Previous Folio / Kethuboth Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 8a

who has1  created all things2  to his glory'. and3  'the Creator of man', and 'who has created man in his image. In the image of the likeness of his form, and has prepared unto him4  out of himself5  a building forever.6  Blessed art thou, O Lord, Creator of man'.7  'May the barren8  greatly rejoice and exult9  when her children will be gathered10  in her midst in joy.11  Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who maketh Zion joyful through12  her children'13  'Mayest Thou make the loved14  companions greatly to rejoice, even as of old15  Thou didst gladden Thy creature16  in the Garden of Eden. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who maketh bridegroom and bride to rejoice'.17  'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our King, God of the universe, who has created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, song, mirth, and delight,18  love, and brotherhood, and peace, and friendship.19  Speedily, O Lord our God, may be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of the singing20  of bridegrooms from their canopies21  and of youths from their feasts22  of song. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who maketh the bridegroom to rejoice with23  the bride'.24

Levi came25  to the house of Rabbi to26  the wedding-feast of R. Simeon his son [and] said five benedictions.27  R. Assi came25  to the house of R. Ashi to26  the wedding-feast of Mar his son [and] said six benedictions.28  Does it mean to say that they differ in this: that one holds that there was one formation,29  and the other holds that there were two formations?30  — No. All31  agree [that] there was [only] one formation, [but they differ in this:] one holds [that] we go according32  to the intention,33  and the other holds [that] we go according32  to the fact,34  as that [statement] of Rab Judah [who] asked:35  It is written, And God created man in his own image,36  and it is written, Male and female created He them.37  How is this [to be understood]? [In this way:] In the beginning it was the intention38  [of God] to create two [human beings], and in the end [only] one [human being] was created.

R. Ashi came to the house of R. Kahana.39  The first day40  he said all the benedictions.41  From then and further on;42  if there were new guests43  he said all the benedictions, but if not [he declared] it to be merely a continuance of the same joy44  [in which case] one says [only] the benedictions 'in whose dwelling there is joy'45  and 'who has created'.46  From the seventh day to the thirtieth day.47  whether he48  said to them49  'because of the wedding50  or whether he did not say to them 'because of the wedding', one says the benediction 'in whose dwelling there is joy'.51  From then52  and further on;53  if he said to them 'because of the wedding' he says the benediction 'in whose dwelling there is joy', but not otherwise.54  And if he says to them 'because of the wedding', until when [is this benediction said]?55  Said R. Papi in the name of Raba: Twelve months [forming] a year.56  And at first57  from when?58  Said R. Papa: From the time that they put barley into the mortar.59  But this is not so? Did not R. Papa busy himself for his son Abba Mar60  and say the benediction61  from the time of the betrothal? — It was different [in the case of] A. Papa, because he took the trouble [of preparing everything for the wedding].62  Rabina busied himself for his son63  in the house of R. Habiba and said the benediction61  from the time of the betrothal. He said: I am sure with regard to them that they will not retract [the betrothal].64  [But] the matter was not successful65  and they did retract. R. Tahlifa, son of the West,66  came to Babylon [and] said six long benedictions.67  But the law is not according to him. R. Habiba came into the house of a circumcision68  [and] said the benediction 'in whose dwelling there is joy.' But the law is not according to him, since they are distressed because the child has pain.

R. Nahman said [that] Rab said: Bridegrooms are of the number, and mourners are not of the number.69  An objection was raised: Bridegrooms and mourners are of the number? — You ask [from] a Baraitha against Rab?70  Rab is a Tanna and differs!71  It has been said: R. Isaac said [that] R. Johanan said: Bridegrooms are of the number, and mourners are not of the number. An objection was raised: Bridegrooms and mourners are of the number?72  —

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. It is common usage to translate in the Prayer books the perfect verb 'has' in the benediction by 'hast' (created, etc.).
  2. Lit., 'all'.
  3. I.e., also the benediction of ('the Creator of man'). The words, 'the Creator of man' are preceded by the words, 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,' as in the first benediction.
