אמת מארץ תצמח
1א
הדף מאת: שירה רובינשטיין / מרכז יעקב הרצוג
2ב
דף הלימוד עוסק בשאלת האמת מכיוונים שונים: האם קיימת אמת אבסולוטית? כיצד אפשר לגלותה ולבטא אותה? כיצד אנו מתמודדים בהתנגשות בין האמת שלנו והאמת של זולתנו? והאם אנו באמת רוצים לדעת מהי האמת.
3ג
א. "יש אמת ויש אי אמת, ומי שדבק באמת, אפילו כנגד העולם כולו, אינו מטורף.." (ג'ורג ארוול)
4ד
רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר: על שלושה דברים העולם עומד: על הדין ועל האמת ועל השלום, שנאמר: (זכריה ח, טז,) "אמת ומשפט שלום שפטו בשעריכם".
Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel used to say: on three things does the world stand: On justice, on truth and on peace, as it is said: “execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates” (Zechariah 8:16).
5ה
בראשית רבה ח, ה
אל יִברֵא שכולו שקרים
א"ר סימון: בשעה שבא הקב"ה לבראת את אדם הראשון, נעשו מלאכי השרת כיתים כיתים, וחבורות חבורות, מהם אומרים אל יִברֵא, ומהם אומרים יִברא, הה"ד (תהלים פה) 'חסד ואמת נפגשו צדק ושלום נשקו',
חסד אומר יִברֵא שהוא גומל חסדים,
ואמת אומר אל יִברֵא שכולו שקרים,
צדק אומר יִברֵא שהוא עושה צדקות,
שלום אומר אל יברא דכוליה קטטה.
מה עשה הקב"ה? נטל אמת והשליכו לארץ. הה"ד (דניאל ח) ותשלך אמת ארצה.
אמרו מלאכי השרת לפני הקב"ה, רבון העולמים, מה אתה מבזה תכסיס אלטיכסייה שלך?
תעלה אמת מן הארץ, הדא הוא דכתיב (תהלים פה) אמת מארץ תצמח.
6ו
על מה חרבה ירושלים
היה אדם אחד, שהיה לו חבר ושמו קמצא, והיה לו שונא ושמו בר קמצא. עשה (אותו האיש) סעודה. אמר לשמשו: לך הבא לי את קמצא (ידידי). הלך (בטעות) והביא את בר קמצא (שהיה שונאו של אותו האיש). בא (אותו האיש לסעודה) ומצא את בר קמצא יושב. אמר לו (אותו האיש): הלוא אני ואתה שונאים. מה אתה עושה כאן? קום וצא! אמר לו (בר קמצא): הואיל וכבר באתי הנח לי, ואתן לך את דמי אכילתי ושתייתי. ענה לו: לא! אמר לו: אתן לך חצי מעלות הסעודה. ענה לו: לא! אמר לו: אתן לך את עלות הסעודה כולה. ענה לו: לא! אחזו בעל הסעודה בידו והוציאו.
אמר (בר קמצא): כיוון שהיו חכמים בסעודה ולא מחו בבעל הסעודה, סימן שנוח להם המעשה. אלך ואלשין עליהם לפני לקיסר. הלך ואמר לקיסר: מרדו בך היהודים! אמר לו (הקיסר): מי אמר? (הצג הוכחה). אמר לו: שְלח להם (לחכמי היהודים) קורבן, וראה אם יקריבו אותו. שלח בידו עגל משובח. (במהלך הדרך) הטיל (בר קמצא) מום בניב השפתיים (של הקורבן), ויש אומרים בדוקין שבעין, מקום שעל פי דין ישראל נחשב כמום ואילו אצל הגויים אינו נחשב מום.

חשבו חכמים שבמקדש להקריב (בכל זאת) את הקורבן, משום שלום המלכות. אמר להם רבי זכריה בן אבקולס: (אם נקריבו), יאמרו אנשים כי אנו מקריבים בעלי מומין על המזבח! חשבו להרוג [את בר קמצא] כדי שלא ילך וילשין. אמר להם רבי זכריה: אנשים יאמרו (או עלולים לחשוב ש)מי שמטיל מומים בקורבן דינו מוות. אמר רבי יוחנן: ענוותנותו של רבי זכריה בן אבקולס החריבה את ביתנו ושרפה את היכלנו והגליתנו מארצנו.
The Gemara asks: And in what way is this case different from the case in which Rabbi Ami said that the scribe is not deemed credible to disqualify the Torah scroll? The Gemara answers: There it can be said that the scribe was lying and merely wished to distress the purchaser of the Torah scroll. He claimed that he had written God’s names without the proper intention because he made the mistake of Rabbi Yirmeya. He thought, as Rabbi Yirmeya did, that as a result of his purported admission he would lose only his wage for writing the holy names, but he would still receive payment for the rest of the scroll. Here, by contrast, since the scribe knows that by claiming that he did not process the parchment with the proper intention, he causes the loss of his entire wage, and he nevertheless comes and says this, you should say that he speaks the truth and should be deemed credible. Since he is deemed credible and there is no concern that he merely wished to distress the purchaser, the Torah scroll is disqualified. MISHNA: Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda testified before the Sages about the case of a deaf-mute woman who was married off by her father when she was a minor, so that her marriage took effect by Torah law. He said that she can be released from her marriage through a bill of divorce, whether as a minor or after she reaches adulthood. Although as a deaf-mute woman she is not legally competent to give her consent, the divorce is effective because divorce does not require the woman’s consent. And similarly, he testified about the case of the minor daughter of a non-priest who was orphaned from her father and then married off to a priest by her mother or brother, so that her marriage took effect by rabbinic law. He said that nevertheless she may partake of teruma, although by Torah law it is prohibited for one who is not in a priestly household to partake of teruma. And furthermore if this girl dies, then her husband inherits her estate. It is not said that because the validity of the marriage is by rabbinic law and not Torah law he is not entitled to inherit from her. And Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda further testified about a stolen beam that was already built into a large building [bira], that the victim of the robbery receives only the value of the beam but not the beam itself, due to an ordinance instituted for the penitent. By Torah law, a robber is obligated to return any stolen item in his possession, provided that its form has not been altered. If one stole a beam and incorporated it into a building, then by Torah law he would have to destroy the building and return the beam. In order to encourage repentance, the Sages were lenient and allowed a robber to return the value of the beam. And lastly, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda testified about a sin-offering that was obtained through robbery but that was not publicly known to have been obtained in that manner. He said that it effects atonement for the robber who sacrifices it, for the benefit of the altar, as will be explained in the Gemara. GEMARA: Rava says: Learn from the testimony of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda in the mishna that if the husband secretly says to witnesses: See this bill of divorce that I am about to give to my wife, and then he says to his wife: Take this promissory note, then she is divorced even when she herself does not know that the document in her hand is a bill of divorce. Didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda say that we do not require the woman’s consent for a bill of divorce, as the divorce takes effect even when she is a deaf-mute, who is not legally competent to give her consent? Here too, one should say that we do not require the woman’s consent. The Gemara asks: Isn’t this obvious? Why would the divorce not be valid? The Gemara explains: Lest you say: Since he said to his wife: Take this promissory note, after talking to the witnesses, he meant to cancel the bill of divorce with these words, Rava therefore teaches us: If it is so that he meant to cancel the bill of divorce, he would have told the witnesses that this was his intention. The fact that he did not do so indicates that he had no intention of canceling it. And the reason he said to his wife that he was handing her a promissory note is due to embarrassment, as he was ashamed to tell her that he was giving her a bill of divorce. Consequently, he gave it to her in such a way that she did not immediately know that it was a bill of divorce that she received. § The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda testified about the case of a minor daughter of a non-priest who was married to a priest, and said that she may partake of teruma. The Gemara comments: This indicates that only the minor daughter can partake of teruma, while one can infer from this that a deaf-mute woman who was married to a priest may not partake of teruma. The Gemara explains: What is the reason for this? The Sages decreed that a deaf-mute woman married to a priest may not partake of teruma lest a deaf-mute priest come to feed teruma to his deaf-mute wife, as it is common for deaf-mute men to marry deaf-mute women, but their marriage is not effective by Torah law. The Gemara asks: Why does this matter? And let him feed her teruma. Isn’t she like a minor who eats forbidden animal carcasses? Since the deaf-mute woman is not considered to be legally competent, she is not subject to the prohibition against partaking of teruma. As in the case of a minor who is eating forbidden food, there is no requirement to prevent