שמעון בנו. והוא מהרוגי המלכות וסוף פרק קמא דכריתות [דף ח'] שנינו רשב"ג אומר המעון הזה לא אלין הלילה עד שיהא (ברביעית) [בדינרין] ועל כרחנו רבן שמעון זה איננו שנזכר לקמן בסוף פירקין שאותו לא היה בימי הבית שלא הזכירו בפ"ק דשבת [דף ע"ו] כי אם עד שמעון השני. ואולי כשאמר מאמר זה עדיין לא עלה לגדולת שם רבן דוגמת בן זכאי במשנה ב' פ"ה דסנהדרין ואע"פ שראיתי טעם אחר בזה בספר עשרה מאמרות מה שנראה לי כתבתי: SHIMON, HIS SON. He was one of those martyred by Rome. The Talmud says in Keritot 8a: Once, the price of a pair of birds brought as sacrifices went up to a gold dinar in Jerusalem. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said, “By this dwelling! I will not go to sleep for the night until the price is in silver dinars!” The Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of the passage in Keritot cannot be the one mentioned at the end of this chapter in mishna 18, because that one did not live when the temple stood, and the chain of nesi’im in the first chapter of Shabbat47See the beginning of the commentary to mishna 16. ends at the second Shimon48The chain there is Hillel, Hillel’s son Shimon, Shimon’s son Gamliel, Gamliel’s son Shimon. Mishna 16 started with Gamliel, Hillel’s grandson; Hillel’s son, Shimon, evidently receives no mention in Pirkei Avot. Mishna 17, which continues in chronological order, must then be referring to Gamliel’s son Shimon, who was the second Shimon mentioned in the chain of nesi’im who lived while the second temple stood. Mishna 18, which mentions a different Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, must thus be referring to a third Shimon, who was presumably the second Shimon’s grandson, and cannot have been nasi when the temple stood. As such, he cannot be identified with the Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel in the first chapter of Keritot, because it is evident from the incident quoted there that the Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Keritot indeed lived when the temple stood. The Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Keritot must then have been the second Shimon in the chain mentioned in Shabbat 15a, who is the Shimon of our mishna. . He must therefore be the Shimon of our mishna.49Tosafot Yom Tov now answers the implied question: why, then, does the mishna here refer to him simply as Shimon while the Talmud in Keritot calls him Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel? Perhaps he promulgated this dictum before he rose to such prominence as to be called Rabban,50“Our master,” reserved for the greatest scholars. as in the case of “ben Zakkai” in the mishna in Sanhedrin 5:2.51The Talmud there, Sanhedrin 41a-b, notes that “ben Zakkai” is none other than Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, who authored the teaching in question in his younger years, when he was still a student known as “ben Zakkai.” The text of the teaching entered the tradition immediately and its form remained unchanged, hence the name “ben Zakkai.” Although I saw a different explanation in the book Asarah Ma`amarot, I have written what seems best to me.
טוב משתיקה. וכן הנוסחא בספר מדרש שמואל. וביש ספרים גרסינן אלא שתיקה. וכן בספר דרך חיים. BETTER THAN SILENCE. This is the version quoted in Midrash Shmuel. He quotes an alternate version, “I have found nothing good for the body other than silence.” So also Maharal in Derech Chaim.
ולא המדרש וכו'. כתב הר"ב ותדע לך וכו' דאי לא בא לראיה על הקודם. היה ראוי שיקדים לזה וכל המרבה דברים וכו' שהוא יותר ראוי להסמיכו אל ולא מצאתי לגוף טוב משתיקה: NOT STUDY. Rav: as a proof that the best thing for the body is silence, note that even expounding and speaking of Torah, which is the best type of speech, is not the main source of reward—action is. For if this phrase were not being brought as a proof to the earlier phrase, it would have been better to place “and whoever speaks much etc.” immediately after “I have not found anything better for the body than silence,” as the former naturally leads in to the latter.