אָמַר רַבִּי חָנָן: אֲפִילּוּ בַּעַל הַחֲלוֹמוֹת אוֹמֵר לוֹ לְאָדָם לְמָחָר הוּא מֵת — אַל יִמְנַע עַצְמוֹ מִן הָרַחֲמִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״כִּי בְרֹב חֲלֹמוֹת וַהֲבָלִים וּדְבָרִים הַרְבֵּה כִּי אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים יְרָא״.
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.
מִיָּד ״וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל הַקִּיר וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל ה׳״.
Having heard Isaiah’s harsh prophecy, immediately “Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall and prayed to the Lord” (Isaiah 38:2).
מַאי ״קִיר״? אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ: מִקִּירוֹת לִבּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״מֵעַי מֵעַי אוֹחִילָה קִירוֹת לִבִּי וְגוֹ׳״.
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).
רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר: עַל עִסְקֵי הַקִּיר, אָמַר לְפָנָיו: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, וּמָה שׁוּנַמִּית שֶׁלֹּא עָשְׂתָה אֶלָּא קִיר אַחַת קְטַנָּה הֶחֱיֵיתָ אֶת בְּנָהּ, אֲבִי אַבָּא שֶׁחִפָּה אֶת הַהֵיכָל כּוּלּוֹ בְּכֶסֶף וּבְזָהָב עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה. ״זְכָר נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵב שָׁלֵם וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי״.
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).
מַאי ״וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי״? אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: שֶׁסָּמַךְ גְּאוּלָּה לִתְפִלָּה. רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר: שֶׁגָּנַז סֵפֶר רְפוּאוֹת.
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.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: שִׁשָּׁה דְבָרִים עָשָׂה חִזְקִיָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ, עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה הוֹדוּ לוֹ, וְעַל שְׁלֹשָׁה לֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ.
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.
עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה הוֹדוּ לוֹ: גָּנַז סֵפֶר רְפוּאוֹת — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ. כִּתֵּת נְחַשׁ הַנְּחשֶׁת — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ. גֵּירַר עַצְמוֹת אָבִיו עַל מִטָּה שֶׁל חֲבָלִים — וְהוֹדוּ לוֹ.
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.
וְעַל שְׁלֹשָׁה לֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ: סָתַם מֵי גִיחוֹן — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ. קִצֵּץ דַּלְתוֹת הֵיכָל וְשִׁגְּרָם לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ. עִבֵּר נִיסָן בְּנִיסָן — וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ.
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).
וּמִי לֵית לֵיהּ לְחִזְקִיָּהוּ, ״הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים״: זֶה נִיסָן וְאֵין אַחֵר נִיסָן?!
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?
אֶלָּא, טְעָה בְּדִשְׁמוּאֵל דְּאָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל, אֵין מְעַבְּרִין אֶת הַשָּׁנָה בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשִׁים שֶׁל אֲדָר, הוֹאִיל וְרָאוּי לְקוֹבְעוֹ נִיסָן. סָבַר: ״הוֹאִיל וְרָאוּי״ — לָא אָמְרִינַן.
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.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בֶּן זִמְרָא: כָּל הַתּוֹלֶה בִּזְכוּת עַצְמוֹ — תּוֹלִין לוֹ בִּזְכוּת אֲחֵרִים. וְכָל הַתּוֹלֶה בִּזְכוּת אֲחֵרִים — תּוֹלִין לוֹ בִּזְכוּת עַצְמוֹ.
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.
מֹשֶׁה תָּלָה בִּזְכוּת אֲחֵרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״זְכֹר לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדֶיךָ״. תָּלוּ לוֹ בִּזְכוּת עַצְמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיֹּאמֶר לְהַשְׁמִידָם לוּלֵי מֹשֶׁה בְחִירוֹ עָמַד בַּפֶּרֶץ לְפָנָיו לְהָשִׁיב חֲמָתוֹ מֵהַשְׁחִית״.
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).
חִזְקִיָּהוּ תָּלָה בִּזְכוּת עַצְמוֹ, דִּכְתִיב: ״זְכָר נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ״, תָּלוּ לוֹ בִּזְכוּת אֲחֵרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְגַנּוֹתִי אֶל הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְהוֹשִׁיעָהּ לְמַעֲנִי וּלְמַעַן דָּוִד עַבְדִּי״. וְהַיְינוּ דְּרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי. דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: מַאי דִּכְתִיב ״הִנֵּה לְשָׁלוֹם מָר לִי מָר״ — אֲפִילּוּ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁשִּׁיגֵּר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שָׁלוֹם, מָר הוּא לוֹ.
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.
״נַעֲשֶׂה נָא עֲלִיַּת קִיר קְטַנָּה״.
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).
רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל, חַד אָמַר: עֲלִיָּיה פְּרוּעָה הָיְתָה, וְקֵירוּהָ. וְחַד אָמַר: אַכְסַדְרָה גְּדוֹלָה הָיְתָה וְחִלְּקוּהָ לִשְׁנַיִם.
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.
בִּשְׁלָמָא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר אַכְסַדְרָה, הַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב ״קִיר״ אֶלָּא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר עֲלִיָּיה, מַאי ״קִיר״?
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?
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.
בִּשְׁלָמָא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר עֲלִיָּיה, הַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב ״עֲלִיַּית״. אֶלָּא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר אַכְסַדְרָה, מַאי ״עֲלִיַּית״?
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?
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.
״וְנָשִׂים לוֹ שָׁם מִטָּה וְשֻׁלְחָן וְכִסֵּא וּמְנוֹרָה״.
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.”
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי, וְאִיתֵּימָא רַבִּי יִצְחָק: הָרוֹצֶה לֵהָנוֹת — יֵהָנֶה, כֶּאֱלִישָׁע. וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לֵהָנוֹת — אַל יֵהָנֶה, כִּשְׁמוּאֵל הָרָמָתִי. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וּתְשׁוּבָתוֹ הָרָמָתָה כִּי שָׁם בֵּיתוֹ״, וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: שֶׁכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁהָלַךְ שָׁם — בֵּיתוֹ עִמּוֹ.
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.
״וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל אִישָׁהּ הִנֵּה נָא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אִישׁ אֱלֹהִים קָדוֹשׁ הוּא״, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא: מִכָּאן שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה מַכֶּרֶת בְּאוֹרְחִין יוֹתֵר מִן הָאִישׁ.
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.
״קָדוֹשׁ הוּא״: מְנָא יָדְעָה? רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל. חַד אָמַר: שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה זְבוּב עוֹבֵר עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹ, וְחַד אָמַר: סָדִין שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן הִצִּיעָה עַל מִטָּתוֹ וְלֹא רָאֲתָה קֶרִי עָלָיו.
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.
״קָדוֹשׁ הוּא״ אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא: הוּא קָדוֹשׁ וּמְשָׁרְתוֹ אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיִּגַּשׁ גֵּיחֲזִי לְהָדְפָהּ״, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא: שֶׁאֲחָזָהּ בְּהוֹד יָפְיָהּ.
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.
״עוֹבֵר עָלֵינוּ תָּמִיד״, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב: כָּל הַמְאָרֵחַ תַּלְמִיד חָכָם בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ וּמְהַנֵּהוּ מִנְּכָסָיו — מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִילּוּ מַקְרִיב תְּמִידִין.
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].”
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב: אַל יַעֲמוֹד אָדָם בְּמָקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ וְיִתְפַּלֵּל, אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם נָמוּךְ וְיִתְפַּלֵּל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קְרָאתִיךָ 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).
תַּנְיָא נָמֵי הָכִי: לֹא יַעֲמוֹד אָדָם לֹא עַל גַּבֵּי כִּסֵּא, וְלֹא עַל גַּבֵּי שְׁרַפְרַף, וְלֹא בְּמָקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ, וְיִתְפַּלֵּל, אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם נָמוּךְ, וְיִתְפַּלֵּל. לְפִי שֶׁאֵין גַּבְהוּת לִפְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קְרָאתִיךָ ה׳״. וּכְתִיב: ״תְּפִלָּה לְעָנִי כִי יַעֲטֹף״.
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.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב: הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּכַוֵּין אֶת רַגְלָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְרַגְלֵיהֶם רֶגֶל יְשָׁרָה״.
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).
(אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן) וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב: מַאי דִּכְתִיב, ״לֹא תֹאכְלוּ עַל הַדָּם״ — לֹא תֹאכְלוּ קוֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְפַּלְּלוּ עַל דִּמְכֶם.
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.
אִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי: אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב: כָּל הָאוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ מִתְפַּלֵּל עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר: ״וְאֹתִי הִשְׁלַכְתָּ אַחֲרֵי גַוֶּךָ״, אַל תִּקְרֵי ״גַּוֶּיךָ״ אֶלָּא ״גֵּאֶיךָ״. אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: לְאַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגָּאָה זֶה קִבֵּל עָלָיו מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם.
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.
רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אוֹמֵר עַד שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת. אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: הֲלָכָה כְּרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ.
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.
הַקּוֹרֵא מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ, לֹא הִפְסִיד.
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.
אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר מָר עוּקְבָא: וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר יוֹצֵר אוֹר.
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.
מֵיתִיבִי: הַקּוֹרֵא מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ לֹא הִפְסִיד, כְּאָדָם שֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אֲבָל מְבָרֵךְ הוּא שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ וְאַחַת לְאַחֲרֶיהָ. תְּיוּבְתָּא דְרַב חִסְדָּא, תְּיוּבְתָּא.
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.
אִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר מָר עוּקְבָא: מַאי ״לֹא הִפְסִיד״ — שֶׁלֹּא הִפְסִיד בְּרָכוֹת. תַּנְיָא נָמֵי הָכִי: הַקּוֹרֵא מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ לֹא הִפְסִיד כְּאָדָם שֶׁקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אֲבָל מְבָרֵךְ הוּא שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ וְאַחַת לְאַחֲרֶיהָ.
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.
אָמַר רַבִּי מָנִי: גָּדוֹל הַקּוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע בְּעוֹנָתָהּ יוֹתֵר מֵהָעוֹסֵק בְּתוֹרָהּ. מִדְּקָתָנֵי: הַקּוֹרֵא מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ לֹא הִפְסִיד כְּאָדָם הַקּוֹרֵא בְּתוֹרָהּ. מִכְּלַל דְּקוֹרֵא בְּעוֹנָתָהּ — עָדִיף.
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.
מַתְנִי׳ בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים: בָּעֶרֶב — כָּל אָדָם יַטֶּה וְיִקְרָא. וּבַבֹּקֶר יַעֲמוֹד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ״.
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.”
וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים: כָּל אָדָם קוֹרֵא כְּדַרְכּוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ״.
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).
אִם כֵּן לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר ״וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ״ — בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם שׁוֹכְבִים וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם עוֹמְדִים.
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.
אָמַר רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן: אֲנִי הָיִיתִי בָּא בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְהִטֵּתִי לִקְרוֹת כְּדִבְרֵי בֵּית שַׁמַּאי. וְסִכַּנְתִּי בְּעַצְמִי מִפְּנֵי הַלִּסְטִים.
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.
אָמְרוּ לוֹ: כְּדַי הָיִיתָ לָחוּב בְּעַצְמְךָ, שֶׁעָבַרְתָּ עַל דִּבְרֵי בֵּית הִלֵּל.
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.