הָתָם כִּי אָמְרָה הָוְיָנָא בַּהֲדֵיהּ שָׁבְקִינַן לַהּ הָכָא אַף עַל גַּב דְּאָמְרָה הָוְיָנָא בַּהֲדֵיהּ לָא שָׁבְקִינַן לַהּ וַהֲרֵי מוּכֵּה שְׁחִין דְּאַף עַל גַּב דַּאֲמָרָהּ הָוְיָנָא בַּהֲדֵיהּ לָא שָׁבְקִינַן לַהּ דִּתְנַן חוּץ מִמּוּכֵּה שְׁחִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּמִקָּתוֹ וְקָתָנֵי but there, with regard to the blemishes specified in the mishna, if she says: I want to be with him, we leave her alone with him and do not force a divorce, whereas here, in the case of a woman who has not given birth, even though she says: I want to be with him, we do not leave her alone, as her husband is neglecting the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But there is the case of a husband afflicted with boils, where even though she says: I want to be with him, we do not leave her alone with him. As we learned in the mishna: Apart from a situation where her husband is afflicted with boils, because it consumes his flesh. And yet this halakha is taught in the same mishna as the others, which indicates that our above analysis is incorrect.
הָתָם כִּי אָמְרָה דָּיְירָנָא בַּהֲדֵיהּ בְּסָהֲדֵי שָׁבְקִינַן לַהּ הָכָא אַף עַל גַּב דְּאָמְרָה דָּיְירָנָא בַּהֲדֵיהּ בְּסָהֲדֵי לָא שָׁבְקִינַן לַהּ The Gemara answers: Even so, there is a difference between these cases, as there, with regard to a man with boils, if she says: I am willing to live with him under the supervision of witnesses; that is, I will not seclude myself with him but I will nevertheless remain his wife, we leave her alone. However, here, even though she says: I will live with him under the supervision of witnesses, we do not leave her alone, but rather force him to divorce her.
תַּנְיָא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי שָׂח לִי זָקֵן אֶחָד מֵאַנְשֵׁי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה מוּכֵּי שְׁחִין הֵן וְכוּלָּן אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תַּשְׁמִישׁ קָשֶׁה לָהֶן וּבַעֲלֵי רָאתָן קָשֶׁה מִכּוּלָּן מִמַּאי הָוֵי דְּתַנְיָא הִקִּיז דָּם וְשִׁימֵּשׁ הָוַיִין לוֹ בָּנִים וִיתִיקִין הַקִּיזוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם וְשִׁימְּשׁוּ הָוַיִין לוֹ בָּנִים בַּעֲלֵי רָאתָן אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא לָא אֲמַרַן אֶלָּא דְּלָא טָעֵים מִידֵּי אֲבָל טָעֵים מִידֵּי לֵית לַן בַּהּ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei said: A certain Elder from among the residents of Jerusalem told me that there are twenty-four types of patients afflicted with boils, and with regard to all of them the Sages said that sexual relations are harmful to them, and those afflicted with ra’atan, a severe skin disease characterized by extreme weakness and trembling, are harmed even more than all of the others. The Gemara asks: From where and how does this disease come about? The Gemara answers: As it is taught in a baraita: One who let blood and immediately afterward engaged in sexual relations will have weak [vitaykin] children. If both of them let blood and then engaged in sexual relations, he will have children afflicted with ra’atan. Rav Pappa said in response: We said this only if he did not taste anything between bloodletting and intercourse, but if he tasted something we have no problem with it, as it is not dangerous.
מַאי סִימָנֵיהּ דָּלְפָן עֵינֵיהּ וְדָיְיבִי נְחִירֵיהּ וְאָיתֵי לֵיהּ רִירָא מִפּוּמֵּיהּ וּרְמוּ דִּידְבֵי עִילָּוֵיהּ וּמַאי אָסוּתֵיהּ אָמַר אַבָּיֵי פִּילָא וְלוּדָנָא גִּירְדָּא דֶאֱגוֹזָא וְגִירְדָּא דְּאַשְׁפָּא וּכְלִיל מַלְכָּא וּמְתַחְלָא דְּדִיקְלָא סוּמָּקָא וְשָׁלֵיק לְהוּ בַּהֲדֵי הֲדָדֵי וּמְעַיֵּיל לֵיהּ לְבֵיתָא דְשֵׁישָׁא וְאִי לָא אִיכָּא בֵּיתָא דְשֵׁישָׁא מְעַיֵּיל לֵיהּ לְבֵיתָא דְּשַׁב לִבְנֵי וַאֲרִיחָא The Gemara inquires: What are the symptoms of ra’atan? His eyes water, his nose runs, drool comes out of his mouth, and flies rest upon him. The Gemara further inquires: And what is his cure to remove the insect found in his head, which is associated with this illness? Abaye said: One takes pila and ladanum [lodana], which are types of grasses; and the ground shell of a nut; and shavings of smoothed hides; and artemisia [kelil malka]; and the calyx of a red date palm. And one cooks them together and brings the patient into a marble house, i.e., one that is completely sealed. And if there is no marble house available, the one performing the treatment brings the patient into a house whose walls have the thickness of seven bricks and one small brick.
וְנָטֵיל לֵיהּ תְּלָת מְאָה כָּסֵי עַל רֵישֵׁיהּ עַד דְּרָפְיָא אַרְעִיתָא דְמוֹחֵיהּ וְקָרַע לְמוֹחֵיהּ וּמַיְיתֵי אַרְבַּע טַרְפֵי דְאָסָא וּמַדְלֵי כֹּל חַד כַּרְעָא וּמוֹתֵיב חַד וְשָׁקֵיל בִּצְבָתָא וְקָלֵי לֵיהּ דְּאִי לָא הָדַר עִילָּוֵיהּ And the one performing the treatment pours three hundred cups of this mixture on the patient’s head until his skull is soft, and then he tears open the patient’s skull to expose his brain, and brings four myrtle leaves and lifts up each time one foot of the insect that is found on the patient’s brain, and places one leaf under each foot of the insect so as to prevent it from attempting to cling to his brain when it is forcibly removed, and subsequently takes it with tweezers. And he then burns the insect, because if he does not burn it, it will return to him.
מַכְרִיז רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן הִזָּהֲרוּ מִזְּבוּבֵי (שֶׁל) בַּעֲלֵי רָאתָן רַבִּי זֵירָא לָא הֲוָה יָתֵיב בְּזִיקֵיהּ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר לָא עָיֵיל בְּאֻהְלֵיהּ רַבִּי אַמֵּי וְרַבִּי אַסִּי לָא הֲווֹ אָכְלִי מִבֵּיעֵי דְּהָהִיא מְבוֹאָה רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי מִיכְרָךְ בְּהוּ וְעָסֵיק בַּתּוֹרָה אָמַר אַיֶּלֶת אֲהָבִים וְיַעֲלַת חֵן אִם חֵן מַעֲלָה עַל לוֹמְדֶיהָ אַגּוֹנֵי לָא מַגְּנָא Rabbi Yoḥanan would announce: Be careful of the flies found on those afflicted with ra’atan, as they are carriers of the disease. Rabbi Zeira would not sit in a spot where the wind blew from the direction of someone afflicted with ra’atan. Rabbi Elazar would not enter the tent of one afflicted with ra’atan, and Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi would not eat eggs from an alley in which someone afflicted with ra’atan lived. Conversely, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi would attach himself to them and study Torah, saying as justification the verse: “The Torah is a loving hind and a graceful doe” (Proverbs 5:19). If it bestows grace on those who learn it, does it not protect them from illness?
כִּי הֲוָה שָׁכֵיב אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לְמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת זִיל עֲבֵיד לֵיהּ רְעוּתֵיהּ אֲזַל אִיתְחֲזִי לֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַחְוִי לִי דּוּכְתַּאי אֲמַר לֵיהּ לְחַיֵּי אֲמַר לֵיהּ הַב לִי סַכִּינָךְ דִּלְמָא מְבַעֲתַתְּ לִי בְּאוֹרְחָא יַהֲבַהּ נִיהֲלֵיהּ כִּי מְטָא לְהָתָם דַּלְיַיהּ קָא מַחְוֵי לֵיהּ שְׁוַור נְפַל לְהָהוּא גִּיסָא When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi was on the verge of dying, they said to the Angel of Death: Go and perform his bidding, as he is a righteous man and deserves to die in the manner he sees fit. The Angel of Death went and appeared to him. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: Show me my place in paradise. He said to him: Very well. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: Give me your knife that you use to kill mortals, lest you frighten me on the way. He gave it to him. When he arrived there, in paradise, he lifted Rabbi Yehoshua so he could see his place, and he showed it to him. Rabbi Yehoshua jumped and fell into that other side, thereby escaping into paradise.
