Yoma 38b:10יומא ל״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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38bל״ח ב

ומשלך יתנו לך אין אדם נוגע במוכן לחבירו ואין מלכות נוגעת בחברתה אפי' כמלא נימא

and from your own they shall give you. Everyone has a portion designated for him by God, and the individual is privileged to receive what is coming to him, as was the case with the House of Avtinas. The principle is: No person may touch that which is prepared for another by God; everyone receives what is designated for him. And one reign does not overlap with another and deduct from the time allotted it even a hairbreadth. When the time comes for one kingdom to fall, its successor takes over immediately, as no king rules during the time designated for another.

הוגרס בן לוי וכו' תניא כשהוא נותן קולו בנעימה מכניס גודלו לתוך פיו ומניח אצבעו בין הנימין עד שהיו אחיו הכהנים נזקרים בבת ראש לאחוריהם

§ The mishna related that Hugras ben Levi knew a lesson in the art of music and he did not want to teach it to others. It was taught in a baraita: When Hugras ben Levi projects his voice in a sweet melody, he places his thumb into his mouth and places his finger between the strings of a lyre and sings. This produced a sound so sweet that his brethren the priests were abruptly taken aback.

ת"ר בן קמצר לא רצה ללמד על מעשה הכתב אמרו עליו שהיה נוטל ד' קולמוסין בין אצבעותיו ואם היתה תיבה של ד' אותיות היה כותבה בבת אחת אמרו לו מה ראית שלא ללמד כולן מצאו תשובה לדבריהם בן קמצר לא מצא תשובה לדבריו על הראשונים נאמר (משלי י, ז) זכר צדיק לברכה ועל בן קמצר וחביריו נאמר (משלי י, ז) ושם רשעים ירקב

The Sages taught: Ben Kamtzar did not want to teach others a special technique of writing. What was that technique? They said about him that he would take four quills between his fingers, and if there was a word consisting of four letters that he wanted to write, he could write it simultaneously. They said to him: What did you see that led you not to teach that technique? All the others with unique skills came up with a response to questions about the matter of their conduct, claiming that they sought to prevent their technique from being used in idol worship. However, ben Kamtzar did not come up with a response to questions about the matter of his conduct, and it was clear that his only motivation in preventing his skill from being disseminated was his own personal honor. With regard to the first people listed, it is stated: “The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing” (Proverbs 10:7); and about ben Kamtzar and his counterparts it is stated: “But the name of the wicked shall rot” (Proverbs 10:7).

מאי ושם רשעים ירקב אמר ר' אלעזר רקביבות תעלה בשמותן דלא מסקינן בשמייהו מתיב רבינא מעשה בדואג בן יוסף שהניחו [אביו] בן קטן לאמו בכל יום היתה אמו מודדתו בטפחים ונותנת משקלו של זהב לבית המקדש וכשגבר אויב טבחתו ואכלתו

§ Apropos the verse cited, the Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: But the name of the wicked shall rot? How does a name rot? Rabbi Elazar said: It means that decay will spread on their names, meaning that we do not call others by their names, and the name will sink into oblivion. Ravina raised an objection from an incident that transpired during the Second Temple era. There was an incident involving Doeg ben Yosef, whose father died and left him as a young child to his mother, who loved him. Each day his mother measured his height in handbreadths and donated a measure of gold equivalent to the weight that he gained to the Temple. Later, when the enemy prevailed and there was a terrible famine in the city, she slaughtered and ate him.

ועליה קונן ירמיה (איכה ב, כ) אם תאכלנה נשים פרים עוללי טפוחים משיבה רוח הקדש ואומרת אם יהרג במקדש ה' כהן ונביא חזי מאי סליק ביה

And with regard to her and others like her Jeremiah lamented: “Shall the women eat their fruit, their children in their care [tipuḥim]?” (Lamentations 2:20). The Gemara interprets the term tipuḥim homiletically as referring to this baby, who was measured in handbreadths [tefaḥim]. Even he was eaten by his mother. And the Divine Spirit responds and says: Why did this happen? “Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the Temple of the Lord?” (Lamentations 2:20). It is punishment for the murder of the priest Zechariah ben Jehoiada. This incident involves aboy named Doeg; even though the person with that name was wicked (see I Samuel, chapter 22), the boy was named for him. The Gemara responds: See what befell him. Clearly, his name was a bad omen.

אמר ר' אלעזר צדיק מעצמו ורשע מחבירו צדיק מעצמו דכתיב זכר צדיק לברכה ורשע מחבירו דכתיב ושם רשעים ירקב

Rabbi Elazar said: A righteous person is praised for his own actions, and a wicked person is cursed not only for his own actions but also for the actions of his wicked counterpart. A righteous person is praised for his actions, as it is written: “The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing”; righteous is written in the singular. A wicked person is also cursed for the actions of his wicked counterpart, as it is written: “But the name of the wicked shall rot”; wicked is written in the plural. Once one wicked person is mentioned, his wicked counterparts are cursed as well.

אמר ליה רבינא לההוא מרבנן דהוה מסדר אגדתא קמיה מנא הא מילתא דאמור רבנן זכר צדיק לברכה א"ל דהא כתיב זכר צדיק לברכה מדאורייתא מנא לן דכתיב (בראשית יח, יז) וה' אמר המכסה אני מאברהם אשר אני עושה וכתיב (בראשית יח, יח) ואברהם היו יהיה לגוי גדול ועצום

Ravina said to one of the Sages who would organize aggadic statements before him: From where is this matter that the Sages stated: The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing, derived?He said to him: As it is written explicitly in the book of Proverbs: “The memory of the righteous shall be for a blessing.” He then asked him: From where in the Torah do we derive this? He said to him: As it is written: “And God said: Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing?” (Genesis 18:17). And as soon as Abraham’s name is mentioned, it is written: “And Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation” (Genesis 18:18), although there is no clear connection to the previous verse. Apparently, once the name of a righteous person is mentioned, it is followed directly by praise of the individual. That is the Torah source for the statement that the mention of the righteous is for blessing.

מנא הא מילתא דאמור רבנן שם רשעים ירקב א"ל דהא כתיב ושם רשעים ירקב מדאורייתא מנא לן דכתיב (בראשית יג, יב) ויאהל עד סדום וכתיב ואנשי סדום רעים וחטאים לה' מאד

Then he asked: From where is this matter that the Sages said: But the name of the wicked shall rot, derived? He said to him: As it is written explicitly in the book of Proverbs: “But the name of the wicked shall rot.” He then asked him: From where in the Torah do we derive this? He said to him: As it is written with regard to Lot: “And he moved his tent as far as Sodom” (Genesis 13:12). And as soon as Sodom is mentioned, it is written: “And the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful to God” (Genesis 13:13).

אמר ר' אלעזר צדיק דר בין שני רשעים ולא למד ממעשיהם רשע דר בין שני צדיקים ולא למד ממעשיהם צדיק דר בין שני רשעים ולא למד ממעשיהם עובדיה רשע דר בין שני צדיקים ולא למד ממעשיהם זה עשו

Apropos these statements, the Gemara cites another statement that Rabbi Elazar said: There was a righteous person who lived between two wicked people and did not learn from their actions; there was a wicked person who lived between two righteous people and did not learn from their actions. How so? A righteous person lived between two wicked people and did not learn from their actions is Obadiah, who was a minister for Ahab and Jezebel and nevertheless remained God-fearing (see I Kings, chapter 18). A wicked person who lived between two righteous people and did not learn from their actions is Esau, who was born and raised in the house of Isaac and Rebecca and nevertheless remained wicked.

(אמר) ר' אלעזר מברכתן של צדיקים אתה למד קללה לרשעים ומקללתן של רשעים אתה למד ברכה לצדיקים מברכתן של צדיקים אתה למד קללה לרשעים דכתיב (בראשית יח, יט) כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה וגו' וכתיב בתריה (בראשית יח, כ) ויאמר ה' זעקת סדום ועמורה כי רבה

§ Rabbi Elazar said: From the blessing of the righteous you infer a curse for the wicked; and conversely, from the curse of the wicked you infer a blessing for the righteous. How so? From the blessing of the righteous you infer a curse for the wicked, as it is written with regard to Abraham: “For I have known him to the end that he will command his children and his household after him” (Genesis 18:19), and it is written thereafter: “The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is very great” (Genesis 18:20). The righteousness of Abraham underscores the relative wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, exacerbating their punishment.

ומקללתן של רשעים אתה למד ברכה לצדיקים דכתיב ואנשי סדום רעים וחטאים לה' וה' אמר אל אברם אחרי הפרד לוט מעמו (אמר) ר' אלעזר אפי' בשביל צדיק אחד עולם נברא שנאמר (בראשית א, ד) וירא אלהים את האור כי טוב ואין טוב אלא צדיק שנאמר (ישעיהו ג, י) אמרו צדיק כי טוב

Conversely, from the curse of the wicked you infer a blessing for the righteous, as it is written: “And the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful to God” (Genesis 13:13), after which it is written: “And God said to Abram, after that Lot had separated from him” (Genesis 13:14); God proceeds to bless him. And Rabbi Elazar said: Even for one righteous person an entire world is created, as it is stated: “And God saw the light, that it was good” (Genesis 1:4), and good means nothing other than righteous, as it is stated: “Say of the righteous that he is good” (Isaiah 3:10).