her from doing so. The Gemara answers: Rather, the Sages decreed that a deaf-mute woman married to a priest may not partake of teruma lest a deaf-mute priest come to feed teruma to his halakhically competent wife. Since the validity of their marriage is by rabbinic law, it is therefore prohibited for the woman to partake of teruma, as by Torah law, she is not the wife of a priest. There is a concern that a distinction will not be made between the marriage of a halakhically competent man and deaf-mute woman, in which case the woman is permitted to partake of teruma, and the marriage of a deaf-mute man and a halakhically competent woman, in which case the woman is prohibited from partaking of teruma. Owing to this error, a deaf-mute man might come to feed his wife something that is forbidden to her. The Gemara asks: But let her partake of teruma that is defined as such by rabbinic law, as marriage that is valid by rabbinic law should suffice to permit partaking of such teruma. The Gemara answers: The Sages decreed that he may even not feed her teruma by rabbinic law, lest he come to feed her teruma by Torah law. § The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda further testified about a stolen beam that was already built into a building and said that the injured party receives the value of the beam but not the beam itself. With regard to this, the Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Bava Kamma 10:5): If one robbed another of a beam and built it into a building, Beit Shammai say: He must destroy the entire building and return the beam to its owners. And Beit Hillel say: The injured party receives only the value of the beam but not the beam itself, due to an ordinance instituted for the sake of the penitent. In order to encourage repentance, the Sages were lenient and required the robber to return only the value of the beam. The mishna was taught in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel. § The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda testified about a sin-offering that was obtained through robbery, and said that provided that it was not publicly known to have been obtained in that manner, it effects atonement for the robber. Ulla says: By Torah law, the halakha is as follows: Whether it is known or whether it is not known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it does not effect atonement for the robber who sacrifices it. What is the reason for this? The owner’s despair of recovering an article that was stolen from him does not by itself enable the robber to acquire the stolen item. Since the stolen animal was not altered in any way, it does not belong to the robber, and he cannot sacrifice it as an offering and achieve atonement through it. And what is the reason that the Sages said that if it was not publicly known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery it effects atonement? It is so that the priests not be distraught about having sacrificed an animal unfit for the altar. The Rabbis said to Ulla: How can you explain the issue in this manner? But didn’t we learn in the mishna: It effects atonement for the benefit of the altar, which indicates that the halakha was enacted for the benefit of the altar, not for the benefit of the priests? Ulla said to them: When the priests are distraught, the altar is found idle. The priests will not sacrifice all of the offerings when they are distraught. This is one explanation, but Rav Yehuda says: By Torah law, whether it is known or it is not known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it effects atonement for the robber who sacrifices it. What is the reason for this? The owner’s despair of recovering an article that was stolen from him by itself enables the robber to acquire the stolen item. Once the owner despairs of regaining possession, the stolen item becomes the robber’s property and he can consecrate it. Therefore, the offering was sacrificed in a fitting manner, and it effects atonement for the robber. And what is the reason that the Sages said that if it is known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it does not effect atonement? It is so that people not say that the altar consumes stolen property. The Gemara attempts to clarify the two explanations. Granted, according to the opinion of Ulla, that the concern stems from the fact that the priests will be distraught, this is the reason that the tanna teaches the halakha with regard to a sin-offering: The priests partake of the meat of a sin-offering. If they find out that they ate an animal that was forbidden to them, i.e., an offering slaughtered counter to halakha, they are likely to become distraught. But according to the opinion of Rav Yehuda, that the concern is about the honor of the altar, why does the mishna mention specifically the case of a sin-offering; shouldn’t the same concern apply to a burnt-offering, as well, as it too is burned on the alter? The Gemara answers: The mishna is speaking utilizing the style of: It is not necessary, and the mishna should be understood as follows: It is not necessary to teach the halakha in the case of a burnt-offering, which is entirely consumed on the altar. In that case, people will certainly say that the altar consumes stolen property. But even in the case of a sin-offering, where only the fat and the blood go up to be consumed on the altar and the rest is consumed by the priests, even so they issued a decree and said that the stolen sin-offering does not effect atonement, so that people should not say that the altar consumes stolen property. The Gemara further clarifies the two understandings: We learned in the mishna: Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda testified about a sin-offering that had been obtained through robbery but that is not publicly known to have been obtained in that manner, and said that it effects atonement for the robber who sacrifices it, for the benefit of the altar. Granted, according to the opinion of Ulla, it works out well, as he understands that the Sages instituted that if it was not publicly known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it does effect atonement. But according to the opinion of Rav Yehuda, it should have stated just the opposite, namely, that if it was publicly known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it does not effect atonement. The Gemara answers: That is also what the mishna is saying: If it is not known that the sin-offering was obtained through robbery, it effects atonement, but if this is known, it does not effect atonement, for the benefit of the altar. Rava raises an objection from what was learned in a mishna (Bava Kamma 74a): If one stole an animal and consecrated it, and afterward he slaughtered or sold it, he pays double payment like a thief (see Exodus 22:3), but he does not pay fourfold or fivefold payment, as one must ordinarily pay when he slaughters or sells an ox or a sheep that he stole from another person (Exodus 21:37). And it is taught in a baraita with regard to this mishna: If one slaughtered an animal outside the Temple in a case like this, he is punishable by karet for having sacrificed an offering outside the Temple. And if you say that the owner’s despair of recovering an item that was stolen from him does not by itself enable the thief to acquire the stolen item, what is the relevance of mentioning karet? The punishment of karet should not apply, as the thief cannot consecrate an animal that does not belong to him. Rav Sheizevi said: This means that he is liable to receive karet by rabbinic law. Those who heard this laughed at him. Is there such a thing as karet by rabbinic law? Rava said to them: A great man has spoken, do not laugh at him. What Rav Sheizevi means is karet that comes to him through the words of the Sages, who declared that the thief’s consecration is valid. It is the Sages who placed the animal in his possession, so that he would become liable for it. Rava said: Although I agree with Rav Sheizevi, this matter is certainly a dilemma for me. When the Sages placed the animal in his possession, did they do so from the time of the theft or from the time of the consecration? What is the difference between these possibilities? There is a difference with regard to its wool and with regard to its offspring. If the animal was placed in his possession from the time of the theft, the wool that it grows and the offspring that it births are his, and he is not required to return them to the animal’s owner. But if the animal becomes his only when he consecrates it, he is required to return them. What is the halakha? Rava then said, in answer to his own question: It stands to reason that the Sages placed the animal in his possession from the time of the consecration. This is so that the sinner not profit from his crime. Otherwise, the thief would benefit from the rabbinic decree that was instituted to increase his liability. MISHNA: The law of Sicarii [Sikarikon] did not apply in Judea in the time that people were being killed in the war. From the time that people were being killed in the war and onward, the law of Sicarii did apply there. What is this law of Sicarii? If one first purchased land from a Sicarius, who extorted the field from its prior owners with threats, and afterward the buyer returned and purchased the same field a second time from the prior landowner, his purchase is void. The prior owner of the field can say that he did not actually mean to sell him the field. By contrast, if he first acquired the field from the prior owner and afterward he returned and purchased the same field from a Sicarius, his purchase stands. Similarly, if one first purchased from the husband the rights to use a field belonging to his wife, and afterward he returned and purchased the same field from the wife, so that if the husband were to predecease or divorce her, the purchaser would then own it fully, his purchase is void. The woman can claim that she did not wish to quarrel with her husband and to object to the transaction but that in truth she did not agree to the sale. By contrast, if he first acquired the field from the wife, and afterward he returned and purchased the same field from the husband, his purchase stands. This is the initial version of this mishna. Later, the court of those who came after the Sages who composed that mishna said: With regard to one who purchased a field from a Sicarius, he must give the prior owner one-fourth of the field’s value. When does this apply? At a time when the prior owner is unable to purchase the field himself. But if he is able to purchase it himself, he precedes anyone else. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi later convened a court, and they counted their votes and determined that if the field remained before, i.e., in the possession of, the Sicarius for twelve months, whoever first purchases the field acquires possession of it, but he must give the prior owner one-fourth of the field’s value. GEMARA: The Gemara challenges the mishna’s assertion that the law of Sicarii did not apply in Judea in the time that people were being killed in the war: Now if in the time that people were being killed in the war, there were no Sicarii stealing land, is it possible that from the time that people were being killed in the war and onward there were Sicarii? Rav Yehuda said: The mishna is saying that in the time that people were being killed in the war they did not apply the law of Sicarii, but rather they would confirm the purchases of land made from the Sicarii. The reason for this is in accordance with what Rabbi Asi said: The gentile authorities issued three decrees during and in the aftermath of the war that ended in the destruction of the Temple. The first decree was that anyone who does not kill a Jew should himself be killed. The second decree was that anyone who kills a Jew should pay four dinars as a fine. The last decree was that anyone who kills a Jew should himself be killed. Therefore, during the time of the first and second decrees, the time when people were being killed in the war, since the gentile would kill Jews, then the owner of the field, owing to the danger posed to his life, would fully transfer ownership of his field to the Sicarius. Then, during the time of the last decree, after the time when people were being killed in the war, anybody whose field was stolen by a Sicarius would say to himself: Now let him take the field; tomorrow I will claim it from him in court. Although the gentile had the advantage and could force the owner to give him the field, the assumption is that the owner did not fully transfer possession of the field to him, as he thought that he would still be able to recover it in court. § Apropos the war that led to the destruction of the Second Temple, the Gemara examines several aspects of the destruction of that Temple in greater detail: Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Happy is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart shall fall into mischief” (Proverbs 28:14)? Jerusalem was destroyed on account of Kamtza and bar Kamtza. The place known as the King’s Mountain was destroyed on account of a rooster and a hen. The city of Beitar was destroyed on account of a shaft from a chariot [rispak]. The Gemara explains: Jerusalem was destroyed on account of Kamtza and bar Kamtza. This is as there was a certain man whose friend was named Kamtza and whose enemy was named bar Kamtza. He once made a large feast and said to his servant: Go bring me my friend Kamtza. The servant went and mistakenly brought him his enemy bar Kamtza. The man who was hosting the feast came and found bar Kamtza sitting at the feast. The host said to bar Kamtza. That man is the enemy [ba’al devava] of that man, that is, you are my enemy. What then do you want here? Arise and leave. Bar Kamtza said to him: Since I have already come, let me stay and I will give you money for whatever I eat and drink. Just do not embarrass me by sending me out. The host said to him: No, you must leave. Bar Kamtza said to him: I will give you money for half of the feast; just do not send me away. The host said to him: No, you must leave. Bar Kamtza then said to him: I will give you money for the entire feast; just let me stay. The host said to him: No, you must leave. Finally, the host took bar Kamtza by his hand, stood him up, and took him out. After having been cast out from the feast, bar Kamtza said to himself: Since the Sages were sitting there and did not protest the actions of the host, although they saw how he humiliated me, learn from it that they were content with what he did. I will therefore go and inform [eikhul kurtza] against them to the king. He went and said to the emperor: The Jews have rebelled against you. The emperor said to him: Who says that this is the case? Bar Kamtza said to him: Go and test them; send them an offering to be brought in honor of the government, and see whether they will sacrifice it. The emperor went and sent with him a choice three-year-old calf. While bar Kamtza was coming with the calf to the Temple, he made a blemish on the calf’s upper lip. And some say he made the blemish on its eyelids, a place where according to us, i.e., halakha, it is a blemish, but according to them, gentile rules for their offerings, it is not a blemish. Therefore, when bar Kamtza brought the animal to the Temple, the priests would not sacrifice it on the altar since it was blemished, but they also could not explain this satisfactorily to the gentile authorities, who did not consider it to be blemished. The blemish notwithstanding, the Sages thought to sacrifice the animal as an offering due to the imperative to maintain peace with the government. Rabbi Zekharya ben Avkolas said to them: If the priests do that, people will say that blemished animals may be sacrificed as offerings on the altar. The Sages said: If we do not sacrifice it, then we must prevent bar Kamtza from reporting this to the emperor. The Sages thought to kill him so that he would not go and speak against them. Rabbi Zekharya said to them: If you kill him, people will say that one who makes a blemish on sacrificial animals is to be killed. As a result, they did nothing, bar Kamtza’s slander was accepted by the authorities, and consequently the war between the Jews and the Romans began. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The excessive humility of Rabbi Zekharya ben Avkolas destroyed our Temple, burned our Sanctuary, and exiled us from our land. The Roman authorities then sent Nero Caesar against the Jews. When he came to Jerusalem, he wished to test his fate. He shot an arrow to the east and the arrow came and fell in Jerusalem. He then shot another arrow to the west and it also fell in Jerusalem. He shot an arrow in all four directions of the heavens, and each time the arrow fell in Jerusalem. Nero then conducted another test: He said to a child: Tell me a verse that you learned today. He said to him as follows: “And I will lay My vengeance upon Edom by the hand of My people Israel” (Ezekiel 25:14). Nero said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wishes to destroy His Temple, and He wishes to wipe his hands with that man, i.e., with me. The Romans are associated with Edom, the descendants of Esau. If I continue on this mission, I will eventually be punished for having served as God’s agent to bring about the destruction. So he fled and became a convert, and ultimately Rabbi Meir descended from him. The Roman authorities then sent Vespasian Caesar against the Jews. He came and laid siege to Jerusalem for three years. There were at that time in Jerusalem these three wealthy people: Nakdimon ben Guryon, ben Kalba Savua, and ben Tzitzit HaKesat. The Gemara explains their names: Nakdimon ben Guryon was called by that name because the sun shined [nakad] on his behalf, as it is related elsewhere (see Ta’anit 19b) that the sun once continued to shine in order to prevent him from suffering a substantial loss. Ben Kalba Savua was called this because anyone who entered his house when he was hungry as a dog [kelev] would leave satiated [save’a]. Ben Tzitzit HaKesat was referred to by that name because his ritual fringes [tzitzit] dragged along on blankets [keset], meaning that he would not walk in the street with his feet on the ground, but rather they would place blankets beneath him. There are those who say that his seat [kiseh] was found among the nobles of Rome, meaning that he would sit among them. These three wealthy people offered their assistance. One of them said to the leaders of the city: I will feed the residents with wheat and barley. And one of them said to leaders of the city: I will provide the residents with wine, salt, and oil. And one of them said to the leaders of the city: I will supply the residents with wood. The Gemara comments: And the Sages gave special praise to he who gave the wood, since this was an especially expensive gift. As Rav Ḥisda would give all of the keys [aklidei] to his servant, except for the key to his shed for storing wood, which he deemed the most important of them all. As Rav Ḥisda said: One storehouse [akhleva] of wheat requires sixty storehouses of wood for cooking and baking fuel. These three wealthy men had between them enough commodities to sustain the besieged for twenty-one years. There were certain zealots among the people of Jerusalem. The Sages said to them: Let us go out and make peace with the Romans. But the zealots did not allow them to do this. The zealots said to the Sages: Let us go out and engage in battle against the Romans. But the Sages said to them: You will not be successful. It would be better for you to wait until the siege is broken. In order to force the residents of the city to engage in battle, the zealots arose and burned down these storehouses [ambarei] of wheat and barley, and there was a general famine. With regard to this famine it is related that Marta bat Baitos was one of the wealthy women of Jerusalem. She sent out her agent and said to him: Go bring me fine flour [semida]. By the time he went, the fine flour was already sold. He came and said to her: There is no fine flour, but there is ordinary flour. She said to him: Go then and bring me ordinary flour. By the time he went, the ordinary flour was also sold. He came and said to her: There is no ordinary flour, but there is coarse flour [gushkera]. She said to him: Go then and bring me coarse flour. By the time he went, the coarse flour was already sold. He came and said to her: There is no coarse flour, but there is barley flour. She said to him: Go then and bring me barley flour. But once again, by the time he went, the barley flour was also sold. She had just removed her shoes, but she said: I will go out myself and see if I can find something to eat. She stepped on some dung, which stuck to her foot, and, overcome by disgust, she died. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai read concerning her a verse found in the section of the Torah listing the curses that will befall Israel: “The tender and delicate woman among you who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground” (Deuteronomy 28:56). There are those who say that she did not step on dung, but rather she ate a fig of Rabbi Tzadok, and became disgusted and died. What are these figs? Rabbi Tzadok observed fasts for forty years, praying that Jerusalem would not be destroyed. He became so emaciated from fasting that when he would eat something it was visible from the outside of his body. And when he would eat after a fast they would bring him figs and he would suck out their liquid and cast the rest away. It was one such fig that Marta bat Baitos found and that caused her death. It is further related that as she was dying, she took out all of her gold and silver and threw it in the marketplace. She said: Why do I need this? And this is as it is written: “They shall cast their silver in the streets and their gold shall be as an impure thing; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels” (Ezekiel 7:19). § The Gemara relates: Abba Sikkara was the leader of the zealots [biryonei] of Jerusalem and the son of the sister of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai sent a message to him: Come to me in secret. He came, and Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to him: Until when will you do this and kill everyone through starvation? Abba Sikkara said to him: What can I do, for if I say something to them they will kill me. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to him: Show me a method so that I will be able to leave the city, and it is possible that through this there will be some small salvation. Abba Sikkara said to him: This is what you should do: Pretend to be sick, and have everyone come and ask about your welfare, so that word will spread about your ailing condition. Afterward bring something putrid and place it near you, so that people will say that you have died and are decomposing. And then, have your students enter to bring you to burial, and let no one else come in so that the zealots not notice that you are still light. As the zealots know that a living person is lighter than a dead person. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai did this. Rabbi Eliezer entered from one side and Rabbi Yehoshua from the other side to take him out. When they arrived at the entrance of the city on the inside, the guards, who were of the faction of the zealots, wanted to pierce him with their swords in order to ascertain that he was actually dead, as was the common practice. Abba Sikkara said to them: The Romans will say that they pierce even their teacher. The guards then wanted at least to push him to see whether he was still alive, in which case he would cry out on account of the pushing. Abba Sikkara said to them: They will say that they push even their teacher. The guards then opened the gate and he was taken out. When Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai reached there, i.e., the Roman camp, he said: Greetings to you, the king; greetings to you, the king. Vespasian said to him: You are liable for two death penalties, one because I am not a king and yet you call me king, and furthermore, if I am a king, why didn’t you come to me until now? Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said to him: As for what you said about yourself: I am not a king,
7ז
דיון
א. אמת ושלום - מה קודם למה? ומדוע, לדעתכם, רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אינו מכליל את ה"דין" בתוך ה"אמת"? ב. איך אתם מבינים את המשפט "ואמת אומר אל יִברֵא שכולו שקרים", האם יש בעולם אמת שהיא אבסולוטית? ואיך אפשר להגדיר מהו שקר?
ג. לו הבחירה בידכם, וביכולתכם לברוא אדם - האם הייתם בונים אותו ללא שקרים?
ד. מהו גבול האמת שלכם? האם יש סיטואציה שבה תימנעו מאמירת אמת?
8ח
דויד גרוסמן, שתהיי לי הסכין, פרק ראשון, עמודים 11-14הוצאת הקיבוץ המאוחד, הספריה החדשה, 1998
שתהיי לי הסכין
"הלוואי שתביני, אני באמת מדבר רק על מכתבים, לא פגישה, אף פעם לא גוף, לא בשר, לא איתך, זה נעשה לי כל־כך ברור אחרי המכתב שלך, רק במלים. כי פנים אל פנים זה יתקלקל לנו, יגלוש תיכף לשבילים המוּכּרים. וכמובן בסודיות גמורה, בלי לספר לאף אחד, שלא נַפנה את המלים שלנו נגדנו מבחוץ. רק המלים שלי פוגשות את המלים שלך, ושנרגיש איך לאט־לאט קצב הנשימות שלנו מתאחד....
..תגידי, אולי נחליט מראש שזאת לא תהיה התכתבות ארוכה מדי? אולי נניח רק שנה אחת? או עד שזה יהיה כבר בלתי נסבל מרוב עונג? כי אם הגוף שלי אומר עכשיו את האמת, והגוף כידוע לא משקר -
לא? לא משקר? וכמה פעמים שיקרתי עם הגוף? כמה פעמים חיבקתי ונישקתי ועצמתי עיניים באנחה, וגמרתי בתרועה, אבל בלי שום כוונה מיוחדת?
וכמה פעמים את? ...
שוב התרחקת, בבת־אחת התקררת ונרתעת. טוב, אני הרי יודע שכתבתי פה שטות גמורה, ושבעטתי בדלי שלי עוד לפני שהתחיל בכלל להתמלא, אבל חכי, אל תחליטי כלום נגדי! תקשיבי: הכי קל לי כעת לתלוש את הדף הזה ולכתוב מחדש בלי השורות העלובות ההן ולא לאבד אותך ברגע.

את רואה, הוא נשאר. בדיוק כמו שהוא. בלי אף מחיקה. כי ברגע שענית לי, החלטתי שכל מה שקורה לי בגללך יהיה שייך לך. נִרשם־בי־נִרשם־בך. כל מחשבה ורצון ותשוקה וחרדה, כל תינוק, עוּבָּר או נֵפל שנוצר בי בגללך, וזה לב החוזה שלי איתך ורק איתך, שאני מוותר בזאת על האיפור לצורכי חיזור, ועל הצנזורה הפנימית, ובכלל, על זכות ההגנה העצמית -
(איזו הקלה, רק לכתוב את המלים האלה).

אבל הנה, קראתי עכשיו את מה שכתבתי.

הלוואי שיכולתי לכתוב לך אחרת, הלוואי שהייתי איש שכותב אחרת. כל־כך הרבה מלים עבות. בעצם זה היה יכול להיות גם נורא פשוט, לא? זה כמו ׳תגיד לי ילד איפה כואב?׳ ואני עוצם עיניים בכל הכוח וכותב מהר: הלוואי ששני זרים גמורים ינצחו את הזרות עצמה, את העיקרון האדיר והמחוקק של הזרות, ואת כל צמרת הקרמלין המפוטמת שיושבת לכולנו עמוק־עמוק בנשמה, ושנהיה כמו שניים שהזריקו לעצמם זריקת־אמת והם מוכרחים לומר אותה סוף־סוף, את האמת, רוצֶה שאוכל לומר לעצמי ״איתה אני זבתי אמת״, כן, זה מה שאני רוצה, שתהיי לי הסכין, וגם אני לך, מבטיח, סכין חדה, אבל בחמלה, מלה שלך, בכלל לא זכרתי שהיא מוּתרת, צליל כל־כך עדין ורך, מלה בלי עור (אם אומרים אותה כמה פעמים בקול, אפשר להרגיש כמו אדמה מלוחה, וקשה ברגע שהמַיִם מתחילים לפעפע בחריצים שלה). את עייפה, אני מכריח את עצמי לומר לילה טוב. יאיר"

© כל הזכויות שמורות למחבר ולהוצאה
9ט
ההתכנסות במערה
הלכו הוא ובנו...והתחבאו במערה. נעשה להם נס ונברא להם חרוב ומעיין מים, והיו פושטים בגדיהם והיו יושבים עד צווארם בחול. כל היום למדו ובזמן התפילה היו מתלבשים, מתכסים ומתפללים וחוזרים ופושטים בגדיהם שלא יבלו.
ישבו שתים עשרה שנים במערה.
בא אליהו ועמד על פתח המערה ואמר: "מי יודיע לבר יוחאי שמת הקיסר ובטלה גזירתו".
יצאו, ראו אנשים חורשים וזורעים.
אמר: "מניחים חיי עולם ועוסקים בחיי שעה!". כל מקום שנותנים היו עיניהם מיד נשרף.
יצאה בת קול ואמרה להם: "להחריב עולמי יצאתם? חזרו למערתכם".
for neglecting to separate tithes. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, says: Askara comes as punishment for slander. Rava said, and some say that it was Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi who said it: What is the verse that alludes to this? “But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that swears by Him shall glory; for the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped” (Psalms 63:12). The punishment for lying is that the mouth will be stopped. Askara affects the mouth along with other parts of the body. A dilemma was raised before those who were sitting in the study hall: Did Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, say that askara comes as punishment only for slander, or perhaps he said it was also for slander? Come and hear a resolution to this dilemma from that which was taught in a baraita: When our Sages entered the vineyard in Yavne, Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, and Rabbi Shimon were there, and a question was asked before them with regard to this plague of askara: Why does it begin in the intestines and end in the mouth? Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ila’i, who was the head of the speakers in every place, responded and said: Even though the kidneys advise, and the heart understands, and the tongue shapes the voice that emerges from the mouth, still, the mouth completes the formation of the voice. Therefore, the disease begins in the same place that slander begins and it ends in the mouth. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, responded and said: This disease ends in the mouth because one eats with it non-kosher things. They immediately wondered about this: Does it enter your mind to say that askara is caused by eating non-kosher food? Are those who eat non-kosher food so numerous? Rather, it comes as a punishment for eating foods that were not ritually prepared, i.e., were not tithed. Rabbi Shimon responded and said: This disease comes as a punishment for the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah. They said to him: Women will prove that dereliction in the study of Torah is not the cause, as they are not obligated to study Torah and, nevertheless, they contract askara. He answered them: They are punished because they cause their husbands to be idle from the study of Torah. They said to him: Gentiles will prove that this is not the cause, as they also contract askara even though they are not obligated to study Torah. He answered them: They are also punished because they cause Israel to be idle from the study of Torah. They said to him: Children will prove that this is not the cause, for they are not at all obligated to study Torah and they also suffer from askara. He answered them: They are punished because they cause their fathers to be idle from the study of Torah. They said to him: School children will prove that this is not the cause, as they study Torah and, nevertheless, they suffer from askara. The Gemara answers: There, it must be understood in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Guryon, as Rabbi Guryon said, and some say that it was Rav Yosef, son of Rabbi Shemaya, who said it: At a time when there are righteous people in the generation, the righteous are seized, i.e., they die or suffer, for the sins of the generation. If there are no righteous people in the generation, school children, who are also without sin, are seized for the sins of the generation. Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Ze’iri said, and some say that Rabbi Shimon ben Nezira said: What is the verse that alludes to this? “If you know not, you fairest among women, go your way forth by the footsteps of the flock and feed your kids, beside the shepherds’ tents [mishkenot]” (Song of Songs 1:8). And we say in explanation of this verse: They are the lambs that are taken as collateral [hamemushkanin], which is etymologically similar to the word mishkenot, in place of the shepherds. If the shepherds and leaders of the generation corrupt the multitudes, young children die because of their sins. With regard to the dilemma, conclude from it that Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yosei, said that the illness of askara also results from slander, as the baraita provides an additional cause of the illness. The Gemara comments: Indeed, conclude from it. In this baraita Rabbi Yehuda is described as head of the speakers in every place. The Gemara asks: And why did they call him head of the speakers in every place? The Gemara relates that this resulted due to an incident that took place when Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yosei and Rabbi Shimon were sitting, and Yehuda, son of converts,sat beside them. Rabbi Yehuda opened and said: How pleasant are the actions of this nation, the Romans, as they established marketplaces, established bridges, and established bathhouses. Rabbi Yosei was silent. Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai responded and said: Everything that they established, they established only for their own purposes. They established marketplaces, to place prostitutes in them; bathhouses, to pamper themselves; and bridges, to collect taxes from all who pass over them. Yehuda, son of converts, went and related their statements to his household, and those statements continued to spread until they were heard by the monarchy. They ruled and said: Yehuda, who elevated the Roman regime, shall be elevated and appointed as head of the Sages, the head of the speakers in every place. Yosei, who remained silent, shall be exiled from his home in Judea as punishment, and sent to the city of Tzippori in the Galilee. And Shimon, who denounced the government, shall be killed. Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai and his son, Rabbi Elazar, went and hid in the study hall. Every day Rabbi Shimon’s wife would bring them bread and a jug of water and they would eat. When the decree intensified, Rabbi Shimon said to his son: Women are easily impressionable and, therefore, there is room for concern lest the authorities torture her and she reveal our whereabouts. They went and they hid in a cave. A miracle occurred and a carob tree was created for them as well as a spring of water. They would remove their clothes and sit covered in sand up to their necks. They would study Torah all day in that manner. At the time of prayer, they would dress, cover themselves, and pray, and they would again remove their clothes afterward so that they would not become tattered. They sat in the cave for twelve years. Elijah the Prophet came and stood at the entrance to the cave and said: Who will inform bar Yoḥai that the emperor died and his decree has been abrogated? They emerged from the cave, and saw people who were plowing and sowing. Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai said: These people abandon eternal life of Torah study and engage in temporal life for their own sustenance. The Gemara relates that every place that Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar directed their eyes was immediately burned. A Divine Voice emerged and said to them: Did you emerge from the cave in order to destroy My world? Return to your cave. They again went and sat there for twelve months. They said: The judgment of the wicked in Gehenna lasts for twelve months. Surely their sin was atoned in that time. A Divine Voice emerged and said to them: Emerge from your cave. They emerged. Everywhere that Rabbi Elazar would strike, Rabbi Shimon would heal. Rabbi Shimon said to Rabbi Elazar: My son, you and I suffice for the entire world, as the two of us are engaged in the proper study of Torah. As the sun was setting on Shabbat eve, they saw an elderly man who was holding two bundles of myrtle branches and running at twilight. They said to him: Why do you have these? He said to them: In honor of Shabbat. They said to him: And let one suffice. He answered them: One is corresponding to: “Remember the Shabbat day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8), and one is corresponding to: “Observe the Shabbat day, to keep it holy” (Deuteronomy 5:12). Rabbi Shimon said to his son: See how beloved the mitzvot are to Israel. Their minds were put at ease and they were no longer as upset that people were not engaged in Torah study. Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir, Rabbi Shimon’s son-in-law, heard and went out to greet him. He brought him into the bathhouse and began tending to his flesh. He saw that Rabbi Shimon had cracks in the skin on his body. He was crying, and the tears fell from his eyes and caused Rabbi Shimon pain. Rabbi Pineḥas said to Rabbi Shimon, his father-in-law: Woe is me, that I have seen you like this. Rabbi Shimon said to him: Happy are you that you have seen me like this, as had you not seen me like this, you would not have found in me this prominence in Torah, as the Gemara relates: At first, when Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai would raise a difficulty, Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir would respond to his question with twelve answers. Ultimately, when Rabbi Pineḥas ben Ya’ir would raise a difficulty, Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai would respond with twenty-four answers. Rabbi Shimon said: Since a miracle transpired for me, I will go and repair something for the sake of others in gratitude for God’s kindness, as it is written: “And Jacob came whole to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and he graced the countenance of the city” (Genesis 33:18). Rav said, the meaning of: And Jacob came whole, is: Whole in his body, whole in his money, whole in his Torah. And what did he do? And he graced the countenance of the city; he performed gracious acts to benefit the city. Rav said: Jacob established a currency for them. And Shmuel said: He established marketplaces for them. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: He established bathhouses for them. In any event, clearly one for whom a miracle transpires should perform an act of kindness for his neighbors as a sign of gratitude. He said: Is there something that needs repair? They said to him: There is a place where there is uncertainty with regard to ritual impurity
10י
דיון
חלקנו נושאים בלבנו לעתים פנטזיה של עולם אוּטוֹפי, שבו נוכל להביא את עצמנו כפי שאנחנו, ללא מחיצות.

א. האם אתם סבורים שבחייכם יש מקום, זמן, או אנשים שאיתם אתם יכולים לממש את הפנטזיה הזאת? אם כן, מה מאפשר זאת?

ב. יאיר, גיבורו של גרוסמן, בוחר לחשוף את עצמו דווקא בפני אישה זרה. דווקא איתה הוא מצליח להיות אמיתי. מה לדעתכם עומד מאחורי בחירה זו? ומדוע לדעתכם הוא בוחר להגביל את תקופת ההתכתבות שלהם?
