpse of the punishment that you actually deserve.

דתניא רבי יהושע בן קרחה אומר כל המעלים עיניו מן הצדקה כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים כתיב הכא (דברים טו, ט) השמר לך פן יהיה דבר עם לבבך בליעל וכתיב התם (דברים יג, יד) יצאו אנשים בני בליעל מה להלן עבודת כוכבים אף כאן עבודת כוכבים

As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa says: Anyone who turns his eyes away from one seeking charity is considered as if he worships idols. From where is this derived? It is written here: “Beware that there be not a base thought in your heart…and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing” (Deuteronomy 15:9). And it is written there: “Certain base men have gone out…and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods” (Deuteronomy 13:14). Just as there, the base men sin with idolatry, so too here, the base thought is treated like idolatry.

תניא א"ר אלעזר בר' יוסי כל צדקה וחסד שישראל עושין בעולם הזה שלום גדול ופרקליטין גדולין בין ישראל לאביהן שבשמים שנאמר (ירמיהו טז, ה) כה אמר ה' אל תבא בית מרזח ואל תלך לספוד ואל תנוד להם כי אספתי את שלומי מאת העם הזה [וגו' את] החסד ואת הרחמים חסד זו גמילות חסדים רחמים זו צדקה

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, said: All acts of charity and kindness that Jews perform in this world make great peace and are great intercessors between the Jewish people and their Father in Heaven, as it is stated: “So said the Lord, enter not into a house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them, for I have taken away My peace from this people, says the Lord, both kindness and mercy” (Jeremiah 16:5). “Kindness”; this is referring to acts of kindness. “Mercy”; this is referring to acts of charity. This indicates that when there is kindness and mercy, God is at peace with His people.

תניא רבי יהודה אומר גדולה צדקה שמקרבת את הגאולה שנאמר (ישעיהו נו, א) כה אמר ה' שמרו משפט ועשו צדקה כי קרובה ישועתי לבא וצדקתי להגלות הוא היה אומר עשרה דברים קשים נבראו בעולם הר קשה ברזל מחתכו ברזל קשה אור מפעפעו אור קשה מים מכבין אותו מים קשים עבים סובלים אותן עבים קשים רוח מפזרתן רוח קשה גוף סובלו גוף קשה פחד שוברו פחד קשה יין מפיגו יין קשה שינה מפכחתו ומיתה קשה מכולם [וצדקה מצלת מן המיתה] דכתיב (משלי י, ב) וצדקה תציל ממות

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: Great is charity in that it advances the redemption, as it is stated: “So said the Lord, uphold justice and do charity, for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed” (Isaiah 56:1). He would say: Ten strong entities were created in the world, one stronger than the other. A mountain is strong, but iron, which is stronger, cleaves it. Iron is strong, but fire melts it. Fire is strong, but water extinguishes it. Water is strong, but clouds bear it. Clouds are strong, but wind disperses them. Wind is strong, but the human body withstands it. The human body is strong, but fear breaks it. Fear is strong, but wine dispels it. Wine is strong, but sleep drives it off. And death is stronger than them all, but charity saves a person from death, as it is written: “And charity delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2, 11:4).

דרש רבי דוסתאי ברבי ינאי בוא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם מביא דורון גדול למלך ספק מקבלין אותו הימנו ספק אין מקבלין אותו הימנו [ואם תמצא לומר מקבלים אותו ממנו] ספק רואה פני המלך ספק אינו רואה פני המלך והקדוש ברוך הוא אינו כן אדם נותן פרוטה לעני זוכה ומקבל פני שכינה שנאמר (תהלים יז, טו) אני בצדק אחזה פניך אשבעה בהקיץ תמונתך

Rabbi Dostai, son of Rabbi Yannai, taught: Come and see that the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not like the attribute of flesh and blood. An illustration of the attribute of flesh and blood is that when a person brings a great gift to the king, it is uncertain whether the king will accept it from him or will not accept it from him. And if you say that the king will accept it from him, it is uncertain whether the person who brought the gift will eventually see the face of the king, or will not see the face of the king. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not act in this way. Even when a person gives a mere peruta to a poor person, he merits to receive the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “As for me, I will behold Your face through charity; I will be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness” (Psalms 17:15).

רבי אלעזר יהיב פרוטה לעני והדר מצלי אמר דכתיב אני בצדק אחזה פניך מאי אשבעה בהקיץ תמונתך אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אלו תלמידי חכמים שמנדדין שינה מעיניהם בעולם הזה והקב"ה משביען מזיו השכינה לעולם הבא

It is related that Rabbi Elazar would first give a peruta to a poor person and only then would he pray. He said: As it is written in the same verse: “I will behold Your face through charity.” The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I will be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness”? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: These are Torah scholars, who in pursuit of their studies banish sleep from their eyes in this world, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, satiates them with the radiance of the Divine Presence in the World-to-Come.

א"ר יוחנן מאי דכתיב (משלי יט, יז) מלוה ה' חונן דל אלמלא מקרא כתוב אי אפשר לאומרו כביכול עבד לוה לאיש מלוה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “He that graciously gives to the poor makes a loan to the Lord, and that which he has given, He will pay him back” (Proverbs 19:17)? How can it be that one is considered to have granted a loan to God? Were it not explicitly written in the verse, it would be impossible to say this, that somebody who is gracious to a poor person is seen as lending to God. It would be impertinent, since “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7), as it were.

א"ר חייא בר אבא רבי יוחנן (רמי) כתיב (משלי יא, ד) לא יועיל הון ביום עברה וצדקה תציל ממות וכתיב (משלי י, ב) לא יועילו אוצרות רשע וצדקה תציל ממות שתי צדקות הללו למה אחת שמצילתו ממיתה משונה ואחת שמצילתו מדינה של גיהנם ואי זו היא שמצילתו מדינה של גיהנם ההוא דכתיב ביה עברה דכתיב (צפניה א, טו) יום עברה היום ההוא ואי זו היא שמצילתו ממיתה משונה

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says: Rabbi Yoḥanan raises a contradiction between two texts. In one place it is written: “Riches profit not on the day of wrath, but charity delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4), and elsewhere it is written: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but charity delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2). Why is it necessary to have these two verses about charity, that it delivers from death? Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba continues: One verse serves to teach that charity delivers from an unnatural death in this world, and one verse serves to teach that charity delivers from the judgment of Gehenna in the World-to-Come. And in which of the verses is that charity which delivers from the judgment of Gehenna mentioned? It is in that verse in which “wrath” is written, as with regard to the day of judgment it is written: “That day is a day of wrath” (Zephaniah 1:15). And which type of charity is that which delivers from an unnatural death?