Sotah 48bסוטה מ״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
48bמ״ח ב

הרחיבה שאול נפשה ופערה פיה לבלי חק וירד הדרה והמונה ושאונה ועלז בה

the netherworld has enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure, and down goes their glory and their tumult and their uproar, and he who rejoices among them” (Isaiah 5:14). Their punishment is that they shall descend into the netherworld.

משמתו נביאים הראשונים מאן נביאים הראשונים אמר רב הונא זה דוד ושמואל ושלמה רב נחמן אמר בימי דוד זימנין סליק וזימנין לא סליק שהרי שאל צדוק ועלתה לו שאל אביתר ולא עלתה לו שנאמר (שמואל ב טו, כד) ויעל אביתר

§ The mishna taught: From the time when the early prophets died, the Urim VeTummim was nullified. The Gemara poses a question: Who are the early prophets? Rav Huna says: This is referring to David, and Samuel, and Solomon, and after their death the Urim VeTummim was no longer used. Rav Naḥman said: In the days of David there were times an answer rose up for them from the Urim VeTummim and there were times an answer did not rise up, i.e., they did not receive an answer. The proof for this is that Tzadok, the High Priest in David’s time, asked the Urim VeTummim and an answer rose up for him, whereas Abiathar asked and an answer did not rise up for him, as it is stated: “And Abiathar went up” (II Samuel 15:24), and he was removed from serving as the High Priest as a result.

מתיב רבה בר שמואל (דברי הימים ב כו, ה) ויהי לדרוש אלהים כל ימי זכריה המבין בראות אלהים מאי לאו באורים ותומים לא בנביאים

Rabba bar Shmuel raises an objection: The verse states concerning Uzziah: “And he set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had an understanding of the vision of God” (II Chronicles 26:5). What, is the verse not stating that Uzziah would seek God by asking questions of the Urim VeTummim, despite the fact that he lived after the time of Solomon? The Gemara rejects this claim: No, he would seek God by asking questions of the prophets, but not of the Urim VeTummim.

ת"ש משחרב בהמ"ק ראשון בטלו ערי מגרש ופסקו אורים ותומים ופסק מלך מבית דוד

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from a baraita (Tosefta 13:2) with regard to when the Urim VeTummim ceased: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, the cities with fields that were allocated to the Levites were nullified, and the Urim VeTummim ceased, and the monarchy ceased from the house of David.

ואם לחשך אדם לומר (עזרא ב, סג) ויאמר התרשתא להם אשר לא יאכלו מקדש הקדשים עד עמוד כהן לאורים ותומים [אמור לו] כאדם שאומר לחבירו עד שיחיו מתים ויבא משיח בן דוד

And if a person would whisper to you saying that the Urim VeTummim was still extant, as it states with regard to when the Second Temple first stood: “And the Tirshatha said to them that they should not eat of the most sacred things, until there stood a priest with the Urim VeTummim (Ezra 2:63), which seems to indicate that they merely had to wait until the Second Temple was built for the reappearance of the Urim VeTummim; you should say to him that this is not referring to an expectation of a short-term development, but it is like a person who says to his friend, with regard to something that will occur in the distant future: Until the dead live and the Messiah, the son of David, comes. In any case, the baraita indicates that the Urim VeTummim ceased only from the time when the First Temple was destroyed, and not in the time of Solomon.

אלא אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מאן נביאים הראשונים לאפוקי מחגי זכריה ומלאכי דאחרונים נינהו דת"ר משמתו חגי זכריה ומלאכי נסתלקה רוח הקודש מישראל ואע"פ כן היו משתמשים בבת קול

Rather, Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Who are the early prophets, with regard to whom it states that use of the Urim VeTummim ceased immediately after their death? This term early prophets serves to exclude Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who are the latter prophets. The Urim VeTummim was used throughout the First Temple period, up to, but not including, their time. As the Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 13:3): From the time when Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi died the Divine Spirit departed from the Jewish people, as these three were considered to be the last prophets. And even after the Urim VeTummim ceased to exist, they would nevertheless still make use of a Divine Voice to receive instructions from Above, even after this time.

שפעם אחת היו מסובין בעליית בית גוריא ביריחו נתנה עליהן בת קול מן השמים ואמרה יש בכם אדם אחד שראוי שתשרה שכינה עליו אלא שאין דורו ראוי לכך נתנו עיניהם בהלל הזקן וכשמת הספידוהו הי חסיד הי עניו תלמידו של עזרא

For on one occasion the Sages were reclining in the upper story of the house of Gurya in Jericho. A Divine Voice from Heaven was issued to them, and it said: There is one person among you for whom it is fitting that the Divine Presence should rest upon him as a prophet, but his generation is not fit for it; they do not deserve to have a prophet among them. The Sages present directed their gaze to Hillel the Elder. And when he died, they eulogized him in the following manner: Alas pious one, alas humble one, student of Ezra.

ושוב פעם אחרת היו מסובין בעלייה ביבנה נתנה להן בת קול מן השמים ואמרה להן יש בכם אדם א' שראוי שתשרה שכינה עליו אלא שאין דורו זכאין לכך נתנו עיניהם בשמואל הקטן וכשמת הספידוהו הי עניו הי חסיד תלמידו של הלל

And again, on another occasion several generations later, the Sages were reclining in an upper story of a house in Yavne, and a Divine Voice from Heaven was issued to them, and said: There is one person among you for whom it is fitting that the Divine Presence should rest upon him, but his generation is not fit for it. The Sages present directed their gaze to Shmuel HaKatan. And when he died, they eulogized him in the following manner: Alas humble one, alas pious one, student of Hillel.

ואף הוא אמר בשעת מיתתו שמעון וישמעאל לחרבא וחברוהי לקטלא ושאר עמא לביזא ועקן סגיאין עתידין למיתי על עמא ואף על ר' יהודה בן בבא בקשו לומר הי חסיד הי עניו אלא שנטרפה שעה שאין מספידין על הרוגי מלכות

And he too, Shmuel HaKatan, said the following statement of divinely inspired prediction at the time of his death: Shimon, i.e., Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and Yishmael, i.e., Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha the High Priest, are slated for the sword, and their colleagues for killing, and the rest of the people for plunder, and great troubles are destined to befall the people. The Gemara relates: And they also sought to say about Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava, when eulogizing him: Alas pious one, alas humble one, but the moment was disturbed and they could not do so. That is because eulogies are not given for those killed by the monarchy, which was Rabbi Yehuda ben Baba’s fate, in order not to arouse the monarchy’s wrath.

משחרב בהמ"ק בטל השמיר כו' ת"ר שמיר שבו בנה שלמה את בהמ"ק שנא' (מלכים א ו, ז) והבית בהבנותו אבן שלמה מסע נבנה הדברים ככתבן דברי ר' יהודה

§ The mishna taught: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed the shamir ceased to exist. The Sages taught: This shamir is the creature with which Solomon built the Temple, as it is stated: “For the house, when it was built, was built of whole stone from the quarry” (I Kings 6:7). Now these words should be understood exactly as they are written, that King Solomon took whole stones and shaped them by having the shamir do the cutting. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.

אמר לו ר' נחמיה וכי אפשר לומר כן והלא כבר נאמר (מלכים א ז, ט) כל אלה אבנים יקרות וגו' מגוררות במגרה אם כן מה ת"ל לא נשמע בבית בהבנותו שהיה מתקין מבחוץ ומכניס מבפנים אמר רבי נראין דברי רבי יהודה באבני מקדש ודברי ר' נחמיה באבני ביתו

Rabbi Neḥemya said to him: And is it possible to say so? But isn’t it already stated: “All these were costly stones, according to the measures of hewn stones, sawed with saws” (II Kings 7:9), which indicates that saws, which are iron implements, were used to shape the stones? If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “And hammer, ax, and any tool of iron were not heard in the house when it was being built” (I Kings 6:7)? It means that he would prepare the stones outside the Temple Mount using tools, and bring them inside already cut, so that no iron tools were used inside the Temple itself. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: The statement of Rabbi Yehuda that no iron tools were used appears to be correct with regard to the Temple stones, and the statement of Rabbi Neḥemya that tools were used appears to be correct with regard to the stones of the king’s own house.

ור' נחמיה שמיר למאי אתא מיבעי ליה לכדתניא אבנים הללו אין כותבין אותן בדיו משום שנאמר (שמות כח, יא) פתוחי חותם ואין מסרטין עליהם באיזמל משום שנאמר במלואותם

The Gemara poses a question: And according to Rabbi Neḥemya, who maintains that they used iron tools even in the cutting of the stones for the Temple, for what purpose did the shamir come? The Gemara answers: It was necessary for that which is taught in a baraita: These stones in the breastplate and ephod, upon which were inscribed the names of the tribes, they may not be written on with ink, because it is stated: “Like the engravings of a signet” (Exodus 28:21), which means the names must be engraved onto the stones. And they may not be scratched on with a scalpel [izemel], because it is stated: “In their full settings” (Exodus 28:20), indicating that the stones must be complete and not missing any of their mass.

אלא כותב עליהם בדיו ומראה להן שמיר מבחוץ והן נבקעות מאליהן כתאינה זו שנבקעת בימות החמה ואינה חסירה כלום וכבקעה זו שנבקעת בימות הגשמים ואינה חסירה כלום

The baraita continues: Rather, one writes the letters on them in ink, and shows them, i.e., he places the shamir close to the ink markings from outside, without having it touch the stones, and they split open along the lines of the ink of their own accord, like this fig that splits in the summer without losing anything of its mass, and like this field in a valley that cracks in the rainy season without losing anything of its mass. The shamir was used in this way for these engravings.

