MAZIKIN ARE ALL AROUND US
(Beraisa - Aba Binyamin): If a person could see the Mazikin around him, he would not be able to bear the fright.
(Abaye): There are more Mazikin than people; they surround us like a furrow around a vine.
(Rav Huna): Everyone has 1,000 Mazikin on his left, and 10,000 on his right.
(Rava): They cause the cramped conditions at Kalah (gatherings of Talmidim on Shabbosim before Pesach and Sukos), weakness of knees, and knocking of feet; they sit next to (and rub against) Talmidim, causing Talmidim's garments to fray.
If one wants to verify their presence, he should put ground ashes around his bed; in the morning, he will see footprints resembling those of a chicken.
To see the Mazikin, one should burn a fetal sac of a cat (meeting certain other conditions) and put the ashes on his eye;
Rav Bivi bar Abaye did so, and they damaged him; Rabanan prayed for him, he recovered.
PLACES WHERE THE SHECHINAH IS FOUND
(Beraisa - Aba Binyamin): A person's prayer is heard only if he prays in synagogue:
"Lishmo'a El ha'Rinah v'El ha'Tefilah" -- the place where we sing (Hash-m's praises) is the proper place for Tefilah.
Question (Ravin bar Rav Ada): What is the source that Hash-m is found in synagogues?
Answer: "Elokim Nitzav ba'Adas Kel."
This also teaches that the Shechinah is with ten people who pray together.
Question: What is the source that the Shechinah is with three who judge a case?
Answer: "B'Kerev Elokim Yishpot."
Question: What is the source that the Shechinah is with two people learning Torah together?
Answer: "Az Nidberu Yir'ei Hash-m Ish El Re'ehu va'Yakshev Hash-m..."
Question: What do we learn from the continuation, "ul'Choshvei Shemo"?
Answer (Rav Ashi): If a person Chashav (intended) to do a Mitzvah and was unable to, the verse considers it as though he did it.
Question: What is the source that the Shechinah is with even one person learning Torah?
Answer: "B'Chol Makom Asher Azkir Es Shemi Avo Elecha u'Verachticha."
Question: Since the Shechinah is with even one person learning, why must a verse teach that it is with two?
Answer: When there are two, Hash-m records their words in a Sefer, but not when there is only one.
Question: Since the Shechinah is with two, why must a verse teach about three? (Sitting in judgment is also learning Torah!)
Answer: One might have thought that judgment is merely making peace between people -- the verse teaches that it is also Torah.
Question: Since the Shechinah is with even three, why must a verse teach that it is with ten?
Answer: When there are ten, the Shechinah comes before them; when there are only three, the Shechinah does not come until they begin to judge.
Question (Ravin bar Rav Ada): What is the source that Hash-m wears Tefilin? (Obviously, His Tefilin are not physical.)
Answer: "Nishba Hash-m bi'Yemino" refers to Torah; "uvi'Zero'a Uzo" refers to Tefilin -- "Hash-m Oz l'Amo Yiten."
Question: What is the source that the Oz (strength) of Yisrael is Tefilin?
Answer (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Gadol): "V'Ra'u Kol Amei ha'Aretz Ki Shem Hash-m Nikra Alecha v'Yar'u Mimeka" -- this refers to Tefilin Shel Rosh (Rashi - a "Shin" and "Dalet," two letters from the name of Hash-m, are seen from the outside.)
Question (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): What is written in Hash-m's Tefilin?
Answer (R. Chiya bar Avin): It says, "u'Mi k'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz."
Question: Does Hash-m aggrandize Himself with the praises of Yisrael?!
Answer: Yes -- "Es Hash-m He'emarta ha'Yom; va'Shem He'emircha ha'Yom";
Hash-m told Yisrael, you made Me unique -- "Shema Yisrael Hash-m Elokeinu Hash-m Echad" -- I will make you unique, "u'Mi k'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz."
Question (Rav Acha brei d'Rava): That accounts for one of the four compartments (of His Tefilin) -- what is written in the others?
Answer (Rav Ashi): "Ki Mi Goy Gadol," "u'Mi Goy Gadol," "Ashrecha Yisrael," "O ha'Nisa Elokim," "u'Lesitcha Elyon."
Question (Rav Acha): If so, there are six Batim -- but Tefilin have only four!
Answer (Rav Ashi): There are two pairs of similar verses, each pair is together in one Bayis -- "Ki Mi Goy Gadol" and "u'Mi Goy Gadol," and "u'Mi k'Amcha Yisrael" and "Ashrecha Yisrael."
All of these are written in the one Bayis of His hand Tefilin.
COMING TO SYNAGOGUE
(Ravin bar Rav Ada): If one normally comes to synagogues, and one day he does not come, Hash-m inquires about him -- "Mi Vachem Yerei Hash-m... Asher Halach Chashechim v'Ein Nogah Lo";
If he went to do a Mitzvah, he will have Nogah (light); if not, he will not.
"Yivtach b'Shem Hash-m" -- this shows why he will not have light, for he should have trusted in Hash-m (that he will not lose by coming to synagogue.)
(R. Yochanan): If Hash-m comes to synagogue and does not find ten people (at the time for prayer), He gets angry -- "Madu'a Basi v'Ein Ish, Karasi v'Ein Oneh."
(R. Chelbo): Anyone who has a fixed a place for Tefilah, the G-d of Avraham helps him; when he dies, he is called humble, a Chasid, a Talmid of Avraham.
Question: What is the source that Avraham fixed a place for Tefilah?
Answer: "Va'Yashkem Avraham ba'Boker El ha'Makom Asher Amad Sham";
"Amidah" is prayer -- "va'Ya'amod Pinchos va'Yefalel."
(R. Chelbo): One who leaves a synagogue should not take big steps (it looks like being in synagogue was a burden to him);
(Abaye): This applies to leaving, but it is a Mitzvah to run to synagogue -- "Nirdefah Lada'as Es Hash-m."
(R. Zeira): At first, when I saw Talmidim running to the Kalah (public lecture before the festival), I thought that they were disgracing Shabbos;
Later, I heard R. Tanchum teach that one should run to learn (some texts - to do a Mitzvah), even on Shabbos -- "Acharei Hash-m Yelchu k'Aryeh Yish'ag" -- now also I run.
(R. Zeira): The primary reward for hearing a Torah discourse is for running to it (because most people will not understand it well enough to repeat it);
(Abaye): The primary reward for attending the Kalah is for suffering the cramped conditions;
(Rava): The primary reward for learning is for struggling to understand;
(Rav Papa): The primary reward for visiting mourners is for being silent;
(Mar Zutra): The primary reward for a fast is the Tzedakah that one gives (afterwards to the Aniyim who fasted);
(Rav Sheshes): The primary reward for a eulogy is for making people cry;
(Rav Ashi): The primary reward for attending a wedding is for words (that gladden the Chasan).
(Rav Huna): One who prays behind a synagogue is called a Rasha -- "Saviv Resha'im Yis'halachun";
(Abaye): This is only if he does not face the synagogue (for then he faces the opposite direction from the congregation); if he faces the synagogue, it is fine.
A certain man prayed in back of a synagogue and did not face the synagogue; Eliyahu appeared to him like an Arab merchant.
Eliyahu: You make it seem like there are two powers (for you pray to the opposite direction from the congregation)!
Eliyahu killed him.
Question: What does it mean, "Kerum Zulus li'Vnei Adam"?
Answer #1 (Rav Bivi bar Abaye): This refers to things that are at the RoM (peak of importance) of the world, yet people MeZaLZeL (disgrace) them.
Answer #2 (R. Yochanan and R. Elazar): Once a person must take money from others, his face turns to Kerum.
Question: What is Kerum?
Answer (Rav Dimi): It is a coastal bird; when the sun shines on it, it turns to many colors.
(R. Ami and R. Asi): If a person must take money from others, it is as if he was punished with fire and water -- "Hirkavta Enosh l'Rosheinu Banu va'Esh uva'Mayim."
THINGS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT
(R. Chelbo): A person should be very careful about Minchah, for this is when Eliyahu was answered -- "va'Yehi ba'Alos ha'Minchah va'Yigash Eliyahu... Aneni Hash-m Aneni";
He asked Hash-m to bring fire from the heavens to consume everything on the Mizbe'ach, and to distract people, so they will not say that it was done through witchcraft.
(R. Yochanan): A person should also be very careful about Ma'ariv -- "Tikon Tefilasi Ketores... Minchas Arev" (what I pray at night should be like a Minchah);
(Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): A person should also be very careful about Shacharis -- "Hash-m Boker Tishma Koli."
(R. Chelbo): Anyone who benefits from a wedding feast and does not gladden the Chasan transgresses five Kolos (voices) with which Hash-m blessed Yisrael -- "Kol Sason v'Kol Simchah Kol Chasan v'Kol Kalah Kol Omrim Hodu Es Hash-m Tzevakos."
Question: If he did gladden the Chasan, what is his reward?
Answer #1 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): He merits Torah, which was given with five Kolos -- "va'Yehi va'Yom ha'Shelishi... Kolos (plural, i.e. two) u'Verakim... v'Kol Shofar... va'Yehi Kol ha'Shofar... veha'Elokim Ya'anenu v'Kol."
Question: There are two more -- "v'Chol ha'Am Ro'im Es ha'Kolos"!
Answer: Those were before Matan Torah.
Answer #2 (R. Avahu): It is as if he offered a Korban Todah -- [the verse "Kol Sason v'Kol Simchah..." continues:] "Mevi'im Todah Beis Hash-m."
Answer #3 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It is as if he rebuilt a ruin of Yerushalayim -- "Ki Ashiv Es Shevus ha'Aretz keva'Rishonah."
(R. Chelbo): If someone fears Shamayim, his words are heard -- "Sof Davar ha'Kol Nishma Es ha'Elokim Yera";
Question: What does the end of the verse, "Ki Zeh Kol ha'Adam," mean?
Answer #1 (R. Elazar): The entire world was created for the sake of even one such person.
Answer #2 (Rav Aba bar Kahana): Such a person is worth as much as the entire world.
Answer #3 (Ben Azai): The entire world was created to accompany such a person.
(R. Chelbo): If you know that a person normally greets you with "Shalom," you should greet him first -- "Bakesh Shalom v'Radfehu."
If one gives "Shalom" and the receiver does not return it, he is called a robber -- "Gezelas he'Ani b'Vateichem" (Shalom can be "stolen" even from one who is penniless.)