YISRAEL KEPT THEIR MITZVOS, THE NOCHRIM DID NOT
Question: What is the source that they did not keep their seven Mitzvos?
Answer: We learn from Rav Yosef;
(Rav Yosef): "Ra'ah va'Yater Goyim" - Hash-m saw that they did not keep the seven Mitzvos they had accepted, therefore he permitted their Mitzvos to them.
Objection: If so, they gained from their sin!
Answer (Mar brei d'Ravina): He means, Hash-m decreed that they will no longer get reward for keeping them.
Objection (Beraisa - R. Meir): "Asher Ya'aseh Osam ha'Adam v'Chai Bahem" - it does not say that Bnei Yisrael will live through the Mitzvos, rather 'ha'Adam', to teach that even a Nochri who engages in Torah gets reward, just like a Kohen Gadol.
Correction: Rather, Hash-m decreed that they will no longer get reward for them like one who is commanded and observes, rather like one who is not commanded and observes.
(R. Chanina): One who is commanded and observes is greater than one who is not commanded and observes.
Nochrim: What is the source that Yisrael kept the entire Torah?
Hash-m: I testify that they did.
Nochrim: A father cannot testify for his son, and You call Yisrael Your son -"Beni Bechori Yisrael"!
Hash-m: Heaven and earth will testify for them.
Nochrim: They are partial, they cannot testify - "Im Lo Brisi Yomam va'Laylah Chukos Shamayim va'Aretz Lo Samti";
(Reish Lakish): "Yom ha'Shishi" - Hash-m created the world on condition that Yisrael will accept His Torah on the sixth of Sivan; if they will not, the world will revert to emptiness.
Question (Chizkiyah): "Mi'Shamayim Hishmata Din Eretz Yar'ah v'Shakatah" - if the land was afraid, why was it quiet?!
Answer (Chizkiyah): At first it was afraid. After Yisrael accepted the Torah, it was quiet.
Hash-m: You yourselves will testify that Yisrael kept the entire Torah:
Nimrod will testify that Avraham refused to serve idolatry. Lavan will testify that Yakov did not steal. Potifera's wife will testify that Yosef refused to commit adultery. Nebuchadnetzar will testify that Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah refused to bow to the image. Daryavesh will testify that Daniel did not miss praying. Elifaz ha'Temani, Bildad ha'Shuchi, Tzufar ha'Na'amasi (Iyov's friends) will testify that Yisrael kept the entire Torah - "Yitenu Edeihem v'Yitzdaku."
THE NOCHRIM SEEK REWARD
Nochrim: Give us the Torah now and we will observe it!
Hash-m: Fools! Only one who prepared from before Shabbos will have what to eat on Shabbos! (This is a parable. Only one who observed Mitzvos in this world will get reward in the world to come)!
Nevertheless, I will give to you an easy Mitzvah, i.e. Sukah. Go do it!
Question: R. Yehoshua ben Levi taught that "Asher Anochi Metzavecha ha'Yom" - today (this world) is for doing Mitzvos, and not tomorrow (the world to come). Today (this world) is for doing Mitzvos, and not for receiving their reward.
Answer: Hash-m does not deal unfairly with His creations. (Perhaps He gave them another chance in order to show them that they do not deserve reward - PF.)
Question: Why is Sukah called an easy Mitzvah?
Answer: One need not spend money for it.
Immediately, all the Nochrim build Sukos on their roofs. Hash-m makes the sun beat on them like it does in the heat of summer. The Nochrim kick the Sukos and leave - "Nenatkah Es Moseroseimu v'Nashlichah Mimenu Avoseimu."
Question: Making the sun beat on them is dealing unjustly with them!
Answer: It is not. Also Yisraelim suffer this way, when the intense heat of summer persists until Sukos.
Question: Rava taught that one who is in pain is exempt from the Sukah! (Also Yisraelim would leave in such heat.)
Answer: They would leave, but they would not kick the Sukah.
"Yoshev ba'Shamayim Yischak" - Hash-m will laugh at them.
Version #1 (R. Yitzchak): That is the only day of Hash-m's laughter.
Version #2: R. Yitzchak said this in response to the following.
(Beraisa - R. Yosi): In the future, Nochrim will convert.
Question: We should not accept them!
