Berakhot 63a:17ברכות ס״ג א:יז
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63aס״ג א

ואימא הר הבית דאסור במנעל לילפא ממנעל אבל בית הכנסת דשרי במנעל אדיליף ממנעל ולהיתר נילף מקפנדריא ולאסור

and say as follows: With regard to the Temple Mount, where one is prohibited from wearing shoes, let us derive the prohibition of spitting from the case of shoes. However, with regard to a synagogue, where one is permitted to wear shoes, instead of deriving the law with regard to spitting from the case of shoes and permitting it, derive it from the case of a shortcut, and prohibit it.

אלא אמר רבא כי ביתו מה ביתו אקפנדריא קפיד אינש ארקיקה ומנעל לא קפיד אינש אף בית הכנסת קפנדריא הוא דאסור רקיקה ומנעל שרי:

Rather, Rava said a different reason: The synagogue is like one’s house. Just as one objects to a person using his house as a shortcut, but does not mind spitting and wearing shoes therein, so too in the case of a synagogue, a shortcut is prohibited while spitting and wearing shoes are permitted.

כל חותמי ברכות שבמקדש וכו׳:

We learned in the mishna: At the conclusion of all blessings recited in the Temple, the one reciting the blessing would say: Blessed are You Lord, God of Israel, until everlasting.

כל כך למה לפי שאין עונין אמן במקדש ומנין שאין עונין אמן במקדש שנאמר קומו ברכו את ה׳ אלהיכם מן העולם עד העולם ואומר ויברכו את שם כבדך ומרומם על כל ברכה ותהלה

The Gemara explains: Why were they insistent upon this formula to that extent? Because one does not answer amen in the Temple. Because there is a unique response to the blessings in the Temple, a unique formula for their conclusion was instituted. From where is it derived that one does not answer amen in the Temple? As it is stated: “Stand up and bless the Lord, your God, from everlasting to everlasting” (Nehemiah 9:5), which refers to the conclusion. The verse in Nehemiah continues: “And let them say: Blessed be Your glorious name, that is exalted above all blessing and praise” (Nehemiah 9:5). The response is exalted above other blessings.

יכול כל הברכות כולן תהא להן תהלה אחת תלמוד לומר ומרומם על כל ברכה ותהלה על כל ברכה וברכה תן לו תהלה:

From the beginning of the verse, I might have thought that all of the blessings there will have only a single expression of praise, amen. Therefore, the verse teaches: “That is exalted above all blessing and praise”; for every blessing, a unique praise is offered. Therefore, the appropriate response to a blessing in the Temple is: Blessed are You Lord, God of Israel, from everlasting until everlasting.

התקינו שיהא אדם שואל בשלום חברו וכו׳: מאי ואומר

We learned in the mishna that the Sages instituted that a person will greet another with the name of God, and several biblical sources were cited. The Gemara asks: Why is it necessary for the mishna to cite all of those sources, introduced with the phrase: And it says? Why was the proof from Boaz’s statement to the harvesters: The Lord is with you, insufficient?

וכי תימא בעז מדעתיה דנפשיה קאמר תא שמע ה׳ עמך גבור החיל וכי תימא מלאך הוא דקאמר ליה לגדעון תא שמע אל תבוז כי זקנה אמך

The Gemara explains: And if you say: Boaz said this on his own, and it proves nothing with regard to normative practice, come and hear a proof from the verse: “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). And if you say that it was an angel who said this to Gideon, that perhaps this verse was the angel informing Gideon that the Lord is with him, but it is not the standard formula of a greeting, come and hear proof from the verse: “And despise not your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22); the customs of the nation’s elders are an adequate source from which to derive halakha.

ואומר עת לעשות לה׳ הפרו תורתך אמר רבא האי קרא מרישיה לסיפיה מדריש מסיפיה לרישיה מדריש

And the verse states: “It is time to work for the Lord; they have made void Your Torah” (Psalms 119:126). Of this, Rava said: This verse can be interpreted from beginning to end, and can be interpreted from end to beginning.

מרישיה לסיפיה מדריש עת לעשות לה׳ מאי טעם משום הפרו תורתך מסיפיה לרישיה מדריש הפרו תורתך מאי טעמא משום עת לעשות לה׳

The Gemara elaborates: This verse can be interpreted from beginning to end: It is time to work for the Lord; what is the reason? Because they have made void Your Torah, so it must be remedied. Conversely, it can be interpreted from end to beginning as follows: They have made void Your Torah; what is the reason? Because it is time to work for the Lord. By means of violating the Torah, it is possible to fundamentally rectify the situation.

תניא הלל הזקן אומר בשעת המכניסין פזר בשעת המפזרים כנס ואם ראית דור שהתורה חביבה עליו פזר שנאמר יש מפזר ונוסף עוד ואם ראית דור שאין התורה חביבה עליו כנס שנאמר עת לעשות לה׳ הפרו תורתך

With regard to this verse, it was taught in a baraita that Hillel the Elder says: At the time of gathering, if the Sages of the generation see to it that the Torah remains the purview of the few, disseminate it to the public at large. At the time of dissemination, gather, and leave it to others to disseminate the Torah. And if you see a generation for whom Torah is beloved, disseminate, as it is stated: “There is who scatters, and yet increases” (Proverbs 11:24). However, if you see a generation for whom Torah is not beloved, gather; do not cause the Torah to be disgraced, as it is stated: “It is time to work for the Lord; they have made void Your Torah.” Preventing Torah study in that situation is a manifestation of work for the Lord.

דרש בר קפרא זלת קבוץ קנה מינה באתר דלית גבר תמן הוי גבר אמר אביי שמע מינה באתר דאית גבר תמן לא תהוי גבר

On a similar note, bar Kappara taught: If the price of the merchandise has declined, jump and purchase from it; and where there is no man, there be a man; where there is no one to fill a particular role, accept that role upon yourself. Abaye said: Infer from this that where there is a man, there do not be a man.

פשיטא לא נצרכה אלא בששניהם שוין

The Gemara asks: Isn’t Abaye’s conclusion obvious? The Gemara explains: This statement is only necessary in a case where there are two who are equal. Although you, too, are suited to fill that role, since another qualified person is already filling that role, allow him to succeed.

דרש בר קפרא איזוהי פרשה קטנה שכל גופי תורה תלוין בה בכל דרכיך דעהו והוא יישר ארחתיך אמר רבא אפילו לדבר עבירה

Bar Kappara taught: Which is a brief passage upon which all fundamental principles of Torah are dependent? “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6). Rava said: One must apply this principle even to acts of transgression, as even then one must adhere to God and refrain from sinning excessively.

דרש בר קפרא לעולם ילמד אדם את בנו אומנות נקיה וקלה מה היא אמר רב חסדא מחטא דתלמיותא:

Bar Kappara taught: A person should always teach his child a clean and simple craft. The Gemara asks: What craft is considered clean and simple? Rav Ḥisda said: Cutting precious stones.

תניא רבי אומר לעולם אל ירבה אדם רעים בתוך ביתו שנאמר איש רעים להתרועע

Several ethical tenets and guidelines for life were taught in a baraita. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: One should never have too many friends in his house, i.e., people should not become accustomed to being overly intimate in his house, as it is stated: “There are friends that one has to his own hurt” (Proverbs 18:24); one with friends of that kind will ultimately come to quarrel.

תניא רבי אומר אל ימנה אדם אפטרופוס בתוך ביתו שאלמלי לא מינה פוטיפר את יוסף אפטרופוס בתוך ביתו לא בא לאותו דבר

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Do not appoint an administrator [apitropos] within your house, as had Potiphar not appointed Joseph as administrator within his house, Joseph would not have come to that incident involving him in allegations of sexual impropriety.

תניא רבי אומר למה נסמכה פרשת נזיר לפרשת סוטה לומר לך שכל הרואה סוטה בקלקולה יזיר עצמו מן היין

It was taught in a baraita, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Why is the portion of the Nazirite (Numbers ch. 6) juxtaposed with the portion of the sota (Numbers ch. 5)? They are juxtaposed to tell you that anyone who sees a sota in her disgrace, her transgression, should renounce wine, as wine is one of the causes of that transgression.

אמר חזקיה בריה דרבי פרנך אמר רבי יוחנן למה נסמכה פרשת סוטה לפרשת תרומות ומעשרות לומר לך כל שיש לו תרומות ומעשרות ואינו נותנן לכהן סוף נצרך לכהן על ידי אשתו שנאמר ואיש את קדשיו לו יהיו וסמיך ליה איש איש כי תשטה אשתו וכתיב והביא האיש את אשתו וגו׳ ולא עוד אלא סוף שנצרך להן שנאמר ואיש את קדשיו לו יהיו

Ḥizkiya, son of Rabbi Parnakh, said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Why is the portion of sota juxtaposed with the portion of terumot and tithes (Numbers ch. 5)? They are juxtaposed to tell you: Anyone who has terumot and tithes and does not give them to a priest, will ultimately require the services of a priest by means of his wife, as it is stated: “And every man’s hallowed things shall be his” (Numbers 5:10). This refers to one who keeps those hallowed items for himself. To this the Torah juxtaposed: “If any man’s wife go aside and act unfaithfully against him” (Numbers 5:12). And it is written: “Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest” (Numbers 5:15). Moreover, ultimately that man will require assistance from the tithe given to the poor, as it is stated: “And every man’s hallowed things shall be his” (Numbers 5:10). He will himself need those very hallowed items that he was unwilling to give to others.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק ואם נתנן סוף מתעשר שנאמר איש אשר יתן לכהן לו יהיה לו יהיה ממון הרבה

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And if he gave them, ultimately he will become wealthy, as it is said: “Whatsoever any man gives the priest, it shall be his” (Numbers 5:10); much property shall be his.