נַקְטֵיהּ בְּקַרְנָא דִגְלִימֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ בִּשְׁבוּעֲתָא דְּלָא אָתֵינָא אֲמַר קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא אִי אִיתְּשִׁיל אַשְּׁבוּעֲתָא נֶיהְדַּר אִי לָא לָא נֶיהְדַּר אֲמַר לֵיהּ הַב לִי סַכִּינַאי לָא הֲוָה קָא יָהֵיב לֵיהּ נְפַקָא בַּת קָלָא וַאֲמַרָה לֵיהּ הַב נִיהֲלֵיהּ דְּמִיתַּבְעָא לְבִרְיָיתָא מַכְרִיז אֵלִיָּהוּ קַמֵּיהּ פַּנּוּ מָקוֹם לְבַר לֵיוַאי פַּנּוּ מָקוֹם לְבַר לֵיוַאי The Angel of Death grabbed him by the corner of his cloak. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to him: I swear that I will not come with you. The Holy One, blessed be He, said: If he ever in his life requested dissolution concerning an oath he had taken, he must return to this world with the Angel of Death, as he can have his oath dissolved this time also. If he did not ever request dissolution of an oath, he need not return. Since Rabbi Yehoshua had in fact never requested dissolution of an oath, he was allowed to stay in paradise. The Angel of Death said to him: At least give me my knife back. However, he did not give it to him, as he did not want any more people to die. A Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Give it to him, as it is necessary to kill the created beings; death is the way of the world. Elijah the Prophet announced before him: Make way for the son of Levi, make way for the son of Levi.
אֲזַל אַשְׁכְּחֵיהּ לְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַאי דַּהֲוָה יָתֵיב עַל תְּלָת עֲשַׂר תַּכְטָקֵי פִּיזָּא אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַתְּ הוּא בַּר לֵיוַאי אֲמַר לֵיהּ הֵן נִרְאֲתָה קֶשֶׁת בְּיָמֶיךָ אֲמַר לֵיהּ הֵן אִם כֵּן אִי אַתָּה בַּר לֵיוַאי וְלָא הִיא דְּלָא הֲוַאי מִידֵּי אֶלָּא סָבַר לָא אַחְזֵיק טֵיבוּתָא לְנַפְשַׁאי Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi went and found in paradise Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai sitting on thirteen golden stools [takhtekei]. Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai said to him: Are you the son of Levi? He said to him: Yes. Rabbi Shimon said to him: Was a rainbow ever seen in your days? He said: Yes. Rabbi Shimon retorted: If so, you are not the son of Levi, as he is a completely righteous man. During the lifetimes of completely righteous people no rainbows are visible, as they are a sign that the world deserves to be destroyed by a flood; whereas the merit of the righteous protects the world from such things. The Gemara comments: And that is not so, for there was no rainbow seen at all during the lifetime of Rabbi Yehoshua, but he thought: I do not want to take credit for myself by presenting myself as such a righteous person.
רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בַּר פָּפָּא שׁוֹשְׁבִינֵיהּ הֲוָה כִּי הֲוָה קָא נָיְחָא נַפְשֵׁיהּ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לְמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת זִיל עָבֵיד לֵיהּ רְעוּתֵיהּ אֲזַל לְגַבֵּיהּ וְאִיתְחֲזִי לֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ שִׁבְקַי תְּלָתִין יוֹם עַד דְּנַהְדַּר תַּלְמוּדַאי דְּאָמְרִי אַשְׁרֵי מִי שֶׁבָּא לְכָאן וְתַלְמוּדוֹ בְּיָדוֹ שַׁבְקֵיהּ לְבָתַר תְּלָתִין יוֹמִין אֲזַל אִיתְחֲזִי לֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַחְוִי לִי דּוּכְתַּאי אֲמַר לֵיהּ לְחַיֵּי אֲמַר לֵיהּ הַב לִי סַכִּינָךְ דִּלְמָא מְבַעֲתַתְּ לִי בְּאוֹרְחָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ כְּחַבְרָךְ בָּעֵית לְמִיעְבַּד לִי The Gemara relates a similar incident: Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa was a friend of the Angel of Death and would see him frequently. When Rabbi Ḥanina was on the verge of dying, they said to the Angel of Death: Go and perform his bidding. He went before him and appeared to him. He said to the angel: Leave me for thirty days until I have reviewed my studies, for they say: Happy is he who comes here, to paradise, with his learning in his hand. He left him, and after thirty days he again went and appeared to him. He said to the Angel of Death: Show me my place in paradise. He said to him: Very well. Rabbi Ḥanina said to him: Give me your knife, lest you frighten me on the way. The Angel of Death said to him: Do you wish to do to me as your friend Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi did, and escape?