Berakhot 10b:37-41ברכות י׳ ב:ל״ז-מ״א
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אמר רבי חנן אפילו בעל החלומות אומר לו לאדם למחר הוא מת אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים שנאמר כי ברב חלמות והבלים ודברים הרבה כי את האלהים ירא

Similarly, Rabbi Ḥanan said: Even if the master of dreams, in a true dream, an angel (Ma’ayan HaBerakhot) tells a person that tomorrow he will die, he should not prevent himself from praying for mercy, as it is stated: “For in the multitude of dreams and vanities there are many words; but fear God” (Ecclesiastes 5:6). Although the dream may seem real to him, that is not necessarily the case, and one must place his trust in God.

מיד ויסב חזקיהו פניו אל הקיר ויתפלל אל ה׳

Having heard Isaiah’s harsh prophecy, immediately “Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall and prayed to the Lord” (Isaiah 38:2).

מאי קיר אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מקירות לבו שנאמר מעי מעי אוחילה קירות לבי וגו׳

The Gemara asks: What is meant by the word “wall [kir]” in this context? Why did Hezekiah turn his face to a wall? Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: This symbolically alludes to the fact that Hezekiah prayed to God from the chambers [kirot] of his heart, as it is stated elsewhere: “My anguish, my anguish, I am in pain. The chambers of my heart. My heart moans within me” (Jeremiah 4:19).

רבי לוי אמר על עסקי הקיר אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם ומה שונמית שלא עשתה אלא קיר אחת קטנה החיית את בנה אבי אבא שחפה את ההיכל כולו בכסף ובזהב על אחת כמה וכמה זכר נא את אשר התהלכתי לפניך באמת ובלב שלם והטוב בעיניך עשיתי

Rabbi Levi said: Hezekiah intended to evoke matters relating to a wall, and he said before God: Master of the Universe, and if the woman from Shunem, who made only a single small wall on the roof for the prophet Elisha, and you revived her son, all the more so should you bring life to the descendant of my father’s father, King Solomon, who covered the entire Temple Sanctuary with silver and gold. In his prayer, Hezekiah said: “Please, Lord, please remember that I walked before You in truth, and with a complete heart, and what was good in Your eyes I did. And Hezekiah wept sore” (Isaiah 38:3).

מאי והטוב בעיניך עשיתי אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שסמך גאולה לתפלה רבי לוי אמר שגנז ספר רפואות

The Gemara asks: To what specific action was he referring when he said: “And what was good in your sight I did”? Various opinions are offered: Mentioning Hezekiah’s merits, Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav that he juxtaposed redemption and prayer at sunrise instead of sleeping late, as was the custom of most kings (Iyyun Ya’akov). Rabbi Levi said: He suppressed the Book of Remedies upon which everyone relied.

תנו רבנן ששה דברים עשה חזקיהו המלך על שלשה הודו לו ועל שלשה לא הודו לו

The Sages taught: King Hezekiah performed six innovative actions. With regard to three the Sages agreed with him, and with regard to three they did not agree with him.

על שלשה הודו לו גנז ספר רפואות והודו לו כתת נחש הנחשת והודו לו גירר עצמות אביו על מטה של חבלים והודו לו

With regard to three actions the Sages agreed with him:
He suppressed the Book of Remedies, and they agreed with him.
He ground the copper snake through which miracles were performed for Israel (Numbers 21:9), destroying it because it had been used in idol worship (II Kings 18:4), and they agreed with him.
He dragged the bones of his evil father, King Ahaz, on a bed of ropes; meaning he did not accord his father a funeral fit for a king (II Chronicles 28:27), and they agreed with him.

ועל שלשה לא הודו לו סתם מי גיחון ולא הודו לו קצץ דלתות היכל ושגרם למלך אשור ולא הודו לו עבר ניסן בניסן ולא הודו לו

Yet, with regard to three other innovations, the Sages of his generation did not agree with him:
He stopped up the waters of the Gihon, the Pool of Siloam, diverting its water into the city by means of a tunnel (II Chronicles 32:30), and they did not agree with him.
He cut off the doors of the Sanctuary and sent them to the king of Assyria (II Kings 18:16), and they did not agree with him.
He intercalated Nisan in Nisan, creating a leap year by adding an extra month during the month of Nisan. That intercalation must be performed before the end of Adar (II Chronicles 30:2).

ומי לית ליה לחזקיהו החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים זה ניסן ואין אחר ניסן

With regard to his intercalation of Nisan, the Gemara asks: Did Hezekiah not accept the halakha: “This month will be for you the first of the months; it shall be the first for you of the months of the year” (Exodus 12:2)? By inference, this first month is Nisan, and no other month is Nisan. How could Hezekiah add an additional Nisan in violation of Torah law?

אלא טעה בדשמואל דאמר שמואל אין מעברין את השנה ביום שלשים של אדר הואיל וראוי לקובעו ניסן סבר הואיל וראוי לא אמרינן:

The Gemara answers that the scenario was different. Rather, Hezekiah erred with regard to the halakhic opinion ascribed in later generations to Shmuel, as Shmuel said: One may not intercalate the year on the thirtieth day of Adar, since it is fit to establish it as the New Moon of Nisan. On the thirtieth day of each month, those who witnessed the new moon would come and testify before the court, which, based on their testimony, would declare that day the first day of the next month. Therefore, one may not declare a leap year on the thirtieth day of Adar, as it could potentially become the first of Nisan. Therefore, the Sages of Hezekiah’s generation did not agree with his decision to intercalate the year on the thirtieth of Adar. Hezekiah held that we do not say: Since that day is fit to establish it as the New Moon is reason enough to refrain from intercalation of the year.

אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי יוסי בן זמרא כל התולה בזכות עצמו תולין לו בזכות אחרים וכל התולה בזכות אחרים תולין לו בזכות עצמו

Stemming from the analysis of Hezekiah’s prayer, Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Zimra: Anyone who bases his prayer or request upon his own merit, when God answers his prayer, it is based upon the merit of others. And anyone who modestly bases his prayer or request upon the merit of others, when God answers his prayer, it is based upon his own merit.

משה תלה בזכות אחרים שנאמר זכר לאברהם ליצחק ולישראל עבדיך תלו לו בזכות עצמו שנאמר ויאמר להשמידם לולי משה בחירו עמד בפרץ לפניו להשיב חמתו מהשחית

The Gemara cites proof from Moses. When he prayed to God for forgiveness after the incident of the Golden Calf, he based his request upon the merit of others, as it is stated: “Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel your servants, to whom You swore upon Yourself, and told them: I will increase your descendants like the stars of the heavens, and all of this land of which I have spoken, I will give to your descendants and they will inherit it forever” (Exodus 32:13). Yet when this story is related, God’s forgiveness of Israel is based upon Moses’ own merit, as it is stated: “And He said He would destroy them, had Moses, His chosen, not stood before Him in the breach to turn back His destructive fury, lest He should destroy them” (Psalms 106:23).

חזקיהו תלה בזכות עצמו דכתיב זכר נא את אשר התהלכתי לפניך תלו לו בזכות אחרים שנאמר וגנותי אל העיר הזאת להושיעה למעני ולמען דוד עבדי והיינו דרבי יהושע בן לוי דאמר רבי יהושע בן לוי מאי דכתיב הנה לשלום מר לי מר אפילו בשעה ששיגר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא שלום מר הוא לו:

Hezekiah, however, based his request upon his own merit, as it is written: “Please, remember that I walked before You” (Isaiah 38:3). When God answered his prayers, it was based upon the merit of others with no mention made of Hezekiah’s own merit, as it is stated: “And I will protect this city to save it, for My sake and for the sake of David, My servant” (II Kings 19:34). And that is what Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said. As Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Behold, for my peace I had great bitterness; but You have, in love to my soul, delivered it from the pit of corruption; for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back” (Isaiah 38:17)? This verse teaches that even when the Holy One, Blessed be He, sent him peace and told him that he would recover from his illness, it was bitter for him, because God did not take his merit into consideration.

נעשה נא עלית קיר קטנה

Having mentioned the chamber on the roof built for Elisha by the woman from Shunem, the Gemara now describes the entire event. The woman from Shunem suggested to her husband: “Let us make, I pray thee, a small chamber on the roof, and let us place a bed, table, stool and candlestick for him there, and it will be, when he comes to us, that he will turn in there” (II Kings 4:10).

רב ושמואל חד אמר עלייה פרועה היתה וקירוה וחד אמר אכסדרה גדולה היתה וחלקוה לשנים

Rav and Shmuel argued over the meaning of small chamber. One of them said: They had an uncovered second story on their roof, over which they built a ceiling; and one of them said: There was an enclosed veranda [akhsadra] and they divided it in half.

בשלמא למאן דאמר אכסדרה היינו דכתיב קיר אלא למאן דאמר עלייה מאי קיר

The Gemara comments: Granted, according to the one who said that it was an enclosed veranda which they divided in two, it makes sense that the term wall [kir] was written. However, according to the one who said that they had an open second story, what is the meaning of wall?

שקירוה

The Gemara responds: The one who said that they had an uncovered second story interprets kir not as wall but as ceiling meaning that they built a ceiling [kirui] over it.

בשלמא למאן דאמר עלייה היינו דכתיב עליית אלא למאן דאמר אכסדרה מאי עליית

On the other hand, granted, according to the one who said that they had an uncovered second story, it makes sense that the term second story [aliyat] was written. But according to the one who said that it was an enclosed veranda, what is the meaning of the term second story?

מעולה שבבתים

The Gemara responds: The one who said that it was an enclosed veranda interprets aliyat not as second story, but as the most outstanding [me’ula] of the rooms.

ונשים לו שם מטה ושלחן וכסא ומנורה

Incidental to this discussion, the Gemara analyzes the statement made by the woman from Shunem to her husband with regard to the provisions that they would place in the room for Elisha: “And let us place a bed, table, stool and candlestick for him there.”

אמר אביי ואיתימא רבי יצחק הרוצה להנות יהנה כאלישע ושאינו רוצה להנות אל יהנה כשמואל הרמתי שנאמר ותשובתו הרמתה כי שם ביתו ואמר רבי יוחנן שכל מקום שהלך שם ביתו עמו

Abaye, and some say Rabbi Yitzḥak, said: A great man who seeks to enjoy the contributions of those who seek to honor him may enjoy those gifts, as Elisha enjoyed gifts given him by the woman from Shunem, among others. And one who does not seek to enjoy these gifts should not enjoy them, as was the practice of the prophet Samuel from Rama, who would not accept gifts from anyone at all. From where do we know that this was Samuel’s custom? As it is stated: “And he returned to Rama, for there was his house, and there he judged Israel, and he built an altar to the Lord” (I Samuel 7:17). And similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Every place where Samuel went, his house was with him, so he would have everything that he needed and not be forced to benefit from public contributions. One may opt to conduct himself in accordance with either of these paths.

ותאמר אל אישה הנה נא ידעתי כי איש אלהים קדוש הוא אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא מכאן שהאשה מכרת באורחין יותר מן האיש

Regarding the woman from Shunem: “And she said to her husband: Behold now, I perceive that he is a holy man of God who passes by us continually” (II Kings 4:9). Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: From here, where the woman from Shunem perceived the prophet’s greatness before her husband did, derive that a woman recognizes the character of her guests more than a man does.

קדוש הוא מנא ידעה רב ושמואל חד אמר שלא ראתה זבוב עובר על שלחנו וחד אמר סדין של פשתן הציעה על מטתו ולא ראתה קרי עליו

The Gemara notes that the woman from Shunem said that “he is holy.” The Gemara asks: From where did she know that he was holy? Rav and Shmuel disagreed over this. One of them said: She never saw a fly pass over his table; and the other said: She spread a white linen sheet on his bed, and despite that even the smallest stain is visible on white linen, and nocturnal seminal emissions are not uncommon, she never saw the residue of a seminal emission on it.

קדוש הוא אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא הוא קדוש ומשרתו אינו קדוש שנאמר ויגש גיחזי להדפה אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא שאחזה בהוד יפיה

With regard to the verse: “He is holy,” Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: The woman from Shunem intimated that: He is holy, but his attendant, Geihazi, is not holy, as she saw no indication of holiness in him (Iyyun Ya’akov). Here too, she correctly perceived the character of her guest, as it is later stated: “And Geihazi approached her to push her away [lehodfa]” (II Kings 4:27). And Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: He grabbed her by the majesty of her beauty [hod yofya], meaning that when he pushed her he grabbed her breasts in a licentious manner.

עובר עלינו תמיד אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא משום רבי אליעזר בן יעקב כל המארח תלמיד חכם בתוך ביתו ומהנהו מנכסיו מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו מקריב תמידין

With regard to the phrasing of the verse: “He is a holy man of God who passes by us continually,” Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov: From this verse we derive that one who hosts a Torah scholar in his home and lets him enjoy his possessions, the verse ascribes to him credit as if he is sacrificing the daily [tamid] offering, as the verse states: “Passes by us continually [tamid].”

ואמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא משום רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אל יעמוד אדם במקום גבוה ויתפלל אלא במקום נמוך ויתפלל שנאמר ממעמקים קראתיך ה׳

With regard to the halakhot of prayer, Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov: A person should not stand in a high place and pray; rather, he should stand in a low place and pray, as it is stated: “I called to You, Lord, from the depths” (Psalms 130:1).

תניא נמי הכי לא יעמוד אדם לא על גבי כסא ולא על גבי שרפרף ולא במקום גבוה ויתפלל אלא במקום נמוך ויתפלל לפי שאין גבהות לפני המקום שנאמר ממעמקים קראתיך ה׳ וכתיב תפלה לעני כי יעטף

That was also taught in a baraita: One should neither stand upon a chair nor upon a stool, nor in a high place and pray. Rather, one should stand in a low place and pray, for there is no haughtiness before God. As it is stated: “I called to You, Lord, from the depths” and it is written: “A prayer for the impoverished, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before God” (Psalms 102:1). It is appropriate to feel impoverished when praying and make one’s requests humbly.

ואמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא משום רבי אליעזר בן יעקב המתפלל צריך שיכוין את רגליו שנאמר ורגליהם רגל ישרה

And Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov: When praying, one should align his feet next to each other, as a single foot, in order to model oneself after the angels, with regard to whom it is stated: “And their feet were a straight foot” (Ezekiel 1:7).

(אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי יוחנן) ואמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא משום רבי אליעזר בן יעקב מאי דכתיב לא תאכלו על הדם לא תאכלו קודם שתתפללו על דמכם

Rabbi Yitzḥak said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov: What is the meaning of that which is written: “You shall not eat with the blood” (Leviticus 19:26)? You may not eat before you pray for your blood. One may not eat before he prays.

איכא דאמרי אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי יוחנן אמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא משום רבי אליעזר בן יעקב כל האוכל ושותה ואחר כך מתפלל עליו הכתוב אומר ואתי השלכת אחרי גוך אל תקרי גויך אלא גאיך אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לאחר שנתגאה זה קבל עליו מלכות שמים:

Others say that Rabbi Yitzḥak said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said in the name of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov: One who eats and drinks and later prays, about him the verse states the rebuke of the prophet in the name of God: “And Me you have cast behind your back” (I Kings 14:9). One who sees to his own bodily needs by eating and drinking before prayer casts God aside, according his arrogance and ego priority over God (Maharsha). Indeed, do not read your back [gavekha]; rather, your pride [ge’ekha]. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: After this one has become arrogant and engaged in satisfying his own needs, he only then accepted upon himself the kingdom of Heaven.

רבי יהושע אומר עד שלש שעות אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבי יהושע:

We learned in the mishna that Rabbi Yehoshua says: One may recite the morning Shema until three hours of the day. Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua.

הקורא מכאן ואילך לא הפסיד:

We also learned in the mishna that one who recites Shema from that time onward loses nothing; although he does not fulfill the mitzva of reciting of Shema at its appointed time, he is nevertheless considered like one who reads the Torah, and is rewarded accordingly.

אמר רב חסדא אמר מר עוקבא ובלבד שלא יאמר יוצר אור

With regard to this ruling, Rav Ḥisda said that Mar Ukva said: This only applies provided one does not recite: Who forms light [yotzer or], or the rest of the blessings recited along with Shema, as they pertain only to the fulfillment of the mitzva of reciting of the morning Shema; after the third hour, they are inappropriate.

מיתיבי הקורא מכאן ואילך לא הפסיד כאדם שהוא קורא בתורה אבל מברך הוא שתים לפניה ואחת לאחריה תיובתא דרב חסדא תיובתא

The Gemara raises an objection to Rav Ḥisda’s statement from a baraita: One who recites Shema from that time onward loses nothing, and is considered like one who reads Torah, but he recites two blessings beforehand and one blessing thereafter.This directly contradicts Rav Ḥisda’s statement, and the Gemara notes: Indeed, the refutation of the statement of Rav Ḥisda is a conclusive refutation, and Rav Ḥisda’s opinion is rejected in favor of that of the baraita.

איכא דאמרי אמר רב חסדא אמר מר עוקבא מאי לא הפסיד שלא הפסיד ברכות תניא נמי הכי הקורא מכאן ואילך לא הפסיד כאדם שקורא בתורה אבל מברך הוא שתים לפניה ואחת לאחריה

Some say that Rav Ḥisda said that Mar Ukva said the opposite: What is the meaning of: Loses nothing, in the mishna? This means that one who recites Shema after the third hour does not lose the opportunity to recite the blessings and is permitted to recite them although the time for the recitation of Shema has passed. That was also taught in a baraita: One who recites Shema after this time loses nothing, and is considered like one who reads the Torah, but he recites two blessings beforehand and one thereafter.

אמר רבי מני גדול הקורא קריאת שמע בעונתה יותר מהעוסק בתורה מדקתני הקורא מכאן ואילך לא הפסיד כאדם הקורא בתורה מכלל דקורא בעונתה עדיף:

With regard to our mishna, Rabbi Mani said: Greater is one who recites Shema at its appropriate time than one who engages in Torah study. A proof is cited based on what was taught in the mishna: One who recites Shema after this time loses nothing and is considered like one who reads the Torah. This is proven by inference, since one who recites Shema at its appointed time is greater than one who does not, and one who does not is equal to one who reads the Torah, when one recites Shema at its appointed time he fulfills two mitzvot, that of Torah study and that of the recitation of Shema.

מתני׳ בית שמאי אומרים בערב כל אדם יטה ויקרא ובבקר יעמוד שנאמר ובשכבך ובקומך

MISHNA: Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel disputed the proper way to recite Shema. Beit Shammai say: One should recite Shema in the manner indicated in the text of Shema itself. Therefore, in the evening every person must recline on his side and recite Shema, in fulfillment of the verse: “When you lie down,” and in the morning he must stand and recite Shema, in fulfillment of the verse: When you rise, as it is stated: “When you lie down, and when you rise.”

ובית הלל אומרים כל אדם קורא כדרכו שנאמר ובלכתך בדרך

And Beit Hillel say: Every person recites Shema as he is, and he may do so in whatever position is most comfortable for him, both day and night, as it is stated: “And when you walk along the way,” when one is neither standing nor reclining (Me’iri).

אם כן למה נאמר ובשכבך ובקומך בשעה שבני אדם שוכבים ובשעה שבני אדם עומדים

If so, according to Beit Hillel, why was it stated: “When you lie down, and when you rise”? This is merely to denote time; at the time when people lie down and the time when people rise.

אמר רבי טרפון אני הייתי בא בדרך והטתי לקרות כדברי בית שמאי וסכנתי בעצמי מפני הלסטים

With regard to this halakha, Rabbi Tarfon said: Once, I was coming on the road when I stopped and reclined to recite Shema in accordance with the statement of Beit Shammai. Although Rabbi Tarfon was a disciple of Beit Hillel, he thought that fulfilling the mitzva in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai would be a more meticulous fulfillment of the mitzva, acceptable to all opinions. Yet in so doing, I endangered myself due to the highwaymen [listim] who accost travelers.

אמרו לו כדי היית לחוב בעצמך שעברת על דברי בית הלל:

The Sages said to him: You deserved to be in a position where you were liable to pay with your life, as you transgressed the statement of Beit Hillel. This statement will be explained in the Gemara.