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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day that I remember them, saith the Lord.1 And R. Zera?2 — That text1 refers3 to the vessels of ministry.4 And Rab Judah? — Another text also is available:3 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field, [that ye awaken not, nor stir up love,5 until it please]'.6 And R. Zera? — That7 implies that Israel shall not go up [all together as if surrounded] by a wall.8 And Rab Judah? — Another 'I adjure you'9 is written in Scripture. And R. Zera? — That text is required for [an exposition] like that of R. Jose son of R. Hanina who said: 'What was the purpose of those three adjurations?10 — One, that Israel shall not go up [all together as if surrounded] by a wall;8 the second, that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured Israel that they shall not rebel against the nations of the world; and the third is that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured the idolaters that they shall not oppress Israel too much'. And Rab Judah? — It is written in Scripture, That ye awaken not, nor stir up.11 And R. Zera? — That text is required for [an exposition] like that of R. Levi who stated: 'What was the purpose of those six adjurations?12 — Three for the purposes just mentioned and the others, that [the prophets] shall not make known the end,13 that [the people] shall not14 delay15 the end,13 and that they shall not reveal the secret16 to the idolaters'.
By the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field.17 R. Eleazar explained: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, 'If you will keep the adjuration, well and good; but if not, I will permit your flesh [to be a prey] like [that of] the gazelles and the hinds of the field'.
R. Eleazar said: Whoever is domiciled in the Land of Israel lives without sin, for it is said in Scripture, And the inhabitant shall not say, 'I am sick', the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.18 Said Raba19 to R. Ashi; We apply this [text]18 to those who suffer from disease.
R. Anan said; Whoever is buried in the Land of Israel is deemed to be20 buried under the altar; since in respect of the latter21 it is written in Scripture, At altar of earth thou shalt make unto me,22 and in respect of the former23 it is written in Scripture, And his laud doth make expiation for his people.24
'Ulla was in the habit of paying visits to the Land of Israel but came to his eternal rest25 outside the Land — [When people] came and reported this to R. Eleazar he exclaimed, 'Thou 'Ulla, shouldst die in an unclean land!'26 'His coffin', they said to him, 'has arrived'.27 'Receiving a man in his lifetime', he replied, 'is not the same as receiving him after his death'.
A certain man28 who fell under the obligation [of marrying]29 a sister-in-law30 at Be Hozae31 came to R. Hanina and asked him whether it was proper32 to go down there to contract with her levirate marriage. 'His brother', [R. Hanina] replied, 'married a heathen33 and died, blessed be the Omnipresent Who slew him, and this one would follow him!'
Rab Judah stated in the name of Samuel: As it is forbidden to leave the Land of Israel for Babylon so it is forbidden to leave
Babylon34 for other countries. Both
Rabbah and R. Joseph said: Even from
Pumbeditha35 to Be
A man once moved from Pumbeditha to [settle in] Be Kubi and R. Joseph placed him under the ban.
Both Rabbah and R. Joseph stated: The fit40 persons of Babylon are received38 by the Land of Israel, and the fit40 ones of other countries are received41 by Babylon. In what respect?42 If it be suggested: In respect of purity of descent,43 surely [it may be objected,] did not the Master say, 'All countries are [like] dough44 towards the Land of Israel,45 and the Land of Israel is [like] dough towards Babylon'?46 — The fact, however, [is that the 'fit'47 are received] in respect of burial.48
Rab Judah said: Whoever lives in Babylon is accounted as though he lived in the Land of Israel; for it is said in Scripture,
Zion, escape, thou that dwellest with the daughter of
Abaye stated: We have a tradition that Babel50 will not witness the sufferings51 [that will precede the coming] of the Messiah.52 He [also] explained it53 to refer54 to Huzal55 in Benjamin which would be named56 the Corner of Safety.57
R. Eleazar stated: The dead outside the Land58 will not be resurrected; for it is said in Scripture, And I will set glory59 in the land of the living,60 [implying] the dead of the land in which I have my desire61 will be resurrected, but the dead [of the land] in which I have no desire will not be resurrected.
R. Abba b. Memel objected: Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise;62 does not [the expression] 'Thy dead shall live' refer to the dead of the Land of Israel, and 'My dead bodies shall arise' to the dead outside the Land;63 while the text,64 And I will give glory65 in the land of the living60 was written of Nebuchadnezzar concerning whom the All-Merciful said, 'I will bring against them a king who is as swift as a stag'?66 — The other replied: Master, I am making an
exposition of another Scriptural text: He that
giveth breath unto the people upon
it,67 and spirit to them that walk
therein.68 But is it not written,
My dead bodies shall
arise?69 — That was written
in reference to miscarriages.70 Now
as to R. Abba b. Memel, what [is the application] he makes of the
text,71 'He that giveth breath
unto the people upon it'? — He requires it for [an exposition] like
that of R. Abbahu who stated: Even a Canaanite bondwoman who [lives] in the
Land of Israel is assured of a place
in72 the world to come, [for in the
context] here it is written, unto the
it,74 and elsewhere it is written,
Abide ye here with75 the
ass76 [which may be
rendered]77 people that are like
And spirit to them that work therein74 [teaches], said R. Jeremiah b. Abba in the name of R. Johanan, that whoever walks four cubits in the Land of Israel is assured of a place79 in the world to come. Now according to R. Eleazar,80 would not the righteous outside the Land81 be revived?82 — R. Elai replied: [They will be revived] by rolling [to the Land of Israel]. R. Abba Sala the Great demurred: Will not the rolling be painful to the righteous? — Abaye replied: Cavities will be made for them underground.
Thou shalt carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying-place.83 Karna remarked: [There must be here] some inner meaning. Our father Jacob well knew that he was a righteous man in every way, and, since the dead outside the Land will also be resurrected, why did he trouble his sons?84 Because he might possibly be unworthy to [roll through] the cavities.85
Similarly you read in Scripture, And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, [saying … ye shall carry up my bones from hence],86 and R. Hanina remarked: [There is here] an inner meaning. Joseph well knew himself to be a righteous man in every way, and, since the dead outside the Land87 will be revived, why did he trouble his brothers [with a journey of] four hundred parasangs? Because he might possibly be unworthy to [roll through] the cavities.88
His brothers89 sent [the following message] to Rabbah:90 'Jacob well knew that he was a righteous man in every way' etc.91 Ilfa added to this the following incident. A man was once troubled on account of [his inability to marry] a certain woman92 and desired to go down [to her country]; but as soon as he heard this91 he resigned himself to his unmarried state93 until the day of his death. Although you are a great scholar [you will admit that] a man who studies on his own cannot be on a par with a man who learns from his master. And perchance you might think that you have no master [good enough for you here, we may inform you that] you have one, and he is94 R. Johanan. If you are not coming up, however, beware [we advise you] of three things. Do not sit too long, for [long] sitting aggravates one's abdominal troubles;95 do not stand for a long time, because [long] standing is injurious to the heart; and do not walk too much, because [excessive] walking is harmful to the eyes. Rather [spend] one third [of your time] in sitting, one third in standing and one third in walking. Standing is better than sitting when one has nothing to lean against.
'Standing'! How can this be imagined in view of the statement that '[long] standing is injurious to the heart'? — What was meant in fact was this:96 Better than sitting
with nothing to lean against is standing with something to lean against.
And thus [his brothers]1 proceeded to say [in their message]: — 'Isaac and Simeon and Oshaia were unanimous in their view that2 the halachah is in agreement with R. Judah in [respect of the mating of] mules'. For it was taught: If a mule was craving for sexual gratification it must not be mated with a horse or an ass3 but [only with one of] its own species.4
R. Eleazar said; The illiterate10 will not be resurrected, for it is said in Scripture, The dead will not live etc.11 So it was also taught: The dead will not live.11 As this might [be assumed to refer] to all, it was specifically stated, The lax12 will not rise,11 [thus indicating] that the text speaks only of such a man as was lax in the study of the words of the Torah.13 Said R. Johanan to him:14 it is no satisfaction to their Master15 that you should speak to them in this manner. That text16 was written of a man who was so lax as17 to worship idols. 'I', the other18 replied, 'make an exposition [to the same effect] from another text. For it is written in Scripture, For thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the dead.19 him who makes use of the 'light' of the Torah will the 'light' of the Torah revive, but him who makes no use of the light of the Torah20 the light of the Torah will not revive'. Observing, however, that he21 was distressed, he18 said to him, 'Master, I have found for them22 a remedy in the Pentateuch: But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day;23 now is it possible to 'cleave' to the divine presence concerning which it is written in Scripture, For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire?24 But [the meaning is this:] Any man who marries his daughter to a scholar, or carries on a trade on behalf of scholars,25 or benefits scholars from his estate is regarded by Scripture26 as if he had cleaved to the divine presence.27 Similarly you read in Scripture, To love the Lord thy God, [to hearken to His voice,] and to cleave unto Him.28 Is it possible for a human being to 'cleave' unto the divine presence? But [what was meant is this:] Any man who marries his daughter to a scholar, or carries on a trade for scholars, or benefits scholars from his estate is regarded by Scripture as if he had cleaved to the divine presence.
R. Hiyya b. Joseph said: A time will come when the just will break through [the soil] and rise up in Jerusalem, for it is said in Scripture, And they will blossom out of the city like grass of the earth,29 and by 'city' only Jerusalem can be meant for it is said in Scripture, For I will defend this city.30
R. Hiyya b. Joseph further stated: The just in the time to come will rise [apparelled] in their own clothes.31 [This is deduced] a minori ad majus from a grain of wheat. If a grain of wheat that is buried32 naked sprouts up with many coverings how much more so the just who are buried in their shrouds.
R. Hiyya b. Joseph further stated: There will be a time when the Land of Israel will produce baked cakes of the purest quality33 and silk34 garments, for it is said in Scripture, There will be a rich35 cornfield36 in the land.37
Our Rabbis taught: There will be a rich cornfield in the Land upon the top of the mountains.37 [From this] it was inferred that there will be a time when wheat will rise as high as a palm-tree and will grow on the top of the mountains. But in case you should think that there will be trouble in reaping it, it was specifically said in Scripture, its fruit shall rustle like Lebanon;37 the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring a wind from his treasure houses which He will cause to blow upon it. This will loosen its fine flour and a man will walk out into the field and take a mere handful38 and, out of it, will [have sufficient provision for] his own, and his household's maintenance.
With the kidney-fat of wheat.39 [From this] it was inferred that there will be a time when a grain of wheat will be as large as the two kidneys of a big bull. And you need not marvel at this, for a fox once made his nest In a turnip and when [the remainder of the vegetable] was weighed, it was found [to be] sixty pounds in the pound weight of Sepphoris.40
It was taught: R. Joseph41 related: It once happened to a man42 at Shihin43 to whom his father had left three twigs of mustard that one of these split and was found to contain nine kab of mustard, and its timber sufficed to cover a potter's hut.
And of the blood of the grape thou drankest foaming wine.47 It was inferred: The world to come is not like this world. In this world there is the trouble of harvesting and treading [of the grapes], but in the world to come a man will bring one grape48 on a wagon or a ship, put it in a corner of his house and use its contents as [if it had been] a large wine cask, while its timber49 would be used to make fires for cooking.50 There will be no grape that will not contain thirty kegs51 of wine, for it is said is Scripture, And of the blood of the grape thou drankest foaming wine,52 read not 'foaming'53 but homer.54
When R. Dimi came55 he made the following statement: What is the implication in the Scriptural text, Binding his foal56 unto the vine?57 There is not a vine in the Land of Israel that does not require [all the inhabitants of] one city58 to harvest it; And his ass's colt59 into the choice60 vine,57 there is not even a wild61 tree in the Land of Israel that does not produce a load of [fruit for] two she-asses.62 In case you should imagine that it contains no wine, it was explicitly said in Scriptures, He washes his garments in wine.57 And since you might say that it is not red it was explicitly stated, And of the blood of the grape thou drankest foaming wine.63 And in case you should say that it does not cause intoxication it was stated, His vesture.64 And in case you should think that it is tasteless it was expressly stated, His eyes shall be red65 with wine,66 any palate that will taste it says, 'To me, to me'.67 And since you might say that it is suitable for young people but unsuitable for old, it was explicitly stated And his teeth white with milk;66 read not, 'teeth white'68 but 'To him who is advanced in years'.69
In what [sense] is the plain meaning of the text70 to be understood?71 — When R. Dimi came72 he explained: The congregation of Israel said to the Holy One, blessed be He, 'Lord of the Universe, wink to me with Thine eyes,73 which [to me will be] sweeter than wine, and shew74 me Thy teeth which will be sweeter than milk'.73 [This interpretation] provides support for R. Johanan who said; The man who [by smiling affectionately] shews75 his teeth to his friend is better than one who gives bins milk to drink, for it is said in Scriptures, And his teeth white with milk,70 read not 'teeth white' but 'shewing the teeth'.76
R. Hiyya b. Adda77 was the Scriptural tutor of the young children of Resh Lakish. [On one occasion] he took a three days' holiday78 and did not come [to teach the children]. 'Why', the other asked hiss when he returned, 'did you take a holiday?' 'My father', he replied, 'left me one espalier79 and on the first day I cut from it three hundred clusters [of grapes], each cluster yielding one keg. On the second day I cut three hundred clusters, each two of which yielded one keg. On the third day I cut three hundred clusters, each three of which yielded one keg, and so I renounced my ownership of more than one half of it'. 'If you had not taken a holiday [from the Torah]', the other told him, 'it would have yielded much more'.80
Rami b. Ezekiel once paid a visit to Bene-berak81 where he saw goats grazing under fig-trees while honey was flowing from the figs, and milk ran from them, and these mingled with each other. 'This is indeed', he remarked, '[a land] flowing with milk and honey'.82
Resh Lakish said: I myself saw the flow of the milk and honey of Sepphoris86 and it extended [over an area of] sixteen by sixteen miles.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said: I saw the flow of the milk and honey in all the Land of Israel
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