  4. Unto man.
  5. Out of man. P.B. 'out of his very self.'
  6. Lit., 'a building even to perpetuity.' By 'a building for ever', Eve is meant. V. Rashi, a.l. and cf. Gen. II. 22. 'A building for ever' contains the idea of 'the mother of all living' (Gen. III, 20). It is woman that carries the human race. P.B. p. 299: — 'a perpetual fabric' — expresses well this idea.
  7. These three benedictions are based on Gen. I and II. In the first benediction God is praised for the creation of the world ('the all'). In the second benediction God is praised for the creation of man. 'Man' is used here in the sense of 'human being', cf. Gen. I, 27. In the third benediction God is praised for fashioning man in his image, in the image of the likeness of his form, and for preparing a perpetual building out of man himself. In creating Eve, out of man, god provided for the perpetual renewal of man, of the human being. The divine form of man and the continual re-creation of man, by ever recurring new births, in the divine form, are the subjects of praise in the third benediction while the subject of the second benediction is the creation of man generally. 'The Creator of man', in the concluding portion of the third benediction, has already the further meaning of the creation of man as expressed in the third benediction. In this respect 'The Creator of Man', in the third benediction, differs from 'The Creator of Man' of the second benediction. This might also explain the difficulty which has been felt to exist in the relationship of these two benedictions (v. the Gemara later and Rashi a.l.; v. also Abrahams' Notes, P.B. p. ccxvi).
  8. I.e., Zion; cf. Isa. LIV.
  9. Cf. Isa. LXI, 10 and LXII, 5.
  10. Lit., 'at the gathering of her children.'
  11. Cf. Isa. LIV, 1-3.
  12. Lit., in 'with'.
  13. I.e., by restoring to Zion her children. This benediction seems to have arisen out of Isa. LXII. Cf. especially vv. 4 and 5. And according to Ps. CXXXVII, Jerusalem is to be remembered and set 'above my chiefest joy'; Rashi a.l. (fol. 8a).
  14. I.e., the bridegroom and the bride.
  15. The word [H] in Gen. II, 8, means 'eastward'. Here it is used in the sense of 'in former times', 'of old'.
  16. I.e., Adam, by giving him a wife; cf. Gen. II, 23. Adam and Eve rejoiced at their union. And so may the bridegroom and bride rejoice.
  17. The last two benedictions do not begin with 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord out God, King of the universe,' because they are in fact prayers. In the first, second and third benedictions God is praised for what he had done. In the fourth as well as in the fifth benediction a prayer is uttered that God may cause something to happen, namely joy to Zion, or to the bridegroom and the bride. For another explanation, v. Rashi and Tosaf. a.l. V., however, Rashi s.v.jnan. The fifth benediction seems to have resulted from the fourth benediction. V. supra n. 4 and cf. Isa. LXII, 5. The two prayers, like the two ideas contained in vv. 4 and 5, were bound up with one another.
  18. All these words mean 'joy'. [H] means dancing with joy'.
  19. Or, 'fellowship', companionship'.
  20. Lit., 'breakings forth into song, shouts of joy'.
  21. In the Hebrew text the singular is used. Canopy means here 'a bridal chamber'. Cf. Joel II, 16.
  22. In the Hebrew text the singular is used.
  23. In this benediction the joy referred to is the joy of the bridegroom with the bride (Rashi).
  24. In this benediction God is praised for the creation of joy in its various forms. Bridegroom and bride represent joy. True joy leads to love and friendship. These six benedictions are recited at Jewish weddings up to this day. The benediction over the wine is added to them, and together they are called 'the Seven Benedictions'. The loftiness of tone and the beauty of style of these benedictions are unsurpassed. The blend of Biblical strength and Midrashic sweetness seems to point to an early date.
  25. Lit., 'happened to come'.
  26. Lit., 'in'. A more correct translation might be, 'during'.
  27. Lit., 'blessed five'. Apparently the second benediction was left out (Rashi).
  28. I.e., all the six benedictions.
  29. For man and woman. Therefore one benediction for the creation of man and woman is sufficient. This would be the third benediction.
