1)THE EFFECTS OF AGING
(a)"Ba'Yom she'Yazu'u Shomrei ha'Bayis" - these are the flanks and ribs; "V'His'avsu Anshei heChayil" - these are the thighs; 'U'Votlu ha'Tochanos" - these are the teeth; "V'Choshchu ha'Ro'os ba'Arubis" - these are the eyes.
(b)Kaiser (to R. Yehoshua): Why don't you go to the debates between Chachamim and Tzedukim?
(c)R. Yehoshua: The mountain turned to snow, it is surrounded by frost (my hair and beard are white, i.e. I am old), my dogs (voice) do not bark, my grinders (teeth) do not grind.
(d)(Bei Rav): [In old age, I look for lost objects that I did not lose (Rashi - I am bent, as if I seek a lost object; Etz Yosef - I look for things, mistakenly thinking that they are lost).
(e)(Beraisa - R. Yosi bar Kisna): [Walking on] two [legs, in youth] is better than three [needing to walk with a cane in old age] - woe to the one who was lost and does not return!
(f)Question: What is this?
(g)Answer (Rav Chisda): It is youth.
(h)(Rav Dimi): Youth is like a crown of roses; old age is like a crown of thorns (or nettles, which are painful to touch).
(i)(A Tana citing R. Meir): Chew well (eat much), and it will strengthen your steps - "V'Nisba Lechem va'Nihyeh Tovim v'Ra'ah Lo Ra'inu".
(j)Shmuel (to Rav Yehudah): Eat [much] bread until age 40, until then food is beneficial; after this, drinking is beneficial.
(k)A Tzeduki eunuch (to R. Yehoshua ben Korchah): How far is it from here to Korchina? (He said this to mock R. Yehoshua, who was Kore'ach (bald).)
1.R. Yehoshua: It is like from here to Gozniya (like Guza (eunuch), alluding to his Mum).
2.The Tzeduki: Goats are bald (have no wool), they sell for four (Zuzim).
3.R. Yehoshua: People pay eight for a castrated ram (R. Chananel - for its skin, it is good for a wine pouch)!
4.The Tzeduki noticed that R. Yehoshua was barefoot (it was Tisha b'Av or Yom Kipur, or his foot was wounded).
5.The Tzeduki: A king rides on a horse, free men ride on donkeys, [regular] people walk with shoes - one who has none of these is worse than one who is buried!
6.R. Yehoshua: Eunuch! You insulted me three times - you will hear three rebukes;
i.The radiance of a man's face is a beard; a wife gladdens a man's heart; having children is like an inheritance from Hash-m (Etz Yosef - to Hash-m, to continue serving Him after one dies) - blessed is Hash-m who withheld all three from you!
7.The Tzeduki: A bald one quarrels with me?!
8.R. Yehoshua: You, a castrated ram, initiated the quarrel!
(l)Rebbi (to R. Shimon ben Chalifta): Why didn't I see you during the festival, like your ancestors came to see mine?
(m)R. Shimon ben Chalifta: The rocks (Anaf Yosef - simple questions) became tall (difficult for me, I am old), what is close became far (Anaf Yosef - I forget what I learned recently, as if it was from long ago - you would not benefit from my Torah), two [legs that used to suffice to walk] became three.
(n)"V'Sugru Delasayim ba'Shuk" - these are the bowels; "Bi'Shfal Kol ha'Tachanah" - on account of the stomach, which does not grind; "Va'Yakam l'Kol ha'Tzipor" - even a bird wakes him; "V'Yishachu Kol Benos ha'Shir" - even singing voices depress him.
(o)Barzilai ha'Gil'adi said "Ben Shemonim Shanah Anochi ha'Yom ha'Eda Bein Tov l'Ra" - this teaches that [very] old people's minds fade;
1."Im Yit'am Avdecha Es Asher Ochal v'Es Asher Eshteh" - this teaches that old people's lips crack;
2."Im Eshma Od b'Kol Sharim v'Sharos" - this teaches that their hearing deteriorates;
3.(Rav): Barzilai lied! Rebbi had a 93 year old Shifchah who would taste the food!
4.(Rava): Barzilai lusted for relations, this causes old age to come prematurely.
(p)(Beraisa - R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi): When Chachamim get old, they become wiser - "Bi'Shishim Chachmah v'Orech Yomim Tevunah";
1.When Amei ha'Aretz get old, they become foolish - "Mesir Safah l'Ne'emanim v'Ta'am Zekenim Yikach".
(q)"Gam mi'Gavo'ah Yira'u" - even a small mound seems like a mountain; "V'Chaschatim ba'Derech" - when he travels, he is fretful; "V'Yaneitz ha'Shaked" - this is the hip, it juts out in old age; "Va'Yistabel he'Chagav" - these are the buttocks (they feel like a heavy load); "V'Safer ha'Aviyonah" - this is lust (it ceases).
1.Rav Kahana was learning in front of Rav. When he reached this verse Rav sighed; Rav Kahana concluded that Rav lost his desire.
(r)(Rav Kahana): "Ki Hu Omar va'Yehi" - this is [desire for] a woman (Hash-m decreed it - it defies logic); "Hu Tzivah va'Ya'amod" - these are children (Maharsha - Hash-m gave men desire for women, so that a man will satisfy his wife's desire for him and so he will have children);
(s)(Beraisa): A woman is a pouch full of excrement, brimming with blood [Nidah] at its mouth, yet everyone pursues her!
2)REWARD AND PUNISHMENT AFTER DEATH
(a)(R. Yitzchak): "Ki Holech ha'Adam El Beis Olamo" - this teaches that [in the world to come] every Tzadik has a dwelling according to his honor.
1.A parable - a king entered a city with his servants - all enter through the same gate, but each lodges in accommodations according to his honor.
(b)Question (R. Yitzchak): What does it mean "Ki ha'Yaldus veha'Shacharus Hevel"?
(c)Answer: Things that a person does in his youth (excessive relations) blacken his face (weaken him) in his old age.
(d)(R. Yitzchak): "Ach Besaro Alav Yich'av v'Nafsho Alav Te'eval" - worms (consuming a Mes) hurt it like a needle hurts live flesh.
(e)(Rav Chisda): A person's Nefesh mourns [over his death] all seven days - it says "V'Nafsho Alav Te'eval", and it says "Va'Ya'as l'Aviv Evel Shiv'as Yomim".
(f)(Rav Yehudah): If there are no mourners over a Mes, 10 men go to where he died.
(g)A man died in Rav Yehudah's neighborhood; there were no mourners. Each day (of the seven days of mourning) Rav Yehudah led 10 men to where he died.
(h)After the seven days, he appeared to Rav Yehudah in a dream and said 'You gave me serenity, you should have serenity.'
(i)(R. Avahu): A Mes knows everything that is said in front of him until the Golel (Rashi - the coffin cover; Tosfos - a rock left on the coffin cover) is sealed.
(j)(R. Chiya or R. Shimon b'Ribi): A Mes knows what is said in front of him until Stimas ha'Golel;
(k)(The other of R. Chiya and R. Shimon b'Ribi): He knows until the flesh is consumed.
1.The latter opinion learns from "Ach Besaro Alav Yich'av v'Nafsho Alav Te'eval" (as long as there is flesh, the Nefesh is alive enough to understand);
2.The first opinion learns from "V'Yashov he'Afar El ha'Aretz keshe'Hayah [veha'Ru'ach Tashuv El Elokim]".
(l)(Beraisa): "Veha'Ru'ach Tashuv El Elokim Asher Nesanah" - just like it was Tahor when it was given to you, return it Tahor!
1.This is like a king who distributed royal clothing to his servants. The smart ones folded it and put it in a box (Maharsha - it was given for working - they only used it for clean jobs, and put it away immediately afterwards); the foolish ones wore it while doing [dirty] work. Later, the king asked for the clothing - the smart ones returned it in nice condition, the foolish ones returned it dirty. The king was pleased with the smart ones - he put their clothing in the treasury, and let them go. He was angry at the foolish ones - he sent their clothing to be laundered, and imprisoned them.
2.Similarly, Hash-m says about the bodies of Tzadikim "Yavo Shalom Yanuchu Al Mishkavosam", and about their Neshamos "V'Haysah Nefesh Adoni Tzerurah bi'Tzror ha'Chayim" (under Kisei ha'Kavod, the 'treasury').
3.He says about the bodies of Resha'im "Ein Shalom Omar Hash-m la'Resha'im", and about their Neshamos "V'Es Nefesh Oyvecha Yekal'enah b'Soch Kaf ha'Kela" (they must be cleansed through punishments).
(m)(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): The Neshamos of Tzadikim are stored under Kisei ha'Kavod - "V'Haysah Nefesh Adoni Tzerurah bi'Tzror ha'Chayim [Es Hash-m Elokecha]";
1.Neshamos of Resha'im are fettered - two angels are at opposite ends of the world, they repeatedly sling the Neshamah to each other - "V'Es Nefesh Oyvecha Yekal'enah b'Soch Kaf ha'Kela".
(n)Question (Rabah): What happens to Neshamos of Beinonim (intermediate people)?
(o)Rav Nachman: Had I died [before you asked this], there would be no one to tell you!
(p)Answer (Rav Nachman citing Shmuel): Neshamos of Beinonim and Resha'im are both handed over to Dumah (an angel) - Beinonim get a rest, Resha'im do not.
(q)(Rav Mari): In the future Tzadikim will be dirt - "V'Yashov he'Afar El ha'Aretz keshe'Hayah".
3)A DEAD BODY THAT DID NOT ROT
(a)Some diggers were digging in the area of Rav Nachman; someone who was buried there snorted at them; they told Rav Nachman, who came to talk to him. The buried man identified himself to be Rav Achai bar Oshaya.
(b)Rav Nachman: But Rav Mari taught that in the future Tzadikim will be dirt!
(c)Rav Achai: I do not recognize Rav Mari (I am not concerned for his opinion).
(d)Rav Nachman: A verse supports him!
(e)Rav Achai: The teacher who taught you Koheles did not teach you Mishlei! It says "U'Rkav Atzamos Kin'ah" - bones rot only if the person was jealous.
(f)Rav Nachman felt Rav Achai - he was tangible. Rav Nachman suggested that he go to his house.
(g)Rav Achai: You haven't learned Nevi'im - "Vi'Datem Ki Ani Hash-m b'Fischi Es Kivroseichem [uv'Ha'alosi Eschem mi'Kivroseichem]" (we must wait for Hash-m to take us out).
(h)Rav Nachman: But it says "Ki Afar Atah v'El Afar Tashuv"!
(i)Rav Achai: That will be fulfilled shortly before revival of the dead.
(j)Question (a Tzeduki): You say that Neshamos of Tzadikim are stored under Kisei ha'Kavod - if so, how did the Ba'alas Ov conjure up Shmuel [to speak with Sha'ul (Shmuel 1:28)]?
(k)Answer (R. Avahu): That was within 12 months of his death;
1.(Beraisa): For 12 months after death, the body exists and the Neshamah goes up and down; after this, the Guf is Batul, and the Neshamah goes up and does not come down [unless it wants to - Tosfos].