Sanhedrin 38bסנהדרין ל״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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38bל״ח ב

גופו מבבל וראשו מארץ ישראל ואבריו משאר ארצות עגבותיו א"ר אחא מאקרא דאגמא

his torso was fashioned from dust taken from Babylonia, and his head was fashioned from dust taken from Eretz Yisrael, the most important land, and his limbs were fashioned from dust taken from the rest of the lands in the world. With regard to his buttocks, Rav Aḥa says: They were fashioned from dust taken from Akra De’agma, on the outskirts of Babylonia.

א"ר יוחנן בר חנינא שתים עשרה שעות הוי היום שעה ראשונה הוצבר עפרו שניה נעשה גולם שלישית נמתחו אבריו רביעית נזרקה בו נשמה חמישית עמד על רגליו ששית קרא שמות שביעית נזדווגה לו חוה שמינית עלו למטה שנים וירדו ארבעה תשיעית נצטווה שלא לאכול מן האילן עשירית סרח אחת עשרה נידון שתים עשרה נטרד והלך לו שנאמר (תהלים מט, יג) אדם ביקר בל ילין

Rabbi Yoḥanan bar Ḥanina says: Daytime is twelve hours long, and the day Adam the first man was created was divided as follows: In the first hour of the day, his dust was gathered. In the second, an undefined figure was fashioned. In the third, his limbs were extended. In the fourth, a soul was cast into him. In the fifth, he stood on his legs. In the sixth, he called the creatures by the names he gave them. In the seventh, Eve was paired with him. In the eighth, they arose to the bed two, and descended four, i.e., Cain and Abel were immediately born. In the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. In the tenth, he sinned. In the eleventh, he was judged. In the twelfth, he was expelled and left the Garden of Eden, as it is stated: “But man abides not in honor; he is like the beasts that perish” (Psalms 49:13). Adam did not abide, i.e., sleep, in a place of honor for even one night.

אמר רמי בר חמא אין חיה רעה שולטת באדם אלא אם כן נדמה לו כבהמה שנאמר (תהלים מט, יג) נמשל כבהמות נדמו:

Rami bar Ḥama says in explanation of the end of that verse: A wild animal does not have power over a person unless that person seems to the wild animal like an animal, as it is stated: “He is like the beasts that perish.”

(שע"ה בסו"ף ארמ"י סימן) אמר רב יהודה א"ר בשעה שבקש הקב"ה לבראות את האדם ברא כת אחת של מלאכי השרת אמר להם רצונכם נעשה אדם בצלמנו אמרו לפניו רבש"ע מה מעשיו אמר להן כך וכך מעשיו

The Gemara presents a mnemonic for the statements that follow: At the time, to the end, Aramaic. Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: At the time that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to create a person, He created one group of ministering angels. He said to them: If you agree, let us fashion a person in our image. The angels said before him: Master of the Universe, what are the actions of this person You suggest to create? God said to them: His actions are such and such, according to human nature.

אמרו לפניו רבש"ע (תהלים ח, ה) מה אנוש כי תזכרנו ובן אדם כי תפקדנו הושיט אצבעו קטנה ביניהן ושרפם וכן כת שניה כת שלישית אמרו לפניו רבש"ע ראשונים שאמרו לפניך מה הועילו כל העולם כולו שלך הוא כל מה שאתה רוצה לעשות בעולמך עשה

The angels said before him: Master of the Universe: “What is man that You are mindful of him? And the son of man that You think of him?” (Psalms 8:5), i.e., a creature such as this is not worth creating. God outstretched His small finger among them and burned them with fire. And the same occurred with a second group of angels. The third group of angels that He asked said before Him: Master of the Universe, the first two groups who spoke their mind before You, what did they accomplish? The entire world is Yours; whatever You wish to do in Your world, do. God then created the first person.

כיון שהגיע לאנשי דור המבול ואנשי דור הפלגה שמעשיהן מקולקלין אמרו לפניו רבש"ע לא יפה אמרו ראשונים לפניך אמר להן (ישעיהו מו, ד) ועד זקנה אני הוא ועד שיבה אני אסבול וגו'

When history arrived at the time of the people of the generation of the flood and the people of the generation of the dispersion, i.e., the Tower of Babel, whose actions were ruinous, the angels said before God: Master of the Universe, didn’t the first set of angels speak appropriately before You, that human beings are not worthy of having been created? God said to them concerning humanity: “Even to your old age I am the same; and even to hoar hairs will I suffer you; I have made and I will bear; and I will carry, and I will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4), i.e., having created people, I will even suffer their flaws.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון מסוף העולם ועד סופו היה שנאמר (דברים ד, לב) למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ ולמקצה השמים ועד קצה השמים כיון שסרח הניח הקדוש ברוך הוא ידו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר (תהלים קלט, ה) אחור וקדם צרתני ותשת עלי כפכה

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Adam the first man spanned from one end of the world until the other, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of heaven unto the other” (Deuteronomy 4:32), meaning that on the day Adam was created he spanned from one end of the heavens until the other. Once Adam sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand on him and diminished him, as it is stated: “Behind and before You have created me and laid Your hand upon me” (Psalms 139:5), that at first Adam spanned “behind and before,” meaning everywhere, and then God laid His hand on him and diminished him.

אמר ר"א אדם הראשון מן הארץ עד לרקיע היה שנאמר למן היום אשר ברא אלהים אדם על הארץ ולמקצה השמים (עד קצה השמים) כיון שסרח הניח הקב"ה ידו עליו ומיעטו שנאמר אחור וקדם צרתני וגו' קשו קראי אהדדי אידי ואידי חדא מידה היא

Rabbi Elazar says: The height of Adam the first man was from the ground until the firmament, as it is stated: “Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of heaven unto the other.” Adam stood “upon the earth” and rose to the end of the heavens. Once Adam sinned, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed His hand on him and diminished him, as it is stated: “Behind and before You have created me and laid Your hand upon me.” The Gemara asks: The interpretations of the verses contradict each other. The first interpretation is that his size was from one end of the world to the other, and the second interpretation is that it was from the earth until the heavens. The Gemara answers: This and that, from one end of the world to another and from the earth until the heavens, are one measure, i.e., the same distance.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון בלשון ארמי ספר שנאמר (תהלים קלט, יז) ולי מה יקרו רעיך אל

And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Adam the first man spoke in the language of Aramaic, as it is stated in the chapter of Psalms speaking in the voice of Adam: “How weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God” (Psalms 139:17).

והיינו דאמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב (בראשית ה, א) זה ספר תולדות אדם מלמד שהראהו הקב"ה דור דור ודורשיו דור דור וחכמיו כיון שהגיע לדורו של רבי עקיבא שמח בתורתו ונתעצב במיתתו אמר ולי מה יקרו רעיך אל

And this, i.e., that the verse in Psalms is stated by Adam, is what Reish Lakish says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “This is the book of the generations of Adam” (Genesis 5:1)? This verse teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, showed Adam every generation and its Torah interpreters, every generation and its wise ones. When he arrived at his vision of the generation of Rabbi Akiva, Adam was gladdened by his Torah, and saddened by his manner of death. He said: “How weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God,” i.e., how it weighs upon me that a man as great as Rabbi Akiva should suffer.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון מין היה שנאמר (בראשית ג, ט) ויקרא ה' אלהים אל האדם ויאמר לו איכה אן נטה לבך רבי יצחק אמר מושך בערלתו היה כתיב הכא (הושע ו, ז) והמה כאדם עברו ברית וכתיב התם (בראשית ט, ט) את בריתי הפר

And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Adam the first man was a heretic, as it is stated: “And the Lord called to the man and said to him: Where are you”? (Genesis 3:9), meaning, to where has your heart turned, indicating that Adam turned from the path of truth. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: He was one who drew his foreskin forward, so as to remove any indication that he was circumcised. It is written here: “And they like men [adam] have transgressed the covenant” (Hosea 6:7), and it is written there: “And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant” (Genesis 17:14).

רב נחמן אמר כופר בעיקר היה כתיב הכא עברו ברית וכתיב התם (את בריתי הפר) (ירמיהו כב, ט) ואמרו על אשר עזבו (את) ברית ה' (אלהי אבותם)

Rav Naḥman says: He was a denier of the fundamental principle of belief in God. It is written here: “And they like men [adam] have transgressed the covenant,” and it is written there: “He has broken My covenant,” and it is written in a third verse: “And then they shall answer: Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshipped other gods and served them” (Jeremiah 22:9).

תנן התם ר"א אומר הוי שקוד ללמוד תורה ודע מה שתשיב לאפיקורוס אמר ר' יוחנן ל"ש אלא אפיקורוס (של) עובדי כוכבים אבל אפיקורוס ישראל כ"ש דפקר טפי

§ We learned in a mishna there (Avot 4:4): Rabbi Eliezer says: Be persistent to learn Torah, and know what to respond to the heretic [la’apikoros]. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This was taught only with regard to a gentile heretic, but not with regard to a Jewish heretic, as one should not respond to him. All the more so, if one does respond he will become more heretical. His heresy is assumed to be intentional, and any attempt to rebut it will only cause him to reinforce his position.

א"ר יוחנן כ"מ שפקרו המינים תשובתן בצידן (בראשית א, כו) נעשה אדם בצלמנו (ואומר) (בראשית א, כז) ויברא אלהים את האדם בצלמו (בראשית יא, ז) הבה נרדה ונבלה שם שפתם (בראשית יא, ה) וירד ה' לראות את העיר ואת המגדל (בראשית לה, ז) כי שם נגלו אליו האלהים (בראשית לה, ג) לאל העונה אותי ביום צרתי

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Any place in the Bible from where the heretics attempt to prove their heresy, i.e., that there is more than one god, the response to their claim is alongside them, i.e., in the immediate vicinity of the verses they cite. The verse states that God said: “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26), employing the plural, but it then states: “And God created man in His image” (Genesis 1:27), employing the singular. The verse states that God said: “Come, let us go down and there confound their language” (Genesis 11:7), but it also states: “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower” (Genesis 11:5). The verse states in the plural: “There God was revealed [niglu] to him when he fled from the face of his brother” (Genesis 35:7), but it also states in the singular: “To God Who answers [haoneh] me in the day of my distress” (Genesis 35:3).

(דברים ד, ז) כי מי גוי גדול אשר לו אלהים קרובים אליו כה' אלהינו בכל קראנו אליו (שמואל ב ז, כג) ומי כעמך כישראל גוי אחד בארץ אשר הלכו אלהים לפדות לו לעם (דניאל ז, ט) עד די כרסוון רמיו ועתיק יומין יתיב

Rabbi Yoḥanan cites several examples where the counterclaim is in the same verse as the claim of the heretics. The verse states: “For what nation is there so great that has God so near to them as the Lord our God is whenever we call upon Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7), where the term “near” is written in plural, kerovim, but the term “upon Him” is written in singular. Another verse states: “And who is like Your people, like Israel, a nation one in the earth, whom God went to redeem unto Himself for a people?” (II Samuel 7:23), where the term “went” is written in plural, halekhu, but the term “Himself” is written in singular. Another verse states: “I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit” (Daniel 7:9); where the term “thrones” is written in plural, kharsavan, but the term “sit” is written in singular.

הנך למה לי כדרבי יוחנן דא"ר יוחנן אין הקב"ה עושה דבר אא"כ נמלך בפמליא של מעלה שנאמר (דניאל ד, יד) בגזירת עירין פתגמא ובמאמר קדישין שאילתא

The Gemara asks: Why do I need these instances of plural words? Why does the verse employ the plural at all when referring to God? The Gemara explains: This is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not act unless He consults with the entourage of Above, i.e., the angels, as it is stated: “The matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones” (Daniel 4:14).

התינח כולהי עד די כרסוון רמיו מאי איכא למימר אחד לו ואחד לדוד דתניא אחד לו ואחד לדוד דברי ר"ע א"ל ר' יוסי עקיבא עד מתי אתה עושה שכינה חול אלא אחד לדין ואחד לצדקה

The Gemara clarifies: This works out well for almost all the verses, as they describe an action taken by God, but what is there to say concerning the verse: “I beheld till thrones were placed”? The Gemara answers: One throne is for Him and one throne is for David, i.e., the messiah, as it is taught in a baraita: One throne is for Him and one throne is for David; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yosei said to him: Akiva! Until when will you desacralize the Divine Presence by equating God with a person? Rather, the correct interpretation is that both thrones are for God, as one throne is for judgment and one throne is for righteousness.

קבלה מיניה או לא קבלה מיניה ת"ש דתניא אחד לדין ואחד לצדקה דברי ר"ע א"ל ר' אלעזר בן עזריא עקיבא מה לך אצל הגדה כלך אצל נגעים ואהלות אלא אחד לכסא ואחד לשרפרף כסא לישב עליו שרפרף להדום רגליו

The Gemara asks: Did Rabbi Akiva accept this explanation from Rabbi Yosei or did he not accept it from him? The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof to the matter from what was taught in another baraita, as it is taught in a baraita: One throne is for judgment and one throne is for righteousness; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya said to him: Akiva! What are you doing near, i.e., discussing, matters of aggada? Go near tractates Nega’im and Oholot, which examine the complex halakhot of ritual purity, where your knowledge is unparalleled. Rather, the correct interpretation is that while both thrones are for God, one is for a throne and one is for a stool. There is a throne for God to sit upon, and a stool that serves as His footstool.

אמר רב נחמן האי מאן דידע לאהדורי למינים כרב אידית ליהדר ואי לא לא ליהדר אמר ההוא מינא לרב אידית כתיב (שמות כד, א) ואל משה אמר עלה אל ה' עלה אלי מיבעי ליה א"ל זהו מטטרון ששמו כשם רבו דכתיב (שמות כג, כא) כי שמי בקרבו

Rav Naḥman says: This one, i.e., any person, who knows how to respond to the heretics as effectively as Rav Idit should respond to them, but if he does not know, he should not respond to them. The Gemara relates: A certain heretic said to Rav Idit: It is written in the verse concerning God: “And to Moses He said: Come up to the Lord” (Exodus 24:1). The heretic raised a question: It should have stated: Come up to Me. Rav Idit said to him: This term, “the Lord,” in that verse is referring to the angel Metatron, whose name is like the name of his Master, as it is written: “Behold I send an angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Take heed of him and obey his voice; do not defy him; for he will not pardon your transgression, for My name is in him” (Exodus 23:20–21).

אי הכי ניפלחו ליה כתיב (שמות כג, כא) אל תמר בו אל תמירני בו אם כן לא ישא לפשעכם למה לי א"ל הימנותא בידן דאפילו בפרוונקא נמי לא קבילניה דכתיב (שמות לג, טו) ויאמר אליו אם אין פניך הולכים וגו'

The heretic said to him: If so, if this angel is equated with God, we should worship him as we worship God. Rav Idit said to him: It is written: “Do not defy [tammer] him,” which alludes to: Do not replace Me [temireni] with him. The heretic said to him: If so, why do I need the clause “For he will not pardon your transgression”? Rav Idit said to him: We believe that we did not accept the angel even as a guide [befarvanka] for the journey, as it is written: “And he said to him: If Your Presence go not with me raise us not up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Moses told God that if God Himself does not accompany the Jewish people they do not want to travel to Eretz Yisrael.

אמר ליה ההוא מינא לר' ישמעאל בר' יוסי כתיב (בראשית יט, כד) וה' המטיר על סדום ועל עמורה גפרית ואש מאת ה' מאתו מיבעי ליה א"ל ההוא כובס שבקיה אנא מהדרנא ליה דכתיב (בראשית ד, כג) ויאמר למך לנשיו עדה וצלה שמען קולי נשי למך נשיי מיבעי ליה אלא משתעי קרא הכי הכא נמי משתעי קרא הכי א"ל מנא לך הא מפירקיה דר"מ שמיע לי

The Gemara relates: A certain heretic said to Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei: It is written: “And the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (Genesis 19:24). The heretic raised the question: It should have stated: From Him out of heaven. A certain launderer said to Rabbi Yishmael: Leave him be; I will respond to him. This is as it is written: “And Lemech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lemech, hearken to my speech” (Genesis 4:23). One can raise the question: It should have been written: My wives, and not: “Wives of Lemech.” Rather, it is the style of the verse to speak in this manner. Here too, it is the style of the verse to speak in this manner. Rabbi Yishmael said to the launderer: From where did you hear this interpretation? The launderer said to him: I heard it at the lecture of Rabbi Meir.

דא"ר יוחנן כי הוה דריש ר' מאיר בפירקיה הוה דריש תילתא שמעתא תילתא אגדתא תילתא מתלי ואמר ר' יוחנן ג' מאות משלות שועלים היו לו לרבי מאיר ואנו אין לנו אלא שלש

The Gemara comments: This is as Rabbi Yoḥanan said: When Rabbi Meir would teach his lecture he would expound one-third halakha, one-third aggada, and one-third parables. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Rabbi Meir had, i.e., taught, three hundred parables of foxes, and we have only three.