Yevamot 63bיבמות ס״ג ב
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63bס״ג ב

מן החטא מקרי ליה רב יהודה לרב יצחק בריה (קהלת ז, כו) ומוצא אני מר ממות את האשה א"ל כגון מאן כגון אמך

from sin. We should therefore show our gratitude to them. The Gemara cites a related incident: Rav Yehuda was teaching Torah to Rav Yitzḥak, his son, and they encountered the verse: “And I find more bitter than death the woman” (Ecclesiastes 7:26). His son said to him: For example, whom? His father replied: For example, your mother.

והא מתני ליה רב יהודה לרב יצחק בריה אין אדם מוצא קורת רוח אלא מאשתו ראשונה שנאמר (משלי ה, יח) יהי מקורך ברוך ושמח מאשת נעוריך וא"ל כגון מאן כגון אמך מתקיף תקיפא ועבורי מיעברא במלה

The Gemara asks: Didn’t Rav Yehuda teach Rav Yitzḥak, his son, the following baraita: A man finds peace of mind only with his first wife, as it is stated: “Let your fountain be blessed, and have joy from the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18), and his son said to him: For example, whom, and his father responded in this case as well: For example, your mother. This indicates that Rav Yehuda did find peace of mind with his wife. The Gemara answers: She was aggressive and forceful, but she was easily appeased.

היכי דמי אשה רעה אמר אביי מקשטא ליה תכא ומקשטא ליה פומא רבא אמר מקשטא ליה תכא ומהדרא ליה גבא

The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances when a woman is considered a bad wife? Abaye said: She arranges a table for him and arranges her mouth for him at the same time. In other words, although she prepares food for him, she verbally abuses him while he eats. Rava said: She arranges a table for him and then turns her back to him, displaying her lack of interest in his company.

אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא כיון שנשא אדם אשה עונותיו מתפקקין שנאמר (משלי יח, כב) מצא אשה מצא טוב ויפק רצון מה' במערבא כי נסיב אינש איתתא אמרי ליה הכי מצא או מוצא מצא דכתיב מצא אשה מצא טוב מוצא דכתיב ומוצא אני מר ממות את האשה

Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina said: Once a man marries a woman his iniquities crumble [mitpakekin], as it is stated: “Whoever finds a wife finds good, and obtains [veyafek] favor of the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). In the West, i.e., Eretz Yisrael, when a man married a woman they would say to him as follows: Matza or motze? In other words, they would ask the groom if the appropriate passage for his wife is that verse, which begins with the word matza, as it is written: Whoever finds [matza] a wife finds good, or whether the more appropriate verse is the one beginning with the word motze, as it is written: “And I find [motze] more bitter than death the woman” (Ecclesiastes 7:26).

אמר רבא אשה רעה מצוה לגרשה דכתיב (משלי כב, י) גרש לץ ויצא מדון וישבות דין וקלון ואמר רבא אשה רעה וכתובתה מרובה צרתה בצדה דאמרי אינשי בחברתה ולא בסילתא ואמר רבא קשה אשה רעה כיום סגריר שנאמר (משלי כז, טו) דלף טורד ביום סגריר ואשת מדינים נשתוה

Rava said: It is a mitzva to divorce a bad wife, as it is written: “Cast out the scorner and contention will depart; strife and shame will cease” (Proverbs 22:10). And Rava said: A bad wife whose marriage contract settlement is too large for her husband to pay in the event of a divorce, her rival wife is at her side. In other words, the only way for him to improve matters is to take another wife. As people say in the well-known adage: The way to trouble a woman is with her peer and not with a thorn. And Rava said: A bad wife is as troublesome as a day of heavy rain, as it is stated: “A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Proverbs 27:15).

ואמר רבא בא וראה כמה טובה אשה טובה וכמה רעה אשה רעה כמה טובה אשה טובה דכתיב מצא אשה מצא טוב אי בגוה משתעי קרא כמה טובה אשה טובה שהכתוב משבחה אי בתורה משתעי קרא כמה טובה אשה טובה שהתורה נמשלה בה כמה רעה אשה רעה דכתיב ומוצא אני מר ממות את האשה אי בגוה משתעי קרא כמה רעה אשה רעה שהכתוב מגנה אי בגיהנם משתעי קרא כמה רעה אשה רעה שגיהנם נמשלה בה

And Rava said: Come and see how good a good wife is and how bad a bad wife is. How good is a good wife? As it is written: Whoever finds a wife finds good. If the verse speaks of her, a wife, this demonstrates how good a good wife is, as the Bible praises her. If the verse speaks metaphorically of the Torah, it nevertheless indicates how good a good wife is, as the Torah is compared to her. Conversely, how bad is a bad wife? As it is written: “And I find more bitter than death the woman.” If the verse speaks of her, this demonstrates how bad a bad wife is, as the Bible condemns her. If the verse speaks metaphorically of Gehenna, it still demonstrates how bad a bad wife is, as Gehenna is compared to her.

(ירמיהו יא, יא) הנני מביא רעה אשר לא יוכלו לצאת ממנה אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה זו אשה רעה וכתובתה מרובה (איכה א, יד) נתנני ה' בידי לא אוכל קום אמר רב חסדא אמר מר עוקבא בר חייא זו אשה רעה וכתובתה מרובה במערבא אמרו זה שמזונותיו תלוין בכספו

The Gemara cites further statements on the same issue. The verse states: “Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape” (Jeremiah 11:11). Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said: This is a bad wife whose marriage contract is large. Similarly, with regard to the verse: “The Lord has given me into the hands of those against whom I cannot stand” (Lamentations 1:14), Rav Ḥisda said that Mar Ukva bar Ḥiyya said: This is a bad wife whose marriage contract is large. In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they said this verse is referring to one whose food is dependent on his money. He is forced to purchase his food with cash, as he does not possess land of his own.

(דברים כח, לב) בניך ובנותיך נתונים לעם אחר אמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב זו אשת האב (דברים לב, כא) בגוי נבל אכעיסם אמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב זו אשה רעה וכתובתה מרובה רבי אליעזר אומר אלו הצדוקים וכן הוא אומר (תהלים יד, א) אמר נבל בלבו אין אלהים וגו'

With regard to the verse: “Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people” (Deuteronomy 28:32), Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said that Rav said: This is a reference to the children’s father’s wife, their stepmother. With regard to the verse: “I will provoke them with a vile nation” (Deuteronomy 32:21), Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said that Rav said: This is a bad wife whose marriage contract is large. Rabbi Eliezer says that these are apostates, and so too the verse states: “The vile man has said in his heart: There is no God, they have dealt corruptly” (Psalms 14:1), which proves that an apostate is called vile.

במתניתא תנא אלו אנשי ברבריא ואנשי מרטנאי שמהלכין ערומים בשוק שאין לך משוקץ ומתועב לפני המקום יותר ממי שמהלך בשוק ערום רבי יוחנן אמר אלו חברים אמרו ליה לר' יוחנן אתו חברי לבבל שגא נפל אמרו ליה מקבלי שוחדא תריץ יתיב

It was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “I will provoke them with a vile nation,” that these are the inhabitants of Barbarya and the inhabitants of Martenai, who walk naked in the marketplace, as none is more despised and abominable before the Omnipresent than one who walks naked in the marketplace. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: These are the Ḥabbarim, a sect of Persian priests. The Gemara relates: When they said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: The Ḥabbarim have come to Babylonia, he shuddered and fell of his chair, out of concern for the Jews living there. They said to him: There is a way to deal with their persecution, as they accept bribes. Upon hearing that not all was lost, he straightened himself and sat in his place once again.

גזרו על ג' מפני ג' גזרו על הבשר מפני המתנות גזרו על המרחצאות מפני הטבילה

Apropos the Ḥabbarim, the Gemara cites the following statement of the Sages: The Ḥabbarim were able to issue decrees against the Jewish people with regard to three matters, due to three transgressions on the part of the Jewish people. They decreed against meat, i.e., they banned ritual slaughter, due to the failure of the Jewish people to give the priests the gifts of the foreleg, the jaw, and the maw. They decreed against Jews bathing in bathhouses, due to their neglect of ritual immersion.

קא מחטטי שכבי מפני ששמחים ביום אידם שנאמר (שמואל א יב, טו) והיתה יד ה' בכם ובאבותיכם אמר רבה בר שמואל זו חטוטי שכבי דאמר מר בעון חיים מתים מתחטטין

Third, they exhumed the dead from their graves because the Jews rejoice on the holidays of the gentiles, as it is stated: “Then shall the hand of the Lord be against you and against your fathers” (I Samuel 12:15). Rabba bar Shmuel said: This verse is referring to exhuming the dead, which upsets both the living and the dead, as the Master said: Due to the iniquity of the living, the dead are exhumed.

א"ל רבא לרבה בר מארי כתיב (ירמיהו ח, ב) לא יאספו ולא יקברו לדומן על פני האדמה יהיו וכתיב (ירמיהו ח, ג) ונבחר מות מחיים אמר ליה נבחר מות לרשעים שלא יחיו בעולם הזה ויחטאו ויפלו בגיהנם

Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: It is written: “They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth” (Jeremiah 8:2), and it is written: “And death shall be chosen rather than life” (Jeremiah 8:3). If death will be so indecent that their bodies will not even be buried, why would people choose death over life? Rabba bar Mari said to him: The latter verse does not refer to the previously described state of affairs, but rather it means: Death is preferable for the wicked, as it is better that they not live in this world and sin and consequently descend into Gehenna.

כתוב בספר בן סירא אשה טובה מתנה טובה לבעלה וכתיב טובה בחיק ירא אלהים תנתן אשה רעה צרעת לבעלה מאי תקנתיה יגרשנה ויתרפא מצרעתו אשה יפה אשרי בעלה מספר ימיו כפלים

The Gemara cites more statements concerning women. It is written in the book of Ben Sira: A good wife is a good gift for her husband. And it is written: A good one will be placed in the bosom of a God-fearing man; a bad wife is a plague to her husband. What is his remedy? He should divorce her and he will be cured of his plague. A beautiful wife, happy is her husband; the number of his days are doubled. His pleasure in her beauty makes him feel as though he has lived twice as long.

העלם עיניך מאשת חן פן תלכד במצודתה אל תט אצל בעלה למסוך עמו יין ושכר כי בתואר אשה יפה רבים הושחתו ועצומים כל הרוגיה רבים היו פצעי רוכל המרגילים לדבר ערוה כניצוץ מבעיר גחלת ככלוב מלא עוף כן בתיהם מלאים מרמה

Turn your eyes from a graceful woman who is married to another man, lest you be caught in her trap. Do not turn to her husband to mix wine and strong drink with him, which can lead to temptation. For on account of the countenance of a beautiful woman many have been destroyed, and her slain is a mighty host. Furthermore, many have been the wounded peddlers. This is referring to men who travel from place to place to sell women’s jewelry. Their frequent dealings with women lead their husbands to harm the peddlers. Those who accustom themselves to licentious matters are like a spark that ignites a coal. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit.

אל תצר צרת מחר כי לא תדע מה ילד יום שמא מחר בא ואיננו נמצא מצטער על העולם שאין שלו מנע רבים מתוך ביתך ולא הכל תביא ביתך רבים יהיו דורשי שלומך גלה סוד לאחד מאלף

The Gemara quotes additional statements from the book of Ben Sira: Do not suffer from tomorrow’s trouble, that is, do not worry about problems that might arise in the future, as you do not know what a day will bring. Perhaps when tomorrow comes, the individual who was so worried will not be among the living, and he was consequently upset over a world that is not his. Prevent a crowd from inside your house, do not let many people enter, and do not even bring all your friends into your house. Make sure, however, that a crowd seeks your welfare, and that you have many allies. Reveal a secret to only one in a thousand, since most people are unable to keep a secret.

אמר רבי אסי אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו כל הנשמות שבגוף שנאמר (ישעיהו נז, טז) כי רוח מלפני יעטוף ונשמות אני עשיתי תניא רבי אליעזר אומר כל מי שאין עוסק בפריה ורביה כאילו שופך דמים שנאמר (בראשית ט, ו) שופך דם האדם באדם דמו ישפך וכתיב בתריה ואתם פרו ורבו

Rabbi Asi said: The Messiah, son of David, will not come until all the souls of the body have been finished, i.e., until all souls that are destined to inhabit physical bodies will do so. As it is stated: “For the spirit that enwraps itself is from Me, and the souls that I have made” (Isaiah 57:16). It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: Anyone who does not engage in the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply is considered as though he sheds blood, as it is stated: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6), and it is written immediately afterward: “And you, be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:7).

רבי יעקב אומר כאילו ממעט הדמות שנאמר (בראשית ט, ו) כי בצלם אלהים עשה את האדם וכתיב בתריה ואתם פרו וגו' בן עזאי אומר כאילו שופך דמים וממעט הדמות שנאמר ואתם פרו ורבו

Rabbi Ya’akov says: It is as though he diminishes the Divine Image, as it is stated: “For in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6), and it is written immediately afterward: “And you, be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:7). Ben Azzai says: It is as though he sheds blood and also diminishes the Divine Image, as it is stated: “And you, be fruitful and multiply,” after the verse that alludes to both shedding blood and the Divine Image.

אמרו לו לבן עזאי יש נאה דורש ונאה מקיים נאה מקיים ואין נאה דורש ואתה נאה דורש ואין נאה מקיים אמר להן בן עזאי ומה אעשה שנפשי חשקה בתורה אפשר לעולם שיתקיים על ידי אחרים

They said to ben Azzai: There is a type of scholar who expounds well and fulfills his own teachings well, and another who fulfills well and does not expound well. But you, who have never married, expound well on the importance of procreation, and yet you do not fulfill well your own teachings. Ben Azzai said to them: What shall I do, as my soul yearns for Torah, and I do not wish to deal with anything else. It is possible for the world to be maintained by others, who are engaged in the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply.

תניא אידך רבי אליעזר אומר כל מי שאין עוסק בפריה ורביה כאילו שופך דמים שנאמר שופך דם האדם וסמיך ליה ואתם פרו וגו' רבי אלעזר בן עזריה אומר כאילו ממעט הדמות בן עזאי אומר וכו' אמרו לו לבן עזאי יש נאה דורש וכו'

It is similarly taught in another baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: Anyone who does not engage in the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply is considered as though he sheds blood, as it is stated: “Whoever sheds the blood of man,” and it is stated near it: “And you, be fruitful and multiply.” Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: It is as though he diminishes the Divine Image. Ben Azzai says: It is as though he both sheds blood and diminishes the Divine Image. They said to ben Azzai: There is a type of scholar who expounds well, etc.

ת"ר (במדבר י, לו) ובנחה יאמר שובה ה' רבבות אלפי ישראל

The Sages taught with regard to the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply: “And when it rested, he would say: Return, Lord, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel” (Numbers 10:36).