Ketubot 103b:12כתובות ק״ג ב:יב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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103bק״ג ב

והושיבו ישיבה לאחר שלשים יום שמעון בני חכם גמליאל בני נשיא חנינא בר חמא ישב בראש:

and reconvene the study sessions at the yeshiva after thirty days of mourning. My son Shimon is a Sage. My son Gamliel should be the Nasi. Ḥanina bar Ḥama will sit at the head of the yeshiva.

אל תספדוני בעיירות: סבור מינה משום טרחא הוא דקאמר כיון דחזי דקספדי בכרכים וקאתו כולי עלמא אמרו שמע מינה משום יקרא הוא דקאמר

The Gemara explains the requests of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: Do not eulogize me in the small towns. They understood from this statement that he said this due to the trouble that would be caused for many if he were eulogized in every town, since they would have to travel from the outlying villages to take part in the eulogies. However, when they saw that they were eulogizing him in the cities and everyone came despite the trouble, they said: Conclude from here that he said this due to considerations of honor. Had they eulogized him in the towns, the gatherings would have been small and unfitting for a man of his stature. He therefore requested that they arrange things in a way that large crowds would gather.

הושיבו ישיבה לאחר שלשים יום דלא עדיפנא ממשה רבינו דכתיב (דברים לד, ח) ויבכו בני ישראל את משה בערבות מואב שלשים יום תלתין יומין ספדין ביממא וליליא מכאן ואילך ספדו ביממא וגרסי בליליא או ספדו בליליא וגרסי ביממא עד דספדי תריסר ירחי שתא

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi further instructed: Reconvene the study sessions at the yeshiva after thirty days of mourning. This is because I am not better than Moses, our teacher, as it is written: “And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days” (Deuteronomy 34:8), which means that for thirty days they eulogized him by day and night. From this point forward they eulogized him by day and they studied by night, or they eulogized him by night and studied by day, until they eulogized him for twelve months of the year.

ההוא יומא דאשכבתיה דרבי נפקא בת קלא ואמרה כל דהוה באשכבתיה דרבי מזומן הוא לחיי העוה"ב ההוא כובס כל יומא הוה אתי קמיה ההוא יומא לא אתא כיון דשמע הכי סליק לאיגרא ונפל לארעא ומית יצתה בת קול ואמרה אף ההוא כובס מזומן הוא לחיי העולם הבא:

The Gemara relates that on the day of the funeral of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, a Divine Voice emerged and said: Whoever was present at the funeral of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is destined for life in the World-to-Come. There was a certain launderer who would come before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi every day. On that particular day, he did not come and was therefore not present at the funeral. When he heard this, that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had died, he was so full of grief that he ascended to the roof and fell to the ground and died. A Divine Voice emerged and said: That launderer too is destined for life in the World-to-Come.

שמעון בני חכם: מאי קאמר הכי קאמר אע"פ ששמעון בני חכם גמליאל בני נשיא

§ Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: My son Shimon is a Sage; my son Gamliel should be the Nasi. What was he saying, i.e., what did he mean by these remarks? The Gemara explains: This is what he was saying: Although my son Shimon is a greater Sage, my son Gamliel should be the Nasi.

אמר לוי צריכא למימר אמר רבי שמעון בר רבי צריכא לך ולמטלעתך מאי קשיא ליה הא קרא קאמר (דברי הימים ב כא, ג) ואת הממלכה נתן ליהורם כי הוא הבכור

Levi said: Need this be said? After all, Gamliel was the firstborn. Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, said: It is necessary for you and for your limp. The Gemara asks: What did Rabbi Shimon find difficult with Levi’s question that caused him to scoff? Doesn’t the verse state: “But the kingdom he gave to Jehoram because he was the firstborn” (II Chronicles 21:3)? This indicates that the firstborn is the one who inherits his father’s appointment, and so Levi legitimately asked why Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had to leave specific instructions about this.

