Ketubot 111aכתובות קי״א א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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111aקי״א א

(ירמיהו כז, כב) בבלה יובאו ושמה יהיו עד יום פקדי אותם נאם ה' ורבי זירא ההוא בכלי שרת כתיב

“They shall be taken to Babylonia and there they shall remain until the day that I recall them, said the Lord” (Jeremiah 27:22). Based on that verse, Rav Yehuda held that since the Babylonian exile was imposed by divine decree, permission to leave Babylonia for Eretz Yisrael could be granted only by God. The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Zeira interpret that verse? The Gemara answers that Rabbi Zeira maintains that that verse is written about the Temple service vessels, and it does not refer to the Jewish people, as the previous verse states: “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord” (Jeremiah 27:21). Consequently, Rabbi Zeira sought to ascend to Eretz Yisrael.

ורב יהודה כתיב קרא אחרינא (שיר השירים ב, ז) השבעתי אתכם בנות ירושלים בצבאות או באילות השדה וגו'

The Gemara asks: And how does Rav Yehuda respond to this argument? The verse is clearly referring to the Temple vessels, not to the people. The Gemara answers that another verse is written: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the hinds of the field, that you not awaken or stir up love, until it please” (Song of Songs 2:7). Rabbi Yehuda derived from here that no act of redemption should be performed until a time arrives when it pleases God to bring about the redemption.

ורבי זירא ההוא שלא יעלו ישראל בחומה ורב יהודה השבעתי אחרינא כתיב ורבי זירא

And Rabbi Zeira maintains that the oath mentioned in that verse means that the Jews should not ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a wall, i.e., en masse, whereas individuals may immigrate as they wish. The Gemara asks: And what does Rav Yehuda reply to this? The Gemara answers that this command is derived from another verse in which “I adjure you” (Song of Songs 3:5) is written. The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Zeira explain the repetition of this oath in these verses?

ההוא מיבעי ליה לכדרבי יוסי ברבי חנינא דאמר ג' שבועות הללו למה אחת שלא יעלו ישראל בחומה ואחת שהשביע הקדוש ברוך הוא את ישראל שלא ימרדו באומות העולם ואחת שהשביע הקדוש ברוך הוא את העובדי כוכבים שלא ישתעבדו בהן בישראל יותר מדאי

The Gemara explains: That verse is necessary for that which was taught by Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, who said: Why are these three oaths (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4) needed? One, so that the Jews should not ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a wall, but little by little. And another one, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, adjured the Jews that they should not rebel against the rule of the nations of the world. And the last one is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, adjured the nations of the world that they should not subjugate the Jews excessively.

ורב יהודה (שיר השירים ב, ז) אם תעירו ואם תעוררו כתיב ורבי זירא

And how does Rav Yehuda respond? It is written: “That you not awaken or stir up love” (Song of Songs 2:7), which serves to amplify and include a prohibition against Jews immigrating to Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Zeira explain the extra emphasis of this phrase?

מיבעי ליה לכדרבי לוי דאמר שש שבועות הללו למה תלתא הני דאמרן אינך שלא יגלו את הקץ ושלא ירחקו את הקץ ושלא יגלו הסוד לעובדי כוכבים

The Gemara explains: He needs this phrase for that which was taught by Rabbi Levi, who said: These six oaths, i.e., the aforementioned three verses containing oaths, each of which contains the phrase “That you not awaken or stir up,” why are they necessary? Three are those that we said and explained above. The other three oaths are as follows: That those who know should not reveal the end of days; and that they should not distance the end of days by saying that it is still distant; and that they should not reveal the secret of the Jews to the nations.

(שיר השירים ב, ז) בצבאות או באילות השדה אמר רבי אלעזר אמר להם הקב"ה לישראל אם אתם מקיימין את השבועה מוטב ואם לאו אני מתיר את בשרכם כצבאות וכאילות השדה

§ The Gemara discusses a phrase in the verse cited above. “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and by the hinds of the field” (Song of Songs 2:7). Rabbi Elazar said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Jewish people: If you fulfill the oath, it is good, and if not, I will abandon your flesh and all will devour you like the gazelles and like the hinds of the field.

אמר רבי אלעזר כל הדר בארץ ישראל שרוי בלא עון שנאמר (ישעיהו לג, כד) ובל יאמר שכן חליתי העם היושב בה נשוא עון א"ל רבא לרב אשי אנן בסובלי חלאים מתנינן לה

Rabbi Elazar said: Anyone who resides in Eretz Yisrael dwells without transgression, as it is stated: “And the inhabitant shall not say: I am sick; the people that dwell there shall be forgiven their iniquity” (Isaiah 33:24). Rava said to Rav Ashi: We learned this promise with regard to those who suffer from sickness. The phrase “I am sick” indicates that they are the ones who are forgiven their sins.

