THE TIME AND DURATION OF MASHI'ACH
A Min: When will Mashi'ach come?
R. Avahu: He will come when those people (Minim) will be covered with darkness.
The Min: You cursed me!
R. Avahu: The verse says "Hinei ha'Choshech Yechaseh Eretz va'Arafel l'Umim v'Alayich Yizrach Hash-m..."!
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): The days of Mashi'ach will be 40 years - "Arba'im Shanah Akut b'Dor";
R. Elazar ben Azaryah says, they will be 70 years - "...v'Nishkachas Tzur Shiv'im Shanah ki'Mei Melech Echad";
This refers to the special king, Mashi'ach.
Rebbi says, they will be three generations - "Yira'ucha Im Shemesh...Dor Dorim" (Dor teaches one, and Dorim teaches another two).
R. Hillel says, Yemos ha'Mashi'ach were already fulfilled in the days of Chizkiyah.
Objection (Rav Yosef): May Hash-m pardon his mistake! Chizkiyah was in Bayis Rishon, and Zecharyah prophesized in the second Mikdash "Hinei Malkech Yavo"!
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): The days of Mashi'ach will be 40 years. It says here "va'Y'ancha va'Yar'ivecha", and it says "Samchenu ki'Mos Anisanu" (like the years of our affliction). Just like Yisrael were in the Midbar for 40 years, so will be Yemos ha'Mashi'ach.
R. Dosa says, they will be 400 years. Yemos ha'Mashi'ach are equated to Galus Mitzrayim - "v'Inu Osam Arba Me'os Shanah."
Rebbi says, they will be 365 years, corresponding to the days of the year - "Yom Nokom b'Libi u'Shnas Ge'ulai Ba'ah."
Question: What does it mean "Yom Nokom b'Libi"?
Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): Hash-m revealed the time of Mashi'ach to His heart, but not to His limbs (i.e. He did not say it).
Answer #2 (Reish Lakish): Hash-m revealed the time of Mashi'ach to His heart, but not to the angels.
(Avimi son of R. Avahu): Yemos ha'Mashi'ach will be 7000 years for Yisrael - "u'Msos Chasan Al Kalah Ken Yasis Alayich Hash-m" (a Chasan rejoices seven days with his Kalah. Hash-m's day is 1000 years.)
(Rav Yehudah): Yemos ha'Mashi'ach will last as long as the time from creation until Mashi'ach comes - "ki'Mei ha'Shamayim Al ha'Aretz."
(Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): They will last as long as the time from Noach (the flood) until Mashi'ach comes - "Ki Mei Noach Zos Li Asher Nishbati (mi'Ktzof Alayich." We expound as it said 'ki'Mei...')
THE REWARD AWAITING TZADIKIM
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Nevi'im prophesized about Yemos ha'Mashi'ach, but not about the world to come - "Ayin Lo Ra'asah Elokim Zulasecha Ya'aseh li'Mchakeh Lo."
He argues with Shmuel.
(Shmuel): The only difference between this world and Yemos ha'Mashi'ach is that the kingdoms will cease to rule over Yisrael. (The prophecies describe the world to come.)
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Nevi'im prophesized about the reward awaiting penitent sinners, but the reward of Tzadikim that never sinned "Ayin Lo Ra'asah..."
He argues with R. Avahu.
(R. Avahu): Penitent sinners have a greater share in the world to come than Tzadikim who never sinned. "Shalom Shalom la'Rachok vela'Karov" - the Rachok (far) is in front of the near;
'Far' refers to one who was far from Hash-m (but repented). 'Near' refers to one who was always close.
R. Yochanan explains, 'far' is one who distanced himself from sin. 'Near' is one who was close to sin and distanced himself.
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Nevi'im prophesized about the reward awaiting those who marry their daughters to Chachamim, do business with Chachamim and benefit Chachamim from their possessions, or penitent sinners, but the reward of Chachamim themselves "Ayin Lo Ra'asah..."
Question: What does it mean "Ayin Lo Ra'asah..."?
Answer #1 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): This is wine that has been guarded in the grape since the six days of creation (Chidushei Torah that were never revealed to any person).
Answer #2 (Reish Lakish): This is Eden.