(Beraisa): We will not accept converts in the Messianic days (lest their motives are insincere);
Similarly, we did not accept converts in the days of David and Shlomo.
Answer: Rather, the Nochrim convert by themselves (which is invalid), put Tefilin on their heads and arms, and Tzitzis on their garments, and Mezuzos on their doors;
When they see the armies of Gog and Magog, the converts (text of the Rashash) ask them why they came.
Gog and Magog: "(We gathered to fight) Al Hash-m v'Al Meshicho."
The converts cast off their Mitzvos and leave - "Nenatkah Es Moseroseimu..."
"Yoshev ba'Shamayim Yischak (Hash-m will laugh at them)."
(R. Yitzchak): That is the only day of Hash-m's laughter.
HOW HASH-M DIVIDES HIS DAY
Question (on both versions): Rav Yehudah taught that Hash-m laughs every day!
(Rav Yehudah): In the first three hours of the day(time), Hash-m engages in Torah;
The next three hours He judges the world;
When He sees that the world is proper to be destroyed, He goes from the throne of judgment the throne of mercy.
The next three hours He feeds the entire world, from the biggest animals to the smallest (lice eggs);
The last three hours He laughs with Livyasan (a giant fish that Tzadikim will enjoy in the future) - "Livyasan Zeh Yatzarta Lesachek Bo."
Answer #1 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): He regularly laughs with His creations, but he does not laugh at His creations except for that day.
Answer #2 (Rav Acha): He does not laugh after the Mikdash was destroyed.
Question: What is the source for this?
Suggestion: "Va'Yikra Hash-m... ba'Yom Hahu li'Vchi ul'Misped ul'Karchah."
Rejection: Perhaps He declared only the day of the Churban for crying!
Answer #1: We learn from "Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim... Im Lo Ezkerechi."
Rejection: Perhaps He does not forget, but He does laugh!
Answer #2: "Hechesheisi me'Olam Acharish Esapak..."
Question: (According to Rav Acha, Hash-m does not laugh after the Churban.) What does He do during the last three hours?
Answer: He teaches children who died - "Yoreh De'ah... Gemulei me'Chalav."
Question: Who teaches them the first three quarters of the day?
Answer #1: Metatron (the angel appointed over the world) teaches them.
Answer #2: Until then, Hash-m teaches them in addition to engaging in Torah, judging or feeding the world.
Question: What does Hash-m do at night?
Answer #1: He does the same things that He does during the day.
Answer #2: He rides on a fast Cheruv (angel) and flies through 18,000 worlds - "Rechev Elokim Ribosayim Alfei Shin'an";
We read this like 'she'Einen' (2000 of the 20,000 are lacking).
Answer #3: He listens to the Chayos (angels) singing - "uva'Laylah Shiro Imi."
REWARD AND PUNISHMENT FOR LEARNING AND NEGLECTING TORAH
(R. Levi): Anyone who stops learning to speak idle words, he is (force-)fed burning coals - "ha'Kotefim Malu'ach Alei Si'ach v'Shoresh Resamim Lachmam."
Version #1 (Reish Lakish): If one engages in Torah at night, Hash-m bestows grace on him during the day - "Yomam Yetzaveh Hash-m Chasdo uva'Laylah Shiro Imi";
Hash-m commands His Chesed upon him during the day because he learned at night.
Version #2 (Reish Lakish): If one engages in Torah in this world, which resembles night, Hash-m bestows grace on him in the world to come, which resembles day - "Yomam Yetzaveh Hash-m Chasdo..."
Question (Rav Yehudah): "Va'Ta'aseh Adam ki'Dgei ha'Yam" - why are people compared to fish?
Answer #1: Just like fish die immediately if they come upon dry land, also people die immediately if they refrain from Torah and Mitzvos.
Answer #2: Just like fish die if the sun beats upon them, also people.
Some say that this refers to this world, like R. Chanina taught;
(R. Chanina): All sicknesses are decreed by Heaven, except for chills and fevers (which are due to one's negligence).
Some say that it refers to the world to come, like Reish Lakish taught.
(Reish Lakish): Gehinom is not a separate place. Rather, Hash-m will let the sun beat down heavily. The wicked are judged (punished) through this, and Tzadikim are cured through this.