  30. One of man and one of woman.
  31. Lit., 'the whole world.'
  32. Lit., 'after'.
  33. The intention was to create two human beings: man and woman.
  34. Only' man was formed, and woman was 'built' out of him; cf. Gen. II, 7 and 22.
  35. Lit., 'to throw up a question'.
  36. Gen. I, 27.
  37. Gen. V, 2: It seems that R. Judah does not ask his question merely from the first five words of Gen. I, 27, and from the first three words of Gen. V, 2, for in that case there would have been no need for him to refer to Gen, V, 2, since he could have asked the question from the last words of Gen 1. 27 'male and female he created them' but his question is from the whole verse 27 in Gen I and from the whole verse 2 in Gen V. The meaning of the question should be this: Gen I, 27 begins by saying that God created man and ends by saying that man was created as male and female. The last words of Gen I, 27 would thus shew that there were two creations. Gen V, 2 begins by saying that God created them male and female, and then it says, as He blessed them and called their name Man in the day when they were created. This verse would shew that in the end there was only one creation. In short: Gen. I, 27. begins with one creation and ends with two creations, and Gen V, 2, begins with two creations and ends with one creation. This, it seems, is the question of Rab Judah. Rab Judah quoted the verses by quoting the first portions of the verse. He really meant to say 'etc.' — In 'Er. 18a and Ber. 61a the name is R. Abbahu. In 'Er. 18a, in the image of God hath he created man, is quoted from Gen. I, 27. In Ber. 61a, 'for in the image of God made he man' (Gen. IX, 6) is quoted. This quotation apparently stands for that of Gen. I, 27. Both in 'Er. 18a and Ber. 61a 'male and female created He them' is quoted first.
  38. Lit., 'it went up in the thought', namely of God. A sense of reverence does not allow Rab Judah to mention 'God' after 'thought'. The meaning of the answer is: At first God intended to create two human beings, man and woman (Gen I. 27). But in the end only man was created by God, and woman was 'built' by God out of man (Gen V, 2)
  39. I.e., to the wedding-feast.
  40. The first of the seven days of the wedding festivities, which began after the marriage ceremony; v. supra 7b.
  41. Lit., 'he blessed all of them.'
  42. Lit., 'from now'. I.e., from the second day to the end of the seven days.
  43. Lit., 'new faces': cf. supra 7b.
  44. If there were new guests it would be a new occasion for joy.
  45. Lit., 'the joy'.
  46. The sixth benediction.
  47. Lit., 'from seven to thirty.'
  48. The host, as a rule the father of the bride.
  49. The invited guests.
  50. 'I have invited you here to dinner' (Rashi).
  51. [H] v. p. 35, n. 1.