אמר רב ענן כל הקבור בארץ ישראל כאילו קבור תחת המזבח כתיב הכא (שמות כ, כד) מזבח אדמה תעשה לי וכתיב התם (דברים לב, מג) וכפר אדמתו עמו

Rav Anan said: Anyone who is buried in Eretz Yisrael is considered as though he is buried beneath the altar. It is stated here: “An altar of earth [adama] you shall make for Me” (Exodus 20:21), and it is stated there: “For He does avenge the blood of His servants, and renders vengeance to His adversaries, and atones for the land of [admato] His people” (Deuteronomy 32:43). This teaches that one who is buried in the earth of Eretz Yisrael is considered as though he is buried beneath the altar in the Temple.

עולא הוה רגיל דהוה סליק לארץ ישראל נח נפשיה בחוץ לארץ אתו אמרו ליה לרבי אלעזר אמר אנת עולא (עמוס ז, יז) על אדמה טמאה תמות אמרו לו ארונו בא אמר להם אינו דומה קולטתו מחיים לקולטתו לאחר מיתה

§ The Gemara relates: Ulla was accustomed to ascend to Eretz Yisrael from time to time. However, he died outside of Eretz Yisrael. They came and said to Rabbi Elazar that Ulla had passed away. He said: Woe for you Ulla, as through you a verse was fulfilled: “You shall die in an unclean land” (Amos 7:17). They said to him: But his coffin is coming for burial in Eretz Yisrael. He said to them: Even so, one who was absorbed by the soil of Eretz Yisrael while he was yet alive is not similar to one who was absorbed only after death.

ההוא גברא דנפלה ליה יבמה בי חוזאה אתא לקמיה דר' חנינא א"ל מהו למיחת וליבמה

The Gemara relates with regard to a certain man from Eretz Yisrael that a yevama, i.e., a woman whose childless husband died and left a surviving brother, happened before him, the surviving brother, for levirate marriage. This yevama was living in the district of Bei Ḥoza’a, far away in southeast Babylonia. The man came before Rabbi Ḥanina and said to him: What is the halakha as to whether I may descend to Babylonia to enter into levirate marriage with this woman?

א"ל אחיו נשא כותית ומת ברוך המקום שהרגו והוא ירד אחריו

Rabbi Ḥanina said to him: His brother married a Samaritan woman [kutit] and died. Rabbi Ḥanina described the man’s late brother in these terms because he had left Eretz Yisrael to marry, and for the same reason he called his wife a Samaritan. Blessed be the Omnipresent who killed him. And yet the brother wishes to follow in his footsteps and descend after him? Better that he stay in Eretz Yisrael.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כשם שאסור לצאת מארץ ישראל לבבל כך אסור לצאת מבבל לשאר ארצות רבה ורב יוסף דאמרי תרוייהו אפילו מפומבדיתא לבי כובי ההוא דנפק מפומבדיתא לבי כובי שמתיה רב יוסף ההוא דנפק מפומבדיתא לאסתוניא שכיב אמר אביי אי בעי האי צורבא מרבנן הוה חיי

§ Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: Just as it is prohibited to leave Eretz Yisrael and go to Babylonia, so too, is it prohibited to leave Babylonia for any of the other lands. Rabba and Rav Yosef both say: Even to go from Pumbedita to Bei Kuvei, which is located beyond the border of Babylonia proper, is not permitted. The Gemara relates: A certain man left Pumbedita to live in Bei Kuvei, and Rav Yosef excommunicated him. A certain man left Pumbedita to live in Astonia, which also lay beyond the borders of Babylonia proper, and he died. Abaye said: Had this Torah scholar wanted, he would still be alive, as he could have stayed in Babylonia.

רבה ורב יוסף דאמרי תרוייהו כשרין שבבבל א"י קולטתן כשרין שבשאר ארצות בבל קולטתן למאי אילימא ליוחסין והאמר מר כל הארצות עיסה לארץ ישראל וארץ ישראל עיסה לבבל אלא לענין קבורה

Rabba and Rav Yosef both say: With regard to the worthy of Babylonia, Eretz Yisrael absorbs them; with regard to the worthy of other lands, Babylonia absorbs them. The Gemara asks: With regard to what matter did they issue this statement? If we say that they were referring to matters of lineage, didn’t the Master say: Lineage of residents of all lands are muddled compared to that of Eretz Yisrael, and lineage of residents of Eretz Yisrael is muddled compared to that of Babylonia. This means that the lineage of Babylonians was purer than that of the residents of Eretz Yisrael. Rather, they taught this with regard to matters of burial, i.e., the worthy of Babylonia are buried in Eretz Yisrael.

