שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״פְּעֻלְּתַי הַשְּׁמִינִי״, וּכְתִיב ״כִּי בֵרְכוֹ אֱלֹהִים״. ״כׇּל אֵלֶּה מִבְּנֵי עֹבֵד אֱדֹם הֵמָּה וּבְנֵיהֶם וַאֲחֵיהֶם אִישׁ חַיִל בַּכֹּחַ לַעֲבֹדָה שִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם לְעֹבֵד אֱדֹם״. as it is stated: “And Oved-edom had sons…Peulletai the eighth,” and in the continuation of the same verse it is written: “For God blessed him” (I Chronicles 26:4–5); apparently, these eight children were the blessing, as it is stated: “All these were of the sons of Oved-edom; they and their sons and their brethren, able men in strength for the service; sixty-two of Oved-edom” (I Chronicles 26:8). Each of the nine women gave birth to six sons, for a total of fifty-four. If one adds the original eight, there were sixty-two altogether.
אָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין הַלֵּוִי: כׇּל הַדּוֹחֵק אֶת הַשָּׁעָה — שָׁעָה דּוֹחַקְתּוֹ. וְכׇל הַנִּדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁעָה — שָׁעָה נִדְחֵת מִפָּנָיו. Rabbi Avin HaLevi said: If one forces the moment and attempts to take advantage of an undeserved opportunity, the moment forces him and he is pushed aside. If one yields to the moment and relinquishes an opportunity that presents itself, the moment yields to him.
מִדְּרַבָּה וְרַב יוֹסֵף. דְּרַב יוֹסֵף סִינַי וְרַבָּה עוֹקֵר הָרִים, אִצְטְרִיכָא לְהוּ שַׁעְתָּא. שְׁלַחוּ לְהָתָם: סִינַי וְעוֹקֵר הָרִים, אֵיזֶה מֵהֶם קוֹדֵם? שְׁלַחוּ לְהוּ: סִינַי קוֹדֵם, שֶׁהַכֹּל צְרִיכִין לְמָרֵי חִטַּיָּא. אַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא קִבֵּל עָלָיו רַב יוֹסֵף, דְּאָמְרִי לֵיהּ כַּלְדָּאֵי: מָלְכַתְּ תַּרְתֵּין שְׁנִין. This may be derived from an incident involving Rabba and Rav Yosef, as Rav Yosef was Sinai, extremely erudite, and Rabba was one who uproots mountains, extremely sharp. The moment arrived when they were needed; one of them was to be chosen as head of the yeshiva. They sent the following question there, to the Sages of Eretz Yisrael: Which takes precedence, Sinai or one who uproots mountains? They sent to them in response: Sinai takes precedence, for everyone needs the owner of the wheat, one who is expert in the sources. Nevertheless, Rav Yosef did not accept the appointment, as the Chaldean astrologers told him: You will preside as head of the yeshiva for two years.
מְלַךְ רַבָּה עֶשְׂרִין וְתַרְתֵּין שְׁנִין, מְלַךְ רַב יוֹסֵף תַּרְתֵּין שְׁנִין וּפַלְגָא. Rabba presided as head of the yeshiva for twenty-two years. After he died, Rav Yosef presided for two and a half years. Though he did not take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself, he ultimately fulfilled that for which he was destined.
כֹּל הָנָךְ שְׁנֵי דִּמְלַךְ רַבָּה, אֲפִילּוּ אוּמָּנָא לְבֵיתֵיהּ לָא קְרָא. The Gemara relates that all those years that Rabba presided, Rav Yosef did not even call a bloodletter to his home. Rav Yosef did not assume even the slightest air of authority, and would go to seek out the bloodletter rather than call upon the bloodletter to accommodate him.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין הַלֵּוִי: מַאי דִּכְתִיב ״יַעַנְךָ ה׳ בְּיוֹם צָרָה יְשַׂגֶּבְךָ שֵׁם אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב״, אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וְלֹא אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק? מִכָּאן לְבַעַל הַקּוֹרָה שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בְּעׇבְיָהּ שֶׁל קוֹרָה. And Rabbi Avin HaLevi said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The Lord will answer you on the day of distress; the name of the God of Jacob set you upon high” (Psalms 20:2)? Is God specifically the God of Jacob and not the God of Abraham and Isaac? Rather, from here the general principle is derived: One who owns a beam should approach carrying the thick portion of the beam. A builder, carrying a beam in order to affix it in a building, must calibrate it and measure carefully so that the thick part of the beam fits in its place; so too must Jacob, who fathered and raised the children who would become the people of Israel, continue to pray for them and complete the task of nation-building.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין הַלֵּוִי: כׇּל הַנֶּהֱנֶה מִסְּעוּדָה שֶׁתַּלְמִיד חָכָם שָׁרוּי בְּתוֹכָהּ, כְּאִילּוּ נֶהֱנֶה מִזִּיו שְׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיָּבֹא אַהֲרֹן וְכֹל זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֶאֱכׇל לֶחֶם עִם חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים״, וְכִי לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים אָכְלוּ? וַהֲלֹא לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה אָכְלוּ! And Rabbi Avin HaLevi said: One who partakes of a meal at which a Torah scholar is present, it is as if he enjoyed the radiant splendor of the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “And Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God” (Exodus 18:12). Did they actually eat before God? Didn’t they eat before Moses?