  52. Lit., 'from now'.
  53. I.e., after the thirty days.
  54. Lit., 'if not, not'.
  55. The benediction 'in whose dwelling there is joy'.
  56. I.e., the whole of the first year. The phrase 'in whose dwelling there is joy' occurs here for the first time. Commenting on this phrase Rashi says 'at the beginning of the summons (to say Grace).' The words 'in whose dwelling there is joy' are indeed used in the introduction to the Grace after meals at weddings; v. P.B. p. 300. Cf. also Abrahams' Notes, p. ccxviii, and Baer, Seder Abodoth Israel, p. 563. But the question arises: was [H] said before the Grace after meals in Talmudic times? In our text there is no indication that this was so. Another question is: did the whole benediction consist of the words [H]? Or were they the initial words of a longer benediction? The benediction [H] 'who has created' mentioned together with it is the sixth benediction, the longest of the six benedictions. One is thus very much tempted to think that [H] were words of a longer benediction probably introduced by the formula 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe' and said as a substitute for the first five benedictions. The key note of the first five benedictions is joy. Joy speaks out of every benediction; there was joy in the creation of the universe, in the creation of man, in the formation of man and woman. There is joy in the fourth and fifth benedictions. The joy in the first three benedictions is the joy of God. The joy in the fourth and fifth benedictions is also divine joy. The sixth benediction speaks of the joy created by God for man, 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord out God, King of the Universe, who has created joy and gladness.' etc. The joy of the first five benedictions is summarized by the words, 'in whose dwelling there is joy.' There is joy on high, there is joy with God. This joy is spoken of in the first five benedictions. And this joy is also expressed briefly in the words 'in whose dwelling there is joy'. The human joy, created by God, is expressed in the sixth benediction [H], while [H] stands for the benediction which was a substitute for the first five benedictions. On the first day of the wedding the six benedictions were said. After the first day, if there were no new guests, two benedictions were said. After the seventh day only one benediction was said. And that benediction was 'in whose dwelling there is joy.' Man's joy began to diminish. So only God's joy was now mentioned. In the time after the Talmud [H] was given a place in the introduction to the Grace after meals at weddings, instead of being said as a full benediction after Grace, because the full text of this benediction was not mentioned in the Talmud. It may be that the tradition that the full benediction (with 'Blessed art Thou,' etc.) was said, was lost. It was felt that [H] was left hanging in the air and it was incorporated in the summons to say Grace; v. P.B., p. 300. That the word [H] was chosen to denote the dwelling of God may be due to the fact that it is mentioned in Hag. 12b as the heavenly region in which the angels sing; v. Abrahams and Baer, loc. cit. [H] is there spoken of as the fifth of the seven firmaments. Might there not be in it an allusion to the five benedictions, for which the benediction of [H] is a substitute?
  57. Or, 'originally.' i.e., 'before the wedding.'
  58. Does one say 'In whose dwelling there is joy'.
  59. Or trough (for brewing beer), or pot (for planting barley for the wedding ceremony). The meaning of this phrase is: from the time that they begin making preparations for the wedding (v. Rashi).
  60. I.e., R. Papa had his son engaged to be married.
  61. In whose dwelling there is joy'.
  62. As all preparations for the wedding and the wedding-feast were made, R. Papa felt that he could say the benediction.
  63. I.e., Rabina had his son engaged (Rashi).
  64. And therefore he said the benedictions.
  65. Lit., 'the matter was not supported (by divine help).
  66. I.e., son of Palestine, Palestinian. It may be that [H] ('West') was the name of the father of R. Tahlifa; v. Levy, s.v. But the mention of Babylon seems to support the rendering 'son of the West', 'Palestinian'.
  67. He extended the first two benedictions by making additions to them (Rashi). It is possible that 'by long' is meant the full benedictions as they are given on fol. 8a, in contradistinction to the short blessing [H].
  68. I.e., a house in which a circumcision took place, followed by a festive meal.
  69. There must be ten male persons for the recital of the six (or seven) 'benedictions of the bridegrooms', v. supra 7a and 7b. The benediction of the mourners is also said in the presence of ten male persons, v. infra 8b. R. Nahman says in the name of Rab that bridegrooms may be of the ten, but mourners may not be of the ten. There must be ten without the mourners.
  70. Lit., 'You throw a Baraitha against Rab.'
  71. I.e., Rab's authority is as great as that of a Tanna and he has therefore the right to differ with other Tannaim, Teachers of Mishnah or Baraitha.
  72. The same question is asked against R. Johanan as was asked against Rab. But the answer which was effective in the case of Rab could not be given with regard to R. Johanan. Therefore different answers are attempted, v. infra 8b.

Kethuboth 8b

With regard to what was that taught?1  With regard to Grace after meals;2  [and] with regard to what did R. Johanan say [this ruling]?3  With regard to the line [of comforters].4  But [then] what of the dictum5  of which )R. Isaac said [that] R. Johanan said: 'One says the benediction6  of the bridegrooms in the presence of ten [male persons] and the bridegrooms are of the number, and [one says] the benediction of the mourners7  in the presence of ten [male persons] and the mourners are not of the number' — is there a benediction [said] in the line [of comforters]?8  — But [the answer is]: With regard to what did R. Johanan say [this ruling]?3  with regard to the [benediction recited in the] open space.9  But [then] what of the dictum which R. Isaac said [that] R. Johanan said: 'One says the benediction of the bridegrooms in the presence of ten [male persons] all the seven [days]10  and the bridegrooms are of the number, and [one says] the benediction of the mourners in the presence of ten [male persons] all the seven [days]11  and the mourners are not of the number — is the benediction [recited in] the open space said all the seven days?12  — It is possible in the presence of new friends13  — as in the case of14  R. Hiyya. the son of Abba, [who was] the Bible teacher of the son15  of Resh Lakish, or, as some say,16  the Mishnah teacher of the son of Resh Lakish. [It happened as follows:] A child [of R. Hiyya, the son of Abba] died,17  The first day18  he [Resh Lakish] did not go to him. The next day19  he [Resh Lakish] took with him20  Judah the son of Nahmani,21  his meturgeman.22  [and] said to him: Rise [and] say something23  with regard to24  [the death of] the child. He spoke25  and said: [It is written.] And the Lord saw and spurned, because of the provoking of His sons and His daughters.26  [This means, in] a generation [in which the fathers spurn the Holy One, blessed be He, He is angry with their sons and their daughters and they die when they are young.27  And some say [that] he [the child of R. Hiyya, the son of Abba, that died] was a young man28  and that he [Judah the son of Nahmani] said thus to him:29  Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall He have compassion on their fatherless and widows; for every one is profane and an evil-doer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.30  (What is the meaning31  of 'but His hand is stretched out still'? Said R. Hanan, the son of Rab:32  All know for what purpose33  a bride is brought into the bridal chamber, but whoever disgraces his mouth and utters34  a word of folly-even if a [divine] decree35  of seventy years of happiness36  were sealed [and granted] unto him,37  it is turned for him into evil.) — He came to comfort, [and] he grieved him? This he said to him: Thou art important enough to be held responsible38  for [the shortcomings of] the generation.39  He40  [then] said to him:41  Rise [and] say something with regard to the praise of the Holy One, blessed be He He spoke and said: The God,42  who is great in the abundance of His greatness, mighty and strong in the multitude of awe-inspiring deeds, who reviveth the dead with his word,43  who does great things that are unsearchable44  and wondrous works without number.45  Blessed art thou, O Lord, who revivest the dead.46  He47  then 'said to him:48  Rise [and] say something with regard to the mourners. He spoke and said: Our brethren, who are worn out, who are crushed by this bereavement,49  set your heart to consider50  this: This it is [that] stands for ever,51  it is a path from the six days of creation.52  Many have drunk, many will drink,53  as the drinking of the first ones, so will be that of the last ones. Our brethren, the Lord of consolation comfort you. Blessed be He who comforteth the mourners. (Said Abaye: 'Many have drunk' he should have said, 'many will drink' one should not have said, 'the drinking of the first ones', he should have said, 'the drinking of the last ones' one should not have said, for R. Simeon, the son of Lakish,54  said, and so one has taught in the name of R. Jose: Man should never open his mouth to Satan.55  Said R. Joseph: What text [shows this]? We should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah.56  What did He57  reply unto him?58  Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, etc.59  ) He60  [then] said to him:61  Rise [and] say something with regard to the comforters of the mourners.62  He spoke and said: Our brethren, bestowers of lovingkindnesses, sons of bestowers of lovingkindnesses, who hold fast to the covenant of Abraham our father63  [for it is said, For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children, etc.],64  our