“That a person shall perform and live by them” (Leviticus 18:5). It is inferred that with regard to one who sits and did not perform a transgression, God gives him a reward like that received by one who performs a mitzva.
Rabbi Shimon bar Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says that as the verse states: “Only be steadfast to not eat the blood, as the blood is the soul” (Deuteronomy 12:23), it can be derived a fortiori: And if with regard to the blood, which a person’s soul loathes, one who abstains from its consumption receives a reward for that action, as it is written in a subsequent verse: “You shall not eat it, so that it shall be good for you and for your children after you” (Deuteronomy 12:25); then concerning robbery and intercourse with forbidden relatives, which a person’s soul desires and covets, one who abstains from their performance and overcomes his inclination, all the more so that he and his descendants and the descendants of his descendants until the end of all generations will merit a reward.
Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akashya says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to confer merit upon the Jewish people; therefore, He increased for them Torah and mitzvot, as each mitzva increases merit, as it is stated: “It pleased the Lord for the sake of His righteousness to make the Torah great and glorious” (Isaiah 42:21). God sought to make the Torah great and glorious by means of the proliferation of mitzvot.
GEMARA: Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues are in disagreement with him and hold that lashes do not exempt the sinner from karet. Rav Adda bar Ahava said that this is so, as they say in the school of Rav that we learned in a mishna (Megilla 7b): The difference between Shabbat and Yom Kippur with regard to the labor prohibited on those days is only that in this case, Shabbat, its intentional desecration is punishable by human hands, as he is stoned by a court based on the testimony of witnesses who forewarned the transgressor, and in that case, Yom Kippur, its intentional desecration is punishable at the hand of God, with karet. And if the statement of Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel is so, in both this case, Shabbat, and that case, Yom Kippur, the punishment would be by human hands. Apparently, the tanna of the mishna, the Rabbis, disagrees with Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel.
Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: There is no proof from here that Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues disagree with him, as in accordance with whose opinion is this mishna taught? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yitzḥak, who says: There are no lashes in cases of those liable to receive karet. As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yitzḥak says: All those liable to receive karet in cases of forbidden relations were included in the principle: “For whoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the people who commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29). And why was karet in the case of relations with one’s sister excluded from this verse and mentioned independently (Leviticus 20:17)? It is to sentence one who transgresses a prohibition punishable with karet to be punished with karet alone, and not with lashes. Other Sages disagree with Rabbi Yitzḥak (see 13b).
Rav Ashi said: Even if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Yitzḥak and hold that there are lashes even in cases where there is liability for karet, there is no proof that Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues disagree with him. The mishna can be understood as follows: In this case, Shabbat, the primary punishment for its intentional desecration is by human hands, and in that case, Yom Kippur, the primary punishment for its intentional desecration is karet, which is a punishment at the hand of Heaven. If he was flogged, he is exempt from karet.
Rav Adda bar Ahava says that Rav says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel, who ruled that lashes exempt the sinner from karet. Rav Yosef said: Who ascended on high and came and said to you that one who is flogged is exempted from karet? That is not dependent upon the decision of an earthly court. Abaye said to Rav Yosef: But according to your reasoning, then with regard to that which Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: There are three matters that the earthly court implemented and the heavenly court agreed with them, the same question applies: Who ascended on high and came and said to him that this is so? Rather, in arriving at Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi’s conclusion we homiletically interpret verses. Here too, with regard to lashes and karet, we homiletically interpret verses.
§ With regard to the matter itself, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: There are three matters that the earthly court implemented and the heavenly court agreed with them, and these are they: Reading the Scroll of Esther on Purim, and greeting another with the name of God, and bringing the first tithe to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem. From where is it derived that the heavenly court agreed with them?
Reading the Scroll of Esther is derived from a verse, as it is written: “The Jews confirmed, and they took upon themselves” (Esther 9:27). The verse could have simply said: They took upon themselves. From the formulation of the verse it is interpreted: They confirmed above in Heaven that which they took upon themselves below on earth.
And greeting another with the name of God is derived from a verse, as it is written: “And presently Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the harvesters: The Lord is with you, and they said to him: May the Lord bless you” (Ruth 2:4). And it states: “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him: The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). The Gemara asks: What is the reason that the Gemara cites the additional source about Gideon, introduced with the phrase: And it states? Why was the proof from Boaz’s statement to the harvesters insufficient? The Gemara explains: And if you would say: It is Boaz who did so on his own, and from Heaven they did not agree with him; come and hear proof, and it says: “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor.” The angel greeted Gideon with the name of God, indicating that there is agreement in Heaven that this is an acceptable form of greeting.
From where is it derived that the heavenly court agreed to the bringing of the first tithe to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem? It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “Bring you the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now with this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency [ad beli dai]” (Malachi 3:10). This indicates that the heavenly court agreed that the first tithe should be brought to the Temple treasury. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “ad beli dai”? Rami bar Rav says: It means that the abundance will be so great that your lips will be worn out [yivlu], from saying enough [dai].
The Gemara cites a somewhat similar statement. Rabbi Elazar says: In three places the Divine Spirit appeared before all to affirm that the action taken was appropriate: In the court of Shem, in the court of Samuel the Ramathite, and in the court of Solomon. The Gemara elaborates: This occurred in the court of Shem, as it is written in the context of the episode of Judah and Tamar: “And Judah acknowledged them and said: She is more righteous than I [mimmenni]” (Genesis 38:26). How did Judah know that Tamar’s assertion that she was bearing his child was correct? Perhaps, just as he went to her and hired her as a prostitute, another person went to her and hired her as well, and he is not the father. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: It is from Me [mimmenni] that these secrets emerged. God affirmed that her assertion was correct and that it was His divine plan that Judah would father a child from Tamar.
Likewise, this occurred in the court of Samuel, as it is written: “Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken…And they said: You have neither defrauded us nor oppressed us…And he said to them: The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. And he said: He is witness” (I Samuel 12:3–5). Based on the context, instead of the singular: “And he said,” the plural: And they said, should have been written, as the verse appears to be the reply of the Jewish people to Samuel’s challenge, attesting to the truth of his statement. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: I, God, am witness to this matter.
This occurred in the court of Solomon, when the Divine Spirit appeared in the dispute between two prostitutes over who was the mother of the surviving child, as it is written: “And the king answered and said: Give her the living child, and do not slay him; she is his mother” (I Kings 3:27). How did Solomon know that she was the mother? Perhaps she was devious and was not the mother of the surviving child at all. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: She is his mother.
Rava said: From where do you draw these conclusions? None of these proofs is absolute. Perhaps in the case of Judah, once he calculated the passage of the months and the days from when he engaged in intercourse with Tamar and it happened to correspond with the duration of her pregnancy, he realized that her assertion is correct. There is no room to suspect that another man was the father, as the principle is: Based on that which we see, we establish presumptive status; based on that which we do not see, we do not establish presumptive status.
With regard to Samuel too, no proof may be cited from the use of the singular, as on occasion the entire Jewish people is referred to in the singular, as it is written, e.g.: “The Jewish people is saved by the Lord” (Isaiah 45:17).
With regard to Solomon too, perhaps he reasoned that due to the fact that this woman is merciful and seeks to spare the baby and this woman is not merciful, it is evident that the former is its mother. Rather, Rava concludes: There is no proof from the verses that a Divine Spirit appeared in those circumstances; rather, there is a tradition that this is the case.
§ Rabbi Simlai taught: There were 613 mitzvot stated to Moses in the Torah, consisting of 365 prohibitions corresponding to the number of days in the solar year, and 248 positive mitzvot corresponding to the number of a person’s limbs. Rav Hamnuna said: What is the verse that alludes to this? It is written: “Moses commanded to us the Torah, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4). The word Torah, in terms of its numerical value [gimatriyya],