Berakhot 5a:3ברכות ה׳ א:ג
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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אם תלמיד חכם הוא אין צריך אמר אביי אף תלמיד חכם מיבעי ליה למימר חד פסוקא דרחמי כגון בידך אפקיד רוחי פדיתה אותי ה׳ אל אמת:

If one is a Torah scholar, he need not recite Shema on his bed since he is always engaged in the study of Torah and will likely fall asleep engrossed in matters of Torah. Abaye said: Even a Torah scholar must recite at least one verse of prayer, such as: “Into Your hand I trust my spirit; You have redeemed me, Lord, God of truth” (Psalms 31:6).

אמר רבי לוי בר חמא אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש לעולם ירגיז אדם יצר טוב על יצר הרע שנאמר רגזו ואל תחטאו אם נצחו מוטב ואם לאו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר אמרו בלבבכם אם נצחו מוטב ואם לאו יקרא קריאת שמע שנאמר על משכבכם אם נצחו מוטב ואם לאו יזכור לו יום המיתה שנאמר ודמו סלה

Incidental to the verse, “Tremble, and do not sin,” the Gemara mentions that Rabbi Levi bar Ḥama said that Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: One should always incite his good inclination against his evil inclination, i.e., that one must constantly struggle so that his evil inclination does not lead him to transgression.
If one succeeds and subdues his evil inclination, excellent, but if he does not succeed in subduing it, he should study Torah, as alluded to in the verse: “Say to your heart.”
If he subdues his evil inclination, excellent; if not, he should recite Shema, which contains the acceptance of the yoke of God, and the concept of reward and punishment, as it is stated in the verse: “Upon your bed,” which alludes to Shema, where it says: “When you lie down.”
If he subdues his evil inclination, excellent; if not, he should remind himself of the day of death, whose silence is alluded to in the continuation of the verse: “And be still, Selah.”

ואמר רבי לוי בר חמא אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב ואתנה לך את לחת האבן והתורה והמצוה אשר כתבתי להורתם לחת אלו עשרת הדברות תורה זה מקרא והמצוה זו משנה אשר כתבתי אלו נביאים וכתובים להרתם זה תלמוד מלמד שכולם נתנו למשה מסיני:

And Rabbi Levi bar Ḥama said that Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: God said to Moses, “Ascend to me on the mountain and be there, and I will give you the stone tablets and the Torah and the mitzva that I have written that you may teach them” (Exodus 24:12), meaning that God revealed to Moses not only the Written Torah, but all of Torah, as it would be transmitted through the generations.
The “tablets” are the ten commandments that were written on the tablets of the Covenant,
the “Torah” is the five books of Moses.
The “mitzva” is the Mishna, which includes explanations for the mitzvot and how they are to be performed.
“That I have written” refers to the Prophets and Writings, written with divine inspiration.
“That you may teach them” refers to the Talmud, which explains the Mishna.
These explanations are the foundation for the rulings of practical halakha. This verse teaches that all aspects of Torah were given to Moses from Sinai.

אמר רבי יצחק כל הקורא קריאת שמע על מטתו כאלו אוחז חרב של שתי פיות בידו שנאמר רוממות אל בגרונם וחרב פיפיות בידם מאי משמע אמר מר זוטרא ואיתימא רב אשי מרישא דענינא דכתיב יעלזו חסידים בכבוד ירננו על משכבותם וכתיב בתריה רוממות אל בגרונם וחרב פיפיות בידם

The Gemara continues its treatment of the recitation of Shema upon one’s bed. Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Anyone who recites Shema on his bed, it is as if he holds a double-edged sword, guarding him from all evil, as it is stated: “High praises of God in their mouths, and a double-edged sword in their hands” (Psalms 149:6). The Gemara asks: From where is it inferred that this verse from Psalms refers to the recitation of Shema? Mar Zutra, and some say Rav Ashi, said: We derive it from the preceding verse, as it is written: “Let the pious exult in glory; let them joyously sing upon their beds.” The praise of God from one’s bed is the recitation of Shema. And it is written thereafter: “High praises of God in their mouths, and a double-edged sword in their hands.”

