Sanhedrin 110aסנהדרין ק״י א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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110aק״י א

וסתרתה למזיה כל דאתא חזיה הדר אדהכי והכי אבלעו להו

and exposed her hair as though she were bathing. Anyone who came and saw her stepped back. In the meantime the assembly of Korah was swallowed into the ground, and On, son of Peleth, was spared.

איתתיה דקרח אמרה ליה חזי מאי קעביד משה איהו הוה מלכא לאחוה שוויה כהנא רבא לבני אחוהי שוינהו סגני דכהנא אי אתיא תרומה אמר תיהוי לכהן אי אתו מעשר דשקילתו אתון אמר הבו חד מי' לכהן ועוד דגייז ליה למזייכו ומיטלל לכו כי כופתא עינא יהב במזייכו אמר לה הא איהו נמי קא עביד אמרה ליה כיון דכולהו רבותא דידיה אמר איהו נמי (שופטים טז, ל) תמות נפשי עם פלשתים

Korah’s wife said to him: See what Moses is doing. He is the king, he appointed his brother High Priest, and he appointed his brother’s sons deputy priests. If teruma comes, he says: Let it be for the priest; if the first tithe comes, which you as Levites take, he says: Give one tenth to the priest. And furthermore, he shears your hair and waves you as if you are as insignificant as excrement (see Numbers 8:5–11), as though he set his sights on your hair and wishes you to be shaven and unsightly. Korah said to her: But didn’t he also do so; he shaved his hair like the rest of the Levites? She said to him: Since it is all done for his own prominence, he also said metaphorically: “Let me die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30); he was willing to humiliate himself in order to humiliate you.

ועוד דקאמר לכו עבדיתו תכלתא אי ס"ד תכלתא חשיבא [מצוה] אפיק גלימי דתכלתא וכסינהו לכולהו מתיבתך היינו דכתיב (משלי יד, א) חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה זו אשתו של און בן פלת ואולת בידה תהרסנה זו אשתו של קרח

She said to him: And furthermore, with regard to that which he said to you, to prepare sky-blue dye for your ritual fringes, one could respond to him: If it enters your mind, Moses, that using sky-blue dye is considered a mitzva, take out robes that are made entirely of material colored with sky-blue dye, and dress all the students of your academy in sky-blue robes without ritual fringes; why could one not fulfill the mitzva in that manner? Clearly, Moses is fabricating all this. This is the meaning of that which is written: “The wisdom of women builds her house” (Proverbs 14:1); this is referring to the wife of On, son of Peleth. And: “Folly plucks it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1); this is referring to the wife of Korah.

(במדבר טז, ב) ויקומו לפני משה ואנשים מבני ישראל חמשים ומאתים מיוחדים שבעדה קריאי מועד שהיו יודעים לעבר שנים ולקבוע חדשים אנשי שם שהיה להם שם בכל העולם

It is written: “And they arose before Moses, with men from the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2). These men were the distinctive people of the assembly. “The elect men of the assembly [keri’ei moed]” is referring to those who knew how to intercalate the years and establish the months in order to determine the time for each Festival [moed]. “Men of renown [shem],” is referring to those who had a reputation [shem] throughout the world.

(במדבר טז, ד) וישמע משה ויפול על פניו מה שמועה שמע אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן שחשדוהו מאשת איש שנאמר (תהלים קו, טז) ויקנאו למשה במחנה א"ר שמואל בר יצחק מלמד שכל אחד ואחד קנא את אשתו ממשה שנאמר (שמות לג, ז) ומשה יקח את האהל ונטה לו מחוץ למחנה

With regard to the verse: “And Moses heard and he fell on his face” (Numbers 16:4), the Gemara asks: What report did he hear that elicited that reaction? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: He heard that they suspected him of adultery with a married woman, as it is stated: “And they were jealous of Moses in the camp” (Psalms 106:16). Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzḥak says: This teaches that each and every man warned his wife to distance herself from Moses and not enter into seclusion with him, as it is stated: “And Moses would take the tent and pitch it outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7). It was due to this slander that he withdrew from the camp.

(במדבר טז, כה) ויקם משה וילך אל דתן ואבירם אמר ר"ל מכאן שאין מחזיקין במחלוקת דאמר רב כל המחזיק במחלוקת עובר בלאו שנאמר (במדבר יז, ה) ולא יהיה כקרח וכעדתו

§ With regard to the verse: “And Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram” (Numbers 16:25), Reish Lakish says: From here we derive that one may not perpetuate a dispute, as Rav says: Anyone who perpetuates a dispute violates a prohibition, as it is stated: “And he will not be like Korah and his assembly, as the Lord spoke by the hand of Moses to him” (Numbers 17:5). Even the aggrieved party must seek to end the dispute. Dathan and Abiram accused Moses and by right should have initiated the reconciliation. Nevertheless, Moses was not insistent on this; he went to them.

רב אשי אמר ראוי ליצטרע כתיב הכא ביד משה לו וכתיב התם (שמות ד, ו) ויאמר ה' לו עוד הבא נא ידך בחיקך

Rav Ashi says: One who perpetuates a dispute is fit to be afflicted with leprosy. It is written here: “By the hand of Moses to him,” and it is written there: “And the Lord said furthermore to him: Put now your hand into your bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow” (Exodus 4:6). Based on the verbal analogy based on the term “to him” written in both verses, it is derived that the punishment for perpetuating a dispute is leprosy.

אמר ר' יוסי כל החולק על מלכות בית דוד ראוי להכישו נחש כתיב הכא (מלכים א א, ט) ויזבח אדוניהו צאן ובקר ומריא עם אבן הזוחלת וכתיב התם (דברים לב, כד) עם חמת זוחלי עפר

Apropos the prohibition of perpetuating a dispute, Rabbi Yosei says: With regard to anyone who disputes the reign of the house of David, it is fitting for a snake to bite him. As it is written here: “And Adonijah slaughtered sheep and cattle and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth” (I Kings 1:9); and it is written there: “With the poison of crawling things [zoḥalei] of the dust” (Deuteronomy 32:24). Adonijah, who rebelled against his father, King David, was fit to be bitten by a snake.

אמר רב חסדא כל החולק על רבו כחולק על השכינה שנאמר (במדבר כו, ט) בהצותם על ה' א"ר חמא ברבי חנינא כל העושה מריבה עם רבו כעושה עם שכינה שנאמר (במדבר כ, יג) המה מי מריבה אשר רבו בני ישראל (על) [את] ה'

Rav Ḥisda says: Anyone who disagrees with his teacher is like one who disagrees with the Divine Presence, as it is stated with regard to Dathan and Abiram: “When they strove against the Lord” (Numbers 26:9), although their dispute was with Moses. Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: Anyone who initiates a quarrel [meriva] with his teacher is like one who initiates a quarrel with the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “These are the waters of Meribah, where the children of Israel quarreled with the Lord” (Numbers 20:13), although their quarrel was with Moses.

א"ר חנינא בר פפא כל המתרעם על רבו כאילו מתרעם על השכינה שנאמר (שמות טז, ח) לא עלינו תלונותיכם כי (אם) על ה' א"ר אבהו כל המהרהר אחר רבו כאילו מהרהר אחר שכינה שנאמר (במדבר כא, ה) וידבר העם באלהים ובמשה

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: Anyone who expresses resentment against his teacher for wronging him, it is as though he is expressing resentment against the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord” (Exodus 16:8). Rabbi Abbahu says: Anyone who suspects his teacher of wrongdoing, it is as though he suspects the Divine Presence, as it is stated: “And the people spoke against God, and against Moses” (Numbers 21:5). The verse likens God and Moses with regard to this matter.

(קהלת ה, יב) עושר שמור לבעליו לרעתו אמר ר"ל זה עושרו של קרח (דברים יא, ו) ואת כל היקום אשר ברגליהם א"ר אלעזר זה ממונו של אדם שמעמידו על רגליו ואמר רבי לוי משוי ג' מאות פרדות לבנות היו מפתחות של בית גנזיו של קרח וכולהו אקלידי וקילפי דגילדא

§ With regard to the verse: “Wealth is kept for the owner to his detriment” (Ecclesiastes 5:12), Reish Lakish says: This is referring to the wealth of Korah, which was of no use to him. The fact that Korah was wealthy is derived from the verse: “And all the substance that was at their feet” (Deuteronomy 11:6), as Rabbi Elazar says: This is referring to a person’s property, which stands him on his feet. And Rabbi Levi says: The keys alone to Korah’s treasury were a burden requiring three hundred white mules to transport them, and moreover, all the keys [aklidei] and locks were of leather. This conveys the vastness of his wealth.

א"ר חמא ברבי חנינא ג' מטמוניות הטמין יוסף במצרים אחת נתגלתה לקרח ואחת נתגלתה לאנטונינוס בן אסוירוס ואחת גנוזה לצדיקים לעתיד לבא

Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: Joseph concealed three buried treasures in Egypt that he accumulated from the sale of grain during the years of famine. The location of one was revealed to Korah, and the location of one was revealed to Antoninus, son of Asveirus, emperor of Rome, and one remains hidden for the righteous in the future, i.e., in the messianic era.

וא"ר יוחנן קרח לא מן הבלועים ולא מן השרופין לא מן הבלועין דכתיב (במדבר טז, לב) ואת כל האדם אשר לקרח ולא קרח ולא מן השרופים דכתיב (במדבר כו, י) באכול האש את חמשים ומאתים איש ולא קרח

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Korah was neither among the swallowed nor among the burned; he died in a plague. He was neither among the swallowed, as it is written: “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses and all the men who were with Korah” (Numbers 16:32), from which it is inferred: But not Korah himself. Nor was he among the burned, as it is written: “When the fire consumed two hundred and fifty men” (Numbers 26:10), but not Korah.

במתניתא תנא קרח מן השרופין ומן הבלועין מן הבלועים דכתיב (במדבר כו, י) ותבלע אותם ואת קרח מן השרופין דכתיב (במדבר טז, לה) (ותצא אש מלפני ה') [ואש יצאה מאת ה'] ותאכל את חמשים ומאתים איש וקרח בהדייהו

It was taught in a baraita: Korah was both among the burned and among the swallowed. He was among the swallowed, as it is written: “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with Korah” (Numbers 26:10). He was among the burned, as it is written: “And fire came forth from the Lord, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that burned the incense” (Numbers 16:35), and Korah was with them.

אמר רבא מאי דכתיב (חבקוק ג, יא) שמש ירח עמד זבולה לאור חציך יהלכו מלמד שעלו שמש וירח לזבול אמרו לפניו רבש"ע אם אתה עושה דין לבן עמרם נצא ואם לאו לא נצא עד שזרק בהם חצים אמר להן בכבודי לא מחיתם בכבוד בשר ודם מחיתם והאידנא לא נפקי עד דמחו להו

Rava says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The sun and moon stand still in their habitation [zevula], at the light of Your arrows as they go” (Habakkuk 3:11)? This teaches that the sun and moon ascended to zevul, one of the seven firmaments, in which the upper Temple stands. They said before God: Master of the Universe, if You perform justice for Moses, the son of Amram, and prove his righteousness, we will emerge and illuminate the world. And if not, we will not emerge. They did not emerge until God fired arrows at them and said to them: You did not protest with regard to My honor, as people would see the sun and the moon each day and worship them, but you protested for the honor of flesh and blood? And today, the sun and the moon do not emerge until they are struck, as in deference to God they hesitate to emerge.

דרש רבא מאי דכתיב (במדבר טז, ל) ואם בריאה יברא ה' ופצתה האדמה את פיה אמר משה לפני הקב"ה אם בריאה גיהנם מוטב ואם לאו יברא ה' למאי אילימא למבריה ממש והא (קהלת א, ט) אין כל חדש תחת השמש אלא לקרובי פיתחא

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “But if the Lord creates a new creation and the earth opens its mouth” (Numbers 16:30)? Moses said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: If Gehenna is already created, good, but if not, God should create it now. The Gemara asks: For what was Moses asking? If we say that his request was for God to actually create Gehenna, but isn’t it written: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)? There are no new creations after the six days of Creation. Rather, Moses asked God to bring the opening of Gehenna close to there, so that the assembly of Korah would be buried alive.

(במדבר כו, יא) ובני קרח לא מתו תנא משום רבינו אמרו מקום נתבצר להם בגיהנם וישבו עליו ואמרו שירה אמר רבה בר בר חנה זימנא חדא הוה קאזלינא באורחא אמר לי ההוא טייעא תא ואחוי לך בלועי דקרח אזיל חזא תרי בזעי דהוה קא נפק קיטרא מנייהו שקל גבבא דעמרא אמשיי' מיא ואותביה בריש רומחיה ואחלפי' התם איחרך א"ל אצית מה שמעת ושמעית דהוו קאמרי הכי משה ותורתו אמת והן בדאים

With regard to the verse: “And the sons of Korah did not die” (Numbers 26:11), it is taught in a baraita that in the name of our teacher, the Sages said: A place was fortified for them in Gehenna and they sat upon it and recited songs of praise. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said: One time I was walking on the path, and a certain Arab said to me: Come and I will show you those from the assembly of Korah who were swallowed. I went and I saw two fissures in the ground from which smoke was emerging. That Arab took a woolen fleece and dampened it with water and placed it on the tip of his spear and passed it over the fissures there. The fleece was singed, indicating the level of heat there. He said to me: Listen; what do you hear? And I heard that this is what they were saying: Moses and his Torah are truth, and they, referring to themselves, are liars.