Pesachim 118bפסחים קי״ח ב
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118bקי״ח ב

ואקדיח מבחוץ ואעשה נס בתוך נס אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא רד באותה שעה פתח גבריאל ואמר ואמת ה׳ לעולם

and I will burn it from the outside, to consume those who threw the three righteous men into the furnace; and I will thereby perform a miracle within a miracle. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Descend. At that time Gabriel began praising God and recited: “And the truth of the Lord endures forever” (Psalms 117:2), as God fulfilled His promise to him from more than a thousand years earlier.

רבי נתן אומר ואמת ה׳ לעולם דגים שבים אמרוהו כדרב הונא דאמר רב הונא ישראל שבאותו הדור מקטני אמנה היו וכדדרש רבה בר מרי מאי דכתיב וימרו על ים בים סוף מלמד שהמרו ישראל באותה שעה ואמרו כשם שאנו עולין מצד אחד כך מצריים עולים מצד אחר

Rabbi Natan says: “And the truth of the Lord endures forever” was actually recited by the fish in the sea, in accordance with a statement of Rav Huna. As Rav Huna said: The Jewish people of that generation, during the Exodus, were of little faith. And this statement is as Rabba bar Mari taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “But they were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea” (Psalms 106:7)? This teaches that the Jews rebelled against Moses at that time, and said: Perhaps, just as we are ascending from one side, so too the Egyptians are ascending from the other side, and we will not be saved.

אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לשר של ים פלוט אותן ליבשה אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם כלום יש עבד שנותן לו רבו מתנה וחוזר ונוטל ממנו אמר לו אתן לך אחד ומחצה שבהן

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the ministering angel of the sea: Spew out the dead Egyptians onto dry land. The sea said before Him: Master of the Universe, is there a servant whose master gives him a gift and then takes it from him? Since the dead Egyptians were given to me for my fish to eat, how can God retract His gift? He said to him: I will give you one and a half times their number. Although I am taking them back now, later I will give you one and a half times as many people.

אמר לו רבונו של עולם יש עבד שתובע את רבו אמר לו נחל קישון יהא לי ערב מיד פלט אותן ליבשה ובאו ישראל וראו אותן שנאמר וירא ישראל את מצרים מת על שפת הים

He said to him: Master of the Universe, can a servant issue a claim against his master for a gift promised to him? Who will be my guarantor? He said to him: The Kishon River will be a guarantor for Me. Immediately, the sea spewed them out onto the land, and the Jewish people came and saw that they were dead. As it is stated: “And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore” (Exodus 14:30).

מאי אחד ומחצה שבהן דאילו בפרעה כתיב שש מאות רכב בחור ואילו בסיסרא כתיב תשע מאות רכב ברזל

The Gemara asks: What is this one and a half times their number? How was God’s promise fulfilled? The Gemara answers: While, with regard to Pharaoh, it is written: “Six hundred chosen chariots” (Exodus 14:7), whereas, with regard to Sisera, it is written: “Nine hundred iron chariots” (Judges 4:13).

כי אתא סיסרא [אתא עלייהו בדקרי דפרזלא הוציא הקדוש ברוך הוא עליהם כוכבים ממסילותם דכתיב] מן שמים נלחמו הכוכבים כיון דנחיתו כוכבי שמים עלייהו אקדירו הני דקרי דפרזלא נחיתו לאקרורי למיסחי נפשייהו בנחל קישון

The Gemara relates: When Sisera came to fight Israel, he came upon them with iron spears, whereupon the Holy One, Blessed be He, removed the stars from their orbits to fight against Sisera’s army, as it is written: “They fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera” (Judges 5:20). Since the stars fell on them, these iron spears heated up and they went to cool them and wash themselves in the Kishon River.

אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לנחל קישון לך והשלם ערבונך מיד גרפם נחל קישון והשליכן לים שנאמר נחל קישון גרפם נחל קדומים מאי נחל קדומים נחל שנעשה ערב מקדם באותה שעה פתחו דגים של ים ואמרו ואמת ה׳ לעולם

At this point, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Kishon River: Go and pay your guarantee that you issued to the ministering angel of the sea. Immediately, the Kishon River swept them away and cast them into the sea, as it is stated: “The Kishon River swept them away, that ancient river” (Judges 5:21). What is the meaning of the expression: “ancient river”? The Gemara explains: This is referring to the river that was appointed a guarantor from ancient times. At that time, the fish of the sea began praising God and recited: “And the truth of the Lord endures forever,” in reference to God’s fulfillment of the promise He issued centuries earlier.

אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב מושיבי עקרת הבית אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם שמוני בניך כחולדה זו הדרה בעיקרי בתים:

The Gemara cites more midrashim on the verses of hallel. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Who makes the barren woman dwell in her house as a joyful mother of children, halleluya” (Psalms 113:9)? The Congregation of Israel, i.e., the leaders of the Jewish people, said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, due to their sins, Your children treat me like this rat that dwells in the vaults of houses, barely able to find a place in the house.

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב אהבתי כי ישמע ה׳ אמרה כנסת ישראל רבונו של עולם אימת אני אהובה לפניך בזמן שתשמע קול תחנוני דלותי ולי יהושיע אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם אף על פי שדלה אני במצות לך אני ולי נאה להושיע

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I love that the Lord should hear my voice and my supplications” (Psalms 116:1)? The Congregation of Israel said: Master of the Universe, when am I beloved by You, and I know that I am loved? When You hear the voice of my supplications. “I was brought low, and He saved me” (Psalms 116:6). The Congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, although I am lowly in mitzvot, as I do not always fulfill them properly, I am Yours, and therefore it is fitting that I should be saved.

אמר רב כהנא כשחלה רבי ישמעאל ברבי יוסי שלח לו רבי אמור לנו שנים ושלשה דברים שאמרת לנו משום אביך

Rav Kahana said: When Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, fell ill, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi sent a message to him: Tell us two or three matters that you said to us, citing your father.

שלח לו כך אמר אבא מאי דכתיב הללו את ה׳ כל גוים אומות העולם מאי עבידתייהו הכי קאמר הללו את ה׳ כל גוים אגבורות ונפלאות דעביד בהדייהו כל שכן אנו דגבר עלינו חסדו

He sent back to him: My father said as follows: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Praise the Lord, all you nations, laud Him all you peoples. For His mercy is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever, halleluya” (Psalms 117)? What are the nations of the world doing by praising God for His great mercies toward Israel? Rabbi Yosei explained: Rather, this is what the verse is saying: “Praise the Lord, all you nations” for the mighty acts and the wonders that God performed before their eyes. All the more so we, the recipients of these acts, should praise and thank Him, as His mercy is great toward us.

ועוד עתידה מצרים שתביא דורון למשיח כסבור אינו מקבל מהם אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא למשיח קבל מהם אכסניא עשו לבניי במצרים מיד יאתיו חשמנים מני מצרים

And furthermore, Rabbi Yishmael sent another of his father’s teachings to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: In the future, Egypt will bring a gift to the Messiah when all of the nations gather before him, as the verse says: “Out of Your temple at Jerusalem, where kings shall bring presents to you” (Psalms 68:30). The Messiah will think it appropriate not to accept gifts from them, as the Egyptians abused Israel. The Holy One, Blessed be He, will say to the Messiah: Accept their gifts from them, as they granted lodging to My children in Egypt. They lived there for many years before being enslaved. Immediately, “Nobles shall come out of Egypt” (Psalms 68:32).

נשאה כוש קל וחומר בעצמה ומה הללו שנשתעבדו בהן כך אני שלא נשתעבדתי בהן לא כל שכן אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא קבל מהם מיד כוש תריץ ידיו לאלהים

Upon seeing that Egypt’s gift has been accepted, Kush will want to bring a gift too. Kush will draw an a fortiori inference with regard to itself: Just as the gifts of these Egyptians were accepted despite the fact that they enslaved the Jewish people, all the more so is it not clear that a gift from me, who did not enslave them, should be accepted? The Holy One, Blessed be He, will say to the Messiah: Accept it from them. Immediately, “Kush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God” (Psalms 68:32).

