Makkot 24aמכות כ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
24aכ״ד א

שית מאה וחד סרי הוי אנכי ולא יהיה לך מפי הגבורה שמענום

is 611, the number of mitzvot that were received and taught by Moses our teacher. In addition, there are two mitzvot: “I am the Lord your God” and: “You shall have no other gods” (Exodus 20:2, 3), the first two of the Ten Commandments, that we heard from the mouth of the Almighty, for a total of 613.

(סימן דמשמ"ק ס"ק):

The Gemara provides a mnemonic for the biblical figures cited in the course of the discussion that follows: Dalet, mem, shin, mem, kuf; samekh, kuf; representing David, Micah, Isaiah, Amos, Habakkuk, Amos, and Ezekiel.

בא דוד והעמידן על אחת עשרה דכתיב (תהלים טו, א) מזמור לדוד [ה'] מי יגור באהלך מי ישכון בהר קדשך הולך תמים ופועל צדק ודובר אמת בלבבו לא רגל על לשונו לא עשה לרעהו רעה וחרפה לא נשא על קרובו נבזה בעיניו נמאס ואת יראי ה' יכבד נשבע להרע ולא ימיר כספו לא נתן בנשך ושוחד על נקי לא לקח עושה אלה לא ימוט לעולם

Rabbi Simlai continued: King David came and established the 613 mitzvot upon eleven mitzvot, as it is written: “A Psalm of David. Lord, who shall sojourn in Your Tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your sacred mountain? He who walks wholeheartedly, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. Who has no slander upon his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up reproach against his relative. In whose eyes a vile person is despised, and he honors those who fear the Lord; he takes an oath to his own detriment, and changes not. He neither gives his money with interest, nor takes a bribe against the innocent. He who performs these shall never be moved” (Psalms, chapter 15). Eleven attributes that facilitate one’s entry into the World-to-Come appear on this list.

הולך תמים זה אברהם דכתיב (בראשית יז, א) התהלך לפני והיה תמים

The Gemara analyzes these verses: “He who walks wholeheartedly”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Abraham, as it is written concerning him: “Walk before Me and be wholehearted” (Genesis 17:1).

פועל צדק כגון אבא חלקיהו

“Works righteousness”; this is referring to one such as Abba Ḥilkiyyahu, a laborer who would not pause from his labor even to greet people; he righteously continued working.

ודובר אמת בלבבו כגון רב ספרא

“And speaks truth in his heart”; this is referring to one such as Rav Safra, who was reciting Shema when a person approached him to purchase an item. He intended to accept the man’s offer, but he was unable to respond because it is prohibited to interrupt the recitation of Shema. The buyer misinterpreted Rav Safra’s silence and concluded that Rav Safra demanded a higher price, so he raised his offer. Rav Safra insisted on selling him the item for the sum that he was offered initially.

לא רגל על לשונו זה יעקב אבינו דכתיב (בראשית כז, יב) אולי ימושני אבי והייתי בעיניו כמתעתע

“Who has no slander upon his tongue”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Jacob, who did not want to mislead his father in order to receive his blessings, as it is written: “Perhaps my father will feel me, and I will be in his eyes like a fraud” (Genesis 27:12).

לא עשה לרעהו רעה שלא ירד לאומנות חבירו

“Nor does evil to his neighbor”; this is referring to one who did not infringe upon another’s trade, constituting illegal competition.

וחרפה לא נשא על קרובו זה המקרב את קרוביו

“Nor takes up reproach against his relative”; this is referring to one who draws his relatives near, and does not distance them when they embarrass him.

נבזה בעיניו נמאס זה חזקיהו המלך שגירר עצמות אביו במטה של חבלים

“In whose eyes a vile person is despised”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like King Hezekiah, who dragged the bones of his evil father, King Ahaz, in a bed of ropes, because he despised those considered vile by God.

ואת יראי ה' יכבד זה יהושפט מלך יהודה שבשעה שהיה רואה תלמיד חכם היה עומד מכסאו ומחבקו ומנשקו וקורא לו (אבי אבי) רבי רבי מרי מרי

“And he honors those who fear the Lord”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like Jehoshaphat, king of Judea, who when he would see a Torah scholar would arise from his throne and hug him and kiss him, and call him: My father, my father, my teacher, my teacher, my master, my master.

נשבע להרע ולא ימיר כר' יוחנן דא"ר יוחנן אהא בתענית עד שאבא לביתי

“He takes an oath to his own detriment, and changes not”; this is in accordance with the conduct of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as Rabbi Yoḥanan would say in the form of a vow when seeking to refrain from eating in another’s home: I shall fast until I will come to my house. He would fulfill that vow and refrain from eating, even though he took the vow only to avoid eating in that place.

כספו לא נתן בנשך אפילו ברבית עובד כוכבים

“He neither gives his money with interest”; meaning he does not lend money with interest even to a gentile, which is permitted by Torah law.

ושוחד על נקי לא לקח כגון ר' ישמעאל בר' יוסי

“Nor takes a bribe against the innocent”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, who refused to sit in judgment in a case involving his sharecropper. Since the latter would bring him a basket of fruit, he was concerned that he might unconsciously favor him.

כתיב עושה אלה לא ימוט לעולם כשהיה ר"ג מגיע למקרא הזה היה בוכה אמר מאן דעביד להו לכולהו הוא דלא ימוט הא חדא מינייהו ימוט

At the conclusion of the verses, it is written: “He who performs these shall never be moved.” The Gemara relates: When Rabban Gamliel would reach this verse he would cry, and he said: It is one who performed all these actions who shall never be moved; but if he performed only one of them, he shall be moved.

אמרו ליה מי כתיב עושה כל אלה עושה אלה כתיב אפילו בחדא מינייהו דאי לא תימא הכי כתיב קרא אחרינא (ויקרא יח, כד) אל תטמאו בכל אלה התם נמי הנוגע בכל אלה הוא דמטמא בחדא מינייהו לא אלא לאו באחת מכל אלה הכא נמי באחת מכל אלו

The Sages said to him: Is it written: He who performs all these? Rather, the phrase “he who performs these” is written, indicating that one is blessed even in a case where he performed one of them. As if you do not say so, compare that to a different verse that is written with regard to severe transgressions punishable by karet: “Do not impurify yourselves with all these” (Leviticus 18:24). Would you say that there too it means that it is one who comes into contact with all these who becomes impure, but one who comes into contact with one of these, no, he does not become impure? Rather, is it not that the phrase “with all these” means: With one of all these? Here too it means that one who performs one of all these has a place in the World-to-Come.

בא ישעיהו והעמידן על שש דכתיב (ישעיהו לג, טו) הולך צדקות ודובר מישרים מואס בבצע מעשקות נוער כפיו מתמוך בשוחד אוטם אזנו משמוע דמים ועוצם עיניו מראות ברע

Rabbi Simlai’s exposition continues: Isaiah came and established the 613 mitzvot upon six, as it is written: “He who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands from holding of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing blood, and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” (Isaiah 33:15).

הולך צדקות זה אברהם אבינו דכתיב (בראשית יח, יט) כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה וגו'

The Gemara elaborates: “He who walks righteously”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Abraham, as it is written concerning him: “For I have known him, that he will command his children…to perform righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19).

ודובר מישרים זה שאינו מקניט פני חבירו ברבים

“And speaks uprightly”; this is referring to one who does not shame another in public.

מואס בבצע מעשקות כגון ר' ישמעאל בן אלישע

“He who despises the gain of oppressions”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha, who refused to sit in judgment in a case involving one who gave him priestly gifts, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

נוער כפיו מתמוך בשוחד כגון ר' ישמעאל בר' יוסי

“Who shakes his hands from holding of bribes”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, who, as explained above, refused to sit in judgment in a case involving his sharecropper.

אוטם אזנו משמוע דמים דלא שמע בזילותא דצורבא מרבנן ושתיק כגון ר"א ברבי שמעון

“Who stops his ears from hearing blood”; this is referring to one who would not hear derision of a Torah scholar and remain silent, such as Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who was well known for this.

ועוצם עיניו מראות ברע כדרבי חייא בר אבא דאמר ר' חייא בר אבא זה שאינו מסתכל בנשים בשעה שעומדות על הכביסה

“And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” is to be understood in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, as Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says: This is referring to one who does not look at women when they stand over the laundry at the river. The women would lift the garments they were wearing to keep them out of the water, and thereby expose part of their bodies.

וכתיב (ישעיהו לג, טז) הוא מרומים ישכון [וגו']

And it is written with regard to one who performs these matters: “He shall dwell on high; his fortress shall be the munitions of rocks; his bread shall be given, his waters shall be sure” (Isaiah 33:16).

בא מיכה והעמידן על שלש דכתיב (מיכה ו, ח) הגיד לך אדם מה טוב ומה ה' דורש ממך כי אם עשות משפט ואהבת חסד והצנע לכת עם (ה') אלהיך

Micah came and established the 613 mitzvot upon three, as it is written: “It has been told to you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord does require of you; only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

עשות משפט זה הדין אהבת חסד זה גמילות חסדים והצנע לכת זה הוצאת המת והכנסת כלה והלא דברים קל וחומר ומה דברים שאין דרכן לעשותן בצנעא אמרה תורה והצנע לכת דברים שדרכן לעשותן בצנעא על אחת כמה וכמה

The Gemara elaborates: “To do justly,” this is justice; “to love mercy,” this is an allusion to acts of loving-kindness; “and to walk humbly with your God,” this is an allusion to taking the indigent dead out for burial and accompanying a poor bride to her wedding canopy, both of which are to be performed without fanfare glorifying the doer. The Gemara notes: And are these matters not inferred a fortiori? If, with regard to matters that tend to be conducted in public, e.g., funerals and weddings, the Torah states “walk humbly” when doing them, then in matters that tend to be conducted in private, e.g., charity and Torah study, all the more so should they be conducted in private.

חזר ישעיהו והעמידן על שתים שנאמר (ישעיהו נו, א) כה אמר ה' שמרו משפט ועשו צדקה בא עמוס והעמידן על אחת שנאמר (עמוס ה, ד) כה אמר ה' לבית ישראל דרשוני וחיו מתקיף לה רב נחמן בר יצחק אימא דרשוני בכל התורה כולה אלא בא חבקוק והעמידן על אחת שנאמר (חבקוק ב, ד) וצדיק באמונתו יחיה

Isaiah then established the 613 mitzvot upon two, as it is stated: “So says the Lord: Observe justice and perform righteous-ness” (Isaiah 56:1). Amos came and established the 613 mitzvot upon one, as it is stated: “So says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live” (Amos 5:4). Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak objects to this: There is no proof that the verse in Amos is establishing all the mitzvot upon one; say that Amos is saying: Seek Me throughout the entire Torah, as the verse does not specify the manner in which one should seek the Lord. Rather, say: Habakkuk came and established the 613 mitzvot upon one, as it is stated: “But the righteous person shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

אמר ר' יוסי בר חנינא ארבע גזירות גזר משה רבינו על ישראל באו ארבעה נביאים וביטלום משה אמר (דברים לג, כח) וישכון ישראל בטח בדד עין יעקב בא עמוס וביטלה [שנאמר] (עמוס ז, ה) חדל נא מי יקום יעקב וגו' וכתיב (עמוס ז, ג) ניחם ה' על זאת [וגו]

§ Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina says: Moses our teacher issued four decrees upon the Jewish people, and four prophets came and revoked them. Moses said: “And Israel dwells in safety, the fountain [ein] of Jacob alone” (Deuteronomy 33:28), indicating that the Jewish people will dwell in safety only when they reach a lofty spiritual level similar to [me’ein] that of Jacob our forefather. Amos came and revoked it, as it is stated: “Lord God, cease, I beseech You; how shall Jacob stand, as he is small” (Amos 7:5), and immediately afterward it states: “The Lord regretted this; it too shall not be, says the Lord God” (Amos 7:6).

משה אמר (דברים כח, סה) ובגוים ההם לא תרגיע בא ירמיה ואמר (ירמיהו לא, ב) הלוך להרגיעו ישראל

Moses said: “And among these nations you shall have no repose” (Deuteronomy 28:65). Jeremiah came and revoked it, and said: “Even Israel, when I go to cause him to rest” (Jeremiah 31:1), indicating that the Jewish people will find rest even in exile.

משה אמר (שמות לד, ז) פוקד עון אבות על בנים בא יחזקאל וביטלה (יחזקאל יח, ד) הנפש החוטאת היא תמות

Moses said: “He visits the transgression of the fathers upon the sons” (Exodus 34:7). Ezekiel came and revoked it: “The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4), and not the children of that soul.

משה אמר (ויקרא כו, לח) ואבדתם בגוים בא ישעיהו ואמר (ישעיהו כז, יג) והיה ביום ההוא יתקע בשופר גדול וגו'

Moses said: “And you shall be lost among the nations” (Leviticus 26:38). Isaiah came and revoked it, and said: “And it shall be on that day the great shofar shall be sounded, and those lost in the land of Assyria shall come” (Isaiah 27:13).

אמר רב מסתפינא מהאי קרא ואבדתם בגוים מתקיף לה רב פפא דלמא כאבידה המתבקשת דכתיב (תהלים קיט, קעו) תעיתי כשה אובד בקש עבדך אלא מסיפא [דקרא] (ויקרא כו, לח) ואכלה אתכם ארץ אויביכם מתקיף לה מר זוטרא דלמא כאכילת קישואין ודילועין

Rav says: I am afraid of that verse: “And you shall be lost among the nations.” Rav Pappa objects to this: Perhaps it means that the Jewish people will be like a lost item that is sought by its owner, and God will restore those lost in exile, as it is written: “I have gone astray like a lost lamb; seek Your servant” (Psalms 119:176). Rather, Rav was afraid from that which is written in the latter portion of that verse, where it is written: “And the land of your enemies shall consume you.” Mar Zutra objects to this: Perhaps it means like the consumption of cucumbers and gourds, which are not consumed in their entirety. Some is left over, from which additional plants can grow.

וכבר היה ר"ג ורבי אלעזר בן עזריה ורבי יהושע ורבי עקיבא מהלכין בדרך ושמעו קול המונה של רומי מפלטה [ברחוק] מאה ועשרים מיל והתחילו בוכין ורבי עקיבא משחק אמרו לו מפני מה אתה משחק אמר להם ואתם מפני מה אתם בוכים אמרו לו הללו כושיים שמשתחוים לעצבים ומקטרים לעבודת כוכבים יושבין בטח והשקט ואנו בית הדום רגלי אלהינו שרוף

§ Apropos tribulations of exile and hope for redemption, the Gemara relates: And it once was that Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabbi Akiva were walking along the road in the Roman Empire, and they heard the sound of the multitudes of Rome from Puteoli at a distance of one hundred and twenty mil. The city was so large that they were able to hear its tumult from a great distance. And the other Sages began weeping and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: For what reason are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: And you, for what reason are you weeping? They said to him: These gentiles, who bow to false gods and burn incense to idols, dwell securely and tranquilly in this colossal city, and for us, the House of the footstool of our God, the Temple, is burnt