אמר רב הונא בר ברכיה משום רבי אלעזר הקפר כל המשתף שם שמים בצערו כופלין לו פרנסתו שנאמר והיה שדי בצריך וכסף תועפות לך

Rav Huna bar Berekhya said in the name of Rabbi Elazar HaKappar: Anyone who includes the name of heaven in his distress, i.e., who turns and prays to God in his time of trouble, his livelihood will ultimately be doubled, as it is stated: “And the Almighty be your treasure, and precious [toafot] silver unto you” (Job 22:25). If you include God in your trouble, your silver will be doubled. Eif, which in Aramaic means double, is etymologically similar to toafot.

רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר פרנסתו מעופפת לו כצפור שנאמר וכסף תועפות לך

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said a different explanation: This means that his sustenance flies [meofefet] to him like a bird, as it is stated: “And precious silver [toafot] unto you.”

אמר רבי טבי אמר רבי יאשיה כל המרפה עצמו מדברי תורה אין בו כח לעמוד ביום צרה שנאמר התרפית ביום צרה צר כחכה אמר רב אמי בר מתנה אמר שמואל ואפילו מצוה אחת שנאמר התרפית מכל מקום

Rabbi Tavi said in the name of Rabbi Yoshiya: Anyone who is lax in his study of matters of Torah will ultimately lack the strength to stand on a day of adversity, as it is stated: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small indeed” (Proverbs 24:10). Rav Ami bar Mattana said that Shmuel said: And even if he was lax in the performance of a single mitzva, as it is stated: If you faint; this applies in any case, even in the case of a single mitzva.

אמר רב ספרא רבי אבהו הוה משתעי כשירד חנינא בן אחי רבי יהושע לגולה היה מעבר שנים וקובע חדשים בחוצה לארץ

Rav Safra said: Rabbi Abbahu would relate: When Ḥanina, son of Rabbi Yehoshua’s brother, went to the Diaspora, Babylonia, he would intercalate years and establish months outside of Eretz Yisrael. Because Judaism in Eretz Yisrael had declined in the wake of the bar Kokheva rebellion, he considered it necessary to cultivate the Jewish community in Babylonia as the center of the Jewish people. Among other things, he intercalated the years and established the months even though the halakha restricts those activities to Eretz Yisrael.

שגרו אחריו שני תלמידי חכמים רבי יוסי בן כיפר ובן בנו של זכריה בן קבוטל כיון שראה אותם אמר להם למה באתם אמרו ליה ללמוד תורה באנו הכריז עליהם אנשים הללו גדולי הדור הם ואבותיהם שמשו בבית המקדש כאותה ששנינו זכריה בן קבוטל אומר הרבה פעמים קריתי לפניו בספר דניאל

Eventually, the Sages of Eretz Yisrael sent two Torah scholars after him, Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar and the grandson of Zekharya ben Kevutal. When Ḥanina saw them, he asked them: Why did you come? They responded: We came to study Torah. Since he saw his standing enhanced by the Sages of Eretz Yisrael coming to study Torah from him, he proclaimed about them: These people are eminent scholars of our generation, and their fathers served in the Temple. As we learned in tractate Yoma: Zekharya ben Kevutal says: Many times I read before the High Priest from the book of Daniel on the eve of Yom Kippur.

התחיל הוא מטמא והם מטהרים הוא אוסר והם מתירים הכריז עליהם אנשים הללו של שוא הם של תהו הם אמרו לו כבר בנית ואי אתה יכול לסתור כבר גדרת ואי אתה יכול לפרוץ

These two scholars, however, began to dispute every decision Ḥanina rendered in response to questions raised in the study hall. He ruled it impure and they ruled it pure; he prohibited it and they permitted it. Eventually, he proclaimed about them: These people are worthless. They are good for nothing and they know nothing. They said to him: You have already built up our names and glorified us; you cannot now demolish. You have already built a fence and you cannot break through it.

אמר להם מפני מה אני מטמא ואתם מטהרים אני אוסר ואתם מתירים אמרו לו מפני שאתה מעבר שנים וקובע חדשים בחוץ לארץ

He said to them: Why is it that when I rule something impure, you rule it pure; when I prohibit it, you permit it? They said to him: We do this because you intercalate the years and establish the months outside of Eretz Yisrael.

אמר להם והלא עקיבא בן יוסף היה מעבר שנים וקובע חדשים בחוץ לארץ אמרו לו הנח רבי עקיבא שלא הניח כמותו בארץ ישראל אמר להם אף אני לא הנחתי כמותי בארץ ישראל אמרו לו גדיים שהנחת נעשו תישים בעלי קרנים והם שגרונו אצלך וכן אמרו לנו לכו ואמרו לו בשמנו אם שומע מוטב ואם לאו יהא בנדוי

He said to them: Didn’t Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef also intercalate years and establish months outside of Eretz Yisrael? They replied to him: Leave the case of Rabbi Akiva, as, when he left, he did not leave behind anyone as great in Torah as he in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Ḥanina said to them: I also did not leave behind anyone as great as me in Eretz Yisrael. They said to him: The kids who you left behind have grown into goats with horns; they are greater than you are. And they sent us to you, and this is what they said to us: Go and tell him in our name: If he obeys, fine; and if he does not obey, he will be ostracized.