וּמִשֶּׁלְּךָ יִתְּנוּ לְךָ אֵין אָדָם נוֹגֵעַ בַּמּוּכָן לַחֲבֵירוֹ וְאֵין מַלְכוּת נוֹגַעַת בַּחֲבֶרְתָּהּ אֲפִילּוּ כִּמְלֹא נִימָא
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.
הוּגְרַס בֶּן לֵוִי וְכוּ׳ תַּנְיָא כְּשֶׁהוּא נוֹתֵן קוֹלוֹ בִּנְעִימָה מַכְנִיס גּוּדָלוֹ לְתוֹךְ פִּיו וּמַנִּיחַ אֶצְבָּעוֹ בֵּין הַנִּימִין עַד שֶׁהָיוּ אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים נִזְקָרִים בְּבַת רֹאשׁ לַאֲחוֹרֵיהֶם
§ 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.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן בֶּן קַמְצָר לֹא רָצָה לְלַמֵּד עַל מַעֲשֵׂה הַכְּתָב אָמְרוּ עָלָיו שֶׁהָיָה נוֹטֵל אַרְבָּעָה קוּלְמוֹסִין בֵּין אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו וְאִם הָיְתָה תֵּיבָה שֶׁל אַרְבַּע אוֹתִיּוֹת הָיָה כּוֹתְבָהּ בְּבַת אַחַת אָמְרוּ לוֹ מָה רָאִיתָ שֶׁלֹּא לְלַמֵּד כּוּלָּן מָצְאוּ תְּשׁוּבָה לְדִבְרֵיהֶם בֶּן קַמְצָר לֹא מָצָא תְּשׁוּבָה לִדְבָרָיו עַל הָרִאשׁוֹנִים נֶאֱמַר זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה וְעַל בֶּן קַמְצָר וַחֲבֵירָיו נֶאֱמַר וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב
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).
מַאי וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר רַקְבִּיבוּת תַּעֲלֶה בִּשְׁמוֹתָן דְּלָא מַסְּקִינַן בִּשְׁמַיְיהוּ מֵתִיב רָבִינָא מַעֲשֶׂה בְּדוֹאֵג בֶּן יוֹסֵף שֶׁהִנִּיחוֹ [אָבִיו] בֵּן קָטָן לְאִמּוֹ בְּכׇל יוֹם הָיְתָה אִמּוֹ מוֹדַדְתּוֹ בִּטְפָחִים וְנוֹתֶנֶת מִשְׁקָלוֹ שֶׁל זָהָב לְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּכְשֶׁגָּבַר אוֹיֵב טְבָחַתּוּ וַאֲכָלַתּוּ
§ 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.
וְעָלֶיהָ קוֹנֵן יִרְמְיָה אִם תֹּאכַלְנָה נָשִׁים פִּרְיָם עוֹלְלֵי טִפּוּחִים מְשִׁיבָה רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאוֹמֶרֶת אִם יֵהָרֵג בְּמִקְדַּשׁ ה׳ כֹּהֵן וְנָבִיא חֲזִי מַאי סְלֵיק בֵּיהּ
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.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר צַדִּיק מֵעַצְמוֹ וְרָשָׁע מֵחֲבֵירוֹ צַדִּיק מֵעַצְמוֹ דִּכְתִיב זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה וְרָשָׁע מֵחֲבֵירוֹ דִּכְתִיב וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב
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.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבִינָא לְהָהוּא מֵרַבָּנַן דַּהֲוָה מְסַדַּר אַגָּדָתָא קַמֵּיהּ מְנַָא הָא מִילְּתָא דַאֲמוּר רַבָּנַן זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה אֲמַר לֵיהּ דְּהָא כְּתִיב זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה מִדְּאוֹרָיְיתָא מְנָא לַן דִּכְתִיב וַה׳ אָמָר הַמְכַסֶּה אֲנִי מֵאַבְרָהָם אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה וּכְתִיב וְאַבְרָהָם הָיוֹ יִהְיֶה לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וְעָצוּם
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.
מְנַָא הָא מִילְּתָא דַאֲמוּר רַבָּנַן שֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב אֲמַר לֵיהּ דְּהָא כְּתִיב וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב מִדְּאוֹרָיְיתָא מְנָא לַן דִּכְתִיב וַיֶּאֱהַל עַד סְדוֹם וּכְתִיב וְאַנְשֵׁי סְדוֹם רָעִים וְחַטָּאִים לַה׳ מְאֹד
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).
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר צַדִּיק דָּר בֵּין שְׁנֵי רְשָׁעִים וְלֹא לָמַד מִמַּעֲשֵׂיהֶם רָשָׁע דָּר בֵּין שְׁנֵי צַדִּיקִים וְלֹא לָמַד מִמַּעֲשֵׂיהֶם צַדִּיק דָּר בֵּין שְׁנֵי רְשָׁעִים וְלֹא לָמַד מִמַּעֲשֵׂיהֶם עוֹבַדְיָה רָשָׁע דָּר בֵּין שְׁנֵי צַדִּיקִים וְלֹא לָמַד מִמַּעֲשֵׂיהֶם זֶה עֵשָׂו
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.
(אָמַר) רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מִבִּרְכָתָן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים אַתָּה לָמֵד קְלָלָה לָרְשָׁעִים וּמִקִּלְלָתָן שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים אַתָּה לָמֵד בְּרָכָה לַצַּדִּיקִים מִבִּרְכָתָן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים אַתָּה לָמֵד קְלָלָה לָרְשָׁעִים דִּכְתִיב כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה וְגוֹ׳ וּכְתִיב בָּתְרֵיהּ וַיֹּאמֶר ה׳ זַעֲקַת סְדוֹם וַעֲמוֹרָה כִּי רָבָּה
§ 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.
וּמִקִּלְלָתָן שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים אַתָּה לָמֵד בְּרָכָה לַצַּדִּיקִים דִּכְתִיב וְאַנְשֵׁי סְדוֹם רָעִים וְחַטָּאִים לַה׳ וַה׳ אָמַר אֶל אַבְרָם אַחֲרֵי הִפָּרֶד לוֹט מֵעִמּוֹ (אָמַר) רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אֲפִילּוּ בִּשְׁבִיל צַדִּיק אֶחָד עוֹלָם נִבְרָא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת הָאוֹר כִּי טוֹב וְאֵין טוֹב אֶלָּא צַדִּיק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אִמְרוּ צַדִּיק כִּי טוֹב
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).
(אָמַר) רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר כׇּל הַמְשַׁכֵּחַ דָּבָר מִתַּלְמוּדוֹ גּוֹרֵם גָּלוּת לְבָנָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַתִּשְׁכַּח תּוֹרַת אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶשְׁכַּח בָּנֶיךָ גַּם אָנִי רַבִּי אֲבָהוּ אָמַר מוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ מִגְּדוּלָּתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי אַתָּה הַדַּעַת מָאַסְתָּ וְאֶמְאָסְךָ מִכַּהֵן לִי
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).
אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אֵין צַדִּיק נִפְטָר מִן הָעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁנִּבְרָא צַדִּיק כְּמוֹתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְזָרַח הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וּבָא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ עַד שֶׁלֹּא כָּבְתָה שִׁמְשׁוֹ שֶׁל עֵלִי זָרְחָה שִׁמְשׁוֹ שֶׁל שְׁמוּאֵל הָרָמָתִי (אָמַר) רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן רָאָה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁצַּדִּיקִים מוּעָטִין עָמַד וּשְׁתָלָן בְּכׇל דּוֹר וָדוֹר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי לַה׳ מְצוּקֵי אֶרֶץ וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל
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.
(אָמַר) רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אֲפִילּוּ בִּשְׁבִיל צַדִּיק אֶחָד הָעוֹלָם מִתְקַיֵּים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְצַדִּיק יְסוֹד עוֹלָם רַבִּי חִיָּיא דִּידֵיהּ אָמַר מֵהָכָא רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָיו יִשְׁמוֹר חֲסִידָיו טוּבָא מַשְׁמַע אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק חֲסִידוֹ כְּתִיב
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.
(אָמַר) רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן כֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּצְאוּ רוֹב שְׁנוֹתָיו שֶׁל אָדָם וְלֹא חָטָא שׁוּב אֵינוֹ חוֹטֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָיו יִשְׁמוֹר דְּבֵי רַבִּי שֵׁילָא אָמְרִי כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּאָה לְיָדוֹ דְּבַר עֲבֵירָה פַּעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹטֵא שׁוּב אֵינוֹ חוֹטֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָיו יִשְׁמוֹר
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.
אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ מַאי דִּכְתִיב אִם לַלֵּצִים הוּא יָלִיץ וְלַעֲנָוִים יִתֶּן חֵן בָּא לִטַּמֵּא פּוֹתְחִין לוֹ בָּא לִטָּהֵר מְסַיְּיעִין אוֹתוֹ תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל מָשָׁל לְאָדָם שֶׁהָיָה מוֹכֵר נֵפְטְ וַאֲפַרְסְמוֹן
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.