ואמר רבי יצחק כל הקורא קריאת שמע על מטתו מזיקין בדילין הימנו שנאמר ובני רשף יגביהו עוף ואין עוף אלא תורה שנאמר התעיף עיניך בו ואיננו ואין רשף אלא מזיקין שנאמר מזי רעב ולחמי רשף וקטב מרירי

And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Anyone who recites Shema upon his bed, demons stay away from him. This is alluded to, as it is stated: “But man is born into trouble, and the sparks [reshef ] fly [uf ] upward” (Job 5:7). The verse is explained: The word fly [uf ] means nothing other than Torah, as Torah is difficult to grasp and easy to lose, like something that floats away, as it is stated: “Will you set your eyes upon it? It is gone; for riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies into the heavens” (Proverbs 23:5). The word “sparks” means nothing other than demons, as it is stated: “Wasting of hunger, and the devouring of the sparks [reshef] and bitter destruction [ketev meriri], and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust” (Deuteronomy 32:24). Here we see reshef listed along with ketev meriri, both of which are understood by the Sages to be names of demons.

אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש כל העוסק בתורה יסורין בדילין הימנו שנאמר ובני רשף יגביהו עוף ואין עוף אלא תורה שנאמר התעיף עיניך בו ואיננו ואין רשף אלא יסורין שנאמר מזי רעב ולחמי רשף

Regarding this unclear verse, Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: If one engages in Torah study, suffering stays away from him, as it is stated: “And the sparks fly upward.” And fly means nothing other than Torah, and sparks means nothing other than suffering, as it is stated: “Wasting of hunger, and the devouring of the sparks,” equating devouring sparks with wasting hunger, as both are types of suffering. From here, we derive that through Torah, fly, one is able to distance himself, upward, from suffering, sparks.

אמר ליה רבי יוחנן הא אפילו תינוקות של בית רבן יודעין אותו שנאמר ויאמר אם שמוע תשמע לקול ה׳ אלהיך והישר בעיניו תעשה והאזנת למצותיו ושמרת כל חקיו כל המחלה אשר שמתי במצרים לא אשים עליך כי אני ה׳ רופאך אלא כל שאפשר לו לעסוק בתורה ואינו עוסק הקדוש ברוך הוא מביא עליו יסורין מכוערין ועוכרין אותו שנאמר נאלמתי דומיה החשיתי מטוב וכאבי נעכר ואין טוב אלא תורה שנאמר כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם תורתי אל תעזבו

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Even schoolchildren, who learn only the Written Torah, know this concept as it is stated: “And He said you shall surely hear the voice of the Lord your God, and what is upright in His eyes you shall do and you shall listen to His mitzvot and guard His statutes; any disease that I have placed upon Egypt I will not place upon you for I am the Lord your healer” (Exodus 15:26). Rather, one must interpret the verse: Anyone who is able to engage in Torah study yet does not engage in that study, not only does the Holy One, Blessed be He, fail to protect him, but He brings upon him hideous afflictions, that embarrass him and trouble him, as it is stated: “I was mute with silence; I was silent from good, and my pain was strong” (Psalms 39:3). The word good means nothing other than Torah, as it is stated: “For I have given you a good portion, My Torah, do not abandon it” (Proverbs 4:2). The verse should be understood: “I have been silent from the study of Torah, and my pain was strong.”

אמר רבי זירא ואיתימא רבי חנינא בר פפא בא וראה שלא כמדת הקדוש ברוך הוא מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם מוכר חפץ לחבירו מוכר עצב ולוקח שמח אבל הקדוש ברוך הוא אינו כן נתן להם תורה לישראל ושמח שנאמר כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם תורתי אל תעזבו

With regard to the verse: “For I have given you a good portion,” Rabbi Zeira, and some say Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa, said: Come and see how the characteristics of the Holy One, Blessed be He, are unlike the characteristics of flesh and blood. It is characteristic of flesh and blood that when one sells an object to another person, the seller grieves the loss of his possession and the buyer rejoices. With regard to the Holy One, Blessed be He, however, this is not so. He gave the Torah to Israel and rejoiced, as it is stated: “For I have given you a good portion, My Torah, do not abandon it.” A good portion is understood as a good purchase; although God sold Torah to Israel, He rejoices in the sale and praises the object before its new owner (Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto).

אמר רבא ואיתימא רב חסדא אם רואה אדם שיסורין באין עליו יפשפש במעשיו שנאמר נחפשה דרכינו ונחקרה ונשובה עד ה׳ פשפש ולא מצא יתלה בבטול תורה שנאמר אשרי הגבר אשר תיסרנו יה ומתורתך תלמדנו

Previously, the Gemara discussed suffering that results from one’s transgressions. The Gemara shifts the focus and discusses suffering that does not result from one’s transgressions and the suffering of the righteous. Rava, and some say Rav Ḥisda, said: If a person sees that suffering has befallen him, he should examine his actions. Generally, suffering comes about as punishment for one’s transgressions, as it is stated: “We will search and examine our ways, and return to God” (Lamentations 3:40). If he examined his ways and found no transgression for which that suffering is appropriate, he may attribute his suffering to dereliction in the study of Torah. God punishes an individual for dereliction in the study of Torah in order to emphasize the gravity of the issue, as it is stated: “Happy is the man whom You punish, Lord, and teach out of Your law” (Psalms 94:12). This verse teaches us that his suffering will cause him to return to Your law.

ואם תלה ולא מצא בידוע שיסורין של אהבה הם שנאמר כי את אשר יאהב ה׳ יוכיח

And if he did attribute his suffering to dereliction in the study of Torah, and did not find this to be so, he may be confident that these are afflictions of love, as it is stated: “For whom the Lord loves, He rebukes, as does a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:12).

אמר רבא אמר רב סחורה אמר רב הונא כל שהקדוש ברוך הוא חפץ בו מדכאו ביסורין שנאמר וה׳ חפץ דכאו החלי

So too, Rava said that Rav Seḥora said that Rav Huna said: Anyone in whom the Holy One, Blessed be He, delights, He oppresses him with suffering, as it is stated: “Yet in whom the Lord delights, He oppresses him with disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in guilt, that he might see his children, lengthen his days, and that the desire of the Lord might prosper by his hand” (Isaiah 53:10). This verse illustrates that in whomever God delights, he afflicts with illness.

יכול אפילו לא קבלם מאהבה תלמוד לומר אם תשים אשם נפשו מה אשם לדעת אף יסורין לדעת

I might have thought that God delights in him even if he does not accept his suffering with love. Therefore the verse teaches: “If his soul would offer itself in guilt.” Just as a guilt-offering is brought knowingly, as it is one of the sacrifices offered willingly, without coercion, so too his suffering must be accepted knowingly.

ואם קבלם מה שכרו יראה זרע יאריך ימים ולא עוד אלא שתלמודו מתקיים בידו שנאמר וחפץ ה׳ בידו יצלח

And if one accepts that suffering with love, what is his reward? As the second part of the verse states: “That he might see his children, lengthen his days.” Moreover, in addition to these earthly rewards, his Torah study will endure and his Torah study will be successful, as it is stated: “The purpose of the Lord,” the Torah, the revelation of God’s will, “might prosper by his hand.”

פליגי בה רבי יעקב בר אידי ורבי אחא בר חנינא חד אמר אלו הם יסורין של אהבה כל שאין בהן בטול תורה שנאמר אשרי הגבר אשר תיסרנו יה ומתורתך תלמדנו

With regard to the acceptance of affliction with love and what exactly this entails, Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi and Rabbi Aḥa bar Ḥanina disagree. One of them said: Afflictions of love are any that do not cause dereliction in the study of Torah, i.e., any which do not afflict his body to the extent that he is unable to study Torah, as it is stated: “Happy is the man whom You afflict, Lord, and teach from Your Torah.” Afflictions of love are when You “teach from Your Torah.”

וחד אמר אלו הן יסורין של אהבה כל שאין בהן בטול תפלה שנאמר ברוך אלהים אשר לא הסיר תפלתי וחסדו מאתי

And one said: Afflictions of love are any that do not cause dereliction in the recitation of prayer, as it is stated: “Blessed is God Who did not turn away my prayer” (Psalms 66:20). Despite his suffering, the afflicted is still capable of praying to God.

אמר להו רבי אבא בריה דרבי חייא בר אבא הכי אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן אלו ואלו יסורין של אהבה הן שנאמר כי את אשר יאהב ה׳ יוכיח

Rabbi Abba, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, said: My father, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Both, even afflictions that cause dereliction in the study of Torah and those that cause dereliction in the recitation of prayer, are afflictions of love, as with regard to one who suffers without transgression it is stated: “For whom He loves, He rebukes,” and inability to study Torah and to pray are among his afflictions.

אלא מה תלמוד לומר ומתורתך תלמדנו אל תקרי תלמדנו אלא תלמדנו דבר זה מתורתך תלמדנו

What then, is the meaning when the verse states: “And teach him from Your Torah”? Do not read and teach to mean and teach him, rather, and teach us. You teach us the value of this affliction from Your Torah.

קל וחומר משן ועין מה שן ועין שהן אחד מאבריו של אדם עבד יוצא בהן לחרות יסורין שממרקין כל גופו של אדם על אחת כמה וכמה

This is taught through an a fortiori inference from the law concerning the tooth and eye of a slave: The tooth and eye are each a single limb of a person and if his master damages either, the slave thereby obtains his freedom; suffering that cleanses a person’s entire body all the more so that one attains freedom, atonement, from his sins.

והיינו דרבי שמעון בן לקיש דאמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש נאמר ברית במלח ונאמר ברית ביסורין נאמר ברית במלח דכתיב ולא תשבית מלח ברית ונאמר ברית ביסורין דכתיב אלה דברי הברית מה ברית האמור במלח מלח ממתקת את הבשר אף ברית האמור ביסורין יסורין ממרקין כל עונותיו של אדם:

And that is the statement of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, as Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: The word covenant is used with regard to salt, and the word covenant is used with regard to afflictions. The word covenant is used with regard to salt, as it is written: “The salt of the covenant with your God should not be excluded from your meal-offering; with all your sacrifices you must offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13). And the word covenant is used with regard to afflictions, as it is written: “These are the words of the covenant” (Deuteronomy 28:69). Just as, in the covenant mentioned with regard to salt, the salt sweetens the taste of the meat and renders it edible, so too in the covenant mentioned with regard to suffering, the suffering cleanses a person’s transgressions, purifying him for a more sublime existence.

תניא רבי שמעון בן יוחאי אומר שלש מתנות טובות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל וכולן לא נתנן אלא על ידי יסורין אלו הן תורה וארץ ישראל והעולם הבא

Additionally, it was taught in a baraita with regard to affliction: Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, gave Israel three precious gifts, all of which were given only by means of suffering, which purified Israel so that they may merit to receive them. These gifts are: Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and the World-to-Come.

תורה מנין שנאמר אשרי הגבר אשר תיסרנו יה ומתורתך תלמדנו

From where is it derived that Torah is only acquired by means of suffering? As it is said: “Happy is the man whom You afflict, Lord,” after which it is said: “And teach from Your Torah.”

ארץ ישראל דכתיב כי כאשר ייסר איש את בנו ה׳ אלהיך מיסרך וכתיב בתריה כי ה׳ אלהיך מביאך אל ארץ טובה

Eretz Yisrael, as it is written: “As a man rebukes his son, so the Lord your God rebukes you” (Deuteronomy 8:5), and it is written thereafter: “For the Lord your God will bring you to a good land.”

העולם הבא דכתיב כי נר מצוה ותורה אור ודרך חיים תוכחות מוסר

The World-to-Come, as it is written: “For the mitzva is a lamp, the Torah is light, and the reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). One may arrive at the lamp of mitzva and the light of Torah that exists in the World-to-Come only by means of the reproofs of instruction in this world.

תני תנא קמיה דרבי יוחנן כל העוסק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים

A tanna taught the following baraita before Rabbi Yoḥanan: If one engages in Torah and acts of charity