Sotah 49a:11סוטה מ״ט א:יא
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49aמ״ט א

שמבזבזין דין אביהם לעתיד לבוא אומרים לפניו רבונו של עולם מאחר שאתה עתיד ליפרע מהן למה הקהיתה שיניהם בם

who plunder, i.e., destroy, their fathers’ future judgment. When God sits in judgment of their parents, these children say before Him: Master of the Universe, because You were destined to exact punishment from our fathers in the World-to-Come for their wickedness, why did You blunt their teeth with the death of their children in their lifetimes? In this way, the death of their children atones for the fathers.

אמר ר' אילעא בר יברכיה אלמלא תפלתו של דוד היו כל ישראל מוכרי רבב שנאמר (תהלים ט, כא) שיתה ה' מורה להם וא"ר אילעא בר יברכיה אלמלא תפלתו של חבקוק היו ב' תלמידי חכמים מתכסים בטלית אחת ועוסקין בתורה שנאמר (חבקוק ג, ב) ה' שמעתי שמעך יראתי ה' פעלך בקרב שנים חייהו אל תקרא בקרב שנים אלא בקרוב שנים

§ Rabbi Ile’a bar Yeverekhya says: If it were not for the prayer of David for Israel to have sustenance, all Israel would be sellers of fat [revav], i.e., involved in debased occupations, as it is stated: “Place for them mastery, O Lord” (Psalms 9:21), that is, may God grant them dignity. And Rabbi Ile’a bar Yeverekhya also says: If it were not for the prayer of Habakkuk, two Torah scholars would have to cover themselves with a single cloak due to poverty and engage in Torah study dressed that way, as it is stated: “Lord, I heard Your report and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years” (Habakkuk 3:2). Do not read: “In the midst [bekerev] of the years [shanim],” but in the closeness [bikrov] of two [shenayim]. In other words, Habakkuk prayed that God would nullify His decree of two Torah scholars having to share a single cloak.

ואמר ר' אילעא בר יברכיה שני תלמידי חכמים המהלכין בדרך ואין ביניהן דברי תורה ראוין לישרף באש שנאמר (מלכים ב ב, יא) ויהי המה הולכים הלוך ודבר והנה רכב אש וגו' טעמא דאיכא דיבור הא ליכא דיבור ראוין לישרף

And Rabbi Ile’a bar Yeverekhya says: In the case of two Torah scholars who are walking along the way and there are no words of Torah between them, but they are conversing about other matters, they are deserving of being burned in fire. As it is stated with regard to Elijah and his disciple Elisha: “And it was as they walked along, talking, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder” (II Kings 2:11). The reason they were not burned by the chariot of fire is that there was speech exchanged between them, which presumably was words of Torah, but if there had been no speech, they would have been deserving of being burned by the chariot.

וא"ר אילעא בר יברכיה שני ת"ח הדרין בעיר אחת ואין נוחין זה לזה בהלכה אחד מת ואחד גולה שנאמר (דברים ד, מב) לנוס שמה רוצח אשר ירצח את רעהו בבלי דעת ואין דעת אלא תורה שנאמר (הושע ד, ו) נדמו עמי מבלי הדעת

And Rabbi Ile’a bar Yeverekhya says: If there are two Torah scholars who reside in the same city and they are not pleasant to each other with regard to halakha, but are constantly fighting, one of them will die and the other one will be exiled. As it is stated: “That the manslayer might flee there, who slays his neighbor without knowledge” (Deuteronomy 4:42), and “knowledge” means nothing other than Torah, as it is stated: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

אמר ר' יהודה בריה דר' חייא כל ת"ח העוסק בתורה מתוך הדחק תפלתו נשמעת שנאמר (ישעיהו ל, יט) כי עם בציון ישב בירושלים בכה לא תבכה חנון יחנך לקול זעקך כשמעתו ענך וכתיב בתריה (ישעיהו ל, כ) ונתן ה' לכם לחם צר ומים לחץ

Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, says: With regard to any Torah scholar who engages in Torah study while experiencing the pressure of poverty, his prayer is listened to, as it is stated: “For, O people that dwells in Zion at Jerusalem, you shall weep no more; He will surely be gracious to you at the voice of your cry. When He shall hear, He will answer you” (Isaiah 30:19), and after it is written: “And the Lord shall give you sparse bread and scant water” (Isaiah 30:20). This verse indicates that those who sit and study Torah, that is, the people who dwell in Zion, and eat bread sparingly, will have their prayers answered by God.

ר' אבהו אומר משביעין אותו מזיו שכינה שנאמר (ישעיהו ל, כ) והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך ר' אחא בר חנינא אמר אף אין הפרגוד ננעל בפניו. שנאמר (ישעיהו ל, כ) ולא יכנף עוד מוריך

Rabbi Abbahu says: A Torah scholar who engages in Torah study despite economic pressures is satiated with the glory of the Divine Presence, as it is stated in the same verse, above: “And your eyes shall behold your Teacher.” Rabbi Aḥa, son of Ḥanina, said: Even the concealing partition [pargod] before the Divine Presence is not locked before him, as it is stated: “And your Teacher shall not hide Himself anymore” (Isaiah 30:20).

רשב"ג אומר משום ר' יהושע מיום שחרב בהמ"ק אין וכו' אמר רבא בכל יום ויום מרובה קללתו משל חבירו שנאמר (דברים כח, סז) בבקר תאמר מי יתן ערב ובערב תאמר מי יתן בקר הי בקר אילימא בקר דלמחר מי ידע מאי הוי אלא דחליף

§ The mishna states that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua: From the day that the Temple was destroyed, there is no day that does not include some form of curse. Rava says: Each and every day is more cursed than the previous one, as it is stated in the chapter detailing the curses in the book of Deuteronomy: “In the morning you will say, would that it were evening, and in the evening you will say, would that it were morning” (Deuteronomy 28:67). It is unclear which morning the verse means. If we say that in the evening he will wish it would be the following morning, does he know what will be the outcome of the next morning, which would cause him to yearn for its arrival? Rather, it must mean the morning that has passed; that is, in the evening they will pine for the previous morning, because their situation is continuously worsening.

ואלא עלמא אמאי קא מקיים אקדושה דסידרא ואיהא שמיה רבא דאגדתא שנא' (איוב י, כב) ארץ עפתה כמו אופל צלמות ולא סדרים הא יש סדרים תופיע מאופל

The Gemara poses a question: But if everything is deteriorating, why does the world continue to exist? The Gemara answers: By the sanctification that is said in the order of prayers, after the passage that begins: And a redeemer shall come to Israel, which includes the recitation and translation of the sanctification said by the angels, and by the response: Let His great name be blessed, etc., which is recited after the study of aggada. As it is stated: “A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself; a land of the shadow of death, without any order” (Job 10:22). Therefore, it can be inferred from this verse that if there are orders of prayer and study, the land shall appear from amidst the darkness.

ולא ירד טל לברכה וניטל טעם פירות וכו' תניא ר"ש בן אלעזר אומר טהרה בטלה טעם וריח מעשר ביטל שומן דגן

§ The mishna taught that since the destruction of the Temple, dew has not descended for a blessing, and the taste has been removed from fruit. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: The lost purity has removed the taste and the aroma; the tithes that were not separated have removed the fat of grain.

רב הונא אשכח תומרתא דחינוניתא שקלה כרכה בסודריה אתא רבה בריה א"ל מורחינא ריחא דחינוניתא א"ל בני טהרה יש בך יהבה ניהליה אדהכי אתא אבא בריה שקלה יהבה ניהליה א"ל בני שמחת את לבי והקהיתה את שיני היינו דאמרי אינשי רחמי דאבא אבני רחמי דבני אבני דהוו ליה

The Gemara relates that Rav Huna found a fragrant date. He took it and wrapped it in his shawl. Rabba, his son, came and said to him: I smell the aroma of a fragrant date. Rav Huna said to him: My son, there is clearly purity in you, as you were able to notice the fragrance. He gave it to him. Meanwhile, Abba, Rabba’s son, arrived. Rabba took the date and gave it to him. Rav Huna said to Rabba: My son, you have made my heart rejoice with your purity, and you have blunted my teeth, by showing your preference for your own son. The Gemara comments: This explains the folk saying that people say: The love of a father is for the sons; the love of the sons is for their own sons, more than for their father.

רב אחא בר יעקב איטפל ביה ברב יעקב בר ברתיה כי גדל א"ל אשקיין מיא אמר לו לאו בריך אנא והיינו דאמרי אינשי רבי רבי בר ברתך אנא

The Gemara relates another incident: Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov took care of Rav Ya’akov, the son of his daughter, who was an orphan. When the grandchild grew up, his grandfather once said to him: Give me water to drink. He said to him: I am not your son, and I am not obligated in your honor as a son must honor his father. The Gemara again comments: And this explains the folk saying that people say: Raise, raise your grandchild, but in the end he will retort: I am the son of your daughter, and I do not have to take care of you.

מתני׳ בפולמוס של אספסיינוס גזרו על עטרות חתנים ועל האירוס

MISHNA: In the war [pulemus] of Vespasian the Sages decreed upon the crowns of bridegrooms, i.e., that bridegrooms may no longer wear crowns, and upon the drums, meaning they also banned the playing of drums.

בפולמוס של טיטוס גזרו על עטרות כלות ושלא ילמד אדם את בנו יוונית

In the war of Titus they also decreed upon the crowns of brides, and they decreed that a person should not teach his son Greek.

בפולמוס האחרון גזרו שלא תצא הכלה באפריון בתוך העיר ורבותינו התירו שתצא הכלה באפריון בתוך העיר

In the last war, meaning the bar Kokheva revolt, they decreed that a bride may not go out in a palanquin inside the city, but our Sages permitted a bride to go out in a palanquin inside the city, as this helps the bride maintain her modesty.

משמת ר"מ בטלו מושלי משלים משמת בן עזאי בטלו השקדנים משמת בן זומא בטלו הדרשנים משמת ר"ע בטל כבוד התורה משמת ר' חנינא בן דוסא בטלו אנשי מעשה משמת ר' יוסי קטנתא פסקו חסידים ולמה נקרא שמו קטנתא שהיה קטנתא של חסידים

The mishna lists more things that ceased: From the time when Rabbi Meir died, those who relate parables ceased; from the time when ben Azzai died, the diligent ceased; from the time when ben Zoma died, the exegetists ceased; from the time when Rabbi Akiva died, the honor of the Torah ceased; from the time when Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa died, the men of wondrous action ceased; from the time when Rabbi Yosei the Small died, the pious were no more. And why was he called the Small? Because he was the smallest of the pious, meaning he was one of the least important of the pious men.

משמת רבי יוחנן בן זכאי בטל זיו החכמה משמת ר"ג הזקן בטל כבוד התורה ומתה טהרה ופרישות משמת רבי ישמעאל בן פאבי בטלה זיו הכהונה משמת רבי בטל ענוה ויראת חטא

From the time when Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai died, the glory of wisdom ceased; from the time when Rabban Gamliel the Elder died, the honor of the Torah ceased, and purity and asceticism died. From the time when Rabbi Yishmael ben Pavi died, the glory of the priesthood ceased; from the time when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi died, humility and fear of sin ceased.

[גמ׳ ת"ר] ר' פנחס בן יאיר אומר משחרב בהמ"ק בושו חברים ובני חורין וחפו ראשם ונדלדלו אנשי מעשה וגברו בעלי זרוע ובעלי לשון ואין דורש ואין מבקש ואין שואל

gemara The Sages taught: Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir says: From the time when the Second Temple was destroyed, the ḥaverim and free men of noble lineage were ashamed, and their heads were covered in shame, and men of action dwindled, and violent and smooth-talking men gained the upper hand, and none seek, and none ask, and none inquire of the fear of Heaven.

על מי לנו להשען על אבינו שבשמים

Upon whom is there for us to rely? Only upon our Father in Heaven.

ר"א הגדול אומר מיום שחרב בית המקדש שרו חכימיא למהוי כספריא וספריא כחזניא וחזניא כעמא דארעא ועמא דארעא

Rabbi Eliezer the Great says: From the day the Second Temple was destroyed, the generations have deteriorated: Scholars have begun to become like scribes that teach children, and scribes have become like beadles, and beadles have become like ignoramuses, and ignoramuses