ההוא ממלא מקום אבותיו הוה ורבן גמליאל אינו ממלא מקום אבותיו הוה

The Gemara explains: He, Jehoram, filled the place of his fathers, i.e., he was their equal in his personal attributes and leadership capabilities. However, Rabban Gamliel did not fill the place of his fathers, and for this reason Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had to specifically command that he nevertheless be appointed as the Nasi.

ורבי מאי טעמא עבד הכי נהי דאינו ממלא מקום אבותיו בחכמה ביראת חטא ממלא מקום אבותיו הוה:

The Gemara asks: And if that is so, what is the reason that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi did this? Why did he choose this son to be his successor if he was unfit for the position? The Gemara answers: Although he did not fill the place of his fathers with regard to wisdom, as he was not as great a Torah scholar as his father, he did fill the place of his fathers with regard to fear of sin and was therefore fit to be appointed as the Nasi.

חנינא בר חמא ישב בראש לא קיבל רבי חנינא שהיה ר' אפס גדול ממנו שתי שנים ומחצה יתיב רבי אפס ברישא ויתיב רבי חנינא אבראי ואתא לוי ויתיב גביה

§ Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi instructed: Ḥanina bar Ḥama will sit at the head of the yeshiva. The Gemara relates: Rabbi Ḥanina did not accept this appointment, because Rabbi Afes was older than him by two and a half years and he did not want to precede him in accepting this position. Consequently, Rabbi Afes sat at the head of the yeshiva, and Rabbi Ḥanina sat outside, as it was unbefitting for him to sit as a student before Rabbi Afes. And Levi came and sat and studied with him outside.

נח נפשיה דרבי אפס ויתיב רבי חנינא ברישא ולא הוה ליה ללוי איניש למיתב גביה וקאתא לבבל והיינו דאמרי ליה לרב גברא רבה אקלע לנהרדעא ומטלע ודריש כלילא שרי אמר שמע מינה נח נפשיה דרבי אפס ויתיב רבי חנינא ברישא ולא הוה ליה ללוי איניש למיתב גביה וקאתא

Rabbi Afes died, and Rabbi Ḥanina, taking his place, sat at the head of the yeshiva. And Levi did not have anyone to sit and study with, and so he came to Babylonia. And this is the background to the incident in which they said to Rav: A great man came to Neharde’a, and he limps, and he taught: It is permitted for a woman who is wearing a kelila, a tiara-like ornament, to go out into the public domain on Shabbat. Rav then said: Conclude from this that Rabbi Afes died and Rabbi Ḥanina, taking his place, sat at the head of the yeshiva, and Levi did not have anyone to sit and study with, and so he came to Babylonia.

ואימא רבי חנינא נח נפשיה ור' אפס כדיתיב יתיב ולא הוה ליה ללוי איניש למיתב גביה וקאתא איבעית אימא לוי לר' אפס מיכף הוה כייף ליה

The Gemara asks: How did Rav know that it was Rabbi Afes who died? Say that Rabbi Ḥanina was the one who died, and Rabbi Afes sat as he had sat, i.e., he continued to sit at the head of the yeshiva, and Levi did not have anyone to sit with, and so he came to Babylonia. The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that Levi was subordinate to Rabbi Afes and would have sat before him as a student had Rabbi Afes still been alive, and the only reason why he sat outside in the first place was in deference to Rabbi Ḥanina, who sat outside because he did not consider himself subordinate to Rabbi Afes.

ואי בעית אימא כיון דאמר ר' חנינא בר חמא ישב בראש לא סגי דלא מליך דכתיב בהו בצדיקים (איוב כב, כח) ותגזר אומר ויקם לך

And if you wish, say instead that since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had said: Ḥanina bar Ḥama will sit at the head of the yeshiva, it is not possible that he will not one day rule the yeshiva. Therefore, it must have been Rabbi Afes who died and Rabbi Ḥanina who took his place, as it is written about the righteous: “You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you” (Job 22:28).

