ועד כמה עד ארבעין שנין איני והא רבה אורי בשוין And until when is it considered too premature for a scholar to issue halakhic rulings? It is until forty years. The Gemara asks: Is that so? But didn’t Rabba issue rulings, even though he lived for only forty years? The Gemara answers: It is permitted for a scholar who has not studied for so long to issue rulings when his knowledge reaches the level of the foremost scholar in his city and they are equals.
ומכות פרושין וכו' ת"ר שבעה פרושין הן פרוש שיכמי פרוש נקפי פרוש קיזאי פרוש מדוכיא פרוש מה חובתי ואעשנה פרוש מאהבה פרוש מיראה § It states in the mishna: And those who injure themselves out of false abstinence [perushin] are people who erode the world. The Sages taught: There are seven pseudo-righteous people who erode the world: The righteous of Shechem, the self-flagellating righteous, the bloodletting righteous, the pestle-like righteous, the righteous who say: Tell me what my obligation is and I will perform it, those who are righteous due to love, and those who are righteous due to fear.
פרוש שיכמי זה העושה מעשה שכם פרוש נקפי זה המנקיף את רגליו פרוש קיזאי א"ר נחמן בר יצחק זה המקיז דם לכתלים פרוש מדוכיא אמר רבה בר שילא דמשפע כי מדוכיא The Gemara explains: The righteous of Shechem [shikhmi]; this is one who performs actions comparable to the action of the people of Shechem, who agreed to circumcise themselves for personal gain (see Genesis, chapter 34); so too, he behaves righteously only in order to be honored. The self-flagellating righteous; this is one who injures his feet, as he walks slowly, dragging his feet on the ground in an attempt to appear humble, and injures his feet in the process. The bloodletting righteous; Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says that this is one who lets blood by banging his head against the walls because he walks with his eyes shut, ostensibly out of modesty. The pestle-like righteous; Rabba bar Sheila says that this is one who walks bent over like the pestle of a mortar.
פרוש מה חובתי ואעשנה הא מעליותא היא אלא דאמר מה חובתי תו ואעשנה With regard to the righteous one who says: Tell me what my obligation is and I will perform it, the Gemara asks: Isn’t this virtuous behavior, as he desires to be aware of his obligations? Rather, this is referring to one who says: Tell me what further obligations are incumbent upon me and I will perform them, indicating that he fulfills all of his mitzvot perfectly and therefore seeks additional obligations.
פרוש מאהבה פרוש מיראה אמרו ליה אביי ורבא לתנא לא תיתני פרוש מאהבה פרוש מיראה דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לעולם יעסוק אדם בתורה ובמצות אפי' שלא לשמה שמתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה The baraita also includes in the list of pseudo-righteous people those who are righteous due to love and those who are righteous due to fear, i.e., one who performs mitzvot due to love of their reward or due to fear of punishment. Abaye and Rava said to the tanna who transmitted this baraita: Do not teach in the baraita: Those who are righteous due to love and those who are righteous due to fear, as Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: A person should always engage in Torah study and in performance of the mitzvot even if he does not do so for their own sake, as through performing them not for their own sake, one comes to perform them for their own sake.
אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק דמטמרא מטמרא ודמגליא מגליא בי דינא רבה ליתפרע מהני דחפו גונדי אמר לה ינאי מלכא לדביתיה אל תתיראי מן הפרושין ולא ממי שאינן פרושין אלא מן הצבועין שדומין לפרושין שמעשיהן כמעשה זמרי ומבקשין שכר כפנחס Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: That which is hidden is hidden, and that which is revealed is revealed, but in Heaven everything is known, and the great court in Heaven will exact payment from those who wear the cloak of the righteous but are in fact unworthy. The Gemara relates: King Yannai said to his wife before he died: Do not be afraid of the Pharisees [perushin], and neither should you fear from those who are not Pharisees, i.e., the Sadducees; rather, beware of the hypocrites who appear like Pharisees, as their actions are like the act of the wicked Zimri and they request a reward like that of the righteous Pinehas (see Numbers, chapter 25).
מתני׳ ר"ש אומר אין זכות תולה במים המרים ואם אתה אומר הזכות תולה במים המאררין מדהה אתה את המים בפני כל הנשים השותות ומוציא אתה שם רע על הטהורות ששתו שאומרים טמאות הן אלא שתלתה להן זכות רבי אומר הזכות תולה במים המאררים ואינה יולדת ואינה משבחת אלא מתנוונה והולכת לסוף היא מתה באותה מיתה MISHNA: Rabbi Shimon says: Merit does not delay the punishment of the bitter water of a sota, and if you say that merit does delay the punishment of the water that causes the curse, as stated earlier by the Rabbis (20a), you weaken [madhe] the power of the bitter water before all the women who drink the water, who will no longer be afraid of it, as they will rely on their merit to save them. And you defame the untainted women who drank the water and survived, as people say: They are defiled but it is their merit that delayed the punishment for them. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Merit delays the punishment of the water that causes the curse, but a woman whose punishment is delayed does not give birth and does not flourish; rather, she progressively deteriorates. Ultimately she dies by the same death as a sota who dies immediately.
נטמאת מנחתה עד שלא קדשה בכלי הרי היא ככל המנחות ותפדה ואם משקדשה בכלי הרי היא ככל המנחות ותשרף ואלו שמנחותיהן נשרפות § If the meal-offering of the sota is rendered impure before it has been sanctified in the service vessel, its status is like that of all the other meal-offerings that are rendered impure before being sanctified in a service vessel, and it is redeemed. But if it is rendered impure after it has been sanctified in the service vessel, its status is like that of all the other meal-offerings that are rendered impure after being sanctified in a service vessel, and it is burned. And these are the sota women whose meal-offerings are burned if they have already been sanctified in a service vessel: