גָּזְיָיתָא נִינְהוּ דְּשָׁמְטִי סוּסַיָּא וְאָתוּ דָּבְרִי לְהוּ
are found on the paths [gazyata] near the city, as horses belonging to the demons flee along those paths, and the demons come to lead them away. Generally, however, demons do not enter inhabited places.
(וַאֲמַר לֵיהּ) רַב לְרַב אַסִּי לָא תְּדוּר בְּמָתָא דְּלָא צָנֵיף בַּהּ סוּסְיָא וְלָא נָבַח בַּהּ כַּלְבָּא וְאַל תָּדוּר בְּעִיר דְּרֵישׁ מָתָא אָסְיָא וְלָא תִּנְסֵיב תַּרְתֵּי אִי נָסְבַתְּ תַּרְתֵּי נְסֵיב תְּלָת
And Rav said to Rav Asi: Do not live in a city where horses do not neigh and where dogs do not bark, as these animals provide security and protection. And do not live in a city where the mayor is a doctor, as he will be too busy working to govern properly. And do not marry two women, as they will likely join forces against you. And if you do marry two, marry a third as well. If two of your wives plot against you, the third will inform you of their plans.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב לְרַב כָּהֲנָא הֲפוֹךְ בִּנְבֵילְתָּא וְלָא תֵּיפוֹךְ בְּמִילֵּי פְּשׁוֹט נְבֵילְתָּא בְּשׁוּקָא וּשְׁקֵיל אַגְרָא וְלָא תֵּימָא כָּהֲנָא אֲנָא וְגַבְרָא רַבָּא אֲנָא וְסַנְיָא בִּי מִלְּתָא סָלְקַתְּ לְאִיגָּרָא שֵׁירוּתָךְ בַּהֲדָךְ מְאָה קָרֵי בְּמָתָא בְּזוּזָא תּוּתֵי כַּנְפָיךְ נִיהְווֹ
Rav said to Rav Kahana: It is better for one to turn over a carcass than to turn over his word, i.e., to break his promise. Rav further said: Skin a carcass in the market and take payment, but do not say: I am a priest, or: I am a great man, and this matter disgusts me. It is preferable for one to work, even in menial labor, than to be dependent on others. Rav also advised Rav Kahana: If you ascend to the roof, carry your food with you. One should always carry his sustenance with him, even if he goes only on a short trip. If one hundred pumpkins in the city cost a zuz, place them carefully under the corners of your clothes. Treat food respectfully even if it is inexpensive.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב לְחִיָּיא בְּרֵיהּ לָא תִּשְׁתֵּי סַמָּא וְלָא תְּשַׁוַּור נִיגְרָא וְלָא תִּעְקַר כַּכָּא וְלָא תְּקַנֵּא בְּחִיוְיָא וְלָא תְּקַנֵּא בְּאַרְמָאָה
Rav said to Ḥiyya, his son: Do not get into the habit of drinking medications, lest you develop an addiction. And do not leap over a ditch, as you might hurt yourself in the process. And do not pull out a tooth, but try to heal it if possible. And do not provoke a snake in your house to try to kill it or chase it away. And do not provoke a gentile, as this too is dangerous.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שְׁלֹשָׁה אֵין מִתְקַנְּאִין בָּהֶן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן גּוֹי קָטָן וְנָחָשׁ קָטָן וְתַלְמִיד קָטָן מַאי טַעְמָא דְּמַלְכוּתַיְיהוּ אֲחוֹרֵי אוּדְנַיְיהוּ קָאֵי
Similarly, the Sages taught: There are three beings one should not provoke: A small gentile, and a small snake, and a small Torah scholar. What is the reason? Because their authority stands behind their ears. They will eventually grow up, assume power, each in his own way, and avenge those who have harassed them.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב לְאַיְבוּ בְּרֵיהּ טְרַחִי בָּךְ בִּשְׁמַעְתָּא וְלָא מִסְתַּיַּיע מִילְּתָא תָּא אַגְמְרָךְ מִילֵּי דְעָלְמָא אַדְּחָלָא אַכַּרְעָיךָ זְבִינָךְ זַבֵּין כֹּל מִילֵּי זַבֵּין וְתִחָרַט בַּר מֵחַמְרָא דְּזַבֵּין וְלָא תִּחָרַט
Rav said to Ayvu, his son: I struggled to teach you halakha but my efforts did not succeed, as you did not become a great scholar. Come and I will teach you about mundane matters: Sell your merchandise while the dust from the road is still on your feet. As soon you return from your travels, sell your wares, lest the prices fall in the meantime. Furthermore, it is possible that anything you sell might later cause you to regret the sale, except for wine, which you can sell without regret. Since wine might go bad and be entirely lost, its sale is always advisable.
שְׁרֵי כִּיסָיךְ פְּתַח שַׂקָּיךָ קַבָּא מֵאַרְעָא וְלָא כּוֹרָא מֵאִיגָּרָא
Rav further advised his son: Open your purse to accept payment, and only then open your sack to deliver the goods, to ensure you will receive payment for your merchandise. It is better to earn a kav from the ground than a kor from the roof. A kor is one hundred and eighty times larger than a kav. This proverb means that it is preferable to earn a small amount from a local, safe transaction than to attempt to earn more through a distant, risky venture.
