וּמְצַפְצְפִין וְעוֹלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁית בָּאֵשׁ וּצְרַפְתִּים כִּצְרוֹף אֶת הַכֶּסֶף וּבְחַנְתִּים כִּבְחוֹן אֶת הַזָּהָב הוּא יִקְרָא בִשְׁמִי וַאֲנִי אֶעֱנֶה אוֹתוֹ וַעֲלֵיהֶם אָמְרָה חַנָּה ה׳ מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל וַיָּעַל and they will cry out in their pain and eventually ascend from there, as it is stated: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name, and I will answer them” (Zechariah 13:9). This is referring to the members of the third group, who require refinement and cleansing. And about them, Hannah said: “The Lord kills, and gives life; he brings down to the grave, and brings up” (I Samuel 2:6).
בֵּית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים וְרַב חֶסֶד מַטֶּה כְּלַפֵּי חֶסֶד וַעֲלֵיהֶם אָמַר דָּוִד אָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע ה׳ אֶת קוֹלִי וַעֲלֵיהֶם אָמַר דָּוִד כׇּל הַפָּרָשָׁה כּוּלָּהּ דַּלּוֹתִי וְלִי יְהוֹשִׁיעַ Beit Hillel say: He Who is “and abundant in kindness” (Exodus 34:6) tilts the scales in favor of kindness, so that middling people should not have to pass through Gehenna. And about them, David said: “I love the Lord, Who hears my voice and my supplications” (Psalms 116:1). And about them, David said the entire passage: “I was brought low [daloti] and He saved me” (Psalms 116:6). Although they are poor [dalim] in mitzvot, God saves them.
פּוֹשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגוּפָן וּפוֹשְׁעֵי אוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם בְּגוּפָן יוֹרְדִין לְגֵיהִנָּם וְנִידּוֹנִין בָּהּ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ גּוּפָן כָּלֶה וְנִשְׁמָתָן נִשְׂרֶפֶת וְרוּחַ מְפַזַּרְתָּן תַּחַת כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵי צַדִּיקִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְעַסּוֹתֶם רְשָׁעִים כִּי יִהְיוּ אֵפֶר תַּחַת כַּפּוֹת רַגְלֵיכֶם The rebellious Jews who have sinned with their bodies and also the rebellious people of the nations of the world who have sinned with their bodies descend to Gehenna and are judged there for twelve months. After twelve months, their bodies are consumed, their souls are burned, and a wind scatters them under the soles of the feet of the righteous, as it is stated: “And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet” (Malachi 3:21).
אֲבָל הַמִּינִין וְהַמָּסוֹרוֹת וְהָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים שֶׁכָּפְרוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וְשֶׁכָּפְרוּ בִּתְחִיַּית הַמֵּתִים וְשֶׁפֵּירְשׁוּ מִדַּרְכֵי צִבּוּר וְשֶׁנָּתְנוּ חִיתִּיתָם בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים וְשֶׁחָטְאוּ וְהֶחְטִיאוּ אֶת הָרַבִּים כְּגוֹן יָרׇבְעָם בֶּן נְבָט וַחֲבֵירָיו יוֹרְדִין לְגֵיהִנָּם וְנִידּוֹנִין בָּהּ לְדוֹרֵי דּוֹרוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְיָצְאוּ וְרָאוּ בְּפִגְרֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַפּוֹשְׁעִים בִּי וְגוֹ׳ But the heretics; and the informers; and the apostates [apikorsim]; and those who denied the Torah; and those who denied the resurrection of the dead; and those who separated from the ways of the Jewish community and refused to share the suffering; and those who cast their fear over the land of the living; and those who sinned and caused the masses to sin, for example, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and his company; all of these people descend to Gehenna and are judged there for generations and generations, as it is stated: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; for their worm shall not die; neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (Isaiah 66:24).
גֵּיהִנָּם כָּלֶה וְהֵן אֵינָן כָּלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְצוּרָם לְבַלּוֹת שְׁאוֹל מִזְּבוּל לוֹ וְכׇל כָּךְ לָמָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁפָּשְׁטוּ יְדֵיהֶם בִּזְבוּל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר מִזְּבוּל לוֹ וְאֵין זְבוּל אֶלָּא בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּנֹה בָנִיתִי בֵּית זְבוּל לָךְ וַעֲלֵיהֶם אָמְרָה חַנָּה ה׳ יֵחַתּוּ מְרִיבָיו Gehenna will terminate, but they still will not terminate, as it is stated: “And their form shall wear away the netherworld, so that there be no dwelling for Him” (Psalms 49:15); that is to say, Gehenna itself will be worn away before their punishment has come to an end. And why are they punished so severely? Because they stretched out their hands against God’s dwelling, the Temple, and everything else that is sanctified, as it is stated: “So that there be no dwelling [zevul] for Him.” Dwelling [zevul] is referring here only to the Temple, as it is stated: “I have built You a house for dwelling [zevul] in” (I Kings 8:13). And about them Hannah said: “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces” (I Samuel 2:10).
אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק בַּר אָבִין וּפְנֵיהֶם דּוֹמִין לְשׁוּלֵי קְדֵירָה וְאָמַר רָבָא וְאִינְהוּ מִשַּׁפִּירֵי שַׁפִּירֵי בְּנֵי מָחוֹזָא וּמִקַּרְיִין בְּנֵי גֵיהִנָּם Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Avin said: And their faces on the Day of Judgment will be black and sooty like the bottom of a pot. And Rava said: And they shall include the most handsome, i.e., upstanding, of the people of Meḥoza, as Rava thought that even the most upstanding people of the city of Meḥoza were wicked, and they shall be called the people of Gehenna.
אָמַר מָר בֵּית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים וְרַב חֶסֶד מַטֶּה כְּלַפֵּי חֶסֶד וְהָכְתִיב וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁית בָּאֵשׁ הָתָם בְּפוֹשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגוּפָן The Master said in the baraita above: It stated that Beit Hillel say: He Who is “and abundant in kindness” (Exodus 34:6) tilts the scales in favor of kindness, so that middling people will not have to pass through Gehenna. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “And I will bring the third part through the fire” (Zechariah 13:9), implying that there is a third group, which is sent to Gehenna temporarily? The Gemara answers: There, the verse is referring to the rebellious Jews who have sinned with their bodies.
פּוֹשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגוּפָן וְהָא אָמְרַתְּ לֵית לְהוּ תַּקַּנְתָּא כִּי לֵית לְהוּ תַּקָּנָה בְּרוֹב עֲוֹנוֹת הָכָא מֶחֱצָה עֲוֹנוֹת וּמֶחֱצָה זְכִיּוֹת וְאִית בְּהוּ נָמֵי עָוֹן דְּפוֹשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגוּפָן לָא סַגְיָא לֵיהּ דְּלָאו וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶת הַשְּׁלִישִׁית בָּאֵשׁ וְאִם לָאו וְרַב חֶסֶד מַטֶּה כְּלַפֵּי חֶסֶד וַעֲלֵיהֶן אָמַר דָּוִד אָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע ה׳ The Gemara asks: Can the verse be referring to the rebellious Jews who have sinned with their bodies? But didn’t you say that they have no rectification? The Gemara responds: When do they have no rectification? When in addition to their having sinned with their bodies, the majority of their actions are sins. But here, the verse is referring to people for whom half of their actions are sins and half are meritorious deeds, and those sins include the sin of the rebellious Jews who sin with their bodies. It is not sufficient that they not be subject to the verse: “And I will bring the third part through the fire.” However, if their sins and meritorious deeds are equally balanced, and they did not sin with their bodies, He Who is “abundant in kindness” tilts the scales in favor of kindness. And about them, David said: “I love the Lord, Who hears my voice and my supplications” (Psalms 116:1).
דָּרֵשׁ רָבָא מַאי דִּכְתִיב אָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע ה׳ אָמְרָה כְּנֶסֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם אֵימָתַי אֲנִי אֲהוּבָה לְפָנֶיךָ בִּזְמַן שֶׁאַתָּה שׁוֹמֵעַ קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנַי דַּלּוֹתִי וְלִי יְהוֹשִׁיעַ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדַּלָּה אֲנִי מִן הַמִּצְוֹת לִי נָאֶה לְהוֹשִׁיעַ Rava interpreted the verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I love the Lord, Who hears my voice and my supplications”? The Congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, when do I know that I am loved by You? When You hear the voice of my supplications, as the verse states: “I was brought low [daloti], and He saved me” (Psalms 116:6). Although I am poor [dala] in mitzvot, nevertheless it is fitting to save me.
פּוֹשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגוּפָן מַאי נִיהוּ אָמַר רַב קַרְקַפְתָּא דְּלָא מַנַּח תְּפִלִּין פּוֹשְׁעֵי אוּמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם בְּגוּפָן אָמַר רַב בַּעֲבֵירָה The Gemara asks: The rebellious Jews who have sinned with their bodies, who are they? Rav said: This is referring to the skull that did not ever don phylacteries. The Gemara asks further: The rebellious ones of the nations of the world who sin with their bodies, who are they? Rav said: They are those who engage in the sin, i.e., forbidden sexual relations.
וְשֶׁנָּתְנוּ חִיתִּיתָם בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא זֶה פַּרְנָס הַמַּטִּיל אֵימָה יְתֵירָה עַל הַצִּבּוּר שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב כׇּל פַּרְנָס הַמַּטִּיל אֵימָה יְתֵירָה עַל הַצִּבּוּר שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה בֵּן תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לָכֵן יְרֵאוּהוּ אֲנָשִׁים לֹא יִרְאֶה כׇּל חַכְמֵי לֵב And those who cast their fear over the land of the living, who are they? Rav Ḥisda said: This is referring to a communal leader [parnas] who casts excessive fear on the community not for the sake of Heaven. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Any community leader who casts excessive fear on the community not for the sake of Heaven will be punished and not see any Torah scholar among his sons, as it is stated: “Men do therefore fear him; he sees not any who are wise of heart” (Job 37:24). One who brings others to fear him will not merit having wise-hearted people in his family.
