Chapter 3 ג׳
1 א

זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב (איוב ג, יט): קָטֹן וְגָדוֹל שָׁם הוּא וְעֶבֶד חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדֹנָיו, אָמַר רַבִּי סִימוֹן זֶה אֶחָד מֵאַרְבָּעָה מִקְרָאוֹת שֶׁדּוֹמִין זֶה לָזֶה, קָטֹן וְגָדוֹל שָׁם הוּא, הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה מִי שֶׁהוּא קָטָן יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת גָּדוֹל, וּמִי שֶׁהוּא גָּדוֹל יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת קָטָן, אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, מִי שֶׁהוּא קָטָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת גָּדוֹל, וּמִי שֶׁהוּא גָּדוֹל אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת קָטָן. וְעֶבֶד חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדֹנָיו, זֶה הוּא שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה רְצוֹן יוֹצְרוֹ מַכְעִיס אֶת יִצְרוֹ, מֵת יָצָא לַחֵרוּת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְעֶבֶד חָפְשִׁי מֵאֲדֹנָיו. רַבִּי מְיָאשָׁא בַּר בְּרֵיהּ דְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, נִשְׁתַּקַּע שְׁלשָׁה יָמִים בְּחָלְיוֹ, לְאַחַר שְׁלשָׁה יָמִים נִתְיַשְּׁבָה דַעְתּוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ אָבִיו הָן הֲוֵית, אֲמַר לֵיהּ בְּעוֹלָם מְעֹרָב הָיִיתִי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ וּמַה חֲמֵיתָה תַּמָּן, אֲמַר לֵיהּ הַרְבֵּה בְּנֵי אָדָם רָאִיתִי כָּאן בְּכָבוֹד וְשָׁם בְּבִזָּיוֹן. כַּד שְׁמַעוּ רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְרֵישׁ לָקִישׁ סָלְקָן לִמְבַקְרֵיהּ, אֲמַר לְהוֹן אָבוּהּ שְׁמַעְתּוּן מָה אֲמַר הָדֵין מַיְינוֹקָא, אָמְרִין לֵיהּ מָה אֲמַר, תָּנֵי לְהוֹן עוֹבָדָא. אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ וְלֹא מִקְרָא מָלֵא הוּא (יחזקאל כא, לא): כֹּה אָמַר ה' [א] הָסִיר הַמִּצְנֶפֶת וְהָרִים הָעֲטָרָה זֹאת לֹא זֹאת הַשָּׁפָלָה הַגְּבֵּהַּ וְהַגָּבֹהַּ הַשְׁפִּיל, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אִלּוּ לֹא עָלִיתִי אֶלָּא לִשְׁמֹעַ דָּבָר זֶה דַּי. רַב הוּנָא רֵישׁ גָּלוּתָא שָׁאַל לְרַבִּי חִסְדַּאי מַה דֵּין דִּכְתִיב הָסִיר הַמִּצְנֶפֶת וְהָרִים הָעֲטָרָה, אָמַר לוֹ, הָסִיר הַמִּצְנֶפֶת מֵרַבּוֹתֵינוּ, וְהָרִים הָעֲטָרָה מֵאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם. אָמַר לוֹ, אַתְּ חֶסֶד וּמַה לְּךָ חָסֶד.

This is what the scripture says: "Small and great alike are there, and the slave is free of his master" (Job 3:19). Rabbi Simon said: "this is one of four verses which are like to one another. "Small and great alike are there": this is the world, who is small is able to be made great and who is great is able to be made small, but in the one that is going to come, who is small will not be able to be made great and who is great will not be able to be made small. "And the slave is free of his master": this is the one who does the will of his creator (yotzer) but displeases his yetzer; death becomes his freedom, as it is said "And the slave is free of his master". Rabbi Meyasha son of Bereh of Rabbi Joshua was insensate for three days because he was sick, and after the three days his sense revived itself, and his father said to him "where were you?". He said to him: "I was in a confused world". And his father said to him: "And what did you see there?" And R. Meyasha said to him: "I saw the multitude of the sons of man now in glory and then in disgrace". And when Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish heard they came to visit him. He said to them "Did you really hear what this youth said?". And they said to him: "What did he say?". He told them of the matter. Reish Lakish said: "And is that not a whole verse: "thus said the Lord God: Remove the turban and lift off the crown! This shall not remain as it is; exalt the low and abase the high (Ezekiel 21:31)?". Rabbi Yochanan said: "Were I not to have come up except to his the matter, this would be enough". Rabbi Huna, the Exilarch, asked Rabbi Chisdai: "What is this that is written "Remove the turban and lift off the crown!"? And he said to him "Remove the turban" from our rabbis, and "lift off the crown" from the kingdoms of the world. He said to him "you are named chesed (i.e. Chisdai) and what you have is chased.

2 ב

כְּתִיב (קהלת ט, ד): כִּי מִי אֲשֶׁר יְחֻבַּר וגו', תַּמָן תְּנֵינַן הָרוֹאֶה עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים מַה הוּא אוֹמֵר, בָּרוּךְ נוֹתֵן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם לְעוֹבְרֵי רְצוֹנוֹ. מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּעֶקְרָה עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים מִמֶּנּוּ, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁעָקַר עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים מֵאַרְצֵנוּ. וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁתַּעֲקֹר אוֹתָהּ מִכָּל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת וְתָשׁוּב לֵב עוֹבְדֶיהָ לְעָבְדְּךָ בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם, וְלֹא נִמְצָא מִתְפַּלֵּל עַל הָרְשָׁעִים. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן יְבֻחַר כְּתִיב, אֲפִלּוּ כָּל אוֹתָן שֶׁפָּשְׁטוּ יְדֵיהֶם בַּזְּבוּל יֵשׁ בִּטָּחוֹן, לְהַחֲיוֹת אוֹתָם אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁכְּבָר פָּשְׁטוּ יְדֵיהֶם בַּזְּבוּל, לְכַלּוֹתָם אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁכְּבָר עָשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה, עֲלֵיהֶם הוּא אוֹמֵר (ירמיה נא, לט): וְיָשְׁנוּ שְׁנַת עוֹלָם וְלֹא יָקִיצוּ. תַּנְיָא קְטַנֵי גוֹיִם וְחֵילוֹתָיו שֶׁל נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר לֹא חַיִּים וְלֹא נִדּוֹנִים, וַעֲלֵיהֶם הוּא אוֹמֵר: וְיָשְׁנוּ שְׁנַת עוֹלָם וְלֹא יָקִיצוּ. (קהלת ט, ד): כִּי לְכֶלֶב חַי הוּא טוֹב מִן הָאַרְיֵה הַמֵּת, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה מִי שֶׁהוּא כֶּלֶב, לְהֵעָשׂוֹת אֲרִי הוּא יָכוֹל. וּמִי שֶׁהוּא אֲרִי, יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת כֶּלֶב. אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, מִי שֶׁהוּא אֲרִי אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת כֶּלֶב, וְכָל מִי שֶׁהוּא כֶּלֶב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהֵעָשׂוֹת אֲרִי. אַדְרִיָּאנוֹס שְׁחִיק טַמְיָא שָׁאַל לְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן חֲנַנְיָה, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אֲנָא טָב מִמּשֶׁה רַבָּךְ, אֲמַר לֵיהּ, לָמָּה, דַּאֲנָא חַי וְהוּא מֵת, וּכְתִיב: כִּי לְכֶלֶב חַי טוֹב מִן הָאַרְיֵה הַמֵּת. אֲמַר לֵיהּ יָכוֹל אַתְּ לִגְזֹר דְּלָא יַדְלֵק בַּר נָשׁ נוּר תְּלָתָא יוֹמִין, אֲמַר לֵיהּ, אִין. לְעִידָּן עַמְיָא סָלְקוּן תַּרְוֵיהוֹן עַל אִיגַר פָּלָטִין חֲמֵי תְּנָנָא סָלֵיק מִן רְחִיק, אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַה כֵּן, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אִיפַרְכִּיָא בִּישׁ, עָאל אַסְיָא וּבַקַּר יָתֵיהּ, וַאֲמַר לֵיהּ עַד דְּשָׁתֵי חֲמִימֵי לָא מִיתַּסֵּי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ תִּפַּח רוּחֵיהּ, עַד דְאַתְּ קַיָּם בָּטְלָה גְּזֵרָתְךָ, וּמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁגָּזַר עָלֵינוּ (שמות לה, ג): לֹא תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ בְּכֹל משְׁבֹתֵיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, לָא מַדְלֵיק יְהוּדָאי נוּר בְּשַׁבְּתָא מִיּוֹמוֹהִי, וַעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְבַּטְּלָה גְּזֵרָתוֹ עַד הַשְׁתָּא, אֲמַרְתְּ אַתְּ כֵּן דַּאֲנָא טָב מִינֵיהּ. (תהלים לט, ה): הוֹדִיעֵנִי ה' קִצִּי וּמִדַּת יָמַי מַה הִיא, אָמַר דָּוִד לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָם אוֹדַע לִי אֵימָתַי אֲנָא מָיֵית, אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָזָא הִיא דְּלָא מִתְגַּלֵּי לְבַר נָשׁ וְלֵית אֶפְשָׁר דְּיִתְגַּלֵּי לָךְ. וּמִדַּת יָמַי מַה הִיא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ שַׁבְעִין שְׁנִין. וְאֵדְעָה מֶה חָדֵל אָנִי, אוֹדַע לִי בְּהָדֵין יוֹמָא אֲנָא מָיֵית, אָמַר לוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת. אֲמַר לֵיהּ פַּחֵית לִי חַד יוֹמָא, אָמַר לוֹ לֹא. אָמַר לוֹ לָמָּה, אָמַר לוֹ חֲבִיבָה עָלַי תְּפִלָּה אַחַת שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹמֵד וּמִתְפַּלֵּל לְפָנַי מֵאֶלֶף עוֹלוֹת שֶׁעָתִיד שְׁלֹמֹה בִּנְךָ לְהַעֲלוֹת לְפָנַי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א ג, ד): אֶלֶף עֹלוֹת יַעֲלֶה שְׁלֹמֹה עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַהוּא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אוֹסֵיף לִי חַד יוֹמָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ לָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ לָמָּה, אָמַר לֵיהּ אַרְכִי שֶׁל בִּנְךָ דּוֹחֶקֶת, דְּאָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר אַבָּא בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן, אַרְכִיּוֹת אַרְכִיּוֹת הֵן וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן נִכְנָס לְתוֹךְ אַרְכִי שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ כִּמְלֹא נִימָא. וּמֵת בַּעֲצֶרֶת שֶׁחָל לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת, וְסָלְקָה סַנְהֶדְּרִין מֶחְמְיָיא אַפִּין לִשְׁלֹמֹה, אֲמַר לְהוֹן מַעֲבַר יָתֵיהּ מֵאֲתַר לַאֲתַר, אָמְרִין לֵיהּ וְלָאו מַתְנִיתָּא הִיא סָכִין וּמְדִיחִין וּבִלְבָד שֶׁלֹא יָזִיז אֵבָר. אָמַר כְּלָבִים שֶׁל בֵּית אַבָּא רְעֵבִין, אָמְרִין לֵיהּ וְלָא מַתְנִיתָּא הִיא מְחַתְּכִין אֶת הַדְּלוּעִים לִפְנֵי הַבְּהֵמָה וְאֶת הַנְּבֵלָה לִפְנֵי הַכְּלָבִים. מֶה עָשָׂה נָטַל פִּיפְקִין וּפָרַשׂ עָלָיו כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹא תֵּרֵד הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים לַנְּשָׁרִים קְרָא וּפָרְשׂוּ עָלָיו אֲגַפֵּיהוֹן כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹא תֵּרֵד עָלָיו הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ.

It is written: "For he who is reckoned among the living has something to look forward to—even a live dog is better than a dead lion (Ecclesiastes 9:4)". The tannaim taught: "The one who sees an idol, what does he say? "Blessed is the one who gives compassion to those who transgress his will". A place where idolatry has been torn out from it? "Blessed is the one who tears out idolatry from our land. And thus may it be your will, Hashem, our God, that you tear it our from every place and you will turn the heart of those who serve it to your service with a whole heart". But is one not found to pray for the wicked? Rabbi Yochanan says: "it is written "chosen (yevuhar "reckoned")". Even all those who stretched for their hands against the Temple, there is hope for them. To resurrect them, it is not possible as they already stretched forth their hands to the Temple. To destroy them is not possible since they have already made repentance. He says about them: "And then sleep an endless sleep, never to awake (Jeremiah 51:39)". "Even a live dog is better than a dead lion (Ecclesiastes 9:4)": in this world he who is a dog may be made into a lion and he who is a lion may be made into a dog. But, in the one to come, he who is a lion will not be able to be made a dog, and everyone who is a dog will not be able to be made into a lion. The Emperor Hadrian, may his bones rot, asked Rabbi Joshua son of Chananyah, and he said to him: "I am better than Moses, your rabbi." And Joshua said to him: "Why?" "Because I am alive and he is dead, as it is written "Even a live dog is better than a dead lion". He said to him, are you able to decree that no one kindle a light for three days?" Hadrian said: "Yes". In the evening they went together onto the roof of the palace, and they saw smoke from a distance! He said to him: "What's this?" And Hadrian replied to him: "a sick eparch came and the doctor saw him and said to him "Only if you drink hot water he will get better"". And he said to him: "May his spirit die, as your decree while you are alive is nullified, and Moses, our Rabbi, from the time that he decreed on us "You shall kindle no fire throughout your settlements on the sabbath day (Exodus 35:3)" no Jew lights a light on the day of Shabbat, and even now his decree is not nullified, but you said "I am better than him!"". "Tell me, O Hashem, what my term is, what is the measure of my days; I would know how fleeting my life is (Psalm 39:5)". David said before the Holy One, Blessed is He: "Lord of the world make know to me when I will die". God said to him: "That is a secret and it is not revealed to a human and it is not possible to reveal it to you." David: "And the measure of my days, what are they?" God said to him "Seventy". David: "I would know, what is my end? Reveal to me on what day I will die." God said to him: "On Shabbat". And he said to him: "Subtract one day for me". God said to him: "No". David asked "Why?". God said to him: "Precious to me is one prayer which you stand and pray before me than a thousand offerings that Solomon your son is going to bring before me, as it is said: "on that altar Solomon presented a thousand burnt offerings (1 Kings 3:4)". And David said to God: "Then add a day for me". God said to him "No". And David asked "Why?" He said to him: "The era of your son is pressing". About this Rabbi Shimon son of Abba in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: "Eras are eras and one of them cannot meet in the middle of the era of its neighbor, even a little bit". And David died on Atzeret [Shavuot] that was on Shabbat, and the Sanhedrin went out to meet with Solomon and he said to them: "move him here and there". They responded to him: "This is the Mishnah: they anoint and wash so long as it is not moved (Shabbat 23:5)". And Solomon said: "The dogs of my father's house are hungry". And they said to him: "This is the Mishnah: they cut up gourds before an animal, a corpse, and before dogs (Shabbat 24:4)". What did he do? He stretched out a canopy and spread it out over him so the sun would not descend and there are those who say that he called eagles and they spread out over him their wings so that the sun would not descend on him.

3 ג

אָמַר (קהלת א, טו): מְעֻוָּת לֹא יוּכַל לִתְקֹן וְחֶסְרוֹן לֹא יוּכַל לְהִמָּנוֹת, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה מִי שֶׁהוּא מְעֻוָּת יָכוֹל לִתְקֹן, וּמִי שֶׁהוּא מְתֻקָּן יָכוֹל לְעַוֵּת, אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא מִי שֶׁהוּא מְעֻוָּת אֵין יָכוֹל לִתְקֹן, וּמִי שֶׁהוּא מְתֻקָּן אֵין יָכוֹל לְעַוֵּת. וְחֶסְרוֹן לֹא יוּכַל לְהִמָּנוֹת, יֵשׁ מֵהָרְשָׁעִים שֶׁמִּזְדַּוְּגִין זֶה עִם זֶה בָּעוֹלָם, אֶחָד מֵהֶן עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ וְאֶחָד לֹא עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה, נִמְצָא זֶה עוֹמֵד בַּחֲבוּרַת הַצַּדִּיקִים, וְזֶה עוֹמֵד בַּחֲבוּרַת הָרְשָׁעִים, וְהוּא רוֹאֶה אוֹתוֹ וְאוֹמֵר אוֹי לִי שֶׁמָּא מַשֹּׂוֹא פָנִים יֵשׁ בַּדָּבָר, אֲנִי וְזֶה גָנַבְנוּ, אֲנִי וְזֶה הָרַגְנוּ כְּאֶחָת, זֶה עוֹמֵד בַּחֲבוּרַת צַדִּיקִים וַאֲנִי בַּחֲבוּרַת רְשָׁעִים. וְהֵן מְשִׁיבִין וְאוֹמְרִין לוֹ, שׁוֹטֶה שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם, מְנֻוָּל הָיִיתָ וּמֻשְׁלָךְ לְאַחַר מִיתָתְךָ שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים, וְלֹא בַּחֲבָלִים גְרָרוּךָ לַקֶּבֶר (ישעיה יד, יא): תַּחְתֶּיךָ יֻצַּע רִמָּה וּמְכַסֶּיךָ תּוֹלֵעָה, כְּשֶׁהֵבִין זֶה חֲבֵרְךָ שָׁב מֵאוֹתוֹ הַדֶּרֶךְ, וְאַתָּה הָיִיתָ סְפֵקָה לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה וְלֹא עָשִׂיתָ. אוֹמֵר לָהֶם הֲנִיחוּנִי שֶׁאֵלֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה, וְהֵן מְשִׁיבִין לוֹ וְאוֹמְרִין, שׁוֹטֶה שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם, אֵין אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁעוֹלָם זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְשַׁבָּת וְעוֹלָם שֶׁבָּאתָ מִמֶּנּוּ דּוֹמֶה לְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת, אִם אֵין אָדָם מְתַקֵּן בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מַה יֹּאכַל בְּשַׁבָּת. וְעוֹד עוֹלָם זֶה דּוֹמֶה לַיָּם וְעוֹלָם שֶׁבָּאתָ מִמֶּנוּ דּוֹמֶה לַיַּבָּשָׁה, אִם אֵין אָדָם מְתַקֵּן בַּיַּבָּשָׁה מַה יֹּאכַל בַּיָּם. וְעוֹד הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה דּוֹמֶה לַמִּדְבָּר וְעוֹלָם שֶׁבָּאתָ מִמֶּנּוּ דּוֹמֶה לַיִּשׁוּב, אִם אֵין אָדָם מְתַקֵּן בַּיִּשׁוּב מַה יֹּאכַל בַּמִּדְבָּר. מַהוּ עוֹשֶׂה חוֹבֵק אֶת יָדָיו וְאוֹכֵל אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת ד, ה): הַכְּסִיל חֹבֵק אֶת יָדָיו וְאֹכֵל אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ. וְהוּא אוֹמֵר הַנִּיחוּנִי שֶׁאֶרְאֶה אֶת חֲבֵרִי בִּכְבוֹדוֹ, וּמְשִׁיבִין וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ, שׁוֹטֶה שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם, מְצֻוִּין מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה אָנוּ שֶׁלֹא יַעַמְדוּ רְשָׁעִים בְּצַד צַדִּיקִים, וְלֹא צַדִּיקִים בְּצַד רְשָׁעִים, וְלֹא טְמֵאִים בְּצַד טְהוֹרִים, וְלֹא טְהוֹרִים בְּצַד טְמֵאִים, וְעַל מָה אָנוּ מְצֻוִּין עַל הַשַּׁעַר הַזֶּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קיח, כ): זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַה' צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ.

He said: ""A twisted thing that cannot be made straight, a lack that cannot be made good (Ecclesiastes 1:15)". In this world he who is twisted can be made straight and he who is straight can be made twisted, but in the one that will come, he who is twisted will not be able to be made straight, and he who is straight may not be able to be made twisted. "A lack that cannot be made good" that is from the wicked who were partnered, one with another in the world. One of these made repentance before his death and one did not make repentance. This former was found standing in the congregation of the righteous and the latter was standing among the congregation of the wicked. And he saw the other and said: "Woe is me, for is it that there is favoritism in the issue? I and this man, we stole; I and this man, we killed as one, but this one is standing in the congregation of the righteous and I in the congregation of the wicked!" And they turned and said to him: "You who were a fool in the world, you were disgraced and were thrown onto your bed for three days, and were you not dragged by ropes for burial: "Worms are to be your bed, Maggots your blanket! (Isaiah 14:11)". As this friend of yours knew to return from that path, but you were in turn able to make repentance and you did not!" And he said to them: "Allow me and I will go and do repentance". And they turned to him and said: "Fool in the world, do you not know that this world is like Shabbat, and the world which you have come from is like Shabbat eve? If a man is not straight on Shabbat, how will he be able to be so on Shabbat"? And further this world is like the sea and the world which you have come from is like the dry land. If a man is not straight on dry land how will he be so on the sea? And further, this world is like the desert, and the world which you have come from is like the inhabited land. If a man is not straight in the inhabited land, how will he be straight in the desert? He clasps his hands and eats his flesh, as it is said: "The fool folds his hands together And has to eat his own flesh (Ecclesiastes 4:5)". And he said: "Allow me and I will see my friend in his glory". And they turned and said to him: "Fool in the world, we are commanded by the mouth of the Mighty One that the wicked do not stand at the side of the righteous and the righteous by the side of the wicked, and the impure not by the side of the pure and the pure not by the side of the impure, and because of what are we commanded about this gate? As it is said: "This is the gateway to Hashem— the righteous shall enter through it (Psalms 118:20)".

4 ד

דִּילָמָא רַבִּי חִיָּא רַבָּה וְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן חֲלַפְתָּא הֲווֹ יָתְבִין לָעֲיִין בְּאוֹרָיְיתָא בַּהֲדֵין בֵּית מִדְרָשָׁא רַבָּא דִּטְבֶרְיָא בַּעֲרוּבַת פִּסְחָא, וְאִית דְּאָמְרֵי בַּעֲרוּבַת צוֹמָא רַבָּא, וּשְׁמַעֵי קָלְהוֹן דִּבְרִיָּיאתָא בָּיְיבִין, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אִילֵּין בְּרִיָּיתָא מָה עִסְקוֹן, אֲמַר דְּאִית לֵיהּ זָבַן וּדְלֵית לֵיהּ אָזֵיל לְגַבֵּי מָרֵי עֲבִדְתֵּיהּ וְהוּא יָהֵיב לֵיהּ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אִם כֵּן הוּא אַף אֲנָא אִיזֵיל גַּבֵּי מָרֵי עֲבִדְתִּי וְהוּא יָהֵב לִי, נְפַק וְצַלֵּי בַּהֲדָא אִילוּסִיס דִּטְבֶרְיָא, וַחֲזָא חַד יְדָא מוֹשְׁטָא לֵיהּ חֲדָא מַרְגָּלִיתָא, אֲזַל טָעִין גַּבֵּי רַבֵּנוּ, אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָדָא מְנָא אִית לָךְ, הָדָא מִילָא דְאִיסְטוֹפִיטָא הִיא, אֶלָּא הֵא לָךְ תְּלָתָא דִינָרִין, וַאֲזֵל וַעֲבֵד לִיקָרָא דְיוֹמָא, וּבָתַר יוֹמָא טָבָא אֲנַן שָׁטְחִין קָלֵיהּ וּמַה דְּהוּא עָבֵיד טִימִיתַהּ תִּיסַב. נְסַב תְּלָתָא דִינָרִין וַאֲזֵיל זְבַן זְבוּנִין וְעָל לְבֵיתֵיהּ, אָמְרָה לֵיהּ דְּבִיתְהוּ שִׁמְעוֹן שָׁרֵית גָּנֵיב, כָּל פָּעֳלָךְ לֵית הִיא אֶלָּא מְאָה מָנֶה וְאִילֵין זְבִינָתָה מָה אִינוּן, מִיָּד תַּנֵּי לָהּ עוֹבָדָא. אָמְרָה לֵיהּ מַאי אַתְּ בָּעֵי תְּהֵי גְּנוּנָךְ חָסֵר מִן דְּחַבְרָךְ חֲדָא מַרְגָּלִיתָא לְעַלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. אֲמַר לָהּ וּמַה נַּעֲבֵד, אָמְרָה לֵיהּ זִיל תַּחֲזוֹר זְבִינָתָא לְמָרֵיהוֹן וְדִינָרַיָּא לְמָרֵיהוֹן וּמַרְגָּלִיתָא לְמָרָא. כַּד שָׁמַע רַבֵּינוּ מִצְטָעֵר, שְׁלַח וְאַיְתֵיתַהּ, אֲמַר לָהּ כָּל הָדֵין צַעְרָא צְעַרְתְּ לְהָדֵין צַדִיקָא. אָמְרָה לֵיהּ מָה אַתְּ בָּעֵי דִּיהֵא גְּנוּנֵיהּ חָסֵר מִדִּידְכוֹן חֲדָא מַרְגָּלִיתָא לְעַלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. אֲמַר לָהּ וְאִין הֲוָה חָסֵר לֵית בָּן מְמַלְּיָיה יָתֵיהּ. אָמְרָה לֵיהּ רַבִּי בַּהֲדֵין עַלְמָא זְכֵינַן מֶחֱמֵי אַפָּךְ, וְלֹא אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ כָּל צַדִּיק וְצַדִּיק יֵשׁ לוֹ מָדוֹר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, וְהוֹדָה לָהּ. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁדַּרְכָּן שֶׁל עֶלְיוֹנִים לִתֵּן וְאֵין דַּרְכָּן לִטֹּל, הַנֵּס הָאַחֲרוֹן קָשֶׁה מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן, מִנְסֵיב לֵיהּ הֲוָת יְדָא אַרְעֲיָא [למטה], וּמִי מוֹשְׁטָא לֵיהּ הֲוָה יְדָא עִילָּאָה, כְּאִינִישׁ דְּמוֹזֵיף לְחַבְרֵיהּ.

Here is an illustration. Rabbi Chiyya the elder and Rabbi Shimon the son of Chalafta were studying in a session of the Torah in this great house of study in Tiberias on the eve of Passover, but there are those who say on the eve of the great Fast [Yom Kippur], and they heard the noise of the crowd making a ruckus. And he said on the outer benches: "What's the commotion?". He said: "He who has something buys, and he who does not have something is going to the master of his servitude and he is making him give to him". And he said: "If this is so, I will go to the master of my servitude and make him give to me". He went and he prayed at the Eleusis of Tiberias, and he saw some hand holding out to him an expensive pearl, and he went taking it to his master, our Rabbi [Yehudah]. He said to him: "How did this come to be yours? Wow, it is priceless! So now here are three dinars for you. Go and get your needs for the festival and after the festival we will go and announce it and what price we get for it you will have". So he took the three dinars and went and bought his purchases and went home. And his wife said to him at home "Shimon, are you a thief? The whole estate that is yours, it is only worth 100 maneh and with what did you make these purchases? He told her the whole matter. She said to him: "What is your desire? Would you lessen your bridal chamber from your companion by one pearl in the world to come?" He said to her: "What should be done?" She said to him "Go and return the purchases to their masters and the dinars to their master and the pearl to its master". When our Rabbi [Yehudah] heard, he was distressed. He sent and had her come, and he said to her: "All this distress you have distressed this righteous man!" She said to him: "What is your desire? Would you lessen your bridal chamber from your companion by one pearl in the world to come?" He said to her: "And if it is lessened, can it not be replaced?" She said to him: "Rabbi, in this world we are worthy to look upon your face, but did not Reish Lakish say: "For every righteous man there is a righteous chamber all to himself?"" And he yielded to her. [She continued] "and further, is it not the way of those in the upper world to give and their way is not to receive?". The later miracle was weightier than the previous. Receiving it his [Shimon's] hand was towards the earth and giving it back his hand was facing toward the sky, like a man who lends to his friend!

5 ה

וַתֵּרֶא כִּי מִתְאַמֶּצֶת הִיא לָלֶכֶת אִתָּה (רות א, יח), אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּרַבִּי סִימוֹן בּוֹא וּרְאֵה כַּמָּה חֲבִיבִים הַגֵּרִים לִפְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנָּתְנָה דַעְתָּהּ לְהִתְגַּיֵּר הִשְׁוָהּ הַכָּתוּב לְנָעֳמִי.

"When [Naomi] saw how determined she was to go with her, she ceased to argue with her. (Ruth 1:18): Rabbi Yehudah the son of Rabbi Simon said: "Come and see how precious are the converts before the Place. As soon as she who gave her decision to convert, she is written of as equal to Naomi".

6 ו

וַתֵּלַכְנָה שְׁתֵּיהֶן (רות א, יח), אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בְּרַבִּי סִימוֹן, אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם קְצִיר הָעֹמֶר הָיָה, דִּתְנֵינַן תַּמָּן כָּל הָעֲיָרוֹת הַסְּמוּכוֹת לְשָׁם הָיוּ מִתְכַּנְּסוֹת, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְהֵא נִקְצָר בְּעֵסֶק גָּדוֹל. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים אִבְצָן הָיָה מַשִֹּׂיא אֶת בְּנוֹתָיו אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם. רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי עֲזַרְיָה וְרַבִּי מְנַחֲמָא בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּר אָבִין כְּתִיב (תהלים פט, ט): ה' צְבָאוֹת מִי כָמוֹךָ חֲסִין יָהּ, שֶׁמּוֹצִיא דְבָרִים בְּעוֹנָתָן, אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל בֹּעַז מֵתָה בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם, וְנִתְכַּנְּסוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל לִגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וְזִיל כָּל עַמָּא לִגְמִילוּת חִסְדָּא, נִכְנְסָה רוּת עִם נָעֳמִי, וְהָיְתָה זוֹ יוֹצֵאת, וְזוֹ נִכְנְסָה. וַתֵּהוֹם כָּל הָעִיר עֲלֵיהֶן וַתֹּאמַרְנָה הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי, זוֹ הִיא שֶׁמַּעֲשֶׂיהָ נָאִים וּנְעִימִים, לְשֶׁעָבַר הָיְתָה מְהַלֶּכֶת בְּאִיסְקַפְּטִיאוֹת שֶׁלָּהּ, וְעַכְשָׁיו הִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת יְחֵפָה, וְאַתְּ אֲמַרְתְּ הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי, לְשֶׁעָבַר הָיְתָה מְכֻסָּה בְּבִגְדֵי מֵילָתִין, וְעַכְשָׁיו הִיא מְכֻסָּה בִּסְמַרְטוּטִין, וְאַתְּ אֲמַרְתְּ הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי, לְשֶׁעָבַר הָיוּ פָּנֶיהָ מַאֲדִימוֹת מִכֹּחַ מַאֲכָל וּמִשְׁתֶּה, וְעַכְשָׁיו פָּנֶיהָ מוֹרִיקוֹת מִן רְעָבוֹן, וְאַתְּ אֲמַרְתְּ הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי, וְאוֹמֶרֶת לָהֶן, אַל תִּקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי קְרֶאןָ לִי מָרָא, בַּר קַפָּרָא אָמַר לְפָרָה הֶדְיוֹטִית שֶׁהֶעֱמִידוּהָ בְּעָלֶיהָ בַּשּׁוּק, אָמַר, רַדְיָנִית הִיא, וּמַשְׁוָה תְּלָמִים תְּלָמִים הִיא. אָמְרִין אִין רַדְיָנִית אִילֵין מַכּוֹתֶיהָ דְּאִית בָּהּ מָה אִינוּן. כָּךְ אָמְרָה נָעֳמִי, לָמָּה, וַה' עָנָה בִי וְשַׁדַּי הֵרַע לִי.

"And the two went on until they reached Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole city buzzed with excitement over them. The women said, “Can this be Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19)": Rabbi Samuel, son of Rabbi Simon said: "That was the day of harvesting the omer". The tannaim teach that all the nearby cities to there were assembled so that it might be harvested with a big to-do. And there are others who say that Ibzan married off his daughters on that day. Rabbi Tanchuma in the name of Rabbi Azaryah and Rabbi Menachama in the name of Rabbi Joshua the son of Avin: "It is written: "O Hashem, God of hosts, who is mighty like You, O Yah? (Psalms 89:9)" who brings forth matters in their due season? The wife of Boaz had died on that day, and all Israel had assembled for acts of charity, and [in Aramaic] all the people had gone out for acts of charity, and Ruth gathered with Naomi, and as one was going out the other was assembling. "the whole city buzzed with excitement over them. The women said, “Can this be Naomi?” she whose works are pleasant (naʾim) and pleasing (neʿimim)? In times past she was carried around on her litter, and now she is walking uncovered, and you say “Can this be Naomi?”". In times past she was covered in garments of very soft wool, and now she is covered in rags, and you say “Can this be Naomi?”". In times past her face was flushed from the strength of food and drink, and now her face is wan from hunger, and you say “Can this be Naomi?”". And she said to them: "Do not call me Naomi...Call me Mara, for Shaddai has made my lot very bitter (Ruth 1:20)". Bar Kappara said: "Like a normal ox which they have brought into the market, he says "she is a plow ox and she plows sure furrows". They reply: "if she is a plow ox, and why are there whip marks on her?" Thus Naomi said: "Why? Hashem has afflicted me and Shaddai has made my lot very bitter".

7 ז

אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי וְרֵיקָם הֱשִׁיבַנִי ה' (רות א, כא), מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי בְּבָנִים וּמְלֵאָה בְּבָנוֹת. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי, שֶׁהָיִיתִי מְעֻבֶּרֶת. לָמָּה תִקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי וַה' עָנָה בִי, עָנָה בִי מִדַּת הַדִּין, הֵיאַךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (שמות כב, כב): אִם עַנֵּה תְעַנֶּה אֹתוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַה' עָנָה בִי, הֵעִיד עָלַי, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (דברים יט, יח): שֶׁקֶר עָנָה בְאָחִיו. דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַה' עָנָה בִי, כָּל עִנְיָנֶיהָ לָא הֲוָה אֶלָּא בִי, לְפִי שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וַה' עָנָה בִי, אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא מַה כְּתִיב (ירמיה לב, מא): וְשַׂשְׂתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם לְהֵטִיב אוֹתָם.

"I went away full, and Hashem has brought me back empty. How can you call me Naomi, when Hashem has dealt harshly with me, when Shaddai has brought misfortune upon me! (Ruth 1:21)". "I went away full with sons and full with daughters. Another explanation: "I went away full" that is I was pregnant. "How can you call me Naomi, when Hashem has dealt harshly with me": " has dealt harshly ('anah) with me: the measure of judgment, and how can you tell? It said: "If you do mistreat them ('anneh te'anneh), I will heed their outcry as soon as they cry out to Me (Exodus 22:22)". Another explanation: " when Hashem has dealt harshly with me": he bore witness against me. How do you say that? It said: "if he has testified falsely ('anah) against his fellow (Deuteronomy 19:18)". Another explanation: " when Hashem has dealt harshly with me": all of his attention was not to anyone except toward me, because in this world " Hashem has dealt harshly with me", but in the one to come, what is written? "I will delight in treating them graciously, and I will plant them in this land faithfully, with all My heart and soul (Jeremiah 32:41)".