Taanit 5b:11תענית ה׳ ב:יא
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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5bה׳ ב

שקולה כשתים ומאי ניהו ע"ז דכתיב (ירמיהו ב, יג) כי שתים רעות עשה עמי אותי עזבו מקור מים חיים לחצוב להם בארות בארות נשברים וכתיב בהו (ירמיהו ב, י) כי עברו איי כתיים וראו וקדר שלחו והתבוננו מאד וגו' ההימיר גוי אלהים והמה לא אלהים ועמי המיר כבודו בלא יועיל

equivalent to two. And what is this sin? Idol worship, as it is written: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns” (Jeremiah 2:13), and it is written about the Jewish people: “For pass over the isles of the Kittim and see; and send to Kedar and observe carefully, and see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation exchanged its gods, although they are no gods? But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit” (Jeremiah 2:10–11).

תנא כותיים עובדים לאש וקדריים עובדין למים ואע"פ שיודעים שהמים מכבין את האש לא המירו אלהיהם ועמי המיר כבודי בלא יועיל

It is taught in a baraita with regard to this verse: Kittites, i.e., the people of the isles of Kittim, worship fire and the people of Kedar worship water, and even though they know that water extinguishes fire, nevertheless they have not exchanged their god: “But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit.”

וא"ל רב נחמן לר' יצחק מ"ד (שמואל א ח, א) ויהי כאשר זקן שמואל ומי סיב שמואל כולי האי והא בר נ"ב הוה דאמר מר מת בנ"ב שנה זהו מיתתו של שמואל הרמתי

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And it came to pass when Samuel was old” (I Samuel 8:1)? And did Samuel really grow so old? But he was only fifty-two years old when he died, as the Master said in a baraita that deals with the Divine punishment of karet: One who dies at the age of fifty-two years is not considered to have suffered the premature death of karet, as this is the age of the death of Samuel of Rama. This shows that Samuel died at the relatively young age of fifty-two.

א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן זקנה קפצה עליו דכתיב (שמואל א טו, יא) נחמתי כי המלכתי את שאול אמר לפניו רבש"ע שקלתני כמשה ואהרן דכתיב (תהלים צט, ו) משה ואהרן בכהניו ושמואל בקוראי שמו מה משה ואהרן לא בטלו מעשה ידיהם בחייהם אף אני לא יתבטל מעשה ידי בחיי

Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Old age sprang upon Samuel, which caused him to appear older than his actual age, as it is written: “I regret that I made Saul king” (I Samuel 15:11). Samuel said before God: Master of the Universe, You have considered me the equivalent of Moses and Aaron, as it is written: “Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who call upon His Name” (Psalms 99:6). Just as with regard to Moses and Aaron, their handiwork was not annulled in their lifetimes, so too, let my handiwork not be annulled in my lifetime. I anointed Saul; please do not annul his reign.

אמר הקב"ה היכי אעביד לימות שאול לא קא שביק שמואל לימות שמואל אדזוטר מרנני אבתריה לא לימות שאול ולא לימות שמואל כבר הגיעה מלכות דוד ואין מלכות נוגעת בחברתה אפילו כמלא נימא

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: What shall I do? Shall Saul die now? Samuel will not allow it, as he has petitioned that Saul should not die. Shall Samuel die young, with Saul passing away immediately afterward? The people will murmur about him, and wonder what transgression Samuel committed that caused his early demise. Shall neither Saul nor Samuel die? The time of David’s reign has already arrived, and one kingdom does not overlap with another and subtract from the time allotted to it even by a hairbreadth [nima].

אמר הקב"ה אקפיץ עליו זקנה היינו דכתיב (שמואל א כב, ו) ושאול יושב בגבעה תחת האשל ברמה וכי מה ענין גבעה אצל רמה אלא לומר לך מי גרם לשאול שישב בגבעה שתי שנים ומחצה תפלתו של שמואל הרמתי

Therefore, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I will spring old age upon him and everyone will think that Shmuel is elderly. This is the meaning of that which is written: “And Saul dwelled in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree in Rama” (I Samuel 22:6). What does Gibeah have to do with Rama; these are two separate places. Rather, the verse comes to tell you: Who caused Saul to dwell in Gibeah for two and a half years? The prayer of Samuel of Rama.

ומי מידחי גברא מקמי גברא אין דא"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר (יוחנן) מ"ד (הושע ו, ה) על כן חצבתי בנביאים הרגתים באמרי פי במעשיהם לא נאמר אלא באמרי פי אלמא מידחי גברא מקמי גברא

The Gemara asks: And is one man set aside before another man? In other words, is Samuel’s life set aside simply because the time for David’s reign has arrived? The Gemara answers: Yes, as Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Therefore I have hewn by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth” (Hosea 6:5)? It is not stated: By their deeds, but rather: “By the words of My mouth,” i.e., God sometimes ends the life of an individual simply by virtue of His decree. Apparently, one man is indeed set aside before another man.

רב נחמן ור' יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא א"ל רב נחמן לר' יצחק לימא מר מילתא א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן אין מסיחין בסעודה שמא יקדים קנה לושט ויבא לידי סכנה

§ In continuation of Rav Naḥman’s questions of Rabbi Yitzḥak, the Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman and Rabbi Yitzḥak were sitting and eating together at a meal. Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Let the Master say a matter, i.e., share a Torah idea with me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One may not speak during a meal, lest the trachea will precede the esophagus. Food is meant to enter the esophagus, and when one speaks his trachea opens and the food might enter there. And therefore, one should not speak during a meal, as he might come into the danger of choking.

בתר דסעוד א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן יעקב אבינו לא מת א"ל וכי בכדי ספדו ספדנייא וחנטו חנטייא וקברו קברייא א"ל מקרא אני דורש שנאמר (ירמיהו ל, י) ואתה אל תירא עבדי יעקב נאם ה' ואל תחת ישראל כי הנני מושיעך מרחוק ואת זרעך מארץ שבים מקיש הוא לזרעו מה זרעו בחיים אף הוא בחיים

After they had eaten, Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Our patriarch Jacob did not die. Rav Naḥman asked him in surprise: And was it for naught that the eulogizers eulogized him and the embalmers embalmed him and the buriers buried him? Rabbi Yitzḥak replied to Rav Naḥman: I am interpreting a verse, as it is stated: “Therefore do not fear, Jacob My servant, says the Lord, neither be dismayed, Israel, for I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity” (Jeremiah 30:10). This verse juxtaposes Jacob to his seed: Just as his seed is alive when redeemed, so too, Jacob himself is alive.

א"ר יצחק כל האומר רחב רחב מיד נקרי א"ל רב נחמן אנא אמינא ולא איכפת לי א"ל כי קאמינא ביודעה ובמכירה (ובמזכיר את שמה)

Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Anyone who says: Rahab Rahab, immediately experiences a seminal emission, due to the arousal of desire caused by Rahab’s great beauty. Rav Naḥman said to him: I say Rahab and it does not affect me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman: When I said this I was specifically referring to a man who knew her and to one who recognized her. With regard to anyone who had met Rahab in person, the mere mention of her name would arouse his lust.

כי הוו מיפטרי מהדדי א"ל ליברכן מר אמר ליה אמשול לך משל למה"ד לאדם שהיה הולך במדבר והיה רעב ועיף וצמא ומצא אילן שפירותיו מתוקין וצילו נאה ואמת המים עוברת תחתיו אכל מפירותיו ושתה ממימיו וישב בצילו

The Gemara relates: When they were taking leave of one another, Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Master, give me a blessing. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to him: I will tell you a parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to one who was walking through a desert and who was hungry, tired, and thirsty. And he found a tree whose fruits were sweet and whose shade was pleasant, and a stream of water flowed beneath it. He ate from the fruits of the tree, drank from the water in the stream, and sat in the shade of the tree.

וכשביקש לילך אמר אילן אילן במה אברכך אם אומר לך שיהו פירותיך מתוקין הרי פירותיך מתוקין שיהא צילך נאה הרי צילך נאה שתהא אמת המים עוברת תחתיך הרי אמת המים עוברת תחתיך אלא יהי רצון שכל נטיעות שנוטעין ממך

And when he wished to leave, he said: Tree, tree, with what shall I bless you? If I say to you that your fruits should be sweet, your fruits are already sweet; if I say that your shade should be pleasant, your shade is already pleasant; if I say that a stream of water should flow beneath you, a stream of water already flows beneath you. Rather, I will bless you as follows: May it be God’s will that all saplings which they plant from you