רַב שֵׁשֶׁת, כִּי כָּרַע — כָּרַע כְּחִיזְרָא. כִּי קָא זָקֵיף — זָקֵיף כְּחִיוְיָא.
With regard to bowing, the Gemara relates: When Rav Sheshet bowed he bowed all at once, like a cane, without delay. When he stood upright he stood upright like a snake, lifting himself slowly, demonstrating that the awe of God was upon him in the manner that he bowed and stood upright (HaBoneh).
וְאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר חִינָּנָא סָבָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב כָּל הַשָּׁנָה כּוּלָּהּ אָדָם מִתְפַּלֵּל ״הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ״, ״מֶלֶךְ אוֹהֵב צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט״, חוּץ מֵעֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁבֵּין רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, שֶׁמִּתְפַּלֵּל ״הַמֶּלֶךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ״, וְ״הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמִּשְׁפָּט״.
And, with regard to the formulation of the blessings, Rabba bar Ḥinnana Sava said in the name of Rav: Throughout the year a person prays and concludes the third blessing of the Amida prayer with: The holy God, and concludes the blessing regarding the restoration of justice to Israel with: King who loves righteousness and justice, with the exception of the ten days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of Atonement. These days are comprised of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and the seven days in between, when one emphasizes God’s sovereignty, and so when he prays he concludes these blessings with: The holy King and: The King of justice, i.e., the King who reveals Himself through justice.
וְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר אֲפִילּוּ אָמַר ״הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ״ — יָצָא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיִּגְבַּה ה׳ צְבָאוֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּט וְהָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ נִקְדַּשׁ בִּצְדָקָה״. אֵימָתַי ״וַיִּגְבַּה ה׳ צְבָאוֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּט״ — אֵלּוּ עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁמֵּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, וְקָאָמַר ״הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ״.
In contrast, Rabbi Elazar said that one need not be exacting, and even if he said: The holy God during those ten days, he fulfilled his obligation, as it is stated: “And the Lord of Hosts is exalted through justice, and the holy God is sanctified through righteousness” (Isaiah 5:16). The Gemara explains: When is it appropriate to describe God with terms like: And the Lord of Hosts is exalted through justice? It is appropriate when God reveals Himself through justice, during the ten days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, yet the verse says: The holy God. This appellation sufficiently underscores God’s transcendence, and there is no need to change the standard formula.
מַאי הֲוָה עֲלַהּ?
The Gemara asks: What is the conclusion that was reached about this halakha?
אָמַר רַב יוֹסֵף: ״הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ״ וּ״מֶלֶךְ אוֹהֵב צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפַּט״. רַבָּה אָמַר: ״הַמֶּלֶךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ״ וְ״הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמִּשְׁפָּט״. וְהִלְכְתָא כְּרַבָּה.
Here, too, opinions differ: Rav Yosef said in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar: There is no need to change the standard formula: The holy God and: King Who loves righteousness and justice. Rabba said in accordance with the opinion of Rav: The holy King and: The King of justice. The Gemara concludes: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabba.
וְאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר חִינָּנָא סָבָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב: כֹּל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עַל חֲבֵירוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מְבַקֵּשׁ — נִקְרָא ״חוֹטֵא״. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״גַּם אָנֹכִי חָלִילָה לִּי מֵחֲטֹא לַה׳ מֵחֲדֹל לְהִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעַדְכֶם״.
And Rabba bar Ḥinnana Sava said in the name of Rav: Anyone who can ask for mercy on behalf of another, and does not ask is called a sinner, as it is stated following Samuel’s rebuke of the people: “As for me, far be it from me that I should transgress against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you, but I will teach you the good and the right way” (I Samuel 12:23). Had Samuel refrained from prayer, he would have committed a sin.
אָמַר רָבָא: אִם תַּלְמִיד חָכָם הוּא, צָרִיךְ שֶׁיַּחֲלֶה עַצְמוֹ עָלָיו.
Rava said: If the one in need of mercy is a Torah scholar, it is insufficient to merely pray on his behalf. Rather, one must make himself ill worrying about him.
מַאי טַעְמָא? אִילֵּימָא מִשּׁוּם דִּכְתִיב: ״וְאֵין חֹלֶה מִכֶּם עָלַי וְאֵין גּוֹלֶה אֶת אָזְנִי״ — דִּילְמָא מֶלֶךְ שָׁאנֵי. אֶלָּא מֵהָכָא: ״וַאֲנִי בַּחֲלוֹתָם לְבוּשִׁי וְגוֹ׳״.
The Gemara seeks to clarify the source of this halakha. What is the reason that one must make oneself ill over a Torah scholar in need of mercy? If you say that it is because of what Saul said to his men, as it is written: “And there is none of you that is ill over me or tells unto me” (I Samuel 22:8), meaning that because Saul was a Torah scholar, it would have been appropriate for people to make themselves ill worrying about him; this is not an absolute proof. Perhaps a king is different, and excessive worry is appropriate in that case. Rather, proof that one must make oneself ill over a Torah scholar in need for mercy is from here: When David speaks of his enemies, Doeg and Ahitophel, who were Torah scholars, he says: “But for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth, I afflicted my soul with fasting” (Psalms 35:13). One must be concerned to the extent that he dresses in sackcloth and fasts for the recovery of a Torah scholar.
וְאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר חִינָּנָא סָבָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב: כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה דְּבַר עֲבֵירָה וּמִתְבַּיֵּישׁ בּוֹ — מוֹחֲלִין לוֹ עַל כָּל עֲוֹנוֹתָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״לְמַעַן תִּזְכְּרִי וָבֹשְׁתְּ וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָּךְ עוֹד פִּתְחוֹן פֶּה מִפְּנֵי כְּלִמָּתֵךְ בְּכַפְּרִי לָךְ לְכָל אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂית נְאֻם ה׳ אֱלֹהִים״.
And Rabba bar Ḥinnana Sava said in the name of Rav: One who commits an act of transgression and is ashamed of it, all of his transgressions are forgiven. Shame is a sign that one truly despises his transgressions and that shame has the power to atone for his actions (Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto), as it is stated: “In order that you remember, and be embarrassed, and never open your mouth anymore, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done, said the Lord, God” (Ezekiel 16:63).
דִּילְמָא צִבּוּר שָׁאנֵי. אֶלָּא מֵהָכָא: ״וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל שָׁאוּל לָמָּה הִרְגַּזְתַּנִי לְהַעֲלוֹת אֹתִי וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל צַר לִי מְאֹד וּפְלִשְׁתִּים נִלְחָמִים בִּי וַה׳ סָר מֵעָלַי וְלֹא עָנָנִי עוֹד גַּם בְּיַד הַנְּבִיאִים גַּם בַּחֲלֹמוֹת וָאֶקְרָאֶה לְךָ לְהוֹדִיעֵנִי מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה״. וְאִילּוּ ״אוּרִים וְתֻמִּים״ לָא קָאָמַר.
However this proof is rejected: Perhaps a community is different, as a community is forgiven more easily than an individual. Rather, proof that an individual ashamed of his actions is forgiven for his transgressions is cited from here, when King Saul consulted Samuel by means of a necromancer before his final war with the Philistines: “And Samuel said to Saul, why have you angered me to bring me up? And Saul said, I am very pained, and the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has removed Himself from me and answers me no more, neither by the hands of the prophets nor by dreams. And I call to you to tell me what to do” (I Samuel 28:15). Saul says that he consulted prophets and dreams, but he did not say that he consulted the Urim VeTummim.
מִשּׁוּם דְּקַטְלֵיהּ לְנוֹב עִיר הַכֹּהֲנִים.
The reason for this is because he killed all the residents of Nov, the city of priests, and because of this transgression Saul was ashamed to consult the Urim VeTummim, which was accomplished by means of a priest.
וּמִנַּיִן דְּאַחִילוּ לֵיהּ מִן שְׁמַיָּא — שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל שָׁאוּל (מָחָר) [וּמָחָר] אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ עִמִּי״, וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן ״עִמִּי״ — בִּמְחִיצָתִי.
The Gemara concludes: And from where is it derived that Saul was pardoned by God in the heavens for his transgressions? As it is stated: “And Samuel said to Saul: Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me” (I Samuel 28:19). And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: With me does not only mean that they will die, but also means, in a statement that contains an aspect of consolation, that they will be in my company among the righteous in heaven, as Saul was pardoned for his transgressions.
וְרַבָּנַן אָמְרִי, מֵהָכָא: ״וְהוֹקַעְנוּם לַה׳ בְּגִבְעַת שָׁאוּל בְּחִיר ה׳״. יָצְתָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה ״בְּחִיר ה׳״.
And the Rabbis say that proof that Saul was pardoned is derived from here, from what the Gibeonites said to David: “Let seven men of his sons be given to us and we will hang them up unto the Lord in the Giva of Saul, the chosen of the Lord” (II Samuel 21:6). Certainly the Gibeonites, who were furious at Saul, would not refer to him as the chosen of the Lord. Therefore, this phrase must be understood as having been spoken by a Divine Voice that emerged and said the chosen of the Lord, because Saul had been pardoned for his transgressions and included among the completely righteous.
The Gemara returns to the primary focus of the chapter, the recitation of Shema.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֲבָהוּ בֶּן זוּטַרְתִּי אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר זְבִידָא: בִּקְּשׁוּ לִקְבּוֹעַ פָּרָשַׁת בָּלָק בִּקְרִיאַת שְׁמַע, וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא קְבָעוּהָ — מִשּׁוּם טוֹרַח צִבּוּר.
Rabbi Abbahu ben Zutarti said that Rabbi Yehuda bar Zevida said: The Sages sought to establish the blessings of Balaam that appear in the Torah portion of Balak, as part of the twice-daily recitation of Shema. And why did they not establish it there? Because extending Shema would place an encumbrance on the congregation, from which the Sages sought to refrain.
מַאי טַעְמָא? אִילֵּימָא מִשּׁוּם דִּכְתִיב בָּהּ: ״אֵל מֹצִיאָם מִמִּצְרַיִם״ — לֵימָא פָּרָשַׁת רִבִּית וּפָרָשַׁת מִשְׁקָלוֹת דִּכְתִיב בָּהֶן יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם.
The Gemara seeks: Why did the Sages seek to add the blessings of Balaam in the first place? If you say that they did so because the exodus from Egypt is mentioned, as it is written therein: “God, who brought them forth out of Egypt, is like the horns of the wild ram” (Numbers 23:22), certainly mention of the Exodus is not unique to this Torah portion. Many other portions mention the exodus as well. Let us say the portion of usury (Leviticus 25:35–38) or the portion of weights (Leviticus 19:35–37), as the exodus from Egypt is written therein as well. In addition, they are brief and would not constitute an encumbrance on the congregation.
אֶלָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר אָבִין, מִשּׁוּם דִּכְתִיב בָּהּ הַאי קְרָא: ״כָּרַע שָׁכַב כַּאֲרִי וּכְלָבִיא מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ״.
Rather, Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said: The reason the Sages sought to establish the portion of Balak as part of the recitation of Shema is because it is written therein: “He couched, He lay down like a lion and a lioness; who shall rouse Him? Those who bless You are blessed and those who curse You are cursed” (Numbers 24:9). This is reminiscent of what is said in Shema: When you lie down, and when you rise.
וְלֵימָא הַאי פְּסוּקָא וְתוּ לָא.
On this, the Gemara asks: And if it is important to include this as part of Shema because of this single verse, then let us say this verse and nothing more.
גְּמִירִי: כֹּל פָּרָשָׁה דְּפַסְקַהּ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ — פָּסְקִינַן, דְּלָא פַּסְקַהּ מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ — לָא פָּסְקִינַן.
The Gemara rejects this: It is impossible to do this, as they learned through tradition that any portion that Moses, our teacher, divided, we too divide and read separately. However, a portion that Moses, our teacher, did not divide, we do not divide and read separately. And, as stated above, the Sages did not wish to institute the recitation of the entire portion of Balak to avoid placing an encumbrance on the congregation.
פָּרָשַׁת צִיצִית מִפְּנֵי מָה קְבָעוּהָ?
The Gemara continues: Why was the portion of ritual fringes established as part of the recitation of Shema when its content is unrelated to that of the preceding portions?
אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר חֲבִיבָא, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים: מִצְוַת צִיצִית, יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם, עוֹל מִצְוֹת, וְדַעַת מִינִים, הִרְהוּר עֲבֵירָה, וְהִרְהוּר עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה.
Rabbi Yehuda bar Ḥaviva said: The portion of ritual fringes was added because it includes five elements including the primary reason for its inclusion, the exodus from Egypt (Melo HaRo’im): The mitzva of ritual fringes, mention of the exodus from Egypt, the acceptance of the yoke of mitzvot, admonition against the opinions of the heretics, admonition against thoughts of the transgressions of licentiousness, and admonition against thoughts of idolatry.
בִּשְׁלָמָא הָנֵי תְּלָת מְפָרְשָׁן. עוֹל מִצְוֹת, דִּכְתִיב: ״וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם אֶת כָּל מִצְוֹת ה׳״. צִיצִית, דִּכְתִיב: ״וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִית וְגוֹ׳״. יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם, דִּכְתִיב: ״אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי וְגוֹ׳״. אֶלָּא: דַּעַת מִינִים, הִרְהוּר עֲבֵירָה, וְהִרְהוּר עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה — מְנָלַן?
The Gemara clarifies: Granted, these three are mentioned explicitly: The yoke of mitzvot is mentioned in the portion of ritual fringes, as it is written: “And you shall look upon them and remember all the mitzvot of the Lord and you shall do them” (Numbers 15:39). Ritual fringes are mentioned explicitly, as it is written: “And they will make for themselves ritual fringes” (Numbers 15:38). The exodus from Egypt is also mentioned explicitly, as it is written: “I am the Lord, your God, who took you out from the Land of Egypt” (Numbers 15:41). But where do we derive the other elements mentioned above: Admonition against the opinions of the heretics, admonition against thoughts of transgressions of licentiousness, and admonition against thoughts of idolatry?
דְּתַנְיָא: ״אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם״ — זוֹ מִינוּת, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר: ״אָמַר נָבָל בְּלִבּוֹ אֵין אֱלֹהִים״. ״אַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם״ — זֶה הִרְהוּר עֲבֵירָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן אֶל אָבִיו אוֹתָהּ קַח לִי, כִּי הִיא יָשְׁרָה בְעֵינָי״. ״אַתֶּם זוֹנִים״ — זֶה הִרְהוּר עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר ״וַיִּזְנוּ אַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים״.
In response, the Gemara cites a baraita where these elements were derived from allusions in the verse, “You shall stray neither after your hearts nor after your eyes, after which you would lust” (Numbers 15:39). As it was taught: “After your hearts” refers to following opinions of heresy that may arise in one’s heart. The Gemara offers a proof, as it is stated: “The fool said in his heart: ‘There is no God’; they have been corrupt, they have acted abominably; there is none who does good” (Psalms 14:1). The phrase: “After your eyes,” in this verse refers to following thoughts of transgressions of licentiousness, that a person might see and desire, as it is stated: “And Samson said to his father, ‘That one take for me, for she is upright in my eyes’” (Judges 14:3). The passage: “You shall stray after” refers to promiscuity, which in the parlance of the prophets is a metaphor for idol worship, as it is stated: “The children of Israel again went astray after the Be’alim” (Judges 8:33).
מַתְנִי׳ מַזְכִּירִין יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בַּלֵּילוֹת. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה: הֲרֵי אֲנִי כְּבֶן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, וְלֹא זָכִיתִי שֶׁתֵּאָמֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בַּלֵּילוֹת, עַד שֶׁדְּרָשָׁהּ בֶּן זוֹמָא.
MISHNA: It is a mitzva by Torah law to mention the exodus from Egypt at night, but some held that this mitzva was, like phylacteries or ritual fringes, fulfilled only during the day and not at night. For this reason it was decided: The exodus from Egypt is mentioned at night, adjacent to the recitation of Shema. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya said: I am approximately seventy years old, and although I have long held this opinion, I was never privileged to prevail (Me’iri) and prove that there is a biblical obligation to fulfill the accepted custom (Ra’avad) and have the exodus from Egypt mentioned at night, until Ben Zoma interpreted it homiletically and proved it obligatory.
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ״. ״יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ״ — הַיָּמִים, ״כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ״ — הַלֵּילוֹת.
Ben Zoma derived it as it is stated: “That you may remember the day you went out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life” (Deuteronomy 16:3). The days of your life, refers to daytime alone; however, the addition of the word all, as it is stated: All the days of your life, comes to add nights as well.
וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים: ״יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ״ — הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. ״כֹּל״ — לְהָבִיא לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ.
And the Rabbis, who posit that there is no biblical obligation to mention the exodus from Egypt at night, explain the word, all, differently and say: The days of your life, refers to the days in this world, all is added to include the days of the Messiah.
גְּמָ׳ תַּנְיָא, אָמַר לָהֶם בֶּן זוֹמָא לַחֲכָמִים: וְכִי מַזְכִּירִין יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ! וַהֲלֹא כְּבָר נֶאֱמַר ״הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם ה׳ וְלֹא יֹאמְרוּ עוֹד חַי ה׳ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כִּי אִם חַי ה׳ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה וַאֲשֶׁר הֵבִיא אֶת זֶרַע בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹנָה וּמִכֹּל הָאֲרָצוֹת אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתִּים שָׁם״.
GEMARA: The fundamental dispute between Ben Zoma and the Sages appears in the mishna, and the baraita cites its continuation. Disputing the position of the Sages that: All the days of your life, refers to both this world and the days of the Messiah, it was taught in a baraita that Ben Zoma said to the Sages: And is the exodus from Egypt mentioned in the days of the Messiah? Was it not already said that Jeremiah prophesied that in the days of the Messiah: “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, that they will no longer say: The Lord lives Who brought up the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt. Rather: As the Lord lives, that brought up and led the seed of the house of Israel up out of the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them” (Jeremiah 23:7–8).
אָמְרוּ לוֹ: לֹא שֶׁתֵּעָקֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם מִמְּקוֹמָהּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁתְּהֵא שִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכֻיוֹת עִיקָּר, וִיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם טָפֵל לוֹ.
The Sages rejected this claim and they said to him that these verses do not mean that in the future the exodus from Egypt will be uprooted from its place and will be mentioned no more. Rather, redemption from the subjugation of the kingdoms will be primary and the exodus from Egypt will be secondary.
כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אַתָּה אוֹמֵר: ״לֹא יִקָּרֵא שִׁמְךָ עוֹד יַעֲקֹב כִּי אִם יִשְׂרָאֵל יִהְיֶה שְׁמֶךָ״,
On a similar note, you say: The meaning of the expressions: It will not say, and they will no longer mention, are not absolute, as in the verse: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob; rather, Israel will be your name” (Genesis 35:10). There, too, the meaning is