Berakhot 56b:18ברכות נ״ו ב:יח
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56bנ״ו ב

שיראי דמלכא כפיתו תרין ארזי בחבלא אסור חד כרעיה לחד ארזא וחד כרעיה לחד ארזא ושרו לחבלא עד דאצטליק רישיה אזל כל חד וחד וקם אדוכתיה ואצטליק ונפל בתרין

the king’s silk garments. They tied two cedar trees together with a rope, and tied one of his legs to one cedar and one of his legs to the other cedar, and they released the rope until his head split open. Each tree went back and stood in its place and bar Haddaya split and fell completely split in two.

שאל בן דמא בן אחותו של רבי ישמעאל את רבי ישמעאל ראיתי שני לחיי שנשרו אמר שני גדודי רומי יעצו עליך רעה ומתו

The Gemara relates a story with regard to a Sage who interpreted dreams, Rabbi Yishmael. Ben Dama, son of Rabbi Yishmael’s sister, asked his uncle, Rabbi Yishmael: I saw in a dream that my two cheeks fell off. What does my dream mean? Rabbi Yishmael said to him: Two Roman battalions spoke ill of you, and they died. Cheeks symbolize a mouth that speaks evil.

אמר ליה בר קפרא לרבי ראיתי חוטמי שנשר אמר ליה חרון אף נסתלק ממך אמר ליה ראיתי שני ידי שנחתכו אמר ליה לא תצטרך למעשה ידיך אמר ליה אראיתי שני רגלי שנקטעו אמר ליה על סוס אתה רוכב חזאי דאמרי לי באדר מיתת וניסן לא חזית אמר ליה באדרותא מיתת ולא אתית לידי נסיון

Similarly, the Gemara relates: Bar Kappara said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: I saw in a dream that my nose fell off, what is the meaning of my dream? He said to him: This is an allusion that anger [ḥaron af] that had been directed against you has been removed from you. Bar Kappara said to him: I saw in a dream that my two hands were cut off. Rabbi said to him: This dream means that you will not require the labor of your hands, as you will be rich and you will have considerable means without effort. Bar Kappara said to him: I saw my two legs were cut off. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: You are riding a horse. He said to him: I saw that they were saying to me that in the month of Adar I will die and I will not see Nisan He said to him: You will die in glory [adruta] and you will not be brought to temptation [nissayon].

אמר ליה ההוא מינא לרבי ישמעאל ראיתי שאני משקה שמן לזיתים אמר ליה בא על אמו אמר ליה חזאי דקטיף לי כוכבא אמר ליה בר ישראל גנבת אמר ליה חזאי דבלעתי לכוכבא אמר ליה בר ישראל זבנתיה ואכלת לדמיה אמר ליה חזאי עיני דנשקן אהדדי אמר ליה בא על אחותו אמר ליה חזאי דנשקי סיהרא אמר ליה בא על אשת ישראל אמר ליה חזאי דדריכנא בטונא דאסא אמר ליה בא על נערה המאורסה אמר ליה חזאי טונא מעילאי והוא מתתאי אמר ליה משכבך הפוך אמר ליה חזאי עורבי דהדרי לפורייה אמר ליה אשתך זנתה מאנשים הרבה אמר ליה חזאי יוני דהדרי לפורייה אמר ליה נשים הרבה טמאת אמר ליה חזאי דנקיט תרי יוני ופרחן אמר ליה תרתי נשי נסבת ופטרתינון בלא גט

The Gemara relates a different case of dream interpretation: A certain heretic said to Rabbi Yishmael: I saw in my dream that I was irrigating olives with olive oil. What is the interpretation of my dream? He said to him: It is a sign that you had relations with your mother, as oil comes from the olive, and he is returning the oil to the olives. That heretic said to Rabbi Yishmael: I saw that I was plucking a star. He said to him: You kidnapped an Israelite man, as Israel is likened to the stars. The heretic said to him: I saw that I swallowed a star. He said to him: You sold the Israelite man whom you kidnapped and spent the money that you received from the sale. The heretic said to him: I saw my eyes kissing one another. He said to him: You had relations with your sister as siblings are like two eyes. The heretic said to him: I saw myself kissing the moon. He said to him: You slept with an Israelite woman, who is likened to the moon. He said to him: I saw that I was treading in the shade of a myrtle tree. He said to him: You slept with a betrothed young woman, as it was customary to make a canopy of myrtle for the betrothal. He said to him: I saw that the shade was above me, and the tree was below me. He said to him: Your bed is upside-down, your relations with the betrothed woman were unnatural. He said to him: I saw ravens circling my bed. He said to him: Your wife committed adultery with many men. He said to him: I saw doves circling around my bed. He said to him: You defiled many women. He said to him: I saw that I was holding two doves and they were flying. He said to him: You married two women and dismissed them from your house without a divorce.

אמר ליה חזאי דקליפנא ביעי אמר ליה שכבי קא משלחת אמר ליה כולהו איתנהו בי בר מהא דליתיה אדהכי והכי אתיא האי איתתא ואמרה ליה האי גלימא דמכסא דגברא פלוני הוא דמית ואשלחתיה

He said to him: I saw myself peeling eggs. He said to him: You stripped dead people, because an egg is eaten at the meal of comfort after burying the dead. The same heretic said to him: Everything you have interpreted is true, with the exception of this one, the last interpretation, which is not true. Meanwhile, this woman came and said to him: This cloak that you are wearing belongs to such-and-such a man, who died and whom you stripped of his clothing.

אמר ליה חזאי דאמרי לי שבק לך אבוך נכסי בקפודקיא אמר ליה אית לך נכסי בקפודקיא אמר ליה לאו אזל אבוך לקפודקיא אמר ליה לאו אם כן קפא כשורא דיקא עשרה זיל חזי קפא דריש עשרה שהיא מלאה זוזי אזל אשכח שהיא מלאה זוזי

He said to Rabbi Yishmael: I saw that they said to me in a dream: Your father left you property in Cappadocia. Rabbi Yishmael said to him: Do you have property in Cappadocia? The heretic said to him: No. Did your father ever go to Cappadocia? The heretic said to him: No. Rabbi Yishmael said to him: If so, it must be understood as follows: Kappa in Greek means beam; deka means ten. Go look at the tenth beam in your house and you will find that it is full of coins. He went and found that it was full of coins.

אמר רבי חנינא הרואה באר בחלום רואה שלום שנאמר ויחפרו עבדי יצחק בנחל וימצאו שם באר מים חיים רבי נתן אומר מצא תורה שנאמר כי מצאי מצא חיים וכתיב הכא באר מים חיים רבא אמר חיים ממש

The Gemara continues dealing with interpretations of the details of dreams: Rabbi Ḥanina said: One who sees a well in a dream sees peace, as it is said: “And Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of living water” (Genesis 26:19), and ultimately there was peace. Rabbi Natan says: One who sees a well in his dream it is a symbol that he has found Torah, as the well symbolizes Torah. As it is stated with regard to the Torah: “For whoever finds me finds life” (Proverbs 8:35), and it is written here: “A well of living water,” and we see that a well is linked to Torah as both are associated with life. Rava said: The well in the dream symbolizes actual life.

אמר רבי חנן שלש שלומות הן נהר צפור וקדרה נהר דכתיב הנני נטה אליה כנהר שלום צפור דכתיב כצפרים עפות כן יגן ה׳ צבאות וגו׳ קדרה דכתיב ה׳ תשפת שלום לנו אמר רבי חנינא ובקדרה שאין בה בשר שנינו ופרשו כאשר בסיר וכבשר בתוך קלחת

Rabbi Ḥanan said: There are three items seen in dreams that are indications of peace: A river, a bird and a pot. The Gemara elaborates: A river, as it is written: “I will extend peace to her like a river” (Isaiah 66:12); a bird, as it is written: “As birds hovering, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem” (Isaiah 31:5); and a pot, as it is written: “Lord, You will establish [tishpot] peace for us” (Isaiah 26:12). Peace is likened to a pot which is placed [shafat] on the fire. And Rabbi Ḥanina said: We learned that a pot in a dream is a sign of peace with regard to a pot that does not have meat in it, as a pot that has meat in it symbolizes calamity, as it is stated: “Yea, they chop them in pieces, as that which is in the pot, and as flesh within the cauldron” (Micah 3:3).

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי הרואה נהר בחלום ישכים ויאמר הנני נטה אליה כנהר שלום קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר כי יבא כנהר צר הרואה צפור בחלום ישכים ויאמר כצפרים עפות כן יגן וגו׳ קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר כצפור נודדת מן קנה וגו׳ הרואה קדרה בחלום ישכים ויאמר ה׳ תשפת שלום לנו קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר שפת הסיר שפת

Since rivers, birds, and pots have ambiguous connotations, it is recommended that someone who sees them in a dream recite a verse that interprets the dream positively. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who sees something in a dream that may be interpreted ambiguously should quickly recite an appropriate verse suggestive of a positive interpretation. For example, one who sees a river in a dream should rise early and recite: “I will extend peace to her like a river,” before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “For distress will come in like a river” (Isaiah 59:19). One who sees a bird in a dream should rise early and recite: “As birds hovering, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem,” before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man that wanders from his place” (Proverbs 27:8). One who sees a pot in a dream should rise early and recite: “Lord, You will establish peace for us,” before a different verse, which concludes with a wrathful prophecy, can precede it in becoming reality: “Set on the pot, set it on” (Ezekiel 24:3).

הרואה ענבים בחלום ישכים ויאמר כענבים במדבר קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר ענבמו ענבי רוש הרואה הר בחלום ישכים ויאמר מה נאוו על ההרים רגלי מבשר קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר על ההרים אשא בכי ונהי

Similarly, one who sees grapes in a dream should rise early and recite: “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness” (Hosea 9:10), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter” (Deuteronomy 32:32). One who sees a mountain in a dream should rise early and recite: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announces peace, the harbinger of good tidings, that announces salvation” (Isaiah 52:7), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing” (Jeremiah 9:9).

הרואה שופר בחלום ישכים ויאמר והיה ביום ההוא יתקע בשופר גדול קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר תקעו שופר בגבעה

One who sees a shofar in a dream should rise early and recite: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great shofar shall be sounded; and they shall come that were lost in the land of Assyria, and they that were dispersed in the land of Egypt” (Isaiah 27:13), before a different verse, in which the shofar is a symbol of war, can precede it in becoming reality: “Blow you the horn [shofar] in Giva” (Hosea 5:8).

הרואה כלב בחלום ישכים ויאמר ולכל בני ישראל לא יחרץ כלב לשנו קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר והכלבים עזי נפש הרואה ארי בחלום ישכים ויאמר אריה שאג מי לא יירא קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר עלה אריה מסבכו

One who sees a dog in a dream should rise early and recite: “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog whet his tongue” (Exodus 11:7), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “Yea, the dogs are greedy” (Isaiah 56:11). One who sees a lion in a dream should rise early and recite: “The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “A lion is gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations is set out, gone forth from his place” (Jeremiah 4:7).

הרואה תגלחת בחלום ישכים ויאמר ויגלח ויחלף שמלתיו קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר כי אם גלחתי וסר ממני כחי הרואה באר בחלום ישכים ויאמר באר מים חיים קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר כהקיר ביר מימיה הרואה קנה בחלום ישכים ויאמר קנה רצוץ לא ישבור קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר הנה בטחת לך על משענת הקנה הרצוץ

One who sees a shave in a dream should rise early and recite: “And he shaved himself, and changed his raiment” (Genesis 41:14), which was said with regard to Joseph when he left prison and rose to greatness, before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak” (Judges 16:17). One who sees a well in a dream should rise early and recite: “A well of living waters” (Song of Songs 4:15), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “As a cistern wells with her waters, so it wells in its wickedness” (Jeremiah 6:7). One who sees a reed in a dream should rise early and recite: “A bruised reed shall he not break” (Isaiah 42:3), in praise of the Messiah, before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “Now, behold, you trust upon the staff of this bruised reed” (II Kings 18:21), which is a disparaging depiction of Egypt.

תנו רבנן הרואה קנה בחלום יצפה לחכמה שנאמר קנה חכמה קנים יצפה לבינה שנאמר ובכל קנינך קנה בינה אמר רבי זירא קרא קורא קירא קניא כולהו מעלו לחלמא תניא אין מראין דלועין אלא למי שהוא ירא שמים בכל כחו

The Sages teach: One who sees a reed [kaneh] in a dream should expect wisdom, as it is stated: “Get [kene] wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7). One who sees several reeds [kanim] should expect understanding, as it said: “Yea, with all your acquisitions [kinyanekha] acquire understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). Rabbi Zeira said: Pumpkin [kara], heart of palm [kura], wax [kira], and reed [kanya], are all advantageous when one dreams about them. It was taught in a baraita: A pumpkin is only shown in a dream to one who fears Heaven with all his might, because pumpkins [delu’im] are interpreted as an acronym for dalu einai lamarom, “My eyes were raised on high” (Isaiah 38:14).

הרואה שור בחלום ישכים ויאמר בכור שורו הדר לו קודם שיקדמנו פסוק אחר כי יגח שור את איש

One who sees an ox in a dream, should rise early and recite: “His firstling bullock, majesty is his” (Deuteronomy 33:17), before a different verse, with a negative connotation, can precede it in becoming reality: “And if an ox gore a man” (Exodus 21:28).

תנו רבנן חמשה דברים נאמרו בשור האוכל מבשרו מתעשר נגחו הויין ליה בנים שמנגחים בתורה נשכו יסורין באים עליו בעטו דרך רחוקה נזדמנה לו רכבו עולה לגדולה

The Sages taught in a baraita: Five matters are said about dreams with regard to the ox. One who dreams that he ate from its flesh will become wealthy. One who dreams that it gored him will have sons who are Torah scholars, who gore each other in an attempt to better understand Torah. One who dreams that it bit him, suffering is coming to him. One who dreams that it kicked him will be required to travel a great distance in the future. One who dreams that he was riding it, it is a sign that he will rise to greatness.

והתניא רכבו מת לא קשיא הא דרכיב הוא לתורא הא דרכיב תורא לדידיה

The Gemara challenges: Wasn’t it taught in a baraita that one who dreams that he was riding it, it is a sign that he will die? The Gemara responds: This is not difficult. This, which taught that he will rise to greatness, refers to a case where he saw that he was riding the ox, while this, which taught that it is a sign of his imminent death, refers to a case where he saw that the ox was riding him.

הרואה חמור בחלום יצפה לישועה שנאמר הנה מלכך יבוא לך צדיק ונושע הוא עני ורכב על חמור הרואה חתול בחלום באתרא דקרו ליה שונרא נעשית לו שירה נאה שינרא נעשה לו שינוי רע הרואה ענבים בחלום לבנות בין בזמנן ובין שלא בזמנן יפות שחורות בזמנן יפות שלא בזמנן רעות הרואה סוס לבן בחלום בין בנחת בין ברדוף יפה לו אדום בנחת יפה ברדוף קשה

One who sees a donkey in a dream should anticipate salvation, as it is said: “Behold, your king comes unto you; he is triumphant, and victorious, lowly, and riding upon a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). One who sees a cat in a dream in a place where in Aramaic they call it shunra, a nice song [shira na’a] will be composed for him. If he sees a cat in a place where they call cats shinra, it is a sign that he will undergo a change for the worse [shinui ra]. One who sees grapes in a dream and they were white or light colored, regardless of whether it was in their season or not in their season, it is a good sign. One who sees black grapes in their season, it is a good omen. However, one who sees black grapes when it was not in their season, it is a bad omen. One who sees a white horse in a dream, regardless of whether the horse was walking or running, it is a good omen for him. One who sees a red horse walking, it is a good omen; running, it is a bad omen.

הרואה ישמעאל בחלום תפלתו נשמעת ודוקא ישמעאל בן אברהם אבל טייעא בעלמא לא הרואה גמל בחלום מיתה נקנסה לו מן השמים והצילוהו ממנה אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי קראה ואנכי ארד עמך מצרימה ואנכי אעלך גם עלה רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר מהכא גם ה׳ העביר חטאתך לא תמות

The Gemara says: One who sees Ishmael in a dream, it is an omen that his prayer will be heard, just as Ishmael’s prayer was heard. The Gemara notes: This refers specifically to where one saw Ishmael, son of Abraham, but not if one saw a random Arab. One who sees a camel [gamal] in a dream, it is an omen that death was decreed upon him from heaven but he was spared. Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: What verse alludes to this? “I will go down with you into Egypt; and I will also surely bring you up again [gam alo]” (Genesis 46:4), the acronym for which is gamal. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The source for this is from here, another verse: “The Lord also [gam] has put away your sin; you shall not die” (II Samuel 12:13).

הרואה פינחס בחלום פלא נעשה לו הרואה פיל בחלום פלאות נעשו לו פילים פלאי פלאות נעשו לו

One who sees Pinehas in a dream, it is an omen that a miracle will be performed on his behalf, just as miracles were performed for Pinehas. One who sees an elephant [pil] in a dream it is an omen that miracles [pelaot] will be performed for him. One who sees multiple elephants in a dream, miracles upon miracles will be performed for him.

והתניא כל מיני חיות יפין לחלום חוץ מן הפיל ומן הקוף לא קשיא

The Gemara asks: Was it not taught in a baraita: All species of animals are good omens in a dream, with the exception of an elephant and a monkey? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult.