שֶׁאֵין כׇּל אֶצְבָּעוֹת שָׁווֹת. not all fingers are equal. It is possible that intimate relations with her second husband might not be as pleasing as with the first, leading her to disparage and even hate him.
מִצְוָה וְגוּף גָּדוֹל — אוֹכֵל פֵּירוֹת וְלֹא שָׂכָר. מִצְוָה וְגוּף טָהוֹר — נוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה וְלוֹ בָּנִים. Rabbi Akiva continued to offer instruction: It is a mitzva and a great material benefit to one’s body to eat fruits without payment. That is, when one lends money and takes land as collateral, deducting from the loan the value of the fruit he eats, both the borrower and the lender benefit from this practice. One who both performs a mitzva and retains a pure body is one who marries a woman, as his thoughts will remain pure and he will merit to have children.
אַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים צִוָּה רַבֵּינוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ אֶת בָּנָיו: אַל תָּדוּר בְּשַׁכְנְצִיב מִשּׁוּם דְּלֵיצָנֵי הָווּ, וּמָשְׁכוּ לָךְ בְּלֵיצָנוּתָא. The Gemara cites more instructions issued by a Sage to his heirs. Our holy rabbi, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, commanded his sons to do four matters: Do not live in Shekhantziv in Babylonia, because they are mockers. And they will draw you in to their mockery and lead you to abandon your Torah studies.
וְאַל תֵּשֵׁב עַל מִטַּת אֲרַמִּית. אִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי: דְּלָא תִּיגְנֵי בְּלָא קְרִיַּת שְׁמַע. וְאִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי: דְּלָא תִּינְסַב גִּיּוֹרְתָּא. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi further commanded his sons: Do not sit on the bed of an Aramean woman. This advice is explained in different ways. Some say it means that you should not go to sleep without reciting Shema, as a Jew who does this acts like a gentile. And some say it means that you should not marry a convert, i.e., a Jewish woman who was once an Aramean.
וְאִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי: אֲרַמָּאִית מַמָּשׁ, וּמִשּׁוּם מַעֲשֶׂה דְרַב פָּפָּא. And some say that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi meant the actual bed of an Aramean woman, and this is due to the concern for a similar outcome to the later incident involving Rav Pappa. The incident in question was as follows: Rav Pappa entered the house of a gentile woman to collect a debt. The woman asked him to sit on her bed until she brought the money. As it turned out, she had placed her dead baby under the bed. Rav Pappa was subsequently accused of killing the baby and was forced to flee the district.
וְאֶל תַּבְרִיחַ עַצְמְךָ מִן הַמֶּכֶס, דִּילְמָא מַשְׁכְּחוּ לָךְ וְשָׁקְלִי מִנָּךְ כׇּל דְּאִית לָךְ. וְאַל תַּעֲמוֹד בִּפְנֵי הַשּׁוֹר בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעוֹלֶה מִן הָאֲגַם, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַשָּׂטָן מְרַקֵּד בֵּין קַרְנָיו. אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל: בְּשׁוֹר שָׁחוֹר, וּבְיוֹמֵי נִיסָן. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi continued: And do not avoid paying taxes, lest they find you and confiscate everything you own. And do not stand before an ox when it emerges from the marsh because Satan dances between its horns, i.e., an ox is particularly menacing at that time. Rabbi Shmuel said: This is referring to a black ox, and specifically during the days of Nisan, when the ox is most dangerous.
תָּנֵי רַב אוֹשַׁעְיָא: מַרְחִיקִין מִשּׁוֹר תָּם — חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה, מִשּׁוֹר מוּעָד — כִּמְלֹא עֵינָיו. Rav Oshaya teaches with regard to the same issue: One distances himself fifty cubits from an innocuous ox [shor tam], an ox with no consistent history of causing damage with the intent to injure. From a forewarned ox [shor muad], an ox whose owner was forewarned because his ox already gored a person three times, one distances himself until it is beyond eyeshot.
תָּנָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי מֵאִיר: רֵישׁ תּוֹרָא בְּדִיקּוּלָא — סַק לְאִיגָּרָא וּשְׁדִי דַּרְגָּא מִתּוּתָךְ. אָמַר רַב: נִיזְהָא דְתוֹרָא — ״הֵן הֵן״. נִיזְהָא דְאַרְיָה — ״זֶה זֶה״. נִיזְהָא דְגַמְלָא — ״דָּא דָּא״. נִיזְהָא דְאַרְבָּא — ״הֵילֵנִי הַיָּיא הִילָא וְהִילּוּק הוּלְיָא״. A Sage taught citing the name of Rabbi Meir, in an exaggerated vein: Even if the head of the ox is in its food basket, go up to the roof and kick the ladder out from underneath you to escape from it. Rav said: The cry that one says to lead an ox is hen hen. The cry to lead a lion is zeh zeh. The cry to lead a camel is da da. The cry to laborers using ropes to pull a ship along a river is heleni, hayya, hela, vehilook, hulya.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: עוֹר, דָּג, וְכוֹס, חַמִּין, וּבֵיצִים, וְכִנִּים לְבָנִים — כּוּלָּן קָשִׁין לְדָבָר אַחֵר. עוֹר — מַאן דְּגָנֵי אַמַּשְׁכָּא דְצַלָּא. דָּג — שִׁיבּוּטָא בְּיוֹמֵי נִיסָן. כּוֹס — שִׁיּוּרֵי כָּסָא דְהַרְסָנָא. חַמִּין — חַמִּימֵי דְחַמִּימֵי מְשַׁדְּרוּ עִילָּוֵיהּ. בֵּיצִים — מַאן דִּמְדָרֵךְ אַקְּלִיפִּים. כִּינִּים לְבָנִים — מַאן דִּמְחַוַּור לְבוּשֵׁיהּ וְלָא נָטֵיר לֵיהּ תְּמָנְיָא יוֹמֵי וַהֲדַר לָבֵישׁ לֵהּ — בָּרְיָין הָנָךְ כִּינִּים, וְקַשְׁיָן לְדָבָר אַחֵר. Abaye said: Hide, fish, and a cup, hot water, and eggs, and white lice all cause the other matter, i.e., leprosy. The Gemara elaborates: Hide is referring to one who sleeps on a tanner’s hide before it has been tanned. Fish is referring to the shibuta fish in the days of Nisan. The cup is referring to one who eats the leftovers of small fried fish. Hot water is referring to very hot water that one pours on himself. Eggs means one who steps on eggshells. White lice is referring to one who washes his garment but does not keep it for eight days before wearing it again, a habit which creates these lice. And all of these practices cause the other matter, leprosy.
אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא: בֵּיתָא דְּאִית בֵּיהּ שׁוּנָּרָא לָא נֵיעוּל בַּהּ אִינִישׁ בְּלָא מְסָנֵי. מַאי טַעְמָא — מִשּׁוּם דְּשׁוּנָּרָא קָטֵיל לְחִיוְיָא וְאָכֵיל לֵיהּ, וְאִית בֵּיהּ בְּחִיוְיָא גַּרְמֵי קַטִּינֵי, וְאִי יָתֵיב לֵהּ גַּרְמָא דְחִיוְיָא אַכַּרְעֵיהּ — לָא נָפֵיק וְאִסְתַּכַּן לֵיהּ. אִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי: בֵּיתָא דְּלֵית בֵּיהּ שׁוּנָּרָא — לָא נֵיעוּל בֵּיהּ אִינִישׁ בְּהַכְרָא, מַאי טַעְמָא — דִילְמָא מִיכְּרִיךְ בֵּיהּ חִוְיָא וְלָא יָדַע וּמִסְתַּכַּן. Rav Pappa said: With regard to a house in which there is a cat, a person should not enter there barefoot. What is the reason? Because the cat might kill a snake and eat it, and the snake has small bones, and if a small bone gets into one’s foot it cannot be removed, and he will be in danger. Some say that Rav Pappa said: With regard to a house in which there is no cat, a person should not enter there in the dark. What is the reason? Since there is no cat to hunt snakes, perhaps a snake will wrap itself around him without him knowing and he will be in danger.
שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים צִוָּה רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי אֶת רַבִּי: (מק״ש סִימָן) אַל תַּעַשׂ מוּם בְּעַצְמְךָ. מַאי הִיא? לָא תֶּיהְוֵי לָךְ דִּינָא בַּהֲדֵי תְּלָתָא, דְּחַד הָוֵי בַּעַל דִּינָךְ וּתְרֵי סָהֲדֵי. וְאַל תַּעֲמוֹד עַל הַמִּקָּח בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ דָּמִים. Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, commanded Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi with regard to three matters. Parenthetically, the Gemara states that mem, kuf, shin is a mnemonic for the three statements, as it stands for mum, blemish, mekaḥ, a purchase, and ishtekha, your wife. The first matter is: Do not inflict a blemish upon yourself. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of that statement? The Gemara explains: Do not have a court case against three people, as one will be your opponent and two will act as witnesses and testify against you whatever they wish. And do not stand over and display interest in a purchase when you do not have enough money even for the price you are offering, as this constitutes fraud.
אִשְׁתְּךָ טָבְלָה — אַל תִּזָּקֵק לָהּ לַיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. אָמַר רַב: וּבְנִדָּה דְאוֹרָיְיתָא, הוֹאִיל וְהוּחְזַק מַעְיָן פָּתוּחַ, דִּילְמָא מָשְׁכָה זִיבָה. The Gemara cites the third instruction that Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, commanded Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. After your wife has immersed, do not engage in intimacy with her on the first night. Rather, wait an additional night. Rav said: And this is referring to a menstruating woman whose status applies by Torah law. According to Torah law, even if a woman experiences a continuous emission of blood for seven days, if the flow stops on the seventh day, she may immerse that night and engage in relations with her husband without delay. However, Rav maintains that one must act stringently in this case. His reasoning is: Since there is a presumption that the flow of blood is open, perhaps her zava blood will continue afterward, i.e., she will see more blood after engaging in intimacy.
שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים צִוָּה רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אֶת רַבִּי: אַל תֵּצֵא יְחִידִי בַּלַּיְלָה, וְאַל תַּעֲמוֹד בִּפְנֵי הַנֵּר עָרוֹם, וְאַל תִּכָּנֵס לְמֶרְחָץ חָדָשׁ, שֶׁמָּא תִּפָּחֵת. עַד כַּמָּה? אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: עַד שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. וְאַל תַּעֲמוֹד בִּפְנֵי הַנֵּר עָרוֹם, דְּתַנְיָא: הָעוֹמֵד בִּפְנֵי הַנֵּר עָרוֹם — הָוֵי נִכְפֶּה. וְהַמְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ לְאוֹר הַנֵּר — הָוַיִין לוֹ בָּנִים נִכְפִּין. The Gemara continues: Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, commanded Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi with regard to three matters: Do not go out alone at night; do not stand naked before a candle; and do not enter a new bathhouse, lest it collapse when they light the fire beneath it. The Gemara asks: Until when is a bathhouse considered new? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Until twelve months have passed. With regard to the statement: And do not stand naked before a candle, the Gemara comments that this is as it was taught in a baraita: One who stands naked before a candle will become epileptic, and one who engages in intimacy by candlelight will have epileptic children.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: הַמְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ עַל מִטָּה שֶׁתִּינוֹק יָשֵׁן עָלֶיהָ — אוֹתוֹ תִּינוֹק נִכְפֶּה. וְלָא אֲמַרַן אֶלָּא דְּלָא הָוֵי בַּר שַׁתָּא, אֲבָל הָוֵי בַּר שַׁתָּא — לֵית לַן בַּהּ. וְלָא אֲמַרַן אֶלָּא דְּגָנֵי לַהֲדֵי כַּרְעֵיהּ, אֲבָל גָּנֵי לַהֲדֵי רֵישֵׁיהּ — לֵית לַן בַּהּ. וְלָא אֲמַרַן אֶלָּא דְּלָא מַנַּח יְדֵיהּ עִילָּוֵיהּ, אֲבָל מַנַּח יְדֵיהּ עִילָּוֵיהּ — לֵית לַן בַּהּ. Likewise, the Sages taught: One who engages in intimacy in a bed upon which a baby is sleeping, that child becomes epileptic. And we said that this will occur only if the child is not yet one year old; however, if he is one year old we have no problem with it, as he is old enough not to be affected. And furthermore, we said this only concerning a baby that is sleeping near the father’s feet; but if the baby is sleeping near his head he is sufficiently far away so that we have no problem with it. And we said this only if he does not place his hand on the baby at the time, but if he places his hands on the baby to serve as a barrier between them, we have no problem with it.
אֵל תֵּצֵא יְחִידִי בַּלַּיְלָה, דְּתַנְיָא: לֹא יֵצֵא יְחִידִי בַּלַּיְלָה, לֹא בְּלֵילֵי רְבִיעִיּוֹת וְלֹא בְּלֵילֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָגְרַת בַּת מָחֲלַת, הִיא וּשְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה רִבּוֹא שֶׁל מַלְאֲכֵי חַבָּלָה יוֹצְאִין, וְכׇל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד יֵשׁ לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְחַבֵּל בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. With regard to the instruction: Do not go out alone at night, the Gemara states that this is as it was taught in a baraita: One should not go out alone at night, neither on Tuesday nights nor on Shabbat nights, i.e., Friday nights, because the demon Agrat, daughter of Maḥalat, she and 180,000 angels of destruction go out at these times. And as each and every one of them has permission to destroy by itself, they are all the more dangerous when they go forth together.
מֵעִיקָּרָא הֲווֹ שְׁכִיחִי כּוּלֵּי יוֹמָא. זִמְנָא חֲדָא פְּגַעָה בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא בֶּן דּוֹסָא, אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: אִי לָאו דְּמַכְרְזִן עֲלָךְ בְּרָקִיעַ: ״הִזָּהֲרוּ בַּחֲנִינָא וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ״ — סַכַּנְתָּיךְ. אֲמַר לַהּ: אִי חֲשִׁיבְנָא בְּרָקִיעַ, גּוֹזֵר אֲנִי עָלֶיךָ שֶׁלֹּא תַּעֲבוֹרִי בַּיִּישּׁוּב לְעוֹלָם. אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: בְּמָטוּתָא מִינָּךְ, שְׁבֹק לִי רַוְוחָא פּוּרְתָּא. שְׁבַק לַהּ לֵילֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת וְלֵילֵי רְבִיעִיּוֹת. The Gemara states: Initially, these demons were present every day. Once Agrat, daughter of Maḥalat, met Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa and said to him: Had they not announced about you in the Heavens: Be careful of Ḥanina and his Torah, I would have placed you in danger. He said to her: If I am considered important in Heaven, I decree upon you that you should never travel through inhabited places. She said to him: I beg you, leave me a little space. He left for her Shabbat nights and Tuesday nights.
וְתוּ: חֲדָא זִמְנָא פְּגַעָה בֵּיהּ בְּאַבָּיֵי, אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: אִי לָאו דְּמַכְרְזִי עֲלָךְ בְּרָקִיעַ: ״הִזָּהֲרוּ בְּנַחְמָנִי וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ״ — הֲוָה סַכַּנְתָּיךְ. אֲמַר לַהּ: אִי חֲשִׁיבְנָא בְּרָקִיעַ, גּוֹזְרַנִי עֲלַיְיכִי שֶׁלֹּא תַּעֲבוּרִי בַּיִּישּׁוּב לְעוֹלָם. הָא קָא חָזֵינַן דְּעָבְרָה?! אָמְרִי: הָנֵי And furthermore, once Agrat, daughter of Maḥalat met Abaye and said to him: Had they not announced about you in the Heavens: Be careful of Naḥmani, Abaye, and his Torah, I would have placed you in danger. He said to her: If I am considered important in Heaven, I decree upon you that you should never pass through inhabited places. The Gemara asks: But we see that, notwithstanding these anecdotes, demons do pass through inhabited areas. The Sages say in explanation: These demons