Sanhedrin 98bסנהדרין צ״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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98bצ״ח ב

שאין כל דקל ודקל שבבבל שאין סוס של פרסיים נקשר בו ואין לך כל ארון וארון שבארץ ישראל שאין סוס מדי אוכל בו תבן

as there is no palm tree that is in Babylonia to which a horse of the Persians will not be tethered when the Persians and Medes go to conquer other lands. And there is no coffin buried in Eretz Yisrael from which a Median horse will not eat straw. During wars, all the coffins will be removed from the ground and used as animal troughs. I do not want my coffin to be used for that purpose.

אמר רב אין בן דוד בא עד שתתפשט המלכות על ישראל תשעה חדשים שנאמר (מיכה ה, ב) לכן יתנם עד עת יולדה ילדה ויתר אחיו ישובון על בני ישראל

Rav says: The son of David will not come until the evil Roman kingdom will disperse throughout Eretz Yisrael for nine months, as it is stated: “Therefore will He give them up, until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel” (Micah 5:2). Once a period equivalent to a term of pregnancy passes, the redemption will come.

אמר עולא ייתי ולא איחמיניה וכן אמר [רבה] ייתי ולא איחמיניה רב יוסף אמר ייתי ואזכי דאיתיב בטולא דכופיתא דחמריה

§ Ulla says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him, as I fear the suffering that will precede his coming. Likewise, Rabba says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Rav Yosef says: Let the Messiah come, and I will be privileged to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s excrement. I am willing to undergo all the pain and disgrace associated with his arrival.

אמר ליה אביי (לרבא) [לרבה] מאי טעמא אילימא משום חבלו של משיח והתניא שאלו תלמידיו את רבי אלעזר מה יעשה אדם וינצל מחבלו של משיח יעסוק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים ומר הא תורה והא גמילות חסדים

Abaye said to Rabba: What is the reason that you are so concerned? If we say it is due to the pains preceding and accompanying the coming of the Messiah, but isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Elazar’s students asked Rabbi Elazar: What shall a person do to be spared from the pains preceding the coming of the Messiah? Rabbi Elazar said to them: They shall engage in Torah study and acts of kindness. Abaye continued: And as far as the Master is concerned, isn’t there the Torah and aren’t there the acts of kindness that you performed?

אמר [ליה] שמא יגרום החטא כדר' יעקב בר אידי דר' יעקב בר אידי רמי כתיב (בראשית כח, טו) הנה אנכי עמך ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך וכתיב (בראשית לב, ח) ויירא יעקב מאד וייצר לו

Rabba said to him: I am concerned lest sin cause me to suffer the pain despite the Torah study and the good deeds in which I engage, in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi. As Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi raises a contradiction. It is written that God said to Jacob: “And I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15), and it is written: “And Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). If God assured Jacob that He would keep him, why was he concerned?

שהיה מתיירא שמא יגרום החטא כדתניא (שמות טו, טז) עד יעבור עמך ה' זו ביאה ראשונה עד יעבור עם זו קנית זו ביאה שניה

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: He was afraid lest sin on his part cause that assurance to be abrogated, as it is taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Until Your people pass over, Lord, until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over” (Exodus 15:16). “Until Your people pass over, Lord”; this is a reference to the first entry into the land, led by Joshua. “Until Your people, whom You have acquired, pass over”; this is a reference to the second entry into the land, when they returned to Zion from Babylonia.

אמור מעתה ראויים היו ישראל לעשות להם נס בביאה שניה כביאה ראשונה אלא שגרם החטא

Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi explains: Say from now, based on this statement, that the Jewish people were worthy for God to perform a miracle on their behalf in the second entry into the land that was like the miracles that were performed during the exodus from Egypt and the first entry into the land, but the sin caused the second entry to take place in an unremarkable manner, with the Jewish people being subject to the dominion of the gentiles.

וכן אמר ר' יוחנן ייתי ולא איחמיניה א"ל ריש לקיש מ"ט אילימא משום דכתיב (עמוס ה, יט) כאשר ינוס איש מפני הארי ופגעו הדוב [ובא הבית] וסמך ידו אל הקיר ונשכו נחש בא ואראך דוגמתו בעולם הזה בזמן שאדם יוצא לשדה ופגע בו סנטר דומה כמי שפגע בו ארי נכנס לעיר פגע בו גבאי דומה כמי שפגעו דוב נכנס לביתו ומצא בניו ובנותיו מוטלין ברעב דומה כמי שנשכו נחש

And so too Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Reish Lakish said to him: What is the reason that you are concerned? If we say it is because it is written with regard to the day of God: “As when a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his arm on the wall and a snake bit him” (Amos 5:19), that is not a reason. Come, and I will show you a counterpart in this world to the situation described in this verse, as even today one encounters those situations. At a time when a person goes out to the field and is accosted by a guard [santar] who demands payment, his situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a lion. He then enters the city and is accosted by a royal tax collector. His situation is similar to that of one who is accosted by a bear. He then enters his house and finds his sons and daughters afflicted with famine. His situation is similar to that of one whom a snake bit.

אלא משום דכתיב (ירמיהו ל, ו) שאלו נא וראו אם ילד זכר מדוע ראיתי כל גבר ידיו על חלציו כיולדה ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: Rather, the reason I am concerned is that it is written with regard to the day of God: “Ask now, and see whether a man gives birth. Why, then, do I see every man [kol gever] with his hands on his loins, as a woman in labor, and all faces turned green?” (Jeremiah 30:6).

מאי ראיתי כל גבר אמר רבא בר יצחק אמר רב מי שכל גבורה שלו ומאי ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון אמר רבי יוחנן פמליא של מעלה ופמליא של מטה בשעה שאמר הקב"ה הללו מעשה ידי והללו מעשה ידי היאך אאבד אלו מפני אלו

The Gemara clarifies: What is the meaning of the phrase “I see kol gever”? Rava bar Yitzḥak says that Rav says: It is a reference to He Whom all strength is His. It is as though even God will suffer like a woman in labor due to the troubles of the Jewish people. And what is the meaning of the phrase “And all faces turned green”? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The reference is to the heavenly entourage above, i.e., angels, and the earthly entourage below, i.e., the Jewish people, who will all suffer at the time when the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: These, the Jewish people, are My handiwork, and those, the gentiles, are My handiwork. How shall I destroy those on account of these? It appears that the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not distinguish between the Jewish people and the gentiles. That is why Rabbi Yoḥanan was concerned with regard to the coming of the Messiah.

אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי רהיט ונפל תורא ואזיל ושדי ליה סוסיא באורייה

Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: An ox runs and falls, and its owner goes and casts a horse in its place. Although the horse is an inferior work animal relative to the ox, when there is no ox available, a horse must suffice. So too, after the Jewish people sin, it is as though the Holy One, Blessed be He, transfers their prominence to the gentiles.

אמר רב גידל אמר רב עתידין ישראל דאכלי שני משיח אמר רב יוסף פשיטא ואלא מאן אכיל להו חילק ובילק אכלי להו לאפוקי מדרבי הילל דאמר אין משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה

§ Rav Giddel says that Rav says: The Jewish people are destined to eat from the bounty of, i.e., enjoy, the years of the Messiah. Rav Yosef says: Isn’t this obvious? And rather, who else will eat from them? Will Ḥillak and Billak, two shiftless characters, eat from them? The Gemara explains that Rav Giddel’s statement serves to exclude the statement of Rabbi Hillel, who says: There is no Messiah coming for the Jewish people, as they already ate from him, as all the prophecies relating to the Messiah were already fulfilled during the days of Hezekiah.

אמר רב לא אברי עלמא אלא לדוד ושמואל אמר למשה ורבי יוחנן אמר למשיח

Rav says: The world was created only for the sake of David, by virtue of his merit. And Shmuel says: It was created by virtue of the merit of Moses. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It was created by virtue of the merit of the Messiah.

מה שמו דבי רבי שילא אמרי שילה שמו שנאמר (בראשית מט, י) עד כי יבא שילה דבי רבי ינאי אמרי ינון שמו שנאמר (תהלים עב, יז) יהי שמו לעולם לפני שמש ינון שמו דבי רבי חנינה אמר חנינה שמו שנאמר (ירמיהו טז, יג) אשר לא אתן לכם חנינה ויש אומרים מנחם בן חזקיה שמו שנאמר (איכה א, טז) כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי ורבנן אמרי חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר (ישעיהו נג, ד) אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאובינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנוהו נגוע מוכה אלהים ומעונה

Apropos the Messiah, the Gemara asks: What is his name? The school of Rabbi Sheila says: Shiloh is his name, as it is stated: “Until when Shiloh shall come” (Genesis 49:10). The school of Rabbi Yannai says: Yinnon is his name, as it is stated: “May his name endure forever; may his name continue [yinnon] as long as the sun; and may men bless themselves by him” (Psalms 72:17). The school of Rabbi Ḥanina says: Ḥanina is his name, as it is stated: “For I will show you no favor [ḥanina]” (Jeremiah 16:13). And some say that Menaḥem ben Ḥizkiyya is his name, as it is stated: “Because the comforter [menaḥem] that should relieve my soul is far from me” (Lamentations 1:16). And the Rabbis say: The leper of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is his name, as it is stated: “Indeed our illnesses he did bear and our pains he endured; yet we did esteem him injured, stricken by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

אמר רב נחמן אי מן חייא הוא כגון אנא שנאמר (ירמיהו ל, כא) והיה אדירו ממנו ומושלו מקרבו יצא אמר רב אי מן חייא הוא כגון רבינו הקדוש אי מן מתיא הוא כגון דניאל איש חמודות

Rav Naḥman says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as me, who already has dominion over the Jewish people, as it is stated: “And their prince shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from their midst” (Jeremiah 30:21), indicating that the redeemer is already in power. Rav says: If the Messiah is among the living in this generation, he is a person such as our saintly Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, who was renowned for his sanctity, piety, and Torah knowledge. If the Messiah is among the dead he is a person such as Daniel, the beloved man.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב עתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להעמיד להם דוד אחר שנאמר (ירמיהו ל, ט) ועבדו את ה' אלהיהם ואת דוד מלכם אשר אקים להם הקים לא נאמר אלא אקים א"ל רב פפא לאביי והכתיב (יחזקאל לז, כה) ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם כגון קיסר ופלגי קיסר

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, is destined to establish another David for the Jewish people as the Messiah, as it is stated: “And they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will establish for them” (Jeremiah 30:9). It is not stated: I established, but “I will establish,” indicating that the name of the future king will be David. Rav Pappa said to Abaye: But isn’t it written: “And my servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:25), indicating that King David himself will rule over the Jewish people? Abaye said: They will rule in tandem like an emperor and a viceroy; the Messiah will be king and David will be second-in-command.

דרש רבי שמלאי מאי דכתיב (עמוס ה, יח) הוי המתאוים את יום ה' למה זה לכם יום ה' הוא חשך ולא אור משל לתרנגול ועטלף שהיו מצפין לאור א"ל תרנגול לעטלף אני מצפה לאורה שאורה שלי היא ואתה למה לך אורה

§ Rabbi Simlai taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord. Why would you have this day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18)? It is comparable to a rooster and a bat who were looking forward to the light of day. The rooster said to the bat: I look forward to light, as light is an indication of my time to be active. But as for you, why do you need light? Nighttime for you is like daytime for me.