Yoma 86aיומא פ״ו א
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86aפ״ו א

חוץ (שמות כ, ו) מלא תשא לא תשא וכל דדמי ליה

except for: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” (Exodus 20:6), about which the Torah states: “For God will not absolve him who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:6). The Gemara answers: It is not that this is the only negative mitzva that is not a minor transgression; rather, it is: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” and any prohibition similar to it, meaning all severe prohibitions that carry punishment by a court.

ת"ש ר' יהודה אומר כל שהוא מלא תשא ולמטה תשובה מכפרת מלא תשא ולמעלה תשובה תולה ויוה"כ מכפר לא תשא וכל דדמי ליה

The Gemara proposes: Come and hear from that which was taught: Rabbi Yehuda says: For any sin from “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” and below, i.e., prohibitions less severe than that, repentance atones. For any sin from “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” and above, repentance suspends punishment and Yom Kippur atones. The Gemara rejects this: This does not constitute proof either, since one could say that it is referring to: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” and anything similar to it.

ת"ש לפי שנאמר בחורב תשובה ונקה יכול אף לא תשא עמהן ת"ל (שמות לד, ז) לא ינקה יכול אף שאר חייבי לאוין כן ת"ל את שמו שמו הוא דאינו מנקה אבל מנקה שאר חייבי לאוין

Come and hear from a different source that was taught: Since it was stated at Horeb with regard to repentance: “Absolve,” one might have thought that even the transgression of: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain” is included among them; therefore, the verses states: “Will not absolve” (Exodus 20:6). One might have thought this is also true for those who are liable for violating all other prohibitions; therefore, the verse states: “His name.” God does not absolve the one who disrespects His name, but He absolves those who are liable for violating all other prohibitions and repent. This is proof that those who violate all other prohibitions are not comparable to one who violates: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.”

תנאי היא דתניא על מה תשובה מכפרת על עשה ועל לא תעשה שניתק לעשה ועל מה תשובה תולה ויוה"כ מכפר על כריתות ועל מיתות בית דין ועל לא תעשה גמור

The Gemara answers: This is a dispute between tanna’im, as it was taught in a baraita: For what does repentance atone? It atones for a positive mitzva and for a negative mitzva that can be rectified through a positive mitzva. And for what does repentance suspend punishment and Yom Kippur atone? It is for sins punishable by karet, and for sins punishable by the death penalty from the earthly court, and for full-fledged negative mitzvot. This indicates that there is a tanna who distinguishes between prohibitions that warrant lashes and those that do not. Therefore, there is a tannaitic dispute as to whether or not prohibitions that warrant punishment by the courts can be rectified by repentance alone.

אמר מר לפי שנאמר בחורב ונקה מנא לן דתניא ר' אלעזר אומר אי אפשר לומר נקה שכבר נאמר לא ינקה ואי אפשר לומר לא ינקה שכבר נאמר נקה הא כיצד מנקה הוא לשבין ואינו מנקה לשאינן שבין

§ Since the Gemara cited this baraita, it now clarifies part of it. The Master said: Since it was stated at Horeb with regard to repentance: “Absolve.” The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this concept that repentance was mentioned there? The Gemara answers: As it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Elazar says: It is not possible to say “absolve” (Exodus 34:7) about all transgressions, since “will not absolve” is already stated (Exodus 34:7). And it is not possible to say “will not absolve,” since “absolve” is already stated. How so? The Holy One, Blessed be He, absolves those who repent and does not absolve those who do not repent. Therefore, both “repentance” and “absolve” were mentioned at Horeb.

שאל ר' מתיא בן חרש את ר' אלעזר בן עזריה ברומי שמעת ארבע' חלוקי כפרה שהיה רבי ישמעאל דורש אמר שלשה הן ותשובה עם כל אחד ואחד

Furthermore, with regard to the topic of repentance, Rabbi Matya ben Ḥarash asked Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya when Rabbi Elazar was in Rome: Have you heard the teaching that there are four distinctions in the process of atonement that Rabbi Yishmael would derive? He said to him: They are not four but three distinctions, and repentance is necessary with each one.

