מְשַׁגֵּשׁ אֹרְחָתַיהּ דְּאִימֵּיהּ מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מַאי דִּכְתִיב וַיִּלְבַּשׁ צְדָקָה כַּשִּׁרְיֹן לוֹמַר לָךְ מָה שִׁרְיוֹן זֶה כׇּל קְלִיפָּה וּקְלִיפָּה מִצְטָרֶפֶת לְשִׁרְיוֹן גָּדוֹל אַף צְדָקָה כׇּל פְּרוּטָה וּפְרוּטָה מִצְטָרֶפֶת לְחֶשְׁבּוֹן גָּדוֹל רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר מֵהָכָא וּכְבֶגֶד עִדִּים כׇּל צִדְקֹתֵינוּ מָה בֶּגֶד זֶה כׇּל נִימָא וְנִימָא מִצְטָרֶפֶת לְבֶגֶד גָּדוֹל אַף צְדָקָה כׇּל פְּרוּטָה וּפְרוּטָה מִצְטָרֶפֶת לְחֶשְׁבּוֹן גָּדוֹל who perverted the ways of his mother. He said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And He donned charity like a coat of mail” (Isaiah 59:17)? This verse serves to tell you that just as with regard to this coat of mail, each and every scale of which it is fashioned combines to form one large coat of mail, so too with regard to charity, each and every peruta that one gives combines to form a great sum. Rabbi Ḥanina says: The same idea is derived from here, as it is stated: “And all our charity is as a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:5). Just as with regard to this garment, each and every thread in it combines to form one large garment, so too with regard to charity, each and every peruta combines to form a great sum.
אַמַּאי קָרוּ לֵיהּ עוּלָּא מְשַׁגֵּשׁ אֹרְחָתַיהּ דְּאִימֵּיהּ דִּבְעָא מִינֵּיהּ רַב אַחָדְבוּי בַּר אַמֵּי מֵרַב שֵׁשֶׁת מִנַּיִן לִמְצוֹרָע בִּימֵי סְפוֹרוֹ שֶׁמִּטַּמֵּא אָדָם אָמַר לוֹ הוֹאִיל וּמְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים מְטַמֵּא אָדָם The Gemara comments: Why was this Sage called the infant who perverted the ways of his mother? It was because of the following incident: Rav Aḥadvoi bar Ami asked Rav Sheshet: From where is it derived that a leper renders a person impure through contact during his days of counting, i.e., during the seven days that the leper must count from the start of his purification process, when he brings his birds, until he completes that process with the bringing of his sacrifices? Rav Sheshet said to him: Since he renders his garments impure, as it states that on the seventh day of his purification he must wash his clothes (see Leviticus 14:9), he also renders people impure.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ דִּילְמָא טוּמְאָה בְּחִבּוּרִים שָׁאנֵי דְּהָא הֵסִיט נְבֵילָה דִּמְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אָדָם Rav Aḥadvoi said to him: Perhaps connected impurity is different, meaning perhaps he renders his garments impure because they are connected to the source of the impurity, but this does not mean that he renders impure a person whom he touches. A proof for this distinction may be brought from the fact that if one moves an animal carcass, an action that renders him impure even if there was no actual contact with the carcass, he renders the garments that he is wearing impure but does not render another person impure.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ וְאֶלָּא שֶׁרֶץ דִּמְטַמֵּא אָדָם מְנָלַן לָאו מִשּׁוּם דִּמְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים אֲמַר לֵיהּ שֶׁרֶץ בְּהֶדְיָא כְּתִיב בֵּיהּ אוֹ אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע בְּכׇל שֶׁרֶץ אֶלָּא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע דִּמְטַמֵּא אָדָם מְנָלַן לָאו מִשּׁוּם דְּהוֹאִיל וּמְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים מְטַמֵּא אָדָם אֲמַר לֵיהּ שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע נָמֵי בְּהֶדְיָא כְּתִיב בֵּיהּ אוֹ אִישׁ לְרַבּוֹת אֶת הַנּוֹגֵעַ Rav Sheshet said to him: But from where do we derive that the carcass of a creeping animal renders a person impure? Is it not because we know that it renders his garments impure? Rav Aḥadvoi said to him: It is written explicitly with regard to the carcass of a creeping animal: “Or a man who touches any creeping animal, whereby he may be made unclean” (Leviticus 22:5). Rav Sheshet said to him: But from where do we derive that semen renders a person impure? Is it not because we say that since it renders his garments impure (see Leviticus 15:17) it also renders a person impure? Rav Aḥadvoi said to him: It is also written explicitly with regard to semen: “Or a man from whom semen is expelled” (Leviticus 22:4), and the Sages expound the superfluous word “or” as serving to include as impure one who touches semen.
אַהְדַּר לֵיהּ בִּבְדִיחוּתָא חֲלַשׁ דַּעְתֵּיהּ דְּרַב שֵׁשֶׁת אִישְׁתִּיק רַב אַחָדְבוּי בַּר אַמֵּי וְאִתְיַקַּר תַּלְמוּדֵיהּ אָתְיָא אִימֵּיהּ וְקָא בָּכְיָא קַמֵּיהּ צָוְוחָה צָוְוחָה וְלָא אַשְׁגַּח בָּהּ אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ חֲזִי לְהָנֵי חַדְיֵי דִּמְצֵית מִינַּיְיהוּ בְּעָא רַחֲמֵי עֲלֵיהּ וְאִיתַּסִּי The Gemara relates that with each of his answers Rav Aḥadvoi responded to Rav Sheshet in a mocking tone, intimating that he doubted Rav Sheshet’s grasp of Torah verses. Rav Sheshet was deeply offended, and as punishment, Rav Aḥadvoi bar Ami became mute and forgot his learning. Rav Aḥadvoi’s mother came and wept before Rav Sheshet. She cried and cried but he ignored her. As she had once been Rav Sheshet’s nursemaid, she said to him: Look at these breasts of mine from which you suckled. Upon hearing that, Rav Sheshet prayed for mercy for Rav Aḥadvoi, and he was healed. And since it was Rav Aḥadvoi whose behavior led to his mother’s acting in this manner, he was referred to as the infant who perverted his mother’s ways.
וְדַאֲתָאן עֲלַהּ מְנָא לַן כִּדְתַנְיָא רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַי אוֹמֵר נֶאֱמַר כִּבּוּס בְּגָדִים בִּימֵי סְפוֹרוֹ וְנֶאֱמַר כִּבּוּס בְּגָדִים בִּימֵי חִלּוּטוֹ מָה לְהַלָּן מְטַמֵּא אָדָם אַף כָּאן מְטַמֵּא אָדָם The Gemara comments: With regard to that which we arrived at, i.e., this particular subject, let us clarify the matter: From where do we derive that a leper renders impure a person with whom he comes into contact during his days of counting? As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai says: Washing garments is stated with respect to his days of counting, and washing garments is stated with respect to his days of confirmed leprosy, after he has been declared conclusively impure by a priest. Just as there, when he is a confirmed leper he renders a person impure, as is explicitly stated in the Torah, so too here, during his days of counting he renders a person impure.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר גָּדוֹל הָעוֹשֶׂה צְדָקָה בַּסֵּתֶר יוֹתֵר מִמֹּשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ דְּאִילּוּ בְּמֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ כְּתִיב כִּי יָגֹרְתִּי מִפְּנֵי הָאַף וְהַחֵמָה וְאִילּוּ בְּעוֹשֶׂה צְדָקָה כְּתִיב מַתָּן בַּסֵּתֶר יִכְפֶּה אָף [וְשֹׁחַד בַּחֵק חֵמָה עַזָּה] וּפְלִיגָא דְּרַבִּי יִצְחָק דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אַף כּוֹפֶה חֵמָה אֵינוֹ כּוֹפֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְשֹׁחַד בַּחֵק חֵמָה עַזָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשּׁוֹחַד בַּחֵיק חֵמָה עַזָּה אִיכָּא דְּאָמְרִי אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק כׇּל דַּיָּין שֶׁנּוֹטֵל שֹׁחַד מֵבִיא חֵמָה עַזָּה לְעוֹלָם [שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְשֹׁחַד בַּחֵק וְגוֹ׳] § The Gemara resumes its discussion of the virtues of giving charity. Rabbi Elazar said: One who performs acts of charity in secret is greater than Moses, our teacher. Whereas with regard to Moses, our teacher, it is written: “For I was afraid of the anger and the wrath” (Deuteronomy 9:19), with regard to one who performs acts of charity it is written: “A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a present in the bosom fierce wrath” (Proverbs 21:14). The Gemara comments: And this statement disagrees with a statement of Rabbi Yitzḥak, as Rabbi Yitzḥak says: A secret gift pacifies anger, but it does not pacify wrath, as it is stated: “And a present in the bosom fierce wrath,” meaning that although a present is in the bosom, i.e., even if one gives charity in secret, nevertheless fierce wrath can still harm him. There are those who say that Rabbi Yitzḥak says as follows: Any judge who accepts a bribe brings fierce wrath upon the world, as it is stated: “And a present in the bosom fierce wrath.”
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק כׇּל הַנּוֹתֵן פְּרוּטָה לְעָנִי מִתְבָּרֵךְ בְּשֵׁשׁ בְּרָכוֹת וְהַמְפַיְּיסוֹ בִּדְבָרִים מִתְבָּרֵךְ בְּאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה בְּרָכוֹת הַנּוֹתֵן פְּרוּטָה לְעָנִי מִתְבָּרֵךְ בְּשֵׁשׁ בְּרָכוֹת דִּכְתִיב הֲלֹא פָרֹשׂ וְגוֹ׳ וַעֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים תָּבִיא בָיִת (וְגוֹ׳) כִּי תִרְאֶה עָרֹם וְגוֹ׳ And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Anyone who gives a peruta to a poor person receives six blessings, and whoever consoles him with words of comfort and encouragement receives eleven blessings. The Gemara explains: One who gives a peruta to a poor person receives six blessings, as it is written: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you shall bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him” (Isaiah 58:7). And the next verses list six blessings: “Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your health shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then, shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say: Here I am” (Isaiah 58:8–9).
וְהַמְפַיְּיסוֹ בִּדְבָרִים מִתְבָּרֵךְ בְּאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה בְּרָכוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְתָפֵק לָרָעֵב נַפְשֶׁךָ וְנֶפֶשׁ נַעֲנָה תַּשְׂבִּיעַ וְזָרַח בַּחֹשֶׁךְ אוֹרֶךָ וַאֲפֵלָתְךָ כַּצׇּהֳרָיִם וְנָחֲךָ ה׳ תָּמִיד וְהִשְׂבִּיעַ בְּצַחְצָחוֹת נַפְשֶׁךָ וְגוֹ׳ וּבָנוּ מִמְּךָ חׇרְבוֹת עוֹלָם מוֹסְדֵי דוֹר וָדוֹר תְּקוֹמֵם וְגוֹ׳ And whoever consoles a poor person with words of comfort and encouragement receives eleven blessings, as it is stated: “And if you draw out your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall your light shine in darkness, and your gloom shall be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your thirst in drought… And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places, you shall raise up the foundations of many generations” (Isaiah 58:10–12).
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק מַאי דִּכְתִיב רוֹדֵף צְדָקָה וָחָסֶד יִמְצָא חַיִּים צְדָקָה וְכָבוֹד מִשּׁוּם דְּרוֹדֵף צְדָקָה יִמְצָא צְדָקָה אֶלָּא לוֹמַר לָךְ כׇּל הָרוֹדֵף אַחַר צְדָקָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַמְצִיא לוֹ מָעוֹת וְעוֹשֶׂה בָּהֶן צְדָקָה And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “He who pursues charity and mercy finds life, charity, and honor” (Proverbs 21:21)? Is this to say that because one has pursued charity, he himself shall find charity? That is, shall the reward of one who has always given charity be that he will eventually become poor and other people will act charitably toward him? Rather, the verse serves to tell you that with regard to anyone who pursues charity, giving to the poor and leading others to do so, the Holy One, Blessed be He, furnishes him with money with which to perform his acts of charity.
רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַמְצִיא לוֹ בְּנֵי אָדָם הַמְהוּגָּנִים לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶן צְדָקָה כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּל עֲלֵיהֶם שְׂכָרוֹ לְאַפּוֹקֵי מַאי לְאַפּוֹקֵי מִדְּדָרֵשׁ רַבָּה דְּדָרֵשׁ רַבָּה מַאי דִּכְתִיב וְיִהְיוּ מֻכְשָׁלִים לְפָנֶיךָ בְּעֵת אַפְּךָ עֲשֵׂה בָּהֶם אָמַר יִרְמְיָה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם [אֲפִילּוּ] בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁכּוֹפִין אֶת יִצְרָן וּמְבַקְּשִׁין לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה לְפָנֶיךָ הַכְשִׁילֵם בִּבְנֵי אָדָם שֶׁאֵינָן מְהוּגָּנִין כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְקַבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן שָׂכָר Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, sends him people who are deserving of charity, so that he will reap his just reward for helping them. The Gemara comments: What does this statement serve to exclude? It serves to exclude Rabba’s homiletical interpretation of a different verse, as Rabba taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Let them be made to stumble before You; deal thus with them in the time of Your anger” (Jeremiah 18:23)? The prophet Jeremiah said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, even when those wicked men who pursued me subdue their inclinations and seek to perform acts of charity before You, cause them to stumble upon dishonest people who are not deserving of charity, so that they will not receive reward for coming to their assistance.
רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי אָמַר כׇּל הָרָגִיל לַעֲשׂוֹת צְדָקָה זוֹכֶה הָוְיִין לוֹ בָּנִים בַּעֲלֵי חׇכְמָה בַּעֲלֵי עוֹשֶׁר בַּעֲלֵי אַגָּדָה בַּעֲלֵי חׇכְמָה דִּכְתִיב Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: Anyone who is accustomed to performing acts of charity merits blessing; he will have sons who are masters of wisdom, masters of wealth, and masters of aggada. The Gemara explains: Masters of wisdom, as it is written: