Sotah 5aסוטה ה׳ א
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5aה׳ א

אפילו עושה צדקה בסתר דכתיב (משלי כא, יד) מתן בסתר יכפה אף וגו' לא ינקה מדינה של גיהנם

Even if the one who committed adultery performs charitable deeds secretly, as alluded to in the phrase “hand to hand,” and even if one might think that one who does so will go unpunished, as it is written with regard to charity of this kind: “A gift in secret pacifies wrath” (Proverbs 21:14), nevertheless, he will not be unpunished from the judgment of Gehenna.

אזהרה לגסי הרוח מנין אמר רבא אמר זעירי (ירמיהו יג, טו) שמעו והאזינו אל תגבהו רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר מהכא (דברים ח, יד) ורם לבבך ושכחת וכתיב (דברים ח, יא) השמר לך פן תשכח את ה' אלהיך

§ The Gemara previously discussed the impropriety of the trait of arrogance. Now the Gemara discusses the source of its prohibition. From where is the warning derived, i.e., what is the source prohibiting the behavior of the arrogant? Rava says that Ze’eiri says: The source is from the verse: “Hear, you, and give ear, be not proud, for the Lord has spoken” (Jeremiah 13:15). Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said the warning is from here: “Then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:14), and it is also written in that same passage: “Beware lest you forget the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:11).

וכדרבי אבין אמר רבי אילעא דאמר רבי אבין אמר רבי אילעא כל מקום שנאמר השמר פן ואל אינו אלא בלא תעשה

The Gemara explains: And these sources are in accordance with a statement that Rabbi Avin says that Rabbi Ile’a says, as Rabbi Avin says that Rabbi Ile’a says: Wherever it is stated in a verse “beware,” “lest,” or “not,” this is nothing other than a prohibition. Since these verses employ these terms in the context of one who is arrogant, they serve as sources for the prohibition.

דרש רב עוירא זמנין אמר לה משמיה דרב אסי וזמנין אמר לה משמיה דרב אמי כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח לסוף מתמעט שנאמר (איוב כד, כד) רומו מעט ושמא תאמר ישנו בעולם ת"ל ואיננו

Rav Avira interpreted the following verse homiletically: “They are exalted for a little while, and they are gone; yes, they are brought low, they are gathered in as all others, and wither as the tops of the husks” (Job 24:24). There were times when he said this interpretation in the name of Rav Asi and there were times when he said it in the name of Rav Ami: Any person who has arrogance within him will ultimately be diminished in standing, as it is stated in the phrase: “They are exalted for a little while,” indicating that one who raises himself above others will be exalted only briefly. And lest you say that even if he is diminished he will still exist in this world and live a full life, the verse states: “And they are gone,” indicating that they die before their time.

ואם חוזר בו נאסף בזמנו כאברהם אבינו שנאמר (איוב כד, כד) והומכו ככל יקפצון כאברהם יצחק ויעקב דכתיב בהו (בראשית כד, א) בכל (בראשית כז, לג) מכל (בראשית לג, יא) כל ואם לאו (איוב כד, כד) וכראש שבולת ימלו

He continues the interpretation: But if he repents from his arrogance, he is gathered in death at his proper time like Abraham our forefather, as it is stated: “Yes, they are brought low, they are gathered in as all [kakkol] others” (Job 24:24), indicating that when he repents from his arrogance he will die like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as it is written about them that they were blessed with the term “all,” as in the verse above. With regard to Abraham, the verse states: “And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things [bakkol]” (Genesis 24:1). With regard to Isaac, the verse states: “And I have eaten of all [mikkol]” (Genesis 27:33). With regard to Jacob, the verse states: “And because I have all [khol]” (Genesis 33:11). And if one does not repent, then, the verse in Job continues: “And wither like the tops of the husk.”

מאי וכראש שבולת רב הונא ורב חסדא חד אמר כי סאסא דשיבלתא וחד אמר כשיבולת עצמה בשלמא למאן דאמר כי סאסא דשיבלתא היינו דכתיב וכראש שבולת אלא למאן דאמר כי שובלתא עצמה מאי וכראש שבולת אמר רב אסי וכן תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל משל לאדם שנכנס לתוך שדהו גבוהה גבוהה הוא מלקט

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “and wither like the tops of the husks”? Rav Huna and Rav Ḥisda offered differing interpretations. One says that it means: Like the awn of bristle-like growth on the top of the husk, and one says that it means: Like the husk itself. The Gemara comments: Granted, according to the one who says: Like the awn of bristle-like growth on the top of the husk, that is that which is written in the verse: “And wither like the tops of the husks,” since this awn is on the top of the husk. But according to the one who says: Like the husk itself, what is the meaning of the expression “and wither like the tops of the husks”? Rav Asi says, and similarly the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: This can be explained by way of an analogy to a person who enters into his field, as he gathers the taller stalks before the shorter ones. The verse is therefore referring to the tallest stalks, not the tops of the stalks.

(ישעיהו נז, טו) ואת דכא ושפל רוח רב הונא ורב חסדא חד אמר אתי דכא וחד אמר אני את דכא

The Gemara continues the discussion of arrogance, and its converse, humility. The verse states: “For thus says the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, also with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15). Rav Huna and Rav Ḥisda offered differing interpretations of this verse. One says that the verse means: Together with Me is the person who is contrite and humble. In other words, God elevates the humble. And one says that the verse means: I, God, descend, and am found together with the person who is contrite and humble.

ומסתברא כמ"ד אני את דכא שהרי הקב"ה הניח כל הרים וגבעות והשרה שכינתו על הר סיני ולא גבה הר סיני למעלה

The Gemara comments on this: And it stands to reason that the meaning of the verse is like the one who says: I am with the contrite person, as the Holy One, Blessed be He, disregarded all of the mountains and hills, and rested His Divine Presence on the lowly Mount Sinai, and He did not choose to raise Mount Sinai up toward Him. God chose to give the Torah on Mount Sinai, as it was a symbol of humility due to its lack of height, and He lowered His Divine Presence, as it were, to the mountain.

א"ר יוסף לעולם ילמד אדם מדעת קונו שהרי הקב"ה הניח כל הרים וגבעות והשרה שכינתו על הר סיני (והניח כל אילנות טובות והשרה שכינתו בסנה)

Rav Yosef says: A person should always learn proper behavior from the wisdom of his Creator, as the Holy One, Blessed be He, disregarded all of the mountains and hills and rested His Divine Presence on the lowly Mount Sinai. And similarly, when appearing to Moses, He disregarded all of the beautiful trees and rested His Divine Presence on the bush (Exodus 3:2).

א"ר אלעזר כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח ראוי לגדעו כאשירה כתיב הכא (ישעיהו י, לג) ורמי הקומה גדועים וכתיב התם (דברים ז, ה) ואשיריהם תגדעון

Rabbi Elazar says: Concerning any person who has arrogance within him, it is fitting to hew him down, as a tree designated for idolatry [asheira] is hewn down, as it is written here with regard to the arrogant: “And the high ones of stature shall be hewn down [gedu’im]” (Isaiah 10:33), and it is written there with regard to trees designated for idolatry: “And hew down [teggade’un] their trees worshipped as part of idolatrous rites [asheireihem]” (Deuteronomy 7:5).

וא"ר אלעזר כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח אין עפרו ננער שנא' (ישעיהו כו, יט) הקיצו ורננו שכני עפר שכבי בעפר לא נאמר אלא שכני עפר מי שנעשה שכן לעפר בחייו

And Rabbi Elazar also says: Concerning any person who has arrogance within him, his dust, i.e., his remains in his grave, will not stir at the time of the resurrection of the dead, as it is stated: “Awake and sing for joy, you who dwell in the dust” (Isaiah 26:19). It is not stated: You who lie in the dust, which would indicate that all the dead will be awakened in the future, but rather: “You who dwell in the dust,” indicating that only one who became a neighbor to the dust in his lifetime by living with extreme humility will stir at the time of the resurrection.

ואמר ר' אלעזר כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח שכינה מיללת עליו שנאמר (תהלים קלח, ו) וגבוה ממרחק יידע

And Rabbi Elazar says: Concerning any person who has arrogance within him, the Divine Presence wails over him. As it is stated: “For though the Lord is high, yet regards He the lowly, and from the haughty He is pained from afar” (Psalms 138:6).

דרש רב עוירא ואיתימא רבי אלעזר בא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם גבוה רואה את הגבוה ואין גבוה רואה את השפל אבל מדת הקב"ה אינו כן הוא גבוה ורואה את השפל שנא' (תהלים קלח, ו) כי רם ה' ושפל יראה

Rav Avira interpreted a verse homiletically, and some say that Rabbi Elazar interpreted as follows: Come and see that the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not like the attribute of flesh and blood. The attribute of flesh and blood is that the elevated sees the elevated, but the elevated does not see the lowly. But the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not like that. He is elevated but sees specifically the lowly, as it is stated: “For though the Lord is high, yet regards He the lowly” (Psalms 138:6).

אמר רב חסדא ואיתימא מר עוקבא כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח אמר הקב"ה אין אני והוא יכולין לדור בעולם שנא' (תהלים קא, ה) מלשני בסתר רעהו אותו אצמית גבה עינים ורחב לבב אותו לא אוכל אל תקרי אותו אלא אתו לא אוכל איכא דמתני לה אמספרי לשון הרע שנא' מלשני בסתר רעהו אותו אצמית

Rav Ḥisda says, and some say that Mar Ukva says: Concerning any person who has arrogance within him, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: He and I cannot dwell together in the world, as it is stated: “He who slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I destroy; he who is haughty of eye and proud of heart, him will I not suffer [oto lo ukhal]” (Psalms 101:5–6). These verses should be understood as follows: Do not read the verse as: Oto lo ukhal”; rather, read it as: Itto lo ukhal, meaning, with him, I cannot bear to dwell. There are those who teach that this was stated with regard to those who speak slander because the beginning of the verse states: “He who slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I destroy.”

א"ר אלכסנדרי כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח אפילו רוח קימעא עוכרתו שנאמר (ישעיהו נז, כ) והרשעים כים נגרש ומה ים שיש בו כמה רביעיות רוח קימעא עוכרתו אדם שאין בו אלא רביעית אחת עאכ"ו

Rabbi Alexandri says: Concerning any person who has arrogance within him, even a slight wind disturbs him, as it is stated: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, for it cannot rest” (Isaiah 57:20). And if with regard to the sea, which contains many quantities of quarters of a log of water, yet a slight wind disturbs it, certainly with regard to a person, who has in his body only one quarter-log of essential lifeblood, all the more so will a slight wind disturb him.

א"ר חייא בר אשי אמר רב ת"ח צריך שיהא בו אחד משמונה בשמינית א"ר הונא בריה דרב יהושע ומעטרא ליה כי סאסא לשבולתא אמר רבא בשמתא דאית ביה ובשמתא דלית ביה

Rav Ḥiyya bar Ashi says that Rav says: Despite the opprobrium assigned to one who exhibits the trait of arrogance, a Torah scholar must have one-eighth of one-eighth of arrogance. Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, said: And this minute measure of arrogance crowns him as the awn of bristle-like growth on the top of the husk. Rava said: A Torah scholar who has arrogance should be excommunicated, and one who does not have arrogance at all should be excommunicated as well. As such, he must have only a minute measure of arrogance.

א"ר נחמן בר יצחק לא מינה ולא מקצתה מי זוטר דכתיב ביה (משלי טז, ה) תועבת ה' כל גבה לב

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Even a Torah scholar should not have any arrogance or any part of arrogance, i.e., not even one-eighth of one-eighth. He explains why arrogance should be avoided entirely by asking: Is it a small matter that it is written with regard to arrogance: “Everyone that is proud of heart is an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 16:5)?

אמר חזקיה אין תפלתו של אדם נשמעת אא"כ משים לבו כבשר שנא' (ישעיהו סו, כג) והיה מדי חדש בחדשו [וגו'] יבא כל בשר להשתחוות וגו'

Ḥizkiyya says: The prayers of a person are heard only if he casts his heart to be like flesh, by being free of arrogance. As it is stated: “And it shall come to pass, that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:23).

א"ר זירא בשר כתיב ביה (ויקרא יג, יח) ונרפא אדם לא כתיב ביה ונרפא

Rabbi Zeira said: Concerning leprosy of the flesh, it is written in the verse with regard to it: “And when the flesh has in the skin thereof a boil, and it is healed” (Leviticus 13:18), but concerning the leprosy of a person, it is not written in the verse with regard to it: And it is healed. Both verses discussing leprosy of a person make no mention of healing (Leviticus 13:2, 13:9). This indicates that one who sees himself as flesh will be cured, but one who holds himself in high regard will not be cured.

א"ר יוחנן אד"ם א"פר ד"ם מ"רה בש"ר ב"ושה ס"רוחה ר"מה איכא דאמרי שאול דכתיב בשין

Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The Hebrew word for person, adam, written: Alef, dalet, mem, is an acronym for efer, dust; dam, blood; and mara, bile, alluding to man’s insignificance. Similarly, the Hebrew word for flesh, basar, written: Beit, sin, reish, is an acronym for busha, shame; seruḥa, putrid; and rimma, worm, also alluding to his insignificance. There are those who say that the letter sin of the word basar actually is referring to a different word, sheol, the netherworld, as it is written with the Hebrew letter shin. The letter sin is phonetically similar to the letter samekh, the first letter of the word seruḥa, but is orthographically similar to the letter shin, the first letter of the word sheol. The dispute is whether the acronym should be based upon the pronunciation or upon the way it is written.

א"ר אשי כל אדם שיש בו גסות הרוח לסוף נפחת שנאמר

Rav Ashi says: Any person who has arrogance within him will ultimately be diminished in stature, as it is stated with regard to different types of leprosy: