Kiddushin 39b:15קידושין ל״ט ב:טו
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39bל״ט ב

ארבע על ארבע רוחות הערוגה ואחת באמצע שפיר אלא הכא משום נוי ואי נמי משום טרחא דשמעא היא:

and he was careful to plant four different species along the four sides of the garden bed and one in the middle, so that there would be space between them, it works out well. This would show that Rav was cautious not to plant diverse kinds together. But here, where Rav actually planted each species in its own bed, he did so due to beautification, i.e., to improve the appearance of the garden in front of the study hall. Alternatively, the reason Rav planted this way is due to the trouble that would be caused to the attendant. When his attendant would be sent to fetch a certain type of vegetable from the garden he would not need to search for it, but would know where the different vegetables were planted. Therefore, this does not prove that Rav was concerned about diverse kinds outside of Eretz Yisrael.

מתני׳ כל העושה מצוה אחת מטיבין לו ומאריכין לו ימיו ונוחל את הארץ וכל שאינו עושה מצוה אחת אין מטיבין לו ואין מאריכין לו ימיו ואינו נוחל את הארץ:

MISHNA: Anyone who performs one mitzva has goodness bestowed upon him, his life is lengthened, and he inherits the land, i.e., life in the World-to-Come. And anyone who does not perform one mitzva does not have goodness bestowed upon him, his life is not lengthened, and he does not inherit the land of the World-to-Come.

גמ׳ ורמינהי אלו דברים שאדם אוכל פירותיהן בעולם הזה והקרן קיימת לו לעולם הבא אלו הן כבוד אב ואם וגמילות חסדים והכנסת אורחים והבאת שלום בין אדם לחבירו ותלמוד תורה כנגד כולם

GEMARA: And the Gemara raises a contradiction from a mishna (Pe’a 1:1): These are the matters that a person engages in and enjoys their profits in this world, and the principal reward remains for him for the World-to-Come, and they are: Honoring one’s father and mother, acts of loving kindness, hospitality toward guests, and bringing peace between one person and another; and Torah study is equal to all of them. This indicates that one is rewarded in this world only for fulfilling these mitzvot, but not for fulfilling all mitzvot.

אמר רב יהודה הכי קאמר כל העושה מצוה אחת יתירה על זכיותיו מטיבים לו ודומה כמי שמקיים כל התורה כולה מכלל דהנך אפילו בחדא נמי אמר רב שמעיה לומר שאם היתה שקולה מכרעת

Rav Yehuda said that this is what the mishna is saying: Anyone who performs one mitzva in addition to his other merits, and thereby tips the scale of all his deeds to the side of righteousness, has goodness bestowed upon him and is compared to one who fulfills the entire Torah. The Gemara asks: One can learn by inference from here that with regard to those mitzvot listed in the mishna in Pe’a one is rewarded even for one of them, notwithstanding the fact that overall his sins are more numerous. Rav Shemaya said: The other mishna serves to say that if one’s sins and merits were of equal balance, i.e., he has accrued an equal amount of merit and sin, one of these mitzvot tilts the scale in his favor.

וכל העושה מצוה אחת יתירה על זכיותיו מטיבין לו ורמינהו כל שזכיותיו מרובין מעונותיו מריעין לו ודומה כמי ששרף כל התורה כולה ולא שייר ממנה אפילו אות אחת וכל שעונותיו מרובין מזכיותיו מטיבין לו ודומה כמי שקיים כל התורה כולה ולא חיסר אות אחת ממנה

The Gemara further asks: And does anyone who performs one mitzva in addition to his other merits have goodness bestowed upon him in this world? The Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita: Anyone whose merits are greater than his sins is punished with suffering in order to cleanse his sins in this world and enable him to merit full reward for his mitzvot in the World-to-Come. And due to this punishment he appears to observers like one who burned the entire Torah without leaving even one letter remaining of it. Conversely, anyone whose sins are greater than his merits has goodness bestowed upon him in this world, and he appears like one who has fulfilled the entire Torah without lacking the fulfillment of even one letter of it.

אמר אביי מתניתין דעבדין ליה יום טב ויום ביש רבא אמר הא מני רבי יעקב היא דאמר שכר מצוה בהאי עלמא ליכא

Abaye said: When the mishna said that he is rewarded, it means that he has one good day and one bad day. He is rewarded for the mitzvot he performs; nevertheless, occasionally he also has bad days which cleanse him of his sins, and the baraita is referring to those days. Rava said that the mishna and this baraita represent two different opinions. In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ya’akov, who says: There is no reward for performance of a mitzva in this world, as one is rewarded for mitzvot only World-to-Come.

דתניא רבי יעקב אומר אין לך כל מצוה ומצוה שכתובה בתורה שמתן שכרה בצדה שאין תחיית המתים תלויה בה בכיבוד אב ואם כתיב (דברים ה, טו) למען יאריכון ימיך ולמען ייטב לך בשילוח הקן כתיב (דברים כב, ז) למען ייטב לך והארכת ימים

As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Ya’akov says: There is not a single mitzva written in the Torah whose reward is stated alongside it, which is not dependent on the resurrection of the dead, i.e., the reward is actually bestowed in the World-to-Come, after the resurrection of the dead. How so? With regard to honoring one’s father and mother it is written: “That your days may be long, and that it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5:16). With regard to the dispatch of the mother bird from the nest it is written: “That it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days” (Deuteronomy 22:7).

הרי שאמר לו אביו עלה לבירה והבא לי גוזלות ועלה לבירה ושלח את האם ונטל את הבנים ובחזירתו נפל ומת היכן טובת ימיו של זה והיכן אריכות ימיו של זה אלא למען ייטב לך לעולם שכולו טוב ולמען יאריכון ימיך לעולם שכולו ארוך

Despite this, it occurred that there was one whose father said to him: Climb to the top of the building and fetch me chicks. And he climbed to the top of the building and dispatched the mother bird and took the young, thereby simultaneously fulfilling the mitzva to dispatch the mother bird from the nest and the mitzva to honor one’s parents, but upon his return he fell and died. Where is the goodness of the days of this one, and where is the length of days of this one? Rather, the verse “that it may be well with you” means in the world where all is well, and “that your days may be long” is referring to the world that is entirely long.

ודלמא לאו הכי הוה ר' יעקב מעשה חזא ודלמא מהרהר בעבירה הוה מחשבה רעה אין הקב"ה מצרפה למעשה

The Gemara asks: But perhaps this incident never occurred? It is possible that everyone who performs these mitzvot is rewarded in this world, and the situation described by Rabbi Ya’akov never happened. The Gemara answers: Rabbi Ya’akov himself saw an incident of this kind. The Gemara asks: But perhaps that man was contemplating sin at the time, and he was punished for his thoughts? The Gemara answers that there is a principle that the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not link a bad thought to an action, i.e., one is not punished for thoughts alone.

ודלמא מהרהר בעבודת כוכבים הוה וכתיב (יחזקאל יד, ה) למען תפוש את בית ישראל בלבם איהו נמי הכי קאמר אי סלקא דעתך שכר מצוה בהאי עלמא אמאי לא אגין מצות עליה כי היכי דלא ליתי לידי הרהור

The Gemara asks: But perhaps he was contemplating idol worship at the time, and it is written with regard to idol worship: “So I may take the house of Israel in their own heart” (Ezekiel 14:5), which indicates that one is punished for idolatrous thoughts. The Gemara answers: Rabbi Ya’akov was saying this as well: If it enters your mind that there is reward for performing a mitzva in this world, why didn’t these mitzvot protect him so that he should not come to contemplate idol worship? Since that man was not protected from thoughts of idol worship at the time, this indicates that the performance of mitzvot does not entitle one to merit reward in this world.

והא א"ר אלעזר שלוחי מצוה אין נזוקין התם בהליכתן שאני

The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rabbi Elazar say that those on the path to perform a mitzva are not susceptible to harm? How is it possible that this individual, who was sent by his father to perform a mitzva, could have died? The Gemara answers: There, Rabbi Elazar is referring those on their way to perform a mitzva, which is different, as one is not susceptible to harm when he is on his way to fulfill a mitzva. In this case the individual was harmed on his return, and one is not afforded protection after having performed a mitzva.

והא אמר רבי אלעזר שלוחי מצוה אינן נזוקין לא בהליכתן ולא בחזירתן סולם רעוע הוה דקביע היזיקא וכל היכא דקביע היזיקא לא סמכינן אניסא דכתיב (שמואל א טז, ב) ויאמר שמואל איך אלך ושמע שאול והרגני

The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rabbi Elazar say that those on the path to perform a mitzva are not susceptible to harm, neither when they are on their way to perform the mitzva nor when they are returning from performing the mitzva? The Gemara answers: In that case it was a rickety ladder, and therefore the danger was established; and anywhere that the danger is established one may not rely on a miracle, as it is written with regard to God’s command to Samuel to anoint David as king in place of Saul: “And Samuel said: How will I go, and Saul will hear and kill me; and God said: Take in your hand a calf and say: I have come to sacrifice an offering to God” (I Samuel 16:2). Although God Himself issued the command, there was concern with regard to the established dangers.

אמר רב יוסף אילמלי דרשיה אחר להאי קרא כרבי יעקב בר ברתיה לא חטא ואחר מאי הוא איכא דאמרי כי האי גוונא חזא

Rav Yosef said: Had Aḥer, literally Other, the appellation of the former Sage Elisha ben Avuya, interpreted this aforementioned verse: “That it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5:16), homiletically, as referring to the World-to-Come, as did Rabbi Ya’akov, son of his daughter, he would not have sinned. The Gemara asks: And what caused Aḥer to sin? There are those who say he saw a case like this, where a son went up to the roof on his father’s command, dispatched the mother bird, and then died. It was witnessing this episode that led Elisha ben Avuya astray.

ואיכא דאמרי לישנא דחוצפית המתורגמן חזא דהוה גריר ליה דבר אחר אמר פה שהפיק מרגליות ילחך עפר נפק חטא

And there are those who say that he saw the tongue of Ḥutzpit the disseminator after the latter was executed by the government, thrown in the street, and dragged along by something else, a euphemism for a pig. He said: Shall a mouth that produced pearls lap up dirt? For this reason he went out and sinned.

רמי רב טובי בר רב קיסנא לרבא תנן כל העושה מצוה אחת מטיבין לו עשה אין לא עשה לא ורמינהי ישב ולא עבר עבירה נותנים לו שכר כעושה מצוה אמר ליה התם כגון שבא דבר עבירה לידו וניצול הימנה

§ Rav Tuvi bar Rav Kisna raises a contradiction to Rava and asked: We learned in the mishna that anyone who performs one mitzva has goodness bestowed upon him. This indicates that if one actually performed the mitzva, yes, he is rewarded, but if he did not perform the mitzva, no, he does not receive a reward. He raises a contradiction based on the following statement: If one sits and does not transgress, he receives a reward as one who performs a mitzva, despite the fact that he does not actually perform a mitzva. Rava said to him: There, when it is referring to one who sits and does not transgress, it does not mean that he was merely sitting; rather, it is speaking of a case where an opportunity to commit a sinful act presents itself to him and he is saved from it.

כי הא דרבי חנינא בר פפי תבעתיה ההיא מטרוניתא אמר מלתא ומלי נפשיה שיחנא וכיבא עבדה היא מילתא ואיתסי ערק טשא בההוא בי בני דכי הוו עיילין בתרין אפילו ביממא הוו מיתזקי למחר אמרו ליה רבנן מאן נטרך אמר להו שני

This is like an incident involving Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappi, who was enticed by a certain noblewoman [matronita] to engage in sexual intercourse with her. He said a formula of an incantation and was covered with boils and scabs so as to render himself unattractive to her. She performed an act of magic and he was healed. He fled and hid in a bathhouse that was so dangerous, due to the demons that frequented the place, that when two people entered together even during the day they would be harmed. The next day the Sages said to him: Who protected you in that dangerous place? Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappi said to them: There were angels who appeared like two