רַע כׇּל הַיּוֹם אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ יִצְרוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם מִתְגַּבֵּר עָלָיו בְּכׇל יוֹם וּמְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲמִיתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר צוֹפֶה רָשָׁע לַצַּדִּיק וּמְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲמִיתוֹ וְאִלְמָלֵא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁעוֹזֵר לוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ה׳ לֹא יַעַזְבֶנּוּ בְיָדוֹ וְלֹא יַרְשִׁיעֶנּוּ בְּהִשָּׁפְטוֹ evil all day” (Genesis 6:5). All day long his thoughts and desires are for evil. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: A person’s evil inclination overcomes him each day and seeks to kill him, as it stated: “The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to kill him” (Psalms 37:32); the wicked here is referring to the wickedness inside one’s heart. And if not for the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who assists him with the good inclination, he would not overcome it, as it is stated: “The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor suffer him to be condemned when he is judged” (Psalms 37:33).
תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אִם פָּגַע בְּךָ מְנֻוּוֹל זֶה מׇשְׁכֵהוּ לְבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ אִם אֶבֶן הוּא נִימּוֹחַ אִם בַּרְזֶל הוּא מִתְפּוֹצֵץ אִם אֶבֶן הוּא נִימּוֹחַ דִּכְתִיב הוֹי כׇּל צָמֵא לְכוּ לַמַּיִם וּכְתִיב אֲבָנִים שָׁחֲקוּ מַיִם אִם בַּרְזֶל הוּא מִתְפּוֹצֵץ דִּכְתִיב הָא כֹה דְבָרִי כָּאֵשׁ נְאֻם ה׳ וּכְפַטִּישׁ יְפוֹצֵץ סָלַע The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: If this scoundrel, the evil inclination, accosted you, seeking to tempt you to sin, drag it to the study hall and study Torah. If it is like a stone, it will be dissolved by the Torah. If it is like iron, it will be shattered. The Gemara elaborates: If it is like stone, it will be dissolved, as it is written: “Ho, everyone who is thirsty, come you for the water” (Isaiah 55:1), water in this context meaning Torah; and it is written: “Stones were worn by water” (Job 14:19). If it is like iron, it will be shattered, as it is written: “Is not My word like fire, says the Lord; and like a hammer that shatters rock” (Jeremiah 23:29).
אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן יֵצֶר הָרָע מְסִיתוֹ לָאָדָם בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וּמֵעִיד עָלָיו לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר מְפַנֵּק מִנּוֹעַר עַבְדּוֹ וְאַחֲרִיתוֹ יִהְיֶה מָנוֹן שֶׁכֵּן בְּאַטְבַּ״ח שֶׁל רַבִּי חִיָּיא קוֹרִין לְסָהֲדָה מָנוֹן Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The evil inclination incites a person to sin in this world, and then testifies against him in the next world, as it is stated: “He that delicately brings up his servant from a child shall have him become a master [manon] at the last” (Proverbs 29:21). Initially, in one’s youth, the evil inclination, which should have been enslaved to him, takes control of him and causes him to sin. Then, ultimately, that same evil inclination becomes his manon. Manon means witness, as in Rabbi Ḥiyya’s coded alphabet in which alef and tet and beit and ḥet, etc., are interchanged. Witness [sahada] is called manon. The letters mem and samekh, nun and heh, and vav and dalet are interchanged with other letters.
רַב הוּנָא רָמֵי כְּתִיב כִּי רוּחַ זְנוּנִים הִתְעָה וּכְתִיב בְּקִרְבָּם בַּתְּחִלָּה הִתְעָם וּלְבַסּוֹף בְּקִרְבָּם Rav Huna raised a contradiction between two verses. It is written: “For the spirit of harlotry caused them to err” (Hosea 4:12), indicating that this spirit was a temporary phenomenon and not an integral part of their persona. And it is also written: “For the spirit of harlotry is within them” (Hosea 5:4), indicating that it is an integral part of their persona. The Gemara explains: Initially, it causes them to err from without, and ultimately, it is from within them.
אָמַר רָבָא בַּתְּחִלָּה קְרָאוֹ הֵלֶךְ וּלְבַסּוֹף קְרָאוֹ אוֹרֵחַ וּלְבַסּוֹף קְרָאוֹ אִישׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיָּבֹא הֵלֶךְ לְאִישׁ הֶעָשִׁיר וַיַּחְמוֹל לָקַחַת מִצֹּאנוֹ וּמִבְּקָרוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹרֵחַ וּכְתִיב וַיִּקַּח אֶת כִּבְשַׂת הָאִישׁ הָרָשׁ וַיַּעֲשֶׂהָ לָאִישׁ הַבָּא אֵלָיו Rava said: Initially, the verse called the evil inclination a traveler coming from afar. Subsequently, the verse calls it a guest, as one welcomes it. Ultimately, the verse calls it man, indicating significance, as it became the homeowner. As it is stated in the parable of the poor man’s lamb that Nathan the prophet said to David: “And there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was reluctant to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to prepare for the guest” (II Samuel 12:4). And it is written in the same verse: “And he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared it for the man that was come to him.” In other words, the evil inclination that began as a traveler gradually rose in prominence.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אֵבֶר קָטָן יֵשׁ לוֹ לָאָדָם מַרְעִיבוֹ שָׂבֵעַ מַשְׂבִּיעוֹ רָעֵב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כְּמַרְעִיתָם וַיִּשְׂבָּעוּ וְגוֹ׳ Rabbi Yoḥanan said: A man has a small organ used in sexual relations. If he starves the organ, and does not overindulge, it is satiated; however, if he satiates the organ and overindulges in sexual relations, it is starving, and desires more, as it is stated: “When they were fed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me” (Hosea 13:6).
אָמַר רַב חָנָא בַּר אַחָא אָמְרִי בֵּי רַב אַרְבָּעָה מִתְחָרֵט עֲלֵיהֶן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁבְּרָאָם וְאֵלּוּ הֵן גָּלוּת כַּשְׂדִּים וְיִשְׁמְעֵאלִים וְיֵצֶר הָרָע גָּלוּת דִּכְתִיב וְעַתָּה מַה לִּי פֹה נְאֻם ה׳ כִּי לֻקַּח עַמִּי חִנָּם וְגוֹ׳ כַּשְׂדִּים דִּכְתִיב הֵן אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים זֶה הָעָם לֹא הָיָה Rav Ḥana bar Aḥa said that the Sages in the school of Rav say: There are four creations that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created, yet He, as it were, regrets that He created them, as they do more harm than good. And these are they: Exile, Chaldeans, and Ishmaelites, and the evil inclination. Exile, as it is written: “Now therefore, for what am I here, says the Lord, seeing that My people is taken away for naught” (Isaiah 52:5). God Himself is asking: For what am I here? Chaldeans, as it is written: “Behold the land of the Chaldeans, this is the people that was not” (Isaiah 23:13), meaning, if only they never were.
יִשְׁמְעֵאלִים דִּכְתִיב יִשְׁלָיוּ אֹהָלִים לְשׁוֹדְדִים וּבַטּוּחוֹת לְמַרְגִּיזֵי אֵל לַאֲשֶׁר הֵבִיא אֱלוֹהַּ בְּיָדוֹ יֵצֶר הָרָע דִּכְתִיב וַאֲשֶׁר הֲרֵעֹתִי Ishmaelites, as it is written: “The tents of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure, in whatsoever God brings with His hand” (Job 12:6). God brought upon Himself these Arabs that dwell in the deserts in tents. The evil inclination, as it is written: “On that day, says the Lord, will I assemble her that is lame, and I will gather her that is driven away, and her that I corrupted” (Micah 4:6). God is saying that He created the evil inclination that led the people to sin and to be cast into exile.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אִלְמָלֵא שָׁלֹשׁ מִקְרָאוֹת הַלָּלוּ נִתְמוֹטְטוּ רַגְלֵיהֶם שֶׁל שׂוֹנְאֵיהֶן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל חַד דִּכְתִיב וַאֲשֶׁר הֲרֵעֹתִי וְחַד דִּכְתִיב הִנֵּה כַחוֹמֶר בְּיַד הַיּוֹצֵר כֵּן אַתֶּם וְגוֹ׳ וְאִידַּךְ וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשַׂרְכֶם וְנָתַתִּי לָכֶם לֵב בָּשָׂר Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Were it not for these three verses that follow that indicate that God controls people’s hearts, the legs of the enemies of the Jewish people, a euphemism for the Jewish people themselves, would have collapsed, unable to withstand the repercussions of their sins. One, as it is written: “And her that I corrupted,” indicating God’s regret for doing so. And one, as it is written: “Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel” (Jeremiah 18:6). And the other verse: “And I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26), indicating that the matter is not solely in human hands, but in the hands of God as well.
