NIKANOR AND THE MIRACULOUS DOORS
Nikanor went to Mitzrayim to bring the doors.
Upon his return there was a storm and the sailors threw one of the doors overboard.
Nikanor laid down on the second door to prevent its loss.
Upon his arrival in Ako, the second door miraculously appeared.
This was alluded to in the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim.
These were the only doors which were not later gilt, either to remind all of the miracle, or because of the quality of the copper.
MISHNAH: THESE WERE NAMED FOR DISCREDIT
Beis Garmu did not wish to teach others the procedure for making the Lecham ha'Panim.
Beis Avtinas did not teach the making of the Ketores.
Hugras b. Levi did not share his unusual vocal talents.
Ben Kamtzar did not teach how to write four letters at once.
BEIS GARMU AND THE LECHEM HAPANIM
The Rabbis were unsuccessful in their attempt to replace the members of Beis Garmu with Alexandrian bakers (they could bake just as well, but they could not do the Rediyah properly).
The Rabbis saw that the honor of Hash-m would be raised through the knowledge granted to Beis Garmu (proof text).
The Beis Garmu only returned when their wages were doubled (either 12-24 or 24-48).
They explained themselves on the grounds of protecting this secret from would-be idolaters.
To their credit, they would never allow clean flour in their homes, to be above suspicion of benefiting from the Lechem ha'Panim.
BEIS AVTINAS AND THE KETORES
The Rabbis were unsuccessful in their attempt to replace the members of Beis Avtinas with Alexandrian craftsmen (they could not cause the smoke to rise as straight).
The Rabbis saw that the honor of Hash-m would be raised through the knowledge granted to Beis Avtinas (a different proof text).
As above, they returned when their wages were doubled, and justified themselves on the same grounds.
To their credit, they would never allow a bride to be perfumed, to remain above suspicion of benefiting from the Ketores.
R. Yishmael remarked that justice had been done in that the honor of Hash-m was maintained and that of Beis Avtinas was reduced.
R. Yishmael b. Luga reported of the descendant who cried and laughed, but did not give over the secret.
R. Yochanan b. Nuri reported that one of their descendants gave over the secret, and R. Akiva indicated that they are not to be discredited any longer.
Ben Azai learned from these incidents that a person should not be concerned, that he will surely receive that which was designated for him, for none can impinge on another, even an instant of one monarchy upon another.
HUGRAS BEN LEVI AND BEN KAMTZAR
He would insert his thumb... and the Kohanim, upon hearing the sound, would tilt back their heads.
Ben Kamtzar could write a four-lettered word at once, using a quill between each finger.
All found a defense for themselves except Ben Kamtzar.
THOSE HONORED AND THOSE DISCREDITED
Those mentioned in the earlier Mishnah are credited with the Pasuk "Zecher Tzadik li'Verachah" while these are discredited with the end of the Pasuk, "ve'Shem Resha'im Yirkav".
R. Elazar explained "Yirkav" as spoiling of their names such that fathers will not use them for their sons.
Question: But Do'eg b. Yosef...?
Answer: You see what happened to him in the end (slaughtered and eaten).
OTHER AGADIC DISCOURSES OF R. ELAZAR
The righteous are recalled upon mention of their good deeds while the evildoers are even recalled upon mention of the ill-deeds of their peers (proof text).
Ravina asked of, and heard from his student regarding the Torah source for "Zecher Tzadik li'Verachah" (by Avraham) and "Shem Reshaim Yirkav" (by S'dom).
A righteous person (Ovadyah) can succeed in maintaining his righteousness even dwelling among evil people and the reverse (Eisav).
From the blessing of the righteous (Avraham) we can learn the curse of the evildoers (S'dom) and the reverse (S'dom and Avram).
The world is created even for one Tzadik...(Tov is Tzadik).
One who forgets his learning causes exile to his sons (proof text) and (R. Avahu) is reduced from his greatness.
OTHER AGADIC TEACHINGS (R. Chiya b. Aba citing R. Yochanan)
A new Tzadik rises before the previous Tzadik dies (Eili and Shmuel).
Hash-m saw that the Tzadikim are rare and so He spread them through the generations.
The world endures even for one Tzadik (proof text) [R. Chiya himself cites an alternate proof text (Chasidav without a vav)].
After the majority of one's years have passed without sin...
(Beis R. Shila): After one has overcome temptation twice...
(Resh Lakish): From the Pasuk we learn that one who wishes to corrupt is allowed, and one who comes to purify is assisted.