ת"ר שמיר זה ברייתו כשעורה ומששת ימי בראשית נברא ואין כל דבר קשה יכול לעמוד בפניו במה משמרין אותו כורכין אותו בספוגין של צמר ומניחין אותו באיטני של אבר מליאה סובי שעורין

The Sages taught: This shamir, its size is that of a barleycorn, and it was created in the six days of creation, and nothing hard can withstand it. In what is it kept, so that it will not break everything in the vicinity? They wrap it in tufts [sefogin] of wool and place it in a leaden vessel [itenei], full of barley bran, which is soft and will not be broken by the shamir.

אמר רבי אמי משחרב מקדש ראשון בטלה שירא פרנדא וזכוכית לבנה תניא נמי הכי משחרב מקדש ראשון בטלה שירא פרנדא וזכוכית לבנה ורכב ברזל וי"א אף יין קרוש הבא משניר הדומה כעיגולי דבילה

§ Rabbi Ami says: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, shiny [peranda] silk [shira] and white glass ceased to exist. This is also taught in a baraita: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, shiny silk, white glass, and iron chariots ceased; and some say that even congealed wine that comes from Senir, the Hermon, which is similar to round fig cakes after it congeals, ceased to exist as well.

ונופת צופים מאי נופת צופים אמר רב סולת שצפה על גבי נפה ודומה לעיסה שנילושה בדבש ושמן ולוי אמר שתי ככרות הנדבקות בתנור ותופחות ובאות עד שמגיעות זו לזו ורבי יהושע בן לוי אמר זה דבש הבא מן הציפיא מאי משמע כדמתרגם רב ששת כמא דנתזן דבריאתה ושייטן ברומי עלמא ומתיין דובשא מעישבי טורא

The mishna taught: And the sweetness of the honeycomb [nofet tzufim] also ceased when the First Temple was destroyed. The Gemara asks: What is nofet tzufim? Rav says: Fine flour that floats up and remains on the top of the sieve [nafa], which is similar in taste to dough kneaded with honey and oil. And Levi says that nofet tzufim is the term for two loaves stuck together in an oven, which keep swelling until they reach each other. And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: This is honey that comes from elevated areas [tzipiyya]. The Gemara explains: From where may it be inferred that this is what nofet tzufim is? As Rav Sheshet would translate the words: “As the bees do” (Deuteronomy 1:44): Like the bees spread out and fly all over the world and bring honey from mountainous plants. Similarly, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi states that honey comes from elevated areas.

תנן התם כל הנצוק טהור חוץ מדבש זיפים והצפיחים מאי זיפים אמר רבי יוחנן דבש שמזייפין בו וריש לקיש אמר על שם מקומו כדכתיב (יהושע טו, כד) זיף וטלם ובעלות

We learned in a mishna there (Makhshirin 5:9): Anything that is poured remains ritually pure. In other words, even if a liquid is poured into a ritually impure utensil, the stream of the liquid does not defile the contents that remain in the ritually pure utensil from which they were poured, apart from zifim honey and wafer batter. These substances are too viscous to be considered liquids. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of zifim? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Honey of such rare quality that they could falsify [mezayyefin] it, by diluting it with other substances, and it would not be noticed. And Reish Lakish says: It is named after its place, as it is written: “Ziph and Telem and Bealoth” (Joshua 15:24).

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר (תהלים נד, ב) בבא הזיפים ויאמרו לשאול הלא דוד וגו' מאי זיפים אמר רבי יוחנן בני אדם המזייפין דבריהם ורבי אלעזר אומר על שם מקומן כדכתיב זיף וטלם ובעלות

Similarly, you can say with regard to the verse: “When the zifim came and said to Saul, does not David hide himself with us” (Psalms 54:2). What is the meaning of zifim, mentioned in this verse? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It means people who would falsify [hamzayyefin] their words. And Rabbi Elazar says: They are called after their place, as it is written: “Ziph and Telem and Bealoth.”

ופסקו אנשי אמנה אמר רבי יצחק אלו בני אדם שהן מאמינין בהקב"ה דתניא רבי אליעזר הגדול אומר כל מי שיש לו פת בסלו ואומר מה אוכל למחר אינו אלא מקטני אמנה

§ The mishna states that from the time when the Second Temple was destroyed men of faith ceased. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: These are people who believe in the Holy One, Blessed be He, and place their trust in Him in all their ways. As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer the Great says that whoever has bread in his basket to eat today and says: What shall I eat tomorrow, meaning he does not know how he will acquire bread for tomorrow, he is nothing other than from those of little faith. One must trust in God to provide him with his sustenance.

והיינו דאמר ר' אלעזר מאי דכתיב (זכריה ד, י) כי מי בז ליום קטנות מי גרם לצדיקים שיתבזבז שולחנן לעתיד לבא קטנות שהיה בהן שלא האמינו בהקב"ה רבא אמר אלו קטני בני רשעי ישראל

And this is what Rabbi Elazar said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For who plunders the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10)? What caused the table, i.e., the reward, of the righteous to be plundered, meaning wasted, in the future? It was the small-mindedness they possessed. And what is this small-mindedness? That they did not believe in the Holy One, Blessed be He, with a complete faith. Rava said: Who plunders the day of small things? These are the small children of the wicked ones of the Jewish people, who die young,