(a)Nachum Ish Gam Zu would always say Gam Zu l'Tovah (also this is for the good), no matter what happened. Once, Yisrael wanted to send a gift of gems to the Kaiser. They decided to send it with Nachum, for miracles often happen for him.

(b)He lodged at an inn. When asked, he said that he was taking a gift to the Kaiser. At night, they opened his chest, replaced the gems with dirt, and sealed it. When the Kaiser received the chest and found dirt inside, he said 'the Yisraelim are mocking me!' They took Nachum to be killed. He said 'Gam Zu l'Tovah.'

1.Eliyahu appeared like a Roman, and suggested that perhaps this is the dirt that turned into swords when Avraham threw it. They tried this, and found it to be true. They used the dirt to conquer a city they had never been able to conquer. They let Nachum into their treasure house, and told him to take whatever he wants. He filled his chest with gold.

2.On the way back, the people at the inn asked what happened; he told them. They took more dirt and brought it to Kaiser, and said that this is the dirt that turns into arrows. (They tested this, and it did not work.) He killed them.


(a)(Mishnah): Dor ha'Flagah has no share in the world to come.

(b)Question: What did they do?

(c)Answer #1 (d'Vei R. Shila): They wanted to build a tower up to Shamayim to strike it with axes in order that the water will come down.

(d)Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael laughed at this: If so, they should have built on a mountain, and not in a valley!

(e)Answer #2 (R. Yirmeyah bar Elazar): There were three factions. One wanted to live in Shamayim. Hash-m scattered them over the world;

1.One wanted to serve idolatry. "Sham Balal Hash-m Sefas Kol ha'Aretz (He made them speak different languages)";

2.One wanted to wage war against Hash-m, he turned them into monkeys, Ruchos (spirits), Shedim and Lilin (human forms with wings).

(f)Answer #3 (Beraisa - R. Noson): All of them intended for idolatry. It says "Na'aseh Lanu Shem", similar to "v'Shem Elohim Acherim Lo Sazkiru."

(g)(R. Yochanan): A third of the tower was burned, a third was swallowed into the ground, and a third remains.

(h)(Rav): The area around the tower (from which it can be seen) causes one to forget.

(i)(Rav Yosef): Bavel and Borsif are (both close to the tower, therefore they are) bad omens for Torah. (Tosfos Shabbos 36b DH Nafka says that there is no city Bavel. The name is used only for the entire region. The Rashash says that Gitin (Sof 65a) connotes otherwise. Margoliyos ha'Yam suggests that our Gemara refers to Borsif of Bavel, or it says 'Bavel' because the name Borsif was changed to 'Bavel'.)

1.(Rav Asi): The word Borsif means a pit emptied of its water (a sign of forgetting Torah).


(a)(Mishnah): The people of Sedom have no share in the world to come...

(b)(Beraisa): The people of Sedom have no share in the world to come. They were "Ra'im" in this world, and "Chata'im" in the world to come.

(c)(Rav Yehudah): They were "Ra'im" with their bodies - "Eich E'eseh ha'Ra'ah ha'Gedolah ha'Zos (adultery)",

1.They were "Chata'im" with their money - "v'Hayah Becha Chet (if you do not lend)."

2."La'Shem" shows that they blasphemed. "Me'od" - they recognized Hash-m and intended to anger Him.

(d)(Beraisa): They were "Ra'im" with their money - "v'Ra'ah Eincha b'Achicha ha'Evyon (not to give Tzedakah)";

1.They were "Chata'im" with their bodies - "v'Chotasi l'Eilokim (adultery)."

2."La'Shem" teaches that they blasphemed;

3."Me'od" teaches that they murdered - "Dam Naki Shofach Menasheh Harbeh Me'od."

(e)(Beraisa): Dor ha'Mabul became haughty because Hash-m bestowed good on them. "Eretz Mimena Yetzei Lachem... Mekom Sapir Avaneha v'Afros Zahav Lo..."

1.The residents: Our land yields bread and gold. We should not allow travelers, lest they detract from our wealth!

2.We will stop people from passing through - "...ha'Nishkachim Mini Ragel."

(f)(Rava): "Tehosesu Al Ish... k'Kir Natuy" - they would see a rich person, sit him near a leaning wall and topple it on him, and take his money.

(g)(Rava): "Chasar ba'Choshech Batim" - they would deposit Afarsimon (sap of balsam) with a rich person. He would hide it with his valuables. At night they would track down the smell like dogs, to take his valuables - "Yashuvu la'Erev Yehemu cha'Kelev."

(h)"Arum Yalinu mi'Bli Lavush.... Chamor Yesomim Yinhagu Yachbelu Shor Almanah Gevulos Yasigu... v'Hu li'Kvaros Yuval."

(i)R. Yosi expounded how the Sodomites tunneled into houses; that night, 300 houses were tunneled into (as the Sodomites did) in the city (Tzipori).

1.The victims: You taught the thieves!

2.R. Yosi: I did not know that thieves would come (alternatively - that there are thieves among you)!

3.When R. Yosi died, blood poured from the gutterpipes of Tzipori. (Ben Yehoyada - this showed how bitterly they cried over his loss. Alternatively, it rained, and the water miraculously turned red to show honor to him. Iyun Yakov - there were many murders, to show that his merit had protected his city during his lifetime. He had expounded because he expected his merit to prevent thieves.)

(j)The following are laws of Sedom. One with one ox must graze the animals of the city for one day. One with no oxen must graze them for two days.

1.An orphan, the son of a widow, had no oxen. People gave to him oxen to graze. He killed the oxen, and told them 'one who had one ox may take one skin from the carcasses. One who had no oxen may take two, just like the law of grazing!'


(k)One who crosses the river where it is narrow and swift (Rashi; Ramah - crosses the bridge) must pay one Zuz. One who walks around it (Ramah - goes through the water) must pay two Zuzim (Ramah - because he deposits some water from the river on the ground; Margoliyus ha'Yam - for trying to evade the tax, and endangering himself).

(l)If someone made bricks, or spread out garlic or onions to dry, everyone would take one. The owner could not force them to return them (Ramah - because each was worth less than a Perutah).

(m)There were four judges in Sedom. Their names alluded to falsity and unfair judgment.

1.If Tom hit Harry's wife and made her miscarry, Harry must give to her to Tom until she because pregnant again;

2.If Tom cut off the ear of Harry's donkey, Harry must give it to Tom until the ear grows back.

3.If Tom wounded Harry, Harry must pay him, for this was (a limited) bloodletting;

4.One who crosses the river in the ferry (Ramah - bridge) must pay four Zuzim. One who goes through the water must pay eight.

5.A launderer once went to Sedom. They demanded four Zuzim from him. When he said that he went through the water, they demanded eight. He did not pay. They wounded him. He came in front of a judge. He was told to pay for the bloodletting, and also the eight Zuzim.

(n)Avraham's slave Eliezer once went to Sedom. Someone wounded him. A judge told him to pay for the bloodletting.

1.Eliezer wounded the judge with a stick (or rock), and said 'what you owe me, pay to the one who wounded me, and I will keep my money.'

(o)They had a bed for guests. If the guest was too tall, they would cut him to fit the bed. If he guest was too short, they would stretch him to fit it. They told Eliezer to sleep on the bed.

1.Eliezer: The day my mother died, I vowed not to sleep on a bed.

(p)When a poor person came, everyone would write his name on a Dinar and give it to him, but no one would give (or even sell) to him food. When he died of hunger, everyone would take back his Dinar.

(q)They stipulated that if someone (Tom) invites a visitor to a wedding, Tom's garment will be confiscated.

1.They had a wedding. Avraham's slave Eliezer went. No one gave to him bread. He sat at the end. When they asked who had invited him, he said 'this one (next to me).' The man feared lest he lose his garment, and fled.

2.Eliezer did the same for the next man (in front of the one who fled), and so on, until all of them fled. Eliezer enjoyed the meal.

(r)A girl used to put bread in her jug and (when she went to draw water) would inconspicuously give it to a poor person. When people found out, they coated her with honey, and put her on top of the wall. Bees consumed her.

1.(Rav Yehudah): "Za'akas Sedom va'Amora Ki Rabah" - we read this like 'Rivah' (Hash-m decided to destroy Sedom due to the girl).


(a)[(Mishnah): The Meraglim have no share in the world to come. "Va'Yamusu" in this world, and "ba'Magefah" in the world to come. Gra deletes this from the text.]

(b)(Mishnah - R. Akiva): The congregation of Korach will never rise - "va'Tchas Aleihem ha'Aretz" in this world, and "va'Yovdu mi'Toch ha'Kahal" in the world to come;

(c)R. Eliezer says, (they will rise -) "Hash-m Memis u'Mechayeh Morid She'ol va'Ya'al."

(d)(Beraisa - R. Akiva): The congregation of Korach will never rise - "va'Tchas... va'Yovdu...";

(e)R. Yehudah ben Beseira says, they are like a lost object that someone is seeking - "Ta'isi k'Seh Oved Bakesh Avdecha Ki Mitzvosecha Lo Shochachti" (David prayed that they come to the world to come, for they kept the Mitzvos).

(f)(Reish Lakish): "Va'Yikach Korach" - he made a bad purchase (to quarrel with Moshe);

1.'Korach' - he made a bald patch in Yisrael (those swallowed into the ground);

2.'Ben Yitzhar' - he aroused the world's anger on himself (Maharsha - on Yisrael) as hot as Tzaharim (noon);

3.'Ben Kehas' - he Hikhah (set on edge) the teeth of his ancestors;

4.'Ben Levi' - he descended to Gehinom with a great Levayah (accompaniment, i.e. his congregation).

(g)Question: Why didn't the Torah also write 'Ben Yakov', to teach that he Ikev (uprooted) himself (from the world, and went) to Gehinom?

(h)Answer (Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak): Yakov (had a prophecy of Korach's rebellion, and) prayed that his name not be mentioned in the Parshah;

1."B'Sodam Al Tavo Nafshi" - do not mention my name in the lineage of the Meraglim;

2."Bi'Khelam Al Techad Kevodi" - do not mention my name with Adas Korach.

(i)"Dasan" - he transgressed Das (Torah);

(j)"Aviram" - he Iver (fortified his heart) not to do Teshuvah.

(k)"V'Ohn" - Ohn sat in mourning (repenting that he originally supported Korach);

1."(Ben) Peles" - Pela'os (wonders) were done for him to save him.

2."(Bnei) Reuven" - he Ro'oh (saw) and HeViN (understood, that Korach's followers are doing improperly).

(l)(Rav): The wife of Ohn ben Peles saved him. She said, what difference does it make to you who is the Rebbi? In any case, you will be a Talmid!

1.Ohn: I swore to them that if they will call me, I will come with them!

2.His wife reasoned (Gra) that they are all virtuous - "Ki Chol ha'Edah Kulam Kedoshim." She told him 'sit back, and I will save you.'

3.She got him drunk with wine (if he would hear them call him, his oath would require him to go), and put him inside the tent. She sat outside and uncovered her hair. Anyone who came to get Ohn turned away, so he was never called to come.