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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



484
Anon., Avot Derabbi Nathan A, 31
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1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2.7, 3.19 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2.7. וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃ 3.19. בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל־הָאֲדָמָה כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ כִּי־עָפָר אַתָּה וְאֶל־עָפָר תָּשׁוּב׃ 2.7. Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." 3.19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’"
2. Hebrew Bible, Job, 25.6 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

25.6. אַף כִּי־אֱנוֹשׁ רִמָּה וּבֶן־אָדָם תּוֹלֵעָה׃ 25.6. How much less man, that is a worm! And the son of man, that is a maggot!"
3. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 14.11 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

14.11. הוּרַד שְׁאוֹל גְּאוֹנֶךָ הֶמְיַת נְבָלֶיךָ תַּחְתֶּיךָ יֻצַּע רִמָּה וּמְכַסֶּיךָ תּוֹלֵעָה׃ 14.11. Thy pomp is brought down to the nether-world, And the noise of thy psalteries; the maggot is spread under thee, And the worms cover thee.’"
4. Hebrew Bible, Ecclesiastes, 12.7 (5th cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

12.7. וְיָשֹׁב הֶעָפָר עַל־הָאָרֶץ כְּשֶׁהָיָה וְהָרוּחַ תָּשׁוּב אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר נְתָנָהּ׃ 12.7. And the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it."
5. Mishnah, Berachot, 1.1 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.1. From what time may one recite the Shema in the evening? From the time that the priests enter [their houses] in order to eat their terumah until the end of the first watch, the words of Rabbi Eliezer. The sages say: until midnight. Rabban Gamaliel says: until dawn. Once it happened that his sons came home [late] from a wedding feast and they said to him: we have not yet recited the [evening] Shema. He said to them: if it is not yet dawn you are still obligated to recite. And not in respect to this alone did they so decide, but wherever the sages say “until midnight,” the mitzvah may be performed until dawn. The burning of the fat and the pieces may be performed till dawn. Similarly, all [the offerings] that are to be eaten within one day may be eaten till dawn. Why then did the sages say “until midnight”? In order to keep a man far from transgression."
6. Mishnah, Shabbat, 7.2 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.2. The primary labors are forty less one:sowing, plowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, selecting, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, shearing wool, bleaching, hackling, dyeing, spinning, weaving, the making of two loops, weaving two threads, dividing two threads, tying and untying, sewing two stitches, tearing in order to sew two stitches, capturing a deer, slaughtering, or flaying, or salting it, curing its hide, scraping it [of its hair], cutting it up, writing two letters, erasing in order to write two letters [over the erasure], building, tearing down, extinguishing, kindling, striking with a hammer, [and] carrying out from one domain to another, These are the forty primary labors less one."
7. Babylonian Talmud, Berachot, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

4a. בניהו בן יהוידע זה סנהדרין ואביתר אלו אורים ותומים,וכן הוא אומר (שמואל ב כ, כג) ובניהו בן יהוידע על הכרתי ועל הפלתי ולמה נקרא שמם כרתי ופלתי כרתי שכורתים דבריהם פלתי שמופלאים בדבריהם ואח"כ שר צבא למלך יואב,אמר רב יצחק בר אדא ואמרי לה אמר רב יצחק בריה דרב אידי מאי קרא (תהלים נז, ט) עורה כבודי עורה הנבל וכנור אעירה שחר.,רבי זירא אמר משה לעולם הוה ידע ודוד נמי הוה ידע,וכיון דדוד הוה ידע כנור למה ליה לאתעורי משנתיה,וכיון דמשה הוה ידע למה ליה למימר כחצות משה קסבר שמא יטעו אצטגניני פרעה ויאמרו משה בדאי הוא דאמר מר למד לשונך לומר איני יודע שמא תתבדה ותאחז,רב אשי אמר בפלגא אורתא דתליסר נגהי ארבסר הוה קאי והכי קאמר משה לישראל אמר הקב"ה למחר כחצות הלילה כי האידנא אני יוצא בתוך מצרים:,(תהלים פו, ב) לדוד שמרה נפשי כי חסיד אני לוי ור' יצחק חד אמר כך אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם לא חסיד אני שכל מלכי מזרח ומערב ישנים עד שלש שעות ואני (תהלים קיט, סב) חצות לילה אקום להודות לך,ואידך כך אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם לא חסיד אני שכל מלכי מזרח ומערב