והא הוה ר' חייא נח נפשיה והאמר ר' חייא אני ראיתי קברו של רבי והורדתי עליו דמעות איפוך

The Gemara asks: But wasn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya there? Why didn’t Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi appoint him as head of the yeshiva? The Gemara answers: He died before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya say: I saw the grave site of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and I shed tears over it? The Gemara answers: Reverse the names. It was Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who said that he saw the grave site of Rabbi Ḥiyya.

והאמר רבי חייא אותו היום שמת רבי בטלה קדושה איפוך

The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya say: On that day that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi died, sanctity ceased? The Gemara answers: Reverse the names. It was Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who made this statement about Rabbi Ḥiyya.

והתניא כשחלה רבי נכנס ר' חייא אצלו ומצאו שהוא בוכה אמר לו רבי מפני מה אתה בוכה והתניא מת מתוך השחוק סימן יפה לו מתוך הבכי סימן רע לו פניו למעלה סימן יפה לו פניו למטה סימן רע לו פניו כלפי העם סימן יפה לו כלפי הכותל סימן רע לו פניו ירוקין סימן רע לו פניו צהובין ואדומים סימן יפה לו מת בע"ש סימן יפה לו במו"ש סימן רע לו מת בערב יוהכ"פ סימן רע לו במוצאי יוהכ"פ סימן יפה לו מת מחולי מעיים סימן יפה לו מפני שרובם של צדיקים מיתתן בחולי מעיים

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: When Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi fell ill, Rabbi Ḥiyya entered to be with him and found him crying. He said to him: My teacher, for what reason are you crying? Isn’t it taught in a baraita:
If one dies while laughing, it is a good sign for him; while crying, it is a bad sign for him.
If one dies with his face upward, it is a good sign for him; with his face downward, it is a bad sign for him.
If one dies with his face facing the people standing around him, it is a good sign for him; with his face facing the wall, it is a bad sign for him.
If one’s face is sallow, it is a bad sign for him; if his face is yellow or ruddy, it is a good sign for him.
If one dies on the Shabbat eve it is a good sign for him, because he is heading straight into the Shabbat rest; if one dies at the conclusion of Shabbat it is a bad sign for him.
If one dies on the eve of Yom Kippur, it is a bad sign for him, as his sins have not yet been forgiven; if one dies at the conclusion of Yom Kippur it is a good sign for him, because he died after his sins have been forgiven.
If one dies due to an intestinal disease, it is a good sign for him, because most of the righteous die due to intestinal disease.

א"ל אנא אתורה ומצות קא בכינא

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: I am crying for the Torah and the mitzvot that I will be unable to fulfill after I die. This indicates that Rabbi Ḥiyya was present at the time of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s death.

איבעית אימא איפוך ואיבעית אימא לעולם לא תיפוך ר' חייא עסוק במצות הוה ורבי סבר לא אפגריה

The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that one must reverse the names and that it was Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi who came to visit Rabbi Ḥiyya prior to his death. And if you wish, say instead that actually we do not need to reverse the names in all of the above statements, but rather explain that Rabbi Ḥiyya was occupied with the performance of mitzvot and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi thought: I will not hold him back from his performance of mitzvot by appointing him head of the yeshiva.

והיינו דכי הוו מינצו ר' חנינא ור' חייא א"ל ר' חנינא לר' חייא בהדי דידי מינצת דאם חס ושלום נשתכחה תורה מישראל מהדרנא ליה מפלפולי

And this is the background to an exchange that took place when Rabbi Ḥanina and Rabbi Ḥiyya argued. Rabbi Ḥanina said to Rabbi Ḥiyya: You are arguing with me? If, Heaven forfend, the Torah would be forgotten from the Jewish people, I would restore it through my analyses, i.e., using my abilities of analysis I would be able to rediscover all that had been lost.

א"ל ר' חייא אנא עבדי דלא משתכחה תורה מישראל דאייתינא כיתנא ושדיינא ומגדלנא נישבי וציידנא טביא ומאכילנא בישרא ליתמי ואריכנא מגילתא ממשכי דטביא וסליקנא למתא דלית בה מקרי דרדקי וכתיבנא חמשא חומשי לחמשא ינוקי ומתנינא שיתא סידרי לשיתא ינוקי לכל חד וחד אמרי ליה אתני סידרך לחברך

Rabbi Ḥiyya said to Rabbi Ḥanina: I am working to ensure that the Torah will not be forgotten from the Jewish people. For I bring flax and I plant it, and I then weave nets from the flax fibers. I then go out and trap deer, and I feed the meat to orphans, and I form scrolls from the skins of the deer. And I go to a town that has no teachers of children in it and I write the five books of the Torah for five children. And I teach the six orders of the Mishna to six children. To each and every one of these children I say: Teach your order to your friends. In this way all of the children will learn the whole of the Torah and the Mishna.

והיינו דאמר רבי כמה גדולים מעשה חייא א"ל ר"ש ב"ר אפילו ממך א"ל אין א"ל רבי ישמעאל ברבי יוסי אפילו מאבא א"ל חס ושלום לא תהא כזאת בישראל

And this is what Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi referred to when he said: How great are the actions of Ḥiyya. Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, said to his father: Even greater than your works? He said to him: Yes. Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: Even greater than the work of Rabbi Yosei, my father? Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: Heaven forfend. Such comments should not be made among the Jewish people.

אמר להן לבני קטן אני צריך נכנס ר' שמעון אצלו מסר לו סדרי חכמה

§ The Gemara returns to the narrative of the impending death of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: He said to them: I need my younger son. Rabbi Shimon entered his presence. He transmitted to him the orders of wisdom, including how he should conduct himself and the essential principles of the Torah.

אמר להן לבני גדול אני צריך נכנס רבן גמליאל אצלו ומסר לו סדרי נשיאות אמר לו בני נהוג נשיאותך ברמים זרוק מרה בתלמידים

He said to them: I need my older son. Rabban Gamliel entered his presence, and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi transmitted to him the procedures of the office of the Nasi. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabban Gamliel: My son, conduct your term as Nasi with assertiveness and cast fear upon your students, i.e., treat them in a firm manner so that they will fear you.

איני והא כתיב (תהלים טו, ד) ואת יראי ה' יכבד ואמר מר זה יהושפט מלך יהודה כשהיה רואה תלמיד חכם היה עומד מכסאו ומחבקו ומנשקו וקורא לו רבי רבי מרי מרי

The Gemara asks: Is that so that it is correct to behave in such a manner? But isn’t it written: “But he honors those that fear the Lord” (Psalms 15:4), and the Master said: This is referring to Jehoshaphat, king of Judea. When he would see a Torah scholar he would rise from his throne and hug him and kiss him and call to him: My teacher, my teacher, my master, my master. This demonstrates that it is appropriate even for a king to behave with affection toward Torah scholars.

לא קשיא הא בצינעא הא בפרהסיא

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This display of affection should be applied in private, when only the teacher and student are present, and that stern demeanor should be applied in public, in order to ensure the teacher’s authority.

תניא רבי מוטל בציפורי ומקום מוכן לו בבית שערים והתניא (דברים טז, כ) צדק צדק תרדף הלך אחר ר' לבית שערים

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was lying ill in Tzippori and a burial site was ready for him in Beit She’arim. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: “Justice, justice shall you follow” (Deuteronomy 16:20); follow Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi to Beit She’arim, i.e., one should seek to have his case adjudicated by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s court in Beit She’arim. This indicates that Beit She’arim, not Tzippori, was Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s place of residence, and therefore he must have been lying ill in Beit She’arim.

ר' בבית שערים הוה אלא כיון דחלש אמטיוהי לציפורי

The Gemara answers: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was in Beit She’arim, but when he became ill they transferred him to Tzippori,