נשאה מלכות [רומי] הרשעה קל וחומר בעצמה ומה הללו שאין אחיהן כך אנו שאנו אחיהן לא כל שכן אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לגבריאל גער חית קנה געור חיה וקנה לך עדה

After that, the wicked kingdom of Rome will draw an a fortiori inference with regard to itself: Just as the gifts of these, who are not their brothers, were accepted in this manner, we, the descendants of Edom, who are their brothers, all the more so is it not clear that our gifts will be accepted? The Holy One, Blessed be He, will say to Gabriel: “Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds [kaneh], the multitude of [adat] the bulls” (Psalms 68:31). Rebuke the beast and acquire [keneh] the congregation [eda] of Israel. The nation of Rome, which enslaved Israel in its current exile, is less worthy than the other two nations.

דבר אחר געור חית קנה שדרה בין הקנים דכתיב יכרסמנה חזיר מיער וזיז שדי ירענה

Alternatively, the verse “Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,” means rebuke the beast that dwells between the reeds, as it is written: “The pig out of the wood ravages it, and that which moves in the field feeds on it” (Psalms 80:14). This verse is referring to Edom, whose behavior is compared elsewhere to that of a pig.

אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן געור בחיה שכל מעשיה נכתבין בקולמוס אחד עדת אבירים בעגלי עמים ששחטו אבירים כעגלים שאין להם בעלים

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the verse means: Rebuke the beast, all of whose actions are written with a single quill. Kaneh can mean a reed, or a quill. In other words, rebuke a nation that speaks of others in only one manner, for the worse. The verse continues: “The multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the peoples, everyone submitting himself with pieces of silver. He has scattered the peoples who delight in war” (Psalms 68:31). “The multitude of the bulls [abirim], with the calves of the peoples”; this is referring to Rome, who slaughtered mighty people [abirim] like ownerless calves.

מתרפס ברצי כסף שפושטין יד לקבל ממון ואין עושין רצון בעלים פיזר עמים קרבות יחפצון מי גרם להם לישראל שיתפזרו לבין אומות העולם קריבות שהיו חפצין בהן

“Everyone submitting himself with pieces of silver,” means that the officials of Rome open their hands to receive money as bribes or taxes, but actually they do not perform the will of their masters, as they cannot be trusted even in this regard. “He has scattered the peoples who delight in war”; what caused the Jewish people to be scattered among the nations of the world? The intimacies that they desired with them. Their exile among the nations was caused by their attraction to the customs and behavior of gentiles.

ועוד שלח לו שלש מאות וששים וחמשה שווקים בכרך גדול של רומי וכל אחד ואחד היו בו שלש מאות וששים וחמשה בירניות וכל בירנית ובירנית היו בו שלש מאות וששים וחמשה מעלות וכל מעלה ומעלה היו בו כדי לזון את כל העולם כולו

And Rabbi Yishmael further sent to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: There were 365 markets in the great city of Rome, and each and every one of them contained 365 towers, and each and every tower contained 365 floors, and each and every floor contained enough food to sustain the entire world.

אמר רבי (ישמעאל) לרבי ואמרי לה (לרבי ישמעאל בר יוסי) הני למן לך ולחברך ולחברותך שנאמר סחרה ואתננה קודש לה׳ לא יאצר ולא יחסן כי ליושבים לפני ה׳ יהיה וגו׳

Rabbi Yishmael also said to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, and some say that he said it to Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei: For whom did they store all this food? He replied: For you and your colleagues and the colleagues of your colleagues, i.e., for the Jewish people and their Sages, as it is stated: “Her grain and her hire shall be consecrated to the Lord; it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her gain shall be for those who dwell before the Lord, to eat their fill, and for stately clothing” (Isaiah 23:18).

מאי לא יאצר תני רב יוסף לא יאצר זה בית אוצר ולא יחסן זה בית גניזה מאי כי ליושבים לפני ה׳ אמר רבי אלעזר

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: “It shall not be treasured”? Rav Yosef teaches: “It shall not be treasured,” this is referring to items brought into a storehouse; “nor laid up,” this means a treasury, where valuable items were stored behind guarded walls. What is the meaning of the phrase: “Who dwell before the Lord?” Rabbi Elazar said: