Menachot 43bמנחות מ״ג ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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43bמ״ג ב

האי אשר תכסה בה מאי עבדי ליה מיבעי להו לכדתניא (דברים כב, יב) על ארבע כנפות כסותך ארבע ולא שלש

what do they do with, i.e., how do they interpret, this verse: “With which you cover yourself” (Deuteronomy 22:12)? The Gemara answers that the Rabbis require it for that which is taught in a baraita: The phrase “on the four corners of your garment” (Deuteronomy 22:12) indicates that one is required to attach ritual fringes to a garment that has four corners, but not to one that has three corners.

אתה אומר ארבע ולא שלש או אינו אלא ארבע ולא חמש כשהוא אומר אשר תכסה בה הרי בעלת חמש אמור ומה אני מקיים על ארבע ארבע ולא שלש

The baraita continues: Do you say that a garment with four corners is obligated but not a garment with three corners? Or is it teaching only that a garment with four corners is obligated but not a garment that has five corners? When the verse states: “With which you cover yourself,” a garment with five corners is thereby mentioned in the verse as being obligated. Then how do I realize the meaning of: “On the four corners of your garment”? It teaches that this obligation is limited to a garment that has four corners, but not to one that has three corners.

ומה ראית לרבות בעלת חמש ולהוציא בעלת שלש מרבה אני בעלת חמש שיש בכלל חמש ארבע ומוציא אני בעלת שלש שאין בכלל שלש ארבע

The Gemara asks: But what did you see that led you to include a garment with five corners and to exclude a garment with three corners, rather than including a garment with three corners and excluding a garment with five corners? The Gemara answers: I include a garment with five corners, as five includes four, and I exclude a garment with three corners, as three does not include four.

ור"ש מאשר נפקא ורבנן אשר לא משמע להו

The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Shimon derive the halakha that a five-cornered garment is required to have ritual fringes? The Gemara answers: He derives it from the seemingly extraneous word: “With which [asher] you cover yourself” (Deuteronomy 22:12). The Gemara asks: And what do the Rabbis derive from this word? The Gemara answers: They do not learn any new halakhot from the word “which [asher].”

ורבנן האי (במדבר טו, לט) וראיתם אותו מאי עבדי ליה מיבעי להו לכדתניא וראיתם אותו וזכרתם ראה מצוה זו וזכור מצוה אחרת התלויה בו ואיזו זו זו קרית שמע דתנן מאימתי קורין את שמע בשחרית משיכיר בין תכלת ללבן

The Gemara asks: And as for the Rabbis, what do they do with this phrase: “That you may look upon it” (Numbers 15:39), from which Rabbi Shimon derives that a nighttime garment is exempt? The Gemara answers: They require it for that which is taught in a baraita: The verse: “That you may look upon it and remember” (Numbers 15:39), teaches that one should see this mitzva of ritual fringes and remember another mitzva that is contingent on it. And which mitzva is that? It is the mitzva of the recitation of Shema. As we learned in a mishna (Berakhot 9b): From when may one recite Shema in the morning? From when one can distinguish between the sky-blue strings and the white strings of his ritual fringes.

ותניא אידך וראיתם אותו וזכרתם ראה מצוה זו וזכור מצוה אחרת הסמוכה לה ואיזו זו זו מצות כלאים דכתיב (דברים כב, יא) לא תלבש שעטנז צמר ופשתים יחדו גדילים תעשה לך

And it is taught in another baraita: The phrase “that you may look upon it and remember” teaches that one should see this mitzva of ritual fringes and remember another mitzva that is adjacent to it in the Torah. And which mitzva is that? It is the mitzva of diverse kinds of wool and linen, as it is written: “You shall not wear diverse kinds, wool and linen together. You shall prepare yourself twisted cords” (Deuteronomy 22:11–12).

תניא אידך וראיתם אותו וזכרתם את כל מצות ה' כיון שנתחייב אדם במצוה זו נתחייב בכל מצות כולן ור"ש היא דאמר מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא היא

It is taught in another baraita: The verse states: “That you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord” (Numbers 15:39). This indicates that once a person is obligated in this mitzva of ritual fringes, he is obligated in all of the mitzvot. The Gemara comments: And this is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who says that ritual fringes are a positive, time-bound mitzva, and women are exempt from it. Only men are obligated in all mitzvot, including positive, time-bound mitzvot, just as they are obligated in the mitzva of ritual fringes.

תניא אידך וראיתם אותו וזכרתם את כל מצות ה' שקולה מצוה זו כנגד כל המצות כולן

It is taught in another baraita: The verse states: “That you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord”; this teaches that this mitzva of ritual fringes is equivalent to all the mitzvot of the Torah.

ותניא אידך וראיתם אותו וזכרתם ועשיתם ראיה מביאה לידי זכירה זכירה מביאה לידי עשיה ורשב"י אומר כל הזריז במצוה זו זוכה ומקבל פני שכינה כתיב הכא וראיתם אותו וכתיב התם (דברים ו, יג) את ה' אלהיך תירא ואותו תעבוד

And it is taught in another baraita: The verse states: “That you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them.” This teaches that looking at the ritual fringes leads to remembering the mitzvot, and remembering them leads to doing them. And Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai says: Anyone who is diligent in this mitzva of ritual fringes merits receiving the Divine Presence. It is written here: “That you may look upon it [oto]” (Numbers 15:39), and it is written there: “You shall fear the Lord your God; and Him [oto] shall you serve” (Deuteronomy 6:13). Just as oto in that verse is referring to the Divine Presence, so too in this verse it is referring to the Divine Presence.

ת"ר חביבין ישראל שסיבבן הקב"ה במצות תפילין בראשיהן ותפילין בזרועותיהן וציצית בבגדיהן ומזוזה לפתחיהן ועליהן אמר דוד (תהלים קיט, קסד) שבע ביום הללתיך על משפטי צדקך

The Sages taught in a baraita: The Jewish people are beloved, as the Holy One, Blessed be He, surrounded them with mitzvot: They have phylacteries on their heads, and phylacteries on their arms, and ritual fringes on their garments, and a mezuza for their doorways. Concerning them David said: “Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances” (Psalms 119:164). This alludes to the two phylacteries, the four ritual fringes, and the mezuza, which total seven.

ובשעה שנכנס דוד לבית המרחץ וראה עצמו עומד ערום אמר אוי לי שאעמוד ערום בלא מצוה וכיון שנזכר במילה שבבשרו נתיישבה דעתו לאחר שיצא אמר עליה שירה שנאמר (תהלים יב, א) למנצח על השמינית מזמור לדוד על מילה שניתנה בשמיני

And when David entered the bathhouse and saw himself standing naked, he said: Woe to me that that I stand naked without any mitzva. But once he remembered the mitzva of circumcision that was in his flesh his mind was put at ease, as he realized he was still accompanied by this mitzva. After he left the bathhouse, he recited a song about the mitzva of circumcision, as it is stated in the verse: “For the leader, on the Sheminith: A Psalm of David” (Psalms 12:1). This is interpreted as a psalm about circumcision, which was given to be performed on the eighth [bashemini] day of the baby’s life.

רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר כל שיש לו תפילין בראשו ותפילין בזרועו וציצית בבגדו ומזוזה בפתחו הכל בחיזוק שלא יחטא שנאמר (קהלת ד, יב) והחוט המשולש לא במהרה ינתק ואומר (תהלים לד, ח) חונה מלאך ה' סביב ליראיו ויחלצם

Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: Anyone who has phylacteries on his head, phylacteries on his arm, ritual fringes on his garment, and a mezuza on his doorway is strengthened from all sides so that he will not sin, as it is stated in the verse: “And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). This is interpreted as an allusion to the three mitzvot of phylacteries, ritual fringes, and mezuza. And the verse states: “The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalms 34:8). This is interpreted to mean that the angel of the Lord surrounds those who fulfill the mitzvot and saves them from sin.

תניא היה ר' מאיר אומר מה נשתנה תכלת מכל מיני צבעונין מפני שהתכלת דומה לים וים דומה לרקיע ורקיע לכסא הכבוד שנאמר (שמות כד, י) ותחת רגליו כמעשה לבנת הספיר וכעצם השמים לטהר וכתיב (יחזקאל א, כו) כמראה אבן ספיר דמות כסא

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: What is different about tekhelet from all other types of colors such that it was chosen for the mitzva of ritual fringes? It is because tekhelet is similar in its color to the sea, and the sea is similar to the sky, and the sky is similar to the Throne of Glory, as it is stated: “And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet the like of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the like of the very heaven for clearness” (Exodus 24:10), indicating that the sky is like a sapphire brickwork. And it is written: “The likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone” (Ezekiel 1:26).

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר גדול עונשו של לבן יותר מעונשו של תכלת משל למה הדבר דומה למלך בשר ודם שאמר לשני עבדיו לאחד אמר הבא לי חותם של טיט ולאחד אמר הבא לי חותם של זהב ופשעו שניהם ולא הביאו איזה מהן עונשו מרובה הוי אומר זה שאמר לו הבא לי חותם של טיט ולא הביא

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: The punishment for not attaching white strings is greater than the punishment for not attaching sky-blue strings, despite the fact that the sky-blue strings are more important. Rabbi Meir illustrates this with a parable: To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to a king of flesh and blood who said to his two subjects that they must bring him a seal. The king said to one of them: Bring me a seal of clay, and he said to the other one: Bring me a seal of gold. And both of them were negligent and did not bring the seals. Which of them will have a greater punishment? You must say that it is this one to whom he said: Bring me a seal of clay, and despite its availability and low cost, he did not bring it.

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר חייב אדם לברך מאה ברכות בכל יום שנאמר (דברים י, יב) ועתה ישראל מה ה' אלהיך שואל מעמך

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: A person is obligated to recite one hundred blessings every day, as it is stated in the verse: “And now, Israel, what [ma] does the Lord your God require of you” (Deuteronomy 10:12). Rabbi Meir interprets the verse as though it said one hundred [me’a], rather than ma.

רב חייא בריה דרב אויא בשבתא וביומי טבי טרח וממלי להו באיספרמקי ומגדי

The Gemara relates that on Shabbat and Festivals, when the prayers contain fewer blessings, Rav Ḥiyya, son of Rav Avya, made an effort to fill this quota of blessings with blessings on spices [be’isparmakei] and sweet fruit, of which he would partake in order to recite extra blessings.

תניא היה ר"מ אומר חייב אדם לברך שלש ברכות בכל יום אלו הן שעשאני ישראל שלא עשאני אשה שלא עשאני בור

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: A man is obligated to recite three blessings every day praising God for His kindnesses, and these blessings are: Who did not make me a gentile; Who did not make me a woman; and Who did not make me an ignoramus.

רב אחא בר יעקב שמעיה לבריה דהוה קא מברך שלא עשאני בור אמר ליה כולי האי נמי אמר ליה ואלא מאי מברך שלא עשאני עבד היינו אשה עבד

Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov heard his son reciting the blessing: Who did not make me an ignoramus. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said to him: Is it in fact proper to go this far in reciting blessings? Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov’s son said to him: Rather, what blessing should one recite? If you will say that one should recite: Who did not make me a slave, that is the same as a woman; why should one recite two blessings about the same matter? Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov answered: Nevertheless, a slave