Question: Adam ha'Rishon saw it!
Answer: He was in Gan Eden. This is not Eden itself - "v'Nahar Yotzei me'Eden Lehashkos Es ha'Gan."
ONE WHO DESPISES TORAH
(Mishnah): One who says that Torah was not given from Shamayim.
(Beraisa #1): "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah..." is one who says that Hash-m did not give the Torah.
Alternatively, "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah" is an Apikorus (this and the next opinion will be defined later).
Alternatively, "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah" is Megaleh Panim ba'Torah;
"...V'Es Mitzvaso Hefar..." is one who does not circumcise himself.
"Hikares" - in this world; "Tikares" - in the world to come.
R. Eliezer ha.Moda'i says, one who desecrates Kodshim, disgraces the festivals (Rashi - Chol ha'Mo'ed; Rambam - Yom Tov), nullifies circumcision, is Megaleh Panim ba'Torah, or makes one blush in public (by embarrassing him), even if he has Torah and Mitzvos, he has no share in the world to come.
(Beraisa #2): "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah..." is one who says that Hash-m did not give the Torah;
Even if he says that Hash-m gave the entire Torah except for one verse, which Moshe wrote on his own, or that Moshe decided that a certain word should be written missing a letter or with an extra letter, or that (a particular; Margoliyos ha'Yam - the principle of) Kal va'Chomer or Gezerah Shavah was not from Hash-m, this is considered "Devar Hash-m Bazah."
(Beraisa - R. Meir): "Ki Devar Hash-m Bazah" is one who learns Torah and does not teach it;
R. Noson says, this is one who belittles the importance of Mishnah;
R. Nehurai says, this is one who could engage in Torah and does not;
R. Yishmael says, this is one who serves idolatry.
Question: How does he learn this from the verse?
Answer (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "Devar Hash-m Bazah" - he is Mevazeh (disgraces) the Dibur (utterance) "Lo Yihyeh Lecha Elohim Acherim."
R. Yehoshua ben Korchah says, one who learns Torah and does not review it is like one who sows and does not harvest.
R. Yehoshua says, one who learns Torah and forgets it is like a woman who bears children and buries them.
R. Akiva says, if one constantly reviews his learning, he will remember it, like one remembers a song that he always sings.
(R. Yitzchak bar Avodimi): He learns from "Nefesh Amel Amlah Lo Ki Achaf Alav Pihu."
Question (R. Elazar): "Ki Adam l'Amal Yulad" - was man created to toil with his mouth or in work?
Answer: "Ki Achaf Alav Pihu" - he was created to toil with his mouth.
Question: Was he created to toil in Torah or in Sichah? (Ben Yehoyada - Sichah does not refers to conversation, rather, Tefilah. The question was whether one should toil to say every word, from the Akeidah until Aleinu, with great Kavanah, even though this will take many hours and little time will remain for Torah, like the Ba'al Shem Tov and Chasidim. Or, one should pray at a reasonable pace, in order that much time will remain for Torah, like the Gra and the Prushim (Misnagdim).)
Answer: "Lo Yamush Sefer ha'Torah ha'Zeh mi'Picha" - he was created to toil in Torah.
(Rava): All bodies were created to toil. Happy are those who toil in Torah.
(Reish Lakish): "No'ef Ishah Chasar Lev" is one who learns intermittently (like an adulterer who is not regular with one wife) - "Na'im Ki Sishmerem b'Vitnecha Yikonu Yachdav Al Sefasecha" (if one constantly learns, he will retain his Torah).
(Beraisa): "Veha'Nefesh Asher Ta'aseh b'Yad Ramah" refers to Menasheh, who mocked the Torah:
(He said) Moshe wrote things that do not teach anything, e.g. "va'Achos Lotan Timna v'Simna Haysah Filegesh le'Elifaz", and "va'Yelech Reuven bi'Mei Ketzir Chitim va'Yimtza Duda'im ba'Sadeh"!
A Bas Kol: "B'Achicha Sedaber b'Ven Imecha Titen Dofi... Ochichacha v'E'erchah l'Einecha."
Regarding Menasheh it says "Hoy Moshchei he'Avon b'Chavlei ha'Shav...(he sinned without reason or benefit).
Question: What does it mean "...vecha'Avos ha'Agalah Chata'ah"?
Answer (R. Asi): At first, the Yetzer ha'Ra is (thin) like a thread of Kuvya (a spider's web). In the end (after conceding to it many times), it is like ropes that draw the Agalah (wagon).
Question: What do we learn from "va'Achos Lotan Timna"?
Answer: It emphasizes that she was a princess - "Aluf Lotan" (many texts omit "Aluf Timna"; Ramah - the latter verse itself proves that she was like a queen).
'Aluf' refers to an uncrowned king.
She wanted to convert. She went to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov, but they refused to accept her. She became a concubine to Elifaz the son of Esav. She reasoned that it is better to be a slave to the nation of Avraham and Yitzchak than to be a distinguished wife in another nation.
Her son was Amalek, the head of the nation that torments Yisrael. This was a punishment. The Avos should not have rejected her.
(Rava b'Rebbi Yitzchak): "Va'Yelech Reuven bi'Mei Ketzir Chitim" teaches that Tzadikim are careful to avoid theft. (He went after the harvest, when people do not mind others walking on their fields.)
Question: What are Duda'im?
Answer #1 (Rav): They are Yavruchi (this is the Targum. Perhaps they are mandrakes. Rashi is unsure what they are.)
Answer #2 (Levi): They are Siglei (violets?)
Answer #3 (R. Yonason): They are Seviski (a type of spice).
THE REWARD OF TORAH
(R. Alexandri): One who learns Torah Lishmah (purely in order to understand it) creates Shalom above and below - "Oh Yachazik b'Ma'uzi Ya'aseh Shalom Li Shalom Ya'aseh Li";
(Rav): It is as if he built Heaven and earth - "va'Asim Devarai b'Ficha... Linto'a Shamayim v'Lisod Aretz";
(R. Yochanan): He protects the entire world- "uv'Tzel Yadi Kisisicha";
(Levi): He brings the redemption closer - "v'Leimor l'Tziyon Ami Atah";
(Reish Lakish): If one teaches Torah to another's son, the Torah considers it as if he made him - "v'Es ha'Nefesh Asher Asu v'Charan";
(R. Elazar): It is as if he made the words of Torah - "va'Asisem Osam";
(Rava): It is as if he made himself. We read "va'Asisem Osam" like 'va'Asisem Atem.'
(R. Avahu): If one induces another to do a Mitzvah, the Torah considers it as if he himself did it - "Asher Hikisa Bo Es ha'Ye'or."
Question: Aharon struck the river. Moshe did not!
Answer: This teaches that because Moshe caused Aharon to do it, he is credited as if he did it.
WHAT IS AN APIKORUS
Version #1 (Rav and R. Chanina): An Apikorus is one who disgraces a Chacham.
(R. Yochanan and R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It is one who disgraces a person in front of a Chacham.
(The Beraisa (99a) explained that "Devar Hash-m Bazah" can refer to Apikorus or Megaleh Panim ba'Torah.)
Question: According to R. Yochanan, we can say that Megaleh Panim ba'Torah is one who disgraces a Chacham;
However, according to Rav, that is Apikorus. How does he explain Megaleh Panim ba'Torah?
Answer: It is one like Menasheh (who mocks Torah).
Version #2 - (Rav and R. Chanina): Megaleh Panim ba'Torah is one who disgraces a Chacham.
(R. Yochanan and R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It is one who disgraces a person in front of a Chacham.
Question: According to Rav, we can say that Apikorus is one who disgraces a person in front of a Chacham;
However, according to R. Yochanan, that is Megaleh Panim ba'Torah. How does he explain Apikorus?
Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): It is one who says 'Chachamim do not benefit others. They learn only for themselves.'
Objection (Abaye): That is also Megaleh Panim ba'Torah - "Im Lo Brisi Yomam va'Laylah Chukos Shamayim va'Aretz Lo Samti" (the world exists only because people are learning).
(Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): Also "v'Nosasi l'Chol ha'Makom Ba'avuram" teaches that Chachamim benefit others.
Answer #2: Apikorus is a Talmid who cites a teaching saying 'we said such and such there', and does not attribute the teaching to the Rebbi.