אֶלָּא לוֹמַר לָךְ כׇּל הַנֶּהֱנֶה מִסְּעוּדָה שֶׁתַּלְמִיד חָכָם שָׁרוּי בְּתוֹכָהּ — כְּאִילּוּ נֶהֱנֶה מִזִּיו שְׁכִינָה. Rather, this verse comes to tell you that one who partakes in a meal at which a Torah scholar is present, it is as if he enjoyed the radiant splendor of the Divine Presence.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין הַלֵּוִי: הַנִּפְטָר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ אַל יֹאמַר לוֹ ״לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם״, אֶלָּא ״לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם״, שֶׁהֲרֵי יִתְרוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ לְמֹשֶׁה ״לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם״, עָלָה וְהִצְלִיחַ. דָּוִד שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם ״לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם״, הָלַךְ וְנִתְלָה. And Rabbi Avin HaLevi said: One who takes leave from another should not say to him: Go in peace, but rather, he should say: Go to peace. As we see that, on the one hand, Jethro said to Moses: “Go to peace” (Exodus 4:18), and Moses ascended and was successful. On the other hand, David said to his son, Absalom: “Go in peace” (II Samuel 15:9), and Absalom went and was ultimately hanged.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי אָבִין הַלֵּוִי: הַנִּפְטָר מִן הַמֵּת אַל יֹאמַר לוֹ ״לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם״, אֶלָּא ״לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם״, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל אֲבֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם״. Rabbi Avin HaLevi also said: One who takes leave from a dead person should not say to him: Go to peace, but rather, one should say: Go in peace, as it is stated: “But you shall go to your fathers in peace” (Genesis 15:15).
אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי בַּר חִיָּיא: הַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת וְנִכְנָס לְבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ וְעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה — זוֹכֶה וּמְקַבֵּל פְּנֵי שְׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ״יֵלְכוּ מֵחַיִל אֶל חָיִל יֵרָאֶה אֶל אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן״. Rabbi Levi bar Ḥiyya said: One who leaves the synagogue and immediately enters the study hall and engages in Torah study, is privileged to receive the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion” (Psalms 84:8); those who go from a place of prayer to a place of Torah study are privileged to receive a divine revelation in Zion.
אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אָשֵׁי אָמַר רַב: תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים אֵין לָהֶם מְנוּחָה לֹא בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְלֹא בָּעוֹלָם הַבָּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״יֵלְכוּ מֵחַיִל אֶל חָיִל יֵרָאֶה אֶל אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן״. With regard to that same verse, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Ashi said that Rav said: Torah scholars have rest neither in this world nor in the World-to-Come, as in both worlds they are constantly progressing, as it is stated: “They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.”
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא: תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים מַרְבִּים שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְכׇל בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי ה׳ וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ״. Rabbi Elazar said that Rabbi Ḥanina said: Torah scholars increase peace in the world, as it is said: “And all your children [banayikh] shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13). If all the children of Israel are taught of the Lord, there will be peace for all.
אַל תִּקְרֵי ״בָּנָיִךְ״ אֶלָּא ״בּוֹנָיִךְ״. ״שָׁלוֹם רָב לְאֹהֲבֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ וְאֵין לָמוֹ מִכְשׁוֹל״. ״יְהִי שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ שַׁלְוָה בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ״. ״לְמַעַן אַחַי וְרֵעָי אֲדַבְּרָה נָּא שָׁלוֹם בָּךְ. לְמַעַן בֵּית ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֲבַקְשָׁה טוֹב לָךְ״. ״ה׳ עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה׳ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם״. The Sages interpreted this verse homiletically: Do not read your children [banayikh], but your builders [bonayikh]. Torah scholars are those who build peace for their generation. As it is stated: “Those who love Your Torah have great peace; there is no stumbling block for them” (Psalms 119:165); and “May there be peace within your walls, prosperity within your palaces” (Psalms 122:7), because: “For the sake of my brothers and friends, I shall say: Peace be within you. For the sake of the House of the Lord, our God, I will seek your good” (Psalms 122:8–9), and “May the Lord give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalms 29:11).
הדרן עלך הרואה וסליקא לה מסכת ברכות May we return unto thee : He who beholds! And finished is the Tractate Berakot.