Sotah 22a:5סוטה כ״ב א:ה
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22aכ״ב א

שקרא ושנה ולא שימש תלמידי חכמים

is one who read the Written Torah and learned the Mishna but did not serve Torah scholars in order to learn the reasoning behind the halakhot. Since he believes himself knowledgeable, he issues halakhic rulings, but due to his lack of understanding he rules erroneously and is therefore considered wicked. His cunning is in his public display of knowledge, which misleads others into considering him a true Torah scholar.

אתמר קרא ושנה ולא שימש ת"ח ר' אלעזר אומר הרי זה עם הארץ ר' שמואל בר נחמני אמר הרי זה בור ר' ינאי אומר ה"ז כותי

It was stated: With regard to one who read the Written Torah and learned the Mishna but did not serve Torah scholars, Rabbi Elazar says: This person is an ignoramus. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: This person is a boor. Rabbi Yannai says: This person is comparable to a Samaritan, who follows the Written Torah but not the traditions of the Sages.

רב אחא בר יעקב אומר הרי זה מגוש אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מסתברא כרב אחא בר יעקב דאמרי אינשי רטין מגושא ולא ידע מאי אמר תני תנא ולא ידע מאי אמר

Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov says: This person is comparable to a sorcerer [magosh], who uses his knowledge to mislead people. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: It is reasonable to accept the opinion of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov, as people say proverbially: The sorcerer chants and does not know what he is saying; so too, the tanna teaches the Mishna and does not know what he is saying.

ת"ר איזהו ע"ה כל שאינו קורא ק"ש שחרית וערבית בברכותיה דברי ר' מאיר וחכ"א כל שאינו מניח תפילין בן עזאי אומר כל שאין לו ציצית בבגדו ר' יונתן בן יוסף אמר כל שיש לו בנים ואינו מגדלן ללמוד תורה אחרים אומרים אפילו קורא ושונה ולא שימש ת"ח זהו ע"ה

§ The Sages taught: Who is an ignoramus [am ha’aretz]? It is anyone who does not recite Shema in the morning and evening with its blessings; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: It is anyone who does not don phylacteries. Ben Azzai says: It is anyone who does not have ritual fringes on his garment. Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef said: It is anyone who has sons and does not raise them to study Torah. Aḥerim say: Even if one reads the Written Torah and learns the Mishna but does not serve Torah scholars, he is an ignoramus.

קרא ולא שנה הרי זה בור לא קרא ולא שנה עליו הכתוב אומר (ירמיהו לא, כז) וזרעתי את בית ישראל ואת בית יהודה זרע אדם וזרע בהמה

If one read the Written Torah but did not learn the Mishna, he is a boor. With regard to one who did not read and did not learn at all, the verse states: “Behold, the days come, says the Lord, and I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast” (Jeremiah 31:26). One who has not studied at all is comparable to a beast.

(משלי כד, כא) ירא את ה' בני ומלך ועם שונים אל תתערב אמר רבי יצחק אלו ששונים הלכות פשיטא מהו דתימא שונין בחטא וכדרב הונא דאמר רב הונא כיון שעבר אדם עבירה ושנה בה הותרה לו קמ"ל

The verse states: “My son, fear the Lord and the king; and meddle not with those who are repeating” (Proverbs 24:21). Rabbi Yitzḥak says: These are individuals who repeatedly learn the halakhot but do not know the reasons behind them. The Gemara asks: Isn’t that obvious? How else could the verse be understood? The Gemara answers: He states this lest you say that the verse is referring to individuals who repeatedly commit sins, and this is in accordance with the words of Rav Huna, as Rav Huna says: Once a person committed a transgression and repeated it, in his eyes it became permitted for him. Since the verse could be interpreted in this manner, Rabbi Yitzḥak teaches us that the verse is referring to those who learn without understanding.

תנא התנאים מבלי עולם מבלי עולם ס"ד אמר רבינא שמורין הלכה מתוך משנתן תניא נמי הכי א"ר יהושע וכי מבלי עולם הן והלא מיישבי עולם הן שנאמר (חבקוק ג, ו) הליכות עולם לו אלא שמורין הלכה מתוך משנתן

It was taught in a baraita: The tanna’im, who recite the tannaitic sources by rote, are individuals who erode the world. The Gemara is puzzled by this statement: Could it enter your mind that they are individuals who erode the world? Ravina says: This statement is referring to those who issue halakhic rulings based on their knowledge of mishnayot. This is also taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehoshua said: Are they individuals who erode the world? Aren’t they settling the world, as it is stated: “His ways [halikhot] are eternal” (Habakkuk 3:6)? The Sages read the term halikhot as halakhot, inferring that one who learns halakhot attains eternal life. Rather, this is referring to those who issue halakhic rulings based on their knowledge of mishnayot.

אשה פרושה וכו' ת"ר בתולה צליינית ואלמנה שובבית וקטן שלא כלו לו חדשיו הרי אלו מבלי עולם

§ The mishna states that an abstinent woman is among those who erode the world. The Sages taught: A maiden who prays constantly, and a neighborly [shovavit] widow who constantly visits her neighbors, and a child whose months of gestation were not completed, all these are people who erode the world.

איני והאמר רבי יוחנן למדנו יראת חטא מבתולה וקיבול שכר מאלמנה יראת חטא מבתולה דר' יוחנן שמעה לההיא בתולה דנפלה אאפה וקאמרה רבש"ע בראת גן עדן ובראת גיהנם בראת צדיקים ובראת רשעים יהי רצון מלפניך שלא יכשלו בי בני אדם

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan say: We learned the meaning of fear of sin from a maiden, and the significance of receiving divine reward from a widow. The meaning of fear of sin can be learned from a maiden, as Rabbi Yoḥanan heard a certain maiden who fell on her face in prayer, and she was saying: Master of the Universe, You created the Garden of Eden and You created Gehenna, You created the righteous and You created the wicked. May it be Your will that men shall not stumble because of me and consequently go to Gehenna.

קיבול שכר מאלמנה דההיא אלמנה דהואי בי כנישתא בשיבבותה כל יומא הות אתיא ומצלה בי מדרשיה דר' יוחנן אמר לה בתי לא בית הכנסת בשיבבותך אמרה ליה רבי ולא שכר פסיעות יש לי

The significance of receiving divine reward can be learned from a widow, as there was a certain widow in whose neighborhood there was a synagogue, and despite this every day she went and prayed in the study hall of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to her: My daughter, is there not a synagogue in your neighborhood? She said to him: My teacher, don’t I attain a reward for all the steps I take while walking to pray in the distant study hall?

כי קאמר כגון יוחני בת רטיבי

The Gemara answers: When it is stated in the baraita that a maiden who prays constantly is one who erodes the world, it is referring, for example, to Yoḥani bat Retivi, who constantly prayed and pretended to be saintly but actually engaged in sorcery.

מאי קטן שלא כלו לו חדשיו הכא תרגימו זה ת"ח המבעט ברבותיו

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of a child whose months of gestation were not completed? Here, in Babylonia, they interpreted this as alluding to an imperfect, incomplete Torah scholar who scorns his teachers.

רבי אבא אמר זה תלמיד שלא הגיע להוראה ומורה דא"ר אבהו אמר רב הונא אמר רב מאי דכתיב (משלי ז, כו) כי רבים חללים הפילה ועצומים כל הרוגיה כי רבים חללים הפילה זה ת"ח שלא הגיע להוראה ומורה ועצומים כל הרוגיה זה ת"ח שהגיע להוראה ואינו מורה

Rabbi Abba says: This is a student who has not yet attained the ability to issue halakhic rulings, and yet he issues rulings and is therefore compared to a prematurely born child. This is as Rabbi Abbahu says that Rav Huna says that Rav says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For she has cast down many wounded; and a mighty host are all her slain” (Proverbs 7:26)? “For she has cast down [hippila] many wounded”; this is referring to a Torah scholar who has not yet attained the ability to issue rulings, and yet he issues rulings. “And a mighty host [ve’atzumim] are all her slain”; this is referring to a Torah scholar who has attained the ability to issue rulings, but does not issue rulings and prevents the masses from learning Torah properly.