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַיְיתִי סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וַחֲזִי מִי אִיכָּא מִידֵּי דִּכְתִיב בֵּיהּ דְּלָא קַיֵּימְתֵּיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מִי אִיכָּרַכְתְּ בְּבַעֲלֵי רָאתָן וְאִיעֲסֵקְתְּ בַּתּוֹרָה וַאֲפִילּוּ הָכִי כִּי נָח נַפְשֵׁיהּ אַפְסֵיק לֵיהּ עַמּוּדָא דְנוּרָא בֵּין דִּידֵיהּ לְעָלְמָא וּגְמִירִי דְּלָא מַפְסֵיק עַמּוּדָא דְנוּרָא אֶלָּא לְחַד בְּדָרָא אוֹ לִתְרֵין בְּדָרָא He said to him: Bring a Torah scroll and see: Is there anything written in it that I have not fulfilled? I am therefore worthy of entering Paradise alive, as did Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi. He said to him: But did you attach yourself to those afflicted with ra’atan and study Torah, as he did? The Gemara comments: And even so, despite the fact that he was not equal to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, when he passed away a pillar of fire separated him from everyone. And it is learned as a tradition that a pillar of fire separates in this manner only for one in a generation or for two in a generation.
קְרַב לְגַבֵּיהּ רַבִּי אֲלֶכְּסַנְדְּרִי אָמַר עֲשֵׂה בִּשְׁבִיל כְּבוֹד חֲכָמִים לָא אַשְׁגַּח עֲשֵׂה בִּשְׁבִיל כְּבוֹד אָבִיךָ לָא אַשְׁגַּח עֲשֵׂה בִּשְׁבִיל כְּבוֹד עַצְמְךָ אִיסְתַּלַּק אָמַר אַבָּיֵי לְאַפּוֹקֵי מִמַּאן דְּלָא קַיֵּים (אֲפִילּוּ אוֹת אַחַת) אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב אַדָּא בַּר מַתְנָא לְאַפּוֹקֵי מִמָּר דְּלָא אִית לֵיהּ מַעֲקֶה לְאִיגָּרֵיהּ וְלָא הִיא מִיהְוָה הֲוָה וְהָהִיא שַׁעְתָּא הוּא דְּשַׁדְיֵיהּ זִיקָא Due to the pillar of fire they could not go near Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa to attend to his burial. Rabbi Alexandri approached him and said: Make the pillar of fire disappear in honor of the Sages. He did not pay attention to him. He said: Make it go away in honor of your father. Again he did not pay attention to him. Finally he said: Make it go away in your own honor, at which point the pillar disappeared. Abaye said: The purpose of the pillar of fire is to exclude him from the company of those who have not fulfilled even one letter of the Torah. Rav Adda bar Mattana said to him: It comes to exclude him from the Master himself, who does not have a guardrail for his roof. Rav Adda bar Mattana took this opportunity to rebuke Abaye. The Gemara comments: And that is not so as he in fact did have a guardrail, but the wind had just blown it off at that time.
אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא מִפְּנֵי מָה אֵין בַּעֲלֵי רָאתָן בְּבָבֶל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאוֹכְלִין תְּרָדִין וְשׁוֹתִין שֵׁכָר שֶׁל הִיזְמֵי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִפְּנֵי מָה אֵין מְצוֹרָעִין בְּבָבֶל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאוֹכְלִין תְּרָדִין וְשׁוֹתִין שֵׁכָר וְרוֹחֲצִין בְּמֵי פְרָת Rabbi Ḥanina said: For what reason are there no people afflicted with ra’atan in Babylonia? Because the Babylonians eat beets [teradin] and drink beer made from the hizmei plant. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: For what reason are there no lepers in Babylonia? Because they eat beets, drink beer, and bathe in the waters of the Euphrates, all of which are good for the body.
הֲדַרַן עֲלָךְ הַמַּדִּיר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ
May we return to you [chapter] “One who vows that his wife.”