עבר על עשה ושב אינו זז משם עד שמוחלין לו שנאמר (ירמיהו ג, יד) שובו בנים שובבים עבר על לא תעשה ועשה תשובה תשובה תולה ויוה"כ מכפר שנאמר (ויקרא טז, ל) כי ביום הזה יכפר עליכם מכל חטאתיכם עבר על כריתות ומיתות בית דין ועשה תשובה תשובה ויוה"כ תולין ויסורין ממרקין שנאמר (תהלים פט, לג) ופקדתי בשבט פשעם ובנגעים עונם

These are the categories: If one violates a positive mitzva and repents, he is forgiven even before he moves from his place, i.e. immediately, as it is stated: “Return, you backsliding children, I will heal your backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22), implying that when one repents he is immediately forgiven.If one violates a prohibition and repents, repentance suspends his punishment and Yom Kippur atones for his sin, as it is stated: “For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to purify you from all your sins” (Leviticus 16:30). If one commits a transgression that warrants karet or a sin punishable by death from the earthly court and then repents, repentance and Yom Kippur suspend his punishment, and suffering absolves and completes the atonement, as it is stated: “Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with strokes” (Psalms 89:33).

אבל מי שיש חילול השם בידו אין לו כח בתשובה לתלות ולא ביוה"כ לכפר ולא ביסורין למרק אלא כולן תולין ומיתה ממרקת שנאמר (ישעיהו כב, יד) ונגלה באזני ה' צבאות אם יכופר העון הזה לכם עד תמותון

But in the case of one who has caused desecration of God’s name, his repentance has no power to suspend punishment, nor does Yom Kippur have power to atone for his sin, nor does suffering alone have power to absolve him. Rather, all these suspend punishment, and death absolves him, as it is stated: “And the Lord of Hosts revealed Himself to my ears: This iniquity shall not be atoned for until you die” (Isaiah 22:14).

היכי דמי חילול השם אמר רב כגון אנא אי שקילנא בישרא מטבחא ולא יהיבנא דמי לאלתר אמר אביי לא שנו אלא באתרא דלא תבעי אבל באתרא דתבעי לית לן בה

§ The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances that cause desecration of God’s name? Rav said: For example, in the case of someone like me, since I am an important public figure, if I take meat from a butcher and do not give him money immediately, people are likely to think that I did not mean to pay at all. They would consider me a thief and learn from my behavior that one is permitted to steal. Abaye said: They taught this statement of Rav only in a place where they do not ask for the money, where it is not customary for the butcher himself to come and collect payment from the customer. When the customer does not pay immediately, people may suspect him of theft. But in a place where they ask for the money from the customer some time later, we have no problem with doing this. Since everyone understands he is buying on credit, he is not desecrating God’s name.

אמר רבינא ומתא מחסיא אתרא דתבעי הוא אביי כדשקיל בישרא מתרי שותפי יהיב זוזא להאי וזוזא להאי והדר מקרב להו גבי הדדי ועביד חושבנא

Ravina said: My native city of Meḥasya is a place where they ask for and collect the money. The Gemara relates that when Abaye bought meat from two partners, he would give the money to this one and the money to this one, so that each would know that he had paid. And afterward he would bring them together and perform the calculation to see whether he was receive his change.

רבי יוחנן אמר כגון אנא דמסגינא ארבע אמות בלא תורה ובלא תפילין יצחק דבי ר' ינאי אמר כל שחביריו מתביישין מחמת שמועתו (היינו חילול השם) אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק כגון דקא אמרי אינשי שרא ליה מריה לפלניא

Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is an example of desecration of God’s name? For example, someone like me, if I would walk four cubits without Torah and without phylacteries, and the onlookers did not know that it is only on account of my body’s weakness, that would be a desecration of God’s name. Yitzḥak from the school of Rabbi Yannai said: Any case when one’s friends are embarrassed on account of his reputation, meaning his friends are embarrassed due to things they hear about him, this is a desecration of God’s name. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: One creates a profanation of God’s name, for example, when people say about him: May his Master forgive so-and-so for the sins he has done.

אביי אמר כדתניא (דברים ו, ה) ואהבת את ה' אלהיך שיהא שם שמים מתאהב על ידך שיהא קורא ושונה ומשמש ת"ח ויהא משאו ומתנו בנחת עם הבריות מה הבריות אומרות עליו אשרי אביו שלמדו תורה אשרי רבו שלמדו תורה אוי להם לבריות שלא למדו תורה פלוני שלמדו תורה ראו כמה נאים דרכיו כמה מתוקנים מעשיו עליו הכתוב אומר (ישעיהו מט, ג) ויאמר לי עבדי אתה ישראל אשר בך אתפאר

Abaye said: As it was taught in a baraita that it is stated: “And you shall love the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which means that you shall make the name of Heaven beloved. How should one do so? One should do so in that he should read Torah, and learn Mishna, and serve Torah scholars, and he should be pleasant with people in his business transactions. What do people say about such a person? Fortunate is his father who taught him Torah, fortunate is his teacher who taught him Torah, woe to the people who have not studied Torah. So-and-so, who taught him Torah, see how pleasant are his ways, how proper are his deeds. The verse states about him and others like him: “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).

אבל מי שקורא ושונה ומשמש ת"ח ואין משאו ומתנו באמונה ואין דבורו בנחת עם הבריות מה הבריות אומרות עליו אוי לו לפלוני שלמד תורה אוי לו לאביו שלמדו תורה אוי לו לרבו שלמדו תורה פלוני שלמד תורה ראו כמה מקולקלין מעשיו וכמה מכוערין דרכיו ועליו הכתוב אומר (יחזקאל לו, כ) באמור להם עם ה' אלה ומארצו יצאו

But one who reads Torah, and learns Mishna, and serves Torah scholars, but his business practices are not done faithfully, and he does not speak pleasantly with other people, what do people say about him? Woe to so-and-so who studied Torah, woe to his father who taught him Torah, woe to his teacher who taught him Torah. So-and-so who studied Torah, see how destructive are his deeds, and how ugly are his ways. About him and others like him the verse states that the gentiles will say: “Men said of them: These are the people of the Lord, yet they had to leave His land” (Ezekiel 36:20). Through their sins and subsequent exile, such people have desecrated the name of God.

א"ר חמא (בר) חנינא גדולה תשובה שמביאה רפאות לעולם שנא' (הושע יד, ה) ארפא משובתם אוהבם נדבה

§ Further on the topic of repentance, Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina said: Great is repentance, as it brings healing to the world, as it is stated: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely” (Hosea 14:5), which teaches that repentance from sin brings healing.

ר' חמא (בר) חנינא רמי כתיב (ירמיהו ג, יד) שובו בנים שובבים דמעיקרא שובבים אתם וכתיב ארפא משובותיכם לא קשיא כאן מאהבה כאן מיראה

Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina raised a contradiction between two verses. It is written in one verse: “Return, you backsliding children” (Jeremiah 3:22), implying that initially when you sinned, it was only because you were backsliding, i.e., rebelling. It was merely an act of immaturity and foolishness and could be ignored as if it had never happened. But it is written: “I will heal your backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22), implying that He will heal the sin from this point onward, and that they are still sinners. He resolved this contradiction, explaining that this is not difficult: Here, where everything is forgiven as if the Jewish people never sinned, it is referring to repentance out of love; there, where the sin is still remembered despite the forgiveness and repentance, it is referring to repentance out of fear.

רב יהודה רמי כתיב שובו בנים שובבים ארפא משובותיכם וכתיב (ירמיהו ג, יד) (הנה) אנכי בעלתי בכם ולקחתי אתכם אחד מעיר ושנים ממשפחה ל"ק כאן מאהבה או מיראה כאן ע"י יסורין אמר רבי לוי גדולה תשובה שמגעת עד כסא הכבוד שנא' (הושע יד, ב) שובה ישראל עד ה' אלהיך

Similarly, Rabbi Yehuda raised a contradiction between two verses. It is written: “Return, you backsliding children I will heal your backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22), implying that anyone can achieve healing, which is dependent only on repentance. But it also states: “Return, O backsliding children, says the Lord, for I am a lord to you, and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family” (Jeremiah 3:14), implying that repentance is available only to certain individuals. He resolved the contradiction and explained that this is not difficult: Here, it is referring to repentance out of love or fear, which few people achieve; there, it referring is repentance through suffering, as everyone has thoughts of repentance when they suffer. Rabbi Levi said: Great is repentance, as it reaches the heavenly throne, as it is stated: “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God” (Hosea 14:2). This implies that repentance literally reaches to God.