3ג׳
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ברייתא ר׳ יהודה אומר דרכן של תלמידי חכמים ענו ושפל רוח: [גמ׳] מנא ה״מ דכתיב בקשו את ה׳ כל ענוי הארץ אשר משפטו פעלו בקשו צדק בקשו ענוה אולי תסתרו ביום אף ה׳. רבינו הקדוש כד הוה מטי הדין קרא צווח ובכי בקשו צדק בקשו ענוה ואולי. אוי להם לבריות שחוטאים וסבורים שמיתה היא מנוס ואומר כמה עונות יכולים להשמר. א״ר יצחק בר פרנך כל עונות אדם חקוקים לו על עצמותיו, כל זכיותיו כתובים על יד ימינו שלא תאמר שעונותיהם הם הנכתבים וזכיותיהן אין נכתבין ומנין שכן שנאמר ה׳ שומרך ה׳ צלך על יד ימינך. א״ר יהושע ב״ל צריך ליתן בלבו דברים הללו והוא חוזר מאליו, בא וראה מה כתיב כי הנה יוצר הרים ובורא רוח ומגיד לאדם מה שיחו אפי׳ שיחה קלה מגידים לו בשעת מיתה. כיצד אדם מת באים עליו שלשה מלאכי השרת אחד שהוא מלאך של מות והשני סופר והשלישי שממונה עליו אמר לו קום הגיע קצך א״ל איני בא ועדיין לא הגיע קצי מיד יושב הסופר ומחשב ימיו ושנותיו מיד פתח בשר ודם את עיניו ורואה את מלאך המות ומזדעזע ונופל על פניו וחכמים אומרים מלאך המות ארכו מסוף העולם ועד סופו מכף רגלו ועד קדקדו כלו עינים לבושו אש כסותו אש רגליו אש בסכין אש שבידו טפה של מרה תלוייה בו ממנה מת ממנה מסריח ממנה פניו מוריקות ואינו מת עד שרואה הב״ה בעצמו שנאמר כי לא יראני האדם וחי בחייהם אינם רואים אבל במיתתם רואים ונאמר לפניו יכרעו כל יורדי עפר מיד מעיד האדם על עצמו כל מה שעשה בעולם הזה פיו מעיד והב״ה חותם שנאמר בי נשבעתי(נאם ה׳) יצא מפי צדקה דבר ולא ישוב לכך צריך האדם להסתכל באחריתו כדתנן ר׳ לויטס איש יבנה אומר מאד מאד הוי שפל רוח שתקות אנוש רמה. לכן שנו רבותינו ענו ושפל רוח:

BARAITHA.1For the Baraithoth in this chap. cf. DEZ I. R. Judah [the Prince] said: The way of the disciples of the wise is to be meek and lowly of spirit.
GEMARA. Whence is this derived? For it is written, Seek ye the Lord, all ye humble of the earth, that have executed His ordinance; seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.2Zeph. 2, 3. When our holy Rabbi3i.e. R. Judah the Prince. Cf. Ḥag. 4b (Sonc. ed., p. 17) where this is attributed to R. Ammi. came to this verse, he cried out and wept [because it stated,] Seek righteousness, seek humility, and perhaps!4Even then salvation is only problematical, the text stating it may be, etc. Woe to the creatures who think that death is a place of refuge and declare, ‘How many iniquities we are able to guard ourselves against!’5Since when we die we are safe from punishment. R. Isaac b. Parnak said: All man’s sins are engraven in his bones and all his merits are inscribed on his right hand, so that you shall not say that their sins are recorded and their merits are not. Whence [is this learnt]? As it is stated, The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.6Ps. 121, 5, shade, meaning divine protection, in reward for a person’s merits; cf. ibid. XCI, 1.
R. Joshua b. Levi said: It is necessary for a man to take these words to heart, and then he will repent of his own accord. Come and see what is written, For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought [siḥo].7Amos 4, 13. In the hour of his death man is reminded even of his least important talk [siḥah]. How is this? When a man is about to die, three Ministering Angels come to him:8Cf. ‘A.Z. 20b (Sonc. ed., p. 105). one is the Angel of Death, the second is a scribe and the third the angel who has been given authority over him who says to him, ‘Arise, your appointed time has come’. He replies, ‘I will not come; my appointed time has not yet arrived’. Thereupon the scribe sits down and calculates his days and years. Immediately the human being opens his eyes and, seeing the Angel of Death, trembles and falls upon his face. The Sages said: The Angel of Death extends in length from one end of the world to the other; from the sole of his foot to the top of his head he is [covered] all over with eyes; his clothing is of fire, his feet are of fire, and on the fiery sword in his hand hangs a drop of gall. From this [drop of gall] man dies, from it [the corpse] decomposes, from it his face becomes sallow, and he does not die until he beholds the Holy One, blessed be He; as it is stated, For man shall not see Me and live,9Ex. 33, 20. [meaning,] in their lifetime they do not see Me, but at their death they do see Me, as it is stated, All they that go down to the dust shall kneel before Him.10Ps. 22, 30. Forthwith man testifies against himself all that he had done in this world. His mouth testifies and the Holy One, blessed be He, seals [his testimony], as it is stated, By Myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and shall not come back.11Isa. 45, 23. Therefore it is necessary that a man should reflect upon his latter end, as we have learnt: R. Leviṭas, a man of Jabneh, said: Be exceedingly lowly of spirit, since the hope of man is but the worm.12Aboth IV, 4 (Sonc. ed., p. 45). Hence our Rabbis taught: [The way of the disciples of the wise is to be] meek and lowly of spirit.

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ברייתא זריז וממולא [גמ׳] איכא דאמרי ממולח איכא דאמר ממלא מקום אבותיו. מ״ד ממולח דכתיב ממולח טהור שצריך ת״ח להיות ערב לכל אדם ולא יהא כקדרה שאין בה מלח:

BARAITHA. [They should be] industrious and full of energy [memulla’].
GEMARA. Some read memulla’, others memullaḥ.13lit. ‘salted’. [They who read memulla’ intend by it: The disciple of the wise] fills the place of his ancestors. They who read memullaḥ [interpret the word] in accordance with what is written, Seasoned with salt, pure and holy,14Ex. 30, 35, relating to the incense of the altar. i.e. a disciple of the wise must be pleasant towards all men15Cf. Keth. 17a (Sonc. ed., p. 93). and should not be like a dish without salt.

3 ג

ברייתא עלוב ואהוב לכל אדם ושפל רוח לאנשי ביתו [גמ׳] שלא יהיה מטיל אימה יתירה עליהם:

BARAITHA. [The disciple of the wise must be] submissive to and beloved by all men, and lowly of spirit towards the members of his household.
GEMARA. He should not terrorize them.16Cf. Giṭ. 6b (Sonc. ed., p. 21).

4 ד

ברייתא ירא חטא ודורש את האדם לפי מעשיו ואמר על מה שיש לי בעולם הזה אין לי חפץ בהם לפי שאין כל העולם שלי ויושב ומטנף כסותו לפני ת״ח ואין נשבע בדבר שואל כענין ומשיב כהלכה. [גמ׳] ת״ר ענו מנין ממשה רבינו שנאמר והאיש משה עניו מאד ובשבילה נשתבח משה שנאמר לא כן עבדי משה ושפל רוח מאהרן דכתיב כי שפתי כהן ישמרו דעת ותורה יבקשו מפיהו כי מלאך ה׳ צבאות הוא וכתיב תורת אמת היתה בפיהו ועולה לא נמצא בשפתיו בשלום ובמישור הלך אתי ורבים השיב מעון ואין לך שפל רוח יותר מרודף שלום וחשוב בדעתך איך הוא רודף שלום אם אינו שפל רוח. הא כיצד אם אדם מקללהו אומר לו שלום עליך. אדם מריב עמו ושותק ועוד אם רבו שנים הוא משפיל רוחו והולך אצלם ומרצהו על זה וכן לזה שכך היתה אומנותו של אהרן הצדיק היה שומע על שנים שהן מריבים הלך אצל האחד ואומר לו פלוני שלום עליך רבי והוא אומר לו שלום עליך רבי ומורי מה מבקש מורי כאן והוא אומר לו פלוני חברך שגרני אצלך לפייסך מפני שאמר אני סרחתי על חברי מיד אותו איש מהרהר בדעתו וכי כזה הצדיק בא אלי לפייסני והיה אומר לו ר׳ סרחתי עליו והלך אצל האחר ואמר לו כן פגעו שניהם בדרך זה אומר לזה ימחול לי מה שאני סרחתי וזה אומר לזה כן. שמע על בעל ואשתו שעשו מריבה הולך אצל הבעל ואומר לו בשביל ששמעתי שנתרצית עם אשתך אם אתה מגרשה ספק תמצא כמותה ספק לא תמצא ועוד אם אתה מוצא ממתנת עמה תחלת דבר היא אומרת לך כך עשית לאותה ראשונה. ועל זאת היו כל ישראל אנשים ונשים אוהבים אותו. תדע לך שכן הוא כיון שנפטר משה רבינו מה כתיב ביה ויבכו בני ישראל את משה ובאהרן כתיב כל בית ישראל ואפילו נשים ולא נשים בלבד אלא שהיו מפלשין טיט ועפר לטף לקיים מה שנאמר כל. תאנא שמונים אלף בחורים קרואים בשם אהרן יצאו אחרי מטתו אמאי מרחמיתיה ומאן דאיהדר ואיתעברה. תנן התם הלל אומר הוי מתלמידיו של אהרן אוהב שלום ורודף שלום אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה בשלמא אוהב שלום כדקאמרן אלא רודף שלום היכי דמי כדתניא בקש שלום ורדפהו ומ״ש כל המצות שאין אדם מחויב אלא א״כ באה לידו דכתיב כי תפגע שור אויבך (או) כי תראה חמור שונאך [כי יקרא] כי תבנה בית חדש. אבל שלום בכל מקום בקש שלום ורדפהו: תנא שלום נתן בשע׳׳ו אותיות ושע״ו באותיות מלמד שכל הרודף שלום אין תפלתו חוזרת ריקם אלא מעתה דכתיב עשו הכי נמי דשלום הוא התם נמי אמ׳ ומה בשעה שכתיב בשמו שלום הוא מרעיש את המדינות מפני ועל חרבך תחיה אם אינו כתוב עאכ״ו אלא מעתה דכתיב עשו מלחמה מאי התם נמי ומה כשכתוב מנין שלום כך בקשו להחריב את העולם (ולהזדוג) [ולהזיק] את אברהם אם אינו כתוב עאכ״ו אלא מעתה דכתיב אשר עשו את הדבר הרע הזה מאי התם נמי כיון דנסקלין יצא שלום ואם אינם נסקלין אלו הורגין אלו. תאנא ארבעה מלכים הללו לא נתכוונו אלא בשביל אברהם דכתיב וישובו ויבואו אל עין משפט (היא קדש) זה אברהם שהוא עינו של עולם היא קדש הוא שנתקדש עליו שם שמים אלא שבו את לוט שהיו כסבורים שהוא אברהם דכתיב וישמע אברם כי נשבה אחיו ולא נאמר בן אחיו. תנא ואלו שהיו עם אברם חיבים היו יותר מהם ושמותיהן אתה יודע כינוי שמותיהן ברע ברעה ברשע ברשעה שנאב שנא אביו. שמאבר שם (ברו) [אבר] בלע בולע איבעיא להו מהו ליתן שלום לעובד כוכבים ת״ש שואלין בשלומם ואפי׳ ביום אידם מפני דרכי שלום והכא נמי מאי איבעיא לך דפשיטא להקדים איבעיא ליה תנא טוב המקדים לו מהמשיב לו איבעיא להו רוצח נואף וחייבי כריתות מה ליתן להם שלום להחזיר לא מיבעיא דכיון דקדים לך מהדר אלא ליתן לו מאי ת״ש דרך שלום לא ידעו ואין משפט במעגלותם נתיבותיהם עקשו להם כל דרך בה לא ידע שלום. ש״מ עומדין להריגה אם נתנו מחזירין ניצולין בזרוע לא ולהקדים בין כך ובין כך אסור נואף וחבירו הנותן בין המרובין מחזיר בשביל כבוד המרובין וי״א המתחבר לנואף כנואף ואידך דלמא בעל כרחיהו באו לעשות שלום עם מריביהן אין מקבל בלב שלם ואפילו ביום הכפורים כללו של דבר כל העומד ולא חזר בתשובה אסור לישא וליתן עמהם. היכי דמי בלב שלם דאמר נישבק ונשרי לך ושלא בלב שלם רחמנא נישבק מה דעבדת להו איבעיא להו הוא ואחר מאי ליש אומרים לא תבעי לך דאפילו למרובין לאו שרו כי תבעי לך לתנא קמא מאי אמר רבא ובהאי קושיא אומר ליחיד כי קא בעינן דאתו תרי חד ואחרינא אחריהו ולא אמר כלום א״ל מחזיר להם. תנא גדול הוא השלום שהעולם עומד עליו דתנן (בשלשה) [על שלשה] דברים העולם קיים על הדין ועל האמת ועל השלום. כתיב בספר בן סירא הוי רחים לשלמא דעליה קם עלמא. רחים כל עמא ואיזדהר מגיאותא דלא יבא לכל גברא מבערא אפין מעקרא סיפין. ומבניא אילון חלף תופין. יליף ממלכין ואלופין וסעתהון למסגד תורפין וסיפא ביקוד טריפין. רחים עינוותא דלא תיתי לענייתא. דהיא מאיסא ובסירא קדם יקרא לא יאיא אלהין למאן דהוה כדין עבד גבורן דלא סבירן אלפא אלפי אלפיא מלאכין ושרפיא נקשן גפיא משמען כמתתפפיא והוא מרישא איתגאי כיומיה עטיף גיותא בגלימיה והוא לבושיה כל יומיה ברם למצפצפין בשמיה מכיך רומיה ומשמי שמיא מטפיל לענייא ויתמיא מה משבח ויאיא הוה נבייא דאישתבח מפום בריא לית כעבדי נבייא מאן בניין מיניכו אחסין בתר מלכו ריש חכמה וסברא מדחול מקמא מרא. ולא יימרינך לבך דהא לא כן (או בן) רובך ולא תצית לרובך דטמיר בגובך. אסתכל ואהני נפשך יומא דכל אפא חשך כד יקוד גוף ונפש משך:

BARAITHA. [The disciple of the wise must be] sin-fearing, estimating a man according to his deeds, and he should say, ‘As for my possessions in this world I have no desire for them because the whole world is not mine’. He sits at the feet17lit. ‘sits and soils his clothes’. In the Talmudic schools the disciple sat on the ground. He is so eager to learn and not miss any of the instruction that he will not leave even to relieve himself. of the disciples of the wise; he never takes an oath in connection with any matter; he questions according to the subject-matter and answers to the point.18From Aboth V, 10 (Sonc. ed., V, 7, p. 65) where it is included among the characteristics of a wise man.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: Whence [do we know that a disciple of the wise should be] meek? From Moses our teacher, as it is stated, Now the man Moses was very meek;19Num. 12, 3. and on that account Moses was praised, as it is stated, My servant Moses is not so.20ibid. 7. Moses is described as My servant. [We learn that the disciple of the wise must be] lowly of spirit from Aaron, for it is written, For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts;21Mal. 2, 7. and it is written, The law of truth was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity.22ibid. 6.
There is no one more lowly of spirit than he who pursues peace. Consider, how can a man pursue peace if he be not lowly of spirit? How [does he act]? If a man curse him, he says to him, ‘Peace be upon you!’; should a man quarrel with him, he keeps silent; and further, if two men have quarrelled, he humbles his spirit, approaches them and effects a reconciliation between them.
Such, indeed, was the procedure of Aaron, the righteous. When he heard of two men who had quarrelled, he would go to one and say to him, ‘So-and-so, peace be upon you, my master!’ and he replied, ‘Peace be upon you, my master and teacher! What does my master seek here?’ He then said, ‘So-and-so, your friend, sent me to you to appease you, because he declares, “I have offended my friend” ’. Immediately the man reflects, ‘A righteous man like him has come to appease me!’ and exclaims, ‘Master, it was I who offended him’. [Aaron] then went to the other man and said the same to him. When the two meet on the way, one says to the other, ‘Forgive me for the offence which I did to you’ and the other speaks likewise.
When [Aaron] heard of a husband and wife who had quarrelled, he would go to the husband and say to him, ‘[I have come] because I heard that you have quarrelled23Adopting the reading of H. V has ‘you have become reconciled’. with your wife; should you divorce her it is doubtful whether you will find another like her or not; and further, should you find another and quarrel24The word in V is corrupt and corrected by H. with her, the first thing she will say to you will be, “You must have behaved in a like manner towards your first wife” ’. In consequence of this all Israel, men and women, loved him. Know that it was so; for what does Scripture relate when Moses our teacher died? And the children of Israel wept for Moses;25Deut. 34, 8. but of Aaron it is written, They wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel26Num. 20, 29.—that is to say, even the women. Not only [did the women mourn], but they also covered their young children with mud and dust, thereby confirming the word all. It has been taught: Eighty thousand young men named Aaron followed Aaron’s bier. They were the issue of those who wanted to divorce but retracted and their wives became pregnant.27In gratitude to Aaron they gave their sons his name.
We have learnt there:28Aboth I, 12 (Sonc. ed., p. 8). Hillel said: Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace, pursuing peace, loving your fellow-creatures and drawing them near to the Torah. It is quite right with ‘loving peace’ as we have already mentioned; but where [in the Torah] is ‘pursuing peace’ [enjoined]? As it has been taught: Seek peace, and pursue it.29Ps. 34, 15. Cf. j.Pe’ah I, 1, 15d, where the comment is made: Seek peace in your place, and pursue it in another place. And wherein do all other precepts differ from it? A man is only under the obligation to perform them when they come to his hand, as it is written, If thou meet thine enemy’s ox,30Ex. 23, 4. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee,31ibid. 5. If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee,32Deut. 22, 6. When thou buildest a new house.33ibid. 8. But as for peace [it is written], Seek peace, and pursue it—everywhere.
It has been taught: [The letters of the word] shalom, ‘peace’, have the numerical value of three hundred and seventy-six and [that number] is indicated by the letters sh w ‘a which form a verb meaning ‘to cry for help’. This teaches that the prayer of one who pursues peace does not go unanswered. If so, when [the name] is written ‘Esau’,34Which also has the numerical value 376. is it [an indication of] peace? Yes, there too we may say so. If, although ‘peace’ is associated with his name, he shakes countries because of [the blessing given to him], And by thy sword shalt thou live,35Gen. 27, 40. had ‘peace’ not been associated with his name, how much more terror would he have caused! But what of, They made war?36ibid. XIV, 2. The Heb. for made is עשו which has the numerical value 376 and is connected with war. It is the same there. If a word with the numerical value of shalom is associated with peoples who aimed to destroy the world and to do injury to Abraham, were the word not used how much more [disastrous would their attack have been!] But what of, Who have done this evil thing?37Deut. 17, 5. Here עשו is associated with evil thing. It is the same there. When [the evildoers] are stoned [to death], peace ensues; and if they were not stoned they would kill one another.
It has been taught: These four kings38Enumerated in Gen. 14, 1. planned [their attack] only on account of Abraham, as it is written, And they turned back, and came to En-mishpaṭ,39ibid. 7. En here means ‘well’ but also signifies ‘eye’. i.e. to Abraham who was the eye of the world. The same is Ḳadesh40ibid, The same in Heb. could also be read to mean ‘he’, and Ḳadesh denotes ‘holy’.—through him the name of Heaven was sanctified. But they captured Lot mistaking him for Abraham, as it is written, And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive,41ibid. 14. and it does not state, ‘his brother’s son’.42They mistook one brother for the other.
It has been taught: These [kings]43Enumerated in Gen. 14, 2. who were allied with Abraham were more guilty [than those opposed to them] and from their names you may learn their character: Bera [signifies that he was bent] on evil [bera‘], Birsha‘ [that he was bent] on wickedness [berisha‘], Shinab [signifies] that he hated his father [sana’ ’ab], Shemeber that he made himself wings [to fly, sam ’eber], Bela that he was a swallower [bolea‘].
The question was asked: Is it permissible to give salutation to a heathen? Come and hear: Greetings may be given to them even on their feast day in the interests of peace.44Cf. Giṭ. 62a (Sonc. ed., p. 292). Seeing that [the answer] is evident, why was the question asked? The question asked was, Is it permissible to salute them first? It has been taught: Better is he who greets him first than he who responds to his greetings.45Cf. Ṭur Y.D., §148. By greeting him first, he avoids the need for further greetings.
The question was asked: Is it permissible to greet a murderer, adulterer or those who are liable to kareth? As for returning their greetings there is no question [that it is permissible], since they were the first to greet you their salutation must be returned. But how is it with greeting them first? Come and hear: [It is written,] The way of peace they know not, and there is no right in their goings; they have made them crooked paths, whosoever goeth therein doth not know peace.46Isa. 59, 8. L. Ginzberg suggested that the author found in the words the way of peace they know not an allusion to murderers and in they made them crooked paths to violent men who escape punishment through superior force (Higger). Hence it can be inferred that if greetings are given by those who are about to suffer the death penalty they may be returned, but not of those who save themselves [from punishment] by force. And as for greeting them first, it is prohibited in all cases. As for an adulterer and his friends, should they greet one in public their salutation is returned out of respect for the public. Some say that he who associates with an adulterer is like an adulterer. And what of the other?47The anonymous author of the first statement; how will he refute this argument? [He can reply,] perhaps they were compelled to associate with him.
If these men48The men of ill-repute cited. come to make peace with those with whom they quarrelled, they are not received with a full heart, even on the Day of Atonement.49When it is a duty to forgive fully any wrong which had been done. The general rule is that it is forbidden to have any dealings with one who adheres [to his sins] and does not repent. What is meant by ‘a full heart’? If, for instance, one says, ‘I absolve and release you’, that is not with ‘a full heart’; [if one says,] ‘May the All-merciful absolve you for what you have done to me’,50So H. V has ‘to them’. it is.
The question was asked: [May one return the salutation of] an adulterer and another [man of good repute]? According to the second opinion51That an adulterer’s greeting may be returned if made publicly. there is no question [that it is forbidden,] seeing that it prohibits the return of a salutation even when given by him in public; but how is it according to the first opinion?52lit. ‘according to some say [that he who associates with an adulterer is like an adulterer]’. Raba replied: Is there, then, here any question at all? He addresses himself to the two of them as one.53He ignores the man of ill-repute and responds to the other, seeing that both greeted him. The question, however, does arise where there are two, one with another behind him who says nothing. He replied: He returns their salutations.54Since he includes in his salutation the man of good repute although not greeted by him.
It has been taught: Great is peace because the world is based upon it; as we have learnt: The world is preserved by three things: by judgment, by truth and by peace.55Aboth I, 18 (Sonc. ed., p. 10).
It is written in the book of Ben Sira:56Sirach or Ecclesiasticus. The quotation is not found in the extant texts. Cf. Schechter, ‘The Quotations from Ecclesiasticus in Rabbinic Literature’, J.Q.R., III (1891), pp. 696f, 704f. Here the quotation is in rhymed Aramaic. Love peace for on it the world is based. Love all people and be warned against pride because it is unbecoming57Reading יאיא for יבוא Schechter conjectures delibba’ and renders ‘be careful of pride [of heart] against any man’. to any man. For [pride] kindles anger58Disturbs the harmony between people. and uproots the threshold59Breaks friendships. and builds up woes60Cf. Soṭah 5a (Sonc. ed., p. 19): ‘Over every man in whom is haughtiness of spirit the Divine Presence laments’. instead of [the music of] tabrets. Learn from kings and princes and their entourage who worship idols, in the end they are devoured by fire.61There is a play on the words תורפין, ‘idols’, and טריפין, ‘devoured’. Love humility so that you come not to poverty.62Shab. 33a (Sonc. ed., p. 154): ‘Poverty is a sign of conceit’. For [pride] is despised and contemptible before God;63[lit. ‘the glorious One’, an epithet for God common in the Targum. Cf. Marmorstein, The Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God, I, p. 88.] it is unbecoming before Him Who performs mighty acts which cannot be conceived [by man]. [Before Him] myriads upon myriads of angels and Seraphim beat their wings and make them to sound as though they were playing on tabrets. From the beginning He was exalted in His heights,64Reading ברומיה for ביומיה, ‘in His day’. robed in excellency as in a cloak,65Cf. Ps. 93, 1. and this is His garment always. But to those who whisper in His name He lowers His heights, and from the highest heavens He cares for the poor and orphans. How praiseworthy and beautiful was the prophet who was lauded by the mouth of the Creator, ‘There is none like My servant the prophet’!66i.e. Moses; cf. Num. 12, 3, 7. Who among you has inherited the crown67So Schechter, who reads kether for bethar, ‘after’. of royalty? The beginning of wisdom and understanding is the fear of the Lord.68[Cf. Ps. 111, 10, Prov. 9, 10 and Ben Sira I, 14.] And let not your heart persuade you that your Master will not bring you into judgment69Following the emended text of H. for this, and do not hearken to your enemy70Instead of רובך, ‘thy master’, read דבבך, ‘thy enemy’. ‘Enemy’ is one of the designations for the evil inclination, which is also termed ‘the hidden one’ because it lies hidden in man’s heart. Cf. Suk. 52a (Sonc. ed., pp. 247f.). hidden within you. Reflect and [let your reflection] lead you [to think on] the day when every face is darkened, when the body burns and the soul is withdrawn.

5 ה

ברייתא הוי כנד בקוע שאינו נפתח להכניס את הרוח. וכערוגה עמוקה שהיא מחזקת את מימיה וכקנקנה זפותה שהיא משמרת את יינה וכספוג שהיא סופג את הכל. [גמ׳] מאי הכל דכתיב הט אזנך ושמע דברי חכמים ואח״כ ולבך תשית לדעתי לדעתם לא נאמר אלא לדעתי שאפילו חכמים עוברים ועושין דבר שלא כראוי אל תעשה כמותם אלא לדעתי:

BARAITHA. Be like a split bottle which does not71The negative is doubtful. For the reading cf. DEZ I, p. 567, n. 8. The thought is that the student of Torah must keep his mind open to receive instruction. The ‘bottle’ mentioned here is made of skin which is liable to crack. open and let in the air, like a deep garden-bed which retains its waters,72This and the following images point to the necessity of a retentive memory. like a jar daubed with pitch which retains its wine, and like a sponge which absorbs all.
GEMARA. What is meant by ‘all’? As it is written, Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise,73Prov. 22, 17, the word My being interpreted as referring to God. and it continues, And apply thy heart unto My knowledge. It is not stated ‘unto their knowledge’ but unto My knowledge. Even if the wise sin and do what is unseemly, act not like them but in accordance with My knowledge.74Cf. Ḥag. 15b (Sonc. ed., p. 97). [53a]

6 ו

ברייתא אל תהי כפתח גדול שהוא מכניס את הרוח. הוי כאסקופא התחתונה שהכל דשין בה ולא כפתח קטן שלא יהא קצר הלב שהוא מבזה את היקרים דהיא מרחקא לך מן בני אינשא. הוי כאסקופא התחתונה מן הבית הזה אם אין (לך) [לה] אסקופה היא נראית כחסרה כחריבה אף את צריך למהוי לך ענוה. ואפי׳ את משלים בכל המדות אם אין בך ענוה אתה חסר. דהכי אמרי בני אנשא מה גברא רבא פלניא אילולי גאוה. וללמדך כן אלא כי ירא אלהים יצא את כולם. רבא אומר כשם שהאסקופא הזו מכוין את הדלתות לנעול ולפתוח כך הענוה סייג לחכמה:

BARAITHA.75In V the Baraitha and Gemara are intermingled. They have been separated for the sake of clarity. Be not like a large door which lets in the wind76‘Wind’ signifies pride: do not be haughty. Cf. Prov. 17, 19, He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. [or like a small door which disregards precious friends];77‘Small door’ signifies impatience which may drive away precious friends. be like a lower sill on which all tread.
GEMARA. [‘Be not like a small door’]: Be not impatient, because [impatience] alienates you from your fellow-men. ‘Be like a lower sill’: If a house has no lower sill it appears like a defective [or] deserted [building]; so must you be meek. Even if you possess all other virtues but lack humility, you are a defective person; for people will say, ‘So-and-so would be a great man but for his pride’. To teach you that it is so, [Scripture declares,] For he that feareth God shall discharge himself of them all.78Eccl. 7, 18. Raba said: In the same way that the sill guides the doors to close and open, so humility is a fence to wisdom.

7 ז

ברייתא וכיתד נמוכה שהכל תולין בה (אל יהי פרקך רע שהיא שבחה של תורה יהא פרקך יפה שכן שבחן של חכמים:) [גמ׳] שלא תהא קפדן שאין אדם יכול לשאלך לפי שאין אתה יודע איזה יום אסיפתך ואין מזכירין שמך. כתוב בספר בן סירא זכור את יום אסיפתך ואסוף חרפה וקבץ זכיות כי ביום אסיפת האדם אין מלוהו הון ורב כח כי המעשה נכון ילך לפניו וצדקתו תאיר עיניו:

BARAITHA. And be like a lower peg on which all hang [their belongings].79The remainder of the Baraitha is printed by V within brackets. It is omitted here because it recurs and is commented upon later in the chapter.
GEMARA. Be not a passionate man since nobody will be able to ask questions of you;80Cf. Aboth II, 6 (Sonc. ed., II, 5, p. 15): ‘Nor can a passionate man teach’. for you know not the day of your passing [from the world] and your name will not be remembered. It is written in the book of Ben Sira:81Not found in the extant texts of Sirach; cf. Schechter, J.Q.R., III, p. 697. Remember the day of your passing, remove [your] reproach and gather merits, for on the day of a man’s passing neither possessions nor great strength accompany him, but only his [good] deeds go straight before him and his righteousness makes his eyes to shine.

8 ח

ברייתא אם לקית בממונך זכור את איוב שלקה בממונו ובגופו ואם לקית בגופך זכור דתן ואבירם שירדו חיים שאולה: [גמ׳] תני איוב וקתני דתן ואבירם שמא תאמר איוב מאומות העולם הא דתן ואבירם שלקו (למאן דלא אמר איוב לאו בגופו לקה אלא למ״ד איוב לאו מישראל הוה הא דתן ואבירם שלקו) בממונם ובגופן:

BARAITHA. If you have suffered monetary loss, remember Job who suffered both monetary loss and also [suffered] in his body.82Cf. Job 1f. And if you suffer in your body, remember Dathan and Abiram83Num, 16, 33. who went down alive to the grave.
GEMARA. [The Baraitha] cites Job and it also cites Dathan and Abiram. Should you say that Job was of the nations of the world,84Not an Israelite; cf. B.B. 15b (Sonc. ed., p. 74). Therefore no lesson is to be learnt from him. then there is [the instance of] Dathan and Abiram who suffered both a monetary loss and also in their bodies.

9 ט

ברייתא אל תכשל בעיניך שאין מכשול אלא בעינים: [גמ׳] שכן אתה מוצא עזה ועזאל לא נכשלו אלא בעיניהם שנאמר ויראו בני האלהים את בנות האדם מאי עובדיהו אמרי מעיקרא קמי רחמנא (היינו דאמרי) מה אנוש כי תזכרנו א״ל קודשא בריך הוא השתא חזיתון דאטעתון יתר מנהון. אשלט בהון יצרא בישא ונחיתו וכי הוו להו יצרא בישא מאי קא מתהני בדביקה אי הכי האי דכתיב וילדו להם [וגו׳] כיון דמדבקי בהו ומבעלי לגברייהו מדמי בנייהו למלאכי:

BARAITHA. Do not stumble through your eyes, for stumbling is only due to the eyes.85Cf. j.Ber. I, 5, 3C: ‘The eye and heart are the two agents of sin’.
GEMARA. For so you find that ‘Azza and ‘Azza’el86Two of the fallen angels (Yoma 67b, Sonc. ed., p. 316). [Cf. on the subject, Bamberger, Fallen Angels, pp. 178ff.] stumbled through their eyes; as it is stated, The sons of God saw the daughters of men87Gen. 6, 2.. What did they do? At the Creation they spoke before the All-merciful, ‘What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?’88Ps. 8, 5. The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, ‘You will see that you will err more than they’. He caused the evil inclination to hold sway over them and they descended [to earth]. And what if they were possessed of the evil inclination, what benefit did they derive from their association [with the daughters of men]? If you argue thus, how will you explain what is written And they bore children to them?89Gen. 6, 4. Since [the minds of the women] were concentrated on the angels when they cohabited with their husbands, the result was that their children resembled angels.90There was no physical contact between the angels and women.

10 י

ברייתא ואל תבוש משיניך שלא תאכל יותר מדאי: [גמ׳] זה יצר הרע וכן הוא אומר שן רעה ורגל מועדת מבטח בוגד ביום צרה ודילמא משום אוכלא וגזלה הוא דקא אמר לא סלקא דעתך בעבירה קא עסיק אי הכי ליתני שמא תעבור לשון טהרה קתני לה כדכתיב אכלה ומחתה פיה:

BARAITHA. Do not incur shame from your teeth by overeating.
GEMARA. This refers to the evil inclination; and so Scripture declares, Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.91Prov. 25, 19. Perhaps the Baraitha speaks of the eating of stolen food?92And has no reference to sexual desire. [If it is argued,] It cannot enter your mind that the Baraitha alludes to sin, because if it did it should have taught ‘lest thou come to sin’!93Instead of ‘by over-eating’. [the reply is,] It uses a euphemism, as it is written, She eateth, and wipeth her mouth.94Prov. 30, 20, where eateth clearly denotes sexual sin.