תַּמְרֵי בַּחֲלוּזָךְ לְבֵית סוּדָנָא רְהוֹט וְעַד כַּמָּה אָמַר רָבָא עַד תְּלָת סְאָה אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא אִי לָא דִּרְמַאי שִׁכְרָא לָא אִיעַתַּרִי אִיכָּא דְּאָמְרִי אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא אִי לָא דִּרְמַאי שִׁכְרָא לָא אִיעַתַּרִי מַאי סוּדָנָא אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא סוֹד נָאֶה וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים
Rav continued: If there are dates in your storeroom, run to the brewery to sell them. If you wait, there is a good chance the dates will go bad. The Gemara asks: And how many dates should one keep for himself? Rava said: Up to three se’a. Rav Pappa said: If I were not a beer manufacturer I would not have become wealthy. Some say that it was Rav Ḥisda who said: If I were not a beer manufacturer I would not have become wealthy. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the word sudana, the Aramaic term for a brewer? Rav Ḥisda said: A pleasant secret [sod na’e] and acts of loving kindness, as brewing is a good way to make money and also enables one to perform good deeds.
אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא כׇּל אַגַּב גְּבִיָּא בָּעֵי כֹּל אַשְׁרַאי סָפֵק אָתֵי סָפֵק לָא אָתֵי וּדְאָתֵי מָעוֹת רָעוֹת נִינְהוּ
The Gemara continues to offer advice about mundane matters. Rav Pappa said: Anything you acquire with a document by means of which ownership is transferred, i.e., a bill of acquisition or obligation, requires collection, despite the fact that you are the legal owner. Any sale on credit is uncertain whether or not it will come to fruition. And even if it does come to fruition, the money is bad. These funds are difficult to collect, and they are generally not paid on time.
שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם אַנְשֵׁי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם כְּשֶׁאַתָּה יוֹצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה אַל תֵּצֵא בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה אֶלָּא תֵּצֵא בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּכָּנֵס בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וַעֲשֵׂה שַׁבַּתְּךָ חוֹל וְאַל תִּצְטָרֵךְ לַבְּרִיּוֹת וֶהֱוֵי מִשְׁתַּדֵּל עִם מִי שֶׁהַשָּׁעָה מְשַׂחֶקֶת לוֹ
Rabbi Yoḥanan said three matters, citing the people of Jerusalem: When you go to war do not go out first, but go out last. The reason is so that if your side is defeated and you need to flee for your life, you will enter the refuge of the city first. And it is better to make your Shabbat like an ordinary weekday and do not be beholden to other beings. And exert yourself to join together with one upon whom the hour smiles.
שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי מִשּׁוּם אַנְשֵׁי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אַל תַּרְבֶּה בִּגְנוּת מִשּׁוּם מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁהָיָה בִּתְּךָ בָּגְרָה שַׁחְרֵר עַבְדְּךָ וְתֵן לָהּ וֶהֱוֵי זָהִיר בְּאִשְׁתְּךָ מֵחֲתָנָהּ הָרִאשׁוֹן מַאי טַעְמָא רַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה רַב כָּהֲנָא אָמַר מִשּׁוּם מָמוֹן הָא וְהָא אִיתַנְהוּ
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said three matters, citing the people of Jerusalem: Do not indulge in a shameful act in public, because of the incident that occurred involving David and Bathsheba (see II Samuel 11–12). If your daughter has grown up, it is better to free your Canaanite slave and give him to her than to leave her to find a husband on her own. And be careful with your wife with regard to her first son-in-law, as she is especially fond of him. What is the reason for this warning? Rav Ḥisda said: Due to the possibility of licentiousness. Rav Kahana said: Due to the fact that she might give him all your money and leave you impoverished. The Gemara comments: Since either of these could happen, it is best to be prudent.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן שְׁלֹשָׁה מִנּוֹחֲלֵי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא אֵלּוּ הֵן הַדָּר בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַמְגַדֵּל בָּנָיו לְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה וְהַמַּבְדִּיל עַל הַיַּיִן בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת מַאי הִיא דִּמְשַׁיַּיר מִקִּידּוּשָׁא לְאַבְדָּלְתָּא
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Three people are among those who inherit the World-to-Come: One who lives in Eretz Yisrael; one who raises his sons to engage in Torah study; and one who recites havdala over wine at the conclusion of Shabbat. The Gemara asks: What is the special importance of that mitzva, to recite havdala over wine? The Gemara answers: This is referring to an individual with only a small amount of wine, who nevertheless leaves some of his kiddush wine for havdala.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן שְׁלֹשָׁה מַכְרִיז עֲלֵיהֶן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּכׇל יוֹם עַל רַוּוֹק הַדָּר בִּכְרַךְ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹטֵא וְעַל עָנִי הַמַּחֲזִיר אֲבֵידָה לִבְעָלֶיהָ וְעַל עָשִׁיר הַמְעַשֵּׂר פֵּירוֹתָיו בְּצִינְעָה רַב סָפְרָא רַוּוֹק הַדָּר בִּכְרַךְ הֲוָה
Rabbi Yoḥanan further said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, proclaims about the goodness of three kinds of people every day, as exceptional and noteworthy individuals: About a bachelor who lives in a city and does not sin with women; about a poor person who returns a lost object to its owners despite his poverty; and about a wealthy person who tithes his produce in private, without publicizing his behavior. The Gemara reports: Rav Safra was a bachelor living in a city.