בֵּית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים וְרַב חֶסֶד מַטֶּה כְּלַפֵּי חֶסֶד הֵיכִי עָבֵיד רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר כּוֹבְשׁוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר יָשׁוּב יְרַחֲמֵנוּ יִכְבּוֹשׁ עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר חֲנִינָא אָמַר נוֹשֵׂא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וְעוֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע § It was taught in the baraita: Beit Hillel say: He who is “and abundant in kindness” (Exodus 34:6) tilts the scales in favor of kindness, so that middling people will not have to pass through Gehenna. The Gemara asks: How does He do this? Rabbi Eliezer says: He pushes down on the side of the merits, tipping the scale in their favor, as it is stated: “He will again have compassion upon us; He will push down our iniquities” (Micah 7:19). Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said: He bears, i.e., raises, the side of the sins, as it is stated: “He bears [noseh] sin and forgives transgression” (Micah 7:18).
תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל מַעֲבִיר רִאשׁוֹן רִאשׁוֹן וְכֵן הִיא הַמִּדָּה אָמַר רָבָא וְעָוֹן עַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ נִמְחָק דְּאִי אִיכָּא רוּבָּא עֲוֹנוֹת מִחֲשִׁיב בַּהֲדַיְיהוּ A Sage from the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught in a baraita: He overlooks each and every first transgression, and that is the attribute of mercy, that God forgives one’s first sin, and therefore He tips the scale in favor of the merits. Rava said: But that sin itself, which God overlooks, is not completely erased; if the individual’s actions are still mostly sins, God counts the overlooked sin with them and metes out punishment accordingly.
רָבָא אָמַר כׇּל הַמַּעֲבִיר עַל מִדּוֹתָיו מַעֲבִירִין לוֹ עַל כׇּל פְּשָׁעָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וְעוֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע לְמִי נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן לְמִי שֶׁעוֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע Rava understood this verse differently and said: With regard to whoever forgoes his reckonings with others for injustices done to him, the heavenly court in turn forgoes punishment for all his sins, as it is stated: “He bears sin and forgives transgression” (Micah 7:18). Whose sins does He bear? The sins of one who forgoes his reckonings with others for injustices committed against him.
רַב הוּנָא בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַב יְהוֹשֻׁעַ חֲלַשׁ עָל רַב פָּפָּא לְשַׁיּוֹלֵי בֵּיהּ חַזְיֵיהּ דַּחֲלִישׁ לֵיהּ עָלְמָא אֲמַר לְהוּ צְבִיתוּ לֵיהּ זְוַודְתָּא לְסוֹף אִיתְּפַח הֲוָה מִיכְּסִיף רַב פָּפָּא לְמִיחְזְיֵיהּ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ מַאי חֲזֵית אֲמַר לְהוּ אִין הָכִי הֲוָה וַאֲמַר לְהוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הוֹאִיל וְלָא מוֹקֵים בְּמִילֵּיהּ לָא תְּקוּמוּ בַּהֲדֵיהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וְעוֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע לְמִי נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן לְעוֹבֵר פֶּשַׁע It is related that Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, became sick, and Rav Pappa went into his home to inquire about his well-being. He saw that the world was growing weak for Rav Huna, i.e., he was dying. Rav Pappa said to his attendants: Prepare his provisions [zavdata], i.e., his shrouds. In the end, Rav Huna recovered. Rav Pappa was embarrassed to go and see him, as it seemed as if he had decreed Rav Huna’s death. Rav Huna’s friends said to him: What did you see when you were lying there suspended between life and death? He said to them: Yes, it was so, I was truly close to dying, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the heavenly court: Since he does not stand on his rights, i.e., he is ready to waive what is due him, you too should not be exacting with him in his judgment, as it is stated: “He bears [noseh] sin and forgives transgression.” Whose sins does He bear? The sins of one who forgoes his reckonings with others for injustices committed against him.
לִשְׁאֵרִית נַחֲלָתוֹ אָמַר רַבִּי אַחָא בַּר חֲנִינָא אַלְיָה וְקוֹץ בָּהּ לִשְׁאֵרִית נַחֲלָתוֹ וְלֹא לְכׇל נַחֲלָתוֹ That same verse continues: “He bears sins and forgives transgression for the remnant of His inheritance” (Micah 7:18). Rav Aḥa bar Ḥanina said: This is like the fat tail that has a thorn in it, i.e., something good that contains something bad. God forgives and pardons only “for the remnant of His inheritance,” but not for all His inheritance.