יכול אפילו מעולה בדמים ת"ל רק One might have thought that he must give precedence to the cutting down of a barren tree even if the barren tree is greater in monetary value than the fruit-bearing tree. The verse states: “Only,” which teaches that there is an exception to the rule. Similarly, if the fruit-bearing tree itself would be worth more as lumber than for its fruits, it would be permitted for one to cut it down.
שמואל אייתי ליה אריסיה תמרי אכיל טעים בהו טעמא דחמרא א"ל מאי האי א"ל ביני גופני קיימי אמר מכחשי בחמרא כולי האי למחר אייתי לי מקורייהו: The Gemara relates: The sharecropper of Shmuel brought him dates. Shmuel ate them, and tasted the taste of wine in them. He said to his sharecropper: What is this? The sharecropper said to him: The date palms stand among the grapevines and therefore contain a taste of wine from the grapes. Shmuel said: Do they weaken the wine, i.e., the grapevines, so much that it is possible to taste the wine in the dates? Tomorrow, cut down the date palms and bring me from their marrow to eat.
רב חסדא חזא תאלי בי גופני אמר ליה לאריסיה עקרינהו גופני קני דקלי דקלי לא קני גופני: The Gemara relates a similar incident: Rav Ḥisda saw date palms growing among grapevines on his estate. He said to his sharecropper: Uproot the date palms, since one can purchase date palms with grapevines, as grapevines are more valuable, while one cannot purchase grapevines with date palms.
מתני׳ אע"פ שהוא נותן לו אין נמחל לו עד שיבקש ממנו שנאמר (בראשית כ, ז) ועתה השב אשת וגו' ומנין שאם לא מחל לו שהוא אכזרי שנאמר (בראשית כ, יז) ויתפלל אברהם אל האלהים וירפא אלהים את אבימלך וגו' MISHNA: Despite the fact that the assailant who caused damage gives to the victim all of the required payments for the injury, his transgression is not forgiven for him in the heavenly court until he requests forgiveness from the victim, as it is stated that God told Abimelech after he had taken Sarah from Abraham: “Now therefore restore the wife of the man; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live” (Genesis 20:7). And from where is it derived that if the victim does not forgive him that he is cruel? As it is stated: “And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bore children” (Genesis 20:17).
האומר סמא את עיני קטע את ידי שבר את רגלי חייב ע"מ לפטור חייב The mishna continues: With regard to one who says to another: Blind my eye, or: cut off my hand, or: break my leg, and he does so, the one who performed these actions is liable to pay for the damage, despite having been instructed to do so. Even if he explicitly instructed him: Do so on the condition that you will be exempt from payment, he is nevertheless liable.
קרע את כסותי שבר את כדי חייב ע"מ לפטור פטור עשה כן לאיש פלוני על מנת לפטור חייב בין בגופו בין בממונו: With regard to one who says to another: Tear my garment, or: break my jug, and he does so, he is liable to pay for the damage. But if he instructed him explicitly: Do so on the condition that you will be exempt from payment, he is exempt from payment. If one says to another: Do so, i.e., cause damage, to so-and-so on the condition that you will be exempt from payment, and he did so, he is liable, whether the instructions were with regard to the victim himself, or whether the instructions were with regard to his property.
גמ׳ ת"ר כל אלו שאמרו דמי בושתו אבל צערו אפי' הביא כל אילי נביות שבעולם אין נמחל לו עד שיבקש ממנו שנאמר (בראשית כ, ז) השב אשת האיש כי נביא הוא ויתפלל בעדך GEMARA: The Sages taught: All these sums that in the previous mishna they said one is liable to pay for humiliating another are the compensation for his humiliation, for which there is a set amount. But for the victim’s pain caused by the assailant, even if the assailant brings as offerings all the rams of Nebaioth (see Isaiah 60:7) that are in the world, which are of the best quality, his transgression is not forgiven for him in the heavenly court until he requests forgiveness from the victim, as it is stated: “Restore the wife of the man; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you” (Genesis 20:7).
דאשת נביא בעי אהדורי אשת אחר לא בעי אהדורי Having quoted the verse, the Gemara asks: Shall one infer from here that the wife of a prophet needs to be returned, but the wife of another individual need not be returned?
אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר' יונתן השב אשת האיש מכל מקום ודקא אמרת (בראשית כ, ד) הגוי גם צדיק תהרוג הלא הוא אמר לי אחותי היא והיא גם היא אמרה אחי הוא נביא הוא וכבר לימד אכסנאי שבא לעיר על עסקי אכילה ושתיה שואלין אותו או על עסקי אשתו שואלין אותו אשתך היא אחותך היא The Gemara answers. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: This is how the verse should be understood: “Restore the wife of the man” in any case, since she is his wife. And with regard to that which you, Abimelech, said: “Will you slay even a righteous nation? Did he not say himself to me: She is my sister, and she, even she herself, said: He is my brother?” (Genesis 20:4–5), the answer is that you, Abimelech, are not so righteous, since the reason Abraham said that Sarah was his sister is that he is a prophet, and he already learned how to conduct himself based on your behavior. As with regard to a guest [akhsenai] who comes to town, does one ask him about matters concerning eating and drinking, or does one ask him about matters concerning his wife? Does one ask a guest: Is she your wife? Is she your sister? Abimelech was to be blamed, since Abraham thought that he intended to steal his wife.
מכאן לבן נח שנהרג שהיה לו ללמוד ולא למד: The Gemara remarks: From here it can be derived that a gentile is executed for having transgressed a prohibition without awareness that the act was prohibited, since he should have learned and he did not learn.
(בראשית כ, יח) כי עצר עצר ה' אמר ר' אלעזר שתי עצירות הללו למה אחת באיש שכבת זרע שתים באשה שכבת זרע ולידה Having mentioned the verses concerning the incident of Abraham and Abimelech, the Gemara explains other related verses. “For the Lord had obstructed [atzor atzar] all the wombs of the house of Abimelech” (Genesis 20:18). Rabbi Elazar says: Why are these two obstructions [atzor atzar] both stated? One is stated with regard to a man, that semen will not be discharged, and two are stated with regard to a woman, that semen will not be discharged from her, and that she will not give birth.
במתניתא תנא שתים באיש שכבת זרע וקטנים שלשה באשה שכבת זרע וקטנים ולידה It was taught in a baraita: Two are stated with regard to a man: Semen and urine, i.e., that the men were unable to both urinate and discharge semen; three are stated with regard to a woman: Semen, and urine, and birth.
רבינא אמר שלש באיש שכבת זרע וקטנים ופי טבעת ארבעה באשה שכבת זרע ולידה וקטנים ופי טבעת: Ravina says: Three are stated with regard to a man: Semen, and urine, and the anal sphincter, i.e., that they were unable to discharge stool as well. Consequently, they would be unable to relieve themselves at all. Four are stated with regard to a woman: Semen, and birth, and urine, and the anal sphincter.
(בראשית כ, יח) בעד כל רחם אמרי דבי ר' ינאי אפילו תרנגולת של בית אבימלך לא הטילה ביצתה The verse states: “For the Lord had obstructed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech.” The Sages of the school of Rabbi Yannai say: Even a hen of the house of Abimelech did not lay her egg during that time.
א"ל רבא לרבה בר מרי מנא הא מילתא דאמור רבנן כל המבקש רחמים על חבירו והוא צריך לאותו דבר הוא נענה תחילה א"ל דכתיב (איוב מב, י) וה' שב את שבות איוב בהתפללו בעד רעהו § The Gemara cites a series of questions that Rava asked Rabba bar Mari, the first one being related to the previous topic of discussion. Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: From where is this matter derived whereby the Sages stated: Anyone who asks for compassion from Heaven on behalf of another, and he requires compassion from Heaven concerning that same matter, he is answered first? Rabba bar Mari said to him that the source for this is as it is written: “And the Lord changed the fortune of Job, when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10).
אמר ליה את אמרת מהתם ואנא אמינא מהכא (בראשית כ, יז) ויתפלל אברהם אל האלהים וירפא אלהים את אבימלך ואת אשתו ואמהותיו [וגו'] וכתיב (בראשית כא, א) וה' פקד את שרה כאשר אמר וגו' כאשר אמר אברהם אל אבימלך Rava said to him: You said the proof from there, from a verse in the Writings, and I say the proof from here, from a verse in the Torah. As it is written: “And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants, and they bore children” (Genesis 20:17), and it is written immediately following that: “And the Lord remembered Sarah, as He had said” (Genesis 21:1), with the pronoun interpreted homiletically: As Abraham said with regard to Abimelech. Because Abraham prayed for Abimelech that the women of his household should give birth, Abraham himself was answered concerning that matter.
אמר ליה רבא לרבה בר מרי מנא הא מילתא דאמרי אינשי בהדי הוצא לקי כרבא א"ל דכתיב (ירמיהו ב, כט) למה תריבו אלי כלכם פשעתם בי נאם ה' Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: From where is this matter derived whereby people say: The cabbage is damaged together with the thorn, since the cabbage is sometimes harmed when the thorn is removed? Rabba bar Mari said to him that the source is as it is written: “Why will you contend with Me? You all have transgressed against Me, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 2:29). The term “you all” includes even those who have not sinned.
אמר ליה את אמרת מהתם ואנא אמינא מהכא (שמות טז, כח) עד אנה מאנתם לשמור מצותי ותורותי Rava said to him: You said the proof from there, from a verse in the Prophets, and I say the proof from here, from a verse in the Torah. The Lord said to Moses after some of the people collected the manna on Shabbat: “How long do you refuse [me’antem] to keep My commandments and My laws?” (Exodus 16:28). The term “you refuse [me’antem]” is written in the plural, indicating that even Moses was included, although he did not sin.
אמר ליה רבא לרבה בר מרי כתיב (בראשית מז, ב) ומקצה אחיו לקח חמשה אנשים מאן נינהו חמשה א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן אותן שהוכפלו בשמות Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: It is written with regard to Joseph: “And from among his brothers he took five men, and presented them to Pharaoh” (Genesis 47:2). Who are these five men? Rabba bar Mari said to him: This is what Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Those whose names were repeated in the blessings with which Moses later blessed the twelve tribes. They are Dan, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, and Naftali (see Deuteronomy 35). Since they were weak, Joseph brought them before Pharaoh.
יהודה נמי איכפולי מיכפל Rava said: Judah also had his name repeated in the blessings, and he was strong.
אמר ליה למילתיה הוא דאיכפל דאמר ר' שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב (דברים לג, ו) יחי ראובן ואל ימות ויהי מתיו מספר וזאת ליהודה Rabba bar Mari said to him: His name was repeated for his own matter, as Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan said: What is the meaning of that which is written concerning Reuben and Judah in Moses’ blessing of the tribes at the end of his life: “Let Reuben live and not die in that his men become few” (Deuteronomy 33:6), and immediately afterward in the following verse it states: “And this for Judah, and he said: Hear Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him in unto his people; may his hands fight on his behalf, and You shall be a help against his adversaries” (Deuteronomy 33:7)? What is the connection between the blessing of Reuben and that of Judah, juxtaposed with the conjunction “and”?
כל אותן ארבעים שנה שהיו ישראל במדבר היו עצמותיו של יהודה מגולגלין בארון עד שבא משה ובקש רחמים אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם מי גרם לראובן שיודה יהודה Rabbi Yoḥanan said: All those forty years that the Jewish people were in the desert, the bones of Judah, which the Jewish people took with them from Egypt along with the bones of his brothers, were rolling around in the coffin, until Moses came and asked for mercy on Judah’s behalf. Moses said before God: Master of the Universe, who served as the impetus for Reuben that he should confess his sin, through which he merited a blessing and was not excluded from the count of the twelve sons of Jacob (see Genesis 35:22)? It was Judah, as Reuben saw him confess his sin, and thereby did the same.
מיד שמע ה' קול יהודה על איבריה לשפא לא הוו קא מסקי למתיבתא דרקיעא (דברים לג, ז) ואל עמו תביאנו לא הוה ידע מאי קאמרי רבנן ולמשקל ומיטרח בהדי רבנן (דברים לג, ז) ידיו רב לו לא הוה סליק ליה שמעתתא אליבא דהלכתא (דברים לג, ז) ועזר מצריו תהיה Immediately after Moses prayed, the verse states: “Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah” (Deuteronomy 33:7). His bones then entered their sockets [leshafa], and his skeleton became attached. The angels still did not elevate him into the heavenly study hall. Moses then prayed: “And bring him in unto his people” (Deuteronomy 33:7), i.e., bring him to those in the heavenly study hall. This prayer was accepted, but he still did not know what the sages were saying, and he was unable to deliberate in Torah matters with the sages. Moses then prayed: “May his hands fight on his behalf” (Deuteronomy 33:7), meaning that he should have the ability to contend with them in study. But still he was unable to draw conclusions from his discussion in accordance with the halakha. Moses then prayed: “And You shall be a help against his adversaries” (Deuteronomy 33:7).
אמר ליה רבא לרבה בר מרי מנא הא מילתא דאמרי אינשי בתר עניא אזלא עניותא אמר ליה דתנן עשירים מביאין בכורים בקלתות של זהב ושל כסף ועניים בסלי נצרים של ערבה קלופה הסלים והבכורים נותנים לכהנים אמר ליה את אמרת מהתם ואנא אמינא מהכא Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: From where is this matter derived whereby people say: Poverty follows the poor? Rabba bar Mari said to him: As we learned in a mishna (Bikkurim 3:8): Rich people would bring first fruits in baskets of gold and of silver, and poor people would bring first fruits in wicker baskets made of peeled willow, and they would give the baskets and the first fruits to the priests. The rich would have their baskets returned to them, while the poor would not. Rava said to him: You said the proof from there, from a mishna, and I say the proof from here, from a verse in the Torah: