Berakhot 59aברכות נ״ט א
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59aנ״ט א

כְּטִרְפָּא דִּטְרִיף. וְהַאי דְּאָזְלָא בָּתְרַהּ, דְּאָמְרָה לַהּ: הַב לִי בְּנַי. שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּקֵּשׁ לְהָבִיא מַבּוּל לְעוֹלָם נָטַל שְׁנֵי כּוֹכָבִים מִכִּימָה וְהֵבִיא מַבּוּל לָעוֹלָם. וּכְשֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְסׇתְמָהּ, נָטַל שְׁנֵי כּוֹכָבִים מֵעַיִשׁ וּסְתָמָהּ.

as if it was appended onto it. The Gemara explains: And the fact that Ursa Major follows Pleiades, it is as if Ursa Major is saying to Pleiades: Give me back my children, my two stars. As it is related: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to bring a flood into the world, He took two stars from Pleiades and brought the flood upon the world. And afterward, when He wished to fill the void, He took two stars from Ursa Major and filled the void with them. Consequently, the constellation of Ursa Major attempts to persuade Pleiades, seeking to get its stars back.

וְלַיהְדַּר לַהּ? — אֵין הַבּוֹר מִתְמַלֵּא מֵחוּלְיָתוֹ. אִי נָמֵי — אֵין קָטֵיגוֹר נַעֲשָׂה סָנֵיגוֹר.

The Gemara asks: And return it, why did the Holy One, Blessed be He, not restore the original two stars to Pleiades? The Gemara answers: A pit cannot be filled by its own earth; when a pit is excavated, the earth that was excavated from it is insufficient to refill it. Alternatively, one could say that a prosecutor cannot become an advocate; since these stars caused the flood it is not appropriate that they facilitate the end of the flood.

וְלִיבְרֵי לַהּ תְּרֵי כֹּכְבֵי אַחֲרִינֵי! — ״אֵין כׇּל חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ״. אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן: עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהַחֲזִירָן לָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם״.

The Gemara argues: Then God should have created two other new stars for Pleiades. The Gemara responds: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Rav Naḥman said: In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will restore those same stars to Ursa Major, as it is stated: “Or can you guide [tanḥem] Ursa Major with her sons?” (Job 38:32), which is interpreted homiletically in the sense of consolation [tanḥumim] apparently due to the restoration of those stars.

וְעַל הַזְּוָעוֹת. מַאי זְוָעוֹת? אָמַר רַב קַטִּינָא: גּוּהָא. רַב קַטִּינָא הֲוָה קָאָזֵיל בְּאוֹרְחָא. כִּי מְטָא אַפִּתְחָא דְּבֵי אוֹבָא טַמְיָא גְּנַח גּוּהָא. אָמַר: מִי יָדַע אוֹבָא טַמְיָא הַאי גּוּהָא מַהוּ? רְמָא לֵיהּ קָלָא: קַטִּינָא קַטִּינָא, אַמַּאי לָא יָדַעְנָא? בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא זוֹכֵר אֶת בָּנָיו שֶׁשְּׁרוּיִים בְּצַעַר בֵּין אוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם מוֹרִיד שְׁתֵּי דְמָעוֹת לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל, וְקוֹלוֹ נִשְׁמָע מִסּוֹף הָעוֹלָם וְעַד סוֹפוֹ, וְהַיְינוּ גּוּהָא.

And we learned in the mishna that over zeva’ot one recites the blessing: Whose strength and power fill the world. The Gemara asks: What are zeva’ot? Rav Ketina said: An earthquake. The Gemara relates: Rav Ketina was once walking along the road when he came to the entrance of the house of a necromancer and an earthquake rumbled. He said: Does this necromancer know what is this earthquake? The necromancer raised his voice and said: Ketina, Ketina, why would I not know? Certainly this earthquake occurred because when the Holy One, Blessed be He, remembers His children who are suffering among the nations of the world, He sheds two tears into the great sea. The sound of their reverberation is heard from one end of the earth to the other. And that is an earthquake.

אָמַר רַב קַטִּינָא: אוֹבָא טַמְיָא כַּדִּיב הוּא, וּמִילֵּיהּ כְּדִיבִין. אִי הָכִי — גּוּהָא גּוּהָא מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ? וְלָא הִיא, גּוּהָא גּוּהָא עָבֵיד, וְהַאי דְּלָא אוֹדִי לֵיהּ, כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלָא לִיטְעֵי כּוּלֵּי עָלְמָא אַבָּתְרֵיהּ.

Rav Ketina said: The necromancer is a liar and his statements are lies. If so, it would necessitate an earthquake followed by another earthquake, one for each tear. The Gemara remarks: That is not so, as it indeed causes an earthquake followed by another earthquake; and the fact that Rav Ketina did not admit that the necromancer was correct was so that everyone would not mistakenly follow him.

וְרַב קַטִּינָא דִּידֵיהּ אָמַר: סוֹפֵק כַּפָּיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְגַם אֲנִי אַכֶּה כַפִּי אֶל כַּפִּי וַהֲנִיחֹתִי חֲמָתִי״. רַבִּי נָתָן אוֹמֵר: אֲנָחָה מִתְאַנֵּחַ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַהֲנִיחוֹתִי חֲמָתִי בָּם וְהִנֶּחָמְתִּי״. וְרַבָּנַן אָמְרִי: בּוֹעֵט בָּרָקִיעַ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הֵידָד כְּדֹרְכִים יַעֲנֶה אֶל כׇּל יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ״. רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב אָמַר: דּוֹחֵק אֶת רַגְלָיו תַּחַת כִּסֵּא הַכָּבוֹד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״כֹּה אָמַר ה׳ הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי וְהָאָרֶץ הֲדֹם רַגְלָי״.

Rav Ketina also stated his own explanation for the earthquake: Because God claps His hands together in anger, as it is stated: “I will also smite My hands together and I will satisfy My fury; I, the Lord, have spoken it” (Ezekiel 21:22). Rabbi Natan says: The earthquake is caused because God sighs over the dire straits in which Israel finds itself, as it is stated: “Thus shall My anger spend itself, and I will satisfy My fury upon them, and I will be eased” (Ezekiel 5:13). And the Rabbis say: An earthquake is caused when God kicks the firmament, causing a rumbling, as it is stated: “The Lord roars from on high, from His holy dwelling He makes His voice heard. He roars mightily over His dwelling place, He cries out like those who tread grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth” (Jeremiah 25:30). Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: An earthquake is caused when God forces His feet beneath the throne of glory and the world quakes, as it is stated: “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool” (Isaiah 66:1).

וְעַל הָרְעָמִים. מַאי רְעָמִים? אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: עֲנָנֵי בְּגַלְגַּלָּא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״קוֹל רַעַמְךָ בַּגַּלְגַּל הֵאִירוּ בְרָקִים תֵּבֵל רָגְזָה וַתִּרְעַשׁ הָאָרֶץ״. וְרַבָּנַן אָמְרִי: עֲנָנֵי דְּשָׁפְכִי מַיָּא לַהֲדָדֵי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״לְקוֹל תִּתּוֹ הֲמוֹן מַיִם בַּשָּׁמַיִם״. רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב אָמַר: בַּרְקָא תַּקִּיפָא דְּבָרֵיק בַּעֲנָנָא, וּמְתַבַּר גְּזִיזֵי דְבַרְזָא. רַב אָשֵׁי אָמַר: עֲנָנֵי חַלְחוֹלֵי מְחַלְחֲלִי, וְאָתֵי זִיקָא וּמְנַשֵּׁב אַפּוּמַּיְיהוּ, וְדָמֵי כְּזִיקָּא עַל פּוּם דַּנֵּי. וּמִסְתַּבְּרָא כְּרַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב, דְּבָרֵיק בַּרְקָא, וּמְנַהֲמֵי עֲנָנֵי, וְאָתֵי מִטְרָא.

We also learned in the mishna that over thunder one recites: Whose strength and power fill the world. The Gemara asks: What causes thunder? Shmuel said: When the clouds located in the curvature of the firmament collide with the firmament itself, they produce this sound, as it is stated: “The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightning lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook” (Psalms 77:19). And the Rabbis say: Thunder is the sound of clouds pouring water into one another, as it is stated: “At the sound of His giving a multitude of waters in the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:13). Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: Thunder is caused by a powerful lightning bolt that flashes in the cloud and shatters the hailstones. Rav Ashi said: Because the clouds are hollow, and when the wind comes and blows across their mouths, it sounds like wind blowing in the mouth of a jug. The Gemara concludes: And it stands to reason in accordance with the opinion of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov; as lightning flashes, the clouds rumble, and the rain comes.

וְעַל הָרוּחוֹת. מַאי רוּחוֹת? אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: זַעְפָּא. וְאָמַר אַבָּיֵי: גְּמִירִי, דְּזַעְפָּא בְּלֵילְיָא לָא הָוֵי. וְהָא קָא חֲזֵינַן דְּהָוֵי! — הָהוּא, דְּאַתְחֵיל בִּימָמָא. וְאָמַר אַבָּיֵי: גְּמִירִי, דְּזַעְפָּא תַּרְתֵּי שָׁעֵי לָא קָאֵי, לְקַיֵּים מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״לֹא תָקוּם פַּעֲמַיִם צָרָה״. וְהָא קָא חָזֵינַן דְּקָאֵי! — דְּמַפְסֵיק בֵּינֵי בֵּינֵי.

We also learned in the mishna that over wind one recites the blessing: Whose strength and power fill the world. The Gemara asks: What are these winds? Abaye said: These are gale force winds. Abaye said: We learned through tradition that there are no gale force winds at night. The Gemara asks: Don’t we see that there are gale force winds at night? The Gemara answers: This gale force wind that blows at night does not begin blowing at night; rather, it begins blowing during the day. And Abaye said: We learned through tradition that a gale force wind does not last two hours, to fulfill that which is stated: “Trouble shall not rise up a second time” (Nahum 1:9). The Gemara asks: Don’t we see that it does last longer than two hours? The Gemara answers: Actually, it does not last longer than two hours. The fact that we sense that it does last longer is due to cases where it does not blow uninterruptedly, but it briefly stops in between.

וְעַל הַבְּרָקִים אוֹמֵר ״בָּרוּךְ … שֶׁכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם״. מַאי בְּרָקִים? אָמַר רָבָא: בַּרְקָא. וְאָמַר רָבָא: בַּרְקָא יְחִידָאָה, וּבַרְקָא חִיוָּרָא, וּבַרְקָא יְרוּקְתָּא, וַעֲנָנֵי דְּסָלְקָן בְּקֶרֶן מַעֲרָבִית וְאָתְיָין מִקֶּרֶן דְּרוֹמִית, וְתַרְתֵּי עֲנָנֵי דְּסָלְקָן חֲדָא לְאַפֵּי חֲבֶרְתָּהּ — כּוּלְּהוּ קַשְׁיָין.

We also learned in the mishna that over lightning one recites: Blessed…Whose strength and power fill the world. The Gemara asks: What is this lightning? Rava said: A bright light. And Rava said: A single bolt of lightning, white lightning, green lightning, clouds that rise in the western corner and come from the southern corner, and two clouds that rise with one facing the other are all signs of trouble.

לְמַאי נָפְקָא מִינַּהּ? לְמִבְעֵי רַחֲמֵי. וְהָנֵי מִילֵּי בְּלֵילְיָא, אֲבָל בְּצַפְרָא — לֵית בְּהוּ מְשָׁשָׁא.

The Gemara asks: What practical difference is there in the knowledge that they are signs of trouble? The Gemara answers: So that we may pray for God’s mercy, that they cause us no harm. The Gemara remarks that this only applies when these phenomena appear at night. In the morning, however, they are insignificant.

אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר יִצְחָק: הָנֵי עֲנָנֵי דְצַפְרָא לֵית בְּהוּ מְשָׁשָׁא, דִּכְתִיב: ״וְחַסְדְּכֶם כַּעֲנַן בֹּקֶר וְגוֹ׳״. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב פָּפָּא לְאַבָּיֵי, הָא אָמְרִי אִינָשֵׁי: כַּד מִפְתָּח בָּבֵי מִיטְרָא, בַּר חַמָּרָא, מוּךְ שַׂקָּיךָ וּגְנִי! לָא קַשְׁיָא: הָא דִּקְטִר בְּעֵיבָא, הָא דִּקְטִר בַּעֲנָנֵי.

Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said: Morning clouds dissipate immediately so they have no substance, as it is written: “For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that early passes away” (Hosea 6:4). With regard to this, Rav Pappa said to Abaye: But don’t people say the maxim: If there is rain when people open their doors in the morning, donkey-driver, fold your sack and go to sleep, as rain will continue to fall all day. Apparently morning clouds indicate that there will be rain all day. The Gemara responds: This is not difficult, as this, that suggests that there will be considerable rain, refers to a case where the sky is covered with thick clouds, while this opinion, where Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said that morning clouds have no substance and will not produce much rain, refers to a case where the sky is covered with flimsy clouds which will certainly pass.

אָמַר רַבִּי אֲלֶכְּסַנְדְּרִי אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: לֹא נִבְרְאוּ רְעָמִים אֶלָּא לִפְשׁוֹט עַקְמוּמִית שֶׁבַּלֵּב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְהָאֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה שֶׁיִּרְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו״. וְאָמַר רַבִּי אֲלֶכְּסַנְדְּרִי אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: הָרוֹאֶה אֶת הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּפּוֹל עַל פָּנָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״כְּמַרְאֵה הַקֶּשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בֶעָנָן וְגוֹ׳ וָאֶרְאֶה וָאֶפֹּל עַל פָּנַי״. לָיְיטִי עֲלַהּ בְּמַעְרְבָא, מִשּׁוּם דְּמִחֲזֵי כְּמַאן דְּסָגֵיד לְקַשְׁתָּא. אֲבָל בָּרוֹכֵי וַדַּאי מְבָרֵךְ. מַאי מְבָרֵךְ? — ״בָּרוּךְ … זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית״. בְּמַתְנִיתָא תָּנָא, רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּנוֹ שֶׁל רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן בְּרוֹקָא אוֹמֵר: ״נֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָּים בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ״. אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא: הִלְכָּךְ נֵימְרִינְהוּ לְתַרְוַיְיהוּ: ״בָּרוּךְ … זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית, וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָּים בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ״.

Rabbi Alexandri said that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Thunder was created only to impose fear and straighten the crookedness of the heart, as it is stated: “And God has so made it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). And Rabbi Alexandri said that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who sees a rainbow in a cloud must fall upon his face, as it is stated: “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face” (Ezekiel 1:28). The colors of the rainbow symbolize the glory of God and one may not stare at them. Yet, in the West, Eretz Yisrael, they would curse one who fell upon his face when seeing a rainbow because it appears as one who is bowing to the rainbow. As far as blessing is concerned, however, all agree that one certainly recites a blessing. What blessing does one recite? Blessed…Who remembers the covenant with Noah. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka, says that the blessing is: Blessed…Who is faithful to His covenant and fulfills His word. Rav Pappa said: Therefore we will say them both combined: Blessed…Who remembers the covenant and is faithful to His covenant and fulfills His word.

עַל הֶהָרִים וְעַל הַגְּבָעוֹת. אַטּוּ כׇּל הָנֵי דַּאֲמַרַן עַד הַשְׁתָּא, לָאו מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית נִינְהוּ? וְהָכְתִיב ״בְּרָקִים לַמָּטָר עָשָׂה״! אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: כְּרוֹךְ וּתְנִי. רָבָא אָמַר: הָתָם מְבָרֵךְ תַּרְתֵּי — ״בָּרוּךְ … שֶׁכֹּחוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם״, וְ״עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית״. הָכָא ״עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית״ — אִיכָּא, ״שֶׁכֹּחוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם״ לֵיכָּא.

We learned in the mishna that over mountains and hills one recites: Blessed…Author of creation. The Gemara asks: Is that to say that all those that we mentioned until now, such as lightning, are not acts of creation? Among God’s praise for creation of the world and forming the mountains, is it not also written: “He makes lightning for the rain” (Psalms 135:7)? Abaye said: Combine the two statements and teach that in all the cases in our mishna, one recites these two blessings. Rava said: There, over lightning and thunder, one recites two blessings: Blessed…Whose power fills the world, and: Author of creation. Here, however, over mountains and hills, one recites the blessing: Author of creation, but need not recite: Whose power fills the world.

אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: הָרוֹאֶה רָקִיעַ בְּטׇהֳרָתָהּ, אוֹמֵר: ״בָּרוּךְ … עוֹשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית״. אִימַּתִּי? אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: כִּי אָתֵי מִטְרָא כּוּלֵּי לֵילְיָא, וּבְצַפְרָא אָתֵי אִסְתָּנָא וּמְגַלְּיָא לְהוּ לִשְׁמַיָּא.

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who sees the firmament in its purity recites: Blessed…Author of creation. The Gemara asks: When does the firmament appear in its purity? Abaye said: When rain falls all night and in the morning a northern wind blows, exposing the heavens.

וּפְלִיגָא דְּרַפְרָם בַּר פָּפָּא אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא. דְּאָמַר רַפְרָם בַּר פָּפָּא אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא: מִיּוֹם שֶׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹא נִרְאֵית רָקִיעַ בְּטׇהֳרָתָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אַלְבִּישׁ שָׁמַיִם קַדְרוּת וְשַׂק אָשִׂים כְּסוּתָם״.

The Gemara notes: And in this they disagree with Rafram bar Pappa who said that Rav Ḥisda said, as Rafram bar Pappa said that Rav Ḥisda said: Since the day the Temple was destroyed the firmament has not been seen in its purity, as it is said: “I clothe the heavens with blackness and I make sackcloth their covering” (Isaiah 50:3).