האמת והטוב בפירוש הרמב"ם לסיפור גן העדן
1א
הדף מאת: אבנר דינור / קולות בנגב
2ב
שיעור שני בסדרה העוסקת בשני המושגים הטעונים: 'אמת' ו'טוב'. במרכז הדיון עומד הפירוש שמציע הרמב"ם לסיפור חטא גן העדן. בעקבות הבחנתו של הרמב"ם בין אמת וטוב, נבחן את משמעותם של המושגים בעבורנו.
3ג
חטא גן העדן – מהו פשט הסיפור?
(כו) וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ. (כז) וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם. (כח) וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁהָ וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבְכָל-חַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ. (כט) וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת-כָּל-עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ פְרִי-עֵץ זֹרֵעַ זָרַע לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה. (ל) וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב לְאָכְלָה וַיְהִי-כֵן. (לא) וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה-טוֹב מְאֹד וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. And God said: ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good. And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.’ And it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. And God said: ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. And God said: ‘Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.’ And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.’ And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. And God said: ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.’ And it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said unto them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed—to you it shall be for food; and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.’ And it was so. And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
4ד
בראשית פרק ב
ח וַיִּטַּע ה' אֱלֹהִים גַּן-בְּעֵדֶן מִקֶּדֶם וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁם אֶת-הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָצָר. ט וַיַּצְמַח ה' אֱלֹהִים מִן-הָאֲדָמָה כָּל-עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן וְעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע. י וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת-הַגָּן וּמִשָּׁם יִפָּרֵד וְהָיָה לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים. יא שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישׁוֹן הוּא הַסֹּבֵב אֵת כָּל-אֶרֶץ הַחֲוִילָה אֲשֶׁר-שָׁם הַזָּהָב. יב וּזְהַב הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא טוֹב שָׁם הַבְּדֹלַח וְאֶבֶן הַשֹּׁהַם. יג וְשֵׁם-הַנָּהָר הַשֵּׁנִי גִּיחוֹן הוּא הַסּוֹבֵב אֵת כָּל-אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ. יד וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חִדֶּקֶל הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ קִדְמַת אַשּׁוּר וְהַנָּהָר הָרְבִיעִי הוּא פְרָת. טו וַיִּקַּח ה' אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן-עֵדֶן לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ. טז וַיְצַו ה' אֱלֹהִים עַל-הָאָדָם לֵאמֹר מִכֹּל עֵץ-הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל. יז וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹת תָּמוּת.
5ה
דיון
מהו פשט המקרא? שאלות לקבוצות:
  • מהו "המצב האנושי" לפני החטא?
  • מהו החטא?
  • מהו העונש?
  • מהו "המצב האנושי" אחרי החטא?
  • 6ו
    (א) וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן. (ב) וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל-הַנָּחָשׁ מִפְּרִי עֵץ-הַגָּן נֹאכֵל. (ג) וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ-הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בּוֹ פֶּן-תְּמֻתוּן. (ד) וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה לֹא-מוֹת תְּמֻתוּן. (ה) כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טוֹב וָרָע. (ו) וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טוֹב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה-הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיוֹ וַתֹּאכַל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם-לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַל. (ז) וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת. [...]יז וּלְאָדָם אָמַר כִּי-שָׁמַעְתָּ לְקוֹל אִשְׁתֶּךָ וַתֹּאכַל מִן-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ אֲרוּרָה הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ בְּעִצָּבוֹן תֹּאכְלֶנָּה כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ. (יח) וְקוֹץ וְדַרְדַּר תַּצְמִיחַ לָךְ וְאָכַלְתָּ אֶת-עֵשֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶה. (יט) בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ כִּי-עָפָר אַתָּה וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב. (כ) וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ חַוָּה כִּי הִוא הָיְתָה אֵם כָּל-חָי. (כא) וַיַּעַשׂ ה' אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתּוֹ כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם. (כב) וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֱלֹהִים הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ לָדַעַת טוֹב וָרָע וְעַתָּה פֶּן-יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם. (כג) וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ ה' אֱלֹהִים מִגַּן-עֵדֶן לַעֲבֹד אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח מִשָּׁם. (כד) וַיְגָרֶשׁ אֶת-הָאָדָם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן-עֵדֶן אֶת-הַכְּרֻבִים וְאֵת לַהַט הַחֶרֶב הַמִּתְהַפֶּכֶת לִשְׁמֹר אֶת-דֶּרֶךְ עֵץ הַחַיִּים.
    Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman: ‘Yea, hath God said: Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’ And the woman said unto the serpent: ‘Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said: Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’ And the serpent said unto the woman: ‘Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.’ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves girdles. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden toward the cool of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto the man, and said unto him: ‘Where art thou?’ And he said: ‘I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said: ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?’ And the man said: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ And the LORD God said unto the woman: ‘What is this thou hast done?’ And the woman said: ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’ And the LORD God said unto the serpent: ‘Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; they shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise their heel.’ Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ And unto Adam He said: ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying: Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’ And the man called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said: ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.’ Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life.
    7ז
    מורה נבוכים חלק א' פרק ב' (מהד' שוורץ, אוניברסיטת תל אביב, 2002).
    הקושיה:
    איש מלומד הקשה עלי לפני שנים רבות קושיה מופלאה. ראוי להתבונן בקושיה זאת ובתשובה שהשבנו לפותרה לפני שאמסור את הקושיה ואת פתרונה, אומר: כל המדבר עברית יודע שהשם אלהים משותף לאלוה, למלאכים ולמושלים מנהיגי המדינות. אונקלוס הגֵר [=מתרגם התורה לארמית], עליו השלום, הבהיר- ונכון מה שהבהיר - שבדבריו והייתם כאלהים יֹדעי טוב ורע (בראשית ג, ה) הכוונה היא למשמעות האחרונה. הוא אומר: וּתְהוֹן כרברביא. לאחר שהקדמנו ששם זה הוא משותף, נתחיל להביא את הקושיה. אמר המקשה: מפשוטו של מקרא נראה שהכוונה הראשונה היתה שהאדם יהיה כשאר בעלי-החיים בלי שׂכל ובלי מחשבה ולא יבחין בין טוב לרע; וכאשר המרה (את פי האל) גרם לו מריו בהכרח את השלמות הגדולה ביותר לאדם, והיא שתהיה לו הבחנה זאת המצויה בנו. הבחנה זאת היא הנכבדה מכל התכונות המצויות לנו ובעבורה אנו עצמים. ומפליא הוא שעונשו על מריו הוא שניתנה לו שלמות שלא היתה לו, והיא השׂכל. אין זה אלא כדברי האומר שאיש מן האנשים המרה (את פי האל) והפליג בפשעו ואז שינו צורתו, ועשׂאוהו כוכב בשמים [...]
    8ח
    מורה נבוכים לרמב"ם, חלק א, פרק ב (מהדורת שוורץ, אוניברסיטת תל אביב, 2002)
    תשובת הרמב"ם
    השׂכל, שאותו השפיע אלהים על האדם - והיא שלמותו האחרונה - הוא אשר היה לאדם קודם מריו, ובגללו נאמר עליו שהוא בצלם אלהים ובדמותו. בגללו פנה אליו בדיבור וציווה אותו, כמה שאמר: וַיְצַו ה' אלהים [על האדם לאמֹר: מכל עץ הגן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל. ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תֹאכַל ממנו...] (בראשית ב', טז-יז), ואין ציווי לבהמות ולא למי שאין לו שׂכל. בשׂכל הוא מבחין בין אמת ושקר, וזה, השׂכל, היה מצוי בו שלם וגמור. ואִילו מגונה ויפה הם מן המפורסמות ולא מן המושׂכלות, שהרי אין אומרים "שמים כדוריים - יפה", ו"הארץ שטוחה - מגונה", אלא אומרים "אמת" ו"שקר". גם בלשוננו (העברית) אנו אומרים על הנכון והכוזב: אמת ושקר ועל היפה והמגונה: טוב ורע. והנה בשׂכל מכיר האדם את האמת מן השקר, וכן הוא בכל הדברים המושׂכלים. [...]כאשר היה [אדם הראשון] במצבו השלם הגמור ביותר, הרי חרף טבע-בריאתו ומושׂכלותיו, אשר בגללם נאמר עליו: ותחסרהו מעט מאלהים (תהלים ח, ו), לא היה לו בכלל כוח המיועד לעסוק במפורסמות. הוא לא השׂיג אפילו את הברור ביותר בין המפורסמות לגנאי והוא חשיפת הערווה. דבר זה לא היה מגונה בעיניו והוא לא השׂיג את הגנאי שבו. וכאשר המרה [את פי האל] ונטה לעבר תאוותיו הדמיוניות ותענוגות חושיו הגופניים, כפי שאמר: כי טוב העץ למאכל וכי תאוָה הוא לעֵינַיִם (בראשית ג, ו) - נענש בכך שנשללה ממנו אותה השׂגה שׂכלית. לכן הוא המרה את הצו אשר נצטווה מפאת שׂכלו ותהי לו השׂגת המפורסמות. הוא נשתקע בציון הדברים כמגונים או כיָפִים. אותה שעה ידע את ערכו של מה שאבד לו ושממנו נתערטל ולאיזה מצב הגיע. לכן נאמר: והייתם כאלהים יֹדעי טוב ורע (בראשית ג, ה), ולא נאמר: יודעי שקר ואמת או משיגי שקר ואמת.
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    הוגו ואן דר גוס,הולנד 1470.
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    10י
    מורה נבוכים לרמב"ם, חלק ב, פרק לג (מהד' שוורץ, אוניברסיטת תל אביב, 2002)
    כל המצוות - מפורסמות
    כי שני העיקרים האלה, כלומר, מציאות האלוה והיותו אחד, מושׂגים בעיון האנושי. כל מה שידוע בהוכחה מופתית - דין הנביא ודין כל מי שיודע זאת שווה לגביו, ללא יתרון של זה על זה, כי שני עיקרים אלה לא מצד הנבואה בלבד נודעו. לשון התורה הוא אתה הָראית לדעת [כי ה' הוא האלהים אין עוד מלבדו] (דברים ד, לה). ואילו יתר הדברות הם ממין המפורסמות והמקובלות, לא ממין המושׂכלות.
    11יא
    שני הדיברות הראשונים
    דרש רבי שמלאי: שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצוות נאמרו לו למשה - שלוש מאות וששים וחמש לאווין כמניין ימות החמה, ומאתים וארבעים ושמונה עשה כנגד איבריו של אדם. אמר רב המנונא: מאי קרא [=היכן בתורה יש רמז לדרשה זו]? 'תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה' (דברים לג,ד). 'תורה' בגימטריא שית מאה וחד סרי הוי [=שש מאות ואחד עשר]; 'אנכי' ו'לא יהיה לך' מפי הגבורה שמענום".
    “That a person shall perform and live by them” (Leviticus 18:5). It is inferred that with regard to one who sits and did not perform a transgression, God gives him a reward like that received by one who performs a mitzva. Rabbi Shimon bar Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says that as the verse states: “Only be steadfast to not eat the blood, as the blood is the soul” (Deuteronomy 12:23), it can be derived a fortiori: And if with regard to the blood, which a person’s soul loathes, one who abstains from its consumption receives a reward for that action, as it is written in a subsequent verse: “You shall not eat it, so that it shall be good for you and for your children after you” (Deuteronomy 12:25); then concerning robbery and intercourse with forbidden relatives, which a person’s soul desires and covets, one who abstains from their performance and overcomes his inclination, all the more so that he and his descendants and the descendants of his descendants until the end of all generations will merit a reward. Rabbi Ḥananya ben Akashya says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to confer merit upon the Jewish people; therefore, He increased for them Torah and mitzvot, as each mitzva increases merit, as it is stated: “It pleased the Lord for the sake of His righteousness to make the Torah great and glorious” (Isaiah 42:21). God sought to make the Torah great and glorious by means of the proliferation of mitzvot. GEMARA: Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues are in disagreement with him and hold that lashes do not exempt the sinner from karet. Rav Adda bar Ahava said that this is so, as they say in the school of Rav that we learned in a mishna (Megilla 7b): The difference between Shabbat and Yom Kippur with regard to the labor prohibited on those days is only that in this case, Shabbat, its intentional desecration is punishable by human hands, as he is stoned by a court based on the testimony of witnesses who forewarned the transgressor, and in that case, Yom Kippur, its intentional desecration is punishable at the hand of God, with karet. And if the statement of Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel is so, in both this case, Shabbat, and that case, Yom Kippur, the punishment would be by human hands. Apparently, the tanna of the mishna, the Rabbis, disagrees with Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: There is no proof from here that Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues disagree with him, as in accordance with whose opinion is this mishna taught? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yitzḥak, who says: There are no lashes in cases of those liable to receive karet. As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yitzḥak says: All those liable to receive karet in cases of forbidden relations were included in the principle: “For whoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the people who commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29). And why was karet in the case of relations with one’s sister excluded from this verse and mentioned independently (Leviticus 20:17)? It is to sentence one who transgresses a prohibition punishable with karet to be punished with karet alone, and not with lashes. Other Sages disagree with Rabbi Yitzḥak (see 13b). Rav Ashi said: Even if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Yitzḥak and hold that there are lashes even in cases where there is liability for karet, there is no proof that Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel’s colleagues disagree with him. The mishna can be understood as follows: In this case, Shabbat, the primary punishment for its intentional desecration is by human hands, and in that case, Yom Kippur, the primary punishment for its intentional desecration is karet, which is a punishment at the hand of Heaven. If he was flogged, he is exempt from karet. Rav Adda bar Ahava says that Rav says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel, who ruled that lashes exempt the sinner from karet. Rav Yosef said: Who ascended on high and came and said to you that one who is flogged is exempted from karet? That is not dependent upon the decision of an earthly court. Abaye said to Rav Yosef: But according to your reasoning, then with regard to that which Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: There are three matters that the earthly court implemented and the heavenly court agreed with them, the same question applies: Who ascended on high and came and said to him that this is so? Rather, in arriving at Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi’s conclusion we homiletically interpret verses. Here too, with regard to lashes and karet, we homiletically interpret verses. § With regard to the matter itself, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: There are three matters that the earthly court implemented and the heavenly court agreed with them, and these are they: Reading the Scroll of Esther on Purim, and greeting another with the name of God, and bringing the first tithe to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem. From where is it derived that the heavenly court agreed with them? Reading the Scroll of Esther is derived from a verse, as it is written: “The Jews confirmed, and they took upon themselves” (Esther 9:27). The verse could have simply said: They took upon themselves. From the formulation of the verse it is interpreted: They confirmed above in Heaven that which they took upon themselves below on earth. And greeting another with the name of God is derived from a verse, as it is written: “And presently Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the harvesters: The Lord is with you, and they said to him: May the Lord bless you” (Ruth 2:4). And it states: “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him: The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). The Gemara asks: What is the reason that the Gemara cites the additional source about Gideon, introduced with the phrase: And it states? Why was the proof from Boaz’s statement to the harvesters insufficient? The Gemara explains: And if you would say: It is Boaz who did so on his own, and from Heaven they did not agree with him; come and hear proof, and it says: “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor.” The angel greeted Gideon with the name of God, indicating that there is agreement in Heaven that this is an acceptable form of greeting. From where is it derived that the heavenly court agreed to the bringing of the first tithe to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem? It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “Bring you the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now with this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency [ad beli dai]” (Malachi 3:10). This indicates that the heavenly court agreed that the first tithe should be brought to the Temple treasury. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of ad beli dai”? Rami bar Rav says: It means that the abundance will be so great that your lips will be worn out [yivlu], from saying enough [dai]. The Gemara cites a somewhat similar statement. Rabbi Elazar says: In three places the Divine Spirit appeared before all to affirm that the action taken was appropriate: In the court of Shem, in the court of Samuel the Ramathite, and in the court of Solomon. The Gemara elaborates: This occurred in the court of Shem, as it is written in the context of the episode of Judah and Tamar: “And Judah acknowledged them and said: She is more righteous than I [mimmenni]” (Genesis 38:26). How did Judah know that Tamar’s assertion that she was bearing his child was correct? Perhaps, just as he went to her and hired her as a prostitute, another person went to her and hired her as well, and he is not the father. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: It is from Me [mimmenni] that these secrets emerged. God affirmed that her assertion was correct and that it was His divine plan that Judah would father a child from Tamar. Likewise, this occurred in the court of Samuel, as it is written: “Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken…And they said: You have neither defrauded us nor oppressed us…And he said to them: The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. And he said: He is witness” (I Samuel 12:3–5). Based on the context, instead of the singular: “And he said,” the plural: And they said, should have been written, as the verse appears to be the reply of the Jewish people to Samuel’s challenge, attesting to the truth of his statement. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: I, God, am witness to this matter. This occurred in the court of Solomon, when the Divine Spirit appeared in the dispute between two prostitutes over who was the mother of the surviving child, as it is written: “And the king answered and said: Give her the living child, and do not slay him; she is his mother” (I Kings 3:27). How did Solomon know that she was the mother? Perhaps she was devious and was not the mother of the surviving child at all. Rather, a Divine Voice emerged and said: She is his mother. Rava said: From where do you draw these conclusions? None of these proofs is absolute. Perhaps in the case of Judah, once he calculated the passage of the months and the days from when he engaged in intercourse with Tamar and it happened to correspond with the duration of her pregnancy, he realized that her assertion is correct. There is no room to suspect that another man was the father, as the principle is: Based on that which we see, we establish presumptive status; based on that which we do not see, we do not establish presumptive status. With regard to Samuel too, no proof may be cited from the use of the singular, as on occasion the entire Jewish people is referred to in the singular, as it is written, e.g.: “The Jewish people is saved by the Lord” (Isaiah 45:17). With regard to Solomon too, perhaps he reasoned that due to the fact that this woman is merciful and seeks to spare the baby and this woman is not merciful, it is evident that the former is its mother. Rather, Rava concludes: There is no proof from the verses that a Divine Spirit appeared in those circumstances; rather, there is a tradition that this is the case. § Rabbi Simlai taught: There were 613 mitzvot stated to Moses in the Torah, consisting of 365 prohibitions corresponding to the number of days in the solar year, and 248 positive mitzvot corresponding to the number of a person’s limbs. Rav Hamnuna said: What is the verse that alludes to this? It is written: “Moses commanded to us the Torah, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 34:4). The word Torah, in terms of its numerical value [gimatriyya], is 611, the number of mitzvot that were received and taught by Moses our teacher. In addition, there are two mitzvot: “I am the Lord your God” and: “You shall have no other gods” (Exodus 20:2, 3), the first two of the Ten Commandments, that we heard from the mouth of the Almighty, for a total of 613. The Gemara provides a mnemonic for the biblical figures cited in the course of the discussion that follows: Dalet, mem, shin, mem, kuf; samekh, kuf; representing David, Micah, Isaiah, Amos, Habakkuk, Amos, and Ezekiel. Rabbi Simlai continued: King David came and established the 613 mitzvot upon eleven mitzvot, as it is written: “A Psalm of David. Lord, who shall sojourn in Your Tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your sacred mountain? He who walks wholeheartedly, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. Who has no slander upon his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up reproach against his relative. In whose eyes a vile person is despised, and he honors those who fear the Lord; he takes an oath to his own detriment, and changes not. He neither gives his money with interest, nor takes a bribe against the innocent. He who performs these shall never be moved” (Psalms, chapter 15). Eleven attributes that facilitate one’s entry into the World-to-Come appear on this list. The Gemara analyzes these verses: “He who walks wholeheartedly”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Abraham, as it is written concerning him: “Walk before Me and be wholehearted” (Genesis 17:1). “Works righteousness”; this is referring to one such as Abba Ḥilkiyyahu, a laborer who would not pause from his labor even to greet people; he righteously continued working. “And speaks truth in his heart”; this is referring to one such as Rav Safra, who was reciting Shema when a person approached him to purchase an item. He intended to accept the man’s offer, but he was unable to respond because it is prohibited to interrupt the recitation of Shema. The buyer misinterpreted Rav Safra’s silence and concluded that Rav Safra demanded a higher price, so he raised his offer. Rav Safra insisted on selling him the item for the sum that he was offered initially. “Who has no slander upon his tongue”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Jacob, who did not want to mislead his father in order to receive his blessings, as it is written: “Perhaps my father will feel me, and I will be in his eyes like a fraud” (Genesis 27:12). “Nor does evil to his neighbor”; this is referring to one who did not infringe upon another’s trade, constituting illegal competition. “Nor takes up reproach against his relative”; this is referring to one who draws his relatives near, and does not distance them when they embarrass him. “In whose eyes a vile person is despised”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like King Hezekiah, who dragged the bones of his evil father, King Ahaz, in a bed of ropes, because he despised those considered vile by God. “And he honors those who fear the Lord”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like Jehoshaphat, king of Judea, who when he would see a Torah scholar would arise from his throne and hug him and kiss him, and call him: My father, my father, my teacher, my teacher, my master, my master. “He takes an oath to his own detriment, and changes not”; this is in accordance with the conduct of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as Rabbi Yoḥanan would say in the form of a vow when seeking to refrain from eating in another’s home: I shall fast until I will come to my house. He would fulfill that vow and refrain from eating, even though he took the vow only to avoid eating in that place. “He neither gives his money with interest”; meaning he does not lend money with interest even to a gentile, which is permitted by Torah law. “Nor takes a bribe against the innocent”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, who refused to sit in judgment in a case involving his sharecropper. Since the latter would bring him a basket of fruit, he was concerned that he might unconsciously favor him. At the conclusion of the verses, it is written: “He who performs these shall never be moved.” The Gemara relates: When Rabban Gamliel would reach this verse he would cry, and he said: It is one who performed all these actions who shall never be moved; but if he performed only one of them, he shall be moved. The Sages said to him: Is it written: He who performs all these? Rather, the phrase “he who performs these” is written, indicating that one is blessed even in a case where he performed one of them. As if you do not say so, compare that to a different verse that is written with regard to severe transgressions punishable by karet: “Do not impurify yourselves with all these” (Leviticus 18:24). Would you say that there too it means that it is one who comes into contact with all these who becomes impure, but one who comes into contact with one of these, no, he does not become impure? Rather, is it not that the phrase “with all these” means: With one of all these? Here too it means that one who performs one of all these has a place in the World-to-Come. Rabbi Simlai’s exposition continues: Isaiah came and established the 613 mitzvot upon six, as it is written: “He who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands from holding of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing blood, and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” (Isaiah 33:15). The Gemara elaborates: “He who walks righteously”; this is referring to one who conducts himself like our forefather Abraham, as it is written concerning him: “For I have known him, that he will command his children…to perform righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). “And speaks uprightly”; this is referring to one who does not shame another in public. “He who despises the gain of oppressions”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha, who refused to sit in judgment in a case involving one who gave him priestly gifts, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. “Who shakes his hands from holding of bribes”; this is referring to one such as Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yosei, who, as explained above, refused to sit in judgment in a case involving his sharecropper. “Who stops his ears from hearing blood”; this is referring to one who would not hear derision of a Torah scholar and remain silent, such as Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who was well known for this. “And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” is to be understood in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, as Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says: This is referring to one who does not look at women when they stand over the laundry at the river. The women would lift the garments they were wearing to keep them out of the water, and thereby expose part of their bodies. And it is written with regard to one who performs these matters: “He shall dwell on high; his fortress shall be the munitions of rocks; his bread shall be given, his waters shall be sure” (Isaiah 33:16). Micah came and established the 613 mitzvot upon three, as it is written: “It has been told to you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord does require of you; only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). The Gemara elaborates: “To do justly,” this is justice; “to love mercy,” this is an allusion to acts of loving-kindness; “and to walk humbly with your God,” this is an allusion to taking the indigent dead out for burial and accompanying a poor bride to her wedding canopy, both of which are to be performed without fanfare glorifying the doer. The Gemara notes: And are these matters not inferred a fortiori? If, with regard to matters that tend to be conducted in public, e.g., funerals and weddings, the Torah states “walk humbly” when doing them, then in matters that tend to be conducted in private, e.g., charity and Torah study, all the more so should they be conducted in private. Isaiah then established the 613 mitzvot upon two, as it is stated: “So says the Lord: Observe justice and perform righteous-ness” (Isaiah 56:1). Amos came and established the 613 mitzvot upon one, as it is stated: “So says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live” (Amos 5:4). Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak objects to this: There is no proof that the verse in Amos is establishing all the mitzvot upon one; say that Amos is saying: Seek Me throughout the entire Torah, as the verse does not specify the manner in which one should seek the Lord. Rather, say: Habakkuk came and established the 613 mitzvot upon one, as it is stated: “But the righteous person shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). § Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina says: Moses our teacher issued four decrees upon the Jewish people, and four prophets came and revoked them. Moses said: “And Israel dwells in safety, the fountain [ein] of Jacob alone” (Deuteronomy 33:28), indicating that the Jewish people will dwell in safety only when they reach a lofty spiritual level similar to [me’ein] that of Jacob our forefather. Amos came and revoked it, as it is stated: “Lord God, cease, I beseech You; how shall Jacob stand, as he is small” (Amos 7:5), and immediately afterward it states: “The Lord regretted this; it too shall not be, says the Lord God” (Amos 7:6). Moses said: “And among these nations you shall have no repose” (Deuteronomy 28:65). Jeremiah came and revoked it, and said: “Even Israel, when I go to cause him to rest” (Jeremiah 31:1), indicating that the Jewish people will find rest even in exile. Moses said: “He visits the transgression of the fathers upon the sons” (Exodus 34:7). Ezekiel came and revoked it: “The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4), and not the children of that soul. Moses said: “And you shall be lost among the nations” (Leviticus 26:38). Isaiah came and revoked it, and said: “And it shall be on that day the great shofar shall be sounded, and those lost in the land of Assyria shall come” (Isaiah 27:13). Rav says: I am afraid of that verse: “And you shall be lost among the nations.” Rav Pappa objects to this: Perhaps it means that the Jewish people will be like a lost item that is sought by its owner, and God will restore those lost in exile, as it is written: “I have gone astray like a lost lamb; seek Your servant” (Psalms 119:176). Rather, Rav was afraid from that which is written in the latter portion of that verse, where it is written: “And the land of your enemies shall consume you.” Mar Zutra objects to this: Perhaps it means like the consumption of cucumbers and gourds, which are not consumed in their entirety. Some is left over, from which additional plants can grow. § Apropos tribulations of exile and hope for redemption, the Gemara relates: And it once was that Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabbi Akiva were walking along the road in the Roman Empire, and they heard the sound of the multitudes of Rome from Puteoli at a distance of one hundred and twenty mil. The city was so large that they were able to hear its tumult from a great distance. And the other Sages began weeping and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: For what reason are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: And you, for what reason are you weeping? They said to him: These gentiles, who bow to false gods and burn incense to idols, dwell securely and tranquilly in this colossal city, and for us, the House of the footstool of our God, the Temple, is burnt
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