כָּאן קוֹדֶם גְּזַר דִּין כָּאן לְאַחַר גְּזַר דִּין הָכָא נָמֵי בְּיָחִיד Here the verse is referring to the time before one’s sentence is issued, when God shows favor and forgives; and there the verse is referring to the time after the sentence has been issued, when He no longer forgives. This implies that after a sentence has been issued, there is no possibility of repentance, which seems to contradict the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan. The Gemara answers: Here too it is referring to an individual, but a community is granted forgiveness even after its sentence has been issued.
וּגְזַר דִּין דְּיָחִיד תַּנָּאֵי הִיא דְּתַנְיָא הָיָה רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר שְׁנַיִם שֶׁעָלוּ לַמִּטָּה וְחוֹלְיָין שָׁוֶה וְכֵן שְׁנַיִם שֶׁעָלוּ לַגַּרְדּוֹם לִידּוֹן וְדִינָן שָׁוֶה זֶה יָרַד וְזֶה לֹא יָרַד זֶה נִיצַּל וְזֶה לֹא נִיצַּל § The question of whether or not an individual’s sentence can be rescinded is a dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: Two people take to their beds, and their illness is the same, or two people ascend to the tribunal [gardom] for judgment, and their potential sentence is the same; but this one comes down from his bed, while that one does not come down from his bed, and this one is saved from death, while that one is not saved.
מִפְּנֵי מָה זֶה יָרַד וְזֶה לֹא יָרַד זֶה נִיצַּל וְזֶה לֹא נִיצַּל זֶה הִתְפַּלֵּל וְנַעֲנָה וְזֶה הִתְפַּלֵּל וְלֹא נַעֲנָה מִפְּנֵי מָה זֶה נַעֲנָה וְזֶה לֹא נַעֲנָה זֶה הִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלָּה שְׁלֵימָה נַעֲנָה וְזֶה לֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלָּה שְׁלֵימָה לֹא נַעֲנָה For what reason did this one recover and come down from his bed, while that one did not recover and come down from his bed; and why was this one saved from death, while that one was not saved? The difference between them is that this one prayed and was answered, while that one prayed, but was not answered. And for what reason was this one answered and that one not answered? This one prayed a prayer with his whole heart and consequently was answered, while that one did not pray a prayer with his whole heart and therefore was not answered.
רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר כָּאן קוֹדֶם גְּזַר דִּין כָּאן לְאַחַר גְּזַר דִּין רַבִּי יִצְחָק אָמַר יָפָה צְעָקָה לָאָדָם בֵּין קוֹדֶם גְּזַר דִּין בֵּין לְאַחַר גְּזַר דִּין Rabbi Elazar said: Not so; rather, here he prayed before his heavenly sentence was issued, and so he was answered, whereas there the other one prayed after his heavenly sentence was issued, and therefore he was not answered. Rabbi Yitzḥak disagreed and said: Crying out to God is effective for a person, both before his sentence has been issued and also after his sentence has been issued, as even after his sentence has been issued, it can still be rescinded if he repents.
וּגְזַר דִּין דְּצִבּוּר מִי מִיקְּרַע וְהָא כָּתוּב אֶחָד אוֹמֵר כַּבְּסִי מֵרָעָה לִבֵּךְ וּכְתִיב כִּי אִם תְּכַבְּסִי בַּנֶּתֶר וְתַרְבִּי לָךְ בּוֹרִית נִכְתָּם עֲוֹנֵךְ לְפָנַי מַאי לָאו כָּאן קוֹדֶם גְּזַר דִּין כָּאן לְאַחַר גְּזַר דִּין The Gemara asks: Can a sentence of a community really be torn up because they have repented? But one verse says: “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved” (Jeremiah 4:14), and elsewhere it is written: “For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet the stain of your iniquity is before Me, says the Lord God” (Jeremiah 2:22). What, is it not that here the verse is referring to the time before the sentence, when the heart can still be washed with repentance, whereas there the verse is referring to the time after the sentence, when washing no longer helps, as the sentence cannot be canceled?
לָא אִידֵּי וְאִידֵּי לְאַחַר גְּזַר דִּין וְלָא קַשְׁיָא כָּאן בִּגְזַר דִּין שֶׁיֵּשׁ עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה כָּאן בִּגְזַר דִּין שֶׁאֵין עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה The Gemara answers: No, both this verse and that verse refer to the time after the sentence has been decreed, and still it is not difficult: Here the verse is referring to a sentence accompanied by an oath taken by God not to cancel the sentence, whereas there the verse is referring to a sentence that is not accompanied by God’s oath not to cancel the sentence, and so the sentence can in fact be canceled through repentance.
כִּדְרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי דְּאָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי וְאָמְרִי לַהּ אָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי אָמַר רַב יוֹנָתָן מִנַּיִן לִגְזַר דִּין שֶׁיֵּשׁ עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִקְרָע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר [וְ]לָכֵן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְבֵית עֵלִי אִם יִתְכַּפֵּר עֲוֹן בֵּית עֵלִי בְּזֶבַח וּבְמִנְחָה This is like what Rav Shmuel bar Ami said, as Rav Shmuel bar Ami said, and some say that it was Rav Shmuel bar Naḥmani who said that Rabbi Yonatan said: From where is it derived that a sentence accompanied by God’s oath not to cancel it cannot be torn up or canceled? As it is stated: “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house will not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever” (I Samuel 3:14).
אָמַר רָבָא בְּזֶבַח וּבַמִּנְחָה אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּפֵּר אֲבָל מִתְכַּפֵּר בְּתוֹרָה אַבָּיֵי אָמַר בְּזֶבַח וּמִנְחָה אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּפֵּר אֲבָל מִתְכַּפֵּר בְּתוֹרָה וּבִגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים רַבָּה וְאַבָּיֵי מִדְּבֵית עֵלִי קָאָתוּ רַבָּה דַּעֲסַק בַּתּוֹרָה חֲיָה אַרְבְּעִין שְׁנִין אַבָּיֵי דַּעֲסַק בְּתוֹרָה וּבִגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים חֲיָה שִׁיתִּין שְׁנִין With regard to this verse Rava said: With sacrifice or offering the sin of Eli’s house is not atoned, but it can be atoned through Torah study. Abaye said: With sacrifice or offering the sin of Eli’s house is not atoned, but it is atoned through Torah study and the performance of acts of kindness. It is related that Rabba and Abaye came from the house of Eli, which was subject to the curse that most of its members would die young. Rabba, who engaged almost exclusively in Torah study, lived for forty years, whereas Abaye, who engaged in both Torah study and in the performance of acts of kindness lived for sixty years.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן מִשְׁפָּחָה אַחַת הָיְתָה בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהָיוּ מֵתֶיהָ מֵתִין בְּנֵי שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בָּאוּ וְהוֹדִיעוּ אֶת רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי אָמַר לָהֶם שֶׁמָּא מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת עֵלִי אַתֶּם דִּכְתִיב בֵּיהּ וְכׇל מַרְבִּית בֵּיתְךָ יָמוּתוּ אֲנָשִׁים לְכוּ וְעִסְקוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וִחְיוּ הָלְכוּ וְעָסְקוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָיוּ וְהָיוּ קוֹרִין אוֹתָהּ מִשְׁפַּחַת רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן עַל שְׁמוֹ The Sages taught in a baraita: There was a certain family in Jerusalem whose members used to die at the age of eighteen, and they did not know why. They came and told Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai about their situation. He said to them: Perhaps you are descended from the family of Eli, as it is written about them: “And all the increase of your house shall die young men” (I Samuel 2:33). If indeed this is so, the remedy is as follows: Go and engage in Torah study, in the merit of which you will live. They went and engaged in Torah study and lived. And people would call that family afterward by the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan in his honor.
אָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אִינְיָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב מִנַּיִין לִגְזַר דִּין שֶׁל צִבּוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶחְתָּם אֵינוֹ נֶחְתָּם וְהָכְתִיב נִכְתַּם עֲוֹנֵךְ לְפָנַי אֶלָּא אַף עַל גַּב שֶׁנֶּחְתָּם נִקְרָע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כַּה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּכׇל קׇרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו Rav Shmuel bar Inya said in the name of Rav: From where is it derived that the sentence of a community is never sealed [neḥtam]? The Gemara immediately asks: Is never sealed? But isn’t it written: “Yet the stain [nikhtam] of your iniquity is before Me” (Jeremiah 2:22), which implies that the sentence of a community is indeed sealed. Rather, one must say that the question was as follows: From where is it known with regard to the sentence of a community that although it is sealed, it can still be torn up? As it is stated: “As is the Lord our God whenever we call out to Him” (Deuteronomy 4:7). This implies that there is always a way to draw close to God.
וְהָכְתִיב דִּרְשׁוּ ה׳ בְּהִמָּצְאוֹ הָתָם בְּיָחִיד הָכָא בְּצִבּוּר The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him when He is near” (Isaiah 55:6), which implies that there are times when He is not near and does not answer. The Gemara answers: There the verse is referring to an individual, to whom God is near only at certain times; here the verse is referring to a community, to which God is close whenever the people call out to Him.