11 יא

ברייתא אל תדרוש מן המינות [שמא] תמשוך לגיהנם: [גמ׳] דכיון דרכיבא בהדייהו ומשילי לך ולא אשכחית מאי דתיתבינהו בהדיהו שהרי העולם רחב ונתן פתח למדברך ומ״ש הכא דקתני ביה לגיהנם דכתיב ביה במינות כל באיה לא ישובון להכי איבעיא לך למידע שגן עדן וגיהנם ברא הקב״ה ג״ע לא סגיא בלא צדיק וגיהנם בלא רשע:

BARAITHA. Inquire not about heresy lest you be drawn into Gehinnom.
GEMARA. Because if you associate with [heretics], they will ask you questions and you may not be able to answer them. Why [be found] among them?95The word in brackets is supplied by H. Behold the world is large and it gives an opening to them who speak.96The meaning seems to be, Why should one seek the company of heretics when there is no lack of worthy men with whom to hold conversation? And why is it different here97In connection with heresy. in that the Baraitha mentions Gehinnom in connection with it? Because of heresy it is written, None that go unto her return.98Prov. 2, 19, where the seductive woman is understood as typifying the lure of heretical ideas. You should therefore know that the Holy One, blessed be He, created both the Garden of Eden and Gehinnom; the Garden of Eden is incomplete without the righteous and Gehinnom is incomplete without the wicked.

12 יב

ברייתא אם יאמרו אחרים עליך דבר רע גדול יהי בעיניך קטן: [גמ׳] ואפילו מלה דחשידא גדול יהיה קטן הא קטן ולא כלום אי הכי לא ליפוק גרמיה מחשידא והא כתיב ותען חנה ותאמר לא אדוני וגו׳ מכאן לנחשד שיוציא עצמו מן החשד תנא בעיניך קאמר (משמ׳) [משא״כ] חבירך.

BARAITHA. If others attribute to you a great evil let it be small in your eyes.
GEMARA. Even if the allegation be serious let it be small [in your eyes], and if it be slight [regard it] as if it were nothing at all. In that event a man will never clear himself of suspicion! And it is written, And Hannah answered and said: No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit, etc.991 Sam. 1, 15. Hannah defended herself against the charge of drunkenness and did not ignore it. From this [it is to be learnt] that a person under suspicion must free himself from it! [The Baraitha] uses the phrase ‘in your eyes’, but not so [in the eyes of your neighbours].100Where the suspicion is only known to him, he should either minimize or ignore it; but when it has become known to a third party, he must make an effort to clear himself.

13 יג

ברייתא ואם אמרת על אחרים דבר רע קטן יהא בעיניך גדול: [גמ׳] הא עסיק ואתי בכשרים דאי בפריצים מאי חייש להו והא תני מפרסמין את החנפים ואפי׳ בשבת אי הכי רישא נמי בכשרין הא בפריצין לא והא אמר ר׳ שמעון מימי לא עלתה קללת חבירי על מטתי רישא כדאיתא והא כדאיתא.

BARAITHA. And if you have attributed a minor evil to others let it be serious in your eyes.
GEMARA. It deals here with honourable men, for if [it dealt with] dissolute men what do they care? But it has been taught: We should expose hypocrites101Yoma 86b (Sonc. ed., p. 431). [and this should be done] even on the Sabbath. If so, the earlier statement102i.e. Baraitha 11. must also refer to honourable and not dissolute men! But R. Simeon said: Never in my life has the curse of my fellow gone up with me upon my bed!103Cf. Meg. 28a (Sonc. ed., p. 168), a statement of R. Neḥunia b. Ha-Ḳanah. So how could good men speak ill of their fellows? The earlier statement is to be understood as it is and the latter as it is.104You cannot argue or draw an inference from one Baraitha against the other.

14 יד

ברייתא עד שתלך ותפייס אותו: [גמ׳] (רישא) [לימא] מסייע ליה לרב המנונא דאמר ולא עוד אלא שצריך לפייסו [לא] דאילו התם אקראי בעלמא הכא (הלכה) [הליכה] ואיכא דאמרי (ליכא) [לימא] פליגי על רב המנונא דילמא אי לא (אשכחיה) [אשכחה] הוה אזיל (בתריה) [בתרה]:

BARAITHA. Until you go and appease him.
GEMARA. This statement supports R. Hamnunah who said:105Cf. Ber. 31b (Sonc. ed., p. 192) where the text is in the name of R. Eleazar and reads ‘to bless him’; V has ‘to appease him’. [If one wrongly suspected another, he must conciliate him;] nay more, he must bless him. No, [it is no support]. There [in the teaching of R. Hamnunah it speaks of a case] when he meets his fellow by chance, but here [in the Baraitha it speaks of his] going [to appease him]. There are others who say: There is a difference here with R. Hamnunah [who can reply:] Should he not find him, he goes [searching] after him.

15 טו

ברייתא אל יהא פרקך רע שהיא שבחה של תורה: [גמ׳] שהרי התורה אמרה וזכור את בוראך בימי בחורותיך ואומר על כן על בחוריו לא ישמח ה׳ ומאי שבח התורה אית דאמרי סבא (דקבא) [רקבא] היכא דלא מצי מימנע ובעולימיתיה הוה מסרך:

BARAITHA. Let not your adolescence be sinful, for such is not106The negative is omitted by V but included in DEZ. praise of the Torah.
GEMARA. For the Torah declared, Remember then thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: I have no pleasure in them.107Eccl. 12, 1. And it further states, Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men.108Isa. 9, 16. And what means ‘not praise of the Torah’? Some say: The decrepit old man withholds himself from what he can no longer do, but in his youth he was a sinner.

16 טז

ברייתא יהי פרקך נאה שכן שבחך: [גמ׳] מדקאמר אל יהי פרקך רע ש״מ יפה לא סלקא דעתך לא להוי (א)לא בין כשרים ולא פרוצים אלא בינוני:

BARAITHA. Let your adolescence be beautiful because that is your praise.
GEMARA. Since [the previous Baraitha] states, ‘Let not your adolescence be sinful’, it is self-evident that it should be beautiful!109The present Baraitha is consequently superfluous No, you might have thought that [during adolescence,] one should be in the category neither of the worthy nor the dissolute but in between.

17 יז

ברייתא הוי אוהב את התורה ומכבדה: [גמ׳] אהוב התורה מנא לן דכתיב את לרבות התורה כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר כבד את אביך זו אשת אביך ואת אמך לרבות בעל אמך וי״ו לרבות אחיך הגדול מאי אהבה ומאי כבוד אהבה בלב וכבוד במעשים ובדברים לא והתניא המדבר בתורה ובתלמידי חכמים אין לו חלק לעולם הבא אימא אף בדברים:

BARAITHA. Love the Torah and honour it.
GEMARA. ‘Love the Torah.’ Whence have we this? For it is written, Thou shalt love [’eth] the Lord thy God,110Deut. 6, 3; ’eth is the sign of the accusative case. ’eth [being added] to include love of the Torah. Similarly you may quote, Honour [’eth] thy father,111Ex. 20, 12. where ’eth [is added to include] your stepmother; and [we’eth] thy mother to include your stepfather; [or] we- [and] to include your elder brother.112Cf. Keth. 103a (Sonc. ed., p. 657). What is ‘love’ and what is ‘honour’? ‘Love’ is with the heart and ‘honour’ with deeds. And [is ‘honour’] not with words? It has been taught: He who speaks against the Torah and against the disciples of the wise has no share in the World to Come! Say that [‘honour’] is also with words.

18 יח

ברייתא העבר רצונך מפני רצון חברך שכך עשתה רחל ללאה ודוד לשאול: [גמ'] דכתיב ויגד יעקב לרחל כי אחי אביה הוא וכי בן רבקה הוא והלא בן אחות אביה [הוא אלא] אמר לה תתקדש לי אמרה ליה אית לי אחתא דקשישא מינאי ומנסיב לה ניהלך משום דרמאי הוא א״ל אנא רמאי כוותיה עם חסיד תתחסד [וגו׳] ועם עקש תתפתל מסר לה סימן כיון דעיילא ללאה אמרה השתא מיכספא מה עשתה מסרה לה סימנין ומתוך כך ויהי בבקר והנה היא לאה אטו עד השתא רחל היא. אלא מתוך סימנין שהיו ביניהן לא הכיר בה. ודוד לשאול גמירי כל הנמשח בפך מלכותו פוסקת וכל הנמשח בקרן מלכותו קיימת והוא ידע דסופיה למימלך ולא אמר למדחייה:

BARAITHA. Subordinate your will to the will of your neighbour, for so Rachel acted towards Leah and David towards Saul.
GEMARA. As it is written, And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son.113Gen. 29, 12. But was he not the son of her father’s sister? What it means is this: He said to her, ‘Will you marry me?’ She replied, ‘I have a sister who is older than I and [my father] will marry her to you because he is a trickster’. He said, ‘I am a trickster like him’; as it is stated, With the merciful Thou dost show Thyself merciful … and with the crooked Thou dost show Thyself subtle.114Ps. 18, 26f. So he gave her a token.115By which Laban’s fraud would be exposed. When [Laban] brought Leah [to the bridal chamber], Rachel said, ‘Now she will be put to shame’. What did she do? She handed the tokens to her, and consequently [it is written], And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah.116Gen. 29, 25. Was she then Rachel until then? Because of the tokens that were between them he did not recognize her [as Leah].117The source of this passage is Meg. 13b (Sonc. ed., p. 77). As for David’s [subordination] to Saul, we have a tradition:118Cf. ibid. 14a (Sonc. ed., p. 83). Whoever is anointed from a cruse of oil,119The cruse, being fragile, is a symbol of a short reign; the horn, being of durable substance, is a symbol of a long reign. his royalty will not be prolonged, but whosoever is anointed from a horn, his royalty will be prolonged. Although [David] knew that eventually he would become king, he would not tell [Saul for fear of] pushing him aside.120i.e. he would not hurt his dignity.

19 יט

ברייתא העבר רצונך מפני רצון שמים שכן מצינו ליעקב שלא נשק ליוסף: [גמ׳] אמאי לא נשק ליה סבר דילמא איידי דגלה אטעיניה נשי אגב שופריה דכתיב וירא אליו ויפול על צואריו איהו בעי למינשקיה ולא שבקיה דכתיב ויבך על צואריו עוד היינו דכי נח נפשיה נשקיה דכתיב ויבך עליו וישק לו אמר תלתין ותשע שנין קמיה ולא נשקניה לפומיה דאבא והשתא קברנא ליה ולא נשיקנה ליה והיינו דכתיב וירא ישראל את בני יוסף ויאמר מי אלה אטו עד השתא לא ידע מאן אינון אלא דשייליה אם (לא) איתיילדו בכתובה וכיון דחזייה כתובה אתבא דעתיה ונשקינהו בדיל יוסף אמר רבא ש״מ יוסף נתחמם לנגדה דאי ס״ד לא נתחמם כנגדה והתניא הניח ידו על גבי בני מעיו ואמר שישו בני מעי שישו בני מעי ומה ספקות שלכם כך בוודאות עאכ״ו מובטח אני בכם שאין רמה ותולעה שולטת בכם וקרא על עצמו אף בשרי ישכון לבטח והוא לא מחשיב בהדיהו. וכ״ש יעקב דמחשיב בהדיהו. הלכך צפה יעקב ברוח הקדש ונמנע מלנשוקי ליה. והיכא רמיזא דכתיב ותשב באיתן קשתו וכתיב התם עריה תעור קשתך ומי גרם לו שניצול לו שבועות מטות מאי אומר סלה אלהי יעקב סלה מיתיבי וירץ לקראתו ויחבק לו וינשק לו. והלא דברים ק״ו לבן שמנשק ע״ז ומנשק זונות כתיב ביה הכי יוסף לא הוה מנשק דילמא לא איצטריך קרא למכתביה אלא קרא אזכותיה דיעקב מהדר וירץ לבן לקראתו בעא לנשוקיה ולא שבקיה חבקיה הדר לנשקיה ונקיף ליה ליסתיה דייקא נמי דכתיב וינשק ולא כתיב וישק ש״מ (והכי) [והכא] כתיב וישק להם ויחבק להם מאי בין וישק לוינשק וינשק בכל הגוף וישק בפה. ומנא לן הכי דכתיב שפתים ישק משיב דברים נכוחים כל מקום שנאמר וישק אינו אלא כרושם ומצרף לחשבון. ת״ש וירץ עשו לקראתו ויחבקהו [וגו׳] וישקהו הא דמיא ללבן א״ל זיל חזי(כמי) [כמה] שיני חרותי עילויה. ומ״ש משום דבעי לנשוכי באותה שעה נעשו שיניו כדונג והכה לחייו בצוארו של יעקב ואיחלש על אותה שעה אמר דוד קומה ה׳ הושיעני וגו׳ שיני רשעים שברת:

BARAITHA. Subordinate your will to the will of Heaven; for so we find that Jacob did not kiss Joseph.
GEMARA. Why did he not kiss him? He thought that, since he was away from home, women may have led him astray because of his beauty; as it is written, And he presented himself unto him, and fell on his neck.121Gen. 46, 29, which does not mention Jacob kissing his son. [Joseph] wanted to kiss him but he would not let him do so, as it is written, And he wept on his neck a good while.122ibid., a good while is explained that Joseph kept on weeping but Jacob still did not kiss him. That is to say, he [only] kissed him when he died, as it is written, And wept upon him, and kissed him.123ibid. L, 1. Joseph said, ‘Thirty-nine years have [passed] before him124i.e. it was thirty-nine years since Joseph left home. As Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years (ibid. XLVII, 28), Joseph must have been separated from his father twenty-two years. and I have not kissed my father’s mouth, and now shall I bury him without kissing him?’ That is the meaning of what is written, And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons and said: Who are these?125ibid. XLVIII, 8. Did he not know until then who they were? But [Jacob] inquired of him whether they had been born in wedlock,126lit. ‘with a kethubah’, i.e. according to the Hebrew marriage law. and when he showed him the kethubah his mind became at rest and he kissed them for the sake of Joseph.
Raba said: Infer from this that [Joseph] was aroused sexually by her;127viz. Potiphar’s wife (ibid. XXXIX, 7ff), otherwise Jacob would not have doubted Joseph’s moral purity. for should you say that he was not aroused by her, it has been taught:128B.M. 83b (Sonc. ed., pp. 478f.). The reference is to the story of R. Eleazar b. Simeon, who had a man arrested because of his insolence towards him and subsequently hanged. R. Eleazar regretted his action, but was assured by his disciples that the man must have been guilty of a capital crime. On hearing this, he felt relieved and reassured that his own body would not decompose after his death. He laid his hand upon his heart129lit. ‘his inwards’, and similarly in the continuation. and exclaimed, ‘Rejoice my heart, rejoice my heart! If matters about which you are doubtful are so,130i.e. seem to be just. He was doubtful whether the man deserved hanging. how much more those about which you are certain! I am confident that neither worms nor decay will have power over you’. He applied to himself the verse, My flesh also dwelleth in safety.131Ps. 16, 9. Now he132viz. R. Eleazar; and yet he felt assured that the worms would have no power over his body. is not mentioned among those [over whom the worms have no dominion],133Cf. B.B. 17a (Sonc. ed., p. 86): ‘There are seven over whom the worms had no dominion, viz. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and Benjamin, son of Jacob’. how much more so Jacob who is mentioned!134How could Jacob then doubt the innocence of Joseph, seeing that the sin of suspecting the innocent would have lost him that privilege? Therefore [we must say] that Jacob held back from kissing Joseph because of what he saw by means of the Holy Spirit.135He was inspired by God to do so in order that Joseph should not communicate her moral impurity to him. And where is this136Joseph’s moral impurity. alluded to? As it is written, But his137i.e. Joseph’s. bow abode firm;138Gen. 49, 24. The word bow is found in both the passages cited. On the exegetical rule of Gezerah Shawah, inference from analogous phraseology, what applies to one applies also to the other. In Hab. the bow is described as being bare, ‘eryah, which is equated with ‘erwah, ‘forbidden intercourse’. Consequently the use of bow in connection with Joseph indicates that there was an occasion when he was aroused sinfully. and it is written there, Thy bow is made quite bare.139Hab. 3, 9. The Heb. maṭṭeh can mean ‘rod’ or ‘tribe’. The Rabbinic interpretation is that God swore to Jacob that the tribes descended from him would be pure. What caused him to be saved? Sworn are the rods of the word. Selah. What is the meaning of Selah?140The word. Selah is by a process of analogy equated with the words the God of Jacob … Selah; that is to say, the word sworn by the God of Jacob to him. It is to be taken in the sense of The God of Jacob … Selah.141Ps. 46, 12. It was quoted in refutation, And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him142Gen. 29, 13.—is not this a case where an inference from minor to major is to be drawn? If of Laban who kissed idols and harlots it is so written,143That he kissed Jacob. Joseph who did not kiss these [yet did not kiss Jacob]! Perhaps the verse should not have written this, but it points to Jacob’s merit. [It indicates,] And he [Laban] ran to meet him, i.e. he wanted to kiss him but [Jacob] would not permit him; he then embraced him again to kiss him, whereupon he struck [Laban] on his cheek. This may be proved from the fact that it is written wayyenashsheḳ144There are two Heb. roots with the same letters, one meaning ‘to kiss’ and the other ‘to be equipped with weapons’, and the verb in the verse is given the second sense, i.e. he attacked him. and not wayyishshaḳ. Hence it is proved; here it is written, And he kissed them145Gen. 48, 10, where the verb is wayyishshaḳ and denotes an expression of love. and [continues], And embraced them.
What is the difference between wayyishshaḳ and wayyenashsheḳ? The latter146Which is an intensive form of the verb. indicates [kissing] with the whole body, the former [only] with the mouth. Whence do we know that this is so? For it is written, He kisses [yishshaḳ] the lips that giveth a right answer.147Prov. 24, 26. Wherever wayyishshaḳ occurs it denotes a [light] impress to be added to the count.148A single gesture which may form part of a further display of affection subsequently. Come and hear: [It is stated,] And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him.149Gen. 33, 4, the verb being wayyishshaḳ. Is not this [act of kissing] similar to what Laban did? The reply is: Go and see how many teeth were dug into him.150In the Heb. text the word has dots over the letters, which are taken by the Midrash to indicate that Esau’s real intention was to bite Jacob. [Cf. ARN, p. 165.] And why? Because he [really] wanted to bite him, but at the time his teeth became as [soft as] wax and he knocked his jaws against Jacob’s neck and became weak. To that episode David alluded when he said, Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God; for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek, Thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.151Ps. 3, 8.

20 כ

ברייתא אהוב את השמא ושנא את המברך ר׳ חדקא אומרה בלשון אחרת אהוב את השמא ושנא את המברך: [גמ'] הוה רגיל לומר שמא כך היה המברך מה בכך מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו דברי תורה:

BARAITHA. Love the ‘perhaps’ but hate the ‘how much’.152The text both in the Baraitha and Gemara is corrupt, the wording hammebarek, ‘he who blesses’, being unintelligible. Cf. on DEZ I, 11. R. Ḥidḳa expressed it differently: Love the ‘perhaps’ but hate the ‘what of it?’
GEMARA. Accustom yourself to say, ‘Perhaps it will be so’. ‘What of it?’—what is the difference between them?153The two versions in the Baraitha. The difference is where it concerns the words of the Torah.154The meaning is uncertain and may be this: Always leave room for reconsideration where there is no finality, and do not be stubbornly wedded to an opinion. ‘What of it?’ suggests too much arrogance; ‘perhaps’, although it expresses uncertainty, is coupled with humility. Where the ‘words of the Torah’ are concerned there must be humility, for only the humble can hope to penetrate the deep truths of the Torah.

21 כא

ברייתא הרחק מן הכיעור ומן הדומה לו שמא יחשדוך אחרים בדברי עבירה: [גמ׳] מנא ה״מ דכתיב ושמרתם את משמרתי (מ)חקתי אינו אומר אלא משמרתי שמר את המשמרת עד שלא תכנס לחקה:

BARAITHA. Hold aloof from what is repulsive and from what resembles it, lest others suspect you of sin.
GEMARA. Whence do we learn this? For it is written, Therefore shall ye keep My charge.155Lev. 18, 30. It does not state, ‘My statutes’ but My charge. This teaches, Guard the charge so that you do not infringe the statutes.156Cf. Yeb. 21a (Sonc. ed., p. 124): ‘Provide a charge to My charge’, i.e. add restrictive measures to safeguard the precepts.

22 כב

ברייתא אל תלשן את חברך שכל המלשין אין לו רפואה: [גמ׳] מנא לן מנחש דכתיב זאב וטלה [וגו׳] אמר רבא ש״מ זאב וארי ודוב ונמר חטאו ולהכי עבדינן רחמנא סנו ברייתא והאי דמיתסו משום דלא הוו חובייהו כדנחש זאב טרף תחלה וארי גנב תחלה ונחש הואיל והלשין לית ליה תקנה:

BARAITHA. Do not slander your fellow-man for there is no healing to whoever slanders.157His victims are too numerous and scattered for him to be able to make it right with them.
GEMARA. Whence do we learn this? From the instance of the serpent; as it is written, The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food.158Isa. 65, 25. In the Messianic era, whereas all wild animals will revert to natural food and a peaceful life, the serpent alone will be condemned to continue to eat dust (Gen. 3, 14). Cf. Midrash Rabbah, Genesis, XX, 5 (Sonc. ed., p. 163). Raba said: Hence it may be inferred that the wolf, lion, bear and leopard sinned and the All-merciful made them hated by His creatures; but the reason why they will be healed is that their guilt is not like the serpent’s. The wolf is the first to pounce [upon its prey], the lion the first to steal; but as for the serpent, because it engaged in slander there is no healing for it.

23 כג

ברייתא אל תהי פרוץ בנדרים שהנדרים מביאים לידי שבועות ואל תאכל לחם עם הארץ שמא תחלל קדשי שמים: [גמ׳] תנן התם המקבל עליו להיות חבר אינו מתארח אצל עם הארץ ולא מארחו אצלו בכסותו הכא משום דמאי והכא משום תרומה רחק מן התרעומת היכי דמי תרעומת כדכתיב ושונה בדבר מפריד אלוף וה״ק רחק מהתרעומת עצמך שלא תתרעם עם אחרים ותוסיף לחטאת אי תרעומת דעצמך (אי) אתה רשאי תרעומת דחברך מרשאי אתה:

BARAITHA. Do not be free with vows for vows lead to oaths; and do not eat food with the ‘am ha-’areẓ lest you come to profane the sacred food of Heaven.
GEMARA. We have learnt there:159Demai II, 3 (Sonc. ed., p. 58). He who undertakes to be a ḥaber may not be the guest of an ‘am ha-’areẓ, nor may he receive him as a guest wearing his own clothing.160Cf. Ḥag. II, 7 (Sonc. ed., p. 120, n. 3). Here161In the Gemara. it is because of demai and there162In the Baraitha. because of the terumah.
BARAITHA. Refrain from grumbling.
GEMARA. Of what kind of ‘grumbling’ does it speak? As it is written, He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that harpeth on a matter estrangeth a familiar friend.163Prov. 17, 9. This is what is meant: Refrain from grumbling about matters which concern you personally, so as not to grumble against others and be drawn to further sin. If you may not grumble about matters which concern you personally, you [certainly] may not grumble against your fellow-man.

24 כד

ברייתא שבעה אבות כרותי ברית אלו הם אברהם יצחק ויעקב משה ואהרן פינחס ודוד. באברהם מהו אומר ביום ההוא כרת ה׳ [את אברם] ברית ביצחק מהו אומר ואת בריתי אקים את יצחק. ביעקב מהו אומר וזכרתי את בריתי יעקב. במשה מהו אומר כי על פי הדברים האלה כרתי אתך ברית. באהרן מהו אומר ברית מלח עולם הוא. בפינחס מהו אומר והיתה לו ולזרעו אחריו ברית בדוד מהו אומר כרתי ברית לבחירי: [גמ׳] תנא אף ישראל כרותי ברית היו מנין שנא׳ כי על פי הדברים האלה כרתי אתך ברית ואת ישראל. לימא תהוי תיובתא דרבי עקיבא דאמר דור המדבר אין להם חלק לעוה״ב אמר לך ר״ע אדרבה השתא מסייע לן ואת ישראל וכתיב לא כברית אשר (לא שמעו) [וגו׳ אשר המה הפרו] אלא מאי ואת לרבות עוללים ויונקים. ת״ש כה אמר [ה׳] אלהי ישראל אנכי כרתי ברית את אבותיכם קשיא לר״ע אמר לך ר׳ עקיבא השתא מסייעא לי דכתיב ולא שמעו (ולא אבו) [אבותיכם] אלי ת״ש אספו לי חסידי כורתי בריתי עלי זבח הא ודאי הויא תיובתיה:

BARAITHA. Seven patriarchs were under [divine] covenant and they are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Phinehas and David. Of Abraham it declares, In that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.164Gen. 15, 18. Of Isaac it declares, But My covenant will I establish with Isaac.165ibid. XVII, 21. Of Jacob it declares, Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob.166Lev. 26, 42. Of Moses it declares, For after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.167Ex. 34, 27. Of Aaron it declares, It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord unto thee.168Num. 18, 19. Of Phinehas it declares, And it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.169ibid. XXV, 13. Of David it declares, I have made a covenant with My chosen.170Ps. 89, 4.
GEMARA. It has been taught: Israel too were under [divine] covenant. Whence is this learnt? As it is stated, For after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.171Ex. 34, 27. Shall we say that this refutes the view of R. ‘Aḳiba who said: The generation of the Wilderness172Cf. Num. 14, 26ff. have no share in the World to Come?173Cf. Sanh. 108a (Sonc. ed., p. 738). R. ‘Aḳiba could reply: On the contrary, it is a support of my view: here it is written, and with Israel, and it is written, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant.174Jer. 31, 30f, in A.J. XXXI, 31f. Because the generation of the Wilderness broke the covenant by their murmurings against God they lost their share in the World to Come, and only when God will renew the covenant with Israel and Judah will they again be entitled to a share. What, then, is the force of the repetition [and] with? It is to include the babes and sucklings [who came out of Egypt].175With this new generation of Israel God will enter into the new covenant.
Come and hear: [It is written,] Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, I have made a covenant with your fathers176Jer. 34, 13.—this is a refutation of R. ‘Aḳiba! He can reply: This is rather a support for me, for it is written, But your fathers hearkened not unto Me.177ibid. 14. They therefore forfeited their share in the World to Come. Come and hear: [It is written,] Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice!178Ps. 50, 5. This verse implies that the covenant was binding for all time. This is certainly a refutation [of R. ‘Aḳiba’s statement].

25 כה

ברייתא שבעה אבות שכבו בכבוד העולם ולא שלטה בהם רמה ותולעה אברהם יצחק ויעקב ועמרם אבי משה ובנימין בן יעקב וישי וכלאב וי״א אף דוד שנאמר לכן שמח לבי ויגל כבודי אף בשרי ישכון לבטח. שבעה נכנסו בחייהם לגן עדן אלו הם שרח דכתיב אנכי שלומי אמוני ישראל אני שהשלמתי מנין הנכנסים לגן עדן. ובתיה בת פרעה דכתיב ילדה את ירד אמר הקב״ה אינו קורא למשה אלא בשם שקראתו שנאמר ויקרא אליו אלהים [וגו׳] הוא שאמר דוד ישלח ממרום יקחני ימשני ממים רבים. כי מן המים משיתהו אמר הקב״ה והביאה ישועה לישראל והוציאן לחיים הריני מאריך לך בחיים אמר כרתי ברית עם אבותיכם והם בהלכות אבותיהם זו שעזבה מלכות ונדבקה בם איני משלם לה. חירם מלך צור מאי זכה משום שעשה משכן כמו שעשאו משה דכתיב את כל הכלים האלה מאי אהל זה אהל מועד. ועבד מלך כושי דאסקיה לירמיה דכתיב ויאמר עבד מלך הכושי [וגו׳]. אלעזר על דפלחיה לאברהם אימת כיון דאמר הקרה נא לפני היום וכתיב התם כי הקרה ה׳ אלהיך לפני ולהלן מנא לן דכתיב ויבא לו יין ואומר ראה ריח בני כריח שדה אשר ברכו ה׳. ובן בנו של ר׳ יהודה הנשיא גמרא ור׳ יהושע בן לוי נמי גמרא ויעבץ מנא לן דכתיב ויקרא יעבץ וכתיב והיתה ידך עמי. ואית דמייתין לה מהכא ועשית מרעה מנא לן דרעה זו מיתה דכתיב כי מפני הרעה נאסף הצדיק ותאנא אלמלא רעות שבאות לעולם לא היו צדיקים נאספים בלי זמנן. ויעבץ בקש על עצמו לבלתי עצבי ויבא אלהים את אשר שאל: סליק פירקא

BARAITHA. Seven patriarchs died in universal honour, and the worms and maggots had no power over them, viz. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Amram the father of Moses, Benjamin the son of Jacob, Jesse and Chileab.179The second son of David (2 Sam. 3, 3, who is named Daniel in 1 Chron. 3, 1). Cf. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, I, p. 22. Some add: David, as it is stated, Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also dwelleth in safety.180Ps. 16, 9.
Seven entered Paradise in their lifetime, viz.: [Seraḥ [the daughter of Asher],181She showed Moses the place in the Nile where Joseph’s coffin lay hidden, thus enabling him to take it with him when the Israelites left Egypt (Ex. 13, 19). Cf. Ginzberg, op. cit., II, pp. 116, 181; V, pp. 96, 165, 356, n. 295, 359, n. 321. See also Soṭah 13a (Sonc. ed., p. 67). Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh,182Cf. 1 Chron. 4, 18; Meg. 13a (Sonc. ed., p. 74); Ginzberg, op. cit., II, p. 270; V, p. 401, n. 60. Hiram, king of Tyre,183Because he was of great help to Solomon in the building of the Temple. Cf. 1 Kings 5; Ginzberg, op. cit., IV, p. 155; V, pp. 96, 165; VI, p. 425. Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,184He rescued the prophet Jeremiah when his life was in danger. Cf. Jer. 38, 11ff.; Ginzberg, op. cit., IV, pp. 318ff.; VI, pp. 387, 409f., 411f. Eliezer [the servant of Abraham],185op. cit., I, p. 297; V, pp. 96, 165, 263, n. 301. the grandson of Judah the Prince,186op. cit., V, p. 96, where he refers to R. Judah’s ‘slave’, not his grandson. Jabez187op. cit., V, p. 96; VI, p. 187, n. 30, where Jabez is identified with R. Judah’s grandson. and some add, R. Joshua b. Levi].188op. cit., V, pp. 31, 96, 165.
GEMARA. Seraḥ, as it is written, I am of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel1892 Sam. 20, 19, E.V. we are of them, etc.; the words which the wise woman spoke in the name of the people of the city. Here the words are applied to another wise woman, Serah. [which is interpreted,] It is I who completed the number of entrants to the Garden of Eden. Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, as it is written, And his wife Hajehudijah bore Jered the father of Gedor … and these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh whom Mered took.1901 Chron. 4, 18. God said, ‘I will call Moses by no other name than she called him’,191Cf. Ex. 2, 10. as it is stated, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said: Moses, Moses.192ibid III, 4. To this David alluded when he exclaimed, He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.1932 Sam. 22, 17; Ps. 18, 17. [It is written,] And she called his name Moses, and said: Because I drew him out of the water.194Ex. 2, 10. The Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘Because she caused salvation to come to Israel and brought them forth to life, behold, I will prolong her life’. He [also] said, ‘I have made a covenant with your fathers and they followed in the path of their fathers. This woman, however, who has forsaken her royal status and attached herself to you, shall I not reward her?’
In what did Hiram, king of Tyre, earn his merit? Because he built a Tabernacle as Moses did; as it is written, Even all these vessels.1951 Kings 7, 45. In the Heb. text the word for these is so spelt that it could be read ’ohel which is reminiscent of the ’ohel mo‘ed, ‘the tent of meeting’, which Moses erected. To what does the word these allude? To the tent of meeting. [Why did] Ebed-melech the Ethiopian [enter Paradise alive]? Because he brought up Jeremiah [from the dungeon], as it is written, And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, etc.196Jer. 38, 12f. [Why did] Eliezer [enter Paradise alive]? Because he prayed on Abraham’s behalf. On what occasion? When he said, O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, send me, I pray Thee, good speed this day,197Gen. 24, 12. and it is further written, Because the Lord thy God sent me good speed.198ibid. XXVII, 20. Jacob said this to his father. And whence do we know that the latter one199Jacob. [entered Paradise alive]? For it is written, And he brought him wine, and he drank;200ibid. XXVII, 25. and it further states, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed.201ibid. 27, i.e., the Garden of Eden. Jacob, according to tradition, brought the vine from the Garden of Eden; cf. Midrash Rabbah, Genesis, LXV, 22 (Sonc. ed., p. 599): ‘When Jacob went in to his father, the Garden of Eden entered with him’.
And the grandson of R. Judah the Prince? For this we have a tradition. And R. Joshua b. Levi? For this too we have a tradition. And whence do we know it of Jabez? For it is written, And Jabez called on the God of Israel … and that Thy hand might be with me.2021 Chron. 4, 10. Some derive it from here, And that Thou wouldest work deliverance from evil, that it may not pain me.203ibid. Whence do we know that evil means death? As it is written, The righteous is taken away from the evil to come;204Isa. 57, 1. and it has been taught: But for the ills that come upon the world, the righteous would not be taken away before their time. And Jabez prayed concerning himself, That it may not pain me, [and then it is written,] And God granted him that which he requested.2051 Chron. 4, 10.