רַב פָּפָּא אָמַר אַף מֵהַאי נָמֵי וְאֶת רוּחִי אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְגוֹ׳ Rav Pappa said: It is derived from this verse as well: “And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:27).
וַיַּרְאֵנִי ה׳ אַרְבָּעָה חָרָשִׁים מַאן נִינְהוּ אַרְבָּעָה חָרָשִׁים אָמַר רַב חָנָא בַּר בִּיזְנָא אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן חֲסִידָא מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד וּמָשִׁיחַ בֶּן יוֹסֵף וְאֵלִיָּהוּ וְכֹהֵן צֶדֶק מֵתִיב רַב שֵׁשֶׁת אִי הָכִי הַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי אֵלֶּה הַקְּרָנוֹת אֲשֶׁר זֵרוּ אֶת יְהוּדָה הָנֵי לְשׁוּבָה אָתוּ § Apropos the end of days, the Gemara cites another verse and interprets it homiletically. It is stated: “The Lord then showed me four craftsmen” (Zechariah 2:3). Who are these four craftsmen? Rav Ḥana bar Bizna said that Rabbi Shimon Ḥasida said: They are Messiah ben David, Messiah ben Yosef, Elijah, and the righteous High Priest, who will serve in the Messianic era. Rav Sheshet raised an objection: If so, if that is the identity of the four craftsmen, then that which is written in the previous verse: “And he said to me: These are the horns that scattered Judea” (Zechariah 2:4), is difficult; these four in the first verse are coming for their enemies, and are not redeemers.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ שְׁפֵיל לְסֵיפֵיהּ דִּקְרָא וְיָבוֹאוּ אֵלֶּה לְהַחֲרִיד אוֹתָם לְיַדּוֹת אֶת קַרְנוֹת הַגּוֹיִם הַנּוֹשְׂאִים קֶרֶן אֶל אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה לְזָרוֹתָהּ וְגוֹ׳ אֲמַר לֵיהּ בַּהֲדֵי חָנָא בְּאַגָּדְתָּא לְמָה לִי Rav Ḥana said to Rav Sheshet: Go to the end of the verse: “These then are come to frighten them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.” This indicates that the horns refer to the nations that exiled the Jewish people and that the four craftsmen will hurl those horns aside. Rav Sheshet said to him: Why should I disagree with Rav Ḥana in matters of aggada, where he is more expert than I, and I cannot prevail?
וְהָיָה זֶה שָׁלוֹם אַשּׁוּר כִּי יָבֹא בְאַרְצֵנוּ וְכִי יִדְרוֹךְ בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֵינוּ וַהֲקֵמֹנוּ עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה רוֹעִים וּשְׁמֹנָה נְסִיכֵי אָדָם מַאן נִינְהוּ שִׁבְעָה רוֹעִים דָּוִד בָּאֶמְצַע אָדָם שֵׁת וּמְתוּשֶׁלַח מִימִינוֹ אַבְרָהָם יַעֲקֹב וּמֹשֶׁה בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּמַאן נִינְהוּ שְׁמֹנָה נְסִיכֵי אָדָם יִשַׁי וְשָׁאוּל וּשְׁמוּאֵל עָמוֹס וּצְפַנְיָה צִדְקִיָּה וּמָשִׁיחַ וְאֵלִיָּהוּ: The Gemara continues homiletically interpreting verses that relate to the end of days. It is stated: “And this shall be peace: When the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight princes among men” (Micah 5:4). The Gemara asks: Who are these seven shepherds? The Gemara explains: David is in the middle; Adam, Seth, and Methuselah are to his right; Abraham, Jacob, and Moses are to his left. And who are the eight princes among men? They are Yishai, Saul, Samuel, Amos, Zephania, Zedekiah, Messiah, and Elijah.
