(a)Rav Yehudah was in front of Shmuel (his Rebbi); a woman was screaming [that no one is judging her case], he ignored her.

(b)Rav Yehudah: Don't you hold that "Otem Azno mi'Za'akas Dal?" applies?! (Maharsha - primarily, the verse discusses Tzedakah, but it also applies to judgment.)

(c)Shmuel: If your Rebbi is in cold water (will be punished mildly for this), the one over your Rebbi is in hot water (will be punished severely) - Mar Ukva, the Av Beis Din is here (it is his obligation to judge her) - "Beis DavidDino la'Boker Mishpat v'Hatzilu Gazul mi'Yad Oshek Pen Teztei cha'Esh Chamasi?" (Shmuel reasoned, since Mar Ukva sees her and ignores her, it will not help to rebuke him. Tosfos (Bava Basra 10B) cites a tradition that on account of this episode, Rav Yehudah became the Rebbi of Shmuel in the world to come.)

(d)R. Zeira asked R. Simon to protest against the household of the Reish Galusa - R. Simon said that it would not help.

1.R. Zeira: Still, you should protest (you do not know for sure)!

2.(Rav Acha b'Rebbi Chanina): Only once, Hash-m said to do something good and retracted - "V'Hisvisa Tav Al Mitzchos ha'Anashim ha'Ne'enachim veha'Ne'enakim "

3.Hash-m told the angel Gavri'el to write the letter 'Tav' in ink on the foreheads of Tzadikim in Yerushalayim, in order that angels of destruction will not harm them, and to write a 'Tav' in blood on the foreheads of Resha'im, so that angels of destruction will kill them. (The verse does not explicitly mention writing on the Resha'im; Maharsha - Ne'enachim refers to Tzadikim pained by the evil, Ne'enakim alludes to Resha'im that will be killed - also, the coming dialogue discusses absolute Tzadikim and absolute Resha'im [but not people in the middle].)

4.Midas ha'Din: Why will these be spared and these will be killed?

5.Hash-m: These are absolute Tzadikim, these are absolute Resha'im!

6.Midas ha'Din: The Tzadikim could have protested!

7.Hash-m: I know that it would not have helped.

8.Midas ha'Din: You know that, but they did not know!

9.This explains the retraction in the verse - at first, "V'Al Kol Ish Asher Alav ha'Tav Al Tigashu" - but then, "umi'Mikdashi Tachelu va'Yachelu ba'Anashim ha'Zekenim Asher Lifnei ha'Bayis".

10.(Rav Yosef - Beraisa): We read 'Mikdashi (my Mikdash)' like 'Mekudashai (my holy ones)', people who fulfilled the Torah from Aleph to Tav. (Alshich, brought in ha'Rif - there was no criticism or decree against Tzadikim that had no authority and were unable to protest.)

(e)Immediately, "V'Hinei Shishah Anashim Ba'im?va'Ya'amdu Etzel Mizbe'ach ha'Nechoshes".

(f)Question: The copper Mizbe'ach [of Moshe] was not in the Beis ha'Mikdash (Shlomo replaced it with a stone Mizbe'ach)!

(g)Answer: Hash-m told them to start [killing] where they sing Shirah (with copper instruments).

(h)Question: Who are the six 'men'?

(i)Answer (Rav Chisda): They are Ketzef, Af, Chemah, Mashchis, Meshaber and Mechaleh (angels of wrath and destruction).

(j)Question: Why was the letter 'Tav' written?

(k)Answer #1 (Rav): It signifies Tichyeh (you will live, for Tzadikim) and Tamus (you will die, for Resha'im).

(l)Answer #2 (Shmuel): It signifies that Tamu (ceased) Zechus (the merit of the) Avos. (Tosfos - it ceased for Resha'im; Maharsha - these answers apply to Tzadikim and Resha'im - Resha'im will die without Zechus Avos, Tzadikim will live in their own merit.)

(m)Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): Tachun Zechus Avos (Tzadikim will be graced with it).

(n)Answer #4 (Reish Lakish): It is the end (last letter) of Hash-m's signature [on the decree].

1.(R. Chanina): Hash-m's signature is Emes (truth).

(o)Answer #5 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): It signifies [for Tzadikim] that they fulfilled the Torah from Aleph to Tav [and Resha'im transgressed from Aleph to Tav].

(p)Question: When did Zechus Avos cease? (Ri - when did it cease for Resha'im? R. Tam - Zechus Avos ceased, Bris Avos will never cease.)

(q)Answer #1 (Rav): It ceased in the days of [the Navi] Hoshe'a - "V'Ata Agaleh Es Navlusahv'Ish Lo Yatzilenah" (Yisrael will no longer be saved in the merit of the Avos);

(r)Answer #2 (Shmuel): It ceased in the days of Chaza'el - "Va'Chaza'el Melech Aram Lochatz Es Yisrael?; Va'Yochan Hash-m OsamLema'an Briso Es Avraham Yitzchak v'Ya'akov v'Lo Avah Hashchisam?Ad Atah".

(s)Answer #3 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It was in the days of Eliyahu - "Hash-m Elokei Avraham Yitzchak v'Yisrael ha'Yom Yivada Ki Ata Elokim b'Yisrael" (but after this day there will not be Zechus Avos).

(t)Answer #4 (R. Yochanan): It was in the days of Chizkiyah - "Me'Ata v'Ad Olam Kin'as Hash-m Tzevakos Ta'aseh Zos" (but not Zechus Avos).


(a)(R. Ami): One does not die without Chet - "Ha'Nefesh ha'Choteis Hi Samus?";

1.One is not afflicted (Tosfos - severely) without Avon (intentional sin) - "U'Fokadti v'Shevet Pish'am uvi'Nga'im Avonam".


(b)Question (Beraisa #1): The angels asked Hash-m why he decreed death on Adam ha'Rishon. (Mahadurah Basra - many Mitzvos involve death, surely there would be death even had Adam not sinned - why is death attributed to his sin?)

1.Hash-m: I gave one easy Mitzvah to him, and he transgressed it!

2.The angels: Moshe and Aharon fulfilled the entire Torah, yet they died! (They thought that Hash-m answered why Adam died.)

3.Hash-m: "Mikreh Echad la'Tzadik vela'Rasha" (I decreed that all people will die. Indeed, Moshe and Aharon sinned at Mei Merivah, but this did not cause their death, it only forbade them to enter Eretz Yisrael.)

(c)Answer: R. Ami holds like the following Tana:

1.(Beraisa #2 - R. Shimon ben Elazar): Even Moshe and Aharon died on account of their sin - "Ya'an Lo He'emantem Bi" - had you trusted Me [to speak to the rock exactly as commanded; alternatively, had you done so, you would have elevated Benei Yisrael's belief in Me, and] you would not have to die now.

(d)Question (Beraisa #3): Four people died only on account of [Adam's sin through] the snake (Me'iri - their sins were so small, one cannot fathom that they should be judged for them) - Binyamin, Amram, Yishai, and David's son Kalev.

1.Question: It says "Avigayil Bas Nachash Achos Tzeruyah" - [this] Avigayil was the daughter of Yishai, not of Nachash!

2.Answer: Yishai is called Nachash to teach that he died only on account of the snake.

3.We have a tradition about the other three.

4.Question: Who is the Tana of Beraisa #3?

i.It is not Tana #1 - he holds that Moshe and Aharon also died without sin!

5.Answer: It is R. Shimon ben Elazar - even he holds that one can die without sin and [presumably, also] one may be punished without Avon.

(e)R. Ami is refuted.


(a)(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): If one says that Reuven sinned [like the verse says, that he had relations with Bilhah], he errs!

1."Va'Yihyu Venei Yakov Shneim Asar" - this teaches that all 12 sons of Yakov were equal (all absolute Tzadikim);

2.Question: If so, how do we explain "Va'Yishkav Es Bilhah Pilegesh Aviv"?

3.Answer: This teaches that he moved his father's bed - the Torah considers it as if he had relations with her (Maharsha - because he thought that she was permitted to him, for Kidushin does not apply to slaves; he did not realize that when Rachel gave her to Yakov, this freed her).

(b)(Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): Reuven [was tempted, but] refrained from the sin - had he sinned, the Torah would not have commanded his Shevet to stand on Har Eival and answer Amen to "Arur Shochev Im Eshes Aviv"!

1.Question: If so, how do we explain "Va'Yishkav Es Bilhah Pilegesh Aviv"?

2.Answer: He protested the insult to his mother - 'If Rachel was a Tzarah (competitor) to my mother (Yakov's used to leave his bed in Rachel's tent; after she died, Yakov put it in Bilhah's tent), will her Shifchah be a Tzarah to my mother?!' Therefore, he disturbed the bed.

(c)Others say, he disturbed two beds, of the Shechinah and of Yakov - "Alisa Mishkevei Avicha Az Chilalta Yetzu'i Alah" (the Shechinah used to dwell on Yakov's bed; alternatively, we expound Mishkevei (plural)).

(d)Tana'im argue about whether or not he had relations with her:

1.(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): "PaChaZ ka'Mayim At Tosar" - this is an acronym for Pazasah (you were hasty), Chavtah (you became liable) Zalsah (you disgraced);

2.R. Yehoshua says, Pasatah Al Das (you overstepped the law),Chatasah (you sinned), Zanisah (you had illicit relations);

3.R. Gamliel says, Pilaltah (you prayed to be saved from sinning), Chalsah (you made yourself sick to overcome your urge to sin), Zarchah Tefilasecha (your prayer succeeded);

4.R. Gamliel: We need the opinion of R. Eliezer ha'Moda'i (it is the best)!

5.R. Eliezer ha'Moda'i says, we reverse the word and expound it - Zazatah (you were agitated), Hirtatah (you withdrew), Parchah Chet Mimecha (sin fled from you);

(e)(Rava): [We can reverse the word and expound] Zacharta Onsho Shel Davar (you remembered the punishment for Zenus), Chalisa (you made yourself very sick), Pirashta mi'Lachato (you refrained from sinning).

(f)(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): If one says that Eli's sons sinned [through Zenus, like the verse says], he errs!

1."Shnei Venei Eli Chofni u'Finchas Kohanim la'Shem" - the verse equates them, just like Pinchas did not sin (like Rav expounds below), also Chofni.

2.Question: If so, how do we explain "Asher Yishkevun Es ha'Nashim"?

3.Answer: Because they delayed offering women's birds [to complete their Taharah], they delayed the women from returning to their husbands (hindering Peru u'Revu), the verse considers it as if they slept with them.

(g)(Rav): Pinchas did not sin - it says "Va'Achiyah ben Achituvben Pinchas?" - had he sinned, the verse would not attribute the lineage of a Tzadik to him!

1.Regarding Zenus it says "Yachres HashemEr v'Onah?u'Magish Minchah la'Shem" - if he is a Yisrael, his descendants will not be Er (sharp) among Chachamim or Onah (able to answer) among Talmidim; if he is a Kohen, his descendants will not serve in the Mikdash.

2.Conclusion: Pinchas did not sin.

3.Question: If so, how do we explain "Asher Yishkevun (plural)"?

4.Answer: It is written Yishkevan (lacking a 'Vov', suggesting the singular, only Chofni sinned).

5.Question: How do we explain "Al Banai (plural) Ki Lo Tovah ha'Shem'uah"?

6.Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): This can be read Beni (singular).

7.Question: How do we explain "Ma'avirim (plural)"?

8.Answer (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): [Tosfos - in the Gemara's text of the Navi,] it is written Ma'aviram (singular. Rashi - no text of the Navi says Ma'aviram - this answer and even the question must be deleted ("Ma'avirim" refers to Am Hash-m, not Eli's sons). Maharam - Rashi is bothered that our errant text attributes this answer to a particular Amora.)

9.Question: How do we explain "Benei Veliya'al (plural)"?

10.Answer: Because Pinchas should have protested against Chofni, the verse considers it as if he sinned.