Daf Notes is currently being dedicated to the neshamah of
Tzvi Gershon Ben Yoel (Harvey Felsen) o”h
May the studying of the Daf Notes be a zechus for his neshamah
and may his soul find peace in Gan Eden and be bound up in the Bond of life.
Rabbi Yochanan used to cry when he came to the following verse [Iyov 15:15]: Behold, He cannot have any faith even in His holy ones. He explained: If Hashem does not have faith in those that are holy, then whom will He have faith in?
The Gemora records an incident related to this. Rabbi Yochanan was once traveling on the road when he saw a person gathering figs. He would gather the unripe ones, while leaving the ripe ones.
Rabbi Yochanan inquired of him: Aren’t the ripe ones better?
He answered: I need these figs for my trip and the unripe ones will last; the ripe ones will spoil before the trip is completed.
Rabbi Yochanan exclaimed: This is the meaning of the verse: Behold, He cannot have any faith even in His holy ones (the young Torah scholars can be taken away before they surrender to sin).
The Gemora asks: There was a student who lived in Rabbi Alexandri’s neighborhood, who died very young. Rabbi Alexandri proclaimed: If he would have conducted himself in a more upright path, he could have lived longer. According to Rabbi Yochanan, perhaps he was virtuous and nevertheless died young?
The Gemora answers: It was known to Rabbi Alexandri that this student revolted against his teachers. (5a1)
Rabbi Yochanan would cry when he arrived at the verse in which Hashem says that He will approach Bnai Yisrael for judgment, acting as a quick witness against the sorcerers, adulterers, those who swear falsely, those that withhold a worker’s wages, etc. as what hope does one have when faced with a servant whose master is close to judge him and quick to testify against him? Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai said woe to us whom Hashem counts equally against us the less severe (withholding wages) and the more severe.
Rish Lakish said: One who is unfair against a convert is considered being unfair to Hashem, as the verse continues to listmatai gair – those who are unfair to a convert, and the word matai can be read as mati – being unfair to Me.
Rabbi Chanina bar Pappa says that if one does something wrong and then regrets it, he is immediately forgiven, as the verse continues by saying that lo yerai’uni – they [Bnai Yisrael] didn’t fear Me, implying that if they did, and therefore repented, Hashem would forgive them. (5a2)
Rabbi Yochanan used to cry when he came to the following verse [Koheles 12:14]: For Hashem shall bring every action which man does into the judgment, even concerning every hidden matter. Is there a remedy for a servant whose master weighs his unintentional mistakes as well as his intentional ones?
The Gemora asks: What does the verse mean when it states: every hidden matter?
Rav answers: The verse is referring to one who kills a louse in front of his friend and his friend is disgusted by it. Shmuel said: It is referring to one who spits in front of his friend and his friend is disgusted by it.
The Gemora asks: What is the meaning of the conclusion of the verse, which states: whether good or bad (indicating that punishment will be administered for one who performs a good deed)?
They answered in Rabbi Yannai’s school: This is referring to one who gives charity to a poor man in public and causes him great embarrassment. It once happened with Rabbi Yannai that he witnessed a man giving charity to a poor man in public and rebuked him by saying that it would have been preferable for him not to have given him charity at all, thus avoiding embarrassing him.
They offered another answer in Rabbi Shila’s school: The verse is referring to a man who gives charity to a woman in a secluded place since this will result in people suspecting the woman of acting immorally.
Rava answers: The verse is referring to a husband who sends uncut meat (did not have the prohibited portions cut from it) to his wife on Erev Shabbos (she might forget to remove those portions in her haste to prepare for Shabbos).
The Gemora asks: But Rava himself would send (such meat to his wife on Erev Shabbos)?
The Gemora answers: The daughter of Rav Chisda (Rava’s wife) is different, as she was an expert (and would realize immediately that the meat was not yet ready to be eaten). (5a2 – 5a3)
Rabbi Yochanan would cry when he arrived at the verse which refers to a time when Bnai Yisrael will be beset by many confining troubles, as what hope does one have if his master prepares such troubles for him? Rav explains that these troubles refer to troubles which are in competition, like one who was stung by a bee and a scorpion, as these bites have opposite antidotes (hot vs. cold), and the antidote for each ailment is dangerous for the other.
Shmuel’s example of a sin which is “good or bad” is one who provides money to a poor person only when he is really stuck, as Rava says that money for grain is scarce, but money for someone who is in dire straits is easily found. (5a3)
Times of troubles
The Gemora continues to explain the verse about the troubles besetting Bnai Yisrael, which is followed by a verse in which Hashem says that His anger will burn on that day, and He will abandon them, and hide His face from them, letting them be consumed. Rav Bardela bar Tivyomi quotes Rav saying that anyone who doesn’t experience a hiding of Hashem’s face and being consumed is not part of Bnai Yisrael. The Sages asked Rava how he seemed to escape this punishment, and he answered that they didn’t know how much he privately would pay to the king, effectively applying this punishment to him. Even so, the Sages looked askance at Rava, and in the meantime, the king sent messengers who ransacked Rava’s house, consistent with Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel’s statement that poverty or death follows the Sages’ negative viewing of something.
The Gemora explains the verse in which Hashem says that He will surely hide His face on that day. Rava says that although Hashem hides His face, He still communicates with us through dreams. Rav Yosef says that His hand is still outstretched over us, as Hashem says that “I have covered you with My hand.”
The Gemora relates an incident: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania was standing in the Caesar’s palace. A heretic who stood by signaled him with his hand that the Jewish people are a nation from whom God has turned away His face. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania signaled him with his hand that His hand is still stretched over us.
The Caesar asked Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania: Do you understand what the heretic signaled you with his hand?
He replied: Yes, he signaled me that the Jewish people are a nation from whom God has turned away His face and I responded by signaling him that His hand is still stretched over us.
They asked the heretic: What did you signal him with your hand?
He replied: I signaled him that the Jewish people are a nation from whom God has turned away His face.
They asked him: What did Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania reply?
He answered: I do not know.
They said: A man that does not understand what is being signaled to him, should he be signaling in front of the king? They removed the heretic and killed him.
When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania was about to die, the Rabbis asked him: What will become of us from the heretics?
He replied: It is written [Yirmiyah 49:7]: The counsel has vanished from the children, their wisdom has spoiled. The interpretation of this verse is as follows: When the counsel has vanished from the Jewish people, the wisdom of their adversaries will sour. (5a – 5b)
Rabbi Illa was once ascending the steps of the house of Rabbah bar Shila when he heard a young child reading the following verse [Amos 4:13]: For behold, He forms mountains, and creates winds; He recounts to a person what were his words. He exclaimed: Is there a remedy for a slave whose master tells him all of his words spoken?
The Gemora asks: What is meant by what were his words?
Rav answers: Even a superfluous conversation between a man and his own wife (prior to engaging in marital relations) is mentioned to him at the time of his death.
The Gemora asks from the following incident: Rav Kahana hid under the bed of Rav and heard while Rav was talking and joking with his wife and then engaged in marital relations with her. Rav Kahana said (from under the bed): It’s as if Rav’s mouth has not tasted food (his lightheadedness indicated that he was doing this for his own pleasure similar to a starving man eating). Rav said to him, Kahana, get out! It is not proper for you to be here!
It is evident from this incident that it is proper to engage in conversation and laugh with one’s wife before having relations.
The Gemora answers: Rav needed to appease her first and only then, it is not regarded as superfluous. (5b)
Crying in the heavens
The Gemora explains the verse which says that if you do not listen, My soul will cry in the hidden area, because of geva, and My eye will shed a tear because the flock of Hashem has been captured. Rav Shmuel bar Inia quotes Rav saying that there is a place called mistarim – hidden , where Hashem cries. Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak explains that geva refers to the high position of Bnai Yisrael, which was taken from them, and given to the non-Jews. Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmaini says it refers to the high position of the Heavenly kingdom, which has been taken away. The Gemora challenges the implication that there is a concept of crying in relation to Hashem, as Rav Pappa says that there is no sadness in His presence, as the verse says in front of Him are glory and splendor, and in His place are strength and joy. The Gemora answers there is crying in the inner chamber, but not in the outer one. The Gemora challenges this from the verse which that on the day on the Bais Hamikdash’s destruction Hashem called out for crying, eulogy, tearing, and wearing sackcloth, implying that it was from the outer chamber, as He called out. The Gemora that the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash is different, as evern the angels, who usually only announce good news, cried out in sadness.
Rabbi Elazar says the 3 words used to describe the tears on the exile (damo’a tidma, dim’a) are for the first and second Bais Hamikdash’s destruction and the exile (or idling from Torah learning). The verse’s reference to the capture of Hashem’s flock is consistent with the exile, and even with idling Torah learning, as the the capture caused massive idling of Torah.
The Gemora cites a braisa: Hashem cries for three types of people every day: One who has the ability to study Torah, but does not; one who is unable to study Torah, but does; a community leader who acts haughtily toward his congregation.
Rebbe was holding and reading an Eicha scroll. When he reached the verse which says that Hashem threw the glory of Yisrael from the heaven to the ground, the scroll fell from his hand, and he said this verse is like falling from a tall roof to a deep pit. (5b)
When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chanania was about to die, the rabbis asked him: What will become of us from the heretics?
He replied: It is written [Yirmiyah 49:7]: The counsel has vanished from the children, their wisdom has spoiled. The interpretation of this verse is as follows: When the counsel has vanished from the Jewish people, the wisdom of their adversaries will sour.
The Satmar Rebbe in Divrei Yoel (Beshalach P. 425) explains an otherwise seemingly unexplainable Medrash with this Gemora.
The Medrash states: If Moshe would have crossed the Jordan River (into Eretz Yisroel), Haman would have done correctly; now that he didn’t cross over, this is why Haman was hung.
He explains: When Klal Yisroel’s wisdom has decreased and we are incapable of overcoming the other nations, their wisdom is diminished, as well.
If Moshe would have entered into Eretz Yisroel, he would have lived forever and his wisdom would have prevailed over Haman’s; now that Moshe is not in our midst and we have lost his counsel, Haman was hung on the tree.