11יא
ב. "לפעמים אני חושבת, כשלא יהיה לי מה לומר אני אתחיל לחיות, מצד שני זה אי אפשר להסתכל ולא לראות.." (רונית שחר)
12יב
קנאת פנחס
וַיֵּשֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּשִּׁטִּים וַיָּחֶל הָעָם לִזְנוֹת אֶל בְּנוֹת מוֹאָב וַתִּקְרֶאןָ לָעָם לְזִבְחֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן וַיֹּאכַל הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶן. וַיִּצָּמֶד יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר וַיִּחַר אַף ה' בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה: קַח אֶת כָּל רָאשֵׁי הָעָם וְהוֹקַע אוֹתָם לַה' נֶגֶד הַשָּׁמֶשׁ וְיָשֹׁב חֲרוֹן אַף ה' מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל שֹׁפְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִרְגוּ אִישׁ אֲנָשָׁיו הַנִּצְמָדִים לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר. וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא וַיַּקְרֵב אֶל אֶחָיו אֶת הַמִּדְיָנִית לְעֵינֵי מֹשֶׁה וּלְעֵינֵי כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵמָּה בֹכִים פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד. וַיַּרְא פִּינְחָס בֶּן-אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן וַיָּקָם מִתּוֹךְ הָעֵדָה וַיִּקַּח רֹמַח בְּיָדוֹ. וַיָּבֹא אַחַר אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל הַקֻּבָּה וַיִּדְקֹר אֶת שְׁנֵיהֶם אֵת אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת הָאִשָּׁה אֶל קֳבָתָהּ וַתֵּעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. וַיִּהְיוּ הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף. וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר פִּינְחָס בֶּן-אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם וְלֹא-כִלִּיתִי אֶת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקִנְאָתִי. לָכֵן אֱמֹר הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם. וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר קִנֵּא לֵאלֹהָיו וַיְכַפֵּר עַל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.’ And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: ‘Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.’ And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: ’Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy. Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace; and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’
13יג
קנאת אליהו
וַיָּבֹא-שָׁם אֶל-הַמְּעָרָה וַיָּלֶן שָׁם וְהִנֵּה דְבַר-ה' אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַה-לְּךָ פֹה אֵלִיָּהוּ. (י) וַיֹּאמֶר קַנֹּא קִנֵּאתִי לַה' אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת כִּי-עָזְבוּ בְרִיתְךָ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִזְבְּחֹתֶיךָ הָרָסוּ וְאֶת-נְבִיאֶיךָ הָרְגוּ בֶחָרֶב וָאִוָּתֵר אֲנִי לְבַדִּי וַיְבַקְשׁוּ אֶת-נַפְשִׁי לְקַחְתָּהּ. (יא) וַיֹּאמֶר צֵא וְעָמַדְתָּ בָהָר לִפְנֵי ה' וְהִנֵּה ה' עֹבֵר וְרוּחַ גְּדוֹלָה וְחָזָק מְפָרֵק הָרִים וּמְשַׁבֵּר סְלָעִים לִפְנֵי ה' לֹא בָרוּחַ ה' וְאַחַר הָרוּחַ רַעַשׁ לֹא בָרַעַשׁ ה'. (יב) וְאַחַר הָרַעַשׁ אֵשׁ לֹא בָאֵשׁ ה' וְאַחַר הָאֵשׁ קוֹל דְּמָמָה דַקָּה. (יג) וַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ אֵלִיָּהוּ וַיָּלֶט פָּנָיו בְּאַדַּרְתּוֹ וַיֵּצֵא וַיַּעֲמֹד פֶּתַח הַמְּעָרָה וְהִנֵּה אֵלָיו קוֹל וַיֹּאמֶר מַה-לְּךָ פֹה אֵלִיָּהוּ. (יד) וַיֹּאמֶר קַנֹּא קִנֵּאתִי לַה' אֱלֹהֵי צְבָאוֹת כִּי-עָזְבוּ בְרִיתְךָ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִזְבְּחֹתֶיךָ הָרָסוּ וְאֶת-נְבִיאֶיךָ הָרְגוּ בֶחָרֶב וָאִוָּתֵר אֲנִי לְבַדִּי וַיְבַקְשׁוּ אֶת-נַפְשִׁי לְקַחְתָּהּ. (טו) וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֵלָיו לֵךְ שׁוּב לְדַרְכְּךָ מִדְבַּרָה דַמָּשֶׂק וּבָאתָ וּמָשַׁחְתָּ אֶת-חֲזָאֵל לְמֶלֶךְ עַל-אֲרָם. (טז) וְאֵת יֵהוּא בֶן-נִמְשִׁי תִּמְשַׁח לְמֶלֶךְ עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-אֱלִישָׁע בֶּן-שָׁפָט מֵאָבֵל מְחוֹלָה תִּמְשַׁח לְנָבִיא תַּחְתֶּיךָ
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said unto him: ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’ And he said: ‘I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.’ And He said: ‘Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.’ And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said: ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’ And he said: ‘I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.’ And the LORD said unto him: ‘Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when thou comest, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
14יד
מקבים א', פרק ב', פסוקים 15 -28
קנאת מתתיהו
ויבואו אנשי המלך המאלצים על המעל למודיעים העיר לזבוח, ורבים מישראל באו אליהם ומתתיהו ובניו נאספו. ויענו אנשי המלך וידברו אל מתתיהו לאמור: ראש ונכבד וגדול אתה בעיר הזאת ונתמך בבנים ובאחים . עתה קרב ראשון ועשה מצוות המלך... והיית אתה ובניך מאוהבי המלך ואתה ובניך תכובדו בכסף ובזהב ובמתנות רבות. ויען מתתיהו בקול גדול... חלילה לנו לעזוב תורה ומצוות. לדברי המלך לא נשמע לסור מעבודתנו ימין או שמאל. וככלותו לדבר את הדברים האלה קרב איש יהודי לעיני כולם לזבח על הבמה. וירא מתתיהו ויקנא... וישלח חרונו כמשפט וירוץ ויזבחהו על הבמה... ויקנא לתורה כאשר עשה פינחס לזמרי בן סלוא. ויקרא מתתיהו בעיר בקול גדול לאמור כל המקנא לתורה העומד בברית ילך אחרי, וינוס הוא ובניו אל ההרים ויעזבו כל אשר היה להם בעיר .
15טו
דיון
שלושת המקורות לעיל עוסקים באנשים שבחרו לבטא את האמת שלהם ואת הערכים שלהם במציאות, ולבחירה זו הייתה בכל פעם תוצאה אחרת.

א. מה לדעתכם גרם לתוצאות השונות?

ב. האם גם בחייכם היו רגעים שבהם חשתם שהאנשים סביבכם נוהגים כעיוורים, ושעליכם "להאיר" את עיניהם? האם בחרתם לעשות כן? באיזה אופן? ומה היו התוצאות של בחירה זו?
16טז
ג. הגלולה הכחולה והגלולה האדומה
17יז
משל המערה על פי הגרסה של יוסטיין גורדר, בספרו "עולמה של סופי", עמ' 81-82.
משל המערה
"..תארי לעצמך אנשים שחיים במערה מתחת לפני האדמה. הם יושבים בגבם אל פתח המערה, וידיהם ורגליהם קשורות כך שאינם יכולים לראות אלא את הקיר הפנימי של המערה. מאחוריהם יש חומה, ומאחוריה עוברים יצורים דמויי אדם הזוקפים מעל שפתה צורות מצורות שונות. מאחורי האנשים בוערת מדורה, ובאורה מטילות הצורות השונות צללים על קיר המערה. שוכני המערה רואים איפוא רק את תיאטרון הצללים הזה. כיוון שהם יושבים כך מרגע שנולדו, הם מאמינים שהצללים האלה זה כל מה שיש.
תארי לעצמך עכשיו שאחד משוכני המערה הצליח להשתחרר מכבליו. הדבר הראשון שהוא שואל את עצמו זה מאיפה באים הצללים האלה שהוא רואה על קיר המערה. מה את חושבת יקרה ברגע שיסובב את ראשו ויראה את הצורות השונות המציצות מעל לשפת החומה? ראשית כל האור החזק מסנוור אותו, והבהירות של הצורות מסמאות את עיניו, שהרי עד כה לא ראה אלא את הצללים שהטילו. אם יצליח לטפס על החומה ולעבור את המדורה אל העולם שבחוץ, יסתנוור עוד יותר. אבל אחרי שישפשף את עיניו יתחיל לראות כמה יפים הדברים. בפעם הראשונה בחייו הוא רואה צבעים וצורות ברורים. הוא יראה את בעלי החיים והפרחים כפי שהם באמת, ולא כפי שראה עד כה, רק בבואות חיוורות שלהם. ועכשיו יתחיל לתמוה וישאל את עצמו מנין באים כל הפרחים ובעלי החיים האלה. ואז יראה את השמש בשמים, ויבין שהיא המפיחה חיים בפרחים ובבעלי החיים, בדיוק כפי שאש המדורה יצרה את הצללים.

שוכן המערה בר המזל יכול עכשיו להמשיך לפזז ולכרכר באחו ולהתענג על החירות שנפלה בחלקו. אבל תחת זאת הוא נזכר בכל האחרים שיושבים עדיין במערה. הוא חוזר אליהם. הוא מנסה לשכנע אותם שהצללים שהם רואים על קיר המערה אינם אלא בבואות מהבהבות של דברים "ממשיים". אבל הם לא מאמינים לו. הם מצביעים על קיר המערה ואומרים שהם רואים כל מה שיש לראות. לבסוף הם הורגים אותו."
18יח
ג'ורג' אורוול, 1984, הוצאת עם-עובד, 1972. תרגום: ג' אריוך.
החירות היא החירות לומר ששניים ועוד שניים הם ארבעה..
"בסופו של דבר תקום המפלגה ותכריז ששנים ועוד שנים הם חמישה... בהכרח יגיעו במוקדם ובמאוחר לטעון כך; הדבר מחויב על ידי ההיגיון הפנימי של עמדתם. לא רק תקפו של ניסיון, אלא עצם קיומו של מציאות חיצונית נמצא מוכחש ממילא על ידי הפילוסופיה שלהם. והדבר המבעית הוא לאו דווקא שאתה צפוי למיתה משום שאינך חושב כמוהם, אלא שייתכן שהם צודקים."
19יט
פיודור מיכאלוביץ' דוסטויבסקי, האחים קרמזוב (תרגם צבי ארד), תל אביב 1993, עמ'564
אמת, אלוהים ואדם
ואותי מענה אלוהים. ורק זה מענה אותי. ומה יהיה אם איננו? מה היה אם הצדק עם רקיטין, שזו אידיאה מלאכותית של האנושות? ואז אם איננו, האדם הוא אדוני האדמה. היקום. נהדר! אבל כיצד יעשה את הטוב בלי אלוהים? שאלה! כל הזמן אני עסוק רק בזה. כי את מי יאהב אז האדם? למי יכיר תודה, למי ישיר המנון? רקיטין צוחק. רקיטין אומר כי אפשר לאהוב את האנושות גם בלי אלוהים. רק חלשלוש זב-חוטם יוכל לטעון כך, ואילו אני לא אוכל להבין זאת. חייו של רקיטין קלים..."
20כ
יונה פרנקל, מדרש ואגדה (האוניברסיטה הפתוחה), תל אביב 1996, עמ' 596
הדתי והפילוסוף
גם בפילוסופיה וגם בדת האדם מחפש את האמת, את המהות של הדברים ואת המשמעות של ישותו בתוך עולם בעל הגיון פנימי. אך בעוד שהפילוסוף תמיד מחפש, תמיד נמצא בדרך אל האמת ואל הנצחי ותמיד ימשיך להיות במצב של שואל שאלות, חי לו האדם הדתי כשהוא מרגיש את האמת מפי האל, שהוא האמיתי במוחלט. הפילוסופיה רוצה לחשוף את כל הדברים, עד הדברים האחרונים הניתנים להבנה ולהכרה; הדת מוליכה את האדם אל מעבר למובן ולניתן להכרה, והוא מרגיש כיצד הבלתי-מובן פורץ לתוך החיים. הפילוסופיה יכולה להביא את האדם החוקר לידי יראת כבוד ורוממות מול האמת הנצחית, אך אין בה מה שיש בדת: הרגשת קדושה, פחד מפני הכוח הבלתי-מוגבל של המתגלה, אהבה ויראה כלפי האל, אמונה בנס המתרחש, הזדהות עם הפולחן ואלה הסימנים המובהקים של הרגש הדתי
21כא
דיון
בסרט 'מטריקס' נאלץ הגיבור, ניאו (קיאנו ריבס), לבחור בין שתי גלולות - כחולה ואדומה. אם ייטול את הכחולה, יחזור למיטתו וישכח מהסיוט הרודף אותו; ואם ייטול את האדומה יידע את האמת על המטריקס, אבל לעולם לא יוכל לשוב לאחור.
א. איזו גלולה אתם הייתם בוחרים, ומדוע?
ב. כיצד בחירתם מתקשרת למקורות שלמדנו?

ג. האם אתם סבורים כי יש איזו נקודה ארכימדית של ודאות? בסיס ערכים כלשהו שאפשר ללכת לאורו? או שמא המציאות שבה אנו חיים היא היא שאמורה לשנות את החוויה שלנו בחיינו?
23 כג