brethren, may the Lord of recompense pay you your reward. Blessed art Thou who payest the recompense. He65  [then] said unto him:66  Rise [and] say something with regard to the whole of Israel. He spoke and said: Master of the worlds, redeem and save, deliver [and] help Thy people Israel from pestilence,67  and from the sword, and from plundering,68  and from the blast, and from the mildew, and from all kinds of calamities that [may] break forth and come into69  the world. Before we call, mayest Thou answer,70  Blessed art Thou who stayest the plague.71  'Ulla said, and some say [that] it was taught in a Baraitha: Ten cups [of wine] the scholars have instituted [to be drunk] in the house of the mourner: Three before the meal in order to open the small bowels, three during the meal in order to dissolve the food in the bowels, and four after the meal: one corresponding to 'who feedeth',72  one corresponding to the blessing of 'the land',72  one corresponding to 'who rebuildeth Jerusalem,72  and one corresponding to 'who is good and doeth good'.72  They [then] added unto them [another] four [cups]: one in honour of the officers of the town, and one in honour of the leaders of the town, and one in honour of the Temple. and one in honour of Rabban Gamaliel. [When] they began to drink [too much] and to become intoxicated, they restored the matter to its original state.73  What [about] Rabban Gamaliel? — As it has been taught: At first the carrying out of the dead74  was harder for his relatives75  than his death,76  so that they left him77  and ran away, until Rabban Gamaliel78  came and adopted a simple style and they carried him out79  in garments of linen, and [then] all the people followed his example and carried out [the dead]80  in garments of linen. Said R. Papa: And now it is the general practice [to carry out the dead] even in rough cloth worth [only] a zuz.81

R. Eleazar said:

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lit., 'When was that taught'. In the Baraitha (that mourners ate also of the number)
  2. Lit., 'the benediction of food'.
  3. That mourners are not of the number.
  4. The line of comforters which was formed to offer consolation to the mourners after a burial, v. Sanh. 19a.
  5. Lit., 'But as to this that'.
  6. 'The blessing, or benediction, of the bridegrooms' has a collective sense. The six (or seven) benedictions are meant.
  7. Has also a collective sense; v. infra.
  8. Does one say benedictions in the line that is formed, after the burial of the dead, so that the friends may comfort the mourners? There only words of comfort are said, but no benedictions. In Sanh.. 19a one word of comfort is mentioned: [H], 'be comforted'.
  9. The benedictions of the mourners were said in the open space, v. infra.
  10. Of the wedding festivities.
  11. Of mourning.
  12. Lit., 'Is there a benediction of the open space all the seven days?'
  13. Lit., 'Thou wilt find it in (the case of) new faces'. When new friends come to visit the mourners for the first time during the seven days, the benediction of mourners is said in the free space.
  14. Lit., 'as that of.'
  15. So MS.M.; cur. edd. 'sons'.
  16. Lit., 'and some say.'
  17. It was R. Hiyya's child that died and not Resh Lakish's. Resh Lakish went to comfort R. Hiyya and took his (Resh Lakish's) meturgeman (v. infra) with him. Some scholars go wrong in the rendering of this passage. V., for instance, Levy p. 303. Bacher rightly speaks of the death of the young child of R. Hiyya.
  18. I.e., the first day of R. Hiyya's mourning.
  19. Lit., 'on the morrow.'
  20. Lit., 'led him.'
  21. Judah the son of Nahmani, is mentioned several times as the meturgeman of Resh Lakish; v. e.g. Sot. 37b, Cit. 60b, (also Tem. 14b), and Sanh. 7b.
  22. 'Interpreter'. As to his function v. J.E., vol. VIII, p. 521. and vol. I, p. 527, n. I. One sentence may be quoted from the last-named article. 'In a limited sense it ('the interpreter' Amora, or meturgeman) signifies the officer who stood at the side of the lecturer or presiding teacher in the academy and in meetings for public instruction, and announced loudly, and explained to the large assembly in an oratorical manner, what the teacher had just expressed briefly and in a low voice.' The meturgeman was, therefore, a sort of assistant lecturer. Judah the son of Nahmani, was assistant lecturer to Resh Lakish. He was also a good preacher who expounded well Biblical verses homiletically (cf. e.g., Sanh. 7b). He could also recite benedictions by heart. Cf. Cit. 60b and Tem. 14b. For these reasons apparently Resh Lakish took with him Judah the son of Nahmani, when he paid a visit of condolence to R. Hiyya. the son of Abba. Judah spoke on behalf of Resh Lakish.
  23. Lit., 'a word', 'a thing.'
  24. Lit., 'corresponding to', 'vis-a-vis'.
  25. Lit., 'he opened.' This probably means: he opened his mouth (and said), cf. Job III, 1. It may also mean: he opened his discourse; v. the Dictionaries of Levy and Jastrow, s.v. Here the first meaning seems to be more likely.
  26. Deut. XXXII, 19.
  27. Lit., 'small'.
  28. I.e., a grown-up son, not a small child
  29. To R. Hiyya. the son of Abba
  30. Isa. IX. 16.
  31. Lit., 'What?' 'Why?'
  32. In Shab. 33a: b. Raba.
  33. Lit., 'for what.'
  34. Lit., 'brings forth from his mouth.'
  35. Lit., a decree of His judgment.'
  36. Lit., 'for good.'
  37. I.e., even if it was decreed in heaven that he should have seventy' years of happiness. cf R.H. 16b.
  38. Lit., 'to be seized'.
  39. Cf. Shab. 33b: 'the righteous men are seized for (the shortcomings of) the generation.' V. Rashi a.l.
  40. Resh Lakish
  41. Judah the son of Nahmani.
  42. According to Rashi the words 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe,' are to be supplemented before 'The God,' etc.
  43. This phrase occurs also in the abbreviated Amida prayer said on Friday' night. v. P.B. p. 120.
  44. Lit., 'until there is no searching.' Cf Ps CXLV. 3.
  45. Lit., 'until there is no number.' Cf. Ps. CXLVII, 5. The whole phrase occurs also in the evening service prayer v. P.B. p. 99.
  46. This benediction is, in its main ideas, reminiscent of the first three benedictions of the Amida.
  47. Resh Lakish
  48. Judah the son of Nahmani.
  49. Lit., 'by this mourning.'
  50. Cf. I Chron. XXII, 25.
  51. Rashi adds: that all die, and you should nor weep too much.
  52. Lit., 'in the beginning'.
  53. From the cup of sorrow.
  54. I.e., Resh Lakish.
  55. That is, one should never utter ominous words and thus invite misfortune.
  56. Isa. I, 9.
  57. God.
  58. Unto Isaiah.
  59. Isa. I, 20. Because Isaiah compared the people to Sodom and Gomorrah, God addressed them as 'rulers of Sodom,' 'people of Gomorrah.' This is to illustrate how ominous words can have an evil effect.
  60. Resh Lakish.
  61. Judah the son of Nahmani.
  62. The friends who came to comfort the mourners.
  63. Rashi adds: who bestowed lovingkindnesses. The meaning is: who are carrying out the trust with which Abraham was charged, also for future generations; v. next note.
  64. The passage is bracketed also in the original. The verse continues: and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and Justice: to the end that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him; Gen. XVIII, 19.