(אמר) ר' אלעזר כל המשכח דבר מתלמודו גורם גלות לבניו שנאמר ותשכח תורת אלהיך אשכח בניך גם אני ר' אבהו אמר מורידין אותו מגדולתו שנאמר כי אתה הדעת מאסת ואמאסך מכהן לי

Rabbi Elazar further said: One who causes himself to forget a matter of his studies ultimately causes exile for his children, as it is stated: “Because you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children” (Hosea 4:6). Rabbi Abbahu said: With regard to he who causes his studies to be forgotten, one reduces him from his prominence, as it is stated: “Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you; you shall not serve Me” (Hosea 4:6).

אמר ר' חייא בר אבא אמר ר' יוחנן אין צדיק נפטר מן העולם עד שנברא צדיק כמותו שנאמר (קהלת א, ה) וזרח השמש ובא השמש עד שלא כבתה שמשו של עלי זרחה שמשו של שמואל הרמתי (אמר) ר' חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן ראה הקדוש ברוך הוא שצדיקים מועטין עמד ושתלן בכל דור ודור שנא' (שמואל א ב, ח) כי לה' מצוקי ארץ וישת עליהם תבל

Apropos the righteous, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: No righteous person departs from this world until another comparable righteous person is created, as it is stated: “And the sun rises and the sun sets” (Ecclesiastes 1:5); before the sun sets the new sun has already risen. Before the sun of Eli was extinguished, the sun of Samuel of Ramah had already shone (see I Samuel, chapter 3), and so on throughout the generations. And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, saw that righteous people were few, so He arose and planted some of them in each and every generation to ensure the presence of at least one righteous person in each generation. As it is stated: “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them” (I Samuel 2:8). Since the world rests upon the righteous, each generation requires the presence of a righteous person to provide that support.

(אמר) ר' חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן אפי' בשביל צדיק אחד העולם מתקיים שנאמר (משלי י, כה) וצדיק יסוד עולם ר' חייא דידיה אמר מהכא (שמואל א ב, ט) רגלי חסידיו ישמור חסידיו טובא משמע אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק חסידו כתיב

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Even for one righteous person the world exists, as it is stated: “But the righteous is the foundation of the world” (Proverbs 10:25). Rabbi Ḥiyya himself said: The proof is from here, as it is stated: “He will keep the feet of His pious ones” (I Samuel 2:9), meaning that God maintains the world due to the pious people. The Gemara questions this proof; “pious ones” indicates many rather than a single righteous person. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Although the text is vocalized in the plural, it is written in the singular: “His pious one”; God maintains the world even for a single pious individual.

(אמר) ר' חייא בר אבא אמר ר' יוחנן כיון שיצאו רוב שנותיו של אדם ולא חטא שוב אינו חוטא שנאמר רגלי חסידיו ישמור דבי ר' שילא אמרי כיון שבאה לידו דבר עבירה פעם ראשונה ושניה ואינו חוטא שוב אינו חוטא שנאמר רגלי חסידיו ישמור

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Once most of a person’s years have passed and he did not sin, he will never sin, as it is stated: “He will keep the feet of His pious ones” (I Samuel 2:9). Once a person has established himself as righteous, God will keep him from failing thereafter. In the school of Rabbi Sheila they say: Once the opportunity to perform a sinful act presents itself to a person a first time and a second, and he does not sin, he will never sin, as it is stated: “He will keep the feet of His pious ones” (I Samuel 2:9). Once he has refrained from sin several times, he has established himself as pious and God will protect him thereafter.

אמר ריש לקיש מאי דכתיב (משלי ג, לד) אם ללצים הוא יליץ ולענוים יתן חן בא לטמא פותחין לו בא לטהר מסייעין אותו תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל משל לאדם שהיה מוכר נפט ואפרסמון

Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “If it concerns the scorners, He scorns them, but to the humble He gives grace” (Proverbs 3:34)? If one comes to impurify, they open before him the opportunity to exercise his free will and do as he pleases. If one comes to purify, they assist him. In the school of Rabbi Yishmael it was taught with regard to this verse: This is comparable to the case of a man who was selling both crude naphtha [neft], whose odor is vile, and balsam, whose fragrance is pleasant.