It has been reported, If one has learnt Scripture and Mishnah but did not attend upon Rabbinical scholars, R. Eleazar says he is an 'Am ha-arez'2 R. Samuel b. Nahmani says he is a boor; R. Jannai says he is a Samaritan;3 R. Aha b. Jacob says he is a magician.4 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: The definition of R. Aba b. Jacob appears the most probable; because there is a popular saying: The magician mumbles and knows not what he says; the tanna5 recites and knows not what he says.
Our Rabbis taught: Who is an 'Am ha-arez? Whoever does not recite the Shema'6 morning and evening with its accompanying benedictions; such is the statement of R. Meir. The Sages say: Whoever does not put on the phylacteries. Ben Azzai says: Whoever has not the fringe upon his garment.7 R. Jonathan b. Joseph says: Whoever has sons and does not rear them to study Torah. Others say: Even if he learnt Scripture and Mishnah but did not attend upon Rabbinical scholars, he is an 'Am ha-arez. If he learnt Scripture but not Mishnah, he is a boor; if he learnt neither Scripture nor Mishnah, concerning him Scripture declares, I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast.8
My son, fear thou the Lord and the king, and mingle not with them that are given to change.9 R. Isaac said: They are the men who learn legal decisions.10 This is self-evident!11 — [It is not, because] you might have supposed [that the text meant], they who repeat a sin, and that it is according to the teaching of R. Huna; for R. Huna said: When a man commits a transgression and repeats it, it becomes to him something which is permissible. Therefore he informs us [that this is not the intention of the text]. A Tanna taught: The Tannaim12 bring destruction upon the world. How can it occur to you to say that they bring destruction upon the world! Rabina said: Because they decide points of law from their teachings.13 It has been similarly taught: R. Joshua said: Do they destroy the world? Rather do they cultivate the world, as it is said: As for the ways, the world is for him.14 But [the reference is to] those who decide points of law from their teachings.
A FEMALE PHARISEE etc. Our Rabbis have taught: A maiden who gives herself up to prayer,15 a gadabout widow,16 and a minor whose months are not completed17 — behold these bring destruction upon the world. But it is not so; for R. Johanan has said: We learnt fear of sin from a maiden [who gave herself up to prayer] and [confidence in] the bestowal of reward from a [gadabout] widow! Fear of sin from a maiden — for R. Johanan heard a maiden fall upon her face and exclaim, 'Lord of the Universe! Thou hast created Paradise and Gehinnom; Thou hast created righteous and wicked. May it be Thy will that men should not stumble through me'. [Confidence in] the bestowal of reward from a widow — a certain widow had a Synagogue in her neighbourhood; yet she used to come daily to the School of R. Johanan18 and pray there. He said to her, 'My daughter, is there not a Synagogue in your neighbourhood?' She answered him, 'Rabbi, but have I not the reward for the steps!'19 — When it is said [that they bring destruction upon the world] the reference is to such a person as Johani the daughter of Retibi.20 What means 'a minor whose months are not completed'? — They explained it thus: It refers to a disciple who rebels against the authority of his teachers. R. Abba said: It refers to a disciple who has not attained the qualification to decide questions of law and yet decides them; for R. Abbahu declared that R. Huna said in the name of Rab, What means that which is written: For she hath cast down many wounded, yea, all her slain are a mighty host?21 'For she hath cast down many wounded' — this refers to a disciple who has not attained the qualification to decide questions of law and yet decides them; 'yea, all her slain are a mighty host' — this refers to a disciple who has attained the qualification to decide questions of law and does not decide them.
Sotah 22bAt what age [is he qualified]? — At forty.1 But it is not so, for Rabbah decided questions of Law!2 — [He did so only in a town where the Rabbis] were his equals.3
AND THE PLAGUE OF PHARISEES etc. Our Rabbis have taught: There are seven types of Pharisees: the shikmi Pharisee, the nikpi Pharisee, the kizai Pharisee, the 'pestle' Pharisee, the Pharisee [who constantly exclaims] 'What is my duty that I may perform it?', the Pharisee from love [of God] and the Pharisee from fear. The shikmi Pharisee — he is one who performs the action of Shechem.4 The nikpi Pharisee — he is one who knocks his feet together.5 The kizai Pharisee — R. Nahman b. Isaac said: He is one who makes his blood to flow against walls.6 The 'pestle' Pharisee — Rabbah b. Shila said: [His head] is bowed like [a pestle in] a mortar. The Pharisee [who constantly exclaims] 'What is my duty that I may perform it?' — but that is a virtue! — Nay, what he says is, 'What further duty is for me that I may perform it?'7 The Pharisee from love and the Pharisee from fear — Abaye and Raba said to the tanna [who was reciting this passage], Do not mention 'the Pharisee from love8 and the Pharisee from fear'; for Rab Judah has said in the name of Rab: A man should always engage himself in Torah and the commandments even though it be not for their own sake,9 because from [engaging in them] not for their own sake, he will come [to engage in them] for their own sake. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: What is hidden is hidden, and what is revealed is revealed; the Great Tribunal will exact punishment from those who rub themselves against the walls.10
King Jannai11 said to his wife', 'Fear not the Pharisees and the non-Pharisees but the hypocrites who ape the Pharisees; because their deeds are the deeds of Zimri12 but they expect a reward like Phineas'.13
MISHNAH. R, SIMEON SAYS: MERIT DOES NOT CAUSE THE WATER OF BITTERNESS TO SUSPEND ITS EFFECT, AND IF YOU SAY THAT MERIT DOES CAUSE THE WATER OF BITTERNESS TO SUSPEND ITS EFFECT, YOU DISCREDIT THE WATER IN THE CASE OF ALL THE WOMEN WHO DRINK IT AND DEFAME THE PURE WOMAN WHO DRANK IT, SINCE PEOPLE WILL SAY, THEY WERE UNCLEAN, ONLY THEIR MERIT CAUSED THE WATER TO SUSPEND ITS EFFECT UPON THEM. RABBI SAYS: MERIT CAUSES THE WATER OF BITTERNESS TO SUSPEND ITS EFFECT, AND SHE NEVER BEARS A CHILD OR THRIVES, BUT SHE GRADUALLY GROWS ILL AND FINALLY DIES THROUGH THAT DEATH.14
IF HER MEAL-OFFERING BECAME DEFILED BEFORE IT BECAME HALLOWED IN THE [MINISTERING] VESSEL, BEHOLD IT IS LIKE ALL MEAL-OFFERINGS [SIMILARLY DEFILED] AND CAN BE REDEEMED;15 BUT IF [IT BECAME DEFILED] AFTER IT HAD BEEN HALLOWED IN THE [MINISTERING] VESSEL, BEHOLD IT IS LIKE ALL MEAL-OFFERINGS [SIMILARLY DEFILED] AND IS DESTROYED. THE FOLLOWING HAVE THEIR MEAL- OFFERINGS DESTROYED:
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