  65. Resh Lakish.
  66. Judah the son of Nahmani.
  67. Lit., 'the pestilence.'
  68. Lit., 'the spoil', 'the plunder'.
  69. Lit., 'to'.
  70. Lit., 'and thou wilt answer'.
  71. Cf. Num. XVII, 13, 15; XXV, 8; II Sam. XXIV, 21, 25; Ps. CVI, 30. It is now time to deal with one or two points arising out of what we are told on this page (folio 8b) about the visit of Resh Lakish and his meturgeman, Judah the son of Nahmani, to R. Hiyya the son of Abba, on the occasion of the death of R. Hiyya's child. The story of this visit was introduced in order to show that there is [H] during all the seven days of mourning if new friends are present on each occasion. Now, what is [H]? This question has not been answered yet. In the time of the Gaonim the tradition concerning it had faded already. In Shittah Mekubbezeth on Keth. 8b three different views are quoted. The view mentioned in Nahmanides' Toroth ha-Adam ed. Venice, p. 50a, is again different. The explanation attempted by Krauss in the Jahrbuch der jud.-lit. Gesellschaft, vol. XVII [1926], pp. 238-239 (v. also Krauss, Jahresbericht XXXVII-XXXIX Isr.-Theol. Lehranstalt in Wien, p. 60f) is unsatisfactory. [H] in Kethuboth 8b is not inaccurate (v. Jahrbuch, p. 238). The emendation suggested by Krauss (Jahresbericht, p. 60) for [H]. (Meg. 23b) is unacceptable. In Tractate Soferim ch. XIX [H] is not mentioned. The quotation from Hai and Sherira in Shittah Mekubbezeth concludes with the words: 'As much as we have heard, we never heard that the [H] was in vogue in Babylon'. The following explanation may however be briefly submitted: — [H] in this connection has nothing to do with [H] public place. It is, rather, the open space behind the house (of the mourner). V. Er. 24a-b and Krauss, T.A. vol. I, p. 48, and p. 361, n. 633. [H] would thus mean the blessing of the mourners said in the open space behind the house of the mourner. When ten or more friends came to comfort the mourner there was, at any rate in many cases, no room in the house for all the visitors, and the mourners sat in the open space behind the house and the guests assembled there, and the benedictions [H] were recited before the assembly in the open space. [H] was therefore almost identical with the [H]. Therefore, when it is said in Meg. 23b [H] this statement is entirely correct. [H] can only mean that he (Resh Lakish) did not go to him (to the mourner). The next day he did go to him, namely, to his house, or to the open space behind the house. What Krauss, Jahrbuch, p. 239, says on [H] cannot be accepted.) The story on this page (folio 8b) confirms this interpretation. Resh Lakish and his meturgeman went to R. Hiyya, that is, they went to his house, or to the open space near his house. Judah, the son of Nahmani, delivered there a homily and recited four benedictions. And these benedictions are called [H] and [H]. That is: The [H], which was recited in the [H] was also called [H] and required the presence of ten new guests. Whether this [H] required a cup of benediction is difficult to say. In Toroth ha-Adam p. 45b it says: Some say that [H] requires a cup: cf. however ibid. 49a, where the view of R. Paltai seems to be that it had no 'cup' attached to it. In the story on this page (folio 8b) no 'cup' is mentioned. It might have been implied. It may be that the [H] (the meal given by friends to the mourners after the funeral) also took place in this [H]. Cf. M.K. 25a. The [H] fell, apparently, early into disuse, so that in post-Talmudic times its real character was not known any more. It is difficult to see why these benedictions disappeared from use. They are beautiful in thought and language, especially benedictions 1 and 2. These two benedictions deserve to be reinstated. Another point that should be noted is this: Judah the son of Nahmani, did not give his own sayings. The homily which he delivered was not his own. The benedictions which he recited had long been fixed. Cf. Rashi, ad loc. [H]. It is strange that Graetz thinks that Judah the son of Nahmani improvised these beautiful prayers and that these prayers shew that Judah was a fine Hebrew stylist. Judah the son of Nahmani was a meturgeman, and a meturgeman was not expected to say original things. He knew by heart the homilies of others and the fixed benedictions, and he delivered the homilies well and he recited the benedictions well. It is interesting to note that [H] was said to the Meturgeman, although the [H] was not his. Cf. also Shittah Mekubbezeth: [H]
  72. 'Who feedeth' is the first benediction of Grace after meals, the blessing of 'the land' is the second, 'who rebuildeth Jerusalem' is the third, and 'who is good and doeth good' is the fourth. V. P.B., pp. 280-283; cf. Ber. 48b.
  73. Lit., 'to its old state.' Cf. Sem. ch. XIV, where the text is somewhat different and the order of the 'cups' varies.
  74. I.e.. the funeral.
  75. The relatives of the dead.
  76. Because of the great expense. They buried the dead in costly' garments (Rashi).
  77. The dead.
  78. I.e., Rabban Gamaliel II, also called Rabban Gamaliel of Jabneh.
  79. For variant, cf. M.K. 27b.
  80. For burial
  81. A silver coin, one fourth of a shekel.