יושבים אגודות אגודות בכבודם ואני ידי מלוכלכות בדם ובשפיר ובשליא כדי לטהר אשה לבעלה ולא עוד אלא כל מה שאני עושה אני נמלך במפיבשת רבי ואומר לו מפיבשת רבי יפה דנתי יפה חייבתי יפה זכיתי יפה טהרתי יפה טמאתי ולא בושתי,א"ר יהושע בריה דרב אידי מאי קרא (תהלים קיט, מו) ואדברה בעדותיך נגד מלכים ולא אבוש,תנא לא מפיבשת שמו אלא איש בשת שמו ולמה נקרא שמו מפיבשת שהיה מבייש פני דוד בהלכה לפיכך זכה דוד ויצא ממנו כלאב,וא"ר יוחנן לא כלאב שמו אלא דניאל שמו ולמה נקרא שמו כלאב שהיה מכלים פני מפיבשת בהלכה,ועליו אמר שלמה בחכמתו (משלי כג, טו) בני אם חכם לבך ישמח לבי גם אני ואומר (משלי כז, יא) חכם בני ושמח לבי ואשיבה חורפי דבר.,ודוד מי קרי לנפשיה חסיד והכתיב (תהלים כז, יג) לולא האמנתי לראות בטוב ה' בארץ חיים ותנא משמיה דרבי יוסי למה נקוד על לולא אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע מובטח אני בך שאתה משלם שכר טוב לצדיקים לעתיד לבוא אבל איני יודע אם יש לי חלק ביניהם אם לאו,שמא יגרום החטא,כדר' יעקב בר אידי דר' יעקב בר אידי רמי כתיב (בראשית כח, טו) והנה אנכי עמך ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך וכתיב (בראשית לב, ח) ויירא יעקב מאד אמר שמא יגרום החטא,כדתניא (שמות טו, טז) עד יעבור עמך ה' עד יעבור עם זו קנית,עד יעבור עמך ה' זו ביאה ראשונה עד יעבור עם זו קנית זו ביאה שנייה מכאן אמרו חכמים ראוים היו ישראל ליעשות להם נס בימי עזרא כדרך שנעשה להם בימי יהושע בן נון אלא שגרם החטא:,וחכ"א עד חצות: חכמים כמאן סבירא להו אי כרבי אליעזר סבירא להו לימרו כרבי אליעזר 4a. bBenayahu ben Yehoyadacorresponds to bthe Sanhedrin,since he was the head of the Sanhedrin, and bEvyatarcorresponds to bthe iUrim VeTummim /i,as Evyatar ben Ahimelekh the priest would oversee inquiries directed to the iUrim VeTummim(see I Samuel 23:9)., bAnd so it saysregarding Benayahu ben Yehoyada’s position as head of the Sanhedrin: b“And Benayahu ben Yehoyada was over the iKeretiand over the iPeleti /i”(II Samuel 20:23). bAnd why wasthe Sanhedrin bcalled iKereti UPeleti /i?It was called iKereti /ibecause bthey were decisive [ ikoretim /i] in their pronouncements.It was called iPeleti /ibecause btheir pronouncementsand wisdom bwere wondrous [ imufla’im /i] /b. The head of the iKereti UPeletiwas the head of the Sanhedrin. According to the order of the verse, upon being instructed by King David to go to war, the Sages first consulted with Ahitophel, then with the Sanhedrin, then they would ask the iUrim VeTummim /i, bandonly bthereafterwas bthe general of the king’s army, Yoav,given the command to ready the military for battle., bRav Yitzḥak bar Adda, and some say Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Idi, said:From bwhat verseis it derived that David’s lyre would wake him at midnight? b“Awake, my glory; awake, harp and lyre; I will wake the dawn”(Psalms 57:9). This means that the playing lyre has already woken, and now I must engage in Torah study until dawn., bRabbi Zeiraoffered a different solution to the question of whether Moses and David knew exactly when it was midnight and bsaid:Moses bcertainly knewwhen it was midnight, band David also knew. /b,The Gemara asks: bIf David knew,then bwhy did he need the lyre?The Gemara answers: He needed the lyre bto wake him from his sleep. /b,Similarly with regard to Moses, bsince Moses knewthe precise moment of midnight, bwhy did he say: About midnight,instead of: At midnight? Moses did so because he bmaintained: Lest Pharaoh’s astrologers errand believe midnight to be earlier. Since no disaster would have occurred, bthey would say: Moses is a liar.Moses spoke in accordance with the principle barticulated by the Master: Accustom your tongue to say: I do not know, lest you become entangled ina web of bdeceit. /b, bRav Ashi said:This question is unfounded, as Moses bwas standing at midnight of the thirteenth, leading into the fourteenth,when he pronounced his prophecy, band Moses told Israelthat bthe Holy One, Blessed be He, saidthat btomorrow,at the exact time blike midnight tonight, I will go out into the midst of Egypt.This indicates that the passage should not be understood to mean about midnight, an approximation; but rather, like midnight, as a comparison, likening midnight tomorrow to midnight tonight.,The Gemara further explores King David’s character. It is said: “A prayer bof David…Keep my soul, for I am pious”(Psalms 86:1–2). Levi and Rabbi Yitzḥak debated the meaning of this verse and how David’s piety is manifest in the fact that he went beyond his fundamental obligations. bOne said:David’s declaration of piety referred to his awakening during the night to pray, and bso said David before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, am I not pious? As all of the kings of the East and the West sleep until the third hourof the day, bbutalthough I am a king like them, b“At midnight I rise to give thanks”(Psalms 119:62)., bAnd the otherSage said: bDavid said the following before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, am I not pious? For all of the kings of the East and the West sit in groupsbefitting btheir honoredstatus, but I sit as a judge who issues rulings for the people. Women come with questions of ritual impurity and bmy hands become soiled withtheir bbloodas I labor to determine whether or not it is blood of impurity and she has menstruating woman status, bandwith ba fetus that miscarriedat a stage of development before it was clear whether or not it is considered a birth, bandwith bplacenta,which women sometimes discharge unrelated to the birth of a child (see Leviticus 15:19–30 with regard to blood, and 12:1–8 with regard to miscarriage and placenta). King David went to all this trouble bin order to render a woman ritually pureand consequently permitted bto her husband.If, after examination, a Sage declares the woman ritually pure, she is permitted to be with her husband, which leads to increased love and affection, and ultimately to procreation (Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto). bAnd not onlydo I engage in activity considered to be beneath the station of a king, bbut I consult my teacher, Mefivoshet,son of King Saul’s son, Jonathan, with regard to beverything that I do. I say to him: Mefivoshet, my teacher, did I decide properly? Did I convict properly? Did I acquit properly? Did I ruleritually bpure properly? Did I ruleritually bimpure properly? And I was not embarrassed.Forgoing royal dignity should make me worthy to be called pious., bRav Yehoshua, son of Rav Idi, said: What versealludes to this? b“And I speak Your testimonies before kings and I will not be ashamed”(Psalms 119:46). This verse alludes both to David’s commitment to Torah, in contrast to the kings of the East and the West, as well as to the fact that he was not ashamed to discuss matters of Torah with Mefivoshet, a descendant of kings. David was not afraid to have his mistakes corrected by Mefivoshet., bIt was taughtin a iToseftafrom a tannaitic tradition: bHis name was not Mefivoshet, but rather Ish Boshet was his name. Why wasIsh Boshet breferred to as Mefivoshet? Because he would embarrass [ imevayesh /i] David in matters of ihalakha/b. According to this approach, Mefivoshet is an abbreviation of iboshet panim /i, embarrassment. bBecauseDavid was not embarrassed to admit his errors, bhe merited that Kilav,who, according to tradition, was exceedingly wise, bwould descend from him. /b, bRabbi Yoḥa said: His name was not Kilav; rather, his name was Daniel,as it appears in a different list of David’s descendants. bWhy was he called Kilav? Because he would embarrass [ imakhlim /i] Mefivoshet,the teacher or authority figure [av] bin matters of ihalakha./b, bIn hisbook of bwisdom, Solomon saidabout this wise son: b“My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will be glad, even mine”(Proverbs 23:15), as David enjoyed witnessing his son Kilav develop into a Torah luminary to the extent that Kilav was able to respond to Mefivoshet. bAndSolomon bsaysabout Kilav: b“Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may respond to those who taunt me”(Proverbs 27:11).,With regard to David’s statement, “Keep my soul, for I am pious,” the Gemara asks: bDid David call himself pious? Isn’t it written: “If I had not [ iluleh/b] bbelieved to look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”(Psalms 27:13). The dots that appear over the word ilulehin the text indicate doubt and uncertainty of his piety, and whether he was deserving of a place in the land of the living (see iAvot DeRabbi Natan34). bIn the name of Rabbi Yosei, it was taughtin a iTosefta /i: bWhydo bdotsappear bover the word iluleh /i,as if there are some reservations? Because bDavid said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe. Ihave every bconfidence in You that You grant an excellent reward to the righteous in the World-to-Comesince God’s ultimate goodness is manifest in the land of eternal life, bbutI still harbor