אמר רב יהודה כל הדר בבבל כאילו דר בארץ ישראל שנאמר (זכריה ב, יא) הוי ציון המלטי יושבת בת בבל אמר אביי נקטינן בבל לא חזיא חבלי דמשיח תרגמה אהוצל דבנימין וקרו ליה קרנא דשיזבתא

Rav Yehuda said: With regard to anyone who resides in Babylon, it is as though he is residing in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “Ho Zion, escape, you who dwells with the daughter of Babylon” (Zechariah 2:11). This verse equates the two countries. Abaye said: We have a tradition that Babylonia will not see the pangs of the Messiah, i.e., it will be spared the suffering that will be prevalent at the time of his arrival. Abaye interpreted this statement in reference to the city of Hutzal deVinyamin in Babylonia, and as a result people call it Karna deShizavta, Horn of Salvation, as its residents will not endure the travails of the time of the Messiah.

א"ר אלעזר מתים שבחוץ לארץ אינם חיים שנאמר (יחזקאל כו, כ) ונתתי צבי בארץ חיים ארץ שצביוני בה מתיה חיים שאין צביוני בה אין מתיה חיים

§ Rabbi Elazar said: The dead of the lands outside of Eretz Yisrael will not come alive and be resurrected in the future, as it is stated: “And I will set glory [tzvi] in the land of the living” (Ezekiel 26:20). This teaches that with regard to a land which contains My desire [tzivyoni], its dead will come alive; however, with regard to a land which does not contain My desire, i.e., outside of Eretz Yisrael, its dead will not come alive.

מתיב ר' אבא בר ממל (ישעיהו כו, יט) יחיו מתיך נבלתי יקומון מאי לאו יחיו מתיך מתים שבא"י נבלתי יקומון מתים שבחוץ לארץ ומאי ונתתי צבי בארץ חיים אנבוכד נצר הוא דכתיב דאמר רחמנא מייתינא עלייהו מלכא דקליל כי טביא

Rabbi Abba bar Memel raised an objection from a different verse: “Your dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise” (Isaiah 26:19). What, is it not the case that the phrase “Your dead shall live” is referring to the dead of Eretz Yisrael, whereas the subsequent phrase “My dead bodies shall arise” is referring to the dead of the lands outside of Eretz Yisrael? And if so, what is the meaning of the verse “And I will set glory [tzvi] in the land of the living”? This verse is written with regard to Nebuchadnezzar, as the Merciful One states: I will bring upon you a king who is as swift as a deer [tzvi].

א"ל רבי מקרא אחר אני דורש (ישעיהו מב, ה) נותן נשמה לעם עליה ורוח להולכים בה ואלא הכתיב נבלתי יקומון ההוא בנפלים הוא דכתיב

Rabbi Elazar said to Rabbi Abba bar Memel: My teacher, I teach it from a different verse, as it is stated: “He gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to they who walk there” (Isaiah 42:5). This indicates that the future resurrection is specifically for those who dwell in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Abba retorted: But isn’t it written: “My dead bodies shall arise”? How do you interpret this verse? Rabbi Elazar replied: That verse is not referring to those living outside Eretz Yisrael; rather, it is written with regard to stillborns, as they too will merit resurrection.

ורבי אבא בר ממל האי נותן נשמה לעם עליה מאי עביד ליה מיבעי ליה לכדרבי אבהו דאמר ר' אבהו אפילו שפחה כנענית שבא"י מובטח לה שהיא בת העולם הבא כתיב הכא לעם עליה וכתיב התם (בראשית כב, ה) שבו לכם פה עם החמור עם הדומה לחמור

The Gemara asks: And what does Rabbi Abba bar Memel do with this verse “He gives breath to the people upon it”? The Gemara answers: He requires that verse for that which was taught by Rabbi Abbahu. As Rabbi Abbahu said: Even a Canaanite maidservant in Eretz Yisrael is assured a place in the World-to-Come. It is written here: “To the people [la’am] upon it,” and it is written there: “Abide you here with [im] the donkey” (Genesis 22:5). This verse in Genesis is traditionally interpreted to mean: A people [am] that is similar to a donkey, from which it may be inferred that even the members of this people merit a share in the world to come.

ורוח להולכים בה א"ר ירמיה בר אבא א"ר יוחנן כל המהלך ארבע אמות בארץ ישראל מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא

With regard to the aforementioned verse “And spirit to they who walk there” (Isaiah 42:5), Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Anyone who walks four cubits in Eretz Yisrael is assured of a place in the World-to-Come.

ולר' אלעזר צדיקים שבחוץ לארץ אינם חיים אמר רבי אילעא ע"י גלגול מתקיף לה ר' אבא סלא רבא גלגול לצדיקים צער הוא אמר אביי מחילות נעשות להם בקרקע

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, will the righteous outside of Eretz Yisrael not come alive at the time of the resurrection of the dead? Rabbi Ile’a said: They will be resurrected by means of rolling, i.e., they will roll until they reach Eretz Yisrael, where they will be brought back to life. Rabbi Abba Salla Rava strongly objects to this: Rolling is an ordeal that entails suffering for the righteous. Abaye said: Tunnels are prepared for them in the ground, through which they pass to Eretz Yisrael.

(בראשית מז, ל) ונשאתני ממצרים וקברתני בקבורתם אמר קרנא דברים בגו יודע היה יעקב אבינו שצדיק גמור היה ואם מתים שבחוצה לארץ חיים למה הטריח את בניו שמא לא יזכה למחילות

§ The verse states that Jacob commanded Joseph: “You shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying-place” (Genesis 47:30). Karna said: There are inner matters here, i.e., a secret meaning: Our Patriarch Jacob knew that he was completely righteous, and if the dead of the lands outside of Eretz Yisrael come alive, why did he trouble his sons to bring him to Eretz Yisrael? The reason is that he was concerned lest he not merit the tunnels.

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר (בראשית נ, כה) וישבע יוסף את בני ישראל וגו' א"ר חנינא דברים בגו יודע היה יוסף בעצמו שצדיק גמור היה ואם מתים שבחוצה לארץ חיים למה הטריח את אחיו ארבע מאות פרסה שמא לא יזכה למחילות

On a similar note, you say: “And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying: God will surely remember you, and you shall carry up my bones from here” (Genesis 50:25). Rabbi Ḥanina said: There are inner matters here. Joseph knew concerning himself that he was completely righteous, and if the dead of the lands outside of Eretz Yisrael come alive, why did he trouble his brothers to carry his coffin four hundreds parasangs to Eretz Yisrael? The reason is that he was concerned lest he not merit the tunnels.

שלחו ליה אחוהי לרבה יודע היה יעקב שצדיק גמור היה וכו' אילפא מוסיף בה דברים מעשה באחד שהיה מצטער על אשה אחת וביקש לירד כיון ששמע כזאת גלגל בעצמו עד יום מותו

§ Rabba’s brothers sent him a letter to Babylonia from Eretz Yisrael, in which they mentioned this idea that Jacob knew that he was completely righteous, as detailed above. They continued by writing that Ilfa adds matters to this statement: An incident occurred involving one who was suffering through his love for a certain woman he desired to marry, and he sought to descend from Eretz Yisrael. When he heard this idea concerning the tremendous significance of living in Eretz Yisrael, he suffered without leaving the country until the day he died.

אף על פי שחכם גדול אתה אינו דומה לומד מעצמו ללומד מרבו וא"ת אין לך רב יש לך רב ומנו רבי יוחנן

Rabba’s brothers further wrote in their letter: And although you are a great Sage, one who studies by himself is not similar to one who studies from his teacher, and therefore you should come to Eretz Yisrael. And if you say that you do not have a teacher in Eretz Yisrael, in fact you do have a teacher. And who is he? He is Rabbi Yoḥanan.

ואם אין אתה עולה הזהר בשלשה דברים אל תרבה בישיבה שישיבה קשה לתחתוניות ואל תרבה בעמידה שעמידה קשה ללב ואל תרבה בהליכה שהליכה קשה לעינים אלא שליש בישיבה שליש בעמידה שליש בהילוך

And if you do not ascend to Eretz Yisrael, be careful in three matters: Do not sit excessively, as sitting is harmful with regard to hemorrhoids; do not stand excessively, as standing is harmful with regard to heart trouble; and do not walk excessively, as walking is harmful with regard to eye problems. Rather, divide your time: One-third for sitting, one-third for standing, and one-third for walking.

כל ישיבה שאין עמה סמיכה עמידה נוחה הימנה עמידה ס"ד והאמרת עמידה קשה ללב אלא ישיבה

Rabba’s brothers offered him more advice in their letter: With regard to any sitting that is without support, i.e., an object on which to lean, standing is more comfortable than that position. The Gemara asks: Can it enter your mind that standing is better than sitting? Didn’t you say that standing is harmful with regard to heart trouble? Rather, with regard to sitting