אַרְבָּעָה סוּלָּמוֹת כּוּ׳ תָּנָא גּוֹבְהָהּ שֶׁל מְנוֹרָה חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה וְאַרְבָּעָה יְלָדִים שֶׁל פִּרְחֵי כְּהוּנָּה וּבִידֵיהֶם כַּדֵּי שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים לוֹג אִיבַּעְיָא לְהוּ מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים לוֹג כּוּלְּהוּ אוֹ דִּלְמָא לְכׇל חַד וְחַד תָּא שְׁמַע וּבִידֵיהֶם כַּדֵּי שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל שְׁלֹשִׁים שְׁלֹשִׁים לוֹג שֶׁהֵם כּוּלָּם מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים לוֹג § The mishna continues: And there were four ladders for each pole. One of the Sages taught: The height of the candelabrum upon the pole is fifty cubits. And there were four children from the priesthood trainees holding and in their hands jugs of oil with a capacity of 120 log of oil. A dilemma was raised: Was it 120 log altogether, or perhaps each and every child carried that amount? Come and hear proof from this baraita: And in their hands were jugs of oil, each with a capacity of thirty log, that were all together 120 log.
תָּנָא וְהֵן מְשׁוּבָּחִין הָיוּ יוֹתֵר מִבְּנָהּ שֶׁל מָרְתָּא בַּת בַּיְיתּוֹס אָמְרוּ עַל בְּנָהּ שֶׁל מָרְתָּא בַּת בַּיְיתּוֹס שֶׁהָיָה נוֹטֵל שְׁתֵּי יְרֵיכוֹת שֶׁל שׁוֹר הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁלָּקוּחַ בְּאֶלֶף זוּז וּמְהַלֵּךְ עָקֵב בְּצַד גּוּדָל וְלֹא הֱנִיחוּהוּ אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן מִשּׁוּם בְּרׇב עָם הַדְרַת מֶלֶךְ One of the Sages taught: And these young priests who held the pitchers were superior in strength to the son of Marta, daughter of Baitos, who was a priest renowned for his might. They said about the son of Marta, daughter of Baitos, that he would take two thighs of a large bull that was so large that it would be purchased for one thousand zuz, and walk up the ramp in small steps, heel to toe, without hurrying, due to his strength. However, his brethren the priests would not allow him do so, due to the principle: “In the multitude of people is the King’s glory” (Proverbs 14:28). The more priests engaged in the Temple service, the greater glory for God. Therefore, it is preferable for the thighs to be carried to the altar by multiple priests.
מַאי מְשׁוּבָּחִים אִילֵּימָא מִשּׁוּם יוּקְרָא הָנֵי יַקִּירִי טְפֵי אֶלָּא הָתָם כֶּבֶשׁ וּמְרוּבָּע וְלָא זְקִיף הָכָא סוּלָּמוֹת וּזְקִיף טוּבָא: The Gemara asks: In what sense were these young priests superior? If we say it is due to the weight of the pitchers that they carried, these two thighs are heavier than the thirty log of oil. The Gemara answers: Rather, the difference is that there, in the case of the son of Marta, he walked on a ramp that was wide, and with a moderate gradient of only one cubit every four cubits of length, and it is not steep; here they climbed ladders, and those are very steep.
וְלֹא הָיָה חָצֵר בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם תָּנָא § The mishna continues: And there was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated from the light of the Place of the Drawing of the Water. One of the Sages taught: