IMPROPER WAYS TO PRAISE HASH-M
(Mishnah): To say 'Good ones will bless you' is heretical;
We silence one who says 'Your are merciful on a bird's nest', 'Your name will be mentioned on the good', or 'Modim, Modim';
We silence one who distorts the Isurim of Arayos;
If one explains "Umi'Zar'acha Lo Siten l'Molech" to mean relations with a Nochris, we firmly silence him.
(Gemara): We understand that saying 'Modim, Modim' looks like worshipping two powers;
We also understand the problem with 'Your name will be mentioned on good';
(Mishnah): One must bless on the bad just like he blesses on the good.
Question: What is wrong about 'You are merciful on a bird's nest'?
Answer #1 (R. Yosi bar Avin or R. Yosi bar Zevida): This arouses jealousy of the other animals.
Answer #2 (The other of R. Yosi bar Avin and R. Yosi bar Zevida): This suggests that Hash-m's Mitzvos are mercy. Really, they are decrees above our understanding.
A man said 'You had mercy on a bird's nest, be merciful upon us!' Rabah praised him.
Abaye: The Mishnah says that we silence him!
Rabah was only testing Abaye.
A man came in front of R. Chanina and said 'Hashem who is great, awesome, mighty, strong and vigorous.'
R. Chanina: Have you finished His praises? We may say 'ha'Gadol ha'Gibor veha'Nora' only because the Torah says it, and the Great Assembly fixed the text!
If one has billions of gold coins, it denigrates him to say that he has silver.
(R. Chanina): "What does Hash-m ask of you, just to fear Him" - all is in Hash-m's hands, except for fear of Hash-m.
Question: The verse implies that fearing Hash-m is a small matter!
Answer: Correct! For (Kli Yakar - people near) Moshe, it is simple!
A parable: If one is asked to lend a big Keli, if he has it, he considers this a small request. If one is asked for something he lacks, even if it is a small Keli, this is like a big request.
(R. Zeira): One who says Shema, Shema is like one who says 'Modim, Modim'
Question (Beraisa): It is despicable to read Shema and double it.
It does not say that we silence him!
Version #1 (Rashi) Answer: R. Zeira discusses one who repeats the entire verse (it looks like he accepts two authorities). The Beraisa discusses one who repeats each word.
Version #2 (Rif) Answer: The Beraisa discusses one who repeats the entire verse (it looks like he did not intend the first time). R. Zeira discusses one who repeats each word.
Question (Rav Papa): Perhaps he didn't have intent the first time, therefore he repeats it with intent!
Answer (Rava): Does he treat Hash-m like a peer, so he repeats himself and shows that he spoke to Him without intent?! He should be smacked until he has intent!
(Mishnah): We silence one who distorts the Isurim of Arayos.
(Rav Yosef): For example, he says that "Ervas Avicha" and "Ervas Imecha" refer to the shame of your father and mother.
(Mishnah): If one explains "Umi'Zar'acha Lo Siten l'Molech" (to mean relations with a Nochris ...)
(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): He explains that the Isur is to father a son who will serve idolatry.
PARSHIYOS THAT WE READ OR TRANSLATE
(Mishnah): We read and translate the episode of Tamar and Yehudah, and the first account of the golden calf;
We read but do not translate the episode of Reuven; the second account of the Egel, Birkas Kohanim, and the episode of David and Amnon;
We do not read about the Merkavah (in Yechezkeil) for the Haftorah;
R. Yehudah permits.
R. Eliezer says, we do not read "Hoda Es Yerushalayim" for the Haftorah.
(Gemara -Beraisa): The following are read and translated:
Question: Obviously we read and translate this!
Answer: One might have thought that we do not (read or translate it), lest people ask what above [the sky] or below [the earth], or past the ends of the world (alternatively - what was before Creation, or will be after the world ceases). The Beraisa teaches that this is not so.
The episode of Lot and his daughters;
One might have thought that because of the honor of Avraham we do not (read the disgrace of his nephew).
The episode of Tamar and Yehudah;
One might have thought that we do not, for it is disgraceful for Yehudah. The Beraisa teaches to the contrary; it is praiseworthy that he confessed!
The first account of the Egel;
We might have thought that we do not because of the honor of Yisrael. The Beraisa teaches to the contrary, it is good for Yisrael to (be ashamed and) get atonement!
Klalos and Berachos;
One might have thought we do not, lest this cause people serve out of love (of reward) and fear (of punishment).
Warnings and punishments;
One might have thought that we do not, lest it make people despair (and seek pleasures before they will be punished).
The episodes of Amnon and Tamar, and of Avshalom;
We might have thought that we do not, because of the honor of David.
The episode of Pilegesh b'Giv'ah;
We might have thought that we do not, because of the honor of Binyamin.
"Hoda Es Yerushalayim - "Inform Yerushalayim of its abominations";
Question: Obviously we read and translate it!
Answer: This is unlike R. Eliezer.
A man once read this for the Haftorah. R. Eliezer said, 'before checking Yerushalayim's corruption, check your mother's!' People checked and found a Pesul in his lineage. (Ritva - even if he held like Chachamim, one should act like R. Eliezer in R. Eliezer's region.)
PARSHIYOS THAT ARE READ BUT NOT TRANSLATED
(Continuation of Beraisa): The following are read but not translated:
The episode of Reuven;
R. Chanina ben Gamliel once told a translator to translate only the end of the verse ("There were 12 sons of Yakov"); R. Chanina was praised for this.
The second account of the Egel;
(Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): A person must be careful how he answers. Aharon answered Moshe that the calf came from the fire; this made heretics more brazen (to say that idolatry has power).
We do not translate it because it says that Hash-m shows partiality. (People do not know why it is fitting for Him to show partiality to Yisrael.)
The episode of David and Amnon.
Question: The Beraisa said earlier that this is translated!
Answer: We translate only where Amnon is not called the son of David.
(Beraisa): We substitute less explicit words for blatant derogatory words:
We say Yishkavenah in place of Yishgalenah, ba'Techorim in place of ba'Apolim, Divyonim in place of Chiryonim, Tzo'asam in place of Choreihem, Meimei Ragleihem in place of Meimei Shineihem, l'Motza'os in place of l'Machara'os.
R. Yehoshua ben Korchah says, we read l'MaCHaRa'os (as it is) because this disgraces idolatry (Beis ha'Ba'al was made into a Beis ha'Kisei; CHoR alludes to the anus).
(Rav Nachman): Scoffing is permitted only regarding idolatry. We learn from "Kora Bel Kores Nevo... ; Lo Yochlu Malet Masa" (the idols fell; they were unable to reach the Beis ha'Kisei in time).
R. Yanai says, we learn from "L'Eglos Beis On... Al Kevodo... " - we read this 'Kevedo' (its burden of excrement).
(Rav Huna bar Mano'ach): One may tell an idolater to put his idol in his Shin Tov (buttocks, as in Chasufai Shes (Yeshayah 20:4)).
(Rav Ashi): If bad reports are always heard about a person, one may disgrace him with Gimel and Shin (Bar Girsa Shmah Saryei, he is the son of an adulteress and he has ill repute. Alternatively, one may call him Giyufa Shatya, a crazy adulterer).
One may praise a person about whom good reports go out. He will be blessed for doing so.