בְּיָחִיד אֵימַת אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר אֲבוּהּ אֵלּוּ עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁבֵּין רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וַיְהִי כַּעֲשֶׂרֶת הַיָּמִים וַיִּגֹּף ה׳ אֶת נָבָל עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים מַאי עֲבִידְתַּיְיהוּ אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב כְּנֶגֶד עֶשֶׂר לְגִימוֹת שֶׁנָּתַן נָבָל לְעַבְדֵי דָּוִד אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר אֲבוּהּ אֵלּוּ עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁבֵּין רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים: § The Gemara asks: With regard to an individual, when is God near to him? Rabba bar Avuh said: These are the ten days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. The Gemara asks further: The verse states: “And it came to pass about ten days after that the Lord smote Nabal, and he died” (I Samuel 25:38). These ten days, what are they doing here, i.e., why was there a delay of ten days before Nabal died? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: They correspond to the ten meals that Nabal gave the servants of David who came to visit him, as out of politeness he allowed David’s ten servants to eat, and therefore his punishment was delayed for ten days. Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said: These are the ten days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, during which everyone is given one last opportunity to repent for the sins he committed over the course of the previous year.
בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה כׇּל בָּאֵי הָעוֹלָם עוֹבְרִין לְפָנָיו כִּבְנֵי מָרוֹן מַאי כִּבְנֵי מָרוֹן הָכָא תַּרְגִּימוּ כִּבְנֵי אִמְּרָנָא רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ אָמַר כְּמַעֲלוֹת בֵּית מָרוֹן אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל כַּחֲיָילוֹת שֶׁל בֵּית דָּוִד § The mishna teaches: On Rosh HaShana all creatures pass before Him like benei maron. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase benei maron? The Gemara answers: Here in Babylonia they interpreted it to mean: Like a flock of sheep [kivnei imarna]. Reish Lakish disagreed and said: Like the ascent of Beit Maron, which was very steep; one standing at the summit could discern all those climbing the mountain with a single look. Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said another opinion: Like the soldiers of the house of King David, who could be surveyed with a single glance.
אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָה אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְכוּלָּן נִסְקָרִין בִּסְקִירָה אַחַת אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק אַף אֲנַן נָמֵי תְּנֵינָא הַיּוֹצֵר יַחַד לִבָּם הַמֵּבִין אֶל כׇּל מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם מַאי קָאָמַר אִילֵּימָא הָכִי קָאָמַר דִּבְרַנְהוּ לְכוּלֵּי עָלְמָא וּמְיַיחֵד לִבַּיְיהוּ כַּהֲדָדָי וְהָא קָא חָזֵינַן דְּלָאו הָכִי הוּא אֶלָּא לָאו הָכִי קָאָמַר הַיּוֹצֵר רוֹאֶה יַחַד לִבָּם וּמֵבִין אֶל כׇּל מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם: Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: And they are all scanned in a single scan. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: We, too, learn this in the baraita: The verse states: “He who fashions their hearts alike, who considers all their deeds” (Psalms 33:15). What is this verse saying? If we say this is what it is saying: That He created everyone and unites all their hearts together, there is a difficulty, since don’t we see that it is not so, as the hearts of people are not united and are not similar to one another? Rather, is this not what it is saying: The Creator sees their hearts together and considers all their deeds with a single scan?
מַתְנִי׳ עַל שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים הַשְּׁלוּחִין יוֹצְאִין עַל נִיסָן מִפְּנֵי הַפֶּסַח עַל אָב מִפְּנֵי הַתַּעֲנִית עַל אֱלוּל מִפְּנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה עַל תִּשְׁרֵי מִפְּנֵי תַּקָּנַת הַמּוֹעֲדוֹת עַל כִּסְלֵיו מִפְּנֵי חֲנוּכָּה וְעַל אֲדָר מִפְּנֵי הַפּוּרִים MISHNA: In six months of the year the messengers go out from the court in Jerusalem to report throughout Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora which day was established as the New Moon, the thirtieth or the thirty-first day since the previous New Moon. They go out in the month of Nisan, due to Passover, so that people will know on which day to celebrate it; in the month of Av, due to the fast of the Ninth of Av; in Elul, due to Rosh HaShana, which begins thirty days after the New Moon of Elul; in Tishrei, due to the need to establish the correct dates on which to celebrate the Festivals of Tishrei, i.e., Yom Kippur and Sukkot; in Kislev, due to Hanukkah; and in Adar, due to Purim.
וּכְשֶׁהָיָה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּים יוֹצְאִין אַף עַל אִיָּיר מִפְּנֵי פֶּסַח קָטָן And when the Temple was standing, messengers would also go out in the month of Iyyar due to small Passover, i.e., second Pesaḥ, which occurs on the fourteenth of Iyyar. This holiday allowed those who were ritually impure or on a distant journey on the fourteenth of Nisan, and therefore incapable of bringing the Paschal lamb at that time, to bring their Paschal lamb a month later.
גְּמָ׳ וְלִיפְּקוּ נָמֵי אַתַּמּוּז וְטֵבֵת GEMARA: The Gemara asks: And if they go out for the month of Av due to the fast, let them go out also in the months of Tammuz and Tevet, as they too contain public fast days.