uncertainty with regard to myself, and bI do not know whether or not Idefinitely bhave a portion among them.In any case, apparently David was uncertain whether or not he deserved to receive a portion of God’s reward for the righteous; how, then, could he characterize himself as pious?,The Gemara responds: His concern does not prove anything, as King David knew that he was pious. He was simply concerned blest a transgressionthat he might commit in the future bwill causehim to lose his opportunity to look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.,The Gemara cites a proof that there is room for one to fear lest he commit a transgression in the future bin accordance withthe opinion of bRabbi Ya’akov bar Idi, as Rabbi Ya’akov bar Idi raised a contradictionbetween two verses. bIt is writtenthat God told Jacob in his vision of the ladder: b“Behold, I am with you and I guard you wherever you go”(Genesis 28:15), yet when Jacob returned to Canaan and realized that Esau was coming to greet him, bit is written: “And Jacob became very afraid,and he was pained” (Genesis 32:8). Why did Jacob not rely on God’s promise? Jacob had concerns and bsaidto himself: bLest a transgressionthat I might have committed after God made His promise to me bwill causeGod to revoke His promise of protection.,Apparently, at times, transgression does cause God’s promise to go unfulfilled, bas it was taughtexplicitly in a ibaraitawith regard to the ostensibly redundant language in a verse in the Song of the Sea: b“Until Your people will cross, Lord, until the people You have acquired will cross.You bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, Lord, which You made for Your dwelling” (Exodus 15:16–17).,The Gemara interprets homiletically that buntil Your people will crossrefers to the bfirst entryinto Eretz Yisrael during the time of Joshua, while buntil the people You have acquired pass overrefers to the bsecond entryfollowing the exile in Babylonia. bBased onthe juxtaposition of these two entries in this single verse, bthe Sages said: Israel was worthy of having a miracle performed on itsbehalf bin the time of Ezrathe scribe, just basone bwas performed on theirbehalf bin the time of Joshua bin Nun. However, transgression causedthe absence of a miracle.,The Gemara returns to explain what we learned in the mishna: bAnd the Rabbis say:The time for the recitation of the evening iShemais buntil midnight.The Gemara asks: bIn accordance with whoseopinion bdo they holdin explaining the verse: “When you lie down”? bIfthey explain this verse bin accordance withthe opinion of bRabbi Eliezer,who says that “when you lie down” is the time when people customarily go to sleep, then bletthe Rabbis also bsaythat the time for the recitation of iShemaextends, bin accordance withthe opinion of bRabbi Eliezer,until the end of the first watch.
8. Anon., Avot Derabbi Nathan A, 3 (6th cent. CE - 8th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adam Brakke, Satlow, Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (2005) 209
akavya ben mehalalel, rabbi' Fonrobert and Jaffee, The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature Cambridge Companions to Religion (2007) 334
body, as microcosm Brakke, Satlow, Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (2005) 208, 209
divine/god, anthropos Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
divine/god, assembly Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
divine/god, retinue Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
divine/god, roar Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
godhead; see also attributes, hierarchy Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
godhead; see also attributes, logoi/gradations Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
logos Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
myth, fragmentary Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242
scripture, interpretation of Brakke, Satlow, Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (2005) 209
the fathers according to rabbi nathan (r. nathan), and list, cosmic adam Brakke, Satlow, Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (2005) 209
the fathers according to rabbi nathan (r. nathan), and list, regimen Brakke, Satlow, Weitzman, Religion and the Self in Antiquity (2005) 208
ḥayyot, powers within Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) 242