Noach, Siman 13 נח, י״ג
1 א

וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּזְקַק לָאֳדָמָה, נַעֲשָׂה חוּלִין. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר רַבִּי שָׁלוֹם, בַּתְּחִלָּה אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים, וְעַכְשָׁו אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה. וַיִּטַּע כָּרֶם, מִשֶּׁנָּטַע כֶּרֶם, נִקְרָא אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה.

And Noah, the husbandman, began and planted a vineyard (Gen. 9:20). Noah degraded himself when he began to till the soil. R. Judah the son of R. Shalum said: At first Noah was called a righteous and perfect man, but now he is described as a man of the earth. And he planted a vineyard; that is, after he planted the vineyard he was called a husbandman.

2 ב

שְׁלֹשָׁה נִזְקְקוּ לָאֲדָמָה וְנַעֲשׂוּ חֻלִּין. אֵלּוּ הֵן, קַיִן נֹחַ וְעֻזִיָּה. קַיִן, דִּכְתִיב: וְקַיִן הָיָה עֹבֵד אֲדָמָה (בראשית ג, ב). מַה כְּתִיב: נָע וָנָד תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ. נֹחַ, דִּכְתִיב: וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּטַּע כָּרֶם וְנִתְבַּזָּה. וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן הַיַּיִן, אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם נָטַע, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם עָשָׂה פֵרוֹת, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם בָּצַר, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם דָּרַךְ, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם שָׁתָה, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם נִשְׁתַּכֵּר, בּוֹ בַיּוֹם נִתְגַּלָּה קְלוֹנוֹ.

Three men toiled upon the earth and degraded themselves thereby. They were: Cain, Noah, and Uzziah.19Cain became a murderer, Noah a drunkard, and Uzziah a leper. It is written of Cain: He was a tiller of the ground (ibid. 4:2), and that is followed by the verse: You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth (ibid., v. 12). Noah, as it is written: And Noah, the husbandman, began, and planted a vineyard (Gen. 9:20). And soon thereafter he disgraced himself: He drank of the wine (ibid., v. 21). Our sages held that on the very day he planted the vineyard, it bore its fruit, he harvested it, pressed it, drank the wine, became intoxicated, and exposed his private parts.

3 ג

אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה: כְּשֶׁבָּא נֹחַ לִטַּע כֶּרֶם, בָּא שָׂטָן וְעָמַד לְפָנָיו. אָמַר לוֹ: מָה אַתָּה נוֹטֵעַ? אָמַר לוֹ: כֶּרֶם. אָמַר לוֹ: מַה טִּיבוֹ? אָמַר לוֹ: פֵּרוֹתָיו מְתוּקִים, בֵּין לַחִים בֵּין יְבֵשִׁים, וְעוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן יַיִן הַמְשַׂמֵּחַ לְבָבוֹת, דִּכְתִיב: וְיַיִן יְשַׂמַּח לְבַב אֱנוֹשׁ (תהלים קד, טו). אָמַר לוֹ שָׂטָן, בֹּא וְנִשְׁתַּתֵּף שְׁנֵינוּ בְּכֶרֶם זֶה. אָמַר לוֹ: לְחַיֵּי.

Our teachers of blessed memory stated: While Noah was planting the vineyard, Satan appeared before him and asked: “What are you planting?” He answered: “A vineyard.” “What is it?” inquired Satan. “Its fruits are sweet, whether moist or dry,” he answered, “and from them one produces a wine that causes the heart of man to rejoice, as it is written: And wine doth make glad the heart of man (Ps. 104:15).” Satan suggested: “Come, let us be partners in this vineyard.” And Noah replied: “Certainly.”

4 ד

מֶה עָשָׂה שָׂטָן? הֵבִיא כֶבֶשׂ וַהֲרָגוֹ תַּחַת הַגֶּפֶן, אַחַר כָּךְ הֵבִיא אֲרִי וַהֲרָגוֹ שָׁם, וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֵבִיא חֲזִיר וַהֲרָגוֹ, וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֵבִיא קוֹף וַהֲרָגוֹ תַּחַת הַכֶּרֶם וְהִטִּיפוּ דָמָן בְּאוֹתוֹ הַכֶּרֶם וְהִשְׁקוּהוּ מִדְּמֵיהֶן. רָמַז לוֹ, שֶׁקֹּדֶם שֶׁיִּשְׁתֶּה אָדָם מִן הַיַּיִן, הֲרֵי הוּא תָּם כְּכֶבֶשׂ זוֹ שֶׁאֵינָהּ יוֹדַעַת כְּלוּם, וּכְרָחֵל לִפְנֵי גוֹזְזֶיהָ נֶאֱלָמָה. שָׁתָה כְּהֹגֶן, הֲרֵי הוּא גִּבּוֹר כָּאֲרִי וְאוֹמֵר אֵין כְּמוֹתוֹ בָעוֹלָם. כֵּיוָן שֶׁשָּׁתָה יוֹתֵר מִדַּי, נַעֲשָׂה כַּחֲזִיר מִתְלַכְלֵךְ בְּמֵי רַגְלַיִם וּבְדָבָר אַחֵר. נִשְׁתַּכֵּר, נַעֲשָׂה כְּקוֹף עוֹמֵד וּמְרַקֵּד וּמְשַׂחֵק וּמוֹצִיא לִפְנֵי הַכֹּל נִבְלוּת הַפֶּה, וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה. וְכָל זֶה, אֵרַע לְנֹחַ הַצַּדִּיק. מָה, נֹחַ הַצַּדִּיק שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא פֵּרַשׁ שִׁבְחוֹ, כָּךְ. שְׁאָר בְּנֵי אָדָם עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה.

What did Satan do? First, he obtained a lamb and slaughtered it beneath the vineyard. Then, he took a lion and slaughtered it there, and after that he obtained a pig and an ape and slaughtered them in the same place. Their blood seeped into the earth, watering the vineyard. He did this to demonstrate to Noah that before drinking wine man is as innocent as a sheep: Like a sheep that before her shearers is dumb (Isa. 53:7). But after he drinks a moderate amount of wine he believes himself to be as strong as a lion, boasting that no one in all the world is his equal. When he drinks more than he should, he behaves like a pig, wallowing about in urine and performing other base acts. After he becomes completely intoxicated, he behaves like an ape, dancing about, laughing hysterically, prattling foolishly, and is completely unaware of what he is doing. All this happened to the righteous Noah. If the righteous Noah, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, praised, could behave in such a fashion, how much more so could any other man!

5 ה

וְעוֹד, שֶׁקִּלֵּל זַרְעוֹ וְאָמַר, אָרוּר כְּנָעַן וְגוֹ'. וְחָם עַל שֶׁרָאָה בְּעֵינָיו עֶרְוַת אָבִיו, נַעֲשׂוּ עֵינָיו אֲדֻמּוֹת. וְעַל שֶׁהִגִּיד בְּפִיו, נַעֲשׂוּ שִׂפְתוֹתָיו עֲקֻמּוֹת. וְעַל שֶׁחָזַר פָּנָיו, נִתְחָרֵךְ שְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ וּזְקָנוֹ. וְעַל שֶׁלֹּא כִסָּה הָעֶרְוָה, הָלַךְ עָרֹם וְנִמְשְׁכָה לוֹ עָרְלָתוֹ. לְפִי שֶׁכָּל מִדּוֹתָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מִדָּה כְּנֶגֶד מִדָּה. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן חָזַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְרִחֵם עָלָיו, שֶׁרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו. אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, הוֹאִיל וְנִמְכַּר עַצְמוֹ לְעַבְדוּת, יֵצֵא עַיִן בְּעַיִן שֶׁרָאָה וּבְפֶה שֶׁהִגִּיד. בְּדִין הוּא שֶׁיֵּצֵא לְחֵרוּת בְּשֵׁם וּבְעַיִן, דִּכְתִיב וְכִי יַכֶּה אִישׁ אֶת עֵין עַבְדּוֹ וְגוֹ' לַחָפְשִׁי יְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ תַּחַת עֵינוֹ (שמות כא, כו). וּכְתִיב: וְאִם שֵׁן עַבְדּוֹ אוֹ שֵׁן אֲמָתוֹ יַפִּיל לַחָפְשִׁי יְשַׁלְּחֶנּוּ (שמות כא, כז). וַהֲלֹא דְבָרִים קַל וָחֹמֶר, וּמָה, אִם עַבְדּוֹ קִנְיַן כַּסְפּוֹ עַל שֶׁסִּמֵּא עֵינוֹ וְהִפִּיל שִׁנּוֹ, יֵצֵא מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת. זֶרַע בְּרוּכֵי ה', שֶׁהֵן מַטַּע ה' לְהִתְפָּאֵר, כְּשֶׁהֵן מֵתִין אֵינוֹ דִין שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ לְחֵרוּת מִן הָעֲוֹנוֹת, דִּכְתִיב: בַּמֵּתִים חָפְשִׁי (תהלים פח, ו), שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ לְחֵרוּת בְּרַמַ״‎ח אֵיבָרִים.

Thereupon Noah cursed his seed, saying: Cursed be Canaan (Gen. 9:25). Because Ham had glanced at his naked father, his eyes became red. Because he related (what he had seen) to others with his mouth, his lips became twisted. Because he turned his face away (ignored his father’s condition), the hair of his head and beard was singed. And because he neglected to cover his naked father, he went about naked, with his prepuce extended. This happened to him because the Holy One, blessed be He, exacts retribution measure for measure. Nevertheless, the Holy One, blessed be He, relented and had mercy upon him, for His tender mercies are over all His works (Ps. 145:9). The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Inasmuch as he caused himself to be sold into slavery,20His penalty for his actions: A servant of servants shall he be to his brothers (Gen. 9:25). let him go free because of the eye that sees and the mouth that speaks. Hence, the law states: A slave must be freed because of the loss of a tooth or an eye, as it is written: And if a man smite the eye of his bondman, or the eye of his bondwoman, and destroy it, he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. And if he smite out his bondman’s tooth, or his bondwoman’s tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake (Exod. 21:26–27). May we not logically conclude a fortiori:21That is, kal va-homer (a conclusion drawn from a minor to a major), one of the hermeneutical rules for expounding the Written Law. If a servant, purchased with money, must be released from bondage if his master blinds him or knocks out his tooth, should not the seed blessed of the Lord (Isa. 65:23), the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified (Ps. 61:3), be freed after their deaths from their sins? Hence, free among the dead (Ps. 88:6), indicating that they should go free (from sin) with all their two hundred and forty-eight limbs.

6 ו

אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה עַל יְדֵי יֵצֶר הָרַע רַבּוּ עֲוֹנוֹת. אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא, וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת לֵב אֶת לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשַרְכֶם (יחזקאל לו, כו). וּכְתִיב: וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִבְטָח מַזְכִּיר עָוֹן בִּפְנוֹתָם אַחֲרֵיהֶם (יחזקאל כט, טז). וּכְתִיב: בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּבָעֵת הַהִיא נְאֻם ה' יְבֻקַּשׁ אֶת עֲוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵינֶנּוּ (ירמיה נ, כ).

The Holy One, blessed be He, said: In this world sin increases because of the evil inclination, but in the hereafter I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh (Ezek. 36:26). Hence, it is written: It shall be no more the confidence of the House of Israel, bringing iniquity to remembrance, when they turn after them (ibid. 29:16), and it is written elsewhere: In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none, and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found (Jer. 50:20).

7 ז

בְּעֻזִּיָּה כְּתִיב: כִּי אֹהֵב אֲדָמָה הָיָה (דה״‎ב כו, י). שֶׁהָיָה מֶלֶךְ וְהִפְקִיר עַצְמוֹ לָאֲדָמָה וְלֹא נִזְקַק לַתּוֹרָה. יוֹם אֶחָד נִזְקַק לְבֵית הַוַּעַד. אָמַר לָהֶם: בַּמֶּה אַתֶּם עוֹסְקִין? אָמְרוּ לוֹ: בְּהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב יוּמָת (במדבר א, נא). אָמַר לָהֶם עֻזִּיָּה, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֶלֶךְ וַאֲנִי מֶלֶךְ, נָאֶה לַמֶּלֶךְ לְשַׁמֵּשׁ פְּנֵי מֶלֶךְ וּלְהַקְטִיר לְפָנָיו. מִיָּד, וַיָּבֹא אֶל הֵיכַל ה' לְהַקְטִיר עַל מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת, וַיָּבֹא אַחֲרָיו עֲזַרְיָהוּ הַכֹּהֵן וְעִמּוֹ כֹּהֲנִים לַה' שְׁמוֹנִים בְּנֵי חָיִל (דברי הימים ב כו, טז-יז), וְכֻלָּם מִפִּרְחֵי כְהֻנָּה. וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ לֹא לְךָ עֻזִּיָּהוּ לְהַקְטִיר לַה' כִּי לַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַמְקֻדָּשִׁים לְהַקְטִיר צֵא מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ כִּי מָעַלְתָּ (דברי הימים ב כו, יח). וְלָזֶה יָצָא עָלָיו קֶצֶף מִלִּפְנֵי ה'. מִיָּד, וַיִּזְעַף עֻזִּיָּהוּ וּבְיָדוֹ מִקְטֶרֶת לְהַקְטִיר וּבְזַעְפּוֹ עִם הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָצָּרַעַת זָרְחָה בְמִצְחוֹ (דברי הימים ב כו, יט). בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה נִבְקַע הַהֵיכָל הֵילַךְ וָהֵילַךְ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר עַל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מִיל. וַיַּבְהִילוּהוּ מִשָּׁם וְגַם הוּא נִדְחַף לָצֵאת כִּי נִגְּעוֹ ה' (דברי הימים ב כו, כ). מִי גָרַם לוֹ זוֹ, שֶׁבָּטֵל מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְהִפְקִיר עַצְמוֹ לָאֲדָמָה.

Scripture states in reference to Uzziah: He loved husbandry (II Chron. 26:10). He was a king who devoted himself to husbandry while ignoring the Torah. One day he visited the House of Study and inquired of those present: “What are you engaged in doing?” They responded with the verse: The common man that draweth nigh shall be put to death (Num. 1:51). Thereupon, he replied: “The Holy One, blessed be He, is King, and I am king, and it is fitting indeed for a terrestrial king to serve a Celestial King by burning incense before Him.” He went into the Temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord (II Chron. 26:16–17). The young priests who entered with him said to him: It pertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests, the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated it pertaineth to burn incense; go out of the sanctuary, for thou has trespassed (ibid., v. 18). Therefore God was angry with him. Immediately, Uzziah was wroth; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy broke out in his forehead (ibid., v. 19). At that moment the Temple was rent asunder, and its pieces were hurled a distance of twelve by twelve miles.22The word mil indicates a distance of 2,000 cubits And they thrust him out quickly from thence; yea, himself made haste also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him (ibid., v. 20). Why did this all happen to him? Because he neglected the Torah and devoted himself to husbandry.