Menachot 44aמנחות מ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
44aמ״ד א

זיל טפי

is more lowly than a woman, and therefore it is appropriate to recite an additional blessing on not having been born a slave.

ת"ר חלזון זהו גופו דומה לים וברייתו דומה לדג ועולה אחד לשבעים שנה ובדמו צובעין תכלת לפיכך דמיו יקרים

§ The Sages taught: This ḥilazon, which is the source of the sky-blue dye used in ritual fringes, has the following characteristics: Its body resembles the sea, its form resembles that of a fish, it emerges once in seventy years, and with its blood one dyes wool sky-blue for ritual fringes. It is scarce, and therefore it is expensive.

תניא א"ר נתן אין לך כל מצוה קלה שכתובה בתורה שאין מתן שכרה בעה"ז ולעה"ב איני יודע כמה צא ולמד ממצות ציצית

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: There is no mitzva, however minor, that is written in the Torah, for which there is no reward given in this world; and in the World-to-Come I do not know how much reward is given. Go and learn from the following incident concerning the mitzva of ritual fringes.

מעשה באדם אחד שהיה זהיר במצות ציצית שמע שיש זונה בכרכי הים שנוטלת ד' מאות זהובים בשכרה שיגר לה ארבע מאות זהובים וקבע לה זמן כשהגיע זמנו בא וישב על הפתח

There was an incident involving a certain man who was diligent about the mitzva of ritual fringes. This man heard that there was a prostitute in one of the cities overseas who took four hundred gold coins as her payment. He sent her four hundred gold coins and fixed a time to meet with her. When his time came, he came and sat at the entrance to her house.

נכנסה שפחתה ואמרה לה אותו אדם ששיגר ליך ד' מאות זהובים בא וישב על הפתח אמרה היא יכנס נכנס הציעה לו ז' מטות שש של כסף ואחת של זהב ובין כל אחת ואחת סולם של כסף ועליונה של זהב

The maidservant of that prostitute entered and said to her: That man who sent you four hundred gold coins came and sat at the entrance. She said: Let him enter. He entered. She arranged seven beds for him, six of silver and one of gold. Between each and every one of them there was a ladder made of silver, and the top bed was the one that was made of gold.

עלתה וישבה על גבי עליונה כשהיא ערומה ואף הוא עלה לישב ערום כנגדה באו ד' ציציותיו וטפחו לו על פניו נשמט וישב לו ע"ג קרקע ואף היא נשמטה וישבה ע"ג קרקע אמרה לו גפה של רומי שאיני מניחתך עד שתאמר לי מה מום ראית בי

She went up and sat naked on the top bed, and he too went up in order to sit naked facing her. In the meantime, his four ritual fringes came and slapped him on his face. He dropped down and sat himself on the ground, and she also dropped down and sat on the ground. She said to him: I take an oath by the gappa of Rome that I will not allow you to go until you tell me what defect you saw in me.

אמר לה העבודה שלא ראיתי אשה יפה כמותך אלא מצוה אחת ציונו ה' אלהינו וציצית שמה וכתיב בה (במדבר טו, מא) אני ה' אלהיכם שתי פעמים אני הוא שעתיד ליפרע ואני הוא שעתיד לשלם שכר עכשיו נדמו עלי כד' עדים

He said to her: I take an oath by the Temple service that I never saw a woman as beautiful as you. But there is one mitzva that the Lord, our God, commanded us, and its name is ritual fringes, and in the passage where it is commanded, it is written twice: “I am the Lord your God” (Numbers 15:41). The doubling of this phrase indicates: I am the one who will punish those who transgress My mitzvot, and I am the one who will reward those who fulfill them. Now, said the man, the four sets of ritual fringes appeared to me as if they were four witnesses who will testify against me.

אמרה לו איני מניחך עד שתאמר לי מה שמך ומה שם עירך ומה שם רבך ומה שם מדרשך שאתה למד בו תורה כתב ונתן בידה

She said to him: I will not allow you to go until you tell me: What is your name, and what is the name of your city, and what is the name of your teacher, and what is the name of the study hall in which you studied Torah? He wrote the information and placed it in her hand.

עמדה וחילקה כל נכסיה שליש למלכות ושליש לעניים ושליש נטלה בידה חוץ מאותן מצעות

She arose and divided all of her property, giving one-third as a bribe to the government, one-third to the poor, and she took one-third with her in her possession, in addition to those beds of gold and silver.

ובאת לבית מדרשו של ר' חייא אמרה לו רבי צוה עלי ויעשוני גיורת אמר לה בתי שמא עיניך נתת באחד מן התלמידים הוציאה כתב מידה ונתנה לו אמר לה לכי זכי במקחך

She came to the study hall of Rabbi Ḥiyya and said to him: My teacher, instruct your students concerning me and have them make me a convert. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to her: My daughter, perhaps you set your sights on one of the students and that is why you want to convert? She took the note the student had given her from her hand and gave it to Rabbi Ḥiyya. He said to her: Go take possession of your purchase.

אותן מצעות שהציעה לו באיסור הציעה לו בהיתר זה מתן שכרו בעה"ז ולעה"ב איני יודע כמה

Those beds that she had arranged for him in a prohibited fashion, she now arranged for him in a permitted fashion. The Gemara completes its point about the reward of mitzvot and points out how this story illustrates the concept: This is the reward given to him in this world, and with regard to the World-to-Come, I do not know how much reward he will be given.

אמר רב יהודה טלית שאולה כל שלשים יום פטורה מן הציצית מיכן ואילך חייבת

§ Rav Yehuda says: In the case of a borrowed cloak, for the first thirty days it is exempt from ritual fringes; from then on it is obligated.

תניא נמי הכי הדר בפונדקי בא"י והשוכר בית בח"ל כל שלשים יום פטור מן המזוזה מיכן ואילך חייב אבל השוכר בית בא"י עושה מזוזה לאלתר משום יישוב דא"י:

The Gemara notes: That distinction is also taught in a baraita: In the case of one who resides in a guesthouse [pundaki] in Eretz Yisrael, or one who rents a house outside of Eretz Yisrael, for the first thirty days he is exempt from the mitzva of mezuza; from then on he is obligated. But one who rents a house in Eretz Yisrael must affix a mezuza immediately, due to the settlement of Eretz Yisrael.

תפלה של יד אינה מעכבת: אמר רב חסדא לא שנו אלא שיש לו אבל אין לו מעכבת

§ The mishna teaches: Absence of the phylacteries of the arm does not prevent fulfillment of the mitzva of the phylacteries of the head, and absence of the phylacteries of the head does not prevent fulfillment of the mitzva of the phylacteries of the arm. Rav Ḥisda said: They taught this only in a case where one has the other phylacteries, but they are not with him or he is unable to wear them for some reason. But if he does not have the other phylacteries at all, then their absence does prevent the fulfillment of the mitzva to don the phylacteries that he has.

אמרו לו אמרת אמר להו לא אלא מאן דלית ליה תרי מצות חד מצוה נמי לא ליעביד ומעיקרא מאי סבר גזירה שמא יפשע

Later on, the students said to him: Do you still say that? Rav Ḥisda said to them: No, rather I would say the opposite: Concerning one who does not have the ability to fulfill two mitzvot, should he also not perform the one mitzva that he does have the ability to fulfill? The Gemara asks: And what did he hold initially when he said not to don one of the phylacteries in the absence of the other? The Gemara answers: He held that it was due to a rabbinic decree, lest he be negligent and not try to acquire the phylacteries that he lacks.

אמר רב ששת כל שאינו מניח תפילין עובר בשמונה עשה

Rav Sheshet says: Anyone who does not don phylacteries violates eight positive mitzvot. This is referring to the mitzva to don phylacteries of the arm and head, each of which is mentioned in four different passages (Exodus 13:9; Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18).

וכל שאין לו ציצית בבגדו עובר בחמשה עשה

And anyone who does not have ritual fringes on his garments violates five positive mitzvot. This is because the mitzva of ritual fringes is stated four times in the primary passage concerning ritual fringes in Numbers: “That they prepare for themselves strings…and they shall put on the fringe of the corner a sky-blue thread. And it shall be to you for a fringe that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord” (Numbers 15:38–39). An additional command appears in the verse: “You shall prepare yourself twisted cords” (Deuteronomy 22:12).

וכל כהן שאינו עולה לדוכן עובר בג' עשה

And any priest who does not ascend the platform to recite the Priestly Benediction violates three positive mitzvot expressed in the verses: “So you shall bless the children of Israel; you shall say to them” (Numbers 6:23), and: “And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel” (Numbers 6:27).

כל שאין לו מזוזה בפתחו עובר בשני עשה וכתבתם וכתבתם

Anyone who does not have a mezuza in his doorway violates two positive mitzvot, stated in the verses: “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:9), and: “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 11:20).

ואמר ר"ל כל המניח תפילין מאריך ימים שנאמר

And Reish Lakish says: Anyone who dons phylacteries lives a long life, as it is stated: