Rosh Hashanah 4aראש השנה ד׳ א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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4aד׳ א

(עזרא ו, ט) ומה חשחן ובני תורין ודכרין ואמרין לעלון לאלה שמיא חנטין מלח חמר ומשח כמאמר כהניא די בירושלם להוא מתיהב להם יום ביום די לא שלו אמר לו רבי יצחק רבי מטונך די להון מהקרבין ניחוחין לאלה שמיא ומצלין לחיי מלכא ובנוהי

“And that which they need, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt-offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the priests who are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail” (Ezra 6:9)? Doesn’t Cyrus’ contribution to the Temple demonstrate his fear of Heaven? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Kahana: My teacher, a refutation can be brought from your own burden, from the text you yourself cited, as the next verse continues: “That they may sacrifice offerings of sweet savor to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons” (Ezra 6:10). This shows that Cyrus did this solely for his own benefit, so that the Jews would sacrifice offerings and pray for him and his sons.

ומאן דעבד הכי לאו מעליותא היא והתניא האומר סלע זו לצדקה בשביל שיחיו בני ובשביל שאזכה בה לחיי העולם הבא הרי זה צדיק גמור

The Gemara asks: And one who acts in this manner, is he not acting in exemplary fashion? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: If one gives charity, saying: I give this sela for charity in order that my children may live, or: I give it in order that through it I may merit life in the World-to-Come, he is still considered a full-fledged righteous person? If so, what was wrong with the king bringing offerings so that the Jews would pray for his life and the life of his children?

לא קשיא כאן בישראל כאן בעובדי כוכבים

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, in the case of one who makes his charity conditional yet is considered to be righteous, it is referring to a Jew. This is because even if his condition is not fulfilled, he will not complain to God. However, there, where Cyrus was not given credit for his good deed because it was conditional, it is referring to gentiles. A gentile may come to regret his actions and complain to God if his condition is not fulfilled.

ואיבעית אימא מנלן דאחמיץ דכתיב (עזרא ו, ד) נדבכין די אבן גלל תלתא ונדבך די אע חדת ונפקתא מן בית מלכא תתיהב למה ליה דעבד הכי סבר אי מרדו בי יהודאי איקלייה בנורא

And if you wish, say: From where do we derive that Cyrus became corrupt? As it is written with regard to the building of the Temple that he issued the following command: “Let the house be built…with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber, and let the expense be paid out of the king’s house” (Ezra 6:4). Why did he do it in this manner and command that the Temple be built with a row of timber? He thought: If the Jews rebel against me, I will burn their Temple with fire, and it will be more flammable because of the wood.

אטו שלמה לא עבד הכי והכתיב (מלכים א ו, לו) שלשה טורי גזית וטור כרתות ארזים שלמה עבד מלמעלה ואיהו עבד מלמטה שלמה שקעיה בבנינא איהו לא שקעיה בבנינא שלמה סדייה בסידא איהו לא סדייה בסידא

The Gemara raises a question: Is that to say that Solomon did not do this very same thing when he built the first Temple? Isn’t it written: “And he built the inner court, three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams” (I Kings 6:36)? The Gemara answers: Solomon placed the wood above the stone foundation, so that even if the Temple were burned, the stone foundation would remain, whereas Cyrus placed it below, so that if he were to set fire to the Temple, the whole structure would collapse. Also, Solomon sunk the wood into the building in order to make it less flammable, whereas Cyrus did not sink it into the building. Furthermore, Solomon plastered the wood over with plaster to prevent it from catching fire, whereas Cyrus did not plaster the wood over with plaster.

(אמר) רב יוסף ואיתימא רבי יצחק מנלן דאחמיץ מהכא (נחמיה ב, ו) ויאמר לי המלך והשגל יושבת אצלו מאי שגל אמר רבה בר לימא משמיה דרב כלבתא

Rav Yosef said, and some say that it was Rabbi Yitzḥak who said: From where do we derive that Cyrus became corrupt? From here, as it is written: “And the king said to me, the consort [shegal] also sitting by him: For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time” (Nehemiah 2:6). What is the meaning of the word shegal in the verse? Rabba bar Lima said in the name of Rav: It means a she-dog that sat next to him, which he used for sexual relations.

אלא מעתה הא דכתיב (דניאל ה, כג) ועל מרא שמיא התרוממת ולמאנייא די ביתיה היתיו קדמך ואנת ורברבניך שגלתך ולחנתך חמרא שתין בהון ואי שגל כלבתא היא כלבתא בת משתיא חמרא היא הא לא קשיא דמלפא לה ושתייא

The Gemara raises a difficulty: However, if that is so, there is a contradiction from that which is written about Belshazzar: “But you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you, and your lords, your consorts [shegal] and your concubines, have drunk wine in them” (Daniel 5:23). If shegal means a she-dog, does a she-dog drink wine? The Gemara explains: This is not difficult, as perhaps they trained it to drink wine.

אלא מעתה דכתיב (תהלים מה, י) בנות מלכים ביקרותיך נצבה שגל לימינך בכתם אופיר ואי שגל כלבתא היא מאי קא מבשר להו נביא לישראל הכי קאמר בשכר שחביבה תורה לישראל כשגל לעובדי כוכבים זכיתם לכתם אופיר

The Gemara raises another difficulty: However, if that is so, there is a contradiction from that which is written: “Kings’ daughters are among your favorites; upon your right hand stands a consort [shegal] in gold of Ophir” (Psalms 45:10). Now, if shegal is a she-dog, what is the prophet heralding for the Jewish people? The Gemara explains: This is what the prophet is saying: In reward for the Torah being as precious to the Jews as a she-dog is to gentiles, you merited the gold of Ophir.

ואיבע"א לעולם שגל מלכתא היא ורבה בר לימא גמרא גמיר לה ואמאי קרי לה שגל שהיתה חביבה עליו כשגל אי נמי שהושיבה במקום שגל

And if you wish, say: Actually, the word shegal in all these other contexts means consort, but Rabba bar Lima had a tradition that in connection with Cyrus the word shegal means she-dog. And why was it called a consort [shegal]? It is because the dog was as precious to him as a consort; or else, because he set the dog next to him in place of a consort.

איבעית אימא מנלן דאחמיץ מהכא (עזרא ז, כב) עד כסף ככרין מאה ועד חנטין כורין מאה ועד חמר בתין מאה ועד בתין משח מאה ומלח די לא כתב וגו' מעיקרא בלא קיצותא והשתא בקיצותא

And if you wish, say: From where do we derive that Cyrus became corrupt? It is from here, as it is stated: “Up to a hundred talents of silver, and up to a hundred measures of wheat, and up to a hundred bat of wine, and up to a hundred bat of oil, and salt without prescribed limit” (Ezra 7:22). Initially he gave without setting a limit, but now he introduced a limit.

ודילמא מעיקרא לא הוה קים ליה בקיצותא אלא מחוורתא כדשניין מעיקרא:

This is rejected: But perhaps initially he did not know what limit to set, as he was not familiar with the daily needs of the Temple, and afterward, when the matter became clarified, he set an appropriate limit. Rather, it is clear as we initially answered that the evidence that Cyrus became corrupt is based on his relationship with his consort rather than on his donations to the Temple.

ולרגלים: רגלים באחד בניסן הוא בחמשה עשר בניסן הוא אמר רב חסדא רגל שבו ראש השנה לרגלים

§ The mishna teaches: And the first of Nisan is also the New Year for the order of the Festivals The Gemara asks: Is the New Year for the Festivals really on the first of Nisan? Isn’t it on the fifteenth of Nisan, the first day of the festival of Passover? Rav Ḥisda said: What the mishna means is that the Festival that occurs in the month of Nisan is the New Year for Festivals.

נפקא מינה לנודר למיקם עליה בבל תאחר ורבי שמעון היא דתניא אחד הנודר ואחד המקדיש ואחד המעריך כיון שעברו עליו ג' רגלים עובר בבל תאחר

The Gemara comments: This ruling makes a practical difference to one who makes a vow, in order to determine when he is liable for violating the prohibition: You shall not delay. And the mishna was taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, as it is taught in a baraita: Whether one makes a vow to bring an offering to the Temple, or consecrates an item to the Temple, or makes a valuation, promising to pay the value of a particular person to the Temple treasury, once three Festivals have passed from that day and he has not yet fulfilled his promise, he transgresses the prohibition: You shall not delay, as stated in the verse: “When you shall vow a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay paying it” (Deuteronomy 23:22).

ר"ש אומר ג' רגלים כסדרן וחג המצות תחילה וכן היה ר"ש בן יוחי אומר רגלים פעמים ג' פעמים ד' פעמים חמשה כיצד נדר לפני הפסח ג' לפני עצרת חמשה לפני החג ארבעה

Rabbi Shimon says: One transgresses the prohibition against delaying not when any three Festivals have passed, but when three Festivals have passed in their proper order, i.e., Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, with Passover first. And, so too, Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai would say: The Festivals that must pass before a person is liable for violating the prohibition against delaying are sometimes three, sometimes four, and sometimes five. How so? If one made his vow before Passover they are three, as he may delay bringing his offering until the festival of Sukkot; if he made his vow before Shavuot they are five, as the counting of three Festivals begins only from the next Passover; and if he made his vow before the festival of Sukkot, they are four.

ת"ר חייבי הדמין והערכין החרמין וההקדשות חטאות ואשמות עולות ושלמים צדקות ומעשרות בכור ומעשר ופסח

The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to those who are liable for vows of monetary payment, or for vows of valuations, or for dedications, or for consecrations, sin-offerings, guilt-offerings, burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, vows of charity, tithes, firstborn offerings, animal tithes, or the Paschal offering,