AGADIC TEACHINGS OF R. YOCHANAN AND RAV CHISDA
(R. Yochanan): Anyone who says that Menasheh has no share in the world to come weakens the resolve of people who consider repenting.
A reciter of Beraisos: Menasheh repented (and was a Tzadik) for 33 years - "...va'Chamishim v'Chamesh Shanah Malach bi'Yrushalayim... Ka'asher Osah Achav." Menasheh was (a Rasha king) like Achav, who reigned for 22 years, leaving 33 years of repentance.
Question (R. Yochanan): Why does it say "va'Yishma Elav va'Yechaser Lo"? It should say 'va'Ye'aser Lo'!
Answer: This teaches that Hash-m made a Machteres (tunnel) in Shamayim for Menasheh in order to accept his repentance, for Midas ha'Din would not allow it.
Question (R. Yochanan): Why does it say "b'Reishis Mamlechus Yehoyakim" and "b'Reishis Mamleches Tzidkiyahu"? (It does not say b'Reishis regarding other kings!)
Answer: Hash-m was ready to return the world to nothingness (like it was before creation) due to Yehoyakim. He did not, due to the generation. Hash-m was ready to return the world to nothingness due to Tzidkiyahu's generation. He did not, due to Tzidkiyahu.
Question: Also regarding Tzidkiyahu it says "va'Ya'as ha'Ra b'Einei Hash-m"!
Answer: That is because he could have protested at the evil of his generation, but he did not (but he himself was a Tzadik).
(R. Yochanan): "Ish Chacham Nishpat Es Ish Evil v'Ragaz v'Sachak v'Ein Nachas" (whether the Chacham (Hash-m) showed anger to or dealt favorably with the foolish wicked kings, they did not fear Him):
He showed anger to Achaz, and delivered him into the hands of the king of Darmesek, and he served their idolatry - "va'Yizbach l'Eilohei Darmesek ha'Makim Bo"!
"Va'Yomer Ki Elohei Malchei Aram Hem Mazrim Osam Lahem Ezbach v'Ya'azruni v'Hem Hayu Lehachshilo ul'Chol Yisrael."
Hash-m dealt favorably with Amatzyah - "Acharei Ba Amatzyah me'Hakos Es Adomim va'Yavei Es Elohei Bnei Se'ir... Yishtachaveh v'Lahem Yekater."
(Rav Papa): This is like people say, woe to one who does not realize when someone cries or laughs in front of him. He does not distinguish good from bad!
(R. Yochanan): "Kol Sarei Melech Bavel va'Yeshvu b'Sha'ar ha'Tavech" is the place where they Mechatech (decide) Halachos (the Sanhedriyos at the openings of Har ha'Bayis and the Azarah).
(Rav Papa): This is like people say, the lowly shepherd hangs his jug in the place where his master used to hang his weapons.
(Rav Chisda): "Al Sedeh Ish Atzel Avarti" refers to Achaz (who prevented Avodah and study of Torah, as we will expound later). "V'Al Kerem Adam Chasar Lev" refers to Menasheh (who erased the name of Hash-m and destroyed the Mizbe'ach). "V'Hineh Chulo Kimshonim" refers to Amon (who disgraced the Mizbe'ach). "Kasu Fanav Charulim" refers to Yehoyakim (who covered his face from Hash-m's light). "V'Geder Avanav Neherasah" refers to Tzidkiyahu, for the Mikdash was destroyed in his days.
(Rav Chisda): Four categories of people do not behold the Shechinah:
Scoffers - "Moshach Yado Es Lotzetzim";
Liars - "Dover Shekarim Lo Yikon l'Neged Einai."
Flatterers - "Ki Lo Lefanav Chanef Yavo";
Those who speak Lashon ha'Ra - "Ki Lo Kel Chafetz Resha Atah Lo Yegurcha Ra", since You are a Tzadik, evil will not be in Megurcha (Your dwelling).
(Rav Chisda): "Lo Se'unah Elecha Ra'ah" - the Yetzer ha'Ra will not rule over you. "V'Nega Lo Yikrav b'Ohalecha" - you will not find your wife Safek Nidah when you return from a trip. (This pains a man. He suspects that she is Tehorah, and he is needlessly withheld from her at a time of great desire.)
Alternatively, "Lo Se'unah Elecha Ra'ah" - you will not be scared by bad dreams or thoughts. "V'Nega Lo Yikrav b'Ohalecha" - you will not have a son or Talmid who acts disgracefully in public.
These were David's blessings to Shlomo. His mother blessed him "Ki Mal'achav Yetzaveh Lach..."
Hash-m blessed him "Ki Vi Chashak va'Afaltehu...."
(Reish Lakish): "Va'Yimna me'Resha'im Oram..." - the 'Ayin' of "Resha'im" is written above the other letters (so the word can be read without it, 'me'Rashim') to teach that once one becomes poor (hated) below, he is hated above (Rashi; Ramah - when one becomes a Rosh (leader, without inheriting the position) below, he is considered a Rasha above).
Question: If so, the 'Ayin' should not be written at all (Ramah - it should explicitly say 'Roshim')!
Answer #1 (R. Yochanan or R. Elazar): It is written for the honor of David (to show that this does not apply to Tzadikim. Many people hated David, but Hash-m loved him.)
Answer #2 (the other of R. Yochanan and R. Elazar): It is written for the honor of Nechemyah.
THE EVIL KINGS OF YEHUDAH
(Beraisa): Menasheh expounded and taught Chidushim in Sefer Va'Yikra in 55 facets (Rashi - once in each year of his reign; Ramah - he expounded when he was a Tzadik, and through this, he merited to reign for 55 years).
Achav expounded it in 85 facets, and Yarav'am in 103.
(Beraisa - R. Meir): Avshalom has no share in the world to come:
"Va'Yaku Es Avshalom" in this world, "va'Ymisuhu" in the world to come.
(Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): Achaz, Achazyah and all the Malchei Yisrael about whom it says 'va'Ya'as ha'Ra b'Einei Hash-m" will not experience Techiyas ha'Mesim, nor will they be judged (Ramah - because they exerted themselves in wars for the sake of Yisrael).
(Chachamim of Bavel): "V'Gam Dam Naki Shofach Menasheh Harbeh Me'od Ad Asher Milei Es Yerushalayim Peh la'Feh" - he killed Yeshayah;
(Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael): He made an idol that required 1000 people to move it. Every day he would make people move it, and they died from this.
Question: From whom may we derive Rabah bar Rav Chanah's teaching?
(Rabah bar bar Chanah): The Neshamah of one Tzadik is worth as much as an entire world.
Answer: We learn this from Chachamim of Bavel.
Contradiction: It says that Menasheh put a "Pesel" in the Heichal, and it says that he put "Pesilim"!
Answer (R. Yochanan): At first he made the idol with one face. Later, he added three other faces, to anger the Shechinah from every direction.
Achaz erected an idol in the upper story of the Mikdash - "ha'Mizbechos Asher Al ha'Gag Aliyas Achaz";
Menasheh put one in the Heichal, "ba'Bayis... Asher Bocharti... Asim Es Shemi l'Olam";
Amon put one in the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim - "Ki Kotzar ha'Matza me'Histare'a":
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): This means that the Mikdash cannot house two 'colleagues' (Hash-m and idolatry) at once.
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): R. Yonason would cry when he read "veha'Masechah Tzarah." Hash-m is "Kones ka'Ned Mei ha'Yam" (He can gather the water to expand the (dry) land, but our sins caused that), an idol is like a rival (co-wife) for Him!
Achaz abolished the Avodah and sealed (stopped study of) Torah - "Te'udah Chasum Torah b'Limudai." Menasheh erased the name of Hash-m (from the Torah) and destroyed the Mizbe'ach. Amon burned the Torah and abolished the Avodah to the point that cobwebs covered the Mizbe'ach (Rashi; others explain that he offered Shemamis (a Tamei animal or bird) on the Mizbe'ach).
Achaz considered Arayos to be permitted. Menasheh had Bi'ah with his sister. Amon had Bi'ah with his mother - "Amon Hirbah Ashmah":
R. Yochanan or R. Elazar explains that this refers to burning the Torah. The other says that it refers to Bi'ah with his mother.
His mother: Will you derive pleasure from the place you came from?!
Amon: No. My whole intent is to anger Hash-m.
Yehoyakim said 'my predecessors did not know how to anger Hash-m! All people need from Him is the sun. We have Parva'im (a special kind of) gold. It illuminates for us. He can take His light away!'
Others: Gold and silver are also His - "Li ha'Kesef v'Li ha'Zahav"!
Yehoyakim: He already gave them to us - "veha'Aretz Nosan li'Vnei Adam."
Question (Rava): Why isn't Yehoyakim listed among those who have no share in the world to come? Surely, it is not due to "Divrei Yehoyakim v''So'avosav... veha'Nimzta Alav"!
Question: What does "veha'Nimzta Alav" refer to?
Answer #1 (R. Yochanan or R. Elazar): He engraved the name of idolatry on his Ever.
Answer #2 (the other of R. Yochanan and R. Elazar): He engraved Hash-m's name on his Ever.
Rabah bar Mari: I did not hear why other kings were not listed. I did hear about commoners;
Michah was not listed because his food was open to travelers. (Ramah - therefore, Chachamim did not want to openly teach that he has no share; Iyun Yakov - through this, he merited a share. 'Kol ha'Over v'Shav El ha'Leviyim' is not a verse, but we find in Shofetim 17-18 that he hosted people.)
(R. Yochanan): "V'Ovar ba'Yam Tzarah" - Michah took (Gra - had a spiritual defect which would later cause him to make) an idol through the Yam Suf. (Alternatively, he took a plate with Hash-m's name, which Moshe had used to raise Yosef's coffin from the bottom of the Nile, which he would later use to make the Egel.)
(Beraisa - R. Noson): It is three Mil from Gerav (where Michah set up his idol) to Shilo (where the Mishkan was). Smoke from the Mizbe'ach mixed with smoke of offerings to the idol. Angels wanted to kill Michah. Hash-m stopped them, because his food was open to travelers.
The people who made war with Shevet Binyamin due to Pilegesh ba'Giv'ah were punished for fighting for the honor of a person (the concubine who was raped and killed), but not for Hash-m's honor (to stop Michah).